The summer after my senior year in high school, I ran my first 10,000m. 25 laps on the track when my longest race until then was a 2 mile on the track. I ran it with Danny Grimes, a junior from Monta Vista High and my classmate, Bob Lucas. I had run the mile before and just counted my laps as Danny and Bob took off. The race was won by reknowned Lehigh school coach Homer Latimer, who won in 32:11. Danny was top high schooler in 33:53, Bob ran 35:30 and I finished in 36:58.

IMG_1161.jpgBen Rosario with Ben Bruce, USATF XC, photo by Justin Britton

I liked the distance and the tactics, running 4 times a year on the track at 10,000m a year for the next decade. I ran 30-35 races a year for a decade after high school. Each Sunday, the long runs allowed me to keep my endurance but also helped me figure out my life.

Do not miss your long runs. Give your mind and heart a fun day. Enjoy the long run.

Sunday, March 24, 2019-warm up, 75 minutes, cooldown

Tell me about your experiences, write me at [email protected].

VanNiekerk_WaydeFL-Lausanne17.jpgWayde Van Niekerk, by PhotoRun.net
Semenya_CasterFHL-Pre18.jpgCaster Semenya, photo by PhotoRun.net
Manyonga_LuvoR-Rome18.jpgLuvo Manyonga, photo by PhotoRun.net
Big names must compete at nationals
PRETORIA (RSA): Wayde van Niekerk, Caster Semenya and Luvo Manyonga are among the big names expected to compete at South Africa's national championships in Germiston next month as the federation confirmed participation was a requirement for athletes wishing to be selected for major championships this year. "We have all agreed that if you want to be part of Team South Africa then you must be at the national championships, irrespective of who you are," Athletics South Africa president Aleck Skhosana said. "That's why Wayde will be back, because he understands that if he is not there and three other men beat that 400m qualifying time, he will not be able to come through the window. We must be fair and treat all athletes with respect." From citizen.co.za.

Skechers is the iconic Southern California brand of footwear, based in Manhattan Beach, CA. Founded in 1992 by Robert Greenberg and his son, Micheal Greenberg, the company had sales of $4.64 billion in 2018. Skechers makes overr 3,000 different models of footwear. Their use of celebrity advertising has caught notice of many Americans as Skechers is now the 4th largest footwear brand in the U.S.

Screen-Shot-2019-03-21-at-10.46.24-AM-1156x640.pngSkechers LA Marathon special model, photo by Skechers

They began their journey into performance running with their signing of Meb Keflezighi, the 2004 Olympic silver medalist in the marathon. Since 2009, Meb has won NYC, took 4th in London Olympics and won the Boston Marathon in 2014. Meb signed with Skechers in December 2011 after the non renewal of Mr. Keflezighi's contract with Nike.

Meb began a second running career with Skechers. His fans waited in lines at any expo he visited. Selfies abound of Meb and fans, young and old. And this opened doors for Skechers. Seeing Meb in Skechers and, also Kara Goucher, opened the brand to runners, who are both creatures of comfort and habit. During his time at Skechers (who renewed his contract ), has used the well known athlete, as a draw to bring consumers to their booths.

On Saturrdary, March 23, 2019, Meb signed autographs and took selfies with his fans and Skechers consumers. Watch for the RBR interview tomorrow with Meb.

Skechers completed their fifth year as a sponsor with Chevron Houston in 2019, and completes their 4th year as LA Marathon sponsor on March 24, 2019.

Bukowiecki_Konrad-Pre18.jpgKonrad Bukowiecki, photo by PhotoRun.net
Bukowiecki beats Walsh
AUCKLAND (NZL, Mar 21): Poland´s European Indoor champion 2017 Konrad Bukowiecki won the headline event at the Sir Graeme Douglas International Track Challenge. He achieved in fifth shot put round 21.32 and defeated local star and World champion Tom Walsh 20.84, third Jacko Gill 20.76. Walsh last time lost home meet to Ryan Crouser back in February 2017. Women winner US Chase Eayley got 18.95 ahead of New Zealand´s Maddison Wesche with huge PB 18.32. Katharine Camp came from behind to secure a win in the senior women's 800m over Angie Petty 2:02.66 to 2:02.82. Olivia McTaggart took first in the women's pole vault, jumping 440.
Bukowiecki_KonradW-Pre18.jpgKonrad Bukiowicki, photo by PhotoRun.net

The notion that running can cure all kinds of ills is not new. During the first running boom, when I came into the sport, we believed the running could cure many of the ills of the modern society. We were mocked. But many kept that notion alive. All you had to do was do your first long run, and realize that you had solved many of your weeks problems. Family and friends tell me that, during the decade I ran 100 miles a week or more, nothing seemed to bother me. I found that, while in monastery, my daily sixteen mile runs to the beach in Santa Barbara and back cured many of my ills.

SRLA_20180318_025-smaller.jpgStudents Run LA, photo courtesy of SRLA

Essentially, that is the story of Students Run LA. Giving at-risk junior and senior high school kids a chance to experience running the the life lessons of achieving a goal, has changed the lives of the 63,000 graduates of the program. Think about it. It has changed the lives of many that are connected with SRLA graduates.

This writer was considering the affects of a running program when I arrived in Griffith Park. The elite athletes were beginning a series of one loops with some of the Legacy runners and SRLA runners.

I walked around the hundred or so SRLA athletes, and observed them in good moods, teasing each other, warming up and goofing off. It reminded me of my high school days. This writer wanted to see how the SRLA runners felt about running. The video below support my point, running does change lives.

Thanks to Brian Eder, my partner on runblogrun, on posting this video.

Students Run LA is a legacy of the Skechers Performance LA Marathon. The Los Angeles Marathon is in year 34, and the SRLA is in its 30th year. Over the three decades, the group has graduated 63,000 students in 3 decades. Students Run LA challenges at risk teenagers to join and complete an eight month training program for the Skechers Performance LA Marathon. Their goal is to complete the 2019 Skechers Performance LA Marathon. This eight months of running changes lives. One coach told the media that " you see their grades begin to improve from five to six weeks of running, first to C's, then, B's." The notion in the first running boom was correct: running changes lives. That is the theme of SRLA.

IMG_7437.JPGStudents Run LA, March 23, 2019, photo by RunBlogRun

Mission statement of Students Run LA: The mission of Students Run LA is to challenge at-risk secondary students to experience the benefits of goal-setting, character development, adult mentoring and improved health by providing them with a truly life-changing experience: The training for and completion of the Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon.

The Los Angeles Marathon is a unique marathon in the world of marathoning. Showcasing the most aspirational city in the world, SPLAM gives the runner and walker a chance to see the varied neighborhoods of the city plus finish in Santa Monica. The Santa Monica finish is worth the 26.2 miles, giving finishers a chance to finish along the California Coast.

Beneath all of this background, here is our first of two videos on the SRLA, filmed on March 22, 2019 at Griffiths Park, as the elites ran a warm up lap with the SRLA members. The kids sensed the excitement that was about to come.

Priscah Jeptoo for Stramilano

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Jeptoo_Priscah1-Milan15.jpgPriscah Jeptoo, photo by PhotoRun.net
P.Jeptoo for Stramilano
MILAN (ITA, March 24): Priscah Jeptoo, the former world and Olympic silver medallist, is the big name at the Stramilano Half-marathon this Sunday. Despite PBs of 65:45 and 2:20:14, she has not competed on the big stage since 2016. Former world mountain running champion Lucy Wambui, the winner in 2015 with her still PB of 70:52, is back to try to regain her title, while another Kenyan, Ivyne Jeruto Lagat (71:51) will also figure highly. Beatrice Boccalini, who set a PB of 73:36 in December, heads home hopes.Kenya's Jairus Birech, who was fourth in the steeplechase at the 2015 World Championships, will be making his half-marathon debut. The 7:58 chaser will be joined by compatriot Fredrick Moranga, who won the race two years in 61:20. The Italian charge is led by Lorenzo Dini (63:53). Martin Fiz, the 1995 world marathon champion, is also expected to run, now 56 and having run a 2:28 marathon last year. From FIDAL.

Racing in high school was fraught with fun and nervousness. My first two years, I did not break six minutes for the mile, or 12 minutes for 2 miles. I finished dead last most of my races. But, I loved running. My coach in Saint Louis, at DeSmet, Jim Marheinecke, changed my life by telling me that if I stayed with it, I would run fast. Paul Heck, our top runner, would slow down in his cool down and run with me. His patience is one of my big memories 40 plus years later. As a sophomore, I moved to California with my family as my Dad took a new job at Ford, building small cars. After getting my butt kicked, I asked my Coach, Father Rocket Ray Devlin, how to get better. His response was, "run more".

IMG_6143.jpgThose final moments prior to a race, photo by Mike Deering/The Shoe Addicts

So I ran 11-18 miles a day in the Summer of 1974. I lost weight, got faster and in my junior season became more competitive. During track, I ran 2:12 for 880, 4:53 for the mile and 10:56 for 2 miles. I even took 3rd in the mile after battle a guy 30 seconds faster than me. I found racing to be fun, and with some success, it changed my view of running.

Tell me about your experiences, write me at [email protected].

Fridays are always a relaxed day, prior to a meet on Saturays. While I was at Bellarmine, I recall running the Bridges. The Bridges (there were 7) took us along the Alviso creek to the harbor of Alviso where we could smell the salt water and breathe the wind. It was a fun run with lots of jokes, talking and also complaining about the rigors of high school. If I close my eyes, I can see Pete Dolan, Bob Lucas, Chris Sakimaki, among others. Lots of great memories. Make memories, get those runs in.

Hoka One One 2.jpgHOKA ONE ONE, photo by Mike Deering/The Shoe Addicts

Friday, Marrch 23, 2019-warm up, 50 minute run, 8 x 150m, core training, cooldown

Semenya_CasterFHL1-Pre18.jpgCaster Semenya, photo by PhotoRun.net
Semenya decision delayed
LAUSANNE (SUI): The Court of Arbitration for Sport has delayed the decision on the Caster Semenya versus IAAF case until the end of April to allow for new incoming evidence. According to skysport.com, both lawyers for both the IAAF and Caster Semenya have asked to submit "additional submissions and materials". A decision in the case had been expected by early next week as the South African athlete fights the IAAF's new rules limiting testosterone levels in female athletes.
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