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 elite runner sightings
Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

elite runner sightings Posted: Thu Dec 30, 2004 10:08 am 

Has anyone ever had a chance to watch some of the sport's elites runners compete in person? In 2003 I got to watch the USATF championships when they came to town, and it was amazing. I think it was the 10K I watched, and the race had Alan Culpepper, Adam Batliner, and I think Meb Keflezghi (could that be right) among others. It was pretty sparsely attended, so I was able to stand pretty much right on the track, just outside the outermost lane, when I could hear every strained breath of the runners. But the amazing thing to me was how smooth they looked, cruising by at a sub-5:00 mile pace, yet looking like they were doing an easy jog.

mfox

South Orange, New Jersey
Joined: 19 Dec 2004
Posts: 367

Re: elite runner sightings Posted: Fri Dec 31, 2004 12:06 am 

Not only have I had a chance to watch them but I've also been able to run with them. I'm a member of the New York Road Runners Club and participate in a lot of the club sponsored races around NYC (I have to finish 9 qualifying races each year in order to get into the NYC Marathon the following year). One annual event I enjoy is the USA Men 's 8K Championship held in Central Park. They start the elite men after the open men finish so you though you don't get to run with them you get to see them warm up, start, and then finish (loop around part of Central Park). So, I've had the pleasure of seeing Meb Keflezighi, Tim Broe, and Dan Browne to name a few.

I've also had the pleasure of running along side Alberto Salazar in the Run to Liberty 10K in lower Manhattan in '03. He fired the starting horn and then stepped into the race. I ran next to him for about the first half mile until I realized that I would die if I kept up at the same pace he was going at. And I saw Deena Kastor, Jen Rhines, Colleen De Reuck, run in the Circle of Friends 10K in Central Park this past year. I met Deena Drosin (before she married Andrew Kastor and changed her last name) at the '01 NYC Marathon expo where she signed a NYC marathon poster for me. I have it proudly displayed next to my desk at home. And I get to see Grete Weitz every year at "Grete's Great Gallop" (1/2 marathon around Central Park); after blowing the starting horn she either jumps into the race towards the back or just stands on the side line cheering everyone on.


Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: elite runner sightings Posted: Fri Dec 31, 2004 9:46 am 

That's awesome! If only racing speed were a contagious disease, you'd be winning races left and right with all that elite mingling you've done. It's pretty exciting when you think about it. I don't know of any other sport where fans can get so close to the top athletes, and even participate in the same events. Try getting a pickup game going with the NBA's top stars, and I don't think you'd have much luck.

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