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LONDON -- Watching the 3,000-meter steeplechase here in the Olympic Stadium, a breezy preliminary to the big event, the 100 meters. The steeplechase got its start here in Britain. They ran from the steeple of one town to another. The steeples were visible from a long ways off, so they were used as markers. According to Wikipedia, the runners had to jump over streams and stone walls between estates. The modern steeplechase traces its roots to a race at Oxford University.

There's a water jump before the final stretch run. The winner was Kenya's Ezekiel Kemboi in a time of 8:18.56, well off the world record. Kemboi won the gold in 2004, but finished seventh in Beijing in a race won by his countryman, Brimin Kipruto. That makes eight straight wins for the Kenyans in the steeplechase, going back to the LA Games in 1984.

What we need is more travel steeplechase leagues in the United States.  


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