Advertisement

Read this, because you likely missed one of the best races in running history

From ESPN - August 11, 2017

LONDON -- Admit it, sports fans. Yeah, you -- the one waiting for football season (American or European) to start. The one who plays fantasy, wears jerseys and spouts trivia. You could not care less about the women's steeplechase.

But, right now, you should care. You are missing something amazing.

You may not even know what a steeplechase is. To appreciate the improbable, entertaining madness of what happened Friday night at the IAAF World Championships, you need to know that the steeplechase is a race of 3,000 meters, on a track, featuring 28 barriers and seven water jumps. (Full disclosure: I had to Google for that info.)

You need to know that Americans Emma Coburn and Courtney Frerichs had NO BUSINESS winning gold and silver. I have never used all caps in a column before, even when Justin Gatlin beat Usain Bolt in the 100 meters a few days ago. But Americans beating Kenyans in this steeplechase was like Gatlin beating Bolt in the 100, with the added excitement of trips, what looked like a tackle, and the front-runner having to double back as if she forgot her cellphone at home.

Even Coburn and Frerichs admitted they had no business medaling. On the final lap, Coburn said, "I was just waiting for three Kenyans to pass me."

"I was just hoping to finish in the top five or six," said Frerichs.

Coburn's time was nine minutes, two-point-five-eight seconds (track people call that 9:02.58). It was the fastest she had ever run, and the fastest time ever in the world championships, which is like scoring your career high and setting the record for most points ever in Game 7 of the NBA Finals.

And Coburn did not even run the most remarkable time.

Before Friday's race, Frerichs' fastest steeplechase time was 9:19.09. She beat that time by an enormous 15 seconds to win silver in 9:03.77. That's like scoring a hat trick in a World Cup soccer game after totaling three goals all season.

In third place was Hyvin Kiyeng Jepkemoi, who ran 9:04.03. She is Kenyan. She sat at the postrace press conference looking like Pat Riley when LeBron James left the Heat and went back to Cleveland.

Advertisement

Continue reading at ESPN »