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Luis E. Arribas
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• ANTARCTICA / Team reaches South Pole to cure diabetes
Tired but exhilarated by their accomplishment, the Novolog Ultimate Walk to Cure Diabetes team of Will Cross, Jerry Petersen, Mike Cross and Bret Goodpaster reached the South Pole on January 17, 2003 at 6:15 pm UTC. The NovoLog Ultimate Walk to Cure Diabetes seeks to raise significant funds for juvenile diabetes research by trekking to the South Pole. The money raised will be distributed through the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and Diabetes U.K. to help them find a cure for type I diabetes.
• CANADA / Pioneer 8k in British Columbia
On a cloudy and cold (5°C) January 12th in British Columbia, the undulating "Pioneer 8k" was taken by Jon Brown (Great Britain) in 23.18, with a not-up-to-par Jim Finlayson runner-up in 25.11. Brown's time is one second faster than Paul McCloy's 23.19, but not quick enough to better Carey Nelson's 22.58 course mark. Sylvan Smyth reports that Lucy Smith convincingly won the women's division in 27.26, with Judith Leroy second in 28.32. Reprinted with permission from "Running Stats" (www.runningstats.com)
• CYPRUS / New record for the Kolossi Half Marathon
A bright sunny morning assisted in producing a festive atmosphere as 300 runners (new record of participants) assembled for the "Kolossi Half Marathon & 10 km" on December 1, 2002. The events, which were successfully organised by Niki Sports Management, started and finished at the Kolossi Castle. The starting gun fired by the manager of Episkopiana Hotel & Sports Resorts saw all the runners depart at 9:30 am. The number of runners that participated indicated for the third time the big impact of the event, as most of the runners came from abroad. The route took the runners from the Kolossi Castle, along the Akrotiri village road through Fasouri and Asomatos village and on to Trachoni village to finish at Kolossi Castle again. The SBA Police, the Limassol Police and marshals from the British Forces Cyprus directed the traffic for the maximum safety of the runners. Allan Fotheringham from the United Kingdom won the half marathon finishing in a time of 1:18.24 with Jenny Moloney of Britain winning the women's race in a time of 1:33.57. The male winner of the 10 km road race was the Briton athlete Steven Hutcheon with a time of 36.38 and female winner was the United Kingdom's lady Deborah Webb with the time 39.42. Each participant who finished the events was given a quality, commemorative T-shirt and an engraved medal. Awards were given to the first three runners in each of the 32 categories. After the race the Organisers offered to all participants ample quantities of seasonal fruit (bananas and oranges), beer, orange juice and mineral water. The dancing group of Agios Athanasios Municipality performed for all runners and spectator alike. It was a real running festival! Competitors were very impressed with the efficiency and the thoroughness of the organisation of the races. Participating runners commented: "A thank you for your well organised event. I will be there next year to better my time", "Thank you for a first class run on Sunday, I thoroughly enjoyed the race, even though I was one of the last". Directors of Sports Tour Agencies commented that "We all had a great time and really enjoyed it. We are confident that our participation will be even greater for next year". Next year's event will take place on Sunday November 30, 2003. Arrangements are already underway to ensure that the fourth "Kolossi Half Marathon & 10 km" will be even more successful.
• COLORADO (USA) / Jewelry and ornaments for athletes
Creative Sports Jewelry was founded over ten years ago by Lois Calhoun. She was waiting at an award ceremony, saw a stick runner pendant on a fellow runner. After not having been able to find one for herself, she set out to design her first piece, the Female Runner Pendant - then located a custom jeweler who was willing to work with her. The company has grown from that first piece to a ten page website and supplies several large running companies with fine 14k and sterling silver jewelry, glass sculptures and ornaments for athletes, including marathon, half marathon, 10k's, 8k's, 5k's, ultrarunners, triathletes, Cross Country, Track & Field, cycling, swimming, and other miscellaneous sports. Creative Sports Jewelry is located in Boulder.
• MARYLAND (USA) / Run or walk to support the critically ill children
The "Believe In Tomorrow National Children's Foundation/Home Depot Port-to-Fort 2003" is a patriotic 4-mile run/walk that begins Sunday, April 13, 2003 (9 am) at the Baltimore Museum of Industry, loops around Fort McHenry where Francis Scott Key wrote the national anthem and finishes back at the museum for a post race party to celebrate the 38,000 children and families helped each year. All proceeds benefit Believe In Tomorrow's unique, supportive programs and services that inspire children being treated for life-threatening illnesses and their families to focus on the promise of the future. The "Port-to-Fort" race will help raise funds for Believe In Tomorrow's first Capital Campaign, "Building the Dream". The fund-raising campaign will raise $10 million in four years for the national expansion of Children's Retreat Housing. Children's Retreat Housing helps children with life-threatening illnesses and their families escape from the day-to-day stresses of hospital and doctor visits by providing a relaxing, free-of-charge vacation setting. Families are able to renew their spirit mentally and physically and spend quality time together throughout a child's illness.
• URUGUAY / Nestor García wins the San Felipe and Santiago race
On December 27th in Montevideo, the "San Felipe and Santiago Race", 10.2 kilometers, was won by Nestor García in 30.13, with Marcos Billen (Argentina) second in 30.46 and Cristian Rosales third in 31.10. Elisa Cobanea (Argentina) easily won the women's in 35.31, with Maria Peralta (Argentina) runner-up in 36.26. Reprinted with permission from "Running Stats" (www.runningstats.com)
A LETTER TO IAAF ON THE PROPOSED WORLD ROAD BEST
I am most surprised at some of the criteria chosen by the IAAF for their proposed world road bests. The decision to opt for a 50% start/finish for record courses has major implications. Detailed long term research over the past twenty years undertaken by Ken Young, the former U.S. record keeper, in his Analytical Distance Runner Newsletter has shown that "it is clear that a 50% S/F separation is excessive and can lead to marks that would be excessively aided by the wind". Aided marks, ratified as world bests will not credible and will be controversial, undermining the authority of the IAAF. Such a stance is surprising originated from a body that forbade such aids as brush spikes, built up shoes and under whose rules a sprinter can be disqualified for running on the line demarcating his lane. Seemingly in Track and Field the IAAF are determined to ensure a level play field for world records. Do they regard world road bests as having second class status? This does seem to be the case since they also propose to recognise the pacing by women by men (in mixed races). This has never been allowed in track event records. Presumably because the IAAF regard such assistance as providing undue aid. So why allow it in road records? Yet these most highly controversial elements of the new world road best criteria are recent additions to those mooted for years. The idea of recognising women's marks in mixed races is actually a major U-turn for the IAAF. The separate starts for women was adopted by several IAAF committees, from 1999, as a recommendation passed by IAAF Council in 2000. Only some time later was this reversed despite the recent rapid development in performances in all-women marathon performances. The 30% separation criteria, of course, stretches back many years and was widely accepted as being the realistic criteria by most observers, including the IAAF. Many knowledgeable people share my concerns and feel that these new criteria have not been fully thought through. Does the male pacing recognition mean that in future any women attempting to compete on their own will be seriously disadvantaged by being forced to compete against the team of a female opponent complete with male wind shield? Perhaps people have forgotten the problems of the mine-shaft courses of the past. All it takes is one blatantly wind-assisted mark set on a course with 50% separation (and arguably there are two marks already on the list which were wind assisted) and the whole system of road records is brought into serious disrepute. Public recognition which has taken sustained hard work over many years would be undermined and discredited with frightening ease. I would urge the IAAF to think again. Their credibility is at serious risk.
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