Tag Archive | "new york times"

Christopher Hesch – Runner – Los Angeles

Elite Runner Christian Hesch Admits to EPO Doping

Elite road-runner Christian Hesch has admitted to EPO blood doping after being confronted by several of his Nike Team Run L.A. teammates who found an empty vial in his stuff.

Hesch, a self-described “profligate road racer,” said that over two years, beginning in August 2010, he injected himself with EPO 54 times before an empty EPO vial was found in his bag and he was reported to antidoping officials. In that time, he won nearly $40,000 in prize money in more than 75 races, including international competitions, United States championships and local road races.

Hesch, 33, gained national fame earlier this year when he out ran Ethiopia’s Fikadu Lemma and Demesse Tefera at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Providence Half Marathon to win with a time of 1:07:05.

Two days prior Hesch had run a 4:00.01 mile at the GNC Live Well Liberty Mile in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The USADA has a case pending against Hesch and has ordered that he not race until they decide how to punish him. (USADA has been a bit busy with it’s loaded case against cyclist Lance Armstrong over the past few weeks).

“It would be fairly expensive if I wanted to fight it,” Hesch said. “Usada only brings cases when they’re pretty sure, and this is coming from a guy with a pending case.”

Hesch could face a 2-year ban from the USADA.

Competitor’s Mario Fraioli felt miffed and misled by Hesch giving his story to the New York Times when he had been working with Hesch for days about an exclusive for Competitor Magazine (full story).

Fraioli ran the piece (see below) last night after getting word that the NYT was about to publish it’s exclusive piece on Hesch.

Hesch’s public apology piece that Fraioli had been waiting on, and was published last night, titled ‘Christian Hesch Publicly Apologizes for Doping‘ can be read HERE.

“I will promise you that when I return to racing if you yell “doper” or “you suck” at me as I pass by, I will not flip you the bird, nor will I throw a sarcastic thumbs-up. I might wave though, and I’ll be happy to hear you out after the race, no matter how rough the content. As Tyler Hamilton said so well, “I’m an ex-doper, and I don’t suck.” I hope you’ll feel the same way about me after sharing a word, a race, or a beer with me. I look forward to seeing you all on the roads, next year.”

What are your thoughts on Hesch’s confession?  Do you really think he’s sincere in his apology or just sorry he got caught?  Have you ever suspected one of your racing peers was doping?

Christian Hesch’s Running Results on ATHLinks

Posted in RunningComments (0)

Leah Thorvilson Little Rock Marathon Winner

I.A.A.F. Gives Women Marathoners the Middle Finger

The International Association of Athletics Federations (I.A.A.F.) has given the middle finger to women marathoners all across the world.

Per the New York Times the IAAF will no longer recognize records that women marathoners set when sharing road courses with male marathoners.

The world governing body for track and field decided in late August that records in women’s road racing will count only if they are set in women’s-only events, to nullify the benefits of pacesetting by faster male runners, a dynamic that can exist in some marathons, half-marathons and 10-kilometer races where men and women are in the same field.

How silly is this ruling? Very….for example:

What was understood to be the women’s world marathon record — the 2 hours 15 minutes 25 seconds that (Paula) Radcliffe ran over 26.2 miles at the 2003 London Marathon, in a mixed race with male pacesetters for elite women — is now out of consideration. So is the 2:17:18 she ran at the Chicago Marathon, another mixed race, in 2002.

What is now the record — yet only the third-fastest race that Radcliffe has run — is the 2:17:42 that she ran in London in 2005. In that race, elite women started 45 minutes ahead of the men’s field, racing and finishing separately, now a common practice in major marathons.

It gets even sillier!  The IAAF now calls Radcliffe’s 2:15:25 a ‘World Best.’  So it is no longer the ‘World Record’ but is now a ‘World Best.’

“I also think it is a little unfair to set it like that retroactively,” Radcliffe told Runner’s World.

AUDIO LINK to Radcliffe talking about the IAAF decision.

World Best? That sounds like a cheesy saying off a button from a party store that you give your boss or mother of your kids.

Mary Wittenberg (assumed to be a female), RD of the New York City Marathon and on the IAAF’s road racing commission, had this to say about the new rule:

“The I.A.A.F. wanted to show that women can stand on their own two feet, that they don’t need guys to help them get to world records,” Wittenberg said. “There’s definitely a difference. Women run faster with men as pacers, about a two-minute differential on average.”

The Big Lead’s Sam Eifling, in his blog post on the rule change, put it this way:

And then there was this joint statement by the Association of International Marathons (with 300 member marathons) and the World Marathon Majors (representing the Boston, New York, Chicago, London and Berlin marathons): “The current situation where the fastest time is not now recognized as a record is confusing and unfair and does not respect the history of our sport.”

“It’s a move that could only have been made by an organization that doesn’t know its public relations ass from its elbow,” is how Philip Hersh wrote it in the Chicago Tribune, a family newspaper.

But one of the few charms of road running is that it often allows women and men on the same field, at the same moment. And elite women distance runners tend to hold up relatively well against men. The current women’s world record in the mile, for instance, is about where the men’s world record was 94 years ago. In the marathon, Radcliffe’s times would have beaten the men’s record as recently as 1958.

Professional marathoner Sarah Stanley had this to say about it when I asked her about the ruling:

“The new ruling is absurd. A world record is a world record regardless if it is run in mixed company. Have we reverted back a few century’s? We shouldn’t separate women from the men in races. It is a equal opportunity sport and elite men and women need our support.”

It’s a dumb ruling and to apply it retroactively by take records away from women who have already celebrated setting world records…years ago is even dumber.

When will the IAAF rule that no record can be set at a race where elite runners have specialized sports and nutrition drinks laid out at aid tables for them before the race?  That seems like more of an unfair advantage than women running with male pacesetters.  Shouldn’t all the runners at a marathon have to drink the same water and sports drink on the course?

I mean if we are going to start dissecting marathoning just for the sake of creating controversy.

[image: Leah Thorvilson]

Posted in Marathon, RunningComments (2)

Marathon Runner Jim Axelrod

What to Say on Marathon Monday? Well, Anything!

CBS News correspondent Jim Axelrod wrote an article in the New York Times a couple of days ago complaining about people at his job asking him how fast he ran his first marathon.

Axelrod in the piece refers to the day after a traditional Sunday marathon as ‘Marathon Monday.’

He seems quite perturbed in the piece by his co-workers congratulating him and then following it up by asking, “So, what was your time?”

There was no way this fine fellow, whom I would charitably describe as no stranger to the buffet table, could have had the faintest understanding of what a good time for a 46-year-old first time marathoner might be. Or a bad time, for that matter.

I’m certain that if I’d answered, “3:15:20” or “5:05:47,” it would have been met with the same blank stare as when I told him “4:30.” That’s because he had no earthly idea what the difference might be.

Ouch! I’d hate to be the co-workers who refused to ask or talk to him about his marathon.

I think it’s important to remember that although your marathon might be a huge deal to you, that it means very little or nothing to your co-workers and perimeter friends.

Often they are just being casual and humoring you with interest after watching you limp around the office.  It’s only natural to ask, “What was your time?” or “How long did it take you to do that?”

To the non-marathoner, they usually have no clue how long it takes to run such an obscene distance.  Often times it is more impressive to the person asking the question when you reply with how many hours it took you to finish a marathon.  The mortal friend just can’t conceptualize how someone could run for that long.

For the record, Axelrod ran his first marathon, the New York City Marathon (2009), in 4 hours and 30 minutes.  A very solid time for a 46-year old, first time marathoner.

Jim just needs to relax though about people asking him about his time.  It’s part of the running and marathon game, even more so to non-marathoners.

Also, when you’ve run a really good or fast marathon you want people to ask.

It’s always better to be asked than to blurt out or boast how fast you completed 26.2 miles.

He will likely find out that if he continues to run marathons that people will stop asking him about them all together.

Next time you see Mr. Axelrod ask him what time he ran his last marathon in!

So what are your thoughts on Marathon Monday etiquette?

Posted in MarathonComments (2)

Run It Fast on Twitter

twitter button free