Alright, race fans. Ready for another installment of Chicory’s handy-dandy race previews? Next up is NYC! The five-borough jaunt is welcoming back all of last year’s champions and the elite field includes 11 former New York City Marathon champions, 13 Olympians and 19 Paralympians, and 14 past Abbott World Marathon Majors race champions. And, Pimento! Read more >>
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced last week that they are planning to move the marathon and race walking events in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics to Sapporo – 500 miles north of Tokyo – due to concerns about heat and safety. (It’s a bit unclear if they will actually move, as the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee is interpreting this as just a “proposal”).
The aforementioned heat is no joke. A 2017 heatwave saw record high temps in Tokyo of around 106 degrees. This got me thinking, why award a Summer Games to Tokyo in the first place? After all, the last time they were the host city in 1964, the Games were in October.
In 2000, the IOC established July and August as the months to hold the Summer Olympics. They’re the ideal time window for TV networks to cover the event.
But does that really matter any more, with all the ways we have to watch?
If you don’t know about the Gate River Run 15k, it’s a wonderful event in Jacksonville, Florida that is also the USATF 15k National Championship. In March I was given the opportunity to race Gate as part of the elite women’s field. Having never raced as an “elite”—and believe me, I am using that term very loosely—I was both excited and a little apprehensive about the whole experience.
When race week rolled around, I was SO. EXCITED. I really felt like a kid not-so-patiently awaiting the arrival of Christmas morning. I knew I was in good shape and I was very interested to get an actual gauge of my current fitness level.
Happy Patriot’s Day, possibly the most important running holiday of the year! Last year I wrote about the crazy-stacked women’s elite field — I declared it was going to be a good year and I was definitely right even though there were plenty of surprises.
American women’s marathoning is a whole mood right now.
So, who to keep an eye on this year? Of the 22 women in the elite field, half of them have PRs under 2:23:00. The weather is forecasted to be similar to last year, although looks like a tailwind this year.
Celebrating Des Linden’s historic win at the 122nd Boston Marathon yesterday, we’re revisiting our conversations with Des in Detroit in Spring of 2016. This interview was originally posted by Salty in April, 2017
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It’s one of those Midwest spring days, the ones 30 degrees cooler than the day before, with pouring rain that chilled more than snow as it drummed down on rows of sleepy mid-century cottages and split-levels. It’s the kind of day where nobody wants to stand around outside, particularly not on a Saturday morning after a hard 0-dark-thirty workout that didn’t go exactly as planned. But there is Desiree Linden, a two-time Olympic marathoner, bundled up with coffee in hand, sleepily shouting “Good job!” to participants in the Bill Roney 5k.
It doesn’t take much for Des’s husband, Ryan to get her to smile and gin up a little enthusiasm despite the conditions and her lingering angst about the workout, which had gone ever-so-slightly awry.
What brings Des to this rainy street corner in suburban Detroit, three weeks before she hopes to win the Boston Marathon? Read more >>
It’s a very Salty special edition of the Roundup and Roundtable, BOSTON MARATHON style! Where do we begin???
Des. We believed. It was hard to have a “favorite” going into this race but man, we’ve got a lot of Salty love for her. This time last year, we published “That Desiree Linden, She’s Second to None.” And now — finally — she’s first. Winning Boston is her first marathon win. Ever. Read more >>
It’s almost Marathon Monday! Spectating the Boston Marathon was my first exposure to the marathon as a “thing people did.” As a college freshman, I stood in Kenmore Square, cheered and fried in the sun on the first warm spring day in 2004, back when the marathon still started at noon.
I didn’t know how far a marathon was; I didn’t much care. I didn’t know any of the runners at the front or back of the pack, I didn’t know the burning desire that consumes people to chase a BQ — often for years.
I certainly didn’t know that four years later, I’d stand on that line in Hopkinton.
Hey, we could lead off with something cute this week but there was hella good racing over the weekend so forget it. Read more >>
Just want to point out that halfway through this week we’ll be halfway through February which means we’re close to March! I have noticed a marked difference in when the sun is up in the mornings, which brings me joy because this running-in-the-dark-everyday thing is wearing me down.
Meanwhile, the marathon scene is heating up in the southern states — quite literally. The 26.2 with Donna brought racers 71º temperatures, 13 mph winds, and 91% humidity on Sunday. (And our own Angelica still prevailed!)
I said not to count her out. You guys saw that, right? But still, when Shalane Flanagan flew down the final stretch of the New York City Marathon on Sunday, fist-bumping and F-bomb dropping, I could barely believe it, too.
Despite her storied marathon — and track — career, Shalane hadn’t captured a victory at a World Marathon Major. Now, she has, breaking a four-decade long drought of an American woman winning NYCM.
She was the engine on a freaking freight train of American women in the top 10 — Allie Kieffer (don’t worry, coming back to her), Kellyn Taylor, Stephanie Bruce, plus Diane Nukuri who just recently attained U.S. citizenship.
Sorry, did you catch that? FIVE AMERICAN WOMEN in the top 10 of the New York City Marathon.
It’s a hell of a way to wrap up an amazing freaking year for women’s distance running in the U.S.
Let me recap.
August: Amy Cragg earns a bronze medal in the World Championships marathon, following up on her 2016 Trials win and 9th place finish in the Rio Olympics. Meanwhile, on the track, Emma Coburn and Courtney Frerichs go 1-2 in the steeplechase for one of the most epic finishes EVER on the oval; Jenny Simpson charged down the stretch for silver in the 1500 meters.
October: Jordan Hasay runs the fastest time by an American woman at the Chicago Marathon, in 2:20:57, placing third. Her performance moves her to number 2 all time, just behind Deena Kastor’s 2:19:36 at the 2006 London Marathon. Gulp.
November: Shalane slays at NYC, winning by 61 seconds over race favorite Mary Keitany in 2:26:53.
It’s a damn good year for American women distance runners. U.S.A. women have never — never — had double-digit sub-2:30 performances in one year before.
Shalane made it 12. Allie Kieffer made it 13.
Still with me? That’s 13 times an American woman has run under the 2:30 marker in a marathon in 2017.
Historic. And that’s saying a lot because 2016 was not too shabby either. (All three American women in the top 10 at Rio, plus bronze medals for Emma and Jenny, for example.)
Shalane said before the race she wanted “one more big performance” before she retires from professional racing.
She got it.
Ironically, her victory came in the same week we quoted her talking about her mom — running pioneer Cheryl Bridges (now Treworgy) — in our #MeToo piece. Bridges once held the world record in the marathon, yet would have crap thrown at her by men driving by while she was out training.
Ain’t nobody throwing anything at Shalane this week except flowers. (Well, and a little shade.)
Now, let’s talk about Allie Kieffer. I’m not gonna sit here and act like I knew who she was going into this race, because I didn’t. In fact, I couldn’t find much about her. The race media guide listed her with a marathon personal best of 2:55:30, although she ran 2:44:44 to set a new indoor marathon world record last year as well. This year, she ran a 1:14:13 half-marathon, which is good but certainly not astounding.
On Sunday, Allie took 26 minutes off her marathon time in her second outdoor race at the distance, finishing in 2:29:39.
Allie didn’t have the smoothest road to the NYC starting line. She started running as a youth because her sister, Meghan, ran. But a few years later, her sister was killed in an 8-car collision during her junior year of college in 2007.
Allie went on to be a talented collegiate runner for Wake Forest. After college, she used money her sister bequeathed her to run professionally, qualifying for the 2012 Olympic Trials in the 10k but not racing it. Soon after, she found herself injured and moved back to her home state of New York from Boulder, Co.
She joined the New York Athletic Club to make friends, and started making money on the road racing circuit.
She has no coach and had no major sponsorship heading into NYC, although breaking 2:30 will probably change that quickly.
And not too far behind were superstar running mamas Kellyn Taylor and Stephanie Bruce from NAZ Elite, with Diane Nukuri between them. Nukuri recently became a U.S. citizen, having previously competed for Burundi but having lived in Canada and the United States for most of her life.
Wow. Just wow.
What a day. The group messaging system we use for Salty Running was blowing up all morning, as people watched live and caught up on DVR.
I yelled at my television, I fist-bumped along with Shalane, I cried.
As Desi Linden put it, “Thank you, Shalane Flanagan, for giving us something to believe in.”
Anything is possible.
I wasn’t a kid that dreamed of running the Boston Marathon. I was the kid who cried when asked to run more than one lap of the track. Like many people, I decided to start running because I wanted to lose weight. My first goal was to run an entire 5k without stopping. That was hard, but I did it.
Then a year later, I registered for a half marathon, and, again, my goal was to finish 21.1k of running, which I did in 2:00:01. I ran that same half marathon multiple years in a row. In between, I ran the same route almost everyday, at the same pace, and would get frustrated when my annual half marathon rolled around and my time didn’t change much from year to year. I chiseled my time down to 1:47:xx within the first five years of running, but my ultimate dream was to run a 1:45.
It wasn’t on purpose, but by becoming competitive with myself, I started taking more of an interest in running as a sport and made more of an effort to run more consistently throughout the year.
I started running 11 years ago, when I turned 19. This year, I turned 30. During the past 11 years, a lot has changed on the running front for me. And honestly, I never saw any of it coming. Read more >>
Maria Elena Calle, now an Olympian, was only nine years old when she started running at her elementary school in Cuenca, Ecuador. Although she usually finished first or second, Maria insists that the races were just for fun and she wasn’t thinking about winning. “At that age, it was just an after school activity mainly to spend time with friends,” she says.
Maria always loved running, which came naturally to her. At 17 she was selected to represent Ecuador in both the 1,500 and 3,000 meters at the Bolivian Games, which is like a mini-Olympics for South America, held every four years. Maria was one of the youngest competitors there and surprised everyone by finishing thid in both races (behind Janet Caizilitin who finished fourth in the 1992 World Cross Country Championships junior race and Martha Tenorio, a 2:27 marathoner). She recalls standing on the podium singing the Ecuadorian national anthem and realizing that, “maybe, just maybe, I could be good at running.”
Rachel Hannah’s love for running developed about an hour north of Toronto in Barrie, Ontario, where she grew up. It all began on a 200 meter gravel track in fourth grade, where she and her classmates counted laps with popsicle sticks they had decorated, until they had run the equivalent of a trip around the world.
Twenty years later, she’s a graduate of Georgia State where she ran D1 cross-country and track, a Canadian national champion, and a registered dietician. In 2015 she ran her marathon debut, finishing in 2:33:30. She’s settled into a new hometown, Toronto, where she trains with New Balance Canada to represent her country in races like Monday’s Boston Marathon. There, Rachel was the only Canadian running in the elite field and she finished in 2:41:22, 23rd woman overall.
Rachel is someone who’s long inspired me and I’m pretty sure she’ll inspire you too.
Elite Canadian distance runner Natasha Wodak is a badass. Not only is she an Olympian, she currently holds the Canadian record in the 10,000m (31:41.59, Palo Alto 2015). By all measures she is one of the top Canadian distance runners of all time, with a running resume to prove it.
I’ve long been a huge fan and admirer and I want to share what I find so inspiring about Natasha with you!
While she holds blazing fast PRs of 16:41 (5k), 34:50 (10k), 1:14:01 (half marathon), and 2:34:45 (marathon), you may know Hilary Dionne as the runner who held hands with Meb at the 2015 Boston Marathon. Needless to say, she’s so much more than that! She’s a Dartmouth grad and a Boston-based runner who competes for Craft Concept Racing, works full-time for Jobcase Inc., and competed in the 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials.
Hilary and I ran together back in 2011 through 2013 when we both ran for Boston Athletic Association. More than just a great runner, she’s also very driven in her career, and is someone who can inspire us all. I spoke with her shortly before and shortly after she competed in the 2016 TCS New York City Marathon where she finished 20th with a time of 2:45:31.
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