Welcome to the April 2017 issue of California Track & Running News' monthly e-newsletter!

Welcome to the April 2017 issue of California Track & Running News' monthly e-newsletter!
Your Monthly News & Updates
Welcome to the APRIL 2017 issue of California Track & Running News' monthly e-newsletter! 

Note that we only send issues to USATF members or paid subscribers. USATF members will receive both the print and digital publication, sent to you via email. We will also be sending an e-newsletter around the middle of each month which will contain news of interest about the sport in the Golden State and beyond.
Please visit our website www.caltrack.com your guide to all things running in California. 


California Track & Running News, Spring 2017

2017 Spring Shoe Review
USATF Indoors Day 1: Combined Events Kick off Indoor Champs

By Dave Hunter
Albuquerque, Mar, 3, 2017

As the 2017 USATF Indoor Track & Field Championships got underway, the nation's top multi athletes found that on Day One they had the resurfaced Mondo track and field at the Albuquerque Convention Center all to themselves. It was a special opportunity they didn't squander.

In the opening event of the women's pentathlon - the 60 meters - Erica Bougard took advantage of a great start to rocket down the sprint straight, crossing first in 8.21, and ringing up 1082 points. Defending national champion Barbara Nwaba earned 1037 points claiming 2nd in 8.41. Her Santa Barbara Track Club teammate Chari Hawkins - 3rd in this event a year ago - finished 3rd in 8.44 to garner 1030 points. Multi veteran and American record holder in the pentathlon Sharon Day-Monroe clocked 8.56 to finish the first event in 6th with 1004 points.

USATF Indoors Day 2: Gwen Berry's World Record Spices Up Day Two

By Dave Hunter
Albuquerque, Mar, 5, 2017

The pursuit of national indoor track & field indoor championships here in the high plains began in earnest with a full slate of Day Two events on the track and in the field. While impressive performances were expected, the day became special very quickly.

Early in the afternoon, in the women's weight throw, Gwen Berry electrified the crowd when her first attempt - only the second throw of the competition - sailed 25.22m/82'9", a throw that set a new indoor national championship and Albuquerque Convention Center record, a new world leader, and ranked #3 on the all-time world list. But Berry - coming off an injury and undecided about her championship participation as recently as Monday - was far from done. Not letting her monster opener break her concentration, Berry went on a tear, throwing 24.45m/80'2¾ and 25.21m/82'8½ on her second and third attempts. After two successive fouls, the Olympian saved her best for last. On her final attempt, Berry let it all go with a tremendous, arcing throw that measured 25.60m/84'0" to set a new world record and take down the previous global best of 25.56m/83'10¼ set in 2007 by American Brittany Riley. "I honestly didn't know what I had in store for me today," admits the new champion. "I was injured four weeks ago. I worked my butt off. I didn't think I had world record potential in me. I thought I could win with a good 80 foot throw, but a world record was not in my sights." With no fair throws less than 80 feet, Berry - now a three-time national weight throw champion - completed a sensational series that in addition to her world record throw also included the 4th and 5th weight best weight throws of all time. READ MORE
By Dave Hunter
Albuquerque, Mar, 5, 2017

Day Three of these championships had a tough act to follow. With two world records - Gwen Berry's terrific 84 foot heave in the weight throw and Noah Lyles' stunning 31.87 in the 300 meter dash - a national high school record of 2:43.18 in the women's 1000 meter run by Samantha Watson in the preliminary rounds, and pentathlon winner Erica Bougard's last-jump win in the women's long jump adding spice to Day Two, Day Three athletes would need exceptional performances to top Saturday's show. Sunday produced no additional world records, but the depth and breadth of the final edition of this national gathering was stunning as the 2017 indoor championships concluded with 8 meet records either tied or broken.
The Importance of USATF Indoors (Really Revised)  
By David Hunter
Albuquerque (Originally published Mar. 4, 2017; Updated Mar. 7, 2017)

As has frequently been the case over the years, this weekend Albuquerque, New Mexico will once again host the USATF Indoor Track & Field Championships. Many elite American athletes have made the pilgrimage to the Land Of Enchantment to test their fitness, to race against their most challenging domestic foes, and to pursue the glory of capturing a national championship. Yet others have elected to bypass this championship gathering for a variety of reasons that include: nursing injuries; avoiding the high plains' altitude challenge; and acknowledging that this championship meet does not fit into their build up for what they consider to be more challenging and important contests during the upcoming outdoor season.

Many of the athletes here to compete have taken time to explain why they are here and what they hope draw from this championship competition. Here are the thoughts of some:
Albuquerque Diaries: Saturday at the Races

By Elliott Denman

That's what Noah Lyles does to all his sprint bests, slicing them - down-down-down-down - by chunks even Usain Bolt must be noticing.

Just nine months out of T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Va., Lyles is now the proud owner of the world indoor 300-meter record, and of course the world junior and USA citizens (all ages)records that go along with it.

This 19-year-old son of former Seton Hall track greats Kevin Lyles and Keisha Caine had barely missed qualifying for the 2016 Rio Olympic team, but - look out world - he's now coming on like the next very big thing. READ MORE
Albuquerque Diaries: Ronnie Baker Comes Home to Lead American Sprinters

By Elliott Denman

Ronnie Baker has been hiding away.

To American track and field fans, anyway, who haven't had the chance to see him run a race in the U-S-of-A this winter.

Oh, those who checked the charts and had their apps handy may have heard the rumblings - that one Ronnie Baker of USA had won three big 60-meter races in Europe, clocking a 6.46 In Torun, Poland on Feb. 10, a 6.54 in Mondeville, France on Feb. 4, and a 6.55 at Birminhgam,England, on Feb. 18. And that the 6.46 stood atop the year list, with the 6.54 ranked fifth and the 6.55 sixth.
Well, Ronnie Baker has come home - in smashing style.   READ MORE
Three Lessons to learn from Skechers Performance LA Marathon

By Larry Eder, March 19, 2017

1. Elisha Barnu is one tough athlete, and he is on the rise.
The last half of the LA Marathon for men was quite compelling, as the field dropped from ten, to nine, to six, to four, to three, and finally, to Barnu and Limo. Between mile 23 and 24, Barnu had stomach distress as Danial Limo dropped the pace to 4:40 for the mile. Barnu cut the lead down and ran the 24-25 mile in 4:49, which finally broke Limo, who had surged several times over the last four miles in attempts to break Barnu. Elisha told RBR afterwards that warm sports drink, which he had mixed the night before upset his stomach. Elisha Barnu is coached by Yobes Ondieki, the first man under 27 minutes for 10,000 meters. Barnu has run a 2:09, but is building his resume around the world, with races such as LA Marathon.

2. Hellen Jepkurgat is a highly motivated athlete.
Hellen Jepkurgat wanted to run LA Marathon. So much, that when U.S. Passport Agency did not allow her into the country, she had her passport, within six months of expiring, to be expedited, with an expidited VISA. Hellen took over the lead at 14 miles and did not give it up, winning by nearly 90 seconds. It was very painful over the last few miles. But, with her big win in LA, our guess is that a training group will invite her to join and she will no longer be paying her way to run her next marathon.

3. LA Marathon TV is one of the best in the country
I was pleasantly surprised with the media set up and TV coverage on the LA Marathon. Toni Reavis, who has covered the TV broadcast for LA for the entire last 32 years was awesome. He and Deena Kastor, who is a fine broadcaster in her own right knew when to allow us to watch the program, and when to illuminate us. The local talent told the strong human stories and the top local broadcaster allowed Reavis and Kastor to weave the LA Marathon story. The coverage of the title sponsor was positive and informative, not an advertorial. Skechers sponsored the entire broadcast, showing once again that a title sponsor can get positive response without shoving their messages down our throat. I hope that other TV regions watch the LA Marathon and learn how to do a fine broadcast.


A Review by Stuart Weir

I managed to get myself an invitation to the IAMBOLT Première in London. I confess I have not been invited to a great number of Premières in my life! (Just less than 1, in fact). My justification for asking for an invitation was that I had been in the stadium at the 2008, 2012, and 2016 Olympics to see Usain Bolt win all three of his Olympic trebles - not to mention seeing him in 4 World Championships and a few Diamond Leagues.

IAMBOLT is a documentary by Ben and Gabe Turner, not a drama. It includes action footage of some of his principal races but the real value of the film is the unrivalled access to Bolt who allowed a camera to follow him around and record his thoughts before and after particular races. He appears to speak openly and honestly allowing himself to be caught in some unguarded moments. The viewer feels he know Bolt a little after viewing it. The film revealed more of Usain Bolt the person, than I might have expected.   READ MORE
Videos by The Shoe Addicts

2017 Skechers Performance LA Marathon Diaries:

Interview with Conqur Endurance Group VP Carsten Preisz

Here's our interview with Carsten Preiz, VP of Branding and Communicaitons for the Conqur Endurance Group, LLC, which manages seven properties, among them, the Skechers Performance LA Marathon.
A fun interview to see how the Conqur group oversees the Skechers Performance LA Marathon and their other properties!   WATCH IT HERE

Interview with Conqur Endurance Group CEO Tracey Russell

We caught up with Tracey Russell, CEO of the Conqur Endurance Group, company that puts on the Skechers Performance LA Marathon. Tracey explained much of the changes over the past two years in LA, and how Skechers Performance has come on board and really helped the LA Marathon up the game.
A fun interview with lots to think about, as LA Marathon, now in its 32nd year, seems to be back on track to build to be an even larger marathon presence in the sport.   WATCH IT HERE

Rebekah Broe Interview at 2017 New Balance Indoor Grand Prix:
Talking Track Spikes for 2017

Rebekah Broe is one of our favorite people in the sport. She has a wonderful enthusiasm for New Balance Track Spikes, the athletes and the sport. She is married to a fine coach and Olympian. Rebekah gets it. In this interview with the Shoe Addicts, Larry Eder asks Rebekah Broe to explain the 2017 Spring New Balance offerings for the track & field specialty. Special thanks to The Shoe Addicts for this interview. And always, always, thanks to Rebekah Broe, who explains the product that her team has developed for the 1.4 million high school track & field athletes who compete in track and cross country in North America. WATCH IT HERE

2017 spring shoe review

Top !0 Shoes of 2016

Trail Shoe Reviews, Fall/Winter 2016

2016 Fall Spring Shoe Review and award winners:

Cross Country Racer Reviews, Fall 2016

Summer Shoe Reviews, June 2016

Racing Shoe Reviews, Spring 2016

Trail Shoe Reviews, Early 2016

2016 Spring Shoe Reviews and award winners:

California Track & Running News, Spring 2016

California Track & Running News, Fall 2015

California Track & Running News, June-August 2015

California Track & Running News, April-May 2015

California Track & Running News, Jan-March 2015