Tag: Boulder Wave

FIRST BOSTON PREVIEW BEFORE THE DELUGE

In last year’s IAAF Competition Performance Rankings for the marathon,

At number 82 Boston Marathon USA 16 APR 2018 515 3 7967 110 0 8482
Where we are headed

So, we have ourselves the first official Performance Rankings for athletics, road racing, and the marathon by the IAAF, a means, they say, to better follow the sport for we fans.  And according to those rankings, last year’s Boston Marathon ranked No. 82 in the world.  Really?

Anyone else think Boston 2018 wasn’t better than 81 other marathons worldwide?  I guess that’s the difference between a systematic ranking and an emotional expression.  Same date, same time, same competitive point standing, but none of the heart or soul.

People run Boston from the heart to the core of their being.  It’s a love affair.  Something about the place and the people, the history.  Boston isn’t a marathon, it’s The Marathon like Augusta is The Masters.

This will be Des Linden’s seventh time on the old course, first as defending women’s champion.  The two-time Olympian and Southern California native was one of the favorites going into 2018 regardless of the conditions, but her chances improved mightily in the lashing winds and stinging sheets of rain.

Yes, after initially thinking she would drop out, then deciding to help her fellow Americans Shalane Flanagan and Molly Huddle, somehow Des found her own rhythm instead and ran away with the race.

Yuki takes it in stride with Tommy Meagher alongside

Japan’s “Citizen Runner” Yuki Kawauchi was never, ever a favorite, even for a podium position on a normal day.  But in that cold and rain, he became master of his domain.

This year Des and Yuki will be tested the way all great events honor their champions, by facing a field ready to beat their brains out. (more…)

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PODCAST WITH BOULDER WAVE PRESIDENT BRENDAN REILLY

Brendan Reilly in Kenya with two-time World Marathon champion Edna Kiplagat
Brendan Reilly in Kenya with two-time World Marathon champion Edna Kiplagat

In this talk we chat about last weekend’s USATF National Cross Country Championships in Boulder, the loss of focus on the World Championships, 1965 & `66 Japanese men’s champions at Boston, and the link between American star Shalane Flanagan and 2008 Olympic champion Constantina Dita of Romania, one of Brendan’s clients.

 

END

 

DUMBING DOWN, SLOWING DOWN

Declaration of Independence     In a recent keynote address at the Andrus Center for Public Policy in Boise, Idaho, retired Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O’Connor lamented what she called America’s ‘alarming degree of public ignorance’.

“Less than one-third of eighth-graders can identify the historical purpose of the Declaration of Independence,” she said, “and it’s right there in the name!”

Where former Justice O’Connor sees a dumbing down of America’s educational standards — the country reached its highest percentage of high school graduates in 1969 at 77% — one can also see a corresponding slowing down in America’s basic drive to compete.  Not at the higher end of business where we remain affixed as World No. 1.  Rather it is at our foundations that we find a softening.

First, no dodge ball (if you can believe that!), then “everyone’s a winner”, not keeping score in some youth soccer leagues, social advancement and grade inflation, and now a sudden reduction in the support of elite foot racing competition from a company that was originally named Elite Racing and still carries the now rather ironic moniker, Competitor Group.

And yet, at least for the time being, the owners of the Rock `n` Roll series of marathons and half marathons is maintaining the elite component at its European-based events.  I suggest this is emblematic of the state of America’s competitiveness in general, and should be of concern to us all.

And so, just as Justice O’Connor reflects on what can be done about the dumbing-down of America, we wonder what can be done about the slowing down of America, and the role top echelon runners might play in that turnaround.  (more…)

AGENT RESPONDS TO KENYAN CRITICISM

Brendan Reilly with Diane Nukuri-Johnson
Brendan Reilly with Bix 7 contender Diane Nukuri-Johnson (courtesy Daily Camera)

Davenport, Iowa – The 39th Quad City Times Bix 7 Road Race goes off tomorrow, one of the summer’s top races on the U.S. road tour.  Preparing for KWQC-TVs live broadcast (coverage begins at 7 a.m. central time, the race starts at 8 a.m.), I called agent Brendan Reilly (Boulder Wave, Inc.) for an update on his athlete Diane Nukuri-Johnson, winner of the Bay to Breakers 12K in San Francisco and one of the favorites in the Bix7 women’s race.  Soon, however, our talk turned to this week’s news that Athletics Kenya has once again taken a hard line with its athletes in preparation for the upcoming IAAF World Championships in Moscow where Reilly’s client Edna Kiplagat of Kenya will be defending her 2011 world title in the women’s marathon.

As has been reported, Kenyan athletes originally scheduled to compete in today and tomorrow’s Diamond League meeting in London have been withheld by order of their federation  — “London is too close to Moscow and this may burn out our athletes,” Athletics Kenya president Isaiah Kiplagat told Reuters.

This decision comes in the wake of Kenya’s poor showing at last year’s London Olympic Games — they aimed for 12 gold medals, but returned home with only two – David Rudisha in the 800m, and Ezikiel Kemboi in the 3000m steeplechase.  AK came away feeling their athletes had over-raced ahead of time.  Immediately following the Games the federation decreed that any Kenyan marathoner eligible for a position on the 2016 Rio Olympic Marathon squad will not be allowed to participate in a spring marathon before the Rio Games.  These decisions have not been well received within the agent fraternity, and Brendan Reilly, for one, feels his profession is getting something of a bum rap.  (more…)