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Ethiopia’s Lemi Berhanu Hayle targets Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon Record

Many target course records and victory in the weeks preceding a major marathon, but few can achieve this glory. Ethiopia’s Lemi Berhanu Hayle, however, has the fast times and experience to do it.  

Berhanu has confirmed he will attack Philemon Rono’s Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon course record (2:06:52) on October 20th. With Rono also committed to this year’s event, plus last year’s champion Benson Kipruto, Lemi’s addition to the field sets up a compelling showdown for the CAN $30,000 first place prize and, if things go right, CAN $40,000 course record bonus.

Lemi is held in such high regard by Ethiopian selectors that he was selected to his nation’s 2016 Olympic team (he finished 13th). Earlier that year he won the 2016 Boston Marathon. But it was his victory at the 2015 Dubai Marathon in 2:05:28 - the fourth fastest time in the world that year - which introduced him as a world-beating athlete.

Though he was beaten during his Dubai title defence in 2017 he came away with a new personal best of 2:04:33, in second place. Against this backdrop a Toronto course record assault is more than viable.

"My target is to have the course record time and of course to win the race," he says adding he will ask the pacemakers to go through halfway in 1:03. It appears, too, that he is familiar with Toronto.

"I always watch the (Scotiabank) Toronto Marathon on television. I have never missed (watching) the race every year. I heard some of the things about the race from my teammates; that the course and the weather is good."

Lemi is coached by Gemedu Dedefo as part of the Demadonna Athletics Promotions group in Ethiopia. Several athletes from this team have raced in this IAAF Gold Label race over the years most notably past winners Shure Demise (2015- and 2016-women’s champion) and Derissa Chimsa the 2013 men’s winner.

Poring over his impressive competitive record with those fast times, he doesn’t have to think long to determine which of his races yielded the most enjoyment. His Boston and Rio Olympic experience are top of his mind.

"The 2016 Boston Marathon was my favorite race," he reveals. "During that time, I was in very good shape, so I easily won that race.

"As it was my first time to compete in the Olympics, I feel very proud, but I faced injury in my leg and was not in the top three. That didn’t make me to change my plan, rather, it makes me feel that I have the ability and potential next time on world stages."

Born in Asasa about 220 kilometers south of Ethiopia’s capital city of Addis he grew up to the exploits of the leading Ethiopian runners.

"I saw (Olympic champions) Kenenisa (Bekele) and Haile Gebrselassie running on TV. Their great talent inspired me to follow them. I started running school championships and, when I saw my results, I thought of continuing athletics," he explains.

In 2013 he moved to Addis to train with Gemedu and after a short time made his debut in the 2014 Kampala Marathon. He recorded his first victory at the Zurich Marathon the same year in an eye catching 2:10:40 - at age 19. Training with the group has certainly proven advantageous in several ways.

"We are all like friends with most of my teammates we go out together to some recreational areas when we have time," he reveals adding, "I married my friend and fellow athlete, Melesech Tsegaye, last year. We have no children for the moment."

With his previous earnings he has built his own house in Addis and has plans to start a business sometime in the future.

Lemi joins a strong field which includes his compatriot Abera Kuma (2:05:50 PB) and the Kenyan trio of Festus Talam (2:06:13 PB), the aforementioned defending champion, Benson Kipruto, and Canadian All-comers’ record holder, Philemon Rono.

(09/13/2019) ⚡AMP
by Paul Gains
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Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Half-Marathon & 5k Run / Walk is organized by Canada Running Series Inc., organizers of the Canada Running Series, "A selection of Canada's best runs!" Canada Running Series annually organizes eight events in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver that vary in distance from the 5k to the marathon. The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and Half-Marathon are...

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Kenyan Mark Kiptoo, who set the world 40+ best at the Mainova Frankfurt Marathon last year, will return to Germany's oldest city marathon for its 38th edition on October 27

The Kenyan ran 2:07:50 12 months ago to finish sixth at this IAAF Gold Label road race while becoming the first 40+ runner to break the 2:08 barrier. At the moment, all signs suggest that the 43-year-old is capable of a further improvement this year as he aims to win the race for a second time.

Indeed, Kiptoo is still running at a very high level which m may be due to his late arrival to the event. Kiptoo made his marathon debut at 37 in Frankfurt and finished second in 2:06:15, just one second behind the winner. In 2014 he returned to win in 2:06:49. Three of his five best marathon times have been run in the city. His lifetime best is 2:06:00, achieved in the Dutch city of Eindhoven in 2015.

"I am very excited to be heading back to the Frankfurt Marathon this year," Kiptoo said. "I have enjoyed good experiences in the past, finishing second in 2013, winning in 2014 and last year of course breaking the world masters' best.

"This year my aim will be to challenge to win the race. I believe if I win the race then I probably break the record again. My preparations are going on well and God willing I see another successful day in Frankfurt ahead."

Two Kenyans who impressed at the Mainova Frankfurt Marathon last year and finished ahead of Kiptoo are also making a return: Amos Mitei, who was fourth with 2:07:28 in 2018 and Kenneth Keter, who finished fifth in 2:07:34. Bernard Kipyego also joins the Kenyan contingent and has similar ability, having won the 2015 Amsterdam Marathon in 2:06:19.

Despite the strong Kenyan presence, an Ethiopian could well emerge as leader of the pack. Fikre Bekele, no relation to the long distance multiple Olympic gold medallist Kenenisa, ran 2:06:27 to finish fourth in Seoul this spring, a traditionally high class event.

This was after suffering problems in his first two marathons last year, where he endured to finish in 2:20 and 2:17 in India and Spain respectively. 

Organisers are expecting up to 14,000 runners to take part.

 

(09/09/2019) ⚡AMP
by IAAF
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Mainova Frankfurt Marathon

Mainova Frankfurt Marathon

Frankfurt is an unexpectedly traditional and charming city, with half-timbered buildings huddled in its quaint medieval Altstadt (old city), cosy apple wine taverns serving hearty regional food, village-like neighbourhoods filled with outdoor cafes, boutiques and street art, and beautiful parks, gardens and riverside paths. The city's cache of museums is second in Germany only to Berlin’s, and its nightlife...

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Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele has been added to the men’s field at Berlin Marathon

Organizers of the BMW Berlin Marathon have announced that Kenenisa Bekele has joined a loaded men’s field for the IAAF Gold Label road race on 29 September.

Bekele is one of the greatest distance runners of all time. Along with his three Olympic gold medals, he has amassed 17 world titles on the track, indoors and outdoors, and cross country. His world records for 5000m and 10,000m have stood for 15 years.

He stepped up to the marathon in 2014 and set a course record of 2:05:04 in Paris on his debut at the distance. He set a personal best of 2:03:03 – which, at the time, was an Ethiopian record and just six seconds off the then world record – when winning the Berlin Marathon in 2016.

On 29 September he will line up against compatriots Guye Adola, Leul Gebrselassie, Sisay Lemma and Birhanu Legese in what looks set to be another memorable race in the German capital.

(09/03/2019) ⚡AMP
by IAAF
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BMW Berlin Marathon

BMW Berlin Marathon

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

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Ethiopian quartet have set their sights on breaking the recent Kenyan dominance at the BMW Berlin-Marathon

Guye Adola, who finished second in an unofficial world record debut two years ago in Berlin, as well as Leul Gebrselassie, Sisay Lemma and Birhanu Legese all possess the potential to win the BMWBerlin-Marathon.

Gebrselassie, Lemma and Legese have each triumphed over the marathon distance in the past ten months, running top-class times and all have personal bests in the region of 2:04.

“We expect a men’s race with top performances. There’s not much likelihood of a world record attempt but the times are likely to be very fast. In addition, the battle for victory could be a thrilling one that may well last until the final few kilometres,” said the race director Mark Milde, who is still recruiting more top performers.

In the past ten years Ethiopian runners have only won the men’s title in Berlin on two occasions. Haile Gebrselassie won in 2009 and Kenenisa Bekele in 2016. Otherwise Kenyans have dominated, breaking the world record four times. The most recent occasion was last year when Eliud Kipchoge ran a sensational 2:01:39 but he will not be running this year.

Birhanu Legese is the one runner among the Ethiopian quartet who has won an Abbott World Marathon Majors race this year. The 24-year-old took the title in Tokyo in March with 2:04:48 in only the third marathon of his career. In 2018 he made a spectacular debut with 2:04:15 in Dubai which put him straightaway among the marathon world-class. Even so, his time was only good enough for sixth in an extraordinarily fast race. Legese has already won one big race in Berlin, emerging as the surprise winner of the city’s Half Marathon with 59:45 in 2015.

Two more of the quartet for Berlin on September 29 were in action in Dubai 2018 and ran their personal bests there: Leul Gebrselassie and Sisay Lemma. Gebrselassie is not related to the former marathon world record holder and multiple Berlin winner Haile, but has strong credentials of his own, finishing runner-up in 2:04:02 in the race in the United Arab Emirates 18 months ago. In December the 25-year-old confirmed his ability in setting a course record of 2:04:31 to win the Valencia Marathon. In April this year he finished eighth in London’s traditionally highly competitive field.

Sisay Lemma improved his best by a big margin to 2:04:08 to finish fifth in Dubai in 2018. At the end of last October the 28-year-old produced another fine performance to break the course record in Ljubljana with 2:04:58. Three years ago he was fourth in the BMW Berlin-Marathon with 2:06:56. He marked 2015 with victories in Vienna and Frankfurt marathons.

Guye Adola has every reason to have fond memories of Berlin on his return to the race. Two years ago the 28-year-old ran an unofficial world record debut to finish second in 2:03:46 – official world records for marathon debuts are not given. He even managed to put a superstar such as Eliud Kipchoge under pressure, leading until just before 40k from the Kenyan. Since that debut the Half Marathon World Championship bronze medallist in 2014 has struggled with injuries but Adola intends to put all that behind him at the BMW Berlin-Marathon this year.

(07/23/2019) ⚡AMP
by AIMS
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BMW Berlin Marathon

BMW Berlin Marathon

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

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Tirfi Tsegaye was ranked amongst the world’s greatest marathoners is now returning from maternity leave to run the Ottawa Marathon

Three years ago, and prior to giving birth to a baby boy, Tirfi Tsegaye was ranked amongst the world’s greatest marathoners with some incredible performances. Now, after gradually returning to training, the Ethiopian Olympic runner makes her first start at the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon, May 26th since the arrival of young Tilember Miresa.

Tsegaye, 34, ran the world-leading time of 2:19:41 in January 2016 in Dubai – her personal best time – then three months later finished 2nd in the Boston Marathon. At the Rio Olympics, she missed the podium by 17 seconds finishing 4th in 2:24:47. It was quite a year, indeed.

As if these credentials aren’t impressive enough, consider she also won the both the Tokyo and Berlin Marathons in 2014 and finished 3rd in London. Few athletes have made the podium in one World Marathon Major let alone four.

“Training is going good,” Tsegaye says from her home in Addis Ababa. “But, I’m not like how I was before. It’s been a little different for me coming back but still training. I’ve missed it a lot. I’ve even missed the training more than the actual competitions. I’m pretty excited about the Ottawa marathon.”

Under coach Gemedu Dedefo she has slowly regained her form and counts such stalwarts as Shure Demise, a two-time Toronto winner, and Alia Mohammed, 2018 Ottawa 10k champion amongst her training partners.

During her maternity leave, she split with her husband and is combining motherhood and marathon training, which would cause concern but for the fact she is such a disciplined and highly experienced athlete.

“It’s tough but I manage,” she admits. “I have a nanny and she helps me out with the baby and other errands. When I come back from training I get exhausted, so, it’s really nice to have some help around the house.

“Pregnancy takes a lot from you and the time I had off was really therapeutic. I feel like I’ve recovered enough for now.”

Tirfi grew up in the town of Bekoji, 220 kilometres south of the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa. Bekoji was immortalized in a documentary “Town of Runners” as an unusually large number of Olympic champions have ‘graduated’ from the training of local coach Sentayehu Eshetu. These include Kenenisa Bekele, Tirunesh Dibaba and Derartu Tulu.

“Growing up in Bekoji was an inspiration in itself,” she admits. “Tulu was a major inspiration for me since we were one of the same. My coach was Sentayehu Eshetu at the time when I was in Bekoji. I moved to Addis in 2008.”

“Yeah, Derartu, Haile (Gebrselassie), Kenenisa and others have inspired me to try and push myself and be my best. I fell in love with their work and dedication when I saw them on television.”

As her impressive curriculum vitae suggests, Tirfi places high expectations upon herself even for this comeback race. Although predicting marathon performances is a difficult proposition at the best of times, it is unlikely she, or coach Gemedu, would confirm her entry unless she was going to be ready. Still, there is that element of the unknown.

Her Italian manager, Gianni DeMadonna, has made her aware that the course record of 2:22:17 was set by her compatriot Gelete Burka last year but for the moment that is secondary to having a successful return.  Victory would bring her $30,000 CDN and the course record is worth an additional $10,000 CDN. That is also a significant factor.

“Ottawa is a big deal for me now because I need to get back to my winning form,” she stresses. “I have big expectations for Ottawa and I will try and do my level best.

“I figure it’s going to be a little hard for me to beat the record set by Gelete last year. But, I think if I try my best I believe that it is beatable. I’m not familiar with the course or the climate. And I have not yet talked with any other athletes about the Ottawa race. But, soon I hope.”

Should she cross the finish line first she would be the tenth consecutive Ethiopian woman to emerge triumphant in this IAAF Gold Label race. There are, without a doubt, plenty of resources then for her to approach when it comes time to seeking advice on how to run the Ottawa course.

(05/09/2019) ⚡AMP
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Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon

Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon

Welcome to Canada’s largest and fastest marathon: the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon. As one of two IAAF Gold Label marathon events in Canada, the race attracts Canada’s largest marathon field (7,000 participants) as well as a world-class contingent of elite athletes every year. Featuring the beautiful scenery of Canada’s capital, the top-notch organization of an IAAF event, the atmosphere of...

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Mathew Kimeli and Senbere Teferi were dominant victors at the UAE Healthy Kidney 10-K

Ethiopia’s 2015 world 5000m silver medallist Senbere Teferi won in a course record of 30:59 ahead of Kenya’s Monicah Ngige (31:52) and Ethiopia’s Buze Diriba (32:20).

Mathew Kimeli, who owns the event’s second-fastest ever mark with his runner-up run at the 2018 edition of the race (27:19), this time clocked 27:45 to win.

Ethiopia’s Girma Bekele Gerba placed second with a time of 28:07 and Kenya’s Edwin Kibichiy was third with a time of 28:21.

Winning by 22 and 53 seconds in 27:45 and 30:59, respectively. Kimeli, a 21-year-old Kenyan who represents adidas, improved on last year's runner-up finish, cruised the second half of the race solo.  Teferi, a 23-yer-old Ethiopian who also runs for adidas, set a new event record, the first sub-31:00 in the 15-year history of the event which raises money for kidney disease research and treatment.

A year ago, Kimeli and training partner Rhonex Kipruto worked together in pursuit of the Central Park record and the $30,000 bonus that came with it. Kipruto took home the paycheck for his 27:08 victory, while Kimeli finished second in 27:19. He returned to New York as the pre-race favorite and acted like it, immediately moving to the front of the lead pack from the start.

Through the first mile (4:31), Kimeli was joined by fellow Kenyan James Ngandu, Gabriel Geay of Tanzania and Girma Bekele Gebre, a New York-based Ethiopian. Kimeli ratcheted up the pace with a 4:20 second mile, first dropping Ngandu before Geay also started to struggle to maintain contact. Running the tangents of the curved roadway with precision, Kimeli dropped Gebre as the course climbed the steep Harlem Hill at the north end of the park. Between 3 miles (13:14) and 5 kilometers (13:45) Kimeli accelerated sharply and broke away.

"I could see that he was going to challenge me on the hill, so I decided that was the time to push it," Kimeli told Race Results Weekly.

At the certified 8-kilometer split (22:08) Kimeli's lead had grown to 17 seconds and his only competition was coming from the clock. The demanding course took its toll, however, as he split 14:00 for the second 5-K to reach the finish in 27:45, still the sixth fastest time in race history.

"The course is good, but today I didn't have a challenger so that maybe we could push together," Kimeli said. "I was comfortable, although I didn't have anybody to support me, other than the [cameraman's] motorbike. The spectators cheered for me and that helped. Maybe next year I'll try to set a new course record."

Gebre crossed the line second in 28:07, while Edwin Kibichiy of Kenya, the 2017 NCAA champion in the steeplechase for the University of Louisville, moved up for third in 28:21. Another Kenyan, Dominic Korir (28:24), and Geay (28:43) rounded out the top five.

Teferi, a week away from her 24th birthday and in her United States racing debut, made an aggressive bid for the Central Park record, Lornah Kiplagat's 30:44 set at the 2002 NYRR New York Mini 10-K. She broke away from Kenya's Monicah Ngige early in the race, attacking the early miles. By halfway (15:31), the record seemed out of her reach, but Teferi continued to press.

Indeed, she covered the second half even faster (15:28) to break the tape in 30:59. Although she missed Kiplagat's mark, she was well under the previous event record of 31:17, set by Joyce Chepkirui of Kenya in 2014.

"I was trying to break the record, but there were a lot of hills at the beginning and by 2 kilometers I knew I was off the pace," said Teferi through a translator, who owns a pair of IAAF World Championships silver medals from 2015 in cross country and the 5000 meters. "I kept on trying after that, I didn't give up hope. I didn't succeed, but I was trying."

Ngige, who finished third in this race the past two years, held on for second in 31:52. Defending champion Buze Diriba of Ethiopia was third in 32:20, followed by Risper Gesabwa (33:26) of Mexico and New Yorker Harriott Kelly (34:19).

Kimeli and Teferi both earned $10,000 first-place prizes (part of a $60,000 purse) in the New York Road Runners-organized event, which featured 7696 official finishers.

(04/29/2019) ⚡AMP
by Rich Sands
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UAE Healthy Kidney 10K

UAE Healthy Kidney 10K

The UAE Healthy Kidney 10K is an annual race organized by the New York Road Runners, with support from the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC, to benefit the National Kidney Foundation. The race honors the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the Founder and first President of the United Arab Emirates. Sheikh Zayed was treated for kidney disease in...

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Course records fall at the 42nd anual Madrid Marathon

Kenya’s Reuben Kerio and Ethiopia’s Shasho Insermu set race records at the 42nd Rock ’n’ Roll Madrid Marathon, crossing the line of the IAAF Gold Label road race in 2:08:18 and 2:26:24 respectively on Saturday (27).

While the 25-year-old Kerio led a Kenyan clean sweep of medals, Insermu obliterared the previous record by over four minutes, getting the better from her fellow Ethiopian Fetale Dejene Tsegaye on a perfect day (10C at the start).

Led by pacemakers Emmanuel Bett of Kenya and Ugandan cross-country specialist Timothy Toroitich, the main pack set off at a steady 3:03/km pace. The opening 10 kilometres were covered in 30:39 with 16 men still in the lead.

The pace increased in the following five-kilometre section and they went through 15km in 45:33 and reached the half-way point in 1:03:54 with Toroitich still in the lead. Bernard Kiprop Koech, Kiprotich Kirui, Kipkemoi Kipsang and Ethiopia’s Sisay Jisa ran closest to the pacemakers by then.

With the clock reading 1:19, Jisa fell injured and was forced to stop. Shortly afterwards Eliud Barngetuny lost contact with the main pack at the 29th kilometre.

Once Toroitich dropped out, Kirui took charge of the pace and only Kerio, Kipsang and Kiptoo managed to stay at his shoulder while the local favourite Javier Guerra could not live with their pace and ran in fifth alongside Nicholas Kirwa.

The lead pack reached 30km in 1:31:08 and with four men still in the group it became clear they were on pace to break the race record of 2:09:15.

The long-legged Kerio made his move at the 36th kilometre and he soon opened a clear gap over Kipsang, Kirui and Kiptoo. By 40km (2:01:35) the leader had built a 22-second margin on Kipsang and 24 on Kirui, having both secured podium places in detriment of a fading Kiptoo.

Kerio crossed the finish line in 2:08:18 to take nearly a full minute off the previous race record. Kipsang (PB of 2:08:58) and Kirui (2:09:05) also dipped inside the previous mark set in 2014. To the delight of the crowd, Guerra finished fifth in 2:10:19, a couple of seconds behind Kiptoo.

“This is my first win at an IAAF Gold Label event so I’m over the moon,” said Kerio. “In addition I ran 2:08 low which means a much faster time competing at sea level so I hope to be in the 2:05 region shortly.”

Paced by compatriot Fikadu Kebede, Ethiopia’s Shasho Insermu, a 2:23:28 performer, set out with the intention of breaking the 2:30:40 race record set last year, but she had a hesitant first 10km, covered in 35:41 in the company of compatriots Tsegaye Dejene, Beshadu Bekele, Gebeyanesh Ayele and Hemila Wortessa.

Shortly after 15km, reached in 52:24, Insermu had built up a sole lead while her three compatriots ran together, helped by 2006 5000m European champion Jesús España, a recreational runner nowadays after his retirement last summer

Insermu, contesting her 11th marathon, cruised to the half-way point in 1:13:00, some 1:15 ahead of record schedule and 20 seconds clear of debutant Tesfaye, Bekele and Ayele.

Taking advantage of Kebede’s pacing duties, Insermu maintained her rhythm for the rest of the event, despite the second half of the circuit being the toughest part.

By 30km, reached in 1:43:28, the leader still held a 20-second advantage over Tesfaye but Bekele and Ayele’s speed decreased dramatically as they lost 1:48 by then. Finally, the gap between the experienced Insermu and debutant Tesfaye increased and the only question remaining was how much the course record would be broken by.

The 26-year-old Insermu won in style in 2:26:24 with a 41-second advantage over Tesfaye while Bekele completed an Ethiopian sweep in 2:32:15.

“Once I knew I would run in Madrid in April, I set myself the goal of setting a new race record as a lot of people said it was not possible to dip under the 2:30 barrier,” said Insermu. “I thought I might clock 2:27 so my performance was even beyond expectations.”

(04/27/2019) ⚡AMP
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Rock n Roll Madrid Marathon

Rock n Roll Madrid Marathon

Tradition and much Rock ‘n’ Roll is what awaits you if you decide to run the 42K: vibrant, special and incredible journey that along which the flagship race of the capital of Spain. One of the top half marathons in Europe, Rock ‘n’ Roll Madrid EDP 1/2 Marathon does not disappoint. You will be cheered on by thousands of locals...

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Strong field has been assembled for the PZU Cracovia Marathon and the course record will be under attack

The 19th edition of the PZU Cracovia Marathon taking place in Krakow this Sunday, marks the first time that the race has been given IAAF Bronze Label status and appropriately strong fields have been assembled.

Hopes are high that the current course records of 2:11:34 by Berga Birhanu Bekele and 2:28:14 by Tetyana Gamera may be broken.

Philip Sanga Kimutai is the fastest man in the field. The 35-year old Kenyan has bettered 2:07 three times in his career, topped by 2:06:07 in Frankfurt in 2011 and has achieved podium finishes in multiple major races, including Vienna, Rome and Eindhoven.

Cybrian Kotut could start as the marginal favorite. The Kenyan won the 2016 Paris Marathon in a PB of 2:07:11 and finished third in Frankfurt in 2:07:28 the same year, but this will be a comeback race for him as he has competed since December 2017.

With a best of 2:08:35, Japan's Kentaro Nakamoto might not be the fastest runner in the field, but he is hugely experienced and extremely consistent, having finished in the top 10 at four global championships.

France’s Abraham Kiprotich, world ranked No.75 in the marathon, is another top contender. He won in Daegu in 2013 with a PB of 2:08:33 and followed it with victories in Istanbul and Taipei in 2017.

Kenya’s Josphat Leting, Philip Kangogo and Wycliffe Biwott all stand good chances of making it on to the podium, as does 2016 Krakow runner-up David Metto, who won three marathons last year, including two in Poland.

Kenyan duo Gladys Kipsoi and Eunice Jeptoo will start as the favourites for the women’s race. Kipsoi clocked a PB of 2:27:32 in Houston last year, while Jeptoo has gone even faster, with a 2:26:13 win in Eindhoven in 2017.

Nastassia Ivanova's best of 2:27:24 dates back to 2012, but the Belarusian has competed well in recent seasons, winning in Warsaw in 2017 and 2018 and finishing fifth at the 2018 European Championships.

Germany’s Katharina Heinig has bettered 2:30 in each of the past three seasons, with a best of 2:28:34 set in Berlin in 2016.

Two Ukrainians in the field are also possible contenders. Natalia Lehonkova won in Dublin in 2017 with 2:28:58, while 2008 Krakow winner Olga Kotovska has a PB of 2:28:47.

(04/26/2019) ⚡AMP
by Pawel Jackowski
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PZU Cracovia Marathon

PZU Cracovia Marathon

The Marathon, organized since 2002 is one of the most popular running events in Poland. It is also the event which brings the biggest number of international participants, who every year come to Krakow to compete. So far, the Cracovia Marathon has seen participants from 55 countries. The Sports Infrastructure Management Board of Krakow is leading the project of the...

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Kenya’s Bernard Kiprop Koech and Ethiopia’s Shasho Insermu among the favorites in Rock and Roll Madrid

Nearly 10,000 runners will gather in the Spanish capital to take part in the 42nd Rock ‘n’ Roll Madrid Marathon on Saturday.

Kenya’s Bernard Kiprop Koech will be one of the athletes to beat in the men’s race. The 30-year-old holds a 2:04:53 PB set in Dubai back in 2013 while his last effort over the distance came in Valencia in 2017 when he clocked 2:08:32 for ninth. More recently he lowered his 10,000m PB to 27:31:83 last November in Hachioji.

Koech will be joined by fellow Kenyan Eliud Barngetuny, who won in Madrid last year in a lifetime best of 2:10:15, the second-fastest time ever in the Spanish capital and exactly one minute shy of the course record.

Jonah Chesum, the victor in Barcelona in 2017 with a PB of 2:08:57, should also be in contention. His most recent marathon effort of 2:10:08 came in Lisbon in October. Reuben Kerio, a 2:08:12 specialist, Kiprotich Kirui (2:08:48 in Paris last year) and Kipkemoi Kisang (2:09:21) complete the large Kenyan contingent.

With a best of 2:04:49, Ethiopia’s 2013 world silver medallist Tadesse Tola has the fastest PB of the field, but he hasn’t run faster than 2:16 since 2015.

The Ethiopian squad also includes Seboka Dibaba, a 2:06:17 performer in 2012 whose last effort was timed at 2:14:35 in September, Sisay Jisa (2:06:27), Belete Gezu (2:10:34) and Tilahun Amsalu (2:12:19).

Javier Guerra, the fourth-place finisher at the past two European Championships, is the top Spanish entrant. His 1:03:57 clocking at the Madrid Half Marathon three weeks ago was intended as a stepping stone for Saturday’s event where he is aiming to beat his lifetime best of 2:08:36 set last year in Seville.

No woman has ever bettered 2:30 in Madrid, but that barrier – and the course record of 2:30:40 – look vulnerable ahead of Saturday’s race.

Ethiopia’s Shasho Insermu, world ranked No.40, has finished in the top two in six of her past seven marathons. Her two most recent races have produced the two fastest times of her career as she ran a huge lifetime best of 2:23:28 in Amsterdam in October and followed it with 2:27:42 earlier this year in Xiamen.

Compatriot Tinbit Weldegebril, world ranked No.79 in the marathon, is another top contender. She smashed her PB on her last visit to Spain, clocking 2:23:37 in Valencia in December.

Other Ethiopians include Gebeyanesh Ayele, who clocked a 2:26:54 PB last year in Hengshui, Bechadu Bekele and Hemila Wortessa. With a best of 2:21:31, Magarsa Askale has the fastest PB of the field but that mark was set 11 years ago and she hasn’t raced since 2016.

Seville marathon winner Boulaid Kaoutar of Morocco may also be a factor if she can repeat her 2:25:35 form from last year.

Uganda’s Mercyline Chelangat will be making her marathon debut. The 21-year-old finished a creditable 12th at the 2017 World Cross Country Championships in Kampala and 11th in the 5000m at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Weather forecasters are predicting a sunny day with temperatures ranging between 11-13C by the time of the event and no likelihood of rain during the races.

(04/26/2019) ⚡AMP
by IAAF
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Rock n Roll Madrid Marathon

Rock n Roll Madrid Marathon

Tradition and much Rock ‘n’ Roll is what awaits you if you decide to run the 42K: vibrant, special and incredible journey that along which the flagship race of the capital of Spain. One of the top half marathons in Europe, Rock ‘n’ Roll Madrid EDP 1/2 Marathon does not disappoint. You will be cheered on by thousands of locals...

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Reigning London Marathon champion Vivian Cheruiyot is focusing on defending her title at 2019 London Marathon

Reigning London Marathon champion Vivian Cheruiyot is not focusing on breaking the world record when she returns to the 2019 London course on April 28.

Cheruiyot, popularly known as ‘Pocket Rocket’, will be lining up in the streets of London for a third consecutive year but this time round she will be defending the title she clinched in 2018.

The Olympic Champion clocked 2:18:31 beating the three-time London Marathon champion and her close ally Mary Keitany en route to clinching the title and the duo are set to face off again in this year’s event.

The 35-year-old however says that focus is on retaining the crown but not setting a record and would not be focussing on her competitors.

“I will be running against anybody. I will be competing as Vivian and so I don’t know what my competitors are planning, maybe they want to break the world record but for me I hope to run good race,” Cheruiyot, known for her trade mark infectious smile told Citizen Digital.

Having beaten Keitany to the title last year, Cheruiyot said they might be rivals on the road but enjoys a warm relationship with the New York Marathon champion.

“In athletics we are also friends, only that if I win then that is my time and if Mary wins it’s her time because this is sports,” explained Cheruiyot.

This year’s race is set to be as competitive as ever with the winners of the last four Abbott World Marathon Majors set to line up in London on Sunday.

The duo is set to face off against Chicago Marathon champion Brigid Kosgei and the Berlin Marathon champion Gladys Cherono.

Also, in the mix is another Kenyan, Linet Masai, who will be making her debut.

Cherono, Kosgei and Keitany top the current Abbott World Marathon Majors Series XII rankings with 25 points apiece from their wins in Berlin, Chicago and New York.

Meanwhile, three-time Olympic champion who finished second in London and won Chicago in 2017, Ethiopia’s Tirunesh Dibaba, has pulled out of the Sunday’s race as she is expecting her second- born child thus leaving her compatriots Tadelech Bekele, who finished third in London last year and the 21-year- old Roza Dereje, second in Chicago, and winner of the Dubai Marathon in 2018 to lead the assault for Ethiopia.

(04/22/2019) ⚡AMP
by Gilbert Kiprotich
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

The London Marathon was first run on March 29, 1981 and has been held in the spring of every year since 2010. It is sponsored by Virgin Money and was founded by the former Olympic champion and journalist Chris Brasher and Welsh athlete John Disley. It is organized by Hugh Brasher (son of Chris) as Race Director and Nick Bitel...

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Nengampi and Taegu are the winners at the Yangzhou Jianzhen half marathon in China

Kenya’s Perine Nengampi enjoyed a convincing victory in the women’s race of the Yangzhou Jianzhen International Half Marathon while Berehanu Tsegu of Ethiopia clinched the men’s title with a powerful home stretch run at the IAAF Gold Label road race on Sunday (21).

The 29-year-old Nengampi upset a deep field that contained several sub-1:08 runners and took the victory with a career best time of 1:08:04, the second fastest winning time ever in Yangzhou after the course record of 1:07:21 set by fellow Kenyan and world champion Peres Jepchirchir in 2016.

Nengampi stayed in a leading group of eight runners in the early stages and pulled clear for the sole lead near the halfway mark. She kept widening the gap and never looked back, crossing the line with a margin of nearly one-and-a-half minutes.

Birhan Mhretu of Ethiopia clocked a PB of 1:09:33 to finish second, bettering her previous career best by 53 seconds. Bekelech Gudeta of Ethiopia, the eighth-place finisher from the 2018 World Half Marathon Championships, took the third place in 1:09:45.

Nineteen-year-old Tsegu, in his first year as a senior athlete, outraced Kenya’s Moses Kibet in the last 500 metres to break the tape in 59:56 in what was only his second international half marathon to date.

Last month Tsegu stormed to 59:41 on his half marathon debut to finish second in Lisbon and his winning time in the scenic Chinese city was only four seconds shy of the course record set by four-time champion Mosinet Geremew.

A crowded leading group of some 20 runners paced the race to five kilometres in 14:08 but only 10 were left when they hit the 10-kilometre water station in 28:21. At 15km in 43:01 there were just seven runners.

Kenya’s John Lotiang, who improved his PB to 1:00:09 last month, launched his charge first after 17km. Tsegu and Kibet managed to keep up and the trio soon built a lead of 10 seconds from the chasers.

Lotiang faded away after 19km. Tsegu waited for another kilometre before breaking clear to wrap up the first title of his career.

Kibet lagged two seconds behind Tsegu to finish second. Lotiang finished third in 1:00:22.

(04/21/2019) ⚡AMP
by From IAAF
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YANGZHOU JIANZHEN INTL  HALF

YANGZHOU JIANZHEN INTL HALF

The Yangzhou Jianzhen International Half Marathon takes place in April in Yangzhou, People’s Republic of China. The event is named in honor of Jianzhen, a Chinese monk from the city who propagated Buddhismin Japan in the 8th century. The event was first held in 2006 and grew exponentially in its first six years: it gained IAAF Silver Label Road Race...

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Leading contenders for this year’s NN Marathon Rotterdam will try to break the course record of 2:04:27

Kenya’s Marius Kipserem will start as the slight favorite. He won the Abu Dhabi Marathon in December in 2:04:04, but his time cannot be counted as an official PB because it was later found that the course was slightly short. That in itself, though, will act as a huge motivating factor for the 30-year-old as he seeks to improve on his fifth-place finish from Rotterdam last year.

Ethiopia’s Tsegaye Mekonnen and Markos Geneti have sub-2:05 PBs, while Emanuel Saina and Woldaregay Gezahegn Kelkile are also strong competitors. Josphat Kiptoo Boit, who burst on to the road-running scene last year with half-marathon clockings of 59:19 and 59:42, will be making his marathon debut.

Dutch record-holder Abdi Nageeye and European champion Koen Naert of Belgium will be aiming to break their respective PBs of 2:08:16 and 2:09:51 or at least secure the Olympic qualifying mark of 2:11:30.

Three world records had been set in the Dutch city: Carlos Lopes’s 2:07:12 in 1985, Belayneh Dinsamo’s 2:06:50 in 1988 and Tegla Loroupe’s 2:20:47 in 1998. The men’s course record of 2:04:27 was set – and shared – by Duncan Kibet and James Kwambai in 2009 with the pair moving to equal second on the world all-time list at that time.

Having won the Valencia Marathon last year in 2:21:14, Ethiopia’s Ashete Bekele Dido will start as favorite in the women’s race. Compatriot Sentayehu Lewetegn and Kenya’s Stella Barsosio are both sub-2:24 performers and are expected to challenge for top honours.

USA’s Kellyn Taylor, Ethiopia’s Betelhem Moges and Portugal’s European half marathon champion Sara Moreira should also be in contention for the podium places.

Approximately 17,000 runners will take to the Erasmus Bridge for the start of the race on Sunday.

(04/05/2019) ⚡AMP
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NN Rotterdam Marathon

NN Rotterdam Marathon

The NN Marathon Rotherdam has been the biggest one-day sporting event in the Netherlands for many years in a row with over 35000 athletes professionals inclusive. The world's top athletes will at the start on the bustling coolsingel, alongside thousands of other runners who will also triumph,each in their own way.The marathon weekend is a wonderful blend of top sport...

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World champion Netsanet Gudeta will be the one to beat at the Vodafone Istanbul Half Marathon

The 28-year-old Ethiopian set the women's-only race world record at the World Half Marathon Championships in Valencia last year, clocking 1:06:11.

But she's run even faster since, clocking 1:05:45 to equal the Ethiopian record at the RAK Half on 8 February, where she finished second. More recently, she ran 1:06:49 at the Bahrain Night Half Marathon on 15 March to finish third.

She'll face Ruth Chepngetich, who set the Istanbul course record of 1:06:19 in 2017. She was second in the Bahrain race last month, clocking 1:06:09 to clip ten seconds from her personal best.

Chepngetich began 2019 with a bang, winning January's Dubai Marathon in 2:17:08 to become the third fastest marathoner in history.

Other standouts include Ethiopians Bekelech Gudeta and Helen Tola, who have 1:07:03 and 1:07:47 lifetime bests to their credit; and Kenyan Delvine Meringor, another sub-1:08 runner.

(04/05/2019) ⚡AMP
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Vodafone Istanbul Half Marathon

Vodafone Istanbul Half Marathon

The conquering armies of ancient times tended to ransack the city rather than endow it with artistic treasures, but all that changed with the Byzantines, who adorned their churches and palaces with mosaics and frescoes. Miraculously, many of these remain. Their successors, the Ottomans, were quick to launch an ambitious building program and the magnificently decorated imperial mosques that resulted...

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Hellen Obiri wins at the IAAF/Mikkeller World Cross Country Championships Aarhus

The world 5000m champion, Hellen Obiri became the first woman in history to win senior world titles indoors, outdoors and at cross country. The only man to achieve such a feat is Kenenisa Bekele.

“It is really special,” smiled Obiri after completing the 10.24km course in 36:14. “It was my debut IAAF World Cross Country Championships and my only chance to do it. I now don't need to do any more cross country.”

Obiri arrived in Aarhus in good form, having clocked 29:59 for 10km at the end of December and winning at the IAAF Cross Country Permit meeting in Elgoibar in January and at the Kenyan Cross Country Championships last month.

The 29-year-old had clearly also thought about her tactics ahead of this weekend. She led the race from the early stages and could be seen visibly leaning into the hill as she tackled the climb up the Moesgaard Museum roof on each lap.

“I thought you must look down, as you don't want to look up to see where you are going and at how difficult the hill is,” she revealed of her technique. “I knew it wasn't going to be a test of speed, as it was a tough hill. It was all about mind games.”

At the end of the second of five laps, a group of five had already broken away, led by Obiri in 14:16, with sub-2:22 marathon runner Dera Dida, world U20 steeplechase silver medallist Peruth Chemutai, steeplechase world record-holder Beatrice Chepkoech and two-time world U20 cross-country champion Letesenbet Gidey in close procession.

(03/30/2019) ⚡AMP
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IAAF/Mikkeller World Cross Country Championships

IAAF/Mikkeller World Cross Country Championships

Aarhus will be hosting the IAAF/Mikkeller World Cross Country Championships 2019 at Moesgaard Museum. And you can participate! It will be a unique and wild event on the grassy, sloping roof of the Moesgaard Museum and in the nature area around the spectacular building. The 2K loop offers not only a trip up an down the roof of Moesgaard Museum,...

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World Cross Country defending champion Geoffrey Kamworor is ready to defend his title this weekend

World Cross Country defending champion Geoffrey Kamworor has sent a warning to his opponents ahead of the world championships in Denmark that he is not ready to relinquish his title.

Kamworor will lead team Kenya for the championships to be held on the 30th of March seeking to make it a third in a row.

As defending champion, let’s take Kamworor first. Not only will he be going for his third straight senior title at cross-country in Aarhus, but also for a sixth straight world title in six years, his two previous cross-country victories in Guiyang (2015) and Kampala (2017), augmented by World Half Marathon championships in 2014, 2016 and 2018.

Kamworor has already joined the group of men to have won at least two world cross-country titles. A further triumph this weekend would put him in the select company of those to have won three or more – Kenenisa Bekele (six), John Ngugi and Paul Tergat (five) and Carlos Lopes (three).

He finished only fifth in the Kenyan championship, won by Amos Kirui, but neither the Kenyan, nor Ethiopian, trial has proven a reliable guide to relative finishing order at recent world championships.

Expect Kamworor to present on the start line at Aarhus in excellent shape. He deserves the status of the "man to beat."

There will be $310,000 of prize money on the line, certainly the most of any cross-country races.

(03/27/2019) ⚡AMP
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IAAF/Mikkeller World Cross Country Championships

IAAF/Mikkeller World Cross Country Championships

Aarhus will be hosting the IAAF/Mikkeller World Cross Country Championships 2019 at Moesgaard Museum. And you can participate! It will be a unique and wild event on the grassy, sloping roof of the Moesgaard Museum and in the nature area around the spectacular building. The 2K loop offers not only a trip up an down the roof of Moesgaard Museum,...

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Kiplagat led four men under 2:07 at the Seoul Marathon

Kenyan Thomas Kiplagat Rono and Desi Jisa Mokonin of Bahrain took convincing victories at the Seoul Marathon, an IAAF Gold Label road race, on Sunday March 17.

Kiplagat led four men under the 2:07 mark, clocking 2:06:00 to win his third career marathon. The 32-year-old knocked nearly two minutes from his previous lifetime best of 2:07:52 set at the 2014 edition of the Joongang Marathon, Seoul's annual autumn marathon.

Elisha Kipchirchir was second in 2:06:12, a massive improvement on his previous best of 2:07:32, set when winning the Eindhoven Marathon last October.

Mike Kiptum Boit rounded out the podium sweep for Kenya, clocking 2:06:24 to beat Ethiopian Fikre Bekele who clocked 2:06:27, career bests for both.

In a quality race, Robert Kiplimo Kipkemboi crossed the line in 2:07:11 to round out the top five. 

Desi Mokonin who was seventh at the IAAF World Half Marathon Champpionships Valencia 2018, was even more dominant, winning by 25 seconds in 2:23:45, just six seconds shy of the personal best she set in Amsterdam last October. This was the first victory in four starts over the distance for the 21-year-old.

Hirut Tibebu, the winner here last year, was second this time around in 2:24:10.

Kenyan Celestine Chepchirchir was third in 2:24:49, a lifetime best for the 29-year-old. Zinash Mekonen of Ethiopia clocked 2:25:44 to round out the top four.

The men's course record of 2:05:13 was set by Kenyan Wilson Loyanae Erupe in 2016. Zhou Chunxia women's course record of 2:19:51 has stood since 2006.

(03/17/2019) ⚡AMP
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Seoul International Marathon

Seoul International Marathon

The only marathon hosted in the heart of the Korean capital.Seoul marathon is the oldest marathon race hosted in Asia andis one of thefastest marathon in the world. First held in 1931, Seoul marathon is the oldest marathon eventcontinuously held in Asia, and the second oldest in the world followingthe Boston Marathon. It embodies modern history of Korea, also referred...

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Alemu Bekele and Kuftu Tahir destroy the Zurich Marathon Barcelona course records

Alemu Bekele set a new course record at the 41st edition of the Zurich Marathon of Barcelona. The Ethiopian and Bahrain nationality athlete, who has been distanced from his rivals in the Via Laietana section, completed the course in a personal best of 2 hours, 6 minutes and 4 seconds. The previous record set in 2010 by Kenyan Jakson Kotut (2:07:30). Abebe Negewo (2:06:49) and Anthony Maritim (2:06:54) were second and third.

"I've made my best record. The race has been very nice and I enjoyed it a lot. I did not expect a record like this, but I'm doing well now," explained Bekele, who has run just four marathons. 

"The trip was better than I expected, but the competition was hard. I have resisted in the first group at all times and I have waited to attack where I thought I could do it. I knew it could beat the record," he said.

"Despite suffering a lot in the final stretch, Ethiopian Kuftu Tahir was first female and also set a course record clocking 2:24:44.

"We went out at a good pace from the start and and that was key. We were together for almost 40 kilometers." Second place placed third.  

"The new course was improved so that it is faster, but without removing any of the emblematic points that characterize us. We have had a balanced marathon, very linear, with few curves and great avenues. Also, we have reduced 20% the a positive difference compared to 2018," syas Cristian Llorens.

There were 17,465 participants. Almost half (49%) were foreigners, from 107 different countries, another historic record.

(03/11/2019) ⚡AMP
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Zurich Marato Barcelona

Zurich Marato Barcelona

The Zurich Marathon is popular both with pro athletes and amateurs and provides a unique running experience in and around Zurich. The route runs for the most part along Lake Zurich and consequently is not only attractive as a sports event, but also visually. The start and finish lines are at the upper lake basin and go through downtown Zurich,...

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World record holder Kenenisa Bekele has withdrawn from Tokyo Marathon with Stress Fracture

The Tokyo Marathon announced that 5000m and 10000m world record holder Kenenisa Bekele(Ethiopia) has withdrawn from the Mar. 3 Tokyo Marathon 2019 due to injury.

The statement read, "He has a stress fracture that is going to take a little more time to heal. His motivation to recover and set his sights on a new goal is high, but unfortunately it seems that is still going to take a while."

"I am hungry and motivated to still achieve big results on the marathon as I know what I am still capable of when my body can fully co-operate. It is therefore that I must now take the time to recover fully, get healthy in order for me to achieve the goals that I have left to prove for myself on the marathon."

Bekele is confident that with a strong and healthy body he is able to flash his greatness once again.

"My body is starting to feel that I have over 20 years of the highest level in sports in my body. Injuries have plagued my move to the marathon a little bit but I have also really great memories since becoming a marathoner. My time in Berlin for example but also my win in Paris are races that I am really proud of."

"I have a desire and dreams that I have left to achieve and I am not finished with the marathon. If I didn't had the fire burning anymore I would have walked away already. My full focus now is on becoming 100 per cent healthy and in shape so that I can reach my goals."

(02/20/2019) ⚡AMP
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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. Sponsored by Tokyo Metro, the Tokyo Marathon is an annual event in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. It is an IAAF Gold Label marathon and one of the six World...

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Mary Keitany, Vivian Cheruiyot And Tirunesh Dibaba will battle at the London Marathon

The defending champion Vivian Cheruiyot and the current TCS New York City Marathon champion Mary Keitany return to the Virgin Money London Marathon in 2019.

They join their compatriots Gladys Cherono (2018 BMW Berlin Marathon champion) and Brigid Kosgei (2018 Bank of America Chicago Marathon champion) meaning the winners of the last four Abbott World Marathon Majors will be on the Start Line in London on Sunday 28 April.

Cheruiyot, who is also the reigning Olympic 5000m champion and the runner-up behind Keitany at last November’s TCS New York City Marathon, said: “It was a great moment for me winning last year’s Virgin Money London Marathon and I am very much looking forward to returning in April.

“The line-up for this year’s race is, once again, incredibly strong so I know I will need to be at my very best to repeat last year’s victory but it is a challenge that I’m really looking forward to. I will be ready.”

Also confirmed to run are the Ethiopian trio of Tirunesh Dibaba,  the three-time Olympic champion on the track and third fastest woman of all time, who finished second in London and won Chicago in 2017, Tadelech Bekele, who finished third in London last year, and 21-year-old Roza Dereje, second in Chicago and winner of the Dubai Marathon in 2018.

Cherono, Kosgei and Keitany top the current Abbott World Marathon Majors Series XII rankings with 25 points apiece from their wins in Berlin, Chicago and New York. Dereje and Cheruiyot are on 16 points apiece following their second places in Chicago and New York respectively. The Series XII title could be decided in London.

The Abbott World Marathon Majors series adds up points for the best finishes in the world’s six best marathons. Series XII started at the 2018 BMW Berlin Marathon and will finish at the same race in 2019, taking in the 2018 Bank of America Chicago Marathon, 2018 TCS New York City Marathon, 2019 Tokyo Marathon, 2019 Boston Marathon and the 2019 Virgin Money London Marathon.

Hugh Brasher, Event Director, said: “This is a truly amazing women’s field which features the five best women marathon runners in the world last year. The stage is set for a fascinating race on Sunday 28 April.

(02/06/2019) ⚡AMP
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

The London Marathon was first run on March 29, 1981 and has been held in the spring of every year since 2010. It is sponsored by Virgin Money and was founded by the former Olympic champion and journalist Chris Brasher and Welsh athlete John Disley. It is organized by Hugh Brasher (son of Chris) as Race Director and Nick Bitel...

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Japan’s Suguru Osako ran an impressive 1:03:00 half-marathon to break the course record at the Surf City Half Marathon

Osako, who holds the Japanese National Record for the marathon of 2:05:50, ran a majority of the race with his training partner Tetsuya Yoroizaka. The duo put the hammer down from the beginning, clocking a 4:50 opening mile and hitting 14:24 at 5k. Both athletes finished with identical times, which were more than 7 minutes ahead of third place finisher Patrick Hearn (1:10:48) from Irvine.

 “It was really good today, a nice tough course, super flat but a little windy,” said Osako, who split the 10-K mark in 29:43. “My goal today was a solid effort at marathon pace and it helped to have some many runners out there cheering for me. I really like this city and today’s crowd was really good.”

Despite recently overcoming an IT band injury, Saguro, 27, who used the Surf City Half Marathon as a tune-up for next month’s Tokyo Marathon, was optimistic about his preparation for the March 3 race.

“My training is going well, I am up in Flagstaff right now, I’ve been training good for the past 3 weeks and we have 4 weeks left from today,” added Saguro, who admitted there is a “little pressure” competing in Tokyo for the first time as a national record holder. “I’m going into the race that I’m a challenger, and I‘m going to enjoy the challenge of running with (Kenenisa) Bekele and the other great athletes running in Toyko.”

(02/05/2019) ⚡AMP
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Surf City USA

Surf City USA

The Surf City USA Marathon and Half-Marathon attracts more than 20,000 runners from around the world. The exclusive oceanfront course runs along the Pacific Coast Highway (which is more like a street than a highway in this area), past the Huntington Beach Pier and the famous Southern California surfing beaches. Weekend highlights include many Super Bowl parties, the three-day Active...

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Ethiopian runner Roza Dereje Bekele will attack the world record at the Mitja Marato de Barcelona 2019

Roza Dereje Bekele from Ethiopia announced her participation in the Barcelona Half Marathon, which will be held in Barcelona on February 10, with the aim of breaking the world record.

The current record is held by the Kenyan Joyciline Jepkosgei, with a time of 1:04:51, achieved in Valencia on October 22, 2017.

The young Ethiopian runner, only 21 years old, has run 1:07:00, achieved April 2018 in Istanbul. She had surprised most everyone clocking 2:19:17 for the marathon in Dubai on January 26, 2018.

The Ethiopian runner who is training very well has decided to try to beat the half marathon world record and then run the Marathon in London.

"I have chosen Barcelona because it is one of the fastest races in the world and has an excellent organization," Bekele explained through a statement from the organizers of the Barcelona event.

(01/29/2019) ⚡AMP
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Barcelona Half Marathon

Barcelona Half Marathon

The half-marathon in Barcelona, also known as the Mitja Marató de Barcelona. It’s the second largest running event in Barcelona next to the Marathon. The route takes the runners from the Arc de Triomf, by the old town to the Plaça Catalunya. From there it goes down the famous Ramblas and along Avenida del Paral·lel. Then it goes through the...

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Two-time Tokyo marathon champion Dickson Chumba going for victory again March 3

Dickson Chumba, who also won the Tokyo Marathon in 2014, has a life time best of 2:04:32 having finished inside 2:05 in both of his Tokyo victories. He also finished third at the 2015, 2016 and 2017 editions of the race. He faces a stellar line-up that includes multiple world and Olympic champion Kenenisa Bekele.

Bekele set a national record of 2:03:03 when winning the 2016 Berlin Marathon but he has struggled in some of his races since then. He failed to finish in Dubai in 2017 but rebounded to finish second in London in 2:05:57 three months later.

He then withdrew from the Berlin Marathon later the same year before returning to action at the 2018 London Marathon, where he finished sixth in 2:08:53,. He recorded another ‘DNF’ at the Amsterdam Marathon in October 2018.

Bekele’s last race in Japan was at the 2007 IAAF World Championships in Osaka, where he won the 10,000m—one of his six global titles at the distance.

He is one of five men in the field with PBs faster than 2:05. Fellow Ethiopian Birhanu Legesse ran 2:04:15 in Dubai on his debut at the distance last year and will contest his third career marathon in Tokyo.

Bahrain’s Asian record-holder El Hassan El Abbassi and Ethiopia’s Seifu Tura, both of whom recorded their sub-2:05 lifetime bests last year, are also in the mix.

Most of the local fans, however, will be focused on Suguru Osako, who broke the Japanese record when finishing third at the Chicago Marathon last year in 2:05:50.

Two sets of pacemakers are planned for the men’s race. The first set will aim for 2:57-2:58/km pace until 30km, targeting a finishing time in the region of 2:04:30 to 2:05:10. The second set will run at 3:00/km pace with a target finishing time of about 2:06:35.

(01/27/2019) ⚡AMP
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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. Sponsored by Tokyo Metro, the Tokyo Marathon is an annual event in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. It is an IAAF Gold Label marathon and one of the six World...

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Ethiopia’s Guye Adola, who created a sensation two years ago by recording the fastest marathon debut, is going after the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon title

Guye Adola made his debut with timing of 2:03:46 when finishing runner-up behind world record holder Eliud Kipchoge at the 2017 Berlin Marathon.

This remains the seventh fastest of all time over the classic 42.195km distance and makes him the fastest man in the elite field.

The 28-year-old Marathon Newcomer of the Year in 2017 was leading in Berlin until around the 40km before Kenya’s Olympic Champion Kipchoge finally managed to overhaul him and win by just 14 seconds.

Adola’s debut timing makes him the second fastest Ethiopian marathon runner of all time behind Kenenisa Bekele and ahead of former world record-holder and three-time Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon winner Haile Gebrselassie. “I really enjoyed everything about my marathon debut until the last few kilometers,” said Adola, who will make his third start at the marathon distance in Dubai after withdrawing from the 2018 Frankfurt Marathon due to illness in October.

In 2014, he established a 59:06 course record and personal best at the New Delhi Half Marathon. In the same year he won a bronze medal at the World Half Marathon Championships.

“Adola certainly made a name for himself in Berlin in 2017, but injury and illness have contrived to prevent him from making further inroads in the sport,” said event director Peter Connerton. “Our event has a reputation for producing fast times and this could well be the opportunity and the venue Adola needs to re-establish himself among the world’s best,” he added.

(01/21/2019) ⚡AMP
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Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

In its relatively brief history (the race was first held in 2000), the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon has become one of the fastest, most respected and the most lucrative marathon in the world in terms of prize money. Each year thousands of runners take to the roads in this beautiful city in the United Arab Emirates for this extraordinary race...

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Could Mo Farah beat Eliud Kipchoge in London Marathon!

Eliud Kipchoge versus Mo Farah in the Virgin Money London Marathon on April 28 is one of the tastiest head-to-heads of the year – and it is a race the Briton can win.

Kipchoge has won 10 of his 11 marathons, including three times in London and at the Olympics in Rio. His most recent victory – in Berlin last September – saw him set a world record of 2:01:39. At the Breaking2 time trial in Monza in 2017, he ran even faster, too, with 2:00:25 – a performance just one second per mile short of a hallowed sub-two-hour clocking.

The Kenyan has been described, with good reason, as the greatest marathoner in history. So how can Farah hope to beat him?

For starters, not only did Farah smash the European record with 2:05:11 in Chicago in October, but he looked supremely smooth and strong the entire way. In the world of marathoning, he is on the upward curve whereas Kipchoge’s bubble will inevitably burst sometime.

Farah’s career has also got stronger over time. In 2003, while Kipchoge was out-kicking Hicham El Guerrouj and Kenenisa Bekele to win the world 5000m title in Paris, Farah won a mere silver at the European Under-23 Championships behind fellow Brit Chris Thompson.

Then there is home support. Farah is a Londoner and has a long history with the London Marathon. The first time his name appeared in Athletics Weekly, after all, was in 1995 when he came 10th in the Mini London Marathon aged 12.

Farah will also not be fazed by Kipchoge. He has beaten him too many times over the years to be totally intimidated by him.

Farah freely admitted in 2018 that Kipchoge is a stronger marathon runner, but the Briton knows he’s come out on plenty of occasions in the past.

In fact, the duo have a long history of clashes. Back in 2007, Farah beat Kipchoge over 3km on the roads at the Great North Run weekend. On the track, in the world 5000m final in 2009, Kipchoge and Farah were separated by less than a second in fifth and seventh in a race won by Bekele. When Farah set a British 5000m record of 12:53.11 in Monaco in 2011, Kipchoge was back in sixth.

(01/17/2019) ⚡AMP
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

The London Marathon was first run on March 29, 1981 and has been held in the spring of every year since 2010. It is sponsored by Virgin Money and was founded by the former Olympic champion and journalist Chris Brasher and Welsh athlete John Disley. It is organized by Hugh Brasher (son of Chris) as Race Director and Nick Bitel...

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The Shenzhen International Marathon course record was broken on Sunday

The first runner to cross the finish line was Edwin Kipngetich Koech from Kenya, who finished the marathon in 2:09:44. Koech took home a prize of US$20,000.

The runner-up prize went to an Ethiopian contestant, Bekele Muluneh Metaferia, who was only 56 seconds faster than the second runner-up, Samuel Ndungu Wanjiku, also from Kenya. Metaferia was awarded US$15,000, while Wanjiku received US$10,000.

The first woman to cross the finish line was Mulu Seboka Seyfu from Ethiopia. She finished in a time of 2:27:12, according to the organizer.

Kenyan runner Flomena Chepchirchir Chumba and Ethiopian runner Ashu Kasim Rabo finished in second and third place, respectively.

The first Chinese contestant to finish the full-length marathon was a 28-year-old man named Zhang Zhenlong from Inner Mongolia. It took him 2 hours 20 minutes and 43 seconds to finish the race, approximately 11 minutes longer than the Kenyan winner.

“I’m very satisfied with the result because it’s my best result in recent years. Today’s weather is very comfortable and the drizzle during the race also helped me maintain my strength,” Zhang told the Shenzhen Daily.

(12/17/2018) ⚡AMP
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Kenya’s Edwin Kipngetich Koech produced the Shenzhen Marathon’s first ever sub 2:10

The 26-year-old Koech enjoyed a comfortable lead after 25 kilometers and went on to win in 2:09:44.  This is his second sub-2:10 run behind his personal best of 2:07:13 achieved in Milan last April. Koech took home a prize of  US$20,000.

A leading group of more than 10 runners paced the race in the early stages. Only five men were left when the leaders passed the 20-kilometer mark, and that pack was trimmed to just three runners, Koech his compatriot Samuel Ndungu and Bekele Muluneh of Ethiopia, by the time they hit 25 kilometers in 1:17:09.

After covering the five-kilometer section between 25 and 30 kilometers in 14:41, Koech broke and built up a lead of more than half a minute and never looked back.

Bekele Muluneh improved his PR by 40 seconds to finish second in 2:11:19. Ndungu, a two-time Lake Biwa marathon winner with a PR of 2:07:04, settled for third place in 2:12:15.

Pre-race favourite Seboka lived up to expectations in the women’s race. She won in 2:27:12 to improve on her runner-up finish from last year while taking down the course record of 2:33:25 set by last year’s winner Viktoria Poliudina of Kyrgyzstan.

Seboka broke away from Kenyan veteran Flomena Chepchirchir near the halfway mark and when she passed the 25-kilometer water stations in 1:26:27, the margin had been widened to some 10 seconds.

The 34-year-old Ethiopian kept extending her lead and claimed the convincing win with an advantage of nearly five minutes.

It is Seboka’s second title in China this year as she also won the Dalian International Marathon in 2:28:59 seven month ago. The Ethiopian has finished within 2:30 in each of her three outings in 2018 with a season’s best of 2:25:01 registered in Seoul.

The 37-year-old Chepchirchir, who finished 10th in Shenzhen last year, took second place in 2:32:05, which was her best mark since achieving her PR of 2:23:00 back in 2013. Ashu Kasim of Ethiopia was a remote third-place finisher with a clocking of 2:38:35.

(12/17/2018) ⚡AMP
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Berlin marathon silver medalist Amos Kipruto is in his preparations for the Tokyo marathon in March 2019

Berlin marathon silver medalist Amos Kipruto is optimistic he will excel at the Kolkata 25km road race in India on Sunday and boost his preparations for the Tokyo marathon in February 2019.

Speaking in Nairobi on Thursday, Kipruto, who was overshadowed by the world record set by Olympics Champion Eliud Kipchoge at the Berlin Marathoin in September, where he settled for silver medal, said it is time for him to become a man on his own and stake claim to the gold medal in the Indian city.

"In 2018, I was third in Tokyo and second in Berlin. In both cases I was not given the required attention. But I have a chance to correct that and win with a course record time in India. That is what is motivating me to go for the title," he said. Kipruto together with World half marathon record holder Eric Kiptanui together with former Chicago marathon champion Florence Kiplagat is departing Nairobi on Thursday for India.

Kipruto did not mince his words saying his eyes are firmly on the course record of 1:13:48 set by Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele last year. "I am fit and strong and want to break that record," said Kipruto. I have a fast best time in half marathon of 1:00:24 from Sweden and I believe running fast in 25km is achievable."

(12/13/2018) ⚡AMP
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Sub-2:20 runners Sarah Chepchirchir and Yebrgual Melese will face one another in the women’s race at Shanghai International Marathon

Ethiopia’s Melese trimmed more than three minutes off her PB to finish third in Dubai in 2:19:36. She also clocked 2:27:47 to finish second at the Yellow River Estuary International Marathon in Dongying, China. Sunday’s race will be her third marathon of the year. The 34-year-old Chepchirchir of Kenya is the second-fastest woman in the field. Following a solid season in 2017 when she registered her big PB of 2:19:47 from her victory at the Tokyo Marathon and successfully defended her title in Lisbon, Chepchirchir will be keen to continue her winning streak in her first race in 2018. Kenya’s Flomena Cheyech, 36, is the other title contender whose PB is faster than the 2:21:52 course record in Shanghai set by Tigist Tufa of Ethiopia three years ago. Cheyech clocked a PB of 2:21:22 to finish third in Paris last April and finished fourth over the classic distance at the IAAF World Championships in London. Her most recent performance was a 2:33:01 clocking at the Nagoya Women's Marathon in March. Helen Tola Bekele, who will celebrate her 24th birthday next week, is another woman to watch. The rising Ethiopian has improved her PB each season since making her marathon debut in 2015, recently reducing it to 2:22:48 in Berlin. (11/16/2018) ⚡AMP
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Kenya’s Michael Kunyuga clinched the Hangzhou Marathon in China

He upset a quality field to clock 2:10:37, just four seconds shy of the course record set by Azmeraw Bekele of Ethiopia last year. Running under cool and wet conditions, a crowded leading group paced the race in the early stages. When they hit the 30-kilometer mark in 1:33:03, the leaders were cut to only 10 men. After another three kilometers, Kenya’s Douglass Kimeli first pulled away but was soon caught up by Kunyuga. After a five-kilometre see-saw battle between Kimeli and Kunyuga, the latter finally pulled clear after 38 kilometers. The 31-year-old was well on track to assault on the course record when he passed 39 kilometers in 2:00:53. But it seemed his target was only on the victory, as Kunyuga slowed down in front of the finish line, waving hands to celebrate his win instead of pushing ahead. Kunyuga’s winning mark is 21 seconds slower than his career best time set from his second-place finish in Hannover seven months ago. But it’s already the third title claimed by the efficient Kenyan, who debuted over the classic distance just last year and was competing in his fourth ever international road race. (11/05/2018) ⚡AMP
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Ethiopia’s Azmeraw Bekele will be looking to claim victory at Hangzou Marathon on Sunday

Ethiopia’s Azmeraw Bekele will be looking to claim back-to-back victories and challenge his own course record at the Hangzhou Marathon, an IAAF Silver Label road race. Last year, the 32-year-old emerged triumphant from a three-man battle in the final kilometer to take the top honors in 2:10:33 in what was his first appearance at the scenic city in southeastern China, beating the previous course record set by countryman Bejigan Regasa Mndaye in 2016 by 49 seconds. Although he has not run in any race at any distance since that victory, Bekele is still seen as one of the top favorites to continue the record-breaking streak in Hangzhou, thanks to his 2:07:12 personal best achieved at the 2014 Dubai Marathon, which made him the fastest man among the entrants. However, he will also be facing a strong challenge from a clutch of Kenyan sub-2:10 runners on Sunday with the biggest threat being the 31-year-old Edwin Kibet Koech. Since his marathon debut in 2014, Koech has remained consistent. He registering his career best time of 2:08:17 three years ago from his fifth place finish in Eindhoven and went on to won at the 2016 Linz Marathon in 2:09:06. His most recent performance was staged at the Dalian International Marathon six month ago, as he broke the course record with a winning mark of 2:09:44. Kenya’s Geoffrey Ronoh, who will turn 36 on Monday , will also toe the line with high spirits. The 2:09:29 performer has yet to run in any marathon in the current season but collected two half marathon titles in August and September respectively. Ronoh’s compatriot Evans Sambu is another man to watch. Following his victories in China’s Taiyuan and Shenzhen in 2016, the 25-year-old broke the 2:10 barrier for the first time last October when he clocked a career best mark of 2:09:05 to finished fifth in Gongju. However, Sambu has been struggling to find his best form in 2018, finishing seventh in Dongying and Taiyuan with a lackluster season best mark of 2:17:39. (11/03/2018) ⚡AMP
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Seoul marathon champion Sylvester Teimet of Kenya hopes for victory at Hangzhou marathon

Former Seoul marathon champion Sylvester Teimet of Kenya on Wednesday vowed to beat defending champion Azmeraw Molalign Bekele of Ethiopia in this Sunday's Hangzhou Marathon in China. Teimet, 34, who settled for fourth spot in last year's race, clocking 2:10:59, holds one of the fastest personal best times among the elites who will be racing in Hangzhou, an IAAF bronze level road race. The Kenyan holds a personal best time of 2:06:49, which he set when winning the Seoul Marathon in 2010. During his 11-year-long career, the experienced Kenyan has also collected titles in Shanghai and Gyeongju. He set the course record in Shanghai International Marathon of 2:09:01 in 2012 before compatriot Paul Lonyangata improved it to 2:07:14 in 2015. Sunday's race in Hangzhou will be his third in China this year, after he placed seventh at the Yellow River Estuary International Marathon in Dongying in May and second at the Taiyuan Marathon in early September. "I love running in China. I have rested enough and believe I have the strength to go for the win in my third marathon this year. There are several top names to expect, but I always focus on my own strength and strategy to win the race," Teimet said in Nairobi. (11/01/2018) ⚡AMP
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Asefa Bekele from Ethiopia won the 2018 men's Dublin Marathon

Ethiopia's Asefa Bekele won the 2018 men's Dublin Marathon while his fellow compatriot Mesera Dubiso won the women's race. Over 20,000 participants turned out for the annual race with Bekele coming home in a time 2:13:23 with Dubiso crossed over the finishing line in a time of 2:33:48 to take the women's title. Meanwhile, there was a strong Irish representation in the field with Mick Clohisey of the Raheny Shamrocks club claiming the Irish Athletics National Marathon, finishing in a time of 2:15:57. It was the fastest time to win the National title since 1991. The Dublin man placed sixth overall. Cork native Lizzie Lee took third place in the women's race and finished in an impressive time of 2:35:04 after winning the Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon earlier this year. She also claimed the Irish Athletics National Marathon title in the process. Lee said: "An Irish woman on the overall podium, I am thrilled with that. I am thrilled with the time, I am thrilled with the place and I know my little girl is out there somewhere I can’t wait to give her a hug. I needed redemption after Berlin. "I felt like the last few miles got away from me. I am absolutely over the moon. I am a Mum of two small girls and I work full time. "Running is my hobby and I am on a podium with two Ethiopian girls.  I am thrilled,"  said Lizzie Lee with a smile. (10/29/2018) ⚡AMP
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Kenya’s Edith Chelimo wants to fly Kenya’s flag high at this year’s Valencia Half Marathon

In the absence of defending champion and world record holder Joyciline Jepkosgei and compatriot Fancy Chemutai, Kenya’s Edith Chelimo will look to fly Kenya’s flag high at this year’s Media Maratón de Valencia Trinidad Alfonso on Sunday.  

Jepkosgei set a world record at last year’s race and in her absence, organizers were looking to lure Chemutai to step up, but the latter was forced to withdraw due to injury earlier this week.

Chelimo however will be looked at as a huge contender having run a 1:05:52 career best set last year in Cardiff, and a season’s best of 1:07:13 from Houston earlier this year. Ethiopia’s Buze Diriba should also be a factor.

The 24-year-old clocked 1:06:50 in Houston where she beat Chelimo. Her compatriots Gudeta Bekelech, who was eighth at last year’s World Championships, set a PB of 1:07:03 last month in Copenhagen. Gelete Burka, who claimed the 2008 world indoor 3000m title in Valencia, is also in the field. The 32-year-old has enjoyed a successful transition to road events, with solid 2:20:45 and 1:08:18 personal bests in the marathon and half marathon.

Other Kenyans on show include Diana Kipyogei (1:07:55), Caroline Rotich (1:08:52) and Risper Chebet (1:09:24) with Eritrea’s Yeshi Chekole (1:09:13) also aiming for a top-five spot.  

(10/26/2018) ⚡AMP
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Lawrence Cherono shattered the course record at Amsterdam Marathon

Kenyan’s Lawrence Cherono shattered the course record at the TCS Amsterdam Marathon, clocking 2:04:06 at the 43rd edition of this IAAF Gold Label Road Race on Sunday October 21. Running in nearly ideal conditions with cloudy skies and very light winds - Cherono clipped more than a minute from the 2:05:09 course record and lifetime best he set last year. The 30-year-old also broke the Netherlands' all-comers record of 2:04:27 set by Duncan Kibet in Rotterdam in 2009. A lead group of 14, including Cherono and Kenenisa Bekele, sped through the opening five in 14:33 and 29:08 through ten, in range similar to the 14:29 and 29:01 splits that propelled Eliud Kipchoge to his world record run in Berlin last month. The leaders reached 15 in 44:03 and 20k in 59:00, well inside the 59:52 course record pace that guided Cherono last year. When the half was reached in 1:02:11, 11 men still remained in contention.  But after 25 kilometers (1:13:48) the lead group slowly began to unravel. The last remaining pacesetter, Edwin Kiptoo, completed his chores just before the 30 -mark, with Bekele, Özbilen and Alamirew falling back soon thereafter. Cherono switched gears near the city's Filmmuseum before pulling away for the decisive victory. "I am happy with my race," said Cherono, whose performance squalled the fourth fastest run of 2018. "Today the weather that was very good: little wind and an ideal temperature. That made it possible to run harder this year. My goal was to run 2:04 and that worked." Wasihun and Deksisa were next, clocking 2:04:37 and 2:04:40 respectively, also under the previous course record. There was good depth behind them. Kipketer was fourth in 2:06:15, Özbilen fifth in 2:06:24 and Laban Korir sixth in 2:06:33. Abate (2:06:47) and Jonathan Korir (2:06:51) also broke 2:07. Bekele meanwhile didn't finish, dropping out near his hotel at about 40 from where he chose to walk back to his room. (10/21/2018) ⚡AMP
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Ethiopian Meseret Defar is ready to debut in Amsterdam

Ethiopian Meseret Defar, the 2004 and 2012 Olympic 5000m champion, will make her marathon debut. Having won numerous global medals on the track across a span of 12 years, Defar is ready to prove herself on a new surface. “Now it's time for chapter two in my career: the road races,” said Defar, winner of four successive world indoor 3000m titles between 2004 and 2010 as well as the 2007 and 2013 outdoor world 5000m titles. “Chapter one was the ending of my track career, chapter two is starting on the road.” Defar has already produced some notable performances on the roads, including a 10km best of 31:14 and a half marathon PB (on a record-eligible course) of 1:07:25. She had originally intended to make her marathon debut in Tokyo earlier this year, but an injury prevented her from making it to the start line. “I have trained very well, but I have no idea what a marathon will do to me,” said the 34-year-old. “Training for the marathon is very difficult – like the marathon itself, I guess.” Tadelech Bekele, who won last year in 2:21:54 and improved to 2:21:40 to finish third in London six months ago, will defend her title. Bahrain’s Desi Jisa, who ran 2:24:05 on her marathon debut in Dubai earlier this year and finished seventh at the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships Valencia 2018, is also expected to be a contender. The race record of 2:21:09 was set in 2012 by Ethiopia’s Meseret Hailu. (10/20/2018) ⚡AMP
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Marathon champion Lawrence Cherono of Kenya, wants to retain his title and improve the course record in the Dutch city on Oct. 21

Defending champion Lawrence Cherono will come up against stiff competition on Sunday when he lines up in Amsterdam Marathon. Cherono, who has been training in Kaptagat in Eldoret County, will be in a men’s field that features, among others, Ethiopia’s distance running legend Kenenisa Bekele. Bekele, considered the greatest distance runner of all time with a Personal Best of two hours, three minutes and three seconds in the marathon which he recorded in the 2016 Berlin Marathon. “I love training in Kaptagat because it has always given me good environment for training, which has often translated to positive results in all the races I have participated in. The place is cool and training in the forest gives me perfect conditions to prepare for marathon races,” Cherono told Nation Sport in Kaptagat. The athlete said he was happy to have finished his training programme injury-free and is looking forward to a good race on Sunday. “My training has gone well and I want to thank God because I have not suffered an injury during training in the last three months I have been here. I’m looking forward to running a good race as I seek to lower my Personal Best,” said Cherono. Cherono also said he has paid little attention to Bekele’s presence in men’s field, saying the Ethiopian can only help competitors run a quick race. (10/19/2018) ⚡AMP
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Why are the best times run on Kenya soil so slow? Part 2: The Real Running Scene in the country of Kenya

The best times run on Kenyan soil are not nearly as good as times run by Kenyan runners outside the country. The best marathon time run on Kenya soil is 2:10:12 clocked by Moses Kigen in 2009. The best time for women is 2:28:04 clocked by Alice Chelangat.  Even world record holders like Eliud Kipchoge who recently clocked 2:01:39 at the Berlin Marathon don't attempt to race on Kenya soil due to stiff competition from juniors or seniors who haven’t gotten the opportunity to run abroad.  Most of the major races recognized by IAAF are run at very high altitude (2600m-8500 feet) above sea level.  In cities like Eldoret, Iten, Nairobi, Nyahururu, Nakuru, and Ngong there is less oxygen making it hard to run world record times.  In cities at low altitude like Garrisa in Northern part and Mombasa where the marathon and world cross-country have been held, the humidity is very high and temperatures are so hot that a lot of runners faint due to dehydration.  For example at the 2007 world cross-country championship in Mombasa, Kennenisa Bekele dropped out of the 10km cross country race due to high humidity and hot temperatures. Kenya has thousands of athletes, but no race has ever been controlled at world record pace.  This is because most of athletes have no managers or even links to run abroad take out the pace of 2:40/K (13:20 5K pace) or even below in long distsance races like the marathon making it hard to break a world record due to fatigue.  Other national records run on Kenyan soil include: 1:01:21 half marathon clocked by Philemon Baaru and 1:08:12 for women clocked by Paskalia Chepkorir.  In the 10km for example Kamworor ran 29:11 in the 2018 cross-country while world leader in 3000m Beatrice Chepkoech ran 34:04 which is totally different when abroad. Many races are long.  Like many 10k's are actually 10.2 or 10.3.  Sometimes the clock does not start until the 200m to 300m out due to large number of athletes in a race. This has to be done to avoid athletes injuring themselves due to each athlete running very fast at the start. Most athletes do not have good training facilities or managers.  Pacing is a big problem in many races held in Kenya.  This is very noticeable in many major races (like the Nairobi Standard Charter Marathon) because Kenyans are used to being front runners and they run too fast at the beginning.  Another factor is race terrain.  Most of Kenyan courses are very hilly and hard to run good times.  Many half marathons winning times in Kenya are like 65 minutes making race organizers avoid putting on marthons.  All of these factors are why there is a big difference in best times run in Kenya and abroad.  This is why all Kenyans dream is to race outside Kenya.    (10/10/2018) ⚡AMP
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Tsegaye Mekonnen from Ethiopia, is set to compete at Toronto Marathon

Tsegaye Mekonnen’s marathon debut four years ago stunned running aficionados across the world as the Ethiopian youngster won the Dubai Marathon in 2:04:32, the fastest time in history by an U20 athlete. Still only 23 years old, Mekonnen has confirmed he will race the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon on October 21, thereby earning the distinction of being the fastest entrant to ever run this IAAF Gold Label event. “It’s been going well and I feel like I am in a good shape right now,” said Mekonnen. “Toronto is a big race and I’ve been preparing for it. I have spent three months in my build-up and so I hope to run a good race. “I’ve been running at a high altitude – between 2,500-3,000m – so that I could adapt myself to tough conditions and I’ve been running 180-200km (100-120 miles) per week.” Since his breakthrough performance four years ago, Mekonnen has shown flashes of brilliance such as his third-place finish at the 2016 Dubai Marathon in 2:04:46 and a 2:07:26 victory at the 2017 Hamburg Marathon. In a country where children grow up celebrating the success of Ethiopian legends such as Derartu Tulu, Haile Gebrselassie, Tirunesh Dibaba and Kenenisa Bekele, he was exposed to running very early and earned a place on Ethiopia’s team for the IAAF World Junior Championships Barcelona 2012. He finished fifth in the 5000m final there, but, unlike others who would develop their track potential, Mekonnen quickly switched to road racing. "To my knowledge there were not many track races in that time and I couldn't find the right people to bring me to those races,” he remembers. “So, I made the decision to compete in the road races. Demadonna Management encouraged me to become a marathon runner and it was the right decision for me, looking back now. Mekonnen is fully aware he will face strong competition in Toronto, including Philemon Rono, the two-time defending champion, New Zealand’s Jake Robertson and 2012 Olympic champion Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda, among others. He edged Kiprotich in Hamburg by a mere five seconds. (10/04/2018) ⚡AMP
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Abdi Nageeye, Michel Butter and Kenenisa Bekele will compete for the national title at the TCS Amsterdam Marathon on October 21

Especially the arrival of Nageeye (Photo) is striking. He started this year in two marathons (Boston and European Championships in Berlin), but says he has recovered well. Last year Nageeye ran to the title in a Dutch record of 2.08.16. Butter said due to pains for the European Championships in Berlin and therefore wanted to run an autumn marathon. He does not aim at a sharp time, but wants to enter into the fight with favorite Nageeye. Nageeye and Butter have been the best marathon runners in the country for years. Racedirector Cees Pronk is therefore pleased that the two opt for the capital. ,, I am proud that both gentlemen have chosen Amsterdam again, they feel at home here. "Earlier, the arrival of the Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele was already announced. The world record holder on the 5000 and 10,000 meters and man with the impressive personal record on the 2.03.03 marathon will get competition from Lawrence Cherono, who won the Amsterdam last year. (10/03/2018) ⚡AMP
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Former world champions Linet Masai and Ezekiel Kemboi of Kenya plan to break into the marathon elite runners after retiring from the track competition

Masai, a former World 10,000m champion, will reignites her rivalry with former Olympic champion Meseret Defar at the Amsterdam marathon in Netherlands in Oct. 21. Masai has not been active for the last two years since her baby was born.  "I am ready for the marathon," she said. "My management has been able to get me a race in Amsterdam and I want to see how my body will react to it. I have hopes of doing well, but am also not certain how it will go. It is my first marathon race." In Amsterdam, Masai will face twice Olympic 5,000m champion Meseret Defar, with whom they have dueled a lot on the track and at the 2007 World Cross Country Championships in Mombasa. Both Masai and Defar will be making their marathon debut in Amsterdam on Oct. 21.  The Ethiopian has run several half-marathons with a best of 66:09 for second in the Great North Run in 2013. Compatriot Tadelech Bekele, who won last year in 2:21:54 and went 14 seconds quicker for third and a personal best time at the London Marathon in 2018.  Masai, the 2009 world 10,000m champion who has run 68:11 for the half is also keen to break the 42km jinx. Other athletes to watch out for include Meseret Belete, who set a world junior record of 67:51 in Copenhagen this year and was eighth at the World Championships. Former world junior cross country bronze medalist Jackline Chepngeno will also be eyeing victorious debut in marathon. Ethiopia's Guteni Shone, who has a PB of 2:23:32, could also challenge. (09/29/2018) ⚡AMP
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Kenyan team is set to run the oldest marathon in Europe, the Kosice Peace Marathon in Slovakia

Founded in 1924, the Kosice marathon is Europe's oldest, this year celebrating its 95th edition. The course records - Lawrence Kimaiyo's 2:07:01 men's mark set in 2012 and Ashete Bekere Dido's 2:27:47 women's standard set in 2013 - may not be under imminent threat, but the solid fields attracted to this eastern Slovak city promise strong head-to-head battles. Kerio will be keen to improve his best time and clinch the course record. Speaking in Eldoret, Kerio said he has gone through three months of training without any injury concerns or any other problems and believes he will be in peak form to defend his title. "It will always be hard as a champion to defend your crown," he said Wednesday. "But that is why we train hard and it will be down to my own tactics and strength to carry me through the distance and hopeful retain my title." Kerio, 24, holds a best time of 2:08:12, which he clocked in 2017 in winning the marathon. He will be accompanied by compatriot Nicholas Kipchirchir Korir, who will be making his first run in the full marathon distance. Korir holds a best time of 59:50 in the half marathon distance. Ethiopia will be represented by Birhanu Bekele (2:09:41). Since its inception just five men have managed to secure back-to-back wins in Kosice. The last man to achieve the feat was David Kariuki winning in 2001 and 2002 winner.  On the women side, Kenya's Alice Kibor, third at the Rome Marathon this year with best time of 2:28:19 will be the athlete to beat. She will be up against Ethiopian Mestawot Tadesse (2:31:38).  (09/26/2018) ⚡AMP
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Dennis Kimetto says Kenyan athletes have the strength and skills to run the fast Berlin Marathon course in under 2 hours and 50 seconds

Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge (2:03.05) and New York marathon silver medalist Wilson Kipsang (2:03.13) will be the top Runners at the Berlin marathon on Sept 16 and Kimetto believes either athlete can run away with the world record. Kimetto's world record stands at 2:02:57. "First there is a race to be won and then the record. Kipchoge is the best so far but Kipsang has the ability to sprint and win if he has his tactics right. Both athletes are under pressure since they will all want to prove a point," said Makau on Thursday in Nairobi. Kipsang was forced to pull out of Berlin marathon last year under rainy and windy conditions after just 31km, citing stomach cramps. He recovered and a month later, and proved his critics wrong to secure silver in New York. "My training has gone on very well and I'm looking forward to a good run in Berlin. It has been an injury-free period for me since running in Tokyo although there has been lots of rain but that didn't stop me from achieving my dream," said Kipsang. Like Kipchoge, Kipsang will be running his fourth marathon in Berlin, having made his debut in 2013 running a world record time of 2:03:23 and has since followed it up with 2:03:13 for a second-place behind Kenenisa Bekele (2:03.03) in 2016. (09/07/2018) ⚡AMP
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18-year-old Selemon Barega clocked the fourth fastest time ever for 5000m winning in 12:43:02

Selemon Barega's world under 20 record in the 5000m highlighted the action on the track at the Memorial Van Damme in Brussels on Friday August 31, the second of two 2018 IAAF Diamond League finals Breaking away from compatriots Hagos Gebrhiwet and Yomif Kejelcha with 250 meters to go, the 18-year-old went on to a 12:43.02 run to become the fourth fastest ever over the distance, trailing just Kenenisa Bekele, Haile Gebrselassie and Daniel Komen whose performances were all world records. For his part, Barega knocked more than four seconds from the previous world U20 mark of 12:47.53 set by Gebrhiwet in Paris six years ago. "I came for the win and was not at all thinking about a time, but in some way everything came together," said Barega, whose previous best was 12:55.58.  (08/31/2018) ⚡AMP
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Kenya's Lawrence Cherono says he will do everything in his power to retain his Amsterdam Marathon crown

Kenya's Lawrence Cherono says he will do everything in his power to retain his Amsterdam Marathon crown and deny Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele the title. The two are expected to compete at this year's race, which will be held on Oct 21 and Cherono believes he has played the underdog card before and surprised his critics when he won in the Dutch capital last year. "Last year, I was very happy with the result. I immediately knew that I will come under focus this year and though I had not known who to face, I will be happy to battle it out with Bekele and win again," Cherono said on Tuesday in Eldoret. Of the nine marathons Cherono has contested, he has won four and finished on the podium in eight. Alongside winning in Amsterdam last year he also finished second in Rotterdam with a time of 2:06:21. The Amsterdam Marathon has always attracted a strong group of elite runners and the 2018 race will be no different. Bekele, a multiple world and Olympic champion announced last week that he will skip the big city marathons to compete in Amsterdam, which is an IAAF Gold Label road race. The Ethiopian distance runner owns the second-fastest marathon performance in history on a record-eligible course, having clocked a national record of 2:03:03 to win the 2016 Berlin Marathon. His time is just six seconds shy of Dennis Kimetto's world record (2:02:57). Bekele, who will be contesting his first marathon on Dutch soil, will be up against Cherono and a horde of other top Kenyan and Ethiopian road racers. "Kenenisa Bekele is one of the world's best long-distance runners," said race director Cees Pronk. "We are incredibly proud that Bekele will be lining up at the start on Oct 21. Bekele decided to run in Amsterdam because he has experienced the expert organization of the event and knows first-hand that the athletes always come first." (07/27/2018) ⚡AMP
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Multiple world and Olympic champion Kenenisa Bekele is set to run the TCS Amsterdam Marathon

The Ethiopian distance runner owns the second-fastest marathon performance in history on a record-eligible course, having clocked a national record of 2:03:03 to win the 2016 Berlin Marathon. His time is just six seconds shy of Dennis Kimetto’s world record. Bekele, who will be contesting his first marathon on Dutch soil, will be up against Lawrence Cherono, who won last year’s Amsterdam Marathon in a course record of 2:05:09. Cherono also finished one place behind Bekele at this year’s London Marathon. “Kenenisa Bekele is one of the world's best long-distance runners,” said race director Cees Pronk. “We are incredibly proud that Bekele will be lining up at the start on Sunday 21 October. Bekele decided to run in Amsterdam because he has experienced the expert organisation of the event and knows first-hand that the athletes always come first.” (07/23/2018) ⚡AMP
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Both the men's and women's course records were broken at the Lattelecom Riga Marathon

Ayana Tsedat of Ethiopia broke away from Kenyan's Silas Kiprono Too over the final two kilometers en route to his 2:11:00 victory.  The previous men's record of 2:11:45 was set in 2016.  The men's race was a three-man battle between Tsedat, Too and Joseph Kyengo Munyoki, who were all well within race record pace at the halfway point, reached in 1:05:09. They ran together for nearly 14 more kilometers when Munyoki began to drift back as they approached kilometer 35. At that point the leaders forged on nearly stride-for-stride until the 22-year-old Tsedat made his move. Too couldn't respond but held on for second, clocking 2:11:13. Rono, the pre-race favorite on the women's side, had just her pacesetter for company for most of the race, eventually winning in 2:28:22. The previous women's mark, 2:31:22, was set last year by Bekelech Bedada Daba of Ethiopia.Rono, 34, was the clear class of the women's field, building a two-second lead by five kilometers, and extending it to 11 at 10, reached in 33:47. She clocked 1:11:31 at the midway point, nearly a minute-and-a-half clear of her nearest competitor. When she reached the line, she was more than four minutes ahead of runner-up Ethiopian Tigist Teshome. It was Rono's fastest performance since 2014 and the fourth fastest of her career. Teshome clocked 2:32:46 with Pauline Nujeri Kahenya of Kenya third in 2:34:41. (05/21/2018) ⚡AMP
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If Mo Farah tries to stick with the lead group at the London Marathon, it could blow him apart

Mo Farah has a marathon-sized gap on his record. In his only attempt, in London four years ago, he finished eighth in two hours eight minutes 21 seconds - far from a disastrous debut, but nowhere close to the debuts of those two Ethiopian greats, Haile Gebrselassie and Kenenisa Bekele. Now, track career over, at the age of 35, Mo is back in London. With the marathon only days away, lets take a closer look. Bekele ran 2:05:04 on his own marathon debut in Paris in 2014. Gebrselassie led London on his 2002 debut until the 25th mile, and it took a world record from Khalid Khannouchi to beat him. Eliud Kipchoge, faster now than both of them, ran 2:05:30 in his own marathon bow, in Hamburg in 2013. There is a significant gap back to Farah, who also has a 10,000m best slower than both the Ethiopians. But there is much he learned on that warm April day in 2014, and much he is trying to improve. "I don't think Mo should be judged a failure if he doesn't win. I do think he should be judged a failure if he doesn't significantly improve his personal best. And I mean significantly," says Dave Bedford. Up against the brilliant Kipchoge, against Bekele, who has run 2:03, as well as 2017 London winner Daniel Wanjiru, Farah is competing in one of the most stacked fields in marathon history. In 2014 he could not stick with the lead group. If he tries to this year, at a possible world record pace, it could blow him apart. "It's a loaded race, so I need to make sure I don't make any mistakes, to save as much energy as I can, but to mix it with the other guys too, not to be afraid of them," he says. "He should keep them in sight," is Bedford's advice. "He shouldn't get too agitated with them at the start. If it were me, I'd have them within eyesight - maybe 60 or 70 meters at the most, concentrate on how he is feeling, get to halfway and then go for it." (04/19/2018) ⚡AMP
by Tom Fordyce BBC Sports
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Bekele has made it very clear unlike some of the other elites, his goal is to win London

Kenenisa Bekele said today, “My goal is to win the London Marathon.” The three greatest distance runners of their generation will race the Virgin Money London Marathon. Ethiopian legend Kenenisa Bekele will join Mo Farah and Eliud Kipchoge on the start line for the IAAF Gold Label road race on April 22. Bekele is the world record-holder for 5000m (12:37:35) and 10,000m (26:17:53), the second fastest marathon runner in history (2:03:03) and the owner of three Olympic and five World Championship gold medals. Bekele has run the past two Virgin Money London Marathons. He finished third in 2016 in 2:06:36 when he admitted he was at just 90 per cent fitness, and was then second last year in 2:05:57 behind Daniel Wanjiru. “I am thrilled to be returning to London for the third year in a row and would love to go one better than last year and win the race,” said Bekele. (04/06/2018) ⚡AMP
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Ethiopia team ready for IAAF Trinidad Alfonso World Half Marathon Championships

Ethiopia’s fastest man and woman over 13.1 miles this year have been named on the national team for the IAAF Trinidad Alfonso World Half Marathon Championships Valencia 2018. Men: Dawit Fikadu, Betesfa Getahun, Getaneh Molla, Jiksa Tadesse, Jemal Yimer Women: Ruti Aga, Meseret Belete, Bekelech Gudeta, Zinash Mekonnen, Zeineba Yimer (02/16/2018) ⚡AMP
Ethiopia Running
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Kenya’s Olympic Marathon Champion has ruled out pushing for a new world record in London

“I will not be going for the world record but I intend to run a fast race. Should the world record fall then be it, but I am not focused on it at the moment,” Eliud Kipchoge told a reporter Thursday in Eldoret. He ran 2:03:05 in 2016 in London, the course record, to make himself the second fastest marathon runner and was just eight seconds shy of the world record set by compatriot Dennis Kimetto (2:02:57) in Berlin in 2014. Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele, who ran 2:03:03 in 2016 in Berlin, will be running in London on April 22 together with defending champion Daniel Wanjiru, two-time world marathon champion Abel Kirui, Mo Farah and Stanley Biwott. (02/01/2018) ⚡AMP
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