Monday, October 8, 2012

Kiprono Wins BAA Medley, Bairu Tops in San Jose

Allan Kiprono will return home to Kenya $100,000 richer, after netting a major payday in Boston this weekend. Winning the BAA Half Marathon cinched Kiprono’s grand prix victory in the BAA Distance Medley, a competition determined by fastest aggregate time from the BAA 5k, 10k and Half-Marathon, each year. Entering the race, Kiprono was 4 seconds out of first position in the standings, and went out aggressively, daring Medley leaders Ali Abdosh and Sam Chelanga to come with him.  For the man from Kaptagat, the half-marathon win was a slam-dunk exclamation on the series, as Kiprono’s winning time of 1:01:44 also took down the course record. As Medley Champion, Kiprono claimed a $100k winner-take-all prize.

Meanwhile, Simon Bairu ran 1:03:25 to pick up a 2-second win in San Jose, at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half-Marathon. In doing so, the Canadian star defeated Sergio Reyes, Scott Bauhs, and Russia’s record holder in the marathon Aleksey Sokolov. Though the time was well off Bairu’s half-marathon PB of 1:02:08, the race served as a successful tune-up for the ING NYC Marathon, which he will run in November.

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Monday, December 12, 2011

Flanagan and Bairu Claim Wins in Miami

Simon Bairu and Shalane Flanagan notched victories in their final tune-ups before January’s Olympic qualifying attempts in Houston, each reaching the tape first at the Latin Music Miami Beach Half Marathon. Coming into the day under heavy training loads — a calculation intended by coach Jerry Schumacher to simulate running hard in the second half of January’s 26.2-mile efforts — Flanagan came in just below her prescribed goal, hitting 1:09:58, while Bairu clocked 1:05:38, just ahead of teammate Brent Vaughn and his 1:05:41. Tim Nelson took 3rd in 1:07:44.

Flanagan was fourth to the line, overall, beating all other entrants except for her male teammates. Her performance was just 81 seconds off of her personal best, set last year in Philadelphia.

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Monday, November 14, 2011

Flanagan Throws Down Course Record at RnR San Antonio Half

Shalane Flanagan was all business at Sunday’s Rock ‘N Roll San Antonio Half Marathon, taking home the victory as part of her preparation for the upcoming Olympic Marathon Trials. With a goal of cracking 1:12:00, Flanagan cruised to a big win and an even faster time than expected, posting a 1:10:49 — just about two-minutes slower than her PB of 68:37, even while running a largely solo effort with her weekly mileage up in triple-digits. The time gave her a margin of over two minutes over top American marathoner Tera Moody — surely a dark horse candidate at January’s Olympic Trials after taking 5th in 2008 — who placed second in 1:13:23.

Meanwhile, Flanagan’s Oregon Track Club teammates Simon Bairu, Tim Nelson, and Brent Vaughn competed on the men’s side where they were credited with the same time of 1:05:25, crossing the line bunched in third through fifth positions. (Vaughn was given third place in the official results.)

Read the full article

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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, April 12, 2011

Bairu Blogs About Pizza-Slowed Shamrock Shuffle Win

Simon Bairu took to the streets of Chicago this weekend, winning the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8k. On his new website,, the Canadian star blogged about the race, stating that the plan for his race was to be aggressive early, and offering some play-by-play. “We hit mile 2 in 9:21 and mile 3 in 14:14,” he wrote. “At this point I was feeling okay but not great, but there were a couple of guys still with me so I decided to make a big push then cruise in home for the last mile. Final time was 23:38.”

Additionally, Bairu capped his visit with a culinary tour that he also described:

The food in Chicago was awesome. On Friday, I went to the historic Berghoff restaurant/bar for lunch and had their famous roast beef sandwich. I also promised myself that I would make sure I hit up some quality Chicago style pizza while I was in town and a couple of friends recommended Pizzeria Due in downtown Chicago. It was easily the best pizza I have ever had; the amount of pizza I ate probably added 10 to 15 seconds to my time but it was well worth it!

You can read the full blog at Simon’s website.

Photo courtesy Loraine Klein, Streamwood Digital.

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