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April 9, 2018

LANE 9 – Remember His Name: Erick Kiptanui Runs 5th-Fastest Half Marathon Of All Time In Berlin

We’re always experimenting on CITIUS MAG dot com on ways to recap all the weekend’s action before the news gets stale so we’ve decided to come up with a weekly running commentary post between the two stats nerds on this site to crown the weekend’s two most impressive winners and losers of the weekend. The outdoor season is underway but this week, we got some great road racing action to highlight. Check out last week’s column here.

Welcome to Lane 9: Opinions you didn’t know you wanted to have (from Chris Chavez and Scott Olberding)

Scott: Hello friend. How are you?

Chris: I am well. I was just finishing up some transcribing on a profile of an elite that will be available on SI dot com in the coming days. Can’t say much right now but I’m fairly excited about it. How is your evening?

Scott: That sounds great. Is it Lolo Jones?

Chris: It is not Lolo Jones. But I hear there was quite the chatter about her on Twitter dot com. Interesting stuff once I caught up!

Scott: I was a little concerned about where I was going to get dinner and then I remembered I had a pizza in the freezer.

Chris: Pizza sounds delicious. Was the leftover pizza being held for your roommate, Chris Derrick? I heard he had a solid weekend in D.C.

Scott: This is my pizza. Chris has higher culinary standards. He is also an excellent cook. Should we start theres? Mr. Dizzle’s 5th place showing at the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler? I thought it was a good day for him. Coming off of the half marathon in New York, it was a move in the right direction. I heard he was only able to get a few workouts in before the NYC Half.

Chris: I believe that’s what he mentioned in a post-race interview.

Scott: I took a peek at the IAAF scoring tables and his 10 mile time translates to a 2:13:30 marathon. So considering it’s April, not bad. Do you think he gets the monkey off his back this summer and breaks 27:31, his PB from 2012? If he decides to run the 10K.

Chris: It’s wild that his personal best is that old but I think anyone is always trying to lower their personal best. Would he consider that Payton Jordan 10K or is it too soon? Like you mentioned in a previous column, the WCAP folks could make it interesting and quick.

Scott: Payton Jordan may seem a little soon but he does have a lot of mojo on that track. I bet he gets 10-15 free seconds just by racing there. I’m not sure if there’s a 10K in Brussels this year but I noticed one on the schedule for Oslo. That could be on the table? Anyways…

Chris: I haven’t checked the schedule. Let’s not look too far ahead. CD wasn’t the only Bowerman runner who balled out this weekend. Mo Ahmed had a very strong showing at the Commonwealth Games. 13:52.78 for silver. Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda won gold just two seconds ahead of Mo. What I’ve realized about the East Africans that usually finish behind Mo Farah at major championships, we forget their names pretty quick. Like that would not be an easy Sporcle quiz if you had like a five minute limit. Cheptegei could change that if he continues to add some hardware. He’s got the silver from the 5,000 last year and beat Paul Chelimo in that race. He’s legit so let’s definitely keep tabs on him during outdoors.

Scott: Looked like a tactical race. Also, I think I’m willing to assign my first “Thumbs Down” of the weekend. The Brits. No runners in the 5K? What the heck is up with that? It’s the Commonwealth Games. The only reason the commonwealth exists is because of them. Howvever, I am a big fan of the concept of the Commonwealth Games. I imagine that the Commonwealth games is so well-attended by legit athletes is because they have bonuses in their contracts for it? It’s a random construct. They just decided to host these games with a these countries. We should do more of these. I don’t follow soccer that closely but I feel like it’s always soccer season. The fans go nuts. Soccer all the time. They should do more of these with track. I like the idea of dual meets between countries.

Chris: There was going to be the U.S. and Great Britain dual meet this summer but it was replaced. The Athletics World Cup looks interesting. Can I give you my first thumbs up since you hit me with a thumbs down?

Scott: Hit me, Chris.

Chris: Erick Kiptanui! Berlin Half! Ran 58:42, which is No. 5 on the all-time list. That is a “Heavens!” performance.

Scott: His splits were: 5K – 13:32; 10K – 27:32; 15K– 41:38; 58:42! Spicy Meatball! I whipped up this fancy chart as a tribute to his very nice time.

Chris: He’s 28 years old. He hasn’t run a marathon yet. If you go out in 13:32, you’re at 57:07 pace, I believe. Check my math, Scott. If you’re a great half marathoner, it doesn’t always mean that you’ll be a beast at the marathon. World record holder Zersenay Tadese has shown us that. Take it with a grain of salt, Kiptanui beat former marathon world record holder Patrick Makau’s course record of 58:56.

The half marathon is my personal favorite distance to compete in but I also think it’s got the right amount of time for like a solid TV special. There should be more major half marathons broadcasted. It’s an hour! I would love to see a half marathon with a fast course ball out on dropping money for a duel between Geoffrey Kamworor and Erick Kiptanui. Add in Bedan Muchiri, who won the RAK Half in 58:42 so Kiptanui tied for the world lead. Both are part of the same agency so it wouldn’t be too difficult. The only problem is that Kamworor’s schedule is geared toward racing at championships.

(Sidenote: Also a winner in Berlin? The boys in blue who reportedly foiled plans of a knife attack on Berlin Half Marathon participants and spectators.)

Scott: I am here for these mega off-distance performances. You can run a half as a tune-up. The marathon is a bigger match to burn. You know who I’ll give my thumbs up to?

Chris: Betsy Saina for finally figuring out the marathon?

Scott: YEP. You are one smart cookie, Chris. Where shall I rank that? DNF in NYC and DNF in Tokyo before this. She got the monkey off her back. Gets the win in Paris and a 2:22 personal best. I believe she is training with Eliud Kipchoge’s group now? I might be making that up.

Chris: She was training under Patrick Sang for a while.  I actually have some audio with her from before the NYC Marathon about talking about training with Eliud. I’ll see if I can dig that up from my notebook. OK so my thumbs down of the weekend? Boston’s weather.

Scott: Yeah, man. I love speculating on marathon weather when I am not racing.

Chris: Get warmer! Me and Video Guy Kyle will be hitting the road and getting there on Friday. We’ve got lots of great content planned out. If people would like to meet us for a beer or say hi, they can email me at [email protected]. I will be giving away 5 CITIUS MAG t-shirts. I did it at Millrose Games!

Scott: TBH it would be very baller to have the Boston Marathon in snow!

Chris: I’m no Boston Marathon historian but I would love to read about when was the last time that happened.

Scott: “An oral history of this fucking hilly marathon IN SNOW”

Chris: That’s a beautiful title. There we have it. We each named a thumbs up and thumbs down for the weekend. This time next week, we’ll be chatting with my boots on the ground in Boston.

Scott: Are we saving our Boston Marathon predictions for next week? I’ve been waking up in cold sweats re: the american women’s field.

Chris: You betcha!

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