Monday, March 17, 2008

What They Didn't Tell You: March 17th

A big weekend in racing usually makes for a big weekend in behind-the-scenes drama. This weekend did not disappoint as running fans were treated to a number of big time results including the NCAA Indoor Championships and a stacked 8k in Central Park, NY. With big time stages like New York City and Fayetteville, Arkansas, there were a lot of "news" stories to report. Anybody can do that. We'll bring you everything they didn't tell you after the jump...

The US 8k Championship went to Jorge Torres and the third place finish went to Jason Hartmann. Both runners being oft-overlooked former teammates of American distance running golden boy Dathan Ritzenhein, they each had good things to say about their old teammate who had to drop out of the championship because of injury. However, after the press left, Jason and Jorge went on a quest through the bars of NYC scrawling "DR ducks competition, eats face" on every bar bathroom stall in sight. No word yet as to what that means.

Shalene Flanagan totally dominates American women field...again. Flanagan never looked back en route to comfortably winning over the "b" group of US women ("b" group being everyone who is NOT Deena, Shalene, and Goucher). She was sure to stay humble after the race, commenting that "Maybe that is not exactly what I did today (run with others), but Katie was there a while." On the other hand, only a few people noticed that she did display her signature cocky form during the race when she apparently stopped at the 4 mile mark to high five at-risk NYC youth (see photo at right).

NCAA Distance favorites, Josh McDougal and Bobby Curtis falter and lose out to the relatively unsung Songok and totally unknown Kyle Alcorn. Both athletes were disappointed in their races, but will live to race another day. Bobby Curtis says he will focus on the only thing Villanova cares about: The Penn Relays and McDougal will focus on being as hard core as possible. While McDougal initially played dumb and said he couldn't quite pin down why he had struggled, it came out later that his teammates, as a practical joke, remeasured all of his running routes to be a mile short each, thus putting Josh 10 miles short on his weekly tally of at least 120 miles, thus making him WAY too fresh to run fast on Saturday.

Alan Webb falls ill by food poisoning at NYC's famous Tavern on the Green. Apparently there was some bad sushi making the rounds during the elite athlete press conference held at T on the G. Shalene Flanagan reported some minor stomach cramping and nausea while Alan Webb suffered the worst, completely stopping during the last half of his race and struggling home in 16th place. While on camera, Webb said some of the food was bad, it came out later that he and Flanagan had mistakenly shared a banana shaped decorative candle that was placed amid the elaborate food spread.

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