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STRIDE FOR STRIDE SUMMER 09


RUNNER TO RUNNER Letter from Nike Running

What an exciting time of year. As the weather gradually warms up the season shifts straight into the heat of the competitive outdoor track season, the major marathons return, and runners everywhere are getting out and testing their fitness in local road races. Nike Running is looking to turn the heat up as well, ensuring that runners everywhere have superior running experiences day in and day out through providing top-notch product and events. Whatever runners need, Nike Running aims to deliver. This issue of RUN provides information on what runners need to know about the shoes on their feet, with a look at the Natural Motion principles applied to two of our most pride-worthy training tools in our line, the Air Zoom Vomero+ 4 and the Nike FREE 5.0. An interesting article on a marketing maverick and pioneer of the running industry, Geoff Hollister, leads into an inside look at Nike’s revamped and highly elite Oregon Project. A look at what Kara Goucher and Dathan Ritzenhein are up to whets the appetite of anyone who craves major road race action. For the hard-core track fan, illuminating interviews with Nike legend Bob Kennedy and current standout Anna Willard rounds out the issue. The Nike Running team is constantly looking for ways to better attend to your needs as a runner, striving to inspire and motivate you for every run out the door. Feel free to let us know how we are doing by emailing RUNfeedback@nike.com.

SUMMER 2009

PRODUCT INNOVATION

4 NATURAL MOTION: FREE 5.0 AND VOMERO+ 4 NIKE HERITAGE

6 GEOFF HOLLISTER: FROM THE BEGINNING INSIDE THE BERM

10 NIKE OREGON PROJECT WOMENS FEATURED PRODUCT

12 SUMMER 2009

MENS FEATURED PRODUCT

14 SUMMER 2009 ATHLETE UPDATE

18 KARA GOUCHER ATHLETE UPDATE

19 DATHAN RITZENHEIN EVENT UNCOVERED

20 PENN RELAYS 2009 NIKE HERITAGE

22 BOB KENNEDY PRODUCT INNOVATION

26 SUMMER 09 TRACK SPIKES COOL DOWN

27 ANNA WILLARD 1969 Oregon XC Team Steve Prefontaine (bottom row, center)


PRODUCT INNOVATION

NIKE FREE 5.0 The perfect embodiment of Natural Motion Engineering, the Nike FREE 5.0 is created for the runner looking to strengthen their foot. Through modern craftsmanship designed around the foot morphology we have taken the Nike FREE 5.0 back to its roots, enabling the foot to truly be free.

Natural Motion From Nike FREE 5.0 to Air Zoom Vomero+ 4 As far as disruptive and innovative technologies go, the Nike FREE 5.0 is a perfect example of how far Nike Running is willing to push to create footwear that acts as a tool for runners, helping them become stronger through working with their body rather than against it. Through applying principles of Natural Motion Engineering, Nike FREE technology has become an important influence on the rest of the Nike Running footwear line, including the luxurious new Air Zoom Vomero+ 4.

WHAT IS NATURAL MOTION ENGINEERING? In straightforward terms, Natural Motion Engineering is a design philosophy and approach to building running shoes that work to complement the foot’s own natural ability to safely absorb impact forces during training. It is expressed on running footwear through the implementation of genderspecific design, deep and appropriately-aligned flex grooves, a decoupled and articulated heel, as well as through focusing on the centers of pressure of a foot in the act of running.

A molded sockliner mimics the curvature of the foot for a great fit, enhanced comfort and added support. Soft, durable foam inserts under the forefoot and heel adds cushioning where needed. The Phylite midsole provides a resilient ride and enough durability to double as an outsole, dramatically reducing overall weight. Deep Nike FREE sipes molded along the length and width of the midsole enhance flexibility and stability, while retaining traction, underfoot protection and cushioning. Wider sipes across the forefoot allow for greater engagement of the toes through propulsion for increased muscle activation and a more barefoot-like experience. NEW FEATURES 5.0-specific upper provides just enough support while still allowing the foot to move in a natural, efficient and barefootlike manner. A unique tongue construction is engineered to reduce pressure over the top ridge of the foot, while also contributing added support by wrapping up around the medial arch. Soft, microfiber synthetic overlays are bonded using ultra-sonic welding wherever possible to minimize stitching and maximize comfort.

AIR ZOOM VOMERO+ 4 When most people think of a luxuriously cushioned shoe, they think it has to be a bulky and unwieldy ride, a natural compromise for the benefits of premium cushioning. Think again. The new Air Zoom Vomero+ 4 combines key elements of Natural Motion Engineering with the same cushioning and durability that runners have come to trust and love from the Air Zoom Vomero line. While the Cushlon midsole provides that Vomero feel of responsive cushioning, deep, gender-specific flex grooves provide necessary flexibility that allows the foot to move naturally while still providing necessary support. A de-coupled crash pad absorbs the impact of foot strike in an effort to reduce the amount of force applied to the foot. The CPU midfoot saddle has been expanded to allow even more of the upper to stretch and flex dynamically with the foot’s natural movements through all phases of footstrike. MOVING FORWARD Learning from the example of the Nike FREE 5.0 and implementing those Natural Motion Engineering principles into the rest of our Nike Running footwear will benefit runners no matter what your favorite shoe is. From the minimalism of Nike FREE 5.0 all the way up to the plush cushioning of the Air Zoom Vomero+ 4, you can bet we will be looking to work with the runner’s foot, enhancing its movement and flexibility, and give it the necessary support to ensure the best possible running experience every time out the door.

HOW DOES NATURAL MOTION ENGINEERING HO DELIVER A SUPERIOR RUNNING EXPERIENCE? DE Through individualized foot strike management that seems Thr tailored to each and every runner, Natural Motion Engineering tailo technology works with your foot to deliver the best possible tec running experience and ultimately help reduce the rate of injury. run

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NIKE FREE 5.0 MIDSOLE Deep Nike Free sipes molded along the length and width of the midsole enhance flexibility and and stability while retaining traction, underfoot protection and cushioning.

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NIKE FREE 5.0 UPPER An asymmetrical lacing system and unique tongue construction help to reduce pressure over the top ridge of the foot, while also contributing added support by wrapping up around the medial arch.

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AIR ZOOM VOMERO+ 4 OUTSOLE Asymmetrical arch bridge midfoot shank enhances support under the midfoot while still allowing for a degree of torsional rotation to unlock the foot’s natural stabilizing mechanisms.

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AIR ZOOM VOMERO+ 4 UPPER Women’s-specific Dynamic Fit windows along the first and fifth metatarsals provide dynamic width accommodation through footstrike.

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NIKE HERITAGE

Geoff Hollister From the Beginning There is so much more to Geoff Hollister than being Nike’s third employee, or the fact that he ran the steeplechase for Bill Bowerman. Geoff Hollister’s running knowledge, from high school to professional running and everything in-between, is nothing short of awesome. He is one of Nike’s first salesmen, the first designer other than Bill Bowerman, and the man who enlisted Steve Prefontaine as Nike’s first athlete. Back in 1975, he was selling shoes out of his car trunk to pay the gas necessary to drive around and spread the word of Nike Running. And what is Geoff Hollister now? A legend. Geoff Hollister opened up and managed Nike’s second retail store, then called Blue Ribbon Sports, at 855 Olive St. in Eugene, Oregon. He hired an all-athlete, all-female staff and throughout the ‘70’s and ‘80’s found ways to get Nike shoes on the feet of such running greats such as Steve Prefontaine, Brendan Foster, Sebastian Coe, Steve Ovett, Carl Lewis, and Joan-Benoit Samuelson among others. He understood quite well the importance of tying a great athlete to a shoe, knowing that there were few ways to better market a great product in the eyes of consumers looking for a reason to buy one brand of shoe over another. The 1976 Olympic Trials served as a launching point for Nike to obtain mainstream credibility in the running world. He concentrated his efforts on the middle and long distance events, with a goal of placing Nike athletes on the Olympic Team which would be a huge coup for the young company in an arena histori-

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cally dominated by other brands. In event after event, Nike athletes performed at high levels and made the team to Montreal, from the 800m through Don Kardong’s third place qualifying run in the marathon. From an athletes’ perspective, what set Nike apart from other companies at the time was the personal touch Hollister presented. As an athlete himself, he understood what they were up against and what they needed. As Don Kardong put it, “We and the guys at Nike were one and the same.” As he went forward to Montreal for the Olympic Games, Hollister assembled his marketing team which included current Nike legend Nelson Farris, a man Hollister describes as, “someone who could get into anything and talk his way back out if he needed to.” It’s this attitude of caring for and relating to the athlete’s needs, coupled with a street-wise “get it done” ambition that made Nike so unique. Hollister also built strong friendships with his Nike cohorts like Nelson Farris, and to this day he says, “It’s those great contacts and friends I made over the years that keep me going.” One of the many friendships he formed over the years was with Kenyan great and two-time Olympic Champion Kip Keino, whose son Martin went to the University of Arizona and was

an NCAA champion. Hollister’s own son went to the University of Oregon and competed as well, and Hollister cites his son becoming friends with Martin Keino as an enduring example of how running can help form lasting and important bonds that can not only transcend cultures and continents, but ultimately, generations. These days, Hollister spends his time sailing in the San Juan Islands off the Olympic peninsula in the state of Washington and is looking forward to speaking tours with Olympic greats such as Al Joyner and Joaquim Cruz. His book, Out of Nowhere: The Inside Story of How Nike Marketed the Culture of Running, was published in 2008.

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Clockwise from top: Geoff and Nelson Farris in 1984, first car Geoff sold Nike’s out of, early Wieden & Kennedy ad, Geoff and his staff in 1972 Next page: Geoff with Joan Benoit-Samuelson, with his crew participating in Hood to Coast, with the Bowerman’s

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INSIDE THE BERM

OREGON PROJECT ATHLETES two.” In the few years since then, the goals of the program have largely stayed the same. Adam Goucher’s career was revitalized after a couple seasons of setbacks. He returned to the world class level and has battled in World Championship finals on the track and Top-10 finishes at the World Cross Country Championships as well. Kara ran last summer’s Olympic Games in both the 5000m and 10000m, while also producing the fastest debut marathon by an American woman – she finished third in the New York Marathon last fall- and is primed for a run at the Boston Marathon this April.

Inside the Oregon Project Alberto Salazar is a man accustomed to winning. Like others in that small pool of overachieving people driven to succeed and ultimately rise to the top of their chosen professions or endeavors, falling short is not even an option. In 2001 Salazar was watching the Boston Marathon as the announcers were heaping praise on an American distance runner for cracking the top 10, exclaiming how difficult a task that is in a sport dominated by non-American athletes. As a former winner of Boston himself and a three-time winner of the New York Marathon, among many other accolades in his distinguished career, Salazar thought to himself, “Really? Is that what our expectations have sunken to? Have we given up entirely on winning?” Not Salazar. He soon put together a training group with the help of Nike Running designed to do just that: win major marathons. In order to do that he knew he had to get top talent and devise a systematic and scientific training program. It never was

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designed to be a quick-fix solution, however. It takes great maturity, both physically and mentally, to be able to compete at a world-class level in an event as grueling as the marathon, so Salazar’s program aimed at his athletes developing and maximizing their ability on the track first, at the 5000m and 10000m events. While early results from the Oregon Project didn’t quite yield the great dividends that were expected, Salazar was undeterred. He knew he just had to find the right athletes. “Once Adam and Kara Goucher came aboard, things really started to turn around. I knew I had the right type of runner with those

The group is bolstered by the addition of Jerry Schumacher, one of the most decorated and intelligent college coaches of the last decade. Along with Schumacher comes such talent as 2008 US Olympian Matt Tegenkamp, ace 3000m/5000m runner Chris Solinsky, 5000m Olympian Jonathan Riley, and youthful 1500m upstart Evan Jager. Shumacher’s philosophy lines up nicely with Salazar as he says, “The bottom line is I have the desire to see US distance running at the top of the world level, and we can do it. Portland is a very conducive environment for achieving these goals. The weather is moderate and we have so much at our disposal with Nike right here.” Shumacher understands, like Salazar, that success may not be immediate, “We should be having three athletes, both men and women, in every distance final for both the World Championships and the Olympic Games. To do that we have to work very hard and smart and understand that it won’t come overnight. In the end, we have all the talent and resources available to accomplish it however. And once we have multiple people in the finals of these major events, all it takes is one great run by a prepared athlete and a medal, perhaps more, is within reach.”

ADAM GOUCHER US Olympian 5000m 5000m PB (13:10.00)

KARA GOUCHER US Olympian 5000m/10000m 3rd 2008 NYC Marathon 5000m/10000m PB (14:55.02/30:55.16) AMY YODER BEGLEY US Olympian 10000m 10000m PB (31:43.60)

JOSH ROHATINSKY NCAA XC Champion 10000m PB (27:54.41)

MATT TEGENKAMP US Olympian 5000m American Record 2-Mile (8:07.07) 5000m PB (13:04.90) CHRIS SOLINSKY Two-Time NCAA Outdoor 5000m Champion 5000m PB (13:12.24)

EVAN JAGER 1500m PB (3:41.24)

JONATHAN RILEY US Olympian 5000m 5000m PB (13:19.92)

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Women’s Summer 09

Featured Product FOR MORE DETAILS AND ADDITIONAL PRODUCT, CHECK OUT NIKERUNNING.COM

Shalane Flanagan uses the Air Zoom Vomero for the bulk of her miles, citing its durability and superior cushioning to help her get through heavy running volumes, while using the Air Pegasus for faster efforts.

CORE REFLECT LONG SPORT TOP

AIR ZOOM VOMERO+ 3

The ultimate in premium cushioning with smooth transition through foot strike. MSRP $130

Tackle the distance in this full-length top. DRI-FIT fabric is combined with mesh insets for moisture wicking comfort and cooling. MSRP $45

PACER SHORT

An essential for every runner’s wardrobe, low-rise construction and microfiber fabrics combine for the perfect fit. MSRP $30

NIKE FREE 5.0

A unique strengthening shoe for your feet with a Phylite midsole that features engineered pattern longitudinal and latitudinal sipes for a naturally stable and efficient footstrike. MSRP $85

SHORT SLEEVE DRI-FIT SOFT HAND BASELAYER (RIGHT)

The perfect short-sleeved top for that daily run. Dri-FIT fabric provides comfort and breathability. MSRP $35

YOUTH TRACK 3.5” SHORT (RIGHT) AIR ZOOM STRUCTURE TRIAX+ 1 12

AIR ZOOM ELITE+ 4

Stable and responsive, for fast overpronators.

Hit your stride with this colorful knit short. The cotton-hand plated jersey fabrication has Dri-FIT properties for superior performance.

MSRP $100

MSRP $100

MSRP $30

A soft, smooth ride for overpronators.

“T “The Zoom Skylon is lightweight and flexible, allowing m my feet to move.” – Shannon Rowbury

AIR ZOOM SKYLON+ 11

AIR EQUALON+ 3

MSRP $90

MSRP $135

Light and springy springy, for faster paces paces.

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Maximum stability, super-smooth ride.

AIR PEGASUS PEGASUS+ 25

Delivers miles of steady comfort and protection. MSRP $85

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Men’s Summer 09

Featured Product FOR MORE DETAILS AND ADDITIONAL PRODUCT, CHECK OUT NIKERUNNING.COM

ESSENTIAL SS UV TOP

Short-sleeve top with self-fabric band at neck and shaped bottom hem delivers steady performance as a base layer or stand alone top. MSRP $36

NIKE FR FREE 5.0

A unique strengthening shoe for your feet with a Phylite midsole that features engineered pattern longitudinal and latitudinal sipes for a naturally stable and efficient footstrike. MSRP $85

4” TEMPO TRACK SHORT

The male-specific tempo short is designed for you to deliver your best effort. Structured design lines give the short a modern look while creating an athletic appeal. MSRP $30

Dathan Ritzenhein uses the Air Pegasus due to its ability to handle the rigors of even his toughest marathon training.

The ultimate in premium cushioning with smooth transition through foot strike. MSRP $130

SOFT HAND SHORT SLEEVE TOP (right)

Designed for unbeatable comfort and an unbeatable running experience with Dri-FIT mesh fabric insert and ergonomic side seams. MSRP $35

AIR PEGASUS+ 25

AIR ZOOM ELITE+ 4

MSRP $85

MSRP $100

Delivers miles of steady comfort and protection protection.

AIR ZOOM VOMERO+ 3

7” STRETCH WOVEN SHORT (right)

Elastic waist short with internal drawcord, built-in Dri-FIT fabric liner that extends to the top of the waist for added comfort, and internal audio pocket. MSRP $35

Stable and responsive, for fast overpronators.

“I love the Zoom Skylon b because it’s light and f fast, yet cushioned e enough for a bigger f framed runner like me.” – Chris Solinsky

AIR ZOOM STRUCTURE TRIAX+ 1 12

AIR ZOOM SKYLON+ 11

AIR EQUALON+ 3

MSRP $100

MSRP $90

MSRP $135

A soft, smooth ride for overpronators.

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Light and springy springy, for faster paces paces.

Maximum stability, super-smooth ride ride. e.

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NIKERUNNING.COM


ATHLETE UPDATE

ATHLETE UPDATE

Kara Goucher

Kara Goucher is determined and prepared to make history this spring and help bring American women’s distance running to the top of the world. Kara Goucher is hunting for the win in her first appearance at Boston, after a highly successful 2008 which saw her compete at the Olympic Games and make a big impression in New York in her debut effort. RUN caught up with Kara prior to the big race to get an inside scoop on this champion’s preparations. RUN: Overall, how is training coming along? KG: My training is going great. When I was preparing for New York I felt a little rushed and I felt uneasy about the training. I had never trained that hard before and I was nervous nearly everyday about how my runs would go. But training for Boston has been different. It has been a much longer build up and I am much more confident that I can handle the training this time around. RUN: What are you taking from your experience in New York that will help you in Boston? KG: Most importantly, I’ve gotten a better hold of the nutritional aspect of the marathon. My stomach is more accustomed to taking in calories while running fast paces. I also know now that my body can handle the distance of 26.2 miles. Before New York I had only run 23 miles, so there is a comfort in knowing that I have run that far before. I also learned that no matter how bad

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you are hurting you can still continue to move forward. I am much more prepared this time around! RUN: What would a victory mean for you in Boston, and for American women’s distance running as a whole? KG: I know that Americans are ready to take on the world in distance running. I would love to be the one to bring back a victory at our oldest and most historic marathon. To win such a race, on American soil, would prove once and for all that anything is possible. Women’s distance running gets bigger and better in America every year. I desperately want to be a leader; to lead the charge of American success. RUN: You’ve been running quite well indoors this year, are those middle-distance races acting more as training stimuli within your marathon preparations? KG: Yes, the indoor races acted as aggressive workouts. Although I did taper a bit for them, I still ran over 80 miles each week that I raced. It was a good opportunity to have some fun and to get out and do a little speed work.

Dathan Ritzenhein Dathan Ritzenhein is a two-time US Olympian and one of the brightest stars of our sport’s present and future. Prior to racing in London this spring, Dathan answered some questions about his preparations and goals going into this epic showdown between many of the heavyweights of the marathon, and how he plans to match them stride for stride. RUN: How has training been going? DR: The training for London has gone very well. I got the flu about 10 days before the US XC Championships, which was disappointing, but it really gave me a little break for a couple days, and now I have put in the best five weeks of training that I have ever done. We figured that we didn’t have anything to lose by taking it to the next level. RUN: Do you have a specific time goal? DR: The goal to go to London is to run fast. As an American it would have been nice to run in Boston, but I wanted to run a fast time. I have run three marathons now and they have been progressively faster, but I have yet to get into a fast rabbited race that was on a fast course and in good conditions. My Beijing race showed that I was in very good shape and if the weather would have been better I could have maybe run a huge personal best.

RUN: What does it mean for you to race on such a fast course against top competition like Martin Lel and Sammy Wanjiru? DR: I could have a great race, run 2:06 and still be around 10th. Hopefully I will finish higher than that and get a huge personal best, because that would be the next step for me being able to win a major marathon or championship medal. Sammy is very young and I am sure he will be around for a long time and Martin is a very distinguished veteran so it will be great to see how I compare to them. Also with six of the top nine from Beijing I know I can hopefully be right there with those guys who beat me there.

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EVENT UNCOVERED

Penn Relays The Greatest Show on the Track

MEN’S USA -VS- THE WORLD RELAYS 4×100m Relay—1. Jamaica, 39.04; 2. United States Blue, 39.14; 3. Trinidad & Tobago, 39.33; 4. United States Red, 39.38; 5. Canada Red, 39.60; 6. Netherlands Antilles, 39.86.

Hosted annually since 1895, the Penn Relays is the oldest and largest relay race in the United States with over 22,000 competitors participating each year.

Distance Medley Relay—1. Kenya, 9:29.; 2. United States Red, 9:30.66; 3. World All Stars, 9:31.67; 4. United States Blue, 9:32.12; 5. Canada, 9:42.20.

Hosted annually since 1895, the Penn Relays is the oldest and largest relay race in the United States with over 22,000 competitors participating each year. Held on April 23-25, the Relays fire off a race every five minutes on average over the combined 33 hours of competition, creating a constant buzz of energy on the track and in the stadium for the upwards of 100,000 spectators over the three days. It is not uncommon for the final day of competition to draw 50,000 spectators alone. In 2008, meet records were falling every day of competition. In high school, college and elite races no mark was out of reach.

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Weather permitting, we could see similar results from the stellar athletes lined up for this year’s event. Although the meet serves as one of the largest events for high school competitors, one of the main attractions over recent years has been the addition of the USA vs. The World Relays, where teams of American professional stars take on some of the top talent the rest of the world can muster up. Here is a look at how the USA fared against the teams of international stars last year:

4×400m Relay—1. United States Blue, 2:59.71; 2. United States Red, 3:01.12; 3. Jamaica, 3:02.00; 4. Bahamas, 3:05.64; 5. World All Stars, 3:05.97; 6. Saudi Arabia, 3:10.62.

WOMEN’S USA -VS- THE WORLD RELAYS 4×100m Relay—1. United States Red, 42.57; 2. United States Blue, 42.64; 3. Jamaica, 43.31; 4. World All Stars, 43.90; 5. Bahamas, 44.52; 6. Trinidad & Tobago, 44.72. 4×400m Relay—1. United States Blue, 3:22.16; 2. Jamaica, 3:27.96; 3. United States Red, 3:27.98; 4. World All Stars, 3:30.34; 5. Canada, 3:31.50; 6. Russia, 3:42.68.

PREVIOUS YEARS’ ACTION 2008: In college action, can the University of Texas repeat its amazing triple victory in the Men’s 4x800m, Distance Medley Relay and 4xMile? It will be a difficult feat with Leonel Manzano making his way to the pro ranks, but the depth is there to certainly contend for at least one of those titles. 2007: Anna Willard led her Michigan Wolverines to victory in two relays, both squads breaking long-standing Penn Relays records. 2006: In the Men’s USA vs. The World Distance Medley Relay, the Kenyan team narrowly defeated the American team by less than a tenth of a second. In the process the Kenyans set a new world record of 9:15.56, as Alex Kipchirchir edged out Bernard Lagat at the line. 2001: Michael Johnson’s final race in the U.S. highlights a week of record-breaking attendance while high schooler Alan Webb of South Lakes High in Virginia takes his second Athlete of the Meet Award. He ran an all-time best 1:49.1 split for 800 meters after posting an all-time best 3:59.9 in the 1600 the year prior.

Sprint Medley Relay—1. Jamaica, 3:37.61; 2. World All Stars, 3:39.16; 3. United States Red, 3:41.08; 4. Canada, 3:44.06; 5. United States Blue, 3:45.73.

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NIKE HERITAGE

Nike Heritage Bob Kennedy The 1990’s presented many challenges for US distance running. While world records were being rewritten every summer in the middle and long distances by African athletes hungry to dominate the distance events, US runners were tasked with the charge of keeping up. One of those runners who answered the call was 5000m ace Bob Kennedy. One of the bright spots for US distance running appeared in the form of a man from Indiana with a close-cropped beard and a distinctively smooth stride who had no fear of the slew of Kenyan and North African runners who occupied the highest echelons of the sport. Bob Kennedy kept alive the belief that American runners could compete with anybody, regardless of the odds, and that belief has certainly been passed along to a new generation of distance runners who truly live, train, and race in a manner showing they have what it takes to be the best in the world.

almost more important. He describes the race very matter-offactly, “At that time in my career I was dialed into myself, having a great feel for my own body and capabilities. I knew that to race for a medal meant to make everyone else start the drive to the finish earlier than they wanted. When I moved with two laps to go, I had a definite surge of adrenaline and there was a lot of energy in the stadium, but it wasn’t until afterwards when I watched the race on video did I really get a sense of the crowd reaction. It gave me chills.”

EARLY YEARS In 1992, after a decorated collegiate career which saw him win four NCAA titles, including two in cross country (1988 and 1992), one outdoors at 1500m (1990) and an indoor mile title (1991), Kennedy qualified for the Olympic Games and made it to the finals of the 5000m, placing a respectable 12th. In the coming years prior to the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, he accelerated the learning curve by constantly seeking top competition, increasing the volume and intensity of his training, thereby lowering his personal bests year by year.

Kennedy gained the necessary confidence to race against the best by training with them everyday. Based in London during the summer months, he trained with such superstars as Daniel Komen, Moses Kiptanui, and other top Kenyans. “After performing intense workouts with these guys, it wasn’t as big of a deal lining up with them on the start for a race in a major meet like Stockholm, or anywhere else for that matter.” That same summer, he also broke the American Record at 5000m twice, finally lowering it to its still-standing mark of 12:58.21. The first non-African to break 13:00 in the event, 13 years later he is still one of only three non-Africans to have done so. Asked what set him apart from many other athletes, he responded, “I was born with a talent to run at VO2 max pace for long periods of time. I really absorbed intense periods of training and had the ability to recover well. This is a thinking man’s sport,” he continued, “you have to be intelligent enough to understand that you don’t know everything and constantly be thirsty for new knowledge.” In 1998, he went on to set the American Record in the 3000m, running 7:30.84.

1996-1999: DOMINANCE AT HOME, SUCCESS ABROAD Bob Kennedy’s career highlight occurred on a muggy night in Georgia, under the lights of the Olympic Stadium in Atlanta, during the summer of 1996. With two laps to go, Kennedy powered to the front of pack, taking the lead of the Olympic 5000m final. He held the lead until the bell lap, when the fast-finishers made decisive moves to the tape. Kennedy finished in 6th place, a great result no doubt, but the way in which he ran the race was

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2000 AND BEYOND After a setback in 2000, where he competed in the Olympic Trials despite only a few weeks of preparation due to a car accident left his back badly injured, he returned in 2001 with a desire to reclaim his status back at the top of the US distance ranks. Still not feeling he was on his best form to take on a host of challengers, including Adam Goucher, the man considered to be his heir apparent and who had won the Olympic Trials the year before and had outkicked a healthy Kennedy at the 1999 US Championships, he devised a plan to break the younger runner

ing straight through to the finish. I didn’t really drop Adam, but no one was able to pass by me at all.” Kennedy now owns and operates five running stores in Indiana. “I think a lot of the lessons I learned in sport applies to running a business as well. The same type of mindset has allowed me to be successful in this as well.” Asked if any current American runners have a shot at his 3000m and 5000m records, he is emphatic in his response,

In running you have to understand there is more than one way to be successful. You need to have the ability to adapt to different situations and not be one-dimensional. during the race. “In running you have to understand there is more than one way to be successful. You need to have the ability to adapt to different situations and not be one-dimensional. At the 2001 US Championships I didn’t feel strong enough to run away from the field and didn’t want to sit around and risk having Adam outrun me on the last lap. So, after 3k into the race I engaged the field by alternating the pace each lap. I’d run a 62, 68, 62, 68, etc. Then with 600 to go, at the end of a fast lap, I came off the pattern. Everyone in the field expected a 68, but I kept on push-

“Definitely. I would expect Bernard Lagat to break the 3000m and 5000m records with his talent and speed. I also have been impressed with Matt Tegenkamp, who doesn’t seem hesitant to push the pace or kick with anybody. He shows a lot of disclipline, confidence, and maturity.” That description sounds a lot like another 5000m runner from the Midwest, boding well for US distance running for years to come.

Clockwise from top: Waving to the crowd after winning the 1995 USA 5000m title, Nike ad from the late1990’s, and competing in the UK over 3000m in 2003. Previous page: Leading the pack during the 2000 Olympic Trials 5000m final.

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Summer 09 Track Spikes

PRODUCT INNOVATION

Anna Willard

COOL DOWN

Nike is known for having the lightest, most innovative spikes imaginable in order to propel the competitive track athlete to new personal bests. The 2009 line for this track season only enforces that trend. So pull on a pair, lace up and get ready for your best season yet. ZOOM VENTULUS (2) Z The redesigned Ventulus for the 21st Century provides 5000m-10000m track T athletes with the original Ventulus feel and a superior midfoot fit.

After a great summer in 2008 that saw Anna Willard win the Olympic Trials 3000m Steeplechase and make the Olympic Final in Beijing, she returns to the track more confident and focused than ever for 2009. RUN asks her some questions about the upcoming outdoor season, shortly after her convincing victory at the USA Indoor Championships at 1500m. ZOOM MATUMBO Z Nike’s lightest long distance spike ever made. Created for the best distance runners in the world, the high strength Flywire technology in the upper helps lock the shoe to the foot while new Flashlon midsole foam provides great arch support and protection over any distance.

Z ZOOM MAMBA Designed for high level middle distance athletes who run events ranging between 800m-5000m, including the 3000m Steeplechase. With a radically designed lightweight open mesh upper, carbon fiber midfoot shank, and Pebax d sspike plate it delivers optimal lightweight performance with increased traction.

ZOOM VICTORY Z Worn by the world’s very best 800m-1500m runners to win championships and achieve new bests. It combines the lightweight and high strength Flywire upper with the aggressive Zoom Miler Plate design on the outsole for power during your fastest finishes.

ZOOM MAXCAT II Z The lightest sprint spike in our line. This spike can be used in sprint races, and T even up to 800m for the middle distance runner looking for that extra aggressive fit and feel.

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RUN: What group are you training with now and where are you currently based for this season? AW: I moved to Mammoth Lakes, CA this past October to join the Mammoth Track Club. Terrence Mahon is our new coach and is exactly the type of coach we were searching for. He presents a fully integrated system, which balances all aspects of training and places a great deal of emphasis on the many parts of training besides the actual running. We are currently based in Mammoth Lakes, CA, however in April the majority of our group will move to Chula Vista, CA to stay at the US Olympic Training Center. I feel very fortunate to have found a great training group and live in two very beautiful places. RUN: What are your goals for 2009? AW: My ultimate goal for 2009 is to medal at the World Championships in Berlin. I will look to run more 1500’s and even a couple 800’s this spring/summer to help decide which event will be the best for me to achieve my goal. I am considering doubling in the steeplechase and the 1500m at USA’s and World’s, however being in a position to medal is my primary objective, so we will plan accordingly. RUN: What did you learn from your experience in an Olympic Final? How has that helped you develop as an athlete? AW: Making the Olympic Final had been my goal all year since I had failed to qualify in 2007 for the final at the World Championships in Osaka, Japan. It was both a great success because I accomplished my goal, but also I believe that I could have placed much higher had I not been very sick from a parasite I contracted while in training camp in Dalian, China. As an athlete, participating in the Olympic Games final was a tremendous experience and one that I hope to replicate in 4 years!

RUN: What’s a typical training week like for you during the competitive season? AW: I do a long run of about 80-90 minutes once per week and about 2 race specific track sessions each week. Additionally I complete 2 sprint sessions, one of which is shorter sprints to work on biomechanics and explosiveness, and the other is longer sprints to develop my anaerobic system. On easy days I typically do a medium run in the morning of about 40-50 minutes and a shorter run in the afternoon of about 20-30 minutes. RUN: What spikes are you racing in? AW: For the 800m and the 1500m I prefer to race in the Zoom Victory because they are surprisingly supportive for how incredibly lightweight they are. For the steeplechase I have been racing in the Zoom Lanang, however I am looking forward to trying the new Zoom Matumbo this spring. RUN: What is your favorite training shoe? What do you like about them? AW: I really like the new Lunartrainer+; they are remarkably comfortable. I like how they have a good amount of cushioning for how light they are. Plus, they are great for running in snow and ice! RUN: Any advice for younger runners out there? AW: Keep training! A lot of middle-of-the-road runners in high school decide to hang it up in college, which I think is a shame. It has taken me years to get to where I am today and trust me; there are no shortcuts to success. I feel that as long as you continue to put in the work, over time you will see a drop in your times.

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nike summer 2009 magazine  

nike summer 2009 magazine

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