Road Race Management article: Take an anti-doping stance

A few months ago, I learned there was a “working group” with Road Race Management for discussing anti-doping measures. We brained stormed with back and forth emails. Finally, they suggested I write an article for their monthly newsletter with my thoughts, coming from an elite runner and what I’ve seen/experienced. I had wanted to reach out to race directors as well, so this was a way of “speaking to the masses”.

I’m thankful they have given me permission to share the article. Road Race Management is one of the most comprehensive resources on what’s happening in the sport. If anyone is interested in getting a membership (which includes getting the monthly newsletter), I highly recommend it (their newsletter is ‘awesome’- lots of great articles and insight!).

http://www.rrm.com/rrmnewsletter/membership.htm

Also, I’m sharing this, in light of what happened in Boston– Master’s runner/doper, Liza Hunter-Galvan, was [accidentally?] let into the elite women’s start and ended up being 1st Master’s and picking up $10,000. I was under the impression that Boston, being a World Marathon Major and having an anti-doping policy, wouldn’t allow a doper into their elite field or to compete for prize money. It’s a shame this happened, especially since I just wrote about Liza in my article and how races shouldn’t allow dopers into the elite start!

Here’s the article (shared with permission by RRM):  Road Race Management article- Take an anti-doping stance

Here’s RRM’s new database to look up whether athletes have been sanctioned for doping within the last 10 yrs– RDs/elite coordinators should do their research on athletes! It creates bad publicity if you let a doper (or two or more!) into your field! http://www.dopingsanctions.com/

[Edit: The Indianapolis Monumental Marathon has adopted an anti-doping policy! Brilliant- check it out: http://www.monumentalmarathon.com/press-releases/2015-04-16-IMM-Takes-Stand-Against-Doping.php ]

Debut at the 100K- 2015 National Champion!

Me with the Mad City Race Director, Timo Y.!

Me with the Mad City Race Director, Timo Y.!

This weekend I went to Madison, WI for my first domestic ultra- the Mad City 100K/US National Championship. This was my 3rd attempt at an ultra, and I hoped it would go a lot better than my first two attempts in South Africa! Mind you, it took me five tries to really figure out and nail a good marathon. I think I’m getting better and more confident with the longer distances!

It was like night and day between how ill I felt trying to race with a fever/virus at Comrades last year (and collapsing at 83K)… vs running the 100K with no illness and finishing mostly unscathed (only 2 lost toenails; edit: I’ve now lost 3 toenails!)! I’m blessed to have won the 100K at Mad City and run a decent time (?) for my first 100K, 7:26:24!

Of note– the RD, Timo, called and said I broke Ann Trason’s 26 y.o. US Championship record (see here)! To break any record by the great Ann Trason is a true honor. We believe it may be the 3rd (?) fastest American performance ever (edit: it IS the 3rd fastest American performance and 17th best performance ever! http://www.arrs.net/AllTime/AllTime.htm), making me the 2nd best American 100K runner ever! I ran the fastest 100K ever on American soil! I also broke the Course Record by 20+ min, previously set by my fleet-footed friend, Devon Yanko (nee Crosby-Helms). Most importantly, I qualified for the US 100K Team and will get another shot at the American Record in September, at the “fast” World Championship in The Netherlands!

[Read more…]

Knoxville Marathon- 17th win, back for more punishment!

This past weekend I ventured back to Knoxville, TN to run the Knoxville Marathon– only this time I drove instead of fly! In a 53 hr period, I set two new personal bests: 1)Furthest I’ve ever driven myself to a race (12:30 hrs of driving time, not including stops/traffic- 25 hrs driving round-trip), and 2) Most tacos I’ve eaten within 24 hrs (8)! Inspired by my Marathonguide.com/Skechers teammate, Bryan Morseman, who drove 22 hrs with his family to run at Cowtown… only to have the race cancelled (!)… I thought I’d test my own driving endurance. Thanks to my Marathonguide.com sponsor for getting me in (and sponsoring Knoxville) and for my MG.com teammates for continuing to inspire me to push the mental/physical limits!

The hilly, twisty Knoxville course.

The hilly, twisty Knoxville course.

Why Knoxville again? THE HILLS! This is the hardest course I’ve run, but it’s great prep for Comrades, which is an “up year” this year. I blogged about Knoxville last year– with 3,120 ft. of elevation change, nearly the whole course is up or down, with several long, steep climbs and lots and lots of turns. So yeah… I drove 12 1/2 hrs to punish myself!

I also thought it would be a good race to do again to see where my fitness stands and how I feel on the hills. If I could get within a few minutes of the 2:44+ I ran here last year, while feeling strong on the climbs, I’d be on target for Comrades. [Read more…]

Montgomery Marathon- back marathoning, 16th win!

This weekend we made a surprise visit to Montgomery, AL for the inaugural Montgomery Marathon! This was the first time since last April (and tearing my hamstring) I’ve been able to run a legitimate marathon. I’ve been chomping at the bit to finally run a marathon– most definitely felt like a caged lion ready to break free! Although my hammy still doesn’t feel 100%, I know that like my foot 2 yrs ago… it’s a process getting back to top form and health. I just need to keep plugging with everything I’m doing in terms of rehab, training, and carefully adding back speedwork (which my hammy is gradually tolerating more and more, yeaaa!).

Seeing the PanAm Games sites in Toronto and the Distillery District by the Athlete Village.

Seeing the PanAm Games sites in Toronto and the Distillery District by the Athlete Village.

Last week I also went on a busy 4-day trip to Toronto to prepare with the USOC for the 2015 PanAm Games. I flew back on Wed., had a mentally intense work day on Thursday, and hit the road for the road trip to Alabama (thank you to Conor for all the driving and having a nice road trip together!). With last week’s time change, time zone changes, and weird sleeping/eating/training patterns… I haven’t felt this warped/sleep-deprived/jetlagged for quite a while! Not ideal going into a marathon– I now have great appreciation for everything it takes to perform at my best in the marathon! Get your sleep guys if you wanna race at your best!

Bryan and I repping Montgomery Multisport, Skechers, and Marathonguide.com at the Montgomery Marathon!

Bryan and I repping Montgomery Multisport, Skechers, and Marathonguide.com at the Montgomery Marathon!

Thank you to Montgomery Multisport for helping me get a last minute entry and to my Marathonguide.com and Skechers Teammate, Bryan Morseman, for telling me about this race! It was a perfect comeback race! [Read more…]

Cowtown- finally back racing!

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A little blurry, but we saw several flipped mobile homes, trucks, and cars on our drive to Ft. Worth!

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This is what our view was like most of the drive to Ft. Worth! Fortunately, using my iphone map I was able to see traffic patterns and take a few side roads to avoid this.

This weekend, I took a detour for my first big race in many months! Instead of racing the Caumsett 50K/US Championship, we decided to stay closer to home and run the Cowtown 50K. My sponsor (and a sponsor for Cowtown), Marathonguide.com, was putting up a prize purse for the second year, including breaking the course record for the 50K. When I started adding up the costs and benefits of going to Cowtown vs. Caumsett (including the possibility of making the US 50K Team), everything made more sense to race Cowtown. After much deliberation on whether to run the marathon or 50K, I committed to the 50K at Cowtown! My teammate, Bryan Morseman, also committed to the 50K– both of us wanting to earn consideration for the US 50K Team.

I could write a book on the bizarre twists and turns the past 10 years– this weekend was no exception! Dealing with crazy snow and ice across this part of the country, we ended up leaving a day early (Fri.) to drive to Ft. Worth. A normally 3 hr drive… took nearly 7 hrs! No worries- we were going to get there sooner or later and still have a day to chill out. Bryan, who’s flights from upstate NY were cancelled and told he couldn’t fly out until Sun. (!), ended up DRIVING 22 hrs, with his whole family, to Ft. Forth!!! The crazy things we do to make our dreams a reality…. [Read more…]