So yeah, before I get into the shout outs I'll briefly talk about my first outing of the fall, the 5km champs last weekend in Yorkville. As you likely gleaned from the opening paragraph, I went out a little quick and my legs didn't have any pop in them over the final 2km. I haven't really laced em up and raced all out in a competitive field since Ottawa race weekend so I didn't feel smooth at all going through the 1k in 2:55 and my racing senses weren't there. There's no excuse for running that slow but I mean I ran 15:40 last year as well in the same race then proceeded to sharpen up and 3 weeks later ran 31:07 and a week after that 68:47 so I'm actually not that bummed or concerned. I hit some big workouts since I've been back and I'm confident it was just an off race. (I did 15X1'/1' going between a 5 minute mile and a 5:30 and just kept going to 10km in 32:17 last week so I know the fitness is there).
Anyway, the race wasn't super great but the weekend certainly was. My flight was perfect, I got a cab with a very interesting driver who gave me the low down on the Jays season so far and TIFF. Then the first guy I spot at our hotel is non other then Nacho Libre, Trevor Hofbauer who's a beauty if you ever met one. (Check out his latest blog, he's moving to Speed River - https://trevorhofbauer.wordpress.com/ ). They didn't have the block of rooms that was provided ready for us so we grabbed stuff from whole foods and then met Mike Tate and my roommate for the weekend John Mason. After we got everything sorted out I met up with Jeff and Courchene for a chat and a Freshii before the technical meeting. That night I grabbed some food with My coach, John Lofranco and his other athlete, my friend Laura Batternik who came 3rd overall in the race btw, congrats Laura! After the race it was all about getting some time in with the GRE crew, I swear you'll never find a funnier or better group of dudes to hang with for brunch and beers. They are all great runners and even better human beings. I mean we are talking legend status to the point they have nicknames...I'm not even joking, from "Runner Rob, to Marathon Mike and Bolts....it's a great crew and I look forward to grabbing some post race beverages after Scotia.
Noteworthy performances and shout outs.
1 - Jay Sneddon and Garrett De Jong in the Ottawa 5k. My bud Jay opened up his season with a super solid 5km that was good for a top 10 finish at the Army Run 5k and the Legendary Garrett "Don't Call it a Comeback" De Jong laced em up for the first time since Ottawa race weekend 2015. It's awesome to see him back, he's got boatloads of talent and some fast PR's (3:54/8:23) 1500/3k so when he comes back at 100% I'll have my hands full for sure. I can't tell you how many times I've been having a great race and out of nowhere comes Garrett galloping along and dropping me in the last half of the race. The sole win I have over him was Ottawa 10k 2015 and it took Costen dragging me to a 31. I remember running 31:17 in 2014 in T.O and feeling like a boss hitting 9k and then he just destroyed me over the last 800 putting like 10 seconds on me. So yeah, get healthy Garrett, come out for Scotiabank, we will get on the go with JC and plan for Kingston! I look forward to chasing you deep into the fall! (Maybe a game of detonator again post XC Nats at the abberdeen house)
2 - Matt Power at the Acadia AUS Meet. Matt's a young guy from St. John's who is beyond talented, he runs super low mileage but is really developing into a stud runner. If all goes well he's certainly got a chance this year at a top 7 finish in the conference. My X boy's have it on lockdown from 1 through 5 but Matt should sneak into 6th or 7th. The only bad news about Matt's development is that back in April I could jump into a local 5k for fun, roll an easy 15:30 5km and be well clear of him, from here on out I'll have to race all out and go 14 high to have that much breathing room, and I bet within a year or two he will be running that quick himself.
3 - Kevin Coffey at the Eastside 10k. Kev ran 31 flat on some serious marathon training. He's running some workouts that make you want to delete strava they are so fast/long. This is going to be the year Kev goes sub 2:20 at Scotia, he's run 2:21 flat before but he's a different beast now so don't be surprised to see a 2:18 out of him or better.
4 - Leslie Sexton, also at the Eastside 10k. Leslie threw down on marathon legs as well and dropped a 33:17 which shows she's extremely fit. Leslie is another one who's strava running will make you tired just scrolling through it. Props as well go to Dayna P on running a strong race too, also mid marathon build. Both Dayna and Leslie could go sub 2:30 if everything falls into place come October 16th so keep it locked!
What will the men's race look like in Berlin this year?
Here we are, less then a week out from the first major of the fall, the notoriously fast Berlin Marathon. From what I've seen and can gather, Berlin isn't really known for spending big money on appearance fees like London and NYC, instead they use the allure of a blistering fast course. This coupled with the fact that people know the organizers generally get really good pacers to go to at least 25k normally attracts the fastest guys to go after the world record. Unfortunately, this being an Olympic year, the greatest marathoner the world has ever seen, Eliud Kipchoge is only 6 weeks removed from a 2:08, Olympic gold performance and thus won't be competing. That's not to say their aren't some big time names toeing the line, there most definitely are. On the very top end you've got E. Mutai and Wilson Kipsang, both sub 2:03:30 runners at their best. We are also going to see the GOAT, Kenny Bekele toeing the line with a couple other studs most notably Tsegaye Mekonnen who I feel is the man to put your money on. He's super young and has a 2:04 mid to his name.
What I've noticed in the marathon at the very highest level, I'm talking sub 2:05 guys, is that the body can only produce so many of those races. We all witnessed what it took for Kimetto to run that 2:02:57. He literally collapsed over the finish line and hasn't been a factor in any race since then. Wilson Kipsang held his peak for the better part of 4 years from the first time he broke 2:04 in Frankfurt up until the 2015 London Marathon when he was toe to toe with Kipchoge running 2:04 in London but even he has lost several steps since then. It's not just what racing at that velocity for 2 hours will do to you, but the build ups it takes. I even see it with sub elites to a lesser extent. It takes a toll on the body.
I bring this up because most of the top talent is likely on the other side of their peak, Bekele's 3rd place in London was a very good sign however given his training had apparently been very spotty and 3 month out he was like 20 pounds over his racing weight, doing workouts and running high mileage on as little as 1200 calories a day if reports from his camp are to be believed.
If I was laying my own money down I'd put it on the upset and take Mekonnen, he will likely run fearlessly and if he's still around with 10k to go he has the younger less marathon callused legs. But never discount guy's like Mutai, Kipsang or Bekele. They have accomplished so much and possess such talent that anything is possible. This is one to watch. I predict a 2:04 mid race.
OK guys, I'll get out of here. I promise to be back to normal next week and talk training, more marathons and fall plans.
Until then, keep that chin tucked,