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Articles tagged #Prefontaine
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Impressive International field will be racing at the Prefontaine Classic at Stanford

World 5000m and cross-country champion Hellen Obiri will be making her sixth appearance at the Prefontaine Classic. She set meeting records at 1500m in 2013 and 2014, then won the 5000m in 2016.

The Kenyan, who won the 5000m IAAF Diamond League title in 2018, is undefeated this year and won the 3000m at the opening leg of the IAAF Diamond League in Doha earlier this month in a world-leading 8:25.60.

Multiple world record-holder and five-time world indoor champion Genzebe Dibaba has won all three of her past Pre Classic appearances and her 14:19.76 victory in 2015 is the fastest 5000m ever run in the US.

Sifan Hassan won the 1500m Diamond League trophy in 2015 and followed it with world indoor gold over the same distance in 2016. The Dutch athlete is one of the most versatile runners in history, boasting an 800m PB of 1:56.81 and a half marathon PB of 1:05:15. She also holds the European 5000m record and the world 5km record.

Olympic 10,000m champion and world record-holder Almaz Ayana will be competing in the US for the first time. The Ethiopian won the 2015 world 5000m title, 2016 5000m Diamond Trophy and 2017 world 10,000m title, but missed all of last year with a knee injury.

Obiri, Dibaba, Ayana and Hassan are among the seven fastest women of all time at 5000m, but this will be the first time they have all raced one another at any distance.

The addition of world and Olympic 800m champion Caster Semenya adds further interest. Although she has contested the distance in low-key domestic races in South Africa, this will be her first international 3000m race.

Ethiopia’s Letesenbet Gidey and Senbere Teferi, ranked eighth and ninth respectively on the world 5000m all-time list, are also in the field. Gidey is a two-time world U20 cross-country champion, while Teferi earned world silver medals at 5000m and cross country in 2015.

The field also includes two-time Ethiopian champion Fantu Worku, versatile Kenyan Caroline Chepkoech Kipkurui, world U20 cross-country champion Beatrice Chebet, 2017 world cross-country bronze medallist Lilian Kasait Rengeruk, double European indoor silver medallist Konstanze Klosterhalfen, 2016 European 5000m and 10,000m champion Yasmin Can, European 1500m bronze medallist Laura Weightman, six-time NCAA champion Karissa Schweizer and USA’s Rachel Schneider.

(05/22/2019) ⚡AMP
by IAAF
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Prefontaine Classic

Prefontaine Classic

Stanford University's Cobb Track & Angell Field will be the venue for this year's 45th NIKE Prefontaine Classic/IAAF Diamond League meet on Sunday, June 30.With the ongoing construction of Hayward Field in advance of the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials and the 2021 IAAF World Championships, an alternate site for America's flagship invitational meet was required. After an extensive search in...

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Caster Semenya is going to run the 3000m at the Pre Classic, a distance she can race without reducing her testosterone levels

South African's Caster Semenya is scheduled to compete in the 3,000m at the Diamond League's Prefontaine Classic in Stanford, California on June 30.  This is a distance she can race without reducing her testosterone levels, however it is not really her distance at least not at this point.

Semenya, who has won two Olympic gold medals over 800m, has made it very clear that she will not take medication to lower her testosterone levels to comply with the new IAAF rules.

This race will be her first since the new rules went into effect.

Under the new regulations, female athletes with high natural levels of testosterone wishing to compete in events from 400m to a mile must medically limit that level to under 5 nmol/L, double the normal female range of below 2 nmol/L.

Barring an appeal, Semenya can no longer compete in her specialist event after she lost her appeal against the new rules, stating that the regulations were necessary to ensure fair competition.

Semenya will be part of a world class field at the Prefontaine Classic that includes world 5,000-metres champion Hellen Obiri, 2016 world indoor 1,500-metres champion Sifan Hassan, and 2018 world indoor 1,500 and 3,000-metres champion Genzebe Dibaba.

“It was a request from Caster Semenya’s agent asking if she could run a 3,000,” meet director Tom Jordan told Reuters. “Of course we said yes.”

Semenya became South African national champion over 5,000m in April, but her time is way off the leading runners in the world over that distance.

Semenya has a personal best of 9:36 for 3,000m, the slowest in the field.  Dibaba is the quickest in the field with a best of 8:16. 

The South African’s last race over 800 meters was in the Diamond League in Doha on May 3, when she cruised to victory in 1:54.98, nearly three seconds ahead of Burundi’s Francine Niyonsaba.

“I’m a crazy athlete, 800 meters is my calling, I believe in it, and that’s what I want to do,” she said after winning in Doha.

“I will switch races when I want to — no man can tell me what to do. I’m here for a purpose, if I want to switch events I switch them, but if someone wants me to switch them, that’s their own problem, not mine."

The Prefontaine Classic is being staged in Stanford, California this year while a new stadium is built in Eugene, Oregon for the 2021 world championships.

(05/21/2019) ⚡AMP
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Prefontaine Classic

Prefontaine Classic

Stanford University's Cobb Track & Angell Field will be the venue for this year's 45th NIKE Prefontaine Classic/IAAF Diamond League meet on Sunday, June 30.With the ongoing construction of Hayward Field in advance of the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials and the 2021 IAAF World Championships, an alternate site for America's flagship invitational meet was required. After an extensive search in...

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My Best Runs founder Bob Anderson is the featured runner on Amby Burfoot's Lifetime Running website today

Bob Anderson is the featured profile today on Lifetime Running. 

As the founding publisher-owner of Runner's World magazine ("Making Tracks Since 1966"), Bob Anderson played a pivotal role in the American running boom. Less well known: He has been, and at age 71 remains, a passionate runner and racer. In recent years, Anderson has thrown his creative energy behind a Double Racing concept ("Running with a halftime break") and a free Running News Daily column which Bob edits.

Here are some excerpts from my interview: 

When did you start running and WHY?

I started running on Feb 16, 1962.  My older brother went out for cross country because my dad ran some in the Navy and I wanted to give it a try. Could not run without stopping after a mile that first day.

Your best races and running achievements?

One of the features on our Ujena Fit Club website is that it age grade all races. Five of my top races that I am most proud of would include when I ran a 1:25:24 half marathon at age 64. A 59:17 10 miler at age 53. A 17:09 5k at Carlsbad at age 49. A 3:32:17 marathon at Boston age 65. And a 2:08.5 880 at age 15.

But my greatest running achievement has to be when I ran 50 races in 2012 at age 64. My 50-race challenge was not just about finishing a race each weekend but it was also about achieving an average performance which would be at least 80% age graded. I raced 350.8 miles and averaged 6:59 per mile.

3 key tips for successful lifetime running?

1--Run or walk each day outside covering at least one mile.2--Don’t worry about speed unless you want too. Make this your choice.3--Run at least a few races each year. 

Favorite quote?

Steve Prefontaine: “To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.” 

What are the biggest lessons (life lessons and running lessons) you have learned from running?

Running is magical and makes everything possible. My day is not complete without a run. Running is just part of my DNA. If I had not found running, I can not imagine what kind of life I would have had. 

Age is only a number and even through the number is getting larger, I just don’t let a number tell me what I can or cannot do. We only live once, so why not enjoy it to the fullest?

Running helps add meaning to every day.  

After posting this on FB Gary Rush wrote:

If not for Bob Anderson and his magazine, and the stories and photos and dreams it inspired in my life- I likely would have not been a runner since age 14 or a marathoner since age 15...

Editor's Notes:

First Photo: with Linda Sereno at the San Juan Christmas 2018 Double Road Race (Dec 16, 2018).  Linda was awarded the Best Double Racer for 2018 the night before along with Dwayne Spencer.  Second Photo: finishing the 10k leg of a Double Road Race in Bali Indonesia with Ken Whyte from Ausutralia.

The next Double Racing event will be the Palo Alto Double 8K (5K+break=3k) on March 10, 2019. 

(01/10/2019) ⚡AMP
by Amby Burfoot
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Palo Alto 10K, 5K, Double 8K

Palo Alto 10K, 5K, Double 8K

The Palo Alto 10K, 5K and Double 8K (5k+break+3k) will be held in the Palo Alto Bayland Open Space on the west shore of San Francisco Bay. The Double 8K Run/Walk is a two-stage run (5K+Halftime+3K). The races will be run on a flat, fast course. The 5K and 10k courses are mostly on paved and hard-pack trials. The 3K...

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Steve Prefontaine’s sister’s favorite photo of her brother is not one of him crossing the finish line

Linda Prefontaine posted this on Facebook and got hundreds of likes and comments.  She wrote, “My favorite pictures of my brother are not of him crossing the finish line. They are pictures like this that show what a wonderful, warm and caring person he was. Like this photo of my brother and Gerry Lindgren.

“If you were the recipient of my brother's friendship and love , then you were a lucky person because the competitor Steve was fierce and bold but that was only a part of who Steve Prefontaine was. He was more than just a man running on the track.”

Hundreds of people posted comments.  Tom Lux wrote, “Linda. The first time I met your brother I had just arrived in Eugene.  I was by myself stretching on the track with nobody around. Steve came up to me and started asking about what I was doing.  

“His interest was genuine and abundant. He did not know me and I was a nobody.  Never talked about himself but only inquired about me.  Of course I was in total awe!”

Richard Leedom posted, “Yep--he was bold and fierce.  He was also emphatic about fighting for our sport.  Emboldened me to join his fight against the AAU, (led to my own battles with them).  He definitely had the passion.  

“But, he truly wanted to make a difference and, I don't know how many people aside from those who met or knew him, realized just how much he wanted to change things.  Thanks for sharing these moments.  Keeps us reminded why your brother truly deserved the iconic spot he has taken in the world of athletics--not just running.” 

Yes Linda, your brother Steve Prefontaine was one tough runner on the track but he was just one amazing, caring and thoughtful person as well off the track as you know. He had a big heart.  He died over 42 years ago because of a freak accident but he will never be forgotten for everything he accomplished on and off the track.

(01/07/2019) ⚡AMP
by Bob Anderson
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Will The 2019 Prefontaine Classic be moved to Stanford?

The Prefontaine Classic could be moving south. With its usual site, Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., undergoing a massive reconstruction project, the US’s only Diamond League meet is in need of a new venue for 2019. In track & field circles, one venue’s name has popped up more than any other: Stanford University’s Cobb Track & Angell Field.

Something certainly appears to be in the works between Stanford and Pre as the officials’ calendar for the USATF Pacific Association lists the Prefontaine Classic as one of its meets with Stanford listed in the “site” column. The date of the meet is Sunday, June 30, which is what the Diamond League lists on its official calendar. 

Pre Classic press chief Jeff Oliver wrote that, “The Prefontaine Classic does not have a statement on the location of the 2019 meet at this time.

We are hopeful to make an official announcement later this month.”In addition to the annual Stanford and Payton Jordan Invitationals, Cobb Track & Angell Field hosted the USATF Outdoor Championships in 2002 and 2003."

According to Stanford’s website, it has a permanent capacity of 1,772, which would make it by far the smallest stadium to host a Diamond League (no other venue has fewer than 12,000 permanent seats; Stanford would presumably add temporary seating should it host the meet).

(01/05/2019) ⚡AMP
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NCAA champ Cheserek breaks course record on a frigid day at the Manchester Road Race, and Celliphine Chespol of Kenya wins for the women runners

In frigid conditions, Clutching hand warmers to fend off the frigid cold, Edward Cheserek broke the course record, winning the 82nd Manchester Road Race in 21:16 Thursday morning. Cheserek, a 17-time NCAA champion from Flagstaff, Ariz., broke the record for the 4.748-mile race set by Aaron Braun (21:19) in 2012. It was his first time running Manchester. “I looked at the time, it was 21:17 or 16 and I thought that’s really OK,” said Cheserek, 24, who didn’t know he broke the record until somebody told him. “That’s a very good time.” Cheserek broke away from the pack at the top of the Highland Street hill and ran alone down Main Street toward the finish. Last year’s champion Paul Chelimo was second and Andy Butchart, who defied the elements by wearing a singlet and shorts, was third. Celliphine Chespol of Kenya was the women’s winner, outkicking last year’s winner Buze Diriba and 2016 winner Emily Sisson at the finish. It was the first road race for Chespol, 19, who is a steeplechaser. She ran the third fastest time (8:58.78 in the 3,000 meter steepchase in May 2017 at the Prefontaine Classic. “I’m so happy because this is my first time to run a road race,” Chespol said. It was about 16 degrees at the start but the wind chill lowered the temperatures to single digits. About 12,000 people ran and walked Thursday. (11/22/2018) ⚡AMP
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Shelby Houlihan surges past three contenders to win the 1500m while Semenya placed sixth

Shelby Houlihan of the US ran a new PR and set a meet record in the 1,500m at Lausanne Diamond League today, with the UK’s Laura Muir finishing second and the Netherlands’ Sifan Hassan third. Houlihan clocked 3:57.54. Caster Semenya of South Africa was well back, finishing sixth, with a time of 4:00.44. It was the third straight 1,500m win for Houlihan, an Olympic 5,000m runner who is having an incredible outdoor season in 2018, winning the 1,500m at both the Prefontaine Classic on May 26 and the USATF Outdoor Championships on June 23. Semenya holds South Africa’s national record in the event (3:59.92, set at Doha Diamond League in May). She won the 800m and set a new PB, without benefit of a pace rabbit, at Paris Diamond League on June 30 (07/05/2018) ⚡AMP
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Steve Prefontaine’s spirit lives on in all of us even after 43 years

43 years ago the world lost Steve Prefontaine. We aren't inspired so much as by the races that he won, but by the way that he ran them. There were no sit and kick affairs on his watch. He went straight to the front and dared everyone else to keep up. When that wasn't enough he slowly increased the pace and left his opponents gasping for air and swimming in lactic acid. At the time of his death Steve held every American record from 2,000 meters to 10,000 meters.  He was a beloved son, brother, and friend to many.  RIP Steve. You are missed but your spirit lives on in all of us. (05/30/2018) ⚡AMP
by Dave Ross
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Tracktown USA hopes to be selected to host the USATF 2020 Olympic Trails

The University of Oregon says work will begin in June on a renovation of Hayward Field, to be completed in 2020. The plans include a 165-foot, 9-story tower named in honor of Bill Bowerman, the coach who brought Steve Prefontaine to campus and helped Phil Knight launch Nike. The work will be funded by Penny and Phil Knight and more than 50 other donors.  Tracktown USA made it clear Wednesday that they'll be making a bid to bring the 2020 Olympic Trials back to Hayward Field. USATF pulled its original bid from Mount SAC in California, due to concerns over the stadium construction.  Construction on the new Hayward Field will start this summer.  Tracktown USA CEO Michael Reilly says the new-look Hayward Field will be completed in plenty of time to host the 2020 Trials. "We understand everything is going to be ready to go for an entire Track and Field season in 2020," said Reilly. "I can't think of a better way to welcome America's top athletes than to bring them to a new Hayward Field."      (05/04/2018) ⚡AMP
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My brother presence electrified Hayward Field in a way that had never been done before, we can't tear down history

My name is Linda Prefontaine. Steve Prefontaine is my brother. I understand there is a City Council meeting on the 23rd and I’m hoping my letter can be read at that time in support of saving the history of Hayward Field. I moved to Eugene in 1973 to continue my education at the University of Oregon. When I moved to Eugene it was a nice, small college town. The atmosphere was laid back and the pace was pleasant. I thought I would live there until I died. Over the years the town has changed in many ways. Some of the changes were necessary because of the economy’s dependence on wood products that the town needed to move away from. Real growth and expansion of the business sector is very evident today. Another fact about the early days of Eugene is that my brother made Hayward Field come to life. His presence electrified Hayward Field in a way that had never been done before. People from all over the world came to Eugene to watch him compete. Today people from all over the world still come to Eugene to walk on the historic track at Hayward Field. They do because Steve Prefontaine ran on that track. They come because there is a history there that is magical and cannot be replaced or duplicated. When I attend track meets at HF I can still feel his presence. If Hayward Field is demolished along with the east grandstands I don’t think as many people will be drawn to come to Eugene and Hayward Field. Why would they? The history of Hayward Field will be taken away for ever. I probably won’t be attending as many meets there. It won’t be the same. I moved away from Eugene last fall, back to Coos Bay. I no longer like what Eugene has become and do not want to live in the atmosphere and the mindset of the city that exists today and what I fear it will become in the future. (04/21/2018) ⚡AMP
by Linda Prefontaine
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Steve Prefontaine's vision lives on

MBR FAST FACTS: Steve Prefonaine was the American record holder in every distance from 2,000 to 10,000 meters at the time of his death in May 1975. Pre traveled to Europe to race against the world's best. While competing in Scandinavia he was impressed by the the soft surface running trails. Alton Baker park seemed a natural location for a similar trail in Eugene, Oregon. He hoped the trail would allow him to safely train in Eugene, as well as help spread the influence of running. (12/23/2017) ⚡AMP
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