Monday, January 31, 2011

Bizuneh 4th at USATF Half Marathon Championships

The Millrose Games may have the pedigree, but the top competition of the weekend — from a distance running standpoint — was in Houston on Saturday, where Fasil Bizuneh worked his way through a solid field to take fourth at the USATF Half Marathon Championships.  Even with the American Record Holder at the distance, Ryan Hall, in the race, it was KIMbia’s Brent Vaughn leading the early proceedings.  For his part, Bizuneh got fourth the hard way — grinding it out late:

It was a tough one out there. [...] I got gapped at 10k and worked pretty hard to get back and just didn’t have much left to respond with [at the end].

Bizuneh ran 1:02:47, about fifteen seconds out of third place.

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

2010 Highlight: Rebecca Donaghue

Rebecca Donaghue had an injury-abbreviated 2010 — certainly a disappointment for someone who made such major strides the previous year. However, she found some positives  off the track — on the roads, and in mentoring one of America’s best up-and-coming high-school half-milers…

What would you call the main highlight of 2010 for you, professionally or personally?
I would have to say one of the highlights of 2010 would be setting a road mile pr of 4:34 out in St. Charles, IL. at the Inaugural Foot Mechanics Mile. It was a seven second pr from the track and I had tons of fun both in the race and with all the festivities of the event. I was also pleased to set a 10,000m track pr at the Payton Jordan Cardinal Invite. Even though I was shooting for a much faster time I walked away learning a lot more about the event on the track vs. the road and can’t wait to apply that this year.

There were also some highlights in my 6th year of coaching at State College High. Our top athlete, Chloe Schmidt, defended her Indoor 800m State title and then placed 3rd at the Nike Indoor Nationals. Read the full article

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Monday, January 24, 2011

Chepkurui Takes Armed Forces Cross Country Title, Eyes Big Goals

Lineth Chepkurui rolled up another strong cross country run on Saturday in Nanyuki, Kenya, winning the Kenyan Armed Forces Championships.  An IAAF report via Mutwiri Mutuota detailed the late stages of the race:

At 6km, the trio had put daylight between them and pretenders and when the rush for victory was signalled [sic], Chenonge, then Cherop, again Chenonge, then the challenger took turns to head the queue for honours.

All the while, Chepkurui waited her time, just a stride behind the pair. Cherop burned out with 500m to go leaving Chenonge ahead, as the Bydgoszcz fourth placer patiently trailed her. Read the full article

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

2010 Highlight: Simon Bairu

Although Chris Solinsky‘s 26:59 and Shalane Flanagan’s 2nd-place finish in the NYC Marathon may have earned Jerry Schumacher 2010 Coach of the Year honors in the public’s mind, the breakout that Simon Bairu had in 2010 might be Schumacher’s finest achievement from a motivational standpoint.  After a sub-par performance in the Kim McDonald 10,000m at Stanford, Bairu got an earful from his coach, who told the Canadian star that he’d been completely out-worked by his OTC teammates that year.

Bairu took it to heart, attacked his running with renewed dedication, and reaped the rewards in 2010: a win over American Record-holder Ryan Hall in the Rock ‘N Roll Arizona Half, a 12th-place finish at World Cross, and a new half-marathon PB of 1:02:08 in Philly in September.  But the crown jewel, according to Bairu, was his return to Stanford, where he shattered the Canadian Record for 10,000m, running a 27:23.63 to knock 27-seconds off his personal best and 12 seconds off the previous national record.

What would you call the main highlight of 2010 for you?
My 2010 highlight was breaking the Canadian 10,000m record. I thought I was going to get it last year but the wheels came off in the last two miles of the race and I ended up running 27:50. This year I was much stronger and thus was able to finish strong. With the transition to the marathon, I knew 2010 would be my last real chance at the record for some time. Read the full article

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Thursday, January 13, 2011

2010 Highlight: James Carney

The marathon can be a cruel mistress, as the training can handicap your ability to perform optimally at shorter distances, and the full race itself can make your two annual attempts a bit of a crapshoot. James Carney says he lived that experience in 2010, logging a tough DNF in Chicago and falling short of his goals in Rotterdam in the spring.  However, we might take a moment to point out that Rotterdam did mark a one-minute PB for 26.2, and that Carney still showed well all over the country:  7th at Bolder Boulder when he was coming back from a lay-off; 3rd in New Haven at the USATF 20k Champs; and, runner-up at the Bellin 10k in Green Bay, WI.  Nevertheless, Carney looks toward 2011 with both an intense ultimatum for himself and a more laid-back outlook to his racing.

What would you call the main highlight of 2010 for you, either professionally or personally?
There were no real “highlights” to 2010. 2010 was a year of trial and error for me. I tried different training techniques, Read the full article

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