ON YOUR MARKS — November/December

Can anybody match walker Ron Laird’s collection of national championships? Between April of ’58 and June of ’76 the 4-time Olympian knocked off 65 U.S. titles (and added 4 Canadian ones for good measure). (COURTESY RON LAIRD)

DECATHLON WR HOLDER Kevin Mayer has published his autobiography, titled Mes 10 Commandements. It’s available from Amazon, but as you might surmise from the title, it’s in French…

You’ve heard of track facilities having separate names for the stadium, the track and the infield, honoring great performers/benefactors, but here’s a new one: how about a runway? The runway at Bermuda’s national stadium has been named after 4-time Olympic triple jumper Brian Wellman…

And one of the main streets in the Ugandan capital of Kampala has been renamed in honor of recent double WR-setter Joshua Cheptegei…

The USTFCCCA has announced a new partnership with AAU Track & Field, the primary result of which will be AAU people having the opportunity to participate in the coaching association’s professional development programs…

Coach Alberto Salazar’s CAS hearing, originally set to happen in mid-November, has been postponed until March because of the ongoing pandemic. Salazar is appealing his 4-year ban from the sport on doping-related charges…

German runner Amos Bartelsmeyer, a former Missouri prep and Georgetown star, is joining the Nike Bowerman TC…

Jamaican Chrisann Gordon, who won 4×4 gold back in the ’15 Worlds, is training with coach Gary Evans in Florida now. A 50.13 performer in ’17, the 26-year-old Texas alum says, “I think I can run 49 seconds. I believe that.”…

Marathoner Allie Kieffer is being coached by ’91 World 10,000 champ Liz McColgan of Britain…

Olympic vault champ Katerína Stefanídi is back training at Ohio’s SPIRE Academy…

OG/WC shot gold medalist Valerie Adams is working with coach Dale Stevenson, who also coaches the other great Kiwi putter, Tom Walsh…

4-time world hammer champ Paweł Fajdek is being coached by ’00 Olympic gold medalist Szymon Ziółkowski…

Plans are proceeding for a joint North/South bid to host the ’32 Olympics on the Korean peninsula. Well, at least in the South; representatives from the North apparently have not responded to the proposal…



The new general secretary of the Turkish federation is Halil Akkaş, who was 4th in the 5000 in the ’06 Euros…

All-around sprint great Irina Privalova has been nominated to head the troubled Russian federation…

Haile Gebrselassie is very excited about the prospects of Ugandans Joshua Cheptegei and Jacob Kiplimo: “Amazing! It looks like they can run sub-26, if not, 26:10. I worry that if they run under 26-minutes it’s going to be difficult for others to break it.”…

How bad is uncertainty about event-scheduling in ’21? The German federation has decided it won’t even bother printing its annual calendar for that reason…

Pat Ingram, the first women’s track coach for Oregon State, in ’70, has died at 90…

Reports from Kenya indicate police are looking for Conseslus Kipruto. Parents of a girl filed a police report alleging that the reigning Olympic steeple gold medalist had “defiled” her…

The ’22 Commonwealth Games, set for Birmingham, England, will replace the 20K road walk with a 10K track event…

World Athletics Heritage Plaques were awarded to six of the world’s oldest road races in October: Around The Bay (Hamilton, Ontario—1894), YMCA Turkey Trot (Buffalo, New York—1896), Běchovice 10K (Prague—1897), Giro Podistico di Castelbuono (Italy—1912), Kosice Peace Marathon, Slovakia—1924), and the Fukuoka Marathon (Japan—1947)…

Boise State is selling its indoor oval, a banked 200 synthetic. The asking price is $350,000 but that doesn’t include the straightaway lanes on the infield, which are a permanent part of the Idaho Center floor…

Among the new indoor tracks to come online this winter will be the Virginia Beach Sports Center. The $68 million facility will feature a 200 banked hydraulic 6-lane oval with 8 lanes for sprints and hurdles. The facility seats 5000 and will be hosting the NCAA Indoor in ’25…

Mo Farah will be one of the cast members of the British reality show, I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here starting in mid-November…

A German newspaper charged in October that IOC president Thomas Bach helped steer Frank Fredericks away from France, where authorities were investigating Olympic corruption. The French charged Fredericks in ’17 with receiving a bribe to help Rio de Janeiro secure the ’16 Games…

3-time British Olympian Brendan Foster, onetime holder of the 3000 World Record, has been knighted by the Queen “for services to international sport and culture in Northeast England.” Foster is the creator of the Great North Run and was a longtime commentator for BBC…

More C19-forced marathon cancellations: Zagreb (10/11), Belgrade (10/18), Athens (11/8), Honolulu (12/13), Houston (1/17). Note that in some cases a “virtual” event will be taking the place of the canceled race…

Postponements include the Tokyo Marathon, typically a spring event, move to the fall in ’21. Boston (April 19) is looking for a fall date. And London will be October 3 next year, with a hoped-for return to spring in ’22…

Because of the pandemic, December’s Fukuoka International Marathon will feature a primarily Japanese field…

Though the Boston Marathon was a “virtual” event this year, it still raised $32.1 million actual dollars for charity…

The appropriately named Makenna Myler cruised a mile in 5:25 in October while 9 months pregnant. She won a $100 bet with her husband for the time trial, which came a week before her due date. The former BYU runner (under the name Smith) has a non-pregnant PR of 4:43.31…

The Norwegian and Swedish federations are in discussions with European Athletics about the prospects of putting on a European Championships in ’21 should the Olympics be canceled…

The U.S. Department Of Education has thrown out its transgender policy; it had been what allowed CeCe Telfer of Pierce University to compete (and win) in the Div. II 400 hurdles in ’19—a first for a transgender woman…

Caster Semenya was rebuffed by CAS (“Last Lap,” September/October) but her lawyer says the South African 800 star hasn’t given up her fight to be able to compete in her chosen 2-lap speciality. Next stop, European Court Of Human Rights…

Helsinki’s historic Olympic Stadium, closed for the past 4 years, has reopened with a new Mondo track. The renovation shrunk the seating capacity from 42,000 to 36,200…

Kipchoge: The Last Milestone is the name of a documentary on the marathon WR holder that is set to be released next year…

Olympic javelin silver medalist Sunette Viljoen has opened up an online funding page for her Tokyo preparation, explaining “I don’t have any financial support. I don’t have an Olympic contract‚ I don’t have financial support from Athletics South Africa and I don’t have support from Nike.”…

Two Russian officials have earned significant bans (6 years for Elena Orlova, 8 for Elena Ikonnikova) from the AIU for obstructing the investigation into high jumper Danil Lysenko’s whereabouts failures. Both refused to turn over phones and laptops when asked…

A group of Stanford distance types are using the fall to base themselves in Salt Lake City to pursue their online classes with nearby altitude-training options. They plan to return to campus in January…

NCAA Div. I programs may be forced to juggle priorities between indoor track and cross country, with both championships set for next March. Says Arkansas women’s head Lance Harter, “Ultimately the No. 1 priority is our indoor season. But if we have people that are willing and able to run cross country we’ll take them and give them the experience.”…

Steepler Allie Ostrander has taken a volunteer coach position at Seattle Pacific…

One eye-opening finding in a Knight Commission survey of college leaders over the summer: over half of Power 5 college administrators support breaking away from the NCAA to form their own division. The survey showed 61% in favor of such a move, with only 15% opposed…

Can our performers do more? Bernard Lagat says that he feels that track athletes are perhaps not doing enough to fight for social justice. “As a sports figure I think that is what we should be highlighting without fear of retribution. We should be free to express ourselves like the way all these amazing athletes [Naomi Osaka, Colin Kaepernick, LeBron James] have been doing.”…

With much of the world in upheaval these days, it’s no surprise that it has hit the Nike campus in Beaverton, Oregon, where company officials say they expect to eliminate 700 jobs by early January…

Karsten Warholm an 800 runner? “I have also thought that it may be possible to go up in distance, but it will be for the future.” ◻︎

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