Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Not How, But 'Y': Sex-Determination Testing Still on Olympic Docket

A nice piece in today's New York Times on the continuing quest to weed out cheating athletes at the Olympics, this time focusing on chromosomal men trying to compete as women (story). What quickly comes to the fore in the article, though, is that gender is a murky issue that no lab in the world can easily disentangle. When all is said and done, the old school "visual inspection" may work as well, or as poorly, as anything.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Results: Wardian, Beck Win 2008 White River 50

Start at the Buck Creek Airstrip - Photo © Glenn Tachiyama

Near perfect conditions greeted the 240 or so runners taking the start of the 2008 White River 50 Mile Endurance Run yesterday. Amidst big names and big blow-ups, Michael Wardian took the men's race in 6:52:50, and 2008 Way Too Cool winner, Susannah Beck, won the women's race with a new course record of 7:32:12. Full results and selected photos are posted on the race site (results).

2008 Wh
ite River 50 Top Three
Michael Wardian 6:52:50
Adam Lint 6:59:36
Jasper Halekas 7:04:25

Susannah Beck 7:32:12 (CR)
Kami Semick 7:42:54
Annie Thiessen 8:29:45

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Pres. Pardon for Jones? USATF Hopes Not

With the end of the Bush administration in sight, talk of Presidential pardons is in the air. And one of those who seems queued up for one is the former sprint darling and now disgraced, Marion Jones. But the USATF wants none of it, as reported in today's New York Times (story), sending a letter to Mr. Bush urging him to keep the ruling against Jones in place and let her ride out her time
up river. We have to agree.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

New Studies Show Asthma Medications Offer No Performance Advantage to Unaffected Athletes

One of the most interesting things in Gina Kolata's piece today in the New York Times is not that asthma inhalers offer no performance advantage to athletes without asthma - interesting, though, this is - it's that substances can be banned by the governing body of doping (WADA) even if they provide no performance boost at all (story). As she recounts, to be banned by WADA a substance must meet two of three requirements: it boosts performance; it may harm an athlete; and it disparages the spirit of the sport. So, even though asthma meds have been proven to be worthless performance boosters for those without asthma, it remains a banned substance because there's some health risk to using it and the simple act of taking a substance to unnaturally boost performance goes against the spirit of sportsmanship.

The logic seems a little dodgy to us at Run Junkie. Nevertheless, the article is an interesting read and goes into detail about the recent studies looking at asthma meds and performance and also why so many elite athletes suffer from the condition.

Results: Jones-Wilkins, Crosby-Helms Win 2008 Vermont 100 Endurance Race

Hyphens proved triumphant at this year's Vermont 100 Endurance Race (site), with Andy Jones-Wilkins repeating as men's winner and Devon Crosby-Helms taking the women's race (results). Humidity, stifling calm, mud, and close-in lightning strikes made for a challenging race and slightly slower pace than 2007. Jones-Wilkins came through in 16:07:52.20 - a 9:40/mile pace - with Crosby-Helms finishing in 18:31:34.60 - an 11:05/mile pace. Check out AJW's post on the experience (link).

Vermont 100 Endurance Run - Top Three (M/F)
Andy Jones-Wilkins 16:07:52
Kevin Sullivan 16:15:19
Jack Pilla 16:41:00

Devon Crosby-Helms 18:31:34
Kelly Cronin 18:50:58
Diana Fitzpatrick 19:51:43

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Stop The Insanity: Doping dopes at Le Tour

Hard to believe it's still going on. This was to be the beginning of the end of doping in cycling, and hopefully sport overall. But that premise was rocked today when Ricardo Ricco, one of the sports' rising stars, was caught with his hand in the EPO jar at the Tour. We at Run Junkie would like to hope this is just a last gasp of the desperate but think that's what we'd hoped last year. For details on events:

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Results: Skaggs Wins 2008 Hardrock 100 in Under 24 Hours

Possibly ushering in a new era of ultra-running, Kyle Skaggs won the 2008 Hardrock 100 with a new course record of 23:23:30 (results). Hardrock is arguably the hardest 100 on the ultra calendar and until now no one has gone under 24 hours on the brutal course with 33,000 feet total elevation gain (race site). The previous record of 26:08:34 was set by Scott Jurek in 2007. Click below for a dimly lit, but still impressive video capturing Skaggs' course-crushing finish.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Running the Numbers: Sensible Tips for Getting Down to Race Weight

Run Junkie's favorite sports nutritionist, Monique Ryan, has posted another good piece on, this one on losing those hard to drop last pounds (story). Among a number of simple strategies, she suggests losing weight in stages. Don't drop weight continually over a number of months, which can be draining and encourage rebound gains. Instead, drop weight slowly in stages. Enjoy the weight loss for a while and practice maintaining the weight, and only then go for another round of losing. Other great tips abound in the piece as well, making the trip down to race weight (previous post) as painless as possible.

Lagat Wins 1500m at Olympic Trials, Webb Fifth and Out

Sunday night's 1500 meter final at the US Olympic Trials in Eugene, OR was filled with outsized personalities, and it certainly didn't disappoint. As expected, Bernard Lagat took the victory in 3:40.37. Leonel Manzano came in second with 3:40.90, with former Lost Boy, Lopez Lomong, coming in third with 3:41.00, nabbing the final spot for Beijing. Former Stanford Cardinal, 2000 Olympic trials winner, and free spirit, Gabe Jennings, made a valiant effort to make the team and the "A" standard time needed to actually compete in the event in Beijing, but it wasn't to be. Neither was it for American record holder, Alan Webb, who came in fifth, and had the talent to make the team but has had an on and off season so far. Today's New York Times has a nice deconstruction of the race and the players (story)