Many of you undoubtedly heard Larry Rawson describe on Sunday's broadcast how he charts the progress (or lack of same) in U.S. distance running.
He noted that there are nine events from the 800 meters on up, which I take to be the M/W 800, M/W 1,500, M/W 5,000, M/W 10,000, and M Steeplechase (the marathon apparently was excluded).
He then stated that the U.S. had eight finalists in these events in Edmonton (2001) and only had six this time in Paris.
I would argue that the situation is EVEN WORSE. I just reviewed the Paris finalists in the distances and five of the six U.S. athletes were from the 10,000, which has no heats and goes right to a final. The only barrier to having finalists in the 10,000's is the "A" standard (which, sad to say, my fellow Michigan Wolverine alumnus Katie McGregor did not meet).
In distance races requiring heats, all of ONE American athlete (Jorge Torres in the 5,000) actually qualified for a final (and he came in last in the final).
Alan, you are absolutely right about Rawson's comment. Even worse, if the IAAF world championships were ever actually open to all the very best distance runners, without limitation by nation, some of the heats of the steeple, 5k, and 10k would look like a KEN-ETH dual meet. Rawson or anybody measuring relative US distance power by counting finalists is simply misleading ourselves.
There are problems at the MIDDLE distances-
800, 1500, Steeple and 5K.
10K are Marathon are doing as well or better than they always have, even though certain parts of the rest of the world are doing even better.
Even though Krummenacker had some problems this year, he attributed his success early in the year to his getting away from Georgia Tech and moving to a more training-favorable clime.
He said he'd always heard it but never really believed it until yanked out of the drippingly humid southeast, and actually experiencing the difference.
This is something USATF can do - help elite post-collegiate athletes relocate to climates that are favorable to year-round middle distance training. Convince them that if they want to compete successfully at an international level they've got to turn up their training significantly, and it can't be done in the 70% of the country that's virtually a swamp, where the heat index is 115 most of the year.
Setting up training centers at places like Colorado Springs and San Diego is NOT ENOUGH- you've got to do more to entice these people to move there- jerk them out of their hometown comfort zone.
Yeah, let's amend the Patriot Act and force those guys into training camps. Why let them choose where they want to live and train when you can jerk them away from home (preferably in the dead of night) and monitor everything they ingest. And let's put Ashcroft in charge of it, that ought to motivate 'em.
The environment to excel is already in the USA. It is not the American way to create 'programs' as other countries do. We support and encourage those who wish to excel. It is ultimately up to the individual athletes to make the sacrifices that are necessary. Stop looking for Masback to magically bail us out. Place the blame/kudos on the shoulders of those who would be great. I believe that the American lifestyle is to 'blame.' We simply have it too good. The Kenyans, Ethopians certainly can't match our standard of living. There are working so hard to get a piece of the pie themselves. 30 years ago, when we were 'better', it was merely because the sleeping continent of Africa had not awoken yet. The pendulum has swung away from us for now. It will swing back. It always does. Until then, American athletes have to work as hard as their global competitoes.
The failure of US distance running is complex situation. There are probably no easy answers.
Usually the simplest solution is the best. My belief is that US distance runners don't train hard enough for a variety of reasons. Maybe they don't get enough financial support like other US athletes. Jason Lunn for example works a full-time job at an insurance company. Lunn probably has to train after working a 9-5 job. How many other people work full-time and go home to train for a 3:55 mile.
>The failure of US distance running is complex
>situation. There are probably no easy
Usually the simplest solution is the
>best. My belief is that US distance runners don't
>train hard enough for a variety of reasons. Maybe
>they don't get enough financial support like
>other US athletes. Jason Lunn for example works a
>full-time job at an insurance company. Lunn
>probably has to train after working a 9-5 job.
>How many other people work full-time and go home
>to train for a 3:55 mile.>
and quite simply maybe Mr. Lunn is not equipped to go much faster than that.
>We are a country of 280 million people. There is
>bound to be someone faster than Jason Lunn. US
>distance running is not tapping into the
>country's vast resources.
I am wondering if
>Lunn is capable of being faster. Could he mature
>into a competitive 3:51 miler.
>Krummenacker can push Lunn to faster times.
I do think Lunn can improve. He's had a long season. He is obviously pretty speedy but his ability to find a "comfortable" rythm at 57-58 is lacking. It would be great if Lunn and Krum trained togther but that isn't likely.
I do think we tap into the resources pretty well. As stated before, there are plenty of fast kids coming out of h.s.
Yeah, but those fast High School kids have not been successful at either the professional or college level. What is the point of running a fast high school mile if you cannot repeat it at a higher level of competition.
When the genetic cybermen take over there will be no need for drugs. These bio-robots will never get diseases and if they are injured they will simply go back to the factory for replacement parts. Their brains are really transplanted from humans who bodies are decaying. Humans who are terminally ill will now have the choice to live on as a cyberman. The early Cybermen will be very fast, capable of speeds in the range of 20-27mph. Future models will be capable of sub 3:00 miles.
Remember, Cybermen do have human body parts merged in with bionics. They are still 50% human.
The nations that lead in biotech and robotics will be the new leaders in track and field. In short the future of all track events belong to the USA, Germany, and Japan.
Drugs will not be an issue since cybermen have a relatively primitive digestive system that will not be able to absorb drugs.
The future is in Bio-human robotics not drugs - paulie