Evan Jager joins the Olympic medal contenders

Time to add one more event to the must-watch list in the coming Olympics. Evan Jager just ran a huge steeplechase race in Monaco, setting a new American Record 8.06 just a few steps from the Kenyans. This was his fifth steeplechase race this season — and ever in his career. Certainly a wild card in London. Great to see the group of American Olympic medal contenders in distance running just keeps on growing …

Skateboarding legends in action

Tony Hawk in the air and Steve Caballero with his Master of Puppets shirt below

Went to see Tony Hawk and his pals with my son and other family to Lake Cunningham skate park on Sunday. Turns out local legend Steve Caballero came in as well and we enjoyed a great show of skills. Hard to believe these guys are 44 (Hawk) and 48 (Cab) respectively. Shot a couple of great videos and pics to prove what we saw.

It was a positive surprise to see how niche amateur sports skateboarding really is. Just the standard parking fee to enter, and you could get as close as you wanted. Anybody could have jumped in. No posing or announcements, no hot dog or beer joints, just the guys showing their skills and tricks. Reminded in many ways all-comers track meets where the focus is on the sports and nothing else.

London speculations

Since I don’t have much to report of my own runs let’s speculate a few lines about the upcoming distance races in the London Olympics. 10K on August 4 is the one I’m really waiting for. The guys I’m gonna watch are of course Ritz and Rupp. They did pretty amazing team job in the trials a few weeks back.

Sure, Ritz should not have much chance to a be among the top finishers — on paper. But he might do the hard work to lead Rupp and the pack early in the race to grill the African guys. Rupp should have a real chance to medal now that he has also developed an impressive 52.5 sec last lap. I take both Farah and Bekele as favorites, no matter Bekele has not won really anything yet this season. He has so much in reserve he can come back just like that in the most important race of the year.

On marathon and 5K the race is wide open. Again, I’m following the great US hopes. Hall in the marathon and Rupp in 5K. For Hall this should be the race where he can peak. He did the crazy fast Boston 2011 in sub 2.05 just a minute or so from the top Kenyans. That’s nothing. Back in 2008 he already ran 2.06 in London. On marathon it all depends on the day…

To Shorten My Pain

As a sort of lesson from today’s race I reminded myself the most important thing in doing the uphills is to win them mentally over. Next up is Bay to Breakers, which has one significant climb. I’m planning to face the uphill Marco Pantani style so there won’t be any speculation afterwards.

Marco, perché vai così forte in salita?
— Per abbreviare la mia agonia.

Pantani kicking the all-time record in 1997 Alpe d’Huez.