Bob Hodge has written to us for nearly two weeks. The Greater Boston Track Club member had a long and illustrious career, including 3rd place at Boston in 1979 with a then PB of 2:12.30 (he had run a 2:28 prior). In 1980, at the NIKE OTC marathon, Bob battled Dick Quax, with racing going down to a kick in 2:10.59 PB. 

Bob Hodge has wonderful observation skills, and his wry humor makes me smile. I hope you enjoy our friend’s gentle writing about the ups and downs of the 2024 Olympic Trials. 

Ground Hog Days at the Olympic Trials, by Bob Hodge

There is no more rest for the weary. After a few “rest” days and nights, we who abide are back in our assigned seats for more, and many who skipped the first few days are joining us straight through-ers.

 

Wake up! Dream state-fire up the coffee -slug of OJ-sip nibble on a bagel-read the paper or a book or write a journal. Head out for a walk, breakfast, visit old friends at the Best Western. It is another spectacular Northwest Day.

Later a run-30 minutes at a statuesque pace.

The battle for the Women’s steeple, Val Constain, Olivia Markezick, Courtney Waymont, photo by Chuck Aragon for RunBlogRun

More early rounds tonight and a W Steeple Final that was a real humdinger when the best of the BAA, that is, Boston Athletic Association Annie Rodenfels, went to the lead and opened a 4-second gap with a record-setting pace and an Aztec two-step approach to the barriers that was mesmerizing – like she was trying to hypnotize the competition as she ran away from them. Got the yips. –Comical and extraordinary as after about 5:45 seconds, the pack did not pussyfoot themselves after her and continued to run lights out to the finish– Valerie Constein running a classy trials record setting 9:03.

Val Constein won the 2024 US Olympic Trials, photo by Chuck Aragon for RunBlogRun

Courtney Wayment was second in 9:06, and after the third place was in question off the curve, Marissa Howard wrapped it up after an unfortunate fall for Olivia Markezich. She had landed awkwardly in the last water jump, jamming her knee. Olivia was slow getting up and gamely finished sixth.

W Steeple video:https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=oIQIbMkVbEQ

https://results.usatf.org/

 

Some memorable races at these trials, but this one will stick with me.

 

By the way…, I returned to my garage bungalow later and re-watched this on Peacock, dismayed when they went to commercial after two minutes of racing!

 

Television so important to elevate our sport—rips the rug from under it compromising the coverage.

 

Also, what’s up with the MPH? I mean, how is that anything less than useless information? It’s like someone asking for the split time in the race, and you give them the time of day.

 

W1500—The New Balance stable of athletes is well represented here. Coach Mark Coogan, a former Olympian, has impressed with his long resume of successful athletes at the topmost levels.

The women’s 1,500 meters heats, photo by Chuck Aragon for RunBlogRun

Ellie St Pierre won her heat in a virtual tie with teammate Emily Mackay prompting on-field television interviewer Lewis Johnson—and granted Lewis, this is a thankless job where athletes are thanking the divine –like we all don’t know—please focus your remarks on this current reality—etc. Lewis asks, “Emily, why do you always have to win these preliminary rounds?” while his colleagues in the booth lightly criticize athletes who completely shut it down once they have achieved their spot in the next round.

 

They should probably skip the interviews until after the finals.

 

Elise Cranny—wow, she’s a totally focused badass. When they introduce her, she is all business in those dark glasses—just a little wave, and let’s get on with it. I’ll show you flashy when I make my moves in this race.

Two hundredths of a second separated Elise Cranny and Elle St. Pierre in the 5,000m final! Photo by Chuck Aragon for RunBlogRun

She looks to be entered in the 10,000 on Saturday. Will she possibly run that as well? Given the 1500 Final on Sunday, it’s highly doubtful.

 

M800 rounds are always exciting. A weird exchange happened after a nice interview with Eric Holt, who very recently secured himself a deal with Puma. He is a journeyman who fans have embraced. After showing so much emotion at making the final, he was DQ’d.

 

M5000 heats are tight barn burners in the last few laps. The final will be awesome with Hocker, Fisher, and Woody Kincaid all having lethal kicks and perhaps Cooper Teare right there as well, in addition to the collegian champ Parker Wolfe.

 

https://results.usatf.org/

 

M110M Hurdles—History was made with the first-ever race with three under 13! It’s worth 13 seconds of your life to watch this one on repeat if you missed it.

Grant Holloway wins OT 110m hurdles, with a screaming 12.86! photo by Chuck Aragon for RunBlogRun

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Cbmp6LfH8XU

 

W&M 200M Finals showdown with Gabby Thomas and Sha Carri. Noah Lyles is on the money so far.

 

Well, enough for now. Ready for a few more Groundhog Days unending from the crackdown.

 

Shalom

 

Shine a Light:

 

https://m.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2&v=the7gV99YRI&embeds_referring_euri=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2F&source_ve_path=Mjg2NjY&feature=emb_logo

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