Monday, July 30, 2007

Solinsky, Bairu PR at 5000m; Tegenkamp Runs Good 1500m

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Chris Solinsky and Simon Bairu ran big PRs on a perfect night in the quiet village of Heusden, Belgium. In the “A” race, Chris ran smooth and relaxed for the first 4000 meters. With two laps to go the tempo increased; Chris matched the pace. In was clear he would going to run a fast time, but for the American spectators, the question was whether or not he could win the race. With 500 meters remaining, not only did it look like he wouldn’t win, but his chance of running a fast time almost went out the window. Two athletes went down in front of Chris, but he was able to hurdle one athlete and step over (or was it on?) the other. The fall gave him “a shot of adrenaline” as he sprinted to catch the leaders. Coming off the final turn he was charging for the finish, but had to settle for 4th place in a time of 13:12.24.Bairu, Tegenkamp, and Solinksy with their favorite Heusden statue.Simon Bairu ran a similar race in the following section, biding his time along the rail in the middle of the pack. After Ryan Hall dropped off his pacing effort at 3000 meters, Reid Coolsaet and Ian Dobson continued the charge, putting 20 meters on the pack. But with 800 meters to go, Coolsaet began to struggle as Jonathan Riley began to close the gap. Simon got going with 600 meters to go, finishing with a 9-second PR in 13:25.91, good for 8th place. Tim Nelson ran in the same heat as Simon, but fell on the rail towards the end of the race. He was still able to finish, but the fall hurt his chances of running a fast time.

Matt Tegenkamp ran a good race earlier in the evening, finishing 6th in the 1500m with a time of 3:36.48. With 150 meters remaining, it looked like he would use his Town Square in Hasselt, Belgium, which borders Heusden.momentum to push through the chase pack; second place was definitely in reach. But an athlete stepped out in front, causing Matt to slow down. The move killed his momentum and by the time he got back to full speed they were already at the line. Less than a second separated 2nd and 6th place.

Just three days earlier Matt ran the 3000m in Monte Carlo. It was a good effort – 7:37 – but “not my best race.” Michelle Sikes made her European debut at the same race. She ran 8:44, a 30-second PR, good for 8th place.

Tegenkamp in the Heusden 1500mNext up for Matt and Chris is the 3000m at Stockholm on August 7th. Simon, Tim, and Michelle returned the States today. Simon and Michelle will prepare for the World Championships while Tim heads to the Falmouth Road Race on August 12th.

More Heusden Photos

Heusden Results

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Monday, July 16, 2007

Solinsky Runs Great 3000m in Sheffield; 8th Fastest American

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Chris Solinksy, Sheffield 3000m

Chris Solinsky ran 7:36.90 – a 15-second PR – on a cold, rainy night in Sheffield, UK. His time, the 8th fastest ever by an American, was good for third place behind Kenenisa Bekele and Craig Mottram at the Norwich Union Grand Prix meeting. “I didn’t have a particular time in mind coming into the race,” Solinsky said afterwards. “I just wanted to be competitive and run faster than my PR.” As the youngest athlete in the field, he ran with poise despite a pace much faster than any he’s ever carried in a 3000m race. “I think the fastest I’ve ever come through the mile is 4:11. Tonight I was 4:03 and felt comfortable.”After the brisk first mile, the pack splintered into two groups; Solinsky hung onto the back of the front pack. At 2K the pacesetter veered off, and at the same moment Bekele made his move, quickly gapping the pack by 20 meters. Solinksy continued to work his way up, moving into third place with 500 meters to go. It appeared that he was closing on Mottram, but with 250 meters to go, Mottram looked back and dug down for another gear. “Man, in retrospect I wish I had gone a little earlier,” he said back at the hotel. “I don’t know if I could have caught him, but there’s definitely more there.”Chris’s next race will be a 5000m in Heusden on July 28th. He’ll be joined by teammates Simon Bairu and Tim Nelson; Matt Tegenkamp will be racing the 1500m at the same meet.

Sheffield 3,000m Results

Photos from Sheffield

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Sunday, July 15, 2007

Ndirangu Wins Crazy 8′s

Ndirangu at the Falmouth Road RaceSimon Ndirangu recently returned to the U.S. for the second half of the road racing season. He picked up where he left off, winning the Crazy 8′s 8K run in Tennessee. His time of 22:16 was certainly fast, but was off the world record time (22:03) race organizers and athletes had hoped for. “I wanted to break the record today,” Simon said after the race. “But the pace slowed too much in the middle. Maybe next year.”

It was an impressive field, with 69 elite athletes entered in the race. It was a great win for Ndirangu, who is making his U.S. road debut this summer after recently joining KIMbia. Previously he was studying in running under the great corporate structure of Japan. “I learned much in Japan. It prepared me for this.”

Kenya’s Ndirangu Wins Crazy 8′s 8K

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Tegenkamp Runs 13:27 in Lausanne

Tegenkamp signs autographs in LausanneOn a cold and damp evening, Matt Tegenkamp ran 13:27 to finish in 6th place at the Athletissima meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland. Times were slow across the board, most likely because of the cold (under 50-degrees at start time) and windy conditions. “It was just cold out there. I couldn’t get into any type of rhythm. I felt tight. It just wasn’t my day,” said Tegenkamp after signing dozens of autographs for kids waiting outside the mix zone. A few minutes later he added, “It’s still not a bad race. I hung tough, but didn’t get the result I wanted. There’s still a lot of racing left this year.”

Lausanne Results

More Photos from Lausanne

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