Monday, April 21, 2014

Shalane 7th in Best American Time in Boston

Carrying the hopes of a city on her back, Shalane Flanagan went straight to the front of the 118th Boston Marathon and began pushing the pace, early. Seeing such an experienced racer in the lead, viewers could conclude two things: Shalane felt her best bet was off of an honest pace… and she knew she was in the shape of her life.

Two-hours later, there could be no doubt of her fitness, as she slashed 3:36 from her previous marathon personal best, running a 2:22:02 — the fastest performance by an American woman in Boston marathon history. However, the quick early pace took its toll over the final 12.2 kilometers, as the Marblehead, MA-native slipped from the lead pack, having paved the way for a course-record time by eventual race winner Rita Jeptoo. Flanagan crossed the line in 7th.

Shalane’s performance is the 5th-fastest ever run by an American, bettered only by legends Joan Benoit and Deena Kastor. In fact, Flanagan’s 2:22:02 is faster than every winning time in the forty-eight women’s competitions in the Boston Marathon, except for course record performances in 1994 and 2002… and, of course, today.

The Olympic and World Championship bronze medalist hedged on a bet that a sub-2:23 performance could take the race, as it almost always has. While six other women were ready to meet that challenge on Monday, Flanagan put herself in view of her city and the world-at-large, took her best shot, and ran a lifetime best race.

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Shalane Featured on 60 Minutes

60 Minutes calls Shalane Flanagan the “hometown favorite” a week ahead of Monday’s Boston Marathon. Though she may not be the oddsmaker’s first choice, strong showings in each of her marathons — 2nd in New York (2010), 1st at the Olympic Trials (2012), 10th in the London Olympics (2012), and 4th in Boston (2013) — give every indication that she’ll be a presence in the lead pack on Monday. More to the point, she’ll surely be bearing the best hopes of her Boston-brethren… and idea explored by the news magazine in its lengthy feature.

Check out the 60 Minutes website for extended coverage on Shalane and the race.

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

David Epstein on Bannister and ‘BANNISTER’

If you like sports or science or reading, you may have heard of longtime Sports Illustrated senior writer David Epstein and his book The Sports Gene, which explores “the science of extraordinary athletic performance.” That certainly describes Sir Roger Bannister’s breaking of the four minute barrier, and Epstein was also instrumental in our being able to tell Bannister’s story in our documentary BANNISTER: EVEREST ON THE TRACK. First, he helped make introductions with the great man, and later sat for two interviews that help make up the backbone of our story. We asked the former Columbia University track athlete a few questions about his history with Sir Roger and what makes his story special.

You were gracious enough to share a lot of time and insight for our documentary BANNISTER: EVEREST ON THE TRACK. How did you and Sir Roger Bannister first connect?

First, basically the “Where Are They Now” issue of Sports Illustrated is one of my favorites, and given that it’s harder to get track in there anymore, I always tried to use that issue to write about someone in track and field. It’s a much easier way to get track in the magazine.

So I pitched stories thinking, “Who would it be awesome to meet and write about?” And I pitched Sir Roger. I didn’t know Read the full article

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Friday, March 28, 2014

Kickstarting BANNISTER: Everest on the Track

Our newest multimedia project is a feature-length documentary about Roger Bannister and the first sub-4:00 mile, commemorating and celebrating the 60th anniversary of that landmark achievement this May. Now, we’re launching a Kickstarter campaign to try to raise the necessary funds to finish the movie to the highest possible level.

We have some amazing interviews with Sir Roger himself, his rival John Landy, Seb Coe, and the late Chris Chataway who was Bannister’s friend and pacesetter… among many others. With grassroots support, we believe we can make a “definitive” account of this momentous achievement… one that will live on to inspire future generations for years to come. Please check out our campaign and consider supporting us with a financial pledge or by spreading the word!


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Monday, February 24, 2014

Lomong Takes US 1500m Title

One state east of where he plied his trade in college, Lopez Lomong took home a 1500m national title at the US Championships in Albuequerque, holding off a late-charging Will Leer.

The Northern Arizona alum clocked 3:43.09 to beat a quality field — despite admitting that he and coach Jerry Schumacher have their focus on the 5000 for his 2014 campaign.

Adding to the handicap was contesting the championships at altitude… though that seemed not to trouble Lomong in the least. In fact, the Portland-based athlete bounced back the next day to take a credible fourth place in the 3000m, with a time of 7:56, completing a meet that demonstrated both his speed and evident strength.


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