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Addi Zerrenner, 23, made her debut at Grandma's Marathon and qualified for the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials

Addi Zerrenner, 23, made her debut at Grandma's Marathon in Duluth, Minn., and completed the 26.2 miles in 2 hours, 37 minutes, 51 seconds. The time met the qualifying standard (2:45) for the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. It also was the ninth fastest time in the women's field finisher and the 145th overall.

But more than anything else, the race established her as a marathoner.

"It’s been a long time coming," she said. "I always wanted to be a marathoner since high school." 

She used to tell people she was a marathoner and the first thing she'd be asked was what was her best time. Sheepishly, she'd reply, "Well, I've never run one."

That all changed when she crossed the finish line at Grandma's.

"It was like the day was finally here. I’m finally the person who I always thought of myself as." she said.

Zerrenner expected to run close to 2:45, "but I was also going into the race with no expectations because I heard so much about the marathon and that you can never underestimate it. I went through every different type of emotion in the race." 

Her coach, Terry Howell of Santa Barbara, saw Zerrenner's potential as a marathon runner.

“I definitely saw her potential fairly quickly, not only her physical potential but her mental toughness. Addi is super focused and when she gets locked in on a task or goal she just gets it done,” he said.

“The plan all along was to move her up to the marathon distance,” he said of her training. “But I thought it might take us 12-18 months of training before we even thought about running one. Her training, however, accelerated fairly quickly and she responded well to the added distance and harder training sessions.”

(07/03/2019) ⚡AMP
by Barry Punzal
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, from July 24 to August 9, 2020. The Games in 1964 radically transformed the country. According to the organizers of the event in 2020, the Games of the XXXII Olympiad of the modern era will be “the most innovative...

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Michelle Brownlie is set for half marathon after battling advanced bowel cancer

A dedicated Kilmarnock woman is putting on her running shoes after battling advanced bowel cancer for two years.

Michelle Brownlie had been a runner for most of her life but after receiving a devastating cancer diagnosis in 2016 the 45-year-old became unable to do the thing she loves most.

“It was like a part of me was missing,” she told the Standard.

“I had been running for about 10 years and in fact one of the reasons I didn’t notice symptoms like weight loss was because I thought that losing weight was just part and parcel of life as a runner.

“During the treatment I wanted to run but my body just wasn’t able.”

Michelle battled through a gruelling six months of treatment including radiotherapy, chemotherapy, surgery to remove part of her bowel, a further operation after part of her bowel twisted and an ileostomy.

In July 2017 she received the all-clear but a scan in January 2018 found that cancer had spread to both her lungs.

She said: “I felt healthy, I was getting back to a really good fitness level and when I found out it had spread to both my lungs it was such a shock - but I always try to stay positive.”

She added: “When I was given the all-clear the first thing I did was get back into training. When I was told that the cancer had spread the training ground to a halt once more as I underwent surgery to remove the tumours. .”

By October Michelle was again recovering and returning to her running shoes. She is now on track to complete the Scottish Half Marathon, running for Bowel Cancer UK.

She said: “There needs to be more awareness of the fact that bowel cancer can affect younger people too.

“Being able to go online and see others who had shared their story with the charity made such a difference.”

(07/03/2019) ⚡AMP
by Tara Fitzpatrick
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Scottish Half Marathon

Scottish Half Marathon

Set on a flat and fast course in and around East Lothian, this half marathon has huge PB potential, and with 4,000 runners due to take part, a great atmosphere is guaranteed! Starting conveniently at 11:00am at Meadowmill Sports Centre,the route passes along the magnificent East Lothian Golf Coast, finishing at the Musselburgh Race Course. Sooner or later we will...

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South African Caster Semenya ran the fastest 800m ever run on American soil at the Prefontaine Classic at Stanford clocking 1:55.7

Caster Semenya was almost four seconds ahead of Americans Ajee Wilson and Raevyn Rogers, who crossed the line in season’s best times of 1:58.36 and 1:58.65. This was Caster’s 31st straight victory over this distance clocking 1:55.7 and the fastest time ever on US soil.  

Semenya continues to race well despite the controversy surrounding the IAAF’s efforts to prevent her from racing without taking medication to lower her naturally-high testosterone, something she has consistently said she will not do.

The Swiss Federal Tribunal ruled that she must be allowed to race while it is considering her appeal of the IAAF’s testosterone rule, upheld in a May 1 ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

In other results, Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands won the women’s 3,000m in a new European record of 8:18.49, in a race that also featured Konstanze Klosterhalfen (who finished second with a new PB of 8:20.07), Genzebe Dibaba (fourth, with a new PB of 8:21.29) and World Cross Country champion Hellen Obiri(who finished sixth).

Also on Sunday, Canada’s Mo Ahmed set a new personal best of 8:15.76 in the 2-mile event, good enough for fourth place. Justyn Knight finished ninth, in 8:19.75. The race was won by World Cross Country champion Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda in a world-leading time of 8:07.54. Ahmed broke his own Canadian 5,000m record at the Oslo Diamond League last month.

(07/02/2019) ⚡AMP
by Anne Francis
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Prefontaine Classic

Prefontaine Classic

Stanford University's Cobb Track & Angell Field will be the venue for this year's 45th NIKE Prefontaine Classic/IAAF Diamond League meet on Sunday, June 30.With the ongoing construction of Hayward Field in advance of the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials and the 2021 IAAF World Championships, an alternate site for America's flagship invitational meet was required. After an extensive search in...

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Georgia Tech coach Geoff Collins has a fondness for the AJC Peachtree Road Race

His connection to the world’s largest 10K race, which celebrates its 50th running Thursday, goes deep.

Not only has Collins himself run it, but his father, Billy, ran in the first Peachtree in 1970. Billy Collins, who died in 2015 at the age of 64, loved the Peachtree, Geoff Collins said.Beyond that, Collins grew up in a family of runners for whom the Peachtree was an annual event. 

Collins, himself a runner growing up who has one marathon to his credit, has memories that may sound familiar to many Atlantans. Members of the Collins family ran the 6.2-mile race in the morning, “and then we would have a huge family barbecue in the Briarcliff area,” he said. 

“That was a great tradition for our entire family for a long, long time, centered around the Peachtree Road Race.” Billy Collins was no mere casual jogger, an identity that hardly existed in 1970 before the running boom took hold in the U.S. To be a competitive runner at that time required a different outlook and mindset, according to Jeff Galloway, the winner of that first Peachtree. Galloway went on to compete in the 10,000 meters in the 1972 Olympics and become an esteemed elder in the Atlanta running community.

“Even though the highly competitive, focused runners are still looked on as a little obsessive – or a lot obsessive –the bottom line today is that there are a lot of people who are running and understand the benefits of running,” Galloway said.Back then, there was no such consensus, at least among non-runners. It makes Billy Collins, then 19, stand out all the more.

Collins, in fact, blazed through the first Peachtree, finishing in 40 minutes, seven seconds, good for 19th among the 110 finishers, a group that has earned prized status as pioneers in a cherished event.

(07/02/2019) ⚡AMP
by Ken Sugiura
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AJC Peachtree Road Race

AJC Peachtree Road Race

The AJC Peachtree Road Race, organized by the Atlanta Track Club, is the largest 10K in the world. In its 48th running, the AJC Peachtree Road Race has become a Fourth of July tradition for thousands of people throughout the metro Atlanta area and beyond. Come kick off your Fourth of July festivities with us! If you did not get...

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British athlete Kristian Morgan is aiming to set a new world record for running the iconic 2,189-mile Appalachian Trail

Starting on July 1st, the inov-8 ambassador hopes to break the highly sought-after speed record of 41 days, 7 hours and 39 minutes, set last year by Belgian dentist Karel Sabbe, and held previously by ultramarathon running legends like Scott Jurek and Karl Meltzer. If successful it will be an official Guinness World Record.

To do this, the 42-year-old aims to run and fast-hike about 55 miles a day, sleep between 5 and 7 hours a night and consume approximately 8,000 calories a day.

His “secret weapon” will be revolutionary inov-8 graphene shoes, giving him the world’s toughest grip for the world’s toughest trail running challenge.

The Appalachian Trail (AT) is hugely popular with thru-hikers, most of whom take 5 to 7 months to complete the route, which climbs the equivalent of 16 times Mount Everest. Kristian hopes to do it all in less than 6 weeks.

To put it into perspective, Kristian will attempt to run back-to-back marathons, plus a little more, every day, covering a distance equal to two-and-a-half completions of Land’s End to John o’ Groats (the length of Britain).

Running northbound from Georgia to Maine on the Eastern side of the United States, Kristian will pass through 14 states and be supported throughout by his mum and cousin, who will drive ahead and set up overnight camps at scheduled stops.

“I decided long ago that I wanted to live a life rich in experiences over possessions, and I can think of no better experience than running the AT. It’s going to be the adventure of a lifetime,” said Kristian, who has run 120+ marathons and ultramarathon events.

“I supported Karel when he set the record last year, spending 15 days on the trail with him. I also spent another 5 days on the trail earlier this year. I feel all this experience, coupled with the help I’ve had in planning from AT veterans, stands me in good stead to have a go at the world record.”

Living out of a camper van in the heart of London for the last eight years and working as a self-employed ultramarathon coach, Kristian has done most of his training in and around England’s capital city, often running 100+ repetitions of a small hill near Crystal Palace.

He added: “Life on the AT will be very different to life in London, but I can’t wait to get going. I’ll start running at 4am each day in the dark and push on until reaching the overnight camp. I’m really looking forward to the peace and tranquillity, but less so the prospect of encountering bears and snakes. Meeting a bear in the dark is my biggest fear!”

The AT speed record is one of the most high-profile in the sport of ultramarathon running. Kristian has been able to gain advice from legends like Jurek and Meltzer, plus invaluable support from Warren Doyle – a man who has thru-hiked the AT 18 times.

(07/02/2019) ⚡AMP
by Richard Bolt
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KBC Dublin Marathon bosses have confirmed that October's race is now officially sold out with a record breaking 22,500 entries

An additional 2,500 tickets went on sale for the marathon this morning and over 8,000 runners were vying for a place.

Earlier today, Dublin Marathon bosses apologized to members of the public who were experiencing difficulties while trying to book a place in the popular race due to a technical malfunction with their website.

The team said that an issue with the EventMaster database was causing problems for those trying to login to the site during peak demand.

Organizers confirmed the additional entries back in February, bringing the event to a field of 22,500 for the first time.

Dublin Marathon tweeted this morning: "The #KBCDublinMarathon is now sold out with a record 22,500 entries.

"We know that many of you are disappointed not to have secured an entry.

"We had over 8,000 vying for 2,500 entries which led to some technical difficulties with Eventmaster often encountered during peak demand."

The KBC Dublin Marathon will be celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.

The popular race completely sold out of the first 20,000 entries back in December - a whopping ten months before the big event.

The 42km race will take place on Sunday, October 27 at 8.45am across Dublin city center.

(07/01/2019) ⚡AMP
by Julieanne Corr
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KBC Dublin Marathon

KBC Dublin Marathon

The KBC Dublin Marathon, which is run through the historic Georgian streets of Dublin, Ireland's largest and capital city.The course is largely flat and is a single lap, starting and finishing close to the City Centre. Conditions formarathon running are ideal....

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A Strong Elite women´s Field is set to attempt to lower the course record of 30:32, set by Lornah Kiplagat in 2002 at AJC Peachtree Road

Leading the way is Brigid Kosgei, 25, whose 29:54 on a downhill course in Madrid on New Year’s Eve ranks #2 all-time. Kosgei, winner of both the 2018 Bank of America Chicago Marathon and 2019 Virgin Money London Marathon, hasn’t lost a race since last September.

She will have her work cut out for her, however, with Kenyan compatriots Fancy Chemutai and Caroline Chepkoech Kipkirui, a late addition, in the field.

Chemutai, 24, owns the fourth-fastest 10K in history (30:06) and the second-fastest half marathon (1:04:52), just one second off the world record. On June 23, she broke the course record at the B.A.A. 10K, running 30:36. Kosgei, however, won in their most recent matchup, the Aramco Houston Half Marathon in January, by 22 seconds. The 25-year-old Kipkirui, meanwhile, has a 10K personal best of 30:19, the sixth fastest in history.

Edna Kiplagat, the two-time IAAF World Champion at the marathon and 2016 Peachtree Champion, and late addition Ruti Aga of Ethiopia, the 2019 Tokyo Marathon Champion who finished third behind Kosgei and Chemutai in the Houston half, could also contend, along with Kenya’s Agnes Tirop (30:50)

The top American in the field is Emily Sisson (Scottsdale, AZ), who will be racing for the first time since running 2:23:08 in London, the second-fastest American debut at the distance. Sisson, 27, is the 2016 USATF 10 km Champion and in January ran just five seconds off the American record for the half marathon.

The footrace fields will be aided by pacemakers for the first three miles down Peachtree, as the men's field will look to set out at 4:17 per mile pace and the women's field will attempt to average 4:55 per mile in an attempt to eclipse the event records.

(07/01/2019) ⚡AMP
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AJC Peachtree Road Race

AJC Peachtree Road Race

The AJC Peachtree Road Race, organized by the Atlanta Track Club, is the largest 10K in the world. In its 48th running, the AJC Peachtree Road Race has become a Fourth of July tradition for thousands of people throughout the metro Atlanta area and beyond. Come kick off your Fourth of July festivities with us! If you did not get...

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Sifan Hassan runs 8:18.49 for the win at the Women’s 3000 Prefontaine Classic

Fans at Stanford didn’t get to see the fastest women’s 3000m ever, but they may have seen the greatest clean women’s 3000m race ever as Sifan Hassan of Netherlands ran 8:18.49 for the win, Konstanze Klosterhalfen of Germany ran 8:20.07 for second, and Letesenbet Gidey of Ethiopia 8:20.27 for third, the three fastest non-Chinese outdoor times ever.

Shannon Osika rabbitted the field the first 1000 (2:45.75) and then Mary Kuria took over through 2000 (5:36.15). Kuria picked up the pace as she went down the backstretch to hit 2000, and once she stepped off the track Gidey kept the pace going.

Gidey went from running 67- and 68-second laps to 65.03 with two laps to go as only Genzebe Dibaba was within a second of her. A 65.88 penultimate lap gave Gidey a 1.14-second lead at the bell over Hassan, who had passed Dibaba just before the bell as Dibaba was fading.

However, Gidey was slowing too. She stumbled around the first turn and took a step on the inside of the rail before regaining her balance.

Hassan would pass her on the backstretch and continue on to the dominant victory. Klosterhalfen would pass Dibaba on the final turn and Gidey right before the finish for 2nd as Klostehalfen’s last lap was 64.40 to 66.31 for Gidey.

(07/01/2019) ⚡AMP
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Prefontaine Classic

Prefontaine Classic

Stanford University's Cobb Track & Angell Field will be the venue for this year's 45th NIKE Prefontaine Classic/IAAF Diamond League meet on Sunday, June 30.With the ongoing construction of Hayward Field in advance of the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials and the 2021 IAAF World Championships, an alternate site for America's flagship invitational meet was required. After an extensive search in...

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Mark Messmer repeated as the champion of the Missoula men's marathon, breaking his personal best time with a 2:23:59, the second fastest in course history

The 13th annual running of the Missoula Marathon had nearly 4,000 participants from all over the country came out to run either the full or half marathon.

"It's awesome, hometown for me, I went out and did Boston this year and that was really cool, definitely a whole different atmosphere," Messmer said. "But this is just as cool, coming across the bridge, there's nothing like that with all the people cheering and as you pass people in the half everybody's cheering for you, yelling your name. It's really cool."

Messmer won by nearly eight minutes, but the women's race was much closer. Kayla Brown of Edwardsville, IL. won the race by less than a minute.

"I kinda risked it a bit in the middle, so i wasn't sure if that was the right move at the time, it seemed right," Brown said. "I was a little nervous near the end but, you gotta take risks."

Polson native Cynthia Arnold broke the record for fastest marathon while pushing a stroller. The previous record was 4:06, and Arnold broke the record by nearly an hour with a time of 3:11, good for 8th place in the women's race.

"I'm happy, I'm glad, I think the kids had fun. I think it went really well." Arnold said. "The Missoula Marathon is beautiful and fun and it was a really good experience, and a lot of my friends are here, so we're happy."

Kenneth Kosgei of Oregon and Bigfork's Mackenna Morley won the men's and women's half marathon's.

(07/01/2019) ⚡AMP
by Kevin Levine
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Missoula Marathon

Missoula Marathon

Half and full marathon in Missoula, Montana, in the city they call "The Garden City." Amazing participation by the entire town and county. Front lawn hose squads cool down the runners en route. Lots of rest stations. The full marathon is a Boston qualifier. Runner's World rated the course as one of the best overall road races. ...

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America’s Biggest Road Race Is Atlanta’s Fourth of July Tradition

Thursday will be the 50th running of the Peachtree Road Race, a 10K that has become an Atlanta Fourth of July tradition. The idea for the race came in 1969 when Tim Singleton, then Georgia State University’s cross-country coach, and a few friends were driving back to Atlanta after running a Fourth of July race in Fort Benning, Ga. They thought, why not create one ourselves?

“July 4, 1970, was that first Peachtree with 110 finishers. We call those our original 110,” said Rich Kenah, executive director of the Atlanta Track Club, and Peachtree’s race director. (Singleton died in 2013.)

Now the event is the largest race in the country, with 54,570 finishers in 2018, and Kenah expects the number to be closer to 60,000 this year. (For comparison, the New York City Marathon had 52,813 finishers last year.) It’s a draw for pros, too, with $200,000 in bonus prize money up for grabs. The race has also doubled as the U.S. 10K women’s championships three times, and the men’s 10K championships four times. It even has its own shoe.

But what about the heat?, I asked Kenah.

“If you live in the southeast, you’re accustomed to hot, humid conditions through the summer,” he said. “It is what in part keeps Peachtree special.”

If you’re thinking of hopping in this year — too late. The race is sold out. You either need to be a member of the Atlanta Track Club, or gain entry through a lottery to make it in for 2020.

(06/30/2019) ⚡AMP
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AJC Peachtree Road Race

AJC Peachtree Road Race

The AJC Peachtree Road Race, organized by the Atlanta Track Club, is the largest 10K in the world. In its 48th running, the AJC Peachtree Road Race has become a Fourth of July tradition for thousands of people throughout the metro Atlanta area and beyond. Come kick off your Fourth of July festivities with us! If you did not get...

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Would You Run 400 Meters Up A Ski Jump?

Picture running one time around a track. But instead of flat 400-meter lap, take that track to 6,870 feet above sea level and ramp up the grade to 37 percent. Now you’ve got the course for the Red Bull 400 in Park City, Utah, an uphill sprint race to the top of an Olympic ski jump.

As the highest altitude event in Red Bull’s global 17-race series, this steep jaunt up the 2002 Olympic Winter Games jump is not for the faint of heart—a fact reinforced by the collection of oxygen tanks waiting at the top. More than 1,000 athletes from all walks of athletic lives lined up for the race on September 15 at the Utah Olympic Park.

Given that scrambling up ski jumps isn’t a sport you can practice on the regular, the Red Bull 400 is somewhat of an equalizer between athletes. During the multiple heats that took place throughout the day, you could spot everyone from hardcore CrossFit athletes and Olympic Nordic skiers to recreational runners and adaptive athletes—including Misty Diaz, a female athlete born with the most serious form of Spina Bifida.

“Everyone who’s going up this hill is doing it for a different reason—for time, to see if they can do it, or because they have an obstacle in life and they think, If I can do this, then I can get through that,” Diaz says. The 34-year-old pushed her way to the top using a pair of pink crutches and impressive upper-body strength, with the goal of inspiring other “#spinabeautiful” athletes.

The steepness of the course is one difficult aspect; the surface is another. The jump is covered in slippery hula-skirt-like grass, topped by a grid of ropes. Although you could run up the first 100 to 150 meters, you will inevitably be forced into an awkward bear crawl. (Insider tip: Wear gloves for extra traction and try not to look up too often.)

The final stretch narrows to a wooden ramp with small steps to reach the finish line mats, where athletes collapse to catch their breath. Your heart rate will skyrocket and your calves will scream, but you’ll feel as though you just summited a miniature mountain in a matter of minutes. A combination of high-end aerobic fitness, mental toughness and upper-body strength all come into play during this short sufferfest.

At the final showdown—where the top athletes from all the individual heats go head-to-head—men’s winner Miles Fink-Debray came across in a record-setting 3.45.6, and professional triathlete Megan Foley defended her title in 5.14.4.

“I really love the fast and furious events, so I kind of love this,” Foley said after the race. “It’s shorter than what I normally get to do, but it’s so hard and so fast, it’s just a fun event. I was really nervous because of the high caliber of the athletes that are here this year, so I was stoked to be able to just hold my own against them.”

(06/30/2019) ⚡AMP
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A Marathon With Ten Wine Breaks Is Coming To London This Year

If your marathon of choice isn’t a wine marathon, you’re doing life all wrong.

Keen runners and oenophiles may recall that we’ve written about the Marathon du Medoc before: France’s bafflingly brilliant wine marathon. Well, you can scrap the Eurostar trip, because the UK’s very own wine marathon takes place on September 8th, a stone’s throw away from London – and entries are open now!

Boasting gorgeous scenery, an undulating route, and ten glorious wine stops, the Surrey Bacchus Marathon is Right Up Our Street. To be fair, anything named after the notorious party-lovin’ Greek god of “wine, fertility, and ritual madness(!)” was always going to play well with us – but this exceeds even our wildest hopes.

The wine marathon takes place on the grounds of the Denbies Wine Estate, set amongst the rolling fields and woods of the Surrey Hills – and with it being just outside the M25, we can almost claim it’s in London. Come September, the tranquil estate will be filled with the sights of sweaty runners sipping on a refreshing Chardonnay before jogging on their merry way. And with ten wine stops and twelve wines on offer over the full marathon, it’s going to get very merry indeed…

You’ll be sampling the finest English wines during your run, as the decidedly boozy drinks stations give you a combo of runner’s high and nice daytime drunk. Fancy dress is very much encouraged, and there will be bands playing at various points of the course too. Thankfully, if you don’t feel you can hack a wine marathon just yet, the event also offers a wine half-marathon and – new for 2019 – a wine 10km. It’s important to build up to it, you know.

At the finish line, your presumably rather wonky run will be rewarded with a medal, t-shirt, hog roast, and – because you’re clearly not already sozzled by this point – a complimentary drink. We’ll see you at the start line, praying to Bacchus to see us through…

(06/30/2019) ⚡AMP
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Peter Kline has completed 45 marathons pushing young people with disabilities

Peter Kline has run over 100 marathons — an impressive feat in itself. But what makes him so remarkable is that he has finished 45 of those marathons while pushing young people with disabilities in front of him. Kline wants them to know the joy of running too.

Kline started hitting the pavement when he was in his early fifties after running a 10k with his nephew. Eventually, he began running marathons — with the goal of qualifying for Boston's famous race. And, years later, he did. But, the Boston Marathon turned out to be special for many reasons.

His friend Scott Patrick was diagnosed with glioblastoma, a deadly brain cancer, and asked Kline to run the race to raise money for cancer research. Kline helped Patrick and other volunteers raise about $60,000. Patrick passed away the same year, but not before Kline gifted him the finisher's medal.

Being able to help others through his beloved sport made an impression. Kline, now 66, told CBS News he knew of a father-son duo who would run races together — the father pushing his son with disabilities as he completed the course. But, he wondered, "What about kids who don't have a dad to do that?"

After being connected to a woman with two daughters who have cerebral palsy, he decided up to run the Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas Marathon in 2012 with one of the girls. The little girl loved it, and Kline said his mission to share his love of the sport "just started rolling."

He has dubbed the mission, "Marathons with Meaning."

"I have a business card that says marathons with meanings and if I see them at a Starbucks, or airport or store, I just go up to the parents, and say, 'If your kid ever wants to run a marathon, let me know,'" said Kline.

Kline said he pays for everything having to do with the race himself out of his own pocket. "It feels better that way," he said. "I just feel like that is the way of giving back to society."

he young people he pushes have ranged in ages from eight to 32 and have many types of disabilities, from cerebral palsy to traumatic brain injuries.

"They love it. It's like their Super Bowl," Kline gushed. "They absolutely love the sounds, the noises, the feelings. The other runners, they're always very generous. They give them high-fives."

Kline said he runs about seven marathons per year with rider-athletes, which can lead to a grueling training schedule. "They're my training motivation. If I stop running, I may never start again. They give me inspiration," Kline said. "When I look around and see what these kids and these families are dealing with, my problems are so small."

One of the runner's favorite athletic shirts has the saying,"Keep moving, love unconditionally and give it away" written on it. And, that is just how he has chosen to live his life.

"I don't want to stop. I certainly want to keep my body healthy enough to keep doing it," he said. "I think I can maybe make it to my 80's. My goal is to keep doing this and inspire other people to take up the mantle when I can't do it."

(06/30/2019) ⚡AMP
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Running Revolutionary Kathrine Switzer's Life Is Being Made Into a Movie

Kathrine Switzer's best-selling memoir, Marathon Woman, is set to be adapted into a film by Chastain Film Capital. Switzer, now 72, is best-known for becoming the first woman to officially register and run the Boston Marathon. She also played a key role in establishing the first women's Olympic Marathon in 1984.

(06/30/2019) ⚡AMP
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The Missoula Marathon will bring an estimated $2 million to the Garden City economy

It’s not just the sound of pounding feet when the Missoula Marathon returns this weekend.

The event is also bringing the beeps of debit card readers and opening cash registers, with new estimates saying race weekend could be worth as much as $2 million to the Garden City economy.

More than 6,000 racers, plus all their families and friends will be in Missoula for the 13th annual running of the marathon, and its associated races, starting on Friday night.

And that means no small bump in Missoula’s business, from hotels to restaurants and retail.

Our news partners at The Missoula Current did some number crunching and are reporting today the economic impact of the Marathon this year should hit $2 million, if not more.

Most downtown hotels are sold out or expecting to be, and with 40% of the participants coming from outside Montana, that means expenditures have the most impact locally.

It’s not just business that are helped economically — local charities, running programs and Missoula Parks and Rec are expected to receive upwards of 40-thousand dollars of the proceeds.

(06/30/2019) ⚡AMP
by Dennis Bragg
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Missoula Marathon

Missoula Marathon

Half and full marathon in Missoula, Montana, in the city they call "The Garden City." Amazing participation by the entire town and county. Front lawn hose squads cool down the runners en route. Lots of rest stations. The full marathon is a Boston qualifier. Runner's World rated the course as one of the best overall road races. ...

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Jim Walmsley wins Western States 100 smashing his own course record

Jim Walmsley wins the 2019 Western States 100 in a course record 14:09:28, breaking his own course record of 14:30:04 set last year.

“I made up a lot of time pushing pretty good up Robinson, Devil’s Thumb as well, then things began to relax,” he said on the finish line, adding there were a few aid stations when he was not so fresh. “Things started rolling again when I crossed the river.”

“It was a big goal just to come here and try and win. It’s one thing to win at Western States, it’s a once in a lifetime thing, but to do it twice, puts you a bit more ‘two time guy right here.”

Jared Hazen took second at the 2019 Western States 100 in 14:26:46, also under Jim Walmsley’s previous course record.  

Before this year’s race Walmsley said his mindset and approach to the race have changed little, and with favorable weather and decent course conditions, a push to again break the record could be in play.

“I might kind of pull things back (from) maybe not running as risky, but at the same time, counter to that, there’s pretty good weather predictions right now,” said Walmsley. “This will be my fourth time racing, fourth year in a row, and it’s by far the coolest year. There’s also that tempting side of it of like, ‘I always want to see what I can run here.”

Walmsley was on a record-breaking pace in 2016, but strayed off course with less than 10 miles to go. He fought through exhaustion to finish 20th with a time of 18:45:36. In 2017, which had a similar amount of snow on the course as this year, Walmsley was several minutes ahead of his 2018 record time during the early portions of the course, but as the day wore on, temperatures climbed past 90 degrees and exhaustion knocked him out of the race with a little more than 20 miles to go.

“Ultimately, it’s about listening to my own pace and just putting everything out there regardless,” he said. “As long as I end up giving my best effort and going to the well to get there, I’m always happy with it. Whether it’s the DNF in 2017 or the course record last year. I’m pretty proud of both days and the fact that I know I gave everything at both races. You can always live with that.”

Coming into this year’s race, Walmsley said he feels he’s matured as a runner, which has given him the confidence to overcome the mental and physical hurdles that arise during a 100-mile race.

(06/29/2019) ⚡AMP
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Western States 100

Western States 100

The Western States ® 100-Mile Endurance Run is the world’s oldest and most prestigious 100-mile trail race. Starting in Squaw Valley, California near the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics and ending 100.2 miles later in Auburn, California, Western States, in the decades since its inception in 1974, has come to represent one of the ultimate endurance tests in the...

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The Guinness World Record for the Largest Pride Charity Run Has Been Shattered

The streets of New York City were undeniably colorful this weekend: On Saturday, June 29, the New York Road Runners (NYRR) and Front Runners New York (FRNY) teamed up to host the 38th annual five-mile LGBT Pride Run.

This year, they had a special mission in mind: to set the Guinness World Record for largest Pride charity run.

To break the Guinness Record, more than 6,000 participants had to compete in the race. As of Thursday, the amount of people registered for the race—which sold out—was around 10,000, according to a press release issued to Runner’s World from NYRR.

Then on Saturday, NYRR announced that 10,236 people completed the race, shattering the record. There was a Guinness World Records adjudicator onsite to verify the record once the final finisher crossed the line, a spokesperson for NYRR told Runner’s World.

The race served as a finale for LGBTQIA+ Pride Month, officially recognized in June. It also complemented WorldPride, an international event hosted by New York City that welcomed LGBTQIA+ members from around the world to engage in special events, parties, and performances throughout the month of June.

This year is especially noteworthy for the LGBTQIA+ community, because it marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, a series of protests in Manhattan in 1969 that initiated the gay rights movement in the United States.

Each year, an LGBT charity organization is chosen to be beneficiary for the funds raised from the Pride Run. This year’s recipient was The Center (The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center) located in the West Village, which provides career advice, family guidance, as well as health support to the gay community in New York City.

The five-mile race began on the East Drive at 67th in Central Park, ran north around the park’s upper loop, then finished on the 72nd Street Transverse. Early birds who made it before the 8:30 a.m. were treated to a special surprise: limited-edition rainbow pairs of Goodr sunglasses, which were sold until they ran out.

While there were only a limited number of sunglasses, all participants received a rainbow-themed technical tank along with their race bib. Prizes were also awarded to the top four men and women, as well as the five largest participating teams. The men’s winner was Kedir Figa of Ethiopia, who finished in 25:19. The women’s winner, Lindsey Scherf of New York, finished in 28:06.

For those who couldn’t make it to New York City for the race, the NYRR Virtual Pride Run 5K continues until Sunday, June 30. So far, more than 5,000 runners from across the world have completed the virtual Pride race, according to a press release from NYRR.

(06/29/2019) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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Front Runners New York LGBT Pride Run

Front Runners New York LGBT Pride Run

The annual Front Runners New York LGBT Pride Run is a 5 mile race in Central Park that will draw in more than 5,000 runners and thousands of fans from across the country. This event, organized by Front Runners New York (FRNY) in collaboration with New York Road Runners, is an official qualifier for the TCS New York City Marathonand...

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Your guide to this year's Prefontaine Classic

The Prefontaine Classic relocated, temporarily, and it brought the best fields of the Diamond League season with it to Stanford, California on Sunday June 30.

That includes the world’s fastest man and woman this year (Christian Coleman and Elaine Thompson), the athlete who has made the most worldwide headlines this season (Caster Semenya) and a bevy of other reigning Olympic and world champions.

Notably, Olympic 10,000m champion Almaz Ayana of Ethiopia and Olympic 1500m champion Faith Kipyegon will compete for the first time since 2017. World 100m champions Justin Gatlin and Tori Bowie are in their first Diamond League meets in more than one year. It’s the first Diamond League in two years for 2008 Olympic 400m champ LaShawn Merritt. It’s also the first race of 2019 for Olympic 1500m champion Matthew Centrowitz.

NBC and NBC Sports Gold air live coverage Sunday from 1-3 p.m. Pacific.

The Pre Classic has been held annually since 1975 in Eugene, Ore. But Hayward Field’s reconstruction ahead of the 2020 Olympic Trials forced a move to Cobb Track and Angell Field at Stanford.

Here are the Pre Classic entry lists. Here’s the schedule of events (all times Pacific):

Here are 10 events to watch:

Men’s Pole Vault — 12:43 p.m.The Big Three of the event meet for the first time this season: 2012 Olympic champion and world-record holder Renaud Lavillenie of France, 2017 World champion Sam Kendricksand 2018 and 2019 world leader Mondo Duplantis of Sweden, who just turned pro after his freshman year at LSU. Lavillenie has competed just once this season due to injury. Duplantis was beaten at NCAAs by Chris Nilsen (also in the Pre field). But Kendricks has been hot, winning the first three Diamond League pole vaults this season (though Lavillenie and Nilsen weren’t in any of those fields and Duplantis just one).

Women’s High Jump — 1:08 p.m.U.S. champion Vashti Cunningham takes another crack at Russian Mariya Lasitskene, who has just two losses in the last three years. Cunningham is 0-7 versus Lasitskene but has this spring already bettered her top clearance of 2018. Lasitskene, though, appears in top form after taking three attempts at a world record 2.10 meters in Ostrava last week.

Women’s 3000m Steeplechase — 1:11 p.m.Six of the eight fastest in history, headlined by world gold and silver medalists Emma Coburn and Courtney Frerichs. The only time either Coburn or Frerichs won a steeple that included any of the four fastest Kenyans in history was at those 2017 Worlds. Another chance Sunday.

Women’s 100m — 1:27 p.m.NCAA champion Sha’Carri Richardson would have been the favorite here in her pro debut if not for what happened Friday. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, a two-time Olympic 100m champion, clocked her fastest time in six years (10.73 seconds) to become the fastest mom in history and No. 2 in the world this year behind Rio gold medalist Elaine Thompson. Also watch reigning world champ Tori Bowie, who is coming back from a quad tear and coaching change.

Women’s 800m — 1:47 p.m.Caster Semenya races her trademark event for the first time since a Swiss Supreme Court ruled her eligible while it deliberates on her appeal against a Court of Arbitration for Sport decision to uphold an IAAF rule capping testosterone in women’s events from the 400m through the mile. The Swiss court ruling applies only to Semenya and not the other Rio Olympic medalists, Francine Niyonsaba and Margaret Wambui, who are also affected by the new rule. So Semenya’s closest threat at Pre is American record holder Ajeé Wilson, but Semenya has won 30 straight 800m races dating to 2015.

Men’s Shot Put — 2:01 p.m.Olympic champion Ryan Crouser had a sterling record at Hayward Field, taking NCAA, Pre Classic and Olympic Trials titles. He’s pretty strong in California, too, recording his personal best (22.74 meters) in Long Beach in April. Nobody has been within a foot and a half of that this season, but the last two world champions (New Zealand’s Tom Walsh and American Joe Kovacs) will try to snap his undefeated 2019 on Sunday.

Men’s 400m — 2:19 p.m.Lost some sizzle with the withdrawal of 2012 Olympic champion Kirani James, who has missed time with Graves’ disease and, more recently, his mother’s death. Instead, the three fastest Americans of the last decade line up — 2018 and 2019 world leader Michael Norman (43.45 from April 20), 2017 world No. 2 Fred Kerley and 2008 Olympic championLaShawn Merritt.

Women’s 200m — 2:25 p.m.Strongest sprint field of the meet: 2016 Olympic champion Elaine Thompson, 2015 and 2017 World champion Dafne Schippers and 2018 world leader Dina Asher-Smith. Should produce the fastest time in the world this year, which is currently 22.16, and the favorite for world champs.

Men’s 100m — 2:39 p.m.Justin Gatlin and Christian Coleman go head-to-head for the first time since the 2017 Worlds, where Gatlin took gold, Usain Bolt silver and Coleman bronze. Coleman is the world’s fastest man this Olympic cycle (9.79) and this year (9.85). Gatlin, 37, hasn’t broken 10 seconds since beating Bolt but has a bye to defend his title in Doha in September.

Men’s Mile — 2:51 p.m.Olympic 1500m champ Matthew Centrowitz races on the track for the first time since July 22, eyeing his first win in the Pre mile in his sixth try. The foes are formidable, including the top two milers since Rio — Kenyans Timothy Cheruiyot and Elijah Manangoi — Norwegian brothers Filip and Jakob Ingebrigtsen and Ethiopian Yomif Kejelcha, who on March 3 broke the 22-year-old indoor mile world record. Nobody has been within four seconds of the outdoor mile word record (Hicham El Guerrouj‘s 3:43.13 in 1999) since 2007.

(06/29/2019) ⚡AMP
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Prefontaine Classic

Prefontaine Classic

Stanford University's Cobb Track & Angell Field will be the venue for this year's 45th NIKE Prefontaine Classic/IAAF Diamond League meet on Sunday, June 30.With the ongoing construction of Hayward Field in advance of the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials and the 2021 IAAF World Championships, an alternate site for America's flagship invitational meet was required. After an extensive search in...

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Two of Canada's fastest-ever marathoners Cam Levins and Reid Coolsaet are going to battle it out at this year's Edmonton lululemon 10K

Natasha Wodak, Cameron Levins and Reid Coolsaet are leading the field for the 2019 Edmonton lululemon 10K. The three Olympians and previous lululemon 10K winners will line up against a strong elite field in the sold out event.

The 2019 race sold out in a record time of 10 hours and will host 7,000 runners.

Wodak is on a tear this season. The B.C native has won five races in 2019 alone and come away with two Canadian championship titles. Wodak has been named to the World Championship team for the 10,000m following a huge run at Payton Jordan in early May where she hit world standard and narrowly missed her own Canadian record, and a win at the Canadian 10,000m trials in June.

Coolsaet had a slightly later start to his 2019 season following a setback in training which meant he wouldn’t be prepared for the Hamburg Marathon where he initially intended to open his season. He instead ran his spring marathon in Ottawa, 10 years after debuting on the same course. Following Ottawa, he’s lining up for the Edmonton 10K and will race Canadian marathon record holder Levins.

Levins had to withdraw from the London Marathon earlier this spring due to injury, but he’s back in good form and using a series of summer races to gear up for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon this October. At STWM Levins hopes to lower his own Canadian record.

He told Canada Running Series, “My training since [the Toronto lululemon 10K] has been great. It has taken a step forward and I think there is a tendency to do that once you get your first race out of the way.”

Race race goes at 7:30 a.m. on July 7 starting at the Alberta Provincial Legislature.

(06/29/2019) ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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Kenya´s Rhonex Kipruto will be the man to beat at AJC Peachtree Road Race

On July 4, Kipruto will be chasing an even-larger bonus at the AJC Peachtree Road Race —$50,000 in honor of its 50th Running - for breaking the event record of 27:04."I wouldn't put it past him," said Sam Grotewold, director of professional athletes at New York Road Runners, which puts on the Central Park race. 

"You could tell (in New York) that you were watching something special even from the first mile or two." And that New York race wouldn't even be Kipruto's fastest 10K of 2018: In September, he won the Birell Grand Prix Prague 10K in 26:46, just two seconds off Komon's world record.

Set by Joseph Kimani in 1996, the Peachtree event record of 27:04 still stands as the fastest 10K ever run in the U.S. and is tied for ninth-fastest in the world. (The net downhill elevation of the Peachtree course means that times here are not eligible for official U.S. or world records.)  

Kipruto said recently that his training is going well, declaring: "I am ready to tackle the race."Coached by the famed Brother Colm O'Connell, an Irish missionary at St. Patrick's school in Iten, Kenya, Kipruto finished sixth in the IAAF World Cross Country Championships earlier this year and is coming off a victory at the Stockholm Diamond League meet on May 30 in 26:50.16. 

That's not only the fastest 10,000 meters on the track since the 2017 World Championships, but one of the fastest in almost eight years.  And he's only 19 years old.  "Distance runners run better as they get into their late 20s," said Jeff Galloway, winner of the inaugural Peachtree in 1970.

(06/29/2019) ⚡AMP
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AJC Peachtree Road Race

AJC Peachtree Road Race

The AJC Peachtree Road Race, organized by the Atlanta Track Club, is the largest 10K in the world. In its 48th running, the AJC Peachtree Road Race has become a Fourth of July tradition for thousands of people throughout the metro Atlanta area and beyond. Come kick off your Fourth of July festivities with us! If you did not get...

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Kenyan Maiyo Kipkurui and Emma kiruki won the 2019 Safaricom Lewa Marathon

Kipkurui, the two time Brighton Marathon champion clocked 2:20.04, three minutes ahead of Samson Lemaiyan (2:22.52) who took the second position while Edward Nderitu finished third in 2:24.31.

“I have been in training for the past two months preparing for this particular race, it felt like I was running in London, the support was massive.” Kipkurui told Citizen Digital.

“I did not even now that I was leading because I was with the 21km runners but they dropped one after the other until I was left alone,” he added.

In the women’s category, the 2008, champion Emma Muthuni Kiruki returned to her winning ways 11 years Later, clocking 2:50.31, 13 minutes ahead of Daisy Kipsugut (3:03.03) and Mary Wairimu 3:18.50.

The 36-year-old finished third in 21km in 2017 after a nine-year sabbatical from the competition.

“The heat was too much and the track very difficult, following the half marathon runners helped me a lot in increasing my pace.

“I had prepared very well but the race got difficult towards the end now am going back to the drawing board to prepare for the next race,” Kiruki said.

In the 21km race Morris Munene easily defended his title in a time of 1:06.06 ahead of John Elimlim (1:06.29) and Mike Boit (1:06.53)

“The competition was stiff but I had prepared well, I wanted to use the race to prepare for the year’s Berlin marathon.” Munene told citizen digital

In the women’s category, fresh from pacing assignment in China Miriam Nakitare won the 21km women’s race in a time of 1:15.11.

“I had prepared well for the race although when I started it was a little difficult but after 10km I saw the weakness in other competitors who could not take the hills easily and that is where I won the race.” Said Nakitare

Paulin Wangui (1:16.14) was second while Coroline nyaguthii (1:17.30) was third.

With the first lady Margaret Kenyatta being the chief Guest she joined over 1400 participants who took part in the event celebrating 20 years since inception on 2000. She took part in the 5km race.

(06/29/2019) ⚡AMP
by Philip Muchiri
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Safaricom Lewa Marathon

Safaricom Lewa Marathon

The first and most distinctive is that it is run on a wildlife conservancy, which is also a UNESCO world heritage site. The Lewa Wildlife Conservancy is home to a number of endangered and threatened species- and also a catalyst for community development for its neighboring communities. For the past 17 years, funds raised from the marathon have gone...

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Three-time Berlin Marathon champion Kenya’s Gladys Cherono has predicted that the Women-only World Record could go down at the next London Marathon

Cherono, who made her London debut last year to finish fourth, disclosed on Wednesday that Mary Keitany’s Women-Only World Record of 2 hours, 17 minutes and 01 minute set at the same course in 2017 could be broken owing to the favorable weather and strong field in the English capital.

“It has been forecast that the weather in London will be warmer on Sunday and that, coupled with a strong field featuring the top five marathon entrants each of whom has run sub-2 hours and 20 minutes in the last one year with the exception of one, Keitany’s Women-only World Record in 2017 could be lowered,” said the 35-year-old Cherono, whose three World Marathon Major victories came from Berlin.

Cherono completed her hat-trick of victories in Berlin last year in 2:18:11, the sixth fastest time in the history of the marathon.

However, it’s Keitany who boasts the fastest time in the rich field for London Marathon from her trail-blazing victory in 2017, followed by Cherono’s 2:18:11 from last year’s Berlin Marathon. Defending champion Vivian Cheruiyot also weighs in with her triumphant time of 2:18:31 from last year’s race.

Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei has the fourth fastest time in the field of 2:18:35 from her victory at Chicago Marathon last year and is followed by Ethiopian Birhane Dibaba, who has a personal best of 2:19:51 from Tokyo Marathon last year.

(06/29/2019) ⚡AMP
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BMW Berlin Marathon

BMW Berlin Marathon

The story of the BERLIN-MARATHON is a story of the development of road running. When the first BERLIN-MARATHON was started on 13th October 1974 on a minor road next to the stadium of the organisers‘ club SC Charlottenburg Berlin 286 athletes had entered. The first winners were runners from Berlin: Günter Hallas (2:44:53), who still runs the BERLIN-MARATHON today, and...

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Organizer Jim Ratcliffe says this about the sub two hour marathon attempt coming up: Nobody's been able to achieve this. It's not unlike trying to put a man on the moon.

Eliud Kipchoge will attempt to break the two-hour barrier for the marathon in Vienna in October after London was snubbed for the Ineos 1:59 Challenge.

The challenge - 65 years after Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile - had been thought more likely to take place in the UK after the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha.

Instead, the Kenyan world record-holder will make his second bid to run the first sub-two-hour marathon in the Austrian capital on October 12.

"After an extensive worldwide assessment process, The Prater - the famous Viennese park - has been chosen by the INEOS 1:59 Challenge as the venue that will give Kipchoge the optimum conditions to write himself into the history books," Ineos said.

Kipchoge ran the marathon in a time of two hours and 25 seconds on the Monza race track in Italy in his previous attempt to break the two-hour mark. He was assisted by pacemakers who ran set sections of the course on that occasion, meaning it was not recognised as a world record.

The 34-year-old 2016 Olympic gold medal winner set the current world record in Berlin last September when running 2:01:39, beating the previous best by 78 seconds.

He also ran the second-fastest time in history when completing the London marathon in April in a time of 2:02:37.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the Ineos chairman, said: "Eliud Kipchoge is the greatest ever marathon runner and the only athlete in the world who has any chance of beating the two-hour time.

"Nobody's been able to achieve this. It's not unlike trying to put a man on the moon."

(06/29/2019) ⚡AMP
by Tom Morgan
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INEOS 1:59 Challenge

INEOS 1:59 Challenge

Mankind have constantly sought to reach new frontiers and to achieve the impossible. From Edmund Hillary reaching the summit of Mount Everest to Roger Bannister’s four-minute mile to Felix Baumgartner jumping from space we have frequently redefined the limits of human achievement and broken new barriers previously seen as simply impossible. After the four-minute mile and the ten second 100m...

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Wilf Leblanc 57-year-old smashes multi-Grouse Grind record on summer solstice

On June 21, Wilfrid Leblanc, 57, broke the Grouse Grind record, finishing 19 ascents in approximately 18 hours, and gaining 15,295 metres over 48K (almost double Mount Everest). The Grouse Grind trail ascends Grouse Mountain in North Vancouver. Every summer solstice, Grouse Mountain hosts the Multi-Grind Challenge, raising money for BC Children’s Hospital. Leblanc wasn’t the only vertical junkie breaking records. Brooke Spence, 37, and James Stewart, 40, each completed 18 Grinds. Spence, beat her previous record of 17 ascents, set in 2018.

The multi-grind challenge is unique as it relies on the Grouse Mountain tram system. For solstice, the tram is scheduled for every 10 minutes. Participants may begin as early as 4:00 a.m., and can begin their final Grind at 9:59:59 p.m. Leblanc met the legendary Spence a few weeks prior to the event, and determined that “19 was possible by doing 45-minute Grinds all day. 19 is not crazy.” Leblanc’s plan of attack was to “stay with Brooke. I know she’s strong. I’m just gonna stay with her, until I can’t.”

On June 21, Wilfrid Leblanc, 57, broke the Grouse Grind record, finishing 19 ascents in approximately 18 hours, and gaining 15,295 metres over 48K (almost double Mount Everest). The Grouse Grind trail ascends Grouse Mountain in North Vancouver. Every summer solstice, Grouse Mountain hosts the Multi-Grind Challenge, raising money for BC Children’s Hospital. Leblanc wasn’t the only vertical junkie breaking records. Brooke Spence, 37, and James Stewart, 40, each completed 18 Grinds. Spence, beat her previous record of 17 ascents, set in 2018.

The multi-grind challenge is unique as it relies on the Grouse Mountain tram system. For solstice, the tram is scheduled for every 10 minutes. Participants may begin as early as 4:00 a.m., and can begin their final Grind at 9:59:59 p.m. Leblanc met the legendary Spence a few weeks prior to the event, and determined that “19 was possible by doing 45-minute Grinds all day. 19 is not crazy.” Leblanc’s plan of attack was to “stay with Brooke. I know she’s strong. I’m just gonna stay with her, until I can’t.”

“More people did 15 [Grinds] this year alone than ever before,” says 2017 record-holder Ian Roberton. Robertson was planning on breaking his record of 17 ascents, until his stomach took a turn mid-day. Robertson, Leblanc, Spence, and Stewart were together for the first lap. But Stewart missed the first tram down at 4:45 a.m. due to a broken timing chip, which left him hiking solo until number 18. Leblanc and Spence hiked for 15 laps together, and had fun with friends joining the party for one to five Grinds.

The vertical master Spence says that “this year was a lot different than last year, because last year, I hiked alone. This year, there were four or five of us for a lot of it. It was tons of fun with pacers going in and out. You’re seeing all the other multi-grinders do it and everyone is so encouraging.” Leblanc said it was a highlight having his crew along with Spence’s hiking together.

(06/28/2019) ⚡AMP
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Strong, talented and deepest field at Western States Endurance Run at this year race

More than 350 of the world’s best endurance athletes will emerge from the cold and dark Saturday morning to stand at the start line at Squaw Valley, eager to begin the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run from the resort to Auburn.

This year’s field of runners is one of the deepest in the history of the race, featuring the return of both the men and women’s champions along with several top-10 finishers from last year.

After coming up short in two previous bids to set the course record at Western States, Jim Walmsley, of Flagstaff, Arizona, broke through last year, finishing with a record time of 14 hours, 30 minutes, 4 seconds. Walmsley, 29, is set to defend his title this year against a deep field in the men’s division, which features eight of last year’s top-10 finishers.

Walmsley will make his fourth appearance in the race on Saturday. His attempt to break the course record in 2017 ended due to exhaustion at around mile 78. He rebounded the following year by setting the course record, and said breaking that mark could be in play on Saturday.

Walmsley said he’s also been told the early stages of the course are in better shape than they were in 2017, which had a similarly large snowpack. During 2017’s race he was also several minutes ahead of the record-breaking time he set in 2018.

“Ultimately, it’s about listening to my own pace and just putting everything out there regardless,” he said. “As long as I end up giving my best effort and going to the well to get there, I’m always happy with it. Whether it’s the DNF in 2017 or the course record last year. I’m pretty proud of both days and the fact that I know I gave everything at both races. You can always live with that.”

Among those who could challenge Walmsley will be 2017 Western States winner Ryan Sandes. The 37-year-old South African broke through in his third attempt to win at Western States, and then ran as a pacer during last year’s event.

“I feel like it was a big thing for me to win Western States and a big achievement, so I feel pretty relaxed going into Western States from that point of view, but Western States is still one of the biggest 100 milers in the world, if not the biggest,” said Sandes. “I’ve still got that drive and hunger and I think that’s why I came back here. That’s a big motivating factor and I’m definitely hungry.”

Other top competitors on the men’s side include: Mark Hammond, Ian Sharman, Jeff Browning, Charlie Ware, Kyle Pietari, Paul Giblin and Kris Brown.

On the women’s side, defending champion Courtney Dauwalter, of Golden, Colorado, returns after winning in her first time out.

Dauwalter, 34, finished with the second fastest time ever for a woman last year, reaching Auburn with a time of 17:27:00.

Second-place finisher Katlyn Gerbin, 30, of Issaquah, Washington will also be in the field. Lucy Bartholomew, 23, of Melbourne, Australia, finished third last year and will be in this year’s field as well. Bartholomew has spent the past few weeks training in the area, and running with Truckee-Tahoe athletes at local races.

Kaci Lickteig, 32, of Omaha, Nebraska, who won in 2016, will race as well.

Other returning top-10 finishers from a year ago include: Amanda Basham, Cecilia Flori, Camelia Mayfield, Aliza Lapierre and Corrine Malcolm.

(06/28/2019) ⚡AMP
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Western States 100

Western States 100

The Western States ® 100-Mile Endurance Run is the world’s oldest and most prestigious 100-mile trail race. Starting in Squaw Valley, California near the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics and ending 100.2 miles later in Auburn, California, Western States, in the decades since its inception in 1974, has come to represent one of the ultimate endurance tests in the...

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Sinister 7 Ultra is coming up and this ultramarathon continues to test runners strength, endurance, and willpower to keep running when everything in them wants to stop

The sold-out ultra consists of seven legs that wind around the Crowsnest Pass. The course covers 161 km with an elevation gain of 6321 metres.

Each leg features a unique part of Crowsnest Pass. Leg 1 runs through the Frank Slide, and then Leg 2 runs along Hastings Ridge and below Turtle Mountain back to Blairmore. Leg 3 runs around Pass Powderkeg, the local ski hill. Leg 4 summits Saddle Mountain before heading straight to the Visitor Information Centre. Leg 5 runs through the Chinook/Allison area below Mount Tecumseh ending at the McGillivray staging area. Leg 6 is perhaps the most scenic, though it is often run in the dark. This leg is a tour around the iconic Crowsnest Mountain and the Seven Sisters. The course ends with Leg 7, around Wedge Mountain, crossing Nez Pierce Creek and ending at the Coleman Sports Complex. 

The race attracts 1,600 registrants each year, including a few hundred soloists who run the full distance on their own. We have welcomed runners from across Canada, the USA, Europe, and as far away as Australia and Japan.

Many are drawn by the reputation of the race but most simply come for the unique challenge and the stunning scenery around Crowsnest Pass. 

A special thank you goes out to all the volunteers for Sinister 7. This event would not be possible if it wasn’t for the many dedicated volunteers who come out to support the runners. 

(06/28/2019) ⚡AMP
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Sinister 7 Ultra

Sinister 7 Ultra

Welcome to the Sinister 7 Ultra — a race that may be the greatest challenge of your life. The 100 mile (161km) course will take you through the most rugged, remote and beautiful terrain in Alberta's stunning Rocky Mountains. With 6,400m of elevation gain across the course, this race will punish those who are not prepared.The Sinister 7 is open...

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Inspirational Becca Anderson, 28, from Westcliffe Way, who overcame the odds to beat leukemia nine years ago is raising money for the charity that saved her life

Becca Anderson will run the Great North Run this year, in aid of the Anthony Nolan Trust, the blood cancer charity which helped her get a life-saving bone marrow transplant.

The trust matches individuals who are willing to donate their blood stem cells or bone marrow, with people in need of life-saving transplants. Just as Becca was nine years ago.

In May 2010, at just 18 years-old, Becca was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Her only chances of survival were three rounds of intense chemotherapy followed by a bone marrow transplant.

None of her family were a match, but after three months of searching, the Anthony Nolan Trust was able to find her a donor, and on December 3, 2010, she received her transplant. Becca was given the all clear from cancer six months later.

“It’s a slow process, it takes about a year to fully recover, but you are constantly living in fear,” said Becca who was nominated for Role Model of the Year in the Pride of South Tyneside Awards 2011.

“You have got to build up your immune system from nothing. It’s only been in the last two or three years I have thought, ‘I can start living a life and taking advantage of these years I’ve been given’.”

Now she is celebrating nine years of being cancer-free, by showing her appreciation for the charity that saved her life, and offering her support for those still waiting for a match.

She is aiming to raise £1 for each day of her life she has got back following her transplant, bringing the total amount to £3,201 by the day of the half marathon on September 8, 2019.

(06/28/2019) ⚡AMP
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Great North Run

Great North Run

Great North Run founder Brendan Foster believes Britain is ready to welcome the world with open arms after the launch of the event's most ambitious plan to date. The Great World Run campaign seeks to recruit one runner from every country in the United Nations – 193 in total – to take part in the iconic half marathon in...

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Kenyan Gladys Cherono will return to defend her Berlin marathon title

A top-class duel is in prospect in the BMWBerlin Marathon when Germany’s biggest marathon takes place on September 29. Gladys Cherono, both title and course record holder, will face Vivian Cheruiyot.

The two Kenyans are among an elite group of world-class women runners who have improved their personal bests to below 2:19 in the past year, winning high quality races in the Abbott World Marathon Majors (AWMM) series.

But they will both have to beware of a dangerous Ethiopian, Mare Dibaba, who has twice run under 2:20 and took the bronze medal in the 2016 Olympic Marathon in Rio.

“We are naturally delighted that we’ll be having the defending champion Gladys Cherono on the start line,” said Race Director Mark Milde and added: “Compared to the men, the women in Berlin have some ground to make up.

With three very strong contenders in the line-up, the women’s race on September 29 could be centre stage.” In the past twelve years the men’s race at the BMW Berlin Marathon has produced a string of world class times with six world records into the bargain. The presence of Gladys Cherono and Vivian Cheruiyot suggests that these two Kenyans could headline a show-stealing performance from the elite women in general.

After victories in 2015 and 2017 Gladys Cherono achieved her third triumph in the BMW Berlin Marathon last year. The 36-year-old, who won the World Half Marathon title in 2014, also broke the course record of the Japanese Mizuki Noguchi of 2:19:12 which had stood for 13 years. Cherono’s time of 2:18:11 was a big improvement on her lifetime best and helped her join the exclusive company of women champions in Berlin with three wins apiece: Renata Kokowska of Poland, the home town favorite Uta Pippig and Ethiopia’s Aberu Kebede. “My goal is now to win for the fourth time in Berlin,” announced Gladys Cherono soon after she had completed the hat-trick last year.

Her return is a clear bid to go for the unique honour of a fourth title.

Gladys Cherono may well have to run another personal best to win title number four. Among her rivals will be her compatriot Vivian Cheruiyot who will be making her debut in the BMW Berlin Marathon. The 35-year-old Olympic 5,000m champion in 2016 won last year’s London Marathon, improving her best to 2:18:31.

This year in London she finished runner-up, beating Gladys Cherono on both occasions. Both Kenyans are in the women’s top ten of all-time fastest marathon runners with Cherono at number six and Cheruiyot at number eight, setting up what should be a fascinating clash.

Another who will be making her BMW Berlin Marathon debut will be Mare Dibaba. The 29-year-old Ethiopian actually has more marathon experience than either Gladys Cherono or Vivian Cheruiyot.

She won the world title in Beijing in 2015 and one year later took the bronze medal at the Rio Olympics. She has a best of 2:19:52, achieving that time twice, in 2012 and 2015. Given Berlin’s renowned fast course, Dibaba will be aiming to run another very fast time and challenge the Kenyan duo.

 

(06/27/2019) ⚡AMP
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BMW Berlin Marathon

BMW Berlin Marathon

The story of the BERLIN-MARATHON is a story of the development of road running. When the first BERLIN-MARATHON was started on 13th October 1974 on a minor road next to the stadium of the organisers‘ club SC Charlottenburg Berlin 286 athletes had entered. The first winners were runners from Berlin: Günter Hallas (2:44:53), who still runs the BERLIN-MARATHON today, and...

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Eliud Kipchoge’s second attempt to break the two-hour barrier for the marathon will take place in Vienna on October 12 event organisers INEOS said on Thursday

Kenyan runner Eliud Kipchoge's attempt to run a marathon in under two hours will take place in Vienna on Oct. 12.

The attempt will be on a multi-lap course in The Prater, a park in Vienna. If the weather is poor, organizers have reserved eight more days.

Kipchoge says Vienna offers "a fast and flat course, nicely protected by trees."

Kipchoge lowered the marathon world record to 2 hours, 1 minute, 39 seconds last year in Berlin. He has tried to break the 2-hour barrier before, running 2:00:25 at the Monza auto racing track in 2017.

That wasn't considered a world record because pacers entered mid-race and drinks were given to runners via mopeds.

(06/27/2019) ⚡AMP
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INEOS 1:59 Challenge

INEOS 1:59 Challenge

Mankind have constantly sought to reach new frontiers and to achieve the impossible. From Edmund Hillary reaching the summit of Mount Everest to Roger Bannister’s four-minute mile to Felix Baumgartner jumping from space we have frequently redefined the limits of human achievement and broken new barriers previously seen as simply impossible. After the four-minute mile and the ten second 100m...

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Missoula’s running community creates many great athletes and many great volunteers during marathon week

Tim Mosbacher is a retired middle school teacher taking a break as he runs around the country to once again lend a hand to his hometown race.

Mosbacher started running because he didn’t have a better option.

“I was in middle school back in the day,” said Mosbacher. “One of the P.E. coaches said, ‘You have to do a sport.’ And I said, ‘Oh, I don’t know what do do. Well, I’ll go run.’ So I started doing cross country then, and I was really bad.”

The Billings native improved enough to earn a scholarship at Dickinson State University. He tried a couple marathons in the late 1990s, but then took a break. He hit the road again a decade ago, running his hometown Missoula Marathon, and pretty soon he had found something to chase.

“It wasn’t until probably my fourth one. I said, ‘Well, I’ve done four different states,'” said Mosbacher. “And then I started picking ones I liked. And so once I did my 10th one, then I said, ‘I’m all in.'”

Mosbacher has now run marathons in 47 states. After Portland, Maine in October, the New York City Marathon in November, and a run in Maui in January, the 53-year-old can claim all 50. He has seen most of the country and every kind of race on his trek.

“I’ve run Boston, and I’ve run Chicago, so you’ve got those big ones,” Mosbacher said. “And then I’ve run really small ones. I’ve run one that had, I think, 15 runners in it.”

Ironically, Mosbacher has not run the Missoula Marathon in a decade. For the past six years, he helps the event by organizing and recruiting the elite runners who come to town.

“I go to other people’s communities and take from their community, really, when you’re running there,” said Mosbacher. “And so it’s really neat to give back.”

He admits he wants to run the Missoula Marathon again some day, because he wants a better time. In retirement, he is running faster than ever. Mosbacher won the Eisenhower Marathon in Kansas this year in a personal best time of 2 hours, 48 minutes, nearly 50 minutes faster than his 2009 time in Missoula.

Mosbacher also wants to run Tokyo, London and Berlin to finish off the six majors in the marathon world. He is excited to watch others chase fast times at the Missoula Marathon this week.

(06/26/2019) ⚡AMP
by Derek Buerkle
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Missoula Marathon

Missoula Marathon

Half and full marathon in Missoula, Montana, in the city they call "The Garden City." Amazing participation by the entire town and county. Front lawn hose squads cool down the runners en route. Lots of rest stations. The full marathon is a Boston qualifier. Runner's World rated the course as one of the best overall road races. ...

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Five-time Canadian record-holder Mohammed Ahmed and NCAA champion Justyn Knight are going head-to-head this Sunday in the Pre Classic two-mile

Both runners have had great 2019 seasons. Knight has already run a huge 5,000m personal best 13:09.76 at the Rome Diamond League to secure Olympic standard and one of the fastest 5,000m times in Canadian history.

In the same race, Ahmed became the first Canadian ever to go sub-13 in a 5,000m. He broke his own Canadian record by three seconds, running a 12:58.16 to finish sixth.

Ahmed had been hunting the 12:59 for a long time, but to run that fast takes a special day, and in Rome his time came.

Heading into Pre this weekend, both runners have an Olympic standard, which means they also have World Championship standard for this year’s championship in Doha. Ahmed has already been named to the team in the 10,000m.

(06/26/2019) ⚡AMP
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Prefontaine Classic

Prefontaine Classic

Stanford University's Cobb Track & Angell Field will be the venue for this year's 45th NIKE Prefontaine Classic/IAAF Diamond League meet on Sunday, June 30.With the ongoing construction of Hayward Field in advance of the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials and the 2021 IAAF World Championships, an alternate site for America's flagship invitational meet was required. After an extensive search in...

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Kenyan Vivian Cheruiyot will race this year’s Berlin Marathon on September 29 for the first time

Cheruiyot will face defending champion, three-time winner and fellow Kenyan Gladys Cherono and 2016 Olympic bronze medallist and 2015 world champion in the marathon, Mare Dibaba of Ethiopia.

Cheruiyot finished second at New York in 2018, and second again in London in April behind countrywoman Brigid Kosgei, reversing their 2018 finishing positions.

Her personal best and Cherono’s (who was fourth in London this year) are very close, at 2:18:31 and 2:18:11. Cherono is 36, and Cheruiyot will turn 36 just before Berlin.

Considering both Rio gold medallist Jemima Sumgong and silver medallist Eunice Kirwa are now serving doping suspensions,  Dibaba could realistically be considered the Olympic gold medallist (though neither Sumgong nor Kirwa has been relieved of their medals).

Her PB, 2:19:52, is from Dubai 2012, but at 29 she is somewhat younger than her competitors.

(06/26/2019) ⚡AMP
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BMW Berlin Marathon

BMW Berlin Marathon

The story of the BERLIN-MARATHON is a story of the development of road running. When the first BERLIN-MARATHON was started on 13th October 1974 on a minor road next to the stadium of the organisers‘ club SC Charlottenburg Berlin 286 athletes had entered. The first winners were runners from Berlin: Günter Hallas (2:44:53), who still runs the BERLIN-MARATHON today, and...

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World leaders Christian Coleman and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce form part of two strong 100m fields at the Prefontaine Classic

n 2018 Coleman broke the world indoor 60m record, won world indoor 60m gold and ended the season with the fastest time in the world, 9.79. After finishing second at the Prefontaine Classic in 2018 in a wind-aided 9.84, the 23-year-old returns to this year’s edition off the back of two world-leading marks: 9.86 in Shanghai and 9.85 in Olso.

This weekend he will face a field full of sub-10-second performers, two of whom have bettered that barrier this year.

Cravon Gillespie recorded lifetime bests of 9.93 for 100m and 19.93 for 200m on the same day to finish second in both events at the recent NCAA Championships.

European champion Zharnel Hughes of Great Britain is undefeated at 100m this year and heads to Stanford with a season’s best of 9.97, just 0.06 shy of his lifetime best.

The field also includes world champion Justin Gatlin, prolific sub-10-second performer Michael Rodgers, 2018 NCAA champion Cameron Burrell, 2018 Jamaican champion Tyquendo Tracey and Italian record-holder Filippo Tortu.

The women’s 100m may not be a scoring discipline in Stanford, but that hasn’t affected the quality as all eight women in the field have previously bettered 11 seconds and four of them have sub-10.80 PBs.

Multiple world and Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who became a mother in 2017, is back to her best. At the recent Jamaican Championships she posted times of 10.73 and 22.22 – her fastest times since 2013 and just a whisker away from her lifetime bests.

The 32-year-old won the Prefontaine Classic 100m in 2013 and 2015 so will be looking for a third victory this weekend.

But the experienced Jamaican will be up against one of the newest and most exciting sprint talents.

Sha’Carri Richardson, aged just 19, won the 100m in 10.75 and placed second in the 200m in 22.17 at the NCAA Championships earlier this month, breaking the world U20 records in both events (pending ratification).

The teenager has since turned professional and this will be her first race since her record-breaking feats at the NCAA Championships.

Double world silver medallist Marie-Josee Ta Lou, who won last year’s Pre Classic, will be back, so too will her Ivorian compatriot Murielle Ahoure, the 2018 Diamond League champion.

Two-time Pre Classic winner English Gardner, US champion Aleia Hobbs, world indoor bronze medallist Mujinga Kambundji and Olympic finalist Michelle-Lee Ahye are also in the loaded field.

(06/26/2019) ⚡AMP
by IAAF
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Prefontaine Classic

Prefontaine Classic

Stanford University's Cobb Track & Angell Field will be the venue for this year's 45th NIKE Prefontaine Classic/IAAF Diamond League meet on Sunday, June 30.With the ongoing construction of Hayward Field in advance of the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials and the 2021 IAAF World Championships, an alternate site for America's flagship invitational meet was required. After an extensive search in...

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Jessica Hull’s decision to turn professional and leave Oregon with a collegiate season of outdoor track eligibility remaining was thoughtful and ultimately bittersweet, she said

The times she was running, the way she was progressing in her training, and the big meets on the calendar over the coming year — including the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo — all indicated the time was right for the redshirt junior from Australia to move on.

“You don’t want the opportunity to slip free,” Hull said. “You want to make the most of all that there is out there. Hopefully, the transition will be with eyes wide open and I learn as much as I can the next 12 months leading to Tokyo.”

The 22-year-old middle distance runner, who signed with an agent last week but not yet a shoe sponsor, leaves the Ducks as a four-time NCAA champion, seven-time all-American and two-time record-holder who is coming off the most impressive year of her career.

She opened her indoor season by resetting her school record in the mile in 4 minutes, 32.03 seconds. In her second race, she broke Jordan Hasay’s school record in the 3,000 meters with an 8:53.91 at the Husky Classic.

She went on to win NCAA Indoor titles in the 3,000 and distance medley relay.

During the outdoor season, she was the national leader in the 1,500 during the regular season at 4:12.08 and then topped that with a 4:09.90 at the NCAA West Preliminary meet.

She also became the fourth-fastest performer in Oregon history in the 5,000 with her 15:34.93 at the Stanford Invitational and a two-time Pac-12 champion in the 1,500.

She went into the NCAA Outdoor Championships as the defending champion but finished in second place despite running a personal-record and World Outdoor Championship qualifying time of 4:06.27 — more than two seconds faster than what she ran in 2018 to win the title.

It was also that performance that gave Hull the last bit evidence she needed to turn pro.

“It kind of solidified it,” said Hull, who is entered in summer school at Oregon to finish the last class she needs to complete her degree. “It definitely showed I was ready to mix it up with that level of competition. It was a bit of a confidence booster to see that I could do it. The way training was going, we knew those kinds of marks were there, I just hadn’t really been in a race to see that I could do it.”

Hull will get tested right away in her first race as a professional when she takes on a star-studded field in the 1,500 during the Prefontaine Classic on Sunday at Stanford’s Cobb Track & Angell Field.

(06/25/2019) ⚡AMP
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Prefontaine Classic

Prefontaine Classic

Stanford University's Cobb Track & Angell Field will be the venue for this year's 45th NIKE Prefontaine Classic/IAAF Diamond League meet on Sunday, June 30.With the ongoing construction of Hayward Field in advance of the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials and the 2021 IAAF World Championships, an alternate site for America's flagship invitational meet was required. After an extensive search in...

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June 25 would have been Gabriele Grunewald’s 33rd birthday and the state of Minnesota has named June 25 Brave Like Gabe Day

Gabriele Grunewald was initially diagnosed with adenoid cystic carcinoma, a rare form of cancer affecting the salivary gland, in 2009, and thyroid cancer the following year.

She graduated as an NCAA All-American in the 1,500m, and pursued a professional running career despite dealing with several surgeries and chemotherapy. In 2014, she won the US indoor national championship in the 3,000m. Grunewald was sponsored by Brooks.

In late 2016 she learned the cancer had spread to her liver, and she had an operation that left a long and visible scar on her abdomen, which became a badge of courage as she continued to race and began to speak publicly about her cancer journey.

Two weeks ago Gabe lost her battle and passed away.  The world lost an amazing woman but she will never be forgotten.  

In her honor runners will gather on Tuesday (June 25) evening at 6:15 pm in B.F. Nelson Park in Minneapolis, Minnestoa to honour Grunewald.

If you’re not able to make the run in person, you can contribute via Strava. So far 6,693 participants have run a collective 8,735 miles.

The Strava challenge is open for the entire day today. Additionally, runners can photograph their runs and use the #BravelikeGabe or #Runningonhope to contribute. 

(06/25/2019) ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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Glenn Sutton is aiming to break Kiwi record at Death Valley

Home to the hottest temperature ever recorded on the planet, Death Valley is not a place many Kiwis would pick for a mid-winter escape.

For Dunedin ultra-marathon runner Glenn Sutton however, he’s picked the soaring desert as the venue for his latest conquest.

Starting on July 15, he’ll run 217 kilometres in temperatures ranging from the low forties to the high fifties.

"They don’t call it the toughest foot race in the world for nothing," he told 1 NEWS.

Sutton will become the first Kiwi to attempt the race for a third time, after finishing it in both 2014 and 2015.

His goal this time though is to become the quickest Kiwi, aiming to cross the finish line in less than 36 hours and 32 minutes.

"If you complete the course in under 48 hours, you get a belt buckle and a t-shirt," he says.

His training involves running a 100km every week. While much of it is outside in the freezing Dunedin winter, a lot of it is done inside his custom-built heat-box.

Sutton powers the heavily-insulated box with three high-powered heaters, with temperatures getting up to the mid-forties.

The Dunedin runner has even managed to draw the attention of one of New Zealand’s biggest breweries, with Emerson’s creating a beer dedicated to Sutton’s mission.

Called - Into The Valley - the company have given the brew a low 2.17 per cent alcohol rating, to match the 217 km journey Sutton will be running.

But with temperatures at last year’s event getting up to an unofficial 58C, Sutton’s first choice of drink at the finish line, might just have to be water.

(06/25/2019) ⚡AMP
by John Mckenzie
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Death Valley Trail Marathon

Death Valley Trail Marathon

This scenic wilderness trail run is on a gravel jeep road from Beatty, NV through the picturesque Titus Canyon, finishing in Death Valley (entire run is in Death Valley National Park). The desert is beautiful this time of year with mild temperatures; lows at night between 30 and 40 degrees and highs during the day from the low-60s to mid-70s....

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The secret to a healthier life may lie in the guts of athletes, Scientists who studied runners discovered a type of bacteria that flourished in their digestive tracts

The Veillonella bacteria produce a molecule that helps increase exercise endurance.

The results, published Monday in the journal Nature Medicine, could someday change the way we work out, said microbiologist George Weinstock from the Jackson Laboratory in Farmington, Conn.

“It starts to build the case that someday we may be able to take a Veillonella probiotic just before we are going to exercise, and we'll be able to exercise more” said Weinstock, who wasn’t involved in the study.

Our bodies are teeming with microbes, helping us digest the food we eat and providing us with nutrients that we can’t make ourselves. Studies of these microbes — collectively known as the microbiome — have led to insights into diseases ranging from obesity to arthritis.

Previous research has found that athletes have a very different composition of microbes within their guts compared to non-athletes, but it’s not yet clear how those differences contribute to an athlete’s health.

“It’s the notion of mining the biology of super-healthy people and translating that into nutritional interventions for everyone else,” said study leader Jonathan Scheiman, who began studying the microbiomes of athletes while working at Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering.

Almost every day for a week before and after the 2015 Boston Marathon, the Harvard researchers collected stool samples from 15 runners entered in the race as well as from 10 non-athletes, who served as controls. Those samples allowed researchers to see what kinds of microbes were inhabiting subjects’ guts.

When they compared the abundance of the different species of bacteria within those samples, one group in particular jumped out at them.

“We found this one bacterial genus, Veillonella, that was not only in higher abundance in athletes compared to controls, but almost immediately after the marathon there's this spike in abundance,” Scheiman said.

What was especially intriguing about these bacteria was their appetite for a molecule called lactate.

This discovery “was kind of a lightbulb moment because lactate is a metabolite that accumulates in the blood after strenuous exercise,” Scheiman said. ”When your ability to utilize it gets outpaced by your ability to produce it, it then starts to accumulate in the blood, and it tends to be a marker of fatigue.”

This connection between Veillonella, lactate, and exercise prompted the researchers to wonder whether giving Veillonella to mice might affect their endurance.

(06/25/2019) ⚡AMP
by STEPHANIE DEMARCO
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Kyle Robidoux is legally blind and will be making history as he takes on the Western States 100 this weekend

When 43-year-old Roxbury, Massachusetts resident Kyle Robidoux sets foot on the starting line at Squaw Valley Saturday morning, he will be making Western States history.

According to Race Director Craig Thornley, Robidoux will be the first known runner in the 45-year existence of the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run who is legally blind.

With the help of a team of sighted guides, Robidoux will attempt the 100.2-mile trek from Squaw Valley to Auburn. But he is no stranger to ultra running. Since being declared legally blind at age 19, Robidoux has completed a number of premier running events, including five Boston Marathons.

"I've run in three 100-mile races, all with varied terrain, but Western States by far will be the most challenging," said Robidoux, who is being sponsored by Clif Bar. "There are a variety of conditions, so it'll be important for me to run really hard when terrain is runnable, knowing on climbs I'll have to walk. I'll have to make up my time during the runnable stuff."

Robidoux was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa, a degenerative eye disease that affects night vision and typically leads to complete blindness, when he was 11. Though he still has an estimated 3 percent field of vision, his eyesight has gradually declined over time.

"I have very extreme tunnel vision, like looking through a paper towel roll," Robidoux said. "I have no peripheral vision, no up or down, no night vision at all. I'm not colorblind but I can't see contrast very well. When I'm running, I can't tell the difference between dirt, rocks or roots. I can't see elevation change and I can't see if I need to step up or down."

That's where his guides come in. Connected through an organization called United in Stride, which helps recruit sighted guides for visually impaired runners and vice versa, Robidoux's guides run side by side with him, bound together by a tether. The guides act as a sight coach throughout the race, giving various verbal cues to the visually impaired runner.

"Their goal is to keep me safe and keep other runners safe during races," Robidoux said. "They keep me moving forward and upright. That puts me in a position where all I have to focus on is running; not if I trip on something or run into someone else."

Among Robidoux's guides is seven-time WSER champion Scott Jurek.

"It will be fun seeing this course in a different light," said Jurek. "It's so cool to have an opportunity to be someone else's eyes."

After getting to know each other over the past several years, Jurek feels Robidoux is up for the challenge.

"Kyle's got a tenacity to him," Jurek said. "He might not be the fastest, but he's got an intense desire, something you have to have for Western States, whether you can see or not."

That desire sprouted from depression. Robidoux's initial resentment toward his diagnosis made him inactive, overweight and on a path toward Type 2 diabetes.

"I essentially dealt with it by not dealing with it," said Robidoux. "I was bitter and angry about my eyesight. I was convinced things were being taken away from me that I loved doing."

With the support of his family, Robidoux began seeing a therapist to help deal more effectively. Soon after, he started running again to improve his health and be able to play with his daughter, Lucy. He dropped 70 pounds and completed his first event – the Maine Half Marathon – by age 34 in 2010.

“I started to realize that things weren’t being taken away from me, I was giving up on them,” Robidoux said. “I still have days when I get really angry and frustrated. It’s a continuing process. There’s a strong likelihood that I’ll lose all of my vision. It’s scary, but I’m learning how to adapt and emotionally prepare for that.”

Robidoux has finished over 25 marathons and ultra marathons and plans to continue for as long as he’s able.

(06/25/2019) ⚡AMP
by Nick Pecoraro
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Western States 100

Western States 100

The Western States ® 100-Mile Endurance Run is the world’s oldest and most prestigious 100-mile trail race. Starting in Squaw Valley, California near the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics and ending 100.2 miles later in Auburn, California, Western States, in the decades since its inception in 1974, has come to represent one of the ultimate endurance tests in the...

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Quinlan Moll qualified for the United States Olympic Trials in the marathon after running a 2:18:50 on Saturday in the Grandma’s Marathon

The “B” Standard for qualification to the Olympic Trials is 2:19:00.

“I really wanted to get the standard. That was one of my big goals going in,” Quinlan Moll said. “I didn’t know what to expect because I had never run a marathon before. I knew I was in good shape coming off track season, but it is a marathon so you never know what to expect. It is such a long distance that pretty much anything can happen during it.”

Moll competed at UMKC the past five years and finished up his eligibility this spring. UMKC distance coach Brett Guemmer continued to advise Moll through his marathon training.

“He (Coach Guemmer) advised me to take it out slow the first couple miles. It is 5:18 (per mile) average to get under 2:19. He told me not to go out at that, but to start out at 5:30 or 5:25 the first few miles and see how it felt. I was right around low 5:20’s for the first few miles, and the plan was to cut down from there. I was feeling good early on, but it is a long race,” Moll said. “Around mile nine I started dropping closer to 5:18’s to 5:15’s. I wasn’t having any trouble clicking them off, so I (decided) to keep going at that (pace) for a while.”

The steady pace kept Moll feeling good through the half, but his half marathon time of 69:48 was not going to get him to the standard, so he had to pick up the pace.

“I saw I came through the half (marathon) at 69:48, so I knew that I would have to pick it up and start pushing a little more,” Moll said. “Once I started getting later in the race and I still had a little left in my legs, I figured I still had a shot so I just had to keep at it.”

Moll dropped his average mile pace to 5:15 from the half marathon to the 20-mile mark to get closer to where he needed to be to hit the standard.

Going into the event, Moll had never raced longer than a 10-kilometer race or done a training run longer than 20 miles.

“I got to the 20-mile mark and (thought) this is my normal race distance left,” Moll said. “At that point my legs were getting a little heavy, but I was still feeling good enough to where I could convince myself that I had come 20 miles, 6.2 miles isn’t that much further to go. It is just really a mental thing. That was the hardest thing was trying to convince myself I had less distance left than I did.”

After 26 miles, Moll still was in position to hit the standard to qualify for the trials, but it was going to be close.

“I was checking my watch the entire time. Towards the end of the race there are a bunch of curves you have to go around. I felt like my legs weren’t going to give out or anything, so I knew if I could push a little harder that last mile that I could get there. I kept looking at my watch and would pick it up a little bit. Coming down the homestretch, I saw the clock, saw my watch and saw where the finish line was and knew it was going to be close. Once I got toward the homestretch I knew I had it. That was a really good feeling,” Moll said. “I was just grinning across the line. I think I gave a little fist bump too because some of the guys in front of me were celebrating because they knew they were under the standard too.”

The Kickapoo alumus will now have the chance to compete with some of the best distance runners in the United States at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Atlanta on Feb. 29, 2020.

(06/24/2019) ⚡AMP
by Chris Parker
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2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

Atlanta will host the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Marathon for both men and women, USA Track & Field and the United States Olympic Committee announced Monday. Hosted by Atlanta Track Club as the local organizing committee, the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Marathon will be held Feb. 29, 2020, and will take place in conjunction with the...

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Cecilia Flori often smiles through pain, but now she’s hoping an injury doesn’t keep her from competing at the 2019 Western States 100-mile race

The gap between elites and amateurs can feel wide indeed, but one area of common ground is an injury that threatens the start line of an important race. That’s the relatable place elite ultrarunner Cecilia Flori finds herself as she struggles with a foot injury a few weeks out from the Western States Endurance Run, the 100-mile race on June 29, from Squaw Valley to Auburn, California.

Expected to be a favorite in this year’s event, Flori arrived in California more than a month before the race, hoping to train on the course. The 38-year-old Italian physicist, who currently calls New Zealand home, earned bib F5 and says she was feeling as fit as ever when her foot began to hurt.

“I’ve been working on my speed by running marathons this year,” she said. “I think the Western course suits my strengths and I was more than ready for it.”

Relatively new to the ultra scene—and running in general—Flori made a big entrance to the sport, nabbing a podium spot at the North Face Endurance 50-miler in Canada in 2015.

“I’ve always loved the outdoors and was a climber before a triathlete friend convinced me to run a half marathon with him,” she said. “I really enjoyed it and I was hooked.”

Flori says the flow of running is what drew her in. “The repetitive motion makes me feel alive,” she said. “It’s a primal feeling—I’m at one with nature when I’m on trails.”

Relocating for her research to scenic New Zealand in 2016, Flori migrated entirely from climbing to running, joining a running club for training. She took on some shorter distance trail races and then won the Taupo 100K. “I started thinking that maybe I was good at endurance,” she says. “In 2017, I entered the Tarawera 100 and took third behind [2008 U.S. Olympic marathoner] Magda Boulet and [2017 Comrades champion] Camille Herron. I was shocked but I realized I could compete on an international level.”

Herron has since become Flori’s coach, and it was that Tarawera race that made Herron take note.

“I watched her run neck-and-neck with Magda Boulet,” Herron said. “What I remember most as I looped around and saw her was the big smile on her face.”

Since then there have been few hiccups in Flori’s ascent to the upper echelons of ultras. She pulled off fifth at last year’s Western States in 19:44 and followed it up with a 10th place finish at the 101K CCC in the French Alps last September, which she admits, tested her. “It was a learning experience,” she said. “I was sick and had to stop at aid stations quite a bit. But I still managed 10th and I’m proud of myself.”

Herron says Flori has a bright future ahead of her. “I saw that same smile on Cecilia’s face at 62 miles into Western last year. For someone to look that good in fifth place tells me she has lots more to give.

(06/24/2019) ⚡AMP
by Amanda Loudin
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Western States 100

Western States 100

The Western States ® 100-Mile Endurance Run is the world’s oldest and most prestigious 100-mile trail race. Starting in Squaw Valley, California near the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics and ending 100.2 miles later in Auburn, California, Western States, in the decades since its inception in 1974, has come to represent one of the ultimate endurance tests in the...

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Kara Goucher says the Leadville Trail Marathon was the hardest thing she'd ever done

Former elite US marathoner Kara Goucher was the fifth female across the finish line and first in her 40-49 age group at Leadville Trail Marathon in the Colorado Rockies. “Without a doubt, the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life,” she tweeted–quite a statement from a two-time Olympian, world championship silver medallist, and two-time Boston Marathon third-place finisher.

Goucher has blogged about the experience of transitioning from the roads to the trails on her sponsor Oiselle’s blog, where she also dispenses advice to those considering (or executing) a similar transition.

It seems road running and trail running are, well, quite different. For one thing, terrain and weather conditions play havoc with road runners’ expectations regarding time and pace, which are mostly beyond anyone’s control. (Goucher’s time was 3:54:07.)

"I pushed beyond any limit I ever have, thanks for making me find out what I’m made of when the going gets rough!” Goucher said in another tweet. Goucher told Runners World that she was vomiting repeatedly from altitude sickness throughout the race.

Tara Richardson of Glenwood Springs, Colo., Jana Willsey of Denver and Corinne Shalvoy of Castle Rock went 1, 2 and 3 for the top three females while Joshua Lund of Boulder, Pat Cade of Leadville and Chad Trammell of Anchorage stood on the men’s podium (which also happened to be the M30-39 podium).

The course runs through old mining roads and trails, reaching a maximum elevation of 13,185 feet (4,019m). This was the race’s 19th year.

(06/24/2019) ⚡AMP
by Anne Francis
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Leadville Trail Marathon

Leadville Trail Marathon

Run through the historic mining district’s challenging old mining roads and trails, and hit a high of 13,185 feet at Mosquito Pass during the Blueprint for Athletes Leadville Trail Marathon or Heavy Half Marathon. The views will leave you breathless, if you’re not already. This exciting race is hosted in the Historic Mining District located on the east side of...

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The Boilermaker 15K Road Race has reached its cap for participants again this year

The 15-kilometer race — Utica’s premier summer sports event is set for Sunday, July 14 — reached its cap of 14,500 spots on Tuesday afternoon, Boilermaker officials announced. Each of the Boilermaker’s 4,500 spots in the 5-kilometer race have been claimed since mid-April.

“We’re certainly happy (to reach the cap),” said Boilermaker President Mark Donovan, who was officially introduced as Boilermaker president on June 6 in 2018. “Those that want to be here (in Utica for the race) lock in March.

Everyone else is seeing what their schedule looks like and what life throws at them before they commit.”

While the total number of spots in the 15K has changed in recent years – the cap was set at 14,500 beginning in 2017 -- the Boilermaker has sold out of spots for each race dating back to at least 2011. Last year, the 15K reached the cap in early July.

“It is such a unique event,” said Donovan when asked what it means for the event to reach the cap again. “It is a community thing and people talk about it and the experience. Everybody’s experience is different and it is fun. I bet if you asked 10 people about their experience on (race day), you’ll get 10 different answers.”

(06/24/2019) ⚡AMP
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Boilermaker 15k

Boilermaker 15k

The Boilermaker 15K is the premier event of Boilermaker Weekend. This world renowned race is often referred to as the country's best 15K. The Boilermaker 15K is recognized for its entertaining yet challenging course and racing's best post-race party, hosted by the F.X. Matt Brewing Company, featuring Saranac beer and a live concert! With 3 ice and water stops every...

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Group running can be more fulfilling that running alone

A running community can help you to be accountable and focused. When you feel you are too busy with work or school, it provides a platform to check in with one another and maintain discipline.

While some might argue that such support is unnecessary, the same can't be said of runners who are either new to the sport, or who see running as a long-term undertaking to improve and maintain fitness.

You will also have a safe space in which to grow without being impeded by fears of inadequacy, where you can receive feedback and well-intentioned advice to improve your running.

A runners' community allows everyone to journey together through training, injury and races.

Lessons learnt and shared help members avoid repeating the growing pains. Your friends will also be the ones who constantly help you discover and rediscover your aptitude for running, by being your pillar of support and motivation.

As you build on each other's experiences through the highs and lows, it creates a tapestry of memories that enrich and elevate the running experience.

Being in a group helps to redirect and drive the group's purpose outwards, towards the community and people around us.

Recently, I got to know a group who come together to run every Saturday. Eventually, they started asking themselves what more they could do with their time and love of being active and outdoors.

This sparked an interest in volunteering (to assist children with cancer) after their training sessions.

They were able to look beyond their group's needs and serve the needs of another community, through simple acts of planning games that helped these ill children be more active. One of them mentioned that Saturdays were "deeply satisfying" as a result.

While every group is likely to identify with its own sense of purpose and motivation, they are all bound by their love of running.

(06/24/2019) ⚡AMP
by Jed Senthil
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Runners are getting slower but they are getting older as well

Runners are getting slower. How much slower? According to statistician Jens Jakob Andersen and mathematician Ivanka Nikolova, today’s average recreational male marathoner takes an additional 40 minutes, 14 seconds to cross the finish line as compared with 1986, when the average finishing time was 3:52:35. Nowadays it takes the average male marathoner 4:32.49 to run 26.2 miles (42K). 

Women’s times have also gotten slower, adding an extra 38 minutes, 19 seconds to their finishing time. But unlike the men, whose times have been on a steady incline, the women found a burst of speed sometime after 2001. Today’s times are four minutes faster than those posted in the early 2000s (4:56.18), with the average female marathoner now clocking in at 4:52.10.

This slowing trend isn’t limited to the marathon. It spans all popular distances: marathons, half marathons, 10K and 5K, and encompasses runners in most age groups.

Andersen has a runners’ love of numbers. Based out of Denmark and a founder of RunRepeat.com, he combed through 107.9 million race results (recreational runners only – elites were excluded) from 70,000 events held in 193 countries between 1986 to 2018. He claims the data represents “the largest study of race results in history.”

The slowest marathoners are from the United States and the fastest finishers from Spain. Canadians rank mid-pack among nations, behind Spain, Australia, Germany and Sweden, but faster than the Americans, the French and runners from the UK.

Part of the reason race times are increasing is that runners are getting older. The average age of runners in 2018 is 39.3 years, four years older than in 1986.

“It’s not the individual who’s getting slower, but the average of all runners, meaning that the “demography” has changed,” suggested Andersen. “More slow runners participate.”

But Andersen didn’t just look at the marathon. His data includes races of all distances, noting that half-marathons and 5Ks are the most popular distances worldwide, with the number of half-marathoners accounting for 30 per cent of race results — up from just 17 per cent in 1986. Marathoners, on the other hand, are on the decline, accounting for just 12 per cent of racers.

All tolled, there are 7.9 million runners competing recreationally in races across the globe, a 57.8-per-cent increase in participation in the last 10 years, making running a popular pastime for a significant swath of the population. The numbers are down from 2016, when the sport peaked at 9.1 million results.

But participation numbers and finishing times aren’t the only thing to change over the last few years. Andersen says that today’s runners are less likely to be achievement-focused. Instead they’re more interested in having a great experience than posting a personal best. Certainly the slower pace of the recreational field supports this theory, with the average marathoner clocking 6:43 per kilometre for men and 7:26 for women.

The fastest runners are the half-marathoners, who maintain a 5:57 pace per kilometre for men and 6:40 per kilometre for women, a trend that suggests some of the faster marathoners may be moving to the half-marathon distance. The slowest runners are in the 5K (7:21 men and 8:44 women), which typically attract the largest crowd of new runners.

How do the runners in the United States stack up?  In the 5k men and women both rank 25th in the world.  The average men’s time is 35 minutes and women 41 minutes.  The Ukraine is the number one country with their average men’s time being 25:08 and women’s 29:26.

For the half marathon US men are ranked 35th in the world averaging 2:02 while Women at 34th averaging 2:26.  Russia leads the world for both men (1:40) and women (1:50).

In the marathon US men and women are ranked 36th in the world. Men’s average finish time is 4:31 and women are 4:57.  Spain leads the world for men with an average time for men being 3:49:21.  Switzerland leads the women with 4:04.  

How do Canadians measure up against the global competition?

Our female runners rank second in the world in female participation and 13th in speed. As for the Canadian running landscape, we boast the third-largest growth in participation in the 5K over the past 10 years. But like the rest of the world, we’re getting slower. The average Canadian marathon time increased by 1:10 minutes/seconds over the past 10 years. The half-marathon got 2:33 minutes slower, the 10K got 0:29 seconds slower and the 5K 4:34 minutes slower over that time period.

But one of the most notable trends in running over the past 30 years is the increased number of women, with total female participation going from just under 20 per cent in 1986 to just over 50 per cent in 2018. In 5K races, women make up 60 per cent of the field. Once a male-dominated sport, the Olympic marathon was only opened up to women in 1984, 88 years after the men’s marathon made its debut in 1896. But it looks like we’re doing a pretty good job of making up lost time.

(06/23/2019) ⚡AMP
by Jim Barker
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Fancy Chemutai wins BAA 10k women’s race and sets course record

A course record fell to the wayside at the 2019 B.A.A. 10K, presented by Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Fancy Chemutai of Kenya set a new women’s course record of 30:36. 

Presenting sponsor Brigham and Women’s Hospital was represented by 550 runners, who have raised a combined $250,000 through today’s event.

 Chemutai earned breakaway wins thanks to tactical moves made early in her race. After crossing the halfway mark in 15:25, Chemutai began to leave the rest of the women’s field behind, pulling away as she made her way towards Kenmore Square.

Splitting 8K in 24:33, Chemutai knew she was on course record pace and buckled down for the final minutes of racing. At that point, she had nearly a 25-second lead on countrywoman Brillian Kipkoech and was on pace to shatter Shalane Flanagan’s 30:52 course best.

“I saw it was coming, that the course record was coming,” she said. When asked if that motivated her, she smiled and said, “yeah, sure!”

Triumphantly crossing the finish in 30:36, Chemutai established a new course record. The time also ranks tied for second fastest in the world this year.

“I enjoy being in Boston and enjoyed to win. It was very hot. It was hot,” said Chemutai of her Boston road racing debut. “I was going for the course record, it was in my mind.”

Kipkoech placed second in 31:04, with 2015 Boston Marathon champion Caroline Rotich taking third in 31:58. Top American honors went to Aliphine Tuliamuk, eighth place in 32:27.

The men’s open race was a fierce battle between Kenyans David Bett, Daniel Chebii, and Stephen Sambu, alongside Tanzania’s Joseph Panga. With opening miles of 4:34 and 4:33, the men’s leaders came through 5K in 14:16 and then began to push the pace even more. The quartet broke from the field, and clocked a 4:29 fourth mile, setting up for a final push down Commonwealth Ave. towards the finish.

It was Bett who had the best sprint of the day, making the turn onto Charles Street first and holding off the hard charging Chebii, who would finish a second behind, 28:08 to 29:09. Sambu rounded out the top three in 28:11, followed by Panga (28:14).

(06/23/2019) ⚡AMP
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B.A.A. 10K

B.A.A. 10K

The 6.2-mile course is a scenic tour through Boston's Back Bay. Notable neighborhoods and attractions include the legendary Bull and Finch Pub, after which the television series "Cheers" was developed, the campus of Boston University, and trendy Kenmore Square. ...

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Yassine Rachik and Lilia Fisikovici win Olomouc Half Marathon

Italy’s Yassine Rachik and Lilia Fisikovici of Moldova continued their winning ways in the RunCzech EuroHeroes Challenge series, taking the titles at Mattoni Olomouc Half Marathon in the Czech Republic.

In hot conditions, with the temperature around 30°C at the start of the race at 7pm local time, Rachik clocked 64:26 and Fisikovici 73:32 for clear victories.

That makes it three wins from three races for the pair in the EuroHeroes series, following their success in Karlovy Vary in May and Ceské Budejovice at the beginning of this month.

The four-race series was launched in 2018 with the support of European Athletics and aims to highlight new sporting heroes from the continent, as athletes claim points for their performances and can compete for a separate EuroHeroes ranking and prize structure.

Ukraine’s Olha Kotovska was second in 74:35 and her compatriot Darya Mykhailova was third in 74:57. Matea Parlov finished fourth in 75:18.

In the men’s race, London Marathon ninth-placer Rachik solo ran his way to success, with Ukraine’s Roman Romanenko securing second in 66:01 and Ireland’s Paul Pollock placing third in 66:12.

The top Czech runners were Vít Pavlišta in fifth with 68:09 and Marcela Joglová in ninth with 77:55.

“It was hard to run alone,” said Rachik, “and it wasn’t easy to fight with that heat, too.”

A total of 10,078 runners took part in the Mattoni Olomouc Half Marathon events, with 6481 in the main race and 3597 in the family run.

The fourth and final event in this year’s EuroHeroes Challenge will be the Mattoni Ústí nad Labem Half Marathon, held on September 21.

(06/23/2019) ⚡AMP
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It is really going to be hard to get tickets to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics because the demand is so great

Millions of people were disappointed last Thursday when applicants in a ticket lottery — for Japan residents, only — began learning if they landed tickets. The answer is going to be overwhelmingly — no. The same will be true for residents outside Japan who could experience a similar dejection: too much demand and too few tickets.

This was not the case at the last several games — the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang and the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro — when tickets were given away and volunteers were often summoned to fill empty seats for the television cameras. At times, there were too many empty seats to fill.

“This is probably going to be the most popular Olympics, and possibly one of the most popular events of all time," Ken Hanscom, the chief operating officer of TicketManager, told The Associated Press in an interview.

His Los Angeles-based company does not buy or sell Olympic tickets, but manages tickets for corporate clients, several of which are major Olympic sponsors.

Hanscom said he follows ticketing patterns for every major event and estimates that 80-90% of Japan residents who applied for tickets could get nothing.

"I'm interested in seeing what the reaction is and how the organizing committee addresses this," Hanscom said. "It's good news for the demand, and bad news on the ticket side and the public."

Tokyo's organizing committee was unable Thursday to say how many Japan residents got tickets, and it's unclear if — or when — it will disclose the overall numbers. Organizers will run a second ticketing phase where the odds will probably be even worse.

Japanese media immediately began reporting about disheartened fans. A completely unscientific AP survey of a few fans showed one ticket awarded in 15 application attempts. The millions who failed got this message in email from Tokyo organizers.

"Thank you for your interest in purchasing Tokyo 2020 tickets. The demand for tickets was incredibly high, and unfortunately, you were not awarded any of the tickets you requested in the lottery."

Simple math explains the supply and demand crunch.

Tokyo organizers say that 7.5 million residents of Japan registered to apply for tickets through the lottery system. Extrapolating from the 2012 London Olympic lottery, Hanscom estimates that Tokyo organizers may have received 70-85 million individual ticket requests. This could be at least 10 times more than what's available. Maybe more.

Organizers estimate there are 7.8 million tickets for all Olympic events, but 20-30% of those are for distribution outside Japan where buyers could face the same problems and end up paying more.

Buyers outside Japan must get tickets from Authorized Ticket Resellers, companies appointed by national Olympic committees. They were authorized to begin sales on Thursday.

The reseller for the United States is CoSport, which also handles sales in Australia, Jordan and several European countries. Cartan is the reseller for much of Latin America including Mexico.

Resellers are allowed to charge a 20% handling fee on every ticket. They can also use a generous currency exchange rate, and often package desirable tickets with top hotels that charge way over the usual going rate during the Olympics.

Ticket prices for buyers in Japan vary greatly and are listed in the competition section on the organizers' website.

The opening ceremony on July 24 features the most expensive ticket — 300,000 yen ($2,700). The most expensive ticket for the closing ceremony is 220,000 yen ($2,000).

Even with the soaring demand, many venues could still wind up with hundreds of empty seats that are typically set aside for International Olympic Committee officials, corporate sponsors, and local dignitaries. Often they don't show up while angry fans line up outside without tickets.

"I expect there will be a problem in Tokyo," Hanscom said. "The industry figure is that 40% of tickets that sponsors buy go in the trash," he said. He said the problem was acute for the Olympics and World Cup.

"Every Olympics you have a new group of people running ticketing," he said. "And you have new technology. So you're always scrambling to put the process together."

(06/22/2019) ⚡AMP
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, from July 24 to August 9, 2020. The Games in 1964 radically transformed the country. According to the organizers of the event in 2020, the Games of the XXXII Olympiad of the modern era will be “the most innovative...

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Kenyan Boniface Kongin wins men's Grandma's Marathon clocking 2:11:56

Kenyan Boniface Kongin, who entered in the citizen field after the elite field filled up, won his first Grandma's Marathon men's race Saturday by overcoming hamstring and Achilles problems to win in  2 hours, 11 minutes and 56 seconds.

Kongin, who has stayed in West Duluth and trained in town since arriving April 19, stopped several times during the 26.2-mile race and walked across the finish line while pointing to the sky and dropping to his knees.

Kongin won the Pittsburgh Marathon on May 5 in a personal-best time of 2:10:34 but injured his left hamstring and right Achilles in the process. Running a 2:06 pace nearly halfway through the race, he slowed down several times in the last half of the race as his ailments worsened.

He beat runner-up Andrew Colley of Blowing Rock, N.C., by 17 seconds. Harbert Okuti of Uganda was third, 1:05 off the pace.

Four-time defending champion Elisha Barno and course-record holder Dominic Ondoro each finished outside the top 10.

 

(06/22/2019) ⚡AMP
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Grandmas Marathon

Grandmas Marathon

Grandma's Marathon began in 1977 when a group of local runners planned a scenic road race from Two Harbors to Duluth, Minnesota. There were just 150 participants that year, but organizers knew they had discovered something special. The marathon received its name from the Duluth-based group of famous Grandma's restaurants, its first major sponsor. The level of sponsorship with the...

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New Racing Rules Remove Some Barriers for Transgender Runners

As president of the board of the nonprofit that oversees one of the most prestigious ultradistance races in the country, John Medinger has had to deal with many concerns: sponsors, weather, permits, volunteers.

But it wasn’t until this year that he and his colleagues at the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run were compelled to address an issue few would have envisioned when it was first held in 1974: transgender competitors.

“It’s not something we would have been thinking about back then, that’s for sure,” said Mr. Medinger, 68, who has run Western States five times and has been involved in race management since 1991. “But it’s the nature of society now.”

And it’s something that the world of competitive athletics, including the Olympics, USA Track & Field and the National Collegiate Athletic Association, has been grappling with: how transgender women, in particular, should be entered and scored in competition and whether they have an unfair biological advantage over cisgender women, whose identity reflects the sex they were assigned at birth.

Although the science is mixed on the biology, some people contend that transgender women have an advantage because of size and the presence of testosterone, even though hormone levels change during transition.

But others, most notably the researcher and transgender runner Dr. Joanna Harper, are skeptical that such an edge exists, particularly in endurance sports in which (as opposed to say, sprinting or shot-putting) transgender women appear to have similar cardiovascular measures as cisgender women and thus little or no advantage.

While Western States starts near the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics, there is no prize money, scholarships or endorsement deals are at stake. 

There are no gold medals, but there is some precious metal involved: a handmade silver belt buckle for those who manage to complete the distance in less than 24 hours.

On June 29 and 30, 369 runners (chosen through a lottery entered by 5,862 runners) will take on the Western States challenge, as they attempt to navigate a mind-and-body-boggling 100 miles of trails and altitude changes from Squaw Valley to Auburn, Calif. The swiftest will be running to finish among the top 10 men or women. Recognition is also given to the top three males and females in five age groups from 30 to over 70.

The question of transgender fairness arose for Western States in December, when Grace Fisher — a transgender runner who is an outstanding ultradistance competitor — was selected through the race’s traditional lottery system.

The event’s management team decided it was time to come up with a policy. “We felt that this was not something we should ignore,” said Diana Fitzpatrick, a board member. “If it turned out that she finished in the top 10, it would be better for her and everyone that we had a policy in place.”

Back in high school in Utah, Ms. Fisher, now 38, was a male-identified track runner. She recalls that when some teammates ran a local marathon their senior year, “I said, ‘I’ll never do that, it’s crazy.’” Eventually, Ms. Fisher began running distances far longer than the marathon. She has completed about 40 ultramarathons, including eight 100-mile races.

She continued running during the years when, she said, “I was figuring things out.” After hormone treatments, she ran her first ultramarathon as a woman in 2015. She said she slowed down since her transition as a result of muscle mass loss, which can be attributed to hormonal treatments.

But Ms. Fisher, who lives in Hancock, Md., ran a personal best time in a 100-miler in Virginia last September of 18 hours 41 minutes. She was the first female finisher and fifth overall in that race.

Ms. Fitzpatrick, 61, a lawyer who is also a runner (she, too, has competed in Western States five times), worked with a committee of four other board members to develop the policy. They looked at existing guidelines from other organizations and races, and spoke to leading figures in transgender sports.

During the process, they were also cognizant that the runner who had sparked their action did not ask for the guidelines.

The guidelines they came up with, and which were announced in March, are being viewed as a model for other participatory running events.

Ms. Fitzpatrick acknowledged that “we really tried to have a `live and let live’ view on this.”

Hence Western State’s guidelines state that “a runner’s self-declared gender at registration will be accepted at face value.” No one need produce a driver’s license or other identification as has been the case for some races.

If, however, a finisher in the top 10 or among the top three in their age group is challenged, race management may ask the runner for documentation that they have undergone medically supervised hormone treatment for gender transition for at least a year before the race.

Even in the event that a transgender runner wins an award or is challenged and the challenge is upheld by race management, the guidelines state that “the runner will be allowed to keep their finisher’s buckle.”

That allowance, Ms. Fitzpatrick says, is to underscore that the new guidelines are “not about punishment.” By contrast, competitors who violate Western States doping policy are stripped of their silver buckle — as well as whatever other award they won.

“Underneath this all are real people with real feelings who have usually had a long, hard journey to get where they are,” Ms. Fitzpatrick said. “The last thing they need are additional challenges and hurdles.”

(06/22/2019) ⚡AMP
by New York Times
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Western States 100

Western States 100

The Western States ® 100-Mile Endurance Run is the world’s oldest and most prestigious 100-mile trail race. Starting in Squaw Valley, California near the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics and ending 100.2 miles later in Auburn, California, Western States, in the decades since its inception in 1974, has come to represent one of the ultimate endurance tests in the...

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Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge has started training to break the two hour mark in the marathon

World marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge said on Thursday that he has started training in order to be fit to battle the INEOS 1:59 Challenge.

This will be the second attempt for the 34-year-old to beat the odds and run the marathon distance in under two hours as the fastest man.

"I think a good career is where you give yourself a challenge every now and then and so I think it is high time for me to try another challenge by beating the two-hour mark," said Kipchoge from Eldoret.

In 2017, Kipchoge missed 26 seconds from his initial attempt to break the two-hour mark as he clocked in two hours and 25 seconds in his "Breaking Two" project on Italy's Monza motor racing circuit.

Now he has shelved plans to compete at the World Championships or defend his Berlin marathon title to focus on running to break the two-hour mark in a bid sponsored by British manufacturing company INEOS.

It will take place on an unspecified flat loop circuit venue in London, on a date to be decided in October.

"INEOS Challenge is a noble course, it's a historic challenge where I am going to make history. Many ideologies have been said that no human can break the two-hour mark. But personally, I have dared to try for the first time and I missed by 26 seconds. Now I have a rich experience from Monza and am confident that I will beat the mark because our training program is different from the other training," said Kipchoge.

Indeed, the Olympic champion has had two months of total rest after winning the London marathon clocking 2:02:37 less than a minute off his world record set in Berlin of 2:01:39.

He has started his training with gym sessions for two weeks in late May and has moved to high altitude training camp in Kaptagat for the full preparation.

"Our training has started again. When we finished the season, we have four days of running slowly to recover and then three weeks of total rest and then we start again. When your mind is relaxed and fit, the physical part can go on as usual. When we start we start at zero and we need three -four month to be fit again for another marathon," said Kipchoge.

His longtime physiotherapist Peter Nduhio, who is now part of INEOS 1:59 Challenge team, said he is amazed by Kipchoge's ability to remain focused despite challenges in his life.

"Eliud keeps on setting the bar higher. Each time he makes us climb the ladder higher. His best season was 2018, now he has a new challenge and he will attain it," said Nduhio. "What makes this challenge inspirational is that it has no template to follow."

(06/21/2019) ⚡AMP
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INEOS 1:59 Challenge

INEOS 1:59 Challenge

Mankind have constantly sought to reach new frontiers and to achieve the impossible. From Edmund Hillary reaching the summit of Mount Everest to Roger Bannister’s four-minute mile to Felix Baumgartner jumping from space we have frequently redefined the limits of human achievement and broken new barriers previously seen as simply impossible. After the four-minute mile and the ten second 100m...

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