Saturday, November 9, 2019

Bannister: Everest on the Track takes top prize

We at Kimbia are delighted to announce that the film Bannister: Everest on the Track has won the top prize, the Golden Achilles, at the second International Athletics Film Festival in San Sebastian.

The announcement was made on Saturday (9) after a week-long series of screenings in the Basque city and follows in the footsteps of Town of Runners which won in 2018.

Phil Minshull, writing for the IAAF, noted:

This year’s winning film looks at the motivations that inspired Roger Bannister to his historic feat of being the first person to run under four minutes for the mile and puts it in a historic context of what it meant to the British public, coming as it did less than nine years after the end of World War II.

To quote from one of the reviews when the film was first released: “Everest on the Track is as much a historical study of Britain’s psychological, if not almost physical, need for something – anything – to erase the woes of World War II as it is a fresh look at the quest for the first sub-4:00 mile, the heretofore deemed physically impossible.”

Among those interviewed during the documentary are Bannister himself, one of his pacemakers Chris Chataway, who was later to go on and break the 5000m world record, as well as US runner George Dole who competed in the famous race at Iffley Road while a Rhodes scholar at Oxford University.

Also interviewed are spectators on that day more than 65 years ago, 6 May 1954, when one of the most well-known feats in sporting history was achieved, as well as journalists and historians along with future world mile world record holders John Landy – with whom Bannister was in a long-distance duel to become the first man to go under the historic barrier – Sebastian Coe and Steve Cram.


“We first started thinking about the film in 2014 when there was the 60th anniversary of the four-minute mile,” said the film’s director Tom Ratcliffe, who was in San Sebastian to hear the announcement that his documentary had taken the top prize. “It’s a feat that has a heritage and legacy unlike any other in athletics and perhaps sport as a whole. Roger Bannister’s achievement is one that still resonates today.

“We were very lucky in so far as one of the first people we interviewed was Chris Chataway. He was wonderfully erudite, entertaining and enthusiastic even though he was very ill with lung cancer and sadly died not long after the interviews.

“Roger (Bannister) was a bit more reticent at first. Helpful, but reserved. I think he thought ‘Oh, it’s just another interview’, but once he saw an early version of what we were doing, he then relaxed and was very generous. He said to call him whenever I was in England and I went to his house several times to do some further interviews.

“The first full version came out in 2016 and then the film has been revised since then in 2018 to take account of Roger’s death. We had many wonderful interviews and it was a case of weaving them together into a coherent film.”

Read more here or watch the trailer below:

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Saturday, November 2, 2019

Tonn sprints to second at US 5K Champs

Jess Tonn produced a brilliant display to take the runner-up spot in the USATF 5K Championships in New York today at the Abbott Dash to the Finish 5K. The 27-year-old continued her breakout year to clock 15:44 and come home just one second behind Shannon Rowbury, who won in 15:43.

“For me, I just needed to find out what the recipe was for staying healthy and what that looks like in terms of training and life,” Tonn told “I just needed a holistic balanced approach to the sport and just life in general. Once I found that — and that was in Phoenix — it’s just been fun again. And I think I wasn’t having fun for a while and I am honestly just having a blast now.

“I got back to the basics with a focus on staying as healthy as possible and just getting strong. Stacking those healthy miles and training and racing on top of each other, and I think I’m honestly starting to reap those benefits of staying healthy. I think I had two unplanned days off in the last year and some change. For me, that was like the biggest win for sure.”

Watch her reaction below:

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Monday, October 21, 2019

Flanagan calls time on her career

Shalane Flanagan has announced her retirement from competitive running, with the 38-year-old Nike Bowerman Track Club athlete bringing the curtain down on one of the great careers in global distance-running.

Flanagan blazed a trail for all US distance runners over the past two decades, amassing an astonishing record of achievements at the very highest level on a variety of surfaces. She was the 2008 Olympic silver medalist over 10,000m, a bronze medalist at the World Cross Country in 2011, but perhaps her true crowning glory arrived in November 2017, where Flanagan upset the odds to take victory at the New York City Marathon. It proved to be one of the great days in US distance running as she defeated Kenya’s Mary Keitany and hit the finish crying tears of joy.

During her 15-year professional career she competed in four Olympic Games and set numerous American records. For more on her retirement, check out this superb interview with Erin Strout of Women’s Running, and this story by Runner’s World.

At Kimbia, it has been an honor for us to represent Flanagan over the years, an athlete who has been defined by her resiliency, her work ethic, her respect for the values of clean sport and one who has inspired a generation of distance runners both in the US and around the world. We wish her the very best on the next step.

In a statement posted on Instagram earlier today, she said:

With happy tears I announce today that I am retiring from professional running. From 2004 to 2019 I’ve given everything that’s within me to this sport and wow it’s been an incredible ride! I’ve broken bones, torn tendons, and lost too many toenails to count. I’ve experienced otherworldly highs and abysmal lows. I’ve loved (and learned from) it all. Over the last 15 years I found out what I was capable of, and it was more than I ever dreamed possible.Now that all is said and done, I am most proud of the consistently high level of running I produced year after year. No matter what I accomplished the year before, it never got any easier. Each season, each race was hard, so hard. But this I know to be true: hard things are wonderful, beautiful, and give meaning to life.

“However, I have felt my North Star shifting, my passion and purpose is no longer about MY running; it’s more and more about those around me. All I’ve ever known, in my approach to anything, is going ALL IN. So I’m carrying this to coaching. I want to be consumed with serving others the way I have been consumed with being the best athlete I can be. I am privileged to announce I am now a professional coach of the Nike Bowerman Track Club.”

“This amazing opportunity in front of me, to give back to the sport, that gave me so much, is not lost on me. I’ve pinched myself numerous times to make sure this is real. I am well aware that retirement for professional athletes can be an extremely hard transition. I am lucky, as I know already, that coaching will bring me as much joy and heartache that my own running career gave me.

“I believe we are meant to inspire one another, we are meant to learn from one another. Sharing everything I’ve learned about and from running is what I’m meant to do now.
“I would like to thank: The 5 coaches who guided me throughout my career, Michael Whittlesey and Dennis Craddock (2004-2005), John Cook (2006-2008), Jerry Schumacher (2009-2019), and Pascal Dobert (2009-2019). Each man was instrumental in developing me into the best version of myself.

“Jerry, Pascal and I will continue to work together in this next chapter and I couldn’t be more grateful. Jerry has been my life coach, running coach and now will mentor me towards my next goal of becoming a world-class coach myself. I’m thankful for his unending belief in me.
My family and husband who have traveled the world supporting my running and understanding the sacrifices I needed to make. Their unconditional love is what fueled my training.

“My longtime friend, Elyse Kopecky who taught me to love cooking and indulge in nourishing food. Run Fast. Eat Slow. has been a gift to my running and to the thousands of athletes.

My teammates, and all the women I’ve trained with, for pushing me daily, and the endless smiles and miles.
They include:
Erin Donahue
Shannon Rowbury
Kara Goucher
Lisa Uhl
Emily Infeld
Amy Cragg
Colleen Quigley
Courtney Frerichs
Shelby Houlihan
Betsy Saina
Marielle Hall
Gwen Jorgensen
Kate Grace
My sponsor Nike for believing in me since 2004 and for continuing to support my new dream as a professional coach. I hope I made myself a better person by running. I hope I made those around me better. I hope I made my competition better. I hope I left the sport better because I was a part of it. My personal motto through out my career has been to make decisions that leave me with “no regrets”…..but to be honest, I have one.
I regret I can’t do it all over again.”


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Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Bumbalough blazes lifetime best in Chicago

Andrew Bumbalough produced an excellent performance at the Chicago Marathon on Sunday, finishing 12th in 2:10:56. That took over three minutes off his previous best.

Bumbalough passed halfway in 1:05:25 and kept his tempo strong over the closing miles to hit the line with his massive PR. The race was won by Lawrence Cherono in 2:05:45.

Image: PhotoRun



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Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Lomong, Schweizer superb in Doha finals

Lopez Lomong and Karissa Schweizer produced excellent showings on the final weekend of competition at the World Championships in Doha, Lomong coming home seventh in the 10,000m final in 27:04.72 to take 26 seconds off his best. Schweizer finished ninth in the women’s 5000m and took seven seconds off her PB with 14:45.18.

Lomong crowned a breakthrough year with his outstanding run in the men’s 10,000m final on Sunday night, the Bowerman Track Club athlete running with the lead pack for the majority of the race as they churned out a strong pace.  Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei took victory in 26:48.35 ahead of Ethiopia’s Yomif Kejelcha who clocked 26:49.34.

Lomong fought all the way to the line to take seventh in a massive personal best. “It was a PR and I did the best I can,” said Lomong. “I’m in great shape but I didn’t have it the last 1200 meters. I’m still learning the 10,000m so to come out with a PR, I’m happy.”

Schweizer was in action on Saturday night in the women’s 5000m final and in her first pro year, the Bowerman Track Club athlete showed her star potential once again. In what was a swift race, won by Kenya’s Hellen Obiri in a championship-record time of 14:26.72, Schweizer had the performance of her life to finish ninth in 14:45.18, moving the 23-year-old to fifth on the all-time US list.

“You always have to be happy when you walk away with a personal best,” she said. “I laid it all out there. Hopefully having this experience I’ll be able to be a factor next time.”

On Friday night, Germany’s Amos Bartelsmeyer brought his championships to a close when bowing out in the men’s 1500m semi-finals, finishing 11th in 3:37.74.

Watch the reactions of Lomong and Schweizer below in their interviews with

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