Friday, February 29, 2008

Kenya Update From Paul Koech

Paul Koech (26:36 10,000m, 2:07:07 marathon) sent us this report from Kenya on Wednesday, one day before the leaders of the country’s rival political parties signed a power-sharing agreement. A captain in the Kenyan Army, Koech founded Silgich Hill Academy in 2004. The school provides free primary education for more than 150 students.

Students at Silgich Academy. Photo courtesy of are fine, although with some tension in relation to the security state of the country. Silgich Academy is going on well, although most of the parents were affected by the violence after the disputed election results of two months ago. All of the school staff are safe and well, but some students transferred, for their parents feared that the situation in the country would deteriorate into an out-of-control ethnicity-based conflict.

There is only one student, Kenneth Ngetich, whose father was shot by police along Eldoret-Nairobi road while he was walking to the shopping center. The boy is among the students sponsored by Mr D’s class [at a Massachusetts elementary school]. I will send you his picture and some of the pictures of the affected area.

The main problem we are facing is the feeding of persons who ran away from the clash-torn areas, and payment of school fees for parents who are mainly farmers and were not able to sell their produce or had it destroyed. We are struggling to sustain ourselves with the little we have. Our neighboring academy was closed, for they did not have the resources to continue.

Kenya as it should be. Photo by Tim Nelson.The closest area to Silgich that was affected is 6 kilometers from here, a shopping center where houses and shops were burned and destroyed, for it was said that these were people who supported the government. The effect in Eldoret is substantial in areas outside the town. All parts of the country, except Central and Eastern provinces, had a considerable share of destruction of properties due to anger of the ODM’s [the opposition party led by Raila Odinga] supporters and sympathizers.

Despite all of these problems we are optimistic for the future. I know that as athletes, we always considered ourselves to be one Kenya. I have confidence that in the end we will again return to the state where we are all proud to be Kenyans.

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Monday, February 25, 2008

Video: U.S. Indoor 3,000

A few peeks before, during and after Teg, Solinsky and training partner Jonathan Riley go 1-2-3 at the 3,000m indoor national championships. A gold star to the first one who can name the composer of the first song and the bands behind the second and third ones.

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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Tegenkamp, Solinsky Go 1-2 at Indoor Championships

Matt T. wins in Boston.Matt Tegenkamp defended his national indoor 3,000m title, and Chris Solinsky placed a close second, in a tactical race last night in Boston. Their training partner, Jonathan Riley, completed a Madison trifecta by taking third.

After a slow opening 2 kilometers (5:36), Solinsky made the race’s first truly decisive move with four laps to go on the 200-meter track at the Reggie Lewis Center. Tegenkamp calmly set off after him, and took the lead for the first time, and for good, with less than 300 meters remaining. Although the finishing times were relatively modest (8:02.52 for Teg, 8:03.8 for Solinsky), their strong finish (last kilometer of around 2:25 for Teg) was impressive. The race was only Solinsky’s second of the season, and Teg’s first since September.

Chris S. in Boston.

Solinsky will run the indoor World Championships in two weeks in Valencia, Spain, and will be joined there by Riley. Both learned only after the race from their coach, Jerry Schumacher, that they would be making the trip across the Atlantic.

Chris will file a few dispatches from his first world team here, starting here early next week.

Results from Boston

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Friday, February 22, 2008

Teg Talks: Where to Begin…

Matt Tegenkamp and Chris Solinsky will battle for the 3,000m win at Saturday’s indoor national championships in Boston. At least that’s what he thinks will happen; see below for his speculation about what their mutual coach, Jerry Schumacher, has told them how about race tactics.

We’ll have a post-meet wrap, including video, on Sunday. For now, the return of Mr. T’s musings…

Tegenkamp sports his Stop Solinsky t-shirtI have been hiding out for a while trying to relax and get myself ready for a big year. Nothing could have helped that more than getting away from this horrible winter Madison has had this year. Well, the perfect opportunity came when my old roommate moved to Tempe, Arizona, so I jumped at the chance to get away and train in perfect weather. I was in Tempe for about two months (December and January), and it was great. I was able to get some great training in and stay healthy while increasing my base mileage. While I was away Jerry had me focusing on mileage with some strength work mixed in. I was doing 45-second hill repeats once a week as well as a 10-mile progression run.

When the time came to head back to Madison I had mixed feelings. I mean it was 40 as a low and 65 as a high everyday…and sunny!!! How could I leave that? But as the old saying goes, there’s no place like home, and I was really looking forward to getting back in my own bed in my own house. On the trip back everyone from Madison was telling us that we were crazy and to turn around, but we made it back, and I could see why they were telling us to take their advice. Before I left my neighbor was saying that there had not been a real winter in Madison for 10 years. Well, this year it’s a “real” winter. Since I have been back I have seen about 20” of snow; ice-covered sidewalks, bike paths, you name it; and days and days and days of below-0 temperatures (not including windchill). All of this in only three weeks; this is why Jerry always said to just to stay and tough it out; warm sunny Arizona made me soft. Hopefully we will not see anything like this again for another 10 years, and I will be retired and will get to laugh at everyone doing their training.

I can’t believe how fast the time has gone by. All of a sudden U.S. indoor champs is here. I really don’t know what to expect from this race other than getting my feet wet on the track again. I got back to Madison at the start of February, and immediately got to work with repeat sessions. Things have been going good so far, and I am healthy still, so that is half the battle. I think the biggest issue right now is battling high mileage but adding intensity in the form of repeats to the training cycle. I have only been doing it for three weeks now, and I don’t think my legs have quite adjusted yet. Nor should they—we are not trying to run the best now!! However, I took a down week leading up to this meet, so that should help. It’s going to be a lot of fun this weekend battling not only the competition but also the teammates; I mean there are a lot of bragging rights tied to this race. We were joking the other day about Jerry pulling us aside before the race and giving us our own race plain and not sharing. Then as the race progresses and the pack starts to shake down and it’s time to make “my” move, I (and the others) realize that Jerry gave us the exact same plan.

I mean, we all want to win, and when it comes down to it we realize that we should all be in the hunt with a lap to go, and from that point on it is whoever has it on that day. I am really excited to get the ’08 season underway, and from this point forward I’m done talking about ’07. It’s a new year with different obstacles and goals. I am on the right track and I am confident I will get things start off on the right foot this weekend!

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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Carney Makes World Cross Team

James Carney placed sixth at yesterday’s U.S. Cross Country Championships to earn a spot on the team for next month’s World Cross Country Championships, to be held in Edinburgh, Scotland on March 30.

Carney ran 35:56 for the 12-kilometer course in San Diego’s Mission Bay Park. Carney’s former training partner, Dathan Ritzenhein, won in 35:03. On the last lap, Carney was closing fast on Olympic Marathon Trials champion Ryan Hall, who placed fifth in 35:50.

Fasil Bizuneh placed 16th in 36:49. In the women’s 8K, Nicole Aish had an off day and finished 27th in 28:43.

Results | Carney Post-Race Video

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