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Articles tagged #Atlanta
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Atlanta Track Club will attempt to cover 100,000 new miles on Global Running Day by Running & Walking in a New Way

Atlanta Track Club will attempt to cover 100,000 new miles on Global Running Day by calling on Running City USA to experience running and walking in a way they never have before.

The Club unveiled a series of running and walking challenges to commemorate the day. The five Global Running Day ATL challenges include:

Longest. Run. Ever. – Commit to a new personal best distance by going farther than ever before whether that be one mile or 60 miles.

Explore – In your neighborhood or five counties away, explore a new, first-time route Longer than 10K – Global Running Day falls on June 3. So, head out for a 6.3 mile run or walk and set your 6.3 mile personal best!

Consecutive Quarters – Set a time limit and see how many times you can run a quarter mile in that time with equal rest. For example, if you choose 90 seconds, you have to run a quarter mile in 90 seconds with 90 seconds rest until you run one slower than 90 seconds.

A Mile an Hour – One mile per hour is a pretty slow speed. Running one mile every hour is a different ballgame. Can you do it 24 times starting with the midnight hour and ending at 11 p.m.?

Runners and walkers can commit to the challenges by signing up now and then completing them on Global Running Day which is celebrated around the world on Wednesday, June 3. Learn more here.

Once completed, runners and walkers will enter their total mileage online. You can watch the overall total grow throughout the day. Participants are encouraged to share their photos and stories on social media using #GlobalRunningDayATL.

“With no in-person races since March 1st, we know the Running City USA Community is looking for opportunities to compete against themselves and the clock,” said Rich Kenah, Atlanta Track Club’s Executive Director. “These challenges are a great way to add excitement to your running and walking routine or to find new ways to enjoy the sport.”

Atlanta Track Club will document the entire day on Instagram Live, checking in with participants in every challenge, offering words of encouragement and giving away prizes.

(05/18/2020) ⚡AMP
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Global Running Day

Global Running Day

What is Global Running Day? Global Running Day is a worldwide celebration of running that encourages everyone to get moving. It doesn’t matter how fast you run or how far you go—what’s important is that you take part, and how you do it is up to you. Run a lap around your block, take your dog for a long walk,...

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After the Ahmaud Arbery's killing, some African Americans are reconsidering fitness routines

"I'm changing my patterns because I can't change the color of my skin," the founder of a running group said.

Every time Edward Walton laces up his running shoes, no matter where he is, there is a calculus he takes into consideration: What time of the day is it? What neighborhood will I run in? What am I wearing?

And when he's outdoors, he says, it adds up again: Am I running too fast? Does it look like I'm fleeing from someone?

"It's the math," Walton, 51, a cybersecurity architect and consultant in metro Atlanta, said, "of running while black."

The killing of Ahmaud Arbery, a black man who his family says was out for a jog when he was chased and fatally shot by two white men in late February, has renewed a national conversation about racial profiling and when black Americans, in particular, are accused of criminal behavior in the midst of routine, everyday activities, such as mowing a lawn or waiting inside a Starbucks.

Arbery, 25, has been described by his family and friends as an athlete who regularly ran in his south Georgia community in Glynn County, and had plans to go back to technical school and become an electrician. While the father and son involved in his killing were arrested last week on murder and aggravated assault charges in the wake of leaked cellphone video appearing to show the confrontation, the incident has rattled people like Walton, who say the killing is an extreme occurrence of what runners like himself have long, quietly known.

"When I'm running, people give me two looks," Walton said. "Why is this black guy running? What is he running from? What did he do?"

The suspects in Arbery's killing, Gregory McMichael, 64, and Travis McMichael, 34, told police they were making a citizen's arrest and believed the youth had burglarized a nearby home that was under construction. Attorneys for Arbery's family maintain there is no evidence showing he was engaged in criminal activity on that day, other than possible trespassing on the unoccupied property. The attorneys for the McMichaels have suggested there's more evidence yet to be made public that tells a different narrative.

"This is not some sort of hate crime fueled by racism," Gregory McMichael's attorney, Franklin Hogue, told reporters Friday. "It is and remains the case, however, that a young African American male has lost his life to violence."

As the circumstances surrounding Arbery's killing play out in the criminal justice system, black runners who spoke with NBC News said the case serves as a reminder that their lives could also be in jeopardy if they're out at the wrong place and the wrong time.

Seven years ago, Walton co-founded a group in Atlanta called Black Men Run, which he says has grown to 55 chapters in 35 states, as well as internationally in London and Paris.

It was conceived as a way for black men, facing their own health disparities and challenges, to unite in fellowship and help one another become accountable for their physical well-being. That has become especially important now, Walton added, with the disproportionate effect that the coronavirus outbreak has had on black Americans.

But incidents like Arbery's killing have also shifted the group's focus to becoming more activist-driven. Last week, members participated in a 2.23-mile jog in Arbery's honor, marking the day of his death, as part of a social media campaign. A rally is planned Saturday in the coastal community of Brunswick, Georgia, where Arbery was from.

Tobias A. Jackson-Campbell, a realtor from Atlanta who has run in four marathons, said he's begun changing where he runs to avoid isolated places in the city, such as the undeveloped sections of the multiuse trail known as the Atlanta Beltline.

Jackson-Campbell said he's been followed by police during his runs and questioned about what he's doing in a particular neighborhood.

"For me, as a black man running, it's sometimes like driving while black," he said.

Arbery's killing, he said, only reinforced that "if it could happen to him, it could definitely happen to me."

Kristea Cancel, a runner from North Carolina, said she recently tracked her 13-year-old son's run using an app because she was uncomfortable not knowing where he was. The next day, she went running with him.

She recalled how a few years ago while running in Tennessee, someone in a white pickup truck threw their drink in her face and screamed at her on a busy street in broad daylight. Nothing had been out of the ordinary until that moment, she said — it had been a routine run.

"When will it be OK to just be shopping, running, in the park and not be feared or criminalized by people who can't just let us be human beings, enjoying life as they are entitled to do?" Cancel asked. "No mother should be worried a run or walk may end their son's life."

When Walton hears of how friends and others have changed how they exercise outdoors as a precautionary measure, he says he completely understands.

"I'm changing my patterns," he said, "because I can't change the color of my skin."

(05/17/2020) ⚡AMP
by NBC News
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The 51st Annual Running of the Peachtree normally held July 4th has been moved to Thursday November 26

Atlanta will celebrate family, fitness and the Founding Fathers this fall as the AJC Peachtree Road Race moves from the Fourth of July to Thanksgiving Day in 2020. The 51st Running of the Peachtree will take place on Thursday, November 26, Atlanta Track Club announced today. It marks the first time in the event's history that it will not be held on July 4.

"As Atlanta and the nation continue to take precautions to slow and stop the spread of COVID-19, we understand that Peachtree participants, volunteers, medical staff and the other first responders who keep them safe need more time to prepare for this year's race," said Rich Kenah, race director of the Peachtree and Atlanta Track Club's executive director. "We are thankful for the opportunity to move forward together with all of Atlanta on Thanksgiving Day in a responsible and safe format."

More than 45,000 people have already registered for this year's AJC Peachtree Road Race. All confirmed participants will remain registered with no further action needed. Current registrants will also have the option to complete the race virtually, move their entry to 2021 at no charge, transfer to a new participant, donate their registration fee to Atlanta Track Club's community initiatives or receive a refund. A full list of options can be found here.

Additionally, Atlanta Track Club plans to reopen registration for the Peachtree on August 31 -September 6 for members of the Club. For non-members it will open September 7 and will close on September 13 or when the event reaches capacity. Kilometer Kids Charity entries will remain open throughout the spring and summer.

The Club also announced efforts to plan and implement new safety measures at this year's race including fewer participants on each start line, longer separation between waves, re-imagining hydration stations and working with MARTA to get people to and from the event. "As it has been for 55 years, health and safety is Atlanta Track Club's top priority. COVID-19 has pushed us to review our best practices and protocols in the areas of event and program safety," Kenah said. "As this situation evolves and changes, we will make decisions based on the advice and information the Club receives from health experts."

Participants who chose to pick up their numbers in person will be able to do so at the Peachtree Health & Fitness Expo on November 23, 24 and 25 at the Georgia World Congress Center. This year's Peachtree Junior for children ages 14 & under will be held on Friday, November 27. Registration is open now.

The AJC Peachtree Road Race will replace the Invesco QQQ Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon, 5K, Mile and Dash, which will be canceled for 2020. The Triple Peach Series presented by Mizuno will instead include the Publix Atlanta Half Marathon on February 28, 2021. Those registered for the Triple Peach will be automatically registered unless a refund is requested

(05/01/2020) ⚡AMP
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AJC Peachtree Road Race

AJC Peachtree Road Race

2020 race has been moved from July 4th to Thanksgiving day November 26. 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...

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Bill Johncock's dream of pushing his disabled son in the Boston Marathon has to wait until September

Bill Johncock and his differently-abled son Logan have gotten pretty accustomed to rolling with the punches over the past year, as Dad has pushed them – quite literally – toward a big running goal: the 2020 Boston Marathon.

The first major milepost came on March 2,2019, when Johncock fought through leg cramps at the Myrtle Beach Marathon but ultimately won the battle, pushing then-20-year-old Logan across the finish line in a borrowed racing wheelchair in a time fast enough to qualify them for Boston as a “duo team”.

Much more recently, a different borrowed racing chair turned out to have a steering problem that wore out Johncock’s arms more than his legs at the Atlanta Half Marathon, a tune-up race he ran with Logan just a few weekends ago.

And now they are having to roll with something Johncock never could have anticipated when he first started down his personal road to Boston: With the coronavirus pandemic and the current trend of cancelling large public events continuing, the Boston Marathon – originally set for April 20 – has been postponed to Sept 14.

Johncock’s trying to take it all in stride.

“It’s just like the chair, or the weather. It’s something that is beyond our control, ” says the 55-year-old podiatrist. “We’re gonna control what we can control. The rest, we’ve gotta put it in God’s hands.... We’ll go to Plan B.”

But at the same time, you can tell how big a blow it is to him. After all, getting to the Boston Marathon with Logan – who has a rare genetic disorder called Angelman syndrome, which makes walking difficult and talking impossible – has been Johncock’s dream for the past 15 years.

Johncock developed a nearly instant passion for running when he was 13 years old.

Even after Johncock started having kids of his own, he kept running, eventually logging more than 100 marathons. He pushed his first son, Drake, in a jogging stroller on the weekends. But by the time Logan came along, Drake was on to other things, and as his three kids grew up, Johncock bonded with each of them over different activities.

His and Logan’s was running; in fact, by the time Logan was about two years old, they were already entering races together.

“My oldest son used to like to ride in the running chair that we had well enough, but... Logan just lit up – in a different way, ” Johncock says. “I guess maybe because of some of his lack of mobility, he really enjoyed the movement of it. It was just like, ‘Wow.’”

Angelman is somewhat similar to Down syndrome, marked by delayed development and intellectual disability.

Logan can’t speak at all, communicating either via a very limited sign-language vocabulary he uses only “if he’s really motivated”, his dad says, laughing – “he signs pretty good for cheeseburgers, but he doesn’t sign very well for broccoli” – or by either pointing or pulling his parents or siblings toward what he wants. He can feed himself, but he can’t dress himself. He can walk, but not very far or for very long; and he certainly can’t run.

Oh, and one other thing about people with Angelman: They generally are unusually happy. Logan is no exception. And the more his dad ran with him, the happier he seemed.

‘The best motivation in the world’

As an individual, Johncock has qualified for and run the Boston Marathon six times – in 1984 with his dad, then again in 1991,1992,1993,2002 and 2005.

But it was while there solo in 2005 that he got the idea to mix things up a little bit. While at the race expo in Boston, he happened to meet Dick Hoyt and his son Rick, who for decades were a fixture at the event, with Dick pushing Rick (who has cerebral palsy) and the pair inspiring countless spectators and runners along the way.

Johncock went home inspired, eventually signing up to push then-six-year-old Logan in the Thunder Road Marathon in Charlotte later that year. Johncock also decided to tie a charity component to his efforts, and wound up raising US$30,000 (RM127,500) for a playground for Logan’s school – the Conover School, which serves children with special needs.

After their long run in Charlotte, Johncock pushed Logan through another marathon in 2007, and a third in 2013. But while these other marathons permitted children, Boston’s rules specify that riders on duo teams must be 18 or older.

Logan became “legal” in 2017, and in 2019, Johncock mustered up the time and the motivation to try to qualify, at age 54.

But, as always, all Johncock can do is just roll with it. “A life is more important. As big as this is for us, the health of a lot of other people is more important. So yeah, it looks like we’ll have to wait. But... eventually, we’ll get there.”

 

(03/31/2020) ⚡AMP
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

The 124th Boston Marathon originally scheduled for April 20, is now postponed to September 14 due to the coronavirus outbreak, Boston Marathon is the world's oldest annual marathon and ranks as one of the world's best-known road racing events. The event attracts 500,000 spectators each year, making it New England's most widely viewed sporting event. Though starting with 18 participants...

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OTC Elite runners hoping for late-summer meets

The coronavirus pandemic has postponed the Tokyo Olympics for a year and put the 2020 track and field season on hold indefinitely.

That doesn’t necessarily mean the work has stopped for the athletes.

Several members of the Eugene-based Oregon Track Club Elite professional training group have continued to train, albeit with a modified schedule.

Gyms are closed, as are several local tracks, but the trails are still open, and OTC Elite’s team of middle distance and distance runners are taking advantage.

“Not much has changed for me fortunately,” said Ben Blankenship, a 2016 Olympian in the 1,500 meters. “It’s just going out there alone and being self-disciplined.”

Blankenship has been plotting his return to the Summer Games since his eighth-place finish four years ago in Rio de Janeiro.That didn’t change on Tuesday when the International Olympic Committee and the Japanese government agreed to move the Olympics to 2021.

“I was really ready to do something,” Blankenship said. “We were looking at some of those early (spring) Stanford meets to get ready. But now it’s kind of catch your breath and restart. It could almost be looked at as a bonus year, right? So what can you do this year as kind of a bonus?”

Blankenship wasn’t the only runner on OTC Elite gearing up for a spot on the starting line at the Summer Games. Among its 15 members, there are six Olympians, including marathoner Sally Kipyego, who had already qualified for Tokyo with her third-place finish at the women’s U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials last month in Atlanta.

USA Track & Field has not yet announced whether Kipyego, as well as former Oregon star and men’s marathon winner Galen Rupp, will be able to keep those qualifiers for the 2021 Games or if the marathon qualifier will have to be raced again. The top three finishers in both races in Atlanta qualified for Tokyo.

Also for OTC Elite, Francine Niyonsaba was the 2016 silver medalist in the women’s 800 for Burundi, Hassan Mead (U.S.) and Tom Farrell (Great Britain) were in the men’s 5,000 that year, and Nijel Amos won silver in the men’s 800 for Botswana in 2012 when he was just 18 years old.

Amos had his best season on the track last year since his success in London. He ran under 1:45 in all but one race, and twice broke 1:43, including his season-best of 1:41.89.

Amos wasn’t the only one who excelled in 2019.

Hanna Green is coming off a breakout season as she made her first World Outdoor Championship team for the United States in the women’s 800 after running 1:58.19 for a second-place finish at the U.S. Outdoor Championships.

That success fueled high expectations coming into the 2020 Olympic season.

“Definitely disappointed because I felt like I had a pretty good start and was kind of rolling into another good season,” she said. “You just have to think positive right now because you don’t know what’s going to happen so you don’t want to get into a negative thought process where you’re just worrying. You have to go with the flow.”

Like Blankenship, Green is taking advantage of the trails to get her work in and try and maintain some fitness.

“We’ve definitely stepped back in our training, just to be safe and so our immune systems aren’t being damaged by hard workouts,” Green said. “Once we know if or when there are going to be races we’ll start to build up again.”

The sooner the better, both Blankenship and Green said.

World Athletics said earlier this week it was still hoping to host several one-day meets later in the summer.

“If they could get in those later Diamond League meets that would be awesome, or any meet in general,” Green said. “You just have to stay ready for whatever’s next whenever that may be.”

(03/30/2020) ⚡AMP
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After coronavirus forces postponement of 2020 Tokyo Olympics, elite athletes share their sorrow

Former University of Oregon sprinter English Gardner was looking at the big picture when the news broke Tuesday that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics were being postponed for a year because of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic.

Gardner has a 2016 Olympic gold medal from the Team USA women’s 4x100 relay and big hopes for Tokyo.

But she fully supports the decision by the International Olympic Committee and Japanese organizers to postpone.

“I’m bigger than track and field,” Gardner said. “I’m part of the community. I’m a human being. I’m a sister. I’m a mother. I’m a girlfriend. I’m a godmother. As a whole world, we’re kind of going through it right now. It’s OK that the Games got postponed because this problem, this illness, this sickness is way bigger than Tokyo.”

Gardner is among the Olympic-level athletes and coaches who spoke to The Oregonian/OregonLive on Tuesday about the postponement. They shared varying mixtures of relief, resignation, disappointment and hope for the future.

Shortly after the decision about the Olympics became public, the TrackTown USA local organizing committee announced the U.S. Olympic trials for track and field scheduled for June at Hayward Field in Eugene also had been postponed.

In most of the country, athletes are living in various degrees of social isolation as state, regional and municipal governments try to slow the spread of the virus. In many cases it has affected their ability to train.

Maybe worse has been the uncertainty of not knowing what the future holds and watching major sporting events be canceled or postponed, one after another. It seemed only a matter of time before the Olympics became the next domino to fall.

“I wasn’t super surprised,” said Shelby Houlihan of the Portland-based Bowerman Track Club and reigning USA Track & Field outdoor women’s champion in the 1,500 and 5,000 meters. “I figured it was probably going to happen. But it still kind of sucks.

“Obviously, it was probably for the best because of the situation we’re in. Safety should definitely be the No. 1 priority. But it does suck because I was ready for this year.”

Pete Julian coaches a Nike-sponsored, Portland-based team of elite distance runners who have been gearing up for the Olympics.

Julian’s group includes, among others, U.S. mid-distance stars Donavan Brazier, the 2019 world outdoor champion in the 800 meters, and Craig Engels, German star Konstanze Klosterhalfen and former University of Oregon runner Jessica Hull of Australia.

“I don’t think any of them are happy about the Olympics getting moved,” Julian said. “I think a lot of them feel they’re ready to go and believe they can win medals. They’re sort of kicking the post. They want to race.”

But Julian agrees with the decision to postpone. His message to his runners is they can be better in 2021 than they are now. He believes the Olympics can be too.

“I think Tokyo is one of the few cities in the world that could pull this off without a hitch,” he said. “I don’t think most of us can even imagine the logistical nightmare that this is going to create, and what the IOC and Tokyo will have to work through. But they will be able to do it, and it will be amazing.”

Evan Jager of the Bowerman Track Club is the 2016 Olympic silver medalist in the men’s steeplechase. He said he had a strong winter of training and liked his positioning heading into the outdoor season. But he believes this step back can turn to be a bigger step forward.

“Postponing it a year and having the Olympics as that light at the end of the tunnel is going to be a very positive thing to look forward to,” Jager said. “We can come out of this crisis a year from now, and hopefully be healthy. The Olympics can be a celebration of getting out of these dark times.”

Marathoner Galen Rupp said he planned to keep training and keep perspective.

The former University of Oregon star won an Olympic silver medal in the men’s 10,000 meters in 2012 and a bronze in the marathon in 2016. He already had made the 2020 U.S. Olympic team by winning the marathon trials on Feb. 29 in Atlanta.

“The health, safety and well-being of the global population are of the utmost importance and beyond any sporting event,” Rupp said. “Already so many people have gotten sick or died and so many more have been greatly impacted by the coronavirus. We need to listen to the advice of health experts.”

Even if that means going dark in 2020 and waiting a year so the coronavirus can be contained.

Gardner, the former UO sprinter who lives in New Jersey, said training has become difficult because of quarantine containment regulations. She joked she has to get creative to do track workouts because of padlocked facilities.

“I’ve been hopping a lot of fences,” she said. “I’ve been working on my long jump and high jump approaches.”

But turning serious, she said she endorsed the quarantines and social-distancing rules as a way to keep vulnerable family members safe. She said the Olympic postponement would protect athletes and fans.

“I was mostly concerned that we would calm the virus down, we all would go to Tokyo and spur it back up again,” Gardner said.

She said it could hit athlete housing in Tokyo the way an outbreak of the norovirus struck at the 2017 World Outdoor Championships in London.

“We share common eating rooms,” she said. “We all share the same tracks, the same weight rooms, the same hotels. It would just be a matter of time before it spurred back up again.“

(03/29/2020) ⚡AMP
by Oregon Live
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The 2020 Peachtree Road Race to happen as scheduled on July 4

As conditions in Georgia continue to change daily in light of the coronavirus pandemic, the Atlanta Track Club is planning for the 2020 Peachtree Road Race to happen as scheduled on July 4.

Registration opened March 15 and will continue until March 31, unless the field is not full when registration is set to close, according to Rich Kenah, executive director of Atlanta Track Club and race director of the AJC Peachtree Road Race.

"If we see significant weakness and down the road, we see the opportunity where the sky is brighening a bit, where the outlook is strong, and we see the opportunity to bring people into the conversation who otherwise have been in the past, we'll evaluate that," Kenah told FOX 5.

Kenah said 2020 registration numbers in the first few days were better than all other years past besides 2019, which was the 50th anniversary race. There has been "a little bit of a slowdown" over the last week, but overall he estimated the registration total as of Wednesday morning to be in the "tens of thousands of people."

"About 20 percent of those who enter the lottery during the registration period do so during the last 48 hours, so over those last couple days, we'll have a true indication of the appetite for Atlanta for this year's (Peachtree)," he said.

If the race is postponed, Kenah said participants will be able to transfer their registration to a new date or request a refund.

(03/28/2020) ⚡AMP
by Kelly Price
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AJC Peachtree Road Race

AJC Peachtree Road Race

2020 race has been moved from July 4th to Thanksgiving day November 26. 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...

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After postponement of 2020 Tokyo Olympics, elite athletes share sorrow, perspective

Former University of Oregon sprinter English Gardner was looking at the big picture when the news broke Tuesday that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics were being postponed for a year because of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic.

Gardner has a 2016 Olympic gold medal from the Team USA women’s 4x100 relay and big hopes for Tokyo.

But she fully supports the decision by the International Olympic Committee and Japanese organizers to postpone.

“I’m bigger than track and field,” Gardner said. “I’m part of the community. I’m a human being. I’m a sister. I’m a mother. I’m a girlfriend. I’m a godmother. As a whole world, we’re kind of going through it right now. It’s OK that the Games got postponed because this problem, this illness, this sickness is way bigger than Tokyo.”

Gardner is among the Olympic-level athletes and coaches who spoke to The Oregonian/OregonLive on Tuesday about the postponement. They shared varying mixtures of relief, resignation, disappointment and hope for the future.

Shortly after the decision about the Olympics became public, the TrackTown USA local organizing committee announced the U.S. Olympic trials for track and field scheduled for June at Hayward Field in Eugene also had been postponed.

In most of the country, athletes are living in various degrees of social isolation as state, regional and municipal governments try to slow the spread of the virus. In many cases it has affected their ability to train.

Maybe worse has been the uncertainty of not knowing what the future holds and watching major sporting events be canceled or postponed, one after another. It seemed only a matter of time before the Olympics became the next domino to fall.

“I wasn’t super surprised,” said Shelby Houlihan of the Portland-based Bowerman Track Club and reigning USA Track & Field outdoor women’s champion in the 1,500 and 5,000 meters. “I figured it was probably going to happen. But it still kind of sucks.

“Obviously, it was probably for the best because of the situation we’re in. Safety should definitely be the No. 1 priority. But it does suck because I was ready for this year.”

Marathoner Galen Rupp said he planned to keep training and keep perspective.

The former University of Oregon star won an Olympic silver medal in the men’s 10,000 meters in 2012 and a bronze in the marathon in 2016. He already had made the 2020 U.S. Olympic team by winning the marathon trials on Feb. 29 in Atlanta.

Evan Jager of the Bowerman Track Club is the 2016 Olympic silver medalist in the men’s steeplechase. He said he had a strong winter of training and liked his positioning heading into the outdoor season. But he believes this step back can turn to be a bigger step forward.

(03/27/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ken Goe
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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, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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Looking for Some Running Content to Watch? On Running’s Chasing Tokyo Series May be Just For You

On Running’s Chasing Tokyo series may be just for you. The video series chronicled the nine athletes of the On ZAP Endurance professional running team (Tyler Pennel, Joe Stilin, Andrew Colley, Johnny Crain, Tristin Van Ord, Matt McClintock, Joanna Thompson, Josh Izewski, and Nicole DiMercurio) and their attempts to qualify for the 2020 US Olympic marathon team. The five-part series became a hit on social media, with 1.35 million views on YouTube, and more than 7.2 million views across all platforms according to On.

The On ZAP runners came up short of the Olympic goal.

If you want to watch the series without knowing how the On runners did, scroll to the videos embedded below. Otherwise keep reading.

However, they had two strong performances in the men’s race at the US Olympic Marathon Trials in Atlanta. with Tyler Pennel (11th in 2:12:34) and Josh Izewski (17th in 2:14:15) both posting top-20 finishes. Pennel’s run showed just how strong the men’s race was; despite a PR on the tough Atlanta course, Pennel could not match his 5th-place finish from the 2016 Trials.

While the top 3 finishers in Atlanta got the most attention, the series captures why so many runners dedicate a significant portion of their lives training for and dreaming of the Olympics. Joe Stilin, who had an off day at the Trials and finished 107th, is in tears in the final episode talking about how much it meant to him to have his high school coach, his dad, his brother, and even fellow teammates encouraging him at the Trials.

“It’s what the sport’s about…Sometimes, it’s not about just crushing and being top 3 and all that. It’s why we run,” Stilin said (that clip is here).

The series is directed by Emmy-winning director, Andrew Hinton (“Man with the Halo”) and starts following the team in 2019 in episode 1, “Dudes in the Woods,” which explains what the On ZAP team — located in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Boone, N.C., — is all about. Episode 5 concludes with the Olympic Trials. There isn’t much footage from the Trials — only four minutes of the one-hour series comes from once they’re on the starting line in Atlanta — but the point isn’t to capture the race itself, but to show the buildup and struggles all Olympic dreamers go through.

Episode 1 is only five minutes, so give it a shot and see if you get hooked.

And don’t feel too bad that the ZAP runners didn’t make it to Tokyo. They’re already dreaming of Paris 2024. “Of the nine athletes on the team, I think probably half of them are thinking about this race four years from now. Sometimes it’s the people who are just too stupid to quit who get things done and we’re probably in that category,” said On ZAP head coach Pete Rea in the final episode.

One final thing: is the On ZAP runners were allowed to wear the new Nike super shoes during the race. We are full of praise for On for allowing this: it shows they put their athletes first. On was founded by former world duathlon champion Olivier Bernhard, who knows a thing or two about performance (LRC’s Wejo went to Olivier’s house in Switzerland in 2012 or 2013). Olivier was a Nike-sponsored athlete back in the day, and when he got injured he tinkered with his shoes, and that led him to starting a shoe company once he stopped competing. Roger Federer is now working with On and an investor in the company. Athletes of that caliber know is it not right to force athletes to compete at a disadvantage, so they let the On ZAP runners wear the Nike shoes. We applaud them. None of the ZAP runners are forced to wonder “What if…

(03/22/2020) ⚡AMP
by Let’s Run
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After placing fourth at the Olympic Trials, Desiree Linden planned to race the Boston Marathon. Like everybody else, she’s trying to figure out what’s next

Very little has gone according to plan for anybody this year. And Desiree Linden is no exception.

After placing fourth on February 29 at the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials (the top three—Aliphine Tuliamuk, Molly Seidel, and Sally Kipyego—made the U.S. Olympic Team), she was disappointed. The alternate position wasn’t what the two-time Olympian was after on the hilly Atlanta course. However, her spirits were quickly lifted, she said, because she also had the Boston Marathon coming up on April 20—the race she won in 2018.

“Having Boston on the schedule made me move on and not dig into what happened at the Trials too much,” she said. “Then Boston got canceled and I was like, ‘Dear god, I probably need to process this.’

Officials announced on Friday that the 2020 Boston Marathon would be postponed until September 14 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Linden said she found out at the same time everybody else did, at her home in Rochester Hills, Michigan.

“I went for a run during the press conference,” she said. “Obviously I had been connecting the dots like everybody else and it was the obvious thing to do.”

Linden, 36, took a little time on Monday during a phone interview with Women’s Running to reflect on her Trials race and the Boston Marathon cancellation, as well as offer some advice to runners struggling without races on the calendar. What follows are some outtakes from the conversation.

The Olympic Marathon Trials and evaluating her performance.- Linden said she hasn’t spent a lot of time going over the details of the Atlanta race. The course was difficult, but she felt prepared for it. The training got a little tricky when she came down with the flu about three weeks before the race.

“We managed the training—I just didn’t have a great hand of cards. I had a respectable day, but it wasn’t indicative of my ability and I think the further away we get from that race, the less I remember. I don’t think there’s a lot of value in overthinking it anyway. Obviously the course was super tough and I remember that Laura [Thweatt] was pushing the group most of the second lap [of an eight-mile loop, run three times] and part of the third. She stretched us out a little bit and I covered her move, then Aliphine and Molly went after that. I had run that last [5K] section of the course the day before and I wonder if I over-respected it or got it just right? I was on super tired legs and I knew that last section was going to be really tough for everybody, so I left a little bit in the reserves. When I finished, I was perfectly exhausted—my legs were toast and there was nowhere in those last three miles I could have done more.”

After the Trials finish, Linden said she was feeling more positive because her training had been going in the right direction after recovering from the flu. She knew she could capitalize on it for the Boston Marathon.

“Immediately after the Trials, it was just Boston, Boston, Boston. That was super exciting. That day after the Trials I felt surprisingly decent. Then this buzz about the coronavirus started getting louder and then it became a little more exhausting to get out the door. It was hard to think about workouts geared toward Boston when I started thinking, ‘I could just be recovering right now.’ But also, running is my normal and what makes me feel better. Anyway, I’m enjoying a little break finally and that feels good—I’m just running based on how I feel, assuming we can continue running outside. I’ll slowly get back into it.”

(03/18/2020) ⚡AMP
by Erin Strout
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

The 124th Boston Marathon originally scheduled for April 20, is now postponed to September 14 due to the coronavirus outbreak, Boston Marathon is the world's oldest annual marathon and ranks as one of the world's best-known road racing events. The event attracts 500,000 spectators each year, making it New England's most widely viewed sporting event. Though starting with 18 participants...

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Keira D’Amato has been selected to represent the USA in the World Half Marathon Championship in Oct. 2020 in Poland

It was a surprising accomplishment, as Keira had been training for the past year for the US Olympic Marathon trials in Atlanta for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

“The race was everything I hoped the Olympic dream would be and as terrible as the marathon can feel,” said D’Amato.

The 35-year-old finished 15th out of 511 women with a time of 2:34.34 (which is 5:42 minutes per mile)!

“To think that 4 years ago, watching the Olympic trials I was pregnant with my daughter Quinn and on the couch 50-plus pounds overweight watching them on TV, thinking I would never be there and just fast forward 4 years later, and somehow I was there in the mix of things and finished 15th, I’ve come a long way,” said D’Amato.

This was the first time Atlanta’s Olympic Cauldron torch has been lit since 1996.

“It was a surreal experience to run through where they hosted the '96 Olympics. Through the course, you run by the Olympic rings and you go by the Centennial Olympic Park," said D’Amato. "Watching the Olympics in '96 as a child, I saw the torch the lit, the torch that day, it hasn’t been lit since the '96 Olympics and it was really cool.”

Unfortunately, Keira’s running time and placement wasn’t fast enough, but she still held her head high and proud as she crossed the finish line.

“When I saw the finish line, everything just hit me like a ton of bricks and I saw the finish line and I started pumping my arms and I was flying down the straightaway and I’m sure people watching realized 'she’s not winning, right, she’s 15th, she’s not making the team, someone should probably tell her,'" said D’Amato. "But I was so proud of the work I had done and that I finished and that I can hold my head up high knowing that I left it all on the course that day.”

Several weeks before the big race in Atlanta, Keira competed in the Houston half marathon to prepare herself for what was in store in Atlanta.

She finished the race 8th with the time of 69:59 and little did she know that race in Houston would change her life.

“I got an email and I didn’t really read it correctly, so I thought they were saying would you been interested, and so I wrote back saying 'Heck, yeah I’m interested, let me know how,' and they wrote back saying, 'maybe you didn’t understand, congratulations: you’ve been selected for the USA team,'” said D’Amato. “Running a half marathon for the US definitely hits my goal for just representing the U.S."

Keira is currently training day and night with the team’s coach and hopes to bring home the Gold.

"Nothing has set in yet, still feels like this wild ride that I’m watching from the sideline or the stadium like I can’t believe this is me,” said D’Amato.

(03/10/2020) ⚡AMP
by Terrance Dixon
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World Half Marathon Championships

World Half Marathon Championships

The next World Half Marathon Championships will be held in Gdynia, Poland. It was scheduled for March 29, 2020 but was postponded until Oct 17, 2021 due to the Coronavirus. The first one was first held in 1992. The collaboration with the world half marathon championships allows the Trinidad Alfonso Foundation to continue its strategy of supporting sports events...

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More about the Legendary Texas Tech track and field distance runner Sally Kipyego who qualified for Tokyo Olympics

Legendary Texas Tech track and field distance runner Sally Kipyego qualified for the 2020 Summer Olympics Saturday in the marathon. Kipyego, 34, competed at the US Olympic Marathon Trials in Atlanta, where she ran 2:28.52 to claim the third and final spot on the roster.

The Kenyan-born runner will represent the United States in Tokyo this summer, a goal she has had since becoming a U.S. citizen in 2017. She was one of three to make the U.S. team Saturday, joining 10-time national champion and fellow Kenyan immigrant Aliphine Tuliamuk and Molly Seidel.

"What a great accomplishment for Sally," said Director of Track & Field and Cross Country Wes Kittley, who coached Kipyego at Tech from 2006-2009. "Red Raiders far and wide are so proud of what she has accomplished."

Kipyego's return to the Olympics is being praised across the track world, as the former Tech runner has battled through considerable adversity to make it back to the Games. After earning silver in the 10,000m in London in 2012, Kipyego had to pause her training in 2017 while she was pregnant with her daughter, Emma. During her pregnancy, she was unable to run from 18 weeks through childbirth. In the months following, she struggled with pneumonia and malaria, making a return to racing shape even more difficult. Ultimately, she was forced to delay her comeback and withdraw from the NYC Marathon in November 2018.

Still, Kipyego persevered, eyes set on Tokyo. A member of the elite Oregon Track Club, she lived and trained in her home country of Kenya, using the altitude to bolster her regimen. By early 2019, she had worked her mileage up to 115 per week at marathon pace.

In April of that year, she attempted a comeback at the Boston Marathon but walked off the course after 18 miles due to fatigue. Though the plan was to not run another marathon until Saturday's Trials, Kipyego, seeking redemption and a confidence boost, entered the Berlin Marathon last September. It was the perfect decision, as she ran a lifetime best of 2:25.10. Five months later, of course, she would complete her comeback and earn a spot on the U.S. team.

"It's just a testament to her incredible hard work and dedication to the sport," said head distance coach Jon Murray, who coached Kipyego to three straight NCAA and Big 12 titles in cross country. "Coming back from pregnancy and some of the rough times she's had these past few years really shows her commitment. At Tech, she hated to lose, and I think that shows in her continued pursuit to be back in race shape and be the best that she can be."

Kipyego's career at Tech is considered one of the greatest of any collegiate athlete in any sport in NCAA history. During her four years in Lubbock, she won eight national titles. Kipyego is the only NCAA athlete ever to win four national titles in one year, doing so in 2007 when she won championships in cross country, the indoor 3000m, indoor 5000m and the outdoor 10,000m. She is the only Big 12 runner ever to win three consecutive conference titles in cross country. Kipyego owns the outdoor school records in the 1500m, 5000m and 10,000m, and ran on the record-holding distance medley relay. Indoors, her records in the mile, 3000m and 5000m still stand today, as do her 5k and 6k cross country marks.

In 2019, Kipyego was inducted into the Texas Tech Athletic Hall of Fame.

(03/03/2020) ⚡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, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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Molly Seidel had never run a marathon until Feb 29 where she made the 2020 US Olympic Marathon team

The US Olympic Marathon Trials in Atlanta February 29 was Molly Seidel’s First Marathon. 

Seidel, 25, has two jobs, shares an apartment with her sister and runs turkey trots in costume. No, she can’t believe this is happening, either.

What does it feel like to qualify for the 2020 Olympics in your debut marathon?

Molly Seidel was ebullient when she qualified for the U.S. Olympic marathon trials.

She had been a standout athlete in college, but in recent years she had struggled with injuries. She’d started working at a coffee shop in Boston and babysat to make ends meet. She hoped for a good race at the trials in Atlanta on Saturday, but tried not to have big expectations.

It would be her first marathon, after all. She never could have predicted it would lead to the Olympics.

Seidel, 25, ran away with second place at the trials, finishing in 2 hours 27 minutes 31 seconds and securing one of three spots on the U.S. women’s team for the Tokyo Games this summer.

Seidel is known for her performances in 5,000- and 10,000-meter races. She won the Foot Locker Cross Country Championship in 2011and has four N.C.A.A. titles. She qualified for the Olympic marathon trials with her time in the half marathon, a 1:10:27 in San Antonio in December.

“I had no idea what this was going to be like,” she said after the race on Saturday. “I didn’t want to oversell it and put way too much pressure on, knowing how competitive the field was going to be. But talking with my coach, I didn’t want to phone it in just because it was my first one.”

The challenging course played to Seidel’s strengths. She called herself a racer, not someone who would thrive in a time trial. And she said the conditions — a hilly course on a chilly, windy day — played to her advantage.

In a race that included some of the biggest names in running — Jordan Hasay, Sara Hall, Molly Huddle, Emma Bates, Des Linden — Seidel flew under the radar until she broke away from the pack along with Aliphine Tuliamuk and Sally Kipyego in Mile 21. When she made the move, she said she knew she would “make the team or spectacularly go down in flames.” All three made the Olympic team, with Tuliamuk in first with a time of 2 hours 27 minutes and 23 seconds.

 

(03/01/2020) ⚡AMP
by Talya Minsberg
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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, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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Rupp and Tuliamuk will be running the marathon at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Galen Rupp and Aliphine Tuliamuk booked their spots to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games after churning out impressive victories at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials Marathon in Atlanta on Saturday (29).

Contested in chilly and windy conditions on a challenging undulating course, the goal was straightforward: finish in the top-three and an Olympic berth would be yours.

Rupp, who won the 2016 trials race in his debut over the distance and then went on to take Olympic bronze in Rio, used that experience to his advantage.

The Portland, Oregon, native broke from early leader Brian Shrader in the 16th mile, with Augustus Maiyo, Atlanta Track Club member Matt McDonald and Abdi Abdirahman in tow. That leader's group remained intact until mile 20 where Rupp put in a surge that created a three second cushion on Maiyo and McDonald, with Abdirahman another four seconds back.

Soon thereafter, the battle for the win was over as Rupp surged away, first to a 17 second lead after 21 miles, a lead he extended to 29 a mile later. He was a solitary figure when he crossed the line in 2:09:20, forced to wait nearly a minute to see who'd be joining him in Tokyo.

Jacob Riley, running sixth and 11 seconds behind the chase group at mile 23, fought his way into contention over the next two miles to eventually finish second in 2:10:02. Abdirahman held off Leonard Korir to finish third in 2:10:03 and punch his ticket for a fifth Olympic appearance at age 43.

"It's incredible. I feel relief almost more than anything," said Rupp, who has raced just twice since his fifth place finish at the Chicago Marathon in October 2018. Sidelined by a major foot injury, he returned to action in Chicago last October but didn't finish. "It's been a long year and a half.

Tuliamuk wins the waiting game. In contrast, 11 women were in contention for win when they reached the half in 1:14:38 before the pack began to string out by mile 16. There, Kellyn Taylor, debutante Molly Seidel and Tuliamuk formed the leading triumvirate, with Laura Thweatt, Des Linden and Sally Kipyego running another second back.

That pack remained until the 21st mile when Tuliamuk and Seidel decided to take command. Running together, they built a seven second lead over Kipyego a mile later, and extended it to 22 seconds by mile 23. Tuliamuk then broke away in the 25th mile to finish unchallenged in 2:27:23, seven seconds ahead of Seidel.

Kipyego, who won Olympic 10,000m silver for her native Kenya in 2012 and becames a US citizen last year, took the third spot in 2:28:52, 11 seconds ahead of one of the pre-race favourites, Des Linden.

"It was amazing," said Tuliamuk, a native of Kenya, who became a US citizen in 2016. "When we broke away, I kept saying 'Molly, let's go'. I knew it wouldn't happen by itself."

Seidel, who qualified for the trials by virtue of a 1:10:27 win at the Rock ’n’ Roll San Antonio Half Marathon in December, suffered from eating disorders and injury during and since her successful college career at Notre Dame where she took NCAA titles in cross country and indoors and outdoors on the track. She wasn't an unknown in Atlanta but was considered a long shot.

"I didn't think I was going to be here," she said. "I'm still in shock right now."

(02/29/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Tokyo Marathon

Tokyo Marathon

The Tokyo Marathon is an annual marathon sporting event in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. It is an IAAF Gold Label marathon and one of the six World Marathon Majors. (2020) The Tokyo Marathon Foundation said it will cancel the running event for non-professional runners as the coronavirus outbreak pressures cities and institutions to scrap large events. Sponsored by Tokyo...

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Aliphine Tuliamuk is the women’s U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials champion

Rio 2016 marathon bronze medallist Galen Rupp and Kenyan-born Aliphine Tuliamuk have won the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in cold and windy conditions in Atlanta, Georgia, to confirm their spots on Team USA at Tokyo 2020.

Rupp won in two hours, nine minutes 20 seconds, repeating his feat from four years ago in Los Angeles.

There was a three-way race to the end for the second and third places, taken by Jacob Riley and Abdi Abdirahman.

Abdirahman will become the oldest Team USA runner in Olympic history at 43 when he attends his fifth Olympic Games this summer. He made his debut at Sydney 2000.

Tuliamuk finished in two hours, 27 minutes 23 seconds.

In her first-ever marathon, Molly Seidel finished second. Sally Kipyego, the marathon silver medallist for Kenya at London 2012, took the final spot.

Rupp has had to deal with a turbulent last 18 months or so.

His last finished marathon was the Chicago Marathon in October 2018, and has had Achilles surgery since. Rupp also retired from last year's Chicago race through injury.

"I feel relief, almost, more than anything," Rupp said after crossing the finish line.

"It's been a really long year and a half."

Tuliamuk said: "It was amazing, I actually still don't believe it happened. When we pulled away, Molly and I, I said 'Molly let's go' because I knew I wasn't going to finish it by myself.

"I thought I had went too early. This is just a big day for me and I am so grateful to have won the trials."

(02/29/2020) ⚡AMP
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2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

The 2020 US Olympic Trials for both men and women took place in Atlanta, Ga on Sunday Feb 29. Runners had to qualify by running certain standards beforehand. The trials are hosted by the Atlanta Track club. The course runs through the heart of Atlanta and past monuments from the 1996 Olympic Games Most countries around the world use a...

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Galen Rupp won the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials for a second straight time

Galen Rupp won the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials for a second straight time, returning from a coaching change and major injury to repeat as champion.  The trials were held Feb 29 in Atlanta Georgia.

Rupp, a two-time Olympic medalist, clocked an unofficial 2:09:20 to win by about 42 seconds and qualify for his fourth Olympics. He is joined on the Olympic team by second- and third-place finishers Jacob Riley and Abdi Abdirahman.

Rupp was the  2016 Olympic Marathon Bronze Medalist.  The 33-year-old Galen is from Portland Oregon.  At the 2012 Olympics Galen was the 10,000m Silver Medalist.

Today was a bit challening. The wind was very strong but the temp was perfect being 50 degrees at the start.

After 20 miles Galen was in total control. The big question of the day was who was going to place second and third. At 25 miles Abdirahman, Maiyo, Korir and Riley were within two seconds of each other with Jacob Riley leading them. 31-year-old Riley best time before today was 2:10:36.

Jacob Riley finished second clocking 2:10:02 a new personal best for him.  Abdirahman, 43, will break Bernard Lagat‘s record as the oldest U.S. Olympic runner in history. He will become the second American runner to compete in five Olympics, joining Gail Devers, according to Olympic historian Bill Mallon.

Jared Ward, who was sixth in the Rio Olympic marathon, began fading from a chase pack soon after Rupp surged to the lead in the 16th mile.

Rupp finished a marathon for the first time since October 2018. In between, he underwent Achilles surgery and dropped out of the 2019 Chicago Marathon with a calf injury. He also lost career-long coach Alberto Salazar to a doping suspension last fall.

Rupp was not implicated by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and has a clean drug-testing record.

“I feel relief, almost, more than anything,” Rupp told Lewis Johnson on NBC. “It’s been a really long year and a half.”

(02/29/2020) ⚡AMP
by Nick Zaccardi
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2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

The 2020 US Olympic Trials for both men and women took place in Atlanta, Ga on Sunday Feb 29. Runners had to qualify by running certain standards beforehand. The trials are hosted by the Atlanta Track club. The course runs through the heart of Atlanta and past monuments from the 1996 Olympic Games Most countries around the world use a...

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Four-time Olympic Trials Marathon qualifier Patrick Rizzo, will run his last race tomorrow in Atlanta

It will all come to an end next Saturday, Leap Day. Patrick Rizzo, one of the most decorated and versatile distance runners in the United States, will run his last professional race at the Olympic Marathon Trials in Atlanta. A testament to his longevity, it will be Rizzo’s 4th Olympic Trials race (NYC 2008, Houston 2012, LA 2016, and now Atlanta); a remarkable achievement which solidifies his running legacy.

Over his stellar 15-year pro career, the 36-year-old Rizzo notched numerous top 10 finishes at U.S. Championship distances from 8K to the marathon. He earned victories in the half-marathon in major races throughout the U.S. including Denver, Seattle, and his native Chicago. Internationally, he’s had top finishes in London (11th), the Ohme 30K in Tokyo (3rd), and in representing the USA at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico (8th).  

He set his marathon personal best of 2:13:42 at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Houston, finishing 13th.

As recently as this past November, Rizzo finished on the podium at the Rock ‘N Roll Half Marathon in Las Vegas and followed that up in December by running 2:17:53 at the California International Marathon in Sacramento. During his career, Rizzo was sponsored by Brooks, Mizuno, and Skechers.

“I’ve had the privilege of being Patrick’s agent for the past 3 years and we have been friends since he started his career here in Michigan with the Hansons – Brooks Distance Project back in 2006,” said Chris Mengel of Elite Runner Management. “Coming from North Central College, an NCAA Division 3 school in his native Illinois, Patrick was a fearless runner who was never afraid to compete against the best athletes in the country and the world on the biggest stages. He loved being a pro runner and undoubtedly, will miss it. Frankly, I think we will miss him even more. The sport needs more Rizzos.”

Rizzo recently took a job as an account compliance manager with VF Corporation and moved from Colorado Springs to Nashville, Tennessee. He resides there with his wife, Emily, and their children Judah and Bonnie.

(02/28/2020) ⚡AMP
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2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

The 2020 US Olympic Trials for both men and women took place in Atlanta, Ga on Sunday Feb 29. Runners had to qualify by running certain standards beforehand. The trials are hosted by the Atlanta Track club. The course runs through the heart of Atlanta and past monuments from the 1996 Olympic Games Most countries around the world use a...

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The Napa Valley Marathon 2020, has the largest field ever with over 5,000 entrants

the 42nd Annual Kaiser Permanente Napa Valley Marathon and Half Marathon, second-year Race Director Michelle La Sala has been busy putting the final touches on this year’s event.

“We prepare all year long to have this week to prepare for all of the many things that are not set in stone and change on a dime,” she said Monday morning.

On that particular day, she was updating the event’s website and social media pages to spread the news that all the races had officially sold out. The final spots had been reserved late Sunday night.

One of the main reasons for the down-to-the-wire sellout was because of the expanded field this year. After the success of the inaugural half marathon in 2019, the organization extended the caps on both that race and the full marathon for this year.

“We’ve taken just over 700 more people across the board in all three events this year for this sellout, so we’re super excited,” La Sala said. “It’s going to be a great year. The weather is looking good, but we are coming into this race as the largest Napa Valley Marathon and Half Marathon ever.”

In total, she said, more than 5,000 people will be participating in this year’s marathon, half marathon and 5K combined, all taking place this Sunday, March 1. Two thousand have registered for the full, 2,500 for the half, and 600 for the 5K.

Sunday will also be one of the coolest days temperature-wise all week. The high is forecast to be 59 and the low at 39, according to accuweather.com, which also says it will be “mostly cloudy and cool.” The forecast also says that the chance of rain will be 25 percent.

Twenty-one countries and 47 American states will be represented on Sunday. La Sala said there are “many” entrants from the Bay Area as well as from across the rest of California. She also added that they’ve had sign-ups from New Zealand, Brazil, Mexico, Canada, Costa Rica and the United Kingdom, to name a few.

“We’re excited to showcase the Napa Valley to them,” she said.

While this is the largest field ever seen for this event, La Sala did concede that the marathon won’t feature as many elite entrants as it has in the past. That’s because the U.S. Marathon Olympic Trials are being held in Atlanta, Georgia, this weekend, as well, and most of the country’s premier distance runners will be competing there.

(02/27/2020) ⚡AMP
by Gus Morris
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Kaiser Napa Valley Marathon

Kaiser Napa Valley Marathon

As one of California's top tourist destinations, Napa Valley has been home to this race for decades. When it comes to scenic, it just doesn't get better than Napa in the spring. The narrow valley is covered in grape vines that stretch high up the hillsides on either side. The colors are crisp green, blue and yellow at that time...

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Galen Rupp and Jared Ward, who placed first and third at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Marathon lead the way Saturday, headlining a deep and talented men’s field that brings together the best of the best

The U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Marathon are the second stop on the 2020 USATF Running Circuit. The top three finishers Saturday will represent the United States as the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer. Fans can tune-in for the live broadcast beginning at 12:00pm ET on NBC or NBC Sports Gold, with the men’s race beginning at 12:08pm ET and the women’s race starting at 12:20pm ET. 

While Rupp had to drop out of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon in October, he still enters Saturday’s race as the prohibitive favorite. Rupp ran the top qualifying mark at the Prague Marathon in 2018, finishing in 2:06:07, while earning fifth at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon that fall in 2:06:21. In addition to earning bronze in the marathon at the Olympic Games in Rio, finishing second at the Boston Marathon in 2017 and winning in Chicago in 2017, Rupp has unmatched big-race experience against the field.

The Portland-based runner recently ran a tune-up half marathon in Arizona, finishing in 1:01:19, proving he’s in excellent shape. Not to be outdone, Ward also has some impressive finishes to his name after finishing third in Los Angeles four years ago.

The Utah-based standout placed sixth at the Olympic Games in Rio and has consistently shown his ability to finish well up the results at major events. 

Ward ran to an eighth-place effort at the Boston Marathon last spring, finishing in 2:09:25, while earning top American status at the TCS New York City Marathon in November with a sixth-place effort. Recently running 1:01:36 at the Aramco Houston Half Marathon and finishing as the top American gives Ward plenty of momentum heading into Atlanta. On paper, Leonard Korir is the next top challenger.

While Korir has only run one marathon, it was a great performance. At the Amsterdam Marathon last fall, Korir ran the second fastest qualifying mark of Saturday’s field, placing 11th overall in 2:07:56, making him the top American performer over the distance in 2019. Along with his success on the USATF Running Circuit, as well as on the track, Korir certainly has the ability to push for the win. Next up is Scott Fauble.

The HOKA ONE ONE Northern Arizona Elite star has proven himself time and time again the past two years, quickly rising the ranks of American marathoning. Fauble placed seventh at the TCS New York City Marathon in 2018, finishing only four seconds behind Ward, while placing as the top American at the Boston Marathon in 2019 in 2:09:08, while beating Ward. 

The trio of Jacob Riley, Jerrell Mock and Parker Stinson are also prime to put themselves in contention over the final miles, pushing for a spot on the Olympic team. The trio finished ninth, tenth and eleventh at the 2019 Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Riley has the most experience of the group and his 2:10:53 effort in Chicago rank him as one of the top five fastest in the field Saturday.

Two other notable top contenders are Elkanah Kibet and Shadrack Biwott. Kibet has quietly become one of America’s best marathoners, having placed 11th at the Boston Marathon in 2019 and eighth at the 2018 Boston Marathon. Owning a personal best of 2:11:51, he ranks well in Saturday’s field.

The trio of Matt Llano, Andrew Bumbalough and Chris Derrick are also looking to make an Olympic-sized result Saturday. Bumbalough enters with a 2:10:56 best coming at the 2019 Bank of America Chicago Marathon.

Another trio of incredibly experienced veterans are also entered and will be looking to make one more push for an Olympic berth. Bernard Lagat, Abdi Abdirahman and Dathan Ritzenhein are all American distance running legends. Each has qualified for at least three Olympics and represented the United States extremely well on the world stage.

(02/26/2020) ⚡AMP
by Scott Bush
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2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

The 2020 US Olympic Trials for both men and women took place in Atlanta, Ga on Sunday Feb 29. Runners had to qualify by running certain standards beforehand. The trials are hosted by the Atlanta Track club. The course runs through the heart of Atlanta and past monuments from the 1996 Olympic Games Most countries around the world use a...

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Starla Garcia is looking forward to being part of the US Olympic marathon trials this weekend

Starla Garcia ran in circles during a part of her life.

It could have killed her.

After battling with herself as well as anorexia and osteopenia, a weakening of the bones, she’s back. Now, she runs when she wants instead of when she thinks she has to. And she wants to run, especially Saturday, Feb. 29, when she will be one of more than 500 runners competing at the Olympic Marathon Trials in Atlanta.

She qualified by coming in under the 2-hour, 45-minute mark at the Houston Marathon, where she now lives. Garcia has no false beliefs that she will be among the top three runners to qualify for the games; she still has goals.

“A lot of people are like ‘you can make it to the Olympics,’ that’s so nice and supportive,” she said. “But imagine the talent. I already had a ticket to go and watch it in real time and was so pumped up. My goal is to be as close as to what I did in Houston.

“I knew I was on pace, sitting behind the pacer. Maybe two or three of us went for it near the end and I was one of those girls. When you stress your body, your mind just shuts off and you stop telling yourself that you’re tired and you start trusting your body to do what it’s supposed to do.”

The former PSJA North and University of Houston cross country runner fell into a pattern in high school that female runners can fall prey to. She would run, have a little better race time, lose a half pound of pound of body weight and run with the results being even a little faster.

“I would be told great job with my time and friends and others would tell me I was looking good and it was just a pattern I couldn’t stop,” Garcia said. “I started restricting foods and it wasn’t a good time.”

A self-described “Type A, overachieving kid,” Garcia said her junior year in high school she had several AP classes and had put a lot of pressure on herself, all while still trying to run at a high level, a level that brought her a regional championship in cross country her senior year and a state appearance in the 3,200.

It was what she described as the “golden days of PSJA North Cross Country. It was so fun to be there,” she said.

“I used to run because I thought I had to. Now I run because I love to.”

(02/24/2020) ⚡AMP
by Henry Miller
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2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

The 2020 US Olympic Trials for both men and women took place in Atlanta, Ga on Sunday Feb 29. Runners had to qualify by running certain standards beforehand. The trials are hosted by the Atlanta Track club. The course runs through the heart of Atlanta and past monuments from the 1996 Olympic Games Most countries around the world use a...

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So what US marathoners are going to come out on top at next weekend’s Olympic Trials

The three Olympic women’s berths from next Saturday’s US marathon trials in Atlanta look to be up for grabs among at least five challengers. Besides Desiree Linden, who placed seventh in Rio, there are Jordan Hasay, who was third in Boston last year, Emily Sisson, who was sixth in London in her 26-mile debut, Molly Huddle, a two-time track Olympian, and Sara Hall.

Amy Cragg, who placed ninth in Rio and would have been a contender, has been battling Epstein-Barr virus and withdrew this week.

Linden, the former Boston Marathon victor who’s bidding to make her third team, already has committed to competing here in April. If she qualifies for the Games, she’ll be running three marathons in just over five months.

On the men’s side, Galen Rupp, who won bronze in 2016, is the decided favorite, with Jared Ward (sixth in Rio), Leonard Korir, and Scott Fauble, last year’s top domestic finisher in Boston, also in the mix.

The Atlanta loop course, which will finish in Centennial Olympic Park, is a hilly challenge and will be more so if the midday temperature is in the 70s, as it often is on that date. That’s still cooler than it’s likely to be in Sapporo (average temperature 78), the former Winter Games site where the races were moved to avoid Tokyo’s sauna (87).

(02/23/2020) ⚡AMP
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2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

The 2020 US Olympic Trials for both men and women took place in Atlanta, Ga on Sunday Feb 29. Runners had to qualify by running certain standards beforehand. The trials are hosted by the Atlanta Track club. The course runs through the heart of Atlanta and past monuments from the 1996 Olympic Games Most countries around the world use a...

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Galen Rupp says he is ready for the US Olympic Marathon Trials

Portland's Galen Rupp will attempt to make his fourth U.S. Olympic team in next weekend's marathon trials in Atlanta. 

After a turbulent 16 months Galen Rupp is in a better place now physically and emotionally, and just in time.

The former University of Oregon star and Portland resident will attempt to make his fourth U.S. Olympic team in next Saturday’s marathon trials in Atlanta.

“I’ve had a great last week and a half of training,” Rupp says. “I got some good speed work in. I did a really long run that went longer than marathon distance. I’m feeling really good about where I’m at.”

Rupp, 33, is the reigning men’s trials champion and the 2016 Olympic marathon bronze medalist. But in some ways that was in another lifetime.

He last completed a marathon in October of 2018, when he came across fifth in Chicago. The next day his left foot was so swollen he barely could walk.

Doctors determined the problem was a bony protrusion on his heel that was causing the Achilles tendon to fray. It required surgerythat kept him out of action for months.

Rupp’s left leg still wasn’t right when he returned to competition a year later for last fall’s Chicago Marathon. He was forced off the course late in the race with a calf strain.

“I told myself, ‘This is going to hurt like crazy. You’re just going to have to suck it up and get through it,’” Rupp says of his pre-race mindset. “Unfortunately, my body didn’t allow me to do that.”

By then, Rupp was without his coach, Alberto Salazar. Salazar had been given a four-year ban two weeks earlier for violating doping rules. Nike disbanded the Oregon Project, the distance team which Salazar coached and of which Rupp was a member.

None of the violations for which Salazar was banned were for intentionally doping athletes. None of Salazar’s athletes were implicated in violations that led to the ban, nor have any failed drug tests. Salazar is appealing the ban.

But the upshot was, Rupp was without the man who had been his primary coach since high school. It was a tough time.

“I’m pretty religious, a strong Catholic,” Rupp says. “I truly believe God has this big plan for each and every one of us. Even if it doesn’t make sense at the time, or you’re struggling to see some good in it, you have to just keep pushing through it. It’s about having faith that it’s going to be all right.”

The philosophy has allowed him to put the pain, the injury setbacks, the coaching upheaval aside and turn his attention inward.

“All I can do is try to be the best athlete, the best person, the best husband, the best father I can be.” Rupp says. “Obviously, none of us is perfect. I would rather focus on what I can do to keep making myself better than worry about things I can’t control.”

He studied Tai Chi, which has helped him zero in on what matters most to him, being fully present for his wife, Keara, and their four children and getting race-ready for Atlanta.

At long last, Galen Rupp is within reach of the mountain top

He hired Northern Arizona coach Mike Smith to oversee his training. Smith has flown up from Flagstaff a few times to supervise workouts. But for the most part, former Oregon Project assistant Tim Rowberry has served as Smith’s eyes in Portland.

Rupp says the new coaching arrangement has worked well. Smith kept much of the training Rupp had been doing with Salazar, but not all.

“I wasn’t looking for someone who just wanted to replicate things and be a yes man,” Rupp says. “I think that would have been almost the worst thing. I wanted someone who was going to continue to challenge me.”

Rupp tested himself three weeks ago while winning the Sprouts Mesa Half Marathon in Mesa, Arizona in 1 hour, 1 minute, 19 seconds.

He looked good, felt good and came back from Arizona with renewed confidence. His left leg held up.

“There were a few little thoughts, like, ‘What if it does start to hurt again?’” Rupp says. “Obviously, the last year hasn’t gone all that great.

“That stuff certainly was running through my head. But running the race and feeling as good as I did and as strong as I did on that leg — I wouldn’t say it’s completely back to where it was before the surgery, but it’s pretty darn close.”

Rupp says he has driven himself hard to be prepared for anything he might see in Atlanta — the weather, the hills, the competition and the physical discomfort.

“It’s how I’ve always looked at training,” he says. “You put yourself in extremely uncomfortable situations. You make yourself hurt. You make yourself suffer. That’s how you get better.”

(02/23/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ken Goe (Oregon Live)
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2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

The 2020 US Olympic Trials for both men and women took place in Atlanta, Ga on Sunday Feb 29. Runners had to qualify by running certain standards beforehand. The trials are hosted by the Atlanta Track club. The course runs through the heart of Atlanta and past monuments from the 1996 Olympic Games Most countries around the world use a...

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Wilkerson Given is Making Another Trial Run for Olympics

On Leap Day, Wilkerson Given hopes to take an Olympic leap – although an Olympic run might be a better description.

The former Mountain Brook high school distance runner will be competing in the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials marathon on Feb. 29 in Atlanta. The course runs through the heart of Atlanta and past monuments from the 1996 Olympic Games.

The 2020 event has one of the largest Olympic Trials field ever, with 261 men and 511 women having run qualification standards. The top three finishers in both men’s and women’s races will make up the U.S. marathon team for the 2020 Summer Games, being held in Tokyo July 24 to Aug. 9.

“I think there’s a group of 15-20 guys who all have a legitimate shot of making the team, but it just depends on the day,” Given said. “Marathons are hard to predict because a lot can happen in the course of a race.”

The race starts at 11 a.m. CST and will be televised by NBC.

This will be Given’s second time running in the Olympic Trials marathon. He competed in the 2016 trials in Los Angeles and finished 54th with a time of 2:27.50.

Given, 28, qualified for the 2020 trials by running 2:11.44 in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon last fall.

“It’s going to be a tough race, but I wouldn’t say there’s any pressure on me,” Given said. “I’m more excited about the opportunity.”

Given will be competing in his backyard, so to speak. He moved to Atlanta from The Woodlands, Texas, in 2018 and is a professional runner with the Atlanta Track Club Elite.

“The Atlanta track club was definitely part of my decision to move to Atlanta,” Given said. “The job I had in Texas had flexible relocation.

 “Being from the Southeast, Atlanta is close to home, close to where I went to college. I have college friends and some high school friends who live in the Atlanta area.”

Shortly after joining Atlanta Elite, Given won the 2018 Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon in 1:02.48. He also finished seventh in the USATF Half Marathon Championships in May 2018.

(02/20/2020) ⚡AMP
by Rubin E. Grant
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2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

The 2020 US Olympic Trials for both men and women took place in Atlanta, Ga on Sunday Feb 29. Runners had to qualify by running certain standards beforehand. The trials are hosted by the Atlanta Track club. The course runs through the heart of Atlanta and past monuments from the 1996 Olympic Games Most countries around the world use a...

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Laura Kaulen is a mother, wife, an intervention specialist at Central Crossing High School and she’s been an avid runner since the seventh grade, and is set to challenge the 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials

Kaulen has a lot going on.

She is a mother, wife, an intervention specialist at Central Crossing High School and she’s been an avid runner since the seventh grade.

“Running; it brings me happiness,” Kaulen said. “It brings me peace. It brings me time to think. It gives me time to analyze my day and what’s going on.”

Running also brings Kaulen challenges – challenges like the 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in Atlanta, which will take place at about 12:15 p.m. on Sunday, February 29.

“To qualify for the Olympic Trials you had to either run a 2:37, which gets you in the A qualifier or B qualifier is under 2:45 flat,” she said. “And I ran a 2:42:48 at the Chicago Marathon this past October.”

That race pushed Kaulen into the Olympic Trials for the second time.“I feel good, she said. “I feel like my training has gone really, really well. I’m hitting a lot of hard workouts; running at marathon pace or under marathon pace, which will help me in Atlanta.”

That training, which averages about 75 miles each week, also runs over and into Kaulen’s role as an educator.“Running gives me time to think, so I’ve come up with some great lesson plans while running because it gives me time to think about this and that and how well this student is doing or what I need to do for this student.” She said.

Kaulen tells 10TV she hopes it can inspire her students along the way.

“There’s so many obstacles and not every day you’re going to feel good to be able to run and not every day are you going to set a goal to do something and you’re going to achieve it,” she said. “So I feel like I can relate to my students who have many obstacles.”The top three men and women finishers at the Olympic Trials will be eligible to represent the country at the summer Tokyo Olympic Games.

(02/20/2020) ⚡AMP
by Molly Brewer
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2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

The 2020 US Olympic Trials for both men and women took place in Atlanta, Ga on Sunday Feb 29. Runners had to qualify by running certain standards beforehand. The trials are hosted by the Atlanta Track club. The course runs through the heart of Atlanta and past monuments from the 1996 Olympic Games Most countries around the world use a...

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How Japanese-Style Training Inspired Jim Walmsley’s Olympic Trials Approach

The Western States 100 record holder has been putting in 175-mile weeks to prepare for Atlanta.

For Jim Walmsley, the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials will be less about outcome and more about process.

Walmsley, 30, is well-known for his success in ultrarunning as the Western States 100 record holder and four-time Ultrarunner of the Year honoree. On February 29 in Atlanta, he’ll carry that distinction into the championship with the goal of bridging the gap between ultra and marathon runners.

“In a lot of ways I feel like I’m bearing a torch for ultrarunners,” Walmsley told Runner’s World. “The stereotype of most trail or ultra races is that it’s all really slow and you can either take them on for fun or after you’re really done running. [Training for Trials] feels like a responsibility [to show] we work pretty hard and we can hold our own as well.”

By embracing an incredibly high-mileage approach, competing in a variety of races, and being transparent about the highs and lows of training on Strava, Walmsley hopes to shift the conversation.

“I think there’s a lot of mutual respect that can be gained,” Walmsley said. “Getting ultrarunners to watch the marathon and marathoners to watch ultrarunning, [we’re] making it about running rather than distance.”

The Flagstaff, Arizona, native started his running career on the track, where he honed his speed in the steeplechase at the U.S. Air Force Academy. As a senior, he finished 12th at the 2012 NCAA championships. In the NCAA semifinal, he ran a personal best of 8:41.05—nine seconds slower than the Olympic standard—and just missed qualifying for the 2012 Olympic Trials.

After graduation, Walmsley said he went through a difficult time in his life. He was charged with a DUI and later discharged from the military when his unit was caught in a cheating scandal. The events caused Walmsley to sink into a deep depression. Eventually, following the advice of his therapist, he began ultrarunning to feel like himself again.

“Ultrarunning doesn’t take special talent,” he told Runner’s World in 2017. “It takes motivation and the will to achieve something extraordinary. A lot of people are sparked to get into the sport when they are in a low spot.”

His breakout year came in 2016 when he shattered course records at the Bandera 100K and the Lake Sonoma 50 miler. After two missed attempts at winning the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run, Walmsley finally accomplished his goal in 2018, when he broke the course record with a time of 14 hours and 30 minutes. That same year, he logged nearly 5,000 miles on Strava.

In the fall of 2018, Walmsley shared a surprising goal: He wanted to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials. Rather than try to OTQ in the marathon—which seemed like a more natural fit for the ultrarunner—he decided to aim for the standard in the half marathon (1:04). Many admired Walmsley’s bold aspiration, especially given he had to average 4:53-mile pace to qualify.

At the 2019 Houston Marathon on January 20, Walmsley finished 27th overall in exactly 1:04:00. Afterward, he told Runner’s World that his performance gave him confidence to work toward his goals in the marathon.

“I have some plans up my sleeve to give myself a chance to do something exciting [in Atlanta]—to really push the envelope for myself and make things exciting for people to watch and cheer for an ultra guy,” he said in Houston.

Walmsley carried his momentum from Houston through the rest of 2019. He set the world best in the 50-mile distance (while averaging a 5:48-minute mile), shaved more than 20 minutes off his Western States 100 record, and won the World Mountain Running Championship 14K race.

“It’s probably been my most versatile year of different types of races I’ve tried to take on,” he said.

(02/15/2020) ⚡AMP
by Runners World
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A look at who's got a shot at making the American Olympic marathon squad

The U.S. Olympic Trials are less than three weeks away. The fields are finalized, the tapers are starting soon and runners and fans are anticipating one of the most exciting trials yet.

Here’s a look at which runners we think are most likely to place in the top three and be named to the U.S. Olympic squad after the February 29 race in Atlanta.

Women’s field.- The favorites to make this Olympic team are Sara Hall (Asics), Des Linden (Brooks), Molly Huddle (Saucony) and Emily Sisson (New Balance). Hall has been extremely consistent over the past year, running personal bests in both the marathon and the half (a 2:22:16 in Berlin and a 1:08 in Houston just a few weeks ago). Linden is a gamer and someone who shows up no matter the conditions. She’s also an Olympic marathon veteran.

Huddle and Sisson are training partners who have helped each other improve over the marathon distance. Huddle has been a staple on the American distance scene for years (she’s a multi-time American record holder) and Sisson is the rising star who has flourished alongside Huddle. The pair own 2:23:08 (Sisson) and 2:26:33 (Huddle) marathon personal bests and know how to show up on race day. But the knock on Sisson is that she’s only run one (albeit, fantastic) marathon, and inexperience could be her downfall.

Our best bet for the top three, in order, is: Hall, Huddle, Linden.

The dark horses.-  Jordan Hasay (Nike) and Amy Cragg (Nike) are the dark horses. We just haven’t seen enough to know where these two runners are at. Hasay’s most recent result is a DNF from the Chicago Marathon. Admittedly, her training group had just folded and her former coach was charged with doping infractions, so her racing conditions weren’t ideal. But Hasay hasn’t even gotten on a start line since then.

As for Cragg, she’s the 2017 World Championship medallist and 2016 Olympian over the distance. Cragg’s results are few and far between over the past two years, but she put it all together at the Tokyo Marathon in 2018 to run a 2:21:42–one of the fastest American times in history. Both Hasay and Cragg boast the best personal bests of the bunch, but with no indication of fitness, it’s impossible to predict where they’ll end up in 20 days’ time.

Men’s field.- The favorites in the men’s race are Galen Rupp (Nike), Leonard Korir (Nike), Scott Fauble (Hoka) and Jared Ward (Saucony). Rupp was almost a dark horse, due to his poor resume from the past year, but on Saturday he clocked a 1:01:19 in a tune up half-marathon in Arizona. So he’s in good shape.

As for the other three, all hold personal bests from 2019 around the same time. Korir’s is 2:07:56 from Amsterdam and Fauble and Ward’s are both from Boston 2019 at 2:09:09 and 2:09:25. Among these three it’s really a toss-up, based on past performances, as to who makes the team.

Our best bet for the top three, in order, is: Rupp, Ward, Korir.

The dark horses.- The dark horses in this event are the masters men: Bernard Lagat (Nike) (45) and Abdi Abdirahman (Nike) (42).  Like in women’s marathoning, the men are also proving that age is just a number on the race course. Lagat and Abdirahman have both recently clocked 2:11 and 2:12 marathons and are in the conversation for the team if they have a good day in Atlanta.

(02/11/2020) ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

The 2020 US Olympic Trials for both men and women took place in Atlanta, Ga on Sunday Feb 29. Runners had to qualify by running certain standards beforehand. The trials are hosted by the Atlanta Track club. The course runs through the heart of Atlanta and past monuments from the 1996 Olympic Games Most countries around the world use a...

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Emma Kertesz will be running the 2020 US Olympic Marathon Trials at the end of the month

Emma Kertesz returns to the 2020 United States Olympic Team Trials in the Marathon later this month in Atlanta.

Kertesz is a graduate of Central Catholic High School and a former University of Toledo runner. She competed four years ago in the same event in Los Angeles where she finished 39th.

Returning to the trials for the second straight cycle was painful.

"I tore my hamstring," Kertesz said. "I ran the California International Marathon to qualify for the trials, and then I've been dealing with what I thought was some high hamstring tendinitis. I'm pretty sure on even 80 percent training I'll be able to hit the qualifying standard and then I'll deal with my hamstring after.

"And then I got an MRI and found out that I actually had a tear in my hamstring. So I ended up take off almost three months."

But Kertesz still had a spot in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials Marathon. She recently took a leave from her teaching job to focus on applying for doctoral programs; she would ultimately like to work at the local or state level with education curriculum or research.

The doctoral program starts in the coming months, all while running an average of 85 miles per week over the last several weeks while training for the trials.

"Now that the field is doubled in size than it was in 2016 where I was 39th," Kertesz said. "But I think that I have a good shot of placing in the top 40. I'd like to be competitive and maybe I eke out a personal best that would be great, especially on that kind of course."

If Kertesz is not busy enough, she still has a side project she is working on related to her family's ancestry -- specifically her father David. At 18-years-old, he found out he was adopted and is a Navajo Native American.

"It's emotional but it's cathartic for both of us," Kertesz said. "Ultimately, it's brought us closer together and given me a chance to reflect on my dad more as a person more than just being my dad."

This project also has influence in her running life.

"I have a greater appreciation for diversity in this sport," Kertesz said. "(Watching videos of Billy Mills win the gold medal) that's really awesome that a Native American who came out of nowhere really if you watch that race to win a gold medal that was just so great."

Mills won the gold medal at the 1964 Olympics in the 10,000-meter race. At the time, Mills set a world record in the 10,000-meter event and is still the only American to ever win gold in the 10,000-meter race.

"You don't really see in terms of American distance runners a lot of Native Americans being represented," Kertesz said. "It feels really special to be a part of that and to represent my ethnicity on this stage."

One strategy she will carry with her to this stage in Atlanta is something she learned from Dave Carpenter, her coach at Central Catholic, is to make sure to stay competitive in the race and not worry about setting a personal record.

When Kertesz competed for the Rockets, she was an All-American in the 10,000-meters at the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

Kertesz currently lives and trains in Boulder, Colo.

(02/10/2020) ⚡AMP
by Steve Slivka
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2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

The 2020 US Olympic Trials for both men and women took place in Atlanta, Ga on Sunday Feb 29. Runners had to qualify by running certain standards beforehand. The trials are hosted by the Atlanta Track club. The course runs through the heart of Atlanta and past monuments from the 1996 Olympic Games Most countries around the world use a...

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Galen Rupp breezed to victory Saturday in the Sprouts Mesa Half Marathon

Galen Rupp covered the 13.1-mile course in Mesa, Arizona in 1:01.19. He crossed the finish line comfortably in front of veteran road-racer Matt Llano, second in 1:02.05.

The race was the first for Rupp since he was forced off the course late in the Chicago Marathon in October with a left calf strain, and only his second since undergoing surgery in 2018 on his left heel.

Rupp said going into Saturday’s race that it would serve as a tuneup for the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, Feb. 29 in Atlanta.

It also was the first time Rupp had raced since announcing he is being coached by Northern Arizona coach Mike Smith. Rupp, 33, had been coached by Alberto Salazar since attending Portland’s Central Catholic High School.

Salazar is serving a four-year ban for violating doping rules. Salazar is appealing the ban.

Rupp is a two-time Olympic medalist. The former University of Oregon runner won the silver medal in the 10,000 meters in 2012, and the bronze in the marathon in 2016. He will be attempting to make his fourth U.S. Olympic team at the marathon trials in Atlanta.

(02/08/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ken Goe
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Galen Rupp will tune up for the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials by running the Sprouts Mesa Half Marathon this Saturday in Mesa, Arizona

Two-time Olympic medalist Galen Rupp is entered in the Sprouts Mesa Half Marathon Saturday in Mesa, Arizona.

This will be Rupp’s first race since he was unable to finish the Chicago Marathon in October because of a left calf strain.

Rupp said in a text message that Saturday’s half marathon will serve as a tune up for the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials on Feb, 29 in Atlanta, Georgia. It will be Rupp’s first race since announcing he now is being coached by Northern Arizona University coach Mike Smith.

Rupp, who grew up in Portland and starred at the University of Oregon, won the 2012 Olympic silver medal in the 10,000 meters and bronze in the 2016 Olympic Marathon.

(02/05/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ken Goe
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Tyler Day broke Galen Rupp’s American collegiate 5,000m record indoor record on Saturday at Boston University

Tyler Day of NAU (Northern Arizona University) broke Galen Rupp’s American collegiate 5,000m indoor record on Saturday at Boston University. Day finished second at the Boston Terrier Invitational in 13:16.95 to Nike’s Paul Tanui who won in 13:15.72.

Rupp announced only two weeks ago that he’s now coach by Mike Smith, head coach at NAU, who also coaches Day. Rupp made the move after his former training group, the Nike Oregon Project, was shut down in October.

Smith is one of the most successful men’s distance running coaches currently working in the NCAA. He helped the NAU men to back-to-back cross-country championships in 2017 and 2018. Rupp has reportedly been working with the coach for several months. The runner told The Oregonian that he plans to remain in Oregon but will have his training overseen by Smith. Rupp is currently training for the upcoming US Olympic Marathon Trials in Atlanta.

As for Day, Saturday was a breakout performance. Day’s previously held 5,000m indoor personal best was from 2019, where he ran 13:55.40 in Birmingham, Alabama at the NCAA Indoor Championships. Day’s a senior majoring in journalism who has been a big part of NAU’s cross-country dynasty.

(01/27/2020) ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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Maegan Krifchin And Recent Georgia Tech Grad Avery Bartlett Join Atlanta Track Club Elite

As the Olympic year approaches, Atlanta Track Club Elite announced Friday that it has added a middle distance star and a marathon standout to its team of Olympic hopeful athletes.

Recent Georgia Tech graduate Avery Bartlett will begin his professional career in Atlanta starting with the 2020 indoor track and field season. Bartlett is the 2018 ACC Champion in the 800m. He holds the second fastest 800m and 1500m times in school history. His 1:47.54 set in 2019 trails only Atlanta Track Club Elite teammate Brandon Lasater (1:47.38, 2015) on the Yellow Jacket all-time list.

Bartlett was born in Atlanta but grew up in Tallahassee, Florida. He returned to Atlanta to study at Georgia Tech, the school from which both his parents, his grandfather and great grandfather all graduated.

“This city has always meant a lot to me. I see putting on an Atlanta Track Club singlet as my way to fully contribute to the city’s success,” said Bartlett. “Atlanta Track Club gives me the opportunity to train with some of the best and put my limits to the test.”

Bartlett joins a talented group of middle distance men in Atlanta which includes Lasater and Abraham Alvarado, the 1,000m runner up at the 2019 USATF Indoor Track & Field Championships.

With just 11 weeks until Atlanta hosts the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Marathon, veteran marathon star Maegan Krifchin has returned to Atlanta to train with Atlanta Track Club Elite. Krifchin, who placed 7th in the 2016 Trials, comes to Atlanta after training in Washington D.C. She previously ran with the Club in 2017. The Long Island, New York native and Syracuse University alum holds a personal best of 2:32:47 in the marathon and 1:09:51 in the half marathon.

“I came to Atlanta Track Club to be part of a community where I can support others and they can support me,” said Krifchin. “I thrive in this kind of environment and I am excited to see what we can do together.”

Krifchin is one of eight Atlanta Track Club athletes qualified for the Trials which will be held on February 29. Bridget Belyeu, Laurie Knowles, Lacey Krout, Morgan VanGorder, Wilkerson Given and Matt McDonald are also qualified for the race.

“Avery and Maegan each bring new talent, experience and personality to Atlanta Track Club Elite,” said Coach Amy Begley. “We look forward to seeing Avery compete with the nation’s best this season and to have Maegan join the hometown team competing for a spot in Tokyo.”

Founded in 2015, Atlanta Track Club Elite is sponsored by Mizuno USA and coached by Amy and Andrew Begley.

(01/21/2020) ⚡AMP
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Jemal Yimer, Jared Ward, Sara Hall, Molly huddle and more on Tap at 2020 Houston Half Marathon

Year-in, year-out, no American half marathon assembles better fields than Houston. In addition to being the site of both the men’s (Ryan Hall, 2007) and women’s (Molly Huddle, 2018) American records, there is always a deep list of sub-60:00 men and sub-67:00 women on the start line. Last year, Brigid Kosgei kicked off one of the greatest years in the history of distance running with a win in Houston.

The international fields in Houston, which takes place on Sunday, are strong once again. But from an American perspective, the more intriguing storyline is the impending US Olympic Marathon Trials, to be held in six weeks’ time in Atlanta. Several top Trials contenders — Molly Huddle and Sara Hall on the women’s side, Jared Ward and Shadrack Biwott on the men’s — will be racing on Sunday, and while no result will make or break their Trials hopes, it does give us one last piece of evidence to go on. 

When Huddle debuted in the marathon, placing third in New York in 2016, it looked to be the first step in a journey that would culminate at the 2020 Olympic marathon. Among Americans, Huddle was the queen of all distances between 5k and the half marathon and her grind-it-out style seemed well-suited to marathon success.

Tuliamuk, the 2018 US half marathon champ, is an option, though she’s got progressively slower in Houston the last three years, from 69:58 in 2017 to 71:41 in 2018 to 72:03 last year. She’ll need to get back to her 2017 form to crack the top two Americans on Sunday.

Katy Jermann (née Moen) and Molly Seidel both ran 70:27 last year, tied for third-fastest in the US. Of the two, Seidel, who in 2015 broke the “Foot Locker curse” to win the the 2015 NCAA XC title, is the more intriguing prospect. Seidel had never run a half before October 2019, but Houston will be her third in three months, and she plans to make her marathon debut at the Trials.

With a 2:09 in Boston and two sixth-place finishes in New York, Jared Ward has been the most consistent American marathoner over the last 18 months. Beating him on Sunday doesn’t guarantee a repeat result next month in Atlanta, but it would be a positive sign for the other Olympic hopefuls in this field.

With a high of 59, the temperature looks great for running on Sunday, though 13 mph winds mean the conditions won’t be perfect. Still, with the talent on hand in Houston, there should be competitive races up front. In the men’s race, there’s no clear favorite.

Ethiopia’s Jemal Yimer (58:33), the fourth-fastest man ever, was a close second last year after taking a wrong turn late in the race. He went on to run 59:09 in Valencia in October, where he finished two seconds behind Kenya’s Bernard Ngeno, also entered in Houston. Andamlak Belihu had a terrific 2019 (26:53/59:10, 5th at Worlds in 10k), while the last two Houston champs, Shura Kitata of Ethiopia and Jake Robertson of New Zealand, return as well.

(01/17/2020) ⚡AMP
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Aramco Houston Half Marathon

Aramco Houston Half Marathon

The Chevron Houston Marathon offers participants a unique running experience in America's fourth largest city. The fast, flat, scenic single-loop course has been ranked as the "fastest winter marathon" and "second fastest marathon overall" by Ultimate Guide To Marathons. After 30 years of marathon-only competition, Houston added the half-marathon in 2002, with El Paso Energy as the sponsor. Today the...

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The 2020 Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll® Arizona Marathon and half will feature a World Class Field

The 2020 Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll® Arizona Marathon & ½ Marathon will feature a world-class group of elite men and women going toe to toe on Sunday, Jan. 19 throughout  Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tempe, Arizona. With over 120 elite-runners registered, the field will be one of the largest in the event’s history and offer an $18,500 prize purse. Given the depth of the elite field, both the marathon and half marathon races will showcase one of the year’s first and most competitive races in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series®.

Many of the elite athletes will be using the Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon and ½ Marathon to qualify for the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team, while others that have already qualified will be utilizing the race as a tune-up before the U.S. Olympic Team Trials taking place on February 29 in Atlanta, Ga.

Highlighting the men’s field of Olympic hopefuls is top American runner from the 2019 Boston Marathon, Scott Fauble (Flagstaff, Ariz.). Throughout 2019, Fauble was labeled the 2nd fastest U.S. Marathoner and a favorite to make the U.S. Olympic team. Alongside him on race day will be Scott Smith (Flagstaff, Ariz.), previous winner of the 2016 Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Half Marathon.

In addition, 2019 Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Half Marathon Champion Daniel Mesfun (Eritrea) returns to defend his title in 2020. Other men to watch include Steve Hallman (Des Moines, Iowa), fresh off a personal best marathon time of 2:22:03 at the 2019 Berlin Marathon; Jimmy Stevenson (Lansdale, Penn.), who set his personal best time of 2:23:17 at the 2018 California International Marathon; and Brendan Sage (St. Michael, Minn.), winner of the 2019 Fargo Half Marathon will look to qualify for the Olympic Trials in his first marathon attempt in Arizona on Sunday.  

Leading the women’s field at this year’s event will be 2019 U.S. Half Marathon Champion Steph Bruce (Flagstaff, Ariz.). Bruce is an endurance athlete well-known around the country, as she’s also the 2018 10K Road National Champion and finished 6th in the 2019 Chicago Marathon. Kellyn Taylor (Flagstaff, Ariz.) will also be in attendance, representing the women’s field at this year’s event.

Taylor was the winner of the 2018 Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon with a time of 1:10:14. Other women to watch include: Samantha Diaz, Boise (Boise, Idaho) set a personal best at the 2019 Chicago Marathon with a time of 2:40: 59 and Bridget Belyeu (Newman, Ga.), whose pedigree includes a 2:31:00 at the 2018 California International Marathon, has already qualified for the Olympic Trials, but look to use the Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Half Marathon to tune-up for the upcoming trials. 

(01/16/2020) ⚡AMP
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Rock N Roll Arizona Marathon

Rock N Roll Arizona Marathon

The Marathon and Half-Marathon courses or the new Mini- Marathon or Bike Tour courses take you through the three host cities of Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tempe! The Marathon and Bike Tour start at CityScape in downtown Phoenix, while the Half-Marathon and Mini-Marathon are loop courses launching from downtown Tempe. All the courses end in Tempe at ASU’s Sun Devil and...

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Mike Smith is the new coach for Galen Rupp

Two-time Olympic medalist Galen Rupp has a new coach.

Rupp, whose previous coach, Alberto Salazar, is serving a four-year ban from track due to anti-doping violations, is now entrusting his training to Mike Smith, the head coach of the Northern Arizona University cross-country and track teams.

Smith confirmed the coaching relationship in an email to Runner’s World, writing that he was surprised to get a phone call from Rupp last fall and took a long time to consider whether to coach him.

The move marks a major change for Rupp, 33, who had been under Salazar’s guidance since Salazar spotted him playing soccer when he was a 14-year-old high school student in Portland, Oregon. Rupp went to college nearby at the University of Oregon and after graduating in 2009, he joined the Salazar-led Nike Oregon Project (NOP).

While still in college, Rupp made the 2008 U.S. Olympic team in the 10,000 meters, finishing 13th. At the 2012 Games in London, he won silver in the 10,000 meters behind his then-NOP teammate Mo Farah of Great Britain. In 2016, Rupp was the Olympic bronze medalist in the marathon. He also won the 2017 Chicago Marathon and the 2018 Prague Marathon, where he set his personal best of 2:06:07, second on the U.S. all-time list.

But Rupp was plagued by Achilles problems and Haglund’s deformity in his left foot, and he underwent major surgery in October 2018.

Last October, as Rupp was preparing to race Chicago again, his first race since the surgery, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency announced news of Salazar’s ban. Salazar is appealing the decision, but in the meantime, he is not allowed to coach, and athletes who are in contact with him are subject to sanction. Nike executives shut down the Oregon Project a few days after the ban. Rupp made it to about 23 miles of the Chicago Marathon in 2019, before dropping out with a calf strain.

Rupp has never failed a drug test, and he is one of the most frequently tested American athletes.

He is also very private, staying off of social media and eschewing media interviews except around major marathons. Other athletes who had been training under Salazar had announced moves to new coaches, but Rupp had not, fueling speculation about his training and preparations for the Olympic Marathon Trials next month in Atlanta.

His move to Smith, who is based in Flagstaff, Arizona, is a radical shift away from the insular culture Salazar created at the NOP in Beaverton, Oregon.

Smith, 39, is a well-respected collegiate coach, having led the NAU men’s cross-country team to NCAA team titles in 2017 and 2018, and a runner-up finish in 2019. The women were 14th in 2019. Before NAU, he coached at Georgetown, his alma mater. In college, he earned All-American honors in cross country, and he later qualified for the Olympic marathon trials in 2007 (for the 2008 Games). He got his start in coaching working under legendary distance coach Jack Daniels.

(01/10/2020) ⚡AMP
by Sarah Lorge Butler
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Eric Finan is dealing with a broken toe, heading for the 2020 Olympic trials

The injury is the result of a mountain bike incident, but it sounds like only a minor setback for his training to run the marathon in the 2020 Olympic trials in Atlanta, Georgia, on Feb. 29. He’s optimistic that he’ll soon be running 100 miles a week again.  

Finan has made many major life decisions based on running, and when he runs at the trials on Leap Day, he’s accomplishing a goal that he once thought had disappeared years ago. 

Before moving to Eugene in 2015, Finan attended University of Cincinnati because he wanted to pursue engineering while also running in a competitive collegiate conference. After graduating in 2012, he wanted to run in a post-collegiate group, but because he was injured during the last part of his fifth season, he says those running groups didn’t want him. 

He worked in Cincinnati for a year and got healthy. In 2013, he ran the U.S. Half Marathon Championships in Minnesota, finishing in 1:04:42. He attracted the attention of Team USA Minnesota, so he moved to Minneapolis to run with the group. 

But after again suffering some injuries from the higher-intensity philosophy of the coach there, Finan says he decided to run with Team Run Eugene, so he looked for work in the area. 

Today, Finan is coached by Tim Sykes, who was a volunteer assistant coach at the University of Oregon before moving to Western Kentucky University for a full-time coaching job.  

A self-described realist, Finan says he’s not expecting to make it in the top three on the U.S. team that would compete in Tokyo. Judging by the results from the 2012 Olympic trials in Houston, to make the team he’d need to finish under 2:10 — meaning he’d have to run a 5-minute pace.

He’s setting the bar at a top-25 finish, but he’s not necessarily running the trials to make the team. It’s about completing promises he made to himself while in high school.

He set two life goals then: to run a 4-minute mile and run in the Olympic trials. He completed the first goal, but missed the second goal in 2016 by seven seconds and didn’t make the trials for the 5k event.

Finan says he was devastated that he didn’t make the trials. He didn’t run for a few months and drank and ate to excess.

“I had my mind set on the trials. I had my heart set, my body, my soul to compete in the Olympic trials,” he says. “I believed it in my entire being that this thing was going to be true.”

He adds that he took it as a given that he would be running in the trials and was already thinking about preparing himself for the actual race. “I was crushed, and I was definitely depressed,” he says about missing the cutoff time. “I felt like I had worked so hard — for what?”

After taking a few months off from running — the longest non-injury break he’d ever taken — he talked with some friends and hit the pavement running again. It was a rough first month back because he hadn’t treated his body well during that break, he says. 

About 12 weeks of training later, thanks to a dedication to weight training and years of high-volume running, he made his marathon debut at California International Marathon in Sacramento, finishing at 2:17:51.

The result meant that he could — after missing trials in the 5k — satisfy that other running goal he established for himself. He returned to Sacramento in 2017, finishing the race at 2:16:42, qualifying to compete in the U.S. Olympic Trials.

(01/03/2020) ⚡AMP
by Henry Houston
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2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

The 2020 US Olympic Trials for both men and women took place in Atlanta, Ga on Sunday Feb 29. Runners had to qualify by running certain standards beforehand. The trials are hosted by the Atlanta Track club. The course runs through the heart of Atlanta and past monuments from the 1996 Olympic Games Most countries around the world use a...

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John Hancock and the Boston Athletic Association announced 16 Boston marathon champions will be running the 2020 Boston Marathon

In a joint statement this morning, John Hancock and the Boston Athletic Association announced that sixteen prior race champions, including 2018 winner Desiree Linden, would run the 2020 Boston Marathon scheduled for Monday, April 20.  The 2020 race, always held on the third Monday in April, will be the 124th running of the world’s oldest marathon.

“In our 35th year as principal sponsor of this historic race, we are excited to welcome back our accomplished champions,” said John Hancock chief marketing officer Barbara Goose through a statement.  “Their return is a testimony to the tradition and legacy that is the Boston Marathon. These champions are not just racing each other, they are chasing history.”

While today’s announcement included the race’s four open and wheelchair division champions from 2019 –Lawrence Cherono of Kenya, Worknesh Degefa of Ethiopia, Manuela Schär of Switzerland and Daniel Romanchuk of the United States– it is the inclusion of Linden, a two-time Olympian, which will likely get the most attention, at least domestically.  Linden, 36, who won the bitterly cold and rain-soaked edition of the race in 2018 where three quarters of the elite field couldn’t finish, will run Boston for the eight time.  Moreover, she plans to double back from the USA Olympic Team Trials Marathon which will take place 51 days earlier in Atlanta on February 29.  A top-3 finish there would put her on her third Olympic team.

“Running the Boston Marathon seven weeks after the U.S. Olympic Trials is a plan that has been in the works for roughly a year,” Linden explained in a written statement.  “I crossed the finish line in 2019 and knew if my body was capable, I wanted to return to Boston in 2020. My coach, Walt Drenth, and I had some long conversations on doing the double, how we would tailor the training, and if it was reasonable to expect to run well in both races.  We were both excited about the challenge.”

Linden’s marathon career began inauspiciously in Boston in 2007 when she finished 18th in 2:44:56, a time which would only have qualified her for next year’s Olympic Trials by four seconds.  But when she returned to the race in 2011, she was a different athlete, nearly winning in a personal best 2:22:38 after a thrilling three-way battle against Kenya’s Caroline Kilel and Sharon Cherop on Boylston Street.  Kilel got the win in 2:22:36, just two seconds ahead of Linden and six seconds ahead of Cherop.

Other prior race champions in the open division announced for the 2020 marathon were Yuki Kawauchi of Japan (first in 2018); Edna Kiplagat (2017), Geoffrey Kirui (2017), and Caroline Rotich of Kenya (2015); and Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia (2013 and 2015), the reigning World Athletics marathon champion.  Prior wheelchair division champions who have entered were Tatyana McFadden of the United States (2013 – 2016, 2018), Marcel Hug of Switzerland (2015 – 2018), Ernst van Dyk of South Africa (2011 – 2016, 2008 – 2010, 2014), Hiroyuki Yamamoto (2013) and Masazumi Soejima (2007 and 2011) of Japan, and Josh Cassidy of Canada (2012).

“The race for the tape on Patriots’ Day will surely be both competitive and compelling, as John Hancock has fielded a tremendous team of champions,” said Tom Grilk, the B.A.A. CEO.  “With 16 returning champions, the roads leading to Boston will be filled with many of the most decorated runners and wheelchair racers in history. Another memorable chapter in Boston Marathon history will surely unfold on April 20.”

The Boston Marathon –which recorded 26,632 finishers in 2019– is part of the Abbott World Marathon Majors, a confederation of the world’s top marathons, and is also a World Athletics Platinum Label road race.  The Platinum Label is new for 2020 and has been given only to a super-elite group of eight marathons so far: Tokyo, Nagoya Women’s, Seoul, Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York (two to four more may be added, according to World Athletics).

(12/17/2019) ⚡AMP
by David Monti
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

The 124th Boston Marathon originally scheduled for April 20, is now postponed to September 14 due to the coronavirus outbreak, Boston Marathon is the world's oldest annual marathon and ranks as one of the world's best-known road racing events. The event attracts 500,000 spectators each year, making it New England's most widely viewed sporting event. Though starting with 18 participants...

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Des Linden will race the U.S. Olympic Trials and the Boston Marathon in 2020

Des Linden was undecided whether to race the Feb. 29 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials as recently as a month ago. But now Linden, the 2018 Boston Marathon winner, is not only committed to trials but also the April 20 Boston Marathon.

It would be, at 51 days, by far her shortest break between marathons, which has so far included 19 marathons dating to 2007. She’s 36 years old, and it may be her last Olympic cycle.

“I only have so many more chances at Boston. I love being there. Obviously, the Olympics [window] is closing down as well,” she said. “I like the trials and the competitive way we pick our team. I can’t imagine, at this point, watching either of those races and feeling like I had no effect on either outcome.”

If Linden does make the Olympic marathon team — by placing top three at trials in Atlanta — she would be in line to race four marathons over a little more than nine months when including last month’s New York City Marathon.

Ethiopian Lelisa Desisa and American Sara Hall ran the New York City Marathon on Nov. 3, 29 days and 35 days, respectively, after racing the world championships and Berlin Marathon. Neither finished New York, however.

This past August, when Linden committed to the New York City Marathon, she added that she might not race the trials. After her performance in New York — the top U.S. woman in sixth place — she decided she was ready for the trials-Boston double, which she had been considering since placing fifth at this past April’s Boston Marathon.

As far as how it will impact her trials build-up, Linden said her team will re-evaluate the process weekly. She hasn’t committed to a pre-trials half marathon.

“We’re obviously aware of what’s down the line, so we’re trying to get as much quality as we can without going too deep into the well,” she said. “It’s certainly going to be out there, but we’re trying to run well at both and not say, ‘This isn’t going well,’ and just train through it.”

Linden has been treating every marathon as if it could be her last. She has been incredibly consistent, placing no worse than eighth in her last 11 marathon starts dating to 2013.

Neither of Linden’s previous Olympic experiences was especially memorable. She dropped out of her first one in 2012 with a stress fracture in her femur. She was seventh in Rio, missing a medal by less than two minutes. The Kenyan-born gold and silver medalists were later busted for EPO and are serving lengthy doping bans.

“I don’t feel like I have anything to prove and anything unfinished,” at the Olympics, Linden said in August. “Quite frankly, the last experience is a hard sell to get back out there to try to compete for medals when you’re not even really sure what the field is all about. It’s a little bit difficult to be excited about that with the way we are about the [World Marathon] Majors. People investing in anti-doping have really been solving that problem [at the majors]. It’s a little tricky [at the Olympics], but certainly representing your country is special.”

Linden is the most experienced of a deep group of U.S. Olympic marathon hopefuls after the recent retirement of four-time Olympian Shalane Flanagan.

(12/17/2019) ⚡AMP
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2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

The 2020 US Olympic Trials for both men and women took place in Atlanta, Ga on Sunday Feb 29. Runners had to qualify by running certain standards beforehand. The trials are hosted by the Atlanta Track club. The course runs through the heart of Atlanta and past monuments from the 1996 Olympic Games Most countries around the world use a...

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Andrew Schoeder of Madison, Wisconsin, and Sarah Mulcahy of Fort Kent were crowned champions of Saturday’s fifth annual Millinocket Marathon

Andrew Schoeder and Sarah Mulcahy won the fifth annual Millinocket Marathon.

Two Bangor, Maine residents, Gabe Coffey and Flori Davis, won the accompanying Millinocket Half-Marathon. Both races were held simultaneously amid temperatures in the low 20s and a light, chilling breeze.

Schroeder, whose wife Angela is a Millinocket, Maine native, was the overall marathon champion with a time of 2 hours, 53 minutes and 23 seconds.

He ran among the leaders throughout the first of two 13.1-mile laps that made up the marathon route, which began and concluded in downtown Millinocket.

The 39-year-old Schroeder then took control during the second lap and finished nearly six minutes ahead of his closest rival, Iain Ridgway of Worcester, Massachusetts. Ridgway was the only other runner to finish in less than three hours with his time of 2:59.13.

“I thought anything under about 3:10 and on a good day a finish in the top 5 would be good,” said Schroeder, who ran a 2:38:13 at this year’s Boston Marathon.

Buster Brown of Lamoine was the top Maine finisher in the marathon, placing third in 3:07:09.

Mulcahy, the only runner to complete all five Millinocket Marathons, used this race as an early training run for the 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials and won the women’s division for the fourth time with a clocking of 3:08:38. That effort was good for fourth place overall.

Mulcahy will compete in the Olympic Trials next Feb. 29 in Atlanta. She qualified during the 2018 California International Marathon with a time of 2:44:28. Six days later she won the women’s division of last year’s Millinocket Marathon.

“This was a training run for me so I didn’t push anything,” said the 34-year-old Mulcahy, who along with other runners dealt with tricky traction along some portions of the course Saturday due to snow that fell earlier in the week. “There’s no risking injury before February.”

Laura Richard of Fredericton, New Brunswick, was the second-fastest woman in the marathon field and 11th overall in 3:32.49. Jennifer Schott of Nashville, Tennessee, was next, placing 19th overall in 3:46.47.

Coffey, a former Bangor High School distance running standout who now is competing as a freshman at Bates College in Lewiston, won the men’s half-marathon by more than two minutes with his time of 1:19:54.

“It’s the start of indoor track for me so I’m building up mileage,” said the 18-year-old Coffey. “I wouldn’t say I’m in the best shape but I’m in good enough shape to come out here, give it a good run and have some fun.”

Robert Ashby of Brunswick finished second in 1:22:11 with Brewer’s Kris Garcia third in 1:23:26.

Davis, who gave birth to a child on June 18, was surprised with her victory in the women’s half-marathon but she won comfortably with a time of 1:30:32. That was good for 17th place overall.

“I had no idea what the course was like so I went into it completely blind,” said the 32-year-old Davis. “It was a little hillier than I expected and the first half was really hard and I haven’t trained at all through snow or ice so half the time I was just trying not to fall down.

“I was not expecting at all to win. I was just running it for fun.”

Sarah Russell of Cumberland was second in the women’s division in 1:33:19 while Kayla Morrison of Limington placed third in 1:34:25.

More than 2,300 runners pre-registered for the free-to-run races, which were created by entrepreneur and veteran distance runner Gary Allen of Cranberry Island in 2015 in an effort to support Millinocket’s economic rebound from the closing of the Great Northern Paper Co. mill.

“It’s a great race with a lot of support,” Schroeder said. “Everybody’s so positive, it was just a lot of fun. People were cheering the whole way.”

(12/08/2019) ⚡AMP
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Millinocket Marathon

Millinocket Marathon

The Millinocket Marathon & Half has again joined forces with the Mount Desert Island Marathon, Half & Relay to create the Sea to Summit Maine Race Series, featuring two amazing events and a very special finishers medallion! This FREE event was started in 2015 to help a struggling Maine mill town that has been devastated by the closing of their...

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Meredith Tribble, a Davis graduated qualifies for Olympic Trials in women's marathon

Meredith Tribble sets no limits on her demanding lifestyle. Married and mother of two young children, a full-time job, involved in her church, and all with the years steadily creeping up.

There’s room in there for more, she felt, as long as the day starts a little earlier.

So before 5 o’clock most mornings, the former Davis standout heads out her front door to run in the dark. The sun will rise at some point, maybe halfway through a hard 14-mile tempo run, but she’ll be back home in time to get the rest of the family up and going.

It’s out there on the trails and roads in the small hours of the day that Tribble found her purest form of joy in running. It’s worth it, she believes, to add this challenge on top of so many others because of the rewards to be found.

In just her third marathon last month, Tribble qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials next year, winning her age group while placing ninth overall at the Indianapolis Marathon with a time of 2 hours, 42 minutes, 41 seconds.

“It was a goal and I’m just so proud of accomplishing it,” she said from her home in Riverside, Calif. “It wasn’t so much the time that motivated me but the drive to push myself to new limits. Just to power through physically, emotionally and mentally. It was very much a spirit-led journey.”

In her debut effort, just to test the legs at the 26.2-mile distance, Meredith ran 2:58 in early spring of 2018. That was easy enough, so she ramped up training and three months later she clocked 2:45:19, just missing the Trials standard by 19 seconds.

Meredith did, however, qualify for the USATF Marathon Championships in Sacramento in early December. Her fitness was solid, as evidenced by a 1:15 half marathon in October, but on the day of the race she backed out feeling ill. She soon discovered she was pregnant, but less than a month later she miscarried.

“Emotionally it was a very difficult time,” she said. “I had to give my body a long time to recover.”

The next step comes on Feb. 29 when Meredith will join the fastest women’s marathoners in the country in Atlanta for the U.S. Olympic Trials. At the front, this race will determine the three qualifiers for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. For the rest, as with the men on the same day, it’s an opportunity to compete in what is essentially a national championship.

(12/03/2019) ⚡AMP
by Scott Spruill
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2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

The 2020 US Olympic Trials for both men and women took place in Atlanta, Ga on Sunday Feb 29. Runners had to qualify by running certain standards beforehand. The trials are hosted by the Atlanta Track club. The course runs through the heart of Atlanta and past monuments from the 1996 Olympic Games Most countries around the world use a...

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Jordan Hasay says she is going to be ready for the US Olympic Trials after making some changes

Jordan Hasay went into the Chicago Marathon on October 13 in excellent shape, hoping to make a run at the American record in the distance. But about two miles into the race, she tore her left hamstring. She limped past the 5K mark in 22 minutes before dropping out of the race.It was the bitter end of a tumultuous two weeks.

On September 30, her longtime coach, Alberto Salazar, was hit with a four-year ban from track and field for anti-doping violations. Hasay, 28, said she never witnessed anything improper in her time with Salazar and his team, the Nike Oregon Project. On October 11, Nike shut down the Oregon Project, leaving the athletes who had trained with Salazar to work out new coaching and training situations.

The timing of Hasay’s injury and the coaching upheaval were not ideal: American marathoners are preparing for the Olympic Marathon Trials on February 29, 2020 in Atlanta.

The upheaval has continued this month: On November 7, in an explosive opinion video in The New York Times, Mary Cain, a former teen prodigy who trained with Hasay and others at the Oregon Project, alleged she was “emotionally and physically abused” in her time with Salazar.

On a recent trip to Monaco, she formalized a relationship with Radcliffe to be her “mentor-coach.” Radcliffe held the world record in the women’s marathon, 2:15:25, for 16 years. The record fell last month to Brigid Kosgei, who ran 2:14:04, at the Chicago Marathon, where Hasay dropped out.

Hasay has long admired Radcliffe. As Hasay was training for her first marathon, Boston in 2017, her late mother used to call Hasay by the pet name “Paula.” Radcliffe and Hasay first met at the 2017 Chicago Marathon, where Hasay ran 2:20:57 and became the second-fastest American marathoner behind Deena Kastor. Hasay and Radcliffe have kept in touch since then.

Last week, together in Monaco, they sat down and mapped out Hasay’s training for the next 15 weeks until the Trials. Hasay said she believes she’s the first athlete to be coached by Radcliffe and specified that Radcliffe, and not her husband, Gary Lough, who oversees the training of Mo Farah, will be in charge.

Hasay will stay in California and communicate remotely with Radcliffe. “I’ve always really looked up to her as a role model,” Hasay said. “Since we first met two years ago in Chicago, we’ve kept in touch and she’s given me a lot of advice. She knows that I have had some very good coaches in the past. We’re not going to go in and change a bunch of things. At this point, I mainly need someone to hold me back and make sure I stay injury free. She’s such a kind person.”

After two weeks off from running after the Chicago Marathon, Hasay has returned to running almost pain free, she said, although the hamstring feels tight at faster speeds. On November 19, she did a hill workout.

Hasay said Nike staff were “incredibly supportive” of her as she considered new coaches, and they were open to her having a coach who didn’t have a relationship with the company if that is what she wanted. Radcliffe, though, was a Nike-sponsored athlete throughout her career and maintains a relationship with the company.

She is in the process of selling her home in Beaverton, Oregon, near Nike headquarters, and she will live with her father in Arroyo Grande, California, until she eventually buys a home in that area. She is more suited to the climate there, she said, where it is sunny and warm year-round, than the rainy winters of the Pacific Northwest. She also said the community has supported her since she began running at age 12. Being home “will add a lot of happiness,” she said.

When asked about Cain, Hasay said she knew her teammate was struggling during her 10 months training in Portland with the Oregon Project, but she didn’t know the extent of the problems.

“I was pretty shocked with the video,” Hasay said. “Obviously I feel really sad and I texted her and said I’m really sorry. That if I knew that it was that bad, if there was anything I could have done, I just apologize.”

Hasay said she and Cain were fairly close but she had “no idea” that Cain was cutting herself, as she said in the Times video. Cain also said Salazar was constantly trying to get her to lose weight to hit an arbitrary number, 114 pounds.

Hasay said she thought Cain’s youth and the intensity of the training and the program were a poor combination, but she expressed sympathy for both Cain and Salazar.

“It’s so sad, everyone was trying their best, though,” she said. “I really think you can’t point fingers and it’s really easy from the outside to kick Alberto under the bus. People make mistakes. He could have handled it at times differently. He really was doing his best. He wasn’t trying to cause any of the problems that she described. I sympathize with both sides.

“That’s why it’s hard—I haven’t commented on it—I don’t really have a side. I didn’t experience what she experienced, but I can see how it was so difficult. I think that her message is a good one, addressing these issues, they are important, I think it’s good overall that we’re looking at some of things.”

Hasay continued that when an athlete is still growing and going through puberty, getting to a certain weight is “difficult.” Older athletes on the team, she said, were able to push back in discussions with Salazar on weight.

“Alberto, if you ask me is he obsessed about weight? Yes, but he’s obsessed about everything,” she said. “He wanted to cut my hair [to reduce drag], he wanted me to wear a wetsuit in the Boston Marathon. It’s just every little detail is covered and weight happens to be one of those things.”

Salazar told Hasay she needed to gain weight at times. “He’s told me, ‘You don’t need to be this lean all year. I’d like you to go back up.’ We’ve had discussions. I think when you’re older and more experienced, you can speak up. It’s hard when she’s so young and still growing. It was just the whole situation wasn’t the right fit, unfortunately.”

(11/29/2019) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

The 2020 US Olympic Trials for both men and women took place in Atlanta, Ga on Sunday Feb 29. Runners had to qualify by running certain standards beforehand. The trials are hosted by the Atlanta Track club. The course runs through the heart of Atlanta and past monuments from the 1996 Olympic Games Most countries around the world use a...

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Kenyans Elisha Barno and Jane Kibii will return to lead the CIM elite field

The 37th annual California International Marathon returns CIM top performers, 2015 CIM Champion Elisha Barno and 2014 runner-up Jane Kibii, while also serving as one of the last opportunities for American athletes to qualify for the 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials.

“This should be a unique and exciting year at CIM with a mix of steady vets returning to ‘The Fastest Course in the West’ as well as a flood of ‘dream chasers’ entering the ‘OTQ Factory’ for a last chance at earning a trip to the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in Atlanta in February,” said SRA Executive Director Scott Abbott. 

Favorites to win the men’s race include Kenyan natives Elisha Barno and Denis Chirchir. Barno holds a personal best marathon time of 2:09:32 set in 2018, and has had past success at CIM, winning the race in 2015 and finishing runner-up in 2016. Denis Chirchir, who ran 2:13:50 earlier this fall, will be making his first appearance at CIM and is expected to battle up front with Barno. 

Barno and Chirchir will likely be challenged by American runners C.J. Albertson, Colin Mickow, and Patrick Smyth, who are currently in the midst of breakthrough seasons. Albertson of Fresno, Calif and Mickow of Naperville, Ill. ran personal best marathons earlier this fall with 2:14:49 and 2:14:55 finishes, respectively. Smyth, who hails from Santa Fe, N.M., ran a personal best half-marathon time of 1:02:39 in early November of this year. 

The women’s race is headlined by local athlete Jane Kibii, who represents Kenya in international competition and lives in Auburn, Calif., less than twenty miles from the CIM start line. Kibii returns to CIM with the goal of capturing her first CIM title. Like Barno, Kibii has proven herself on the CIM course, with finishes of 2nd (2014) and 3rd (2015) to go along with her personal best marathon time of 2:30:01. 

“I love running in my hometown and feeling the local support,” said Kibii. “I have raced CIM twice and this time around I want to go for a win.” 

Other women to look for up front on December 8 include Obsie Birru from Phoenix, Ariz. who ran a personal best 2:35:51 at the Twin Cities Marathon in October and Katja Goldring (Flagstaff, Ariz.) who holds a personal best time of 2:35:21. Two marathon debutants, Kaitlyn Peale (Portland, Ore.) and Ivette Mejia (New York), could also be factors up front with personal best half-marathon times of 1:13:09 and 1:13:36, respectively.

Beyond the competition for the $70,000 prize purse available to the men’s and women’s fields, hundreds of American runners will toe the line at the 2019 CIM hoping to qualify for the 2020 U.S. Marathon Olympic Trials. Men need to run 2:19:00 or faster and women need to run 2:45:00 or faster to qualify.

In 2018, CIM had a record number of U.S. athletes run an Olympic Trials Qualifier (OTQ), with 99 American women and 53 American men running under the qualifying standards. With the qualification window closing in January, the 2019 CIM will be many athletes’ last shot.

“The past few years have shown that CIM is the perfect place to chase an OTQ,” said Olympic Trials hopeful Peter Bromka. “Not only the course and the weather, but every detail of the race is carefully considered by the organizers to help athletes run fast. Once the gun goes off, packs of hopefuls form and work together every mile to the capitol.”

Athletes who run a qualifying time will compete for a spot on the 2020 USA Olympic Marathon team on February 29, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. The top three men and top three women finishers in Atlanta will compete for Team USA at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

(11/25/2019) ⚡AMP
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California International Marathon

California International Marathon

The California International Marathon (CIM) is a marathon organized by runners, for runners! CIM was founded in 1983 by the Sacramento Running Association (SRA), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The SRA Board of Directors is comprised of runners with a combined total of 150+ years of service to the CIM. The same route SRA management created for the 1983 inaugural CIM...

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Paula Radcliffe clarifies her coaching role with Jordan Hasay

It has been widely reported that Jordan Hasay has hired former marathon world record holder Paula Radcliffe as her coach or coach advisor.

This is not exactly accurate according to Radcliffe.

She told Athletics Illustrated, “I am happy to help Jordan out as well as I can. It’s not an official coaching role since I am not actually qualified to coach but primarily, I also don’t have the time to travel full time as a coach while my kids are still young and my priority.”

Hasay was formerly coached by Alberto Salazar of the Nike Oregon Project. Since Salazar has received a four-year coaching ban for apparent doping-related offences, his athletes have had to find new coaches.

Hasay, who is knowledgeable about training and what she needs to do to get ready for racing, has chosen Radcliffe more as an advisor.

“Jordan completely understands this, and my role is more of a mentor/advisor than a coach. She is very smart and already knows very well what works for her, and what doesn’t really work. She is also open to listening to ideas and changing things when she sees the sense behind it. A lot of the basis of what she already does is very good, and the changes so far are agreed by both of us and are very fluid.”

Hasay owns the second-fastest marathon by an American, all-time, behind only Deena Kastor, who ran the 2006 London Marathon in the time of 2:19:36. Hasay has gone as fast as 2:20:57, which the 28-year-old accomplished in Chicago two years ago.

Hasay dropped out of the 2019 Chicago Marathon due to a hamstring issue, which found her walking through the 5K mark in over 22 minutes. She was going for Kastor’s record in that race. She has recovered now.

“She came over to stay and we chatted and worked out a lot of things going forward. We feel that we can make this work long-distance with someone on the ground training with her in workouts and providing constant honest feedback between. Of course, in the future we will aim to do some training camps together, but it is very flexible right now,” added Radcliffe.

Radcliffe continues to reside in Monaco, France, while Hasay lives in Arroyo Grande, California.

Radcliffe owned the marathon world record until Oct this year. She set the record at 2:15:25 in London 2004. The record stood until the same Chicago race where Hasay dropped out. Kenyan Brigid Kosgei crossed the finish line in the remarkable time of 2:14:04.

Radcliffe has also run the fifth and seventh fastest marathon times.

Her connection to Hasay may be from her husband’s (Gary Lough) connection to Salazar as both have coached multi-time worlds and Olympic gold medallist Mo Farah, who trained with the Nike Oregon Project as did Hasay.

“I have known her for a while now and got to know her better in the last couple of weeks,” shared Radcliffe. “I am really impressed with her mental strength and ability to focus on what is important. We have similar outlooks on a lot of things, training, competition, and lifestyle-related and I admire her style of racing and think she still has a lot of progress to come. The main thing now is getting fully healthy and as fit as possible by the trials.”

On February 29, 2020, Americans will take to the streets of Atlanta, GA to compete in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic marathon trials.

(11/24/2019) ⚡AMP
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Austin Marathon and 3M Half Marathon invite elite runners to Austin for a final Olympic Marathon Trials tune-up

The Austin Marathon and 3M Half Marathon invite elite runners to Austin for a final Olympic Marathon Trials tune-up. 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials qualifiers are invited to run one of Austin’s two most beloved half marathons, fine-tune race strategy, and finalize hydration/nutrition plans. The 3M Half Marathon takes place on January 19th, that’s 41 days before the Trials. The Austin Half Marathon takes place on February 16th, that’s 13 days before the Olympic Marathon Trials.

The Austin Half Marathon offers prize money and FloTrack live-streams coverage of the entire event. Both events are operated by High Five Events.

“Winning the 2019 Austin Marathon was awesome and a moment I will not forget,” said Heather Lieberg, 2019 Austin Marathon female champ (2:42:27). “ I can’t wait to participate in the half marathon as a tune-up race for the Trials in Atlanta. I know it’ll be a confidence builder!”

Runners accepted to the 2020 Austin Marathon/Half Marathon Elite Athlete Program will compete for a $20,000 prize purse. The Austin Marathon prize purse will total $15,000 and award the top five male and female finishers. The Austin Half Marathon purse will total $5,000 and award the top three male and female finishers. Interested athletes can review the program’s standards and submit an application on the website.

(11/22/2019) ⚡AMP
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Austin Marathon Weekend

Austin Marathon Weekend

The 2020 Austin Marathon will celebrate its 30th year running in the capital of Texas. The premier running event in the City of Austin annually attracts runners from all 50 states and 20+ countries around the world. With a downtown finish and within proximity of many downtown hotels and restaurants, the Austin Marathon is the perfect running weekend destination. Come...

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Veteran Bernard Lagat and Chris Brown have both announced plans to hopefully compete in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Not too long ago, professional athletes rarely produced world-class results after they passed their mid-thirties and ventured into their forties. Today, however, athletes like Roger Federer and Serena Williams (both 38 years old), Tom Brady (42) and Tiger Woods (43) are proving that age is just a number, each continuing to find success in their sports. 

American Bernard Lagat and Chris Brown of the Bahamas are also looking to prove they’ve still got what it takes to compete with the world’s best, with both men recently announcing they will attempt to qualify for their sixth Olympic team each.

Chris Brown, a 400m runner, is 41 years old. He has competed at each Summer Games since Sydney in 2000, where he picked up a bronze medal in the 4 x 400m relay with the Bahamian team. The Athens Games were the only ones from which Brown has returned home without a medal. He and his teammates added three more in the 4 x 400m after Sydney, winning gold in London, silver in Beijing and another bronze in Rio. 

He currently coaches the Clayton State University track team in Georgia. His bio on the Clayton State track page reads that he joined the team “following a tremendous international career,” but Brown announced that he isn’t quite finished on the world stage. 

Brown told the Bahamian paper the Nassau Guardian that although he took a year off of competing since joining the Clayton State staff, he hasn’t stopped training. 

“My body is still active and ready to compete at any minute now,” he said. “I just try and maintain and keep my body consistent with what it has been doing.” 

From the 2008 to the 2016 Olympics, Lagat competed in the 5,000m. His focus is now on the marathon, a distance which he has only raced twice. His first shot at 42K was at the New York City Marathon in 2018, where he ran a 2:17:20. In July 2019, he travelled to Australia and set an American masters record of 2:12:10 at the Gold Coast Marathon. 

Lagat will be at the US Olympic Trials in Atlanta on February 29 to book his ticket for the 2020 Olympic marathon. If he makes the team, he’ll be 45 years old at the start line in Sapporo.  

Brown isn’t just looking for a fun, lighthearted Olympic finale–he wants to help the Bahamian team to continue their success in the 4 x 400m. If Brown makes the team, he could be running with Steven Gardiner, a fellow Bahamian who won the 400m world championship a month ago in Doha, who would be a huge addition to the already stellar cast of previous 400m runners from the Bahamas.

Bernard Lagat Like Brown, the 44-year-old Lagat has competed on the track of each Summer Olympics since 2000. Lagat won a medal in his first two Olympic appearances, taking a bronze in 2000 and silver in 2004, both in the 1,500m. At that time, he was competing for Kenya, where he was born and raised. In 2005, however, Lagat became an American citizen, and he has represented the U.S. ever since. 

(11/13/2019) ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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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, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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Next stop for Jared Ward is the the U.S. Marathon Trials in February

Jared Ward has been working on his confidence lately. He figures that’s an important part of improving his marathon game, good as it already is. His resume includes a sixth in the 2016 Rio Olympic Marathon, sixth at New York City last year, PR of 2:09:25 at Boston this spring.

To compete with the big boys … well, you gotta be there at halfway, hold on until 20 miles, and then bring it home. In Sunday’s 2019 TCS New York City Marathon, Ward got to 20 miles with the leaders. Then he had to deal with the effects.

“I was glad that I managed to put myself in there for so long, but the last three or four miles were really tough,” he said after finishing sixth in 2:10:45. “That was painful. There wasn’t much left in the tank. It’s scary to do something you haven’t done before. But if you want to get to the podium, that’s the only way.”

Ward had finished sixth the previous year also, in 2:12:24, almost two minutes slower than today.

“I’m happy,” he said. “I wanted something that would solidify my breakthrough in Boston. I wanted to convince myself that I’ll be a different runner in the Marathon Trials in February than I was four years ago in Los Angeles.” Ward finished surprise third in Los Angeles and made the U.S. Olympic team for Rio.

The NYC Marathon does not use pacesetters, and a victory is much more important than your time (notwithstanding time-bonuses that kick in at 2:09:59 and faster), so the early pace in recent years has been moderate. Today, Shura Kitata started with a ludicrous 5:02 first mile on the uphill side of the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge.

“The pace had been ebbing and flowing,” Ward observed. “I’d feel good one mile and not so good the next. When that happens, you just have to trust that you’ll feel better in a mile or two. Then they surged again and just didn’t come back.”

In Ward’s next marathon, the U.S. Trials on February 29 in Atlanta, he won’t be the one chasing everyone else. Indeed, many eyes will be on him—everyone’s number-one pick to finish in the top three—and many of his competitors will be gauging their pace against his.

“I don’t consider myself the favorite for Atlanta,” he said, “but I’m a statistician and I tend to make odds on races. Before the Los Angeles Trials, I figured I had a 35 percent chance of making the team. I think my odds will be a little better in Atlanta.”

(11/07/2019) ⚡AMP
by Amby Burfoot
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2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

The 2020 US Olympic Trials for both men and women took place in Atlanta, Ga on Sunday Feb 29. Runners had to qualify by running certain standards beforehand. The trials are hosted by the Atlanta Track club. The course runs through the heart of Atlanta and past monuments from the 1996 Olympic Games Most countries around the world use a...

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Des Linden is set for the New York City Marathon and then the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials

Des Linden could have retired this spring a legend of the sport in the United States: two Olympic teams, nine top-five finishes at World Marathon Majors, and the crown jewel, a win at the 2018 Boston Marathon. But she chose to press on, motivated by what excites her, rather than what is expected of her. Her Boston win gave her the freedom to leave behind the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project and go solo, returning to college coach Walt Drenth.

Now in her fourth Olympic cycle, she goes into every marathon knowing that it could be her last. If she runs another it is because she wants to — not because it’s the best way for her to prepare for the Olympic Trials or the Games themselves.

“It is a different mentality where you don’t put down a race four years out and work backward,” Linden says.

As one of professional running’s elder stateswomen, Linden isn’t afraid to share her opinion on the sport’s most pressing issues, either. During the course of 33 minutes with the press today ahead of Sunday’s TCS New York City Marathon, Linden put a voice to the concerns facing many athletes sponsored by shoe companies other than Nike, and thus unable to run in Vaporflys, the chunky-soled neon racing flats that have changed the sport of marathoning.

Asked whether there was a level playing field in the sport right now facing Nike athletes in Vaporflys, Linden, who remains sponsored by Brooks, did not equivocate.

“No. I think every company has a different pace that they’re working at. So, we’re all obviously behind to begin with.”

More on that in a minute, but let’s remember the purpose of Linden’s visit to New York. She is running marathon #19 of her career on Sunday, and both Linden and her agent Josh Cox believe she is very fit right now, despite an awful showing at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Philly Half in September (76:08, the slowest half marathon of her career by over three minutes).

“Everything went wrong in Philly,” Linden said, adding that she picked up a minor hamstring injury before the race. “I had an amazing segment as a whole…I had one bad day, it was just a very public bad day.”

Linden is ready to roll in New York and holding off any decisions on retirement until after the race. It all depends on how her body recovers. If she feels she can produce a performance to be proud of, she’ll be on the start line at the Olympic Trials in Atlanta in February.

“It will be, do I have the ability to compete on the roads and be proud of how I’m competing?” Linden says. “And is it something that is showcasing all the hard work — is this really paying off anymore? And when I feel like I’m putting too much in and I’m not getting results that I’m happy with or appreciating, I’ll switch to the trails or the ultras or something different.”

Now about those shoes: Linden has mixed feelings.

“It’s exciting times, but it’s confusing as well,” Linden says.

Exciting because Nike has spurred innovation across the sport. Linden won Boston last year in Brooks prototypes and her shoes at NYC last fall featured a carbon fiber plate, one of the Vaporflys’ key features.

“As a Brooks athlete, it’s been fun seeing them respond and say, ‘OK. Let’s get in the game. Let’s make something awesome’ and not ‘Let’s play catch up.’ They are in the lab going, ‘Let’s be better. Let’s be the best.’”

All that innovation has led to the fastest times the sport has ever seen, but Linden says that one of running’s great appeals — the ability to compare times across eras — is more complicated than ever.

(11/02/2019) ⚡AMP
by Jonathan Gault
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TCS  New York City Marathon

TCS New York City Marathon

The first New York City Marathon, organized in 1970 by Fred Lebow and Vince Chiappetta, was held entirely in Central Park. Of 127 entrants, only 55 men finished; the sole female entrant dropped out due to illness. Winners were given inexpensive wristwatches and recycled baseball and bowling trophies. The entry fee was $1 and the total event budget...

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Tyler Pennel is Ready for Long-Awaited Marathon Comeback At TCS New York City Marathon

With little fanfare, Tyler Pennel has quietly established himself as one of America's top marathoners over the past five years. Despite often being overshadowed by bigger names from high-profile training groups, he's won a national title, played a decisive role in the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials, and finished in the top five at an Abbott World Marathon Majors race. But he's also dealt with a series of frustrating injuries that have disrupted his momentum and left some unanswered questions about his true potential.

With the next Olympic Trials looming this winter, the 31-year-old Pennel will make his comeback at the distance on November 3, at the TCS New York City Marathon. It will be his first marathon in 18 months and only his fourth race at any distance this year. "I'm a little nervous," Pennel told Race Results Weekly in a recent telephone interview from Blowing Rock, N.C., where he lives and trains as part of the On ZAP Endurance group. "That first race back is always a shock to the system. A lot of it is mentally remembering what it feels like to race."

Pennel grew up in Golden, Colo,, and had an impressive career at Western State College (since renamed Western Colorado University), winning the NCAA Division II title over 10,000 meters as a senior in 2012. He joined the ZAP Endurance group shortly after graduating and made his 26.2-mile debut at the Twin Cities Marathon in 2014, which doubled as the USA Track & Field championship that year. He pulled off a surprise win that day, setting a still-standing personal best of 2:13:32.

He carried that momentum into 2015 with a series of strong results on the roads and track (including lowering his best in the mile to 3:58.99), and headed into the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials riding high with confidence. Perhaps too high. On a hot day in Los Angeles, Pennel took the lead in the 16th mile and forced the pace for the next several miles. The tempo ultimately took a toll and he faded to fifth place in 2:14:57, missing a spot on the squad for the Rio Games by just under two minutes.

"The Trials was my second marathon, and I think since I had a good first one maybe I was a little bit overconfident," he says. "Initially when I made that move I felt great. That first mile that I led I was almost shocked nobody went with me. That's how good I felt. It wasn't until after I started pressing after that first mile of leading that it really hurt."

Since that disappointment, a variety of injuries prevented Pennel from consistently training and racing. He's put together some bright spots, including finishing eighth at the TCS New York City Marathon in 2016 and running to a gutsy fourth-place finish at the 2018 Boston Marathon during the now-infamous nor'easter that turned the race into a cold, wet and windy war of attrition. But after taking third-pace at the Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta in July 2018 he didn't race again for 11 months, first battling a sacral stress fracture, followed this past winter and spring by a bout of osteitis pubis (inflammation of the tissues around the pubic bone). That's the same injury that plagued marathoner Laura Thweatt.

Pennel has been healthy since May, but raced sparingly during his preparation for New York. "The build-up has been really stellar," says On ZAP Endurance coach Pete Rea. "He was able to train through the summer and put together a full marathon build-up cycle. In terms of actual true consistency and healthy running for months and months, that had not happened for Tyler since 2016 until these last six months."

Pennel has been making adjustments to his routine to avoid injuries, including taking one day off from running each week. "If anything I would say he has really made a conscious effort to try to hit fewer home runs in training since, in some respects, that's what got him in trouble in the past," Rea says. "He's actually running more quickly at a lower intensity. He's working less-hard in terms of intensity, but it seems far more comfortable than it did a few years ago."

(10/29/2019) ⚡AMP
by Runners web
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TCS  New York City Marathon

TCS New York City Marathon

The first New York City Marathon, organized in 1970 by Fred Lebow and Vince Chiappetta, was held entirely in Central Park. Of 127 entrants, only 55 men finished; the sole female entrant dropped out due to illness. Winners were given inexpensive wristwatches and recycled baseball and bowling trophies. The entry fee was $1 and the total event budget...

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Eight-time Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt, the fastest man in the world, declared that he's willing to join the New England Patriots

If he joins the Patriots, Bolt believes he could win championships with Tom Brady. 

Eight-time Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt, the fastest man in the world, declared that he's willing to join the New England Patriots if they need another speedy wide receiver. In an interview with TMZ Sports, Bolt said he’s ready to suit up if either the Patriots or the Green Bay Packers call. “If they call me, I'm ready!" said the 33-year-old Bolt, who holds the world record in the 100-meter and 200-meter dash with a time of 9.58 seconds and 19.19 seconds, respectively, which he both recorded at the 2009 Berlin World Athletics Championships.

Last month, Bolt told Arash Markazi of the Los Angeles Times that several NFL teams offered him a spot on their team after his impressive performance during the 2008 and 2012 Olympics when he was just 22 and 26 years old, respectively. Bolt, a known Packers fan, explained that he declined the offers because he’s afraid of his safety back then.

“If it was like it is now, I think I would probably transition and try to play in the NFL,” Bolt told Markazi.

In last season’s NFL Super Bowl Experience in Atlanta, Bolt unofficially tied the 4.22-second record in the 40-yard dash set by John Ross in the 2017 Combine while wearing sweatpants and flat shoes.

Bolt, who retired from competition in 2017, said he’s now willing to play in the NFL if the Patriots or the Packers call. If he joins the Patriots, Bolt believes he could win championships with veteran Tom Brady as his quarterback.

However, when asked if Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is better than Brady, Bolt gave a safe answer, replying “it’s tight.”

As of now, Bolt said Rodgers is doing well despite the Packers’ lack of manpower at wide receiver.

“He’s doing great with what he has,” said Bolt of Rodgers, who has led the Packers to a 6-1 record this season, best in the NFC North. The Patriots, for their part, recently acquired Mohamed Sanu from the Atlanta Falcons for a 2020 second-round pick.

(10/28/2019) ⚡AMP
by ZeeGee Cecilio
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Brigid Kosgei Breaks the World Record at the 2019 Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Kenyan Brigid Kosgei shattered a 16-year-old world record in the women’s marathon by 81 seconds, winning the Chicago Marathon in 2:14:04 on Sunday.

Paula Radcliffe had held the record of 2:15:25 set at the 2003 London Marathon. Kenyan Mary Keitany holds the female-only record of 2:17:01 from the 2017 London Marathon. Both Kosgei and Radcliffe, the only women to break 2:17, ran with men in their record races.

Radcliffe’s record was the longest-standing for the men’s or women’s marathon of the last 50 years.

Kosgei did it one day after Eliud Kipchoge became the first person to run a sub-two-hour marathon in a non-record-eligible event in Vienna. She won by a gaping 6 minutes, 47 seconds over Ethiopian Ababel Yeshaneh.

Kosgei, who won Chicago in 2018 and the London Marathon in April, came in highly favored. The 25-year-old tuned up with the fastest half-marathon ever by a woman (by 23 seconds) on Sept. 8 on a non-record-eligible course.

“2:10 is possible,” Kosgei reportedly said after Sunday’s record.

Jordan Hasay, the top U.S. woman in the field, crossed 5km at a slow 22:20 and registered no further timings. Hasay, who was coached by Alberto Salazar before his ban in a U.S. Anti-Doping Agency case, is one of several women in contention for the three Olympic spots at the Feb. 29 trials in Atlanta.

Kenyan Lawrence Cherono won the men’s race by one second over Ethiopian Dejene Debela in 2:05:45.

Galen Rupp, reportedly dropped out in the final miles. He began fading from the lead pack before the 10-mile mark in his first race since last year’s Chicago Marathon. Rupp, who was also coached by Salazar, is coming back from Achilles surgery.

Mo Farah, the defending champion and four-time Olympic track gold medalist, finished eighth in 2:09:58. He also dropped from the leaders before the halfway point.

Kosgei raced her way to an early lead, breaking far away from her pack and continuing on pace to break not just a course but the woman’s world record. 

Kosgei has literally been unbeatable in 2019.

Kosgei wowed fans in 2017 with a second-place finish, but she made an even bigger splash last fall when she won the race with third-fastest time in Chicago's history.

(10/13/2019) ⚡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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Daniel Mesfun And Caroline Rotich were the winners at The 2019 Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon

Over 11,000 registered runners from age 12 to 89 took to the streets on Sunday to participate in the running of the 2019 Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon. Giving runners the opportunity to run to the Beat in Their Feet™, the 2019 Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon provided participants great music in a community environment as runners of all athletic levels enjoyed the sights and sounds of Philadelphia.

Daniel Mesfun of Eritrea put forth a dominant showing in the half marathon Sunday morning to win the overall race with an impressive finishing time of 01:02:58. Mesfun separated from the incredibly competitive field of elite runners before hitting the first mile marker, and held onto his lead for the duration of the 13.1-mile race despite the warm and humid conditions on Sunday. American Wilkerson Given (Atlanta, Ga.) came in second with a time of 01:03:29 while Somali born American and four-time Olympian Abdi Abdirahman (Tucson, Ariz.) followed in third place finishing in 1:03:32.

2015 Boston Marathon Champion Caroline Rotich of Kenya paced the loaded field of elite women, clocking a time of 1:11:00 to take home the top spot in the women’s half marathon. Becky Wade (Boulder, Colo.) followed in second with a time of 1:12:13 while up-and-comer Jordan Hasay (Portland, Ore.) rounded out the podium with a time of 01:12:35. Hasay has finished third in each of her two appearances at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon.

The best-in-class running event kicked off on Sunday morning with all three distances - the 5K presented by Brooks, 7.6K, and the half marathon- beginning at Eakins Oval.

(09/17/2019) ⚡AMP
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Rock N Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon

Rock N Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon

The Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series makes running fun. Each year, more athletes participate in Rock ‘n’ Roll running events than any other running series in the United States. What started as a simple idea in 1998 – a marathon with bands along the course celebrating each participant – soon transformed the running landscape igniting the second running boom. While...

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