Roy Englert, 95, has set a world record in the men’s 800 at the USATF Masters Outdoor Championships. Englert, of Springfield, VA/Potomac Valley Track Club, finished in 5:18.15, a huge improvement over the previous world record of 6:02.95. Over 900 of the nation’s best Masters athletes were participating in events being held at Eastern Washington University. Englert had earlier this year set age group records at the USATF Masters Indoor Champions. (07/28/2018) ⚡AMP
Staying fit in this heatwave is tough, but I have little to complain about next to my wife, Eleni, who is pregnant. This is her experience: Serena Williams was eight weeks’ pregnant when she won the Australian Open last year. Social media and newspapers exploded with commentary, declaring that her win “proves you can do almost anything while pregnant”. I’m 38 weeks’ pregnant and wish this was true. But the only thing Williams proved is that she could win her 23rd Grand Slam while pregnant. Funny how being the greatest athlete of all time lends itself to being the greatest pregnant athlete of all time. One of the key challenges of my pregnancy was finding out what was right for me, in a culture that too often assumes that one idea fits everyone. An equally false narrative, according to Michelle Mottola, director of the Exercise and Pregnancy Laboratory at Western University in Canada, is that pregnancy is a time to kick back, do nothing and eat. “These are the worst things a pregnant woman can do,” she says. Dr Mottola, who helped develop a standard template to best determine fitness plans in pregnancy, added: “We usually suggest ‘do not eat for two, but eat twice as healthy’. We also suggest ways to increase daily physical activity by parking farther away or taking the stairs.” I was taken aback by the intense opinions on my decisions about exercise. These seemed to be at two extremes: “You can do anything!” versus “You’re endangering your baby!” Now, with two weeks until my due date, I’m very good at the “smile, nod, ignore” protocol. Running is my sanity. I have completed six ultra-marathons of 100km or more. I knew at the outset of my pregnancy that I’d want to stay as fit as possible. (07/28/2018) ⚡AMP
Kenya's Lawrence Cherono says he will do everything in his power to retain his Amsterdam Marathon crown and deny Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele the title. The two are expected to compete at this year's race, which will be held on Oct 21 and Cherono believes he has played the underdog card before and surprised his critics when he won in the Dutch capital last year. "Last year, I was very happy with the result. I immediately knew that I will come under focus this year and though I had not known who to face, I will be happy to battle it out with Bekele and win again," Cherono said on Tuesday in Eldoret. Of the nine marathons Cherono has contested, he has won four and finished on the podium in eight. Alongside winning in Amsterdam last year he also finished second in Rotterdam with a time of 2:06:21. The Amsterdam Marathon has always attracted a strong group of elite runners and the 2018 race will be no different. Bekele, a multiple world and Olympic champion announced last week that he will skip the big city marathons to compete in Amsterdam, which is an IAAF Gold Label road race. The Ethiopian distance runner owns the second-fastest marathon performance in history on a record-eligible course, having clocked a national record of 2:03:03 to win the 2016 Berlin Marathon. His time is just six seconds shy of Dennis Kimetto's world record (2:02:57). Bekele, who will be contesting his first marathon on Dutch soil, will be up against Cherono and a horde of other top Kenyan and Ethiopian road racers. "Kenenisa Bekele is one of the world's best long-distance runners," said race director Cees Pronk. "We are incredibly proud that Bekele will be lining up at the start on Oct 21. Bekele decided to run in Amsterdam because he has experienced the expert organization of the event and knows first-hand that the athletes always come first." (07/27/2018) ⚡AMP
When it happened along Kirkwood Boulevard two years ago, it became national news in the running world. Silas Kipruto was loping along, leading the Quad-City Times Bix 7
as he has so often through the years, when he suddenly whirled around and took a right-handed swipe at young Teshome Mekonen, who was running directly behind him. It’s just not the sort of thing you see in road racing. No one could recall seeing anything like it. Not in the Bix 7. Not in any race. Mekonen filed a post-race protest that was denied because the incident did not have an impact on the outcome. Kipruto did not even make contact with his swing. Here’s the happy news: Kipruto and Mekonen have become friends, buddies pals. "Brothers," Kipruto said as he stood outside one of the townhouses on the St. Ambrose University campus Thursday afternoon. "We were friends before," he added. "But I came to him after the race, and now we are friends like brothers, really good friends." Chances are, they shared a plate or two of ugali in the kitchen area at St. Ambrose on Thursday night. They may run the Bix course together today in preparation for Saturday’s 44th annual race. Kipruto, who is 11 years older at 33 and much more familiar with the Davenport race, may even give his pal a few pointers on how to navigate the hills of Bix. "We hang around together," Mekonen said. "We have a good time." It’s somewhat unusual because Kipruto is from Kenya and Mekonen is from Ethiopia. Runners from the two neighboring east African countries have a history of being less than friendly as they battle for supremacy in races across the U.S. (07/27/2018) ⚡AMP
The San Francisco Ultramarathon is two full marathons; certainly enough to warrant a ride home. Yet, on the day of the event’s first year, Dean Karnazes
, one of its creators, ran about three marathons. Karnazes, who still resides on the Kentfield/Ross border, ran to the Embarcadero for the start of the inaugural ultra seven years ago. Following the 52.4-mile feat, he headed home, on foot, reaching the Golden Gate Bridge before the lure of a passing bus was too enticing. Altogether, Karnazes estimates he ran between 75 and 80 miles in the 12-hour period. Karnazes, who has watched the event grow from eight people in its first year, is one of about 100 runners set to embark on the San Francisco Ultramarathon, which begins at 11 p.m. Saturday. The ultra, originally titled “Worth The Hurt,” is a fundraiser, with participants either raising $1,000 for a charity of their choice or paying a higher entrance fee, donating the difference to the race’s featured charities. The first loop begins in front of the Ferry Building Marketplace. The course is the San Francisco Marathon backward — sans the trek over the Golden Gate Bridge into Marin County — and includes navigating through overflowing bars in the Mission District and Haight-Ashbury. Runners finish, eat, change into dry clothes and often nap, then join the 9,000 marathoners at 5:30 a.m. There are expected to be 27,500 total participants in the ultra, marathon, both half marathons and 5K. “It’s been remarkable,” Karnazes said. “I still can’t believe that we get about 100 participants now at the race. We don’t really advertise it too much; it’s more word of mouth. Ultramarathoning is still very grassroots. I don’t think we’ll ever see it as a mass-participant event. “Dare I say it: it’s actually very fun.” Karnazes, 55, one of the most decorated ultra runners in the world, has proved his definition of fun differs from most. (07/27/2018) ⚡AMP
RUN THE WORLD: Kati Toivanen started running in 1981, when she arrived in America as an exchange student from Finland. "I was hosted by a wonderful, loving family in Williston, Vermont," Kati says. "In an effort to connect with other students at the high school, I joined the cross-country team. I was not very good, but worked hard and improved." That started her life-long fondness of running. She returned to the the US to attend college and graduate school, eventually building an art career and a family. "I never raced again until my son's elementary school had a fund raising 5K in 2013. That, and my elliptical breaking, got me started on a path to losing 30 pounds and lacing up for regular running again," she says. Running has now become an important part of her daily routine. "I like it for its physical and emotional benefits, but increasingly for the social connections." She belongs to the very active running community in Kansas City. "Runs fly by as we chat away. I have also gotten faster by hanging onto folks who are just little faster than me," says Kati. In 2016 she ran her second full marathon. "The 2016 Helsinki City Marathon was really exciting. The course went around the city where I spent much of my youth," she remembers. But her most cherished running event was running the 2018 Boston Marathon. "I typically excel in the face of adversity, so while this year's race conditions were not exactly enjoyable, they played to my strengths: mental toughness, perseverance, stubbornness, and my ability to choose denial at will. I got a small PR and a big BQ for 2019. I plan to run Boston as long as I can hit the qualifying time." On her bucket list is to run all the Abbott World Marathon Majors. She will be running the Chicago and New York marathon this fall. I asked her about her goals? "I am still reaching PRs in my mid-50s before the reality of my age inevitably catches up to me. After that I plan to focus on age-graded results." Why did you sign up for the Run The World Global Run Challenge I asked. "I enjoy challenges and structures as well as any project that brings people from many cultures together in a positive way. This is definitely a fun tribe to join as it combines my passions for global citizenship and running," says Kati. She has now lived half of her life in the states and have a dual citizenship. She has a 15-year-old son. Kati is a professor of art at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where she also served for seven years as an associate dean in the College of Arts & Sciences. Kati Toivanen is an active artist. One of her sixteen solo art exhibitions was favorably reviewed in Art in America. Her works have been published and exhibited nationally and abroad. (07/26/2018) ⚡AMPby Bob Anderson
Michele ‘Mickey’ Graglia ran an ultra in sub-40-degree weather less six months ago in the Yukon. Yesterday, he experienced the fire of Death Valley and thrived to capture the overall title of the world’s toughest foot race. The 34-year-old coach/athlete from Los Angeles was chased the final 50 miles by three runners -- Texan Jared Fetteroff, Colorado race director Don Reichelt, and, 2011 champion Oswaldo López of Madera. They finished in that order. Graglia, who was born in Italy clocked 24 hours, 51 minutes, 47 seconds. “I pretty much nailed it,” said Graglia, who ran the 2016 Badwater edition in 34 hours, 10 seconds. Fetteroff was about a dozen minutes behind; Reichelt about 75 minutes back; and López a little more than 2 hours behind. “Oh my God! I just want to hug everyone right now,” said Graglia at Mt. Whitney portal, the end of a 135-mile race that began the night before at Badwater Basin. Micah Morgan finished in 30 hours and nine minutes to land her on the national podium finishing third in the female division and ninth overall. Badwater starts at 279 feet below sea level in the Badwater Basin, in California's Death Valley, and ends at an elevation of 8,360 feet at Mount Whitney. Temperatures reached as high as 121 degrees. (07/26/2018) ⚡AMP
The feeling of needing a challenge to keep stimulated is something many can empathise with. A 10k to keep fit, a triathlon to burn off Christmas excesses, maybe even an Iron Man for the seriously dedicated. But when you have already completed a marathon in an elite time of 2hr 25min and run 44 marathons in 44 different countries in 44 consecutive days, it is a little harder to find an appropriate test. This was the dilemma facing 34-year-old Peter Thompson, who on Wednesday completed the challenge of running the Tour de France route and finishing it before the cyclists. To stand a chance of achieving this feat, Thompson, who works in the voluntary sector helping isolated individuals, set out seven weeks before the Tour started. This meant that as he completed his odyssey he had been running for 70 days straight. Speaking to The Daily Telegraph on Thursday on his way home to Bournemouth, Thompson said: “It’s been an amazing experience. My girlfriend Sally’s been with me and supported me the whole time, and I think she’s forgiven me now!” After rediscovering his love for running with the 44-marathon challenge last year, Thompson began his Tour de France attempt on May 19. Over the course of 10 weeks he has grappled with blazing 95F (35C) heat and grass verges where one false step could mean a fatal fall off the side of a mountain. There were moments when he felt he could not go on but the incentive of “breathtakingly beautiful” mountain views always kept him going. At the finish line, Thompson felt “huge excitement and pride” but was too exhausted to have a big celebration, only managing a couple of beers with his girlfriend before conking out at 10pm. To compensate he is planning a party at the weekend with friends and family. (07/26/2018) ⚡AMP
World Junior 10,000 meters champion Rhonex Kipruto
is hoping to win the Birell Prague Grand Prix after writing history in Tampere, Finland earlier this month. Kipruto said he is eying a win in the 10km race to be run in Czech Republic September 8. An epic battle is expected in the 23rd edition of the race in September as Kipruto says he is determined to dethrone race record holder, Bernard Kimeli
. Kimeli and Kipruto also competed in Prague last year and the former won. "I know the competition will be tough and I preparing hard,” Kipruto said in Iten. In 2017, Bernard Kimeli and Mathew Kimeli battled it out right to the end clocking 27:10, Bernard was the first to cross the finish line, breaking a new personal best and race record. Kipruto (27:13), whose excellent result took everyone by surprise, settled for third place. A total of eight men managed to finish the race in under 28 minutes including the Norwegian Sondre Nordstad Moen who clocked 27:55 a personal best and the best European time recorded in 2017. (07/26/2018) ⚡AMP
Ben Flanagan will be a decided underdog when he steps to the starting line in Saturday’s 44th annual Quad-City Times Bix 7. After all, the 23-year-old Canadian hasn’t run a road race of any distance since he was in the ninth grade. He certainly hasn’t run a race full of steep hills in the sometimes suffocating heat of late July against a field filled with battle-hardened Kenyans and Ethiopians, many of whom are very familiar with a course he’s never even seen before. But you get the feeling Flanagan kind of likes being the underdog. And he often responds positively when placed in that role. You needn’t look any further than the 10,000-meter race at the NCAA Division I track and field meet about seven weeks ago. Flanagan, a fifth-year senior at the University of Michigan, was seeded 19th in the race. He hadn’t even qualified for the NCAA meet the previous year because of a litany of injuries. He ran in the wake of Alabama star Vincent Kiprop the entire way but on the 25th and final lap, he found the strength to surge past Kiprop and spring one of the biggest upsets in recent NCAA history. He admitted he probably even surprised himself that day. (07/26/2018) ⚡AMP
of Kenya has won the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon twice, and he’s coming back to Canada to race again in 2018.Rono’s 2017 winning time was 2:06:51. That performance broke three significant marks on the course in Toronto that day: a personal best, a course record and the Canadian all-comers record. He made $75,000 CAD for his efforts last year. Rono is known at home as “Baby Police” as he’s a police officer with a young looking face. The defending champion’s decision to return to the Scotiabank Waterfront Marathon could potentially mean a new Canadian soil record, and personal best for the runner. This summer could potentially see the men’s and women’s Canadian soil records fall, as Canadian marathon events have become some of the best in the world. (07/25/2018) ⚡AMP
Richard Mazungula is arguably one of the best athletes in Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa. The 41-year-old said he used to run in track races in high school, but it’s been years. “Back then, people used to tell me I had talent, but I only ran for fun, not for fame. I don’t know why I started running again. It can only be God’s grace,” he explained. His first venture back on the track was for a 5km race in Forest Hill last year and, to his great surprise, he came first. He’s been running non-stop ever since. Since September last year, Mazungula has run almost 75 races. He is now a proud member of the Nedbank Running Club. Mazungula has astounded many racing fans by running five ultra marathons this year alone. The first was the Amobia Bay Ultra Marathon in February, followed by the 2018 Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon
and the Bruintjieshoogte Marathon. Only four days after the that Marathon he ran the Zwelitsha Mdantsane Ultra Marathon. The last ultra was the 2018 Comrades Marathon. This came as a surprise to him as well as he said he never ran more than 15km races when he was younger. “Most athletes only run one ultra a year. I’ve run five this year alone and I have no pain or injuries. “It must be God’s will. “Some of the guys asked me if I had any help, but I don’t use any supplements or anything like that. We’re tested for those kind of things. I just like to run.” (07/25/2018) ⚡AMP
Three of the elite runners in the women’s field are from Illinois. The best known of them is Chelsea Blaase, who is from the small town of St. Joseph near Champaign and had a great career at the University of Tennessee. She was fifth in the NCAA 10,000 meters in 2016 and seventh in 2017 as well as placing fifth in the Bix 7 last year. Kelly McShea, from Lisle, ran collegiately at Illinois State and Kristen Heckert, who lives in Bolingbrook and teaches algebra at Plainfield South High School, competed at Illinois-Chicago. The women’s runner who has had the most past success in the Bix is Kenya’s Caroline Rotich, who won the race in 2011 and has placed in the top three on three occasions since then. She is not the only woman in the field who has run well on the streets of Davenport, however. Margaret Muriuki won the race the only previous time she ran it (in 2012), Ethiopia’s Buzunesh Deba was second in 2013 and Monicah Ngige has a pair of top-10 Bix finishes on her resume.Sydney Devore had a highly successful high school cross country career in Lakeland, Florida, but gave up running after suffering an injury as a freshman at the University of Florida. She resumed her career in 2015 and at the age of 26, is now an up and coming competitor on the U.S. scene. She attempted a marathon for the first time earlier this year and won, turning in the fastest time in four years at the Pittsburgh Marathon. (07/25/2018) ⚡AMP
It was a humid day in Paradise on Sunday as almost 4,700 runners laced up for the 91st running of the Tely 10, Newfoundland’s oldest and most popular road race. But a little humidity didn’t stop Florence Barron from smashing the existing record for the 80+ age group (2:23:49, set by Nora Connors in 2016) by more than 45 minutes. Barron celebrated her 80th birthday in April, and this was the fourth time she has set a record at the Tely 10. Last year Barron broke her own 75-79 record (just under 1:30), finishing in 1:27. Women were first welcomed into the Tely 10 in 1969, two years after Kathrine Switzer’s historic first official Boston Marathon finish. The heat and humidity made today’s race especially challenging. (07/25/2018) ⚡AMP
RUN THE WORLD: "Running is my life and who I am," says 44-year-old Michael Wardian. "I love running and hope to run till my last days." Michael started running after he stopped playing Lacrosse in college to stay in shape.
He lives in Arlington, Virginia with his wife and two children. Michael has accomplished so much. In 2008 he won the US National 100K championships. In 2006 he won four out of five marathons he raced in 45 days.
He held the world record for the fastest marathon time pushing a baby stroller. He set a record of running a marathon on an indoor 200-meter track. He ran the 2012 Olympic Marathon trails clocking 2:21.
The next day he ran another marathon clocking 2:31. He ran seven marathons in seven days on 7 continents clocking an average of 2:45 for each marathon (photo). With so many highlights on his resume, I asked him what would be his top two.
"In 2011 I ran 2:17:49 (PR) at Grandmas Marathon and the same year I placed second at 100k World Championships," Michael said. He is a vegetarian and works as an International Ship-broker.
How about injuries? "I have been very lucky, I have not had many injuries and I think my best secret is to keep moving. After big events, I do an easy jog, hike or even just walk. It keeps everything moving," says Michael.
Why did he enter this challenge? "I think the Run The World Challenge is cool and I hope it gets more people out there," he says.
He is a professional marathon and ultra marathon runner and has been running since 1996. He has represented the USA in the 50k and 100k world championships, and has participated in three Olympic Marathon Trials.
Just recently (July 20-21) Michael placed 11th at the Hardrock 100 clocking 30 hours and 23 minutes for the 100.5 mile very challenging trail race held in Silverton, Colorado. (07/24/2018) ⚡AMPby Bob Anderson
The Keflezighi family, including Meb and nine siblings, fled to Milan, Italy, and eventually settled in San Diego. He took up competitive distance running in high school, became a star at UCLA and became an American hero when he won the silver medal in the 2004 Olympic marathon and won the 2009 New York City Marathon. Meb Keflezigh
became a superhero in 2014 when he became the first American citizen in 31 years to win the Boston Marathon. It was the year after a bomb exploded at the race, taking the lives of three people. He ran that race with the names of the victims written on his race bib. Along the way, Keflezighi also has developed an affectionate relationship with the Quad-City Times Bix 7. He won the Bix 7 in 2002 and 2009, when it served as the U.S. championship race for seven miles, and he has placed in the top 10 on six other occasions. At the age of 43, he has retired from competitive running but still participates in several races a year, often doing so in support of some sort of charitable cause. He is scheduled to run the 44th annual Bix 7 on July 28. (07/24/2018) ⚡AMP
Two weeks ago, Jeff Browning wasn’t even officially in the Hardrock Hundred Endurance Run. Until the final 10 miles, he didn’t even know he had a chance to win. Browning, a 46-year-old from North Logan, Utah, won the 2018 Hardrock 100 ultra-marathon on Saturday when he was the first man to kiss the finisher’s rock outside Silverton Gymnasium. He conquered the 100.5-mile clockwise route from Silverton to Telluride, Ouray, Lake City and back to Silverton in 26 hours, 20 minutes, 22 seconds. Until July 9, Browning was on the wait list to get into the 145-runner field. He ran well behind Xavier Thévenard, a 30-year-old from France, throughout the race, but Thévenard was disqualified for a rule violation and out of the race at the Cunningham aid station 91 miles into the race. (07/24/2018) ⚡AMP
Being prohibited from team sports during her childhood in Spain motivated Bego Lopez to move at a competitive pace throughout adulthood. Now, at 50, Bego Lopez is one of the oldest cross-country runners at the National Junior College Athletic Association level, according to her coach and friend, Judy Wilson. Lopez has added going back to college and joining the school’s running team to her credits. In November, Wilson became the head coach for Daytona State College’s men’s and women’s cross-country teams. Wilson discovered a dearth of female student runners, and realized the NJCAA does not have an age limit. The only requirements: enrollment in college and no previous college cross-country experience. She thought of her friend Bego Lopez.“It just so happens that there are lots of women in this area who fit that mold,” Wilson said. “On the guys’ side, not so much. … So, Bego and I run together, and the more we joked about her being on the team, the more it made sense. She found a program to study at DSC, so we signed her up about two months ago.” For Lopez, running is “freedom.” “You have the ability to do it anytime you want,” she said. “Early morning, late evening. All you need are comfortable shoes and gear.” (07/24/2018) ⚡AMP
Rhonda-Marie Parke will be moving a bit slower, at least for a few days. On Friday she completed a 500 kilometer ultra marathon in Tennessee. It took her just over eight days to finish the Vol-State. Parke, who is legally blind, also ran the race without a guide. "It's the first time I've taken on something of this nature without a guide...For the most part I've always had someone with me, calling things out." she said. Parke says she had two goals going into the race. "This was my 40th year so I wanted to do something big." she said. "I'm always running for the sake of advocacy for inclusion in sport for disabilities...It seemed like the thing to do to draw attention to the fact that just because there's difference in ability, doesn't mean there's a lack of ability," (07/24/2018) ⚡AMP
RUN THE WORLD: Roger Wright's father ran the 1969 Boston Marathon
when Roger was seven." When I turned 47, even though I could only run 10 yards, I set a goal of running the 2009 Boston Marathon," says Roger. Starting around the age of 10 or 11 he discovered that he was fat. "As my age increased, so did my weight and by the time I reached 40, I was over 300 lbs at 5'6" tall," he says. "I tried everything to lose weight (diets, going to a gym, weight watchers, etc) but didn't have the discipline to stay with it. My doctor suggested surgery but fortunately I decided against it at the last minute." Ten months after setting the goal to run Boston he lost 120 pounds and ran all 26.2 miles of Boston "without walking one step." Two days before the marathon he made a Cystic Fibrosis (a disease his niece Julia suffers from) fund raising video. "The video got reposted/renamed "The Most Inspiring Video You Will Ever Watch" and ended up going viral (9 millions views right now) and people started recognizing me. I happened to see Meb Keflezighi at the 2013 Boston Marathon expo, he looked at me and said "I know you! You're the guy from the video!". I still smile thinking about that, and everyone else who has reached out and thanked me for being an inspiration," says Roger. This recognition has helped him keep his weight in check. "If I put the weight back on," says Roger, "I fear people might use me as an excuse to never start losing weight so I continue to run marathons all over the world (58 full marathons in nine years) to set a positive example that you can change and make it permanent." Why did Roger join this challenge? "Like a marathon, I constantly seek out challenges to stay in shape and push myself harder. For the Run The World Challenge, I gave Bob a commitment of 35 miles per week. Being a part of the team pushes me harder and so far I have maintained an average of 50 miles per week. When I decided to change my life 10 years ago, it was incredibly hard, but each day I push myself a little harder to maybe make a small difference while I can," says Roger. (07/23/2018) ⚡AMPby Bob Anderson
It was a tough Sunday morning on the Paradise-to-Bannerman Park course, with the high humidity taking a roll on the 4,672 runners and walkers who started the race. Despite the conditions, Murrin bettered her time from last year, crossing the finish line in 56:58. But she paid for it at the end, requiring attention from St. John Ambulance attendants. “That’s the toughest race I’ve ever been in,” Murrin said afterwards. Colin Fewer
agreed, after finishing in a time of 52:05. Last year, Fewer set the record for most Tely 10 victories with his 10th championship. Anne Johnston led all women for most of the race before she was overtaken by Murrin. Johnston finished in 57:34, and Kate Bazeley, the current course record-holder, was third in 58:41. Jennifer Barron came in fourth in 1:02.08 and Lisa Collins-Sheppard rounded out the top five, stopping the clock in 1:02.29. Montreal’s Graydon Snider placed second behind Fewer, just as he did the last time he ran the Tely, in 2016. Snider’s time was 52:40. Chris Galley was third in 54:01, Nick Snow fourth in 54:22 and Michael Gill of Oakville, Ont. placed fifth in a time of 55:02. (07/23/2018) ⚡AMP
The Ethiopian distance runner owns the second-fastest marathon performance in history on a record-eligible course, having clocked a national record of 2:03:03 to win the 2016 Berlin Marathon. His time is just six seconds shy of Dennis Kimetto’s world record. Bekele, who will be contesting his first marathon on Dutch soil, will be up against Lawrence Cherono, who won last year’s Amsterdam Marathon in a course record of 2:05:09. Cherono also finished one place behind Bekele at this year’s London Marathon. “Kenenisa Bekele is one of the world's best long-distance runners,” said race director Cees Pronk. “We are incredibly proud that Bekele will be lining up at the start on Sunday 21 October. Bekele decided to run in Amsterdam because he has experienced the expert organisation of the event and knows first-hand that the athletes always come first.” (07/23/2018) ⚡AMP
Serious runners hit the road daily, and we see them out there in all kinds of weather. Some of them run for fun, while others train for competitive events like marathons. They're motivated by the possibility of awards or achieving personal bests. But one man who ran multiple three-mile loops through Dix Park Sunday told us he's really running for his life. He's now free of dependence on intoxicants that used to control him. That's why Charlie Engle, author of the memoir "Running Man," spent much of the day running with a rotating cast of supporters. It's twenty-six hours on the road for a very good reason, he says. "To celebrate my 26th year of being clean and sober. It's an unusual way to celebrate but for me, running was a lifesaver. Literally!" he exclaimed. Engle knows there are people out there who need some encouragement as they struggle with their own demons. He hopes they see him or hear about the action he took, so he can "show those people that are still out there struggling that there is another way." The choice of Dix Park for his ultramarathon was intentional, since a recovery facility's located there. "We're doing this three mile loop out here around Healing Transitions, which is this amazing center here in Raleigh," he said. Engle has got advice for people who want to change their lives for the better: Get moving. "Just go for an hour long walk, 30 minutes out and 30 back. If you make that a habit two or three days a week, it's amazing how quickly your life will transform," said Engle. He also has plans for his next awareness raising activity. (07/23/2018) ⚡AMP
Running ultra marathons is impressive enough; but running backwards through one is astounding – and that’s exactly what Farai Chinomwe did for the sake of honeybees. The South African beekeeper first discovered his knack for running backwards while returning home from a bee removal and his car broke down—with a crateful of anxious pollinators in the back seat. As Chinomwe pushed his car, he found that he had more strength when he turned around and pushed the vehicle backwards. From that point forward, he realized that his unique penchant for running backwards might be a way to coax people into think about honeybees. Chinomwe has since run dozens of ultra marathons all while facing the wrong way. His peculiar habit has proved surprisingly effective in drawing awareness to the plight of honeybees and how people can help. Chinomwe, who runs a bee removal service called Blessed Bee Africa, uses the attention to educate youngsters on beekeeping and how they can nourish local pollinator populations. Chinomwe has run the Two Oceans and Om die Dam Marathons backwards, and reverse-ran the Comrades Marathon three times. “This is dedicated to us saving bees, because they are under threat as we are talking right now,” Chinomwe says. Although he may be finishing his races the wrong way, he’s taking the future of bees in the right direction. (07/22/2018) ⚡AMP
The 10th annual Kauai Marathon and Half Marathon set for Sept. 2 is a little more than six weeks away. While you still have time to whip yourself into shape for the half marathon, 13.1 miles, forget about it if you haven’t been in training for the full 26.2 miles. That’s an entirely different beast, particularly with this Kauai Marathon course of so many hills, long and short, as the course winds through Lawai and Kalaheo. The hills can suck the life out of your legs and can turn a long day into an even longer day, however the course is one of the most beautiful of any half or full. Registration is up nearly 20 percent for this year’s races, with 315 signed on for the full, and 1,504 registered for the half. Jeff Sacchini, who also co-owns and operates Living Foods Market and The Lanai restaurant at The Shops at Kukuiula is the founder and owner of the event. The aid on the course, the support, the finisher medals, the aloha, and the food and drink afterward, are top-notch. It really is a commitment to creating the best experience for runners and walkers. And, perhaps best of all since that first marathon 2009, more than $100,000 of the proceeds have gone to nonprofit groups and charities on Kauai. Kauai is fortunate to have a marathon of such caliber. As Sacchini has said, Kauai residents don’t have to leave the island to compete in what really is a world-class race. Registration is still open. (07/22/2018) ⚡AMP
Shelby Houlihan, a native of Sioux City, Iowa, who now lives in Portland, Oregon, won the 5,000 and the 1,500 at this year's USA Championships. Her top 5,000 time before Saturday was 15:00.37, which came at the 2017 World Championships in London. Shelby broke the American women's record Saturday in the outdoor 5,000 meters at the Night of the Athletics track and field meet in Heusden, Belgium. Houlihan, 25, won in 14 minutes, 34.45 seconds to break the record of 14:38.92, which was set by Shannon Rowbury in 2016 in Brussels, Belgium. She dominated the field beating runner-up Molly Huddle of the United States by nearly 27 seconds. Huddle ran a 15:01.44 while fellow American Karrissa Schweizer finished third in 15:02.44. (07/21/2018) ⚡AMP
Gretchen Reynolds, writing about running for The New York Times, claims that studies estimate that “90 percent of runners miss training time every year due to injury.” What causes the injuries? To answer that question researchers have examined and then blamed an assortment of causes from running longer distances, being too heavy, over-striding, wearing the wrong running shoes, wearing no shoes and going barefoot, weak hips, following a wrong diet, and rough pavement to run on. Researchers at Harvard Medical School, to get more reliable answers to the runners’ injury question, decided to examine the history of a group of long time runners who have never experienced an injury. What were they doing that kept them from never getting hurt? The study was published in December in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. The researchers recruited 249 experienced female recreational runners. They had one thing in common—they all struck the ground with their heels when they ran. Most runners are heel strikers and, according to Reynolds, heel striking is believed by many running experts to cause higher impacts than landing near the middle or front of the foot. The study focused on young women so researchers would not have to control for gender in the results. The researchers tracked the runners for two years. During that time, according to Reynolds, more than 100 of the runners sustained an injury that was serious enough to require medical attention. Another 40 reported minor injuries, while the rest remained uninjured. Twenty-one of the runners not only did not become injured during the two-year study but they also had not ever had a prior running injury. The scientists compared that small group’s impact loading with the pounding experienced by the seriously injured runners. They found that the never-injured runners, as a group, landed far more lightly than those who had been seriously hurt. This was true even when they controlled for running mileage, body weight and other variables. Reynolds noted that “the finding refutes the widely held belief that a runner cannot land lightly on her heels.” Irene Davis, Ph.D., a Harvard professor who led the study, said, “One of the runners we studied, a woman who has run multiple marathons and never been hurt, had some of the lowest rates of loading that we’ve ever seen.” (07/21/2018) ⚡AMP
Race leader Xavier Thévenard of France was disqualified from the Hardrock Hundred Endurance Run early Saturday morning. He was less than 10 miles from the finish line in Silverton. The 30-year-old broke Rule 5 of the Hardrock 100’s Executive Rule Summary that reads: “No stashing of supplies along the course and no accepting aid except within 400 yards of a designated aid station.” The Hardrock 100 is a 100.5-mile ultramarathon through the San Juan Mountains in Southwest Colorado. This is the 25th running of the event that features 66,000 feet of elevation change. After admitting to the violation, Thévenard was given the option to finish the race in Silverton as an unofficial finisher, but he opted to drop out and was not seen in Silverton as other finishers came in Saturday. Oregon’s Jeff Browning, 46, was crowned the winner in a time of 26 hours, 20 minutes, 20 seconds. He called it a “bittersweet” win because of what happened to Thévenard. Thévenard is the first runner to ever be disqualified from a Hardrock 100. (07/21/2018) ⚡AMP
Jennifer Murrin won the 2017 Tely 10 title, has won the race four times, and is the current course record holder, having set a new standard two years ago at the 2016 Tely 10. Kate Bazeley regards herself as somewhat of an underdog entering tomorrow’s 91st race. Bazeley — who has posted three of the five fastest female times ever recorded in Tely 10 history — feels she’s a dark horse in this year’s race. She missed last year’s race following the birth of her third child in early July. “The comeback has been a bit slow, and I’ve had this setback (glute injury). But I’m not counting myself out at all. I do think it’s going to be exciting to get out there and mix it up. “The last few times I’ve ran, I’ve sort of found myself out there alone. I don’t anticipate that this year.” While Colin Fewer is all but assured his 11th Tely 10 men’s title, the women’s championship is up for grabs. (07/21/2018) ⚡AMP
Kennol Narayan won the 2018 Island Chill Suva Marathon full marathon in Suva earlier yesterday. He clocked a time of two hours 55 minutes and 40 seconds. “It is a proud moment,” he said. “I will continue to train for the 2019 Pacific Games in Samoa. “I have been training in Rakiraki for the last one and half months. I thank all the people who contributed to the win.” 14-year-old Timaima Takape was the lucky winner of the Hyundai I10 Car. Takape ran the full marathon. “My dad was a runner, he represented Fiji in the Ultra Marathon.” This year the marathon recorded its largest number of participants of over 200 thousand runners from around the country. Suva Marathon President Gina Houng Lee says they hope to make the event bigger and better next year. (07/21/2018) ⚡AMP
RUN THE WORLD: “When I was a junior high school student, I was a baseball player,“ says 37-year-old Sam Tada. But one of his teachers thought he had ability for running and he brought him to a track race. “It was a 1500m,” Sam remembers. He ran 5min flat finishing third. “This was my start of my running career here in Japan,” he says. Sam has raced in five countries and has run a 2:24 Marathon. While living in the United States for several years he ran many races including the Double Road Race 15k placing in the top three regularly. Sam and his family moved back to Japan about two years ago. “In Japan, there is big popularity in relay marathon events called ‘Ekiden’. Ekiden is so big in Japan and I love it as well,” says Sam. Why did Sam join this challenge? “The Run The World Challenge is a great idea. It connect runners and it motivates each other global wide.” His plans for the future is to stay competitive in his age category. (07/21/2018) ⚡AMPby Bob Anderson
Regular running slows the effects of aging, according to a new study from the Stanford University School of Medicine that has tracked 500 older runners for more than 20 years. Elderly runners have fewer disabilities, a longer span of active life and are half as likely as aging nonrunners to die early deaths, the research found. "The study has a very pro-exercise message," said James Fries, MD, an emeritus professor of medicine at the medical school and the study's senior author. "If you had to pick one thing to make people healthier as they age, it would be aerobic exercise." The new findings appear in the Aug. 11 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine. When Fries and his team began this research in 1984, many scientists thought vigorous exercise would do older folks more harm than good. Some feared the long-term effect of the then-new jogging craze would be floods of orthopedic injuries, with older runners permanently hobbled by their exercise habit. Fries had a different hypothesis: he thought regular exercise would extend high-quality, disability-free life. Keeping the body moving, he speculated, wouldn't necessarily extend longevity, but it would compress the period at the end of life when people couldn't carry out daily tasks on their own. That idea came to be known as "the compression of morbidity theory." Fries' team began tracking 538 runners over age 50, comparing them to a similar group of nonrunners. The subjects, now in their 70s and 80s, have answered yearly questionnaires about their ability to perform everyday activities such as walking, dressing and grooming, getting out of a chair and gripping objects. The researchers have used national death records to learn which participants died, and why. Nineteen years into the study, 34 percent of the nonrunners had died, compared to only 15 percent of the runners. (07/20/2018) ⚡AMP
Colin has won the race more than anyone else in its 90 years, and can boast seven of the top 25 all-time Tely 10 times that have been clocked over the 10 miles. It still gives me butterflies thinking about racing it. “It’s never been an easy race for me. Definitely gives me challenges, but I’m healthy and motivated to still run a good time.” It might not be an easy jaunt for him, from Paradise to Bannerman Park, but it sure seems like it. But whether it’s the Tely or a national race or some local event, what keeps Fewer going is the never-ending quest to run the perfect race. “I still feel I haven’t run my best Tely yet, ironically,” said the 41-year-old teacher from Paradise. “Even last year, I had a personal best time. but I still feel I could have been faster.” Fewer’s 49:41 last summer was the sixth-fastest time clocked on the course. “This whole new masters category is something that’s motivating me,” he said. “I might have left some of my youth back on the road in my mid-20s when I wasn’t training as serious as I should have been.” In the spring, Fewer ran the Vancouver Sun Run, finishing 16th overall of 34,000 runners and the top masters runner. During Ottawa’s Race Weekend in May, despite feeling under the weather, he was 18th overall and the eighth Canadian in the 10K race. “My times have been consistent,” he said. “I’m running the same times that I ran 10 years ago. There are not many in the last 10-15 years in 40-plus with the times that I’m running.” (07/20/2018) ⚡AMP
The Wharf to Wharf race in California has a lot of history to it, some of which Flagstaff is tied to. In 2014, Ben Bruce became the last American male to finish in the top three of the six-mile race that starts at Santa Cruz Wharf and ends at Capitola Wharf. He recorded a third-place finish that year in 28:07.29. That same summer, Aliphine Tuliamuk, who now runs for NAZ Elite and has since become a United States citizen, finished third while running for Kenya, a country that has dominated the course over the years. Fast forward a year. A longtime Flagstaff running icon who moved from town in 2017, Nick Arciniaga crossed the finish line in 10th in 28:27.44. Then in 2017, former Northern Arizona Lumberjacks standout distance runner Diego Estrada took sixth at 27:47.81. Now, as the race enters its 46th year, NAZ Elite hopes to add to the history books as it sends Stephanie Bruce to compete on the women's side, and Scott Smith and Craig Lutz on the men's side. All three will face a stellar and challenging field. And the timing couldn't be much better for the team. "This made sense on the calendar," said NAZ Elite head coach Ben Rosario. Bruce, who placed fourth at Wharf to Wharf in 2013, is coming off her first-ever national title at the Peachtree Road Race USATF 10K Championships on the Fourth of July, and her body is feeling up to the task of taking on another race before breaking for the fall marathon season. She'll face an imposing field that consists of NYC Half-Marathon winner Buze Diriba of Ethiopia, 2015 Boston Marathon champion Caroline Rotich and Wharf to Wharf 2017 runner-up Monicah Ngige of Kenya, who finished behind only Diriba a year ago. (07/20/2018) ⚡AMP
Fiji-born Benjamin Ashkettle runs more than 250 kilometers every week in preparation for marathons . The Island Chill marathon defending champion Mr Ashkettle, 30, who has maternal links to Fiji gained his Fiji citizenship early this year. He’s currently coming back after some time out due to injury so will be running the half marathon this year. Now with his citizenship he says, “It is an honor to represent of Fiji at world athletics events such as the Olympics, but more importantly to do it in the best way I can by sharing more about our culture and traditions, and perhaps make at the same time important relationships to boost athletics and opportunities in Fiji,” Benjamin said. “To start, I have been providing training and competition gear to those in need to boost participation and opportunities in athletics here,” he said. (07/20/2018) ⚡AMP
Xavier Thévenard, a 30-year-old from France, headlines a men’s field that has changed drastically since the lottery was first drawn in December. Montana’s Mike Foote, a two-time Hardrock runner-up, withdrew from the race a little more than a week out from the start, making Thévenard the favorite if his body and mind hold up during the grueling 100.5-mile race through the San Juan Mountains. “It was tough when I got the email from Kilian a couple weeks ago,” Hardrock 100 race director Dale Garland said. “What it did to the men’s field was kind of blew it up in terms of being in the front.” While Foote and Jornet won’t race, Jeff Browning, a 46-year-old from Oregon, was a late addition from the wait list. He will join Troy Howard, a 45-year-old from Golden, as the top contenders to Thévenard. Thévenard finished third at Hardrock in 2016 in a time of 23 hours, 57 minutes, 10 seconds. That was the year Jornet and Durango’s Jason Schlarb finished as co-champions in a hand-in-hand finish. Since then, Thévenard hasn’t slowed down a bit. He was fourth at Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB) in 2017 and is coming off a fifth-place finish at the 45-mile Transculvania race in May. (07/20/2018) ⚡AMP
A cancer diagnosis can turn anyone's world upside down. But at 77-year-old, Ron Wright refuses to let cancer slow him down. He has run 100 marathons all over the world ever since he was diagnosed, including at least one in all 50 states. Wright is from Stillwater, Minn. He's in the Pacific Northwest this week for the Senior Games in Olympia, where he'll compete in the 1500, 800, 400 and 200 meter runs. (07/20/2018) ⚡AMP
Meb Keflezighi will serve as a pacer for the Anthem Shamrock Half Marathon as well as make special appearances throughout St. Patrick’s Day Weekend. Keflezighi is the only athlete ever to have won an Olympic medal, the Boston Marathon, and the New York City Marathon. He retired from professional running in 2017 after competing in 26 marathons and countless other races. Keflezighi remains an active part of the running community with a particular focus on promoting youth health and fitness. “I’m excited to be spending St. Patrick’s Day at the 2019 Yuengling Shamrock Marathon Weekend. I know many runners travel to this event from all over the country because it is an amazing event and Virginia Beach has a vibrant local running community,” said Keflezighi. “I’m so grateful for the opportunity to run the half marathon and experience race weekend for myself.” As part of Keflezighi’s visit to Virginia Beach, he will pace a time group of runners at the Anthem Shamrock Half Marathon. Keflezighi will also make appearances at the Shamrock Sports and Fitness Expo, serve as the official starter for all of the races throughout Yuengling Shamrock Marathon Weekend, and visit the local elementary school that has the most students register for the Operation Smile Shamrock Final Mile. (07/19/2018) ⚡AMP
Local ultrarunner Harvey Lewis has finished his run of the 2,189-mile Appalachian Trail Wednesday, according to his Facebook page. It took Lewis less than 50 days to run the trail from Georgia to Maine. Lewis is world-renowned in running circles. He's been running ultramarathons for more than 20 years, and is known for spending six days running in the Sahara Desert. He had aimed to beat the fastest known time for finishing the Appalachian Trail, 45 days, 12 hours and 48 minutes. The rugged terrain and significant elevation changes of the trail made this a particularly daunting run, even for Lewis. It ended up taking him about 49 days and 14 hours, according to the Facebook post. That's still pretty fast, likely putting him in the top 10 times for completing the trail. (07/19/2018) ⚡AMP
On July 27th at 08:00, Julien Chorier will set off on a large personal project, the Grand Tour de Tarentaise. On a course of 273km and 18000m elevation gain usually done in 25 stages, the Savoyard trail runner will try to establish the first reference time for completion in a single push. From Val Thorens to Val Thorens, Chorier has set himself a goal of between 48 and 60 hours to complete the mammoth course, taking in much of the Tarentaise Valley. Having won some of the biggest trail events on the planet trail (Diagonale des Fous, Mount Fuji Ultra-Trail, Hardrock Endurance Run, Madeira Island Ultra Trail), the Hoka team athlete decided so set his own challenge. And he doesn't want to go it alone. Julien's route will take him close to many resorts in the Tarentaise Valley, and he's inviting local runners to hop on a lift and join in for a short or longer run. (07/19/2018) ⚡AMP
Erin Hamlin may have retired following her fourth Olympic appearance earlier this year, but she isn’t done competing by any means. Hamlin announced on Wednesday that she will run in the New York City Marathon in November, her first marathon ever, on behalf of the Women’s Sports Foundation. “Being challenged in sport is something I am very familiar with,” Hamlin wrote in an email on Wednesday. “Long distance running is something I most certainly am not!! It will be difficult, mentally and physically daunting, but a way to test my abilities in a sport so far out of my comfort zone. So naturally I am pretty excited.” Hamlin carried the flag for Team USA at the Opening Ceremony at the Olympics in February in PyeongChang, South Korea, and became the first American to medal in a single luge competition when she won the bronze medal in 2014. The 31-year-old took sixth in South Korea, and finished seventh overall last season in the World Cup standings. Hamlin said she hopes to raise more than $8,000 for the Women’s Sports Foundation before the marathon, which was founded by Billie Jean King in 1974. (07/19/2018) ⚡AMP
People in Missoula, Montana were astonished last year when Theresa Marie Pitts set the first Guinness world record for a woman running the half-marathon while pushing three kids in a stroller, but that record has been broken–first by Ashlee Eskelsen in Montgomery, Alabama this past March her record is 1:47:29, and most recently this past Sunday, again at the Missoula Half-Marathon, by Cynthia Arnold of Polson, Montana. Arnold ran a blazing 1:29:08. Her record has yet to be verified by the Guinness organization. “I feel really good,” says Arnold, two days after her record-breaking run. “I can’t be as fast with the stroller, so I’m not as beat-up as I might be without it.” The 34-year-old mother of three is recognized as an accomplished runner in the area, having won the Governor’s Cup half-marathon in Helena, MT in 2016. Her result Sunday had her finishing 14th in the women’s division, and she was third in her age group (30-34). Her half-marathon PB (sans stroller) is 1:17. And her marathon PB is 2:48. (07/18/2018) ⚡AMP
The Olympic sprint great has long expressed his love of the game. Since his retirement from track, he has tested himself with Germany’s Borussia Dortmund and the Norwegian club Stromsgodset.
Now, at 31, he will try out for six weeks with the Central Coast Mariners starting next month. If all goes well, he could play for a season in Australia’s A-League. Australian agent Tony Rallis said Monday the Mariners and Bolt have a deal in principle, "subject to a couple of benchmarks." Rallis said the eight-time Olympic gold medallist would have to go through a tryout, and the Football Federation Australia would have to support his salary. "Once the FFA comes back and says that they’ll be part of the process, we’re going to the trial," Rallis said. (07/18/2018) ⚡AMP
The Run The World Global Run Challenge team has logged in 8,138 miles so far which is almost a third of the way around the world in the first 14 days. These miles have been run in 21 countries. The top ten counties based on miles logged are: 1. USA 2. Kenya 3. India 4. South Africa 5. Great Britain 6. Canada 7. Palau 8. Mexico 9. Japan 10. Costa Rica. “We wanted this to be a Global event and that is what it has become,” says Bob Anderson
who created the event. 70-year-old Bob Anderson has logged in 76 miles himself since the start date of July 4. “Our Mission is to celebrate running, motivate our team, inspire others and complete our goal of logging 24,901 miles, the distance around the world in as few days as possible with a team no bigger than 200,” says Bob. Photo: Grace Padilla training at Mammoth Lakes, California last week and logging her miles in for the RUN THE WORLD Challenge. (07/17/2018) ⚡AMP
RUN THE WORLD: Running is a major part of Paul Shimon's life. "I hate being injured," Paul says. But he doesn't stop. "I try to limp along furthering my injury but mentally I am more adjusted! I get depressed if I can't run." He also loves to read historical running stories and check out results from the past. He has a good take on the sport. " I make sure to run in tough conditions so ordinary days are a snap and a treat," he says and he feels that, "training tough makes racing easy." He got interested in running in grade school in 1954. "I watched Roger Bannister on tv set the mile record and I was hooked," he remembers. Paul's marathon PR is 2:30.12 clocked at the third Olympiad Marathon in St. Louis. He has run 135 marathons. Some other PR's include 4:26 for the mile, 14:34 for 5k, and 33:30 for 10k. "I got to run in the San Blas International Marathon (Puerto Rico) back in the early 70"s. Roberto Clemente's (famous baseball player) mother gave out the awards to the top 50 and I was lucky enough to receive one," he says. Paul is married with a son and daughter. He is still teaching APE (Adapted Physical Education) and this will be his 49th year. Why did he sign up for the Run The World Challenge? "I love this challenge. It is getting me to run more and I already feel a higher level of conditioning. I am quicker to get out the door too," Paul says. (07/17/2018) ⚡AMPby Bob Anderson
World Record Endurance Marathoner Becca Pizzi
will run the Falmouth Road Race on Sunday, August 19th as part of the NF Northeast Team, a Burlington, MA based non-profit organization whose mission is to find a treatment and the cure for neurofibromatosis (NF). Pizzi is 38 years old and lives in Belmont, MA with her husband, Joe, and 10-year-old daughter, Taylor. Having been the first American female to run the World Marathon Challenge in 2016 - 7 marathons on 7 continents in 7 days - Pizzi recently went back and made history by running it again and breaking the World Record: 6 days, 7 hours and 58 minutes. Her current goal is to complete a marathon in all 50 states and to run the Kona Ironman. Pizzi was introduced to the genetic disorder neurofibromatosis through her good friend and running buddy Scot DeDeo. His 2-year-old son Nat was diagnosed with neurofibromatosis type 1 when he was 7 months old. DeDeo says, “I'm super excited that Becca will be running with us at Falmouth. To have someone of her caliber is hugely motivational to the team and will really help us bring awareness to neurofibromatosis.” “I’ve run the Falmouth Road Race many times; it is one of my favorite races,” said Pizzi. “The race directors are very well organized, and they do an excellent job with the race and pulling the community together.” (07/17/2018) ⚡AMP
The Bank of America Chicago Marathon announced today that two of the fastest women in U.S. history, Amy Cragg
and Laura Thweatt, will join previously announced American Jordan Hasay to compete for the top spot on the podium at the 41st annual Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Cragg, a two-time Olympian, and Thweatt, the 2015 U.S. Cross Country champion and 2018 Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K champion, make the 2018 Chicago Marathon the deepest American women’s field in Chicago’s storied history. Hasay currently ranks second on the list of all-time American marathoners with her 2:20:57 run at last year’s Chicago Marathon. Her time was also the fastest American time ever run on U.S. soil. Cragg moved up to the fifth spot in U.S. history earlier this year with her 2:21:42 performance in Tokyo, and Thweatt claimed the ninth spot in London last year after she finished in 2:25:38. The last time three American women finished in the top five in Chicago was 1994, and the last time U.S. women claimed the top two spots was 1992. Chicago’s history could be rewritten with Hasay, Cragg and Thweatt headlining this year’s American field. “There is an American tradition in Chicago of historic performances, competition and developing top talent,” said Executive Race Director of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon Carey Pinkowski. “Amy and Laura are world-class athletes, and they are fighters. We expect to see them battling up front, and we are thrilled to welcome them to our elite field.” Cragg, a member of Nike’s Bowerman Track Club since 2015, joins this year’s elite field after opening her 2018 season by smashing her personal best to finish third at the Tokyo Marathon in 2:21:42. She competed in Chicago for the first time in 2014, finishing fourth in 2:27:03. Since then, she has experienced global success, winning the 2016 U.S. Olympic Marathon trials, finishing ninth at the 2016 Rio Olympics, and ending a 34-year medal drought for the U.S. after taking home a bronze medal at the 2017 IAAF World Championships Marathon. She currently sits in 12th place on the Abbott World Marathon Majors Series XI leaderboard, and a strong finish in Chicago could propel her further up the list. (07/17/2018) ⚡AMP
, who became the first American runner to win the TD Beach to Beacon in 2016 and finished second in 2017, will return to the race this year. True, a North Yarmouth native and Greely High graduate, leads the men’s elite field for the Aug. 4 race, which was announced by race officials Monday. True is joined in the men’s field by two-time Olympian Lopez Lomong, 2012 Beach to Beacon winner Stanley Biwott, and Jake Robertson, who set the New Zealand record in the marathon earlier this year. This year’s top contenders will join a field of more than 6,500 runners who will wind along the fast, relatively flat course that begins near Crescent Beach State Park on Route 77 in Cape Elizabeth and ends in Fort Williams Park near Portland Head Light. (07/17/2018) ⚡AMP
Molly Huddle a two-time U.S. Olympian, the reigning American record holder in the women’s 10,000-meter run, are among 46 professionals who will compete at the 21st TD Beach to Beacon 10K Aug. 4. Having Molly in our race this year is truly special, Olympic gold medalist Joan Benoit Samuelson said in a press release. Samuelson founded the TD Beach to Beacon in her native Cape Elizabeth. “But they’ve got their work cut out for them as the field is once again deep and talented and guaranteed to provide a highly competitive day of road racing on Aug. 4,” Samuelson said. Other elite runners set to take on the 6.2-mile route are U.S. Olympic gold medal triathlete Gwen Jorgenson, two-time U.S. Olympian Lopez Lomong, Ethiopian Buze Diriba, Kenya-based New Zealander Jake Robertson and 2012 Beach to Beacon champion Stanley Biwott of Kenya, as well as a host of other Olympians, All-Americans and rising stars from East Africa. (07/17/2018) ⚡AMP
RUN THE WORLD: Elliot Daniels started running when he was nine years old. "I went to a parent participatory school starting in 4th grade. My dad participated by helping out with my school's running club. I decided to join the club just for fun and for something to do after school. For most kids, it was a way to pass time. For me, it became something I took seriously," says Elliot. Running is not the most important thing in his life, "but with long term olympic goals and short term high school state champion goals, running is very important to me," he says. Two things really stand out for Elliot. When he was 10-years-old he set the world record for that age-group in the half marathon (1:29:14). Secondly was when his high school cross country season started. He has had a lot of sucess already and he shares this advice. " Enjoy running, begin running with low mileage and very slowly build the intensity of your running and mileage. Do not be discouraged by others or by a lousy performance and most importantly, remember to consistently train hard and smart." Is there a secret to Elliot's sucess? "I do not believe there is any trick or secret to succeeding in running. You must simply train hard and smart and never give up," Elliot says. Why did he join the Run The World Challenge Team? "I think this challenge is an opportunity for people to learn from each other from their training and an opportunity for people to look back at their training to figure out what worked for them and what didn't." Elliot has big goals. Not only does he want to make the US Olympic Team he wants to become a medalist in either the 5,000m or 10,000m. (07/16/2018) ⚡AMPby Bob Anderson