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Wounded war hero Luke Wigman is set to run seven marathons, on seven continents for a second time

War hero Luke Wigman will this week run seven marathons, on seven continents in seven days – for a second time.

Elite RAF paratrooper Luke, 33, from Selston, Nottingham, starts the epic race this Thursday in Antarctica as he bids to become the first Brit to ever run the World Marathon Challenge twice.

He scooped a Sun Military Award after completing the epic running challenge in 2017 after suffering horror leg injuries when he stood on a hidden bomb in 2011 in Helmand.

And now he is back to run it again – this time raising funds for the RAF Benevolent Fund – which supported him during his rehabilitation.

Married Luke, who was a Senior Aircraftsman with the RAF Regiment, revealed he agreed to take on the epic race with just two weeks’ notice.

He said: “My goals are different for this one, I want to survive. I’m not focused on running the best times every single day, I just want to get to the end in one piece.

“When you’re doing this, you don’t know what country you’re in, what time zone, but it’s all irrelevant.

“All you’ve got to remember is you’ve got 168 hours to run 183.4 miles.

“What makes the World Marathon Challenge so hard is the travel, you’re traveling for 60 to 70 hours on a plane, through the week.

“My injury is lower leg, and my blood flow through to the leg is quite bad, so the flying and the traveling is really hard for me.

“I could end up with an elephant leg by the third day just from the flying.

“But if I can get to the end in one piece and shed some light on the RAF Benevolent Fund, then it will be mission accomplished.”

Luke believes the endurance challenge is the toughest of its kind out there, saying: “It’s physically horrendous, it's mentally tiring and it’s a logistical nightmare, but you just need to get to the end.

“I couldn’t let the opportunity pass, the first time was such a success, this time I want to do it for the RAF Benevolent Fund.

“They have had a huge, direct impact, on my life since my injury in 2011.

“If I can replicate what I did three years ago then why not, I’ll do it again.

“This is an opportunity to pay them back, I can only do these incredible challenges because of the rehab I received and the support from the charities along the way.”

In 2017 Luke, who served with the crack Special Forces Support Group, ran consecutive 26.2 mile races in Antarctica, Chile, Miami, Madrid, Marrakech, Dubai and Sydney, in less than a week.

This year the route starts in Antarctica before jetting to Cape Town, South Africa, Perth, Australia, Dubai, Asia, Madrid, Europe, Fortaleza, South America before ending in Miami, North America.

Luke aims to complete the challenge despite his leg being re-built two years ago to repair scar damage caused by the bomb blast.

(02/06/2020) ⚡AMP
by David Willetts
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World Marathon Challenge

World Marathon Challenge

The World Marathon Challenge ® is a logistical and physical challenge to run seven marathons on seven continents in seven days. Competitors must run the standard 42.2 km marathon distance in Antarctica, Africa, Australia, Asia, Europe, South America and North America within 168 hours, or seven days. The clock starts when the first marathon begins in Antarctica. ...

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Driving Economic Growth Through Access Bank Lagos City Marathon

When in 2016, the management of Access Bank Plc in partnership with the Lagos State Government hosted the inaugural edition of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, it was basically to encourage healthy lifestyle by encouraging people to engage in physical exercise.

Three years down the line, Nigerians are beginning to feel other impacts of the Marathon, especially its contributions to the economic development of Lagos, the host city, in particular and the nation in general.At inception, the goal of the partnership was to provide strategic support to the country’s sports industry and promote a healthy and active lifestyle among citizens.

The campaign activities was built around the theme: ‘Running from the Old to the New’. The 2016 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon had 50,000 registered participants, and was ranked 2nd in Africa, after the Cape Town Marathon by the All-Athletics.com, and was ranked 71 amongst over 1,000 international marathons globally.

The Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, in particular, has empowered a number of people in the hospitality industry, including food and drink vendors, fashion designers, advertisers, communication agencies and experts, technical officers, and volunteers that were all engaged from the planning stage to the completion of the marathon.

In Nigeria, tourists especially love “African souvenirs”, many of which are made available along the routes of the marathon and off-site. The 2018 edition of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon hosted 35 gold label athletes, 12 silver and 13 bronze label athletes, including 120 international and 150 Nigerian elite athletes.

These numbers do not take into account the tourists who were also present as observers and supporters of the racers. In 2019, 120,000 people registered to run the 42km path from the National Stadium, Surulere to Eko Atlantic. Over the years, the marathon has grown, pulling in more sponsors and participants, and with them, more observers and enthusiasts.

Beyond the fit and active lifestyle that running promotes, marathons have become sport tourism events. People now participate in marathons for other reasons which include; self-esteem booster, self-actualisation, self-therapy, and even socialisation.Marathons are not only beneficial to the participants but also to the host cities. It is for this reason that more cities are launching races to promote tourism and boost their image.

According to a study performed by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Regional Economics Applications Laboratory, the 2013 Bank of America Chicago Marathon generated “$253.49 million in total business activity to the Chicago economy,” which is “an equivalent of 1,742 full-time jobs and $85.94 million worth of wages and salary income.”

How does this happen? It’s simple, really. Tourists want to explore and get as much out of a city as they can, leaving room for brands to create packages that these tourists will find attractive.

A good example would be travel agencies creating packages specifically for the marathon period, or caterers putting together experience nights where tourists can experience the food culture of the host city. Sport-related brands have also seen a spike in business, increased sales, and top of mind awareness by pushing out content in line with the marathon’s theme of the year.

By hosting a marathon widely watched across the continent and the world, Lagos has consistently informed investors, tourists, and foreign governments that the state is ready for business.

(02/06/2020) ⚡AMP
by Solomon Nda-Isaiah
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Access Bank Lagos City Marathon

Access Bank Lagos City Marathon

“The IAAF and AIMS have a special interest in the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon so if you see their top officials at the third edition, don’t be surprised. Lagos is one of the few marathons in the world that got an IAAF Label after just two editions. This is a rare feat. The event had over 50,000 runners at...

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Middle-distance stars Jessica Hull and Stewart McSweyn have guaranteed their spots on the Australian team for the Tokyo Olympics

Middle-distance star Jessica Hull has guaranteed herself a spot on the Australian team for the Tokyo Olympics with a commanding victory in the women’s 5000 meters at the Melbourne Track Classic.

Hull, 23, surged to the front with 600 meters to go and powered away from Japan’s Hitomi Niiya to win in 15 minutes 06.12 seconds and claim her first national title.

As Hull had previously bettered the automatic qualifying mark, Thursday night’s victory saw her cement a spot in the Olympic squad.

“It is pretty surreal,” said Hull, who graduated last year from the University of Oregon and is now based in Phoenix.

“It’s been a long time, it’s been a dream and when you are a kid you think it is going to happen sooner.

“So in 2016 I was like ‘yeah, I’m going to Rio’ but obviously I was still young.

“But now in 2020 it is a reality and it is so exciting.”

Equally commanding was Stewart McSweyn, who became the first man in five years to complete the Australian 5000m/10,000m double.

Racing in a black armband in honor of his mentor and world athletics identity Maurie Plant, who died last month, McSweyn overcame some nervous moments before stamping his authority on Thursday night’s race.

He broke clear with five laps to go and powered away to win in 13 minutes 38.77 seconds.

“I knew it wasn’t going to be easy and I had to bring the A-game,” said the Tasmanian, who smashed the 10,000m record late last year at the Zatopek meet.

(02/06/2020) ⚡AMP
by John Salvado
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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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Organizers of the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend announced that they will increase the overall prize purse for Canadian athletes in the Ottawa 10K event

Organizers of the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend announced today they will be significantly increasing the overall prize purse for Canadian athletes in the Ottawa 10K event to CAD 35,000 (EUR 24,000) – the largest prize for any of Canada’s championship events this year.

As it has done since 2016, the 2020 Ottawa 10k will again host the Canadian 10K Championships with CAD 6,000 going to the top male and female Canadians in the 10K.

The Ottawa 10K will also maintain its unique gender challenge whereby the women are given a head start, and whoever crosses the finish line first (man or woman) wins an extra CAD 2,000.

The event will also host the Canuck 10K Team Competition, where a Canadian elite runner will have the chance to pick 3 compatriots to form a co-ed team of four. The fastest team wins CAD 6,000 to be split evenly amongst the team, as well as an additional CAD 1,000 that will go towards the Scotiabank Charity Challenge participating charity of their choice.

Organizers also announced today they have elected not to renew their World Athletics (formerly IAAF) gold certification for the Ottawa 10K event, choosing to focus their resources on participant experience, the Canadian 10K Championships and the development of Canadian athletes. The organizers of the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend have, however, renewed the gold certification for the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon.

Dylan Wykes, who won the men’s 10K in 29:56 last year, joins the organizing team as its new Elite Athlete Coordinator, replacing Manny Rodrigues, who had been in this volunteer role for the past 20 years. Wykes said: “The road racing scene in Canada is on fire right now with records being set in all distances.

I’m honored and excited by the opportunity to work with Ian and the entire Run Ottawa team as the Elite Athlete Coordinator. I know I have big shoes to fill, as Manny has done an incredible job over the past 20 years building the elite athlete program.

I’m looking forward to contributing to the Ottawa running community in a new way that doesn’t involve making my own two feet move fast”.

(02/05/2020) ⚡AMP
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Ottawa 10K

Ottawa 10K

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

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The coronavirus quarantine is no problem for determined Chinese runners

A report yesterday on the South China Morning Post‘s website focused on an interesting spin on indoor training: some Chinese runners who are forced to stay indoors due to the coronavirus quarantine have taken to running around their apartments to get their training in, and posting their workouts on social media.

One post by popular amateur marathoner Pan Shancu about running more than 6,000 loops of an eight-meter course in his apartment attracted thousands of admiring comments.

“I have not been outside for many days, today I cannot bear sitting down any more!” he wrote. “Let’s run laps around the two massage tables in the room, then! Yes, one lap is about 8m–I ran 50K, did it in 4:48:44, sweated all over, feels great!” he posted. Pan, who claims a 2:59 personal best, practices Chinese medicine in Hangzhou, about 500 kilometers from Wuhan, the center of the outbreak.

Running is very popular in China, which boasts an estimated 25 million enthusiasts. But even those without access to a treadmill are somehow managing to run.

The story quotes another woman, who posted a humorous and encouraging story on the Chinese social media site Weibo about a ‘race’ she ran in her home: “I swipe my race card and start in the kitchen, go through the living room, turn into my daughter’s room, the less than 20m-long racecourse has beautiful scenery and on my left my husband’s snoring is cheering me on, goji berry tea from the living room table is my mid-route nutritional supply, on the right, the handsome men and beautiful women on TV are waving, cheering me on,” the runner wrote.

“This is a silent battle. I put in a burst of speed and power on to the balcony. My husband’s verdict is that I have psychological issues.”

The World Health Organization’s latest situation report on coronavirus says there are now more than 20,000 confirmed cases worldwide in 23 countries. Four hundred and twenty-five people in China have died of the virus, and one person in the Philippines has died. As of yesterday there have been four confirmed cases in Canada, with no deaths.

(02/05/2020) ⚡AMP
by Anne Francis
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Galen Rupp will tune up for the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials by running the Sprouts Mesa Half Marathon this Saturday in Mesa, Arizona

Two-time Olympic medalist Galen Rupp is entered in the Sprouts Mesa Half Marathon Saturday in Mesa, Arizona.

This will be Rupp’s first race since he was unable to finish the Chicago Marathon in October because of a left calf strain.

Rupp said in a text message that Saturday’s half marathon will serve as a tune up for the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials on Feb, 29 in Atlanta, Georgia. It will be Rupp’s first race since announcing he now is being coached by Northern Arizona University coach Mike Smith.

Rupp, who grew up in Portland and starred at the University of Oregon, won the 2012 Olympic silver medal in the 10,000 meters and bronze in the 2016 Olympic Marathon.

(02/05/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ken Goe
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On Sunday April 26, 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon will celebrate 40 years

Virgin Money London Marathon, the world’s greatest marathon celebrates another landmark moment in its extraordinary history – The 40th Race.

From the legendary hand-in-hand finish of joint winners Dick Beardsley and Inge Simonsen in the very first London Marathon to countless world records; from one million finishers to £1 billion raised for charity; from crazy costumes to the incredible and inspiring examples of spirit and courage, The 40th Race – the name of this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon campaign – will celebrate them all.

The 40th Race campaign was launched at a star-studded reception on Tower Bridge, the iconic halfway point of the race, tonight (Tuesday 4 February) as a special film celebrating The 40th Race was released.

Hugh Brasher, Event Director of the Virgin Money London Marathon, said: “This year will be The 40th Race and we are so proud of how far the event has come since that wet day back on 29 March 1981. The London Marathon has proved to be a unique force for good and continues to have an extraordinary impact on society. It is an event that has inspired profound social change.

“Every year on Marathon Day, London is transformed. On one amazing day, the runners take on the challenge of 26.2 miles as families and friends come out to support them. Charities, which spend months championing causes and runners, line the route. Many thousands of volunteers come together and more than 750,000 spectators line the streets, cheering on every runner – it is London, and the UK, at its best.

“We look forward to celebrating the rich history of the London Marathon and, as always, we are also looking to the future of the event and how we can continue to develop and grow the world’s greatest marathon.”

In the men’s elite race, the two fastest marathon runners of all time, world record holder Eliud Kipchoge (KEN) and Kenenisa Bekele (ETH) go head-to-head while women’s world record holder and defending champion Brigid Kosgei (KEN) leads the greatest female marathon field ever assembled, as she takes on 2018 champion Vivian Cheruiyot (KEN) and world champion Ruth Chepngetich (KEN).

(02/05/2020) ⚡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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British distance-running great Mo Farah has withdrawn from next month's Big Half race in London with an achilles injury, organizers announced on Wednesday

The four-time Olympic gold medalist, preparing for the 2020 Games in Tokyo, suffered the minor injury in training.

Farah, 36, has won the half-marathon event for the past two years and was due to take on a field featuring Ethiopia star Kenenisa Bekele on March 1.

"I was really looking forward to racing the Vitality Big Half again," said Farah in a statement issued by event organizers.

"Everyone knows how much I love racing in London, but my priority is to be fit, healthy and competitive for the summer season and for that reason I have had to make the tough decision not to race this year."

Farah will continue his Olympic preparations in Africa after changing his mind about running the marathon in Tokyo to return to the track, having won double gold over 5,000 meters and 10,000m at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Games.

He won the 2018 Chicago marathon in a European record time but could only manage a fifth-place finish at last year's London Marathon.

Eliud Kipchoge, the world record holder, is the favorite to win marathon gold in Tokyo. Farah is set to defend his 10,000m title in Japan instead.

(02/05/2020) ⚡AMP
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The Vitality Big Half

The Vitality Big Half

Created by London Marathon Events Ltd, in partnership with Sported,The Vitality Big Half is a community running festival, taking place in London in March. This one-day event offers a host of running distances, from a challenging half marathon to a free one-mile course, as well as a family-friendly festival of food, music and activities. What’s happening? Take part with friends...

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Ethiopia´s distance runner Abadi Hadis has died at the age of 22

A regular competitor on the international track and road circuits, Hadis made his big breakthrough in 2016. Clocking PBs of 13:02.49 and 26:57.88, he was the fastest U20 athlete in the world that year at both 5000m and 10,000m. He also represented Ethiopia at the Olympic Games in Rio that year, finishing 15th in the 10,000m.

In 2017, while still a teenager, he finished third in the senior men’s race at the World Cross Country Championships in Kampala, leading Ethiopia to the team gold medal. He went on to finish seventh in the 10,000m at the World Championships in London later that year.

Hadis went on to record a 5000m PB of 12:56.27 in 2018 and followed it with a half marathon best of 58:44. He replicated that half marathon time at the start of 2019 and followed it with a 26:56.46 10,000m PB in Hengelo. His last competition was the World Athletics Championships Doha 2019, where he exited in the heats of the 5000m.

He is one of just five men in history to have bettered 13 minutes for 5000m, 27 minutes for 10,000m and 59 minutes for the half marathon.

(02/05/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Nike's controversial Vaporfly shoe has been permitted for use in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics

World Athletics has temporarily updated its guidelines for sports shoes worn in competitive events ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in July.

The new guidelines from the international governing body for athletics bans the trainer Eliud Kipchoge wore to break the two-hour marathon record.

Vaporfly meets new stipulations, However, Nike's Vaporfly range – including the Nike ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT% and the Zoom Vaporfly 4% – meets the stipulations of World Athletics' amended Technical Rules.

These prohibit shoes with soles that are thicker than 40 millimetres and the inclusion of more than one carbon-fibre plate, or similar item, in the sole.

The news comes amid criticism of the fairness of allowing athletes to compete while wearing the Vaporfly range, which have thick, foam soles and carbon-fibre plates to improve speed.

In 2019, 31 of the 36 podium positions in the six world marathon majors were won by elite athletes wearing Vaporfly, as reported by the Guardian.

World Athletics' Moratorium, which forms part of the Clothing section of the guidelines, also states that, from 30 April, shoes have to be on the open market for at least four months before an elite athlete can wear them for a contest.

While Vaporfly remains within the amends, the prototype Air Fly trainer that Nike-sponsored Kenyan runner Eliud Kipchoge wore to run a sub-two-hour marathon in October 2019 will be banned under the regulations.

The sneaker has a much chunkier sole than the Vaporfly and reportedly includes three carbon-fibre plates.

It has been reported, however, that Nike still has time to make amends to the Alpha Fly ahead of a release in March – over four months before the start of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics on 24 July.

This could make it possible for athletes to wear the shoe during the major competition.

(02/04/2020) ⚡AMP
by Eleanor Gibson
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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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Commercial Bank of Dubai (CBD) has been announced as a primary sponsor for the 14th edition of the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon

This sponsorship with the world’s fastest half marathon is another major endorsement for the race, which recently announced an impressive lineup of world-class elite runners.

One of the leading banks in the UAE, CBD’s sponsorship of the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon forms an integral part of its social responsibility strategy to promote a healthy lifestyle, a strategy that has seen the bank previously partner with other prominent runs in the United Arab Emirates.

Dr. Bernd van Linder, Chief Executive Officer of Commercial Bank of Dubai, said: “We are excited to be playing a significant part in such a high-profile international event, as one of the race’s Primary Sponsors. As the world’s fastest half marathon, this event elevates the UAE’s reputation as a top destination for elite sport and we are proud to be associated with the race.

“This initiative also aligns well with our overall social responsibility strategy to promote a healthy lifestyle amongst UAE residents. The RAK Half Marathon has engaged the local running community for many years and this year is poised to attract even more participants due to the increase in the category options on offer.

“At CBD, we are all looking forward to the 21st February and seeing thousands of happy, active people crossing the finish line.”

Raki Phillips, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, commented: “The world-renowned Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon goes from strength to strength with each passing year, so we are delighted to welcome on-board such an equally prominent partner as Commercial Bank of Dubai for the 2020 race.

“With just under a month to go, the anticipation is really building, so we’d really like to encourage as many runners as possible to sign up and come and enjoy this remarkable experience in the beautiful emirate of Ras Al Khaimah for themselves.”

Set against the picturesque backdrop of the Arabian Gulf, the popular Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon (www.therakhalfmarathon.com) will welcome thousands of professional and amateur runners from around the world. The annual premier road race will host a variety of race categories, including elite runners, club and recreational runners, people of determination and juniors.

In 2020, it will also introduce a new relay race category for the first time, while a 1 KM Fun Run designed for children will allow families to enjoy themselves as well. Registration is open until the 15th February.

A prize purse of Dh1,219,000 will be distributed among the leading elite runners as well as the UAE National and age group categories.

Among the favorites will be women’s marathon world record-holder, Brigid Kosgei from Kenya, while the men’s race will see Kenyan Benard Kimeli, who clinched back-to-back half marathon titles in Prague in 2018 and 2019, battle it out with the likes of Mosinet Geremew – one of only five men to complete a marathon in under two hours and three minutes – and European half marathon record-holder, Julien Wanders of Switzerland.

(02/04/2020) ⚡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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The Surf City Marathon on February 2 paid tribute to the nine victims killed in the Calabasas, California, helicopter crash on Sunday

One week after a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, tragically killed nine people—including NBA legend Kobe Bryant, 41, and his daughter Gianna Bryant, 13—the Surf City Marathon in Huntington Beach, California, honored the crash victims in many ways.

Passengers on the helicopter—John Altobelli, 56; Keri Altobelli, 46; Alyssa Altobelli,13; Christina Mauser, 38; Ara Zobayan, 50; Sarah Chester, 45, and Payton Chester, 13—were traveling with Bryant and his daughter to his Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, California, when the helicopter crashed into a fog covered hillside.

Paying tribute was important because all nine of the helicopter crash victims were from Orange Country, including two passengers who lived in Huntington Beach, race organizer Dan Cruz told Runner’s World.

The city of Huntington Beach held a special vigil the night before the race at Pier Plaza for Christina Mauser, who was an assistant coach at Mamba Academy, and her husband, Matt Mauser, who was the lead singer in the Tijuana Dogs band that performed at the marathon finish line last year. “Our staff and runners were affected by the tragedy, and as the next big sporting event in Orange County, it was important to pay tribute and recognize those we lost who made such an impact in the local community,” Cruz said.

The race kicked off with a “24.2” moment of silence—24 for Kobe’s jersey number and 2 for Gianna’s jersey number—before the marathon and the half marathon, and all corrals were sent off with an eight-second countdown in honor of Kobe’s original jersey number for the Los Angeles Lakers. Special remembrance markers were also set up at miles 8 and 24. There were hundreds of selfies and high fives at the mile markers, and one runner left a special wreath at mile 24.

“The response was overwhelmingly positive, uplifting, and celebratory of the great legacy the victims left behind,” Cruz said.

(02/04/2020) ⚡AMP
by Jordan Smith
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Surf City USA

Surf City USA

The Surf City USA Marathon and Half-Marathon attracts more than 20,000 runners from around the world. The exclusive oceanfront course runs along the Pacific Coast Highway (which is more like a street than a highway in this area), past the Huntington Beach Pier and the famous Southern California surfing beaches. Weekend highlights include many Super Bowl parties, the three-day Active...

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Troy University graduate and microbiologist, Jessica Jones will compete in the World Marathon Challenge

Dr. Jessica Jones has run a long way from her hometown of Sulphur Springs, Indiana (population 374), and next week she will be running around the globe.

The 1999 Troy University graduate and microbiologist will compete in the World Marathon Challenge, a challenge in which competitors run seven marathons on seven continents in seven days.

Jones’ journey has taken her to a variety of locations and planned career paths, but running has always come naturally for her.

Coming from such a small town in Indiana, she knows how unlikely her life story has been.

“As a young 17-year-old, I thought I knew exactly what I wanted — a degree in marine biology, to go to a smaller school, somewhere where it was warm and somewhere I could walk onto the cross country team,” Jones said. “It just so happens those factors liked up for me at TROY.”

A phone conversation with then-cross country coach (and Troy University Athletics Hall of Famer) Bob Lambert convinced Jones that TROY was the right destination for her.

She ran track and competed in cross country for two years at TROY, finding the University to be a home away from home.

“I loved it, I really did,” she said. “It was the perfect fit for me. TROY has grown a lot since I was there, but it was exactly what I was looking for — it wasn’t overwhelming to me, coming from a small town, and I was really happy to be a Trojan athlete.”

Jones stopped running in order to focus on her studies, and she later switched tracks, earning a Ph.D. in microbiology from South Alabama.

While she kept running to stay in shape, a national tragedy inspired her to enter the world of marathons.

“I started marathoning after the Boston Marathon bombing (in 2013),” Jones said. “I was already into running again pretty seriously at that point – 5k, 10k and half marathons. After the bombing, there was a big sense of community, and the runners all pulled together. It reminded me that’s where I felt happy was in the runner community at TROY. That motivated me to go for a marathon.”

Since then, Jones has competed in more than 30 marathons, recently winning the Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon and the Mobile Marathon.

Now, the person who didn’t want to be overwhelmed in college is preparing to compete in Antarctica, among other exotic locales.

“I’ve been thinking about this for four or five years,” said Jones, who works as a supervisory microbiologist at the Food and Drug Administration Gulf Coast Seafood Laboratory on Dauphin Island. “A friend of mine at work, his niece ran this event either the first or second time it happened. I said, ‘Wow, that’s incredible, I can’t imagine doing that.’ Then I started thinking that maybe I can imagine it. She set the world record, and I said, ‘I’ve got to do that.’”

While Jones has traveled to Europe and South America before, this daunting challenge will be an entirely new experience.

(02/04/2020) ⚡AMP
by Greg Phillips
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World Marathon Challenge

World Marathon Challenge

The World Marathon Challenge ® is a logistical and physical challenge to run seven marathons on seven continents in seven days. Competitors must run the standard 42.2 km marathon distance in Antarctica, Africa, Australia, Asia, Europe, South America and North America within 168 hours, or seven days. The clock starts when the first marathon begins in Antarctica. ...

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The 113th NYRR Millrose Games will host the greatest array of talent ever assembled

The 113th NYRR Millrose Games will host many of the world’s best track & field men and women to perform on centre stage on February 8 at The Armory New Balance Track & Field Center in Washington Heights in New York City. 

This year’s NYRR Millrose Games field is arguably the most talented overall since the meet moved to The Armory in 2012.

NYRR Millrose Games Meet Director Ray Flynn takes it one step further: “This year’s Millrose Games features probably the greatest array of talent ever assembled in its 113-year history.”

Moreover, 16 women and 15 men are Olympians in the 113th NYRR Millrose Games.

Allyson Felix headlines the women’s side. Felix is a six-time Olympic gold medalist and is the most decorated athlete in the history of track & field. She is entered in the Women’s 60m and has her sights set on the 2020 Tokyo Olympics this summer.

Joining Felix as the top women track & field athletes in this year’s NYRR Millrose Games are: Ajeé Wilson (competing in the Jack and Lewis Rudin Women’s 800m), the American Indoor and Outdoor record-holder in the 800m, two-time World Championships bronze medalist and two-time World Indoor silver medalist, Laura Muir (Jack and Lewis Rudin Women’s 800m), a four-time European Indoor champion and 2018 European 1,500m champion. 

Sandi Morris (Women’s pole vault), the World Indoor champion in 2018 and 2016 Rio Olympics silver medalist, Kenni Harrison (Women’s 60m hurdles), the 100m hurdles world record holder, 2018 World Indoor champion and 2019 World silver medalist, Nia Ali (60m hurdles), 2019 World gold medalist in 100m hurdles and 2016 Rio Olympics silver medalist, Wadeline Jonathas (Women’s 400m), 2019 World Championships gold medalist in 4x400m Relay.

Konstanze Klosterhalfen (Women’s Wanamaker Mile), the defending Women’s Wanamaker Mile champion and 2019 World Championships bronze medalist in the 5,000m, Nikki Hiltz (Women’s Wanamaker Mile), 2019 World Championships 1,500m finalist and last weekend turned in a PR 4:29.39 to win the mile at the Dr Sander Invitational Columbia Challenge at The Armory, Elinor Purrier (Women’s Wanamaker Mile), the 2018 NCAA Indoor Mile champion, runner-up in the 2019 New Balance 5thAvenue Mile Presented by NYRR with a time of 4:16.2 on the heels of winner Jenny Simpson’s 4:16.1 and this past weekend set a personal-best 9:29.19 to win the two-mile race at the New Balance Grand Prix, Brittany Brown(Women’s 400m), 2019 World Outdoor Championships 200m silver medalist.

The top men competing for feature Ryan Crouser and Joe Kovacs, who will reprise last year’s duel in the men’s shot put from the centre of the infield. Crouser is the 2016 Olympic champion and 2019 World silver medalist, while Kovacs is the 2015 and 2019 World champion and the 2016 Rio Olympics silver medalist.

Other top men competing in the 113th NYRR Millrose Games include, Omar McLeod (Men’s 60m hurdles), 2016 Rio Olympics gold medalist, Grant Holloway (Men’s 60m hurdles), the 2019 World Championships gold medalist in the 110 hurdles, Ronnie Baker (Men’s 60m), 2018 World Indoor Championships bronze medalist in 60m and third fastest 60m in history. 

Donavan Brazier (Men’s 800m) 2019 World Championship gold medalist and American indoor and outdoor record-holder in 800m; and in 2019 he broke the Indoor world record in 600m at USATF Championships, Michael Saruni (Men’s 800m), NYRR Millrose Games champion, NCAA record-holder and Kenyan Indoor 800m record-holder, Isaiah Harris (Men’s 800m), 2018 NCAA champion, Bryce Hoppel (Men’s 800m), 2019 NCAA champion and World Championships finalist, Rai Benjamin (Men’s 300m), 2019 World Championships silver medalist in 400 hurdles and 2019 U.S. Champion 400m hurdles.

Filip Ingebrigtsen (Men’s NYRR Wanamaker Mile), Norwegian National record holder in both the 1,500m and mile, and 2017 World Championships bronze medalist in 1,500m, Nick Willis (Men’s NYRR Wanamaker Mile), two-time Olympic 1,500m medalist, silver (2008) and bronze (2016). When Willis ran a 3:59.89 last weekend in the New Balance Grand Prix it marked the 18th consecutive year he ran a sub-4-minute mile, tying John Walker’s record. Willis won a record-breaking fifth title at the Fifth Avenue Mile last September, Chris O’Hare, (Men’s NYRR Wanamaker Mile), 2018 NYRR Wanamaker Mile champion, Eric Jenkins (Men’s NYRR Wanamaker Mile), 2017 NYRR Wanamaker Mile champion, Paul Tanui (Men’s 3,000m), 2016 Rio Olympics silver medalist in 10,000m.

(02/04/2020) ⚡AMP
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NYRR Millrose Games

NYRR Millrose Games

The NYRR Millrose Games,which began in 1908 as a small event sponsored by a local track club, has grown to become the most prestigious indoor track and field event in the United States. The NYRR Millrose Games meet is held in Manhattan’s Washington Heights at the New Balance Track & Field Center at the Armony, which boasts a state-of-the-art six-lane,...

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The Israel running boom is in full swing with the Jerusalem marathon leading the way

When Danny Felsenstein (second photo) first competed in Israel, in one of the first Tiberias marathons, it was 1979 and distance running was relatively small. “At that time we would have 300 to 400 entrants in a race,” recalls Felsenstein.  “Now you get 35,000 in the Tel Aviv marathon, including the 10K and half marathon. The Jerusalem marathon is now a world-class event.  There has definitely been a running boom in Israel.”

This is reflected in what was an extraordinary 12-month period for Israeli track and road running last year. 2019 brought 13 new national records, six of them set by Lonah Chemtai Salpeter, whose achievements included breaking Paula Radcliffe’s 16-year European 10K record (30:05).  The Kenyan-Israelian Athlete has also run 2:19:46 for the marathon.  

Felsenstein has run races around the world including the London Marathon and in 1981 in Maccabiah he ran the half marathon, 10,000m and 5,000m, “all in one week and in that order.” A key influence in his early competitive years was Harriers’ Bryan Smith, whose wife Joyce won the first two London marathons in 1981 and 1982 and who still coaches sprinter Colette Hurley. 

Felsenstein made aliyah in 1982 and almost four decades later he is, at 62, still an active endurance runner, although these days he limits himself to the 5K and 10K distances. “I’ve got some competition,” he says, “but I’m in the top three in the 60 to 70 age group.” 

The masters athletics scene in Israel is very different from that in the UK, observes Felsenstein. “No vets do track and field and there are no dedicated vets leagues. It’s mostly road running, usually split into age categories.”

Felsenstein belongs to a team made up of colleagues from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he is chair of the Department of Geography. “I train with the Dean of Social Sciences,” he says, ”and the head of the Hebrew University Business School is one of my closest rivals. Each year brings a reassessment of expectations.

“My aim is no longer to improve on what I did the previous year but to decline at a less rapid rate. I’m just happy to run, be fit and not be injured, especially having come through cancer six years ago.”

(02/03/2020) ⚡AMP
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Jerusalem Marathon

Jerusalem Marathon

First held in 2011, the Jerusalem International Winner Marathon has become a major event with 30,000 participants, of which hundreds are elite competitors and runners from abroad. The course was especially selected to recount Jerusalem's 3,000-year historical narrative since the beginning of its existence. The race challenges runners while exposing them to magnificent views, exquisite landscapes and fascinating historical sites...

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The runner’s guide to parenting

GB distance runner Jo Wilkinson reflects on sharing her passion for athletics with her son, knowing when to support and advise and knowing the difference between being a coach and being a parent

Like all parenting – whether it’s about restrictions on TV or eating broccoli – it’s easy to have pre-conceived ideas about what makes a good parent. Then you have your own children and find out it’s not so easy in practice.

It’s no different in sport – especially when your children get involved in the sport that you love. After spending the weekend knee deep in mud watching my son at the Midlands Schools Cross Country, the long journey home gave me plenty of time to reflect on what makes a good parent in athletics – and whether I am one.

When you’ve been a runner for many years you think you know a thing or two about it. It’s even worse if you’re also a qualified coach. Even if you’re not, I’m pretty sure we all indulge in glorious fantasies about coaching our child to their first Olympic Gold.

There are some very famous parent-coaches – Peter and Seb Coe, Liz and Eilish McColgan and now the Ingebrigtsen family. But for most children and parents it just doesn’t work. I’ll happily share my knowledge and experience of athletics with my son – when asked.

There’s got to be some advantage to having a parent who’s been a successful athlete. However, I’ve realised when it comes to my son’s running, my job is to be his mum and let his coach do the coaching.

Which brings me onto the second most favourite runner-parent fantasy – the one where they storm away to victory in each and every race. Here’s where the reality check is even more important. Even as a pretty good runner, the races I won were far out-numbered by those I didn’t.

Sport is competitive and winning is amazing. But I know that my enjoyment and sense of achievement from running has been based on far more than just winning. As a former elite athlete I know what it’s like to feel pressure. Pressure can be positive and bring out the best in you.

Too many times though, I’ve seen how too much pressure from over-competitive parents, even well-intentioned ones, sucks all the fun out of competition. So contrary to expectations, much as I love the fantasy, as long as my son does his best, runs well and is proud of himself, winning isn’t everything.

However, it’s the nerves that have surprised me the most as a runner-parent. I always got incredibly nervous before my races but found constructive ways to manage them. The gut-wrenching nervous anticipation as a parent is far worse than it ever was as an athlete. What’s more, I can’t let my son see how nervous I am. I’m there to make him feel better not the other way round. All the more reason to let his coach do the coaching while I go off somewhere else and get rid of my nervous energy out of sight.

I now look back with hindsight at my own parents and realise how fortunate I was. At the time I didn’t realise just how immensely proud they were of what I achieved. But equally they never put made me feel that their enjoyment and pride was dependent on whether I won. I only ever remember them being cross with me after one race. However, their disappointment was with my sulky, rude behaviour not my poor performance.

They were always unfailingly encouraging and supportive. And in the case of my Dad – very vocally supportive. You could hear him enthusiastically calling for me on from the other side of the track. But it wasn’t just for me. He shouted on everyone – my competitors and teammates alike.

Petty parental rivalry was not for them. They talked to anyone and everyone. Years later, many of my childhood rivals still warmly remember my Dad shouting them on as they ran. It was a great example of how to get it right. And that’s how I would like to be as a running parent too.

If you’re an athlete, you really hope that your child will take up the sport that you love and rarely consider the challenge it presents – the terrible nerves, the need to be a parent not a coach, reigning in your competitiveness, accepting the difference between fantasy and reality and the miles spent driving them all over the place. I will do my best to be a good parent because it’s worth it all to see my son grow to love the sport too.

(02/03/2020) ⚡AMP
by Fast Running
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Nike’s Investigation of the Oregon Project is Complete

After Mary Cain alleged emotional abuse as an athlete under Alberto Salazar’s coaching, Nike conducted an internal probe of the professional running group.

Nike said on Monday that it is planning to take multiple actions to better support its female professional athletes, following an internal investigation into the now-defunct professional running group, the Oregon Project.

The company started the probe in November after former Oregon Project athlete Mary Cain went public with a New York Times op-ed piece about her experiences as a young track star under coach Alberto Salazar, who is currently serving a four-year ban from the sport for doping violations. (Salazar denies the charges and is appealing them—Nike said in an email to Women’s Running on Monday that “we support Alberto in his decision to appeal and wish him the full measure of due process that the rules require.”)

Cain joined the Oregon Project as a teen phenom, foregoing NCAA eligibility in 2013 to sign a pro contract with Nike. She moved from Bronxville, New York, to Portland, Oregon, at age 17, as a national high school record holder—the youngest athlete to ever represent the U.S. in a world-championships competition, where she raced the 1500 meters.

In the documentary, titled “I Was the Fastest Girl in America, Until I Joined Nike,” she described the pressure that Salazar and the all-male Oregon Project staff put on her to become thinner in order to perform better. Cain said she was weighed in front of her teammates and publicly shamed by Salazar for not hitting the goals he demanded—allegations that were later corroborated by former members of the group.

Now 23 years old, Cain said while training with the Oregon Project and during a period afterward, she suffered five stress fractures and didn’t menstruate for three years, which are symptoms of RED-S (relative energy deficiency in sport), a syndrome of insufficient caloric intake, with symptoms that can include excessive fatigue, amenorrhea, and decreased bone density. It can have serious long-term health effects like cardiovascular disease, infertility, and osteoporosis. Before she left Oregon to return home in 2015, she said she felt so isolated and trapped that she had suicidal thoughts and cut herself.

After the New York Times piece was published, Salazar denied any abuse or gender discrimination at the Oregon Project and added, “I may have made comments that were callous or insensitive over the course of years of helping my athletes through hard training.”

In the email to Women’s Running on Monday, Nike said the results of the internal investigation will not be made public, but “we are using the findings to identify areas where we can do better in supporting female athletes.” It was not confirmed who was involved in leading the investigation or who participated in it.

The initiatives that Nike identified include:

• Investing in scientific research into the impact of elite athlete training of girls and women

• Increasing the number of women coaches in sports

• Hiring a vice president of global women’s sports marketing in the coming weeks to have “strategic oversight” of Nike’s female athletes

• Creating an athlete think tank to help the company understand the opportunities and challenges faced by female athletes

• Partnering with Crisis Text Line, a free, confidential text messaging service for people to ask for help when in crisis

During a phone interview with Women’s Running on Monday, Cain said she was contacted in the fall by phone and email by a Nike lawyer, but opted not to participate in the probe because some of the people involved were Nike employees whose participation in it made her feel uncomfortable.

“There was no real transparency in the process, so I became very frustrated with the fact that there was no clear-cut person in charge, it was Nike investigating Nike, and seemingly some of the people involved in the process were investigating themselves,” she said.

Upon hearing the actions that Nike—the biggest sponsor of the sport’s governing body, U.S.A. Track & Field (a deal that goes through 2040 with an estimated value of $500 million)—wants to take as a result of the findings, Cain said she supports anything that promotes women’s health and opportunities in sports.

“It’s great to push money and push opportunity into the future—I whole-heartedly support that,” she said. “But the vagueness and no ability to see the report makes me worried that they’re hiding behind gestures that will almost make people forget the issues.”

Runners and other athletes have identified with Cain’s experiences since she shared them, creating a public conversation about the destructive culture underlying sports, where antiquated training philosophies perpetuated by a male-dominated coaching profession often result in eating disorders and worse for athletes.

“I have this renewed love of the sport that I only really found in the last few months because I do have so much hope in what women’s sports can and will become—so anything that’s generating interest and investment and research, I’m all for,” Cain said. “What I hope can happen through some of this work is that Nike can start hearing more voices.”

Still, Cain is hesitant to put too much stock in the proposed initiatives.

“It looks both weak and cowardly that as a corporation they won’t release what they found,” she said. “There’s a certain point where people would have a lot more respect for them as a broader institution and respect what they’re now trying to do if they also admitted what they did wrong. I can’t look at a future brightly if I can’t see them reflecting on their past.”

Since November, Cain has returned to training after about three years away, with the goal of making the U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials in June. She most recently raced the 3,000 meters on Saturday at the Armory in New York, finishing in 9:24.38.

In December, she told Women’s Running that advocating for women’s sports and healthy coaching practices is her new dream.

“Due to lack of education and inappropriate societal norms, many people have a poor understanding of how to address topics such as women’s cycles, weight, and training appropriately,” Cain said. “My goal is now to create educational programs that coaches and athletes must take on these subjects.”

(02/02/2020) ⚡AMP
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Jemma Reekie beats Laura Muir to set new British indoor 800m record

Scotland's Jemma Reekie has taken half a second off the British indoor record in an invitation women's 800m race at Glasgow's Emirates Arena.

Reekie, 21, posted a time of one minute 57.91 seconds to beat Jenny Meadows' mark of 1:58.43 from 2010.

British indoor champion Reekie beat training partner Laura Muir into second, with the four-time European Indoor champion finishing in 1:58.44. 

Reekie won double European Under-23 gold in Sweden last year.

 

(02/02/2020) ⚡AMP
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Robinson and Johannes break national records to win Marugame Half Marathon

Brett Robinson won the Marugame Half Marathon in an Australian record of 59:57, recording the fastest time in four years at the World Athletics Silver Label road race on Sunday (2).

The 28-year-old took the lead at 18km before going on to win, taking more than four minutes off his PB in the process. Meanwhile, world marathon bronze medallist Helalia Johannes smashed her own Namibian record to win the women’s race in 1:08:10.

In the men’s race, a large pack of runners went through 5km in 14:13 and 10km in 28:26. The real racing started when 2017 Marugame winner Callum Hawkins started to push the pace at 13.5km. By 16.5km the lead pack had been reduced to four runners: Hawkins, Robinson, Yusuke Ogura and Taku Fujimoto.

Robinson took the lead at 18km and Ogura drifted back. Approaching 19km, Hawkins and Fujimoto also fell behind. Then Ogura started to bridge the gap, and took over the third from Fujimoto at 20.6km and second from Hawkins as they entered the stadium.

Robinson held on to the lead, though, and crossed the line in 59:57, taking 59 seconds off the Australian record set by Collis Birmingham at the 2013 edition of this race.

“It was a very tough race,” said Robinson. “The last few kilometres were very, but I’m very happy. The Japanese, Kenyan and Scottish runners put up a very good fight to the end.”

Ogura took almost two minutes off his PB to finish second in a Japanese record of 1:00:00, taking 17 seconds off the previous mark set by Yuta Shitara, who finished sixth in 1:00:49.

“I did not expect such a time,” said Ogura. “The race was a tune-up for the upcoming Tokyo Marathon. With two kilometres to go I expected the Japanese record to fall, so I was determined to pass Fujimoto in front of me. I am going after the third spot on the Japanese Marathon team in Tokyo.” Ogura will have to break the Japanese national record, 2:05:50, to gain the third spot on the team.

Hawkins finished third with 1:00:01, one second short of the PB he set when winning here three years ago, while Fujimoto finished fourth in 60:06, also inside the former Japanese record.

In the first half of the women’s race, Mao Ichiyama led Helalia Johannes, but Johannes took over the lead for good at about 12km. Although Charlotte Purdue came as close as 10 seconds at 20km, Johannes won with a personal best of 1:08:10.

It was a two-minute improvement on Johannes’ previous best, but her recent times at 10km (30:59) and the marathon (2:22:25) had hinted at a big half marathon breakthrough. The Commonwealth champion will defend her Nagoya Women’s Marathon title next month.

Purdue finished second in 1:08:23, a PB by 20 seconds, while Choi Kyund-Sun set a Korean record of 1:08:35 in third place.

 

(02/02/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ken Nakamura for World Athletics
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Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon

Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon

The Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon is an annual road running competition which takes place in early February in Marugame, Japan. It currently holds IAAF Silver Label Road Race status and the professional races attract over 1000 entries each year, and hosted by the Sankei Shimbun, Sankei Sports, Okayama Broadcasting, BS Fuji. The race in Marugame was first held in 1947...

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Jamaica’s record-holder Natoya Goule is set for another showdown with Ajeé Wilson in the Jack and Lewis Rudin Women’s 800m at the 113th NYRR Millrose Games

Natoya Goule last year’s Millrose runner-up and the 2019 Pan-American Games champion, is seeking her first Millrose Games win over Wilson.

Goule’s outdoor personal best of 1:56.15 is second in the field behind only Wilson. She finished sixth in the World Championship final this past October.

Ajeé Wilson, the race favorite, will be tested by an accomplished field that also includes multiple European and Diamond League champion, Laura Muir.

“The Armory track is one of my favorite places to compete,” Wilson said, “and I am really excited to be coming back to defend my Millrose Games title.”

Wilson, a New Jersey native, is no stranger to the bright lights of the NYRR Millrose Games.

Last year she set the American 800m indoor record of 1:58.60 on her way to a victory. In 2018 she anchored Team USA to the 4x800m world record at the Millrose Games.

Other athletes to watch in the Jack and Lewis Rudin Women’s 800m include Britain’s Shelayna Oskan-Clarke and American Ce′Aira Brown.

(02/01/2020) ⚡AMP
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NYRR Millrose Games

NYRR Millrose Games

The NYRR Millrose Games,which began in 1908 as a small event sponsored by a local track club, has grown to become the most prestigious indoor track and field event in the United States. The NYRR Millrose Games meet is held in Manhattan’s Washington Heights at the New Balance Track & Field Center at the Armony, which boasts a state-of-the-art six-lane,...

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NCAA steeplechase champ, US Olympian and Vaporfly Researcher Shalaya Kipp Talks about the New Shoe Regulations

After World Athletics released its new shoe rules today, we recorded a special bonus podcast about the ruling. We invited 2012 NCAA steeplechase champ and US Olympian Shalaya Kipp, who is now a PhD candidate in Exercise Physiology at the University of British Columbia, to be our expert guest. Kipp, along with others, including Wouter Hoogkamer and Rodger Kram, has published three different scientific papers dealing with the technology behind the Nike Vaporfly shoes.

We could think of no better guest to feature than Kipp; she was part of the study published in November 2017 that actually gave the Vaporflys their 4% name as the scientists behind that study found that they boosted running economy by 2-6%.

You will eventually be able to listen to the whole podcast here, and we encourage you to do so as it was fascinating to hear from Kipp. But if you don’t have 23 minutes to listen to Kipp, then we’ve got virtually all of her best comments transcribed for you below. She reacts to the ruling, talks about what it was like to watch the marathon in 2016 knowing the Nike athletes had a huge advantage, and how she believes the new shoes kept her training partner Kara Goucher off the 2016 Olympic team.

Shalaya Kipp overall is very pleased with World Athletics’ new shoe regulations

I guess the thing I was most excited to see was that no prototypes can be used in subsequent competitions [after April 30, 2020,] and that the product needs to be on the market for at least four months. That really made me happy… Putting that four months in there, I liked that a lot…

We point the finger at Nike but really everyone is running in prototypes – we’ve got to remember that…

The fun scientist in me doesn’t want to limit innovation too much. I think it’s great that someone wanted to go out with a waffle iron and start creating their own shoes. I don’t want to put too many limits [on innovation]. What I do want to see is that the athletes aren’t getting the butt end of that. [I want it to be fair] for all of them. I’m happy with the limitations that came out. I wouldn’t have added anything.

Shalaya Kipp thinks other shoe companies will catch up with Nike and that the playing field will be level “within a year or two.” In the interim, she urges the non-Nike companies to let their athletes race in Nikes. “They need to let their athletes run in the Nike Vaporfly right now if they want their athletes to be performing well or they are going to be at a disadvantage.”

You know I think it’s definitely feasible [for the other companies to catch up]. I don’t think it’s that hard for them… As long as they start developing their own foams, getting a carbon-fiber plate in there. We’re going to see it happen. It’s going to take a little catchup but within a year or two, I think it’s going to all become a wash again and the playing field is gonna become level… Maybe I’m an optimist. I want that for the sport.

I really hope that those shoe companies are doing their own internal tests and they know how well their shoe is performing. And if their shoe is not up to standards, they need to let their athletes run in the Nike Vaporfly right now if they want their athletes to be performing well or they are going to be at a disadvantage. We know that that shoe is working well and that it’s creating all the results.

[In our study, we tested] the shoes that they used in Rio and it was the same shoe they used for the Olympic Trials…It wasn’t [called] the Nike 4% at the time as that comes from our findings. All [Nike] said was “this shoe is special.” And actually the whole time we were calling it “The Magic” because we didn’t have a name for it and really whenever we put someone in the shoe in the lab, it seemed like a magical result that was coming out. 

(02/01/2020) ⚡AMP
by Robert Johnson
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Josh Lunn flies to Barcelona to make his Granollers Half Marathon debut

Josh Lunn in good shape for his England debut in Barcelona.

The 27-year-old second claim Helpston Harrier is part of an eight-strong national team who will battle it out with a star-studded international field.

The race boasts household names such as Ethiopian superstar Heile Gebrisellasie and two times London marathon winner Wilson Kipsang amongst its illustrious line-up of former winners.

“I’m really excited to run for England said Lunn. “It’s something I didn’t think I’d achieve.

“I’m in reasonably good shape as I’ve been training towards the London Marathon in April.”

The former King’s schoolboy smashed his 10km PB two weeks ago with a 29.44 clocking on the roads of Cardiff.

(02/01/2020) ⚡AMP
by Zoe Ashton
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Granollers Barcelona Half-Marathon

Granollers Barcelona Half-Marathon

The race is organized by the Col·lectiu d'Atletes de Fons group and was first held in 1987. The course starts and finishes in Granollers and passes through Les Franqueses del Vallès and La Garriga. It is among the more popular half marathon events in Spain with around 10,000 runners taking part in the day's events. In addition to the main...

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Saucony will release its first-ever biodegradable shoe on Sunday

This Sunday will mark a couple of firsts for Saucony. The shoe brand will air its first-ever Super Bowl commercial, advertising their first-ever biodegradable shoe.

Saucony’s new biodegradable product will be a lifestyle shoe made from natural materials and renewable resources. The goal was to make a shoe that’s crafted without any plastics, and to change their current production process. This production line will use less electricity and have fewer steps, making the shoe sustainable beyond just its materials.

The company says, “By not using petroleum-based glues and threads, the Saucony biodegradable shoe is intended to be built using a similar stitching process from when the brand began making shoes in the late 1800s.” The idea is that the shoe will naturally break down after it’s thrown out.

Saucony is also moving towards sustainability in its clothing lines. The company aims to have almost all of its clothing made with some sustainable materials in 2020.  “At Saucony, we believe what we do is more important than what we say,” said Don Lane, Saucony’s Chief Marketing Officer.

“We’re using the Super Bowl platform to make a big statement about what we are actually doing to bring goodness to the world through a bold commitment to sustainability.”

(02/01/2020) ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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Kansas City Chiefs receiver Tyreek Hill may be the fastest player in the NFL, he’s hoping to compete with the fastest runners in the world.

Chiefs receiver Tyreek Hill may be the fastest player in the NFL, but this year he’s hoping to compete with the fastest runners in the world.

Hill said that he would like to see if he could qualify for the 2020 Olympics, which take place in Tokyo from July 24 to August 9.

Hopefully after this season, if I’m healthy and my mind is still in the right place, I really want to try to qualify for some Olympic teams,” Hill said.

Asked if he was serious about this and had looked into it, Hill said, “Yeah. Yeah, I have. I have.”

Hill acknowledged, however, that he’d have to change a lot about what he eats and how he trains, and that wouldn’t necessarily leave him in top football shape.

“But the thing is, I weigh like 195 right now. Back in high school, when I ran a 9.9[-second 100-meter dash], I was like 175. So it would be me changing my whole diet that I’ve been doing to get to where I am now,” Hill said.

Hill would be an extreme long shot to make the U.S. Olympic team, but it would be interesting to see him try.

(02/01/2020) ⚡AMP
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World Athletics modifies rules governing competition shoes for elite athletes

World Athletics has today amended its rules governing competition shoes to provide greater clarity to athletes and shoe manufacturers around the world and to protect the integrity of the sport.

The rule amendments (link) that the World Athletics Council has this week approved were recommended by its Assistance Review Group, an internal working group containing technical, scientific and legal experts as well as athlete representatives.

From 30 April 2020, any shoe must have been available for purchase by any athlete on the open retail market (online or in store) for a period of four months before it can be used in competition.

If a shoe is not openly available to all then it will be deemed a prototype and use of it in competition will not be permitted. Subject to compliance with the rules, any shoe that is available to all, but is customised for aesthetic reasons, or for medical reasons to suit the characteristics of a particular athlete’s foot, will be allowed.

Where World Athletics has reason to believe that a type of shoe or specific technology may not be compliant with the rules or the spirit of the rules, it may submit the shoe or technology for study and may prohibit the use of the shoe or technology while it is under examination.

Further, with immediate effect there will be an indefinite moratorium on any shoe (whether with or without spikes) that does not meet the following requirements:

The sole must be no thicker than 40mm.

The shoe must not contain more than one rigid embedded plate or blade (of any material) that runs either the full length or only part of the length of the shoe. The plate may be in more than one part but those parts must be located sequentially in one plane (not stacked or in parallel) and must not overlap.

For a shoe with spikes, an additional plate (to the plate mentioned above) or other mechanism is permitted, but only for the purpose of attaching the spikes to the sole, and the sole must be no thicker than 30mm.

The competition referee will have the power to request that an athlete immediately provide their shoes for inspection at the conclusion of a race if the referee has a reasonable suspicion that the shoes worn by an athlete do not comply with the rules.

The Assistance Review Group has concluded that there is independent research that indicates that the new technology incorporated in the soles of road and spiked shoes may provide a performance advantage and there is sufficient evidence to raise concerns that the integrity of the sport might be threatened by the recent developments in shoe technology.

It has therefore recommended that further research be undertaken to establish the true impact of this technology and that a new working group, comprising biomechanics specialists and other qualified experts, be formed to oversee this research, and to assess any new shoes that enter the market, where required. Shoe manufacturers will be invited to be part of this assessment process.

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe said: “It is not our job to regulate the entire sports shoe market but it is our duty to preserve the integrity of elite competition by ensuring that the shoes worn by elite athletes in competition do not offer any unfair assistance or advantage. As we enter the Olympic year, we don’t believe we can rule out shoes that have been generally available for a considerable period of time, but we can draw a line by prohibiting the use of shoes that go further than what is currently on the market while we investigate further.

“I believe these new rules strike the right balance by offering certainty to athletes and manufacturers as they prepare for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, while addressing the concerns that have been raised about shoe technology. If further evidence becomes available that indicates we need to tighten up these rules, we reserve the right to do that to protect our sport."

“I would like to thank the Assistance Review Group, chaired by International Technical Official Brian Roe, for its diligent examination of this issue and sound guidance."

World Athletics will now establish an expert working group to guide future research into shoe technology (and consider any regulatory implications that that research might have), and to assess new shoes that emerge on the market. This group will report to the Competitions Commission, and ultimately to the Council.

World Athletics remains open to continued dialogue with shoe manufacturers and other interested stakeholders regarding the amended rules and their impact as well as the broader question of how to balance shoe technology and innovation with World Athletics' legitimate interest in preserving integrity in its sport.

 

(02/01/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Kenyan Dickson Chumba faces stiff test in Tokyo marathon

Dickson Chumba faces an acid test at the Tokyo Marathon slated for March 1.

Chumba, a two-time winner in the Japanese city and the 2015 Chicago Marathon winner, faces a formidable field but starts among the favorites with a personal best of 2:04:32. 

With a personal best time of 2:04:46 All African Games half-marathon, Titus Ekiru remains a formidable challenger having previously grabbed victories in Seville, Mexico City, Honolulu Marathon (twice) and Milano Marathon.

World marathon bronze medalist Amos Kipruto is also in the mix for the event and has a personal best of 2:05:43 while another Kenyan, Bedan Karoki will also be seeking to win his first marathon.

Karoki has a personal best time of 2:06:48 which he ran in Chicago last year. He also finished third at the 2017 London Marathon after clocking 2:07:41

Simon Kariuki, with a personal best of 2:09:41, has also been entered for the event. 

The Kenyan contingent faces a Herculean task from Ethiopia's defending champion Legese Birhanu, who has a personal best of 2:02:48. He leads compatriots Getaneh Molla (2:03:34), Lemina Sisay (2:03:36), Mengistu Asefa (2:04:08), Lemi Hayle (2:04:33) and Bahrain's El Abbassi El Hassan (2:04:43) also frontrunners.

Tokyo Marathon race director Tadaaki Hayano said the race will serve as trials for Japanese athletes, who are fighting for the last ticket to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Marathon.

(01/31/2020) ⚡AMP
by William Njuguna
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Tokyo Marathon

Tokyo Marathon

The Tokyo Marathon is an annual marathon sporting event in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. It is an IAAF Gold Label marathon and one of the six World Marathon Majors. (2020) The Tokyo Marathon Foundation said it will cancel the running event for non-professional runners as the coronavirus outbreak pressures cities and institutions to scrap large events. Sponsored by Tokyo...

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With the 2020 Olympics approaching in less than six months, Tokyo officials are calling for action to contain the coronavirus

With the 2020 Olympics less than six months away, there is some speculation about the possible risk from the rapidly-spreading coronavirus that has already resulted in the postponement or cancellation of at least four major international competitions.

Though the possibility of the Olympics being cancelled seems unthinkable,  Tokyo City Governor Yuriko Koike was quoted yesterday by an Associated Press reporter as commenting: “With only 177 days to go and our preparations accelerating, we must firmly tackle the new coronavirus to contain it, or we are going to regret it.”

The Olympics are scheduled to take place in Tokyo and Sapporo from July 24 to August 9. The Asian Indoor Championships (previously scheduled for February 12 and 13 in Hangzhou, China), Hong Kong Marathon (February 8) and the Gaoligong UTMB ultra (March 21 to 23 in Yunnan, China) have all been cancelled, and the World Indoor Athletics Championships, previously scheduled for March 13 to 15 in Nanjing, China, have been postponed for one year to March, 2021.

According to the World Health Organization, as of yesterday there were 6,065 confirmed cases of coronavirus in 16 countries, almost 6,000 of them in China. Some sources claim there have been 170 deaths, and there have been no deaths outside of China. There are currently three confirmed cases in Canada. Each person infected with the virus could potentially transmit the infection to two or three other people.

Many international public health authorities are downplaying the risk of transmission so as not to induce panic, while discouraging non-essential travel to Wuhan. Meanwhile, sales of surgical masks to reduce the risk of transmission have skyrocketed in many countries.

The postponement of the World Indoor Championships has interesting implications for the Olympics. With the new World Rankings system, championship meets give athletes the chance to accrue points towards Olympic team qualification, giving those who compete at World Indoor Championships a leg up on their compatriots who do not. The one-year postponement means that opportunity is no longer available before the Olympics, so the effect of the postponement is to level the playing field somewhat (assuming the Olympics go ahead as planned).

(01/31/2020) ⚡AMP
by Anne Francis
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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 record-holders Eliud Kipchoge and Brigid Kosgei headline the star-studded Kenyan marathon team for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Eliud Kipchoge, who is the first man to run the marathon in under two hours, will be seeking to defend the title he won in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil four years ago where he clocked 2:08:44.

Kipchoge, whose record stands at 2:01:39, will lead the Kenyan men’s team which also has debutant Chicago Marathon champion Lawrence Cherono, world silver medalist Amos Kipruto, former world half marathon silver medalist Bedan Karoki, and African Games half marathon winner Titus Ekiru. The duo of Karoki and Ekiru are on stand by.

Cherono, 32, made it to the team courtesy of his heroics in Chicago last year, where he timed 2:05:45 to win the race— just six months after claiming the Boston Marathon. He has a personal best of 2:04:06 recorded in Amsterdam in 2018. Cherono’s half marathon personal best stands at 1:00:46 posted in San Diego, USA last year.

Kipruto called on the sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed to accord the team support like she did during the 2019 World Championships in Doha, Qatar. He termed the selection process as tough for AK owing to the number of top marathoners in the country pursuing to make the team.

“It was tough for AK to pick the team from the pool of marathoners we have. We are happy to have made the cut and we hope we will enjoy maximum support. The CS was in Doha with us during the World championships and her presence motivated the team. We will maintain our mentality and discipline in camp,” he said.

Similarly, Brigid Kosgei will lead the women’s team which will also feature world champion Ruth Chepngetich and former London Marathon champion Vivian Cheruiyot. Sally Kaptich and Vallary Aiyabei are on standby

Kosgei broke Paula Radcliffe's 16-year-old record held by a massive 81 seconds in October last year during the Chicago Marathon after crossing the line in 2:14:04. She is also the London Marathon champion and has half marathon personal best of 1:04:28. 

Chepngetich defied sweltering conditions in Doha to be crowned the world champion last year, where she clocked 2:32:43. The 26-year-old has a marathon personal best at 2:17:08 which she ran in Dubai last year. Her half marathon best time is 1:05:30. 

For Vivian, she returns to the Olympics as a marathoner after reigning supreme in the 5,000 and 10,000m races in the previous four editions. The decorated athlete won the 5,000m race in Rio and took silver in 10,000m. She will be hoping to add yet another Olympic gold medal to her rich collection. Her full marathon personal best is 2:18:31 which was recorded in London in 2018. Her half marathon best time is 1:06:34.

“It is the best team ever assembled for the Olympics. We are going to work hard in training and make our country proud,” said Cheruiyot

Training is set to begin on May 1 in Kaptagat according to AK President Jackson Tuwei.

(01/31/2020) ⚡AMP
by Meshack Kisenge
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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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Valencia Marathon joins the select group of holders of the World Athletics’ Platinum Label

The new platinum Label is yet another step forward in terms of sport and organizational excellence. Here, one should note that the Valencia Marathon was awarded the Gold Label in 2016 — the very first Spanish marathon to achieve this.

World Athletics’ (formerly the IAAF) Platinum Label takes into account demanding new standards covering the organization, rigorous application of IAAF rules, the institutional support given by public authorities, commitment to improving the trial and applying worldwide anti-doping measures, as well as other requirements to enhance service to and the safety of all those taking part in the race.

To celebrate this distinction, the event is launching a new registration modality limited to 100 running bibs which, in addition to the services offered to all runners, includes a special charity fee for Save The Children – 2020 charity – and numerous premium services such as access to the VIP area, a post-race poncho, an invitation to the Breakfast Run, etc. and the option to bring someone else along.

The announcement of the award of the Platinum Label comes in a year in which the Valencian trial will celebrate its 40th anniversary on the 6th of December.

For that event, the Organizers expect 30,000 runners will cross the Starting Line next to Plaça de la Marató (Marathon Square). All efforts will be focused on catering to their needs over the next few months.

(01/31/2020) ⚡AMP
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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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Callum Hawkins of Great Britain will be targeting a second victory at the 74th Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon on Sunday

Callum Hawkins, who won the race in 2017, joins 2012 Olympic and 2013 world champion Stephen Kiprotich as a marquee name on the men’s side while Helalia Johannes, the bronze medallist in the marathon at last year’s World Championships, leads the women’s field.

Hawkins, who collapsed in the 2018 Commonwealth Games Marathon while leading, finished fourth in the World Championships marathon in both 2017 and 2019.

Briton Charlotte Purdue (1:08:45), Japan’s Mao Ichiyama (1:08:49) and Australian Sinead Diver (1:08:55) have the fastest personal bests in the field. All came in 2019: Purdue’s in the Sanyo Women’s road race in December, Ichiyama’s in Hakodate in July and Diver’s in Marugame in February. Two others - Ellie Pashley and Reia Iwade - also have sub-70 minute credentials.   

Eri Makikawa, the 2014 Marugame winner with a best of 1:10:28, is also back after skipping the race in recent years.

The men’s field is much stronger.

Both Zane Robertson and Kelvin Kiptum have sub-1 hour bests, while Hawkins’ best is exactly 60 minutes. In fact, the 20-year-old Kiptum has cracked 60:00 twice, both last year. That may qualify Kiptum as the favorite on Sunday. Robertson was second in Marugame in 2015.

The race also serves as a qualifying race for the Japanese team for the World Half Marathon Championships Gdynia 2020.

Several runners, including Japanese national half marathon record holder Yuta Shitara, are running as a tune-up for next month’s Tokyo Marathon. Yuki Sato, a four-time national 10,000m champion, and Shuho Dairokuno, 2019 national 10,000m champion, will also be contesting both Marugame and Tokyo Marathon. Although not an invited runner, Shitara’s twin brother Keita will be running also.

Other top Japanese include Yuma Hattori, the 2018 Fukuoka Marathon champion, Taku Fujimoto, second in the 2019 Fukuoka Marathon, Tetsuya Yoroizaka, the second fastest 10,000m runner in Japan and 2018 Boston Marathon champion Yuki Kawauchi.

(01/31/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon

Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon

The Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon is an annual road running competition which takes place in early February in Marugame, Japan. It currently holds IAAF Silver Label Road Race status and the professional races attract over 1000 entries each year, and hosted by the Sankei Shimbun, Sankei Sports, Okayama Broadcasting, BS Fuji. The race in Marugame was first held in 1947...

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Antonio Arreola and Steve Schmidt became the first runners to break three hours in the marathon over six consecutive decades.

It was unday morning in Houston and Antonio Arreola and Steve Schmidt became the first runners to accumulate six decades of sub-3-hour marathons (6DS3). Both ran a sub-3 in the late 1970s and every decade since, adding the 2020s in Houston. They finished hand-in-hand, with arms raised, after running the last five miles together.

They finished in chip times of 2:58:07 for Schmidt, and 2:58:18 for Arreola, who started ahead of Schmidt in the start-corral throng.

Schmidt caught Arreola from behind at 21.5 miles, and encouraged him the rest of the way. “I had the strong sense that he was holding back to run with me,” said Arreola. “Steve was a godsend. He really pulled me along.”

Arreola and Schmidt proved several things about veteran runners. First, that they have high Marathon IQs: Both ran perfectly paced efforts. Second, that they have high Emotional IQs, able to handle pressure with aplomb.

Schmidt, 59, is a retired helicopter pilot from Orion Township, Michigan. He ran his first sub-3, 2:46:22, in 1979, and set his marathon PR, 2:37:03, in 1984.

Arreola, 60, is a retired project manager from San Jose, California. He ran his first sub-3, 2:58:03, in 1976, and his marathon best, 2:46:17, in 2001.

Conditions for the Aramco Half Marathon and Chevron Houston Marathon were near perfect with temps in the high 40s most of the way. Runners felt a bit buffeted from the wind at times, but all the races produced excellent performances, particularly the half marathon where nine runners broke 60 minutes, and 14 Americans bettered 62 minutes.

Schmidt had been battling a cold 10 days before the marathon, and felt a bit rough the first 10 miles. “I had to tell myself, ‘Believe in the process. Trust your training. I knew I had put in the work.’” After the halfway mark, reached in 1:29:13, he kept feeling better and better. He was also wondering where Arreola was.

The two had met the previous day, and hoped to run together, but didn’t lay down a firm plan. During the first half, Schmidt scanned the field ahead, hoping to spot Arreola, but never could. They came together quite suddenly at 21.5.

“Tony, I’ve been looking all over for you,” Schmidt said to his new friend.

Arreola also said he felt bad in the early going, especially when he passed the first mile in 7:23. “That scared me,” he said. “It didn’t feel good the way it should have. I couldn’t figure it out.”

When the crowded streets thinned a little, he worked his pace down to 6:43, and passed the half marathon in 1:28:34. From 21 to 23, he suffered through several ups-and-downs at highway underpasses, but by then Schmidt had arrived to help. “I started lifting my knees a little more to relieve the quads, and that seemed to help,” Arreola said.

At the 25 mile mark, Schmidt looked over at Arreola, and said, “We got this.” They ran the last mile in 6:36, the fastest mile of the marathon for both. “I’m elated and a little relieved, Schmidt said after the race. “I put a fair amount of pressure on myself this last year. It’s been a focus. I wasn’t sure it would happen, but now it has. I don’t think it has sunk in yet.”

“Today was the highlight of my 48 years in running,” said Arreola. “I feel great. This was hard to plan for. I had some health issues. But it was a great experience to run another sub-3 today, and especially to meet and finish with Steve. He’s an outstanding guy.”

With his performance, Arreola leapt back to the top of the list for “longest span between sub-3s.” He had been supplanted in December by Iain Mickle. The current top three are:

Antonio Arreola, 43 years, 45 days: from Dec.5, 1976 to Jan. 19, 2019

Iain Mickle, 42 years, 151 days: from Jul. 10, 1977 to Dec. 8, 2019.

Blake Wood, 41y, 102 days: from Dec. 7, 1975 to Mar. 19, 2017

Another group of 6DS3 aspirants are planning to chase the goal next month in the Phoenix Marathon: Reno Stirrat, Jim Garcia, and Peter Lagoy. The Phoenix course has a net elevation drop of 900 feet, so it’s open season on razzing these guys about their race selection.

On the other hand, Stirrat is the Methuselah of the group at 65 years old, so maybe we should cut him a little slack.

(01/30/2020) ⚡AMP
by Podium Runner
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Congrats guys. This is an amazing feat. Next up is seven. Now that is really going to be tough as I know at age 72. 1/30 2:00 pm


Chevron Houston Marathon

Chevron Houston Marathon

The Chevron Houston Marathon offers participants a unique running experience in America's fourth largest city. The fast, flat, scenic single-loop course has been ranked as the "fastest winter marathon" and "second fastest marathon overall" by Ultimate Guide To Marathons. Additionally, with more than 200,000 spectators annually, the Chevron Houston Marathon enjoys tremendous crowd support. Established in 1972, the Houston Marathon...

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Organizers of the World Athletics Indoor Championships in Nanjing has postpone the event to March 2021

We know that China is doing all it can to contain the new Coronavirus and we support them in all their efforts but it is necessary to provide our athletes, Member Federations and partners with a clear way forward in what is a complex and fast-moving set of circumstances.

The advice from our medical team, who are in contact with the World Health Organisation, is that the spread of the Coronavirus both within China and outside the country is still at a concerning level and no one should be going ahead with any major gathering that can be postponed.

We have considered the possibility of relocating the event to another country and would like to thank the cities that have volunteered to host the championships. However, given concerns still exist regarding the spread of the virus outside China, we have decided not to go with this option, as it may lead to further postponement at a later date.

The indoor season for athletics falls within a narrow calendar window (up to the end of March) and we believe we will be able to find a suitable date in 2021 to host this event. We would like Nanjing to be the host given the extensive planning and preparation they have put into this event.

We have chosen not to cancel the championships as many of our athletes would like this event to take place so we will now work with our athletes, our partners and the Nanjing organising committee to secure a date in 2021 to stage this event.

(01/30/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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World Athletics Indoor Championships Nanjing

World Athletics Indoor Championships Nanjing

The IAAF World Indoor Athletics Championships is being held in Nanjing in China, the first time this emerging nation has hosted the world´s major indoor athletics championships. The brand New Cube Arena is a multi-porpose venue and has a very limited capacity of just 3,000 seats which in a city with a population of 8.5 million means tickets will be...

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Actor Jared Padalecki is ready to run Austin Marathon for second year

Supernatural’s Jared Padalecki apparently wants more positivity in life. That is why he says that he has decided to do things which he feels like doing. Ideally, the things through which others will benefit as well. He has, hence, taken the decision to go on Austin Marathon for the second time in a row. It was last year when the Marathon took place in Austin, and this time it will be on February 16, 2020.

Jared Padalecki posted a long caption on Instagram along with his picture where he announced his decision. He starts off with him thinking about what has happened in his life. Those events made him reflect on “life, love, loss, and all of the blessings” he experienced in his days. Therefore, the Supernatural celebrity will now give time to himself, giving more time to the things that he wants to do.

His post also says we can expect some marathon training updates, as he prepares over the coming weeks. Jared also ran in 2019 finishing the full marathon in 3 hours and 57 minutes.

Supernatural’s Padalecki also told that during the time that he made for himself he decided to go on a run around the city of Austin. He expressed his love towards the city, mentioning that he even convinced his few friends to move over there. “I love being here”, he wrote in the caption. On February 16, Ascension Seton Austin Marathon run will take place.

The Ascension Seton Austin Marathon will begin at 7 a.m. local time. The start line will be at 2nd Street & Congress Avenue and end at 9th Street & Congress Avenue.

(01/30/2020) ⚡AMP
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Austin Marathon Weekend

Austin Marathon Weekend

The 2020 Austin Marathon will celebrate its 30th year running in the capital of Texas. The premier running event in the City of Austin annually attracts runners from all 50 states and 20+ countries around the world. With a downtown finish and within proximity of many downtown hotels and restaurants, the Austin Marathon is the perfect running weekend destination. Come...

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Linda Carrier, 57, is ready for global challenge

Upon crossing the finish line of a marathon, endorphins high and glowing with accomplishment, any devoted runner might start thinking about the next one.

In a few weeks, Linda Carrier will finish six laps of a seven-kilometer ice airstrip in Antarctica and board a plane, not for home in Pinehurst, but to Cape Town, South Africa.

There will be another race to run 12 hours hence.

Going from subzero temperatures to a summer day will call for a wardrobe overhaul, but a half day and 2,500 miles after finishing the first marathon, Carrier will set off on another 26-mile course.

That’s just the first leg of the World Marathon Challenge, which will see Carrier and 40 other runners from around the world run seven marathons on seven continents. They have all of 168 hours to do it.

Extreme athleticism has been in vogue for a while as a way to subvert midlife crisis, but Carrier took up running as a teenager soon after she was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. She first ran a half marathon in 1995 at 33, and has been gradually pushing her physical boundaries ever since.

Carrier has run more than 100 marathons and half-marathons. Not just any marathons, either: Berlin, Chicago, New York, London, Tokyo and three times at Boston. She celebrated her 50th birthday by running a 50-mile trail ultramarathon in Washington state.

“I never let diabetes define me". She said. When she was diagnosed with diabetes, there was no question of slipping into inactivity as she learned to give herself insulin and moderate food intake.

“Running added to the complexity of the equation, but my doctors said it was really helping,” she said.

Carrier dove into distance running on a lark. She ran her first marathon in Honolulu with friends and hoped, at best, to come through it alive.

As forms of exercise go, running is easily the most accessible. There’s no equipment needed, aside from a decent pair of shoes, and any trail or stretch of road will suffice for a course. It wasn’t long before Carrier started noticing her fellow runners’ shirts, and the names of groups that transcend national boundaries and unite people who make a hobby of running regular marathons.

She was soon drawn into the fold and found herself ticking off all the boxes: qualifying for Boston, then onto the other major cities. Now 57, Carrier has run marathons in 29 states, which means she only has 21 to go.

“The key to this schedule is you start out and just start to build,” she said. “Her training schedule basically got it where I was learning to run on tired legs. Running seven marathons and flying over 33,000 miles straight, through all of the time zone changes and running in different temperatures, you’re going to be tired.”

“Linda is an inspiration to so many within the diabetes community as she represents our goal of helping individuals with diabetes live longer, healthier lives,” said Mark Grant, vice president of the Americas region for the Diabetes Group at Medtronic. “We are humbled that our MiniMed 670G has supported her journey, and look forward to following her future successes.”

(01/30/2020) ⚡AMP
by Mary Kage Murphy
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World Marathon Challenge

World Marathon Challenge

The World Marathon Challenge ® is a logistical and physical challenge to run seven marathons on seven continents in seven days. Competitors must run the standard 42.2 km marathon distance in Antarctica, Africa, Australia, Asia, Europe, South America and North America within 168 hours, or seven days. The clock starts when the first marathon begins in Antarctica. ...

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The Russian Athletic Federation (RusAF) is facing possible expulsion from membership in World Athletics

Russian Athletics Federation could be expelled from World Athletics Congress after a damning report by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), which accused it of failing to accept responsibility for multiple alleged doping violations or recognizing any need to change.

The AIU also recommended the Authorized Neutral Athlete (ANA) process remain suspended until all the charges have been fully investigated, which means that even Russian athletes who can prove they are not involved in the ongoing doping scandal would not be able to compete as neutral athletes at the 2020 Olympics this summer.

The four-year ban imposed on Russia by WADA in December 2019, which is now being appealed, was widely regarded as toothless, since it allowed Russian athletes who can prove they are clean to compete in Tokyo as Authorized Neutral Athletes. But the AIU’s latest recommendation is not to allow this.

The current recommendations concern the alleged obstruction of the investigation into whereabouts failures by Russian high jumper, world championships silver medallist Danil Lysenko, in the form of forged documents and false explanations. But the implications could be far-reaching for Russian athletes in all Olympic sports.

The Russian federation was suspended in 2015 following allegations of a widespread state-sponsored doping of athletes at the Sochi Winter Games of 2014, but in September 2018 the suspension was lifted early, prompting an outcry from numerous athletes. The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) was given a deadline for handing over data from the Moscow Laboratory, which it failed to meet, leading to the latest ban, handed down in December 2019.

High jumper Mariya Lasitskene and pole vaulter Anzhelika Sidorova competed as neutral athletes at the 2019 World Championships in Doha. Both won gold medals in their events.

(01/30/2020) ⚡AMP
by Anne Francis
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Kenyan world record-holder Brigid Kosgei goal is to win the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon

World record-holder Brigid Kosgei has promised to go all out and win next month’s Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon.

Termed ‘the world’s fastest half marathon’, the 14th edition of the annual race will be held of February 21 with Kosgei expected to set the field alight alongside a line-up of world-class elite runners.

“I am really excited to come back to the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon after two years. My only experience in that race was in 2018 when I came in seventh (with a time of 66:49),” Kosgei said.

“I know that this year the line-up is one of the best ever for a half marathon and I really hope to run fast.”

Having smashed Paula Radcliffe’s long-standing marathon world record by 81 seconds last year in Chicago with a time of 2:14:04, the Kenyan star enjoyed an incredible 2019 where she won every single race she competed in, including the London Marathon and Great North Run where she set impressive times of 2:18:20 and 64:28 respectively. The Kenyan, who will celebrate her 26th birthday the previous day of the race, is expected to kick-start her preparations for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Kosgei can expect stiff competition from a host of top runners, including recent winner of the Comrades Marathon, Gerda Steyn of South Africa when the 21.1km race is run on Ras Al Khaimah’s Marjan Island. Steyn kicked off her running journey in the UAE with the Desert Road Runners Club and distinguished herself by becoming the first woman to complete the Comrades ultra-marathon in under six hours.

Her personal best of 2:27:48 for the full marathon in New York last year earned her a qualifying spot at the Tokyo Olympics.

(01/30/2020) ⚡AMP
by Alaric Gomes
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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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Kenyan Bedan Karoki and world marathon bronze medalist Amos Kipruto are among a star-studded line up for this year’s Tokyo Marathon on March 1

The duo will be joined by two-time winner Dickson Chumba, Honolulu marathon champion Titus Ekiru and defending champion Birhanu Legese of Ethiopia.

Karoki will be returning to the Japanese capital after clinching silver last year when he clocked 2:06:48 just two minutes shy off Legese.

Kipruto, the 2018 Berlin Marathon silver medallist will be making his debut alongside the in-form Ekiru who enjoyed massive success in 2019 winning Milano City Marathon, Portugal City Half Marathon while also clinching gold in Half Marathon in African Games in held in Rabat, Morocco.

For the experienced Chumba- the 2014 and 2018 champion- he will be looking to claim a third title after dropping to a third-place finish last year in 2:08:44.

Kenyans will however be wary of the threat posed by Legese whose mark of 2:04:48 is the second-fastest winning time in the Japanese capital after Wilson Kipsang’s 2:03:58 in 2017.

In the women’s field Kenya’s duo of Sally Chepyego and Frankfurt marathon champion Valary Aiyabei will take on the defending champion Ruti Aga and 2015 champion Birhane Dibaba both of Ethiopia.

Aga attained the third-fastest time during last year’s win as she clocked 2:20:40

Tokyo marathon is the first stop of six World Marathon Majors.

(01/29/2020) ⚡AMP
by Gilbert Kiprotich
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Tokyo Marathon

Tokyo Marathon

The Tokyo Marathon is an annual marathon sporting event in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. It is an IAAF Gold Label marathon and one of the six World Marathon Majors. (2020) The Tokyo Marathon Foundation said it will cancel the running event for non-professional runners as the coronavirus outbreak pressures cities and institutions to scrap large events. Sponsored by Tokyo...

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Nico Young will begin his final high school track and field season and will be going after the 3000m indoor record

The Newbury Park (CA) High School senior and Northern Arizona University signee will go after the American U20 indoor 3,000 meter record of 7:56.31, which was last set by Chris Derrick -- while he was with Stanford in 2009 -- at the Millrose Games on February 8 in New York City. 

If accomplished, Young, 17, would also surpass Drew Hunter's national high school 3K record of 7:59.33 for the distance. Hunter accomplished that feat in 2016, becoming the only high school athlete to ever go under 8 minutes indoors -- only two athletes have done it across both seasons; German Fernandez owns the outdoor 3K record in 7:59.83. 

But here's the twist. 

Young, running unattached, will be entered in the professional field. As per National Federation of High School State Associations (NFHS) rules, Young will be able to race against pros and collegians -- and not lose his remaining CIF eligibility -- based upon the fact that Millrose does not offer a high school race at the distance. 

A year ago, all but one runner in the 12-person field broke 8-minutes, with Stanford's Grant Fisher leaning past Wisconsin's Morgan McDonald at the line to win in 7:42.62. 

Young has raced once since cross country, putting down a 1,500m performance (outdoors) of 3:52.39 at the Arcadia Winter Championships qualifier on Jan. 25. 

And he's still relatively fresh since coming off a record performance at Nike Cross Nationals, where he broke the 5K meet record at Glendoveer and ran a winning time of 14:52.30. 

While Young has just one indoor performances overall -- he was eighth in the boys mile at the New Balance Grand Prix in 2019 -- those around him remain confident he will excel in the field. Young's head coach, Sean Brosnan, said Young will not seek out a fast mile in 2020, with focus instead placed on 3,000 and 5,000 meter races. 

Meaning: While Young could run fast 1,600 meter and mile races in 2020, his objective will not be on going under 4 minutes for the distance as a high school senior. 

In recent years, there have been five sub-8:10 efforts since 2010, including performances from Hunter, Edward Cheserek (2x) and Lukas Verzbicas (2x) -- national cross country champions in high school.

Young ran 8:13.31 for 3K in February of last year at the Rossi Relays. He remains in fitness and has been eyeing several records attempts to begin 2020. 

(01/29/2020) ⚡AMP
by Cory Mull
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NYRR Millrose Games

NYRR Millrose Games

The NYRR Millrose Games,which began in 1908 as a small event sponsored by a local track club, has grown to become the most prestigious indoor track and field event in the United States. The NYRR Millrose Games meet is held in Manhattan’s Washington Heights at the New Balance Track & Field Center at the Armony, which boasts a state-of-the-art six-lane,...

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Controversial Nike Vaporflys will be allowed by World Athletics but running shoe rules will tighten

World Athletics will not be imposing a blanket ban on the controversial hi-tech Nike Vaporflys that have transformed athletics when it announces its long-awaited decision on shoe technology on Friday, the Guardian understands.

Instead the sport’s governing body is expected to announce a temporary suspension of any new shoe technology until after the Tokyo Olympics this summer, alongside the launch of a comprehensive research project to examine just how advantageous the shoes, and others like it from rival brands, are at elite level.

World Athletics is also likely to introduce a tighter set of regulations for new shoes in the future, including the need for companies to present any prototypes to it for approval before they can be used in competition.

Such has been the Vaporflys’ dominance in recent years that athletes wearing them claimed 31 of the 36 podium positions in the six world marathon majors in 2019.

The Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge also wore a pair when he set an official men’s world record in Berlin in 2018 with a time of 2hr 01min 39sec – while his compatriot Brigid Kosgei smashed Paula Radcliffe’s women’s record in the Next% version of the shoe last October in 2:14:04.

However the shoes, which were introduced in 2016, have deeply divided the athletics community, with some supporting the technological arms race as part of an inevitable evolution of the sport – and others warning that it is deeply unfair to athletes who are not sponsored by Nike.

Kipchoge has denied that, saying: “They are fair. I trained hard. Technology is growing and we can’t deny it – we must go with technology.” But the small number of studies conducted on the Vaporflys suggest that, depending on the model and athlete, they can typically improve a person’s running economy by 4-5% – which translates to at least a minute- to 90-second advantage for an elite male runner over 26.2 miles and even more in an average club athlete.

Vaporfly shoes will help me reach my marathon dream. Should I use them?

Where that leaves the Nike AlphaFly, the next generation prototype shoes worn by Eliud Kipchoge when he ran the first sub-two hour marathon in October in an unofficial event is unclear. It is understood that these shoes – which are said to contain three carbon plates and improve running economy by 8% – have not yet been submitted to World Athletics experts for inspection.

Even if the AlphaFlys are banned at elite level there will be no restrictions on ordinary athletes buying and wearing them in races when they are released in the shops by Nike.

(01/29/2020) ⚡AMP
by Sean Ingle
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Boston marathon champion Lawrence Cherono said Tuesday that representing Kenya at the Tokyo Olympics will be a big achievement, winning gold will be dream come true

Lawrence Cherono, 31, said his main hurdle to securing a ticket to the Olympics will be in defending his title at the Boston Marathon in April.

However, he hopes to make the provisional team, set to be named in February for the Olympics.

For a country that has over 20 elite runners who have posted a faster time of 2:06.00, picking the best three will be a hard task for the coaches' selector panel.

But Cherono has showed a strong desire to represent the country and believes his good performance in the last season will convince the coaches to offer him his maiden show for the country at the global championship.

"The competition for position in the Kenya team is tough. With all my accomplishments, I have not been lucky to represent the country at the Olympics. It will be a great honor if I will be part of the team to Tokyo," Cherono said.

Cherono's debut in marathon was in Seville, Spain where he won in 2:09.39.

He then moved to China and was second at the Lanzhou marathon clocking 2:12.33 back in 2015. Later that year he finished seventh at the Shanghai marathon with a time of 2:14.22.

In 2016, he was second at the Hengshui Lake marathon, won in Prague marathon and claimed the silver medal at the Hong Kong city marathon. He has also finished first in Honolulu, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Chicago and Boston.

If winning in Boston again, Cherono will secure his ticket to Tokyo to join defending champion Eliud Kipchoge, who has already been confirmed for the Olympics.

But it will not be a walk in the park for Cherono in Boston. He will be up against 2018 Boston winner Yuki Kawauchi of Japan, former World marathon champion Geoffrey Kirui who has a personal best of 2:06:27 he recorded at the 2016 Amsterdam marathon.

Also chasing the title in Boston is the 2012 Olympic champion Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda.

(01/29/2020) ⚡AMP
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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Kenyan Philes Moora Ongori and Ethiopian Dadi Yami Gemeda will join 2020 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon elite field

In a statement signed by Head Communications and Media, Olukayode Thomas, he said Ongori who started her career in Japan and won a number of All-Japan Corporate titles is delighted to be selected to run in Lagos.

Ongori was on the track running the 10,000 meters for Kenya at the 2007 World Championships in Athletics.

She came to prominence in the half marathon in 2008 when she won the Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon in the fastest time of the year.

At the 2009 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships she won the silver medal.

Ongori won on her marathon debut at the Rotterdam Marathon in 2011, setting a time of 2:24:20 hours.

Ongori made her full marathon debut in April 2011 at the Rotterdam Marathon and she outran the more experienced Hilda Kibet in the final stages to win the race in a quick first-time run of 2:24:20 hours.

(01/29/2020) ⚡AMP
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Access Bank Lagos City Marathon

Access Bank Lagos City Marathon

“The IAAF and AIMS have a special interest in the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon so if you see their top officials at the third edition, don’t be surprised. Lagos is one of the few marathons in the world that got an IAAF Label after just two editions. This is a rare feat. The event had over 50,000 runners at...

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Brazier and Ali kick off World Athletics Indoor Tour with dominant victories in Boston

The 2020 World Athletics Indoor Tour began with national records and fantastic performances in Boston, as world champions Donavan Brazier and Nia Ali kicked off their Olympic campaigns with victories at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix on Saturday night (25).

Brazier, the world champion in the 800m, dominated the men’s 600m. In the final event of the evening, Brazier came through 400m in 49.62, and obliterated the field to win in a meeting record of 1:14.39. Brazier, who owns the world indoor best for the 600m with his 1:13.77 from last year’s US Indoor Championships, won by nearly six seconds from Michael Stigler.

“It feels great,” said Brazier, who was contesting his first race since the World Championships. “This is my tradition so far while being a professional. I’ve run at the Reggie Lewis Center four years straight now and I’ve come out with four wins in a row – so I might as well just keep coming back.”

Ali started her indoor season right where she left off, winning the 60m hurdles in 7.94. The world 100m hurdles champion pulled away over the final barrier to beat world indoor silver medallist Christina Clemons, who finished in 7.98.

“It means a lot to start off the season here,” said Ali after running her fastest 60m hurdles time since winning the 2016 world indoor title. “My family is able to get down and see me and I appreciate that. Especially being from the East coast. I know the crowd is always good to me, so I love it.”

In the women’s 1500m, Jessica Hull of Australia sat on the shoulder of Konstanze Klosterhalfen for 1450m before bursting to the front in the final straight to win in 4:04.14, taking more than two seconds off the Oceanian indoor record.

Klosterhalfen, the German athlete coming off a bronze medal in the 5000m at the World Championship in Doha, finished second in 4:04.38. Ciara Mageean finished third in 4:06.42 to break her own Irish indoor record.

In his first indoor race as a professional, Bryce Hoppel, who did not lose a race collegiately last year, nipped Jake Wightman at the line to win the 1000m in 2:17.41. Wightman, who set a British indoor record of 2:17.51, led going into the final lap, but Hoppel clocked a 27.1 final circuit pick up the win.

World indoor bronze medallist Bethwell Birgen of Kenya won a duel over Edward Cheserek, who announced this week he would be competing internationally for Kenya, in the 3000m. After the pacemaker stepped off the track with just over 1000m to go, Cheserek and Birgen traded the lead before Birgen unleashed a stunning final 300m, closing his last lap in 26.33 to take the win over Cheserek, 7:44.21 to 7:46.74.

In the women’s two miles, Elinor Purrier buried the competition over the final lap to win in 9:29.19 as 2017 world steeplechase champion, Emma Coburn, finished third.

Gabby Thomas blitzed a 36.52 to win the 300m. Thomas, a graduate of Harvard University, won the first heat by a wide margin and held on for the win after Shamier Little beat out Kendall Ellis in the second heat, 37.07 to 37.36.

“It was really great to compete at home, here in Boston,” Thomas said. “Especially this being my first year out of college and having that energy around me, it’s a really an amazing feeling.”

Chris O’Hare of Great Britain held off a hard-charging Nick Willis in the men’s mile, winning 3:59.62 to 3:59.89.

Demek Kemp won the 60m in 6.50, taking 0.05 off his personal best. Trayvon Bromell, running the 60m for the first time since winning the 2016 world indoor title at the distance, finished seventh in 6.84. Obi Igbokwe, a senior at the University of Houston, won the men’s 400m in 46.50.

In the field events, Pablo Torrijos of Spain kept his cool after four successive fouls in the men’s triple jump, eventually sailing out to 16.75m in the fifth round to seal the victory. Amina Smith of the US cleared 1.89m to win the women’s high jump.

The World Athletics Indoor Tour will next head to Karlsruhe, Germany, on 31 January, when athletes will continue to chase tour ranking points as well as wildcards for the World Athletics Indoor Championships Nanjing 2020.

(01/29/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Nike has completed the internal investigation into the shuttered NOP

In a Women’s Running story, journalist Erin Strout says Nike has completed the internal investigation it committed to in the wake of Mary Cain’s explosive New York Times video. 

And while it won’t be making its findings public, it did identify and share some specific initiatives relating to its professional female athletes.

Cain’s video exposed unethical coaching practices at the Nike Oregon Project, which was shut down 10 days after USADA served head coach Alberto Salazar with a four-year ban for doping violations on September 30, 2019–practices that included body- and weight-shaming, public weigh-ins and criticism that severely damaged Cain’s physical and mental health and led to her quietly leaving the NOP in 2015. Cain disappeared from the competition circuit, but is now working her way back into the scene under a new coach, while advocating publicly for women athletes.

The iniatives Strout listed include: 1.- Studying how elite training affects female athletes, 2.- Hiring more female coaches, 3.- Creating a new senior-level position to oversee international women’s sports marketing, 4.- Creating a group of pro female athletes to inform and advise the company on concerns specific to its female athletes, 5.- A new partnership with CrisisTextLine, a confidential, free text message service for people in crisis (in Canada, the service is run by Kids Help Phone).

Strout reports that Cain was invited to participate in the investigation but declined, telling her she perceived a lack of transparency. Regarding the initiatives announced, Cain said she “supports anything that promotes women’s health and opportunities in sports,” but was critical of the decision not to share the results of the investigation publicly, calling it “weak and cowardly.”

After an absence of more than three years, Cain recently started racing again. She had a disappointing 3,000m race at the Dr. Sander Invitational in New York on the weekend, but acknowledged in a post-race interview that regaining competitiveness will take time and incremental improvement.

(01/28/2020) ⚡AMP
by Anne Francis
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Nontuthuko Mgabhi from Richards Bay aims to be the first woman from Africa to run the World Marathon Challenge

A Richards Bay woman is aiming to become the first woman in Africa to run the World Marathon Challenge - seven marathons on seven continents in seven days - in February.

On Suday, a 15km and 5km fun run and walk was held in Bulwer to raise awareness about her attempt and to help raise funds for it.

Nontuthuko Mgabhi, 32, will use the challenge to raise R3.5million for Khipinkunzi Primary School in Mtubatuba.

“I wanted to do something special for my birthday and was asked to give a motivational speech at the primary school last year, which has 657 pupils from Grade R to Grade 7. When I arrived at the school, I saw the poor state it was in and wanted to make a difference,” Mgabhi explained.

She is aiming to raise R3.5million to build five classrooms, two administration offices and to revamp the school.

Participating in the World Marathon Challenge means she would have to cover 295km and spend about 68 hours flying. The first marathon is in Antarctica on February 6, the second will be Cape Town on February 7, February 8 is in Perth, February 9 in Dubai, February 10 in Madrid, February 11 in Fortaleza in South America, and finishing in Miami on February 12.

Mgabhi said she started running in 2013, when a friend asked her to participate in the East Coast Radio Big Walk with her.

Ten months later, she participated in the Comrades Marathon and has since completed more than 50 marathons, including four Comrades and 15 ultra marathons.

(01/28/2020) ⚡AMP
by Kwazulu-Natal
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World Marathon Challenge

World Marathon Challenge

The World Marathon Challenge ® is a logistical and physical challenge to run seven marathons on seven continents in seven days. Competitors must run the standard 42.2 km marathon distance in Antarctica, Africa, Australia, Asia, Europe, South America and North America within 168 hours, or seven days. The clock starts when the first marathon begins in Antarctica. ...

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Defending champ Ruti Aga and last year's winner Birhanu Legese will be back for 2020 Tokyo Marathon

Ethiopia is pretty far down the road to overtaking Kenya as the world's leading marathon nation, and its presence is heavy in both the women's and men's fields for the Olympic year 2020 Tokyo Marathon. Lacking London's star power the Tokyo fields won't win many nominations for best of 2020, but with loads of World Marathon Majors top three finishers and winners of next-tier gold label marathons they're still fields at a level most other races would love to be able to pull off.

On the women's side, with PBs of 2:18:34 and 2:18:46 defending champ Ruti Aga and past winner Birhane Dibaba lead a main of twelve top-tier invited elites, of which nine were born in Ethiopia. The other three, Valary Jemeli Aiyabei, nationality transfer Lonah Chemtai Salpeter, and Selly Chepyego Kaptich, were all born in Kenya.

With Tokyo not counting in last-chance Olympic qualification for Japanese women the top entrant from outside those two countries is Japan's Haruka Yamaguchi, an amateur who took 7th in this past weekend's Osaka International Women's Marathon in 2:26:35. Former Canadian national record holder Rachel Cliff and locals Kaori Yoshida, Risa Noguchi, Shiho Kaneshige and Yurie Doi fill out the rest of the sub-2:30 set.

On the men's side Ethiopians make up five of the eleven invited internationals including the top four, with last year's winner Birhanu Legese leading the way in 2:02:48. Things are heavily stacked in the 2:04 to low-2:05 range, perfectly designed to set it up for the Japanese men. Their task and its payoff are simple: be the top Japanese guy in 2:05:49 or better and replace national record holder Suguru Osako (Nike) on the Sapporo 2020 Olympic marathon team.

Osako's there to stop them, fresh off a 25 km tempo in Dubai. His main competition is previous national record holder Yuta Shitara (Honda), who said last week that 2:05 isn't good enough and that if he doesn't run 2:04 in what he's calling his final marathon in Japan then he'll turn down the Olympic team spot.

Shitara's got that crazy edge working, which can count for a lot, but the biggest danger to Osako is probably going to be the ultra-disciplined Hiroto Inoue (MHPS), who ran 2:06:54 in Asics behind Shitara's NR two years ago, then made the switch to the Next% this season and promptly crushed the course record on the New Year Ekiden's longest stage. Put him in the same shoes as Osako and Shitara and they'd better watch out.

Kenta Murayama has the goods to be the other three's equal, but with his sponsor team Asahi Kasei having lost the plot when it comes to marathoning it would be a surprise to see him go much below 2:08. With twelve current sub-2:10 Japanese men in the field it's one of the best domestic races ever assembled, but apart from Murayama and possibly his talented teammate Shuho Dairokuno it's hard to see any darkhorses breaking through to the level of Osako, Shitara and Inoue. 

Mizuki Matsuda's 2:21:47 win in Osaka last weekend bumped her up into the 3rd Olympic women's spot but left her vulnerable to others in Nagoya, but with all the main men in Tokyo it's even harder to see anyone in Lake Biwa a week later going better than what they might do here.

(01/28/2020) ⚡AMP
by Brett Larner
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Tokyo Marathon

Tokyo Marathon

The Tokyo Marathon is an annual marathon sporting event in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. It is an IAAF Gold Label marathon and one of the six World Marathon Majors. (2020) The Tokyo Marathon Foundation said it will cancel the running event for non-professional runners as the coronavirus outbreak pressures cities and institutions to scrap large events. Sponsored by Tokyo...

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Kapsait Athletics Training Camp in Elgeyo-Marakwet County, moulds future stars

Kapsait Athletics Training Camp in Elgeyo-Marakwet County has been on the news of late, thanks to Brigid Kosgei’s awe-inspiring performances in athletics that saw her break the world marathon record on October 13.

Kosgei, who trains and resides in Kapsait, timed 2 hours, 14 minutes and four seconds in Chicago Marathon last year to break Briton Paula Radcliffe’s 16-year-old record by a minute and 24 seconds.

World Under-20 5,000 meters champion Edward Zakayo is also a Form Four student at the Kapsait Athletics Secondary School housed in the same compound.

Lately, the camp has been receiving prominent visitors. On Monday, Koji Jitsukawa who is the executive director and head of Africa Region at Yamanashi Gakuin University in Japan presented training kits to the school.

Koji said the university was keen on partnering with upcoming athletes as one way of improving young talent. The Japan-based private university has been supporting Kenyan athletes since 1988.

“As a university, we are proud of our role in nurturing young talent. We want to support them and to promote their education and sports at the same time. We already have two Kenyan students at the university and they have been doing well,” Koji said.

(01/28/2020) ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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Breaking away from her final challenger after 30km, Mizuki Matsuda went on to win the Osaka Women’s Marathon in 2:21:47 on Sunday

It was the third-fastest time in the history of the Osaka Women’s Marathon and puts Matsuda sixth on the Japanese all-time list, but more importantly, she ran under the time (2:22:22) required to be considered for the third spot on the Japanese Olympic marathon team.

If no one runs faster than 2:21:47 at the Nagoya Women’s Marathon in March, Matsuda will clinch the team spot.

“I don't think anybody in Japan can run such a time,” said Matsuda, who finished fourth at last year's Marathon Grand Championship, Japan's main trial race for the Olympic Games.

“It was not the time I was hoping for, but I had achieved the minimum requirement,” added Matsuda, who also won in Osaka in 2018. “In order to be competitive at the Olympics, I need a national-record-level personal best. I also need to work on the final part of the race because I slowed down too much at the end today.”

The race was fast from the start with Matsuda clocking 16:36 at 5km, 33:07 at 10km, 49:44 at 15km and 1:06:17 at 20km. “In the early part of the race I was bit worried that we were going too fast,” said Matsuda, who reached the half-way mark in 1:09:54. “It was faster than my half marathon personal best (1:10:25).”

By 25km, the lead pack consisted of Matsuda, Bahrain’s Mimi Belete and two pace-makers. “The race went well until 30km,” said Matsuda, “but then it started to get tough. Each kilometre felt very long.

“I knew four runners had faster personal bests, so I expected them to be running in front of me. When I started to run alone in front (after 30km), I looked around and asked myself, ‘where are they?’ I was running with the goal of breaking the national record (2:19:12). I had to think that way to get under 2:22.”

Immediately after the 30km check point, Matsuda checked her watch and appeared to pick up the pace for the next two kilometres. She was unable to get back on schedule for a finishing time inside 2:20, but she started to open up a gap on Belete before going on to win in 2:21:47.

Belete, who suffered from stomach problems, particularly in the latter stages, held on for second place in 2:22:40, just 78 seconds shy of the PB she set in Amsterdam three months ago.

“In my country the Olympic team spots are given to those with the fastest times,” explained Belete. “Although someone may run a faster time, I think I can be selected with the today’s time.”

Ethiopia’s Sintayehu Lewetegn finished third with 2:23:03, the second-fastest time of her career and just 18 seconds short of her personal best. Meskerem Assefa, one of the favourites, was fourth while Australian veteran Lisa Weightman was fifth in 2:26:02, the second-fastest time of her career.

Matsuda and compatriot Haruka Yamaguchi, who clocked 2:26:35 as the second Japanese finisher, were the only athletes among the top 10 to set a PB.

Last year’s runner-up Rei Ohara was suffering from a cold and achilles problems. She lost contact with the leaders after 17km and eventually finished 13th in 2:28:12.

Kayoko Fukushi, the 2013 world bronze medallist, lost contact with the leaders after 20km and dropped out after 25km. “I will start my training with running the Nagoya Women’s Marathon in mind,” said Fukushi, who is still pursuing what would be a fifth consecutive Olympic team.

(01/28/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Osaka International Womens Marathon

Osaka International Womens Marathon

The Osaka International Ladies Marathon is an annual marathon road race for women over the classic distance of 42.195 kilometres which is held on the 4th or 5th Sunday of January in the city of Osaka, Japan, and hosted by Japan Association of Athletics Federations, Kansai Telecasting Corporation, the Sankei Shimbun, Sankei Sports, Radio Osaka and Osaka City. The first...

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Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Murielle Ahoure will lead the women’s 60m line-up at the Muller Indoor Grand Prix Glasgow

World 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and World Indoor 60m champion Murielle Ahoure will lead the women’s 60m line-up at the Muller Indoor Grand Prix Glasgow on 15 February.

Fraser-Pryce has a personal best over 60m of 6.98, the eighth-fastest time in history. The time gave her gold at the World Indoor Championships, Sopot 2014.

Fraser-Pryce, who won four world titles, Berlin 2009, Moscow 2013, Beijing 2015 and Doha 2019, maybe targeting the World Indoor Championships in March.

Ahoure, the 2018 World Indoor champion, was second to Fraser-Pryce in Sopot 2014. She was also second at the World Indoor Championships 2012.

Ahoure has a personal best of 6.97, the sixth-fastest time in history.

Jamaicans Natalliah Whyte, who has a 7.12 personal best, and Christiania Williams with 7.14 as her career-best, are also in the field.

World youth 200m record-holder Amy Hunt of Great Britain will also enter with her 7.34 personal best.

(01/27/2020) ⚡AMP
by Marie Allen
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Muller Indoor Grand Prix Glasgow

Muller Indoor Grand Prix Glasgow

The Müller Indoor Grand Prix Glasgow returns to Scotland and the Emirates Arena on the 15th of February. Forming part of the World Athletics World Indoor Tour, the top-ranked indoor meeting in the world will feature the biggest athletics stars from across the globe aiming to start their Olympic and Paralympic year with a bang. One year on from hosting...

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Track and field stars, led by the legendary Usain Bolt, praised tribute to basketball hero Kobe Bryant

Bryant, a legendary player for the Los Angeles Lakers, is widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time, died in a helicopter crash on Sunday, 26 January. He was 41-years-old.

Usain Bolt, who shared a photo of him and Kobe, wrote: “Still can’t believe @kobebryant 🙏🏿🙏🏿#RIP.”

Jamaica’s 2011 World 100m champion, Yohan Blake, also expressed shock at the news. 

“Still can’t believe this news,” said Yohan Blake.

Former American athlete Sanya Richards-Ross also commented on Kobe’s death. “I’ve taken an intentional break from social media, but this warrants all our love and prayers…The world has lost a legend, an icon, but Bryant’s loss is unimaginable. Praying for his family and the families of the other lives that were lost in this terrifying accident. #RIPKobe”

American triple jumper, Will Claye, said: “I’m broken.”

“You are a superhero to me. It’s not fair, and I don’t want to believe it. My heart goes out to Vanessa, your girls and your parents. You’ve been getting me through a lot of days lately, and I thank you because only you could really understand the battle I’m in right now. I appreciate you Bean 🙏🏾 Rest easy,” said Claye.

Former American 100m hurdles champion Lolo Jones was at a loss for words.

“I don’t even know what to say, man,” she started out saying.

“The words won’t do justice. I can only pray for the comfort of your friends and loved ones. A lot of people looked up to you for your accomplishments as an athlete, but I was inspired by what you were doing after your career… writing books, directing movies, businesses. You showed that athletes can continue to do great things after retirement. I was honored to have you as a teammate,” said Jones, who shared a photo of herself and Kobe at the Olympic Games.

Wallace Spearmon wrote “#RIP to a legend @kobebryant . Life is short, live it… True Love is eternal; embrace it… Tomorrow isn’t promised, don’t wait… RIP mamba.”

Nike Running posted “Mamba forever."

Our condolences to Kobe and Gianna’s family and everyone involved in today’s tragedy.

(01/27/2020) ⚡AMP
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Tyler Day broke Galen Rupp’s American collegiate 5,000m record indoor record on Saturday at Boston University

Tyler Day of NAU (Northern Arizona University) broke Galen Rupp’s American collegiate 5,000m indoor record on Saturday at Boston University. Day finished second at the Boston Terrier Invitational in 13:16.95 to Nike’s Paul Tanui who won in 13:15.72.

Rupp announced only two weeks ago that he’s now coach by Mike Smith, head coach at NAU, who also coaches Day. Rupp made the move after his former training group, the Nike Oregon Project, was shut down in October.

Smith is one of the most successful men’s distance running coaches currently working in the NCAA. He helped the NAU men to back-to-back cross-country championships in 2017 and 2018. Rupp has reportedly been working with the coach for several months. The runner told The Oregonian that he plans to remain in Oregon but will have his training overseen by Smith. Rupp is currently training for the upcoming US Olympic Marathon Trials in Atlanta.

As for Day, Saturday was a breakout performance. Day’s previously held 5,000m indoor personal best was from 2019, where he ran 13:55.40 in Birmingham, Alabama at the NCAA Indoor Championships. Day’s a senior majoring in journalism who has been a big part of NAU’s cross-country dynasty.

(01/27/2020) ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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