- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 25, 2007

When Alan Webb lines up for the mile at the USA Indoor Championships in Boston today at approximately 5:14 p.m., his nemesis Bernard Lagat will not be there.Lagat’s absence means Webb probably will add an indoor title to his growing resume with a solid performance.Lagat, meanwhile, has passed on Nationals this season after shattering the previous American record in the indoor 3,000 meters by seven seconds last weekend at the Norwich Union Grand Prix in Birmingham, England. Lagat also holds in the U.S. indoor mile and 1,500-meter records.All season, Webb has executed nicely in races where he is the favorite out in front or running off a rabbit. But put Lagat in the mix and Webb folds.I can only imagine that Webb gets overhyped for Lagat, as that is his personality. For the first 800 at Millrose three weeks ago, Webb was close to his pace in his previous two races, where he ran well and won. But it appears he may be running on too much adrenaline from the start and once that runs out after mid-race, he tanks.He won’t have to worry about that today, but he certainly will be racing Lagat for many years to come.Champs notes — George Mason University athletes Ryan McCoy and Murielle Ahoure competed in Boston yesterday. McCoy was seventh in the triple jump (50-feet, one-half an inch) and Ahoure qualified for today’s 60 meters. Local runner Sam Burley qualified for today’s 800-meter finals.Good idea — There are plenty of running clubs in the metropolitan area, so why isn’t every runner connected with a club?There are many benefits to joining running clubs, and camaraderie is just one.Where else can you go and talk incessantly about your running injuries and actually have people listen? Where else can you go and talk incessantly about your personal records and other running times and actually have people listen? Where else can you go and find a lot of other people who don’t mind getting up at 6 a.m. in the dark on a Sunday to run a race or just a 10- or 20-mile training run?Running clubs can be as different from each other as basketball is from track and field. Some clubs promote marathons, some track and field, some racewalking, some running and drinking and at least one promotes drinking and running.But you may be able to check them out side by side in October, as officials at the Army Ten-Miler are considering holding a Running Club Roundtable at their Race Expo.”The Running Club Roundtable would be a fantastic opportunity for your club representative to talk with and distribute information to running enthusiasts from across the D.C. area,” Army’s Jamie Hagerbaumer said. “About 50 percent of our runners are new to the sport and do not know of the benefits that running clubs offer. The Running Club Roundtable would be a chance for these runners to meet with and join clubs who match their geographical location and training goals.”If you are a club representative and are interested, call Hagerbaumer at 202/685-3361.Goodbye Jones? — The Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation is reporting that Barbados’ most celebrated athlete, Obadele Thompson, is getting married this weekend to the former world’s fastest woman Marion Jones. It also is reporting that the fast couple is expecting.If true, that could be great news for the man who won the 100-meter bronze in the 2000 Sydney Olympics and the woman who snagged five medals at the same Games. It’s even better news for the track and field world as her pregnancy could trumpet the end of Jones’ tumultuous running career at last.

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