This is my world of cycling and just a fun way for me to share my experiences, thoughts and joy I have for cycling. Thanks for visiting Cycle Jabber and good luck in your training! Dirk Friel

Monday, February 12, 2007

USA Cross Country Running Champ's:Culpepper Takes Home Town Race with Fitness and Experience.

[photo from L to R: Alan Culpepper (1st), Jorge Torres (4th place), Adam Goucher (2nd), Dathan Ritzenhein (3rd)]

Feb. 10, Boulder, CO:
Saturday was a gold-medal day for CU running as the top four men at the US Cross Country Championships were all local CU alumni. It isn't my normal routine to attend running events, but this was clearly going to be a special day and I didn't want to miss out. Over 10,000 spectators showed up at the Flatirons Golf Course in Boulder to watch the open men and women showdown.
Local hero Alan Culpepper took the top spot with self control and a well timed late-race attack that left the others chasing runner up slots. Alan showed great self-control as he let Dan Ritzenhein take an early race lead. Soon afterwards Adam Goucher went in pursuit and left Alan behind in a chase group of three. Alan finally made his move with about 4k to go and went blazing past the two leaders "Like a steam train" said Goucher.
Goucher, coached by legendary marathoner Alberto Salazar, gave a great post-race debrief of the days events to Alberto (caught here on video).

Conditions were better than expected after nearly seven weeks of record setting snow fall. The skies opened up early in the week which allowed the grass and dirt surface to harden up just enough for a relatively clean event. However, the conditions were a completely different from what competitors will expect to see next month at the World Cross Country Championships in Mombassa, Kenya. The top six finishers in the US National Championships earned a spot to go to Kenya , but several are expected to forfeit their slot in order to prepare for high-profile marathons and longer range goals such as next summer's Olympics.

Kastor Takes her 8th Championship

Deena Kastor easily won her 8th Cross Country Championship title by separating herself from the rest on lap one of four. She opened up a lead of one-minute over the 8km course and cruised in ahead of Shalane Flanagan.
Interesting Notes:
-Adam Goucher is trained by Alberto Salazar. Alberto talked in a pre-race conference how he allowed Adam to make the choice whether to live and prepare for the Champ's in Boulder, or whether to continue living in Oregon and use artificial altitude to sleep in at night. Adam made the decision to stay in Oregon.
Asked what Alberto would do if artificial altitude chambers are banned and made illegal, Alberto responded that he would make his athletes move to altitude. He said it is that important that to be able to compete on the world stage now you have to train at altitude. This is one of the sacrifices top endurance athletes have to make these days in his opinion.
Adam made weekly trips to train (intensity training) at 4500ft. Alberto also had Adam travel four times to Boulder for weeekend trips so he could simulate the race weekend. However Boulder had so much snow this winter that he had to conduct one of the race simulation training sessions in the 29th street shopping mall parking structure.
-Randy Wilbur, a USOC staff physiologist, presented the day before the race on how exercise enduced asthma will be of great concern for US athletes at the upcoming Beijing Olympics. He said many of the US Olympic teams are screening their athletes ahead of time to see which ones will be affected the most by high pollution levels. Testing different medications and making sure the proper documentation is lined up is a major concern at this point. Teams are also experimenting with portable air filtration systems so athletes can train prior to their events without adverse affects.

posted by Dirk at 6:43 AM


Post a Comment

<< Home