Ryan Hall links up with legendary coach

September, 16, 2014
Sep 16
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HallAP Photo/Steven SenneRyan Hall has been self-coached recently, but is now teaming up with legendary coach Jack Daniels.
Ryan Hall, the fastest American marathoner ever, is putting his trust in coach Jack Daniels after a phase of faith-based self-coaching.

“Jack has already played an influential role in my development as a runner as well as hundreds and thousands of others and I am confident he can help me get back to my full potential as a marathon runner,” Hall wrote on his official website.

“With the Olympic Trials just a year and a half away it’s time to start making progress towards my main goal as an athlete, to return to the Olympics and be at my very best there. This is something that has eluded me the last two Olympics but I am hopeful and expectant for the next years ahead with Jack’s guidance.”

Once named “World’s Best Coach” by Runner’s World Magazine, Daniels is has also advised running greats such as Jim Ryun and Joan Benoit Samuelson.

Hall finished 20th at the 2014 Boston Marathon with a time of 2:17:50. It was his first marathon finished since a second-place showing at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials.

Hall dropped out of the 2012 Olympic marathon at the 11-mile mark due to a hamstring injury. Before its cancellation, Hall also withdrew from the 2012 New York City Marathon due to injury, and 2013 saw him scratched from the Boston and New York City marathons.

Hall was also previously coached by Terrence Mahon while with the Mammoth Track Club. Under Mahon, Hall set the American record for fastest debut marathon by running 2:08:24 at the 2007 London Marathon.

Months after leaving Mammoth, Hall ran his third consecutive Boston Marathon and finished fourth with the fastest marathon time ever by an American in 2:04:58, although American records are not recognized on the Boston course due to the point-to-point layout and overall elevation drop. A strong tailwind also contributed to the fast times in 2011.

Most recently, Hall finished 13th at the Suja Rock N’ Roll San Diego Half-Marathon in 62:53. The 31-year-old has not announced any plans for a fall marathon.

Kipsang, other NYC elites by the numbers

September, 10, 2014
Sep 10
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Wilson KipsangAP Photo/Sang TanWilson Kipsang set the world marathon record last fall and makes his NYC debut in November.
As if a star-studded American field wasn't enough, the 2014 TSC New York City Marathon has added men's world record holder Wilson Kipsang to its Nov. 2 lineup.

The New York Road Runners finalized their elite athlete field with the announcement of Olympic medalists and past NYC champions from around the world.

“We’re proud to welcome Wilson, a world-renowned marathon icon; Buzunesh Deba, the ultimate running ambassador for our City; and an unparalleled field to “get their New York on” with every stride they take through the City’s five boroughs, as they lead runners from Staten Island to Central Park,” NYRR CEO Mary Wittenberg said in a press release.

Last fall, Kipsang set the world record of 2:03:23 in Berlin. Earlier this year he won the 2014 Virgin Money London Marathon in a course-record time of 2:04.27. The addition of Kipsang threatens two-time defending New York Marathon champion Geoffrey Mutai’s goal of winning his third consecutive New York City Marathon.

2010 NYC champion Gebre Gebremariam is also entered in the field.

(Read full post)

NYC American elites by the numbers

September, 8, 2014
Sep 8
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Meb KeflezighiAP Photo/Charles KrupaMeb Keflezighi won the Boston Marathon in April and will take on New York in November.
The New York Road Runners announced their American elite lineup for the 2014 New York City Marathon on Nov. 2.

Olympians Kara Goucher and Desiree Linden (formerly Davila) headline the women’s field, while Boston rematches await on the men’s side.

“Kara, Desi, and Ryan (Vail) are, along with Meb (Keflezighi), some of America’s most established and adored distance runners,” NYRR CEO Mary Wittenberg said in a press release. “As they lead the way through the City’s five boroughs and diverse running communities on Marathon Day, we’re sure they’ll inspire not only the 50,000-plus runners following in their footsteps, but the next generation of great American marathoners as well.”

Goucher has been sidelined by injuries since the 2013 U.S. Outdoor Track and Field Championships. New York will be her first marathon since a sixth place finish at the 2013 Boston Marathon.

“Since I ran my first marathon in New York City in 2008, I have wanted to go back and run again,” Goucher said in a press release. “I am so excited after a year of injuries and changes that my return to ‘marathoning’ happens here. New York City is a very special place for me, as I was born in Queens. I have always loved the city, and I have felt a special connection since running my first marathon there.”

Linden is also on the mend after an injury forced her off the course at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London. She was fifth at the 2013 Berlin Marathon and 10th at 2014 Boston Marathon.

The women’s field is rounded out by American record holder Deena Kastor, 2008 Olympian Blake Russell, 2013 USA Marathon champion Anne Bersagel and 2:28 marathoner Lauren Kleppin.

In addition to Kefezighi, the New York City Marathon has reunited several of the top American men from April’s Boston Marathon. Nick Arciniaga of Flagstaff, Ariz., was seventh in Bostonand Josphat Boit was 11th with a personal best of 2:12:52.

Nike Oregon Project runner Luke Puskedra will make his marathon debut. He previously represented the United States at the 2012 IAAF Half-Marathon Championships. Working with three-time New York City Marathon champion Alberto Salazar helps as his eyes may be set on the marathon for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials.

New York by the numbers:

3 - Kara Goucher made her marathon debut with a third place finish at the 2008 New York City Marathon. Her time of 2:25:53 is the fastest time by an American woman on the course.

2:20 - Minutes and seconds that separate Meb Kefezighi and Vail, the top American at the 2013 New York City Marathon. Vail set a personal best of 2:10:57 at the 2014 Virgin Money London Marathon.

7 - There are seven American women entered in the race with personal bests of 2:30 or lower. This is a first for the New York City Marathon.

8 - Nick Arciniaga’s sixth-best marathon performance was an eighth place finish at the 2009 New York City Marathon. In 2013, he ran 2:13:11 for the win at the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon, where he out-kicked Josphat Boit for the U.S. National Title.

10 - Desi Linden (formerly Davila) rose to prominence with her second place finish at the 2011 Boston Marathon. She made the 2012 U.S. Olympic team, but did not finish the marathon in London due to a stress fracture in her femur. This is her New York City debut after a 10th place finish in April’s Boston Marathon.

41 - American record holder Deena Kastor is still competitive at the age of 41. She won half-marathons in March and April.

Impressive elite field for Chicago Marathon

September, 4, 2014
Sep 4
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Kenenisa BekeleAP Photo/Michel EulerKenenisa Bekele broke the course record in Paris this year and wants to do the same in Chicago.
Course records and the history books may be in danger on Oct. 12 in Chicago.

Race organizers for the 2014 Bank of America Chicago Marathon have announced their full elite field, featuring five men who have run under 2:06 and three women who have run under 2:23.

The field is headlined by Kenenisa Bekele, world record holder at 5,000 meters and 10,000 meters on the track. Reminiscent of his days at IAAF World Championship meets, Bekele will face off against Eliud Kipchoge, against whom Bekele holds the upper hand with nine wins over the Kenyan.

Another challenger to watch will be Sammy Kitawara, who finished fourth in his marathon debut in Chicago in 2012. Kitawara's experience could benefit him given that 2014 marks the third time he will run the flat 26.2-mile course through the Windy City.

"I am coming back to Chicago for the third time. Chicago is a nice city and it has a good sports atmosphere. I will try to run the race of my life this year, and if God gives me the strength, my target is to run 2:04:28,” Kitawara said in a press release.

Bernard Koech of Kenya has the second-fastest personal best of the field with his 2:04:53 from the 2013 Dubai Marathon. A fast background may be beneficial for Koech, because Bekele has already stated he wants to challenge the course record and world record on race day.

The American field is a bit deeper compared to last year’s race, which included Olympians Dathan Ritzenhein and Matt Tegenkamp. Craig Leon (2:13:52 personal best) finished 12th at this year’s Boston Marathon and will head this year’s American contingent along with Bobby Curtis (2:13:24) and Mike Morgan (2:14:22).

Matt Llano of Team Run Flagstaff has a lofty goal of breaking Ryan Hall’s American marathon debut record of 2:08:24.

On the women’s side Rita Jeptoo looks to defend her crown against Florence Kiplagat. Jeptoo and Kiplagat are the only women in the field who have cracked the 2:20 barrier. Jemima Sumgong, Jeptoo’s training partner, looks to be the next challenger with her personal best of 2:20:48.

Jeptoo could cement herself as one of the best marathoners in history with a third sub-2:20 performance. Only Paula Radcliffe and Catherine N’Dereba have accomplished that feat.

Amy Hastings leads the American side with her 2:27:03 personal best. The 30-year-old skipped running a spring marathon after fighting pain to a 20th place finish at the 2013 ING New York City Marathon.

A rising star to watch will be Becky Wade of Houston, Texas, who made her marathon debut in grand fashion by winning the 2013 California International Marathon and recently inked a professional contract with Asics. Former Olympian Lia Uhl will be making her own debut after being a spectator for the 2013 edition of the race.

Rock 'n' Roll Philly boasts stacked field

September, 3, 2014
Sep 3
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Dathan RitzenheinAP Photo/Charlie RiedelDathan Ritzenhein has run for the U.S. on the world stage and will take on the world's best in Philly.
Race organizers for the 2014 Rock N’ Roll Philadelphia Half-Marathon have assembled one of the deepest fields of the fall, including several marathon champions and Olympians.

“Philadelphia is one of the most famous half-marathons in the U.S. and we have a world-class field to match a world-class event,” Elite athlete coordinator Matthew Turnbull said.

Dathan Ritzenhein headlines the American field. The three-time Olympian makes a return to the roads after an injury forced him to withdraw from April’s Boston Marathon. Ritzenhein did not race on the track this summer, and in Philadelphia he will be challenged by 2014 Boston Marathon surprise Jeffrey Eggleston.

Kenyan Geoffrey Mutai will also use this race as a tuneup with his sights are set on a three-peat in the New York City Marathon in November.

Kara Goucher, also returning from injury, leads the field of American women. This will be her first long-distance race since leaving her Nike training group and inking a deal with Oiselle and Sketchers. Goucher's toughest challenger will Deena Kastor, the fastest American woman ever over 13.1 miles, who is looking to extend her road-racing career.

Here’s a look at the field by the numbers:

(Read full post)

Grand CanyonCourtesy of Doug WilliamsProtecting scenic Grand Canyon trails has become a priority as runners continue to flock to the park.
In recent years, the popularity of running and hiking from rim to rim at the Grand Canyon has grown significantly. Running rim-to-rim -– and even rim-to-rim-to-rim -– has become a destination feat for ultra runners from across the U.S. and the world.

On some peak weekend days in the spring and fall, the National Park Service estimates as many as 800 hikers and runners are traveling the inner canyon.

Because issues and user conflicts have grown along with the increase in trail traffic, Grand Canyon National Park is instituting an interim system that will require some hikers and runners in groups to get special-use permits.

The interim permit system will go into effect Sept. 15, close to the expected release this fall of the park’s draft revise of its Backcountry Management Plan.

That draft, which may or may not include more permanent regulation of activity on the canyon’s trails, will be subject to public review and comment for about 90 days.

Special use permits will not be required during this interim period for individual runners or hikers, or small groups of friends or family. But permits will be required for organized groups, such as clubs and non-profit organizations. No groups of more than 30 will be allowed.

Permits will be required only for the inner canyon -- the area closest to the Colorado River -- which all rim-to-rim hikers and runners must cross.
The increase in runners and through-hikers has led to more litter and waste, vehicle congestion at trailheads, conflicts between trail users and crowding at restrooms. It also has overstressed the lone wastewater treatment facility in the canyon at Phantom Ranch.

“With rim-to-rim and extended day hiking and running increasing in popularity, we needed to find an interim solution that would give us the tool to educate hikers and runners on best practices until we have a longer-term solution in place,” park superintendent Dave Uberuaga said in a news release Wednesday.

More information about the new interim permit process can be found at nps.gov/grca/parkmgmt/sup.htm

Defending champs return to NYC Marathon

August, 21, 2014
Aug 21
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Mutai-JeptooAP Photo2013 NYC Marathon champs Geoffrey Mutai and Rita Jeptoo are back to defend their titles in 2014.
Two-time defending champion Geoffrey Mutai and reigning women’s champion Priscah Jeptoo will return to the TCS New York City Marathon on Nov. 2 to defend their titles, the New York Road Runners announced on Thursday. The Kenyans join an elite field that includes 2014 Boston Marathon Champion Meb Keflezighi.

“Last year, as they led 50,000 runners in the largest marathon ever, both Geoffrey and Priscah were inspirations to us all,” NYRR President and CEO Mary Wittenberg said.

“This November, when they line up in Staten Island to start their journey through the unique neighborhoods of the City’s five boroughs, these world-class athletes will be chasing history, as Geoffrey goes for a New York hat trick and Priscah looks to join an elite group of repeat winners.”

Mutai already holds the course record with his 2:05:05, run in 2011. He is also the fastest marathoner of all-time with his 2:03.02 from the 2012 Boston Marathon, but due to the course’s elevation drop and point-to-point layout the time is ineligible for an official world record.

Jeptoo won last year’s race in come-from-behind fashion, reeling in Ethiopian Buzunesh Deba in Central Park after 24 miles. She would cross the finish line in 2:25:07 for a 48-second victory over the Deba..

Here’s a look at Mutai and Jeptoo by the numbers:

0 - Marathons in the spring for Rita Jeptoo after a leg injury forced her to withdraw from the 2014 Virgin Money London Marathon.

3 - Mutai looks to win his third consecutive New York City Marathon. He would become just the third man in history to accomplish the feat and the first since Alberto Salazar in 1980-1982.

4 - Although Kenyans have dominated the marathon scene in recent years, Jeptoo is only the second Kenyan woman to win the New York City Marathon since 2000.

6 - Years in age difference between Mutai and Keflezighi on race day. Mutai turns 33 on October 7.

7 - If Jeptoo captures the 2014 crown, she would be the seventh woman to win in back-to-back years. Only two women have won more than twice. World Record holder Paula Radcliffe last accomplished the feat in 2007 and 2008.

22 - Number of miles run with the lead pack before Mutai broke away for the victory in 2013. Is there a similar plan this year or will Mutai chase a faster time than his 2:08:24 from 2013?

60 - Number of minutes Mutai needed to win the New York City Half Marathon on March 16. He would finish sixth at the London Marathon a few weeks later.

2012 - Had the 2012 race not been cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy, 2014 could have been an attempt at a four-peat for Mutai. Only Bill Rodgers has won the New York City Marathon four consecutive times.

Robin Williams: Cross-country runner & track star

August, 12, 2014
Aug 12
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Robin Williams often credited his drama club at Redwood High School as one of the sparks to his career in comedy. Before he made the world laugh, Williams was a cross-country runner -- and a good one too. On Monday, Williams was found dead in his California home at the age of 63.

"I love running cross country," Williams once said. "On a track, I feel like a hamster."

According to his high school yearbook, Williams ran 1:58.8 for 800 meters in 1969, according to Runner's World. That same year, his 4x400-meter relay team also ran 3:21.7.

Williams ran in the 1984 Dipsea Race in California, where he finished in 232nd place of 1,375 runners. The cross-country trail race is the oldest in America since its start in 1905.

"Besides the hills, the stairs and the downhill, it wasn't bad," Williams told the Marin Independent Journal afterward.

Williams also played soccer for Redwood and went on to play at Claremont Men's College before attending Julliard, where his acting career would take off.

Kenenisa Bekele to run Chicago Marathon

August, 12, 2014
Aug 12
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World-record holder Kenenisa Bekele will run the Chicago Marathon on Oct. 12. The Ethiopian is coming off a two-hour, five-minute, four-second marathon debut and victory in April’s Paris Marathon. He holds world records at 5,000 and 10,000 meters.

"Kenenisa Bekele is one of the best, most versatile and exciting athletes competing on the global stage today,” race director Carey Pinkowski said in a press release. “Any time an athlete of Bekele’s caliber lines up to race, course records and world records are in jeopardy. We expect Bekele to put on a speed show, and it’s not out of the question to think that Bekele could bring the world record back home to Chicago.”

Bekele by the Numbers:

0 – No losses. Bekele is undefeated since he moved to the marathon. Although Bekele struggled with hamstring cramps toward the end of his first 26.2-mile race, he held off Limenih Getachew. Bekele's winning time of 2:05:04 was the fastest debut by anyone older than 30 and a Paris Marathon course record.

1 – American road race debut for the two-time Olympian. He has raced on an American track only five times.

3 – Bekele had three pacers during his run in Paris. Race organizers put the spotlight on him as the star of the event. Bekele might see tougher competition from the elite field in Chicago and might not have as much control over the pace for the lead pack.

6 – Bekele had the sixth fastest debut in history. How will he fare in his second marathon?

$75,000 - 2:03:45 is the current course record, set by Kenyan Dennis Kimetto in 2013. Bekele aims to lower the time, which also comes with a $75,000 time bonus reward.

Marathon legend Alberto Salazar turns 56

August, 7, 2014
Aug 7
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Three-time New York City Marathon champion and 1982 Boston Marathon winner Alberto Salazar turns 52 today.

Now retired from competitive running, the former Oregon Duck is based in Portland, Ore. as the head coach of the Nike Oregon Project. His training group saw success at the 2012 Summer Olympics Games in London as Mo Farah (Great Britain) and Galen Rupp (United States) captured gold and silver medals, respectively, in the men's 10,000-meter run.

In honor of Salazar's birthday and #ThrowbackThursday, here is a quick flashback to his 1982 Boston Marathon win over Dick Beardsley.

Keflezighi returns to New York Marathon

July, 31, 2014
Jul 31
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Meb KeflezighiAP Photo/Charles KrupaMeb Keflezighi will attempt to get the rare Boston/NYC double victory this year.
Reigning Boston Marathon champion Meb Keflezighi will run the 2014 TCS New York City Marathon on Nov. 2 as an ambassador for the Team for Kids Charity Program, the New York Road Runners announced on Thursday. The 2004 Olympic silver medalist is the first elite runner announced by NYRR for the 2014 edition of the race.

Keflezighi in April became the first American man since 1983 to win Boston, and his 2009 victory in the NYC Marathon was the first for an American man there since 1982.

"I am excited to be running the TCS New York City Marathon for the ninth time. This is a very special race and city for me,” Keflezighi said. "Additionally, I am honored to be a Team for Kids Ambassador and raise funds for the MEB Foundation."

The NYRR also announced that tennis pro Caroline Wozniacki, formerly the WTA's No. 1-ranked player, will be running in New York.

"I can’t wait to trade my tennis racquet for a pair of running shoes and take part in the 2014 TCS New York City Marathon as a New York Road Runners Team for Kids Ambassador," said Wozniacki.

As for Keflezighi, his return to New York offers up some interesting notes.

Meb by the numbers

6 – Only five men have doubled as the Boston Marathon and New York City Marathon champion in the same year. Bill Rodgers accomplished the feat twice, in 1978 and 1979. Alberto Salazar was the last American to do so, in 1982. Kenyans Joseph Chebet (1999), Rodgers Rop (2002) and Geoffrey Mutai (2011) are the most recent.

6 – Keflezighi has finished in the top 10 of the New York City Marathon six times in his career.

9 – 2014 will mark the ninth time that Keflezighi has raced 26.2 miles through the streets of New York.

14 – Since its inaugural race in 1970, there have only been 14 American winners of the New York City Marathon. There has been only one since Alberto Salazar’s third consecutive crown from 1980 to 1982: Keflezighi in 2009.

23 – Just four years removed from his victory, Keflezighi placed 23rd in last year’s NYC marathon. Calf cramping slowed him down to the point where he walked for a few minutes, yet he was determined to cross the finish line.

39 – Keflezighi turned 39 years old on May 5. He was the oldest winner of the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in 2012, when he was 36. Geoffrey Mutai was 30 and 32 when he won the NYC Marathon in 2011 and 2013.

Alan Webb enjoying transition to triathlon

July, 29, 2014
Jul 29
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Alan WebbAndy Lyons/Getty ImagesAfter much track success on the national level, Alan Webb is now focused on triathlons.
Five months into his triathlon career Alan Webb is progressing quickly and, perhaps more important, feeling mentally recharged, according to an update on the U.S. Olympic Committee's site.

Webb, who holds the American record in the mile, has done three individual triathlons since running his last elite track race on February 15 at the Millrose Games. In his most recent, held last July 26 in Magog, Quebec, Webb placed second and was 2 seconds behind 2012 Canadian Olympic triathlete Kyle Jones.

The sprint-distance triathlon was comprised of a 750-meter swim, 20-kilometer bike and 5-kilometer run. Not surprisingly, Webb had the fastest run time of the day at 14:20, which was four seconds faster than Jones. In fact, Webb was also four seconds faster than Jones on the bike and only one second slower on the swim.

Perhaps showing his inexperience in the sport, Webb lost out in the two transitions where he was four and five seconds slower than Jones.

"One of the exciting things about Alan is probably what we don’t know," Webb's coach, Jonathan Hall, told the USOC. "He’s already competing at a high level, and there’s a huge margin for the unknown and improvement."

After a stellar high school career -- including setting the U.S. prep mile record of 3:53.43 in 2001 -- Webb had wildly fluctuating results during the rest of his time as an elite runner. Highs included winning the 2004 Olympic Trials 1500-meter final and setting the American mile record of 3:46.91 in 2007. He is also one of two men in history to run under 1:44 for 800 meters and 27:40 for 10,000 meters.

But Webb was erratic and often injured as a pro. In the last part of his career, he had four coaches within a span of a few years. He failed to advance from his 5000-meter qualifying heat at the 2012 Olympic Trials. In recent years he often ran slower than when he was in high school, and the frustration was palpable.

At Hall's urging, Webb watched a sprint triathlon last fall and decided it was time for a change.

"I wanted to see growth in myself again," Webb told the USOC. "I finally got to the point where I was comfortable saying that I had given everything I had as a professional track athlete."

Webb told the USOC that he's taking his progression in his new sport as it comes, but said about being on the 2016 Olympic team that "I’d be lying if I didn’t say that was my goal."
Evelyn Stevens Harry How/Getty ImagesEvelyn Stevens is proving how much women riders can handle, and her team is innovating financially.
Evelyn Stevens can’t enter a three-week-long bike race like the celebrated Tour de France, which finishes up in Paris on Sunday. That choice has been made for her by cycling’s international governing body, the UCI, which limits women’s multiday or stage races to less than half that duration.

This is not something that sits well with many top women around the world, including Stevens, who gave up an investment banking career on Wall Street seven years ago to become a professional cyclist. Her own stock gained value quickly. Stevens has won two national time trial titles, a world silver medal in the time trial, several stage races and the Fleche-Wallonne one-day classic.

She didn’t know how her body and mind would react to a longer event, but she heard it might help her endurance in the long run -- that’s what the guys say -- and she chafed at the idea that she couldn’t test her limits.

So Stevens organized her own Grand Tour, the longest, hardest stretch she could string together on the calendar: Back-to-back races in Europe that totaled 17 straight days and 959 miles of racing.

She wobbled in the first one, by her own high standards. She won the second. She feels different, more impervious to mental and physical exhaustion. And she thinks she made a statement more emphatic than any written manifesto.

"The point of it is, the female body, we can race Grand Tour lengths," Stevens said from her home base in the Bay Area. "We’re not going to get weaker throughout it.

(Read full post)

Meb KeflezighiAP Photo/Charles KrupaMeb Keflezighi is following his Boston Marathon win with a new job off the roads.
Editor’s Note: Competitor Group is a content provider for ESPN’s Endurance section

Running promotion company Competitor Group Inc. is set to name 2014 Boston Marathon champion Meb Keflezighi its first vice president of running.

The role is a part-time commitment that will allow training for elite races to remain the top priority for Keflezighi, who Competitor CEO David Abeles calls "one of our sport's great ambassadors".

In April, the 39-year-old San Diego resident became the first American man since 1983 to win the Boston Marathon. Keflezighi led for much of the race as the city celebrated its healing from the terrorist bombings near the finish line that marred the 2013 race.

Competitor Group owns and operates the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon series, a 28-race roster that along with the group's TriRock Triathlons and Women's Running Series draws more than 700,000 athletes annually. Most participants are recreational runners, but appearance fees are paid to encourage professionals to take part.

Keflezighi turned down an offer to join CGI in 2000 in order to focus on his training, and in his new role will make event appearances on behalf of the company, run in some CGI events and help create training content for runners.

"My dream has been realized," Keflezighi told USA TODAY Sports. "Boston was the capping. Now I want to inspire others to get the best out of themselves, inspire others just getting started. It's a huge honor."

Keflezighi is looking toward the New York City Marathon -- where in 2009 he became the first American winner in 27 years -- this fall, and has made qualifying for the 2014 Olympics in Rio de Janiero one of his main goals moving forward.

“Running is still a priority, but you can do much with social media, with interviews, with appearances,” Keflezighi told Sports Business Journal.

The next Rock 'n' Roll Marathon is scheduled for Aug. 4 in Dublin, Ireland, with the series returning to the United States on Aug. 31 in Virginia Beach.

Rugby preseason survival of the fittest

July, 17, 2014
Jul 17
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Exeter ChiefsDan Mullan/Getty ImagesOffseason conditioning in rugby is no day at the beach.

Rugby is a tough sport; players are willing to get beaten to a pulp week in week out playing for their clubs. During my professional career, I have seen players in pieces after having played a game.

But there is one thing that unites all players, the general hatred for preseason training. This season is the 17th time I have dragged my sorry carcass through weeks of some of the most disgusting fitness sessions strength and conditioning experts can come up with. Everyone knows that it is tough and rugby fans all hear about how hard it can be during the summer months building up to the new season, but some of the physical effects range from horrific to flat out weird. But, by the end of it, you actually start to feel pretty good about yourself and are desperate for the matches to start.

Much of what is thrown at you during the couple of months of preseason is, of course, to improve player fitness and strength levels, but I have learned over the years that there is also an element of the coaches and trainers putting players in situations which mentally stretch them -- will they give up as soon as it gets tough or will they dig in for their teammates?

Read the full story here.

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