Friday, August 16, 2013

Jager Fifth in Worlds Steeple

For an athlete who “wanted a medal real bad,” Thursday’s steeplechase final may have looked like an exercise in frustration for Evan Jager, who saw the race play out in similar fashion to last summer’s Olympic Final when he came in sixth. Once again, he was in the lead pack at the bell, but was out of reach of the medals at the final water jump.

But Jager’s performance yesterday shows true progress from his performance in London, even if he improved “only” to fifth place here in Moscow, running 8:08.67 to miss a medal by 0.81 seconds. His upgrade in the final results came in a field with more top talent than the London final, as the Kenyan team entered four athletes, owing to the wild card entry given to defending world champions. Yesterday, not only did he narrowly miss fourth place by just five-hundredths of a second… he was less than one second from bronze, and just 2.66 seconds behind the eventual winner, all-time great Ezekial Kemboi. Compare that with finishing twice as far behind the winner (also Kemboi) in last year’s global championship, and a whole¬†3-plus seconds awash of third place. Most impressive: Read the full article

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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Weekend 1 of 2013 Worlds, Wrapped

Half a world away from home in Moscow, Team KIMbia hit the track at the 2013 World Championships, in a variety of distances. Kicking things off on Sunday, Shalane Flanagan led the early proceedings in the 10,000m final before coming home in 8th place. Looking to ensure the steady and honest early pace likely to suit a strong, rhythm-running marathoner such as herself, Flanagan ran three straight kilometers around 3:07 — 31:10 pace — before Hitomi Niiya of Japan took the lead and began to pick things up. As the lead pack broke up, Flanagan was gapped a few laps later but soldiered on in “no man’s land” and clocked a 31:34.

In the first round of the men’s steeplechase, Evan Jager executed the race one would expect from a medal-hopeful: conserve energy early, break things open late, cruise home safely in an automatic qualifying position. Read the full article

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Social Media Wrap: KIMbia at World Cross

Here we experience World Cross through the lens of the social media mentions of KIMbia’s World Cross athletes Elliott Heath, Emily Infeld (pictured above, photo by and Ireland’s Fionnuala BrittonRead the full article

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Monday, March 25, 2013

Silver for Team USA Men at World Cross

The big pre-race story of the 2013 World Cross Country Championships in Bydgoszcz Poland was a tough course and wintery conditions, and when the dust — or, snow — settled the importance of both was borne out by the big post-race story: a team silver for the American senior men’s team. Elliott Heath placed 30th in the race, the fifth finisher for Team USA, and ahead of two-thirds of the what is widely considered the deepest field in any distance race on the planet. Meanwhile, Fionnuala Britton and Emily Infeld keyed strong placings for their respective teams, each of which finished just outside of the medals.

Matching her best finish at World Cross, Britton crossed the line in 14th place, leading the Irish team to a fifth place team finish. After grabbing team and individual gold at Euro Champs, Britton and Ireland reprised that form chart by being the top European representatives in Poland. Ireland scored seven points better than France and while the reigning two-time European champion was nine seconds ahead of Sophie Duarte, France’s top runner and the second European finisher in Poland.

In her first appearance at a World Championship, Infeld took a strong 21st and was the #2 finisher on a fourth-place American team, ahead of US runner-up Kim Conley and Deena Kastor, previously a medalist at this event.

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Saturday, March 23, 2013

World Cross 2013: Now Add the White Stuff

or, Wuthering Snow in the Madding Crowd of Poland in Middle March with Great Expectations
Guest Editorial by Van Townsend

Elliot Heath, he of the 19th Century English novelist moniker, might just spring a surprise in snow-laden Poland at World Cross. Don’t let the downplayed social loser media and web wannabes fool you into thinking World Cross isn’t the ultimate testing ground for mental and physical toughness: this game goes out fast and never lets up. WC is relentless pain. Look at interviews with Jerry’s guys, Bumbi and Brent, who have been there before. It is not pretty.

And now add the white stuff.

The Africans, which actually mean a gazillion athletes given nationality from well-paid countries such as Bahrain, Qatar and other historic hotbeds of harriers (not) will of course be in Bydgoszcz. But snowy turf doesn’t cater to these Runners-of-Fortune. On the course preview days at Boston World Cross in ’92, Read the full article

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