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The XC Top 5 Running Show
25 minutes | Mar 9, 2021
A (Nike) 10-Second Advantage Over 5K?
The XC's Top 5 Running Show is back. This week, Jakob Ingebrigtsen catches a break, Yohan Blake wants nothing to do with a COVID-19 vaccine, and athletes reckon with the power of the Nike Dragonfly spikes. Host: Michael Doyle Guests: Alex Cyr, Justin Horneker
29 minutes | Feb 16, 2021
The Vaporflys of the Track?
Each week, two of our contributors or special guests face off in The XC's Top 5 Running Show, dissecting five stories from the week in the world of distance running and track and field. They offer their best and hottest takes to the host, Michael Doyle, who rewards them in points. The panelist with the deepest knowledge and hottest takes will emerge from this five-lap sprint of ideas the victor. The prize? We give them the mic atop the podium to tell us something important or exciting they want to share with you. And seven days of bragging rights, of course. This week panelists Alex Cyr and Justin Horneker break down: Tokyo's organizing committee chairman resigns The state of North America's Olympic Trials Nike's new too-good-to-be-true Dragonfly track spike, and two jaw-dropping times run in them And, finally, we crown the king and queen of the 2021 indoor track season, so far We’ll be pushing this show out both as a podcast on The XC’s feed each Monday, and as a video on our YouTube and IGTV channels, at around 7 p.m. ET. So be sure to follow us @thexcorg and subscribe to our YouTube channel.
27 minutes | Feb 8, 2021
What Is the Super Bowl of Running?
In this episode of the Top 5 Running Show pits defending champion Justin Horneker against show veteran and nerd runner Alex Cyr. In this episode, they debate: Who took home the Prickly Pear? The American Track League - a saving grace, but too soon? The father-son 4-minute mile club - which duo did it best? Colleen Quigley leaves world famous training group - good move? And finally, what is the Super Bowl of running? Each week, two of our contributors or special guests face off in The XC's Top 5 Running Show, dissecting five stories from the week in the world of distance running and track and field. They offer their best and hottest takes to the host, Michael Doyle, who rewards them in points. The panelist with the deepest knowledge and hottest takes will emerge from this five-lap sprint of ideas the victor. The prize? We give them the mic atop the podium to tell us something important or exciting they want to share with you. And seven days of bragging rights, of course. We’ll be pushing this show out both as a podcast on The XC’s feed each Monday, and as a video on our YouTube and IGTV channels, at around 7 p.m. ET. So be sure to follow us @thexcorg and subscribe to our YouTube channel. Host: Michael Doyle Guests: Alex Cyr, Justin Horneker
28 minutes | Feb 1, 2021
Of Course the Gamestop Mastermind Is a Runner
Each week, two of our contributors or special guests face off in The XC's Top 5 Running Show, dissecting five stories from the week in the world of distance running and track and field. They offer their best and hottest takes to the host, Michael Doyle, who rewards them in points. This week's topics: The Gamestop Reddit mastermind was a near 4-minute miler! Will the NCAA ban wavelight technology? HBO's Real Sports takes a look a the Nike Oregon Project scandal The American Track League is pulling all-star talent The 2021 Florida Summer Olympics? The panelist with the deepest knowledge and hottest takes will emerge from this five-lap sprint of ideas the victor. The prize? We give them the mic atop the podium to tell us something important or exciting they want to share with you. And seven days of bragging rights, of course. We’ll be pushing this show out both as a podcast on The XC’s feed each Monday, and as a video on our YouTube and IGTV channels, at around 7 p.m. ET. So be sure to follow us @thexcorg and subscribe to our YouTube channel. Host: Michael Doyle Panelists: Andrew Cruickshank, Justin Horneker
44 minutes | Jan 18, 2021
The Tracksmith Army Fight Back
Each week, two of our contributors or special guests face off in The XC's Top 5 Running Show, dissecting five stories from the week in the world of distance running and track and field. They offer their best and hottest takes to judge Michael Doyle, who rewards them in points. The panelist with the deepest knowledge and hottest takes will emerge from this five-lap sprint of ideas the victor. The prize? We give them the mic atop the podium to tell us something important or exciting they want to share with you. And seven days of bragging rights, of course. We’ll be pushing this show out both as a podcast on The XC’s feed, and as a video on our YouTube and IGTV channels, and be sure to follow us on Twitter for our weekly schedule @thexcorg Our Top 5 topics this week include: Beloved brand Tracksmith gets publicly criticized, and running Twitter responds in force Will North American marathon great Cam Levins qualify for the Tokyo Olympics? An Olympic gold medallist could get banned eight years for being MIA; is the "whereabouts" rule fair? Is this Florida teen the next Usain Bolt? What would you rather: train for a 100-miler or an Ironman? Hosts: Alex Cyr, Andrew Cruickshank, Michael Doyle
54 minutes | Jan 12, 2021
The Top 5 Is Now a (Running) Game Show!
For more than a year now, we have been producing our Top 5 podcast, which explores what we feel are the five most important stories of the week. As a new year’s resolution, we challenged ourselves to take the concept of the weekly round-up, or “yesterday’s news tomorrow,” and make it a bit more compelling. And so, behold, The XC Top 5 Show, the competition that pits two running nerds against each other in order to score meaningless points! Each week, two of our contributors or special guests face off, dissecting five stories from the week in the world of distance running and track and field. They offer their best and hottest takes to judge Michael Doyle, who rewards them in points. The panelist with the deepest knowledge and hottest takes will emerge from this five-lap sprint of ideas the victor. The prize? We give them the mic atop the podium to tell us something important or exciting they want to share with you. And seven days of bragging rights, of course. We’ll be pushing this show out both as a podcast on The XC’s feed, and as a video on our YouTube and IGTV channels, and be sure to follow us on Twitter for our weekly schedule.
88 minutes | Dec 30, 2020
Our Top 5 Stories of 2020
We close out the year with our picks for our top 5 most important, entertaining or just downright jaw-dropping stories from one eventual year in the world of track and distance running. Hosts Alex Cyr, Andrew Cruickshank and Michael Doyle each select their five picks, which include the drama at the London Marathon, how the Pandemic inspired a record number of incredible performances, and the aftershocks of the cancellation of, well, almost everything. Thanks for listening to our (nearly weekly) Top 5 Podcast over the past year! We'll be back in 2021 with a slightly modified format, which should be a lot of fun! Subscribe to our newsletter at thexc.org And follow us on social @thexcorg
31 minutes | Dec 11, 2020
Adidas finally figured out how to make fast shoes (and they are really fast)
It's been a busy week in the world of running, so we got the band back together to record a new edition of the Top 5 Podcast. In this recording, Andrew Cruickshank, Alex Cyr and Michael Doyle discuss the hottest topics of last week. They are:An unreasonably fast new half-marathon WRKibiwott Kandie of Kenya ran to a mind-bending time of 57:32 at the Valencia Half Marathon on Sunday, December 6. Averaging under 2:44 per kilometree, he chopped 29 seconds off Geoffrey Kamworor's previous world record of 58:01. Kandie wore the new Adidas Adizero Adios Pro (ranked second on our own inaugural shoe power rankings.) Jacob Kiplimo of Uganda, and Kenyans Rhonex Kipruto and Alexander Mutiso also dipped under the 58 minute mark. 2. One of the All-Time Greats debuts over 21.1kGenzebe Dibaba, the world 1,500m record holder and 2016 Olympic silver medalist did not break a record in Valencia, but her 65:18 debut half-marathon delivered her to victory. Such a promising first appearance on the roads begs the question of whether or not Dibaba has better range than any runner in history (yeah, including Sifan Hassan.)3. U.S. Olympic Trials champion Aliphine Tuliamuk is 31 weeks pregnantThe runner for Hoka One One and NAZ Elite said she and her partner are expecting a baby girl in early January. Their plan had been to wait until after the 2020 Olympics before starting a family, but the postponement of the games made the young couple change their plans. Tuliamuk still has full intention to race in Tokyo in August of 2021.4. Canadian Ben Flanagan makes half-marathon debutThe 25-year-old professional runner for the Reebok Boston Track Club clocked a 63:19 and won the Mortgage Network Half Marathon in Hardeeville, S.C. Despite his venture onto the roads, Flanagan plans to return to the track and make a push for a spot on the 2021 Olympic team in the 5,000 or 10,000m. Flanagan is a former NCAA 10,000m champion who lowered his best mark to 28:06 in August.5. Top Canadian Athlete Trophy co-awarded to soccer and football player, Moh Ahmed left out of conversationAlphonso Davies, a left back for FC Bayern Munich, and Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, a guard for the Superbowl-winning Kansas City Chiefs who is also a practicing physician, shared the 2020 Lou Marsh Trophy, which is given yearly to Canada's top athlete. The XC contributor John Lofranco wrote about why Canadian track and field athlete and 12:47 5,000m runner Moh Ahmed should have won the award, and we unpack the issue in detail.
48 minutes | Oct 28, 2020
The week Michigan became the centre of the running world
In this week's Top 5 pod, we break down the following stories: 1. Michigan becomes hub for pro running events Over the last week, Hansons-Brooks Original Distance Project hosted two major races in Shelby Township, Michigan, which produced world class fields: The Michigan Pro Half-Marathon and the Michigan Pro Ekiden. 2. Syringes found in Olympic champion Taoufik Makloufi’s equipment bag Algerian 2012 Olympic Gold medalist Taoufik Makloufi has found himself in an incriminating situation. 3. Courtney Dauwalter wins Big at Big’s Backyard Ultra Last week, in Bell Buckle, Tennessee, U.S. ultra runner Courtney Dauwalter ran 283 miles/456 km to claim the 2020 Big’s Backyard Ultra. The annual event requires runners to complete one 4.16667 mile (or 6.7km loop) every hour. The event continues until only one runner is standing. To win, Dauwalter ran 68 loops, tying the record set in 2018 by Johan Steele of Sweden. 4. Is this 60-year-old Irish guy our greatest living marathoner? 60-year-old Irish marathoner Tommy Hughes clocked another world record this week. The former Olympic marathoner already held the world record for fastest combined marathon for a father and son (take note that Hughes ran the faster of the two times) and the over-60s half marathon world record (1:11:09, run in September at the Antrim Coast Half Marathon). He can now add the over-60s marathon world record to his list of accolades. Running in the Down Royal Marathon, Hughes took six minutes off the previous record clocking 2:30:02. Be sure to follow us on our social channels @theXCorg And visit our new home for all of our content: thexc.org
56 minutes | Oct 4, 2020
What Happened to Eliud Kipchoge at the London Marathon?
We break down a wild 2020 London Marathon, which saw Eliud Kipchoge, arguably the greatest runner of all-time, do the unthinkable — lose. We look at how this previously unfathomable defeat unfolded, and potentially what went wrong for Kipchoge, along with the standout performances from both the men's and women's races in London. We also go deep on the rest of what turned out to be a dramatic and eventful (and rainy) London Marathon. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @TheXCorg Subscribe to our weekly newsletter: thexc.substack.com
88 minutes | Oct 3, 2020
2020 London Marathon Mega Preview
Alex Cyr and Michael Doyle break down what's surely to be the most unusual and important marathon of 2020. They discuss the impact of Kenenisa Bekele pulling out of the race on Friday, and whether or not that will affect how Eliud Kipchoge will perform. They analyze an equally intriguing women's race, featuring world-record holder Brigid Kosgei, and evaluate if she'll be able to lower her own astonishing mark, or if an upset is in the making. They also discuss the unique aspects of this event, including how the "biosphere" operated this week around St. James Park, and how to live stream Sunday morning's event.
48 minutes | Sep 21, 2020
Can running one (virtual) marathon count twice?
Note: this week’s pod started with a hearty discussion of the ethics and rules (or lack thereof) when running a virtual race, and in particular the marathon. Then we get into the following stories. Enjoy!1. Another Special World Record EventJoshua Cheptegei, the 24-year-old Ugandan who set a new 5,000m world record last month, is attempting to break the 10,000m world record on October 7 in Valencia.Cheptegei will attempt to run faster than Kenenisa Bekele’s best mark of 26:17.53, which has stood as the world record for 15 years, at the NN Valencia World Record Day. There, he will pace himself by chasing a light moving at world record pace on the track’s inside rail, like he did in Monaco on route to a 5,000m time of 12:35.36. Cheptegei’s current 10,000m best is 26:48.36, but his blistering 5,000m time and 15k world record of 41:05 is making observers and pundits wonder how much faster he can get. Renato Canova, the Italian distance coach famous for having coached world class talents Saif Saaeed Shaheen and Caleb Ndiku, said he thinks 25:59 is possible for the Ugandan.2. No More “Full Protection” for the Former World Athletics BossLamine Diack, the President of World Athletics between 1999 and 2015, was sentenced to two years in prison and fined 500,000 euros for taking almost $4 million US in bribes from 23 Russian athletes and covering up their doping infractions.The scheme was dubbed “Full Protection” and involved at least five other senior administrators, who all received jail time. One of them was Diack’s own son, Papa Massata Diack. He was fined one million euros for funneling bribe money into his own business ventures.The senior Diack, who is 87 years old, was told by the judge he could expect conditional release because of his age. Both father and son said they planned to appeal their sentences. Papa Massata Diack told The Guardian “I am appealing their stupid decision. My lawyers were not there in June because of COVID-19. This trial was a joke.”3. Sexagenarian Runs a Half-Marathon Faster than You CanLast week, 60-year-old Irish runner Tommy Hughes broke the men’s 60 and over half marathon world record at the Antrim Coast half Marathon in Northern Ireland, running 1:11:09. Martin Rees of Great Britain held the previous record at 1:11:31.The record adds to Hughes’ list of growing accolades. In addition to competing in the 1992 Olympic marathon, Hughes ran the fastest marathon in history for men 55 and over (2:30:15) when he was 59, and he and his son Eoin hold the record for fastest marathon by a father and son with an aggregate time of 4:59:22 (Hughes running the faster time of the two).Despite finishing 33, Hughes stole the show, shifting the limelight away from Mo Farah who won the race in 1:00:27, barely a week after setting the hour-on-the-track world record. 4. Watching the Diamond League on YouTube (for free)International track meets are still going strong well into September, and now you can watch the Diamond League meets live streamed on Youtube. Last week saw two major international meets. The first was in Zagreb, Croatia: the Memorial Borisa Hanzekovica.This was a smaller meet but no less impressive. The men’s 800m produced the most notable results. The Brits went 1-2-3, led by 23-year-old Daniel Rowden in 1:44.09. He was followed by Elliot Gilles and Jake Wightman with pre-race favourite American Bryce Hoppel falling to fourth in 1:44.95.The men’s 1500m also had a good showing with eight of the 12 finishers running personal bests. The race was won by Aussie Stewart McSweyn in 3:32.17.Stewart McSwyenA few days later, the second last Diamond League meet of the season took place in Rome. Here, fans were treated to a blistering men’s 3,000m. Four national records went down. First, Jacob Kiplimo set the Ugandan record and ran a world leading time of 7:26. Jakob Ingrebrigsen was second in 7:27, setting the Norwegian record. Third was Stewart McSweyn in 7:28 (fresh off his 1,500m win in Zagreb), setting an Australian record. And fourth was Yemanebirhan Crippa, breaking the Italian record in 7:38.Not to be outdone, British runner Jemma Reekie stole the show in the women’s 800m running another 1:59. She was followed closely by training partner and roommate Laura Muir who finished third.Finally, Karsten Warholm ran a blistering 400m hurdles, clocking 47.07, just shy of the 46.87 world record. Warholm has now run six of the 13 fastest times ever over 400m hurdles. 5. Eliud Kipchoge Believes that You can Run a 2-Hour Marathon (Yes, You Read that Right)The publication Firstpost.com interviewed marathon world record holder Eliud Kipchoge, asking about how the Nike Vaporflys have helped his running, his thoughts on the upcoming London Marathon (where he’ll face off against Ethiopia’s Kenensia Bekele), and whether he thinks anyone else can break the 2-hour mark in the marathon.In Kipchoge fashion, he gave vague but wise-sounding platitudes about all three subjects. In respect to the Vaporflys, he said “It is my legs that are still doing the running.” Adding that “[i]nnovations are part of sport and always have been. With running, the effect of technology will always be minimal especially if you compare it to other sports.”When asked about the London Marathon, Kipchoge said it was hard to tell whether the short, looped course would be fast, but felt his track background might help with the course’s repetitiveness.While he didn’t throw down any time predictions for the race, he did address the 2-hour barrier, which he broke in an unsanctioned race in Vienna last year. When asked whether he thought there was anyone else who could break the barrier, Kipchoge said: “Everyone who believes that anything is possible. Everyone who believe in themselves and are ready to train with discipline.”
42 minutes | Sep 8, 2020
Running One Hour on the Track as Fast As You Can
1. A pair of one hour world recordsOn Friday evening, at the Brussels’ Diamond League Meet both the men’s and women’s one-hour world records fell. A rarely contested event, the one-hour race consists of athletes trying to run as many laps as they can in an hour.On the men’s side, Olympic champion Mo Farah ran away from the field, covering 21,330m—running just under 59:30 half marathon pace—breaking the previous record of 21,285m held by Ethiopia’s Haile Gebrselassie. This is the 37-year-old Farah’s first race since the Chicago Marathon in 2019 and sets him up well as he prepares to tackle the 10,000m at the Tokyo Olympics.The women’s side witnessed a clash of titans as two of the sport’s top distance runners went head-to-head. Sifan Hassan, the 1500m and 10,000m world champion squared off against marathon world record holder Brigid Kosgei. The two athletes duked it out until the final minute with Hassan pulling away to run 18,930m, more than 400m farther than the previous record of 18,517m held by Ethiopia’s Dire Tune.Despite finishing 50m behind Hassan, it was revealed post-race that Kosgei has been disqualified for stepping on the rail with seven minutes remaining. 2. U.S. government threatens to pull funding from WADALast Thursday, Reuter’s reported that the U.S. government is threatening to pull funding from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). The decision is backed by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) with USADA president Travis Tygart saying WADA is in need of an overhaul as it turns a blind eye to issues such as Russia’s supposed state-sponsored doping program.USADA president Travis TygartThe U.S. is the single largest contributor to WADA’s funding, paying $2.7 million of its $37.4 million budget. According to current WADA rules, if the U.S. pulled funding, it would no longer be allowed to sit on any WADA committees.But WADA says that other governments, shocked by the U.S.’s statement, have suggested the agency amend its compliance standards. One possible outcome could be that if the U.S. pulls funding, it would be declared non-compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code, making U.S. athletes ineligible for international events, including the Olympics. 3. 12-year-old wins Ultramarathon12-year-old Gavin Moore led the 2020 Cremator Ultra 50-Mile Endurance Race from start to finish, and averaged 9:24/mile (5:50/km.) photo: eatsleepplaybeaufort.comA 12-year-old runner from South Carolina turned heads this summer by winning a 50-mile ultramarathon in seven hours, 49 minutes and 40 seconds. Gavin Moore, who will start grade seven this fall, averaged 9:24/mile (5:50/km) for the entirety of the 2020 Cremator Ultra 50-Mile Endurance Race in Beaufort, SC. In doing so, he finished first in a field of 50 runners. The thermostat that day read 106 F (41 C.)Moore holds several South Carolina distance running state records, and also holds a personal best of 10:38:6 for 3,000m, which he achieved in the sixth grade.4. Annual LA to Vegas relay overhauled into global raceThe Speed Project Do-It-Yourself (TSPDIY), an annual endurance running relay, took place last weekend with a new twist. Rather than race between LA and Los Vegas as teams did in the past, the event was made virtual and expanded globally. Teams of runners were given 31 hours and 15 minutes (representing the fastest time ever logged by a team between LA and Vegas) to run as far as they can.A virtual race allowed TSP to let teams run their 31 hours from anywhere in the world, and upload their results upon completion. The race took advantage of its widened scope to raise funds for the running community and help offset financial losses that followed race cancellations. The relay accumulated more than $60,000 in donations. TSP has gained popularity over the years for its liberal rulebook, which has no restriction on team size or route taken. It’s hashtag is #NoRules… whatever that means.5. Ryan Hall finishes 43-mile ultramarathon off no runningRyan Hall, the U.S. half marathon record holder and only American to run under 2:05 for the marathon, came out of retirement to race the 43-mile-long Grand Traverse mountain run. Since 2016, he has not trained for running and has added at least 40-lbs of muscle to his frame. To the entertainment of many, the two-time Olympic marathoner has posted about his transformation from distance runner to bodybuilder over the last four years. The 43-miler was his first long distance race since his retirement.If you’re still confused, Hall explains his motivation to run an Ultramarathon here.If you’re still confused, well…
62 minutes | Aug 24, 2020
Breaking Down a Deep London Marathon Field
The only world major marathon of 2020 might be the most top-heavy one in history. Forty-five men and 28 women will race on a flat two-kilometre loop around St. James Park, which will be enclosed in a secure biosphere. Alex Cyr, Andrew Cruickshank and Michael Doyle break down this extraordinary elite field and how the highly unusual circumstances will affect performances. The race will feature a battle between the running world’s top two (figurative) heavyweights: Eliud Kipchoge and Kenenisa Bekele. The pair have raced each other in the marathon four times, with Kipchoge coming away with the win each time. But they have not raced since Bekele won in Berlin last year in 2:01:41 - just two seconds shy of Kipchoge’s world record of 2:01:39. Although the Kipper vs. Kenny battle is sure to grab headlines, several other world-class athletes will be in attendance. Eight men who have run faster than 2:05 will be racing, including fourth fastest marathoner in history Mosinet Geremew of Ethiopia. Brigid Kosgei of Kenya plans to beat her own world record of 2:14:04. Five women who have run under 2:20, including defending marathon world champion Ruth Chepn’getich, and will wrestle her for the title. Oh, and Sir Mo Farah, the four-time Olympic champion on the track, is going to provide pacing duties for athletes seeking that all important 2:11:29 Olympic qualifying standard. We also briefly touch upon the second Diamond League race of the year, in Stockholm.
38 minutes | Aug 21, 2020
A Jaw-Dropping World Record, and to Buff or Not to Buff? Our Top 5 Stories of the Week
1. Cheptegei Owns the 5,000m World RecordTwenty-three-year-old Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda lowered the 5,000m world record to 12:35.36 last Friday at the Meeting Herculis in Monaco. His time bested Kenenisa Bekele’s 16-year-old mark by almost two seconds.As he finished, Cheptegei stopped his clunky Polar watch and smiled effortlessly. His previous best time: 12:57.41. Cheptegei’s run is thought to be the most evenly-paced world record in history - he ran three consecutive 4:01 miles🔥. He was pushed on by Nicholas Kimeli of Kenya for the first half of the race, who later faded to 12:51.78. From the 2,500m mark, Cheptegei ran alone and kept pace with a moving green light on the inside railing of the track that travelled at 5,000m world record speed.Cheptegei had solidified himself as a clutch performer well before this race. Last year, he was the gold medalist at both the World Athletics Championships 10,000m and the cross-country world championships. The year before, he won the 10,000m at the Commonwealth Games. Not bad for someone who, just three years ago, was most recognizable for having massively imploded before the finish line after leading part of the 2017 world cross country championship.Here’s a neat side-by-side of the previous world record and how it stacked up to Cheptegei’s run, including some handy real-time split differences:Cheptegei has expressed interest in wrestling the Olympic 10,000m crown away from two-time defending champion Mo Farah in Tokyo. And what started as a bold challenge to the seasoned Farah is becoming an almost sure-win situation for the much younger Cheptegei.2. Monaco Was A Fun Meet, with Lots of Great PerformancesWhile Cheptegei grabbed headlines at Herculis, several other superstars showed that the pandemic has done little to hamper their training.One the women’s side, three national records went down in the 1,000m. Faith Kipyegon took the win and set a new Kenyan record and world-leading time of 2:29.15. The mark falls just 0.17 seconds short of the world record. She was chased by Laura Muir (2:30.82) and Ciara Mageean (2:31.06) who broke the British and Irish records, respectively.In the 5,000m Helen Obiri of Kenya showed great form and ran a world-leading time of 14:22.12. Conversely, Dutch runner Sifan Hassan, whose personal best is equal to Obiri’s winning time, dropped out at the 4,000m mark. On the men’s side, three 1,500m runners dipped under 3:30. Tim Cheruiyot of Kenya stopped the clock at 3:28.45, and claimed gold for the third consecutive year. 19-year-old Norwegian phenom Jakob Ingebrigtsen was second in a national record of 3:28.68, and Jake Wightman (3:29.47) registered the second fastest time in British history, behind only Mo Farah.In the 800m, Donavan Brazier ran to a world-leading time of 1:43.15, and bested his countryman and runner-up Bryce Hoppel by just 0.08 seconds.The Diamond League will host its next meeting on Sunday, August 23, in Stockholm. It will be the fourth of nine scheduled competitions.3. The 200m Champ Plans to Sit Out All of 2020 Due to PandemicDina Asher-Smith, the 2019 world 200m champion, has decided to sit out all races in the 2020 season, citing COVID-19 concerns.“I’m not in the mood for racing for racing’s sake this year,” she told Athletics Weekly. “The stakes are a bit too high. I don’t fancy catching coronavirus at an event.”The 24-year-old British sprinter’s decision could violate conditions of her contract. Asher-Smith runs for Nike, which typically enforces race quotas on their athletes. Even in the pandemic year, Nike contracts appear to stipulate that athletes run a minimum of ten races. Regardless, Asher-Smith appears motivated to only make a return to competition at a later time.“The best thing to do is to prepare for the long haul…” she said, “because we’re going to have a very intense four years. So it’s better to build that foundation. That’s what I’d prefer to do.” This might be a smart plan, as at least one professional athlete who contracted COVID-19 has reported suffering from heart problems, even after making a full recovery.4. World Athletics Releases its List of Approved ShoesNike Air Zoom Alphafly Next%On July 28, World Athletics, track and field’s governing body, released its long overdue list of approved competition shoes. Both Nike’s Air Zoom Alphafly Next% and their new Air Zoom Viperfly spikes have received the green light to be worn in competitions such as the Olympics.The shoe list, however, contains a few caveats. World Athletics has limited the shoes by capping the sole height for different events. The max sole height for road races is 40 mm; the max height for cross country and track events 800m and up is 25 mm; and anything below 800m is 20 mm. This means athletes won’t be allowed to race in the Alphflys on the track.World Athletics also added an ‘Athletic Shoe Availability Scheme’ for unsponsored elite athletes, meaning the gear worn by a sponsored athlete must be available publicly.Regardless of the stipulations, the burgeoning selection of carbon-plated shoes means we’re in for some fast times come Tokyo 2021. Keep an eye on these numbers next year:2:06:32 and 2:23:07Those are the Olympic marathon records. They look pretty beatable in the AlphaFly era.5. To Buff or Not to Buff?A new study out of Duke University’s School of Medicine has declared running buffs to be the least effective form of mask, allowing more droplets through than alternative face coverings. The study appeared to show that wearing a buff was actually less effective than no mask at all. Media outlets ran with this, causing runners worldwide to sheepishly stash their buffs in a nearby closet.But Science News released an article refuting this claim, explaining that the study had been misinterpreted. The point of the study was to figure out how to evaluate masks, not compare them, the publication wrote. There is no concrete evidence that no mask is better than wearing a buff.Experts are asking people not to use this as an excuse to abandon face coverings. The threat is still very real. If you’re not wearing a mask while running, physical distancing is essential.
58 minutes | Aug 12, 2020
The Greatest Marathon Duel of All-Time Is Happening
1- Kipchoge to face Bekele in 2020 London Marathon Following the cancellation of other world major marathons like Boston and New York, the London Marathon announced that it will be happening this fall, on Oct. 4, for elite athletes only.The race will feature a long-awaited battle between Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya and Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia. Kipchoge, the current world record holder (2:01:39) is the defending Olympic champion, and has won eight of the nine marathon majors he has entered. Oh, and he ran a marathon in less than two hours in a controlled, unofficial time trial that one time.Eliud Kipchoge at the INEOS 159 Challenge - Photo: NY TimesBekele is the world record holder in the 5,000m and 10,000m, is an 11-time world cross-country gold medalist, and is a three-time Olympic champion on the track. Last year in Berlin, he came just two seconds short of Kipchoge’s world marathon record. The women’s title is not expected to be as hotly contested - world record holder Brigid Kosgei of Kenya is registered, and she has yet to meet her match in the marathon.The race will take place on a closed 2km loop around St. James Park. No spectators will be permitted near the course, but the event will be broadcast by BBC Sport. 2 - The First Big Track Race is on Friday in MonacoTim Cheruiyot of Kenya winning the Meeting Herculis 1,500m in 2019. Photo: diamondleague.comThe Meeting Herculis in Monaco is set to become the first in-person Diamond League event of 2020.After experimenting with modified and virtual meets, the international track and field series is preparing for its first of seven in-person events. The Meeting Herculis has historically been a hotbed for staggering performances in the distance running events, and this year’s startlists suggest that it will be more of the same.Jemma Reekie edging out fellow Brit Laura Muir in an 800m earlier this month. The two will compete in a 1,000m in Monaco. Photo: watchathletics.comThe mens 1,500m features last year’s champion, Timothy Cheruiyot of Kenya, facing off against Norwegian brothers Jakob and Filip Ingebrigtsen. The women’s 1,000m has British star Laura Muir pitted against her compatriot Jemma Reekie. The 10,000m champion Joshua Cheptegei is racing the 5,000m.The meet’s 3,000m steeplechase field, however, took a hit - defending Olympic champion Conseslus Kipruto pulled out after testing positive for COVID-19. 3 - Sara Hall runs 6th fastest U.S. half marathon ever in Oregon time trialSara Hall of Flagstaff, Arizona, ran 1:08:18 in a socially distanced half marathon along the shore of Dorena Lake in Eugene, Oregon. It was a 40-second personal best, and the sixth-best time ever recorded by an American woman.The time trial comes six months after Hall dropped out of the U.S. Olympic marathon trials, despite entering as one of the favourites to make Team USA. Her best marathon time of 2:22:16 dates from 2019.Hall and her husband, U.S. Olympic marathoner turned weightlifter Ryan Hall, have transmitted their love of running to their children - Hall’s two daughters also ran in the race. Twenty-year-old Hana stopped the clock at 1:20, and 16-year-old Mia ran 1:23. Sara Hall, 37, is in the best fitness of her life, and waits for regular races to come back. 4 - On Athletics Club releases new rosterOn Athletics Club We were a little concerned last week when Swiss running brand On launched its pro running group, On Atheletics Club (OAC), by announcing the name of only one athlete. Was the rest of the roster’s pedigree not worth mentioning? These concerns have been put to rest after the group released the rest of its roster on August 10.The group, slated to be coached by Olympian Dathan Ritzenhein, features six NCAA champions. The women’s side is packed with experience. 2014 NCAA steeple champ and 2015 NCAA mile champ Leah Falland (formerly O’Connor) has signed on, along with nine-time NCAA Division II champ Emily Oren, Alicja Konieczek, who competed for Poland in the steeplechase at the 2019 World Championships, and young gun Alicia Monson who is fresh out of the University of Wisconsin and was a runner up at the 2019 NCAA cross country championships.Alicia MonsonThe men’s side consists of a younger group, but equally talented, all with 1500m personal bests around 3:37. NCAA cross country runner up Joe Klecker was the first athlete to be announced, followed by 2018 NCAA 1500m champ Olli Hoare, 2019 NCAA mile champ Geordie Beamish, and 2019 Pan Am 1500 champion Carlos Villareal.While all of these athletes are impressive, it’s still a question of whether any of them are talented enough to secure a spot on the 2021 Olympic team.5. Athletics Canada introduces whistleblower policyIn the wake of distributing lifetime bans to Canadian coaches Dave Scott Thomas from the University of Guelph, and Andy McInnis and Ken Porter from the Ottawa Lions Track Club for accusations of athlete abuse, Athletics Canada has announced that it will be introducing a set of new policies to protect athletes from inappropriate behaviour and encourage whistleblowers to come forward.Specifically, the new whistleblower policy allows anyone who witnesses wrongdoing to report it to Athletics Canada. Previously, the organization would only acknowledge complaints from the victim. They’re also placing renewed emphasis on the Rule of Two, meaning no athlete should ever be alone with a coach. To encourage an open dialogue about the policies, Athletics Canada will host quarterly town hall meetings between athletes and the organization.While these policies are a step in the right direction, it still leaves one questioning whether they’ll be enough to deter abusive behaviour and how they will be enforced.
34 minutes | Aug 5, 2020
Understanding the Garmin Hack, Plus Will Cross-Country Running Finally Be In The Olympics?
In this week's episode Alex Cyr, Andrew Cruickshank and Michael Doyle break down the top five stories of the week from the track and field, distance running, and ultra communities: We unpack all that is known about the Garmin hack (1:55) Explain how a mixed cross-country relay in the Summer Olympics would work, and if we need another distance running event (8:09) One of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombers has his death sentence reversed (15:52) An exciting new elite track team sponsored by the Swiss brand On Running was announced; we look at all that is known about the Boulder, Colorado based team (20:34) A real, live "Backyard Ultra" race happened in the U.S. Are ultras the safest form of mass event right now? (26:00) Be sure to subscribe to our weekly newsletter thexc.substack.com and follow us on social @theXCorg
38 minutes | Jul 29, 2020
Running Races During The Pandemic
On this week's show, Alex Cyr, Andrew Cruickshank and Michael Doyle break down the Bowerman Track Club's quarantine track time trials; running Diamond League meets virtually; breaking down the stats of the sprinters with the greatest range; and whether Nike will pay its sponsored athletes. Plus, an attempt at the Appalachian Trail FKT.
45 minutes | Jun 26, 2020
NYC and Berlin Marathons aren't happening. So what's next?
The XC's weekly Top 5 stories from the running world. This week, we talk about the New York City and Berlin Marathons getting cancelled, a couple of odd races pushing to happen amidst the pandemic—and whether or not their plans are wise, and Mo Farah going after a strange, seldom attempted track record.
56 minutes | Jun 23, 2020
How Are We Going to Get Back to Running Races?
After a little hiatus, Alex Cyr, Andrew Cruickshank and Michael Doyle return to discuss: If virtual races are going to be enough, and if so, how to put on a great one If any of the big fall marathons will even happen, and if so, how they could be done safely What the heck we've been up to during the pandemic
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