Monday, August 24, 2009

Party in the USA

America had a much better showing at the World Championship meet than they did at Beijing last year. We advanced 3 runners in both the men's and women's 1500m to the finals, taking 3rd in both (Shannon Rowbury's bronze was on a disqualification). We won the men's long jump and shared silver in the women's pole vault. The men's 5000m had 3 runners and they did amazingly well. Teg was right there with 150m to go and you could see how badly he had been spiked during the race as his shins were bleeding. Lagat took 2nd in that one, getting outkicked by Bekele.

4x400m relays both went well as we owned them pretty hard, but both 4x100m relays continued their woeful ways, getting DQ'd in the semi-finals. Nick Symmonds ran out of gas in the 800m, and I suppose our sprints at 400m and below were good.

But how did WE do this past week? Well there weren't many events but those that raced did particularly well.

Spider has been on a tear lately, with recent 2nd place finishes in a 5 mile trail race and the next day in a sprint tri. He then went on to win the Fall Creek Falls Olympic Tri by a margin of 9 minutes. This past weekend he headed to Alabama for the USAT Age Group Nationals, where he was 38th overall and 5th in his age group, so he punched his ticket to the WC next year in Hungary.

Collin Anderson, a week out from his 100 miler at Cascade Crest, was looking to try and sneak another short distance win at the Race For Recovery 10k. He didn't win (2nd) but he ran some good negative splits, which for him is a win in itself.

Lee DiPietro has been pretty quiet this year and absent from TNT, but I remembered she was doing Parkersburg Half in WV. Last year there was $1000 on the line for first grandmaster I believe (50+) so she went out and won it. This is a randomly competitive race and yields some fast times. It's not often that you'll run a 1:25:39 and be the 10th woman to cross the line, but that's exactly what Lee was. It was a minute and a half faster than she was last year and while she wasn't the first master, she was again the first grandmaster (setting a record) so hopefully she got that grand in her hand. Cynthia Evans also ran here, helping MD represent in WV. As an FYI, I hate WVU, even though one of the hottest girls I've ever known in my life went there. Back to Cynthia, who ran a PR of 1:46:00 and is clearly setting herself up well for next year's Boston Marathon.

Jeff Gaudette finds some random races, let me tell you. He ran (and won) the Larry Noel 12k. I feel like this race is in Greenbelt, and I also thought it used to be a 15k, but I could be mistaken about that second one. Anyway he won by almost 3 minutes and I just figured out the pace and it was 5:24. Pretty darn good. He is on the roster for the RM Memorial 5k.

Orla Walsh moved up to Vermont this summer to continue her ascent to nursedom, but she hasn't let that get in the way of competing. She's taken on biathlons, where you run around and then shoot rifles, and has gotten quite good at it. She's competed in 3 of the 6 summer events put on by the Ethan Allen Biathlon Club. After they compete they sit around and make some really nice (albeit expensive) furniture.

Finally, Julia Rudd competed in the Hartwood 10 Miler. Not sure where this race is, I guess VA somewhere. 1200ft in elevation, there's one 600ft climb. Last year, US Olympic Marathon Trials competitor Veena Reddy ran 59:50 here (she ran a 2:38 at Oly Trials). Julia, who is preparing for the Twin Cities Marathon in October, has been doing some monster runs lately and won the event in a runaway at 1:00:10. Her next closest competitor was 3 minutes back, and that girl ran a 2:51 marathon. Even more impressive is that Julia was 6th overall. It's also a new TWSS 10 Mile Record.

Those are some baller results my friends, you should all be impressed that we're lucky to know such gifted and talented athletes. But each week there can only be one Purple Drink Athlete of the Week, and this week the honor goes to Lee DiPietro. To compete at that level at an age that is just a few years older than most of us is pretty unbelievable and she never ceases to amaze.

Workout for this week!

2 x (1k-2k-1k) w/ 1:30, 2:00, 2:30 after the 1, 2 and then set.

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