The Morning Run
Kevin Sully | On 06, May 2013
Photo courtesy of Trackandfieldphoto.com
The Diamond League doesn’t begin until Friday, but the professional season began to get serious over the weekend. Tyson Gay showed he is still very much a factor in the 100, Veronica Campbell-Brown finished fast in her home country, David Rudisha used blocks and Matthew Centrowitz wore half tights.
We start this week’s recap in Kingston, where the world saw the 100-meter debut of the scruffier, and possibly faster, version of Tyson Gay. The beard and longer hair made the American record holder either look like a college sophomore who has spent the last 9 hours playing Call of Duty, or like a man who is so focused on his training he hasn’t had time to be distracted by the meticulous grooming that made him a poster boy for Gillette. After seeing his race, the latter appears to be the case. The 30-year-old blasted by Nesta Carter and Doc Patton and won the Jamaica Invitational in 9.86.
This is an extremely encouraging start for Gay especially considering both Yohan Blake and Usain Bolt skipped the meet with injuries. Joe Battaglia wrote last week about Gay’s new diet and more sensible training regime that the sprinter hoped would keep him healthy throughout the 2013 season. The sample size is small, but it appears to already be paying dividends. Since 2007, Gay has been perpetually playing catch-up to his rivals due to injuries. Now, they will have to chase him.
Also in Kingston, Veronica Campbell-Brown came from way back in the women’s 100 to pass Allyson Felix and all others. Campbell-Brown ran 11.03, Felix finished 5th in 11.13. If you are in the business of predicting which events Allyson Felix will run in Moscow this year, I don’t think this race gave you any indication.
In the 200, Shelly Ann Fraser-Pryce and Nickel Ashmeade scored easy wins. Wallace Spearmon was third with his customary late charge. Still not sure if, or when, he will make his debut in the 400 this season.
A couple of lesser known names also turned in strong performances. Stephanie McPherson took over a second off her personal best in the 400. Her time of 50.43 was enough to hold off Christine Ohuruogu of Great Britain. In the 100, Carrie Russell ran 11.08 for third and finished in front of Felix and Muriel Ahoure. Russell has been around for a few years, but it wasn’t until this weekend that I learned her Google search results get preempted by American television star Keri Russell. Come on Google, not even the same spelling.
Full results from the Jamaica Invitational.
In Tokyo at the Golden Grand Prix, Yoshihide Kiryu came up well short in his bid to break 10 seconds in the 100. Kiryu, fighting a headwind, finished third in 10.40 in a race won by Mike Rodgers. Pretty disappointing until you realize that Kiryu is 17 and nobody in the history of Japan, or the continent of Asia, has ever broken 10 seconds.
Though he doesn’t turn 18 until December, the pressure will assuredly continue to increase as he tries to improve upon his incredible 10.01 from last week. Looking long-term, very long-term, Tokyo is in the running to host the 2020 Olympics when Kiryu is 24. That should lessen the burden.
–Mary Cain had another solid outing against a professional field on Sunday in San Diego. This time, the 17-year-old finished fourth in the 800 in a personal best of 2:01.68.
Cain’s race was one of the four held as part of the inaugural Re:RUN San Diego track meet. The event also included a road race in the morning. Event organizers hoped that the large amount of participants in the morning 5k and 10k would help fill the stands for the elite track meet that followed in Balboa Stadium. From a glance at the numbers, that did not appear to happen. The results show only 79 finishers in the 5k. The 10k was canceled.
In the meet itself, Brenda Martinez won the 800 in 1:59.59 earning another “A” standard in the process, while Duane Solomon won the men’s 800 with a time of 1:46.54. Without the presence of a rabbit, the men’s mile dragged and Paul Robinson of Ireland emerged as the winner in 4:04.35.
Full Re:RUN results here.
About the Mile
Since it is Roger Bannister Day, a quick thought about the mile. Absent a pacemaker, as was the case in the San Diego, the distance increasingly resembles a middle school dance. Before it starts, there are high hopes and lofty expectations about the possibilities. Once it begins, however, it is filled with inaction and awkward staring. The tension painfully builds until someone begrudgingly leaves their comfort zone. After this initial leap of faith, everyone rushes to follow and tries desperately not to be the one left out. Then, it is over. The analogy still doesn’t fit? Ok, what if I told you that Bannister was the first to break the mythical four-minute slow dance barrier?
–David Rudisha set a personal best in the 400 running 45.15. The video below doesn’t show his entire race, but does have exclusive footage of him using blocks. A block start? What can’t this man do?
Rudisha also teased at a potential match-up with Usain Bolt during the 4 x 400 in Moscow at the World Championships. Assuming they both got the baton at the same time on the anchor leg, I wonder if the camera would pan back the 20-30 meters from the US and Bahamas to see Bolt and Rudisha race?
In all seriousness, a battle between the US/Jamaica/Kenya in the 4 x 400 for the gold would be compelling, but doesn’t seem likely right now– a race involving Bolt and Rudisha even less so.
–Galen Rupp defeated training partner Dathan Ritzenhein to win the 3,000 at the Oregon Twilight meet in 7:46.34 . Fellow Oregon alum Matthew Centrowitz looked particularly smooth winning the 800 in 1:47.95. More importantly, Friday marked the beginning of the half tight era for Centrowitz
Came away with the win in last nights 800 in 1.47.9. 1-0 wearing half tights OregonTwilight.runnerspace.com/eprofile.php?e…
— Matthew Centrowitz (@MattCentrowitz) May 4, 2013
-The IAAF took advantage of the time-honored tradition of dumping bad news on a Friday. Last week, the organization announced that gold medalist Asli Cakir Alptekin of Turkey officially faces a lifetime ban after her biological passport revealed abnormalities. Hurdler Nevin Yanit, also of Turkey, is mentioned as showing “multiple positive findings in both in-competition and out-of-competition tests.”
-Finally, Saturday Night Live explained why so many people enjoy wearing New Balance shoes.