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Articles tagged #Boston Marathon
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Seven-time Monster Energy Nascar Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson is set to compete in Boston Marathon

Whether it's behind the steering wheel or on foot, seven-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson is always looking for a race to run -- this time it's the 2019 Boston Marathon. 

After competing in the Daytona Half Marathon on Sunday morning prior to Daytona 500 Busch Pole Qualifying and his victory in the Advance Auto Parts Clash, Johnson announced he will compete in Boston on April 15.

The race takes place just two days after the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond Raceway on April 13, which allows Johnson a full day of recovery following the Saturday night event.

An avid runner and fitness advocate, Johnson has become a significant influence on many others throughout the garage to pay more attention to their physical health. After competing in multiple half marathons, this new endeavor will be his first full marathon, one he’s had on his radar for quite some time after the 2013 bombing that prompted the “Boston Strong” movement.

“Watching the Boston Marathon the year of the bombing (in 2013), something clicked about me wanting to run that race, and once the bombing happened, I wanted to be part of ‘Boston Strong’ ”. Johnson finished 14th place overall in the 13.1-mile race in Daytona and won his age group with a time of 1 hour and 33 minutes.

(02/13/2019) ⚡AMP
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

The Boston Marathon is the world's oldest annual marathon and ranks as one of the world's best-known road racing events. The event attracts 500,000 spectators each year, making it New England's most widely viewed sporting event. Though starting with 18 participants in 1897, the event now attracts over 20,000 registered participants each year. You have to qualify to participate. Among...

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Dathan Ritzenhein rans 1:01:24 half marathon in New Orleans as he gets ready to run Boston in April

Dathan Ritzenhein topped the field at the Humana Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans Half Marathon in a time of 1 hours, 1 minute and 24 seconds to edge out Emmanuel Bett.

“I surprised myself, actually,” he told The Advocate. “(Runner-up Bett Emmanuel) led nearly 13 miles, basically someone I could hang off about 5-10 seconds most of the time, and then the last mile I threw in a big kick.”

The rest of the top five were: Tyler McCandless (1:03:48), Kenneth Foster (1:08:50) and Tyler Alverson (1:11:51).

Ritzenhein, a three-time Olympian dogged by injuries most of 2018, last ran competitively in November when he was 12th at the USATF 5K championship in New York. 

The 36-year-old Ritzenhein was forced to pull out of last year's Boston Marathon about a week before with inflammation in his right leg. In 2015, he finished seventh and was the top American finisher in his Boston Marathon debut.

Last year, Ritzenhein also warmed up for Boston by finishing second in March at the New York Half Marathon.

The 2019 Boston Marathon is April 15.

(02/12/2019) ⚡AMP
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

The Boston Marathon is the world's oldest annual marathon and ranks as one of the world's best-known road racing events. The event attracts 500,000 spectators each year, making it New England's most widely viewed sporting event. Though starting with 18 participants in 1897, the event now attracts over 20,000 registered participants each year. You have to qualify to participate. Among...

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Suzy Seeley didn’t think she would ever run one marathon, let alone 256 of them

In 1994 Seeley was having lunch with her son in his elementary school, and happened to be wearing workout clothing. One of her son’s teachers saw her outfit and asked if she was going to sign up for the upcoming Houston Marathon.

“I wasn’t really a runner though, and I didn’t enjoy it,” Seeley said.

It turns out that she did enjoy running long distances though. She ran in the Houston Marathon, and she says she was hooked after that. She has now run the Houston marathon 25 times. 

Since then, she has run in a marathon in all 50 states, as well as on all of the continents, including Antarctica twice.

“Running is amazing. It’s been a huge blessing in my life,” Seeley said.

Running has even helped her get over her fear of flying. The first 100 or so marathons were all close by, and then she gradually started taking short flights. Once she got to 30 states, she figured that she might as well finish them all.

The same thing happened with the runs on each continent. A running friend had wanted to do Antarctica, and Seeley was hesitant at first, but she did it. That trip also included a run in South America, so she figured she should do the rest of the continents after that.

When asked if she had a favorite marathon, she said, “That is the hardest question ever.”

She did manage to list a few though, saying that she loved the World Marathon Majors, Boston Marathon, Houston Marathon, because it is in her backyard, and the Austin Marathon.

(02/10/2019) ⚡AMP
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Chevron Houston Marathon

Chevron Houston Marathon

The Chevron Houston Marathon offers participants a unique running experience in America's fourth largest city. The fast, flat, scenic single-loop course has been ranked as the "fastest winter marathon" and "second fastest marathon overall" by Ultimate Guide To Marathons. Additionally, with more than 200,000 spectators annually, the Chevron Houston Marathon enjoys tremendous crowd support. Established in 1972, the Houston Marathon...

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The Run The World Challenge will motivate you to run more miles...RTW4 starts March 1 with an exciting new format

The Run The World Global Challenge (RTW) is a world-wide celebration of running.  Lifetime runner, Runner's World magazine and My Best Runs founder, Bob Anderson (71) created the event to help further spread the word about the benefits of running. The first RTW Challenge started July 4.  

On March 1 the RTW4 Challenge will start with some changes to make the event even more fun and challenging. 

"Since I started running in 1962 I have been telling people about the sport I love," says Bob Anderson  "I am proud to say I have reached a lot of people but the task is never done.  Run The World is my current project and the feedback from around the world has been very positive."  

Lize Dumon from South Africa posted this on the Run The World Feed January 5. "Possibly my last run for RTW3.  Might do a small one to bring me close enough to 200 miles. Been a priviledge to be a part of all three Run The World Challenges.  I have made loads of friends and learned a lot."  Lize is putting together two South African 14 people teams for RTW4.

Already 260 Run The World runners have run and logged 85,876 miles (as of Feb 5, 2019) since July 4th in 56 different countries. In the little country of Palau alone, teams there have already run and logged 5,648 miles (photo 2 of some of the Palau RTW1 team headed up by Aaron Salvador).  Aaron is putting together two teams of 14 for RTW4.

"Run The World Challenge is a great motivator," says Bob.  "I was running 20 miles a week before Run The World. I now have been averaging 32 miles weekly and I am much better shape because of it.  There are many such stories among the 260 runners who have already participated."  

The first team that started July 4 finished in 36 days 23 hours and 13 minutes (the current world record). Two other teams starting August 29 and October 29 also completed the goal of circling the world.

How does it work? Participants run or walk and then log in those miles (k’s) on their free My Best Runs (MBR) account. The goal is for the team (now group of teams) to log enough miles (k's) to circle the world within 30 days.

The process of running/walking and then logging in miles (k's), making a comment (optional) and posting a photo (optional) is the basic program.  A team member logs into their My Best Runs account to log in the miles they run or walk.

One major change is RTW4 will end 30 days after starting.  "It is hoped one of our three groups of teams will reach our goal within this time frame but if not the group of teams that have logged the most miles win.  All teams within the three groups will also be competing against each other," says Bob.  

All runners will be part of a 14 person team.  The teams have many interesting themes like: Team one will be for runners 70 plus. Team 9 is for those men and women who have or are in the Military. Team 10 and 11 are for Elite Runners.  Team 21 is for India's citizens.  Team 23 are for runners living in Canada. Team 34 are for those runners who have completed at least one 100 mile race.  Team 37 are for runners who have lost 50 or more pounds and are currently running. Team 42 are for runners who have run at least 50 races in one year. (Click the link for the full list of the 42 team.)  

Runers will pick the team of their choice as long as it is not full.  There are 14 different teams (with a maximum of 14 runners per team) making up a group.  

One unique aspect of RTW4 is that one person can be on one team, two or three teams.  BUT the teams have to be in different groups.

When you run, let say five miles, these same miles only need to be entered once and they will be credited for all your teams. 

Registration is now open. "It was hard to pick just one team per group," says Michael Anderson who has done all RTW Challenges. "I could have signed up for several different teams but I decided on Team 30 having fnished at least one Boston Marathon, Team 25 West USA because I live in Bend, Oregon and Team 4 age 40-49.  Can't wait to do this again.  It has really motivated me to run a lot more. Bring it on."

(02/06/2019) ⚡AMP
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Run The World 4 Global Challenge

Run The World 4 Global Challenge

Run The World Global Challenge is a world wide celebration of running. Participants run or walk and then log in those miles (k’s) on their My Best Runs Account. The goal is for the team to log enough miles (k's) to circle the world. That is 24,901 miles (40,074K). The first three teams that started July 4, August 29 and...

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William Sawyer who founded the JFK 50 Miler and who ran it at age 75 has died at 90

Buzz Sawyer enjoyed keeping score. In the game of life, it’s safe to say he finished a winner. Sawyer, a former world-ranked distance runner who founded the JFK 50 Mile ultramarathon in Washington County, died Sunday. He was 90.

“He’s never going to be forgotten,” said Mike Spinnler, the JFK 50 race director since 1993, when he took over for Sawyer. “He’s like Red Auerbach with the Celtics or Paul Brown with the Browns. I don’t care how many centuries the JFK goes on, he’s always going to be synonymous with it. It doesn’t exist without him.”

On March 30, 1963, Sawyer answered President John F. Kennedy’s call for Americans to be more physically fit. He and 10 young men from his Cumberland Valley Athletic Club set out to cover 50 miles on foot. The route consisted of the rugged Appalachian Trail, the flat C&O Canal towpath and rolling country roads — almost identical to the course used every year since.

Of the 11 starters in 1963, four finished, including Sawyer. They completed the trek together in 13 hours and 10 minutes.

The next year, there were 16 starters and seven finishers, and the event continued to grow. Similar JFK challenge events across the country faded away.

“Buzz was not that different than guys all over the country who organized JFK 50 events in the spring of 1963,” Spinnler said. “What made him different was that after Kennedy was assassinated, he kept holding the event to memorialize Kennedy. While all the other events disappeared, his continued on his back for 30 years. … I know for a fact that he lost money out of his own pocket to keep that race alive for decades. He just had such passion for it.”

Sawyer was a regular participant in the JFK 50 in his event’s early years. In 1970, at age 41, he finished fifth overall in a personal-best time of 8 hours and 53 minutes in a field of 274 runners and hikers.

But that was his last finish as the event’s director. The JFK was becoming so big that he had to devote all of his energy to managing it on race day.

By 1972, there were more than 1,000 participants. In 1973, the JFK had a starting field of 1,724 — the largest of any foot race in the U.S. that year and nearly 200 more than the Boston Marathon.

(02/06/2019) ⚡AMP
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British runner Tina Muir has announced she will race this year’s Boston Marathon, but as a fast amateur rather than an elite

Muir was a professional runner and Olympic hopeful who finished fifth at the 2016 London Marathon, and who recently published a book about her nine-year battle with amenorrhea. She has returned to the running world after taking two years off to recover her health and have a baby, winning the Walt Disney World Half-Marathon on January 13.

Muir’s time at Disney was six minutes off her personal best, and according to Women’s Running, she does not plan on racing with the elites at Boston. Nonetheless, Muir reports being “at peace” after all that she has been through over the past 10 years, struggling with amenorrhea and then leaving the sport to get healthy, culminating in the birth of her daughter one year ago.

“I understand that some people are driven by goals,” she told the magazine, “but for me at this point, I have too many other things going on in my life with my business, my baby, maintaining relationships with family and friends. I don’t have the mental or physical capacity to train at the level I want. I’d rather be out there enjoying it and still running hard, but not having that same pressure that I would as an elite.”

“I understand that some people are driven by goals,” she told the magazine, “but for me at this point, I have too many other things going on in my life with my business, my baby, maintaining relationships with family and friends. I don’t have the mental or physical capacity to train at the level I want. I’d rather be out there enjoying it and still running hard, but not having that same pressure that I would as an elite.”

(02/06/2019) ⚡AMP
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

The Boston Marathon is the world's oldest annual marathon and ranks as one of the world's best-known road racing events. The event attracts 500,000 spectators each year, making it New England's most widely viewed sporting event. Though starting with 18 participants in 1897, the event now attracts over 20,000 registered participants each year. You have to qualify to participate. Among...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Virgin London Marathon

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

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Olympian Meb Keflezighi will participate in Tallahassee Half Marathon this weekend

On its merit, the Tallahassee Marathon, Half Marathon and relay race are noteworthy events that attract competitors. 

This year, the 45th edition of the city's marquee long-distance meet elevates its status with the participation of Olympian Meb Keflezighi

The San Diego native will participate in the half marathon Sunday morning.

Keflezighi has traveled across the globe throughout his athletic career.

He competed in the 2004 Summer Olympics (silver medalists) and 2012 Summer Olympics. Keflezighi also raced in the New York City Marathon in 2004 (second place), 2005 (third place) and 2009 (first place). The famed runner ran the Boston Marathon twice. He took third in 2006 and first in 2014.

This weekend marks his first-ever trip to Tallahassee.

"I'm excited to partake in the Tallahassee half marathon and run through the city," Keflezighi said.

"People will be surprised to see me next to them. I will tell them stories about New York, Boston and the Olympic games. It's going to be fun. It's all about accomplishing your goals and I'm there to support them. The people here love the sport and I'm happy to be here and enjoy the journey with them."

(02/02/2019) ⚡AMP
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Defending champions will face a strong field at Lagos City Marathon

Almenesh Herpha and Abraham Kiprotich, the 2018 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon winners, will line up against formidable opposition when they defend their titles at the IAAF Bronze Label road race on Saturday.

Herpha pulled off a surprise victory 12 months ago, winning in 2:38:25 to finish just 33 seconds shy of the course record. But despite reducing her PB to 2:33:20 later in the year in Beirut, there will be 14 other women with faster PBs on the start line on Saturday.

With a lifetime best of 2:20:59 set when finishing runner-up at the 2017 Paris Marathon, Agnes Jeruto is the fastest woman in the field. The Kenyan contested just one marathon last year, clocking 2:27:46 to finish third at the Gold Coast Marathon and has reached the podium in her eight most recent marathons.

Georgina Rono finished just shy of the Lagos podium last year, running 2:39:44. A 2:21:39 performer at her best, the Kenyan ended 2018 on a high by winning the Riga Marathon in 2:28:22.

Caroline Kilel, the 2011 Boston Marathon champion, set her PB of 2:22:34 back in 2013. Although she hasn’t been close to that in recent years, her 2018 season’s best of 2:31:29 suggests the 37-year-old Kenyan will still be competitive on Saturday.

Janet Rono won the Daegu Marathon just 10 months ago in 2:28:01, less than two minutes shy of her PB. The Kenyan has contested 19 marathons to date, nine of which were completed within 2:30.

Emily Samoei’s PB of 2:26:52, set in 2012, remains her only sub-2:30 performance to date, but she will be motivated to improve on her fifth-place finish from last year’s Lagos Marathon.

Mestawot Tadese has represented Ethiopia in the 1500m at the Olympic Games and World Championships. Now a marathon runner, she has a lifetime best of 2:31:38 and could contest for a podium finish on Saturday.

In the men’s race, five of the top six finishers from last year return to Lagos, including defending champion Abraham Kiprotich of France.

Kiprotich has won three out of his past four marathons, ending 2018 with a season’s best of 2:10:55. The 33-year-old set his lifetime best of 2:08:33 when winning the 2013 Daegu Marathon. He may not need to replicate that time on Saturday, but he may need to improve upon his course record of 2:15:04 if he wants to hold on to his title.

Having finished a close second in 2017 and 2018, Ronny Kiboss will be highly motivated for Saturday’s race. The Kenyan’s 2:12:17 PB dates back to his marathon debut in 2014, but he is likely capable of a quicker time on a faster course.

Benjamin Bitok and Joseph Kyengo Munywoki, who finished third and fourth respectively in 2018, also return to the Nigerian capital. Bitok’s PB of 2:09:13 was set at the 2017 Rome Marathon, while Munywoki’s best of 2:10:21 came when winning in Dresden three years ago.

(02/01/2019) ⚡AMP
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Access Bank Lagos City Marathon

Access Bank Lagos City Marathon

“The IAAF and AIMS have a special interest in the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon so if you see their top officials at the third edition, don’t be surprised. Lagos is one of the few marathons in the world that got an IAAF Label after just two editions. This is a rare feat. The event had over 50,000 runners at...

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Nine former champions will be running the Boston Marathon this year

2019 Boston Marathon To Have 9 Former Champions In Elite Field. The Boston Athletic Association and sponsor John Hancock officially announced the entire team of elite runners Thursday for the 2019 race.

There will be 82 elite athletes competing, including Olympians, Paralympians, world champions and marathon majors winners from 15 countries.

The returning men’s champions will be:

2018: Yuki Kawauchi of Japan  2017: Geoffrey Kirui of Kenya  2016: Lemi Berhanu of Ethiopia  2015 and 2013: Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia  2012: Wesley Korir of Kenya

The returning women’s champions will be:

2018: Desiree Linden of the U.S.  2017: Edna Kiplagat of Kenya  2015: Caroline Rotich of Kenya  2012: Sharon Cherop of Kenya

Seven Boston Marathon wheelchair champions will also return for this year’s race, including defending champions Marcel Hug of Switzerland and Tatyana McFadden of the U.S.

(01/28/2019) ⚡AMP
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

The Boston Marathon is the world's oldest annual marathon and ranks as one of the world's best-known road racing events. The event attracts 500,000 spectators each year, making it New England's most widely viewed sporting event. Though starting with 18 participants in 1897, the event now attracts over 20,000 registered participants each year. You have to qualify to participate. Among...

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Eileen Rogers started the Buzz Marathon 19 years ago and is a prime example that one person with a good idea can make a big difference

The month of February is noted for hearts and flowers and candy, and in San Miguel, for Hornets.  The 19th annual Buzz Marathon will be held this year on February 16 on the beautiful course running through Camp Roberts.  Due to some construction the course has been redesigned. With help from Paul DiMatteo it has been recalibrated and recertified by USA Track and Field to maintain entrants’ eligibility for other races like the Boston Marathon.  

The Buzz Marathon began in 2000 as a way to raise funds for sports programs at Lillian Larsen School in San Miguel, California.  Eighth grade teacher and Athletic Director Eileen Rogers had personally funded an athletics program for some fifteen years.  In brainstorming ways to find an independent way to help the program become self-sustaining, the marathon seemed ideal. It started slowly but with much encouragement it grew. 

Since the Lillian Larsen Mascot is a Hornet, it was named the ‘Buzz Marathon’ and Eileen was dubbed the ‘Hornet Queen’, an appellation of which she is justly proud.  Year by year it became better and better until achieving its present status.

Although retired from teaching at San Miguel, Eileen keeps very busy, still greatly involved with sports. She firmly believes in exercising both mind and body.   

The course runs through San Miguel from the school to the Mission and back.  This success story certainly shows how one person with a good idea, determination and contagious enthusiasm can make a big difference!   

(01/25/2019) ⚡AMP
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Buzz Marathon #19

Buzz Marathon #19

Saturday, February 16, 2019 We will see the 19th anniversary of this great meditative run through the hills and meadows of historic Camp Roberts Army National Guard Reservation in north San Luis Obispo County along the fertile Salinas River Valley. Marathon and half marathon to begin at 8:00 AM, 6:30 for walkers; 8:30 for 10k and 5k; 8:45 for Children...

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Kenyan´s Geoffrey Kirui will race at Kagawa Marugame International Half Marathon as part of his preparation for this year's Boston Marathon

World marathon champion Kirui will be keen to test his speed in Marugame as he targets a return to the winner's podium in Boston, after giving best to Japan's Yuki Kawauchi last year.

"Each year presents a different challenge, and this season I want to work hard to reach the top and defend my title at the World Championships in Qatar," said Kirui.

"That campaign starts with the Kagawa Half Marathon and I believe it is an important step for me in preparation for the Boston Marathon."

Also competing in Kagawa is Napoli Half Marathon silver medalist Shadrack Kiplagat, along with fellow Kenyans Evans Cheruiyot and Edward Waweru, who won this race last year.

(01/19/2019) ⚡AMP
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Boston Marathon Race Director Dave McGillivray received The Sports Museum Lifetime Achievement Award, honored for his decades of service to the community

Boston Marathon Race Director Dave McGillivray received The Sports Museum Lifetime Achievement Award last night at the 80th Annual Boston Baseball Writers Dinner at the Intercontinental Hotel in Boston.

The award was introduced several years ago to honor a civic or business leader with a connection to baseball who has made contributions that have positively impacted the community. McGillivray joins other greats such as the late Mayor Thomas M. Menino, the inaugural winner in 2014, and Robert Lewis, Jr., Stacey Lucchino, Pete Frates, and Lisa Scherber of the Jimmy Fund.

“We set the bar very high here,” said Rusty Sullivan, the Executive Director of The Sports Museum. “The winner of this award needs to be a true champion of charity. He or she needs to have given back over the long-term. And he or she needs to have done so genuinely and selflessly. Dave McGillivray fits the bill in all of these respects. No one is more deserving.”

“I am humbled and honored,” said McGillivray. “As a lifelong fan, this might be the closest I’ll ever get to being a player on the Red Sox! But seriously, The Sports Museum and the baseball writers are very kind to do this and I’m so grateful for this award.”

Although McGillivray never achieved his childhood dream of playing second base for the Red Sox, his connection to Fenway Park runs deep. In 1978, he completed his historic cross-country run from Medford, Oregon to Medford, Mass., raising nearly $100,000 for the Jimmy Fund of Boston, by running into Fenway Park before a Red Sox-Mariners game and completing a lap around warning track while fans and players stood and cheered.

Last August , McGillivray celebrated the 40th anniversary of that event by again running into Fenway Park prior to the Red Sox-Indians game, where he was greeted at home plate by former Red Sox great Dwight Evans, a member of the 1978 team, and team owner Larry Lucchino.

(01/19/2019) ⚡AMP
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

The Boston Marathon is the world's oldest annual marathon and ranks as one of the world's best-known road racing events. The event attracts 500,000 spectators each year, making it New England's most widely viewed sporting event. Though starting with 18 participants in 1897, the event now attracts over 20,000 registered participants each year. You have to qualify to participate. Among...

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2016 World Half Marathon bronze medallist Mary Wacera will run the Houston half Marathon as preparation for her full marathon debut

The 2016 World Half Marathon bronze medallist Mary Wacera’s preparations for her full marathon debut begins this weekend when she battles at Houston Half Marathon in the United States of America.

Wacera will run her first 42km race at this year’s Boston Marathon on April 15 and intends to use this weekend’s event as part of her build up.

She is not a stranger to the Houston streets having competed and won there before, the most memorable being her 1 hour, 06 minutes and 50 second victory last year, which was the fastest time on US soil.

“I am excited but nervous but Boston is not new to me. I have run several BAA 10Ks,” Wacera said about her upcoming marathon debut.

The half marathon specialist made her debut in road running competitions six years ago and won her first half marathon at the Saint Denis in 1:07:54.

She ran three half marathons in 2013, finishing third in the Nice and Mardi Gras half marathons and fifth at the Luanda half marathon in Angola.

But it is her win at the 2014 World’s Best 10K that raised her confidence a notch higher because she beat top names at the time including the defending champion, Joyce Chepkurui.

Having ran about 18 half marathons so far and finishing in podium positions in most of them, Wacera feels she is ripe for the longer distance.

(01/19/2019) ⚡AMP
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Yuki Kawauchi will race on Canadian soil for the first time at this year’s BMO Vancouver Marathon

2018 Boston Marathon champion Yuki Kawauchi will race on Canadian soil for the first time at this year’s BMO Vancouver Marathon, to be held on Sunday, May 5, the race organization announced today. The marathon is less than three weeks after Boston, which Kawauchi has said he will also race again in 2019.

Kawauchi, who says he will become a full-time professional runner in 2019, was the first Japanese man to win the Boston Marathon since 1987. 23 elites dropped out in appalling weather conditions that featured driving rain and freezing winds.

Fans speculate Kawauchi may even contest the Vancouver course record of 2:18:37, set by Kenya’s Luka Chelimo in 2015. (Kawauchi’s personal best is 2:08:14.)

2018 winner Zheng Zhiling of China and second-place finisher Margarita Quintero of Mexico have said they will also be back this year. 2018 winner Rob Watson indicates he will “probably” return also.

A Japanese man has not won the Vancouver marathon since Atsunari Saito’s victory in 1999.

(01/17/2019) ⚡AMP
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BMO Vancouver Marathon

BMO Vancouver Marathon

The BMO Vancouver Marathon is one of Vancouver’s most iconic marathon events. The event features a full marathon, marathon relay, half marathon, 8k run, and streets lined with thousands of spectators. Runners can expect to experience a little bit of everything that Vancouver has to offer as they run a straight course that starts at Queen Elizabeth Park, and finishes...

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It’s time to fade into the sunset Tommy Leonard said nine months ago to a reporter. Tommy has passed away.

(The following article was published in the Falmouth Enterprise Newspaper nine months ago written by  Paige Leahy.  This gives us good insights to a very special man.  We are sad to report that Tommy has passed away.) 

On Monday, April 16, 2018 the Quarterdeck Restaurant on Main Street, Falmouth, opened earlier than usual to celebrate Marathon Monday and the 122nd running of the Boston Marathon.

Inside the Main Street restaurant sat Tommy Leonard, a founder of the Falmouth Road Race and a celebrity among Boston Marathon runners.

Mr. Leonard sat at the last seat of the bar, the one farthest away from the door. This seat is known to be his. He rested his hands on the glossy wood, looking forward to one of the televisions displaying marathon coverage.

He wore a blue, windbreaker-style jacket with three white stripes down each arm. This was a Boston Marathon jacket from one of the many marathons he ran, upward of 20 of them. On top of his head was a black, nylon baseball cap that read “BOSTON.”

As patrons approached Mr. Leonard, all offering a hello and a pat on the back, he returned each greeting with a larger than life smile and thanked them for coming to celebrate one of Boston’s most notable athletic traditions. At 84 years of age, his mind and spirit remain sharp.

Behind the bar and all around the space were pieces of marathon memorabilia, many of which belong to or are in honor of Mr. Leonard. Since coming to work at the Quarterdeck as a bartender in 1998, he has called this restaurant home.

Prior to bartending on the Cape, Mr. Leonard worked at the now-closed Eliot Lounge in Boston on the corner of Massachusetts and Commonwealth avenues. The Eliot Lounge was once considered the unofficial finish line for the Boston Marathon, mostly due to the fact that Mr. Leonard held a weeklong celebration there for the marathon every year. Runners from across the globe would come together for a free pint with their bib at a bash to honor running for a cause. Over the years, both the Eliot and Mr. Leonard became marathon staples.

“Running has been good to me,” Mr. Leonard said, beginning to speak on what the iconic Boston event means to him while picking at a piece of banana bread. “I love the marathon with a passion that would probably shatter the foundation of the Bourne Bridge. It is my favorite weekend of the year—in the city you can see the magnolias and dogwoods really pop.”

Mr. Leonard ran his first Boston Marathon in 1953 while serving in the Marines. He fell in love with the sport while attending Westfield High School and ran with that love for years and many marathons more.

Despite his many feats and honors in the running community, including a bridge dedicated in his name just before the Boston Marathon finish line, and his all-around goodheartedness, a characteristic attributed to him by many, Mr. Leonard continues to shy away from the spotlight. He said that he receives too much credit—most all would disagree.

“I’ve had more than my share of days of glory,” Mr. Leonard said while staring off at an invisible, distant point. “It’s time to fade into the sunset.”

(01/16/2019) ⚡AMP
by Paige Leahy
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Falmouth Road Race

Falmouth Road Race

The New Balance Falmouth Road Race was established in 1973 and has become one of the premier running events of the summer season. Each year the race draws an international field of Olympians, elite runners and recreational runners out to enjoy the scenic 7-mile seaside course. The non-profit Falmouth Road Race organization is dedicated to promoting health and fitness for...

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Gene Dykes has an insane racing schedule for this year from 5k to 218 milles

Gene Dykes, the 70-year-old from Philadelphia whose marathon world record attempt ended in disappointment when he realized the event he chose (the Jacksonville Marathon in Florida) was not USATF-sanctioned has posted his chosen races for 2019 on his Facebook page–all 34 of them. (His 2:54:23 on a certified course is the fastest ever run by someone 70 plus.)

Dykes is as prolific a racer as 2018 Boston Marathon champion Yuki Kawauchi. Here’s what he has lined up for this year: 34 races, consisting of five marathons (including Boston, Big Sur, New York and Philadelphia), 13 ultras (10 of them on the trails, and including no fewer than four 100-milers and a 24-hour track race), and 16 shorter races.

What does not appear on the schedule is another stab at the record he thought he’d bagged in Jacksonville. Though Dykes told us in December that he was planning another attempt at Ed Whitlock’s M70 record at either the Houston Marathon or the Louisiana Marathon (both are January 20), he has now said that’s off, partly because he’s recovering from a fall at the Wild Azalea 50-miler in Louisiana January 5. 

Gene wrote on his Strava account, "Trail was particularly treacherous this year.  Wet, roots covered in fallen leaves.  I went down hard more than a dozen times.  I banged up my knee pretty badly at the 30 mile mark but I was able to finish off the next 20 miles.

"I couldn't walk that evening or the next day.  Often wondered if I'd ever run again.  It's a week later now, and the swelling has mostly subsided."

He did post on Monday that he is feeling just fine now. He was able to run 8.5 miles January 15 at 7:49/mile pace.  His next race on his schedule is the Chilly Cheeks 11k trail race January 20.

(01/16/2019) ⚡AMP
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Apple cider vinegar Cayenne tea will give a boast to your running - Michael Anderson on Running FIle 1

This time of the year can be a challenge to not get hit with the flu.  For the last year I have been drinking a concoction that helps boost the immune system and fight the nasty. Since I have been drinking the tea my running has taken a huge boost, more energy and less fatigue and better recovery. I have more in the tank.

Apple cider vinegar adds Alkaline to the body A runners  workout will create acid in your body and by drinking the tea it helps to add alkaline to your body. High acid in your body leads to fatigue and muscle soreness. By adding alkaline that is in apple cider vinegar, it neutralizes it.

Add Cayenne pepper which will help the blood flow and will help the boost.  However, be careful with the Cayenne pepper.  Just a little bit goes a long way. 

Here is my recipe:

Honey Cayenne Apple Cider Vinegar Drink

1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar.

2 Tablespoons honey

1 dash cayenne pepper.

2 cups of warm/hot water.

Michael Anderson on Running

(Michael has been running all his life and has already run the Boston Marathon, Big Sur, San Francisco and Seattle and has his sights set on his first ultra.)

(01/12/2019) ⚡AMP
by Michael Anderson
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Past champions and sub 2:05 runners are set to headline the 2019 Boston Marathon

The men's elite field for the 2019 Boston Marathon includes so far the 2017 champion Geoffrey Kirui, 2013 and 2015 champion Lelisa Desisa, 2016 champion Lemi Berhanu and 2012 champion Wesley Korir. Past women's open champions hail from Kenya including 2017 winner Edna Kiplagat, 2015 champion Caroline Rotich and 2012 champion Sharon Cherop.

Kenya's Lawrence Cherono boasts the fastest personal best of the field with his 2:04:06 win to defend his title at the Amsterdam Marathon in October. Four Ethiopian men, Sisay Lemma, Lemi Berhanu, Solomon Deksisa and Lelisa Desisa, join him as the five with personal bests under 2:05. Sometimes when looking at start lists, personal bests can be deceiving if they were set more than two years ago but Cherono, Lemma, Berhanu and Deksisa have all run their fastest times in the past 12 months.

However, Lelisa Desisa is coming off a long-awaited win at the New York City Marathon. Desisa has won in Boston twice and finished second in 2016 so experience is on his side.

Kirui won the 2017 Boston Marathon in 2:09:37. For much of last year's race, it looked like a repeat was possible but Kirui faded hard in the cold and rainy conditions in 2018.  He had a massive lead after the Newton Hills but started slowing around mile 24. He ran his 25th mile in 6:31 and then jogged to the finish line with a 7:18 final mile but still held onto second place. Kirui would have been the first man to successfully defend his title since Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot's triple from 2006 to 2008. He most recently finished sixth at the 2018 Chicago Marathon in 2:06:45.

(01/10/2019) ⚡AMP
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

The Boston Marathon is the world's oldest annual marathon and ranks as one of the world's best-known road racing events. The event attracts 500,000 spectators each year, making it New England's most widely viewed sporting event. Though starting with 18 participants in 1897, the event now attracts over 20,000 registered participants each year. You have to qualify to participate. Among...

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Adrianne Haslet a Boston bombing amputee was struck by car

Adrianne Haslet, a professional dancer who lost her left leg in the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, was in serious condition in hospital after being struck by a car on Boston’s Commonwealth Avenue on Saturday. Haslet posted the information on Instagram, it was picked up by the Associated Press and retweeted by Haslet’s friend Shalane Flanagan, third-place finisher in last year’s New York City Marathon.

Hasket was in a crosswalk at the time. She says she was “thrown into the air and landed, crushing the left side of my body… I’m completely broken. More surgery to come.”

According to the AP report, the driver claimed he was turning and did not see Haslet because it was dark out and raining, and because she was wearing dark clothing. He was charged for failing to stop for a pedestrian in a crosswalk.

Haslet was in the crowd near the finish line in 2013 when she was injured in the second blast. She had shrapnel wounds in her right leg, and her left leg had to be amputated below the knee. A highly ranked competitive ballroom dancer, Haslet was able to recover and return to dancing with her prosthetic leg, and in 2015 she performed a dance at the Boston marathon finish line. 

(01/07/2019) ⚡AMP
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Courtney Ekstrom will run the Boston Marathon in honor of longtime friend Nicholas Capano

Courtney Ekstrom is not running 26 miles in April for self gain, she’s running to share the story of Nicholas Capano.

Thirty years ago, Capano was born at Tufts Medical Center with spina bifida, which led to Type II Arnold-Chiari Malformation, a type of malformation in which both the cerebellum and brain stem tissue extend into the hole at the skull base for passing of the spinal cord.

At the age of three he had a stroke and at the age of six he had a second stroke, said his mother, Patti Capano. He lives his day-to-day breathing via machine in a motorized wheelchair with a ventilator, a tracheostomy tube, a gastrostomy tube, and a shunt in his head because he was also born with a hole in his brain stem.

But, Capano never let his medical setbacks limit him in any way, said his mother. With the help of family and friends, he’s participated in 5ks, hiking trips, regularly attends boxing classes, and has worked as an office assistant at Bridgewell since 2014, after being hired by the late Kelly Martin.

“A year ago we were talking about this one gentleman who was a paraplegic and Nicky felt terrible,” said Patti Capano. “He was like, ‘imagine,’ and I went ‘Nick, you’re a paraplegic.’ He had no idea because, throughout his life, we didn’t label him, we only labeled his abilities and, while he was very aware of the definition (of paraplegic), he did not ever compare himself to that. I was so proud of him for being so self assured in his body.”

Ekstrom, 24, met ”Nicky” Capano in middle school, after she began dating his younger brother Jonathan, whom she is still with today. In the decade she has known the Capanos (Patti, Jonathan, his father Mario, and second brother AJ) she said she has seen all the ups and downs they have gone through regarding his health.

Inspired by his strength, she decided to run the Boston Marathon on April 15, in partnership with Tufts Medical Center.

“I wanted to show how he has gotten through so much and a lot of that has been with the help of Tufts,” she said. “I couldn’t have wanted to partner with a better organization, so I basically told them our story and said ‘Nicky is celebrating his 30th year and I want to run 26.2 miles in celebration of this awesome human being.'”

Patti Capano said her eldest son’s life was saved dozens of times at Tufts and many of the nurses who were there when he was born are still very much a part of their lives today. Ekstrom had a lot of other organizations vying for a marathon partnership with her, but it was her heart that led to her decision, said Capano’s mother.

“I feel honored,” said Nicky Capano. “I think it is a great opportunity.”

(01/07/2019) ⚡AMP
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2012 Boston Marathon Champion Wesley Korir is returning this year in hopes of winning the 122nd Annual Marathon

After spending five years in politics, the 2012 Boston marathon champion Wesley Korir is now fully concentrating on his athletics career with reclaiming the Boston title his major focus in 2019.

The 36-year-old served in the National Assembly as a Member of Parliament of Cherangany from 2013-2017 and had a quiet stint in the sport after politics took the better part of his time thus failing to replicate his earlier form.

Prior to joining politics, Korir had won back- to-back titles at the Los Angeles Marathon in 2009 and 2010 before finishing as the runners up at the 2011 Chicago Marathon and thereafter winning the Boston Marathon a year later.

Although he made it to Team Kenya in the 2016 Rio Olympics, Korir  failed to finish the race after the mix up in the drinks saw him develop  stomach upsets and subsequently dropped out at the 30km mark.

Apart from his young family, Korir dedicates much of his time managing his Transcend Running Academy.

The academy aims at unlocking the potentials of young talents in athletics, with youngsters between the ages of 14-16 the major target.

After his 2012 Boston win,  Korir has failed to make it to the podium in three years he returned, finishing fifth in 2013 and 2015 before settling for the fourth position in 2016.

Having competed at the Beirut Marathon last November, Korir is now aiming to make a comeback at the Boston this time round with the aim of reclaiming the victory.

Although the veteran athlete finished the Lebanon race seventh in a time of 2:14.17, he is upbeat of improving on the performance more so after shaking off a long term injury.

“I have been fighting with injuries since I left Parliament and so I was going to Beirut to test my recovery and I am happy that I am fully fit now. I am now looking forward to participating in a couple of races in 2019 with my main target being the Boston Marathon,” said Korir.

(01/02/2019) ⚡AMP
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72-year-old Liang Huguo might be the fastest Marathoner 70 plus in China clocking 3:57

Liang Huguo took up running at age 70. He’s run a sub-4-hour marathon. What’s this Chinese senior’s secret?

He never smoked or drank and did a lot of swimming. He took up cycle racing after retirement, and hiked to Everest base camp

Two years ago, the 72-year-old from Yunnan switched to running, and has since finished 23 marathons. He tells us about his simple diet and training.

He is following an old-school recipe for improving as a runner and leading a full life – a simple diet, no-frills training, travel, and stimulating company.

He has already run a sub-four-hour marathon, dominates in his age group in China, and is enjoying it all immensely.

“I don’t run to just finish. In every marathon I want to beat my PR. If I am far off my personal record I feel really disappointed with myself. I am like this with everything, I want to do everything the best I can,” he explains.

His current PR is three hours and 57 minutes. It qualified him for his age category for the Boston Marathon, and he is going to the United States to take part in it.

“Are you going to run Boston? I cannot speak English, it would be good if we can go together,” he says excitedly.

“We can share a room – you don’t smoke! Whenever I used to go to a race and share a room with Chinese runners, they smoked and they are really noisy. Now I always get a single room just for me. I did this in Berlin this year.”

Liang paid an arm and a leg for a running package tour to the Berlin Marathon, currently Chinese marathoners’ favorite overseas race, but it was worth it, he says.

It was here he set his personal best, and he was left impressed and encouraged by the number of people of his age running.

The official world marathon record in the 70-75 age group stands at two hours, 54 minutes and 48 seconds, set in 2004 by the legendary Ed Whitlock of Canada. Liang is in awe of both the man and the age-group records the late Whitlock set.

“My goal now is to run a 3:30 marathon,” he reveals.

But drawing comparisons between Liang and Whitlock would be unfair. Liang first donned his running shoes at the age of 70, while Whitlock had been an elite cross-country runner in his youth who applied that residual fitness base to train for marathons in his forties.

We will never know what Liang could have done with his talent had he been discovered and received proper coaching as a youngster.

I don’t eat much … I eat mainly vegetables, not much meat. 

“I don’t get injured,” he shrugs. “Once my hamstring felt a little tight after a marathon, and it bothered me for a while. Then it just went away.”

He may well be the fastest Chinese runner in his age category, but he says he does not think anyone keeps statistics for that in China. As he is clearly thrilled by the thought of possibly being a national record-holder.

Liang does not get hung up on dietary fads and eats sensibly. “I don’t eat much, but I eat whatever there is. I eat mainly vegetables, not much meat. Every day I drink half a litre of milk, half a litre of yogurt, one egg, one banana and one spoonful of honey,” he explains.

“I try to sleep as much as I can, but now my sleep quality is bad. After five hours I cannot sleep any more. I know this is not good for your health.”

Despite his gregariousness, Liang is a solitary runner. “I run about 80km [50 miles] a week, always on my own, unless I run with my apprentice – she is 47, and has just started running.”

Every weekend he takes a bus for an hour to travel across Kunming to do his long run – at least 20km (12 miles) on the newly laid running paths along Dianchi Lake.

The runners we come across there recognize and greet Liang warmly, including a running couple who happen to work for Yunnan Television.

“They interviewed me recently,” Liang says proudly. “Everyone knows me.”

(01/01/2019) ⚡AMP
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2018 Boston Marathon Winner Desiree Linden will run the Louisiana Half Marathon in January

The first American female to win the Boston Marathon in 30 years, Desiree Linden, will compete in The Louisiana Half Marathon on Sunday, January 20, 2019.

She will use the race as a tune-up as she prepares for the 2019 Boston Marathon, taking place on Monday, April 15, 2019. Runners and spectators can meet Linden during the Shipt Louisiana Marathon Expo on Friday, January 18, and during a Q&A session with Linden on Sunday, January 20, at The Louisiana Marathon Finish Fest.

The full marathon boasted the highest percentage of Boston Qualifiers for January races last year.  There are four distances including the half marathon. 

“We are thrilled to have Des Linden join us for the 2019 race weekend. As she prepares to defend her Boston title by running The Louisiana Half Marathon, she will experience our fast and flat course, winding through downtown Baton Rouge, historic neighborhoods and LSU’s campus,” said The Louisiana Marathon Strategic Partnerships Director Craig Sweeney.

The three-day running festival, culminating with the nationally-recognized Finish Fest, is a culturally rich event that celebrates both running and the unique culture that defines Louisiana. 

(12/30/2018) ⚡AMP
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My Love Affair with Central Park started 40 years ago tonight - Larry Allen on Running File 5

If you want a useful guide for running in Central Park this isn’t that. There is plenty of concise information available online and all of it will do a far better job telling you exactly how to go for a run in New York City’s favorite 840 acre backyard.

If you want to know about beginning a long term relationship with New York City and running in Central Park, this is my story.

My first run in the park was on December 29, 1978. I was in college on the GI Bill and had taken my slightly unreliable but fun-to-drive MGB from Maine to Florida over Christmas break.

I didn’t want to think about the trip back north. Hitchhiking was still an option in those days if my car gave out but it surely was not what I wanted.

I was already a veteran of two marathons and was ramping up my mileage for the Boston Marathon the following April. I had a glorious couple of weeks of running in the technicolor light and warmth of south Florida and while there even managed to meet Frank Shorter.

I ran twice a day including a couple of two hour runs, went to empty beaches to bask in sunny 60 degree days while bundled up locals looked on, amused and mystified.

All in all it was a great time, went quickly and too soon I was starting the long drive back to Maine.

A couple of uneventful days on the road brought me back to the NJ turnpike two days before New Year Eve. In the fading light of a cold, clear winter afternoon I pulled into a service plaza for gas.

My plan was to continue driving on through the night for the last 500 plus miles vs. spending money I didn’t have for a roadside motel room. A “you are here” map in the foyer of the restroom surprised me with my close proximity to NYC.

The next thing I remember is rummaging through the stuff in my car for an address book with the phone number of a longtime summer friend from Maine who spent the balance of his life on upper west side of New York.

I searched between the seats for change to make a call on a pay phone and was fortunate that my friend even answered. He graciously said I could crash for the night.

I’d never even been into NYC proper and the prospects for the evening were exciting if not a little intimidating.

I finally made it safely down from the high bridge over the Hudson River into the city and found a place to park near Grant’s Tomb on Riverside Drive, a few blocks west of my friend’s apartment not far from Columbia University.

I made the wise choice to schlep all of my stuff to the apartment for fear that the patched convertible top and dodgy locks of my car wouldn’t deter anyone in 1970s NYC, from breaking in looking for anything of value.

I said a quick hello and thank you to my friend on arrival but needed a run before I could eat or do anything else. He understood and gave me directions to Central Park and showed me how to buzz myself back into his high rise building.

Running down Broadway entailed dodging and weaving along hopelessly crowded evening sidewalks, scents from all manner of ethnic food wafting as I made my way through the 20 red lights, one per block, for a mile.

Eventually a left turn, to the east for a few more blocks to enter the park around 100th St at Central Park West.

The park was dark and cold, full of energy but it oddly felt peaceful too. The air was filled with different smells; diesel bus fumes, horse manure, musty fallen leaves, street pretzels, roasted nuts and yes, adrenaline, some of it mine.

Traffic hadn’t been banned from the park drives in the evening yet so it was full of yellow cabs and giant 70s era sedans moving slowly in heavy evening traffic.

I looked around for a landmark, something to remember so I could find my way back out of the park onto the same street in hopes of finding my way back to my friend’s place through what felt like barely contained chaos on the city streets.

I took note of a broken, graffiti covered park bench in this far less than gentrified version of the city. It seemed memorable enough and I guess it was.

Inside the park there was a lane for running. Parallel were two traffic lanes around what I’d been told was a six mile loop circling the park just inside the perimeter.

In spite of the hummock and pot-hole filled streets, particularly in the nearly bankrupt version of the city at the time, I recall the park drives being remarkably smooth pavement.

I turned right, running downtown on the west side.  The rolling hills also seemed more downhill than up too, something I confirmed in years and miles to come.

At first it was a gentle contained pace, working out the stiffness in my legs and back after a day long drive from North Carolina on a bad suspension and the hard seats in my car.

The grade of the rolling hills and gently winding turns in the park seemed worn-in to the landscape. It felt perfect for running, almost carved into the city like the equivalent of glacial wear but from the mass of some number of the eight million city residents using the park day after day.

Making my way down the west side for a mile offered peeks through the leafless trees and scenic overlooks of the lights and architecture of pre war apartment buildings forming what appeared to be a tall, impenetrable wall along the avenue fronting the park.

Periodically there were glimpses further downtown to the iconic skyscrapers in midtown. The Empire State Building and Chrysler Building most familiar amongst a forest of others that seemed just as big if not as well known.

I simply didn’t want to stop running, the pull was almost magnetic, my tempo gradually increasing around the next corner or over the next hill, all just to see what was ahead.

It was all a bit like a party that you didn’t want to leave for fear of missing something good that might happen.

Just before reaching a first opportunity to choose between veering left from the main park drive or continuing straight toward the high rises of midtown; I went by what, in a few years, would be renamed Strawberry Fields.  It was in honor of John Lennon; murdered not far away at the entrance to his building, the Dakota, which overlooks the park here.

The park is a perfect rectangle, slightly off of an exact north to south axis extending from 110th St to 59th St., 2.5 miles on each side and slightly over .75 mile between 5th Avenue on the east side and Central Park West on the other.

Years later I learned that the cutoff (or shortcut) I had seen and gone by at 72nd St and another I hadn’t reached yet at 102nd St made for a seemingly endless variety of options for creating and running multiples of loops of 2, 4, 5 miles and of course the full 6 mile circuit.

The New York Road Runners used the counterclockwise 6+ miles of the full park four times plus the slightly less than two mile loop from the bottom of the park to 72nd St for the 26 miles 385 yards for the 55 finishers of first New York Marathon in 1970.

The marathon still uses the park, but only about half of it for part of the final three miles of the race.

I read somewhere that 20,000 people run in Central Park on an average day. There are days and seasons during the year when that number seems high but other days and times during the year when it is certainly low. I guess that’s what they mean by average.

There are over 30 races in Central Park every year. Most hosted by the New York Road Runners Club and a few by other organizations.

Nearly all have thousands of participants, racing distances ranging from a 1 mile kids race to a 60k ultra marathon. Some with top invited international and American stars, some simply very large competitive local races. Every one a variation in the options for running loops in the park.

I continued running through the park, next past a big open meadow on the left, learning later that it was the 15 acre Sheep’s Meadow.

It has been a historic spot for protests over the past 100 years, up to 30,000 sunbathers on a nice day and 150,000 for a Barbra Streisand concert in the 1960s and yes sheep, from the 1860s until the 1930s.

Adjacent to the finish line of the marathon at Tavern on the Green the meadow also was a post race staging area for a few years.

22 months after my first run in the park I was back here, finishing my first marathon in New York. My last run up the hill to that familiar finish line was 32 years later.

The buildings along the southern edge of the park loom up just a few hundred yards away from the marathon finish. Columbus Circle marks one of the four corners of the park here and is a block from where I lived for 10 years when I finally moved to the city.

Almost every day was a 15 minute walk home from work at MoMA for me, dogs out for a walk and then into the park for an evening run. Sometimes clockwise, up the westside, the opposite direction of my first run.

Often I ran the same counterclockwise direction I was running that night. Across the bottom of the park to the east side, the legendary Plaza Hotel, the Central Park Zoo and the Wollman Skating rink anchoring the corner on that side.

I saw the familiar sign for the Essex House hotel along the way on my first run in the park that night and invariably still take a glance up at it on every run 40 years later.

Turning back north on the east side of the park led me up a gentle hill through dramatic exposed rock outcroppings of Manhattan’s bedrock schist. Apparently something which allowed New York to more easily build foundations for it’s famous skyscrapers over the last century.

I ran past playgrounds, the 100 year old children’s carousel and about a mile beyond Columbus Circle, to the other end of the 72nd St cutoff.

In years ahead it became a familiar corner. Nearby is the start and finish for the New Years Eve 4 mile race in the park, starting at the stroke of midnight with fireworks. 

The corner is also near the start of one of the bigger hills in the park, this one known among local runners as “cat hill”. Midway up the 1/4 mile climb is a sculpture of a life sized and menacing mountain lion, seemingly ready to pounce from a natural stone overhang directly over the runner’s lane.

It was too dark to see the cat that night but is familiar enough now. Cat hill is a popular place for training for some of the dozens of running clubs that meet up and use the park for weekly group training sessions.

A couple of minutes more led me past what I didn’t know at the time was the back of the massive Metropolitan Museum of Art. Around it and closer to 5th Avenue for another half mile brought me near a building I did recognize, Frank Lloyd Wright’s landmark cylindrical Guggenheim Museum.

The nearby entrance to the park would become familiar later as the place where the marathon enters the park for the last 2.5 miles of the race headed back in the direction from which I’d just come.

The summer after my first NY marathon and having entering my 2nd, there was a fundraising appeal in my race confirmation. The NYRR was trying to raise money to purchase a six story Beaux Arts townhouse just opposite the Guggenheim for one million dollars.

They were successful and for 36 years it served as headquarters, clubhouse and place to pick up bibs for their many races. It was listed for sale this past year for 25 million dollars as they apparently need something fancier and/or bigger.

Nearby is a statue of the late, charismatic leader of the NYRR, Fred Lebow. His vision arguably responsible for the explosive growth of urban marathons around the world for decades. His likeness stands looking at a stopwatch, appearing to be silently calling out time splits to runners just inside the park.

The entrance of the 1.5 mile long reservoir running path is there too, named for Jacquelin Kennedy Onassis, a nearby resident for decades, she was known to jog on the scenic cinder path and reportedly was even seen wearing long white formal evening dress gloves on cool days.

At the reservoir it felt like I had run between 5-6 miles, I knew it was six around the park but then maybe 10 minutes more to and from my friends place.

I was moving along briskly, feeling good but thinking I should get back but had reached the point where it made more sense to continue on vs. turning back. Maybe three miles to go.

Just 1/4 mile past the flat straight section along the reservoir the drive started down a hill and turned toward the center of the park from the perimeter. I felt a change. There were fewer street lights, less traffic and not as many people around. It all seemed a bit more ominous.

A half mile further brought me to the 2nd cutoff between the east side and the west. This one at 102nd St. It was very dark, narrow and almost foreboding.

In 1989 this section of the park, down the hill from the reservoir to the 102nd St cutoff became notorious as the site of a series of “wilding” gang assaults on a number of runners and pedestrians over one hour on a frightening night that April. It culminated in the vicious assault and rape of the “Central Park jogger” on the cutoff road I was passing.

Even 11 years prior to that night it felt dangerous. Today most runners and running clubs practice a buddy system when running at night in the park as a result of what happened in 1989.

There is a prominent police presence in this area and thankfully crime in the city and the park has declined precipitously too.

In all of my thousands of miles in the park over the years, many at night, I’ve never personally experienced a threat or even witnessed one and I’m grateful for that.

The almost kaleidoscopic park quickly changes again at the far north end. The park drive quickly snakes through a steep S shaped descent with high bluffs overhead on one side and an open high view of Harlem on the other; the Meer waters and the Conservatory Gardens in the foreground.

The far north end of the park remains the most natural with unspoiled ravines, dramatic rock faces, waterfalls and streams all tucked away.

On runs here I’ve seen families of raccoons crossing the road at night and hawks swoop down for unsuspecting squirrels during the day but nothing of the sort on this particular night.

Midway down the hill brought me past a large skating rink outfitted for youth hockey. I learned later that it does double duty as a community pool in the summer.

Now at the north edge of the park I could see into Harlem. I made the turn, running to the west. Just outside the park were dilapidated tire changing shops, gas stations, boarded up windows, burned out cars and a trash can with a makeshift bonfire offering warmth to a few men huddled around.

Continuing on, anticipating a turn to the south to complete my circuit of the park it quickly became evident that I was going to climb a good hill.

Runners in NY refer to this climb with some dread as THE Harlem Hill, it climbs about 150 ft in half a mile and then just as quickly drops down again. I wasn’t far beyond where it leveled out again and suddenly on my right, there it was!  

The familiar broken, graffiti covered bench that I’d decided to use as part of my trail of bread crumbs when I entered the park.

Not much had changed on the surface. Traffic had lessened somewhat as the evening rush was concluding. The smells were the same but had become permanently imprinted in my brain vs. something new to experience.

I slowed my pace for the few blocks back toward Broadway and a final right turn north for the last mile up toward Columbia.

After less than an hour on foot I felt like I understood New York to some extent....and I liked it. The prospects for the evening seemed exciting enough when I decided to spend the night but I had no idea.

Even before I finished the run one big thing had changed. I knew or at least hoped that I’d spend part of my life in the city. 

My wife, step daughter and I have been fortunate to have lived the last 21 years of our life together in New York and adjacent to Central Park, 10 years on one corner of the park and the last 11 years a few blocks from the far opposite corner. In part, all due to one unforgettable run around Central Park on a cold December night 40 years ago tonight.

(Larry Allen on Running is an exclusive My Best Runs Running News Daily feature.  Additionally Larry is doing the Run The World Challenge for the third time.) 

(12/28/2018) ⚡AMP
by Larry Allen
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Rick Besson was born blind and says his dream is to run the Boston Marathon

“When I met Rick Besson, he told me, ‘My dream is to run the Boston Marathon.’

I said, ‘Let me help your dream come true,’” said Dawn Oates founder of The Play Brigade.

Soon after, in October, Besson completed The Play Brigade’s 5k benefit race, and now he is training for the marathon with the help of the Marathon Coalition.

He trains on a strictly regimented schedule with the help of volunteer guides who direct him on his runs. He is attached to a tether with a guide beside him to help navigate crosswalks and potholes.

As he gradually increases the pace and length of his runs, the training program will bring him closer and closer to a marathon level of fitness.

That milestone will represent the culmination of a long personal journey for Besson, who struggled with obesity for much of his life.

Overweight as a teenager, he continued to gain weight after moving to Boston in 1985. Hampered by depression and lacking purpose or motivation, he watched his weight rise to as high as 500 pounds before the recognition of health risks drove him to change his lifestyle and switch to a plant-based diet.

Now, he’s down to 180 pounds and determined to fulfill a dream that once appeared out of reach. The remarkable physical transformation coincided with a mental one, he said.

“The difference is now I have a discipline. If I say I can do something, I have a strategy already. Because if you don’t try, you don’t know if you can,” he said.

(12/26/2018) ⚡AMP
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Timothy Ritchie will run the Boston Marathon for the second time and hopes to finish strong this year

Tim Ritchie pulled out a baseball analogy when describing his success in past marathons. "I'm 2-3," Ritchie said on Friday. "I've had two good ones and three bad ones. I'd like to even the score and bat .500 Monday."

Ritchie, 30, of New Haven will run the Boston Marathon for the second time. His last time in Boston was one of the bad ones — it was his first marathon, he went out too hard and struggled in the last 10K.

But his last marathon was one of the good ones — in fact, it was the best. Ritchie won the U.S. 2017 national championship at the California International Marathon Dec. 3 in Sacramento in 2:11:56, a personal best by close to three minutes. Only Olympian Galen Rupp, who won the Chicago Marathon in 2:09, ran a faster time by an American in 2017.

Ritchie, who grew up in Worcester, went to Boston College, where he starred on the track and cross country teams. He was an assistant at BC for the track and cross country teams until the fall of 2016, when he left the job and moved to New Haven with his fiancee and started to concentrate on his running.

In Boston in 2013, he finished in 2:21. At the Olympic Trials in 2016, he finished in 2:22 and ran a similar time at New York City later that year.

"I would be good for 20 miles then collapse over the last 10K," he said. "You've got to learn from your mistakes — or even if there weren't mistakes, you always have to try to improve, in the training and the fueling.

"For CIM, the training was really consistent. Higher volume workouts were the key. We didn't really have these major long runs but we had a lot of kind of long runs at a good pace. Like 16-18 miles, maybe twice a week."

(12/20/2018) ⚡AMP
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Sara Hall will join women´s Elite 2019 Boston Marathon Field

Sara Hall and reported yesterday Jordan Hasay will join defending champions Desiree Linden and Tatyana McFadden on the starting line of the 123rd Boston Marathon on Monday, April 15, part of the event's elite women American field.

John Hancock, the financial services company which manages and bankrolls the race's top athletes on behalf of the Boston Athletic Association, reported earlier today that Hasay and Hall would be part of a 29-athlete elite American field.

"American distance running has never been stronger, and we're honored to support this talented U.S. elite team to showcase their dedication and passion for being the best of class," said John Hancock chief marketing officer Barbara Goose.

"With defending champions Des Linden and Tatyana McFadden leading the way, all runners are sure to persevere in the world's most historic race. We'll be cheering for everyone on Patriots' Day."

Hasay, 27, whose 2:23:00 marathon debut in Boston in 2017 remains the fastest-ever by an American woman, also signed up for the 2018 edition of the race but was unable to start due to a stress reaction in her heel.

She had backed up her Boston performance with a 2:20:57 in Chicago in October, 2017, but has not run a marathon since. Hasay was the 2017 USA 15-K and 20-K road running champion.

Hall, 35, was the 2017 USA marathon champion and is the only American athlete in history with national road racing titles from the mile to the marathon. She ran a personal best 2:26:20 at the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon last May, but dropped out of the Mainova Frankfurt Marathon last October after running 25 kilometers with a "tweaked" peroneal, according to her official Twitter account.

(12/19/2018) ⚡AMP
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Jordan Hasay is working toward 2020 Olympics after latest injury setback

Even through two significant foot injuries in 2018, Jordan Hasay remains optimistic about her long-term running career and is focused on having a successful year leading up to the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials.

Hasay captured the attention of the running world when she finished third at the Boston Marathon in April 2017.  Jordan shattered the record for an American woman in her marathon debut by nearly three minutes.

Six months later, Hasay cemented her status among the world’s elite marathon runners with a third-place finish at the Chicago Marathon. She clocked 2:20:57, the second-fastest marathon time ever recorded by an American woman.

Hasay, an 18-time All-American at the University of Oregon, had her sights set on breaking Deena Kastor’s American record this year when she suffered two separate fractures to the bone in her left heel.

In April, Hasay withdrew from the Boston Marathon the day before the race after an MRI revealed the significance of the initial injury.

Hasay said she was encouraged the first injury healed so well, and she expects to make a full recovery from the most recent setback.

She’s thankful to be able to return the Central Coast and spend time with family while she rests and recovers.  Sacrificing eight weeks of running is a concession Hasay is ready to make for what she hopes will be a long career ahead.

“You’ve got to find things that can make you smile each day when you’re out injured like that, because you’re not out there doing what you love the most,” Hasay said.

“I see it as sort of the beginning of my marathon career, and hopefully we’ll figure it out so I don’t have these sort of injuries again.”

(12/18/2018) ⚡AMP
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Sarah Sellers has confirmed she will be running the 2019 Boston Marathon

In April, Sarah Sellers started the Boston Marathon with the elite female runners — it was just her second career marathon — and posted a surprising second-place finish.

At the 2019 race, she will return as part of the John Hancock US Elite Team. Sellers’s appearance was announced Tuesday along with the rest of the top American runners John Hancock, the race’s primary sponsor, will bring to Boston as part of its elite runner program.

Sellers will join Desiree Linden, whose intention to return to defend her victory was previously announced, and 2017 third-place finisher Jordan Hasay as the top American women in the field for the 2019 Boston Marathon on April 15. Sarah Hall, the 2017 US National Marathon champion, is also part of the team.

Flash Back: Sellers crossed the finish line in second place at the prestigious 26.2-mile race in rain-soaked conditions as a virtual unknown. Few online road-race results existed for Sellers, and she was not listed among the elite field. In the wet and windy conditions, Sellers wore a nondescript outfit, with no visible sponsors, and simply clicked the timer on her watch after crossing the finish line.

Her time of 2 hours 44 minutes 4 seconds left her in second place, and she was among seven American women in the top 10. Desiree Linden was the first American woman to win the race since 1985, a historic finish in a race full of surprises.

(12/18/2018) ⚡AMP
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New pace group times for the 2019 Yuengling Shamrock Marathon to help runners qualify for Boston

The Yuengling Shamrock Marathon, known for its fast and flat course, scenic views, and enthusiastic finish line, has always been a runner’s top choice to qualify for the Boston Marathon.

In an effort to aid participants who aim to qualify for the 2020 Boston Marathon, J&A Racing today announced new pace group times for the 2019 Yuengling Shamrock Marathon.

The move comes following this year’s change in Boston qualifying standards for 2020 and beyond. For many years runners have chosen the Yuengling Shamrock Marathon as their Boston qualifier course of choice.

The 2019 Yuengling Shamrock Marathon pace groups will feature times from 3:00 to 4:50 to align with the new Boston Marathon qualifying times, which are faster than in years past.

“The Yuengling Shamrock Marathon is a great race to run if you’re hoping to toe the line at the Boston Marathon,” said Jerry Frostick, co-owner of J&A Racing.

“Our goal is to make sure our races offer the best possible experience for participants of all abilities, and these updates to our pace teams will help our faster runners achieve their goals.”

(12/13/2018) ⚡AMP
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Yuki Kawauchi and Desiree Linden will return to defend their titles at the Boston Marathon

Yuki Kawauchi and Desiree Linden battled through dismal conditions last year, running in freezing rain and driving winds to claim their dramatic victories.

Known for his high-volume, high quality racing, Kawauchi has won over 30 marathons, holds the Japanese 50K national best time and has competed on three IAAF World Championships Marathon teams. But it was his victory in Boston that was his biggest to date. 

”My victory in Boston was a moment in my marathon life that I will never forget,” Kawauchi said.

“I look forward to meeting all my fellow runners in Boston and running together with them.” Linden, a two-time U.S. Olympian, captured headlines across the US with her victory, the first by an American woman in 33 years in the race.

“In 2007, I ran my first Boston Marathon; I absolutely fell in love with the event, the course, the city, all of it,” Linden said.

“I thought I had every experience imaginable racing in Boston, but in 2019 I’m thrilled and proud to have another first as I’ll start the race as the defending Boston Marathon champion.”

(12/10/2018) ⚡AMP
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Ming Chen ran the 1989 Boston Marathon for fun, now is ready to run her 65th marathon

Chen started running in 1989 as a first-year student at Harvard, when two of her college girlfriends, who were planning to run the Boston Marathon, casually asked if she would like to join them. “I had no idea what training for and running a marathon was like. I thought, What’s the big deal? and said yes,” Chen recalls. “We trained for six months, running along the Charles River while chatting. It was fun. For me it was a way to hang out with my friends,” says the 47-year old, who grew up in New Jersey, played tennis in school, and hated track and field sports. Chen says she loves the training process. It gives her life structure and focus. “The crowd support and the energy from the runners is amazing in a race. There is something wonderful about running with thousands of people, of varying ages, ethnicities and athletic abilities, all focused on finishing. Chen is not obsessed with her times and likes to run at a pace that she feels comfortable with. She could probably improve her race times with more intense training, but wants running to be fun and not feel like boot camp. “I think of marathons more as long runs rather than races. For me the process of training is as much fun as the race, if not more. And keeping it fun has sustained my interest in running,” says Chen, who is also an ambassador for Sweaty Betty, a yoga and running gear brand. She credits weekly Pilates practice and yoga three times a week with keeping her mostly injury-free. “Aside from the benefits of strength and flexibility, yoga has helped me focus on my breathing, which relaxes me while running.” Chen is certainly on her way to her goal of running 88 marathons; she is getting ready to run her 65th, the China Coast in Hong Kong, in January. (12/05/2018) ⚡AMP
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New ownership has been announced for the Carlsbad 5000 being held April 7th

San Diego-based Groundwork Endurance, LLC announced this week that it has acquired the iconic Carlsbad 5000 road race from IRONMAN, a Wanda Sports Holdings company. Under the leadership of local runners, including U.S Olympian Meb Keflezighi, Groundwork Endurance will welcome participants from around the world to Carlsbad, California April 6- 7, 2019 for the 34th annual Carlsbad 5000.

“I am delighted to join the local ownership team in building upon the legacy of the Carlsbad 5000. There is no better place than the San Diego coast to celebrate the sport that has meant so much to me,” said Meb, the only runner in history to win the NYC Marathon, Boston Marathon and an Olympic Marathon medal.

“I raced the Carlsbad 5000 twice during my professional career and both experiences were unforgettable. Having the opportunity to now help shape the direction of this amazing event for future generations is truly an honor. My wife and I are excited to watch as our three daughters run in their first Junior Carlsbad and we can’t wait to get more kids throughout the area to join in on the fun.” Known as the “World’s Fastest 5k”, the annual road race attracts amateur, competitive, and professional runners from around the world.

Since the inaugural edition in 1986, the Carlsbad 5000 has seen 16 World records and eight U.S. records, as well as numerous national and age group marks. The event is the home of the current female and male World 5K road records: 14:46, Meseret Defar (ETH), 2006 and 13:00, Sammy Kipketer (KEN), 2000.

“First and foremost, we want to thank the incredible running community that has made this race so special for more than 30 years,” said Ashley Gibson, the founder of Groundwork Endurance who spearheaded the effort to return race ownership to its local roots.

“The Carlsbad 5000 is not only a showcase of world- class talent but a celebration of family, friends, and community. Our team has a great appreciation for the unrivaled history of this race and we are committed to producing a fantastic event in 2019. April can’t get here soon enough!” Race weekend promises a fast oceanfront course, healthy competition, and energetic atmosphere for participants of all ages and paces. The event features multiple age-group races throughout the morning leading up to the legendary pro women's and men's races.

The popular Junior Carlsbad, which celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2019, also features multiple races designed for children ages 12 and under. Kids distances range from a one-miler to the always entertaining 50-yard Toddler Trot and 25-yard Diaper Dash.

“The Carlsbad 5000 is truly one of the world’s great events and holds a special place in the hearts of the runners and longtime event staff alike,” said Dan Cruz, the race’s longtime Head of Communications.

“Few events can match the Carlsbad 5000’s tradition, spectator friendly course, electric race day atmosphere and I couldn’t be more pleased to continue working with the new ownership team.”

My Best Runs Director Bob Anderson has run the Carlsbad 5000 for 25 consecutive years.  

(12/04/2018) ⚡AMP
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Boston Marathon Director Dave McGillivray first run since his heart surgery

I “snuck” out the door this afternoon (Saturday) with a lot of nervousness and trepidation.  It was such a nice day and I was feeling anxious so I laced on the running shoes for the first time since October 11th.   I wasn’t really sure what I was going to do or where I was going...I just went.  I walked for about 2/10 of a mile and then started running (maybe shuffling).  Legs good.  Chest a little sore and sensitive but good.  Breathing a little labored but not too bad.   I ran for about a half mile and then I walked again for about 2/10 of a mile.  Then I ran again for about 1-mile and walk for 1/10 and then ran again.  In total, I “ran” about 3-miles and walked 6/10 of a mile.  I didn’t set any speed records but it was just good to “get back out on the road”.  I took it nice and slow.  While out there, my friend Steve Cooper from Ch. 7 Boston happened to be driving by and saw me running and pulled over to say hi and take a picture.  Great guy.  After a brief chat, I went on my way with another friend who was out for a run and coincidentally had quadruple bypass surgery 8 years ago!  All and all, I’m please with my “first day back running on the road” since my surgery 7 weeks ago.  I wonder if I will be sore tomorrow? (Dave McGillivray posted this on Facebook) (12/02/2018) ⚡AMP
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Yuma Hattori wins the Fukuoka Marathon the first Japanese runner to win in 14 years

25-year-old Yuma Hattori from Japan PR for the marathon before today was 2:09:46.  On the other hand the favorite,Yemane Tsegay from Ethiopia had run much faster.  But it was Yuma’s race today has he won by over a minute clocking 2:07:27 at the 72nd annual Fukuoka Marathon held today Dec 2 in Japan.  Yemane finished second clocking 2:08:54. Yuma is the fifth Japanese runner to break 2:08 this year.  2018 Boston Marathon winner Yuki Kawauchi finished tenth clocking 2:12:03 adding another sub 2:20 performance to his list of many.  Breaking away from Yemane Tsegay and Amanuel Mesel at 36 kilometers, Yuma Hattori cruised to victory. “It is close to the time I had hoped for,” said Hattori, whose performance elevated him to eighth on the Japanese all-time list. Mesel finished third with 2:09:45. The race progressed on an even pace with 15:00 five-kilometer segments through 25 kilometers.  The first casualty of the relatively fast even pace, considering the unseasonably warm weather was Vincent Kipruto, former World Championships silver medallist who fell behind before 5km. Yuki Kawauchi began to drift back after 11km and Kentaro Nakamoto after 15km and Ghebreslassie at 17. Both Kipruto and Ghebrselassie dropped out before reaching the midway point. Bedan Karoki finished his pacing duties at 25km; the two remaining pacesetters forged on but the tempo slowed to 15:36 over the next five kilometers, by far the slowest of the day. The leading pack of nine was reduced to three by 35 kilometers, with Hattori, Mesel and Tsegay reaching the mark in 1:46:12. But at the water station one kilometer later, Hattori broke away. “I did not feel like I made a move,” Hattori said. “It was more like my competitions dropped off, so I decided to go.”                   (12/01/2018) ⚡AMP
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Gary Allen, founder of the Mount Desert Island Marathon and the Millinocket Marathon named race director of the year

Whether he’s designing race courses or participating on them, running has taken Gary Allen all over the country. This month, the Great Cranberry Island resident has had to make travel arrangements for a different reason. Allen was named the MarathonFoto Road Race Management Race Director of the Year on Thursday and inducted into the Maine Running Hall of Fame on Sunday. The two ceremonies took the founder of Crow Athletics and the Mount Desert Island Marathon from one end of the Eastern Seaboard to the other in just a matter of days. “It was definitely a tremendous honor to receive both awards, and it was even more humbling to be at both ceremonies in the same week,” Allen said. “Going from place to place for those few days was definitely a very busy time — I almost missed by connecting flight [back to Maine] — but it was worth it because it was a fun and special week.” Early last week, Allen made the trip to St. Petersburg, Fla., where he was named Road Race Management Race Director of the Year. In a press release prior to the ceremony, Road Race Management President Phil Stewart cited Allen’s work directing the MDI Marathon, which has received national attention from both Runner’s World and New England Runner for its scenery, design and atmosphere. The award, four-time Boston Marathon winner and 1976 United States Olympic team representative Bill Rodgers once said, is essentially “the gold medal of race directing.” Allen was nominated by friend O.J. Logue. He had no idea he was being considered, but the committee of directors, athletes, media members and others in the running community deemed him worthy. “The running community and the state of Maine have greatly benefited from [Gary’s] tireless energy and vision put forth into action,” Stewart said. “Gary has the extraordinary ability to create a concept and act upon it in a meaningful way. … His accomplishments and energy are legendary in Maine.” Three days later, Allen was named to the Maine Running Hall of Fame at Governor’s Hill Mansion in Augusta. The MDI Marathon itself was also included among the 10 inductees. In addition to his work with the MDI Marathon, Allen has received notoriety in recent years for his creation of the Millinocket Marathon. He created the race as a way to boost the Katahdin region’s local economy.  Gary is also going to be sharing his insights and knowledge  in his regular writings for My Best Runs in Running News Daily under the Marathon Man banner.   (11/30/2018) ⚡AMP
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Yemane Tsegay of Ethiopia returns to regain the title he won in 2016 at the 72nd Fukuoka Marathon

Two years ago, Tsegay stopped Patrick Makau from winning a third straight title at this race. Last year he finished a distant 26th in 2:18:05, slowed by a sudden back problem that hit him after five kilometres. In May he won the Ottawa Marathon with 2:08:52, has a personal best of 2:04:48 set in Rotterdam in 2012 and took silver at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing. He trains with this year’s Chicago Marathon runner-up Mosinet Geremew and Shanghai winner Seifu Tura, boding well. The man who beat Tsegay in Beijing, Ghirmay Ghebreslassie, is also in the race. Ghebreslassie was fourth at the 2016 Olympic Games and won the New York City Marathon later that year. He set his personal best of 2:07:46 earlier that year, at the London Marathon. However, he’s failed to finish the last three marathons he started: New York, Dubai and London. He said he was hampered by injury in 2017 and early 2018, but is back on track now. “My training after London is going well,” he said. Vincent Kipruto, the runner-up at the 2011 World Championships, is also in the field. His best of 2:05:13 dates back to the 2010 Rotterdam Marathon, but more recently clocked 2:06:14 at the 2017 Berlin Marathon. Amanuel Mesel of Eritrea has run well here in the past, finishing fifth at both the 2016 and 2017 editions of the race. Although not an invited runner, Brett Robinson of Australia, a pace maker last year, is said to be in strong shape and ready for a fast performance in his debut over the distance.  2018 Boston Marathon winner Yuki Kawauchi is also running and posted this on FB.  "I will run Fukuoka international open marathon Sunday. I ran this race 8 times( include 3 times of sub 2:10). I love this race and this city and people of Fukuoka. I believe I can end my bad flow of marathon since this summer," Yuki posted a few hours ago.  (11/30/2018) ⚡AMP
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Jenny Hitchings is on a roll breaking four national age-group records in four months

Fifty-five-year-old Jenny Hitchings of Sacramento, Calif. has been on a roll, breaking no fewer than four national US age group records since turning 55 on July 1.

Most recently, she took down Joan Benoit Samuelson‘s 55-60 10K record at the Sacramento Food Bank’s Run to Feed the Hungry 10k, clocking 37:29–almost a minute faster than Samuelson’s record of 38:20, set in 2014. But this was only Hitchings’ most recent accomplishment. Starting in August, she has broken no fewer than three other US age-group records. 

On August 11 she took down Shirley Matson’s 5K record, set in 1997 at the Carlsbad 5000, with an 18:05 finish at the Susan B. Anthony Women’s 5K. In early September she broke the 10-mile record held since 1998 by S. Rae Baymiller, with a 1:01:20 finish at the Buffalo Stampede in Sacramento. And in early October at the Urban Cow Half Marathon, she set her third national age-group record of the year clocking 1:21:18 beating Shirley Matson previous record. 

When Jenny was 47 she ran a 2:46:10 marathon and she won her age-group at the 2015 Boston Marathon at age 52 clocking 2:52:51.  In 2015, she broke a 30 year old Age Group course record at Cal International Marathon (CIM) clocking 2:49:49.  

(11/29/2018) ⚡AMP
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Millinocket Maine needed a boost, sure. But not a handout. So Gary Allen started an entry free marathon to help the town

Long-distance runners have a reputation for being as wacky as they are driven. Gary Allen is proof positive of both.

As coach of the Mount Desert Island Middle School cross-country team, he trains his squad mostly by playing zombie invasion games behind the school. He has a screaming-loud stocking hat for every occasion. 

He’s ebullient and sometimes long-winded but knows how to affect reticence with an authenticity that would make any fellow Mainer proud. He treats everyone like his new best friend and begins each conversation with, “Hi. I’m Gary Allen.”

Allen has run a hundred marathons and won his age group in more than a few. In fact, he is one of a few worldwide who have run a sub-three-hour marathon in five different decades. 

He’s the founder of the Mount Desert Island Marathon and the Great Run, a six-hour ultramarathon where competitors simply run back and forth on Great Cranberry Island as many times as they can.  But none of that means much to the 4,500 people who call Millinocket, Maine USA home.

When they talk about a marathon, they’re talking about the one Allen first organized last year — the one that put the town on the long-distance map after Runner’s World picked up the story. The one that has more than 1,000 people clamoring to fly across the country for the opportunity to run here on December 10.

Like most of Allen’s schemes, this one started on a whim. Around Thanksgiving last year, he read yet another newspaper article characterizing Millinocket’s economic woes. 

“It’s not like I set out to find a little town to help. It’s more like a little town found me.” There’ve been a lot of those articles since the Great Northern paper mill closed here in 2008. In the years since, Millinocket has become a symbol for the failure of America’s manufacturing monotowns.

That doesn’t sit well with locals here. And it rubbed Allen the wrong way last fall too. Millinocket needed a boost, sure. But not a handout.

So Gary Allen decided to do what Gary Allen does best: he organized an impromptu marathon. This race was open to all and charged no entry fee. Instead, Allen suggested that participants take the money they would have spent on registration and spend it in Millinocket.

He didn’t advertise any of this except to post it to his Facebook page. Nonetheless, about 50 of his friends agreed to show up for what may well have been America’s first flash-mob marathon. Allen mapped the course on Google Earth.

It’s a gorgeous one: a lazy loop with lots of views of Katahdin and several miles on the iconic Golden Road, a 96-mile stretch of gravel connecting Millinocket and the Canadian border, before it drops back down into town for a finish at Veterans Memorial Park.

Allen warned participants that they’d need to be totally self-sufficient during the race. He printed out slips of paper detailing how to stay on the course. After they were done running, he figured they could have lunch or do some holiday shopping, then fuel up their cars and head home.

Millinocket might not even realize they’d been there. But word got out around in close-knit Millinocket. By the time Allen rolled into town, local businesses had emblazoned signs welcoming the runners. Locals set up a water station around the 5-mile mark and stood for hours guiding runners on the course and directing traffic. A cheering section assembled at the finish.

In other words, the marathon flash mob got flash-mobbed by the town they were supposed to be helping. And in that moment was born an unlikely love affair between one of Maine’s most charismatic runners and a town looking to get back on its feet.

After last year’s race, townspeople asked Allen if he’d organize another one. He agreed. And he said he thought he could make it bigger, better.

Earlier this year, he returned to Millinocket with a surveyor who could certify the course as an official Boston Marathon qualifier — the only one in the country without an entry fee.

As it turned out, Allen’s hastily drawn loop on Google Earth was less than 50 yards off the exact required distance. While Allen and the surveyor were in town, a total stranger offered the two men a house to stay in for as long as they needed.

That, says Allen, is the spirit of Millinocket — and Mainers in general, for that matter. For decades, the town was known as the “Magic City,” a nod to how it seemed to have sprung up overnight in what had previously been untrammeled wilderness.

Millinocket, founded in 1901, is but a blip. And like the Greek goddess Athena, it seemed to emerge fully formed from the mill itself — first as dozens of tar-paper shacks and rooming houses; soon after, as an Anytown, USA, with a bustling main drag and orderly blocks of houses. (Photo by Michael Wilson)

(11/28/2018) ⚡AMP
by Kathryn Miles
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Kanbouchia Breaks the Osaka Marathon women’s Course Record

Moroccan Soud Kanbouchia took the top spot in Japan's second-biggest marathon Sunday Nov 25, breaking the Osaka Marathon women's course record to win in 2:31:19. In the early going Kanbouchia had company from Hiroko Yoshitomi and Kasumi Yoshida on mid-2:27 pace, but with a surge at halfway she was on her own and stayed that way until the finish. Yoshitomi, this year's Boston Marathon 10th-place finisher who set a PB and CR of 2:30:09 two weeks ago at the Fukuoka Marathon and, incredibly, won the Ohtwara Marathon on Friday in 2:37:22, dropped off after 10 km to settle into mid-2:30s pace. Yoshida lasted longer but slowed dramatically after 25 km and was quickly retaken by Yoshitomi. But from the main pack of women behind them club runner Haruka Yamaguchi emerged to run both down, running almost even splits to take 2nd in 2:34:12, a PB by over four minutes. Yoshitomi hung on 3rd in 2:34:39, almost three minutes faster than her time 48 hours earlier. Yoshida settled for 4th in 2:35:31.  The men's race saw a five-man lead group made up of Kenyans Charles Munyeki and Julius Mahome, Moroccan Abdenasir Fathi, and Japanese amateurs Shingo Igarashi and Hideyuki Ikegami. Hideyuki dropped off after 15 km before a surprise DNF. After hitting halfway in 1:05:22 Fathi surged to gap the rest of the lead group, from which Mahome became detached after 25 km.Munyeki and Igarashi worked together the rest of the way, and when Fathi began to fade after 30 km they started to reel him in. By 37 km they overtook him, and it went down to the very last kilometer before Munyeki dropped Igarashi to take the win in 2:14:11. Igarashi was 2nd in 2:14:19, the second-fastest time of his career. Fathi hung on to 3rd in 2:17:37, finishing just 20 seconds ahead of Akihiro Kaneko who took 31 seconds off his best for 4th in 2:17:57.   (11/25/2018) ⚡AMP
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John Kern finished the Williams Route 66 Marathon this week, he completed his goal of running a marathon in all 50 states

An Alaska runner hit a milestone that took him 16 years to reach when he crossed the finish line at a Tulsa, Oklahoma, marathon. The Juneau Empire reports that when Juneau runner John Kern finished the Williams Route 66 Marathon this week, he completed his goal of running a marathon in all 50 states. The retired City and Borough of Juneau Capital Transit superintendent ran his first marathon in 2002. Kern continued running, aiming to qualify to race in the Boston Marathon. That goal led him to seek out races in other states, and a few years later he was at the starting line in Boston. Kern's next goal was to run 10 marathons in 10 different states, sending him a trajectory to racing in all 50 states. (11/24/2018) ⚡AMP
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Runing is very important to me, it fits right in with eating, brushing my teeth and sleeping - Larry Allen On Running Intro

I am Larry Allen. I am 64-year-old, a 50 year runner and doing the Run The World Challenge for the third time.  

In 1965 I was living in Maine, Great Cranberry Island.  A small, isolated, offshore island adjacent to a national park with only 80 residents.  I started running there and achieved some success and in 2016 I was inducted into the Maine Running Hall of Fame.  

Running is very important to me. Without intending to overstate it, running fits right in with eating, brushing my teeth and sleeping. Obsessed is another word although I think over the years the obsession has been moderated to a healthier place.

My mental health depends on it to an extent. My creativity, well being, problem solving, peacefulness and certainly my ability to stay centered and in balance with life itself have always been better when I’m running. 

"He is a New York City artist, who retired as the director of publishing for the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan, “painted” in many different styles and left a truly remarkable body of work," a friend wrote. 

I keep busy as an artist and as a part-time manager of the business affairs of my still very active wife Kristen Blodgette. She’s a professional musician, Musical Director, Conductor and Musical Supervisor, principally having been associated with Andrew Lloyd Webber for his Broadway and worldwide productions for over 30 years.  

We live in New York City and in Fairfield County Connecticut.  "Larry has run some impressive times over a wide range: 440 (51.7), 4:34 mile, 15:58 5k, 33:26 10k and a 2:46:20 marathon.  He has directed many races, coached and written a lot about the sport. 

When Larry turned 60 he wanted to run one more marathon," wrote Bob Anderson.  I had a good year, a steady 60 miles per week. I was going to run Philly in November but about three weeks prior I tore a calf muscle severely and that was that. When I started running again about six weeks later I felt a profound fatigue and weakness that I didn’t recognize.

I assumed it was age but it was unsettling and very difficult.  An old running friend and ER nurse saw the significant dip in my ability on a social media running tracking app and called me. She essentially did triage over the phone from 500 miles away and asked (told) me to immediately go the nearest walk-in clinic and to tell them she had sent me. After an EKG the doctor came into the exam room and said 'I don’t want to alarm you but you are in complete heart block and and we’ve called an ambulance.'  I didn’t quite understand what heart block was but learned later that it was electrical in nature and not blocked arteries.

After emergency surgery suddenly I had a pacemaker.  My cardiologist is Dr Paul Thompson, who in addition of being an esteemed physician is also an accomplished runner (15th at the 1976 Boston Marathon).  

Dr. Thompson isn’t sure whether my heart block was as a result of damage done by a lot running for many years or a genetic predisposition or both but ironically he feels the strength of my heart and general health of the rest of my entire cardiovascular system as a result of years of running probably allowed me to survive the condition. 

My goal today is to find the right clothes for a cold windy day and to run four miles in the woods. My goal for this week is to do it again on Friday and hopefully Sunday too. In between my goal is to briskly walk five or six miles on rest days and at a tempo that lets me recover enough to run the next day.

My goal this winter is to stay off the treadmill as much as I can and to get outside six days per week, to cover about 30 miles weekly and to enjoy every single mile. My goal for next spring is to be running the majority if not all of my miles. My goal for next summer and fall is to have it all be easier than it was this year. My goal for the year after that is to do another lap....and the same for every year. 

(Editor's note: Larry's wisdom and knowledge of running is impressive and we are happy to announce that Larry will be contributing to My Best Runs on a regular basis - Larry Allen on Running.  He also posts most days in the RTW Feed about his road to recovery.)

(11/19/2018) ⚡AMP
by Bob Anderson
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It would be really neat to have real time tracking in a race says Desiree Linden

Desiree Linden became the first American woman to win the Boston Marathon in 33 years. On a cold and rainy day in Massachusetts, Linden didn’t have much belief that she could win the 122nd version of the race. She even slowed down early into the race to wait her teammate, Shalane Flanagan, so that they could both catch back up to the elite pack together.  The weather conditions were very bad and the Boston Globe called it “the worst weather in Boston Marathon history.” After Linden and Flanagan caught back up to the pack, a surprising thing happened. 35-years-old Linden who trains in Michigan, began to pull away. She would end up winning the marathon in 2:39:54.  Most recently Desiree was one of four Americans to finished in the top seven at the New York City Marathon.  The website Sport Techie spoke with Desiree about Data Versus Disconnection and other matters.  “Running is still a pure sport where you can go out with just your shoes and kind of disconnect for a long time, which is refreshing in today’s world,” says Desiree. “But then you can implement technology as you go and take as as much data as you want. The range is different for everyone.  It would be really neat to have real-time tracking in the race via a mechanism in clothes or shoes. They could give you splits during the race every 5k or so, and there could be something in the shoe that could real-time track runners so that people could see heart rate and cadence during the race. I think that’d add an interesting graphic during race broadcasts.” How about the Balance Between Innovation and Ability? “A lot of big companies (like NIKE) are attempting to break the two-hour marathon barrier,” she says, “and see the shoe as a place to really make that jump. There’s definitely a movement in shoe technology. I think there’s a lot of brands trying to catch up in that race.  The question is how much do you let it impact your sport? Is the shoe doing the work or is it still the athlete? It’ll be interesting to watch and see how governing bodies decide if and when technology is taking over the actual capacity of the runner.” (11/18/2018) ⚡AMP
by Jen Booton @ SportTechie.com
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Mohamed Reda El Aaraby of Morocco breaks Men´s course records in Beirut

Mohamed Reda El Aaraby of Morocco ran a course record at the BLOM Bank Beirut Marathon clocking 2:10:42, an IAAF Silver Label road race. The women’s race also saw some swift performances, with Ethiopia’s Medina Deme Armino taking victory in 2:29:31 ahead of Nazret Weldu Gebrehiwet, who clocked an Eritrean record of 2:29:48 in second. But it was El Aaraby who stole the show, the 28-year-old surprising the East African contingent with his surge early in the race, taking full advantage of the hesitancy in the pack among his rivals, with several leading contenders instead keeping their eyes trained on Wesley Korir, the 2012 Boston Marathon champion who was running his first marathon since April 2017. After struggling with injuries on the build-up, Korir was far from his best, coming home seventh in 2:14:18, but given his shortened preparation the 35-year-old was upbeat about performance. El Aaraby ran behind one of the pacemakers until halfway, which he reached in 1:05:07, then ran most of the second half alone. Back in the pack, Korir’s rivals were still watching his every move, paying him more respect than he wanted as the Moroccan out front built an 88-second lead in the first half. His advantage was closed down in the final miles, but El Aaraby was still all alone at the finish, hitting it in 2:10:41 to take a single second off the event record set by Dominic Rutto of Kenya in 2017. “It’s a big result for me to be first in the World Military Championship and to break the course record,” said El Aaraby. “This result came after hard training and big preparation.” (11/13/2018) ⚡AMP
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Running legend Amby Burfoot is going to run his 56th consecutive Manchester Road Race

Running legend and nine-time champion Amby Burfoot is expected to run in the Manchester Road Race for a record 56th consecutive time on Thanksgiving Day, race officials announced this week. Burfoot, the 1968 Boston Marathon champion, won the 4.748-mile road race in Manchester nine times between 1968 and 1977. Burfoot competed in Manchester for the first time in 1963 as a 17-year-old high school senior, and he hasn't missed a Thanksgiving morning on Main Street since then. The retired Runner's World magazine editor already holds the MRR record for most consecutive runs at 55. "Amby Burfoot running in our road race is as much of a Thanksgiving Day tradition in Manchester as turkey and pumpkin pie," said Dr. Tris Carta, president of the Manchester Road Race Committee. "We are delighted that he's with us again this year, and we deeply appreciate his long standing devotion to the race." (11/06/2018) ⚡AMP
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Two time Boston Marathon winner Lelisa Desisa out sprinted everyone to win the New York City Marathon in 2:05:59

Lelisa Desisa from Ethiopia clocked 2:05:59 winning the New York City marathon this morning. He was third last year clocking 2:11:23. His PR is 2:04:45 set in Dubai in 2013. Lelisa was the Boston Marathon winner in 2013 and 2015. His win at the 2013 Dubai Marathon was his first marathon. Battling Lelisa to the end was 22-year-old Shura Kitata who clocked 2:06:01 for second place. The Ethiopian was second at the 2018 London marathon clocking his PR of 2:04:49. Last year's champion Geoffrey Kamworor just could not keep up the pace with these two as he finished third in 2:06:26. The 25-year-old Kenyan winning time last year was 2:10:53 but this year's weather was nearly perfect for marathoning.  Four Americans placed in the top ten.  In 6th place Jared Ward clocked 2:12:24 and Scott Fauble placed 7th clocking 2:12:28.   (11/04/2018) ⚡AMP
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Kenya's Mary Keitany pulled off her fourth New York City Marathon win crushing the field

Kenya's Mary Keitany opened up a lead after a 4:54 mile at the 20 mile mark.  The 36-year-old with a PR of 2:17:01 while winning the 2017 London Marathon was in control.  Mary won three consecutive TCS New York City Marathons from 2014 to 2016.  In 2016 her 3:34 margin of victory was the greatest in the women's race since 1980.  Last year she was runner-up to Shalane Flanagan clocking 2:27:54.  Today Shalane Flanagan was about a quarter mile back with six miles to go holding on to fifth place.  Molly Huddle (USA) was close behind.  At 35K Mary projected finish time was just 50 seconds off the course record.  The course record of 2:22:31 was set in 2003. Shalane Flanagan moved up to fourth at 35k with Molly in 5th.   Meanwhile Mary Keitany continued pulling further ahead clipping off 5:05 miles.  35-year-old Vivian Cheruiyot who won the 2018 London Marathon (2:18:31) upped her pace to 5:21/mile making a move on Ethiopian's Rahma Tusa who was second at 23 miles.  Mary crossed the finish line first clocking 2:22:48 crushing the field. Vivian Cheruityot was second in 2:26:02.  America’s Shalane Flanagan finished third in 2:26:22 and Molly Huddle was fourth in 2:26:44.  Rahma Tusa faded to fifth clocking 2:27:13.   2018 Boston marathon winner Desiree Linden placed 6th clocking 2:27:51.  Allie Kieffe (US) places 7th clocking 2:28:12.   (11/04/2018) ⚡AMP
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Mark Sullivan is running the Philadelphia Marathon for the 25th consecutive year

Mark Sullivan is one of only two runners who has participated in every Philadelphia Marathon since 1994. He’ll be competing for the 25th consecutive year. The 56-year-old graphic designer and running coach has completed 176 marathons — more than 4,600 miles — since 1986, including 32 consecutive Boston Marathons, but never set out to make it a goal. “If races ceased to exist, I’d still be a runner,” said Sullivan. “It’s not about the challenge. I just like it.” He did ran track in high school but he didn’t take up running seriously until after college. Working as a technical illustrator early in his career, Sullivan found himself sitting at a desk all day and felt he wasn’t getting enough exercise on the occasional hikes and tennis matches he played with his wife, Robin. “I needed to get out and the cheapest thing to do was run,” he said. Sullivan discovered the outdoor exercise was useful in his work by helping him tap into his technical and creative side. “If I was out running, I could come back (to the home office) and be more productive,” he said. It began with a three-mile loop around his Freeburg neighborhood until “one day I just went and ran six miles,” Sullivan recalled. The outings kept getting longer and by 1985 Sullivan began entering local 5K and 10K races. In addition to running marathons, he’s participated in several ultras too.  (11/02/2018) ⚡AMP
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Only two American woman have won the New York City Marathon, Miki Gorman was the first in 1977.

Miki Gorman was the first woman to finish the New York City Marathon in 1977, and it took 40 years until another American woman took the title. Miki Gorman was sitting alone at a corner table of a Magic Pan restaurant in Manhattan on Oct. 23, 1976, when her food arrived: not one, but two large crepes stuffed with mushroom and spinach souffle. A couple sitting nearby gawked at her. Gorman, at 5 feet tall or so, weighed only 90 pounds, and the plates of food covered her table. “I’m running the New York City Marathon tomorrow!” she told them. “And I’m going to win.” And so she did, the first woman to cross the finish line the next day. Even more, she won again the following year. No other American woman would take the title for the next four decades. “We’ve gone so long without winning, I can’t believe it,” Gorman told The Washington Post in 2004, long after her retirement in 1982. “My win was a lifetime ago.” Gorman was not around to see Shalane Flanagan’s 2017 victory; she died on Sept. 19, 2015, at 80, in Bellingham, Wash. The cause was metastasized lung cancer, her daughter, Danielle Nagel, said. Despite Gorman’s accomplishments, news of her death was not widely reported at the time. No word of it reached The New York Times. If it had, readers would have learned of record-breaking achievements that landed her in several halls of fame. One feat, in 1978, was a world best for a woman in the half marathon, at 1:15:58. She also won the Boston Marathon in the women’s category in 1974 and 1977, the latter victory coming, remarkably, the same year that she won in New York. She is the only woman known to have won both races twice. “She ran everything, from track races and really quick stuff all the way to these 100-mile races,” said George Hirsch, chairman of New York Road Runners. “There’s no one that I know of to this day who has that kind of a range and excelled in them all.” (11/02/2018) ⚡AMP
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