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Articles tagged #Boston Marathon
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Setting a good running goal can keep you motivated and engaged with your training plan

Setting goals is a really great way to stay motivated and on track with your training, but they can actually have a negative impact on your progress if you don’t choose them wisely. Set a goal that’s too easy and you won’t see improvement, set a goal that’s too hard and you’ll lose your motivation. Check out these tips for choosing a running goal that’s appropriate for your experience and ability, so you can continue to get excited about running and continue to progress.

New to running? Start short-term

It can be hard to know what an appropriate goal should be when you’ve just started, so don’t be afraid to start small and change your goal as you get better. In fact, this is the time during your running life when your goal will likely be changing the most frequently. This is also the time when you’re the most likely to give up your running routine, so choosing an appropriate goal that’s achievable in the short term is crucial. Try setting a new goal each week, for example, “this week I’m going to run for 20 minutes on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.” Once you’ve accomplished that, you can adjust your goal the following week to “this week, I’m going to run for 25 minutes on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.” Focusing on one week at a time prevents running from feeling overwhelming, and before you know it, several weeks or months will have gone by when you’ve been running.

Have more than one goal

If you’re goal-setting for a longer period (for example, an entire year or for the fall racing season), having a good, better and best goal can take the pressure off just having one. The “good” goal should be something that is definitely in your reach. The “better” goal is the next step up from there, once you’ve achieved your first goal. The “best” goal is your best-case scenario, if-everything-goes-amazing goal. For example, if you’re training for your first marathon, your good goal may be to simply get to the finish line, your better goal may be to finish in under five hours, and your best goal may be to finish in under 4:30. Don’t be afraid to shoot for the moon with that third goal — it is, after all, your best-case scenario.

Don’t be afraid to adapt

Things happen and sometimes even the best-laid plans get ruined. If something happens (like an injury, a difficult life event, etc.) that makes it impossible to achieve the goals you originally set for yourself, it’s normal to be upset. While it is disappointing to have to abandon your goals, they’ll likely still be there when the time is right, so for now, adapt them to your situation. For example, if you were training to qualify for the Boston Marathon but got injured part-way through, make it your new goal to do everything your physiotherapist says, rehab your injury and come back stronger next time.

Get a coach

It can be challenging to look at ourselves objectively in order to determine what’s an appropriate goal for us and what’s not. This is where a good coach can be really helpful. This person will be able to watch how you progress throughout your training and figure out goals that will challenge you, but that won’t be unachievable.

(07/23/2021) Views: 25 ⚡AMP
by Brittany Hambleton
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Elite field for 125th Boston Marathon will include 13 former champions

The field for the 125th Boston Marathon will include 13 former champions with a combined 30 first-place Boston finishes, the Boston Athletic Association announced on Wednesday. The group competing on Oct. 11 includes World Athletics Marathon champions, Paralympic medalists, Abbott World Marathon Majors winners, and Olympians.

Four of the last five women’s open champions are scheduled to run: American Desiree Linden (2018), a two-time Olympian; Kenyan Edna Kiplagat (2017), a two-time World Athletics Marathon Championships gold medalist; Kenyan Caroline Rotich (2015); and Atsede Baysa (2016).

Two-time champion and course record holder Manuela Schär returns to defend her title in the women’s wheelchair race. Schär, a three-time Paralympic medalist from Switzerland, won Boston in 2017 and 2019 and is the only woman to have clocked a sub-1:30 marathon. Also among the wheelchair contenders is five-time Boston champion and 17-time Paralympic medalist Tatyana McFadden, who will race the 400 meters, 800 meters, 1500 meters, 5000 meters, and the marathon at the Tokyo Paralympic Games for Team USA.

The three returning men’s champions have all posted lifetime bests under 2:07:30. They are Kenya’s Geoffrey Kirui (2017), Ethiopia’s Lemi Berhanu (2016), and Yuki Kawauchi (2018), who will attempt to become the first man from Japan since Toshihiko Seiko in 1987 to earn two Boston Marathon titles.

Four men’s wheelchair champions with a combined 16 titles will return, including defending champion Daniel Romanchuk of Illinois. The 2016 and 2021 Paralympian for Team USA made history by winning the 2019 race and Abbott World Marathon Majors Series XII at just 20 years old. Course record holder Marcel Hug of Switzerland, who had four straight wins from 2015-18, is back. Ernst van Dyk of South Africa, the most decorated champion in race history with 10 titles, also will compete, as will 2012 winner and former course record holder Josh Cassidy of Canada.

The race also features restructured prize money awards that will include equal course record bonuses for the open and wheelchair divisions and the introduction of prize money for the inaugural para athletics divisions. Boston will be the first Abbott World Marathon Major event to offer equal $50,000 course record bonuses across open and wheelchair divisions, and the first event to provide a designated prize purse for athletes with upper limb, lower limb, and visual impairments.

“We are delighted to welcome so many champions from such a diverse range of competition back to Boston for the 125th running of the Boston Marathon,” said Tom Grilk, BAA president and CEO. “While October’s race marks a long-awaited return to racing, it will also recognize and celebrate the many world-class athletes competing for an historic prize purse across multiple divisions.”

(07/14/2021) Views: 113 ⚡AMP
by Andrew Mahoney
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

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 games was composed of B.A.A. club members. The Olympic Games provided the inspiration for the first Boston Marathon, which culminated the B.A.A. Games on April 19, 1897. John J. McDermott emerged from a...

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How Visualizing Can Supercharge Your Running

Techniques to see success and overcome obstacles in your next race

When it comes to running, the mental game is as important as the physical game. “You can have the best training and coaching in the world, but if you don’t get your mind in the right place, it’s tough to get results,” says Under Armour’s performance coach Tom Brumlik. The pros understand this, of course, and use visualization techniques to push through difficult moments. Here’s how to take a page from their book.

Start Practicing

Just as you train your body if you want to get fast, you must train your mind if you want to get skilled at visualization—creating a mental image of a future scenario and watching it play out as realistically as possible. “It helps to realize it takes time to develop,” says Brumlik. “The most important elements are consistent repetition and following up visualization with action.”

“If you are thinking daily about running the Boston Marathon before you have qualified, or even started the training needed to qualify, it won’t matter how well you can visualize the course,” cautions Brumlik. “That is daydreaming.” Instead, he says, focus more clearly on the actual task at hand, visualizing yourself doing it, and repeat many times over.

Olympian Joanna Zeiger, author of The Champion Mindset, adds “As with anything new, it takes practice. Start using visualization techniques long before you race.”

You Don’t Need to Follow Specific Rules

While there are certain approaches to visualization that will help, it’s not a one-size-fits-all method, says Zeiger. “The only thing that’s important is that you do it,” she says. Where you visualize isn’t important either—do it while in the midst of a hard workout or at home in a quiet, comfortable spot. For instance, “If you visualize your long run the next morning while you lie in bed the night before, that can be effective because you’ll be putting it into practice in the near future,” says Brumlik.

Experiment with What Works Best

When it comes to visualizing, athletes usually choose one of two paths: internal or external. Either is fine, but you need to figure out which works best for you. Internal visualization might look like practicing a certain aspect of running. Say you’ve been wanting to increase your cadence. “Picture driving your foot down underneath you, not throwing it out front and overstriding,” says Brumlik. External visualization is what most runners think of when they think of the practice. Imagine yourself on a racecourse with your competitors, leading the way. Or picture a particularly rough spot in training and running effortlessly through it. “I also recommend visualizing things going wrong,” says Zeiger, “so that the athlete can practice how they will handle certain adversities during a race.”

Visualize while Training or Racing

Visualization really starts to pay off when you can tap into it during a rough patch, whether during a race or training. “It can help to picture yourself finishing the interval when you’re in the midst of it, for example,” says Zeiger. “When I was doing intervals on the road, I would often picture myself on a track where I could count down in 400-meter increments. I would also visualize myself being able to stop at the end and catch my breath.”

For maximum impact, Brumlik coaches his athletes to focus on the process for months before important races, gaming out all the potential hurdles to achieving a positive outcome. “Then you will be better able to properly visualize a race when you know all the variables,” he says. No matter what you encounter during a challenging moment—rain, hills, heat, or humidity—you’re mentally practiced and ready to react in a way that will carry you through the moment.

(07/10/2021) Views: 25 ⚡AMP
by Outside Online
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Meet the Texas man running 50 marathons in 50 weeks in 50 states

In November 2015, Houston’s Aaron Burros was shot five times. He was at work when he heard a commotion and went to help whoever was in distress. Burros did help, distracting the enraged individual while everyone in danger got away, but he was not so lucky. Lying on the ground after tackling one of the assailants, Burros stared up at another man, who was ready to shoot him. He now says everything slowed down in those moments, giving him a chance to wonder if he was going to die.

Fortunately, the gunman misfired his first shot, which only grazed Burros’s torso, giving him just enough time to get up and run away. As he fled, he was hit in both glutes, but he managed to get to safety without being shot fatally. Almost six years later, Burros is still plagued by the terrifying memories of that day, and a bullet fragment left in his right glute is a physical reminder of the attack, still sending shots of pain up and down his leg with each step. Despite all of this pain, both physical and mental, he continues to run, which he says gives him purpose, even in his darkest moments. 

Today, Burros is in the middle of a year-long running challenge in which he is looking to run 50 marathons in 50 weeks in the 50 U.S. states, all as a celebration for his 50th birthday. He’s using the challenge as a way to fundraise for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Tennessee, with the hope of raising a grand total of $50,000.

So far, Burros has completed 24 races this year, leaving him a little behind his goal of close to one per week. He has missed a few races, for various reasons, but he has made it to the start line of most of them, and he’s continuing to work toward his ultimate goal of raising $50,000. 

Burros’s running journey 

In 2010, years before he was attacked, Burros weighed close to 400 pounds. Looking to lose weight, he began running, slowly at first and only for 15 minutes or so each day. As any runner knows, though, with persistence comes fitness, and after a year, Burros had lost 100 pounds and gotten much better at running. By 2015, he was a seasoned marathoner, and he signed up for a 50-miler. 

“That was set for two weeks after I got shot,” Burros says now. After undergoing surgery to have the bullets removed from his glutes, Burros asked his doctor if he could still run the race. His doctor told him that it would be a brutal run, but he wouldn’t cause any further damage, so Burros decided to go for it. 

“I played sports my whole life,” Burros says. “My threshold for pain was high, so I just went out and tried to do the ultra.” He made it to about the 40-mile mark, but then he started falling down over and over again. He wasn’t tripping on anything, but he simply couldn’t stay on his feet. “There was this medic there who kept asking if I was OK. He told me to walk.” 

Burros took the advice and slowed down, but not even a mile later, he was hit with an anxiety attack. “That was when my PTSD kicked in,” he says. “The anxiety, the depression, the crying spells. I couldn’t even walk in a straight line.” Burros didn’t make it to the finish that day, and he required assistance to get off the course. Going into the race, he had figured that the only obstacles he would face would be physical, and while he encountered his fair share of those challenges, it was the mental injury he suffered that forced him to pull out of that race. 

“I had no clue what I was going through at that point,” he says. “I was facing all kinds of emotional battles.” For the next four years, Burros saw a number of specialists to help him work through the trauma, but he says his mental state only continued to worsen. It got to the point where he stopped doing pretty much everything, including running.

“I would wake up, sit at Starbucks all day, then go home and go to sleep,” he says. “I did that for four years. Unless I was going to my appointments, that was it, I didn’t go anywhere else. I didn’t know how to function.” In that time, he regained much of the weight he had lost before he was shot, until the scale eventually said 299. 

“I told my psychiatrist I had to do something, that I wasn’t going back to the 300 club,” Burros says. “For me, gaining weight back was just as damaging as being shot.” He got back into running, setting a big goal for himself: to run each of the six World Marathon Majors (WMMs). In 2019, Burros checked four of those races off his list, running in London, Berlin, Chicago and New York City.

He had plans to run the Tokyo and Boston marathons in 2020 and complete his goal in just one year, but both mass participation events were cancelled due to COVID-19. This year, he will run the Boston Marathon, and he hopes to check Tokyo off his list in 2023. (Organizers of the Tokyo Marathon have closed the race to international runners this year and next, meaning anyone like Burros has to wait until at least 2023 to cross the event off his bucket list.) 

Coming into 2021, Burros decided to celebrate his 50th birthday with a goal even more audacious than his plan to run all six WMMs. “I was turning 50 and I wanted to do something meaningful, to have some hope,” he says. “I know what running means to me, so I chose to do something with my running.” 

50 in 50 in 50 

Burros billed his event as running 50 marathons, and while most races he’ll run this year are 42.2K, he has mixed in a few 5Ks, 10Ks, half-marathons and even some ultras. Running 50 races in 50 weeks in all 50 states is a big goal, and it has taken its toll on Burros. “It’s been challenging, frustrating and overwhelming at times,” he says. But he has held onto hope throughout the journey, and managed to push through tough times. Two of his driving forces come in the form of children: Aiden and Gabby.

Aiden is a boy Burros met at the Chicago Marathon in 2019. He suffers from multiple illnesses, and Burros began to pray for him, but he didn’t think that was enough, and he decided to take action. After researching different causes, Burros decided to raise funds for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

“I know medical costs can break a family, so I wanted to do something to help them and honour Aiden and Gabby,” he says. Burros only met Aiden briefly, but he has a close connection to Gabby, who is his grand-niece. Just before starting his 50 in 50 in 50 challenge, Burros heard from his brother, Gabby’s grandfather, that Gabby had been diagnosed with kidney cancer. Her kidney was successfully removed, but doctors found tumours in her skull. 

Burros has had a tough time with his running challenge so far, and understandably so, but he uses Aiden and Gabby as inspiration to keep going. He knows he may miss a few weeks along the way, but the number of races he runs isn’t his priority, and instead, his main goal is to help as many children in similar positions to Aiden’s and Gabby’s as possible. To learn more about Burros’s journey and to follow along, click here, and to donate to the cause, click here.

(07/03/2021) Views: 60 ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Joan Ullyot a pioneer for women’s running has died

Women’s Running Pioneer Joan Ullyot Dies at 80

She started running at age 30 and was instrumental in lobbying for the women’s marathon to be included in the Olympic Games.

Dr. Joan Ullyot, whose running achievements and medical expertise made her a major pioneer of women’s running, died on June 18, at her home in Snowmass Village, near Aspen, Colorado. She was 80. The cause was a heart attack. 

Ullyot’s book, Women’s Running, published in 1976, was the world’s first on the subject, and she was a leader as a writer, speaker, medical scientist, activist, and role model for all women who begin to run relatively late in life, in her case at 30. 

Growing up in Pasadena, California, Ullyot went to Wellesley College, but at that time she was so uninterested in running that she never troubled to watch the Boston Marathon go by. A talented linguist, she aspired to the Foreign Service, until she learned that women diplomats were not permitted to marry. Switching to medicine, she attended the Free University of Berlin, and entered Harvard Medical School, becoming one of its early women graduates. 

She held a fellowship in cellular pathology at the University of California, married, and had two sons, before growing discontent with her 30-year-old body.

“I was the ultimate creampuff. If I could become an athlete, anyone could do it,” she is quoted as saying in Running Encyclopedia. 

She gave credit for her venturing into running to Dr. Kenneth Cooper’s seminal book Aerobics, and to assistance from the family black lab, who towed her up the local hill on her experimental first runs, as she told Gary Cohen in an extensive 2017 interview.  

Her first race was San Francisco’s iconic Bay to Breakers, and within a few months she had run her first marathon, placing 13th at Boston in 1974, only the third time the race was officially open to women. Quickly, Ullyot began applying her varied intellectual skills and high energy to the totally new field of women’s running. 

Within two years, she was winning races like Lilac Bloomsday in Spokane and Hospital Hill Run in Kansas City, representing the U.S. as both a marathoner and interpreter at the International Women’s Marathons in Waldniel, Germany, writing articles and columns for Runner’s World and Women’s Sport and Fitness, and traveling the world as a groundbreaking speaker. 

“I talked all around the country on the same ticket as George Sheehan and Joe Henderson. It was great fun,” she said in the Cohen interview. 

Absorbed in this new area of knowledge, she switched her medical specialty from pathology to exercise physiology. In 1976, only three years after she took her first running steps, she had researched and published Women’s Running with the World Publications division of Runner’s World. 

She sold the idea to editor Joe Henderson and publisher Bob Anderson as a way of dealing with the numerous queries she was receiving, as a Runner’s World columnist, from new women runners. The book was a bestseller, and she followed with Running Free (1980; her own story plus profiles of runners such as Sister Marion Irvine) and The New Women’s Running (1984). 

Ullyot’s own racing continued to progress, as she followed Arthur Lydiard’s training principles with guidance from U.S. marathoner Ron Daws. She ran Boston 10 times, winning the masters race in 1984, at age 43, with a 2:54:17. She won 10 marathons outright, and finally broke 2:50 at age 48, with her 2:47:39 personal record on the time-friendly St. George Marathon course. 

She chose her races like her wines, with catholic enthusiasm, and was a loyal supporter of San Francisco’s local DSE (Dolpin South End Runners) events as well as eagerly taking international opportunities with the Avon Circuit and extending her active career through ultraracing. 

Her medical standing made her an important advocate for women’s distance running in the years of lobbying and protest that led ultimately to the inclusion of all women’s events in the Olympic Games. 

“Her research was presented…to the International Olympic Committee by the Los Angeles Olympic Committee before the vote to include the women’s marathon in the 1984 Games,” said former world record holder Jacqueline Hansen in an online tribute this week. That credit is also given in the citation for Ullyot’s induction into the Road Runners Club of America Hall of Fame in 2019. 

Ullyot and her second husband, scientist Charles Becker, moved in the early 1990s to Snowmass. She coached the Aspen Runners Club for about 10 years from 1993, and kept in shape by biking until a nearly fatal crash. In her later years, she focused on walking. 

Many tributes this week have recalled her high intelligence and zest for life. 

“In the weeks leading to her unexpected death, Joan was characteristically high energy and had a blast,” wrote her son Ted Ullyot.

“In the 1970s, as we all worked to break down the myths that restricted women from running, Joan was our medical beacon, a feisty example of transformation from zero to 2:47 marathon, and an unstoppable personality, bigger than life, opinionated at the top of her mighty lungs, and with an unstinting appetite for fun and capacity for wine,” said Kathrine Switzer. 

Ullyot also sustained her lifetime devotion to travel, reading, and friendships. These included many who were her competitors and collaborators in the 1970s and ’80s, years when their pioneering generation created, advocated, fought for, and left strong the visionary new sport of women’s road running.

(06/23/2021) Views: 310 ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World (Roger Robinson)
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Boston Marathon is planning on going back to “normal” in 2022

Boston Marathon runners will line up at the traditional start in Hopkinton on the third Monday in April next year, a return to normal after two straight years of races derailed and delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Boston Athletic Association on Tuesday announced that the 126th Boston Marathon is scheduled to take place April 18, 2022. It will be the first race held on the traditional Patriot’s Day date since 2019.

Last year’s in-person race was canceled, and the B.A.A. held a virtual run all around the world. This year’s in-person race has been moved to October with a smaller field size, along with a virtual run option as well.

But next year, the marathon will be back on Patriot’s Day in April.

“Athletes from around the world strive to earn a place on the Boston Marathon start line each and every year,” said Tom Grilk, B.A.A. president and CEO. “The return to racing on the third Monday in April 2022 will certainly be one of the most highly anticipated races in Boston Marathon history.

“Though we are in the initial planning stages for 2022, we hope the traditional race date will also be complemented by a more traditional field size,” he added.

The B.A.A. will use the same registration process for qualified runners as it used for the 2021 race, allowing any athlete who has achieved a currently valid Boston Marathon qualifying time to submit a registration application from Nov. 8 to Nov. 12, 2021, through the B.A.A.’s online platform, Athletes’ Village.

Registration is not first come, first served. Applications will be accepted until 5 p.m. on Nov. 12. The qualifying window began on Sept. 1, 2019, and will close at 5 p.m. on Nov. 12.

Additional registration information, including entry fees, will be announced in the coming months. Achieving one’s qualifying standard does not guarantee acceptance into the Boston Marathon due to field size limitations. Those who are fastest among the pool of applicants in their age and gender group will be accepted.

(06/22/2021) Views: 97 ⚡AMP
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

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 games was composed of B.A.A. club members. The Olympic Games provided the inspiration for the first Boston Marathon, which culminated the B.A.A. Games on April 19, 1897. John J. McDermott emerged from a...

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Ron Hill turned the art of marathon running into a science and wrote the playbook for generations to come wrote Seb Coe

A tribute to Ron Hill. World Athletics is deeply saddened to hear that Britain’s Ron Hill, the 1969 European marathon champion, died on Sunday May 23 at the age of 82.

Aside from his major championship medals and four world records, Hill is best known for his dedication to athletics. He laid claim to the longest unbroken streak of running every day, a stretch that lasted 52 years and 39 days, from 1964 to 2017.

Born in Accrington in the north-west of England in September 1938, Hill first came to prominence in the early 1960s and made his international debut at the 1962 European Championships in Belgrade. He failed to finish the marathon there, however, and fared only slightly better at the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo, finishing a distant 18th in the 10,000m and 19th in the marathon.

Hill rebounded one year later, though, and set the first world record of his career. Competing at the Leverhulme Park track in Bolton, Hill broke two of Emil Zatopek’s long-standing world records in one fell swoop, clocking 1:15:22.6 for 25,000m and passing through 15 miles en route in 1:12:48.2.

His championship performances started to improve in the late 1960s as he placed 12th in the marathon at the 1966 European Championships and seventh in the 10,000m at the 1968 Olympics, having been controversially overlooked for a place on the marathon team.

He set two more world records in 1968, both at 10 miles. In April he clocked 47:02.2 in Leicester to break Ron Clark’s record, passing through 10,000m in 29:09.4 and 15,000m in 43:54, an unofficial world best time.

Later that year, one month after his Olympic appearance, Hill attempted to break Gaston Roelants’ one hour world record of 20,784m. He fell slightly short of that target, covering 20,471m, but passed through 10 miles in a world record time of 46:44.0.

Though that was to be the last world record of his career, Hill became a big-time performer from that point onwards, winning big city marathons and landing major medals.

He won the European marathon title in Athens in 1969, then in 1970 he became the first British runner to win the Boston Marathon, smashing the course record by three minutes with 2:10:30. A few months later, at the Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh, he came the second man to break the 2:10 barrier for the marathon, winning gold in a European record of 2:09:28, having covered the final 10km in 29:24 (2:04 marathon pace).

He went on to take bronze in the marathon at the 1971 European Championships before making his final Olympic appearance in 1972, placing sixth in the marathon – his highest ever finish at the Games.

Hill continued to produce world-class marathon times through the 1970s, including a 2:12:35 victory at the Debno Marathon in 1975 at the age of 36, ranking him eighth in the world that year. He finished fourth at the 1976 Olympic Trials, but went on to represent Britain at various masters championships.

Hill was ahead of his time with regards to training and he was one of the first elite athletes to use the Saltin-Hermansson diet – better known as the glycogen depletion diet or ‘carb-loading’ – which he credited as playing a big part in his success at the 1969 European Championships. Ever since, it has been adopted by millions of runners as a key part of marathon preparation.

Hill, who had a PhD in textile chemistry, often raced in breathable mesh vests to help keep cool. Towards the end of his elite career, he founded Ron Hill Sports and produced top-of-the-line running clothes. He also created the Ronhill and Hilly brands, both of which are still going strong today.

Hill’s streak of consecutive daily runs – which he defined as completing a distance of at least one mile at any pace – began on 20 December 1964 and lasted for more than 52 years. He even managed workouts after a car crash in 1993 when he broke his sternum, and after bunion surgery.

In December 2013 when his streak entered its 50th year, Hill’s total logged lifetime mileage stood at 158,628 miles. His streak ended on 30 January 2017 when he experienced chest pains during a run.

“I did everything I could to be the best in the world,” he said in 2019 in an interview with Inside The Games. “I couldn't train full-time, couldn't train at altitude, couldn't afford back-up support – I only ever had two massages in my life – and when I was injured I just had to run through it. I never made any money at it, but you can't take away the gold medals.”

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe paid tribute to Hill.

"Ron Hill turned the art of marathon running into a science and wrote the playbook for generations to come," said Coe. "He was a one-off. His contribution to the classic distance is immense."

(06/18/2021) Views: 83 ⚡AMP
by Sebastian Coe (World Athletics)
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Missouri man returns for another ‘Grandma’s Double,’ running the course twice in one day

The first 25-26 miles are “the easy ones,” said Eric Strand, 60. “Then you have the benefit of aid stations, the crowd and fellow runners to commiserate with on the way back. It’s a fun way to get a training run in.”

Before runners hit the starting line, before volunteers set up aid stations and before the sun rises, Eric Strand is running Grandma’s Marathon.

Backwards. And then back again.

The “Grandma’s Double” is a long-running tradition for Strand. 

About 3 a.m. on race day, his wife drops him off in Canal Park. He runs 26.2 miles to Two Harbors — and joins the other marathoners for Round 2.

The first 25-26 miles are “the easy ones,” said Strand, 60. “Then you have the benefit of aid stations, the crowd and fellow runners to commiserate with on the way back. It’s a fun way to get a training run in.”

It started as a way to prepare for the 100-mile Leadville Trail ultramarathon. Grandma’s landed on a weekend that Strand needed to get in a 50-mile run. Instead of spreading it out, he decided to pack it into one day. 

“It was very interesting running the course backwards, especially when the bars had people filing out. You had an interesting crowd," Strand said in a 2012 News Tribune story.

Strand gets to see things other marathoners don’t: the race course waking up and volunteers getting ready, and some of the aid station captains are there every year. 

He has heard his fair share from passersby about going the wrong way, and it happens even more now. 

“They've all learned their lines,” he said with a laugh.

The Missouri man, formerly of St. Paul, grew up hearing about Grandma’s, but on New Year’s Eve before his 40th birthday, he registered for it.

He trained for six months and made every mistake. 

“There’s euphoria. You hit new distance markers … you get this in your mind that you are invincible. The next day, you wake up, and you have plantar fasciitis or shin splints or your knee hurts, and you very quickly realize you aren't,” Strand said.

But you slow down, heal up, maybe bike for a while and you get back to running, he added. 

Strand recalled the end of his first Grandma’s Marathon: “As I was enjoying the runner’s high, my kids reminded me that there were three 70-year-olds that beat me that day. It brought me down to earth; they’re really good at doing that.”

Strand said tying training into a race is one way to make it fun. He averages about 2,500 miles a year; that’s typically 7 miles a day, but sometimes, it’s 100 miles at a time.

Strand ran his first five Grandma’s Doubles solo, save for one year with Ben McCaux. Since then, he has been joined by his son, Zach. 

They’ve tackled the Double three times; they ran their first father-son Leadville 100 in 2017. 

In a 2017 video of the latter, the pair are seen trekking across Colorado terrain. 

“Zach’s doing great,” Eric Strand says into the camera. “He’s fun to run with. As long as he keeps his fueling and hydration in good shape, he’s down for a buckle.”

They have tallied 25 marathons and ultramarathons together. 

“He’s better than me now, which he’s quick to point out,” he said.

During training, Strand mostly listens to audiobooks, but, if he needs motivation, there’s Britney Spears and Miley Cyrus — music his kids listened to when they were teens. 

As for his powerhouse song, that’s Eminem’s “Lose Yourself.”

He doesn’t listen to anything during races; he likes to interact with others.

His race-day eats were pretty standard: Gatorade and gels; but for ultramarathons, his wife brings him a cheeseburger at mile 50. 

Saturday will be his 22nd Grandma’s Marathon — his 10th Grandma’s Double — and there’s no end in sight. 

There’s a cadence to the year — the Boston Marathon in April, Leadville in August, Chicago in October, a mix of others — but June will always be Duluth.

“There will be a day when I won’t be able to do this,” Strand said, “but it’s not today, and hopefully won’t be for a long time. I hope to enjoy it as long as I can.”

(06/16/2021) Views: 123 ⚡AMP
by Melinda Lavine
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Grandmas Marathon

Grandmas Marathon

Grandma's Marathon began in 1977 when a group of local runners planned a scenic road race from Two Harbors to Duluth, Minnesota. There were just 150 participants that year, but organizers knew they had discovered something special. The marathon received its name from the Duluth-based group of famous Grandma's restaurants, its first major sponsor. The level of sponsorship with the...

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Some Veteran Pro Runners Are Making Less This Year, and They're Ditching the Sport

Many athletes are confronting a bleak financial reality. Some are quitting the sport entirely.

What do Noah Droddy, Ben True, and Andy Bayer have in common?

They’re all ranked among the top 10 Americans of all time in their events—Droddy in the marathon, True in the 10,000 meters, Bayer in the steeplechase.

How Much Do Pro Runners Make? For Some Veterans, It’s Less This Year

And they were all dropped by their sponsors at the end of 2020.

This news took a while to seep out—after all, athletes don’t tend to publicize it when their sponsors reduce their pay or stop supporting them altogether. But Droddy, 30, and True, 35, have been open about their status and confirmed it in calls with Runner’s World (both had been sponsored by Saucony), and Bayer told the Indy Star that Nike dropped him and he has left the sport, at age 31, for a job in software engineering.

Droddy—one of running’s most recognizable figures in races with his long hair, backward baseball cap, and habit of losing his lunch at marathon finish lines—summed up his situation in a tweet on February 19.

Is he right? Is it typical for top runners, at the height of their careers, to lose financial backing from shoe companies? Or is this an anomaly at the end of an unusual, pandemic-marred 15 months?

Runner’s World had conversations with eight athletes, four agents, two marketing employees at brands, and three coaches to get a sense of the current economics for athletes. They painted a complex picture.

Are most pro runners broke?

Many are just getting by. For years, America’s pro runners have been on shaky financial footing. With the exception of those who win global medals or major marathons, distance runners often struggle to earn enough money to pay for their essentials (rent and food), plus cover all their running-related expenses, such as coaching, travel to races and altitude camps, health care, gym membership, and massage.

Over the past year, the pandemic has erased lucrative racing opportunities. Additionally, shoe companies have been reevaluating their sports marketing budgets, from which runners are paid. Experts say that the result has been an increasing bifurcation between the sport’s haves and have nots.

The most successful, those destined for the Olympic team or starring on the roads, are earning generous base payments and bonuses for setting records or winning. Many of the rest are scraping by, with smaller contracts, if any, and they’re supplementing their shoe company earnings with jobs.

Running’s middle class, much like America’s, is shrinking.

The exception is runners who belong to a single-sponsor training group, like those in Flagstaff, Arizona (Hoka); Boston (New Balance); and Portland, Oregon (Nike). In those cases, coaching, travel, and training camp costs are absorbed by the club, easing the financial pressure on athletes and making it possible for them to pursue the dream.

Brands these days appear to be more eager to devote dollars to groups and the athletes who train with them, rather than individual athletes training on their own in different locations. That presents a quandary for midcareer runners who have achieved a level of success. Faced with the loss of a sponsorship, they aren’t always willing to pick up and move to a new town and a new coach.

What do contracts look like?

If you’re a top runner in the college ranks, and you’ve won multiple NCAA titles at the Division I level, shoe companies—Nike, Adidas, Brooks, Saucony, Hoka, and others—will usually come calling, offering more than $100,000 a year for multiple years, with a spot in a group or a stipend to pay your coach. Those companies are betting on those NCAA champions to be Olympians of the future.

Dani Jones, for instance, won three individual NCAA titles at the University of Colorado, and she signed with New Balance at the end of last year. Her agent, Hawi Keflezighi, said she entertained competing offers from other companies.

A midcareer athlete with a breakthrough performance—hitting the podium at a major marathon or making an Olympic team, for instance—might also be rewarded with a base contract worth $50,000 to $100,000.

The top sprinters earn even more (although their careers are typically shorter). Usain Bolt famously made millions, and Canadian sprinter Andre De Grasse was 21 when he signed a deal worth $11.25 million—before bonuses—from Puma in 2015, the Toronto Star reported.

The payouts drop significantly after that. Let’s say you’re a distance runner, but you haven’t been able to get a big win in college, although you’ve come close. The lucky ones are looking at deals for about $30,000 to $75,000 per year.

Your agent takes a 15 percent cut of that. And this base salary most often comes without benefits: no health insurance, no 401(k). As independent contractors, pro runners are paying all their own taxes. (In contrast, traditional full-time employees have half of their Social Security and Medicare taxes paid by the employer.)

Many young runners out of college join pro groups, and they’re not making anything beyond free gear and coaching. Others might get a stipend worth $10,000 or $12,000 a year.

The contracts typically sync with the Olympic calendar. At the end of 2020, many athletes’ contracts were expiring—even though the Olympics didn’t happen. That’s how Droddy, True, and Bayer were dropped. Shannon Rowbury, a three-time Olympian, told Track & Field News her deal with Nike was extended for one year, two if she makes the Olympic team this summer.

If an athlete has a good Olympics, the sponsoring company often has an option to extend the deal for an additional year, which includes the world track & field championships. It’s at the company’s discretion—not the athlete’s.

Parts of the sponsorship model appear to be changing, but slowly. When NAZ Elite announced a new deal with Hoka last fall, it included health insurance for the runners. Similarly, members of Hansons-Brooks in Rochester, Michigan, get health insurance if they work in the Hansons running specialty stores. And last May, Tracksmith brought Mary Cain and Nick Willis on as employees at the company—Cain in community engagement, Willis as athlete experience manager—with the plan that both would continue to train and race at an elite level.

Why doesn’t anyone know exactly how much runners are making?

As part of these deals, athletes have to sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), promising to keep the terms quiet. If an athlete violates the NDA, the sponsor can void the contract—or sue for breach of contract.

This is, in fact, similar to other sports. In basketball, LeBron James is being paid $39.2 million this season by the Los Angeles Lakers. But he also has an endorsement deal with Nike, and the exact structure of that is unknown.

In running, prize purses are publicized—$150,000 for winning the Boston Marathon, $25,000 for being the top American at New York in 2019, $75,000 for winning the Olympic Marathon Trials.

But as in other sports, the terms of the sponsor deals are kept mum. And appearance fees at major races, as well as time bonuses within those appearance fees, which represent a major source of income for road runners (mainly marathoners), are also mostly unknown.

Athletes feel that the silence around sponsor contracts and appearance fees puts them at a disadvantage—it’s hard to know their market value. Yes, they can—and do—have quiet conversations with peers about it. But lacking broad knowledge, they lack power.

And as a result, the industry is rife with rumors and assumptions. Athletes’ values are often inflated through the grapevine.

“I think it is very similar to the dynamic that would occur if no one knew the price of home sales,” Ian Dobson—a 2008 Olympian who ran for Adidas and Nike during his pro career, which ended in 2012—told Runner’s World. “How could you ever be confident in a sale price if you didn’t know what any other homes in your neighborhood were selling for? Granted, we don’t know every detail of every home sale in the neighborhood, but it’s certainly helpful to know in general terms the dollar amount that these are going for so that we can all understand what value our home might have.”

Also, athletes keep quiet when their circumstances change. They feel embarrassed. One athlete told Runner’s World, “No one in track wants to be the one to say, ‘I got dropped,’ or ‘I got reduced.’ It's all taboo.”

Even so, $30,000 is nothing to sneeze at—especially for a job that’s about pursuing individual goals.

No, it’s not. But not every contract is structured the same way.

Some pay that base amount, no matter what. Other contracts penalize athletes with reductions if, for instance, they don’t finish in the top three in the country in Track & Field News rankings, or if they get injured and can’t race a certain number of times per year.

That’s why numerous Nike athletes seemed to be eagerly seeking racing opportunities of any kind last summer amid the pandemic. Marathoner Amy Cragg raced a 400 meters at an intrasquad meet on July 31, and finished in 90.15 seconds—6:00 pace—presumably to check a box on her contract. On August 7, she ran 800 meters in 3:03.85. The record of those races are in her World Athletics profile.

A Nike spokeswoman, when asked about athletes racing in 2020 to meet contractual obligations, responded: “We do not comment on athlete contracts.”

Time bonuses, once seen as a reliable way to beef up athletes’ base payments, are also becoming less frequent or harder to hit, as shoe technology improves and fast times become more common, according to one agent.

What role do agents play?

For athletes who have never previously had a sponsorship deal, it’s almost impossible to secure one without the help of an agent, who can get in the door at all the major brands.

For American distance runners, there are nine main agents—all men—negotiating the deals (Keflezighi, Josh Cox, Paul Doyle, Ray Flynn, Chris Layne, Dan Lilot, Tom Ratcliffe, Ricky Simms, and Mark Wetmore). Karen Locke, one of the few female agents in track and field, represents a few distance runners among her roster of clients in field events.

Of course, all the prominent agents—who have multiple clients across multiple brands and at various stages of their athletic careers—have data about what athletes are worth. But they have a duty to each one to maintain confidentiality about the specifics of that deal.

Agents bring to their athletes a broad picture of the market and what each might command, providing advice to those considering offers: Yes, this a fair offer, a solid deal. Or no, you can do better.

They also help get athletes into competitive track races like the Diamond League and elsewhere, or into the World Marathon Majors. They can handle travel arrangements to meets and help to make sure records get ratified. Generally, their role is to go to bat for athletes, no matter what they need.

For their services, they take 15 percent of everything an athlete earns: sponsor deals, appearance fees, and prize money, no matter how small the race or winnings.

Agents are supposed to negotiate on behalf of each client individually, but athletes have no idea if that’s happening. Are they being used as part of a package deal? Thrown in at a minimal rate as a thank you to a brand for giving a generous deal to a superstar? Or, on the upside, getting a small appearance fee from a major marathon that they wouldn’t be able to get into on their own, because they have the same agent as a mega-star?

“Agents want to bring in the most money for their combined athletes—if they manage 20 athletes, they’re trying to bring in the maximum money they can across 20 athletes,” one athlete told Runner’s World. “That doesn’t necessarily mean they’re trying to maximize for each individual. The difference between earning $20,000 a year and $30,000 a year is profound in terms of your ability to actually train as a professional. But it translates into a small amount [$1,500] for the agent.”

Why is the market tricky right now?

The pandemic caused upheaval in marketing budgets. Also, the people who work in marketing at shoe brands can be inexperienced in the running industry, and turnover often runs high at those positions, jeopardizing relationships between athletes and brands that have lasted years.

The marketing budget questions are not limited to running, said Matt Powell, a sports business analyst and vice president for NPD.

“I think brands are taking a more circumspect view of endorsement contracts in general—whether it’s teams, leagues, or individual athletes,” he said. “They’re [questioning whether] they’re getting the return on that investment.”

Nike is rumored to have cut its marketing budget for running, amid layoffs at the company. Nike did not return an email from Runner’s World seeking clarification on the budget or the numbers of runners it currently sponsors.

Although Nike’s superstars are said to be fine and not facing any reductions in their deals, one Nike athlete, a 2016 Olympian, told Runner’s World, “It’s pretty much assumed that everyone is getting less.”

And it’s believed that several of these contracts are for shorter periods of time than they might have otherwise been: through the world championships in 2022 in Eugene, Oregon, instead of through the next Olympics in 2024.

In answer to questions from Runner’s World about True and Droddy—as well as rumors about a new Saucony-sponsored training group—Saucony responded with an emailed statement from Fábio Tambosi, Saucony’s chief marketing officer:

“At Saucony we believe you cannot have a sports brand without the inclusion and authentic connection with athletes. We are excited about the evolution of Sports Marketing as a brand pillar for years to come, and remain committed to building an athlete strategy that aligns with this goal.” 


Good news abounds, too

On the positive side for distance runners, Puma has re-entered the distance running market. Molly Seidel was lured from Saucony to Puma, and Aisha Praught Leer told Women’s Running she signed a “big girl contract” with Puma. Additionally, the company started a group in North Carolina, coached by Alistair Cragg and with three athletes so far.

The shoe company On has also invested heavily, starting a new team in Boulder, Colorado, coached by Dathan Ritzenhein and with athletes like Joe Klecker and Leah Falland.

Keira D’Amato, 36, signed her first pro contract, with Nike, after a string of impressive performances during the pandemic on the track and roads. She has kept her job as a realtor.

Keflezighi sees an opening for apparel brands that don’t have footwear to sponsor more athletes. Women’s apparel company Oiselle has done this for years, and Athleta is now sponsoring Allyson Felix. Could a menswear company be far behind? These arrangements leave athletes free to choose their own running shoes, which can be advantageous as shoe technology advances so quickly.

Why do brands have pro runners anyway?

Beyond the individual dollar amounts in contracts, brands seem to be rethinking what the role of a professional athlete is. Is it to inspire with performances, and hope those performances translate into shoe sales? Or is it to connect with fans on social media and promote product sales that way?

“You have to kind of look at it big picture,” True told Runner’s World. “These companies aren’t giving athletes money for charity; they’re doing it for a marketing investment and they’re looking for a return on their investment. And currently—and this is not ideal, in my mind—you look at the rise of social media and influencers. They are very inexpensive for marketers to go after and they get their products in front of a lot of eyeballs.”

A 2:20 male marathoner who also has a drone and a great Instagram account or YouTube channel might be gaining followers, True said, while a 2:05 marathoner is training hard and devoting his craft toward the next race.

“The average person, they don’t understand that 15-minute difference,” he said. “One historically will cost that company a lot of money. The other does not cost much at all and will get a whole lot more eyeballs on the product. You have to understand that.”

In his nine years with Saucony, True, training on his own in Hanover, New Hampshire, was part of only one ad campaign the company ran. The company preferred to use models for its ads and catalogs.

In February, True ran 27:14 for 10,000 meters, a personal best and faster than the Olympic standard. He wore Nike spikes and a plain yellow singlet. If all goes according to plan, he’ll race the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials in June and try to make his first team. His wife, professional triathlete Sarah True, is pregnant and due in July. And after that, he’ll run a fall marathon. True intended to debut at the marathon last fall, before the pandemic canceled all the races.

He’s moving ahead and training hard, despite the financial uncertainty. “I would have loved to have spent my entire career with Saucony,” he said. “I very much enjoyed working with them. I’ve been fortunate enough that I have had probably a lot more support than many other people in my position. That’s been nice.”

At this point, he is hoping another company will pick him up to take him through the next few years. “If a company just gave me a bonus structure that is fair for the result, I’d be happy with that,” he said. “It’s not like we’re looking for huge amounts of money. I’m very pragmatic and very realistic. I don’t think you should be paid for potential; I think you should be paid for results.”

(06/13/2021) Views: 96 ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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PUMA to become the Official Footwear and Apparel Partner of the Boston 10K for Women

Conventures, Inc., organizers of the Boston 10K for Women, presented by REI, today proudly introduced PUMA as its official footwear and apparel partner. In further demonstrating its commitment to women’s running, the footwear and apparel company will provide pre-event activations, on-site engagements at Boston Common, and will become the title sponsor of the event’s elite athlete field.  The Boston 10K for Women is the longest-running all-women’s sporting event in New England, and will return to the roads this October for its 45th running.

PUMA’s support of the event will put PUMA’s logo on the race bib number, PUMA footwear on race officials, and the “Elite Field, Powered by PUMA” will help support visibility for the event’s elite field. The new race partnership is the latest illustration of PUMA’s deep commitment to Boston, to running, and to women, and allows the company to align itself with the largest all-women’s race in New England for multiple years.

“When we recognized the opportunity to partner with such a historic and important race that supports female runners, we could not have been more excited to get involved,” said Erin Longin, Global Director of Running & Training at PUMA. “With PUMA Running we are looking to spark change in the running industry and champion female runners. The event brings out the best in women of all abilities, and it is a shining example of the sisterhood, compassion, and energy that unites us all. It’s a great day, and we can’t wait to be out there.”  

“It’s a bounce back year for women’s running, and as runners reunite around the country, the sport needs companies like PUMA to lead, which is exactly what they’re doing,” said Dusty Rhodes, who founded the race in 1977. “A road race is where everyone can line up as equals, compete, have fun, and support each other. It’s a unifying phenomenon, and PUMA recognizes the power of race day.”

Held every year on the second Monday in October, race organizers yielded their traditional race date to accommodate the 125th Boston Marathon, scheduled for Monday, October 11, 2021. The race date for 2021 Boston 10K for Women will be announced shortly, and the event will accommodate as much of an in-person component as it prudently and safely can.

The event features hours of pre-race and post-race athletic and wellness programming to complement the flat and fast 6.2-mile course, where runners cheer for each other along stretches of the Charles River. The course features sweeping views of the Boston skyline, a few twists and turns, and comes to a dramatic finish at Boston Common. In 2020, the event converted to a six-day virtual event, where runners from 40 states and 10 countries took part in the 10K at a time and location of their choosing.

About Boston 10K for WomenEstablished in 1977 as the Bonne Bell Mini Marathon, the Boston 10K for Women is the longest-running all-women’s sporting event in New England. With thousands of runners and spectators each year, it’s New England’s largest all-women’s road race, and has been organized every year by Conventures, Inc. The race features a flat out-and-back course through Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood and scenic stretches of Memorial Drive in Cambridge. More than 183,000 women have raced in the event since its inception. For more information on the race please visit www.boston10kforwomen.com.

 

(06/05/2021) Views: 64 ⚡AMP
by Running USA
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Ron Hill, former British marathon runner dies at age 82

Every day between 1964 and 2017 the renowned British athlete Ron Hill ran at least a mile, setting a world record streak of 52 years and 39 days that still stands – even after snapping his sternum in a car accident in 1993.

Yet that was one of many achievements in a glorious career. For Hill, who has died at the age of 82, was also an Olympian, inventor, innovator and undoubtedly one of the country’s greatest marathon runners.

In 1970 he became the first Briton to win the Boston Marathon, breaking the course record, and won Commonwealth gold the same year in a time of 2hr 9min 28sec – becoming only the second man to ever go under 2hr 10min.

Hill also competed at the Olympics three times, finishing seventh in the Mexico 1968 Games despite running barefoot, and sixth in Munich four years later.

He was one of the pioneers of “carbo-loading” before a marathon to increase glycogen stores. And he used his PhD in textile engineering to good effect to invent and then race in breathable mesh vests to keep cool – a huge innovation at the time. His company Ron Hill Sports also led the way with their “trackster” tights before the lycra boom in the 1980s and 90s.

The tributes to Hill were led by Dave Bedford, the former 10,000m world record holder, who said Hill was “a great man, a great athlete, and a great influence to so many during the golden age of British distance running, including myself.

“His dedication to his sport was extraordinary, but he also stood out for being a great innovator,” he added. “He led the way with carbo-loading and with textiles. I doubt there is a British athlete in the last 30 years who hasn’t worn a pair of Ron Hill tracksters at some point. He will be deeply missed.

The 1991 world 10,000m champion Liz McColgan also paid her respects. “So sad to hear of the passing of marathon legend Ron Hill, an inspirational athletic icon over the years sincere condolences to his family. The wider running community will miss you. RIP.”

Hill’s clothing company Ronhill confirmed his death in a social media statement. “It is with immense sadness we today mourn the passing of British running legend Dr Ron Hill MBE, our founder, our inspiration, a husband, a father, a grandfather, a runner.”

(05/29/2021) Views: 107 ⚡AMP
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Molly Seidel, Molly Huddle, Des Linden, Edna Kiplagat and Sara Hall, to Headline Mastercard New York Mini 10K on June 12

The 2021 Mastercard New York Mini 10K, the world’s original women-only road race, will feature the return of professional athletes to NYRR races for the first time since 2019. The all-star lineup on Saturday, June 12 will include U.S. Olympians Molly Seidel, Molly Huddle and Des Linden and past Mini 10K champions Sara Hall, Edna Kiplagat (and Huddle) in the open division, and two-time defending champion Susannah Scaroni and five-time TCS New York City Marathon champion Tatyana McFadden in the wheelchair division.

Seidel was the runner-up at the 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, running 2:27:31 in her first-ever marathon to secure a spot on the U.S. Olympic team. She finished in sixth place at the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon and is also a four-time NCAA champion. This will mark her third race appearance in New York; she won the 2017 NYRR Midnight Run and finished as runner-up at the 2017 USATF 5 km Championships.

“Although it’s my first time running the Mini, I’m well-aware of the race’s significance as the first-ever road race just for women,” Seidel said. “I’m excited that this is another step forward in returning to mass-participation and elite running, especially in a place as important to road racing as New York City. Personally, this race is a great opportunity to come down from the mountains of Flagstaff, Arizona, and test my legs as I prepare for the Olympic Games marathon in August.”

Linden won the Boston Marathon in 2018 and is a two-time U.S. Olympian in the distance, and she just missed out on a third Olympic Games appearance after placing fourth at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials last year. To kick off 2021, she ran a 2:59:54 in the 50K, a new world best for the distance.

Huddle is a two-time Olympian, having run the 5,000 meters at the London 2012 Games and setting the 10,000-meter American record at the Rio 2016 Games. In New York, she won the 2014 Mini 10K and is a three-time champion of the United Airlines NYC Half. She made her marathon debut at the 2016 TCS New York City Marathon, taking third place as the top American.

Hall, whose participation was announced last month, won the event in 2019 in 32:27 in a race that doubled as the USATF 10 km Championships. She has eight national titles to her name and was runner-up (2:22:01) at the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon last October and then in December clocked the second-fastest marathon ever by an American woman (2:20:32) at The Marathon Project in Chandler, Ariz.

Kiplagat has a storied history in New York, having won her New York City Marathon debut in 2010 and followed that with a second-place finish in the 2011 NYC Half and a victory in the 2012 Mini 10K. Outside of New York, she has won the World Championships Marathon in 2011 and 2013, the London Marathon in 2012, and the Boston Marathon in 2017.

“I am excited to return to the Mini 10K for the fifth time,” Kiplagat said. “It is a special feeling to stand on that starting line and feel the support of not only the women running with you, but all of the women who came before you. It is a very special race and I’m happy to be going back to New York City.”

In Central Park, they will be challenged by a number of athletes competing in the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials later in June, including Laura Thweatt, Emma Bates, Lindsay Flanagan, Maggie Montoya and Emily Durgin. 

The event will also feature a professional wheelchair division for the third time, making it the only all-women professional wheelchair race in the world. U.S. Paralympian Scaroni is the two-time defending champion in the wheelchair division, having raced world-best 10K times in both of her victories, including a 22:22 in 2019. She followed that performance by setting an American best in the marathon of 1:30:42 to win the 2019 Grandma’s Marathon, and then took third place at the TCS New York City Marathon that fall. Scaroni will once again line up against five-time New York City Marathon champion and 17-time Paralympic medalist McFadden, who is in search of her first Mini 10K title.

“The Mini 10K always means so much to me because the feeling of being on that line surrounded by so many women reminds me of how big of a celebration road racing is for the human spirit,” Scaroni said. “This year raises even more emotions – the opportunity to again unite with one another highlights the beauty of road racing and its ability to continuously bring us together through adversity.”

 To mitigate the risk of spread of COVID-19, the professional athletes taking part will be in a controlled environment. The field will be required to provide proof of a full vaccination series or negative COVID-19 test before traveling to New York and will undergo daily COVID-19 testing and tracing while in New York for the race. There will be a separation of the pro field and general field at the start, no guests will be allowed to accompany the athletes, and they will be required to wear masks at the start and finish areas. Additionally, there will be an elimination of touchpoints, including no large gatherings or in-person meetings until race morning.

(05/25/2021) Views: 216 ⚡AMP
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New York Mini 10K

New York Mini 10K

Join us for the NYRR New York Mini 10K, a race just for women. This race was made for you! It’s the world’s original women-only road race, founded in 1972 and named for the miniskirt, and it empowers women of all ages and fitness levels to be active and to look and feel great on the run. Every woman who...

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New York City Marathon Will Return in November

The race will have 33,000 entrants, instead of the usual 55,000. But staging it will satisfy runners desperate to run again.

The New York City Marathon, one of the biggest events staged in the city each year, will return in November with a reduced but still sizable field of runners, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced on Monday.

The race will take place on its usual date, the first Sunday in November, with about 33,000 runners instead of the typical 55,000 leaving the starting line on the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge in Staten Island. The 26.2-mile race through the five boroughs, months after the returns of teams and fans to baseball stadiums and indoor arenas, is expected to be a milestone in New York’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s the North Star,” Ted Metellus, the race director, said of the marathon’s return. “It’s the thing that says we’re back.”

The announcement comes as New York continues to emerge from the kind of pandemic restrictions that led to the cancellation of last year’s marathon. With vaccinations rising and coronavirus cases decreasing, the city and state continue to end or ease rules on everything from dining in restaurants to attendance at ballparks and fitness centers.

For months, city officials and health experts have been in discussions with leaders of New York Road Runners, the organization that owns and operates the marathon, about the scale of this year’s race.

Officials agreed to reduce the size of the field this year to prevent overcrowding, though any plan to control crowds along the course — and any restrictions that might be imposed on them — remain unclear.

The smaller field will help to reduce the number of people on the ferries and buses that shuttle runners to the starting village at Fort Wadsworth in Staten Island and create more room for social distancing among participants once they arrive.

Officials plan to begin the race with a staggered start, sending runners onto the course a few at a time, every few seconds. The process, which will take several hours, is one that the Road Runners have been using in smaller races for several months.

The change, however, will also lengthen the race day, and require the city to close streets for more hours than usual.

To compete, runners will be required to test negative for the coronavirus in the days before the race or show proof of full vaccination, though organizers must still determine policies about when tests will take place, who will pay for them and the consequences for someone who tests positive. Runners will not be required to wear masks while on the course.

Those requirements may change, Metellus said, as organizers monitor changing guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as state and local mandates.

“Those changes will dictate a lot of change we see in the event,” said Metellus, who predicted the guidance would continue to evolve until race day.

For now, the organization said it was re-evaluating just about anything that may cause crowding, including rethinking aid stations, which are usually set up on every mile of the course, and reimagining bag drop off and pick up. First aid will remain at every mile marker, but hydration stations may be more spaced out, with volunteers following various safety guidelines. And while runners will still be able to drop off a bag of their belongings, they will not be able to bring their bags to the start.

A field of more than 30,000 runners will provide plenty of room for everyone who had registered for the 2020 race before it was canceled or who opted to defer to 2021. (About 54 percent of the 30,000 early registrants for the 2020 race opted to run the 2021 race.)

ImageVolunteers handing out water in 2019. Organizers expect monitoring guidance from health officials as they plan everything from aid and hydration stations to the size of the field.

Volunteers handing out water in 2019. Organizers expect monitoring guidance from health officials as they plan everything from aid and hydration stations to the size of the field.Credit...Sarah Blesener for The New York Times

The organization is still figuring out how to fill all the spots in the race, but it has decided not to hold a new drawing. Other avenues of entry into the race will include runners who complete and volunteer for a specified number of New York Road Runners events and those who have completed 15 or more New York City Marathons. Registration for those who qualify for a guaranteed entry will take place during the second week in June.

Organizers also plan to have a significant contingent of charity runners who pledge to raise about $3,000 for a chosen organization when they participate.

Many charities rely on the marathon to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars every year. But New York Road Runners also relies on charities for a significant portion of its revenue, since the charities pay about three times as much as an individual runner does to secure a place in the race. The individual registration fee for the 2020 race was $295.

Organizers expect interest in any open spots to be high. The Boston Marathon, scheduled for Oct. 11, was oversubscribed by more than 9,000 runners, all of whom had met the qualifying standard for their age groups.

Officials with New York Road Runners had predicted earlier in the spring that the 2021 race would take place without revealing the size and scope of the event. New York’s event will join an unusually crowded calendar of major marathons, a situation that will force top runners into difficult decisions about where and when to race.

Marathons in Boston, London, Los Angeles and Tokyo that usually take place in February, March and April have moved to the fall this year, joining races in Berlin, Chicago, New York and Washington. Elite runners usually do only one race in the spring and one in the fall. The Berlin Marathon (Sept. 26), the London Marathon (Oct. 3) and the Tokyo Marathon (Oct. 17) all have plans to take place before New York’s race in November.

Organizers can’t quite plan how New Yorkers will respond to their beloved marathon returning to all five boroughs. While there are significant modifications to the course experience, including limiting mass gathering locations, “it’s still New York City,” Metellus said. “The city will still live and breathe.”

(05/17/2021) Views: 129 ⚡AMP
by Matthew Futterman and Talya Minsberg (NY Times)
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2021 Boston Marathon field with biggest time cutoff in event history

Qualifying for the Boston Marathon was harder than ever this year, as the Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) announced on Tuesday that runners hoping to compete in the famous race had to run seven minutes, 47 seconds faster than their age group qualifying times. This is a huge cutoff time, coming in a whopping six minutes faster than the cutoff of one minute, 39 seconds that the B.A.A. set ahead of the 2020 race.

This year’s cutoff has led to 9,215 runners receiving the unfortunate news that they have not been accepted for this year’s event despite having run under the original qualifying standard.  

It’s already tough to get into the Boston Marathon, and the B.A.A. continues to lower age group qualifying times as demand for the storied race increases. In 2013, qualifying standards were lowered by five minutes per age group, and these times stood until 2019. Then, ahead of the 2020 race, the bar was lowered (or raised, seeing as qualifying got tougher), by another five minutes.

Over the previous 10 races, despite quickening qualifying times, cutoffs were still necessary, as there were thousands more qualified runners than the race capacity. From 2012 to 2017, the time cutoff wasn’t too big, and Boston hopefuls only had to run a maximum of two minutes, 28 seconds faster than their age group qualifying time. Even so, these cutoffs led to thousands of runners left out of the race each year, with more than 4,000 qualified athletes missing out in 2016. 

In 2018, the cutoff jumped to three minutes, 23 seconds, and more than 5,000 runners were left off the start list. The next year, 7,200 runners missed the cutoff, which had been raised to close to five minutes. There was a dip in 2020, and the cutoff dropped to one minute, 39 seconds, but it shot right back up to seven minutes, 47 seconds, setting the bar higher than ever before for anyone hoping to race in Boston. 

The pandemic is a big reason for this huge cutoff time. In the past decade, the smallest Boston field size has been 27,000 runners, and that was in 2011 and 2012. Since then, the field hasn’t been smaller than 30,000 runners. This year, due to COVID-19, the field has been reduced to just 20,000 runners — a field size the race hasn’t seen since the early 2000s. With demand for the race as high as ever, that meant the B.A.A. had to make the tough call to implement an unprecedented cutoff time, resulting in close to 10,000 runners not being accepted. 

The B.A.A. accepted 14,609 runners who met the cutoff, and the additional few thousand spots will be filled by elites and invited athletes who are running as part of the Boston Marathon’s Official Charity Program and John Hancock’s Non-Profit Program.

(05/06/2021) Views: 146 ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

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 games was composed of B.A.A. club members. The Olympic Games provided the inspiration for the first Boston Marathon, which culminated the B.A.A. Games on April 19, 1897. John J. McDermott emerged from a...

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Dave McGillivray shares his expertise as Massachusetts brings back road races

As Massachusetts approaches the resumption of road races, a longtime race director for the Boston Marathon says there's a lot for organizers and health officials to consider.

Gov. Charlie Baker announced last week that road races and other large, outdoor organized amateur or professional group athletic events will be permitted to take place starting on May 10. Requirements include staggered starts and the submission of safety plans to a local board of health or the DPH.

Dave McGillivray, who has been race director of the Boston Marathon for the past 34 years, says planning will need to be a cooperative, local effort.

"Instead of just making a blanket policy for everyone, that each individual community assesses for themselves their tolerance for something like this," he said.

Organizers and communities need to decide on the proper size of the event and who may be eligible to take part.

For example, McGillivray said, "Do you want runners coming in from outside of the state, from outside of New England, from outside of the country?"

He says race organizers will be trying to strike a balance between the appropriate space, time and budget for their event.

"Nothing can be more important now, given the virus situation and the mitigation process, than space and time," McGillivray said.

For its part, the Boston Marathon was postponed until Oct. 11, and the field will be limited to about 20,000. That's reduced from the 30,000 entrants allowed to race in 2019.

During the pandemic, McGillivray and his business were hired by CIC Health to run logistics for COVID-19 mass vaccination sites.

(05/04/2021) Views: 135 ⚡AMP
by Doug Meehan
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

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 games was composed of B.A.A. club members. The Olympic Games provided the inspiration for the first Boston Marathon, which culminated the B.A.A. Games on April 19, 1897. John J. McDermott emerged from a...

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New Salazar documentary questions reasons for his 2019 suspension

Nike’s Big Bet, the new documentary about former Nike Oregon Project head coach Alberto Salazar by Canadian filmmaker Paul Kemp, seeks to shed light on the practices that resulted in Salazar’s shocking ban from coaching in the middle of the 2019 IAAF World Championships. Many athletes, scientists and journalists appear in the film, including Canadian Running columnist Alex Hutchinson and writer Malcolm Gladwell, distance running’s most famous superfan.

Most of them defend Salazar as someone who used extreme technology like underwater treadmills, altitude houses and cryotherapy to get the best possible results from his athletes, and who may inadvertently have crossed the line occasionally, but who should not be regarded as a cheater. (Neither Salazar nor any Nike spokesperson participated in the film. Salazar’s case is currently under appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.)

Salazar became synonymous with Nike’s reputation for an uncompromising commitment to winning. He won three consecutive New York City Marathons in the early 1980s, as well as the 1982 Boston Marathon, and set several American records on the track during his running career.

He famously pushed his body to extremes, even avoiding drinking water during marathons to avoid gaining any extra weight, and was administered last rites after collapsing at the finish line of the 1987 Falmouth Road Race.

Salazar was hired to head the Nike Oregon Project in 2001, the goal of the NOP being to reinstate American athletes as the best in the world after the influx of Kenyans and Ethiopians who dominated international distance running in the 1990s. It took a few years, but eventually Salazar became the most powerful coach in running, with an athlete list that included some of the world’s most successful runners: Mo Farah, Galen Rupp, Matt Centrowitz, Dathan Ritzenhein, Kara Goucher, Jordan Hasay, Cam Levins, Shannon Rowbury, Mary Cain, Donovan Brazier, Sifan Hassan and Konstanze Klosterhalfen.

Goucher left the NOP in 2011, disillusioned by what she saw as unethical practices involving unnecessary prescriptions and experimentation on athletes, and went to USADA in 2012. An investigation by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency followed on the heels of a damning BBC Panorama special in 2015, and picked up steam in 2017.

When Salazar’s suspension was announced during the World Championships in 2019, he had been found guilty of multiple illegal doping practices, including injecting athletes with more than the legal limit of L-carnitine (a naturally-occurring amino acid believed to enhance performance) and trafficking in testosterone – but none of his athletes were implicated. (Salazar admitted to experimenting with testosterone cream to find out how much would trigger a positive test, but claimed he was trying to avoid sabotage by competitors.)

That Salazar pushed his athletes as hard in training as he had once pushed himself is not disputed; neither is the fact that no Salazar athlete has ever failed a drug test. Gladwell, in particular, insists that Salazar’s methods are not those of someone who is trying to take shortcuts to victory – that people who use performance-enhancing drugs are looking for ways to avoid extremes in training.

That assertion doesn’t necessarily hold water when you consider that drugs like EPO (which, it should be noted, Salazar was never suspected of using with his athletes) allow for faster recovery, which lets athletes train harder – or that the most famous cheater of all, Lance Armstrong, trained as hard as anyone. (Armstrong, too, avoided testing positive for many years, and also continued to enjoy Nike’s support after his fall from grace.)

Goucher, Ritzenhein, Levins and original NOP member Ben Andrews are the only former Salazar athletes who appear on camera, and Goucher’s is the only female voice in the entire film. It was her testimony, along with that of former Nike athlete and NOP coach Steve Magness, that led to the lengthy USADA investigation and ban.

Among other things, she claims she was pressured to take a thyroid medication she didn’t need, to help her lose weight. (The film reports that these medications were prescribed by team doctor Jeffrey Brown, but barely mentions that Brown, too, was implicated in the investigation and received the same four-year suspension as Salazar.) Ritzenhein initially declines to comment on the L-carnitine infusions, considering Salazar’s appeal is ongoing, but then states he thinks the sanctions are appropriate. Farah, as we know, vehemently denied ever having used it, then reversed himself.

It’s unfortunate that neither Cain, who had once been the U.S.’s most promising young athlete, nor Magness appear on camera. A few weeks after the suspension, Cain, who had left the NOP under mysterious circumstances in 2015, opened up about her experience with Salazar, whom she said had publicly shamed her for being too heavy, and dismissed her concerns when she told him she was depressed and harming herself. Cain’s experience is acknowledged in the film, and there’s some criticism of Salazar’s approach, but Gladwell chalks it up to a poor fit, rather than holding him accountable.

Cain’s story was part of an ongoing reckoning with the kind of borderline-abusive practices that were once common in elite sport, but that are now recognized as harmful, and from which athletes should be protected.

Gladwell asserts that coaches like Salazar have always pushed the boundaries of what’s considered acceptable or legal in the quest to be the best, and that the alternative is, essentially, to abandon elite sport. It’s an unfortunate conclusion, and one that will no doubt be challenged by many advocates of clean sport.

(05/02/2021) Views: 128 ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Protecht company will provide peace of mind for Boston Marathon participants

Protecht, the leading provider of financial security solutions for today's online economy, has been selected by the Boston Athletic Association to provide insurance coverage to participants who have registered for the 125th Boston Marathon, which will be held on Monday, October 11, 2021.  The financial protection will be offered through Protecht's RegShield insurtech platform.

"The Boston Marathon is a crown jewel in the endurance/registration space, and we are delighted to align with the Boston Athletic Association to provide registration insurance for this world class event," said Bryan Derbyshire, Protecht CEO.

Participants who elect to purchase registration insurance through RegShield, will be able to have entry fees and the COVID-19 health and safety fee refunded for multiple reasons including loss of job, pregnancy, illness, and injury. 

ProtechtProtecht, Inc. is a family of companies leveraging embedded technologies to distribute insurance solutions across today's sports, live entertainment and convention landscapes. We power our partners with financial and inventory control, security protocols, data analytics, customer engagement, and increased conversions. With over 100 years of combined experience in fraud, risk, insurance, finance and payments, our industry-leading technologies provide a robust economic infrastructure by giving peace of mind for business and consumers, while providing an end-to-end solution for our select insurance partners.

Protecht's RegShield platform provides the event organizers with the unique opportunity to offer financial protection within the registration space, giving athletes the option to cover their registration in case of injury, illness, or one of the 15+ covered reasons. The RegShield platform offers a wide variety of registration types and covers a range of event constituents, from everyday athletes and dedicated competitors to superfans and business professionals.

(04/29/2021) Views: 136 ⚡AMP
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

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 games was composed of B.A.A. club members. The Olympic Games provided the inspiration for the first Boston Marathon, which culminated the B.A.A. Games on April 19, 1897. John J. McDermott emerged from a...

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Patriots Foundation is recruiting runners for 2021 Boston Marathon

For the 13th consecutive year, the New England Patriots Foundation will serve as an official charity of the Boston Marathon. As part of their selection, the foundation has received a limited number of marathon bibs from the Boston Athletic Association to field a team of charity runners that will run the 26.2 mile course on Monday, October 11 (Columbus Day).

In addition to the in-person race, the Boston Athletic Association is hosting a virtual Boston Marathon. Seventy thousand individuals can sign up for this opportunity to run the race from October 8 to October 10. Runners will have the opportunity to run in support of the Patriots Foundation.

All proceeds raised by the Patriots Marathon team will be earmarked for the 2021 Myra Kraft Community MVP Awards program, which honors volunteers from across New England. Twenty-six volunteers will receive a donation for their respective nonprofit organizations. The Patriots Foundation is accepting nominations for the Myra Kraft Community MVP Awards program through April 30.

"I would like to thank the Boston Athletic Association for giving us an opportunity to participate in the 125th annual Boston Marathon," said Josh Kraft, President of Kraft Family Philanthropies and the Patriots Foundation. "For more than a decade we've had the privilege of working with hundreds of avid Patriots fans that have run this historic race in support of the Patriots Foundation. In addition to their tireless dedication to the race, our runners have raised more than $2 million for the Myra Kraft Community MVP Awards. We are truly amazed by their dedication and perseverance and are looking forward to meeting this year's group of runners."

Those who are selected to run the in-person or virtual race on behalf of the Patriots Foundation will receive an official Patriots Boston Marathon team uniform, access to a 20-week training program from a marathon coach, opportunities to attend events at Gillette Stadium, fundraising incentive prizes and more.

The New England Patriots Foundation is currently accepting and reviewing applications on a rolling basis. To submit an application for the New England Patriots Foundation's 2021 Boston Marathon team, visit www.patriots.com/community/marathon-team.

(04/21/2021) Views: 141 ⚡AMP
by New England Patriots
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

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 games was composed of B.A.A. club members. The Olympic Games provided the inspiration for the first Boston Marathon, which culminated the B.A.A. Games on April 19, 1897. John J. McDermott emerged from a...

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With no Boston Marathon on Patriots' Day 2021, there was a different feel

For the second year in a row, businesses in Boston had a much different experience on Patriots' Day without the Boston Marathon being run.

Last October, the Boston Athletic Association made the decision to postpone the 2021 Boston Marathon from April 19 to the fall. In January, the BAA announced the race would be scheduled for Oct. 11.

On a typical Marathon Monday, Marathon Sports marketing director Dan Darcy says the streets are packed with people and the company's Boylston Street store would have a line out the door.

"Marathon weekend around here is always the best weekend of the year," Darcy said.

Restaurants like Rochambeau, which is just a block from the finish line on Boylston, would normally be swamped.

"You have lines, you turn people away, you have waiting lists and callbacks," said Chef Nick Calias, culinary director for the Lyons Group, which runs Rochambeau. "It was, obviously, an incredible time for an incredible time for our restaurants and for all restaurants in the industry itself."

Overall, the Boston Marathon pumps in about $200 million into the local economy, according to Martha Sheridan, president and chief executive officer of the Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau.

"People fly into the airport. They use transportation to get into the city, whether that's taxi cabs or Ubers. They stay in hotels. They eat at restaurants. They shop," Sheridan said.

For many businesses in other communities along the race route, the economic boost from the marathon isn't necessarily as strong.

"You don't get a lot of customers coming in. You get window shoppers," said Demian Wendrow, head of the Wellesley Square Merchants Association and owner of two Wellesley businesses. "It's great to be here during that day to help support all the runners, which is wonderful, but business, generally, is nonexistent."

Business owners who spoke with NewsCenter 5 on Monday say they are optimistic that business is picking up in Boston and across the state, and that they are planning ahead for the scaled-down 2021 Boston Marathon in October.

(04/20/2021) Views: 147 ⚡AMP
by Mary Saladna
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

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 games was composed of B.A.A. club members. The Olympic Games provided the inspiration for the first Boston Marathon, which culminated the B.A.A. Games on April 19, 1897. John J. McDermott emerged from a...

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Kipchoge now focuses on Olympics after comeback win in Twente

World men's marathon record holder, Eliud Kipchoge has set his sights on a second Olympic gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics after a win at the NN Mission Marathon in Enschede in the Netherlands. 

Kipchoge was competing for the first time after a disappointing eighth-place finish at the London Marathon in October last year. 

"This was a real test and quite the preparation ahead of Tokyo. The focus is now on the Olympics. I will consult with the coach and technical team to see what next in preparing for Tokyo," Kipchoge said. 

The Olympics marathon champion clocked 2:04:30 to finish first ahead of training partner, Jonathan Korir, who timed second in 2:06:40 with Eritrean Goitom Kifle ,  third in 2:08:00. 

Kipchoge said he is feeling confident and relieved following the win after ear problems and a hamstring complication denied him a third London Marathon at last year's event in which Ethiopia Shura Kitata clinched first place. 

"Yes indeed, it is mission accomplished. For the organisers to hold this event successfully under the current circumstances, it is a great achievement and I  thank them for that. The conditions were good although it was a bit windy. However, there were other athletes who ran under the same condition and so I can't complain too much about that. I do not always want to complain," he said. 

Kipchoge is part of the four-man team named by Athletics Kenya to lead the country's charge for a podium finish at the Olympics. 

Other members of the team include Boston Marathon champion Lawrence Cherono, Vincent Kipchumba and world marathon bronze medalist Amos Kipruto. 

(04/20/2021) Views: 204 ⚡AMP
by Omondi Onyatta
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision. ...

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Des Linden will race the Boston Marathon on Oct. 11, becoming the first elite runner to sign up.

Des Linden will race Boston Marathon in October.

Linden, who in 2018 became the first U.S. female runner to win the world’s oldest annual marathon since 1985, made the announcement while in Boston on Patriots’ Day, which would normally be the date of the 26.2-mile race.

It was announced on Jan. 26 that the 125th Boston Marathon was pushed back to Oct. 11 this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Linden, a 2012 and 2016 Olympian, was fourth at the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials. The 37-year-old finished fifth in the last Boston Marathon in 2019. This will be her eighth Boston Marathon.

Last week, Linden became the first woman to break three hours for 50km, which is five miles longer than a marathon.

(04/19/2021) Views: 184 ⚡AMP
by OlympicTalk
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

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 games was composed of B.A.A. club members. The Olympic Games provided the inspiration for the first Boston Marathon, which culminated the B.A.A. Games on April 19, 1897. John J. McDermott emerged from a...

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Adidas and Boston athletic asocciation extend official sponsorship through 2030

The Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) announced today that the organization has extended its longstanding official sponsorship with adidas through 2030. The Patriots’ Day announcement marks more than 40 years of partnership between the athletic organizations.

“adidas has been an official sponsor of the Boston Marathon for more than three decades, and we are delighted to extend our partnership, furthering our dedication to community initiatives as well as athletic performance,” said Tom Grilk, President and C.E.O of the B.A.A. “adidas has supported all aspects of our organization, from mass participatory events to the B.A.A.’s running club and High Performance team. Our collective missions align in the promotion of health and fitness, and this extension solidifies our combined commitment to the sport and running in the community.”

adidas has been a sponsor of the Boston Marathon since 1989, increased its support to include the B.A.A. Running Club in 1991, and since 1994 has sponsored all B.A.A. running events, clinics and youth programming, and initiatives including the B.A.A. 5K, the B.A.A. 10K, and the B.A.A. Half Marathon. Together, the B.A.A. and adidas have developed year-round programming designed to promote health and fitness among Boston-area youth, which has yielded participation from more than 35,000 students.

“Adi Dassler founded adidas inspired from the passion for running and for supporting and enhancing athletic performance. Our partnership with the B.A.A. allows us to bring to life our belief, that through sport we have the power to change lives,” said Alberto Uncini Manganelli, General Manager of adidas Running, Global.

In addition to being the official athletic footwear, apparel, and accessory sponsor of the Boston Marathon, adidas will continue to support all of the B.A.A.’s road races, the organization’s running club and High Performance Team, and many youth events. The B.A.A. and adidas are committed to developing new community initiatives, programs, and events that provide opportunities for athletes and runners of all abilities.

“The B.A.A. and Boston Marathon are synonymous with athletic excellence for the athletes, and a role model for touching people in their journey of physical and mental betterment, and driving a positive impact to communities. In this journey we are extremely proud to support the B.A.A. and athletes from across the globe with their pursuit of athletic achievement and we look forward to advancing our commitment to and celebration of the running community,” said Uncini Manganelli.

The B.A.A. and adidas announced the sponsorship extension on Patriots’ Day, the traditional date of the Boston Marathon and America’s most historic running day. In honor of Patriots’ Day, the B.A.A. and adidas have unveiled the 2021 adidas Boston Marathon Celebration Jacket, which is a badge of honor for runners worldwide. The smooth woven construction includes a breathable mesh lining and reflective details shine bright through low-light conditions. The product is made with Primeblue, a high-performance recycled material made in part with Parley Ocean Plastic. For the 125th anniversary, the jacket’s design focuses on the traditional Boston Marathon colors of blue and yellow. Special elements, including a special edition 125th Boston Marathon logo, are highlighted in a gold metallic embroidery to celebrate the anniversary year. The 125th Boston Marathon Celebration Jackets will be available for purchase beginning on Friday, May 7.

adidas is a global leader in the sporting goods industry. Headquartered in Herzogenaurach/Germany, the company employees more than 62,000 people across the globe and generated sales of €19.8 billion in 2020.

Registration for the 125th Boston Marathon opens Tuesday, April 20 at 10:00AM ET, through the B.A.A.’s online platform Athletes’ Village. Registration for qualified athletes will remain open through 5:00PM ET on April 23. The selection process will remain consistent with prior years: applications and qualifying times submitted between April 20 and April 23 will be verified and ranked by the B.A.A. based on the amount of time an athlete has run under their respective qualifying standard. Applicants will be notified of acceptance or non-acceptance once the B.A.A. has verified all applications in early May.

(04/19/2021) Views: 157 ⚡AMP
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

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 games was composed of B.A.A. club members. The Olympic Games provided the inspiration for the first Boston Marathon, which culminated the B.A.A. Games on April 19, 1897. John J. McDermott emerged from a...

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Indigenous community calls for Boston Marathon date change

Native Americans in Massachusetts are calling on the organizers of the Boston Marathon to move the already rescheduled date for the storied race because it now conflicts with a day meant to commemorate the contributions of Indigenous people.

The Boston Athletic Association announced in January that the 125th edition of the marathon would be pushed back from its traditional April running to Oct. 11, assuming road races are allowed to take place under Massachusetts’ COVID-19 restrictions by then.

But the Indigenous Peoples Day Committee in the Boston suburb of Newton complained the new day undercuts a day reserved for recognizing the contributions of Native Americans, past and present. The group said its first planned celebration of the Oct. 11 holiday has to be canceled because of the marathon’s new date.

“Unfortunately, the Boston Athletic Association has decided that Indigenous Peoples Day is a ‘side’ holiday that can be usurped," the committee said in a recently launched online petition. "By doing this, they are perpetuating the myth that Indigenous peoples are part of the past and irrelevant.”

The BAA didn't directly address the complaints, but said Thursday that the new date was selected in close coordination with the eight cities and towns along the marathon route. Those communities include Newton as well as Hopkinton, Ashland, Framingham, Natick, Wellesley, Newton, Brookline and Boston.

“During the date selection process, the Boston Athletic Association regularly met with representatives from the eight cities and towns for feedback and guidance on potential dates and collaboratively selected Monday, October 11,” the organization said in a statement. "We will continue working with city and town officials, as well as with organizations planning events during the October 9–11 weekend.”

Newton Mayor Ruthanne Fuller and members of the city council didn’t respond to emails seeking comment Thursday.

The Native American organization said marathon organizers should reschedule the race to give Indigenous communities the space they deserve.

“Indigenous Peoples Day is a time for everyone to learn more about the history of America as it relates to Indigenous Peoples — because we are all on Indigenous Land," the organization said in its petition. “The BAA has the chance to acknowledge the importance of keeping the spotlight on Indigenous Peoples Day rather than steal the spotlight for the Marathon.”

The BAA has said this year's race will have space for 20,000 entrants — a smaller field than prior years to allow for social distancing. There will also be a virtual race from Oct. 8-10 that will allow up to 70,000 more entrants.

First run in 1897, the Boston Marathon was canceled last year for the first time in its history. Instead, almost 16,000 people ran in a virtual race, completing the 26.2-mile distance on their own over a 10-day period.

(04/17/2021) Views: 154 ⚡AMP
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

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 games was composed of B.A.A. club members. The Olympic Games provided the inspiration for the first Boston Marathon, which culminated the B.A.A. Games on April 19, 1897. John J. McDermott emerged from a...

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Des Linden smashes the world record for 50k in her first ultra marathon

Des Linden’s elite marathon career has included two Olympic Games and a Boston Marathon win.

Tuesday morning, running on the Row River Road bike path along the northern bank of Dorena Lake near Cottage Grove, Oregon Linden became a world record holder.

In her first ultramarathon attempt, the 37-year-old from Michigan ran the 50K course in 2 hours, 59 minutes, 54 seconds to shatter the previous women’s record of 3:07:20 held by Great Britain’s Aly Dixon since Sept. 1, 2019.

“I thought it would take a disaster for it to not happen, but you get to the marathon distance and disasters are pretty common,” Linden said. “Then you extend that and you just don’t know. As confident as I was, it’s unknown territory. I was trying to respect it as much as possible.”

Linden averaged 5:47 per mile. She hit the 26.2-mile marathon mark in 2:31:13 and powered through the final five miles with the help of American men’s marathoner Charlie Lawrence, who paced Linden through the entire 50K.

“We held it together, but it got hard the last five but I knew we had that time locked away,” said Linden, who couldn’t see the clock at the finish line. “But I knew. We were crunching the numbers out there. I’m like ‘I gotta break 3 (hours) or else I’m going to have to do this again, like soon.’”

Linden said she’d been planning for this race for a couple of years and felt like the time was right to give it shot. 

“The spring is totally free,” Linden said. “Without the major marathons it was like, let’s figure it out. And I think a small operation is a little bit better for trying to test the waters anyways, and with COVID, that’s how it has to be. We just tried to quietly do something and see how I liked the distance and how I measure up and if it’s something I want to pursue moving forward.”

The Row River Road course has been the site of several under-the-radar races the past year, including attempts by former Oregon stars Galen Rupp and Jordan Hasay to break U.S. half-marathon records. Neither were able to do what Linden did Tuesday.

“This is definitely one of the highlights of my running career thus far,” Lawrence said. “Being able to help a friend and probably my biggest mentor in the sport achieve a goal of hers and get a world record, is awesome.”

Linden finished seventh at the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro and two years later won the Boston Marathon.

She finished fourth at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in Atlanta in early 2020 before the pandemic shut everything down. She remains the alternate for the Tokyo Olympics this summer behind the three American qualifiers — Aliphine Tuliamuk, Molly Seidel and Eugene’s Sally Kipyego.

(04/13/2021) Views: 202 ⚡AMP
by Chris Hansen
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The Red Sox Unveil Boston Marathon-Themed Jerseys and Apparel

We want these as much as we want a Boston Marathon jacket.

The Red Sox have unveiled Boston Marathon-themed jerseys and apparel in the traditional yellow and blue color scheme to honor Patriots’ Day.

The jerseys have ‘Boston’ written across the front in a font inspired by the finish line on Boylston Street, and feature a patch that resembles a race bib with the number ‘617’—Fenway Park’s area code—on the left sleeve.

Apparel goes on sale to the public on April 6, and the jerseys will be worn by players on April 17 and 18.

If you’re a fan of baseball and running, the Boston Red Sox just dropped the apparel of your dreams.

With Patriots’ Day—the usual date of the Boston Marathon—coming up, the Red Sox unveiled marathon-themed jerseys and apparel as part of a series of alternate jerseys designed by Nike for seven MLB teams this season.

You love the Boston Marathon. So do we! We’ll keep you up to date on all the latest information with RW+ 🏃🏽♀️🏃🏻♂️

You love the Boston Marathon. So do we! We’ll keep you up to date on all the latest information with RW+

Taking inspiration from the marathon’s permanent finish line on Boylston Street, the jerseys use the classic yellow and blue that runners know and love. On the sleeves, you’ll find another nod to the marathon in the form of a racing bib with the number ‘617’ which is the area code for Boston and Fenway Park.

These jerseys will be worn by players on April 17 and 18, when they play the Chicago White Sox at home. On the April 19 holiday, players will wear the Boston Strong jerseys, which feature ‘Boston’ instead of ‘Red Sox’ on the front.

If a baseball jersey isn’t your style, you can grab a t-shirt, hoodie, or dugout jacket with the marathon colors. (You can find the entire collection here.)

You can order your jersey starting April 6 on Nike’s SNKRS app, nike.com, at the MLB Flagship Store in New York City, and other select retail locations. If you’re interested, you better act now before you miss out.

Six other teams will have City Connect jerseys designed by Nike this season: the Miami Marlins, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Arizona Diamondbacks, San Francisco Giants, and Los Angeles Dodgers. We’d love to see more marathon-themed jerseys come out of these cities as well.

(04/10/2021) Views: 167 ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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Pikes Peak Marathon legend Arlene Pieper Stine, the first woman to run a sanctioned marathon, has died

Eight years before Kathrine Switzer shocked the world by running the Boston Marathon, Arlene Pieper Stine did her 26 miles in the Pikes Peak Marathon, with a 9-year-old daughter in tow

Arlene Pieper Stine got into the Pikes Peak Marathon in 1959 as a stunt to market her Colorado Springs health club. When she finished, the 29-year-old mother of three was in the record books as the first woman to finish a sanctioned marathon. Unlike the Boston Marathon, the Pikes Peak race never had a prohibition on women participating.

One of Colorado mountain running’s most beloved heroes used to climb up the ladder next to the sign draped across the town of Manitou Springs’s main drag — “Welcome, Pikes Peak Runners” — so that she could send off the hundreds of runners who had packed the narrow street to head off for the summit of the 14,115-foot mountain more than 13 miles and 7,800 of vertical gain in the distance. Then they would turn around for the return trip.

“Runners, ready,” she said into the microphone in the absolute still morning of sun, rain, or even snow of late August. “Go!” said Arlene Pieper Stine.  

Pieper Stine became the race’s folk hero in 2009 when race officials went looking for the former Colorado Springs resident and health club owner so that they could bring her back to her hometown with some news: Not only had she been the first woman to complete the Pikes Peak Marathon — the punishing switchbacks, rocky single-track, and finally, the last few miles above timberline at over 12,000 feet — but she was the first woman to complete any sanctioned marathon, eight years before Kathrine Switzer became the first woman to complete the Boston Marathon in 1967. 

Fifty years after she finished the full “out and back,” as Peak marathon veterans refer to the course, with a time of 9 hours and 16 minutes, Pieper Stine was once again at the start line.  

Pieper Stine died Feb. 11, 2021, a month shy of her 91st birthday, as she was trying to build up her strength after battling COVID-19, her daughter Kathy Pieper said.

“She got cards and letters from runners and it meant so much to her,” Pieper said. “And I was able to go into her assisted living facility — all covered up — to see her. She ran such a good race.”

She became a role model and inspiration for women runners who looked to her for her boldness and independent spirit — a wife, mother, business owner, and runner who hiked and ran on Pikes Peak with her family in the 1950s, dressed for the race in white sleeveless blouse, white shorts, white headwrap, and tennis shoes from Woolworths.

“We didn’t carry water or have aid stations in those days,” she said in a 2014 interview. “I still remember it like it was yesterday. You can be a wonderful wife and mother, but it showed me that if there’s something you really want to do, you should go for it.”

Year after year, Pieper Stine was as much a part of the race as the unpredictable weather, the friendliness and camaraderie of the runners whether elite or there for a bucket list challenge, or because life wouldn’t be the same without that weekend in late August that turned Manitou Springs into an excited, nervous, and glad-to-be alive running party.

“If I can do it, so can you,” she told the runners who thronged around her in Memorial Park at the Race Expo, at the pre-race spaghetti dinners, or on the streets of town. 

From the first time that she and Pieper returned to Manitou Springs in 2009 for the 50th anniversary celebration of the race that they had run together — Arlene at age 29 and Kathy at age 9 — Pieper Stine became living reminders of the beauty and challenge of running the Peak. 

 “‘It’s a beautiful day for a race,’ I remember her saying as we passed runners that day,” Pieper said of the race she did with her mother in 1959. “And she kept that same attitude every year. She never could believe that runners would come up to her and say ‘Can you just touch my hand for luck?’ or ‘It’s so good to see you again.’ She remembered everyone and had wanted to say something to them all. She could barely walk 10 paces down the sidewalk and people would say, ‘Can I get your picture? Can I get your autograph?’ It was just the thrill of her life when [race organizers] found her.”

In 2019, to mark the 60th anniversary of Pieper Stine’s marathon step for woman runners everywhere, a group of women runners dressed in white sleeveless blouses, white shorts, and headscarves and hats gathered to run up Pikes Peak to mark the occasion. And like the rock star of the trail running world she was for women, Pieper Stine showed up for the celebration.

Four years earlier, in 2015, I had the opportunity to celebrate Pieper Stine myself. The night before the marathon, I joined the Peak Busters gathering at the Manitou Springs City Hall and was reassured by Arlene, as I had come to know her. I had come back from falls and injuries like everyone else on the peak, since my first marathon on the mountain, in 2004.

At that time, Arlene was using a wheelchair after hip surgery. It was my second out and back and I was eager but nervous. “Good luck,” she said. “You’ll have a great time!” I bent down and she took her hand in mine. “OK,” I said, feeling tears about to come, feeling a part of history of this mountain that had both tested me and rewarding my training — or had spit me out during a few memorable Ascents and my first marathon. But I could always count on feeling inspired by the women who had come before me, especially Arlene.

The next morning, she was at the start, shaking hands, giving hugs, and talking to racers through the speakers, to get ready and GO!

“Without pioneering efforts like Arlene’s, we would have no history nor legacy in our sport,” said Nancy Hobbs, executive director of the American Trail Running Association. “Many women — young and old — have been inspired by her.

That includes Pieper, who is planning to train for the Ascent along with one of Pieper Stine’s grandsons, Kyle, 29, who wants to train and qualify for the marathon. She also is survived by daughters Karen, 67, and Linda, 57, and her son, Karl, 66; three other grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

“Mom wanted to sprinkle some of her ashes on Pikes Peak,” Pieper said. “And I thought, ‘I’d like to go back 60 years later and see if I can do the Ascent.’ Maybe I can finish it, maybe not even do it as a race. And then maybe I could keep her legacy going.”

(04/09/2021) Views: 252 ⚡AMP
by Jill Rothenberg
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Pike's Peak Marathon

Pike's Peak Marathon

A Journey to the Top and Perhaps Back The Pikes Peak Ascent® and Pikes Peak Marathon® will redefine what you call running. Sure, they start out like a lot of races on Any Street, USA. But your first left turn will have you turning in the direction of up! During the next 10 miles, as you gain almost 6,000...

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Native Americans in Massachusetts want to reschedule Boston Marathon from Oct. 11 holiday

Native Americans in Massachusetts are calling on the organizers of the Boston Marathon to move the already rescheduled date for the storied race because it now conflicts with a day meant to commemorate the contributions of Indigenous people.

The Boston Athletic Association announced in January that the 125th edition of the marathon would be pushed back from its traditional April running to Oct. 11, assuming road races are allowed to take place under Massachusetts’ COVID-19 restrictions by then.

But the Indigenous Peoples Day Newton Committee complained the new day undercuts a day reserved for recognizing the contributions of Native Americans, past and present. The group said its first planned celebration of the Oct. 11 holiday in the Boston suburb of Newton has to be cancelled because of the marathon’s new date.

“Unfortunately, the Boston Athletic Association has decided that Indigenous Peoples Day is a ‘side’ holiday that can be usurped," the committee said in a recently launched online petition. "By doing this, they are perpetuating the myth that Indigenous peoples are part of the past and irrelevant.”

The BAA didn't directly address the complaints, but said the new date was selected in close co-ordination with the eight cities and towns along the marathon route. Those communities include Newton as well as Hopkinton, Ashland, Framingham, Natick, Wellesley, Newton, Brookline and Boston.

“We will continue working with city and town officials, as well as with organizations planning events during the October 9–11 weekend,” the organization said in a statement.

Newton Mayor Ruthanne Fuller said the city, which has the longest stretch of the marathon course, can handle both events. She said the city is offering to host an Indigenous Peoples Day celebration on a field at Newton South High School.

“While the pandemic has made so many things more complicated, we are excited to celebrate both Indigenous Peoples Day and the Boston Marathon in Newton on October 11, 2021,” Fuller said in a statement.

But City Councilor Emily Norton said she's disappointed at the chosen date. “It was insensitive at best and disrespectful at worst,” she said.

(04/09/2021) Views: 139 ⚡AMP
by Canadian Press
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

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 games was composed of B.A.A. club members. The Olympic Games provided the inspiration for the first Boston Marathon, which culminated the B.A.A. Games on April 19, 1897. John J. McDermott emerged from a...

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Even with vaccination Boston Marathon athletes may need two negative coronavirus tests before race

Boston Marathon athletes might need to show they tested negative for coronavirus twice before the October in-person race, even if they’re vaccinated, the Boston Athletic Association said Wednesday.

Also, the B.A.A. this year will eliminate the staging area in Hopkinton where athletes traditionally mingle, stretch, hydrate, and fuel up before the race.

“The B.A.A. is committed to taking all necessary steps to ensure the health and safety of participants, volunteers, and the public,” Tom Grilk, president and CEO of the B.A.A., said in a statement. “We will continue to follow the science and adapt the event plan to reflect guidance from our local, city, and state partners.”

Participants for the first time will be able to buy registration insurance, the B.A.A. announced. There will also be a $25 COVID-19 health and safety fee for this year’s race on Oct. 11.

The B.A.A. last month announced a smaller field size for this year’s race. There will be 20,000 entrants to allow for social distancing throughout the course. The field size in recent years has been 30,000 participants.

“Participants in the in-person race may be expected to produce up to two negative COVID-19 tests prior to Monday, October 11, regardless of vaccination status, in order to mitigate spread to participants and community members,” the association said. “The B.A.A. will continue to follow the data and science and will share more information in the coming months on testing timelines and requirements.”

In addition to the in-person road race, the B.A.A. is also holding a virtual Boston Marathon over the race weekend from Oct. 8 to 10.

With no staging area for the in-person race this year, athletes will instead be assigned specific start times and participate in a rolling start at Hopkinton. The rolling start procedure will be directly aligned with the bus loading times in Boston and transportation to the start.

The entry fee for the 125th Boston Marathon will remain $205 for U.S. residents and $255 for international residents.

Participants who elect to purchase registration insurance, offered by RegShield, will be able to have entry fees and the COVID-19 health and safety fee refunded for multiple reasons including loss of job, pregnancy, illness, and injury.

Refunds may only be eligible for those who purchase the insurance policy at the point of registration. Entries in the Boston Marathon cannot be transferred, deferred to a future year, and only those who elect to purchase registration insurance may be eligible for refunds.

Registration will be held through the B.A.A.’s online platform, Athlete’s Village, from April 20 at 10 a.m. to April 23 at 5 p.m.

(04/08/2021) Views: 146 ⚡AMP
by Rick Sobey
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

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 games was composed of B.A.A. club members. The Olympic Games provided the inspiration for the first Boston Marathon, which culminated the B.A.A. Games on April 19, 1897. John J. McDermott emerged from a...

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Update on races that hopefully will be held in 2021 from David Monti

Here’s the latest news on marathons and road races which have come across my desk:

ELITE-ONLY MARATHON SCHEDULED FOR TUSCANY – Thanks in part to funding from the Xiamen Marathon, a European Olympic Marathon qualification race will take place at the Ampugnano Airport in Tuscany, Italy, on Sunday, April 11. The event is called the Xiamen Marathon & Tuscany Camp Global Elite Race and will feature some of the sport’s most recognizable marathoners, like:

Marius Kipserum (KEN), Suguru Osako (JPN), Angela Tanui (KEN), Leul Gebresilase (ETH), Gerda Steyn (RSA), Daniele Meucci (ITA), and Valeria Straneo (ITA). The race will begin with a one-kilometer loop, followed by eight 5-kilometer loops and a short straight to the finish line to make the full 42.195-kilometer distance. The course is World Athletics-certified, so all athletes have a chance to record Olympic Games qualifying marks. 

PRAGUE MARATHON MOVES TO THE FALL – RunCzech has announced that the Volkswagen Prague Marathon will be held in the fall for the first time; the event traditionally takes place on the first or second Sunday of May. The planned date is Sunday, October 10, the same day as the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. The capacity of the event will be determined later in coordination with Czech health officials.

RunCzech will also hold a virtual version of the race from May 3, through May 31. “We must never stop dreaming and believing,” said RunCzech president Carlo Capalbo through a statement. “There is light at the end of this tunnel. We’ll be there to cheer you on every step of the way, and we look forward to greeting you at the finish line with shouts of joy.”

AUSTRALIA AND ARGENTINA ALSO HOST OLYMPIC QUALIFYING MARATHONS – Elite-only marathons will be held in both Australia and Argentina in April to give athletes a chance to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics. In Australia, the race will be held in Sydney at the International Regatta Centre in Penrith on April 25, and be organized by Athletics Australia.

“In the same international calendar period, a number of our marathoners would normally be racing at the London Marathon, so this elite race in Sydney is an important opportunity,” said Athletics Australia president Mark Arbib through a statement. “By creating the course for elite athletes, we are allowing our marathoners to prepare with as much certainty as possible.” In Argentina, the race will be held in Santa Rosa, La Pampa on April 18. The Maraton Internacional A Pampa Traviesa will incorporate the Argentine national marathon championships.

SOME SPRING MARATHONS TO GO FORWARD – A few spring marathons will go forward as in-person races, despite the pandemic. Here is a summary (not a complete list):

April:

03 – Carmel Marathon (USA)

03 – Easter Marathon (AUS)

10 – Access Bank Lagos City Marathon (NGR), C&D Xiamen International Marathon (CHN)

11 – Beverly Wuxi Marathon (CHN), Canberra Times Canberra Marathon (AUS), Maratona Sao Paulo (BRA), Xuzhou Marathon (Chinese Olympic Trials)

18 – Debno Marathon (POL/elite only), Maraton Internacional A Pampa Traviesa (ARG), Zheng-Kai International Marathon (CHN)

24 – Valley O.NE Marathon Weekend (USA)

25 – Ascension Seton Austin Marathon (USA), Mercy Health Glass City Marathon (USA)

25 – Wrexham Elite Marathon & Half-Marathon (GBR)

May:

01 – Myrtle Beach Marathon (USA)

08 – Fort Worth Cowtown Marathon (USA)

16 – Belgrade Marathon (SRB), Alexander the Great Marathon (GRE), Copenhagen Marathon (DEN), Generali Milano City Marathon (ITA)

30 – Brescia Art Marathon (ITA)

MOST SPRING ROAD RACES MOVE TO THE FALL – One by one, race organizers are moving their spring road races to late summer or the fall. Here is a summary of some of those postponements:

August:

22 – Vitality Big Half (GBR), Generali Berliner Halbmarathon (GER), Kerzerslauf 15-K (SUI)

28 – Asics Sentrumsløpet 10-K (SWE)

September:

05 – Bath Half-Marathon (GBR), CSOB Bratislava City Marathon (SVK), Harmonie Mutuelle Semi-Marathon de Paris (FRA)

05 – Spar Women’s Challenge – Cape Town (RSA), Sportisimo Prague Int’l Half-Marathon (CZE)

06 – GTC Reedy River Run 10-K (USA)

11 – Göteborgsvarvet Half-Maraton (SWE)

12 – HASPA Marathon Hamburg (GER), Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10-Mile (USA), Meia-Maratona Internacional de Lisboa (POR)

12 – Brighton Marathon (GBR), Stramilano (ITA), Vienna City Marathon (AUT)

19 – Run Rome The Marathon (ITA)

25 – Cooper River Bridge Run (USA), Freihofer’s Run for Women (USA), NN City Pier City Half-Marathon (NED)

October:

02 – Azalea Trail Run 10-K (USA)

03 – Cardiff University Cardiff HM (GBR), 10-K Valencia Ibercaja (ESP), Virgin Money London Marathon (GBR)

10 – Bank of America Chicago Marathon (USA), Volkswagen Prague Marathon (CZE)

11 – Boston Marathon (USA)

17 – EDP Medio Maratón de Sevila (ESP), Schneider Electric Marathon de Paris (FRA), eDreams Mitja Marató de Barcelona (ESP), Tokyo Marathon (JPN)

24 – NN Marathon Rotterdam (NED), Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon (HKG), Oberbank Linz Donau Marathon (AUT)

29 – Jerusalem International Marathon (ISR)

November:

07 – Los Angeles Marathon Presented by Asics (USA), Zurich Marató de Barcelona (ESP)

14 – Movistar Medio Maratón Villa de Madrid (ESP)

21 – New Taipei City Wanjinshi Marathon (TPE)

28 – Limassol Marathon (CYP)

(04/03/2021) Views: 119 ⚡AMP
by David Monti Race Results Weekly
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Registration for virtual Boston Marathon opens today

Registration opens Tuesday for the 2021 virtual Boston Marathon.

The Boston Athletic Association opens registration at 10 a.m. to the first 70,000 people who register. Rules will require participants to complete the 26.2 miles in one, continuous attempt in order to earn their finishing medal.

“For the first time in our history, most everyone will have the opportunity to earn a Unicorn finisher’s medal for every B.A.A. race in 2021—no matter whether they choose to walk or run," said Tom Grilk, president and CEO of the BAA.

The virtual race will be held Oct.8 to Oct. 10, followed by the in-person race that will be held on Oct. 11, 2021, as long as state reopening rules allow.

The 2020 Boston Marathon, the 124th running of the race, was initially postponed to September before it was ultimately cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last year, instead of 30,000 runners covering the course from Hopkinton to Boston on Patriots Day in April, more than 16,000 people from all 50 states and 83 countries covered the required 26.2 miles in their own neighborhoods during a 10-day period in September.

(03/30/2021) Views: 210 ⚡AMP
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

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 games was composed of B.A.A. club members. The Olympic Games provided the inspiration for the first Boston Marathon, which culminated the B.A.A. Games on April 19, 1897. John J. McDermott emerged from a...

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U.S. Supreme Court to reconsider death penalty in Boston bomber case

It was announced on Monday that the U.S. Supreme Court will review the case of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, one of the two men who set off explosives at the finish line of the Boston Marathon in 2013. Tsarnaev, now 27, was convicted in 2015 and sentenced to death, but that decision was overturned by a federal appeals court in July 2020. Now, the Supreme Court will review the case once more, and Tsarnaev’s death sentence could be reinstated.

During his trial, Tsarnaev’s lawyers did not try to prove their client was innocent, and they openly accepted that he and his brother, Tamerlan, had detonated a pair of bombs at the marathon finish line. These explosions killed three people and injured hundreds of others.

Instead of trying to prove his innocence, Tsarnaev’s lawyers simply argued that he was not as guilty as Tamerlan, whom the lawyers claimed to have orchestrated most of the attack. Tamerlan, who was 26 at the time, died a few days after the bombing in a shootout with police.

This approach did not work out for Tsarnaev’s team, and he was given the death penalty. This sentence was overturned, however, when a federal appeals court decided that the judge presiding over Tsarnaev’s original trial had not ensured (or at least not attempted to ensure) that the jury would be unbiased in reaching their verdict.

After the appeal, the court said Tsarnaev would still spend the rest of his life in prison for his “unspeakably brutal acts” in Boston in 2013. As of Monday, that is no longer necessarily Tsarnaev’s fate, and the Supreme Court is likely to hear his trial later in 2021.

(03/27/2021) Views: 111 ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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The Chicago Marathon faces more competition this year to attract elite runners because of the pandemic.

Don’t expect the Bank of America Chicago Marathon to have a wide array of the world’s best runners this year.

Competition to sign them up will be fierce because the world’s six major marathons, which are normally spread across the spring and fall months, are all being scrunched into an eight-week window in September, October and November because of the pandemic.

The Boston Marathon, for instance, a race that’s traditionally held on the third Monday in April, will take place Oct. 11, the day after Chicago’s marathon.

“I’m not going to say it’s not a challenge, but it gives us an opportunity to go a little deeper and find athletes who may have not had a chance in the last year or two and have them here where they may do something memorable,” said Carey Pinkowski, the longtime director of the Chicago Marathon who built the race into a world-class event.

Pinkowski said he expected top athletes, many who run one marathon in the spring and one in the fall, to start deciding next month what races they’ll run.

“We’ve had some nice discussions with managers and coaches,” he said.

“You never know, we may see one of the stars we’ve seen in the past,” he said, noting the unpredictability of the pandemic that caused Chicago, along with many other cities, to cancel its marathon last year.

“This year is a transitional year, so we’ll just have to get through it,” he said. “We hope to be back to normal in 2022.”

Marathon organizers anticipate the number of non-elite runners this year to be in line with previous years.

In 2019, the last year the marathon took place in Chicago, a record 45,786 runners crossed the finish line in Grant Park.

Pinkowski cited positive developments with vaccinations taking place around the country and said there was “a great deal of optimism” for this year’s race.

(03/26/2021) Views: 175 ⚡AMP
by Mitch Dudek
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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 and more 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...

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Dave McGillivray will be honored with the Third Lantern Award

Dave McGillivray, president of DMSE Sports and long-time race director of the B.A.A. Boston Marathon, will be honored at Lantern2021 and he will deliver the keynote address. This is the Old North Church & Historic Site’s re-imagined and virtual Lantern Ceremony that will be held on Sunday, April 18, at 7 p.m.  The annual event commemorates the 246th anniversary of Old North Church’s fateful lantern signals and Paul Revere’s ride. This one-of-a-kind experience is an uplifting and enduring event that supports the Old North Church & Historic Site’s virtual and on-site programs that aim to inspire children and adults alike to consider the ways they can build a more just and equitable world.

Old North Church, built in 1723, is Boston’s oldest standing church and one of the most famous churches in the United States. The iconic fame of the Old North Church began on the evening of April 18, 1775, when church sexton Robert Newman and vestryman Capt. John Pulling, Jr. climbed the steeple and held high two lanterns as a signal from Paul Revere that the British were marching to Lexington and Concord by sea across the Charles River and Revere embarked on his journey. That fateful night ignited the American Revolution. Educational programs, tourism operations, and preservation of Old North Church & Historic Site are managed by the Old North Foundation, a secular 501(c)3 organization; the church is also a mission of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts.

Lantern2021 will be an uplifting evening featuring original music from singer-songwriter Ryan Ahlwardt (formerly of Straight No Chaser). The night will also include a spirited performance of the poem "Paul Revere's Ride" and reflections on the role of active citizenship in the ongoing struggle for justice and equity. The event concludes with the ceremonial lighting and hanging of the two lanterns in the iconic steeple as a beacon of freedom and justice.

“I’ve received a few awards in my lifetime but this one is really special,” said McGillivray. “Knowing all those who have been a recipient of the award or who have spoken at the ceremony in the past, I am humbled and touched by this true honor.” 

Previous recipients of the award include Senator Ed Markey, Governor Charlie Baker, Mayor Marty Walsh and Representative Lori Trahan, among other luminaries.  President Gerald Ford spoke at Old North Church in 1975 for the U.S. Bicentennial Celebration. 

“Dave’s tenacious commitment to community building and his lifelong drive to create positive change embody the values of the Old North Church & Historic Site and light the way for others to actively engage in their communities,” said Nikki Stewart, Executive Director of the Old North Foundation. “Whether through art, activism, volunteering, philanthropy – we all have the power to hang lanterns that ignite change.”

Although McGillivray is best known as the race director of the B.A.A. Boston Marathon, he and his company, DMSE Sports have directed many of the country’s most prestigious races. Recently, McGillivray’s unique set of skills and experience led to his appointment managing logistics for mass vaccination sites at Gillette Stadium, Fenway Park, the Reggie Lewis Center and the Hynes Convention Center. Dave is an athlete, businessman, and philanthropist who embodies Old North’s core value of active citizenship. At Lantern2021, Dave will share his personal journey and inspire us to “hang a lantern” in our communities. 

Lantern2021 is a virtual family-friendly event that will celebrate the heroic actions of April 18, 1775 and Old North’s legacy of active citizenship.

McGillivray will be introduced as the keynote speaker by Governor Charlie Baker. In his videotaped remarks, Governor Baker said, “Long before the pandemic, and over the course of the last year, Dave McGillivray has proven time and again to be a shining example of the spirit of service to others. Dave is a man of many talents and he's shared them readily in support of his community and the entire Commonwealth.”

(03/24/2021) Views: 121 ⚡AMP
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One of the legends of the Boston Marathon Dick Hoyt dies at 80

Boston Marathon legend Dick Hoyt, has died at the age of 80, his family confirmed to WCVB.

Hoyt passed away in his sleep Wednesday morning, according to longtime Boston Marathon race director Dave McGillivray.

For close to 40 years, Dick Hoyt was a fixture of the marathon course, pushing his son, Rick, a quadriplegic with cerebral palsy, from 1981 until 2014.

“The message is: Yes, you can. There isn’t anything you can’t do as long as you make up your mind to do it," Dick Hoyt told WCVB in 2016. "There is no ‘No’ in the Hoyt vocabulary.”

In addition to Boston, the pair competed in more than 1,100 marathons and triathlons.

"We are tremendously saddened to learn of the passing of Boston Marathon icon Dick Hoyt. Dick personified what it means to be a Boston Marathoner, finishing 32 races with son Rick. We are keeping his many family & friends in our prayers," the Boston Athletic Association said in a statement after news of his passing.

Hoyt was a lieutenant colonel in the Air National Guard for more than 30 years.

Originally planning to retire after the 2013 race, Dick Hoyt returned in 2014 to honor those killed and injured in the Boston Marathon bombings. Team Hoyt was stopped at the 25-mile mark when the explosions halted the event.

A bronze statue of Dick and Rick Hoyt was dedicated near the Marathon's start line in Hopkinton in 2013. Dick Hoyt served as the Grand Marshal of the race in 2015.

 

(03/17/2021) Views: 192 ⚡AMP
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

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 games was composed of B.A.A. club members. The Olympic Games provided the inspiration for the first Boston Marathon, which culminated the B.A.A. Games on April 19, 1897. John J. McDermott emerged from a...

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2021 Boston Marathon set at 20,000 runners field size

The selection process will remain consistent with prior years: applications and qualifying times submitted next week will be verified and ranked based on the amount of time an athlete has run under their respective qualifying standard.

The qualifying window opened on Sept. 15, 2018. Any valid qualifying time run on or after that date may be used to submit a Marathon registration application.

The B.A.A. says that achieving a qualifying time does not guarantee acceptance into this year's race. Since 2014, some runners who have met their qualifying standard were unable to be part of the field due to the surge of interest in the race.

That year, nearly 2,000 runners were shut out because a cutoff time of 1 minute, 38 seconds faster than qualifying times was set to allow a cap of the field.

The number of runners who missed the cutoff time of 4:52 for the 2019 Marathon grew to 7,384, leading to the B.A.A. to make qualifying times 5 minutes faster.

Because of the coronavirus, the B.A.A. last March decided to move the 2020 edition from its normal Patriots Day slot to Sept. 14. On May 28 last year, the Hopkinton-to-Boston race was scrapped entirely for the first time and the 124th Marathon became a virtual event.

The race was last run in 2019, when the entry field was 30,234.

Registration for this year's race will begin next Tuesday at 10 a.m. Eastern Time. Registration is not first-come, first-served and applications will be accepted until 5 p.m. Eastern on Friday, April 23.

In prior years, registration was held over the course of two weeks, with the fastest qualifiers registering first. Due to the shorter timeline this year, all qualifiers may register at any point during the registration week window.

Anyone interested in running for a member of the Boston Marathon Official Charity Program may apply to a team beginning on Tuesday, April 20.

For the second year in a row, the B.A.A. is also hosting a virtual Boston Marathon. The event will take place over race weekend (Oct. 8-10), and will be open to the first 70,000 registrants.

Registration for the virtual race will open on Tuesday, March 30 at 10 a.m. Eastern through the B.A.A.’s Athletes’ Village. Applicants who are not accepted into the in-person Boston Marathon and want to run virtually will have the opportunity to register for the virtual event.

(03/16/2021) Views: 190 ⚡AMP
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

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 games was composed of B.A.A. club members. The Olympic Games provided the inspiration for the first Boston Marathon, which culminated the B.A.A. Games on April 19, 1897. John J. McDermott emerged from a...

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Des Linden will be looking to break the 50K world record next month

Boston Marathon champ Des Linden is officially entering the world of ultramarathoning, as she has announced that she will attempt to break the 50K world record next month.

In mid-April at an undisclosed location (details are intentionally vague because of pandemic concerns), she will take a crack at U.K. runner Aly Dixon‘s record of 3:07:20, which she set in 2019.

In October, Linden invited runners to participate in a challenge she called Run Destober, in which each day, participants ran the number of kilometers (or miles) that corresponded to the date. For example, on October 1 participants ran one kilometer, and on October 31 they ran 31. In total, the challenge worked out to be either 496K or 496 miles.

While this was a great way to engage the running community, it was also an effective way for Linden to slowly ramp up her weekly mileage and see how her body responded to the increased volume.

Back in August, Linden also expressed interest in ultramarathoning when she said in an interview that the Comrades Marathon and UTMB were on her bucket list. It is unclear whether this run will take place on the road or the trails, but either way, her result next month will be a good indicator of how she’ll fare when she finally decides to tackle the trails.

The headphone company Jaybird is supporting Linden during her record-breaking attempt, and the official announcement was made on their Instagram page on Tuesday. In order to beat Dixon’s time, Linden will need to maintain a pace of 3:44 per kilometer.

Given that she ran approximately 3:22 per kilometer for her marathon personal best of 2:22:38, this pace doesn’t seem unattainable, but of course, in a 50K race, it’s hard to say what could happen in the last 8K. We will be waiting for her result in April, and if she accomplishes her goal we expect to see Linden attempt more ultras in the future.

(03/10/2021) Views: 137 ⚡AMP
by Brittany Hambleton
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Will You Sign Up for the Virtual Boston Marathon?

For the first time, a medal from the iconic event will be available to anyone. Getting into the race doesn’t depend on your speed or fundraising capabilities.

On March 2, the Boston Athletic Association (BAA) made a big announcement: It will hold a virtual Boston Marathon this fall for the first 70,000 people to register.

What makes this different from last year’s virtual Boston Marathon? After that in-person race was postponed and then canceled due to COVID-19, only people who were already entered to run Boston in 2020 were allowed to do the virtual race.

This year, it’s open to anyone.

Potential entrants don’t have to worry about qualifying times, cutoff points, or raising five-figure dollar amounts for a charity bib. Any runner could earn a medal from the iconic race, which has long been seen as an exclusive club for the sport’s most competitive athletes.

Still, much remains uncertain about the 2021 in-person and virtual events.

Here’s What We Know

→ The in-person Boston Marathon, typically held every April, has been moved to Monday, October 11. It’s the day after the scheduled date for the Chicago Marathon.

→ The size of the in-person race, which is typically about 30,000 runners, will be smaller this year. Organizers will attempt to maintain the customary field size ratio of 80 percent qualifiers and 20 percent charity runners.

→ The virtual race will accept up to 70,000 runners, all of whom can earn the classic medal. “For the first time in our history, most everyone will have the opportunity to earn a unicorn finisher’s medal for every BAA race in 2021—no matter whether they choose to walk or run,” said Tom Grilk, president and CEO of the BAA in a statement. The virtual race will need to be completed in one continuous attempt.

Here’s What We Still Don’t Know

→ The number of athletes allowed to run the 2021 in-person race—will it be elites only? Or will it include several thousand runners?

→ If Boston qualifiers are a part of the race, what will the cutoff time be for entry into the in-person race? The cutoff—the time by which a Boston hopeful has to be faster than his or her qualifying time—was 1:39 for the 2020 race that never happened. With a smaller field, it’s likely to be much greater.

→ How much will it cost to enter the virtual marathon?

Even with the uncertainty, a chance to earn a Boston medal is appealing to many runners. 

(03/06/2021) Views: 145 ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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Grandma's Marathon will become one of first big races in COVID era

All eyes in the international running community are looking at Grandma's Marathon, which is poised to be one of the largest in-person races held since the COVID-19 outbreak.

Organizers of the Duluth event, scheduled for June 17-19, have teamed up with world experts on crowd control to devise a plan to safely host 9,500 runners signed up to compete in the marathon, half-marathon and 5K races.

"We're all basically looking at Duluth," said Marcel Altenburg, a crowd scientist at the U.K.'s Manchester Metropolitan University who has studied the flow of the world's largest marathons in places like London, Berlin, Chicago and New York.

The OUC Orlando Half Marathon hosted 1,700 runners in December, but planners of Grandma's Marathon believe it will be the first race of its size since the pandemic's onset.

Altenburg is using crowd science software developed around the world's biggest races to help Grandma's organizers ensure that participants and volunteers can stay socially distant. He uses technology like Google Earth and Google Maps to model the course and then inputs past results to simulate the event.

Altenburg found that if Grandma's staggers its starting line properly, each runner should be able to have at least 12 feet of separation from others at any given moment.

"All in all, it was 9.6 million calculations in order to literally check every single overtaking that happens on the course," he said.

Greg Haapala, Grandma's Marathon race director, said there are still lots of uncertainties surrounding the June event. He and others are in the midst of conversations with the state about changing public health guidelines so that races can have more than 250 people on a course at once.

"We're sort of trying to work on this math problem together so that we can bring the data to the state to help show that we think this can be done in a safe manner if all the elements are right," Haapala said.

Organizers said runners will be bused in groups of 25 to the starting line, where they will be released in waves of five. Anyone who is not actively running the race must wear a mask, and spectators will likely not be allowed.

Registrations for Grandma's 2021 races filled up in December, after organizers announced the event would be capped at half capacity. Last year's race was canceled for the first time in its 44-year history.

"We really focus on the mission of our organization, which is getting people active and keeping people healthy," Haapala said. "Events often are the motivational factor that keep people [going] after their goal."

The Duluth event is the 12th largest marathon in the country and one of the few races in the summer. Many of the most popular spring contests — like the Boston Marathon and the London Marathon — have postponed their 2021 races to the fall.

(03/04/2021) Views: 221 ⚡AMP
by Katie Galioto
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Grandmas Marathon

Grandmas Marathon

Grandma's Marathon began in 1977 when a group of local runners planned a scenic road race from Two Harbors to Duluth, Minnesota. There were just 150 participants that year, but organizers knew they had discovered something special. The marathon received its name from the Duluth-based group of famous Grandma's restaurants, its first major sponsor. The level of sponsorship with the...

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Japanese Yuki Kawauchi has become the first person to run 100 sub-2:20 marathons

Guinness World Records (GWR) has recognized Japanese marathoner Yuki Kawauchi for becoming the first person to run 100 sub-2:20 marathons. Kawauchi hit triple digits at Japan’s Hofu Marathon in December, where he ran to a second-place finish in 2:10:26, and he recently posted his 101st sub-2:20 result after running a PB of 2:07:27 at Sunday’s Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon in Otsu, Japan, where he finished 10th. 

GWR awarded Kawauchi a certificate in 2018 after he ran the 78th sub-2:20 marathon of his career and overtook American Doug Kurtis for the most in history. That same year, Kawauchi won the Boston Marathon (crossing the line in 2:15:58), and in 2019, he ran the 100th marathon of his career. At that point, he had broken 2:20 94 times.  

Due to the pandemic, Kawauchi didn’t race as much as he normally would last year, but he did manage to run four marathons (for comparison, he ran 10 in 2018 and eight in 2019). He broke 2:20 at each of his races in 2020, and he is currently on a 15-race streak of marathons in which he has broken that barrier.

Kawauchi´s last marathon over 2:20 came in October 2018, when he ran 2:27:43 at the Venezia Marathon in Italy. Amazingly, he has run a whopping 109 marathons in his career, meaning he has only failed to break 2:20 on eight of those occasions. 

"It might not to be difficult to run under 2:20 once,” Kawauchi said at an online press conference. “But even if it’s easy to achieve it once, in order to achieve that 100 times, you have to be able to continue the sport for a long time, you have to be able to participate in a lot of races, and more than anything you have to stay healthy. Otherwise, you can’t make it happen.”

He continued, adding modestly, “With that said, I’m not the fastest in Japan, I’m not the strongest in Japan. But I’ve diligently continued this since I was six years old and it’s resulted in this record.”

Kawauchi turns 34 on Friday, and although he’s getting older, he is still capable of running PBs, as he showed at the Lake Biwa Marathon. He touched on this in the press conference, and he said he is confident he can continue to run this quickly for many years to come. 

(03/04/2021) Views: 138 ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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BAA is planning a smaller in-person Boston Marathon

The Boston Athletic Association announced Tuesday that the 125th running of the Boston Marathon this fall will be open to more participants than ever before.

However, the vast majority won’t be running the Oct. 11 race from Hopkinton to Boylston Street.

While announcing plans for an expanded virtual marathon, BAA officials revealed Tuesday that they’re planning to downsize the traditional race, which was tentatively pushed back to Oct. 11 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Officials said the in-person field size has not been finalized, but that it “will be smaller than previous years in order to enhance participant and public safety.”

In recent years, the marathon — which was initially postponed and then canceled last year due to the pandemic — has consisted of upwards of 30,000 participants.

BAA officials said Tuesday they will try to keep the competition of the in-person field “as close to previous years as possible, with approximately 80% of the field being comprised of qualified entrants and 20% being comprised of invitational entries, including charity program runners.”

Additional details about the in-person race, “including registration dates, COVID-19 safety measures, and participant requirements,” will be released in the “coming weeks,” the BAA said.

Road races are in the second step of Phase 4 of the state’s reopening plan, along with bars, nightclubs, and amusement parks. And it’s unclear what restrictions or capacity limits they will be subjected to when Massachusetts moves forward to allow such events (some neighboring states, such as New Hampshire and Rhode Island, have allowed smaller races with social-distancing measures in place, such as staggered start times).

Last week, Gov. Charlie Baker announced that Massachusetts will enter the first step of Phase 4 of the reopening plan on March 22, allowing large arenas and stadiums to reopen at up to 12 percent of the maximum occupancy.

The news of the smaller in-person race Tuesday came as the BAA announced that a “virtual Boston Marathon” would be open to 70,000 registrants — more than double the size of the usual in-person field — on a first-come, first-serve basis.

(03/03/2021) Views: 184 ⚡AMP
by Nik DeCosta-Klipa
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

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 games was composed of B.A.A. club members. The Olympic Games provided the inspiration for the first Boston Marathon, which culminated the B.A.A. Games on April 19, 1897. John J. McDermott emerged from a...

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The Xiamen Marathon has been granted World Athletics Elite Platinum Label

The Xiamen Marathon has been rated as a 2021 World Athletics Elite Platinum Label race, according to World Athletics' website.

The Xiamen Marathon gained the World Athletics Elite Platinum Label alongside the six world marathon majors (Boston Marathon, London Marathon, Berlin Marathon, Chicago Marathon, New York Marathon, and Tokyo Marathon), becoming the second race to win this label in China after the Shanghai Marathon.

The "World Athletics Elite Platinum Label", the highest level of the current 3-level race rating system, signifies the world's top race certification label.

The Xiamen Marathon has run successfully for 18 years since its inception in 2003. The result of 2:06:19 made by Kenyan Moses Mosop at the 2015 Xiamen Marathon stands not only as the race record for the Xiamen Marathon, but also as the best result for men in marathons in China to date.

"Xiamen Marathon has contributed significantly to the development of marathons in China over the past 19 years," said Ruan Dunliang, director of Xiamen Municipal Bureau of Sports.

"The 'Elite Platinum Standard' represents a high degree of recognition and also a new mission for Xiamen Marathon, symbolizing a new era for Xiamen Marathon.

"Future efforts will keep focusing on improving the professionalism and internationalization of Xiamen Marathon to bring a higher-quality race to marathon enthusiasts worldwide." 

(02/27/2021) Views: 224 ⚡AMP
by Xinhua News
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XIAMEN INTERNATIONAL MARATHON

XIAMEN INTERNATIONAL MARATHON

Every January, the first medal of marathon race around the world is awarded here. The race has become a golden name card of Xiamen, showing its splendor to the whole world. The Xiamen International Marathon is an annual marathon race held in January in the coastal city of Xiamen in Fujian province, People’s Republic of China. Every January, the first...

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Kenya's Olympics Marathon team has been named

The 2020 Valencia Marathon winners Peres Jepchirchir and Vincent Kipchumba have been included in Kenya’s marathon team for the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Making the announcement Tuesday, Athletics Kenya senior vice president, Paul Mutwii, disclosed that Kenya will be represented by four athletes each in the men and women’s categories.

Jepchirchir, the World Half Marathon champion and Half Marathon World record holder, now joins World Marathon champion, Ruth Chepngétich, Marathon World record holder, Brigid Kosgei and multiple World champion and 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic 5,000m gold medalist and 10,000m silver medalist, Vivian Cheruiyot.

Kipchumba will team up with Olympic Marathon champion, Eliud Kipchoge, World Marathon bronze medallist, Amos Kipruto and 2019 Boston Marathon winner Lawrence Cherono.

Four athletes, who were named as reserves in the original team that was named in January last year before the Tokyo Olympics were postponed owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, have been dropped.

They are Valary Ayabei and Sally Chepyego in the women’s team and Titus Ekiru and Bedan Karoki in the men's side.

Asked why they have settled on four athletes in each team, Mutwii said: "It's a decision we have made and we are certain they will deliver outstanding victories."

The delayed Summer Olympics will be staged from July 23 to August 8, but while the track and field events will be held at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo, the race walk and marathon events will be at Odori Park in Sapporo, 1,167.7km from the Japanese capital.

Kenya won both the men and women’s Olympics marathon titles with disgraced Jemimah Sumgong going for the women’s gold medal at the 2016 Olympics.Sumgong has since been banned for a doping offence.

Mutwii disclosed that they will liaise with the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) on how best to prepare the team.

“The athletes can continue training individually before we roll out soon,” said Mutwii, adding that NOC-K had instructed them to prepare sprinters for an early camp.

(02/24/2021) Views: 241 ⚡AMP
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision. ...

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The history of black running in America

Ted Corbitt laid the basis for measurement of road running courses in the USA and was the founding president of NYRR (New York Road Runners. He was black; and many assume he was the first black American endurance runner of historic importance.

Corbitt (1919–2007) was a formidable figure in long-distance running, but he was far from the first – or the only – notable African American long-distance runner. The history of black running in America dates back to at least the 1870s and is both rich and profound.

Gary Corbitt, Ted’s son, has spent years researching and writing about black American running and bringing many untold stories to life. He founded the Ted Corbitt Archive to preserve and highlight some of the amazing and almost forgotten stories of black American runners, coaches, clubs, teams, events, supporters and leaders.

“My dad always told me he wasn’t alone – that there were other great black American long-distance runners,” says Gary. “I didn’t know how rich the story was until I started looking into it myself.”

Using books, articles, and a huge amount of primary documents, Gary created a “Black Running History 100 years (1880–1979)” timeline that spanned 100 years (1880–1979). “The work is not finished yet,” he says. “I have probably captured 75 percent of what is known from this 100-year period.”

He was inspired by a story his father told him about a letter he received from a young black runner. “The runner wrote that he wished he had known about my dad when he was in school and the coaches steered him away from long-distance running and into sprints,” said Gary. “If he’d had a black long-distance runner like my father as a role model, things might have turned out differently. I want today’s young black runners to know that they are part of a rich history and that they have many role models.”

Here are just a few of the highlights from the Chronicle. See tedcorbitt.com for more.

Frank Hart and the marchers (pedestrian) movement

In the late 1870s the most popular sport in the United States – and a few other countries – was pedestrianism: multi-day running and walking competitions over hundreds of miles, often on covered lanes in front of large crowds. Participants came from all walks of life and one of the most successful was a young black runner named Frank Hart (above, left). Born Fred Hichborn in Haiti in 1858 he moved to Boston as a teenager, worked as a grocer, and started running long distance runs to make extra money. He changed his name when he became a professional “walker” (pedestrian).

Hart won the prestigious O’Leary Belt Six Days at Madison Square Garden in 1880 completing an astonishing 565 miles – a world record. The runner-up, William Pegram, was also black. Hart’s success earned him fame and fortune; his image was featured on trading cards (the forerunner of baseball cards) nationwide, and he likely made over USD 100,000 in his lifetime thanks to the legal gambling that was at the heart of the sport and even allowed participants to wager on themselves.

Unfortunately Hart also endured racism, including heckling and physical harassment from viewers and snubs and slurs from his rivals. In the late 1880s baseball – with its rigid racial segregation policy – ousted walking in popularity. As an excellent all-round athlete, Hart joined a “Negro League Team” for a few years.

The spirit of the march (pedestrian) era inspired Ted Corbitt, who ran (and won) many ultra runs, completing 68.9 miles in 24 hours at the age of 82. “My father talked about running 600 miles in six days and walking 100 miles in 24 hours,” said Gary. “These were milestones from the marchers’ days, the meaning of which I only fully understood much later, after his death.”

Early NYC running clubs and marathon runners

Several black running clubs in NYC in the early 1900s, including the Salem Crescent Athletic Club, St. Christopher’s Club of NY, and the Smart Set Athletic Club of Brooklyn, showcased the talents of a generation of black runners at sprint to marathon distances.

In 1919, Aaron Morris of the St. Christopher Athletic Club finished sixth in the Boston Marathon in 2:37:13, making him the first known African American to run the race. At the 1920 Boston Marathon, Morris’ teammate Cliff Mitchell finished eighth in 2:41:43. Mitchell finished 13th in Boston in 1921, and another St. Christopher runner, John Goff, finished ninth that year in 2:37:35.

The New York Pioneer Club, which was founded in Harlem in 1936 by trainer Joe Yancey and two other black men, campaigned to give everyone interested and qualified regardless of race a chance. “It was an integrated running team that preceded the integration of professional sport,” says Gary Corbitt. Ted Corbitt joined the Pioneer Club in 1947 and in 1958 he and other members formed the core of the New York Road Runners.

Marilyn Bevans

Opportunities for female long-distance runners were few before the early 1970s. NYRR always allowed women as members and in its events, but the Boston Marathon excluded women until 1972, the same year that a women’s 1500m (less than a mile) run was added to the Olympic programme.

In the 1970s Marilyn Bevans of Baltimore emerged as the first competitive modern black American marathon runner. She was the first black American to win a marathon – the Washington Birthday Marathon in Maryland in 1975. She finished fourth in the 1975 Boston Marathon with a time of 2:55:52, making her the first black American to win a marathon run in under three hours. She completed a total of 13 marathons under three hours. Bevans later became a coach and is now in her 70s.

(02/24/2021) Views: 133 ⚡AMP
by Gordon Bakoulis
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Officials of Boston Marathon are encouraging people to run 2.23 miles in memory of Ahmaud Arbery

 A year has passed since Ahmaud Arbery was killed in Georgia and Boston Marathon officials are urging people to honor him by walking or running 2.23 miles.

Arbery was fatally shot while running in a neighborhood outside the port city of Brunswick on Feb. 23, 2020.

“We believe everyone should be able to advance their well-being by running safely & without fear or discrimination,” Boston Marathon officials wrote on Twitter.

Travis McMichael, his father, Greg McMichael, and neighbor Roddie Bryan are facing murder charges in connection with Arbery’s death.

(02/23/2021) Views: 203 ⚡AMP
by 7 boston news
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

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 games was composed of B.A.A. club members. The Olympic Games provided the inspiration for the first Boston Marathon, which culminated the B.A.A. Games on April 19, 1897. John J. McDermott emerged from a...

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U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials winner Aliphine Tuliamuk will be the first elite female athlete to receive financial assistance as she recovers from childbirth and trains for the 2021 Olympics

In November 2007, Paula Radcliffe won the New York Marathon, a mere nine months after giving birth to her first child. In 2011, Kara Goucher finished fifth at the Boston Marathon and set a new PB only 7 months after delivering her baby. 

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce won the women’s 100m at the World Championships in 2019, with her two-year-old son in the audience.

While there have been many incredible stories of female athletes who have returned to sport after childbirth with great success, the reality is that many struggle during those first weeks, months and years, and are sometimes forced to choose between their athletic careers and their families.

The U.S.A. Track and Field (USATF) Foundation has now committed to providing support for these women through a new grant program, with U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials winner Aliphine Tuliamuk as the first recipient of financial assistance.

The USAFT Maternity Grant Fund will provide assistance to elite female Track and Field athletes and runners during their pregnancy and postpartum when they are recovering. The USATF  Foundation website says “this fund will allow elite females athletes confidence that there is financial assistance available if needed.” The fund was started with a donation from USATF Foundation Director Lisa Larson, who says that although pregnancy and childbirth can be unpredictable, it is clear that female athletes can return to sport better than ever when given the proper support.

Tuliamuk, the first recipient of the grant, won the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in February 2020.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit and the Olympics were postponed, she and her partner took this extra time to start growing their family, and Tuliamuk gave birth to the couple’s first baby girl last month.

She is now preparing to compete in the marathon at the Tokyo 2021 Olympics, which will take place only 6.5 months after her daughter was born. Tuliamuk is very thankful to be the first recipient of this new fund, and she says it will help cover the couple’s babysitting needs so she can rest and return to training as quickly as possible.

"Iam so grateful that USAFT Foundation chose me as their first recipient of the maternity grant,” she tells usatffoundation.org, “being a new mom is challenging enough, let alone being a new mom who’s representing her country in the summer Olympics 6.5 months postpartum.”

(02/17/2021) Views: 170 ⚡AMP
by Brittany Hambleton
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Runners of Lincoln Marathon won´t be able to finish inside memorial stadium this year

The Lincoln Marathon’s finish line will look quite a bit different from how it has in recent years.

But this change isn’t entirely pandemic-related.

Runners will cross the finish line on the track at Ed Weir Stadium, which was the race’s original finish line. Since 2010, the finish line has been on the 50-yard line inside Memorial Stadium.

The change was made because of the Husker spring game, which is set to take place the day before the race.

The Lincoln Marathon, which also includes a half-marathon, is scheduled for May 2.

Turf renovations were going to require the same change during last year’s race. But the event transitioned to a virtual format because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln worked with the Lincoln Track Club to help determine the new finish line, said Ryan Regnier, president of the Track Club.

“They have been supportive in helping us find an alternative, recognizing the importance of the marathon to the Lincoln community,” he said. “There is some nostalgia associated with finishing on the track since it served as the original finish line for the race.”

The rest of the 2021 course will be the same as previous years and will be certified as a Boston Marathon qualifier.

(02/15/2021) Views: 211 ⚡AMP
by Kelsey Stewart
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Lincoln Marathon

Lincoln Marathon

The Lincoln National Guard Marathon and Half-Marathon is run on a citywide course that starts and finishes on the campus of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Runners in both races share a common start and run a loop route past the Nebraska State Capitol, along Sheridan Boulevard, past Union College, along the Highway 2 bike path, past the Lincoln County-City Building...

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Cruz Culpepper runs 3:59.53 mile, joins father on list of sub-4 runners

Cruz and Alan Culpepper are just the 13th father-son duo to have both broken the four-minute barrier.

University of Washington freshman Cruz Culpepper opened his collegiate career in impressive style at the UW Indoor Preview on January 30, running a 3:59.53 mile for the first sub-four-minute result of his young career. With the run, Culpepper becomes the 11th UW runner to break four minutes in the mile, and he also joins his father, former U.S. Olympian Alan Culpepper, on the elite list. Cruz and Alan are the 13th father-son duo in history to have broken the four-minute barrier.

The Culpeppers:

Alan ran for the University of Colorado in the 90s, and he won the NCAA outdoor 5,000m crown in 1996. He represented the U.S. on the world stage on multiple occasions, and in 2000, he competed in the 10,000m at the Sydney Olympics. Four years later, he won the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials to secure a spot on the team at the Athens Games, where he ran to a 12th-place finish in 2:15:26. (Alan’s wife and Cruz’s mother, Shayne Culpepper, also ran at the Olympics, competing in the 1,500m in 2000 and 5,000m in 2004.) Alan ran to consecutive top-five results at the Boston Marathon in 2005 and 2006 before retiring a couple of seasons later in 2008. 

Alan’s first sub-four mile came in 1998, when he was 26, at a meet in St. Louis. He posted a blazing-fast time of 3:55.12, which he followed up a month later with another four-minute mile in Massachusetts, where he ran 3:58.47.  

At just 18 years old (he’ll turn 19 in April), Cruz reached the sub-four milestone eight years earlier than his dad. His result comes just under a year since his last run at the UW track, when he came agonizingly close to breaking four minutes, competing as a high schooler, with a final time of 4:00.10. Cruz literally dove across the line in that race last year, giving everything he had in his attempt to go sub-four, but this year he fared much better, staying on his feet right through to the finish.

"It was fun,"  he said after the race. “It’s definitely cool to open up with a sub-four. I felt super comfortable all the way through it. I mean, it was tough, but I knew I could do it. I didn’t have anything slower than sub-four in my head.”

Joining more father-son duos

The website bringbackthemile.com names all 13 father-son duos on this exclusive list of sub-four milers, and it has several names running fans will recognize. Americans Matt Centrowitz Sr. and Matthew Centrowitz Jr. (the latter of whom is the reigning Olympic 1,500m champion) joined the list in 2009, John and Johnny Gregorek were added in 2015 and the Culpeppers are the newest pair to occupy a spot. 

(02/03/2021) Views: 207 ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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Thinking About the Boston-Chicago Double? Before You Commit, Here Are a Few Things to Consider

The rare chance to run two major marathons on back-to-back days is tempting...

The 2021 World Marathon Majors schedule isn’t set in stone, but if all goes to the current plan, it is going to look vastly different this fall.

With the announcement that the Boston Marathon will take place on October 11, the six World Marathon Majors will be run within a six-week period between September 26 and November 7. And, don’t forget about the Olympic Marathons, which will take place on August 7 (women’s) and August 8 (men’s).

Berlin Marathon: September 26

London Marathon: October 3

Chicago Marathon: October 10

Boston Marathon: October 11

Tokyo Marathon: October 17

New York City Marathon: November 7

Yes, you’re seeing that correctly—Chicago and Boston are scheduled to be on back-to-back days.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen back-to-back marathon majors like this. The London Marathon and Boston Marathon have been a day apart 11 times in the history of the races, since both events happen in April. The most recent occurrence of this was in 2011.

While we may see watered-down elite fields at these races as a result of this packed schedule, an intriguing challenge has also emerged: a marathon major double with Chicago and Boston.

In additional to a physical challenge, the logistics of running races in different parts of the country on consecutive days is complex—but it’s not unheard of. We see this in the World Marathon Challenge, where runners like Becca Pizzi run seven marathons in seven days on seven continents. Michael Ortiz, a New York City-based runner, ran back-to-back 100-milers on his quest to complete 100 100-milers in 100 weeks, which he finished in October 2020.

The master of consecutive races is Michael Wardian. He did 10 marathons in 10 days, and he’s even doubled up marathons on the same day when, in 2013, he won the Rock ’n’ Roll San Antonio Marathon in the morning and then took 10th at the Rock ’n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon that night.

If your interest is piqued by this challenge, here’s a few things you need to consider, with some tips from the master himself.

You need to get entry into each marathon

For starters, the races are tough enough to get into, with Chicago’s drawing and guaranteed-entry systems, and Boston’s qualifying times.

If by chance you do get into both, you’re shelling out $180 for Boston and $205 for Chicago, and that’s if you’re from the U.S. If you’re an international runner, the race entry fee is more like $240 and $230, respectively.

You need to pick up both race bibs

An often-overlooked facet of race weekend is bib pickup. Typically these large marathons don’t have race-day bib pick-up, which poses a problem if you’re running another marathon the day before the race.

Some races, like Boston, are usually pretty good about letting someone else pick up your bib for you, if you follow their requirements. Wardian recommends recruiting a team to help you out with this.

Here’s a possible scenario for the Chicago-Boston weekend:

Fly to Boston on Friday to get that bib

Fly to Chicago on Saturday to pick up that bib

Run the Chicago Marathon on Sunday, then later in the day fly to Boston

Run the Boston Marathon on Monday

But that extra flight and overnight stay in Boston is big cost just to pick up a bib. And speaking of costs...

The cost of traveling from the Midwest to New England on race weekend will be high

Assuming someone can pick up your bib for you in Boston, you’ll need, at minimum, a flight from your hometown to Chicago, a flight from Chicago to Boston, then a flight from Boston back to your hometown. If your hometown is either Chicago or Boston, then lucky you! You can eliminate one of those flights.

Flights are cheap right now because of the pandemic, but they could go up soon if COVID-19 cases start to decline, with the vaccine. In the third quarter of 2019, the average cost of a flight originating at Chicago’s O’Hare airport was $333.50, and the average cost of a flight originating at Boston’s Logan airport was $329.45, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. (However we recently spotted some late-afternoon, one-way flights from O’Hare to Logan for less than $200 on Google Flights!) Based on that information, your flights could run you close to $1,000.

Keep in mind, because you have a limited window for the time of departure for your flight from Chicago and Boston, the best option time-wise might not be the cheapest option available. Remember, your whole morning and early afternoon are likely spent running and getting to the airport. Also you won’t want to arrive too late in Boston, since you have an early wakeup to get out to Hopkinton.

Let’s say you take an Uber to the airport for each flight, and with expected surge costs, that could cost you $50 per Uber ride. Add in two nights of hotel stays, which will likely surge as well because of the big crowds in town. A quick scan of TripAdvisor shows that both Chicago hotel rooms and Boston hotel rooms the night before the respective marathons are running upward of $400.

And this doesn’t even including food! Which means you’re easily looking at $2,500 spent on the weekend—and I think that’s generous estimate.

Consider the training and between-race recovery

If you’re still not deterred by those unique logistics and costs posed by the possibility of a Chicago-Boston double—or even doing all six marathons in six weeks—Wardian has some tips for you. (And no, Wardian has not committed to doing the six-in-six, but he said it piqued his interest.)

Train for this race weekend like you would for an ultra.

Get your body used to running back-to-back hard efforts by doing back-to-back long runs. This way, you’ll be used to feeling heavier legs on day two much earlier than when you’re fresh.

Pack light when traveling.

You can check a bag, but like any race, bring your shoes, apparel, and fuel for the race in your carry-on. I put my gels in a Ziploc bag when going through security, and I don’t usually have a problem. Speaking of gels, you’ll need gels or chews for two races. Don’t forget that.

Eat soon and often.

When you finish the first race, get your drop bag, change into some warm clothes, and start getting calories in. I focus on drinking coconut water and having a smoothie. On the plane, bring your own water bottle and food, so you don’t have to rely on the flight attendants. These collapsible water bottles are great for traveling.

Recovery is key, especially on the airplane.

I wear my CompresSport compression gear during my first race. After that, I try to get my feet elevated for a bit. On the plane, I try to book an aisle or window seat so I can stretch my legs a bit. I also bring a lacrosse ball and use it to roll out muscles when I’m sitting. Also, get up and walk around every 45 minutes during the flight—you likely will have to, with how much water you’ll be drinking. Highly recommend the aisle seat.

(01/31/2021) Views: 194 ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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2021 Boston Marathon rescheduled for October 11

October 11 has been announced as the date for this year's Boston Marathon - should the health situation allow for the race to take place.

The Boston Marathon is usually held on the third Monday of April, but that was deemed impossible this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Organisers the Boston Athletic Association (BAA) had previously said that the race would not go ahead "at least the fall of 2021", and October 11 has now been chosen as the new date.

That is one day after the Chicago Marathon.

Should road races not be permitted by then, it appears likely that the 2021 Boston Marathon would be cancelled, as the 2020 edition was.

That was the first cancellation in the event's 124-year history.

"We announce the 2021 Boston Marathon date with a cautious optimism, understanding full well that we will continue to be guided by science and our continued collaborative work with local, city, state, and public health officials," said BAA President and chief executive Tom Grilk.

"If we are able to hold an in-person race in October, the safety of participants, volunteers, spectators, and community members will be paramount."

Massachusetts must reach Phase 4 of its re-opening plan for road races to be permitted. 

It is presently in the first stage of Phase 3.

The Boston Marathon is one of the six World Marathon Majors.

Four were cancelled last year - Boston, New York, Chicago and Berlin - while the London Marathon was an elite-online event moved to a loop course in a park and the Tokyo Marathon's mass-participation race was scrapped.

This year's London and Tokyo races have both been moved to October already, while the Chicago Marathon is usually in October.

The six World Marathon Majors are now timetabled for a six-week span, making it difficult for many if any elite runners to take part in more than one.

All six are now scheduled to follow the Tokyo 2020 Olympics also.

The 2021 Boston Marathon is set to be the 125th edition of the race, and organisers say a virtual race option is planned as well as the in-person contest.

Massachusetts must reach Phase 4 of its re-opening plan for road races to be permitted. 

It is presently in the first stage of Phase 3.

The Boston Marathon is one of the six World Marathon Majors.

Four were cancelled last year - Boston, New York, Chicago and Berlin - while the London Marathon was an elite-online event moved to a loop course in a park and the Tokyo Marathon's mass-participation race was scrapped.

This year's London and Tokyo races have both been moved to October already, while the Chicago Marathon is usually in October.

The six World Marathon Majors are now timetabled for a six-week span, making it difficult for many if any elite runners to take part in more than one.

All six are now scheduled to follow the Tokyo 2020 Olympics also.

The 2021 Boston Marathon is set to be the 125th edition of the race, and organisers say a virtual race option is planned as well as the in-person contest.

(01/27/2021) Views: 242 ⚡AMP
by Ali Iveson
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

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 games was composed of B.A.A. club members. The Olympic Games provided the inspiration for the first Boston Marathon, which culminated the B.A.A. Games on April 19, 1897. John J. McDermott emerged from a...

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Here’s the Story Behind the New Wooden Sculpture of a Runner on Heartbreak Hill

Heartbreak Hill is one of the most iconic marathon sections in the world, challenging runners on a long, steady uphill around mile 20 of the Boston Marathon. Now, runners will have something new to greet them after they get through that rough part of the race.

A new wooden sculpture of a runner has been built out of what used to be a large maple tree situated at the top of the hill.

Mark Proctor and Charlotte McKee have owned a house on Heartbreak Hill, at the corner of Commonwealth and Grant Avenues, since the late 1990s. They’ve spent many Patriots’ Days hosting marathon watch parties in their front yard, next to that large maple tree that could be seen from a ways down the hill.

But in 2013, they found out the tree was dying. For seven years, Proctor and McKee did their best to keep it alive, even putting steel cables on it to keep it up. Unfortunately, in 2020, the tree became diseased; it killed vegetation around it, and chunks of the tree fell off. Instead of removing the tree entirely, Proctor had an idea to give the tree a second life.

“We had seven years to think about it, and we love the marathon,” Proctor told Runner’s World. “I can’t say where the spark was, but we have a house in New Hampshire, and people make tree carvings up there, so I had the idea of possibly making a runner out of the tree. Not an identifiable runner. Just a runner.”

They considered a few other ideas, such as the Greek god Hermes and a puma, like the brand logo. However, they ended up going with a generic runner.

“It was Mark’s vision from the beginning,” McKee told Runner’s World. “He had the have the courage of his convictions because I was originally not on board. But I’m glad he persisted.”

Proctor and McKee searched the internet for a wood sculptor, and they found Ken Packie, who lives in Otis, Massachusetts, in the Berkshires. When the tree came down in September, leaving only an eight-foot-tall section, the owners told Packie he had total creative control. In November, Packie made the two-hour trek to Boston with his tools and began to chainsaw the runner to life.

“The pose was dictated by the tree,” Packie told Runner’s World. “I had to knock everything peripheral off and see what meat I had left. Like most of my carvings, I wing it, and I knew I had to fit this into what the tree allowed me to do.”

While shaping, he also had to think of structural integrity, which meant the ankles had to be thicker to support the sculpture above—the back leg was especially tough, until an idea came to him from the wood.

“I had a huge chunk of wood under the back leg that I was going to cut off,” Packie said. “I looked at it, and it looked like a heart, and I thought, that should be a broken heart for Heartbreak Hill. It makes sense, and it’ll give the back leg structural integrity.”

As Packie worked with chainsaws, chisels, and blowtorches, people passing by started to show appreciation for the project as it took shape. Cars beeped all day and neighbors McKee and Proctor had never met started giving them positive feedback about the sculpture.

These are such crazy times and people are so stressed, and from hearing from people who are coming by is that people are so happy,” McKee said. “They’re looking for something to make them smile and this can be one of those things.”

In total, Packie estimates the carving took about 25 to 30 hours. On November 20, the final wood seal was put on, which will have to be replaced every year to keep the sculpture from wearing away.

The final product is a male runner with a singlet and shorts with a broken heart under the back leg.

“I hope this will become an inspiration for people to keep pushing,” Packie said. “Twenty miles into a race going up hill is a tough spot, and if this can help them push forward, I want them to see it. This is not a super lean runner. He’s the every man’s runner, and if he can do it, you can. Hopefully Heartbreak Hill won’t be a heartbreak for them.”

McKee and Proctor initially only planned to keep it around for one iteration of the Boston Marathon. But after seeing the positive reaction and watching people come to their neighborhood just to see or run past the new landmark, they think they’ll make it a permanent part of their yard and something for Boston Marathon runners to look forward to for years to come.

“It was so tough after the bombings and there was uncertainty about if it would return,” McKee said. “It gave people hope, and people were so happy when the marathon came back. Now, not having the marathon because of the pandemic, people are want to look forward to something. Hopefully, this will be a symbol of how we all got through this.”

(01/24/2021) Views: 246 ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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