Multi-Sport — A Duathlon World Championship Adventure in Spain

running-advice-bugI remember when I set my sights on coming to the World Duathlon Championships. It was just an idea at the time, almost three years ago. My thought was that after turning 40 I might, just might, be good enough to qualify for the World Championships in the sport of Duathlon as a Masters athlete.

Joe English preparing for Duathlon Worlds in Gijon

At the time I was only running, having put aside triathlon a few years earlier and keeping too busy to compete in three sports. There were some fits and starts to the process and it took an extra year, but finally I got myself to the National Duathlon Championship in Arizona this April and qualified for the World Championship. After more detours through a season spent preparing for the World Masters Athletics (Track and Field) Championships, I finally made the commitment to come and compete here in Spain. Now, on the eve of the race, I can tell you that this has been quite an adventure.

There are a lot of firsts in this adventure for me: the first time that I’ve traveled to a foreign country to compete in a multi-sport event; the first time that I’ve traveled to a sporting event as part of an officially organized national team; and the first time that I’ve gone to an event without knowing a single person that would be on the trip with me. With all that in mind, this past week in Spain has been a tremendous experience with some of the nicest people that I’ve met anywhere.

Qualifying for the World Championships
Before even loading the first airplane to come all the way to Gijon in northern Spain, every athlete had to qualify at a a national championship event or at the World Championships in Scotland last year. Qualifying in the USA, meant traveling to the National Championship race and placing in the top 10 of your age group. In 2011, the National Championships were held in Tucson, Arizona and they will be held there again in 2012.

The World Championships are managed by the International Triathlon Union. That being said, they include draft-legal elite and junior elite races. Those races are going on today as I write this, with the Junior Women going by to cheers outside my window right now. The ITU selects the venue and stages the championships every year, as they do for on-road and off-road triathlons.
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Multi-Sport – Team USA Heads for Gijon World Duathlon Championships

running-advice-bugElite duathlon national champions Nicole LaSelle and Matthew Russell and overall age group duathlon national title winners Gail Kattouf and Dave Slavinski highlight a talented group of more than 200 Americans who will compete in the 2011 ITU Duathlon World Championships this weekend in Gijon, Spain.

Team USA in Gijon, Spain

Saturday’s run-bike-run action is highlighted by the elite world championships, as well as junior and paraduathlon events. Sunday, the age-groupers will compete in both sprint- and standard-distance events. Visit duathlongijon.org for full event information.

In addition to the reigning elite duathlon national champions, a total of 13 age group national title winners from this year’s Duathlon National Championship in Oro Valley, Ariz., are on the Gijon start list. All age-groupers qualified for Team USA with a top-18 finish (rolling down to 25th place) at Duathlon Nationals.

Saturday’s elite race will be contested over a 10-kilometer run, 43.2-kilometer bike, 5-kilometer run course with 11 U.S. athletes in action. With Russell (Austin, Texas) leading the way, the top four U.S. finishers from elite nationals are among the six athletes on the men’s side.
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Track and Field — USA Cleans Up at 2010 NACAC Track & Field Championships

running-advice-bugMIRAMAR, Fla. – Team USA picked up 31 more medals on Sunday to bring the total to a record 74 medals as action concluded on Sunday at the 2010 NACAC Under-23 Track & Field Championships, held at Ansin Sports Complex, in Miramar, Florida.

LeJerald Betters, who recently took second in the 400m at the Diamond League meeting in Lausanne in 44.70, ran lead-off leg duty for the men’s 4x400m in an unofficial 44.3 before handing off to O’Neal Wilder. It was then Wilder to Joey Hughes, who handed off to Tavaris Tae for the anchor leg. Tate blazed the track in an unofficial 44.1 to cross the finish line in a meet record 2:58.83. The previous record of 3:01.15 was set in 2002.

Team USA destroyed the competition in the women’s 4x400m as Ebony Collins, Amber Purvis, Shelise Williams, and Tameka Jameson got the baton around the track in 3:29.80. Heading off the final turn, Jameson had more than a 50m lead over Jamaica, who finished as the runner-up well back in 3:38.05.

Charles Jock ran away from the pack in the men’s 800m, winning by almost two seconds in 1:45.65. Bermuda’s Aaron Evans was the runner-up in 1:47.79. Cory Primm, who had been sitting in second place for the first 700m, faded to fifth in 1:49.04. Canada’s Jessica Smith won the women’s 800m in 2:04.96 as Christine Rodgers claimed silver in 2:05.00 and Anna Layman took bronze in 2:05.39.

With 400m to go in the men’s 5,000m, four athletes were in the hunt for the gold medal. When the bell rang, Mike Crouch and Diego Borrego (MEX) separated themselves from Mohamed Ige and Jose Mireles (MEX). Crouch and Borrego battled the entire way with Borrego puling away in the last few strides for the win (14:32.90). Crouch won silver in 14:33.33 while Ige took bronze in 14:38.95 and Mireles was fourth in 14:39.75.
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Cross-country — DiCrescenzo, King lead team USA at 2010 NACAC Cross Country Championships

running-advice-bugTOBAGO – Delilah DiCrescenzo (New York, N.Y.) and Max King (Bend, Ore.) each won the individual open women’s and men’s titles to lead Team USA to the respective open team titles Saturday at the sixth annual North America, Central America and Caribbean Athletic Association (NACAC) Cross Country Championships at the Mt. Irvine Resort in Tobago.

The NACAC Championships contested races for the open men’s 8 km, open women’s 6 km, junior men’s 6 km and junior women’s 4 km.

King took charge early to win the open men’s 8 km in 23 minutes, 49 seconds, leading the U.S. squad to a perfect score of 10 points. Michael Spence (Ogden, Utah) finished 17 seconds behind King for the runner-up position while Bobby Mack (Raleigh, N.C.) and Thomas Kloos (San Francisco, Calif.) rounded out the scoring places for Team USA, running 24:26 and 24:34 for third and fourth-place respectively. Stephen Furst (Raleigh, N.C.) ran 24:46 for sixth-place overall. Mexico took the runner-up team position with 34 points.
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Track and Field — Felix, Merritt win gold at Berlin World Championships

running-advice-bugBERLIN -Allyson Felix made history by becoming the first woman ever to win three world 200-meter titles, and reigning Olympic men’s 400m champion LaShawn Merritt won his first individual world crown Friday evening at the 12th IAAF World Championships in Athletics at the 1936 Olympic Stadium in Berlin, Germany.

Felix does it again!
A two-time Olympic silver medalist, Felix (Santa Clarita, Calif.) broke well from the start in the 200m final and was in a battle with Jamaican two-time Olympic 200m gold medalist Veronica Campbell-Brown as they both headed for home. However, with about 70 meters to go, Felix began pulling away and she gradually increased her lead the remainder of the race before crossing the line first in 22.02 seconds. Campbell-Brown was the runner-up in 22.35, with 2008 Olympic finalist Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie of the Bahamas third in 22.41.

Felix, who won world titles in 2005 and 2007 and has been ranked #1 in the world four of the last five years, posted the fastest time in the world this year of 21.88 in Stockholm on July 31. Felix entered the evening tied with Jamaican standout Merlene Ottey (1993, 1995), with two world titles. Now she stands alone.2008 Olympic Games fourth-place finisher Muna Lee (College Station, Tex.) met the same fate again this evening in finishing just shy of a medal in 22.48.

Merritt mines world champs gold
The men’s 400m final featured a highly-anticipated battle between 2008 Olympic gold medalist and world ranked #1 LaShawn Merritt (Bryan, Texas), vs. Two-time world outdoor championships gold medalist and 2004 Olympic champion Jeremy Wariner (Waco, Tex.).
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Track and Field — Americans off to good start in Berlin Worlds

running-advice-bugBERLIN – Team USA advanced through the rounds Saturday morning during opening-day competition at the 2009 IAAF World Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Competition continues Saturday evening.

Nelson, Cantwell, Hoffa advance to final
Three Americans with five world titles to their names will compete in tonight’s men’s shot put final. 2005 world champion Adam Nelson (Charlottesville, Va.), 2008 Olympic silver medalist and two-time World Indoor champion Christian Cantwell (Columbia, Mo.) and reigning World Outdoor champion Reese Hoffa (Athens, Ga.) all easily made the final. Nelson exceeded the automatic qualifying mark of 20.30 meters on his first throw of 20.50m/67 feet 3.25 inches. Cantwell made it through with his second put of 20.63m/67-8.25 and Hoffa’s first effort of 20.23m/66-4.5 was enough make the final. 2009 USA Indoor champion Dan Taylor (Mesa, Ariz.) threw 19.39m/63-7.5 after two fouls and did not advance.

100m men move into second round
Defending champion Tyson Gay (Clermont, Fla.) led Team USA’s 100m contingent into Saturday night’s second round, running 10.16 to win heat 11, the fastest time in the first round. Darvis Patton (Grand Prairie, Texas) won heat 2 in 10.26, Mike Rodgers (Round Rock, Texas) won heat 12 in 10.25 and Rae Edwards (Kansas City, Kan.) was third in heat 4 in 10.32 to advance.
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Track and Field — Team USA’s women chase distance medals at World Champs

running-advice-bugBERLIN – Maggie Vessey, Christin Wurth-Thomas, Shalane Flanagan, Kara Goucher and Jenny Barringer will lead a crew of American female distance runners at the 12th IAAF World Championships in Athletics, August 15-23 in Berlin, Germany.

Marathon
2007 World Outdoor 10,000m bronze medalist Kara Goucher leads the American marathon team in Berlin. Having finished third in both the New York City and Boston Marathons, Goucher turned in a 1:08:05 in the women’s half marathon in Chicago just a few weeks ago and looks to be on target to collect the first U.S. medal in the marathon since 1983. Rounding out the five-person team will be Desirae Davila, Paige Higgins, Zoila Gomez and Tera Moody.

5,000m
Three-time NCAA Outdoor 5,000m champion Jen Rhines will be running in her fourth World Championships, after finishing as the runner-up in the women’s 5,000m in Eugene. The seventh-place finisher at this event as the 2007 World Outdoor Championships in Osaka, Japan, Rhines will be joined on the track by USA Outdoors fourth-place finisher Julie Culley, who placed seventh at the 2008 Olympic Trials.

10,000m
2008 Olympians Amy Yoder Begley and Shalane Flanagan charged into Berlin in anticipation of what’s to come in the 10,000m final at the 2009 World Championships. In the 10,000m final at the U.S. Championships this past June, Yoder Begley and 2008 Olympic 10,000m bronze medalist Flanagan traded the lead twice in the final lap, with Yoder Begley emerging as the victor in 31 minutes, 22.69 seconds, which is the #9 U.S. women’s 10,000m time in history. Flanagan was the runner-up in 31:23.43. Joining them will be 2005 U.S. champion Katie McGregor, who took third in Eugene.
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Track and Field — Team USA Ready for 2009 World Championships

running-advice-bugINDIANAPOLIS – Reigning world champions Tyson Gay, Bernard Lagat, Allyson Felix, Jeremy Wariner, Kerron Clement, Michelle Perry, Reese Hoffa and Brad Walker will lead a potent Team USA roster at the 2009 IAAF World Outdoor Track & Field Championships. USA Track & Field on Tuesday announced the Team USA roster for the 12th edition of the Championships, which will be held August 15-23, 2009 in Berlin, Germany.

This will be the first time Team USA has returned to Berlin for a major international championship competition since the 1936 Olympic Games, where National Track & Field Hall of Famer Jesse Owens won gold medals in the 100m, 200m, 4x100m relay and long jump.

At the most recent World Outdoor Championships in 2007 in Osaka, Japan, Team USA tied the all-time World Championships record for gold medals with 14, matching its feat from 2005, and tied the American all-time medal tally at a World Outdoor Championships with 26. In Osaka, Team USA led a medal table in which a record 46 countries won medals. When Team USA last won 26 medals at a World Outdoor Championships in 1991, just 29 countries appeared on the medal table.

Team USA has dominated the 11 previous World Outdoor Championships with its overall total of 228 medals (110 gold, 60 silver, 38 bronze). Russia is in second place on the all-time medal table with 122 medals (33 gold, 51 silver, 38 bronze).

The highly accomplished 2009 Team USA squad consists of 20 Olympic medalists, 28 World Outdoor Championships medalists and 10 American record holders.
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News — Team USA Wins Big at 2009 NACAC Cross Country Championships

CAPE CANAVERAL — Clara Grandt (Morgantown, W.V.), Ryan Hill (Hickory, N.C.) and Stephen Pifer (Eugene, Ore.) won their respective races to lead Team USA to three team titles Saturday at the 2009 North America, Central America and Caribbean Athletic Association (NACAC) Cross Country Championships. Nearly 100 athletes representing nine national federations competed in the fifth annual event at the Chain of Lakes Park in Titusville, Fla.

The day of racing began with the junior women’s 4 km as Emily Pritt (North Canton, Ohio), ran 13:18 to finish third, leading Team USA to a second-place finish behind Team Canada. Genevieve Lalonde led Canada to the team win, in 13:00, to finish 17 seconds ahead of Natoya Goule of Jamaica.

Molly Grabill (Poway, Calif.), Colin Ellis (Dallas, Texas), and Rolonda Jumbo (Santa Fe, N.M.), finished in ninth, tenth and 11th running 13:35, 13:40 and 13:47 respectively to complete the team score for Team USA. Canada scored 16 points for a 14 point win over the U.S., Jamaica finished third with 74 points.

In the junior men’s 6 km Team USA was grouped together at the front of the pack after the first 2 km loop and gradually separated themselves from all but Canada’s Mohammed Ahmed. Over the middle and final laps, Hill and Ahmed began to duel for the lead with Ryan Prentice (Normandy Park, Wash.), Griffith Graves (Abingdon, Va.), and Eric Fernandez (Ballwin, Mo.), close behind.
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