Will the Marathon WR fall tomorrow night in Dubai?
We now have Bekele's agent and coach Jos Hermens confirming the attempt and that Kenny is 100% healthy. If this is in fact the case, with the topography of the Dubai course and there being only 4 turns the only thing that could stop him is the heat as it's generally about 10 degrees hotter then Berlin at the start of this race, though they do set the runners off before sunrise. Kenny has requested 61:00 through the half, which I personally think is a little too quick, but the man has run 12:37, 26:17 and 2:03:03 so who am I to comment. That would be 23 seconds faster then anyone has split the half before in a marathon. He's got hired pacers guaranteed through 30k and they will continue as long as they can. (Getting that far takes 2:04 type of talent). So yeah, what do you guys think about this. I like that he's going for it, and fast times have been run here in the past. It's also worth noting on his other WR's he ran mostly alone and just hit splits. Without the thought of trying to win the race with a competitor breathing down his neck he's free to relax and try to run the splits with the least amount of energy expended. I personally think he's fit enough to go under 2:02:30 but I'm not sure if this is the place to do it. I like the idea of a little cooler temps and having another guy there right up until the end to push the pace if it starts to drop. With that said however Kipsang and Bekele left the WR out on the course last fall from 35-40k when they ran side by side trying to figure each other out. Either way, this is going to be a treat, and the fact that Bekele will come back and face a LOADED field in early April again in London means he's got his MOJO back and he wants to cement his legacy as the greatest distance runner of all time.
Thoughts on the new IAAF World Indoor Tour.
I spent some time reading about the indoor tour on the IAAF site and I really like the idea, the money they are offering is really good for indoors and it's not a long season like the outdoor Diamond League. I don't feel however, that it's enough to get guys like Kiprop, Makhloufi, Rudisha et all. But on the women's side, the girls already seem fond of indoors. We always see Dibaba attacking records and girls like Siffan Hasan and Kipyegon running both here in North America and overseas during the indoor season. I love this idea, generally without world indoors it can be slow from January until March with only a few big meets like Millrose and Birmingham but this gives the track fan some action to bridge the gap until people start chasing times at Stanford. Prediction; we see a sub 3:50 indoor mile this year and Dibaba breaks her indoor 1500m WR going under 3:55!
Could Centro be the 5k Olympic champ in 2020
Now I know this seems like it's coming out of left field, and that Centro just won the Olympic Gold Medal in Rio this past summer but hear me out for a second. I feel like he's going to obviously stick with the 1500 this year at Worlds in London but with the next year, 2018 being an off year I have this sneaking suspicion that Alberto will have him run some 5km's and start the transition, maybe choosing to go for the double at worlds 2019. We know that Alberto is more of a longer distance coach and that he likes his athletes to have great range. Pair that with the fact that most of the recent 5000m world finals, with the exception of Rio have been utterly pedestrian. Worlds in 2015 was won in like 13:50 with a big last lap. Centro, at least in my estimation is the perfect tactician and can close like maybe 3 other men on the planet can. He's obviously doing a lot of aerobic work and he used to run and score for Oregon in the glory XC days when they had Rupp, Shadrak, Wheating, Puskedra and the gang. If memory serves he ran in Palo Alto in either 2014 or 15 and ran 13:20 looking like he was jogging. This is a move I'm really excited to see. When Mo moves to the roads full time after worlds this year it seems like Gold in the 5000 is there for the taking. The only guy who he might struggle with first going up to that event would be Iguider as he's also a beast in the 1500 with a 3:28 to his name as well as a sub 13. I don't really think Centro, at least early in the move up to the 5k, would do well in sub 13 races but with some time and work I think he could be a world beater at that event. His old man was, and as his tattoo reads "Like father like son".
Alright guys that's it for me. I'll be back to recap some indoors and Dubai next week. Thanks for stopping by. I've got the fire in the belly with my training so I'm excited to kick off this new year with some big mileage and some fast spring races. I hope all my homies are doing well, Michael Rochus keeps killing it with the Terminal Mile, the wolf, Jeff Costen seems to be grinding as usual based on some strava creeping (watch for that guy this spring.....PB's coming from the 5k to marathon in 2017!) and Zimak as well as Coffey took on the spicy heat of Huston. Don't worry fellas, you'll both go sub 2:20 next time out, take that to the bank, you are both the definition of legends.
Keep that chin down, hands high and let em' fly!