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Kenya's Amos Kipruto focused on Valencia Marathon

The 2019 World Athletics Championships marathon bronze medalist Amos Kipruto is intent on improving his personal best time even in a season adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

He will get another chance to attempt on lowering his personal mark of 2 hours 5 minutes 43 seconds when he races in the Valencia Marathon on December 6.

Kipruto has been fine-tuning for race in Kapsabet, Nandi County for several months now after his 18th placed finish in the Tokyo Marathon in March in a time of 2:08:00.

In an interview with Nation Sport, Kipruto said he was in good shape when he went to Japan for the Tokyo race but complications arose as he was running which slowed him down.

“It has been a challenging year and for me it started when I competed in the Tokyo Marathon. I had some calf muscle problem. I was disappointed to finish 18th,  but that is now gone and I am focused on doing well in Valencia and also going for a PB.”

“Being selected for the race is humbling and I must say I’m lucky because many athletes are at home and have not been able to compete,” said Kipruto.

According to Kipruto, the lineup looks tough with many Ethiopian athletes in the mix who have registered faster times than him.

(10/29/2020) Views: 11 ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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Galen Rupp and Suguru Osako are aiming for a fast half marathon on Friday near Eugene

Olympians Galen Rupp and Suguru Osako have signed on for what is expected to be a blazingly fast half marathon Friday at an undisclosed location in Lane County.

Eugene Marathon has set up the course and ensured it is certified. Organizers are declining to reveal the course’s location or time in deference to the coronavirus pandemic. All participants have been tested for the virus.

Rupp won the men’s race at 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials last February in Atlanta. The former University of Oregon star is the 2012 Olympic silver medalist in the 10,000 meters and the 2016 Olympic bronze medalist in the marathon. He holds the U.S. record for the 10,000.

Osako is the Japanese record-holder in the marathon, as well as the 3,000 and 5,000 meters.

The two runners are former teammates with the now defunct Nike Oregon Project. Both are based in Portland, although Osako has been training in Flagstaff, Arizona.

“Galen called me maybe a month ago,” said Pete Julian, Osako’s coach. "He asked if Suguru would be interested in throwing down somewhere in Oregon in this time frame.

“I was like, ‘Galen, you called at the perfect time. That’s exactly what we want to do.'”

Rupp has not raced since winning in Atlanta. Osako was active with Julian’s group in track races over the summer. He had begun training for December’s Honolulu Marathon before that was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I think they’re pretty lined up,” Julian said of the two runners. “Galen hasn’t raced in a long time. But he is old enough and wise enough now that if he says wants to run a good, hard, fast half marathon, you have to believe he is ready to go. I know Suguru is ready to go. It will be cool.”

The course is said to be flat. And if the race is fast, well, the U.S. record for a half marathon of 59 minutes, 43 seconds has been held by Ryan Hall since 2007. The Japanese half-marathon record is of 1:00.00 was set earlier this year by Yusuke Ogura.

Julian wouldn’t call Friday’s race a record attempt.

“Hey, man, 13.1 miles is a long way to go,” Julian said. “It’s almost foolish to say we’re targeting something because I know nothing about the course. My assumption is if the weather is nice, it’s warm enough and it’s not windy, and you have two guys like that, running around an hour for a half marathon is certainly within their capabilities.”

Eugene Marathon will be posting more details on its Twitter and Instagram accounts as the race nears. On Friday, organizers will use those platforms to provide updates on the progress of the competition.

(10/28/2020) Views: 29 ⚡AMP
by Ken Goe
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Joshua Cheptegei's world 5000m record of 12:35.36 set at the Wanda Diamond League in Monaco on August 14 has been ratified

The Ugandan, now 24, took two seconds off Kenenisa Bekele’s mark of 12:37.35, set 16 years earlier in Hengelo. Amazingly, it was Cheptegei’s first race since setting a world 5km record on the roads on 16 February, also in Monaco.

Paced through the early stages by Roy Hoornweg (2:31.87 at 1000m) and Matthew Ramsden (5:03.77 at 2000m), Cheptegei, the reigning world cross country and 10,000m champion, took up the running at half way and continued the metronomic pace, churning out 61-second laps. He passed through 3000m in 7:35.14 and then upped the pace slightly with a 2:30 fourth kilometre.

Having left the rest of the field way behind, he maintained his tempo and eked out another 2:30 split for the final kilometre, bringing him to the finish line in 12:35.36 after a 59.64 final lap.

With his season cut short by the Covid-19 pandemic, Cheptegei made no secret of his ambitions to take down's Bekele's record which had stood since the rising star was seven years old, and targeted precisely that in Monaco.

After the race Cheptegei revealed: “It took a lot of mind setting to keep being motivated this year because so many people are staying at home but you have to stay motivated. I pushed myself, I had the right staff with me, the right coach. I'm also usually based in Europe, but being based in Uganda with my family was actually great.

“If you believe in something, anything is possible," he continued. "Breaking a record was something really difficult, but when you know the right way, it’s not difficult anymore. So, the next challenge is to go chase one or two more world records. I would be the happiest person in the world.”

On 7 October in Valencia, in his third race of the year, Cheptegei shattered the world record in the 10,000m, clocking 26:11.00, a performance which is now awaiting ratification.

(10/28/2020) Views: 29 ⚡AMP
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The 2021 Boston Marathon will not be held in April but hopefully in the fall

The Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) has announced that the 125th Boston Marathon, traditionally held on the third Monday in April—Patriots’ Day in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts—will be postponed until at least the fall of 2021. The B.A.A., which has been meeting regularly with its COVID-19 Medical & Event Operations Advisory Group to determine when and how the Boston Marathon can be held again, will begin working with local, city, and state officials, sponsors, organizing committee members, and other stakeholders to determine if a fall 2021 date is feasible.

“With fewer than six months until Patriots’ Day and with road races prohibited until Phase 4 of the Massachusetts reopening plan, we are unable to host the Boston Marathon this coming April,” said Tom Grilk, C.E.O. of the B.A.A. “By shifting our focus to a fall date, we can continue to work with stakeholders to adjust the in-person experience for runners and supporters alike. Prioritizing the safety of participants, volunteers, spectators, and community members, we continue to assess all elements of the race including a potential reduced field size or weekend date.”

No 2021 date has been selected, however, the B.A.A. will work with local, city, and state officials and members of its COVID-19 Medical & Event Operations Advisory Group to establish under what conditions the next live, in-person Boston Marathon can occur. Before the end of the year, the B.A.A. seeks to announce a new date. Other details such as when registration may open and the field size, pending local regulations and the event plan, will also be forthcoming. Information regarding other 2021 B.A.A. events, including the B.A.A. 5K, B.A.A. 10K, and B.A.A. Half Marathon, will be announced at a later date.

“We are optimistic that the Boston Marathon will continue its tradition of celebrating the spirit of community and athletic excellence next fall. We know there will be many questions and we will look to address them in the coming months ahead,” Grilk said.

The 2020 Boston Marathon, originally scheduled for April 20, was held as a ten-day Virtual Experience after being canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

(10/28/2020) Views: 18 ⚡AMP
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

The 124th Boston Marathon originally scheduled for April 20 was postponed to September 14 and then May 28 it was cancelled for 2020. The next Boston Marathon is scheduled for April 19, 2021. Among the nation’s oldest athletic clubs, the B.A.A. was established in 1887, and, in 1896, more than half of the U.S. Olympic Team at the first modern...

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2020 Grandma’s Marathon race t-shirts were donated to people in need

Grandma's marathon has managed to take a not-so-great situation and use it for good.

The organization has donated More than 150 boxes full of race t-shirts that didn't go to runners. That's about 10-thousand items that will be heading to Haiti to benefit those in need.

"Wow I was just surprised. Here we are at Advantage Emblem and they have all these t-shirts that they are giving to Orphan Grain Train," said Pastor Tom Brinkley of St. Matthews Church. "They were so nice and I realize how difficult that is not being able to run the race and having this stuff but what a blessing it's been to us."

"When we ship stuff, we don't just ship it randomly. There has to be an organization in place," said Eugene Pasche of Orphan Grain Train. "So it doesn't just go to a port there and sit there like when there is a natural disaster. With a destination and a person there to get it, it moves quite fast."

The donation was made with help from "Orphan Grain Train" and St. Matthews Lutheran Church in Esko.

(10/28/2020) Views: 26 ⚡AMP
by Kelly Hinseth
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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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Adidas' ownership of the Reebok brand may be coming to an end, according to a report from Manager Magazine today

According to the German publication, the Three Stripes has already assembled an internal team to potentially reach a deal to sell the company by March 2021.

Two names have emerged as potential suitors of acquiring the brand:  China's Anta Sports and the VF Corporation, the latter of which owns outdoor apparel and footwear brands including Timberland, Vans, and The North Face.

Since taking over as CEO of Adidas in 2016, Kasper Rorsted has repeatedly stated that the brand has no intention of selling Reebok off, despite demands from investors to do so in 2017.

In Adidas' Q2 2020 earnings report, the company reported that Reebok revenues were down 42 percent due to its large presence to the U.S. market in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Adidas bought Reebok in August 2005 for $3.8 billion.

When reached for inquiry, Adidas cited its company policy to not comment on market rumors. 

(10/28/2020) Views: 22 ⚡AMP
by Victor Deng
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Kolt Codner runs his first marathon around hospital for 4-year-old son with cancer

There were two thoughts pushing Kolt Codner forward in his first marathon race: his 4-year-old son Andrew's fight against cancer and the hospital that provides him care.

Codner, of Poland, Ohio, ran 26.2 miles around Akron Children's Hospital on October 17 to raise money for the hospital treating his son, who has 26 months left in his treatment.

In early May, Codner and his wife Tristan received a phone call that Andrew had a bed waiting for him in the hematology and oncology unit of the hospital.

A day that began as a visit to the pediatrician for Andrew's swollen face had resulted in a diagnosis of acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a common childhood cancer.

Codner's run served to show his appreciation to the hospital staff that has turned a traumatic experience like cancer treatment into one his young son faces bravely, Codner says.

"The folks at Akron Children's have taken something that should be scary and terrifying and made it this amazing badge of honor to recognize the superhero that he is," Codner told CNN. "We couldn't think of a better thing to contribute to and spend time trying to help raise funds to ensure that all kids have access to the same amazing experience as Andrew has had at Akron Children's."

Codner participated in the race as part of the virtual FirstEnergy Akron Marathon, Half Marathon & Team Relay, which replaced the hospital's yearly marathon due to the coronavirus pandemic. According to the virtual marathon guidelines, runners can race at any location or pace, and Codner decided to run his marathon around the hospital to spotlight their work.

On the day of the race, Codner wrote Andrew's name on the top of his running shoes to keep him motivated. Friends and family were stationed outside the hospital to cheer him on, in a course that took 5 hours and 35 laps to complete. His son was even able to run with him across the finish line and award him a medal.

"To see him running and doing that last lap with me was just incredible," Codner said.

By the end of the run, Codner had raised 10 times more than his initial goal of $1,000, according to a hospital press release. The fund has reached over $13,000 in donations and has expanded its window until November 30.

Dr. Megan Sampson, a pediatric oncologist who has treated Andrew at the hospital, praises the Codner family.

"It just amazed me that during this scary time that he was thinking about doing this," said Sampson, referring to Codner's run and the attention he has drawn to the hospital's work.

Andrew's prognosis is good and he's responding well to the treatment he has received, but he still has a long way to go, Sampson says.

(10/28/2020) Views: 24 ⚡AMP
by Kelsie Smith
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Akron Marathon Race Series

Akron Marathon Race Series

The marquee event of the Akron Children’s Hospital Akron Marathon Race Series, the Akron Marathon, Half Marathon, & Team Relay presented by First Energy receives a fresh new look ! Runners will experience an unforgettable start inside the historic grounds of Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens before taking an exclusive foot tour of the City of Akron. The Goodyear Half...

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Former world half marathon champions Geoffrey Kamworor and Paul Tergat have said fast-rising Kibiwott Kandie could be the next big thing in distance running

Kandie claimed silver on his maiden appearance for Kenya in the World Half Marathon Championships on Saturday in Gdynia, Poland, losing the battle to Uganda’s teenager Jacob Kiplimo in the last kilometers.

“Kandie has a better and bright future. All he needs to do is to remain consistent and to observe self-discipline,” Kamworor who did not travel to Poland to defend his title owing to injury from a road accident, said. He said Kandie did well in Saturday’s race and was perhaps let down by inexperience.

He said Kandie, who looked strong in the race, could have easily won had he made a decisive move after the 15km.

Kamworor returned to training late, having recovered from injuries sustained from a freak accident on June 25 this year.

“I have recovered well and will be back soon. I really wanted to be in Gdynia but I couldn’t,” said Kamworor, who won the 2014 (Copenhagen), 2016 (Cardiff) and 2018 (Valencia) editions of the World Half Marathon. 

Kiplimo won in 58:49, erasing Kamworor’s championship record time of 59:08 from Valencia.  National Cross-country champion Kandie finished second in 58:54.

Peres Jepchirchir recaptured the women’s title she won for the first time in 2018 Valencia not only in a championship record but also women’s only half marathon world record of 1:05:16.

Tergat, who became the first man to successfully defend his World Half Marathon title, said running below one hour in three races in a year is a sign of a great athletics potential.

Tergat won the 2000 Veracruz event in Mexico after his previous exploits in 1999 in Palermo, Italy.

“Kandie ran a good race, occasionally pushing. We could have missed out on the podium if he didn’t do that. I really don’t know why his colleagues faded away in the race,” said Tergat, who was impressed by Jepchirchir’s fighting spirit. He said the performance points to a good performance by Kenyan women at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Tergat cautioned Kenyans about the threat posed by Ugandan athletes, whom he referred to as ‘brothers from another mother.’

(10/28/2020) Views: 17 ⚡AMP
by Ayumba Ayodi
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Christian Coleman will miss the Olympic Games in Tokyo next year after the world 100m champion was banned for two years after two missed drugs tests and a filing failure in 2019

Coleman had disputed one of the missed tests, saying he had been out Christmas shopping but had returned during the one-hour window required to be tested. But an athletics disciplinary panel rejected the sprinter’s explanation and banned him until 13 May 2022.

The 24-year-old American earns close to a seven-figure salary from his sponsors at Nike and in July issued a lengthy defence of his actions, saying he was Christmas shopping “five minutes away” and should have been telephoned by testers “who didn’t even bother to call me”.

“I think the attempt on 9 December was a purposeful attempt to get me to miss a test,” he said. “I’ve been contacted by phone literally every other time I’ve been tested – why would the AIU tell him not to call me?”

However, the disciplinary panel ruled that testers were under no obligation to “invite an athlete to come for testing”.

“The athlete’s evidence was that he was out Christmas shopping, though he stated that he arrived home shortly before the end of the one-hour period because he recalled watching the kick-off of the Monday night football game, which starts at 8.15pm.

“His case was that the doping control officer must have left slightly before the end of the 60-minute time slot and he must have just missed him.”

Shopping receipts show that the athlete was shopping at least from 7.13pm, also purchased a Chipotle at 7.53pm and finally purchased 16 items from a Walmart Super Centre at 8.22pm. “The athlete’s evidence was that he returned home briefly some time between 8 and 8.10pm, ate his Chipotle while watching the kick off and then went out again. We do not accept the athlete’s evidence.”

The tester was there at his gated community residence from 7.15pm to 8.15pm, also taking a picture at 8.21pm to confirm the time.

A statement from the Athletics Integrity Unit, posted on social media, said: “The disciplinary panel has upheld the AIU’s charge and banned sprinter Christian Coleman of the USA for two years for three whereabouts failures in 12 months.”

Coleman is yet to comment but has always insisted that he has never used performance-enhancing drugs.

(10/27/2020) Views: 68 ⚡AMP
by 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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World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge says that he will be back in big way

Olympics marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge is still recovering from the London Marathon setback in which he finished eighth on October 4.

“I will take time to recover from the London Marathon loss. I’m healing, I want to move on and focus on the future,” he said on Thursday after touring the Isuzu D-Max Pick-up assembly line in Nairobi.

The world marathon record holder, who had won 10 consecutive marathons since 2014 before this year's London debacle on October 4 in which a blocked ear thwarted his bid for a fifth title, signed a new partnership agreement with Isuzu East Africa that will run until after 2020 Tokyo Olympics that were postponed to next year. 

Kipchoge has been the Isuzu D-Max Pick-up ambassador for the last three years.

On Thursday, Isuzu East Africa hosted the legendary athlete who affirmed his commitment to making a comeback in the races ahead.

“If you despair, you lose what you have built over many years and miss future opportunities to come back stronger and better. If you train harder and build strength, you go to the track and run another race and rely on the strength you have built to propel you to another victory,” Kipchoge, who turns 36 on November 5, said.

He enjoys the use of a fully serviced luxury automatic Isuzu D-Max Pick-up in addition to two other vehicles that he was awarded for winning the 2018 Berlin Marathon in a world record time of two hours, one minute and 39 seconds, and for running under two-hours at the INEOS 1:59 Challenge in Vienna, Austria last year.

Isuzu East Africa Managing Director Rita Kavashe said that Kipchoge has been a reliable and dependable Isuzu D-Max brand ambassador. 

“Through his record setting exploits, he has inspired a lot of people to believe in themselves and pursue their dreams,” she said.

Kipchoge thanked Isuzu for its demonstration of confidence in his capabilities and for supporting his dream.

Under the new deal, Isuzu East Africa will work with the Eliud Kipchoge Foundation to uplift the well-being of community through access to education, sports talent development and environmental conservation.

(10/27/2020) Views: 64 ⚡AMP
by Geoffrey Anene
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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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Olympic and world medalist Taoufik Makhloufi of Algeria, linked to gym bag of drug paraphernalia

Taoufik Makhloufi of Algeria is being investigated for ties to a gym bag filled with drug paraphernalia found at INSEP, a French track and field training center.

The four-time Olympic medalist and, most recently, 2019 world championships silver medalist in the 1,500m had personal documentation found in a sports bag filled with syringes and products for injection.

He’s now being investigated by French authorities to see if the bag is connected with him and if his possible possession constitutes an offence. Makhloufi rose to running fame in 2012 when he broke onto the scene by winning the Olympic gold medal in the 1,500m.

At the time, he was coached by Jama Aden, who was at the centre of a 2016 drug raid in Barcelona, which found EPO at the hotel he and his athletes were staying in. Makhloufi had left the group by the time the raid occurred. 

According to the CCES (Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport), runners can be banned for the presence, possession or use of a prohibited substance for two to four years. Makhloufi hasn’t recorded any results in 2020. His last result on the track was his 1,500m final in Doha. 

(10/27/2020) Views: 27 ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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2020 Cardiff Half Marathon postponed again, until October 2021 due to coronavirus pandemic

The Cardiff Half Marathon - already postponed from this October to next March - has been put back again.

The next edition of the race will now take place on Sunday, October 3, 2021.

Organizers had hoped to hold two half-marathons next year - the postponed event in March and then another as usual in October.

However, they say rising Covid-19 cases and new lockdown restrictions mean it will not be possible to hold an event like this in March.

The initial decision to move the race from October 2020 to March 2021 had been taken in June.

The next two races will now be in October 2021 and October 2022.

Organizer Run 4 Wales said it had been closely monitoring the ongoing coronavirus situation and the guidance issued by the Welsh and UK governments, whilst making arrangements to try and deliver a Covid-secure event in the spring of 2021 but that this was no longer a viable possibility.

"We had watched with optimism over recent months as lockdown restrictions had eased and successful pilot events across the UK have demonstrated that it is possible to safely deliver mass-participation events," said a statement announcing the latest postponement.

"It is now clear, however, against a backdrop of rising cases, freshly imposed lockdown restrictions and a turbulent winter period ahead that it will not be possible to deliver an event of this size and scale by March of next year."

Run 4 Wales now plans to deliver a number of smaller events with additional hygiene and social distancing measures in place, as it builds to the return of the Cardiff Half Marathon in October 2021.

"The health and safety of our runners, volunteers, event team and the wider population is of the utmost importance to us. We have therefore been working closely with the Welsh Government and other mass participation event organizers across Wales and the UK to chart a safe return to events."

Since its foundation in 2003, the Cardiff Half Marathon has become the UK's third biggest race after the London Marathon and the Great North Run.

It typically sees more than £4m raised for charities and last year 27,500 runners and 100,000 spectators attended the race.

(10/27/2020) Views: 37 ⚡AMP
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Cardiff Half Marathon

Cardiff Half Marathon

The Cardiff University/Cardiff Half Marathon has grown into one of the largest road races in the United Kingdom. The first event took place back in 2003. The event is not only the UK’s second largest half marathon, it is Wales’ largest road race and Wales’ largest multi-charity fund raising event. The race is sponsored by Cardiff University and supported by...

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Ryu Takaku, Yuma Hattori and Taku Fujimoto Headline Fukuoka International Marathon

With strict limitations on immigration still a reality in Japan, the Dec. 6 Fukuoka International Marathon has announced an almost entirely domestic field of less than 100 that includes only five Japan-based foreign-born athletes plus an all-Japan-based Kenyan pacing crew led by Bedan Karoki (Toyota).

Not that the field is hurting for quality. Ryu Takaku (Yakult), 2:06:45 in Tokyo this year, 2018 Fukuoka winner and Tokyo Olympics marathon team member Yuma Hattori (Toyota), and Taku Fujimoto (Toyota), a bump up to the 2019 Fukuoka winner's position pending after the subsequent suspension of the Moroccan who crossed the line first for biological passport violations, make up the front end of a field that includes eleven current sub-2:10 men and seven of last year's top ten.

Hattori has said publicly that he'll be going for Suguru Osako's 2:05:29 national record, and with pacing support from teammates Karoki and Fujimoto, his former Toyo University teammate Takaku there with him, and no dirty athletes to effortlessly tear him in half at the end, if the weather is good his chances will be too.

Shizuoka-based Kenyan Michael Githae (Suzuki) is the top international in the field with a best of 2:09:21 from Lake Biwa in 2018, but sub-60 half marathoner Paul Kuira (JR Higashi Nihon) still has potential to improve on his 2:11:58 best, and likewise for former Takushoku University ekiden team captain Derese Workneh (Hiramatsu Byoin). Workneh's teammate Cyrus Kingori (Hiramatsu Byoin) looks promising in his debut with a 1:01:31 for 4th at last year's Gifu Seiryu Half. 

One promising name for a breakthrough in the Japanese field is Taiki Suzuki (Raffine), 9th last year in 2:12:09 in his marathon debut. It'll be interesting as well to see if Yuya Yoshida (GMO) can build on his inspiring at-the-time-career-ending 2:08:30 debut at Beppu-Oita this year, and it still feels like Olympic team alternate Shohei Otsuka (Kyudenko) has more waiting in him than his 2:10:12 best from Beppu-Oita two years ago.

Toyo fans will be hoping the same for Keita Shitara (Hitachi Butsuryu), twin brother of former NR holder Yuta Shitara.

(10/26/2020) Views: 54 ⚡AMP
by Brett Larner
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Fukuoka Marathon

Fukuoka Marathon

The Fukuoka International Open Marathon Championship is one of the longest running races in Japan, it is alsoan international men’s marathon race established in 1947. The course record is held by Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia, running 2:05:18 in 2009. Frank Shorter won first straight years from 1971 to 1974. Derek Clayton set the World Record here in 1967 running 2:09:37. ...

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Uganda´s Joshua Cheptegei to rest for a month before chasing Olympic dream

Joshua Cheptegei will rest for a month before he starts preparations for the next season."It has been hectic. I want to rest a bit before I prepare for what could be an even more challenging 2021," stated Cheptegei.

The cross-country season begins next month climaxing in March before the track season whose highlight will be the Tokyo Olympics in August.

Rest makes a lot of sense after a season where the Ugandan star has broken three world records.But there are signs of an equally tough upcoming season where Cheptegei will be eyeing a historic 5000 and 10000 meter Olympic double.

"Of course I will be going for double gold in Tokyo," stated Cheptegei from Kapchorwa today.

For now, Stephen Kiprotich is the only Ugandan to have won gold at both the Olympics and World Championships.

Should Cheptegei realize this dream he will become the first Ugandan to soar to such heights.

2016 Olympic 5000 and 10000m gold medals.

Olympic gold is the only medal so far missing in Cheptegei's now rich collection.Victory in Tokyo will not only make Cheptegei one of Africa's greatest athletes,  but also Uganda's most successful ever.

(10/26/2020) Views: 35 ⚡AMP
by James Bakama
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Triathlete Richard Murray runs 28:04, third-fastest 10K in South African history

On Saturday, Olympic triathlete Richard Murray of South Africa ran a solo 10K time trial in a blazing-fast time of 28:04. This is not only the 13th-fastest time of 2020, but it’s also the third best in South African history.

The run is unofficial, so Murray’s name won’t be added to any record books, but if he ever chooses to drop the swim and the bike and focus solely on running, it looks like he would have a good shot at officially breaking some South African records. 

Murray’s 10K 

Running in the Netherlands, Murray had the perfect course for a flat and fast 10K time trial. The weather was not on his side, though, and he had to endure heavy winds throughout the run. In a YouTube video documenting his time trial, Murray said he hoped to run 2:48 per kilometer for the two-lap 10K course, and he ended up hitting that pace goal right on.

Later in the video, Murray’s wife and fellow Olympic triathlete Rachel Klamer said she wasn’t sure if her husband would be able to meet his low-28 goal, but she added that if he did, she would encourage him to “go and train for it properly” next year after they race at the Tokyo Olympics to see if he could break 28 minutes. 

His 10K time puts him just outside the top-10 for 2020, and he’s impressively close to that 28-minute barrier. With the result, he only trails compatriots Shadrack Hoff (who has a 27:50 PB) and national record-holder Stephen Mokoka (PB of 27:38) on the all-time list of South Africans. Mokoka’s 10K time is much faster than Murray’s new PB, but if Murray put in dedicated run training like Klamer suggested, he could certainly challenge that South African record. 

This is not Murray’s first noteworthy solo time trial result. Earlier in October, he rode his bike for a two-hour workout and immediately followed it up with a mile PB of 4:05, and in May, he ran a 5K PB of 13:48. Had the 5K run been in an official race, it would be good enough for second all-time among South Africans, and Murray would once again be behind Hoff, who owns the national record of 13:30.

At the Rio Games in 2016, Murray ran his way through the field after the swim and bike legs, posting a 30:34 10K for the fastest run split of the day and a fourth-place finish. He is routinely among the top finishers in World Triathlon Series events, and while he’ll have his eyes on a podium result in Tokyo next summer, we’re more eager to see how quickly he can run after a run-specific training block. 

(10/26/2020) Views: 37 ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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2020 World Athletics Awards will be virtually

This year's finest athletics achievements will be celebrated at the World Athletics Awards 2020, to be staged as a virtual event on Saturday 5 December and streamed live on the World Athletics YouTube channel.

This year’s ceremony will recognize exceptional achievement in what has been an extraordinary and unprecedented year, both on and off the fields of play, and a celebration of the athletes who met the challenges of 2020 head-on to produce some of the finest performances in the history of our sport.

Once again, athletics fans from around the world will be invited to help select the male and female athletes of the year.

Commenting on the Award, World Athletics President Sebastian Coe said: “In a disruptive year our athletes continued to train hard and our event organizers went above and beyond to deliver four full Diamond League events and four Diamond League exhibition meetings, seven Continental Tour events, a World Half Marathon Championships and a number of innovative virtual events including the Ultimate Garden Clash. Whilst this was not the year any of us had planned for, I am proud of our athletes, our meeting organizers and the World Athletics team for their tenacity and determination. This is what we will celebrate at this year’s Annual Awards.”

Eight awards, including those in three new categories, will be presented:

Male and Female Athlete of the YearThese awards recognize the top-performing athletes of the year. A three-way voting process – split between the World Athletics Council, the World Athletics Family, and the worldwide community of athletics fans – will determine the five men and five women finalists.

The nominees for Male Athlete of the Year will be announced on Monday 2 November and the nominees for Female Athlete of the Year on Tuesday 3 November.

President’s AwardThis award recognizes and honors exceptional service to athletics.

Coaching Achievement AwardGiven to a coach who has helped athletes thrive, particularly in this difficult year.

Covid Inspiration AwardThis award will recognize an individual or group of individuals whose efforts, despite the challenges of 2020, have resulted in the delivery of a particularly inspiring athletics event or experience.

Member Federations AwardLike the Covid Inspiration Award, this honor will recognize a member federation that has managed to deliver an uplifting athletics event, development event or experience in spite of this year’s challenges.

Athletes Community AwardA special award from the athletes to a group of individuals who have helped and supported them and their communities throughout trying times.

Athletics Photograph of the YearAwarded to the best athletics photograph of 2020, as decided by an expert panel of judges.  The voting process for the Athlete of the Year awards will open next week. 

(10/26/2020) Views: 39 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Tommy Hughes breaks 60 plus world marathon record by over six minutes

"I am delighted with a new world marathon record for 60 plus age group," says Ireland's Tommy Hughes.   He clocked 2 hours 30 minutes 2 seconds beating the old record of 2 hours 36 minutes and 30 seconds set in 2009 at Oita marathon (Japan) by Yoshihisa Hosaka (Japan)

"Thanks very much to ChampionChip Ireland for putting on this event for me to try and achieve it. It was 14 and a half laps around Down Royal and the windy conditions were tough. Thanks to my son Eoin and our new running club (Strive Racing Club) for the great pacing."

His halfway split was 1:14:32.  Tommy is 60-years-old.  

(10/25/2020) Views: 196 ⚡AMP
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Running is the best strategy for staying productive while WFH

Working from home is hard. Running helps—a lot.  At least it helps me. I don’t presume to advise anyone, but I’m willing to tell my story when asked. (And I was asked by my editor.) As a devoted runner for many years, I’m finding it more valuable than ever during the pandemic.

I’m not an elite runner. I’ve never run a marathon. My routine—subject to disruption, like all routines—is five miles before breakfast, six days a week. No more, no less. I’m not fast. On a flat route that run takes me 44 minutes, which is pretty pokey.

Here’s what I’ve found: On days that I run, my mind is sharper, my mood is sunnier, and my judgment is sounder. I have more energy, not less. All of that is in line with the extensive research on the benefits of exercise. I’ve also found a benefit you don’t read much about: Because I’m burning a lot of calories—not just while running, but also because running speeds up one’s metabolism through the day—I can eat a lot without gaining weight. And I really like eating.

I’m finding the benefits even greater in the pandemic because working from home increases the risks of becoming depressed, bored, and whatever is the clinical term for stir-crazy. Running gets me out of the house, which might not otherwise be necessary for days. I run outdoors in virtually all weather, and as a National Outdoor Leadership School instructor was quoted as saying, “Everyone is happier outdoors.” In the semi-rural area where I live I rarely see other humans on my run, but I do see deer, foxes, owls, black squirrels, and wild turkeys. Just experiencing a world outside my home and my head is beneficial, and in this pandemic you can go a long time without experiencing such a world.

The benefits of running in the pandemic may be far greater than the ones I can feel. Researchers from the University of Arizona note that while exercise is beneficial in many ways, what may be especially valuable “during this pandemic is its ability to both enhance immune defense and mitigate the deleterious effects of stress on immunity.” Specifically, “there is evidence that exercise can protect the host from many types viral infection.” Their conclusion: “It is imperative that we strive to maintain recommended exercise levels during this Covid-19 pandemic.”

Sometimes, when the crush of work is especially heavy, I skip my run for a day or two or three. I usually wonder in retrospect if I saved any time. Running jump-starts my brain, so I’ve typically done a good deal of work by the time I get home. I write and edit articles in my head. But when I don’t run, my brain doesn’t wake up until an hour after the rest of me.

Runners do hurt themselves, but even that can have a silver lining if it forces me to make changes with long-term benefits. In the spring I was running a hilly course, which punishes the knees and hips. When I started to hurt, I altered the course to eliminate some of the hills and focused on improving my form. (Key thoughts: Emphasize the arch in the lower back and look ahead, not down at the road.) Today my posture is better than it has ever been—and feels better—all day long.

Research says most of the physical benefits I get from running 30 miles a week are not much greater than if I ran 10 miles a week. But research also shows that while exercise may yield diminishing returns, it never entirely stops helping. Cleveland Clinic findings from 2018 showed that there is no ceiling on the benefits of exercise.

Frankly, I don’t care much about the findings. The benefits from running that I can feel are good enough. Now more than usual, I’m grateful I can do it.

(10/25/2020) Views: 34 ⚡AMP
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Karl Meltzer extends 100-miler victory streak to 19 straight years

With 43 total wins in 100-milers (plus multiple top finishes in other races), Meltzer is one of the best ever at the distance

American runner Karl Meltzer took the win at last weekend’s No Business 100 in Tennessee, crossing the finish line in 19 hours and 44 minutes. Meltzer, 52, has been on the elite ultramarathon scene for quite a while—more than 20 years, in fact. To remain a top contender for that long is impressive enough, but Meltzer ups the ante season after season and continues to win races. With his most recent win, he has officially won a 100-miler in 19-consecutive years, bringing his career total to 43 wins over 100 miles. This is an unprecedented number, and the only person who can top it (for now, at least) is Meltzer himself.

Meltzer’s many records

With a streak of race wins that’s almost as old as the 21st century, Meltzer is the clear record-holder in that category. He also holds the record for the most 100-mile wins in a calendar year, with six in 2006 and five in both 2007 and 2009. He has the most wins at the Hardrock 100 (five), Wasatch 100 (six), Massanutten 100 (four), San Diego 100 (three) and Squaw Peak 50 (five). Like we said, he’s pretty good over 100 miles. In 2019, he raced five times, winning twice and grabbing a pair of podium finishes in two of the events. Outside of racing, he owns the fastest known time headed southbound on the 3,500K Appalachian Trail, which he covered in 45 days in 2016. As his resume proves, Meltzer is one of the greats in the world of ultrarunning.

Cutting it close

In an unexpected turn of events, COVID-19 almost foiled Meltzer’s hopes of winning a 100-miler for the 19th year in a row. He ran the Coldwater Rumble 100-miler in Arizona in January, but he didn’t finish the race. When the coronavirus hit and put racing on hold indefinitely, there was a very real possibility that the year would end without Meltzer getting another chance to compete.

Luckily, as the pandemic has drawn on, races have been popping up around the U.S., and while social distancing guidelines are in place at most, many people are still showing up to run. With just a couple of months left in 2020, Meltzer didn’t squander his opportunity in Tennessee, and he ran away with the win to continue his streak. Heading into 2021, he’ll have the chance to go for an incredible 20th year in a row with a 100-mile race win, and based on his recent performances, he’s certainly capable of accomplishing this feat.

(10/25/2020) Views: 29 ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Ethan Newberry’s first 100-mile training week

Here's what happened when the trail runner and filmmaker set out to document his first-ever 100-mile training week

For better or for worse, many runners consider the 100-mile training week to be an important benchmark. Even though it’s entirely arbitrary (and for many people would represent too much mileage for optimal training and health), the idea that they “should” be training at this volume holds sway over more people than would probably admit it. Filmmaker, musician, trail runner and race director Ethan Newberry of Seattle, aka The Ginger Runner (whose film Where Dreams Go To Die documents Gary Robbins’s first and second Barkley Marathons attempts), is one of those people.

For years, Newberry had wanted to do a 100-mile training week, just to prove that he could. So, with some guidance from his coach, David Roche, in the final days of 2019, he finally did.

Newberry acknowledges the arbitrariness of the benchmark 100 miles by saying that for some people, 100 miles a week is “not a lot,” and for others it represents a crazy amount of training volume. For him, it was a daunting challenge, for two main reasons: 1) he’d never done it before (which made it both a physical and a psychological challenge), and 2) as a middle-of-the-pack runner, 100 miles in seven days represents a serious time commitment.

His goals being simply to reach 100 miles without getting injured and while having fun, here’s how he and Roche planned out Newberry’s mileage for the week:

Monday: 15 miles

Tuesday: 10 miles

Wednesday: 10 mile/5 mile double

Thursday: 10 mile/5 mile double

Friday: 8 miles

Saturday: 20 miles

Sunday: 17 miles

All the runs were done at an easy pace.

(Note: anyone trying this for the first time, whether just for its own sake or as part of a training plan with a goal race in mind, should definitely build up to it gradually, and be aware that your sleep, recovery and nutrition needs will be significantly greater than usual. This is definitely not a goal for a beginner runner. )

The first day goes well, but to save time, Newberry does his 15 miles on the roads, and some joint soreness leads him to switch to the trails for day 2.Day 3 and 4 are doubles. On Day 3, Newberry decides to do the short run first. This is the first day he’s really aware of the recovery, sleep and nutritional challenges involved in a 100-mile week, but he wisely enlists two other runners to join him on the day’s second run, a 10-miler. By the end of it, he reports that his legs felt strong.

Halfway through the week’s mileage, Newberry say, “I can smell the finish line. And it smells like pizza.”

On day 7, Newberry’s elation at being almost finished his first triple-digit training week is palpable. “I feel like I could run another 50,” he says, adding, “It took me years to build up the courage to try.” Sometimes giving it your best shot is enough.

Not only is Newberry’s project a useful document of what a 100-mile week looks like, but his decision to run a different route for every run makes for a scenic and entertaining micro-travelogue of Seattle’s favourite routes.

(10/25/2020) Views: 29 ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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RUN THE WORLD: ASICS WORLD EKIDEN 2020 TAKES VIRTUAL RACING TO A WHOLE NEW LEVEL

ASICS Australia have announced the inaugural ASICS World Ekiden 2020: the ultimate team challenge that will see teams of up to six people from all over the world come together to complete a combined marathon. Inspired by a century of Japanese running culture, the race will be split into six legs of varying distances, making it perfect for runners of all abilities and experience.

Bringing people together when they’re apart

The launch of the ASICS World Ekiden 2020 comes in direct response to the findings of ASICS’ ongoing global research   into the ever-changing needs of runners and sports fans the world over. The research, which kicked off immediately after the pandemic began, reveals that 42% of people who exercise regularly are finding it difficult to stay motivated as they don’t have a goal to work towards at the moment.

Meanwhile, three in four (74% globally) of team sport players say sport or exercise is more enjoyable when played with friends and teammates and two thirds (67% globally) admit to missing the chance to compete with others. Half (50% globally) even claim their mental wellbeing has been negatively impacted by being disconnected from teammates.

Through the ASICS World Ekiden 2020, ASICS therefore aims to help people renew their connections with each other, enjoy the mental and physical benefits of team competition and re-energise their collective love of sport and exercise with a shared goal.

Yasuhito Hirota, President & Chief Operating Officer, ASICS, said: “It may be inspired by one of Japan’s most famous race formats, but the ASICS World Ekiden 2020 really is an event like no other.”

To help teams prepare to give their very best in the event, ASICS is offering them free access to a variety of products and services in the run-up to race day, including training, coaching and expert tips. To celebrate the achievement of everyone who takes part, all teams who complete the race will be automatically entered for a chance to win one of 10 prize packs, including running shoes, shorts, t-shirt and socks.

Yasuhito Hirota added: “At ASICS, listening to runners of all levels and understanding their evolving needs is at the heart of everything we do. Right now, that means helping bring back the mental, physical and social benefits that come with team sport. But as life continues to change in future, we’ll keep on innovating new products, services and events that deliver the experiences people want.”

Anyone can Ekiden – so the ASICS World Ekiden 2020 is open to all, with distances that attract all levels of runner. To take part, people simply sign up for free, using Runkeeper or the ASICS hub. Teams must complete their relay race between 11th and 22nd November 2020. Expert advice and training plans are available on Runkeeper and the latest news and information about ASICS World Ekiden 2020 is available via #ASICSWorldEkiden or www.asics.com.

(10/24/2020) Views: 25 ⚡AMP
by Runner Stribe
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Why Endurance Athletes Feel Less Pain?

While researching a book on endurance a few years ago, I interviewed a German scientist named Wolfgang Freund who had recently completed a study on the pain tolerance of ultra-endurance runners. Subjects in the study had to hold their hands in ice water for as long as possible.

The non-athlete control group lasted an average of 96 seconds before giving up; every single one of the runners, in contrast, made it to the three-minute safety cut-off, at which point they rated the pain as a mere 6 out of 10 on average.

The results were consistent with previous research showing that athletes can tolerate more pain than non-athletes. But not all sports impose the same demands, Freund pointed out: “Maradona, at least, had the illusion that a brilliant soccer player didn’t need to suffer.” As a runner myself, I liked the implication that endurance athletes are uniquely tough, so I happily included that quote in my book. But is it really true?

As it happens, researchers at Norway’s University of Tromsø tackled exactly that question, along with several other interesting ones, in a recent study in Frontiers in Psychology.

They compared 17 national-level soccer players with 15 elite endurance athletes (cross-country skiers and runners, also “competing at the highest national level in Norway”) and 39 non-athlete controls in three pain tests. They also administered a series of psychological questionnaires to explore what traits are associated with greater pain tolerance.

The first pain test was the same one used in Freund’s study: dunking the hand in barely-above-freezing water for as long as possible (again with a three-minute cut-off, though the subjects weren’t told about it in advance). On average, the endurance athletes lasted 179.67 seconds (meaning virtually all of them made it to three minutes, with the exception of one person who stopped five seconds early). The control group averaged 116.78 seconds, and the brilliant soccer players just 113.90 seconds.

This was exactly what the researchers expected. After all, embracing open-ended discomfort is exactly what endurance athletes do every day in training, so it makes sense that they have a high pain tolerance. But pain threshold—the point at which a sensation goes from unpleasant to painful—might be different. Soccer players, like other team sport athletes, experience briefer spikes of pain associated with “short bouts of supramaximal intensity and receiving blows from opponents or the ball,” the researchers point out. As a result, they hypothesized that the experience of this more intense pain would give soccer players a higher pain threshold than endurance athletes.

(10/24/2020) Views: 39 ⚡AMP
by Colorado runer
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BAA to Decide in the next few weeks whether to hold the 2021 Boston Marathon on its traditional date in April, or whether to again postpone the event until later in the year

The Boston Athletic Association expects to announce in the next few weeks whether to hold the 2021 Boston Marathon on its traditional date in April, or whether to again postpone the event until later in the year, BAA CEO Tom Grilk told the Business Journal on Thursday.

The decision will carry major repercussions for the charities that rely on marathon fundraising. The BAA revealed Thursday that fundraising for the 2020 marathon, which was held virtually last month, declined by 17% year-over-year, to $32.1 million.

The BAA has postponed registration this year while an advisory group works to determine when and how the event can be held safely in 2021. The group consists of medical experts and public officials.

The decision will carry major repercussions for the charities that rely on marathon fundraising.

(10/24/2020) Views: 55 ⚡AMP
by Greg Ryan
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

The 124th Boston Marathon originally scheduled for April 20 was postponed to September 14 and then May 28 it was cancelled for 2020. The next Boston Marathon is scheduled for April 19, 2021. Among the nation’s oldest athletic clubs, the B.A.A. was established in 1887, and, in 1896, more than half of the U.S. Olympic Team at the first modern...

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Toth triumphs in Dudince, Fujita breaks through in Osaka

Matej Toth became the first four-time winner of the 50km race walk at the Dudince Fifty, clocking a world-leading 3:41:15 on Saturday (24).

Not only was it the first 50km race he has completed since the 2018 European Championships, it was also Toth’s fastest time since winning the Olympic title in Rio more than four years ago.

The 37-year-old led from the outset and covered the first five kilometres in 22:30, by which point he already had a 10-second lead over Germany’s Karl Junghannss. Toth slightly increased his pace and by 10km, reached in 44:52, his lead had almost doubled.

Toth passed through 20km in 1:29:26 with Junghannss still in second place with a comfortable lead over three-time Dudince winner Rafal Augustyn and Ecuador’s Andres Chocho. By the time Toth reached 37 kilometres in 2:44:10, his lead had grown to exactly one minute.

The 2015 world champion managed to turn the screw even tighter over the final 13 kilometres and upped his pace to extend his lead. Junghannss, meanwhile, started to fade in the final 10 kilometres and was eventually caught by Augustyn after three-and-a-half hours of racing. Cocho later passed a tiring Junghannss with just a mile to go.

Out in front, though, there was no catching Toth, who delighted his home supporters by winning in 3:41:15 – the fastest time in Dudince since he himself set a competition record of 3:34:38 in 2015.

Augustyn was second in 3:47:42 and Chocho placed third in 3:48:57. Junghannss held on for fourth place and was rewarded with an Olympic qualifying time of 3:49:45.

“We planned for this pace and it all worked well,” said Toth, who also won the 50km in Dudince in 2011, 2015 and 2018. “I felt great. I wanted to start conservatively and then increase the pace and it worked out exactly that way. I am, of course, very satisfied not only with the fact that I achieved the Olympic standard but mainly with qualify of my performance. It gives me confidence that I can compete with the best next year at the Olympic Games when I defend my title.”

Polish record-holder Agnieska Ellward, winner in the Slovak town three years ago, regained her Dudince 50 title in 4:38:44, having overtaken compatriot Antonina Lorek at 34 kilometres.

Fujita smashes PB in Osaka

Keitaro Fujita moved up several places on the Japanese all-time list after sailing over 2.28m in the men’s high jump at the Michitaka Kinami Memorial, a World Athletics Continental Tour Bronze meeting, in Osaka on Saturday (24).

The 23-year-old, winner of the 2016 Asian junior title, had competed sparingly in 2020 but had been improving with each outing. In Osaka he cleared his opening heights on his first attempt but then briefly surrendered his lead at 2.22m, needing two attempts to clear it while Japanese champion Tomohiro Shinno got over it on his first try.

Shinno, however, failed at the next height, 2.25m, while Fujita cleared it on his first attempt, equalling the PB he had set next year.

Shinno passed straight to 2.28m but failed to get over it with his two final tries. Fujita, meanwhile, succeeded on his third and final attempt. He went on to have three goes at 2.31m and was unsuccessful, but he was happy with his winning performance and victory over the country’s top high jumper of the year.

Japanese champion and Olympic finalist Ryohei Arai produced a season’s best of 81.73m in the final round of the men’s javelin to defeat Takuto Kominami.

The pair exchanged the lead in the first three rounds with Arai holding a slender lead at the half-way point with 76.64m. With his final throw of the competition, Kominami launched a season’s best of 78.93m to take back the lead. But Arai did likewise just minutes later, sending his spear out to a winning effort of 81.73m.

The women’s event was even more competitive as four different women shared the lead throughout the competition.

Momone Ueda opened with 58.15m, just 10 centimetres shy of her recent PB, to take an early lead and she backed it up with three more throws just shy of 58 metres. National record-holder Haruka Kitaguchi edged in front in round four, throwing 58.36m, while Mikako Yamashita (58.04m in round three) and Yuka Sato (58.08m in round four) joined the 58-metre party.

Sato crept into second place in the penultimate round, throwing 58.19m, and then improved further in the final round to move into first place with 60.69m. Yamashita also improved in the final round, throwing 59.07m to move from fourth to second place.

(10/24/2020) Views: 42 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Creating the bubble, cutting-edge technology, flexible thinking – how the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon is the the only major city marathon to take place since the Covid-19 pandemic struck

The 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday 4 October was the first major marathon in the world to take place since the Covid-19 pandemic changed the sporting landscape. It was also the first truly global sporting event in the UK to take place in a non-stadium or venue setting since the country went into lockdown in March. How was it done?

An autumn London Marathon for the first time

The 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon was due to be held on Sunday 26 April – that now seems a lifetime ago. As the Covid-19 epidemic turned into a global pandemic, London Marathon Events announced on Friday 13 March that the event had been postponed to Sunday 4 October, the first time ever the London Marathon would be held in the autumn.

The postponement was announced at a time when hundreds of events across the UK were being cancelled. However, London Marathon Events, unlike virtually all other organisers, was able to announce a new date thanks to the strong relationships and huge support for the world’s greatest marathon and biggest one day annual fundraising event from a multitude of stakeholders and partners.

Speaking immediately after communicating the news to all runners who had signed up to run in the 2020 race, Hugh Brasher, Event Director of the Virgin Money London Marathon, said: “We are extremely grateful for all the support we have received from City Hall, the London boroughs of Greenwich, Lewisham, Southwark, Tower Hamlets, the City of Westminster and the City of London, Transport for London, the emergency services, The Royal Parks, BBC TV and many others as we worked to find an alternative date.”

Only certainty is uncertainty

When the 4 October date was announced on Friday 13 March, the hope and expectation of Brasher and his team was the event would run in its usual format in 2020, just six months later. But the true scale of the pandemic was only just beginning to emerge. Just 10 days after the postponement announcement, the UK went into a full lockdown. As the country remained in lockdown throughout spring and into early summer, the London Marathon Events team were looking at all options to deliver one of Britain’s flagship sporting events while others fell by the wayside, seemingly on an almost weekly basis.

Brasher spoke to reporters ahead of what would have been the date of the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday 26 April and said: “The flame is still burning. And is there hope? Absolutely. But you have to do what’s right for society. You usually have 750,000 people out in central London watching 45,000 runners. Then there’s the medics, the 6,000 volunteers and the transport system. There’s so much to take into account when making any decision.”

London Marathon Events committed to making a final decision on the 2020 event by August and staff continued to work on a range of scenarios as the landscape changed on an almost weekly basis. Scenarios ranged from holding a socially-distanced mass event to an elite-only race. As Brasher said continuously to his team, ‘the only certainty is uncertainty and we have to remain agile’.

Elite race confirmed

A final decision had to be made.

The overall picture in the UK during July and going into August, though improving, did not indicate that an event involving 40,000 people running through the streets of London in October would be possible. Sport had returned but was taking place behind closed doors. Restrictions were lifting gradually but local lockdowns were being implemented and there was a growing sense that once autumn and winter arrived, cases would again be on the rise.

London Marathon Events had been working on plans to deliver a socially distanced mass participation event – either a run or a walk – and were looking to use new technology which would monitor the distance participants were from one another throughout their run (this planning did not go to waste as it would be used for the elite event, more of which later).

Ultimately, however, the challenge of managing spectators, ensuring the emergency services had access across London, the increased likelihood of a second spike and the ongoing concern about the pressure on the NHS, ensured a final decision was made that there could be no mass-participation event on the streets of London.

Instead, the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon would have an entirely new format for 2021: elite races only on a closed-loop circuit in central London and a virtual race for 45,000 people who were encouraged to run the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon – Your Way, the first virtual event in the 40 year history of the London Marathon.

Build it and they will come

When athletes’ agents were first contacted to ask if their runners would be interested in coming to London, the response was unequivocal: if London Marathon Events could build it then the world’s best would come – it was now down to Brasher’s team to hold up their end of the bargain.

How do you put on an elite race for more than 100 of the best marathon athletes on the planet in a safe, secure environment? That would be a challenge given 12 months of planning but for London Marathon Events, the total preparation time amounted to about eight weeks.

The first priority was confirming a course. All other sports that had returned to action during the course of the summer of 2020 had done so in either a stadium (think football and cricket) or in a secure venue such as Silverstone in the case of F1. There had been no organisation that had tried to close down public roads to create an event.

The team’s solution was to create a venue that could be contained and prevent general public access. The organisation has a long-standing and strong relationship with The Royal Parks, the Mayor of London’s Office and Westminster City Council and their support meant the first choice of course could go ahead: the event to be held on a closed-loop circuit around St James’s Park in central London which would ensure the iconic finish on The Mall would remain in the same place as it has done for the past 27 years.

A constant dialogue with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) ensured that the Government gave its blessing to the plans and granted the necessary permissions for athlete travel. With the green light given, a 19.7 lap closed-loop circuit was created which followed the perimeter of St James’s Park, starting and finishing on The Mall. Screened barriers were to be erected on either side of the course to deter people from coming to watch on the day and, in effect, a venue had been created in the heart of London.

The London Marathon Events team was also able to build on invaluable experience from 12 months earlier as an integral part of the delivery team that put on the INEOS 1.59 Challenge, Eliud Kipchoge’s historic sub two hour marathon which took place on a closed loop circuit in Vienna. For that event, the team had carried out detailed research on putting a marathon on a looped course and, furthermore, when searching for a course for the INEOS 1.59 Challenge, had explored the the possibility of staging the challenge on the St James’s Park loop.

Creating a biosecure bubble

Securing a course and a world-class line up in four races (elite men, elite women and men’s and women’s wheelchair) was the relatively easy part – or at least areas of great expertise for the London Marathon Events team. However the team had no previous experience in putting on an event in a Covid-19 world but they learnt fast.

To make the race completely safe and secure for athletes and all staff, the team created a biosecure bubble around the event. Information on the best way to do this was garnered from other sports which had returned to action, as well as from medical and security experts and Government advisors from DCMS.

The biosecure bubble would be created from the moment the elite athletes arrived in the country to the moment they left the UK after the race. In total it amounted to a nine-day window from Sunday 28 September to Monday 5 October.

The first challenge was finding a location where elite marathon athletes could stay for the week leading up to the race. A checklist was drawn up for what was needed: exclusive use of a hotel, within an hour’s travelling distance from the course, grounds large enough for athletes to train in, big enough to create socially distanced eating and relaxation areas, the ability to hold remote press conferences…the list was exhaustive.

Eventually a hotel was found about 60 minutes outside central London. Its identity was kept secret to prevent anyone from turning up to see athletes. Hotel staff were booked in for the full eight days to ensure they were in the bubble and security was booked to man the site 24/7.

Race sponsor Abbott, a life-changing tech company and global diagnostics leader, provided the critically important Covid-19 testing for the elite athletes, staff and everyone else working in the biosecure bubble.

All elite athletes, their coaches and support staff had to undertake a Covid-19 test in their country of origin before flying into London, Anyone who failed a test could not travel. In addition, every single person that went into the hotel from the UK had to return a negative Covid-19 test four days prior to arrival. Everyone was tested again the day they arrived at the hotel and again on Friday 2 October. Absolutely nothing was left to chance.

Of all the athletes and support staff invited to London, only two people, both from Ethiopia, had positive Covid-19 tests prior to travel. Degitu Azimeraw, the 2019 Amsterdam Marathon champion, and Haji Adillio, the coach to the eventual men’s champion Shura Kitata, were the unfortunate pair prevented from travelling. Adillio had been away from home and only in contact by telephone with his athletes for the 10 days prior to the travel window, meaning his athletes could still travel.

Another headache for the London Marathon team was getting the athletes from their countries to London in a safe environment. The majority of the international athletes were coming from East Africa, either Kenya or Ethiopia, so to mitigate against the risk of small groups travelling on different scheduled flights to the UK, a charter flight was booked for all of the East Africans. The plane, containing world record holders Eliud Kipchoge and Brigid Kosgei, made stops in Eldoret, Kenya, and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, before heading to London.

Elsewhere around the world, athletes were boarding planes in the likes of Chicago, Melbourne and Amsterdam on their way to London.

On arrival at the hotel, every athlete and support staff member was tested again by the Abbott team and all tested negative. Everyone resident in the bubble was then tested again on Friday 2 October, two days before race day, for a final time. Given all the hard work and effort that had been put in by the organisers to this point, awaiting the final test results was undoubtedly the nerviest time in the entire event.

Extra reinforcement with cutting-edge Bump technology

Though the Friday testing was an anxious time for all, London Marathon staff were reassured by the knowledge that they had done everything in their power to ensure all those in the hotel were Covid free, including introducing new technology to implement social distancing.

The Bump devices, created by Tharsus, were worn by all elite athletes and 500 members of the Virgin Money London Marathon’s operational team both in the athlete hotel and at the venue to help maintain the biosecure bubble for the event.

The Bump devices were attached to a lanyard and worn around the neck like a medal. Bump helped inform effective social-distancing behaviour by using sophisticated Radio Frequency technology to create a 'Personal Motion System' that immediately alerts wearers when they are getting too close to another person. Going within two metres of someone prompted a blue flashing light and within 1.2 metres a red flashing light and loud beeping noise.

Data was downloaded daily which allowed organisers to accurately monitor how often and how long elite athletes and event staff spent in close proximity to each other. If anyone in the bubble tested positive for Covid-19 either during the event or during the two weeks following the event, organisers would be able to trace interactions back to specific wearers and inform them accordingly.

These Bump devices were part of the new normal in the elite athlete hotel as the best marathoners in the world got used to the flashing warning lights and sounds should they get too close to another person.

Away from the hotel, the Bumps were worn by all staff working on the build of the event site in the run-up to and on race day itself as the team prepared to build a venue on the Queen’s front garden befitting The 40th Race in London Marathon history.

Race Day

A quick glance at the BBC television pictures on race day morning and you would have been forgiven for thinking that though it might have been six months later, it looked like the same old London Marathon – with the familiar iconic finish on The Mall. But the reality was very different. Just like the work that went into delivering the hotel bubble, every last intricate detail of Race Day was planned to ensure the bubble, which would travel from hotel to the venue, would remain secure.

From the individual areas (including personal toilets!) provided for each athlete to the socially-distanced media interviews post-race, nothing was overlooked.

The halt to trials of bringing fans back to sport in September extinguished any hope that some spectators would be allowed into the venue which meant staff were brought in to patrol the interior and exterior perimeters of the route – though the awful weather on the day did mean most people were content to watch it in the warmth of their homes.

A very limited number of media was allowed into the venue with London Marathon Events creating their own content service which pushed out interviews and B-roll footage throughout the day. This followed the virtual press conferences held during race week and the daily updates of life inside the bubble in video and photographic form which were produced every day from the athletes’ hotel and made available for free to all media.

The only lack of social distancing that took place for the whole week was when the racing started but women’s world record holder Brigid Kosgei is used to running solo and she proved again that she is streets ahead of the opposition to win the first race of the day, in heavy rain and wind. However Kosgei was the only favourite to come out on top in a year where the unexpected really should have been expected.

Men’s world record holder, sub-two hour marathon man and four-time champion Eliud Kipchoge (Kenya) dramatically surrendered his title with Ethiopia’s Shura Kitata triumphing while both Brent Lakatos (Canada) and Nikita den Boer (Netherlands) overturned the form books to win the wheelchair races.

For all the winners, their moments of triumph will be memories they will never forget. But even in the instant triumph of winning the greatest marathon in the world, they were reminded this is 2020 and nothing is as it was. Bumps were returned, celebratory pictures and media interviews were held with social distancing prioritised and the never-to-be-forgotten moment of standing on top of the podium in front of Buckingham Palace, posing for pictures was done while wearing a face mask – an image that will forever capture the London Marathon in 2020.

While Kipchoge – the greatest marathon runner in history - was not on the podium himself this time, he summed up the feelings of all the athletes that had taken part when he said: “I want to thank the organisation of the London Marathon for going the extra mile to make the event possible. It shows what’s possible and gives hope other organisations can incorporate their plans to make sports possible in current times.”

Long after Kipchoge and the other elites had left The Mall, darkness had descended and London Marathon staff were in a race against time to deconstruct the venue they had built for this historic occasion.

In the murky October gloom, hundreds of staff worked in the rain and wind to take down in a matter of hours what had been months in the planning. Amid the usual flurry of work seen while de-rigging a site, there was one recurring and very 2020 sight and sound: the flashing lights and warning beeps of the Bump technology that ensured everyone, to the very end, did all they could to protect one another in a year and an event like no other.

That was The 40th Race.

(10/24/2020) Views: 43 ⚡AMP
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

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

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Lausanne succumbs to coronavirus resurgence

There will be no Lausanne Marathon in 2020.

Faced with the resurgence of coronavirus cases, the Lausanne Marathon committee, in consultation and in agreement with the Department of Economy, Innovation and Sport of the Canton of Vaud, is forced to cancel the race of this Sunday.

A “covid-compatible” race had been planned limited to fewer than 1,000 runners, with a strict health policy to ensure the health of runners and volunteers, but the evolution of the public health situation does not allow the event to continue.

The Lausanne Marathon committee said “Our thoughts are with the marathoners who have prepared for months for this deadline that we were keen to offer them. They go also to our faithful volunteers who were in a hurry to bring this edition to life, and to our sponsors and partners.”

(10/23/2020) Views: 39 ⚡AMP
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Lausanne Marathon

Lausanne Marathon

The Lausanne Marathon or Marathon of Lausanne is an annual marathon race held in the Swiss city of Lausanne since 1993. This road running takes place in autumn (October). Parallel to the marathon, a half-marathon, a 10 km, a 10 km walking and Nordic walking, and a mini-marathon race of 4 km are organized. The Lausanne Marathon is one of...

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Jamaican Usain Bolt will be honored with statue in his city

The statue of the multi-time Olympic and world champion is scheduled to be erected by the end of the year.

According to a report from the Jamaica Observer, a town in Jamaica has plans to honor Usain Bolt by erecting a statue of him within the next couple of months. The city of Falmouth is in Bolt’s home parish (a term used to describe different regions in Jamaica) of Trelawny, although the multiple Olympic and world championship gold medalist was actually born in Sherwood Content, a small town half an hour south of the soon-to-be site of the statue. Bolt’s fellow Team Jamaica sprinter and Olympic champion Veronica Campbell–Brown — another native of Trelawny Parish — will also be celebrated, with a school set to be named after her. 

Honoring the greats 

Bolt is the world record-holder in the 100m (9.58 seconds) and 200m (19.19 seconds), a 14-time world championship medalist (11 gold, two silver, one bronze) and eight-time Olympic champion. Like Bolt, Campbell-Brown had an unforgettable career, winning eight Olympic medals (three gold, three silver, two bronze) and 11 world championship medals (three gold, seven silver, one bronze), and she competed at five Olympic Games. These two sprinters are without a doubt a couple of the greatest athletes in their country’s history, and it’s no surprise they’re being honored back home.

Olivia Grange, Jamaica’s minister of sports, youth and culture, told the Observer that Bolt’s statue will be located in Falmouth’s Water Square, near the city’s downtown core, and she explained why the government decided on this instalment. “When we say Trelawny today, we think immediately of the honorable Usain Bolt, who hails from the quiet district of Sherwood Content and who has placed Jamaica on the world stage in a way unlike any other,” Grange said. 

The Jamaican minister of sports also touched on Campbell-Brown. “Very soon, Troy Primary [School] will be renamed the Veronica Campbell-Brown Primary School.” Troy is a small town on the southern border of Trelawny. 

A rollercoaster year 

This year has had its highs and lows for Bolt. In May, he and his partner, Kasi Bennett, became parents for the first time with the birth of their daughter, Olympia Lightning Bolt. Just a couple of months later, Bolt made headlines when he tested positive for COVID-19 after hosting a mask-free birthday party at his home in Jamaica. Many international celebrities and professional athletes reportedly attended Bolt’s party, which didn’t reflect well on the three-time Olympian. Now, two months after his party, his mistake appears to have been forgiven, and he will be honored back home at some point in December. 

(10/23/2020) Views: 61 ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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Organizers pivot focus to virtual race at 2020 Honolulu Marathon cancelled due to the coronavirus

Citing the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 Honolulu Marathon has been cancelled, organizers announced.

“We are of course very disappointed to have to cancel the race due to the ongoing Covid situation,” Honolulu Marathon CEO and President Jim Barahal wrote in a statement.

This is the first time that the marathon will not be held since the inaugural race in 1973.

Organizers said that before they made the decision to cancel the event, they were in discussion with the City and County of Honolulu.

“The team has worked hard to find ways to conduct a safe and socially distanced event, but all stakeholders agree that the appropriate and safest course of action is not to conduct the 2020 Honolulu Marathon, Start to Park 10 and Kalakaua Merrie Mile in December,” Barahal wrote.

Instead, organizers will pivot their focus to a safer venture: the Honolulu Marathon Virtual Beachfest.

Officials said that the virtual race will allow anyone in the world to complete the race from their own home. There will be a virtual festival that will feature training videos, cooking demos and even music from Hawaii.

But for those who are hoping for an in-person event, organizers said that they would consider rescheduling the marathon in the first half of 2021.

“In the case that we are able to reschedule, entrants can defer to either the rescheduled date or the December 2021 Honolulu Marathon,” organizers wrote.

(10/23/2020) Views: 39 ⚡AMP
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Honolulu Marathon

Honolulu Marathon

The Honolulu Marathon’s scenic course includes spectacular ocean views alongside world-famous Waikiki Beach, and Diamond Head and Koko Head volcanic craters.The terrain is level except for short uphill grades around Diamond Head. ...

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For third consecutive time Brighton Marathon postponed until autumn 2021

A major marathon has been pushed back for a third time after organizers said it had become clear it would "not be possible" for the run to be held next spring.

The Brighton Marathon Weekend will now be held between September 10 and September 12, 17 months after the event was originally scheduled to take place.

The reason for the second postponement is the rising coronavirus infection rate in the UK, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson saying more stringent lockdown restrictions introduced in September to stop the resurgence of the disease could remain in place for six months.

While the further delay of the popular race will disappoint many runners looking to chase new personal bests on Brighton and Hove's notoriously fast and flat route, event director Tim Naylor warned the further postponement of the marathon would have far-reaching impacts on the people of the city.

He said: "The Brighton Marathon Weekend extends far beyond our participants.

"The livelihoods of our staff, contractors, suppliers, hospitality industry and more, will be affected.

"When 20,000 people do not arrive in the city ready to run a race with their supporters, the ripple effect is great.

"From the bar staff in the hotels who do not pick up extra shifts to the taxi driver who does not take extra bookings.

"In 2019, it was estimated our event contributed £12 million to the local hospitality economy alone.

"Events are also a crucial lifeline for charities and fundraising.

"Since our first event in 2010 we have supported local and national charities in raising more than £50 million."

"I’d also like to personally thank the thousands of runners and riders who are sticking with us from 2020 in to 2021. Your moral support has been vital. Your financial support, by deferring your entries or choosing to take place in The Edit, has been invaluable and we are extremely grateful.

"We are a small team, many of whom are yet to even experience working at the Brighton Marathon Weekend on event weekend. Your countless messages of support and encouragement have kept us all going during this extremely difficult time.

"Thank you for your unrelenting understanding and patience. We cannot wait to see you across the finish line in 2021."

(10/23/2020) Views: 39 ⚡AMP
by Harry Bullmore
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Brighton Marathon

Brighton Marathon

The Brighton Marathon is one of the UK’s favorite marathons. With stunning coastal scenery in one of the country’s most energetic cities, this is the perfect race for runners with all different levels of experience. The fast and beautiful course of the Brighton Marathon makes this a ‘must do’on any runners list. Come and experience it for yourself over 26.2...

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The 2020 Boston Marathon virtual experience raises $32 million for charity

The 2020 Boston Marathon Virtual Experience, held in September, raised $32.1 million for 242 charity programs, according to a joint statement from race organizer Boston Athletic Association and primary race patron John Hancock Financial. This year's haul brings the Boston Marathon's life-to-date fundraising total to $400 million since the program's inception in 1989.

"In a year when runners and supporters have faced countless challenges, all have remained determined to finish strong and make a difference within the community," said Boston Athletic Association CEO Tom Grilk through the statement. "We are immensely proud of each and every participant whose fundraising contributions will serve a meaningful purpose supporting 242 non-profit and charity organizations. To achieve the $400 million milestone in total funds raised adds even more meaning to this year's event, where Boston Marathoners brought the spirit of Boston to the world."

The 2020 Boston Marathon, traditionally held on the third Monday in April, was first postponed from April 20 to September 14 due to the pandemic, but was later cancelled when both city and race officials determined that it would be impossible to hold the race safely. Organizers switched to a virtual format, and over 16,000 runners from 83 countries and all 50 states ran their own 42.195-kilometer races between September 5 and 14. Many incorporated charity fundraising into their personal marathons.

"The Boston Marathon is a tradition in this city; it is the oldest, the toughest and the most iconic," remarked Marianne Harrison, President and CEO of John Hancock through the statement. "We're proud to be part of the race's history and community impact as part of our 35-year partnership. Although this year's race was different, runners came together to cross their own finish lines and collectively lift up each other and the non-profits they represent."

Marathon running is a critical part of charity fundraising, globally, and the staging of virtual running events has helped keep charitable contributions going during the pandemic. For perspective, the 2019 Virgin Money London Marathon raised £66.4 million ($87.0 million), a single-day world record for charity fundraising. The 2019 TCS New York City Marathon raised $45 million, and the 2019 Boston Marathon raised $38.7 million.

(10/22/2020) Views: 63 ⚡AMP
by David Monti
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

The 124th Boston Marathon originally scheduled for April 20 was postponed to September 14 and then May 28 it was cancelled for 2020. The next Boston Marathon is scheduled for April 19, 2021. Among the nation’s oldest athletic clubs, the B.A.A. was established in 1887, and, in 1896, more than half of the U.S. Olympic Team at the first modern...

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Frankfurt Marathon continues partnership with Mainova

The Mainova corporation and the Frankfurt Marathon have announced they will continue their sponsorship agreement until 2024. The regional energy supplier has been title sponsor of the oldest German city marathon since 2016.

After the cancellation of the mass marathon this year due to coronavirus – a virtual race will take place on the scheduled date – Mainova will remain a partner of the classic race on the River Main for at least four more editions.

Race director Jo Schindler said: “It is a welcome and significant signal that Mainova is standing by us for the long term. In times such as these, where in many cases sport sponsorship is being reduced and some race organisers worry whether they can continue, such support should not be taken for granted. The extension of our cooperation gives us the security we need to be able to plan a wonderful marathon in the years ahead.”

Mainova is the biggest energy provider in the federal state of Hessen and supplies electricity, gas and water to more than a million people.

The 39th edition of the Mainova Frankfurt Marathon will take place on 31 October 2021.

(10/22/2020) Views: 67 ⚡AMP
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Mainova Frankfurt Marathon

Mainova Frankfurt Marathon

Frankfurt is an unexpectedly traditional and charming city, with half-timbered buildings huddled in its quaint medieval Altstadt (old city), cosy apple wine taverns serving hearty regional food, village-like neighbourhoods filled with outdoor cafes, boutiques and street art, and beautiful parks, gardens and riverside paths. The city's cache of museums is second in Germany only to Berlin’s, and its nightlife...

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2020 Non-contact Seoul Marathon will be held for two days from Saturday

The Dong-A Marathon, a leading the marathon world in Korea, is introducing a new type of offline marathon in line with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 2020 Seoul Marathon Untact Race, which is the one and only type of race in the world, will be held for two days from Saturday at the Jamsil Sports Complex.

With the 2020 Seoul International Marathon/ The 91st Dong-A Marathon, which is one of the six World Marathon Majors and Platinum Label race, cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a completely new type of race is being introduced.

While most of the major marathons are being held virtually around the world, the Seoul International Marathon will be the first offline race, where participants gather in one place and complete the marathon race following quarantine rules.

The organizer of the Seoul Marathon gave six virtual race missions in advance and qualified those who achieved more than one mission to apply for the offline race.Participants of the offline race will run 10 laps inside the Olympic Main Stadium and the Auxiliary Stadium, running a total of 10 kilometers.

Participants will begin the race consecutively with a 10-meter distance from each other and will be asked to use a designated lane for COVID-19 prevention.Participants should wear a mask and avoid contact by using a separate lane when passing the runner in front of them.

Organizers will keep the race non-contact by following social distancing rules, such as taking preventative measures against COVID-19 at stadiums and strictly calculating time interval between the start of participants.

(10/22/2020) Views: 70 ⚡AMP
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Seoul International Marathon

Seoul International Marathon

The only marathon hosted in the heart of the Korean capital. Seoul marathon is the oldest marathon race hosted in Asia andis one of the fastestmarathon in the world. First held in 1931, Seoul marathon is the oldest marathon eventcontinuously held in Asia, and the second oldest in the world followingthe Boston Marathon. It embodies modern history of Korea, also...

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The Fukuoka Marathon, one of the world’s oldest footraces, was awarded World Athletics Heritage status for its advancement of the track and field event

The marathon was one of six events that received the status from World Athletics on Oct. 3, and it is the fifth Japanese recipient of a Heritage Plaque under the recognition system that started in 2018.

The Asahi Shimbun is one of the organizers of the Fukuoka marathon, which was first held in 1947.

From the 1960s to the 1970s, the marathon course was praised as a high-speed track, and two world records were set in the race, including the first finish under 2 hours and 10 minutes, by Australian Derek Clayton in 1967.

The competition was called “the effective world’s top marathon championship” at the time, and the smooth management of the event received international accolades.

In a statement, British track legend Sebastian Coe, president of World Athletics, praised the Fukuoka race for the excellent reputation it earned in the global athletics community through its long history.

Past Heritage Plaque winners from Japan are: Chuhei Nanbu, who won gold in the triple jump at the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics; the Hakone Ekiden relay marathon; Yoshio Koide, who coached Olympic marathon gold medalist Naoko Takahashi; and the Rikujo Kyogi Magazine (Track and field magazine).

(10/22/2020) Views: 105 ⚡AMP
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Fukuoka Marathon

Fukuoka Marathon

The Fukuoka International Open Marathon Championship is one of the longest running races in Japan, it is alsoan international men’s marathon race established in 1947. The course record is held by Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia, running 2:05:18 in 2009. Frank Shorter won first straight years from 1971 to 1974. Derek Clayton set the World Record here in 1967 running 2:09:37. ...

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Michael Ferrara, a 17-year-old teen will run in the virtual Marine Corps marathon to support homeless veterans across the country

A teenager from Hunterdon County is willing to go the distance for our nation’s veterans — and it’s not a short task.

Michael Ferrara, a 17-year-old resident of Ringoes, has launched an online fundraiser to support his run in the virtual Marine Corps Marathon, scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 25. All funds will be donated to the Houses for Warriors, a nonprofit organization that houses and improves the quality of life for disabled veterans.

While the marathon was originally scheduled to be held in Arlington, Virginia, it has switched to a virtual format in light of the coronavirus pandemic. This means Ferrara will track his time, pace and distance using a digital watch and send a screenshot of his results to the website of the Marine Corps Marathon.

This weekend, Ferrara will run the 26.2 miles from Sandy Hook to Spring Lake alongside Team RWB (Red, White and Blue).

“Team RWB is a running team that supports the veterans," Ferrara said. “They try to make sure to get the name out that the veterans really are out there to support us, to support the country ... and when they run they carry flags to show their patriotism.”

As of Monday, Ferrara had raised more than $3,500 for Houses for Warriors. These funds will help the organization foot the bill for converting an 86,000-square-foot facility in Denver into a transitional housing and vocational training facility for homeless veterans.

Should the project move forward, Houses for Warriors will build a memorial outside of the facility using bricks on which the names of the development’s founding members will be engraved.

Ferrara is hoping to raise at least $4,000 so his own name and those of three veterans that are particularly close to him can adorn the memorial.

“If we hit my current goal of $4,000, I’m going to dedicate three of the four bricks to two of my grandparents and my uncle,” Ferrara said. “My uncle was in the Marines, my one grandfather on my dad’s side was in the Navy, and my other grandfather on my mom’s side is in the Army.”

Ferrara’s fundraising efforts have been so impressive that Houses for Warriors began a #fundraisinghero monthly initiative to shine a light on his contributions and encourage others to take action.

“If I had 100 more people like Michael today, we would have that building tomorrow,” Andrew Canales, an Iraq War veteran and the CEO of Houses for Warriors, said.

Canales said veterans are fives times more likely to commit suicide if they’re homeless.

“That’s only for (35% of) the veterans that exist. We actually can’t account for the other half that aren’t in the VA health care system," Canales said.

Ferrara said his deeply felt patriotism inspired him to raise money for Houses for Warriors.

“The reason that I’m able to run and the reason that people are able to do what they do everyday is because of the veterans. And it’s not fair to the veterans that they end up in the situation that they’re in — ending up homeless," the teen said.

(10/21/2020) Views: 48 ⚡AMP
by Caroline fassett
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Marine Corps Marathon

Marine Corps Marathon

Recognized for impeccable organization on a scenic course managed by the US Marines in Arlington, VA and the nation's capital, the Marine Corps Marathon is one of the largest marathons in the US and the world. Known as 'the best marathon for beginners,' the MCM is largest marathon in the world that doesn't offer prize money, earning its nickname, “The...

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2020 Shanghai Marathon will take place on November 29, organizers announced on Wednesday with a field around of 9,000 runners

The annual event will be scaled down from last year’s 38,000 runners to 9,000 in the aftermath of the coronavirus outbreak. The 10-kilometer and 5.5km races have been canceled and the 9,000 runners will be running the full 42-kilometer distance.

There will be no international runners, or runners from high-risk areas, this year. The event has also altered its route with the finishing line at the riverside West Bund Art Center in Xuhui District instead of Shanghai Stadium.

The race will start at 7am from the Bund. Runners will be divided into three groups and start their journey some minutes apart to avoid crowding. The starting area has a space of about 15,000 square meters and runners will be able to keep a 1-meter distance from each other before the race begins.

The new route will make its first turning at Xinkaihe Road instead of the narrower Jinling Road East. Runners will go past city landmarks that include the pedestrian street on Nanjing Road E, People’s Square, Jing’an Temple and Longhua Temple before reaching the riverside art center.

All participants, including front-tier staff, will have to hand in nucleic acid test reports within seven days ahead of the event. Runners will have their identity cards, temperatures and health codes checked before the race.

“I’m happy that the Shanghai Marathon can go on this year under the impact of the pandemic,” said Dr Zhang Wenhong, a leading expert in Shanghai’s fight against the coronavirus.

“I know that Shanghai’s virus-fighting departments have already made preparations and got the city ready for the event. It’s an encouragement for citizens as well as a recognition of our pandemic-fight efforts,” Zhang said.

“Participants are still reminded to keep a safe distance from each other and avoid gathering during the event,” he added. “I’m expecting more sports activities to be held around the city while participants follow anti-pandemic requirements.”

A total of nine food and drink supply stations will be set along the closed track. Spectator zones have been canceled.

Organizers said plans were in place if participants exhibited symptoms during the event. They would be taken to a quarantined area and organizers would take measures that include canceling the race if necessary.

Registration has already started and will last till 5pm on Saturday. The 9,000 quotas will be distributed through a draw and the results will be announced on October 27. The entry fee is 100 yuan (US$13) for each runner.

The prize money has been set at 150,000 yuan for the winner, and 100,000 and 80,000 yuan for the second and third finishers, respectively.

Considering the shrunken scale, the organizers introduced a “Shanghai Virtual Run” this year. Runners who fail to get entry to the marathon can take part in the event through an online form – to complete the distance on any other track and have the procedure recorded through designated app.

The organizers will select 100 virtual run participants and award them with quotas for next year’s Shanghai Marathon.

(10/21/2020) Views: 79 ⚡AMP
by Ma Yue
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Shanghai International Marathon

Shanghai International Marathon

Shanghai International Marathon has established itself as the marquee running event on China’s Marathon calendar. Every November, tens of thousand participants run passing the many historical places of this city such as Bund Bull, Customs House, Shanghai Museum, Shanghai Grand Theater, Shanghai Exhibition center, Jing’an Temple, Nan Pu Bridge, Lu Pu Bridge, Long Hua Temple, Shanghai Stadium. The course records...

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Professional athletes reported a 27 per cent increase in anxiety due to the pandemic according to a recent Strava study

A joint study between Strava and Stanford University has explored how the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted elements of daily life for professional athletes and how these changes have affected both their mental and physical health. The results of the study demonstrate that the pandemic has been hard on the motivation and mental health of professional athletes – just like everyone else. But it’s not all bad news, as some participants reported that they felt more physically fit than before the pandemic. Here’s a look at the findings. 

The study surveyed 131 professional athletes, all of whom typically spend time training in close quarters and travelling globally, to see how they’d adapted to the changes they have been facing. These professionals (a mix of runners, cyclists and triathletes) were surveyed between March and August. 

One in five athletes reported difficulties due to mental health

Of the athletes who participated, one in five reported difficulties in training due to their mental health, with a 22 per cent increase in reported depression and a 27 per cent increase in reported anxiety. This increase in depression and anxiety, for some runners, had an effect on their training, and for nearly half, their training efforts weren’t compensated in the same way due to the pandemic.

Strava athletes reported that nearly half of them were facing sponsorship reductions due to the pandemic, which is the primary source of income for many professionals. Through the spring, some runners were putting on their own meets to try and fulfill sponsor obligations and avoid contract reductions, but not everyone had the resources to do this.

Not all bad news

While some of these stats paint a bleak picture, nearly half of the athletes also reported that they felt fitter despite COVID-19 restrictions, with 31 per cent noting that they have trained more than before during the pandemic.

Everyone is different, and some people were better equipped to deal with the pandemic than others. Some had the tools to cope with the pandemic, and it appears that they were able to come out healthy and fit. If you were able to maintain your physical fitness and mental health through the pandemic, big kudos. And if you had a hard time, know that you’re not alone. 

(10/21/2020) Views: 60 ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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Golden’s Courtney Dauwalter won Big’s Backyard Ultra in Tennessee

Dauwalter and Harvey Lewis pushed each other beyond previous limits at the race, with Dauwalter completing a record 68 laps and accumulating 283.33 miles to win the event in the early morning hours of October 20 after nearly three full days of running with very little sleep.

Daulwalter, a Salomon-sponsored runner, broke her own American record of 67 laps, or yards, as they’re called in “backyard-ultra” vernacular, and very briefly held the world record for the unique style of racing that sends runners out for a 4.1667-mile loop at the top of every hour until only one runner remains.

The event concluded when Dauwalter crossed the finish line on her 68th lap and she was declared the last runner standing after Lewis failed to compete the lap and retired from the race. Wearing a yellow Salomon T-shirt and a pair of long, surf-style running shorts she’s become known for, Dauwalter was smiling and energetic after she finished.

“Wow, what that was fun,” said the 35-year-old Daulwalter, while sipping a cold beer shortly after finishing her 68th lap at 2:46 a.m. CT. “I had a good routine and got a lot of rest. And Harvey was amazing.”

(10/21/2020) Views: 47 ⚡AMP
by Colorado Runner
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Jordan Crookes a 23-year-old successfully ran the virtual London Marathon 2020 despite struggling with his Cerebral Palsy

Jordan Crookes, of Mitcham, smashed his fundraising challenge for Cerebral Palsy Sport at the beginning of October.

 After being born prematurely, Jordan faced a series of challenges due to his left side being much weaker than his right. 

He was unable to crawl, his walking was delayed and he had issues with his speech and eyesight.

 Growing up, Jordan was subject to bullying whilst dealing with "the pressure of daily school life". He left mainstream school to attend a site more catered to his academic needs. 

Speaking about his condition, Jordan said: "Day to day tasks that many take for granted are a daily struggle for me. For example, locking a door with a key and tying shoelaces with a weak left hand is just a nightmare.

 "My escape from daily life and pressures was to play football, football was my world. But once starting work, I was unable to continue with my love of football due to shift patterns.

 “Running became my new love, it was able to fit around my work schedule and is now my escape from all the challenges that I face hour after hour. Running gave me a new focus in life."

Putting his new skills to the test, Jordan decided to sign up for a 10k run event.

 "To run alongside hundreds of people and be treated as an equal, to have the same end goal as everyone to just cross the finish line is an amazing feeling," Jordan said. 

Jordan's first 10k gave him the "bug" to run more and participate in further events, which overtime helped him prepare to run several half marathons.

 And after signing up to volunteer at London Marathon 2019, Jordan decided to challenge himself further.

 He said: "Last year at the marathon, I greeted people representing Children with Cancer UK.

"It was an amazing and emotional experience to see people so determined and focused. This gave me a new goal, to train, run and finish the London Marathon 2020."

Jordan completed his mission on October 4, and ran a total of 26.2 miles, finishing his goal at Morden Hall Park.

(10/20/2020) Views: 77 ⚡AMP
by Monica Charsley
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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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Doping charges against Bahrain's 400m world champion Salwa Eid Naser dismissed

The doping charges brought against Bahrain's 400 meter world champion Salwa Eid Naser have been dismissed, the Athletics Integrity Unit announced on Tuesday.The 22-year-old Naser was provisionally suspended in June and charged with failing to meet 'whereabouts' criteria.

The AIU charged the Nigerian-born runner with four alleged 'whereabouts' failures which included three missed tests between March 2019 and January this year.But the World Athletics Disciplinary Tribunal did not confirm a missed test from April 2019, therefore meaning Naser had not missed three tests within 12 months which is required to prove an anti-doping violation.

The AIU added that it has the right to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.Naser stunned athletics in Doha last year when she powered to the third-fastest 400m time in history to win the world title.

Her time of 48.14 seconds has only been bettered by East German Marita Koch in 1985 and former Czech runner Jarmila Kratochvilova in 1983.The AIU is the independent anti-doping watchdog for track and field, set up in 2017.

(10/20/2020) Views: 50 ⚡AMP
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Athlete Refugee team member Nait-Hammou on his half marathon championships debut

Athlete Refugee Team member Otmane Nait-Hammou is making a habit of rubbing elbows with some of the world's finest runners at World Championships.

In Doha last year, he lined up next to reigning world and Olympic champion Conseslus Kipruto in the opening round of the 3000m steeplechase. On the Gdynia start line, he stood should-to-shoulder with Joshua Cheptegei, the world record holder in the 5000 and 10,000m.

"If it's destiny or luck I don't know,” he says, laughing when reminded of the company he’s managed to keep at the start lines of his last two World Championship appearances. "It's an honour for me and I feel really proud.”

He’s also taking great pride in what he managed to achieve in Gdynia representing the Athlete Refugee Team.

On Saturday, Nait-Hammou wasn’t the same athlete he was a year ago in the Qatari capital. There, starry-eyed and overwhelmed, he tumbled to the track on the first lap of his race and was the last to finish, more than 70 seconds after Kipruto. In Gdynia, he finished 67th in the field of 122, clocking 1:03:28 in his competitive debut over the distance, beating some of the world’s finest half-marathoners in the process.

The difference? Taking to the line as a fledgling professional athlete, both in practicality and in attitude.

An opportunity to train like a professional

Nait-Hammou began running in his native Morocco in 2012, a passion he continued to feed even when life threw challenges in his path. He went to France in 2015 to pursue his studies, but, unable to return to Morocco, he made the difficult decision to apply for asylum. That road took him to Sweden in 2016 where he watched, on a television in a refugee centre, a team of refugee athletes competing at the Rio Olympics.

Those moving images fuelled his imagination and his motivation. Three years later he himself would compete twice on the international stage, first at the World Cross Country Championships in Aarhus, Denmark, then again in Doha, modest outings that nonetheless helped him step up to the next level.

“A lot of things changed over the past year,” Nait-Hammou says. “I have a lot of solidarity and support that has changed my life." That includes sponsorship arrangements with On, his apparel sponsor, with the energy gel Maurten, from his French club ES Sartrouville and ongoing development support from World Athletics and Olympic Solidarity.

Together, he says, "these things have given me more confidence and motivation and excitement to train very hard, to push very hard in training. It's a huge difference from when you come to participate and when you come to perform.”

His increasingly professional arrangement allowed him to attend a training camp for the first time, a month-long stint at altitude in Font-Remeu, France, in July and August where he logged 150 to 160 kilometres per week for four straight weeks. It was a type of training he’d never attempted before. “The first week was tough. I was really tired. But then the second week was better, and the third even better.”

It also brought results. On 29 August, he improved his steeplechase best to 8:51.07 at a French regional meeting in Decines Charpieu, his first race in seven months. Two weeks later he finished seventh at the French championships. In between he won a regional 10km in 30:50.

All that set him up well for Gdynia.

“I felt confident at the start line, because I had the opportunity to train and prepare like a professional. That made a big change in my life and my approach. I can see in training that I am getting better. I'm not the same person I was in Doha.”

“I never ran under 30 minutes. Never. I'm still in shock. I still haven't realised what I’ve done. I broke my 10k PB inside a half marathon. In my first half marathon. And in a world championship. It's crazy.”

"I'm starting to think about doing some really strong training this winter for a good marathon early next year," he says, and then focus on the steeplechase during the track season. "I want to go to the marathon for a new adventure. I am excited and motivated for that.

“I'm not thinking the same after Gdynia,” he continues. “I hope I gave the inspiration to other refugees to do better than me in the next World Championships.

“I didn’t come this time to participate. I came to perform. We get the support from World Athletics, from my sponsors, to come to the World Championships, so I wanted to show that we can perform like other athletes. That refugees can be like normal people.

"I beat some Swedish athletes, I beat some Spanish runners. I beat some of the best athletes from other countries, who are all very good athletes. I feel really proud of that and that I was able to represent 69 million people from around the world, to show that we can do it.”

(10/20/2020) Views: 70 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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World Half Marathon Championships

World Half Marathon Championships

The first one was first held in 1992. The collaboration with the world half marathon championships allows the Trinidad Alfonso Foundation to continue its strategy of supporting sports events that help to position València as the city of running. It has been the main contributor to the Valencia Marathon and Half Marathon for the past five years. The Spanish Federation...

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We call them carbon-plated shoes, but the advantage might not come from the carbon after all

Carbon-plated shoes have been on the running market for years, and they have taken over road racing on the promise that they can make runners more economical.

Efficiency is tied to a runner’s economy, which refers to the amount of energy expended to maintain a particular speed. The more efficient you are, the better your running economy. Nike’s promise with the Vaporfly 4% was to make runners up to four per cent more efficient, but new research is suggesting that these energy savings might not come from the carbon plate. 

A group of researchers recently published a paper in Nature Journal that refutes some of the carbon-plated hype. They suggest that the stiffness of the shoe alone might not be significant when it comes to lessening the effort to maintain a particular pace. 

The ankle joint

This paper assessed the bending stiffness of shoes (which is what the plate changes) and how much added stiffness improved running economy. Researchers added carbon plates to Adidas shoes that were 0.8, 1.6 and 3.2 mm thick. They found no difference in the flexion of the ankle joint or muscle activation in the feet or legs by adding the plates, meaning that they didn’t find these plates improved economy at all. 

It’s not about the plate, it’s about the foam

While these researchers don’t believe that the plate alone is responsible for the improvement in running economy, they can’t deny that Nike has seen improvements through their carbon-plated shoes. Their new working hypothesis is that the magic isn’t in the plate, it’s in the foam – the plate is merely a prop to help the foam to do its thing. 

When considered alongside World Athletics’ new shoe rules this hypothesis makes a little more sense. WA’s rules, which came out in early 2020, put a regulation on the plate (there can be only one per shoe), but they almost imposed an upper limit to stack heights, putting regulations on the foam as well. This could’ve been a happy accident or maybe they’re onto the fact that the foam is very much a part of the secret sauce of Nike, and other companies’, fastest shoes. 

What does this mean?

There have been lots of hypotheses about how much faster one could’ve run if only they’d had carbon-plated shoes back in the day. Researchers in this study suggest that you probably wouldn’t have run much faster by slapping a stiff plate into the middle of your shoe’s foam. They concluded, “Changing footwear bending stiffness hardly changes athlete biomechanics and may not improve running economy. Therefore, if competitive distance runners went back in time, added carbon-fiber plates to their footwear, and re-raced, their performance would likely not change.”

But slapping some fancy new foam and a carbon plate onto your old upper – now that might have produced some faster times. 

(10/20/2020) Views: 56 ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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Spanish ultrarunner Kilian Jornet runs 29:59 and Jakob Ingebrigtsen posts 35:05 at Norwegian 10K

Spanish ultrarunner Kilian Jornet made his 10K debut on Saturday at the Hytteplanmila, a road race in Norway that attracts a number of fast runners, including Jakob and Filip Ingebrigtsen. Jornet eked under 30 minutes with an impressive 29:59, while Filip finished in sixth place in 29:03. Jakob ran a shocking 35:05, although he was reportedly on pacing duty for his brother, which explains his surprisingly pedestrian result. 

Jornet’s run 

Before the Hytteplanmila, Jornet posted on Instagram to write a bit about his goals for the race. “It will be my first race on a flat surface, something that only two years ago I thought (and said) I would never do because I found running on the flat so boring,” he wrote. After making a few adjustments to his training, though, Jornet said he decided to give road racing a try. Unfortunately, he began to feel pain in his calf two weeks before the race, and he ended up taking it easy moving forward until race day.

“As a novice my expectations aren’t big,” he continued. “I would be really happy if I’m able to grab a few seconds to what is my ‘training PB,’ so to run around 29:30.” He fell short of this goal, although he still managed to run a sub-30 result for his first official 10K PB. Had he been healthy for the entire build to the race, he probably could have hit the 29:30 mark. Just a couple of months ago, he ran a 10K in 29:42, and that was immediately after running an all-out vertical kilometre for a challenge he calls the VK10K. If he can run that quickly after punishing his legs for 1,000m of climbing, he’s certainly capable of shaving at least 12 seconds off that time when he’s fresh and healthy. Hopefully he’ll give road racing another shot soon when he’s fully recovered so we can see what he can do. 

Going into the race, we had hoped to see a Jakob-Jornet showdown. We didn’t really expect Jornet to keep up with the young Norwegian, but it would have been fun to see how one of the world’s best ultrarunners fared against one of the top track athletes. Last year, Jakob set the Norwegian 10K record at the Hytteplanmila with a 27:54, but he obviously didn’t make a push to challenge that this time around.

Instead, he paced Filip (who is fresh off a win at the Norwegian cross-country championships) for 7K before slowing down considerably and cruising to the finish. Jakob passed through 7K in 19:53 before slowing to 6:22, 4:10 and 4:40 splits for the final 3K. Filip had a strong eighth kilometre with a 2:48, but he suffered greatly in the last 2K, posting 3:03 and 3:17 splits. 

(10/19/2020) Views: 53 ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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Kenya’s Peres Jepchirchir says that her next target is the Valencia Marathon

Kenya’s Peres Jepchirchir will enjoy only a week’s rest after Saturday’s record-breaking victory in the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships in Gdynia, Poland.

Because she has the Valencia Marathon on December 6 in her cross-hairs.

"My season is not yet complete. I still have Valencia Marathon in December so I’ll prepare for that. I think this win gave me a lot. I'd like to run 2:17 or 2:18 for the marathon,” she said after winning yesterday’s World Athletics Half Marathon Championships in a world record time of one hour, five minutes and 16 seconds.

"This pandemic was difficult and it affected a lot of people. I used this time to train, I didn’t stop my training because I was trying to reach my shape.

"I am so happy with this. It’s a gift to all the Kenyans, to my family. I am going to rest now for one week to recover then I’ll continue training for Valencia," she told World Athletics.

Jepchirchir’s world records and the meteoric rise of Kibiwott Kandie have been the talk on the road racing circuit in this coronavirus-ravaged season.

On Saturday, Jepchirchir recaptured the crown she won last in 2016 in Cardiff.

It was a cat-and-mouse game in the last two kilometres between Jepchirchir, Ethiopia’s Yalemzerf Yehualaw and Melat Kejeta from Germany before the Kenyan out-sprinted them to triumph.

The 27-year-old Kenyan, who failed to defend her title in 2018 after taking a maternity break, improved her own women’s only half marathon world record by 18 seconds.

Kenya’s Joyciline Jepkosgei finished sixth in 1:05:58 while compatriots Brillian Jepkorir (1:06:56), Rosemary Wanjiru (1:07:10) and Dorcas Kimeli (1:07:55) came in ninth, 10th and 11th. That saw Kenya finish second in the team event followed by Germany.

“My goal was to win but it’s unbelievable since I didn’t expect that I would beat the world record. It was a little bit windy, but the course was good for me," said Jepchirchir.

Kandie might have lost the battle to Uganda’s Jacob Kiplimo, but his second place finish on his debut for Kenya could as well as signalled his entry to the elite club.  

“It’s not that I lost my power in the last kilometres, but it’s my calculations that went wrong,” Kandie reflected.

“It was a good race and I enjoyed the course. It was my first time at the World Half Marathon Championships and I won!” said Kiplimo.

“It is hard to explain, because I am full of emotion.”

(10/19/2020) Views: 83 ⚡AMP
by Ayumba Ayodi
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VALENCIA TRINIDAD ALFONSO MARATHON

VALENCIA TRINIDAD ALFONSO MARATHON

Sammy Kiprop Kitwara set a Spanish all-comers’ record at the 2017 Maraton Valencia Trinidad Alfonso, the 31-year-old Kenyan produced a 2:05:15 effort to finish almost a full minute inside the previous record, moving to seventh on this year’s world list in the process. Ethiopia’s Aberu Mekuria Zennebe won the women’s race in 2:26:17 to improve on her fourth-place finish from...

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Registration for the highly anticipated Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon 2021 is now officially open

Registration begins for next years Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon, with runners from across the UAE and further afield invited to secure a spot at next year’s event, which is scheduled to take place on Friday (Feb.19, 2021) on Al Marjan Island.

The 2021 World Athletics Gold Label race will be the landmark 15th edition of the event, which has proved to be a huge success down the years as both professional and amateur athletes gather in Ras Al Khaimah to compete.

Preparations for the event are now underway, with stringent safety measures to be implemented across the board in order to safeguard participants, volunteers, guests and residents, aligned with global best practice and national federal directives.

The Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon 2021 is Bureau Veritas certified as a SafeGuard Assurance Programme, a four-step methodology designed to verify, certify and promote the hygiene and cleanliness standards of customer-facing businesses, ensuring all health, safety and hygiene procedures are effectively implemented.

The 2020 event, which took place earlier this year, attracted over 5,200 entries and saw Ethiopia’s Ababel Yeshaneh break the world record by 20 seconds in the elite female race as she recorded a time of 64:31.

Those runners wishing to compete at the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon 2021 are advised to secure a place as soon as possible in order to avoid disappointment, with registrations now open via the below link: https://www.therakhalfmarathon.com/registration/

New for next year’s event is the introduction of a Platinum Package, which is priced AED 550 and provides participants with an Elite Race Experience.

With only 100 slots available, Platinum Package runners will begin the race in a special area of the course and start ahead of other competitors, ensuring the best possible race conditions.

Aside from the Platinum Package, the earliest starting slot is Wave 1 at 7.30am, with the latest Wave 7 at 9am. Starting grids, consisting of no more than 400 athletes per Wave, will be marked for social distancing, with 15-minute intervals between each Wave beginning the race. Apart from the Platinum Package, which will stay open until capacity is reached (max. 100), each respective Wave will only go on sale once the previous one has sold out.

Raki Phillips, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority shared, “Aligned with the strong upturn in the Emirate’s tourism and hospitality performance, we are delighted to announce that the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon will be returning to the Emirate on the Feb.19, 2021. We look forward to hosting the stellar line-up of elite athletes, as well as local families and enthusiasts to join in what is sure to be a memorable event.”

CEO of RCS Sports and Events Enrico Fili’ said, “Once again, we are proud to support Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority in delivering the 15th edition of the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon on Al Marjan Island. We witnessed fantastic results in the 2020 race, with Ababel Yeshaneh from Ethiopia smashing the women’s World Record by 20 seconds. This result has recently been ratified by World Athletics and we look forward to having another unforgettable elite line-up in 2021 that will ensure the event remains the fastest half marathon in the world.”

(10/19/2020) Views: 77 ⚡AMP
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Rak Half Marathon

Rak Half Marathon

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

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Italy’s 2017 world bronze medalist Antonella Palmisano breaks Italian 10km race walk record in Modena

Palmisano produced the fastest clocking for 18 years in the 10km race walk when winning at Italy’s Endurance Festival Championships in Modena on Sunday (18) in 41:28.

Palmisano was contesting her third race in 15 days, following a world-leading 21:00.0 over 5000m in Trivio on 3 October and her 1:28:40 victory over 20km in Podebrady on 10 October.

The 29-year-old showed no signs of fatigue in Modena, though, and after a steady opening kilometre of 4:13 she picked up the pace and reached the half-way point in 20:50. She maintained that tempo for a few more kilometres and managed to move up a gear in the latter stages, covering the final kilometre in 4:04 to cross the finish line in 41:28.

Her winning time took 10 seconds off the previous Italian record, set 23 years ago by 1996 Olympic fourth-place finisher Rossella Giordano. 1993 world silver medallist Ileana Salvador had clocked 41:30 27 years ago but her time wasn’t officially recognised as an Italian record. Palmisano’s performance, however, is an improvement on both of those marks and takes her to sixth on the world all-time list. The last woman to cover the distance in a faster time was Norway’s Kjersti Tysse-Playzer, who clocked 41:16 in 2002.

“Today I wanted to have fun,” said Palmisano, whose previous best for the distance was 42:50, although she had also clocked 41:57.29 for 10,000m on the track. “It’s the first time I’ve done three races so close together, but I didn’t feel the fatigue from Podebrady in my legs. It wasn’t easy in the final two or three kilometres, but I pushed hard.”

Nicole Colombi, who represented Italy at last year’s World Championships, was second in 43:55. Francesco Fortunato won the men’s race in 39:06, moving him to third on the Italian all-time list.

(10/19/2020) Views: 48 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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2021 Kagoshima Marathon Canceled and updates on other Marathons in Japan

We have studied a variety of options for staging the 2021 Kagoshima Marathon, but with no end to the coronavirus crisis in sight we have come to the unfortunate conclusion, in light of the need to ensure the safety of the runners, event staff and local residents, that it would not be possible to hold the race as planned and that it must be canceled for the second year in a row.

We sincerely pray for a swift end to the crisis and that we can once again hold the Kagoshima Marathon as a safe event that will delight runners and locals alike. We will be working hard to make that a reality.

With regard to priority entry for those who were entered to run in 2020, we are still studying how we might move forward with improved coronavirus measures in the future, including examining the field size, and do not have a clear answer at this point.

We will post that information as soon as it has been determined and thank you for your patience until then. We are planning to hold events including a running clinic and an online marathon and will also post that information on our website as soon as all the details have been decided.

Kagoshima Marathon Organizing Committee

Major Japanese marathons still scheduled to happen in 2020 and 2021 marathon announcements to date:

Dec. 6: Fukuoka International Marathon (370) - scheduled with limited field size

Dec. 20: Hofu Marathon (2,724) - scheduled with limited field size

2021

Jan. 10 - Ibusuki Nanohana Marathon (10,954) - canceled

Jan. 31 - Katsuta Marathon (10,627) - canceled

Jan. 31 - Osaka International Women's Marathon (423) - TBA

Feb. 7 - Beppu-Oita Marathon (3,141) - canceled

Feb. 14 - Ehime Marathon (9,554) - canceled

Feb. 14 - Nobeoka Nishi Nippon Marathon (536) - TBA

Feb. 21 - Kyoto Marathon (13,894) - canceled

Feb. 21 - Kochi Ryoma Marathon (10,924) - canceled

Feb. 21 - Kumamoto Castle Marathon (10,444) - canceled

Feb. 21 - Kitakyushu Marathon (9,485) - canceled

Feb. 21 - Okinawa Marathon (7,990) - canceled

Feb. 28 - Shonan International Marathon (16,821) - rescheduled from Dec. 6

Feb. 28 - Himeji Castle Marathon (6,938) - canceled

Feb. 28 - Iwaki Sunshine Marathon (5,259) - canceled

Feb. 28 - Lake Biwa Marathon (174) - TBA

Mar. 7 - Kagoshima Marathon (9.356) - canceled

Mar. 7 - Tokyo Marathon (151) - postponed to October 17

Mar. 14 - Shizuoka Marathon (9,802) - canceled

Mar. 14 - Nagoya Women's Marathon (96) - scheduled with limited field size

Mar. 21 - Itabashi City Marathon (13,310) - canceled

Mar. 21 - Koga Hanamomo Marathon (8,766) - canceled

Mar. 21 - Saga Sakura Marathon (8.509) - canceled

Mar. 28 - Tokushima Marathon (11,010) - decision in early November

Mar. 28 - Sakura Marathon (5,614) - TBA

Apr. 18 - Kasumigaura Marathon (10,096) - decision by end of October

Apr. 18 - Nagano Marathon (8,082) - decision by end of October

(10/18/2020) Views: 53 ⚡AMP
by Japan Running News
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Woman runs mile in under 6 minutes while 9 months pregnant

Over the last seven months, many people have been motivated to get outside and get active in the midst of coronavirus closures and precautions.

While exercising outdoors may be a relatively new endeavor for some people, one woman has been dedicated to her workout routine for years, and neither COVID-19 nor pregnancy have slowed her down.

Makenna Myler, 28, is nine months pregnant. She recently ran a mile in just five minutes and 25 seconds.

Myler, an avid runner, said she “cut back [her] mileage a lot,” running five to six times a week throughout her pregnancy.

She hoped she would still be able to run later in her pregnancy and voiced her anxiety to her husband.

“To keep me motivated, he said he would give me $100 if I could break 8 minutes doing the mile at 9 months pregnant,” she said.

This week, she met her goal.

“Feeling capable is everything to me,” Myler said in an interview with Buzzfeed. “Running has been a big outlet for me in that way. Running during pregnancy has been a beautiful process of accepting effort and patience, not forcing anything, and letting go of pace and forced mileage.”

Jennifer Lincoln, a gynecologist based in Portland, Oregon, said Myler’s rigorous regimen isn’t cause for alarm.

“In general, if someone has been doing a certain exercise prior to pregnancy, they can continue it in pregnancy, with some exceptions," she said. "General precautions should be taken, such as staying hydrated, stopping if you become dizzy or feel unwell, or if you have high-risk issues and your doctor has advised you to modify or cut back.”

According to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, pregnant women should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week, and physical activity does not increase risk of miscarriage, low birth weight or early delivery.

Myler’s expected due date is Oct. 19.

“It’s funny, I kept waiting and waiting for the day when I would just be done or my body would break, but that day never came," she told Buzzfeed. "So yeah, I’ll probably still be running by next Monday.”

(10/18/2020) Views: 55 ⚡AMP
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Study finds that Just 14 per cent of treadmill owners are extremely motivated to train

A recent study of more than 1,000 people who exercise regularly found that just 14.3 per cent of treadmill owners are “extremely motivated” to train, but there’s more to this number than what’s shown on the surface.

The study looked at gym-goers and at-home exercisers, and it turns out that, while rates of enjoyment on the treadmill are relatively low compared to other machines, this seemingly low rate of motivation is actually the highest. We’ve outlined some of the more pertinent (when it comes to runners, at least) findings below. 

Highest rates of motivation 

Fourteen per cent might not seem like a lot, but 39.3 per cent of treadmill owners said they are “very motivated” to train. Another 39.3 per cent said they’re “somewhat motivated,” and just 7.1 per cent responded with “not at all or slightly motivated.” Other than owners of stationary bikes and ellipticals (who are grouped together), the 14.3 per cent of treadmill owners responded with the second-highest rates of extreme motivation. Overall, 53.6 per cent of treadmill owners are extremely or very motivated to train, which gives the machine the highest rate of motivation when compared to other machines or gear. The lowest on the list were owners of free weights and yoga mats. 

One explanation for these higher rates of motivation could be due to the price of treadmills. As listed in the study, the average treadmill goes for $525, which is almost $300 more than the next most-expensive item (ellipticals and stationary bikes). After making such a big purchase, treadmill owners might feel obligated to use their expensive machines, which creates a sort of motivation to train. Conversely, yoga mats and free weights are much less expensive, and so owners of these items may not feel as pressured to use them. 

Lowest rates of enjoyment 

The treadmill’s rate of motivation might be much higher than other machines, but when it comes to actual enjoyment in training, it comes in second-last, just ahead of the elliptical and stationary bikes. Just 40.1 per cent of treadmill runners said they enjoyed their runs. Cyclists took the top spot in this category, with 52.6 per cent responding positively to this exercise. 

Conclusions? 

If you like the treadmill, that’s awesome, and it’s a great way to get your run training in (especially during colder months). But if you’re not a fan of the treadmill, that doesn’t mean you won’t be motivated to use it.

This study shows that, even if you don’t take much enjoyment out of the training, you’ll likely still run on the treadmill anyway. Nobody said being a runner was easy, and forcing yourself to use the treadmill is a perfect example of why this is a tough sport.  

(10/17/2020) Views: 100 ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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Kiplimo makes history for Uganda at World Athletics Half Marathon Championships Gdynia 2020

For the first time in the 28-year history of this event, a Ugandan athlete stood proud atop the podium, but it wasn’t the one most expected. In the men’s race at the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships Gdynia 2020 on Saturday (17), it was Jacob Kiplimo and not Joshua Cheptegei who reigned supreme, the 19-year-old coming of age with his first global title at senior level.

With a devastating surge over the last of the four laps, no one could live with Kiplimo and he hit the line a delighted champion in a championship record of 58:49, with Kenya’s Kibiwott Kandie second in 58:54 and Ethiopia’s Amedework Walelegn third in 59:08.

Next in was Cheptegei, who had lost contact with the leaders with a little less than five kilometres to run, the king of the track demoted to fourth place on the roads but rewarded with a swift time of 59:21 on his debut at the distance.

“I couldn’t give more than that,” said Cheptegei, who set a world 10,000m record in Valencia just 10 days ago. “I have been training more for 5000m and 10,000m so I was not well prepared for it, but I’m very happy – running a sub-60 is really special for me. My body was really going very well but I discovered I still had some fatigue in the legs.”

In a race of outstanding quality, the first 10 runners broke 60 minutes, the first time that ever happened at the event and just the second time it has ever happened. This, despite a relatively pedestrian start that saw the leading contenders cruise through the opening lap waiting for one another to make a decisive move.

No Ugandan had ever won an individual medal in 23 previous editions of the event – their one team medal a men’s bronze in 2004 – but the nation has been a rising force in distance running these past few years so today’s result came as no surprise. Kiplimo, after all, had clocked a world-leading 7:26.64 for 3000m in Rome last month and 12:48.63 for 5000m so his credentials were unquestioned, and he had followed Cheptegei home at last year’s World Cross Country Championships.

His only half marathon before today was the 1:01:53 he ran in Kampala last year but from the outset today, he looked most at home at the distance.

In contrast to the women’s race, the men’s race set off at a conservative tempo, the leading contenders happy to coast through the opening 5km in 14:20 as Switzerland’s Julien Wanders towed them along out front.

A leading pack of 23 went through 10km in 28:23, and the gears slowly began to shift in the third lap, with Kandie and Ethiopia’s Guye Adola applying some pressure. Kandie stepped the pace up even more as he clicked through 15km in 42:17 and clocked the first sub-14-minute 5km split of the race with 13:54.

It whittled the leading pack to 11 with a lap to go, with Cheptegei passing the bell a few seconds behind Kandie in eighth place. Kandie was soon joined by Kiplimo as they ran uphill and as he saw the gaps open behind to Cheptegei, Kiplimo kept the pressure on, building a 15-metre lead over his teammate.

Kandie, too, began to fall off pace behind the smooth-striding Kiplimo, but with less than 3km to run he clawed his way back to Kiplimo’s shoulder. The pace now was red-hot, Kiplimo surging to 20km in 55:55, a 13:37 5km split giving him a four-second lead over Kandie as he ran downhill towards the coast for the final time.

Kandie refused to lie down, chasing Kiplimo for all he was worth as they neared the finish in a bid to keep the men’s crown in Kenya for the fourth successive championships, following Geoffrey Kamworor’s three straight wins between 2014 and 2018. But he simply couldn’t close down the advantage and he had to make do with silver.

“I feel great, it was my first time at the World Half Marathon Championships and I won!” said Kiplimo. “It is hard to explain, because I am full of emotion. Unbelievable. The weather was really good, as were the conditions and course. I'm so grateful for everyone who has supported me.”

Kandie led Kenya to gold in the team event, with Leonard Barsoton’s 59:34 and Benard Kimeli’s 59:42 giving them a cumulative time of 2:58:10. Ethiopia took team silver with 2:58:25, and Uganda bronze with 2:58:39. All three teams finished inside the previous championship record.

(10/17/2020) Views: 92 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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World Half Marathon Championships

World Half Marathon Championships

The first one was first held in 1992. The collaboration with the world half marathon championships allows the Trinidad Alfonso Foundation to continue its strategy of supporting sports events that help to position València as the city of running. It has been the main contributor to the Valencia Marathon and Half Marathon for the past five years. The Spanish Federation...

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Grovdal clocks 30:32 Norwegian 10km record in Hole Norway

Karoline Bjerkeli Grovdal broke her own national 10km record at the Hytteplanmila 10km in Hole, Norway, on Saturday (17).

The 30-year-old clocked 30:32 to smash the previous mark of 31:25 she set at this race in 2017. The performance lifted the continental cross country standout to fourth on the 2020 world list and third all-time among Europeans, trailing just Lonah Chemtai Salpeter (30:05) and Paula Radcliffe (30:21).

Grovdal has raced little this season but she was on a tear from the gun to make this appearance count, reaching three kilometres in 9:10 and the midway point in 15:17 to finish 31st in the race overall among the 90 competitors.

Vienna Søyland Dahle was a distant second in 33:18.

Jakob Ingebrigtsen, who made his debut at the distance with a 27:54 course record in this race last year, wasn't really a factor in his return.

Opening with a modest 2:59 first kilometre, he worked his way back to the leaders after two kilometres and briefly took the lead at the four kilometre point. Zerei Mezngi then upped the pace after five kilometres with Ingebrigtsen and his brother Filip struggling to maintain contact. Mezngi extended his lead to six seconds at six kilometres and forged on largely unchallenged to win in 28:20. Narve Gilje Nordas was second in 28:28, while Filip Ingebrigtsen drifted back to finish sixth in 29:03.

Jakob Ingebrigtsen, who remained in contact through seven kilometres, slowed to a jog over the waning stages and eventually finished in 35:05.

Spanish mountain, trail and ultramarathon runner and ski mountaineer Kilian Jornet ran with the leaders early on, and finished 18th in 29:59.

(10/17/2020) Views: 40 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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