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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Superfan Daily: Your Track Vault Pick of the Week

First, an update on the New Zealand situation.

The International Track Meet scheduled for Saturday in Christchurch has officially been canceled.  "Postponed" is the word used by the organizers, but the track is not going to be runnable without major reconstructive work.  Considering the damage and the relatively low priority of a sports venue in the larger scheme of things, I'm going to guess the Kiwis will do well to have the stadium ready for next year.

A fund-raiser meet will be run on Saturday in Wellington.  Athletes who have committed include Nick Willis and Alan Webb plus most or all of the top middle-distance athletes who were entered into the ITM.  Those wishing to donate should go to the New Zealand Salvation Army website.  Willis will finally be presented with his silver medal from the 2008 Olympics, as he moved up from bronze after Rashid Ramzi's doping DQ.

Galen Rupp, who traveled halfway around the world for this meet, is now going the rest of the way around to run the 3000 meters at this weekend's USATF Championships.

EDIT: I've been quoted on this like I actually know that Rupp is running in ABQ this weekend.  I should correct the above to say "he is listed as 'declared' for the USATF Championships and on the Pick N Win Game start lists".

OK, now to the track vault.  This week I give you a 1981 Kenny Moore story on Eugene's "Put Up or Shut Up Mile".  Moore's writing was always entertaining, but this is one of his best.
A lot of Eugenians run, and most of those runners talk big. The idea of the mile was to shame the dozen loudest of roughly 4:40 to 5:00 ability—the Alberto Salazars and Mary Deckers of Eugene being very soft talkers, as well as being intent on the upcoming Olympic Trials—into each ponying up a $25 entry fee for a race the evening of June 26, 1980 on the track of Lane Community College. The winner would receive 50% of the total purse, with decreasing money through fifth place.

A race committee headed by attorney Kip Leonard did the preliminary shaming with its invitations, which merely described the potential contestants. Of Bruce Ronning, 34, the entry form said, "His special petition for a weight class was denied on the grounds that his weight has no class." Leonard's law partner, Bill (Sheephead) Martin, "whose personal record of 48.5 is for the 100-meter freestyle," was said to be praying for rain. And for Leon (Nearly Normal) Henderson, a ranch foreman who had finished second in the 312-mile Great Hawaiian Footrace in 1979, "an especially attractive young heifer had been installed as pace calf at the LCC track."

Read more.

Yesterday's Results
XL Galan (IAAF Permit)
Ericsson Globe Arena, Stockholm SWE
Highlights: Phillips Idowu (GBR) 17.48 TJ, Angelica Bengtsson (SWE) 4.63 WJR PV, Abebe Arigawe (ETH) 4:01.47 WL 1500m
IAAF story / Results / Video

Track on TV
Prefontaine, 10:10 AM today on SHO 2
Bud Greenspan Presents: Beijing 2008 - America's Olympic Glory, 6:05 PM today on Showtime Family Zone

News Links
Runner's World's Racing News has all the headlines.

Let's Run's Week That Was is up, as is this week's RunnerSpace Live.

Mmmm. That's tasty.

Kickin' it.

Mo Farah blogs on his coaching change and racing, and Martin Bingisser introduces his new sponsor.

These days, mile world record holder Hicham El Guerrouj blends into the crowd.

Usain Bolt's website sports a new look.

USATF previews the men's running events at this weekend's championships.

As feared, British pole vaulter Steve Lewis broke a bone in his wrist last week.

The Little East thinks big with mobile video.

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