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Focus shifts from track as road racing season heats up

As the international outdoor track and field season draws to a close, we now look forward to the feast of top-class road racing that will be on offer throughout the final four months of the year.

In just 11 days’ time, the focus of the sport will be on the World Athletics Road Running Championships Riga 23, where the best distance runners on the planet will compete for global honours in the mile, 5km and half marathon.

The likes of world champion Faith Kipyegon, world record-holder Berihu Aregawi and Olympic champion Peres Jepchirchir are among the stars set to compete in the Latvian capital. Recreational runners from around the world, meanwhile, will run on the same courses as the greats when they take to the streets of Riga for the associated mass races.

There are also eight Platinum Label road races between September and December, the first of which was held last weekend with Betsy Saina and Othmane El Goumri winning the Blackmores Sydney Marathon. Of the seven other upcoming Platinum events, three of them form part of the Abbott World Marathon Majors (WMM) series: the BMW Berlin Marathon, the Bank of America Chicago Marathon and the TCS New York Marathon.

Platinum Label road races, Sep-Dec 2023

8 Oct – Chicago Marathon (WMM)

15 Oct – Amsterdam Marathon

5 Nov – New York Marathon (WMM)

26 Nov – Shanghai Marathon

3 Dec – Valencia Marathon

17 Dec – Bang Saen Half Marathon

The Chicago Marathon two weeks later will be highlighted by a clash between defending champion Ruth Chepngetich and London Marathon winner Sifan Hassan.

Two-time Tokyo Marathon champion Birhanu Legese, the fourth-fastest marathon runner of all time, headlines the men’s field for the Amsterdam Marathon. Defending champion Evans Chebet will take on two-time winner Geoffrey Kamworor at the New York City Marathon in November.

For the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic, the Shanghai Marathon in late November will welcome an international elite field.

Just one week later, multiple global champion and world record-holder Joshua Cheptegei will make his long-awaited marathon debut in Valencia. In recent years the event has established itself as one of the highest-quality marathons in the world, and this year’s edition will surely be no exception.

Towards the end of the year, the Thai coastal area of Bang Saen will host one of the newest additions to the Platinum Label calendar, the Bangsaen21 Half Marathon. Since the pandemic, it has been largely a domestic affair, but it will be back with a bang this year with a high-quality elite line-up.

Hundreds of road races each year are granted a World Athletics Label, ranging from ‘Platinum’, for the top tier of road events, to Gold, Elite and Label. There are still more than 100 World Athletics Label road races due to take place between now and the end of 2023.

(09/24/2023) Views: 488 ⚡AMP
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