I have a few comments / questions about Olympic swimming.
How are records broken so often?
The records are a joke. Why are the records so weak? How can people break them so easily? Personally it makes it all less impressive. I’ve heard technology advancements and they’re going all out from the gun because they can’t see their competitors, but it still seems absurd. I’m watching a prelim right now and the girl broke the Olympic Record. Why do I even care? It happens every other race.
How is everyone so close?
Queef brought this up to me, but the difference between first and last in most races is so slim. Are they all that good or is there just not as much to separate athletes in terms of time? A 2 minute final will have less than a second difference between first and eighth, and the guy who got eighth had a “bad” time.
As a runner, the lack of recovery needed is interesting.
Swimmers do multiple events the same day for days in a row and it doesn’t really affect their performance. This isn’t possible in track. It makes a lot more possible.
As a runner, the similarity between events makes medal counts less impressive.
If there was a 100m, 150m, 200m, and 250m, Bolt would win 4 medals every time instead of 2. What Phelps and others are doing isn’t comparable to someone winning the 400m, 800m, and 1500m, which would basically be impossible, it’s much more like the Bolt comparison, which is less impressive.
Still, what Phelps has done is incredible.
Being on top of a sport for 12 years is undeniably great. I don’t know swimming, but I assume he’s the GOAT?
I give swimmers a ton of credit for their training.
Runners are limited to the amount of training their body can handle. Swimmers, however, can train way more, and essentially have to in order to be great. I guess this is the con of recovering quicker from swimming vs. running.
I visited Gourlay in Richmond this weekend to see what all the fuss was about. He’s been there for like 5 years and won’t shut up about me visiting so I figured I’d just get it out of the way. Thank god Dale also visited.
The trip started off great when the four hour drive took me five and a half hours. Thanks a lot Obama.
We headed to the local Asian restaurant where we drank some beer and ate Asian food. Afterward we hipstered-out at the museum and then bar-crawled Main Street Richmond. At one point the power to the entire city went out, probably because Trump wants to turn off the lights.
Saturday started with a horrible hangover. I threw up twice, went on a walk with Gourlay, then napped my way to recovery. The rest of Saturday was great. We went to the James River where we planned our Hinkie / Harambe ’16 campaign, the hashtag being #theydiedforyoursins.
After the river we went to a Cidery to play Connect Four. Two girls there were so impressed by our Connect Four abilities that they had a conversation with us and for some reason hung out with us for the rest of the night. We went to a brewery afterward and finished the night at a nice New Zealand burger joint.
On Sunday morning we got brunch at this awful little cafe then decided to go to Redskins Training Camp. Dale wore a Charles Barkley Sixers jersey and completed the children’s obstacle course in like 5 minutes. It was scorching hot and we left before the players even started practicing.
After a few more hours together I drove home to conclude the trip. Richmond is a cool city and actually exceeded my expectations.
I only did men’s running events (#patriarchy). I don’t know enough about hurdles or women’s (spare 2-3 events) to give quality insight.
I’m going to write a follow-up post in a week with the bets I’ve actually made.
100m – Sunday, August 14
Preview The greatest sprinter of all time, Usain Bolt (-200), faces off against all-time great drug cheat Justin Gatlin (+165). Youngsters Trayvon Bromell (+1100) and Andre De Grasse (+2200) will be hunting for Bronze along with Yohan Blake (+1150) who’s struggled this year.
My Take It’s a two man race between Gatlin and Bolt. I’m convinced they’re both doped to the gills, and if Gatlin will win one of the two events, it will be the 100. But on the biggest stage, Bolt won’t lose. The sport needs Bolt. Honestly, I wouldn’t bet it since the return is low and Gatlin continues to defy all human biology.
Who I think Will Win – Usain Bolt (-200) My Best Value Bet – Usain Bolt (-200) My Dark Horse – Trayvon Bromell (+1100)
200m – Thursday, August 18
Preview Bolt (-335) vs. Gatlin (+310) Round 2. Bolt has traditionally been considered better at the 200 than the 100, and the opposite is true for Gatlin. 400m specialist Lashawn Merritt (+750) looks for a medal here against a few others with an outside chance.
My Take Bolt should win this quite easily. Gatlin is as much of a lock for Silver as Bolt is for Gold. Is it worth betting $100 on Gatlin to win $310 on the off chance that Bolt false starts or something? No.
Who I think Will Win – Usain Bolt (-335) My Best Value Bet – Usain Bolt (-335) My Dark Horse – Gatlin (+310)?
400m – Sunday, August 14
Wayde Van Niekerk (-110) at only 24 years old comes in as the favorite despite defending champ Kirani James (+165) being in the field (only 23!) as well as world leader Lashawn Merritt (+400). Those three are almost guarantees for the medals. It’s just a matter of who gets what. This should be a very exciting final.
My Take I’m surprised to see Merritt at such a high payout since he looked so good at the US trials. Van Niekerk has looked great and James hasn’t raced much lately but should be fine. -110 isn’t all that bad of a return on Wayde, but Merritt at +400 is too tempting for me to turn down after his 43.97.
Who I think Will Win – Wayde Van Niekerk (-110), getting more experience and is rightfully the favorite. My Best Value Bet – Lashawn Merritt (+400), his last real chance for Olympic Gold again. My Dark Horse – There’s no way one of those three doesn’t win this.
800m – Monday, August 15
Preview 4 years after arguably the greatest Olympic performance in T&F history (always worth watching), David Rudisha (-110) looks to defend his title, although he’s not nearly the favorite he was 4 years ago. Fellow Kenyans Ferguson Rotich (+750) and Alfred Kipketer (+700), along with Adam Kszczot (+600) and 2012 silver medalist Nijel Amos (+750) should all be in contention.
My Take I think this is WIDE OPEN. I’m shocked to see Rudisha being that much of a favorite as he’s looked vulnerable for the last 3 years. There’s no clear #2, but the field is talented enough that if one of them has a great day, they’ll beat Rudisha. I think the young and unpredictable Kenyans are the pick here.
Who I think Will Win – Rudisha has a better chance (~25%) than anyone else. My Best Value Bet – Ferguson Rotich (+750), those are great odds. My Dark Horse(s) – Clayton MF Murphy (+3300). 33-1!!! Tuka (+1800) isn’t bad either.
1500m – Saturday, August 20
Asbel Kiprop (-185) has been on fire this year. His biggest challenge will come from fellow Kenyans Ronald Kwemoi (+500) and Elijah Manangoi (+700), 2012 gold medalist Taoufik Makhloufi (+600), 3:29 man Ayanleh Souleiman (+1150), and a few others. Kiprop has shown that when he’s on, he can win in both a fast or slow race, so there’s no scenario where he shouldn’t win.
The return on Kiprop is too low and I don’t think he’s a lock. His loss in Monaco was confusing and he’s not a great tactical runner which can cause trouble. Like the Kenyans in the 800, Kwemoi and Manangoi are both young and somewhat unpredictable. I wouldn’t be surprised if either pulled off the upset. I don’t think the second tier guys like Centro, Willis, Iguider, etc. have any shot at gold. If Makh-Daddy wins, I’m going to be furious.
Who I think Will Win – Asbel Kiprop (-185) My Best Value Bet – Ronald Kwemoi (+500) My Dark Horse – Ayanleh Souleiman (+1150), could be juiced to the eye-balls after Aden’s bust as a big fuck you.
5000m – Saturday, August 20
Preview Mo Farah (-350) defends his 5000m crown against a slew of young runners who have shown potential, but haven’t quite broken through. They are Yomif Kejelcha (+700), Hagos Gebrhiwet (+1000), Muktar Edris (+900), and Caleb Ndiku (+900). Farah has been nearly unbeatable and unless one of these young runners step up, it’s his race to lose.
My Take Farah’s looked good this year as always. He’s running the 10k which is before the 5k, but none of his competitors have shown much lately and it will likely be a 13:20 – 13:45 race like always which favors Farah. There’s no real reason to think he won’t win, but the return on him is so low. It’s not worth betting.
Who I think Will Win – Mo Farah (-350) My Best Value Bet – Mo Farah (-350), boring but true. My Dark Horse – Yomif Kejelcha (+700). Lagat at something like +5000 are insane odds to consider.
10,000m – Saturday, August 13
Preview Mo Farah (-400) vs. The Kenyans sequel. Last year’s World Champs showed that even team tactics can’t beat Mo. If Kamworor (+450), Tanui (+1200), and Karoki (+1400) all work together to push the pace for 25 laps, we’ll find out once again how great Mo is (or isn’t). If they don’t, get ready for Mo to blast everyone away with 400m to go. There may be a few others who can hang on (Rupp?!), but they’ll probably be non-factors.
My Take I’m surprised Farah is MORE of a favorite here than the 5k. Kamworor doesn’t fuck around, and was probably in HM World Record shape a few months ago. Tanui and Karoki are both capable of pushing the pace the whole way with Kam. I think the Kenyans will work together again and I’ll bet against Mo (probably foolishly). At +450, Kam is great value in my opinion.
Who I think Will Win – …Geoffrey Kamworor (+450) My Best Value Bet – Geoffrey Kamworor (+450) My Dark Horse – Bedan Karoki (+1400), why not?
3,000m Steeplechase – Wednesday, August 17
Preview The greatest steepler of all-time Ezekiel Kemboi (+175) faces off against the heir-to-the-throne Conseslus Kipruto (-200). Second fastest man of all time Brimin Kipruto (+1200) rounds out the Kenyan team as American Evan Jager (+750) looks for his first medal on the international stage. Benabbad from France isn’t in Bovada to bet on, but he’s running, and should be top 5.
My Take HOLY. SHIT. Ezekiel fucking Kemboi is +175?! In a sub 8:00 race, my money would be on Conseslus, but these races don’t happen like that. If Jarius Birech had made the team for Kenya, then maybe, since they both like a fast pace and would work together. But the only other competitor who likes a fast pace in this is Jager, and he won’t work with Conseslus. Kemboi BLOWS THE FUCKIN’ DOORS OFF in the last 200 in classic Kemboi fashion. BET THE FARM.
Who I think Will Win – EZEKIEL MF KEMBOI (+175) My Best Value Bet – EZEKIEL MF KEMBOI (+175) My Dark Horse – EZEKIEL MF KEMBOI (+175).
Marathon – Sunday, August 21
Preview Eliud Kipchoge (-115) has proven to be unbeatable in the past 2 years and is making a case for, wait for it, greatest distance runner of all time. Stanley Biwott (+575) is the next most proven with younger runners like Feyisa Lelisa (+600), Lemi Berhanu (+600), and Tesfaye Abera (+600) trying to run with the big boy. American Galen Rupp (+1600) will see what he’s capable of when tested in the Marathon.
My Take The Olympic Marathon is a shit show. It’s always hot and incredibly unpredictable. Kipchoge should win but who the fuck knows. Quite honestly, I don’t even expect to recognize the winner’s name. Rupp might have the most potential of any of the “unprovens” so as an American, if I’m betting anyone, it’s Rupp.
Who I think Will Win – Eliud Kipchoge (-115) My Best Value Bet – Galen Rupp (+1600), Al Sal will have him ready… My Dark Horse – Scott Westscott is 250-1 on Bovada, the worst odds of anyone they’re taking bets on, never heard of him, bet the other farm.
Tonight I ran an XC 5k and got this massive trophy for running a 17:45. I didn’t feel very good and have decided to take the next two weeks off.
Recap of the last few months
I wrote this post in February saying I was going to take training “seriously” and hoped, at worst, to break 16:00 in the 5k. After like two weeks my leg hurt and I said Fuck it, I’m just going to run when I feel like and have fun, who cares if I run 16:00 or 17:00.
Since then, I’ve been pleasantly surprised. I don’t know whether it’s the training, the coffee, the vitamins, or what, but my low-quantity high-quality training got me in 15:45 5k shape. I don’t think it’s the ideal way of training, but clearly something was working.
I’m going to combine my new-found training with a bit more of a serious approach. After these 2 weeks off I want to target either the Rothman 8k or Philly Half. The idea will be a bit more mileage (40-50?) but still high-ish intensity and still taking days off which I never used to do.
Realistically, if I got in 15:45 5k shape doing what I’ve been doing, I’d expect to get into low 15:00 shape taking it “seriously”. Translate that to an 8k or half, and something close to 26:00 or 74:00 would be what I’d expect.
Only time will tell, but the past 4 months have been the best I’ve had for running in 5 years.
Friday was Dave (Queef) and Suz’s wedding and it reinforced that weddings are THE BEST social gatherings. The people, the atmosphere, the food, the drinks, the dancing, etc. are unbeatable.
Wacker, Sasha, Ryder, and Adam showed up early to start the drinking in our hotel room. It’s important to progress your drunk steadily the entire time, major jumps are trouble. After an hour or two of shootin’ the shit and ‘steadily progressing’ we began dressing up (dressing up is also awesome).
We headed to the ceremony and in my opinion, Dave and Suz did it right. Short. Sweet. And to the point. Suz looked beautiful and Dave’s beard was trimmed to perfection.
The next stage was pre-dinner mingling with tasty hors d’oeuvres. It was at this point that I did something I almost never do when drinking – I realized I was getting too drunk. Over the next ~90 minutes, I didn’t consume a single drink and sobered up. Dave, I did that for you. This saved from potential disaster.
The rest of the night was drinking, dancing, catching up with Ursinus folks, and a few of throw-ups, but all in all a fantastic time. I posted an album on Facebook for the second time ever with some great pics if anyone is interested.
Congrats to Dave and Suz. I hope it lived up to your expectations, as it certainly exceeded mine.