Distance-Running News Roundup

Marathon world-record holder Patrick Makau is not heading to the Olympics. Photo: PhotoRun.net

Patrick Makau had been cleared to represent Kenya in London.

(c) 2012 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved. Used with permission.

MAKAU’S MANAGER SAYS HIS ATHLETE READY TO TAKE OLYMPIC TEAM BERTH 
Patrick Makau’s manager said that he had kept Athletics Kenya (AK) informed of his client’s physical condition and that Makau had been ready to assume the Kenyan Olympic Marathon team slot vacated by Moses Mosop and awarded to Emmanuel Mutai yesterday. Zane Branson of Posso International Promotions said via e-mail that AK president Isaiah Kiplagat had made a “false statement” when he announced Mosop’s replacement at a news conference earlier this week. “I have a responsibility to demonstrate that my client DID make it known to Mr. Kiplagat and five other AK officials that he would be grateful to represent his country if selected,” Branson said in an e-mail message to Race Results Weekly. Branson shared an e-mail to David Okeyo, AK’s general secretary, sent on May 8 in which in wrote that “Makau’s problem in London was not a hamstring (muscular) injury, but a mild case of sciatic irritation.” Kiplagat contradicted that at the press conference (a recording was provided to RRW): “To date, we have not received any reports (from either Makau’s or Geoffrey Mutai’s agents), and therefore we are still waiting.”

JAPANESE DISTANCE RUNNERS TO DOUBLE AT OLYMPIC GAMES
There were conflicting reports after the JAAF released their Olympic Team selections on Monday about which events certain selected athletes would contest. According to coaches contacted by agent Brendan Reilly and blogger Brett Larner, several athletes will be doubling in London. “Tadayuki Nagayama, head coach of the Wacoal women’s t&f team and Kayoko Fukushi, has reconfirmed to me that each of the three women (Hitomi Niiya, Mika Yoshikawa and Kayoko Fukushi– has been selected for, and will be entered in, both the 5,000m and 10,000m,” Reilly wrote in an e-mail message to Race Results Weekly (Yoshikawa still needs at least a “B” qualifier in the 5000m, however). Similarly, Yuki Sato will run both the 5000m and 10,000m, according to a press release from his Nissin Foods team.  He has the “B” standard in both events. Two “A” standard holders, Chihiro Miyawaki (Team Toyota) and Tsuyoshi Ugachi (Team Konica Minolta), were left off the team.

OLYMPIANS GOUCHER, ABDIRAHMAN LEAD USA HALF MARATHON CHAMPIONSHIPS ENTRY LIST 
Kara Goucher and Abdi Abdirahman lead the entry list for this Saturday’s USA Half Marathon Championships in Duluth, Minn. The event is part of the Grandma’s Marathon weekend held there annually. Goucher (1:06:57) and Abdirahman (60:29) have the fastest career times in their respective fields, and are good bets to win the $12,000 first place checks on offer (men and women run separate races). Other top entrants include Jason Hartmann (63:07), Nick Arciniaga (63:22), Ricky Flynn (64:15), Jimmy Grabow (63:37), Scott Smith (63:18), Patrick Smyth (62:01) for the men, and Michelle Frey (72:46), Clara Grandt (73:13), Melissa Johnson (72:40), Maegan Krifchin (71:04), Dot McMahan (72:57), Lindsey Scherf (71:45), and Heidi Westover (71:35). Reigning champions Mo Trafeh and Jen Rhines are not expected to compete.

FARAH TO STEP DOWN TO 1500M FOR U.K. TRIALS 
World 5000m champion Mo Farah has decided to contest the 1500m at the U.K. Trials, scheduled for Birmingham on June 22 and 23. Farah, who will likely do the 5000m and 10,000m double at the London Olympics, sees running the metric mile as a chance to sharpen his speed in advance of the Olympic Games. He’s already shown excellent speed this outdoor season, running 3:34.66 for 1500m at the USATF High Performance Meet at Occidental College (the fastest by a Briton this year), and closing his world-leading 5000m run at the Prefontaine Classic in 56.2 seconds. “Running the 1500m at the Aviva 2012 Trials is a great chance for me to work on my speed and tactics in a championship format, over two days,” Farah said through a statement released by U.K. Athletics. “At the Olympics I’ll need to recover as quickly as possible between races, so running two races back to back will be good preparation.”

PITTSBURGH LAUNCHES ROAD MILE 
GNC and Pittsburgh Three Rivers Marathon, Inc., announced last week that inaugural GNC Live Well Liberty Mile, scheduled for Friday, August 17. This road mile event has a $25,000 prize money purse with $4000 reserved for the male and female winners. The event will take place on August 17 at 7 p.m. on Liberty Avenue, from 17th Street in the Strip District to 6th Street, Downtown. Six one-mile heats will be held offering various opportunities, such as raising money and giving corporations the chance to participate in a corporate wellness challenge.

PRRO Circuit Championships To Be Held at Peachtree Road Race 
The 2011/2012 Professional Road Running Organization (PRRO) Circuit final will be contested at the AJC Peachtree Road Race on Wednesday, July 4, in Atlanta. Seven runners –Ridouane Harroufi, Alice Timbilili, Sammy Kitwara, Vivian Cheruiyot, Allan Kiprono, Jelliah Tinega, and Mamitu Daska– are eligible to win the $10,000 PRRO Circuit bonus because each of them has won at least one PRRO Circuit race since the series opened at the Utica Boilermaker 15-K last July. That $10,000 bonus would come on top of the $15,000 Peachtree first prize.  Should an eligible man AND woman both win at Peachtree, each would receive $5000. Not all of the seven athletes will compete in Peachtree, however; the field for that race has yet to be finalized or released.

FLOCASTS AND MILESPLIT SIGN PARTNERSHIP 
Two of track and field’s most popular websites, Flocasts and MileSplit, have signed a strategic partnership.  The partnership will produce “the largest collection of media sources online for core running participants and fans of competitive running, with a combined reach of 2 million unique visitors a month,” the two companies said in a combined statement. “The goal of Flocasts is to elevate the sports that we cover,” commented Mark Floreani, Flocast’s founder, in a statement. “For too long the sport of competitive running has been fragmented. I am very excited about the MileSplit Flocasts partnership, because now there is a media platform that focuses strictly on the sport of running with a goal of growing the sport and reaching the core runner and running influencer.”

DEMADONNA ATHLETIC PROMOTIONS LAUNCHES NEW WEBSITE 
Demadonna Athletic Promotions, and athlete and event management firm based in Trento, Italy, has launched a new website at http://www.demadonna.com.  The site has a full listing of athletes and staff.

CANADIAN OLYMPIANS GILLIS AND COOLSAET TO RUN SCOTIABANK VANCOUVER HALF MARATHON JUNE 24TH 
Two of the three men who will represent Canada in the Olympic Games Men’s Marathon, Eric Gillis and Reid Coolsaet, will compete in the Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon on Sunday, June 24, organizers announced last Friday. For each, the event will be their final race prior to the London Olympics. Coolsaet said he was ready after recovering from a case of bronchitis. “I just needed to take the intensity out for a couple of weeks,” Coolsaet told race organizers. “I had a workout on Monday and it was one of those workouts that told me that I have nothing to worry about. I was a little worried I was behind the ball but now I know I am a little ahead at this point.”

TWO-TIME WORLD CROSS CHAMPION CRAIG VIRGIN TO DO “MEET-AND-RUN” IN VIRGINIA 
Two-time world cross country champion Craig Virgin will be in Virginia on Saturday, June 16, for a “meet-and-run” at Wakefield Park in Annandale at 4:00 p.m. Virgin, who is being hosted by the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Half Marathon and American Running Association in their effort to bring legends of the sport to today’s running enthusiasts, will be available for photos and autographs in advance of an informal group run.

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