Track Shorts, Lap 6

SteveFillebrownDoes this describe you?: “I love the sport but it’s too damn hard to follow.” Maybe this brief regular column by AthleteBiz Board Member, Steve Fillebrown is your answer.

OUTDOOR SEASON PRIMER

Lingering snowbanks notwithstanding, the outdoor season is here. And a big pre-Olympic one it is. April is mostly US relays and invitationals, several of which we’ll discuss below. May sees more US invitationals (Pre Classic 5/29-30) but also the start of the international season; the Diamond League (explained in more detail here) schedule also gets underway. June and July are jam packed on the international circuit but there is also the USATF National Championships, which double as the World Championship Trials, June 25-28 in Eugene. Things slow down in early August but finish strong with the World Championships in Beijing (8/22-30). September still has key European action, including the last two Diamond League meets in Zurich and Brussels.

DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME

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Photo by Paul Merca

Before jumping into the weekend’s results, we would be remiss in not going back to highlight some March results. A competitive marathon right before a world championship event is not likely standard training these days but it worked for Sara Hall. Her marathon debut in LA on March 15th clearly wasn’t what she wanted but less than two weeks later she was the top US finisher in the World Cross Country championships in China; her 20th place helped lead the US women to 5th overall. From Sara on Twitter:

 

Also noteworthy was 1500m specialist Sarah Brown‘s performance at the Carlsbad 5K on March 29th.  Her 15:48 was good for 8th place, making her the top US finisher.  Not far behind was AB board member Deena Kastor in 12th at 16:05, returning 13 years later to the site of her world record 14:54 performance.

FLYING IN FLORIDA

Turning to last weekend’s events, somebody must have forgot to tell the folks at the Florida Relays that it’s only the beginning of April. For example, in the men’s 110HH, Aleec Harris, Jason Richardson and David Oliver went 1-2-3 in 13.23, 13.24 and 13.25 respectively. On the AB side, Chanelle Price, pictured below in the purple kit, put down a 2:00.6 to win the 800, breaking Joetta Clark’s 23 year-old track record in the process. Tori Bowie got her season off to a good start with a 22.61 (into a slight head wind) victory in the 200. Yep, times were fast. ABer Je’von Hutchison ran 46.25 and got just 8th in the 400, and followed it with a leg on the speedy 3:03.57 Elite Athletes International 4 x 400 team, which was 2nd fastest on the day.

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MORE THAN A RACE

On the left coast, at the Stanford Invitational, a couple of ABers had particularly special experiences. In the women’s 10k, Kaitlin Goodman had the race of her life, knocking a minute (!) off her PR with 32:09.82 for third;

“it was an honor to be in the same race as Shalane [Flanagan] and Gelete [Burka]! I was thrilled not to get lapped! :).”

The best news of the day was probably from the women’s 5k, where Gabriele Grunewald was the winner in 15:19.01, lowering her PR by more than 14 seconds. Afterwards she provided additional context on what made the day special;

“… it was six years ago on Good Friday that I got my diagnosis of cancer so it was something on my mind during the week leading up to the event. I’m just so grateful to be healthy and to still be running well.”

Neely Gracey ran 15:25.34 in that same race to take 5th. Riley Dolezal won the javelin with a toss of 77.87 (255-06, or about 15 ft short of last year’s season best). Jon Peterson took 8th in the 5k; though the 13:36.29 was a PR by more than three seconds, he was unimpressed, tweeting:

JPetersonTwitter1

Time for baton season! Action continues apace with a host of meets later this month, including the Mt. SAC Relays, Drake Relays, and Penn Relays. We’ll be back in two weeks to report on results from Mt SAC and this little race they have in Massachusetts called the Boston Marathon.


Notable Mentions:

Alan Webb will be competing in the ITU World Triathlon Series race in Gold Coast Australia on April 11


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