The IAAF World Track & Field Championships have come and gone. Monday was a sad day for me when I realized I wasn’t going to get to spend 3 hrs of my day in front of the computer screen watching the worlds best get after it. A lot of distance runners are only interested in distance running events. But the past few years I’ve taken an interest in the sport as a whole and found myself captivated by a range of events. If the field event coverage didn’t happen in the middle of the crucial stages of many distance races I probably would’ve enjoyed them even more. Though the real Highlights for me did come from the distance events. Abel Kirui put on a clinic in the men’s marathon and Mo Farah was very impressive in the 5,000m and 10,000m. And of course it was great to see Dylan Armstrong win a Silver medal in the shot put. Biggest disappointments for me were Bolt being Dq’d in the 100m (totally messed up my IAAF fantasy league) and Medhi Baala not head butting anyone in the men’s 1500m. I was disappointed in Ivan Ukhov in the mens high jump. Neither the great Ivan Ukhov ( 2.38m in a gym/barn), nor the not so great Ivan Ukhov ( sure this can be categorized as jumping) showed up in Daegu. Our Relay teams were a disappointed as well. I can’t believe we card 6-7 guys for the relay every year, get them together to train for big chunks of the year, and yet they can’t manage 3 clean exchanges. I know anything can happen in that final (as it did again this year), but you gotta be there to have a shot at that medal.
Anyways enough negativity from me, I’ll leave that up to Paul Gains, who wrote this article about the Canadian team in Daegu. It’s getting some traction now (check out the comments section below the article), and I was really pleased to see this blog by one of Canadas top swimmers, Julia Wilkinson in response to Gains’ article. All of what Julia said resonates with me. So I’m not going to say much. But, one thing I found interesting is that Gains used Kirani James (of Grenada) and the Borelee brothers (of Belgium) as examples of athletes succeeding despite not having great support systems or facilities in their countries. But what Paul either doesn’t know or failed to mention is that all three athletes developed at (or still attend in James’ case) powerhouse NCAA universities. This isn’t a pro NCAA plug, I’m simply trying to point out that these athletes didn’t get to where they are purely because they are more determined, focused, etc than Canadian athletes, they have had a lot of help and from University programs that likely have more resources than many countries that send teams to the World Champs.
In other news there we some good performances turned in by the Speed River boys this past weekend at the Virginia Beach half marathon: 63:15 for Reid and 63:34 for Gillis. Impressive stuff. We all know they’ll be ready to rock come October 16th. I thought the Brooks marathon guys were going to be racing there as well, but I couldn’t find them in the results, so I guess they didn’t bother.
Things on this side of the country are going well. We are on an easy week, after 4 weeks of high mileage and big workouts. Everyone is getting fit and gaining confidence (at least they should be). A group of us are racing a half marathon in Victoria on Sunday – McNeill Bay Half Marathon. This will be the first time I’ve raced on the island since 2006 (or maybe it was 2007?) when I ran a 5000m at the Victoria track classic. So, my first road race on the island. I’m looking forward to it. I don’t think I’m in a position to run a PB, but I’m still hoping to get out there and race.