The 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo will deploy facial recognition technology to screen staff and athletes for the first time in Olympic history, the Kyodo news agency reported on Tuesday.
After collecting photographs of staff and athletes in a single database, organizers will issue ID cards enhanced with IC chips, which will help automatically identify those entering the venues.
The 2020 Tokyo Olympics
expect to employ anywhere from 300,000 to 400,000 personnel, and the use of these advanced technologies will help facilitate their movement. The use of face scanning technologies is supposed to prevent people using borrowed, stolen or counterfeit ID cards from entering Olympic venues. (Tue 27) ⚡AMP
Kenyans stole the show in the men's and women's races at the 13th edition of the PZU Warsaw Half Marathon on Sunday. It was a double victory for the African country as Ezrah Sang and Pauline Njeru won in 1:01:37 and 1:10:02 respectively. Sang, one of the pre-race favourites, attacked three kilometres from the finish to run away from Kassa Mekashaw of Ethiopia, with Hillary Maiyo, a regular on Polish roads, taking third place. Returning to Warsaw after four years, course record-holder Njeru became the first repeat winner of the women’s contest in the history of the race.
After having lost all her rivals just after the halfway point, she was never in danger of being caught. Birhan Mihretu and Marege Hayelom, both of Ethiopia, followed her home in second and third. (Tue 27) ⚡AMP
The Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon
, is a grueling, character building Ultra Marathon attempted by thousands of citizens, and amongst them, is South Africa’s mountain climbing champion Sibusiso Vilane who became the first black African to summit Everest twice and by two different routes...“When I line up at the start of the Two Oceans ultra-marathon, this will mark the beginning of multiple challenges I have set for myself this year. This will lead to my attempt to summit Mount Everest without supplemental oxygen in May. These events are personal ambitions but with a purpose. This year’s Two Oceans will be my fifth yet it will be the most purposeful because all my efforts of trying to finish the 56 gruelling kilometres of the race will be for the education of an African Girl Child”, says Vilane. (Tue 27) ⚡AMP
Keflezighi, a marathoner who came to symbolize resiliency and the Boston Strong spirit after the Marathon bombing, will be back in Hopkinton this April to run the Boston Marathon
again. He’ll be running “on a non-competitive basis” to raise money for the Martin Richard Foundation , named in honor of the youngest victim of the bombing, according to Team MR8. Keflezighi, the 2004 Olympic silver medalist in the marathon, ran and won Boston in 2014 in honor of the victims. An American man hadn’t won since 1983, and with the race only two weeks before his 39th birthday, he was the oldest winner since at least 1930. (Tue 27) ⚡AMP
On April 8, Ethiopian's Rahma Tusa, 24, will be targeting her third straight victory at the ACEA Rome Marathon
. Rahma has a 2:25:12 lifetime best, clocked 2:28:49 in 2016 and 2:27:21 last year. A third victory will equal the feat of her countrywoman Firehiwot Dado, who won in 2009, 2010 and 2011. She'll be facing Kenyans Sharon Cherop (2:22:28) and Angela Tanui (2:26:31), Ethiopian Afera Berha Godfay (2:28:46) and 19-year-old Bahraini Dalilah Abdulkadir Gosa, who'll be making her debut over the distance. The leading contenders in the men's race are Kenyan Jafred Chirchir Kipchuma (2:05:48 PR) and Ethiopian Girmay Birhanu (2:05:49). 14,100 runners have registered for the marathon which this year celebrates its 24th edition. Last year over 13,000 runners crossed the finish line, of whom 7,399 were Italian and 5,913 foreign. (Tue 27) ⚡AMP
Kenya’s Wilson Kipsang
won the 2018 Tokushima Marathon Mar. 25 that took place in the city of Tokushima, Japan. 12,400 people took part. Invited elite athlete Wilson Kipsang (Kenya), the 2012 London Olympics bronze medalist, won in 2:19:35. Local runner Takumi Matsumoto was 2nd. Kipsang's time was just over four minutes off the course record of 2:15:25 set by Yuki Kawauchi in 2014.
Kipsang is in the process of establishing a fund to support improvement of the living environment and education of children in his home country and is taking part in activities to support that end.
(Mon 26) ⚡AMP
(NZ) last training session (photo) in Kenya before traveling to New Orleans for the Crescent City Classic 10k this Saturday. He won last year running 27:55 (PR), 15 seconds ahead of Kenya's Edwin Rotich. Jake said today, "fast time would be nice but I'll have to wait and see what the day will bring." The weather can always be a factor racing in New Orleans...Jake has been getting in some tough workouts with the "boys" in Kenya: like 10 x 2 minutes @ 2:56-2:50km pace and then 10 x 30 seconds @ 2:45km pace. Other workouts he has posted include: 12x600m with 1 minute recovery (running them between 95 and 97 seconds). "Excited about my future," he posted. "Today is another opportunity to progress on my goals near and far." With all this speed work, is he ready to tackle Sammy Kipketer's course record of 27:10 set in 2002? That’s really fast! (Mon 26) ⚡AMP
Many runners find that the time alone allows them to think and problem solve. Taking a run-break from a stressful project can help you return feeling refreshed and insightful. A mounting body of research shows that meditation can boost your gray matter, improve focus, and fight depression and anxiety. "Running is not about running for me anymore," says Ben Michaelis Ph.D. "It's meditation. As I have matured as a runner, it allowed me to be present in the moment - fully aware of the here and now. I have learned to be in the zone, where all my activities were focused on maintaining presence in the present.
We all know that running has long been praised for its health benefits: it’s good for our cardiovascular health, general fitness, physical and mental resilience. It’s also one of the most natural forms of exercise for human beings. Because running has a centering effect, it is also meditation in it’s own right." (From Psychology Today)
(Mon 26) ⚡AMP
Amy Garber, 50 was chosen randomly by Sports Backer's to race the elite athletes in the Dash for Cash contest. She gets about a 2.5 mile head start at this year's Ukrop's Monument Avenue 10K race, presented by Kroger. If the mother of two crosses the finish line before they do during the April 14 race, she'll win $2500. Garber will be running the race for her sixth time, and has run the half marathon twice. Still, she said the idea of racing against the elite runners is a little overwhelming. "A little intimidating, I guess, the idea of being out there by myself trying to beat elite runners," she said. "I'm hoping for the best." She's not sure what she'll do with the cash if she wins but said she'll probably spend it on her kids. If another runner finishes first, the $2,500 will be donated to the VCU Massey Cancer Center, an official event charity. Amy finished the 10k in 58:41 last year. (Mon 26) ⚡AMP
After months of rigorous training, Filipino triathlete and cancer survivor Luisito "Louie" Sangalang II said he is now ready to place the country's flag at the North Pole as he joins the FWD North Pole Marathon
this April. During the send-off party for Sangalang last Thursday, March 22, in Taguig, he shared his experiences during his training with triathlon coach Ani De Leon-Brown and mountaineer Romy Garduce. The Filipino flag-bearer said he ran various local marathons to keep his body in shape. To prepare for the cold weather in the Arctic region, he trained inside an industrial freezer with a temperature of negative 30 degrees Centigrade, mimicking the temperature at the North Pole.
(Mon 26) ⚡AMP
If you thought Lungile Gongqa’s Old Mutual Two Oceans marathon
win last year would dull his hunger for gold, think again. “I trained more than I did last year, so I might run faster. I ran the Cape Peninsula Marathon on February 18 and my performance suggested I would do well at the Two Oceans,” said Gongqa at the Nedbank team’s sendoff in Johannesburg this week. “When I won the Two Oceans last year, I turned back in 2.22. I finished the Peninsula marathon in 2:21.58, which means I can clock another 2.22 at the halfway mark this year.” Despite the fact that all eyes were probably going to be on him, Gongqa said he felt no pressure to push himself. “I’ll run the way I want to. But first I want to make it to the top 10. Winning last year’s Two Oceans has changed my life and earned me the respect of my fellow athletes.” (Mon 26) ⚡AMP
The 33rd Annual Carlsbad 5000
was run under perfect weather conditions. In the Pro Women Race Emelia Gorecka from England was the overall winner posting 16:00. The next two were Americans: Alycia Cridebring (16:17) and Emily Myers (16:21). Emelia said "I was stoked for the blazing sun. Stoked for the epic crowds and stoked to take the W... Stoked is my new favourite word." She is training in Flagstaff...For the Pro men Kalle Berglund was the overall winner posting 14:15. Second from USA was Gebre Abadi (14:18) and third was Ole Hesselerg (14:24). In the Master's Race, Neville Davey was the overall winner in 15:20 and Nancy James-Klinger was the Master's women winner with 18:43. (These times are unofficial) (Sun 25) ⚡AMP
What do Shalane Flanagan, Molly Huddle, Jordan Hasay and Desiree Linden have in common? Besides being speed demons, they’re also members of the John Hancock Elite Athlete Team who are racing the 2018 Boston Marathon
–and, as of this morning, they’ve all shared curated running playlists with fans as part of their race-day buildup. The playlists are available for those interested in listening all the way through or matching music to specific paces or time spent running. Some also feature words of motivation from the athletes themselves. “In our 33 years sponsoring the Boston Marathon, we’ve never had the opportunity to offer this type of personal experience with our elite running team to so many,” said Barbara Goose, the chief marketing officer at John Hancock, (Sun 25) ⚡AMP
Ethiopia’s Meseret Legese and Kennedy Cheboror of Kenya took the women’s and men’s titles respectively at the Chongqing
International Marathon, an IAAF Gold Label road race on Sunday (25). The 30-year-old Legese led a four-woman leading group in the first 15 kilometres and enjoyed a comfortable sole lead in the final stages of the race after passing the 30-kilometre mark in 1:45:48, 35 kilometres in 2:03:29 and 40 kilometres in 2:21:22. Cheboror upset a quality field that included several sub-2:10 runners to achieve his first career win over 26.2 miles. His winning time of 2:13:41 is 3:20 shy of the personal best he set in Brescia 12 months ago, but today’s race was held in humid and foggy weather conditions.
(Sun 25) ⚡AMP
Japanese marathon runner Yuki Kawauchi
received a certificate from Guinness World Records in his hometown on Sunday recognizing him for completing the most number of marathons in under 2 hours and 20 minutes.
"I'm very happy but this is still a passing point," said Kawauchi, known as the "public servant runner," who has achieved 78 sub-2:20 marathons. "I'm now aiming to reach 100 (sub-2:20s) to be called the hard-bitten Kawauchi." Yuki, a 2:08 marathoner is known for his unconventional approach to elite distance running. Yesterday he ran a marathon in a Panda suit in his home town. This is not the first time he raced in costume. He ran the 2015 Japan’s Kuki Half Marathon in 1:06:42 while wearing a business suit.
Kawauchi is a hero to many in Japan because of his decision not to accept corporate sponsorship for his running. Instead, he works 40 hours per week. (Sun 25) ⚡AMP
Bibo Gaga, 39 finished the 2017 New York Marathon in 3 hours and 7 seconds, placing first for Chinese women. She also has competed in ultra-marathon races. She ran 127 miles in 24 hours at a race last year, breaking the course record. She was the women’s champion in five ultra-marathons last year and was the overall champion in two of them.
“Indiana is my lucky place, however....I look forward to making another achievement in the Carmel (Indiana) Marathon coming up at the end of March.”
Gao said mental and physical perseverance are the keys to distance running.
“In a marathon or ultra-marathon, there are always some moments we refuse to give up, but our body refuses to go on,” she said. “Sometimes I get chafing on the inner thighs, sometimes I found my stomach upset and began vomiting, sometimes I got a rolled ankle, sometimes I was under the risk of hypothermia. Blisters and black or missing toenails are something like a fashion statement and a badge of honor. I know it’s useless to complain at those moments. Give up on giving up and you will always find a way.” (Sat 24) ⚡AMP
Kenya’s Geoffrey Kamworor romped away over the final six kilometres to secure his third successive world title over the distance at the World Half Marathon today in Valencia, Spain.
A sluggish early pace as the wind started to pick up contributed to Kamworor not breaking the hour and having to be content with a finishing time of 1:00:02 but what will be remembered is the way that the Kenyan threw in a 13:01 split between 15 and 20km to rip apart a very classy field.
The first 5km were passed in a relatively leisurely 14:31 with Japan’s Kenta Murayama and Spain’s Ayad Lamdassem being the most prominent faces at the front of a huge pack of almost 70 runners...Down the finishing straight, Geoffrey beaming smile stretched broadly across his face and he started blowing kisses to the crowd. The one-hour mark just eluded Kamworor but no one was going to begrudge him his chance to celebrate what had been a tactically perfect race.
Cheroben took the silver medal in 1:00:22, Bahrain’s first individual medal in the history of the championships, as Kifel passed Yimer with 500 metres to go to take the bronze in a personal best of 1:00:31...Canada's Cameron Levins scores a PB with 1:02:15, one second ahead of ageless 42yr old wonder Bernard Lagat! (Sat 24) ⚡AMP
The women-only half marathon world record was improved to 1:06:11 at the IAAF/Trinidad Alfonso World Half Marathon Championships
Valencia 2018 but not by race favorite Joyciline Jepkosgei, who owns the mixed-race standard of 1:04:51, but by slightly surprising Ethiopia’s Netsanet Gudeta.
Gudeta – with the name Kebede on her bib in reference to her extended family name but who appears in vast majority of race results and is better known by solely her father’s name – made a decisive move at the 14th kilometer mark. There she shake off both Jepkosgei and her little-known Kenyan compatriot Pauline Kamulu and was never challenged again.
She reduced Lornah Kiplagat’s world and championship record, which had stood since the 2007 edition, by 14 seconds – as well as slicing 1:15 off her own personal best set in Delhi last November. (Sat 24) ⚡AMP
Given her current form and pedigree, Charne Bosman is among the favorites to win next weekend’s Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon in Cape Town but everything has to go right. “I’ll be happy if I can get a top five finish at Two Oceans,” Bosman said this week. “It’s been a good year so far... Tuks (Marathon) was difficult with lots of uphills but I still managed to run a 2:50 and win. I am looking forward to the Two Oceans and will be happy if I can do around 3:48.” She believes, though, that such a time won’t be good enough to win the title. “The winning time could be at around 3:37 but you never know. For me, I’m going there just to run my race. I never try to chase anyone, I will simply run my own race.” As we all know...if everything clicks for Charne you never know what might happen. Stay tuned... (Sat 24) ⚡AMP
The weather at the IAAF 2018 World Half Marathon Championships in Valencia, Spain today was challenging. It was 63 degrees at the start with winds as strong as 26mph. But that did not stop Kenya’s Geoffrey Kamworor for winning his third straight title in 60:02. With the wind in their faces a group of about 30 passed the 10k mark 29:28. But things started changing and the wind helped pushed Geoffrey to an amazing 27:16 split from 10k to 20k. In fact according to Paula Radcliffe who was following the race for the IAAF, “he just ran 13:01 5k split! Could that be right?l”. It appears it was right. 24 men ran under 62 minutes and considering a slow start, this is outstanding...Netsanet Gudeta Kebede from Ethiopia set a new women only WR earlier (they started 25 minutes before the men) posting 1:06:11. (Sat 24) ⚡AMP
Elite runners from around the globe are in for a world of hurt this weekend during the annual 100-mile Barkley Marathons
in Morgan County.
The Barkley Marathons has grown from a small and ridiculous race in Morgan County, Tennessee, into an international phenomenon followed around the globe. The brainchild of former ultra-marathoner Gary Cantrell has especially grown in popularity in the last few years, coinciding with the release of a documentary on Netflix and other high-profile media coverage. The added media attention is a burden and a blessing. The media can help inform people about the event while also allowing them to stay away.
"It is not a spectator event. I hate it, because everyone wants a piece of that feeling [of the Barkley Marathons]. We just don't have room for people to come here and watch. This is all set up at a small campground. The runners are gone for several hours at a time in the middle of the woods. We need the media to let people know about the race because that's the best way for them to experience it," said Cantrell.
The hoopla is the result of true substance. The race is as intriguing as it is insane.
Runners have to complete five 20-mile loops up and down the hills of Frozen Head State Park within 60 hours. Runners do not know when the race will start, other than sometime between midnight and noon on Saturday. They are given one-hour advance notice of the start when Cantrell blows a conch shell. The race begins when Cantrell lights a cigarette. (Fri 23) ⚡AMPEpic Adventures
Nearly 300 elite runners have descended upon the central Mediterranean coast of Spain for the IAAF/Trinidad Alfonso World Half Marathon Championships
Valencia 2018, which get underway at 17:05 CET on Saturday 24 March (9:05AM PST in California for the women and 9:30AM PST from the men).
A record 288 Runners--160 men and 122 women-- from 82 countries have entered. There will also be thousands of “regular” runners participating as well. There are many athletes in the field who can run at world record pace. Photo is of the finish area.
(Fri 23) ⚡AMP
Britain’s Queen Elizabeth will be the official starter of this year’s London Marathon
— 30 miles away on a special rostrum in the grounds of Windsor Castle. This year’s London Marathon, which starts in Blackheath, will mark 110 years since the 1908 London Olympics when the marathon route went from Windsor to White City and used the now-standard 26.2 mile distance for the first time. “We are deeply honored that Her Majesty The Queen has accepted the invitation to start the 2018 London Marathon,” John Spurling, chairman of London Marathon Events Ltd who organize the race, said in a statement. “Especially as this will happen 110 years after the 1908 Olympic Marathon was started at Windsor Castle by the then Princess Mary, grandmother to The Queen.” The first royal to start the London Marathon was Princess Diana in 1988 while last year the Queen’s grandsons, Prince William and Prince Harry and the Duchess of Cambridge, acted as race starters for the event. Around 40,000 runners are expected on the start line this year on April 22. (Fri 23) ⚡AMP
Kenya’s Victor Kipchirchir and Pauline Njeru, the course record-holders for the PZU Warsaw Half Marathon, head the elite fields of the race. For the past few years, the Polish capital has played host to the country's largest half marathon. Now in its 13th edition, the Warsaw Half Marathon is set for a new participation record with more than 16,000 entrants. This race has also consistently proven to be the best in Poland in terms of quality. The course records of 1:00:48 for the men and 1:09:06 for the women are both Polish all-comers’ records. And with both record-holders back in action this year, these times may come under threat. Kipchirchir set the current record in winning the 2014 edition. The following year, he finished fourth in what was his last outing in the race. With 59:31 from the Hague in 2012, Kipchirchir is the only man in the field who has bettered the one-hour barrier. (Fri 23) ⚡AMP
America's Jordan Hasay has pulled out of the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships
this weekend. David Monti (Race Results Weekly) posted on Twitter this morning, "She pulled out this week due to a tight plantar," said Pace Sports Management. "More precautionary with Boston Marathon not far away." Additionally it looks like Kenya's Fancy Chemutia will not be running. When running at these kind of paces, it makes no sense to run just to finish. And in Jordan's case, this will give her a little time to be in top form for Boston. (Thu 22) ⚡AMPby
A study showed runners were half as likely to suffer from knee osteoarthritis compared with walkers. Surprised? Every time you pound the pavement, you stress your bones and cartilage, just like your muscles, causing them to spring back stronger, explains Janet Hamilton, CSCS, an exercise physiologist with Running Strong in Atlanta. Low-impact exercises like walking, or even spinning or swimming, don't have that same bone-building benefit. This was the conclusion from a Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise study of nearly 100,000 runners and walkers. (Thu 22) ⚡AMP
New Zealand runner Jake Robertson
won the hearts of the crowd and his Kenyan girlfriend when he proposed to her after finishing second to Olympic hero Mo Farah
in a major race in Britain last September.
Robertson pushed Farah all the way in the Great North Race in northern England, finishing the half marathon just six seconds behind the British great. But he quickly had all the attention when he dropped to one knee and asked partner Magdalyne Masai
to marry him.
She had finished fourth in the women's elite race. Masai accepted and the happy couple embraced. "I didn't have it planned or anything. In the last mile it just randomly came to my mind that today was the day," Robertson said.
"I finished the race and asked the meeting organisers to find her. She said yes and I'm a happy man. Six years together and I thought it was due time. We've been speaking about it for a long time," he said. (Thu 22) ⚡AMP
Have you ever taken off on a run, motivation at your back, only to feel like stopping just a few yards into your workout. Running isn’t always easy, and it can be frustrating. But it’s worth it to stick it out for more than just the potential weight loss benefits. It’s about uplifting you physically, mentally, and emotionally. A couple steps a day can go a very long way. Besides running is an effective antidote to the taxing nature of an endlessly trying news cycle and the stress that builds with busy daily schedules. When you run, you force your body to exert excess energy and hormones, resulting in stress relief. After an extremely long week, there’s nothing like a good long run to reflect, release, and rejuvenate. (Thu 22) ⚡AMP
In a major boost to the development of endurance sports in Asia, Asian Athletics Association announced the $500,000 prized Asian Premier Marathon Series 2017-18 last July. Beijing Marathon
, Seoul Marathon
and Beirut Marathon
are the three founding members of APM. Top three men’s and women’s Asian runners (6 in total) will share the half a million USD cash award. Kim Jae-hoon (29) and Kim Do-yeon (25), who came first among Korean marathoners in the men’s and women’s race, respectively, at the 2018 Seoul International Marathon and the 89th Dong-A Marathon, are now the leaders on the Asian Premier Marathons (APM) ranking.
The APM was modeled after the World Marathon Majors
. (Thu 22) ⚡AMP
It usually takes young Ethiopian runners time to warmup and agree to interviews, especially when their most recent performance makes them a favorite for an upcoming major championships. Jemal Yimer is one of the key athletes to watch in the fight for the men’s title at the IAAF/Trinidad Alfonso World Half Marathon Championships
Valencia 2018 following his scorching 59:00 debut for the distance at the RAK Half in the UAE last month. The 21-year-old finished second there in the fastest debut half marathon performance ever. “Jemal does not like to talk much about his performances, nor show off or boast about his achievements,” his agent Malcolm Anderson says. “He is grounded, patient, and listens to the various people who support his athletics.” (Thu 22) ⚡AMP
Last weekend I ran my 320th marathon, this one in the Falkland Islands. I have run marathons or beyond in 153 countries... I have flown way over two million miles going to marathons, ultra marathons, 150 mile multi day stage races, and
snowshoe ultras. I have been flying my entire life. We have flown around the globe when competing in a Global Scavenger Hunt. In 1976 I bought a round the world standby ticket for $999.00 on Pan American Airlines. In 1985 I received my private pilots license and flew about 200 hours for a couple years. Since 2013 I have been trying to run marathons/ultras in 20 new countries each year. My personal record was 38 new countries in 2017... My wife and I retired the same day, June 4, 2010. We were in are early 60s and everything was paid off. We have no bills and spend all our money on traveling. We buy experiences and not things that are dust catchers. When we die the only thing we want to take with us is what we have given away while we were alive. Photo - marathon I ran in the country of Benin in Africa. Editor's Note: No one has run marathons in more countries than Brent Weigner
and in his younger days he ran 2:45:50 at the Boston Marathon.
(Wed 21) ⚡AMPby Brent Weigner
As New England gears up for more storms, thousands of runners are gearing up for the Boston Marathon
coming up Monday April 16.
Libbi Gaiser is one of those runners training for the marathon. She is participating for the ninth time. Gaiser, age 51, has been following a rigid 18-week program, running 55 to 60 miles a week. She says the storms haven’t stopped her from continuing on with her training. “Knowing that you can hit ice, knowing there’s snow on the ground, knowing you’re going to hit winds of 40 miles per hour in your face,” Gaiser said. “That’s where your body can break down.” Gaiser said the repeated storms in March have complicated her training, but she says quitting wasn't an option. Libbi says she has a 21 mile run to complete on Saturday, so she’s hoping these storms don’t have too much of an impact. (Wed 21) ⚡AMP
Dag Aabye is considered by some as "the most elusive man in North America." With the growing popularity of vanlife happening right now, living in a repurposed school bus in the woods might be a dream for some people. For Dag it is a reality. Somewhere hidden in the mountains of Vernon, British Columbia Aabye enjoys a simple life away from modern society while living amongst nature and training for ultramarathons. Aabye is 76-years-old and a champion of the 80-mile ultramarathon aptly named the "Death Race." He is the oldest person to have ever finished the race. Aabye is a rare breed of human that has lived his own path and blown the doors off the perception of what life has to be. And he certainly exudes plenty of wisdom for any that are willing to listen.
(Wed 21) ⚡AMPInspirational Stories
The 2018 World Half Marathon Championships offers a chance to see Geoffrey Kamworor go for his third straight title, a Kenyan contingent that features five men who have run faster than one hour, and an American team with a legitimate shot at a historic podium finish. In short, Saturday's race has a little bit of everything. The course in Valencia, Spain, is fast—and the weather is supposed to be conducive to fast times, adding an extra element of interest to one of the calendar's only global championships. (Wed 21) ⚡AMP
The world’s most beautiful marathon takes place on a challenging route, with spectacular scenery, breath taking views of clear blue oceans, majestic mountains and enthusiastic supporters. This is Cape Town, South Africa Two Oceans Ultra
...Jessica Stabnau from Montana will be running Easter Sunday. The Two Oceans marathon came to her attention after one of her South African bar patrons told her about it. Being able to participate in the race has been a long time coming, as she's waited about five years for the right timing. Stabnau is also speech therapist at two elementary schools in Missoula and she needs to schedule trips around her busy days.
"The last time it coincided with my spring break, I didn't get on to register in time," Stabnau said. "I got on the website the next morning and it was already booked."
This time around, Stabnau wasn't going to take any chances. "I had to wake up at 2AM, which was 10 o'clock Cape Town time," Stabnau said. "It took me two hours to get through the registration process but I got in." This will be Stabnau's second ultra-marathon.
(Wed 21) ⚡AMP
The Boston Marathon
is just a little more than three weeks from now.
2011 Boston Marathon runner-up Des Linden says, "I can't wait...It's the best group of Americans ever,"
Women's Marathon pioneer Katherine Switzer says, "We can run with the Kenyans and the Ethiopians. I think that there's a lot of heart now in the women who are running Boston."
The 2018 elite American women's team assembled by John Hancock is the most impressive ever. There are savvy race veterans like Linden and Shalane Flanagan, and there are up-and-comers like Molly Huddle and Jordan Hasay. One thing that stands out was
Flanagan's 2017 victory at the New York City Marathon which has set the stage for even bigger things.
"It raises the bar for everyone," Linden said of Flanagan's triumph. "It makes it more attainable. It's really hard, but it's doable."
Flanagan said of her win, "I think it allows Americans specifically, the ability to dream a little bigger now."
Her dream has always been to win her hometown race. Shalane placed in the top 10 in each of her three previous Boston Marathons, and her 2:22:02 finish in 2014 set the record for the fastest time ever by an American woman on the Boston course.
Her victory in New York renewed her confidence as she was thinking of retiring and raising a family.
"I don't know if Boston will be my last or not..." But right now her focus as well as the other America's elites is on one thing...winning the Boston Marathon, period. (Tue 20) ⚡AMPby Bob Anderson
Ireland's Alex O'Shea, known as the 'running fireman' is turning up the heat for his next challenge. He plans to run 832 miles this September in to aid the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind. He will take on 32 marathons, completing two per day from September 1 to 16. He plans to run in two different Ireland's counties per day, taking in all 32 counties in just over two weeks. Alex's first marathon will be the Dingle marathon on September 1 before making the two-hour journey up to Limerick where he will do his second of the day. The last day of the challenge will see him tackle Waterford before a homecoming in Cork later that day.
Alex has admitted that the task will be especially difficult to complete.
“I love challenging myself and pushing boundaries and doing so for a good cause...I know this will be the most difficult running event I have ever contemplated. A single marathon can be difficult but two in one day will take a toll physically and mentally as I won’t have the luxury of adequate rest and recovery," he said.
(Tue 20) ⚡AMPEpic Adventures
Kenya's Fancy Chemutai
says she wants to take the IAAF World Half Marathon title in Valencia after her effortless victory at the RAK Half Marathon in the UAE. The 23-year-old on Monday said that since her victory in the United Arab Emirates last month, the world's focus has oscillated between her and compatriot and world record holder Joyciline Jepkosgei
, reports Xinhua news agency. "I have been thrust to the centre of the battle and other athletes will be looking out to stop me or Jepkosgei. But I have to put my focus on running my own race," she said. Chemutai also confirmed that the ankle injury scare she suffered on her way to victory in UAE has healed and she is ready for the World Half Marathon Championships
, which will be held in Valencia, Spain on Saturday (March 24). (Tue 20) ⚡AMP
No distance defines Lornah Kiplagat quite like the half marathon. Born in Kenya, Kiplagat quickly developed an impressive road-running reputation with several international half marathon victories before making her IAAF World Half Marathon Championships
debut in 1998 in Uster, Switzerland aged just 24. She was also among the favorites, having triumphed at the Rotterdam Marathon earlier that year. Yet in torrid wet conditions in Alberta, she suffered a nagging hamstring cramp... “I didn’t have a lot of fun,” she recalls of the 2005 edition. “It was raining for most of the race, I couldn’t get warm and I felt cold for the entire run. My hamstring cramped very early in the race but I didn’t want to drop out; I hoped to manage the problem.” To that end, Kiplagat was successful. She took the silver medal in a tight battle. “The fact I was able to manage my hamstring during the race and could still sprint to silver in the later stages was a good sign for me,” she says. (Tue 20) ⚡AMP
The 34-year-old Kenyan’s decision is a coup for the Vienna race, held on the same day as the London Marathon which usually draws the sport’s biggest names. Dennis Kimetto
will be the first world record holder to take part in the Vienna race, which began in 1984, and his inclusion is part of director Wolfgang Konrad’s strategy to raise the international profile of the event. “While our motto is ’35 years of theatre of emotions’ we now have a sort of leading actor for this: an athlete who has extraordinary capabilities and who will be in the focus,” Konrad said in a statement. Kimetto smashed the world record in 2014, clocking two hours, two minutes 57 seconds at the Berlin Marathon to shave 26 seconds off the record set by compatriot Wilson Kipsang
in 2013. (Tue 20) ⚡AMP
Cape Fear 50k was my first Ultra for the year and my first Badwater. I ran 5:10:17, a 50K PR and was first female (fifth overall). The course itself didn't have any challenging elevation. Instead, it had sand. Lots of sand. And to my disappointment, not much road and even less trail. I laughed about this as I ran along the beach, slipping & sinking into the sand; dodging the incoming tide...Through the difficulty, I was forced to notice the remarkable changes the shoreline goes through every day. The sand was definitely more packed down on my way back, and the shells that were there on my way out were washed away. It was so beautiful... I felt a little sad these breathtaking transformations are going unnoticed day in & day out while the rest of the world spins and many of us are busy living the office life...When things got tough, I drew inspiration from the rough weather conditions, I wanted to cross the finish line with my fastest 50k ever and to make my Badwater family proud! (Tue 20) ⚡AMPby Joyce Lee
This is a follow-up story on Orville Rogers
which got even better. The 100-year-old runner broke five world indoor records in the 100-plus age group at the USATF Masters Indoors Championships over the weekend.
The retired pilot did so in the 60m (19.13 seconds), 200m (1:40.94), 400m (4:16.90), 800m (9:56.44) and 1500m (20:00.91), according to USTF. Rogers was a World War II bomber pilot and former airline pilot took up running when he was inspired at the age of 50...
Not to be outdone, 102-year-old Julia “Hurricane” Hawkins broke the 100-plus age group records in the 60m.
In the 60m, Hawkins clocked 24.79 seconds, smashing Ida Keeling‘s record of 58.34 from February.
At 102, Hawkins, who is from Baton Rouge, is the oldest woman in the history of the USATF Championships. She was a cycling enthusiast for years, taking up competitive running when she was 100. (Tue 20) ⚡AMP
For the second year, the Vatican running club, Athletica Vaticana has organized a pre-marathon mass for runners on the eve of the 24th edition of the Rome Marathon
, this year to be held on Sunday, April 8 2018.
The Mass for International Marathon Runners, to be held on Saturday, 7 April at 6pm in the church of the Santissima Trinità, will be celebrated by priests who are active marathon runners themselves. At the end of the service, there will be the “Prayer of the Marathon Runner”, prepared and translated in 37 languages by Athletica Vaticana. All athletes (and their families) are invited to attend.
Athletica Vaticana, formed last year and made up of 70 dependants of the Vatican, does not describe itself as a sports club but as a representative of the Holy See in the world of sport, specifically of athletics. (Tue 20) ⚡AMPby Carla van Kampen (in Rome)
Are the US 2020 Olympic Trials
in Trouble? It's looking less likely all the time that Mt SAC will be hosting our next Oly Trials after multiple stop work orders have been issued.
That being said, Eugene too is fighting stadium issues. Personally, I am not at all for the elimination of Hayward Field's historic elements. I am of the sensibility that I'd rather retain the heritage even if that means potentially losing the status of host site for the 2021 World Athletics Championships.
Oregon track writer, Ken Goe, guesses that if the 2020 Olympic Trials were moved, it may be to either Sacramento or Drake...neither of which are ideal options.
In my track nerd brain, I'd like to see Eugene ditch their big re-do and give the IAAF back their World Championships...and instead host the Trials. In fact, I'd like to see Eugene named as the meet's permanent Trials host site...period.
(Mon 19) ⚡AMPby Mike Fanelli
I couldn't stop laughing when I came across this photo today. Could you imagine? When I run out in the wilderness I have had visions of something like this happening. Have you? So I thought I would find out what we should do. BearSmart says, "If you encounter a bear on the trail, stop what you are doing and evaluate the situation. Identify yourself by speaking in a calm, appeasing tone. Back away slowly, preferably in the direction you came. Walk, don't run, and keep your eye on the bear so you can see how it will react." I hope these guys made it out okay and now understand the side benefits of being a runner. This photo was posted by Jeff Lyons to Celebrate National Global Running Day back in 2015. I think if you run across a lion (which we have in Northern California), you probably should follow the same advice. But I am not sure that I would not just run off as fast as I could. Maybe at world record pace! (Mon 19) ⚡AMPby Bob Anderson
USATF Mountain, Ultra
, Trail Council announced the U.S.A. Trail Team competing at the 2018 Trail World Championships May 12, in Penyagolosa/Castellon, Spain. The team will tackle the technical 85 kilometer (50 mile) point-to-point course which goes from sea level in the city of Castellón to Sant Joan de Penyagolosa mountain. Climbing to a maximum height of 1500 meters above sea level, the predominantly uphill course has 4900 meters of ascending and 3700 meters of descending. The U.S. women's team will be Danielle Filipek, Clare Gallagher, Sabrina Little, Kaytlyn Gerbin, Amy Leedham and Sarah Pizzo. The men’s team will be Chris Raulli, Olin Berger, Tim Freriks, Zach Miller, Mario Mendoza and Tim Tollefson. "The course looks stunning," says Kaytlyn Gerbin, "and challenging with a lot of ascent, which I’m looking forward too. I’m thrilled to toe the starting line alongside my USA teammates." (Mon 19) ⚡AMPTrail Running
With the Africa cross country title safely tucked in the bag, Kenya look towards the IAAF World Half Marathon in Velencia on Saturday, with two-time World Half marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor and World half marathon record holder Joyciline Jepkosgei leading the assault. Last week, Bedan Karoki announced his withdrawal from the team due to a hamstring injury and was replaced by Alex Oloitiptip. Other members in the men’s team include 2017 Family Bank Half Marathon winner Jorum Okombo, who has a PR of 58:48 in the distance and World Cross Country silver medallist Leonard Barsaton.
Barselius Kipyego, winner of the 2017 Ustinad Labem Half Marathon, is also in the mix. Fancy Chemutai, who finished second behind Jepkosgei in Valencia, Istanbul Half Marathon champion Ruth Chepng’etich and Pauline Kaveke make the women’s team.
(Mon 19) ⚡AMP
Kenya’s Wilson Erupe Loyanae became the first man to win four times at the 74th annual Seoul Marathon
that was held early Sunday (18) in Seoul, South Korea. The 29 year-old first won in the Korean capital in 2012, clocking a course record of 2:05:37. He won again three years later in 2:06:11 and then successfully defended his title in 2016 in 2:05:13, an improvement on his course record.
Loyanae beat a strong field that included Marius Kimutai who on paper had the fastest time of 2:05.47 that he ran in Amsterdam in 2016. Kimutai won both of his marathons last year, clocking 2:06:04 in Rotterdam and 2:08:33 in Ljubljana. In between those runs, he also set a half marathon PR of 1:00:07.
Loyanae broke the tape in 2:06.57. He was followed by Mark Korir who crossed the line in 2:07.03 with Benson Kipruto closing the podium three in 2:07.11. Kimutai finished 4th in 2:07:45...The women's race saw a group of eight running together through 20 kilometers in 1::08:06. Then Ethiopian Damte Hiru made a decisive break. The 24-year-old finished unchallenged in 2:24:08. There were over 20,000 participants. (Mon 19) ⚡AMP
After 14 miles, Heather Lieberg, 38, a mother of three and 2nd grade teacher from Montana, looked up to see no one in front of her Sunday at the Los Angeles Marathon. “
I felt awesome, it was fun,"
"I just wanted to hang in as long as I could."
Lieberg said that it was just after the 15-mile marker, when the course began a downhill slope toward the Pacific Ocean, when she felt sharp discomfort in her quadriceps and she had to back off a bit. “Training back from an injury,” she said “in Montana winter is tough, and right from the start of the race I knew it was going to be rough! I considered dropping very early, but I knew I had so much support and I was going to finish no matter what!” By finishing ninth in the women's marathon in 2 hours, 38 minutes, 30 seconds, Lieberg was one of five American women to finish in the top 10 in Los Angeles for the second consecutive year... "I really didn't start professional running until I was about 35," Lieberg said. "I grew up playing basketball in Wyoming. … Running was something I did after I had my daughter. People said I was fast. I did a couple relays, then signed up for a marathon and ran it under three hours without training, so I thought, 'This could be fun.'" (Sun 18) ⚡AMP
In February of 1966, Bobbi Gibb
received a letter in her mailbox from the organizers of the Boston Marathon
. She expected to find her competition number inside the package. Instead she found herself reading a disqualifying letter. It stated that women are “not physiologically able to run a marathon.” The Amateur Athletics Union prohibited women from running farther than 1.5 miles, and the organizers just couldn’t “take the liability” of having her compete.
Refusing to take no for an answer, two months later the 23-year-old hid in a forsythia bush near the marathon start line. Disguising herself in a hoodie and her brother’s Bermuda shorts, she joined the field once half the men had already started running. Her identity was soon obvious, but she only received encouragement, spectators yelling, “Way to go, girlie!”
Three hours, 21 minutes, and 40 seconds later, Gibb tore through the finish line ahead of two-thirds of the male competitors. (Sun 18) ⚡AMP