annual meeting of USA Track & Field in 2016

The first that I attended was in Washington DC around 1988 or 89 when I was living in northern Virginia. After moving to Austin at the end of 1990 I attended all of the annual meetings from 1992 through the end of the decade. I checked out of the sport for a little more than a decade or so to focus on designing a disruptive innovation type of training program. In 2016 I began getting fully re-immersed back into the sport by re-starting my attendance and participation at the USA Track & Field annual meeting.

In the photo, one of the Athletes Advisory committee meetings at the annual meeting of USA Track & Field in Orlando Florida 2016. I was sitting at the last table in the back of the room prior to arrival of the folks that eventually filled the room to standing room only. In the black tshirts a few tables in front of me…..Reese Hoffa, shot put World Champion. To his right, Benard Lagat, World Champion at 1500m and 5000m.



TheETG press & media communications



TheETG Spokesperson is club owner Marshall Burt.

For Press & Media from countries other than the United States, TheETG recognizes that Track & Field is a global sport and that each year many of you cover track & field inside the United States. For interview purposes TheETG club owner Marshall Burt is working on reaching a sufficient level of verbal communications ability in Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, German, French, and Spanish….and hopes to eventually progress to a level to accommodate your audio needs.


TheETG Annual Media Tour.

TheETG recognizes that Track & Field Press & Media persons value in-person opportunities to speak with athletes both in-season and during the off-season. To facilitate that end, TheETG has created an annual media tour. The objective is to provide a press and media availability at a common gathering place of Track & Field press and media. TheETG will provide a media availability at the following events;

— annual meetings of the U.S. Track & Field Writers Of America [at the NCAA indoor & outdoor Track & Field Championships]

— ESPN headquarters

— annual meeting of USA Track & Field

Time and location details will be provided about 1 – 2 months prior to each event, posted on this page in an ETG Press & Media Communication as well as on the Special Events section.



Prayers to John McCain and his family/friends. Same situation as Ted Kennedy.
Glial cells, the brain’s immune system.
Not an area of cancer cell formation that we do well with.
As a species we’ve done quite poorly in learning how to deal with those cells when they become problematic.
Until the late 1990’s, in physiology, medicine, exercise physiology, and sport we behaved as if the brain and nervous system didn’t exist.

Muscle, heart, lungs, and blood was everything.
But the brain and nervous system control everything.
Now in physiology, medicine, exercise physiology, and sport things are just now getting fully geared up.
Way late for folks that are way down the line with anything from brain degenerative disease [Alzheimer’s, Parkinsons, ALS, schizophrenia, etc] to brain cancer [glioblastoma, etc].
We got caught with our collective pants down.

The brain, nervous system, and immune system.
The Holy Grail of all things human.
Health, sport performance. Everything!


Craig Engels [w/mustache]… son of Todd Engels my fellow class of 1981 grad and track teammate at Fort Hunt high school, Alexandria Virginia. Yesterday’s 1500m final at the USA Track & Field Championships.
Missed top 3 by 2-hundredths of a second. Across the Potomac river at Georgetown University while Todd Engels and I were at Ft Hunt high school, John Gregorek [father of the 3rd place finisher] was one of America’s top steeple chasers and milers.
1 — 3:43.29 — Robby Andrews [adidas]
2 — 3:43.41 — Matthew Centrowitz [Nike Oregon Project]
3 — 3:43.99 — John Gregorek [ASICS]
4 — 3:44.01 — Craig Engels [Nike]

From the Journal Of Sport Economics……………
“There is little evidence in support of the main economic rationale for regulating athletic doping that doping reduces fan interest.”
“The introduction of random testing for performance-enhancing drugs by Major League Baseball offers unique data to investigate the issue. The announcement of a performance-enhancing drugs violation….”
— (a) initially reduces home-game attendance by 8%
— (b) has no impact on home-game attendance after 15 days
— (c) has a small negative impact on the game attendance for other Major League Baseball teams.
J.Cisyk, P.Courty
Do Fans Care About Compliance to Doping Regulations in Sports? The Impact of PED Suspension in Baseball
Journal Of Sport Economics — Volume 18 #4 — May 2017

drugs & drug testing, sham & scam —–

Folks writing articles about the struggles of our sport in the United States.

My reply…….The NFL, NBA, and Major League Baseball began doing true sport promotions in the 1970’s. Without Olympics related amateurism rules around their necks or the USOC mission, they were free to go all-in.
They are today where they should be for sports with 45 years to get that done.
We are today where we should be given that we don’t have 45 years of it behind us.

We’re just getting started at true sport promotions.
We’ve been at it for less than a decade.
We could use fewer articles complaining as if such is not the case.

USADA “report” on Alberto Salazar and athletes in the Nike Oregon Project was published online by FloTrack here in Austin Texas. Supposedly a “confidential” report USADA provided to the Texas Medical Board in response to a subpoena. Unless there are anti-Salazar track fans at the Texas Medical Board, it appears that USADA’s approach is to get a conviction in the court of public opinion if they can’t get one by following their own rules or the laws of the state of Texas.

Noteworthy is that about 99% of the “report” is about an amino acid, vitamin D, and thyroid hormone.

Good luck with that.

The “report”, rather than looking like a collection of facts that provide a narrative, instead reads more like a propaganda piece designed to be “leaked”. A document that suggests that USADA is lacking in an internal oversight. An organization that appears to be cutting corners in spite of being the organization that claims to catch athletes supposedly cutting corners.

Organizations involved in drug testing should avoid engaging situational ethics or “contempt of cop” types of behaviors.

The foolishness that is the belief in the efficacy of drugs, is once again stumbling the believers. So now the latest round of silliness is the idea of pressing the delete button on all world records. Start the entire list over again. Hmmm. I thought folks that believe in the efficacy of drugs were of the opinion that “the drug cheats will always be one step ahead of the scientists”. If we take that belief system to its logical conclusion what purpose is there to starting a new world record list. By definition it doesn’t matter whether there’s drug testing or not because “the drug cheats will always be one step ahead”. And the proposal comes with a 10 year cut-off. If the “drug cheat” can stay far enough ahead that their sample can survive 10 years of “the scientists” trying to catchup, then the world record stays on the books in year 10-plus-1 second. Such are the pretzels folks get twisted into with the belief in the efficacy of drugs.

That idea obviously ignores legal and financial issues involved.
I wanna be a fly on the wall inside the room when one of these believers volunteers to be the one to explain to the CEO’s of companies that are endorsement clients of various world record holders.
And for some reason Mr Coe is in favor of saying he never ran 1:41 for 800m.

I’d like to suggest that folks at the governing body level take a moment to consider reality in our sport…….
—– Drug efficacy believers wanna believe that record performances are impossible without drugs.

—– They wanna believe that everybody in a World Championship final are taking drugs. Read any thread on any track or running related internet forum from the last 2 decades.

—– There exists no method of deleting blind accusations and innuendo from our sport or any other sport.
Reality in our sport = the athlete I like is clean, everybody else is on drugs.

Drug use and drug testing are a sham and a scam. Yall are gonna bend yourselves into pretzels over this issue. Stop. Put data ahead of your dogma.

drugs & drug testing, sham & scam —–

More stuff in the media recently accusing Alberto Salazar of drug use. Summer 2015 on the press communications page of TheETG website I put an email back-and-forth that I had engaged in with David Epstein, author of the Propublica article that got global attention and hoopla emanating from a BBC “documentary” about Alberto Salazar and Nike Oregon Project.
To accept the things stated in his article, logically one ha
d to first accept his not so passive assertion that no doctor in America would prescribe testosterone to a heart failure patient. Mr Salazar being that patient.

That seemed pretty foolish to me. So I confronted him via email with data.
He was displeased.

My facebook post……June 26, 2015

The last couple days I’ve been engaged an email exchange with David Epstein, author of the Propublica article.
He is defending the portion of his article about coach Alberto Salazar using testosterone for treatment of heart failure.

Most of the innuendo about Salazar and Nike Oregon Project athletes communicated in the article depends on readers accepting this portion of the article, implying that he may be giving it to the athletes as well in microdoses.

David Epstein has been defending this portion of his article by dismissing the study I sent him showing that testosterone is used effectively in heart failure patients in the United States…….such as Alberto Salazar who had a massive heart attack several years ago in front of his athletes near the track at Nike headquarters.

That study is on my facebook page [posted Friday June 26] and TheETG website on the Press & Media Communications page. He dismissed the study as being a decade old and having too few subjects, and that there are larger studies showing harm in testosterone use for heart patients.

Below is the response I sent him this afternoon……..

Ya, however the point is your characterization in your article.
You asked cardiologists…….”whether testosterone would ever be prescribed to treat a heart condition.”

The study I provided you obviously says yes.
You clearly left the reader with the suggestion that the answer was no.
You didn’t do proper fact checking or you disregarded the truth.

The problems with the study sited to you by the cardiologists in relation to your implied assertion in your article that no doctor would prescribe testosterone for fear of heart related downside………

—– “Men with a history of MI prior to the first prescription for TT or PDE5I were excluded from the post-prescription analyses.”

—– “Taken together, the evidence supports an association between testosterone therapy and risk of serious, adverse cardiovascular-related events–including non-fatal myocardial infarction–in men. However, there is some evidence that low endogenous testosterone levels may also be positively associated with cardiovascular events.”

—– “our study has limitations related to use of a health-care database that did not include information on the serologic or diagnostic indications for treatment. It also identified only subjects with non-fatal MIs, typically representing about 75% of the total incidence, and was based on the diagnosis of an attending physician, rather than a structured evaluation as might occur in a randomized trial. “

—– “Among older men, the two-fold increased risk was associated with TT prescription regardless of cardiovascular disease history, although this analysis was based on relatively small numbers of MI cases in each subgroup.”


The information below provides sufficient contradictory information about……..”whether testosterone would ever be prescribed to treat a heart condition.”……suggesting that you should -not- have suggested in your article that no doctor would prescribe testosterone for Alberto Salazar. You didn’t do proper fact checking or you disregarded the truth.

WebMD News [Wednesday July 2, 2014]
Study: No Link Between Testosterone, Heart Attack
Finding runs counter to some prior reports; much larger trials are needed, experts say
By Mary Elizabeth Dallas

“Although recent research has linked testosterone therapy with a higher risk for heart attack and stroke, a new study involving more than 25,000 older men suggests otherwise.”[Jacques Baillargeon, an associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston]—“…..there is a large body of evidence that is consistent with our finding of no increased risk of heart attack associated with testosterone use.”

“In fact, men at greater risk for heart problems who used testosterone actually had a lower rate of heart attacks than similar men who did not receive this treatment, the researchers said.”

The information below provides sufficient contradictory information about……..”whether testosterone would ever be prescribed to treat a heart condition.”…..suggesting that you should -not- have suggested in your article that no doctor would prescribe testosterone for Alberto Salazar. You didn’t do proper fact checking or you disregarded the truth.

Mayo Clinic……
What are the heart risks associated with testosterone therapy?
by Todd B. Nippoldt, M.D.
“…two recent studies have also reported a lower risk of death in men who were receiving testosterone than in those who were not.”

The information below provides sufficient contradictory information about……..”whether testosterone would ever be prescribed to treat a heart condition.”…..suggesting that you should -not- have suggested in your article that no doctor would prescribe testosterone for Alberto Salazar. You didn’t do proper fact checking or you disregarded the truth.

U.S. Food & Drug Administration
January 31, 2014
“At this time, FDA has not concluded that FDA-approved testosterone treatment increases the risk of stroke, heart attack, or death. Patients should not stop taking prescribed testosterone products without first discussing any questions or concerns with their health care professionals. Health care professionals should consider whether the benefits of FDA-approved testosterone treatment is likely to exceed the potential risks of treatment.”

The information below provides sufficient contradictory information about……..”whether testosterone would ever be prescribed to treat a heart condition.”…..suggesting that you should -not- have suggested in your article that no doctor would prescribe testosterone for Alberto Salazar. You didn’t do proper fact checking or you disregarded the truth.

M.Stout, et al
Testosterone Therapy During Exercise Rehabilitation in Male Patients With Chronic Heart Failure Who Have Low Testosterone Status
American Heart Journal….Volume 164 #6…2012… 893

“This study assessed the feasibility of a 12-week program of exercise, with and without intramuscular testosterone supplementation, in male patients with chronic heart failure and low testosterone status and collected preliminary data for key health outcomes.”

“This study shows for the first time that testosterone supplementation during a program of exercise rehabilitation is feasible and can positively impact on a range of key health outcomes in elderly male patients with CHF who have a low testosterone status.”

Jenn Suhr made a public statement about choosing to not compete this weekend at the USA Track & Field indoor championships without stating specifics she was referring to.

Public statement on secret occurrences. Come on man.
Making accusation without stating the accusation.
Can’t we all in Track & Field agree to avoid this approach.
I know what you did but I’m not gonna say what you did but I am gonna publicly state that you did it, whatever “it” is. Come on.

Boooo, hissss!

If “it” is a problem please say what “it” is.

A happy well done to fellow Ft Hunt high school grad and host of the NBC Today show, Hoda Kotb. Adopted a baby girl.

[USA Today, Tuesday February 21, 2017]—–“The Today anchor made the announcement on NBC’s morning show Tuesday via phone to viewers and a table full of her colleagues.
“I do have something to tell you,” Kotb, 52, began, “but how about this? Instead of telling you, I’m going to show you something.”
A picture of Kotb beaming while holding a newborn then appeared on screen to applause.



2016 coming to a close.
Not my greatest of years but certainly in the ballpark.
This year the ball was advanced pretty far in all areas except getting fit enough to run races.
In 2016 I revamped my website, attended my first annual meeting of USA Track & Field since the late 1990’s. Got caught-up on keeping-up with research reading in my list of about 60 research journals that I’ve followed since 1991. Started [at least] being able to speak in short sentences in the languages I’ve been working on since around 2005 [Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, French, German, Spanish].
On the running races front, at present I can’t say with 100% certainty that I’ll be racing in 2017.
I will be, with some significant degree of certainty racing in March 2018, indoor USA Track & Field Championships men’s 800m….the first round at least, if not the final. Obviously I’ll run one or 2 meets prior to that to get a qualifying time. Since this project has taken me so long [over 20 years longer than originally planned] the age thing will be newsworthy but hopefully -not- more so than TheETG training program at less than 5% of the required mileage of a more traditional approach. “Disruptive innovation” was the original objective when I started in the early 1990’s. This training program definitely moves that needle.



Archived selected 

Press & Media Communications




[Monday December 21, 2015] —– TheETG Press & Media Communication

Experiencing groundhog day and deja vu all over again. Here we go again with the argument over which event we should use, the mile or the 1500m.

Come on man!!!

The sport has been around a while. Why can’t we all just agree to abandon any and all repetitive foolish statements about our sport that were made 40 years ago, and again 30 years ago, and again 20 years ago, etc, etc. So that both younger and older crowds can all get on the same page on this, let me help those in the older crowd who should have some institutional memory to draw on, and let me help out the younger crowd who seem to be convinced that all statements and belief systems they experience in the sport are new.

1 — track & field isn’t dying.

2 — the 1500m isn’t preventing track & field from acquiring new fans

3 — track athlete drug use and news stories about drug use aren’t killing, haven’t killed, and won’t kill track & field

So lets all agree to stop with these.

Sport promotions. That’s the only thing that matters. We won’t and can’t change anything about where our sport is today in the United States until we go there and do that. Sport Promotions!!!

Running the mile rather than 1500m at the college level does little to address or resolve that issue. Altering event distances isn’t sport promotions. The 1500m isn’t a barrier to attracting new fans of track & field in the United States. Making the sport less standardized doesn’t facilitate sport promotions. Stop. Focus on making championships meets more standardized, from high school to college to pro, and yes that means at the high school level running 400m hurdles, 1500m, and 3000m.

Relative to the NFL, NBA, and baseball, we are where we are as a sport because they have a 30 to 40 year head-start on us in sport promotions. Its not about news stories on drugs. USA Track & Field isn’t stealing money from athletes. And Nike isn’t the devil. Our situation as a sport is not about the metric system. Sport promotions…..Stop wasting time and energy looking else where. You cannot change what you will not acknowledge.

Place your attention on sport promotions. That’s all that matters.



[Tuesday April 28, 2015] —– TheETG Press & Media Communication

Given the frequency of occurrence, this isn’t a small point or request. During TV broadcasts of track meets in the United States, there’s a problem with commentators referring to past Olympic Games and World Championships based on the city where they took place.

During an NFL game this coming season, nobody is gonna refer to the New England Patriots as being the winners “in Glendale”. Few people in the TV audience would know what that means. Commentators will instead say that the New England Patriots are last year’s Super Bowl Champions. No mention of where the game was held. It would be helpful if track & field commentators would do the same. When talking about an athlete, saying that person was the winner in Beijing or the winner in London. What does that mean to most people in the TV audience?

Would it not enhance the broadcast to simply stick with saying the athlete is the 2012 Olympic Champion, the 2013 World Champion, the 2011 World Champion. The city can be left out of the equation. Few people can tell you what city last season’s Super Bowl was held. Why expect folks to instantly recall where the last Olympic Games was held?



[Thursday March 26, 2015] —– TheETG Press & Media Communication

I read the Flotrack article about Justin Gatlin. They refer to a study done in 2013 by a group at University Of Oslo in Norway reported on by the BBC in October 2014

Testosterone given to mice for 2 weeks. About 12 weeks later they had the testosterone mice and placebo mice exercise for 14 days. Both groups showed a large amount of increase in the stuff that was measured. After the first 6 days……”The two groups afterwards grew in parallel…”.

Then based on the 12 week time frame that supposedly constitutes 10% of the 24 month life span of mice, the researcher concluded that this projects to 10 years of the life span of humans. Then the word decade became decades, and thus we have this statement by the researcher……”I think it is likely that effects could be lifelong or at least lasting decades in humans”. And from there we’re off to the races to get the supposed application of this study to doping in sport……[BBC Sports October 6, 2014]—-“Kristian Gundersen, Professor of Physiology at the University of Oslo, who conducted the research….”Our data indicates the exclusion time of two years is far too short. Even four years is too short.”

I’d like to suggest that this –not– what science looks like.

This is what drug use and drug testing studies have looked like for the last couple decades. And as is typical in the era of the brain, nervous system, and immune system……we see that muscle is presented as the end-all and be-all of sport performance, and drugs have zero physiological downsides to performance. And as is typical, the lay media articles about this study make no mention of the effects seen in the placebo group [in this study, large improvements in the same stuff measured in the drug group]. No mention of the well established downside effects of testosterone on performance related drug induced changes in the immune system, nervous system, brain, and other tissues that are far more impactful on performance than muscle. And obviously there is no mention of the problematic equating of mice years to human years.

As a baseline for the reader, lay media reports on this study should begin by quoting the portion of the study that talks about —-non-steroid—- use in humans…….”In modern society it has been commonly observed, that previous strength exercise seems to make it easier to regain muscle mass later in life even after long intervening periods of inactivity and mass loss….(Staron et al. 1991; Taaffe & Marcus, 1997).”


[from International Journal Of Preventive Medicine]—“….the findings of this review suggest that although rats are indispensable elements of biomedical research, they are not a miniature form of humans” —– “Special care should be taken when the intention is to produce correlation with human life.”

[Pallav Sengupta — The Laboratory Rat: Relating Its Age With Human’s — International Journal Of Preventive Medicine….Volume 4 #6…June 2013….page 624 # 630]


[from Journal Of Biological Chemistry]—-“Testosterone plays a crucial role in neuronal function, but elevated concentrations can have deleterious effects. Here we show that supraphysiological levels of testosterone initiate the apoptotic cascade…….Elevated testosterone concentrations increase cell death……These effects of testosterone on neurons will have long term effects on brain function.”

[M. Estradal, et al —– Elevated Testosterone Induces Apoptosis in Neuronal Cells —– Journal Of Biological Chemistry…..Volume 281…September 1, 2006…page 25492 – 25501]


[from Medicine & Science In Sports & Exercise]—–“The evidence that supraphysiological doses of anabolic androgenic steroids cause neurotrophic unbalance……anabolic androgenic steroids abuse in humans may affect mechanisms that lie at the core of neuronal plasticity.”

S.Pieretti, et al —– Brain Nerve Growth Factor Unbalance Induced by Anabolic Androgenic Steroids in Rat —– Medicine & Science In Sports & Exercise……Volume 45 #1….January 2013…page 29 – 35



[Tuesday March 17, 2015] —– TheETG Press & Media Communication

Concussions in the NFL.

Chris Borland, a previous nominee for Defensive Rookie Of The Year, giving up the remainder of his $3 million contract to retire at age 24 due to fear of potential for brain degeneration suffered by some older players. Says he has researched the issue and based his decision on what he has learned.

In the words of a few doctors working in the medical research portion of the U.S. government, as a country we do a poor job of disseminating and proliferating research information to doctors, as well as to the public. Estimates are that only about 15% of information that we acquire as a species from research gets disseminated. Most doctors don’t read research, and many resist information that contradicts strongly held beliefs.

Some research based information that we as a species have known for many years…….

One of the major mechanisms of long term damage to brain caused by repeated concussions is the production of things called oxidants that cause something called oxidative damage.Thus, avoidance of long term damage to brain from repeated concussions is a matter of anti-oxidant supply. As tends to be the norm in our popular culture in areas of cancer and heart disease, etc…on the subject of concussions, brain research and brain researchers specializing in nutrition medicine are being ignored. Logical, science based approaches to resolving such issues fail to attract the attention of the popular media, and people suffer as a result. Hence a commonly used slogan..”my people perish from a lack of knowledge”.

Long term oxidant induced damage to brain cells is one of the major mechanisms of aging. Dramatically accelerated oxidant induced damage to brain cells caused by -very- high levels of stress, repeated concussions, or traumatic brain injury causes dramatically accelerated aging in brain cells. This kills them off by the million, a rate exceeds the rate of regeneration. Thus obviously the fix is to reduce the level of oxidants by supplying anti-oxidants. And at the same time, engage in activities and consume foods to elevate brain cell regeneration levels. Engaging in these for one or 2 months post-concussion will likely prove sufficient to resolve concerns of long term brain injury.

—– Consume foods and supplements to reduce oxidants……..

Consume at one time, the combination of these mixed berries…..strawberries– black berries– blue berries– raspberries– grapes

Consuming at one time, the combination of these 4 vegetables…..broccoli florets– chopped carrot– chopped romano tomato– chopped cucumber

The combination of these 4 supplements….selenium [200mg]– beta carotene [25,000 IU]– vitamin E [400 IU]– vitamin C [500mg]

—– Consume supplements and engage in activities to elevate brain cell regeneration levels…..resveratrol [100mg]– n-acetyl-Cysteine [500 – 600mg]– Autogenic relaxation– meditation– math problems [do in your head, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division]


“The existence of a gap between science and practice is universally recognized. Clinical research findings and clinical practice guidelines that have promise to improve health move very slowly from the research setting into clinical practice, and many of these interventions never reach those who could benefit.”

“It is estimated that it takes an average of 17 years to translate 14% of original research into benefit for patients and an average of 9 years for interventions recommended as evidence-based practices to be fully adopted.”

M,Tinkle, et al —– Dissemination and Implementation Research Funded by the US National Institutes of Health, 2005-2012 —– Nursing Research and Practice…Volume 2013…2013



[Monday March 16, 2015] —– TheETG Press & Media Communication

Dating back to high school I’ve never understood why serious athletes have been willing to consume alcohol, particularly on weekends after track meets or long runs from which their bodies are in the process of recovery and adaptation. Here in Austin, also unfortunate that the local company “Flotrack” has produced a “Beer Mile” event.


“Alcohol decreases protein synthesis and mammalian target of rapamycin-mediated signaling and blunts the anabolic response to growth factors in skeletal muscle.”

J.L. Steiner, C.H. Lang —– Alcohol impairs skeletal muscle protein synthesis and mTOR signaling in a time-dependent manner following electrically stimulated muscle contraction —– Journal of Applied Physiology….Volume 117 #10…..November 2014….page 1170 – 1179


“Beer is promoted by popular media as a good choice for rehydration, but there is limited support for the claim. After consuming H1.6 L in 1 h, urine output was greater for beer (1218 ± 279 mL) than for LAB (745 ± 313 mL, p = 0.007) and water (774 ± 304 mL, p = 0.043).”

“In conclusion, rehydration with beer resulted in higher diuresis, slower RT, and impaired VCoP than rehydration with LAB or water. Postexercise rehydration with beer impairs fluid retention, reaction time, and balance.”

R.Flores-Salamanca, et al. — Canadian Journal Of Applied Physiology….Volume 39 #10….October 2014…page 1175 – 1181



[Wednesday March 4, 2015] —– TheETG Press & Media Communication

The 800m event in Track & Field. A disgrace for track coaches world wide.

I graduated from high school in June 1981. That month, Seb Coe ran a world record 1:41.7. That record has moved forward by less than -1- second in the last 34 years. Only 3 men have run faster.

There is only one situation worse than this for the 800m event. The women’s progression at 800m.

The record [1:53.2] was run 2 years after I graduated high school. No one has run faster and only 6 women have ever run under 1:55.0. That’s a disgrace!

Before hiding behind the “drugs, drugs” mantra related to the world record holder, simply imagine if the subject were men. Imagine a world were there are about 90 high school male runners who have run between 3:55 to 4:00 for 1500m [4:11 – 4:16 for 1600m] and –zero– have run an 800m in 1:53 to 1:55. About 60 college age runners who have run between 14:30 to 14:45 for 5000m and –zero– have run an 800m in 1:53 to 1:55. You’d be in shock.

And if that situaiton persisted year after year you’d be embarrassed if you were a coach. But that’s the situation for the women’s 800m. An absolute disgrace!

Lets examine the 5 seconds rule. There may be issues if an athlete can’t run an 800m that averages per lap at their fastest 400m time plus 5 seconds. Add 5 seconds to a 400m personal best and that’s the split enroute to an evenly paced 800m.

An 800m run in 1:53 is averaging 56.5 seconds per lap.

An 800m run in 1:55 is averaging 57.5 seconds per lap.

How many women have run at least 51.5 to 52.5 for 400m since 1983. Several hundred if not 1 or 2 thousand perhaps. Only 6 women have ever run under 1:55.0 for 800m. And that’s the 5 seconds rule, not a 4 seconds or 3 seconds rule. The level of progression of human performance in the 800m event is a disgrace for track coaches world wide.

We can do better than this. Our athletes deserve better than this from us.



[February 7, 2015] —– TheETG Press & Media Communication

About the TV commercial for USA Track & Field that’s been running during this year’s major professional indoor track meets. On the upside…..It is outstanding that our sport now has a commercial that finally contains video clips of several of our sport’s top athletes past and present, all in one ad.

The downside……The message. It communicates that as a sport we have a very serious self-image problem. The result of our having spent so many decades telling ourselves that we can never achieve what the other sports have achieved. Several decades ago when it mattered most we failed to recognize the ball-and-chain around our neck of being married to the amateur status requirements of the Olympic Games. Meanwhile other sports aggressively pursued sport promotions and rapid expansion of professionalism. They were hard at work promoting themselves and reaping the rewards of that while some in our sport were suggesting that we turn our track meets into a circus, and make the women’s high jump and pole vault into peep shows.

We didn’t know what sport promotions was or how to do it. Just told ourselves the results that the other sports were enjoying couldn’t be done. Our top athletes used to vow to promote the sport, but “promote the sport” turned out to consist of talking to kids at an elementary school or running one relay meet on American soil prior to heading off to Europe to race for real. That doesn’t put butts in the seats or increase the ratings for our pro meets on TV. And you can’t promote the sport in the United States by racing in Europe.

The NFL and NBA don’t need us to put up a TV commercial telling them……”you’re welcome”. Once upon a time in the United States Of America the sport of Track & Field was an equal to them. While we were asleep at the switch we got left behind. Way behind. But we’ve removed the Olympic ball-and-chain from around our necks. Now we need to stop acting like the forgotten child and both assert & insert ourselves into the pro sports market in America. Lets invest less energy into telling ourselves what can’t be done. Soccer has a similar history to ours. In sport promotions they’re exploding in our country. What’s our excuse?

A good leader knows the way, shows the way, and goes the way.



[March 3, 2011] —– ETG Press & Media Communication

Here in Austin today I attended a nutrition medicine lecture by Bharat Aggarwal of the U of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. His lecture was titled “Inflammation, Chronic Diseases and Nutrition: A Silent Link”. Hasn’t been usual or common for nutrition medicine peeps to be working at one of the most prestigious cancer centers on the planet so I had to go see what this guy was gonna say. He -didn’t- disappoint!!!

Data trumps prevailing opinions about 2 of the most controversial subjects in medicine in the United States…….

1 — Nutrients rather than drugs

2 — Cancer treatment by nutrients rather than chemo and radiation

His lecture and his career involve the combination of the two. Its an either-or, not a both-and. Since data trumps opinion he brought the data. He began his lecture by taking down the biggest, most pervasive myth in American culture related to cancer, saying…..”Anything and everything we need to know about cancer, we know it”.

Those of us who read a lotta cancer research and refuse to give money to cancer charities or run 5k’s “for the cure” know how accurate that statement is, and how long it has taken for somebody at a major cancer center to say it publicly. The only odd thing about his statement is that he works one of the most famous cancer treatment centers in the world, MD Anderson.

He continued, dispelling other cancer myths such as the myth that most cancers are caused by your genes. Only 5% – 10% of cancers are due to genes. He showed data demonstrating that cancer rates in the U.S. between 1950 – 2002 haven’t dropped in spite of our “war on cancer” initiated by legislation signed into law by President Richard Nixon.

And he went into chemotherapy drugs, making the statement that over the long term many cancer patients die not from cancer but from long term effects of the chemotherapy. Again, that statement coming from a prominent, award winning researcher at one of the most prestigious cancer centers on earth.

Most of his lecture consisted of his data about the mechanism of inflammation, a substance he targeted called Nuclear Factor-kappa B [NF-kappa B] and the substances in a large number of spices, plants, and trees that inhibit its negative activity in several disease processes including cancer. This would include the deadliest of cancers, such as pancreatic cancer. Apparently there are plants and spices that contain substances that also activate cell death receptors in cancer cells, and tumor suppressor proteins as well.

Data trumps both opinion and the pharmaceutical industry. One of his slides highlighted the point……pharms vs. farms.

Regardless of what anti nutrition supplement news reports one sees on the national network evening news and regardless of the large number of drug commercials during the national network evening news, one way or another nutrition medicine is coming to this country. Now inching its way toward critical mass. It is no longer in a position where it can continue to be laughed at, laughed off, ignored, or outlawed.

“Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food.” [Hippocrates]



[December 10, 2010] —– ETG Press & Media Communication

As a sport we’ve gone many years seeking ways to improve track meet presentation, the number of track meets on television, and the number and dollar amount of sponsorships. To some degree we’ve put the cart before the horse.

As a sport we should –first– set some targets to shoot for in the growth in spectatorship at our sport’s major [non-relay] invitational and championship track meets and some targets to shoot for in the television ratings for those meets. The targets we set will drive the types of ideas and strategies we develop and implement to achieve improved track meet presentation, the number of track meets on television, and the number and dollar amount of sponsorships. Achieving the targets we set will increase the number and dollar amount of sponsorships, increase the number of track meets on television, and drive demand for further improved track meet presentation.

Getting our sport into the same broad “ballpark” as the top tier sports in the United States, should be a goal. And with that in mind, we will need to set targets at levels similar to what those sports achieve.

The NBA and NHL average about 20,000 “butts in the seats” per game.

Professional Golf averages 20,000 – 30,000 for on its major courses.

Track & Field is currently between 5000 – 10,000 for our major [non-relay] invitational and championship track meets.

We conduct our major outdoor [non-relay] invitational and championship track meets in venues close to the same size in seat availability as these indoor venues. Given where our sport is today, it is reasonable and realistic for us to set and work to achieve a target of getting 15,000 “butts in the seats” for our sport’s major [non-relay] invitational and championship track meets. And we should start moving in the direction of holding such meets at slightly larger venues [such as Univ. of Texas 25,000 seat track only facility]. That gets us in the same broad “ballpark” as the NBA, NHL, and Professional Golf.

The television ratings for NFL games average about 15 – 18 million viewers.

The television ratings for NBA Championships average about 10 – 15 million viewers.

The television ratings for Major League Baseball Championships average about 8 – 10 million viewers.

The television ratings for PGA final day of major tournaments average about 5 – 10 million viewers.

Track & Field is currently at 1 – 4 million.

It is reasonable and realistic for us to set and work to achieve a target of getting 5 – 10 million viewers for each of our sport’s major [non-relay] invitational and championship track meets. That gets us in the same broad “ballpark” as the NFL, NBA, Major League Baseball, and Professional Golf.

A part of the mission of ‘The ETG track club is to “Promote growth in spectatorship of U.S track and field”. Toward that end, we are today setting the following goals…….

— 15,000 “butts in the seats” at our sport’s major [non-relay] invitational track meets.

— 15,000 “butts in the seats” at each of the final 2 days of the NCAA and USA Track & Field National Championships.

— 5 – 10 million viewers of our sport’s major [non-relay] invitational track meets.

— 5 – 10 million viewers of each of the final 2 days of the NCAA and USA Track & Field National Championships.

In the sport of Track & Field, our choir has stopped coming to church. People who have participated competitively in our sport at some point in their lives, people who have been at some point relatively hardcore track fans, have stopped coming to our meets and stopped watching on television. As a sport, lets set a strategy that has as its first priority, to simply get the choir back in the pews before we venture out to bring in new church members. There are several million members of the choir out there to get back in the pews. Lets win them back. That in and of itself can move our sport most of the way to the “butts in the seats” and TV viewer targets, putting our sport in the broad “ballpark” of the major sports in the United States.



[November 16, 2010] —– ETG Press & Media Communication

At the major Championship meets in our sport at the professional level, the start of our short sprint and hurdle races have starting blocks that provide speakers for the athletes to hear the starter and the sound of the gun. In spite of this set up, a major problem is that the sound of the gun can reach the ears of the runners closest to the starter before it reaches other runners in the race. This allows the runners closest to the starter to have a faster reaction time, potentially improving their performance over the other runners. As a sport, we may at some point want to come up with a creative way to address this situation.


“Loud sounds can decrease reaction time and increase force generated during voluntary contractions.”

“Reaction time for the 100/110 m athletics events at the 2004 Olympics were obtained from International Association of Athletics Federations archives and binned by lane. Additionally, 12 untrained participants and four trained sprinters performed sprint starts from starting blocks modified to measure horizontal force.”

“Runners closest to the starter at the Olympics had significantly lower reaction time than those further away. Mean reaction time for lane 1 (160 ms) was significantly lower than for lanes 2-8 (175 ± 5 ms), and reaction time for lane 2 was significantly lower than that for lane 7.”

“……increasing “go” signal intensity from 80-100-120 decibel significantly decreased reaction time from 138 ± 30 to 128 ± 25 to 120 ± 20 ms, respectively.”

“Peak force was not influenced by sound intensity.

“We suggest that procedures presently used to start the Olympic sprint events afford runners closer to the starter the advantage of hearing the “go” signal louder; consequently, they react sooner but not more strongly than their competitors.”

“….it was surprising to find that at the 1996 Olympic Games, there appeared to be a relationship between lane assignment and reaction time, such that reaction time progressively increased from lanes 1 to 8…”

“According to OMEGA, the official time keepers of the Olympic Games, the “go” signal has been delivered through the speakers behind each runner since 1984 to avoid problems related to sound propagation. However, Lennart Julin and Dapena suggested that the discrepancies in reaction time in the 1996 data are consistent with delays related to the time required for sound to propagate from the starting pistol beside lanes 1 to 8, suggesting that the use of the loud gun remains problematic.”

A.M. Brown, et al— “Go” Signal Intensity Influences the Sprint Start—-Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise…..Volume 40 #6….June 2008… 1142-1148



[July 19, 2010] —– ETG Press & Media Communication

The women’s 1500m event appears to have begun moving this year.

Performance wise, like the men’s long jump, the women’s 1500m event has been at a relative standstill for decades. It makes no sense that so many women 1500m runners can go sub 2:00 for 800m, but can’t go sub 3:55 for 1500m. There is something seriously wrong with that. The women’s 800m has suffered the same fate, especially Americans. So many American 800m runners can go in the low 50’s for 400m, but can’t break 1:56 for 800m. The 5 second rule should apply. 800m runners who have 400m pr’s around 51 – 52 should be able to average around 56 per lap. That’s 1:52 – 53, at or under the current World Record.

With Christin Wurth-Thomas’s sub 4, we now have 5 American women at 3:59 or under for 1500m. Unfortunately though, Jan Merrill ran 4:02 about 35 years ago, and I was only 2 years out of high school when Mary Slaney ran 3:57 [1983]. About 15 years later, Suzy Favor ran 3:58. Over a full decade ago.

That’s among the things I mean when I say that performance wise, the event has been at a relative standstill for decades.

The upside though, is that over the past 2 years we suddenly have 4 American women running at 4:00 or faster. Prior to that, we went about 25 years with a –cumulative– total of only 4 American women All-Time at 4:00 or faster.

The event may be finally moving in a good direction, and perhaps no longer stalled.

Going from 800m to 1500m, one can apply the 7 – 8 second rule. Given that Mary Slaney ran 1:56 for 800m, she likely couldda, wouldda, shouldda been able to run around 3:49 or 3:50 for 1500m. At or faster than the current world record.



[July 8, 2010] —– ETG Press & Media Communication

Sport business and sport promotions aspects of LeBron James choosing a team. The NBA has to be very happy. Having a situation land in their lap, expanding a star athlete’s name recognition to non-fans of the sport, the main requirement for expanding a sport’s fan base.

Track & field can learn from this episode of Sport Promotions 101. The main requirement for expanding the sport’s fan base in United States is to expand name recognition of track athletes among non-fans of the sport.

Landon Donovan had his chance to take advantage of his situation a few weeks ago. Unfortunately he handled it in the standard manner that people in track, soccer and other sports trying to break through in the U.S. typically handle things. Went the “Today Show” and “Good Morning America” route instead of getting on a direct flight from South Africa to Connecticut and camping out in front of ESPN headquarters for one or two days, moving his sport forward in the United States among non-soccer fans.

Track athletes do it too. If you want what you’ve never had, you’ll have to do what you’ve never done.

In Track & Field we seem to be set on the strategy of promoting our sport by focusing on it collectively being the “#1 Track Team In The World”. We have convinced ourselves that we can only do well in the United States by promoting the “team sport” aspect. Americans will only follow team sports. There has to be a winner and loser of a team competition.

Professional golf, and professional golfers may disagree. Viewers of Wimbledon and the U.S. Open in tennis may disagree. We in Track & Field, may need to reconsider our approach. Perhaps abandon potentially faulty assumptions we’ve been married to for a long time, for which we have no data to support. As the saying goes in science, “In God we trust, everybody else bring data. USA Track & Field, please bring data.



[February 7, 2009] —– ETG Press & Media Communication

In the United States, “the other” financial crisis looming is in the form of Traditional Medicine. It’s drug oriented culture may finish the job of bankrupting the country.

The ETG supports major changes to the health care system in the United States, particularly as it relates to the practice of Traditional Medicine. We welcome a move away from Traditional Medicine by large numbers of it’s “customers”. We also welcome a change in belief system and behavior in the practitioners of Traditional Medicine.

Along those lines, the article below is a directive to all medical doctors in the United States, issued by their professional organizations. It’s existence represents a major move forward in the right direction, though medical doctors usually fail to read such information.

excerpts from the article……

[Doctors Urged to Prescribe Exercise….By Todd Zwillich WebMD Health News….Nov. 5, 2007] —- “The groups, including the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American College of Sports Medicine, want doctors to order regular exercise for practically all their patients.”

“The new campaign is called ‘Exercise is Medicine’.”

“Doctors must now take moderate exercise ‘and prescribe it liberally to their patients,’ says Robert Sallis, MD, president of the American College of Sports Medicine. ‘Every physician, every specialty has to be on this same message’.”

“Exercise is really a free medication,” AMA President Ron Davis, MD, told reporters at a briefing in Washington. Davis said that exercise should not be an “option” but should be as critical as blood pressure or cholesterol tests.”



[August 17, 2008] —– ETG Press & Media Communication

Usain Bolt’s performance of not really running the final 30 meters or so of the Olympic final at 100 meters, yet still finishing in 9.69, warrants one final repetition of the ETG Press Communication below. First posted June 2, 2008, and repeated on July 1, 2008, we offer it once again as reminder of where human performance is headed.

[repeated from July 1, 2008]……

Given Tyson Gay’s 9.68 100m performance last week, its worth rewinding and playing again the ETG Press & Media Communication from early last month [June 2, 2008]……….

Obadele Thompson ran 9.69 at altitude [El Paso, Texas] with an aiding wind of about 5 meters per second. Tyson Gay ran 9.68 at sea level with the wind at about 4 meters per second. So there are now 2 athletes in the 9.6 area with the aiding conditions on the decline, and there is now an official world record nearing the sub 9.7 performance level. With that in mind we’re replaying below, the June 2 communication——–

The 100 meter World Record was broken last weekend.

The ETG is not a club for sprinters, but some comments……

We’re seeing a positive trend in sprinting. A gradually more consistent move toward the necessary long, high velocity training of the long sprinter being applied toward running the 100 meter dash event.

Physiologically, the 100m dash is an in fact, an –endurance– event. Even the fastest sprinters in the world fail to hold their maximum velocity for more than 10 – 20 meters of the race. The person who slows down the least after reaching his/her maximum velocity is the person who has the highest level of performance. Being aerobically fit at –very– high velocities is the underlying mechanism of performance for this event and the pathway to further world records. In years past, we’ve seen members of the Santa Monica track club [ie. Carl Lewis, Leroy Burrell, Mike Marsh] and others [ie. Tyson Gay, Allyson Felix, etc.] have some of their best years when having done well in an abundance of relatively long, high velocity workouts [200 – 600m], and now we’ve seen the lengthening line of long sprinters who have moved down and experienced high level success at the 200 and 100 meters [ie. FloJo, Michael Johnson, Usain Bolt].

In our sport, we can expect to see the continued move forward of the 100m World Record, perhaps on a more frequent basis, as sprint coaches begin to effectively piece together this aspect of the underlying mechanism of performance for this event, and successfully develop a standardized protocol that addresses it. As some in the sport get this done, we’ll see more sprinters, male and female, running major times on a more frequent and more consistent basis as their training programs empower them to have a greater level of controllability over their performance level.

These are great times to be alive and on this planet in our sport. We’re going to see a 9.6 run for 100 meters. We’re likely to see a 9.5 run for 100 meters. We’re going to see a woman run under 10.4 for 100 meters. The limits of human performance are well outside of the ballpark in which many people in our sport believe them to be.



[May 9, 2008] —– ETG Press & Media Communication

The ETG offers congratulations to Shalane Flanagan and her coach John Cook. Last year Shalane Flanagan broke indoor American Record at 3000 meters [8:33] as well as the outdoor American Record at 5000m [14:44], and last weekend she broke the American Record at 10,000 meters by close to 20 seconds, with an absolutely outstanding performance, 30:34.

John Cook was the college coach of ETG club owner Marshall Burt, at George Mason University back in the early 1980’s. The ETG wishes them well this summer in moving the 5000 meter American Record further forward.



“Drug use and drug testing are sham and a scam”—–[Marshall Burt]



drugs & drug testing, sham & scam —–