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Kara Goucher says the Leadville Trail Marathon was the hardest thing she'd ever done

Former elite US marathoner Kara Goucher was the fifth female across the finish line and first in her 40-49 age group at Leadville Trail Marathon in the Colorado Rockies. “Without a doubt, the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life,” she tweeted–quite a statement from a two-time Olympian, world championship silver medallist, and two-time Boston Marathon third-place finisher.

Goucher has blogged about the experience of transitioning from the roads to the trails on her sponsor Oiselle’s blog, where she also dispenses advice to those considering (or executing) a similar transition.

It seems road running and trail running are, well, quite different. For one thing, terrain and weather conditions play havoc with road runners’ expectations regarding time and pace, which are mostly beyond anyone’s control. (Goucher’s time was 3:54:07.)

"I pushed beyond any limit I ever have, thanks for making me find out what I’m made of when the going gets rough!” Goucher said in another tweet. Goucher told Runners World that she was vomiting repeatedly from altitude sickness throughout the race.

Tara Richardson of Glenwood Springs, Colo., Jana Willsey of Denver and Corinne Shalvoy of Castle Rock went 1, 2 and 3 for the top three females while Joshua Lund of Boulder, Pat Cade of Leadville and Chad Trammell of Anchorage stood on the men’s podium (which also happened to be the M30-39 podium).

The course runs through old mining roads and trails, reaching a maximum elevation of 13,185 feet (4,019m). This was the race’s 19th year.

(06/24/2019) ⚡AMP
by Anne Francis
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Leadville Trail Marathon

Leadville Trail Marathon

Run through the historic mining district’s challenging old mining roads and trails, and hit a high of 13,185 feet at Mosquito Pass during the Blueprint for Athletes Leadville Trail Marathon or Heavy Half Marathon. The views will leave you breathless, if you’re not already. This exciting race is hosted in the Historic Mining District located on the east side of...

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The Boilermaker 15K Road Race has reached its cap for participants again this year

The 15-kilometer race — Utica’s premier summer sports event is set for Sunday, July 14 — reached its cap of 14,500 spots on Tuesday afternoon, Boilermaker officials announced. Each of the Boilermaker’s 4,500 spots in the 5-kilometer race have been claimed since mid-April.

“We’re certainly happy (to reach the cap),” said Boilermaker President Mark Donovan, who was officially introduced as Boilermaker president on June 6 in 2018. “Those that want to be here (in Utica for the race) lock in March.

Everyone else is seeing what their schedule looks like and what life throws at them before they commit.”

While the total number of spots in the 15K has changed in recent years – the cap was set at 14,500 beginning in 2017 -- the Boilermaker has sold out of spots for each race dating back to at least 2011. Last year, the 15K reached the cap in early July.

“It is such a unique event,” said Donovan when asked what it means for the event to reach the cap again. “It is a community thing and people talk about it and the experience. Everybody’s experience is different and it is fun. I bet if you asked 10 people about their experience on (race day), you’ll get 10 different answers.”

(06/24/2019) ⚡AMP
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Boilermaker 15k

Boilermaker 15k

The Boilermaker 15K is the premier event of Boilermaker Weekend. This world renowned race is often referred to as the country's best 15K. The Boilermaker 15K is recognized for its entertaining yet challenging course and racing's best post-race party, hosted by the F.X. Matt Brewing Company, featuring Saranac beer and a live concert! With 3 ice and water stops every...

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Runners are getting slower but they are getting older as well

Runners are getting slower. How much slower? According to statistician Jens Jakob Andersen and mathematician Ivanka Nikolova, today’s average recreational male marathoner takes an additional 40 minutes, 14 seconds to cross the finish line as compared with 1986, when the average finishing time was 3:52:35. Nowadays it takes the average male marathoner 4:32.49 to run 26.2 miles (42K). 

Women’s times have also gotten slower, adding an extra 38 minutes, 19 seconds to their finishing time. But unlike the men, whose times have been on a steady incline, the women found a burst of speed sometime after 2001. Today’s times are four minutes faster than those posted in the early 2000s (4:56.18), with the average female marathoner now clocking in at 4:52.10.

This slowing trend isn’t limited to the marathon. It spans all popular distances: marathons, half marathons, 10K and 5K, and encompasses runners in most age groups.

Andersen has a runners’ love of numbers. Based out of Denmark and a founder of RunRepeat.com, he combed through 107.9 million race results (recreational runners only – elites were excluded) from 70,000 events held in 193 countries between 1986 to 2018. He claims the data represents “the largest study of race results in history.”

The slowest marathoners are from the United States and the fastest finishers from Spain. Canadians rank mid-pack among nations, behind Spain, Australia, Germany and Sweden, but faster than the Americans, the French and runners from the UK.

Part of the reason race times are increasing is that runners are getting older. The average age of runners in 2018 is 39.3 years, four years older than in 1986.

“It’s not the individual who’s getting slower, but the average of all runners, meaning that the “demography” has changed,” suggested Andersen. “More slow runners participate.”

But Andersen didn’t just look at the marathon. His data includes races of all distances, noting that half-marathons and 5Ks are the most popular distances worldwide, with the number of half-marathoners accounting for 30 per cent of race results — up from just 17 per cent in 1986. Marathoners, on the other hand, are on the decline, accounting for just 12 per cent of racers.

All tolled, there are 7.9 million runners competing recreationally in races across the globe, a 57.8-per-cent increase in participation in the last 10 years, making running a popular pastime for a significant swath of the population. The numbers are down from 2016, when the sport peaked at 9.1 million results.

But participation numbers and finishing times aren’t the only thing to change over the last few years. Andersen says that today’s runners are less likely to be achievement-focused. Instead they’re more interested in having a great experience than posting a personal best. Certainly the slower pace of the recreational field supports this theory, with the average marathoner clocking 6:43 per kilometre for men and 7:26 for women.

The fastest runners are the half-marathoners, who maintain a 5:57 pace per kilometre for men and 6:40 per kilometre for women, a trend that suggests some of the faster marathoners may be moving to the half-marathon distance. The slowest runners are in the 5K (7:21 men and 8:44 women), which typically attract the largest crowd of new runners.

How do the runners in the United States stack up?  In the 5k men and women both rank 25th in the world.  The average men’s time is 35 minutes and women 41 minutes.  The Ukraine is the number one country with their average men’s time being 25:08 and women’s 29:26.

For the half marathon US men are ranked 35th in the world averaging 2:02 while Women at 34th averaging 2:26.  Russia leads the world for both men (1:40) and women (1:50).

In the marathon US men and women are ranked 36th in the world. Men’s average finish time is 4:31 and women are 4:57.  Spain leads the world for men with an average time for men being 3:49:21.  Switzerland leads the women with 4:04.  

How do Canadians measure up against the global competition?

Our female runners rank second in the world in female participation and 13th in speed. As for the Canadian running landscape, we boast the third-largest growth in participation in the 5K over the past 10 years. But like the rest of the world, we’re getting slower. The average Canadian marathon time increased by 1:10 minutes/seconds over the past 10 years. The half-marathon got 2:33 minutes slower, the 10K got 0:29 seconds slower and the 5K 4:34 minutes slower over that time period.

But one of the most notable trends in running over the past 30 years is the increased number of women, with total female participation going from just under 20 per cent in 1986 to just over 50 per cent in 2018. In 5K races, women make up 60 per cent of the field. Once a male-dominated sport, the Olympic marathon was only opened up to women in 1984, 88 years after the men’s marathon made its debut in 1896. But it looks like we’re doing a pretty good job of making up lost time.

(06/23/2019) ⚡AMP
by Jim Barker
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Fancy Chemutai wins BAA 10k women’s race and sets course record

A course record fell to the wayside at the 2019 B.A.A. 10K, presented by Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Fancy Chemutai of Kenya set a new women’s course record of 30:36. 

Presenting sponsor Brigham and Women’s Hospital was represented by 550 runners, who have raised a combined $250,000 through today’s event.

 Chemutai earned breakaway wins thanks to tactical moves made early in her race. After crossing the halfway mark in 15:25, Chemutai began to leave the rest of the women’s field behind, pulling away as she made her way towards Kenmore Square.

Splitting 8K in 24:33, Chemutai knew she was on course record pace and buckled down for the final minutes of racing. At that point, she had nearly a 25-second lead on countrywoman Brillian Kipkoech and was on pace to shatter Shalane Flanagan’s 30:52 course best.

“I saw it was coming, that the course record was coming,” she said. When asked if that motivated her, she smiled and said, “yeah, sure!”

Triumphantly crossing the finish in 30:36, Chemutai established a new course record. The time also ranks tied for second fastest in the world this year.

“I enjoy being in Boston and enjoyed to win. It was very hot. It was hot,” said Chemutai of her Boston road racing debut. “I was going for the course record, it was in my mind.”

Kipkoech placed second in 31:04, with 2015 Boston Marathon champion Caroline Rotich taking third in 31:58. Top American honors went to Aliphine Tuliamuk, eighth place in 32:27.

The men’s open race was a fierce battle between Kenyans David Bett, Daniel Chebii, and Stephen Sambu, alongside Tanzania’s Joseph Panga. With opening miles of 4:34 and 4:33, the men’s leaders came through 5K in 14:16 and then began to push the pace even more. The quartet broke from the field, and clocked a 4:29 fourth mile, setting up for a final push down Commonwealth Ave. towards the finish.

It was Bett who had the best sprint of the day, making the turn onto Charles Street first and holding off the hard charging Chebii, who would finish a second behind, 28:08 to 29:09. Sambu rounded out the top three in 28:11, followed by Panga (28:14).

(06/23/2019) ⚡AMP
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B.A.A. 10K

B.A.A. 10K

The 6.2-mile course is a scenic tour through Boston's Back Bay. Notable neighborhoods and attractions include the legendary Bull and Finch Pub, after which the television series "Cheers" was developed, the campus of Boston University, and trendy Kenmore Square. ...

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Yassine Rachik and Lilia Fisikovici win Olomouc Half Marathon

Italy’s Yassine Rachik and Lilia Fisikovici of Moldova continued their winning ways in the RunCzech EuroHeroes Challenge series, taking the titles at Mattoni Olomouc Half Marathon in the Czech Republic.

In hot conditions, with the temperature around 30°C at the start of the race at 7pm local time, Rachik clocked 64:26 and Fisikovici 73:32 for clear victories.

That makes it three wins from three races for the pair in the EuroHeroes series, following their success in Karlovy Vary in May and Ceské Budejovice at the beginning of this month.

The four-race series was launched in 2018 with the support of European Athletics and aims to highlight new sporting heroes from the continent, as athletes claim points for their performances and can compete for a separate EuroHeroes ranking and prize structure.

Ukraine’s Olha Kotovska was second in 74:35 and her compatriot Darya Mykhailova was third in 74:57. Matea Parlov finished fourth in 75:18.

In the men’s race, London Marathon ninth-placer Rachik solo ran his way to success, with Ukraine’s Roman Romanenko securing second in 66:01 and Ireland’s Paul Pollock placing third in 66:12.

The top Czech runners were Vít Pavlišta in fifth with 68:09 and Marcela Joglová in ninth with 77:55.

“It was hard to run alone,” said Rachik, “and it wasn’t easy to fight with that heat, too.”

A total of 10,078 runners took part in the Mattoni Olomouc Half Marathon events, with 6481 in the main race and 3597 in the family run.

The fourth and final event in this year’s EuroHeroes Challenge will be the Mattoni Ústí nad Labem Half Marathon, held on September 21.

(06/23/2019) ⚡AMP
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It is really going to be hard to get tickets to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics because the demand is so great

Millions of people were disappointed last Thursday when applicants in a ticket lottery — for Japan residents, only — began learning if they landed tickets. The answer is going to be overwhelmingly — no. The same will be true for residents outside Japan who could experience a similar dejection: too much demand and too few tickets.

This was not the case at the last several games — the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang and the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro — when tickets were given away and volunteers were often summoned to fill empty seats for the television cameras. At times, there were too many empty seats to fill.

“This is probably going to be the most popular Olympics, and possibly one of the most popular events of all time," Ken Hanscom, the chief operating officer of TicketManager, told The Associated Press in an interview.

His Los Angeles-based company does not buy or sell Olympic tickets, but manages tickets for corporate clients, several of which are major Olympic sponsors.

Hanscom said he follows ticketing patterns for every major event and estimates that 80-90% of Japan residents who applied for tickets could get nothing.

"I'm interested in seeing what the reaction is and how the organizing committee addresses this," Hanscom said. "It's good news for the demand, and bad news on the ticket side and the public."

Tokyo's organizing committee was unable Thursday to say how many Japan residents got tickets, and it's unclear if — or when — it will disclose the overall numbers. Organizers will run a second ticketing phase where the odds will probably be even worse.

Japanese media immediately began reporting about disheartened fans. A completely unscientific AP survey of a few fans showed one ticket awarded in 15 application attempts. The millions who failed got this message in email from Tokyo organizers.

"Thank you for your interest in purchasing Tokyo 2020 tickets. The demand for tickets was incredibly high, and unfortunately, you were not awarded any of the tickets you requested in the lottery."

Simple math explains the supply and demand crunch.

Tokyo organizers say that 7.5 million residents of Japan registered to apply for tickets through the lottery system. Extrapolating from the 2012 London Olympic lottery, Hanscom estimates that Tokyo organizers may have received 70-85 million individual ticket requests. This could be at least 10 times more than what's available. Maybe more.

Organizers estimate there are 7.8 million tickets for all Olympic events, but 20-30% of those are for distribution outside Japan where buyers could face the same problems and end up paying more.

Buyers outside Japan must get tickets from Authorized Ticket Resellers, companies appointed by national Olympic committees. They were authorized to begin sales on Thursday.

The reseller for the United States is CoSport, which also handles sales in Australia, Jordan and several European countries. Cartan is the reseller for much of Latin America including Mexico.

Resellers are allowed to charge a 20% handling fee on every ticket. They can also use a generous currency exchange rate, and often package desirable tickets with top hotels that charge way over the usual going rate during the Olympics.

Ticket prices for buyers in Japan vary greatly and are listed in the competition section on the organizers' website.

The opening ceremony on July 24 features the most expensive ticket — 300,000 yen ($2,700). The most expensive ticket for the closing ceremony is 220,000 yen ($2,000).

Even with the soaring demand, many venues could still wind up with hundreds of empty seats that are typically set aside for International Olympic Committee officials, corporate sponsors, and local dignitaries. Often they don't show up while angry fans line up outside without tickets.

"I expect there will be a problem in Tokyo," Hanscom said. "The industry figure is that 40% of tickets that sponsors buy go in the trash," he said. He said the problem was acute for the Olympics and World Cup.

"Every Olympics you have a new group of people running ticketing," he said. "And you have new technology. So you're always scrambling to put the process together."

(06/22/2019) ⚡AMP
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organizedthe Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, from July 24 to August 9, 2020. The Games in 1964 radically transformed the country. According to the organizersof the event in 2020, the Games of the XXXII Olympiad of the modern era will be “the most innovative ever organized,...

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Kenyan Boniface Kongin wins men's Grandma's Marathon clocking 2:11:56

Kenyan Boniface Kongin, who entered in the citizen field after the elite field filled up, won his first Grandma's Marathon men's race Saturday by overcoming hamstring and Achilles problems to win in  2 hours, 11 minutes and 56 seconds.

Kongin, who has stayed in West Duluth and trained in town since arriving April 19, stopped several times during the 26.2-mile race and walked across the finish line while pointing to the sky and dropping to his knees.

Kongin won the Pittsburgh Marathon on May 5 in a personal-best time of 2:10:34 but injured his left hamstring and right Achilles in the process. Running a 2:06 pace nearly halfway through the race, he slowed down several times in the last half of the race as his ailments worsened.

He beat runner-up Andrew Colley of Blowing Rock, N.C., by 17 seconds. Harbert Okuti of Uganda was third, 1:05 off the pace.

Four-time defending champion Elisha Barno and course-record holder Dominic Ondoro each finished outside the top 10.

 

(06/22/2019) ⚡AMP
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Grandmas Marathon

Grandmas Marathon

Grandma's Marathon began in 1977 when a group of local runners planned a scenic road race from Two Harbors to Duluth, Minnesota. There were just 150 participants that year, but organizers knew they had discovered something special. The marathon received its name from the Duluth-based group of famous Grandma's restaurants, its first major sponsor. The level of sponsorship with the...

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New Racing Rules Remove Some Barriers for Transgender Runners

As president of the board of the nonprofit that oversees one of the most prestigious ultradistance races in the country, John Medinger has had to deal with many concerns: sponsors, weather, permits, volunteers.

But it wasn’t until this year that he and his colleagues at the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run were compelled to address an issue few would have envisioned when it was first held in 1974: transgender competitors.

“It’s not something we would have been thinking about back then, that’s for sure,” said Mr. Medinger, 68, who has run Western States five times and has been involved in race management since 1991. “But it’s the nature of society now.”

And it’s something that the world of competitive athletics, including the Olympics, USA Track & Field and the National Collegiate Athletic Association, has been grappling with: how transgender women, in particular, should be entered and scored in competition and whether they have an unfair biological advantage over cisgender women, whose identity reflects the sex they were assigned at birth.

Although the science is mixed on the biology, some people contend that transgender women have an advantage because of size and the presence of testosterone, even though hormone levels change during transition.

But others, most notably the researcher and transgender runner Dr. Joanna Harper, are skeptical that such an edge exists, particularly in endurance sports in which (as opposed to say, sprinting or shot-putting) transgender women appear to have similar cardiovascular measures as cisgender women and thus little or no advantage.

While Western States starts near the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics, there is no prize money, scholarships or endorsement deals are at stake. 

There are no gold medals, but there is some precious metal involved: a handmade silver belt buckle for those who manage to complete the distance in less than 24 hours.

On June 29 and 30, 369 runners (chosen through a lottery entered by 5,862 runners) will take on the Western States challenge, as they attempt to navigate a mind-and-body-boggling 100 miles of trails and altitude changes from Squaw Valley to Auburn, Calif. The swiftest will be running to finish among the top 10 men or women. Recognition is also given to the top three males and females in five age groups from 30 to over 70.

The question of transgender fairness arose for Western States in December, when Grace Fisher — a transgender runner who is an outstanding ultradistance competitor — was selected through the race’s traditional lottery system.

The event’s management team decided it was time to come up with a policy. “We felt that this was not something we should ignore,” said Diana Fitzpatrick, a board member. “If it turned out that she finished in the top 10, it would be better for her and everyone that we had a policy in place.”

Back in high school in Utah, Ms. Fisher, now 38, was a male-identified track runner. She recalls that when some teammates ran a local marathon their senior year, “I said, ‘I’ll never do that, it’s crazy.’” Eventually, Ms. Fisher began running distances far longer than the marathon. She has completed about 40 ultramarathons, including eight 100-mile races.

She continued running during the years when, she said, “I was figuring things out.” After hormone treatments, she ran her first ultramarathon as a woman in 2015. She said she slowed down since her transition as a result of muscle mass loss, which can be attributed to hormonal treatments.

But Ms. Fisher, who lives in Hancock, Md., ran a personal best time in a 100-miler in Virginia last September of 18 hours 41 minutes. She was the first female finisher and fifth overall in that race.

Ms. Fitzpatrick, 61, a lawyer who is also a runner (she, too, has competed in Western States five times), worked with a committee of four other board members to develop the policy. They looked at existing guidelines from other organizations and races, and spoke to leading figures in transgender sports.

During the process, they were also cognizant that the runner who had sparked their action did not ask for the guidelines.

The guidelines they came up with, and which were announced in March, are being viewed as a model for other participatory running events.

Ms. Fitzpatrick acknowledged that “we really tried to have a `live and let live’ view on this.”

Hence Western State’s guidelines state that “a runner’s self-declared gender at registration will be accepted at face value.” No one need produce a driver’s license or other identification as has been the case for some races.

If, however, a finisher in the top 10 or among the top three in their age group is challenged, race management may ask the runner for documentation that they have undergone medically supervised hormone treatment for gender transition for at least a year before the race.

Even in the event that a transgender runner wins an award or is challenged and the challenge is upheld by race management, the guidelines state that “the runner will be allowed to keep their finisher’s buckle.”

That allowance, Ms. Fitzpatrick says, is to underscore that the new guidelines are “not about punishment.” By contrast, competitors who violate Western States doping policy are stripped of their silver buckle — as well as whatever other award they won.

“Underneath this all are real people with real feelings who have usually had a long, hard journey to get where they are,” Ms. Fitzpatrick said. “The last thing they need are additional challenges and hurdles.”

(06/22/2019) ⚡AMP
by New York Times
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Western States 100

Western States 100

The Western States ® 100-Mile Endurance Run is the world’s oldest and most prestigious 100-mile trail race. Starting in Squaw Valley, California near the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics and ending 100.2 miles later in Auburn, California, Western States, in the decades since its inception in 1974, has come to represent one of the ultimate endurance tests in the...

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Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge has started training to break the two hour mark in the marathon

World marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge said on Thursday that he has started training in order to be fit to battle the INEOS 1:59 Challenge.

This will be the second attempt for the 34-year-old to beat the odds and run the marathon distance in under two hours as the fastest man.

"I think a good career is where you give yourself a challenge every now and then and so I think it is high time for me to try another challenge by beating the two-hour mark," said Kipchoge from Eldoret.

In 2017, Kipchoge missed 26 seconds from his initial attempt to break the two-hour mark as he clocked in two hours and 25 seconds in his "Breaking Two" project on Italy's Monza motor racing circuit.

Now he has shelved plans to compete at the World Championships or defend his Berlin marathon title to focus on running to break the two-hour mark in a bid sponsored by British manufacturing company INEOS.

It will take place on an unspecified flat loop circuit venue in London, on a date to be decided in October.

"INEOS Challenge is a noble course, it's a historic challenge where I am going to make history. Many ideologies have been said that no human can break the two-hour mark. But personally, I have dared to try for the first time and I missed by 26 seconds. Now I have a rich experience from Monza and am confident that I will beat the mark because our training program is different from the other training," said Kipchoge.

Indeed, the Olympic champion has had two months of total rest after winning the London marathon clocking 2:02:37 less than a minute off his world record set in Berlin of 2:01:39.

He has started his training with gym sessions for two weeks in late May and has moved to high altitude training camp in Kaptagat for the full preparation.

"Our training has started again. When we finished the season, we have four days of running slowly to recover and then three weeks of total rest and then we start again. When your mind is relaxed and fit, the physical part can go on as usual. When we start we start at zero and we need three -four month to be fit again for another marathon," said Kipchoge.

His longtime physiotherapist Peter Nduhio, who is now part of INEOS 1:59 Challenge team, said he is amazed by Kipchoge's ability to remain focused despite challenges in his life.

"Eliud keeps on setting the bar higher. Each time he makes us climb the ladder higher. His best season was 2018, now he has a new challenge and he will attain it," said Nduhio. "What makes this challenge inspirational is that it has no template to follow."

(06/21/2019) ⚡AMP
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INEOS 1:59 Challenge

INEOS 1:59 Challenge

Mankind have constantly sought to reach new frontiers and to achieve the impossible. From Edmund Hillary reaching the summit of Mount Everest to Roger Bannister’s four-minute mile to Felix Baumgartner jumping from space we have frequently redefined the limits of human achievement and broken new barriers previously seen as simply impossible. After the four-minute mile and the ten second 100m...

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Henri Lehkonen is more prepared than ever for the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run

The Hong Kong-based Australian Henri Lehmonrn will run the Western States 100 with a power monitor attached to his shoe and will stick religiously to a predetermined wattage.

“It’s been a revelation. If I lost the thing, I’d buy another tomorrow,” he said. “It’s a miracle way to control yourself in racing.”

Lehkonen believes it is better than other similar metrics, like heart rate, because it removes variables like excitement or altitude.

“I’ve done enough races now when I’ve not followed the watch and I’ve blown up, and when I’ve followed the watch and I’m tearing past people at the end,” he said. “I follow it for the first third – that’s where the damage is done if you over exert yourself. Then you get the adrenaline from passing people.”

And it is working. In March, he ran the 100km Ultra Trail Australia (UTA). He was 69th after 1km, but finished 11th in a highly competitive field.

Power meters are common in sports like cycling, but are yet to be taken up widespread in trail running. Lehkonen was introduced to the meter by his coach Andy Dubois, who crunches the data to give him an accurate power curve for his races.

Aside from the gadgets, Lehkonen is leaving no stone unturned. It is notoriously hard to win a place at WSER100. Hopefuls enter a lottery, and improve their chances by entering the lottery multiple years in a row. This was Lehkonen’s third year submitting an application, which is relatively quick.

“It’s Western States. It’s that big and it’s hard to get into, so I’m viewing it as all in,” he said.

He flew to California for a weekend to look at the course. The race directors organised a three-day event where runners could do the last 112km of the course, with some of the checkpoints set up.

(06/21/2019) ⚡AMP
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Western States 100

Western States 100

The Western States ® 100-Mile Endurance Run is the world’s oldest and most prestigious 100-mile trail race. Starting in Squaw Valley, California near the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics and ending 100.2 miles later in Auburn, California, Western States, in the decades since its inception in 1974, has come to represent one of the ultimate endurance tests in the...

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British Steph Twell has been having a great year and is set to race the Mattoni Olomouc Half Marathon this weekend

The 29-year-old, Steph Twell has already improved both her half-marathon and 10km PBs in 2019 and is looking forward to testing herself at a race she describes as “a bit of an undiscovered gem."

The Olomouc Half Marathon is an IAAF Gold Label race and as a result it offers athletes the chance to gain points in the IAAF world rankings, while it is also the third race in the EuroHeroes Challenge series which was launched last year with the support of European Athletics and aims to celebrate and encourage athletes from the continent.

Twell is looking to be competitive at the front of a European-only field and also gain experience of racing in warm conditions, with temperatures set to be around 28°C when the race sets off at 7pm local time in Olomouc, a city situated 179 miles south east of the Czech Republic capital of Prague.

“It’s a new challenge for me to do a half-marathon at this time of year. I’m against a competitive field but one that I hope I can be quite close to the front of,” says Twell, who ran 71:33 when finishing second at The Vitality Big Half in March before getting close to that lifetime best when running 71:37 to win in Reading a week later.

“What was really important for me (in choosing to race in Olomouc) before the British Athletics selection policy came out for the Tokyo (Olympic Games) marathon, was really to try and sort out this confusion with the rankings system that I’m still trying to get my head around.

“It was a bit of an undiscovered gem, really, to have an IAAF Gold Label race at this time of year when maybe not everyone is targeting half-marathon. For me, it’s an opportunity to see where I can position myself and get as many points as possible to help support my opportunity to qualify for the Olympics. To come out here, in an IAAF ‘A’ race, I would love to try and get a podium place, if not a win, against some quality marathon runners.

“There’s that aspect for me personally trying to support myself as strategically as possible ahead of Tokyo,” adds the two-time Olympian. “But secondly, this concept (EuroHeroes) I just think is a fantastic concept. I have found it hard to be supported and to support myself bridging the gap to world-class athletics. I’ve been on the cusp for a long time but for me this year is about being more independent and trying to step up and improve in a new challenge over the roads.”

(06/21/2019) ⚡AMP
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Mattoni Olomouc Half Marathon

Mattoni Olomouc Half Marathon

The annual Mattoni Olomouc Half Marathon takes place in the ancient capital of Moravia. More than 6,000 runners wend their way past Baroque architecture. An experience matched only by the warmth of the welcome runners receive here. Come to Olomouc and Enjoy the sensational atmosphere of running through a charming Baroque city in the heart of Moravia which is one...

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91-year-old Doris Wiebler is preparing to run her 40th Bix 7 race

91-year-old Doris Wiebler is preparing to participate in the Bix 7 race once again. The lifelong Quad Cities resident has taken part in 39 Bix races, and is looking forward to next month's seven-mile race, "The good lord willing and the creek don't rise, this will be my 40th year."

Doris, also known to her 36 great grandchildren as 'GG,' says the trick to her training is walking at least a few miles each day.

When the weather doesn't allow for outdoor walking, she says she'll go to the mall and get her exercise by walking around there.

As she prepares to take on the difficult course, she reflects on nearly 40 years ago when she first decided to register for the race, "My children were running the Bix from the time it started and I've always liked to walk. One night at dinner I just said, 'Hey I'm gonna do the Bix this year.' They said, 'Mom, this is a run, not a walk.' I said, 'you do your thing, I'm gonna do mine.'"

She held to her word.

For year 40, Doris says she will have extra special motivation and support by her side.

Her granddaughter Stephanie, a mom of three who's currently fighting cancer, is planning to also participate in another Bix race.

Doris says each year she looks for Stephanie at the top of the hill on Brady Street and hopes this year will be the same, "She's one beautiful person and she's so strong. Gonna get by this. That's for sure."

In addition to support for each other, there is no lack of support from the rest of the family.

Doris says much of her family travels to Davenport for the race each year from across the country, and she looks forward to this year being no exception.

She says what makes the race all the better is the excitement and, "the amount of my kids that have decided to walk with me, which has been a big help. It's not as much fun doing it by yourself."

Bix day holds a special place in Doris' heart.

Three of her children married on Bix day.

While Doris says only one of those weddings took place on a day where she participated in the race, she was thrilled she was able to do both. The was in the morning; the wedding, at night.

While her medal collection and family have continued to grow, there's one thing she says has never changed about the Bix, "The music, the spectators, the volunteers, everybody is just so into it and just so happy for you. You know, it's just the cheers, everything. It's awesome. It really is."

That encouragement, Doris says, is why she loves the race so much, "Once you start, it's everything going on that keeps you going."

Doris has one suggestion for people who, like her, might be considering walking in the race. She says everyone should train at least a little bit.

(06/21/2019) ⚡AMP
by Courtney Spinelli
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Bix 7 miler

Bix 7 miler

This race attracts the greatest long distance runners in the world competing to win thousands of dollars in prize money. It is said to be the highest purse of any non-marathon race. Tremendous spectator support, entertainment and post party. Come and try to conquer this challenging course along with over 15,000 other participants, as you "Run With The Best." In...

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Cam Levins will return to the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon to defend his national title and hopefully lower his own Canadian marathon record

On Sunday, October 21, 2018, Levins broke a record that had stood for many more years than he’d been alive. Levins crossed the line in his marathon debut in 2:09:25, 44 seconds ahead of the record set 43 years ago by Jerome Drayton.

Levins had hoped to take another stab at the marathon in London this year, but was sidelined due to injury. Since withdrawing from the London Marathon, Levins has gotten healthy and announced his fall marathon will take place in Toronto.

Levins told journalist Paul Gains, “I was thrilled with how I performed, and I will probably remember crossing the finish line there for the rest of my life. It’s exciting to go back to a race where I now know the entire course.

I also feel like I know what to expect. I may not feel the same as I did last year, but if I can go and have a similar experience, I will be happy.”

As an added bonus, the 2019 STWM is also the Canadian Marathon Championships, and therefore, an Olympic qualifier. The first Canadian male and female finishers will receive automatic pre-selection for the Tokyo Olympic marathon next August, provided they achieve the 2:11:30 (male) and 2:29:30 (female) standards.

If they do not go under those standards on October 20th, a place will still be held open for them until May 31, 2020 to allow them to attain the standard. Anyone else hoping to represent Canada in the marathon in Tokyo will have to wait until June 1, 2020 before selections are announced, so the Toronto Championship race offers a huge incentive.

(06/20/2019) ⚡AMP
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Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Half-Marathon & 5k Run / Walk is organized by Canada Running Series Inc., organizers of the Canada Running Series, "A selection of Canada's best runs!" Canada Running Series annually organizes eight events in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver that vary in distance from the 5k to the marathon. The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and Half-Marathon are...

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Julia "Hurricane" Hawkins 103-year-old is still setting records on the track

Julia "Hurricane" Hawkins is the oldest woman ever to compete on an American track.

And if this week's National Senior Games are any indication, the 103-year-old sprinter isn't slowing down any time soon.

Hawkins won gold in the 100-meter dash at on Tuesday with a time of 46.07 seconds — falling six seconds shy of her own over-100 world record but beating the second place finisher at the Games, 91-year-old Julia Manigo, by a full second. The Louisiana resident also ran the 50-meter dash Monday and finished in 21.05 seconds.

Hawkins was the only woman over 100 to compete in either event after a rare challenger, Hollyce Kirkland of Tennessee, withdrew due to an injury. She was also scheduled to compete in the 200-meter dash on Thursday.

"As you get older, you need challenges," Hawkins told The Albuquerque Journal last week. "You need passions. I think you need to have a lot of passions because they keep you alive and they keep you alert."

Hawkins has said she took up running because she thought it would be fun to try to run the 100-meter dash at the age of 100. Previous cycling experience — and tending to the acre of property she owns in Louisiana — has helped her stay fit, she's said.

"I hope I’m inspiring (others) to be healthy," Hawkins told KRQE-TV, "and to realize you can still be doing it at this kind of an age."

(06/20/2019) ⚡AMP
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Young parents break world record by running half marathon every day for 77 days

A South Australian couple have broken a world record after completing a half marathon every day for 77 days.

Most couples with full-time jobs and three young children would have enough on their plate, but Justin McDonald, 37, and Kate McDonald, 34, from Penola in south-east South Australia, completed their record attempt at the weekend.

The effort was more remarkable considering Ms McDonald did not know what distance a marathon was 10 years ago.

"I thought a marathon was, like, something just for the Olympics. I didn't know that normal people just did that," she said. "I didn't know anything about running at all.  Some people thought we were crazy."

After deciding she wanted to try running marathons, Kate found an online training program for beginners and the couple got started.

In 2013 they ran their first marathon.  While running became an immediate passion, it took some time for Kate to be comfortable with the new obsession.

The goal 77 half marathons in 77 days.  Two years ago, Kate started following a woman in Canada on social media who was looking to break the same 21k-per-day record that they would attempt.

"I just couldn't stop looking [at her account] everyday," Ms McDonald said.

"Everyday I wanted to see how she'd gone … I just needed to check how she was going."

Halfway through her attempt, Kate knew she wanted to go after the record herself.

At that stage, the couple was running five kilometres every day, but six months ago that then extended to 10km in preparation for their record attempt.

"When Kate first started running she would run early in the morning or late at night so we wouldn't be seen, but now that doesn't bother us at all," Justin said.

(06/20/2019) ⚡AMP
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Lewiston teacher wins TCS New York City Marathon contest

When it's Julia Gibson's turn to take hall duty at Gieger Elementary School, she often tells students not to run. Interesting advice considering the fact that she's become quite the runner herself. Gibson has run in 5K and 10K races, as well as half and full marathons. She started running in 2011 after her mom died because of complications from type two diabetes.

"Took a couple years before I kind of figured out that I needed to get my health in check, so right before my 40th birthday I started running," said Gibson.

The fifth and sixth grade teacher has run 26.2 mile marathons around 13 times. She's currently preparing to run in the TCS New York City Marathon. TCS selected 50 teachers to run this year, as part of a contest, and Gibson was one of the winners. Her entire school was excited to hear the news.

"I usually hear people beeping the horns, 'Mrs. Gibson' yelling out the windows," said Gibson. "Cheering me on, or kids will see me Monday morning, 'hey Mrs. Gibson I saw you running over the weekend'."

Gibson runs four to five days a week to train and has been walking with her husband five days a week to help him get motivated to exercise more. The TCS NYC Marathon will be held November 3.

(06/20/2019) ⚡AMP
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TCS  New York City Marathon

TCS New York City Marathon

The first New York City Marathon, organized in 1970 by Fred Lebow and Vince Chiappetta, was held entirely in Central Park. Of 127 entrants, only 55 men finished; the sole female entrant dropped out due to illness. Winners were given inexpensive wristwatches and recycled baseball and bowling trophies. The entry fee was $1 and the total event budget...

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99-year-old George Etzweiler did not finish the Mount Washington Road Race this year but is already planning to do it next year

George Etzweiler of State College, Penn., who is 99 years old, did not finish the Northeast Delta Dental Mount Washington Road Race this year, but he’s okay with that and says he’s coming back next year.

“George participated but did not finish,” he wrote, referring to Saturday’s race in New Hampshire. “He and his team decided to call it quits at about the 6.5-mile mark… I think it was a combination of the wind and also time he was at, which was around four hours and 10 minutes at that point.”

“He did seem in great spirits afterwards and said he’s coming back next year.”

It was the 14th time Etzweiler, a retired engineer who took up running at age 49, has run this race, a 12K road ascent of Mount Washington, the highest peak in the northeastern United States.

This year’s race produced a first-ever tie, between Brittni Hutton and Heidi Caldwell, who broke the tape together in 1:16:17. Kim Nedeau took third place, in 1:16:49. In the men’s race, Eric Blake was the winner, in 1:02:52, followed by Francis Kamiri in second place (1:03:51) and Lee Berube in third (1:05:44).

(06/20/2019) ⚡AMP
by Anne Francis
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Mount Washington Road Race

Mount Washington Road Race

The historic all uphill run draws thousands of runners from across New England, throughout the U.S., and from countries as close as Canada and as far away as Kenya, to make the grueling climb to the summit of the highest peak in the Northeast. As the race begins its second half-century, the challenging annual event is now officially an in-house...

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Oakdale California mom is running the Chicago Marathon To Honor her late husband

Asking for help, let alone money is not something Erica (Henson) Lopez is comfortable or accustomed to doing. Yet as her life changed drastically in the fall of 2017, she learned to ask for help.

Little did she know at the time 18 years later she would run to honor the memory of her husband, Ernie. He lost his battle with a rare form of lymphoma on May 3, 2018. He was 47 years old.

“I started running for physical looks, but then when we got married we moved 3,000 miles away,” Lopez confided. “I didn’t have anybody and a week after moving to Virginia he got deployed. To keep my sanity and not cry from missing my family (we’re very close) and my new husband, I started running.”

This fall the widow and mother to four-year-old daughter Carsyn, will lace up and run not one but two Full Marathons in honor of her late husband, Chief Petty Officer, Master at Arms, Ernie Lopez.

Now, with an opportunity to participate on the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivor (TAPS) Team at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, the Navy widow is looking for sponsors. A man in uniform was the reason she laced up a pair of sneakers for the first time in 2001 and come this October, he is the reason she will do it again.

(06/20/2019) ⚡AMP
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South Africa’s Caster Semenya has switched from the 3000m to 800m event at the Prefontaine Classic

“Caster’s representation requested that she be moved from the 3,000 metres (where she was originally entered) to the 800 metres, and we are happy to comply,” Prefontaine Classic meet director Tom Jordan said in a statement.

The Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland last week rejected the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) bid to impose the female eligibility regulations immediately on Semenya.

The ruling meant Semenya was allowed to compete without taking any testosterone-lowering medication. The 28-year-old, however, was still not allowed to race in the women’s 800m event in Rabat on June 16 initially.

The double Olympic 800m champion was given permission to run the 800m too late for her to adequately prepare and make travel arrangements - meaning she could not take up the invite to compete.

(06/19/2019) ⚡AMP
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Prefontaine Classic

Prefontaine Classic

Stanford University's Cobb Track & Angell Field will be the venue for this year's 45th NIKE Prefontaine Classic/IAAF Diamond League meet on Sunday, June 30.With the ongoing construction of Hayward Field in advance of the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials and the 2021 IAAF World Championships, an alternate site for America's flagship invitational meet was required. After an extensive search in...

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94-years-old Maureen has completed her 25th Marathon

Maureen, from Drombane, has yet again faced her yearly challenge and completed her 25th consecutive Marathon in Dublin. At 94 years of age, she still enjoys participating with all the other women who run or walk this event each year. She is an inspiration to many who have participated over the years and her amazing zest for life and her endurance has undoubtedly encouraged many more elderly folk to take up the task.

Maureen insists that self enjoyment is paramount, “if you enjoy doing something then it becomes easy so I look forward to this marathon each year and of course I still do my daily walk around home which keeps me fit in the meantime”. 

Maureen is proud of her achievements and rightly so but she states “I have made it to number 25. 25 Marathons completed, each one I have enjoyed throughly, I loved the build up each year. The excitement of it all and of course raising funds that assist others is what its really all about. For me now I think its time to hang up the runners on this event”. 

Not many can say they are going to retire at 94 and actually do so but Maureen insists that she will still do her daily walk and support Upperchuch hillwalking club to the best of her ability. 

(06/19/2019) ⚡AMP
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Kenyan Caroline Rotich is hoping to do something only one other female runner has done, win both the Boston Marathon and the BAA 10K this Sunday

Kenyan Caroline Rotich will try to accomplish something only one other female runner has done: win both the Boston Marathon and the Boston Athletic Association 10K.

Rotich, who won the Marathon in 2015, came close to the tandem victory last year but finished second in the 10K.

She will have another chance as she joins a multitude of runners on the 6.2-mile course through the Back Bay. The race will start and end on Charles Street, and runners will see Boylston, Arlington, and Babcock streets as well as Commonwealth Avenue along the way.

A total of $48,500 will be handed out in prize money, with $10,000 going to the first-place finishers.

Competing against Rotich will be fellow Kenyan Fancy Chemutai, whose personal-best 10K time of 30:06 stands at the top of the women’s elite field. Other noteworthy runners in this group include 2016 Olympian Betsy Saina, reigning BAA 5K champion Monicah Ngige, and Sharon Lokedi, the 2018 NCAA 10,000 meters champion. Mamitu Daska of Ethiopia, who has twice won the BAA 10K, also will compete.

On the men’s side, two two-time champions of the BAA 10K will compete in Stephen Sambu (2013, 2014) and Daniel Chebii (2016, 2017). Neither has the best personal time in the field, however. That belongs to Geoffrey Koech, whose 27:18 tops the 21-person elite group.

Also running will be Abdi Abdirahman, a four-time US Olympian who finished first in the 40-44 age group at this year’s Boston Marathon.

(06/19/2019) ⚡AMP
by Nick Kelly
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B.A.A. 10K

B.A.A. 10K

The 6.2-mile course is a scenic tour through Boston's Back Bay. Notable neighborhoods and attractions include the legendary Bull and Finch Pub, after which the television series "Cheers" was developed, the campus of Boston University, and trendy Kenmore Square. ...

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Darrell Christensen will be the oldest runner in the Grandma's Marathon as he is set for his eighth race

Darrell Christensen, of Bloomington, Minn., is 81 years old and age hasn’t stopped him from running Grandma’s Marathon.

Christensen will be the oldest runner pounding the pavement Saturday, and he’s looking forward to it.

“I love Grandma’s Marathon. I think it’s a wonderful race,” he said. “It’s just fun coming to Duluth for a few days with some friends and other runners.”

Christensen didn’t start running until he was 60, after he retired. He said he would see people running around a lake near where he lived in Bloomington and he decided to try it himself.

“I couldn’t run half a mile to start with,” Christensen said. “Eventually, by the end of that summer, I could run once or twice around the lake for three or four miles.”

The next year, Christensen said, he ran a 5K and a 10K. A year later, in 1999, he ran a 10-mile race, and the following year, he ran his first marathon.

“I didn’t do so well and I was very disappointed, so I didn’t run another marathon for three years,” Christensen said.

He said that after his first marathon he started training with a running group, and in 2003 he tried running a marathon again and qualified for the Boston Marathon.

“So I went from my first marathon and doing poorly to my next marathon three years later and qualifying for Boston,” Christensen said.

Christensen ran the Boston Marathon twice, once in 2004 and once in 2008.

“I never thought I would qualify to run in the Boston Marathon, but it was a great experience,” he said.

Christensen said this will be about his eighth time running in Grandma’s, and even though he doesn’t have high goals set, he does have one.

“A few years ago I did under four hours, but last year I did poorly and was over six hours,” Christensen said. “I would like to break six hours this year.”

Christensen said he wasn’t very prepared last year. A few injuries this year sidelined him for a week, but those injuries have healed and he feels prepared for Saturday, he said.

Christensen said in the past he has relied on those handing out water and other things for nutrition along the route. This year he plans on bringing as much with him as he can as well as having his wife meet him along the course with more. Christensen also learned from his mistakes last year regarding his pace.

“Last year I started out fast,” he said. “I hadn’t run a marathon in three years at that point, so I learned I should not come out at a five-hour pace when I know I can’t do it. So slower to start and faster as I progress.”

Christensen said he may stop running marathons in a few years, though he plans to run as long as he can.

“It isn’t my goal to stop running,” he said. “If I am still able and running, I’ll certainly try Grandma’s Marathon again.”

(06/19/2019) ⚡AMP
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Grandmas Marathon

Grandmas Marathon

Grandma's Marathon began in 1977 when a group of local runners planned a scenic road race from Two Harbors to Duluth, Minnesota. There were just 150 participants that year, but organizers knew they had discovered something special. The marathon received its name from the Duluth-based group of famous Grandma's restaurants, its first major sponsor. The level of sponsorship with the...

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Hopkinton the starting line for the Boston Marathon hopes to create the International Marathon Center

Hopkinton officials and the nonprofit 26.2 Foundation hope to create a similar experience to Cooperstown, New York, with an International Marathon Center, which will include, a museum with interactive exhibits, hall of fame, classrooms and a conference center.

With the Boston Marathon starting in town since 1924, many view Hopkinton as the Cooperstown of marathon running. But outside of a couple days a year, there’s not much to show for it.

Cooperstown, New York, is the well-known home to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, which draws about 300,000 visitors each year to a small village in between the Adirondacks and Catskills mountains.

For one day a year, the world watches the small town of Hopkinton, Mass for the start of the Boston Marathon.

"Our schools have murals in them, we have Kenya Day -- that happens before the marathon, the kids grow up speaking Swahili and singing songs when the Kenyan runners come in," Select Board Member John Coutinho said. 

Organizers are hoping their new proposal for the International Marathon Center will make Hopkinton a year-round international Mecca for all kinds of high-endurance athletes.

"This training center would have the treadmills and everything with the breathing apparatuses, but also classrooms and lecture halls," Coutinho said. 

Tim Kilduff was the race director of the Boston Marathon in the 1980s, he now runs the 26.2 Foundation and the center is his brainchild.

"There's nothing quite like what we're talking about in the world, at the moment," Kilduf said. 

In addition to the training facility, the center would house a hall of fame and museum, and an educational center for children.

"Very active, interactive exhibits, for example," Kilduf said. "They need to change. We're talking about creating an institution that, in terms of its programming, rivals the Museum of Science."

And that would just be phase one. Phase two might be housing for the athletes. Hopkinton doesn't currently have a hotel.

Right now the plan is for it to be privately funded. Boston Athletic Association CEO Tom Grilk says the organization would certainly support it.  

Photos are rendering of the proposed center.

(06/19/2019) ⚡AMP
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

The Boston Marathon is the world's oldest annual marathon and ranks as one of the world's best-known road racing events. The event attracts 500,000 spectators each year, making it New England's most widely viewed sporting event. Though starting with 18 participants in 1897, the event now attracts over 20,000 registered participants each year. You have to qualify to participate. Among...

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Here is what you have to do to be part of the Olympics Torch Relay for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Recruitment of torch relay runners for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics opened on Monday for people of all genders and nationalities.

The recruitments will be conducted by four sponsor companies and all the 47 prefectures in Japan. Applicants can apply to all sponsor companies and one of the prefectures, but can only run once in the relay, Xinhua news agency reported.

Those who wish to be torchbearers in the relay, which will travel around Japan for 121 days, can first submit their application through the smartphone app of Coca-Cola (Japan) Co, one of the torch relay sponsors of Tokyo Games.

The application period will end on August 31 and the final results are expected around the middle of December.

The three other torch relay sponsors, Toyota Motor, Nippon Life Insurance and Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation, will begin accepting applications on June 24, while special entities led by local governments in each prefecture will start doing so on July 1.

About 10,000 torchbearers will run roughly 200m each in the Japan leg of the relay, which will pass through all 47 prefectures of the country and feature major landmarks, including world heritage sites and areas devastated by recent natural disasters such as the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

To run in the relay, people must have been born before April 1, 2008, and have a connection with the prefecture in which they wish to run, the organisers said.

The third photo is the Olympic flame at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.

(06/18/2019) ⚡AMP
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organizedthe Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, from July 24 to August 9, 2020. The Games in 1964 radically transformed the country. According to the organizersof the event in 2020, the Games of the XXXII Olympiad of the modern era will be “the most innovative ever organized,...

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Tampa woman runs Gasparilla Half Marathon after suffering stroke

When Lauren Barnathan was 30-years-old she suffered a stroke. "The whole time I was in complete denial," Lauren says. "As we were lying down in bed, I went to go turn over or I guess I was trying to turn over. But at the time, unbeknownst to me, the left side of my body was completely unable to be used."

Lauren's husband Adam recalls her moving in a strange way.

"I turned over to check on her and immediately, my eyes focused on her symptoms," he said. "She had a facial droop, she had no use of the left side of her body and she had slurred speech. I knew immediately it was a stroke."

Adam, who was engaged to Lauren at the time, is actually a resident physician in emergency medicine. He called 911.

"It is terrifying to me, what could have happened if I had gone to sleep or if she had gone to sleep because we see it all the time in the hospital," Adam said.

Lauren spent five days recovering in the hospital.

"The doctors were asking me to move my left arm," recalled Lauren. "And I just remember staring at it and I just was thinking, ‘If I can get my elbow up, the rest of my arm will follow.' That did not happen. I just stared at it."

They celebrated their love with a wedding in June. Then, one year after her stroke, Lauren and Adam ran the Publix Gasparilla Half Marathon together."It was a goal that I set for myself," said Lauren. "I walked past the Tampa Convention Center on the Riverwalk while I was recovering from my stroke, saw people signing up the year before, and said, ‘I am going to do that next year.' And we went and ran it. Adam ran it with me. He was slightly faster than I was but I still finished."

"I would like it on the record that I finished first only so I could see her cross the finish line," said Adam with a laugh. "Not because I was cocompetitive in any way. When she crossed the finish line, I may have cried a little bit. It was really incredible."

The race marked the first time either of them ad run a half marathon and the couple is thankful Luren has made a full phusical recovery and are more focused on running since that race.

(06/18/2019) ⚡AMP
by Gabrielle Shirley
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Gasparilla Distance Classic

Gasparilla Distance Classic

Run through the city streets of this city overlooking the waters of Tampa, Florida’s Hillsborough Bay at the Gasparilla Distance Classic, which includes a full slate of running events for runners at all levels, including a half marathon, 8K, 15K and 5K. Mostly fast and flat and great for beginners, the race’s half marathon and 8K races take place on...

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Bill Barry, El Paso marathon and running icon, dies at age 77

Barry took up running on a dare at age 38. By the time he was inducted into the El Paso Athletic Hall of Fame in 2008 at age 66, he had run nearly 49,000 miles and placed in his age group in 700 of the 850 races he entered. Barry ran his first marathon when he was 43, and ran more than 100 of them. He qualified for the prestigious Boston Marathon seven times. One year, Barry ran 13 marathons in 12 months.

Not satisfied with just running races, Barry also served as either race director or race consultant on over 200 local area races including the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, the Transmountain Challenge, The El Paso/Juarez International Run, the Del Sol Half-marathon and the El Paso Marathon. He mentored and paced many people through their first marathon. He also trained and coached many of them to their personal bests in the marathon.

In honor of Barry, Run El Paso dedicated its run on Tuesday, June 18.  They started at 5:30 a.m. from Madeline Park up Scenic Drive to Scenic Point. Runners paused at Scenic Point to remember Bill while looking out at the city Bill loved and called home.

(06/18/2019) ⚡AMP
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A bear jumped out between runners, during Leadville trail marathon

Runners who were taking part in the Leadville Trail Marathon in Colorado on Saturday have shared their shock, after a black bear jumped out between runners and ran across the trial.

Giving runners extra motivation to pick up the pace, or stop and get their camera phones out, the bear ran out from the woods, across the trail busy with runners, and back into the woods on the other side.

Black bears are one of the fastest species of bears, and can easily outrun a human when sprinting. In fact, the evidence shows that bears can run at speeds of 35 miles per hour quite comfortably when they want to.

Runner Stephen Peterson wrote on Facebook, “When you run Leadville, you just might run into a bear! My good friend Quentin Genke and I were a couple of hours into our race when this huge black bear made his appearance right in front of us, imagine our shock!”

(06/18/2019) ⚡AMP
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Rio’s Silver Medalist in the women’s marathon has been suspended over doping

Kenyan-born Bahraini Eunice Jepkirui Kirwa, who won silver in the women’s marathon in Rio Olympics was suspended after failing a dope test.

Kirwa has been suspended by the International Association of Athletics Federation’s Athletes Integrity Unit (AIU) after testing positive for Erythropoietin (EPO).

Kirwa, 34, was suspended alongside Indian runner Gomathi Marimuthu, who failed a dope test after winning the Asian 800 metres title last month. She tested positive to prohibited Norandrosterone, a type of anabolic steroid.

Kirwa, who also claimed bronze for Bahrain at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing, China, becomes the second athlete from the Middle East country to get suspended after Ruth Jebet, who also won gold in 3,000m steeplechase at the Rio Olympics.

(06/18/2019) ⚡AMP
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Two Words That Can Really Help Your Marathon Training

Believe it or not, there is a method to those runs in a marathon program and these words can make that effort count!

Put simply, those two words are “slow down."  This may sound strange but let’s break down why this is so important!

I have run almost 60 marathons/ultra marathons over the past 12 years and it took me that long to finally reach a goal that I had had from the beginning – to run a sub-3 hour and 30 minute marathon. Part of that reason had to do with the fact that probably 80% of those marathons were not serious efforts and more for the location.

But, I firmly believe that another reason had to do with the training program I was using (Hansons Marathon Program) and the focus on the off-day runs being run at slower paces.

A marathon training program will typically have a few elements – the easy run, the long run, and the speed/tempo runs. The speed runs will include things like tempo runs and repeats.

The long run will get your body conditioned to staying on your feet for longer periods as you prepare for the 26.2 mile distance. Finally, the easy run. These runs are typically to help you get your miles in and to help you aerobically.

Many times, runners attack these slow days as if they need to turn in quality performance runs every time they hit the roads. This means running these slower runs at paces that are between what they should be and the speed workout paces.

This actually does not help in your body recovering between workouts and instead treats these miles and runs as workouts, instead of slow and comfortable paces to help your body and muscles recover while still covering the miles.

There are even a couple of programs that recommend not even doing those slow runs but instead doing cross-training on those days and only running for tempo runs, repeat workouts, and long runs. This is again because those slower runs are meant to help in recovery while still helping your heart and blood flow.

So, while it may seem that running slow on slow days is not very beneficial, it can actually be one of the most important parts of a training program! It allows you to continue to get the benefits of a workout and the mileage while not taxing your body more than it should be for the “easy” day of the program.

I do know this – my last training program was more fun and more productive than any program I had ever used before and I feel that I owe a lot of that to the fact that I actually forced myself to slow down on slow days to a pace that was much slower than I had ever run before on slow days.

Remember – while each run can have a purpose, every run does not have to be fast. Slow down on those easy days and trust your body and the program.

(06/18/2019) ⚡AMP
by Charlie
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The two-time Olympian and world championship silver-medallist Kara Goucher wins age group at Leadville Trail Marathon

Former elite US marathoner Kara Goucher was the fifth female across the finish line and first in her 40-49 age group at yesterday’s Leadville Trail Marathon in the Colorado Rockies. “Without a doubt, the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life,” she tweeted–quite a statement from a two-time Olympian, world championship silver medallist, and two-time Boston Marathon third-place finisher.}

Goucher has blogged about the experience of transitioning from the roads to the trails on her sponsor Oiselle’s blog, where she also dispenses advice to those considering (or executing) a similar transition. It seems road running and trail running are, well, quite different. For one thing, terrain and weather conditions play havoc with road runners’ expectations regarding time and pace, which are mostly beyond anyone’s control. (Goucher’s time yesterday was 3:54:07.)

Tara Richardson of Glenwood Springs, Colo., Jana Willsey of Denver and Corinne Shalvoy of Castle Rock went 1, 2 and 3 for the top three females while Joshua Lund of Boulder, Pat Cade of Leadville and Chad Trammell of Anchorage stood on the men’s podium 

(06/17/2019) ⚡AMP
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Park honoring Martin Richard Boston Marathon bombing victim is now open

A park honoring the 8-year-old who was killed during the Boston Marathon bombings opened Saturday. 

The park is in honor of Martin Richard, he was the youngest victim of the bombings in 2013. 

It took two years to build and cost $15 million.

The park is located near the Boston Children's Museum and features an amphitheater, a water play garden and Richard's favorite, a Cosmo Climber.

The opening was celebrated all day with food trucks and family entertainment scattered throughout the grounds.

It was an emotional and special day for the Richard family, as they celebrated the opening.

Those who took part in creating the park also felt honored.

"We were lucky enough to be selected to build it," said park builder, John McKay. "This isn't a typical park. There's nature, play elements of all different kinds. I think the uniqueness really speaks out and obviously the meaning. Martin Richard says it all right there. I think that's what separates it from everything else."

Three people were killed on the day of the Boston bombings and Richard's younger sister, Jane, lost a leg. 

(06/17/2019) ⚡AMP
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

The Boston Marathon is the world's oldest annual marathon and ranks as one of the world's best-known road racing events. The event attracts 500,000 spectators each year, making it New England's most widely viewed sporting event. Though starting with 18 participants in 1897, the event now attracts over 20,000 registered participants each year. You have to qualify to participate. Among...

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Kenyan contestants swept the multi-category Kigali International Peace Marathon held in the Rwandan capital

The 15th edition of the Kigali International Peace Marathon attracted about 3,900 participants, including professionals and amateurs from 55 countries. In addition to the half and full marathon races, the competition has a "Run for Peace" 10-kilometer race that is open to all.

Started in 2004 as an amateur race to use sports in the healing and reconciliation process in the aftermath of 1994's Rwandan Genocide, the event has grown to become one of the most respected annual athletics events on the continent and a significant part of the Rwandan sporting calander.

Kenyan contestants on Sunday swept the multi-category Kigali International Peace Marathon held in the Rwandan capital. Rwanda and Uganda also grabbed medals.

Uganda's Philip Kiplimo won the gold medal in the full marathon completing the race in two hours, 20 minutes and 21 seconds. Kenya's James Tallam and Reuben Kemboi won the silver and bronze medals respectively.

It was a full clean sweep for Kenya in the men's half marathon, as Shadrack Kiminine won the gold medal in one hour, four minutes and 36 seconds and Sane Mathew and Chemjor Festus won the silver and bronze medals.

In the women's category of the half marathon race, Kenya's Celestine Chepchirchil won the gold medal in one hour, 14 minutes and 44 seconds. Marthe Yankurije from Rwanda won the second place, while another Kenyan Martha Akeno came third.

(06/17/2019) ⚡AMP
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Catra was addicted to drugs and now she is addicted to running

At age 27 Catra was arrested and spent the night in a prison cell. That was the worst experience of my life and scared me into getting clean.

“I fell into a bad crowd in high school and started partying hard. I soon got into a relationship with a guy who was doing methamphetamine and I got addicted pretty quickly. Eventually, we got arrested. I was put on a six-month rehab programme where I had to go to a Narcotics Anonymous meeting every day. After six months, I was clean,” says Catra.  

“Now I’ve been clean for 25 years. I started running because I was searching for something to take the place of drugs. I ran a 10k on a whim after seeing a flyer for it and, three months later, I ran my first marathon. Ultras followed soon after.

“I’ve run 100, 200 and 300-mile races. When you finally stop running after that long, it feels great. You’ve accomplished something huge and it’s like, 'Wow!' I definitely get a kind of high. I’m one of about only a dozen people in the world who has run 100 miles (161km) more than 100 times. You could definitely say that I’m addicted to running,” she says with a smile on her face.  

(06/17/2019) ⚡AMP
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Running is a way of life for Michael Magnussen and this former sprinter now has run the majors

A chance conversation at the Roanoke Inn on Mercer Island in 2013 changed Michael Magnussen’s life forever.

“A buddy of mine and I were sitting at the Roanoke having a beer and he told me he was thinking of running in the Seattle Marathon. He asked me, ‘You want to run it with me.’ I thought that was hysterical and the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard in my life,” Magnussen said. “I told him I wasn’t really interested in running. After a while, he got me to commit to possibly running a half-marathon.”

It didn’t take long for Magnussen, who moved to Mercer Island in 2006, to discover a new passion he never thought was possible. Fast forward to five and a half years since that chance meeting at the Roanoke Inn: Magnussen has completed the six world marathon majors. Magnussen ran the final of the six at the 2019 London Marathon in May, clocking a time of 2:56.21.

This past February, Magnussen completed his fifth major marathon in Tokyo, Japan with a time of 2:55.40. The world marathon majors take place in New York, Boston, Berlin, Chicago, Tokyo and London.

Magnussen said he was running in Boston when he encountered an individual with a “sixth star.”

“I remember thinking at that time, that is ridiculous and is a lot of traveling to do to run. I was running with a buddy in Central Park (New York) in 2016 and we said to ourselves maybe we will try for it, too. We made the commitment to do it,” Magnussen explained.

The most recent marathon major (London) was Magnussen’s favorite of all time.

“That particular race was my favorite of the six. All of them have just been unbelievable experiences and all of them are completely different,” Magnussen said. “Running the London was unbelievable. You run along the Thames River, you go over the London Tower Bridge and you run by Buckingham Palace. London is such a cool city.”

The 50-year-old Magnussen, who completed in football and track in high school, never envisioned himself running long distances, let alone marathons.

“In high school, I was a 100, 200 and hurdler at Redmond High School. I wasn’t a long-distance guy. To me, a 400 was long-distance run,” Magnussen said of his youthful days. “When I was younger, I don’t think I had the mentality to run 26.2 miles. Distance running was not in the cards. Now it is. I feel great. It is probably one of the best life decisions I think I’ve ever made. It has been a major undertaking for me. I have done 15 marathons now and two Boston marathons on top of that. I have run in a total of eight majors.”

Running in some of the most iconic cities on the planet has its benefits.

“The majors are so cool because you get to see some really cool cities. There is no better way to see a city than running. Seeing it from the side streets and experiencing it from the (running) routes is such a different experience,” Magnussen said.

Magnussen said running is part of his daily routine. 

“On average, I run 40 to 60 miles per week. On the weekends,  I’m running between 12 to 20 miles per day,” he said.

(06/17/2019) ⚡AMP
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Emmanuel Bor runs a PR to win the Corrida de Langueux 10k in France an IAAF Bronze Label road race

Kenya’s Emmanuel Bor and Ethiopia’s Tesfaye Nigsti Haftu prevailed at the Corrida de Langueux, an IAAF Bronze Label road race which took place on Saturday (15).

The 29th edition of the event set off at a fierce pace in the men’s race. Peter Kiprotich of Kenya pushed hard from the gun, clocking an opening kilometer of 2:39, the equivalent of 26:30 10km pace.

Sure enough, the pace settled over the next few kilometers as Emmanuel Bor started to test his opponents. He managed to open a little gap over Morocco’s Mustafa El Aziz when he reached the second of five laps.

Bor hit the halfway point 10 seconds ahead of El Aziz in 13:52, suggesting a possible finish time inside 28 minutes and possibly even an improvement on the course record of 27:46 set by Ethiopia’s Atsedu Tsegay in 2011.

Although Bor’s pace dropped in the second half, he maintained his leading margin and went on to win in a PB of 27:53, the second-fastest time in the history of the race and 13 seconds better than his previous best.

“Thank you to the public,” said the 31-year-old. “It was the first time I’ve ran in Langueux and I really enjoyed it. It would have been great if I could have lowered the course record but I was too isolated in the closing stages.”

El Aziz, who had kept Bor under pressure during the second part, held on to finish runner-up in 28:03, 30 seconds shy of the PB he set three years ago.

Lawi Kosgei, one of the pre-race favourites following a 27:41 PB two months ago, rounded out the podium in 28:32. Florian Carvalho was the first Frenchman, finishing sixth in 29:00.

In the women’s race, Ethiopia’s Tesfaye Nigsti Haftu and Tisge Abreha as well as Kenya’s Susan Jeptoo quickly separated themselves from the rest of the field. With about three kilometres remaining, Abreha struggled to follow the pace of her opponents.

Haftu, competing in Europe for the first time, made her move at about eight kilometres into the race and quickly pulled away as Jeptoo started to fade. Haftu captured her first victory in 32:00, 16 seconds ahead of Jeptoo, who secured her third consecutive podium finish. Abreha placed third in 32:21.

(06/16/2019) ⚡AMP
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Maraton de la Liberte

Maraton de la Liberte

Freedom Marathon is a marathon held annually on a part of the coast of Normandy, from Courseulles-sur-Mer to the Caen Memorial since 1988. In remembrance of d-day, theruns is close to the June 6 date. With 30 editions, the Marathon de la Liberté is the leading event of Les Courants de la Liberté, on the legendary distance of 42.195km. Tribute...

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Dawna Holowell started running four years ago to help get over a break-up and now she can’t imagine life without running

Dawna Holowell can’t imagine her life without running after starting four years ago to get over a break-up.  

The 44-year-old Pennsylvania native became heavily involved with Gulf Coast Runners in Flordia, becoming the organization’s volunteer coordinator – making sure each of GCR’s 24 races are well-stocked with road marshals, water distributors, signholders, registration helpers and many other race necessities.

Dawna ran her first-ever marathon in October at the Chicago Marathon –a pretty impressive accomplishment for someone who just ran her first 5K in February 2015.

“I have a friend down here that I’ve known since first grade in Pennsylvania who ran in high school,” Holowell said about Becca Gatian, the person who introduced her to Gulf Coast Runners. “She signed me up for a 5K and I kind of looked at her and laughed. I used to always make fun of her for running so much. I couldn’t even run a mile.”

Soon, Holowell’s competitive spirit took over and she fell in love with running. An insurance underwriter for Brown and Brown Insurance, Holowell says even her co-workers joke about her passion for running.

“I work from home when I’m not traveling for my job and if I’m having a rough day or not finding a solution to a problem, they’ll ask me if I’ve gone for my run yet,” Holowell said. “It definitely helps you clear your mind where you can think out issues and come to that solution.”

Holowell’s organizational skills and problem-solving ability are a big help in her job as volunteer coordinator, which makes life a little easier for race director Jake Hester.

“I always know the volunteers are going to have the information that they need, that they’re going to be where they’re supposed to be and know what they’re supposed to do,” Hester said. “It really puts my mind at ease when it comes to volunteers. I don’t have to worry one bit about that part of the race.”

Holowell always finds time to run amidst her busy schedule, competing at a half-marathon in Jacksonville, Florida two months after the Chicago Marathon.

A novice runner less than four years ago, she’s still amazed at how far she’s come so far.  

“Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I’d run a marathon. It was such an amazing experience,” she says.  

Holowell said she picked the Chicago Marathon because as a college student in Indiana, she made the trip to Chicago once a month, which gave her familiarity to her surroundings. But nothing could quite prepare her for the feelings she had at the starting line.

“It’s overwhelming. I’ve never been around anything like that,” she said. “There’s something like 45,000 runners at the starting line and then you’ve got tons of spectators along the route. But the vibes you get from those spectators really keep you going. You’ve got little kids cheering you on, people giving you food. When you’re feeling like you can’t make it, you’ve got people there to lift you up. I had friends at the race and there was no way I wasn’t finishing it.”

As she approached the end of the race, Holowell saw that many of the runners began walking. She was having none of that, though.

“We got to Michigan Avenue, toward the end of the race and there’s a marker that said 800 meters,” she said. “I thought to myself, ‘That’s two laps around the track, I’ve got this’. At the end of the race, there’s a bit of an incline, but I knew I had to finish strong. As soon as I saw the finish line, I cried. It’s just this amazing, emotional feeling. I had pushed my body to its limit but I made it.”

Holowell said it took her body about a week to recover from the race, noting that just going up steps had to be done at a slow rate. But she was back in action a week later, going for a recovery run and beginning preparation for that half-marathon in Jacksonville.

Holowell says she’s about to begin training for her next marathon, although she’s not yet sure where that one will be.

(06/16/2019) ⚡AMP
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Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Running the Bank of America Chicago Marathon is the pinnacle of achievement for elite athletes and everyday runners alike. On race day, runners from all 50 states andmore than 100 countries will set out to accomplish a personal dream by reaching the finish line in Grant Park. The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is known for its flat and fast...

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Windy conditions slowed the field at the Courts of Freedom marathon

In windy conditions, no record fell on Sunday in Caen during the Courts of Freedom. Ethiopian Yetsedaw Belie won the marathon, as in 2018. On the half marathon Kenyan Paul Koech and  Loïc Letellier reached the podium like last year.  

The wind slowed the pace and the course record was not obtained but that did not stop the winner of last year, Yetsedaw Belie winning again clocking 2:23:22. In 2018, Belie clocked 2:18:32. In second Kenya’s Richard Beth clocked 2:24:06.  

(06/16/2019) ⚡AMP
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Maraton de la Liberte

Maraton de la Liberte

Freedom Marathon is a marathon held annually on a part of the coast of Normandy, from Courseulles-sur-Mer to the Caen Memorial since 1988. In remembrance of d-day, theruns is close to the June 6 date. With 30 editions, the Marathon de la Liberté is the leading event of Les Courants de la Liberté, on the legendary distance of 42.195km. Tribute...

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Jamie Coggins runs his first ever marathon in memory of a friend who lost his battle with Huntington's

First-time runner Jamie Coggins vowed to take up the challenge in support of Colin Elliott and raise money for research to fight the devastating disease.

Dad-of-two Jamie bought his first pair of running shoes and spent a year pounding the streets in training.

Sadly Colin died a week before he ran the London Marathon, but Jamie went on to complete the marathon raising nearly £4,000 ($5,200US) for the cause.

Colin's wife Brenda paid an emotional tribute to Jamie and his family for their support.

"It was tough but I was kept going by my daughter Eva holding a banner saying 'run daddy in memory of Colin'.

Jamie crossed the finish line on April 28. 

He was inspired to get fit after he was diagnosed with type two diabetes.

The 46-year-old said: "I just needed to make a change and I needed the incentive to do it."

(06/15/2019) ⚡AMP
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Four runners from India are eyeing a place in the 2019 IAU 24-Hour World Ultra Marathon Championship to be held in France in October

Rajasthan's Lallu Lal Meena and Yamini Kothari and Odisha's Pranaya Mohanty are attempting this feat during the 24 Hour Stadium Run at the Mumbai University track, which began at 6pm Saturday and will finish at the same time Sunday.

Sikkim's Shiva Hang Limboo too will aim to make it to the 24-Hour World Ultra Marathon Championship in the 12-Hour category.

The top men will cover close to 200 kilometres (124 miles) during this period while the women should hit 170 km (105 miles). 

The 24-hour Stadium Run tests the endurance as well as mental and physical abilities of athletes.

"I have a great chance of qualifying for the worlds," said Meena.

"I have done it in the past and I am quite confident of making it there once. The criteria for qualification is 205 kilometres and I have come with a target of 220 kilometres.

I'm also attempting to run for 23 hours straight and if my body permits I will do 24 hours without any break," Meena was quoted as saying in a release issued Saturday.

(06/15/2019) ⚡AMP
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Sprint superstar Usain Bolt jumps into Paris scooter mania business

Usain Boolt ambition for a career as a footballer may not have worked out but retired sprint superstar announced Wednesday an unlikely new outlet for his energies -- the Paris scooter market.

Electric scooters have become wildly popular but also controversial in Paris over the last year, helping commuters navigate traffic but also seen as a nuisance and a danger by others.

The athletics icon's brand Bolt Mobility, which he co-founded, joins an already crowded market for scooters, which users pick up and park anywhere in the city via an app.

"I travelled all around the world for all these years, saw so much traffic and the need for our scooters to help," the eight-time Olympic champion said at the launch of the sturdy-looking contraption.

“I have been in Paris so many times, I saw the traffic here and for me it helps to get everybody around on time," he added.

Some 450 scooters emblazoned with his name are due to be deployed on the streets of Paris in the next days.

But his entry into the market comes at a delicate time after Paris authorities warned operators of the thousands of electric scooters that have inundated the city to keep them off pavements or face a temporary ban.

On Monday, the ten competitors who have launched services in Paris all signed a "code of good conduct" with the mayor's office, which says the city is now "saturated" with the devices.

Bolt denied that he was too late out of blocks, saying his brand it worked with the Paris authorities. 

"It's not about late, it's about doing it right," the Jamaican 100m and 200m world record holder said.

"We took our time to do the right thing and talk to authorities and get everything right to be sure that when we launch everything is perfect".

He was due to sign the code of conduct later Wednesday.

Since retiring, Bolt had attempted to become a professional footballer but a trial with an Australian club ended late last year without success.

(06/15/2019) ⚡AMP
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Jon Ward is embarking on an expedition to become the first person to run the entire North East 250 tourist trail in Scotland

Corporal Jon Ward, who is posted at RAF Lossiemouth, expects to cover the arduous route in just six days. 

The 33-year-old ultra-marathoner has previously tested his body to the limit on a 216-mile endurance challenge spanning the east and west of Scotland in less than 100 hours.

The serviceman, who is originally from Hereford, set himself the target of becoming the first to run the NE250 to help share his love for the north-east which has developed since he was posted to the region two years ago.

Jon Ward said: “I didn’t really sleep when I did the 216-mile run. When you stop your body goes into a recovery mode – your legs start throbbing and your body just feels less active.

“I’m not really thinking about a fast time for the NE250, I just want to do it. That might make it harder because every day I have to prepare myself for the run, which might be tough if the weather is not nice.”

Over the next six days the runner will scale peaks in the Cairngorms before following the River Spey to the sea and spanning the Aberdeenshire coast before turning towards Deeside ahead of finishing in Braemar on Wednesday.

Along the way, he hopes to stop at the numerous attractions along the route to share his new-found love of the north-east with a wider audience.

(06/15/2019) ⚡AMP
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Keith Roberts, who has run a marathon in every state, last month he was stalked by a bear

Just six miles north of Harrisburg in Raleigh, When 42-year-old Keith  Roberts isn’t spending time with his wife and kids, he’s running marathons or working as a manager in fiber optic installation at Clearwave Communications.

As many have too, Roberts has completes a marathon in all 50 states.

“I have a long-term vision for my health,” said Roberts. “Since I started running all of my back pain has gone away. Physically, I was heading towards a path of diabetes and really poor health, but the diet of running has corrected that.”

Roberts has 56 career marathons under his belt since running his first in 2016 at the Shiprock Marathon in New Mexico. On March 17, Roberts ran in his 50th state when he completed the Big Island International Marathon (Hilo Marathon) in Hawaii.

What comes next after you’ve run around the entire United States map?

“My goal for next year is to run in four 100-milers,” said Roberts. “I definitely see myself running or staying active for the rest of my life, that’s one part of it. The other part is sort of our human nature. I’ve come this far, how far can I go?”

Perhaps Roberts' encounter with a black bear in the mountains of Virginia in a 100K race is the reason he’d like to stay in shape.

“Last month I was stalked by a bear,” said Roberts. "Getting stalked by animals because they’re curious happens all the time to runners, but all I had was a trekking pole in one hand and a water bottle in the other when I looked over my shoulder and saw a little black bear 30 feet behind me.”

“When I started running I couldn’t even run a quarter of a mile,” said Roberts. “I worked up a little bit, ran a 5K or two, and decided that I wanted to try running further.”

Roberts has since gone on to run nearly 1500 miles in his marathons alone. That doesn’t include his half marathons, ultramarathons, or any of the miles he has poured into his training.  He once ran eight marathons on eight consecutive days.

Roberts' body has held up for the most part outside of some shin splints, but he says recovery is different than most people would think.

“The recovery is more mental than it is physical,” said Roberts. “After a while your body learns to deal with the aches and the pains, and you can run a marathon on Saturday, a marathon on Sunday, be a little sore when you’re back at work on Monday, and by Tuesday you don’t feel it.”

Roberts' love of running has motivated both of his sons to run cross-country.

“I’m definitely not as disciplined as great runners are,” said Roberts. “As things go I generally finish in the back half of the race. I run a marathon in about 4 hours and 45 minutes, which is probably a good average.

“I will tell you from personal experience that there’s about 15 percent of people who care about speed and everybody else just cares about getting it done.”

The majority of people will never run a marathon, but in three years Roberts has done just that in every single state and doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

(06/14/2019) ⚡AMP
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A brand new urban ultra marathon challenge is going to take place in the heart of London

Ultra London, a brand new urban ultra-marathon event, is set to take place on Saturday October5. The multi-distance event will be held on an innovative course, that aims to showcase some of London’s finest viewpoints, whilst crossing many of its lesser known open spaces, nature reserves and Sites of Specific Scientific Interest.

The 55km ultra course starts in Woolwich and finishes in Richmond upon Thames, with participants following large parts of the Capital Ring Walk route across south London. The challenging yet accessible event also includes a 27.5km run or walk starting at Crystal Palace, also finishing in Richmond.

The course, a mix of trails, footpaths, parks, disused railway lines, woodland and more will provide a challenge for participants who will also need to ensure they navigate the correct paths through parts of Falconwood, Grove Park, Crystal Palace, Streatham, Wimbledon and onto Richmond.

Andy Graffin, Director of Product Development at The Great Run Company who are staging the event, said: “We’re excited to be trying something new in the growing area of ultra running. Many of London’s landmarks are world famous of course, yet the Capital Ring is a comparatively little-known gem and we hope this event will provide participants with a suitable challenge and perhaps some surprises along the way, they will pass numerous landmarks and enjoy some breath-taking views of the Capital.

“Being in London, the event is accessible for participants and also for friends, family and supporters who can plan a route using public transport that will allow them to see their runner at numerous points along the course.”

Whilst the inaugural event this year uses the southern half of the Capital Ring there are plans to include the northern half of the route in 2020, where the ultimate challenge for ultra-runners will be to complete the entire 125km circular route in the Ultra London 125.

(06/14/2019) ⚡AMP
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Drinking fluids during endurance events it’s important to keep savvy about our fluid intake

Here are some important answers to the questions of how much to drink, when to drink and what to drink so you can end up at the finish line in the best shape possible.

How much to drink A good guide is to drink according to thirst, making sure that every time you reach an aid station you drink water if you are thirsty and you do not allow your thirst to build for a long time.

As a general guide, adults should aim for 500ml to 1 litre per hour of running when running longer than an hour. If you’re running for less than an hour  then you most likely will not need to drink fluid along the way, but still use thirst as your guide.

If you are keen to accurately predict how much to drink throughout your race, weigh yourself before and after a training run of a similar distance. Every kilo lost in body weight is equivalent to one litre of fluid loss.

When to drink Aim to keep hydrated before your run to avoid a last-minute effort to gulp a large amount of fluid, and top up your fluids up during your run at aid stations as you fee thirsty.

What to drink There is evidence to suggest rehydration formulas might be a better choice than water during longer runs or in high humidity because they contain carbohydrates and electrolytes which may improve performance and absorption.

Practising your hydration strategy in training and heeding the signs your body is giving you, you will give yourself the best chances for success.

(06/14/2019) ⚡AMP
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168 mile Al Marmoom Ultramarathon is one of the world’s longest desert ultras

Set in a rugged national conservation area, the Al Marmoom Ultramarathon claims to be one of the longest desert ultra in the world. The 270km (168 mile) route was run over five days in December in temperatures as high as 35C (95F),.

In its inaugural year, 19 runners (15 men and four women) completed the race, with 36-year-old Moroccan Rachid El Morabity -- a six-time Marathon des Sables winner -- crossing the finish line first in 31 hours and 17 minutes. Eleven runners didn't make it, as well as many others in the shorter 100 km and 50 km versions of the race.

Race manager Ole Brom oversaw of the health and wellbeing of the runners.   Running these distances across energy-sapping sand amounts to an extreme sport, the Norwegian told CNN, and "not something that is taken on lightly."

"On the first day after about 40 km, about 12 km from the end, (one athlete) collapsed unconscious," says Brom. "He ignored the signs of dehydration and he suffered the consequences."

Stretches of the race, including one 100-kilometer leg, were only accessible by air for first responders, explained event director Ruth Dickinson. Athletes wore tracking devices and distress beacons and carried anti-venom pumps in case of snake bites.

Running across the dunes was not without its rewards. "(It's) really peaceful," says 45-year-old female race winner Magdalena Boulet, "(you) can't really see anything for miles and miles."

"It's mesmerizing," Brom adds. "On certain routes there were Oryx, there were sand gazelle, mountain gazelles. We saw eagles (and) a lot of different migrating birds." (As a designated conservation area, runners were penalized for dropping trash and required to bury human waste, should nature call.)

There were still smatterings of luxury, with racers provided hot water, tents and massages between stages. Brom says some athletes told him they'd return for the toilets alone.

The Al Marmoom Ultramarathon will join 400-plus local sporting events ranked by the Dubai Sports Council. Acting director of events Ghazi Al Madani says planning for 2019's race is already underway.

Brom believes transit hub Dubai could become a nexus for desert ultra runners, playing host to regular events in its "backyard." "Ten percent of the landmass of Dubai is sand," he adds, "so it makes perfect sense."

(06/13/2019) ⚡AMP
by Tom Page
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Al Marmoom Ultra Marathon

Al Marmoom Ultra Marathon

Launched under the initiative of UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of DubaiHis Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Al Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve will host the world's longest desert ultra-run Meraas Al Marmoom Ultramarathon. Meraas Al Marmoom Ultramarathon is a 270km, 100km and 50km race across desert terrain and will be held 11th to 15th December...

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Pushing the Limits of Human Endurance

When we work out rigorously on a regular basis, our bodies adjust to limit our ability to expend energy, a new study shows.

Our bodies seem to adjust to prolonged, repeated physical exertion and its energy demands by burning fewer — instead of more — calories over the course of the day, even if our exertions continue at the same level, according to a surprising new study of energy expenditure conducted during a 20-week running race across the United States.

The study is among the first to quantify the upper limits of human daily energy expenditure and endurance, whether someone is running across the country, competing in the Tour de France or pregnant. The study’s counterintuitive findings have implications for athletes, our understanding of human evolution, and our hopes that training for a marathon or other endurance event will help us shed weight.

To most of us, it seems obvious that when we are physically active, we burn more calories than when we are sedentary. The harder or longer we work out, the more of these calories we will expend, ad infinitum.

But a small but growing body of research suggests there are limits. A 2012 study of energy expenditure among modern hunter-gatherers, for instance, found that despite being in motion almost all day, the tribespeople burned about the same number of daily calories as those of us who sit behind desks all day. In effect, the tribespeople’s bodies seemed to have found ways to reduce their overall daily energy expenditure, even as they continued to move.

The study’s authors concluded that this finding made sense from an evolutionary standpoint. The fewer calories our forebears had to expend on days when they hunted, the less food they would need to bring down.

But the human caloric ceiling remained unknown and difficult to quantify. Finding it, the scientists reasoned, would require studying people who were exercising regularly at or near their physical limits and seeing how their metabolisms responded over time.

Then, in 2015, the right situation arose. For a one-time event called the Race Across USA, participants would cross the country on foot from California to Washington, D.C., running approximately a marathon almost every day for about 20 weeks.

A group of scientists, including some who had conducted the 2012 study of hunter-gatherers, asked to monitor the racers’ metabolisms. Six participants agreed, and the researchers measured their baseline daily energy expenditure in the week before they began racing. They used a gold-standard technique called doubly labeled water, in which hydrogen and oxygen are replaced with isotopes that trace the body’s production of carbon dioxide.

The researchers repeated the metabolic testing each day during the first week of daily marathons, and then again during the runners’ final week, about five months later. (Only three of the original volunteers remained in the race.

(06/13/2019) ⚡AMP
by Gretchen Reynolds
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Rock Tahoe Half Marathon is celebrating five years this weekend

Over 1,800 runners are expected to participate in the 5th annual Rock Tahoe Half Marathon at Lake Tahoe.

Runners will enjoy the south and east shore scenery as they go past Glenbrook, Logan Shoals, Cave Rock, Round Hill Pines, Nevada Beach and Rabe Meadow and wind down over 1,000 feet from Spooner Summit to the finish line at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe.

About 100 runners are returning to run the event, sponsored by Epic Tahoe Adventures, for a fifth time.

“We are truly humbled by the number of runners who return to Rock Tahoe year after year,” says Jessica Schnoll, from Epic Tahoe Adventures, in a press release. “This year alone, 40% of the total registered participants have completed Rock Tahoe before and are returning for a second, third, fourth, or even fifth time.”

“Rock Tahoe introduced me to half marathons five years ago and I’ve come back every year,” said Katie Joll, South Lake Tahoe local and five-year legacy runner, in the release. “The serenity of an early morning run by the lake can’t be beat and there’s an amazing vibe to this whole event. I’m looking forward to crossing the finish again to celebrate Rock Tahoe number five this year.”

The race weekend starts with a “Rock the Plaza” Packet Pick-up and Pre-Race Expo from 2 to 8 p.m. Friday, June 14, on the Guitar Plaza in front of Alpine Union. 

Winning times for males and females in 2018 were 1:20:42 by Melvin Nyairo and 1:36:37 by Stephanie Carlsake, respectively. Both will be defending their titles.

(06/13/2019) ⚡AMP
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Shawn Quigley man who collapsed after finishing a half-marathon has received his marathon medal in the hospital

A Halifax man who collapsed shortly and had to be revived after finishing a half-marathon on Sunday, has received his marathon medal in hospital.

Shawn Quigley finished the Blue Nose Marathon on Sunday, but collapsed shortly after crossing the finish line.

Quigley credits bystanders for saving his life by performing CPR on him for 10 minutes before he was rushed to the hospital.

The Blue Nose Marathon mascot and the executive director of the marathon, Sherri Robbins, visited Quigley in hospital on Wednesday, to deliver flowers and the medal.

(06/13/2019) ⚡AMP
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Kenyan runner Felix Kirwa has been suspended for nine months

Kenyan long-distance runner Felix Kirwa has been suspended for nine months after testing positive for the banned stimulant strychnine, which is commonly known as rat poison.

The Athletics Integrity Unit, which has banned the runner from competition until November 14, also stripped Kirwa of his second place at the 2018 Singapore Marathon.

The 23-year-old insists that the banned substance accidentally entered his body through herbal medicines which he consumed for therapeutic reasons.

The AIU said the athlete violated anti-doping ruling as "he did not exercise utmost caution to ensure that he did not use a prohibited substance."

Strychnine is a strong performance enhancement stimulant which helps athletes to increase running stamina and boost endurance over long distances.

However, the banned drug has serious side effects, including restlessness and muscle spasms.

Kirwa is the brother of 2016 Olympic women’s marathon silver medalist Eunice Kirwa, who represented Bahrain at the Games. She was also provisionally suspended last month after failing a drug test.

(06/13/2019) ⚡AMP
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Running is how I understand myself and my approach to life says sports editor Matthew Futterman

Matthew Futterman, the deputy sports editor at The Times, crossing the finish line at the Hamptons Marathon 

I have run nearly every day since I was a teenager. Was I 15 or 16 when it started? I’m not sure. I don’t really remember who I was before I became a runner.

Running is how I understand myself and my approach to life — as a marathoner (23 and counting) and as a writer, which are sort of the same thing.

I’m the deputy sports editor at The Times, which means I mostly help guide our coverage and work closely with reporters, trying to instill a concept nearly every runner embraces: that we can be better tomorrow than we were yesterday. While I manage plenty of articles about traditional stick-and-ball sports, I am particularly drawn to ones about international and endurance sports, including running.

I occasionally assign those to myself, especially articles about runners who aren’t very famous, though in running success and fame and egomania don’t correlate the way they do in other sports, which may be why I like covering it.

Running serves so many purposes for me. It’s a way to stay fit, yes, and a way to wage the unwinnable battle against aging. If I can keep lowering my personal record in the marathon, which I got down to 3:15.58 in 2017, then I’m not getting older, right? If each year I can qualify for the Boston Marathon, then maybe I have cheated death just a little bit more.

I play that existential game with numbers, tracking my splits on my GPS watch. But more often than not, as I run my mind drifts to my other obsession: writing. I often joke that I do my best writing when I am running, only I’m not kidding.

On a typical day, I am up around 6 or so, and I will spend an hour or 90 minutes writing and thinking before heading over to Central Park for my usual jaunt of seven and a half to 10 miles, depending on how I feel. Only occasionally am I joined by a comrade or two, even though running is now an immensely social activity.

I am most often alone, sorting through my thoughts, trying to find the words that flow so much more easily when I am in motion than when I am staring at a screen. There is a mystical quality to running that brings your mind to places it otherwise would not go.

(06/12/2019) ⚡AMP
by Matthew Futterman
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