Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Burden

Last night, on their E:60 program, ESPN aired a story of Alicia Shay and her challenges of carrying on since her husband Ryan died during the men's Olympic Trials Marathon last November.

It was heart wrenching to see the grief that she still carries with her. In one part of the interview, she talked about how she wished she could say that she always felt Ryan's presence with her. But, to be honest, there's mostly a void that has been left.

She spoke of rushing to the hospital thinking that Ryan had just fallen and hit his head and that everything would be alright. Imagine the shock and horror as she stumbled into a chaotic ER where the doctors and nurses were working on Ryan in full trauma mode.

Then, she sat with her dead husband, his body still warm, waiting for him to open his mouth, take a breath and wake up. But, as we all know, the happy ending never came about.

Alicia carries on with her own training in trying to make the Oly team at 1,500 meters. But what a burden she carries. She carries the weight of her own hopes and expectations of making the trip to Beijing. She carries the weight of all those who want to see her overcome her grief. And she carries the weight of all those, including herself I suspect, who want her to run, in part, to keep Ryan's memory alive.

Such a heavy burden for such small shoulders.


Monday, April 28, 2008

Chris Kimbrough Follow Up

Some of you may remember that I mentioned Chris Kimbrough in a pre-trials post (titled Da Trials - part 1). She is Billings native and Rocky Mountain College grad who now lives and runs in Austim.

Well, turns out that she has built quite a following in the Lone Star State. Below is a note that I got from one of her training mates. Seems as though they are trying to raise some funds to help offset her costs of traveling to and competing in the trials. Check out the site; and, if you feel inclined, send a donation to help out one of our own.

Note from Catherine in Austin:

Totally agree that Chris Kimbrough is a diamond in the rough. Sometimes I get to run with (rather, behind) her here in Austin. We're trying to generate support and funds for this phenom; please check out the site, join up, spread the word to others, anything you can do....Thanks a ton, Catherine

Remember to run often and run happy.


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Big Sky Distance Project

So, some of you have asked - what is the Big Sky Distance Project (BSDP)?

Well, several years ago, a group of Montana runners met on the banks of the Jefferson River to discuss the state of the sport in the big sky country. One of the items that came up was the creation of a USA Track & Field club that would allow us to compete as a team at USATF or other events.

After sitting idle for a while, the club came to being in 2006. The initial impetus was to allow us to take some teams to the USATF Club Marathon Relay Championships in Denver. That first trip proved very successful. We had 2 men's master's teams that both won money (finishing 2nd and 3rd).

Since then, we have raced as teams at the MSU and UM cross country meets in 2006 and 2007; raced with men's and women's teams at the 2007 USAT Club Marathon Relay Championships; and, individuals have worn the BSDP colors at the 2007 USATF Cross Country Champiohips, the Big Sky State Games, the Califronia International Marathon, the Salt Lake City 1/2 Marathon and other races around the country.

The real underlying goals of the BSDP is to 1) provide a sense of "team" and "Montana pride" for Montana athletes and 2) pursue competitive opportunities for Montana runners.

The club has no dues or fees. We don't have any formal home base. There are several of us around the state who get together when we can at races to discuss the sport and to throw around ideas. It includes people like myself, Ray and Nicole Hunt, Zombro, Jeff Thomas, Anders Brooker and Dewey Peacock. We try to look at what events are coming up and what we can do to promote Montana athletes competing at those events.

We aren't trying to be elite per se. We are trying to open up opportunities for any Montana athlete who wants to race competitively and maximize their performances. We also like to have a good time when we get toghther and represent our state. The road trips to Denver and Boulder have been a blast.

We also have the opportunity to represent Montana at two upcoming events that are almost in our backyard. First would be the USATF Masters Track and Field Championhsips in Spokane in early August. Second, and also in Spokane, will be the USATF Club Cross Country Championships. We really think that we have the opportunity to be competitive from a team stanpoint in some of the races. In fact, I think that the master's teams on both the men's and women's sides have the potential to be in the hunt for podium spots.

In the end, it's just another tool to try to generate interest and excitement about the sport from those within the sport. We don't want this to be some mythical club that people think is only for the state's elite. We want it to be something that encourages people to stay in the sport, to do all they can to maximize their potential and to help spread the word of what a great lifetime sport this is.

If you're interested in learning more about the BSDP, leave me your email in a comment to this post; or, log onto and check out the BSDP link.

See you on the roads, tracks and trails.


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Lance Is Still The Man

So, watched the Versus coverage of the Boston Marathon yesterday. After the completion of both elite races, they covered about the last 3 or 4 miles of Lance Armstrong's race.

For those of you who don't remember, he did the 2006 New York Marathon and pretty much thought that his years of bike racing would make the run a piece of cake. Well, it was pretty much all he had to squeeze in under 3 hours and afterward he said that it was among the hardest things he had ever done athletically.

He trained better going into the 2007 New York race and ran a respectable 2:46+.

Well, he decided that he ought to give beantown a try and see if he couldn't run Heartbreak Hill into submission. But, he admitted that he hadn't trained like he should have and was dreadfully short of long runs. His weight was up to 175 pounds and he definately looked heavy, especially compared to how he would look during his Tour de France races.

But, the dude put it out there. He ran a solid time of 2:50:58 (6:32 pace) to finish in the top 500 (out of some 25,000 entrants). In fact, he ran a negative split with half splits of 1:26:52 and 1:24:06. And, for anyone that has ever run Boston, running negative splits on that course is a challenge for anyone, let alone someone who is short of training.

Two things really impressed me about watching him over those last few miles. First, he was a hurting unit; but, the dude is tough. He had the chin out, the eyes were set and he was really working it to stay on pace. He clearly loves to compete and is willig to suffer some pain to get the best performance possible.

Second, over those last few miles he had anywhere from 10 to 12 guys hanging around trying to get camera time or looking to be able to say that they ran with Lance. But, at the finish, he took time to shake hands or high 5 virtually everyone of the guys that came up to him in the finish area. It was a classic gesture from someone who I'm sure just wanted to get to the VIP tent and get off his feet.

The final item that caught my interest were a few comments that he made during the post race interview. He indicated that he was goin to do New York again; and, he suggested that he was going to consider putting in the training necessary to run "quite a bit faster" than his race last year. I almost got the sense that he was going to take up the challenge of trying to run a sub 2:30. Maybe I'm reading more into it than it deserves; but, it would be cool to see him give it a try.

In the end, the guy impressed me once again with his raw physical talent, his tolerance for pain and his competitive determination.

I've always been a Lance fan and he did nothing at Boston to change my view.


Monday, April 21, 2008

A Chance To Give Back

For all those that would like to give back to the sport and become a USATF official - there will be a clinic in Missoula on the afternoon of May 18th.

If you have any questions, you an contact John Herring at 544-1742.


Sunday, April 20, 2008

Dewey @ SLC Half

Dewey Peacock ran the Salt Lake City 1/2 Marathon yesterday (4/19).

Running under the dual colors of Team Inov8 and the Big Sky Distance Project, he did us proud.

Running a steady 5:35 to 5:40 pace, he finished in a big PR of 1:14:10 and a 7th place finish.

Unfortunately he got hung out by himself early in the race and it ended up being a mostly solo effort under some breezy conditions.

An early season effort like this bodes well for Dewey's upcoming trail running season.

See you on the roads, tracks, trails and rehab equipment.


Boston Today & Tomorrow

So, if you want to see in depth results from today's Trials race, go to this link. You can click on any of the finisher and see all of their splits. Or, go to this link and you can download the finishers with splits in excel or .pdf format.

Again, it was a great race. Deena proved that she is the class of women's marathoning in the US, Blake Russell found redemption after her 4th place finish in 2004 and Magdalena Boulet realized the American dream by making the team 7 1/2 years after becoming a citizen.

But, the fun in Boston doesn't stop yet. Tomorrow is the 112th running of The Boston Marathon. The performance by Kenyan's could have a big impact on the selction of their Olympic team.

Our own Sarah Graves will be in the elite women's filed (Bib F18).

Watch on Versus network beginning at 7:30 a.m. (Mountain Time) or watch free on line on


Back Bay Battle

The race is in the books and we have our 2008 Women's Olympic Marathon Team.

Running a 4 loop criterium style course along the Charles River in Boston, 161 runners took off in perfect marathon weather. Cool temps, sunny, little breeze.

Magdalena Lewy Boulet took charge of the race almost from the first steps. Boulet is a native of Poland who got her citizenship on 9/11/01. She is married to former 1500 meter and mile stud Richie Boulet. Although she came into the race ranked 43rd, her PR was in the low 2:30's and so she wasn't just out to get some camera time in the early miles.

Boulet hit a pretty steady 2:28 pace through the first half of the race, running miles mostly in the 5:30 to 5:40 range.

Through that first half she built up a lead of almost 2 minutes as the chase pack stayed at about a 2:32 pace. The chase pack contained 10 to 14 people at various times; but, in the first half of the race included all of the contenders, including Deena, Elva, Kate O'Neill, Mary Akor, Blake Russell, Zoila Gomez and Desiree Davilla.

Boulet hit the 1/2 way mark at 1:14:37 (2:29:14 pace) with the chase pack 1:50 back in 1:16:27 (2:33 pace).

Around 14.5, Deena, Blake Russell and Akor pushed the pace a bit and began to open a gap on the rest of the chase pack. You could sense that Deena decided that it was time to begin to take control of making sure that she got onto the team.

About a mile later, Deena had enough of sitting back. She took off on her own after Boulet and pretty quickly Russell and Akor began to string out behind Deena. But, even at this point, Boulet still had a lead of over 1:40.

A bit after 16, Russell was decisevely in 3rd and Akor looked to be toast. Not much later (around 17) Davilla began to close the gap on Russell.

Through 30K, Russell and Davilla were only about 10 to 20 seconds behind Deena, and Boulet still had a lead of over 90 seconds. There was a period right about their (on one of the 180 degree turns) that Deena didn't look so hot.

But, then, hitting the bridge over the river, Deena suddenly seemed to look like the stud that she is. Her form smoothed out and she had that look on her face that showd that she still wanted to win this thing.

20 miles was right at the original staring line. The big flag over the start was staying pretty still; so, obviously the wind wasn't going to be the deciding factor on how the race turned out.

Boulet was still 78 seconds ahead of Deena, who had 55 seconds on Russell. But, just 7 seconds behind Russell was Davilla. Davilla runs for the Hansons-Brooks group in Michigan and it looked like she may be playing the same hand that got Brian Sell a spot on the men's team. And, if that happened, it would mean a second consectuve 4th place finish for Russell (can anyone say Lisa Weidenbach???).

By 21, Boulet was looking a bit ragged and had slowed to 5:50 miles. And Deena was on a roll. In the last mile she had made up over 15 seconds on Boulet and she was pushing hard. It was clearly only a matter of time. Well, that time came at about 23.5 miles (2:14:50). Deena came alongside Boulet and the race for first was over. Boulet hung gamely for about 400 meters; but, Deena was not to be denied. Now the only question whether or not Deena could get the big negative split and go sub-2:30. It had only been done 5 times in previous Oly Trials.

The race for 3rd also seemed to be decided. Russell seemed to hold steady and Davilla began to fall away after 22 miles. So, barring someone blowing up, the team seemed to be set.

And so, it was. Deena makes her second team in the marathon (and 3rd overall I believe) by running a second half in 1:13:07 (over 3 minutes faster than the first half) to win in 2:29:34.

Boulet ran strong to the finish to hold 2nd place in 2:30:18 (1:14:37/1:15:41).

Blake Russell ends up putting over a minute on 4th place to capture the last team slot by running 2:32:39 (1:16:27/1:16:12)

4th and 5th were almost a dead heat with Zoila Gomez (2:33:53) overtaking Tara Moody (2:33:54) in the last few meters. It should be noted that Moody came into the race with number 152 and a qualifying time of 2:46:40. So, a pretty big performance for her.

The sentimental moment of the day was watching Joan Benoit Samualson finish her last competitive marathon by setting a new 50-59 American record in 2:50:26. She wore a Red Sox ball cap across the finish line - much like she did in her 1979 win. How fitting to end where it all started.

A few random notes:

All 3 women currently live in California.
Asics runners won both the mens and women's trials.
Nike was not represented on the podium with the runners representing Ascis, TranSprot and Reebok.
All 3 meet the Olympic A standard of 2:37:00 (so we can have a full team and at least on serious medal contender).

As soon as I can get the results of our Montana women, I'll pass them along.


Saturday, April 19, 2008

Da Trials - Part 3

So, who will dictate the race tomorrow. Obvisously Deena is the class of the filed. Her PR is so far ahead of anyone else that it's almost laughable. And, she's seen and done it all - Oly bronze, AR & sub-2:20 time winning Chicago, high finishes in London and Boston.

Common wisdom would suggest that she can pretty much decide what she wants to do and everyone will just follow along, conceding the win.

But, hey, this is the trials. Someone could decide to push and try to put some pressure on early and see if they can't break it wide open.

Or maybe Deena decides to take it a bit easier and do just enough to win and make the team and let the pace lag a bit. Will this allow a larger group to stay together until late in the race, then all hell breaks loose and it becomes anybody's game.

We're going to find out tomorrow and I can't wait. Personally, I would like to see scenario number 2. It's way more exciting when thing go wild in the last 30 to 45 minutes of racing. In th end, it doesn't really matter as long as I pick the team correctly and get the sampler pack from Fulton.


Da Trials - Weather Update

Weather forecast seems to be holding for Boston.

Low tonight of about 45, high tomorrow of 52, mostly sunny skies, mild winds (7 to 14 mph out of east).

Looking good for some fast racing.

More Montanan's At Mount Sac

I see that Lyle Weese has put the spikes back on and is hitting the barriers. The Dillon alum (once a Beaver always a Beaver) and MSU grad ran in the invitational division of the steeple at last nights section of Mount Sac. He finished 10th @ 8:45.90. Does anyone have any information as to what Lyle is up to? Where is he living? Is he with a team? Is he trying to qualify for the trials?

Zoe Nelson, uber star while at Flathead HS, and now running for Oregon was 16th in the Invitational 10,0000 and running 34:50.59.

Ricardi's Overcome Barriers

John and Lois Ricardi, the last of the running Ricardi kids had big nights Thursday at the Mount Sac relays. Both ran the steeplchase in the University/Open Divisions. Lois, running for Idaho State (I believe that this is her last year of eligibility) finished 3rd at 10:40.46.

John, running unattached (redshirting outoors????) upped his sister by one place getting second in 9:00.08. Oh so close to sub 9:00.

Congrats to two of the nicest young people that you'll ever meet.


Da Trials - Part 2

Again, here are some improtant websites for the trials race tomorrow.

The official race site is at:

Thee tv coverage will be at:

Runner's World also has pre-race and race day coverage at:,8032,s6-239-419-0-0,00.html

Boot Up, Log On, Check It Out.


Da Trials - Part 1

So, wo do we have from Montana that's running in the trials.

The big suprise to me is Chris Kimbrough. Her q time is 2:44:57 that she ran in winning the 2007 Lincoln Nebraska Marathon. I think she is ranked 95th of the qualifiers. Turns out she is a Billings native who gratuated from Billings Senior and Rocky Mountain College. She was a basketball (at 5-3 I'm guessing guard and not post) and volleyball player. Appears as though she didn't take up running until after moving to Austin, Texas. She's now coached by Carmen Tronosco (masters stud). There was a real good article about her in the Billings Gazette this morning. Even though she's now known as a Texan, she's still a Montana girl, so root for her. Hell, Alan King even put her in hi stop 3 picks. Here's the link to the Gazette article:

She was also included in a Runners World article (link here:,8029,s6-239-419-0-12543-0,00.html )

We also have an ex-MSU-B athlete. Heidi Schuette (nee Reider) ran for Dave Coppock's Yellowjacket squad in the mid '90's. I believe that Dave said that she ran is originally from Townsend. I also believe that he said that she was coached by Sam Sampson. Sam's son Brian was one of the premier high school distance runners from 1976-80. She qualified at the St. George last October. Her gun time was slightly over the q-time; but, her chip time was under. So, the committee let her in. She no lives out of state, but, again, we'll still claim her as our own.

If anyone else knows of a Montanan in the race let me know.

I do know that one other Montanan just missed making the cut. Sarah Graves, another ex-MSU-B runner, also ran the St. George Marathon and was less than a minute behind Heide. Unfortuately, her time was far enough away fromthe q-time that the committee didn't let her in. Fortunately for her, she did get an elite seed for the Boston Marathon on Monday. She is number F18 and will be at the separate elite women's start.

Sarah was always a solid runner; but, in the last 18 months she has really gone to a new level. She's been competitive in the Montana Mile and has run a 2:47 marathon. She's won several big races over the last year and has really moved up to the top of the ranks of Montana women athletes. Watch and cheer her on Monday morning.


Friday, April 18, 2008

Early Beantown Forecast

Looked at the weather forecast for Boston for Sunday morning. aka Women's Trials Day.

Right now it looks really pretty good. Saturday night low of 41, Sunday high of 56. Relatively mild winds (8 to 15 mph). A bit breezy, but not enough to really be a problem.

So, for now, looks like the weather is going to be conducive to a good race.


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Tony Whines Like A Leeetle Girl

So, went to the doctor today. It's been 2 weeks since my crash and burn (well, actually 15 days, or about 105 hours). The patella (i.e. knee cap) seems to be staying in a stable position. Doesn't look like any displacement. At this point it's hard to see if there is any bone mending; but, during the examination I had only very minor pain. And, I haven't had any real pain since getting the brace.

But, I'm here to tell you that not being able to bend your leg is extremely inconvenient. Forget the fact that I can't run; and, for that matter, am very limited in exercise options period.

Try bracing your leg and doing a few everyday tasks. Getting in and out of a car, driving (impossible when it's your "driving" foot), sitting in an office chair, putting on shoes and socks; and, my personal favorite ---- taking a dump. I swear, just getting dressed in the morning is a workout in and of itself.

And, when you walk peg-legged, it takes a hell of a long time to get anywhere. And, using crutches are just a general pain in the ass.

So, all in all, I suspect my spring and early summer are going to pretty much suck. But, hey, I'm not bitter. Pissed off, frustrated and disappointed maybe - but not bitter.

I suspect it will pass. Probably right around the time that my mileage is back up to 50 miles a week and I do my first long run and tempo run. I suspect by that time that I'll feel lots better about this whole thing.

Until then - call me Tony, the whiny leetle bitch.

See you on the roads, track and trails (eventually I hope).


Monday, April 14, 2008

Zombro Welcomes All Comers

Johnny Z has worked with Bozeman's local running community to set up a series of all comers races in Bozeman this summer. Below is a note that I received from JZ about the races.

Do what you can to attend at least one of these events. And be sure to thank John for continuing to work to provide competitive opportunities for Montana's post collegiate athletes.

Per John:

Many of you will recall that I had been talking about some All-Comer's meets in Bozeman at MSU this summer. We have them set up and they will be produced by Bozeman Track Club and Bobcat Track and Field Association. I'm letting everyone know so that you can plan for these events. Everyone knows that master's nationals are in Spokane in August this year and these meets will allow for some low-key tuneups. They are set up for Thursday evenings, starting at 6:30, with the distance event being later to allow for cooler temps. No fees but we may ask participants to grab a watch and time a different event. Grass Roots stuff. Also, there is a track 5k (Firecracker 12.5-Lapper) in Bozeman on Tuesday, July 1. Same deal, but the start will be at 7:30 p.m.

In Summary:

Thursday, June 12th: All Comer's Meet #1: longest event is the mile (yes the mile not a 1500)

Thursday, June 26th: All Comer's Meet #2: longest event is the 800m

Tuesday, July 1st: Firecracker 5k on the Track (MSU), start 7:30 p.m.

Thursday, July 17th: All Comer's meet #3: longest event is the mile

Hope you can make at least one of these options. Anyone wanting to help (makes you feel good inside), and we can use you, please let me know.

John Zombro
Board Certified Specialist in Orthopaedic Physical Therapy

Big Recruit To Rocky Mountain College

Alan King scored a huge recruting coup. He signed Ryan Hall out of California. Ryan must have had some eligibility left over from Stanford and decided to go for a small school environment. Needed a bit of a break from the media hype after that big London performance yesterday. A nice quiet spot for the buildup to Bejing and then the Frontier Conference XC Championships.

Okay, okay, okay. So, maybe it wasn't that Ryan Hall. But, Alan did sign a Ryan Hall. Here's an excerpt from the piece in the Billings Gazette:

Ryan Hall, a senior at San Luis Obispo High School in San Luis Obispo, Calif., has signed a letter of intent to run for the Rocky Mountain College men's cross country team this fall.

Hall ran varsity cross county all four years of high school and was a member of three separate teams that were represented in the CIF finals for cross county. Hall's personal best time for the 5K cross-country race is 17 minutes, 57 seconds, which was run this last fall.

See you on the roads, tracks and trails.


Tea Time

On the day following the women's marathon trials will be the 112th Boston Marathon (Monday, April 21st). With the big races in London and Rotterdam this past weekend, the field may be a bit slimmer than the past couple of years. But, it's still part of the marathon majors; and, as such, expect the Africans to be present and in force.

Coverage on the Versus network beginning at 7:30 a.m. Mountain Time with a replay beginning at 1:30 p.m.

Coverage will also be on for those of you without Versus.

And, will also have coverage.

I encourage everyone to be a fan and to do what they can to watch the race. We don't get a lot of chances to watch our sport on TV; and, I encourage you to take advantage of the opportunity.


Ladies Night in Beantown

Big times and fast times are on the agenda this weekend on the bay in Boston. This Sunday (the 20th) is the Women's Olympic Marathon Trials.

They'll be following a fast flat course along the Charles River to the west of downtown Boston. If the weather is good, the race could be fast. If it's windy, the course is a bit unprotected and the wind could really affect the outcome. Much like the men's trials, it will be a multiple loop criterium course that will be great for the fans.

Deena Kastor is the odds on favorite to make the team. But, after her the next two spots are wide open and anything can happen in the course of a marathon.

A couple of places for coverage. Per USATF, there will be live web coverage on at this link: Coverage is scheduled to start at 6:00 a.m. Mountain Time. Set the alarm, put on the coffee and tune in. The nbc site it really not too bad and has quite a bit of marathon (and track and field) coverage. May be a worthwhile site to check out during the build up to Bejing.

A one hour highlight show on MSNBC at 10:00 a.m. Mountain. will also have good coverage the day of the race and in the lead up to the run during the week.

Finally, check out for more news and details.

We'll also have a Montanan in the race. Below is a note that I got from Dave Coppock:

I don't know if many of you are aware of this, but we have one our our Montana girls running in the Olympic Marathon Trilasnext week at Boston. Heidi (Rieder) Schuette grew up on a ranch near Townsend, MT, attended high school in Boulder and ran for Sam Sampson. She ran cross country for me at MSU Billings in from 1993-1996 and currently teaches middle school in Prescott, AZ. Heidi qualified with a 2:46 at St. George and does some rim to rim training runs through the Grand Canyon--thus accounting for her marathon times! She typically ran around 20:00 for 5k in cross country while at MSUB and now she's running a faster pace for her marathons. She loved the longer runs and the women's team, one of the years they were here, decided to run a half marathon during the middle of the cross country season, which bothered me a little--not much, and now seems like it was a pretty good idea!

Heidi's sister Brooke, is also running the regular Boston this year as well as Sarah Graves from Billings, who ran on our xc team here at MSUB with Heidi. Sarah narrowly missed the qualifying time with a 2:47 and change, at St. George.
You may know Heidi's uncle as the announcer for Bobcat track events.

Thanks Dave. Go Heidi.

See you on the roads, tracks and trails.


Sunday, April 13, 2008

Little Nikes Big In Montana

Well, there's been a lot of lovin' going on in Montana the last few months. And the running specialty stores are suddenly going to have to start carrying lots of little, itty, bitty Nike, adidas, Asics and Mizuno's.

First, we have Alan King and his wife Becca in Billings. They found out earlier this year and are due in the fall. Their current "child" Alyeska will have a new brother or sister.

Over in Bozeman, newlyweds Sam Hartpence and his wife Tiffany (Piplica) just found out in the last couple of weeks that they are also having a new addition. Now Tiffany will have two people that she'll need to take care of.

Then, I just found out tonight that our pals from Powell County are due in early July. That's right, masters stud Ray and wonder woman Nicole (aka the Hunt's) are having a little one. So, we may have a very, very young runner at camp later this summer.

Rumor has it that they are all considering naming the children Tony (boy) or Toni (girl).

Congrats to all of the new families.


The Real Deal

First, he runs an AR in the 1/2 marathon in Houston in January of 2007, then he pops a 2:08 in the 2007 Lonson Marathon, follows that up with a dominant win in the Men's Olympic Marathon Trials in NYC; and, now a 2:06:15, 5th overall finish at this morning's London Marathon. Ryan Hall has clearly stamped himself as a legitimate threat in any long distance race in the world.

The performance today probably stamps him as a medal favorite for the Bejing Olympic Marathon. He ran with the leaders until about 16; and, then, even when he began to fall off the back he didn't fall apart. He held it together and didn't just run to the finish, he raced all the way in, trying to pull himself up to 4th in the last couple of hundred meters.

I'm more and more impressed with Hall every time that he races. He seems to just find a way to get the most out of himself and is not afraid to run with the best in the world.

It's great to see the skinny little white kid from Big Bear, CA in the middle of a pack of Kenyans, Ethiopians, Eritreans, Morrocans, et al. He's showing the rest of the Americans that you don't have to fear the Africans - respect them yes - but don't fear them. And, the only way to do that is to run like them. Train like hell, get tough as nails, go out hard and hang for as long as possible. You may crash and burn a couple of times; but, eventually you are going to pull it off and race to an unprecendented level.

See you on the roads, tracks and trails.


Wednesday, April 09, 2008

1980 De Ja Vu

So, there is some talk about boycotting Bejing. Reminds me a lot of 1980. We decided to boycott the Moscow games because of Russia's invasion of Afghanistand (in retrospect, maybe Russia had it right way back then).

Of course, our posture of superiority didn't mean a reduction of troops by the Ruskies; and, if we were to boycott Bejing, I really dont' see that they are suddenly going to decide to be all warm and fuzzy about Tibet and other human rights issues.

Go ahead and make the point by not attending the Opening Ceremonies. But don't punish the hard working athletes of the US by cutting their legs out from under them at this point.

Going to the games, building relationships and goodwill through sports will go a lot further than trying to be the big bad bully and taking our ball and going home.

That's my $0.02 for tonight.


Friday, April 04, 2008

Montana Running In The Rags

Our sport got a bit of ink in several publications at the national and state level recently.

First and foremost was a great piece in the May issue of Running Times (Matt Tegenkamp is on the cover). The last page is an arthicle by Rachel Toor. She lived in Missoula several years ago; and, she clearly has some fond memories of her time there. Several months ago one of here articles mentioned Missoula and the group of guys she ran with. But, this month she devotes her entire column is devoted to Missoula and the Missoula Marathon specifically. Montana athletes Anders Brooker (and his store The Runner's Edge), Jennifer Boyer, Courtney Babcock (Mountain West Track Club), Dave Norman and Jeff Bookwalter all got ink.

If you don't subscribe, plunk down $4.99 at your local B&N, Borders, Hastings or other book store and check it our for yourself.

In the same RT issue, there is an article about marathon finishers by City throughout the US. One of the big shocks was the fact that Billings is listed as the 9th fastest average marathon finisher time (average time of 4:12:35). Pretty cool.

In the April issue of Trail Runner mag, there's an advertisement for Team Inov-8 2008. Listed right there on the Trail Racing Team is our very own Dewey Peacock. Go Dewey, It's Your Birthday. Uh-huh, Uh-huh.

Finally, saw today in the Missoulian that the University of Great Falls signed Shane Donaldson of Thompson Falls to their XC anc track team. Congrats to Shane. Great to see another Montana athlete being able to stay in state and continue to run in the sport.

See you on the roads, tracks and trails.


Spring Still Has A Ways Until It's Sprung

Old man winter seems to be holding on tighter this year than he has in quite a few years. Cold and stormy weather still seems to be hitting every corner of the state pretty much every week. This coming weekend is no exception. The Weather Service shows that pretty much all of the Central and Western part of the state is under some form of winter storm or snow warning and/or watch.

This is really the first big weekend for high school track and field on a state-wide basis. But, the biggest events this weekend are in Missoula. There's the 16th Annual Run For The Trees 5K on Saturday, toghether with the Al Manual track meet at U of M for the collegiate crowd.

I suspect that a few of the high school meets will get canceled (hey, that's part of early season track in the Big Sky); but, the it looks like things should be mild enough in the Missoula area to not seriously affect the road race or the track meet. The bigger threat to the road race was from the influx of the Obama Mamas in town to see Barack during his stop in Missoula Saturday morning. His speech and the race are scheduled to start at the same time. Luckily the race primarily uses the trail system and there shouldn't be any real conflict with traffic trying to get to and from his event.

There's also a race in my "backyard" on Sunday (4/6) to support the Sanders County Cancer Network. The 3K starts at 12:45 and the 10K @ 12:30 at the Sanders County Fairgrounds in Plains. Can register starting at 10:30 a.m. We would love to have you come down and enjoy a run in the lower Clark Fork valley. For more information, check out, the Runner's Edge in Missoula, or Carol Brooker at 406-826-3523.

The only race of note last week was the Arlee Buttercup Run. Overall winners were Jake Trujillo and Jennifer Paisley in the 5-K and Andrew Drobek and Trisha Miller in the 10-K. Results are up and posted at

Have great weekend on the roads, tracks and trails.