Does 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.
posted January 29, 2015
As a steeplechaser at Bucknell University (before they had an indoor facility), the winter season was a great opportunity to compete in my weaker events and shovel snow off our 160-yard wooden banked oval track set up on the soccer field. Maybe this explains my life-long ennui with the indoor season. But perusing the winter calendar, it seems like there should be plenty to keep us interested.
In the more traditional vein, we have the USATF indoor series with meets at the Armory (1/31), Boston, back to NYC on 2/14 for the Millrose Games and culminating with the indoor championships in Boston the weekend of 2/27-3/1. A busy college season ends with the NCAA championships 3/13-14 in Fayetteville, AR.
But the season isn't just for indoor events apparently. Boulder hosts the USATF Cross Country Championships on 2/7; this meet also serves to select the US squad for the World Championships in Guiyang, China on 3/28. Road racing more your style? How about the Dubai Marathon on 1/23? Too short for you? Then what about the USATF 100 Mile Trail Championship in Huntsville, Texas on 1/31?
But enough about the future, surely there must have been some good stuff this past weekend. Indeed there was. Let's start with the US Half Marathon Championships in Houston. The men's race was won by Diego Estrada in 60:51, while Kim Conley took the women's race with a time of 69:44. AthleteBiz was well represented. Meb Keflezighi cruised to a 62:18, good for 4th overall and first in his age group. Jeffrey Eggleston ran well, then tweeted:
Phew. 62'41" for 7th at @HoustonMarathon US 1/2 Champs. If it were a futbol match, I got Pelé-ed.— Jeffrey EGGLESTON (@jde66leston) January 18, 2015
We believe what Jeffrey meant was "I negotiated this course in a very fast time but my place does not seem commensurate with that time. Those must have been athletes of the highest caliber ahead of me." Jon Peterson ran 64:26 for 38th. On the women's side, Sara Hall put up a PR 70:50 despite being sick until just a few days before the race. Before the race, Lauren Kleppin spoke to FloTrack about her "weird training," by which she meant she was not as fit as she would have liked; still she managed a 72:31 for 12th. Sorry about the Packers though, Lauren. Two more Sarahs, Cummings and Pease, finished 20th and 26th respectively.
Becky Holliday flying high at the Pole Vault Summit in Reno. Photo: Mike McCarthy
Meanwhile, out in Reno, NV, track and field equipment manufacturer UCS held the National Pole Vault Summit, offering competition and education for vaulters of all levels. ABer Jordan Scott took 2nd (on a tiebreaker) in the Elite Men 2 section with a vault of 5.55 meters (about 18'-2-1/2" for the non-metrically inclined). In the Elite Men 1 section, Jack Whitt took 4th at 5.45 (17'-10-1/2" or so). Women ABers were also out in force and took 2nd through 4th in the persons of Becky Holliday, Mary Saxer and Melissa Gergel; they all jumped 4.5 meters or about 14'-10" with places decided by tiebreakers.
And last but not least, Ryan Hall was out in Arizona to compete in the Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon. Ryan ran 64:14 and was just edged out - by a second - by Benson Cheruiyot. He seemed happy enough about the effort, telling azcentral sports "This was a building block for me...I don't want to peak too soon. I'm saving that for Rio."
Hall and Cheruiyot at the RnR Half
Photo: Rob Schumacher, azcentral sports