Monday, April 5, 2010

Texas distance heating up.

Things are heating up now as Texas moves towards it's championship stretch. The Texas Relays this past weekend are the big story of the season so far. Chelsey Sveinsson is done with her swim season and back and looking very strong. After a US#1 1600 (4:45.24) at the Jesuit-Sheaner Relays on March 27th she only ran more impressive. She pulled off the distance double (10:07/4:51) once again. Some sites, posts, etc. have called her 10:07 a Texas State Record in the 3200, and technically it is. It is the fastest girls 3200 ever run in the state of Texas, but remember Chelsey split 10:01 at NON this past summer. It may all be a moot point anyways as she has stated she is training to peak in July. Look for some more pro races and hopefully a matchup with Goethals and Sisson (both just split 10:07 en route to 10:10's for the full deuce at NIN). Afterwards, she comes back for another year! On the boys side, Craig Lutz won over Ryan Dohner (8:58.7-8:59.1!) in a very deep boys 3200 which saw 16 runners at 9:26 or better. Great stuff. Boerne Champion's Ethan Doherty defeated Cedar Park's Parker Stinson in the 1600 (both at 4:14). We must mention the great sprint performance by El Paso El Dorado's Shaun Powell, second place in the boys 100 meter dash in 10.70. Great to see some of the talent from El Paso going and competing at this top level meet. In the history of this great meet the only El Paso winner I know of, boys or girls, is Bel Air's Sergio Oaxaca who ran a great 8:23 in the 3000 in what was a banner season for him (1:51, 3:51, 4:08, 8:23, 8:58) in 1980.
Shifting speeds from High School, I am going to skip a couple of years (give or take) to the USATF Indoor Masters Championships and the great double performance by a man I have the utmost respect for, Paul Pearson. The 58 year old Pearson recorded times of 10:30 and 5:21 for the 3000 and mile for 2 top 10 finishes. While the man never actually was my coach he was a large part of my early development as a runner. In my pre-High School days I used to frequent his Athletic Attic store in Cielo Vista Mall. We would talk running and shoes constantly. I used to make frequent trips to the store. He also took myself and some future teammates under his wings at the local road races. It was always great to hear his stories of his time running at UTEP. I caught up with him when this picture was taken this past fall.( Coaches Mike McLain and Paul Pearson). Way to go Coach!, you continue to inspire me.

As a big fan of running books I wanted to make mention of a couple of great books I have just finished reading. The first is " What I talk about when I talk about running" by acclaimed fiction writer Haruki Murakami. Known as a fiction writer this book chronicles the looming of the 2005 New York City Marathon as well as different important landmark races in his life. I really enjoyed this book by a writer who is otherwise one of my wife's favorite authors. The other book is Christopher Mcdougall's "Born to Run" which is an incredible read on the Tarahumara Indians (the running people) of Mexico. This book is widely credited with the current interest in the barefoot/minimalist running movement. To me it is a great story about people who run for the sheer love of the act of running. Prize Money, records, championships, none of these things matter to a people who are amongst the most gifted and talented runners in the world. Very, very good book.
If you get a chance, go through some of the links I have just added to the left side of the blog. Some good information and I plan to add more. Dr. Billy Wilbanks site is a great resource for Texas Track history. Please visit these links.