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  • Calling all American Marathoners

    I did a little analysis of the nationality of the 75 men who have broken 2:08 for the marathon.

    31 from Kenya
    8 from Japan
    7 from Ethiopia
    7 from Spain
    3 from Russia
    3 from Portugal
    3 from France
    2 from Morocco
    2 from Italy
    2 from Korea
    1 from Brazil
    1 from Djoubiti
    1 from Mexico
    1 from Great Britian
    1 from Belgium
    1 from Australia
    1 from United States

    If you did this by origin of birth there would be no Americans.

    When are the Americans going to step up at this distance? Or do we have to continue to import talent in order to be competitive?

    2:11 or 2:12 don't cut it any more guys. You have to be sub 2:08 to be competitive on the world scene.

  • #2
    Re: Calling all American Marathoners

    what do you expect? the best athletes in america go to other sports.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Calling all American Marathoners

      The best athletes to to football, basketball, baseball, etc. and the marathon requires a lot of hard work besides a lot of talent. We are a nation that has gone soft.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Calling all American Marathoners

        Other sports? What endurance sport is as big as running in the US. Not that marathoning is all that big here but compared to cycling, swimming, etc. The triathalon?

        Soccer steals long sprinters and middle distance runners.

        Football, baseball and basketball may steal sprinters, jumpers, throws and even long sprinters.

        The average world class marathoner is 5'7" and 125 lbs. What other sports rob that body type of athlete from track?

        I'm 5'7.5" and ran by best at about 130 lbs. I was a good athlete but realized I was too small for football, baseball or basketball and soccer wasn't big in the US when I was a kid. And we didn't have video games yet, heck all this small town kid could do was run.

        What I'm trying to say is that if your are naturally inclined to be a good marathoner you will to small and light to be great at most other sports. (of course there are exceptions)

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Calling all American Marathoners

          "The best athletes to to football, basketball, baseball, etc. and the marathon requires a lot of hard work besides a lot of talent. We are a nation that has gone soft."

          While I do not agree that those sports mentioned are stealing promising marathoners I do agree that we Americans have gotten soft in alot of respects.

          I would wager that if you took a look at the training schedule of those 75 guys who have broken 2:08 in the marathon and compared it too those of our top 3 marathoners from the Olympic trials you would see that they do not put in as much miles or tempo work as the 75 guys do/did.

          The question is why? Can't they or won't they?
          That is a very hard question which I'm sure varies from person to person.

          Are we not getting the talent or is the talent not willing to do what is necessary? It takes extreme sacrafics to be in sub 2:08 shape, and who can blame anyone for not wanting to make those sacrafices.

          Maybe we are intimiadated by the 31 Kenyans who already have run under 2:08. Are some Americans asking themselves: "why make the extra sacrafice to go where so many have already been. Heck, you could get in great 2:07 shape and still only get 4th or 5th in the Chicago Marathon."

          Is the reward worth the effort and risk???? To the externally motivated probably not.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Calling all American Marathoners

            Take a walk down any strip mall and look at all the 300lbs 10 year olds. This is America's future, or hope to import runners. America has enough money to buy a few Kenyan's.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Calling all American Marathoners

              I can see it now:

              Stephen Cherono - oops, Saif Saaeed Shaheen - who was optioned by Qatar to AAA Team USA last week in exchange for 20 rabbits and the remainder of Cherono's (oops, Shaheen's) annual salary of $12,000 for life, set an American record in the men's steeplechase Tuesday with a time of 8.05,9 during a FAT-timed practice session. Shaheen, once Stephen Cherono, who recently signed a five-year contract worth $251,000 to top US-born mile fadester - oops, speedster - Alan Webb's $250,000 NIKE contract, said he could have set taken the American record under 8.00, but decided against it with 800m remaining. Cherono decided against obliviating the old US record, because he did not want fans to lose interest in what he said is America's favorite televised event: the steeplechase. Cherono signed an agreement with Team USA last week to change his name back to Stephen, and to give up his Qatari nationality in exchange for American stardom. The catch? Cherono was forced to change his surname to an American-sounding name in order to draw positive reaction in the public opinion, and therefore chose to go by the name of Stephen Smith.

              Obligated to meet his sponsorship obligations, Smith is contractually bound to eat one snickers per day to satisfy himself, drink one bud for you, and a certain sugar-enhanced beverage in an effort to obey his thirst. To top it off, Smith will eat at a certain fast-food restaurant chain each day for the rest of his life to help Americans "change the way they look at fast-food."

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Calling all American Marathoners

                >When are the
                >Americans going to step up at this distance? Or do we have to continue to
                >import talent in order to be competitive?

                Why don't you step up and show us all how it's done?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Calling all American Marathoners

                  Those with the genes, size and cardiovasular systems, as was pointed out, don't have any other sport to go to - except cycling. Both distance running and cycling (in spite of Lance) suffer in the US from lack of interest and therefore lack of income. Runners from third world countries can earn a life's income by winning a few second tier races. American's couldn't get by for a year on the money awarded at major races. All the talent goes elsewhere - not into sports.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Calling all American Marathoners

                    i think the key is to maximize the runners potential from the 1500/mile to the 10k and have the high school and college runners run a marathon a week or 2 after the cross country and track seasons, so the distance will not intimidate them in their post collegiate careers, a lot of coaches think running marathons at young ages hurts the athlete, well geb ran one at age 15 in 248 at altitude and it has not hurt his career. john walker once said if the milers moved up in distance they could wipe out all the longer distance specialist, including in the marathon gordon pirie said if herb elliott wanted to he would break all the records from 1500 to the marathon. steve ovett ran a 101 half marathon as a training run. when steve scott was in high school and about a 415 miler at the time he said he ran a 230 marathon talking and joking the whole way, bill rodgers was only a 930-940 2 miler in high school and an 858 2 miler in college,and he ran 209, so if a more talented runner then rodgers say sub 9 in high school is developed properly he should be able to run under 208.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Calling all American Marathoners

                      "john walker once said if the milers moved up in distance they could wipe out all the longer distance specialist, including in the marathon "

                      El G, while running fast, still hasn't broken the 5000, or even the 3000 world record. Geb has yet to take down the marathon record. Coulda, woulda, shoulda. They haven't.

                      "steve ovett ran a 101 half marathon as a training run"

                      He may not have been focussing for it, but I somehow doubt it was just another slightly higher effort day for Ovett (presuming he did actually run a 1:01).

                      "when steve scott was in high school and about a 415 miler at the time he said he ran a 230 marathon talking and joking the whole way"

                      Possibly he did, but I somehow again doubt he was joking the last 10km, or could have dropped 20 minutes had he focussed on the marathon.

                      "bill rodgers was only a 930-940 2 miler in high school and an 858 2 miler in college"

                      And didn't start training seriously until a few years after college, making comparisons with his earlier times irrelevant.

                      "if a more talented runner then rodgers say sub 9 in high school is developed properly he should be able to run under 208"

                      Like, say, Todd Williams, who ran a heck of a lot faster over shorter stuff (27:31), but never threatened Rodgers marathon time?

                      It's not as easy as it looks on paper, apparently.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Calling all American Marathoners

                        When are the
                        >Americans going to step up at this distance? Or do we have to continue to
                        >import talent in order to be competitive?

                        2:11 or 2:12 don't cut it any more
                        >guys. You have to be sub 2:08 to be competitive on the world scene.>

                        This is the same argument that the idiot that comes on here during any thread that mentions the mile and tells us that the US is no good at the mile. Thanks for the update.

                        What's your plan and since "we" seem to be importing runners are you the importer since I don't know who "we" is?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Calling all American Marathoners

                          I love it, a good old fashioned debate.

                          I'd like to take a shot at answering some of the questions directed to me or just in general.

                          From malmo:
                          <<<Why don't you step up and show us all how it's done?>>>

                          I'll leave that to you Malmo, you have the better PR's. Why don't you come out of retirement and show us the way.

                          From coach Neil:
                          <<American's couldn't get by for a year on the money awarded at major races. All the talent goes elsewhere - not into sports.>>

                          This isn't new, Shorter was on food stamps as he trained for 1972 Olympics. Its a problem but not one that hasn't been around and it didn't stop Shorter and Rodgers and Salazar.

                          Asterix wrote:
                          <<It's not as easy as it looks on paper, apparently.>>

                          Amen. (I actually agree with Asterix???) The marathon is a different ball game and just as all 400m runners don't make good 800m runners and not all milers make good 5k/10k guys not all 5k/10k guys make good marathoners (Williams case in point). Also by the way not all marathoners make good 100k ultramarthoners.

                          My good buddy Dutra wrote:
                          <<<This is the same argument that the idiot that comes on here during any thread that mentions the mile and tells us that the US is no good at the mile. Thanks for the update. What's your plan and since "we" seem to be importing runners are you the importer since I don't know who "we" is?>>>>

                          Ah, but Dutra we are starting to get a discussion going about this. That is the beauty of message boards: the free sharing of opinions. Thanks for taking part. My "plan"? I never claimed to have one but I do have a few ideas and wanted to spark debate from others about what they think. I think the idea of a collegiate 1/2 marathon championship (in Feb)is a good idea, except I realize the NCAA is very unlikely to go for it. I also think the club system is coming back in the US in the marathon and is already helping some runners (as was seen in the US men's marathon trials), we still have a long way to go but at least I see movement that we haven't seen in several years. I'd like to see more corporate sponsored marathon teams like the Japenese use, surely we could do that in the US. I am working on a proposal to see if the company I work for would be willing to sponsor a few promising young runners in our region. My "importing runners" comment was in jest (as I think most took it), I was poking fun at Qatars attempt to buy a track team.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Calling all American Marathoners

                            And from Old Vaulter:

                            <<<But who wants to go out for an event where you only get to compete twice in a year?>>>

                            A typical racing schedule for a world class marathoner may be something like this

                            2 Marathons (Spring & Fall)
                            2 or 3 1/2 Marathons
                            3 or 4 15k's to 20k's
                            5 to 6 10k's

                            That is 12 to 15 races over the course of the year.

                            Allows you time to focus and prepare for each race.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Calling all American Marathoners

                              I think the idea of a collegiate 1/2
                              >marathon championship (in Feb)is a good idea, except I realize the NCAA is very
                              >unlikely to go for it.

                              Does the NAIA still have a marathon championship race?

                              Comment

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