ON YOUR MARKS — September

Mo Farah won England’s Great North Run for a record fifth time, his 59:27 missing his PR for the half-marathon distance by only 5 seconds. (MARK SHEARMAN)

Vigilante Track Justice

Spectators at Nigeria’s National Youth Games take age limits seriously, and when a 100 heat was won by a boy/man who appeared to be older than 15, spectators blocked the track, chanting “Overage! Overage!” and eventually chased him from the stadium…

A sprint for the gold at the end of the Asian Games marathon led to charges of pushing by the Japanese winner. Bahrain’s silver medalist Elhassan Elabbassi said, “The No. 1 pushed me. I would have won.” The winner, Hirotu Inoue, responded, “I was surprised but I do not understand what happened.”…

Joseph Kiprono was leading a half-marathon in Medellín, Colombia, when he was hit by a car before the finish line. The Kenyan suffered cuts and bruises but was released from the hospital later that day. In his stead, fellow Kenyan Daniel Muindi won in 1:03.45…

Vault legend Sergey Bubka has been cleared by the Athletics Integrity Unit in the ongoing French criminal case regarding payments he made to a company tied to former IAAF treasurer Valentin Balakhnichev, who has been banned for life by the IAAF…

Josie Gray, a junior XC runner at Div. II Embry-Riddle, opened up at a home meet this fall with the prospect of competing against her mother, an ’88 HS graduate who is now a frosh at Daytona State. Daughter prevailed, beating mom by 17 seconds.

It’s Hard to Pick Your Parents

A French study of every Olympian (all sports) from 1896 to 2012 has demonstrated what you may well have expected. Being related to an Olympic medalist makes it more likely that any given Olympic athlete will win a medal, with the genetic boost increasing one’s chances by 20.5%…

Texas A&M will be opening its new outdoor facility this spring. The entrance to Cushing Stadium, says coach Pat Henry, has the appearance of a vintage coliseum. “I wanted a Greek column look,” he explains…

In September, Minnesota unveiled its new facility, and is now able to host home meets after 15 years out of the game. The 9-lane track cost $13 million and has permanent seating for 2400…

New Mexico JC will be adding track and cross country programs starting in the 2019–20 school year…

The city of Chicago has put on hold its plans to relocate a track facility to make room for the Obama Presidential Center…

The 120-Meter Dash Is A Thing?

Or at least the Chinese are trying to make that odd distance so by running it at their national championships and celebrating a new “world record” of 12.41 by Wu Zhiqiang. But it should be noted that the famed Aussie handicap race, the Stawell Gift, which dates all the way back to 1878, can claim a hand-timed 12.0 for Madagascar’s Jean-Louis Ravelemanantsoa in ’75 (1975, that is)…

Senegal is set to be awarded the ’22 Youth Olympics after a positive recommendation by the IOC’s executive board. Confirmation is expected in October.…

Indonesia is planning to bid to host the ’32 Olympics after putting on this year’s Asian Games…

The New Balance Indoor Nationals has signed a deal for 2 more years in New York’s Armory…

The IAAF will be joining forces with the International Trail Running Association and the World Mountain Running Association to form the International Association Of Ultrarunning. The first edition of the IAAF World Trail & Mountain Running Championship will be in ’21…

Longtime track journalist Bob Burns is publishing A Track in the Forest: The Creation of a Legendary 1968 Olympic Team, the story of the Echo Summit Trials…

Another ‘68-related book celebrates Dick Fosbury and the Flop that transformed the high jump. Titled The Wizard of Foz, it was penned by Eugene Register-Guard columnist Bob Welch.

Two notable coach passings: Roy Chernock, 90 and Bill Falk, 91. Chernock coached 39 All-Americas at NYU, CW Post and William & Mary, while Falk coached at Rhode Island and Miami and later founded the noted equipment supplier M-F Athletic Company…

Long sprint legend Michael Johnson suffered a transient ischemic attack (“mini-stroke”) in September. He reports that he’s already making progress on a full recovery…

The big year for the Ingebrigtsen brothers got even bigger in September when Filip got married to Norwegian sprinter Astrid Mangen Cederkvist…

A computer security firm in Singapore uncovered an attempt by hackers to offer fake ’20 Olympic tickets as part of a phishing scheme to steal consumer information. Actual Olympic tickets won’t be offered to Japanese residents until spring ’19.

LeBron A Track Fan?

In a sport filled with superstars, the track world was surprisingly aflutter with news that basketball great LeBron James attended the Berlin ISTAF meet and gave Robert Harting a Lakers jersey to commemorate the discus thrower’s final competition, in addition to meeting with Caster Semenya…

In a nod to the victims of the ’11 earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan, the 2020 Olympic flame-lighting ceremony will take place on March 11, the ninth anniversary of the disaster…

A recent study shows that in NCAA Div. I track & field, women hold 10 head coaching jobs, compared to 83 men. For cross country, the numbers are 17 women and 86 men. The study gives track an ‘F’ for female coaching opportunity. At the other end of the spectrum is Div. I field hockey, with 97.5% female coaches…

Ben Flanagan, the ’18 NCAA 10,000 champ, will be training with Chris Fox and his Reebok Boston group…

Oregon alum Sam Prakel has signed with adidas and will be training with his college coach, Andy Powell, in Seattle…

Robert Ford, USC’s 1:46.43 performer, will be continuing with the New York/New Jersey TC and coach Frank Gagliano…

In beer mile news, WR holder Corey Bellamore reportedly broke his own best at the Beer Mile World Classic, but was disqualified when officials found he left 4.5oz of brew behind. “Never rush through life,” he tweeted. □

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