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Running News Daily is edited by Bob Anderson and team.  Send your news items to jaime@mybestruns.com

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Global Run Challenge Profile: Libby James is the fastest 80 plus woman in the world

RUN THE WORLD: "I’d be happy to add a few miles to your round the world challenge.  Put me down for an average of 20 miles per week," wrote 81-year-old Libby James.  She has been running since the early 70's and racing since 1976. She holds American and world records in distances from 5k to half-marathon. She says it pays to get old and keep running.  Most recently competing in the 80- to 84 age group, she holds the USATF Women’s Masters records for 5k and 15k races, with times of 25:11 and 1:25:06.  She runs Bolder Boulder 10K every year. Libby has a new book called Still Running.  It is about her experiences with the sport. Libby writes because people fascinate her. Being a writer gives her a legitimate reason to be nosey—to find out all she can about people and what makes them tick. For more than 30 years she’s been a freelance feature writer.  "We are excited to have Libby on our Run The World team," says Bob Anderson.  "We met in Colorado (where she lives) a few years ago and I was impressed with her dirve and obvious love for running."  Corey Radman asked Libby recently if she had a formula for success.  "There’s no secret formula. I don’t eat weird. I eat fairly healthy. I think one of the secrets is consistency, particularly as you get older. If you lay off for four or five days, it’s harder to get started again. So, I’ve taken to not running very far, but doing it pretty regularly. Almost every day, usually four miles," Libby answered. (Thu 21) ⚡AMP
by Bob Anderson
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Krista DuChene placed third at the 2018 Boston Marathon and her 16th Marathon will be STWM

Krista DuChene, the 41-year-old mother of three from Strathroy, Ont., finished third at the 2018 Boston Marathon clocking 2:44:20 said afterwards, “Our Canadian winters prepare us for days like this." Krista announced yesterday that she will run the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon (STWM) on October 17. It will be her fifth time running what she has called her favourite race, and her 16th marathon in 16 years of competition. She joins Reid Coolsaet, two-time Olympian and second-fastest marathoner in Canada’s history, who will also run Scotiabank this year.  Krista wrote on Instagram, "“There are lots of reasons: it’s close to home, it’s a Canadian championship, it’s a quality field but it’s just, no matter where I am racing, my thoughts are on this race. It’s the one I want to do even though I could pick any race in the world.”  Krista was part of the 2016 Canada Olympic Team. (Thu 21) ⚡AMP
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Global Run Challenge Profile: Ultra Marathoner Giant Roy Pirrung has won 85 National Titles

RUN THE WORLD: 69-year-old Roy Pirrung is looking forward to the Run The World challenge and is looking at posting 75 miles weekly. Ultra Running Magazine wrote this:  In 1980, at the age of 32, Roy Pirrung was 60 pounds overweight, smoked 2 packs of cigarettes a day, and was a self-described binge drinker. He decided to take up running to help change his lifestyle. Within a year he was 60 pounds lighter, tobacco and alcohol free, and ran his first marathon, in 3:16. Only two years after that his marathon time was down to 2:38. It would seem he was born to run. In 1985 he ran his first ultra, the Ice Age 50 Mile trail race in Wisconsin, finishing 5th in one of the most competitive trail ultras in the country. Only four months later he won the Fond du Lac 24-Hour race with just under 138 miles, and found himself ranked #1 American at that event for the year. Yes, he was born to run. Ultra racing success continued at a brisk pace for Pirrung. In 1987 he became a national champion for the first time, winning the USA 100 Mile Championship in New York City. A year later he garnered his second national title and his first national record, winning the inaugural USA 24-Hour Championship in Atlanta with a new American Road Record of 145 miles, 1464 yards. Roy Pirrung’s ultra career continued at a world-class level for over two decades, and continues today at a similar level in the Masters age-group categories. He has raced in almost every state in the USA, and in 26 different countries on five continents. He has run in almost two dozen USA 24-Hour National Championships, has won two of them, and has placed in the top five in 17 of them. In addition to his three open National Championship gold medals and his three open American Records, he has won over 80 Masters age-group National Championship Titles and has broken over 50 Masters age-group National Records. He is an American Ultrarunning Association Hall of Fame member with over 50 American records and 86 national titles. Lifetime miles over 100,000. Lifetime races over 1,000.  "We are super excited to have Roy on our team," says Bob Anderson.  Carey Stoneking one of his Facebook friends posted, "OK Roy...But don't over-do it.  They only want to go around the world...Once."  (Thu 21) ⚡AMP
by Bob Anderson
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Mike Garry goal was to run a sub four hour marathon in all 50 states

As he was running the Casper, Wyoming marathon June 3, Mike Barry could sense the pressure rising. If he ran this race right, he would complete his six-year quest of running a marathon in under four hours in all 50 states. But everything was going wrong.   A race course error made the track a half-mile too long. His body was exhausted from running a marathon the week before in Vermont. The elevation was high and the heat was stifling. And a failed attempt in 2016 to finish this route in under four hours haunted him.   But by this point in his quest, Barry had run through it all. Driving rain storms, steaming heat and biting cold. And so, with the western sun beating down on him, Barry kept running in Wyoming, determined to complete the race in under four hours this time. And he did, crossing the finish line in a nail-biting three hours and fifty-four minutes. He took a deep breath at the finish line and enjoyed a well-earned chocolate milk and Dr Pepper. “You have to be able to put that all aside and put down the left foot and then the right foot and keep running,” Barry, 50, said. And then he went to Yellowstone with his family and “did nothing for three days.” (Thu 21) ⚡AMP
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Tim Osberg running streak is approaching 33 years and he has no plans of stopping soon

Dr Tim Osberg, a Niagara University professor has not missed a day of running for 33 years.  Tim was 29 when he began his running streak.  He runs at least two miles every single day. And he will keep the streak going no matter where he is, or the weather conditions outside. "The weather I hate the most is the November rain," he said. He's lived in New York the entire time, and the weather isn't always conducive to the sport he loves.  He says working out is easier with a streak because you're not fighting to do the daily run, it's just a given. And he has no plans on stopping anytime soon. Dr. Tim Osberg joined the faculty of Niagara in September of 1982. He teaches courses in introductory psychology, abnormal psychology, clinical psychology, and psychological assessment...  The official definition of a running streak, as adopted by the Streak Runners International, Inc., and United States Running Streak Association, Inc., is to run at least one mile (1.61 kilometers) within each calendar day. Running may occur on either the roads, a track, over hill and dale, or on a treadmill.  Tim's "official streak" started June 24, 2011 as listed on the official record keeping site but he has been running dailly for nearly 33 years. (Thu 21) ⚡AMP
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It's all 50 states when Buch Bolton crosses the finish line at the Kona Marathon

Buch Bolton has been running across America over the past 21 years, Teamed with his wife, Sandy, whom he described as “my travel agent, my masseuse, my baggage handler, my inspiration,” the wrestling coach has run marathons in 49 states so far.  The Kona Marathon in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii this Sunday should complete his project, which, he said, began as a lark in 1997 after beers, cigars and a dare. The 58-year-old Bolton actually has run 64 marathons now, although there have been some repeats, including three U.S. Air Force Marathons and eight Columbus Marathons. He has twice made the famed circuit through Boston. Hawaii, though, will be special. Along with his wife, he’ll be joined by their four children, their spouses and five grandkids. They will salute both his retirement last month from 33 years of teaching and the end of his remarkable running challenge. While he looks forward to the celebration, it’s not something he’s talked about to many people beyond his family. “I’ve always kind of kept it low profile,” he said.  “I wasn’t sure it was going to happen and I was just doing it for myself, not the notoriety.  (Wed 20) ⚡AMP
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The Big Five Marathon in South Africa is held among the wildlife of the African savannah.

No fences, no rivers, nothing at all separates the runners from the African wildlife! The Big Five Marathon is an exclusive event that combines a challenging marathon experience with a classic African safari vacation. Marathon route going right through the habitat of the most famous African game: Elephant, Rhino, Buffalo, Lion and Leopard.  Even though the course runs directly through a lion territory, safety problems will not be an issue as the route is watched by helicopters and armed rangers. The course of the marathon is atypical for its magnificent savannah scenery among the wildlife of South Africa as well as for its toughness. Even though the marathon is taking place in the wintertime, the sun can be brutal on the open savannahs. In addition to this, the course will be ascending quite a lot from beginning to end.This is a tough marathon or half but one you will never forget. (Wed 20) ⚡AMP
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Andy Lipman doesn't live to run, he runs to live growing up with Cystic Fibrosis

Andy Lipman is running the AJC Peachtree Road Race for the 22nd time this July 4 in Atlanta. His end goal is more than getting his best time. "A lot of people say they live to run," Lipman told 11Alive. "In my case, I truly run to live." The strength and endurance Lipman displays at 44 is a combination he never imagined growing up with Cystic Fibrosis. He's the first to admit that living the life-threatening genetic disorder has been a series of ups and downs. "When I was about eight years old I read in an encyclopedia people with CF don't normally live to the age of 25," Lipman said, "I was devastated." The knowledge haunted him from childhood until college. "I stopped doing my treatments. I stopped taking my meds," Lipman said. "I was just ready to die." But life wasn't done with Andy Lipman, and in his 20's, he realized there was another path. "I realized I'm still alive. What if I tried?" Lipman said. So he changed his life, beginning a daily regime revolving around weights and running. The effort fueled by the realization he had the chance his infant sister never had who passed away at only a few days old, he only later asked his parents why. "I didn't know how she had passed away until finally in my mid-20's I asked them," Lipman said, learning she also had Cystic Fibrosis. (Wed 20) ⚡AMP
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Molly Huddle is going after her 4th consecutive 10,000m Title

Molly Huddle's first race on the track this year will also bring a bid for a fourth consecutive United States outdoor title in the women's 10,000 meters. The Elmira native is set to run in the 10K finals on Thursday night at the USA Track & Field Outdoor Championships at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa. Huddle, 33, had been in recovery mode after placing 16th in the women's race at the Boston Marathon on April 16, with cold and rainy conditions that day making for a taxing race for the runners. Huddle struggled at the finish and the next day had a root canal. She returned to competition June 9 and placed third at the New York Road Runners New York Mini 10K in New York City, posting a time of 32 minutes, 25 seconds. Kenya's Mary Keitany won in 30:59.  "It was a rough few weeks after Boston, which was the focus of the year along with an upcoming fall marathon, but I'm hoping I can squeak into the top three at USA's despite not being on the track very much this month," Huddle wrote last week in an email. "Usually we prepare for the track championships all spring, so it will be harder to race it off of a break, but it's an important meet to me so I'm going to give it a go." (Tue 19) ⚡AMP
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Is the Western States 100 record going to fall this weekend?

The 2018 Western States 100 kicks off at 5 a.m. PDT on Saturday, June 23rd in Olympic Valley, California before covering the 100 miles to the city of Auburn. Western States is the world’s oldest 100-mile trail race.  In the decades since its inception in 1974, WS has come to represent one of the ultimate endurance tests in the world.  For this year Jim Walmsley plans to go slow and steady, having blown up in the sapping heat last year when chasing the record. “I still think this year I won’t be far from it [the record],” Walmsley told the South China Morning Post. “I am trying to be more conservative, but if there is a special day or special effort than I’ll have to go for it in the end.” For two years now, Walmsley’s public declaration that he will not only try and break the famous 100-mile (161-kilometre) course record but trim more than 45 minutes off it has bought him massive attention. But on the American runner’s 2016 attempt a wrong turn ruined his chances and in 2017 he failed to pace himself correctly in hot conditions.  The current record is held by American Timothy Olson, set in 2012 at 14 hours, 46 minutes and 44 seconds. (Tue 19) ⚡AMP
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Caster Semenya should not be obliged to alter her body to compete after November 1

The double Olympic and triple world 800 metres champion faces having to take medication to lower her higher than normal levels of naturally-produced testosterone, which the sport's governing IAAF has deemed gives her an unfair advantage. Law firm Norton Rose Fulbright said in a statement that the legal challenge would be filed on Monday at the CAS in Lausanne. "Ms Semenya, like all athletes, is entitled to compete the way she was born without being obliged to alter her body by any medical means," Norton Rose Fulbright said. Controversy has never been far from the South African, now 27, since her teenage success in the 800m at the 2009 world championships in Berlin, where the pure power of her surge to victory sparked question marks about her sexuality. Testosterone is a hormone that increases muscle mass, strength and haemoglobin, which affects endurance. The IAAF rule, which comes into force on Nov. 1, is not directly aimed at Semenya but she will be most affected by it. (Tue 19) ⚡AMP
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Dick Breukink set a goal for himself to run 100 half marathons after moving to New Zealand

Dick Breukink was 52 years old when he started the challenge, and has run half marathons around the world to achieve his goal, clocking up over 8,000 miles. He took up running after coming to New Zealand from the Netherlands, although he isn't sure exactly why. Dick says it might be the beauty of the running trails in NZ. He developed an enjoyment of running on a regular basis and after a few years realised he may be able to set the goal of 100 half marathons in 10 years. In just over six weeks he will achieve his goal, when he goes back to where it started at Taupō (New Zealand) in 2008.    (Tue 19) ⚡AMP
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Amy Feit Says winning the Manitoba Marathon was a special moment for her

“That was the No. 1 goal on Sunday,” Feit said of finishing first. “I’ve won a marathon before, but I’ve never felt the tape across my stomach. So that was a wonderful feeling. I loved that.” Feit has completed at least a dozen marathons, including Boston, Chicago and Berlin, but had never been to Winnipeg.Feit, who works for a software company in Sioux Falls, S.D., finished with a time of 3:02:51, more than four minutes ahead of Winnipeg’s Selene Sharpe. (Mon 18) ⚡AMP
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If you love running and would like to show the world, this 24,901 mile challenge circling the world is for you

This challenge is about five things. First to celebrate running. Second to motivate people to reach their goals. Third to inspire people to run regularly. Four to show the world how much we love running.  Five to see if our group can log enough miles to circle the world.   "Our group will start logging miles July 4th and hopefully within 30 days reach our goal of circling the world, 24,901 miles (40,074K)," says Bob Anderson. "As of June 18 we are 68 runners strong and we think we can average 2,471 miles per week. More runners are needed for us to reach our goal within 30 days."  On August 5th the team will run a victory lap (800m) in San Franicco and receive a medal and shirt to celebrate reaching the goal. Runners from 12 different countries and from across the US have already signed. "We know many team members will not be able to join us in San Francisco," says Bob Anderson. "The Victory Medal and shirt can be mailed out.  The key thing is to get signed up." If you love running and want to tell the world that running is an important part of your life, this would be a good challenge to join. If you can make a commitment of posting miles this challenge is for you. There is no entry fee and only if you want a shirt and medal is there any fee. Click on the title to sign up and get more information. Lifetime runner Bob Anderson has put this together. (Mon 18) ⚡AMP
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Hassan Esufally aims to become the first Sri Lankan to complete marathons in all seven continents

Hassan Esufally will take on his fifth continent in his goal of completing marathons in all seven continents, when he competes in the Big Five Marathon in South Africa June 23.  Runners from all over the world are gearing up for this exclusive Marathon. The Marathon takes runners through spectacular game reserves in South Africa.  The cut off time for this extremely challenging marathon is only 7 hours. Hassan Esufally aims to become the first Sri Lankan to complete a full marathon in all seven continents. Achieving this feat will propel him into a unique and exclusive club of the world’s greatest marathon runners – the 7 Continents Marathon Club. “I have been doing both training and fasting due to Ramazan and it has been a very challenging month for me physically,” Esufally says. “But I have managed to adapt and change my training, eating and sleeping schedule accordingly.”  I also want to add that given my previous experience in Boston due to adverse weather I will have a contingency plan in place. Esufally has already completed marathons in the continents of Australia (Melbourne Marathon in 2014 and 2016), Europe (Stockholm Marathon in June 2017), Asia (Colombo Marathon in October 2017) and North America (Boston Marathon in April 2018).   In August, he will be in South America where he will participate in the INCA Trail Marathon. Finally, in December this year, he will compete in the 14th Antarctic Ice Marathon in Antarctica. (Mon 18) ⚡AMP
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Boston Marathon Champion Yuki Kawauchi will be facing Mo farah and Gallen Rupp at Chicago Marathon men elite field

The Bank of America Chicago Marathon announced today that reigning Boston Marathon champion and “citizen runner” Yuki Kawauchi and 2016 Olympian and Nike Oregon Project runner Suguru Osako will join the elite competition as they both seek to become the first Chicago Marathon champion from Japan since Toshihiko Seko took the crown in 1986. "I'm really happy to have the chance to race in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon and the Abbott World Marathon Majors," Kawauchi said. "I'm looking forward to running the same race where Toshinari Takaoka set the former national record and so many other great Japanese athletes have run well. My results in the other American Abbott World Marathon Majors races, Boston and New York, were pretty good, and I'll do everything I can to line up in Chicago ready to produce good results there too." “Yuki and Suguru are exciting additions to our elite field,” said Executive Race Director of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon Carey Pinkowski. “Yuki has taken an unconventional path to marathon stardom; there’s no other elite runner competing today like him. And Suguru is young in his marathon career with a real chance at breaking the Japanese national record in Chicago.” Before becoming the 2018 Boston Marathon champion amidst freezing temperatures and pouring rain where he said, “for me, these are the best conditions possible,” Kawauchi gained global renown for his prolific racing schedule. He holds the record for the most marathons run under 2:20 (79), he boasts a PR of 2:08:14, he has won more than 30 career marathons and he finished 12 marathons in 2017 alone. He has raced more than 20 times in 2018, including running the Kuki Half Marathon dressed in a panda suit and setting a course record at the Yatsugatake Nobeyama 71K ultramarathon in May. He won there by 30 minutes.   (Mon 18) ⚡AMP
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Visibility is the first step in staying safe when you go out for a run alongside traffic

If you are a runner, you understand there are risks when running alongside traffic. It can be challenging for a driver to see a pedestrian because of the way the brain and the eyes relay messages to one another. A human takes up a smaller portion of the visual field, so it might take a double take for the driver to perceive that it is an individual. You can do some extra things to make yourself more visible when you are running alongside traffic. 1.-Dress in Bright Colors, When you are going out for a run, be careful about what you wear. Some colors will blend in with the landscape. Fluorescent colors will help you stand out. 2.- Obey Traffic Laws, Traffic laws were enacted for a reason. They are designed to keep people safe. Be familiar with the traffic laws and adhere to them to help reduce the chance of an accident. 3.- Reflective Clothing, If you are running at night, you better take extra precautions. This means, you need to be decked out with reflectors. Wear a reflective safety vest, put reflective tape across your chest and back and even along your legs. 4.- Carry a Flashlight, A flashlight is also important. If you are out before dawn or after dusk, carry a flashlight. 5.- Run Toward Traffic, Pedestrians are supposed to walk facing traffic. The same goes for runners. When you are running toward traffic, you will be able to see the cars and where they are headed. 6.- Run in Areas That are Well Lit, If you are running at night, you want to make sure you are running in areas that are well lit. "Always put your safety first. Remember, visibility is the first step in staying safe when you go out for a run. Make sure you take every step you possibly can to ensure your safety and to make sure you stand out, so drivers will notice you." (Mon 18) ⚡AMP
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Clémence Calvin breaks course records at Langueux 10km

It was Calvin who produced the day’s most unexpected performance as the 28-year-old became the first French winner of this race since Christelle Daunay in 2012, breaking the national 10km record in the process, clocking 31:20. The lead pack went through the first kilometre in 3:06. Calvin was already at the front and maintained a quick rhythm. She looked strong and promptly forged a small gap over the rest of the field. She passed the five-kilometre mark in 15:45, ten metres ahead of the lead quartet notably composed of defending champion Birhane Mirhetu, 2016 winner Meskerem Amare and Susan Kipsang Jeptoo, who finished third at last year’s edition. Then, Calvin managed to up the tempo, and the gap continued to grow over her opponents. Cheered by an appreciative crowd in the western French city, the Frenchwoman crossed the line 21st clocking 31:20, smashing the national record by 18 seconds. The previous mark was set by Nadia Prasad in 1994 when Calvin was four years old. She also knocked one second from Gladys Yator’s 31:39 course record and 40 from her previous personal best set in October 2015. “When I saw 15:45 at halfway, I had to get the French record,” said Calvin, who covered the second half in 15:35 to land in the No. 7 position on this year’s world list. “It’s an old record that I wanted to beat more than anything. I almost got tears in my eyes and I’m very proud of myself.” (Mon 18) ⚡AMP
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Ultra Marathon great Don Ritchie has died at age 73

During a long and successful running career Don Ritchie broke numerous world bests over distances from 50km to 200km and in races ranging from six to 24 hours. Born in Aberdeenshire in 1944, Ritchie started out as a 440 yards runner with Aberdeen Amateur Athletic Club in 1962 – the beginning of what would turn into a 48-year running career, alongside a career as a teacher. He later ran for Birchfield Harriers and then Forres Harriers and Moray Road Runners. It was in 1977, aged 33, that Ritchie – whose marathon PB was 2:19:34 – discovered his strength for ultra-distance running. In 1978 at Crystal Palace, Ritchie covered 100km in an incredible 6 hours, 10 minutes and 20 seconds. In 1989 he ran from John O’Groats to Land’s End – 844 miles – in 10 days, 15 hours and 25 minutes, raising money for Cancer Research.   Past editor of Road Runners Club Magazine, Dave Cooper, said: “The quiet man from Elgin has been a great ambassador for the sport for many years and his superb array of world record performances and steely determination on road and track is in sharp contrast to his modest self-effacing demeanour.   (Sun 17) ⚡AMP
by Athletics Weekly
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Despite being visually impaired she is not letting her disability stop her from running a marathon.

Terri Rupp (photo center)  trains four days a week for the Las Vegas Rock and Roll marathon in November. She knows it's going to be an uphill climb. "I can't see detail. I don't see well enough to drive. I don't see well enough to read or recognize faces." Terri has optic nerve atrophy. She is mostly blind and there's a possibility she'll completely lose her sight. Since she was diagnosed at 8-years-old, she says she's struggled with self-worth. "I felt like because I can't see well enough. I wasn't good enough." Then her daughter was also diagnosed with optic nerve atrophy. But she remained strong and positive. "I knew that she was going to be okay because I'd already gone through it. Now, Terri is the president of the National Federation of the Blind Nevada. She teaches braille at the Blind Center, blogs during her free time, and is part of Achilles Las Vegas -- a non profit providing training and support for athletes with disabilities. (Sun 17) ⚡AMP
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You can always count on self motivation to make you stronger. Be your own hero!”

Some days are harder than others. Injuries can bring you down, and staying focused can be difficult. Learning not to depend on or compare yourself to others is crucial. While some friends may only be there for the good times. You can always count on self motivation to make you stronger. Be your own hero!”  (Editor's note: Here are some highlights of Grace's running career - Former 3,000m Steeplechase American Record holder (World Record-Pre-recognition). USA Olympic Trials 1996 & 2016, Masters World Record 4x800 relay. USA Masters National Champion Cross Country 2016. National Masters champion in 1,500m, 2,000m Steeplechase, and 5,000m.) (Sun 17) ⚡AMP
by Grace Padilla Leong
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William Sichel is set to take on one of the world’s most exhausting and brutal races in the running world

William Sichel, from Orkney UK and eight other runners will at 6am local time, on Sunday June, 17, toe the startline of an event recognized as one of the most exhausting and brutal in the running world — the 3,100-mile Sri Chinmoy race in New York. Sichel, who became the oldest ever finisher of the event in 2014, is anticipating being pushed to his breaking point once more, in his bid to complete 5,649 laps of the half-a-mile circuit in Queens inside the 52-day time limit. The 22nd annual event is set to finish on Tuesday, August 7, with competitors clocking up the miles between 6am and 12 midnight each day. He believed the support of the Orkney public could be key in crossing the finishing line, with the runner set to take to social media for encouragement throughout his time in New York. Since I did it four years ago, engagement through social media has become even more important. (Sat 16) ⚡AMP
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Kellyn Taylor sets women's record at Grandma's Marathon breaking her PR by over four minutes

Just 61 days after dropping out of the Boston Marathon, Kellyn Taylor of Flagstaff, Ariz., found the 42nd Grandma's Marathon much more to her liking, crushing the Grandma's women's record by more than two minutes — winning in 2 hours, 24 minutes, 29 seconds. This was a PR by four minutes.  American women Marathon Runners are on fire.  In the men’s race, Kenya's Elisha Barno became the first runner in the 42 years of Grandma's Marathon to win four straight men's titles. Taylor, 31, a U.S. Olympic marathon hopeful for the 2020 Summer Games, really didn't have any competition over the 26.2 miles from south of Two Harbors to Duluth's Canal Park. Kellyn earned $20,000 from a $100,000 prize money purse. Askale Merachi, 31, of Ethiopia was second for a second straight year, in a personal-best 2:30:18. Serkalem Abrha, 31, of Ethiopia was third in 2:33:44. Kenyan Sarah Kiptoo set the Grandma's women's course mark of 2:26:32 in 2013. Until Saturday, East African women had won eight straight titles.  (Sat 16) ⚡AMP
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The strongest field in it’s eight year history is set for the 2018 B.A.A. 10K June 24

The 2018 B.A.A. 10K will feature one of the strongest fields in its eight-year history, bringing together Boston Marathon champions, Olympians, and global medalists on the roads of Boston. The race will be held on Sunday, June 24, at 8:00 a.m., starting and finishing on Charles Street adjacent to Boston Common. The event will showcase Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood, as nearly ten thousand participants compete on one of the fastest courses in the world.  2018 Boston Marathon champion,Drs Linden Des Linden returns to the roads of Boston for her B.A.A. 10K debut. Linden became the first American woman since 1985 to win the open division at the Boston Marathon. A two-time Olympian, Linden will look to become the first woman to win both the Boston Marathon and the B.A.A. 10K in the same year since 2011.   In addition to Linden, fellow Boston Marathon champions Meb Keflezighi, Buzunesh Deba, and Caroline Rotich will also be running, as will this year’s Boston Marathon Masters winner Abdi Abdirahman. Deba is the Boston Marathon course record holder, having run 2:19:59 in 2014. Now retired from elite racing, Keflezighi will run among the masses.  Other familiar faces set to compete are defending B.A.A. 10K champions Joan Chelimo and Daniel Chebii, as well as past winners Stephen Sambu, Daniel Salel, Mamitu Daska, and Mary Wacera. Chelimo and Chebii earned resounding victories a year ago, finishing in 31:24 and 27:58; with a win this year, Chebii could become the first runner in race history to earn three titles.  Two-time B.A.A. 5K winner Buze Diriba will aim for her first B.A.A. 10K crown and look to improve upon her third-place finish at last year’s race. Olympic silver medalist Sally Kipyego, NCAA champion Betsy Saina, and road racing ace Lineth Chepkurui are all also entered. On the men’s side, last year’s third place finisher Teshome Mekonen returns to Boston. (Fri 15) ⚡AMP
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Pacers are being added back to the Chicago Marathon to help get faster times

The Bank of America Chicago Marathon will reintroduce pacers into this year’s elite races after breaking from the tradition for the past few years. (Photo - pacers at the 20k mark at the 2014 Chicago Marathon.) Chicago Marathon director Carey Pinkowski and event organisers decided to transition back to pacers to leverage the speed of the course, to work towards setting up ideal conditions for the top tier elite athletes confirmed so far, and to respond to feedback received from runners. “The championship style of racing that spectators enjoy will continue as the race enters its final miles,” Pinkowski said. “The epic 2010 duel between the late Wanjiru and Tsegaye Kebede, arguably one of the greatest finishes in marathon history, underscores the importance of the tactics that still exist and flourish in paced races.”  Mo Farah and Galen Rupp will be battling it out at this year’s Marathon.   (Fri 15) ⚡AMP
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Top-class women’s field at the Gold Coast Marathon

The race could create history for runners from Kenya and Australia, Agness Barsosio and Ruth Chebitok will be striving to become the first Kenyan woman to win the Gold Coast Marathon in its 40-year history. Meanwhile Australian podium hopes rest with Jessica Trengove and Celia Sullohern, both eager to claim a slice of a special incentive offered by organisers for the 40th edition event. Trengove, the 30-year-old from South Australia, produced a gutsy bronze medal finish in the women’s marathon in warm April conditions. Last year, Trengove set a PB of 2:27:01 in the London Marathon and then recorded a third placing in the ASICS Half Marathon, her fourth podium in that event on the Gold Coast. Japan has produced 14 winners of the Gold Coast Marathon women’s race and will be well represented once again with five of the top 10 seeds. Ayaka Fujimoto is a young distance running talent on the rise with the 20-year-old setting a PB of 2:27:08when fourth in last year’s prestigious Tokyo Marathon. Miharu Shimokado is the other runner in the field who has a sub 2:30 marathon. The 28-year-old clocked a PB of 2:27:54 for sixth in last year’s Nagoya Women’s Marathon. A number of highly credentialed runners from the USA will make their way to the Gold Coast for the 40thedition event, with Sabina Piras (PB 2:43:23) and Krystalanne Curwood (PB 2:45:04) entered for the women’s marathon aiming for top 10. (Fri 15) ⚡AMP
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Kenyan Sarah Kiptoo the favorite at Grandma’s Marathon

The favorite in Saturday’s Grandma’s Marathon women’s race, two-time Grandma’s champion is Sarah Kiptoo, of Kenya, missed last year’s Grandma’s Marathon because of a bout with malaria. She spent two weeks in the hospital. “Malaria is normal in Kenya,” Kiptoo said. “It’s part of life.” Kiptoo trains out of Santa Fe, N.M., when she is in the United States. She raced the Los Angeles Marathon in March 2017 but didn’t finish, dropping out after 20 kilometers. “I was already not feeling good,” she said. “Then after that, I go home.” Kiptoo, 28, didn’t race again until August. She said her time off made her appreciate just how much she loves the sport. “I went almost two months not running,” she said. “It was too painful to see other people running and think, ‘Oh, I can’t do this.’ But now, I’m ready.” (Fri 15) ⚡AMP
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Ethiopia’s Birhane Mihretu will be looking to claim a second victory at the Corrida de Langueux

Mirhetu won in the western French city last year in 32:31. She has raced sparingly this year, but showed promising form at the Warsaw Half Marathon where she finished second in 1:10:26. Compatriot Meskerem Amare, the winner in Langueux in 2016, will also be on the start line on Saturday, but recent half marathon performances of 1:13:25 and 1:14:34 suggest she might not be at her best. Kenya’s Gloria Kite will be a strong contender. The teenager ran 31:41.47 for 10,000m earlier this month, followed three days later by a 3000m PB of 8:39.07. Other athletes who could challenge for a podium place include Paris-Versailles winner Chaltu Dida, 32:20 performer Gete Alemayehu, last year’s third-place finisher Susan Jeptoo of Kenya and her compatriot Mercyline Jerono, who has a PB of 32:46. France’s Sophie Duarte and Clémence Calvin could also be in contention. Duarte, the 2013 European cross-country champion, holds a PB of 31:53, while Calvin finished 28th at the recent IAAF World Half Marathon Championships Valencia 2018. The course record of 31:39 was set in 2015 by Kenya’s Gladys Yator. (Fri 15) ⚡AMP
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Marathon runners have less arthritis than non-runners

A new study comes to the somewhat counterintuitive conclusion that marathon runners have less arthritis than non-runners. Most people would assume serious runners face a high risk for arthritis of the hip and knees. Yet prior research has generally failed to uncover such a connection. The most recent study, published in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, actually found that veteran American marathoners had only half as much arthritis as non-runners. According to alarming new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, arthritis now represents a $300 billion annual burden. Researchers from the orthopedic department at Philadelphia's Thomas Jefferson University compared arthritis rates between 430 U.S. marathoners and a matched sample of non-runners in the National Center for Health Statistics database. The marathoners (average age 46, and 51 percent women) had been running for an average of 19 years, logging 35 miles a week, and finishing 48 marathons. Despite this, they had an arthritis prevalence of 8.8 percent vs. 17.9 percent for non-runners. Aging past 65 did increase the marathoners' arthritis rate - to 24.5 percent. But this was still roughly half the 49.6 percent of non-runners older than 65. "Running is not harmful to healthy hips and knees,"  "In fact, it promotes joint and general health." Those runners who do develop arthritis often get it after earlier injury or surgery, or from family genetics. orthopedist Danielle Ponzio says. (Thu 14) ⚡AMP
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Run The World Global Run Challenge is a 24,901 Mile Event circling the world

Run The World Global Run Challenge is a special running event celebrating running and inspiring people.   Our group will login enough miles to circle the world. We are starting July 4, 2018 and will finish once we have logged in 24,901 miles (40,074 kilometers).  We are doing this Run The World Global Run Challenge to show the world that running is important to us no matter where we live in the world. We are Runners and we are proud of it.   We run regularly, many of us daily, and we mostly do it for ourselves because it makes us a better person.  Some of us can only run a mile or so at this point while others can easily handle a marathon and beyond.  Running is magical.  It helps keep things in perspective.  Running helps smooth out the bumps. Running relieves stress and gives us fitness making our lives better.  Running is much more than putting one foot in front of the other.  Many of us run races to gauge our fitness level and to be around other people who love running as much as we do.  I am Bob Anderson and I am a lifetime runner. I started running February 19, 1962 and four years later started Runner's World magazine and published it for 18 years. We had 2.5 million monthly readers by 1985.  I am starting the Run The World Global Run Challenge to help inspire us.  I love to have more reasons to log in miles. This is pure running.  I hope you will join us. Just log in your training or racing miles. We have made it easy to log miles. Just set up an account on My Best Runs and log there starting July 4.  There is no cost to be part of our challenge.  People can join at any time along the way and log in miles.  Runners can sign up now and give an estimate on how many weekly miles they will post.  (Thu 14) ⚡AMP
by Bob Anderson
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Napa Valley Marathon has added a New Half Marathon Distance event

Half the distance, that’s a new option for runners flocking to Napa on March 3, 2019, for the 41st Kaiser Permanente Napa Valley Marathon and new this year Half Marathon. Registration opened on June 13, 2018. The 13.1-mile race will start on the Silverado Trail at Conn Creek Winery, which is the halfway point of the 26.2-mile route. The half marathon takes off at 7 a.m. and the marathon starts at 7:30 a.m. All finishers end up at Vintage High School. “With the half marathon also comes a host of updates, including a new logo, website, and exciting new partner in Conn Creek Winery,” said Michelle La Sala, Napa Valley Marathon race director and president of Blistering Pace Race Management. “We have been working hard to enhance the runner experience while maintaining our long-standing commitment to the runner.” Runners will enjoy not only the new half-marathon option, but also the same long-time perks that the Napa Valley Marathon is known for—participant shirt, bag, medal, a boutique expo with free wine and beer tasting, VIP guest speakers, and tasty cooking demonstrations. The Napa Valley Marathon has garnered a loyal following on a beautiful point-to-point course through the nation’s most scenic wine country. It’s indeed an inspiring setting and has become known as the “biggest little marathon in the West,” and attracts the legends like Joan Benoit Samuelson. (Thu 14) ⚡AMP
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Mo Farah will run the 2018 Chicago Marathon, and will be facing Galen Rupp

Four-time Olympic gold medalist Mo Farah will run the 2018 Chicago Marathon, race organizers announced Thursday. The Chicago Marathon will be only Farrah's third marathon. Farah is a six-time world champion and five-time European champion. In 2012, he became the first British athlete to win an Olympic gold medal in the 10,000 meters and the second athlete in history to earn consecutive gold medals in the 5000 meters and 10,000 meters competing in the 2012 and 2016 Olympics. The field in this year's October race also includes defending champion Galen Rupp, who used to train with Farah. Farah finished eighth in the London Marathon in 2014, clocking 2 hours, 8 minutes and 21 seconds. In 2016, he finished third in London with a national record time of 2:06:21. “Mo and Galen are two of the greatest distance runners of all time,” Chicago Marathon director Carey Pinkowski said in a statement. (Thu 14) ⚡AMP
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Francois d’Haene, is a favorite at Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run

Present on the Ultra Trail World Tour World Tour since 2014, this ultra-marathon of 161 kilometers and 6,000 vertical meters is one of the main ultrarunning events of the season. The Western States Endurance Run qualifies for the UTWT. But who will win this event?. On the 2018 edition, the names known and recognized will not fail. As favorite François D'Haene  from France 32 years old and Second participation for French on the ultra Californian marathon and he is appearing as the main favorite. In fact, his track record speaks for him: 3 victories on the Ultra-Trail of Mont Blanc, 2 on the Grand Raid and other very prestigious on the Ultra Trail of Mount Fuji, Hong Kong 100 or Madeira Island Ultra Trail. (Thu 14) ⚡AMP
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Marathon gold medallist Naoko Takahashi says Tokyo 2020 marathon will be tough

Naoko Takahashi, a former Japanese marathon runner who won gold in Sydney in 2000, said the climb would likely be a "decisive factor" in the race and should result in a dramatic finish. "The course is flat until 37 kilometres but there are two large hills from 37 kilometres to just before 40 kilometres," Takahashi said. "I guess it is likely to be a dramatic race in which no one can predict the results until the bitter end."  The race will take in some of the Japanese capital's iconic landmarks, including the Tokyo Tower and the Imperial Palace. “It is really exciting to imagine just two years from now the side streets along the Tokyo 2020 marathon and race walk route filled with countless fans,” said Takahashi, whose gold-medal winning feat was matched by compatriot Mizuki Noguchi four years later in Athens. “I look forward to seeing some great performances from the runners, who will be encouraged by those fans lining the route. They will be memorable races.” "The heat is the biggest issue in the entire Tokyo Olympics," she said. "I hope athletes will prepare well for it."  (Wed 13) ⚡AMP
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Ethiopian and record holder Shewarge Amare will be running Mount Washington Road Race after 8 years

Shewarge Amare of Ethiopia, who in 2010 smashed the women’s course record in her first, and until now only appearance in the race, plans to return to the historic Race this month to try to repeat her performance of eight years ago, Meanwhile, Joseph Gray, who has won the men’s race each of the past four years, will miss Mt. Washington this year, as he is preparing to compete instead as part of the U.S. team at the 15th WMRA Long Distance Mountain Running Championships on June 24, in Karpacz, Poland.   After an eight-year absence, Amare’s appearance turns what would have been a likely duel between defending champion Shannon Payne and four-time winner Kim Dobson into a three-way battle in this race to the summit of the highest peak in the northeastern U.S. Dobson of Eagle, Colo., holds the second-fastest time ever recorded in the women’s race — one hour, 9 minutes, 25 seconds — and is the only woman to break 1:10 twice on the extremely steep 7.6-mile course. Payne of Franktown, Colo., won Mt. Washington in 2014, in 1:10:12. Absent in 2015 and 2016, she returned last year and won in 1:11:21. (Wed 13) ⚡AMP
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Shane Keating could have been paralyzed but runs the Grandma's Marathon to remind him that he got a 2nd chance

When Shane Keating will run past St. Luke's hospital in downtown Duluth during this weekend Grandma's Marathon it will remind him that he was given a second chance.  It was there where he had spinal fusion surgery after breaking his back in a 2005 sledding accident. Keating, who could have been paralyzed, runs Grandmas to remind himself that he’s been given a second chance. He will pass this spot about 24 miles into the Marathon.  36-year-old, Keating  from Foley, Minn ought to be less than 25 minutes from the finish line. Regardless of the pain inundating his quads and calves, Keating will be flooded with gratitude as he approaches St. Luke's at 10th Avenue East. It was there, 13 years earlier, that the then-St. Scholastica senior underwent spinal-fusion surgery. Keating should be paralyzed from the waist down, his only involvement in a Grandma's race requiring a wheelchair.  The neurosurgeon told Keating's parents, in January 2005, "Looking at this X-ray, I cannot explain to you why your son can walk. There is no reason he isn't paralyzed. If you believe in miracles, this is one. If you believe in blind luck, your son just hit the Powerball." (Wed 13) ⚡AMP
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Simon Ong was a couch potato weighing 230 pounds, on sunday he finished 8th at Seattle Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon

Seven years ago, Simon Ong of Calgary weighed 230 pounds (he’s 5’8″) and was pre-diabetic, with high blood pressure and chest pain from a steady diet of fast food and no exercise. On Sunday, Ong was the fastest Canadian finishing eighth overall at the Seattle Rock ‘n’ Roll Half-Marathon, setting himself a new PB and qualifying for the TCS New York City Marathon, with a time of 1:18:11. Ong, 29, a surgical nurse at Southern Alberta Eye Centre, wanted to do something about his lifestyle and his health, back in 2011. But he couldn’t run any distance without becoming winded, and even fell off the treadmill more than once when he tried to run. So he started cycling and swimming in order to improve his fitness enough to be able to run. “I had no athletic background whatsoever,” says Ong. “It took me two years to lose enough weight to be able to run a race.” His younger brother Raymond, a pharmacy technician, joined him in the effort to get healthy. It’s one thing to get off the couch and adopt a healthy lifestyle, but nobody realized there was a fast runner lurking inside that unhealthy exterior, least of all Ong himself.  (Wed 13) ⚡AMP
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Boston Marathon director remembers his 3,452 mile run across America in 1978

Forty years ago, June 11, 1978, I (photo lower left) started off on my 80-day, 3,452 mile run from Medford, OR to Medford, MA.  For the first month, I averaged about 43 miles a day and then upped it to over 50 miles a day as I miscalculated the distance using AAA maps and a ruler!  Geez, now I am lucky if I can do just one of those days!  Every breath seems like a cliff hanger!  Guess I should just be happy I’m still waking up every morning.  I always thought it would have been more exciting for all of us to be born, go to age 50, then turn around and go back to age zero again – then you get to do every year of your life over again…a second chance at every age instead of just getting older and older!!  My crew for my 80-day adventure of Danny Carey, Jeff Donahue, Tom Kinder and Kent Hawley were life savers.  At the end of every day, I wrote a postcard and mailed it back to some friends at the Boston YMCA.  Each card had the date, day on the road, weather and temperature, miles I ran and location I finished for the day, along with a brief message.   No computers, no cell phones, no emails, no texting, no GPS, back in those days.   One post card read,  “Started about 1:10pm from Medford, Oregon.  The Mayor and a few guys from the area track club ran with me for a while.  Only expected to do 20 miles today – very, very hilly and mountainous!  Over 5,000 ft. in elevation.  Stayed at a campsite for the night.  80 degrees and sunny,”  I wrote.   Ran 30-miles that day and finished in Tub Springs, Rt. 66, Oregon, my shortest day because I started in the afternoon.   I only had 3,422 more miles to go!  What was I thinking??   I was 23-years-old and very naïve.  That’s what probably got me through all this. (Tue 12) ⚡AMP
by Dave McGillivray
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Jarrow Wahman is looking to finish his 21st Grandma's Marathon

Jarrow Wahman of Duluth, Minn is among the more than 8,200 running this weekend. The 42nd Grandma's Marathon is Saturday June 16 and if things go his way, the co-owner of the Austin-Jarrow shoe store will have completed half of them. His only non-finish was in 1989 from soreness after a busy spring of racing hard. "I didn't make it very far and I can't believe I dropped out of grandmas marathon - the circumstances were pretty bad," says Wahman. He's doing good these days. While down from the 80-100 miles per week he'd run in his 30's, he's still putting in 30-40 miles per week in his 50's. "I'm not racing Grandma's anymore, but I'm trying to finish with honor every year. I am getting slower, but I still enjoy it and it is still a blast and seeing all the people and finishing is great," says Wahman. For Jarrow - there's passion in putting in the miles. "I like running marathons and I have run marathons all over the country and a few races out of the country," says Wahman. He's run roughly 45 marathons. "It is so great to hop out of bed and go to the starting line. It is really the only marathon I do anymore and it is just right down there," says Wahman. Most of his runs at Grandma's Marathon have been sub-three hours. In 1985, he set a personal record with a time of just under 2 hours and 25 minutes, placing 27th overall. So, what is this year's goal? "Two years ago, my time was 3:20 and last year it was 3:06, so I'm hoping for somewhere in between," says Wahman.  No matter his time, in between is where he'll be with a 21st finish in the 42nd Grandma's Marathon.  Bill Austin and Jarrow Wahman opened Duluth's first running store in 1984. (Tue 12) ⚡AMP
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Running on sand can improve your performance

Regular running on sand can change your performance for the better. 1.- Sand running improves balance and coordination, "Sand moves when you land on it, and this tests your balance and coordination skills. Your body has to make lots of last-minute adjustments to the position of your feet, angle of ankles, legs and hips to keep you moving forwards effectively." 2.- It tests your proprioception, "Running on surfaces that constantly undulate really tests your awareness of your body in space and hones your skills in exactly where to place your feet for every step." 3.- Sand challenges your body in new ways. "Sand absorbs the energy from your stride, so you have to put more effort into your running. On a harder surface, lots of different structures in your legs act like elastic bands, absorbing energy as you land, then springing you forwards." 4.- It’s good for your legs "Sand is soft underfoot, meaning lower-impact forces are travelling up your legs when you land each foot on the ground. Instead of pushing your landing weight straight back up your legs, the sand dissipates this energy. This puts lower loads on your joints and bones and can be a great way of mixing up your training with sessions that are lower-impact." Running on lots of different surfaces, including sand, will make you a stronger and more resilient runner.   (Tue 12) ⚡AMP
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Doctor from Haiti set to run Grandma's Half Marathon for his 400 diabetic patients

Grandma's Marathon hosts runners from all over the world. This year, one doctor from Haiti will go the distance for the sake of his patients who mean the world to him. Dr. Emmanuel "Manno" Mareus cares for 400 diabetic patients in Limbe, Haiti. One hundred of them are insulin dependent. Dr. Manno said, "in Haiti if you live in the country side area, being a diabetic is a death sentence." He says insulin treatments costs 50 dollars a month. For most of his patients who only make a dollar a day, that means staying alive is not affordable. Dr. Manno, though, doesn't put a price tag on life. "It's a big family," he said. "They're the reason why I wake up every morning. They give my life a sense." He's taking his practice outside of the clinic and running 13.1 miles in his patients' shoes.  "Last year when I was here, I heard about this race and I said I'd like to do it to raise money for the diabetic patients that cannot afford insulin." Dr. Manno has been training for Grandma's Half Marathon for over a year. "All I want is to be able to get more insulin and not be able to say to patients we don't have insulin," he said. "That's the worst experience for me when we run out and don't have money to buy it." Dr. Manno will not turn patients away even if they cannot afford his care. It's what he calls 'agape care.' (Tue 12) ⚡AMP
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NY Marathon Director Peter Ciaccia to Receive Leadership Award

Peter Ciaccia, President, Events for New York Road Runners and Race Director of the TCS New York City Marathon will be presented with the Distinguished Leadership in Safety and Security Award during the 2018 National Sports Safety and Security Conference & Exhibition on July 9-12 in Louisville, KY. The Distinguished Leadership Award recognizes a professional in the field whose career includes multiple achievements and contributions with respect to sport safety and security. To warrant this prestigious honor, the recipient’s service, commitment, ingenuity and integrity must have elevated the profession to new levels. For 18 years, Ciaccia has worked for New York Road Runners (NYRR), which manages and produces the TCS New York City Marathon, the largest marathon in the world. Ciaccia’s vision was to develop a best-in-class event management system incorporating the best principles of Incident Command System (ICS), crisis management, crisis communications and business continuity. Using technology to create “air-traffic control” to track all runners on and off the course was an integral part of event planning. Over the past decade, he has committed significant resources to this effort and has created a nimble reactive system that has allowed NYRR to respond quickly to significant events affecting their races including adverse weather, bird flu, 5-alarm fires on the marathon course, multiple simultaneous system failures, race cancellations, suspicious packages, etc. (Tue 12) ⚡AMP
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47-year-old Chris Lundy wins the Dipsea Race for the second time in a row

For the second year in a row, Chris Lundy, a 47-year-old San Francisco veterinarian from Sausalito, outlasted 32-year-old Alex Varner of San Rafael and his record-tieing performance to win the 108th Dipsea race in Stinson Beach, California June 10.  “But this one was more enjoyable,” said a smiling Lundy, who suffered a torn left knee ligament near the finish last year. “At least I saw her this time,” said Varner, who finished 15 seconds behind Lundy in Stinson Beach after starting 10 minutes behind her at the start in Mill Valley. “I ran 1:40 faster this year and I still couldn’t beat her.” Lundy, with an 11-minute head start, posted an actual time of 58:37 – the fastest time of the day by a female in the 7.4 mile trail race -- to become the fourth woman to win back-to-back Dipseas. She also claimed her seventh “Female Best Time Award,” extending her Dipsea record. “I ran exactly what I wanted to run. It was dead-on,” said Lundy, who is completely recovered from left ACL surgery last June 30. “I was slow last year (1:01:09). I trained harder this year. I thought he (Varner) was going to win, but you never know how everyone is going to race.” Varner, a Research Director for Main Management in San Francisco, had a one-minute head start in the time-handicapped race where the 1,500 entrants receive head starts based on age and gender. Varner’s actual clock time of 48:52 earned him the Best Time Trophy for the eighth time in the race, tieing Mike McManus’ 18-year-old Dipsea record. “That’s been in my sights for a while,” Varner said.  For Varner, arguably the best runner to never have won the Dipsea, it was his 15th attempt at winning the historic trail race, the second oldest footrace in the country behind the Boston Marathon.  (Mon 11) ⚡AMP
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Xolani Luvuno finishes the Comrades Marathon and says running has turned his life around after losing one leg

Xolani Luvuno, was five hours into the race when the rest of the field started at 5:30 a.m. He had been granted additional time because after an injury his right leg was amputated, according to News 24, an African news outlet. Race organizers granted him the additional time on the course, but said he would not be an official participant of the race because it would take longer than the 12-hour cutoff time. He says that the marathon required a lot of training.  “It helped me to turn my life around because I used to be an alcoholic, going to parties.  Instead of partying anymore, I focus on my running.” He had this to say at the finish line: “I wanted to make sure that I finish before cut-off time and my coach said to me don’t rush because the Comrades Marathon is not 42km, it’s a big race. I want to say thank you to the supporters who cheered for me on the route, as well as the director of the Comrades Marathon for giving me this chance.” But just like he had overcome a lot in his life just to make it to this race, Luvuno was there to overcome the course. He did just that when he crossed the line in 15 hours, 50 minutes.  (Mon 11) ⚡AMP
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Grandma's Marathon has surpassed one million dollars in charity contributions

As of June 1st, the year-round charity organization of Grandma’s Marathon, the Young Athletes Foundation (YAF), has surpassed one million dollars in contributions to area nonprofit organizations that are focused on youth fitness. The main focus of the organization is to promote the growth of young athletes in the region. Through this arm of Grandma’s Marathon, the foundation helps community members and businesses that inspire kids to be healthy and provide access to athletic opportunities for those who may not be able to participate otherwise. The Young Athletes Foundation does this in a few different ways. The first community initiative of the YAF is the ? Grant Program?. It started in 1990 with the goal of providing money to nonprofit organizations in Lake, Cook, Carlton, Douglas, and St. Louis Counties that strive to provide children with opportunities to participate in recreational activities. In addition, the Young Athletes Foundation awards a $1,200 scholarship annually to one male and one female UMD cross-country runner with roots in the YAF geographic boundaries. Altogether, the YAF has granted over $700,000 to area youth organizations.  (Mon 11) ⚡AMP
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Eliud Kipchoge seeking again to challenge the world record at Berlin Marathon

Eliud Kipchoge will race the Berlin Marathon for the fourth time on Sept. 16, seeking again to challenge the world record on the world’s fastest record-eligible course, according to event organizers. Kipchoge, a 33-year-old Kenyan Olympic champion, won Berlin in 2015 and 2017 and was second in 2013, his only defeat in 10 career marathons. Kipchoge’s personal best of 2:03:05, set at the 2016 London Marathon, is eight seconds shy of Dennis Kimetto‘s world record from the 2014 Berlin Marathon. Kipchoge’s two Berlin wins came in 2:04:00 in 2015 (with his soles flapping out from the back of his shoes) and 2:03:32 last year in rain and humidity. Fellow Kenyan Wilson Kipsang, who lowered the world record at the 2013 Berlin Marathon and has run four sub-2:04s, is also in the Berlin field. As is Eritrean Zersenay Tadese, the half-marathon world-record holder whose marathon personal best is 2:10:41, though he ran 2:06:51 in Nike’s sub-two-hour marathon attempt not run under record-eligible conditions where Kipchoge famously clocked 2:00:25 last year. (Mon 11) ⚡AMP
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Frenchman Michel Jazy set the World Record for the Mile 53 years ago clocking 3:53.6

DID YOU KNOW: 53 years ago, on Jun 9, 1965 – Frenchman Michael Jazy runs World Record mile in 3:53.6.  He won the 1,500 meters silver medal at the 1960 Summer Olympics, as well as two golds (in 1962 and 1966) and one silver (in 1966) at the European Championships. He set nine world records: in the mile (once), 2,000 meters (twice), 3,000 meters (twice), the two miles (twice) and the 4×1500 metres relay (twice).  Jazy was born into a poor coal-mining family from Poland. His grandfather, together with his wife and their daughter, emigrated from Poland to France after World War I. Michel's father was a coal miner, Michel's mother worked in a brewery in Lille. Michel was raised by his grandmother during much of his childhood. He was 12 years old when his father died.  When Michel was 14 years old, he, his mother and his older sister settled in Paris.  Michel was passionate about soccer when he was a schoolboy.  He would spend hours daily playing soccer.  He left school at the age of 14 and became a uniformed doorman and elevator operator at a bridge club near the Arc de Triomphe. At 16 he became an apprenticein a neighborhood printshop. Jazy won his first French national championship title in 1953 – the 1000 m race at the youth level.  Just 12 years later he sets his world record in the mile.  (Sun 10) ⚡AMP
by Gary Cohen
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South African Runners take Top spots at the Comrades Ultra Marathon

South Africa completed a clean sweep at the Comrades Marathon on Sunday as Bongmusa Mthembu and Ann Ashworth ensured that the coveted titles remained in South Africa. It was a South Africa 1-2 in the two categories with Joseph Mphuthi and Gerda Steyn‚ clinching the runners-up spots. In achieving his feat‚ Mthembu completed a hat-trick of victories (after he won in 2014 and 2017) and in the process became only the second man to do it since Bruce Fordyce won the popular ultra-marathon back to back in 1988. The Arthur Ford runner waded off a strong challenge from Marko Mambo of Zimbabwe‚ who had set the pace for the better part in the second half of the 90km down run. Mthembu made his breakthrough at Cowies Hill‚ some 18km from the finish at the Moses Mabhida Stadium. At this point‚ it was left for the rest of the pack that also had a significant South African presence to jostle for the remaining top ten slots. (Sun 10) ⚡AMP
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Risper wins for the sixth time at Bellin Run, Brendan Gregg wins men’s race while Meb finishes second

The last of the 12,050 Bellin Run, in Green Bay Wisconsin, entrants had barely crossed the South Webster Avenue starting line Saturday morning when Brendan Gregg arrived at the finish.  Gregg finished the 42nd annual 10-kilometer race through Green Bay and Allouez in an impressive 29 minutes, 52 seconds. Meb Keflezighi, the 2016 Bellin winner, finished second with a time of 31:06. Jared Ward, at 31:19, was third for the second straight year.  Meb who is officially retired from Marathon running showed everyone today that he is still in good form.  Kenya’s Risper Gesabwa won a record sixth women's elite division title, finishing in 33:24; 2017 champ Kaitlin Goodman — Gregg's sister — was second at 33:30. Dawn Grunnagle was third at 35:29. (Sun 10) ⚡AMP
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Last year's Comrades winner will defend his title on sunday at Comrades Marathon

Bongmusa Mthembu wants to prove he is South Africa’s current best ultra-distance runner.  He has finished among the top three on five occasions at Comrades, with four of those performances achieved on the ‘down’ run. The only South African since 1990 to secure victory more than once.  He was also a silver medallist at the 2016 100km World Championships, and he will be eager to stand up and deliver once again. Other contenders include powerful front-runner Rufus and in-form Zimbabwean athlete Hatiwande Nyamande. While Mthembu and Gatebe are considered the pre-race favorites, a number of other athletes could pull through to win this wide-open race. Title contenders include former winners Ludwick Mamabolo and Gift Kelehe, as well as Zimbabwean athlete Hatiwande Nyamande, who finished third in last year’s ‘up’ run.  On the women's side, last year’s American winner Camille Herron is not running.  (Sat 9) ⚡AMP
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