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June 6, 2017

The five stages of racing Edward Cheserek

When you race against Edward Cheserek, you play through a bunch of scenarios in your head. For just a moment, you can think you’ll beat him.

June 6, 2017

Sam Parsons’ Farewell Letter to N.C. State

Sam Parsons pens a letter to his teammates before he competes in an NC State uniform one last time at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.

June 4, 2017

It’s OK to quit running: Why stopping might be exactly what you need

Running can give you a lot, but it can take just as much away. Citius newcomer Jenny DeSouchet discusses why it’s okay to quit running.

June 3, 2017

The Ten Commandments of Summer Cross Country Training

On the first day, of the first week after I graduated from high school, I was putzing around in a vast, empty shopping mall. My legs grew weary from trying to locate the Auntie Anne’s pretzel stand. I sat on a bench near an anthropomorphic track suit and the track suit spoke to me.

It called out: “This is what you must tell to the other members of the high school graduating class of 2009, who are embarking on their first summer of collegiate cross country training: you will soon see what I do to those whose hubris leads them to overtrain, or whose gluttony leads them to undertrain; and you will soon see that I will carry on the wings of eagles those who train smart, not hard during these hot summer months. These are the words you are to speak to your peers.”

“Okay,” I said. “So like, do you want me to make a Facebook group?”

“Yeah, I guess,” bellowed the track suit. And I made a Facebook group, and went home and posted on it what the track suit had ordained. Then the 18-year-olds of the Facebook group all “Liked” the status, and I went back to the mall and said to the track suit: “They will do everything you have said.”

“Neat,” called out the track suit. “I am going to come to you in a dense cloud, and we can take a selfie to post on the Facebook group, so that all its members will forever trust you as a smart boy about training.”

The track suit then instructed me to post on the group, informing its members to take frequent showers and drink plenty of water.

“And another thing,” it called out, “prepare yourself for the next day; abstain from sexual relations.”

“No problem,” I, a huge virgin, said.

I went home, jogged a 30-minute double, and went to sleep. Then the next day, when I returned to the mall to exchange some pants for a slightly smaller size, I found the mall ablaze, plumes of noxious black smoke radiating from it, then I heard the voice of the track suit, coming at once from nowhere and everywhere.

And it spoke these words:

“I am the anthropomorphic track suit you met at the mall. Your college coach knows a shit ton about training, so you should listen to them, but also listen to me, because you and your teenage dirtbag cronies could use a head check.”

And I carved it into stone.

  1. 1.Thou shalt drink plenty of water. For it is summer, and summer is hot. And water is good.
  2. Thou shalt respect the double. There shall come a time when one run is not enough. Then thou shalt do two runs. Just not too soon.
  3. Thou shalt not half step.
  4. Thou shalt not overdo it. Fall is for racing. Summer is for training.
  5. Thou shalt not underdo it. Eat the flesh of chicken nuggets and imbibe the nectars of Keystone, but in moderation. Thou must still run.
  6. Thou shalt run hills, and run hills often.
  7. Thou shalt run strides, at a slightly lesser frequency than thou runneth hills.
  8. Thou shalt abide by thy coach. If thy coach decrees a week of 80 miles, thou shalt runneth 80 miles, not 60, not 100.
  9. Thou shalt not PR in a race distance the first workout back on campus. Nobody cares for workout heroes. Least of all me, the anthropomorphic track suit.
  10. Thou shalt get the dumbassery out of thy system. Procure thy stupid hair cuts, ironic tattoos, and body piercings before the season begineth, for the season is no time for a staph infection or rat tail.

 

 

June 2, 2017

Running Four-Flat, Twice: D.J. Principe on the chase

D.J. Principe has come very close to breaking four minutes for the mile but fallen just short each time. The LaSalle senior opens up about the chase.

June 1, 2017

Running in street clothes: A spectrum

A lot of our time here at Citius Mag is spent categorizing the performances of people who are deliberately running for an athletic purpose. This marginalizes a large part of the running world. What part of the running world could I possibly be talking about? I’m talking about its origins.

Why did we originally start running? Buddy, let me tell you it wasn’t for ribbons or laurel wreaths. It was because we were about to be killed by a bear, or because we realized we set the pick up location for our Uber a few blocks away and it’s arriving any minute. It’s these moments that give birth to one of my favorite things, one of life’s small pleasures: witnessing people running in street clothes.

Generally, people running in street clothes means that something has gone terribly wrong. But just like anything in life, the severity of any situation runs the gamut from NOT A BIG DEAL to WELL WE REALLY MESSED UP THIS TIME. That’s why I’m here to breakdown this spectrum. I’d like to introduce to you RUNNING IN STREET CLOTHES: A SPECTRUM.

A swimsuit

A piece of swimwear is the closest item of non-running clothing to running clothes. On the “in a pickle scale” this ranks pretty darn low. What possible situations could the person running in a swimsuit find themselves in? Perhaps they accidentally hooked their frisbee into the lake and now they’re running to go get it. Maybe they forgot their sunscreen in the car and are sprinting back in fear of beet red retribution from Father Sun. Either way, it’s not so bad.

Thinking through this a little more, though, lifeguards also wear swimsuits. And if you see a lifeguard running, it’s safe to assume that there’s either a shark in the water, some kid didn’t wait 30 minutes before getting back into the water, or some idiot got stung by a jellyfish and needs someone to pee on his arm.

This one’s tough, I guess, but I’m going to leave it on the most leisurely end of the spectrum.

Cargo Shorts

Nobody wearing cargo shorts has ever been doing something important. If you see some schmuck with cargo shorts past his knees sprinting down the sidewalk this pudding head is probably missing nothing more than a matinee movie or realized he used Canadian quarters to feed the meter.

The biggest risk this one poses is losing the sundry knick knacks that live inside their cargo short pockets. Things like pocket knives, loose change, chewed gum, or live vermin.

Jeans

Here at Citius Mag we’re staunch proponents of deliberately running in denim. That means you put your Wranglers on one leg at a time with the intent of going out and running for fitness and/or sport.

What were talking about here is non-deliberate blue jean runnin’. When you see a guy running down the street with his blue jeans on, a handful of things could be happening, including but not limited to: his foreman called to inform him that the goats got out of the pasture and need to be wrangled; somewhere on the other side of town an old woman was being harassed by teens and he had to go whoop some ass; Brett Favre blew into his conch shell signaling the beginning of his bi-monthly full contact, denim-only football game.

Sunday Best

Why is that nice looking couple bookin’ it down the street wearing pastels, heels, a nice pair of brogues with the sweater tied around their shoulders billowing in their wake?

A few likely scenarios: despite enjoying a perfectly lovely family reunion, they’re now hunting down an epipen because they’re distant cousin with a severe shellfish allergy ate a spoonful of crab dip in a fit of teenage angst; while attending his old roommates wedding, Aiden realizes he is actually in love with the bride, he declares his love in the middle of the ceremony and then takes off down the street while his plus one chases after him.

Conclusion: it must be a big deal if you’re chancing ruining a good pair of dockers with some back sweat.

Suits and Pantsuits

More so than a jilted lover or a man chasing after a rude teen, if you see a man or woman running down the street in a suit or pantsuit the probability that something has gone terribly ary increases exponentially.

We can easily conclude that at the very least they’ve either just lost their job; are about to miss a job interview; possess the answer to a terrorists riddle and are racing against the clock; or need to pick up their bosses lunch before noon or risk being fired.

A Man With a Chainsaw

This guy is about to kill someone for sport. It’s best you find a bunker, an abandoned barn, or try to flag down the nearest car before they succeed in turning you into a skin suit.

June 1, 2017

Pro-Model Shoes: Running Needs ‘Em!

A pre-pubescent boy walks into his middle-school gymnasium during his lunch period. Usually, he plays four square with the other nerds and avoids his puberty-having counterparts playing a game of half-court basketball. He avoids them because he lacks the dexterity needed to participate in the game and not become a complete and utter liability within the zone defensive scheme that has gained popularity amongst these particular middle-school athletes. The larger, more handsome boys yell objectively mean words at our small, less handsome boy as he sulks to the deepest crevasse of the gym reserved for sad and unathletic games of four square. This is his daily routine; repeating and returning like his night terrors.

One day, our boy’s step dad shows up to the house with a box. The box is a gift. The gift is a pair of brand-new LeBron BNLMZVVVV1 21’s – the latest and most acronymed pro model basketball shoe to date. The boy laces up the shoes. The boy sprouts a pubic hair.

With a storebought sense of confidence, the boy returns to his school and approaches the ball-playing gaggle of pre-teens with a certain Akron, Ohio swagger. The other boys, sensing a day of reckoning is on the horizon, pause their game of theatrical three-pointers and questionable charges to take note of the boy. Their stares could burn a hole in his LeBron BNLMZVVVV1 21’s. Someone gives the boy a bunch of crushed up chalk from Mrs. Olsen’s science lab. He liberally applies the chalk to his hands and tosses the excess into the ether.

“Game time, [EXPLETIVE]”

What was once a 4’11”, 76-pound punching bag has morphed into a 5’4”, 123-pound man-child. Our boy now overpowers 5’7” Kyle in the low post; our boy actively seeks opportunities to set bone-crushing screens; our boy is a menace out there.

The boy will now pursue basketball until he is cut from JV before his senior year of high school because “well son, we think you’re too old for this team” but, dammit, he learned some valuable lessons on the court. And it is all because of the shoes.

Phew. Enough italics! It’s like reading sideways. As if reading isn’t hard enough, I tell ya! Anyways, what if running could introduce a more steady flow of pro-model shoes onto the feet of burgeoning track stars? Growing up, I would have loved the opportunity to let me parents spend outrageous amounts of money on the latest Air Flanagan. Being able to wear the same gear as your sports heroes is hugely appealing to all children and a select group of grown men desperately living vicariously through Tom Brady. An Air Flanagan would breathe confidence into the heart of any young runner as they maneuver on and off the cross country course.

Let’s take a look at some of the current options for runner-centric pro-model shoes. (Artist renderings done by Paul Snyder)

The Go-Go Gold Air Zoom Centro MaxFly Extendz

An ode to the 1,500-meter gold medalist from the Rio Olympics, Matt Centrowitz Jr., this latest Nike offering is pure gold. Literally. This racing flat is fire gilded with an amalgam of gold and mercury. It is incredibly dangerous both on and off the track due to the aforementioned high percentage of mercury.

The CoburnUp WaterWave 3K

New Balance crafted this shoe specifically for 3,000-meter steeplechase star Emma Coburn. Instead of laces, this shoe has velcro. And instead of spikes, this shoe is a water shoe. Like the type your mom would make you wear to the public pool so the hypodermic needles didn’t puncture your foot entirely. This is most certainly a regression in terms of technology.

The FORD ONE ONE

HOKA ONE ONE is bullish on using a single name for their shoes, and they didn’t change up the recipe when it came to their latest racing flat: the FORD ONE ONE. This ill-conceived racing flat is a military-grade combat boot. It is incredibly difficult to run in. Ford Palmer, a HOKE ONE ONE athlete, is a football player moonlighting as a very fast miler. He does not make running look relatively easy, though. We believe HOKA ONE ONE created this racing flat with Ford Palmer in mind.

The NeelyWheely ULTRALIGHTBEAMBoost

Leaving no stone unturned, adidas crafts the Neely Spence Gracey pro-model marathon racing flat to be rollerblades. The designer of this concept shoe was quoted as saying, “I’m not sure this is legal, but her named rhymed with Wheely – so we went for it.” They didn’t even attempt to reinvent the wheel with this shoe, and that’s fine.

May 30, 2017

The 2013 Dream Milers: An Olympian, an NCAA great and how some careers panned out

How did the careers pan out for the high school stars who competed in the 2013 Adidas Grand Prix Dream Mile? Interesting storylines developed.

May 29, 2017

Weekend Power Rankings: Pre Classic, NCAA Regionals and more

The Prefontaine Classic, NCAA Regional meets, and a few other things you probably hasn’t ever heard of. It’s the Citius Mag power rankings.

May 28, 2017

The Ingebrigstens sub-4s, and other instances of same-day familial greatness

Imagine for a second that we’re in pre-9/11 America, and you’ve somehow been sucked into your HBO-connected television while watching The Sopranos. You’re wearing a tasteful track suit, huddled around a butcher’s table covered in capicola (“gabagool”), and surrounded by Italian men of varying ages, states of physical health, and rotundity. The mood is tense and the conversation centers around what to do about a struggling capo. A young-looking man to your left raises the possibility of offing him but is promptly and firmly cut off by patriarch Tony Soprano, who slams his beefy hands down, sending cured meats flying. “Family is everything!” he bellows, which seems to be enough for the skeptical youth to realize the error of his disloyal suggestion.

Your television shoots you back out into reality. You dust yourself off and look down, admiring your track suit. “Family is everything,” you mutter without thinking, then return to your regularly scheduled life, but with a greater appreciation for la famiglia.

Now, few things rev your engine like public displays of familial greatness. So yesterday, while watching the 2017 Prefontaine Classic, at the conclusion of the men’s Bowerman Mile, you stood erect, arms outstretched, and screamed an animal scream, because you were so jazzed by what you saw.

The Ingebrigstens all run 3:5X

Three Norwegian brothers, ranging in age from 16 to 26, all ran sub-4 for the mile on the same day.

16-year old Jakob Ingebrigtsen became the youngest sub-4 miler ever, running 3:58.07 in the men’s International Mile, a few seconds back from brother Henrik, who ran 3:53.23. About an hour later, in the Bowerman Mile, Filip went 3:53.79. In all likelihood, there has never been another familial trio to run as collectively fast on the same day.

But that doesn’t mean other families haven’t achieved shared greatness at once, in other disciplines.

The Sullivan Brothers All Die

Death is rarely considered great. It is usually sad. But I’ll be damned if death cannot be considered noble. And noble things are always great. So when all five Sullivan brothers saw their demise while serving in the US Navy during World War II (the last noble war we’ve got ourselves in) it was great. George, Frank, Matt, Joe, and Al were aboard the USS Juneau on November 13, 1942 when they met their demise. Their parents, Thomas and Alleta, traveled around the country hawking war bonds after their sons’ premature departures. This seems less noble.

The Griffeys Hit Some Home Runs

Imagine making contact with a baseball. Imagining making contact with a baseball hard enough to hit it far enough where you’re given a free walk around the bases because you’re so impressive. Imagine watching your dad do this. Imagine watching your dad do this and then realizing you are also on the same professional baseball team and you are now up to hit. Imagine hitting a homerun after your dad.

Ok. Stop imagining and start realizing this actually happened.

Ken Griffey Sr. knocked a four-baser on August 31, 1990 and then Ken Griffey Jr. did the exact same thing right afterwards. While usually a boring sport, baseball proves it can be interesting once a decade, or so.

Venus Loses to Serena and That is Still Great

In an incredible display of familial greatness, Serena bested her sister in the final of this year’s Australian Open. While losing is not as great as winning, having nearly identical DNA sequences in a final of a Grand Slam tennis tournament is objectively Great. Capital g, baby. One time my brother and I completed a power-hour at a family reunion and my parent’s were wildly disappointed in us. This has to be much different.

Bob Dylan toured the midwest while son Jakob’s band The Wallflowers dropped “One Headlight”

Long after Bob Dylan stopped going by his given name, Robert Zimmerman, but before he won a Nobel Prize but played demur in collecting it, he and his son Jakob shared some overlapping musical success.

In November of 1996, Bobby D was touring his native Midwest, playing sold out shows everywhere from Milwaukee to Minnetonka. That same month, Jakob’s band, The Wallflowers, released their magnum opus: Bringing Down the Horse.

“One Headlight,” the best-known single off of the album was named a top-100 pop song of all time in 2000 by a brain trust of MTV and Rolling Stone writers. Not too shabby, Jakob. That’s enough to make any warbling folksy father proud.

Granted, they never toured together or anything like that but Jakob’s one major hit absolutely bangs.

Let’s have a listen. For la famiglia.

May 27, 2017

Watch the Prefontaine Classic online: Live stream, TV info, schedule and results

How to watch the 2017 Prefontaine Classic live from Eugene, Oregon. TV, schedule and live results information for the U.S. Diamond League stop.

May 26, 2017

In his words: Ivy League runner chronicles his battle and overcoming depression

Ben Sutherland, a rising senior on the cross-country team at Brown, reached out to Citius Mag to share his battle with depression in his own words.

May 26, 2017

Let’s Find the Current Pre

Here is the deal with Steve Prefontaine: he is no longer with us. “He is no longer with us” is a pretty banal way to classify death. Sometimes at brunch, my buddy gets up to go to the bathroom and, for the next few minutes, he is no longer with us. I’m not comparing Pre’s death to my friend’s overactive bladder, what I’m doing is grabbing your undivided attention while I set out on a noble quest to FIND THE NEXT PRE.

Now that we have gone through that little two-step, let’s begin.

This exercise hinges on pinpointing the exact qualities that made Pre a cultural zeitgeist, while also providing the sticking power which lead to his current title as: transcendent icon. But maybe I’m wrong? Actually I probably am wrong. I’m wrong a lot. I think I’m wrong because culturally the running world has shifted from placing value on honest mustaches, being from small towns, and providing inspirational quotes for mostly bad tattoos to a culture gravitating towards memes, dabbing, and shoes with a lot of foam. The entirety of this retrograde can be blamed on Twitter.

What I’m really looking for is the CURRENT PRE. As our landscape exists today, I’m not sure the NEXT PRE could ever be re-created or found. Pre was the golden boy for an American running boom, a burgeoning sports equipment brand, and he lived in an age where young men were drinking enough cow milk to create the testosterone needed to grow some real facial fur. Nowadays, our heroes are practically-hairless-almond-milk-drinking-manboys. Pre’s existence was serendipitously aligned with the necessary occurrences to not only create a legend during his heyday, but to cement himself in the annals of track and field lore forever. There will never be another Pre – because he is dead – but perhaps the current Pre is out there right now, tweeting a dank meme, and lacing up some stupid shoes.

Below are the necessary criteria to be considered the CURRENT PRE.

Must have a physical feature people find fascinating 40 years after you’ve died

Pre’s mustache remains iconic. You slap a mustache on a balloon and thousands of high school runners would tell you the balloon is now Pre, and Pre is now a balloon. It’s a transcendent symbol for the man. But were mustaches as revered back then as they are now? I doubt it. Seems like everyone had a caterpillar growing on their lip back then. In fact, if you didn’t, you probably were ostracized. And rightly so. Like a fine Franzia Cab Sav, the 1970’s mustaches ages with panache and dignity.

What do we have now that seems normal, but will grow in appreciation as the years pass? Lately, men have been doing some really terrible things with their hair. The manbun, while I assume still popular in certain EDM-circles and weight rooms, seems to have fizzled out nicely. The depression-era hardpart has made a nice resurgence among millennials, and the cyclical nature leads me to believe it will still be around in a few decades.

Neither of these are comparable to the mustache, though.

You know what is? The femalebun. This is the first hint that the CURRENT PRE may in fact not have a penis. Alexi Pappas has inspired hordes of females to not only run with buns, but to write poetry about the nuances of how their buns make them feel. Manbuns incite hate, femalebuns incite art.

Must be adept at the internet while possessing strong knowledge of current trends and eagerness to actively interact with brands and consumers.

I can neither confirm nor deny Kyle Merber is trending towards CURRENT PRE status.

Must be fast.

This criterion remains unchanged from Pre’s day. Simply put, being fast is better than being slow. The whole tortoise and hare thing is bullshit. If you want to be put on a pedestal, you really need to be winning races while running fast. This is the only caveat to transcendence that will stay constant until humans decide putting so much time, effort, and care into running is silly and we really should put the time, effort, care into figuring out how to keep our planet from becoming a barbeque briquette.

Must have famous family.

All our current day stars have famous family members. For every Matt Centrowitz Junior, there’s a Matt Centrowitz Senior providing genetics. Drake’s dad is famous because millions of people find his son’s constant whining to be musically appealing. That baby over in the U.K. is famous because his parent’s are famous and their parents are famous. It’s like nepotism, I think. Like I alluded to earlier, I’m wrong a lot. But I’m not wrong about this. To be relevant in our present world, some family members better have paved the way for you.

Must wear silly shoes.

The name of the game in shoes these days? Silly. Companies are slowly realizing how nice it is to run in comfortable shoes. They saw the writing on the bathroom stall wall and the scribbles read “STANLEY WANTS MORE FOAM IN HIS SHOES.” All-caps brand HOKE ONE ONE came hard with the heel lifts, only to see Nike develop their tech even further to help perpetuate the notion shoes make you faster. The CURRENT PRE isn’t jogging around in some normal looking New Balance, the runner we’re after is pounding the pavement in some marshmallows with laces.

CONCLUSION

The CURRENT PRE is a world-class, bun-wearing female, who is good at the internets, has a family member who has done something either illegal or courageous to bring fame to their surname, and looks like the Michelin man from the ankle below.

May 25, 2017

In the Jared Leto Cinematic Universe, Cinematic Pre literally lives

Movies are weird, man. It’s easy to mix them all up. If you do it right through Jared Leto, you can reason that Prefontaine went on to do some wild stuff

May 24, 2017

A Falcon and a Duck Made the Pre Classic Fly

How a clash between Dave Wottle and Steve Prefontaine may have laid the groundwork for the Prefontaine Classic that everyone knows now.

May 23, 2017

Remembering “The Greatest Footrace Ever”

A quick moment to pass along the legend that was the 1969 Pac-8 Conference Championship where Steve Prefontaine and Gerry Lindgren battled to the line.

May 22, 2017

Welcome to Pre Week!

This week on Citius Mag, we’ll be exploring all sorts of stories and angles related to the Prefontaine Classic as well as the legendary runner himself.

May 22, 2017

Eight stress fractures for one elusive season; was it worth it?

After eight stress fractures, Columbia senior Keenan Piper is vying for a spot on the starting line at NCAAs; but was it all worth it?

May 21, 2017

What was Edward Cheserek’s greatest race at Oregon?

Edward Cheserek put together many incredible races during his four-year career at Oregon. What was his greatest race in a Ducks uniform?

May 19, 2017

The Hail Mary of track and field

Really cool moments like home runs and touchdowns happen in other sports. What’s track and field’s really-cool moment? Can we make one?

May 18, 2017

The USATF Distance Classic: heat sheets & bad predictions

The USATF Distance Classic, formerly known as the Hoka One One Middle Distance Classic, formerly known as the Oxy High Performance Meet, will take place on Thursday May 18th, 2017 in Los Angeles, Calif.

The format of the meet is a distance runner’s dream, just four events: the 800m, 1500m, 3000m steeplechase, and the 5000m. If all goes to plan, this meet will be over in a little less than 2.5 hours, and you can get home and put yourself to bed before 9pm PDT; and nothing says “distance runners rejoice” like an early bedtime.

Despite there only being four events, and held in a city known for particulate dense air, this meet is chock full of talent. And since this is 2017, and most of us no longer have the attention span for some long, drawn out preview, I’m just going to look through the heat sheets and tell you who I think is going to win and why.

MEN 800m

Section 1
1 Cohen, Mason Australia
2 Low, Christopher Brooks
3 Giesting, Chris Hoka/NJNYTC
4 Yorks, Izaic Brooks Beast
5 Barber, Lachlan Melbourne TC
6 Martinez, Bryan MX International
7 Gilreath, James Team Green
8 Kitur, Felix Santa Monica TC
Section 2 Timed Finals
1 Rimmer, Michael Puma
2 Kidder, Brannon Brooks
3 Mathews, Luke Melbourne TC
4 Brazier, Donavan Nike
5 Jock, Charles Nike
6 Abda, Harun Nike
7 Torrence, David Hoka One One
8 Osagie, Andrew Nike Oregon
9 Langford, Kyle Nike

           

CITIUS SAYS: Barring some sort of California disaster like an earthquake or a tremendous traffic jam, this one is going to be won out of the second heat by Donavan Brazier. He’s already ran 1:44.63 this season, and his PR is a full second clear of the next fastest person in the field.

The pacer is set to take the boys through 400m at 50.25, so let’s hope someone goes with him.

Women’s 800m

Section 1 Timed Finals
1 Landen, Shanie SLO Middle D
2 Malasarte, Megan Atlanta TC
3 Leinert, Shannon Brooks ID
4 Whelan, Elizabeth
5 Wiebe, Devan Brooks
6 Billings, Sarah Sydney Running
7 Hermansson, Hanna CalCoast Track
8 Brown, Alisha Oiselle
Section 2 Timed Finals
1 Crofts, Helen Unattached
2 Iyevbele, Kenyetta Hoka One One
3 Kajan, Selma Melbourne TC
4 Jackson, Dominique Oiselle
5 Smith, Jessica NIKE
6 Murphy, Samantha Unattached
7 Saunders, Claudia Brooks
8 Westaway, Jenna Brooks Canada
9 Annear, Grace Vic City Elite
Section 3 Timed Finals
1 Mires, Baylee Brooks
2 Brown, Ce’Aira Hoka Njnytc
3 Storey, Lora Sydney Running
4 Fields, Hannah Brooks
5 Griffith, Georgia Sydney Running
6 Butterworth, Lindsey Coastal Track
7 Silvander, Anna New Balance
8 Rubie, Anneliese Puma
Section 4 Timed Finals
1 Price, Chanelle NIKE
2 Simpson, Jennifer New Balance
3 Martinez, Brenda New Balance
4 Chambers, Kendra Texas Elite
5 Petty, Angela New Zealand
6 Sharp, Lynsey Great Britain
7 Tracey, Adelle NIKE
8 Barowski, Cecilia Hoka njnytc

Citius Says: Just a week ago on this very track, Brenda Martinez ran her first 800m of the season. She ran 1:59.21, which is a phenomenal opener and faster than she ran in all of 2016. Oh, and the 2nd place finisher in that race ran 2:04. A 1:59 opener, basically solo is a pretty neat way to open the season.

Now, I know what you’re saying, “but what about Jenny Simpson?” To that I say this is only her second track race of the season, and I expect her to finish a disappointing 4th place.

Men’s 1500m

Section 1 Timed Finals
1 Ramsden, Matthew Melbourne TC
2 Hunter, Charles Melbourne TC
3 Robinson, Paul Melbourne TC
4 Snow, Scott Forest Fire
5 Shaw, Reilly Deakin AC
6 Godwin, Adam Team Green
7 Estrada, Daniel MX International
8 Verdugo, Alexis MX International
9 Phillips, Andy Roots Running
10 Martinez, Jose MX International
11 Abdi Sr., Bashir Mudane Group
Section 2 Timed Finals
1 Masters, Riley Nike
2 Manzano, Leonel Hoka One ONe
3 Lancashire, Tom New Balance
4 Soratos, Cristian Adidas
5 Jenkins, Eric Nike Oregon
6 Denault, Robert Newmarket
7 Casey, Patrick Nike
8 Fleet, Mac NIKE
9 Hunter, Drew Adidas
10 Herrera, Daniel High Performance
11 Vining, Edward Sydney Running
12 Plummer, Adrian Sydney Running
Section 3 Timed Finals
1 Burkstrand, Travis Brooks ID
2 Crocker, Will District Track
3 O’Hare, Christopher Boston Athletics
4 Mead, Hassan Nike
5 Centrowitz, Matthew Nike
6 Winn, Daniel Boston Athletics
7 Wheating, Andrew NIKE
8 Penzenstadler, Sam District Track
9 Castle, Daniel Unattached
10 Farah, Mo Nike
11 Everard, Eoin Ireland
12 Noelle, Chad Asics Furman

Citius Says: Matthew Centrowitz. Easy. The reigning Olympic Gold Medalist shut down his indoor season early in the name of self-preservation and a good time. Sure, we have some guys in there that’ll likely rub elbows with him for a minute (and a hilarious off-distance attempt by Hassan Mead) but no bones about it folks, Centro will win the fast heat.

I could actually see this one being slow and methodical, despite the rabbits being tasked at 57.0 through 400m. We’ll be looking at the 2nd heat to be far more interesting than the “fast” heat.

Women’s 1500m

Section 1 Timed Finals
1 Findley, Kristen Big Bear TC
2 Cote, Laurence
3 Granados, Ayla Strava TC
4 van der Wyk, Tracee Unattached
5 Pomfret, Kendra Vancouver
6 Takahashi, Hina Nike Tokyo
7 Stafford, Lucia
8 Tsolis, Tori Strava TC
Section 2 Timed Finals
1 Kelly, Mariah New Balance
2 Farber, Lianne New Balance
3 Fulton, Eleanor Skechers
4 Roesler, Laura Nike/Texas
5 Lipari, Emily BAA
6 Stafford, Gabriela Brooks
7 Yee, Regan Langley
8 Grunewald, Gabriele Brooks
9 Macpherson, Sarah Vic CIty Elite
10 Piliusina, Natalja Brooks Beast
11 Vaughn, Sara Brooks Beast
Section 3 Timed Finals
1 Lagat, Violah Adidas
2 Conley, Kim New Balance
3 Gollish, Sasha Oiselle
4 McGee, Cory New Balance
5 Mecke, Dana Brooks/Texas Elite
6 Reid, Sheila Oregon
7 Rowbury, Shannon Nike Oregon
8 Schappert, Stephanie Hoka Njnytc
9 Efraimson, Alexa NIKE
10 Schneider, Rachel Under Armoud
11 Sutherland, Sara Saucony
12 Pen Freitas, Marta Portugal
13 Seccafien, Andrea

Citius Says: It’s hard not to pick Shannon Rowbury here, right? She’ll have plenty of company the whole way through, but the seasoned vet should shine in her season opener.

Men’s 3000m Steeple

Section 1 Timed Finals
1 Lagat, Haron US Army
2 Goodman, David Unattached
3 Hardy, Mike Unattached
4 Thibeault, Antoine Math Sport
5 Cotter, Tomas Asics Furman
6 Nelson, Aaron Zap Fitness
7 Miller, Bryce Unattached
8 Hesselbjerg, Ole Sparta
9 Updike, Isaac Team Run Eugene
10 Mullett, Rob Atlanta TC
11 Edwards, Jacob Columbus RUn
12 Van Halen, Aric Unattached
13 Bor, Hillary Unattached
14 Gay, John British Columbia
15 Mahoney, Travis Hoka One One
16 Mann, Jordan Providence
17 Shrader, Brian Saucony
18 Blomberg, Emil Hasselby

Citius Says: He’s an Olympian. He ran 8:13 last year. He’s going to be your winner at the USATF Distance Classic. What’s his name? Hillary Bor. Nice try everyone.

We would like to point out that Brian Shrader seems to be making an earnest attempt at a steepling career. Unless our sources are wrong, this will only be his 3rd steeple of his career which is coincidentally the 3rd steeple of his season. Godspeed, Brian.

Women’s 3000m Steeple

1 Garry, Kira Unattached
2 Sango, Misaki Unattached
3 Teschuk, Erin Asics Furman
4 Rolland, Megan Oiselle
5 Waite, Lennie Great Britain
6 Nelson, Alicia Boulder TC
7 Lawrence, Mel Oiselle
8 Talbert, Madelin Team Run Eugene
9 Bernard, Maria Saucony
10 Landwehr, Katie Unattached
11 Wilson, Alexina Oiselle
12 Butterworth, Alycia Unattached
13 Barr, Erika SRA Elite
14 Johnson, Rachel Asics
15 Cheever, Jamie Unattached
16 Howard, Marisa Oiselle

Citius Says: There should be a handful of women in the mix here. At a glance I see a bunch of ladies who have ran high 9:40s already this season, an Olympian, some Minnesota natives. A real fun bunch. We’ll give the nod to Mel Lawrence, with a nice final lap, and a finish that hovers around 9:40.

Men’s 5000m

1 Tessema, Josef American Distance
2 Buchanan, Reid Mammoth Track Club
3 Legesse, Frezer Under Armoud
4 Stilin, Joe Zap Fitness
5 Kipchirchir, Shadrack US Army
6 Erassa, Kirubel Atlanta TC
7 Ziensellassie, Futsum Hoka One One
8 Fernandez, German NIKE
9 Hehir, Martin Hoka One One
10 Lutz, Craig Hoka One One
11 Bruchet, Luc Asics/Canada
12 Simbassa, Abbabiya American Distance
13 Asaoka, Mitsunori Hitachi Tran
14 Muta, Yuki Hitachi Tran
15 Yanagi, Toshiyuki Hitachi Tran
16 Trouard, Andrew The Rebel
17 Ichikawa, Takanori Hitachi Tran

Citius Says: This is such a difficult task because it requires a bit of critical thinking. Sure, I could just go out and choose the guy with the fastest personal best, but then you’d all think that we were being dense, and providing no substance. And that’s why you came here, right? For substance? Well. Let’s just go with Kirubel Erassa, mostly because he’ll be going head to head against a very fast former teammate, and he’ll be damned before a he let’s a fellow Cowboy alum beat him to the line. How about that for substance?

Women’s 5000m

1 Cridebring, Alycia Rabbit
2 Eccleston, Amanda Brooks
3 Macumber, Cally Hansons-Brooks
4 Weightman, Laura NIKE UK
5 Spencer, Kate Sydney Running
6 Pagano, Sarah BAA
7 Cliff, Rachel Unattached
8 Flores, Brenda Corre AC
9 O’Connell, Jessica Canada
10 Lopez, Sandra MX International
11 Bates, Emma BAA
12 Rogers, Natosha New Balance
13 O’Connor, Leah Adidas
14 Silva, Samantha BTC/NIKE
15 Balouris, Elaina Unattached
16 Digby, Erica Vancouver Vancouver
17 Paquette, Lauren Brooks
18 Flanagan, Rosa New Zealand
19 LaBeaud, Natasha Skechers
20 Sachtleben, Bethany Saucony
21 Larsson, Maria Melbourne TC

Citius Says: Here’s another race that feels like a toss up. The ones with clear winners are much more fun to quip about. Let’s go with Natosha Rogers, mostly because her running career has been very strange since her 2nd place finish at the 2012 trials, and she seems to be getting back on track (great pun!) these past two seasons.

May 18, 2017

2017 TrackTown Summer Series: Unofficial Mock Draft

Before the 2017 Tracktown Summer Series teams get selected, we put together our own mock draft of where we think the elites will land.

May 17, 2017

A magical alternative to host the 2020 Olympic Trials

If we’re to believe the veracity of various municipalities’ slogans, then we must accept the following to be true. Eugene, Oregon is “Track Town, USA.” Sacramento, California, is “America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital.” And slogan-less Walnut, California, has nothing redeeming about it.

These three cities are the prospective hosts for the 2020 Olympic Track & Field Trials. Each of them would make a fine host. Eugene’s slogan is perhaps most relevant. Sacramento’s ought to entice upper-crust track fans. And Walnut can basically morph into whatever is desired of it–say hello to Walnut, CA, “A Very Good City to Host a Track Meet.”

But ultimately, they all fall short for a variety of reasons, and there’s only one locale out there with a slogan so thoroughly convincing, so unrelentingly positive, and so dang self-assured in its ability to pull off the impossible, that you’d be a complete moron to not at least consider it as a possible front-runner for the 2020 Trials.

I’m talking of course, about Disney World — “The Most Magical Place On Earth.”

For reasons that aren’t immediately clear, Disney World has a track. It’s part of ESPN’s Wide World of Sports complex. It’s also not at all clear why Disney owns ESPN, or why a sports TV station that mostly shows football, baseball, and basketball, would need a track. But it’s there. And it’s billed as “world class.”

So the biggest box is checked off the list. (Hey, you can’t have a track meet without a track.)

Moving onward, Orlando, Florida, is a splendid place for sports! With an average July high of almost 92°F, and average low of about 74°F, if you win a race in Orlando, you’re certifiably TOUGH. If you wilt under pressure or oppressive heat and humidity, the Olympics aren’t for you–Orlando weeds out the weaklings automatically. They may not be our fastest national team members but they would certainly be the strongest.

Other perks of Orlando hosting the Trials include:

  • Lots of fun off-day activities for athletes and fans alike, like a fake Harry Potter place, a make-believe castle, and a big old fountain
  • Walt Disney’s despicable legacy of sexism, racism, and antisemitism, all of which should serve as a constant reminder to spectators to not be sexist, racist, or antisemitic themselves.
  • Zesty local cuisine like Micky poppers, mayo-bread-dippers, taco shooters, and burger spheres (“the meat sandwich of the future)
  • awards being doled out by animatronic beasts and goblins
  • The issue with Eugene or some of the other cities is the lack of hotels for the deluge of people coming into town. Orlando has many of those.

So as you can see, the arguments for Disney hosting the Trials far outnumber the arguments against it (there are none). Case closed. We’ll see you in the funny pages.

 

May 16, 2017

The case for the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials host cities

A look at the cases for Eugene, Sacramento and Walnut and hosting the 2020 U.S. Track and Field Olympic Trials. The decision will come in July.

May 15, 2017

Weekend Power Rankings – Shanghai, SECs and more

Pulling all the best and not-so-great results from the weekend at the Shanghai Diamond League, some NCAA action and Crocs kid again.

May 12, 2017

What2Watch: Shanghai Diamond League

Get us nice and early for the 2017 Shanghai Diamond League meet on Saturday morning. Tracksuperfan Jesse Squire is here to breakdown the action.

May 12, 2017

USATF announces 2017 London World Champs marathon team, here’s what you need to know

USATF announced the six athletes that will represent the US in the 2017 London World Champs Marathon; we wrote Sparknotes about them.

May 12, 2017

Citius Mag sits down with Chris Derrick to discuss Breaking2, Monza, and his summer racing plans

Chris Derrick sits down with his pal and Citius Mag writer Scott Olberding to reflect on his pacing duties with Eliud Kipchoge in Monza, Italy and more.

May 11, 2017

John Mascari: My Next Chapter

After a strong career at Indiana State and losing a coach recently, John Mascari still believes he can run at the next level.

May 9, 2017

The last thing we have to say about Nike’s Breaking2

If you’ve been to CITIUS MAG in the past week, you saw us making quite a stink over Nike’s #Breaking2 attempt. As much as we’d love to say we were doing it because Nike was handing us fistfuls of cash under the table, that would be a lie. Did we really believe it was going to happen? Perhaps. But mostly we just thought it was a very silly idea and it was brilliant fodder for a week’s worth of content.

All of us can agree on a few things that #Breaking2 was: an enormous marketing stunt, a stellar branding initiative, and a whole lot of hype. Despite all of that, by the time Eliud Kipchoge crossed the finish line 26 seconds behind the timing-laser wielding electronic car, you (both the royal “you” and you in particular), would be a fool to say that the event wasn’t important, a bit existential, and something we won’t see again in the near future.

The importance of the event is undeniable. Broken down to its core, the attempt was about peak human performance. We can wax poetic all day long about doing what’s never been done, or breaking the unbreakable barrier.

But for me, after it became apparent he might do the damn thing, it was about recognizing the few moments in humanity’s miserable history where we can point to a specific spot on our timeline and say “this was the day we saw the greatest a human ever was at distance running.” It was never about the barrier. It was always about finding the limits of the human machine, and we can safely say that Kipchoge, Zersenay Tadese, and Lelisa Desisa were given every opportunity to do it.

For 99% of the population, your life’s work is intangible, judged by the day to day, and how you live your life. Our cultural obsession with sports is likely driven somewhat by being able to wrap our minds around a singular, tangible goal. There’s nothing as tangible in sports, other than maybe powerlifting, than what Kipchoge did on Saturday.

You can commute to your office everyday, but no matter how undeniable you are at creating beautiful pivot tables or writing immaculate lines of code, no one will ever really know (or try to know) if what you did in your beige cubicle that day was taking it to the limit in terms of what a human could do to an excel doc. Sports give us a definitive goal to aspire towards, and the pursuit of running as fast as you can, for as long as you can leaves very little wiggle room for any other argument against greatness.

Though Nike is worth billions and billions of dollars it’s not likely we’ll see them stage something like this again. They’re instead opting to focus on other “moonshots.” Maybe they can take some cues from Citius.

In regular circumstances–regular meaning without advanced robotics, waves of pacers, springy shoes, Kevin Hart, etc–we’re a long ways from breaking two. Going to the well the way Kipchoge did is ill-advised racing tactics, and many times the stakes are seemingly higher; things like Olympic medals or large, novelty checks always need to be considered. And how many more performances like that do you think a person has in them? Thinking about the aftermath of Kipchoge’s run brings out the old timey doctor in me: if he attempts it again I’m sure he’d contract a type of flu he’s likely not shake the rest of his life, if it doesn’t kill him first.

So here we are, on the other side of an honest crack at the two hour marathon. What did we learn? Well, mostly that humanity will always stop and recognize humanity. The pursuit of self-actualization is evolving, and relative. But not with this. The sub-two hour attempt was humanity’s attempt at self-actualization. If you were like me, over the last five miles of Kipchoge’s miracle run, your chest tightened, and you stared at your phone in disbelief, as a man thundered along faster than any other man had done before him, for the sole reason of showing us what was possible. It was stupid. It was kind of pointless. But god damn if it wasn’t a thing of beauty.

May 9, 2017

Marathon participation has declined since 2013; here are some theories why

Since 2013, marathon participation has been on the decline. We took a deep dive into what happened in 2013, to sort out why that’s the case.

May 8, 2017

Eliud Kipchoge the Great: Examining the best performances of his career

Eliud Kipchoge’s 2:00:25 marathon is the fastest marathon of all-time but where does it rank among the greatest races of his career?

May 7, 2017

Matt Centrowitz talks post-Olympic experience, 2017 goals

How do you reset goals after achieving the pinnacle of track and field?

“Go out and try doing things I haven’t done before,” explained Matt Centrowitz, the 2016 Olympic 1500 meter gold medalist.

Life changed for Centrowitz after his triumph in Rio. Sponsor obligations that come with being a gold medalist, or what Centrowitz called “extracurricular things,” became a bigger part of his life, to the point that it impacted his training and race performances.

“It was tough at first coming off the high,” Centrowitz said after finishing second in a preliminary 5000 meter heat at the Payton Jordan Invitational. “I didn’t get the consistent base that I had the year before.”

After a few lackluster indoor races, Centrowitz decided to shut down his indoor campaign early. It wasn’t until then, with the outdoor season on the horizon, that Centrowitz was finally able to get over the Olympic haze.

His goals for 2017?

“I still haven’t gotten a world outdoor title and there are some times I want to get down,” Centrowitz said.

Some of those times include a possible chase of the 1500 meter American record, currently 3:29.30 held by Bernard Lagat.

“I just has to be the right opportunity,” Centrowitz said. “Hopefully Monaco presents itself.”

Centrowitz is off to altitude training in preparation for the Prefontaine Classic on May 27.

With his newfound stature, expect the former Oregon Duck to get an extra loud welcome at Hayward Field.

Some other notes from Payton Jordan:

  • The women’s 10,000 meters was a preview of what we could see at USA’s in a little under two months. Amy Cragg ran an impressive 31:17.20, her second fastest time ever, to finish in second place. Trailing her were Emily Sisson (31:32.53) and Kim Conley (31:35.88), both of whom set personal bests. Emily Infeld was also in the race but dropped out around four miles in what was a planned training session. Add in Molly Huddle, 2016 Olympian Marielle Hall, and Jordan Hasay coming off her blazing Boston Marathon finish, and the women’s 10k in Sacramento could be pretty damn fun to watch.
  • Edward Cheserek’s much hyped NCAA 5000 meter record chase turned out to be a flop. After a solid early pace, no one pushed the pace after the rabbit dropped out. As the lead group of four kicked with a lap to go, Cheserek was gapped, ultimately finishing seven seconds behind race winner Justyn Knight of Syracuse. We can acknowledge Cheserek’s greatness and also say this — he’s a great racer, not necessarily a great time trialer. And that’s totally okay. History has proven great championship runners who don’t have amazing PR’s (ahem, Mo Farah) tend to do just fine in their careers.
  • Gabe Grunewald’s inspiring journey continued at Stanford as she competed in her first race since the 2016 Olympic Trials. In that time, she discovered a recurrence of cancer in her liver, underwent surgery to remove the cancerous tumor last August, and then this March learned the surgery had not cleared all parts of the cancer. She’s now off to New York City to seek medical advice on her next steps. Her performance on Friday night — 4:20.17 for eighth place — was an afterthought. We’re all just amazed that she even made it to the starting line.

(Centrowitz photo: Erik Aguilar/@CSFMag)

May 6, 2017

WATCH: Eliud Kipchoge runs a 2:00:25 marathon at Nike’s Breaking2 attempt

Eliud Kipchoge is the world’s greatest marathoner as he clocked a 2:00:25 in Nike’s attempt to break the two hour barrier for the 26.2 mile distance.

May 3, 2017

Breaking2 is important and I think it will happen

A handful of Nike athletes attempt to break 2 hours in a marathon under a non-record eligible circumstances and that’s okay with me.

May 3, 2017

The Nike Zoom Vaporfly Elite will be a hit; meet its less celebrated distant cousin

Before there was the controversy surrounding Nike’s Zoom Vaporfly Elite, there was Spira, an upstart shoe brand attempting to stir up some of its own.

May 2, 2017

On Monza: An inside look at the course picked for Breaking 2

Paul Snyder once went to the race track in Italy where Nike will host the Breaking 2 attempt to break the two-hour marathon mark.

May 1, 2017

Evaluating Nike’s Breaking2 Project vs. other high-profile, pop-cultural promises

Nike’s Sub-2 Project: Managing the Hype

Some weather-dependent day this weekend, the triumvirate of Eliud Kipchoge, Lelisa Desisa, and Zersenay Tadese will line up in Monza, Italy, to complete just shy of 18 trips around the town’s 1.5 mile long Formula One track. Nike — the sponsor of the event — is pretending to rest its hopes on one of these three men traversing 26.2 miles in a time of 1:59:59 or faster.

But sub-two or not, Nike’s already won.

The company hasn’t come out and said as much, but it is nothing more than a marketing ruse, and a highly successful one at that. Just type “nike sub 2” into Google, and marvel at the number of gushing press clippings from countless highly reputable journalistic outlets (now including Citius Mag!). Once again, Nike has done what it does best: drum up hype at low-to-no cost.

The success of the attempt is irrelevant. In all likelihood, none of the selected, impossibly gifted athletes will dip below the two hour threshold this weekend, despite every advantage bestowed upon them by Nike. Controversial energy-preserving shoes, a closed and non-record-eligible course, fluids and fuel on demand, vehicular pacers, the like. It’s not enough to make it happen. We just aren’t there yet.

It doesn’t seem likely that almost three minutes will be lopped off of an already imposing world record. But in terms of undelivered upon promises, Nike’s probable failure to deliver the world’s first marathon time beginning with a “1,” just isn’t that big of a deal. So it seems pretty silly to get all worked up over a massive multinational corporation doing what it exists to do: sell shit.

Someday, somebody somewhere will run 1:59. And the world will keep spinning until then— and after.

No harm, no foul. And compared to other recent pop-cultural misleadings, it barely registers as anything other than an ambitious plan falling shy of its endgame. Let’s take a look at some of the others, on the below “Graph of Grift!”

The Graph of Grift

Large scale corporate fraud can be extremely damaging, extremely funny, worth acknowledging, and in some instances, not even requiring recognition.

Extremely Damaging Quadrant

When a claim is huge, and the failure to deliver on it qualifies as downright fraudulent, bad things happen. Things like worsening race relations, the loss of thousands of people’s life-savings, and misdiagnosing of major illness can occur. True catastrophes. These are the things that keep investigative journalism relevant, and deserve our fullest condemnation.

Assholes scamming senior citizens by calling and pretending to be their bail-seeking, imprisoned grandchildren are an everyday example.

Extremely Funny Quadrant

When the stakes are low, the extremely wealthy are targeted, and fraud occurs, the result is a sort of cathartic humor we plebeians can revel in. A bunch of millionaire Vine stars got swindled by Ja Rule into paying thousands of dollars to eat bread sandwiches and sleep in FEMA tents? That’s pretty funny. Some Gwyneth Paltrow fans purchased a purported cold juicing device that basically just squirts out the contents of expensive bags of liquidized fruit? High comedy.

Worth Acknowledging Quadrant

Nike’s sub-two attempt and accompanying hype falls into this third camp. It’s a bold claim, and not so far outside the realm of possibility that we can fully scoff at it. So instead, we pay attention to claims like these, express our skepticism, and then get to say “I told you so” when they bomb.

(Think: Jay-Z’s dumb streaming service, TIDAL, or Neil Young’s PonoPlayer.)

Not Requiring Recognition Quadrant

This is the type of unfulfilled hype that is so blatant, the lie is inextricable from the thing itself in a very public way. You know full well where your money is going— down the tubes— and you don’t care.

When you pull off of the interstate at the behest of a billboard reading “WORLD’S LARGEST CERAMIC GOBLIN,” you are willingly entering this space.

What does it all mean?

We are deceived from the moment we’re born. (“What a beautiful baby” is the first repeated lie we hear. Most babies are strange looking and don’t become cute until a few months of out-of-the-womb development.) We can all handle some more.

When Kipchoge is this weekend’s sole finisher, and runs 2:02:48, nobody has gotten hurt. The sport that we love will continue to be an afterthought  between Olympic cycles. And Nike will still make billions of dollars a year. There are greater atrocities out there more deserving of our attention.

And if I’m wrong? Then something pretty cool has succeeded in taking place.

April 28, 2017

Lessons learned from altitude training with the Beasts

What are the benefits of training at altitude? One of our writers went to Albuquerque and trained with Danny Mackey’s Brooks Beasts for a few days.

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