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After trying to find a new date the Paderborn Easter Run has decided to cancel their race for 2020

The organizers just posted this: "Just over two weeks ago, it was announced that this year's Paderborn Easter Run would be postponed until late summer.

"In the past few days, the organisers of the Paderborn Easter Run have put all the facts, runners' interests, economic aspects, logistical challenges to the test and weighed up the pros and cons.

"It was with a heavy heart that we came to the conclusion that the Paderborn Easter Run 2020 should be cancelled altogether and that all energy and passion should be invested in the then still 74th Easter Run 2021.

"But what is Easter without the Easter Run? Because the "real" Easter run cannot take place this year, the organizers, together with the Sparkasse Paderborn-Detmold, have considered an alternative running event – the Paderborn Easter Solo Run. The most important requirement for participation is that all routes are run SOLO."

(04/08/2020) ⚡AMP
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Paderborner Sterlauf

Paderborner Sterlauf

It is well known that the fascination of running has steadily increased in recent years.But the Paderborn Easter Run has been around for 72 years. It is the oldest street race in Germany, organized by the SC Grün-Weiß Paderborn, enjoys even after so many decades of growing popularity and belongs to many already traditional Easter.There are even runners and helpers...

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World Athletics Championships Oregon pushed to 2022, dates have been confirmed

The World Athletics Championships in Oregon have been rescheduled to 15-24 July in 2022, following the postponement of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Oregon World Championships were originally scheduled for 6-15 August, 2021, but have been rescheduled to the following year to avoid a clash with the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The World Athletics Council approved the new dates this week after extensive discussions with the sport’s stakeholders including organisers of two other major championships due to take place in July-August 2022, the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and the multisport European Championships in Munich.

The new schedule will prevent a direct conflict between any of these major events and, with careful programming, will ensure athletes can compete in up to three world-class competitions.

In an extraordinary international season for athletics, all three events will be held across an unprecedent summer of sport. The World Championships will begin a unique celebration of the sport, followed by the Commonwealth Games and the European Athletics Championships as part of the European Championships.

"This will be a bonanza for athletics fans around the world," World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said.

"They will be treated to six weeks of absolutely first-class athletics. More than 70 of our Member Federations are part of the Commonwealth and more than 50 of our Member Federations are European so our guiding principle in rescheduling the World Championships was to ensure enough space was created around the centrepiece World Athletics Championship for athletes to choose other major events to compete in. We were also very mindful that we did not want to damage the other major championships in 2022, because they are also very important to our sport.

"We believe we have found a solution that will allow athletes who are eligible for the other two events to compete in them with the Commonwealth Games Federation planning to stage the athletics programme towards the end of their event. This will showcase our sport to its best advantage in the circumstances and we will continue collaborating with all competitions on the detailed programming.

"We would not have chosen to have three major championships back-to-back but it will give us a unique opportunity to promote our sport and its stars around the globe over a six-week period.

"I want to particularly thank Oregon 21 LLC and all its stakeholders for their collaboration and flexibility as well as all World Athletics’ partners and broadcasters who are so critical to delivering the Games and taking it into the homes of millions of fans."

Niels de Vos, Executive Director of the World Athletics Championships Oregon 22, said: "I should like to thank Oregon’s stakeholders for committing so early to the postponement, allowing maximum flexibility on dates for our friends at World Athletics, just as they have been flexible with us in ensuring our plans can remain on track despite the 12 month postponement. Oregon 22, as we must now get used to calling it, will be kickstarting a global festival of international track and field championships in the summer of 2022 that will be a fantastic experience for athletes and fans alike."

CGF President Louise Martin said: “I would like to thank the leadership of World Athletics for a hugely constructive approach to working with the CGF. Our collective objective has been to ensure that, in this unprecedented time of global upheaval in all our lives, as well as its impact on the international sports calendar, the interests of athletes are at the centre of all decision-making. We will continue to work together to create space within our schedules to provide athletes with the opportunity to safely compete to the best of their abilities at multiple world class events."

Libor Varhaník, Interim Chair of the European Championships Munich 2022, said: "On behalf of all the stakeholders of the multi-sport European Championships Munich 2022, I would like to thank World Athletics for working constructively and collaboratively with us in finding a new event date that respects the major events already scheduled in 2022. The international sports calendar has been hugely impacted as we battle this terrible global health crisis, and in discussions with World Athletics and the Commonwealth Games Federation our mutual goal has been to put the interest of our athletes at the forefront of our thoughts.

"The European Championships will continue to work closely with World Athletics and the Commonwealth Games Federation to ensure that athletes, media and sports fans are able to enjoy an amazing summer of sport across three world-class events in 2022, from Oregon to Birmingham and culminating in Munich in August on the 50th anniversary of its hosting of the Olympic Games".

(04/08/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Guy Hudson runs 50k ultra marathon in back garden for Horsham foodbank funds

A determined Henfield dad took on a 50k ultra marathon in his own back garden after the race he was meant to be running had to be postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Guy Hudson decided to do 1,000 laps of his 50m garden course instead.

He exceeded his intended distance as well as his fundraising target, which saw him raise more than £1,000 to support the Horsham District Foobank which is experiencing an unprecedented level of demand for help at this time.

Guy said: “Originally I was going to do this just for a personal challenge but it occurred to me that I may be missing a trick if I didn’t also try and raise much needed funds for a local cause.

“It was amazing how many messages of support and kindness I received during the event and as donations were coming in, my daughter was shouting out the total and reading the messages.

“As of April 6, we’ve raised £1,101.80, an amazing amount from 55 people, some of which I don’t even know!

“I am so pleased that the Horsham Community Food Bank will be able to immediately begin using these funds to share support and kindness within the community that I live.”

Guy set off at 8.30am and hit the half way mark in 2hrs38 and the marathon in 4hrs42.

As he went passed his £500 fundraising target before the end of the marathon, he decided to continue until he reached 1,000 laps, and finished the whole fundraiser in 5hrs31.

Guy’s wife, Jo, and son, Sonny, both ran 200 laps (10k) each, while daughter Kitty looked after the food, drink and high-five station.

Guy said: “To even out the wear and tear on my ankles, hips and glutes, I’d decided to change direction every 20 laps which worked out well but became a little confusing remembering in the later hours of the challenge, so I decided just to stick to running clockwise.

“At first it took a while to get into the rhythm of just plodding round and round but as time went on, so did the headphones and sun cream and i just switched off.

“One of the weirdest things was how it seemed to get easier the longer I was going and the second half was definitely somehow ‘easier’ than the first.”

The money that Guy has raised will directly support the Horsham District Foodbank during the coronavirus crisis, for which Horsham Matters has adapted their service in light of Government advice and now provides a doorstep, contact-free delivery of three days’ emergency food for those experiencing financial poverty or for complex households needing support.

(04/08/2020) ⚡AMP
by Jasmin Martin
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Kenyan marathon runner Vincent Kipsegechi Yator, handed four-year doping ban

Another Kenyan athlete has been handed a doping ban after marathon runner Vincent Kipsegechi Yator was suspended for four years following positive tests for a number of banned substances.

Yator, who represented his nation at the Commonwealth Games and African Championships in 2010, was given a four-year-ban, having provisionally been suspended after testing positive in October.

The Athletics Integrity Unit announced the sanction after the 30-year-old was hit with two charges.

The first charge was related to the admitted presence of metabolites of testosterone after a test was taken on July 7 of last year, while the second was related to the alleged use of several banned substances including exogenous testosterone, trimetazidine, prednisone, prednisolone and clomiphene. 

The Kenyan argued that the presence of prednisone and prednisolone came from medication he was taking after he was allegedly in a road accident in 2018.

Yator's positive test came immediately after he broke his marathon personal best at the Gold Coast Marathon in Australia with a time of 2 hours 9min 59sec.

At the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games, Yator finished fourth in the men's 5,000 metres behind team-mate Eliud Kipchoge - future holder of the marathon world record - who came second.

He also finished third at the Honolulu Marathon in Hawaii in December 2018.

Yator will not be eligible to compete again until October 1 2023 and has had all results from April 10 to October 1 in 2019 expunged.

He follows a string of high-profile Kenyans to test positive recently, with the most famous name of them all being Beijing 2008 Olympic 1,500m champion Asbel Kiprop.

(04/08/2020) ⚡AMP
by Michael Houston
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Paris government bans daytime outdoor exercise, Parisians can only exercise outdoors before 10:00 a.m or after 7 p.m.

On Tuesday, the Paris government banned residents from partaking in outdoor physical activity between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. This new rule follows a busy weekend in the city, where officials reported many people running and walking in parks.

The new rule, which goes into effect on Wednesday, restricts exercise to times when the streets are the quietest.

France has been under lockdown restrictions for over a month. Residents aren’t permitted to go outside of a 1K radius of their home, except for pharmacy or grocery needs. France, Italy, Spain and the U.K. are where the rules are the strictest at the moment, and also the countries whose death tolls are among the highest in the world. 

The BBC reports that Italy alone has hit over 17,000 deaths as of Tuesday.

Thankfully, Canadians are still allowed to exercise whenever they wish, as long as they’re obeying social distancing rules. Those rules include staying off of closed paths, tracks and sports fields. Canadians are also asked to remain two metres away from fellow exercisers at all times (unless they live together).

For the time being, runners should consider doing their daily activity in less populated areas like parking lots, roads or on the treadmill if they have one.

(04/08/2020) ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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Qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games is suspended from April 6 2020 until November 30 2020

World Athletics announces today the qualification period for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games is suspended effective from 6 April 2020 until 30 November 2020 included, following consultation with its Athletes' Commission, Area Presidents and Council.

During this period, results achieved at any competition will not be considered for Tokyo 2020 entry standards or world rankings, the publication of which will also be suspended.

Results will continue to be recorded for statistical purposes, including for world records, subject to the applicable conditions. But they will not be used to establish an athlete’s qualification status.

Subject to the global situation returning to normal, the qualification period will resume on 1 December 2020 and continue to the new qualification deadline in 2021 set by the International Olympic Committee (see qualification period table at the end). The total qualification period, which started in 2019, will be four months longer than it was originally.

Commenting on the decision, World Athletics President Sebastian Coe said: “I am grateful for the detailed work and feedback from our Athletes' Commission and Council who believe suspending Olympic qualification during this period gives more certainty for athlete planning and preparation and is the best way to address fairness in what is expected to be the uneven delivery of competition opportunities across the globe for athletes given the challenges of international travel and government border restrictions.”

Athletes who have already met the entry standard since the start of the qualification period in 2019 remain qualified and will be eligible for selection by their respective Member Federations and National Olympic Committees, together with the other athletes who will qualify within the extended qualification period. The end of the Olympic qualification periods are 31 May 2021 (for 50km race walk and marathon) and 29 June 2021 for all other events.

(04/08/2020) ⚡AMP
by world Athletics
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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Facilities for the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games could reportedly be used to help accommodate people with mild coronavirus symptoms

The Olympic Games was postponed last week due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has seen over one million confirmed cases since the outbreak began in China.

The Olympics has been rescheduled to July 23 to August 8 2021, with the Paralympics due to take place from August 24 to September 5 2021.

According to the Nikkei Asian Review, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government are considering using facilities which would have been used for the Olympic Games this summer to house coronavirus patients.

The Athletes’ Village is reportedly one of the venues being considered.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government are reportedly hoping to house people with mild symptoms of coronavirus.

It is claimed that this could reduce the risk of infected patients passing the coronavirus to members of their family, which would potentially spread the virus further.

Numerous facilities used for sporting events have been transformed to help countries combat coronavirus.

The Athletes' Village for the Lima 2019 Pan American Games is among the sporting venues to have opened its doors as a coronavirus medical facility.

The Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi is set to be converted into a quarantine facility.

The 60,000 seat venue was used for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 2010 Commonwealth Games, with athletics also held there. 

Lord's Cricket Ground, which hosted the archery contests during the London 2012 Olympic Games, is offering its space to local hospitals.

Part of the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York is set to be turned into a 350-bed temporary hospital, with the venue normally hosting the US Open each year in August and September. 

Facilities from Rio 2016 and the Lausanne 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games have already been put to use, while the ExCeL Centre in London, a venue for the 2012 Games, has just opened as a temporary hospital.

Tokyo Government officials are also negotiating to lease hotel buildings to secure further accommodation.

The drive follows an increase in coronavirus cases in Japan’s capital city in recent days.

A total of 89 new coronavirus cases were reported today in Tokyo, according to Kyodo News.

The number of overall cases in total has risen to over 770.

Japan has had more than 2,600 coronavirus cases in total since the outbreak started.

A total of 63 deaths have been recorded in Japan from coronavirus to date.

The rise in cases has led to Government officials encouraging the public to stay at home and refrain from making non-essential journeys.

Countries worldwide are seeking to slow the spread of the coronavirus, which has killed over 56,000 people.

(04/07/2020) ⚡AMP
by Michael Pavitt
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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After over 50 hours ultrarunner Mike Wardian runs 63 laps for 422K to win the virtual race Quarantine Backyard Ultra

The Quarantine Backyard Ultra started Saturday morning, and over 2,400 runners from more than 50 countries joined the virtual race. Runners ran 6.706K every hour for as long as they could, and over 60 hours later, only two runners remained: American Mike Wardian and Radek Brunner of the Czech Republic. Brunner missed the start of the 63rd lap and was therefore disqualified, making Wardian the winner after 422K.

With every passing lap of the Quarantine Backyard Ultra, more and more of the world’s best ultrarunners dropped out and registered DNFs. Last year at the Big’s Backyard Ultra, Maggie Guterl ran 60 laps for 402K, but a nagging back injury forced her to pull out of the race this weekend after just nine laps.

After 15 laps and 100K, Jamil Coury called it a day. Three laps later, Canadian Cal Neff dropped out. At the 100-mile mark, Courtney Dauwalter threw in the towel, along with 72-year-old Gene Dykes. Later on, after 31 laps, Canadian Dave Proctor (who helped bring the event into fruition), had to end his race due to back pain.

“It was a bit of a tough day for sure,” Coury said. “I was hoping to go as long as I could— 24 or 30 hours—but you never know with these things.” Although he didn’t get as far as he would’ve liked, Coury cut himself some slack, seeing as he’d run a marathon around a 27-metre course just four days earlier. In fact, just making it in time to race at all was an accomplishment for Coury, who slept at his office the night before and woke up only minutes before the event began.

“I was working late on Friday night, and i fell asleep at my office,” he said. “I fortunately had a pair of shoes and socks in my truck. I threw it on, started my livestream and just ran out the door.” Coury ran the first seven hours around his office’s neighbourhood, returning to finish work between laps. He eventually drove home (he made it to his treadmill with three minutes to spare before the start of the next lap) and made it to 100K before bowing out.

Dauwalter said she got to the 100-mile mark and decided that was “a solid day.”

“When I signed up I didn’t have major plans,” she said. “I wanted to make it at through the night, because that’s always special and fun to see the sunrise.” She did make it through the night, got her sunrise and retired from the race soon after.

“I think this is a really fun format,” she said. “It’s great with the camaraderie. You come back from a lap and go on the Zoom chat with the other runners.” Proctor also noted how fun it was to chat on the Zoom and YouTube feeds.

“It’s so unique,” he said. “When all the runners go off and do their thing, I get extraordinarily busy talking to everybody on YouTube.” He said that he spent around half of his time on the treadmill answering questions viewers had posted on the YouTube live video.

“I found that it was really quite rewarding. It gets your mind off of what you’re doing and it gives you something [else] to do.” While they were both still in the race, Proctor and Coury teamed up and answered questions together, adding some fun banter to the mix as well.

The two finalists had very different setups for the final laps. Brunner ran solo in his house on a treadmill while Wardian took to the streets with a support crew and several cyclists riding alongside him as he ran. The winner of multiple U.S. national titles at ultra distances, Wardian is well known in the running community. He has run the Western States 100 and the Ultra-Trail Du Mont-Blanc multiple times, and he finished 11th at the 2011 Comrades Marathon and third at the 2010 Marathon des Sables.

Brunner is more of an unknown, at least in the North American ultra community, but like Wardian, he has an impressive running resume. He has represented the Czech Republic on multiple occasions, competing at the 24-hour, 100K and trail world championships. At the 2017 24-hour worlds in Ireland, Brunner came 14th. He has also run to the podium four years in a row in the Spartathlon, a 246-kilometre ultramarathon in Greece. Although he didn’t win, after this run, Brunner’s name has become much more well known in the ultrarunning community.

(04/07/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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Pete Collins will be running half marathon on his street during lockdown

A Long Eaton dad plans to run more than 13 miles up and down his street for two charities close to his heart after the London Marathon was postponed.

Pete Collins, 35, of Charlton Avenue, has managed to get the whole neighbourhood involved, raising more than £1,200 in just a matter of days.

He hopes some residents will be cheering on the dad-of-one from their gardens or bedroom windows.

Mr Collins, a sales manager, lost his dad Stephen Collins, 58, to Motor Neurone Disease in 2008 and then his auntie just three years later to the same illness.

He has been raising money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association for more than 10 years and he planned to run the London Marathon in honour of his family on April 26.

But when it was postponed due to the coronavirus lockdown, he started to think of new ways for how he could raise money for the charity.

After a Whatsapp group was formed with around 75 percent of residents from the 45 homes on his street, he discovered some were undergoing cancer treatment.

It was then he decided to set himself the challenge to run 13.1 miles - which is a half marathon - up and down the street for both Motor Neurone Disease Association and Cancer Research.

He said: "I want to cover a minimum of half a marathon, which is about 110 to 115 lengths of the street.

"I had been training for the London Marathon since last August.

"But a week before lock down, the marathon was postponed. It knocked me, because I had been training and raised money.

"I did not know what to do but I kept running.

"Since the lock down, we have a street Whatsapp and it was being used for a range of things - 'I am going to the shops, does anyone need something?' or my 'kids are doing this craft exercise' - it was about sharing ideas.

"I thought I could do something here and engage with the street as well."

He pitched the idea to his wife first and then "put it to the street" who got behind the idea immediately.

He is now carrying out the challenge on Saturday, April 11 from around 9am.

(04/07/2020) ⚡AMP
by Matt Jarram
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

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

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41-year-old athlete Edwin Kirwa won the Innovative Covid-19 Half Marathon in Iten Kenya

41-year-old athlete Edwin Kirwa won a one-of-its-kind half marathon that was held over the weekend dubbed the CoronaRun Half Marathon.

Kirwa, who is based in Embu, clocked a commendable 1 hour, 1 minute and 52 seconds for the 21km event.

Felix Kandie (1:03:31), who was running along the Iten-Kaptagat road came in second.

“This race has enabled me to know if I was on the right training schedule towards Boston Marathon which was to take place on April 20,” observed Kandie.

The unique race concept was developed by Dutch elite athlete management company Volare sports and involved over two dozen runners, Daily Nation reported.

Kicking off countrywide at 8 a.m. on April 4, each athlete raced around their home or compound of their choice in compliance with the social distancing directive, vital in combating the spread of Covid-19.

The athletes were then required to time themselves, and via GPS system, their finishing times were clocked at the Volae sports headquarters in Voorthuizen,  Netherlands.

The women's race was won by Fancy Chemutai from Kericho who clocked 1:10:05, with Margaret Wanjiru (1:15:28) declared the 1st runners up.

Hanna Biwott-van de Veen, Athletes Representative at Volare Sports, revealed that the innovative race concept was taken up by the enthusiastic athletes the moment it was pitched to them.

"On March 21, we informed the athletes of the idea and most of them responded very positively. As a management, we wanted to stimulate the athletes to keep training and keep their focus after all races having being cancelled,

All of them were disappointed and even frustrated that the coronavirus is spoiling their chances of winning races and running personal best times," she explained.

The virtual race has been hailed by the athletes as an innovative option to beat the Covid-19 lockdown and was a welcome relief for the elite athletes who had been starved of any competition following the outbreak of the deadly virus.

World Athletics President Seb Coe recently challenged stakeholders in the athletics world by announcing that the only way forward for the sport, post-coronavirus, was innovation.

(04/07/2020) ⚡AMP
by Eddy Mwanza
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The 2020 Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Marathon cancelled due to coronavirus

The Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Marathon (KLSCM) 2020 has been cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The health and safety of runners, organizing crew, volunteers, medical personnel, officials and police personnel, remained its top priority, said the organizers in a statement released today.

“We will automatically defer all individual registrations for this year to the following year.

“We plan to have KLSCM 2021 in the second week of June, pending confirmation from the city council,” said KLSCM project director Rainer Biemans.

He said the organizers could not find an available replaceable date or venue that would be suitable for an event of the magnitude for this year’s KLSCM.

“We have therefore decided that the only possible course of action would be to cancel this year’s event.

“This was not an easy decision as we understand the significance of the amount of time and preparation that has been put into this year’s event by all parties.

“Thank you to all our runners, volunteers and fans for your support and understanding,” he said.

He said all remaining Running Clinics, the Race Entry Pack Collection(REPC) and the Active Lifestyle Expo for KLSCM 2020 have also been cancelled.

However, he said the Run For A Reason (RFAR) charity initiative would continue until May 14 and all funds raised thus far would be disbursed to the respective charity beneficiaries.

“We implore everyone who is a part of the KLSCM family, and the wider national and global community to do their respective parts in combating the coronavirus.

“We have updated our frequently-asked questions (FAQ) section on our website to address this,” he said.

Runners can also follow KLSCM Facebook and Instagram pages or subscribe to their newsletter for further updates.

KLSCM 2020 was scheduled to be held on June 13 and 14 this year.

(04/07/2020) ⚡AMP
by Rahmat Khairulrijal
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Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Marathon

Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Marathon

Standard Chartered Bank has been the title sponsor of the KL marathon since its inception in 2009 and we are honoured that our partnership will continue and as always, our aim is to make the Marathon bigger and better", said Rainer Biemans, Director of Dirigo Events and Project Director of the Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2018. The Standard Chartered KL...

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The Runner Statue-COVID-19 Mask Movement

Over the weekend, famous runner statues from Boston to Boulder donned a new look to support solidarity in slowing the coronavirus.

Runners are among the healthiest people. We prize and appreciate our good fortune, and want to encourage the same in others. We’d like everyone to be health—to follow federal guidelines, both for exercise and for disease prevention.

That was the thinking behind the Runner Statue-COVID-19 Mask movement. It began Saturday morning in Mystic, CT. By Sunday afternoon, it had spread to Cape Elizabeth, Maine, Hopkinton, Massachusetts, Central Park in New York City, Davenport, Iowa, and Boulder, Colorado.

In each location, a well-known runner statue is now wearing a low-tech protective face mask. The message: Do your part to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The Boston Marathon course has three such mask-wearing statues. In Hopkinton, “The Starter” George V. Brown wears a mask immediately adjacent to the Boston Marathon start line. Nearby, the statue of Rick and Dick Hoyt shows off their colorful masks.

Near the Marathon’s 19-mile mark in Newton, the double statue of “Old John” Kelley and his younger self shows them both wearing bandanna masks. These were fashioned by Ray Charbonneau from recycled road race t-shirts.

Born on a Morning Run

The story starts, like many, with a morning run. On Saturday morning, my wife, Cristina, and I met my brother, Gary, for an easy 3-mile jog on the banks of the meandering Mystic River in Connecticut. We had barely begun when Gary said, “You know what might be cool—to put a COVID mask on the Kelley statue.”

Mystics’s statue of John J. Kelley, 1957 Boston Marathon winner, has been a favorite local landmark for about five years now. It has a sparkling location in a tiny parklet that overlooks Mystic Pizza, made famous by the 1988 Julia Roberts movie. Before our biggest annual road races, Kelley is often attired in that’s year’s t-shirt.

Gary’s idea seemed so perfect that Cristina and I rushed home post-run to complete the mask project. To be honest, I merely “supervised,” since I have no sewing or crafting skills. Fortunately, Cristina is one of those creative types. She was even smart enough to realize that a statue mask would have to be larger than the bright masks she had already turned out for family members. Most statues are literally larger than life.

We rushed back to downtown Mystic to give Kel’ his new facemask. It was made of green shamrock material to honor his Irish roots. No one asked what we were doing, though several families strolled by and gave us an enthusiastic “thumbs up.”

Back home a few minutes later, I was ready for a nap. Then it hit me. I knew of a half-dozen other runner statues, and I knew runners who lived in those communities. What if I could get all those statues to wear covid masks?

Idea Runs Across the Country

Honestly, it took little effort on my part. A handful of friends, both new and old, “ran” with the suggestion. In Central Park and Cape Elizabeth, police quickly descended on my mask-placing co-conspirators. Moments later, having heard an explanation for the masks, the very same officers volunteered to help.

My buddy in Cape Elizabeth needed it. Marty Clark was struggling on crutches to give Joan Benoit Samuelson a facelift. Now we’ll let you in on one of Joanie’s secrets: She has no ears. (Makes you more aerodynamic.) Or maybe she just has hair over her ears. In both Cape Elizabeth and Davenport, IA, where the Bix-7 has erected statues of Samuelson and Bill Rodgers, my friends had trouble keeping the mask in place.

But Bix race director Michelle Juehring persisted until she achieved success. “I love the solidarity of this project—the way it says we’re all in this together,” she observed.

Rodgers was a big fan from the get-go. “I’m so glad to be wearing a mask next to Joan Samuelson in Davenport,” he said. “If others see us, and then they wear a mask also, we’re going to beat this disease in America.

At Central Park’s reservoir, thronged with walkers and runners, a socially-distanced crowd gathered around the Fred Lebow statue. When the onlookers realized what was going on, they broke into applause. “I was stunned,” said Scott Lange, who once worked for Lebow at New York Road Runners.

In Boulder, Rich Castro got a mask onto Frank Shorter only a couple of hours after we began with Kelley in Connecticut. Castro had already worn a mask around town on his morning errands. “I hope more people help us spread the message,” he said. “There are too many nonbelievers around.”

Shorter concurred. “Any and all expressions of solidarity are a good thing,” he said.

In Hopkinton, where the Boston Marathon begins, Tim Kilduff found a talented high schooler, Emily Karp, to make masks and corralled a Hopkinton Board of Selectmen member (John Coutinho) and photographer (Bruce MacDonald) for the effort. Today, Monday April 6, this team plans to mask 1946 Boston winner Stylianos Kyriakides at the marathon’s 1-mile mark. (Look hereto see why this requires a special effort.)

“This has been fun,” Kilduff said. “It’s a good thing. I think it might really catch on.”

(04/06/2020) ⚡AMP
by Amby Burfoot (Podium Runner)
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Kenya's Asbel Kiprop said, Someone badly wanted to bring me down, but Asbel promises to clean his name

His name Asbel means determined.

And determination is the driving force behind three-time World 1,500 meters champion Asbel Kiprop in his quest to unravel the truth behind his doping saga.

The 2008 Beijing Olympic Games 1,500m champion, who is now serving a four-year ban for a doping offence, believes getting to the bottom of the saga will enable him to leave a legacy in athletics, one that will not only expose what he terms “corrupt athletics systems” but will also enable him to defend the game and clean athletes.

After clearing his name, former African Games and Africa 1,500m champion Kiprop, hopes to compete for Kenya again, perhaps at the 2022 World Championships in Oregon, or just for a short season.

Kiprop, 30, was provisionally suspended on May 2, 2018 after he tested positive for banned performance-enhancing substance Erythropoietin (EPO) in an out-of-competition test in November 2017.

Kiprop, the 2007 World Under-20 Cross Country champion, maintained his innocence but he was eventually found guilty of using EPO and was handed a four-year doping ban in April last year.

Kiprop will be eligible to compete by February 2022.

“I strongly believe there was an error somewhere that World Athletics and Athletes Integrity Unit (AIU) must really still look at and rectify. I won’t even be looking at compensation but to clear my name,” Kiprop told Grace Msalame in an NTV lifestyle show ‘Unscripted.’

“Even if I finish the ban, I will not relent in my quest to find the truth. I will not allow the truth to die even if it will take me a decade or more. I will fight to clear my name. I also don’t want to go down on record as being the person who ruined Kenya’s rich athletics heritage,” said Kiprop, who said that he is back in training read to make a return to athletics, his beloved sport.

Kiprop, who has hinted at hiring a European lawyer who is also a known scientist to pursue his case to the end, said he would like to hang his spikes honorably.

“I never planned to end my athletics career this way, and that is why I am so determined,” said Kiprop, who is now based at Police Training College, Kiganjo. “I know it will be hard for me to return strongly to the level where I was, but I have a point to prove since I still have the energy to run.”

Kiprop said he didn’t have enough money to appeal his four-year ban through his former lawyer Katwa Kigen.

“By the time I was ready to appeal my ban, AIU told me I was time-barred and that is why I believe there is hope with my new scientist lawyer,” the lanky athlete said.

But who would have loved to bring Kiprop down and end his illustrious athletics career?

Kiprop believes that from the way AIU handled his case, he is the victim of a complicated web. He believes someone wanted to fix him after he had defended his Rosa and Associati management from doping allegations back in 2014.

(04/06/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ayumba Ayodi
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Krishnan Padmakumar from India, runs full marathon inside his house

The 21-day lockdown amid coronavirus pandemic, people are driving crazy but they are somehow finding hacks to keep themselves active and fit. However, 46-year-old- Krishnan Padmakumar has gone to the next level by running a full marathon inside his house. Krishnan clocked an impressive 4 hours and 26 minutes to cover 42.2km, probably a first-of-its-kind feat in the country.

An engineer by profession and an avid runner, Krishnan is an active member of ITEN runners club, a group of city-based runners. The Thiruvananthapuram resident has in the past run many marathons with the latest being the Berlin Marathon. It was the idleness amid the nationwide lockdown that prompted him to attempt a marathon within the four walls of his house at Kowdiar.

In an interview with Times of India, he said “On a normal week, I run around 60-80km and also cycle in between. The shutdown made me stay away from my regular activity, that’s when I decided to do full marathon inside my house. It was also a way to overcome the boredom. A few of my friends staying abroad have also done similar run.” He has also video recorded the ‘apartment marathon’ partly and logged the timings on a fitness app.

He started the marathon by 4:15am on March 31, and he looped the run through the corridor, living room and dining area of his house and after around 1,200 loops of 35 meter each, he managed to complete the marathon by 8:40am. 

“By the time I woke up around 5am, he was already running. He had told me the previous night that he would be finishing the run which he could not, in the previous attempts. I supported him by giving him water and cheered him,” said his wife Sreedevi Gopalakrishnan.

While Krishnan was about to reach his target, Ambika, his 11-year-old daughter, made a handcrafted medal for him, with the slogan ‘Stay home, Stay safe’ on it. His son Aditya, who couldn’t witness the achievement, woke up with amusement knowing that his father had completed a full marathon inside the house.

(04/06/2020) ⚡AMP
by Md Imtiaz
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Nelle Fox overcomes lyme disease, will be running the Boston Marathon

31-year-old Bridgewater resident Nelle Fox is getting ready to run in the Boston Marathon. "I remember being on the treadmill at the gym in December and I was seeing something about the coronavirus," Fox said. "I mentioned it to one of my training friends and she was like, 'What's that? Is that like a beer, you get it from drinking a beer?' And i mean, just like, we didn't think anything of it."

Because of the coronavirus, the Boston Marathon will be run in September.

"By the time that they had postponed it for me, that wasn't even a priority anymore," Fox said. "It was how can I protect my health? Because I am immunocompromised."

Fox is in remission from lyme disease, which she was diagnosed with in 2017.

"In my running training and life in general I was just exhausted," Fox said.

2017 was an eventful year for Fox. She met her husband Mike Fox on New Year's day. That fall, Nelle and Mike started Excel Rocktown, a running, coaching and consultation service that they're still offering today.

"It was such a success, so many people and friends came to work out with us," Mike said. "I was like man we should probably do this on a regular basis."

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Foxes are using their platform to help runners keep running.

"Motivation is a struggle for almost every runner right now and even though we can't get together in a group," Mike said. "Go run there [are] virtual ways for us to see what we're each doing and we have to utilize those tools right now to help each other stay motivated to get out the door."

And Nelle is staying motivated, still focused on the Boston Marathon.

"It's gonna be an intense feeling," Nelle said. "I think I'll probably cry when I cross that finish line."

 

(04/06/2020) ⚡AMP
by Alex Flum
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

The 124th Boston Marathon originally scheduled for April 20, is now postponed to September 14 due to the coronavirus outbreak, 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...

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When the coronavirus outbreak forced organizers to cancel marathons in the Japanese city of Nagoya, they turned to tech to ease the disappointment, offering runners the chance to race alone

The Nagoya Women's Marathon and Nagoya City marathon were scheduled for March 8 and expected to attract some 20,000 runners -- a potential health hazard during a global pandemic.

So instead of having racers run together, organizers have offered up two apps to allow participants to complete the marathons alone, tracked online.

"It's the first time the annual marathon events were cancelled, and it's the first time we launched apps to replace the real ones," one of the organizers of the Nagoya city marathon told AFP.

Instead of running the original route, registered participants can run wherever they like -- keeping an appropriate social distance -- and the apps measure and verify their performance.

When the coronavirus outbreak forced organizers to cancel marathons in the Japanese city of Nagoya, they turned to tech to ease the disappointment, offering runners the chance to race alone.

The Nagoya Women's Marathon and Nagoya City marathon were scheduled for March 8 and expected to attract some 20,000 runners -- a potential health hazard during a global pandemic.

So instead of having racers run together, organizers have offered up two apps to allow participants to complete the marathons alone, tracked online.

"It's the first time the annual marathon events were cancelled, and it's the first time we launched apps to replace the real ones," one of the organizers of the Nagoya city marathon told AFP.

Instead of running the original route, registered participants can run wherever they like -- keeping an appropriate social distance -- and the apps measure and verify their performance.

There are two apps -- one for those who want to finish the marathon in one go and another for those who want to complete it by running over several days.

Runners can complete the marathons between March 8 and May 31, the official race website says.

The organizers said on their website that they wanted to respond to the spirit shown by those who trained for the now-cancelled races. 

But they "don't recommend running in a big group," the official warned.

Those who are registered for the women's event and complete the marathon via the app will receive a T-shirt and a necklace as originally promised for finishers.

The coronavirus has wreaked havoc on the international sporting calendar, with the Tokyo marathon among the early fixtures to be affected.

Organizers cancelled the amateur portion of the race scheduled for March 1, affecting around 38,000 runners, who were not offered a refund.

They will, however, be eligible for a spot in 2021's marathon.

The pandemic has also forced the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics to next year.

(04/06/2020) ⚡AMP
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A Guide To Trail Etiquette In The Age Of Coronavirus-As people pack onto trails, etiquette matters now more than ever.

As more and more people are looking outside for exercise and recreation, trails across the country are becoming increasingly crowded. Trails near Los Angeles, Chicago and the Bay Area have closed in response to crowds so large that social distancing becomes all but impossible.

Other governments, like ones close to our home office in Colorado, have issued warnings that if trail users continue to neglect the rules of the off-road, additional trails will be closed. In an effort to stem the tide of bad trail manners and keep trail access open, trail runners are urging one another to be polite and follow directions.

Remember that running is a privilege and should be treated as such, and that environmental considerations are as important as ever. Whether you’re a trail veteran or are a first-timer in need of a primer, here’s a guide to trail etiquette and stewardship in the age of coronavirus.

Safety First

The coronavirus pandemic is an issue of life and death for many people, and your behavior should reflect that, on and off the trail. Make sure you’re keeping your trail runs chill and avoid as much risk as possible. Now is not the time to go for a technical, off-the-map ridge scramble or sustain an injury. Healthcare systems are already stretched in many areas, and trail runners should not add to that burden. Stick to runs that are within your regular routine.

Follow all CDC social-distancing guidelines, and do not run in groups. If you see people not complying with social distancing, kindly explain what it is, and that continued trail use depends on everyone doing their best to respect those guidelines. It’s possible that people not complying are simply unaware and could be new trail users, so practice compassion and kindness.

“If you need to recreate and you love our outdoors do it in communities close to your home,” said Colorado Governor Jared Polis in response to his stay at home order. “This pandemic is not a vacation.”

Don’t go out if you feel sick or have been in contact with those who have. Stay as close to home as possible, because the farther you travel, the more potential you have to spread the virus.

“If you need to recreate and you love our outdoors do it in communities close to your home,” said Colorado Governor Jared Polis in response to his stay at home order. “This pandemic is not a vacation.”

Know Before You Go

Plan ahead, even if you’re going to an area you’ve run in 100 times. Make sure your activity complies with local guidance, such as shelter in place or lockdown orders, and that it’s close enough you can get there with minimal travel. Check your local public land management’s website to be sure the trails are open, and what closures might be in place. If parks are closed, don’t go. Be sure that trail conditions are good, as running on muddy trails can cause erosion.

Make sure that your workout plans fit the time and terrain you’re aiming for, and don’t try to throw down a sick tempo run uphill through prime-time Boulder trail traffic. Avoid crowded trailheads, and use this as an opportunity to spread out to less popular spaces.

Pack It Out

Even if your local parks and trailheads are open, be aware that services might be limited due to coronavirus. You might need to use the bathroom ahead of time, and be prepared to pack out trash. At all times, comply with Leave No Trace principles.

Right Of Way

As more people take to the trails, it’s key that runners stay aware of their surroundings. If you listen to music, leave one ear open or the volume low enough that you can hear what’s happening around you. Politely give people warning if you’re going to pass them, and let them know which side you’ll be passing on.

Mountain bikers should yield to all pedestrians, and pedestrians should yield to equestrians (them’s the rules!). Typically, hikers should yield to trail runners and downhill traffic should typically yield to uphill traffic (the thinking here is that it’s less cumbersome to stop moving downhill than it is to pause while you’re hustling up).

No Touching

On singletrack, it can be tough to give everyone the six feet of social distance that they need, so make sure you give people plenty of warning that you need to pass them. If you’re being passed on a slope, move the uphill side of the trail to avoid stepping on the “critical edge,” which is the downhill part of the trail that’s prone to erosion and can narrow over time.

Since most singletrack is less than six feet wide, you might have to step off the trail slightly to allow others to pass (avoid running off-trail, as that will make it harder to prevent environmental damage than simply stepping off) and avoid stepping on delicate plants or soil. Stable rocks, if you can find them, are a safe bet. If you feel that trails are too crowded to pass safely, consider running at a different time or in a different place.

Remember, you can’t catch the coronavirus from a smile, and it’s important to be friendly and wave as we share the trails. We’re in this together, let’s support each other out on the trails.

It might feel like there’s suddenly a lot more folks occupying your home turf, but it bears remembering that we are the crowds. Being a runner, or a frequent trail user does not give you any additional privilege compared to a first-time user. Rather, it gives you the tools and responsibility to practice good communication and trail stewardship. Trails are shared spaces, and everyone should feel welcome for safe, outdoor activity.

Remember, you can’t catch the coronavirus from a smile, and it’s important to be friendly and wave as we share the trails. We’re in this together, let’s support each other out on the trails.

(04/05/2020) ⚡AMP
by Trail Runner Magazine
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Javelin star turned footballer James Campbell to run marathon in six-metre back garden to raise money for NHS

Brimscombe & Thrupp forward James Campbell will spend his 32nd birthday running the equivalent of a marathon to raise money for the NHS.

And it will all be done without breaking social distancing regulations because he will be running the 26.2 miles in the back garden of his Up Hatherley home in Cheltenham, which is around six metres in length.

Campbell, a former world class javelin thrower who was also on the books of Cheltenham Town as a youngster, plans to live stream his gruelling endeavour, which will take place on Wednesday, April 1.

He posted this tweet on Monday, vowing to cover the full marathon distance if he received 10,000 retweets, which did not take long to achieve and it has now been retweeted nearly 20,000 times:

"I tweeted that I'd run a marathon in my six metre long garden if I got 10,000 retweets and it got 10,000 in a very short period of time, so thanks to everyone that's retweeted and the support has been absolutely incredible," Campbell said.

"I am not sure of the start time yet, but it's on April 1, which is also my birthday.

(04/05/2020) ⚡AMP
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Manangoi asks colleagues not to give up, keep training

Former 1,500m world champion Elijah Manangoi said he has accepted the current situation imposed on the world to fight the novel coronavirus.

However, he has called on fellow athletes and the sports world to maintain their health and fitness in order to return stronger whenever the situation improves and the medical assurance for all is given.

A somber mood has swept the sports world in Kenya, which has recorded three deaths and 110 cases of positive test to coronavirus. Training camps have been closed and athletes urged to train on their own.

Manangoi, who has recovered from a knee injury that denied him the chance to defend his title in Doha World Championships last year, said he was ready for the 2020 season when the virus broke.

"I was ready to test myself at the Diamond League first meeting of the season in Doha, Qatar on April 17. I wanted to use it as part of my preparation for the Tokyo Olympic Games. But it was never to be. Like many other events, it was postponed and we have no idea when to return to action," Manangoi said in Nairobi on Wednesday.

Now, Manangoi is calling on his peer runners to accept the situation and plan well for the start of the new season when the global world will open up for sport again.

"I have opted to look at the cancellation and postponement in sports activities with hope so as not to get depressed further. That is what is helping me continue with training."

Already Athletics Kenya president Jack Tuwei has warned his charges to be on the watch and not to add on weight as the sports world will have a hive of activities once it's opened.

With a crowded calendar, athletes will be forced to choose which events to run as many will be clogged.

There will be back-to-back World Athletics Championships in 2022 and 2023, Olympics in 2021, World Indoor Games in Nanjing in 2021 and World Cross Country Championships. This is in addition to one-day meetings spread across the globe.

"This is an unfortunate turn of events. It has affected the preparation calendar for these global events which is the most important time for any athlete. I call for athletes to keep fit and engage their coaches to train online," Tuwei said.

In addition to the global championships, continental and local events, city marathons and Diamond Leagues have also been affected. "We will veto some events, but athletes will have to be careful not to burn out," Tuwei added.

(04/05/2020) ⚡AMP
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Will virus translate into a running boom?

 The cancellation of Grandma’s Marathon earlier this week left many runners in the region in despair, especially those who were training for their only long-distance race.

However, rules implemented during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic about social distancing and staying at home ironically might be creating a running boom not seen since the 1970s and ’80s.

Outdoor exercise — as long as not done in groups or in closer proximity than 6 feet — is allowed, and it appears, anecdotally at least, that running is on the upswing in Duluth, already a run-happy community.

“I have never seen so many people out and about on a daily basis, families, single people, couples, people walking their dog,” longtime runner Jarrow Wahman said. “Any which way you turn, you can see people out. People do need to get out, and they are.”

Likewise, Katie McGee, another veteran distance runner, says she has seen many people out taking advantage of the temperate Duluth spring.

“That really has been a saving grace for me, that I can go out and get fresh air and get sunshine, get time for myself to think,” McGee said. “This could be the beginning of a new running boom, people are saying, because you can’t do group sports or go to the gym.”

Others are more hesitant to take to the roadways.

Kelly Erickson, who has been part of a Duluth running group for a number of years, agrees that the number of runners has likely grown but says their training regimen will be altered dramatically by race cancellations.

Few have had their training interrupted as dramatically as Erickson, who dropped out of Grandma’s three weeks before it officially was called off Tuesday, March 31. She claims long-distance running lowers one’s immunity, something she wasn’t comfortable risking.

“Because of coronavirus, I wanted to drop out and stay healthy.” said Erickson, who runs a small payroll processing company in Duluth. “I had to put my family and business first before I could consider continuing to train.”

Count Jessica Hehir as another runner who has been cautious during this pandemic.

The Duluth resident began running 13 years ago and has competed in a handful of Grandma’s marathons despite being diagnosed with asthma six years ago.

But that breathing issue has her concerned that she is more at-risk for the COVID-19 disease, which attacks the respiratory system.

“I’ve been concerned about having a compromised immune system right now so I have been taking it easy and backing off,” said Hehir, who has reduced her training sessions to between 3-5 miles. “Part of me was relieved that (Grandma’s) was canceled because it takes that pressure off. Once you sign up for a race, no one wants to be the one who quits.”

The higher number of runners out on the roads and trails also concerns Hehir.

“That does make me nervous,” she said. “I wouldn’t want to take a run by where I live near UMD because there’s so many people out. I wouldn’t want to breathe in their exhaust, so to speak. I usually run early in the morning so I feel safe about that.”

McGee, also is an online coach for McMillan Running. Some of her clients live in coronavirus hot spots.

“I have athletes all over the country and the world, and we’re all saying the same thing,” McGee said. “In New York City, I have some athletes waking up at 4 a.m. to run so they can get out before anyone else is out. That’s saving them from despairing about everything going on.”

From the Boston Marathon to the Summer Olympics, races are being canceled or postponed all over the world. Grandma’s, which had been set for June 20, was only the latest and certainly not the last.

“I know so many runners who have had other races canceled and have been looking forward to Grandma’s as a hopeful bright spot in this whole COVID deal,” McGee said. “Maybe by (the time) Grandma’s (was scheduled) we can all resume doing what we love.”

(04/05/2020) ⚡AMP
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Good luck to all of you trying to figure out what to do until we can go back to running as always

I’VE LOST WEIGHT! Probably a half dozen pounds since January, when we departed our Indiana home aimed at our winter hang-out in Florida. Normally, weight loss would be reason to rejoice. Drop a half dozen pounds, and you might be able to drop a half dozen minutes from your marathon time.

But that assumes the pounds lost are fat, the more of which you carry, the slower you run. I feared that the pounds lost was muscle mass. Losing muscle very definitely will not make you a faster runner.

The reasons for the weight loss were simple. Stress surrounding The coronaVirus had sent my wife Rose and I into a deep funk. We lost our appetites. We lost energy. We lost sleep.

But more the problem, we lost use of The Lodge & Club, the ocean-front hotel property owned by Gate Petroleum, sponsor of the Gate River Run. Normally, we spend a lot of time at The Lodge’s fitness center, which boasts a heated outdoor pool. Rose works out daily with an aquarobics group that includes many of our best friends. I start in the gym with a routine of a half dozen machine exercises: upper-body, lower-body, core. Then I head to the pool to both run in chest-deep water and swim laps. I finish soaking in the whirlpool.

That’s my morning workout. Afternoons, I go for a short bike ride to a favorite coffee shop. Weekends, Rose skips the pool and joins me for a long bike ride to a Panera for coffee and bearclaws.

But all that was stolen from me when early in March The Lodge closed its gym, its pool and even access to the beach. Guests quickly checked out. Security guards roamed the property. We substituted activities with little enthusiasm. Rose and I walked from our condo to a nearby marsh and stared at turtles. I continued short bike rides in the afternoon but failed to stop for coffee. Even those minimalist “work-outs” seemed to drain all the energy we possessed. And the weight loss began and with it my hard-earned fitness.

Earlier this week, Rose and I flew home to Indiana. While we have many friends in Florida, we have family in Indiana, most precisely our first son Kevin and his wife Camille. Add to that several grandkids living and working in Chicago. If something happened, they would care for us.

But, as in Florida, change has been forced on my Indiana fitness routine. In the World That Was, Rose and I would bike frequently to a coffee shop. On the way home, I would stop at a community center featuring a gym. Not as plush as The Lodge in Florida, but strength machines are strength machines. I haven’t checked, but I suspect the gym has closed. And the coffee shop.

People argue about the point when we begin to lose fitness if we stop training. I don’t want to suggest a number, but in my case I have begun to halt the decline.

The first day after arriving home, I went for a short walk. And the day after that a slightly longer walk. And the third day, still more. I am functioning like a beginning runner, a few steps at a time. A little more each day.

In the basement, I have a Health Rider, a machine that allows me to exercise my upper and lower body. Winters, Rose and I store our bikes at The Bike Stop, which caters to cyclists. I need to call and have the bikes delivered. Mostly, I need a fitness routine, one that I can follow with some regularity until the World is no longer crazy. Good luck to all of you trying to figure out what to do until we can go back to running as always.

(04/04/2020) ⚡AMP
by Hal Higdon
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University of Oregon first ever sub four minute miler passed away on March 31

SADDENED to report the passing of the University of Oregon's very first ever sub 4:00 miler...in fact, the first man to ever break that mythical barrier on U.S. soil.

Australian native and Olympic 800 meter man, Jim Bailey, had until recently, resided in Bellingham, Washington. He was in failing health, and sadly, left us on March 31st at age 92.

Bailey had won the 1955 NCAA one mile title over his fellow Duck, Bill Dellinger, but was largely considered "an 880 man with a bum knee". On May 5, 1956 (just more than a year prior to Don Bowden becoming the first American sub four minute man) a special race was held in front of 40,000 spectators at the USC UCLA dual meet.

You see, it was an Olympic year (Melbourne Games) and this was to be a tune up race for the second ever sub 4 man and Aussie legend, John Landy...it was being televised immediately after the Kentucky Derby so Americans could see Landy attempt a barrier breaking first on US soil.

Bailey, the former Sydney rugby player, was in the race as 'mere filler'...his best at the time was in the 4:05 vicinity...well, long story short on the last lap Bailey pulls alongside Landy, pats him on the back and said "let's go John"...Landy tried to make a move but couldn't respond, and Bailey eeks out the surprise win, 3:58.6 to 3:58.7... thereby running the very first EVER sub 4:00 in the land of opportunity.

(04/04/2020) ⚡AMP
by Mike Fanelli
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Under Armour brand is manufacturing face masks for hospital workers amid Coronavirus

Under Armour is the latest brand to pivot production to assist in the fight against novel coronavirus.

The Baltimore-based footwear and apparel brand announced on March 31 it plans to manufacture and distribute more than 500,000 fabric face masks while assembling and distributing 50,000 specially equipped fanny packs to support the 28,000 healthcare providers and staff that comprise the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS).

“This is an unprecedented time. Companies with the ability to innovate and provide resources to make a difference are needed now more than ever,” Under Armour CEO Patrik Frisk said in an e-mail. “Our partners at the University of Maryland Medical System and other medical organizations on the frontlines of this pandemic are facing a new kind of challenge. We hope to deploy our heritage in helping make athletes better—as well as our legacy of local community support—in this new way to help the heroic healthcare workers as they make the lives of all better every day.”

The United States is currently facing a face mask shortage as novel coronavirus continues to sweep through the nation; as of 9:20 a.m. March 31 there are more than 161,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 3,000 deaths.

With numbers rising and the demand for medical equipment also increasing, various sports companies have stepped up to contribute during these unprecedented times.

Fanatics announced on March 26 it is partnering with Major League Baseball to support emergency personnel in the fight against novel coronavirus by making hospital face masks and gowns out of the same material used to make baseball jerseys. Nike announced on March 25 it is prototyping personal protective equipment including face shields with guidance from healthcare workers at Oregon Health & Science University. New Balance is producing prototypes for face masks out of its manufacturing facility in Lawrence, Massachusetts, with the hopes to scale production throughout its other New England factories soon.

Under Armour designed a one-piece face mask that doesn’t require sewing. The mask’s origami-style folds mold the fabric into the desired mask shape. Under Amour senior vice-president of advanced material and manufacturing innovation Randy Harward estimates the company can generate as many as 100,000 masks per week moving forward utilizing its knife cutter which can carve nearly 100 pieces of fabric at once.

The brand is not only helping supply healthcare providers and staff at UMMS, it has begun providing face masks to LifeBridge, a regional health care organization based in Baltimore, and is in discussion with Johns Hopkins Medicine, MedStar and other local medical institutions regarding supplies.

Under Armour, which is exploring 3-D printing N95 and N80 masks for medical professionals, has already delivered 1,300 face shields to UMMS.

“Ensuring the health and safety of our medical staff and patients is our first priority,” said Dr. Mohan Suntha, president and CEO of University of Maryland Medical System. “The national shortage of personal protective equipment has put our hospitals—and every other hospital in the country—under intense pressure to manage supplies while delivering care in a setting that is safe for our patients and employees.

(04/04/2020) ⚡AMP
by Michael LoRé
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Veteran runner Jeff Johnston reaches another marathon milestone, completes 200th race, has no plans to stop

Jeff Johnston isn’t stopping at 200 marathons. He’s got many more running goals, including running a marathon on all seven continents. The 65-year-old from Deer Park said he thinks he may even attempt to reach 300 marathons before his running days are through.

Johnston’s marathon plans are on hold because of the coronavirus. He said three of his upcoming races have already been postponed or canceled because of the pandemic. He said he’s hoping the situation clears by this fall. He has plans to run marathons in Ireland and South America as he begins work toward his goal of completing races on all seven continents.

He already has been accepted to run in a marathon at Antarctica in 2022. Johnston explained that there is one marathon run in Antarctica each year. Runners take a ship from the southern tip of South America for a four-day crossing to Antarctica. The marathon is run in two groups, with one half of the runners competing the first day and the second half running the race the second day. Johnston said last year’s race was run in record warmth at 32 degrees, while many of the races have been run in far colder conditions.

Johnston has a long list of running achievements. He ran a marathon in every state, and then he did it again. It may even happen a third time. He’s run a sub-four hour marathon in every state, and he needs to do it in nine more states to complete his second round of sub-four hour races. He runs 10-12 marathons per year and said he plans to continue that schedule as long as he is physically capable to maintain it.

Johnston ran his first marathon in 1983 when he ran in Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth. He has run in 24 straight Grandma’s races. It was announced a few days ago that this year’s Grandma’s race is canceled, so he’s hoping to resume his streak there next year.

He didn’t run his second marathon until 10 years later, when he returned to run at Grandma’s. Johnston didn't run at New Richmond High School, where he graduated in 1972. His only scholastic sport was golf. His friend, Jim Groth, talked him into running Grandma's Marathon in 1983. His running shoes then got thrown to the back of the closet until 1992 when he began seriously looking at running. That led him to resuming marathoning the following year.

The pace that Johnston is completing marathons is truly impressive. He is averaging six years to complete another 50 marathons as he steadily saw his total climb from 100 to 200. He completed his 50th marathon in a race in Dallas in 2004 and he ran his 100th marathon when he completed Grandma’s in 2008. His 150th marathon was run in Anchorage, Alaska in 2014.

Johnston ran his first marathon in 1983 when he ran in Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth. He has run in 24 straight Grandma’s races. It was announced a few days ago that this year’s Grandma’s race is canceled, so he’s hoping to resume his streak there next year.

He didn’t run his second marathon until 10 years later, when he returned to run at Grandma’s. Johnston didn't run at New Richmond High School, where he graduated in 1972. His only scholastic sport was golf. His friend, Jim Groth, talked him into running Grandma's Marathon in 1983. His running shoes then got thrown to the back of the closet until 1992 when he began seriously looking at running. That led him to resuming marathoning the following year.

The pace that Johnston is completing marathons is truly impressive. He is averaging six years to complete another 50 marathons as he steadily saw his total climb from 100 to 200. He completed his 50th marathon in a race in Dallas in 2004 and he ran his 100th marathon when he completed Grandma’s in 2008. His 150th marathon was run in Anchorage, Alaska in 2014.

Johnston said Grandma’s and the Boston Marathon are his two favorite races.

(04/04/2020) ⚡AMP
by David M. Newman
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Former world Marathon record holder and policeman Wilson Kipsang arrested

Former world record holder Wilson Kipsang, an Elgeyo Marakwet Member of County Assembly (MCA), a top athlete and several other revelers have this evening been arrested for defying the curfew.

Kapchemutwa Ward Representative Ambrose Kiplagat, also known as Roho Juu, and former world record holder Wilson Kipsang were bundled into police vehicles after they were found drinking alcohol in a popular club in Iten town.

The duo were among nearly 20 people who had locked themselves inside the club to drink, against orders requiring Kenyans not to get out of their homes after 7pm in the evening.

Police said the visibly intoxicated revelers dramatically attempted to resist arrest forcing the officers who were on patrol to seek for reinforcement.

Elgeyo Marakwet Police Commander John Mwinzi said the suspects were arrested following a tip-off from members of the public.

"Our officers found the MCA, the athlete and other revelers hiding in a popular club in Iten. These are high profile individuals who should be helping us in enforcement of the curfew," Mr Mwinzi told Standard Digital.

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He added: "We are asking members of the public to stop abusing our reluctance to use full force during the enforcement of the curfew."

Kipsang was last December involved in a road accident that extensively wrecked his car in what was suspected to be a case of drunken driving.

(04/04/2020) ⚡AMP
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For Tel Aviv’s Alley Runners, success is measured both on and off the track

Nine years ago, Jamal Abdelmaji Eisa Mohammed spent three days crossing the Sinai Desert on foot from Egypt to Israel, the tail end of a treacherous journey from his home in Sudan’s war-ravaged Darfur region. Since then, he’s worked his way onto a doorstep that could lead him to next year’s Tokyo Olympic Games.

That odyssey is largely due to the Alley Runners, an athletics club in Tel Aviv which was founded specifically to help people much like Mohammed.

“I started running with them, and I'm running at the World Championships,” Mohammed said a year ago when he made his Athlete Refugee Team debut at the World Cross Country Championships. He later represented the squad at the World Athletics Championships in Doha. “This club means a lot to me, they are like my family. They've done everything to help make my dream come true.”

Club origins? A friendly bet

And it all began as a bet. The formation of the club, that is, according to one of its three founders, Shirith Kasher. She and a friend, both runners, were discussing youth participation in sport and a question arose: why weren’t young girls from Israel’s Ethiopian immigrant community participating in athletics? Her friend said the interest wasn’t there; Kasher insisted it was opportunity that didn’t exist.

Eager to prove her point, she went in search of a team to establish a club that would specifically target young people in Tel Aviv’s disadvantaged communities. A few months later she crossed paths with Rotem Genosar, a high school civics teacher and avid basketball player, and Yuval Carmi, a runner and coach.

“So we established the team because we thought it was a nice opportunity to give underprivileged kids the opportunity to practice athletics,” Kasher says. “It was small at first - we didn’t know that it was going to grow like it has.”

At first they targeted girls from Tel Aviv’s Ethiopian community, but interest in the club forced a quick expansion in focus.

“That lasted for two months because boys were coming as well. So, of course we also gave the boys a chance,” Kasher says. “We knew then we had something good in our hands because we saw and knew that there were kids, who nobody really looks to in Israel, that were pretty talented and very serious.”

That was in 2012. Just over nine years later, the membership has mushroomed from those 40 south Tel Aviv teenagers to 90 today, with members ranging in age from 10 to 40. Most are Ethiopian Jews who immigrated to Israel in recent years but about 20 percent of the club is made up of refugees and asylum seekers, mostly from Eritrea and Darfur.

Success came quickly.

Since its founding, more than a dozen athletes have gone on to represent Israel in regional and European competitions.

Most recently, in 2019, Mohammed represented the Athlete Refugee Team at two World Athletics championships and Adisu Guadia, who is now 17, raced to 3000m gold at the European Youth Olympic Festival in Baku in July and capped the season with a victory in the U19 race at the Balkan Cross Country Championships in November. The U20 men's squad finished third at the European Club Cross Country Championships in February, a U18 boys team won the Israeli national cross country title and a U16 girls squad was second at the national U16 Athletics League championships.

Yet despite those successes, there are no tryouts. “If you are serious and come to practice, you have a place in our team,” Carmi says.

Educational component is key

But Genosar is also quick to point out that success on the track is only part of the larger driving force behind the Alley Runners. Another is an educational component that’s been there from the start, and it too is growing. Three years ago the club obtained the use of a small house that is used specifically as a home-like learning centre where members regularly meet to study English, math and humanities.

“We are welcoming everybody into the club but we know that only a few can or will become professional athletes,” he says. “So for us other aspects are very important - the social and educational aspects. The learning centre is a place where people come to study and fulfill their academic aspirations. And we can better follow their achievements in school.” The most serious athletes, he says, have also become much more serious in the classroom.

Involvement in the club has been especially helpful to immigrants trying to assimilate and grow into their new environments.

“We can see the change,” Genosar says. “Immigrants and asylum seekers who came to Israel with almost nothing, and because of the team and because of the education, managed to move themselves forward very quickly. In just five or six years they are in a very different situation in their lives.”

Several athletes who joined the club in its early years are now enrolled in universities, an aspect that Genosar, as an educator, is especially proud of.

“We’re very proud to have university students from this disadvantaged or underprivileged segment of society, where it’s very hard to go to university. So we hope to develop that more.”

One way is through a scholarship programme they’re working to establish that will provide a route to university that allows student-athletes to continue training without having to work, something akin to the NCAA system in the US minus the team model. "There is nothing in Israel like that," Kasher says, adding that it’s already borne fruit with their first scholarship student this year.

Next up - getting through lockdown

What’s next? Trying to carry on under coronavirus lockdown, much like the rest of the world.

Restrictions on movement in Israel began about three weeks ago, confining people to areas 100 metres or less from their homes. Training is nonetheless continuing.

“We're doing things on an individual level,” Carmi says, “where the person trains either by himself or with a friend or two, usually very, very early in the morning, near their house. It's difficult controlling everyone, but it's possible.

“The bigger problem is the mental issue - there is no certain goal right now. It’s training for the unknown.”

Kasher said one thing she’d like to do moving forward is to share their experience with communities in other parts of the world.

“We'd love to offer our knowledge and experience to other communities who would be interested in starting similar clubs. We’d love, for example, to have an Alley Runners-Berlin.”

Are you listening, Berlin?

(04/04/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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On Thursday the City of Toronto implemented a fine of up to $5000 for anyone running or walking and not staying at least two meters apart

On Thursday afternoon, the City of Toronto announced their newest COVID-19 related by law: requiring people in parks and public squares to remain two meters apart (if they don’t live together). It will be in effect for at least the next 30 days and could result in a fine of up to $5,000. The by law and related fine is a result of the growing number of hot spots in the city where people are congregating. Those spots include Sunnybrook Park, Humber Bay Park and Canoe Landing, which are all frequented by runners.

Beyond the mentioned hot spots, Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, another popular Toronto running location, was closed to the public on Thursday. CTV News spoke with Josh Matlow, city councilor, who said, “The Mount Pleasant Cemetery, for those of us who live in midtown and people across the city, is a place where we can escape the big city. But far too many people have not been adhering to social distancing.”

The City of Hamilton, as of Friday morning, has closed Bayfront Park for the same reason. This follows last week’s closure of Hamilton-to-Brantford Rail Trail, the Dofasco 2000 Trail and the Lafarge 2000 Trail–all popular running spots.

All tracks in Ontario closed.-  As of this week, the province has closed all outdoor recreation amenities, which includes tracks and sports fields. This is being enforced with officers patrolling the grounds of high school, university and community tracks.

All tracks in Ontario closed.- As of this week, the province has closed all outdoor recreation amenities, which includes tracks and sports fields. This is being enforced with officers patrolling the grounds of high school, university and community tracks.

British Columbia has made a similar announcement.- Last week B.C. also issued a similar notice, closing the province’s recreation facilities and trails.

Where can you run?.- With these closures, runners are encouraged to hit the treadmill if they have one, run in less-popular areas, and try their best to workout at home. While it’s very possible to maintain a two meter distance from another person while running, it’s hard to do so in a crowded area. If you’re finding it hard to keep your distance on your usual running route, try a new one for the time being.

The roads are the best bet for getting mileage in at the moment. Thankfully, traffic is minimal right now, so heading out (especially early in the morning) is a good way to get a solo run done.

(04/03/2020) ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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Grand Slam-winning former Wales rugby captain Ryan Jones will run a marathon in his garden on Saturday

He is supporting a campaign to raise extra resources for the Swansea Bay University LHB charitable fund during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Newport-born Jones, 39, is currently the Welsh Rugby Union's performance director.

The ex-Ospreys forward has already substantially surpassed the £500 target on his Just Giving page.

Explaining his plans, Jones said: "Like many I am confined to my home and as this situation plays out before me, I am just amazed at the strength of the human spirit and the generosity of so many.

"Those giving of their time not because it's a job but because they care, those putting the risk to their own health to one side because they care.

"You truly are an inspiration and I just wanted to try and support you."

He estimates the run will require around 700 lengths of his garden.

"I don't think the view is going to be great," Jones told BBC Radio Wales breakfast.

"I'm just going to have a green length of hedge and grass to look at for the best part of five or six hours really with all the turns.

"The only luxury I have got is the toilets are clean and not far away on this run, which is different to your major events.

"I've got three young kids who are all under 10 who have made some signs and I'm sure they'll be cheering me on and joining in and the like as well."

Jones won 75 Wales caps, winning the Six Nations Grand Slam in 2005 and then again as captain in 2008 and 2012.

He held the record for the highest number of games as Wales skipper - 33 - until that was surpassed by Sam Warburton in 2015.

Jones made three appearances for the British and Irish Lions on their 2005 tour of New Zealand. He was also a late call-up for the Lions 2009 trip to South Africa, but arrived injured and did not play.

His playing career ended in 2014 on medical advice because of recurring shoulder injuries and in 2016 he was appointed the WRU's head of rugby participation. He took up his current role in 2019.

(04/03/2020) ⚡AMP
by Welsh Rugby
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Aliphine Tuliamuk still remembers the day she received her first pair of running shoes

Nearly twenty years ago, the future 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials champion was just another promising young runner in the Rift Valley province of her native Kenya. Only 11 years old, she was selected to compete in the state meet in the 10,000m after outracing older girls in the arduous event.

On their way to the competition, her coach—Geoffrey Ptormos, a distant relative of Tuliamuk’s—arranged for Tegla Loroupe to come meet the team. The local Kapenguria legend was training for the 2000 Olympic Games as the favourite for the marathon and the 5000m, and by then had captured two New York City Marathon titles, three World Championship half marathon titles, and was the world record holder in the marathon twice over, with her best effort of 2:20:43 standing until September 2001. 

But Tuliamuk didn’t know any of that quite yet. Instead, it was Loroupe who was quite taken with the young runner’s abilities.

“The athletes I had beaten in the 10,000 were way older than me, so Tegla was very impressed by my performances,” Tuliamuk remembers. “She ended up giving me a pair of shoes and she became my hero instantly.”

Tuliamuk didn’t race in the brand-new flats right away— “no way, I wasn’t used to wearing shoes and racing, I thought they would hold me back” —but she treasured the gift, saving the new shoes for special occasions. 

“It meant the world to me,” she says. “I was barefoot at the time, so to get this really beautiful, clean pair of shoes from her was awesome.”

Modest roots.- Tuliamuk shrugs off her humble upbringing as normal.

She and her 31 siblings, all born to the same father from four different mothers under the culturally accepted practice of polygamy, ran two miles, barefoot, to and from school everyday, as did her friends. Running is so ingrained in everyday life that those with natural abilities in the sport are easily spotted. But of Tuliamuk’s immediate community, she was the only one to pursue competitive running.

Ptormos noticed Tuliamuk’s burgeoning talent and invited her to come live with his family in a neighboring village after the state competition in 2000 so he could coach her. She lived with them on and off for eight years, until she finished high school.

Her best performance during that time came in 2005, when she placed ninth in the World Junior Cross Country Championships as a 15-year-old. The 6km race was held in Saint-Galmier, France, where the beds were the size of three beds back home and the travel van was outfitted with mini TVs. At the race after party, runners danced to music and chowed down on fancy French pastries.

The event opened Tuliamuk’s mind to the vast opportunities that running could afford her.

But as the idea of running professionally and competing in the Olympic Games lodged itself in her brain, Tuliamuk also wanted to succeed in the classroom. Athletics were not a big priority at her high school and by her last year, she had stopped running entirely.

(04/03/2020) ⚡AMP
by worl Athletics
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2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

The 2020 US Olympic Trials for both men and women took place in Atlanta, Ga on Sunday Feb 29. Runners had to qualify by running certain standards beforehand. The trials are hosted by the Atlanta Track club. The course runs through the heart of Atlanta and past monuments from the 1996 Olympic Games Most countries around the world use a...

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A World Marathon Day could bring us miles closer to recovery from the coronavirus pandemic

Just days after the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, apparel giant Adidas, one of the marathon’s official sponsors, raised money for victims and their families by selling limited-edition T-shirts with the message: “Boston Stands As One.”

Americans rallied in support one week after the horror, participating in #BostonStrong runs nationwide.

The time is coming for people around the world to remember a great tragedy, mourn our dead, honor our heroes, raise money for the afflicted and stand as one. The staggering coronavirus pandemic is not over by any stretch, but COVID-19 likely will be under control by late summer. Our financial well-being, however, will still be seriously threatened. It is not too early to begin planning for ways we can show our resilience, strength, hope and grace.

Post-coronavirus, the world will experience a series of firsts as people again gather en masse and our grief eases into relief. Let’s make this reawakening count. The first outdoor music festivals, for example, should benefit charities assisting those hit hardest by the coronavirus. Same with the first public events of any kind. Let donations flow wherever the invisible walls separating us fall, so we finally might remember how similar we are.

Which brings us back to Boston. The Boston Marathon is one of six Abbott World Marathon Majors held every year, along with New York City, Chicago, London, Berlin and Tokyo. These urban courses attract the planet’s most elite runners and tens of thousands of participants, and even larger crowds cheering the runners on.

This year, the organizers of those six renowned marathons should work together to hold a single World Marathon Day, with each race held in its respective city in a synchronized demonstration of post-coronavirus solidarity.

Monday, Oct. 26, would be an appropriate date, virus-permitting. Numerically it is 10.26.20, which acknowledges the 26.2 miles of a marathon course. Saturday, Sept. 26, also works (09.26.20). This one-time global effort could be promoted with the hashtag #WorldStrong26.2.

Ideally, cities worldwide will reschedule their own postponed or upcoming marathons to World Marathon Day in alliance with the six majors, while other communities hold shorter races and fun runs. (Five of the major marathons are either held in, or have been postponed to, the September-November period, so the logistics of shifting the date would not be onerous. Tokyo held its 2020 marathon on March 1 for elite runners only, and would host another.)

If this proves too massive a challenge, then at the least, all fall 2020 marathon organizers should communicate a common message and fundraising focus on whatever day they hold their events.

As I envision it, all race participants would be required to race for charity, and top finishers of races with prize money would agree to donate their winnings as well. Of course, runners could participate in only one race on this day, but elite runners typically enter only two marathons a year, at most, in the spring and fall. The coronavirus has done away with marathons through May at least, so consolidating these races into one day shouldn’t be an issue for the top competitors, particularly those who have already committed to a race.

Also, corporate sponsors of these marathons should agree to match the amount raised by race entry fees dollar for dollar and donate that money to charity.

In addition to raising hundreds of millions of dollars or more for charities including hospitals, food banks, housing agencies, mental-health services and educational programs, a World Marathon Day would generate meaningful economic benefits for cities and communities recovering from the coronavirus shutdown.

Marathons are good for business. The major marathons attract runners from all over the world, who spend on hotels, restaurants, bars, stores, tourist attractions and other entertainment.

(04/03/2020) ⚡AMP
by Jonathan Burton
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There will be Refunds for Athletes Who Can’t Make the Postponed 2020 Boston Marathon

It's the first time the elite race has offered refunds, the race's organizer, the Boston Athletic Association, announced Wednesday.

The BAA and the city of Boston in March postponed the race until Sept. 14 amid the global outbreak of the novel coronavirus. It had been scheduled for April 20, and anyone registered for the race remains entered in it, the BAA said.

For any runners and wheelchair athletes who can't take part in the postponed Boston Marathon, the race's organizers are offering refunds for entry fees.

"We'd like our entrants to join us in September," BAA CEO Tom Grilk said in a statement. "However, while we are in the midst of the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, we want to extend an offer of refund to our entrants so they may be able to plan accordingly."

More than 30-thousand amateur and professional runners have signed up to run the 124th Boston Marathon.

The marathon on Sept. 14 will also serve as a qualifying race for the 2021 edition of the marathon, the BAA said, and registration will take place soon after the 2020 race is run.

Officials spent days mulling whether and how to postpone the marathon, an iconic event that brings in roughly $200 million to the area each year.

(04/02/2020) ⚡AMP
by Asher Kein
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

The 124th Boston Marathon originally scheduled for April 20, is now postponed to September 14 due to the coronavirus outbreak, 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...

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Kenyan Geoffrey Kamworor says that he will be training hard until coronavirus pandemic is over

World half marathon record holder Geoffrey Kamworor has vowed to continue training with the hope that the coronavirus pandemic will come to an end soon.

The three-time world half marathon champion was set to defend his 4th title on 24th March but the World Athletics had to cancel the event due to the pandemic.

“I will continue training to beat the pandemic. It is my source of income and I have to protect my career very well,” said Kamworor in Eldoret.

The lanky runner was selected by Athletics Kenya to represent the country at the world half that was to be held at Gdynia in Poland but the dream of winning four titles in a row now lies in limbo.

“The virus is costly and we have hope, just like other businesses are recording losses across the world. For my case, I will keep on fighting until the last minute. It is a big blow to sports fraternity in the country and the entire world,” said the two time New York marathon winner.

The Global Sports Communication based runner in Kaptagat won his maiden world half-title in 2014, defended in 2016 for a double and 2018 for the hat trick.

He named alongside national cross country champion Kandie Kibiwott, former Africa cross country winners Leonard Barsoton, Shadrack Kimining and reigning Barcelona marathon champion Victor Chumo.

In the women category, the federation had named Boston half marathon winner Brilliant Jepkorir, reigning world half marathon bronze medallist Pauline Kaveke, Dorcas Kimeli, Monica Wanjuhi and Dorcas Jepchirchir.

“Life has to continue as well as training. I don’t know how my figure will be by the time I will be running. I have hope that I will be extra fit to face the challenges and opponents when that time comes for the competition,” added Kamworor.

Apart from winning thrice, Kamworor holds the championships record of 59:08 held in Copenhagen. He went ahead to brake the world half-marathon record 58:01.

(04/02/2020) ⚡AMP
by Emmanuel Sabuni
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Donn Cabral eyeing Tokyo 2021 while recognizing wider ramifications of postponement is really tough

After a couple of self-described “subpar” running years, Donn Cabral had finally rediscovered his groove in December and was getting excited over what the future held — in his mind, a strong chance at qualifying for a third Olympics appearance to close out his career.

His dream isn’t dead now that the Tokyo Games have been postponed until July 23, 2021, amid the coronavirus pandemic; he’ll just have to adjust his plans. But Cabral, who grew up in Glastonbury, considers himself one of the more fortunate Tokyo hopefuls. He’s already represented the U.S. in the 3,000-meter steeplechase in both London and Rio. Not everyone can say that.

“It takes a lot of fire every day, and it takes a lot of energy to generate that fire, to get up and do that hard work,” Cabral said in a phone interview. “And to think about, 'Can I do this for one more year just to have my shot at that dream?’ and to know that that dream is still only just a chance, that’s a very difficult thing. So pushing this back a year is really tough.

“My heart really goes out for people who haven’t made a team yet, and particularly for those who are in the best shape of their lives. It’s very difficult to get back to that same level. They had a chance to make it this time, and it’s like, ‘I wanted to strike when the iron was hot,' and now it’s going to be difficult.”

After initially delaying a decision on the 2020 Games, which were originally scheduled to begin July 24, the IOC and Japan finally reached an agreement last week to postpone them to 2021. USA Track & Field’s Olympic trials, originally set to take place in late June, will be rescheduled. Depending on the virus’ spread, the organization will try to salvage competition for the remainder of 2020 so athletes can earn some income and stay fit both physically and emotionally.

The 30-year-old Cabral, who says he’ll likely stop running professionally going into 2022, is relieved that the Tokyo Olympics will only be delayed a year. He thought the IOC would push the Games to 2022 in anticipation of, as he fears, the coronavirus outbreak not being fully under control a year from now.

“If it were in 2022, I wouldn’t have gone for it,” said Cabral, who finished eighth in the steeplechase in both 2012 and 2016. “I would have finished my career content with London and Rio. But I certainly would like to get that third Olympics in there.”

For Cabral, an extra year of training isn’t necessarily an issue, though he does have some logistical things to work out. For one, he’ll need to decide whether to take another semester off of school to train, as he did this spring in preparation for Tokyo. The Princeton grad is working on earning both a Master of Business Administration and Juris Doctor degree at UConn.

If some form of competition resumes in the summer or fall, Cabral will also need to decide whether to train for the steeplechase, his bread and butter, or try to move up to a 10K, half-marathon or marathon. Though that’s dependent on which events will ultimately be offered. But in the immediate future, Cabral can mostly operate as normal. Unlike sprinters, who are most affected by the closure of training facilities and gyms nationwide, he can run in the woods or on the streets — just not with other people.

Even though postponement was the best decision for everyone’s safety, the ramifications of the move will be felt deeply among Olympic hopefuls, Cabral said, and not just physically.

(04/02/2020) ⚡AMP
by Alexa Philippou
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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Thomas Budgen, a Primary school teacher will run a marathon around his neighborhood to raise money for the NHS in the fight against coronavirus

Thomas Budgen plans to run 90 times around his block in Brierley Hill- the equivalent distance of a marathon- to raise money for the Dudley Group NHS Charity to aid frontline staff who are treating patients with Covid-19.

The reception teacher, who works at Lutley Primary School in Halesowen, was due to run both the Manchester and Brighton marathons this month before they were cancelled due to the pandemic.

Eager not to put his training to waste and keen to do something positive with his time in lockdown, Thomas decided to take on a marathon with a social distancing twist.

He told the News: "I had done all this training for months and months to get ready. To have it cancelled was disappointing but understandable.

"I've been running for about two years, I started at Dudley Park Run. I hated it at first soon got into it.

"I have got friends and family working for the NHS, I am full of respect for them. However small, I just wanted to do something to help them."

Thomas will be taking on the running challenge on Saturday, April 11 on The Breeze, just of Moor Street. He hopes to complete the challenge in one day, as long as the current rules on exercising are still in place by then.

He is still working at school to care for the children of key workers, but says he misses the normally bustling school day so he is currently recording videos of himself reading stories to his students so his class can keep in touch.

(04/02/2020) ⚡AMP
by Danielle Poole
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Running In The Pandemic Era

Running is a unique sport – a runner may venture out for a solo run around the neighborhood or the track, meet up with a running group or crew to run in a small group setting, or participate in events that bring together hundreds or even thousands of runners. The physical, social, and mental benefits of running are well documented: greater muscular and bone strength, increased cardiovascular endurance, reduced anxiety and depression, and improved mood, among other perks. Who wouldn’t want to join in the fun?

Unfortunately, in our current environment of quarantining and social distancing, sharing the sport of running with others in a group setting isn’t possible, and most events are being cancelled or postponed or moving to virtual options in the coming months.

If you are looking to start running as a means to manage stress and get some exercise, the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) offers advice for getting started on your own!

What do I need?.- Luckily, running requires little physical equipment. Begin by gathering the following: 

Clothing. Ideally wear moisture-wicking fabrics. (Cotton is not one of those fabrics, but if that’s what you’ve got, rock that old concert t-shirt!).

A comfortable pair of athletic shoes. Start with whatever you have paired with a moisture-wicking sock. (Again, avoid cotton here, but work with what you have!)Check with your local run specialty store to see if they are open.As a small business, they need your support so consider getting into some new running gear.

Somewhere to run. Keeping appropriate social distancing in mind, if outdoor activity is still a possibility in your city or state, try walking out your door for a jaunt to the corner or a loop around the block. Check out the multi-use trail your community has invested in. Head to the park or the mountains to enjoy the trails.Check first to determine if they are open.Clear the pile of junk off the old treadmill in the basement!.

A little knowledge.Understand the importance of not going out too hard, too far, too fast if you have not been running regularly in recent weeks or months.

Determination. Cross whatever “finish line” you set for yourself.

Set Goals.- Whenever you start a new activity, be it running, basket weaving, closet organizing, homeschooling, or whatever you’re using to fill your time these days, keep the following goal-setting recommendations in mind:

Use your current fitness level as your starting point. If exercise isn’t a regular part of your routine, work your way up to moving your body a few days each week for 15-20 minutes at a time. If you’re used to hitting the gym or going for walks, your starting point will be a little further down the proverbial road. Follow the RRCA’s 10 Week Getting Started Plan.

Make time for physical activity. If you find yourself working from home and getting used to a new routine, set an alarm on your phone. Add it to your calendar. Whatever you need to do to get out and move at regular intervals during your new schedule.

Start slow. Start short. This most likely means start out with a lot of walking and very little running. Walk around the block, around the neighborhood, or to the grocery store to restock. Get your body used to moving for longer periods of time.The more you walk with short bouts of running, the more your body will start to adapt to the exercise.Your goal right now should be to increase movement without injuring yourself.

Make your goals specific to YOU, not your partner, your neighbor, or that elite runner you saw on Instagram. It might be running a specific distance or length of time without stopping. It might be running a certain number of days each week.

Keep Your Momentum.- Endurance and speed come with time and effort. Find joy in what you’re doing, keep it fun, and focus on the long game. Remember that old “marathon vs. sprint analogy?” It obviously applies to running!

Pick up the pace. Incorporate running into your walks. Run from here to the next driveway (or lamppost, or tree, or whatever landmark you see out there), walk some more, then run again. Run more and walk less as the weeks go by. Running legend Jeff Galloway popularized the run-walk-run method. Check out his books and website for more information.

Understand Muscle Soreness.When you first start running you may experience some muscle soreness. Don’t worry, this normal, and you may notice more on the second day compared to the first day. This is referred to as DOMS or Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness. Do not let it discourage you or keep you from continued movement. But do take a recovery day as needed to reduce the chance of injury.

Challenge yourself and others. Even if you can’t run alongside other people, you can still experience the social benefits of running.

Check out apps like Strava, a social network for endurance sports. Use a mapping tool like Map My Run to find local running routes or create your own. If you’ve got a GPS-enabled watch (Apple, Android, or endurance-specific watches from Garmin, Suunto, Coros, Polar, and others) they’ll have built-in training and social features. These apps and others can track your activities, too, recording distance, time, pace, route, and other metrics.

Have a treadmill? Platforms like Zwift and device-specific services like Peloton Tread and NordicTrack’s iFit let you virtually run all over the world, participate in training sessions, and track your progress.

Switch it up. Running is great, but cycling and weight lifting and Zumba-ing are awesome, too. Many gyms and fitness studios are offering free online content, so try a new cross training workout in your living room!Focus on flexibility and core strength, which is an important aspect of injury prevention for runners.

Rest. Include running-free days in your fitness schedule. Get quality sleep. Acquaint yourself with the yoga mat collecting dust in the corner and follow a running-specific stretch video online. Listen to your body – if you’re not up for running today, try again tomorrow!.

(04/01/2020) ⚡AMP
by Colorado Runner
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Twenty years, it’s been a good run, but as of May 7, 2020, LetsRun.com will be no more, LetsRun.com declares bankruptcy says Jonathan Gault

The worldwide economic depression that has resulted from COVID-19 has cratered the advertising markets and it’s no longer economically feasible to run the website.

“May 7, 2000, was a dark day for US distance running fans and me personally, so the 20th anniversary of that date is the perfect day to go out,” said LetsRun.com co-founder Weldon Johnson, who saw his Olympic dream denied on the streets of Pittsburgh at the 2000 US Olympic Marathon Trials on May 7 when only one man made the team. “The coronavirus canceled the Olympics and now it’s canceled LetsRun.com.

“It’s never been easy to make a living while giving away everything for free, but the decline in the online ad markets over the last few weeks has been unprecedented. Couple that with the fact that online ad marketplaces have gotten much better at tracking people in recent years and our revenue has almost entirely dried up. The advertisers now know that most of our visitors haven’t achieved the ‘LetsRun triple.’ While many have the potential to make well over $250,000 a year, the reality is most of them have never had a full-time job and are living in mom and dad’s basement still chasing that final PR before Father Time gets to them.”

Robert Johnson, Weldon’s brother and the website’s co-founder, didn’t want to talk on the phone. He issued the following statement via email.

Weldon keeps telling me our demise is all the result of COVID-19. That’s hard for me to believe, but maybe that’s because I live in Baltimore, where in the month of March we’ve had 18 killed by murder and only 3 by the coronavirus. Ironically, given the leading role we’ve played during the last two decades in the anti-doping movement, I blame our demise on Travis Tygart and USADA. Once Alberto Salazar got banned, the messageboard traffic really plummeted. People had been speculating about drugs in regards to Athletics West and Salazar since our founding, but now that that storyline has come to a conclusion, there isn’t anything left to talk about. 

I begged Weldon to keep the site going until Salazar’s appeal is heard. If his ban gets overturned, the site could become profitable again. But with his baby due in early May, he told me can’t hold out any longer. He’s heard he can make six figures delivering for Instacart in San Fran and since he was used to sleeping in his car often high up in the mountains in Flagstaff, he’ll give that a go until the economy comes back. I feel for him as he won’t even get to see his daughter in person.

Weldon, the elder brother and brains behind the LetsRun.com operation, refused to take a negative view about the closure of the site.“This isn’t a day for ‘woe is me.’ It’s been a great run and I’m really proud of the contributions the platform has made to elevating distance running. When we started the website, the marathon world records were 2:05:42 for the men and 2:20:43 for the women. Now a man has run 1:59:41 and a woman 2:14:04 and we’ve certainly played a role in that, both by developing a platform where coaching advice could spread and by actually pacing two of those world records, one for Catherine Ndereba and one for Paula Radcliffe. Social justice warriors be damned, I’m most proud of the role we’ve played in elevating women’s distance running across the globe. That’s what I hope people will remember us for,” said Weldon.

(04/01/2020) ⚡AMP
by Jonathan Gault
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The Cellcom Green Bay Marathon is going to be a virtual run event

Organizers of the 2020 Cellcom Green Bay Marathon won't be bringing thousands of runners together this spring.

In response to COVID-19, the marathon is becoming a "virtual event," they announced Tuesday night.

"As we all collectively fight the coronavirus pandemic, we believe this is the only responsible way for us to hold the event," a statement read.

The event was planned for May 16 and 17 with a full- and half-marathon, 5K, relay and a kids' run.

Runners and walkers who registered for any of the marathon events will be asked to "carry out the miles safely on their own" and will receive their bib, medal and T-shirt for the virtual during the week of May 11.

If you registered and don't want to take part in a virtual run, you can defer your entry to the marathon event next year.

People who want to register for the virtual run can still do so on the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon website until April 20.

Organizers said they considered postponing the event but options were limited.

Summer is too hot, and during the fall Lambeau Field and the stadium district are prepared for football -- whether it's a game weekend or not -- with more traffic and more local events. This would force organizers to relocate the course which had been planned out well in advance.

There were also concerns about bringing together people from around the Midwest and other states, even other countries, in light of the spread of the coronavirus so far this year.

Participants in the virtual event can run individually on any day of their choosing -- it doesn't have to be May 17 -- and can get their miles in any way they choose -- running, walking, pushing a stroller.

(04/01/2020) ⚡AMP
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Cellcom Green Bay Marathon

Cellcom Green Bay Marathon

With the uncertainty of many spring events, we wanted to give an update to our runners. The status of our event has not changed. We are monitoring the situation as it continues to evolve. Any changes to the status of the race, will be posted on social media and our website. (This was posted March 13 and there have been...

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Charlotte Raubenheimer decided to create her own triathlon at home for a good cause

The Ironman African Championship was due to take place this past weekend but was postponed to November due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Raubenheimer's quest to complete the Ironman race and raise funds for her charitable cause was not derailed by the postponement.

On Sunday, the original Ironman race day, she challenged herself to complete her at-home Ironman race.

The aim of her mission? To ensure that she honored her commitment and secured the money pledged towards her fundraising campaign, 'Ironman 4 Phillip'.

Raubenheimer started a Backabuddy page with the hopes of raising money for a new wheelchair for someone in need.

The beneficiary? Phillip Janse van Rensburg, a 52-year-old resident at Cheshire Home Summerstrand, who is living with cerebral palsy.

Her target was to raise R70,000 towards a new wheelchair. By Monday afternoon, she had raised more than R88,000.

She started at 7am with a 90-minute swim in her pool, her foot tethered to her fence with a leash.

She then transitioned to a 6-hour 15-minute ride on a stationary bike.

Finally, she ran around her garden 1580 times to complete the distance required for the marathon.

Charlotte completed the herculean effort just after 8pm on Sunday, 13 hours and 11 minutes later.

(04/01/2020) ⚡AMP
by Qama Qukula
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James Campbell, a bored former athlete will be spending his birthday running a marathon in his garden, despite it measuring just 6m (19ft)

James Campbell, 31, has calculated he will have to traverse it 7,000 times to log the required 26.2 miles.

He expects the endurance feat, which he has dubbed "literally the most stupid thing I could think of to do", to take about seven hours.

Mr Campbell, from Cheltenham, hopes to raise £10,000 for the NHS.

Spending the last few weeks at home had driven him "a little bit crazy", he said.

"I'm guessing I won't be able to build any speed up and I've got to contend with a patio, stones and grass," he said.

"I am going to measure out a couple of lines of 6m as the actual length of the garden is just over 7m".

"I will plod up and down for as long as it takes," said Mr Campbell.

Mr Campbell is a former world-class javelinist and was a youth footballer with Cheltenham Town as a teenager.

After injury ended his athletic career, he returned to football and now plays for Hellenic Premier League team Brimscombe and Thrupp.

(04/01/2020) ⚡AMP
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Gareth Allen ran 1,066 laps of a 130-foot course to complete a marathon in his backyard

As lockdowns become more and more common across the globe to flatten the curve of the coronavirus outbreak, runners are becoming more desperate to fit in their training. Whether people are running on balconies, in their apartments or in their yards, runners everywhere are finding unique places to work out. Gareth Allen has officially joined this list of quarantine-runners after he ran a marathon around a 130-foot course in his backyard in Southampton, U.K., which he called The Garden Marathon.

 start of 2020, Allen set out to run 12 100-mile races in under 12 months to raise money for the Great Oaks School and the Hurricanes Rugby Club in Southampton, which both work with students and players, respectively, with learning disabilities. He ran his first 100-miler on January 30, and his second was set for March 27 in Ireland, but it was cancelled due to COVID-19.

In the U.K., citizens are encouraged to “only leave the house for very limited purposes,” which includes “one form of exercise a day,” according to the British government’s website. Allen decided he would forego a short run around Southampton and instead go long in his backyard. He streamed his run on Facebook live, where over 334,000 people tuned in over his six hours of running.

As lockdowns become more and more common across the globe to flatten the curve of the coronavirus outbreak, runners are becoming more desperate to fit in their training. Whether people are running on balconies, in their apartments or in their yards, runners everywhere are finding unique places to work out. Gareth Allen has officially joined this list of quarantine-runners after he ran a marathon around a 130-foot course in his backyard in Southampton, U.K., which he called The Garden Marathon. 

At the start of 2020, Allen set out to run 12 100-mile races in under 12 months to raise money for the Great Oaks School and the Hurricanes Rugby Club in Southampton, which both work with students and players, respectively, with learning disabilities. He ran his first 100-miler on January 30, and his second was set for March 27 in Ireland, but it was cancelled due to COVID-19.

In the U.K., citizens are encouraged to “only leave the house for very limited purposes,” which includes “one form of exercise a day,” according to the British government’s website. Allen decided he would forego a short run around Southampton and instead go long in his backyard. He streamed his run on Facebook live, where over 334,000 people tuned in over his six hours of running.

Allen also had a Facebook event page where he introduced The Garden Marathon, which he described as, “Just me running round my back garden 1000 or so times.” To be exact, he ended up running 1,254 laps, which worked out to 49.688 kilometers in six hours. He originally planned to run just the marathon, which was 1,066 laps, but he said if the day’s donations reached £1,066 ($1,849), he would run until the six-hour mark. He passed through 42K in 5:02:20.

Allen’s original goal on his GoFundMe page was £2,000 ($3,469), but yesterday’s run pushed him well over that, up to more than £2,500. After the run, he posted a video on Facebook thanking everyone for their support, and he said he will continue to work towards running 1200 miles over the course of 2020, whether in sanctioned events or not, and he hopes to raise even more money moving forward.

(03/31/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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The 2020 Grandma´s Marathon has been cancelled due to coronavirus outbreak

Race organizers made the announcement on the Grandma's website Tuesday that the 44th annual marathon, which was scheduled for June 20, will not take place.

Minnesota's legendary North Shore marathon will go on hiatus for a year, after organizers decided it was prudent to cancel with ongoing concerns about the coronavirus. 

Grandma's Marathon made the announcement on it's website Tuesday that the 44th annual marathon, which was scheduled for June 20, will not take place. 

"This is not the news that we wanted to be sharing with our running community, but after very careful deliberation, we have made the extremely difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Grandma’s Marathon Race Weekend of events," read the post. "The staff and board of Grandma’s Marathon along with our medical and public agency leaders believe this is the responsible action to take in an effort to keep everyone safe during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and not take valuable resources away from our local health system."

Race officials say they know runners registered for the race are well into their training, and may be disappointed by the decision to cancel. They are providing the following resources: 2020 Virtual Race - You will be automatically entered into the virtual version of your race. All you need to do is run your race wherever you want, whenever you want while following the safety measures that have been laid out by your local government regarding COVID-19. The Virtual Submission Platform provided by Mtec Results will open on May 4. An email will be sent to you in early May with a link to your personal results page on the Virtual Submission Platform where you can download an official Race Bib, upload your time, and view/download an official Finisher Certificate. More details are available on the Grandma's Marathon website.

2021 Race Discount - We will provide a 20% discount toward the 2021 Grandma’s Marathon Weekend Race of your choice: Grandma’s Marathon, Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon or William A. Irvin 5K. Your promo code and instructions for redeeming the discount will be emailed to you in September 2020. Those who received complimentary 2020 entries do not qualify for the 2021 discount.

Donation - As we are a Minnesota Nonprofit with 501(c)(3) status, your registration has been converted to a donation, which will enable you to claim the entry fee you paid as a tax write-off. Tax receipts will be issued between April 13 and May 13. In addition, if you choose to contribute your discount by not using the promo code that will be sent to you in September, please know that your donation will help ensure that our organization can continue to provide a world-class experience to the running community for years to come.

Sponsor Rewards - We are working with our committed team of sponsors to provide a worthwhile variety of discounts and rewards to 2020 registrants as an additional thank you for your support. Details about these items will be emailed periodically to participants.

Grandma's Marathon officials are making it very clear that this is not the end of an event that has become part of Duluth culture, a race that brings both money and humanity to the city during a weekend that thousands look forward to. 

"Looking ahead, we sincerely hope you are able to celebrate our 45th Anniversary Race Weekend with us next year on June 18-19, 2021! The anniversary weekend will provide a merited occasion to be grateful that we partake in a sport that endures all circumstances," reads the Grandma's website.  "A sport that will come back from this crisis even stronger – because together we are stronger."

(03/31/2020) ⚡AMP
by Dana Thiede
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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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Canada's largest running festival, the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend cancelled due to coronavirus, but there will be virtual run

Run Ottawa announced on Monday that the 2020 Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend is cancelled. The running festival, which is the largest in Canada and was scheduled for May 23 and 24, features six races. It is the latest Canadian event to be forced to cancel because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The cancellation, Almost 18,000 runners have already registered for the Ottawa Race Weekend, which includes the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon and Half Marathon, as well as a 10K, 5K, 2K and the Ottawa Kids Marathon. All race entrants will receive their race kit, including their medals and shirts, and they will be automatically entered into a virtual Ottawa Race Weekend as well.

"We wanted to put together a response that provided the best value that we can find for our participants while still being able to survive for the future,” says Ian Fraser, the executive director of Run Ottawa. Those already registered will get 50 per cent off the 2021 Ottawa Race Weekend entry fees.

“We looked at the possibility of postponing to the fall and what that would look like, but we also noted that the fall calendar has become so jam-packed,” Fraser says. “Finding an appropriate weekend that we could have any kind of certainty around was a challenge.”

The Run Ottawa team ultimately decided against postponement, and Fraser notes that a fall race date still could be cancelled. He says he didn’t want to “doubly-disappoint” runners by postponing to the fall and then having to cancel it all over again if the coronavirus outbreak doesn’t clear up.

There will be virtual runs for each of the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend distances, and they will be open to more runners than just those who have already registered. Plus, the virtual races will not be held on any specific day and they can be done whenever’s best for each individual.

“We’re giving people the bulk of the summer to participate in the virtual event,” Fraser says. “We wanted to really make sure that we gave a long window for participants so that people could be active in our Scotiabank Charity Challenge.” Last year, the event raised $800,000 for a number of charities, both local and national.

Fraser says he knows the decision to cancel without refunds might not sit well with everyone, but that his team at Run Ottawa “made sure that we were precise in our calculations about what we could and couldn’t do.” He says it was a difficult decision to make, but he wants his event to make it to 2021.

“The running community needs to have events to be vibrant and alive, and those events have to be able to survive.”

The 2021 Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend will take place May 28 and 29.

(03/31/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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Ottawa 10K

Ottawa 10K

Ottawa's course is fast, scenic and few elevation changes. Considered to be an excellent course for first timers and should provide an environment conducive to setting a PR. The Ottawa 10K is the only IAAF Gold Label 10K event in Canada and one of only four IAAF Gold Label 10Ks in the world. The Ottawa 10K attracts one of the...

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Bill Johncock's dream of pushing his disabled son in the Boston Marathon has to wait until September

Bill Johncock and his differently-abled son Logan have gotten pretty accustomed to rolling with the punches over the past year, as Dad has pushed them – quite literally – toward a big running goal: the 2020 Boston Marathon.

The first major milepost came on March 2,2019, when Johncock fought through leg cramps at the Myrtle Beach Marathon but ultimately won the battle, pushing then-20-year-old Logan across the finish line in a borrowed racing wheelchair in a time fast enough to qualify them for Boston as a “duo team”.

Much more recently, a different borrowed racing chair turned out to have a steering problem that wore out Johncock’s arms more than his legs at the Atlanta Half Marathon, a tune-up race he ran with Logan just a few weekends ago.

And now they are having to roll with something Johncock never could have anticipated when he first started down his personal road to Boston: With the coronavirus pandemic and the current trend of cancelling large public events continuing, the Boston Marathon – originally set for April 20 – has been postponed to Sept 14.

Johncock’s trying to take it all in stride.

“It’s just like the chair, or the weather. It’s something that is beyond our control, ” says the 55-year-old podiatrist. “We’re gonna control what we can control. The rest, we’ve gotta put it in God’s hands.... We’ll go to Plan B.”

But at the same time, you can tell how big a blow it is to him. After all, getting to the Boston Marathon with Logan – who has a rare genetic disorder called Angelman syndrome, which makes walking difficult and talking impossible – has been Johncock’s dream for the past 15 years.

Johncock developed a nearly instant passion for running when he was 13 years old.

Even after Johncock started having kids of his own, he kept running, eventually logging more than 100 marathons. He pushed his first son, Drake, in a jogging stroller on the weekends. But by the time Logan came along, Drake was on to other things, and as his three kids grew up, Johncock bonded with each of them over different activities.

His and Logan’s was running; in fact, by the time Logan was about two years old, they were already entering races together.

“My oldest son used to like to ride in the running chair that we had well enough, but... Logan just lit up – in a different way, ” Johncock says. “I guess maybe because of some of his lack of mobility, he really enjoyed the movement of it. It was just like, ‘Wow.’”

Angelman is somewhat similar to Down syndrome, marked by delayed development and intellectual disability.

Logan can’t speak at all, communicating either via a very limited sign-language vocabulary he uses only “if he’s really motivated”, his dad says, laughing – “he signs pretty good for cheeseburgers, but he doesn’t sign very well for broccoli” – or by either pointing or pulling his parents or siblings toward what he wants. He can feed himself, but he can’t dress himself. He can walk, but not very far or for very long; and he certainly can’t run.

Oh, and one other thing about people with Angelman: They generally are unusually happy. Logan is no exception. And the more his dad ran with him, the happier he seemed.

‘The best motivation in the world’

As an individual, Johncock has qualified for and run the Boston Marathon six times – in 1984 with his dad, then again in 1991,1992,1993,2002 and 2005.

But it was while there solo in 2005 that he got the idea to mix things up a little bit. While at the race expo in Boston, he happened to meet Dick Hoyt and his son Rick, who for decades were a fixture at the event, with Dick pushing Rick (who has cerebral palsy) and the pair inspiring countless spectators and runners along the way.

Johncock went home inspired, eventually signing up to push then-six-year-old Logan in the Thunder Road Marathon in Charlotte later that year. Johncock also decided to tie a charity component to his efforts, and wound up raising US$30,000 (RM127,500) for a playground for Logan’s school – the Conover School, which serves children with special needs.

After their long run in Charlotte, Johncock pushed Logan through another marathon in 2007, and a third in 2013. But while these other marathons permitted children, Boston’s rules specify that riders on duo teams must be 18 or older.

Logan became “legal” in 2017, and in 2019, Johncock mustered up the time and the motivation to try to qualify, at age 54.

But, as always, all Johncock can do is just roll with it. “A life is more important. As big as this is for us, the health of a lot of other people is more important. So yeah, it looks like we’ll have to wait. But... eventually, we’ll get there.”

 

(03/31/2020) ⚡AMP
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

The 124th Boston Marathon originally scheduled for April 20, is now postponed to September 14 due to the coronavirus outbreak, 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...

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The postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has confirmed

An agreement was reached on Monday after a call between leaders from the IOC, Tokyo 2020 organizers, the Japanese government and the International Paralympic Committee.

The Summer Games had been scheduled to run from July 24 to August 8 this year, but it was announced last week by Bach and Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that the Olympics had been postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The new dates for the Paralympic Games are August 24 to September 5, 2021.

"Humankind currently finds itself in a dark tunnel," Bach said in a statement. "These Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 can be a light at the end of this tunnel.

"With this announcement, I am confident that, working together with the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the Japanese Government and all our stakeholders, we can master this unprecedented challenge."

The IOC says the decision on the new dates was taken "to protect the health of the athletes and everyone involved, and to support the containment of the COVID-19 virus."

It believes the new dates -- exactly a year later than originally scheduled -- will provide the least disruption to an already crowded 2021 sporting calendar, while also giving athletes enough time to complete the qualification process.

"I am convinced that taking this decision promptly will help speed up future preparations," said Tokyo 2020 president Mori Yoshirō.

"I would like to thank all the stakeholders, including the host city Tokyo and the Government of Japan, for their hard work during this short period. The Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee will continue to work hard for the success of next year's Games."

Despite now being confirmed for 2021, the Games will still be known as Tokyo 2020 despite the postponement.

It is the first time in history that the Olympics have been postponed during peacetime, with the Games in 1916, 1940 and 1944 canceled because of world wars.

The new dates clash with the World Athletics Championships, which were due to take place in Oregon, USA from August 6 to August 15, 2021.

The sport's governing body, World Athletics, says it is already searching for a new slot as it looks to postpone the competition by a year.

Everyone needs to be flexible and compromise and to that end we are now working with the organizers of the World Athletics Championships in Oregon on new dates in 2022 for our World Athletics Championships," it said in a statement.

"We would like to thank our Oregon 21 Organizing Committee, their stakeholders and our partners for their collaboration and willingness to explore all options."

(03/30/2020) ⚡AMP
by Matias Grez
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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Sam Hustler, a determined runner has completed a half-marathon by jogging the length of his balcony 7,000 times

Sam Hustler, 27, managed the remarkable feat by doing thousands of ‘laps’ of his three-meter long balcony, all adding up to an impressive 21 kilometers.

He had been due to take part in the London Landmarks half marathon, which would have seen him take in sights such as Big Ben, St Paul’s Cathedral and The Shard. But event bosses had to cancel the race following Boris Johnson’s nationwide lockdown to halt the spread of coronavirus.

Organizers encouraged runners to get creative and identify their own local landmarks and map a run around hidden gems in their area on a solo run. However, Sam has been self-isolating with his girlfriend Chloe Skerritt, 28, since Monday when she developed a fever and a cough.

So instead, he had to make do with the views from his third floor apartment in South Woodford, Essex, as he completed the run in three hours with Chloe cheering him on.

I saw a video of a man in Italy who ran a full marathon on his balcony so I thought I could do a half-marathon on mine.

‘We have been self-isolating since Monday. We’re fine, but it’s more of a precaution really. ‘We took the decision to work from home and not go out as my mum works for the NHS and my dad has health issues so we didn’t want to risk spread anything to vulnerable people.’

He also wanted to honor his commitment to raising money for Haven House Children’s Hospice, which supports children with life-threatening or life-limiting illnesses.

They are an amazing charity that believes in the best possible life for every baby and child with a life-limited or life-threatening condition. ‘They do so much for families who live in my community and I’ve seen the work they have done which is absolutely amazing.

‘They’ve been going since 1990 and they’ve just put up an emergency appeal for funding. ‘All their fundraising events have been cancelled and their charity shops have had to close, which was a major source of their income.’

(03/30/2020) ⚡AMP
by Joe Roberts
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Eliud Kipchoge says that we will win fight against coronavirus

Eliud Kipchoge, the world's greatest marathon man, reckoned his first reaction was shock when he heard at home in Kenya that the 2020 Olympic Games had been postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak.

That shock soon gave way to disappointment - but then defiance.

"We will win this fight against the COVID-19," the barrier-breaking Kenyan, who's widely considered the world's finest runner, said in an interview with Reuters.

And the man who last year became the first to run a marathon in under two hours confirmed he can see himself refreshed and ready to defend his marathon title in a rearranged Tokyo Olympics next year.

For the moment, though, the 35-year-old insists his only concern is to care for his family at their home in Eldoret.

"I am totally concentrating on my safety, I am totally concentrating on the safety of the whole family," he said.

"We will win this fight against the COVID-19," the barrier-breaking Kenyan, who's widely considered the world's finest runner, said in an interview with Reuters.

And the man who last year became the first to run a marathon in under two hours confirmed he can see himself refreshed and ready to defend his marathon title in a rearranged Tokyo Olympics next year.

For the moment, though, the 35-year-old insists his only concern is to care for his family at their home in Eldoret.

"I am totally concentrating on my safety, I am totally concentrating on the safety of the whole family," he said.

"I was a little shocked and I had to go back, just to think more. I think and then I said, 'it's not a bad idea to actually postpone'.

"You know the Olympic Games is whereby everybody wants to participate ... it's in the dreams of every sportsman in this world.."

Kipchoge thinks a delayed Olympics could actually benefit his title defence.

"It's a great time for us to go back, train again and we will come back with a lot of energy," he said.

The pandemic has led to the postponement or cancellation of sporting events around the world, including the London Marathon, which next month was scheduled to be Kipchoge's first outing since October's landmark one hour, 59 minutes, 40 seconds run in Vienna.

Even though the run in Austria did not count as a world record because of the special conditions, the feat captured the world's imagination and brought Kipchoge a whole new level of fame.

Kenya has confirmed 42 coronavirus cases, including one fatality, with the country having imposed restrictive measures to arrest the spread of the disease. It even affects their brilliant runners.

But working together within a couple of months to come, this COVID-19 will go away.

"My priority number one is to get the virus away, come back with one mind, one thinking, one line of actually standing and competing."

(03/30/2020) ⚡AMP
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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75 year-old, Jim Pearson has run at least a mile every day for 50 years and he won´t stop doing it

The lead story in The Seattle Times on Feb. 15, 1970, was headlined, “Nixon bans war toxins.” In sports, the banner trumpeted that the Seattle Pilots were dropping the price of their field box seats for 1970 from $6 to $4.50 – though it became a moot point when the Pilots moved to Milwaukee six weeks later.

One other event that day, however, went unnoted in the news. Jim Pearson, the cross-country coach at Ferndale High School, didn’t go for a run.

The world has changed in myriad ways in the ensuing half-century, but there has been one constant. Through rainstorms and blizzards, floods and Nor’westers, surgeries and illness, and now through a worldwide pandemic, Pearson has run every day since.

That’s 50 years, 40 days and counting for the 75-year-old Pearson, now hunkered down in Marysville. Hunkered, that is, except for his daily peregrination in Adidas, a welcome diversion in our shelter-in-place existence.

Put another way, it’s 18,304 straight days of running at least a mile, which is the minimum requirement for an officially recognized running streak (but Pearson, a former national record-holder at 50 miles, almost never runs that short a distance). Put yet another way, it’s 176,926 total miles, up to and including Pearson’s 2½-mile run on Friday.

It’s the second-longest active streak in the country, 266 days behind the 18,570 of 69-year-old Jon Sutherland of West Hills, Calif. Pearson says with mock indignation, “Every day I run, and I haven’t gained a day on him.”

But everyone else in the country, and probably the world, is behind these two ironmen, as compiled by the Streak Runners International Inc. and United States Running Streak Association, Inc. Their registry is all based on the honor system, but Pearson has 50 years-plus of log books and running diaries to back him up.

“I’ve always said the first 100 days are the hardest on this streak stuff,’’ said Pearson. “People say, ‘Oh, you’re amazing.’ No, I’m not. People who can do one year, that’s amazing. How do you run every day for a year? But once you’ve done that, it’s something you just do.”

Pearson is duly grateful that running is an activity that can be maintained through the coronavirus quarantining – with proper social distancing, of course. It’s just one of numerous challenges Pearson has faced to keep his streak alive since his summer coach with the Everett Elks track team, Keith Gilbertson Sr., implored Pearson to get more consistent with his running.

Running became a way of life in the Pearson family. All three of his children, two boys and a girl, put together run streaks that stretched into multiple years. Barbie, his wife, didn’t run, but she told Jim when they were married, “I won’t interfere with your running.”

 

(03/30/2020) ⚡AMP
by Larry Stone
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OTC Elite runners hoping for late-summer meets

The coronavirus pandemic has postponed the Tokyo Olympics for a year and put the 2020 track and field season on hold indefinitely.

That doesn’t necessarily mean the work has stopped for the athletes.

Several members of the Eugene-based Oregon Track Club Elite professional training group have continued to train, albeit with a modified schedule.

Gyms are closed, as are several local tracks, but the trails are still open, and OTC Elite’s team of middle distance and distance runners are taking advantage.

“Not much has changed for me fortunately,” said Ben Blankenship, a 2016 Olympian in the 1,500 meters. “It’s just going out there alone and being self-disciplined.”

Blankenship has been plotting his return to the Summer Games since his eighth-place finish four years ago in Rio de Janeiro.That didn’t change on Tuesday when the International Olympic Committee and the Japanese government agreed to move the Olympics to 2021.

“I was really ready to do something,” Blankenship said. “We were looking at some of those early (spring) Stanford meets to get ready. But now it’s kind of catch your breath and restart. It could almost be looked at as a bonus year, right? So what can you do this year as kind of a bonus?”

Blankenship wasn’t the only runner on OTC Elite gearing up for a spot on the starting line at the Summer Games. Among its 15 members, there are six Olympians, including marathoner Sally Kipyego, who had already qualified for Tokyo with her third-place finish at the women’s U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials last month in Atlanta.

USA Track & Field has not yet announced whether Kipyego, as well as former Oregon star and men’s marathon winner Galen Rupp, will be able to keep those qualifiers for the 2021 Games or if the marathon qualifier will have to be raced again. The top three finishers in both races in Atlanta qualified for Tokyo.

Also for OTC Elite, Francine Niyonsaba was the 2016 silver medalist in the women’s 800 for Burundi, Hassan Mead (U.S.) and Tom Farrell (Great Britain) were in the men’s 5,000 that year, and Nijel Amos won silver in the men’s 800 for Botswana in 2012 when he was just 18 years old.

Amos had his best season on the track last year since his success in London. He ran under 1:45 in all but one race, and twice broke 1:43, including his season-best of 1:41.89.

Amos wasn’t the only one who excelled in 2019.

Hanna Green is coming off a breakout season as she made her first World Outdoor Championship team for the United States in the women’s 800 after running 1:58.19 for a second-place finish at the U.S. Outdoor Championships.

That success fueled high expectations coming into the 2020 Olympic season.

“Definitely disappointed because I felt like I had a pretty good start and was kind of rolling into another good season,” she said. “You just have to think positive right now because you don’t know what’s going to happen so you don’t want to get into a negative thought process where you’re just worrying. You have to go with the flow.”

Like Blankenship, Green is taking advantage of the trails to get her work in and try and maintain some fitness.

“We’ve definitely stepped back in our training, just to be safe and so our immune systems aren’t being damaged by hard workouts,” Green said. “Once we know if or when there are going to be races we’ll start to build up again.”

The sooner the better, both Blankenship and Green said.

World Athletics said earlier this week it was still hoping to host several one-day meets later in the summer.

“If they could get in those later Diamond League meets that would be awesome, or any meet in general,” Green said. “You just have to stay ready for whatever’s next whenever that may be.”

(03/30/2020) ⚡AMP
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Coe says World Athletics Championships could move to 2022

The World Athletics Championships could be moved from next year to 2022 to accommodate the rearranged Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, according to World Athletics President Sebastian Coe.

Coe said today that his sport’s flagship Championships, due to take place in Oregon from August 6 to 15, could be moved from 2021 to give space to the Tokyo Games, which have been postponed for up to a year amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"Nobody saw this problem (with the virus)...so the flexibility here is very important," Coe told Japanese media in a teleconference.

Should the biennial Championships be postponed for a year, he said it would still be possible to "have a 2022 and 2023 Championships back to back," although he added that was a matter of speculation at this point.

Speaking in a later teleconference with African and European media, Coe accepted that a delay of a year could mean more Russian athletes taking part in the next Olympics and Paralympics as their federation seeks to restore faith in its operation following the long-standing doping scandal.

At the World Athletics Council meeting in Monaco earlier this month the world governing body decided to introduce a cap of 10 neutral Russian athletes competing in forthcoming major events, adding it was aimed at accelerating change in the Russian system.

But asked today, Coe responded: “I think that is something we would want to be discussing with our Task Force.

“But looking down the road, everybody is in a different landscape so that will have to be looked at.”

Asked if there might be an upside for the Oregon organisers to have an extra year to prepare – and if there would be a downside in staging the next World Championships a year ahead of the scheduled 2023 version in Budapest, Coe told insidethegames:

“Nothing has been decided yet, but no International Federation is likely to be comfortable holding its World Championships in the same year as an Olympics.

“If we were to hold the next World Championships in 2022, a year after the Games, you would have the next ones in 2023, and then be in the Olympic Games in 2024.

“You would have athletics centre stage for four consecutive years…I think we could live with that, and that athletes could live with that.

“But it is still a matter for consideration.”

Earlier this week, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach agreed to push back the Summer Olympic Games, with the IOC Board approving it on grounds of safeguarding the health and safety of athletes.

In a statement earlier this week, World Athletics said it was already working to “ensure that Oregon is able to host the World Athletics Championships on alternative dates, should that prove necessary.”

Coe, the chairman of the 2012 London Olympic Organising Committee, expressed his support for the decision to push back the Tokyo Olympics, saying, "It was not an easy decision," adding everyone did what they could do at every level.

"No decisions will be made until we see the Tokyo dates," Coe said from his home in London.

Asked his opinion on possibly holding the Tokyo Olympics outside the summer months, Coe said, "I don't want to speculate on that. Because the meeting, the conference call that took place with the IOC yesterday, had all the International Federations on board and we all agreed those conversations will remain private."

Some international sports federations have suggested holding the Games in spring as a means to avoid the sweltering Tokyo summer.

However Coe indicated the view World Athletics have on the spring/summer question when he responded to a suggestion by Spanish paper Marca that never in history have there been good track and field performances in April and May.

Coe responded with a single sentence: "I wouldn't disagree with you."

On the idea of moving the marathon back to the capital from Sapporo should the Olympics be held at a cooler time, which Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike endorsed, Coe also answered that it is "very early to start speculating."

Since concerns over uncertainty in the qualification status of athletes emerged following the announcement of the delay of the Olympics, Coe said in addressing the issue, "A large number of athletes are already qualified and if they are qualified, they remain qualified."

For athletes who have not qualified for the Olympic Games, "a fair process" will be provided, he said, stressing the importance of transparency in the process at the same time.

He added: "As of today, all athletes who have met the entry standards for their event will remain qualified for the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2021.”

(03/29/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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After coronavirus forces postponement of 2020 Tokyo Olympics, elite athletes share their sorrow

Former University of Oregon sprinter English Gardner was looking at the big picture when the news broke Tuesday that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics were being postponed for a year because of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic.

Gardner has a 2016 Olympic gold medal from the Team USA women’s 4x100 relay and big hopes for Tokyo.

But she fully supports the decision by the International Olympic Committee and Japanese organizers to postpone.

“I’m bigger than track and field,” Gardner said. “I’m part of the community. I’m a human being. I’m a sister. I’m a mother. I’m a girlfriend. I’m a godmother. As a whole world, we’re kind of going through it right now. It’s OK that the Games got postponed because this problem, this illness, this sickness is way bigger than Tokyo.”

Gardner is among the Olympic-level athletes and coaches who spoke to The Oregonian/OregonLive on Tuesday about the postponement. They shared varying mixtures of relief, resignation, disappointment and hope for the future.

Shortly after the decision about the Olympics became public, the TrackTown USA local organizing committee announced the U.S. Olympic trials for track and field scheduled for June at Hayward Field in Eugene also had been postponed.

In most of the country, athletes are living in various degrees of social isolation as state, regional and municipal governments try to slow the spread of the virus. In many cases it has affected their ability to train.

Maybe worse has been the uncertainty of not knowing what the future holds and watching major sporting events be canceled or postponed, one after another. It seemed only a matter of time before the Olympics became the next domino to fall.

“I wasn’t super surprised,” said Shelby Houlihan of the Portland-based Bowerman Track Club and reigning USA Track & Field outdoor women’s champion in the 1,500 and 5,000 meters. “I figured it was probably going to happen. But it still kind of sucks.

“Obviously, it was probably for the best because of the situation we’re in. Safety should definitely be the No. 1 priority. But it does suck because I was ready for this year.”

Pete Julian coaches a Nike-sponsored, Portland-based team of elite distance runners who have been gearing up for the Olympics.

Julian’s group includes, among others, U.S. mid-distance stars Donavan Brazier, the 2019 world outdoor champion in the 800 meters, and Craig Engels, German star Konstanze Klosterhalfen and former University of Oregon runner Jessica Hull of Australia.

“I don’t think any of them are happy about the Olympics getting moved,” Julian said. “I think a lot of them feel they’re ready to go and believe they can win medals. They’re sort of kicking the post. They want to race.”

But Julian agrees with the decision to postpone. His message to his runners is they can be better in 2021 than they are now. He believes the Olympics can be too.

“I think Tokyo is one of the few cities in the world that could pull this off without a hitch,” he said. “I don’t think most of us can even imagine the logistical nightmare that this is going to create, and what the IOC and Tokyo will have to work through. But they will be able to do it, and it will be amazing.”

Evan Jager of the Bowerman Track Club is the 2016 Olympic silver medalist in the men’s steeplechase. He said he had a strong winter of training and liked his positioning heading into the outdoor season. But he believes this step back can turn to be a bigger step forward.

“Postponing it a year and having the Olympics as that light at the end of the tunnel is going to be a very positive thing to look forward to,” Jager said. “We can come out of this crisis a year from now, and hopefully be healthy. The Olympics can be a celebration of getting out of these dark times.”

Marathoner Galen Rupp said he planned to keep training and keep perspective.

The former University of Oregon star won an Olympic silver medal in the men’s 10,000 meters in 2012 and a bronze in the marathon in 2016. He already had made the 2020 U.S. Olympic team by winning the marathon trials on Feb. 29 in Atlanta.

“The health, safety and well-being of the global population are of the utmost importance and beyond any sporting event,” Rupp said. “Already so many people have gotten sick or died and so many more have been greatly impacted by the coronavirus. We need to listen to the advice of health experts.”

Even if that means going dark in 2020 and waiting a year so the coronavirus can be contained.

Gardner, the former UO sprinter who lives in New Jersey, said training has become difficult because of quarantine containment regulations. She joked she has to get creative to do track workouts because of padlocked facilities.

“I’ve been hopping a lot of fences,” she said. “I’ve been working on my long jump and high jump approaches.”

But turning serious, she said she endorsed the quarantines and social-distancing rules as a way to keep vulnerable family members safe. She said the Olympic postponement would protect athletes and fans.

“I was mostly concerned that we would calm the virus down, we all would go to Tokyo and spur it back up again,” Gardner said.

She said it could hit athlete housing in Tokyo the way an outbreak of the norovirus struck at the 2017 World Outdoor Championships in London.

“We share common eating rooms,” she said. “We all share the same tracks, the same weight rooms, the same hotels. It would just be a matter of time before it spurred back up again.“

(03/29/2020) ⚡AMP
by Oregon Live
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