Start List/Liste de Départ: Bairu to blog!

Simon Bairu hooked up with our friends at Trackie to create a new website and a blog. Simon contacted Montreal Endurance via Twitter to confirm he will indeed be blogging about once a month. Now that Bairu has signed on, and Dominque Roy should be blogging soon too, Didier Morelli remains a holdout. Classic marketing strategy: let the buzz build before unleashing the product.

In a related post, Steve Weiler does a really good job looking at what the Big 5 running in Toronto in October could do for Canadian long distance running. I guess the only question he didn’t address was: where all the ladies at? He makes the point that the blogging these guys have done has revealed that they are in fact running A LOT. So maybe there is still a fear/block for women (or their coaches) to really get out and do the miles? If I were going to name names, I would say that Leslie Sexton and Jane Cullis are two female runners to watch. If you read their blogs, you will see they are running A LOT. Do they have the 5k and 10k chops to get into the sub-2:30 range, though? I leave that open to the floor…

Here is Reid Coolsaet’s report on his NYC half.

Adam Campbell brings us a race report that reminds us of the importance of being honest with ourselves about our goals, especially in longer races.

Oz posts about his most recent race in Vancouver.

Another top athlete makes a point about training with a team.

Some pictures from World Cross courtesy Mzungo.

Sweat Science reports on a study that suggests pacing, stretching, tapering and muscle damage are all factors that can lead to in-race cramping.

Man eats only McDonalds, runs 2:36 marathon. Dammit, that’s faster than my PB.

What does the new Quebec budget mean for organized sport? Trimes breaks it down. Je ne suis pas sur que je suis d’accord avec son commentaire “Le problème demeure qu’au Québec, il y a très peu de soutient pour le sport amateur et que ces fédérations sont à bout de souffle.” Peut-être que la deuxième partie est vraie, mais en ce qui concerne l’athletisme, il y a un très bon programme d’excellence qui touche pas seulment les vrais elites, mais des jeunes qui développent encores. Il faut le dire, 4:00 pour 1500m à 20 ans, ce n’est pas elite, mais au Québec, on peut avoir un peut d’argent pour ça, même si on le donne dans un catégorie “relève.” Voir le site de la Fédération pour des détails sur le programme d’excellence. (Warning, the Federation site is very slow to load and may crash older browsers. Good job on the funding, bad job on the webdesign…) Of course, there could always be more. Trimes makes a very good point when he writes: “Lorsque les politiciens nous parlent de santé, d’investissements importants, des services d’urgences moins surchargés et plus efficaces. La question ne devrait-elle pas être, faut-il avoir une société plus en santé pour qu’elle fréquente moins ce système? Et cela ne devrait-il pas passer la pratique du sport?”

The passing over of sport for an investment fund in culture is interesting, but of course that speaks to the obsession with language/culture that exists here. It’s not really surprising. Nor is it surprising that the decision to invest in structures (“immobilisations”) overrode an investment in people. It seems that what bureaucrats not involved in sport don’t know, or don’t want to know, is that people who want to play sports will make do with just about any facilities. At least this is the case for track and field. All you need is a field, really. We’d like good facilities, so of course we take what we can get, but while fancy new buildings and equipment look good, they make it seem like there is some real investment, when in fact, that’s superficial investment. The real investment comes from the time spent on the ground by volunteer coaches and officials. There is a culture in our sport, at least, that seems to look poorly on paid coaches, that if you are a coach and you want to get paid, there’s something wrong with you. But try getting a tennis coach or a figure skating coach to volunteer…good luck. Anyway, interesting discussion, always…