The oldest track & field blog on the internet

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Holy Cow!

With coaching and other things going on, something had to go and blogging was it.

This I had to share with you. Posted by old-time javelin great Roald Bradstock at the Track & Field News forums:
Back in June I was challenged by a 16 year old javelin thrower in the UK to a throwing competition - one catch though - we did not throw javelins.

In the UK right now there is a series called the McCain Track and Field Show that turns the spot light on some young up and coming athletes. Sixteen year old Matti Mortimore is one of them. He and the producers of the show thought they would have some fun and show off there young talent. The challenge, which I accepted, was a head to head competition throwing snooker cues, wellies, fish, water balloons, Guinness book of records, records and of course a kitchen sink. The venue was on a airport runway in Buckinghamshire, England. It was the funniest thing I have ever done - so far - so who do you think won: The 47 year old or the 16 year old? :?:

The TV clip from the competition aired on Sunday in the UK and is now up on YouTube:
Battle of the Generations:

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Another Sub-13

Tegenkamp runs 12:58 in Brussels. Two weeks, two new contenders in international distance running.

There are other issues to talk about, but I have limited time to write right now, so I'll only get one of them down today. The Let's Run headline reads "7 days ago, Bob Kennedy was the only American to ever crack 13:00." A message board thread asks WTF?, because Bernard Lagat ran 12:59.22 in 2006 while a US citizen.

Over at the T&FN boards, the following exchange took place:

EZSum wrote:
doug091463 wrote:
bruce3404 wrote:
Terrific run by Tegenkamp, 12:58.56. Two great times in a week, but does anyone believe our guys can ever beat the Africans in a big meet? Don't mean to be negative, as these were some very special times and it's been a long time since Bob Kennedy (which the Italian announcers referred to as Robert Kennedy!); still, it seems that about all we can hope for is to put a couple of guys into a World's or Olympic final which they have virtually no chance of winning. I guess that's better than nothing.

if i recall correctly we hadone of our guys leading the world champs 5k with less than 100 meters to go 2 weeks ago in the 2009 berlin world championships.

true we have not had a world or olympic 5k champion since let me think, way back 2 years ago in 2007.

Possibly he's excluding imported Kenyans from his assessment.

In a sense, all American athletes are imported unless he/she is a Native American.

I actually don't think it's racism going on here specifically. If anything, maybe xenophobia. Whether Lagat was actually born in America is not the real issue. It's that he was not raised in the American culture. And American culture has been antithetical to serious distance running with two exceptions: the baby boom, and the current generation.

The first was a group of kids raised by the toughest generation in US history, the ones who lived through the Depression and WWII. They passed toughness on to their kids, but the kids had nothing to be tough about. The baby boomers did a lot of different things with the unusual amount of freedom they had (in terms of time, ease of making a decent living, and relaxing of social norms), and some of them took up running.

This generation is a bit different, but many want a real challenge in their lives. Some worked their butts off to get a (nominally, at least) progressive black man elected president. Some are pounding the miles like no Americans have in 30 years. Whatever gives your life meaning.

I work out on the track at school on my planning period with some degree of regularity. Most of the kids out there for gym class look at me like I'm completely nuts. However, it seems to have changed a bit over the last few years. I have more and more of them decide to keep up with me for a few laps because it seems like fun to them.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Six at Eleven

RW Daily News has all the headlines: a possible Bolt-Bekele matchup (really!), Brussels Golden League previews, USATF 20k championship preview, and more.

Scott Bush discusses fantasy leagues.

Sonia O’Sullivan talks about the terrified parent syndrome, which apparently isn’t limited to the US suburbs.

Let’s Run’s homepage from eight years ago.

Ever hear of Dora Ratjen? A new film covers her...his story.

Threadspotting: 3 things you dislike.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Six at Eleven

RW Daily News has all the headlines: Burka back on the start line, more Bolt news, leaders in the race for the 2016 Olympics, and more.

Four Jamaicans admit to using banned stimulants. While stimulants are a very minor offense, sometimes they’re just the tip of the iceberg (see: Kelli White).

More marketable: track racer or marathoner?

Liu Xiang could return to racing soon.

Bolt reportedly raking in a $500,000 appearance fee in late September.

Threadspotting: another US sub-13?

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Six at Eleven

RW Daily News has the headlines: the Bolt-Gay showdown is off, athlete interviews, and race previews.

Universal Sports quantifies marathoning.

John Godina shows off the new World Throws Center.


Caster Semenya has another controversy.

Threadspotting: Fantastic finishes.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009


Bill Simmons, aka ESPN's Sports Guy, regularly publishes a steaming pile of writing he calls a "mailbag". It's entertaining, but rarely has much to do with sports. But here he stumbles across the truth.
[E]ach sport has its own unique celebration to some degree. Here they are:

Baseball: Walk-off hit followed by a circle with dudes jumping up and down in unison.

Football: Guy dances by himself as teammates watch him.

Basketball: Guy struts back up the court after a big shot, makes the Tony Montana "sticking out the lower jaw trying to look like a badass" face, preens for the crowd and eventually gets chest-bumped angrily by other people his size.

Hockey/soccer: Scorer gleefully skates/runs away from the goal and gets mobbed by teammates.

Golf: Awkward fist pump after a putt, followed by an extremely awkward high-five with a caddy.

Tennis: Guy sinks to his knees like he's absolutely incredulous (even if he's not).

Here's my question: Are we happy with these matches of sport and celebration? For instance, I'd love to see baseball players adopt the tennis celebration: hit a homer and just sink to your knees in complete shock for five seconds as everyone angrily stares at you. Wouldn't it be more fun if the winning tennis player sprinted 40 yards like a soccer player and acted like a crazy person? What if a golfer and caddy did a two-man jump-up-and-down celebration like baseball players after a walk-off?

Also, why are we so content with the celebrations we have? I love Ovechkin's self-check into the boards. It's fantastic. Why couldn't someone like Chris Paul make a big shot, wait for the timeout, run over to the scorer's table, then stage-dive into his sea of teammates like they're a giant mosh pit? Why couldn't a golfer hand his putter back to his caddy and his caddy could pretend to be electrocuted by it? Maybe the golfer could pretend that he's also being electrocuted, and they could stand there vibrating for a couple of seconds? We need more clever celebrations heading into this next decade.

Track's celebration? Drape self in flag, jog victory lap. Bo-ring.

Usain Bolt broke out of this mold and it's a big part of his tremendous popularity. His celebrations are pure joy. Berlino helped a few other athletes do something different and made news in such non-track places as Kent Jones' Just Enough feature on the Rachel Maddow Show.

Recently, Blanca Vlasic has taken to doing weird European disco moves after making a big height. At the Zurich Weltklasse meet, Yelena Isinbayeva went berserk when she set her world record, but that doesn't really fall into the category of clever. Remember when Mo Greene had someone use a fire extinguisher on his shoes? Now that was entertaining.

Yes, we need creative celebrations.

Six at Eleven

RW Daily News has all the headlines, including Gateshead and Zagreb track results.

Let’s Run looks back on the week.

Berlin is looking at a long-term Olympic bid.

Who is the world’s most dominant athlete: Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt, Tiger Woods, or Roger Federer?

Scott Bush continues discussing a USATF road race series.

Threadspotting: What’s the next world record?