Several runners had records in their sights at the XL Galan meet in Sweden on Feb. 21. The world records weren't breached, but Galen Rupp set a new American indoor record in the 3000 meters, winning in 7:30.16. Bernard Lagat set the old mark of 7:32.43 in 2007.
Ethiopian-born Abeba Aregawi made her first race as a Swedish citizen memorable for the Stockholm fans and she won the 1500 meters in 3:58.40, the second best mark of all time, just shy of Elena Sobeleva's indoor world record of 3:58.28. Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia was three seconds behind Meseret Defar's world mark in the 3000, winning in 8:26.95. Other XL Galan highlights included Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce winning in 7.04 seconds in her second-ever indoor 60-meter event.
There were a few interesting outdoor road races over the past week, including the Tokyo Marathon last Sunday, where Kenya's Dennis Kimetto set a new course record of 2:06:50. Aberu Kebede of Ethiopia won the women's race in 2:25:34.
Track runners Mo Farah and Meseret Defar both hit the road to compete in the New Orleans Rock 'n' Roll Half-Marathon on Feb. 24. It was the second career half-marathon for both competitors. Farah won the men's race in 1:00.59, while Defar took the women's event in a course record 1:07.25. Shalane Flanagan was second to Defar in a personal best 1:08.31.
Check out a new series of pole vaulting articles featuring Stacy Dragila, the first women's Olympic pole vault champion. Dragila discusses her career in part 1 and part 2 of her interview. She also advises coaches how to find pole vaulters, talks about pole vault training, the pole vault approach run, and proper planting and takeoff techniques. Additionally, read a new article about Svetlana Masterkova's world record mile run, plus a profile of American triple jumper Christian Taylor.