Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Thompson takes US 1500m title


Josh Thompson produced a stunning performance at the USATF Indoor Championships in Albuquerque on Saturday, kicking off the front to take victory in the men’s 1500m in 3:44.07 with a blazing 26.86 final lap. It was Thompson’s first US title.

It was also a great weekend for Karissa Schweizer, who finished second in the 3000 and third in the 1500m, with her Bowerman Track Club teammate Shelby Houlihan taking victory in both.

Courtney Frerichs was in action in the women’s 3000m, the steeplechase specialist finishing fifth in 8:57.15 while Izaic Yorks was 13th in the men’s 3000m. Meanwhile in Seattle, Lopez Lomong led home a high-quality field in the men’s 3000m, clocking 7:45.82 ahead of teammate Marc Scott (7:46.11), Evan Jager (7:46.24) and Sean McGorty (7:46.76).

In Boston, James Randon finished seventh in the men’s mile in 3:59.85, his first time below the four-minute barrier this season.

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Monday, February 3, 2020

Jager makes winning return in Seattle


Evan Jager made his long-awaited return to racing at the UW Invitational in Seattle on Saturday, the 30-year-old’s first race in 18 months. It was a winning return for the 2016 Olympic silver medalist, who had been ruled out in 2019 through injury. Jager clocked 3:56.50 to win the men’s mile and he led home fellow Kimbia and Bowerman Track Club athlete Sean McGorty, who ran 3:57.19 in second.

Karissa Schweizer opened her 2020 campaign with an impressive performance in the women’s mile, finishing second to Shelby Houlihan in 4:24.32. Houlihan took the win in 4:23.68. Courtney Frerichs and Jessica Tonn were both in action over 3,000m, where Frerichs finished third in 8:47.31 behind Colleen Quigley (8:44.83). Tonn clocked a superb personal best to finish fourth in 8:54.19.

Marc Scott was an impressive winner of the men’s 3000m, the Briton taking victory in 7:49.65.

Elsewhere Josh Thompson was in action at Boston University, where the Bowerman Track Club athlete took an excellent win in the 1500m. He unleashed a big negative split to rocket  to the line in 3:37.21 in what was his first race of the year.

Image: Cortney White/Bowerman Track Club

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Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Cragg all set for Trials challenge


Amy Cragg
is back to full health as she prepares to challenge for a spot on the U.S. Olympic team at next month’s marathon trials in Atlanta. The  35-year-old world championship medalist spoke to Runner’s World this week and revealed she has overcome the issues with fatigue that ruled her out of the Chicago Marathon last October.

“It was just overall fatigue,” Cragg said. “I think we just went too hard for too long. I ‘cooked myself. Took some time off when we realized it wasn’t coming around for Chicago. Now I’m feeling a lot better and ready to go.

“You talk to any distance runner, you go through those ups and downs regularly. It’s like you just can’t seem to get out of the slump. You don’t know whether to push harder or let go. I’ve been used to it over the years. But there was definitely still that fear that I might have overdone it; [I’d] hope it’s not undoable.”

Cragg has put in as much as 130 miles a week on the build-up to the Trials and while she is cautious not to overdo things, she’s hopeful it will put her in contention to make another Olympic team next month.

“Things are going well, but I am listening to my body a lot, just making sure that I don’t go into that zone. I’m in a good place right now. I’m very cautious about going over the edge. February 29, top 3, that’s what I’m going for. It’s just getting on that team. For me, that’s everything.”

Image: Photorun

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Saturday, November 9, 2019

Bannister: Everest on the Track takes top prize


We at Kimbia are delighted to announce that the film Bannister: Everest on the Track has won the top prize, the Golden Achilles, at the second International Athletics Film Festival in San Sebastian.

The announcement was made on Saturday (9) after a week-long series of screenings in the Basque city and follows in the footsteps of Town of Runners which won in 2018.

Phil Minshull, writing for the IAAF, noted:

This year’s winning film looks at the motivations that inspired Roger Bannister to his historic feat of being the first person to run under four minutes for the mile and puts it in a historic context of what it meant to the British public, coming as it did less than nine years after the end of World War II.

To quote from one of the reviews when the film was first released: “Everest on the Track is as much a historical study of Britain’s psychological, if not almost physical, need for something – anything – to erase the woes of World War II as it is a fresh look at the quest for the first sub-4:00 mile, the heretofore deemed physically impossible.”

Among those interviewed during the documentary are Bannister himself, one of his pacemakers Chris Chataway, who was later to go on and break the 5000m world record, as well as US runner George Dole who competed in the famous race at Iffley Road while a Rhodes scholar at Oxford University.

Also interviewed are spectators on that day more than 65 years ago, 6 May 1954, when one of the most well-known feats in sporting history was achieved, as well as journalists and historians along with future world mile world record holders John Landy – with whom Bannister was in a long-distance duel to become the first man to go under the historic barrier – Sebastian Coe and Steve Cram.

BACK TO THE BEGINNING

“We first started thinking about the film in 2014 when there was the 60th anniversary of the four-minute mile,” said the film’s director Tom Ratcliffe, who was in San Sebastian to hear the announcement that his documentary had taken the top prize. “It’s a feat that has a heritage and legacy unlike any other in athletics and perhaps sport as a whole. Roger Bannister’s achievement is one that still resonates today.

“We were very lucky in so far as one of the first people we interviewed was Chris Chataway. He was wonderfully erudite, entertaining and enthusiastic even though he was very ill with lung cancer and sadly died not long after the interviews.

“Roger (Bannister) was a bit more reticent at first. Helpful, but reserved. I think he thought ‘Oh, it’s just another interview’, but once he saw an early version of what we were doing, he then relaxed and was very generous. He said to call him whenever I was in England and I went to his house several times to do some further interviews.

“The first full version came out in 2016 and then the film has been revised since then in 2018 to take account of Roger’s death. We had many wonderful interviews and it was a case of weaving them together into a coherent film.”

Read more here or watch the trailer below:

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Saturday, November 2, 2019

Tonn sprints to second at US 5K Champs


Jess Tonn produced a brilliant display to take the runner-up spot in the USATF 5K Championships in New York today at the Abbott Dash to the Finish 5K. The 27-year-old continued her breakout year to clock 15:44 and come home just one second behind Shannon Rowbury, who won in 15:43.

“For me, I just needed to find out what the recipe was for staying healthy and what that looks like in terms of training and life,” Tonn told Letsrun.com. “I just needed a holistic balanced approach to the sport and just life in general. Once I found that — and that was in Phoenix — it’s just been fun again. And I think I wasn’t having fun for a while and I am honestly just having a blast now.

“I got back to the basics with a focus on staying as healthy as possible and just getting strong. Stacking those healthy miles and training and racing on top of each other, and I think I’m honestly starting to reap those benefits of staying healthy. I think I had two unplanned days off in the last year and some change. For me, that was like the biggest win for sure.”

Watch her reaction below:

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