LessThanOurTweets

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Reebok Meet Pushed Back an Hour

I'm sure this is the best way to publicize a schedule change: put up a notice on your website the day of the event. I guess it's no big deal, really: people who show up for the regular schedule will just have to wait an hour, ala an MLB rain delay.

Ultimately, this is good a good move too, because it will allow me another hour to try to figure out who this "wineturtle" is on LetsRun's message board who purports to live in our neighborhood. The plan is to way-lay him before he can make it to the meet, and throw down with him in a skirmish to settle unadulterated supremacy of our neck of Queens, once and for all.

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Friday, May 30, 2008

Ben's Moving On Up... to the Lear-st Side

Way back when, Ben talked up my involvement in Runnerville, but I'd like to point out that Runnerville is mostly imaginary -- at least that's my understanding of how the Internets work -- whereas Ben has now associated himself with a real flesh-and-blood publication: Running Times. Ummmm, ever heard of it?

So, check out Ben's audio commentary, included as part of The Lear Chronicles, on the disappearance of college track programs in the college-football-crazy Midwest. For the time being at least, it is THE featured item on the Running Times frontpage, but at some point in the future, I'm sure you will need to go here to locate the specific page where it lives. After all, one month's running magazine is next month's fish-wrapper.

Runnerville can't wrap nothin'. Never.

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Fearless Predictions: Red Bull and Guinness Edition


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

This week, track fans will be focused on New York City, finally. LTOB will be in attendance; Jeremy close to the track actually working on work, and me in the nosebleeds working on a buzz that will make the women's discus fascinating. It should be an exciting night.

RBK Grand Prix
It's clear that the race organizers spent most of their resources getting Tyson Gay and Usain Bolt to race each other and let most of the other races kind of fill themselves out. Even so, there should still be some interesting results between guys who will be vying for Olympic team spots in a month.

--M100m--Usain Bolt sets the Icahn Stadium track on fire....literally. He was just trying to one-up Mo Green's famous stunt and it went horribly, horribly wrong.

--M800m--Khadevis v. Gary Reed v. Nick Willis (aka apple pie v. Labatt's blue v. flight of the conchords). That sounds like a good race and a good night of tv dinner. KD Rob wins! U-S-A.

--M1500m--Kevin Sullivan actually wins a race!! Lukezic is suprisingly beaten by Lomong who is suprisingly beaten by Jon Rankin (spoiler alert) for the third and final Olympic team spot (mark it!).

--M3000SC--Paul Koech wins easily. Famiglietti (who may or may not be racing depending on which start list you look at) dips unders 8:20. Also, the first American finisher in this race will make the Olympic team.

--M5000m--Unfortunate that the meet directors couldn't get a few more Americans here. Rod Koborsi will run 13:26.

--MShot--Adam Nelson. Goes. Crazy.

Border Duel
Rumor has it there are Nike Elite Women's 10,000m / Men's 5,000m Races on tap at this meet, but why would anyone want to know who's racing? No reason to have start lists on the meet website and certainly no reason to send out a press release more than a day before the meet.

As far as anyone can tell, Kara Goucher, Adam Goucher, and maybe Galen Rupp will be racing. It's like they are having an exclusive boy/girl party and none of us got invitations. I hope they don't get their Olympic qualifiers just like I hoped Jimmy Wilkens didn't get "7 minutes in heaven" at his 14th birthday party (I didn't want to go to your party anyway, Jimmy).

NCAA Regionals
The "NCAA championships prelims" as you might call them. Just like prelims, the top kguys don't run their hardest. Worth checking results, but not worth a prediction.




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Just Remember: Years Later, Buddiga May Be Suspected of Blood Doping

As those of you in the Erin Andrews fan club already know, its Bee Season. Specifically, the Scripps National Spelling Bee will conclude today after yesterday's harrowing first day of competition. Normally this topic would put us on full nerd alert, but a couple weeks back "Donald," maintainer of the popular Running and Rambling blog, drew some parallels between the 2004 edition of The B (as the kids are writing it, these days) and running that are, in my opinion, both apt and amusing.

So, to recap: this weekend, while track pays for its airtime and the NHL languishes on a network it has to share with bull-riding, the Finals of The B will be shown on NBC (tonight), IN PRIME-TIME. I call that E-M-B-A-R-A-S-S-I-N-G.

Oh, and as long as we're talking about all things spelling bee-related...

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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Oh Danny Boy...


This is a few days old, but it was glossed over or not even mentioned on some of the top running news outlets around the internets, so its worth discussing here. Daniel Lincoln, America's top steeeplechaser in the history of western civilization, is not going to race at the Olympic Trials this year because of Achilles tendon surgery. I'll take that news one step further and tell all of you that he won't be racing at the Olympics either.

For all the medal hype that Webb and Tegenkamp get, and they deserve MORE than what they get, it is interesting that Lincoln gets nothing like that. On the right day, 2006-Lincoln slips in for a bronze or silver. John McDonnel agrees, saying that if he did not have to undergo this surgery, Lincoln would be "running under 8:00." Under 8 is always in the conversation for a medal.

Most likely his lack of pub comes from not racing as much and always being busy in (pushes glasses up nose) medical school. But, I like to think the media hates him because he is over 6'2" and under 170 pounds. When will the media realize that we are out there, we are proud of our long bony frames, and we no longer are ashamed of wearing pants that stop above our ankles and shirts that show a little happy trail. For inspiration in times of media bias, we look to
our mascot, our leader, our inspiration.

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IAAF Hopping on the USATF Gravy Train

The IAAF is now offering their own spin on fantasy athletics, this time, called "Fantasy Athletics." It looks like they are offering a more robust game-playing experience, with the option to do a "buddy league" -- which I can only imagine allows you to join a sub-league for bragging rights among friends and folks you've only met on the Internet.

But what I'm MOST excited about is that the IAAF's game will allow you to compete against "celebrity teams." Now, they haven't announced yet which celebrities will be lending their names to the teams surely to be picked by some know-it-all IAAF statistician, but I think we can all agree on one person that we hope will be in there: Miley Cyrus.

I expect her team name to be "Hannah You Your Ass."

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Reebok Grand Prix Start Lists....NOW UP!!

After waiting and waiting and waiting, Reebok has finally answered the numerous hand written notes that I have mailed in the past week (I should try this email thing jeremy tells me about). They posted the start lists today for the Reebok Grand Prix, which begins in THREE DAYS! Why would anyone care who is racing anyway? Races and athletes of interest after the jump, if you're into that kind of thing.


MEN'S 100 METERS
The Premier event in New York City this weekend, unless you like to watch four self-involved, middle-aged cliches tote overpriced bags through the meatpacking district. I know I do! Oh that Miranda is so independent and saucy.
Tyson Gay USA
Usain Bolt JAM
Shawn Crawford USA (rememebr when SC was the the old Tyson Gay, ahhh the steroids era...)
Xavier Carter USA

MEN'S 400 METERS
Would it kill Jeremy Wariner to show up? I think he's just afraid to hit the rock.
Jermaine Gonzales JAM
Andrew Rock USA
Derrick Brew USA
Xavier Carter USA

MEN'S 800 METERS
Will Krummenacker actually race? Does anyone care? Nick Willis v. Khadevis Robinson: KRob needs to slap that Kiwi in the mouth. New Zealand won't be rocking any party this weekend.
Yusuf Kamel BRN
Andrew Ellerton CAN
David Krummenacker USA
Derrick Peterson USA
Sam Burley USA
Jebreh Harris USA
Jonathan Johnson USA
Gary Reed CAN
Khadevis Robinson USA
James Hatch USA
Nick Willis NZL

MEN'S 1500 METERS
Could Kevin Sullivan actually win a race and not just run unbelievably fast in 3rd to 5th place? Never.
Kevin Sullivan CAN
Boaz Cheboiywo KEN
Jim Wyner USA
Lopez Lomong USA
Chris Lukezic USA
Andy Smith USA
Grant Robison USA
Nate Brannen CAN
Brendan Mahoney USA
Moise Joseph HAI
Jon Rankin USA

MEN'S 5000 METERS
Alistair Cragg IRL
Reid Coolsaet CAN
Ali Abdosh ETH
Rod Koborsi USA
Shadrack Kosgei KEN
Sam Chelanga KEN
Scott Overall USA
Yuta Takahashi JPN
Josphat Boit KEN

MEN'S 3000SC
Brian Olinger has run 8:19. 8:19? 8:19!
Paul Koech KEN
Rueben Kosgei KEN
Steve Slattery USA
Brian Olinger USA
Dan Huling USA
Jake Morse USA
Matt Forys USA
Aaron Aguayo USA
John Langat KEN
Yoshi Iwamizu JPN
Solomon Kandie KEN
Eric Emilsson SWE
Jon Pierce USA

MEN'S SHOT PUT
Christian Cantwell USA
Adam Nelson USA
Dan Taylor USA
Reese Hoffa USA
Dylan Armstrong CAN

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Fantasy Track 2: RBK Grand Prix

Here's your reminder to make your picks and get your entry in for the LTOB "USATF Fantasy Track Pick 'N Win Contest" Contest. Last week, "Katie" won with her entry "Four Toes" -- we're still waiting for Katie to send us her contact information so we can send her the prize from last week. Katie: LessThanOurBest@gmail.com -- I promise, we won't sell your information to hardly anyone.

This week The Show pitches its tent on Randall's Island in New York City for the Reebok Grand Prix. Among the highlights, we've got a showdown between Usain Bolt and Tyson Gay in the 100m, AND we've got LTOB in attendance to make certain our predictions come to pass.

NEW ENTRANTS, PUT YOUR TEAM NAME IN A COMMENT, BELOW. Returning contestants, feel free to let the trash talking begin.


***Update: You can pick your teams HERE!***

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Webb/Rudd -- BFF or BF/GF?!?!


Jeremy has tried since this blog's inception to keep it straight and professional. No gossip, no runner bashing or coach bashing, just a place where you go to find straight-laced, no frills running news and commentary. He reads the New Yorker. I, on the other hand, read jezebel like its my job.

In defiance of my co-editor Squaremy (too much of a stretch? NO!), I present you with some running news ripped straight from the front page of TMZ.com! Well, not quite TMZ, rather Charlottesville, VA's Daily Progress.com (same, same).

In an article detailing steeplechaser Julia Rudd's preparation for the Olympic trials, Julia being the young lady once refferred to as Alan Webb's "girlfriend," is now indicating the two are "best friends."

OMG! WTF?

This clearly has huge implications for Webb's build up to Beijing. How can he focus on training with distracting articles coming out forcing him to constantly pick through the labyrinthian semantics of a woman? I know I was bed-ridden for weeks trying to decipher a text message I received from a girlfriend once. It read: "pls stop txting me. i h8 ur gutz!" Why would she playfully put a 'z' on the end of 'guts' if she didn't still have feelings? WHY?!

Webb needs to stop getting distracted by women and focus on his speed work. He should see no other face but his own in the mirror until he steps to the staring line at Pre in a few weeks. You think the Kenyans are calling each other "best friends" and "girlfriends" and "boyfriends" all day long? Probably sometimes, but not ALL day long.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

What They Didn't Tell You: Memorial Day

I must say, I feasted like a king this past weekend, eating the bounty of our great land, grilled deliciously over a blaze stoked by tree branches, small shrubs and probably some rare, exotic, disease-curing plants... to me, that's what Memorial Day is all about. But for some people, it was about trying to run fast. So here ya go: what they didn't tell you about this past Memorial Day weekend...

Of the US distance crew that was announced to compete at Hengelo, only Matt Tegenkamp made it to the starting line. But while Teg flew over, the rest of them apparently had tried to get there by chartering a boat and had the misfortune of ending up like this...

The 1st 11 positions in the Women's 5k were shared exclusively between Kenyans and Ethiopians. What they didn't tell the Hengelo organizers is that THIS IS WHY AMERICANS FIND DISTANCE RUNNING BORING.

Also over in Finland, or Denmark, or wherever Hengelo is, some chick ran 1:55 for the 800m. And that's pretty fast. For a high-school-aged male.

Nick McCormick of Pretty Good Britain clocked a 14:11 in the 5k, good for 18th & last place. What they didn't tell you, though, is that the British press neglected to hound him mercilessly for training hard and trying his best and refusing to give up on his Olympic dream after a single setback.

At Bolder Boulder the US Men took 6th. But, at least they had a kick-ass time hanging out at Fight Club where the Brothers Torres proudly showcased their awesome DVD collection!

In the Men's Shot Put at Hengelo, 7th place went to a guy who's last name is "van der Donk." What they didn't tell you is that I'm officially changing my name to van der Donk. It's fun for the whole family, each and every time you say it. And it's FREE! Try it: van der Donk. van der Donk. van der Donk.

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Friday, May 23, 2008

Hold the M-Fing Phone: Hengelo Just. Got. Good.


A quick addendum to this weekend's fearless predictions. Tegenkamp and Goucher in the 5k. Abdi, Rupp, and Rohatinsky in the 10k. Are you kidding? I'm glad my parents threw in for the "high speed" connection so I can enjoy this shit WCSN style from my mother's basement (this is a blog after all).

Predictions:

5k:
Tegenkamp - 13:09
Goucher - Coming out of nowhere to run 13:12 (High Schoolers watch out)

10k:
Rupp - 27:22
Abdi - First race in a whiiiiiiiiile, 27:42
Rohatinsky - 27:44

Eat it laws of time, LTOB owns you!

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More on Paula: You May Think This Is Funny But It's Not

Think of all the indignities Paula Radcliffe has had to suffer: Having a baby. Getting interviewed about what doctors did to make that big-headed-baby fit through your slight frame. Pledging yourself to years of losing to doped-up runners because it was the right thing to do. When you finally break through, still getting no lovin' from the British Press, who only confirm the prudishness we Americans have always suspected of the Brits. Yesterday, a potentially dream-derailing injury at the worst possible time. And now, this:

Talk about kicking you when you're down! The Guardian writes up Paula's femur injury, and what picture do they use? One where her nose and mouth are caked with... something. Cut her some slack! The LEAST you could do would be to use a photo of her during childbirth. At least then all the yuckiness isn't plastered all over her face.

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Fearless Predictions: I Still Got Room for another Burger Memorial Weekend Edition


Less Than Our Best is concerned with very little. One of those few interests is old, shirtless men jumping onto beer pong tables wearing what appears to be only his underwear.. 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 is marked by a startling lack of American action despite it being the most memoriable of all American weekends. All of our track stars must be busy deciding between all-beef franks and turkey dogs. (Don't let the wifey get to you Adam, you don't need to watch your weight, throw a spoonful of chili on that third frank.) There are still some good foot races going on, though, so take a second to see what will happen, then proceed filling the cooler with Miller Lites.



1) Bolder Boulder
When I heard Ryan Hall was running the Bolder Boulder 10k this weekend, I was all "wasn't the London marathon just a couple weeks ago?" And then I was all, "but haven't I been drinking liquid quaalude for the last several weeks?"

In fact, it has been a whole 6 weeks since London. And only a month since Deena Kastor's marathon trials victory (but let's face it, she was hardly trying). Is that enough recovery? Should they be starting up again so soon? At this point, I would trust Coach Mahon no matter what they decided was best for Ryan and Deena. Unless they entered the "crowbar to the shins" contest that Hudson and Ritzenhein have been putting on up in Eugene lately.

Prediction: Hall and Deena both win in a close one with two yet-to-be-named non-Americans. Chants of U-S-A can be heard by a scant few throughout the streets of Boulder because Boulder is full of granola eating hippies who are "against the war" and , thus, against Amurica. Here's a question for the Boulder hippies: If we never had a war, what would happen to Memorial day? Answer: It wouldn't exist. Do you really want to rob all those shirtless men from hours of horseshoes and the women of their famous potato salad recipes (one part potato, seven parts mayonnaise, who came up with this shit?). Some people can be so jealous

2) Hengelo
When was the last time Haile Gebrsellassie ran with anyone within a minute of his PR? Long time ago, right? He is the fourth best marathoner in the world right now (uh-huh I said it, he would have been third in London and second in Boston, no doubt) and probably the 15th best 10k runner, so don't expect too much out of him.

Prediction: Once Haile remembers that he doesn't have an army of pacers surrounding him when he races on the track like he does when he races time trials marathons, he will drop out and never touch the track again. Seleshi Sihine will win in 26:59.

Prediction: Kenenisa Bekele. Will dominate. As. Always. 12:58.

3) NCAA Div. II National Championships
Scotty Bauhs is not only a great runner (27:48), or a great name (if you say it fast it sounds like scotty balls), or a guy with a great near-beard. He's ALL THREE! And, he's running the 5k this weekend.

Prediction: He kills everyone, LITERALLY, becomes D2 champion and goes on to finish 5th in the 10k at the trials.

4) Drugs
Usually you will never read about drugs on LTOB unless it is in reference to one of our epic "How many LTOB blog posts can you write after downing an entire bottle of NyQuil" contests (Jeremy's posted 7, I'm way behind at 5 as my best). We're not too concerned with performance enhancing drugs, that's what these guys are for.

However, in recent news, Justin Gatlin wired his phone to record conversations with Trevor Graham in an attempt to win favor with the Court of Arbitration in Sport and possible still run in the Beijing Olympics.

Prediction: Justin Gatlin will not get his suspension shortened and will not be able to run in the Beijing Olympics. After hearing the news, he goes on an all-night bender with Bunk and McNulty that ends with the three of them singing "Danny Boy" together while throwing empty bottles off a bridge in downtown Baltimore.


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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Photo of the Weekend: War is Hell

You had to know this was coming. There are no words. Only one photo. After the jump. Not for the squeamish.


Goooooooooooooooooooooooooo! Yes, that is a javelin (at a HS meet in Utah). This guy is an ex-Marine, so I guess that make this a little less shocking. Ya know: The Few. The Proud. The Impaled. And all that.

Which reminds me: last year in Europe, that French jumper got hit and he QUIT. A US Marine gets hit and what does he do? HE finishes his job. Long live 'Merica.

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You're Just Jealous Because A Woman's Faster Than You...

Paula Radcliffe can't catch a break. First, she's cursed with a baby. Then an injury. Now, an ornery sportswriter.
"In this instance it is also Radcliffe, refusing to accept her Olympic dream is slipping from her fingers."
This (by way of Athletics in Britain), before the results of her MRI even came back. Sounds like SOMEONE missed his tea and crumpets when he rolled out of bed one morning.

I don't think I've seen cattiness like that since the last time I watched Farmer Wants a Wife. Not, that, I, uh, have ever watched that...

Update: It's a stress fracture. Paula is going to try to be ready, just in case, anyway, although the words "impossible" and "Olympics" are being thrown around, and for once, they aren't aimed at me by my coach.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

What They Didn't Tell You: adidas Classic

First off, what they didn't tell you was that I'd be out of town the beginning of this week, and too much of a lard-ass to write this ahead of time. But there's also plenty to talk about from this weekend's action. That's straight ahead...

Jenn Stuczynski jumped an AR 16' (#2 all-time in the world) in the pole vault competition at the adidas Track Classic. What they didn't tell you is that she didn't actually jump at all! She used a pole to launch herself up over the bar! What a rip!

Shannon Rowbury ran an INCENDIARY 4:01 to clean up in the 1500 and easily get her Olympic "A" standard. And, as she crossed the line she bellowed over her shoulder "How's that Rowbury Pie taste, bitches?" Then, she credited her senior prom date, Don Sebastian, pictured with her, above, for supporting her during those developmental years.

Rupp's win in the ATC 3k stunned plenty of people who felt he was a 10k-or-Bust kind of guy. What they didn't tell you was that for this 3k, he wore an extra Breathe-Right. Aargh! The things I wish I knew in college!

With all the hubbub out in Carson City, the Healthy Kidney 10k in Central Park enjoyed a scant moment in the sun Saturday afternoon before being swept aside. With that short window, they never got the chance to tell you that kidneys are so last year. Next year, the beneficiary ought to be the pancreas. It's shaped like corn.

What they didn't tell you is that, apparently, Jimmy Wyner and Grant Robison switched names. Hence you THINKING that ESPN's commentators mixed up a curly-haired kid from Cornell, with a tall former Olympian. (And even if Stones & Rawson had made a mistake, no big deal, really: they were only rabbits, and mistakes like that are common, anyway. I mean, just last week, Tim McCarver got Jason Varitek mixed up with fellow all-star Red Sox backup, Kevin Cash. Plus, I mean, it wouldn't have been like Robison and Wyner had their names on their bibs. And, ultimately, it's only track, right?)

And finally, what they didn't tell you was that in the Less Than Our Best "USATF Pick-N-Win Contest" Contest... I actually tried. To any readers I let down or who felt misled and that the site misrepresented itself, I'm sorry. I promise it won't happen again.

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Gouchers Give Up on Professional Track Scene, Will Try Hand at High Schoolers


It came out today that American track's resident cat people, Adam and Kara Goucher, have realized that they want to get Olympic qualifiers. To go after the very difficult but certainly attainable standards, they looked in the most obvious place: a high school meet.

Adam will be going for his 5,000m qualifier (13:21.5) and Kara, a World Championship Bronze freaking medalist, will be going for her 10,000m qualifier (31:45) in two special exhibition races as a part of the "Border Dual" high school meet. Each will be competing in a field of "about a dozen runners" next Saturday night, May 31. No word yet as to who will fill out what I'm sure will be a stellar group of "about a dozen."

It's too bad really that two of America's top distance runners have to stage what are clearly two, one (wo)man time trials away from other professional races, but clearly neither of the Gouchers,
Adam or Kara, had a chance to run this fast in any professional track meet.

Luckily, flotrack was able to step into the future (they were able to buy a time machine, somehow. I knew they had money but not, like, 'time-machine' money...somehow) and film the races. A clip of Adam competing at the high school meet is below.





What I don't get is why Galen Rupp had to go and taunt Adam at the end of the clip. I know he just won that Adidas TC 3k so he's ridin' high right now, but, if you ask me, he deserved that 4-square ball to the gut.

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Monday, May 19, 2008

LTOB "Pick-N-Win Contest" Contest Results: adidas Classic

Results after the jump.



It. Was. A TRAP! kate comes on here and posts her picks all innocently... so we "get inspired" to have this little contest and who wins? KATE. We thought, for a brief moment, that we were geniuses. We see now, that we were merely pawns in the machinations of a female mind-control game. Again.

PTS - place in USATF contest in parentheses
147 ( 41st) - Four Toes
139 (110th) - Giving Less
136 (138th) - Optimal Training
132 (204th) - Predicted Winners
111 (650th) - Simon Says
110 (674th) - LessThanOurBest.com
110 (674th) - Running Down a Dream
105 (785th) - Sulphur Springs

Oh, one more thing: we forgot to mention that there's one stipulation that goes with this contest. Should you win in a given week, you are required to take a photograph of yourself WITH THE PRIZE and send it to us for posting. Failure to do so will result in blatant slander and public humiliation. I can see it now: What They Didn't Tell You was that KATE has a fetish for LICKING DIRTY TOES DIPPED IN HOT SAUCE.

And finally, as a point of reference, dougcowles won the USATF contest this week, with 162 points, and 12 correct winners picked. In other words... MUCH better chance to win something over here.

On that note, let the lamenting about such-and-such an athlete begin!

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Sunday, May 18, 2008

adidas Classic Quasi-Live Semi-Blog

Apologies, all - I like track and all, but, well, frankly: the adidas Classic is taking place in a glorified, three-quarters-full high school stadium... Cavs-Celtics Game 7.... less so. That's really all you need to know. So this afternoon, we'll bring you what the kids are calling a "mash-up" these days.



4:05 -- And we're off! We get into a quick early pace with our first official "Rawsonism." You heard it here first: if you want to cheer for an underdog, cheer for Bershawn Jackson... the fastest guy... in the field... Brilliant, Larry.

4:10 -- When LBJ gets a step on Paul Pierce, Pierce's defense of choice is the old, "hook his arm to slow him down." That's just Exhibit A in proving the following: Paul Pierce is a little bitch.

4:15 -- Shannon Rowbury, on the other hand, is a beast.

4:16 -- You know what made her performance even more impressive? That she ran 4:01 while having that musical abortion "Bubbly" by Colbie Caillat assaulting her ears over the loud speaker. Whose bright idea was it to play the WORST, MOST-BORING SONG DURING A TRACK MEET?

4:18 -- Here's a suggestion for the 800: "Everybody Hurts" by REM.

4:30 -- Through the first few events, reader "kate" and her "Pick 'N Win" team "Four Toes" is in "first place" overall in the "USATF" "contest." Yes, I'm trying to "jinx" her by mentioning that here.

4:55 -- After looking terrible all game, glad to see the Cavs have at least kept it close going into half: 50-40.

4:56 -- I'm dismayed to discover that even thought they are showing this meet live on ESPN, they are NOT showing ANYTHING about certain events -- I check the Fantasy scores and discover the results of 4 different events that I was fired up to see on the telly.

5:10 -- Men's 1500, Take 1: NASCAR ain't got nothin' on us!

5:13 -- "Kiplagat"?

5:14 -- Lagat is removing all intrigue from the 1500, worldwide...

6:00 -- I don't what else happened. Pretty boring meet in the back half. But maybe that sentiment owes a lot to the fact that after roaring into the Top 6 in Pick-N-Win, I subsequently began a disgusting plummet. Then again, we had what? A Wariner win the 400? A Gay win in the 200? An AR in the Women's Pole Vault? Snooze.

6:07 -- So to wrap things up, back to Cavs-Celtics... did I mention Paul Pierce is a little bitch?

6:16 -- Looks like we could have a heck of a game down the stretch...

6:19 -- LBJ now with 44 points off a HUGE steal and stuff to cut the Cheap-Shot Artists Celtics lead to 1. We are all.... we are all... we are all seeing this? Is that how it goes?

6:30 -- Well... I can't wait to see the least-likable team in the NBA Celtics, lose in the Finals. I can only hope the NBA's 2nd-least-likable team, the Spurs, aren't the ones who get to do it...

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Friday, May 16, 2008

Coming Soon: The Healthiest Kidney Coverage Ever

Check back over the course of the weekend, for coverage of the Healthy Kidney 10k in Central Park. We'll have your blow-by-blow race recaps, your soundbites, your forced jokes and what have you... maybe even a little multimedia. See you then.

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Fearless Predictions: Sit-And-Kick Edition (Now With Minimal Predictions!!)

Less Than Our Best is concerned with very little. One of those few interests is exposing Kevin Garnett's homophobia. The other is acting like we have some expertise in predicting things. Here's a few things that will LITERALLY happen this weekend:

1) Adidas Track Classic
See my picks for each event here.

Also, don't forget to enter the contest here and WIN BIG!

2) Conference Meets
As I've said before, Conference meets are amazing. The exciting races and team competition is probably the best thing about competing in college track. The different personalities of each conference make each championship's experience unique and interesting in different ways. Unfortunately, the nature of track coverage has me following conference meets from my computer, not on tv or live video.

As thrilling as my computer can be, if I go to certain sites (yikes!), refreshing results pages on the Pac-10 meet is not how I want to spend Saturday night. I want to spend Saturday night sipping $3 PBR cans and slurring loudly into the ears of potential mothers of my children. Clearly.

3) Healthy Kidney 10k
On my commute in and out of the city for the last 3 weeks I've ogled noticed the huge promotional posters of Dathan Ritzenhein in the Healthy Kidney 10k. After last week, the posters just reminded me of the pain that will be a Ritz-less field this weekend.

Some "experts" still think it will be a good field with dos Santos, Goumri, and Patrick Makau. I'd still rather have Ritz, dammit.

On the bright side, two of the best personalities in road racing will be there in Andrew Carlson and Richard Kiplagat. Though arguably not in the same league as the top three, these two are fan favorites and I really want them to do well (means they probably won't do well).

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Pis-, Pis-, Pistorius

The Court of Arbitration for Sport has overturned the IAAF's ban of Oscar Pistorius. Pistorius, who will now be able to compete for a spot in Beijing, wept with joy and relief upon hearing the news, then promptly ate a bar of the local, artisanal Swiss chocolate... probably with the aid of some sort of mechanical device.

In a totally unrelated story, donations for a pending operation that I desperately need to... er... save my life, can be sent via PayPal.

And, in a third totally unrelated story, if anyone has a spare pair of Nickelodeon Moon-Shoes in their basement or garage that they no longer want or need, please e-mail me and I will be happy to take them off your hands.

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

LTOB Announces 1st-Ever Announcement of LTOB-Sanctioned Contest

We here at LTOB are proud to announce our FIRST OFFICIAL (I CAN'T CAPS ANY HARDER) CONTEST! After seeing the conversation over at the Fantasy Track post raging like WILDFIRE, we have decided to offer a prize to the LTOB reader who racks up the top score in the USATF's Pick-N-Win Game, run in conjunction with the VISA Championship Series.

What is the prize you ask? Good question! I'm glad you asked! Shows you're interested!

The meets being contested are this weekend's adidas Track Classic, the Reebok Grand Prix (May 31st), the Nike Prefontaine Classic (June 8) and the US Olympic Trials (June 27-July 6). The USATF offers prizes on a meet-ly and a comprehensive basis, so why can't we?

Just enter your team-name in the comments section beneath the post corresponding to the upcoming meet. For the adidas Classic, we will use the already started thread linked above and HERE. As long as you post your team's name before the first event of the meet begins, you will be eligible to win that week's great prize.

So get to it and WIN BIG!

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Rating the Meats


That's Easy:
1. Steak
2. Chicken
3. Sausage
4. Bolgna
5. Turkey

Now that that's out of the way, why don't we rate some TRACK meEts?
As you may or may not have heard by now, Keninisa Bekele has signed on to make an attempt at his 10,000 meter world record at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene on June 8. This coming on the heels of the Reebok Grand Prix's announcement that the world's top two sprinters, Usain Bolt and Tyson Gay (that's right I said it Asafa, what are you gonna do about it?), will face each other over 100 meters. Along with that, Adidas has set up a great field for their Adidas Track Classic this coming Sunday.

Undoubtedly, the three best track events in America leading up to tha' Grandaddy of all American track events: the trials.

With these four meets, Nike, Reebok, Adidas, and Nike USATF seem dedicated to putting on top quality track and field meets. Let's have a look how each meet stacks up, shall we...


Here's how the ratings work:

No Stars = Is this a professional track meet or a 7th grade pizza party?!
* = 3 out of 4 LRC message boarders will bitch about
** = Runnerville will have suggestions
*** = Mary Wittenberg would/has approved
**** = "boners galore"

1) Geographic Location
Nike Pre - Eugene ***
Reebok - New York City ****
Adidas - Carson, CA **
Trials - Eugene ***
Eugene as a city, like it or not, is the only town willing to put all their eggs in the track and field basket, and that is commendable in its own right. Even if its not an especially visible town nationwide. NYC is simply the media capital of the world, though, and will always generate a large crowd and, most especially, media hype. Carson is 22 minutes from LA according to my google maps, which doesn't seem that long I suppose, but as far as I'm concerned, ain't nothing in LA but rich hippies and people who are perpetually 3 hours behind me, no one I want at one of my track meets.

2) Venue
Nike Pre - Historic Hayward Field ***
Reebok - Icahn Stadium **
Adidas - Home Depot Center No Stars
Trials - Historic Hayward Field ***
Once again, like the Nike/Eugene marriage or not, what they have invested in track and field and Hayward field looks pretty cool right now. They updated things that needed to be updated but, as far as I can tell, didn't sacrifice too much of the authenticity. Although, putting "Historic Hayward Field" on the new jumbo-tron seems a bit forced. Icahn Stadium is cool, on an island and all, but it's impossible to get to without a car, and who wants to drive in NYC? The Home Depot is a boring store filled with employees that clearly don't want to help me out with my bundle of 4x4's. I don't understand why they are trying to hold a track meet in that kind of environment.

3) Website
Nike Pre - No Stars
Reebok - **
Adidas - ***
Trials - ****
The Pre website looks like my 15 year old cousin's geocities site. Reebok and Adidas are about the same, but Adidas has had a time schedule and starting lists posted for a while now and Reebok has NO updates. The Eugene08 website is top-notch, as it should be.

4) Marquee Race/Time Trial
Nike Pre - Bekele going for 10,000m WR, Meseret Defar going for 5,000m WR ***
Reebok - Usain Bolt v. Tyson Gay in 100m ****
Adidas - 7 of world's top 10 women in 100m No Stars
Trials - Every. American. Ever. ****
Two world record attempts at Pre is pretty impressive but, quite frankly, this smacks of little more than a publicity stunt. Count me as "doubtful" as to whether or not Bekele is actually ready and seriously going for a record or did the Pre folks promise him a free trip see "pre's rock"? Bolt v. Gay is HUGE. I wouldn't mind if Asafa Powell totally dropped off the radar. Bolt and Gay obviously aren't afraid of a challenge. Powell? Shaking. Boots. Adidas has a number of strong races and an overall great field, but no real "matchup" to speak of.

5) Ability to avoid attempts at squeezing any remaining juice from the already dry, shriveled up fruit that is a former track athlete's "legacy.," to the point where a track fan almost definitely resents said athlete.
Nike Pre - Negative Eleventy Billion Stars
Reebok - ****
Adidas - ****
Trials - Jury Still Out
Note to Nike/Lanana/Eugene08: please stop pimpin' Steve so hard. He's not going to be able to carry your company University's mystique forever. His abnormally broad, German shoulders are only so strong.

6) Overall
Nike Pre - *
Reebok - ***
Adidas - **
Trials - ****(times 1 million boners)
This could easily change after the fields fill out.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Fantasy Track!


Most of you might already be aware of this, but the fossils wise elders over at USATF are actually doing something specifically geared toward track fans. This might be Visa's idea (in fact I'm sure it is) but USATF, in their infinite generosity, actually allowed it!

Track fans can now play fantasy track in a way similiar (but very different) to fantasy football or baseball. They also ran this for indoor, apparently. I wasn't informed. While the Visa Championship Series fantasy track is still in its most basic stage, meaning it is not nearly as "in-depth" and "fun" as your typical fantasy sports league, I like the idea a lot.



You can pick your team here. It's FREE! And you might win stuff too, but that's not the point really, now is it?

As it works now, you simply pick who you think will win in each event, men's and women's, at the next Visa championship series meet (Adidas Track Classic is this Sunday). After you pick your team, throw your team name and/or picks in the comments section below and we'll see who knows best (hint: According to many women, I'm great at "living in a fantasy world, you idiot" so I'm thinking this might be the perfect game for me).

It would be great if they ranked athletes (say 1-10 points, 10 being the top ranked in each event) and you could only use so many points to choose your team (say 75). Clearly, they are trying to make this as basic as possible so that they can get as many people to play as possible. Not a bad thing, I suppose.

Without further ado, my picks:

Team Name: LessThanOurBest.com (free pub aimed at anyone who looks toward the bottom of the leader board)

Men's Events
100m - Walace Spearmon (Gay is entered in 200m too, so I figure he'll scratch the 100)
200m - Tyson Gay
400m - Jeremy Wariner
800m - David Krummenaker (haven't decided yet if they accidentally put up a starting list from 2004)
1500m - Bernard Lagat
3000m - Jorge Torres
5000m - Markos Geneti
110m hurdles - Allen Johnson
400m hurdles - Bershawn Jackson (Bershawn is a great name isn't it)
Shot Put - Adam Nelson

Women's Events
100m - Lauryn Williams
200m - Allyson Felix
400m - Dee Dee Trotter
800m - Alice Schmidt
1500m - Shannon Rowbury (the mac of the minute right now)
3000m - Kara Goucher
100m hurdles - LoLo Jones
High Jump - Amy Acuff (hellooooo playboy)
Pole Vault - Jenn Stuczynski (she's Russian right? they always win the women's pole vault)

**Overall a pretty conservative list. Allen Johnson and Amy Acuff could be considered two lazy picks as they might be "old" (but they both had good seasons last year). Krummenacker is risky too, of course. But I really want Krummenacker to make a comeback, so that counts for something right? (no, it doesn't).

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If Endurance Sports Were a Monthly "Graphic Novel"

Behold: Denis Nizhegorodov.

The picture to the left appeared on the IAAF website in conjunction with the 23rd World Race Walking Cup, which, as you all know, was held in Cheboksary this past weekend. I know I don't even need to point out in what country one can find Cheboksary.

Having seen the old WR obliterated, the headline over the photo read "Super-human Nizhegorodov hammers Deakes' World record into history." Now I imagine many of you have already begun poo-pooing the notion that there could be anything the least bit super-human about the activity of walking. But there is! Read on, fair reader, to discover why the Supermanesque red and blue of Nizhegor-whatever's kit, is really so very fitting...

"Super-human" - from the Latin for "really good human." As we all know from popular culture, to be consider "super-human," a person must possess a mind and/or body which exceeds that of a typical human. In this case, Nizhegor-god-that's-a-mouthful can lay claim on account of both mind and body. Below, we break down the above photo:

To quote the IAAF recap: "mental steel reinforced with iron thread..."





To be sure, after bringing home this WR, Nizhegorodov's existence promises to be little more than "workloads" and "insertion points" for the foreseeable future.











Americans, prepare to fear "Sputnizhegorodov"... this Russian satellite will be made exclusively of Denis' bones, and once it's up in space, there's no telling when, or where it will strike...











See, you learn something new everyday.







Hey-O!

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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Photo of the Weekend: Outside the Lanes

Brothers Rojo and Wejo posted a little photo collection of theirs on a little website we here at LTOB like to call "LetsRun Dot Com." The photo to the left won weekly honors for its role in unlocking one of the great mysteries in the world of running. Namely, it revealed that the Johnson twins are not twins at all.

Now before you get your knickers all in a twist, Yes, I know that's not Wejo on the left. Rather, they are not twins... but TRIPLETS. After the jump, discover the SHOCKING truth...








Yes ladies and germs, Varsity Blues-star James Van Der Beek shed his Johnson surname at the age of eleven in the hopes of striking Hollywood gold.

"Van Der Beek"??? Really??? I'm surprised it took us this long...


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Now THAT'S Some Investigative Journalism


The London press has full-on Olympic fever as we approach summer, which means one thing: Bash, condemn, and overscrutinize Paula Radcliffe.

Fortunately for Paula, she now has a small diversion for the press to focus on and draw attention away from her Athens '04 blow-up: the birth of her baby girl, Isla.

Unfortunately for people who think child birth is less about "the miracle of life," and more about that which can only be called "ickiness", Paula
doesn't mind sharing specifics about this diversion. From guardian.co.uk:

"Counter-intuitively, it was partly her fitness that made childbirth difficult: 26 years of training, including running through the pregnancy, had tightened her muscles so much that they wouldn't release her baby. "She just kept getting blocked and stopped. [...]" That and an extremely narrow pelvis. "They measure it in three different places, but my final pelvic gap was 10.1cm, and Isla's head was 10.3, so that was never going to happen without a bit of help ..."

Baby "release" and "blocking"? Pelvic Gaps in relation to baby head measurements? TMI, Paula! TMI!

They are the stronger gender, though, no way 2:15:25 could have possibly hurt that bad.

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Monday, May 12, 2008

What They Didn't Tell You: 25k Champs

No formalities this week: straight ahead to What They Didn't Tell You...

I was totally remiss on Friday for not telling you all that it was a certain someone's birthday. No, no, not mine: ben's. 24 years old, and he still looks as good as ever. The highlight of the evening was his "dead-eye" performance in beer pong (called Beirut by idiots everywhere), where he rode my coattails, and hot-shooting all evening. By the third game he was trying to bounce-in every shot, shouting "It's my birthday, biotch!" after each miss.

Brian Sell won the USATF 25k Champs at the 5/3d River Band Run in Grand Rapids. No AR, no exciting stretch run... but he DID beat a guy named Wellay Weldegiyorgis. Just like a good, 'Merican, working man should.

Some guy named Travis Padgett ran 9.96 for the 100m dash at the Orange & Purple Classic, which makes him 2nd fastest in the world this year. What they didn't tell you was that apparently you can just start slapping the word "Classic" on the end of any old meet now. Because let me tell you: nothing combining the colors orange and purple should ever be considered "classic."

Andrew Wheating ran 3:38 for 1500m at the Oregon Twilight Meet, impressive considering he played soccer throughout high school. What they didn't tell you was that this (retroactively) makes Wheating the first case where a runner has said "There's this kid in my school, but he plays soccer, but he's really really fast, and I'm telling you, he could be one of the best runners in the state if he just came out for track..." and it actually panned out.

As you all know, Barack Obama showed up at the meet. But what went unreported was that, in an embarassing gaffe, he was repeatedly offered fried chicken by meet volunteers: apparently the Eugene08 diversity training hadn't yet finished the unit covering "Black People Like Foods Other than Fried Chicken."

It was a full weekend for the Ritzenheins with Baby getting baptized, Mrs. racing the 25k at the 5/3 Run, and Grandmother celebrated her 94th Birthday! All agreed that the high point of the weekend was Grandma Ritzenhein trying to bounce-in each pass on the doily she was crocheting, while shouting "It's my birthday, biotch!"

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Saturday, May 10, 2008

Chock Full Weekend

I don't know what Ben's talking about when he says this weekend won't be "thrilling." This weekend, the IAAF reports that all the thrills you need are right here. And our Europeans visitors can stream all the action, LIVE!

I mean, we've already had a world record!

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Friday, May 9, 2008

Fearless Predictions: Not Every Weekend can be Thrilling Edition

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


Sure, there's the first Super Grand Prix meet this weekend. And yeah, there's some decent college last chance meets that might yield suprising results. And, of course, there is that US national road championship (with the most anemic field of the year by the way), but this weekend is just a huge bummer compared to every weekend since January.

Fortunately, they invented a little game called beer pong for such weekends.

1) Brian Sell wins his third US 25k title. It's a given at this point. Peter Gilmore hasn't made much noise since I don't know when and the rest of the field lacks any proven competitors. Surely, though, someone will emerge from this field and suprise Sell by giving him a run. Who that will be, I don't know, I don't like trying to predict things.

2) Like I said, not much happening this weekend in our little running world, so I'll leave you with this clip.



As far as I'm concerned, there is no way this was an accident. Mr. Redlegs is far to nimble to take such a spill unless he was somehow sabotaged.

The two suspects:

'Gapper' This bastard son of Snuffleupagus and the Philly Fanatic had it out for the older, wiser, more beloved Mr. Redlegs ever since he came on the scene a few years ago.

'Mr. Met' Blatent rip-off of Mr. Redlegs. A basebell as a head? Come on, New York, don't act like you came up with that by yourself. I'll be at the Reds/Mets series this weekend at Shea, so you better belive Mr. Met will be suffering a similar "accident." Only more painful. And beer will have to be involved.

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Checking In With Some Familiar Faces

A lot has been happening to some of our former subjects recently, so let's take a moment to catch up, shall we?

1. Reid Coolsaet - Though battling through an injury, Coolsaet recently announced that his club Speed River TC, is now sponsored by New Balance. In a related story, our blog - and our apartment - is still sponsored by our parents.

2. Nery Brenes - Nery tore shit up at the Jamaica International event (where Usain Bolt ran 9.76), taking 2nd in the 400 in 45.78. The Costa Rican speedster apparently ran so fast that negligient/lazybones LTOB International correspondent Jake Krong still hasn't seen him.

3. Our Crack Legal Team - At this moment, they are savoring a free catered lunch, featuring what was described in the brochure as a "resplendent spread of snack crackers and gourmet spreadable cheeses." The reason? It's to reward -- in light of recent news -- their crack legal advice regarding what we should and shouldn't write regarding to Ritz in the Kidney.

I've had my pants sued back on enough times to know when those guys deserve a free lunch, and today was that day... free lunch.... provided by yours truly.... sponsored, by our parents.

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Thursday, May 8, 2008

Ritz Out of Healthy Kidneys

OMG!!

Everyone, I just read that Dathan Ritzenhein is
out of healthy kidneys. How did he use them up so fast, he's still 20-something? Does he think they just grow on trees? Surely, someone will help him. Someone out there must be able to give up one of their two healthy kidneys to help him out, he is the future of American distance running after all!

...

Wait a second...

...

As it turns out, folks, Ritzenhein is not out of healthy kidneys, he is just
not running in the Healthy Kidney 10k next weekend in central park. Well, I guess that really puts things in perspective, huh?

The race is still for a good cause and LTOB favorites Andrew Carlson and Richard Kiplagat are still racing, so Saturday's race will still be an exciting one.

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There's a National Championship this Weekend. Really!!


In the interest of keeping fans abreast of all that is running news, allow us to be the first to inform you that someone, somewhere in Michigan is holding a USATF 25k championship on Saturday. It seems that no one decided to tell any top American distance runners, though.

"I just found it on the internet one day while I was trolling message boards," said oft-unheralded American marathoner Peter Gilmore. "No one told me nothing. No one ever tells me nothing! I started in FREAKING corral FREAKING 'C' at the FREAKING Boston marathon in '05. I finished 10th! My chip time was 2:10! Would it kill someone to give a guy a FREAKING heads up?! BIIIIITCH!!"

When asked if he found the race on the internet as well, U.S. Olympic marathon team member and the only other notable "name" in the 25k field, Brian Sell remarked, "In...ter...NET? What's that? Is it like one of those things we sell in the ceramics department?"

Sell actually was never told about the race. He was simply instructed by his coaches to do a 25k "tempo" in Grand Rapids on Saturday.

"A Race? Oh-ho-ho-ho, Those Hanson brothers are some real sly, slippery, snakes," said Sell. "They know how to push 'ol Selly's buttons. I oughta knock them on their asses. Oh well, I'll do it, the race. Sometimes you gotta do stuff you don't want for the good of the team. Like throw a down-field block, or go to war, or endorse a pansy ass car company insteaduh' Chevy. I'll do it, but i don't gotta like it, knowwhatImean?"

We do know what you mean Selly. We do.

If you are wondering who is winning in that oh-so-nebulous USA Running Circuit, here are the standings through 5 events (sloppily copied and pasted from
usatf.org):

Men

Place Name Points
1 James Carney 15
2 Andrew Carlson 15
3 Jason Lehmkuhle 12
4 Dan Browne 12
5 Fernando Cabada 11
6 Steve Sundell 10
7 Fasil Bizuneh 10
8 Brian Sell 7
9 Patrick Gildea 6
10 Jason Hartmann 6
11 Rod Koborsi 5
12 Bret Schoolmeester 5
13 Ryan Kirkpatrick 4
14 Josh Simpson 3
15 Matt Gabrielson 3
16 Brett Gotcher 3
17 Luke Humphrey 3

Women

Place Name Points
1 Deena Kastor 45
2 Magdalena Lewy Boulet 24
3 Tera Moody 21
4 Blake Russell 20
5 Zoila Gomez 16
6 Kate O'Neill 15
7 Turena Johnson Lane 14
8 Desiree Davila 12
Katie McGregor 12
10 Serena Burla 10
Tara Storage 10
12 Ann Alyanak 8
13 Nicole Aish 7
Mandi Zemba 7
15 Kristen Nicolini Lehmkuhle 6
Samia Akbar 6
Dot McMahan 6
18 Katerine Newberry 5
19 Robyn Friedman 4
20 Dot McMahan 3
Annie Bersagel 3
22 Kara Storage 2
Erin Moeller 2
24 Melissa White 1
Stephanie Herbst-Lucke 1



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Wednesday, May 7, 2008

NCAA: Male Athletes, Dumb. Cross Country Runners, Nerds


The NCAA handed out penalties yesterday for over 200 sports teams across the nation. The penalties were in response to the poor "Academic Progree Rates" (APR) of the teams and included the snatching away of precious scholarships and other "sanctions," whatever that means.

The most notable, if not suprising in the least, part of the report was how many men's teams were fingered with low APR's versus the low number of women's teams.


Of course, most of us former "athletes" have experienced the bus ride home from competitions where the men's team, and the one or two "cool" members of the women's team, are playing "would you rather..." and explaining to innocent teammates what a "donkey punch" is, while the rest of the women's team studies their accounting textbooks. So, this isn't a suprise, just interesting to see it listed on paper.


The other noteable, if once again not suprising, bit of information from the report is that cross country teams are by and large overrun by nerds who get good grades. Cross Country teams, while having the second highest number of total teams in the NCAA (300 to basketball's 337), has only 5 penalized teams (compared to basketball's 53 and football's [I can't find the infinity symbol on my keyboard]).

Just for fun, you can find your favorite college team's stats
here.

Kent State men's XC team(my former team) scored a 988 APR and is proudly sitting between the 80th and 90th percentile among all NCAA teams and Fordham's XC team(Jeremy's alma mater) scored a 994 and is between the 90th and 100th percentile.

Therefore, Jeremy is a certified L7 dweebey while I'm an intelligent, but not intimidatingly so, poet-philosopher who can enjoy both a raucous night out on the town as well as a quiet romantic evening with a special lady friend. I always assumed such personalities for Jeremy and I, but it's just nice to see it all out on official documents, ya know?

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Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Gouchers: Fast Runners, Reasonable Consumers


Found via message board (where else...)

Runnerville can rest easy today as the premier American running couple is finally getting some TV face time.

My Fox Utah (click on 'videos' in sidebar) is reporting that not only do us normal people have to pay an extra 25 monkeys per extra piece of luggage at the airport, but so do the Gouchers (Apparently, Adam and Kara didn't try the 'ol "do you know who I am" strategy).

Somehow, My Fox Utah field reporter Andrea Fujii, was able to secure an interview with the famous couple at the baggage claim of Salt Lake Int'l Airport. Disguised as a simple consumer interest piece, Fujii was able to uncover a startling fact about the Gouchers: They're CAT PEOPLE!

I mean, seriously, TWO cats? Kind of overkill if you ask me. That's a lot of cat vomit to clean up, a lot of
novelty cat wizard costumes to buy, and a whole lot of oversized bags of Tidy Cats to lugg out of CostCo, Adam. For the sake of American distance running, please be careful!

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Photo of the Weekend: Stanford

Usain Bolt receives Photo of the Weekend honors this go-round, after ripping a 9.76 100m down in Kingston. And it wasn't just the fact that it was such a sick time -- doubly-so, considering how early in the year it was -- but the way he decimated the field... a fact hinted at in the photo to the left.

Receiving Runner-Up honors is a photo which is slightly less action-packed, but will surely be as talked-about... fresh off a new AR in the women's 10k, Shalane Flanagan was captured in a tabloid-worthy photograph....





(click to enlarge)

Yessir, that baby-bump -- which she clearly tried to hide under a bulky sweatsuit -- is going to be the fodder of message boards for weeks, nay, MONTHS to come.

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Monday, May 5, 2008

What They Didn't Tell You: Stanford

While everyone's gaze was turned to the Stanford Payton Jordan Time Trial out in the cool night air of California, there was some conference meet action back east. It made for a good weekend of action, with the following stories falling into the category of What They Didn't Tell You.

Shalane Flanagan rang up an American Record -- 30:34.49 -- in the 10k at Stanford, her first try at the distance. Taking notes Matt Tegenkamp?

Shalane's mark also got her a victory over Kiwi Kim Smith. And Banana, Chiquita. [ tugs shirt collar uncomfortably ]

Usain Bolt ran 9.76 for 100m, his best run in a distance other than 200m, and at a meet other than World Juniors. The knee-jerk message board reaction was, naturally, to assume he's been taking something. Matter of fact, I can confirm that he HAS been pumping his body full of a performance enhancing cocktail: Red Bull and Guinness. (No really, try it sometime. Apparently it's all the rage down in Jamaica.)

With all the hoopla at Stanford and around the country, one of the biggest upsets of the weekend went wholly unreported: that I housed former WR-holder Eamonn Coghlan in a local road race.

Unfortunately, in that same race, I got housed by a cadre of Ethiopians. With woman-parts.

And finally, we'd be remiss if we didn't at least give a tip of the cap to the hometown University of Cincinnati Bearcats who, just a few years removed from mid-major ignominy in the C-USA, managed to take 4th in the very, very tough Big East this weekend. What they didn't tell you, though, was that the UC coach lives on a street with a tree growing up out of the center of the road! No, really, it's true! It looks EXACTLY like this.

(
Anyone with photographic evidence of this phenomenon is invited to post it below, or e-mail us.)

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Friday, May 2, 2008

Fearless Predictions: Stanford SuperMeet Edition


We here at Less Than Our Best are concerned with very little. One of those few interests is reading emails that your mother sent you. The other is acting like we have some expertise in predicting things. Here's a few things that will LITERALLY happen this weekend:


STANFORD PAYTON JORDAN

1) 1500 - Lomong, Lukezic. Solinsky, Sullivan, Symmonds. Tegenkamp. Those are their names in alphabetical order if you are wondering. If "T" came before "S" in the alphabet, it might also be their order of finish. Whhhooooaaa, freaky man. I bet all you stoner hippies out in California love that stuff, huh.
News Flash: "T" doesn't come before "S" so get over it.
Lomong will win this one in an even closer and faster race with Tegenkamp than in Arizona St. a few weeks ago. Sullivan will be right behind his ginger ally and Lukezic will barely pass the broad shoulders of Solinsky at the tape with Symmonds wilting to 6th over the last 150. Lomong in 3:38.

2) Steeple - After taunts of "why don't you drink a beer bong college boy" and "go back to the frat house college boy," from notorious post-collegiate unknowns, Max King and Thomas Brooks, notorious collegiate unknown Kyle Alcorn unleashes his college nerd rage into a 600 meter kick that thrills the crowd and sends King and Brooks back into the fame of their obscurity. Alcorn becomes the most famous of unknown steeplers. Alcorn in 8:28.

3) 5000 - 600 meters to go. Torres, Lagat, Carney, and Abdi have seperated themselves. Carney remembers that he left the ferris wheel running across the street, worries children may jump, checks off. 400 to go. Abdi rememebers that he is a 10k/marathoner now, can't quite match the knee-bend of the other two, slows down. 200 to go. Torres remembers that he is racing Lagat, accepts defeat. 100 to go, Lagat remembers to throw out
Degeneration X 'suck it' sign as he crosses finish line. FloTrack is forced to actually edit something in their videos and blurs out finish due to "content standards" and "family values." No one wins. Lagat in 13:09.

4) 10,000 - In a duel tabbed "Australian balls vs. American pussies (and some European fancy-boys)" by the Australian press, Craig Mottram comes out guns-a-blazing in hopes of making Oceania proud. He clips the rabbit's heels for the entire first 5k and takes off after he finally gives up and pushes the rabbit out of the way. After a spicy next 3k where the Ball Buster gets serious seperation from the field, the pack of "pussies" led by Galen Rupp, the "head pussy" if you will, comes up on Mottram and finally catches him with 800 to go.
The "pussies" swallow up the "balls" and its left to a 400 meter showdown between Rupp and the Briton, Mo Farah. The Stanford crowd is beside themselves cheering against the evil British Empire, as is the American way, and Rupp throws in a scintilating final 100 meters to edge out Farah in what will be called the "best ever race on American soil" by Track and Field News in their June/July/August edition when everyone has already forgotten that this race ever happened (but they'll have good pictures!). Rupp in 27:21.

5) (Women's) 10,000 - Joke Teller: Ok, Kim Smith, Shalane Flanagan, and Kara Goucher walk into a bar...
Me: Wait. What bar? Is it close? Are they there now? Is there going to be dancing? Let's Go THERE NOW!
Joke Teller: No, it's a joke...
You don't want to hear the rest of that joke, it ends with me sobbing outside the "Blind Turkey Pub and Spirits" in Palo Alto with mace in my eyes, wondering what could have been.

***Seriously, can a guy write about a female sporting event without taking it down to this level. Yes, they are beautiful, intelligent young women but let's focus on their athletic accomplishments here and stop being such pigs. You disgust me, me.***

Anyway, this field is the most impressive of the night with easily the top two (non-Deena) female U.S. distance runners on the track in Kara Goucher and Shalane Flanagan, with Kim Smith thrown in their to keep it honest. Flanagan = Unstoppable. Goucher = Indestructible. We're all winners when these two forces meet. Flanagan in 31:01.

OHIO STATE JESSE OWENS

6) The "Payton Jordan of the Midwest" has a lot of great guys running. However, a mere mortal like me cannot make heads or tails out of who is running which race since many people are entered into multiple events. How can I predict a race's results when I don't know who is going to be in it? How can the fans get excited if I don't make predictions? I only have so much power, I AM ONLY ONE MAN! Sometimes the way track markets itself makes me so angry that I want to, I don't know, do a weekly podcast or something.

7) Brian Olinger vs. Josh McAdams in the steeple. Two all-american boys competing their little hearts out. Somehow I feel like this race is going to end with some scraped knees, a few dirty baseball uniforms, and someone's mom handing out cans of RC Cola. Olinger in 8:30.

OTHER STUFF

8) There is NOTHING else going on this weekend (especially after the CAVS finish off the wizards tonight).

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