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Dave McGillivray who has heart issues says just because you are fit doesn't mean you are healthy

Boston Marathon race director Dave McGillivray was at home resting last night after undergoing his third angiogram in the past five years earlier in the day at Mass. General Hospital.

The tests showed that McGillivray, who turned 64 on Aug. 22, has one heart artery 80 percent blocked and another 40-to-50 percent impaired. McGillivray plans to meet with a heart surgeon in the next week or so to decide the best avenue of treatment. 

”Right now, my mind is spinning out of control. I never thought during my lifetime and in my craziest dreams that I would need bypass surgery. This just wasn’t on my radar,” McGillivray said in an email sent out to friends and colleagues last night. 

”But, I’ve also finally learned and accepted the fact that I am not invincible. No one is.” McGillivray, who maintains a whirlwind schedule, recently served as race director/organizer of the MR8 5K event, which finished inside TD Garden last week.

Just weeks before this past April’s 122nd edition of the Boston Marathon, McGillivray completed an arduous trek of running seven marathons in seven days on seven continents. Each year, to celebrate his birthday, McGillivray runs an equal amount in miles. 

Dave wrote in his email, "On the one hand, I wanted to keep this private.  At a certain level it is almost embarrassing to me that I am in this position.  However, I also want to expose the fact that this can happen to ANYONE and sometimes I am led to believe that the fittest athletes could actually be the most vulnerable ones because they are in such denial of their illness and don't act on it like others do. 

I'm hopeful that this message can actually save others going through a similar experience and make everyone think a little deeper about their own health and act on it before it is too late." 

(09/06/18) Views: 9,237
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Nigerian Olude Fadekemi vows to reclaim Access Bank Lagos City Marathon title

After being beaten to the first position among Nigerian (female) runners at the 2018 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, Olude Fadekemi has vowed to reclaim her crown at next month’s race.

Olude who is the current National Record holder in the 20km Walk Race finished as the number one Nigeria woman at the 2017 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, but she dropped to second place in 2018; losing the crown to Deborah Pam.

To reclaim the number one position at the 2019 Marathon, Olude revealed that she has since stepped up her training schedule and she is equally working extra hard to ensure that she comes tops this term.

“I was not too happy that I could not defend my title last year, I only finished in second place but this year I want the first position again, “she said in a statement issued by Olukayode Thomas, Head Media and Communications for the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon.

Olude who had a memorable 2018 in which she represented Nigeria at the Commonwealth Games in Australia and also emerged as a gold medal winner at the National Sports Festival among many other accomplishments said she is keen to start 2019 brightly with a win at the Lagos Marathon.

“The year 2018 was very good for me but of course I want 2019 to be better starting with the Lagos Marathon,” Olude revealed.

(01/22/19) Views: 5,229
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America's Tyler McCandless and Japan's Yuki Kawauchi encounter at the Chicago Marathon

After running miles 3-15 alone at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, I caught up to reigning Boston Marathon champ Yuki Kawauchi. When I caught him I said, “come on Yuki, stay with me” and he tapped my side.

I looked back a minute later and he was right on my tail and I said “good” to him. He stayed there until about mile 21 when he tried to push past me.

We went back and forth over the last few miles multiple times. Once, he slipped on a turn, nearly fell and looked concerned, I said to Yuki “you’re okay, you’re good.”

The rain and wind picked up and neither of us were running near where our goals were. But, we pushed each other to the best we could on ”off” days. We were both struggling, yet with 300m to go he found another gear and blew me away.

There no doubt he found that gear from mental toughness and I’ve learned something from it. Moral of the story: even if you’re day isn’t what you envisioned and trained for, NEVER give up because you’ll gain indispensable experience and inspiration from it! 

I ran 2:16:37, 20th overall and 7th American.  I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have faster goals, but Sunday was a real test of character and I’m proud of how I competed. It was wet, rainy and windy, and I got stuck with nobody around for the majority of the race until dueling it with Yuki Kawauchi over the last several miles.

I went through halfway in 1:06:36 and simply had to be gritty and fight for every second over the second half of the race. Having a less ...than ideal weather day, and simply not having my best day out there, but toughing it out to finish with my third best marathon time is something I’m proud of.  

Second photo is Yuki leading the pack at the 2018 Boston Marathon, a race he won.

(Editors note: Yuki Kawauchi finished 19th in 2:19:26 his 82 marathon under 2:20. Tyler is sponsored by Altra Running and rabbit.  media@TrackTy)

(10/09/18) Views: 5,053
Tyler McCandless
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Galen Rupp runs first sub 60 to win 44th annual Roma Ostia Half Marathon

Galen Rupp ran a personal best to win the 44th edition of the Roma-Ostia Half Marathon on Sunday (March 11, 2018).

The US distance runner won the Rome race in 59:47 as he went sub 60 minutes for the first time and takes 43 seconds off his 2011 best.

He had Ryan Hall’s 2007 US record in his sights and came very close only missing Hall’s time by four seconds.

However, if he had dipped under the 59:43 mark it would not have stood as an American record however because the course is a point to point race and not record-eligible....

Rupp launched his decisive attack between 15th and 16th kilometers when, after a tactic of waiting during which he vented his most credited opponents, he lengthened the pace by breaking the Kenyans Moses Kemei, second place in 1:00:44, and Justus Kangogo, third in 1:01:02....

The female race saw Ethiopian’s Hftamenesh Haylu in first with 1:09.02 and compatriot Dera Datta close behind in 1:09:21. Third place went to Kenya’s Rebecca Chesir, who finished in 1:11:04.

(03/11/18) Views: 3,853
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Eliud Kipchoge is a simple man who helps others - Part three of a three part series on the King of the Marathon

The King of The Marathon Part Three: an inside look into the life of Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge.  

When Eliud Kipchoge passed the first 10k mark in 29:01 on September 16 in Berlin everyone was excited because he was nine seconds ahead of world record pace.

Actually this was his slower 10k split of the day.  He picked up the pace and his second 10k split was 28:55, third 28:49 and fourth 28:47 clocking 2:01:39 to smash the world marathon record.  

So how did he do this?  It is not drugs! He has never failed a drug test.  

Besides doing some unbelievable workouts (as detailed in part 2) he pays close attention to his diet. His favorite meal is ugali, kalenjin traditional milk called mursik which nutritious and energetic, traditional veggies (such as; socha, saga, mborochet, chepkerta and mitiat).  These are herbal and they build the immune system and adds to the blood. 

He eats roasted maize for carbohydrates. How does he relax? During leisure time he likes reading at least two or three inspirational books every month. This is where a man full of wisdom and maturity adds to his knowledge. 

One quote he likes, "The impossible is possible and imitation is limitation.” by John Manson.

Eliud is a dairy and tea farmer and when he is at home he looks after cattle.  His last born kid son started running so he can follow in his father's foot steps. 

After smashing the World Marathon Record in Berlin, Eliud is expected to get $50,000 for winning and $69,000 for breaking the world record. This is 12 million Kenyan Shillings.  In additon, truck manufactures, Isuzu East Africa, which Kipchoge is a Brand Ambassador, will give him a D-max luxury double cabin vehicle.

There are also gaming companies which will reward him. Eliud has involved himself in charity work too. He helps raise funds for dispensaries, pay school fees for unable kids, he helps upcoming athletes with housing and hospitals bills. 

He pays for airline tickets for students going abroad on scholarship.  He helps to motivate young Kenyans on the importance of hardwork.  Kenya has been very proud of Eliud Kipchoge and since he smashed the world record the whole country is behind him.  

(Editor’s note: Part one and two of these series were published the last two days on My Best Runs.)

(09/22/18) Views: 3,820
Willie Korir reporting from Kenya
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Eliud Kipchoge smashed the World Marathon Record clocking 2:01:39 in Berlin

33-year-old Eliud Kipchoge from Kenya smashed the world marathon record in Berlin today (September 16, 2018) clocking 2:01:39, breaking the record by over a minute. 

According to MBR's Willie Korir reporting from Kenya, "the pace was so high.  Eliud started well and maintained 2:52-2:55/k pace.  Two of the pacers dropped at 14k.  Sammy Sitwara, Kipkemboe and Boit remained up to 25k.  Eliud was alone from 25k to the end. 

It is a big celebration all over Kenya especially in Eliud's home town of Kapsabet and in Eldoret, home of Champions." 

Amos Kipruto (2:06:23) passed Wilson Kipsang to place second and Wilson placed third (2:06:48).    

Kipchoge maintained his form well in the closing stages and crossed the finish line in 2:01:39, taking one minute and 18 seconds off the previous world record set four years ago by Dennis Kimetto.

This is the largest single improvement on the marathon world record since Derek Clayton improved the mark by two minutes and 23 seconds in 1967.

"I lack the words to describe how I feel," said Kipchoge. "It was really hard [during the last 17 kilometers] but I was truly prepared to run my own race.

I had to focus on the work I had put in in Kenya and that is what helped push me. I’m really grateful to my coaching team, my management, the organisation."

For the women, Gladys Cherono set a course record clocking 2:18:11.  Second woman was Ruti Aga 2:18:34 and Trunesh Dibaba 2:18:55.

(09/16/18) Views: 3,728
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Mo Farah sets European Record to Win The Chicago Marathon

This was Great Britian's Sir Mo Farah's first marathon win in three attempts today October 7.  He looked smooth the whole way and took control of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon over the last few miles when he stepped up the pace to 4:35 per K.

The lead group had passed the half way mark in 1:03:03.  At the finish Mo Farah clocked 2:05:11 winning his first US marathon and setting a new European record.  (Breaking Sondre Nordstad Moen record of 2:05:48 set in Japan Dec 3, 2017.)   

24-year-old Brigid Kosgei from Kenya running her ninth marathon and second place finisher last year ran the last miles by herself to clock an outstanding 2:18:35, making her the 10th fastest women's marathon time ever. 

"I like the rain," Brigid said after winning. "I enjoy the rain and I swallowed the pain, no struggling," she said. Roza Dereje (Eth) was second cocking 2:21:18.  First American was Sarah Crouch finished sixth with 2:32:37.  

"Amazing to come across the finish first," Mo said after he finished.  Ethiopia's Mosinet Geremew Bayih finished second clocking 2:05:24.  Suguru Osako from Japan finished third in 2:05:50 setting a national Japan record winning 100 million yen (almost one million US dollars) in doing so. 

In fourth was Kenneth Kipkemoi from Kenya clocking 2:05:57.  Galen Rupp who fell off the pack at around 22 miles came back strong and finished fifth with 2:06:21 just 14 seconds off his PR.  Boston Marathon winner Yuki Kawauchi (Japan) finished 19th clocking 2:16:26, his 82nd sub 2:20 marathon. Mo, a  two-time Olympic champion in both the 5,000 and 10,000 meters, native of Great Britain finished third in the London Marathon earlier this year. 

The men’s field include three former champions and 11 racers who have registered times faster than 2:08.  In the end 11 men ran faster than 2:10, nine under 2:08.  The temperature was 58 degrees at the start with light to heavy rain most of the way. Of more impact were the north-northeast winds coming off Lake Michigan as runners headed north from the start.  

Mo is the most successful British track athlete in modern Olympic Games history, he was the 2012 and 2016 Olympic gold medalist in both the 5000m and 10,000m. Farah is the second athlete in modern Olympic Games history, after Lasse Virén, to win both the 5000m and 10,000m titles at successive Olympic Games. 

Mo moved from the track to the roads after the 2017 World Athletics Championships.  61-year-old Joan Samuelson clocked 3:12:13 not reaching her sub three hour goal. 

(10/07/18) Views: 3,482
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Japan's Yuki Kawauchi was 91 seconds behind at 35K, then he made an unbelievable move to win Boston

It looked like last year's Boston Marathon winner, Geoffrey Kirui, was going to win again but he may not have realized how tough of a runner Japan's Yuki Kawauchi really is in challenging weather conditions.

Kirui had taken command at 30K opening up a 28 second lead on a pack of three behind including Japan's Yuki Kawauchi who lead the pack through the half marathon mark.

At this point Shadrack Biwott was the first American as Galen Rupp was not handling the weather well. Geoffrey stayed in control, hitting 35K in 1:50:49 after a 15:51 5K split.

Yuki was 91 seconds back. Then Yuki made an unbelievable move (running a 5:08 mile) and overtook Kirui and never looked back. Two America's were in the top four with just a mile to go (Biwott and Pennel) and stayed that way to the finish.

Yuki crossed the finish line first in 2:15:54 beating last year’s champion by over three minutes. Yuki became the first Japanese runner to win since 1987. Geoffrey finished second in 2:18:21, Biwot third in 2:18:32 and Pennel fourth in 2:18:57.

In the end there were six American's in the top ten. Tenth place being almost 12 minutes behind the winner. Kawauchi said through an interpreter after the windy, rainy race that "it was the best conditions possible" for him.

(04/16/18) Views: 3,447
Bob Anderson
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Galen Rupp smashed his PR and won the Prague Marathon by nearly a minute clocking 2:06:07

American’s Galen Rupp did as promised and the weather did not get in his way at the 24th Annual Volkswagen Prague Marathon Sunday morning May 6.  

He ran an even pace the whole way reaching the half way point in 1:03:02.  Ethiopian’s Sisay Lemma stayed close through 30k but Galen took control and clocked 1:03:05 for his second half finishing in 1:06:07.  

This smashed his previous best by three minutes and 13 seconds. This makes Galen the third fastest American ever and his time was only 29 seconds off the official American Record held by Khalid Khannouchi.  

Ryan Hall’s 2:04:58 clocked in Boston is not considered official since Boston is a point-to-point course.  Galen has now finished five marathons setting a PR each time. The Prague Marathon kicked off at 9am local time from the Old Town Square.  

Sisay finished second clocking 2:07:02.  Thousands of runners from all over the world enjoyed the perfect weather and the beautiful course.   

(05/06/18) Views: 3,447
Bob Anderson
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Should Caster Semenya be forced to lower Testosterone levels to compete in Tokyo?

Caster Semenya is very much in the news lately. We have already published two stories about the new IAAF rule which will require Caster to take testosterone-lowering medication in order to compete on an international level. 

Per the report: "The IAAF, will reportedly announce the creation of a new female classification to be known as Athletes with Differences of Sexual Development, which includes those with Hyperandrogenism, such as Semenya.

"From November 1, 2018, athletes who fit into that classification will be forced to undergo testosterone-lowering treatment."  

Caster was born with this medical condition.  Caster is a South African middle-distance runner and a gold medalist and for sure could easily pass for a man on the outside. 

Last August Caster shared this story about her love story with her wife Violet Raseboya in a TV interview.  "We met in a restroom in 2007. She was a runner and was being escorted by doping officials.

She thought I was a boy and said 'What is a boy doing in here?'" "I'm not a boy. You think I'm lost? You think I can just walk in here?" It took a while for them to start dating and Caster said it was her that told Violet about her feelings for her. 

"We were in denial. She had a past. She had a boyfriend. (She) was trying to deny being in love with a woman"  They got married in 2017.  

This is a tough situation for the IAAF.  Seb Coe just wants the competition to be fair.  However, this is a medical condition a person is born with. Penalizing  an athlete for a natural trait of her body does not seem right.   

(05/01/18) Views: 3,164
Bob Anderson
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Jake and Zane Robertson are the world’s Fastest Twins in the Half Marathon

Jake and Zane Robertson moved from New Zealand to Kenya to live and train ten years ago. When they arrived they found it very hard but then they found Shaheen [world record holder in steeplechase] training in Iten.

He heard their story and said, “That’s a poor life. Tomorrow I’ll get you a house next to me. You’re on me in Iten.” They moved to Iten with Shaheen’s training group. He didn’t charge then rent.

The twins lived, ate and trained like the Kenyans, who run 2-3 times a day six days per week. Running is the number one most important thing for most Kenyan runners.

Did this change of life help them become two of the fastest runners in the world? They think so. Jake has run two 1:00:01 half marathons and Zane has run 59:47.

Looks like their life in Kenya is working for them. Jake is running the Cresent City Classic 10K March 31...going for a repeat win.

Photo: Jake Robertson training in Kenya

(03/18/18) Views: 3,039
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After seven week break Kawauchi runs another sub 2:12 marathon - his 26th

After a seven-week break from the marathon, Yuki Kawauchi scored his third-straight marathon win, second-straight course record and came just shy of a third-straight negative split as he ran a completely solo 2:11:46 to take almost six minutes off the Kitakyushu Marathon course record.

Following up on negative split wins at December's Hofu Yomiuri Marathon and January's Marshfield New Year's Day Marathon, the latter a course record by half an hour, Kawauchi was on his own in Kitakyushu the whole way.

After a 1:05:51 split at halfway he slowed slightly finishing the second half in 1:05:55. Along with the course record, Kawauchi extended his record for most career sub-2:12 marathons to 26 as he continues to prepare for the Boston Marathon.

(02/20/18) Views: 2,931
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Is Yuki Kawauchi's secret weapon doing long distance runs at a slow pace? He ran 44 mile race Sunday

2018 Boston Marathon winner, Japan’s Yuki Kawauchi, won the Yatsugatake Nobeyama 71K ultramarathon in Nagano, Japan Sunday May 20, taking more than six minutes off the course record in the process.

His winning time was 4:41:55 (6:23/mile for 44.1 miles).  He won by more than half an hour.  According to Japan Running News, Kawauchi is training for the Stockholm marathon, which is June 2. 

Yuki finished sixth place there last year. This was the longest race of Kawauchi’s career so far. Kawauchi is famously unusual in his incorporation of over-distance training at a slow pace into his training, something few world-major elites do.

Some believe it’s his secret weapon, though others are skeptical of its value in marathon training.  

(05/21/18) Views: 2,785
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Bill Anderson's secrets for Running Injury Free for Over 41 years

Bill Anderson (72) started his running streak on September 27, 1976 in Fort Worth Texas. He has run at least one mile everyday since then. He is currently number nine on the Official USA Active Running Streak List.

"My brother Bill has never been injured," says Bob Anderson. Asked why he has never been injured he says, "Shoes are the hidden secret to avoid injuries. I make sure they are always fresh," Bill says.

"Secondly I always run within my capacity. Thirdly, I make sure I enjoy every run. Fourth, I know myself well enough to anticipate a potential issue before it happens."

(02/07/18) Views: 2,695
Training
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Olympic Champion Joan Benoit- Samuelson now 61 wants to break the world 60 plus record at Chicago Marathon

Now, 61-year-old Joan Benoit-Samuelson is returning to the site of a past victory with a new goal.

Samuelson won the Chicago Marathon in 1985, in a then-American record of 2:21:21, still the fifth-fastest U.S. time on record. This year, race organizers said she hopes to break the world record for the 60–64 age group, 3:01:30, set by New Zealand’s Bernie Portenski in 2010. 

If she succeeds in conquering a new category this year, the victory would likely feel extra sweet. Circumstances have kept her from Chicago’s streets on several of her recent attempts.

In 2015, she aimed to run within 30 minutes of her winning time 30 years prior, but she was forced to drop out the day before due to a stomach bug. Last year, she set a goal of running the first sub-3 ever by a woman older than 60, but a knee injury intervened.

Once again, she withdrew four days before the race.  Joan was the first-ever women's Olympic Games marathon champion, winning the Gold medal at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.

Benoit Samuelson still holds the fastest times for an American woman at the Chicago Marathon and the Olympic Marathon.  Her time at the Boston Marathon was the fastest time by an American woman at that race for 28 years. She was inducted into the Maine Women's Hall of Fame in 2000.

(10/03/18) Views: 2,691
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Don't spend any energy worrying about the weather for this year's Boston Marathon says Marathon Man Gary Allen File 5

You can’t control the weather. Don’t spend any energy worrying about it. Instead prepare for anything and everything for this year's Boston Marathon.  

1. Wear lots of throw away clothes to the start. Layers rule. Make sure your outer layer is a green trash bag to keep you dry. Hours of waiting to start being cold and miserable is not good.

2. Carry your race shoes and wear some old beaters to tromp around in the mud at athletes village. Change into your dry kicks in the corrals and toss your old shoes.

3. Bring some Mylar blankets to wrap up in and sit on in the corrals.

4. Don’t over dress for the actual race. If it’s raining you will be weighted down by sopping wet not needed gear. Remember the faster you run the more heat you generate and you can’t run fast if you have 15 lbs of soaked gear on.

5. Hat and gloves are key. Race singlet will work just fine, maybe arm sleeves. If below 40 I sometimes would wear two singlets.

6. If windy use the people around you to draft. In the infamous nor’easter in 2007 we had gusts of 30 mph right in our faces all damn day. I tucked in whenever I could conserving energy and would pop out when the gusts subsided. I ran 2:55:17 good for 9th OA AG.

7. Start with a 12 oz Poland spring water bottle in your hand and skip the congested mile 2 and 4 water stops. I found in big urban marathons I’d drink 6oz at mile 2 and then finish it at mile 4 but most importantly I skipped the crowded chaos of those first 2 stops.

8. Don’t follow the crowds. If village is insane you don’t need to go there. The hopkinton green right at the start is a fantastic place to wait. Plenty of Porto’s and you can head straight to your corrals when called. Lots of big trees to help shield you from weather.

9. Have fun and even if Mother Nature kicks you in the face Smile and yell, “yo bitch, BRING IT....IS THAT ALL YOU GOT!”

From Marathon Man Gary Allen who has run many Boston Marathons over many years. 

(04/10/19) Views: 2,690
Gary Allen
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Galen Rupp was so ready to run well in Boston but the weather got in the way, next up Prague!

Galen Rupp was so ready to run a fast time and win Boston Marathon but the weather won out. So now what?

Galen is going to run the 2018 Volkswagen Prague Marathon on May 6, race organizers confirmed today.

Rupp (in the black Nike hat) dropped out of the Boston Marathon just before 20 miles due to breathing problems and hypothermia as a result of the cold, wet, and windy weather.

The course record in Prague is Eliud Kiptanui‘s 2:05:39 from 2010 and the winning time has been under 2:09 in each of the past nine editions of the race.

Rupp’s personal best is 2:09:20, which he ran to win the 2017 Bank of America Chicago Marathon in October. Before his DNF in Boston, Rupp had set a personal best in each of his first four career marathons.

(04/24/18) Views: 2,677
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Eliud Kipchoge says he handles pain by smiling - Part two of a three part series on the King of the Marathon

The King of The Marathon Part Two: an inside look into the life of Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge. He began his move into road running in 2012 when he clocked 59:25 for the half marathon.  In 2013 Eliud ran his first marathon when he won the Hamburg Marathon clocking 2:05:30, setting a new course record. 

In 2016 he won the gold medal in the marathon at the Rio Olympics.  He has won 10 out of the 11 marathons he has run.  Wilson Kipsang beat him in 2013 in Berlin when setting the world record. 

We Eliud trains in Eldoret, the home of Champions.  His humbleness is seen when training with athletes.  Eliud keeps a low-profile and even does house chores in camp like washing toilets, utensils, cutting grass and cleaning the dining hall.  He uses public buses or bodaboda to travel despite having good cars.  

He has earned a lot of prize, bonus and sponsorship money from running especially since he moved to the road.  However, money hasn't changed his character. He says, "An athlete with 50 million Kenyan shillings ($500,000US) in his bank account can brag, but a farmer who uses the same amount to plant wheat is not even noticed as he walks around town." 

Eliud loves the simple life and when he travels he arrives without many people realizing it. He loves his Nike shoes and is comfortable with NN running and with his mentor and neighbor Patrick Sang. During the Nike project, he almost broke the two hour mark clocking 2:00:23 for the full Marathon.  Yes, the conditions were perfect and he was paced like in a time trial but his body ran the distance.  

He puts in a lot of hardwork, discipline and good training.  He also eats a healthy diet.  Before he lined up to run the Berlin Marathon this was the kind of workouts he was doing. 8x1600 (recovery 1:30) + 10x400m (recovery 45 seconds) in Eldoret altitude 2200m (7200 feet) above sea level.  His 1600m times were:  4:35, 4:33, 4:32, 4:34, 4:33, 4:32, 4:33, 4:33. His 400m times were: 62, 63, 63, 62, 62, 62, 61, 62, 61, 60.

He always does speedwork on the track wearing racing shoes with other fast athletes like Kamworor, Brimin kipruto and Conselsius.  "You can't train alone because you need others to push you higher to reach your best limit,"  Kipchoge told me last month at Kabarak university.  No marathoner has been more dominant in the marathon than Kipchoge.

The 5'6" 115 pound Eliud has never sustained a serious injury because he listens to his body and eats a healthy diet.  Even the greatest runners have days when they have a strained muscle or an upset stomach kept them from winning but not Kipchoge. 

He actually has a winning formula:  Motivation plus disipline equals consistency.  Pain, he says, is nothing more than a mind set so he distracts himself with other thoughts such as the joy of running and the finish line ahead, then the pain fades with a smile on his face. He has a habit of smiling whenever pain sets in.

Tomorrow in part three of this series we look closer at Eliud’s healthy diet and at the day he broke the world Marathon record.  We talk about  the prize money and how Eliud wants to help others.  

(09/21/18) Views: 2,671
Willie Korir reporting from Kenya
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What did Yuta Shitara strap to his arm at the last aid station at the Tokyo Marathon?

Yuta Shitara ran the fastest marathon of any Japanese runner ever at the 2018 Tokyo Marathon on Sunday. He clocked 2:06:11.

At the last aid station he pulled something from his bottle set-up and put it around his right arm bicep. One person on Let's Run suggested it was a "a giant nicotine patch." Another said it was a "Hello Kitty Coin Purse."

Michael Capper on FB said "Never seen this before." Gary Rush stated, "Maybe a gel fluid holder? I think its against IAAF rules for elites to wear or use communication devices or receive electronic updates during a race."

Bob Anderson says, "After looking at more than ten photos of Yuta finishing races, I did not see a similar 'thing' strapped to his arm."

In any case he blasted the last few kilometers wearing this 'thing'. Did it give him an unfair advantage? "First of all we need to know what it was," says Bob.

(02/25/18) Views: 2,639
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Galen Rupp's preparation for Boston is the best ever says his coach Alberto Salazar

Galen Rupp finished second in his Boston Marathon debut last year despite not knowing if he would start the race two weeks prior.

This year is a different story says his coach Alberto Salazar, "This is as good as he's ever been prepared for a marathon. Anything can happen. You can have bad luck. But by far this is the best preparation he's ever had in terms of being really prepared," says Salazar.

Rupp, a two-time Olympic medalist, contests his fifth career marathon Monday. "Galen's been able to train much harder, run more miles and do more speedwork. It's gone really well, knock on wood. There have been no setbacks whatsoever," says Salazar.

Rupp can bolster his argument as the best U.S. distance runners of all time. He already has Olympic 10,000m and marathon medals. In his last marathon, Rupp became the first American-born male runner to win the Chicago Marathon in 35 years.

On Monday, he can become the first American-born male runner to win the Boston Marathon in 35 years. (Meb Keflezighi an Eritrean-born American runner won the 2014 Boston Marathon at the age of 38, the oldest winner in decades.)

(04/11/18) Views: 2,553
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Let's understand how fast 18-year-old Phonex Kipruto ran today in Central Park

From the starting horn at the 14th UAE Healthy Kidney 10K run in Central Park in New York City today April 29, two runners—Kenyan training partners Rhonex Kipruto and Mathew Kimeli—set off to chase the bonus prize money, in addition to competing for the $10,000 first-place prize.

Passing the 5K split in approximately 13:39, the two were on track to break the event record, and they would only pick up the pace from there. 

On the fourth mile, the 18-year-old Kipruto began to pull away from Kimeli, and he reached the 8-kilometer checkpoint in a world-best time of 21:45, breaking the previous mark by 17 seconds. Kipruto would then lower the UAE Healthy Kidney 10K event record by 27 seconds, crossing the finish line in 27:08; that time is also the fastest in the world this year to date, the fastest road 10K ever run in the United States on a record-eligible course, and the seventh-fastest road 10K of all-time (also on a record-eligible course). Kimeli would finish second in 27:19. 

This is a New York Road Runners event.  Prior to this race, Phonex finished 3rd at the Birell 10K last September in Prague clocking 27:13.

(04/29/18) Views: 2,520
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Eliud Kipchoge the early years - Part one of a three part series on the King of the Marathon

The King of The Marathon Part One: an inside look into the life of Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge. Eliud was born May 11, 1984 in a village called Kapsisiywa in Nandi county, Kenya.  His mother worked as a teacher. He lost his father while still young and this forced him to start looking after cattle and sell milk to help support his family. 

As a child, Eliud ran solely as a form of transport so he could get to and from school. The best athlete on the road who looks very discipline, relaxed, humble and full of wisdom today did not get past zonal level in school which is far from nationals. Due to his love for athletics, he went to his neighbor Patrick Sang, 1992 Olympics silver medalist in 3000m steeplechase, and asked for a training program. 

Sang had returned to Kapsisiywa to organize sport events after winning the Olympic silver medal while studying at the University of Texas.  He met Eliud at one of the events he organized in 2001 when Eliud was 16. 

"There was this kid who would come and ask me for a training program," Sang remembers.  "Every two weeks I would give him a program to follow and this went on for months."  Currently Patrick Sang is Eliud Kipchoge's coach. 

"Patrick is a friend and a mentor. He changed my life," said Eliud who followed systematically Sang's advice. Through his dedication and commitment to running, doors opened for Eliud Kipchoge in 2003 when he won gold for Kenya at the World Championships in Paris. 

He out sprinted Hicham El Guerrouj who was the world record holder in the mile.  Eliud was just 18 at the time. He raced on the track, 1500m, 3000m, 5000m and 10000m with great success. (Photo 2003 World Championships 5000m).  The track build his speed and he graduated to the marathon after a few years. 

"Running is like stairs, you gain experience and maturity in every step." Kipchoge told me in February 2018 in Eldoret. Kipchoge trains in a training camp called Global based in Kaptagat.  Tomorrow in part two we will talk about his move to the roads, his training, why he has never sustained a serious injury and how he deals with pain.  

(09/20/18) Views: 2,496
Willie Korir reporting from Kenya
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Alberto Salazar still holds one American Road Record which he set in 1981

DID YOU KNOW: The American Road Record for 8K is 22:04.  It was set over 37 years ago.  On January 4, 1981 Alberto Salazar ran that time in Los Altos, California at the Runner's World Five Mile Invitational (5 miles is 154 feet longer than 8K). 

It is a distance that is not run very often but that is a long time for the record to still be on the books.  That same year Alberto won the New York City Marathon in 2:08:13 as he did the following year and 1980 as well. 

He also won Boston in 1982 in 2:08:52.  A race that would be known later as the "Duel In The Sun." 

Dick Beardsley and Alberto (photo) battled right up to the end.  Alberto was born in Cuba in 1958 and immigrated to the United States as a child with his family.  Salazar currently is the head coach of the Nike Oregon Project in Portland, Oregon.

(05/01/18) Views: 2,359
Bob Anderson
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Jim Walmsley breaks the Western States 100 record by over 15 minutes on a baking hot day

We posted on Tuesday that even with the forecasted hot weather, Jim Walmsley was going to break the course record set in 2012 by Timothy Olsen who clocked 14:46:44. 

For two years now, Walmsley’s public declaration that he will not only try and break the famous 100-mile course record but trim more than 45 minutes off it has bought him massive attention. 

Fast forward to this year's race.  Jim hit the 85.2 mile mark in 12 hours 16 minutes.  Could he hold on for 15 more miles? The temperature in Auburn, California where the race finishes at 6pm was 96 degrees. 

That was still a lot of miles in that kind of heat.  At Pointed Rocks (94.3 miles) he was still trying to hold it together.  He ran 10:50 pace for that 3.7 mile split.  It was hot.  Meanwhile Courtney Dauwalter continued to lead the women hitting 79.8 miles in 13 hours 48 minutes. Course records were still possible. 

Jim passed the 96.8 mile check point at No Hands Bridge and ran right on through without stopping.  He was 14 minutes ahead of the course record still. 

Courtney was 33 minutes ahead of course record at mile 80 with Lucy Bartholomew in second place some miles back. Frenchman Francois Dhaene was in second place at 90.7 miles about an hour behind the leader.  

Reliable reports told I Run Far that Jim was delayed for about ten minutes by a bear with cubs along the trail at around 95 miles.  He passed the Robie Point check point (98.9 miles) running 8:11 pace now knowing he was going to finally win the Western States 100 and maybe still set the course record. 

He kept it together and went on to win clocking 14:30:04 on a baking hot day, taking over 15 minutes off the course record.  

(06/23/18) Views: 2,355
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Time marches on but I just keep going says 102-year-old Ida Keeling

Ida Keeling is just 4-foot-6, weighs 83 pound and is 102-years-old. Ida rides an exercise bike, lifts weights, and runs up and down the hallways of her apartment building or on a treadmill.

Her daughter, Shelley, is the one who actually got her to start running – at the age of sixty-seven after some incredible hardships. They ran a 5K that year and Ida says, "I thought that race was never going to end...however I felt so good (afterward) and have been running ever since."

In 2011 she set a 60 meters world record of 29.86 seconds in her 95 year-old age group. At 99-years-old (in 2014), Ida set the fastest known time for a woman of her age in the 100-meter-dash posting 59.80. In 2016: 100-year-old Ida Keeling became the first woman in history to complete the 100-meter dash in one minute 17 seconds. Shelley could not be prouder of her mother.

“The biggest thing with my mom," says Shelley, "is that she never lets anything get her down. If somebody said to her, ‘I’m going to put you in a box and you’re never going to get out,’ she’s say, ‘Just you wait.’”

“You see so many older people just sitting around," says Ida, "well, that’s not me. Time marches on, but I keep going.”

(03/15/18) Views: 2,312
Inspirational Stories
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Global Run Challenge Profile: Michael Wardian has had very few injuries and here is why

RUN THE WORLD:  "Running is my life and who I am," says 44-year-old Michael Wardian.  "I love running and hope to run till my last days." Michael started running after he stopped playing Lacrosse in college to stay in shape. 

He lives in Arlington, Virginia with his wife and two children.  Michael has accomplished so much. In 2008 he won the US National 100K championships.  In 2006 he won four out of five marathons he raced in 45 days.

He held the world record for the fastest marathon time pushing a baby stroller.  He set a record of running a marathon on an indoor 200-meter track.  He ran the 2012 Olympic Marathon trails clocking 2:21. 

The next day he ran another marathon clocking 2:31.  He ran seven marathons in seven days on 7 continents clocking an average of 2:45 for each marathon (photo). With so many highlights on his resume, I asked him what would be his top two.  

"In 2011 I ran 2:17:49 (PR) at Grandmas Marathon and the same year I placed second at 100k World Championships," Michael said.  He is a vegetarian and works as an International Ship-broker.  

How about injuries?  "I have been very lucky, I have not had many injuries and I think my best secret is to keep moving.  After big events, I do an easy jog, hike or even just walk. It keeps everything moving," says Michael.  

Why did he enter this challenge?  "I think the Run The World Challenge is cool and I hope it gets more people out there," he says.  

He is a professional marathon and ultra marathon runner and has been running since 1996.  He has represented the USA in the 50k and 100k world championships, and has participated in three Olympic Marathon Trials. 

Just recently (July 20-21) Michael placed 11th at the Hardrock 100 clocking 30 hours and 23 minutes for the 100.5 mile very challenging trail race held in Silverton, Colorado.  

(07/24/18) Views: 2,194
Bob Anderson
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Simon Ong was a couch potato weighing 230 pounds, on sunday he finished 8th at Seattle Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon

Seven years ago, Simon Ong of Calgary weighed 230 pounds (he’s 5’8″) and was pre-diabetic, with high blood pressure and chest pain from a steady diet of fast food and no exercise.

On Sunday, Ong was the fastest Canadian finishing eighth overall at the Seattle Rock ‘n’ Roll Half-Marathon, setting himself a new PB and qualifying for the TCS New York City Marathon, with a time of 1:18:11.

Ong, 29, a surgical nurse at Southern Alberta Eye Centre, wanted to do something about his lifestyle and his health, back in 2011. But he couldn’t run any distance without becoming winded, and even fell off the treadmill more than once when he tried to run.

So he started cycling and swimming in order to improve his fitness enough to be able to run. “I had no athletic background whatsoever,” says Ong. “It took me two years to lose enough weight to be able to run a race.”

His younger brother Raymond, a pharmacy technician, joined him in the effort to get healthy. It’s one thing to get off the couch and adopt a healthy lifestyle, but nobody realized there was a fast runner lurking inside that unhealthy exterior, least of all Ong himself. 

(06/13/18) Views: 2,153
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The Pre Classic will never be the same as they rip down the stadium in Eugene Oregon

This is not right. We can thank Phil Knight for putting up millions of dollars to make this happen.  Peter Thompson posted this photo on Facebook about an hour ago. 

He said," Is this the required careful deconstruction of an historic structure, carefully cataloguing everything as you go and ensuring that timbers and metalwork can be re-purposed elsewhere?" Or, is it, "The wilful destruction of an iconic building?"

Lots of history had been torn away. Phil Knight made millions by using Pre in NIKE advertising.  In his memory he could have built "his" new Track someplace else, as Joe Henderson pointed out months ago, in Eugene and left this stadium standing or at least the track and the east grandstands.  

I know that Phil Knight has donated millions to the University and probably to the city and how could anyone stand in his way.

I also know that Phil Knight and NIKE have done a lot of positive things for running but this is not one of them. 

Peter continued, "Bill Bowerman's favorite seat in the upper row of the East Grandstand has been ripped out, undocumented as it was piled with all the other bleachers - and this is the true respect that Phil Knight has granted to Bill Bowerman." 

I know the new track is going to look amazing but it will no longer be Pre's track.  The Pre Classic will never be the same.  This was a mistake that we let happen.  Hayward Field will never be the same.            

(06/23/18) Views: 2,129
Bob Anderson
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Fast times are expected at the TCS World 10K May 27 with $213,000 in prize money

The world’s richest 10 Km run has seen participation from top elite athletes in the world.  Having completed a decade as one of the most sought-after road races in the world, Bengaluru, India is all set to be perfect hosts yet again for the 11th edition of the Tata Consultancy Services World 10K May 27.  

This year world Champions Geoffrey Kamworor of Kenya and Ethiopian Netsanet Gudeta will head the mens and womens elite fields respectively. For both the runners, who were recently crowned the world champions at the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in Valencia, it will be their first competitive outing since their global triumphs in March.

Kamworor, 25, has established himself as one of the world's leading distance runners in recent years, winning the last two world cross country and the world half marathon titles.

"I took some rest after Valencia and then started my preparations towards Bengaluru. I hold the course record at this race (27:44) so I know about the course and the city," commented Kamworor from his home in Kenya.

Gudeta, 27, has also been preparing hard for her return to Indian soil. "Since Valencia, I have just been training and focusing on Bengaluru. Even though the race has been put back two weeks, that hasn't affected me. In fact, it's allowed me to prepare slightly better," she said. "I have been to India on a number of occasions in the past, including this race. I know after winning in Valencia that people will be talking about a fast time and perhaps the course record (held by Kenya's Lucy Kabuu at 31:46 since 2014), but this year there are no pacemakers.

"Of course, I set the women-only world record for the half marathon (1:06:11) in Valencia. I have also run times for 10,000m on the track (personal best 30:36.75, 2016) and 10km on the road (31:35, 2017) that are better than the course record." she reflected.

The TCS World 10K Bengaluru 2018 has a total prize fund of $213,000.  Besides the elites, thousands take part every year and many set PR's on the fast course.

(05/09/18) Views: 2,108
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Everything you need to know about the 2018 Chicago Marathon

The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is happening this Sunday October 8...Galen Rupp who lives in Oregon won the 2017 race clocking 2:09:20, will return to battle four-time Olympic gold medalist Mo Farah of Great Britain.

The two have raced against each other 22 times, with Farah winning 21 times...Mo Farah has been training over 120 miles per week and has only one thing on his mind, to win...There are five men in the field with faster personal records than Rupp, who clocked his 2:06:07 PR winning the Prague Marathon on May 6... among the other elite men in the field include two-time world champion Abel Kirui, Geoffrey Kirui, reigning world champion and 2017 Boston Marathon winner, and four-time Olympic gold medalist Mo Farah, Rupp's former training partner...Plus Mosinet Geremew (2:04:00 personal best) and Birhanu Legese (2:04:15), both of Ethiopia, also lead the international field...

In the field of approximately 45,000 runners Sunday, 47 percent will be women...The top American women include Laura Thweatt, Sarah Crouch, Taylor Ward, Katie Matthews and Gwen Jorgensen leading the pack.

Joan Benoit Samuelson, 61, who won the 1984 Olympics gold medal and Chicago in 1985, also will be running, and her goal is to break three hours.  No woman over 60 has ever run that fast...

Top elite women include Roza Dereje and Birhane Dibaba of Ethiopia; Brigid Kosgei of Kenya; and fellow Kenyan and two-time champion Florence Kiplagat...

Chicago is one of the flattest and fastest marathons in the world. The only thing that gets in the way of more fast times is sometimes hot weather...The weather forecast for this year is 60 degrees with humidity at 75%.  Not ideal but it has been worse...

Four world marathon records have been set in Chicago. Dennis Kimetto of Kenya holds the Chicago Marathon men’s record with a time of 2:03:45 set in 2013. Paula Radcliffe of Great Britain set the women’s record in 2002 with a time of 2:17:18...

Yuki Kawauchi, from Japan, holds a record for running 79 marathons in less than 2:20. In April, he won the Boston Marathon in 2:15:58. He has won 30 marathons in his career with a personal best of 2:08:14. He has competed in 20 marathons so far in 2018 and is running...

The female and male Chicago winners each get $100,000. The total purse distributed among all the money winners is $803,500. There are bonuses for course records: $75,000 for men and women...

Twenty-three percent of the field are from outside the US. The largest group is from Mexico, with 2,225 runners. Then: Canada (1,777), United Kingdom (1,741), China (1,347), Brazil (1,209), Germany (566), Hong Kong (481), Costa Rica (471) and Italy (453)...

Rupp's 2017 victory was his first in a marathon major. He said it compares to his two Olympic medals, silver in the 10,000 meters in 2012, and marathon bronze in 2016. "Nothing can really replace the Olympics," he told Oregon Live. "But winning a major in Chicago, a city I love, was right up there."...

Rupp said he is fully recovered from nagging Achilles and ankle problems that complicated his buildup. "I'm feeling good," he said. "I've been healthy the last five or six weeks."...Rupp's father grew up in Maywood, Illinois and Galen spent a lot of time in the Chicago area during his childhood. 

"I'm so excited to be returning to Chicago to defend my title," Rupp said. "I couldn't be more thrilled to be heading back to the Windy City."  First wave start time is 7:30am Central Time on Sunday.

(10/04/18) Views: 2,055
Bob Anderson
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Global Run Challenge Profile: Running is something that grounds Benn Griffin and helps him self-medicate

RUN THE WORLD:  Benn Griffin parents were runners. "My parents went on running dates in the 80s," says Benn. "I guess that was the start of me. Growing up I ran on the weekends with my mom and dad, usually three miles, and I did a 5k or two," he says.

The movie Forrest Gump came out when he was in third or fourth grade. "Everyone called me Forrest because I could just run and run and run."  Running defines him. He has run every day since December 28, 2012. 

"I believe that running is a universal sport that crosses geographic, political, economic, spiritual, and physical boundaries. It unites us.  Anyone can do it. For the most part I just like to run," says Benn.  

He has run races as short as a mile and as long as 72 hours (188 miles).  He has run 91 marathons and ultras. "In May I won the open division in a 12 hour ultra. It was my sixth time at that race, I'm a creature of habit."   

He does not think there is a secret to success.  "It's just relentless hard work, persistence, mixed with a little bit of stupidity," he says.  

Benn started the ultrarunning community in the Berkshires and is a ultra race director.  "Together with two friends we started with just three races, but then I added two more, so it's a five race summer series."  

Benn is a cross country coach and a sixth grade geography teacher.  A highlight of his coaching was watching his girls have two undefeated seasons in 2015 and 2017.  He teaches at a low income charter school where 92% of the students are first generation college students. 

"My sister and father are educators, as were my paternal grandparents and my aunt. So you could say, like running, it's in the blood."  Running is something that grounds him and helps him self-medicate. 

"My favorite quote of all time comes from a guy named Marc Davis: "All it takes is all you got."  We already have everything we need to be successful. We just have to tap into it and unlock that potential," says Benn Griffin who has already logged in 309.65 miles for the Run The World Global Run Challenge that started July 4.

(08/08/18) Views: 2,002
Bob Anderson
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Potential showdown between Farah and Rupp at Chicago Marathon

Mo Farah has hinted at running the 2018 Chicago Marathon. On Monday, Farah reportedly said he is deciding between Chicago and New York for his fall marathon, but suggested that Chicago is typically a faster event.

If Farah does run Chicago, he would compete against former training partner and Nike Oregon Project member, Galen Rupp. The course record is 2:03:45 set in 2013 by Dennis Kimetto.  (Paula Radcliffe holds the women's record of 2:17:18 in 2002.) 

The course is fast but sometimes it can be hot.  A world record can be set on this course if everything is perfect on marathon day.

(05/30/18) Views: 1,963
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Global Run Challenge Profile: Ultra Marathoner Giant Roy Pirrung has won 85 National Titles

RUN THE WORLD: 69-year-old Roy Pirrung is looking forward to the Run The World challenge and is looking at posting 75 miles weekly. Ultra Running Magazine wrote this: 

In 1980, at the age of 32, Roy Pirrung was 60 pounds overweight, smoked 2 packs of cigarettes a day, and was a self-described binge drinker. He decided to take up running to help change his lifestyle.

Within a year he was 60 pounds lighter, tobacco and alcohol free, and ran his first marathon, in 3:16. Only two years after that his marathon time was down to 2:38.

It would seem he was born to run. In 1985 he ran his first ultra, the Ice Age 50 Mile trail race in Wisconsin, finishing 5th in one of the most competitive trail ultras in the country.

Only four months later he won the Fond du Lac 24-Hour race with just under 138 miles, and found himself ranked #1 American at that event for the year. Yes, he was born to run.

Ultra racing success continued at a brisk pace for Pirrung. In 1987 he became a national champion for the first time, winning the USA 100 Mile Championship in New York City.

A year later he garnered his second national title and his first national record, winning the inaugural USA 24-Hour Championship in Atlanta with a new American Road Record of 145 miles, 1464 yards. Roy Pirrung’s ultra career continued at a world-class level for over two decades, and continues today at a similar level in the Masters age-group categories.

He has raced in almost every state in the USA, and in 26 different countries on five continents. He has run in almost two dozen USA 24-Hour National Championships, has won two of them, and has placed in the top five in 17 of them.

In addition to his three open National Championship gold medals and his three open American Records, he has won over 80 Masters age-group National Championship Titles and has broken over 50 Masters age-group National Records. He is an American Ultrarunning Association Hall of Fame member with over 50 American records and 86 national titles.

Lifetime miles over 100,000. Lifetime races over 1,000.  "We are super excited to have Roy on our team," says Bob Anderson.  Carey Stoneking one of his Facebook friends posted, "OK Roy...But don't over-do it.  They only want to go around the world...Once." 

(06/21/18) Views: 1,950
Bob Anderson
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Global Run Challenge Profile: Swetha Amit says that when the endorphins kicked in after her first half she was hooked

RUN THE WORLD: 36-year-old Swetha Amit started running December of 2010 in her hometown of Mumbai, India.  She was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis and as a result lost a lot of blood, strength and self confidence. 

"Since I couldn’t lift weights in the gym as I used too, I took up running to build back my strength and restore my sense of worth," she says.  Six months later she ran her first half marathon in Mumbai. 

"The sheer feeling of crossing the finish line and with the endorphins kicking in got me hooked. Running has been a part of my life ever since and will continue to be as long as I am alive."

So far she has run one full marathon, 26 half marathons, three Double Races, two 15k's and several 10K's.  She has had eight podium finishes.  "I have gained a wonderful community called the Mumbai Road Runners which is the largest running group in India.  

I have met a lot of inspiring people and learnt a lot from them. I have also run some incredible events in California in the last year which has changed my perception about running." 

She came to California about a year ago with her husband and daughter.  "We met up a year ago on the Stanford campus," says Bob Anderson.  Her husband would be studyng at Stanford over the next year. Swetha would enroll in some creative writing classes. 

"A Facebook friend Ram, founder of Mumbai Road Runner. told me she was coming. I was impressed by her right from the start. Obviously running was a major part of her life along with her family.  We connected right away as us runners do," says Bob.  Swetha says of her stay, 

"We landed here in Stanford, California in June 2017. Coming away from my comfort zone and home in India was initially intimidating. However, I decided to embrace the opportunities."   And she did. 

She has run 27 races and is doing a couple more before leaving in August.  "My stay in the Bay area has been a memorable experience." 

Asked about our Run The World Challenge, "I think it’s a fantastic idea. I have always marveled at the fact that running somehow manages to connect people from across the globe. We run in different parts of the world yet there is this common thread that ultimately brings us together.  We inspire, get inspired from people of varied backgrounds, age groups and their ability to battle against the odds. I feel elated to be a part of this phenomenal challenge." 

(06/22/18) Views: 1,939
Bob Anderson
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Millinocket Maine needed a boost, sure. But not a handout. So Gary Allen started an entry free marathon to help the town

Long-distance runners have a reputation for being as wacky as they are driven. Gary Allen is proof positive of both.

As coach of the Mount Desert Island Middle School cross-country team, he trains his squad mostly by playing zombie invasion games behind the school. He has a screaming-loud stocking hat for every occasion. 

He’s ebullient and sometimes long-winded but knows how to affect reticence with an authenticity that would make any fellow Mainer proud. He treats everyone like his new best friend and begins each conversation with, “Hi. I’m Gary Allen.”

Allen has run a hundred marathons and won his age group in more than a few. In fact, he is one of a few worldwide who have run a sub-three-hour marathon in five different decades. 

He’s the founder of the Mount Desert Island Marathon and the Great Run, a six-hour ultramarathon where competitors simply run back and forth on Great Cranberry Island as many times as they can.  But none of that means much to the 4,500 people who call Millinocket, Maine USA home.

When they talk about a marathon, they’re talking about the one Allen first organized last year — the one that put the town on the long-distance map after Runner’s World picked up the story. The one that has more than 1,000 people clamoring to fly across the country for the opportunity to run here on December 10.

Like most of Allen’s schemes, this one started on a whim. Around Thanksgiving last year, he read yet another newspaper article characterizing Millinocket’s economic woes. 

“It’s not like I set out to find a little town to help. It’s more like a little town found me.” There’ve been a lot of those articles since the Great Northern paper mill closed here in 2008. In the years since, Millinocket has become a symbol for the failure of America’s manufacturing monotowns.

That doesn’t sit well with locals here. And it rubbed Allen the wrong way last fall too. Millinocket needed a boost, sure. But not a handout.

So Gary Allen decided to do what Gary Allen does best: he organized an impromptu marathon. This race was open to all and charged no entry fee. Instead, Allen suggested that participants take the money they would have spent on registration and spend it in Millinocket.

He didn’t advertise any of this except to post it to his Facebook page. Nonetheless, about 50 of his friends agreed to show up for what may well have been America’s first flash-mob marathon. Allen mapped the course on Google Earth.

It’s a gorgeous one: a lazy loop with lots of views of Katahdin and several miles on the iconic Golden Road, a 96-mile stretch of gravel connecting Millinocket and the Canadian border, before it drops back down into town for a finish at Veterans Memorial Park.

Allen warned participants that they’d need to be totally self-sufficient during the race. He printed out slips of paper detailing how to stay on the course. After they were done running, he figured they could have lunch or do some holiday shopping, then fuel up their cars and head home.

Millinocket might not even realize they’d been there. But word got out around in close-knit Millinocket. By the time Allen rolled into town, local businesses had emblazoned signs welcoming the runners. Locals set up a water station around the 5-mile mark and stood for hours guiding runners on the course and directing traffic. A cheering section assembled at the finish.

In other words, the marathon flash mob got flash-mobbed by the town they were supposed to be helping. And in that moment was born an unlikely love affair between one of Maine’s most charismatic runners and a town looking to get back on its feet.

After last year’s race, townspeople asked Allen if he’d organize another one. He agreed. And he said he thought he could make it bigger, better.

Earlier this year, he returned to Millinocket with a surveyor who could certify the course as an official Boston Marathon qualifier — the only one in the country without an entry fee.

As it turned out, Allen’s hastily drawn loop on Google Earth was less than 50 yards off the exact required distance. While Allen and the surveyor were in town, a total stranger offered the two men a house to stay in for as long as they needed.

That, says Allen, is the spirit of Millinocket — and Mainers in general, for that matter. For decades, the town was known as the “Magic City,” a nod to how it seemed to have sprung up overnight in what had previously been untrammeled wilderness.

Millinocket, founded in 1901, is but a blip. And like the Greek goddess Athena, it seemed to emerge fully formed from the mill itself — first as dozens of tar-paper shacks and rooming houses; soon after, as an Anytown, USA, with a bustling main drag and orderly blocks of houses. (Photo by Michael Wilson)

(11/28/18) Views: 1,916
Kathryn Miles
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What happend to Yuki Kawauchi? He did run his 80th sub 2:20 marathon at the Gold Coast!

It was hot and humid at the Gold Coast Marathon (Australia) July 1.  It was 65 degrees with 100% humidity.  Not the best conditions for running a marathon.  Yuki Kawauchi said,  "I could not run well." 

He finished 9th clocking 2:14:50.  (Kenneth Mungara won clocking 2:09:49, Kenta Murayama second 2:09:50 and Jo Fukuda third 2:09:52.)  

Yuki posted on Facebook, "But, I achieved my 80th time of sub 2:20 at this race."    "The Australian people were kind to me," Yuki says.

(Photo: Yuki with fan/marathoner Dion Finocchiaro.  Dion ran 2:24:36 a PR for him.  Maybe meeting Yuki gave him that extra push?) 

Yuki's next marathon is going to be the New Caledonia International Marathon August 26.  Their site says, "This is an Olympic-level world-class marathon as runners battle for victory along a spectacularly scenic route winding around Noumea's bays." 

Yuki posted on Facebook, "This race is my important memorial marathon.Because this race was my first oversea race. If I didn't run this race 10 years ago, I might not run oversea races like now.   

I want to build a course record."  Where is this marathon?  Their site says, "Surrounded by the vast expanse of the South Pacific, New Caledonia, with a surface area of 18,564 km², lies to the east of Australia and south of the thousands of islands and archipelagos making up Melanesia and Micronesia."       

(07/02/18) Views: 1,915
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His goal is to raise One Million Dollars for a coworker battling Tonque Cancer

A man is using the deep rivalry between the Green Bay Packers and the Dallas Cowboys to help a coworker diagnosed with cancer.

When Texas school assistant principal, Bruce Hermans, learned the school's choir director, Allison Hartzell, was battling Stage 4 tongue cancer, he wanted to do something for her.

As an avid runner, Hermans decided to help raise money for Hartzell's treatment by running his first full marathon in his hometown of Green Bay. 

Pitting Packers fans against Cowboys fans, the Run4Allison campaign's goal is to raise $1 million by asking fans to donate in the name of their favorite team.

Which ever team raises the most money, is the jersey Hermans says he will wear crossing the finish line at Lambeau Field during the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon. 

(04/27/18) Views: 1,881
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What is going to happen to Runner's World...more employees terminated

A month after laying off 150 employees inherited through its acquisition of Rodale, Hearst Magazines is undergoing another round of cuts. Runner's World is part of the group of titles previously published by Rodale.

Hearst did not respond to a request for comment, but a source close to the company tells Folio: that at least 50 employees were notified Monday of their termination, effective immediately. It is not clear how many Runner's World employees were asked to leave.

"I am concerned to see this," says RW founder Bob Anderson. "Running and Runner's World grew up together...I have been concerned with all the discounted magazine offers I have been getting...I have some ideas if whoever is calling the shots want to listen," says Bob.

(02/13/18) Views: 1,846
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I liked the way I felt after finishing a run and have never missed a day in nearly 38 years

Lois Bastien of Pinellas Park, Florida, who is 81, has run at least one mile everyday for 37.85 years (13,823 days as of today), which is the longest female streak in the US.

"It wasn't a conscious decision, nor a New Year's resolution," she says. "I was just being a good mom and supporting a daughter who wanted to make her high school cross country team. That was 37 years ago," says Lois, now a great-grandmother.

"I've just been at it every day since." Her then-teenage daughter developed knee problems and had to stop running.

"But I liked the way I felt after finishing a run, full of vigor and glad to be alive, so I kept going. It is just part of my daily routine," Lois says.

(02/20/18) Views: 1,845
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Mo Farah says medals and not money is his incentive

Mo Farah has denied that his move to the marathon is motivated by money and says he is increasingly hopeful he can win a medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

He will run his first race in nearly six months at Sunday’s Vitality Big Half in London. It is rumored he has agreed to a race package worth close to $1.5 million which includes running in the 2018 and 2019 London marathons.

On Sunday he will race 13.1 miles against his fellow countryman Hawkins and also last year’s London marathon winner, Wanjiru. Mo said that his desire to prove himself over 26.2 miles matters far more than anything else.

“I wouldn’t be competing if I didn’t enjoy running,” he said. “You have to set yourself a target. If you look at every great athlete, like Gebrselassie, they have succeeded when they have stepped up to the marathon.”

(03/02/18) Views: 1,842
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