As mentioned in Running Warehouse’s preview of the coming World Marathon Majors, Shalane Flanagan is waging an assault on Deena Kastor’s American record this Sunday at the Berlin Marathon. Shalane’s resume suggests that she has the talent necessary to attempt the feat, with her 10,000m record and medals at the Olympics and World Cross Country Championships. That said, the marathon record might be Deena’s greatest accomplishment in a spectacular career. Shalane may be the next in line of spectacular women holding the top spot on the list of American marathoners, but it is going to take a truly special performance. Deena reminded us last Sunday of the phenomenal athlete that she is the best way she knows how, by tearing up the roads.
Within the next few months, new history will surely be written in the marathon event. Three of the world’s biggest cities are going see their roads taken over by some of the world’s best athletes along with thousands of other runners as the World Marathon Majors 2014 season resumes. Perhaps some of you will be joining the crowd in Berlin, Chicago, or New York?
The BMW Berlin Marathon, scheduled for September 28th, is home of the past five world records at the distance. Last year, Wilson Kipsang covered the course through the German capital in an astounding 2:03:23, breaking his countryman Patrick Makau’s world record by 15 seconds and cementing his name at the top of the legendary distance. With Kipsang racing in New York this year, the men’s champion is sure to see a new face at the top of the podium in Berlin. That face could belong to Dennis Kimetto, the favorite who boasts the strongest personal best in the field with his 2:03:45 victory from the Chicago Marathon last year. Kimetto faces stiff competition from the likes of former Marathon Major winners Emmanuel Mutai and Tsegaye Kebede as well as the World Half Marathon Champion Geoffrey Kamworor Kipsang. With the pace always set to break the world record, this men’s race in Berlin is sure to be fast and furious.
The women’s race in Berlin does not have as many former major champions as the men’s but is particularly interesting to Americans with Shalane Flanagan taking her first attempt at a flat fast course in a non-championship race. She will surely be targeting Deena Kastor’s American Record of 2:19:36 along with her first World Marathon Major victory. She will not be alone on the German roads though as Paris Marathon champion, Feyse Tadese, and last year’s Berlin runner-up Tirfi Tsegaye will be looking for the win as well.
With the Diamond League season coming to a close today, the track season is effectively over. Sure, there is the Continental Cup serving as the true end to the season, but after the exhausting season and most of the storylines already written: the Continental Cup serves more to figure out who’s minds and bodies went on vacation early than figuring out who the best athletes are. So, as far as this blog is concerned, the season’s over.
Running Warehouse caught on to some of track and field’s great narratives early and today’s meet served as a fitting end to some of them. Nothing feels better than a good “I told you so,” and that is exactly what I’m going to do with this blog.
Most recently we told you that the American middle distance running crew are the best in the world and Brenda Martinez’s 800m win today emphatically confirmed that. She ran a blazing 1:58.84 and showed the world that she is still a force to be reckoned with after a disappointing USA Championships and a midseason break to regroup. This means that no less than 3 Americans look like they could be next year’s women’s 800m World Champion and several more Americans aren’t far behind. With our previously mentioned success in the 1500, it is an exciting time for our middle distance fans out there.
Back in July, we told you that there is a pair of great steeplechasers representing the United States with fast times and beautiful hair. Admittedly, I wrote the blog about Emma and Evan in anticipation of Evan breaking the American steeplechase record in Monaco and had to make some alterations after he missed the mark. Well, earlier today he did break his American record with a third place finish in the event. This year of fearlessly chasing the best in the world over the barriers is hopefully a perfect juncture to next year’s World Championships and the 2016 Olympics, as he is still so new to the event.
Our final story started way back at the beginning of the season but a picture in one of our “week in running” blogs didn’t do Christian Taylor justice. Christian is one of the greatest athletes on the planet, who proves time and time again, that he can do almost anything he wants with his legs. The triple jump gold medalist defended his hop, skip, and jump territory last week by winning the Diamond League title and went after the long jump title today. Beginning the season with a spot on the world’s best 4 X 400 meter team at the World Relays and ending the season with Diamond League titles at both horizontal jumps would have been truly super-human. As it turns out, he is human and had to settle for 3rd in today’s long jump and the Diamond Chase. He is certainly still an amazing athlete to follow and it will be interesting to see which event he chooses to conquer next.
With the track season ending, our focus will turn to the major fall marathons and the races leading up to them. The Berlin Marathon is at the end of the month and world records are always at risk when that gun goes off. This weekend’s Great North Run will serve as a great appetizer for marathon fans as Mo Farah takes on Olympic bronze medalist Tariku Bekele and one of the fastest half marathon courses anywhere. There will be plenty of great races to come while we wait for tracks to heat up again next year.
When the lead footwear designer at ASICS, Toshikazu Kayano, made ASICS’ most advanced running shoe in 1993, he could hardly imagine how his creation would look 21 years later. While shoe concepts often start within a shoe company’s product development department, with thought toward reaching different customers and filling holes in the existing product line, this shoe was unique as the original concept came from Mr. Kayano himself. Naming the shoe in his likeness was originally a temporary plan as a placeholder during the development phase, with a different name intended to be created to take its place as the shoe came to market. However, the name Kayano became popular among the developers and the GEL-Kayano was born. To date, this is the only ASICS shoe ever named after a designer.
As with any 21 year old, the GEL-Kayano has gone through many changes to get to their current state. With every trend setting innovation that the GEL-Kayano brought to the industry, great care was taken to ensure that the shoe’s legendary ride persists undiluted.
The GEL-Kayano Trainer was born in 1993. From birth the Kayano, broke barriers for comfort and support in the industry. With GEL units in the heel and forefoot and supportive elements in the midsole and upper, the shoe delivered a premium experience that ASICS didn’t offer in other models. The first Kayano was the most expensive running shoe in the industry and many people doubted ASICS’ ability to sell a shoe at its price point. “Trainer” was initially included in the name to reflect runner’s lexicon for high mileage running shoes but the shoe came out right as cross-training became popular and the word “trainer” was dropped from subsequent models.
By its 5th generation, the GEL-Kayano had started to excel among its running shoe peers. Sales exploded with the 3rd rendition when ASICS included the first Trusstic System included in that model. The Kayano reached its 5th year in style as it started really showing off with more exposed GEL units than before and a bold logo on the side. 5 is the age that many of us experienced our first day of school, the Kayano was certainly prepared to be the coolest kid in class.
By the time the Kayano reached double digits, it had taken comfortable support to the next level. With four years of refining its impact guidance system the shoe’s ride grew ever smoother. For the first time ever the GEL-Kayano X (the shoe had been showing off its age in Roman numerals in the title from VII) featured Biomorphic Upper Fit, with upper materials that give an equivalent custom fit experience to the GEL units underfoot.
When the Kayano became a teenager it gave up on Roman numerals and took on more GEL in the midsole than ever. This GEL was added without making the shoe heavier thanks to lighter materials in the upper. The updates included in the GEL-Kayano 13 would lay a foundation for some very successful subsequent years.
When the Kayano reached its sweet 16 it was coming off of consecutive Runner’s World Editor’s Choice awards. The GEL-Kayano 16 introduced the Guidance Line, a groove that spanned the shoe from heal to toe to encourage an efficient stride without sacrificing support. As many of us did, the Kayano certainly passed its driving test on its 16th birthday.
The GEL-Kayano 18 celebrated its status as a legal adult by shedding over an ounce to be the lightest Kayano to date and with out losing any of the innovative features that made the shoe so successful. With the drop in weight the Kayano became more flexible but managed to stay incredibly cushioned.
And that leads us to the Kayano’s 21st birthday. The GEL-Kayano 21 retains everything that has made it great and, coming in at 11.5 oz is the lightest yet. The FluidRide midsole compliments the FluidFit upper perfectly to conform to the unique needs of every foot while keeping the foot springing toward each stride. GEL cushioning units continue to provide the lasting protection from the road and this generation has the most gel yet. While the Kayano is a shoe that accommodates all footstrike points, a larger portion of the additional gel is in the forefoot, upping the protection for forefoot and midfoot strikers. A new heel crash pad engages the Guidance Line earlier in the ground contact cycle and the Guidance Line has been reshaped to bring the foot through the optimal movement and waste as little energy as possible when toeing off to the next stride.
Kaizen is a Japanese word that refers to continual improvement. Perhaps no other shoe in the industry embodies this philosophy like the GEL-Kayano. The 21st birthday is the ultimate coming of age moment for Americans and signifies that one is finally entrusted with virtually all rights and responsibilities of an adult. It provides and opportunity to reflect on the past, celebrate the present, and look forward to future improvement and success.
Whether you are a Kayano faithful or have never tried the shoe, join Running Warehouse in celebrating a shoe that continues to set innovative trends for the industry and keeps runners around the world hitting the pavement for mile after mile.
We will have a more detailed review of the new Kayano when we can thoroughly test the shoes.
Today’s 1500-meter race at the Zurich Diamond League has tipped the scale for American middle distance women. The ladies in Red White and Blue can justly claim to be the best in the world in the 800-1500 for 2014.
In Switzerland Jenny Simpson dove to the line to earn the win in the Diamond league final by a mere hundredth of a second over countrywoman Shannon Rowbury. This feat earned Jenny the overall Diamond League trophy, the accompanying $40,000, and an automatic entry into next year’s World Championships (meaning Team USA will have 4 women at next years World Championships). The race also adds to an amazing season for Shannon who bettered her personal bests at 1500m and 5000m and broke the American Record in the 2-mile.
Jenny and Shannon are running so well that it is easy to overlook women like Brenda Martinez who notched a solid 4:01.36 season best today. Brenda started the season well by anchoring USA teams to American records and gold and silver medals in the 4 X 800 and 4 X 1500 at the IAAF World Relays but has mostly flown under the radar since.
Equally impressive to the Americans’ success in the women’s 1500m is their American peer’s success in the 800m. Beginning with the indoor season where Chanelle Price won the World Indoor Championships in that event, American women have repeatedly held their own in the two-lap event this year.
Chanelle backed her indoor championship up with her second place finish in the Doha Diamond League event and her first ever sub 2-minute performance. Brenda Martinez was the next athlete to perform internationally with her own sub 2 minute 800 to win the Hangelo World Challenge meet in the Netherlands. Laura Roesler finished her dominant final collegiate year with a win at the NCAA championships and a second place at the USA Track and Field Championships. Beating Laura at those championships was the phenomenal 20-year-old Ajee Wilson.
Hindsight shows that Ajee Wilson’s win at the USA championships was only a tune-up for her race at the Monaco Diamond league a few weeks later. In Monaco, Ajee ran a world leading time of 1:57.67 to end Eunice Sum’s 14 win unbeaten streak.
So far there are 6 American women under 2 minutes for the 800 this year, 2 more than the next best country Russia, and there are several other Americans that have run 2:00 or 2:01. With the Diamond League final for the women’s 800m being held next week it will be interesting to see if any American women can mimic the success of Jenny Simpson with a win there. Either way, American success at next week’s 800m in Brussels would only add to the middle distance success that USA has seen this year, but after today, American’s have already done enough to claim dominance for the year.
After over a month of hibernation, Americans hit the track again at yesterday’s Stockholm Diamond League meet. In virtually every event of the meet, we got to see whether our American stars came in rested and ready to go or possibly stale from the time off. How they might fair against the rest of the world, many of whom were coming off of continental championships, added to the intrigue.
All told, USA won 6 of the 16 marquee events contested in the meet. These wins covered the whole range of track and field with Americans victories in the shot put, long jump, 200m, 100m hurdles, 400m hurdles, and 1500m. American women stole the show with four wins while men took the other two.
The shot put victory went to one of the elder statesmen of USA track and field: Reese Hoffa. Reese has been hurling heavy objects around the world for over a decade now and it is wonderful to see the former orphan still winning on some of the worlds biggest stages and continuing to build his legacy.
Tianna Bartoletta proved again that she is an incredible athlete with her win in the long jump. Formerly known as Tianna Madison, she was a world indoor and outdoor champion jumper but recently has seen more success in the 100 meters with her fourth place showing at the Olympics and the lead off leg on the world-record setting 4 X 100m in London. Her win in the long jump proves that she can still be a threat at multiple disciplines. Furthering her athletic resume, she also has international success in the bobsled.
Allyson Felix has been setting tracks around the world on fire since she was a high school student. She got another win in the Stockholm 200m to add to her endless collection and put her in the driver’s seat for the overall diamond league title in that event with the remaining competition.
Queen Harrison led a trio of Americans in the 100m hurdles. The Virginia Tech graduate was the youngest of the American winners in Stockholm and is truly finding her own this year with a big lead in the diamond league chase for the event four years after winning the Bowerman award (Heisman for track) in her senior year of college.
Michael Tinsley has been running on the international circuit for a long time now but the late-bloomer hadn’t made a World Championships team until he was selected to run for USA in London in 2012. He made the most of his first global championship with a silver medal in London and clearly isn’t slowing down two years later with this win in Stockholm.
Rounding out the 6 American victors is Jenny Simpson. Furthering the notion that she may never run over steeple barriers again like she did in college at Colorado, she beat a stout field in the 1500m in Stockholm and is proving that her world championship success from Daegu, a race that seemed to come out of nowhere, was no fluke and she is one of the most talented runners in the world.
With these wins and some other solid performances in other events, Americans proved that for the most part, they were more rested than rusty after the break. With three Diamond League events left and then the Continental Cup, that break may pay off for many of our favorites.
I’m not sure who struck first, but I have a contentious relationship with bees. Generally, we try to avoid each other, but sometimes things get ugly. I suppose we have some overlapping interests: sweet things, summer, and parks. I’m not sure where everything got out of hand, but I’m prepared to call a truce.
Apparently bees are dying at alarming rates and that I should be concerned. I do like to eat many things that require bees’ pollination, but why must they pull a kamikaze on me once or twice a year? I suppose a few bee stings is a small price to pay given my yearly nectarine intake. Since I’m not allergic, my angst may be a touch over-dramatic. Still, I’d prefer to avoid the hours of pain followed by days of itching that the stings induce. Apparently, there are 10 things that I (we) can do to avoid this fate:
- Don’t wear perfume or cologne. I find it very hard to imagine that I could ever be accused of smelling like a flower on a run.
- Avoid wearing brightly colored clothing, especially floral prints. The running apparel trends of late are not helping me avoid bright clothing and this doesn’t look to change soon. Fortunately my closet is lacking floral prints though.
- Be careful what you eat outdoors, sugary foods attract bees and wasps. My short easy runs are pretty safe but those gels and electrolyte drinks may be making my long runs and track workouts dangerous, especially when I spill all over myself.
- Don’t run barefoot. My feet are safe here, sorry Born to Run fans.
- Try not to wear loose-fitting clothes (bees may accidentally end up mixed in the fabric). There’s not a lot of bee-trapping fabric in my life.
- Stay Still. That one may be a problem while running.
- Keep your car windows rolled up. I am a proponent for air conditioning but if my car was parked in the sun and I just finished a run… the windows are down while the AC catches up.
- Cover your trash. My aforementioned fondness for post-run air conditioning makes this mostly a non-issue when running from home. But, for the record, the trash is covered.
- Don’t hang out in the flower garden. Well, technically none of my current runs specifically include flower gardens, but I would certainly be kidding myself to think that my typical routes are devoid of flowering plants. Citrus trees and California Poppies are two prolific potential points of conflict.
- Call a professional to have unwanted bees, wasps, or hornets removed. Probably does not apply to the whole of Montana De Oro State Park.
With only 4 out of 10 of these recommendations accomplished, it looks like I have some work to do if I am ever going to fully mitigate my bee-sting risk. Considering a reported 1/3 of our food and 8 to 12 billion dollars worth of economic value depend bees, I should probably work to change my habits rather than wish ill upon bees (with one notable exception, Africanized bees are definitely worthy of our disdain.)
If you or people in your group are allergic or unsure, following the advice from this list a long with having an EpiPen available in emergency is important whenever participating in outdoor activities. Hopefully soon, bees will no longer be in the news for their decline and we can all enjoy the summer without conflict.
Rob Krar is good at running 100-mile races through the mountains. In June, he took the Western States Endurance Run title and this past weekend he won the Leadville Trail 100, running the second fastest time in both races’ history. In conquering the Sierra Nevada and Rocky mountain ranges’ most storied ultra races, Rob has put himself on the map as one of the world’s best runners, something that would have been hard to predict for the former middle distance runner from the banks of Lake Ontario.
Rob has always been good at running. As a young track runner, Krar earned himself a scholarship at Butler University and boasts personal bests of 1:51 and 3:44 in the 800 and 1500 respectively. The Canadian native hardly has the prototypical background of an ultra marathon champion. Following his time at Butler, Rob moved to Phoenix to pursue a career as a pharmacist and mostly gave up competitive running. The city life in Phoenix wasn’t to Rob’s liking and when the opportunity to transfer to Flagstaff came along, Rob made the move.
Many runners have made their way to Flagstaff to log countless miles on the town’s endless mountain trails, but Rob ended up there by a different route. What was to be a short stint in Flagstaff to earn his pharmaceutical certifications, is now going on 8 years with no plans of leaving. Clearly, Rob also started lacing up the running shoes again.
Rob didn’t turn into an overnight champion. After running sparingly between his time at Butler and his arrival in Flagstaff (he graduated from Butler in 2001 and transferred from Phoenix to Flagstaff in 2006), his body had to adjust to training regularly again. It took a year or so before Rob’s running returned to form. At first, he took to the roads and notched personal bests of 2:25 in the marathon and 1:05 in the half marathon. Despite the competitive success, running on pavement took its toll physically and mentally and after extended time off for an injury to his heel that required surgery, he took to the trails in earnest. He has been destroying trail races since, from winning the Sportiva Mountain Cup in 2012 to his Leadville domination this weekend.
If Rob’s victory at Western States showed that Rob has arrived as a true ultra star, his win at Leadville showed that he’s not content to simply bask in his newfound stardom. Krar seems to have a genuine love for the trails and is more intent on covering as many miles as possible than chasing after adoration (Although his signature beard does have its own twitter account @RobKrarsBeard). For Rob, there is no rest for the weary as he is set to run Steamboat Springs’ Run Rabbit Run 100 mile race in less than a month. A win there would make for a truly legendary summer.
Not every chiropractor uses their spare time to train for 100-mile races. In San Luis Obispo, the running community is fortunate to have a chiropractor with over 20 years of chiropractic experience that also knows what it takes to push his own body to the limit.
Running Warehouse caught up with Dr. Scott Dubrul asked him a few questions about chiropractic care for runners.
Running Warehouse: Where should Chiropractic care fit into a runner’s injury prevention and recovery? What are the key attributes to chiropractic care that separates the practice from other medical specialists or fitness professionals?
Scott Dubrul: Chiropractic care fits well in treating specific injuries as well as maintaining a healthy locomotion system. Chiropractic care should be sought out initially for evaluation of the spine, hips, knees and feet. If any areas are fixed and not moving properly, Chiropractic adjustments of those areas will restore motion and have them function properly.
Beyond the initial visit Chiropractic for runners is a “whole system” care. Chiropractic care works best in tandem with continual holistic health practices outside of the office visits. This includes making sure that other health specialists and any running coaches are complimenting the chiropractic care and advice. Of course, there are some chiropractors that are more specialized as far as sports go, so it is important to make sure the chiropractor chosen fits the runner’s needs.
RW: Not everyone has access to medical specialists that also run and can relate to runners. This may lead to the dreaded “take time off running” recommendation and sometimes a non-runner may not appreciate that some injuries can be trained through if done with care. How do you suggest runners approach the topic without blatantly ignoring their medical practitioner?
SD: My suggestion to runners is to continue their activity while keeping me abreast of how they are feeling in regards to their injury. If they are able to continue during treatment with no increase in pain, they are usually good. I rarely have my patients take too much time off unless the injury is not healing and the activity makes it worse. All that said, it is important to have a good dialogue with your health care professional.
RW: How has your own running helped you with your chiropractic work? How has your work as a chiropractor and your training as a doctor helped you in your own running?
SD: I would say my own running has really helped me to know what can be run through and what should be an injury that requires time off running. In my experience, it is absolutely vital to do regular work on your own body in the form of core exercises, self-massage and stretching. A good regimen can stave off injury and keep you supple and ready to run. I have also learned that for me, if I have pain that doesn’t get worse when I run, I am better served to keep running.
Finally, I have learned that I cannot be my own doctor in every sense; so I work with other chiropractors, massage therapists, trainers and physical therapists regularly. Even with all my knowledge, I will still try to “fix” my own issues with no luck, only to have another professional work on me and fix me up quickly!
Running Warehouse would like to thank Dr. Dubrul for taking time to speak with us and offer his insights to runners. For more information regarding Dr. Dubrul’s practice, chiropractic care and injury prevention, visit: http://www.powersourcechiropractic.com/services/chiropractic-care/
The second largest and second smallest continents on the planet are hosting their respective championships this week and there are a lot of great races yet to be run. The African Championships started on Sunday in Marrakech, Morocco and the European Championships took off yesterday.
Already storylines are developing as Nijel Amos of Botswana won yet another championship, cementing himself as the king of the 800m for the year, while Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare continues to add to her own medal collection in the sprints. Marrakech has not treated all favorites equally as Genzebe Dibaba, who was unstoppable earlier this year during the indoor season, lost to fellow Ethiopian Almaz Ayana.
While Nijel Amos was able to dominate both the Commonwealth games and the African Championships, his countryman, Isaac Makwala had to recover from a disappointing Commonwealth appearance to win his title at the African Championships. The African record holder in the 400m came to Morrocco and won each of his heats before dominating the final and setting a record for fastest 400m on the African continent.
While Zurich has only seen action for two days, already there has been historic performances on the track beginning with Jo Pavey’s age defying win at 10,000 meters. The 40-year-old left her younger competitors behind and added a European gold medal to her Commonwealth silver medal less than a year from when she had a child. She is a truly great runner who happened to have to run in the shadow of World Marathon Record Holder and fellow Brit Paula Radcliff, so to see her continue to excel is a treat so many years later.
Mo Farah completed the British sweep of European 10,000m titles today in his first major track race of the season. After dominating the 5,000m and 10,000m over the past few years, he was the clear favorite but he has had a series of difficulties in preparing for the track season from before his collapse at the New York City Half Marathon back in March up to recently visiting the hospital for stomach issues. Given the circumstances, the win is impressive. It will be interesting to see how he responds to the tougher competition of late season track meets if he chooses to compete on the track in the coming months.
While those of us on this side of the Pacific Ocean are eagerly awaiting the chance for American track stars to get back to what they do best, we can all still follow their competitors in Morocco and Switzerland.