Tag: Leo Manzano

HAILE CHALLENGES THE SPORT

Coming April 13, 2014
Coming April 13, 2014

Honolulu, Hawaii – Even as the Virgin Money London Marathon features a fearsome field of contenders for its 2014 edition this Sunday morning, former marathon world record holder, and Sunday London pacer, Haile Gebrselassie of Ethiopia has offered a bleak prognosis for the sport he bestrode for so many years.

“Athletics has to change a little bit, bring in new ideas, new concepts,” said the holder of 27 world records to the assembled London press corps. “Otherwise it’s going to be just a bit boring to watch.”

That’s a little ironic, perhaps, since Haile will play a key role in one of running’s most labored old ideas this Sunday morn, lead pacer in the marathon. New ideas? How about letting the athletes compete over the entire distance? Boring to watch? How about knowing for a certainty that NOTHING will happen for the first half of the race — Unless there is an error in judgement, like we saw in 2013 when they went through the half in 61:34, or in 2009 when they went through 10k in 28:30 on the way to the half in 61:36.  Those kind of errors just blow up the race, not the SOMETHING race organizers might be looking for.

Saying the health and well-being of the sport (meaning track & field) has been masked by the over-sized presence of Jamaican superstar sprinter Usain Bolt, Haile wondered what the sport would do in his absence?

“We have to upgrade the situation,” he concluded, “attract more of an audience (and give) what they like. We have to attract sponsors. If the sponsors think nobody cares about athletics, who is going to sponsor you?” (more…)

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Q & A: DAVID TORRENCE READY FOR CARLSBAD

David Torrence, 3:52 & 13:16 PRs
David Torrence, 3:52 & 13:16 PRs

Beginning with Steve Scott’s three victories in 1986, the American presence at the Carlsbad 5000 has always been strong.  But except for Steve the only other American male champ at the World’s Fastest 5K has been Doug Padilla in 1990 (13:29).  This year the possibility of a third American win will be tempered by a cadre of East African whippets beginning with two-time defending champion and Olympic 5000m silver medalist Dejen Gebremeskel of Ethiopia. But, matchmaker Matt Turnbull has lured a trio of top U.S. milers, including Bay Area Track Club standout David Torrence, to carry the U.S. colors and hopes this Sunday April 7th.

While London Olympic 1500 meter silver medalist Leo Manzano is, understandably, the U.S. headliner, and late entrant Will Leer arrives as the reigning US indoor mile and 3000m champion, David Torrence has been training down in Mexico and will hit San Diego’s Lindbergh Field today on his way up to Carlsbad.  I e-mailed David a series of questions. Here’s that exchange: (more…)

ANOTHER RECORD DAY AHEAD IN CARLSBAD?

CbadLogoCarlsbad, California may be a laid back beach community most of the year, but each April the idyllic seaside village turns into a laboratory of speed with the coming of the Carlsbad 5000.   Since its inception in 1986, the self-anointed World’s Fastest 5K has more than lived up to its billing. Home to both the current men’s (13:00) and women’s (14:46) 5K road world records, and site of the top 18 performances ever for men, and seven of the top 10 times for women, Carlsbad is an ever-tested proving ground.  (more…)

MEET ME IN ST. LOUIE

     St. Louis, Mo.- I’m back in my old hometown to serve as guest announcer for tonight’s fourth annual Big River Festival of Miles presented by Under Armour.  Taking place at my high school alma mater, St. Louis University High School, the FOM is a series of races from an open mile for boys and girls from first to eighth grade, to invitational boys and girls high school miles, to an elite/pro women’s 800 and men’s mile to close the program.

     The Big River Festival of Miles was conceived in 2008 by fellow SLUH alum Ben Rosario, co-owner of the Big River Running Company, and a former Hanson’s Distance Project runner.  The first FOM was staged to benefit the family of Brigette Schutzman, a standout cross country and track runner for Saint Louis University who had been badly injured in a car accident on New Year’s Eve 2007.   The meet raised $8,000 for the Schutzman family. (more…)