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Articles tagged #Boston Marathon
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At the Los Angeles Games 36 years ago, Canadian Silvia Ruegger finished in eighth in the first-ever women's Olympic marathon

On August 5, 1984, the inaugural women’s Olympic marathon was held in Los Angeles. Fifty runners lined up for the 42.2K run and American Joan Benoit-Samuelson took the win in 2:24:52, grabbing the first Olympic gold in women’s marathon history. Three Canadians raced that day 36 years ago in L.A., including marathon legend and former national record-holder Silvia Ruegger. Ruegger finished in eighth place on the day, running to a 2:29:09 top-10 finish. That was the sole Olympic race of Ruegger’s career, and since then, no Canadian — male or female — has finished in a higher position in the Olympic marathon. 

Women’s marathoning through the years 

Benoit-Samuelson won the race in L.A. in impressive fashion, beating silver medallist Grete Waitz of Norway by more than a minute to take the gold on home soil. Going into the race, Benoit-Samuelson was a two-time Boston Marathon champion, and a year later, she won the Chicago Marathon and set an American record in the process. Her time of 2:21:21 stood as the national marathon record until 2006, when Deena Kastor beat it at the London Marathon. Benoit-Samuelson is still the fourth-fastest woman marathoner in U.S. history. 

The women’s marathon has come a long way since its introduction to the Olympics in 1984. At the time, the world record was 2:24:26, set by Ingrid Kristiansen of Norway (who finished in fourth in L.A.). Today, 36 years later, that record has been lowered by 10 minutes, and it currently sits at 2:14:04 following Brigid Kosgei‘s dominant performance at the 2019 Chicago Marathon.

Canadians at the 1984 Games 

Ruegger qualified for the Olympics at the 1984 Ottawa Marathon, which she won in a Canadian record of 2:30:37. She broke that record just a few months later in L.A., becoming the first Canadian woman to dip below 2:30 in the marathon. Ruegger raced alongside fellow Canadians Jacqueline Gareau (1980 Boston Marathon champion and the previous national record-holder before Ruegger won the Ottawa Marathon) and Anne Marie Malone. Gareau didn’t finish the race in L.A., but Malone recorded an impressive result to follow Ruegger’s, finishing in 17th place with a final time of 2:36:33. 

The following year at the 1985 Houston Marathon, Ruegger beat her record yet again, posting a 2:28:36. This remained the Canadian record for almost 30 years before it was broken in 2013 at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon by both Lanni Marchant and Krista DuChene. A car accident following her record in 1985 left Ruegger to deal with injuries for the rest of her career, and she never returned to her previous record-setting form. Ruegger passed away in August 2019 at the age of 58 after a battle with cancer, but she remains one of the greatest athletes in Canadian history.

(08/06/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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Boston Marathon charity runners were devastated by the cancellation of the iconic race due to the coronavirus pandemic

Boston Marathon charity runners say they deserve spot in future race after coronavirus cancellation.

Boston Marathon charity runners devastated by the cancellation of the iconic race due to the coronavirus pandemic say they are not getting a fair shake from race organizers, who will not give them a spot in a future race after raising upwards of $10,000 each this year.

Many charity runners are sounding the alarm after they’ve seen how other major marathons have handled these unprecedented circumstances — allowing 2020 fundraising efforts to carry over to future years.

“All charity runners are asking is to be treated fairly,” said Tony Clish, who started an online petition for existing fundraising to count for 2021. “I’ve raised $15,000, and I don’t have a place in a future Boston Marathon. That feels wrong.”

Clish — who lives 30 miles outside of London, England — in his petition notes how the New York City Marathon has allowed charity runners to have a three-year period to defer their bibs, and they’re not obligated to do further fundraising to secure their place.

“Boston runners feel exploited,” said Clish, 58, who has been raising money for the American Red Cross, one of 171 charities involved in the 2020 marathon fundraising programs.

The Boston Athletic Association said they offered all 31,500 people registered for the 2020 marathon the same opportunity to request a full refund of their entry fee. Some charity runners have been offered a spot in the 2021 marathon, but they have to fundraise again.

“With the 2021 Boston Marathon being just nine short months away, and with the unknown nature of the pandemic, no participants were offered deferments for a future year,” the association wrote in a statement.

Some charities are acknowledging the challenge presented to 2020 runners and offering them a chance to run in 2021 with a lower fundraising minimum.

“The B.A.A. provides each nonprofit with its invitational entries,” the association said. “Each organization then directly manages its own application process, athlete selection, and fundraising minimums, deadlines, and requirements.”

At the American Red Cross of Massachusetts, for example, runners are required to raise 50% of the 2020 fundraising minimum to participate in next year’s marathon.

“The American Red Cross of Massachusetts intends to honor our commitment to ensure every interested runner on the 2020 team has a path forward to participation on Team Red Cross in either the 2021 or a future Boston Marathon event,” Kelly Isenor of the American Red Cross of Massachusetts said in a statement.

But even raising an additional $5,000 to secure a bib for next year is simply not feasible, said Emerson College senior Maddie Lynch, 21, who has already raised $10,000 for the American Red Cross.

“Raising that money has been so rewarding,” she said. “I reached out to every person close to me, and tapped every resource, really scraping for every dollar. An extra $5,000 just wouldn’t be possible.”

Given the uncertainty over the next year and the field limitations, it would make more sense for 2020 charity runners to receive a bib that’s valid for the next five years, said Michelle Mirzoian, 40, who lives in Chicago.

“The B.A.A owes me a spot in that race,” said Mirzoian, who has raised money for 261 Fearless. “To just tell us to go raise it all again next year, during a recession and pandemic, is just heartless.”

(08/04/2020) ⚡AMP
by Rick Sobey
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

The 124th Boston Marathon originally scheduled for April 20 was postponed to September 14 and then May 28 it was cancelled for 2020. The next Boston Marathon is scheduled for April 19, 2021. Among the nation’s oldest athletic clubs, the B.A.A. was established in 1887, and, in 1896, more than half of the U.S. Olympic Team at the first modern...

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Boston bomber’s death sentence overturned

According to multiple reports, on Friday Justice O. Rogeriee Thompson of the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston overturned the death sentence meted out to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the now-27-year-old who was convicted for his part in the 2013 bombings at the Boston Marathon, which killed three people at the scene including eight-year-old Martin Richard, and injured hundreds of others. (Tsarnaev’s brother, Tamerlan, died in a shootout with police three days after the bombings, after killing MIT police officer Sean Collier.) Tsarnaev will face a new trial to determine what sentence he should receive.

The Globe and Mail reported today that Tsarnaev, who was 20 at the time of the bombings and whose trial concluded in 2015, is in prison in Florida, and quoted Thompson as saying, “Make no mistake: Dzhokhar will spend his remaining days locked up in prison, with the only matter remaining being whether he will die by execution.”

Some members of the public demonstrated against the death penalty outside the court on June 24, 2015, the day of Tsarnaev’s sentencing.

The report quotes Thompson saying the trial judge erred in accepting certain jury members’ claims that despite massive publicity surrounding the case, they could impartially assess the evidence presented. At the time, his lawyers argued the case should not have been heard in Boston.

The race was halted after the two bombs, contained in backpacks, detonated near the finish line on Boylston Street at 2:49 p.m. on April 15, 2013.

(08/02/2020) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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1972 Olympic silver medalist Ben Jipcho, a pioneering Kenyan middle distance runner, died on Friday

World Athletics is deeply saddened by the news that Ben Jipcho, a pioneering Kenyan middle distance runner, died on Friday (24). Jipcho, the 1972 Olympic silver medallist in the 3000m steeplechase and former world record holder in the event, was 77.

Jipcho died of multiple organ failur at the Fountain Hospital in Eldoret where he had been hospitalised since Wednesday (23).

"We are saddened by the loss of Jipcho, a pioneer of athletics in Kenya. My heartfelt condolences to his family and Kenyans at large," said Paul Tergat, President of the National Olympic Committee of Kenya.

Jipcho, who began his running career in the mid 1960s, rose to prominence in the 1968 Olympic 1500m final in Mexico City where he sacrificed his own ambitions to figure in the medal battle by acting as a pacesetter for Kipchoge Keino, who went on to win the title over Jim Ryun. Jipcho set out on a world record pace, covering the first lap in 56 seconds and bringing Keino through 800m in 1:55.3. Keino won in 3:34.91, an astounding performance given Mexico City's high altitude, an Olympic record that stood for 16 years while Jipcho eventually crossed the line tenth.

He returned to the Olympic stage four years later, and again in the same race with Keino, this time the 3000m steeplechase. Keino won again in Olympic record time by Jipcho caught Finn Tapio Kantanen at the line to take silver by a scant 0.02 in 8:24.62.

His finest championship performances came at the 1974 Commonwealth Games in Christchurch, New Zealand, where he raced race to victory in the 5000m and 3000m steeplechase and taking bronze in the 1500m.

He also won the 5000m title at the 1973 All-Arica Games and silver in the steeplechase at the 1970 Commonwealth Games.

Jipcho broke the world record in the 3000m steeplechase twice over the course of eight days in 1973, first clocking 8:19.8 on 19 June then smashing that performance with an 8:14.0 run on 27 June, both times in Helsinki.

Jipcho was later among the key stars of the International Track Association (ITA), a short-lived professional tour in the United States in the early 1970s.

In a post on the government's Facebook page, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta eulogised Kipcho "as a pioneer athlete who helped cement Kenya's profile on the international stage as a top athletics nation".

Wesley Korir, the 2012 Boston Marathon champion and a former Kenyan MP, told The Standard, "Jipcho gave us a foundation which we used to build our running career. We have lost a pillar that will be hard to replace."

(07/25/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Elite runner Tommy Rivers Puzey, in life-threatening crisis, transferred to Scottsdale hospital

Flagstaff elite runner Tommy Rivers Puzey, a two-time Rock 'n' Roll Arizona marathon champion, was transferred to a hospital in Scottsdale on Thursday with hopes of helping his recovery from a life-threatening respiratory condition.

Puzey, 35, was hospitalized in Flagstaff for more than three weeks and for a week has been in an induced coma and on a ventilator to assist his breathing.

Jacob Puzey said transferring his younger brother to Shea Medical Center will allow him to receive extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) on a machine that replaces the heart and lungs function.

"Even with the ventilator, he wasn't able to get enough oxygen into his lungs," Jacob said. "They oxygenate the blood (on ECMO) rather than trying to pump it straight into the lungs. There are risks, but it didn't seem like the ventilator was doing enough."

In early June, Puzey had a major medical scare while running in the Grand Canyon with friend Derrick Lytle, unsure if he would survive. "Somehow after 12 hours we made it out as the sun rose," he wrote on a social media post. "Life is a fragile thing. Be grateful for each new day and hold tight all the good things this world has to offer."

Jacob Puzey said his brother has not tested positive for coronavirus and believed the issues in the Grand Canyon were due to dehydration and heat stroke. "He realized it was more in his lungs so it felt like pneumonia," which Tommy had when he was a child, Jacob said. 

Puzey still resisted going to the hospital, in part for financial reasons, until it became clear to him and his wife Stephanie that there was no alternative. The couple has three young daughters. Tommy works as a physical therapist in addition to his running career. 

"They've tested for bacteria, viral, fungul, all sorts of things," including cancer, Jacob said, but a definitive answer has yet to be identified.

Puzey is an internationally known trail runner who obtained a doctorate in physical therapy from Northern Arizona University in 2017. His road racing successes including Rock 'n' Roll Arizona titles in 2016 and 2017 and finishing 16th at the 2017 Boston Marathon in 2:18.20. He also won the Las Vegas Rock 'n' Roll Marathon in 2018 and 2019. 

At the 2020 Houston Marathon in January, Puzey was on pace for a personal best and to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Trials when tripped in a pothole late in the race, suffering meniscus and hamstring tears.

"He doesn't care what the end result is in terms of who wins the race," said Jacob, also a distance runner and running coach. "The way we were raised is wastefulness is an unpardonable sin. You don't waste your talents and opportunities.

"He knew he was in 2:14/2:15 shape at Houston. He was leading the charge of the pace group and pulling away. He never felt better in his life. The only regret he would have is that was his last shot in this Olympic window. He was knocking on the door of his full potential."

Puzey is widly admired in the running community for his work ethic, personality and intellect. In less than a week, more than 5,000 people donated more than $250,000 to a GoFundMe account on his behalf. 

Even while in the hospital in Flagstaff, Puzey posted several Instagram videos explaining his situation and reflecting on his love for his family and others. 

"It's been inspiring and humbling and at the same time not at all surprising," Jacob said. "It speaks to the incredible humanity that exists in the running community and to the impact he has add on individuals.

(07/24/2020) ⚡AMP
by Jeff Metcalfe
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Kenyans Brigid Kosgei and Lawrence Cherono, disappointed after Chicago Marathon cancelled

The cancellation of this year’s Chicago Marathon has left a number of Kenyan athletes disappointed.

This is the fourth Abbot Major Marathon race to be cancelled after Boston, Berlin and New York Marathon races were moved to next year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The race was primed for October 11 with an estimated field of around 45,000 runners and wheelchair athletes.

Chicago Marathon has good memories for the Kenyan athletes with Brigid Kosgei shattering the world record by clocking 2:14:04 lowering Paula Radcliffe’s time of 2:15:25 in last year’s women’s edition of the race.

Kosgei broke the world record a day after Eliud Kipchoge made history by becoming the first man to run under two-hours in a race dubbed INEOS 1:59 Challenge in Vienna, Austria leaving no doubt that Kenya is an athletics powerhouse.

The Kapsait-based athlete zoomed to victory after beating Ethiopia’s Ababel Yeshaneh (2:20:51) by six minutes, while her compatriot Gelete Burka was third in 2:20:55.

Kosgei is hopeful that she will able to defend her London Marathon in October 4.

“I had two options, but with the Chicago Marathon race cancelled, I’m left to train for the London Marathon race, which we are still crossing fingers will be able to proceed,” said Kosgei.

Lawrence Cherono, who won the men’s race last year in a sprint finish against Ethiopians, has also been left disappointed by the cancellation.

Cherono clocked 2:05:45 beating Dejene Debela, who timed 2:05:46 ahead of fellow countryman Asefa Mengistu who came in third in 2:05:48.

“It’s really demoralising because all the races I was to compete in this year have since been cancelled and that has left me to just do my work as we focus on next year and hope the virus will be contained,” said Cherono.

Cherono was to race in the Boston Marathon as well as the now postponed 2020 Tokyo Olympics Games.

“I have been working on my farm because there is no race I can participate in this year, but at the same time I’m waiting for the management to communicate if there will be any other small race that I can do as we wait for next year,” said a disappointed Cherono.

So far Tokyo Marathon remains the only successful major marathon that was held back in March. Toronto Marathon, which was scheduled for October 18,  has also been cancelled.

(07/18/2020) ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Bank of America Chicago Marathon

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

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The 2020 Eau Claire Marathon will be run completely virtual due to COVID-19

The Eau Claire Marathon will be different this year, with the race going completely virtual due to COVID-19.

Those already registered who choose to sit this one out, will not be issued a refund.

Race organizers say like many other races, the Eau Claire Marathon has a strict "no refund" policy.

This is due to many of the expenses, such as medals, awards, permits and donations having to be paid out months ahead of the race.

They are offering a $21 credit for next year's marathon for those who don't want to run it virtually, and say they have been trying to figure out how to give runners options.

"We wanted to do offer something," said race director Emi Uelmen. "So, you can either run with us virtually, you could transfer it to somebody else. We did a partial credit toward next year. Or if somebody can't run, doesn't want to run, and wants to just give it as a donation we'll give it to one of those charity groups."

However, some runners feel if the race isn't happening in-person, they should have the option of getting their money back.

"What they're selling is the experience, not just running outside. That's free all the time," said Jillian Erickson, an Eau Claire native and long-standing marathon participate. "Those who chose to forgo the marathon this year should be reimbursed."

One other downside to a virtual race - Uelmen said that this year's virtual race will not be a qualifier for the Boston Marathon.

(07/16/2020) ⚡AMP
by Rebecca Fiala
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Eau Claire Marathon

Eau Claire Marathon

2020 race moved from May 3 to Sept 27. The Eau Claire Marathon is a USATF certified, Boston Marathon qualifying race. Since 2014, over 250 Eau Claire Marathon runners have qualified for the Boston Marathon. All races start and finish in Carson Park, a 134 acre peninsula surrounded by Half Moon Lake. As you exit the park, you will cross...

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Former world marathon record holder Wilson Kipsang's athletics career could be as good as over

The decorated 38-year-old policeman has basically achieved what any budding athlete can dream about: A world marathon record, an Olympic marathon medal, one World Marathon Majors (WMM) Series title and five victories to his credit in the WMM series, just to mention but a few.

However, his athletics career, stretching back over 15 years, could end in disgrace after he was on Friday handed a four-year ban for anti-doping rules violation.

The World Athletics Disciplinary Tribunal disclosed that it has banned the long-distance runner with effect from January 10 this year for his whereabouts failures and “tampering by providing false evidence and witness testimony.”

World record.- Kipsang had on January 10 this year been flagged and provisionally suspended by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) for whereabouts failures.

Kipsang claimed the world record when clocking two hours, three minutes and 23 seconds at the 2013 Berlin Marathon.

He won the London Marathon in 2012 and 2014, when he also won in New York, and also claimed bronze at the 2012 London Olympics.

His exploits saw him win the 2013/2014 WMM Series.

Kipsang joins the 2016 Rio Olympic Games marathon champion Jemimah Sumgong on the list of prominent Kenyans suspended.

Sumgong was suspended in 2017 for four years for doping but the ban was later doubled to eight years in 2019 after she lied and fabricated her medical records.

Three-time Boston marathon champion Rita Jeptoo is also another top Kenyan banned for using prohibited substances.

(07/15/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ayumba Ayodi
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Postponed Prague Marathon Now Cancelled

The 2020 Volkswagen Prague Marathon, which had been postponed from May 3, to October 11 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, has now been cancelled. In addition two other important road races in Prague which are also organized by the Czech Republic’s most important race organizer RunCzech, the Sportisimo Prague International Half-Marathon and Birell Grand Prix, have also been cancelled. All three events had received World Athletics Gold Label status.

“We were ready with our races,” wrote RunCzech president Carlo Capalbo in an open letter to the runners and other stakeholders involved in his organization’s events. “Everyone was in place. Our team. Our volunteers. Our partners and suppliers. Everything was ordered and most of it in our warehouse. And then? COVID.”

Capalbo continued: “We hoped against hope that autumn would be better. But it was not to be.”

Large sporting events will not be permitted in the center of Prague, Capalbo explained, forcing the cancellations. He said that all registered runners will have the option to transfer their entries to the 2021 or 2022 editions of these events for no additional cost.

“The decision taken is extremely difficult for us,” Capalbo added. “But we take comfort knowing that Czech government officials had the foresight and the wisdom to take action designed to keep us safe. We take comfort knowing that our health care professionals were tireless and brilliant in helping to treat the virus. We take comfort knowing that when it hurts this bad we must be doing something good. And we take comfort knowing that we will run again.”

The Sportisimo Prague International Half-Marathon, part of the international SuperHalfs race series, was originally scheduled for Saturday, March 28, but was then postponed until Sunday, September 6. The Birell Grand Prix, a 10-K with a women’s 5-K, was always scheduled for Saturday, September 5. Collectively, these events had 26,192 finishers in 2019, according to the Race Results Weekly Athletes Performance Database. The half-marathon was the largest event with 10,517 finishers.

Capalbo emphasized that RunCzech’s other races outside of Prague were still scheduled to happen on the revised schedule his organization issued earlier this year: the Mattoni Olomouc Half-Marathon (August 30), Mattoni Ústí Half-Marathon (September 19), Mattoni Karlovy Vary Half-Marathon (October 24), and Mattoni České Budějovice Half-Marathon (October 31).

These cancellations in Prague follow closely the cancellations of three of the running industry’s most important events: the Boston Marathon (postponed from April 20, to September 14, before being cancelled), the BMW Berlin Marathon (September 27) and the TCS New York City Marathon (November 1). Dozens of other fall road races have also been cancelled across the Americas, Europe and Japan including large and important events like the Great North Run Half-Marathon in England, Buenos Aires Marathon in Argentina, the Dam tot Damloop 10 Mile in the Netherlands, the Paris-Versailles 16-K in France, and the Osaka Marathon in Japan.

Capalbo, an Italian who has lived in the Czech Republic for decades, remains optimistic. “Very often, over the course of our 27-year history, when we’ve faced adversity, we’ve looked for inspiration from our guiding spirit, Emil Zatopek,” Capalbo wrote. “A man who famously said that when you feel like you can’t go on, ‘go faster.'”

(07/12/2020) ⚡AMP
by Let's Run
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The registration for 2020 virtual Boston Marathon begins today

Registration for a virtual edition of the Boston Marathon begins Tuesday after the in-person race was delayed and then canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The 124th edition of the annual race was originally scheduled for April 20 and in March was rescheduled for Sept. 14. Then, in May, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and Boston Athletic Association officials announced the traditional race would not be held.

“The traditional one-day running of the 124th Boston Marathon is not feasible this year for public health reasons. There is no way to hold this unusual race format without bringing large numbers of people into close proximity. While our goal and hope was to make progress and contain the virus and recover our economy, this kind of event would not be responsible or realistic on Sept. 14 or anytime this year,” Walsh said at the time.

“Our top priority continues to be safeguarding the health of the community, as well as our staff, participants, volunteers, spectators, and supporters,” said Tom Grilk, CEO of the BAA.

In lieu of the usual race, BAA officials said refunds will be offered to registered participants and a "virtual" edition of the race will be organized. The virtual race can be run by participants any time between Sept. 7 and 14 and participants who provide proof that they completed 26.2 miles within six hours during that period will receive a medal, runner's bib and shirt.

Registration emails for the virtual event are being sent starting Tuesday morning to runners who were previously registered for the 2020 race.

The race generally draws more than 30,000 runners from all over the world, ranging from decorated professionals and Olympians to amateur runners who take to the storied 26.2-mile course through eight communities to raise money and awareness for charities.

Walsh estimated the marathon would normally bring an influx of $200 million to the economy.

(07/07/2020) ⚡AMP
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

The 124th Boston Marathon originally scheduled for April 20 was postponed to September 14 and then May 28 it was cancelled for 2020. The next Boston Marathon is scheduled for April 19, 2021. Among the nation’s oldest athletic clubs, the B.A.A. was established in 1887, and, in 1896, more than half of the U.S. Olympic Team at the first modern...

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Yes, It’s Okay to Take a Month Off from Running

If Des Linden can do it, so can you.

Convincing us runners to take time off is always a struggle. But given the state of the world right now—non-stop stress and no races for the foreseeable future—you’d be forgiven for wanting to hang up your sneakers for a little while.

Even the elites are doing it. Last week, Des Linden—former Boston Marathon champion! Olympian!—posted on Twitter that she hadn’t run a step for a full month. When a well-intentioned commenter asked what she’d been doing in the meantime, she responded (with the typical Des wittiness): “Growing a sofa on my ass.”

Linden may have been nonchalant about her time off, but, for a lot of us, a month feels like a long time. What will happen to your Strava stats? How will this affect your training status on your smartwatch? Forget the metrics—will you even be able to run again after all that time off?

The short answer: Yes. But you will likely lose some fitness.

After just a few weeks of little to no exercise, your heart starts to show significant signs of detraining, according to a 2018 study on marathoners published in the Journal of Applied Physiology. And adults who took a month off after following a regular cardio routine for four straight months lost almost all their aerobic gains in that month, earlier research published in Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases.

But a month isn’t that long and well-trained athletes like Des can bounce back fast. “If you take a month off, it will take you about a month to get back to where you were,” says Polly de Mille, R.N., certified strength and conditioning specialist and director of Tisch Sports Performance Center at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS). Think about it this way: What’s two months when the rest of 2020’s race calendar is a big ol’ blank?

For most people, though, taking a month off running doesn’t mean melting into your couch. “Most of the research shows that three sessions a week at at least 70 percent of your VO2 max—whether that’s swimming or biking or an online class—is going to do a pretty good job of maintaining your aerobic conditioning,” says de Mille.

So if you’re tempted to take time off from running to give your body a break or restore your motivation mentally, you can easily maintain most of your fitness by doing some cross-training.

While aerobic fitness starts to decline in seven to 14 days, muscle loss typically starts to occur in as little as three days, says Krishna Curry, community and digital marketing director for Run Mercury and contributing coach at RUNGRL. “What’s important to consider is what your training looked like before you take a break,” she says. “If you’ve been training intensely over the past several weeks, you’ve put a lot into your tank so it’s not going to be as fast as a decline as somebody who wasn’t that consistent with their running or who was a lot weaker to start with. And you’re going to adapt a lot faster when you come back to training.”

That month off could actually be a good thing—especially right now. Remember, training is a stressor. Your body can only handle so much stress at once; if you’re already stressed about COVID-19, social isolation, and the reckoning of systemic racism, layering that stress with high-intensity training (i.e. running), can put you on a road to overtraining and burnout. “At this point, we’re not recovering the way we used to,” says de Mille. “There’s only so much we can take.” So if a break from running is what you need, that’s self-care.

Plus, a break is an opportunity to set new goals. When you’re following a training plan, it doesn’t leave a lot of time for things you know you should be doing. Forget about mileage, and use a break to develop other areas of strength that you normally don’t have as much time to focus on because you’re racking up double digit runs, says Curry. “You can build your strength, do core work, zero in on mobility—things that will make running easier when you do get back it,” she says. You may not be running, but you’re shoring up all the weak links. “Now’s the time to address any compensations or imbalances you’ve been coping with so you can rebuild yourself properly,” Curry adds.

When you are ready to get back to running, ease into it. “Don’t assume that it’s like tapering for a race and when you come back, you’re going to be even more fit,” says de Mille. You especially need to be respectful of the orthopedic stress of running. “There’s nothing quite like the impact that you experience when you’re running, so if your tendons and muscles haven’t experienced that sort of eccentric stress in a while, your cardiovascular system may be way ahead of your musculoskeletal system in terms of readiness to go long or work hard.”

Sure, you’ll probably be excited to get back to it. But don’t feel like you need to make up for lost time. “It’s really important that people map out their plan beforehand so they can stay consistent,” says Curry.

Look back at the weekly volume you were maintaining before your break and pick the bare minimum, healthy volume of running that you can maintain without inciting any injury, she says; then, she typically starts by adding one to two miles per week. As the volume increases relative to your starting point, those weekly increases get smaller. Just make sure to “lower your expectations for what you’re going to do when you go back,” says de Mille. “Be patient with yourself and listen to your body.”

And if that first post-break run doesn’t go as smoothly as you’d hoped, take comfort in the fact that even pros like Linden struggle, but it doesn’t get any worse than day two.

(07/05/2020) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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Virtual registration for Boston Marathon begins July 7

Boston Marathon runners who lost out on the iconic run from Hopkinton to Boylston Street this year amid the coronavirus pandemic can register for the 26.2 mile virtual race starting on July 7, the Boston Athletic Association announced on Thursday.

The virtual race is open only to participants who were originally entered in the Boston Marathon scheduled for April 20. The April race date was postponed until September due to coronavirus concerns, and then officials later nixed the September date because of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

“The world cannot come to Boston this year, so we will bring the Boston Marathon to the world through a virtual experience that captures the spirit, community, and celebration of the race,” Tom Grilk, CEO of the BAA, said in a statement. “The 124th Boston Marathon Virtual Experience will allow participants to be part of Boston Marathon history.”

Beginning at 10 a.m. on July 7, participants will be emailed a registration code. The cost to register for the virtual race will be $50.

All finishers of the virtual race will receive a post-race package containing their Boston Marathon official participant shirt, finisher’s medal, official 2020 Boston Marathon program, Sam Adams 124th Boston Marathon bottle opener and other items.

The first 15,000 registrants will receive a pre-race package with a 2020 Boston Marathon bib and other items.

To be considered a finisher of the virtual race, entrants must complete 26.2 miles in one continuous run on any day between Sept. 7 and 14, and submit proof of completion to the B.A.A.

Participants don’t have to complete the race in a certain amount of hours, but they’re required to complete the full marathon distance continuously on the same day.

Leading up to September’s race week, participants will receive more information on the virtual experience. Participant newsletters will provide information on training tips, summer running, hydration, and tips on creating a personal 26.2-mile course.

(07/04/2020) ⚡AMP
by Rick Sobey
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

The 124th Boston Marathon originally scheduled for April 20 was postponed to September 14 and then May 28 it was cancelled for 2020. The next Boston Marathon is scheduled for April 19, 2021. Among the nation’s oldest athletic clubs, the B.A.A. was established in 1887, and, in 1896, more than half of the U.S. Olympic Team at the first modern...

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Members of the 2020 Boston Marathon Official Charity Program will be invited to return as official charity program members next year

Boston Marathon Official Charity Program members will continue to maintain their own application and athlete selection process, including agreements between the charity organization and athletes, which has been program policy since its inception, according to Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) on Wednesday, July 1.

The race was originally scheduled for Patriots Day, April 20, and was rescheduled for Sept. 14, but was then canceled on May 28. The athletic association announced at that time that the 124th Boston Marathon will be held as a virtual event.

While the application process for 2021 is now closed, non-profit organizations that meet the association’s program criteria submit a Letter of Inquiry to the B.A.A. before formally applying.

Each charitable organization manages their own athlete selection process. The entire 2021 Official Charity Program list has not been released.

All participants who were originally registered for the April 20, 2020, event have been offered a full refund of their entry fee associated with the race and will have the opportunity to participate in the 124th Boston Marathon Virtual Experience. Participants will have the chance to participate in the virtual 2020 Boston Marathon. Runners will be required to complete the 26.2 mile distance within a 6-hour time period and provide proof of timing to the B.A.A.

All athletes who complete the virtual race will receive an official Boston Marathon program, participant t-shirt, medal, and runner’s bib.

Registration for the 124th Boston Marathon Virtual Experience will open in early July and details will be released soon, according to the association.

Boston Marathon Official Charity Program organizations may select runners at their discretion to join their teams, including those runners entered for the 2020 race.

The entire 2021 Official Charity Program will be announced in the future, according to the announcement. The field size for the 2021 Boston Marathon has not yet been established and may have to be limited to comply with the guidelines and regulations for large scale events in the Spring 2021, according to the B.A.A.

(07/02/2020) ⚡AMP
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

The 124th Boston Marathon originally scheduled for April 20 was postponed to September 14 and then May 28 it was cancelled for 2020. The next Boston Marathon is scheduled for April 19, 2021. Among the nation’s oldest athletic clubs, the B.A.A. was established in 1887, and, in 1896, more than half of the U.S. Olympic Team at the first modern...

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2020 Postponed Prague Marathon Now Cancelled

The 2020 Volkswagen Prague Marathon, which had been postponed from May 3, to October 11 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, has now been cancelled. In addition two other important road races in Prague which are also organized by the Czech Republic's most important race organizer RunCzech, the Sportisimo Prague International Half-Marathon and Birell Grand Prix, have also been cancelled. All three events had received World Athletics Gold Label status.

"We were ready with our races," wrote RunCzech president Carlo Capalbo in an open letter to the runners and other stakeholders involved in his organization's events. "Everyone was in place. Our team. Our volunteers. Our partners and suppliers. Everything was ordered and most of it in our warehouse. And then? COVID."

Capalbo continued: "We hoped against hope that autumn would be better. But it was not to be."

Large sporting events will not be permitted in the center of Prague, Capalbo explained, forcing the cancellations. He said that all registered runners will have the option to transfer their entries to the 2021 or 2022 editions of these events for no additional cost.

"The decision taken is extremely difficult for us," Capalbo added. "But we take comfort knowing that Czech government officials had the foresight and the wisdom to take action designed to keep us safe. We take comfort knowing that our health care professionals were tireless and brilliant in helping to treat the virus. We take comfort knowing that when it hurts this bad we must be doing something good. And we take comfort knowing that we will run again."

The Sportisimo Prague International Half-Marathon, part of the international SuperHalfs race series, was originally scheduled for Saturday, March 28, but was then postponed until Sunday, September 6. The Birell Grand Prix, a 10-K with a women's 5-K, was always scheduled for Saturday, September 5. Collectively, these events had 26,192 finishers in 2019, according to the Race Results Weekly Athletes Performance Database. The half-marathon was the largest event with 10,517 finishers.

Capalbo emphasized that RunCzech's other races outside of Prague were still scheduled to happen on the revised schedule his organization issued earlier this year: the Mattoni Olomouc Half-Marathon (August 30), Mattoni Ústí Half-Marathon (September 19), Mattoni Karlovy Vary Half-Marathon (October 24), and Mattoni Ceské Budejovice Half-Marathon (October 31).

These cancellations in Prague follow closely the cancellations of three of the running industry's most important events: the Boston Marathon (postponed from April 20, to September 14, before being cancelled), the BMW Berlin Marathon (September 27) and the TCS New York City Marathon (November 1). Dozens of other fall road races have also been cancelled across the Americas, Europe and Japan including large and important events like the Great North Run Half-Marathon in England, Buenos Aires Marathon in Argentina, the Dam tot Damloop 10 Mile in the Netherlands, the Paris-Versailles 16-K in France, and the Osaka Marathon in Japan.

Capalbo, an Italian who has lived in the Czech Republic for decades, remains optimistic. "Very often, over the course of our 27-year history, when we've faced adversity, we've looked for inspiration from our guiding spirit, Emil Zatopek," Capalbo wrote. "A man who famously said that when you feel like you can't go on, 'go faster.'"

(07/01/2020) ⚡AMP
by David Monti
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Prague Marathon

Prague Marathon

2020 Marathon has been moved to the weekend of October 10-11 from May. The Volkswagen Prague International Marathon is considered by many, to be one of the top 10 marathons and invariably contains a number of high profile runners. Winding through the streets of one of Europe's most beautiful cities it is a spectacular race. And with a mainly flat...

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Hamburg Marathon, Which Still Hasn’t Canceled, Announces a Strict Hygiene Policy

In the same week the Berlin Marathon and New York City Marathon were canceled, Hamburg Marathon race organizers announced they are moving forward with plans to host 26.2 in Germany amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

On June 23, race organizers shared an extensive hygiene policy, which was proposed to the city of Hamburg in hopes that the marathon will happen on September 13.

Hamburg Marathon race organizers do not have the city’s approval to gather the 14,000 runners anticipated for the event, but they are hoping to receive permission by the beginning of August, communications director Reinald Achilles confirmed in an email to Runner’s World.

The Hamburg marathon and half marathon were planned for April 19 but had to be rescheduled when the German government implemented a nationwide shut down in mid-March. While the number of new infections has stabilized at a lower level, as reported by Reuters on June 17, the country’s ban on large events was extended to October 24. But exceptions are being made for events where contract tracing and hygiene regulations are possible. 

If the event continues, the Hamburg Marathon will likely be the first large-scale international marathon to be hosted since the start of the pandemic. 

“We are optimistic that the Haspa Marathon Hamburg will be started on September 13,” race director Frank Thaleiser said in a statement. “We have the plans and the infrastructure required. We will now make detailed plans together with the city to realize the race.”

The hygiene policy, outlined by race officials last Tuesday, was developed by experts at Manchester Metropolitan University in England, which offers a masters degree in crowd safety and risk analysis. 

To prepare for the 10,000 marathon participants and 4,000 half marathon runners expected to compete, race organizers are planning to include social distancing and increased hygiene measures prior to and during the event. 

The half marathon and the marathon will have different start and finish areas, and the runners will begin each race in staggered groups of 1,000 about 10 minutes apart over the course of two hours. Before the event, runners will be assigned in predetermined groups and corralled in different halls of the expo building prior to the start. Disinfection stations will be available throughout the event area and along the course. 

Each participant will be given a scarf with a breathing filter to be worn over the nose and mouth in the event areas. And unlike previous races, open food and drink will not be available in the finish area. Instead, race organizers will be offering a refueling package to the participants. 

The elite field will be a smaller group of 30 athletes who will be required to complete COVID-19 testing prior to the competition. Runners in the elite and the mass field will not be allowed to participate if they are traveling from countries where the virus poses a higher risk. 

“The organizational and hygiene policy should demonstrate that a running event with up to 14,000 participants within a city environment can be carried out responsibly while respecting the restrictions on contact and current hygiene guidelines since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Thaleiser said in a statement. 

On June 24, the Berlin Marathon, which hosted 62,444 participants in 2019, was officially canceled. The news followed earlier reports in April in which race organizers announced the World Marathon Major would not go on as planned because of the ordinance set in place by the German government prohibiting all events with more than 5,000 people until October 24. The race looked into different options for holding the event but ultimately determined it wasn’t possible to continue on September 26-27. 

The New York City Marathon was also canceled last Wednesday in a joint decision made by the New York Road Runners and the New York City Mayor’s Office. The marathon was supposed to take place in November, and it would have been the 50th running of the event. 

New York and Berlin are the latest World Marathon Majors to be canceled or postponed in 2020. The Boston Marathon was initially postponed from April to September before being canceled in May. The London Marathon was rescheduled for October 4, and the Chicago Marathon remains on the calendar for October 11.

(06/30/2020) ⚡AMP
by Taylor Dutch (Runner’s World)
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Haspa Marathon Hamburg

Haspa Marathon Hamburg

The 2020 marathon is cancelled. The HASPA MARATHON HAMBURG is Germany’s biggest spring marathon and since 1986 the first one to paint the blue line on the roads. Hamburcourse record is fast (2:05:30), the metropolitan city (1.8 million residents) lets the euphoric atmosphere spill over and carry you to the finish. Make this experience first hand and follow the Blue...

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With NYC Marathon canceled, runners look to virtual races for motivation

Nearly 54,000 people finished last year's TCS New York City Marathon. This year, the race would've commemorated its 50th anniversary but was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Running coach John Honerkamp, the founder of Run Kamp, said many runners will miss the ritual of the marathon this year. John would've run his 10th consecutive New York City Marathon, which always takes place on the first Sunday in November.

But just because the marathon was canceled doesn't mean your training has to go to waste, he said. Using technology to keep you motivated is important. And virtual racing, although not new, Honerkamp said, is a way to stay in touch with other runners and hold each other accountable. All you need for a virtual race is an app like Strava.

"A lot of the times it's just the honor system or you go out with your GPS and run a 5K or marathon or a mile," he said. "There's lots of challenges, whether it's actual race organizations putting on things or just running clubs putting on things to be creative and keep motivation high."

Marathon runner Amrita Ramamurthy was supposed to run her fifth New York City Marathon. The news about the canceled race is tough because a fall without a race is atypical for a lot of marathoners, she said.

Amrita has found it difficult to motivate herself during this pandemic, But she recently signed up and ran her first virtual marathon—the virtual Boston Marathon. She said doing it on her own was really tough on her physically.

"There's no med stations, there's no water, you're completely responsible for yourself," Amrita said.

For Amrita, running a marathon has been about the race-day atmosphere. However, virtual racing has allowed her to focus on herself.

"It's less about the experience and more about my personal dedication to my goals and the times that I can run," she said.

(06/27/2020) ⚡AMP
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Will any of the six World Marathons Majors be held this year other than the elite field in Tokyo?

The Berlin Marathon, one of the world’s six elite long-distance races, has been cancelled this year as organisers conceded the event cannot be held under German Covid-19 containment regulations.

The decision yesterday (Wednesday) came as the 2020 New York City Marathon, originally scheduled for November 1 and another member of the World Marathon Majors (WMM) group, was also cancelled due to Covid-19.

The Berlin Marathon was scheduled for September 26-27, but organisers had already announced in April that this year’s race would not go ahead as scheduled after the German government extended its ban on large-scale gatherings of more than 5,000 people until October 24.

SCC Events has now said that after “extensive examination and various discussions” it would not be possible to hold the event at a later date this year. It added: “Over the past weeks, we have put a lot of commitment and effort into examining all options for holding the BMW Berlin-Marathon 2020 under the given conditions.

“We worked hard on the development of a hygiene concept and held countless discussions with our experts, the responsible authorities and service providers, among others.”

The media and sponsorship rights to the Berlin Marathon are sold by the Infront agency, which is also responsible for the broadcast production. Of the six World Marathon Majors, only Tokyo has taken place so far this year on March 1, with a reduced field consisting only of elite runners, without the mass participation element.

The Berlin and New York decisions came weeks after the Boston Marathon was cancelled for the first time in its 124-year history. The London Marathon has been postponed until October 4, while the Chicago Marathon remains scheduled for October 11.

(06/26/2020) ⚡AMP
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Des Linden says that the cancellation of New York this year could extend her career by several years

The cancellation is not necessarily bad news for everyone. Des Linden, the top American finisher at last year’s marathon, had planned on running both Boston and New York this year after missing the Olympic team in February by just 10 seconds.

She told the Daily News that the cancellations of both marathons could extend her career by several years. Linden, who turns 37 next month, was thought to be at the tail end of her professional career, and had spoken frequently of an uncertain future after 2020.

“This is going to be a really good time to refresh,” Linden said. “I think we were putting all of our chips in (to 2020), and now it’s gonna be regroup and see, can we do this for the long haul for another three or four years? It might not be the worst thing.”

But Linden said she will miss the crowds and the atmosphere.

“You see that start, you get chills,” she said. “And the feeling goes throughout all the boroughs. It’s magical.”

The start is perhaps the most intractable problem for a mass road race in the coronavirus era. The New York City Marathon corrals all the runners on the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge in Staten Island. At the 50,000 runner mark, if socially distanced in the most efficient form possible, the field could stretch seven miles and perhaps more, according to one set of calculations.

Some marathon hosts, like Tokyo, have canceled the mass fields and held elite-only events. New York organizers said they opted against that to avoid large crowds of spectators.

The Boston Marathon, originally scheduled for April, had been postponed to September and then was canceled late last month.

Minutes after the New York announcement, the Berlin Marathon was canceled. With New York, Boston, Berlin, and the Olympics out of the running, four of the seven major marathons scheduled for 2020 will not be held.

While the London and Chicago marathons have not yet been nixed, organizers of both races said cancellation is a possibility. London was previously postponed from April to October.

(06/26/2020) ⚡AMP
by Dennis Young
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TCS  New York City Marathon

TCS New York City Marathon

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

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Why track would benefit from major championships

Tennis and road running have competitions like Wimbledon and the Boston Marathon that stand above the rest, so why doesn’t track and field have major championships?

In a recent blog post written by NAZ Elite coach Ben Rosario, the topic of conversation was the state of running and track and how it could be improved by the Olympic Games in 2028. He wrote that he hopes by then, “we’re in a place where the Olympics is no longer the pinnacle of our sport.” How can this happen? By adding track and field major championships. Tennis, golf and marathons all have “major” competitions, and while the Olympics are still a big deal in each of these sports, Wimbledon, The Masters and the Boston Marathon are really the pinnacle events. Adding majors to track could take the sport to the next level.

Yearly events

Right now in track and field, the biggest events are the Olympics and the world championships. The Olympics come around once every four years, and the world championships occur every two. Adding yearly major events to the track calendar that are as important to athletes as the Olympics and world championships would make the sport so much more exciting to watch, and it would give athletes big goals to chase year in and year out.

n tennis, Wimbledon and the Australian, French and U.S. opens are the pinnacles of the sport, and they each see a champion crowned every year. The Olympics are important to these athletes, but much more weight is placed on one of the sport’s four yearly major championships rather than the quadrennial Summer Games.

Can’t-miss events

In tennis and golf, no athlete misses the major championships unless they’re injured or other circumstances prevent them from attending the events. On the marathon circuit, it’s a little more difficult for elites to compete at each event, but the world’s best marathoners rarely go an entire season without competing in at least one of the Abbott World Majors. In track, there are big events each year, like in the Diamond League, but there’s no guarantee that the sport’s biggest names will be in attendance at these races.

Making track mainstream

For the most part, at this point in time, track is a sport that people only watch every four years. Every now and then CBC airs a track meet, but it’s not a common occurrence. Adding track majors would put the sport into the mainstream. Even the least enthusiastic of tennis fans watch the Wimbledon finals every year, and people who would normally rather watch paint dry than watch a full round of golf stare at the TV for hours every April when The Masters are on. Casual viewers would be much more likely to tune in to watch track if they knew the events mattered as much as the Olympics.

How would it work?

There would of course be a lot of debate as to where these majors would land, but Rosario pitched four possible events: the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Ore., “The Championships” in London, “The German Open” in Berlin and the “Tokyo Meet of Champions” in Japan. Spread these out over the year, just like the Abbott World Marathon Majors, and the world’s best track athletes will be likely to attend each one. It might take a while to give these events a real authentic feeling of significance, but after a few years (Rosario hopes by 2028), the Majors of Track and Field could be of equal or more importance than the Olympic Games.

(06/20/2020) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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The World’s Toughest Foot Race is on and going to be the first race covered by MBR since March 8. The 43rd annual event is set for July 6-8

The last race MBR posted results for was the LA Marathon March 8.  Since then every race we cover, and we only cover the best, most unique and interesting races in world have either been cancelled or postponed.  We are talking about races like the Boston Marathon, Big Sur and the Berlin Marathon only to name three.  

The big question has been, what race is going to be the first?  it appears it is going to be an ultra race.  A race celebrating 43 years.  The Badwater 135.  No races for four months.  

Covering 135 miles (217km) non-stop from Death Valley to Mt. Whitney, CA, the Badwater® 135 is the most demanding and extreme running race offered anywhere on the planet.

The start line is at Badwater Basin, Death Valley, which marks the lowest elevation in North America at 280’ (85m) below sea level. The race finishes at Whitney Portal at 8,300’ (2530m), which is the trailhead to the Mt. Whitney summit, the highest point in the contiguous United States. The Badwater 135 course covers three mountain ranges for a total of 14,600’ (4450m) of cumulative vertical ascent and 6,100’ (1859m) of cumulative descent.

Competitors travel through places or landmarks with names like Mushroom Rock, Furnace Creek, Salt Creek, Devil’s Cornfield, Devil’s Golf Course, Stovepipe Wells, Panamint Springs, Darwin, Keeler, Lone Pine, Alabama Hills, and the Sierra Nevada.

The 43rd edition will take place Monday-Wednesday, July 6-8, 2020.

(06/18/2020) ⚡AMP
by Bob Anderson
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Badwater 135

Badwater 135

We could not make this happen in 2020 and we have been forced to cancel our event for this year. Recognized globally as "the world’s toughest foot race," this legendary event pits up to 90 of the world’s toughest athletes runners, triathletes, adventure racers, and mountaineers against one another and the elements. Badwater 135 is the most demanding and...

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The Fargo Marathon got the green light from the city and it is on for August 29

Ladies and gentlemen, start your running shoes. The Sanford Fargo Marathon got the green light from the city of Fargo and crucial sponsors and will proceed as planned for its week-long events Aug. 24-29.

Moreover, the 26.2-mile marathon may be one of the few races of that distance in the country and could attract more runners than usual. It most likely will be the first to resume after being rescheduled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re getting emails from people all over the country saying I see you’re still on,” said race director Mark Knutson. 

He said Rugged Races, the owner of the Fargo Marathon, gave its blessing. Mike Almquist, who along with Knutson has been on board since the event’s inception in 2005 and is the operations manager under Rugged, has been getting elite applications almost daily, Knutson said.

The record number of registered runners for the full is 2,631 in 2011 with the race holding steady annually at between 1,500 and 2,000.

This year’s races will see some significant changes with social distancing measures. They will start and finish on the east side of the Fargodome instead of inside the facility. Runners will be starting in groups of 500 that will be assembled in multiple corrals in the dome parking lot.

“There will be no mass start outside of 500 people,” Knutson said.

The marathon route may have to change depending on the access to the city of Moorhead, Concordia College and Minnesota State Moorhead. It may go through downtown Fargo at the beginning of the race instead of toward the end but that is more because of road construction, Knutson said.

“By no means do we want to leave Moorhead out,” he said. “The course is still a little bit in limbo. If we can’t go into Moorhead, we’ll have to figure out additional real estate in Fargo.”

Around 10,000 are currently registered for all events. Knutson sees a realistic cap of around 15,000 registrants. Precautions will also be taken at aid stations, packet pickup and with volunteers.

The marathon has also received guidance from Fargo Cass Public Health.

“We have a very good COVID-focused plan, a really good plan,” he said. 

The plan could see further easing of restrictions depending on the level of risk that is determined by the North Dakota Health Department. It’s currently at a green, or low level. It’s one level above blue, which is the safest.

At a green level, finishers will be given a medal, a pre-packaged food bag and then be encouraged to leave the premises.

“If we go to a blue on a state-wide level, I’m sure we’ll have music at the finish line and have a party in the parking lot,” Knutson said. “But for now, we’re going to proceed as if we’re going to stay with a green level.”

The record for all events is 25,700 set in 2012. A proliferation of marathons in recent years has made for a more competitive market, especially for out-of-town runners looking for a destination marathon.

Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, Minn., normally held this month, was canceled. Knutson said he’s heard from runners who were registered for the Boston Marathon, which also was canceled.

“We hope to get some more national draw,” he said.

The Twin Cities Marathon on Oct. 4 and the Chicago Marathon on Oct. 11 are still on. 

The Fargo Marathon and four-person relay, 13.1-mile half marathon and 10K are set for Saturday the 29th. The cyclothon, either a 15-mile or 26.2-mile loop, begins the week on Monday, Aug. 24 followed by the Furgo Dog Run on Tuesday. The annual Youth Run is set for Thursday and the 5K is set for Friday night.

The events were originally scheduled for mid-May. Participants who were registered for those races will automatically be entered in the new dates.

No refunds will be given. Registered runners who can’t make the new dates can do a “virtual run” and have their medal, bib number and race swag shipped to them.

(06/18/2020) ⚡AMP
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Fargo Marathon

Fargo Marathon

2020 events have been moved from May 9th to August 29. The Fargo Marathon is a week full of events, The Fargo Marathon is bound to have something for everyone. From the Cyclothon, Furgo Dog Run, Largest Kid's Race, 5K Walk/Run, 10K, Half Marathon, Full Marathon and Relays, there is a distance for all! Start and Finish inside the Fargo...

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Pam Rickard has been running since the 1980’s and running sober since 2006

Pam Rickard is all smiles while running the 2019 Boston Marathon. (First photo) 

Pam Rickard participated in a seven-day running adventure across China’s Gobi Desert in June 2012 in which she won her age group. (Second photo) 

While some people would say Pam Rickard is addicted to running, she would disagree. Rickard, who runs about 2,000 miles a year, has been running since the 1980s and running sober since 2006.

“If I’m living in healthy recovery, I don’t use running in an unbalanced, unhealthy way. I appreciate it as a gift and a tool of healthy living,” Rickard said.

Rickard is director of Active Engagement for Herren Project, heading up Team Herren Project, engaging people to run, walk and participate in healthy activities, helping each other, and others, live stronger, healthier lives. She said she is grateful to be able to use her running, through her job, to raise awareness and funding for Herren Project’s mission, which includes providing prevention and addiction recovery resources and support for all affected by the disease.

In the 1980s and 1990s she graduated from Ohio University, started running, moved to Roanoke, Virginia  to work for The Roanoke Times, married Tom Rickard and moved to Franklin County. As a runner, she has won races, earned best times in different age groups and completed seven marathons. Although drinking a lot during those years, she was high functioning and never drank while pregnant, nursing her children or seriously training.

After her third daughter was born in 2003, Rickard’s drinking escalated. In 2005-06, within 18 months, she received three DUIs.

“I know now that I was an alcoholic from the first drink at the age of 14,” said Rickard, who is now 58. “But as often the case with addiction, it’s progressive, but on its own timeline. In the ‘80s, ‘90s and early 2000s, I appeared to have it all together; did well in school, married the love of my life who I met in college, was an accomplished member of the local running community, a successful professional and eventually, a devoted mom.”

She added, “In truth, I was anxious and fearful much of the time, self-medicating with alcohol, trying desperately to keep my struggles hidden. Over a very long period of time, I began spiraling out of control. I tried to ‘fix’ my problems myself, declined even the notion of asking for help, and ended up in a ‘perfect storm’ of arrogance and fear. I finally surrendered to my God and my disease when I entered addiction treatment on April 17, 2006 – and took my first steps into sobriety.”

She described her treatment at The Farley Center in Williamsburg in April and May of that year as scary and hard, but after only a few days, she said she felt better and hopeful. She had to listen and follow directions and was relieved to not have to “run the show” anymore. She quickly realized what she got out of treatment was what she put into it.

After pleading guilty to her third DUI, Rickard served three months in the Roanoke City Jail from Sept. 28 to Dec. 31, 2006. Rickard was five months sober when she went to jail. As hard as things got, she hung onto the fact that God and her sobriety could not be taken from her.

“My only plan was to survive. God had other plans though, and while I ended up having some very ugly experiences, I also connected with many women who were broken … not bad, just in an extremely unhealthy cycle that went back generations,” she said. “When I walked out of that jail, the seeds had been planted that would ultimately grow into my desire to help those fighting battles similar to mine.”

Rickard didn’t drive for three years after her conviction. She said she hated inconveniencing her family, but she learned invaluable lessons. As part of her treatment after care, she committed to attending 90 recovery meetings in 90 days.

“It was ridiculously challenging with no license and living in the country, but I did that, and more,” she said.

Running is what connected Rickard to Herren Project. Over a 35-plus year running career, she has completed numerous races, including more than 80 marathons and ultramarathons. Her races have included a seven-day adventure across China’s Gobi Desert and a 100k (62 miles) trek through the Alps from Italy to France. She was a member of the 2016, six-person Icebreaker Run team, running across the U.S. to bring awareness to mental health issues. She has run the New York City Marathon 10 times and the Boston Marathon 10 times, including the 2013 race in which she finished 20 minutes before the bombs went off.

Of all the races she’s done, the one that stands out the most is her 2007 New York City Marathon.

“That was my first sober marathon,” she said. “Then it was my 50th sober marathon in 2018. Without that desire to run one more marathon as a sober person, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I believe I would be right where I should be, but that experience opened up so many opportunities. It began to teach me the priceless truth that I don’t run to stay sober, I get to run because I am.”

For those who struggle or have struggled with substance use disorder, Rickard said, “I encourage myself, and others, to ask for help when you need it, offer help when you can, follow direction of those who have what you want and trust the process.”

Rickard added, “The fact that I can run at all now, let alone do it while building a community and helping others through the work of Herren Project, is a priceless gift.

“Whether it’s a 3-mile training run, or a major event, my mantra is, ‘I don’t have to run, I get to.’”

 

(06/18/2020) ⚡AMP
by Leigh Prom
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Stretching was once the cure-all for running injuries.

When it comes to running, experts want you to avoid static stretching

Stretching was once the cure-all for running injuries. Practitioners would ask injured runners if they were stretching enough, and if the answer was no they would offer more stretches. However, research is now suggesting that certain kinds of stretching aren’t great for runners, and may even be harmful for those who are prone to injury.

According to a literature review of several studies, there’s actually a correlation between lower levels of flexibility and better running economy, which refers to the amount of energy expended to maintain a particular speed. A study on untrained runners found that participants with the lowest flexibility happened to have the most naturally economic running styles. Researchers believe that this was a result of low range of motion, leading to better stabilization when the foot hits the ground. Basically, excessive range of motion means more energy is needed to stabilize muscles, and having a lower range of motion reduces that use of energy.

Carla Robbins is the owner of Vital Strength and Physiology in Calgary, Alta. She says she almost never prescribes static stretching to her clients – she’s all about strength work. “If stretching is something you do frequently, it’s technically possible to get more length in the muscle, but I don’t personally recommend it. I feel like there are other things that can check that box, for example, dynamic stretching or strength training. Strength training results in strength (and length), while also preventing injury.”

When To stretch - If static stretching (holding one position) isn’t recommended for runners, then what should they be doing to warm up? Robbins says ideally runners will integrate dynamic stretching (not holding the stretch, but moving with control in and out of the end ranges of the stretch) into their pre-run routine. A dynamic warmup will increase body temperature, which activates enzymes that are beneficial to running.

When not to stretch - Robbins says static stretching should be avoided by runners who are trying to prevent (or rehabilitate) an injury. “There isn’t enough evidence to support that stretching prevents injury,” she explains. “Some stiffness is required in the ligaments and muscles to run. For example, if you’re a hyper-mobile person with relaxed ligaments, you might be more prone to injury as your joints are more likely to move with loading. Lack of stiffness isn’t necessarily beneficial.”

Robbins also reminds runners never to stretch through pain. “Listen to your body, it’ll tell you if you’re doing something wrong.

”What about cramping?

When runners cramp up, many feel the need to “stretch it out,” but the research is divided on the topic. Muscle cramps can be caused by many factors including dehydration, fatigue and vitamin or mineral deficiencies. Leg cramps can also be a side effect of some prescription medications.

However, the reason for cramping and its exact cure eludes us. Several studies suggest that stretching out a cramp won’t hurt you, but it won’t necessarily help, either. If cramping is an issue for you, Hyland’s Leg Cramp Tablets, an official sponsor of the Boston Marathon, are one way to feel confident on the start line. Hyland’s Leg Cramps Tablets are taken without water, the quick dissolving tablets melt instantly in your mouth for fast-acting natural relief of leg, calf and foot cramps with no known side effects. They can be purchased on Amazon.ca and ship worldwide.

What muscles should runners pay attention to?

Robbins is a big fan of strength training, which both lengthens and strengthens muscles. In addition to making runners stronger, it’s a great way to prevent injury. “For example, if you’re super stiff and have no hamstring flexibility, but also continually injure your hamstrings, you could look at training that muscle,” she says. “Train at the end of a muscle’s range of motion (a deep deadlift is an example) so that you not only develop length, but also strength in the long term. Studies comparing stretching protocols to strengthening protocols have shown that a runner can improve injury-resilience with strength training and joint mobility without ever stretching.”

When strength training, runners should pay special attention to their quads and hamstrings, along with ankle and hip mobility. These are the areas where the most-common running injuries tend to happen.

(06/16/2020) ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Athletics Canada's plan for responsible programming in every province and territory

Athletics Canada has announced its plan for runners to safely return to practices, and eventually, racing. As the situation varies greatly depending on location, there won’t be a standard approach that applies to all provinces and clubs. Instead, the Back on Track guidelines are a national tool to assist in developing a responsible return to programming in every province and territory.

First, the province or territory’s public health officials must greenlight sport in their area. Second, clubs must review the risk assessment questionnaire (which can be requested by public health or NSO officials) and decide it’s safe to open their facility. Third, the head coach must sign off on the protocols document. All athletes and coaches also need to complete waivers (including health questionnaires). Each club will be individually authorized to resume training. Finally, athletes will need to complete daily health questionnaires to continue training with their group.

Further measures.- Maintain consistent groups (for example, assign specific training partners and continue to meet with those people only).

Daily on-site symptom screening, All equipment must be sanitized after use (starting blocks, batons, hurdles).

Personal protective equipment must be worn by coaches, High jump and pole vault mats are not to be used at this time.

No shaking hands, no high fives, no sharing water bottles

Athletics Canada has yet to outline new competition procedures.

Boston Mayor Martin Walsh announced last Thursday that for the first time ever, the Boston Marathon has officially been cancelled. While Boston will go virtual for 2020, there remain only three world majors set to take place this fall (London, Chicago and New York).

Based on the WHO’s recommendations for large gatherings, organizers need to asses risk based on the context of the event. However, they do recommend if participating virtually is an option, opt for the online solution. The one thing marathons have going for them is that they’re outdoors, which is certainly recommended over mass indoor gatherings.

While it’s not impossible to catch COVID while outside, the chances are significantly lower, according to B.C.’s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry.

(06/06/2020) ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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When it comes to running, experts suggest avoiding static stretching

Stretching was once the cure-all for running injuries. Practitioners would ask injured runners if they were stretching enough, and if the answer was no they would offer more stretches. However, research is now suggesting that certain kinds of stretching aren’t great for runners, and may even be harmful for those who are prone to injury.

According to a literature review of several studies, there’s actually a correlation between lower levels of flexibility and better running economy, which refers to the amount of energy expended to maintain a particular speed. A study on untrained runners found that participants with the lowest flexibility happened to have the most naturally economic running styles. Researchers believe that this was a result of low range of motion, leading to better stabilization when the foot hits the ground. Basically, excessive range of motion means more energy is needed to stabilize muscles, and having a lower range of motion reduces that use of energy.

Carla Robbins is the owner of Vital Strength and Physiology in Calgary, Alta. She says she almost never prescribes static stretching to her clients – she’s all about strength work. “If stretching is something you do frequently, it’s technically possible to get more length in the muscle, but I don’t personally recommend it. I feel like there are other things that can check that box, for example, dynamic stretching or strength training. Strength training results in strength (and length), while also preventing injury.”

When to stretch.- If static stretching (holding one position) isn’t recommended for runners, then what should they be doing to warm up? Robbins says ideally runners will integrate dynamic stretching (not holding the stretch, but moving with control in and out of the end ranges of the stretch) into their pre-run routine. A dynamic warmup will increase body temperature, which activates enzymes that are beneficial to running.

When not Stretching.- Robbins says static stretching should be avoided by runners who are trying to prevent (or rehabilitate) an injury. “There isn’t enough evidence to support that stretching prevents injury,” she explains. “Some stiffness is required in the ligaments and muscles to run. For example, if you’re a hyper-mobile person with relaxed ligaments, you might be more prone to injury as your joints are more likely to move with loading. Lack of stiffness isn’t necessarily beneficial.”

Robbins also reminds runners never to stretch through pain. “Listen to your body, it’ll tell you if you’re doing something wrong.”

When runners cramp up, many feel the need to “stretch it out,” but the research is divided on the topic. Muscle cramps can be caused by many factors including dehydration, fatigue and vitamin or mineral deficiencies. Leg cramps can also be a side effect of some prescription medications.

However, the reason for cramping and its exact cure eludes us. Several studies suggest that stretching out a cramp won’t hurt you, but it won’t necessarily help, either. If cramping is an issue for you, Hyland’s Leg Cramp Tablets, an official sponsor of the Boston Marathon, are one way to feel confident on the start line. Hyland’s Leg Cramps Tablets are taken without water, the quick dissolving tablets melt instantly in your mouth for fast-acting natural relief of leg, calf and foot cramps with no known side effects.

When strength training, runners should pay special attention to their quads and hamstrings, along with ankle and hip mobility. These are the areas where the most-common running injuries tend to happen.

(06/05/2020) ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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Two-time New York Marathon winner Jelena Prokopcuka retires from professional competition

Two-time New York Marathon winner Jelena Prokopcuka has admitted in an interview with the monthly sports magazine Sporta Avize that she has most likely run her final professional competition, but says that she plans to continue running while spending more time with her family.

Prokopcuka, the titled long-distance runner, has now put active sports aside because he has devoted herself to family life, which was left in the background during her career. She says that sports are not being completely forgotten, but that her daily schedule has already changed considerably.

"I am no longer a professional athlete, but a high level enthusiast. My goals are not as big as they used to be in my life - I had no more thoughts about the Olympics or other top marathons this year," Prokopcuka explained. "I know I need to move, I can't stop running for health reasons, but I don't have a strict regime, a strict training plan."

Prokopcuka did not rule out that she may run a marathon in the future, but there are no such plans in the near future. Only in the upcoming Riga Marathon in the autumn, where she will run not as a professional but as an enthusiast.

The experienced Prokopcuka did not hide that he still loves running, and that she wants to share her knowledge in the future.

Prokopcuka holds the Latvian record in the 3,000 meters, 6,000 meters, 10,000 meters, half-marathon and marathon distances.

She won the NY Marathon in 2005 and 2006, and finished in third in 2007 and 2013. She also finished in third place at the 2006 and 2007 Boston Marathon, and the 2003 Chicago Marathon.

She also triumphed at the Osaka Marathon in 2005.

Prokopcuka has competed at four Olympic games during her career - in 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2016.

She was named Latvia's Athlete of the Year in 2005, 2006 and 2007.

(06/02/2020) ⚡AMP
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TCS  New York City Marathon

TCS New York City Marathon

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

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Winny Kosgey targets to run the Ottawa Marathon’s 10k virtual run on June 2

On Sunday, a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule docked with the International Space Station, the first time a crewed US spacecraft has performed the feat in nearly a decade.

The "Soft capture," the moment when the spacecraft makes first contact and starts latching with the target vehicle, occurred at 10:16 am Eastern Time (5.16pm Kenyan time).

Carrying two NASA astronauts, Bob Behnkhen and Doug Hurley, the mission marked a huge milestone in space travel.

Back on earth, and right here in the North Rift, man will celebrate another major milestone, this time in sport, not space travel.

Under normal circumstances, Winny Kosgey, an upcoming distance runner, would have been in Ottawa, Canada, for a 10-kilometre run.

But with the coronavirus having disrupted global sports programmes and airline travel, Kosgey was among scores of sportspeople who couldn’t travel to their destinations of competition.

However, she will still run the Ottawa 10km race, and has the possibility of bagging prize money.

Thanks to technology, organisers of the race have elected to have it run, virtually.

With virtual competitions slowly becoming the enforced vogue, Kosgey will most certainly break new ground for Kenyan sport when she competes on Tuesday.

Virtual running seems to be the way forward now for athletes as they wait for the virus to be contained.

Last weekend’s cancellation of the Boston Marathon, the first time it its 124-year history, drove further affinity to virtual running.

Her quick thinking directed her to the internet where she managed to register for the reorganised race, and she has been preparing for the last few weeks.

The virtual race requires an athlete to compete alone at his or her own pace, adhering to social distancing regulations provided by the government and Ministry of Health.

She said she has been promoting social distancing in sport, and, at the same time, competing to raise money for charity for a children’s hospital in Canada.

She will be running alone, with her husband a freelancer journalist Justin Lagat, and her daughter, Berylynn Jerotich, monitoring her progress from a trailing car.

“The race is to promote social distancing and it’s only my family who will be able to see me running.

“I don’t expect anybody to cheer me while running,” said Kosgey, who names world marathon record holder Brigid Kosgei as her mentor.

(06/01/2020) ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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Ottawa 10K

Ottawa 10K

Ottawa's course is fast, scenic and few elevation changes. Considered to be an excellent course for first timers and should provide an environment conducive to setting a PR. The Ottawa 10K is the only IAAF Gold Label 10K event in Canada and one of only four IAAF Gold Label 10Ks in the world. The Ottawa 10K attracts one of the...

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People are going to be running the Boston Marathon remotely Due to COVID-19, for the very first time ever

On May 28, the Boston Athletic Association (BAA) announced that, for the first time in its 124 years of existence, the 2020 Boston Marathon is canceled.

The event was originally scheduled for April 20, then rescheduled to September due to the COVID-19 pandemic. "While our goal and our hope is to make progress in containing the virus and recovering our economy, this kind of event would not be responsible or realistic on September 14 or any time this year," Boston mayor Marty Walsh announced on Twitter. Instead, a virtual marathon will be hosted over a number of days.

Here's the good news: runners who were originally registered for the 2020 Boston Marathon will be offered a full refund of their entry fee, according to a notice posted on the BAA website. And, they will have the opportunity to participate in the 124th Boston Marathon remotely anytime between Sept. 7 and 14.

In terms of logistics, participants will be required to complete 26.2 miles within six hours, and they will also need to provide proof of timing to the BAA. Information for how to enter the virtual race and how to submit those times is forthcoming - so stay tuned!

More good news: if you had requested a race refund prior to May 28, you are still eligible to participate virtually. In finishing the Boston Marathon remotely, participants will receive an official Boston Marathon program, T-shirt, runner's bib, and medal. Virtual events, including panels, will also be offered throughout the week.

According to the BAA, registration for next year's Boston Marathon (in 2021) will open toward the end of September, and runners cannot use their virtual times toward qualifying. That being said, runners can use their 2020 Boston Marathon qualifying time for the 2021 Boston Marathon, though further information is yet to be released.

(06/01/2020) ⚡AMP
by Samantha Brodsky
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

The 124th Boston Marathon originally scheduled for April 20 was postponed to September 14 and then May 28 it was cancelled for 2020. The next Boston Marathon is scheduled for April 19, 2021. Among the nation’s oldest athletic clubs, the B.A.A. was established in 1887, and, in 1896, more than half of the U.S. Olympic Team at the first modern...

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Boston Marathon Runners disappointed over Marathon cancellation

The Boston Athletic Association announced this year's event will be held as a virtual event.

Those who were supposed to run the marathon this year can run the course anytime between September 7 and 14.

Runners will be required to complete the distance within six hours and provide proof of timing.    

The president of the Greater Springfield Harriers Running Club says cancelling the marathon was the right move.

"I think myself, like most runners we really understand it. With the marathon just how many runners, where they are coming from, the number of volunteers needed, it's just not the right thing to do,” said Bob Landry of the Greater Springfield Harriers.     

When the marathon was initially postponed on March 12 there were only about 20 COVID-19 cases in Boston but now there are more than 13,000.

(05/29/2020) ⚡AMP
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

The 124th Boston Marathon originally scheduled for April 20 was postponed to September 14 and then May 28 it was cancelled for 2020. The next Boston Marathon is scheduled for April 19, 2021. Among the nation’s oldest athletic clubs, the B.A.A. was established in 1887, and, in 1896, more than half of the U.S. Olympic Team at the first modern...

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The Boston Marathon has been canceled for the first time in its 124-year history.

The 2020 Boston Marathon has been canceled. 

BAA organizers said Thursday that they instead will have a “virtual event” in which participants who verify that they ran 26.2 miles on their own will receive their finisher’s medal. The race had originally been scheduled for April 20 before being postponed for five months because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“While we cannot bring the world to Boston in September, we plan to bring Boston to the world for a historic 124th Boston Marathon,” said Tom Grilk, the CEO of the Boston Athletic Association.

The BAA has announced that the 124th Boston Marathon will be held as a virtual event, following Boston Mayor Martin Walsh’s cancellation of the marathon as a mass participation road running event due to the COVID-19 pandemic. pic.twitter.com/tlIdvsU9sq

The B.A.A. will offer a series of virtual events & activities throughout September’s Marathon Week to bring the Boston Marathon experience to the world. This will include exclusive panel discussions, champions interviews, and a downloadable toolkit with signature race elements.

Although the title of Boston Marathon champion is contested by a few dozen elite athletes, the field includes more than 30,000 recreational and charity runners, with as many as 1 million people lined up along the course trek from Hopkinton to Boston’s Back Bay. That presented organizers with a social distancing problem that won’t be solved by the fall.

The cancellation is the first ever for the race, which began in 1897 when 15 men drew a starting line in the dirt in Ashland and headed for the city to commemorate the first modern Olympic Games the previous year. In 1918, the format was modified to a relay due to World War I; the 2013 race was stopped when two bombs exploded at the finish line, several hours after the winners had finished but while many recreational runners were still on the course.

For each of those years, the race was held in April on the state holiday to commemorate the battles in Lexington and Concord that marked the start of the Revolutionary War. Traditionally, the Red Sox have scheduled their first pitch for the morning so baseball fans could wander over to Kenmore Square after the game to see the runners pass by with one mile to go.

In March, when the race was postponed to Sept. 14, Mayor Marty Walsh cited the desire to salvage the estimated $211 million pumped into the city’s economy each year. The Boston Athletic Association and marathon runners also raise about $40 million for charity.

Walsh said at the time that there was no thought of excluding the tens of thousands of amateur runners who consider running Boston a bucket list achievement. The Tokyo Marathon went on as scheduled in March with just over 200 elite runners but not the 38,000 recreational runners who had signed up; spectators at the Los Angeles Marathon were advised to practice social distancing.

“That’s not the Boston Marathon. We’re an inclusive marathon,” Walsh said. “The Boston Marathon is for everyone.”

The 2021 Boston Marathon is scheduled for April 19 and the 125th anniversary edition is scheduled for April 18, 2022.

(05/28/2020) ⚡AMP
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

The 124th Boston Marathon originally scheduled for April 20 was postponed to September 14 and then May 28 it was cancelled for 2020. The next Boston Marathon is scheduled for April 19, 2021. Among the nation’s oldest athletic clubs, the B.A.A. was established in 1887, and, in 1896, more than half of the U.S. Olympic Team at the first modern...

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A final decision will be made within the next two weeks weather the Boston Marathon will be held this Fall

A final decision will be made in the next week or two about whether to hold the Boston Marathon in September, Boston Mayor Martin Walsh said Friday.

“The decision needs to be made soon,” Walsh told WGBH News. “You can’t cancel the marathon four days ahead of time.”

The decision also won’t be made lightly, Walsh said, noting that other cities that postponed marathons haven’t yet canceled them.

Earlier in the week, Walsh said the decision to reschedule the marathon from April to Sept. 14 was made with the hope that the disease “would no longer be a significant public health risk.”

Since then, thousands of Massachusetts residents have died from COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus, and precautions like social distancing, the use of masks in public spaces, and bans on large public gatherings remain in effect.

The Boston Athletic Association told WBZ-TV on Tuesday that it is “actively exploring all options for this year’s race.”

Walsh said that he has been tested both for COVID-19 and the antibodies produced from exposure to the virus. The Democrat said he tested negative for COVID-19 and is still waiting for results from the antibody test.

(05/24/2020) ⚡AMP
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

The 124th Boston Marathon originally scheduled for April 20 was postponed to September 14 and then May 28 it was cancelled for 2020. The next Boston Marathon is scheduled for April 19, 2021. Among the nation’s oldest athletic clubs, the B.A.A. was established in 1887, and, in 1896, more than half of the U.S. Olympic Team at the first modern...

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Former world half marathon record holder Peres Jepchirchir targets Boston conquest after recovery from fatigue and muscle cramp problems

Former world half marathon record holder Peres Jepchirchir has recovered from fatigue and muscle cramp problems, which forced her out of the Ras al-Khaimah race in the United Arab Emirates in February.

The 26-year-old winner of the Saitama International Marathon says she is back to her best form as she continues her preparations for the Boston Marathon, which has been rescheduled for September after it was postponed from its original April 14 date.

Jepchirchir believes she has the strength and stamina to pull a fast one on her rivals and win the Boston marathon. However, she has to bide her time as COVID-19 has wrecked the sports calendar.

"My body has regained the fitness I always have whenever I go into major championships. My last race was in Ras al-Khaimah in UAE, which I had problems and could not finish. But I have recovered from the fatigue and feel strong now. I want to race, but there is no competition," Jepchirchir said on Wednesday from Kapsabet.

The Kenyan is among a horde of local athletes eyeing a rebound after the health situation improves and the global community lifts bans on international travel and allow sports competition.

"I am training, though not at full throttle. But I am ready to bounce back after what I feel like a long sabbatical," she added.

"I am happy now, and I will run with extra effort. In 2017, I took a sabbatical to give birth to my daughter, and I want to continue working hard, run a faster time."

Jepchirchir is a former Yangzhou International Half Marathon champion. She set a world record in the women's half marathon in Ras al-Khaimah in UAE back in 2017 when she clocked 65:06, which was three seconds quicker than the mark set by fellow Kenyan Florence Kiplagat in Barcelona in 2015.

(05/22/2020) ⚡AMP
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

The 124th Boston Marathon originally scheduled for April 20 was postponed to September 14 and then May 28 it was cancelled for 2020. The next Boston Marathon is scheduled for April 19, 2021. Among the nation’s oldest athletic clubs, the B.A.A. was established in 1887, and, in 1896, more than half of the U.S. Olympic Team at the first modern...

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The Boston Marathon is still unsure if it can happen September 14th due to the COVID-19 pandemic

As Massachusetts begins to slowly loosen regulations in an effort to restart an economy halted by the coronavirus, organizers of the historic race remain in consultation with governmental entities to see if they can avoid canceling the event for the first time in 124 years.

Even with the marathon still four months away, the magnitude of ensuring runners and spectators stay safe and do not become vectors of the coronavirus is a colossal one.

More than 31,000 runners would have to be bused or find transportation to Hopkinton the morning of Sept. 14, then socially distance themselves before the start of the race when runners usually stand in close quarters.

When the race begins, the concerns only mount. Runners face the prospect of unwittingly transmitting or receiving the virus from not only fellow runners, but an estimated million spectators who usually line the 26.2-mile course from Hopkinton to the Back Bay.

“The Boston Athletic Association continues to work closely with local and state officials as we consider what Sept. 14 looks like for the Boston Marathon,” said the BAA in a statement Tuesday. “Guided by public officials, we are actively exploring all options for this year’s race and will continue to follow public health and safety guidance.”

In comments to reporters at his daily briefing, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh also struck a cautionary tone while stressing that no official decision on a cancellation has been made.

“Certainly when we originally made the decision to postpone the marathon [to] September, we were already hopeful coronavirus would no longer be a significant public health risk for our residents,” said Walsh. “We are continuing to have, right now, a conversation with the BAA on the best way for all of us to move forward. I don’t have any specific updates to share on the Marathon at this time, but will keep everyone informed as we move forward.”

The marathon has been run every year since 1897, making it the oldest annual marathon in the world.

In 1918, the year of the last pandemic, the race was switched to a military relay event on the course due to American involvement in World War I.

The race is believed to pump some $200 million into the Massachusetts economy.

(05/20/2020) ⚡AMP
by Michael Silverman
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

The 124th Boston Marathon originally scheduled for April 20 was postponed to September 14 and then May 28 it was cancelled for 2020. The next Boston Marathon is scheduled for April 19, 2021. Among the nation’s oldest athletic clubs, the B.A.A. was established in 1887, and, in 1896, more than half of the U.S. Olympic Team at the first modern...

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Boston and Chicago Marathon champ Lawrence Cherono boosts children’s home in Eldoret, where he donated foodstuff to more than 50 children to help them cope with the coronavirus

Lawrence Cherono has confessed that it’s a tough affair training alone. Because training with team-mates gives him the extra push.

Cherono has been training at his home area in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County, but misses the allure of Kaptagat in Elgeyo Marakwet County, where he is used to criss-crossing forest paths with teammates.

Cherono agrees with world marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge that Kaptagat “is the best place to sharpen one’s career.”

He was speaking on Saturday after visiting Neema Children’s Home in Eldoret where he donated foodstuff to more than 50 children to help them cope with the coronavirus.

“I have been training alone for the last two months just to keep fit after Boston Marathon organisers cancelled the (April) race,” he said.

“I was in good shape and my target was to defend my title,” said Cherono, who is also the Chicago Marathon champion.

He also said that his preparations had started way back in December and he was optimistic that he would bag victory something he has now shifted to the next season.

“A whole season has gone to waste due to the coronavirus which caught everybody unaware with races cancelled across the globe. Athletes depend on competition and we are all at home praying that the virus may be contained,” he said.

Cherono is known for his strong finishing kick, which earned him that famous wins in Boston and Chicago. He terms it as “running smart.”

“When you get into competition, every athlete is good and you have to do good calculations in order to emerge a winner. I always run smart and it has indeed worked for me in Boston and Chicago Marathons.”

He will be starting his build-up training next month as he looks forward to defend his title in the rearranged Boston Marathon in September after winning last year's race in two hours, seven minutes and 57 seconds, two seconds ahead of Ethiopia’s Lelisa Desisa. 

With the Olympics Games shifting to next year, Cherono was disappointed but says he is still focused.

“We just have to wait because life is more important,” said Cherono.

Cherono was named as one of the athletes who will represent Kenya teaming up with Olympics marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge and World Championships marathon bronze medallist Amos Kipruto.

(05/20/2020) ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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Toronto marathon champion Benson Kipruto targets medal at rescheduled Boston marathon

Former Toronto marathon champion Benson Kipruto has returned to training as he tries to regain fitness and compete in Boston after the race was rescheduled to September.

Kipruto, the tenth finisher in last year's Boston marathon, believes with better weather, he can improve on his time and position on return to the United States.

Organizers of the Boston marathon have rescheduled the event to Sept 14 from April 20 due to COVID-19.

"Boston was to offer me a chance to springboard my career. But the good thing is it will be returning in September, and I want to utilize the chance to stage a better show, run a fast time and prove my critics wrong," Kipruto said on Monday from Eldoret.

The 28-year-old had lost interest in training when COVID-19 wrecked the sports calendar, but he has returned to training now that World Athletics (WA) has confirmed the return of track and field competition in the Diamond League.

"Today, I train once a day, to keep fit. But I had done a lot in preparing for the Boston marathon and it will not be hard to pick up the pace and work around the clock to attain the optimum fitness to challenge for the medal," said Kipruto.

This year, Kipruto competed at the International Guadalajara Half marathon race in Mexico in February winning in a time of 62 minutes 13 seconds.

"It is important to be careful not to incur any new injuries, even now that we have cut down the training sessions," he added.

In Boston, Kipruto will come up against champion Lawrence Cherono, silver medalist Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia, Yuki Kawauchi of Japan and 2017 World Athletics Championships gold medalist Geoffrey Kirui of Kenya.

Throw in former Olympic champion Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda, New York marathon silver medalist Albert Korir, Ethiopian Dejene Debela, runner-up to Cherono by one second in Chicago Marathon, Kenneth Kipkemoi, Philemon Rono and Felix Kandie, it is sure to be a hard fought contest.

(05/19/2020) ⚡AMP
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

The 124th Boston Marathon originally scheduled for April 20 was postponed to September 14 and then May 28 it was cancelled for 2020. The next Boston Marathon is scheduled for April 19, 2021. Among the nation’s oldest athletic clubs, the B.A.A. was established in 1887, and, in 1896, more than half of the U.S. Olympic Team at the first modern...

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What is going to happen to road racing as we know it? Bob Anderson thoughts on the situation. Could it be the end of big races?

The COVID-19 virus is deadly.  Already (as of May 17) at least 317,000 people worldwide have died from the virus.  This number is still growing by thousands each day.  By the end of this week most likely over 100,000 people in the US will have died from the Coronvirus (COVID-19).

Some people think this number has been inflated.  Others think it is low.  It is hard to really know the true facts.  In any case thousands of people have died from this new virus.  That's a fact.  

Some still feel this virus is no worse than the common flu.  Many of these ill informed people might be some of the ones who are continuing to spread the Cornavirus.  Many of these people don't wear face masks while in public nor practice social distancing.  These types of people could easily be those that end up infecting others.  And kill racing too.  More on this later.  

Doctors are saying this virus is much more contagious than the common flu and the death rate particularly for people aged 60 plus is high.  Much higher than the common flu.

This information is talked about daily in the news and there is no need to further exam that here.  The focus here is road racing and what impact this crisis is going to have on the sport.  

The My Best Runs (MBR) website only features and follow the best, most interesting and unique races in the world.  The site is currently following 837 races from all over the world.  

One thing the website does is list the leaderboard results from the races featured. The top four men and women and then age-group winners in ten year age-groups starting at age 40 are posted.  Stats are complied and compared among the races.  Nearly 90,000 unique people visited the site in February to look for races, follow races or read Running News Daily.  The traffic had doubled in a year.  That's over one million annually.  The growth of the site illustrates how road racing around the world was growing.  

Everything was set for a banner year.  The Boston Marathon had lined up another amazing field for their annual races that has been held every year since 1896 on Patriots Day.  The London marathon had confirmed that the world's top two marathoners would battle it out on the streets of London.  Maybe the first sub two hour marathon in a real race was going to happen? However both races were postponed and they hope to have races this fall.  Some feel that is not going to happen. 

It was in early February when people began talking about the Cornavirus.  A virus started in China.  But mostly people did not seem overly concerned. 

The month before (January 26) the Ujena Fit Club (UFC) Training Camp in Thika Kenya was opened.  The camp was not totally finished but the core group of runners had been selected, a time trial was staged and a traditional goat feed blessed the opening. A couple hundred people showed up for the affair.

A third floor of the club would be added in the following months to house guests interested in training with elite Kenyan runners.  The official grand opening was set for the end of May with a Double Road Race 15k race planned the same weekend.  Sponsored were being lined up for a world record attempt.    

The top runner in the club and part owner is Joel Maina Mwangi.  For the last couple of years prior he would travel to Italy in the spring and bring back enough prize money to take care of him and his family for the rest of the year.  

2020 was going to be his best year yet.  Joel was in top form being trained at his UFC Training Camp by coach Dennis.  His teammates pushed Joel in three-a-day workouts to higher limits.  

Joel left for Italy in early February right after the UFC Training Camp US partners Bob and Catherine Anderson had left after attending the opening.

Joel's first race was in Verona, Italy Feb 16.  He won that race and clocked 1:00:40 for the half marathon, a personal best.  His plan was to race each weekend after that and then run the Rome Half Marathon set for March 8.  This point to point course is fast.  Galen Rupp had won there a couple of years back breaking an hour in the process.  Joel's plan was to win, break an hour for the first time and bring home the big prize purse.

This didn't happen as Italy started closing down their country to battle COVID-19.  It was going out of control.  Joel luckily left Italy March 7th for his home in Thika, Kenya while he could still travel. But not with the over $20k(US) he was planning on bringing back home with him.

The world was shutting down.  Whole countries were locking down.  The last race featured by MBR to take place was the LA Marathon March 8 along with several others held that same weekend.  There has not been a significant race held any place in the world since March 8.  California ordered everyone to Shelter in Place starting March 17.  Other states and countries followed.  

Every race scheduled for April or May and featured on the MBR website were either canceled or postponed.  Most races also in June and July have been canceled or postponed as well.  The Tokyo Olympics were postponed for a year.  The Berlin marathon in September was canceled (but they are trying to workout a new date), Western States 100, the Camrades Marathon, the Dipsea, and so many other well established races were cancelled.   

Pippa Stevens a CNBC writer posted, "As running has grown in popularity, local clubs have popped up around the country, and there are now roughly 35,000 races each year in the U.S. alone, data from industry trade group Running USA shows.

"More than 44 million people in the U.S. identify as a runner, and 17.6 million people crossed the finish line in U.S. races in 2019.

"With all races cancelled for the time being, billions of dollars are at stake. The biggest marathons – from Boston to Chicago to London to Tokyo – inject hundreds of millions of dollars into local economies. The most recent analysis of the TCS New York City Marathon, for example, found that the race’s economic impact topped $400 million."

A lot is at stake.  But race directors need to know that even if cities allow them to hold their races, not everyone will automatically be there on the starting line.  

Dan Anderson wrote, "I am having a major motivational problem with my running!  For the first time in my running career (almost 55 years) I have no races to train for.  I really miss them.  But I will not run in a race until a vaccine is available.  Being 68 years old with several preexisting risk factors it is too dangerous!  Hopefully within a year a vaccine will be available.  Until then I will push myself to get out and run."

Racing is addictive and so many people around the world love it. Once things are figured out and it is safe again many will be there on the starting line.                                                                                       

Sam Tada who lives in Japan wrote, "Racing helped me so many times in my life and I miss it.  

"Racing gives us opportunity of challenge, growth, and communication.  It makes us happy and healthy mentally and physically.  I love racing and miss it. 

"We are facing difficult time right now but once this health concern is gone I think we will be able to enjoy racing more since we understand how racing is important for us.   

"I am looking forward to racing again and I am trying to do my best effort to stop the spread of this virus."

There are a lot of things that will need to be addressed.  Here are some ideas I have.  Maybe at least for awhile or forever all runners will need to show up wearing a Face Mask.

Then they walk into a screening booth and have their temperature checked.  If they pass, they walk into another booth were they are sprayed with a solution (totally safe) that would kill any viruses they may have on their clothing, shoes or body.  At this point they are still wearing their face mask.  And they continue to wear their face mask until about a quarter mile out or until there is spacing between them and others.  Once they finish they put back on their Face Mask until they are back in their car.

Of course everyone would have to sign a Waiver saying that if they contract COVID-19 at the race and if they die later their family could not sue the race or city.  No idea how porta potties, water stops or handing out medals at the end could work out other than eliminating them. 

I see two problems with these ideas. Remember those people that are already not following the rules?  Do you think they would show up at a race wearing a Face Mask?  And we also know that signing a waiver does not restrict a family from sueing everyone if a member of their family dies from COVID-19 which they determined they got at a race.  Even before this crisis a husband ran a half marathon in San Francisco and died at the finish line.  He had signed a waiver but his wife sued everyone and won lots of money.  The race Director got out of the business (sadly) yet he did nothing wrong from the inside information I know.  

There is not a clear answer about the future of road racing.  No matter how careful race directors, cities and charities (because they are big losers too)  work together it would only take a few jerks to ruin it all.

So what race is going to be the first one back?  Any day now the Old Dominion 100 Miler set for June 8th will be making a decision.  They posted on their website, "The Old Dominion Run is still working all options in an attempt to have the run this year.

"We are working with numerous authorities in our area to assist in providing a good and safe race day experience for everyone involved. The governor of Virginia has gone to phase one in our area and our authorities are reviewing our plan vs the restrictions. 

"Currently, part of our proposal has had to include a limit on our field to 50% for any hopes for us to proceed. We currently have 55 entrants and will not immediately be taking more from the wait list.

"Responses from the authorities will be a major part of our decision on 17 May. If the race proceeds, entries will not be more than 55. The waitlist will remain active," posted by Ray, Wynne and Race Management.

On June 20th the Shelter Island 10k (first photo) is scheduled to take place in Shelter Island New York.  It is a big race and there are always fast winning times.  We have contacted the race director and have not gotten a comment from them.  There is no mention on their website about COVID-19.  We are assuming they are trying to make it happen but what is their plan?  

A couple of other races in late June are also trying to figure something out.  Like the Halifax Marathon (second photo) has not torn in the towel just yet but are closely monitoring the situation as noted on their website.  

Another one of the 837 races being followed by MBR wrote, "Our race was cancelled for this year, fingered crossed we will be back in 2021, april 17th.

"Our race of 2500 might look a bit different in 2021, 10 wave starts of 250 each? Each 10, 15 to 20 minutes apart? Lots of questions like what will aid stations look like and function? Maybe results may go to chip times, or no awards at all? Things will be different.

"The big question now is how we will all deal with the city, county and state mandates and permits. In the past, permits were a pretty easy process, no mass gatherings limitations.

"Locally I believe we will have some small events, mostly if not all on our trail system which limits events to 200 participants. A couple are still moving forward with fall dates, hopefully they will happen. Currently we have a limit for runs set by our city, set at 250 runners with wave starts, with really no other details. In the past road events have had much bigger fields. Going forward if the social distancing stays part of the rules it will be very hard to stage a very large running event.

"Events may look like some ultrarunning events, with very little or no finish line parties, just finish, quick drink and maybe food and head home.

"Runners and organizations will adapt to the rules and events will happen," wrote Brian at Race to Robie Creek.

Hopefully the game changer is going to be that a vaccine is created and COVID-19 is wiped off the face of the earth.  Just as long as everyone gets vaccinated and don't continue to think that COVID-19 is no worse than the common flu. This could solve most everything as long as cities who issue permits think it is enough.  

It sure would be nice to get back to things as they were.  Or at least close to it.  But many of us will continue to wash our hands more often, wear a face masks at times and not go out if they are not feeling well.  Road racing is just too important to so many people. 

(05/17/2020) ⚡AMP
by Bob Anderson
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Old Dominion One Day 100 Mile

Old Dominion One Day 100 Mile

(May 19, 2020) Thank you all so much for your patience as we were waiting to hear back on all of our approvals today. However, we are very sad to say the race is cancelled for 2020 due to COVID-19. We did not receive all of the approvals needed from our area authorities. See you in 2021. The Old Dominion...

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Running on empty: Coronavirus has changed the course for races big and small

The coronavirus pandemic has crippled the sports landscape. Leagues from the NBA all the way down to Little League Baseball have paused or canceled seasons.

In response to various stay-at-home orders that vary from state to state, people have been encouraged to exercise -- safely and while socially distancing. To run, walk and bike. Maybe, now with the idea, to one day compete in a 5K or a 10K race, maybe even a marathon.

When life resumes, whenever that is, those opportunities will be different and, in the case of some road races, not even there.

The racing organizations, big and small, that stage those events are having to grapple with postponements and cancellations to a point where they may not be able to ever come back at full strength.

Many of the world's largest marathons have already been impacted by the pandemic -- the Boston Marathon was postponed until September, the London Marathon until October and the Berlin Marathon, which had been scheduled for Oct. 24, has already been canceled.

Events that lead to mass gatherings, such as sports and concerts, are expected to be among the last to return even as the U.S. and the world look to reopen various businesses.

In the world of running, it is the smaller races -- from 5Ks and 10Ks to half marathons and marathons, many operated by local event organizers -- that are under financial stress.

In 2019, Running USA, an industry trade group, tracked more than 21,000 road races, which collected roughly $267 million in fees from more than 17.6 million registered runners.

Christine Bowen, vice president of programming partnerships and operations at Running USA, told ESPN.com that new estimates as of mid-March showed roughly 7,500 road races have been canceled so far into 2020, and thousands have been canceled since. That's more than 1.2 million participants who are left in limbo, she said -- and with more cancellations likely to come. In addition, race registrations nationwide are showing a 95 percent decline.

There's also the loss of raising money for charity, Bowen noted. Roughly 79 percent of road races are associated with at least one charity partner.

Fewer people signing up for races is one thing. The industry is also dealing with runners who are asking for their money back. While the average cost to enter a race is $70 to $79 per entry, many smaller events don't offer refunds, as those registration revenues are spent in advance for race security, staff, shirts, bibs, medals, water, snacks and other logistics -- sunk costs even if the races are not held.

"At the moment, I am not looking to register for any further road races as we have no idea what will happen," Samantha Music, a tax assistant who lives in Connecticut, said. "It is rather discouraging to continue to train even though the races are not happening."

Music had signed up to run seven races so far this year, with collective registration costs of more than $1,200. So far, six of the seven have been officially canceled, and a majority of the races, she said, are non-refundable.

However, two of the races did offer deferment for a non-complimentary guaranteed race entry for 2021 or a full refund and no-entry option for 2021. This means, if the race is lottery-based, she would need to reapply sometime next year.

"I am absolutely feeling stressed, as well as depressed about all the cancellations and losing money on the races that are being deferred to next year," Music said. "I understand that the race organizers have to pay for everything they ordered, but it doesn't suck any less to have to pay for a race again."

"I am absolutely feeling stressed, as well as depressed about all the cancelations and losing money on the races that are being deferred to next year."

Samanta Music, runner from Connecticut

The tune is a little different for Matt Becker, who is an applied mathematician at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Maryland. Becker, who is new to the road race scene, and his wife had signed up for six races between the two of them so far in 2020. Five of them have been canceled or postponed, and of those five, four offered deferred payments for next year, or whenever the rescheduled race will take place.

"I think, on the whole, the race organizers are doing their best to accommodate difficult circumstances," Becker said. "Once it is safe to do so, I don't think I'll have any different approach to signing up for races in the future."

As part of its guidance to race directors, Running USA issued this statement:

"Negative comments about refunds, chargebacks and greed are swirling. The running industry especially is not a faceless group. ... it may be helpful to share with participants that many expenses are incurred months ahead of the event and the option of refunds really is not straightforward or always possible. Remind runners of your commitment to the community."

But will there be races for the community in the future?

Bowen said that though the average running organization employs eight full-time employees, there are contractors working with event management companies who also rely on the events as their main source of income.

According to the Endurance Sports Coalition, hundreds of thousands jobs are in jeopardy in that space. The coalition is made up of more than 475 endurance sports groups seeking relief from congress. The endurance sports industry -- which also includes events such as Tough Mudder and Ironman triathlons -- is a $3 billion industry that provides more than 500,000 jobs.

The coalition includes bigger races, like the Boston Marathon and Rock 'n' Roll marathon series, that will always have people clamoring to run them. It's the medium to smaller-sized races, and the companies that put them on, that are facing the direst of straits.

J.T. Service is the co-founder and CEO of Soul Focus Sports, an event management company in the San Francisco Bay Area that helps to put on a handful of road races.

Run Local Bay Area is a client of Soul Focus Sports, which puts on races including the San Jose Shamrock Run, the Silicon Valley Half Marathon and the Across the Bay 12K. The Silicon Valley Half Marathon -- which did not occur as planned on April 5 -- would have usually attracted between 3,000 and 5,000 runners.

"I almost want people to kind of think about us as local businesses," J.T. Service said. "There's this huge push of support your local business or support your corner pizza shop where you normally would get pizza. I think there needs to be this element of seeing the race, your local fundraising charity event, as that local business that needs just as much support now -- maybe more now than ever -- for the long term good of the community, so they can come back and open their doors and open their starting lines to runners when this thing is cleared up."

Through June, six races have been canceled under the Soul Focus Sports umbrella in the Bay Area. Service said they have lost "a few hundred thousand [dollars] in revenue" and that affects roughly a dozen event staffers.

To make up for lost races, runners have been encouraged to participate in virtual runs instead -- a way to both encourage running and return some value.

For many of these virtual events, runners can run the scheduled "race" distance when they want, where they want -- from a local trail to a treadmill -- and can then log their time results on the event's website to compare against others, and have their medals, race shirts and other "swag" shipped to them.

In addition to its Walt Disney World Marathon and other events, runDisney has been holding virtual races for five years. The Rock 'n' Roll marathon series and IRONMAN triathlon series -- both part of the Wanda Sports Group -- have begun offering competitive virtual events, and other race directors have taken creative approaches to keep runners active.

The Hartford Marathon Foundation, which organizes more than 30 annual races throughout New England, launched the "WeRunCT" virtual challenge to encourage people to collectively run the equivalent of every square mile of Connecticut (5,018 miles). Within three weeks, more than 1,250 participants ran the state of Connecticut 14 times over -- covering the square mileage of all of New England, approximately 71,500 miles.

"We understand how important it is for us to provide our running community with encouragement to keep active and maintain a healthy outlet to help manage stress during this unprecedented time," HMF CEO Beth Shluger said in a statement. "While we can't hold events and gather together, we're committed to providing ways for people to experience some of the enjoyment of racing through virtual events and challenges."

Bowen said there is a glass-half-full approach.

"I think that mental health area is really going to look more at [running]," she said. "I wouldn't be surprised if you start seeing companies sort of corporate wellness programs to say to their employees, 'Maybe sign up for a virtual race in the office because we're all working from home right now.' That's something to keep people engaged."

Virtual races can be positive, she said: "Right now, I will stay for sure, it's given companies an opportunity to be very creative in how they work with their runners and their sponsors."

Those virtual events could continue to be a source of revenue for race directors, and alternative social distancing options for runners. And Service, from Soul Focus Sports, sees another silver lining: Many people are taking up running while seeking exercise during the pandemic, and all those outside running every day could fall in love with the sport -- and could stick around for a while, too.

"So I see an opportunity for this industry, and that's from local specialty shoe shops to races -- but we have to be almost leaders, to the point of saying: Running is going to help bring this country back," Service said. "Why wouldn't be this our fuel or a thing that brings people back together?

"They're resilient people."

(05/16/2020) ⚡AMP
by ESPN
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Kenyan Mary Keitany is ready to shed off added weight after hip injury lay-off

If you are familiar with former London Marathon champion Mary Keitany, the first thing you will notice when you meet her is the extra bit of weight she is obviously carrying.

Understandably, Keitany has been nursing a hip injury picked last year that has prevented her from engaging in any serious training.

Many may not be aware that she sustained the injury when she competed in last year’s London Marathon finishing fifth in 2:20:58 as compatriot Brigid Kosgei romped to victory in 2:18:20.

Keitany told Nation Sport that she has been treating the hip injury since then.

She lined up for the New York Marathon against the advise of her doctor and is paying the price for that.

Running as the defending champion, she finished second in 2:23:32 as New York got a surprise winner in the name of newcomer Joyciline Jepkosgei, who romped to a marathon debut win of 2:22:38 while Ethiopia’s Ruti Aga sealed the podium in 2:25:51.

In the new season, Keitany was to debut in Boston Marathon in April but she pulled out because the hip injury, that had been aggravated in New York and just could not heal, seriously affected her preparations.

“I was supposed to compete this year in the Boston Marathon but I had to cancel in February because I could not prepare adequately. I saw it wise to take a break this season,” said Keitany, who is also the world record holder in a women’s only marathon.

She did just that before starting easy training recently.In the new season, Keitany was to debut in Boston Marathon in April but she pulled out because the hip injury, that had been aggravated in New York and just could not heal, seriously affected her preparations.

“I was supposed to compete this year in the Boston Marathon but I had to cancel in February because I could not prepare adequately. I saw it wise to take a break this season,” said Keitany, who is also the world record holder in a women’s only marathon.

She did just that before starting easy training recently.

or a major marathon which is always competitive, I need four months of good training so that I can gun for a win. We hope by then the virus will have been contained and business back to normal especially in USA which has been seriously hit,” said Keitany at her home in Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet County.

Keitany said that the coronavirus pandemic may have stopped races but the athletes will come out stronger. “I really feel for the athletes who had their races cancelled or rescheduled. They didn’t get the money and I’m crying for that athlete who was going for his/her first race but it was cancelled due to the virus,” she said.

(05/07/2020) ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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Kenyan runners are not earning money, not able to train as hard as usual but are trying to be positive during this COVID-19 crisis

The coronavirus has brought most elite sports to a grinding halt. While athletes who compete in individual sports are at an advantage, marathon runners too are finding it difficult to maintain their competitive edge.

Albert Korir, Henry Kiprop and Felix Kandie are professional marathon runners. Under normal circumstances, each of them would run 180 to 300 kilometers (111 to 186 miles) every week as part of their usual training routines. However, as in most other countries, Kenya's government has implemented restrictions of movement in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19.

This means Kenyan athletes, like Korir, Kiprop and Kandie, are now forced to train alone, and the restrictions have also forced them to roll back their training regimes – by as much as 200 kilometers less than prior to the pandemic. The sudden reduction in training doesn't come without risks.

"I went from 200 to 50 kilometers a week, so I am worried," Albert Korir says. "When you start active training again you might get injuries."

Korir usually runs two marathons a year. In 2019 he finished first in Houston and second in New York – while setting a personal best in the Canadian capital, Ottawa. Even though the restrictions on movement in Kenya have only been in place for a few weeks, the 26-year-old has already noticed that his fitness is starting to suffer.

"When you're training you breathe hard. Your body is not fit like before, like when you were training hard," he said. "There's even been some changes like weight gain."

Trimming their distances isn't the only problem; elite runners usually train in camps with up to 50 other competitors, but now many are forced to train alone.

For Felix Kandie the coronavirus couldn't have come at a worse time. He had been looking forward to running in what would have been his third Boston Marathon this year. But on April 20, the day when it was originally scheduled for, Kandie was at home – as the coronavirus had forced this year's Boston Marathon to be postponed.

"Now I would have been in Boston racing a few days ago," he said.

Kandie could get another shot if the Boston Marathon goes ahead in September, as organizers are hoping. But when the coronavirus outbreak started, he had already completed 80 percent of his training program in preparation for the event. Last year the 33-year-old had an incredible campaign, placing fourth in the Boston marathon and fifth in Berlin.

He told us that he would stick to his training program as closely as possible despite the restrictions. But at the same time he noted that individual training just wasn't as effective as training in a group.

"You need people there to push you. You need them to make you more competent," he said. "When you're training alone you may feel like you're running fine, but you're actually not getting something out of running alone. In a group you're able to assist each other in all decisions, the speed walking sessions and the morale sessions."

Henry Kiprop was getting ready for this year's Milano Marathon when the pandemic put paid to those plans. He was runner-up at the 2019 Venice Marathon with a time of 2:10, and he had been aiming to knock five minutes off his previous best. Now he is concerned about what this forced break and the absence of optimal training will do to his future performances.

"A marathon is like a process. You do it this year, you do it next year, and finally you have mastered the art of marathon running," he says.  "If you're told to go and run the London Marathon without training, that is quite impossible."

Financial impact 

Quite apart from the restrictions on training, many elite runners are also facing severe financial concerns. Korir is sponsored by German sports giant Adidas, but he still depends on races as his main source of income.

"We have to run and compete. If you don't have any races, then you don't have any finances so it will be difficult for us athletes."

Although many runners find themselves in the same boat, Kiprop believes the financial impact will vary.

"It all depends on the individual. All the marathons that I have been running, I have used my money well," he said. "I've invested in some real estate. So it may take me some time before things get bad for me."

While some can cushion the financial burden better than others, it is a precarious situation for all.

Like Kiprop, Kandie also invested his earnings when he started racing. He knew he can't run forever and needed to secure his financial future. But despite having a what he believes to be a sound financial plan, he would rather not tap into his savings.

"If things continue into next season. If things stay the same there will be big challenges because you have to use the investments that you have," he said.

'No competitions = no prize money'

So is anybody listening? World Athletics and the International Athletics Foundation recently set up a fund to help track-and-field athletes during the coronavirus crisis. World Athletics President Sebastian Coe is well aware of the athletes' financial problems.

"Clearly, if there are no competitions, there's no prize money. So the first objective is to try and get competition back into their world again," he says. 

What that may look like and when it'll come about depends on how quickly the coronavirus is contained.

For professional marathon runners this means continuing to make the best out of a difficult situation. But they know bouncing back to pre-coronavirus levels could take a while. They'll simply have to rely on their endurance and resistance to get them through what is looking more and more like a marathon, not just for professional runners, but people of all walks of life all over the globe.

(05/02/2020) ⚡AMP
by Alima Hotakie
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World marathon champion Geoffrey Kirui has high hope to win the rescheduled Boston Marathon

World marathon champion Geoffrey Kirui says he briefly lost interest in training after organizers of the Boston marathon pushed the event back to September.

However, he has learned to live with the situation and has slowly resumed training hoping he will be fit to return to competition in September and prove his critics wrong to win another major marathon race.

Kirui, who won gold in the men's marathon at the 2017 World Championships in Athletics in London, has experienced torrid performances since.

He failed in his bid to win in Boston last year settling for fifth place at 2:08:55 and finished 14th at the World Championships in Doha, Qatar.

"The fear of contracting the virus made it hard to train in the first place. People were scared and locked themselves up. But I have found a way to train in Nakuru and I have been enjoying my runs with hope to compete in Boston if it will not be canceled," Kirui said on Wednesday.

But with news coming in that the Berlin Marathon has been canceled, Kirui is still fearful his hard work in training might go down the drain should organizers in Boston opt not to stage the event altogether until 2021.

"September is not far away. Already there will be no marathon in Berlin, but we hope America will open up and allow us to compete. People need to return back to life and see what sports can offer. I can only pray to God for things to change," he added.

Kirui's best performance since his win in London was a second-place finish at the 2018 Boston Marathon. He was also sixth in Chicago race in the same year. But he is still optimistic to turn his career around and chase gold in the 2020 season.

"There will always be some race that will boost your career and I believe after a turbulent time in the last two years, I can get a win and stabilize my running again. There is a lot of competition from the younger athletes, but that is what is helping me remain focused. A small slip will be hard to recover from," added Kirui.

Of importance to Kirui is to return to competition and gauge how his solo training has fared.

"When the world is back to normal and we have a sports competition, we will be glad and happy. For now, our health and safety is the priority. But while we maintain a safe distance, we need to focus ahead beyond COVID-19 and strategize on how to compete again," he said.

(04/30/2020) ⚡AMP
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

The 124th Boston Marathon originally scheduled for April 20 was postponed to September 14 and then May 28 it was cancelled for 2020. The next Boston Marathon is scheduled for April 19, 2021. Among the nation’s oldest athletic clubs, the B.A.A. was established in 1887, and, in 1896, more than half of the U.S. Olympic Team at the first modern...

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The Chicago Marathon Is Allowing Runners to Cancel Their 2020 Race Entries

Runners who do choose to cancel will have guaranteed entry into the 2021 race.

The Chicago Marathon—scheduled for Sunday, October 11, this year—has announced a cancellation option for runners registered for the 2020 race. The policy is not new for the race, but this year is slightly different with the uncertainties arising from the coronavirus pandemic, which has put many races this year in jeopardy because of the risks related to mass gatherings.

Chicago organizers sent an email (obtained by Runner’s World) to entrants on Tuesday announcing the option to cancel would be available starting May 5. Runners will have the option to cancel and earn guaranteed entry to the 2021 race. At the moment, there is no deadline by which runners have to cancel.

However, there are several caveats runners should note when making their decisions.

The move is one we’ll likely see from various races around the world that are canceling or postponing their events due to the coronavirus. The Boston Marathon and the London Marathon were both postponed until the fall, and the Berlin Marathon will not happen as scheduled because of coronavirus restrictions in place in Germany.

(04/26/2020) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Bank of America Chicago Marathon

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

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The 2020 Boston Marathon was postponed but some experts are saying maybe it should be canceled altogether until the fall of 2021

The 2020 Boston Marathon was postponed due to the coronavirus. Could it be canceled altogether?

Marty Walsh is "hopeful" the race will happen in September. Some experts aren't sure it should.

For the first time since the 19th century, April will pass in Boston without a Boston Marathon.

Rather than cheering crowds, the course was overcome by eery silence this Patriots’ Day, after the 124th edition of the race was postponed until Sept. 14 due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has said he hopes runners and fans will still embrace the “once-in-a-lifetime” late-summer race. But as a clearer picture begins to emerge of the steps needed to effectively beat back the virus, it’s increasingly unclear whether the 2020 marathon can — or should — happen at all.

“I do not think such a race will be wise in September,” said Glen Weyl, a co-author of a report released this week by Harvard’s Safra Center for Ethics on the steps needed to combat the pandemic in order to safely return to normalcy.

The Safra Center report and others, released by both right-leaning and left-leaning groups, broadly recommend a similar path forward: While certain nonessential businesses may be allowed to reopen in phases as COVID-19 testing and tracing is ramped up, bans against mass public gatherings — like concerts and sporting events — should remain in place until mass immunity or a vaccine is developed, which is expected to take at least another year.

Given its usual pool of 30,000 runners and hundreds of thousands of spectators along the 26.2-mile course, it’s hard to foresee the Boston Marathon going forward in any recognizable way in September, according to Weyl.

“Anything even close to the current format could not work,” he told Boston.com.

Walsh is aware of the bleak projection; in a recent CNN interview, he acknowledged the possibility that concerts and sporting events may not be able to resume in Boston until 2021.

And during a press conference Wednesday, he noted the recent cancellation of the Berlin Marathon — a 60,000-person race scheduled two weeks later than the Boston Marathon and in a country with more widespread testing — after city officials extended a ban on all events of more than 5,000 people through Oct. 24.

“To be honest, we haven’t had those conversations yet,” the mayor said during a press conference Wednesday, when asked about the chances that the Boston Marathon would happen as planned in September.

“I am hopeful that we will be able to have the marathon, because certainly it felt on Monday there was a void in the city of Boston,” he added. “But we will have more conversations and discussions.”

The Boston Athletic Association, which organizes the annual race, says it will follow the guidance of city and state officials on matters of public health and safety, particularly when it comes to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We will remain flexible to address and explore all factors with public officials as we plan for the race,” the BAA told Boston.com in a statement. “Our priority remains the health and well-being of members of our community.”

The marathon has never been canceled in its history. Only in 1918, due to World War I, was the annual Patriots’ Day race changed to a military relay race. In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the usually 38,000-runner Tokyo Marathon last month narrowed down its field to 200 elite runners and advised spectators against gathering along the route.

Walsh, however, has dismissed the notion of stripping the Boston Marathon of its defining characteristics.

“That’s not the Boston Marathon,” he said last month, when asked about restricting the race to elite runners. “We’re an inclusive marathon. The Boston Marathon is for everyone.”

While the Berlin race will not take place in September “as planned,” the Boston Marathon isn’t the only major event still slated for this year.

Major marathons in London and Madrid, originally scheduled in April, have also been postponed until the fall. And the New York City Marathon is  still officially planned to go forward on Nov. 1.

Experts say certain social distancing measures could be incrementally repealed this summer in the so-called second phase of the coronavirus response. However, they agree that bans on large gatherings will be the last to be lifted.

Scott Gottlieb, the former Food and Drug Association commissioner under President Donald Trump, wrote in a recent report that while “the majority of schools, universities, and businesses” could reopen during the second phase, “social gatherings should continue to be limited to fewer than 50 people wherever possible,” until a vaccine has been approved.

The liberal-leaning Center for American Progress made a similar recommendation.

“Gatherings of more than 50 people must continue to be banned,” the think tank wrote in a report earlier this month. “Once herd immunity has been achieved through mass vaccination, all remaining restrictions can be lifted.”

Given the timeline for developing a treatment for the disease, epidemiologists at Harvard’s Chan School of Public Health estimated in a report last week that the bans on large gatherings may not be “fully relaxed by early- to mid-2021,” with intermittent social distancing possibly needed until 2022.

“It depends on the data and information we have available to us and where we are with the coronavirus, what cases are still active, how much testing do we have, how many people are immune to the virus,” Walsh told CNN last week.

There are also some concerns about a second wave of coronavirus hitting in the fall in conjunction with flu season when the weather gets colder.

In a recent New York Times interview, bioethicist Zeke Emmanuel ridiculed the notion that the largest gatherings — specifically conferences, concerts, and sporting events — could be put off until later in the year.

“When people say they’re going to reschedule this conference or graduation event for October 2020, I have no idea how they think that’s a plausible possibility,” Emmanuel said. “I think those things will be the last to return. Realistically we’re talking fall 2021 at the earliest.”

(04/25/2020) ⚡AMP
by Nik DeCosta-Klipa (Boston.com)
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

The 124th Boston Marathon originally scheduled for April 20 was postponed to September 14 and then May 28 it was cancelled for 2020. The next Boston Marathon is scheduled for April 19, 2021. Among the nation’s oldest athletic clubs, the B.A.A. was established in 1887, and, in 1896, more than half of the U.S. Olympic Team at the first modern...

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Keizo Yamada a former Boston marathon champion dies at 92

Keizo Yamada, who won the 1953 Boston Marathon and last ran the race in 2009, died of natural causes on April 2, his wife said Thursday. He was 92.

Yamada, who was born in Akita Prefecture in 1927, spent the war years as a youth in Manchuria and after being repatriated competed for Japan in its first postwar Olympics, the 1952 Helsinki Games.

His finishing time of 2 hours, 18 minutes and 51 seconds in Boston was considered the world's fastest marathon at the time until it was found the course failed to meet the standard distance. His triumph was the subject of the Japanese movie "Shinzo Yaburi no Oka" ("Heartbreak Hill").

"His victory during the recovery period after the war energized the Japanese people," two-time Boston Marathon champion Toshihiko Seko said in a statement. "It's an honor to have won the same race as Mr. Yamada."

After retiring from competition, Yamada continued running marathons and took part in the Boston Marathon, running in 15 straight until his final one in 2009. That year, Yamada, who ran roughly 340 full marathons in his career, announced he would run no more.

Yuki Kawauchi, who won in Boston in 2018, also paid tribute to Yamada.

"He was a giant among Japanese legends. Despite being an elite runner, he devoted his life to promoting the marathon," Kawauchi said.

The 33-year-old Kawauchi, who has competed in more than 100 full marathons, did so for most of his career while serving as a civil servant in Saitama Prefecture, earning him the nickname "citizen runner."

"Mr. Yamada initiated the citizens' marathon boom with his activities throughout the nation," Kawauchi said. "One of my targets is to run in 340 marathons by my 50th birthday."

(04/24/2020) ⚡AMP
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

The 124th Boston Marathon originally scheduled for April 20 was postponed to September 14 and then May 28 it was cancelled for 2020. The next Boston Marathon is scheduled for April 19, 2021. Among the nation’s oldest athletic clubs, the B.A.A. was established in 1887, and, in 1896, more than half of the U.S. Olympic Team at the first modern...

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Adam Cordell runs marathon for charity

29-year-old Adam Cordell originally planned to participate in this year's Boston Marathon, but he was forced to change his plans when the marathon was postponed due to COVID-19.

Instead of giving up, he decided that if he couldn't go the marathon, he'd just make one, instead.

"I decided to run a marathon, then all of a sudden my mom came up to me, and she's like: 'While we're at it, why don't we start raising funds, why don't we do some good for this?'" he said. "So I partnered with her and for the past week or so, we've been getting donations for the Food Bank of the Rockies."

Cordell established a 26.2 mile course -- the same distance as the Boston Marathon -- that spanned all around Cheyenne.

He headed off from his home at approximately 8 A.M. and reached his destination, Lion's Park, shortly before 11 A.M., a large crowd having gathered to cheer him on.

This wasn't his first marathon, either; Cordell placed first out of 154 runners in the previous Cheyenne Marathon.

Cordell, who works as a physical education teacher at Baggs and Fairview Elementary Schools, said he trains everyday to keep himself in shape for runs like these.

"I run about a hundred miles a week, anywhere between seven and twenty-two miles a day. So, I mean, it's just a grind, but I love it."

Cordell received roughly $8,000 in donations for the run, which Blue Federal Credit Union and the Blue Foundation matched, leading to a total of $16,000 raised for the Wyoming Food Bank of the Rockies.

"The community of Cheyenne came out. They practiced social distancing. They stayed far enough away from each other, but 26.2 miles is a lot...It was awesome."

Cordell still plans to participate in the Boston Marathon, which is now scheduled for September.

(04/21/2020) ⚡AMP
by Anthony Talcott
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

The 124th Boston Marathon originally scheduled for April 20 was postponed to September 14 and then May 28 it was cancelled for 2020. The next Boston Marathon is scheduled for April 19, 2021. Among the nation’s oldest athletic clubs, the B.A.A. was established in 1887, and, in 1896, more than half of the U.S. Olympic Team at the first modern...

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Aliphine Tuliamuk has her sights set on the rescheduled Boston Marathon

The Boston Marathon in 2020 will take place in unusual circumstances.

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the prestigious long-distance athletics event - which was supposed to be run today on April 20 - has been postponed until 14 September.

This means that spring in the USA won't feature the road race for the first time in a century.

However, while many runners will be disappointed with the delay, the rescheduled event does present an opportunity for some. USA marathon Olympic qualifier Aliphine Tuliamuk falls under that category.

The Kenyan-born athlete wasn’t supposed to compete in the Boston Marathon in 2020, but given the delay, and also Tokyo 2020’s postponement until 2021, she is now considering competing.

“I think every athlete honestly feels like if they win Boston, then they will have done something incredible. And I definitely want to do that." Tuliamuk told Olympic Channel, in an interview for a forthcoming podcast episode.

Tuliamuk told us that the change to the schedule would leave an emotional mark.

“The Boston Marathon is one of those traditions, right in the middle of spring," the American runner added.

“In 2018 after New York (Marathon), I was like ‘let's run Boston.’ Of course, it was too late to ask to run Boston and I didn't get in." She told us.

"I hope that someday the opportunity will present itself for me to run in Boston.”

Tuliamuk also revealed in her Olympic Channel interview, that she has a rather unique reason to be excited if she takes part in the Boston race.

"I think that the two marathons that I've run this last year, has put me as put me in a place where I really think that I could run with those ladies that ran Boston Marathon and actually, I have a fun fact. Mary Kay, who recruits the John Hancock elite athletes for Boston and I have something in common. We love crocheting. We talked about that last year after the New York City Marathon.

“After the trials I gave her one of my crocheted hats. I'm like, ‘In the future, maybe I'll run the Boston Marathon. And then after the race, you know, do the celebration, Mary and I will be crocheting together.”

The Boston Marathon postponement has presented the United States with a potentially massive change to win the race in the form of Tuliamuk this September, should she compete. If you told her that at the start of 2020, she'd probably have eaten her hat.

 

(04/20/2020) ⚡AMP
by Andrew Binner
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

The 124th Boston Marathon originally scheduled for April 20 was postponed to September 14 and then May 28 it was cancelled for 2020. The next Boston Marathon is scheduled for April 19, 2021. Among the nation’s oldest athletic clubs, the B.A.A. was established in 1887, and, in 1896, more than half of the U.S. Olympic Team at the first modern...

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Remembering Boston 2014, when Meb Keflezighi ran all the way to one of the defining victories in the race’s 123-year history, becoming the first U.S. male runner to win in 31 years

Before starting the 2014 Boston Marathon, Meb Keflezighi had four names scribbled in marker on his race bib corners: Martin, Krystle, Lingzi and Sean.

Martin Richard, Krystle Campbell and Lingzi Lu died as a result of the twin bombings near the Boylston Street finish line during the 2013 Boston Marathon. Three days later, Sean Collier, a policeman, was shot and killed in a confrontation with the attackers.

Keflezighi ran in 2014 in their memory and with his own remembrance. All the way to one of the defining victories in the race’s 123-year history, becoming the first U.S. male runner to win in 31 years.

A year earlier, Keflezighi left an observer grandstand near the finish line of the Boston Marathon about five minutes before the bombs went off.

“The four victims that died in the explosion were spectators just like me,” he said.

It marked a career turnaround at age 38 for Keflezighi, who had been dropped by Nike three years earlier. He considered retirement. The 2004 Olympic silver medalist and 2009 New York City Marathon champion had placed 23rd at his previous marathon and withdrew before the 2013 Boston race with a calf injury.

Keflezighi went out hard from the start, keen on meeting his minimum pre-race goal: to set a personal best. At the halfway point, he and little-known American Josphat Boit led the field by 30 seconds.

In the chase pack, other Americans conversed and strategized not to push the pace in pursuit.

“We needed to give Meb as much space as possible,” Ryan Hall, the fastest American marathoner in history, texted Tim Layden, then of Sports Illustrated and now of NBC Sports. “If the African guys were going to try to catch him, we weren’t going to do the work to help them. It wasn’t my day to win, as much as I wanted to. Meb winning was the next best thing and what the US needed.”

Keflezighi pulled away from Boit between the 15th and 19th miles, opening a one-minute lead. The margin dropped to about eight seconds at the 25-mile mark, but Keflezighi held off Kenyan Wilson Chebet by 11 seconds on Boylston.

“This is beyond running,” Keflezighi, whose full first name, Mebrahtom, means “let there be light” in the Eritrean language, said in a finish-area TV interview. “This is for the people, for the Boston Strong. We’re resilient as runners.”

Keflezighi, born in Eritrea, moved to the U.S. at age 12. His first time running seriously was in San Diego in junior high school, when PE students were given a grade for how much effort they put into a mile. He eventually earned a scholarship to UCLA and made his first Olympic team at age 25 in 2000.

Keflezighi retired from elite running in 2017 after 26 marathons, but he felt complete after Boston in 2014.

“99.9 of my career was fulfilled,” Keflezighi said after winning Boston. “Today, 110 percent.”

(04/20/2020) ⚡AMP
by Meb Keflezighi
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

The 124th Boston Marathon originally scheduled for April 20 was postponed to September 14 and then May 28 it was cancelled for 2020. The next Boston Marathon is scheduled for April 19, 2021. Among the nation’s oldest athletic clubs, the B.A.A. was established in 1887, and, in 1896, more than half of the U.S. Olympic Team at the first modern...

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Boston Marathon was supposed to be run on Monday, and officials tell Boston Marathon runners to stay home, wait for official September start

Monday represents the originally scheduled date of the 2020 Boston Marathon until the coronavirus pandemic moved the race to September.

Officials in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, the site of the start of the race, are reminding runners to remain home on Monday and wait for the fall to run the marathon.

The Hopkinton select board issued a statement Wednesday night “strongly urging” runners to remain home and avoid the marathon course.

Parking restrictions in downtown Hopkinton, around the Town Common, and in locations near the start line will be in place, the town said.

“In the spirit of keeping not only those who run, but the citizens of Hopkinton and its first responders safe, we are asking everyone to continue complying with the Commonwealth’s Stay-at-Home Advisory,” Select Board Vice Chair and Boston Athletic Association Liaison John Coutinho said in a statement.

Normally, 4,000 local, state and federal law enforcement officers and 480 members of the National Guard are on hand for the running of the Boston Marathon. There are also 1,900 medical personnel present, according to the Boston Athletic Association.

“We urge anyone considering running the Boston Marathon course this weekend to stay home, follow social distancing guidelines, and help flatten the curve. Groups of runners would divert valuable, urgent resources from the cities and towns along the course. We must work together to stop the spread of coronavirus, so we can run again in September,” a BAA spokesperson said.

In March, officials announced that for the first time in the marathon’s 124-year history, it would be postponed. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said that rescheduling the event versus canceling it saves regional economies roughly $211 million. Charities gain around $40 million from the event.

Gov. Charlie Baker designated Sept. 14 as a state holiday so people could take the day off and celebrate a new version of Marathon Monday.

(04/17/2020) ⚡AMP
by Michael Bonner
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

The 124th Boston Marathon originally scheduled for April 20 was postponed to September 14 and then May 28 it was cancelled for 2020. The next Boston Marathon is scheduled for April 19, 2021. Among the nation’s oldest athletic clubs, the B.A.A. was established in 1887, and, in 1896, more than half of the U.S. Olympic Team at the first modern...

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Kenyan Wesley Korir set to bounce back from injury, eyes Boston Marathon

Former Boston Marathon champion said he has been battling with the injury. 

Former Cherangany legislator Wesley Korir is hoping to return to Boston Marathon in September after a one-year injury lay off.

Speaking in Eldoret, the former Boston Marathon champion said he has been battling with the injury, which he picked during the 2019 Boston Marathon, for the past one year. Boston Marathon was switched from April 20 to September 14 following the outbreak of the coronavirus around the globe.

“My target is to run in Boston this year after the postponement of the event from April to September due to coronavirus. I am optimistic that my injury would have completed healed by then,” said the 2012 Boston Marathon champion.

Korir, who has been championing for athletes rights, said Boston and Chicago have been part and parcel of his marathon career having made his debut in 2008. “Boston and Chicago have been my best courses and returning to Boston this year will be great,” he said.

The two-time Los Angeles marathon winner, said the postponement of the Boston Marathon was a blessing in disguise for him as he will be ready. The 38-year-old runner said his target is to reclaim his position in Boston—a city he has spent much of his time as a youth and an athlete.

Korir featured in Chicago in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 but his luck came in 2011 when he finished second in 2:06.15.

He made his Boston marathon debut with a win in 2012 in 2:12.40 but failed to defend his title the following two years, finishing fifth in 2013 and 2014. He was fourth in 2016 and sunk deep in 2017 to place 15th. He won the Los Angeles Marathon in 2009 and 2011 in 2:08.24 and 2:09.19. 

(04/13/2020) ⚡AMP
by Emmanuel Sabuni
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

The 124th Boston Marathon originally scheduled for April 20 was postponed to September 14 and then May 28 it was cancelled for 2020. The next Boston Marathon is scheduled for April 19, 2021. Among the nation’s oldest athletic clubs, the B.A.A. was established in 1887, and, in 1896, more than half of the U.S. Olympic Team at the first modern...

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41-year-old athlete Edwin Kirwa won the Innovative Covid-19 Half Marathon in Iten Kenya

41-year-old athlete Edwin Kirwa won a one-of-its-kind half marathon that was held over the weekend dubbed the CoronaRun Half Marathon.

Kirwa, who is based in Embu, clocked a commendable 1 hour, 1 minute and 52 seconds for the 21km event.

Felix Kandie (1:03:31), who was running along the Iten-Kaptagat road came in second.

“This race has enabled me to know if I was on the right training schedule towards Boston Marathon which was to take place on April 20,” observed Kandie.

The unique race concept was developed by Dutch elite athlete management company Volare sports and involved over two dozen runners, Daily Nation reported.

Kicking off countrywide at 8 a.m. on April 4, each athlete raced around their home or compound of their choice in compliance with the social distancing directive, vital in combating the spread of Covid-19.

The athletes were then required to time themselves, and via GPS system, their finishing times were clocked at the Volae sports headquarters in Voorthuizen,  Netherlands.

The women's race was won by Fancy Chemutai from Kericho who clocked 1:10:05, with Margaret Wanjiru (1:15:28) declared the 1st runners up.

Hanna Biwott-van de Veen, Athletes Representative at Volare Sports, revealed that the innovative race concept was taken up by the enthusiastic athletes the moment it was pitched to them.

"On March 21, we informed the athletes of the idea and most of them responded very positively. As a management, we wanted to stimulate the athletes to keep training and keep their focus after all races having being cancelled,

All of them were disappointed and even frustrated that the coronavirus is spoiling their chances of winning races and running personal best times," she explained.

The virtual race has been hailed by the athletes as an innovative option to beat the Covid-19 lockdown and was a welcome relief for the elite athletes who had been starved of any competition following the outbreak of the deadly virus.

World Athletics President Seb Coe recently challenged stakeholders in the athletics world by announcing that the only way forward for the sport, post-coronavirus, was innovation.

(04/07/2020) ⚡AMP
by Eddy Mwanza
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The Runner Statue-COVID-19 Mask Movement

Over the weekend, famous runner statues from Boston to Boulder donned a new look to support solidarity in slowing the coronavirus.

Runners are among the healthiest people. We prize and appreciate our good fortune, and want to encourage the same in others. We’d like everyone to be health—to follow federal guidelines, both for exercise and for disease prevention.

That was the thinking behind the Runner Statue-COVID-19 Mask movement. It began Saturday morning in Mystic, CT. By Sunday afternoon, it had spread to Cape Elizabeth, Maine, Hopkinton, Massachusetts, Central Park in New York City, Davenport, Iowa, and Boulder, Colorado.

In each location, a well-known runner statue is now wearing a low-tech protective face mask. The message: Do your part to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The Boston Marathon course has three such mask-wearing statues. In Hopkinton, “The Starter” George V. Brown wears a mask immediately adjacent to the Boston Marathon start line. Nearby, the statue of Rick and Dick Hoyt shows off their colorful masks.

Near the Marathon’s 19-mile mark in Newton, the double statue of “Old John” Kelley and his younger self shows them both wearing bandanna masks. These were fashioned by Ray Charbonneau from recycled road race t-shirts.

Born on a Morning Run

The story starts, like many, with a morning run. On Saturday morning, my wife, Cristina, and I met my brother, Gary, for an easy 3-mile jog on the banks of the meandering Mystic River in Connecticut. We had barely begun when Gary said, “You know what might be cool—to put a COVID mask on the Kelley statue.”

Mystics’s statue of John J. Kelley, 1957 Boston Marathon winner, has been a favorite local landmark for about five years now. It has a sparkling location in a tiny parklet that overlooks Mystic Pizza, made famous by the 1988 Julia Roberts movie. Before our biggest annual road races, Kelley is often attired in that’s year’s t-shirt.

Gary’s idea seemed so perfect that Cristina and I rushed home post-run to complete the mask project. To be honest, I merely “supervised,” since I have no sewing or crafting skills. Fortunately, Cristina is one of those creative types. She was even smart enough to realize that a statue mask would have to be larger than the bright masks she had already turned out for family members. Most statues are literally larger than life.

We rushed back to downtown Mystic to give Kel’ his new facemask. It was made of green shamrock material to honor his Irish roots. No one asked what we were doing, though several families strolled by and gave us an enthusiastic “thumbs up.”

Back home a few minutes later, I was ready for a nap. Then it hit me. I knew of a half-dozen other runner statues, and I knew runners who lived in those communities. What if I could get all those statues to wear covid masks?

Idea Runs Across the Country

Honestly, it took little effort on my part. A handful of friends, both new and old, “ran” with the suggestion. In Central Park and Cape Elizabeth, police quickly descended on my mask-placing co-conspirators. Moments later, having heard an explanation for the masks, the very same officers volunteered to help.

My buddy in Cape Elizabeth needed it. Marty Clark was struggling on crutches to give Joan Benoit Samuelson a facelift. Now we’ll let you in on one of Joanie’s secrets: She has no ears. (Makes you more aerodynamic.) Or maybe she just has hair over her ears. In both Cape Elizabeth and Davenport, IA, where the Bix-7 has erected statues of Samuelson and Bill Rodgers, my friends had trouble keeping the mask in place.

But Bix race director Michelle Juehring persisted until she achieved success. “I love the solidarity of this project—the way it says we’re all in this together,” she observed.

Rodgers was a big fan from the get-go. “I’m so glad to be wearing a mask next to Joan Samuelson in Davenport,” he said. “If others see us, and then they wear a mask also, we’re going to beat this disease in America.

At Central Park’s reservoir, thronged with walkers and runners, a socially-distanced crowd gathered around the Fred Lebow statue. When the onlookers realized what was going on, they broke into applause. “I was stunned,” said Scott Lange, who once worked for Lebow at New York Road Runners.

In Boulder, Rich Castro got a mask onto Frank Shorter only a couple of hours after we began with Kelley in Connecticut. Castro had already worn a mask around town on his morning errands. “I hope more people help us spread the message,” he said. “There are too many nonbelievers around.”

Shorter concurred. “Any and all expressions of solidarity are a good thing,” he said.

In Hopkinton, where the Boston Marathon begins, Tim Kilduff found a talented high schooler, Emily Karp, to make masks and corralled a Hopkinton Board of Selectmen member (John Coutinho) and photographer (Bruce MacDonald) for the effort. Today, Monday April 6, this team plans to mask 1946 Boston winner Stylianos Kyriakides at the marathon’s 1-mile mark. (Look hereto see why this requires a special effort.)

“This has been fun,” Kilduff said. “It’s a good thing. I think it might really catch on.”

(04/06/2020) ⚡AMP
by Amby Burfoot (Podium Runner)
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