A discussion for our sport, for our time. East and West of the Platte. East and West of the Mississippi. https://www.runnersworld.com/news/a24416805/where-are-the-fast-us-marathoners/
An interesting discussion on why American men, excepting Galen Rupp, are lagging. Please give it a quick read and see if you agree with elite runner Parker Stinson, ““There is a huge hole in U.S. distance running right now,” said Parker Stinson before the Chicago Marathon, where he ran 2:14:29 in his second attempt at the distance. “There’s Galen, who is running incredible and doing great things in the Olympics and timewise. But then a lot of Americans are just running 2:12. Who am I to say ‘just 2:12,’ because I haven’t done that. But from a world perspective, that’s not good enough.”
How do you think? Locally? Regionally? Nationally? Globally?
The article surmises the following:
1) Location, location, location! Conditions have been less than ideal. For example the 2016 Olympic Trials marathon in L.A. It was a death march. Weather, topography, and support all play an integral part and you better choose your opportunities wisely if you are serious about reaching your potential. Athletes from across America will gather at California International Marathon to take advantage of the 340′ of net elevation drop. Why? To run fast. But you don’t have to travel to California. There is always Flat. And Fast. And Closed Course. And Local. Your best shot, Valley 7 Lakes Marathon next April 27th.
2) Appearance fees to the majors, Boston, NYC, relatively slow courses that reward mid level US runners with appearance fees to bolster interest from American viewers.
3) Runners waiting too long to debut. The 24 year old Stinson posits, ” “Very few people want to be like, ‘Hey, I’m 24 and I want to be a marathoner.’ It seems like they go there when they’re already 30 or 31. It’s not that we lack talent, we lack commitment from athletes to go to the marathon early enough.”
He’s right in the sweet spot. I’ve offered him free lodging and meals at the Bar None until Tokyo.
World class coach Kevin Hanson offers this: “Few people are good at the marathon in their first attempt. It can take four or five training cycles and race days to learn the event. “You can’t really get in more than two marathons a year.” The same message I reinforce to my athletes. But Oh Boy, look out Kevin! You’ve got a whole lot of people that profess to know more about marathoning than you! Look, he’s right. You may be admired for many marathon efforts per year but you will never run to your true potential.
From Ben Rosario, head coach of Northern Arizona Elite, ” “If you have a guy and he’s run a 27:50 10K, and he waits until he’s in his 30s to run the marathon because he’s not as good at the 10K as he used to be, you can’t sit there and say, ‘Well, I’m going to run 2:10 because I’m a 27:50 10K guy.’ No, you’re not. You used to be. You’re not in the prime of your career anymore. That’s what happens when people wait too long.”
So to the youth of Nebraska and the United States. Gather at 6:20 a.m., under the start banner at the DC West track on April 27th. The whole purpose of this marathon is to give you the best opportunity to Run To Your Potential. No matter your pace. Put up an honest time. You deserve it. You’ll never forget it.
The flattest closed road marathon in the world. Laying at your feet in Valley, Nebraska. Your best shot.