Dibaba_TiruneshM1-RAK17.jpgTirunesh Dibaba, photo by PhotoRun.net

MANCHESTER (GBR, May 28): In her first race since the London Marathon, Tirunesh Dibaba cruised to her fourth win in the Great Manchester Run in 31:03 ahead of European marathon champion Christelle Daunay of France (33:08) and Katrina Wootton (33:18). There was an American one-two in the men's race through Dathan Ritzenhein (28:06) and Bernard Lagat (28:13) with Stephen Mokoka third in 28:22. Former world marathon record-holder Wilson Kipsang was fifth in 28:26, one place ahead of top Brit Andy Vernon (28:36).

RunBlogRun opines: Tirunesh Dibaba ran a 2:17:57 for the marathon at the Virgin Money London marathon on April 23, despite two bouts of stomach distress. Dibaba has run two marathons, and she obviously has serious wheels. Nice run by Dathan Ritzenhein, who is on his way back to a fine level of fitness. Bernard Lagat, at 41, is looking pretty amazing. Nice to see Wilson Kipsang running so well and Andy Vernon is continuing to show his high level of fitness.

But, in 2017, this was an act of defiance. The attack last Monday, May 22, at the Manchester Arena, at the end of the Ariana Grande concert, killed 22 and injured 69 people. The CityGames happened on May 26, and the race happened May 28. Both went without incident, and both were supported by the people and the city of Manchester.

And it was good.

DSCN0066.JPGSeb Coe, President of IAAF, with Brendan Foster, Great Run, being interviewed, photo by Phil Oldham

Holly-Bradshaw-Manchester-CityGames-2017-Philip-Oldham-1250x750.jpgHolly Bradshaw clears 4.80 meters at GreatCityGames, photo by Phil Oldham

The Manchester CityGames were held on Friday, May 26, five days after a suicide bomber killed 22 and injured 69 at the Manchester Arena. The event was part of the way Manchesterites showed their resolve. Sometimes, just living and celebrating the good in daily life is an act of protest.

Thanks to Stuart Weir for writing this piece.

IMG_7599.JPGBarry Fudge (cup over face), Ian Stewart, Wendy Sly, Tim Hutchings, Andy Young, Distance Running Panel, sponsored by City of Birmingham, Great Run Birmingham Marathon 2017

Updated May 29, 2017

Want to learn a bit about how Laura Muir trains? Want to understand the philosphy of British athletics Barry Fudge, head of Endurance? Want to understand how far British athletics has come? Then, listen to Ian Stewart, Wendy Sly and Tim Hutchings on the history of British athletics, and learn about Laura Muir through her coach, Andy Young! This is a tremendous clinic, and should be watched and rewatched by coaches everywhere!

Updated March 7, 2017

After the fantastic double by Laura Muir this past weekend at the 2017 European Indoor Champs, we thought many might want to hear just what the Brits are doing. Barry Fudge, UK Athletics Endurance chair, Andy Young, Coach of one Laura Muir, plus Ian Stewart (72 bronze, Euro Champ 5000, CG champ, 5000, WXC champ 1975), Wendy Sly (CG silver, LA Olympic silver 3000m ), Tim Hutchings (4th LA Olympics, 5000m, bronze, European Champs 1986, World cross, silver in 1984,1989, bronze, 5000m, CG 1986).

Updated February 22, 2017

This is one of the most amazing clinics that I have ever seen. What makes a good clinic? It is part chemistry, part knowledge and experience of the clinicians and part knowledge and experience of the emcee. This clinic had all of those things.

You need to listen to this. You need to not only listen to this, but send it to your friends in coaching and your friends who want to improve their running. I have been to clinics around the world, but this 90 minutes of lively discussion was tremendous.

Emceed by Gareth Turnbull, a man who combines knowledge of the sport with an amazingly dry sense of humor, the panel covered questions submitted by the 150 plus folks in the lovely City of Birmingham hall.

Highlights:

Barry Fudge, British Athletics Head of UK endurance spoke of how elite runners build their training, and how important it is to help elite athletes manage stress around major events. Sometimes, that is keeping the coaches away from the athletes, so both can chill. Common sense with technical expertise, it is clear why British Athletics has Barry Fudge in this position.

Ian Stewart, Great Run consultant, European and Commonwealth Games champ, 1972 Olympic bronze medalist 5000 meters. Supported Barry Fudge with the notion that Mo Farah is a racer, not a world record breaker. Stewart noted that records are one thing, the skills developed by Mo Farah to be the finest distance racer in the world are totally another.

Wendy Sly, silver medalist, 1984 LA Olympics, spoke about, her favorite world record, Seb Coe at Rieti, hitting the 400m in 49 seconds, finishing so hard over the last lap. Wendy noted that she was in the center of the field after her 800 meters, and that "Seb looked so fast."

Tim Hutchings, 1984 LA 5000 meters, 4th, two time silver medalist World Cross country, reminded us that it is hard to compare eras of running, such as the 1980s to now. His observations on watching Steve Cram and how much he admired him, were quite funny.

Andrew Young, coach of Laura Muir. Funny, self depricating, this guy knows running. Built a program from 4 runners at his former uni to over 60, with little support from the school, Andrew has helped Laur Muir grow in racing ability and confidence. He noted how Cram, Coe, Ovett and company inspired him to run in Scotland.

This is a fun discussion. Lots to learn from it. Special thanks to Steve Hollingworth, Assistant Director of Birmingham City Council (Birmingham Sports & Events), who hosted this wonderful event. And thanks to Ian Stewart for reminding me about this event!

Kwemoi_RonaldFV-PreC17.jpGRonald Kwemoi wins Bowerman Mile, photo by PhotoRun.net

PREFONTAINE FLASH-BACK
EUGENE (USA): Asbel Kiprop blamed his subpar showing in the Bowerman Mile at the Eugene Diamond League on a recent bout of flu, informs LetsRun. "I knew I had flu so following that kind of pace for the first lap, my chest would be full, my lungs would be full. And I opted to run right from the back so I could control [my breathing]," said Kiprop, who added he was only at "40-45 percent" fitness on Saturday.
EUGENE (USA): Jakob Ingebrigtsen has said he is prioritising the European U20 Championships in Grosseto over the World U18 Championships in Nairobi, informs LetsRun. His next race will be the Dream Mile in the Oslo Bislett Games where he is aiming to improve his world age-16 best of 3:58.07.
EUGENE (USA): Mo Farah believes he can challenge his 10,000m PB of 26:46.57 in Ostrava on 28 June but he is ruling out a challenge on Kenenisa Bekele's world record, informs LetsRun. "I've always said that medals is more important for me than anything else because no one ever will take that away from me. If it's a record, then records are there to be broken," he said. His next race will be over 3000m at the Racers Grand Prix in Kingston on 10 June.
EUGENE (USA): Mo Farah has said he will probably retire before the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, informs the Japan Times. "It's too far. I miss my family. My kids are growing up fast. I'm away six months of the year training and it makes me sad not to see them growing up," he said.
EUGENE (USA): Genzebe Dibaba blamed poor pacemaking for failing to break sister Tirunesh Dibaba's world 5000m record of 14:11.15, informs the Oregon Register. "I'm happy that I won but I'm not happy about the time. The pace was real slow and I'm not happy with how we started. I was determined I would do it today because I had taken my time to train for this particular race," she said.
EUGENE (USA): Christian Taylor credits Will Claye for pushing him to an 18m-plus jump, informs L'Equipe. "It was great to jump like this in front of my audience! This contest is what I dreamed of for a year now. I'm happy to be on this side this time because at the last contest with two jumpers over 18 meters, I was second! The performance of Will Claye, that's why I jump 18.11 m today (Saturday). I hope he keeps pushing me to the World Championships. "
EUGENE (USA): Mariya Lasitskene said she didn't experience any animosity from her rivals and media on her return to international competition, informs Sport Express. "The rivals treated me very kindly, I performed in a comfortable competitive atmosphere. In the sector, a real sports struggle unfolded. I felt great and, in general, everything was fine. And local journalists treated me very friendly, I did not feel any negative from them," he said.
EUGENE (USA): Russian head jumps coach Anton Nazarov has said Darya Klishina is unlikely to compete domestically this season, infoms Sport Express. "In Russia, Klishina is unlikely to perform this summer. She has a season of international starts. Maybe, of course, something will change, but according to the individual plan, she will not compete in Russia," she said. Klishina jumped 6.70m in Eugene on Friday.

The triple jump at the Pre Classic was the best competition on the men's side. Will Claye and Christan Taylor battled round by round! In the fourth round, Will Claye ties the distance of Christian Taylor and Christian has to respond. His response? 18.11 meters! In the fifth round, Will Claye leaps 18.05 meters, his farthest ever! Never have two triple jumpers in North America gone over 18 meters in the same competition.

Christian Taylor and Will Claye bring the best out of each other. Friends, rivals and great competitiors, they make the triple jump perfect for TV ( if the announcers know what they are watching and explain to fans).

I recall Christian Taylor telling me, that if he has competition, he will respond. Well, Will Claye s truly fit and focused once again.

The triple jump is one of the toughest events in our sport. Technically, it requires speed, flexibility, focus and endurance. It can beat up a body like few other events. The level of fitness of triple jumpers is quite high.

Watch the World and American records fall! Do not miss a jump!

Taylor_Christian-PreC17.jpGChristian Taylor hits 18.11 meters in Triple Jump! photo by PhotoRun.net

Bowie-Thompson-Pre17.JPGTori Bowie blasts 21.77, WL, MR and PB for Tori! photo by PhotoRun.net

The Nike PreClassic was as close to most of the 12,000 plus paid fans get to a meet in Europe. This notion of a European type meet was what Steve Prefontaine organized in 1975 with several meets in Oregon. Tom Jordan, the meet director for the Nike Pre Classic, has, along with the Nike sports marketing team, had that concept in mind when they assembled the Pre Classic.

This year was no different. The rivalries were top notch, with William Claye versus Christian Taylor in the LJ. On the women's side, there were many clashes, but the women's 200 meters, with Dafne Schippers, Elaine Thompson, Tori Bowie, Allyson Felix and Shaunae Miller-Uibo was the closer. Tori Bowie flew away from the field, with 21.77, Shaunae Miller-Uibo in 21.91 and Elaine Thompson, at 21.99m.

A fantastic event, one of the best in my three decades of attending, the Nike Pre Classic was two fine days of world class track and field.

898T0590.jpegJo Pavey winning Vitality London 10k, photo by David Wearn

Congrats to Jo Pavey on her third win and Andy Butchart on defending his title at the Vitality London 10k on Monday, May 29, 2017. Twelve thousand runners joined Butchart and Pavey on the streets in Central London.

Chespol_Celliphine1-Pre17.JPG

Celliphine Chespol, the future is now, photo by PhotoRun.net

Celliphine Chespol is the U20 world record holder in the steeplecahse. In Doha, she chased down Ruth Jebet, to take second. In Eugene, she won the race, Jebet falling back to third once again.

Chespol is now second fastest in the world, behind Ruth Jebet. How fast can she go? We do not know, but 8:50 looks good to us!

This is the last week of high school track training. Many will be finished this week, with the last high school state track meet of the year, in California. Then, comes the summer meets. For those focusing on cross country, we will have a soft launch of our summer programs next week, sponsored by HOKA ONE ONE.

Coburn_Emma1-PreC17.jpGEmma Coburn, photo by PhotoRun.net

Monday, May 29, 2017. warm up, six miles easy, 6x150 meter stride outs, finish ten push ups, pull ups, sit ups, cooldown.

I was seventeen years old when Steve Prefontaine lost his life in an auto accident, in May 1975. Steve Prefontaine was a brash, opinionated, focused Olympian who was far from his best at the time of his death. Forty-two years later, one wonders what would have become of the late Steve Prefontaine.

The Pre Classic honors Steve Prefontaine and his legacy each and every May. The little company that has become the Nike behemoth celebrates running, jumping and throwing at Hayward Field each and every Pre Classic.

The performances were fantastic and on my drive back from Eugene, after a little sleeping, there was some reflection on Steve Prefontaine.

#tbt Pre at Oregon Twilight, 1970.

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