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Posts Tagged ‘Molly Huddle’

Week in Review: July 27-August 2

August 2nd, 2014

Molly Huddle Running to the win

Molly Huddle Continued Her Winning Ways with the USA 7 Mile Title. (Image: Quad City Times)

USA 7 Mile Championships takes over Davenport, Iowa

The Quad City Times Bix 7 is one of many gems on the USA road-racing calendar each year. The race, named for jazz musician and Davenport, Iowa local, Bix Beiderbecke, is the largest non-marathon race in the Midwest each year. It has a list of past champions that reads like a road running hall of fame, with names like Bill Rodgers, Joan Benoit Samulson, and Khalid Khannouchi. The race typically fields a star-studded international cast but in some years it plays host to USA championship races, which have seen winners like Meb Kelfezighi and Ryan Hall. This year was an American only year, as it again hosted the USA 7 mile championships. Each champion brings home a shiny new trumpet as his or her trophy in honor of the race’s namesake.

Coming into the race, the two athletes that dominated the headlines were this year’s Boston winner and former Bix champion Meb, and Molly Huddle. Huddle, another former Bix champion, is fresh off her American record 5000m in Monaco. Molly certainly lived up to the pre-race hype as she took the lead from the gun and never looked back, winning by over a minute. Meb was not quite as triumphant as some hamstring troubles took him out of the race at mile 5 after leading the early miles. Sean Quigley won the race in a kick after numerous runners shared time in the lead.

Commonwealth Games shows off some former NCAA stars

As we mentioned in our Commonwealth games preview blog: Glasgow, Scotland played host to most of the English-speaking world’s best athletes outside of Americans. While Americans don’t participate in the Commonwealth games, there was a good representation of former NCAA athletes that have adopted America as their training home at some point in their lives.

UTEP’s Blessing Okagbare set the Commonwealth Games record in the 100m and won the 200m while representing her home country of Nigeria. University of Oregon alumni Brianne Theison Eaton, wife of decathlon world record holder Ashton Eaton, won a gold medal in the heptathlon for her home country of Canada.  Southern Utah’s Cam Levins got himself a bronze medal in the 10,000m for Canada, While Stephen Chemlany of Iona and Kenya won silver in the Marathon. Shane Brathwaite of Barbados and Texas Tech won bronze in the 110 hurdles, and others surely represented American universities as well as their home country in virtually every event in the competition.

The success of these athletes truly speaks to the NCAA’s ability to develop star track and field athletes. Considering that the vast majority of athletes in the NCAA are American yet the Commonwealth games doesn’t feature them, makes the success of the American system admirable worldwide.

Ethiopian Athletes leave IAAF World Junior Championships Facility, Seeking USA Asylum

Many of the world’s greatest track athletes unfortunately come from some unstable regions in the world. Ethiopia in particular has seen more than its fair share of turmoil in recent memory. With political tensions coming from Egypt over large damming projects on headwaters of the Nile River, the ever-anxious border with Eritrea, formerly part of Ethiopia, as well as porous borders with similarly volatile countries: Eritrea, Sudan, South Sudan, and Somalia. Ethiopia is right at the cross-roads of many unsavory situations.

With that in mind, one could hardly blame four young Ethiopian athletes from seeking a better life in their escape from the IAAF World Junior Championships that concluded last weekend in Eugene, Oregon. Amanuel Abebe Atibeha, Dureti Edao, Meaza Kebede, and Zeytituna Mohammed left the athletes village on the University of Oregon campus in a sedan headed for Portland last Friday. They have been found by police and are confirmed to be safe and unharmed. Political asylum is a long hard process and these young athletes have a tough road ahead of them whether it is in Oregon or in Ethiopia.

This is not the first time that runners have used their talents to escape their countries’ unrest. Following the 2008 World Cross Country Championships in Edinburgh Scotland, a group of Eritrean runners never boarded their flight home and have lived in Scotland ever since. Their escape of landmines and civil war has resulted in minimum wage jobs and a cold apartment in Glasgow. This story particularly hits home here because Tewoldeberhan Mengisteab, the oldest of the athletes finished 52nd in those championships… I finished 51st in the same race and we recorded exactly the same time. We are the same age, have a similar skill set, but hardly share similar paths in life. Stories like this certainly add a bit of perspective to the lives we live.

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Week in Running: June 14-21

June 23rd, 2014

Dipsea Runner Runs through Heart Attack.

USA’s oldest trail race and favorite Bay Area fixture, the Dipsea race, was held two weeks ago. The race was won by 56-year-old Diana Fitzpatrick, a feat made possible by the race’s unique handicap structure. Reported earlier this week, this storied race gained another remarkable chapter as 72-year-old Wolfgang Zech ran and finished the 7.5 mile race while enduring a heart attack. The Dipsea’s hardy terrain and flights of steps, totaling 672 stairs, is a challenge for any heart. Appropriately, the toughest section of the race is named “Cardiac Hill,” a name that has a whole other meaning to Zech Wolfgang. However, he plans to run next year and every year after as long as possible. Considering its beauty, it is hard to fault his enthusiasm and we applaud his commitment.

Dipsea Runner Battles More than Stairs (Image: Douglas Zimmerman)

Molly’s Run at the Mini is anything but Mini

On the opposite coast, 5,870 women took to the streets of New York City for The Oakley New York Mini 10k. The race, which started the year that Title IX became law, is fixture on the racing circuit for many of the best female runners in the world. In this year’s edition, Molly Huddle crossed the line first making her the first American Champion in 10 years. Huddle, the American record holder in the 5000m, added another American record to her resume by besting Mary Slaney’s women-only road 10k time of 31:38 by one second and beating a slew of great runners from around the world.

Electric Foam 5k’s Bubble is Popped

Electric Foam 5k as Advertised

Gone are the days when the only option for a local fun run or race meant lining up on a road with some friends and finish covered only in sweat.  Nowadays, there is something for all kinds of runners out there. If you are willing, you can cover yourself in color or mud, or you can take on obstacles or even zombies. The number of these runs has grown exponentially.

Electric Foam 5k in Reality (Images: Runner's World)

If foam is more your style, you may be disappointed that the Electric Foam 5k has gone out of business. The event, which marketed itself as the “Foamiest 5k on the planet,” did host a run in Madison that lead to headlines infused with wonderful puns like: More Bust than Bubble and More Duds than Suds as well as some calls to the better business bureau.

With any successful product, as obstacle racing certainly is, people line up to jump in with their own rendition.  The Electric Foam 5k was undoubtedly an ill-conceived attempt to join in the fun without putting in the work that it takes to put on a successful event. As someone with experience at countless events, both working and participating, the work involved to put on a good event is substantial. This serves as a good warning for organizers and participants alike: do your homework.

If you are inclined to run through some foam, the 5k Foam Fest appears to be the better answer.

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