HAPALUA HALF: THE JOES AGAINST THE PROS

Honolulu, Hi. – With the continuing domination of East African runners, the task of connecting today’s pro runners to thousands of citizen runners is more challenging than ever.

This Sunday The Hapalua, Hawaii’s Half Marathon will contest its sixth running. Between 8500 and 9000 runners will participate, a bump up from the 7600 who ran in 2016, marking the fifth straight increase from the original 2000 who ran in the inaugural 2012 race.

But from its inception The Hapalua has established itself not just as another jog-a-thon following in the wake of a professional foot race. No, The Hapalua has been an industry innovator in the tricky sphere of athlete connectivity.

With its unique Chase format pitting  four invited professionals against 22 of the islands’ top runners The Hapalua has found a way to make the competition world-class and locally relevant all at the same time. Continue reading

ON MAKING ASSUMPTIONS, WHO’S CLEAN, WHO’S NOT

Watching Bill Burr‘s hysterical bit on the Conan O’Brien show four years ago when he dissected Oprah‘s big reveal interview with Lance Armstrong – during which the disgraced Tour de France cyclist finally copped to the drug use that everyone had suspected for years – it dawned on me, if Lance was always assumed to be guilty though he passed every drug test, why hasn’t the public made the same assumption about the biggest names in athletics?  Or maybe they have.

I’m not suggesting anything,  just wondering out loud how the public mind works.  (Really,  this is just an excuse to post  Bill Burr’s take on Oprah and Lance, which is funny and insightful at the same time, no easy task.)

So let’s look at the situation with athletics, especially in light of German ARD TV‘s recent investigation alleging the IOC covered up positive Jamaican test results from the 2008 Olympics in Beijing where the sprint juggernaut won eleven medals.

First, both cycling and athletics have been awash in performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) for years, to the gills.  And while people all around them get popped, the top guy who produces historic performances continues to sail along testing clean while whooping all the dirty boys.

That was the glory for Lance, right, how the one clean guy who had overcome cancer was able to beat all the drugged up guys. Isn’t that Usain Bolt, minus the cancer?  Or is the difference in public outlook simply a matter of personality? Continue reading

2017 CARLSBAD 5000 – MEN’S RACE VIDEO

Carlsbad, CA. – In the battle of Olympic 5000 meter silver medalists, Ethiopia’s Dejen Gebremeskel who won silver in London 2012 took on America’s 2016 Rio silver man, Paul Chelimo in the 32nd Carlsbad 5000, dubbed “The World’s Fastest 5K”.

Competitor Group matchmaker Matt Turnbull and I mounted the press truck while our intrepid camera man Rich Jayne clung to the back of the lead moto.  Here is how the race played out on a perfect Southern California day.

 

Carlsbad 5000 – Results

Overall Bib Name Time
1 1 Dejen Gebremeskel 13:27
2 2 Paul Chelimo 13:47
3 5 Sam McEntee 13:51
4 4 Andy Vernon 13:53
5 9 Stewart McSweyn 13:53
6 14 Jack Rayner 13:59
7 3 Collis Birmingham 14:00
8 11 Haron Lagat 14:11
9 10 Will Leer 14:14
10 6 Jesper Van De Wielan 14:16
11 12 Adam Clark 14:25
12 13 Wade Meddles 14:30
13 8 Tom Lancashire 14:31
14 7 Mac Fleet 14:38
15 16 Nick Scarpello 14:52

2017 CARLSBAD 5000 WOMEN’S RACE VIDEO

Carlsbad, CA. – The 32nd running of the World’s Fastest 5K took to the roads of Carlsbad, California yesterday.  Competitor Group’s elite athlete coordinator Matt Turnbull and I took seats on the lead vehicle while Rich Jayne manned the lead camera.  Here’s how we called it.

Carlsbad 5000 – Results

Overall Bib Name Time
1 108 Viola Lagat 15:35
2 101 Shannon Rowbury 15:36
3 112 Aisha Praught 15:36
4 103 Dominique Scott 15:40
5 104 Brenda Martinez 15:44
6 105 Neely Spence Gracey 15:49
7 102 Lauren Paquette 15:52
8 106 Camille Buscomb 16:02
9 107 Kaori Morita 16:13
10 113 Maria Larsson 16:24
11 109 Sarah Lahti 16:34
12 111 Natasha La Beaud 16:43
13 110 Christine Babcock 16:46
14 114 Christy Cazzola 17:50

END

PUTIN V. TRUMP: WHO’S PLAYING WHOM?

Former FBI agent Clint Watts testifies before Senate Intelligence Committee

In yesterday’s first Senate Intelligence Committee hearings into Russian meddling during the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign, Senator James Langford (R-Okla.) asked former FBI agent Clint Watts, “Why did he (Putin) think he could get away with it this time?  This isn’t new for the Russians, they’ve done this for a long time across Europe. But it was much more engaging this time in our election. Why now?”

Why now?  Because it worked!  Why else?  That’s essentially what the ex-FBI guy said. Trump and his people actually picked up Russian conspiracy stories like ‘the election was rigged’ and passed it along to the American public during the campaign like it was a relay baton.

Now, that may cause some to think Mr. Trump to be an unwitting stooge, or even Putin’s puppet. But let’s gives our president more benefit than doubt.  Perhaps there is another way to see it, nothing any less unsavory, mind you, just different.

All we have to do is go back and look at patterns.  We all fall into them, racers do, and we rely on them as long as they keep working to our advantage. And just as election meddling falls into a Putin pattern, so does ‘the false promise’ indicate to Trump. The examples are legion, especially among tradesmen working his building sites, but you might remember this story from before the election as well. Continue reading

HUMAN NATURE – THE FIX IS NEVER IN

“Let’s get to the root cause, and fix it.”

This is both the message and plea we are hearing, whether in talking about the drug and corruption issues splitting the Olympic movement, or in dealing with the civil disorder roiling the nation (and world) in this year of Our Lord 2017.  Again today, another terror attack in London outside Parliament killed four and injured 40 more.

While issues like performance-enhancing drugs and the corruption of officials overseeing sport are vitally important within their own particular sphere, they pale in comparison to the wider unrest that is unsettling the world at large.

But what, exactly, is the root cause, much less the fix?  Is it ending the 1500 year-old religious division in the Middle East, or the millenium-old rift between the Middle East and the West?  Is it righting a 400 year-old slavery-seeded mind set that simultaneously declared freedom and equality while enslaving millions in America? Or should we direct our attention at the granular level, at the particular perpetrators like the man in London who mowed down pedestrians on the Westminster Bridge today then rushed out and stabbed a police officer who was protecting Parliament?

It’s amazing really. The Internet can be such a powerfully positive tool while at the same time it can serve the cause of a nihilist’s jihad.  In the tiny sliver of the world known as running we see more more young high school students performing better than ever, because, in part, they know what others like them are doing in training and racing everywhere else.  And buoyed with that knowledge their belief in themselves skyrockets.

And yet there are other young men who surf more sinister sites who are also emboldened by what they read, but who are turned against their fellow man when armed with their own new supporting beliefs.

Societies of men engineered these divides. Or were the terrorist in cities around the world born that way? It’s either muddy gene pools or a societies-wide virus. Which are we more willing to bet that it is? Continue reading

BY THE LIGHT OF A NEW DAY

stars-in-night-skyAstronomers believe there are hundreds of billions of galaxies in the universe, and between 100 and 300 billion stars in our own Milky Way alone.  The sheer immensity is both humbling and beyond our modest comprehension.  Yet increasingly, people can’t even take in the vast spray of stars cast across the night sky anymore, as that display has been veiled by the light pollution enveloping our cities. Thus, while much has been gained in our relentless technological trek, much too has been lost along the way, too.

With even the majesty of the night sky taken we tend to shrink in the dim light of man’s own making.  By that weak light many people remain shaded in the darkness of fact-aversion, beyond the light of acquired knowledge and accepted science.  And though all science is amenable to challenge, there is no light strong enough to penetrate blind denial or unquestioning allegiance.  Accordingly, many see only right-wrong, light-dark, win-lose, here-there, yes-no, ME-YOU, a very  brittle outlook, indeed. Even our political framework has been constructed into cartoonish either-or choices.

Continue reading