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Monday is an easy day. After a long run, today is easy.

Monday-warm up, easy 60 minutes, 8 x150 meter stride outs, cooldown!

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In one of my favorite movies, Field of Dreams, the line is whispered from the cornfields, "If you build it, they will come."

The Thomas Zimmer Championship Cross Country site is a brilliantly designed cross country site, celebrating one of the most popular sports in American high school and American college sports. Thanks to the Zimmer family, the Univeristy of Wisconsin at Madison had the land and the financial support to build a cross country course that is both challenging, and has great views.

IMG_5336.jpegThomas Zimmer Championship Cross Country Course, photo by runblogrun

I recall several discussions with Sean Hartnett, one of the team behind the course. My first visit there was a couple of years ago, and I was impressed with the course, and especially how fans could see the races unfold.

Saturday, November 17, 2018, opened with snow. I woke up around 6 am, to a lovely early winter snow. My first thoughts were that the weather and course would be even more of a home advantage to the Wisconsin Badgers. Director of Cross Country and Track & Field Mick Byrne and Women's Head XC coach Jim Miller had been preparing their athletes since July for the 2018 NCAA Cross Country Championships.

Here's a synopsis of one of the most popular parts of the sport, cross country. In the US, 49 of the 50 states in U.S., high school state meet have been completed, with the state of California coming up in one week. The FootLocker regional series will be held next weekend (3 of 4), the NXN regional events have been building and USATF Xc champs are soon coming. The NCAA cross country championships were held on November 17, and are the final act of the U.S. collegiate season.

Jones_DaniFHH-Pre18.jpgDani Jones wins National 1,500m at 2018 PreClassic, photo by PhotoRun.net

This writer first became conscious of Dani Jones with her fine 1,500m PB at the PreClassic in the 1,500m win in the national race. Her fifth in Des Moines, Iowa at the US champs showed some real guts and fire. While watching her in the NCAA champs, I was emotionally drawn to her mother talking to the big screen showing Dani up front with Weini Kalati, Jessica Hull and Alicia Munson among others.

At 400 meters to go, Weini Kalati had made a sizable break in the NCAA Women's Division 1 Cross Country Championships. The race had been hotly contested over 5500 of the 6000 meters. But, even with Dani Jones' mother watching the big feed, cajoling her daughter to kick, it did not look the maternal dreams were going to become a reality.

Then, it happened.

The tradition of Colorado doing well at the NCAA cross country is long and proud. The instagrams from Kara Goucher and Jenny Simpson included below attest to the loyalty and affection of the alums toward their team. Dani Jones and her team mates felt that this week as the pressures built. Jones handled it well in her final XC race for the Buffaloes.

Justin Lagat writes a weekly column from Kenya for runblogrun. He has done this for several years now and we love his writing and insights into the sport in Kenya.

Justin and I share the conviction that transparent anti doping protocals and education build up respect for the sport.

This week, he was visited by WADA/ADAK. Here is his story...


Joshua finishfoto2.jpgJoshua Cheptegai sets WR 15k of 41:05! photo by NN Running team

Joshua Cheptegai set a new WR of 41:05 for 15k on the roads at the NN Seven Hills race today. Joshua is a member of the NN Running team. We first saw Joshua as the World Junior Champion in Eugene, Oregon in 2014 ( gold in 10,000m, 4th in the 5,000m). In 2015, Joshua won the 10,000m at the African Championships, and 9th in Beijing World Champs 10,000m. In 2016, Joshua was 6th in the 10,000m and 8th in the 5,000m in Rio Olympics. In 2017, the young Ugandan athlete took silver battling Mo Farah in the London 10,000m, in what many believe was the finest 10,000m race in decades. Joshua started 2018 with brilliant wins over 10,000m and 5,000m at the Commonwealth Games.

On the roads this season, Joshua Cheptegai ran 45:15 for 10 miles in Amsterdam Dam to Damloop on 23 September. He followed that up with 27:16 on October 23 at the Durban 10k in South Africa. His WR today is a fitting end to his 2018 season.

Below is the release from NN Seven Hills...

The NCAA was alot of fun yesterday, and today is all about the long run. Enjoy the long run, and run with your friends.

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Today is the long run, enjoy it, photo by HOKA ONE ONE NAZ elite

Sunday, November 18, 2018-75-80 minute easy long run, on soft ground, or around a soccer pitch, remember to cool down

Today is the NCAA XC ! It willl be two fine events and the snow just adds to it!

IMG_5330.jpgTime to run! photo by HOKA ONE ONE NAZ elite

Saturday, November 17, 2018-warm up, 5k race, cooldown, or a 40 minute fartlek, four times, five minutes at 5k pace, five minutes easy, one minute easy, cooldownace, cooldown, or a 40 minute fartlek, four times, five minutes at 5k pace, five minutes easy, one minute easy, cooldown

Chepngetich_Ruth-Bogota17.jpgRuth Chepngetich, photo by Photorun.net

Justin Lagat wrote this piece last week on the fabulous run by Ruth Chepngetich in Instanbul. On a weekend after the NYC Marathon, with the Instanbul, Beirut and Athens marathons all in one weekend, nearly 100,000 marathoners in three events. Ruth Chepngetich's magnifiscent run was one of the highlights and will keep us wondering how fast women can run the marathon.

TOM1-1.pngTom Nohilly is one third of the dynamic trio that mentors, coaches, and encourages the athletes of HOKA ONE ONE NJNYTC. With Frank Gagliano as Head Coach, and John Trautmann, Tom Nohilly uses his life experiences as an athlete, and coach to advise a group of enthusiastic American athletes who want to see just how good they really are.

In this, question 29, we poise the question to Mr. Nohilly: what do you love about coaching?

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