Monday, December 15, 2008

Jolly Good Show, Michelle Sikes!

Now that’s cross country! Michelle in the lead.Last Saturday, Michelle won the 33rd annual Blues Varsity Match, a cross country dual meet between Oxford and Cambridge universities at Wimbeldon Common. (Yes, those Oxford and Cambridge universities. Michelle is studying at Oxford as a Rhodes scholar.)

Michelle won the women’s race by 3 seconds in 24:36, and led the Oxford team to a 15-24 victory over Cambridge. Results of this year’s meet are here.

Michelle’s race was part of a cross country tradition dating to 1880 at Oxford. For a history of the Blues Varsity Match, go here. To learn more about the Oxford University Cross Country Club (which played an integral in creating the sport), read this.

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Friday, May 30, 2008

Solinsky Podcast on RunningTimes.com

Listen to Chris talk about life on the European circuit in this podcast at RunningTimes.com. The podcast is a supplement to an article Matt Taylor wrote featuring Chris, Matt Tegenkamp, Michelle Sikes, Simon Bairu and Tim Nelson in the magazine’s July/August issue.

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Monday, January 21, 2008

Michelle Sikes: Nike Athlete of the Week

Not sure why Nike chose this week to highlight Michelle Sikes (she hasn’t raced since the Falmouth Mile last August), but she is their Athlete of the Week. Our favorite part? Read her answer to, “What do you do to relax away from the track?”

Sikes will be running the US Indoor Championships in Boston before turning her attention to the outdoor season and the US Olympic Trials.

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Friday, September 7, 2007

Sikes: Top Five Lessons From Osaka

Over the course of a 13-hour plane flight from Osaka to Detriot and the 1.5 hour ride from Detroit to Greensboro, I’ve had plenty of time to reflect on everything I learned in the last few weeks. It would be pretty daunting to try to cover it all, so I’ll condense it down to the most important parts. My Top Five Lessons from Two Weeks in Osaka:

5) The Japanese bring the concept of order to a new level.
That applies to everything from conversations and introductions to riding an escalator. For instance, the language itself is divided between words to use in formal vs. informal relationships settings. Ohayou = Good morning, informal. Ohayou Gozimas = Good morning, formal.
Escalators provide the astounding sight of person after person neatly filing to the far right side of every stair – leaving free the path on the left for that late-rising American who needs to race up the escalator to make her next appointment on time.

4) Team USA and the Japanese Public Transportation System were similarly unbeatable
From Alyson Felix, Tyson Gay, and Jeremy Wariner winning golds in the sprints to Bernard Lagat’s double and the 1-2 finish of Reese Hoffa and Adam Nelson in the men’s shot put, it was a joy to watch every aspect of the week’s competition. Similarly, as far as I’m concerned, the Japanese public transportation system has no rival from any other Read the full article

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Monday, August 27, 2007

Sikes Conquers Osaka’s Public Swimming Pools

I encountered so many fantastic Japanese people today! It began with the San Francisco State graduate-turned hotel bellhop. He gave me directions to the nearest public pool and doubled my Japanese vocabulary by explaining that “Ohio” means “good morning”! I’ve had plenty of opportunities to overuse both this word and my second Japanese phrase, “Arigato” (Thank You) throughout the course of the day.

Michelle Takes on the Public Pool System of Osaka…
Armed with verbal directions and a city map, I set off from the hotel in search of the pool. It’s great to finally experience the city without being separated from it by the glass windows of a bus. I took the scenic route, which parallels the city canal. I’m so relieved that this waterway cuts through the city; it gives a connection to nature that otherwise seems very difficult to find. Not that the shops and alleyways and buildings that have replaced a more natural world aren’t fascinating in their own way, but I’m finding more and more that I prefer a balance of human development and green places.

I manage to arrive at the pool without becoming ridiculously lost (one point to Michelle), but then have to confront the challenge of a) payment for the use of the pool and b) finding the locker room in a completely English-free environment (one point to The Pool). After much gesturing, hand motioning, and wasted breath in futile spoken conversation, I successfully pay and am admitted into Read the full article

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