Who's looking good so far and some interesting spring story lines.
UTEP's Emmanuel Korir is a legit BEAST! - I guess the first thing that has been apparent this year outdoors is this freshman is the real deal, with 44.53 quarter mile chops this kid is going to be a star. UTEP is known for developing great long sprint/mid distance athletes but in Korir a star has been born. How he ran that 1:43, negatively split was absolutely crazy. Go back and watch the video of the final 120m. Where most of the time in 1:43 races you see guys treading water the last 60m he was powering home. He's definitely got another second or more in him this outdoor season if you get him in a spicy race.
Eliud Kipchoge and #Sub2 - So, that was something to watch. Did I like the commentary? Nope, bringing in Flanagan for her two cents or Paula? Absolutely not. Did we see an incredible run by the best marathoner to ever live? You bet we did. Kipchoge is seriously a once in a lifetime athlete. This is a guy who's run 3:33 for 1500m and 12:46 for 5000m. A world Sr. champ in the 5k while still a Jr, having taken down the greatest 1500m runner and 5000m runner in history. Now, some 14 years later he's running faster then any human was thought to be capable of over the marathon. I know he had pacers jumping in and out and that Tesla pace car had a massive sign to block the wind, but regardless that performance was, in my mind at least, worth 60-75 seconds better then Kimetto's WR. I think the biggest reason why is that he went out at 60:00 and didn't really die that bad, If you get him in Berlin, splitting 60:45-61:05, who knows what's possible. I think we are still years away from a legit sub 2 but Kipchoge can chop a hell of a lot off that current WR, that's for sure. Props Nike, most of the time your ridiculous but I enjoyed this "experiment".
Centro may not be ready for the longer stuff but he's ready to kill in the 15! - So, indoors Centro wanted to test the waters moving up with the 3k and 2mile. It didn't go well, neither did his 5000 at Payton Jordan where he didn't even win the slow heat in 13:48. However, we need to remember he's a pure miler, with a two year old 1:44 800m PR that could likely be updated. We saw a couple nights ago just how deadly his close is in that final 120 off the final bend at Oxy as he dusted O'Hare and Farah. Do I think he could win in an uber fast Monaco sub 3:30 race, no I don't, but championships are never that quick and Centro is a master tactician. I see this season going very well for him and anticipate some PB's over the mile and metric mile with the first coming next weekend at Pre!
The women's 800m is right where we left it last summer - In the first 800m contest of the season Caster Semena seemed to jog 600m before blowing the doors off the field with a 1:56 season opener followed by Olympic bronze medalist Wambui in 1:57 flat. We haven't seen Neonsaba yet but it's a safe bet to say your top 3 from Rio will remain on the podium come August in London....(I wasn't impressed with Dibaba's effort over the half mile, she's closed in 1:56.9, in a 1500 before, granted you get a running start but still, hopefully we see her in another one soon. Look for her assault on her sister's 5000m world record next weekend at Hayward Field.)
The women's steeple continues to be exciting and FAST - Between the likes of Jebet, Jepkemoi and Chepkoech already going between 9:00 and 9:01, you can expect fireworks again this year in the steeple. Where it's still an event in its infancy for women I expect the WR to be lowered again this year and more ladies taking it to higher and higher levels.
Mary Kaitany is unreal and should be officially recognized as the WR holder - What can you say about her performance in London, I would have never imagined someone going out that fast and not falling apart, to hang onto 2:17:01 with the splits she ran in that first half hurts my brain to even think about. I feel like that needs to be the WR because it's run in a women's only race. We saw how fast of a half the ladies ran earlier this year with a male pacing all the way til' the end and breaking the WR in sub 65. You get a huge benefit from having to shut the brain off and just follow someone, not to mention the benefits of drafting. It may end up being the WR regardless as there's be some chatter about whipping clear all records before 2004, but that's a topic for another day.
Anyway, I just wanted to jump on and give you guys a quick update to say I'm still alive and kicking! Training is going again and I had a nice session of 12X500m yesterday with my boy Mike. I'll blog regularly now as I'm back to my normal routine. Before I get out of here, shout out to my Brooks teammates who killed it at Oxy, Gabriela S. won her heat in the 1500m in 4:08, Jenna W. ran a 2:03 half mile and Devan W. ran a solid 2:08.
Alright, that's it for me, I'll attach a couple pics I've got on my laptop here from the LeanFit celebration and I'll post the rest of the ones I've got from BC next week.
"Gettin' the people goin'"
JJ killing the shoe game once again with Brooks out west! (I should have gotten a pic of his new wheels, he has such a slick Benz!)
The LeanFit team supporting Nick.
Lindsea and I in BC place.
You know how we do...motivate!!