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“Michael Johnson had just signed Galen, he was Galen’s agent. I was watching that race in Rome, a 5K race. There was Kenenisa Bekele (Ethiopia’s 2008 Olympic double distance champion) and a bunch of Kenyans. The Kenyans all ran with long strides, swinging their legs all the way backwards, while Bekele was running differently, almost like a sprinter,” says Salazar.
“When I saw that, I thought to myself: ‘Wow, he looks so different. Maybe that’s why he is so good?’ Salazar quickly found Johnson to ask what he thought. “Actually, I’m commentating on this race on the BBC right now,” came his reply.
“He said that it was sprint biomechanics 101,” says Salazar, once they finally got a chance to talk off-air. “The shortest distance from A to B is a straight line. That was the moment when I got the whole idea that distance runners could benefit from learning something from sprinters.”