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Articles tagged #Amy Cragg
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Dathan Ritzenhein is Withdrawing from 2019 Chicago Marathon

Dathan Ritzenhein‘s injury woes continue. On Monday, Ritzenhein, the fourth-fastest US marathoner ever, announced that he is withdrawing from next month’s Bank of America Chicago Marathon due to chronic foot problems that “flared up some other areas.”

Ritzenhein’s Chicago preparations appeared to be going well. He ran 64:27 to win the Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago Half Marathon on July 21, and ran 47:19 at the Crim 10-Miler in Michigan on August 24, his fastest performance over that distance since 2015. But after that race, Ritzenhein said, a nagging arthritis problem in his foot flared up and caused him to miss a few weeks of running. Fellow American Chris Derrick also withdrew from Chicago after suffering an ankle fracture at Crim.

“I’m feeling better now,” Ritzenhein told LetsRun.com, “but missed a few weeks of running and need a few more rebuilding.”

Ritzenhein said he still plans on being in Chicago on October 13 supporting fellow pro Parker Stinson, whom Ritzenhein has been coaching since last fall.

After making three consecutive Olympic teams in 2004, 2008, and 2012, injuries have consistently derailed the 36-year-old Ritzenhein in recent years. He was forced to drop out of the 2016 Olympic Trials and 2016 New York City Marathon and withdrew from the 2018 Boston Marathon just days before the race with a sacroiliac joint injury.

He has finished just one marathon in the last four years, placing 19th in Boston in April in 2:16:19 after attempting an abbreviated eight-week buildup in order to stay healthy.

While Ritzenhein officially broke the news of his withdrawal on social media on Monday, a poster on the LetsRun messageboard — who claimed to be the same person who correctly predicted that both Amy Cragg and Jordan Hasay would withdraw from Chicago last year — started a thread on Sunday predicting that Ritzenhein would withdraw from the race.

(09/17/2019) ⚡AMP
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Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Running the Bank of America Chicago Marathon is the pinnacle of achievement for elite athletes and everyday runners alike. On race day, runners from all 50 states andmore than 100 countries will set out to accomplish a personal dream by reaching the finish line in Grant Park. The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is known for its flat and fast...

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USA Olympic Trials Marathon has achieved the IAAF Gold Label Status

USA Track & Field (USATF) announced today that the 2020 USA Olympic Trials Marathon, scheduled for February 29, in Atlanta, has been granted IAAF Gold Label status. That's a critical development because it means that the top-5 male and female finishers will automatically achieve 2020 Olympic Games qualifying marks, regardless of their finish times. As part of the Tokyo Olympic Games qualifying program unveiled by the International Association of Athletics Federations earlier this year, top-5 finishers at Gold Label marathons are given automatic Olympic Games qualifiers. As such, the six-athlete USA Olympic team in the marathon can be named with certainty on the day of the Trials with the top-3 male and female finishers nominated for the team.

In a press release, USATF said that "the announcement of the Tokyo 2020 Qualification System in March presented challenges to USATF and its partners as planning for marathon trials had begun well before the changes to the qualification system were announced." Those partners include the not-for-profit Atlanta Track Club, which will host the Trials, as well as NBC the network which will broadcast them. The Trials would be devalued for both of these parties if the team could not be named that day.

Right now only a handful of USA athletes have achieved the Olympic Games qualifying standards (2:11:30 for men and 2:29:30 for women since January 1, 2019). On the men's side, there are only two, Scott Fauble and Jared Ward who ran 2:09:09 and 2:09:25, respectively, at last April's Boston Marathon (they also finished in the top-10, which also confers qualifying status at any Abbott World Marathon Majors event). On the women's side there are nine: Emily Sisson (2:23:08), Jordan Hasay (2:25:20), Kellyn Taylor (2:26:27), Molly Huddle (2:26:33), Aliphine Tuliamuk (2:26:50), Des Linden (2:27:00), Nell Rojas (2:28:06), Roberta Groner (2:29:09), and Lindsay Flanagan (2:30:07/9th place at Boston). Those athletes lose the relative advantage of having a qualifying mark in advance of the race.

But, for most of the 181 men and 340 women who have qualified, according to a tally done by MarathonGuide.com, this announcement will be good news. Athletes can now approach the trials in the traditional way, with their focus only finish place and not on time. That's particularly important considering the difficulty of the Atlanta course which has a number of challenging hills.

"Hilly is an understatement," said Brogan Austin who won the men's division of an 8-mile test event held on part of the course last March. "I definitely have a new respect for this marathon. I only ran eight miles. I can't imagine doing four times that distance."

Amy Cragg, the winner of the 2016 Trials in Los Angeles, agreed. "It's going to be really, really tough," she told Race Results Weekly after winning the women's division of the test event last March. "We're going to send a good women's team, a really good women's team (to Tokyo). If you can get through this course, you're going to be ready."

(07/23/2019) ⚡AMP
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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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Amy Cragg Puts Trust in Her Team, and now she’s back training for the 2019 Chicago Marathon after 18 months away from racing 26.2-miles

Cragg, 35, is a member of the Bowerman Track Club, based in Portland, Oregon, under the direction of coach Jerry Schumacher. And now she’s back training for the 2019 Chicago Marathon on October 13, after 18 months away from racing 26.2-miles. The last time was the 2018 Tokyo Marathon, where she placed third in 2:21:41, a personal best by more than five minutes, making her the fifth-fastest U.S. woman at the distance.

In the past year, the overriding goal, Cragg said, was doing whatever was best to ultimately make the 2020 Olympic team. The Olympic Trials are set for February 29 in Atlanta, where the top three finishers who have the Olympic qualifying standard will be named to the team. Cragg still needs to achieve the Olympic standard within the specified window—either by time (2:29:30) or by placing in the top 10 in Chicago. Those are her primary goals for the October race, but as her training tells her more about her fitness in the months ahead, she’ll likely target a few more ambitious secondary goals.

“In training and everything we’re going to protect that goal of the qualifying standard for the Olympics—that’s what we’re going there to do,” she said. “But at the same time if things go well, we’ll narrow the focus of what I want to achieve on race day.”

The Chicago Marathon may serve as a good preview for the February Trials, too. Jordan Hasay, the second-fastest U.S. woman in the marathon, is also planning to compete—her personal best of 2:20:57 was set at the 2017 Chicago Marathon, when she placed third. Hasay has indicated she’d like to set the American record in October, currently held by Deena Kastor in 2:19:36.

Although she was upset to not compete last year, not all was lost for Cragg after she withdrew from the marathon. She started focusing on shorter distances and was thrown into workouts with her teammates, all of whom are Olympians specializing in middle-distance events—and are rather good at them, too. Like Shelby Houlihan, American record holder in the 5,000 meters (14:34.45) and Colleen Quigley, national indoor mile champion.

“It was really hard. It’s a different stimulus than I’m used to,” Cragg said. “They’re the best in the world at what they do. There were a lot of tough moments, putting my head down and hanging on in practice.”

As a result, though, Cragg took third in the national road 5K championships in November and fifth at the U.S. cross-country championships in January. And she believes the focus on quicker cadence will help her in the marathon, too.

“It’s so important to go back to that faster stuff because your legs can almost go kind of dead after all that marathon training—if you’re just running 130 or 140 miles a week, day-in and day-out, all of a sudden those regular runs just naturally start slowing down,” she said. “You need to throw in that extra speed to keep the quality high. There will be five-minute miles thrown into a marathon—it’s not the speed that kills you, it’s the faster turnover.”

The Bowerman women’s group has plenty of members to keep things moving. In the past year, the group has added to its roster, including Karissa Schweizer, a six-time NCAA champion from the University of Missouri; Vanessa Fraser, a nine-time All American at Stanford University; and Elise Cranny, an 12-time All American at Stanford.

(07/17/2019) ⚡AMP
by Erin Strout
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Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Running the Bank of America Chicago Marathon is the pinnacle of achievement for elite athletes and everyday runners alike. On race day, runners from all 50 states andmore than 100 countries will set out to accomplish a personal dream by reaching the finish line in Grant Park. The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is known for its flat and fast...

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Could an american woman win the Chicago Marathon this year? Very strong field is lined up

There haven't been three American women in the top five at the Chicago Marathon since 1994, and the 2019 field has a good shot at changing that, Jordan HasayAmy CraggStephanie BruceLindsay Flanagan and Emma Bates have a chance at rewriting Chicago Marathon history this fall.

On October 13, one of the strongest-ever American contingents will line up in Chicago for a race that hopes to see Deena Kastor’s American record fall.

Hasay announced in May that she would be returning to Chicago to target the American record and yesterday the remainder of the American elites were announced for the world major. This field includes the five women mentioned above who all own sub 2:30 personal bests.

Cragg, who was the 2016 U.S. Marathon Olympic Trial champion, is an interesting addition to the field. She’s run the fifth-fastest time in American history and ended a 34-year medal drought by taking home a World Championship bronze in 2017.

She’s barely raced since running her personal best at the 2018 Tokyo Marathon, but we’re excited to see what she can do come the fall.

There haven’t been three American women in the top five at the Chicago Marathon since 1994, and this particular field has a good shot at changing that.

(07/13/2019) ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Running the Bank of America Chicago Marathon is the pinnacle of achievement for elite athletes and everyday runners alike. On race day, runners from all 50 states andmore than 100 countries will set out to accomplish a personal dream by reaching the finish line in Grant Park. The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is known for its flat and fast...

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Strong field of American runners will join previously announced superstars Galen Rupp and Jordan Hasay at the Chicago Marathon on October 13

“This year’s elite field highlights an exciting resurgence we are seeing in American distance running right now,” said Bank of America Chicago Marathon Executive Race Director Carey Pinkowski. “We have a deep pool of American runners who are coming to Chicago to run fast, and we cannot wait to welcome them in the fall. We could see new American records and a lot of personal bests in October.”

With a PR of 2:20:57, Jordan Hasay leads this year’s women’s field as the second-fastest American woman in history and the fastest to ever run the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Hasay hopes to put Deena Kastor’s long-standing American record, 2:19:36, in jeopardy.

But Hasay’s primary competitor won’t be the clock alone – Amy Cragg, Emma Bates, Stephanie Bruce, Lindsay Flanagan and Taylor Ward represent a strong contingent of U.S. women all vying for podium finishes. The last time three American women finished in the top five in Chicago was 1994, and the last time U.S. women claimed the top two spots was 1992. Chicago’s history could be rewritten this fall.

Cragg, a member of Nike’s Bowerman Track Club since 2015 and the winner of the 2016 U.S. Olympic Marathon trials, enters this year’s field as the fifth-fastest American woman in history with a personal best of 2:21:42. Cragg stunned the world at the 2017 IAAF World Championships Marathon when she ended a 34-year medal drought by taking home the bronze. While she hasn’t raced much in 2019, she won the one-time Road to Gold eight-mile road race in Atlanta in March.

Galen Rupp, a two-time Olympic medalist in the marathon (bronze) and 10,000m (silver) and the current holder of four American records, stands out in the men’s field as the 2017 Bank of America Chicago Marathon champion and as one of the fastest runners in U.S. history with a PR of 2:06:07. While it will be difficult to match the foot speed of someone like Rupp, several American men have the potential to run significant personal bests and place inside of the top ten.

Brogan Austin, Chris Derrick, Scott Smith, Diego Estrada, Dathan Ritzenhein, Noah Droddy and Brendan Gregg are among some of the top Americans in this year’s field. Austin closed out 2018 with a career-boosting win, a national title and a huge personal best, 2:12:38, at the California International Marathon. Prior to that breakthrough performance, he broke the course record at the Indiana Monumental Half Marathon, clocking 1:02:39. He built on his 2018 momentum by winning the Road to Gold eight-mile road race in March.

The Chicago Marathon will be Austin’s third go at the marathon. Derrick, a native of Naperville, Illinois and the 2013-2015 U.S. Cross Country champion, made his highly anticipated marathon debut in Chicago in 2017, running 2:12:50 to finish ninth. He followed up his debut performance with a ninth-place finish in 2:13:08 at the 2018 New York City Marathon.

Derrick, one of the elite pacers for Nike’s Breaking2 project in 2017, is one of the most versatile runners in the field with PRs of 13:08 in the 5,000m, 27:31 in the 10,000m, and 1:01:12 in the half marathon. 

Smith, a 4:01-miler, experienced a huge breakthrough in the marathon in 2017 when he posted a 2:12:21 in Frankfurt, and then he hung on to finish sixth overall at the 2018 Boston Marathon (the now infamous year where runners endured whipping winds and freezing rain). He trains with Northern Arizona Elite, and he has represented the U.S. internally in both the half marathon and marathon at the IAAF World Championships. Smith’s strongest performance came in May when he finished second at the USATF 25K national championships. 

Estrada has been a favorite among Chicagoans, ever since his 2016 breakout performance in Chicago and his second-place finish at the 2017 Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle. After slipping on a bottle at the 10K mark during his Chicago debut and badly twisting his ankle, Estrada rallied to finish eighth overall (first American) in his still-standing personal best, 2:13:56. He finished 16th in 2017 and he did not race a marathon in 2018. Estrada hasn’t raced much on the roads in 2019, but his half marathon speed (1:00:51) and 2:13 PR indicate that he has the talent to be a top marathon runner heading into 2020.

Ritzenhein (“Ritz”), a three-time Olympian and the fifth-fastest American in history, enters Chicago with one of the most impressive resumes. He has broken 13 minutes in the 5,000m, run 27:22 in the 10,000m, collected four national titles, and earned a bronze medal at the 2009 IAAF World Championships Half Marathon. He set his marathon PR seven years ago in Chicago, 2:07:47. At 36 and now racing with the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project, Ritzenhein is a veteran, but his 1:01:24 half marathon earlier this year still makes him a top contender. 

Droddy and Gregg both bring massive potential to this year’s field. Droddy, always a crowd favorite, ran his personal best, 2:16:26, in Chicago in 2017, but his half marathon best, 1:01:48, suggests that there is room to demolish his PR this fall. Gregg made his debut in Chicago in 2014 in 2:18:30, and he experienced his best performance in 2018 at the California International Marathon, running 2:13:27. 

This year’s field also includes 25K American record-holder, Parker Stinson, and exciting debuts from Reed Fischer and Justin Gallegos. In 2018, Gallegos became the first professional athlete with cerebral palsy to sign a contract with Nike.

(07/12/2019) ⚡AMP
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Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Running the Bank of America Chicago Marathon is the pinnacle of achievement for elite athletes and everyday runners alike. On race day, runners from all 50 states andmore than 100 countries will set out to accomplish a personal dream by reaching the finish line in Grant Park. The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is known for its flat and fast...

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Everything you need to know about 2020 US Olympic Marathon trials

The selection policy for the 2020 US Olympic marathon team, cloudy for months after the IAAF announced in March that the qualification process for the 2020 Olympic Games is changing, is quietly beginning to take shape. For those wishing to preserve the best thing about the US Olympic Marathon Trials — top three across the line make the team — there was some good news, but there remains work to be done. After speaking with sources at the IAAF and USATF, here’s where we stand eight months from the Olympic Trials, which will be held in Atlanta on February 29.

The first bit of news trickled out on June 25 in the IAAF Athlete Representative Newsletter, which was promptly shared by agent Dan Lilot on Twitter. The update? After lobbying from USATF, the IAAF Council approved that “national Tokyo 2020 Olympic selection championship/trials in the men’s and/or women’s marathon, held in 2019 or 2020, may be granted Gold Label status if requested by the Member Federations and if the race can meet the Gold Label requirement for number of Gold Label athletes.”

Normally, Gold Label status is awarded to a marathon based on the previous year’s field. So to attain Gold Label status in 2020, the 2019 edition of the race would have to have six men and six women with Gold Label status that year, or seven athletes if it’s a single-gender race (Gold Label status is awarded to an athlete based on their world ranking at the end of the previous year; a marathoner has to be ranked in the world’s top 200 to earn Gold Label status). The 2019 edition of the US Olympic Marathon Trials would normally be the 2019 USATF Marathon Championships, but USATF isn’t holding a marathon championship this year.

So what the IAAF is saying is that USATF doesn’t have to worry about the field at the 2019 USATF Marathon Championships; as long as the Trials has enough Gold Label athletes, it can be granted Gold Label status.

This is good news for American women. Remember, an athlete automatically achieves the Olympic standard by finishing in the top five at a Gold Label marathon. And the women’s race at the US Olympic Trials should have no problem hitting the minimum Gold Label requirements; 11 American women had Gold Label status in 2019, and as of the most recent world rankings, 10 are on track to earn it in 2020. That means that on the women’s side, the Olympic Trials will be able to use the “top three make the team” model. (Also note that Japan, which is holding its first Olympic marathon trials in September, will easily meet the criteria on the men’s and women’s side).

That may not sound like a huge deal, considering nine American women already have the Olympic standard. But consider two women who do not have the standard: Amy Cragg and Shalane Flanagan, both members of the 2016 Olympic team. If it’s a bad weather day on the hilly Atlanta course, it’s not out of the question that third place could be slower than the Olympic time standard of 2:29:30 (Flanagan finished third at the ’16 Trials in 2:29:19). Achieving Gold Label status puts any of those worries to bed. That’s a win for USATF.

On the men’s side, USATF still has some work to do. Only one American man, Galen Rupp, qualified for Gold Label status in the marathon in 2019. And right now, Rupp is the only American man on track to earn it again in 2020 (Scott Fauble and Jared Ward are just outside, at #205 and #210 in the current world rankings).

That means that, based on the criteria the IAAF announced on June 25, there’s no way that the men’s race at the Olympic Trials will qualify for Gold Label status. And the men are the ones who need it: Fauble and Ward are the only Americans with the Olympic standard, and the time standard of 2:11:30 could be tough to hit on the day in Atlanta.

(07/09/2019) ⚡AMP
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The standards are tough but the US is running the trials in weather most similar to Tokyo. 7/10 9:54 pm


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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America’s Amy Cragg is set to race the Prague Half on Saturday

Success for reigning USA Olympic Trials Marathon champion Amy Cragg did not come easily or quickly.  Indeed, the 35 year-old Nike Bowerman Track Club athlete nearly quit the sport before her true talent really showed through, eventually carrying her to Olympic Trials wins in both 2012 (at 10,000m) and 2016 (marathon), four USA titles, and a 2:21:42 marathon personal best.  It’s been a long, and sometimes bumpy, road.

“Definitely, I’ve made some mistakes along the way,” Cragg told Race Results Weekly in a telephone interview from Prague where she’ll be running the Sportisimo Prague International Half-Marathon on Saturday.  “I’ve learned from them and that’s kind of led me to here.  So, every once in a while I’ve looked back and I’m, like, I should have done this differently or this differently.  But, the reality is that I might not have ended up here.  I think I’m in a really good place.”

Working with coaches Jerry Schumacher and Pascal Dobert and Bowerman teammate Shalane Flanagan since the end of 2015, Cragg has blossomed into one of America’s best at 26.2 miles.  After winning the February, 2016, Marathon Trials on a brutally hot day in Los Angeles, she went on to finish ninth in the Olympic Games Marathon in Rio. 

She backed up that performance a year later with a thrilling, late-race charge at the 2017 IAAF World Championships marathon in London, taking the bronze medal (the first medal for a USA woman at those championships in the marathon since 1983), and only missing the silver by a fraction of a second. 

She recovered from her London race well, then ran the Tokyo Marathon in February, 2018, finishing third in an excellent 2:21:42.  That performance made her the fifth-fastest American of all time behind only Deena Kastor, Jordan Hasay, Flanagan and Joan Samuelson.

"I love where I’m at,” Cragg continued.  “I love my team and my coach.  Just living in Oregon, that’s been incredible.  I think overall, those rough moments, those times when I considered stopping have made me a stronger athlete.  I’m glad I went through that.  It’s hard to say that.  Those times, I think I really learned a lot from them.”

Cragg is at an unusual juncture in her career.  She hasn’t run a marathon in over a year.  She built-up for Chicago last October, but ended up withdrawing from the race after she and her coaches felt that her training hadn’t brought her to the fitness she would need to run her best.  They had intense discussions, she said, about what to do next.

“When I pulled out of Chicago last year the big talk was, OK, what do we really want to get out of the next two years?” Cragg said.  “I’ll probably be in the sport two years and reassess.  The big thing is making another Olympic team and trying to perform well in Tokyo.  Everything we do from here on out, that’s the goal to make that team and we’ve been working back from there.”

Cragg decided not to do a spring marathon this year.  Instead, she worked with her Bowerman teammates Shelby Houlihan, Marielle Hall, Courtney Frerichs, and Karissa Schweizer to get ready for the USATF Cross Country Championships last February where she finished fifth in her first national cross country championships in nine years. 

A month later she ran the special Road to Gold test event in Atlanta where she was able to run on the 2020 Olympic Trials course.  Uncontested, she covered the 8-mile route in 43:23 and won by a minute.  She told Race Results Weekly that the Atlanta race was essentially the kick-off of her Trials training.

“I felt pretty good,” Cragg said.  “I think I’m in a good position and I’m pretty excited to get into the bigger miles.  For me, that makes a huge difference.  I feel ready to start that, which is exciting for me.”

Saturday’s race in Prague is the next logical step on Cragg’s long journey to Atlanta next February for the marathon trials and Tokyo for the Olympics next August.  On Prague’s flat, record-eligible course Cragg wants to race hard with the goal of improving herself as a marathoner.

(04/05/2019) ⚡AMP
by David Monti
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Prague Half Marathon

Prague Half Marathon

Start the RunCzech season with one of the biggest running events in the Central Europe! Every year the Sportisimo Prague Half Marathon excites spectators with performances of elite athletes breaking records. Enjoy a course with incomparable scenery in the heart of historic Prague that follows along the Vltava river and crisscrosses five beautiful bridges. Take in majestic views of...

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Former World Half Marathon bronze medalist Fancy Chemutai will compete in her second half marathon in Prague

Fancy Chemutai, who injured her ankle in May 2018, announced her return to action in January, finishing second at the Houston Half Marathon in a time of 66:48, and believes she will be strong enough to challenge the course record in Prague, currently held by compatriot Joyciline Jepkosgei in 64:52.

"I have been in good form for some time after the injury healed. It is a challenge for me in Prague but when I say I am back to my full potential, it means I have gauged myself. I will still fight for medals. I have sat down with my coach and I believe I have a chance to race again," said Chemutai, who currently trains in Iten.

The Kenyan, whose personal best time is 64:52, and last year's Prague runner-up Caroline Kipkirui (65:07), a Kenyan now competing for Kazakhstan, will lead Kenya's delegation to the Czech Republic capital.

However, they will also be up against strong opposition from Asian record-holder Alia Mohammed Saaeed (66:13), European 10,000m champion Lonah Chemtai Salpeter (67:55) of Israel and world marathon bronze medalist Amy Cragg from the United States (68:27).

"I have plans to run the full marathon, but the injury slowed me down," Chetumai said. "Now that I am back in action, I will discuss with the coaches and see how fast I can move to the marathon."

(03/13/2019) ⚡AMP
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Prague Half Marathon

Prague Half Marathon

Start the RunCzech season with one of the biggest running events in the Central Europe! Every year the Sportisimo Prague Half Marathon excites spectators with performances of elite athletes breaking records. Enjoy a course with incomparable scenery in the heart of historic Prague that follows along the Vltava river and crisscrosses five beautiful bridges. Take in majestic views of...

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2012 Olympic 10,000m silver medalist Sally Kipyego, will be running her first marathon as an American at Boston

2012 Olympic 10,000m silver medalist Sally Kipyego, who will be running her first marathon as an American.

We break down the elite fields below, but we start with some analysis of Kipyego, who is returning to racing in 2019 after missing most of the past two years.

When John Hancock announced the 2019 US elite field for Boston last month, we noted that there is currently a “Studly Six” in US marathoning — Amy Cragg, Jordan Hasay, Molly Huddle, Shalane Flanagan, Des Linden, and Sally Kipyego (who has never before run for the US). At the time, only two of those women (Hasay and Linden) were entered in Boston, but the updated field released today included Kipyego’s name, which spices things up quite a bit.

Kipyego, 33, became a US citizen in January 2017 but has only raced once since. She took 2017 off to have a baby, giving birth to daughter Emma in July 2017, but her return to training took longer than anticipated and she did not race again until June 2018, where she was just 10th at the BAA 10K in 34:32. Kipyego was slated to run the NYC Marathon last fall, but was forced to withdraw a month before the race, citing malaria and pneumonia.

But Kipyego remains a monster talent, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see her on the plane to Tokyo with Team USA in 2020. At Texas Tech, she became the only woman to win three NCAA XC titles, and after turning pro, she put together a track career more successful than any of her US contemporaries: PRs of 14:30 (four seconds faster than the American record) and 30:26 (only Flanagan and Huddle have run faster among Americans) for 5k and 10k on the track, and a pair of global 10k silvers at the 2011 Worlds and 2012 Olympics. She’s also run 68:31 in the half marathon, and in her only career marathon finish she was 2nd in NYC in 2016, one spot ahead of Huddle.

The question, of course, is whether Kipyego can return to that form after a long layoff. We will learn a lot about her over the next three months, and that begins next weekend in Houston, where Kipyego is entered in the half marathon. Should Kipyego run well there, there will be a lot of hype for Boston.

(01/12/2019) ⚡AMP
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Kenyan-born American runner Paul Chelimo wins his first USA road title this morning in New York

The 2018 USATF 5K Championships for men and women was part of the Abbott Dash to the Finish 5K held this morning in New York City and produced by the New York Road Runners.  The race featured Team USA Olympians and national record-holders vying for $60,000 in prize money and the title of USA champion.  The first place man and woman won $12,000 and the title.  In addition to the elites, thousands of others took to the street the day before the NY City Marathon.  Paul Chelimo and Shadrack Kipchirchir battled to the end both clocking 13:45 with Paul breaking the tape first.  Stanley Kebenei was eight seconds back.  Emily Sisson pulled ahead in the women's race clocking 15:38.  Erike Kemp was second in 15:50 followed by Amy Cragg (15:54) and Kim Conley (16:01).  Paul is a Kenyan-born American runner.  He was the 2016 Olympic Silver medalist at 5000m.  He said after the race, "Wow, so excited to have won my first USA road title alongside my best friend, brother and training partner."   (11/03/2018) ⚡AMP
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Amy Cragg has withdrawn from the 2018 Chicago marathon

Amy Cragg announced today that she won’t be running the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on October 7th. Cragg told race organizers that she was withdrawing due to a setback in her race buildup. The runner won the Chicago marathon in 2014 and is a world championship medallist over the marathon distance. Cragg is the second American women to drop from the elite field. Last week, Jordan Hasay announced that she wouldn’t be competing in the marathon either. Hasay pulled out due to an ongoing stress fracture in her heel bone. Hasay was also scheduled to run the Copenhagen Half-Marathon two weeks ago, and pulled out at the last minute. (09/25/2018) ⚡AMP
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Gwen Jorgensen added to the 2018 Chicago Marathon field

The Bank of America Chicago Marathon announced today that defending champion Galen Rupp and American superstars Jordan Hasay, Amy Cragg and Laura Thweatt will be joined by a strong field of American runners at the 41st annual Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Gwen Jorgensen joins one of the deepest American women’s fields in the history of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Hasay currently ranks second on the list of all-time American marathoners with her 2:20:57 run at last year’s Chicago Marathon. Her time was the fastest American time ever run on U.S. soil. Cragg moved up to the fifth spot in U.S. history earlier this year with her 2:21:42 performance in Tokyo, and Thweatt claimed the ninth spot in London last year after she finished in 2:25:38. The last time three American women finished in the top five in Chicago was 1994, and the last time U.S. women claimed the top two spots was 1992. That could all change in 2018. Jorgensen’s potential in the marathon remains unknown. She debuted at the New York City Marathon just nine weeks after she won gold in Rio in the triathlon. Given her lack of marathon-specific training, she impressed with a 14th-place finish and 2:41:01 time. Jorgensen grew into a legend as a triathlete: in addition to her gold medal (the only Olympic gold in the triathlon in U.S. history), she also won two world titles and an unprecedented 17 ITU World Triathlon Series races. She took most of 2017 off to welcome her first child, and since making the leap into a full-time professional running career, she won the 2018 Stanford Invitational 10,000m in 31:55, she finished fifth in the Peachtree road race, she finished seventh in the 10,000m at the USATF championships, and she finished fourth in her half marathon debut at the U.S. Half Marathon Championships in 1:10:58. Jorgensen trains with Cragg and Shalane Flanagan as part of Nike’s Bowerman Track Club. (08/27/2018) ⚡AMP
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Olympian Amy Cragg Joins 2018 Bank of America Chicago Marathon American Women’s Elite Field

The Bank of America Chicago Marathon announced today that two of the fastest women in U.S. history, Amy Cragg and Laura Thweatt, will join previously announced American Jordan Hasay to compete for the top spot on the podium at the 41st annual Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Cragg, a two-time Olympian, and Thweatt, the 2015 U.S. Cross Country champion and 2018 Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K champion, make the 2018 Chicago Marathon the deepest American women’s field in Chicago’s storied history. Hasay currently ranks second on the list of all-time American marathoners with her 2:20:57 run at last year’s Chicago Marathon. Her time was also the fastest American time ever run on U.S. soil. Cragg moved up to the fifth spot in U.S. history earlier this year with her 2:21:42 performance in Tokyo, and Thweatt claimed the ninth spot in London last year after she finished in 2:25:38. The last time three American women finished in the top five in Chicago was 1994, and the last time U.S. women claimed the top two spots was 1992. Chicago’s history could be rewritten with Hasay, Cragg and Thweatt headlining this year’s American field. “There is an American tradition in Chicago of historic performances, competition and developing top talent,” said Executive Race Director of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon Carey Pinkowski. “Amy and Laura are world-class athletes, and they are fighters. We expect to see them battling up front, and we are thrilled to welcome them to our elite field.” Cragg, a member of Nike’s Bowerman Track Club since 2015, joins this year’s elite field after opening her 2018 season by smashing her personal best to finish third at the Tokyo Marathon in 2:21:42. She competed in Chicago for the first time in 2014, finishing fourth in 2:27:03. Since then, she has experienced global success, winning the 2016 U.S. Olympic Marathon trials, finishing ninth at the 2016 Rio Olympics, and ending a 34-year medal drought for the U.S. after taking home a bronze medal at the 2017 IAAF World Championships Marathon. She currently sits in 12th place on the Abbott World Marathon Majors Series XI leaderboard, and a strong finish in Chicago could propel her further up the list. (07/17/2018) ⚡AMP
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How fast did Amy Cragg run at the Tokyo Marathon?

How fast was Amy Hastings Cragg at the Tokyo Marathon Sunday? Think about this. Only four separate American women have ever run faster. Ever. Here are the top seven times: 2:19:36 Kastor, Deena USA London 4/23/06, 2:20:57 Hasay, Jordan USA Chicago 10/8/17, 2:21:14 Flanagan, Shalane USA Berlin 9/28/14, 2:21:16 Kastor, Deena USA London 4/13/03, 2:21:21 Benoit, Joan USA Chicago 10/20/85, 2:21:25 Kastor, Deena USA Chicago 10/9/05, 2:21:42 Cragg, Hastings, Amy USA Tokyo 2/24/18. from Gary Allen posted on FB. (02/27/2018) ⚡AMP
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Months of work, time, sacrifice and determination paid off for Amy in Tokyo

Amy Cragg finished third at the Tokyo Marathon in 2:21:42. That is a PR of over five minutes and good for number five on the U.S. all-time list and the sixth fastest time in Tokyo. Amy posted this right before the start on FB: “Months of work, time, sacrifice and determination...here we go!!! She did it. At the press conference Friday she said, “she hoped to run 2:22:59 with the caveat that while she'd like to run a fast time her priority would be placing in the top three.” Amy made good on that promise. Shalane Flanagan posted this before the start, “When (Amy) is about to race I feel like I am too!!! My heart rate is already through the roof and butterflies in my stomach....still have 5hours until gun goes off.” There were a lot of people cheering for Amy thousands of miles away. (02/25/2018) ⚡AMP
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Dickson Chumba wins the Tokyo Marathon again...six Japanese Runners under 2:09

Kenya’s Dickson Chumba (the 2014 Tokyo and 2015 Chicago champion) opened a nice gap as they approach 38km and went on to win in 2:05:29. At 40k Japan’s Yuta Shitara takes another swig from his festive bottle and grits his teeth as he hunts down and passes Amos Kipruto. This is a man on a mission! Yuta Shitara did not let up and accomplished the following: 1. Ran a Japanese marathon record of 2:06:11 2. Finished 2nd in the Tokyo Marathon (highest finish ever by a Japanese man at a World Marathon Major) 3. Won 100 million yen for setting the NR. That's $936,000US...Wilson Kipsang dropped out at 15k...Amy Cragg finished third in the women’s race taking five minutes off her PR. (2:21:42). Ethiopian’s Birhane Dibaba won the female race in 2:19:51...This year’s race was the biggest field ever with 35,500 starters. (02/24/2018) ⚡AMP
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Some bold predictions at the Tokyo Marathon press conference Friday

After stepping up to the big leagues last year with course records in the 2:03 and 2:19 range, the Tokyo Marathon hopes to go one better this year. Men's course record setter Wilson Kipsang (Kenya) is back, stepping up from a 2:03:50 prediction for Tokyo in January to a 2:02:50 world record prediction at Friday's pre-race press conference. The top-ranked woman is Ruti Aga (Ethiopia), coming in hot off a 1:06:39 win last month in Houston and turning heads at the press conference with a boldly mumbled 2:18:00 prediction. Alongside Aga's brash 2:18:00 prediction, Amy Cragg (USA) said she hoped to run 2:22:59 with the caveat that while she'd like to run a fast time her priority would be placing in the top three. (02/23/2018) ⚡AMP
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America’s Amy Cragg wants to PR at the Tokyo Marathon on Sunday

Most of the talk about the Tokyo Marathon has been focused on the men’s race. Tad Hayano, the Tokyo Marathon Race Director says, “In women’s race, the 2015 world marathon silver medallist Hellah Kiprop and Purity Rionoripo, who clocked her personal best of 2:20:55 to win Paris Marathon last year, are the only Kenyans in the race. They will face Ethiopia’s two-time Olympic 5,000m champion Meseret Defar, who is making her marathon debut after being out of action for two years. The other Ethiopians in the line-up include Shure Demise, Ruti Aga and Birhane Dibaba, who makes her fifth consecutive appearance in Tokyo Marathon.” World marathon bronze medallist Amy Cragg (USA) has said her main goal at the Tokyo Marathon is to improve her 2:27:03 PR. (02/22/2018) ⚡AMP
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Amy Cragg, among the only top U.S. women not included in the field?

After the Boston Marathon released its all-star U.S. women’s lineup for the 2018 race, the first question many fans asked was: Why isn’t Amy Cragg running it, too?. Indeed, it seemed like she was among the only top U.S. women not included on the field. But the combination of the 2020 Games taking place in Japan and Cragg’s desire to get faster at the 26.2-mile distance made the Tokyo Marathon on February 25 an enticing choice for her four-year career plan. (01/23/2018) ⚡AMP
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