Monday, June 30, 2008

Live Blog Over at 3000 Miles

If you're here now, you shouldn't be. We've got a live blog going on at, as we document the hot night of mid-D and distance action at the Trials... 800 Finals, Women's 5000 semis, and the Men's 5000 FINALS.

So head over and chime in.


Greetings From Eugene

Today we start Week Two of the Olympic Trials. Obvi.

I hope you have enjoyed my complete negligence of any sort of writing since we've gotten here. At 3000 Miles to the Trials, as in life, Ben has been picking up my slack.

But we're excited to bring you a live blog from Eugene today, since there's a fantastic lineup on the track, with finals for the men's and women's 800s and the men's 5k.

And, dancing hippies. Lots and lots of dancing hippies.


Monday, June 23, 2008

What They Didn't Tell You: High School Records

Ah.... the things they don't tell you... Example the first: when you sign a "contract" with "someone" to "produce a web video series," apparently that person doesn't appreciate it when you "ask if we can push that start date back a couple of weeks so we can catch up on our blog." And that they may even threaten to "cut off the two things that you'll miss more than any others the rest of your life" in a frighteningly cold, calm voice. Cripes! The things you miss if you don't go to law school!

But, little do "they" know... you can't cut off rainbows or my trust fund from me! Only God can do that!

German Fernandez clocked an 8:34 to break the HS 2-mile record this past weekend, AND he ran negative splits to do it. What they didn't tell you is that he was actually on 8:50 pace until he realized he was running late for prom.

Also not making the race recaps? Fernandez wore trainers to prom. And a running watch. (I guess that one's kind of a given.)

In other prom-related news, they didn't tell you that I got to go to exactly ONE HOUR of my senior prom because our league meet was rained out the night prior and bumped to Saturday. They also didn't tell you that I am STILL BITTER ABOUT IT. (I guess that's kind of apparent.)

And finally, no one told you about a high school record that DID manage to hold up this year: my ben's record for most consecutive rebuffs during an attempted post-prom "communion." And by "post-prom communion" I mean, "goodnight kiss." (I guess that one goes without saying.)


Friday, June 20, 2008

To the Trials We Go

As Jeremy pointed out in his previous post, we are headed to the Olympic Trials in Eugene after this weekend. We will be driving there, which means we should probably start planning on how that's going to happen. Currently, neither of us owns a car, or a bank account, and I lack the attention span to drive for more than an hour without picking up a dangerous hitchhiker. In preparation for the trip, we will spend the weekend sipping pounding $9 beers while watching the Reds at Yankee stadium then working on our tans (and our table manners) up in the Hamptons: the usual.

Needless to say, we're really excited about the trip and being able to do the same thing we have been doing here at LTOB over in so-called Tracktown, USA. We hope all of you guys follow the "action" over at TOTHETRIALS.COM and let us know what's the what in the comments. We will still be updating every now and then on this site with pics and tidbits too "racy" or "obscene" for the lightweights over at 3000 miles.

Then, we will be back on here after the trials are over to give the real scoop on Eugene. You know, who hooked up with who, who woke up in women's underwear the morning after their 1500 final: the good stuff.

This trials is gonna be a big one, folks, so dust off that old Springsteen album and jump around a little bit, we won't tell.

Finally, if you live in the Columbus, Ohio area and want to wish us well, or throw boiled vegetables at us, visit the Second Sole in the Stoneridge Plaza at the corners of Morse and Hamilton in Gahanna, OH. We'll be there sometime between noon and 4pm on June 25th. Hopefully. So it would be best to just block out the whole day and hang out with the Sole crew. I here they smell nice but love to give wedgies, so watch out.


Monday, June 16, 2008


Well, we feel we owe it to you, our reader, to address the rumors I'm sure many of you have not been hearing: that LTOB will be powering down during the Olympic Trials. We must admit to you, our reader, it is true.

Now you may ask, Ted, How can we stop ““covering”” (sarcastic quotation-marks doubled, to convey depth of sarcasm) track and field during the biggest domestic track meet on US soil? Well, I would reply to you, our reader – Ted – first, that saying “domestic” and “US soil” is redundant. And second, Did you ever think that maybe we have lives too? That maybe we would like to just sit back and enjoy a track meet for once? Instead of constantly struggling to master this baffling language to express our thoughts on the sport in a way that doesn’t come out looking like duck orange pretty chips taste smutty?

These are the hypotheticals with which you would be assailed. However, here are the facts: we neither have lives nor like sitting back to enjoy track broadcasts. (It’s like the age-old saying goes: “You can take the Larry Rawson out of the NBC booth, but you’re still going to be stuck with Carol Lewis.”) But here's What They Didn't Tell You:


But wait! There’s Less©! Not only will we be going to the Trials, but we will be documenting the whole experience, VIDEO-STYLE in a little “show” that answers to the name “3000 MILES TO THE TRIALS.” Do we have tickets to the meet? No! Do we have a car to get there? No! Will we lose our jobs by taking that much vacation time? Most likely!

No matter. All the goodness from our journey can be found at a little URL we, and your browser, like to call We hit the road June 24th. Until then, we will be maintaining LTOB to the fullness of our inabilities, while also posting some new content at, as well. For those of you that facebook, you can go to our page over there to make sure you don't miss out on contests and the like.

So check it out!


Friday, June 13, 2008

Fearless Predictions: Neptune Charlie Alpha Alpha Edition

Less Than Our Best is concerned with very little. One of those few interests is vaguely hinting that we have a big medium-sized at best announcement on the horizon. The other is acting like we have some expertise in predicting things. Here's a few things that will LITERALLY happen this weekend:

Professional American distance running is calming themselves for the most part as we head into the storm, but those chippy amateurs are going at it for the love of the sport in tracktown midwest this weekend. That is Drake, Iowa for those who've never been to the relays. If only everyone was doing it for the love of the sport...

Regardless, here's a breakdown of how I see the weekend going:

NCAA Champs.

800 - Probably the most anticipated final of the championship with Oregon wunderkid Andrew Wheating taking on the Texas two-step of Jacob Hernandez. Since this is essentially the first year of Vinny's reign of dominance on college mid and long distance running, The Wheat-man (cool nickname) will win after Hernandez carries the pace.

1500 - Some say it's impossible for Leo Manzona to lose the 1500 at this year's NCAA championships. Those same people said it was impossible for me to ever touch a boob. I think you see where I'm going with this.

3000Steeple - It's worth it to note that there is an athlete in the finals of the steeplechase this year with my favorite name of all time. Barnabas? Hillary? Carl? No, Tibor. Such a strong Austro-Hungarian name is due only to a man with a lot of chest hair and questionable deodorant applying skills. Mr. Vegh, please don't dissappoint. Um....I gues Peter Kosgei'll probably win.

5000 - Colorado has three guys in this final, one of which is the favorite and another who has a legitimate shot if the early pace is slow. Wetmore, how can you be so good and yet continue to sport that ponymale (you prefer mantail maybe?)? I just don't get it, ponytails on men are phases, they are not to be embraced by a guru such as yourself. Unless, one is the guru of denim jackets, that guy needs to have a ponytail to get the gig. Anyway, Bobby Curtis is going to beat Vaughn over the last 200 meters to win it.

10,000 - I got Songkok.


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Photo of the Weekend: Pre Classic

Photo of the Weekend was a tight contest this week, what with all the great meets going on here and abroad. But surprise, surprise, we head up to Eugene, Oregon and the Pre Classic for this week's winner:

This is just a strange-looking photo. From the body position, to the look on this gentleman's face. Rarrrr!

So, a doff of the cap to Errol Anderson for capturing this gem. (Photos via

Anderson also photographed our runner-up, which can be seen below:


Fun With The Google

Here's a fun game to start off your Tuesday morning. Type in into that address bar above. In the google box (my high school girlfriend's nickname, btw) type in "the gouchers" and hit enter. If you aren't following my instructions, just hit the jump and see what you would have found...

That's right, LTOB is climbing that Google ladder, into the #9 position for all the Goucher fans out there. As any great blog knows, you have to find your niche and exploit the hell out of it. So, you can look forward to Goucher posts on a twice daily basis from now on. YYAAAYY!


Monday, June 9, 2008

What They Didn't Tell You: Pre Classic

Pre Weekend, which also had action someplace in Europe, plus the Boston High Performance Meet and the Saturn Grand Championships or something like that. Shall we?

First off, what they didn't tell you is NOT that I cleaned up in the Pick-N-Win contest. In fact, I've been downright insufferable about that. I'm sorry. I will stop now. I promise.

What they didn't tell you this weekend during the Pre telecast is that, up in Eugene, there is this place called Pre's Rock... Wait, that was also a thing that they didn't not tell you.

Luke Puskedra -- a HS runner -- got to run the 2-mile at Pre in attempt to break Jeff Nelson's National Prep record... and ended up dead last and a half a minute back from the winners. He tried his best, and he failed miserably. The lesson is, Don't try.

There was a Saturn Meet this weekend, but what they didn't tell you was what the time adjustment for altitude is on Saturn. Thanks, I'll show myself out now.

Bislett was late last week, and what they may not have told you is that, frankly, it got housed by the Pre Meet in terms of quality. I mean, the so-called "Dream Mile" was won by a British guy. Ooooooh, wait! Now I get it! "Dream Mile"....

Finally, what they didn't tell you was that we've got something of an announcement coming later this week. Stay tuned.


LTOB "USATF Pick-N-Win Contest" Contest Results: Pre

Drumroll, please....

Who's now tied for 35th Overall in the USATF Pick-N-Win contest? JEREMY'S now tied for 35th Overall in the USATF Pick-N-Win contest, that's who.

I overcame goose-eggs in 3 events by picking 12 events correctly, thus managing my highest point total for the season, and my highest overall finish in the USATF contest. As a result of my recent tear, yet another person didn't even bother to enter picks, faced with the hopelessness of trying to surmount me. (hehehe.... "mount me"...)

Here are the full results:

PTS - (USATF PLACE) - NAME - (Season-long USATF place)
153 ( 25) - Giving Less (again) (35)
144 ( 62) - Running Down a Dream
141 ( 73) - Hutch-in-the-Clutch
133 (135) - Four Toes (79)
127 (196) -
123 (231) - Sulphur Springs
121 (252) - Optimal Training
n/a (n/a) - Columbia, SC Runner
n/a (n/a) - Simon Says
96 (569) - Predicted Winners

Kudos to Katie for jumping into the Top 100, overall in the season-long standings at USATF. I have to look at Hutch-in-the-Marc-Jacobs-Clutch and wonder what could have been, had he played the game from the start...

Just one meet the go: the grand-daddy of the mall! Questions abound: will my head get any bigger? Will Predicted Winners get back on the right side of "100" and out of the place-of-shame behind the non-starters? Will more people get bored and quit? Check back at the end of June to find out!


Friday, June 6, 2008

Fearless Predictions: Prefontaine? Never Heard of 'im. Edition

Less Than Our Best is concerned with very little. One of those few interests is how a man can look cool dancing. The other is acting like we have some expertise in predicting things. Here's a few things that will LITERALLY happen this weekend:

This weekend we get to revel in all the glory that is Steve Prefontaine. For a change. That is, unless you've ever walked into a running store, own Nike shoes, or have seen the back of a high school cross country team's t-shirt.

With any luck we will hear announcers like Larry Rawson wax poetic about how tough 'ol "Pre" was and that opponents would have to bleed to beat him (must have been a weird site to have three runners covered in blood on that medal stand in '72, HEY-YO!), and of course how he never gave anything less than his best. It's like the Thanksgiving Day parade for all that is douchey about distance running, and Nike is Macy's. And the drum major that leads the parade. And Santa Claus at the end. And Matt Lauer trying to act like the damn thing is exciting to experience.

Luckily, there are some good races to watch as well, if I don't throw the remote through the television.


1) Jeremy Wariner exorcises some demons in the 400 by breaking Michael Johnson's meet record (43.86) and totally dominates the last 100 meters of the race. It's not a suprise that Wariner bounces back so well here. After all, he did once lose to this guy just three weeks before he won the World Championship gold in 2005, and that guy is British and WHITE! Talk about embarassing.


1) After a strong start to the day, my fantasy team goes 2 for 2 (Bekele and Defar) and then quietly slinks into the bottom half of the rankings. Former champs "Katie" and "Jeremy" get humbled into 3rd and 4th place while the jolly ginger "Jesse" jukes and jives his way to a much deserved victory, narrowly pulling away from "Bryan" who proceeds to generate conspiracy theory rumors against us via his far more respected (and viewed) blog optimal training. As for "Hutch"? Poor guy never had a chance...

***Wanna get in on the "fun," enter the LTOB fantasy track contest and win a flippin' prize!***

2) Let's go through the rest of these event by event:

M400 - LaShawn Merritt wins and runs .04 seconds faster than Wariner does at Bislett. Wariner, after watching via live web feed, goes out on the town in Bislett and drunk dials Clyde Hart, sloppily begs Hart to take him back.

M800 - Canadian Gary Reed gets out kicked first by Khadevis Robinson and then by Nick Symmonds in the last 50 meters. Canadian athletes go on strike. No one notices. Except the Versus network.

M1Mile - Komen wins. More importantly, Lopez Lomong beats Alan Webb to get second. It doesn't matter though, Webb "still working on his base, has yet to do speedwork." (that quote guaranteed to be uttered during press conference)

M2Mile - Shaheen, Mottram, Ramzi, Lagat, Solinsky, Koech. That is the order they will finish Sunday....backwards. Did I just blow your mind?

M10000 - Bekele is off record pace by 6000 meters. Wins in 26:55. Complains there was too much wind. If only there were a time of day that was cool and usually windless... Abdi runs 27:45, says he's just wanted to get his Olympic A standard.

W800 - Shannon Rowbury w...i...I just can't quite do it. Mutola wins for the 53rd straight time and performs requisite 'suck it' gesture. Rowbury finishes 2nd unfortunately. She'll have her day.

W5000 - Kara Goucher runs 14:51, begins to hate Shalane Flanagan.


Thursday, June 5, 2008

More Goucher News. YAAAYYY!

It might seem that I spend an inordinate amount of time talking about Adam and Kara Goucher, which I do. But hey, they seem to be in the news more than anyone else and one of them is really pretty (it's not that you're ugly Adam, just not what I would call "pretty").

Two interesting bits of news were revealed about the running couple at yesterday: 1. Kara is racing the 5000 this weekend at the Pre Classic and 2. Adam is reportedly planning to race the 5000 AND the 10,000 at the Olympic trials in a few weeks.

Kara will be given the chance to improve her 14:55 PR in a loaded field that includes Meseret Defar, who made it clear that she is in shape and going for the 5k world record on Sunday.

Adam. Racing the 5k AND 10k at the trials?! Hhmm, curious. Has not raced in God knows how long, and he's gonna double up (triple with prelims) at the trials? AlSal, where are you going with this?

My guess is either NBC put an "and" where and "or" should have been, or they think the competition in the 10k is weaker and he has a better shot at top 3 there, which is true. This will make the result of the 5k just icing on the cake. A wretchedly painful 12.5 laps worth of icing. I like the idea, it's just ironic that a runner known for not competing very much will be taking on that heinous double.


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Fantasy Track 3: Prefontaine Classic

We complete the trilogy of "regular season" fantasy track with the Prefontaine Classic this weekend. Without a doubt, the end of this trilogy will be more Return of the King and less Godfather 3Of course, we can't escape the possibility of a Back to the Future 3 scenerio.

The rules are simple: CLICK HERE, sign up (if you haven't already), make your picks (once they are posted), then put your team name and your best trash talk in the comments below. If you win, we will send a flippin' sweet-azz prize to you via USPS. If you lose, we will mock your lack of knowledge and make fun of your PR's. Just like in non-fantasy track!

So get started. And while your making your picks, remember: To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.


Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Photo of the Weekend: Reebok Grand Prix

So apparently, this guy is pretty fast. Apparently, after setting the world record, he went to Times Square. Get it? TIMES SQUARE?

No, really - do you get it?

Obviously, this means that this week's Photo of the Weekend honors go to one Usain Bolt and the photographer: ME.

More on me in a second.

Definitely, this guy is not very fast.

But he CAN hold fast shoes. As in, the shoes that covered 100 metres faster than any other shoes in the history of shoekind.


Defeat Might Merritt Change of Hart for Wariner

You can try to devise a better title. You will fail. Benjamin W. Wordsworth, at your service.

Anyway, Jeremy Wariner got himself beat in a 400 this past weekend. That's news for three reasons:

One, Wariner owns used to own the 400 meters for the past 4 years (Olympic Gold and two World Champs Gold, ranked #1 since '04). He's been beat a few times in those 4 years, but his losses never seemed as dire as this one. Which brings us to...

Two, the guy who beat him is LaShawn Merritt, who has escaped widespread acclaim despite having similiar credentials as Wariner at his age (Merritt is 21, Wariner 24). Is Merrit catching up or is Wariner slowing down? One argument for why Wariner might be slowing down brings us to...

Three, Wariner has been under intense scrutiny ever since he forcibly parted ways with long-time coach Clyde Hart. The less greedy among us have been waiting for Wariner to slip up so they could blame it on his filthy capitalist judgement. Consider this, my friends, the first shoe to fall. Merritt beats Wariner at the trials and the other shoe is big toe bound.

The IAAF article also reveals that Wariner did not attend the press conference with Merritt for the Berlin meet and it seems that he dodged all media after the race. Merritt is looking pretty, pretty good right now, both in his racing and public image. Wariner used to be the Golden Boy but Merritt is making him look rather silver.

Get it? Gold being the type of medal he wants to win at the olympics?


Now That's Some Solid Commentary

Carol Lewis: Paradigm of Eloquence.

There are times when athletic performances defy words. Their grace, their beauty, their place in history -- these are elements that are often ineffable. Michael Johnson's 200m world record. Any number of Michael Jordan dunks or end-game daggers. Olga Korbut's performance on the parallel bars...

And, of course, Terrence Trammell's win in the 110 hurdles at the Reebok Meet Saturday night...

See, at this moment, words fail me, too: I simply cannot express how bad Carol Lewis is at calling track and field.


Monday, June 2, 2008

What They Didn't Tell You: Reebok Grand Prix

This weekend, we discovered all over again, the route for sports success: get people talking about your stars. (Consider this an APB for Ryan Hall: Get yourself out to the Hamptons.) After the jump, discover What They Didn't Tell You about the wide world of running from Friday to Sunday.

At the Reebok Grand Prix, the Jamaican contingent booed 400m winner, Sanya Richards, ostensibly in reaction to her defection from Jamaica. Now, I don't know about you guys, but I was always told that its mean to make fun of someone just because they have a defection. All of God's children are beautiful -- even the "special" ones.

German Fernandez ran a double of 4:00 and 8:34 at the California State Meet. While neither is a record in and of itself, what they didn't tell you was that he IS the first German named Fernandez.

In Berlin, Jeremy Wariner lost a 400m race. (To find the last time that happened, we have to refer all the way back to Herodotus.) Somewhere, Clyde Hart helped himself to a second piece of pecan pie, with extra pecans.

Usain Bolt ran 9.72 -- some sort of record, I'm told. But they didn't tell you that for the Fastest Man Alive, the post-race celebration of choice is McDonald's: Angus Burger, Chicken Selects and a big Blue Powerade, easy on the ice. You now know the secret. Prepare accordingly.


LTOB "USATF Pick-N-Win Contest" Contest Results: RBK GP

So... that was some meet. We had only sporadic rain, a near WR in the pole vault, and a couple of pretty impressive 5k's. So, not a bad night of track. Of course, my stomach was tied in knots all evening, as I was at the venue and, thus, unable to check my scores after each event. (I really need to invest in one of those computer-phone things with the Internet and everything. What are those called? The "Zune"?)

But now I've had a chance to check the scores, and I've compiled the results... which you can view, after the jump.

EAT IT AMERICA. Poonia pulled out (Ben said he didn't even know that was physically possible) and I still won. And you might think I'm glad we don't need to give out a prize now, but no: I'm keeping the would-be prize for myself.

PTS - place in USATF contest in parentheses - Overall place in USATF contest, after entry name
144 (111) - GivingLess (66)
128 (293) - Four Toes (105)
126 (317) - Running Down a Dream
126 (317) - Sulphur Springs
114 (513) - Optimal Training
114 (513) -
104 (649) - Columbia, SC Runner
n/a (n/a) - Simon Says
93 (763) - Predicted Winners

People have been congratulating me all weekend, and telling me how impressively I stuck it to "katie," and asking How did you do it? Well, all I can say is, you would be surprised how easy it is to slip laxative into athletes' water bottles when you bring along your hot cousin who isn't afraid to show a little cleavage. With a mirror wedged in there to shine a light in their eyes.

I'm now officially planning to attend the Pre Classic, so I can once again ensure my supremacy.