OmRiyadat English

OmRiyadat English

Billy Mills was born in 1938 to the Oglala Lakota (Sioux) Tribe and was the second Native American to win an Olympic gold medal. He’s also the only American to get a gold medal at 10,000 meters.

The last lap of that race was tremendous. Billy Mills got to the Olympics after qualifying for both the 10k and the marathon and was in the Marine Corps Reserves when he competed.

Ron Clarke was the overwhelming favorite in the race and was the current world record holder. He put in a strong surge every other lap to whittle down the field until only 4 runners were still chasing, which quickly became a 3 man race at the start of the final lap when Clarke pushed Billy Mills out of his way on the first turn only to have Mohammed Gammoudi return the favor a few seconds later. Both of them managed to separate from Mills until the final turn.

That push from Ron Clarke may have actually helped Mills win, as he mentioned after the race that he was able to get much better traction from his track spikes out in lanes 2 and 3 than he’d been getting in lane 1.

My favorite part of the race had be to the drama from Bud Palmer seeming to miss Billy Mills coming on at the end of the race, and Dick Bank grabbing the microphone and yelling “Look at Mills, look at Mills!” and proceeding to giggle with glee. Unfortunately for NBC, they fired Bank immediately after the race. That worked out well for CBS, though, who hired him in the late 60s and got one of the best track commentators around on their payroll.

Billy Mills’ 28:24.4 was an Olympic record and was the first time that he had ever gone sub-29. Both Ron Clarke and Mills continued on to run the marathon during the ’64 Olympics, finishing in 9th and 14th, respectively, with Mills’ finishing the marathon in 2:22:55.4.

by Blaine Moore | Run to Win

Wednesday, 10 May 2017 10:22

Rudisha upbeat

Olympic champions David Rudisha and Faith Chepngetich will be seeking to extend their dominance over their respectinve distances when they erect to the field at the second leg of the IAAF Diamond League series in Shanghai this weekend.

Rudisha, who retained his title in Rio, where Chepngetich also claimed her first in the 1500m, will be joined by a galaxy of other kenyan top stars including World Youth 800m silver medallist Kipyegon Bett, Olympic 400m hurdles Aaron Koech, 1500m specialist Violah Lagat and Ferguson Rotich among many others.

Rudisha, the world record holder, will renew his rivalry with his compatriots Rotich and former world junior champion Alfred Kipketer.

The trio battled each other in the previous season,where Kipketer and Rotich managed to trounce the fancied Rudisha, but the lanky runner used his experience to the tables at the Rio Olympic Games. The race is expected to offer thrills since European Indoor 800m champion as well as world silver medallist Adam Ksczot is also in the line up.

“Despite being my first race, I am looking forward to a good performance,” said Rudisha who has 1:40.91 world mark.

“I am training for it and it will be a platform for me to gauge my form for the season. Normally I used to start my season at the beginning of March in Australia but this time I chose to start in Shanghai.”

Rudisha’s target is to defend his world title at the World Championships in London in August adding that he will use the Diamond League races to sharpen himself.

“You know we are heading to London in August and I have to sharpen my form through training and participating in some competitions,” Rudisha added.

After Shanghai, Rudisha will head to Jamaica for the Racers Meet and back to Ostrava for the World Challenge before returning back home for the national trials.

Kipyegon who had finished behind Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba at the World Championships in Beijing returned the rude favour in Rio taking the gold medal.

She will be up against Lagat but Ethiopia’s Dawit Seyaum poses the biggest challenge alongside compatriot Besu Sado.

USA’s Jenny Meadows will also be in contention alongside compatriot Katie Mackey, Australia’s Linden Hall and Poland’s Angelika Cichocka.

“I am really excited ahead of the new season but I don’t want to say much about Shanghai meet. But obviously, you know I am preparing for London,” Chepngetich said.World steeplechase champion Hyvin Kiyeng who set world lead and meet record time of 9:00.12 in the season opener in Doha last weekend is upbeat of extending her good performances to Shanghai.

She beat Olympic and world record holder Kenya-born Bahrain runner Ruth Jebet, who finished third.

Manchester United mega-fan Usain Bolt has told Jose Mourinho to plot a summer raid on Arsenal for their star striker Alexis Sanchez.

Sanchez's deal at the Emirates Stadium expires at the end of next season and the Chile international is reportedly hesitant to pen fresh terms after another season spent out of the title picture.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has spoken confidently about the prospect of securing Sanchez's services for next season, despite apparent interest from Bayern Munich.

But Olympic sprinting legend Bolt says Sanchez should quit the Emirates and has talked up Old Trafford as the right destination for a player he recognises shared speedy talents in.

He told Fox Sport Vivo: "I know that he plays for Arsenal, he should leave.

"He would be great [at United], he's a player I've always said over that years who is great at picking the ball up and creating chances for other people. He's proven himself to be one of the best."

Omnisport -- OmRiyadat English

Don’t expect to see Allyson Felix and Caster Semenya go head-to-head at the world championships this summer.

The Olympic 800m champion Semenya is “pretty much focusing” on the 800m this season “at this stage,” her coach, Jean Verster, said Monday.

“We’ll see later on in the season because we are planning to hopefully run a few other distances if possible [before worlds in August],” Verster said by phone. “Maybe just a few 400s and a couple of 1500s. We’ll see how it goes, but at this stage the focus is purely on the 800m [for worlds].”

Semenya talked last July of entering both the 400m and 800m in Rio, but she ended up racing solely the 800m at her Second Olympics. Semenya easily won gold in 1:55.28, a national record.

Three weeks after the Olympics, Semenya lowered her 400m personal best to 50.40 seconds in the Diamond League season finale in September. She came from behind to beat the Olympic third- and fourth-place finishers.

Neither Olympic gold medalist Shaunae Miller (49.44 in Rio) nor silver medalist Felix (49.51) was in that race.

Semenya has already raced the 400m at two meets this season, clocking 51.60 and 51.84, comparable to her times at the same April meets last year. She ranks No. 9 in the world for 2017.

Then last Friday, Semenya dominated the Diamond League season-opening 800m in 1:56.61. Semenya has never run faster before the month of July. She is entered in the Prefontaine Classic 800m on May 27, her first race in the U.S. since 2011.

Verster said Semenya was behind schedule compared to last year due to off-track commitments.

“Seeing this year as a fun year and not as much pressure as last year with the Olympics,” he said. “At this stage we kind of catch up a little bit in terms of the training. In that sense, we were extremely happy with the way we started in Doha.”

Neither Miller nor Felix has raced a 400m since Rio.

Miller has said she plans to race the 200m and 400m at worlds in London in August.

Felix has a bye into the worlds 400m as defending world champion and plans to race the shorter sprints at the U.S. Championships next month. It hasn’t been decided if Felix hopes to double at worlds.

(By Nick Zaccardi - NBC Sports)

Marvin Bracy hasn’t played a football game in more than five years. But after sprinting at the Rio Olympics, he has returned (at least for now) to the team sport.

Bracy, a former Florida State wide receiver, is at a 35-player rookie tryout camp with the Carolina Panthers this weekend. The team has three open roster spots at the moment.

If Bracy doesn’t make the Panthers roster, he may try elsewhere, even in the Canadian Football League, he said in March, before settling on returning to track. Bracy did race in three track meets in April.

“If I have to make a choice, I’m going to stick with the gridiron, if I have that opportunity,” Bracy said at FSU’s pro day in March. “But if not, if track is what I’ve got to do, it’s what I’ve got to do, because I’ve got family to take care of.”

The Panthers camp comes nearly nine months after Bracy finished 11th in the 100m at the Rio Games. He snagged the last spot on the Olympic 100m team over veterans Mike Rodgers and Tyson Gay at trials last June.

“[Medaling at the Olympics] would have made the decision a hell of a lot harder,” Bracy said of switching back to football, according to the Charlotte Observer. “But I wanted to get back on the field for so long now.”

Bracy said at FSU’s pro day in March that he tossed and turned over his decision to leave school in 2013 and pursue a pro track career. He remembered thinking it was the wrong decision as he merged onto Interstate 10 in Tallahassee four years ago.

Bracy never played a down for the Seminoles, redshirting his freshman year in 2012. He missed spring 2013 practice with a hamstring injury before turning pro.

“I won’t say I regret it, leaving, but I always had that what-if factor going on in my head,” Bracy said at FSU’s pro day, where he was told he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.3 seconds (he also believed he ran a quicker 40 but wasn’t given the time). “I just told myself I couldn’t live with the decision of not knowing what it could have been [in football]. If I come out here, and I fail, or if I get a tryout with a team and I fail, then I can at least sleep knowing that, OK, you tried, and it just wasn’t for you. You know, track is your calling, whatever, whatever. If it works out, and I become one of the greatest players to ever play [football], I can say, well, I had the courage to go out there and give it a shot.”

About 40 Olympians have gone on to play in the NFL. Patriots safety Nate Ebner and former Lions running back Jahvid Best competed in Rio in rugby and track, respectively.

(Reporting by Nick Zaccardi, NBC Sports)

Tuesday, 09 May 2017 11:55


Adolph Kiefer died this morning (5 May) at his home in Wadsworth, Illinois. He was 1 month shy of 99-years-old. Kiefer was the world’s greatest backstroker in the 1930s and won a gold medal at the 1936 Olympics in the 100 backstroke. At his death he was the seond oldest living Olympic medalist and gold medalist.

Our OlyMADMen group has one remarkable guy, Canadian Paul, actually known as Paul Tchir, whose hobby is studying the ages of Olympians and determining the oldest living this or that. He has a private Wikipedia page where he tracks these – see Canadian Paul/Olympics.

For the record here are the current oldest Olympian records, courtesy of Canadian Paul’s webpage.


Oldest Living Olympian / US Olympian

John Lysak       16 Aug 1914     None    USA      1936 WLT


Oldest Living Olympic Medalist

Clara Marangoni       13 Nov 1915     Silver      ITA 1928 GYM


Oldest Living Olympic Gold Medalist

Durward Knowles       02 Nov 1917     Gold      BAH/GBR Multiple SAI


Oldest Living US Olympic Medalist

John Russell       02 Feb 1920     Bronze      USA 1948 EQU


Oldest Living US Olympic Gold Medalist

Cliff Bourland       01 Jan 1921     Gold      USA 1948 ATH

For the record, besides Lysak, there is one other US Olympian still alive from the 1936 Berlin Olympics – Iris Cummings, a swimmer who was born 21 December 1920. Canadian Paul lists 9 Olympians in all still alive from those Games. There are no known Olympians alive from the 1932 Olympics, although Clara Marangoni (above) competed at the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics.

Source: OlympStats

You started running months ago, yet every time you hop on the scale, you're let down by the results. What gives? While running does burn mega calories, here are some reasons you may not be seeing the weight-loss results you're after.

Postrun Binges

Burning tons of calories can cause a famished feeling afterward, but it's important to fuel wisely. Choose junk food as your recovery food and not only are you overdoing it on the calorie front, you'll be hungry again in the next hour. Although a postrun snack is essential, make sure it's packed with protein and filling carbs and does not exceed 150 calories. If you exercised before a meal, enjoy a sensibly portioned plate, and don't go overboard as a way to reward your efforts. If you still find you're utterly famished after a workout, it probably means you need to fuel up before you exercise, so enjoy one of these pre-workout snacks before heading out for a run.

You Don't Run Enough

If you're running and not seeing results, take a look at your calendar. Doing one 45-minute run or a couple 20-minute runs a week won't burn enough calories to lose weight. In order to lose a pound a week, you'll need to cut 500 calories each day, through a combination of diet and exercise. If losing weight is your goal, run three to four times per week and incorporate other forms of calorie-burning cardio and/or metabolism-boosting strength training on the other days.

You're Burning Less Than You Think

You just got back from a run, you're covered in sweat, and you're convinced you burned over 500 calories. But did you really? A 150-pound woman will burn 495 calories running for 45 minutes at a 10-minute-per-mile pace. If you didn't run for that long or that fast, then you're not burning as many calories as you thought. It's best to track your workout just to be sure, using a heart rate monitor or one of these cheap running apps on your phone.

Same Workout, Different Day

If you found a great three-mile loop in your neighbourhood, running it for a few weeks can help running become a habit. The problem lies with continually doing the same running workout. Your muscles will quickly adapt to the demands you're placing on them, which is a surefire way to hit a weight-loss plateau. Avoid this issue by mixing up your running workouts: include speed intervals, hills, long runs, and short runs, and run on different surfaces and in new places to keep your muscles guessing and continuously strengthening. Check out these four training techniques that will challenge your run. As mentioned earlier, it's also important not to make running your sole source of exercise. Include other forms of cardio as well as strength training since muscle mass burns more calories and speeds up your metabolism.

It's Not Just About the Scale

Running is one of the best ways to tone your lower body because it helps diminish fat while building muscle. Muscle tissue is more dense than fat tissue, so it takes up less space. This means that although your weight might not decrease (and might even go up a little), other body measurements will change, such as waist circumference, bra size, or the shape of your tush. The number on the scale isn't always the best way to monitor your progress. Even though the scale's not budging, you might be able to fit into those skinny jeans you had your eye on.

For years, Julie Flygare kept her condition private. She hadn't liked people's reactions on the occasions when she had opened up and shared her story. People thought it was a joke or not important.

In 2007, Flygare, then a 24-year-old law student, was diagnosed with narcolepsy with cataplexy, a neurological disorder that causes chronic sleepiness and, in her case, symptoms of brief episodes of muscle weakness triggered by strong emotions.

But Flygare turned the situation on its head. The Ivy League grad went on to earn her law degree from Boston College, where she studied health law and health policy.

Now, Flygare is 33 and lives in Los Angeles, where she works full-time as a marketing manager and heads her nonprofit, Project Sleep, aimed at raising awareness about sleep health and sleep disorders.

"After all this studying that I did, I kind of felt like we were caught in this catch-22, where we don't like these misperceptions and these jokes that people make about narcolepsy, so then we're not sharing that we have it," Flygare said. "How do we break that cycle?"

Narcolepsy affects every decision Flygare makes: when she eats, when she drives, when she works, when she sleeps. She takes medication twice a night and stimulants during the day. This means, for example, planning meals strategically to maximize her wakefulness for important tasks, like driving, since eating can contribute to her excessive daytime sleepiness. People with narcolepsy often don't sleep through the night.

But she didn't want the disorder to define her boundaries. So Flygare went after her toughest physical challenge yet: LA's Griffith Park Trail Marathon."I'd say that having narcolepsy on an everyday basis is much harder than running a marathon," Flygare said.


What it means to live with narcolepsy

Narcolepsy affects about one in 2,000 people in the United States, according to the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School. It's rare, but experts say it's probably underdiagnosed.

"What's generally said, and it's a very hard thing to prove, is that only about half of people with narcolepsy are actually diagnosed as such," said Dr. Thomas Scammell, a professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School and a physician at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.

"Part of the challenge is because narcolepsy isn't a common disease and because most doctors get very little training in sleep disorders, our concern is that a lot of times, when people go to their primary care doctor, neither the patient nor the doctor may really have an appreciation of what are the right questions to ask to lead to the diagnosis," Scammell said.

There are two major types of narcolepsy: narcolepsy with cataplexy and narcolepsy without cataplexy.

Narcolepsy causes relentless sleepiness. Cataplexy is episodes of muscle paralysis triggered by emotions, like surprise or laughter. Symptoms typically start between the ages of 10 and 20, develop over several months and last a lifetime.

Cataplexy started when Flygare was 21. She consulted a few doctors about her symptoms, but they didn't know what it was.

Finally, she saw a sports therapist who asked whether her knees ever buckled. They did.

"The sports therapist said 'I think I've heard of that. It's called cataplexy,' " Flygare recalled. "As soon as I read the description of cataplexy, I knew that's what was happening, and then I found out that was a symptom of narcolepsy."

After a 24-hour sleep study, Flygare was officially diagnosed with narcolepsy with cataplexy.

"Narcolepsy has as much impact on people's lives and on their quality of life as diseases like epilepsy," Scammell said. "Many people who have narcolepsy say that they feel as sleepy as you or I would feel if we'd been up all night the night before; literally, it's a struggle to get through the day.

"It can be very limiting, especially when people are not on optimal treatments and haven't learned ways of really living with it in a healthy kind of way. The unfortunate truth is, we don't have any good ways of preventing the development of narcolepsy now," Scammell said.

But narcolepsy is manageable, and people with narcolepsy can lead "full and rewarding lives" thanks to different treatment regimens.

Flygare usually takes about a 15-minute nap every day. "I have to do that. It's one of the best ways I help treat my condition in addition to medication," she said.

Flygare also tries to let others know if she's experiencing sleepiness and not able to process or keep up with a conversation. She doesn't want people to think that she's mad or annoyed. Communicating about her symptoms is area where Flygare is trying to improve.

"Usually, when people find out I have narcolepsy, they say, 'Oh, do you know that you're having an episode?' They think they know what it is already, that I'm going to fall asleep in the middle of a sentence or while I'm standing," Flygare said.

It's an inaccurate perception of narcolepsy, one often misportrayed or played for laughs in the media. A character played by Rowan Atkinson fell asleep while running in the film "Rat Race," and one of Deuce Bigalow's dates in "Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo" fell asleep while bowling.

Feeling misunderstood is sometimes worse than the symptoms themselves, Flygare said. That's one of the challenges of this invisible illness.

"Cataplexy is pretty visual," Flygare said. "If you see it, it looks somewhat like fainting or like a seizure. It looks very strange, and so people do kind of pick up on that one unless it's really subtle. But it's interesting with the sleepiness of narcolepsy that can be really invisible.

"A culture that respects sleep would be so exciting, one that sees sleep as an important gateway to success."


Achieving a milestone

After signing up for the marathon, Flygare created her own training plan for the 26.2-mile race with an elevation gain of 5,676 feet.

Knowing the constraints of her limited energy and time, she took a minimalist approach to training. If she ever sensed any cataplexy, she skipped training for the day.

"It's so terrifying to feel paralyzed while you're conscious," Flygare said. "I had so much frustration about that, but then I started to realize that every time I wasn't experiencing that body paralysis was really awesome and that just being able to stand and walk and run was such an amazing thing."

During the marathon, Flygare carried an ultralight running pack with water and extra medication in case there was any issue with her cataplexy, at one point dodging an episode by staying calm as she ran past a snake.

On March 4, Flygare proved that sleepiness is not laziness. She finished the marathon in 5 hours and 48 minutes.

After returning home from the challenge, she slept for about two hours -- and felt triumphant and proud.

"The marathon taught me the power of just showing up," Flygare said.

Usain Bolt is ready for a royal rematch. The Olympic sprinter, who “lost” in a race against Prince Harry back in 2012, is ready to reclaim his title as the “fastest man on earth.” ”I’m ready! I’m ready because he got away last time,” the new Chief Entertainment Officer for G.H. Mumm Champagne told HOLA! USA over the weekend at a Kentucky Derby celebration in New York. “There was a lot written saying I got beaten, so I can’t live that down.” Discussing his loss against the British royal, Usain laughed, “He cheated! They said, ‘On your mark, [get] set’ and he just ran off.”

The 30-year-old isn’t the only one ready to hit the track again. Last August, Prince William’s brother wished the champion runner a happy birthday following his ninth gold medal win at the Rio Olympics. Harry tweeted, “Congratulations @usainbolt - now you're officially the greatest you might be ready for a re-run! ? Happy 30th -H.” Perhaps the two will get the opportunity for a rematch this summer when Usain travels to London for the IAAF World Championships, marking the final competitive race of the athlete's career.

Despite Harry's mischievous behavior during their previous race, Usain admitted that the 32-year-old royal's cheating hasn’t affected their relationship. The retired Olympian said, “He’s really cool. He’s a really nice guy. I really enjoy hanging out with him.” The Prince's American girlfriend, Meghan Markle, who traveled with the royal to Usain’s native Jamaica earlier this year, already has the gold medalist’s seal of approval. Usain said, “I think everybody is happy because he’s always the wild one of the royal family but he’s really cool and I’m sorry I didn’t get to party with him before. She’s definitely a nice girl.” -- OmRiyadat English

Nike’s Breaking2 campaign was unsuccessful.

Not because it failed to break the marathon’s two-hour barrier by 26 seconds. On the contrary, Eliud Kipchoge’s 2:00:25 marathon—the fastest ever run by a human being by over two-and-a-half minutes—was the most compelling non-race running I have ever seen. Kipchoge was mesmerizing.

No, the project was unsuccessful because it failed to show the limitless potential of humans, if you generously grant that was one of its goals. It failed to show how close we are to breaking the two-hour barrier. Quite the opposite: It demonstrated in no uncertain terms how far we are from it. If an athlete of Kipchoge’s caliber can’t do it under perfectly contrived conditions, it’s not going to happen anytime soon.

But the most unanticipated failure of the army of highly paid Nike folks—whose job it was to think of every possible eventuality—was that somehow Eliud Kipchoge managed to steal a show Nike set up to be about them. The multi-year, multi-million dollar Breaking2 project was supposed to be about Nike, for god’s sake—Nike’s innovations, Nike’s technology, Nike’s dominance of the sport, Nike’s triumph over human physiology, and Nike’s stuff you can buy. Kipchoge was supposed to be a mere part of the project, the platform on which Nike would build their great pyramid. Months of heavy hype attracted millions of eyeballs to an event that turned out to be an ode to Eliud Kipchoge, not Nike.

Nike announced their plan to breach the two-hour marathon six months ago, though they said they’d been working on it since 2014. They made soaring statements likening their mission to a moonshot, Roger Bannister’s four-minute mile quest, a dreamer’s starry-eyed push at the limits of human potential, but let’s face it—Nike is a retailer, first and last. The plan was to control external factors—weather, altitude, course—and apply the latest and greatest shoe and clothing design, hydration, fueling, training techniques, pacing strategies and physiological knowledge—all with marvelous retail potential—to already accomplished athletes. They chose Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge, Ethiopian Lelisa Desisa, and Eritrean Zersenay Tadese, in the same way they chose the Formula 1 racetrack in Monza, Italy, as the perfect parts for their marketing machine.

The actual go at the barrier was Saturday at 5:45 a.m. local time on the winding, flat racetrack in northern Italy. Nike rounded up 18 speedy 5k and 10k guys to act as pacers, six at a time running in a wedge formation in front of the three candidates, rotating out every 5k. The armada of runners followed a pace Tesla with a giant screen, that told them what pace they were on with respect to the end goal of 1:59:59. From the car, a laser-generated line on the track provided visual reference to the necessary pace, which was 4:34 per mile for 26.2 miles. Bikers rode next to the runners delivering custom-developed fuel and hydration (it’s not food and water, of course) every couple kilometers.

They brought in Nike royalty—Joan Benoit Samuelson, Carl Lewis, Allyson Felix, Paula Radcliffe—and comedian Kevin Hart. Not sure why they thought a never-before-attempted athletic feat would need added entertainment value, but Hart was funny. So that’s good. The broadcast was interspersed with numerous video vignettes of each technological stone Nike did not leave unturned, and visits to the athletes’ training camps.

From a half-marathon trial a month earlier, it was obvious that if any of the three was capable of the feat, it was Kipchoge, and that is how it played out. The pace looked tough for Desisa almost from the start, and 43 minutes in, he had dropped from the group. Tadese, too, appeared to struggle, though as the half-marathon world record holder, he should have felt comfortable with the pace at least through the halfway point, but he fell off the back about 55 minutes in.

The broadcast continued to show clips of Nike’s advanced tech—the shoes, the compression shorts, and the aerodynamic body tape that were going to get the job done—as Desisa and Tadese painfully demonstrated that science and techno-gimmicks do not actually do the running, people do. Desisa was clearly having a bad day—he finished in 2:14:10, a whopping 10 minutes slower than his best. Even Tadese’s 2:06:51, a nearly four-minute PR for him, is well within the wheelhouse of a runner of his pedigree, and has been achieved many times by runners using none of Nike’s highly engineered system.

From the first very fast strides, Kipchoge was calm, focused, controlled, and smooth—not an elbow, not a shoulder, not a millimeter off of fluid, fast efficiency. It was a thing of beauty. Though the commentators breathlessly credited the special shoes and the shorts and the well-oiled pacing strategy and the trees around the course that Nike had instructed to breath out extra oxygen just for this event (the amount of pseudoscience discussed was staggering), it was plain the only thing exceptional was Kipchoge. The only reason miles were flying by was that he is truly rare, a once-in-a-century, consummate athlete.

The video visit to Kipchoge’s rustic training camp in Kenya showcased Nike staging a first-world intervention. The Nike scientists noted, aghast, that Kipchoge had never run on a treadmill, had never had his max VO2 tested, and rarely ran with a heart rate monitor. And yet, somehow, he is a World and Olympic champion. My goodness, how could that be? The video showed Kipchoge circling a dirt track, and the 10 feet by 10 feet room he shared with another runner. He was given electronics with screens, data, and beeping signal, obviously better than padding around in the dirt, running. Kipchoge smiled, nodded, looked seriously at the data because Nike made it very worth his while financially to do so, and because he treats everyone with respect.

Kipchoge began competing internationally at age 16, and won the 5000 meter World Championships in 2003. Since then, he has won everything there is to win at distances from 1500 meters to the marathon. He is world class over an unprecedented range of distances, and has consistently been so for over 16 years. His long career at the top and gradual progression makes it unlikely—as sure as one can be these days—that he’s doping. He has achieved these feats without treadmills, heart rate monitors, custom shoes, teams of scientists, and frequently without running water. He has achieved these feats because he is a singular athlete—his mind, his determination, his commitment, his physiology, the unfathomable miles and hours he has run.

And so, Paula Radcliffe breathlessly declaring that the Zoom VaporFly Elite shoes were responsible for the beautiful thing we were watching was arrogant, disrespectful, and total bullshit.

It was the Kipchoge show. The commentators blathered endlessly about Nike science, but that all went out the window the minute the camera focused on Kipchoge. Nike’s gimmickry did little for the other two unfortunates, which was driven home like a knife with every velvet step Kipchoge took. Flying on after 30K, faster than any human had ever run, it was increasingly clear that this part, going over the wall where the strain on mind and body must have been excruciating, this was about one extraordinary athlete. The shoes, all that, had fallen away, useless, silly. What was happening was not Nike-made, and had very little retail potential. It cannot be reproduced on others. Though no doubt unintended, Nike produced a two-hour opus by Kipchoge, on Kipchoge.

It was lovely.

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