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IAAF World Cross Country Championships - Saturday!
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This Saturday(March 30)- after a year off, the IAAF World Cross Country Championships return. This year, in Aarhus, Denmark. Meet organizers have promised a return to, "real cross country", with a demanding course with lots of hills, undulations, mud, sand and water!

Years ago, the "World Cross", as it was referred to was annually the deepest and most competitive distance running race in the world each year. Everyone from the top-milers/1500m runners to marathoners would toe the line. These days, in the age of specialization - it's become more of a specialists game. Still - it is arguably the deepest and most competitive running race that will be contested this year - deeper than an Olympic Games or World Championships 5000/10000m final. Deeper than any of the World Marathon Majors races (Boston, London etc . .), deeper than any road 10K. Main reason - countries I believe can enter up to 7 runners per country - 4 to score and 3 "back ups"

Since the early 1980's the East African countries, Kenya and Ethiopia in particular, have DOMINATED this race. So much so, that some countries don't even bother sending teams any more. And unfortunately this has been the case with the Aarhus event this year - several European countries, who are right next door are sending no teams! And star distance runners who are well known on the Pro/Elite circuit, seem to avoid the race, because they know that more then a few completely unknown Kenyan or Ethiopian runners, will be crushing them!

They take this VERY seriously in Kenya & Ethiopia - perhaps more important to them, than the Olympic Games!

Some links were you will find more info:

https://www.letsrun.com/archive/2019/03/28/

http://athletics.ca/...untry-championships/

There should be links on both pages that my understanding you should be able to get to a free Live Stream. I know that in Canada, this will be the case, as CBC will pick up the Main IAAF feed for the meet and stream it in Canada (probably geo-restricted). I've been in communication with Tim Hutchings who will be hosting the broadcast - and he's super pumped about the races.

Action get's underway Saturday morning at 5:45AM (EDT)

Who else will be watching?


Steve Fleck @stevefleck | Blog
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Re: IAAF World Cross Country Championships - Saturday! [Fleck] [ In reply to ]
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Wow!

Hardly any interest in this at all from the ST crowd. Interesting!

The racing and the running is all done in Aarhus, and it did not disappoint ounce again. Extraordinary performances all around. I'm sure the beer tent is packed and the party is going full bore!

It's this race, more than any other that you see there are almost two worlds of distance running in the world - East Africa - and then everyone else in the world! It's something else to see. The tempo, the turn-over, the accelerations, up a 10% grade deep into a race is simply amazing!

History for Uganda with their first win in the Senior men's race - Joshua Cheptegui in first and his countryman, Jacob Kiplimo (only 18 years old and could have run and won the U20 race!!) in 2nd, AND a win for Uganda in the Team Category for the first time as well!

Helen Obiri from Kenya becomes the first woman ever to win, Indoor, Outdoor and World XC IAAF titles.

There was a three-way photo finish in the U20 women's race - Took them forever to sort out who won! Big drama to kick off the individual racing.


Steve Fleck @stevefleck | Blog
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Re: IAAF World Cross Country Championships - Saturday! [Fleck] [ In reply to ]
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I watched a little of it this morning (NBC Olympic Channel here in the States) - crazy course layout with that short steep climb above the museum. I like the beer tent setup too!

I remember when Boston hosted it in the early 90s, miserable conditions where it had snowed a day or two before and the course was a sloppy mess (I had a college race like that where it sucked but was fun at the same time). I felt bad for the Kenyans/Ethiopians that day since it clearly out of their element. Great way to see the worlds best in action up close.



"You can never win or lose if you don't run the race." - Richard Butler

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Re: IAAF World Cross Country Championships - Saturday! [Fleck] [ In reply to ]
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I followed the lead up and watched this morning. I thought it was brilliant, course was great with beer tent and all, organizers in Denmark did a great job, and the marketing was fantastic. East Africans dominated as expected, I think Europeans barely showed up and US just doesn't seem to treat international cross country too seriously. Cross country, and distance running in general: it would be great to see more international competition (ie, countries in Europe, US, Japan, China, etc. step it up a bit). But again fantastic event and course.
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Re: IAAF World Cross Country Championships - Saturday! [Fleck] [ In reply to ]
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https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=uUr1rRk21NE

Link to watch great stuff and I agree this is the most competitive athletic event out there.
Great course.
Would have been interesting after 5 days of rain...

The problem is there was some very good European. Performances but it just doesn't pay to come 18th
I guess federations have to think they either fund those people better to close the gap or lose it.
I always think cross country should be a winter Olympics sport it would raise the profile of the sport and the winter Olympics to get nations that don't have snow in the winter more drawn in.

http://www.pb3coaching.com
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Re: IAAF World Cross Country Championships - Saturday! [Fleck] [ In reply to ]
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i remember when the US didn't used to suck at XC. i note that uganda has a very good xc team. i assume none of them are from uganda. likewise bahrain of course. even half the crappy US team are rift valley born.

Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
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Re: IAAF World Cross Country Championships - Saturday! [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Slowman wrote:
i note that uganda has a very good xc team. i assume none of them are from uganda.


I’m pretty sure all of them were born in Uganda

For some reason the above link didn’t work for me (‘not available in your country’), so here’s another link for the men’s race



(Edited as I apparently linked to the wrong race previously)

Matt
Last edited by: Pun_Times: Mar 31, 19 12:23
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Re: IAAF World Cross Country Championships - Saturday! [Pun_Times] [ In reply to ]
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Pun_Times wrote:
I’m pretty sure all of them were born in Uganda

well shut my mouth. then that's really notable. to me at least. where've i been?

Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
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Re: IAAF World Cross Country Championships - Saturday! [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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I believe their top couple guys are from cites/villages near the Kenyan/Ugandan border so they probably grew up in a similar place (elevation, temperature, etc) to Iten, Kenya.

Matt
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Re: IAAF World Cross Country Championships - Saturday! [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Slowman wrote:
Pun_Times wrote:
I’m pretty sure all of them were born in Uganda

well shut my mouth. then that's really notable. to me at least. where've i been?

You could check who won the marathon at Olympic games 2012 lol

http://www.pb3coaching.com
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Re: IAAF World Cross Country Championships - Saturday! [Fleck] [ In reply to ]
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Honestly, I thought it was a great race. It was a shame that more European teams entered teams.

I think that after the next Olympic cycle, you are going to see a push to get XC added and the 5k and 10k out. The IAAF are already moving away from the distance races on the track, maybe they can be saved by cross country. I think a 5k or 10k on a good course is a lot more fun to watch then 12 or 24 laps around the track
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Re: IAAF World Cross Country Championships - Saturday! [Fleck] [ In reply to ]
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Hearing from a few of the athletes, they said it was the hardest race they had ever done... The museum roof climb was absolutely brutal! I"d love to see XC as a winter olympic sport... it'd be a mistake to put it in the summer olympics instead of the track 5000/10000 (10km XC in legit summer temps would be inhumane!)... And I think if it were added to the olympics, you'd start to see more interest from the countries to send their best...

Great to see a non traditional power like Uganda dominate... If some of the european countries had actually fielded their best teams, I think this year was maybe their best shot at a win, given the conditions... Kenya can get away with sending their C team, but most of the north american/european nations don't have the depth to be competitive with anything other than their best squad...
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Re: IAAF World Cross Country Championships - Saturday! [muebele] [ In reply to ]
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I think that after the next Olympic cycle, you are going to see a push to get XC added and the 5k and 10k out. The IAAF are already moving away from the distance races on the track, maybe they can be saved by cross country. I think a 5k or 10k on a good course is a lot more fun to watch then 12 or 24 laps around the track


There has been talk for a while now that this might happen. I don't know for sure, but Lord Coe, President of the IAAF, may be in favour of this. Cross Country was part of the Olympic program back in the early days.

The talk is taking the 10000m out from the track portion of the Olympic Games and putting in a 10k Cross Country race. The only issue with this is that the usual timing of the Summer Games (July - mid Sept) is the exact opposite season of the true Cross Country Season - which is a Fall/Winter sport for the Northern Hemisphere.

The IAAF & The IOC experimented with this last September at the U18 (Youth) Olympic Games by making Cross Country part of the program - and they went even further making it a points and combined competition of sorts for those running other middle distance races on the track - https://www.iaaf.org/...timetable-cross-coun - This is pretty innovative stuff from the IAAF!


Steve Fleck @stevefleck | Blog
Last edited by: Fleck: Apr 1, 19 8:21
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Re: IAAF World Cross Country Championships - Saturday! [Pun_Times] [ In reply to ]
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Pun_Times wrote:
I believe their top couple guys are from cites/villages near the Kenyan/Ugandan border so they probably grew up in a similar place (elevation, temperature, etc) to Iten, Kenya.

Why not much from them in marathons then?


http://www.coupleofathletes.com
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Re: IAAF World Cross Country Championships - Saturday! [synthetic] [ In reply to ]
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Well, the 2012 Olympic and 2013 World Champ is from Uganda but trained in Kenya.

I guess it's a cultural thing. You need some role models that lead the way for the net generation to bite. Kiprotich (and now Cheptegei) are leading the way.

(BTW. they have cool jerseys)

I really loved that World Champs. I see no point in hosting a flat 10k cross country race. For fast times and blistering speed we have track and roads. But XC should be about hills and mud and strength.
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Re: IAAF World Cross Country Championships - Saturday! [ToBeasy] [ In reply to ]
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Agreed track is for fast, XC races should be HAM (hard as a Mofo...)... I ran some flat collegiate XC races, but always thought that was bizarre... I lived for the epic courses! (either epic weather, epic hills, epic mud or technical AF....)
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Re: IAAF World Cross Country Championships - Saturday! [Trauma] [ In reply to ]
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Every day of the week! The flat-and-fast "championship" courses were miserable to run on!
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Re: IAAF World Cross Country Championships - Saturday! [Fleck] [ In reply to ]
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Jakob Ingebrigtsen finishing 12th in the U20 race was a pretty interesting result.

Since we are talking about that country - the first non Kenyan or Ethiopian runner, in the Men's U20s, was Ugandan and they came 4th in that team race.
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Re: IAAF World Cross Country Championships - Saturday! [OddSlug] [ In reply to ]
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Cuan Walker
@runwithcuan
I know it's something we always talk about, age cheating in sport... I will just leave this picture here... This is the men's junior race at yesterday's World xc. You be the judge

9:34am · 31 Mar 2019 · Twitter for Android
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Re: IAAF World Cross Country Championships - Saturday! [dogchili94] [ In reply to ]
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When you become too old and slow to make your countries senior team... Just apply for juniors, and if you use your eldest kids passport no one is the wiser.
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Re: IAAF World Cross Country Championships - Saturday! [Koz] [ In reply to ]
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Koz wrote:
Every day of the week! The flat-and-fast "championship" courses were miserable to run on!

We used to call those Grand Prix courses... They were fun occasionally (as a last race out before a conference meet, when you were in the midst of a monster training block, and training through it...), but not the fun that you would have on a epic course... I remember racing a conference meet where everyone was talking about the "hill"... it was marginally larger than a speed bump (10 strides bottom to top, maybe 3%), but without fail, I would gap the guys I was running with and climb a few spots every lap when we hit it. I've also seen the tricks to spice up those GP style courses, throwing in hay stack hurdles on the course, or sand pit/mud pits to mix up the stimulus...

And yes, anecdotally, it looks like this age doping thing is getting out of hand, when your junior team looks older than your senior team, and could all probably be racing masters...
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