I think he’s the best marathoner in America right now, though he has never even run one. Olympic 10,000 meter silver medalist and American record holder Galen Rupp announced today on USATF.TV that he will make his marathon debut at the February 13th Olympic Trials in Los Angeles. Talk about throwing a switch on the electricity (and strategy) of that race!
Before Rupp’s announcement the consensus was that Meb and Ritz as the two experienced Olympic marathoners, and only two sub-2:09 Americans in the last three years, were the favorites with everybody else bunched behind them in what promised to be a generational turnover in the ranks of American marathoning. That’s always how it’s been with the U.S. Trials, a pivot point in the sport.
Young talent like Jared Ward, third in LA last year and reigning U.S. Marathon champion (2:12:55), is in good form according to coach (and two-time Olympian) Ed Eyestone. In fact, Jared was in LA yesterday (Wednesday 27 Jan.) taking a tour of the trials course. The fastest American marathoner of 2015, Luke Puskedra, comes in off a 2:10:24 seventh place in Chicago, while another talented group of newly minted Americans join Rupp in making their debuts at the distance — Joe Vigil-coached Diego Estrada, along with Kenyan-born Sam Chelanga and Aron Rono — have all the talent needed to produce a top three performance in LA.
SAN DIEGO, Calif. – University of San Diego cross-country and track head coach Will Guarino is pleased to announce the addition of Toya Reavis as his assistant coach. Reavis most recently ran a successful private practice that developed athletes of all ages and abilities to significant personal records in distances ranging from 800 meters to the marathon. She is a USATF Level One coach, ACE certified personal trainer, and holds an Exercise Science certification from UCSD.
“We are thrilled to have Toya join our coaching staff,” Coach Guarino said. “She brings a tremendous wealth of running knowledge and passion to running and coaching.”
She has been coached and mentored by Joaquim Cruz, a 1984 Olympic 800-meter gold medalist. She has also assisted San Diego City College and SDTC coach Paul Greer in preparing hundreds of runners to complete their first marathons as part of the San Diego Rock `n` Roll Marathon Training Program while also preparing her athletes for their Boston Marathon qualifiers. In 2012 one of her athletes was honored as the San Diego Track Club’s Masters Runner of the Year.
Still active as master’s competitor herself, Reavis competed for San Diego’s City College when she first moved to San Diego from Los Angeles. While at City College she won the Pacific Coast Conference Cross Country title. Later she was a nationally ranked master’s runner over 800m and 1500m.
Toya’s coaching philosophy mixes a strong foundational approach with injury prevention as she brings a particular passion for the sport and wellness to her coaching practice.
Reavis lives in San Diego with her husband, famed television broadcaster and writer Toni Reavis.
(Very proud of Toya as she embarks on this new leg of her career. It was only two years ago that she left Active.com to follow her passion for running full-time into the coaching ranks. In that relatively short time she found her true calling, and helped change many lives with her challenging but supportive approach. Now she will bring that focus and attention to a whole new team of young achievers. Big congrats, Toya. You followed your heart and earned this wonderful opportunity.)
Bannister on his way to history’s first sub-4:00 mile
After a decade long assault, the sport of athletics hit the sweet spot with its dopamine release on 6 May 1954 at Iffley Road track in Oxford, England. It was on that steel gray day that Roger Bannister broke the 4:00 barrier in the mile. Paced by Chris Chataway and Chris Brasher, Bannister’s Everestian effort hooked the sport on sweet time, and it has been dependent on its pace suppliers ever since.
At each IAAF Diamond League meeting, every event over 400 meters is a paced affair as time is the primary goal. Yet come the World Championships or Olympics, where pacing is removed and rounds are conducted to earn a place in the medal round, we tend to see wildly imbalanced racing efforts. In part, because the pressure is different. It isn’t can or can’t you, rather what and when you. No just raw horsepower, but tactical control of that power. We all know how to run. But we have to learn how to race.
Today, we learn that the B.A. Chicago Marathon has decided to end its dependence on pacers, joining Boston and New York City among the Abbott World Marathon Majors in the non-paced category.
Carey Pinkowski, Chicago Marathon
“The thing with this is we try to set up a world record every year,” said long-time race director Carey Pinkowski, “but we never get close. It (pacing) is like a prop. So get rid of the prop. It’s a race. So if they go out at six minute pace, so what?” Continue reading →
Though the Symmonds Matter has managed to leak into the public sphere, let there be no doubt as to which sport’s legal case the population is riveted. Deflate-Gate hit federal court today in Manhattan where the long unraveling of each side’s case began before Judge Richard M. Berman.
The judge had requested that the NFL and NFL Player’s Association meet prior to today’s hearing to discuss or even come to a settlement. That didn’t happen. So Judge Berman conducted an open court hearing followed by a closed-door session in an attempt to get the two sides closer to doing for themselves what he will eventually do for them if they can’t work it out for themselves. Continue reading →
In athletics the sides-divider it isn’t nearly as important, which is not to say that the allegations of rules bending, substance manipulation, and counter charges that continue to circle the Nike Oregon Project and its coach Alberto Salazar at the USATF Nationals is inconsequential within the realm of its own limits.
Through it all, opposing sides have been divided, opinions cemented, and reputations tarnished. Of course, due to the already significant loss of interest in the sport over the last 25 years, the mainstream press has yet to shine its blinding light beneath our particular little rock. No, there are way too many worms wriggling beneath Tom Brady’s Deflate-gate appeal and analyzing who did well or ill at the recent NBA draft. Continue reading →
Even as the running world goes all sideways with allegations of wrongdoing and such, the “real world” continues to spin, though often uncontrollably. Got a message from Charlie Rodgers yesterday, brother of marathon legend Bill, telling of an old friend Leo Lashock who lost his house, belongings, and three of his dogs to a fire in Willow, Alaska last Sunday. The irony is that Leo, who used to work at the old Bill Rodgers Running Center in Boston, is a captain at the local fire department in Willow, and the house he lived in burned down while he was fighting the Sockeye wildfire as it rapidly spread in the Susitna Valley.
Anything that you can give will help Leo greatly – as he is still working 16 hour days and currently sleeping on the floor at the fire station. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________”(Leo here with Friends in the bowels of the Bill Rodgers Running Center in Boston, MA for the Boston Marathon)
Leo said he lost everything but what he had in a camper truck: 40 years of accumulated possessions; his dog truck, clothing and furniture; even two grandstand seats from the old Fenway Park that he had shipped to Alaska. He’s still putting in 16-hour days and resting at the Willow fire station.Lashock plans to move into the cabin that survived the flames. He doesn’t own the property, and the landowner spends most of his time in the Lower 48. ( Leo is friends with the Marathon Runner Bill Rodgers & everyone at the Bill Rodgers Running Center in Boston, MA. He has come to run and also work and volunteer at the Running Center in Boston, MA for many years – We will be doing our best to spread the word about Leo and trying to help him, his dogs & his neighbors as much as we can through donations. Anything you can give will be a great help! – And if you can’t give please SHARE & SPREAD THE WORD) — Thank you all for your support! – Everyone at the Bill Rodgers Running Center. Thank you! Let’s help get Leo and his dogs back into a safe and secure home!
Like so many other athletics fans world-wide, I note with sadness the passing of Australian great Ron Clarke, who died earlier today of kidney failure at a private hospital on the Gold Coast, where Clarke had served as mayor from 2004 — 2012. He was 78.
In memoriam I re-post a column from November 2013 that featured Mr. Clarke.