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Elementary School Track & Field Super Meet
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El Hefe said 3 months ago

How will Canada place at the Kampala World XC Champs?

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  • anonymous Anonymous
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    More Fire! said 2 months ago

    Quoting: Athletics Illustrated
    "As per usual, I am agreeing 100% with Steve Boyd on this one. The athletes we send are very good athletes, however, we cannot replicate the simple African lifestyle, immense pressure to succeed, elevation and year 'round physical movement related directly to running. Walking, running, loping, jogging...whatever.

    Even our best athletes do not run/walk/jog the typical 5-10-20K to school every day and back at elevation. It would almost be considered neglect. If a parent heard so-and-so's child is running for an hour to get to school, there would be an intervention.

    How could North Americans possibly replicate the East African lifestyle? We don't need to put the pressure on our kids to run for the purpose of helping to feed our family. I have helped a few Kenyans come race in Canada. They train out of necessity not out of love for the sport. Their winnings are Western Unioned back to Kenya. If not they receive a call, "Where is the money?"

    They are as tough as hell.

    I know one guy came out to the coast after taking a marathon back east, Quebec? Then Victoria, then Vegas, then Detroit, two halfs and two marathons in four weeks and about 10,000kms of travel (within North America). Finishing Detroit Free Press his nose was bleeding and he was staggering. Didn't give a shit, took the money wired it home. Boom.

    To us it is "not worth it."

    And it isn't, for us, in all fairness.

    It's like sending our Cadets to fight in the streets of the middle-east against kids who grow up with AK47s in their homes....good luck!"


    Yes, it's true that most of the Kenyans we see in international competition are running to make a living. But is this not true of at least a few North American sponsored runners?

    As for not being able to replicate the lifestyle, this doesn't mean we can't at least imitate aspects of the lifestyle. We put our kids on the school bus by choice.

    It's true we can't replicate the high altitude in many places in Canada. But we can do our part to cultivate the discipline and activity in our children. What's wrong with having them walk or run 3-5km to school? And we could have them run or play on soft surfaces like snow or grass, rather than school pavement. (3 of our top athletes were limited by foot and ankle injuries leading up to the Olympics - Coolsaet, Levins, and Wykes. I read in a CBC article that Wykes was receiving treatment for limited ankle mobility - something that was blamed on a lifetime of wearing shoes.)

    Sadly, the North American lifestyle (sugary pop, junk food, and school buses) are creeping into urban and rural areas in Africa. And initial studies have uncovered health problems similar to North American children, like obesity and diabetes.

    Just because we can't emulate the lifestyle doesn't mean we can't imitate certain aspects.

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  • anonymous Anonymous
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    Anonymous said 2 months ago

    Quoting: More Fire!
    "Yes, it's true that most of the Kenyans we see in international competition are running to make a living. But is this not true of at least a few North American sponsored runners?

    As for not being able to replicate the lifestyle, this doesn't mean we can't at least imitate aspects of the lifestyle. We put our kids on the school bus by choice.

    It's true we can't replicate the high altitude in many places in Canada. But we can do our part to cultivate the discipline and activity in our children. What's wrong with having them walk or run 3-5km to school? And we could have them run or play on soft surfaces like snow or grass, rather than school pavement. (3 of our top athletes were limited by foot and ankle injuries leading up to the Olympics - Coolsaet, Levins, and Wykes. I read in a CBC article that Wykes was receiving treatment for limited ankle mobility - something that was blamed on a lifetime of wearing shoes.)

    Sadly, the North American lifestyle (sugary pop, junk food, and school buses) are creeping into urban and rural areas in Africa. And initial studies have uncovered health problems similar to North American children, like obesity and diabetes.

    Just because we can't emulate the lifestyle doesn't mean we can't imitate certain aspects."


    I don't know man my mom tells me she walked 5k to school uphill both ways in canada and ate only the food they produced on their small farm and she certainly became no where near the athlete of an African

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    hmm.. said 2 months ago

    Quoting: More Fire!
    "Yes, it's true that most of the Kenyans we see in international competition are running to make a living. But is this not true of at least a few North American sponsored runners?

    Sadly, the North American lifestyle (sugary pop, junk food, and school buses) are creeping into urban and rural areas in Africa. And initial studies have uncovered health problems similar to North American children, like obesity and diabetes.

    Just because we can't emulate the lifestyle doesn't mean we can't imitate certain aspects."


    You do know we have a Canadian distance runner, who is a product of this North American lifestyle that is competitive with any east african in the world? Me thinks you're overstating the impact of lifestyle, has more to do with talent pool and intensity of training.

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  • anonymous Anonymous
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    More Fire! said 2 months ago

    Quoting: hmm..
    "You do know we have a Canadian distance runner, who is a product of this North American lifestyle that is competitive with any east african in the world? Me thinks you're overstating the impact of lifestyle, has more to do with talent pool and intensity of training."


    If this is true, how do you explain Jake and Zane Robertson? Two twin brothers who have run 60 min 1/2 marathons. Pretty big coincidence?

    And I'm assuming you are speaking of Mo Ahmed who probably didn't live the typical North American lifestyle (especially at UWisc!). Mo is Somalian - born in Mogadishu (altitude 9m). What's your point here again??

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    More Fire! said 2 months ago

    Quoting: Anonymous
    "I don't know man my mom tells me she walked 5k to school uphill both ways in canada and ate only the food they produced on their small farm and she certainly became no where near the athlete of an African"


    - Why didn't she run?
    - Was she living at altitude?
    - What foods was she consuming on the farm? In what quantities?

    And, I should point out, while she didn't become an "African" athlete -- you did end up, at some point, active and a runner. Otherwise, are you just a fat smoker on here to troll??

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    More Fire! said 2 months ago

    "Ahmed was born in Mogadishu, Somalia and spent the first 10 years of his life in Kenya. He arrived in Canada just before his 11th birthday."

    http://runningmagazine.ca/mo-speed-canadas-5k-king/

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  • gcrunner User since:
    Apr 17th, 2012
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    gcrunner said 2 months ago

    Results have been updated giving the 2 "DNF" Canadian senior women finish times. Sumner finishes 52nd which places Canada in 9th spot (original results had them finishing 12th.)

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    hmm.. said 2 months ago

    Quoting: More Fire!
    "If this is true, how do you explain Jake and Zane Robertson? Two twin brothers who have run 60 min 1/2 marathons. Pretty big coincidence?

    And I'm assuming you are speaking of Mo Ahmed who probably didn't live the typical North American lifestyle (especially at UWisc!). Mo is Somalian - born in Mogadishu (altitude 9m). What's your point here again??"


    My point? that he is the product of the north american lifestyle and it doesn't seem to have hindered him. So you bring up Jake and Zane who only moved to kenya when they were 18 to argue against genetics and for the importance of lifestyle while also mentioning Mo Ahmed being born in Mogadishu, basically sea level and spending a third of his life in Africa?

    You can't argue against genetics in one case then argue for it in another case when it's convenient. Reason why East Africans are better is the over whelming number of people who participate in high intensity training. The difficult living conditions as motivation and reason for success is also bogus, the harm to your well-being and training from having to endure difficult hardships is greater than whatever motivational benefit it may have.

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  • oldster User since:
    Sep 25th, 2013
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    Oldster said 2 months ago

    Quoting: More Fire!
    "- Why didn't she run?
    - Was she living at altitude?
    - What foods was she consuming on the farm? In what quantities?

    And, I should point out, while she didn't become an "African" athlete -- you did end up, at some point, active and a runner. Otherwise, are you just a fat smoker on here to troll??"


    Troll? By my count, this is the 4th anonymous identity you have created for the purpose of sounding off like some kind of authority (and referring directly to me, members of my family, and my athletic record in the process) in this forum.

    You have been, variously, "Amateur Ideal", "A.I." "E-a-O", and now "More Fire". Your rapid-fire responses and obsession with unfavourable Africa/Canada comparisons, barefoot running, and the emergence of an obesity epidemic in Kenya give you away. You can either register an account in your own name or I will out you in my next post. It's only fair. You want to call others "troll" then start behaving respectably yourself.

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    Athletics Illustrate said 2 months ago

    Quoting: More Fire!
    "Yes, it's true that most of the Kenyans we see in international competition are running to make a living. But is this not true of at least a few North American sponsored runners?

    As for not being able to replicate the lifestyle, this doesn't mean we can't at least imitate aspects of the lifestyle. We put our kids on the school bus by choice.

    It's true we can't replicate the high altitude in many places in Canada. But we can do our part to cultivate the discipline and activity in our children. What's wrong with having them walk or run 3-5km to school? And we could have them run or play on soft surfaces like snow or grass, rather than school pavement. (3 of our top athletes were limited by foot and ankle injuries leading up to the Olympics - Coolsaet, Levins, and Wykes. I read in a CBC article that Wykes was receiving treatment for limited ankle mobility - something that was blamed on a lifetime of wearing shoes.)

    Sadly, the North American lifestyle (sugary pop, junk food, and school buses) are creeping into urban and rural areas in Africa. And initial studies have uncovered health problems similar to North American children, like obesity and diabetes.

    Just because we can't emulate the lifestyle doesn't mean we can't imitate certain aspects."


    Not sure what the purpose of your reply to my comment was for. Help me out.

    There is science out there proving that East Africans do not benefit biologically over any other race; it's environment/geographic/socio-economic factors etc etc. Not better DNA.

    Why can't we replicate what they do? That is not something I was referring to:

    We can. We don't. And we don't need to put the pressure on our kids to go to another country to run for money.

    There is also something else, a numbers game. Their sheer numbers of athletes who take the sport with full-on seriousness is massive.....if every able-bodied kid in Canada tried running seriously, the numbers at the other end - the elite level - would be very different.

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  • exphys User since:
    Oct 20th, 2013
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    ExPhys said 2 months ago

    Quoting: Athletics Illustrate
    "Not sure what the purpose of your reply to my comment was for. Help me out.

    There is science out there proving that East Africans do not benefit biologically over any other race; it's environment/geographic/socio-economic factors etc etc. Not better DNA.

    Why can't we replicate what they do? That is not something I was referring to:

    We can. We don't. And we don't need to put the pressure on our kids to go to another country to run for money.

    There is also something else, a numbers game. Their sheer numbers of athletes who take the sport with full-on seriousness is massive.....if every able-bodied kid in Canada tried running seriously, the numbers at the other end - the elite level - would be very different."


    Exactly what I was trying to get at - the science doesn't indicate some superior difference between East African runners and non-Africans (typically comparative studies are Scandinavian athletes). Culture and the number of people pursuing it to me is the most logical explanation, precisely why Canada is good at hockey.

    If elites are the 1% (its actually probably less than that) - the numbers game becomes hugely important. In Canada there just aren't that many pursuing post-collegiate running, which is reflected with only 27 (by my count) athletes hitting OG standards last summer (800m-marathon). If you increase the number of people seriously pursuing running through university and beyond, that number will increase. Smaller amount of people entering the system = even smaller number coming out the other end as elites.

    If you look at the US as an example - yes obviously the population size is different, but you have more post-collegiate groups, and therefore greater depth across all event groups. That said, I think Canada is trending in the right direction - particularly on our women's side where there are a lot of young, talented athletes who will be threats to make teams in the coming years.

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    Anonymous said 2 months ago

    Quoting: Oldster
    "Troll? By my count, this is the 4th anonymous identity you have created for the purpose of sounding off like some kind of authority (and referring directly to me, members of my family, and my athletic record in the process) in this forum.

    You have been, variously, "Amateur Ideal", "A.I." "E-a-O", and now "More Fire". Your rapid-fire responses and obsession with unfavourable Africa/Canada comparisons, barefoot running, and the emergence of an obesity epidemic in Kenya give you away. You can either register an account in your own name or I will out you in my next post. It's only fair. You want to call others "troll" then start behaving respectably yourself."



    Love this post! Thanks

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  • anonymous Anonymous
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    Ron MacLean's dog said 2 months ago

    Quoting: Athletics Illustrate
    "Not sure what the purpose of your reply to my comment was for. Help me out.

    There is science out there proving that East Africans do not benefit biologically over any other race; it's environment/geographic/socio-economic factors etc etc. Not better DNA.

    Why can't we replicate what they do? That is not something I was referring to:

    We can. We don't. And we don't need to put the pressure on our kids to go to another country to run for money.

    There is also something else, a numbers game. Their sheer numbers of athletes who take the sport with full-on seriousness is massive.....if every able-bodied kid in Canada tried running seriously, the numbers at the other end - the elite level - would be very different."


    Spot on! Running, particularly distance running, is THE sport in Kenya and Ethiopia. In Canada, hockey (and to a lesser extent soccer and basketball) scoop up most of the good athletes - for example, last year's OFSAA junior boys 100m and 300m hurdle champion (who has an excellent athletic pedigree) now toils for the London Knights.

    I wish more kids would do track and field, and that coaches would be more receptive to kids pursuing multiple sports (the US is better than us in this respect).

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    More Fire! said 2 months ago

    Quoting: Ron MacLean's dog
    "Spot on! Running, particularly distance running, is THE sport in Kenya and Ethiopia. In Canada, hockey (and to a lesser extent soccer and basketball) scoop up most of the good athletes - for example, last year's OFSAA junior boys 100m and 300m hurdle champion (who has an excellent athletic pedigree) now toils for the London Knights.

    I wish more kids would do track and field, and that coaches would be more receptive to kids pursuing multiple sports (the US is better than us in this respect)."


    This is simply what I'm trying to say, yes! If kids were more active, we would have a bigger talent pool. Perhaps I'm coming across wrong - I'm not meaning to make "unfavourable" comparisons with Canada. Just saying that, if we can't emulate, we can imitate aspects of this particular culture. We can learn from different cultures. We can learn from the best.

    As for your post Oldster, I humbly apologise if I have offended you. I like you, your intelligence, your grit, and determination. I suppose I get heated in the moment; I say some things I shouldn't. I've been your "cheerleader" too, but maybe you missed those posts. If you know who I am, maybe we can discuss in person. You can yell at me, and I can buy you a beer and try to explain! If not, all I can do is try harder from this point on.

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    Andrew Jones said 2 months ago

    Picking up on the sociological/cultural/economic effects on sport, and specifically running, I would recommend the reading of two books by the same author (the Irishman, Adharanand Finn):

    "Running With the Kenyans"
    "The Way of the Runner: A Journey into the Fabled World of Japanese Running"

    I think these books are a decent comparison because in both the author immerses himself (and his family) in the culture he is describing. So, along with the competitive running content, you also get some great description of life (and the quality of life, along with the general sensibilities of the people) in these places.

    You couldn't really find two more disparate places than rural Kenya vs. urban Japan, and yet both of these countries have shown great international success in distance running. Now, the types of success are different (for example, Japan is much more intrinsically proficient at the Marathon) and Finn -- perhaps -- sheds some light on why this is. In the Japanese case, he describes at length the popularity of the ekiden relay, and how the national obsession with these important cultural celebrations of sorts may damage the Japanese distance program in general.

    BTW, looking at the Kenyan vs. Japanese NRs in the Marathon, there is a large difference in the Men's (3:19), but the Japanese Women's record is only :35s slower than Kenya's. This is also interesting, I think.

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    Anonymous said 2 months ago

    I see that in the 44 years of the World XC Championship it has never been held in Canada. Twice in USA but never here? Maybe it's time we do? Spur some interest for the younger kids and it will hopefully get interest from the best runners to attend. And hopefully moving the teams and runners up a few notches in the standings.... why doesn't AC put a bid in?

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  • anonymous Anonymous
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    Andrew Jones said 2 months ago

    Quoting: Anonymous
    "I see that in the 44 years of the World XC Championship it has never been held in Canada. Twice in USA but never here? Maybe it's time we do? Spur some interest for the younger kids and it will hopefully get interest from the best runners to attend. And hopefully moving the teams and runners up a few notches in the standings.... why doesn't AC put a bid in?"


    There was recently a trackie discussion of this topic. Check it out here:

    http://www.trackie.com/track-and-field/Forum/interest-in-a-canadian-world-xc-bid/14680/

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    More Fire! said 2 months ago

    Quoting: Andrew Jones
    "Picking up on the sociological/cultural/economic effects on sport, and specifically running, I would recommend the reading of two books by the same author (the Irishman, Adharanand Finn):

    "Running With the Kenyans"
    "The Way of the Runner: A Journey into the Fabled World of Japanese Running"

    I think these books are a decent comparison because in both the author immerses himself (and his family) in the culture he is describing. So, along with the competitive running content, you also get some great description of life (and the quality of life, along with the general sensibilities of the people) in these places.

    You couldn't really find two more disparate places than rural Kenya vs. urban Japan, and yet both of these countries have shown great international success in distance running. Now, the types of success are different (for example, Japan is much more intrinsically proficient at the Marathon) and Finn -- perhaps -- sheds some light on why this is. In the Japanese case, he describes at length the popularity of the ekiden relay, and how the national obsession with these important cultural celebrations of sorts may damage the Japanese distance program in general.

    BTW, looking at the Kenyan vs. Japanese NRs in the Marathon, there is a large difference in the Men's (3:19), but the Japanese Women's record is only :35s slower than Kenya's. This is also interesting, I think."


    Thanks for this. I have family who visit Kenya and Japan regularly and love hearing about the cultural differences. I like reading the blogs of the elite Canadian runners who visit both countries as well. The commentary on the cultural differences is fascinating.

    In India, some people would be surprised at the advanced medical technology as well as the emerging world class professional golfers!

    As for runners in Kenya being "superior" to runners in Canada, I agree it's not a fair comparison. In Kenya, the weather is moderate, the altitude is high, and the roads are soft. But just because we can't achieve equivalent or faster times, doesn't mean we can't learn things from a different culture (imho).

    As for barefooted-ness and its' efficacy, I suppose that's up for debate. But the foot has hundreds of muscles, tendons and ligaments. There's no scientific device on Earth capable of perfectly measuring and recording the movement in the human foot. So any "scientific" evidence one way or another is up for a debate. For me, it's more about injury prevention than increasing speed. (Although, Chris McCubbins believed that "flicking" his ankle gave him more propulsive force and speed in the later stages of a race.). It's less about "heel" strike vs "fore" foot strike - and more about the nature of the motion and contact time when the foot is on the ground.

    Angular momentum in running also intrigues me. A doctor once told me this is very unique to African runners and gives them a competitive advantage in efficiency. Whether this is genetic or developed, I'm not sure. But the debate is always interesting and heated at times!

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    Athletics Illustrate said 2 months ago

    Now the discussion is making more sense. Of the two books, I reviewed The Way of the Runner and interviewed Finn about it. This is a good reminder that I needed to read 'n review Running with the Kenyans.

    I particularly liked The Way of the Runner for educating us on the positive and negative training and racing culture of Japan. In his illustration, he demonstrates clearly that they have their own disconnect. We always know of these kids like 100 of them run sub-15 in an Ekiden or do these great 21.1K, but they are barely better than Canada at the top end, like at the Olympics.

    Where do they fall down? Or look at Australia, marginally better than Canada, but have a culture that is way more accepting of competitive sport and the funding of it (from what I understand).

    It's culture and environment, want proof, just look at India and China. In theory they should have 100s of times of better athletes. Just their outliers alone should in theory be more numerous than our whole numbers.

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