Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Fun and games and serious running combine at GO! Halloween event

Given the inordinate number of costumed runners in the Great GO! St. Louis Great Halloween 10K race, it's easy to assume that all who gather at Soldier's Memorial on October 13 will be there for fun and games. For some of the competitors, though, this is serious stuff. The race, the largest 10K in Missouri, has attracted an elite field as well as the goblins, fairy princesses and refugees from ComicCon and the Renaissance fair.

Among the elite runners scheduled to compete in the 10K are three members of Team RunFan, coached by former St. Louisan Ben Rosario:

  • Jordan Chipangama, 25, who finished second in the 2013 GO! St. Louis Half Marathon, with a time of 1:03:22.
  • Matt Llano, who finished sixth at the GO! half, seventh in the U.S. 20K championships and and has a PR of 28:43 in the 10K. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Put this guy on your Olympic radar: SLUH grad Pat Meek

Photo courtesy of
We're long overdue for giving a shoutout to Patrick Meek. A 2004 graduate of St. Louis University High, Pat ran cross country for the local powerhouse. But his running was a means to an end. Pat was a skater. A speedskater. He still is.

Pat moved to Park City, Utah, the mecca for longtrack speedskating in the United States, hoping to qualify for the Olympic team. He made his first national team in 2005 but was a bit young in 2006 and just missed in 2010.

He has served as an eloquent spokesman for GoFundMe, a group of athletes using crowd funding to defray their expenses as they train. He's also proud of his 28-inch circumference thighs. Mine are almost that big. I have no reason to be proud.

This year could be his time. He finished third the past two years in the U.S. Allround Championships and was the U.S. marathon champion earlier this year in both the 25K and 50K distances. The longest Olympic distance is just 10K. Just 10K.

Pat just finished the Olympic media summit, a one-stop shop where Olympic hopefuls meet the press. He has a few more pressing engagements on his calendar, though. First comes the World Cup single-distance trials later this month. Four World Cup events serve as warm-ups to the U.S. Olympic Trials at the end of December.

The best way to stay up-to-date? The U.S. Speedskating site and USOC pressbox are good places to start. But Pat is media savvy. He's appropriately terse on twitter and poetically introspective on his web site. 

His composition instructors on Oakland Avenue should be proud.