Tuesday, 13 March 2012

March 12 - News & Notes

Welcome back to another edition of Going Pro! Where I try to bring professional (& the top university) running news and stories to the amateurs... the weekend warriors... to those that rack up countless miles on their shoes but need a little motivation... and those that actually keep the sport going!

I took a two week hiatus from writing the blog for two reasons:
1) I was nearly buried alive with school work and life scheduling that I just didn't have enough time to sit down and construct something worthy of posting.
2) That was easier to do as there wasn't much news to write about for an entire blog piece in those weeks. But you better believe I have some serious ammo now! It's hard to know where to begin.

This week I'll cover:
Let's begin shall we:

I was looking forward to tell you all through this blog that Canada had officially qualified its 3rd male marathoner for the London Olympics this summer. Alas, I cannot do that. Two weekends ago Dylan Wykes ran the Lake Biwa Marathon in Japan in hopes of making the standard of 2:11:29.

However, stomach problems got the best of him and he had to drop out of the race at 26km. On facebook Dylan posted: "Unfortunately I was unable to finish today as I had some terrible stomach issue that put me on the side of the road several times before stopping for good around 26k. A very tough day. But thanks to all for your support I really appreciate it."

He has also confirmed the he will not try to run another qualifying marathon before the olympics. Instead... he's going after the 10,000m! We wish him all the best! More to come on Dylan in the workout recovery section of the blog.


This past weekend in Istanbul, Turkey some of the world's top runners took part in the World Indoor Track and Field Championships. Indoor track and field is bit of a different beast... First off, the track is 200m long with banked turns which means double the amount of laps than for the equivalent distance on a normal outdoor track (400m).

Also, the distances are a bit different, for example the 100m is shortened to 60m
  •  110m hurdles --> 60m hurdles
  • 5000m --> 3000m (which is the longest distance)
In anycase, like any world championships, each nation had their own qualifying races sending 3 runners per event (assuming they met the international standard).

The two main events of note were the men's and women's 3000m.

Mens 3000m

On the men's side our old friend Bernard Lagat (USA)was chasing his 3rd consecutive world indoor meter title at this distance. If he was to win he would tie the famous Haile Gebrsellasie with the most championships in history! don't forget that he is 37 years old!!!

He was up against the fastest man in 2010 in 3000m Kenyan Augustine Choge and the UK's Mo Farah, the 2011 world champion in 5,000m.

Mo Farah leading the pack.

As the raced unfolded that passed the mile in a pedestrian 4:14 and 2km in 5:16 (both 2:37/km) until they really ramped it up at the end. With one lap (200m) to go it the 3 men mentioned were neck and neck until the 37-year old unleashed a devastating kick that buried the pretenders. They never stood a chance. Lagat covered the last 200m in blistering ~24s!! That is absolutely outrageous.

After the race someone asked him how he still does it at his age, he responded with: 'I've been injury free and that is the key to staying strong.' So Bernie, is that all I have to do to run 2:35/km for 3km?

Finally as my go to site for running news, www.letsrun.com, said: "Lagat was born to run the 3000m. The perfect combination of speed and distance. Winning the gold in the 5000m in London will be tougher."
Below is the final 60m or so where you can see how no one else was even close to him.

Womens 3000m  There is truly only one name to mention when it comes to the womens 3000m:

Ethiopia's Meserat Defar

She has won this event in four  consecutive years. Needless to say she was the favorite going in, however Kenya's Hellen Obiri planned on halting the streak.

This was actually the fastest women's 3000m race I've seen! They went through the mile in 4:48 (2:58/km) and became progressively faster as the meters ticked off. With 400m (2 laps) to go they were averaging 2:55/km and then it really got going. Defar started her move running 32 seconds for the penultimate lap, but still have Obiri hanging on. With 100m to go Obiri found something extra, passed the indefatigable Defar and won convincingly - running the last 200m in 29.3 seconds!

The NEW 3,000m world champion Hellen Obiri!

Here's a video of the last 100m where Obiri leaves Defar in her dust. Absolutely amazing to watch.

*One thing of note: All of the male 3000m finalists ran within 17 seconds of the winner. However, the women's final was spread over 38 seconds. As you can see runners getting lapped at the end!

Up next is the NCAA Indoor Championships

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