Jesse Squire brings you a look at the best early season indoor track performances and what to look ahead at for this upcoming weekend.
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Jesse Squire brings you a look at the best early season indoor track performances and what to look ahead at for this upcoming weekend.
Two-time U.S. Olympian and three-time NCAA champion Andrew Wheating announced his retirement from professional track and field in a lengthy Facebook post.
We’re back for another year of shenanigans in running while also bringing you the most fun and engaging running-related content on the internet.
In our current epoch of rap music, it can feel as if every single day is “Comeback Season” (or COMEBACK SZN, or CMBK SZN, or some other variation of dropping vowels, consonants, etc). This is silly to me for a few reasons. The most clear being the thought that a single day can constitute a season. A season is god damn season. We have four of them. I’m using “We” in the universal way because we are all bound by seasons because we exist on the same time-space continuum. So when I’m scrolling through Instagram and see my peers shouting CMBK SZN day after day, I want to slap them with a calendar and shout back “JULIUS CAESAR DIDN’T DIE SO YOU COULD DISRESPECT HIS SEASONS”.
The other reason, and perhaps the more fascinating, CMBK SZN is dumb as hell is the majority people claiming it’s their comeback never had a chance of failing. It’s mainly used by people who have experienced incredible success while entertaining a zero-chance possibility of ever returning to a place where a comeback is necessary.
Also, Can we agree it was Aubrey “Drake” Graham who started this phenomena? It seems like it was Drake. It had to have been Drake. 100% Aubrey Graham.
Drake saying he is having a comeback season is like Matt Centrowitz claiming it’s his comeback season after winning an Olympic Gold. Something I have no proof of, but something I’ve never been so sure of in my life.
Ok, so the gist is no one can see who really enjoys a comeback season because of all the noise from people who hold a false narrative of oppression and failure. I believe two people in the world of running enjoyed a true “Comeback Season”.
In 2016, Sara Hall dropped out of the Olympic Marathon Trials. Her chance at making her first Olympic team vanished. I also dropped out of the Olympic Marathon Trials, but I wasn’t that devastated because I had a bunch of friends there and my focus immediately shifted to tacos and Coronas. I’m sure she was devastated because she had an honest shot at making the team. We were at different places in our life, and that was fine.
Sara Hall needed a comeback season in 2017. She delivered one with a personal bests in the half marathon, marathon, and a national championship in the marathon.
Her 69:37 performance at the Copenhagen Half Marathon set her up nicely for a 2:27:21 marathon personal best at the Frankfurt Marathon. To cap off her legitimate CMBK SZN, she dominated the U.S Marathon Championships while taking the victory earlier this month.
THIS *CLAP EMOJI* WAS *CLAP EMOJI* A *CLAP EMOJI* COMEBACK
This may seem like a stretch, and it probably is, but I think CD had a 2017 Comeback Season. After a year where he missed the start of the Olympic Marathon Trials due to injury and then couldn’t get into the shape he needed to be in to truly compete at the 10,000-meter Trials, one of our brightest talents was facing some hardships. This is the part of the story where he holes himself up in a room, literally takes out his degree from Stanford, hangs in on the wall, and creates an algorithm for success in 2017.
His formula worked – delivering personal bests at the New York City Half Marathon (61:12) and then guiding him to a 2:12:50 marathon debut (2nd American) at the Chicago Marathon. Chris showed he has a future in the marathon and formulas. Hell yeah, Chris.
I hope I showed not everyone can equally experience a Comeback Season. You cannot have a Comeback Season after one or two bad races. No – you have to suffer through a year of shit to deserve a Citius Comeback Season Award Tour Award. I apologize to Sara and Chris if I made their 2016 year out to be worse than it was. Because, in reality, it was probably a great year filled with family, friends, and all that nice stuff. We probably attribute too much “success” to running, but whatever. We can tackle that in 2018.
These are the the races and match-ups that we want to see from the track and field community in 2018 – a year without a world championship or Olympics.
Ryan Sterner decided to try and eat President Donald Trump’s dinner of two Big Macs, two Filet-O-Fish and a chocolate shake from McDonalds before running.
Just two words by Shalane Flanagan perfectly captured the emotions surrounding one of the best moments of the year for U.S. distance running.
Japanese marathoner Yuki Kawauchi may have put together a better year of running the marathon than the top American runners.
I haven’t come within 10 miles of running the marathon distance. I have, however, spent the last month of my life basically bathing in the marathon culture. I was at the finish line of the New York City Marathon when Shalane did the damn thing. And I spent last weekend hobnobbing around Sacramento for the 35th California International Marathon with a press credential hanging around my neck granting me more access than I rightfully deserved.
From the outside looking in, the whole point of a marathon for most people was to just finish. If that’s the case, then a marathon was only a few steps removed from being a hot dog eating contest. There had to be more.
When I got to the starting line of the CIM it was still dark, not yet 6 AM. The PA was blaring Imagine Dragons at a skull-shattering volume, but no one seemed to mind.
I caught whiffs of conversations — stories of preparation or lack thereof. There were runners sitting on the curb, applying what my nose positively identified as Icy Hot, or some other menthol knock-off. But Icy Hot wasn’t the only goo. I saw runners rubbing various shmears and semi-solids into any nook or cranny that carried even a scintilla of a doubt about its ability to stay chafe-free. I’m positive most of the product names ended in GLIDE. Overall, the atmosphere was jovial. Selfie sticks and chuckling and groups in matching t-shirts abound.
The only place where things felt panicked, maybe even desperate, was near the port-o-potties.
In New York, I heard rumors of the Verrazano Bridge running yellow with urine by the time the 50,000 some runners clear the area. In Sacramento, the announcer repeatedly warned people to please respect the neighbors and keep their pre-race ones and twos in the port-o-potties.
I imagine the warning provided a chicken and egg type moment for some of the more refined folks. Had the thought of skipping the line and shitting in someone’s yard occurred to them before the announcer made them privy to the practice?
My assignment for the race was to sit in the elite women’s lead van and observe. We had the back doors swung wide open for maximum visibility and relied on bungee cords stretched within an inch of their lives to keep them ajar.
The marathon doesn’t really get interesting until the element of disaster knocks on the door. This starts to happen at roughly mile ten. And since both men and women started at the same time, the women’s lead van was a perfect vantage point for the back-of-the-pack men’s race (also, Sara Hall was the only female runner we saw that day, as she ended up winning by over two whole minutes).
Now, I’ve seen folks having bad races before: someone maybe 30 seconds behind at the end of a steeplechase or having a little lie down at the end of a 10K. But nothing compares to the face of a marathoner having a bad day. Waking up in the middle of mile 16 and realizing that you, covered in salt, mouth like a dried sponge, still have ten miles to go is probably something not too far off from a religious experience.
We passed runners with sullen, lifeless faces, the skin around their eyes a bright pink that gave the impression of a freshly powdered corpse. I watched one guy try to suck whatever he could out of a GU packet and then nearly vomit it back up. Around mile 20 we passed a man covered in his own filth. Later we learned he had shit his pants at mile eight and went on to run somewhere around 2:16. A pretty decent trade-off, if you ask me.
We passed the runners who called it quits. Some sitting on the curb holding an ailing body part, others walking with their hands on their hips, looking for answers in the pavement beneath their feet. When we went by our driver apologized for not being able to pick them up, but assured them that the “meat wagon” was coming.
Other people we passed were having far more impressive outings. There were runners who, at mile 20, looked like they had just started their engines. They had the wide-eyed look of an animal in a trap, probably hungry, probably closer to death than they knew but running with a ravenous energy in an attempt to jump-start their depleted limbs.
And then there was the finish line.
Some people were jubilant, but most just kind of stopped running — like Forrest Gump in the end zone. They had vacant looks on their faces, stood bleary and blinking, coming to terms with the trauma they had just inflicted on their bodies.
At the end of it all, while we CITIUS boys were making our way back to the elite athlete area, I looked at them and without a hint of irony said, “I’m tired.”
We sat around drinking coffee in the cafeteria as the elite runners started to filter in. Limping, wet, perhaps in shock, we greeted a handful of them, spoke earnestly with the ones we knew and congratulated anyone that approached our table.
I couldn’t pretend to understand what they went through. A washed-up runner cursing his cramped calves after a 5K fun run, and a woman who can’t walk up stairs because she brought her body to the brink and continued to burn are two completely different things.
I now understand the fundamental difference between running marathons and running anything shorter. There didn’t look to be anything inherently fun about running a marathon. Stringing together a good training block can be fun. But the fun really isn’t in the 20 mile long runs or the solo workouts in the pitch black morning. The fun is filling in those consecutive days in the running log, maybe enjoying a beer afterward and feeling like you earned it.
Any fun you were probably having wears off somewhere between a week before the race and right before the gun goes off. I saw the faces of every elite athlete before the start. Existential dread could be one way to describe it, a duck on the pond could be another.
A lot of fuss was made about the bathrooms in the elite staging area. These 100 or so elite athletes were all fawning over the 20 pristine port-o-potties they had to themselves. If you’re engaging in a supposedly fun activity but the best thing you can say about it is that the bathrooms were great, maybe you should reconsider your definition of fun.
The entertainment value of a marathon — the crux of this entire thing — is best compared, I think, to the episode of Seinfeld called “The Dealership.”
Do you remember? This is the episode where Kramer and some poor schmuck of a salesman see how far they can take the car before it runs out of gas.
In the beginning, the car salesman doesn’t understand what Kramer is doing. He’s nervous. Agitated, even.
“How low are you gonna go?”
“Oh, I’ve been below the slash a number of times. This is nothing. Just put it out of your mind.”
Eventually, the car salesman comes around, screaming that he’s never felt so alive, that they can’t stop now, that they need to see how far this thing goes on empty. To him, it was life-changing.
That’s the only reasonable answer I could come up with. The fun isn’t in the act itself but seeing what you can find on your way to the bottom of the well. Maybe it’s a gear you never knew existed. Maybe it’s a dark place where you question every decision you ever made. But in the end, if you make it to the end, you’ll have accomplished something. Was it fun? Was it worth it? I guess that’s for you to decide.
After the race, I hung around Sacramento waiting for my flight, feeling inadequate. All around me people had just participated in a facet of the running world that I was only partner to. It was a self-imposed exile, I suppose, as nothing is stopping me from running a marathon other than thinking that I might die if I tried. But slowly, over the hours waiting for my plane, I made up my mind. I became Kramer’s car salesman: bearing witness to this crazed phenomenon, I desperately wanted to partake and see, finally, how far I could go before the needle breaks off.
Scott Fauble details his obsession with burritos, Mexican food and how you can join his movement. It all started at Boulevard Tacos.
This is a story of a blue collar runner, 30 beers, a Fourth of July parade, and a neverending march towards glory. It all started…
Check out our photo gallery of shots from the 2017 NCAA Cross Country National Championships captured by Brandon Sotelo in Louisville, Kentucky.
Isaac Wood crunched the numbers and has crowned a winner for the 2017 NCAA Cross Country National Championship. Who did he pick?
Isaac Wood tries to be as least bias as he can to outline why BYU will win the 2017 NCAA cross country championship or what question marks they have.
Jesse Squire provides a visual display of the past NCAA cross country championships and what it may mean for the 2017 NCAA Championship.
Jeanne Mack reflects on her New York City Marathon experience and the one encounter that stood out to her during her race.
Meb Keflezighi has retired from competitive running so we take a look back at some of the greatest moments of his career & research some remarkable stats.
Chris Chavez reflects on his run at the 2017 TCS New York City Marathon, where he ran with his best friend Pete Cashin for his first marathon.
Stephen Kersh previews the 2017 New York City Marathon using a few Seinfeld references because he’s in the New York spirit.
Several members of the CITIUS MAG staff submit their favorite personal memories from Meb Keflezighi’s career before he retires at Sunday’s NYC Marathon.
From BYU’s perfect score to Columbia’s first-to-last turnaround, get your fill on all the best moments from conference championship weekend 2017.
We finally got around to projecting the women’s race for the NCAA Cross Country National Championships and the results are astounding.
We’re still talking about BYU vs. NAU at the upcoming NCAA cross country national championships. As of right now, it’s a tight race. Here are the rankings.
After Wisconsin and Pre-Nats, it is clear that the Lobos, Ducks and Buffs are going to be heard to beat. The women’s individual race is super deep.
BYU vs. NAU is the hottest debate in NCAA cross country. Isaac tackles it in the latest edition of the Wood Report & shares his thoughts on Wisco/Pre-Nats.
On Oct. 16, 1968, Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their fists on the podium at the Olympics. Their lives changed but set an example that matters today.
Taking in all of the weekend’s action from the Wisconsin Invite and Pre-Nats: Who is better NAU or BYU? Who runs for Portland? Can the New Mexico women win?
We hand out grades for all the top stars from the 2017 Chicago Marathon, which was won by Galen Rupp and Tirunesh Dibaba.
Picture day is something to look forward to every year. These runners surely made the most out of their respective roster portraits. Part IX.
In a leaked script to a future episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm, Larry tries to get out of participating in a charity 5K for rheumatoid arthritis patients.
Isaac Wood breaks down the importance of what took place at cross country meets across the country. Furman, Alabama, Dillon Maggard among big performers.
Taking a look at the results from the weekend’s cross country action in South Bend, Louisville, Springfield, Stillwater and more.
Picture day is something to look forward to every year. These runners surely made the most out of their respective roster portraits. Part VII.
We take a look at the marathoning careers of Eliud Kipchoge, Wilson Kipsang and Kenenisa Bekele to see who may be favored for the 2017 Berlin Marathon.
When Wilson Kipsang, Eliud Kipchoge & Kenenisa Bekele face off in the Berlin Marathon, will the winner walk away with the title of greatest of all-time?