Thursday, September 22, 2011

Bairu Explains Toronto Marathon Withdrawal

On his blog on September 20th, Simon Bairu announced the difficult decision to withdraw from this year’s Toronto Marathon, owing to what amounted to accumulated fatigue. The Canadian Record-Holder at 10,000m wrote, “As much as I would have loved to run in Canada in front of my friends and family for an opportunity to qualify for the Olympics I had to make the decision based on the fact that me at 75% isn’t gonna cut it against the clock and against a very accomplished field.” We spoke to Simon to hear more about what went into his decision, and how he thinks the race will play out.

When did you and Jerry start having an inkling that racing Toronto might not be in the cards?
The first inkling for me was after I DNF’d at New Haven, but [my coach] Jerry [Schumacher] wasn’t ready to hit the panic button just yet so we waited to see how my workouts went after the race. The workouts started to take a turn for the worse and so last weekend we decided Toronto wasn’t going to happen for me this year.

Have you experienced anything like this accumulated fatigue before? And how do you think you got there, and how did you recover?
The last time I experienced something like this was fall of 2009 as I was preparing for my marathon debut in NYC. At the time I was starting to run 120-mile weeks consistently for the first time in my career. It was a shock to the system and training started to suffer a bit because of it. We decided to scrap NYC but I did go on to have a great 2010 year! I think it’s a similar situation this year. I was tackling 130-mile weeks for the first time and now only time will tell if this is the launching pad to a great 2012 year!

What do you think is the takeaway from this experience, as it applies to runners of all abilities? The need to schedule rest into one’s training? Listening to your body?
I think the biggest take away from this is to make sure to incorporate easy days into one’s training. But most importantly don’t wait till you’re forced to take an easy day.

Now that you can comment objectively, who do you think is the favorite going into the race?
I’m friends with all the top contenders in the race and I wish them all a great race but if I had to pick one favorite it would probably have to be Reid Coolsaet. He ran 2:11:27 last year at this race so he knows the course well and he’s had a great build up this fall. I think it’s gonna be close but he’s a tough runner and I think he’ll get the top spot.

Do you have a plan yet for next year, and if so, what might that be?
Right now my only focus is getting ready for my next marathon. I’m not sure if that will be in December or early next year but that is the only thing on my mind right now.

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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Delilah: Finale

From New York City to Oregon to Holland and Switzerland, 2011 has been a big, whirlwind season for Delilah DiCrescenzo. Qualifying for her first US team on the track, setting a PB, and mixing it up with international fields the world-over, she has her sights set on making an Olympic run next season. Thanks to all you viewers for following along on this journey!

As always, we would love to hear from you. Please drop us a note in the comments with any feedback you might have about this series!

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Monday, September 5, 2011

Recap of KIMbia in Daegu at 2011 World Championships

Despite a promising early season that saw four athletes qualify for the US team headed to Daegu, the 2011 World Championships ended up a somewhat lackluster affair for the members of KIMbia Athletics.

Beginning on a down note, Chris Solinsky and Delilah DiCrescenzo had to withdraw from the competition due to injuries — though Solinsky’s withdrawal opened the door for teammate Andrew Bumbalough to make the trip. Once there, Bumbalough drew the second of two heats for the 5000m, a race which featured three more competitors than the other heat and, eventually, a mid-race fall that seemed to unsettle the quick early pace. After things slowed dramatically in the fourth kilometer, Bumbi came home in 13:44, a time placing him 9th in the heat and just a few seconds outside of qualifying via time.

In the 10,000m, despite possessing the fitness that powered a 30:59 solo effort at the US Championships, and a 14:45 in Paris, Shalane Flanagan placed 7th in 31:25, while teammate Matt Tegenkamp took 10th on the Men’s side. If the performances were behind what we have seen from Flanagan and Tegenkamp in previous world-level championships (notably, Flanagan’s Olympic Bronze in 2008, and Tegenkamp’s 4th Place in the Osaka World Championship 5000m in 2007), the meet did mark Teg’s first tussle with the 10,000m distance at this level.

Moreover, Daegu also capped a year in which Bumbalough made both the cross country and the outdoor track World Championship teams for the first time as a senior athlete, after representing the US on the junior level in each discipline. Beyond that impressive achievement, the experience at Worlds will surely serve the young athlete well, having made breakthroughs on the track (14-second 5000m PB) and cross country (2nd at US Champs) this year.

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Thursday, September 1, 2011

Delilah: Episode 9 — The Dream, On Hold

What do you do with the pieces of a broken heart? In this case, you have your boyfriend try to do something really difficult to make you feel better. Delilah DiCrescenzo and her break-through season came to a halt thanks to a stress fracture. Back in New York, she copes with the disappointment the best way she knows how — with a pick-me-up from her friends — and prepares to look ahead to London 2012.

For more on DELILAH, go to

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