LessThanOurTweets

Friday, December 21, 2007

Facts Settled in Club Nats Altercation

Thank God for the Cincinnati Enquirer. First they brought us that terrific story involving strippers, woman-on-woman sexual interaction and a WWE-wannabe yokel. Now, they have straightened out the major point of contention that sparked all the back-and-forth following Club Nationals Riot 2K7:
Newman describes Gerber as a law-abiding citizen with no criminal history. Gerber, 28, works with computers. He’s a member of the Atlanta Track Club and has run about a dozen marathons, including four times in the prestigious Boston Marathon, Newman said.

“Getting abused like that, getting Tased, it’s something I’ll never forget,” Gerber said. in a post-court interview. “It’s definitely painful.”

He says the officer overreacted. [...] So far, police and witnesses have given drastically different accounts of what happened.
SEE?! It IS 'tased'! NOT 'tasered'! The paper wouldn't print it if 'tweren't so.

So - that's settled. Next up: are computer nerds really as docile as the article implies?

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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Who Would Win...?

Queried on the Letsrun boards: 'Who would win at NCAA if XC teams played Hockey?'

The answer: Umm, no one. Jesus, it would look like this (watch through the end... trust me):



The carnage. There are no winners in that scenario, only a pile-up of newborn giraffes and a lonely puck sitting along the boards somewhere.

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Monday, December 17, 2007

Foot Locker on Fox

I caught Foot Locker Nationals this weekend and maybe this is me picking nits, but, please, if you're going to take the time to broadcast something, can you shoot on equipment that isn't readily available for purchase at your local Radio Shack or Best Buy? I mean, come on: a decent video camera can be had for as little as $3000 - less if you are willing to buy used. Then again, maybe they had decent cameras but didn't have cameramen who knew what they were doing... but either way, it just makes our sport look like amateur hour.

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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Eugene... the new Williamsport?

The US Distance Running Blog delivered some nice analysis of the decision to award Eugene every National Championship and Olympics Trials until the sun collapses on itself and the Earth no longer can sustain human life. So in the end, what's the verdict? Good decision or bad decision? Our take, after the jump...

Part of me looks at it like this: what do Cooperstown, NY and Wichita, Nebraska, and Williamsport, Pennsylvania have in common? All are small, out-of-the-way towns that have become iconic and, to a certain degree, well-known, thanks to an on-going association with, respectively, the Baseball Hall of Fame, College Baseball World Series, and Little League World Series. Granted, baseball, in general, is a little more in the public eye... but no one really cares about college ball, and yet you can't book a room within 50 miles of Wichita the week of the Series. It's not just the players' families coming in town to watch their kids play. So I think there IS something to be said for creating an identity for Eugene: the home of the US Track Championships. The media gets comfortable there, maybe even looks forward to the annual visit, if the event is staged right. The public has one more simple, straight-forward truth it can digest about track and field. The Olympics are every four years. Track Nationals are in Eugene. Simple.

That said, our sport would probably benefit most from grass-roots development, and you have to wonder if that would be better served by making it a traveling roadshow everyone gets the occasional chance to see ("The circus is in town!") or by building tradition ("Every year since I was four my dad took me and my brother to Eugene for the National Championships - we've been fans ever since..."). Personally, if I had my druthers, I'd actually vote for the Antique Roadshow, option C. Just because. It's like PBS's version of The Price is Right, and everybody loves The Price is Right. Er, loved. Damn you, Drew Carey. And damn you, Bob Barker Dying. Damn you to heck.

The truth is, I'm a big enough fan that I've contemplated going to Eugene from New York for the Trials. At that point, a lack of nearby airfield options is the least of my concerns. I will attend one year, and would make special effort if it were in Eugene. I plan to my kids to the Trials someday, to sit them there and feed them candy until they have no choice but to have fond memories associated with track. At that point, if given the choice between Eugene and Sacramento, where do you think I'd rather visit? Unless the Trials would be coming to New York, or anywhere within a two-hour drive of Cincinnati, make it someplace fans will want to go. Fans will want to go to Eugene.

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The Low-Down on the Mitchell Report

Live Mitchell presser. The ESPN ticker at the bottom of the screen reads:
Breaking News: Mitchell: "Illegal anabolic steroids have been in widespread use in baseball for a number of years now. Announces next investigation: corroborate roundness of Earth, existence of human life thereon."
Seriously, dude? That's your conclusion? I couldn't help but think of what the running equivalent would be: WADA calling a big press conference to say, Yes, indeed there IS doping in running, and announcing a failed drug test for yours truly. To all my fans, I'm sorry. Frankly, at the end of the afternoon we all learned one thing, and one thing only... Adam Piatt? Bart Miadich? Clearly, steroids and HGH are not necessarily performance-enhancers.

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OMG! WE HAVE STEROID NAMES! MAYBE!

In 30 minutes, the Mitchell Report will drop. Because we are one of those blogs CAPTAIN CHEEZ DOODLE, STEPHEN A SMITH, among others hate so fiercely, we are going to exercise that blogger-right for which they so hate us: rampant speculation devoid of any fact-checking. An alleged leak filtered several names down the pipe and I'm hearing that, "in addition to the big names" (I take that to mean those involved in the House committee hearing - Palmeiro, McGwire, etc) we will see the following among The Named... [after the jump, of course]
Ramon Castro
Lenny Dykstra
Mo Vaughn
Wally Joyner
Darryl Kile
Alberta Pujols
Johnny Damon
Jason Varitek
Kerry Wood
Mark Prior
Roger Clemens
Andy Pettite
David Ortiz
Some surprises in there. Believe it or not..... Mike Piazza? Explicitly, specifically NOT included. Finally, I also expect to see Brady Anderson named twice. Because, I mean... c'mon.

[ edit: the originator of this hearsay clearly got his "leak" from the fake list circulating the Internets as many of those names did not turn up in the Mitchell report. (actual list here, via Deadspin) Given that this guy is an employee of one of the MLB clubs most heavily involved in this whole business, though, I had my fingers crossed that it was grade-A, premium, don't-bring-that-Mexican-faux-bullshit-in-here dirt. ]

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Ted Corbitt Passes...

There are certain "sports things" I will argue until the day I die: chief among them is the fact that Cal Ripken's games-played streak is supremely overrated. Who else ever got such recognition for simply showing up to work everyday? I mean, there's a reason they stop handing out perfect attendance certificates in grade school - after that, attendance is, ya know, kind of expected from adults. So by the same token, I don't have a lot of use for so-called "ultra"-marathoning (you know what's "ultra"? Running 26.2 miles in 130 minutes or faster...). Running extra far or extra long is impressive, but you know what else is? Juggling for a long time.

Nevertheless, it was with real sadness that I discovered Ted Corbitt had passed away today. [reported by Runners World Online] Maybe it was the fact that I always kind of identified with him a little because he came from Cincinnati, like me. Transplanted to New York, like me. That I respected the way he crammed an extra run into his lunch break and took laps around Manhattan -- the whole island -- or that I smiled at the way he kept snacks for himself in his mailbox so he could grab them mid-run. Whether I would debate or defend the relative "achievement" of his athletic endeavors, I could only ever credit his most impressive identity: pioneer in the face of racial prejudice. Corbitt ground it out against the small-minded not by railing against their outdated institutions... but by embodying the very essence of The Runner: he just kept on keeping on, running and facing down those obstacles with determination and diligence.

For a few years now, I had held dreams of someday making a visual (documentary) history of Cincinnati running, and had always thought how amazing it would be to meet this man and hear the stories and sense his grace. I'll always regret the missed chance.


[ Recent RW Video Interview with him... ]
[ Corbitt on Wikipedia ]

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Friday, December 7, 2007

Club Nats Quick Look

Club Nats is a tough one to handicap because you're never sure what kind of shape folks are in coming in - even for those folks who ran Mayor's Cup - and the entries with the sauciest PR's often are obviously past their collective prime. (See our Visitor's Guide to host city, Cincinnati, here.) This year that's obviously compounded by the fact that a number of guy who WOULD be clear-cut favorites are bouncing back from the Marathon Trials. How they each have recovered will play a huge role in the races - both team and individual. Thus, after the jump, no predictions - just a list of folks one would expect to play a role in the battle up front tomorrow. Guys who ran the Trials are in bold. My five favorites for the title are italicized in caps.

Payton Batliner
Forest Braden
Henry Dennis
Joe Driscoll
Josh Eberly
PATRICK GILDEA
STEPHEN HAAS (TEAM IND. ELITE)
Dan Huling
Daniel Kanyaruhuru
Tim Keller
Leo Kormanik
Steve Magness
Charlie Millioen
Brandon Moen
Josh Moen
THOMAS MORGAN (ZAP)
Rob Myers
BRIAN OLINGER
Joshua Ordway
Jeff Powers
Todd Ptacek
Chris Reis (top Cincinnatian)
Sergio Reyes
Grant Robison
Nick Rogers
Ben Rosario
ZACH SABATINO
Bret Schoolmeester
Hunter Spencer
Clint Wells
George Young
Marcharia Yuot


Speaking of role-playing... weather will play one, too. As of now, the forecast is "AM Ice" - whatever that means. Stalactites of ice falling from the sky, perhaps? Regardless, sounds fun though.

Ok, screw it. In my career I am, essentially, undefeated at VOA, which was the site of my first ever cross country triumph - the freshman two-mile race at the Lakota Fall Classic. It was total domination, and then it was all down hill from there, the rest of my career. It should be noted, though, that my fearless co-editor, bjw, could only manage to whimper across the line that day in a pathetic 3rd place. That said, my ownership of the VOA course pretty much qualifies me as an expert, so here goes a couple quick predictions: Team Indiana Elite with a solid win. ZAP second. Bowerman Athletic a distant third. And the individual title will go to.... George Young. He just turned 70 this year, but, what can I say...? It's tough to pick against a former American Record Holder...

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Insert Stale Ohio Joke Here: A Club Nationals Visitors Guide

Cincinnati: the Queen City. Home of the first Loews movie theater. Home of the original professional baseball club. Home of the least-funny commentary-driven running blog on the web. Run by two of the homeliest SOB's you've ever seen. And, at long last, home of the USATF Club Cross Country Championships.

Yes, we get it. Traveling your entire club team here is expensive. That's a bunch of airfares to buy, a bunch of hotel rooms to rent, a bunch of Quaker Chewy Granola bars to pack for your meals. But Cincinnati? Perfect location. Why? It's going to be expensive wherever Club Nationals is, but in Cincinnati EVERYONE will have to undergo the same financial hardships to get there -- so no bitching from East-Coasters about San Francisco, and no bitching from West-Coasters about anywhere else... if it's equally unfair for everyone THAT MEANS IT'S FAIR. And the PLUS side is that once you're here, Cincinnati's a pretty inexpensive city. Taking just one example: accomodations are inexpensive enough that, say, when it's 2:30 in the morning and you've been out drinking all night, say, at the sparkling new all-you-can-eat Brazilian style steakhouse, and, say, that girl you worked with last summer at the Montgomery Inn Boathouse, where the ribs are world-famous, has been all over you, and say, she still lives with her parents and you're staying with your parents because you're just home for Thanksgiving, let's just say you probably wouldn't think twice about getting a room at a place as respectable as say, a Days Inn, maybe, just for the night, because, hey, it's Cincinnati: shit's priced around here like it's Mexico.

Ultimately... you're coming in town for this little race. Might as well enjoy it, right? After the jump, find out everything you need to know to make your trip Cincitastic.

THE FOOD
You've heard the hype, you've seen it featured in every national broadcast of a sporting event in Cincinnati...

Skyline Chili, first off... You remember "Snapple: Made from the Best Stuff on Earth"? They were required by law to start including a little Skyline in each bottle before that campaign ran. False advertising and all that shit. So yeah, when it comes to Skyline folks seem to pretty much love it or hate it, which is to say you will either love it or you're stupid. After your post-race debauching, go to the one on Ludlow Ave near the University of Cincinnati for a late night heart attack courtesy our town's brown ambrosian nectar topped with a mountain of cheese to rival Olympus. And don't bother with a menu - just order a cheese coney or four, or a three- four- or five-way. (Beans OR onions make a 4-way, beans AND onions make a 5-way... boo-yah Boolean logic.) The bottom line is that if you leave Cincinnati without having tried this stuff, you might as well have not bothered coming at all. Oh, and if you think, Oh, I'll just go to Gold-Star Chili - it's pretty much the same, then next time you go to 'put it in' some broad, I recommend you go slam your dick in a hot waffle iron instead, because Oh, in the same way Gold Star is like Skyline, it's pretty much the same.

I know it's winter but go get some Graeters Ice Cream. This stuff is so good it's been ruining ice cream for Cincinnatians for decades - we can't be bothered with Baskin Robbins or Haagen Daaz or whatever sorry excuse for frozen dessert you call your own. When you go, just be sure to get a chip flavor. You'll probably end up with a chocolate piece the size of your... thumb. Matter of fact, be warned: you eat Graeters once and you might start feeling the need to start ordering it online, and shipping ice cream so it doesn't melt ain't cheap...


THE NIGHTLIFE
I admit: I was tempted to put "life" in sarcastic quotes like I just did. And until recently that probably would have been a true statement about this fairest of river cities. But the landscape is much improved:

Cadillac Ranch Bar/Grille. Two words: mechanical bull. Their website calls it the "baddest mechanical bull in town" but thankfully, I can pretty confidently say it's the ONLY mechanical bull in town. I know... a shocker to most of you, with your misconceptions about Cincinnati.

Hofbrauhaus. Too bad it'll be too cold to really enjoy the garden out back, but grab a huge stein of their delicious liquid gold and get ready to swing it around while standing on a wooden bench and singing along in a Beer Hall so authentic they mention it in the guided tour of the original Hofbrau in Munich.

Want your Saturday night to have a pretentious East Village feel? Find coffee shops, good ethnic food, and dive bars in Clifton, near the University of Cincinnati. Like things simple? Movies, bars and restaurants down at Newport on the Levee - everything's in one place, with great views of Cincinnati from the Kentucky side of the river. Like your evening to feel shiny and new? Lots of newly-opened bars in the downtown/Fountain Square area are attracting a young, professional crowd. (Or so I'm told - they're so new I've never even been.)

THE SIGHTS
Cincinnati's a good looking town, especially at night. I've been 90% of America's biggest cities. Maybe four have a better skyline. See?


Most people look at Cincinnati and make a Bengals joke. I look at Cincinnati and see a world-class zoo that tigers -- both bengal, and Siberian -- call home. Most people look at Cincinnati and make a race-relations joke. I look at Cincinnati and appreciate the culture: the Underground Railroad Freedom Center, the two national-caliber universities, the beautiful Krohn Conservatory with its great holiday displays which are now showing (free), for those of you who want to get in the Christmas spirit. Most people look at Cincinnati and make a Larry Flynt joke. Me? I look at Cincinnati and also make a Larry Flynt joke. But why shouldn't I? After all, like the subjects of Hustler, Cincinnati is curvy, with lots of hills and bottle-blond hair. And it looks best when it's jumping up and down. Or taking a shower with another city.

Welcome!

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Wild Sex Romp at Sean Casey's House Leads to Rape Charge

My head is absolutely spinning. Where to begin? From the Cincinnati Enquirer:

Exotic dancer. Allegedly raped by her manager. Who is also a woman. While the manager's oh-so-charming, pony-tailed, Playgirl-posing, professional-wrestler boyfriend watched and, when (allegedly) was asked to intervene simply laughed: "I told you she was the freak."

Did ESPN re-launch Playmakers as a reality series? Now, when I first read woman-on-woman incident, I imagined strap-ons, or handcuffs and Fred Smoot's personal sex appliance of choice... maybe even just something involving sexy lingerie and a riding crop which somehow goes horribly awry. But when I got back from the restroom, I found... this....?
Summer* said Adkins alternated between having oral sex with her and having intercourse with Casey, who had a broken leg in a cast.
Wait, wait, wait. So, what you're saying is this transpired roughly like the scene in Austin Powers when he is about to be run down by the steamroller? The plaintiff alleges that, in the course of all that ruckus, there was this exchange:
Then Adkins asked, “ ‘Don’t you want to see the sexiest couple in Cincinnati’ ” enjoy themselves? Summer* testified.
She runs a hick-town strip club. He is a pro wrestler. Now that's a couple absolutely filthy with sex appeal. As a matter of fact, I haven't confirmed this yet, but I'm pretty sure Adkins was misquoted by the plaintiff, and actually said "trashiest couple." Oh wait, I almost forgot...there's just this one last, little bit...
“I have never been in a bathroom with Steve McNair,” Summer* testified. “I talked to him. He’s a pretty cool guy. Go Ravens!”
First - thanks, Summer. The Ravens appreciate the support from the witness stand. Second - why, you ask, did she testify thusly? Well, it seems, Adkins threatened to let Summer* go for (allegedly) doing the dirty with McNair, a client of their club, Naughty Bodies. (The article left me to infer that the defense is painting the rape allegations as retaliation for that threat.)

But you know the craziest part of it all? I had NO IDEA Sean Casey, the so-called "Mayor of the MLB" had posed in Playgirl and was taking up pro wrestling.

Rape Case Drags in Pro Athletes - Cincinnati Enquirer

[The link is to the Cincinnati Enquirer, but I would like to point out that this occurred in Batavia, which, if Cincinnati were New York City, would be our version of Newburgh.]

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Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Running on TV: the Cold, Hard Facts

Letsrun delivers the dirt on the CSTV viewership for the live feed of the NCAA Cross Champs. And the results are staggering. 8,531 people apparently "tuned in." That's it. Brojos say that number made for the largest viewership for any NCAA Championship on CSTV, and thus, we should not be discouraged. That the people have spoken. But, like Confucius once said, facts speak louder than people. And, I'm sorry to say, these are the facts.
  • FACT: I was logged-in to the web-broadcast on at least 3 computers at work, so that I could move around the office and never miss a minute. So that viewership was ACTUALLY more like 8,529.
  • FACT: Scientific research shows that if I did it, someone else probably did it, too. We're down to 8,528. Also, someone else out there probably didn't wash his hands before grabbing into the bowl of M&M's at the receptiontist's desk, even though he was nursing a fat cold. I'm sorry about that.
  • FACT: Scientific research shows that you probably came to said bowl of M&M's in your office AFTER said perpetrator inadvertently smeared particles of nose-goo all over those nibblets of chocolate goodness. Again, I'm really sorry.
  • FACT: 8,528 people is not very many when you consider the potential audience: everyone. And that's because SUB-FACT: It's 2007. Everyone has the Internet. 6.7 billion people in the world, and only 8.5 thousand of them tuned in. That's less than 1%.
  • FACT: The world population is going up by the MINUTE, which means, those ratings just got worse.
In conclusion, the NCAA and CSTV teamed up to do something revolutionary in our sport, something that, frankly, I was thrilled about before, during and after -- a rare occurrence in all walks of my life, save the occasional visit to Golden Corral... but the numbers sucked so bad that NOT ONLY will there probably be no free CSTV feed next November to surround myself with at the office, but the rumor is that they may cancel the Cross Country Championships outright. It's a shame, really. And I blame you. Next time, be a good fan and turn on at least five computers.

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Friday, November 30, 2007

Pimp My Desktop 2

Or is it re-pimp my desktop? Regardless, the Josh McDougal desktop is such an obvious hit, it seems Liberty is making available a special NCAA Champion Commemorative edition, featuring Josh "doing the Jesus" - a move that is apparently, becoming quite the hit around the Liberty campus, ever since Josh broke it out when he broke the tape, on semi-national TV. Naturally, we got a sneak peak... after the jump.

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Monday, November 26, 2007

Pimp My Desktop

Always cheered for that coltish young man from Peru, NY? Never been sure how to best show what a huge fan you are? Well, friend, worry no longer! Step right up and get your OFFICIAL computer desktop wallpaper of newly-minted NCAA Cross Country Champion Josh McDougal! Now you can show your affection for the hottest name in collegiate distance running for your whole office to see! And the best part? Liberty University brings you this stunning item at the low, low cost of totally FREE! Yeah!

(For those of you who refuse to upgrade to a shiny new 15" flat-screen monitor, you can also take your pick of screen resolutions - bottom of page.)

In all honesty, we think it's pretty sweet that Liberty actually takes some care to promote sports that are afterthoughts at bigger schools. I mean, I know all the girls want to hold hands with the Tom Brady of Liberty's campus, QB Brock Davis (no, we didn't make that name up) ... but, ya know... McDougal is actually good as his sport on a national level, so it's kind of deserved.

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Saturday, November 24, 2007

Nationals on (CS)TV: Almost Like Being There...

Thank you, NCAA -- for having the guts to say, You know what... screw it! Let's give the people what they want! Thank you, Lopez Lomong -- for ruining everyone's Letsrun picks. But most of all... Thank you, CSTV -- thanks, for building a cable channel that would struggle so mightily that you deign to pick up an event which clearly garnered advertising interest only from the sponsoring body of the event itself. (The NCAA took up, what? 85% of the ad time?) Our review, after the jump.


+1's on the Coverage:

> There was a cross country race on TV. And...it...was...LIVE!
> The commentators managed to not ruin it.
> Commercials didn't come at inopportune times -- ie. mile, 5k split, 8k...
> It was streamed FREE - crucial considering how few people get CSTV, and the fact that a midday broadcast might otherwise cut out a major chunk of the viewership.

I'm not going to nitpick much. Do I wish they would have shown Lomong once or twice after Rupp and McDougal shook free of him? Absolutely, as the threat of his kick was certainly on the minsd of many folks for the first kilometer or so after the Dyestat Dreamboats took off. Do I wish they would have put a camera on the Gator? That they cut back to the pack to show us the team race developing? Yeah, I do. But I mean, come on... the bottom line is that when I tuned in to watch a major running event, I started getting butterflies of anticipation as they showed the competitors at the line, because I DIDN'T KNOW THE OUTCOME WHEN THE GUN WENT OFF. There is no replacement for that feeling of excitement, one that only built through the slow opening miles.

Tuning in... great for our sport. Following up with an e-mail to let CSTV know that their audience on Monday is a loyal one and appreciates the coverage? Even better. Take just a few minutes and e-mail the CSTV programming department. Don't do it for me. Do it for the kids.

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Monday, November 19, 2007

Nationals Broke the Internet

Quick results from those of you relying on Letsrun's Message Board or the NCAA site:

1. Oregon
2. Iona
3. Oklahoma State (pretty sure this is a practical joke by CSTV)
4. I forget... Alabama maybe?
5. Wisconsin (I'm pretty sure on this one)

1. McDougal
2. Rupp
3. Lomong
4. Curtis (I think)
5. etc: Vaughn was in there, and I think I saw Songkok and Kiptoo-Biwott in there, too.

(Ed. note... 4th was NAU. Bama was 6th. Full results here.)

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Park Looks Deer Population in Eye, Says Hell Naw

So this story's connection to running is thin, but who cares? We used to meet for summer practices in the park in question during high school, and UC's Queen City Invitational used to be held there as well. Good enough for me. Besides: how could we not bring to light the fact that police are shooting down the rampaging deer population in Mt. Airy Forest and donating the meat to the homeless? Neighborhood leadership weighs in on the situation:
"I can literally drive down my street and bump them with my car to get them to move," said Cindee Walsh, vice president of the Mount Airy Town Council, who said residents have been asking the city for help for six years. "Nobody wants to be a Bambi killer. I understand that. But this is not natural in any way, shape or form."
Incorrect, Mrs. Walsh. Many people, in fact, want to be a Bambi killer. Roughly 1,000 pounds of venison have been "generated" thus far. Of course, many people would be outraged over killing the poor, defenseless deer, but many people also don't realize how delicious venison is. And, really, do you want this to keep happening? Two and a half dozen instances of people-mounting should be enough for folks to say, Enough's enough. Honestly.

Oh, and, yes, this is the same park that was so notorious for being a gay hook-up spot that someone once painted over the "Mt." with an "F" on the main sign. And did such a bang-up job that it went unnoticed for weeks. Either that, or park officials just decided it was a more appropriate name.

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Sunday, November 11, 2007

NCAA Cross Country Season Not Canceled

Apparently, the NCAA cross country season is still going on, and is not canceled, as I had believed, after it suffocated/was crushed under an E. Honda-caliber swan dive by the hype and coverage surrounding the Olympic Team Trials - Men's Marathon, LLC.com presented by the USATF.

Let's face it - no one in the NCAA can run a 2:09 marathon on a course that downright UNDULATING while turning cartwheels and doing the arms-in-an-X-over-the-crotch "suck it" sign, like Ryan Hall did last weekend. So why should we care about cross country?

WRONG! Regionals were Saturday and they showed that there are plenty of reasons to still care. At least four. Read them after the jump-type-thing.

#1. Josh McDougal CAN run 2:09 over a course that undulating. In fact, he did it last week during his tempo run.

#2. Lopez Lomong. A good runner, AND a Sudanese Lost Boy. It makes for human-interest story unmatched by any that the Trials can boast.

#3. Running. It is very good.

#4. OK, so I ran out of reasons after #2. Honestly, regionals usually serves as something of an anti-climax because, frankly, the system is set up so well -- South Central Region notwithstanding.

One, MAYBE two teams have a right to bitch each year. And this time around, as much as I kind of almost have an inexplicable desire to see Syracuse's cross team succeed, putting Indiana into The Dance and leaving only two entrants from the Northeast means that order has been maintained in the universe. At no point did Syracuse show that they could run with the biggest of the boys (when they beat Providence, Smith was sitting, yes? Villanova is, IMO, a marginal qualifier, and then there was the disaster at Pre-Nats) so it's hard to justify that the Orangemen deserve a spot MORE than the Hoosiers.

One thing that surprised me from the weekend results? Seeing Providence run as well as they did. I think Haji could even be a little further up, too. One thing that did not surprise me in the least?
Colorado not being the 3rd best team in the Mountain Region. Yeah: 5 in the top 14. And that was with NAU and UTEP still running pretty daggone well.

I would take ye Buffaloes as slight favorites over Oregon. It will be interesting to see whose top 2 fare better: Rupp/Kiptoo-Biwott or Vaughn/Pifer. The Buffs guys are not the sexy pick -- I mean, did they EVER place as high at Foot Lockers? -- but Vaughn has shown he has top 5 talent at the college level, and Pifer could be a top 10 guy, easy. Oh yeah, Kiptoo was 98th at Nationals last year. Hitch your wagon to that horse.

As for Michigan... schizophrenic much? 5th at Big 10s... 1st in the Great Lakes? I'm baffled. Gras and Lex Williams ran back in the field as a tandem tight enough to make you wonder if they were told to tempo Big 10s... but do you really throw your conference meet? Unless your "bigger fish to fry" is a National Title, I don't see how you, as a coach, can get away with FIFTH place at conferences when you're sitting down with your AD. And, no, Michigan will not be frying a fish that big in Terre Haute, ripe though the fishing is in Western Indiana. Let's remember: Wisconsin sat Eagon. Actually, the consensus around the Less Than Our Best offices is that there is a 60-40 chance Schumacher will be resting Eagon at Nationals, too.

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Friday, November 9, 2007

Around the Interwebs: Ryan Shay

>> "Drugs Kills Ryan Shay" -- a provocative piece from Olympian Joan Nesbit Mabe on her blog.
>> Also, a pretty comprehensive gallery from Alison over at EliteRunning.com.
>> Links to much, much more on Letsrun's frontpage.
(For our non-runner readers (thanks, bjw's Nana) the initial, wrenching news report.)

Matt Taylor has another amazing piece at Chasing Kimbia, which, while taking a broader look at the weekend, also deals poignantly with Shay's passing.

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Monday, November 5, 2007

The Baddest Mother You Ever Did See

I was REALLY looking forward to seeing the east Africans of West Chester Track Club go toe-to-toe with the hither-come Canadians from The Guelph of Canada, wherever that is. It was going to be like the French-Indian war, what with foreign powers duking it out in New York and all. All we would be missing would be Daniel-Day Lewis running around and chucking tomahawks in a fringed shirt, but bjw was willing to fill in if I said the word. We even got the pre-race scoop from Speed River poster-boy Reid Coolsaet: he of the 13:21 5k. So I have to admit, I was at least a little disappointed in the competitive imbalance at the 4th annual Bad Boy cross country race, hosted by Manhattan Track Club. Read more after the jump.


To be sure, the hosts seemed to be missing some of their guys, notably Trials competitor Karl Dusen. But I think the biggest disappointment from a spectator's standpoint, at least, was the lack of loose-cannon, gun-slinger types, in town to watch the Trials and willing to mosey on up to VCP for a little 8k action. Dan Wilson made an appearance last year, but this year Josh Eberly (Brooks, formerly Hansons-Brooks) was the only unattached name of any national repute, which was a bit of a surprise given how many club guys were in town to support their teammates Saturday morning.

Nevertheless, if you look at all the alumni of the event, it's rather impressive for such a fledgling event. And really, I have to say that for a young event such as the Bad Boy, each year that you successfully get in the books in your early life, really is very much a step forward. One of these days, schedules will click, and we'll have New York's version of Mayor's Cup on our hands. It's something for the New York running fan to really get excited about.

We caught up with Reid Coolsaet of Speed River Track Club to preview the race:
1.Who is Reid Coolsaet in one word or less?
Hammer

2.
Ultimate goal - Beijing? How will you get there from here?
I'd like to make Beijing in the 5 and 10 and go for a top 12 there. After that I'll get after the marathon.

3. Tell us one thing about Speed River that we don't want to know.
The Speed River actually flows pretty slowly.

4. Would you rather lose your Canadian firearm freedoms, or eat a handful of uncooked ground beef?
I've never had problems acquiring illegal firearms but I've always had problems with uncooked ground beef.

5. Why Bad Boy IV?
I love XC races and I've always wanted to race the famed Van Cortlandt course. Guelph is hosting the AGSI National XC champs on Dec. 1st so I figure it would be good to get at least one XC race beforehand.. even if I'm not ready and I just ran all over Central Park watching the Marathon trials.

5b.
Thoughts on Van Cortlandt? Have you run there before? If so, how much faster than me did you run, and do you mind if I fudge it a bit so I don't look quite so bad?
This will be my debut at VCP. I'm not counting on a good time, only a good experience.

5c.
Are you one of those gingers who is unaware that you don't actually have a soul?
I've got soul, but I'm not a soldier.
Speed River won and handily. Speed River's Eric Gillis, a good, Jesuit-educated boy, took down his teammates and the rest of the field, stopping the clock in 24:44 - not a shabby time by any stretch. And though he only placed 2nd overall, for Coolsaet... it was a life-changing experience. He explains:
5d. How did your NYC/Bad Boy/VCP experience rate?
Running in VCP was a blast. It would have been nice to race that course when I'm really ready to race but there's just so many things I want to do I have to pick and choose when to peak and stuff. The event itself was run smoothly and the cash our team made helped out on the trip.
OK, so maybe not life-changing per se, but one can tell he will never be the same. The conditions were nice, though a bit chilly with some occasional breezing. The AGSI Championships that Speed River are hosting serve as both the club championship and Worlds qualifier for our northern friends. I'd be impressed to see the Canadian club that could take down Speed River. Our photos from the meet can be found here. Good photos from the meet can be found here.

Thanks to Reid for the interview. He can be followed (in an entirely legal way) here, and the exploits of Speed River can be gleaned here. Manhattan Track Club maintains the following webpage. You might find this to be a useful webpage, too.


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Trials Weekend Hangover

Monday morning found me nursing all the usual symptoms of a crazy weekend: dizziness, nausea, pangs of regret, and waking up in bed with someone unfamiliar and threatening.

Looking back on this most eagerly anticipated weekend in recent memory, I am struck by how pleased I am with how it went. In this crazy mixed up world, events rarely live up to expectations (see: new year's eve, class reunions, Blades of Glory) but this weekend came about as close as possible.

First off, I dare someone to complain about how the trials, as an event, was executed. That unfamiliar and threatening stranger that I climbed into bed with this weekend is the New York Road Runners and, while guilt is inevitable when starting things up with such an oft-maligned partner, they proved to me this weekend that they are willing to work hard to please me.

The trials was everything the NYRR proposed it could be and they pulled it off as gracefully and excitingly as possible. Mary Wittenberg served up her famous kool-aid and I gulped it down (mmm...lemon lime).

That said, I certainly was cursing them when I peeled myself out of bed at 6:30 in the morning. As many of you know, a 7:30am start is not conducive to a Friday night house party that degenerates into a sloppy game of flip cup and a Beastie Boys dance party (You can sing along too! Just shout the last word in every line).

While I know that many in the running community may not share my viewpoint, and it may not even be logistically possible what with the lack of daylight and all, but I would much rather have had a 7:30pm start. With which, we would be able to tailgate, generate excitement through the sharing of spirits (which would lead to us shouting all sorts of fun things as the race progressed), and go straight to the bars afterward for a night full of new regrets, failed hook-ups, and a certain conviction to get our asses training to make the next trials. But I digress.

The top three result of the trials was about as rewarding as the event execution itself. One thing a distance runner will always cherish, if not the occassional whistle heard while running from a purty girl (or guy, I'm not judging), is hope. Hope that the next run/race/season/year will bring better results. With that in mind, Hall and Ritz going one two, being 25 and 24 respectively, is about the best an American distance fan can hope for. I thought for sure Abdi would be in the top 3, but Sell going is just as well (mainly because Hanson's deserves the congratulations and the press, and 'ol handlebars deserves it because of his hard work and blah blah blah).

It is hard to picture a trials being pulled off as well as this one. While I will be at the next one as a runner (I went out to the bars afterward and made some convictions despite the early start), I hope other organizations will hold themselves to the standard that my new bedmate set this past weekend.

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Sunday, November 4, 2007

Sunday = Funday

It was cool and sunny. Cheerful people wall to wall in Manhattan. Really, I don't know if you could ask for a better NYC Marathon. Sunday really was a great day to be a New Yorker.

I have to admit that I had toyed recently with the idea of moving back home to the Midwest where there is space between the buildings and, ya know, grass. But being in and around the city Sunday, with the gorgeous weather and the streets rife enthusiasm... it kind of makes you fall in love with New York all over again. The day benefited from that weather and a couple of great races -- despite the Trials eunuching the bi-annual AN AMERICAN HASN'T WON A MAJOR MARATHON IN 25-PLUS YEARS IS THIS THE YEAR? screeching -- most notably Paula's dual with that Ethiopian woman. They even had a one of those boats spraying water in the air at the start! How can you not feel got about that?

How the coverage was I couldn't say, but being there was one of the better running-related experiences of my life, even in my fourth year as a spectator -- you would think I'd be over the initial infatuation. It was enough to have me whistling jauntily with ye old iPod and feeling pretty sure that I could wait awhile longer to pull up the tent stakes. Of course, fast-forward three hours and the downtown 1 train was not running (with no reason given), forcing me to walk to Penn through Times Square and swearing the what this city needs isn't bus lanes, but "New Yorker" lanes on Midtown sidewalks. And sure, earlier that day, some guy in the crowd at the Queensboro Bridge turned to my group and asked "What marathon is this?" But nevertheless, Sunday was a great cap on a great weekend for New York, and, I believe for our sport.

bjw and I will be breaking down the Trials and the rest of the weekend shortly.

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Friday, November 2, 2007

Video: Fam on the Marathon Trials

Part Two of our Monday night interview with the man they call Fam. In it, he breaks down the buzz in New York over the Trials, why he chose not to enter and what event he WILL be running at the Trials in Eugene, and what he expects to see from Saturday's race itself.


(Click above to play. Hi-res version over on our blip.tv page - Part 1 here.)

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Thursday, November 1, 2007

Quick Guide to Trials Traveling

If you are reading this now then you are one of three types of people:

1. You are related to me. (Hi Nana! Thanks for the support)
2. You are in NY or about to leave for NY to watch the trials. (See you there)
3. You don't have an old friend from high school that you rarely speak to anymore that lives in NY that will let you sleep on his floor. (Tough luck. Better clean off that computer screen. You want to see each of those 15 pixels as well as possible.)

For all the #2's, here are a few things to keep in mind when visiting the city that never sleeps (except on Saturday mornings unfortunately):


The City and New Yorkers in General
*New Yorkers are not as cool as they think they are. They may live in a cool city that is full of cool stuff to do, but don't be fooled, they are the same insecure posers that exist in every corner of the country.

*Just walking around the streets is fun mainly because at any given moment you might see both the hottest woman you've ever seen and the craziest person you've ever seen in the same line of vision.

The Subway
*If travelling by Subway to the Park Saturday morning, leave 45 minutes before you think you have to. Trains will not show up on Saturday morning until the last minute and you will have to sprint four blocks and hop a wall to get into Central Park to see the first loop. Somehow those trains know. Very Creepy.

*People in the subway are the most idle, apathetic set of people you will ever encounter. You could walk in wearing bun huggers and shouting "I love terrorism" and 99% of them will continue reading, sleeping, listening to their headphones, or all three at once somehow.

Money
*Everything is going to cost about 20% more, from your McDonald's cheesburger to your pint of lager to your late night back alley yank, you're going to pay more than you would back home. The best thing is to just accept it, and forget about it until your overcome with regret the next morning (especially about the money, but especially about the yank).

*Something you must say to the rest of your group when you are looking around for a place to eat: "let's stop wandering around and just pick a damn restaurant." There are so many restaurants, they are all about the same (I'm no food buff of course), and as long as you stay away from the Broadway/Times Square area, you can get a good meal, a drink, and decent atmosphere for about 20-25 bucks, no less though.

Running
*You might as well just run in Central Park. It's cliche'd and crowded and not at all magical, but you will get a look at the trials course. If you close your eyes, you might even be able to imagine yourself in the race, passing mile 23 with Abdi on your right and Hall on your left and you guys smile and wink at each other because you know you'll be travelling together to Beijing and you'll be the best ofYOU JUST HIT A BABY STROLLER! I wasn't lying about how crowded it is. Watch where you're going for chrissake!
*Running through the streets early in the morning is really cool actually, kind of an 'eye of the storm' peacefulness.

Safety
*Don't be a pansy, Manhatten is full of rich businessmen and silver spoon fed hipsters. They are not going to rob you. Their jeans are too tight to fit anything in the pockets.

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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Video: Fam & "Run Like Hell" at New York Running Co.

Anthony Famiglietti, one of the few notable US distance runners not competing this weekend, was out Monday night for a screening of his movie Run Like Hell. "Fam" also gave a short, candid talk to the intimate crowd of around 50 runners, joggers, and fans in attendance at the New York Running Company in Columbus Circle. Also, he was gracious enough to stick around after all but store employees had left, to sit down with us and answer a few questions.



A recap of the evening, after the jump.

It's easy to tell that Fam is a guy who shoots from the hip in most everything he does. He feels like he'll run a good 10k after being a steepler for so long - he does it. He decides he wants to live and train in NYC when everyone else is living like a monk in some mountain range or another - he does it. Successfully. Apparently, he was even considering doing the Marathon Trials after clearly being a mile/steeple/5k guy for his whole career. (More on that in part two of the interview, with will be available tomorrow .)

His speech was similarly spontaneous. There were tangents and anecdotes, but it was interesting and altogether conversational rather than stiff and completely cliche'd as I imagine many such appearances by runners can easily become. The video had the same free-wheeling feel, opting to divert into musical montages that made training footage look as electric as I've ever seen.

After the event, and an autograph/chat session, the '04 Olympian sat down to talk about Run Like Hell, his running, and of course, the Marathon Trials... a topic which will be covered in Part Two of our interview. Look for it tomorrow.

Thanks to Fam, Spencer and the folks at New York Running Co., and Michael and the rest of the adidas team, for sponsoring the event and having us.

(Hi-res version of the interview over at our blip page. Music by Holtz.)

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Whats A "Blue Collar"?

It is obvious that every old school/long hair/mutton chopped running fan in America wants Brian Sell to win on Saturday. They also want him to change the oil in their car and drink a can of Budweiser afterward. There is a clear image surrounding Sell in the running community, and I am not so sure it is entirely warranted.


As you can tell by the number of modifiers in that last sentence, I am wary of how such a statement might be taken. I am all for blue collar running. It is the hardcore, independent, pick yourself up by your own bootstraps and run fast as hell image that I someday would like to portray myself. I just don't think that applies to Sell.

It's not his fault. From what I can tell, Sell is a great guy who works really hard and deserves all the attention and good results that he gets. And he gets quite a bit. He did run 2:10 in Boston after all, which puts you in elite American marathoning status as far as I'm concerned.

He gets full support from Hansons and other places and is not exactly scraping by. In short: he is doing everything he can with his considerable resources to race as fast as he possibly can. What people don't want to admit though, is that he is doing everything that the so-called white collar elite guys are doing.

Yes, he is running 150 mile weeks while other guys, Abdi and Ritz for instance, are doing a bit less. That just means those guys don't think it would help them. Somehow this makes them less hardcore than Sell. I am 100% sure that if the shorter mileage guys thought running 300 mile weeks would make them better, they would do it. They do other things that are equally taxing with the considerable resources that they have. In short, again: Sell is working as hard as everyone and anyone else out there.

Mainly, I am just a bit put off that a guy like Sell, who is definitely an elite runner who gets all of the resources, income, and accolades that other elite runners get, has somehow taken the label of blue collar from the guys who actually are what I consider to be "blue collar" runners.

My guess is that most of the guys in the trials with real jobs, like most guys in America, are no longer working their 40 hours in some factory making elevator buttons or replacing car bumpers. Rather, they are working the "new blue collar" jobs, like underwriter at an insurance company, or data entry at a ne...wait, what was I talking about, I must have dosed off. For anyone who has experienced such a job, you know how draining and spirit destroying they are.

Believe it or not, there are a lot of guys out there who are living life like you and I, working (at least) 40 hour weeks at a soul sucking, uninspiring job, and still managing some seriously fast times (2:14s even). That is blue collar. Running miles and miles through predawn suburbia while the wife and kids are fast asleep in a safe, comfortable house that is paid for by heading to work right after that morning run with only a coffee cup's worth of support.

The fact: These guys are blue collar runners. They may not have the privilege of sleeping past 5:30, but let's at least let them keep the title. Sell seems like a great guy, but let's call a spade a spade. He is a professional runner no matter how dirty his fingernails are after his shift at Home Depot.

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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Watch You Some Running Tonight

TV alert, from Alison Wade over at EliteRunning.com:

A feature on Macharia Yuot (who also got some love from the NY Times) airs tonight on ESPN. And NOVA is airing programming looking at a few members of the, shall we say, "less elite" contingent at Boston.

And speaking of visual coverage, check back right here, to this very site, this very evening for our exclusive interview with the man they call Fam.

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Monday, October 29, 2007

The Voice of a 7:30 Apologist

True story: I went to see The Darjeeling Limited last night (very average, and I'm generally a big Wes Anderson fan), at the AMC theater just west of Times Square. Walking through Times Square (also known as Satan's Asshole), the streets were packed (nothing new) and everyone was standing stock-still and staring up at the buildings (unfortunately, also nothing new). What struck me, though, was that everyone was standing there staring in the same direction: they were watching a giant monitor broadcasting some sort of live classical music performance. OMG! Times Square! They have TELEVISION there! That's right: everyone was standing around watching TV.

Meanwhile, the buzz/outrage has been quite fervent over at Letsrun. While I suppose some of the complaints about the planning/marketing of the Trials are semi-well-founded, I think it's a little early to get our knickers all in a twist. Yes, 7:30 is an EARLY start. Yes, it makes it impossible for West Coasters to tune in at a natural waking hour. And folks in NJ and Connecticut have a heck of a commute on their hands. But I think it is a little lazy of critics to simply assume the NYRR, as experienced a race-management organization as you can find, picked that start time via a late-night game of Yahtzee while in a collective haze of Jack Daniels and mai thais.

You have to stop and think: why 7:30? Find out just that, after the jump.


7:30am. There has to be SOME reason, and it ain't avoiding the heat. Well, there are two obvious ones: to get on The Today Show, and to be able to run through Midtown, including Times Square. Is it worth it to have the entire event so early just for that? Well, at face value, those five minutes, that one pre-Central Park mile probably make it seem like it a middling plan, at best. But I think it's worth a closer look.

Why did I mention my experience in Times Square last night? The point is this: the tourists in Times Square will stop and watching ANYTHING. They stopped and watched television, hardly a brand-spankin'-new technology at the ripe age of 100+ years old. There will be plenty of people in Times Square at 7:30 next Saturday. Speaking from personal experience, I'm pretty sure there will be plenty of people outside The Today Show studios near the starting line, at 7:30. Plenty of people in the neighborhood around Rockefeller Center. I don't think this is a terrible scenario - there will be barricades on the streets. A police caravan. Maybe even a truck of some sort playing music and trying to fire up the crowd. OF COURSE the tourists out and about in Midtown are going to stop and watch all along the first few miles of the course.

So here's what you'll have:

-- The 5 Million people who normally tune into Today but would not otherwise watch the Trials on TV will be watching the start and early portion of the race. Yes, 5 million.
-- The first mile of the route will be passing some of the most recognizable landmarks in the United States, with tourists lining the barricades throughout.

What sort of message does this send to those 5 million viewers, even if only for five minutes? That this is a huge event. That distance running in America is (can be?) a marquee sporting event. A spectacle. Slap the word "Olympic" on the event, to boot, and I think you will make quite an impression on those viewers. Then you cross your fingers and pray that some of those folks will bounce over to NBCsports.com to watch the stream because they were intrigued. And if the availability of the stream isn't mentioned on The Today Show that morning, and during the early coverage, I would be absolutely shocked. (FWIW, I do think, this is where things break down, because you're asking the viewer to make a special effort AND to do something they might not be used to doing - watching a TV show streamed online)

So no, 7:30 is not conducive to the quote-unquote "casual fan of elite running" to attend the marathon. But: have we ever established that such a person even exists? Would New Yorkers be coming out of the woodwork to watch a small number of elite marathons compete, if it were 10am? 1pm? Would casual fans be tuning in? There is really no precedent to show that such would be is the case. You have diehard fans, you have runners, and you have everybody else, and the early start time, believe it or not, is squarely aimed at notching the biggest possible viewership from the "everybody else."

After being carried by tourists over the first mile, once in the park, you will have the die-hards out in force. However, the numbers here remain to be seen. After one crit-loop is done we're looking at about about 8:15am. Maybe a volume of Sunday marathoners begin to trickle out for their shake-out run. Another loop, 8:40. Friendship Run participants start showing up. Another loop, 9:05. Tourists have begun to show up in Central Park at this hour, not to mention plenty of walkers/joggers who, again, should, in theory, be disposed to stop and watch. Thus begins the final loop.

In that little breakdown - diehards, runners, hoi polloi - there lies the real question mark in all of this: are all those folks who are in town to run NYC on Sunday going to attend the Trials on Saturday? This is, I believe, what the NYRR is banking on. They have scheduled the International Friendship run for 9am that morning -- I imagine, in an effort to get a few thousand people into Central Park: people of a demographic we all imagine should be predisposed to watch a marathon, if anyone is. Whether this tack succeeds or fails depends on how many people will be willing to curtail their sleep two nights before their own marathon to get up at 7am and watch the Trials. A dicey proposition at best, if you ask me. Personally, I expect we won't see significant numbers straggling over to the course until 8:30 or 9. But this is where the whole project, as a spectator event, will succeed or fail.

If things break right, if the weather is as beautiful as it can be in New York at this time of year and people want to be outdoors, this could be a spectacular event. Still, I'm not so naive to expect that it will be -- there are a couple of MAJOR "ifs" in there, between the number of diehards in NYC (I think this number has probably been vastly overestimated by the NYRR) or who are willing to travel to NYC , and the number of Sunday marathoners who will turn up. But if the planners' plans come to fruition, the start will come off like a NYC-sized spectacle... and the finish of the race will be viewed by a crowd that has steadily grown into an impressive mob.

Treu: it might not play out that way. But I just don't see a way that a better scenario could be guaranteed.

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NY Times looks at Macharia Yuot

A really nice look at Macharia Yuot in the New York Times as the paper looks ahead to this weekend's Olympic Trials. Like Lopez Lomong, Yuot is one of the Lost Boys of the Sudan, and the article deals with his time as a refugee crossing Africa on foot:

“I saw a hippo come out of the river and break a man in two,” he said. “Even before that, wild animals killed many people. But some local soldiers with guns protected us.”

Really, that more or less sounds like a typical day commuting to Manhattan for me. After making it stateside, Yuot would become a DIII National Champ at Widener in Philadelphia (many times over) and has adapted to American culture to the point where he carries a BlackBerry. He'll bring a PR of 2:21 to the Trials on Saturday.

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Welcome to Trials Week

Here we are: a week out from what has been billed as the greatest localized weekend of distance running in the history of the galaxy. The Olympics pale in comparison. The World Championships grow sick with envy. A week from today, the IOC will collectively commit hari kari after they realize their blunder in awarding the 2012 Games to London with their bad food, crappy weather, and kindergarten-quality puce-and-yellow logo.

And we are going to be there for all of it. Especially the collective hari kari. (Our tickets to France are already booked, and hopefully we'll even get to assist!) Sure New York is crowded and messy and dangerous and 6.5 days out of the week we wonder why we're living here... but now it all becomes worth it as we can access all of the events of the coming weekend, and get a gyro from that guy in the truck over there, to boot. And since we're in the area we'll be doing a lot of quote-unquote "coverage": the Trials, Bad Boy, INGNYC, the St. Jude's Hospital 5k Run/Walk... the works. We'll be weighing in with a look at the Trials field, your cut-the-crap guide to visiting to NYC on this glorious weekend of running, hopefully a little video, and definitely plenty of photos of each event. So check back often.

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Sunday, October 28, 2007

Conference Meets: Results

Youch. A tough weekend for the alma maters. Lots of tight, quality races, but no major shocks, other than the return of the Frank Stallone of West Chester, NY, Matthew Kiplagat.


A-10 - LaSalle wins. Shocker. Richmond pretty impressive to nab 2nd. But still, no one outside the conference cares.
ACC -
Virginia 32, over NC State's 39 despite the Pack putting 6 in the top 13. 3rd place? 130 (Florida State). Products from the state of Ohio go 1-4-7-14, proving that, though oft-maligned, The Heart of It All is pretty much awesome at running and life. Chris Kollar says adieu to Biladeau by 6 seconds. Sam Bryfczynski, unfortunately, could only manage 23rd.
Big East - Showing yet again that it is, for my money, the best distance-running conference in the country:
Mann gets the Cards to the top of the heap, winning a close one over Georgetown, 55-60, with Providence at 74, Notre Dame 93, Syracuse 103, Villanova 124. And remember how folks were ready to send Nova to the Dance a couple weeks ago after Paul Short? The win over Georgetown, AND Providence/Syracuse (are we still considering the Orangemen a threat to get 2nd in the NE?) gives Louisville a little breathing room in the tough Southeast region. Nova could throw them another point, as well. Individuals: Curtis, Korir, Smyth, Smith, with 10 seconds between 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, but only 1 second separating 3rd & 4th.
Big 10 - Wisco
with ease: 33 points. Wisconsin ran what would appear to be the A-team; Michigan 5th behind THE Minnesota University, THE OSU and THE Indiana University. Minnesota well-clear in 2nd with 65 points, Withrow takes individual title, Letsrun message board crashed by speculation on individual national title chances.
MAC -
EMU. Perrin wins. Miami 2nd. All, as expected.
PAC-10 -
Oregon 39, Stanford 55, Cal 70. Shadrack & Rupp 1-2, with room to spare; finish that night's celebratory bacon and olive pizza from Papa Dino's in lockstep, as well.
Patriot - American by a point over Navy. Army third. And in the Patriot League, that's the way it should be. (Fennell then Hallinan, with Fennell over 20 seconds in front.)
SEC -
Arkansas, Florida, Bama, Tennessee.
Pat Summit League - Southern Utah throttles Oakland, IUPUI. Baumgartner not even needed, and, as teammate Mark Currell triumphs, he looks on from a lawnchair, a cooler full of lukewarm Schlitz's at his side. Does life get any better?

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Saturday, October 27, 2007

Conference Meets: Friday Results

-- Out in the Heartland, Colorado won the Big XII meet. Again. Snooze.
-- MAACs: do we even need to type who won? Evan Garber, you failed!
-- And apparently they also went ahead with Heps in the rain, too. Princeton over Cornell.

The rest of the weekend starts today. Or something like that. I'm still really hungover.

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Friday, October 26, 2007

Experience the Backseat

Since we've been discussing advertising... I happened to notice while riding a Long Island Railroad train last week, a poster for the Knicks upcoming season. For the past two years they've been running an "Experience" campaign - here's the gem they turned out for Isiah Thomas:And what a vision we have experienced. Well, the one on the train for, I believe, Jamal Crawford, read "Experience the Ride." I immediately began hoping that I'd soon see the following around the city:


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