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April–May 2015

BLAKE RUSSELL (Pacific Grove) claimed the title of USA marathon champion at the ASICS LA Marathon in March. See comments on page 10.

California Track & Running News Image of Sport/Kirby Lee

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FORTIUS Media Group LLC Publishing Director Larry Eder Editorial Director Christine Johnson Holding Space LLC CT&RN Contributing Editors Cregg Weinmann Apparel, Footwear Reviews Dave Shrock Community Colleges Mark Winitz Northern California Photographers Victor Sailer Kirby Lee/Image of Sport Arturo Ramos Rodolfo Gomez Association Consultants John Mansoor Pacific Lawrence Watson Central Wayne Joness, Rebecca Trahan Southern Mike Rouse San Diego/Imperial Proofreader Red Ink Editorial Services Madison, WI Website Chuck Bartlett ADVERTISING Publisher Larry Eder FORTIUS Media Group LLC ph 608.239.3785 Advertising Production Alex Larsen Alex Graphics



Larry Eder

California Track & Running News (ISDN #10986472), incorporating Pacific Athlete, is the official publication for the four USA Track & Field associations in California and Northern Nevada. It is produced, published, and owned by FORTIUS Media Group LLC, P.O. Box , San Jose, CA 95150, Larry Eder Publishing Director. All ad materials and insertion orders should be sent to Larry Eder at the address above. Phone 608.239.3785. Also please send PDFs of ad materials to Alex Larsen at acl3graphics@ Publisher assumes no liability for matter printed. Publisher assumes no responsibility or liability for content of paid advertising and reserves the right to reject paid advertising. Publisher expects that all claims by advertisers can be substantiated and that all guarantees will be honored. Opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Publisher. Copyright © 2015 by FORTIUS Media Group LLC. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without prior written permission of the Publisher.

California Track & Running News is represented by FORTIUS Media Group LLC which also represents members of the Running Network and Publisher recommends, as with all fitness and health issues, you consult with your physician before instituting any changes in your fitness program. Let Us Hear From You! We welcome your suggestions, comments, and questions. Direct them to: Christine Johnson, Editorial Director 608.239.3787 Address Changes/Missing Issues Third class mail is not forwarded. Contact your local USATF association about address changes, duplicate mailings, or missing issues. See page 4 for contact information. Member of:

April–May 2015 • ct&rn 3


On March 15, James Dunaway, who the IAAF called “ a doyen of athletics journalism, not just in the United States, but globally, and highly respected athletics journalist” died at 87. A colorful character if ever there was one in our sport (and, friends, there are many), James covered every Summer Olympics from 1956 to 2008. And while he wasn’t in London in 2012, he assisted me in our coverage on RunBlogRun. That makes 14 Olympics in which Dunaway was credentialed—no mean feat. James Dunaway was my friend and mentor, but I have to admit that the first time I spoke to him, in about 1982, he scared me to death. His comments could be a bit bombastic, but James knew and loved the sport—and bled—the sport of athletics. He nurtured some of the sport’s greatest writers, from Marc Bloom and Merrell Noden, to Walt Murphy. James was the Eastern editor of Track & Field News for several decades before becoming editor of American Track & Field for a decade. Stories about him are endless. My favorites (of those that can be printed), are about his escapades at the 1980 Olympics in Moscow where he was writing for The New York Times and Track & Field News. Perhaps the most famous story from Moscow was James unexpectedly returning to his hotel room to retrieve a notebook. The hotel was a dingy Stalinist-era affair that was housing for world media and when he entered his room, he found it in disarray. Persons he suspected of being KGB apparatchiks were calmly going through his belongings. One of them said to him, “We will be done shortly.” They didn’t take anything, and this went on to happen several more times during his stay. I recently ran across a message James left on my voicemail, which I think of as Classic Dunaway: “Larry, this is James Dunaway. My computer is not working, so no emails. Just call me.” Really wish I could.

Rodolfo Gomez

Vol. 41, No. 2 April–May 2015

in this issue

April–May 2015

Endurance House Oceanside, CA. 760.978.6422

Front Runners Los Angeles, CA 310.207.0216

Just Run La Jolla, CA 619.200.4141

Run With Us Pasadena, CA 626.568.3331

RoadRunner Sports San Diego retail store San Diego, CA 858.974.4455

Future Track Running Center Agoura Hills, CA 818.991.4786

The Triathlete Store Poway, CA 858.842.4664 Front Runners West Hollywood, CA 310.360.0067

Pairs Central LLC Pacific Palisades, CA 310.454.0114 Gear Co-Op Costa Mesa, CA 714.902.9168 Running Wild Palm Springs, CA 760.322.9453


California athletes (l–r) Jordan Hasay, Shannon Rowbury, Morgan Uceny at the starting line of the women’s mile at the USA Indoor Track & Field Championships.

Publisher’s Letter


Association News


Gear Spring Shoe Review Track & Field Spikes

Hot Topics

12 24

Caffeine: Performance Enhancement in a Mug


Q&A with U.S. Men’s Marathoning Legends


California Track & Running News is a magazine for members of the California and N. Nevada associations of USA Track & Field. Contact your region regarding changes of address and missing issues. Central California Association — — Pacific Association — 916.983.4715 — — San Diego/Imperial Association — 619.275.6542 — — Southern California — 562.941.2621 — —


N O N U R . S D U O L C 


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assoc news

6 ct&rn • April–May 2015

Dave Shrock

Pacific Association

For the new year we unveiled the newly renovated association website after years of planning and file transfers. Check it out at www.pausatf. org Sadly, its creator and longtime association webmaster Thom Trimble passed away in January, shortly after finishing a run. An accomplished LDR athlete and tireless volunteer to our sports, Thom will be missed. PA Athletes on the National Stage On the Ultra scene, Bill Dobson (80) won his division of the USATF 50K Championships, while Jean Pommier (51) was the top male Master finisher in the championships. At the National Indoor Championships held in Boston in March, association standouts Shannon Rowbury won both the mile and 2-mile events, while Lauren Wallace won the 1000m event. Masters record holder Irene Obera (Fremont) was named USATF Athlete of the Week after her outstanding performance at the USATF Masters Indoor Championships Fri., March 20–22 at JDL Fast Track in Winston-Salem, NC. Obera set multiple records including two world records and three American records. She became the first woman over 80 to complete an indoor pentathlon, recording 3,817 points for her first world record mark of the weekend. She set the next record in the 60-meter hurdles with her time of 13.76, and Obera’s three American records came in the long jump (2.72m/8–11.25), high jump (1.02m/3–4) and 800 meters (4:49.74). “The harder the event is, the more satisfaction [I get],” she said. “I’ve had a number of records and they’re nice, and it means that you’ve got the best time of anyone. I’m better if I don’t tell myself the record and just do the best I can. Then I’m always amazed that I broke a record.” Obera is no stranger to having her name in the history books. Her performances in North Carolina culminated in her ninth American record and eighth world record. She is the reigning USATF Masters Athlete of the Year. (Courtesy USATF) LDR Awards Banquet At the annual LDR banquet, enthusiasts from all disciplines gathered to honor 84 award recipients. Overall winners were: Road Runners of the Year Kris Paaso, Phillip Reid Road Volunteer of the Year Dale Peterson Ultra Runners of the Year Magalena Lewy Boulet, Jean Pommier Ultra Volunteer of the Year Gary Wang

Cross Country Runners of the Year Kristy Legg, Phillip Reid Lifetime Service Award Bob Shor (official) LDR Team of the Year Tamalpa Runners Visit the LDR section of our website for a complete list of awardees. Nominations for 2015 Awards Open Association-wide award nominations are open until June 19. Information about the awards and how to nominate a candidate can be found on the association awards webpage, or by contacting committee chair Leroy Milam at Leroy1888@ 2015 is a PA/USATF Election Year This calendar year is an election year, and the first round of balloting to determine who will join the board of directors for the next two years is under way. Beginning in June, all committee chairs and member seats are up for election. Visit the association homepage for additional information. We encourage everyone to become involved—we are only as strong as our volunteers who run the association! Outdoor Track & Field News Moving into the track & field season, the most recent master association schedule is posted on the PA website. Our association will host the following track & field championships. Detailed information can found on each committee’s webpage. May 23–24 Youth Assn. Championships Whitney HS, Rocklin May 31 Masters T&F Championships Chabot College, Hayward (ages 30+) June 14 Open T&F Championships College of San Mateo (all ages) June 19–21 Youth JO Assn. Championships Chabot College, Hayward June 27–28 Youth Region 14 Qualifier Chabot College, Hayward The Athletes’ Committee is reaching out to Olympic hopefuls with training grants, while additional funding opportunities will be available through the association’s T&F Grand Prix for all aspiring thinclads. Visit the association’s open track & field and athletes’ webpages for more information.

SF Native Rowbury Wins Wanamaker Mile, Then Claims Two Titles at USA Indoor Champs

USA Indoor Track & Field Championships Boston, Feb. 28–Mar. 1

April–May 2015 • ct&rn 7

Olympian Shannon Rowbury has been awarded USATF Athlete of the Week after her rare double at the USATF Indoor Championships in Boston. Rowbury (Portland, OR) won the mile on Feb. 28 and the two-mile on Mar. 1, with times of 4:34.40 and 9:43.95, respectively. Her mile victory was her first USATF title since winning the 1500m at 2009 USATF Outdoors, and it was her first USATF Indoors title since 2008. Even battling a cold, Rowbury’s indoor season ended on a successful note. “I feel like each season, I’m able to just improve a little bit and a little bit more,” Rowbury said after her second title. “With the end goal being Beijing Worlds and Rio Olympics, [I know] I have to execute each step along the way to get there. “It’s such a blessing to have this as a job,” Rowbury continued. “I want to really take advantage of every opportunity.” Prior to the USATF Indoor Championships, she was the NYRR Wanamaker Mile champion with her time of 4:24.32 at the 2015 NYRR Millrose Games. Rowbury finished the 2015 domestic indoor season undefeated. Complete results of these meets are online at

Millrose Games New York City, Feb. 14 Shannon Rowbury had an off day and still ran 4:24! Oh, if we all could be so lucky! Shannon had some fatigue issues at the end of the race, but she made it across the line! RunBlogRun contributor Cathal Dennehy described the race: Despite the quality that lined up for the Wanamaker Mile at the Millrose Games on Feb. 14, there was only ever going to be one winner and it was indeed, almost inevitably, Shannon Rowbury, who recorded a comfortable win in 4:24.32. Her closest competitor was Nike Oregon Project teammate Treniere Moser, who finished second in 4:27.49. Jordan Hasay stuck with Rowbury past the halfway mark before soon finding herself detached and eventually faded to fourth. The pace, from the start, was conservative, with the field passing 400m in 64.53 and 800m in 2:11.62. From there, once Melissa Salerno had stepped aside, Rowbury quickly sped clear, with Hasay running a solo race in second. At the 1200m mark, which Rowbury passed in 3:18.15, it appeared as if the American record was in threat, but as Rowbury entered the final 100m, she soon found her legs buckling as her previous exertions came back to haunt her. It looked, for a moment, as if Rowbury had sustained a serious injury, but she explained afterwards it was nothing more than overwhelming fatigue. She stumbled several times up the home straight, just about holding it together to cross the line in 4:24.32,

well clear of teammate Treniere Moser in second (4:27.49) and Stephanie Charnigo in third (4:28.02). “It was just me getting tired, nothing more,” said Rowbury. “There’s nothing hurt. I just had that elephant on my back the last 50 meters. It was a question of mind over matter, just trying to keep my legs moving. I’m disappointed with the time, but happy with the win. I thought I had an American record in me today.” Hasay finished fourth in 4:28.27, with Mary Cain running well below par back in eighth, finishing in 4:31.31. “The goal was to stay with Shannon,” said Hasay. “I knew she was in really good form going in. The pace was really hot at the start. I’m more of a 5K/10K athlete, so this was just about working on my speed, and every year it’s getting better, so I’m pleased. I’ll probably double in the mile and 3K at Nationals.” As for Rowbury, she will now turn her attention to next week’s Birmingham Indoor Grand Prix, then return home for the USATF Nationals before continuing her preparations for the outdoor season. There, both the 1500m and 5,000m will feature in her plans. “I’m going to try do both,” she said. “I love the 1500 and to be competitive at the 5K I have to run about 20 seconds faster, so I want to have a sense of what’s my best shot at a medal at Beijing and Rio and then work towards that.” Rowbury was quick to credit the benefit she has received from training with Mary Cain, Jordan Hasay and Treniere Moser over the past year. “All four of us train together daily,” she said. “All of our hard sessions are together. It’s great, each of us brings a different asset to the table. It’s made me faster, it’s made me stronger and a better athlete overall. I know I’ve got to bring my A-game when the rest of the Oregon Project toes the line.”

assoc news Southern California

Next Up in the SCA Grand Prix Road Champs: 5K SCA Championships Sun., May 3, 2015 Costa Mesa, CA Wahoo’s OC 5K 7am at the OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa SCA 15K Championships in Santa Barbara during Semana Nautica Sat. July 4, 2015 Semana Nautica 15K Run San Marcos High School 8 am to completion

SCA Board of Directors Meeting Wed – April 8, 2015 at 7:30pm via Conference Call (712) 432-0075 Access code: 936647#

Visit for all the latest schedules and information.

national usatf news Qualif ying Standards for 2015 Champs The qualifying standards for the 2015 USATF Outdoor Championships and 2015 USATF Junior Outdoor Championships were released in March. Both events will be contested at Historic Hayward Field in Eugene, OR.

8 ct&rn • April–May 2015

USATF Outdoor Track & Field Champs The USATF Outdoor Championships are June 25-28, with athletes vying to earn spots on the 2015 IAAF World Championships team set for August 22–30 in Beijing. Hayward Field will also see athletes earning spots to the NACAC Championships, held August 7–9 in San Jose, Costa Rica. The qualifying window for all events except 10,000/race walks/multi’s: Thurs., 1/26/14 to Sun., 6/14/15 at 11:59pm EDT For 10,000/race walks/multi’s: Thurs., 1/2/14 to Sun., 6/14/15 at 11:59pm EDT Open Outdoor Qualifying Standards:

USATF Junior Outdoor Track & Field Champs The USATF Junior Outdoor Championships are June 25–27, with the nation’s best 15- to 19-yearolds competing for a chance to represent Team USA at the Pan American Junior Championships, July 31–August 2 in Edmonton, Canada. The qualifying window for all events except the 10,000/race walks/multi’s: Wed., 6/25/14 to Sun., 6/14/15 at 11:59pm EDT For 10,000/race walks/multi’s: Thurs., 1/2/14 to Sun., 6/14/15 at 11:59pm EDT Open Junior Qualifying Standards:

assoc news Lawrence Watson

Central California

Thank you for helping us to reach our goals. Please keep recruiting new members, athletes, coaches, officials, clubs, event promoters, and friends of our sport. This is an election year, so I hope to see you at our association’s annual meeting on Oct. 9, at 6:30pm in Bakersfield at the Carrow’s Diner, 1300 Easton Dr. By attending and voting, YOU can be a factor in our success. Reminder to officials, you must renew your USATF membership yearly to remain a certified official. Safe Sport Program Coaches, volunteers, staff will need to take the Safe Sport Program which teaches us all how to recognize, reduce, and respond to misconduct.

Central California Association USATF Events May 30 Central CA Youth All-Comer Meet (Open to all schools, clubs, etc.) Hanford HS (Also on-track &field training for officials )

Oct. 8 Central CA USATF Annual Meeting 6:30pm, location TBA

June 13–14 Region 14 Youth JO Mult Champs Hosted by Pacific Assn.

Nov. 29 Region 14 Youth JO XC Champs Woodward Park, Fresno

June 20 Central CA Assoc. JO T&F Champs Top 8 Advance to Region 14 Register at Coach O. June 27–28 Region 14 JO Youth Champs hosted by Pacific Assn. July 9–12 Region 14 Youth JO T&F Champs Individual Events: Top 5 Advance Multi-events: Top 2 Advance Register at Coach O.

Nov. 22 Central CA Assn. XC JO XC Champs Woodward Park, Fresno

Dec. 2–6 USATF National Meeting Dec. 12 National Youth JO XC Champs Date TBA Central CA Assn. Officials Training & Certification (Must be 2015 USATF member) Location TBA RSVP to Jerlene Powell at or Mike Guidry at

April–May 2015 • ct&rn 9

Image of Sport/Kirby Lee

10 ct&rn • April–May 2015

Pacific Grove’s Blake Russell Runs to Victory at USATF Marathon Championships in Los Angeles On Mar. 15, 2008 Olympian and Pacific Grove resident Blake Russell pulled away late to win the women’s race at the USATF Marathon Championships in Los Angeles, finishing as first U.S. woman, third overall. The women’s race saw a strong contingent of runners running stride for stride much of the first half of the race. 39-year-old Russell, Heather Lieberg (Helena, MT), Brianne Nelson (Golden, CO), Sara Hall (Flagstaff) and Becky Wade (Houston) led the way, running as a pack mile after mile. It wasn’t until 16 miles that the pack started to break a bit, at which point Russell, Lieberg, and Nelson broke away. The American trio ran together until mile 19, when Russell put a small gap on Nelson and Lieberg. Lieberg faded off the back, while Jodie Robertson (Melville, NY) surprised the field, coming from way back and establishing herself among the top three. Russell continued to challenge and extended her lead a few seconds every mile to the finish, as the veteran finished hard and won the women’s title in 2:34:57. Meanwhile, Nelson, Robertson and Lieberg battled for second, taking turns leading, all three handling the final miles as best they could as the

temperatures rose and Russell continued to pull away. In the end, Lieberg pulled away to finish second. Russell bested runner-up Lieberg, who claimed second once again after finishing in the same spot in the 2014 edition of the event, this time running to a 2:35:32 finish. Nelson hung on gamely after struggling the final two miles to place third overall in 2:36:07, as Robertson and Wade finished fourth and fifth respectively in 2:36:18 and 2:37:30. To round out the top ten, Kathleen DiCamillo (Providence, RI) tried her best to catch Wade, but ultimately fell short with a sixth place finish in 2:37:59, while Lauren Jimison (Mammoth Lakes) ran by herself much of the second half of the race to place seventh in 2:39:16. Meghan Peyton (Richfield, MN) of Team USA Minnesota finished eighth in 2:41:50, as Sarah Cummings (New York City) and Rachel Jaten (Spokane) placed ninth and tenth, in 2:42:20 and 2:42:29. Top woman overall was Kenyan Ogla Jerono Kimaiyo in a time of 2:34:10. For complete race information and complete searchable results of the marathon, visit —Contributed to USATF by Scott Bush




The only constant in the sporting goods industry is that it’s not static. While new brands continue to appear, their chances of success have not been great. That said, the odds of success have never been better than they are now, as running specialty stores are gravitating to many of the smaller brands. The reason? Big sporting goods chains want to carry the best shoes that have been vetted by the running specialty stores, and most of the top brands have complied. So, to give customers something special, many running specialty stores have begun carrying shoes from less well-known brands. Of course, that’s what we’ve promoted in these reviews for more than 17 years: The more shoe choices you have, the better your chances of finding one to fit your feet and needs. This spring review features both established stalwarts and some fresh new creations, with innovation and industry best practices thrown into the mix. Categories continue to be refined and address the ever-present need for shoes to meet biomechanical needs, hold up to the forces exerted when running, and optimize a shoe’s performance via shape geometries. Use this guide as a starting point and, if possible, make your first stop a running specialty store to find the best running shoes for you. Keep running, friends. — Cregg Weinmann Running Shoe Reviewer for the Running Network, LLC

Š2014 New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc.


Fresh Foam gets fast with the Fresh Foam Zante. Data-driven design and intelligent geometries combine to create a light, fast ride. THIS IS #FRESHFOAM. THIS IS #RUNNOVATION.

FORTIUS Media Group, LLC Partners

2015 Spring Shoe Review Somewhere in my garage in Wisconsin are my first pairs of running and racing shoes. My first pair of real running shoes were Onitsuka Tiger Cortez. It was 1974, and I had just moved to California from Missouri. Over the summer, I ran more than 1,000 miles in that pair of training shoes, eventually reinforcing the heel with a shoe glue product that was popular back then. My first track spikes were adidas Intervals, a shoe made for racing distances, which I beat up terribly. They started out white, but were covered with mud and such after a few spring races on dirt tracks.  During the spring of 1975, I raced in Brooks track spikes which, if memory serves me well, I purchased at Starting Line from Angel Martinez, who’s now chairman at Deckers. I remember telling Angel that he sold me the first pair of running shoes that I actually paid for myself: $30 that I earned from babysitting and painting jobs. I broke five minutes for the mile in those shoes.  Also in my garage are my old Nike waffle racers from the fall of 1975, which I loved because of their colors—green and yellow. I broke 17 minutes at Crystal Springs in those shoes. It was (and still is) a fine course, back then it was 2.9 miles. Eventually, I used those shoes in a college art project.  Every time I open a new box of running shoes, I experience the same excitement I did when I bought my first pair. In our reviews, we remember that feeling and we hope you feel the same excitement. And, as always, we suggest that you go to your local running store when you purchase running shoes. They don’t want to simply sell you a pair of shoes; they want to fit you in a pair that will make your running enjoyable. Special thanks to Cregg Weinmann, our RN footwear reviewer; Christine Johnson, RN project coordinator and editor; Kristin Cerer, designer; Marg Sumner, proofreader; and Alex Larsen, production manager, who continue to prepare these reviews for you, year in and year out, since 1998.  Enjoy!

Larry Eder Publishing Director FORTIUS Media Group, LLC

Saucony Zealot ISO

Brooks Ravenna 6

Project Coordinator/Editor: Christine Johnson Reviewer: Cregg Weinmann Designer: Kristen Cerer Proofreader: Marg Sumner, Red Ink Editorial Services Shoe Photography: Daniel Saldaña, Cregg Weinmann Advertising Sales: FORTIUS Media Group, LLC Publishing Director: Larry Eder, 608.239.3785, Ad Manager: Adam Johnson-Eder, 608.556.9164, Legal Counsel: Perry F. Goldust

ASICS GT-2000 3



Spring 2015

Spring 2015

adidas Supernova Glide Boost 7

American Track & Field Athletes Only Athletics-Africa Austin Fit California Track & Running News Club Running (RRCA) club-running Coaching Athletics Quarterly Colorado Runner Footnotes (Long Island, NY) Get Active! & Club Business International Hawaii Sport Latinos Corriendo Michigan Runner Missouri Runner & Triathlete New England Exchange Zone Race Packet DC RunMinnesota Running Journal & Racing South RunOhio Track & Field News US Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Winged Foot (NYC) Winged M (Portland, OR) Youth Runner (Italy)

This 2015 Spring Shoe Review is produced independently by FORTIUS Media Group, LLC for its partner publications and websites. All shoes reviewed were tested by experienced, competitive runners who were matched to the biomechanical purpose of each shoe model.

New Balance Fresh Foam Zante

Copyright © 2015 by FORTIUS Media Group, LLC. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be stored, copied, or reprinted without prior written permission of FORTIUS Media Group, LLC.

Motion Stabilizing



Spring 2015

Spring 2015

Spring 2015

2015 Spring Shoe Review — 2 — FORTIUS Media Group, LLC

FORTIUS Media Group, LLC and its partner publications and websites suggest that, as with all fitness activities, you meet with a healthcare professional before beginning or changing your fitness regimen.


RENOVATION Spring 2015



Brooks Ravenna 6

Motion Stabilizing Spring 2015


The 2000 series has been a cornerstone in the ASICS running line because of its effectiveness for a wide variety of runners. Round 3 is an update that builds on the strengths of Round 2, while refining its components. The upper features new, lateral no-sew overlays, with stitched medial overlays that provide support while reducing the weight of the shoe. The addition of the Heel Clutch system (adopted from the Kayano) better secures the rearfoot. The midsole employs the same geometry, but the cushioning of the shoe is plusher, thanks to added Gel in the heel and adjustments to the two foam layers of the Fluid Ride system. The stability remains the same, as the medial seconddensity foam (Dynamic DuoMax) shores up the shoe effectively. The outersole has the usual adjustment—here the toe is filled medially, the shank is beefier, and the Guidance line is straighter—all in an effort to subtly stabilize the gait while maintaining both durability and ride. The upshot is that the GT-2000 3 will please fans of the shoe. Its ride, fit, and value earned it our award as Best Renovation.

“Fits well overall, nice fit on the heel. Feels true to size. Pretty cushy, better for long runs than for short, fast training.”

The Ravenna has been a successful franchise for the Brooks line, evidenced by earning a few awards in its time, thanks to its solid focus on stability and cushioning. Round 6 has a flashier new look and the chops to back it up. The upper is open mesh, supported by welded overlays, with synthetic leather at the toe to give it shape. A ghilley lace loop at the saddle continually adjusts the midfoot, effectively securing the foot into the heel, where new linings and foam have a much smoother feel than before. The midsole is twodensity BioMogo DNA, Brook’s proprietary foam, which has a smooth, cushy feel while avoiding the mushy ride that can accompany cushioning. The outersole is full-contact rubber (carbon in the rearfoot, blown rubber in the forefoot) that makes good on the stability that comes with the extra surface. The combination of fit, ride, and great price earned the Ravenna 6 our award for Best Shoe in the Motion Stabilizing category.

“Nice secure fit, does a good job of hugging the foot with a smooth interior. Stable feel and good cushiness to the ride.”

Hoka has a number of shoes that focus on maxing out the cushioning—the brand’s main focus. The Constant is a new shoe to the Hoka line and slots in as a motion stabilizing shoe. The upper is closed mesh, supported by welded suede overlays, that shapes the toebox, locks down the midfoot, and reinforces the eyestays. The tongue is asymmetrical, wrapping from the medial (inside) side to support the midfoot, and a TPU clip anchors the heel. The midsole is a combination of EVA and RMAT foam. A unique stabilizing second density of the RMAT pushes into the arch, while the rocker geometry and flare of the forefoot stabilize the foot at the late stage of the gait. The outersole is a full-contact design. A ring of rubber around the perimeter opens on the lateral side, and toughened EVA and RMAT fill the open areas. The Constant brings cushioning and stability to recovery days with more focus than Hoka has brought before.   

“Good snug fit, but with enough room up front. Gives good support and has a great feel. Really provides nice cushioning while still feeling stable and responsive.”

Now in its fifth iteration, the 860 remains the moderate stability shoe of the New Balance line, here with good updates from top to bottom. The closed mesh upper has welded overlays in the forefoot and a strip of synthetic leather shaping the toe. The midfoot is anchored by a lace/strap in the saddle, and stitched rearfoot overlays secure the heel. A new asymmetrical heel counter bolsters the medial side without overbuilding the entire heel. The midsole continues with the two-layer setup introduced in Version 4, but with new tooling that offers better flexibility and contouring. The outersole is Ndurance carbon in the heel and blown rubber up front, each contributing its strength: durability and cushion. The improvements point to better performance, which is good news to New Balance fans and another choice for runners in need of more fit options.

“Felt secure all around. Room for my toes and the heel was well supported. Solid shoe for plenty of training.”

The Hurricane is the most vaunted shoe in Saucony’s running lineup; its update brings changes, some big and some minor. The upper is an open mesh with welded overlays. More significant, however, is the new ISO fit system: a saddle of fingers that wrap the midfoot and adjust as the foot moves to offer a better fit than previous versions. The midsole has new geometry. It still features an 8mm heel-to-toe drop, but with a more substantial crashpad and a taller stack height for more cushioning. The outersole is little changed, but two things have been addressed. First, the medial heel outersole has added rubber beneath the second density of the midsole for stability. Second, the medial forefoot has a release groove at the first metatarsal for better flexibility at toe-off. These changes have increased the performance feel of the shoe. With its fit, ride, and stability, the Hurricane ISO has been upgraded from a very good shoe to an even better one.

“Love the new fit! Nice and secure, flexes well, stable. I have been really impressed with this update.”


Hoka One One Constant



New Balance 860 v5



Saucony Hurricane ISO



2015 Spring Shoe Review — 3 — FORTIUS Media Group, LLC

Updates the GT-2000 2 Sizes: Men 6–14,15,16,17 (B,D,2E,4E); Women 5–13 (2A,B,D,2E) Weight: 12.0 oz. (men’s 11); 9.8 oz. (women’s 8) Shape: semicurved Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, EVA Strobel board Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with mild to moderate overpronation

Updates the Ravenna 5 Sizes: Men 7–13,14,15 (D,2E); Women 5–12 (B,D) Weight: 12.9 oz. (men’s 11); 10.5 oz. (women’s 8) Shape: semicurved Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, EVA Strobel board Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with mild to moderate overpronation

New Shoe Sizes: Men 7–13,14,15; Women 5–11 Weight: 11.5 oz. (men’s 11); 9.3 oz. (women’s 8) Shape: semicurved Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, EVA Strobel board Recommended for: low- to medium-arched feet with mild to moderate overpronation

Updates the 860 v4 Sizes: Men 7–13,14,15,16 (B,D,2E,4E); Women 5–12,13 (2A,B,D,2E) Weight: 11.7 oz. (men’s 11); 9.4 oz. (women’s 8) Shape: semicurved Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, EVA Strobel board Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with mild to moderate overpronation

Updates the Hurricane 16 Sizes: Men 7–13,14,15 (D,2E); Women 5–12 (B,D) Weight: 11.9 oz. (men’s 11); 9.8 oz. (women’s 8) Shape: semicurved Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, EVA Strobel board Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with mild to moderate overpronation

PERFORMANCE adidas adizero Tempo 7 Boost

The Tempo has been a reliable Performance shoe choice: It’s great for faster running with a touch of stability. The addition of Boost foam in this version is welcome news and constitutes a step up. The upper is completely redone: now open minimesh with traditional synthetic suede overlays and a new saddle design to anchor the midfoot. The tongue, employing a stretchy fabric, is gusseted to prevent it from slipping side to side. The midsole is full-length Boost foam topped by a layer of EVA that’s thin on the lateral side, but forms an enclosed medial forefoot (called Stableframe) to stabilize the foot. The outersole is full-length Continental® rubber that’s thin, flexible, and durable. The sum of these parts equals another effective execution of the Boost technology and another versatile option for runners in need of solutions.

“Fits snug, but roomier than expected. The Boost midsole has a lively feel to it. Comfortable on my long or fast runs. Definitely a well-designed shoe.”

Ampla is a new brand, perhaps a catalyst for something different, as they’ve introduced a new technology. The upper is a closed micromesh, supported by welded overlays, that is close-fitting like a racing shoe. The midsole is two layers: a softer layer near the foot and a very firm layer near the ground. The technological shift—and the visual difference in the shoe—resides between the layers, where a carbon fiber shank sports a flange that protrudes below the sole, appearing to hang toward the ground. When running, the shank’s stiffness keeps the foot lined up while the angle of the sole acts as a proprioceptive cue to move the foot strike to the sweet spot. Internally, the carbon fiber extends to the big toe to encourage an efficient toe-off. The outersole is tough carbon rubber at both the heel and toe, and softer rubber where the flange contacts the ground. While the effect is a faster feel, the shoe is really designed for neuromuscular training. The label on its tongue says it all: “Stop not running right.”

“Snug overall, like a racer. The midfoot is stiff and holds my foot in a forward position that feels fast. Running in it seems to train the foot so it can improve my running.”

With shoes designed to accommodate the 33 joints in the foot, the 33 series has been the most nimble of the ASICS running lines. The new 33 FA features the latest version of the Fluid Axis geometry first introduced in the Gel Lyte 33. Here it features a 4mm offset from heel to toe. The upper is open mesh with soft, sueded overlays that are welded for a smooth interior. The structure is minimal. The midsole is two layers: a Solyte cradle near the ground and a new compound, AmpliFoam, that sits atop the cradle near the foot. While the AmpliFoam’s cushioning has been superior, it needs more structure, hence the cradle. The outersole is AHAR, ASICS’ abrasion-resistant rubber compound, which spreads over the shoe in pod-like segments. The rest of the sole is toughened foam. The outcome is a shoe that’s excellent for faster running, strengthening, and even as a regular training shoe to rotate into your routine.

“It has a very flexible and comfortable upper. I like the way the shoe flexes and moves with my foot. The flexibility of the toebox makes it very comfortable, almost slipper-like.”

At one time the Launch was nearly squeezed from Brooks’ line, but its attributes earned it a second chance. The Launch 2 is wholly new, its name and purpose the only constants. The upper is open mesh, supported by welded overlays, and a synthetic leather toe bumper shapes the toebox. The interior is smooth, thanks to Lycra linings in the heel and tongue areas. With its visually appealing, vibrant colors, the two-tone mesh also allows the forefoot plenty of space, while snugging the midfoot securely. The midsole is Brooks’ DNA, so it’s well-cushioned without mushiness, protective yet responsive enough for faster running. The full-contact outersole is a combination of carbon rubber in the heel and blown rubber in the forefoot. The Launch 2 is an effective training shoe that’s light enough for faster running, yet durable enough for the long haul.

“Great snug fit from the heel to the arch, with a wide toebox, I love it! Good cushioning, but it runs plenty fast. I trained in it on all kinds of runs, and even a few races as well.”

New Balance has been pushing the innovation envelope with its Fresh Foam; the new Zante falls on the lighter and faster end of the spectrum. The upper is an open minimesh, with welded overlays, stitching kept to a minimum to do the job in the least restrictive way. The saddle is fashioned from a stiffer mesh, with minimal structure in the heel so it’s almost nonexistent. The lacing eyelets have been decoupled to both better secure and move with the foot, and the tongue is gusseted to keep it in place. The midsole is 6mm geometry, combining cushioning and structure into the midsole where needed. The outersole is full-contact, with low-profile, hexagonal lugs molded for traction in the forefoot and contact in the heel. The blending of performance, cushioning, and economical price earned the Fresh Foam Zante our award for Best Shoe in the Performance category.

“Fits like a racer, and is light enough to be a race shoe, but cushy enough to be a day-to-day trainer. It has been a great performer, and has a key spot in my shoe lineup.”



Ampla Fly






Brooks Launch 2



New Balance Fresh Foam Zante

Performance Spring 2015



2015 Spring Shoe Review — 4 — FORTIUS Media Group, LLC

Updates the adizero Tempo 6 Sizes: Men 7.5–13,14; Women 5–12 Weight: 11.8 oz. (men’s 11); 9.7 oz. (women’s 8) Shape: semicurved Construction: Strobel slip-lasted Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics to mild overpronation

New Shoe Sizes: Men 7–13,14; Women 6–11 Weight: 11.6 oz. (men’s 11); 9.7 oz. (women’s 8) Shape: semicurved Construction: Strobel slip-lasted Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics to very mild overpronation

New Shoe Sizes: Men: 7–13,14,15; Women: 5–12 Weight: 10.4 oz. (men’s size 11); 8.5 oz. (women’s size 8) Shape: semicurved Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, PU Strobel board Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics, for faster-paced runs

Updates the Launch Sizes: Men 8–13,14,15; Women 6–11,12 Weight: 11.0 oz. (men’s 11); 9.0 oz. (women’s 8) Shape: semicurved Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, EVA Strobel board Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics to very mild overpronation

New Shoe Sizes: Men 7–13,14; Women 5–11,12 Weight: 8.6 oz. (men’s 11); 7.0 oz. (women’s 8) Shape: semicurved Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, EVA Strobel board Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics to very mild overpronation

PERFORMANCE Newton Distance IV

The Distance is Newton’s lightest training shoe—what they describe as a speed trainer. Round 4 retains the geometry established across the line with the various Point of Pressure platforms; here it’s the POP1 configuration. The upper features different meshes in the forefoot and rearfoot, employing the same open mesh as the whole Version 3, but here only in the rearfoot. The vamp and tongue feature a new, closed mesh with less give to it, welded overlays, and a small toe bumper giving shape and a little structure to the forefoot. The midsole features the same 2mm geometry, cushioning, and performance as before. The outersole is also unchanged: rubber over the lugs and toe, the rear section just toughened foam. What results is an effective update, keeping what worked and nudging the progress forward with some upgrades.

“Good, roomy toebox, and they fit true to size. The heel counter is stiff and supportive. The lugs are noticeable until a few miles into the runs, but they do work.”

Saucony has introduced a variety of effective performance shoes. The Breakthru is the first to feature the 8mm geometry of many of its mainline training shoes. The upper is a closed mesh with both traditional and welded overlays, and tailored for a good fit for a broad range of feet. The midsole is a blend of well-cushioned EVA and a full-length of Powergrid that adds snappiness to the ride, extending its effective range in the process. The mostly segmented outersole is lightened by the “missing” segments. The effectiveness of the shoe can be summed up this way: good durability and a smooth ride at a reasonable price.

“Nice, roomy forefoot with a no-nonsense heel and midfoot fit. Not super cushioned, but they can really handle the mileage—and they don’t weigh a lot either.”

The Zealot is the third of three shoes equipped with Saucony’s ISO technology, which is designed to provide a more secure fit. The Zealot is for faster running, while its brethren are for cushioning and for stability. The upper is closed mesh with welded overlays, and the strap-like ISO fingers adapt as the foot moves. The tongue is gusseted to allow the upper to conform to the foot without the tongue slipping from side to side, contributing to the excellent fit. The midsole is fairly firm, leaning toward the responsive end of the cushioning spectrum, rather than cushy, although it’s flexible enough to avoid a stiff feel. The outersole is segmented, which contributes to the shoe’s flexibilty. The traction is good, as is the sole’s durability. Its blend of clever design, responsive cushioning, and adaptable fit earned the Zealot our Best New Shoe award.

“The sheath-like construction is snug, and the eyelets on the lacing system are separate, allowing variable adjustment along the length of the foot, which makes for a good fit. Very nice on road and dirt. The tread pattern suits all types of running.”

Skechers has overcome some barriers with its serious approach to performance, and it’s been enhanced by the successes of its signature athletes. The GoRun 4 makes a quantum leap without abandoning its genetic roots, always a dilemma when updating a shoe. The upper is a step forward, with closed mesh, sublimated graphics, and welded overlays that contribute to an improved fit and updated look. The midsole features the same 4mm geometry, with a new midsole shaping that offers a better ride, while the midfoot’s new second density results in a better feel. The outersole is still largely toughened foam (the small round rubber buttons remain in the heel and forefoot), and the midfoot features larger rubber pods that have improved durability. These changes have upped the game of the GoRun, significantly improving what was an already good shoe.

“The stretchy upper flexes well with the foot, snugs up pretty well, and has enough support. The ride is pretty smooth and fast, worked well for my faster running. It has been a good shoe to reach for in my rotation, for a ‘kick up the pace’ run.”



Saucony Breakthru



Saucony Zealot ISO

NEW SHOE Spring 2015



Skechers GoRun 4



Updates the Distance III Sizes: Men 6–13,14,15; Women 5–12 Weight: 8.4 oz. (men’s 11); 6.7 oz. (women’s 8) Shape: semicurved Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, EVA Strobel board Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics

New Shoe Sizes: Men 7–13,14,15; Women 5–12 Weight: 10.2 oz. (men’s 11); 8.2 oz. (women’s 8) Shape: semicurved Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, EVA Strobel board Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics to mild overpronation

New Shoe Sizes: Men 7–13,14; Women 5–12 Weight: 11.8 oz. (men’s 11); 9.7 oz. (women’s 8) Shape: semicurved Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, EVA Strobel board Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics to mild overpronation

Updates the GoRun 3 Sizes: Men 6.5–13,14; Women 6–11 Weight: 10.1 oz. (men’s 11); 8.0 oz. (women’s 8) Shape: semicurved Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, finished fabric Strobel board Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics for faster-paced runs

NEUTRAL adidas Supernova Glide Boost 7

Neutral Spring 2015

The Supernova Glide 6 Boost proved to be a versatile, durable, and practical use of the new Boost technology. It maintains the effective chassis while turning its focus on the upper. The new upper has two aims: aesthetics (which are nice, but don’t affect performance) and fit. The new fit is effective, especially in the women’s shoe; the uppers in the male and female versions are different. In both, the stretch mesh flexes well and is also breathable without feeling too breezy in cool conditions. Minor tweaks to the overlays and saddle also do their parts in enhancing the fit. The effective midsole is unchanged: Boost foam topped with EVA to spread and stabilize the bounce. The outersole is the thin layer of tough Continental® rubber over the length of the full-contact bottom that has been so effective for grip and durability. The ride, durability, and value earned the Supernova Glide Boost 7 our Best Shoe award for Neutral shoes.



2015 Spring Shoe Review — 5 — FORTIUS Media Group, LLC

“The best thing about the fit is you don’t even notice it—hugs your foot perfectly. The cushioning is fantastic, my best shoe.” Updates the Supernova Glide 6 Boost Sizes: Men 6.5–13,14,15; Women 5–12 Weight: 11.8 oz. (men’s 11); 9.7 oz. (women’s 8) Shape: semicurved Construction: Strobel slip-lasted Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics


Circus Clowns

Monday After Vacation

Zealot ISO

Step into shoes so comfortable, you can’t help but run in them. SAUCONY.COM/ISOSERIES

NEUTRAL Mizuno Waverider 18

With any shoe, the goal is to please as many runners as possible. Consumer concerns about Round 17 have informed effective changes to Round 18. The upper construction has returned to a former technique, and the fit is better tailored in the midfoot: snug in the arch/instep with plenty of toe room. The midsole is firm but fairly flexible in the forefoot. A new polyurethane insole softens the feel a bit, but the firm ride is noticeable. Increased toe spring both allows the foot to roll better through the gait and gives the shoe a more responsive feel. The outersole is unchanged. X-10 rubber in the heel and bevelled pods on the lateral forefoot smooth the transition. Overall, the shoe is a few grams heavier, but the fit, ride, and feel are more familiar to the franchise, so fans who didn’t love the 17 may recognize much in this version. Recent converts should also be pleased. 

“Fit was good: roomy in the toes, snug heel, no friction problems. The ride was very firm, but the cushioning was pretty good. The shoe rolls well with the foot.”

The Fresh Foam Boracay is the update to the Fresh Foam 980, a combination of a new foam formulation and application of geometries by New Balance. This round focuses on nudging each area forward to arrive at a better product overall. The upper (an open mesh in Round 1), is now a closed but breathable airmesh that’s supported by a thin framework of welded overlays. The toe is surprisingly well-supported even without a toecap, the eyestays feature self-adjusting eyelets, and the neoprene tongue and foam ankle collar provide a plush, interior feel. The Fresh Foam midsole features the same 4mm geometry. The sidewall cells have been altered to stabilize the shoe medially, while the lateral side cushions and directs the foot. This is possible, in part, because the one-piece, full-contact outersole (which is unchanged) allows the gait’s path to be chosen by the foot as the sole flexes to accommodate. The fit and ride have been elevated a notch, and while not for everybody, fans and future fans will find a lot to like.

“Really comfortable shoe to put on. It fits well— snug where needed, roomy where needed. The run is very smooth and lively for a cushion shoe.”

The Cloudster was introduced as the third model for On, a durable, high-mileage shoe with basic credentials. Round 2 keeps the chassis, while adding some zing to the rest of the shoe. The upper is closed mesh in the rearfoot, and stitching reinforces the heel counter and midfoot. The forefoot is a unique, four-way stretch fabric that adjusts with the foot without squeezing or irritation. The midsole is compression-molded EVA foam, with 7mm geometry—fairly firm—but it acts more as a platform for the “clouds” (the outersole lugs). The Cloud technology of the outersole provides the unique ride here; it varies with each runner’s stride, as the clouds compress and grip the teeth of the interior surfaces. The addition of the stretch upper, combined with the proven midsole/outersole setup has succeeded in providing a responsive shoe that can manage high mileage with ease. 

“Feels light on the foot, lighter than it actually is. The fit is very accommodating, the stretch of the forefoot never restricts the foot, just supports it. They were great for my longest runs—really held up well.”

The Triumph is Saucony’s flagship neutral shoe, so it’s fitting that it’s the model to debut its new ISO-fit technology. The upper is wide open mesh that’s supported by welded overlays, but the central focus is on the ISO-fit system, independent plastic fingers that replace the eyestay and flex with the foot to hold the midfoot firmly, though without discomfort. The tongue is gusseted to keep it from slipping sideways and causing irritation. The taller midsole has an additional 3mm of cushioning in the stack height without affecting heel-to-toe drop, which holds steady at 8mm. The full-contact outersole is a combination of carbon rubber in the heel and blown rubber in the forefoot. That’s similar to the previous version, but with additional release grooves to provide the foot with more freedom to flex at toe-off. The success of the update will be judged at the cash register, but the technical accomplishment has been, yes, a triumph.

“A sheath-like fit was great, even without the ISO-fit, but the flex with the foot made them even better. The ride was cushy enough that they became my mileage monsters.”

The new Gemini builds on Under Armour’s growing collection of shoes with molded textile uppers. This one is aimed at the runner who looks for deluxe cushioning. The upper is (very) open mesh and supported by welded overlays at the sides of the vamp that secure it to the heel. A thermoplastic toe bumper shapes the toe and gives the outersole an anchor point. In the back is an external thermoplastic heel counter. The midsole is charged foam, well-cushioned with two resilient densities that combine to provide a responsive ride. The outersole is full-contact—carbon rubber heel, blown rubber in the high-wear portions—and open areas along the length are exposed, toughened foam. The form fit is snug, so some runners may want to size up a half-size or more. The bounce, fit, and responsiveness make the Speedform Gemini a new shoe that’s worth serious consideration.

“They fit OK, but seem to run a little small. The cushioning is better than I’ve tried with Under Armour, I think they have it pretty well dialed-in. It was a good shoe, but I think it will probably get better.”



New Balance Boracay



On Cloudster



Saucony Triumph ISO



Under Armour Speedform Gemini



2015 Spring Shoe Review — 6 — FORTIUS Media Group, LLC

Updates the Waverider 17 Sizes: Men 7–13,14,15,16; Women 6–12 Weight: 10.9 oz. (men’s 11); 8.8 oz. (women’s 8)  Shape: semicurved Construction: Strobel slip-lasted Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics to very mild overpronation

Updates the Fresh Foam 980 Sizes: Men 7–13,14,15,16 (D,2E,4E); Women 5–11,12 (B,D) Weight: 10.5 oz. (men’s 11); 8.5 oz. (women’s 8) Shape: semicurved Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, EVA Strobel board Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics to mild overpronation

Updates the Cloudster Sizes: Men 8–12,13,14; Women 6–12 Weight: 12.4 oz. (men’s 11); 10.0 oz. (women’s 8)  Shape: semicurved Construction: Strobel slip-lasted Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics to very mild overpronation

Updates the Triumph 11 Sizes: Men 7–13,14,15; Women 5–12   Weight: 11.4 oz. (men’s 11); 9.3 oz. (women’s 8) Shape: semicurved Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, EVA Strobel board Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics to mild overpronation

New Shoe Sizes: Men 7–13,14; Women 5–10,11   Weight: 11.0 oz. (men’s 11); 8.9 oz. (women’s 8) Shape: semicurved Construction: molded slip-lasted Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics

Š2014 New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc.


With the Fresh Foam Boracay, data-driven design and intelligent geometries combine to create a smooth, continuous ride every time. THIS IS #FRESHFOAM. THIS IS #RUNNOVATION.

sports nutrition: The Athlete’s Kitchen

Nancy Clark, MS, RD, CSSD

Caf feine: Performance Enhancement in a Mug Whether you are looking for a hit, boost, pleasing stimulant, or an excuse to socialize with your friends, coffee is the go-to beverage for many runners. Coffee drinkers enjoy the way a cup of morning brew enhances their feelings of well-being and their ability to accomplish daily tasks. An estimated 80% of us drink coffee daily. Why, we’re more likely to drink coffee than eat fruit! Thank goodness moderate coffee intake is typically not associated with health risks. For runners, caffeine is a proven performance enhancer. In their new book Caffeine for Sports Performance, sports dietitians Louise Burke and Ben Desbrow and exercise physiologist Lawrence Spriet address all things caffeine that a runner might want to know. Here are just a few tidbits that I gleaned from this comprehensive resource. Perhaps the information will help you add a little bit of zip to your workouts. Note: No amount of caffeine will compensate for a lousy diet. If you choose to use caffeinated products to enhance your sports performance, make sure you’re also fueling wisely! • A cup of pre-exercise coffee can help most runners work harder—without realizing it. Caffeine has been shown to enhance performance by about 1% to 3%, particularly in endurance sports. For example, cyclists who consumed caffeine prior to a 24-mile (40 km) time-trial generated 3.5% more power than when they did the ride without caffeine. • Runners vary in their responsiveness to caf-

feine, from highly effective to negative. Some of the side effects associated with too much caffeine include higher heart rate, anxiety, “coffee stomach,” irritability, and insomnia. • The recommended performance-enhancing dose of caffeine is about 1.5 mg/lb (3 mg/kg) body weight. This can be consumed 1 hour before you run, and/or during a long run (such as a caffeinated gel or defizzed cola every hour). For example, triathletes commonly consume caffeinated gels before each segment, to distribute the caffeine throughout the event rather than have a big pre-race jolt that might make them feel shaky and unable to concentrate. Some runners delay caffeine intake until fatigue starts to appear, and then they ingest 0.5–1 mg/lb (1–2 mg/kg) body weight. • Caffeine’s ergogenic effect maxes out at about 200 to 250 mg caffeine. This is much less than previously recommended. More is not better. Experiment during training to learn what amount (if any) works best for your body! • Because the amount of caffeine in coffee and tea varies, elite runners commonly use caffeine pills or commercial products to ensure the desired intake. A comparison of the caffeine content in 16 ounces of coffee from 20 coffee venders ranged from about 60 to 260 mg. Even when the researchers purchased the same brand of coffee (Starbucks Breakfast Blend) from the

22 ct&rn • April–May 2015

Common Sources of Caffeine For a 150-pound (68 kg) runner, the recommended dose of caffeine is about 200 mg one hour before exercise. That’s the amount in a large mug (16 oz.) of coffee. No problem for most coffee-drinkers! Brewed Coffee 250 ml (about 8 oz; small) 80 (ranges 40–110) Starbucks Breakfast Blend 600 ml (20 oz; venti) 415 (range 256–564) Tea, black 250 ml (about 8 oz; small) 25–110 Tea, green 250 ml (about 8 oz; small) 30-50 Coca-Cola 1 can (12 oz / 335 ml) 34 Red Bull 1 can (8 oz / 250 ml) 80 PowerBar caffeinated gels 1 pouch (1.25 oz / 40 g) 25–50 GU caffeinated gel 1 pouch (1.1 oz / 32 g) 20–40 Jolt Caffeine Energy Gum 1 piece 33 NoDoz 1 tablet 200 (USA), 100 (Australia)

same location on six consecutive days, the caffeine content ranged from about 260 to 565 milligrams per 16 ounces. • Research suggests the caffeine content of espresso also varies. A customer might get served 0.5 to 3.0 ounces of espresso (depending on the barista’s generosity) with a caffeine range of 25 to 214 mg. In general, the larger venders (such as Starbucks) offer a more consistent product. But this means you don’t know what you will be getting if you plan to purchase a pre-race espresso or coffee. • Energy drinks are a popular source of caffeine. A study of 500 college students in North Carolina reports 51% drank at least one energy drink in an average month in the semester. Sixty-seven percent used the energy drink to stay awake; 65% to increase energy; and 54% to drink with alcohol while partying. Of the party-drinkers, 49% consumed 3 or more energy drinks. That makes for a wide-awake drunk who may believe it’s OK to drive a car... • Caffeinated chewing gum is popular among (sleep deprived) soldiers. The gum effectively boosts physical and mental performance and helps maintain reaction time, vigilance, and ability to think clearly. The caffeine in chewing gum gets delivered more quickly than it does via a pill, achieving significant levels in the blood in 5 minutes (vs. 30 minutes with a pill), because it gets absorbed though the cheeks, not the gut. • Caffeinated colas offer not only caffeine but also a hefty dose of sugar. Colas, taken later in a long run, can provide a much needed source of fuel so the combination of caffeine + sugar can provide a nice boost! Hence, some runners claim defizzed Coca-Cola is their preferred sports drink despite having only 35 mg caffeine per 12-ounce can. • Caffeine is only a weak diuretic and is no longer considered to be dehydrating. A novice coffee drinker can become tolerant to the diuretic effects of caffeine in 4 to 5 days of regular caffeine intake. Even high doses (3 mg/lb; 6 mg/kg) have no significant effect on urine production in coffee or tea drinkers. Hence, there appears to be no hydration-related reason for runners to avoid caffeinated beverages.

Cautions • Consuming caffeine might contribute to negative effects. For example, let’s say you are running in more than one competitive event in a day. If caffeine helps you go harder in the first event, will that “fry” you for the second event? Can taking another dose of caffeine counter that fatigue? With backto-back events, will too much caffeine on the first day ruin your sleep, so that you are unable to perform as well on the second day? More research is needed to answer those questions but for the moment, these situations provide good examples of why the most sensible advice is to use the smallest effective dose of caffeine. • In 1984, caffeine was banned by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). But in 2004, WADA reversed the ruling. New research indicated the amount of caffeine needed to reach the threshold dose was detrimental to performance. Although caffeine is no longer banned by WADA, it is on the banned list for NCAA, the governing body of collegiate sports. Collegiate runners can be cited for doping if their caffeine level is higher than 15 micrograms/ml urine. (A normal urine caffeine level is between 1–2 micrograms). Unlikely but possible. • Teen runners should be fully mature and eating an optimal sports diet before even considering the use of caffeine. Again, no amount of caffeine will compensate for lousy fueling practices. For even more helpful tips and tidbits, get a copy of Caffeine for Sports Performance. You’ll actually stay awake while reading it; the book is not a snoozer!

NEED FOOD HELP? Don’t let nutrition be your missing link...

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Boston-area sports nutritionist Nancy Clark, MS, RD counsels both casual and competitive athletes. Her office is in Newton, MA (617-7951875). For information about her best-selling Sports Nutrition Guidebook (new 5th edition) and her Food Guide for Marathoners, see For online education with CEUs, see Copyright Nancy Clark MS RD CSSD, January 2014. Reprinted with permission.

___ Food Guide for Marathoners $22 ___ Sports Nutrition, NEW 5th Edition ___ Both books —Special price



Name __________________________________ Phone__________________________________ Address ________________________________ _______________________________________ Also available at Send check to Sports Nutrition Materials PO Box 650124, West Newton MA 02465 Price includes postage

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SHOE REVIEW by Cregg Weinmann

Track & Field Shoes 2015 As in other pre-Olympic years, 2015 is a “hold-steady” track & field season before the Olympic rollouts for Rio 2016. Five brands offer new products here for the 2015 season, with something for everyone, from beginners to athletes aspiring to the World Championships in Beijing. Here we review five representatives of the current track market, tested for your benefit. They’re versatile, and all athletes can benefit from the equipment advantage they afford, notably their light weight and technical design. We also preview another eight shoes with their specifications. Use this sampling as a starting point in your search for track & field excellence, and check runningproductreviews. com for periodic updates. As we always say, allow yourself time to adapt to the minimal support, structure, and cushioning of the spikes.

Brooks PR LD 3 $65

The second update to the PR series focuses on improved materials plus a few minor design nudges, shedding weight where possible. The upper is closed mesh with sublimated graphics that lend eye appeal. The weight savings results from paring back both the overlays—which are now fully welded, no-sew film—and the strategically placed and comfy ankle collar foam. The six-spike plate is unchanged, providing consistent traction. The rearfoot is covered with sharkskin except where an (unnecessary) oval segment was removed in the heel to shave grams. The full-length midsole is now molded EVA (replacing the sheet EVA used previously), providing enough cushioning even in the longer races. The combination of performance, aesthetics, and price sets the PR LD3 apart, earning it our Best Value award in the Track & Field category. UPDATED Sizes: Men 5–13,14,15; Women 5–11,12 Weight: 4.6 oz. (w/spikes, men’s 11)/4.0 oz. (w/ spikes, women’s 8) Spikes: 6, replaceable Upper: closed mesh Innersole: sheet EVA Midsole: full-length CM-EVA Outersole: combination thermoplastic spike plate, sharkskin heel Recommended for: 1,500–10,000 meters on all surfaces, best on synthetic surfaces

New Balance LD 5000 v2 $120

The 5000 is New Balance’s top distance spike and it features top-shelf technology. The upper is closed mesh with a matrix of no-sew overlays that secure and support the foot, though very lightweight. The midsole is a thin and light layer of molded Revlite foam, in a geometry that cushions responsively without adding unnecessary weight. The outersole is a web of thermoplastic points that add traction on synthetic surfaces along with four perimeter spikes. This combination allows it to handle the natural surfaces of cross country with equal efficiency. The versatility and performance of the LD 5000 v2 earned it honors as our pick for Best Shoe Track & Field. UPDATED Sizes: Men 7–13,14; Women 5–12 Weight: 4.5 oz. (w/spikes, men’s 11)/3.6 oz. (w/ spikes, women’s 8) Spikes: 4, replaceable Upper: synthetic leather overlays and mesh, synthetic suede tongue Innersole: sheet EVA Midsole: full-length CM-EVA Outersole: 3/4-length thermoplastic spike plate, sharkskin heel Recommended for: 1,500–10,000 meters on all surfaces, on synthetic surfaces and natural cross country

Nike Zoom Ja Fly 2 $125

Nike has the industry’s broadest line of track & field shoes, offering something for everyone, from beginners to Olympians. The Ja is one of their elite sprint spikes designed for sprinters from the finesse end rather than the power end of the spectrum. The upper is closed minimesh with welded overlays. The lacing is asymmetrical, angled laterally, shoring up the foot medially, to add support for sprinting, with welded Flywire through the saddle. The midsole is a very thin layer of molded EVA foam, concentrated in the heel and narrowing through the arch. The outersole is a full-length Pebax spike plate that’s most rigid under the toes, positioning the foot forward for sprinting efficiency. The eight-spike plate ensures that traction is maximized. While light weight is a priority, the sole is substantial where it needs to be. UPDATED Sizes: Unisex 4–13,14,15 Weight: 6.8 oz. (w/spikes, men’s 11) Spikes: 8, replaceable Upper: mesh, welded synthetic overlays Innersole: molded EVA Midsole: full-length Phylon (EVA) Outersole: Pebax spike plate, toughened EVA Recommended for: 50–400 meters on synthetic surfaces

BEST VALUE Track & Field SPRING 2015

BEST SHOE Track & Field SPRING 2015

Puma TFX Distance v5 $75

The TFX Distance may be the sleeper of the bunch—at least as far as this review is concerned—as it fights above its weight. The upper is a firm minimesh that’s nicely supportive. Welded overlays add support to the close fit as it sandwiches the mesh with the welded suede linings of the interior. The midsole is a full-length molded EVA—almost like a light road racer—that cushions much like its road sibling would. The outersole is divided into the horseshoe-shaped Pebax nylon plate on the perimeter of the forefoot, a rubber pod beneath the heel, and toughened foam over the rest of the sole. The execution, features, and price make the TFX Distance v5 a quality choice for track performance. UPDATED Sizes: Men 7–12,13; Women 6–11,12 Weight: 6.1 oz. (w/spikes, men’s 11)/4.8 oz. (w/ spikes, women’s 8) Spikes: 5, replaceable Upper: mesh, synthetic overlays Innersole: sheet EVA Midsole: full-length CM-EVA Outersole: Pebax nylon spike plate on forefoot perimeter, EVA over rest Recommended for: 1,500 meters and up, including steeplechase, on synthetic surfaces

Saucony Showdown $110

Designed for power and speed, the Showdown is Saucony’s most elite sprint spike. The upper features the new ISO fit system: angular strapping that descends from each lace eyelet to the base of the sole, and it anchors the heel as it ties into the rearfoot overlays. The effect is supportive and adaptable as the foot moves, ideal for sprinting motion. The tongue is breathable mesh and gusseted to keep the foot secure. The forefoot is enshrouded in a welded, synthetic laminate for additional structure. The midsole is a thin layer of EVA, sufficiently cushioned for its task. The outersole is a full-length Pebax spike plate, rigid where needed, thanks to four spines that run the length of the plate; however, the plate is also springy and resilient for efficient sprinting. The 10-spike plate provides the needed traction, with multiple options in spike placement. The resulting product is improved, thanks to the synergy of all the additions. UPDATED Sizes: Men 4–13,14,15; Women 5–12 Weight: 7.1 oz. (w/spikes, men’s 11)/5.8 oz. (w/ spikes, women’s 8) Spikes: 10, replaceable Upper: mesh, synthetic overlays Innersole: sheet EVA Midsole: EVA Outersole: full-length Pebax spike plate Recommended for: 50–400 meters and hurdles, on synthetic surfaces


Brooks PR Sprint 3 $65 UPDATED Sizes: Men 5–13,14,15; Women 6–12 Weight: 4.8 oz. (w/spikes, men’s 11)/3.9 oz. (w/ spikes, women’s 8) Spikes: 7, replaceable Upper: mesh, welded film overlays Innersole: sheet EVA Midsole: CM-EVA Outersole: combination thermoplastic spike plate, sharkskin heel Recommended for: 50–400 meters and hurdles, on synthetic surfaces

Nike Zoom Mamba 3 $120 UPDATED Sizes: Unisex 6–13,14; Women 5–12 Weight: 5.0 oz. (w/spikes, size 11) Spikes: 6, replaceable Upper: mesh, welded synthetic overlays Innersole: molded EVA Midsole: full-length Phylon (EVA) Outersole: Pebax spike plate, rubber heel Recommended for: 3,000–10,000 meters and steeplechase, on synthetic surfaces

Saucony Spitfire $65 UPDATED Sizes: Men 4–13,14,15; Women 5–12 Weight: 5.8 oz. (w/spikes, men’s 11)/4.7 oz. (w/ spikes, women’s 8) Spikes: 7, replaceable Upper: mesh, synthetic leather overlays Innersole: sheet EVA Midsole: full-length EVA Outersole: Pebax spike plate, sharkskin heel Recommended for: 100–400 meters, on synthetic surfaces

Brooks PR MD 3 $65 UPDATED Sizes: Men 5–13,14,15; Women 6–12 Weight: 4.9 oz. (w/spikes, men’s 11)/4.0 oz. (w/ spikes, women’s 8) Spikes: 6, replaceable Upper: mesh, welded film overlays Innersole: sheet EVA Midsole: CM-EVA Outersole: combination thermoplastic spike plate, sharkskin heel Recommended for: 400–1,500 meters, hurdles and jumps, on synthetic surfaces

Puma TFX Sprint v5 $75 UPDATED Sizes: Men 7–12,13; Women 6–11,12 Weight: 6.8 oz. (w/spikes, men’s 11)/5.6 oz. (w/ spikes, women’s 8) Spikes: 8, replaceable Upper: synthetic leather, welded overlays Innersole: sheet EVA Midsole: full-length CM-EVA Outersole: Pebax nylon spike plate, sharkskin heel Recommended for: 50–100 meters, on synthetic surfaces

Saucony Velocity $60 UPDATED Sizes: Men 7–13,14; Women 5–11,12 Weight: 7.2 oz. (w/spikes, men’s 11)/5.8 oz. (w/ spikes, women’s 8) Spikes: 7, replaceable Upper: closed mesh, Flexfilm overlays Innersole: sheet EVA Midsole: full-length sheet EVA Outersole: Pebax spike plate, carbon rubber heel Recommended for: 800–5,000 meters, hurdles and jumps, on natural and synthetic surfaces

New Balance SD 400 v2 $110 UPDATED Sizes: Men 7–13; Women 5–11 Weight: 5.7 oz. (w/spikes, men’s 11)/4.9 oz. (w/ spikes, women’s 8) Spikes: 8, replaceable Upper: mesh, synthetic overlays Innersole: sheet EVA Midsole: molded EVA Outersole: thermoplastic spike plate, sharkskin heel Recommended for: 50–400 meters, on synthetic surfaces

Puma TFX Star v3 $65 UPDATED Sizes: Men 7–12,13; Women 6–11,12 Weight: 6.6 oz. (w/spikes, men’s 11)/5.7 oz. (w/ spikes, women’s 8) Spikes: 7, replaceable Upper: mesh, welded overlays Innersole: sheet EVA Midsole: sheet EVA Outersole: thermoplastic spike plate, rubber heel Recommended for: 100–5,000 meters, hurdles and jumps, on all surfaces

Cregg Weinmann is footwear and apparel editor for the Running Network LLC, which is solely owned by FORTIUS Media Group, LLC. The Running Network and its 42 partners provide daily reviews of product via All content, regardless of media delivery system, is copyrighted by the Fortius Media Group, LLC. Cregg can be reached at Copyright © 2015 by FORTIUS Media Group, LLC. All Rights Reserved. No part of this article may be stored, copied, or reprinted without prior written permission of FORTIUS Media Group, LLC. Reprinted here with permission.



Q&A With U.S. Marathon Legends Ironically, four years earlier at the ’72 Olympic Games marathon in Munich, Shorter was deprived of Olympic glory as he entered the Olympic stadium. A West German student, impersonating the victor, ran into the stadium ahead of Shorter and was summarily booed by the spectators just as Shorter was entering. At March’s Kaiser Permanente Napa Valley Marathon, the event honored Shorter, Kardong, and Rodgers via a panel discussion entitled “Celebrating the 1976 U.S. Men’s Olympic Marathon Team” at the event’s annual Marathon College, held the day before the race. Kardong and Rodgers were present as featured panelists. Shorter, snow-bound in Albuquerque where he was visiting family, called in and participated via speakerphone. The discussion was emceed by longtime running writer/ editor Joe Henderson. The panelists discussed their running careers, provided tips about competing at the marathon distance, and commented on the 1976 Olympic Games marathon and subsequent revelations. CTRN’s Mark Winitz was present and captured the memorable presentation.

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Photos by Arturo Ramos

The U.S. Olympic marathon team that competed in the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal is considered by many as the strongest in USA team history. Frank Shorter—whose marathon victory four years earlier at the 1972 Olympic Games is credited with igniting the running boom in America—placed second in Montreal in 2:10:45. U.S. team member Don Kardong was fourth (2:11:15), only three seconds behind third-placer Karel Lismont of Belgium. Bill Rodgers, running an injury-hampered race, finished 40th among 67 competitors after breaking the U.S. marathon record in Boston the year before. And what about the winner of the race? East German Waldemar Cierpinski, who finished 50 seconds in front of Shorter, was a virtual unknown. Years later, in the late 1990s, East German track & field files kept by the secret police were uncovered, implicating Cierpinski (among numerous other East German athletes in various sports) in the country’s state-sponsored system that provided performance-enhancing steroids to athletes. Over the years, Cierpinski—who won a second Olympic marathon at the U.S.-boycotted Games in Moscow in 1980—has been the target of advocates who believe he should be stripped of his medals. The International Olympic Committee, however, has taken a “no rewriting history” stance on the allegations.

Don Kardong

Bill Rodgers

Joe Henderson: Frank, tell us about your first experience in marathoning.


Shorter: The Pan American Games marathon was a pretty big deal in the late 1960s and early ’70s. Kenny Moore talked me into running the U.S. Trials in Eugene for the 1971 Pan American Games marathon. It was a month before the Trials track races. I figured I’d just run, and if I qualified in the marathon, it would take all the pressure off me for running the 10,000m in the Pan American Games. Fortunately, I’d been doing enough long runs every Sunday that I was actually doing marathon training, even though I’m a track racer. Nevertheless, in 1971 [the Pan Am Games Trials] was my first experience with the wall in the marathon. Kenny Moore was running along with me [and went on to win the race by about 50 seconds]— we were together, and we [planned] to win together we hoped. At 22 miles, I turned to him and I said, “Kenny, why couldn’t Phidippides have died here?” But I did finish, and my first thought as I crossed the finish line was, “Oh, my god, I’ll have to do this again at the Pan American Games!” Of course, Frank came back and kept doing it all over again. I think he may have coined the phrase in the early ’70s: “You can’t run another marathon until you forget about how bad the last one felt.” Bill, you didn’t get off to a totally successful start yourself in the marathon. Bill Rodgers: For me, I got into the marathon because I moved to Boston. I was an ex-runner. I saw the Boston Marathon. I lived near the finish. In a nutshell, I ran my first marathon at Boston. It was a hot day, and [I] did not finish. I was expecting it to be very cool. I quit running for three months. Then I said, “I have to move to California. I have to live [and run] where it’s warm.” So I lived in California for three months, but I didn’t know anybody. It was just me, my wife, and my cat. So we went back home, and I started running again. Of course Bill made it as a Bostonian and is now known as “Boston Billy,” among other titles. Don, you came from more of a track background, and I remember being at your first marathon, which was successful.

Jumping ahead, these three gentlemen were 1–2–3 in the ’76 Olympic Marathon Trials: Frank first, Bill second, Don third. But Don, it was kind of bittersweet for you because you knocked your teammate and good friend, Tony Sandoval, off the team.

In February of ’72, I ran the 2-mile indoors at Oakland and set a PR of 8:34. Afterwards [Jack Leydig] ... said, “Hey, why don’t you run the marathon tomorrow morning?” I said, “Well, I’m kind of tired.” He said, “Well, we’ll just run it as a training run. You don’t have to take it very seriously.” ­­—Don Kardong Kardong: Yes, I think Tony was a freshman at Stanford the year after I graduated. We knew each other pretty well, we trained together a little bit, and we roomed together in Eugene at the ’76 Marathon Trials. My strategy at the Trials was based on what I’d seen Jeff Galloway and Jack Bachelor do in ’72, which was hang back, take it easy, and then try and catch people later on and move up to the position where you want to be. So both of us were running together and moving up. Finally, Tony and I were in third and fourth, and it became clear that one of us was going to make the team and the other wouldn’t. I had a little more in the tank than he did. I think I ended up about a minute ahead of him at the finish. Tony came back in 1980 and won the Olympic Trials Marathon. Of course, in 1980 the U.S. boycotted the Olympic Games, and he didn’t get to go. Shorter: I have a question for Don. Have you ever run under four minutes in the mile? Kardong: No, I think my best ever was 4:01.9.

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Don Kardong: Yes, I graduated from Stanford in 1971 and thought that if I did things well I might qualify for the Olympic 5000m in the ’72 Olympics. I decided to stay [in the Stanford area] and be in familiar territory. I increased my training quite a bit but was still more of a two- and three-mile runner. There used to be a pretty successful series of indoor track meets in the Bay Area. In February of ’72, I ran the 2-mile indoors at Oakland and set a PR of 8:34. Afterwards [Jack Leydig], the president of the West Valley Track Club, of which I was a member, said, “Hey, why don’t you run the marathon tomorrow morning?” I said, “Well, I’m kind of tired.” He said, “Well, we’ll just run it as a train-

ing run. You don’t have to take it very seriously.” So the next morning I got up and ran the West Valley Marathon [in San Mateo, CA]. It was five 5-mile loops, all the same, plus a little extra. I went around four times and asked myself, “So, I gotta go around the same 5-mile loop again?” It was pretty challenging because I was about where the wall [was]. But I ran 2:18, and told myself “That’s pretty good, you know?” So for a number of years after that, I primarily remained a 2- or 3-miler, but in the back of my mind was the idea that I would move up to the marathon and eventually did. Later that spring, my training was going really well but I got mono and was out for about six weeks. That took the wind out of the sails for the ’72 Olympic Games, so I had to look down the road a little farther.

Shorter: I think this brings up a very good point among the three of us. Don, I think, is the fastest on the track and he had some success there. And, I think Bill is willing to admit that the track really wasn’t his place. And yet, all three of us could run so well at the marathon. So there’s not one specific formula. The other thing about Don is that he had the confidence to run from behind and really feel that people would come back to you. Quite honestly, I’m not quite sure I could ever have done it that way. Let’s take a look at the Olympic Games ’76: The U.S. looked like it should do even better—at least, go 1–2—than it did in 1972. But it didn’t quite go according to plan. Bill, explain your race.

28 ct&rn • April–May 2015

Rodgers: In 1976 the Olympic Games were the beall-end-all for the marathon because there were no World Championships. [1976 was the first year the IAAF conducted a World Championship event of any kind: a men’s 50K race walk. –Editor] So, And if you’re not your best at the for me, just making the team was phenomenal. The Olympic MaraOlympics, you get crushed. I didn’t thon Trials were in May. Then I ran quite understand that at the the 10,000m at the Track & Field time. I started to hit the wall Trials in June. [Rodgers placed around halfway. It was just like fourth and Shorter was first. –Edmy first marathon—déjà vu all itor] I think it was after that, that my foot started bothering me. I over again. Frank was long gone, stopped doing speed work, and duking it out with Cierpinski. It lost a lot of fitness. And if you’re was a very devastating feeling, not your best at the Olympics, you but I finished race. For me, it was get crushed. I didn’t quite understand that at the time. I started to the honor. That’s what running is hit the wall around halfway. It was all about in the end. just like my first marathon—déjà vu all over again. Frank was long —Bill Rodgers gone, duking it out with Cierpinski. It was a very devastating feeling, but I finished race. For me, it was the honor. That’s what running is all about in the end. I’m glad that Don ran well. I think of him as the Olympic bronze medalist, although he never got the credit. And I think of Frank as a two-time Olympic gold medalist. That race—which wasn’t what Bill had hoped it would be—kicked off one of the greatest streaks of winning that’s ever been. He won three more Boston Marathons and won four New York City Marathons in a row—starting in 1976, just a couple of months after the Olympic Games. Now, Don, tell us about your ’76 Games experience. Kardong: When I made the Olympic team, I was still considered primarily a 3-miler. So when people asked, ‘Who are our three Olympians who will be running the marathon?’ I said, “Well, Frank Shorter—he’s the gold medalist from ’72 so he has a good shot at a medal—and Bill Rodgers. Bill’s the American record holder and an up-and-

coming star, and he’s got a good shot at a medal. [pause] And, Don, you’re going to really like Montreal. It’s a really nice city.” [laughter in the audience] But I and my mom both thought I had a shot at a medal. Early in the race, I had this strategy of disassociating myself from the competitive urge. Early on you feel so good in the marathon, but if you go as fast as you feel you want to go, you’re going too fast. To make that happen, as I would get to a water aid station—about every three miles—I’d take a drink of my fluids, which was de-fizzed Coca Cola, which I heard that’s what Frank used. I’d drink about half of it and then look for someone to throw my water bottle to. So at the first water aid station, I found a little boy and said, “Hey, here’s a souvenir.” I told myself, “That’s cool; he can keep that as a souvenir for a long time.” Next water station, around 6 miles, I saw a little girl and did the same thing. I said, “Hey, souvenir,” which in French is the same word, so that worked out very well. I got to the third water station and now we were in a residential area of Montreal. There weren’t many spectators. But I did see two guys sitting on the front porch of their house. So I gave my water bottle a good toss and I thought, “That’s a good toss; it’s going to go right to them.” Then I said, “Nope, it’s actually heading right for their front window!” They were sitting right in front of this big picture window. And I said, “I can’t believe this. You’re in the race of your life, the Olympic Marathon, and you’re going to cause some kind of bizarre international incident.” Fortunately, the water bottle, as it came down, caught the eve of the roof, bounced along, and then fell onto the lawn. Then I told myself, “Now it’s time to associate with the race.” That’s when I started to move up. I don’t know what place I was in, around 30th or so. It was easy to move up and pass people for a while because it felt pretty good. I don’t remember exactly when I passed Bill, but he was having his one bad race. I didn’t know what place I was in until, at around 18 miles, a spectator said, “You’re 30 seconds out of a bronze medal.” I looked up ahead and saw the three guys I had to pass in order to medal. Of course, it was late in the marathon, so you’re more dehydrated, your muscles are sore, so it was harder to reel them in. Finally, at about 22 miles, they all moved towards an aid station to take water, and I decided not to take any more water. I passed all three of them and said, “I’m in fourth place. I’m going to get a bronze medal.” The only problem was that I had four miles to go. You start playing all those mind games. You say, “Oh, I run five miles every morning, four miles in the evening. Four miles is easy.” But my legs were cramping and I was dehydrated, and felt really horrible. I just kept looking “Where’s that stadium? Relax, relax, relax!” I got to 25 miles and heard footsteps behind me. It was one of the three guys I’d passed: Karel [pronounced Carl] Lismont of Belgium. He had rallied and caught me. We ran stride-for-stride for another half-mile or so, went downhill into the stadium,

and that’s when he surged. I simply could not go any faster without my legs just turning totally to cement. We got down to the track, and [at the finish] I ended up three seconds behind him. It was my best marathon performance, time-wise, ever. How do you answer people—I’ve heard you say this and I just want folks here to hear it—how do you answer people that say, “What? You clearly could have made up three seconds.” DK: Well, yes, people do say, “You’ve run for over two hours. You’re strategy has worked out. You’ve moved up into third place. You’re going to get a medal, and then this guy beats you. Can’t you find from somewhere within yourself the strength, the energy, whatever it takes, to move up and get that medal?” I say, “Yeah, that’s what the guy who got third did.” Frank, can you tell us about your ’76 Olympics?

Frank, you’re probably the best person to comment on the later revelations about Cierpinski—not in a way of just making yourself a gold medalist, but you’ve actually served on panels and committees that dealt with doping in sports. So tell us about what came out later about Cierpinski. Shorter: Well, all I know is that Don and I had better times [than Cierpinski—Editor] for 23 years and also what was intuitively obvious at that point in time. History is showing is that there is a reason why. [Shorter briefly described cover-ups of positive drug tests in Olympic Games history. –Editor] I don’t think people in private were doing what they were saying in public they wanted to do [regarding testing]. So Don and I waited a long time [for any revelations to come out]. Also, I worked with USADA (U.S. Anti-Doping Agency) for a while [in its antidoping efforts, as chair of its board of directors. –Editor]. I think people have seen what the results have been since then. I don’t know about you, Don, but that’s what I do. I don’t get angry and I don’t try to get even. I just do what I can do. The other thing I learned is that you just have to be patient and wait for the karma to set in. For some of you, your own running hasn’t ended. When did you reach a point where you said, “I’m just not going to be racing at my old level any more?” That, inevitably, comes for everyone. Frank, we’ll ask you first.

April–May 2015 • ct&rn 29

Shorter: Yes. Unlike Munich where I was a surprise, I went into Montreal knowing that I would be the favorite. The 1972 race was a surprise, I think, for a lot of people. So, my strategy for the ’76 race was to say, “You know what I’m going to do. I know what I’m going to do. And I’m going to do it anyway” because I’d developed a pattern where I tried to take off early in the race at some point and to hold that lead. I found out very early that I was very good at holding a lead. For Montreal, I’d planned to make a surge at a certain point. I wasn’t feeling quite as good as I did in Munich. It turned out I actually had a stress fracture in my ankle. So I made a surge somewhere around 10 miles and started to get a lead. The only person that went with me was someone who was wearing a [plain] white singlet. And that was not the East German uniform. The East German was, I think, blue and had the East German insignia. So I didn’t know who this person was. [It was Cierpinski. –Editor] But it doesn’t matter who the person is. If they’re running next to you in the Olympic marathon, you know that’s competition. Believe it or not, I thought that it was Carlos Lopes [of Portugal]. I hadn’t seen him up close before, but I’d watched Carlos, who was second to Lasse Virén in the 10,000m race [in Montreal]. So Cierpinski is running beside me, I’m surging, and he’s covering the surge. We started up Mount Royal—it must have been at 16, 17, 18 miles—and I surged again. He went with me. We crested the hill, went down, and made a righthand turn into the University of Montreal area. When we made that turn, he surged ahead of me and got away from me in a way that all I could think of was “Wow, that’s not normal.”] He just got away. We got back onto the long straightaway to the stadium, and I realized that now he could see me. About 5 kilometers from the finish I came up on Cierpinski because he was just sort of trotting along and he wasn’t aware that I was behind. He took a look around, he saw me, and

just took off! I couldn’t believe it. So he went on to the [Olympic stadium] track, finished, and won. I actually timed the amount of time [in the ’72 Olympic Games Marathon] that the imposter in Munich finished ahead of me into the Munich Stadium and the amount of time I entered the stadium, then hit the track, behind Cierpinski. Both times the amount of time was 48 seconds. Twice. In the Olympic Games. I mentioned that, and Don, with his sense of humor, responded, “Yeah, twice you finished behind an imposter!” [laughter and clapping]

Marathon Legends


Shorter: The real question is how much longer Kardong: Yeah, Frank hit the nail on the head. will I try to continue running at my old level. You keep trying to get back to that same point [laughter] I joke about it now. Obviously, for a long time. I admire both Frank and Bill there is a bell curve of performance. About for being able to win so many marathons. I 1982, I was running a race and thought to my- had one other really good race [besides the self, “This is harder than it should be.” I think ’76 Olympic Games marathon] at Honolulu. we all know when that point is. There’s a cer- Won that. But other than that, I had a mixed tain transition, and you learn to deal with it. bag. After the Olympics I kind of got out of The question is not “Do I stop competing?” running the marathon for a long time, but was or “Do I stop competing hard?” For me it was still competing in road races for a number of a matter of “OK, how do you handle this?” years. I kind of remember how that went. At That’s when I said to myself, during that race, first, there’s that time when the first woman that the goal now is going to be to slow down beats you [oh-ohhs in the audience –Editor]. as slowly as possible. I think that’s something It didn’t bother me, but I noticed! [laughter in that all of us—Don and Bill and I—are doing the crowd] Not long after that it’s when the because we still train 13-year-old girl beats hard. We still try hard you. Then you know There’s a certain and we still try to you’re probably past transition, and you learn to go hard. But I think your best days. And deal with it. The question is we’ve also become then the first race not “Do I stop competing?” part of an experiment walker. Then John in a way. We’re part Keston beats you by or “Do I stop competing hard?” of an anecdotal ex10 minutes. That kind For me it was a matter of periment about what of thing, you know. “OK, how do you handle this?” people like us will be You learn to appreciThat’s when I said to like when we’re our ate the abilities of all age, in our 60s. That’s those runners. myself, during that race, a much more importthat the goal now ant aspect of this. It’s I should mention is going to be to slow maybe very similar that all three of these down as slowly as possible. to when you’re on runners are of very the victory stand in similar age, born in a race, and for me it ’47 and ’48, and had —Frank Shorter was in the Olympic long running careers Games. When you’re at a high level. Bill, on the victory stand, what goes through your you continued for quite a while because you mind is “Well, what do you do now? What do were setting Masters records for many years. you do tomorrow?” In a way, you can still keep on with the goal setting that you already had Rodgers: Maybe it was because I did have a to get there and sort of reframe it. terrible race in the Olympics. Maybe there was You can ask Bill a similar question. Bill was a motivation. It’s very interesting because in so great in ’76 with the injury that he got in the past years runners who were older retired. For Trials, which is why we didn’t finish together. the older runners who are here in the room, He started to slow down and he started to it’s sort of unique to be the first group to keep limp and he said, “I think it’s my legs, my quads going and keep training to be [an] athlete, no are going.” matter where you are at the finish line. It’s an “Well,” I said, “you need to slow down interesting journey, and kind of fun. But I really and we’ll finish together,” and Bill said, “No, can’t think of a certain day that it hit me that no! Go ahead.” [Shorter and Rodgers finished [my performance was declining]. It was more 1–2 in the Trials in 2:11:51 and 2:11:58, respec- an imperceptible thing, like water slipping out tively. –Editor]. Then in the Games, he feels of your hands. It just happened. [the injury] when he warms up [and Rodgers I also think we’re all lucky. Lucky to be in finishes a distant 40th. –Editor]. So, what does the best sport in the world. It’s a great way to he do? Does he give up? No. He reframes. He live. It’s more than just a sport, and we all feel prepares for what he’s going to do next time. that. There’s a certain beauty to running. So And next time he beat my butt in the New City for all of you who are running the Napa ValMarathon [a race that Rodgers won four con- ley Marathon tomorrow, we’re all going to be secutive times starting in ’76 –Editor]. cheering for you. Don, you stayed active in a lot of ways for a long time, but your running at the highest level peaked in ’76.

Find complete results from the Kaiser Permanente Marathon online at




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California Track & Running News Apr/May 2015  

Top stories in this issue include a Q&A with marathoning legends Don Kardong, Bill Rodgers, and Frank Shorter (aka the 1976 U.S. Men's Olymp...