Sunday, January 14

Henry dips under 20:00, is challenged by Shaheed

Former triple world record holder Henry Rono ran 19:20 for third in the M50 age group in the Jingle Bell 5k on a fast, flat course in Cincinnati, Ohio.

On his thread he said that when he saw a photograph of the race he thought he looked more like a heavyweight boxer than a Kenyan distance runner!

As a result, the story of his epic comeback has instead become a weight-loss discussion. Henry is currently 179lb -- down from 210lb at the start of the year, and has a target (racing) weight of 150lb. His weight "problem" has led some posters to question whether he is really serious about attacking the world mile record.

A typical comment is along the lines of "how can he be running two hours a day and have only lost 30lb? Is he eating like a horse, or is he not doing the training he says he is?"

Henry sounds as sincere -- and as frustrated with his weight -- as ever. And he remains focused on his record attempt. In a new twist, Masters mile world record holder Nolan Shaheed, the jazz trumpeter with a unique training routine, has challenged Henry to a showdown.

Shaheed's respect for Rono is on record -- among other places in a recent interview with Dan Empfield for the triathlon site Slowtwitch.

In a new post to Henry, Shaheed says: "I am glad to hear that you are endeavoring to set the record in the mile. As you know it's my endeavor too. It would be great for us to go for the record in the same race at the same meet at the same time. Maybe there is a race promoter out there who would be interested."

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