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. (03/21/2018) ⚡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.
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. (03/20/2018) ⚡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.
(03/20/2018) ⚡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). (03/20/2018) ⚡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. (03/20/2018) ⚡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. (03/20/2018) ⚡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! (03/20/2018) ⚡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. (03/20/2018) ⚡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. (03/20/2018) ⚡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.
(03/19/2018) ⚡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! (03/19/2018) ⚡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." (03/19/2018) ⚡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.
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. (03/19/2018) ⚡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.'" (03/18/2018) ⚡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. (03/18/2018) ⚡AMP
Jake and Zane Robertson moved from New Zealand to Kenya to live and train ten years ago. When they arrived they found it very hard but then they found Shaheen [world record holder in steeplechase] training in Iten.
He heard their story and said, “That’s a poor life. Tomorrow I’ll get you a house next to me. You’re on me in Iten.” They moved to Iten with Shaheen’s training group. He didn’t charge then rent.
The twins lived, ate and trained like the Kenyans, who run 2-3 times a day six days per week. Running is the number one most important thing for most Kenyan runners.
Did this change of life help them become two of the fastest runners in the world? They think so. Jake has run two 1:00:01 half marathons and Zane has run 59:47.
Looks like their life in Kenya is working for them. Jake is running the Cresent City Classic 10K March 31...going for a repeat win.
Photo: Jake Robertson training in Kenya (03/18/2018) ⚡AMP
won the New Taipei City Wan Jin Shi Marathon, an IAAF Silver Label road race, on Sunday. It was 75 degrees and 85% humidity so running a good time became less important than winning.
However, Yuki clocked 2:14:12, identical to the time he ran in this race two years ago, but this time he was the first across the line. Yuki lead from the gun,
opening with a nine-second lead after five kilometers, he extended it to 37 seconds at the 10K point before reaching the midway point in 1:04:44, more than two minutes clear of his nearest pursuer, Kenyan Johnstone Maiyo.
Maiyo made up some of that ground in the second half, but couldn't challenge Kawauchi, who went on to win by 28 seconds. Maiyo clocked 2:14:40 in second with Aredom Degefa of Ethiopia third in 2:14:54. The heat and high humidity slowed everyone down the second half. Normally Yuki runs negative splits but not Sunday.
"I was the runner-up in 2016, so this time I really wanted to win the title,” said Kawauchi, who clocked his 2:08:14 lifetime best in Seoul in 2013. (03/18/2018) ⚡AMP
out sprints Dathan Ritzenhein to win the United Airlines New York City Half Marathon
this morning. Running his first half marathon Ben posted a 1:02:39 beating 35-year-old Ritzenhein who finished three seconds back. True said after the race that he questioned whether he could hang with Ritzenhein after the 35-year-old made his move. It wasn’t until the last mile of the race when True, 32, felt confident that he could prevail.
“When Dathan pulled away, probably around mile 10, I wasn’t quite sure I was going to be able to reel him back in,” True said. “And even when I started reeling him back in, I didn’t know if I was then going to be able to get around him. It really wasn’t until the very end that I was like, ‘All right, I can get this.’” The real challenge of the day was the weather, 29 degrees and headwinds up to 14mph.
The women’s race was also a sprint to the finish. Ethiopian Buze Diriba (1:12:23) out kicking America’s Emily Sisson by just one second. True's first place finish in the men's open division represents the first time an American man won the open division in the event's history. (03/18/2018) ⚡AMP
Poles have long been considered essential equipment by many backpackers, but runners have been slower to adopt them.
The value of poles in an ultra
depends on several things:
Amount of vertical climbing, and if the course is rough and tough.
Here are some poles that are good:
1. Black Diamond Carbon Z (10 oz; $160),
2. CAMP Xenon 4 (10 oz; $110),
3. RaidLight Compact Folding Carbon (12 oz; $150)
These models pack down much smaller and are therefore less clumsy to carry.
Wow- did she battle! Camille Herron
decided to stop at Hour 11 after persistent stomach issues would not subside- even after running through them for over an hour. There will be other 24 Hour races! But still nine Hours of sub 8 minute miles on the track was incredible to watch. (03/17/2018) ⚡AMP
When Yuki Kawauchi
last raced the New Taipei City Wan Jin Shi Marathon, it took a course record to beat him. That was two years ago. The prolific racer from Japan will return to the IAAF Silver Label road race seeking not only victory but an improvement on the course record on Sunday (18). The 31-year-old, who has won more than 30 international marathons, has a best of 2:08:14. In New Taipei City in 2016 he was beaten by Kenya’s William Chebor, who clocked a course record of 2:13:05 to Kawauchi’s 2:14:12. Since then, Kawauchi has gone on to win several other marathons and place ninth at last year’s World Championships. This will be his third marathon of the year, following victories in Massachusetts in January and Kitakyushu last month. (03/17/2018) ⚡AMP
Marius Kimutai will line up for the Seoul Marathon with the aim of achieving his third successive victory over 26.2 miles, but the Kenyan faces a tough challenge. Since setting his PB of 2:05:47 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 PB of 1:00:07.
For what can often be an unpredictable event, the 26-year-old has an impressively consistent record at the marathon distance. He has finished on the podium at 11 of his 12 marathons to date, winning six of those races. (03/17/2018) ⚡AMP
100-year-old Orville Rogers set a new age group record in the men's 60m in 19.13 at USATF Masters Indoor Championships today. He has set many world records including running 2:17.45 400m when he was 95....Orville has been a runner for the last 50 years, and he wasn’t going to change that on his 100th birthday. He and his family ran a combined 100 miles-- to celebrate every year of the his life. Rogers has had quite the journey, serving in World War II, running marathons, and even writing a book about his life and secrets to success.
However, it’s his four kids, 14 grandkids, and 11 great grandkids that are his true legacy.
“Oh my, it's overwhelming, I am so grateful, God has been so good to me, especially with family members.”
It’s the love and support of his family that keeps him going. (03/17/2018) ⚡AMP
South Africa’s Elana Meyer was a pioneer of the half marathon. She set four world records for the distance, and in 1994 she became the first African woman to win a world half marathon
title. Meyer’s deep-rooted passion for the half marathon distance began early.
At age 13 Elana ran her first half marathon. Describing herself as “unprepared”, she nonetheless ran a hugely impressive 1:27. Meyer emerged on the global scene at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics when she became the poster-girl of a new post-apartheid era for South Africa. The image of her as the Olympic 10,000m silver medallist hand-in-hand with gold medallist Derartu Tulu remains one of the most symbolic athletics images of its time. But her favorite event was the half marathon. In 1999 Meyer arguably achieved the high point of her career when setting a world half marathon record of 1:06:44 in Tokyo.
Meyer (now 51) retired in 2004 at the age of 37. Today a mother-of-two, Christopher, 10, and Ené, 7, she can look back on a proud and accomplished endurance career which brought success on all surfaces and at a range of distances. But there is no doubt what was her favorite distance.
“Of all the events, the half marathon was the one which came easiest to me,” says Meyer. “It’s a pity the half marathon wasn’t an Olympic event.” (03/17/2018) ⚡AMP
The completely redesigned Adizero Boston 7 is here — just in time for the 2018 Boston Marathon
, on April 16. Adidas’ new limited-edition sneaker takes stylistic cues from the Adizero Adios, adding lightweight support along with its signature Boost technology. The redesigned Adizero Boston 7 is set to release on March 23 at Adidas.com as well as the Boston Marathon Adidas RunBase at the John Hancock Sports & Fitness Expo on April 13 for a retail price tag of $120. Additional shoe colors will be available in June.
Along with the shoe, Adidas, the BAA and The Woolmark Co. have teamed up to create replicas of their Best in Class tee, made up of 75 percent Merino wool and 25 percent nylon, which can also be purchased on April 13 at the RunBase for $100. (03/17/2018) ⚡AMP
Kenyan Olympic 5000m champion Vivian Cheruiyot said that she expects to run a fast time at the New York Half marathon on Sunday.
The elite men's field looks strong. Kenyans Wilson Chebet
(59:15) and Stephen Sambu (60:41), Ethiopia's Teshome Mekonnen (60:27) with Dathan Ritzenhein (60:00), Abdi Abdirahman (60:29) leading the American charge and also Ben True who will be running his first half.
But it is the women's race that has the real top names. Cheruiyot, 34, is stepping up her campaign in marathon after graduating from the track competition and will be using the race in New York as part of her preparations for the London marathon on April 22.
"It is always a pleasure to race against some of the world's best runners because it brings out the best in you. I know the organizers in New York have assembled a big team of elite runners and I am excited to run the New York Half Marathon this Sunday,” she said before her departure on Thursday night. She will face Ethiopians Mamitu Daska and Buze Diriba and her compatriot Betsy Saina. (03/16/2018) ⚡AMP
Have you ever wonder what Camille Herron
eats before attempting to break the World 24-hour Record tommorow in Oklahoma. During the 24 hour event she will burn over 20,400 calories. She posted this on FB, “Conor cooks a lot of Irish food, but this feels a little extra special! I ate fried catfish w/okra and potatoes before TH100 and chocolate chip pancakes before DS, plus my usual Taco Bell and Subway! Whatever floats your boat! “. Good luck Camille this weekend. (03/16/2018) ⚡AMP
Just in time for the 2020 Toyko Olympics the Shinkansen Supreme is not some new street-style collaboration. It's a new, sleeker, lighter, more eco-friendly Japanese high-speed train that will start running test routes between Tokyo and Osaka later this month. The train—which will run on the Tokaido Shinkansen Line, the most popular bullet train line in Japan, Inside the train, passengers in all seats will have access to outlets to charge their devices on the two-and-a-half-hour train ride (compared to a six-hour drive). Lights have also been added to luggage racks, and will illuminate when the train stops to remind passengers of their bags left above. (03/16/2018) ⚡AMP
The Montane Yukon Arctic Ultra is billed as the world’s coldest and toughest ultramarathon. When I signed up for the 2018 race, I expected the race to end like this. I travel across 100 miles of frozen, snow-packed trail through the Yukon wilderness, towing a sled loaded with everything I need to survive. I arrive, exhausted but elated, at the finish line; my friends greet me there with a cold beer. I kneel, pull down my frost-covered balaclava to kiss the finish-line banner, and can barely stand up again afterwards. I was in the best shape of my life; my winter-travel systems had been well and truly stress-tested. And I understood, now, why the racers I’d interviewed four years earlier kept coming back for more punishment, even if they hadn’t been able to articulate it to me then. I’d always have the memories of that giant moon swinging above me as I traveled up the frozen Takhini. But, had my frostbitten fingers not thwarted me, could I have finished? I still didn’t have the answer to my question, the riddle of the finish line and the failure.
I still don’t. The only way to find out, I suppose, is to try again. (03/16/2018) ⚡AMP
The third annual Gdynia Half Marathon has Hillary Maiyo and last year’s runner-up Christine Oigo on the starting line. This year’s race took on new significance after Gdynia was chosen to host the 2020 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships. A field of nearly 7000 runners will be competing. The race may not have a long history, but Maiyo has already become a repeat winner, taking victories in both 2016 and 2017, the former in a course record of 1:02:41. In recent years, the Kenyan has raced prolifically in Poland, with more than a dozen half marathon victories, including six in 2017 alone (with two of them coming on consecutive days). Poland's Marcin Chabowski will be hoping to keep pace with the leading contenders. The 2005 European U20 steeplechase champion has in recent years been Poland's top half marathon specialist. While his best of 1:02:26 dates back to 2011, he has been successful over the distance more recently with a fourth-place finish at the 2016 European Championships and wins in Poznan and Warsaw last year.
Champions from the last three years are set to compete, eyeing to set fast times and beat the standing course record of 2:06:35 set in 2011 by Markos Geneti. The 2017 winner Elisha Barno, Weldon Kirui, who won in 2016 and the 2015 champ Daniel Limo all from Kenya will be the men to beat as they return to put claim to the title and test their experience against a deep international field. "It was a good run last year and looking at the rivals I have against me this time round, I need to be on top form to be able to retain the medal. We will see how the race progress after the 30km mark and decide if I will need to push for fast time," Barno said on Friday. The Kenyans will be seeking to dominate the Los Angeles marathon for the 15th time. Last year, Barno clocked 2:11:53 after battling with Daniel Limo for most of the race. Limo finished 24 seconds behind Barno, while Wily Koitile was the third Kenyan on the podium. (03/16/2018) ⚡AMP
One of the fastest American marathon runners right now is a 29-year-old doctor in rural Connecticut who doesn’t have a coach, doesn’t have a sponsor and doesn’t run with a watch. He trains alone, as long as feels right, with “only the trees for teammates,” he says. In the past seven years he has raced 47 marathons, winning 19 of them. “I just go as long as I can before my legs get too heavy and my head gets in a haze,” said Chris Zablocki, the best marathoner most elite marathoners have never heard of. Zablocki is the rare athlete who is able to pull off quality races in astounding quantities, emerging as a maverick of the American distance running scene. Zablocki’s strategies are indisputably extreme: he once ran three marathons in three countries in three weekends, winning or medaling in all. And he keeps getting faster: He ran his best marathon ever last December, a 2:13:45. It was the 19th fastest time in the United States in 2017 — and his 11th marathon that year. (03/16/2018) ⚡AMP
It is important that runners do not run in worn-out shoes. The cause of many injuries is shoe related. Here are signs your shoes are showing signs of "Shoe Death"
1) Look at the top of your shoe when it's not on your foot
If the upper looks exactly like your own foot without being in the shoe, the material is worn in, or it’s not bouncing back the way it should, that’s your first sign. 2. Flip the shoe over and look at the medial side of the shoe. If there are cracks or fissures perpendicular to the tooling, or the midsole isn’t rebounding as it once did, that’s your second sign. 3.Hold the shoe five inches above a hardwood surface and drop it.
If it rocks back and forth or front to back from a gentle drop for more than half a second, that’s a sign the cushioning isn’t bouncing back the way it once was. The shoe has probably started to depress, and can alter your biomechanical form...If your shoes don’t pass the test, you need to buy a new pair or better yet get two pairs and alternate wearing them. (03/16/2018) ⚡AMP
Kenya’s Mary Keitany
will have her work cut out for her when she lines up for the London marathon
The Kenyan, who was second at the New York marathon, has already announced her intent to shatter Paula Radcliffe's world record of two hours, 15 minutes and 25 seconds, which she set at the London event in 2003.
However, she also has another target of firming her grip on the women's World Marathon Majors (WMM) leaderboard, which will see the winner walk away with 500,000 U.S. dollars.
"I have raced before in London and the crowd supported me. I hope they will be behind me in my challenge and help drive me on to achieve something incredible in London," said Keitany. “I want to make my family proud,” Mary said yesterday. Training with her husband/coach Charles in Iten, Kenya. (03/15/2018) ⚡AMP
is going after the 24 Hour World Record starting Saturday March 17 at the Lhotse 24 Hour Endurance Run at the Owasso High School Track in Owasso, Oklahoma. The current record is 161.55 miles. Camille shattered the 100 mile world record last November in Illinois with a time of 12 hours, 42 minutes and 40 seconds (7:38/mile pace) On March 7 Camille posted this on FB, "I clearly remember telling my training partner 10 yrs ago, “I’ll never run an ultra
! Those sound bad for your body!” In 2017 she won the Comrades Marathon (89K). She is simply an amazing ultra runner...
Thanks Brian Hoover (03/15/2018) ⚡AMP
Lottie Bildirici is a tri-athlete, a health coach, a chef, a cooking show host, recipe developer and blogger. Lottie Bildirici recently revealed to her 68,000 followers, she's a cancer survivor. “I was diagnosed with stage 3 Hodgkins lymphoma when I was 14 years old," she said, adding that she is ten years in remission. Lottie marked the decade by deciding to speak out about overcoming cancer. She's running the United Airlines Half Marathon this weekend to raise money with Team in Training. As a teenager she endured chemotherapy and radiation and then turned to clean eating and strength conditioning to stay healthy inside and out.
"Simple is best, whole food, nothing processed, no white sugar, no white flour so it's really back to the basics."
But it's through her fundraising for leukemia and lymphoma research where Lottie hopes to make a difference..
(03/15/2018) ⚡AMPInspirational Stories
Ida Keeling is just 4-foot-6, weighs 83 pound and is 102-years-old. Ida rides an exercise bike, lifts weights, and runs up and down the hallways of her apartment building or on a treadmill.
Her daughter, Shelley, is the one who actually got her to start running – at the age of sixty-seven after some incredible hardships. They ran a 5K that year and Ida says, "I thought that race was never going to end...however I felt so good (afterward) and have been running ever since."
In 2011 she set a 60 meters world record of 29.86 seconds in her 95 year-old age group. At 99-years-old (in 2014), Ida set the fastest known time for a woman of her age in the 100-meter-dash posting 59.80. In 2016: 100-year-old Ida Keeling became the first woman in history to complete the 100-meter dash in one minute 17 seconds. Shelley could not be prouder of her mother.
“The biggest thing with my mom," says Shelley, "is that she never lets anything get her down. If somebody said to her, ‘I’m going to put you in a box and you’re never going to get out,’ she’s say, ‘Just you wait.’”
“You see so many older people just sitting around," says Ida, "well, that’s not me. Time marches on, but I keep going.” (03/15/2018) ⚡AMPInspirational Stories
A comprehensive research review finds that "neuromuscular" gains boost your speed and efficiency, in the wake of Mo Farah
’s stunning double gold-medal performance at the 2012 London Olympics, running fans were eager to learn the secret. How had he gone from also-ran to champion after joining Alberto Salazar’s Nike training group in Oregon? One answer is that he hit the weight room with a vengeance. “Now he is not just a skinny guy, he’s a strong wiry guy,” Salazar told the Guardian’s Sean Ingle in 2013. “And he’s not gained more than a pound or two despite lifting heavy weights for power. People have always thought distance runners should lift light. Don’t you believe it.” (03/15/2018) ⚡AMP
There is a reason everyone wants to run Boston says Diana Linn... Boston Marathon
is unlike any other in the world. The city is electric, the energy indescribable. It is the oldest marathon in the country and to be apart of that is nothing short of amazing. I have the extreme privilege of running the Boston Marathon on behalf of the amazing organization Hoops and Homework! Hoops and homework is a local, non-profit organization that provides support to at-risk kids in the Framingham, Mass. area. Everything from food, clothing, academic tutors, athletic coaches, emotional guidance, a safe harbor for our children! I first started running when we moved to Boston seven years ago. I watched the Boston Marathon and was so drawn to the energy I started running myself. (03/15/2018) ⚡AMP
Kristen Laubner suffered a stroke in 2010 at age 35, just two weeks after delivering her second daughter. Fortunately, she has no lasting impact from the stroke, but they still don’t know what caused it. It took Laubner a few years to trust her body enough to start running again, and she is now taking on the Boston Marathon
. The North Andover Mass. resident will run Boston as a member of “Tedy’s Team,” led by retired New England Patriot and stroke survivor Tedy Bruschi, to raise money for the American Stroke Association. (03/14/2018) ⚡AMPInspirational Stories
“No conflict of interest as far as I'm concerned,” says Carla van Kampen in response to Nike
naming a building in Seb Coe
’s name. “Coe was one of the greatest runners of all time (800/1500),” Carla continued. “If Coe shows any favoritism towards Nike in the future, well then that's something else. I met Coe a couple of years ago while he was in Rome for the World Race Walking Championships before the Rio Olympics, and he was a class act, so engaged and friendly.” Bob Anderson
, the founder and publisher of Runner’s World for 18 years (1966-1984) and now MBR answered, “I agree, Lord Seb Coe is a class act. But if he needs to make some decisions on matters that does not favor Nike, he needs to be able to do this without Nike retaliating. Many years ago when we published that, at the time, Brooks made a better shoe in our shoe issue, Nike retaliated by not attacking RW (since everyone loved our magazine) but Nike attacked me. They sent out a press release to all their dealers questioning my integrity and then pulled out one million dollars of advertising. They were our largest advertiser but we published the shoe ranking results in the order as our Penn State lab presented them to us. (Nike's action caused the FTC to do an investigation. After a year or so they announced no company was favored unfairly.) What is important now is that the IAAF
runs our sport not Nike. However, Nike’s support (just like their support of RW from 1966 to 1980) is very valuable to our sport. It is a fine line.” Bob says. (03/14/2018) ⚡AMPby Bob Anderson
Slogging through the sand with a 6.5kg pack on his back is “a night off” for marathon man Shaun Bacon. The Frankston teacher, 54, is in the final stages of training for his fifth Marathon des Sables
. Regarded as the Olympics of the ultra-marathon, the 251km event is the equivalent distance of six regular marathons. And it’s held in southern Morocco in the Sahara Desert with temperatures ranging from -2C at night up to 47C during the day. “I do a lot of training on the sand at Frankston beach. It might look hard, but I’m only uncomfortable for less than an hour,” he said. He is hoping to finish in the top 100 at the April 6-16 event. “Finishing is a no-brainer for me — I don’t even consider any other outcome — but I would like a top 100 place,” he said.
Running is Jen French’s escape. The 34-year-old mother of two, and a runner for the past 11 years, treats the activity as “me” time — time to be alone, and time to think. Her decision to register for the New York City Marathon
was a gamble. Every year a lottery is held and just four to five thousand runners are selected from more than 120,000 entries. “It’s really exciting,” she said. “It’s the biggest marathon in the world and the hardest one to get in to...They ask you some questions (through email) like why you like running, how many marathons you’ve done, your times and what your goals are for this year. You kind of just send it off and you hope for the best.”
On Feb. 28, French got an e-mail notifying her she’d been accepted. French’s passion for running began after she had her first child 11 years ago. She started off with short distances just as a way to get out of the house for some time to herself.
That’s when she got hooked.
“When I start to run harder and deeper into the loneliness, further away from the world and busyness, structure and routine of life I being to feel strangely elated, detached and, at the same time, connected,” she described. “More connected to my body — it helps me realize the simplicity of life and gain perspective. Everything that seems overwhelming in a day is more manageable after a good run.”
Gina Rouse runs her kids from place to place, runs her household and runs 100-plus miles every week. This marathon mom puts in the work, and it has paid off in a big way. Not only has Gina Rouse been the top female in the last two Covenant Health Knoxville Marathons, she also recently qualified for the Olympic trials for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Games. Running is in Gina's blood. I really found a connection to running and teammates and chasing goals," she said. "It wasn't until after having kids that I tried the marathon," the mother of three said. "After that I was hooked so with each subsequent kid we've had I've just gotten more and more competitive and that drive has just continued." It turns out, marathons are her thing! Not only has she won the last two Covenant Health Knoxville Marathons in the female category, she also recently qualified for the 2020 Olympic Marathon trials
. This kind of success takes dedication, especially while juggling family obligations. (03/14/2018) ⚡AMP
Ryan Sandes and his running partner, Ryno Griesel, find themselves ahead of the current fastest known time on the Great Himalaya Trail. On Feb. 28, the duo set off to best Andrew Porter’s 28-day FKT on the Great Himalaya Trail (GHT). The trail presents a Cannonball Run of sorts through an amalgam of various trails connecting the upper (GHT High) and middle (GHT Cultural) routes. According to the pair’s live tracker, they are 84 km ahead pace at the 209-hour mark. At this moment, Sandes and Griesel are 421 km into the 1,400-km attempt (about 261 of 870 miles). They will only stay in local lodges and inns. And according to production company Wandering Fever‘s documentation of the attempt, Sandes and Griesel will be “completely dependent on [the Nepali people] for food and shelter.” This has to be one of the toughest ultra
s. (03/13/2018) ⚡AMPEpic Running Adventures
Paralysed from the chest down Claire Lomas will walk the Greater Manchester Marathon with the help of a ‘robotic suit’... and she reckons it will take her up to 10 days. Inspirational Claire Lomas will take on the 26.2 mile course on April 8 along with thousands of runners. The 37-year-old was injured in a freak horse riding accident in 2007, which affected her spine and left her paralysed. Since then, Claire has set about inspiring others by taking on endurance events. She has raised more than $700,000 for research into spinal cord injuries. Claire completed the London Marathon in 2012, finishing in 17 days. She is now preparing to take on the Greater Manchester marathon - and hope to finish seven days quicker.
(03/13/2018) ⚡AMPInspirational Stories
dedicated a building on their Global Campus to Sebastian Coe
. A little more than three years ago Coe severed his ties with Nike.
The Nike Oregon Project is still part of an on going doping investigation, but the sportswear giant announced they would name a new building after the president of the IAAF
on the same Nike Campus where Alberto Salazar coaches.
In November 2015, Coe terminated his agreement as a $140,000-a-year ambassador for Nike in the face of accusations that a conflict of interest existed over the controversial award of the 2021 athletics World Championships to Eugene, Oregon.
Maybe Nike named a building in his name because of what he did as an athlete? Sebastian Coe is a two time Olympic gold medalist (1,500 meters, 1980, 1984) and Olympic silver medalist (1980, 1984, silver medalist 800 meters). Very impressive and of course he is the current President of the IAAF.
Welsh half marathon champion Jenny Nesbitt will join a talented group of welsh women’s distance runners in Australia, that includes Eli Kirk, Caryl Jones and Melissa Courtney. “I couldn’t believe it when I was told that I’d been selected, and I am just so, so happy to be given the opportunity to represent Wales on the Gold Coast,” said the Worcester based athlete after receiving the last minute selection last week. Following the last minute call-up to Gold Coast 2018, Nesbitt will fly out to Australia on Monday for the Commonwealth Games
. Her best Half Marathon is 1:12:54. (03/13/2018) ⚡AMP