Your Running News Roundup

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newspaper1.jpgOlympic Trials…and Tribulations

We’ve reached the halfway point in the Olympic track and field trials. You can find the television schedule here. Readers will undoubtedly have their own favorites, but to me the three most interesting stories are Tyson Gay’s astonishing 9.68 seconds for the 100 meters (which would have been a world record except for the wind), Allyson Felix’s fifth place finish in the women’s 100 meters, and Amy Begley’s mad sprint to snag third place in the women’s 10,000 meters.

Gay’s performance will help silence some of the murmuring that arose after Usain Bolt beat Gay in New York last month, setting a new world record in the process. Gay’s time at the trials was the fastest ever recorded for a human, regardless of wind. Allyson Felix, who was shooting for four medals, was the subject of a gushing profile in Sports Illustrated. Felix will still compete in the 200 meters, of course. Maybe she was another victim of the “Sports Illustrated Jinx.”

The women’s 10,000 meter final was a nail-biter to the end. The two favorites, Shalane Flanagan (the U.S. record holder) and Kara Goucher (who won a bronze medal at the distance at last summer’s World Championships) took the top two spots. The question was who would take the last spot. It wasn’t necessarily going to be the woman who crossed the line in third place. In order to qualify for Beijing, runners also had to meet the “A” standard for the distance, 31:45. If the third place finisher had not met the “A” standard, but a runner who finished back in the pack had, then the second runner would get the ticket to China. Amy Begley, who was in the lead pack for much of the race, had not yet met the “A” standard. The slow pace of the race made it look like Katie McGregor, who had already met the “A” standard, would take the final spot on the team. As the bell rang for the final lap, however, Begley showed incredible determination. She unleashed a 70 second final lap to cross the finish line in 31:43.60, taking third place and meeting the “A” standard by less than two seconds. McGregor finished fourth. The image of the day is Goucher and Begley, training partners and friends, jumping up and down together, celebrating their achievements. Meet Begley here and Goucher here.

The races worth watching in the coming days are the men’s and women’s 1500 meters, the women’s 5000 meters, and the men’s 10,000 meters. Will Alan Webb recover from a string of poor races this spring to make it to Beijing? The Washington Post had an interesting piece about Webb’s life off the track.

Murphy’s Law

It’s every runner’s nightmare. You train for months on end, in the cold, the rain, the heat. You register early to snag one of the coveted spots. You lay out your clothes the night before. Then there’s a breakdown on the train, or your car breaks down. Unfortunately, this happened to some 400 runners in the Seattle Seafair Marathon. They missed the buses from a park to the starting area.

Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number

NPR had a story about Haile Satayin, who, at 53 years old (or 48, depending on your source), will be one of the oldest athletes competing in the Beijing Olympics. Satayin emigrated from Ethiopia to Israel in 1991 and has a personal best of 2:14 for the marathon. Don’t count him out: he placed 20th in Athens in 2004. Jane Brody of the New York Times wrote about how exercise, including both aerobic and strength training, can delay, and perhaps even prevent, a loss of physical abilities into your 90s. Jeff Hartwig placed second in the Olympic trials for the pole vault at age 40. Dara Torres, who won an astounding nine Olympic medals, is shooting to make the Olympic swim team again. She’s 41. If she makes it, she would be the first American swimmer to compete in five games, this after sitting out two on her own.

Quick Hits

One of my favorite places to run is the reservoir in Central Park. But the park has more to offer than the cinder path. The New York Times asked runners to describe some of their favorite routes in Central Park. According to an article in the Toronto Globe and Mail, two upcoming studies seem to indicate that long term running does not cause a greater incidence of osteoarthritis in the knees. It should be noted, however, that the pool of runners studied was relatively small and may be subject to selection bias (they tended to run injury-free in the first place). NPR reported on ways to keep your feet happy. Not surprisingly, podiatrists find many fashionable shoes to be bad for your feet. The New York Times examined some of the leading foot ailments and the causes of each. Christian Vande Velde offers cycling tips for recreational riders in the New York Times.

  1. race car games on July 3rd at 4:34 pm

    […] will undoubtedly have their own favorites, but to me the three most interesting stories are Tys your engines and get into gear!Viva Media and SimBin Studios AB announced today that the in-game […]

  2. Constantine on July 7th at 2:29 am

    Haile Sayani, 53 or 48 it doesnt matter, any athlete over 40 is unbelievable. This is the athlete to keep watch at Olympics

    Constantine’s last blog post..Kenya Olympic Team Named amidst Cries of Foul play