Meb Keflezighi offers tips; U.S. legend Bob Kennedy returns

October, 29, 2014
Oct 29
12:02
PM ET
Meb KeflezighiAP Photo/Seth WenigThe streets of New York are a familiar backdrop for 2009 NYC champion Meb Keflezighi.
American and 2009 New York City Marathon champion Meb Keflezighi returns to the Big Apple on Nov. 2nd for the 2014 TCS New York City Marathon.

Yours truly will be running my second marathon and first New York City Marathon, so I asked the 2014 Boston Marathon champ for a few pointers before we both toe the starting line Sunday morning.

Meb's last-minute advice:
  • "Life is about patience and you need to be patience. Don’t get carried away on First Avenue.
  • "If it’s cold, don’t throw away your beanie early on. I did that in my first year and then froze." (Keflezighi finished ninth in 2:12:35 in his NYC debut. This year's race will be his ninth.)
  • "Negative split even though you need the strength to run faster towards the end. Save some for the finish. You’d rather be passing people than getting passed. You’ve trained as best as you can and reward yourself by having positive energy at the end."
  • "Have fun. This is the experience of a lifetime. New York was my first one and I think about it. Even though I made some mistakes, I’ve graduated since then and I’ve got my Ph.D on the course now."
  • "Smile at the end, because you've earned it after 26.2 miles."
American Kennedy moving to marathons
Legendary American distance runner Bob Kennedy will return to racing in NYC at the age of 44.

The New York Times reports Kennedy aims to run between 3:20 and 3:30 for 26.2 miles. He never completed a marathon in his professional running career, but has now embraced a life of training as an amateur runner.

“When you see people cross a half-marathon finish line in 2 hours, 45 minutes with tears in their eyes, you kind of get it,” Kennedy told the New York Times. “When I was 25, I didn’t get it. I really didn’t. I get it now.”

Kennedy held American records at 3,000 meters (7:30.84), two miles (8:11.59) and 5,000 meters (12:58.21)s. To put that into perspective, the only Americans to have run faster than Kennedy’s 5,000-meter personal best are Bernard Lagat, Chris Solinsky and Dathan Ritzenhein. Kennedy holds a faster personal best than current 2014 fastest American Galen Rupp (12:58.90).

Kennedy was a two-time Olympian and four-time U.S. Outdoor 5,000-meter champion from 1995 to 2001. He will be wearing bib number 46 on Sunday.

Five key stages in 2015 Tour de France

October, 24, 2014
Oct 24
11:02
AM ET
Lars BoomAP Photo/Bernard PaponCobbled sections played a big role in this year's Tour de France and will do the same in 2015.
PARIS (AFP) -- Following the announcement of the 2015 Tour de France route in Paris earlier this week, a look at five key stages where the race will be won or lost next summer.

Stage 2: Utrecht to Zeeland, 166km
This is one of two stages where the weather could play a crucial and decisive role in determining the outcome not just of the stage but the whole Tour. Along with the sixth stage from Abbeville to Le Havre, in which there will be 100km of racing along the cliffs of Normandy, this stage, which takes in the Zeeland Delta in the Netherlands, is at severe risk of high winds.

High winds create the possibility for splits in the peloton that can quickly grow into gaps that count minutes rather than seconds. The favorites will be on high alert.

Stage 4: Seraing to Cambrai, 221km
Tour director Christian Prudhomme likes early stages that animate the course rather than simply ending in a bunch sprint, and this is one such stage with its seven cobbled sections totaling 13.3km.

Back in July, we saw what cobbles can do on a stage as Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) laid down a dominant marker, taking more than two minutes out of all his major overall rivals after a brilliant ride on the cobbles.

(Read full post)

Runners face 'hazardous' conditions in Beijing

October, 20, 2014
Oct 20
2:17
PM ET
Beijing MarathonThe Yomiuri Shimbun/AP ImagesSome of the estimated 30,000 participants at the Beijing International Marathon weekend donned masks during the race.

Runners competed in this past weekend's Beijing Marathon despite "hazardous" conditions, according to multiple reports.

Runner's World reported that an estimated 30,000 people were expected to participate in Sunday's half marathon and marathon events, but some of the runners dropped out early or wore masks during the race.

One of those runners who dropped out mid-race was Chas Pope. He posted before and after pictures of his mask vis Twitter:


For more details around the Beijing race conditions, check out Competitor.com.

Beijing International MarathonReutersThe United States embassy in Beijing described the city conditions on its website as "hazardous."

Apolo Ohno completes his Ironman journey

October, 14, 2014
Oct 14
11:16
AM ET
Apolo OhnoAP Photo/Larry RosaApolo Ohno rejoiced as he finished his first full Ironman at the world championships in Hawaii.
As Apolo Ohno neared the finish line of the Ironman World Championship at Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, on Saturday, the music was loud and so was the public address announcer.

“Let’s welcome No. 144 to the finish line,” he said. “From Utah, Apolo Anton Ohno. You … are an Ironman!”

Ohno clenched his fists, pumped his arms and looked to the sky as he crossed the line before walking to the end of the finishers’ chute. There, a blanket was draped across his shoulders and a lei put around his neck.

The heat, locale and 140.6-mile race distance were a long way from the Winter Olympics, where Ohno made his name by winning eight medals -- including two golds -- in short-track speedskating.

It was yet another accomplishment for Ohno, who has also run the New York City Marathon, won “Dancing With the Stars,” hosted a TV game show and become a successful businessman.

(Read full post)

Carfrae, Kienle stage big Kona comebacks

October, 13, 2014
Oct 13
2:25
PM ET
Mirinda Carfrae, Sebastian KienleAP PhotosMirinda Carfrae and Sebastian Kienle overcame historic deficits to win the Ironman world titles.
Recently crowned Ironman 70.3 world champion Daniela Ryf (SUI) made Mirinda Carfrae (AUS) question her ability to win another Ironman World Championship over the weekend.

The Kona rookie stomped the bike course and started the marathon 14 minutes, 30 seconds of defending champion Carfrae. Even for the run course record holder, it seemed like an insurmountable deficit. It wasn't, though.

Carfrae caught and passed Ryf to earn her third Ironman world title, putting together the fastest run in the race’s history at 2:50:26. Just how improbable was Carfrae’s comeback? Since Dave Scott brought the race into the modern era in 1986 by breaking 8 hours, 30 minute, only two other women have overcome deficits of more than 10 minutes on the run, and Carfrae has now done it twice.

Here are the top five deficits overcome since then:

(Read full post)