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Paul Chelimo: “Go Hard Or Suffer The Rest Of Your Life”

THE WILD CARD of the U.S. distance scene? That would be Paul Chelimo. He’s unpredictable on the track: witness his blistering 57-second opening at last year’s USATF 5000, his brutal pace for half the race, then a switch to slowish sit-and-kick tactics for the second half of what turned out to be a runner-up performance.

Chelimo can also be unpredictable—as well as funny—off the track. He had plenty of people going this spring with his social media demonstration of how to use a bathtub as a treadmill.

Then there’s his April training account via Twitter: “I drank liquid bleach and went for a tempo run, now I’m seated somewhere on the trail breathing fire… KABOMMMM!!!”

In jest? Of course. Much of the time that’s how the 29-year-old Chelimo operates. But he’s dead serious about where he’s going in this sport. It shows in his oft-repeated mantra: “Go hard or suffer the rest of your life.”

He tells us, “I’m not a perfectionist, but I like being close to perfection in everything I try to do. If I feel like I’m tying up in a workout or in a race, if I don’t go hard, then I’m definitely going to suffer. If I don’t go hard at the Olympics next year, it’s going to be tough for the sponsors to believe in me.”

Still, he has to laugh often, he says, because “I have funny things going on.” He describes one workout that happened the day after he raced at one of Winston-Salem’s Camel City events:

“I went for a long run and it was pouring rain that day, it was crazy. Luckily, I can swim, you know? I ran from the hotel because I missed the shuttle. I was running to where we usually begin our long runs. I got to like, mile 2, and I figured out, ‘Wow, there’s a reason why this year they said they were going with a shuttle.’ It turns out that where we used to cross the water, there was a lot of water, and nothing like a bridge.

“I couldn’t even jump; over the years we used to just jump over the water. And I was like, ‘Man, I’m not going to miss a long run today.’ Because if I decided to go back, that would mean I’m not going to do the long run. And by the side I saw a tree that fell across the water. And I figured I can just jump on this tree and cross. Trust me, it wasn’t a good idea.

“The next thing I saw was just red—it was dirty water. I fell in the water. My whole body. It’s a good thing I can swim. It was like 10-feet deep. I had headphones on and long-run gear and I was drowned, I was drained. I just crossed through and kept going. I met the guys and they were like, ‘How did you get here? Why are you sweating like this?’ I told them what happened and they started laughing at me. They were like, ‘Man, you’re crazy!’ When I am running, there’s a lot of stories happening.”

Chelimo always has been an interesting story himself. He came to the U.S. from Kenya 10 years ago as a recruit for NAIA school Shorter in Arkansas. After winning several national titles, he transferred to UNC Greensboro, where he was twice a runner-up in the NCAA 5000.

In ’14 he entered the Army’s World Class Athletic Program where he found an accelerated path to U.S. citizenship and started to emerge as world class. Two years later his 3rd in the Trials 5000 led to his impressive silver medal performance in Rio, with a then-PR 13:03.90. He landed on the podium again at the London Worlds with his bronze. In ’18, he ran his lifetime best 12:57.55, a mark that makes him the No. 4 American ever.

Last season, however, he didn’t run as well as he had hoped. No longer in the Army, he was competing for Nike but still working with WCAP coach Scott Simmons.

“It was a different thing,” he says, noting that the biggest change came when his wife, Brenda, gave birth to their daughter, Arianna, at the end of ’18. “She has to eat, she has to dress well, she has to get some nice stories, she has to go to school. I had to step up and properly care for my daughter.”

Arianna makes her appearance in the interview, running to her father but tumbling en route and erupting in tears. “She fell down, but she’s OK,” assures Chelimo. “When she sees me, every time she wants all the attention.” He adds, “But definitely, I was able to pick up fitness as the season went by.”

That led him to Doha, where everything went perfectly in the 5000 final, until it didn’t. “I really don’t know what happened to me,” he explains. “When we got to 400 to go, I felt like, ‘Yeah, I think I’ve got the gold this time.’ And just after that, at 300 to go, my legs started tying up; 200 to go I’m in 3rd place and I can’t even move anymore. I mean, [normally] no one can match me in the last 200m.”

Instead, he struggled to 7th in 13:04.60, more than 3 seconds away from a podium spot. “It told me I have an issue with strength,” he says. “If it gets to the point where my legs just give up, it’s time to do it a different way.” So he and Simmons revamped his training to focus on that deficit.

With almost no races this season—2 XC meets in January, 2 indoor affairs in February—Chelimo got frustrated at first, tweeting in May, “Someone find me a race before I lose my mind.” He included a photo of plants growing in his spikes.

“It got to a point.” He acknowledges the frustration, but says he got past it: “I just made up my mind. It doesn’t do any good stressing about racing. The only thing is to stay positive. When you panic, bad things happen. When I stay consistent, that’s the best thing. And trust me, I never, never go to the starting line unless I am really ready to run a race.”

His only “competition” of 2020 after winning the USATF Indoor 3000 was, yes, a triathlon of sorts, where he and his training partners battled in the long jump, shot and discus. For the record, he probably won’t be lured away from the distances after hitting PRs of 13-9½ (4.20) for the long jump, 23-8¾ (7.23) for the shot and 55-9¼ (17.00) for the discus. 

He explains that the impromptu field event competition followed a 20M (32K) long run at 9500ft (2895m) of altitude. “I’m a very competitive guy. It was good for me mentally. At first I thought it was going to be easy. When you’re on the runway, you think you’re going to jump really far, but then once you’re in the air, you start worrying about getting injured and breaking your leg.”

He says that if ’21 goes according to plan, he hopes to hit the Olympic 10K standard of 27:28.00 in the early season and tackle both of the long track races at the OT: “I’ll definitely double. The 5K comes first, which is perfect for me, because the 10K is not my main goal.”

Recall that in May ’19 he ran his first 10,000 in 8 years, scoring a PR 27:43.89 in Stockholm. That came two months after his debut half-marathon (62:19) in New York.

“At this point, I’m trying to move up in distance,” he says. “A few years down the line, I might be dropping into marathons, that is my big goal. I mean, in 2028 in LA, I’m going to be in the marathon hopefully.”

Chelimo sums up his career ambition by saying that for him, medals mean much more than records. “I feel like I was built for championship races. I have a tough mentality. It wouldn’t do me any good to break the American Record and not medal at the Olympics. My big goal is I want to peak really well for the Olympic Games. I don’t want to get distracted.

“I want to be smart and I want to be patient.”

 

(09/27/2020) Views: 17 ⚡AMP
by Track and Field News
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Why Kipkemboi is relishing to pace at London Marathon

In 2011, Kipkemboi joined Rock High School in Tororo, Uganda after his brother,Eliud Kibet Too, who is also an athlete secured a place for him. He sat his Form Four exams and when he was unable to continue to Form Five, Kipkemboi returned home.

That is when he started training after being inspired by what his brother was doing. Kipkemboi joined Complete Sports stable before shifting to Global Sports Communication.

When London Marathon was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Kaptagat-based athlete Noah Kipkemboi engaged high gear in training instead of reverse considering the importance of the race.

His mind had been set on the initial April 26 race date, but organisers moved the event to October 4 owing to travel restrictions and Covid-19 health concerns. Now only elite races for men, women and wheelchair athletes will be held in an enclosed loop.

Coronavirus scuttled the global sports calendar that resulted in the cancellation of major events including the Olympic Games that were postponed to next year in Tokyo, Japan.

Kipkemboi is one of the pacemakers for some of the best athletes in the world. Defending champion and world marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge (2hours:01 minute:39 seconds), Rotterdam Marathon champion Marius Kipserem, Amsterdam Marathon champion Vincent Kipchumba and 2016 Mumbai Marathon champion Gideon Kipketer will line up on the big day in London.

The spotlight will be on Kipchoge, the first man to run a sub-two hours (1:59:40) in the INEOS 1:59 Challenge in Vienna, Austria, last October as he goes head-to-head with his great rival, Ethiopian legend Kenenisa Bekele.

Nation Sport recently caught up with Kipkemboi training at Kipchoge Keino Stadium in Uasin Gishu County. 

Together with his colleagues from the Global Sports Communication stable, the athletes were tying up loose ends as they prepare for the race.

Kipchoge, who is also the Olympic marathon champion, Kipkemboi and Victor Chumo, who was also a pacemaker in Vienna, took turns to set the pace when we found them training at the Kipchoge Stadium.

In an interview with Nation Sport, Kipkemboi said that he is privileged to be among the pacemakers who will be leading some of the best athletes in the world. He is satisfied with his preparations.

"It will not be an easy task because some of the best athletes will be competing in the race. That means the pace will be fast, but I’m ready for the assignment,” said Kipkemboi.

He said that after competitions were cancelled because of the virus in April, he was disappointed. He had to train alone and he followed the Ministry of Health directives on social distancing.

“It was not easy training alone because athletes are used to training in a group. Nevertheless, I stayed focused. I am in good shape. My colleagues and I are putting some final touches. I believe I will perform well in the huge task ahead,” said the runner.

Kipkemboi said he was delighted when he was picked as one of the athletes who will set the pace in London.

“It will be my first time to pace in a major marathon. This has made me work extra hard in training because this race will need effective preparations. I don’t want to disappoint anyone,” he said.

Kipkemboi joined the Global Communications stable in 2017 and has been rising steadily. He was among the athletes who paced for Kipchoge during the sub-two project in Monza, Italy, where he missed the mark.

Kipkemboi was again selected last year among the 41 pacemakers for Kipchoge in the INEOS 1:59 Challenge in Vienna. Kipkemboi rates the Vienna race as one of the best he has ever participated in.“That was a good race because it brought together many athletes from different countries for a worthy course,” said Kipkemboi.

Last year, he finished in ninth position in the Lisbon Half Marathon in a personal best of 60:52, before emerging third in Sevenhills Road Race in Netherlands.

Kipkemboi was second during the Kass Half Marathon in 2018 and he was also second in the Kakamega Half Marathon last year.

Kipkemboi was born in 1993 in Legetet, Uasin Gishu County. He went to school at Legetet Primary School and then proceeded to Ndubeneti Secondary School. However, he dropped out of school for lack of fees.

In 2011, he joined Rock High School in Tororo, Uganda after his brother ,Eliud Kibet Too, who is also an athlete secured a place for him. He sat his Form Four exams and when he was unable to continue to Form Five, Kipkemboi returned home.

That is when he started training after being inspired by what his brother was doing. Kipkemboi joined Complete Sports stable before shifting to Global Sports Communication.

(09/27/2020) Views: 13 ⚡AMP
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Tokyo needs to convince sponsors Olympics will really happen

IOC President Thomas Bach this week will join a number of Japanese government and city officials, local organizers and other top International Olympic Committee leaders in repeating a message they’ve failed to convey forcefully enough to local sponsors

TOKYO -- The only thing more difficult than staging next year's Tokyo Olympics in a pandemic might be convincing sponsors to keep their billions of dollars on board in the midst of economic turbulence and skepticism.

To make the point this week, IOC President Thomas Bach will join a number of Japanese government and city officials, local organizers and other top International Olympic Committee leaders in repeating a message they've failed to convey forcefully enough to deep-pocketed sponsors: Trust us, the Tokyo Olympics will open on July 23, 2021.

Bach and IOC vice president John Coates — who oversees Tokyo preparations — are expected to speak remotely to Japanese officials as they meet on Thursday and Friday. The agenda includes plotting countermeasures against COVID-19: quarantines, rules for athletes entering the country, testing, vaccines and the presence or absence of fans.

Few firm details are expected until late in the year or early in 2021, which accounts for the uncertainty.

The subtext is assuring sponsors that the Olympics will happen. Tokyo organizing committee CEO Toshiro Muto has acknowledged the word's not getting out.

“The fact the Olympics are going to take place — the fact itself — is not fully distributed to the public," Muto, speaking in Japanese, said last week. "People need to be more convinced that, yes, the Olympics will be taking place for sure.”

A former deputy governor of the Bank of Japan, Muto has been vague about how many domestic sponsors are renewing their contracts. He says of the 68 sponsors: "They are all positive.”

”We're still in the middle of negotiations. We're not in the phase of speaking about any concrete results," he said.

Surveys have shown a majority of Japanese companies and the pubic don't think the Olympics will happen next year — or should happen. A poll published in June by Japanese broadcaster NHK said two-thirds of sponsors were undecided about extending for another year.

Keeping domestic sponsors on board is financially critical. Recruited by the giant Japanese advertising agency Dentsu Inc., domestic sponsors have paid a record $3.3 billion — at least twice any previous Olympics — to the local organizing committee. This is over and above a dozen permanent Olympic sponsors who have signed long-term with the IOC. Some also have individual contracts with Tokyo organizers.

John Grady, who teaches sports law at the University of South Carolina, said the postponement has “created countless problems and ripple effects."

“With the uncertainty of the Tokyo Games occurring with few or limited fans, local sponsors would be right to be cautious in investing more sponsorship dollars if they cannot reach fans on site,” Grady wrote in an email to The Associated Press. “The lack of a wider international fan base that is typical at an Olympics would shrink the global audience who has access to seeing local sponsors’ activation efforts around Olympic venues in the host city.”

Despite the uncertainty, it will be difficult for sponsors to step away in a country where conformity and teamwork are valued and national loyalty could be called into question.

Japan also has a long history of supporting the Olympics, and many in decision-making roles recall fondly the positive impact of the 1964 Tokyo Games, which showed the country's rebirth just 19 years after defeat in World War II.

“There's a strong underlying narrative that this event is really good for the country,” Robin Kietlinski, who teaches and researches Japanese sports and history at LaGuardia Community College in New York, said in an interview with the AP.

“I think there is almost historic pressure to have it go smoothly and to benefit Japan in some way," she added. “Whether that's financially, or whether that is getting their companies seen. There is something, too, about the rising China and — especially compared to 1964 — how Japan is somewhat in the shadow of this huge economy next door.”

Japanese organizers are saying little about how 15,400 Olympic and Paralympic athletes, staff and officials will be safe in Tokyo.

“The environment, when it comes to Tokyo, will be different than from the environment today," Bach said this month. “We only do not know which way.”

Bach has said that even if rapid tests and a vaccine were available, they will not be the “silver bullet."

A study last week from the University of Oxford showed Tokyo to be the most expensive Summer Olympics dating from 1960. And the meter is still running.

The Kyodo news agency also reported again this week on more details about the bribery scandal that seemed to have helped Tokyo land the Olympics.

David Leheny, who teach politics as Japan's Waseda Univeristy, suggested “hard-fought” talks are taking place with sponsors.

“My guess is that there will be a round of negotiation for lighter sponsorship contracts, with the firms holding most of the cards on the terms if they remain cohesive,” Leheny said in an email.

“The organizers don’t want to give up on any sponsors but also don’t want to look like extortionate bullies in the midst of a pandemic/recession ... none wants to be the first to be seen as abandoning them."

 

(09/27/2020) Views: 14 ⚡AMP
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Things trail runners don’t have to deal with

Being a trail runner certainly has its perks

If you’re a trail runner, you might find road running to be very annoying. There are a lot of things that road runners have to worry about, like traffic, fellow pedestrians and much more. There are definitely things that runners need to be ready for on the trails, too, but the road is a very busy place. Here are some of the most annoying things that road runners have to put up with on a regular basis.

Cars

Cars are everywhere. If you’re running on the side of the road, you’re essentially putting your safety in the hands of drivers. You can do everything possible to be safe, but if a driver is texting or distracted, they could give you a scare. There are also those drivers who hate runners for some reason. Maybe they had a traumatic experience in gym class many years ago during the beep-test or in cross-country and they vowed to never run again. Whatever the case may be, there are some drivers out there who do, in fact, see runners, but choose not to give them any room on the side of the road. To the drivers out there who do respect runners, you’re good people and we appreciate it.

Dogs

Yes, you may encounter wild dogs on the trails, but they tend to stay away from humans. Domesticated dogs, on the other hand, aren’t afraid of people, and if they see you running by their homes on the road, they might decide to chase after you. If you do happen to come across a domesticated dog on the trails, they’re probably leashed or very well-behaved (otherwise their owner probably wouldn’t have let them run free), so you have nothing to worry about.

Stop lights

There’s nothing worse than being in the zone on a run only to be forced out of it when you have to stop at a light. You stop your watch, you stand there awkwardly and by the time you’re allowed to cross the street, you’re out of that groove from before. On the trails, you can stay dialled in for as long as you want, whether that’s 30 minutes or eight hours, and you get to decide when you want to stop.

Boring routes

Some road routes can be fun, but a lot are just repetitive, and after a few minutes of running, you can get bored. When you’re running on the trails, you have to be focused or else you could trip and fall. This keeps you engaged and alert throughout your entire run.

Foot traffic

Trails have certainly gotten busier during COVID-19, but there can be days when you go for a run and never see another person on the trail. On the roads, especially in cities, you have to dodge walkers and other runners on the sidewalks. This is just tedious, and if it’s super busy, you really won’t get much of a workout in.

“Run, Forrest, run!”

Everyone on the trails is there for the same reason as you: they like to hike, run, mountain bike or just be in nature. When you’re on the road, those people from before, the ones who hate runners, will decide to shout things like, “Run, Forrest, run!” at you as you pass by, which is of course hilarious and so original. You won’t hear anything like that on the trails. Instead, you just get a nice “Hello” from everyone you pass.

We aren’t saying the trails are better than the road, but there are definitely some perks to running in the woods.

(09/27/2020) Views: 10 ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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SARA HALL REFLECTS ON HARD WORK AND MOTHERHOOD IN BUILD UP TO LONDON MARATHON

Running At Peak Form Into Her Late 30s, Hall Continues Lifelong Pattern Of Putting In The Effort

When the future of racing in 2020 looked bleak as the COVID-19 crisis swept the world last spring, Sara Hall didn’t lose hope.

“I started training for a marathon in faith, before I knew there would be any real competitions,” said Hall, who has been eager to finally move past her heartbreaking performance from February at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, where she dropped out at mile 22.

“It would have been easier just to hit the couch, but I set my mind on running a marathon, some way some how.”

Even if it meant racing 26.2 miles by herself, she said.

Ryan Hall, a two-time U.S. Olympic marathoner who retired in 2016, said his wife’s relentless competitive drive is one of his biggest challenges as her coach.

“She loves to train hard, but has a hard time taking extended breaks,” he said. “She is always ‘chomping at the bit’ to get back out there.”

When Hall heard that the London Marathon would host a highly secure, elite-only race amid the pandemic, she jumped at the precious opportunity.

On Oct. 4, she will face some of the world’s best marathoners, including defending London champion and world record holder Brigid Kosgei of Kenya and U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials champion Molly Seidel.

“Getting into the London Marathon felt like such a reward for a lot of perseverance this year — being willing to put in the work on faith alone,” said Hall, 37. “It felt against all odds to get to toe the line in a world marathon major.”

‘Against all odds’ is a familiar theme for Hall, a mother of four who has posted the fastest times of her career well into her 30s, including a 2:22 marathon last year in Berlin, where she finished fifth. Last month, with two male pacers, she ran a personal best of 1:08:18 in a half marathon along the Row River Trail in south of Eugene, Oregon, making her the sixth-fastest American woman ever in that distance.

A former Foot Locker Cross Country National Champion in high school and distance standout at Stanford University, Hall has competed at the highest levels of distance running for two decades — a great accomplishment in itself.

“It’s definitely surprised me,” she said of her longevity in the sport. “I think it’s a lot of factors, but I think the biggest are being naturally durable and learning to be really mentally-emotionally resilient.”

Ten years ago, after disappointing results as a 1,500-meter and 5,000-meter runner on the track, Hall thought her elite running career was over. She credits her Christian faith and Ryan with convincing her she had more to achieve.

Since then, she’s not only moved up to and mastered the marathon distance, she’s done it while becoming a mother to four adopted sisters from Ethiopia.

“When we adopted them, I didn’t think I’d be able to keep competing, but instead I’ve improved every year since they’ve been here,” said Hall, who is using her race in London to raise money for homeless children in Ethiopia, where she and Ryan have spent a lot of time working on various causes.

“I get to model to (my daughters) so many character aspects I want to instill in them: picking yourself up after defeat, taking risks, hard work, commitment,” she said. “Running is the greatest teacher.”

Inspired by their parents, three of the Halls' daughters have become runners. The oldest, Hana, currently a freshman runner at Grand Canyon University, won the Division 2 Arizona Cross Country Championships last fall. Hana and Mia, 16, both ran with their mom at the half marathon in Oregon.

In addition managing her kids’ remote learning and getting in her workouts, Hall has made time to discuss the racial justice movements happening across the United States.

“I’ve told my daughters about George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor,” she said. “We’ve discussed the movement in the U.S. and the systemic racism over the last 400 years that is the backstory to these recent events. I personally have been learning a lot.”

Despite the world’s turmoil in recent months, Hall has maintained extraordinary focus on the road ahead.

In the London Marathon, which will be held on a closed-loop course around St. James Park, she hopes to snag a new personal best and would love to finally land on the podium, after finishing fifth at the Frankfurt and Berlin Marathons.

“I’m focused on having my best marathon yet,” she said.

(09/26/2020) Views: 29 ⚡AMP
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

The London Marathon was first run on March 29, 1981 and has been held in the spring of every year since 2010. It is sponsored by Virgin Money and was founded by the former Olympic champion and journalist Chris Brasher and Welsh athlete John Disley. It is organized by Hugh Brasher (son of Chris) as Race Director and Nick Bitel...

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Dec. 6th’s 2020 California International Marathon Canceled Due to COVID-19

The 38th annual California International Marathon, organized by the Sacramento Running Association and scheduled to run Sunday, Dec. 6 2020, has been canceled due to health and safety guidelines associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. All 2020 CIM registrants will receive a voucher for free registration into either the 2021, 2022, or 2023 CIM.

“After 37 years of world class production, the CIM has established itself as a Sacramento institution, a valuable civic amenity, and an important cornerstone event on the annual national running scene. Because of this, the CIM cancellation is a devastating blow to the Sacramento region and to the larger running community,” said Sacramento Running Association Executive Director Scott Abbott.

The CIM annually hosts over 15,000 participants, 75,000 spectators, and 4,000 volunteers over the course of marathon weekend, while filling nearly 10,000 hotel room nights and adding an estimated $11 million economic impact to the Sacramento region.

In addition to the impact on local hotels, restaurants and retailers, the event historically raises over $500,000 for local charities and community organizations through leveraged fundraising and direct giving every year.

“Local, regional, and state health officials worked very hard over the past few months to help us find a way for the event to happen, and we appreciate their efforts and their commitment to helping us fulfill our duty to our participants and stakeholders. Ultimately, there were too many uncertain variables in play that prevented our ability to put on this year’s CIM,” added Abbott. “Through this process, however, we are encouraged that we have identified safe policies and protocols for bringing in-person running events back to our community very soon, and we are looking forward to providing leadership in this space for Sacramento.”

Associated canceled events include November’s Run The Parkway, The Capitol 5k, and UC Davis Children’s Hospital maraFUNrun.

For runners still planning to train for a marathon this fall, the CIM has launched “Project 26.20” a virtual platform with training incentives and a race day virtual experience. More information can be found at runsra.org/project-26-20

The Sacramento Running Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to finding ways to encourage people of all ages and abilities to run. The SRA is committed to developing new, quality running events that appeal to a broad variety of runners.

Other SRA events include the Super Sunday Run, the Credit Union SACTOWN Run, the Gold Country Half, the Capital Cross Challenge, and Youth XC Series.

(09/26/2020) Views: 25 ⚡AMP
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California International Marathon

California International Marathon

The California International Marathon (CIM) is a marathon organized by runners, for runners! CIM was founded in 1983 by the Sacramento Running Association (SRA), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The SRA Board of Directors is comprised of runners with a combined total of 150+ years of service to the CIM. The same route SRA management created for the 1983 inaugural CIM...

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Frankfurt Marathon champion Valary Jemeli Aiyabei is currently ranked as the 10th fastest woman in marathon history

Vegetables vendor who conquered the Frankfurt marathon, ranked as the 10th fastest woman in marathon history.

This is after breaking the course record in Frankfurt last year, winning in two hours, 19 minutes and 10 seconds.

But she’s not done yet and will be seeking to move up the pecking order at the London Marathon next Sunday.

Her’s is an amazing story of a late bloomer who started off selling vegetables to eke out a living before taking to athletics.

In London, she will be competing against compatriots, defending champion Brigid Kosgei, 2018 champion Vivian Cheruiyot, world marathon champion Ruth Chepng’etich and debutant Edith Chelimo.

Aiyabei told Nation Sport that her preparations for the London race are complete and that she looks forward to a good race.

“My training was injury free and I’m happy because despite the Covid-19 challenges, I managed to train well and I’m just waiting for the race day,” said Aiyabei.

She also said that training in a group helps athletes gauge their limit but she has been training alone which she feels that she has done well so far.

“It’s my first time to compete in London Marathon and I will be doing my best despite the fact that I was training alone. I trust I did well and finished my training programme and I will be implementing what I have done so far,” she added.

Went there to set up business

Aiyabei joins the long list of athletes who started their training and ventured straight into the road and marathon races. She trains in Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet County, where she has called home since 2011 when she went there to set up business but decided to join athletes who used to train every day.

Aiyabei comes from a humble background and after graduating from Kapkitony High School in Elgeyo Marakwet, life was hard and she decided to shift base to Iten where she started a small business to keep her going. The athlete decided to look for some income generation and her mind clicked Iten, a busy town full of athletes training for various races where she thought there could be good circulation of cash.

It was while she was selling her vegetables and fruits, that she could see athletes training every day and she was attracted to the sport.

“Poverty pushed me to Iten town where I used to hear that athletes were camping and I wanted to go there and make money. In my interaction with them, I came to love the sport and I started training in the morning and evening every day,” said Aiyabei.

She started training on road races and she later had her first child, Michelle Chebet, before getting back to serious training.

“With good training I’m very much sure that I can still lower that time but my target is to also run a world record time in the near future,” said Aiyabei.

At the Frankfurt Marathon, Aiyabei broke from the leading pack with her husband Ken Tarus pacing for her in the initial stages before he dropped out of the race after feeling unwell.

“It was tough running alone when the pacemaker dropped but I kept going because I wanted to win the race. Breaking early saved me because the Ethiopian athlete (Kebede) looked strong and she would have beaten me in the final part of the race,” said Aiyabei.

(09/26/2020) Views: 29 ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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Hellen Obiri won the 3000m at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Doha

With about 90 seconds to go in the women’s 3000m at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Doha on Friday (25), it looked as though Hellen Obiri would register a rare defeat in the Qatari capital.

Little more than 24 hours earlier, the world cross-country champion from Kenya had explained how Doha was one of her favourite cities to race in, having set her 3000m PB here in 2014 and retained her world 5000m title last year in the Khalifa Stadium.

But when world steeplechase champion Beatrice Chepkoech breezed into the lead with about 550 metres left in tonight’s 3000m race, Obiri kept her cool for another 200 metres before she unleashed her trademark kick for home, eventually winning in a world-leading 8:22.54.

The field of 15 women, loaded with world and Olympic medallists, was paced through the first kilometre in 2:48.46. Obiri and Chepkoech were tucked behind the pacemaker with world 10,000m bronze medallist Agnes Tirop and world 5000m silver medallist Margaret Chelimo Kipkemboi also near the front of the tightly-bunched pack.

After the pacemaker dropped out at the 1600m point, Obiri led the pack and reached 2000m in 5:39.70, the pace having slowed slightly. Eight women were still in contention with two laps to go with Obiri, Chepkoech, Tirop and Kipkemboi still occupying the first four places.

Chepkoech made her move as she entered the home straight for the penultimate time, but Obiri responded with about 350 metres remaining, her head rocking and arms fighting, as is often her style at the end of races.

Tirop and Chepkoech made up some ground in the final stages, but Obiri held on to win in 8:22.54, the second-fastest time of her career behind the 8:20.68 African outdoor record she set on this track six years ago.

The next five women to cross the line were all rewarded with PBs. Tirop and Chepkoech finished second and third respectively, both timed at 8:22.92, while Kipkemboi (8:24.76) and 2015 world steeplechase champion Hyvin Kiyeng (8:25.13) were fourth and fifth. For the first time in history, seven women finished inside 8:27.

“Doha has become like a second home to me as I've won so many races here, including the World Championships last year,” said Obiri. "The season has not been the best for everyone but I am happy it is coming to an end."

(09/26/2020) Views: 20 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Tokyo Olympics announces potential cost-reduction plan for 2021 event

Friday morning, the Tokyo Olympics organizers announced a proposal to cut the number of officials for next year’s event by 10 to 15 per cent in order to save money. Cutting the number of officials is just one part of their cost-reduction proposal, which reportedly includes 50 other measures to simplify the Games. 

Other proposed measures include reducing invitations for both the opening and closing ceremonies, cutting team welcome ceremonies at the Olympic Village, reducing the decoration budget, a shorter window for training venues and giving fewer officials access to official bus services (and instead encouraging them to take public transit).

According to Inside the Games, IOC President Thomas Bach addressed organizers this week, urging them to work diligently and comprehensively. “Nobody can expect from us that we know already, exactly what needs to be done in 10 months from now to ensure a safe environment for everybody,” he said.

Earlier this year, the IOC said that the Olympics wouldn’t happen without a vaccine. However, in recent weeks they’ve back pedalled on that statement, suggesting that it will go on either way. At a press conference this week, Bach cited the Tour de France as a sports event that was successful without a vaccine. 

The Games are scheduled to begin on July 23, 2021. 

(09/26/2020) Views: 23 ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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Canadian group honours RBG with virtual run

The Running Women Global Community is hosting a virtual run in honour of Bader Ginsberg. Here's how you can participate

In July, Zahra Nafar of Ottawa created the Running Women Global Community when she felt there wasn’t a space for BIPOC and LGBTQ women to freely participate in the running groups that already existed. It turns out that Nafar spotted a gap in runners’ experience that had long been felt by many women, as within days, her Facebook group grew to a few thousand members from all over the world. Nafar has announced that the group’s first virtual run will be in honour of former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, who died on September 18.

Nafar says, “I know the positive changes that running can make to the lives of women and I am keen on keeping this community strong and free of advertisement, discrimination, hate and to help cultivate support for all those who present as women.”

In honour of the late RBG, as she was known, Nafar and her colleagues have put together a virtual run. It’s free to enter and all proceeds will go towards women’s shelters worldwide. Runners have between now and December 31 to complete their run – they could even make a run in honour of RBG their last official act of 2020, with the event closing at midnight.

(09/26/2020) Views: 23 ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Kenyan runner Patrick Siele banned for fleeing anti-doping staff

Kenyan long-distance runner Patrick Siele has been banned for three-and-a-half years for fleeing from anti-doping officials who were trying to collect a sample, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) said on Thursday.

Siele is the latest in a long line of Kenyan athletes to be sanctioned in recent years, including 2008 Olympic 1,500m champion Asbel Kiprop, former Boston and Chicago Marathon winner Rita Jeptoo and 2016 Olympic marathon champion Jemimah Sumgong.

Former 1,500 metres world champion Elijah Manangoi, who is also from Kenya, was provisionally suspended in July for missing three tests under the whereabouts rule.

The AIU global disciplinary body said in a statement that Siele ran away from anti-doping personnel and an independent witness confirmed he "hurdled a fence to escape from the compound" in Kapsabet in west Kenya on Dec. 18 last year.

His sanction has been backdated to March 16, 2020.

Siele's ban was initially set for four years but was reduced by six months after he "promptly admitted the violation".

"The AIU... agreed to a six month reduction in the sanction, taking into account... that this was his first experience of out-of-competition testing and his relative lack of anti-doping education which may have contributed to his error of judgment on the day," the AIU said.

Siele, who clocked 2hr 10 min and 42 sec in the Shanghai Marathon last year, is not one of the world’s elite, but his ban is another embarrassment for Kenya.  This brings the total to 66 runners banned now.  

(09/25/2020) Views: 53 ⚡AMP
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Molly Seidel has found a way to run again

Molly Seidel ran her first marathon in February at the U.S. Olympic trials in Atlanta -- finishing second and qualifying for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The games have been postponed, but Seidel, 26, continues to train and will compete in her second marathon Oct. 4 with an elite group of runners at the London Marathon. What follows is the story of her journey of recovery from anxiety, depression and disordered eating told in her words.

When I crossed the finish line in Atlanta this year, my full, messy story was out there. And, to some degree, the media and people on the outside wanted to put a nice tidy bow on it. They wanted this marathon and the Olympics to be my new story: the next phase of Molly the Runner. But the reality is much messier.

I will never overcome my eating disorder. I still struggle: I relapse and I actively deal with the ups and downs that come with chronic OCD, depression and anxiety. It's not something that a nice tidy bow -- like the Olympic trials or even the Olympics -- can disguise.

Obviously, there was a sadness to the Olympics being postponed. I would have loved to get to race this summer. But part of my recovery and mental health journey is all about realizing what I can control. And right now, I can't control that the Olympics were postponed. I can, however, control how I view this postponement. Since I'm new to marathons, I'm looking at this postponement year as a big opportunity. I can use the extra time to my advantage and improve every aspect of my training.

Before the trials, I had five months of healthy training. And after the trials, the narrative buzzing around me was, "Molly Seidel's second marathon will be the Tokyo Olympics." Honestly, I didn't want my second race to be the Olympics. This postponement allows me the time to gain more experience, train for an extra year, nail down my nutrition and run another marathon.

Instead of competing in Tokyo this August, I traveled to Flagstaff, Arizona, for altitude training. About eight weeks before the London Marathon in October, I learned I would be one of the elite racers competing overseas. A normal marathon training schedule is closer to 12 weeks, but just like the Olympic postponement, I realized the only thing I could control was utilizing the next two months to prepare.

Beyond my training and marathon builds, I have to make sure that I'm focusing on my mental health over the next year. It's by no means going to be seamless. I know there will be a lot of good times and bad times over this next year. I can't just stay consistent in my training, but I also need to stay consistent in going to therapy and all the nitty-gritty stuff that isn't quite as fun, but I have to maintain.

Today, I would not be the runner I am without my struggles. I would not be the person I am without my struggles.

I don't have to be perfect. The London Marathon won't be perfect. It might not be the greatest race of my life, but it will be a learning experience. And it will bring me one step closer to the Olympics.

Molly Seidel has stopped trying to outrun OCD, depression and anxiety. She has taken control of her story and is preparing for the London Marathon -- and eventually the Tokyo Olympics.

 

(09/25/2020) Views: 49 ⚡AMP
by Charlotte Gibson
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

The London Marathon was first run on March 29, 1981 and has been held in the spring of every year since 2010. It is sponsored by Virgin Money and was founded by the former Olympic champion and journalist Chris Brasher and Welsh athlete John Disley. It is organized by Hugh Brasher (son of Chris) as Race Director and Nick Bitel...

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Venice Marathon will go forward with just two Runners, one man and one woman

Instead of the usual 5000 runners this year's Venice Marathon will only have two, one man and one woman. Under an initiative announced by race organizers yesterday called "Venicemarathon One for All," one male and one female runner will be chosen at random from the field of 5000 entrants to run the famous course from Villa Pisani Museo Nazionale, through the Piazza San Marco, to the finish at the Giardino della Marinaressa. Because of the pandemic, the remainder of the field must run virtually.

"During this hard time we worked in close and continuous contact with local authorities, health institutions and FIDAL (the Italian Federation of Athletics) to try and organize the event this year as our tradition saw in the past," said marathon president Piero Rosa Salva through a statement. "Unfortunately, the strong concern for an epidemiological situation still in progress, especially abroad, forced us, with great regret but with a necessary sense of responsibility, to recognize the impossibility of managing in health safety the events which involved last year about 30,000 people including athletes, school children, volunteers, police forces and professionals."

The marathon's 5000 registrants may run virtually, from October 24, to November 1. But the two in-person participants will "have the opportunity to run for all athletes," on the official race day of Sunday, October 25, organizers said. Those runners will have a full escort of vehicles "that will assist them along the race course, guaranteeing their safety," according to the organizers. There will be a live video stream of their run.

There will also be a start-as-you-please 10-K in the nearby Parco San Giuliano where runners can complete a marked race course anytime between 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. and get an official time. The park is near the 30-K mark of the marathon course, and 10-K runners can possibly get a glimpse of the two marathoners when they go by.

The Venice Marathon is widely recognized as Italy's best fall marathon. The course records were both set by Kenyans: 2:08:13 by John Komen in 2009 and 2:23:37 by Helena Loshanyang Kirop in 2011. Last year's winners, Tesfaye Ambesa Lencho of Ethiopia and Judith Korir of Kenya, each earned 5000 euros in prize money plus time bonuses.

(09/25/2020) Views: 46 ⚡AMP
by David Monti
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Venice Marathon

Venice Marathon

The Venice Marathon is one of the most beautiful marathons known for the historical, artistic and picturesque surrounding in which it takes place. It starts in Stra, a small village located at about 25 km west of Venice, at the beginning of the Riviera del Brenta, a beautiful area near the River Brenta, where the rich and noble Venetians built...

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Abu Dhabi Marathon champion Vivian Kiplagat is among the athletes enlisted late to lay the groundwork for the women’s elite London Marathon field

So stellar is the London Marathon cast that they have an Abu Dhabi and Honolulu Marathon champion as pacemaker.

Never mind the fact that multiple world and Olympic champion Mo Farah is also a “rabbit” for the October 4 race that will be televised live on NTV.

Abu Dhabi Marathon champion Vivian Jerono Kiplagat is among the athletes enlisted late to lay the groundwork for the women’s elite field.

The London Marathon is the only World Marathon Majors race scheduled post-coronavirus after Berlin, Boston, New York and Chicago marathons were cancelled.

Tokyo managed to sneak in an elite-only race in March before all hell broke lose, coronavirus-wise.

Kiplagat, who has been training with the world record holder Brigid Kosgei in Kapsait, Elgeyo Marakwet County, is optimistic that her training mate will retain her title and if possible run a course record.

Pacing for the first time in history, the soft-spoken athlete said that she has done adequate training and will be looking forward to a good race on October 4.

“I have done good training and I believe I will be able to finish the required distance but the most important thing is to help my friend and training mate Brigid to retain her title. She has done well in training and I trust her when she lines for the race,” she said.

Kiplagat was preparing for the Paris Marathon and was looking forward to be on the podium, but, just like many other athletes, she was rudely interrupted by coronavirus.

This made her reduce her work load aiming to just to keep fit as she waits for another season but she is happy she will be racing anyway.

“I was supposed to compete in Paris and I was in good shape… I knew I would be on the podium there, but the virus stopped my plans. It affected everybody and I’m happy I have been tasked to pace for London athletes. I will be doing my best despite the fact that it’s my first time,” said Kiplagat.

She noted that despite the huge expectations having been training with the world record holder, and coupled with the fact that she will be competing with the best in the world, she is confident that she’s up to the task.

“I was called upon to come back to the camp which is still closed for the other athletes and we had to prepare for the last three months. We are now finalising on our programme as we look forward to a good race,” she said.

Kiplagat also said that Brigid has been her mentor and she wants to run in future like her as she looks forward to taking the sport to another level.

“Athletics will always change, and I want to be in history as one of the athletes who took the sport to another level. My fans should watch this space!” she declared.

Kiplagat then stormed to victory in Abu Dhabi Marathon last year after she clocked 2:21:11, setting another new personal best, shaving over a minute off the time set in her victory at the Milano Marathon in 2019.

(09/25/2020) Views: 34 ⚡AMP
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

The London Marathon was first run on March 29, 1981 and has been held in the spring of every year since 2010. It is sponsored by Virgin Money and was founded by the former Olympic champion and journalist Chris Brasher and Welsh athlete John Disley. It is organized by Hugh Brasher (son of Chris) as Race Director and Nick Bitel...

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There is a week to go with the 97th edition of Europe’s oldest marathon, founded in 1924

There is a week to go until the 97th edition of Europe’s oldest marathon, founded in 1924.

The Košice Peace Marathon takes place on 4 October under the auspices of the President of the Slovak Republic Zuzana Čaputová and will be limited to 1000 participants for the marathon distance.

Performances in this race can count towards qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics. Leading runners are Miharu Shimokado (JPN, 2:27:54) and Viktoriya Khapilina (UKR, 2:28:03). There are a few marathon debuts in the men’s race including Mohamed Ali (NED, 1:03:09) and Pierre Denays (BEL, 1:03:54).

This edition of the Košice Peace Marathon is dedicated to Derek Clayton (78), the first man who ran under 2:10. He competed in Košice 50 years ago. Lochlan Clarke, a young Australian student living in Košice, will symbolically run in his footsteps.

Peter Polak (72) will run his 44th Košice Peace Marathon and there are 61 members of Diamond Club, who have each completed the Košice Marathon 25 times or more.

(09/25/2020) Views: 38 ⚡AMP
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kosice Peace Marathon

kosice Peace Marathon

The Kosice Peace Marathon is the oldest European marathon.This year for the organizers of Kosice Peace Marathon is also about memories and flashbacks. One of the fastest marathon courses has been created in Košice 20 years ago on that occasion it was the 1997 IAAF World Half Marathon Champioships. Tegla Loroupe and Shem Kororia were awarded from the hands of...

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We didn't even think for a moment that the Istanbul Half Marathon, which we have organized for 14 years with pleasure, could be canceled

Turkey's largest city hosted the Vodafone Istanbul Half Marathon on September 20 -- one of the top eight half marathons in the world -- with measures against the novel coronavirus.

Participants this year ran 21 kilometers on the streets of Istanbul's historical peninsula on the European side of the city bifurcated by the Bosphorus Strait across two continents. Professional competitors were limited to only around 2,500 due to the precautions against the virus.

Turkish runners Sezgin Atac (photo) and Fatma Demir clinched the 15th edition of the Istanbul Half Marathon.  Atac finfor new beginners.ished in 1 hour, 3 minutes and 16 seconds in the men's category, while Demir clocked 1 hour, 13 minutes and 17 seconds in the women's race.

Among other athletes on Sunday was Fatih Topcu (third photo), who also competes in triathlons and is a diver and climber, and has over 62,000 subscribers on his YouTube channel Asla Durma (Never Stop) where he explains how to begin running.

For Topcu, 42, the run was easier than he expected: "It was a good race to see how the pandemic affected [me] after running a half marathon in [Turkey's Mediterranean province of] Antalya before coronavirus measures were implemented."

"It didn't affect me much. I enjoyed this race very much as the virus made us miss running a bit," added Topcu, who has run over 50 half marathons and six marathons over his career.

As the course was slightly different this year, according to Topcu, it gave the chance to run Istanbul's historical peninsula completely.

For Topcu, Sunday's run was one of the "best events I've ever run."

"Although there were 2,500 people in the race, the fact that there was no density anywhere shows us the quality of the organization," he added.

"My only sadness was that very few foreigners were able to compete due to the pandemic and they could not see this quality organization," he said.

'I was nervous before the run'

Topcu admitted that he was a bit nervous before the run, the thought of being among 2,500 people in the same environment was "a little scary."

"The organizers found very good solutions," he said. "Before and after the race, I didn't wait in line anywhere. The start was completely in line with the pandemic rules and was very comfortable. Obviously, we can continue with the same rules after the pandemic."

This year also saw the world's first virtual half marathon with runners allowed to go 10 km or 15 km tracks via a mobile application.

On Sunday, just after the half marathon, Renay Onur, the general manager of Spor Istanbul, a subsidiary of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipiality Museum that organizes the long-distance run, said in an email sent to all the participants: "We didn't even think for a moment that the Istanbul Half Marathon, which we have organized for 14 years with pleasure, could be canceled."

The event, originally scheduled for April this year, was delayed due to the coronavirus.

"Sports are the only thing that can gather the whole world around them whatever faith, language, religion, race you are," Onur said.

"To keep these values ​​alive during the pandemic period with you, we chose to say, 'we're all here together, we're healthy, we're taking our precautions and choosing to continue life,' as one of the biggest cities in the world that has experienced the pandemic."

According to Onur, around 50 marathons have been canceled and the same amount of the running events delayed due to the coronavirus.

This year's event involved precautions from the registrations and kit distribution phases and from the start of the race to the finish.

Athletes received their running kits from Istanbul's Ataturk City Forest -- an open area -- to prevent the spread of the virus.

On Sunday, participants were allowed to use public transportation free of charge, showing their bib number.

Every runner had to use face-masks at the beginning of the run and they were allowed to take them off when they began running. At the end of the run, every athlete was given a new mask.

Though spectators were not allowed at the event this year, organizers prepared an area under a bridge for virtual viewing, placing speakers so runners could hear encouragement: "Run! You can do it! Faster!"

On Sunday's event, Turkish runners Sezgin Atac and Fatma Demir clinched the Istanbul Half Marathon, which hosted 47 elite athletes.

Now, Turkey's largest city is getting ready to host its next major event under coronavirus measures, the Istanbul Marathon, on Nov. 8. Topcu says he is also looking forward to running in this long-distance competition, as well as in Ironman Turkey on Nov. 1 in Antalya.

(09/24/2020) Views: 49 ⚡AMP
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Vodafone Istanbul Half Marathon

Vodafone Istanbul Half Marathon

This event has been postponed from April 5 to September 20, 2020. The Organizing Committee decided to officially restrict the Istanbul Half Marathon for foreign participants due to current situation that the World is going through due to the spread of COVID-19, quarantine period and difficulty to travel between countries. The decision to this restriction was based on the health...

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Exercise makes easier to bounce back from stress

Exercise makes it easier to bounce back from too much stress, according to a fascinating new study with mice. It finds that regular exercise increases the levels of a chemical in the animals’ brains that helps them remain psychologically resilient and plucky, even when their lives seem suddenly strange, intimidating and filled with threats.

The study involved mice, but it is likely to have implications for our species, too, as we face the stress and discombobulation of the ongoing pandemic and today’s political and social disruptions.

Stress can, of course, be our ally. Emergencies and perils require immediate responses, and stress results in a fast, helpful flood of hormones and other chemicals that prime our bodies to act.

“If a tiger jumps out at you, you should run,” says David Weinshenker, a professor of human genetics at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta and the senior author of the new study. The stress response, in that situation, is appropriate and valuable.

But if, afterward, we “jump at every little noise” and shrink from shadows, we are overreacting to the original stress, Dr. Weinshenker continues. Our response has become maladaptive, because we no longer react with appropriate dread to dreadful things but with twitchy anxiety to the quotidian. We lack stress resilience.

In interesting past research, scientists have shown that exercise seems to build and amplify stress resilience. Rats that run on wheels for several weeks, for instance, and then experience stress through light shocks to their paws, respond later to unfamiliar — but safe — terrain with less trepidation than sedentary rats that also experience shocks.

Multiple studies show that exercise increases production of the substance. In the rat experiments, some of which were conducted at Dr. Weinshenker’s lab, researchers found that exercise led to a surge in galanin production in the animals’ brains, particularly in a portion of the brain that is known to be involved in physiological stress reactions. Perhaps most interesting, they also found that the more galanin there, the greater the rats’ subsequent stress resilience.

For the new research, they gathered healthy adult male and female mice and gave some of them access to running wheels in their cages. Others remained inactive. Mice generally seem to enjoy running, and those with wheels skittered through multiple miles each day. After three weeks, the scientists checked for genetic markers of galanin in the mouse brains and found them to be much higher in the runners, with greater mileage correlating with more galanin.

Then the scientists stressed out all of the animals by lightly shocking their paws while the mice were restrained and could not dash away. This method does not physically harm the mice but does spook them, which the scientists confirmed by checking for stress hormones in the mice. They had soared.

The next day, the scientists placed runners and inactive animals in new situations designed to worry them again, including cages with both light, open sections and dark, enclosed areas. Mice are prey animals and their natural reaction is to run for the darkness and then, as they feel safe, explore the open spaces. The runners responded now like normal, healthy mice, cautiously moving toward the light. But the sedentary animals tended to cower in the shadows, still too overwhelmed by stress to explore. They lacked resilience.

Finally, the researchers confirmed that galanin played a pivotal role in the animals’ stress resilience by breeding mice with unusually high levels of the substance. Those rodents reacted like the runners to the stress of foot shocks, with full-body floods of stress hormones. But the next day, like the runners, they warily braved the well-lit portions of the light-and-dark cage, not recklessly but with suitable prudence.

Of course, this was a mouse study and mice are not people, so it is impossible to know from this research if exercise and galanin function precisely the same way in us, or, if they do, what amounts and types of exercise might best help us to cope with stress.

But regular exercise is so good for us, anyway, that deploying it now to potentially help us deal with today’s uncertainties and worries “just makes good sense,” Dr. Weinshenker says.

(09/24/2020) Views: 37 ⚡AMP
by Gretchen Reynolds
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Kenya’s Geoffrey Kamworor is in doubt of defending his world half marathon title for the fourth consecutive time on October 17 in Gdynia

Geoffrey Kamworor is not certain if he will compete after returning to training late, having recovered from injuries sustained from a freak accident on June 25 this year.

The world half marathon record holder was hit from behind by a speeding motorcycle, sustaining injuries on his head and above the ankle.

The 27-year-old Kamworor had to be operated on at St Luke's Hospital in Eldoret.

“I am not quite sure if I will run since I returned to training late owing to the accident,” said Kamworor, who resumed light training towards the end of July.

According to Dr Victor Bargoria, who treated Kamworor, the diagnosis was to open incomplete right tibia shaft fracture, knee bruises and scalp laceration.

“The procedure was debridement of contaminated soft tissue and loose bone fragments followed by irrigation and wound closure,” he explained after attending to the star at St Luke's Hospital.

The athlete who trains at the Global Communications camp in Kaptagat was targeting his fourth consecutive world half marathon title after 2014 Copenhagen, 2016 Cardiff and 2018 Valencia.

It’s in Copenhagen where Kamworor sealed his hat-trick with a championship record time of 59 minutes and 08 seconds, breaking Zersenay Tadese’s 2009 Birmingham’s winning time of 59:35.

Kamworor won the race in Valencia in 2018, beating Kenyan born Abraham Naibei Cheroben of Bahrain and Eritrean Aron Kifle to second and third places respectively.

 

Kamworor rolled out a world record when he claimed the Copenhagen Half Marathon in 58:01 in September last year, crushing the previous time of 58:23 set by Tadese in Lisbon in 2010. Another Kenyan Abraham Kiptum broke the record in 2018 Valencia but the time has been expunged for doping.              

Kamworor would go on to seal his double at the New York City marathon in November last year after his 2017 exploits but his dream of a hat-trick this year has been curtailed after the event was cancelled due to Covid-19 pandemic.

Kamworor and World half marathon bronze medallist Pauline Kaveke were picked early March this year to lead Team Kenya for the 24th edition of the World Half Marathon that was planned for March 29 in Gdynia but postponed to October 17 due to Covid-19 pandemic.

Athletics Kenya will now have to rethink about the team selection after Kaveke and Victor Chumo, who is also in the team, were picked to pace at the London Marathon on October 4 this year.

The men’s team also had Kibiwott Kandie, who is fresh from winning the Prague Half Marathon in a course record and fourth fastest time in history over the distance of 58:38 on September 5.

Kandie, the national cross country champion, also won the Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) Half Marathon in February in the United Arab Emirates.

(09/24/2020) Views: 38 ⚡AMP
by Ayumba Ayodi
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World Half Marathon Championships

World Half Marathon Championships

The next World Half Marathon Championships will be held in Gdynia, Poland. It was scheduled for March 29, 2020 but was postponded until Oct 17, 2021 due to the Coronavirus. The first one was first held in 1992. The collaboration with the world half marathon championships allows the Trinidad Alfonso Foundation to continue its strategy of supporting sports events...

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Callum Hawkins and Charlotte Purdue will lead British squad for World Athletics Half Marathon Championships Gdynia 2020

Callum Hawkins and Charlotte Purdue will head the British squad for the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships Gdynia 2020 on October 17.

Hawkins, the the fourth place finisher in the marathon at last year's World Championships, clocked 1:00:01 at the Marugame Half Marathon in February, the fastest by a European this year. He'll be making his first appearance at the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships since 2016 when he finished 15th.

Hawkins joins British U23 half marathon record-holder Jake Smith, who was third in 1:02:00 at the Vitality Big Half, and Mohamud Aadan, who finished 36th at the 2018 World Half Marathon Championships.

Like Hawkins, Purdue clocked her European lead of 1:08:23 in Marugame, finishing second. Purdue will be making her third World Half Marathon Championships appearance after finishing 33rd in 2016 and 21st in 2018.

Purdue is joined by Charlotte Arter, a teammate from 2018, who finished fifth at the Barcelona Half Marathon in February in a season’s best 1:10:00. She too will be making a third consecutive appearance at these championships.

Samantha Harrison and Stephanie Davis, who notched personal bests of 1:11:01 and 1:11:15 when finishing second and third place at the Big Half, join Hayley Carruthers in being handed British debuts in Poland.

Kristian Jones, who clocked a personal best of 1:03:09 at February’s Barcelona Half Marathon, and world trail bronze medallist Tom Evans, who lowered his PB to 1:03:15 in Antrim earlier this month, will also make their British debuts on the roads to round out the men's team.

"I am delighted that we are able to name such a strong team for the rescheduled World Athletics Half Marathon Championships in Gdynia, Poland, next month," said team leader Robert Hawkins.

"The team has been revised following athlete withdrawals from the original team named for March’s championship, but I feel we have been able to add a good blend of international experience to those that are making their first appearances on the roads for Great Britain & Northern Ireland."

British team for Gdynia

Men: Mohamud Aadan, Tom Evans, Callum Hawkins, Kristian Jones, Jake Smith

Women: Charlotte Arter, Hayley Carruthers, Stephanie Davis, Samantha Harrison, Charlotte Purdue

(09/24/2020) Views: 33 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Hellen Obiri will experience the next-best thing when she takes to the start line for the 3000m at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Doha on Friday

In a year without any major international championships, world 5000m champion Hellen Obiri will experience the next-best thing when she takes to the start line for the 3000m at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Doha on Friday (25).

“It’s going to be like a championship race,” she said when asked about the quality of the field.

In fact, it’s arguably a higher standard than a championship race, because it brings together medalists in four different events from last year’s World Championships and isn’t limited to just three athletes per nation as would be the case at most championships.

World steeplechase champion Beatrice Chepkoech, world 5000m silver medalist Margaret Chelimo Kipkemboi, world 10,000m bronze medallist Agnes Tirop and world 1500m bronze medalist Gudaf Tsegay are just some of the other standout names set to take part.

But Obiri, who won over 5000m at last month’s Wanda Diamond League meeting in Monaco, feels confident.

“I've trained well, and when I train well I have no doubts in a race,” said the world cross-country champion. “Whenever I line up for a race, I'm focused on doing my best. I don't feel the pressure. Maybe I'll do something special.

“I've always enjoyed racing in Doha,” she added. “In 2014 I set my PB over 3000m (8:20.68), and last year I won the World Championships here. I like racing here because it's favorable to me.”

(09/24/2020) Views: 28 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Tokyo 2020 organizers are planning to test all foreign athletes for COVID-19 when they arrive in Japan for the Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 organizers are planning to test all foreign athletes for COVID-19 when they arrive in Japan for the delayed Olympic Games, it was announced in draft measures on Wednesday.

Non-Japanese athletes should have tests within 72 hours before departure for Japan in their own country or region and will be tested again upon their arrival in Japan, according to the measures released after a joint meeting by Tokyo 2020, the Japanese government and the Tokyo metropolitan government.

From early July 2021, all athletes, including Japanese participants living in Japan, will be tested before entering the pre-Games training camp, the Olympic Village and competition venues.

Those expected to have physical contact with athletes will also have tests during the athletes' stay, the draft measures said.

The planned measures revealed that athletes will be advised not to take public transportation and to avoid contact with local citizens.

Toshiro Muto, the CEO of the Tokyo 2020, admitted that it will be difficult to ban athletes from shopping or sightseeing in Japan.

"By contacting the public, the athletes might spread COVID-19," he said. "That is the possibility. We must protect the citizens. So there are two aspects... It should be difficult. It is not realistic for us to consider not using public transportation by athletes."

Muto said that they have not reached any conclusion on any of the countermeasures and will "continue the discussion."

(09/23/2020) Views: 346 ⚡AMP
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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2021 Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon has been cancelled

With no end to the coronavirus crisis in sight, the organizing committee of the Beppu-Oita Manichi Marathon has made the decision to postpone the race's 70th running from its planned date of Feb. 7, 2021 to Feb. 6, 2022 in an effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus among athletes and others involved in the event.

We look forward to holding a spectacular 70th edition that will bring together both elites and mass-participation runners to compete and celebrate together in the cities of Beppu and Oita.

Thank you for your support and understanding.In lieu of the 2021 race we will be organizing a virtual marathon. Between Feb. 1 and Feb. 14, 2021, runners can complete a run of 42.195 km. Within the competition window, no matter where or when they run, as long as they complete 42.195 km they will be considered to have finished the race. It can be run it all at once, in two parts on the weekend, or even over the course of a week after work.Even those who don't meet Beppu-Oita's usual qualification criteria of a sub-3:30 time on a JAAF-certified course will be able to take part, enabling people in all parts of the country to get the Beppu-Oita experience.

All participants will receive a bib number and race t-shirt, and finishers will receive a finisher's certificate PDF and link to a commemorative video that shows what the time they ran would look like on the actual Beppu-Oita course.Entry fees will be roughly 3,000 yen, with a field cap of 5,000 entrants.

Among entrants who have run under 3:30 on a JAAF-certified course within the last three years, 50 people will be randomly selected to receive priority entry to the 70th running in 2022. More detailed information on the virtual race will be available in October.

(09/23/2020) Views: 44 ⚡AMP
by Brett Larner
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Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon

Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon

The Beppu-Oita Marathon is an annual men's marathon race that takes place every February between the cities of Beppu and Oita on the island of Kyushu in Japan. First held in 1952 as a 35km race, the looped marathon course begins at the bottom of Takasaki Mountain and reaches Beppu's Kankoko International Port before turning back towards the finishing point...

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Kenyan Nancy Jelagat will be one of the pacemakers in the London Marathon

Family Bank Half Marathon champion Nancy Jelagat, a pacemaker in the London Marathon, is looking forward to a great race and much-needed experience as she prepares to  venture into full marathon running in the future.

Jelagat is tasked with pacemaking for the third set of athletes whose target time is 2hours:29minutes:00. 

The athlete is optimistic of delivering results in her assignment, which she says is a new dawn in her career.

Jelagat, who has never been a “rabbit” before, wants to do a good job so that she can move up the ladder and set the pace for the leading set of athletes in a major marathon race.

With the London Marathon less than two weeks away, Jelagat has stepped up training in the face of challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic.

The runner, who has been training in Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet County, said she is grateful for the opportunity to feature in a major competition after several months on uncertainty owing to the virus.

The upcoming athlete is raring to go. She said: “I’m covering every area in training. This is my first time as a pacemaker, therefore, I need to be fit. The main participants in the race depend on the pacemaker.  As a first timer, I am also going to learn,” Jelagat said.

She hopes to participate in many more races as she lays ground to plunge into marathon races.

“It’s an honor to be named as one of the athletes who will be participating in London Marathon. Initially, I had other plans for the two seasons, but they were ruined by coronavirus. But life is more important than competitions,” Jelagat said.

“I will use the race to weigh my performance. I don’t want to be just any other marathon runner. I want to be among the world beaters.”

After victory in the Family Bank Half Marathon last year, Jelagat competed in the Boulogne-Billancourt Half Marathon in France and won the race in 1:08:24. Ethiopia’s Beyene Medhin was second after timing 1:08:38 and another Kenyan, Deborah Samum, was third in 1:09:55.

Jelagat also won the Standard Chartered 10km road race after clocking 32:03 ahead of Delvine Meringor who timed 32:06 as Beatrice Chepkemoi sealed the podium places in 32:49.

Last year, Jelagat enjoyed good results and she looks forward to even better performance.  She said: “Indeed, it has been a long journey. When the virus struck, I continued training even after I sustained a hamstring injury. I didn’t stop training so that I can heal faster. I’m happy that I healed quickly, I’m now as fit as a fiddle,” Jelagat said.

The runner said she chose to train in Iten because of the condusive  environment. She said: “Despite lack of training facilities, I chose Iten. It is also a favorite for other athletes. The conditions are good to prepare for any race.”

(09/23/2020) Views: 42 ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

The London Marathon was first run on March 29, 1981 and has been held in the spring of every year since 2010. It is sponsored by Virgin Money and was founded by the former Olympic champion and journalist Chris Brasher and Welsh athlete John Disley. It is organized by Hugh Brasher (son of Chris) as Race Director and Nick Bitel...

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Athletics Canada has unveiled its team of four men and one woman for the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships Gdynia 2020

Pan American 10,000m bronze medalist Rachel Cliff, former national record-holder in the marathon (2:26:56), heads to Gdynia with a half marathon PB of 1:10:06, set last December in Japan. She came within a few seconds of that mark in Houston earlier this year with 1:10:13.

“After a spring and summer of race cancellations, I wasn’t sure when I would have this opportunity again,” Cliff said. “Since March, we’ve all had to make massive adaptations to our lives, and I think the World Half Marathon Championships will be a chance to get an understanding of what racing in this ‘new normal’ will look like. Competing on the world stage has never been something I’ve taken for granted, but I will appreciate it all the more this time round.”

Trevor Hofbauer, who has earned early nomination for Canada’s Olympic team in the marathon, has an official half marathon PB of 1:04:30, but recently ran a 1:03:02 time trial. Ben Presiner has the fastest official PB of the field with 1:02:57, set earlier this year. Justin Kent and Thomas Toth are Canada’s other team members.

“This is obviously not your typical World Championships race,” said Athletics Canada head coach Glenroy Gilbert. “Everyone has had to adapt in a season without a lot of competitions. Our runners have put in a lot of miles to get to this race and it will be a good test of their physical and mental preparations. I’m looking forward to seeing how they manage the race and I expect to see some good results.”

Canadian team for Gdynia

Men: Trevor Hofbauer, Justin Kent, Benjamin Preisner, Thomas Toth

Women: Rachel Cliff

(09/23/2020) Views: 37 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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World Half Marathon Championships

World Half Marathon Championships

The next World Half Marathon Championships will be held in Gdynia, Poland. It was scheduled for March 29, 2020 but was postponded until Oct 17, 2021 due to the Coronavirus. The first one was first held in 1992. The collaboration with the world half marathon championships allows the Trinidad Alfonso Foundation to continue its strategy of supporting sports events...

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World champions Timothy Cheruiyot and Conseslus Kipruto are planning to raise the bar in the 800m and 1,500m respectively at the Doha Diamond League meeting on Friday

The world and Olympic 3,000m steeplechase champion Kipruto, who missed the opening leg of Diamond League series in Monaco in August after testing positive for COVID-19, will return to action after shaking off the virus.

However, the 25-year-old Kipruto will be competing in an unfamiliar event in Doha, when he takes on compatriot Brimin Kipruto, Vincent Kibet and Bethwell Birgen in the men's 1,500m event.

"I am glad to have been declared fit to compete after missing the opening leg of the series. I am also excited to compete in the 1,500m, I am really looking forward to running the shorter distance on Friday," Kipruto, who boasts a personal best of 3:39.57 in the 1,500m told Xinhua on Tuesday.

Cheruiyot, the world 1,500m champion, will race over 800m. The 24-year-old has a personal best of 1:43.11 in the event from August 2019 during the Kenyan national championships in Nairobi.

He clocked an impressive 3:28.45 to win the 1,500m in Monaco, just four one-hundredths of a second outside his lifetime best.

Cheruiyot will contest the event with fellow Kenyans including the world 800m bronze medalist Ferguson Rotich and Commonwealth Games 800m champion Wycliffe Kinyamal.

Both Kinyamal and Rotich boast personal bests of 1:43.12 and 1:42.54 respectively in the 800m.

"It's good to try other events, but I haven't run an 800m event outside Kenya and I will be happy to register good times and compete against the events specialist," Cheruiyot told Xinhua.

There will be an exciting lineup in the women's 3,000m. The event will consist of Kenyan quartet Hellen Obiri and Beatrice Chepkoech, 2019 world champions over 5,000m and 3,000m steeplechase respectively, in addition to Olympic 3,000m steeplechase silver medalist Hyvin Kiyeng, and world 5,000m runner-up Margaret Chelimo.

The world 10,000m bronze medalist Agnes Tirop of Kenya will also spice up the 3,000m event.

After running 2:29.15 for the 1,000m in Monaco, narrowly missing the world record in the process, Kenyan Faith Kipyegon, the Olympic 1,500m champion will return to her specialty, the 1,500m.

(09/22/2020) Views: 43 ⚡AMP
by Xinhua News
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Running Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

Running and foot pain don’t mix well. And plantar fasciitis might be one of the more dreaded ailments to plague runners.

The pain from plantar fasciitis can defeat the purpose of running and make it an awful experience. Heel pain is one of the more common foot pains, and plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain.

Typically, people with plantar fasciitis should wear shoes with support, cushion, and stability. This is especially important for running shoes. If you’re struggling with plantar fasciitis, getting the right running shoes can help you get on track to start enjoying running again.

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

In the simplest terms, according to the Mayo Clinic, plantar fasciitis is basically a torn or inflamed plantar fascia. The plantar fascia is the tissue band that goes across the bottom of your foot connecting your heel bones to your toes. The tearing or inflammation is usually caused by repeated stress and tension on the fascia.

There’s not one clear-cut reason for why the fascia tears. It can happen from daily wear and tear over several years. Or you might have a genetic predisposition.

But there are some risk factors involved, and, unfortunately, running is one of those risk factors. Some others are age, foot mechanics, obesity, or repeatedly standing on your feet for long periods of time. Basically, plantar fasciitis can be caused by anything that adds undue stress to your feet.

Letting your plantar fasciitis go unchecked can result in chronic heel pain that will eventually affect every aspect of your life. There is no clear cure for plantar fasciitis, but there are different treatments you can try. Some of them include physical therapy, stretches, steroid injections, and shoe inserts. These all help you manage the pain.

As always, it’s best to consult with a doctor or physical therapist to establish the best treatment plan for you.

Running Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

One way you can help manage your plantar fasciitis pain is through the shoes you wear. This is especially important for running shoes. A great place to start is with a trip to your local specialty running store.

Many specialty run shops have sales associates trained to help you to find the right type of running shoes for you. My go-to is Runner’s Corner in Orem, Utah. They have been in operation since the early ’90s and have helped tons of runners — including me — find the right running shoe.

I called and spoke with a sales associate at Runner’s Corner to ask him what shoes he would recommend for runners with plantar fasciitis. Following his recommendations up with some additional research, I landed on these five shoes as the best starting point for runners with plantar fasciitis.

It’s worth noting that there’s no perfect shoe that will help every single runner with plantar fasciitis. While these shoes have helped many runners with plantar fasciitis, they may not work for everyone. When picking out your next pair of running shoes, remember to make sure they work for you.

(09/22/2020) Views: 51 ⚡AMP
by Colorado Runner
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The world’s fastest half marathon is making a return to the UAE

Slip on your runners and prepare to train, as the world’s fastest half marathon is making a return to the UAE.

The 15th editions of the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon is gearing up to host world-renowned athletes, amateurs and UAE residents, with registration opening this October.

Taking place on Friday February 19, 2021, it’s officially known as the world’s fastest half marathon thanks to its record-breaking times by top athletes.

The event saw Ababel Yeshaneh from Ethiopia breaking the world record, covering a distance of 21.0975km with a time of 64 minutes and 31 seconds, an achievement now ratified by World Athletics.

The race will take place on Al Marjan Island in Ras Al Khaimah, known for its flat surface and views of its white beaches. Not a bad way to take on a half marathon.

“Aligned with the strong upturn in the Emirate’s tourism and hospitality performance, we are delighted to announce that the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon will be returning to the Emirate,” said CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority Raki Phillips.

CEO of RCS Sports and Events Enrico Fili’ added: We witnessed fantastic results in the 2020 race, with Ababel Yeshaneh from Ethiopia smashing the women’s World Record by 20 seconds.

This result has recently been ratified by World Athletics and we look forward to having another unforgettable elite line-up in 2021 that will ensure the event remains the fastest half marathon in the world.”

(09/22/2020) Views: 53 ⚡AMP
by Darragh Murphy
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Rak Half Marathon

Rak Half Marathon

The Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon is the 'world's fastest half marathon' because if you take the top 10 fastest times recorded in RAK for men (and the same for women) and find the average (for each) and then do the same with the top ten fastest recorded times across all races (you can reference the IAAF for this), the...

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Belgian distance runner Koen Naert sets sights on Gdynia for return to competitive action

Luckily, Koen Naert has the habit of writing things down.

As he sat – socially distanced, naturally – outside the meeting hotel for the Brussels Wanda Diamond League meeting in September, he smiled ruefully as he reflected on just how valuable this quirk is to him.

Fingers crossed, and further Covid-19 complications permitting, Belgium’s 31-year-old European marathon champion will have the opportunity to take part in his first race in almost a year when he participates at the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships Gdynia 2020 on 17 October.

“Luckily I am always writing everything down so if something goes good I write it down, for you will never know if you forget, so I am glad I wrote everything down,” he said. “So I have to read everything again because after 11 months it’s started fading away! So I am happy I can find it…

“These championships will be very important. I think it will be difficult for me to be in 100% optimal condition, because I need some other races to race a fast half marathon, so I need some 10km races to really hit the wall, and then I really can dig deep in a half marathon.

“And so I miss those other competitions, I think physically, but also mentally because, in the beginning you say ‘Oh, we will train base, because there are no competitions. A good base level is enough’.

“But if you have base level for four months, maybe you want to start to dig a little deeper, so I think the World Half Marathon Championships are perfect mid-goal for that.

“It will be good mentally for me, too, because I think that when I race in Gdynia it will be 11 months without competition, so when I was thinking about racing I really got excited and I really had to think deep like, ‘Oh, how did I do it again?’”

Naert, whose unexpected victory at the 2018 European Championships in Berlin was followed by a personal best of 2:07:39 at the following year’s Rotterdam Marathon, admits that preparations for the championships, which were shifted from their original date of 29 March because of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, have been “very difficult”.

Originally, he explained, he had targeted the Valencia Half Marathon, set on a course conducive to fast times. But when that was cancelled he went back to the Belgian Athletics Federation – which helps fund his support team along with his kit sponsor, Asics – and asked them: “Is it too late to run in Gdynia?”

It wasn’t. So Naert now has a focus, albeit one for which he has prepared in a way he would never have envisaged a year ago. Earlier in 2020, Naert had spoken of running 200 kilometres a week, but that target was soon modified.

“Not in Covid-19 times,” he said. “I think I was actually doing 140, 150km a week, because I knew there weren’t any competitions in the near future. If you are in April or May, I can’t remember when the European Championships got cancelled, but if you know they will be cancelled for August, and you are three months away from that, you don’t have to peak in that period.

“So I decided with my coach, Raymond Van Paemel, that I would work on other points and take another shot next year for the Olympics. I didn’t take a rest or anything, but I took it a little bit easier so that the body had more time to recover because since 2017 all the marathons and races I did were great, but my body was glad it had a few months to reload actually.

“It wouldn’t be ideal for 2020, but I think that 2020 is already lost for us on the road. So we gambled and we are aiming for a fantastic 2021.”

(09/22/2020) Views: 53 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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World Half Marathon Championships

World Half Marathon Championships

The next World Half Marathon Championships will be held in Gdynia, Poland. It was scheduled for March 29, 2020 but was postponded until Oct 17, 2021 due to the Coronavirus. The first one was first held in 1992. The collaboration with the world half marathon championships allows the Trinidad Alfonso Foundation to continue its strategy of supporting sports events...

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Kenenisa Bekele and his thoughts about Eliud Kipchoge

The coronavirus lockdown has been a bitter-sweet experience to Kenenisa Bekele, the world’s most decorated distance runner of all time.

The 38-year-old superstar from Bekoji in the Ethiopian Rift Valley has experienced the ebb and flow of an elite career, a regular customer on and off the injury list, worst of which was a calf rupture in 2010.

That’s why he brushes aside the fact that the pandemic subjected athletes to training in isolation.

This is a situation that he’s accustomed to, having endured various injuries in his stellar career that forced him to retreat, knock himself into shape before rejoining the fray.

NN Running Team:

“This (training alone during the coronavirus lockdown) was not new to me. I had some bad injuries in my career and during those times I had to train alone to come back to good performance,” he told Nation Sport in an exclusive interview.

Bekele, who owns a resort and private, synthetic track in Sululta on the outskirts of Addis Ababa, along with various other real estate investments, is in the same management as his Kenyan rival Eliud Kipchoge.

Both run in the NN Running Team colours under the Global Sports Management camp, the branchild of former Dutch distance running record holder, Jos Hermens.

Managed out of Nijmegen in The Netherlands, the NN Running Team is also home of Kenya’s half marathon world record holder Geoffrey Kamworor and a galaxy of other wold beaters.

On October 4, Hermens will be in an awkward position when Bekele and Kipchoge clash at the London Marathon, at a time both are enjoying a stellar career on the roads, and are separated by just two seconds, in terms of personal best times over the 42-kilometer distance.

World record:

In 2018, Eliud Kipchoge shattered the world marathon record in winning the Berlin Marathon in Two hours, one minute and 39 seconds.

Just 12 months later, Bekele responded by completing the distance in 2:01:41, on the same Berlin streets, despite struggling with discomfort in the first half of the race.

Bekele’s brilliant second half (negative splits) convinced many that he could, perhaps, upstage Kipchoge.

Their eagerly-awaited duel was plotted for April 26, but the London Marathon was shelved as Covid-19 struck, prompting organizers to postpone the duel to October 4.

A great ambassador:

Now with the new big day just 14 days away, Bekele has nothing but respect for Kipchoge, appreciating the Kenyan’s contribution to athletics.

“I have great respect for Eliud,” he said during the interview from Addis Ababa.

“We have been competitors for a long time. He is a great ambassador for our sport and I respect him a lot.”

The October 4 London Marathon will be an elites-only race with no mass runners or spectators due to precautions over the coronavirus.

The 40th anniversary race will also see the elite races take part on a closed-loop circuit around St James’s Park, with the athletes staying in a hotel outside of London which has been chosen for its 40 acres of grounds where athletes will be able to train during race week.

Bekele says racing against Kipchoge and other top elites on October 4 gives him added motivation.

“It gives me great motivation, to run in one of the greatest marathons in the world against the greatest athletes. I give myself pressure, I want to run my best race.”

“Running world records is not easy and difficult to predict what is possible. But seeing Kipchoge’s sub-two performances, we know anything is possible,” he said.

“I had to adapt my training programme with some more alternative training, like on the bike and gym training to remain fit with my team supporting me as usual,” said Bekele who loves spending time with his family when free.

The shifting of the big race from April to October is the least of his worries.

“I was well prepared for the London Marathon in April but as an athlete you need to be ready and flexible, so I focused on October and went on with my training.

(09/21/2020) Views: 89 ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

The London Marathon was first run on March 29, 1981 and has been held in the spring of every year since 2010. It is sponsored by Virgin Money and was founded by the former Olympic champion and journalist Chris Brasher and Welsh athlete John Disley. It is organized by Hugh Brasher (son of Chris) as Race Director and Nick Bitel...

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Organizers Ask Public Not to Come Watch Hakone Ekiden

On Sept. 20 the Inter-University Athletics Union of Kanto (KGRR), organizers of January's Hakone Ekiden, announced that all of its remaining competitions this academic year will be held without spectators in order to help minimize the spread of coronavirus infection.

The KGRR asked for the public's cooperation in not turning out to cheer. A statement released by the KGRR said, "Our major events will be live streamed and broadcast live or recorded by NTV.

Please do not come to the race venues or the areas around them. Even if we go ahead with the ekiden, it cannot be put on without the agreement and cooperation of the local residents who live along the course.

Courseside crowd support has always been one of the things that has helped our ekiden thrive. We want to ensure that it continues to have a long future as a beloved event and ask for your understanding and cooperation this time.

"The extremely popular Hakone Ekiden is run every Jan. 2 and 3, attracting over a million spectators along its course every year.

(09/21/2020) Views: 39 ⚡AMP
by Brett Larner
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hakone ekiden

hakone ekiden

Hakone Ekiden, which is officially called Tokyo-Hakone Round-Trip College Ekiden Race, is one of the most prominent university ekiden (relay marathon) races of the year held between Tokyo and Hakone in Japan on 2 and 3 January. The race is telecast on Nippon Television. Only men take part in the competition, meaning there is greater investment in the men's ekiden...

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Kenya’s Nicolas Kimeli won the men’s 10,000m at the Gouden Spike meeting in Leiden

Kenya’s world 5000m finalist Nicolas Kimeli won the men’s 10,000m at the Gouden Spike meeting in Leiden, clocking a world-leading PB of 26:58.97.

The 21-year-old, contesting his first 10,000m race in three years, ran alongside compatriot Solomon Kiplimo Boit during the early stages, passing through 3000m just inside 8:12. Kimeli broke away from Boit just a couple of laps later and set off in pursuit of a sub-27-minute time.

Kimeli’s lead grew with each lap, while Boit continued running in no-man’s land. Further behind, Dutch runner Mike Foppen, making his debut over 10,000m, gradually detached himself from the main chase pack.

Kimeli forged on and started to sprint on the final lap when he realised a sub-27-minute performance was a possibility. He crossed the line in 26:58.97 to smash the meeting record by almost half a minute.

Boit finished second in 27:41.10, while Foppen placed third in 27:59.10. It was Foppen’s eighth PB of the year, having set two at 1500m, one at 2000m, two at 3000m, plus national records for 5000m and 5km.

As is tradition at this meeting, a golden spike trophy is presented to the top performer of the night. Unsurprisingly, Kimeli scooped that accolade.

Meanwhile, Menno Vloon won the pole vault with 5.76m, the second-best clearance of his career after his 5.85m national record in 2017. World champion Toshikazu Yamanishi stepped down in distance at the Japanese Inter-Corporate Championships in Kumagaya and won the 5000m race walk with an Asian record of 18:34.88.

Yamanishi had Eiki Takahashi, Tomohiro Noda and Satoshi Maruo for company in the early stages, but he gradually dropped them one by one before going on to win by almost 17 seconds. Takahashi finished second in 18:51.25.

Yamanishi’s winning time took four seconds off the previous Asian record set by Yusuke Suzuki back in 2015, just three months after he set a world record over 20km.

In a high-quality men’s 10,000m race in Netherlands, 2015 world U18 champion Richard Kimunyan emerged the winner in 27:01.42, finishing just one second ahead of Bernard Koech (27:02.39) with Bedan Karoki a close third (27:02.80). Kimunyan’s time was a world lead but lasted just eight hours at the top of the world list before it was bettered in Leiden.

(09/21/2020) Views: 37 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Joshua Cheptegei and Jacob Kiplimo lead Ugandan team for World Athletics Half Marathon Championships Gdynia 2020

World 10,000m champion Joshua Cheptegei and world 3000m leader Jacob Kiplimo are among the athletes selected to represent Uganda at the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships Gdynia 2020 on 17 October.

Cheptegei, the world cross-country champion, broke the world 5000m record at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Monaco last month with 12:35.36 and is targeting a tilt on the 10,000m mark on 7 October before heading to Poland.

Kiplimo, meanwhile, won the 5000m at the World Athletics Continental Tour meeting in Ostrava with a PB of 12:48.63 and then went on to triumph over 3000m at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Rome in a world-leading 7:26.64, breaking the Ugandan record and becoming the fastest teenager in history for the distance.

Given their exploits on the track in recent months, Cheptegei and Kiplimo will be among the medal favourites when they take to the startline in Gdynia – despite the fact that both men will be making their half marathon debut.

They are joined on the team by 2009 world U20 cross-country bronze medallist Moses Kibet, Stephen Kissa and Abel Chebet.

Juliet Chekwel, who holds the Ugandan records for 10,000m (31:37.99), half marathon (1:09:45) and the marathon (2:23:13), leads the women’s team.

Doreen Chemutai, Doreen Chesang, Rachael Zena Chebet make up the rest of the Ugandan women’s roster.

Ugandan team for Gdynia

Men: Abel Chebet, Joshua Cheptegei, Moses Kibet, Jacob Kiplimo, Stephen Kissa

Women: Juliet Chekwel, Doreen Chemutai, Doreen Chesang, Rachael Zena Chebet

(09/21/2020) Views: 92 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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World Half Marathon Championships

World Half Marathon Championships

The next World Half Marathon Championships will be held in Gdynia, Poland. It was scheduled for March 29, 2020 but was postponded until Oct 17, 2021 due to the Coronavirus. The first one was first held in 1992. The collaboration with the world half marathon championships allows the Trinidad Alfonso Foundation to continue its strategy of supporting sports events...

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Western States site name to be changed

After researching the etymology of the racist and sexist term "squaw," officials of the California ski resort have decided to change its name

The famed Western States 100 ultramarathon starts in Squaw Valley, Calif., near a river, some roads and several ski lodges of the same name, which many have found troubling for its racist and sexist roots. The area is also known as Olympic Valley, as it was the site of the 1960 Olympics, but for years, locals and tourists have all called it by its other name. It was recently announced that this will soon change, as owners of the Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows ski resort have finally decided to drop that title.

“With the momentum of recognition and accountability we are seeing around the country, we have reached the conclusion that now is the right time to acknowledge a change needs to happen,” said Ron Cohen, the president and COO of Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows. “We have to accept that as much as we cherish the memories we associate with our resort name, that love does not justify continuing to use a term that is widely accepted to be a racist and sexist slur.” Cohen went on to say the resort will find a new name to “reflect our core values, storied past and respect for all those who have enjoyed this land.”

The Western States 100 starts right at the ski resort and travels 100 miles southwest to Auburn, Calif. Race director Craig Thornley tweeted the statement from Cohen and his team, adding, “It’s really gonna happen.” Thornley’s tweet received mixed reviews from his followers, with some people saying the name should have been changed long ago, while others seem to think it’s fine the way it is. As a member of the Washoe Tribe (a Native American tribe with origins near Lake Tahoe), Helen Fillmore, told a local radio station in July, when she is around people discussing the local resort, all she hears are racial slurs.

“All of a sudden people are asking if you ski and telling you about how they’re going to go ski, racial slur. ‘Let’s go ski, racial slur,’” Fillmore said. “People don’t even think twice about how that word is impacting the person they’re talking to.” The dropping of the resort name will be welcome news to Fillmore and other members of the Washoe Tribe, although they have had to wait a long time for this change. The resort’s new name will be released in early 2021, and officials say it will begin to be implemented after the 2020/2021 ski season, meaning that by June, when the Western States 100 is set to be held, the race’s start should be at a newly-named location.

(09/20/2020) Views: 33 ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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According to recent statistics, around 165 million 60 kg. (122 lb.) bags of coffee are consumed worldwide annually

That's a lot of coffee – and that doesn't take into consideration all the other forms of caffeine we're taking in: soda, chocolate, energy drinks, tea, and many other niche products.

We all know the cognitive benefits of caffeine, plus its ability to fight off fatigue and tiredness. But did you know that there are extensive athletic benefits as well? Across a wide-ranging mix of sports, and for all manner of athletes: caffeine works.

When people hear the word "caffeine," the first thing that comes to mind is its effects on stimulation, attentiveness, and tiredness. And it's true – caffeine and coffee have a wide range of health effects – many related to attention and fatigue. 

Caffeine is a natural psychoactive stimulant that stimulates your central nervous system and brain by helping keep you alert and remain active. It's naturally found in leaves, nuts, and some plants' seeds – somewhere around 60 plants have been identified which produce caffeine.

According to a study conducted by a Western Michigan scientist, at least 30 plants (out of ~ 300,000 flowering plants of different species) produce caffeine. Others put the number closer to 30. The reason plants have caffeine isn't known for 100% certain – but it may be as a pollinator attractor or perhaps a defense mechanism against insects.

The caffeine in some plants can poison plant pests and herbivores. This ends up discouraging them from attacking the plant again... if they survive the caffeine intake. Since caffeine is also toxic to the plant's cell, it's stored in individual cell compartments to keep it at distance from other cells.

Plenty of studies have found that drinking caffeine regularly can help improve your mental performance, especially your concentration, alertness, and attention. This is because caffeine suppresses the effects of adenosine, the neurotransmitter associated with sleepiness.

Scientists also discovered that there's a direct relation to the dose of caffeine you consume and your mental performance. There's just more caffeine around then to interfere with adenosine uptake.

For example, higher caffeine doses – up to a point – can aid in improving your cognitive speed, improve accuracy and alertness, and decrease fatigue. Going too high has its downsides, though, which we'll discuss a bit later.

Improving Heart Health

Another positive effect of drinking caffeine is improving heart health. Research studies show that consuming coffee in reasonable doses can aid in decreasing heart failure and strokes.

Caffeine and Exercise: What Does Science Say?

 Many times, caffeine is more interesting as a performance-enhancing supplement – beyond staying up late and being more productive, it can help you lift more, jump further, run faster, cut your times, and otherwise make you a better athlete.

Why Might Caffeine Help Exercise Performance?

According to the International Society of Sports Nutrition, caffeine is an effective way of enhancing different types of exercise performance when consumed in moderate amounts. A meta-analysis showed caffeine positively affects muscle strength, aerobic endurance, muscle endurance, exercise speed, and jumping performance.

The results showed that caffeine affects your exercise performance by reducing fatigue, blocking the aforementioned neurotransmitter adenosine, and increasing your alertness and precision.

More relevant for athletes, it also increases the stimulation of your central nervous system, making physical exertion feel like it involves less pain and effort. This helps you become more effective and productive with each workout. Consider lifting, for example – much of your strength comes from CNS adaptation, and caffeine enables you to get the most out of what you can already lift.

For high-intensity exercises like strength sports, swimming, and sprinting, caffeine increases the number of fibers recruited in muscle contractions. This enables you to make forceful – and frequent – movements. Other studies have found that athletes or active adults who consume caffeine before working out have improved concentration.

Studies show that caffeine consumption in coffee or as a supplement taken one hour before exercise can boost endurance. More studies found that the use of coffee could help improve performance in running and cycling.

A 2017 study that involved male runners suggested that the consumption of caffeinated coffee an hour before a 1-mile event enhanced their performance. Their performance increased by 1.9 percent and 1.3 percent compared to runners who took a placebo or decaffeinated coffee.

All these studies prove that consuming coffee before aerobic exercise helps enhance overall performance. And if you're looking to incorporate caffeine into your endurance training, most of these studies looked at a dose of roughly 200 milligrams.

(09/20/2020) Views: 54 ⚡AMP
by Gerard Paul
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Teacher runs for the love of running

You’re never too young, or too old, to get into the sport of running. Kathy Rose of Scottsbluff will turn 69 next month, but she will be among the half-marathon field for her 9th Monument Marathon, coming up Sept. 26.

Rose teaches in the Gering schools and hasn’t missed a year of the Monument Marathon. She’s even won her age division six times.

“Jen Schwartz, one of my co-teachers at the time, was my mentor and coach when I decided to try my first Monument Marathon,” she said. “It was the local marathon that later got me into running longer distances.”

While she didn’t commit to a running schedule until later life, Rose said it’s always been an unofficial part of her life.

“Even as a kid, I couldn’t walk,” she said. “Everywhere I went, I had to run. I got away from that when I started a family and got busy with them. But when the kids were in junior high and high school, I got back into running.”

When Rose got started again, she admitted she was pushing it to cover just a half mile. But she gradually built up her distances over time and last year, at the age of 67, ran her first full marathon — 26.2 miles in Colorado.

Rose grew up on a farm and still lives in the country. Being outside has always been a part of her life, so running is a great outlet to keep her out in the countryside.

“I love to exercise to stay fit, which is important now to keep up with the grandkids,” she said. “Running fits into my lifestyle because it clears my mind and relieves stress.”

She added many of her ideas for teaching come while she’s running.

“I run year round and my goal for the winter months is 50 miles a month so I’ll usually do four-mile runs, which is standard for me,” she said. “But that’s getting harder as I grow older.”

In preparation for the Monument Marathon, Rose has been putting in longer runs on Saturdays for the last two months.

In addition to half-marathon runs in the Monument Marathon and a full-marathon in Colorado, Rose has run in several events in South Dakota, including the Crazy Horse and Deadwood Mickelson Trail Marathons.

“I’m at the age where thoughts of improving my time have pretty much gone by the wayside,” Rose said. “I just keep running, even if I have to walk part of it. The fact that I’m still running is enough for me.”

She added the key to running is to have a goal. “Go with whatever you’re comfortable with but also push yourself out of your comfort zone,” she said. “Find a place to run that spurs you on and makes you feel like running.”

(09/20/2020) Views: 33 ⚡AMP
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Trail running after 50: “I’m not an age”

Karen Craigie began trail running when she was 59 years old, and her adventures are just getting started

Karen Craigie, 68, had always played soccer. But she considered trail running a different beast. It wasn’t until she finished her first 15K trail race that things began to click. Once the switch went off, there was no turning back. A retired nurse, Craigie was hooked on exploring trails over bigger and bigger distances. From there, she began tackling 20K to 50K adventures in the mountains and on the trails, and beyond.

The beginning

It all began when Craigie was 59 years old. She signed up for a trail running clinic in North Vancouver, and three months later she finished her first 15K trail race, The Dirty Duo. Motivated by her partner Linda, who is 11 years younger, Craigie never knew what the trails would offer. She was amazed at what it did for her mind, body, and spirit. Despite living in North Vancouver, it wasn’t until she began participating in trail running clinics that she started exploring the trails in her backyard.

Craigie and Linda decided to sign up for the next clinic to train for a 25K trail race. Nowadays, her favourite distance is 50K. “What I love most about trail running though, are the adventure runs. There is no stress or pressure about meeting cutoff times and one can just really enjoy the scenery.”

Next steps

Craigie has always had the mental toughness to get through tough times on the trail. But as her running goals continued to grow, she hired a coach. “When I retired, my goals got loftier, so I decided I needed a coach. Gary Robbins kindly agreed without hesitation. I completely attribute my successes to having two great coaches,” she says. Robbins and Eric Carter continue to coach her to this day.

Running resume

Just as Craigie is not defined by her age, the distances she loves have no limits. Her ultrarunning and trail running resume is stacked for someone of any age. Once she toes the line, there’s no turning back. She has completed every race she’s started and has yet to come in DFL. “I usually win my age group. However, at times, I am the only one in their 60s.”

So far, Craigie has raced the notorious Knee Knacker 48K race twice, Mount Hood 50K, Sun Mountain 50K, The Golden Ultra 60K, Survival of the Fittest 35K, Squamish 50K, WAM 55K, and over seven races 23-25K in distance. In 2014 she did the Vancouver BMO Marathon, and was reminded how much she truly loves the trails.

In October 2015, Craigie ran across the Grand Canyon with friends. They found themselves under the desert stars in the middle of the night in the canyon, which was a definite highlight. In July 2018, she created her own adventure run in Ireland. Craigie and friends ran 208K over seven days. Each day ranged from 20-42K covering north, west, and southeast coasts. Next year, she plans on running somewhere in the Alps, continuing to abide by the notion she is “not an age.”

(09/20/2020) Views: 49 ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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In-person race set for September 26 in Peterborough, Ont.

The 2020 Ankle Breaker XC Run will see 200 participants run 2.5K and 5K races

As track season fades into cross-country season, we will hopefully see some in-person races pop up around Canada for the general public to enter. The bulk of the cross-country season is still a few weeks away, but a race that’s coming up quickly is the Ankle Breaker XC Run Peterborough, Ont. The event will take place at Peterborough’s Nicholls Oval Park on September 26, and 200 people will be permitted to race in either 2.5K or 5K options. The groups will be split into waves to comply with provincial health and safety guidelines, and there will be other COVID-19 protocols in effect on race day as well. Registration is now open for the run, and with limited spots in the field, it’s apt to fill up quickly.

Race organizers have worked closely with Peterborough Public Health and the City of Peterborough to set the event’s COVID-19 protocols. A key element of this is of course social distancing. The provincial government has a 100-person limit on social gatherings, which is why there will be two waves of 100 people run three hours apart. The first wave actually consists of two races: a 5K for runners who can run sub-23 minutes for the distance and a 2.5K run for kids. The 5K will kick off at 9:30 a.m. and be limited to 60 people, and 40 people (including kids and any parents who want to run with their children) will be permitted to start the 2.5K. 

At 12:30 p.m., well after those races are finished, the second 5K of the day will begin. This race is reserved for runners with expected 5K times of 23 minutes or more. Since this will be the only race held in the afternoon, this field is open to 100 runners. For the two 5K races, no spectators will be allowed, and only one parent or guardian is allowed onsite per child in the 2.5K.

The races will be very basic, with no aid stations in the registration area or on the course, no post-race food or refreshments and no awards. Racers will receive ankle timing chips, which will be the only interaction (conducted two metres apart) that runners can expect to have with event staff and volunteers. 

A lot of thought and care was always required when organizing races, but even more is needed for any in-person events in the world of COVID-19. Running in limited fields with next to no spectators present isn’t what we’re all used to, but any in-person race is better than none, and this will likely be the way things remain for the foreseeable future. 

To learn more about the Ankle Breaker XC Run, click here.

(09/20/2020) Views: 43 ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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The 10th Mattoni Ústí nad Labem Half Marathon succeeded the pandemic challenge

Over two thousand runners flooded the streets of Ústí nad Labem during the jubilee 10th year of the Mattoni Half 10th year of the Mattoni Half Marathon. The event showed that even in difficult times caused by the coronavirus pandemic, it is worth fighting. The race was won by the Ukrainian runner Ivan-Bohdan Horodyskyi in men’s category, and dominated by a German in women’s. Kristina Hendel. Vít Pavlišta and Marcela Joglová confirmed this year's half-marathon dominance among the Czechs.

The 10th Mattoni Ústí nad Labem Half Marathon was organized in difficult conditions. Masks were worn everywhere except on the course itself; runners had to deal with limited refreshment stations. "It was not easy at all, but thanks to the cooperation with the region, the city, hygiene offices and everyone else, we succeeded. I am proud that Ústí could see a great race and I hope that we have inspired organizers of mass participation races in our country and in the world“, says Carlo Capalbo, President of the RunCzech Organizing Committee.

Ukrainian runner Ivan-Bohdan Horodyskyi finished in first place with a time of 1:03:54, Italian Said El Otmani (1:04:00) finished second, and Emmanuel Roudolff-Levisse (1:04:35) third. The best Czech Vít Pavlišta finished close behind him in a personal record of 1:04:48.

Thanks to Marcela Joglová and Eva Vrabcová Nývltová, the Czech flag appeared at the head of the women's race until halfway through, but in the end the European rivals were stronger. Gold is taken by Kristina Hendel from Germany (1:13:29), silver by Nuria Lugueros Diaz from Spain (1:14:17) and bronze by Italian Fatna Maraqui (1:14:34).

The fastest Czech woman Marcela Joglová finished in the overall fourth position in the time of 1:15:12. Eva Vrabcová Nývltová took second place during the big half marathon return. "Five kilometers of run, then next fifteen a struggle, and last two almost a walk. It was really hard," Eva evaluated her time 1:18:21 and added: "Some speed remained there, I have to pick up the pace again and not burn it next time. It is difficult with breastfeeding, my heartbeats jump a lot, and it’s like up and down.”

Part of the Saturday event was the traditional Spolchemie Czech Championship in Handbike and also a dm Family Run with 1113 participants. “Organizing an event seems to be a small miracle these days. Due to the special circumstances, we feel we are doing double more work in double less time. Practically, we are adding whole one more chapter of Covid 19 prevention in our organizing manuals”, says tiredly but obviously satisfied Tomaš Coufal, the director of this race.

However, even in this difficult times, RunCzech celebrated the 10th anniversary of the race with a beautiful present for all runners. A 10th anniversary jubillee high quality adidas running t-shirt.

Women

Women ranking | Name | Result | Nationality

1 | Hendel Kristina | 1:13:29 | GER

2 | Lugueros Diaz Nuria | 1:14:17 | ESP

3 | Maraoui Fatna | 1:14:34 | ITA

4 | Joglová Marcela | 1:15:12 | CZE

5 | Korneenko Ekaterina | 1:16:35 | BLR

6 | Vrabcová Nývltová Eva | 1:18:21 | CZE

7 | Hrochová Tereza | 1:19:45 | CZE

8 | Sekyrová Ivana | 1:21:42 | CZE

9 | Jíšová Barbora | 1:23:06 | CZE

10 | Davidová Lucie | 1:25:04 | CZE

Men

Men ranking | Name | Result | Nationality

1 | Horodyskyi Bohdan-Ivan | 1:03:54 | UKR

2 | El Otmani Said | 1:04:00 | ITA

3 | Roudolff-Levisse Emmanuel | 1:04:35 | FRA

4 | Pavlišta Vít | 1:04:48 | CZE

5 | Habz Azeddine | 1:04:53 | FRA

6 | Jimenez Alejandro | 1:05:06 | ESP

7 | Zemaník Jakub | 1:07:27 | CZE

8 | Vejmelka Daniel | 1:09:56 | CZE

9 | Sansom Ruben | 1:10:00 | NED

10 | Homoláč Jiří | 1:11:47 | CZE

(09/19/2020) Views: 37 ⚡AMP
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President Uhuru Kenyatta's gift, Kipchoge library project

With the London Marathon just over two weeks away, defending champion and world record holder Eliud Kipchoge maintained his tight programme on Wednesday, making time for the ground-breaking ceremony for a library project that he inspired.

He was joined at the ceremony at Kapsisiywa Secondary School in his home Nandi County by Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha.

The project has been funded by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The marathon great narrated that at a meeting in Mombasa last year President Kenyatta asked him what gift he wanted after his exploits on the world stage, and he settled for a communal library.

“I'm here to witness one of my dreams come true. My vision to transform my community has come true courtesy of the President.

“I appreciate the President's gesture which confirms to me that, indeed, no human is limited," said an elated Kipchoge who was accompanied by his family.

Kipchoge said it came as a big surprise to him when the President made the offer.

“The answer is what we have here today,” Kipchoge said, noting that a library is crucial and that reading had expanded his thinking and outlook in life.

“Books have been my loyal friend. Books are the perfect mode to travel out of any locality through. Books have helped me navigate through many challenges in life. I'm happy the President will be with us in every step of the way in this project,” added Kipchoge, with his usual touch of philosophy.

President Kenyatta last year issued a directive for the construction of a multi-million library at Kipchoge’s home village of Kapsisiywa.

“Eliud Kipchoge who is alive and here with us has also inspired the world that no human effort is futile, that we can dream and make our dreams a possibility. He has demonstrated that through integrity, hard work and commitment to excellence nothing is out of reach,” said the President when he honoured the athlete last year after his successful exploits in Austria when he broke the two-hour barrier for the marathon.

President Kenyatta decorated Kipchoge with the Elder of the Order of the Golden Heart (E.G.H) award, lauding his work in inspiring future generations to achieve the seemingly impossible.

Magoha, accompanied by Ministry officials, on November 22 last year delivered the offer letter from the President to the famous athlete as well as the Kapsisiywa Secondary School principal.

Kipchoge made history last year after becoming the first man to run a marathon in under two hours – clocking one hour, 59 minutes and 40 seconds at the “Ineos 1:59 Challenge” staged in Vienna, Austria.

(09/19/2020) Views: 51 ⚡AMP
by Wycliff Kipsang & Tom Matoke
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Registration is now open for local and international participants in this year’s Virtual Reggae Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K

Participants are invited to register via www.reggaemarathon.com and choose their virtual event. Registration remains open until November 30 and runners/walkers can complete their choice of event between November 14 to December 6.

“The virtual event is a first for Reggae Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K now in its 20th year.  We decided to go virtual so as not to disappoint the thousands of local and international participants who were looking forward to arriving in Negril for the event this year,” said  race director Alfred Francis.

Under the new arrangement, each participant anywhere in the world will be able to run their own individual race between November 14 and December 6 and submit their times.  Each runner or walker will  receive a digital finisher certificate and runner’s bib, while post-race, each will get a medal, signature Reggae Marathon T-shirt and branded tote bag.

Francis also disclosed that going forward the Virtual Reggae Marathon will be held along with the physical race.  “We are excited about this new feature and the possibilities in store for our charity partner, the Heart Foundation of Jamaica,” he noted.

Organisers say that since its inception in 2001, the Reggae Marathon has had 24,890 participants, with 13,169, or 53 per cent, being entries from over 40 countries.

(09/19/2020) Views: 44 ⚡AMP
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Reggae Marathon

Reggae Marathon

The Reggae Marathon & Half Marathon is Jamaica’s premier International Marathon Event. Marathoners, sports enthusiasts as well as beginners, converge in Negril, Jamaica’s capital of casual, for a fun event characterized by good vibes and lots of Reggae music. Enthusiastic supporters come out along the looped, internationally certified course to support participants. Meanwhile, hard working volunteers offer uniquely packaged water...

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Runners sponsored by smaller companies might be in a better position than those who are signed by major brands

Earlier this week, the Swiss running shoe company On announced that it was starting an elite training group in Boulder, Colorado, called the On Athletics Club. It’s safe to say that this doesn’t seem like the most auspicious time to invest in professional running. Even though the Diamond League—the world’s premier track and field competition circuit—is scheduled to begin an abridged summer season on Friday, this year has seen an unprecedented number of race cancellations and it’s difficult to predict when the bleeding will stop.

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach has already gone on record saying that the Tokyo Games, which have been postponed to summer 2021, will not be delayed a second time. If they can’t be staged next August, the Olympics will be canceled outright, thus depriving track athletes of their quadrennial moment in the sun.

According to Steve DeKoker, On’s Global Sports Marketing Manager, the company has long been looking to develop an elite running team and the Boulder-based group represents the most significant move in that direction to date. For now, the On Athletics Club consists of eight runners, all of whom are in their 20s and were standout NCAA athletes (the University of Colorado’s Joe Klecker and the University of Wisconsin’s Alicia Monson are the headliners).

Recently retired Olympian Dathan Ritzenhein will act as coach. It has been disclosed that these athletes will be signing multi-year deals with no reduction clauses (i.e. performance quotas)—a risky move, perhaps, but one that On might currently be well-positioned to make thanks to a potential pandemic-inspired uptick in recreational running.

“Running is kind of experiencing this second boom,” DeKoker told Letsrun.com. “We’ve got all these folks at home who are struggling with different issues, but running is a viable activity for them. Whereas if you’re Nike, and you’re in 50 different verticals, running might be a positive one, but you’ve got a bunch of other sports that are hemorrhaging right now.”

There has been some evidence to bear this out. Nike has reported a 38 percent decline in total revenue through May 31. More specifically, last week, the market research company NPD published an article noting that prominent brands (Nike, Adidas, Under Armour) had an overall sales decline in athletic footwear in the first half of 2020, while several running-focused shoe companies had fared conspicuously well.

Hoka One One and On, in particular, saw year-over-year sales increases of 75 and over 50 percent, respectively. (An On representative has confirmed this, and added that the brand had recorded its highest ever sales month in June 2020.) Matt Taylor, the co-founder and CEO of the independent running apparel brand Tracksmith, told me that “there’s been a noticeable uptick in people running over the last few months,” and that Tracksmith was “seeing this trend reflected” in its business.

While the running industry will never be entirely insulated from the state of the overall economy, there is some logic to the notion that the sport is well-suited to weather a financial downturn. To use DeKoker’s term, running is a “viable activity” for many people because it is relatively cheap, accessible, and offers both physical and mental health benefits during times of uncertainty.

The most recent running boom occurred during the years immediately following the Great Recession; starting around 2008, there was a continual increase in running event participation, culminating in 2013, when a record 19 million runners took part in U.S. road races.

Of course, from a running perspective, one of the uniquely cruel aspects of the COVID-19 recession is that the pandemic has precluded the staging of most mass participation events. The New York Road Runners, the largest non-profit running events company in the United States, laid off eleven percent of its employees and furloughed an additional 28 percent in July. Hence, any discussion about how the pandemic might end up “benefiting” the running industry in shoe or apparel sales must be weighed against this freeze of running events.

For professional runners, meanwhile, the cancellation of big-ticket races signifies a loss in prospective appearance fees and prize money. Some athletes might also be contractually obligated to run a pre-set number of races, which, needless to say, has not been so easy in 2020. That’s why this has been the summer of intrasquad competitions, in which training partners take part in de facto time trials that have been spruced up just enough to qualify as official meets. While some of these events have yielded impressive performances—most notably Shelby Houlihan, of the Bowerman Track Club, breaking her own American record in the 5,000-meters—there have also been farcical scenarios where world-class athletes phoned it in, presumably so that they can reach their race quotas. (Last week, reigning Olympic 1,500-meter champion Matthew Centrowitz “raced” an 800... and ran 3:08. His personal best in the event is 1:44.)

It’s not a coincidence that the most prominent examples of these sham races have involved Nike athletes. After all, the Oregon-based company sponsors far more runners than any other brand. They have the funds to do it, but casting a wide net might also make it more difficult for Nike to offer elite runners the contractual perks of smaller, running-focused companies like Oiselle, On, and, recently, Tracksmith. For now, reduction clauses still seem to be the norm for the typical Nike track athlete. (A Nike spokesperson told me that the company does not comment on athlete contracts.)

Hawi Keflezighi, an agent whose clients include his brother Meb Keflezighi and recent U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon champion Aliphine Tuliamuk, agreed that this was likely to be the case. “I think Nike deserves credit for all the athletes and events that they sponsor, but at the same time, within that business model, if you have a lot of athletes, you can’t be as flexible as when you only have five or ten athletes on your roster,” Keflezighi, whose brother was a Nike athlete for years before signing with Skechers in 2011, told me. He added that, while it’s typical for companies to reassess which athletes they want to sponsor at the end of an Olympic cycle, the current uncertainty surrounding the fate of the Games, and looming recession, mean that conditions for athletes are even more cutthroat than usual.

“I think the bigger brands definitely have tougher decisions to make, just because they have a bigger investment overall,” Keflezighi says. “The athletes with those brands, especially if they are not medal contenders or in a great position to make the US Olympic team—under this environment, those athletes’ contracts are a little bit more vulnerable. If you have a smaller roster of athletes, you might be able to say, ‘Hey, you know what? Let me give that athlete an extra year or two.”

DeKoker echoed this sentiment. “Obviously, performance is going to be a key element, but it’s not the only element with On,” he says. “I do think that, at some of these other companies, it’s much more of a numbers game and unfortunately some athletes are going to be on the losing end of that.”

What will the “numbers game” look like in a worst case scenario where next year’s Olympics ultimately do get canceled? With any luck, we won’t get to find out.

(09/19/2020) Views: 56 ⚡AMP
by Outside Online
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The Enduring Appeal of the Fastest Known Time

Race cancellations have produced an uptick in FKTs, but the obsession predates the pandemic

Last week, there was big news in the world of “fell running,” a sport that can perhaps be described as the soggier, hillier, and more misery-inducing cousin of cross-country. Great Britain’s Beth Pascall set a new women’s record for the Bob Graham Round, the legendary 66-mile loop in England’s Lake District, which includes roughly 27,000 feet of elevation gain. Pascall completed the route in a remarkable 14 hours and 34 minutes. When she returned to Moot Hall, the Round’s start and finish point in the village of Keswick, a waiter emerged from a local pub to present her with a celebratory pint. Three cheers for Cumbrian hospitality.

Like the rest of humanity, Pascall had originally intended to spend the summer of 2020 doing something else. In her case, she’d planned on contesting several high-profile races on the ultra circuit, including UTMB and Western States—events where she’d previously finished in the top five. That was before the coronavirus pandemic led to the cancellation of every major race under the sun.

“When all the races were canceled back in March, I was like, right, I’m going to do it,” Pascall says. “It didn’t cross my mind to do anything else, to be honest—just because the Bob Graham record is the most prestigious fell running record that exists.”

Needless to say, such solitary bids for glory have seen a rise in popularity in recent months. In a story for FiveThirtyEight, Anna Wiederkehr reported that the website FastestKnownTime.com had recorded nearly four times as many FKTs from runners through the first half of 2020, compared to the same time period in 2019. Last week, Wiederkehr appeared on NPR’s All Things Considered to explain the FKT phenomenon to the program’s slightly incredulous host, Ari Shapiro. “Why do people do it if they don’t get the bibs and the crowds and the glory and all the other things that go along with most sports?” Shapiro asked.

Why do people do it? It’s a reasonable question—especially since the FKT boom has been ongoing for years. One answer is that hardcore FKTers are primarily seeking the respect of their fellow endurance junkies. After all, even the mother of all (American) FKTs—the rim-to-rim-to-rim traverse of the Grand Canyon—is, for the most part, meaningful only within the insular world of ultrarunning.

“It’s a lot easier for someone who isn’t into ultrarunning to know what a good 10K or marathon time is, but with some of these FKTs, it’s kind of in the weeds as far as what the standards are,” says Pete Kostelnick, who set a new FKT for running across the United States after trekking from San Francisco to New York in the summer of 2016. (The mark stands at 42 days, six hours, and 30 minutes, in case you’re looking for ideas on how to spend the rest of your summer.)

“I definitely think that most people who do these FKTs are looking for recognition from their peers, certainly more than from people who don’t really understand the sport,” Kostelnick adds.

For an FKT to be accepted by FastestKnownTime.com, a run has to be verified with a GPS data file and the route has to be significant enough to warrant inclusion. Regarding the latter point, the website states that an FKT should be “notable and distinct enough so that others will be interested in repeating it.” Such phrasing leaves things open to interpretation. One recent entry on the website is Joey Campanelli’s new mark for the northbound route of Nolan’s 14, which involves bagging fourteen 14,000-foot peaks in Colorado’s Sawatch Range in 60 hours or less. (I suppose some people might be interested in repeating that.)

Of course, the sheer number of FKTs (there have already been more than 1,700 new additions to FastestKnownTime.com this year) means the majority of these efforts are probably only going to be significant on a hyperlocal level—think Strava CRs for trailheads. Hence, even for top athletes, the pursuit can sometimes be more of a personal challenge, as opposed to a bid for wider recognition.

“For me, it starts as a private goal,” says ultrarunner YiOu Wang, who recently set an FKT for the 40-mile stretch in the Sierra Nevada known as the Rae Lakes Loop. “I enjoy the process of working towards it, achieving it, and then sharing that achievement with the community.”

This private/public dichotomy suggests a sort of paradox at the heart of FKT culture, one that feels appropriate to our social media–saturated age. On the one hand, part of the appeal of these undertakings is that they project an air of spontaneity and wholesome solitude. At its most idealized, the pursuit of an FKT is a way to commune with nature while testing your physical limits. In theory, you can go out and set an FKT whenever the mood strikes or when the weather is favorable. You don’t need anyone’s approval. Unlike in races, where you’re taking part in a prepackaged, carefully regulated event, the hunt for an FKT can feel refreshingly removed from all the noise.

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But for an FKT to become “official,” the feat ultimately still requires external validation, and here the standards are becoming ever more stringent. FastestKnownTime now requests that runners who are attempting FKTs on famous routes state their intentions in advance, provide real-time tracking, and submit photographic evidence. Pics or it didn’t happen.

In the same way that the process of documenting an experience inevitably changes the nature of that experience, having an FKT as the main impetus for an extended traverse will impose certain constraints. (Right now, some intrepid souls are attempting FKTs on both the Appalachian and Pacific Crest Trails. Power to them. But if you were going to spend weeks trekking in the Sierra or the mountains of Appalachia, wouldn’t you want to take your time?)

When I brought this up to Kostelnick, who averaged 72 miles a day on his cross-country run and hence didn’t have much time to stop and smell the sagebrush, he admitted that, looking back, there was a sense of missed opportunity. “I had a lot of regrets,” he says. “I didn’t really soak in any sights, because I was always either moving, eating, or sleeping.” Such was the extent of his retrospective FOMO that, two years after completing his record-setting run, Kostelnick made another trip on foot, this time from Kenai, Alaska, to Key West, Florida, where he made a point of lingering when he felt so inclined. (The pace was a leisurely 50 miles a day.)

For her part, Wang says this was also a concern during her recent FKT attempt in the Sierra Nevada.

“I thought about that a lot, because it was my first time doing the Rae Lakes Loop and I actually wanted to enjoy it,” Wang says. “But a lot of times when you do an FKT, you don’t really enjoy the trail, because you have to be so focused on beating these times—it’s a difficult balance.” Despite such potential caveats, however, Wang feels that allure of the FKT is likely to persist.

As she told me: “If there’s a route out there, someone is going to try to do it as fast as they can.”

(09/19/2020) Views: 40 ⚡AMP
by Outside Online
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Does apple cider vinegar actually do anything for your body or gut?

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has been touted as a holistic cure-all for decades, and it’s as popular as ever in the wellness world. Proponents claim the pantry staple has all sorts of positive benefits: reducing inflammation, slowing down aging, and promoting weight loss, to name a few. And in theory, certain properties of ACV suggest that these claims may have some truth to them. For example, ACV contains B-complex vitamins, which do have anti-inflammatory effects in the body. But the anti-inflammatory properties of these vitamins haven’t been studied in the context of vinegar consumption. That’s the problem with most of the claims people make about ACV—they just haven’t been proven, one way or the other.

ACV also has plenty of antioxidants, and researchers think antioxidants may help reduce chronic disease burden as we age. However, scientific studies on antioxidants have been inconclusive, and there isn’t really any research about ACV’s antioxidants and their effects. When it comes to the gut, it’s possible that the acetic acid in ACV could aid our digestion and thus ease gut issues, particularly as we age and produce less of our own stomach acids. In theory, adding another acid may help achieve the same thing, but whether it actually works is also, as yet, unproven.

However, there are a few evidence-backed, measurable physiological effects, including increased satiety: in a small study from the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2005, participants who supplemented a standard meal with ACV reported feeling more full than those who didn’t. Another randomized controlled trial, in the Journal of Functional Foods from 2018, found that regular supplementation of two tablespoons of ACV daily for three months contributed to modest weight loss of a few pounds when compared to controls. So it seems apple cider might offer a small boost for those interested in weight loss—but that’s not necessarily a health benefit, unless you’re working toward a specific goal that you and your doctor have agreed would be beneficial for you.

ACV has also been shown to offer a small amount of help modulating blood sugar and insulin levels after you eat a meal, but not so reliably that it could replace traditional treatments and medications. A recent meta-analysis in the Journal of Advanced Nursing reported that in studies that collectively evaluated over 300 Type 2 diabetics, ACV supplementation did have beneficial effects on blood-sugar levels. However, most of the individual studies used small sample sizes, and while the results were promising, they were still pretty minimal.

If you’re interested in experimenting with supplementation, it’s safe to take ACV in small doses. Recommendations vary, but an ounce a day diluted in water is a safe place to start. The only notable side effects of overconsumption are an upset stomach and, if you take it undiluted, a sore throat or weaker tooth enamel over time. Just don’t expect a miracle, and remember that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

I’m obsessed with my Theragun and generally any type of self-myofascial release, like vibrating foam rollers. Is it possible to overuse tools like this? The Theragun feels fantastic, but it’s also pretty aggressive.

From Theraguns to Hypervolts, it seems like everyone (including myself) nowadays is raving about the benefits of self-percussion therapy devices. Manufacturers claim that these devices accelerate recovery and muscle repair, improve blood and lymphatic flow, and relieve stiffness when regularly used before and after exercise. While some of these claims are likely overblown, there is some evidence that these devices can alleviate delayed onset muscle soreness—and as long as you aren’t finding that the tool is leaving you achier than you were when you started, you’re probably fine. The key here is to listen to your body, and stop if it starts to feel painful.

Most of the benefits listed above are anecdotal; of the above claims, the only one with scientific evidence behind it is that these devices can reduce soreness following vigorous exercise. A 2014 study in the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research examined delayed onset muscle soreness. One group received vibration therapy after exercise, and another group had regular massage therapy. Those who received vibration therapy had a greater reduction in pain 48 hours after an intense workout compared to the massage-therapy group.

When using a percussive device, you can expect to feel some transient, mild soreness over the area being massaged, but you should use common sense. If you are percussing over areas that result in significant and increasing pain of a different character than simple muscle soreness, back off. These devices should only be used on muscle—other sensitive areas, such as an inflamed tendon or bursa, may benefit from a mild manual massage but should not be aggressively percussed. Percussing bone, in addition to being extremely painful, has no benefit. With these considerations in mind, using a Theragun on tired muscles may fast-track your post-workout recovery, and as long as you pay attention to your body, there is no real risk of overuse or injury.

(09/19/2020) Views: 33 ⚡AMP
by Outside On Line
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After more than two decades, John Capriotti is stepping down as leader of Nike’s track and field sports marketing group

“John is going into the consulting business,” said Steve Miller, a former Nike executive and the man who hired Capriotti at the company.

The fiery former track coach still worked for the sneaker giant as of Friday. But he is leaning toward a consulting deal that would make Nike one of his clients, according to a second source close to Capriotti.

News of the change had the track and field world buzzing on Friday.

“It’s kind of unbelievable,” said a third source, a prominent sports agent. “He’s been in that position for the entire 21 years I’ve been around track and field. He’s been the single most influential person in the sport.”

Neither Capriotti nor Nike could immediately be reached for comment.

Capriotti’s decision comes as Nike is cutting costs and laying off employees. The company lost about $790 million last quarter.

Since Nike brought in John Donahoe as its new CEO and chairman in January, there has been speculation about the ramifications for the company’s sports marketing arm, and for its track and field operations in particular. Donahoe’s athletic background is unknown. But outsiders speculate that the longtime technology executive does not share the passion for track and field of his predecessors Phil Knight and Mark Parker.

Under Capriotti’s watch, Nike solidified its position as the sport’s superpower. It hired more track athletes to endorsement contracts than any other sponsor. It also bankrolled USA Track & Field, the sport’s governing body in this country, signing a sponsorship in 2014 worth more than $400 million.

Nike sponsored three different teams of elite runners, all of them based in Oregon. Its audacious goal was to make American runners once again competitive with the rest of the world.

Capriotti and Nike also helped secure Eugene’s position as one of the world capitals of the sport. He was such a fixture at Hayward Field that his customary spot in the grandstands became known as Cap’s Corner.

The stunning decision to award the 2021 track and field world championships to Eugene came in part because of the enthusiastic support of Knight and Nike. The coronavirus pandemic has delayed the running of those championships in Eugene until 2022.

There was also plenty of controversy. Alberto Salazar was Nike’s superstar coach for the Nike Oregon Project. But Salazar was dogged for years by allegations that he encouraged his athletes to use banned substances. He was banned from the sport for four years “for orchestrating and facilitating prohibited doping conduct.”

Nike sided with Salazar and continued to back him even after the ban, which Salazar is appealing.

(09/19/2020) Views: 54 ⚡AMP
by Oregon Live
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Strong European Field for Mattoni Ústí nad Labem Half-Marathon, celebrating its tenth edition on Saturday

This weekend's Mattoni Ústí Half-Marathon in the north of the Czech Republic near the German border will feature a strong European elite field, organizers announced today. The race celebrates its tenth edition on Saturday.

The women's field includes Eva Vrabcová Nývltová, the 2018 European Championships bronze medalist in the marathon, who is coming back to competition after giving birth to a baby girl, Adela, in 2019.

Unlike many road races which were postponed this year, the Mattoni Ústí nad Labem Half-Marathon is being held on its normal date. Last year's race had 2351 finishers, but this year should have fewer finishers due to COVID restrictions. The course records are Men, 59:14, by Kenya's Barselius Kipyego in 2017 and 1:07:17 by Peres Jepchirchir, also from Kenya, in 2015.

The elite start lists are as follows.

MEN -Said El Otmani (ITA) 1:01:31 (Verbania, 2019) Alejandro Jimenez (ESP) 1:03:05 (Valencia, 2019) Jirí Homolác (CZE) 1:03:23 (Prague, 2017) Alberto Sanchez Pinilla (ESP) 1:03:39 (Puerto de Sagunto, 2020) Bohdan-Ivan Horodyskyi (UKR) 1:04:43 (Kovel, 2019) Vít Pavlišta (CZE) 1:05:09 (Prague, 2016) Emmanuel Roudolff-Levisse (FRA) 1:05:22 (Lille, 2019) Robert Míc (CZE) 1:07:23 (Ústí nad Labem, 2017) Azeddine Habz (FRA) debut Jakub Zemaník (CZE) debut Sebastian Hendel (GER) pacemaker for women’s race

WOMEN -Fatma Maraoui (ITA) 1:10:08 (Cremona, 2011) Eva Vrabcová Nývltová (CZE) 1:11:01 (Prague, 2018) Ekaterina Korneenko (BLR) 1:12:45 (Poznan, 2019) Marcela Joglová (CZE) 1:13:46 (Kostenice, 2020) Kristina Hendel (GER) 1:14:02 (Berlín, 2019) Ivana Sekyrová (CZE) 1:14:06 (Pardubice, 2013) Cecilia Mobuchon (FRA) 1:14:16 (Sevilla, 2020) Nuria Lugueros Diaz (ESP) 1:15:11 (Madrid, 2019) Tereza Hrochová (CZE) 1:15:59 (Kostenice, 2020) Barbora Jíšová (CZE) 1:18:51 (Prague, 2018) Tereza Jagošová (CZE) 1:25:08 (Olomouc, 2018)

(09/18/2020) Views: 78 ⚡AMP
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Mattoni Usti nad Labem Half Marathon

Mattoni Usti nad Labem Half Marathon

Enjoy the urban run at the Ústí Half Marathon. The course leads alongside the river Elbe opening a view to impressive rock formations, Strekov castle and then crossing the area of a chemical factory which is a perfect example of industrial architecture of the First Republic. The Ústí nad Labem Half Marathon is an annual half marathon race which takes...

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Lydia Njeri Mathathi is among the pace-makers for next month’s London Marathon

First Lady’s Half Marathon champion Lydia Njeri Mathathi is among the pace-makers for next month’s London Marathon.

Yes, you guessed it! She is a sister of the famous distance running star, Martin Irungu Mathathi, bronze medallist at both the 2006 World Cross Country Championships (Fukuoka) and in the 10,000 metres at the 2007 World Championships (Osaka).

Lydia will be playing “rabbit” in a major race for the second time and has been delegated the responsibility to pace for the second group of athletes.

The time target for this group is two hours and 23 minutes.

Apart from pacing various athletes, Lydia is also an accomplished athlete in her own right, and has competed in various races on the road, catching the eye of race directors.We caught up with her at Kipchoge Keino Stadium in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County, last week where she was sharpening her skills in a speed work session.

Just like other athletes across the country, Lydia was forced to retreat from serious training when the coronavirus struck forcing the government to ban group training.

She said, that forced her to continue training alone due to the rules from the government but she is happy the country is slowly opening up and she is up to the task ahead.

“It has been a long journey in training because of the virus which sent us back to the drawing board where we missed the whole season of athletics,” said the younger Mathathi.

Lydia bagged victory in First Lady’s Half Marathon in Nairobi (one hour, 12 minutes and three seconds) with Londiani-based Emily Chebet coming in second in1:12:30 and Pacifica Jeptoo closing the podium in 1:12:44.

This was after disappointment from the Paris Half Marathon where they were forced to fly back home after the race was cancelled due to coronavirus.

"We flew all the way to Paris only for the organisers to cancel the race in the last minute due to the coronavirus pandemic which had started spreading across the world. I’m happy because I managed to bag victory in the First Lady’s Half Marathon and since then we have just been training at home,” she said.

“I used to participate in various races in school and this was because my brother was an athlete and I wanted to be like him. I’m happy because my brother has been of great help in my career and I will be going for nothing but the best,” said Lydia, who has a personal best of 67:51 in the half marathon.

(09/18/2020) Views: 79 ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

The London Marathon was first run on March 29, 1981 and has been held in the spring of every year since 2010. It is sponsored by Virgin Money and was founded by the former Olympic champion and journalist Chris Brasher and Welsh athlete John Disley. It is organized by Hugh Brasher (son of Chris) as Race Director and Nick Bitel...

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2021 Vienna City Marathon moves from April into September

The Vienna City Marathon is the second major international marathon which has been moved from a spring date of 2021 into the second half of the year. The race is now scheduled for 12 September. This spring organizers had to cancel Austria’s biggest one day sporting event due to the corona virus pandemic. Because of the ongoing uncertainties during the pandemic there was too much risk continuing to plan with a race on 18 April 2021, organizers explained. The first major race that was moved from spring into the autumn in 2021 was the London Marathon. The Vienna City Marathon is a World Athletics Gold Label Road Race.

The world is still in a state of upheaval and constant change due to the corona virus pandemic. This especially applies to organizers of major events. That led to the decision to postpone the upcoming Vienna City Marathon from April to 12 September 2021. "In accordance with health experts and those in charge for the City of Vienna, we are convinced that on this date in September we will find an improved overall Covid-19 situation and be able to organize a major marathon in Vienna. We want to hold an event that offers a thrilling experience and inspires the participants and spectators - a race like the one we staged in 2019 or in the years before. Moving it to the second half of 2021 is the more honest answer to the difficult situation and brings more reliability and planning security, also for the participants", reads a statement of the organizers.

"Our goal is to organize the Vienna City Marathon safely but also with a great atmosphere. However, we cannot carry out the extensive conceptual and preparatory work for the marathon under unknown and constantly changing regulations. We want to organize running events and will do so according to the current rules. For our major event, the Vienna City Marathon, however, moving it to September is the more realistic way," says Vienna City Marathon Race Director Wolfgang Konrad.

"I am delighted that the Vienna City Marathon 2021 is planned to take place in an attractive and customary manner. The event mobilizes Vienna and the Viennese population. As a tourist magnet with strong economic effects, the event is of great importance beyond sports and health promotion. It is clear that due to the Covid-19 pandemic, events like the Vienna City Marathon have to cope with great challenges. However, in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic, holding the event in September 2021 offers a clear perspective. We hope that the marathon can be held on this new date on the well-known route, which passes numerous tourist attractions of Vienna," says Vienna’s Mayor Michael Ludwig.

The date of the Vienna City Marathon is usually fixed for several years in advance. "It would not have been feasible to wait and hope for the next few months. We could then have found ourselves in a position urgently trying to find a new date in the autumn of the same year. The move required coordination with the City of Vienna, the police, public authorities and other event organizers in order to keep the course through the entire city and the finish area in the Ringstrasse / Rathausplatz area available for the races and for the set-up work," says Gerhard Wehr, Managing Director of the Vienna City Marathon. He thanked the City of Vienna as well as the sponsors and partners for their support and cooperation.

"We hope that the current circumstances and regulations will continue to allow running events to take place. We look forward to every event that can go ahead. This is what our heart beats for, and this is what we will continue to do with all our commitment," Vienna organizers announced. Online entry for the Vienna City Marathon 2021 will start in autumn at: www.vienna-marathon.com

(09/18/2020) Views: 52 ⚡AMP
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Vienna City Marathon

Vienna City Marathon

More than 41,000 runners from over 110 nations take part in the Vienna City Marathon, cheered on by hundreds of thousands of spectators. From the start at UN City to the magnificent finish on the Heldenplatz, the excitement will never miss a beat. In recent years the Vienna City Marathon has succeeded in creating a unique position as a marathon...

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Epic clash at London Marathon this year, but with lower prize money

Top athletes will earn less in this year's London Marathon as effects of Covid-19 continue to hit the sports world.

Organisers of the October 4 race say the prize money has been cut by nearly half of what was offered last year.

With only 17 days to the 40th edition of the London Marathon, the announcement comes as a shocker for marathoners who are just returning to the sport after months of heavy lockdowns.

Interestingly, for the first time there will be a separate prize pool for the best performing British athletes for the London clash that will present the scintillating clash between the world’s fastest marathoners - Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge and Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele.

The elite men’s race will see one of the most eagerly anticipated clashes in marathon history with Kipchoge going head-to-head with Bekele, the man who came within two seconds of his world record last year in Berlin.

 

(09/18/2020) Views: 71 ⚡AMP
by Stephen Rutto
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

The London Marathon was first run on March 29, 1981 and has been held in the spring of every year since 2010. It is sponsored by Virgin Money and was founded by the former Olympic champion and journalist Chris Brasher and Welsh athlete John Disley. It is organized by Hugh Brasher (son of Chris) as Race Director and Nick Bitel...

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A French court sentenced former IAAF president Lamine Diack to 2 years in prison

A French court found 87-year-old Lamine Diack guilty on multiple counts, but he does have the right to appeal.

Former IAAF (now World Athletics) president Lamine Diack has been found guilty of corruption and breach of trust by a French court. Diack was at the centre of multiple doping coverups involving Russian athletes, and he reportedly received millions of dollars to help guilty athletes avoid convictions. At the 87-year-old Diack’s trial in June, prosecutors requested that he be sentenced to four years in prison along with a fine, but he got off with a lighter sentence of just two years, plus a fine of 500,000 euros (C$782,000). Diack was president of the IAAF from 1999 to 2015. 

As reported by the Associated Press, the trial’s chief judge, Rose-Marie Hunault, outlined Diack’s involvement in the Russian doping scandal, for which he was paid close to C$5 million. “The money was paid in exchange for a program of ‘full protection,’” Hunault said, which allowed guilty athletes “purely and simply to escape sanctions.”

Diack was first charged in 2015, and he has been under house arrest in France ever since. He was originally charged for corruption and money laundering, although the French court found him not guilty on the latter charge. While Diack has been handed a sentence, he still has the right to an appeal. 

Diack’s son, Papa Massata Diack, was also sentenced to prison and fined on Wednesday, although he was not present in court. He worked as a marketing consultant for the IAAF while his father was head of the organization, and Hunault said he received almost C$20 million from TV deals and other contracts, which was then laundered through other companies. 

The younger Diack has stayed in Senegal throughout the trial, and while French authorities have requested he be extradited so he can be properly sentenced, Senegalese officials have refused to do so. While he was not present on Wednesday, the court still sentenced him to five years in prison and handed him a fine of 1 million euros (C$1.5 million). 

(09/17/2020) Views: 40 ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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Pandemic cancels Lake Tahoe marathon

Eager runners registered to participate in this year’s Lake Tahoe Marathon will have to wait until 2021 to hear the starting gun go off: the event is now cancelled, South Tahoe Now reported.

“The odds of being able to have the 25th Lake Tahoe Marathon this year on Oct 9-11th have dropped to about 1 percent,” race director Les Wright wrote in a letter to participants. “I spoke to the South Lake Tahoe City Council on Zoom at the end of their meeting in the Public Comment session this afternoon. No action can take place during this time.”

Originally, the 26th marathon was scheduled to take place October 9-11. It's now been moved to October 8-11 in 2021.

Wright went on to say that “CA is on fire right now” and that although he hopes the fires will be over by October the marathon dates this year, he thinks there is “a good chance the Lake Tahoe Basin will still be smoky then as well.”

Despite COVID-19 and wildfires, Wright thinks people will still show up and run regardless.“If I can help you with running on your own, I will be glad to give you advice," he said. "Meanwhile, wear your mask, social distance, and keep running when you can.”

Organizers around the world have been forced to cancel marathons as the COVID-19 pandemic spread across oceans and continents. Amongst the casualties: the New York marathon, the Boston marathon and the Berlin marathon.

(09/17/2020) Views: 73 ⚡AMP
by Fernando Martinez
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Lake Tahoe Marathon

Lake Tahoe Marathon

3-Days of Running: Tahoe Triple 3 x 26.2M Tahoe Trifecta 3 x 13.1M Friday: Lakeside Marathon & Nevada Half Saturday: Cal Neva Marathon & Carnelian Bay Half Sunday: Lake Tahoe Marathon, Emerald Bay Half, 16.4 miler, 10K, 5K 4-Person Marathon Relay, 72 Mile Midnight Express Ultra, Kids Pumpkin Runs....

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