Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Sad Times in Kenya

The home land of the greatest distance runners in the world has spiraled into a state of chaos over the last couple of weeks. Tribal conflict has run rampant since the disputed re-election of the ruling party leader.

Over 1,000 have been killed since the turmoil began; and, there is not real end in sight. Even though Kofi Annan has arrived in Nairobi to try to mediate between the ruling and opposition parties, violence continues to claim the lives of people throughout the country. Some of the worst conflict has occurred in the Rift Valley area around Eldoret, the home to many of the top athletes. And, in fact, several athletes have been attacked, and some killed.

I've had the pleasure of visiting Africa twice. One to southwest Africa (Namibia) and once to east Africa (Tanzania - which shares a border with Kenya). The people are wonderful. Its such a shame to see such tragedy strike a people who could always find a way to smile even though they have a daily struggle just to survive.

Hopefully a solution will be found soon, the bloodshed will end, and they can move forward again as one of the more progressive of the African countries.

See you on the roads, tracks and trails.


Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Miles Covered - January 20-26

The film "Spirit of The Marathon" was shown in Helena on Thursday night the 24th. Mark Burke of Missoula attended and reports that the movie was well done and well worth the trip. There appears to be some encore performances scheduled; but, nowhere in Montana seems to be on the list at this point. Hopefully that changes and we get another chance to view the film. Check active.com for updates. I hope it comes to DVD before long.

The indoor scene kicked off on Friday night with the MSU Open indoor meet on the fast banked track in Brick Breeden Fieldhouse. Some notable performances were:
  • Ellie Rudy of MSU (defending NCAA indoor champ) pole vaulting 4.20 meters (13-09 1/4) to equal the MSU school and field house record.
  • Dan Johnson of MSU setting a new school record with a 400 in 47.56.
  • BSDP athlete Jennifer Thomas with a 5th place in the 800 with a 2:22.31
  • BSDP athlete Alan King with a 13th in the 3,000 @ 9:18.85
  • Jarred Rensvold, future BSDP member, current Blue Dome Social Club Member and a member of the inaugural MSU-Billings indoor track team runs a 4:46.00 for the mile to place 12th.

See you on the roads tracks and trails


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Bye Bye Breeze

So, this is the first winter in 17 years that I haven't spent in Billings in southcentral Montana. Yeah we get a bit more snow and we're right in the mountains. The Clark Fork river is almost out my front door and we've gone from a city of 100,000 to a town of about 1,200.

But, the biggest change that I've noticed is the lack of wind. One of the constants in Billings in the winter (and spring, and summer, and fall) is the wind. Morning, noon and night - the wind is always present. And not just a mild little breeze. It seemed like the baseline was about 15 mph. And, this time of year, it meant that there was always the wind chill to deal with.

I can remember running every Sunday morning with Alan King, Sam Hartpence and Jarred Rensvold last winter. And, when we were deciding on routes, it wasn't based on the most attractive route, the one that best suited our training and/or racing goals, or to explore somewhere new. No, the routes were based on one plain and simple concept - where do we run to minimize the time into the wind.

Now that I'm back in the mountains and out of the plains, it's a whole new ballgame. Most days the wind is just simply not a factor. And, man I'm loving it. It even makes it pleasent to train on those cold winter days. It's just so nice to not have to deal with the wind every single day.

So, here's to now living in a no breeze zone.

See you on the roads, tracks and trails.


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

At The Starting Line

So, I've always wanted to do some blogging. But, for the last couple of years I haven't had the time to be able to devote to regularly writing. Well, in the last few months, there have been some big changes in my overall lifestyle. As a result, I once again have a bit of "disposable" time; and, I decided that I would finally go ahead and put "pencil to paper" as it were and start a blog.

Overall, I expect to focus on running in general; but, with special emphasis on what's happening within the sport in the Big Sky State of Montana. Maybe no the most exciting blog material that was ever conceived; but, it's what I enjoy. I'll likely put in a few other things here and there, some of which may not be at all related to running. Hey, it's my blog, so I get to pick what I want. Oh - the beauty of the web!!

At any rate, hope you enjoy.

See you on the roads, tracks and trails


Monday, January 21, 2008

The Great One

Haile Gebrselassie is a stud. No ifs, ands or buts. At the Dubai Marathon last Friday (1/18/08) he ran 2:04:54 - for the 2nd fastest marathon ever - just 28 secs off his world record of 2:04:26 (which he set just this last September). In the span of only 3 1/2 months, he's run the 2 fastest marathons of all time. He' s set more than 2 dozen world recores in the course of his career, won 2 Oly and 3 World titles at 10,000 meters, an indoor 1,500 meter title, world half marathon titles - the list goes on and on and on.

It's going to be curious to see if he decides to take on the marathon at the Bejing Olympics. And, if he does, how will he handle a tactical race versus the time trials like Berlin and Dubai. His history at racing the marathon (i.e. London) has not been stellar.

Personally, I would love to see him run Bejing and win one last gold medal at the Olympics. What a cherry on top for the stellar career of the Great One.

See you on the roads, tracks and trails.