Yesterday in Oslo, we saw elite track & field in the age of coronavirus.
From the empty seats (cue the "How is that different from normal?" jokes) to Homer Simpson watching Mondo Duplantis in the pole vault to whatever this was, Thursday's Impossible Games did not resemble a track meet in any conventional sense of the word.
It was jarring to watch the starting gun fire for the first race of the day, the men's 1,000 meters, and hear...nothing. It was strange to see Duplantis defeat Renaud Lavillenie in the pole vault, despite the fact that Lavillenie was competing on a different day in a different country. Multiple races featured just one competitor.
And yet the Impossible Games was undeniably successful. No one would wish for a permanent shift to this format, but for the first time in a while, we got to do all the things track fans love to do: watch middle-distance runners go out too hard, debate what a fast time at an odd distance was actually worth (300m hurdles or 2,000m flat, take your pick), complain about a lack of split screens...wait, they actually used split screens? It was, dare we say, fun.
Of course, it hasn't been all good. Just after we sent last week's newsletter, world 400m champion Salwa Eid Naser was provisionally suspended for whereabouts failures. So it goes in the running world...
What does Naser's ban say about the whereabouts system? How did Brown alums save their men's track/XC program? And what would the 2020 Prefontaine Classic have looked like? We explore on the world's greatest running podcast.
Thanks to a strong alumni effort and voices from around the Ivy League (notably Princeton alum Russell Dinkins), Brown president Christina Paxson announced on Tuesday that she was reinstating the men's track/XC programs, effective immediately.
Team Cheruiyot may have struggled against Team Ingebrigtsen yesterday, but Rongai Athletics Club remains the world's most talented group of milers. Ahead of the Impossible Games, we caught up with head coach Bernard Ouma, who told us about his newest recruit (1:43 guy Edwin Melly) and whether Timothy Cheruiyot will target Hicham El Guerrouj's WR.
"Summer miles lead to fall smiles." It's a cliche because it's true. The months of June, July, and August are critical opportunities to put in the work that lead to breakout results in the fall, winter, and spring racing seasons.
Now with the help of LetsRun.com, high school and college runners can make their dreams become reality. LetsRun's Robert Johnson (2:23 marathon pb, 13 Ivy League team titles as Cornell distance coach), Weldon Johnson (28:06 10k pb, two-time Team USA member), and coaching guru John Kellogg are sharing their knowledge with the LetsRun.com Summer Training Program. You'll get a customized 10-12 week training plan, helpful running tips, and exclusive discounts on shoes and gear. Click below to learn more.
A duel between legends was the headliner, but did you know the future greatest marathoner in history ended up making a classic beginning runner's mistake? 2005 World XC also featured an impressive double from Tirunesh Dibaba, an appearance from 15-year-old Aliphine Tuliamuk, and the last World XC appearances for Jenny Simpson, Galen Rupp, and Dathan Ritzenhein.
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