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Kenyan Rhonex Kipruto, 19, won the men's elite race with a record-breaking time of 27:01, the Atlanta Track Club said, not only that, he ran the fastest time ever on American soil

Spurred on by the chance to pocket $50,000 course record bonuses, Kenyans Brigid Kosgei and Rhonex Kipruto broke the women’s and men’s course records, respectively, at today’s 50th AJC Peachtree Road Race 10-K in Atlanta.  Kosgei, the reigning Chicago and London Marathons champion, clocked 30:22, ten seconds under Lornah Kiplagat’s 2002 record of 30:32.  Kipruto, the reigning world U20 10,000m champion, ran 27:01, just three seconds under the late Joseph Kimani’s 1996 standard of 27:04.  Both athletes were also awarded $8,000 as race champions.

Kosgei had to fight for her victory right to the line.  She was one of four women in contention at the four-mile mark (19:36), all Kenyans: Fancy Chemutai, Agnes Tirop, Caroline Chepkoech Kipkirui and Kosgei.  The quartet was still together through 5 miles (24:44), and appeared to be too far behind the course record pace to achieve the bonus.

“I think the race for the record is gone on the women’s side but we have an outstanding race,” said commentator Craig Masback on the NBC SportsGold broadcast.

Tirop was the first to be dropped when Kosgei accelerated with 26 minutes and 45 seconds on the race clock.  Looking back a few times, she continued to press the pace and appeared to break away to try for the record alone. But less than two minutes later, Kosgei appeared to have blown up.  Chemutai, the winner of the B.A.A. 10-K nearly two weeks ago, passed Kosgei.  Seconds later, Tirop also passed her.

Gritting her teeth and clearly in pain, Kosgei found some extra energy and rejoined the fight.  Using the downhill section of the course before the finish, she upped her pace and as the finish line came into view, and she and Tirop were shoulder to shoulder and running all out.  Kosgei angled to the right just before the tape causing Tirop to cut left behind her losing a step.  At the line Kosgei had a step on Tirop, but both women were given the same time of 30:22.  Chemutai ended up third in 30:32.

Kipruto mostly raced the clock today.  He passed through the one-mile mark in 4:21 (the lone pacemaker Brandon Lasater had already dropped out), and by two miles (8:25) only his younger brother, Bravin Kipkogei Kiptoo, was able to stay with him.  Kipruto blasted through the 5-K in 13:12, and four miles in 17:19.  His 5-mile split was about 21:50, which put him slightly behind course record pace.

But like Kosgei, Kipruto took full advantage of the final downhill section into Piedmont Park.  Sprinting full-out to the line with his unique toes-out running style, he got the record.

“Wow, this guy is a sensation,” said Masback.

Kipruto’s brother got second in 27:31 and Kennedy Kimutai, another Kenyan, finished third in 27:56.

The top Americans on the day were Colin Bennie on the men’s side in 29:10 (8th place) and Emily Sisson on the women’s side in 32:03 (7th place).

About 60,000 runners entered the race today which was founded by the Atlanta Track Club in 1970 when only 122 athletes finished.  It is now the world’s largest fully-scored 10-K.

(07/04/2019) ⚡AMP
by David Monti
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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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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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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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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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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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Sam Chelanga is retiring from running to enlist in the U.S. Army but why now?

Sam Chalange is going to retire from professional running after finishing 4th at the USATF 10k Championships at the Peachtree Road Race July 4 in Atlanta. Chelanga, 33, is going to enlist in the U.S. Army. On July 29, he will report to Fort Jackson in South Carolina for basic training.  Then it will be off to Officer Candidate School in Fort Benning, Georgia, beginning October 15.   Even though Chelanga says he grew to love running, he was never motivated by medals or glory. He won four NCAA titles and five U.S. titles on the roads as a pro (he became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 2015).  Other things were moe important to him, a college degree, helping his family and home village back in Kenya, representing the United States, supporting his wife, Marybeth, and their two sons.  When asked what his proudest accomplishment in running was, he says that it wasn’t a race, but instead the moment when he realized he was actually going to graduate with a college degree “because that is why I started running.” The obvious question is why now? He was the top American finisher at last year’s World Cross Country Championships, finishing in 11th place. This year, Chelanga ran a half marathon personal best of 60:37 in Houston in January, finished 14th at the World Half Marathon Championships in March (again, he was the top U.S. finisher), and won the U.S. 25K title in May. He has plenty left in the tank. Which is precisely why Chelanga felt it was important to join the Army now. “I’ve done everything that I wanted to do in running,” says Chelanga, who achieved personal bests of 13:04 in the 5,000m and 27:08 (still the collegiate record, set in a very famous race where Chris Solinsky ran 26:59 and Galen Rupp 27:10) in the 10,000m. “I’ve got more than I asked for when I came in…I don’t want to wait until I’m old. I feel young, I feel fresh, I feel like I have a lot of energy and I want to take this job when I’m going to serve at the best level of my ability.” (07/06/2018) ⚡AMP
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Tyler Penner says he surprised himself by placing third at the Peachtree 10k today

America’s Tyler Penner surprised himself today at the AJC  Peachtree Road Race 10k.   He wrote, “In such a strong field I didn't know how well I could run. I had been working out alright, but not fantastic. Last week, I felt awful, and my confidence was not where it usually is. All that carried over to the race. I felt terrible in the first half, with doubts creeping into my mind. I was drifting off the back of the back at times, almost just wanting to let them go. I took a few minutes regroup and reset. I told myself, "I've made it this far, be tough, all that strength from the marathon should be kicking in anytime now." Surprisingly that worked. I began to stick my nose in the race, eventually getting to the front truly believing I could win. Unfortunately the speed at the end was not quite there, but it's coming back.”  Tyler finished third clocking 28:49 only four seconds back of Bernard Lagat.  It was a hot and humid day and this is a challenging course.   (07/04/2018) ⚡AMP
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Mission accomplished, a five-time Olympian Bernard Lagat wins AJC Peachtree Road Race

Bernard Lagat wanted to see it again. He was determined to return to Atlanta and win The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Peachtree Road Race after finishing fifth a year ago. Mission accomplished: With a time of 28:45, Lagat won the 2018 Peachtree Road Race.  “I wanted to come back again, and I wanted to win this,” Lagat said. “So I trained so hard. I decided not to race in some other races before this. My last race was in March. From March until this, there’s a lot of races I missed. But I thought it wouble be worth the sacrifice.” Lagat, a five-time Olympian, prepared for the hill challenges presented in the course. He had a much deeper understanding of it than a year ago. (07/04/2018) ⚡AMP
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Stephanie Bruce wins the women's elite at the AJC Peachtree Road race

Stephanie Bruce, of Flagstaff, Arizona, won the 2018 Atlanta Journal-Constitution Peachtree Road Race. It was Bruce’s first Peachtree win with a time of 32:21, defeating defending champ Aliphine Tulimuk (32:29). The victory also clinched Bruce the USA Track and Field 10K championship. “It was a long time coming,” Bruce said. “I’ve been trying to win a national title for the last 10 years.” Bruce has two sons, Riley and Hudson. She was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2010, but has battled through the condition as one of the country’s top runners. She won first in the Synchrony Financial Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Half Marathon in January. She won second in the Freihofer’s Run for Women 5K on June 2, and third in the USATF Outdoor Championships 10,000 meters in June 21. When she crossed the finish line, Bruce dropped to her knees. “It was relief, it was all the years of putting in hard work,” she said. “It was the heat and humidity Atlanta provided. The crowds were incredible. This really is ‘Running City USA.’” (07/04/2018) ⚡AMP
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America's Lopez Lomong 10,000m track champion says it would be amazing to win Peachtree 10K too

Fresh off his national title in the 10,000m on the track one week ago, Lopez Lomong (Portland, OR) will compete for a 10 km title on the road for the first time as the AJC Peachtree Road Race will be Lomong’s 10K road debut. At the USATF Outdoor Track and Field Championships last month, Lomong unleashed a furious kick on the final lap to become the only man in history to win U.S. titles in the 1,500m and the 10,000m on the track. “The Peachtree is one of America’s most amazing events,” said Lomong. “It is my honor to come and run the streets of Atlanta. It’s a U.S. championship so it would be amazing to win it, but even to be a participant is massive.” Lomong, the torch-bearer for the United States at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, will join previously announced contenders like U.S. Half Marathon Champion Chris Derrick (Portland, OR), his teammate in the Portland-based Bowerman Track Club and Bernard Lagat (Tucson, AZ), a five-time Olympian who smashed the AJC Peachtree Road Race masters course record (28:42) in 2017. Also in the men’s field are the top two American men from the rain-soaked and raw 2018 Boston Marathon: Shadrack Biwott (Folsom, CA), and Tyler Pennel (Blowing Rock, NC). Reigning USATF 25 km champion Sam Chelanga (Colorado Springs, CO) and 2016 Olympic marathoner Jared Ward (Kaysville, UT) will also compete. Last year’s Peachtree runner-up Shadrack Kipchirchir has withdrawn from the race, as has Abdi Abdirahman. “We are excited to welcome athletes who have won American titles, set American records and represented the United States around the world to Atlanta’s celebration of running and country on July 4,” said Rich Kenah, Executive Director of Atlanta Track Club and Race Director of the AJC Peachtree Road Race. “The AJC Peachtree Road Race has a rich history of crowning the legends of road racing and that history will continue in the race’s 49th running.” (07/02/2018) ⚡AMP
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Lamar Perlis, 93 is not the fastest but will be the oldest male running the Peachtree 10K July 4th

Some runners are motivated by a desire to record personal-best times in every race they complete. Others are inspired by the idea that their favorite snacks are waiting just beyond the finish line. Lamar Perlis is unfazed by either of these things. He keeps moving to avoid an imaginary street sweeper. “I picture this enormous street sweeper at the end of the race,” he said. “I just keep thinking to myself, ‘Lamar, just stay well ahead of that street sweeper.’ That’s going to be constantly on my mind. I don’t care how fast I run as long as it’s faster than that street sweeper.” At 93, Perlis may not be the fastest participant, but he is the oldest male competitor running  in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Peachtree Road Race July 4.  He won the 90 plus division in 2016, finished second last year and will try to reclaim his title this Fourth of July. (06/29/2018) ⚡AMP
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Olympic Triathon gold medalist, Gwen Jorgensen is set to race the AJC Peachtree Road Race

2016 Olympic triathlon gold medalist Gwen Jorgensen will chase a national title at the AJC Peachtree Road Race on July 4 in Atlanta, which for the second consecutive year will serve as the USATF 10 km Championship for men and women. Jorgensen, the reigning Olympic triathlon champion as well as the 2014 and 2015 World Champion has retired from triathlon to pursue professional running. “I am thrilled to be racing in the AJC Peachtree Road Race,” said Jorgensen. “I am really excited to race the 10K on a hot and hilly course.”  The 49th AJC Peachtree Road Race is one of the nation's most recognizable Independence Day traditions. Jorgensen, whose 10K road personal best is 32:12, will face defending AJC Peachtree Road Race champion Aliphine Tuliamuk (Flagstaff, AZ), who has won U.S. titles this year in the 25K and the half marathon. They will compete against previously announced athletes such as Sarah Pagano (Boston, MA), last year’s runner up; Stephanie Bruce (Flagstaff, AZ), who placed third in the 10,000m in Des Moines and Sara Hall (Flagstaff, AZ) whose 2:26:20 at the 2018 Ottawa Marathon made her the 10th fastest American woman of all time in the marathon. (06/28/2018) ⚡AMP
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93-year-old Betty Lindberg is running her 28th Peachtree 10K and she just keeps on going

Betty Lindberg likens herself to the Energizer Bunny because she just keeps going and going. Born Sept. 7, 1924, she is the oldest participant set to run in the 49th annual Atlanta Journal-Constitution Peachtree Road Race this Fourth of July. Though there is another competitor who also is 93, Lindberg is exactly one week older than the most senior male runner, Lamar Perlis. This year’s race will be her 28th since completing her first at age 64. The Parkers Prairie, Minn., native was not aware of the Peachtree Road Race until her daughter and son-in-law asked her to drive them to the start line in 1987. At the time, she was not overly enthusiastic about getting up at sunrise on the Fourth of July, but once she witnessed the celebrations at the finish line, she decided to give the 10K a try. Lindberg began training by walking around her neighborhood and hasn’t stopped since. She now works with a personal trainer three days a week, completes races of various lengths throughout the year and follows the Atlanta Track Club’s 12-week program to prepare for the race. (06/27/2018) ⚡AMP
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Aliphine Tuliamuk will return to defend her title at Peachtree Road Race July 4

The AJC Peachtree Road Race  will again serve as the USATF 10 km Championship, Aliphine Tuliamuk (Flagstaff, AZ) tops a star-studded women’s elite field that will blaze the trail for 60,000 runners and walkers in the world’s largest 10K. Tuliamuk won last year’s race in convincing fashion and has dominated the U.S. road circuit in 2018, winning national titles in the half marathon and 15K. Most recently, she was the top American and finished second place overall in the NYRR New York Mini 10K in New York City. Despite all her success in the past year, she still considers the Peachtree a career-defining moment. “It’s one of the most memorable races I have ever run,” said Tuliamuk. “I would love to smile until my cheeks hurt and hold my flag until my arms can’t support it like last year.” A win for Tuliamuk will not come easy. 2017’s runner-up Sarah Pagano (Boston, MA) will return. Pagano recently unleashed a punishing kick to win the Freihofer’s Run for Women 5K in Albany, NY. Also in the women’s field is Sara Hall (Flagstaff, AZ), who last month recorded the ninth-fastest marathon time ever by an American woman at the Ottawa Marathon (2:26:20). Emma Bates (Boise, ID) who was second American at Bolder Boulder 10K (behind Tuliamuk) last month, London Marathon 10th place finisher Stephanie Bruce (Flagstaff, AZ) and Allie Kieffer (Buffalo, NY) who was the second American in the 2017 TCS New York City Marathon will all be making their debuts on Peachtree. (06/27/2018) ⚡AMP
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Andy Lipman doesn't live to run, he runs to live growing up with Cystic Fibrosis

Andy Lipman is running the AJC Peachtree Road Race for the 22nd time this July 4 in Atlanta. His end goal is more than getting his best time. "A lot of people say they live to run," Lipman told 11Alive. "In my case, I truly run to live." The strength and endurance Lipman displays at 44 is a combination he never imagined growing up with Cystic Fibrosis. He's the first to admit that living the life-threatening genetic disorder has been a series of ups and downs. "When I was about eight years old I read in an encyclopedia people with CF don't normally live to the age of 25," Lipman said, "I was devastated." The knowledge haunted him from childhood until college. "I stopped doing my treatments. I stopped taking my meds," Lipman said. "I was just ready to die." But life wasn't done with Andy Lipman, and in his 20's, he realized there was another path. "I realized I'm still alive. What if I tried?" Lipman said. So he changed his life, beginning a daily regime revolving around weights and running. The effort fueled by the realization he had the chance his infant sister never had who passed away at only a few days old, he only later asked his parents why. "I didn't know how she had passed away until finally in my mid-20's I asked them," Lipman said, learning she also had Cystic Fibrosis. (06/20/2018) ⚡AMP
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