NBC Slips Up, Announces Result Before Airing Event

Tell me you just saw that – NBC, who controls exclusive broadcast rights to all Olympic events – told us who won an event…BEFORE they aired it!
I had to do a double take when I saw it, but it was clear as day. In their promo for today’s (Tuesday) Today Show, they encouraged viewers to watch as American Missy Franklin celebrated her first gold medal with her parents. But wait a second, they haven’t shown her race yet!

That’s what I yelled at the TV, because indeed, the primetime telecast had not yet reached the women’s 100m Back final, which was due up after the commercial break. It took the wind out of watching the race, but didn’t make it any less exciting. Franklin was down coming off the turn and even into the final 25 meters it didn’t look like she was going to get to the wall first. Using her long frame, a strong last 10m and an amazing dolphin kick to the wall, Franklin, just 17 years old, earned her first gold medal.

Many things frustrate me (and other viewers) about NBC’s coverage of sporting events: the commentators, the way they promote them, the uninformed reporters asking terrible questions immediately after an event. This gaffe took the cake. What is the point of holding us prisoners of your coverage if you’re just going to tell us the results before you air the events anyway?

Let’s hope this is a one-time thing, because it really soured my 3rd day of complete media blackout. As we mentioned on The Runaround last night, this is no easy task!

- Ryan

“Go for the Gold” Olympics Prediction Contest: Win $100 Gift Card to Holabird Sports!

Are you as excited for the Olympics as much as we are?? Prove it and you could win a 100-dollar gift certificate to Holabird Sports!

The Runaround on ESPN Radio and Holabird Sports are putting on a contest to see if you really know the U.S. Olympic Team.

It’s simple: Click on the link below, follow the steps, and enter how many medals (gold, silver, and bronze) you think the American Olympic Track and Field team will bring home from the London Games. In the event of a tie, we also ask you to submit how many gold medals you think the team will capture.

It’s easy! Just enter two predictions and you will have a chance to win 100 dollars to Holabird Sports.

Note: There are 22 events for the women and 22 events for men, including the marathon.

Click on the link below and follow the steps. Good luck!

 

“Go for the Gold” Contest

A Final Tune-Up Before London

American middle-distance standouts Matt Centrowitz and Nick Symmonds are about to toe the line in Dublin for the Morton Pre-Games to sharpen up their speed before the Olympic Games in London.

Centrowitz, who is running the 800m as a final tune-up before the Olympic 1500m, will be looking reach the medal podium in London, much like how he did in last year’s World Championships in Daegu, South Korea. In the Diamond League Meet in London last week, Centro didn’t have his best day at the office, running a 1:48.42 800m.

Able to shrug it off, he said on Twitter (@MattCentrowitz): “Not a great day on the track. Ran 1:48 and finished last. Then on top of that I got randomly drug tested lol. I musta looked suspect in last.”

Acknowledging that he struggled with a minor knee injury and that he hasn’t raced an 800 in some time, we think tonight’s showing should be stronger. With one 800 under his belt to allow him to acclimate to the two-lap distance…

Our prediction for his 800m today: 1:46.8

Nick Symmonds (@NickSymmonds), who has encouraged his followers on Twitter to predict his 400m time, is coming off of a 1:43.78 800m at the Monaco Diamond League Meet. In our interview with Symmonds in May, he noted that he doesn’t put on a pair of spikes for fast intervals until late in his season. Odds are…right now…he’s feeling fit as ever.

With the Olympic Trials Championship and a few 1:43s to his name for this season, a fast 400 may be the final confidence-booster he needs. So…

Our prediction for his 400m today: 46.28

And be sure to check the results for the mile, as Americans David Torrence, Will Leer, Garrett Heath, Ryan Hall, and Jack Bolas will be looking for fast times.

What Do These Athletes Have in Common?

What do Nick Symmonds, Jenny Simpson, Christian Taylor, Matt Centrowitz, Chaunte Lowe, Ashton Eaton, and Alice Schmidt all have in common?

Not only are these 7 fantastic athletes headed to the London Olympics, they’ve also all been interviewed on The Runaround!

We are so proud to have had the opportunity to talk with these competitors, and many more, over the past few months, and we look forward to bringing more interviews, news stories, and the topics YOU want to hear in the future!

As these athletes begin their journeys overseas to prepare for the Olympics, be sure to follow them on their social networks:

Christian Taylor (@Taylored2Jump)

Nick Symmonds (@NickSymmonds)

Jenny Simpson (@trackjenny)

Matt Centrowitz (@MattCentrowitz)

Ashton Eaton (@AshtonJEaton)

Chaunte Lowe (@chauntelowe)

Julie Culley (@julieculley)

And of course be sure to follow us, @RunaroundESPN, for more this summer as we prepare to watch Team USA in London!

Distance Medley Relay at the Olympic Games?

During our coverage of David Rudisha’s stellar 1:41 on the show yesterday evening, we had a listener call in to share his views on what he thought was one the greatest 800 performances he had ever seen.

And given that the U.S. Olympic Trials and, subsequently, the 2012 London Olympic Games, are right around the corner, our conversation with him had naturally arrived at Olympic predictions. One comment led to another, and suddenly, we were in unchartered territory.

Our guest asked, “What do you think of the possibility of a DMR (Distance Medley Relay) at the Olympics?”

At the outset of the show, I was determined to air of all of the best sound bytes we had picked that weekend up from the athletes at the adidas Grand Prix. Yet, as a former middle-distance runner, this was a question that I  wanted to take time to address.

Firstly, if you were to ask me what I think is the most exciting event in track and field, it would be a toss-up between the 1500m/Mile and the 4x400m relay. Why? Four (or 3 and 3/4 laps for the 1500m) laps around the track allows for a beautiful display of both speed and endurance–a battle of both killer instincts and well-executed tactics.

And yes, this does hold true for the 4x400m as well. Don’t believe me? Go back and watch the 4x400m final from the World Championships in Daegu last year. Yes, it takes endurance to run the 400. And yes, American anchor leg LaShawn Merritt was, indeed, using sit-and-kick race tactics while he was sitting in third place.

But what event is the most unique? Putting my bias as a middle-distance runner aside, my answer would still unequivocally be the DMR. In what other event is there such diversity of event disciplines? In what other event would you see a miler and a 400m runner working together?

For those of you who are not familiar with what a DMR is, it is a relay comprised of (in order) 1200m, 400m, 800m, and 1600m legs. For those of you who have never witnessed one, I urge you to do some YouTube surfing.

Largely an event raced at the collegiate level, one can still see an international DMR in “U.S.A. vs. The World at Penn Relays.” Unfortunately, though, that is probably the only professional DMR track and field fans will see all year. Why isn’t this race run more often at the international level? The simple answer is that, at the professional and international ranks, the focus is on the individual athlete.

BUT…

At the Olympics, the focus is on winning hardware for one’s nation. For the old stars and stripes. For king and country. For national pride.

In my humble opinion, there is no better way for a country to claim an Olympic gold medal than by fielding the nation’s FOUR best athletes in a given event and having them work cohesively to earn the title, “Olympic Champion.”

Why wouldn’t the IOC add one more event to the track and field schedule? After all, the IOC, despite their rigid demeanor, seeks to establish the greatest diversity possible in inviting athletes and nations to the Games. Including a an Olympic DMR would result in participation from such countries as Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Qatar, Bahrain, Morocco, and more.

Truly, if increased international diversity and athletic participation isn’t reason enough to add a DMR to the Games, then here is a better reason:

I would like it. A lot.

Our friends at Runner’s World agree as well. Here’s what they have to say about running a Distance Medley Relay at the Olympics.

Happy running,

Greg