Sunday, August 31, 2008

Nike Human Race - Finding Results and Winners

The first-ever worldwide Nike Human Race is complete (or still in progress in some places), and Nike is beginning to post the results. You can find the Nike Human Race results by city on an interactive map. The site also offers a leaderboard showing the fastest times for all the Nike Human Race events... that's races in 26 cities around the world.

As of midnight eastern time, the map shows "awaiting results" for the race I ran in, the New York City event. The weather was beautiful, the post-race concert by the All-American Rejects was fun, and the final lap inside Icahn Stadium at Randall's Island was a great way to finish.

The race course itself, however, was abysmal... probably the worst course I've ever experienced in nearly 30 years of running races. Randall's Island is not a huge island, making it necessary for runners to complete two loops of the course. Not a problem with a decent course, but this one was awful. In many places the course was narrowed too much by fences, and it had the runners going over construction areas with potentially tricky footing.

The narrow course became even more narrow when the race staff asked (politely) runners to stay to the left so that front runners making their second loop could get by.

At one point the runners had to run over a short bridge over a stream that was only wide enough for four or five people running abreast. Imagine hundreds of people trying to cross that bridge at once, with thousands just behind them, and it's easy to understand why I and many other runners were literally standing in place for several minutes until I could cross the bridge.

If the Nike Human Race is to be run again in New York City, a major course (and/or location) redesign is absolutely necessary.

Friday, August 29, 2008

One-Million Runners Set to Run the Nike Plus Human Race

Nike is gearing up to have one million runners around the world run in an event it is calling the "Nike Plus Human Race." There are actual organized races in major cities including New York, Los Angeles, Madrid, Buenos Aires, and London, and many more running on their own. The race is a 10K.

You can find out all the details at the link above, and register to take part in the Nike Plus Human Race. In New York City, the race will start at 6 p.m. on Randall's Island, just east of Manhattan.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Kenenisa Bekele Keeps Olympic 10,000 Meters Crown

Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele retained his Olympic title in the 10,000 meters, relying on a sprint to pull away from countrymen Sileshi Sihine. Bekele's time was 27:01.17. Micah Kogo of Kenya came in third for the bronze medal. Bekele, who set the world record for the distance in 2005, did not best that time today, but he did set a new Olympic record, beating the record he set in Athens in 2004.

(Official men's 10,000 meter final results.)

Bekele and Sihine took a victory lap with a third Ethiopian, running legend Haile Gebrselassie. Although Gebrselassie finished only sixth, his performance in this race helped set the pace for his compatriots. Gebrselassie was going for his third gold medal in the distance: he took gold in the 10,000 meters at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996 and the Sydney games in 2000.

Gebrselassie had originally planned on competing in the marathon (he holds the world record) as well as the 10,000. But he suffers from asthma and scratched the marathon from his plans due to concerns over the effects of Beijing's air pollution.

Surprisingly, the 35-year-old Gebrselassie said that Beijing would not be his last Olympics; he said he plans to run in 2012 in London, though he's not yet decided whether he will attempt the 10,000 or the marathon.

The top American in the 10,000 meters was Galen Rupp in 13th place at 27:36.99, a season's best for him.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Constantina Tomescu Dita of Romania Wins 2008 Olympic Women's Marathon

38-year-old Romanian Constantina Tomescu Dita literally ran away with the Beijing Olympics women's marathon on Sunday (Saturday night in the West), finishing more than one minute ahead of the second place finisher.

Tomescu Dita pulled away with more than 10 miles to go, building a lead that a seven-runner pack behind her was unable to challenge at all. For much of the last few miles two Kenyans and two Chinese runners were battling for the silver and bronze. In the end, it was Catherine Nedereba of Kenya, one of today's most successful female marathoners, taking the silver and Chunxiu Zhou of China taking the bronze. The Chinese faithful were thrilled to see Zhou win a medal, and to see her compatriot Xiaolin Zhu finish fourth.

(You can find the complete Olympic women's marathon finish list here.

British marathoner Paula Radcliffe had another unsuccessful Olympic experience: she stopped several times but finished, visibly in pain.

The top American finisher was Blake Russell in 27th. Deena Kastor, the bronze medalist in Athens, did not finish.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Chicago Distance Classic 2008 - Details

The Chicago Distance Classic is set for Sunday, August 10th 2008, and you can find most of the race details at the Web site.

There you can download a course map or see an interactive course map, find out about the pacing teams available, learn the official race rules, and more.

The start times for the Chicago Distance Classic are:
6:30am Half Marathon
6:25am Half Marathon Wheelchair

Saturday, August 2, 2008

2008 Beach to Beacon 10K Run

The 2008 Beach to Beacon 10K Run took place today, August 2nd, from Cape Elizabeth to the Portland Head Light on the coast of Maine. Here you can find the Beach to Beacon 2008 race results.

Sounds like they had a stellar cast of world-class runners in this year's Beach to Beacon.

Friday, August 1, 2008

2008 San Francisco Marathon - This Sunday, August 3rd

Get the lowdown on this scenic race at the official San Francisco Marathon Web site. The race has also put together a handy San Francisco Marathon Guide in PDF format.

Check the site for last-minute instructions, picking up shirts and bib numbers, the schedule for marathon weekend, the San Francisco Marathon Expo, post-race entertainment (including the barbecue), and more.

You can find some videos taken along the San Francisco Marathon course from a local SF blog, which were apparently originally on a newspaper's Web site.

The events also including a Half Marathon (running in two different halves), a 5K run and walk, and a "progressive marathon," in which participants "run or walk 26.2 miles over a period of weeks or months, finishing their final 3.1 miles on Race Day in either the 5K."

Should be a great weekend in Frisco.