Start List/Liste de Départ: Line ’em up! Coolsaet, Gillis and Watson to run Toronto

The big news this week is that all three of Guelph’s big guns have announced that they will be gunning for that Olympic qualifying spot, and for Jerome Drayton’s 36-year-old Canadian record (2:10:09) at the Scotiabank Toronto Marathon on October 16, 2011. Here’s the video announcement from RunnerSpace.com:

A few thoughts: “New techniques in training,” Alan Brookes? Seriously? I guess he has to say something, but does anybody really think the success these guys are having is due to “new techniques”? Frankly, it’s a little insulting to the runners, and you’d think someone like Alan Brookes would be a little more knowledgeable about the sport. I suppose you could consider Reid’s 2h pool runs as a “new technique” but that’s not exactly by choice. Seems to me these guys have been doing it the old fashioned way: hard work.

I like that both Watson and Coolsaet have declared that the record will go down. Neither is cocky enough to suggest that he will be the one to do it, but it’s clearly implied. Who else? Simon Bairu might have something to say about it, if he can be convinced, as is rumoured, to run his next marathon in Toronto, but he has yet to complete the 26mile race, so the logical candidates for the moment are Coolsaet, Gillis and Watson.

You can also watch individual comments from the three at RunnerSpace.

Another racing announcement of note is that Galen Rupp is going to run the NYC Half. No word yet on whether any of the Canadian trio will be toeing the line there, or if they will stretch it out at the Canadian Half Marathon championships in Montreal on April 17th. Given the comments about how great it is to run a hometown marathon, and the state of each of their training (according to their blogs), the later, Montreal, date, seems most likely.

The home course advantage is an interesting concept. But how many of the top marathon times in the world have been run on that athlete’s home soil? None of the top 30 anyway. I suppose that’s a bit of a loaded question, as there are no big name road races in Ethiopia or Kenya, but hey, it doesn’t seem to bother those guys to go chasing around the globe for records and cash. Then again, how fast could they be if they didn’t have to travel? It’s good to see the organizers trying to help out homegrown talent. The STWM is a world class event, and that’s the only reason those guys would run there. The fact that it is just down the highway from their training centre is a bonus.

There are other Canadian endurance athletes making a splash at the world level. Do you know who Alex Harvey is? You should. He could end up being the most famous name in Canadian xc skiing since Jackrabbit Johannsen. Maybe not, but I just wanted an excuse to link to Jackrabbit…

Speaking of legends, Bowerman’s waffle iron has been unearthed! (Thanks to Chris Winter for the link)

Back to the usual grind: another study about barefoot vs. shoes. Apparently, there is a difference. Purists rejoice! However:

The study didn’t compare stride lengths or frequencies.

So this is not the last word on the subject? Colour me with flabbergast!

And if that doesn’t shock you, this might: an electric compression t-shirt. Apparently it monitors your hormone levels and if a dude’s nipples aren’t poking through the shirt, a mechanism administers a shot of Jaggerbomb.

Update from Jane Cullis: she beat her coach. Always a nice feather in the cap, that!

Do you have trouble understanding triathletes when they speak? Yeah, me, too. Here’s a handy guide.

Finally, a couple of articles that barely made the cut. They are not well-written. In fact, they are a bit lame, but they bring up two interesting topics. Maybe someone more insightful can delve deeper into the benefits of running in the dark, and the dangers of running with headphones on.
UPDATE: Harvey and Kershaw win gold in Norway!