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February 22, 2017

Mailbag: Tokyo Marathon, a little on conference championships, relationship advice

The reception to this website’s first few weeks has been fantastic so thanks a lot for coming along for the ride. It’s been great to feel the excitement about a new tone and voice within the sport. This week’s mailbag was a little light but that’s OK since I’m answering most of these at 3 a.m. with a little Anthony Bourdain in the background. We’ll touch on the Tokyo Marathon and then a little bit on conference championship weekend, which I wish I followed more closely.

Send in your questions to [email protected] for next week’s mailbag. I’ll answer any thoughtful or funny questions on track and field or in the occasional email from the U.K…. athletics.

Email from Rubis: What are the big storylines to watch on the men’s and women’s side for the marathon? (Sent from my iPad)

This question comes to us from The Hub of Distance Running and a former teammate of The Bachelor. (Vanessa totally has this locked up.) Well, Rubis,  you’re in luck if you want to see one of the greatest marathoners in history. Kenya’s Wilson Kipsang is coming off a great run in last September’s Berlin Marathon, where he was second to Kenenisa Bekele in 2:03:13. Kipsang’s career best average for his top 10 marathons is 2:05:02, which would be a great sign to try and see him challenge that 2:05:18 course record on re-designed course. Brett Larner of Japan Running News recently wrote a post observing some of the changes to the course, which included some hills at bad times in the late stages of the race. A few adjustments were made and the verdict appears to be that it’s an improvement but wind could now be the issue in the closing stages.

On the women’s side, we have a familiar name making her debut. Betsy Saina, who trains with the Bowerman Track Club and was a standout for years at Iowa State, will be making her 26.2 debut. She’ll have to face 2015 Tokyo Marathon champion Berhane Dibaba, who is not related to the other Dibaba sisters…I think.

Email from Eric: Why don’t we see more Americans contest the Tokyo Marathon or the London Marathon?

I’ve always wondered that myself. It could be the timing of some of these races. Boston is only a week before or after London and it’s easier to stick around on home soil. Tokyo also comes in February which can be a tricky time in training. One thing that Andrew Bumbalough, who will be making his own marathon debut in Tokyo, noted in a recent blog post from the Bowerman Track Club is the flurry of runners that will be in the 2:11-2:12 range. That guarantees that Bumbalough will likely have someone to run with the entire way. If I recall when Matt Tegenkamp made his marathon debut in Chicago, they enlisted Chris Solinsky to pace him most of the way. I haven’t read anything about Bumbalough having a teammate or friend pace him along the way but with the popularity of road racing in Japan, there will be a lot of runners in his range. Sara Hall, who holds a personal best of 2:30:06, will run in the women’s race.

This year, we have two example of a U.S. elite going to Japan for the marathon. Later this spring, we’ll see Laura Thweatt go to London to chase a fast time there.

Email from Jacques: What’s up with Wilson Kipsang and the sub-two hour project?

First off, I think the name Jacques is very cool and reminds me of former outfielder Jacque Jones who was good with the Twins but not so much with the Cubs. You know who is really good though. Wilson Kipsang. (Terrible transition) Kipsang is an adidas athlete so definitely has no part in Nike’s Breaking-Two team or in Paul Snyder’s Debajo Dos venture. The independent Sub 2 Hours project headed by physiologist Yannis Pitsiladis has recruited Kipsang. Unfortunately, the results for their work with Kenenisa Bekele took a little step back as he dropped out of last month’s Dubai Marathon with an injury.

Back in 2014, Kipsang told Competitor that we maybe should hold off on the sub-two hour talk until we get to 2:01. There’s still some time that has to be shaved off. The Sub 2 Hours project also does not appear to be in a rush any time soon.

We’ll see how much Kipsang’s work with this new group will benefit him in his first major marathon since Berlin. It appears he’s been working with them since January.

Email from Sam: If I have to watch just one conference championship meet this weekend, which should it be?

Sam, sorry to disappoint because I’ve personally fallen off on watching collegiate track but I’ll tune in on occasion. There’s just so much to follow and I don’t have a whole lot of time. If you want to strike a good balance go to the SEC for the incredible relays like the 4×400 and then the distance-focused races you can’t go wrong with MPSF. Keep in mind that Oregon’s women’s sprints program is looking fantastic and on their way to their seventh NCAA indoor title in the last eight years. I’m a Big East guy for everything (as you may have followed along in recent weeks for basketball) and Spencer Brown of The Athlete Special is in the men’s DMR and the men’s 3,000 there. So find a way to tune into that.

Here’s how the Citius Mag staff was divided: Paul and Jeanne (Heps, no surprise there); Nicole (Big Ten), Scott (Big Ten and then switched to say SEC)

If you’re looking for a schedule on how to watch all of the weekend’s meets: USTFCCCA has you hooked up and I’d probably recommend them for your comprehensive previews.

Email from Ari: Read your post on the men that have broken four minutes for the mile at every 100th marker. Who has the coolest name on the list so far?

Roosevelt Jackson. It reminds me of the subway station that I take every morning.

Tweet from DumbFlotrack: Is it possible to date one of the girls on the team and still be “one of the guys”

Hate to break it to you but I went to an all-guys high school and then I was not fast enough to run in college so I can’t drop any first-hand experience with you. Having come across some threads on this and having friends on different track teams, I think it’s fairly common to date someone on the team. I think it’s totally possible to still be “one of the guys” in the crew. Just earlier in the week, Scott Olberding discussed how Emily Pritt and Ryan Hill are great for each other in their relationship. There’s some famous runner couples out there like the Halls and the Gouchers. DumbFlo, do what your heart tells you. Phoebe Wright also had some advice not too long ago.

That does it for this week’s Citius Mag Mailbag. Send more questions next time to [email protected] or tweet us @CitiusMag.

February 21, 2017

Shalane Flanagan out of 2017 Boston Marathon due to back fracture: Some quick thoughts

Shalane Flanagan will miss the 2017 Boston Marathon due to a back injury. The four-time Olympian remains the fastest American woman to run Boston.

February 21, 2017

Rachel Schneider opens up about her rise in the professional ranks, breakout indoor season

Rachel Schneider, the former Georgetown Hoya discusses her rise as a professional middle distance runner based in Flagstaff and her breakout indoor season.

February 21, 2017

Imagining an attempt to train with 2012 Olympic champion Taoufik Makhloufi

Imagine trying to keep up with Taoufik Makhloufi during a workout. Imagine no more. Here’s a sample workout and how a human being like Stephen Kersh would fare.

February 20, 2017

Never too early to get excited about the U.S. shot put in 2017

The future looks bright for the state of the United States shot put scene with the likes of Ryan Crouser, Joe Kovacs & Darrel Hill throwing over 22 meters.

February 20, 2017

Get to know unsponsored World Cross Country qualifier Emily Pritt of the Bowerman Track Club

Catching up with Emily Pritt, one of the biggest surprises of the U.S. Cross Country National Championships.

February 20, 2017

Photos: Ocean Breeze Grand Prix, Staten Island

Photos from the 2017 Ocean Breeze Grand Prix in Staten Island New York. All images shot by Jason Suarez for Citius Mag.

February 20, 2017

All around the world: Your weekend track wrap-up from Birmingham, New York, Kenya and more

Another action-packed week of running. Here’s what you may have missed.

February 20, 2017

Wake Up To Laura Muir’s British 1,000m Record

Watch Laura Muir set another European record as her indoor campaign continues to roll.

February 19, 2017

Track and Field lineup for an All-Star Game that will never happen

A little homage to the NBA All-Star game with some silly track comparisons.

February 17, 2017

New Jersey-New York Track Club sets new 4xMile World Record

The New Jersey-New York Track Club squad of Donn Cabral, Ford Palmer, Kyle Merber and Graham Crawford set a new world record in the 4xMile.

February 16, 2017

Who were sub-four U.S. Milers No. 100, 200, 300 and 400?

As we approach 500 U.S. sub-four minute milers all-time, who were No. 100, 200, 300 and 400?

February 16, 2017

Birmingham’s big meet: Five things to watch at the Müller Indoor Grand Prix

The last stop of the IAAF World Indoor Tour takes place on Saturday in Birmingham, U.K.

February 15, 2017

Wake up to Marty Liquori’s mile at the 1973 AAU Championships at MSG

Never beaten at the Garden, Marty Liquori was challenged in one of his sub-four mile attempts.

February 14, 2017

Just give NJ-NY Track Club the 4xMile world record already

NJ-NY Track Club will attempt to time trial their way to a new indoor 4 x mile world record

February 14, 2017

Wake up to Steve Prefontaine winning the 1973 LA Times Mile

Steve Prefontaine races the mile at The Forum in 1973.

February 13, 2017

Real talk: Kristi Castlin on gun violence in America, history in Rio and more

Kristi Castlin speaks out on gun violence in America and using her voice for more since Rio.

February 12, 2017

PHOTOS: 2017 Millrose Games by Jason Suarez

Check out our shots from this year’s Millrose Games.

February 12, 2017

Rundown: Five takeaways from the fast times at Millrose Games

Digest our appraisals and analysis of yesterday’s Millrose Games.

February 12, 2017

Liao: Millrose Games two-mile provides an idea for change

Scrap the 1500, 3000 steeplechase, and 5000 meter distances and replace it with a single 3,000 meter race.

February 11, 2017

How to watch Millrose Games online: Live stream, TV info

The Millrose Games return and you can watch it live on TV.

February 10, 2017

Q&A with Woody Kincaid: Meet the Bowerman Track Club’s rookie

Get to know the Bowerman Track Club’s rookie Woody Kincaid before he makes his true debut on Saturday.

February 10, 2017

Rating the Takes: Hot 97’s Ebro in the Morning on Shaunae Miller’s dive for gold

Remember that time Hot 97 debated the Shaunae Miller dive? We’re still talking about it.

February 10, 2017

Millrose Games preview: Everything you need to know

Everything from Matt Centrowitz vs. Ryan Hill to Shannon Rowbury’s three-peat attempt, we have you covered.

February 10, 2017

Alan Webb rapping the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song taking you into the weekend

The American record holder in the mile can also recite the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song very well.

February 9, 2017

Wake up to Simpson vs. Rowbury at the 2012 Millrose Games

One of the early chapters in the Simpson vs. Rowbury rivalry.

February 9, 2017

The Armory’s history goes well beyond track and field

There’s more history beyond track at The Armory.

February 8, 2017

Ryan Hill carrying a chip on his shoulder into Millrose two mile

Do some math and Ryan Hill may have the fitness to bust Galen Rupp’s American record by at least a few seconds.

February 8, 2017

Ford Palmer and Nicole Bush join as athlete contributors

Ford Palmer and Nicole Bush will be bringing their insight to the new site.

February 8, 2017

Millrose Games Mailbag on MSG, Drew Hunter, Dibaba, historic U.S. tracks & hot dog debates

Answering all your questions relating to Millrose Games and whether a hot dog is a sandwich.

February 8, 2017

Wake up to Matt Centrowitz and Miles Batty’s 2012 Wanamaker Mile thriller

A world championship medalist goes toe-to-toe with a star out of BYU.

February 7, 2017

Q&A with Kyle Merber: Gearing up for Millrose, training and being a New Yorker

Kyle Merber discusses his training leading up to the Millrose Games, where he could become the first man to win the high school and Wanamaker Mile.

February 7, 2017

Watch: Genzebe Dibaba runs 2,000 meter world record on a Tuesday

That’s six indoor world records for Genzebe Dibaba.

February 7, 2017

Wake up to the 1982 Millrose High School Boys Mile

We’re going back to the 80s.

February 6, 2017

What we learned from the IAAF Council Meeting: Russia remains banned, transfers suspended

35 Russian athletes have applied to compete as neutral athletes at the 2017 world championships in London

February 6, 2017

Weekend Track Wrap: U.S. XC, Odd Nitro Meet and Armory Track Invitational

It’s a happy Monday in Boston after the New England Patriots won their fifth Super Bowl title under head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady but that’s totally not what you came to this site for.

Lets catch up on the weekend’s action around the world:

Aliphine Tuliamuk and Leonard Korir win rugged U.S. Cross-Country Championship titles

Aliphine Tuliamuk handily won the women’s race by 48 seconds to cross the finish line in 34:23.5. It marked her fourth USA Championship title since becoming a USA citizen in 2016.

On the men’s side, Leonard Korir was the last man standing from a pack that included fellow Kenyan-born stars Stanley Kebenei, Shadrack Kipchirchir and Sam Chelanga. Korir won in 30:11.8.

Several people took to Twitter to question whether there was anything wrong with the picture of the United States’ distance events now being won by Kenyan-born athletes. It’s not a problem but the question that may be posed is what changes could be made when it comes to athletes switching nationalities. The foreign-born trend is sometimes more obvious to us in weaker race fields or some of the smaller road races.

We’ll have more on this discussion throughout the week and since you’re maybe curious now: Chris Derrick was the top U.S.-born man and took fifth. Laura Thweatt was the top U.S. born woman and was second behind Tuliamuk. Thweatt has opted not to race the World Cross Country Championships as April’s London Marathon is her primary focus.

The Instagram Shot of the Weekend

This one comes to us from Ciaran O’Lionaird, who captured the perfect snap of how slippery and chilly the conditions were in Bend.

Paul Chelimo dominates back on N.C. soil

When we caught up with Olympic silver medalist Paul Chelimo last week, he mentioned to Pat Price that his goal for 2017 is not to lose a single race.

He is now 3–0 after clocking a 7:45.49 for the win at the Camel City Invitational at the JDL Fast Track facility in Winston Salem, North Carolina.

Laura Muir upsets Helen Obiri with record-setting 3,000m 

I managed to hop over to my laptop briefly on Saturday afternoon after Laura Muir ran 8:26.41 for a new European record, world lead, Scottish record and British record. With all of the action going on, I thought for sure we would probably overlook this brilliant upset and record-setting performance as we have in the past with Muir’s 3:55.22.

Only four Ethiopians, including Genzebe Dibaba, have ever run faster than Muir’s time and she stripped the European title from convicted Russian doper Liliya Shobukhova. It’s a remarkable performance by Muir and we’re hoping that she gets more credit and appreciation in 2017 as the sport starts looking for new stars.

The odd Nitro Athletics meet happened in Australia

Innovation is always interesting within track and field but it may be time to go back to the drawing board for the Nitro Athletics meet that took place in Australia. The IAAF is trying very hard to also push it as the next cool thing but some of it would be tough to get a new audience to understand.

The three-minute run was a novel concept but then we just saw too many rules in the elimination mile.


The silliest of moments during the meet came from the commentator during the javelin competition, which incorporated targets and led: “This is the first time she has ever competed in a hat. And that’s what Nitro is all about!”

The mixed relays had no set order for men and women to face off against someone of the same gender on their respective legs and just looked messy. I’d much rather see an ol’ fashion distance medley relay but some of these new meets (TrackTown Summer Series, World Relays) are moving away from that. The Great Edinburgh cross country race’s mixed gender relay is the best version of the race model because it’s at least XC so we aren’t pretending times matter

The better commentary came from the mixed relay and putting the spotlight on hurdler Ryan Wilson:

Arizona’s Sage Watson breaks collegiate 500 meter record

It’s nice to see some athletes reach the apex of the sport and compete at the Olympics but then return to finish competing for their college (or in Sydney McLaughlin’s case…high school) as opposed to signing a professional contract. Arizona’s Sage Watson is one of those athletes. She took 11th in the 400 meter hurdles semifinal in Rio and was a member of the 4×400 meter relay team that took fourth in the final. 2017 is off to just as fast of a start for her as she set a new collegiate record for the 500 meters by running 1:08.40 for the win at the Armory Track Invitational.

Check out our gallery of photos from some of Saturday’s session.

More from the Armory Track Invitationsl

  • 16-year-old Tyrese Cooper became the first high school runner to crack 33-seconds for 33 meters as he clocked a 32.87 to finish behind Olympian Lalonde Gordon’s 32.37. He chucked up the three-goggles for a picture with the clock, which is perfect.

  • The 600 is super popular this year. Ajee Wilson became the second-fastest American at the distance all-time with her 1:24.48 for the win. Alysia Montano holds the American record with her 1:23.59 from 2013. Sammy Watkins pulled off another strong performance by lowering her high school record from 1:28.67 to 1:27.13.
  • I remember seeing Sam Penzenstadler run in person for the first time at the Meyo Invitational three years ago and I was blown away by how not-great his form looked but how he still managed to run under four minutes. He’s also one of the most humble guys so I was happy to see him do well last weekend by upsetting Robby Andrews on the final leg of the 4×800-meter relay. The District Track Club took the victory in 7:22.92.

Missing the Meyo Mile

Speaking of which…for the second year in a row, I have missed the thundersticks party that is the Meyo Invitational at Notre Dame. This year’s race was won by Indiana’s Kyle Mau 4:00.37. The race creates a great atmosphere at the Loftus Center when the winner happens to have an ND uniform on and when multiple people go under four minutes. I definitely miss that.

Now we move on to Millrose Week on Citius Mag so be sure to check back often and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for the latest on one of indoor track’s most historic meets.

February 6, 2017

Amanda Eccleston spins Trials heartbreak into a positive

Amanda Eccleston has moved on from missing the Olympics by .03 seconds.

February 6, 2017

Wake up to the 2008 Millrose Games’ Wanamaker Mile

Bernard Lagat vs. Nick Willis vs. Craig Mottram vs. Galen Rupp in the 2008 Millrose Games’ Wanamaker Mile.

February 5, 2017

What is the greatest running movie you’ve never seen?

You’ve seen Prefontaine and Without Limits but you maybe haven’t watched the best running movie yet.

February 4, 2017

We don’t talk about the brilliance of Laura Muir enough

We need to talk more about Laura Muir’s dominance.

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