Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Mr. Marathon Sean Hartnett...

Every so often, I like to deviate from the format of the mighty blogspot, and give a pop to some of the folks who cover the sport on a regular basis.

One of the premier experts on the marathon and distance running in general is my good friend Sean Hartnett (left, with Haile Gebreselassie after 2008 Berlin Marathon/photo courtesy Sean Hartnett), who in real life is a geography professor at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

I've had the privilage of rooming with Sean at the 2003 & 2005 IAAF world track & field championships in Paris & Helsinki, and have traveled and covered numerous other meets around the world with him as part of a small group of journalists I like to call the "American Track Mafia".

Sean's covered many of the world's top marathons as a writer and photographer, and over the last few years, has picked up a new side gig helping advise Ethiopia's Haile Gebreselassie. His expertise as a geographer has been utilized by some of the major marathons, as he's helped race directors with course elevation maps.

For the upcoming Dubai Marathon on January 16th, in which Gebreselassie will take a shot at his own world record of 2:03:59, set in Berlin in September, he's advised the race management to remove some turns and change the direction of the out-and-back course so that the winds are at the back of the runners during the second half of the race.

To read more about Sean's role in Gebreselassie's upcoming world record attempt in Dubai, click here...


pjm said...

So, do I need to start a Facebook group called "The American Track Mafia"? (Motto: No-frills hotels are great as long as they still have high-speed internet.)

Mercanator said...

Sounds good to me! We love beer from vending machines at 2 am! :-)

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