Posted by donmclean on 2014/8/29 12:41:37 (211 reads)

PrepCalTrack: Saugus girls, Palos Verdes boys win at the PV Friendly meet. Story and results.

Brando: New Foothill League XC Rankings

Why Colorado rules. Five Elements of The Wetmore Factor.

Q&A with free spirit Phoebe Wright

Think piece. Consider game theory, team reasoning in cross country. Link. ...More on that from Roger Robinson.

At one Denmark school, OK to run in the halls. Story. When and why did you and Don lose the exuberance of youth?

10 Reasons to Run a 50K Instead of a Marathon. 11. A trail 50K hurts less.

Are you ready for The Mustang Challenge? This is a big-time, very competitive event. Even some NCAA D1s will be there. If you're a serious, competitive runner, you can enter as an individual by preregistering with, and then paying the $25 fee on race day.

Pete Magill: Run Long And Prosper

Posted by donmclean on 2014/8/28 13:17:24 (166 reads)

Dyestat rankings.

Release The Beast: Hill Sprints for Technique

From the Canyon site: Only 1 boy and 3 girls missed today's 6:15am practice! Next week we expect perfect attendance.
(partly because those 4 may no longer be with us!)

Caitlin Chock: Why Runners Should Embrace Cross-Training

Competitor: Grand Canyon Announces New Regulations for Runners

The New Yorker: Back-To-School Time!

Don't miss: The Great Jenny Simpson and Emma Coburn Steeplechase Rivalry ...Both compete today in Zurich. More.

Bob Schul, gold medalist in the 5000 at the 1964 Olympics, almost died twice as a baby from severe asthma. Growing up on the family farm on Iddings Road didnít help his condition. Sometimes he would wear his uncleís World War I gas mask working in the fields. Story.

Jenny wins 1500 in Zurich with a 3:59.92. Shannon Rowbury 2nd with a 3:59.93. More Zurich results.

Here's the vid. Love it.

Posted by donmclean on 2014/8/27 3:58:18 (221 reads)

Dyestat national ranking.

Do you believe in magic?

Vike boys 99th in state according to PrepCalTrack. Over 1300 high schools in CA.

Food Pantry to Host Run Against Hunger

Who's who at The Master's

Wearing compression garments might help. Some study.

Matt Fitzgerald: Why You Should Train Like A Pro

Stretch your eyeballs with this ultra trek documentary.

Hey, getcha daily workout here.

Saugus opens tomorrow at the Palos Verdes Friendly.

The Ten Indian Cross Country Principles

Christian Brothers Academy hasn't lost a dual meet since 1973. More.

The Atlantic (not Onion): The Stationary Bike of the Soul

Does the younger generation have a reset-button mentality? Link. How many parents financed their kids through college and beyond, and now have the kids back in their rooms?

Posted by donmclean on 2014/8/26 11:16:46 (190 reads)

LetsRun: Week That Was.

Daily Relay: The Monday Morning Run.

Alexa Efraimson starts senior year in high school. Story. But then announces she is turning pro. Video.

Daily News has Central Park photos.

When should parents talk to the coach and when should they stay out of it? Read.

8 ways to fake being outdoorsy

Probably all you want to know about plantar fasciitis.

Jens Vogt, John Boehner, and Don mow. Story. No report on Paul Ryan, but now we know he thinks Boehner stinks.

More "improvements" coming to Central Park. That tennis complex has been a promised for at least eight years, Don having seen it on the plans at City Hall that long ago, occupying a huge area near the oak tree, roughly the one mile mark. Prepare for a further change and uglification of cross country course.

Posted by donmclean on 2014/8/25 22:04:04 (202 reads)

Don here. Since 1985, I've been racing or monitoring the COC Summer Series. As we all know, it's tough stuff, and it's almost unbelievable to think a 10 year old female could win the finals, but that's what Lexi did.
My friend Chuck expressed some concerns in a DD Comment following the race. Eric and Dana Fernandez, Lexi's parents, respond below.


This email is in response to the most recent comments regarding our 10 year old daughter, Lexi Fernandez's win as first female at the COC championship this past Thursday night. The comments that were made were not only wrong, but extremely unjustified and hurtful not only to Lexi, but to our family as well. The comments that were made assumed that our daughter is training high mileage year round and never gets a break from running. That her parents are abusive and we have no concern for her welfare or her health! This is very far from the truth! Our daughter is an extremely talented and gifted runner and she does not need to run high mileage at the age of 10 to produce these type of results. Nor would we allow her to do so. We have actually declined having her go to Mammoth to run in altitude and high mileage when she is so very young. We are actually very strict in controlling the amount of miles she runs because we know that she is a young girl and will start to develop over the next few years. Lexiís father is an internal medicine doctor and realizes the stress running places on a young girlsí developing body. Although we know she is capable and can run more miles, we prefer to save her legs for high school and college when it will be most beneficial to her. She ended her track season as one of the top runners in the nation in the 3000, 1500, and 800, but we chose not to run post season nationals for track to give her body a break from running, to play other sports she enjoys, and to have fun over the summer. She did run Junior Olympics USATF in Texas this past December where she did win the bronze medal for cross country and helped her team win the team gold medal. We did not want her to run year round and like her to take a break between seasons. She took time off this summer and played a lot of soccer with her club team, went to the beach, swam, played at Hurricane Harbor, and did all the fun things a normal 10 year old girl would and should do! She really loves running the COC Series since we started running it as a family a few years ago. We usually run for fun with all 3 kids (Haley 12, Colton 5). My son was able to run the kiddie run this year. It is not meant to be competitive or stressful at all. We like to have fun and just race a few races to qualify for the finals. This is usually when Lexi is off from training and when she goes back to easy running a few days a week of short easy runs in July. The first time she raced the series, I was able to beat her, but by her second and third year, she has surpassed me without much effort. I was unfortunately not able to run the series this year because of a broken foot at the beginning of the year. I did not want to risk re-injuring my foot as I have been building up my mileage slowly. We were actually very surprised by Lexiís times since she was not training that much. I think the soccer definitely kept her conditioned over the summer after track season.

Here is a little background Lexi so you understand more about why she has been a successful youth runner with absolutely not one injury ever! (We do not overtrain and she has plenty of recovery days!)Ö.
She has always been extremely athletic since she was a toddler. Her body is extremely strong and flexible and we put her in gymnastics when she was 5 because she had already taught herself how to do backflips and back walkovers, as well as walk on her hands. Her core and legs are naturally very strong for a girl her age. She was recruited immediately to a high level team because of the skills she could already do. When we thought the coaches were pushing her too hard and demanding too much, we immediately pulled her from the sport. We just wanted her to be happy and have fun! At this same time, she took ballet and dance classes with her sister, Haley (who is not a natural athlete, but a very hard worker). I have always been very active and a runner since my college days so when a close friend (who is now West Ranchís female xc coach) suggested I put the girls in the Warriorís running program, I thought it would be fun to do something together as a family. Lexi was only 7 at the time, so we did not want her running long distances or too much. We decided to put her in age group and had her run the 100, 200, and 400. Her 400 was her best and we realized the longer the race, the better she got. There is a special award given to those who qualify for 4 or 5 events. She had never run long distances (mile+) but we decided to have her run the 800 at one of the meets and then a 1500 at another to see if she could qualify. She qualified the first time she ran both events and ran the 1500 in 6:26. We discovered this little girl not only had passion and heart, but tremendous endurance, speed and the desire to win. She received the 5 Star Award that year. During the summer she swam for the College of the Canyons Aquatic program with her sister. She is a great swimmer, but prefers to do it recreationally then competitively because she hates the cold water. That summer was her first cross country season and she won almost all of her races. We did not train very hard. Her coach at the time, who is now one of the coaches for Hart High School always managed to keep it fun and interesting. The kids were all great and so were the families. That year she managed to go to AAU Nationals with our conference and helped her team win a gold medal. As track approached, we knew her true love was distance running. She loves the 1/2 mile and the 1500. Unlike the other clubs, the Warrior program likes to keep the mileage low and focuses on the quality of the miles always making it fun for the kids. I have always volunteered so I can watch what my girls are doing in their workouts and adjusting if necessary. Lexi continued to improve breaking many records in the 800 and the 1500 in her Bantam years and almost every one in her first year Midget year. She ran AAU Nationals Cross Country and USATF Junior Olympics two years ago with one of her teammates and friends (the Sterkelís who were also running both) and won 4th at AAU and All American at USATF, but helped secure two more team gold medals. That same year she was asked to play soccer by her best friendís father who was coaching a team. Because it was AYSO and her best friendís dad was the coach, we gave it a try. We really wanted her to play a team sport. She was a natural because of her speed and stamina. Her team went all the way to state undefeated taking second place. The next year, she played for a different AYSO team undefeated again winning both Area and Sectional Championships and taking 3rd place at Regionals. Because she had such a strong season scoring the most goals of any girl in her age group, she was chosen for the All Star ďAĒ team . That team also remained undefeated winning both Area and Sectional Championships and placed 2nd at Regionals. This past cross country season she managed to win a bronze individual and a team gold medal at USATF. She ran at the Southern California USATF during track this year and won the 3000, 1500, and second in the 800 as a first year midget almost two years behind most the girls because of her December birthday. We decided to stop before Regionals because she wanted to take a break this summer and play soccer with her friends. She did not want to run at Nationals and train during the summer and we agreed 100% with her. She was able to play with her best friend on a club soccer team where they won all of their tournaments this summer. She also got picked up by the AYSO Extra team as a guest player to play in their National tournament where that team took second place. Letís just say it was a very busy summer for her and our family! But Lexi has high energy and she always finds a way to do it all. Itís difficult to say ďno: to her when she pleads and begs. Luckily, she continues to excel in school winning the academic scholar award year after year as well as the Math Olympics.. She has never ran nationals for track because she likes her summers off to relax and to focus on other fun activities like bicycling, swimming, rollerblading, and of course, soccer! Although Lexi has been extremely successful in school and all of her many sports and activities, she still manages to have fun with her friends and family. She is extremely humble when she wins or loses and always respectful to the other athletes. She has become close friends with many of them. She has had the opportunity to train with Timmy Sterkel and Sophia Hoezel, good friends of hers, who are just beginning high school. It will be exciting to see them continue to excel like she will hopefully in a few more years.

We just wanted to let you know that Lexi is just a 10 year old girl who loves to run and dreams of someday being like those top high school runners Sarah and Jordyn. She just hopes to improve a little each year and understands the dedication, discipline, and hard work that is involved once she does get older. For now, itís just about having fun and doing the best she can do for now. She wins a lot of races, but she has lost some as well and itís not about the win or lose, but about her continuing to love the sport now and forever! I hope that you know that no one should ever make comments without considering the true facts. Her win was just as important and well deserved as the boy who won it on Thursday night. No one should ever take that away from a child who won that deservingly. We will continue to run as a family and encourage a love of the sport for a lifetime.


We understand that some kids will and do burn out in a sport if it is no longer fun or exciting and we are hoping that does not happen with Lexi. Our oldest daughter will start high school next year and the goal for her is very different. She does not care about winning, but is excited to see improvement each year and so are we! As long as they both stay motivated and we allow them to explore and find out what they love most, we feel they will be successful As parents, we just try to support then the best way possible. Mike Sterkel (Timmyís dad) is the one who introduced us to Donís Diary. He has given me great advice over the past few years. We enjoy reading about whatís going on in the running community around us. You can definitely post my comments. We are hoping it encourages other parents to support their children in all of their athletic accomplishments. The most important thing is to keep our kids active. It will give them the confidence necessary to do well later in life.

Thanks so much!

Posted by donmclean on 2014/8/25 13:53:53 (232 reads)

Flotrack: Hallowed Ground-Balboa Park.

About vaccination and flu shots.

Lancegate update.

Hey, take a hike! Heaven's Gaits

Do microadventures. Reminds me. For a time, Vince McGrath and Don ran a voluntary running program for the boys at Camp Scudder, a juvenile probation facility in Bouquet Canyon. Running and away from their crappy neighborhoods, the boys were high-spirited and fun to be around. We took them to local races. We talked to them about challenges, goals, major achievements. We mentioned The Beast, and pointed to it from afar. They insisted on doing it, and they did it. And they will never forget it.

Pain is temporary. Suck is forever.

Check back later for the word on Lexi Fernandez.

Posted by donmclean on 2014/8/24 13:47:57 (198 reads)

New York Times: The Debate on Salty Foods, Continued

Sweet is for sissies. Why Bitter Makes Food Better.

Jo Pavey counsels us to grow up, be a mum, and run fast. Here.

Jens Vogt, 42, oldest pro cyclist, is retiring. Story. Like Jens, Don mows his own lawn and doesn't descend mountains at 60 mph.

In between legends Gerry Lindgren and Steve Prefontaine as HS Recordholder in the 2-Mile came Rick Riley, now a prep coach. Paul Duffau picked his fertile brain. Start here.

Posted by donmclean on 2014/8/23 14:14:12 (472 reads)

Strategy for the high school cross country runner. Here.

Preview Lauren Fleshman's upcoming book. Available late October, 2014

Steve Magness: What's your bias?

About those Great Oak Boys.

Ortega goes 41:57 at The Beast. Saugus and West Ranch time trialed today. Ace reporters on the scene. See Read More.

Bob Binnie has WR on The Beast photos. Chaminade was also at The Beast (first time), and Bob got some pix of them. Here. He just missed Saugus.

Tony Cota has some good Beast footage during the 5th Annual Beast Charity fundraiser, 12/10/11. Here.

Alysia Montano shows off her baby girl. Story.

Instant noodles are cheap, convenient, and tasty to many. And tied to heart risk. Link.

Read More... | 4092 bytes more | 5 comments

Posted by donmclean on 2014/8/22 13:01:44 (307 reads)

Brando wins COC, and the first female was Lexi Fernandez, 10 years old! Results.

LetsRun reviews the win by Jenny Simpson.

The best hurdler in the country, maybe the world, and he's playing football at the University of Oregon. Story. Go figure.

Outside: The Mad Alchemy of Turning an Ultrarunner into a Marathoner.

Nothing new about developing your base to run fast. Lydiard had Peter Snell, 800 and 1500 gold medalist in the 64 Olympics, doing 22 miles in mountains on Sunday. Wetmore's champions run two hours in the mountains, including Jenny (Barringer) Simpson. Video.

The complete Stockholm women's 1500, starring Jenny Simpson, here. With Dibaba so far out there, consider Simpson's restraint and confidence to wait until the final lap.

Anchor extraordinaire

Posted by donmclean on 2014/8/21 13:27:22 (61 reads)

Hannah DeBalsi, one of the best preps, is just a quirky, humble kid with turtles. Story.

Q&A with Ruth Wysocki. One of the earliest and best American distance runners.

Jenny Simpson wins the 1500, but no AR for her or the other Americans in Stockholm. Rupp 4th. Results.

Watch Jenny here. Love it!

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