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Athletes (13)

By Jeff Benjamin
Keith Brantly was one of our sports most iconic athletes in North America. He battled hard, and long in our sport, and finished 4th twice in the 1988 and 1992 Olympic Trials marathons. He finally made the team in 1996 Olympic Trials marathon. His piece below is a thoughtful remembrance of the man who had much influence in over Brantly's career.
If there was an American runner truly devoted to the training theories and encouragement from the late Dr. David Martin, then Keith Brantly definitely fits the bill.
One of the nation's top runners during a 20 year span over more than 2 decades, the 1996 U.S. Olympic marathoner didn't just consider Dr. Martin a consultant, but as something more.
Here are Brantley's reminiscences of his most valued mentor.
"This is a snapshot of a small part of Dr. David Martin's life and our time together. I use the terms "snapshot" and "small part" because my time with Dr. Dave was just a moment in time for him. I'm very certain and I recognize the stories of several hundred other athletes, coaches, colleagues and friends who interacted with Dr. Dave could fill a several-thousand-page journal. I only believe my story is unique because he was my coach, and he always made me feel that, to him, I was the most important person on earth.
Sunday, 12 November 2017 22:29


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By Carolyn Mather


Today Shalane Flanagan shared her success with 50,700 finishers and over 600 million viewers across the world who watched her race at the TCS New York City Marathon.A new footnote is that three American women went under 2:30 for the first time in race history.The finishers hailed from 125 nations and all 50 states.Race director, Peter Ciaccia stated that "New York was the center of the running world all weekend and held the greatest marathon in the world".Surely that echoed Shalane's feelings as she was still on an adrenaline high this morning having not slept and arising at 5:30am to appear on Good Morning America and with Kelly Ripa. She found herself eating pizza at 3:30am and reliving her dream come true.


I suspect she truly made her dream a reality for late finishers as she and Meb and a few other elites returned to the finish line late last evening to present medals to finishers. What an incredible treat that must have been for some unsuspecting but tired and elated runners.


 While having the winners present checks to their chosen charities this morning, the New York Roan Runners also honored Noah and Raine the first finishers in the kids race and had them present a check to Save the Children. Giving back is a way the NYRR awards $10,000 checks to the winners to donate to their favorite charity.


And although Meb was the story of the week, Shalane is the story of the moment.She has worked for this victory nearly all of her life. Having runners as parents set a model for her to pursue. She feels her parents and athletics have given her a never give up attitude and a strong work ethic.She stated that this job is "an all encompassing lifestyle that is 24/7".Right now she wants to live in the present moment and savor this victory and all of it's ramifications.She is feeling extreme joy,gratitude and validation. She views her victory as "the culmination of a lifetime of work".In 2010 she was second here and she quipped " it has taken seven years to move up one place".She called this race "my superbowl".

Thursday, 09 November 2017 15:25


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By Carolyn Mather
The title of this article comes from the concluding statement of Gabriele Grunewald at today's third annual AKTIV against cancer awards luncheon where Gabe was presented the Special Inspiration Award. AKTIV against cancer is an organization founded by nine time NYC Marathon Champion and Norwegian superstar Grete Waitz and current Executive Director Helle Aanesen in Norway in 2007. The organization has helped to create fifteen physical activity centers in cancer treatment hospitals throughout Norway and established an official presence in the United States in 2014.
Gabriele Grunewald, professional runner and amazing woman was diagnosed at age 22 with one of the rarest types of cancer-adenoid cystic carcinoma. Despite the diagnosis and now in her fourth battle with this disease, Gabe has continued as a top professional athlete and a woman of incredible strength and courage.
I have had the privilege of knowing Gabe as she ran for Brooks and Team USA Minnesota for many years. Gabe is the epitome of moving forward no matter what life throws your way as she has learned that life is not so simple. Although Gabe is not known for her distance running and contends at shorter distances than the marathon, she has found this battle is "my marathon" in life. She was not prepared for this journey but she has fought it with a tenacity found in committed runners. In fact the day after her initial diagnosis she donned her racing singlet and set a personal best on the track. This lady has the focus to do whatever needs to be done.
Although Gabe makes her living at running, she quickly learned that running is not life or death as life is full of uncertainty and we truly have to live in the present moment. It is all about perspective as my dear husband Steve told me many times.You have to continue to do what makes you feel alive. And despite the return of tumors after three surgeries and chemotherapy, Gabe has found that running is worth doing even if it is not perfect. "Running is my medicine" she stated as she is excited that she plans to race indoors in 2018.Her statement of "plans are when dreams are realized" gives her hope for the future.
Gabe has discovered with only 600 cases of this type of cancer in the United States, that there has been no research on this. So she has become "a lab rat" willing to try whatever the doctors entrusted with her care recommend. She has been making frequent trips to Sloan Kettering in New York City for her immunotherapy treatment and although that is now done and she moves on to a type of radiation therapy at the Mayo Clinic which is closer to her home in Minneapolis, there has been some necrosis in the tumors in her liver.
NEW YORK – One of the most iconic figures in women’s sports, Kathrine V. Switzer, will be among the headline honorees at USATF’s Black Tie & Sneakers Gala on November 2 at the Armory Track & Field Center in Upper Manhattan. Switzer will receive USATF’s Pioneer Award in honor of her groundbreaking, lifelong work in women’s running.
Switzer etched her name in history when she became the first woman to officially complete the Boston Marathon in 1967, but she has done anything but slow down in the ensuing 50 years. With an indelible record as a champion runner, founder of women’s road races, author, activist, television commentator, and philanthropist, she has been among the most consistently visible and high-profile advocates for women’s sports over the last half-century.
The native New Yorker won the 1974 New York City Marathon, which was then held entirely in Central Park.  On November 5, she will once again compete in the race.
“I am so honored to be given this award, and I accept it on half of the millions of women who have had their lives so wonderfully enhanced by running,” said Switzer, who in April also ran the Boston Marathon in celebration of the 50th anniversary of her history-making feat. “Helping make that happen has been the greatest gratification of my life. It’s especially sweet to be running the TCS NYC Marathon the year I receive this award. It’s the first time I will be running though the five boroughs!”
From USATF, 10/5/2017
Joy Upshaw (Lafayette, CA) broke the American women’s 55-59 100m record with a 13.27 at the Sri Chimnoy Self-Transcendence Masters Meet near Los Angeles to earn USATF Athlete of the Week.Upshaw, 56, lowered the previous record of 13.30, set in 2002 by Phil Raschker.
Other notable performances: 
Shadrack Kipchirchir — Kipchirchir outleaned Leonard Korir to win the men’s USATF 10 Mile Championships in Minneapolis in 47:33. The World Championships 10,000m ninth-placer won his first U.S. title.
Sara Hall — Hall won her first USATF Running Circuit race of the year, capturing the women’s 10 Mile title in 53:43 in Minneapolis, two seconds ahead of runner-up Natasha Rogers.
Joseph Gray — Gray won his 13th national title, finishing first at the USATF Trail Half Marathon Championships in Hayward, Wisconsin. Gray’s time of 1:10:11 put him 40 seconds ahead of the next finisher.
Ashley Brasovan — Running her first trail race, Brasovan won the women’s USATF Trail Half Marathon in Hayward by more than five minutes, finishing in 1:18:30.
Roy Englert — Englert, 95, crushed the American 5K Record for Men 95-99 by eight minutes at the USATF 5K Masters Championships in Syracuse, clocking 40:40.
From USATF, 10/4/2017
INDIANAPOLIS -- Olympic gold medalists, a legend coach and World and American record holders comprise the illustrious USATF National Track & Field Hall of Fame Class of 2017, which will be inducted during the USATF Black Tie & Sneakers Gala in New York City on November 2.
Modern Athletes Leroy Burrell and Bryan Clay, Veteran Athletes Patty vanWolvelaere (now Weirich) and Lindy Remigino, and Coach Bill Squires make up the newest class.
“It is an honor to recognize the Class of 2017 for their contributions to the history and advancement of our sport,” USATF CEO Max Siegel said.  “All of our inductees not only have achieved competitive success worthy of selection, they also have made substantial impacts in their respective communities.”
Inductees will receive a commemorative Hall of Fame ring from USATF during the Black Tie & Sneakers Gala at The Armory in Washington Heights. The star-studded event brings together entertainment stars, business executives and the sport’s greats - both present and legendary - to celebrate another successful year of Team USATF performances.
USATF will also honor 2017 Legend Award recipient Carl Lewis during the evening. Tickets and more information can be purchased at To learn more about National Track & Field Hall of Fame, please visit
Wednesday, 06 September 2017 14:49

All-Time Great Carl Lewis to Receive USATF Legend Award

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USATF, 9/5/2017, NEW YORK -- The greatest Olympian of the 20th Century, Carl Lewis, will be honored by USA Track & Field with the Legend Award as part of USATF Black Tie & Sneakers Gala on Thursday, November 2 at The Armory Track & Field Center in New York City.
A 2001 inductee in the USATF National Track & Field Hall of Fame, Lewis has been named both “Olympian of the Century” by Sports Illustrated and “Sportsman of the Century” by the International Olympic Committee.
“More than 20 years after his retirement, Carl Lewis still stands as one of the greatest legends in all of sport,” USATF CEO Max Siegel said. “His athletic accomplishments made history, and his advocacy for the professionalism of track & field made him a cultural trailblazer.”
Now in its third year, USATF Black Tie & Sneakers Gala is a red-carpet event held at the Armory Track & Field Center in New York City’s Washington Heights neighborhood. The Gala includes the induction of the National Track & Field Hall of Fame Class of 2017, along with current USATF stars, legendary athletes, business executives and celebrities from sports and entertainment on hand for an opening reception, dinner and after party. Guests walk the red carpet in black tie attire and sneakers, giving the night a USATF twist on athletic elegance and excellence. View photos from 2016 here.
The National Track & Field Hall of Fame Class of 2017 will be announced early fall.
20th Century G.O.A.T.
Lewis' achievements are unprecedented in track and field: He is one of two athletes to win nine Olympic gold medals, the other being Finland’s Paavo Nurmi. Similarly, he is one of two to win four golds in the same event, tying with Al Oerter. He also won 10 medals, including eight golds, at World Outdoor Championships throughout his athletic career.
Lewis’ career on the track will forever be defined by his four gold medal performance at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los 
Thursday, 10 August 2017 22:49

Some Thoughts on Christian Taylor

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This column, written by Stuart Weir, is on defending World Champion and defending Olympic gold medalist Christian Taylor. Stuart's job is to provide @runblogrun daily observations on the London World Champs. At Monaco, he was so inspired, he provided seven columns on the meet. I liked this one on Christian Taylor, one of our favorite competitors.—Larry Eder
Christian Taylor needed just one jump to secure qualification for Thursday's Triple Jump final. Commenting on the atmosphere in the stadium, Taylor said: "The audience is great. I went for a good show. They have spent so much money on the tickets". I am not sure he is right in his second comment with some tickets costing only £18.29 - to celebrate Jonathan Edwards' 1995 World record.
The atmosphere did not surprise Taylor. As he told me before the event: "I expect London 2017 to be very similar to the 2012 Olympics, where I won my first Olympic title. I have also competed in the Diamond League in London as well as the Olympics and there is always a fantastic crowd. The energy will be quite different from - and better than - some of the other world championships; the crowd in London is always very knowledgeable about athletics. So the athletes will feel a lot more alive with the crowd really getting into it.”
South African 100 m triumph - NAIROBI (KEN, Jul 12): In heavy rain, Tshenolo Lemao claimed gold for South Africa in the boys’ 100m on the first day of the World U18 Championships in 10.57 from teammate Retshidisitwe Mlenga (10.61) and Jamaica’s Tyreke Wilson (10.65). Ethiopia’s Abersh Minsweo upset Kenya’s Emmaculate Chepkirui for the 3000m title, 9:24.62 to 9:24.69, while Germany’s Selina Dantzler won a close shot put final with 17.64m from China’s Tianxiao Yu (17.62m) and Yue Sun (17.59m). France’s Steven Fauvel Clinch leads the decathlon after the first day with 4084 points from Latvia’s Olegs Kozjakovs (4053) but pre-competition favourite Maximilian Kluth from Germany withdrew after the 100m due to injury.
Tuesday, 04 April 2017 15:21

IAMBOLT, a Review by J. Stuart Weir

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I managed to get myself an invitation to the IAMBOLT Première in London. I confess I have not been invited to a great number of Premières in my life! (Just less than 1, in fact). My justification for asked for an invitation was that I had been in the stadium at the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympics to see Usain Bolt win all three of his Olympic trebles - not to mention seeing him in 4 World Championships and a few Diamond Leagues.
It was a fun event to attend with the man himself speaking from the stage to introduce the evening. I was accompanied by the web editor of Athletics Weekly, who proved excellent company but just as poor as I was at celebrity spotting. I did see Jonathan Edwards, Mo Farah and Chelsea footballer, Cesc Fabergas. I am told that former Spice Girl, Geri Horner, Salina Hayek, Tallia Storm, Liam Payne and Sean Paul were among those representing music and Shown Biz.