Archive for the ‘Running’ Category

Andrew Snope Smashes World 24 Hour Endurance Running Record

Ultra ultra ultra marathoner Andrew Snope has just stunned the world and set a new world record. The 28 year-old ran an incredible 220km in 24 hours on the weekend. And he did it all barefoot.

Andrew Snope. Photo:

Andrew Snope. Photo:

Snope, originally from savannah in Georgia, US, ran his mind-boggling record on a tartan athletics track in Alaska. Barring toilet breaks he ran non-stop, averaging an incredible 9.17 km per hour. His feat improved the previous record by 8.5km in the same time.

What makes Snope’s new record even more impressive is knowing that the mark he beat was set on a treadmill.  Treadmill running is the easiest possible version of the movement. Running in place creates no wind resistance, the surface is soft underfoot, adding bounce to each stride, and supporters can stand right next to you as you pound on and on.

In essence, Snope ran five and a quarter marathons back-to-back and alone; each in the highly creditable time of four hours 35 minutes.

Andrew Snope took up running three years ago after reading about the benefits of exercize in the book ‘Born to Run’. He is a fierce advocate of the natural states bought about by running. So much so he has never (and will never) owned a pair of running shoes.

Snope describes barefoot running as ecstatic, “Your senses are really heightened. To take a shower (after running) is ecstasy. To sit down is mind-blowing.”

Genevieve LaCaze Grinds it at Commonwealth Games Closing Ceremony

Attractive Australian steeplechaser Genevieve LaCaze was a little more subdued this morning after crashing Kylie Minogue’s performance at last night’s Commonwealth Games closing ceremony.

LaCaze was dared to run onto the stage by Games volunteers and she took the once in a lifetime opportunity. The head-turning runner was celebrating her 25th birthday and a 5th place in her event. Kylie had left the stage for a brief costume change when the volunteers made their suggestion. Their suggestion came as Ms LaCaze is from the Gold Coast, the site of the next Commonwealth Games and the idea of a Gold Coaster welcoming the Commonwealth to our next games seemed a great idea.

Plus, was a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Ms LaCaze rushed onto the stage and started grinding to the music. This morning Ms LaCaze described herself as ‘shy’ and ‘usually a rule-follower’ Her only regret, she said, was not also grabbing the microphone and belting out a few tunes.

“I’m the one who worries about the consequences before taking the chance of doing something a little bit rebellious, but I thought, ‘It’s my 25h birthday.”

“I don’t know,” she told reporters, “I find 25 a number where you’re becoming an adult really, and I thought maybe one more childish act was in me.”

Genevieve LaCaze bumps and grinds on stage at Comm Games. Photo

Genevieve LaCaze bumps and grinds on stage at Comm Games. Photo

was born at Mount Tamborine in the Gold Coast hinterlands. She spent her schooling years in Logan, Queensland. However, whe won a scholarship to attend University of Florida in the U.S. and has lived there since.

Genevieve studied applied physiology and kinesiology. She completed her bachelor’s degree in 2012, the same year she competed in the Olympics for Australia. It was a race she very nearly missed as she posted her qualifying time after the closing date. However, a last minute reprieve allowed her to don the green and gold.

In fact, Genevieve stumbled into the sport of steeplechase quite by accident. He college team lost their number one pick for the steeplechase at a university games event. Genevieve was asked to step in. And she fell in love with the event.

Genevieve has learned a lot from these games: She has been approached by FHM for modelling. She learned a lot about tactics – having had her race dictated to her by the seemingly unbeatable Kenyans. And she has found out that when she dances the world stops to watch.

Sally Pearson angry at lack of support from Comm Games management

The relationship between the Australian team head coach, Eric Hollingswroth, and hurdle and sprint champion, Sally Pearson, has sunk yet further.

The latest spat occurred when Pearson complained of obstructions put in place to access the team medical staff. With her highly publicized hamstring woes of this season Pearson declares she needs access to the staff (access she would have previously received without question). “I’m focusing everything I can on what I can do to win and be in the best shape possible for next weekl” she told reporters.

Eric Hollingsworth. Photo:

Eric Hollingsworth. Photo:

Hollingsworth’s autocratic style of leadership has alienated many in the Australian camp. He was the one behind imposing fines on Pearson, Alex Rowe and discus champion Benn Harradine for skipping the team’s Newcastle camp. Hollingswort was also a vocal opponent of Pearson’s split with former coach and long-time mentor Sharon Hannan.

Since then relations between the two continued to sour. After coming second at the world indoor titles in Sopot, Poland in March Hollingsworth took Pearson aside. The ‘discussion’ did nt go well, with Pearson refusing to speak to him from hat moment on.

Pearson announced she is frustrated at the lack of support she is getting from Athletics Australia and the Commonwealth Games team management. She has elected to hold her tongue until the games are finished, preferring to concentrate on her racing.

Hollingsworth was a former British Decathlete. He was head coach of the New Zealand squad and has held the top job in Australia since 2008.

Alex Rowe Fined for Missing Comm Games Camp

Australian 800 meter runner Alex Rowe has been fined by Athletics Australia for not attending the team camp in Newcastle ahead of the Glasgow Commonwelath games. The move provoked outrage among current and frmer team members, with outspoken former track champion John Steffensen labelling the fine as ‘hopeless’.

Alex Rowe . Photo

Alex Rowe . Photo

Rowe preferred the $860 fine to attending camp. He used the time instead to compete in a race in Monaco, where he equalled the 1 minute 44.40 record set by Ralph Dubell in 1968. Rowe, who won in the final Diamond League meet in Lucerne, was offered a place in the Monaco Grand Prix at short notice.

The idea of flying in to Newcastle and then back to Monaco for the meet didn’t make sense. “To come here for a day and then the day after have to travel just wasn’t feasible, so I made the decision to go straight to Monaco as the best preparation as possible,” Rowe told reporters.

Rowe finished seventh in his race at Monaco, earning him $720 in prize money.

Pistorius Trial Overshadows South African Com Games Team

Oscar Pistorus. Photo:

Oscar Pistorus. Photo:

As the South African Commonwealth Games team disembarked in Glasgow they were awash with questions about the absent Oscar Pistorius. And it seems they are not shy in adding their own impressions of the man once touted as a national hero.

Pistorius captured attention by running on artificial legs and running fast. He not only gave hope to many disabled athletes, he became an icon for the ingenuity, guts and fortitude of South Africans generally.

But all that changed when he was accused of the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

He is accused of shooting her through a toilet door in their South African home last year. The trial, a national and world sensation in its own right, is nearing its conclusion.

But many South Africans, most notably the athletes who had dealings with the man, have little sympathy for him. The general feeling is that he was loud, self-centred and prone to vicious outbursts. What made it all the more galling was the sanitized public image created for him and touted through the media. It is widely believed that many fellow Suth African athletes refused to room with Pistorius refusing to be drawn into his tantrums and quirks.

Despite being absent from the Commonwealth games team Pistorius is the most well-known and talked about member. Even with him half a world away many athletes are still in his shadow. Many are hoping the results of his trial will not overshadow their own medal efforts or, indeed, the Commonwealth Games themselves.

Athletes looking to impress in Glasgow Commonwealth Games

On Wednesday the curtain rises on the Commonwealth games. It is to be hosted in Scotland’s largest city – Glasgow, and promises to be very different to those games that came before it.

6500 athletes, representatives of 70 Commonwealth nations will contest 261 events in 17 distinct sports over 11 days. And while many disregard the Commonwealth Games as the poor cousin of the Olympics, there is still much to draw the attention of sports fans.

Megastars such as Usain Bolt and Mo Farah show just how seriously athletes take the competition: Bolt said to Jamaican reporters, “I am available for relay duty if the selectors feel I can be an asset to the Jamaican team in Glasgow.” And while he may lack the competition of the American or African runners Bolt recognizes the importance of these games to Jamaica, and he is bringing his A-game.

England’s 5000m and 10,000m Olympic and world champion Mo Farah is dragging himself from his sickbed to be ready and fully fit for the games. The 31 year-old Farah has declared himself recovered from the abdominal pains that sidelined him, and all but demanded inclusion in the English squad. “I’m very excited to be competing for England and go out there,” said a clearly sincere Farah.





Both men are determined to perform their Archer-aiming-high and Mobot victory dances in front of Scottish fans and the world.

Other world champions at the Games include: Kenya’s David Rudisha, who has obliterated all-comers in this year’s Diamond League 800m events; New Zealand shot putter Valerie Adams, who retains an incredible 53 event winning streak; and South African Chad Le Clos, the only man to beat the seemingly indestructible Michael Phelps in his pet event – the men’s 200m butterfly.

It is hoped the attention these, and other champions, draw to the Commonwealth Games gets spread amongst lesser-known sports. Squash, for instance was ousted as an Olympic sport for the re-introduction of wrestling. But as a spectacle for sports fans it has few equals: Put two guys in a cramped space, get them working hard and trying to outwit each other and the contest is riveting!

Pearson Undecided about 100 Flat at Commonwealth Games

 Sally Pearson is still undecided about whether or not to contest the 100 meters flat at the Commonwealth Games next month.

Competing in the Glasgow Diamond League meet over the weekend Pearson ran an ordinary time (by her standards0 of 12.87 seconds for the 100 meter hurdles. She managed to edge-out her main rival for Commonwealth games glory – Great Britain’s Tiffany Porter. But Pearson was disappointed with her performance.

Sally Pearson still looking for form. Photo:

Sally Pearson still looking for form. Photo:

Pearson’s best hurdles time this season has been 12.59 seconds; her best ever 12.28. The 12.87 she ran in Glasgow on the weekend is pedestrian by comparison.

As things stand now Sally Pearson is set to contest the 100 meters flat at the Glasgow Games. She will toe the line alongside Australian record holder – the flying Melissa Breen. Pearson is also pencilled in as a starter in the women’s 4×100 relay. But she is the first to admit this may all change.

Speaking of the 100 meters flat Pearson said, “I’m going to make a decision at the last minute, but I’m still trying to get there.” And the same last minute decision, one can only surmise, will also be made for the relay.

Pearson has made no secret of the fact the 100 meters hurdles are her main focus. She is the reigning Commonwealth and Olympic champion of this event and fully intends to remain so. She will do what she can to support the Australian track and Field squad in other events – if she can. But only if she knows she is running fast and completely injury free. Since the beginning of the year Sally has struggled with nagging the hamstring trouble; cutting short her build up for the Diamond League events.

Alysia Montano Runs in U.S. Track Championship at 34 Weeks Pregnant

It’s almost like running a one person relay.

Alysia Montano at U.S. Track championships. Photo

Alysia Montano at U.S. Track championships. Photo

Five-time national champion Alysia Montano has compete in the U.S. 800 meter track championship while 34 weeks pregnant. Montano wanted to keep running through her pregnancy and found that her pace had slowed so little she qualified for the U.S. championships. She consulted her physicians her not only gave her the green light to compete, but actually encouraged her to do so.. The latest research into maternity exercise leaves no doubt as to the benefits of exercise throughout a woman’s pregnancy. Montao was overjoyed!

The 28 year former University of California track champion ran the race with the goal of not being lapped. She needn’t have worried. Though not as competitive as he has been Montano ran the 800 meters in the very respectable time of 2 minutes 32.13 seconds. Granted this was 25 seconds slower than her 1:57.34 in Monaco, but still faster than most people ever run in their lives (this writer included). Montano started the race with in a relaxed pace, she dropped off the leading pack but ran fluidly for the entire distance. She maintained a constant, comfortable effort throughout.

Spectators were duly appreciative, rising to their feet and applauding as Montano crossed the finish line. In an interview after the race Montano glowed, feeling rightly pleased with her run.

Entrants Being Decided for Crossfit 2014 Games

Athletes are getting to the pointy end of the season with the Crossfit Games to be held on 25th of July. Thousands of men and women have been whittled down to 50 males and 50 female competitors. The Open three-day event will decide who among them is the fittest on earth.

The Crossfit Games identify the true fitness of its competitors by incorporating a wide range of exercises all based on functional movements. The Crossfit mantra is to ‘move large loads, over long distances, quickly.’

Crossfit Games - Photo:

Crossfit Games – Photo:

To this end, competitions are almost exclusively interval events; that is – different exercises tax different body parts in different ways. So, for instance, athletes may be required to perform a certain number of overhead squats (holding a weighted barbell at full extension above their heads while squatting) before moving onto a series of rope climbs. The main muscles used for the first exercise are the assistor muscles used for the second. This allows a constant aerobic demand to be put on the cardiovascular system while making a maximum demand of the anaerobic system of different muscles in turn.

For anyone who has never been to a Crossfit event I have this recommendation – GO! Or at least watch a stream of the event from the Crossfit website.

Even if you do not exercise yourself, these events are the most absorbing sporting spectacles today. And this is because the events are designed to push each and every athlete to their absolute edge.

Rather than competing against each other each athlete is, in effect, competing against themselves. So spectators are treated to the human element of sport – the determination required to persist, the desire to go beyond anything they thought they could do. Because no matter how well trained an athlete is there will be some point at which they break. Crossfit is designed to get its participants to that point.

Pearson Injury Raises Doubts for Glasgow Commonwealth Games

SallyChampion hurdler and sprinter Sally Pearson has been forced to withdraw from this weekend’s Diamond League Athletic Carnival in New York. Another foreboding twitch in her hamstring has forced the veteran runner to take the safe option and rest.

At an event in Rome last week Sally complained of a similar nagging in her hamstring. “It’s  warning that I still have a little work to do.” Pearson wrote in a blog on her website.

The work Pearson is referring to is rehabilitation from twice tearing her hamstring last year. As the saying goes in running, ‘Any runner is only a hamstring injury away from oblivion,’ so for Sally to be running at this level at all is a testimony to her fighting spirit.

However, last year’s injuries were to cost her the opportunites of defending her world title. Rather than competing she was returning to full fitness as the domestic season continued with out her.

Sally returned to top grade in time to recapture her Australian 100m and 100m hurdle titles and she seemed pleased with her progress. Until, after a long cramped flight, the hamstring niggle returned in Rome – and now again in New York.

Doubts are building over Pearson’s ability to be ready for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow next month. It would be a cruel blow to the sprinter who has already done so much for her sport and country.

Peason has three smaller races in Belgium, Scotland, and Switzerland in which to prove her fitness before the Games are due to begin.