Asbel Kiprop Keeping It Weird

By Mario Fraioli
Kiprop is one of the most dominating middle-distance runners of all-time. Photo: Erik van Leeuwen

As with many doping stories, this is a weird one, and due to the stature of the accused party, is getting a lot of attention.

Asbel Kiprop, the 2008 Olympic 1500m champion (he was elevated from silver after Rashid Ramzi failed a drug test), three-time world champion, and fifth fastest 1500m runner of all-time, not only claims he’s innocent, but said in a statement that Kenyan anti-doping officers tipped him off to the test (this is a huge no-no) while also extorting money from him (also not allowed, obviously). Oh yeah, and the IAAF—the sport’s governing body—allegedly offered him an ambassadorial role if he admitted to doping (which the IAAF’s Athletics Integrity Unit denies). I’m interested to see how all of this plays out but I suspect we might be waiting a while. The cover-up stories/explanations from guilty/accused parties in these cases are almost always outrageous, inconsistent, and unbelievable, but this one seems especially so given that the last few details I shared only further muddy what is already a big mess.

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Show Her The Money?

By Mario Fraioli
Elite women’s lead pack near the halfway point of Boston Marathon. It is decidedly less crowded than further back in the main field. Photo: Wikipedia/Creative Commons

Jessica Chichester ran the fifth fastest time amongst females at this year’s Boston Marathon, 2:45:23. She won exactly zero dollars in prize money for her efforts. Was this sexism, given that the fifth fastest male took home $15,000? Nationally featured political commentator, millennial expert (whatever the hell that is), and author of GOP GPS, Evan Siegfried, seems to think so and shared this ill-informed and inflammatory Buzzfeed article (more on that in a bit) to back up his case. But Siegfried, like many others who are ready to incite a riot over this, is way off base here. Let me attempt to explain. (more…)

The Perfect Storm: 2018 Boston Marathon Race Report

By Mario Fraioli
Photo: Justin Britton

Monday’s Boston Marathon was equal parts awful and awesome. The air had a chill in it that resembled February more than it did April. The rain was relentless and the wind didn’t let up all that much, either. The whole day was just crazy. But it was still Boston. It was still the best marathon in the world. It still had an energy about it that even the worst of weather conditions couldn’t quell. I felt privileged to be taking part for the fourth time. (more…)

King Kamworor Surges To Third Straight World Title

By Mario Fraioli
Geoffrey Kamworor, undisputed king of the half marathon. Photo: IAAF World Half Marathon Championships

The fact that Geoffrey Kamworor won the world half-marathon championships in Valencia this past Saturday hardly came as a surprise. It was the Kenyan’s third straight title at these championships and his winning time of 60:02 isn’t all that out of the ordinary on its own. But running 13:01 for 5K (that’s 4:11 per mile/2:36 per K for those of you scoring at home) and then maintaining that pace for another kilometer after what essentially amounted to a 9.3-mile warmup? Tailwind and all, it’s just a crazy split, especially at that juncture of the race. (more…)

Mental Health On My Mind

By Mario Fraioli
Photo: Alexander Lam | Unsplash

Everyone is going through something that we can’t see,” Kevin Love of the Cleveland Cavaliers wrote recently for The Players Tribune.

Truer words may never have been strung together, and we should all remind ourselves of them daily, especially in a world when a carefully curated social media feed can sometimes serve as a curtain for what’s actually going on behind it. Love’s first-person story about experiencing a panic attack during a game last November was eerily similar to this one written by my close friend and colleague Brad Stulberg, who just publicly shared his own story about struggling with mental illness for Outside. (more…)

Remembering Sir Roger Bannister

By Mario Fraioli

I was saddened to wake up to the news of Sir Roger Bannister’s passing at the age of 88 two Sundays ago, and found myself at a bit of a loss while sipping my morning coffee and scrolling through the mini memorials in my Twitter feed. Eventually I decided to put on my running shoes and head over to the local high school track to honor his legacy with a hard mile of my own. It just seemed the appropriate thing to do. Bannister, the first human to run under 4 minutes for the distance, inspired a generation with his performance on May 6, 1954. He made the impossible possible and showed that barriers largely exist in our minds. (more…)

Gwen Jorgensen’s Got Some Wheels

By Mario Fraioli

Reigning Olympic triathlon gold medalist Gwen Jorgensen hadn’t raced since before giving birth to her son Stanley last August, and she hadn’t competed in a straight-up track contest since 2009, but in case there were any questions—yes, this woman can flat out run. Jorgensen went 15:15 for 5,000 meters—a 37-second personal best—at the Husky Classic in Seattle two weekends ago, telling Flotrack afterward, “I felt like I could run that but it’s also really exciting when you can run a fast time.” (more…)

Vin Lananna’s Conflicts of Interest

By Mario Fraioli

Vin Lananna. Photo: instagram.com/mariofraioli

Vin Lananna, the president of USA Track & Field, has had a lot of his authority—and influence—curtailed by the board of the sport’s governing body. Why?

“Vin has been engaged in complete conflict of interest,” Steve Miller, the track and field association’s chairman, told The Oregonian. “The outcome of the vote is that he has to recuse himself from the vast majority of what he does as president of USATF. Your effectiveness as leader is greatly diminished when you can’t be in the room.”

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The Parallel Realities of Writing and Running

By Mario Fraioli

Photo: Ali Yahya | Unsplash

“Professional writers quickly learn one reality of the job: you have more bad days than good. It’s the rare day that the writer finds that the words come out exactly the way they were in their head.”

Eliminate the word “professional,” substitute “writers” with “marathoners” and “words” with “miles” in the above quote from author (and runner!) Ryan Holiday, and he’s described marathon training to a T. Holiday’s post on the timeless link between running and writing, and the claim that writers have more bad days than good, parallels what it’s like to train for a marathon, even though he argues just the opposite. (more…)

Support The Morning Shakeout On Patreon!

By Mario Fraioli

Putting your work out into the world is scary business. And doing it on a consistent basis is no easy task. I launched the morning shakeout in November 2015 as a weekly email newsletter about running and other worthwhile topics, and haven’t missed an issue since. It’s evolved and grown tremendously over the past 2+ years, and the interest, engagement, and feedback has been humbling to say the least. (more…)

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mario Fraioli
Mario Fraioli is a writer and running coach based in the San Francisco Bay Area.