Friday, November 30, 2007
Monday, November 26, 2007
(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.)
Saturday, November 24, 2007
+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.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Quick results from those of you relying on Letsrun's Message Board or the NCAA site:
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)
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.)
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
"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.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
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.
Friday, November 9, 2007
>> "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.
Monday, November 5, 2007
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?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:
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.
5d. How did your NYC/Bad Boy/VCP experience rate?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.
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.
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.
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.
Sunday, November 4, 2007
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.
Friday, November 2, 2007
(Click above to play. Hi-res version over on our blip.tv page - Part 1 here.)
Thursday, November 1, 2007
*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).