Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Final Lap: Exciting Week in Track & Field

  • Trevor Graham is ready to sing like a jail bird. Who would have guessed? Read more

  • Mike Conley Sr. gets a new client. Read Yahoo!

  • Can Jeremy Wariner upstage his agent and mentor Michael Johnson? Uh huh. Read Reuters

  • No one can stop talking about the Sanya Richards and Allyson Felix show down at Penn Relays. Read more

By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist.

2008 Drake Relays In Review

The Drake Relays has grown to one of the best track meets for college and pro runners. The 99th running was no different. Saturday’s session drew a crowd of 18,000, marking the 43rd straight year of selling out the final day.

At the Drake Relays, Lolo Jones started the outdoor season in the same manner she ended the indoor season: rolling! The reigning 60-meter hurdles champ won her second outing this season at the Drake Relays in 12.74, breaking her own meet record. For her effort, Lolo was named top female athlete of the Drake Relays. It comes as no surprise from observers that she won the prestigious meet in her hometown, running in front of her people despite swirling, gusting winds.

Drake fans were also provided a treat by witnessing two of the world’s top shot put throwers. World Indoor champion Christian Cantwell won his sixth Drake title with a toss of 68 feet, 6 inches. That effort was well ahead of Jamaican Dorain Scott and Reese Hoffa, the reigning world outdoor champion.

The first trip to Drake Relays did not go so hot for hurdle legend Allen Johnson. The 1996 Olympic champion clipped a hurdle midway through the race finishing in a distance fifth place. The winner Anwar Moore crossed the line in 13.14, winning his second Drake title in a row.

Another Olympic hopeful Shareese Woods won the 400 in 51.75. April Steiner was the only athlete to clear a height and won the pole vault in 14 feet, 2 inches despite gusty winds.

By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Simply Legendary: Ted Corbitt, "Father of American Long-Distance Running"

In the midst of a marathon season that includes majors that pay millions in prizes, would be remiss if we didn’t give proper respect to Ted Corbitt, a man who deeply affected modern running around the globe. He was a reserved figure who did not seek fame, however he greatly affected running as much as, if not more than, any other single figure.

There are almost too many words to describe Ted Corbitt: Olympian, training pioneer, author, leader and inspiration among them.

Many may recall that Ted Corbitt passed away December 12, 2007, in a Houston hospital after a battle with cancer. At the age of 88, Corbitt had prostate and colon cancer and died of respiratory failure.

Corbitt was ahead of his time. He began running really out of necessity as a way to get to and from school. He was born on a cotton farm in South Carolina under the Jim Crow laws and segregation, during a time when there was school transport available only for white children. Corbitt was never bitter and developed a love for his daily runs.

He later ran at the University of Cincinnati, and was sometimes not allowed to compete in meets against white runners. Corbitt graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a masters’ degree with honors in physical education and then studied to become a physical therapist.

Corbitt debuted at the marathon at the age of 32 with a 15th place finish in the 1951 Boston Marathon. After two more marathons was selected for the Helsinki Olympic team.

As a runner, he pioneered ultra-marathoning (anything longer than a traditional marathon) in the United States when most people thought the marathon was the absolute limit of human endurance. Corbitt would run for hours, even days, connected to electrodes to study the effects of running on the human body. He has held American records for 25-, 40- and 50-mile marathons.

Corbitt helped found the Road Runners Club of America in 1957 and was later its president. He was a co-founder and the first president of the New York Road Runners Club.

He was a member of the inaugural class of the National Distance Running Hall of Fame in Utica, N.Y., in 1988 and was inducted into the American Ultrarunning Hall of Fame in April 2006.

Largely responsible for the movement to adhere to strict measurement criteria and course certification, Corbitt’s 1964 book, Measuring Road Running Courses, became the benchmark for certified road race courses at the time and is the foundation upon which accurate road racing rests today.

He persevered, evolved, and excelled at life. Ted Corbitt is example of everything good about running. As the sport goes through a difficult time, it is then to look back and see where we come from to know where to go.

By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Former Olympian Bryan Clay Is In Vogue Magazine

We think the women are gonna enjoy this more than the men!

This month's Vogue Magazine features that American decathlete Bryan Clay with model Raquel Zimmermann. The magazine will be on the shelf all month. Vogue's controversial cover with Gisele Bunchen and Lebron James leads into a series of short interviews with famous Olympic athletes and fashion models including Bryan Clay, Jared Rome, and Allyson Felix.

The former Olympian appears to be over the injuries that kept him from finishing at the ’07 U.S outdoor championships.

By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist.

Photos courtesy Vogue Magazine.

Olympic Hopeful Jared Rome Graces Vogue

The big men deserve some credit. It’s not all about size, it’s also about using speed to deliver a huge shot or discus performance.

Discus champion, Jared Rome, held his own in the April edition of Vogue Magazine featuring Hard Bodies Unite. He is featured holding supermodel Raquel Zimmermann rocking Nike gear. Vogue's controversial cover with Gisele Bunchen and Lebron James leads into a series of short interviews with famous Olympic athletes and fashion models including Bryan Clay, Jared Rome, and Allyson Felix.

By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist.

Photos courtesy Vogue Magazine.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Hurdlers Come Through Quickly At Penn Relays!

In perfect weather conditions Friday at the Penn Relays, a Team USA quartet of hurdlers stamped their mark on the track record books in the men's 4x120 yard shuttle hurdle relay.

Competing in the Olympic Development division and wearing Team USA jerseys, 2008 American indoor champion David Oliver, 2005 USA indoor champion Joel Brown, 2001 NCAA indoor champion Aubrey Herring, and 2006 NCAA champion Aries Merritt teamed up to run 53.31. The time was announced as a world best - the fastest time ever recorded by a national team in the event. Team USA Blue was second in 55.55, with DC Capitol third in 59.67.

The race was part of the National Relay program that will be featured in Saturday's USA vs. The World events at Penn.

"Since we're having such great luck with the sprinters and 400m people in our national relay program, the idea was to broaden it with the hurdles," said USATF high performance chair Brooks Johnson. "Our women's hurdlers had to run a 4x100 relay, but hopefully in the future we will be able to duplicate for our hurdlers what we do for our sprinters."

By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist.

Courtesy USA Track & Field.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Men’s 4 x 400 Relay: USA vs. The World

The United States has arguably the top eight one lap runners in the world, and it showed at the Penn Relays at the US fielded two all-star teams. The USA Blue team had LaShawn Merritt, Wallace Spearmon, Darold Williamson, and Jeremy Wariner. However, the USA Red team extremely good as well, with Xavier Carter, Bershawn Jackson, Kerron Clement, and Angelo Taylor.

Merritt blasted out the hole with a 44.9 leg to give the Blue team the lead. A strong second leg by Bershawn Jackson put the Red team close again with Jamaica just back in third.

The most exciting part of the race was on the third leg as Kerron Clement tried to pass veteran relay runner Darold “D Will” Williamson. Clement couldn’t seal the deal. Williamson made him swing wide and then rolled pass Clement to hand off to Jeremy Wariner in the lead. Wariner ran an unconscious 43.88 anchor leg with a comfortable lead to secure victory for the Blue team at 2:59.71. A stupid time ran in the cold April air!

Click here for the final results.

By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist.

Women’s 4 x 400 Relay: USA vs. The World

The USA Blue was comprised of the following : Mary Wineberg, Allyson Felix, DeeDee Trotter, Sanya Richards.

Wineberg ran well out the hole and handed off to Allyson Felix in the lead. Felix blew the race open with a 50.1 split-the race’s fastest split. Hastings and Richards kept the lead to finish in an impressive 3:22.16.

Kaliese Spencer of Jamaica held off a strong late surge from the USA Red’s Lashinda Demus to hold second, 3:27.96—3:27.98.

Click here for the final results.

By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist.

Men’s 4 x 100: USA vs. The World

The men’s relay pool at Penn Relays is a preview of the Olympic Games. The race included national teams from the United States, Jamaica, the Bahamas, the Netherlands Antilles, Trinidad and Tobago, Canada, and Great Britain.

The historical relay woes continued for the U.S. as the heavily favored Team Red in Lane 7 had a disastrous hand off between Leroy Dixon and Wallace Spearmon. It appeared that Dixon was hit in the face near the exchange. Spearmon was poised and slowed to get the stick before handing off to Tyson Gay. Gay was able to bring the Red team to fourth place in 39.38.

Team Blue made up of John Capel, Xavier Carter, Michael Rodgers, and anchored by Shawn Crawford placed second in 39.14.

The Jamaican’s won in 39.04, without 100 world record holder Asafa Powell. The Jamaican national team passed the stick along very well in their victory in front of an estimated 10,000 Jamaican fans.

Click here to view the final results.

By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist.

Women’s 4 x 100: USA vs. The World

There was a lot riding on the women’s relay competition today at Penn Relays. The relay pool members are preparing to compete for six relay spots on the women’s Olympic team. The match up between Allyson Felix and Sanya Richards realized at anchor leg. Sanya Richards had a slight lead at the hand off. However, Allyson Felix over powered Richards down the homestretch to win the race to led USA Red to victory in 42.57. Richards led USA Blue to a second place finish in 42.64. Jamaica was third in 43.31.

For the Red, it was Lauryn Williams, Miki Barber, Lisa Barber, and Felix. The USA Blue’s line-up was Muna Lee, Torri Edwards, Carmelita Jeter, and Richards.

Click here for the final results.

By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist.

Gay & Hoffa On Cover Of Sega Olympic Video Game

Track and field gamers will be happy with the latest news. Sega grabbed rights to the 2008 Beijing Games. The game will feature top U.S athletes Tyson Gay, Reese Hoffa, and Amanda Beard to appear on the cover of the upcoming video game Beijing 2008™ - The Official Video Game of the Olympic Games for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system. Beijing 2008™ for Xbox 360®, PlayStation®3 and the PC is set for release in the summer of 2008.

Beijing 2008™ – the Official Mobile Phone Game of the Olympic Games is also in the works and will be available summer 2008. For further information please go to

By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist.

The Final Lap: Injury Sidelines World's Fastest Man!

  • When is the last time a pro runner withdrew from a race because of a pulled pec muscle? Well, last week Asafa Powell pulled out of Mt. Sac Relays, and the 100 world record holder also sitting out of Penn Relays with the sore chest injury. Read Guardian

  • There are more questions than answers about Alan Webb’s training just four months before the Olympic Trials. An unfit Webb has pulled out of Drake Relays because his training isn’t up to par. "My training hasn't progressed to where I feel I can deliver the type of performance that I would like to for the Drake Relays," said Webb. "I hope to be able to make up for it and come back next year." Read Des Moines Register

  • Can you spare a dime brotha? In a ridiculous occurrence, Marion Jones’ teammates are hoping to raise more than $200,000 in attorney fees needed to challenge the IOC’s ruling to strip their medal in international courts. American athletes should not have to foot the bill for being caught up in this debacle. Read Chicago Times

By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist.

Photo Courtesy BBC.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Penn Relays Preview

The goal of the Penn Relays Carnival is very simple: to provide the best competition for the greatest number of participants at all levels, ages, and abilities. The meet will be aired April 26, from 2 – 4 pm (EST) on ESPN2.

The professional runners typically run in what is known as the USA vs The World events. These are the premier professional events of the meet which include:

  • 1:25 Women’s sprint medley
  • 2:05 Women’s 4x100
  • 2:10 Men’s 4x100m Relay
  • 3:05 Men’s Distance Medley Relay
  • 3:45 Women’s 4x400m Relay
  • 3:52 Men’s 4x400m Relay

By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist.

Marketing 101: Marketing Track In North America

Char at shared this priceless commercial on parenting and hockey from USA Hockey that is currently playing on the airwaves. Track and field needs to borrow a page from the hockey marketing efforts.

The one universal consensus among all track fans is that the marketing and promotion of the sport must improve.

I hope that the track federation is taking notes on how to elevate the sport in the country.

Click here to watch the USA Hockey commercial.

By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Michael Johnson Weighs In On Greene

When Michael Johnson talks, people listen to the champ for obvious reasons. The Baylor graduate accomplished everything there is to do in the sport. In a recent British Telegraph article, Michael ripped Maurice Greene and said the former 100 Olympic gold medalist has some explaining to do about these doping allegations. It is alleged that Angel Guillermo Heredia, who is getting help from the government with “visa” issues is not just alleging they sold him drugs. Heredia has evidence such as cancelled checks, wire transfers, and email correspondence.

Michael Johnson also went on to write that boycotting the Games only hurts the athletes, and couldn’t agree more. What was the IOC selection committee thinking? Anyone with an a clue knew it was a terrible idea when the 2008 host city was originally announced.

By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist.

A Word From Our Sponsor: Beaware the Ambush

A shot has been fired across the bow of Olympic sponsors. Yesterday, a coalition of Tibetan groups warned Coca-Cola that it would be "complicit in a humanitarian disaster" unless it used its influence to ensure Tibet was dropped from the torch route.

The sponsors and Olympic officials had to know the pressure from consumers was coming. International outrage over hosting the Olympic Games in a Communist country had to eventually cause issues for the sponsors. We all know the sponsors are after the nearly 1.5 billion consumers that have yet to establish brand loyalty. Why else would the IOC pick this location if not because of corporate greed?

As we have discussed earlier, the IOC had better convince the Chinese address the matter or the public relations mess will continually get worse. Hopefully, this occurrs before it’s too late. The athletes should not suffer from the political fallout from the a bad decision to take the games to Beijing.

By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Team USA vs. The World At The Penn Relays

Press Release


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

World's top track stars compete at USA vs. The World at the Penn Relays

PHILADELPHIA - Nearly all of the world's top sprinters, including Tyson Gay, Asafa Powell, Allyson Felix, Jeremy Wariner, Sanya Richards and Lauryn Williams, are slated to compete Saturday at USA vs. The World at the Penn Relays.

After dominating performances over the last three years saw the home team win five of the six races contested, Team USA will attempt to equal or better that performance Saturday during the first event of the 2008 USATF Outdoor Visa Championship Series. USA vs. The World at the Penn Relays will be broadcast live on ESPN2 from 2-4 p.m. Eastern Time.

Potent lineups.

Nearly 150 athletes from 11 countries around the world will compete at this year's USA vs. The World, held annually at the Penn Relays since 2000 and featuring men's and women's 4x100 and 4x400m relays, a men's Distance Medley Relay and a women's Sprint Medley Relay. Countries challenging Team USA this year include Jamaica, Kenya, Russia, Great Britain, Canada, Bahamas, Dutch Antilles, Saudi Arabia, Zimbabwe, Trinidad & Tobago and the Dominican Republic.

An impressive array of U.S. men's stars led by the world's #1 ranked male sprinter, 2007 World Outdoor triple gold medalist Tyson Gay, 2004 Olympic gold medalist and two-time World Outdoor 400m champion Jeremy Wariner, two-time World Outdoor 200m medalist Wallace Spearmon, 2007 World Outdoor 400m hurdle champion Kerron Clement, 2007 World Outdoor 400m silver medalist LaShawn Merritt and 2004 Olympic and two-time World Outdoor 4x400m gold medalist Darold Williamson will look to keep Team USA on the winning track. Also watch for 2006 quadruple NCAA champion Xavier Carter, 2007 U.S. Indoor 800m champion Nick Symmonds and 2008 U.S. Indoor 60m champion Michael Rodgers.

Headliners on Team USA's women's squad include 2007 World Outdoor triple gold medalist Allyson Felix, 2005 World Outdoor 100m champion Lauryn Williams, 2006 IAAF World Athlete of the Year Sanya Richards, 2003 World Outdoor 100m champion Torri Edwards, 2007 World Outdoor 4x400m gold medalist Mary Wineberg , 2005 World Outdoor 400m hurdles silver medalist Lashinda Demus, 2007 World Outdoor 100m bronze medalist Carmelita Jeter, two-time World Outdoor 100m hurdle champion Michelle Perry, and the Barber twins - 2005 World Outdoor 4x100m gold medalist Lisa and 2007 World Outdoor 4x100m gold medalist Miki - among others.

Powell slated to run.

Jamaican stars expected to compete include men's 100 meter world record-holder Asafa Powell, 2005 World Outdoor 100m silver medalist Michael Frater, 2000 Olympic 4x400m bronze medalists Sanjay Ayre and Michael Blackwood, 2004 Olympic 4x100m gold medalist Sherone Simpson, 2007 World Outdoor 400m bronze medalist Novlene Williams and two-time World Outdoor 4x400m silver medalist Shericka Williams.

Final lineups for the 2008 USA vs. The World at Penn Relays will be determined Friday. For more information on this event and the 2007 Visa Championship Series visit

Living Strong!

Cancer survivor and superman Lance Armstrong ran in the Boston Marathon to raise awareness and funds for the Armstrong Foundation.

This is Lance’s first run at the Boston Marathon. Going into the race, Armstrong told Runner’s World that he expected to finish the 26.2 miles in roughly the 2:40ish time frame.

Bostonians were there to cheer him up Heartbreak Hill. Armstrong completed in 2:50.58, good enough for 496th place. Kudos to Lance Armstrong for finishing strong!

By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist.

2008 Drake Relays Preview

Nearly 8,000 athletes from almost every state in the union are expected to compete at this years prestigious Drake Relays. Including some of the top ranked professional athletes.

Lolo Jones is coming home to run while having the break out season of her career that she hopes ends with an Olympic team bid.

The LSU alum now hopes to build on the success of her indoor performances at her outdoor season debut at her hometown Drake Relays during Saturday, April 26 session of the 99th annual Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa.

Alan Webb will return to Drake Relays. The American middle distance runner shattered the Drake Relays record in the invitational mile last year and will return to defend his title. This will be my first mile race on the track since last year,” said Webb during a Thursday teleconference. “Hopefully, it will be the beginning of great season.”

Drake Relays director, Brian Brown, has disclosed that 1996 Olympic gold medalist Allen Johnson, the greatest hurdler in World Championship history, will be competing in the men's invitational 110 hurdles.

April Steiner, who has vaulted a 2008 world best 15 feet 2.25 inches, heads the list of athletes scheduled to compete in the women's pole vault.

The women’s pole vault field also includes 2004 Olympian Jillian Schwartz; Andree' Pickens, who was ranked No. 10 in the U.S. last year; and former NCAA champion Kate Conwell.

By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist.

John McDonnell Retiring from Coaching After 43 Years

Wow, this is an historic day. John McDonnell head track & cross country coach of the University of Arkansas, announced on Monday he plans to retire at seasons end. He has the most national championships (42) of any NCAA sport and produced countless professional athletes. McDonnell is one of the best and most successful coaches in the United States since the early 1980s.

During his storied coaching tenure the University of Arkansas has been a pro runner factory developing athletes such as : Tyson Gay, Mike Conley Sr., Wallace Spearmon Jr., Alistair Cragg, Joe Falcon, Calvin Smith, and Stanley Redwine, to name just a few. Coach McDonnell will be sorely missed.

By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Long Jump Duel

By: markamahabir

Our friend, Dr. Lorraine Williams editor of shared this long, long, long jump by Mike Powell. Mike Powell smashed the record of Bob Beamon, and we were startled afresh. Powell jumped 29 feet 4 1/2 inches, two inches farther than the record. The most shocking news was that Carl Lewis placed second in the 1991 world championship event.

The world record had held up for almost 23 years, the longest-standing record on the track & field books. Some thought it might be there forever. And it made us ask: What are the limits of human potential? How far can we jump? How fast can we run? How fast can we double dutch?

Length: 7:06

By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist.

Real Life Delilah Runs Strong!

Track and field needs a feel good story, a figure to elevate the sport beyond the current scandals and bad news. Delilah DiCrescenzo, the young Olympic hopeful who inspired the Plain White T's Grammy award-winning "Hey There Delilah," may very well be that person. She is furthering her bid to make the Olympic team.

Over the weekend, Delilah took third in the steeplechase in 9:51.49 at the Mt. Sac Relays. She hit the Olympic Trials A standard and Olympic Games B Standard with her last performance. If she continues to lower her time, the dream of making the Olympic team may been well within her reach.

By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist.

Monday, April 21, 2008

When Athletes Blog: Olympic Hopeful Brianna Glenn

Brianna Glenn is living the good life-- albeit not on the track and field dime. Brianna took to her blog to share with fans, her so-called fabulous life that includes running into some of biggest names in sports.

The long jump Olympic hopeful describes to fans that running professional track is like dating the guy that runs to the restroom when the check arrives and never returns to the table.

Says Brianna:

My expectations for the trip were grossly underestimated. As soon as I landed and headed to dinner I was updated on the itinerary. First an intimate dinner at Ruth Chris for about 60. Can I just mention that we all were served steak AND lobster?! You know I was in heaven. Then it was off to spend some time being a “celebrity” bartender with the other athletes sponsored by the company. This included Kasey Kahne, a NASCAR driver, some other guy who races cars and whose name escapes me at the moment, and Chuck Lidell, a guy they call ICEMAN, who is the star of the UFC. Scary lookin’ guy but a total sweetheart. I’ll admit that I didn’t know who anybody was but after hearing their credentials, I was more than impressed. I mean Kasey has his own jet so the guy can’t be too shabby! It was my impression that we would have one bar that was closed off for this special event but I was wrong. There were in fact 12 bars rented out for the entire evening for the convention that was taking place.”

Click here to read Brianna’s full blog.

By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist.

Allyson Felix Launches New Website!

Allyson Felix’s new website is definitely ridiculous! It’s a wonder that every pro runners do not have a website on this level of quality.

Fans can read about her family, faith, and daily life.

By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Final Lap: Fast Times Galore!

  • Fast times at the Michael Johnson Classic. Jeremy Wariner and Sanya Richards put up world leading times on their “home” track in Waco. Wariner ran 44.56 and Richards ran 50.47. Read Star-Telegram

  • 400-meter runner LaShawn Merritt drops down to the 200 with eye-popping results. Merritt just proved again that he has crazy speed in running 19.80 with 3.20 wind at North Carolina A&T. That’s quite impressive in April even considering the wind.

  • Also running at the North Carolina A&T meet, David Oliver came up big in the 110-meter hurdles, running 13.08.

  • Lolo Jones is peaking at the right time heading into Drake Relays. The Des Moines native had her best season opener ever at LSU alumni gold meet in 12.72.

  • Bershawn Jackson came into the season to prove he’s a legit contender at 400-meter hurdles after failing to make the finals in Osaka last year. He is making believers after running 48.32 at the Kansas Relays on Saturday. Is this the year Jackson dips under 48 seconds again? Read Star-Telegram

By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist.

Photo courtesy

The annual professional track meet held in Carson, California is back again in 2008. Meet organizers announced two weeks ago that Allyson Felix, Jeremy Wariner, and Tyson Gay, all Adidas runners, have committed to the Adidas Classic.

On Friday meet organizers announced that two more reigning world champions- Bernard Lagat and Jana Rawlinson- and World Indoor Championships silver medalist Jenn Stuczynski have been added to the line up.

The meet typically draws big names on and off the track. Hip hop artist Bow Wow closed the 2006 meet with a live music performance.

The adidas Track Classic will begin at 12:30 p.m. on May 18 at The Home Depot Center, on the campus of California State University- Dominguez Hills. The meet will be broadcast live on ESPN from 1 p.m.-3 p.m. PDT (4 p.m.-6 p.m. EDT).

Produced by Global Athletics & Marketing, Inc., the adidas Track Classic is the second stop of USA Track & Field’s Visa Championship Series. Tickets, from $40 (finish line) down to $10, are now available by calling Ticketmaster at 213-480-3232 or visiting For group sales, call 1-877-AEG-TICKETS. Visit the event website at for updates and more information.

By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist.

USA Today Recognizes Ryan Hall’s London Performance

Who would have thought 2:06.17 would not have won the London Marathon? Well, it was good enough to for a fourth place finish while running the fastest time ever by an American-born athlete. For his performance, Ryan Hall, was named USA Today Olympic Athlete of the Week award.

The 25 year-old is heading east to watch the women’s marathon trials April 20 and the Boston Marathon on April 21.

The kid has a major upside, and he showed that big time at his first London marathon appearance. Don’t say you didn’t get the memo on the rising star. Ryan handily won the Olympic trials marathon in New York in November with a time of 2:09:02. and he just ran a bananas time in London.

By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evanglist.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Catch Him If You Can

Who can catch Robert Cheruiyot? The Kenyan native is the Boston Marathon’s two-time defending men's champion and is running for his fourth overall title on the Boston course. Cheruiyot is the man to beat on Monday. If competitors want to take his crown, they had better bring their best game because he’s not going down without a fierce fight.

You heard it here. Work productivity around the world may suffer on Monday during the running of the 112th Boston Marathon. There is an interesting and growing trend - watching online video while on the job. Because the Boston Marathon is one of the most popular running events around and a lot of people do not have Patriot's Day off from work, we anticipate a large at-work audience to visit on race day.

FREE and LIVE at 9:25 a.m. ET on Monday, April 21 on

By Jay Hicks, a.ka. Track Evangelist.

Photo courtesy NBC Universal.

The Final Lap: Trouble In Paradise

  • Maurice Greene and HSI called out. It’s a sad day in track if the doping allegations against Maurice Greene are true. The IAAF says none of this is new, and there is no concern for alarm. Whatever that means. Read New York Times

  • Convicted drug cheat, Justin Gatlin, owes the track community an apology after running an embarrassing 4.42 in the 40-yard dash at the NFL combine. That kind of time is simply unacceptable when at least a dozen football players ran faster. Read

  • Athletes be afraid—be very, very afraid. WADA announced that tests for human growth hormone (HGH) will be used in Beijing. Great, except the test only detects HGH if taken fairly recently, as in three days. And who would be that dumb? Read NBC Sports

    • By Jay Hicks, a.ka. Track Evangelist.

    Photo courtesy Reuters.

    Friday, April 18, 2008

    Olympic News Runs Out of Las Vegas

    NBC Universal announced its plans for the 2008 Olympic Games. Over 17 days of Games, NBC Universal will stream 2,200 hours of live and on demand video content that will be available on air, online, and on mobile devices in support of the Olympics. Wow, that's a lot of video.

    NBC has inked a multi-carrier deal to give AT&T, Verizon, and Research In Motion (RIM) subscribers access to the action from Beijing.

    At the big wireless CTIA show in Las Vegas, NBC’s Chief Digital Officer George Kliavkoff said this is a tipping point for mobile usage in the United States.

    Fans can look forward to watching Allyson Felix while standing in the grocery line. Now we’re making progress.

    By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist.

    New Nike Commercial Featuring Asafa Powell!

    The Oregon-based shoe giant has debuted the most recent running commercial featuring 100-meter world record holder Asafa Powell. The commercial is The commercial is for Nike+, a device that tracks your runs through distance, time and calories burned. Nike+ is made to fit into the sole of Nike shoes and transmit information to an iPod Nano.

    You can bet that Nike will put its best foot forward with so much at stake in the sneaker war also known as the Olympic Games.

    This Nike commercial is hot. This is no time to remain silent. By the way-where is the Adidas ad campaign?

    Click here to watch the Asafa Powell commercial.

    By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist.

    Thursday, April 17, 2008

    Running Icon Joan Benoit Samuelson Still Inspires

    It’s been 24 years since the first women’s Olympic marathon champion broke on the world scene in Los Angeles. Joan Benoit Samuelson was a bundle of energy who managed to steal the hearts of Americans and forever change the sport of running for women in this country.

    A recent New York Times article accurately calls her “The Matriarch of Marathoning,” because at the ripe age of 50, Joan is running along with one hundred and sixty-two of the top female marathon runners at the women's United States Olympic Marathon Trials this weekend in Boston.

    The running legend has no illusions of making the Olympic team, however she managed to qualify, so she’s running. When asked about qualifying she said, “Oh, God, no,” she said. “It’s just me against me. I want to run 2:50 at age 50.” This is the same runner that helped pace former cycling champion Lance Armstrong at the New York Marathon in 2006.

    Prior to Joan winning the gold in 1984, women had been deemed to be too weak to run such a distance. I can still remember when she came into the Los Angeles Coliseum alone that day to the roar of the crowd.

    The sight of Joan wearing that white hat, turning into the stadium is an iconic Olympic moment.

    Joan Benoit Samuelson transcended running at that moment because she inspired and connected with the best in each of us. What is cool is that 24 years later, she is doing the same thing.

    By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist.

    Wednesday, April 16, 2008 Offers First Ever Global Webcast of Boston Marathon

    Our good friends at are making news again.

    World Championship Sports Network (WCSN), the premier destination of Olympic and lifestyle sports, announced today it is joining forces with adidas and to provide a free, first-ever global webcast of the 112th Boston Marathon. Through this partnership, fans worldwide can logon to to watch the live and on-demand webcast on April 21, beginning at 9:25 a.m. EST.

    "We're excited to partner with adidas and in offering this free webcast and to help foster worldwide awareness for this major race," said Carlos Silva, president and COO of WCSN. "Now, for the first time global road racing fans will have unprecedented coverage to see the top marathoners square off in one of the world's most prestigious sporting events."

    On, running fans can also access Marathon Madness, a special editorial package that features original content, articles from road racing experts, interactive maps, results, highlights and more. Furthermore, will be offering special commentary from running legend and four-time Boston Marathon winner Bill Rodgers.

    "Adidas is proud to join in providing a free internet broadcast of the 112th Boston Marathon," said Spencer Nel, head of global sports marketing for running and track and field at adidas. "As a Boston Marathon sponsor, adidas is especially pleased to help bring the oldest continuing annual marathon in the world to as many viewers as possible in every corner of the world. With its proven track is the ideal partner to make that happen."

    "Since 2000,’s mission has been to promote the sport by providing comprehensive coverage of and information about marathons and distance running. As part of that mission, we are proud to work with and adidas to ensure that the Boston Marathon broadcast will be available at no cost and can be enjoyed by as many marathon enthusiasts as possible," said John Elliott, founder and president of

    Deemed one of the world's most prestigious and oldest annual road racing events, the Boston Marathon is the second stop on the World Marathon Majors, a marathon series offering a $1 million prize purse to be split between the leading male and female marathoners in the world. is the home of the 2008 World Marathon Majors with complete coverage of the London, Boston, Berlin, Chicago and New York City races. Marathon fans around the globe can catch the action on where they can be part of the more than 500,000 spectators anticipated to be cheering on the runners as they dash through the streets of rural Hopkinton to the beautiful Boston Back Bay finish line at Copley Square. Fans will also have access to complete live and on-demand video footage plus free access to news, race results, photo galleries, behind-the-scenes features and more.

    About World Championship Sports Network (WCSN)World Championship Sports Network (WCSN) is the premier destination for fans of Olympic and lifestyle sports, delivering an immersive experience via exclusive live and on-demand coverage of world class competitions, interaction with top athletes and in-depth access to sports news and information year round.

    By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist.

    Tuesday, April 15, 2008

    Sucker Punched!

    The 400 and 1,600-meter relay teammates of Marion Jones from the 2000 Sydney Games were sucker punched last week when the IOC officially a stripped their medals. Everyone in the track world knew the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decision was coming but that doesn’t change the outrage because the decision makes no sense.

    Marion’s teammates had no knowledge of Marion’s actions nor were they responsible for her illegal actions. The prudent move by the IOC in this scenario should be to strip Marion of her relay medal. Oh, wait—they already did that.

    Marion bashing is a sport that we will leave the “do-nothing” media to play as she serves a 6 month jail term. The people who have been wronged are Marion’s former teammates. Many of the runners are retired from track and are without an opportunity to earn another Olympic medal. Does the act of one athlete outweigh the need of fairness to eight athletes? The answering is a big fat NO! The decision to take the strip their medals is terrible policy and it penalizes the innocent athletes that the IOC is charged with serving.

    By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist.

    Monday, April 14, 2008


    Track athletes on the other side of the ocean are doing it big in tv land. The British tv show, Gladiators, will feature track stars and other Olympic athletes in lyrca-clad outfits. The former Brit Olympic 400-meter runner, Du'aine Ladejo, leads a crew of past and present track stars to headline ‘Gladiators’.

    The British show will see former 400-meter runner Du’aine take on contestants under the name of Predator, alongside several other finely honed sports stars. You might recall that Ladejo won two Olympic medals as part of the British 4 x 400 men’s relay team in the 1992 and 1996 Olympics.

    Ladejo, who was a contestant on British reality show Celebrity Love Island in 2005, will be joined by former heptathlete Jenny Pacey, seen at the top left. Pacey is also a model and will be known on the show as Enigma, and Lucy Boggis, is tipped to be a star at the 2012 Olympics, will be Tempest.

    “I've been practicing my signature pose which is a flick of my hair, a wave and then I blow a kiss,” says 19-year-old up and coming track star, Boggis, who is seen to the right.

    So I tell you, we have been hoodwinked! Bamboozled! Led a stray in this country! The newly revived U.S. version of the Gladiators is a vastly inferior product. The U.S. show with Hulk Hogan should be recast immediately with some of America’s top track athletes. Who wants to sign a petition to our elected officials to get this rectified today?

    By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist.

    When athletes blog: Lauryn Williams at

    Lauryn Williams opens up about her first-time experience strutting her stuff on a different runway - a modeling runway. She premiered as a model for a good cause in her hometown of Miami.

    The former 100-meter champion took time on her blog to chat with fans about her races, night life, and who she cheers for when she isn’t running.

    Says Lauren:

    March 29 was my big debut in the Jockstarzz Fashion Show to benefit the Kevin Everett Foundation, which raises money for spinal cord research. It was so nice to be able to support a fellow Hurricane alumnus and Kevin’s fiancĂ©e, Wiande, who is my good friend, in anyway I can. Kevin is a living miracle and a true testament that you can’t take a single moment of life for granted and that you need to be appreciative of what you have, because in seconds your world can shatter.

    I was sooo nervous about being in the fashion show. First of all, I was scheduled to wear a PINK dress and very high heels, which would make me about one foot taller. I have to tell you that I am not a good example of how a female should walk in heels. I am truly an athlete. Second, I am very shy. I am not at all good with being on stage in front of an audience. Even though I was terrified, I was determined to do my best. But halfway down the runway, my shoes, which were too big, started to slip off. I didn’t’ want to ruin the show by bending down and fixing them, so I slowed down my walk, which was already awkward, and took my time.

    Click here to read her full blog.

    By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist

    Saturday, April 12, 2008

    London Marathon Free On

    The good folks at definately know how to win over the friendship of road race fans. Ryan Hall and company are now just a click away. is offering free, live webcast of the London Marathon.


    Encore Showing of 2007 London Marathon and Highlights of

    2008 London Marathon to Air on WCSN TV

    World Championship Sports Network (WCSN) will provide LIVE coverage of the 2008 London Marathon this Sunday, April 13 starting at 3:55 a.m. EST. The free broadcast will be available to everyone in the U.S and Canada via The Flora London Marathon will host representatives from more than 50 countries in the 26.2 mile course.

    This year's lineup is packed with some of the greatest marathon runners in the world who will go head-to-head this Sunday. Former world record holder Paul Tergat (KEN) will clash with 2006 London Marathon champion Felix Limo (KEN) and defending champion Martin Lel (KEN) who will add intense competition to the race. Newcomer Ryan Hall (USA), who made his marathon debut in London last year when he finished seventh with a U.S. debut record, will be running again this year in his first major race of 2008.

    WHAT: 2008 Flora London Marathon

    WHEN: Sunday, April 13, 2008

    ONLINE: (Free webcast to everyone in USA and Canada)

    LIVE April 13 at 3:55am EST

    TV: WCSN TV - two hour highlights on April 26 at 12:00 pm EST

    *WCSN will have encore presentation of the 2007 London Marathon onApril 12 at 2:30pm ET.

    By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist.

    Just Press Play: 1972 Ralph Mann Olympic 400H Finals

    By: 1981aLan

    Just Press Play is a new weekly series featuring our favorite track related videos. Our friend, Jimson Lee, at located this video. This is how you run the 400-meter hurdles. Today, Dr. Ralph Mann might be more famous for helping professional runners analyze their biomechanics, while one the scene, he ran the race the way it was supposed to be done at the elite level.

    Not as fiery as John Akii-Bua, Mann still put together a career highlighted by an Olympic silver medal in 48.51. This race show his best work: quickly out the block, crisp over the hurdles, and crashing the finish line hard.

    Time: 1:43

    Click here to watch the video.

    By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist

    Friday, April 11, 2008

    When athletes blog: Sanya Richards at

    The 400-meter specialist, Sanya Richards, took to her blog to give an insight into what is on her mind with the Olympics just six months away.

    Sanya’s Top Ten Sports Wishlist

      10. Yao Ming regaining full health and prepared to compete for his country in Beijing

      9. Dwayne Wade back 100%

      8. The Texas Longhorns Men’s BBall team going all the way

      7. Carolina Kluft going for her second heptathalon Olympic

      6. Ronaldino being named footballer of the year again

      5. A great replacement for Craig Masback as CEO of USA Track & Field

      4. Nichole Denby, Lauryn Williams, Walter Davis, & Wallace Spearmon all making the Olympic Team

      3. Bershawn Jackson winning a portion of the million dollar golden league Jackpot

      2. Aaron Ross making it to the Pro Bowl in 200

      1. Me winning the 400m Gold in Beijing!

    By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist.

    Thursday, April 10, 2008

    Mentors Build Minds at Texas Relays

    The running and partying ended, Texas Relays turned to business on Sunday. University of Texas women's track coach, Beverly Kearney, organized the 2nd Annual Minority Symposium. The symposium is a get-together where top notch business professionals, entertainers and professional athletes to pass along their experiences and tips for success to student-athletes. Coach Bev and UT have put together a program to strengthen athlete’s minds.

    The Minority Symposium in Austin drew big speakers, such as Cheryl “Salt” Wray, recording artist of Salt n’ Pepa, former NFL great and sports analyst Keyshawn Johnson, and former Longhorn great and current NFL star Vince Young just to name a few.

    “Creating a mentoring program in our minority community is just so important," Kearney said.

    Bravo. Coach Bev is a leader and inspiration who should be applauded for her innovations. Courtesy of News 8 Austin.

    By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist.