ELLIPTICAL THOUGHTS

Mindless yoga

Mindless yoga

Ever find yourself standing around somewhere – maybe Costco or Target – and realize you’re doing some made up yoga pose in the middle of the aisle?  Maybe the wife is looking at another variety of scented candle, so you begin moving your chi around to get that pelvis lined up or stretch out that tight right hammy?  Then all of a sudden you realize what you’re doing, look around to see if anybody’s watching, get a little self-conscious and stop?

There’s your kid/adult crossroads, right there, in those small unselfconscious moments of internal disregard to public awareness. It’s when we begin to give a sh•t what other people think that we lose our innocence and conformity sets in — along with the tightening that gives rise to need for yoga in the first place . Continue reading

A TRIPLE CROWN FOR THE MILE?

Even as California Chrome‘s bid for horse racing’s first Triple Crown in 36 years came to a thudding halt in yesterday’s 146th Belmont Stakes, the outdoor track season swept into full summer swing last Thursday from sea to shining sea with plenty of action on the enameled plain in between.

Eric Avila wins Jim Ryun Festival

Eric Avila wins Jim Ryun Festival

In San Diego, Eric Avila and A.J. Acosta, two former area high school stars who have been beset by bad fortune in recent years, returned to top form to cap off the Jim Ryun Festival of Miles at the San Diego High School track.  Avila blasted a near 10-second PR 3:56.89 to edge out Acosta’s 3:57.07 in front of a small but enthusiastic gathering that came to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Jim Ryun’s first high school sub-4  minute mile, a crowd that included many of track’s former stars from SoCal.

Eric Finan leads four sub-4s in Concord, Mass.

Eric Finan edges out New Zealand’s Hamish Carson (blue), Providence College’s Julian Oakley and Leo Manzano in Concord, Mass.

 

Back east In Concord, Massachusetts Eric Finan of Team USA Minnesota joined Avila in the sub-4 club, his 3:58.73 leading three other men sub-4 at the 6th Adrian Martinez Classic. New sponsor Hoka One One brought in Olympic 1500m silver medalist Leo Manzano as the star attraction, but Leo could only manage fourth place (3:59.31) in the tightly contested race.

 

 

Jordan McNamara captures his second FOM title in St. Louis

J Mac captures his second FOM title in St. Louis in record time

And in St. Louis, Missouri Jordan McNamara of Nike OTC Elite posted a 3:54.27 clocking to take down Leo Manzano’s 2009 event record (3:55.29) in the seventh edition of the Nike Festival of Miles. It was JMac’s second win on the St. Louis University High School track.  He captured his first FOM title in 2011.

In all there were 10 men under 4:00 on the same night, two in San Diego, four each in Concord and St. Louis.  And while all three events showcased excellent competition, giving fans much to appreciate and applaud, what also stands out is the parochial nature of it all. Even the name Festival of Miles shows how blinkered and uncoordinated the sport continues to be.

“The Jim Ryun event looks fun, though I was a little disappointed in the name choice,” wrote Ben Rosario, impresario behind the seven-year old Nike Festival of Miles in St. Louis. “But it is what it is.”

But why is it what it is? Continue reading

YES, BUT IS IT A REAL TOUR?

13BBTMtourLogo     Having just passed its first year anniversary the Bring Back the Mile campaign just announced its Bring Back the Mile Tour 2013 which will include 13 stops and an end-of-the-year gala celebrating a Mile legend and the year in the Mile.

Knowing how loosely strung most running “tours” have been in the past,  I emailed BBTM founder Ryan Lamppa the following query:  “Is this simply linking all these mile races up on paper, but not actually creating a specific tour with a prize purse attached at the end?  Now that would be news. Not that this isn’t.”

Here’s Ryan’s response:

“The BBTM Tour 2013 is about the Big Tent, and our main Tour objective in year one is about promotion – promotion of the Mile, Tour events and the athletes, and our broader vision is to have a national Mile grand prix series in 2014 (only top prize money races). In short, we are scaling this. Call the BBTM Tour 2013 lap 2 of the Bring Back the Mile campaign.”

Makes sense, Ryan. Like the mile race itself, it’s important to have a strategy to execute. You’ve had a good first lap, I’d say. Now it’s on to the second.

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NBIGP2013
The first tour site is this Saturday night’s New Balance Indoor Grand Prix in Boston’s Reggie Lewis Center.  I’m fortunate to be the house announcer for the meet.

In the featured men’s mile, 2011 World Championship bronze medalist Matthew Centrowitz, Jr. heads the field. There will also be both boy’s and girl’s junior miles, events which always light up the raucous New England fans.  The meet sold-out early, but you can watch it live on ESPN3 Feb. 2nd, and again on tape-delay on ESPN2 Sunday, Feb. 3, from 2-4 p.m. Eastern standard time.

Of course, the race that has everyone on the edge of their seats is the match up between Olympic 10,000m silver medalist Galen Rupp and his Olympic 5000 counterpart Dejen Gebremeskel of Ethiopia. These two battled three years ago at the Reggie over 5000m with both losing out to Bernard Lagat’s American record 13:11.50.  Gebremeskel took 2nd, Rupp a close fourth in what was his inaugural pro season.

But now they each hold Olympic hardware, and Rupp is coming off the fifth fastest indoor mile in history last week at the B.U. Invitational (3:50.92).  Gebremeskel will have to run something similar to his memorable one-shoe 3000 at the 2011 NBIGP meet where he bested now double Olympic champion Mo Farah in a final lap thriller.

This meet is not one to miss.

END

‘BRING BACK THE MILE’ Expands Website

     After a successful splash  launch, bringbackthemile.com has expanded its website with a State Federation Petition requesting that the Mile be brought back to the State Championship  level around the nation.  The expanded website also allows for anyone to share  photographs, videos or their written stories through the I Am the Mile sub-campaign. The website also features an ever expanding database of Mile news, history, trivia and athlete bios.

The initial launch on January 19 not only created “buzz” on the web and  beyond, but generated almost 14,000 YouTube views of the Bring Back the Mile trailer and extended video as well as 1,000-plus Facebook fans  and a Sports Illustrated “Faces in the Crowd” feature.

“We are heartened by the response that we have received since our launch,” said Ryan Lamppa, Bring Back the Mile Founder. “People have a love and a passion for the  Mile, and our website bringbackthemile.com will be the Mile home on-line. Our front page feature is the high school state federation  petition drive to replace the 1600-meters with the Mile at State  Championships.

“In addition, a special thank you to the Bring Back the Mile Support Team including Olympians and Milers Jim Ryun, Marty Liquori, Carrie  Tollefson and Leo Manzano and our Partners who have offered their  support and feedback to get this national campaign launched,” Lamppa  added.

The Mile holds a special place in track & field and beyond because no  running distance, or field event for that matter, has the history, the  appeal, the “magic” of the Mile. The first sub-4 minute mile by Great  Britain’s Roger Bannister in 1954 is regarded as the greatest individual athletic achievement of  the 20th century, and no other event has produced an equivalent of the  sub-4 minute Mile standard in the sport, in the media and in the  public’s mind.

Unfortunately, the Mile has lost some of its luster over the past decade, and the Bring Back the Mile mission is: To return the Mile to prominence on the American sports and cultural  landscape by elevating and celebrating the Mile to create a national  movement.

Visit www.bringbackthemile.com or contact media@bringbackthemile.com for more information.
The Bring Back the Mile Support Team media@bringbackthemile.com

‘BRING BACK THE MILE’ LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN

    
     Bring Back the Mile Launches National campaign to elevate and celebrate the iconic distance.
The Mile holds a special place in Track & Field and beyond. No running distance, or field event for that matter, has the history, the appeal, the “magic” of the Mile. The first sub-4 minute mile by Great Britain’s Roger Bannister in 1954 is regarded as the greatest individual athletic achievement of the 20th century, and no other event has produced an equivalent of the sub-4 minute mile standard in the sport, in the media and in the public’s mind. Unfortunately, the Mile has lost some of its luster over the past decade, especially at the High School level where the 1600 meters is run, 9 meters short of a Mile. Today, the ‘Bring Back the Mile’ campaign is being introduced at: www.bringbackthemile.com.
Our Bring Back the Mile mission is simple: To return the Mile to prominence on the American sports and cultural landscape by elevating and celebrating the Mile to create a national movement. Visit www.bringbackthemile.com and let’s Bring Back the Mile! Thank you.
The Bring Back the Mile Support Team media@bringbackthemile.com