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A glacier on the Italian side of Mont Blanc is at risk of collapsing from melt linked to climate change and threatens UTMB Trails

One month after 2,300 runners toed the line at the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, part of the course has been closed due to rapid glacial melt.

A glacier on the Italian side of Mont Blanc glacier is at risk of collapsing from melt linked to climate change. The Planprincieux Glacier sits on the Grandes Jorasses peak on the Mont Blanc massif above Courmayeur, Italy.  The small resort town is the halfway point for the UTMB and the starting point for the TDS and CCC races. 

Scientists have been using radar technology to monitor the glacier since 2013, and detected the accelerated melting via radar this summer. A summer heatwave is causing a lower chunk of the glacier to melt at a rate of two feet per day, according to glaciologist and alpinist Ulyana Horodyskyj, who has climbed Mont Blanc.

“The high air temperatures this summer have led to more melting and faster movement of the glacier down the mountain,” says Horodyskyj. “The glacier is always moving and always has a large crevasse, but this summer it’s melting faster and the crevasse is bigger.” The part of the glacier below the crevasse could break, and separate entirely. 

If it collapses, 250,000 cubic meters of ice could tear away from the mountain and crash into trails, roads and alpine refuges below. That impending danger has prompted road closures and evacuations. 

“For this region, in particular, the biggest impacts will be on tourism,” says Horodyskyj. 

Glacial melt could endanger trails like those on the UTMB course, and also affect local water supplies. Though it’s impossible to predict when exactly the glacier could collapse, the glacier’s speed has local officials and scientists concerned. 

“These phenomena once again shows that the mountain is going through a phase of strong change due to climatic factors. Therefore it is particularly vulnerable,” said the mayor of Courmayeur, Stefano Miserocchi, in a statement. 

Scientists have been monitoring thousands of glaciers across the Aosta Valley Region. Temperate glaciers, like the ones on Mont Blanc,  are essentially at melting point. Liquid water coexists with glacial ice, which makes them especially vulnerable to temperature variation caused by climate change. If greenhouse gas emissions continue at their current rate, alpine glaciers would shed half of their ice by 2050. They could lose over 80 percent of their ice by 2100, according to Horodyskyj. 

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte warned the United Nations General Assembly last week that this news just the beginning, and that Mont Blanc’s future “must shake us all and force us to mobilize”. 

(10/15/2019) ⚡AMP
by Zoe Rom
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North Face Ultra Trail du Tour du Mont-Blanc

North Face Ultra Trail du Tour du Mont-Blanc

Mountain race, with numerous passages in high altitude (>2500m), in difficult weather conditions (night, wind, cold, rain or snow), that needs a very good training, adapted equipment and a real capacity of personal autonomy. It is 6:00pm and we are more or less 2300 people sharing the same dream carefully prepared over many months. Despite the incredible difficulty, we feel...

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The name of IAAF will change to World Athletics in October at the conclusion of the World Championships

Though some countries claimed the new name does not translate well in all languages, the change will take effect at the conclusion of the World Championships.

After debating the issue at its biannual meeting coinciding with the World Championships in Doha, the IAAF Council voted on Thursday to change its name to World Athletics. This was on the heels of Sebastian Coe’s unanimous re-election Wednesday for another four-year term as president.

Though there was strong debate, with some French-speaking countries claiming the new name does not translate well into their language, Coe defended the move, saying it would make the organization more recognizable and attractive to a younger audience.

The name change is due to take effect after the conclusion of the World Championships currently underway in Doha.

The organization, founded in 1912 as the International Amateur Athletic Federation, changed its name in 2001 to International Association of Athletic Federations, which has the same initials, to reflect the fact that many of the athletes represented are, in fact, professionals and not amateurs.

The new brand identity for World Athletics is a stylized W for World, which is also symbolic of an athlete raising their arms in victory, and A for Athletics, which also represents the athlete’s focus in preparing for competition, with the purple and orange background representing the upward-sweeping lanes of a track.

Coe succeeded Lamine Diack as president in 2015. Diack has since been charged with corruption, influence-trafficking and money laundering with regard to the Russian doping scandal of 2015. His trial is expected to begin next year.

(09/30/2019) ⚡AMP
by Anne Francis
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Sebastian Coe praises Tokyo 2020 marathon route after test event

International Association of Athletics Federations President Sebastian Coe has praised the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games marathon course, after a test event was held in the Japanese capital.

The warm-up races on Sunday (September 15), known as the Marathon Grand Championship, saw Japanese athletes bid to win a spot on the host nation's Olympic team.

Shogo Nakamura and Honami Maeda won the men's and women's races, respectively, and can now look forward to their home Games next year.

Second-place finishers Yuma Hattori and Ayuko Suzuki also qualified.

Runners followed the Olympic route but the start and finish, at Icho Namiki Avenue in Meiji Jingu Gaien Park, was different., as the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Stadium is still under construction.

Athletes passed by Tokyo landmarks including the Thunder Gate, Imperial Palace, Zojoji Temple and Nihombashi Bridge.

The course is mainly flat and similar to the one used at the Tokyo Marathon, part of the World Marathon Majors series.

"The marathon is a growing highlight of the athletics programme, with imaginative courses that show off the best of cities and are challenging for athletes and fan-friendly," said Coe, a double Olympic gold medallist for Britain over 1,500 metres.

"This marathon course highlights the essence of Tokyo – a blend of tradition and modernity."

The heat at the test event reached up to 28 degrees centigrade with a 75 per cent humidity.

Even warmer conditions are expected when the Olympics are held in July and August, a major headache for organisers after dozens of heat-related deaths in Tokyo.

The Olympic marathons start-time has already been moved back to 6am to avoid the hottest parts of the day.

Organisers used the test event to assess issues they may face next year.

(09/29/2019) ⚡AMP
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Migrant workers and children to pad out crowd for World Championships

Ticket sales for the World Athletics Championships in Doha are far more sluggish than expected, making it highly likely that large numbers of free tickets will be given away to migrant workers and children who will be bused in by organisers, informed sources have told the Guardian.

Organizers are already blanking off the top section of the 40,000-seater Khalifa International Stadium to make the event, which starts on Friday, look better on TV. However, even with a reduced capacity and reasonable ticket prices starting at 60 Qatari rial (£13), seats are still readily available.

Sources have told the Guardian that 50,000 tickets have been sold across the 10 days of action – and that migrant workers and children will be bused in to stop the stadium appearing more than half-empty on TV. That is a far cry from the optimism displayed when tickets went on sale, with organisers promising that there had been “registrations of interest from literally all corners of the world”.

An IAAF spokesperson accepted ticket sales had been “challenging” but said nobody could have foreseen the boycott of Qatar by other gulf states, making it impossible for some fans in the region to watch the championships.

When asked about the possibility of tickets being given away, the spokesperson added: “Surely it is a good thing that communities across Qatar will be getting tickets? We believe it will inspire a whole new generation of fans into the sport.”

More than 1,800 athletes from around 150 countries are expected to take part in the world championships, which will be held in the Middle East for the first time.

However, Doha is not one of the traditional hotbeds of the sport and the event takes place at a time of year when the season is usually over. Nonetheless, the IAAF president, Seb Coe, has insisted that the championships will help track and field expand into new territories.

Organisers have promised a raft of innovations for the event, including two miniature cameras in each starting block that will show the first pictures of athletes’ faces in the 100m moments before they hear the starting pistol, and capture the explosion of energy as the athletes leave the blocks.

(09/28/2019) ⚡AMP
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IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha

IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha

The seventeenth edition of the IAAF World Championships is scheduled to be held between 27 September and 6 October 2019 in Doha, Qatar at the renovated multi-purpose Khalifa International Stadium. Doha overcame bids from Eugene, USA, and Barcelona, Spain to be granted the rights to host the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Athletics. Having hosted the IAAF Diamond League, formerly...

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ASICS and the IAAF will extend partnership until 2029

ASICS and the IAAF are delighted to announce the renewal of their partnership and ASICS’ commitment to the world of athletics with the signing today of a new 10-year agreement as an Official IAAF Partner.

As Official IAAF Partner, ASICS will be present at and involved in all World Athletics Series events from 2020 to 2029, including the World Athletics Championships 2021 in Oregon and the World Athletics Championships Budapest 2023.

As part of the agreement, ASICS will kit out the officials and volunteers at all IAAF World Athletics Series events with ASICS’ footwear and apparel that will ensure the smooth running of these events.

For ASICS this important partnership will allow a strategic expansion of its brand recognition internationally by association with the world’s top athletics events that are viewed by significant global audiences.

ASICS Chairman and CEO, Representative Director Motoi Oyama, stated: “I am so happy to have the honour of continuing our support of the IAAF as an Official Partner.

The signing of this multi-year agreement is a demonstration of ASICS’ hope to both develop excellent products and contribute to the growth of the sporting world as a whole by supporting athletics around the globe as an Official Partner of the IAAF.”

IAAF President Sebastian Coe commented: “Global athletics is based upon solid foundations of modern governance and a renewed determination to protect and promote clean athletes. We are delighted to have the continued support and commitment of ASICS, a true sport performance brand, which will enable us to build on the successful partnership we began in 2017. This new agreement is a huge endorsement of a bright future for athletics whose universality and diversity makes it a natural partner for a global corporation like ASICS.

We are excited to have a partner who shares our vision for a youthful innovative sport that promotes fair competition and healthy living.”

(09/27/2019) ⚡AMP
by IAAF
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The IAAF will make extra provisions to avoid extreme heat at world championships in Qatar

The IAAF president, Sebastian Coe, says extra medical staff, ice baths and water will be brought in for the women’s marathon on Friday amid growing concerns about the extreme conditions at the World Athletics Championships in Qatar.

Despite the race starting at 11.59pm local time, temperatures in Doha are expected to be around 32C (90F) with humidity forecast at 80%, and there are concerns that the race could turn into a dangerous farce if the brutal weather forces many athletes to drop out.

But Lord Coe, who was re-elected president of athletics’ governing body on Wednesday , said there were no plans to cancel the women’s marathon or the men’s 50km walk on Saturday while insisting that protecting competitors was his first priority.

“We have to be mindful of the welfare of the athletes,” he said. “We have a medical team who will monitor conditions all the time. We’ve undertaken a lot of work on heat management. We recognise that the road events are those that need to be carefully monitored. We have more medical supervision, more water available. There’s no plan to cancel.”

Writing on social media, the British distance runner Helen Davies, who competed in the 2010 Commonwealth Games marathon in Delhi in 30C (86F) and 90% humidity, said it was “ludicrous, not to mention dangerous and potentially fatal” to run in such conditions. Writing of her experience, she said: “In the last 5km I was hallucinating and felt like I was cold, despite being the complete opposite, very scary. I would be very worried if I was heading into that marathon.”

Coe conceded that the race, in which Tish Jones and Charlotte Purdue will compete for Britain, would be tough but refused to be drawn on whether it would turn into a farce.

“I don’t want to speculate on that, but, of course, I want as many people to finish as possible,” he said. “Our medical teams are going to be very good. The heat is actually not the big issue, the issue is humidity, that is the real challenge. We have extra precautions, we do have extra things out on the course. We have more medical supervision, more water available but, yes, it is going to be tough.”

The IAAF also announced it had a budget deficit of $20m (£16m) but Coe insisted a new deal with the Wanda Sports Group in China made him optimistic about the future. “It’s has been a tough four years, there is no point being naive or coy about that,” he said. “I want the next four years to be the fun bit. We have to grow the sport.

“We know we have to reach beyond the beltway of athletics fans. We need to form partnerships at every level. We have to place the sport as a service provider for government agendas and get more people active and physically engaged.”

(09/26/2019) ⚡AMP
by Sean Ingle
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IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha

IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha

The seventeenth edition of the IAAF World Championships is scheduled to be held between 27 September and 6 October 2019 in Doha, Qatar at the renovated multi-purpose Khalifa International Stadium. Doha overcame bids from Eugene, USA, and Barcelona, Spain to be granted the rights to host the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Athletics. Having hosted the IAAF Diamond League, formerly...

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IAAF´s president Sebastian Coe praises Tokyo 2020 marathon route after test event

International Association of Athletics Federations President Sebastian Coe has praised the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games marathon course, after a test event was held in the Japanese capital.

The warm-up races on Sunday (September 15), known as the Marathon Grand Championship, saw Japanese athletes bid to win a spot on the host nation's Olympic team.

Shogo Nakamura and Honami Maeda won the men's and women's races, respectively, and can now look forward to their home Games next year.

Second-place finishers Yuma Hattori and Ayuko Suzuki also qualified.

Runners followed the Olympic route but the start and finish, at Icho Namiki Avenue in Meiji Jingu Gaien Park, was different., as the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Stadium is still under construction.

Athletes passed by Tokyo landmarks including the Thunder Gate, Imperial Palace, Zojoji Temple and Nihombashi Bridge.

The course is mainly flat and similar to the one used at the Tokyo Marathon, part of the World Marathon Majors series.

"The marathon is a growing highlight of the athletics programme, with imaginative courses that show off the best of cities and are challenging for athletes and fan-friendly," said Coe, a double Olympic gold medalist for Britain over 1,500 meters.

"This marathon course highlights the essence of Tokyo – a blend of tradition and modernity."

The heat at the test event reached up to 28 degrees centigrade with a 75 per cent humidity.

Even warmer conditions are expected when the Olympics are held in July and August, a major headache for organizers after dozens of heat-related deaths in Tokyo.

The Olympic marathons start-time has already been moved back to 6am to avoid the hottest parts of the day.

Organizers used the test event to assess issues they may face next year.

(09/18/2019) ⚡AMP
by Dan Palmer
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, from July 24 to August 9, 2020. The Games in 1964 radically transformed the country. According to the organizers of the event in 2020, the Games of the XXXII Olympiad of the modern era will be “the most innovative...

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Poland will host the 2021 IAAF World Relays

The IAAF World Relays will head to Europe for the first time in 2021, with the Polish region of Silesia confirmed today as host of the fifth edition of the biennial event.

The newest addition to the IAAF’s World Athletics Series, the World Relays were held in the Bahamian capital of Nassau for the first three editions, while this year’s event was held in the Japanese city of Yokohama.

Poland has a proven track record of hosting major athletics events with Bydgoszcz having hosted the inaugural IAAF World U18 Championships in 1999 as well as two editions of the IAAF World U20 Championships and IAAF World Cross Country Championships. Sopot staged the 2014 IAAF World Indoor Championships, while Gdynia is currently preparing to host the 2020 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships.

Poland also has a strong recent record in relay events. Their women’s 4x400m team was triumphant in Yokohama earlier this year and at the 2018 European Championships, while their men’s 4x400m squad set a world indoor record en route to taking gold at the IAAF World Indoor Championships Birmingham 2018.

Chorzow's Silesian Stadium, which will hold the World Relays on 1-2 May, 2021, has in recent years hosted several well-attended international competitions that form part of the IAAF Hammer Throw Challenge, including the Kamila Skolimowska Memorial, which last year attracted a crowd of more than 40,000 people. The Silesian Stadium was also where, in 1969, Nadezhda Chizhova became the first woman ever to surpass 20 metres in the shot put.

The region of Silesia is a major industrial hub and home to almost five million people.

IAAF President Sebastian Coe welcomed Silesia as the first European host of the IAAF World Relays.

“The World Relays is our youngest global event but in just six years it has developed a vibrancy that gives it a unique character,’’ Coe said. “Its focus on team races allows our athletes to show a different side to their sport, and their joy in competing with teammates shines through.”

“We have been blessed with wonderfully enthusiastic crowds at every edition of the World Relays and we are confident that the people of Silesia will provide another lively atmosphere. Poland is one of our most active member federations and has a deserved reputation for delivering excellent athletics events and attracting big crowds, so I’m delighted that we will be bringing another of our World Athletics Series events there in less than two years from now.”

The Marshal of the Silesian Voivodeship, Jakub Chełstowski, said: “The Silesian Stadium has been proving that it is the best athletics stadium in Poland. We have the best infrastructure, and thousands of spectators cheering stars of world athletics create an exceptional atmosphere. The IAAF World Relays will be a great opportunity to see the best runners, but also to inculcate passion for sports among children. In such activities the sports ambassadors of the Silesian Stadium such as Anita Włodarczyk, Justyna Święty-Ersetic and Ewa Swoboda are supporting us. It will also be a wonderful opportunity to promote the Silesian Voivodeship as a region that is worth visiting.”

The 2021 IAAF World Relays will be used as a qualifying competition for relay teams aiming to compete at the IAAF World Athletics Championships Oregon 2021.

(09/08/2019) ⚡AMP
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With just one month to go until the IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019, the organising committee today revealed the design of the medals to mark the start of the final countdown to the competition

More than 2000 of the world’s top athletes will be competing for 192 medals set to be awarded across 49 finals during the 10-day competition, which gets underway on Friday 27 September.

Paying homage to the Qatari capital, the gold, silver and bronze medals were designed by the all-female branding team in the Qatari capital, showcasing the Doha skyline and illustrations of the iconic Khalifa International Stadium, which will host the championships as it comes to the Middle East for the first time.

With dedicated designs on the medals, the Doha skyline, which will be the backdrop of the marathon and race walk events, makes up the other side of the medal, while 13 different elements of athletics disciplines are also weaved into the design.

Specially handcrafted in Doha by Sndala, the local company has also incorporated traditional Arabic Sadu patterns with a modern sporting twist.

“A medal is the symbol of excellence in our sport,” says IAAF President Sebastian Coe. “It represents all the years of sweat, striving and persistence required to succeed in athletics at the highest level, so the design of the medals must be as special as the achievement in winning them. Our local organizing committee in Doha has done a brilliant job in creating medals that our athletes will be proud to receive as a permanent keepsake of their moment of glory. I’d like to have one myself, so I may have to come out of retirement.”

Speaking on the final preparations and medals for the championships, Sheikha Asma Al Thani, director of Marketing and Communications for the local organising committee, said: “Having designs on the medals which showcase Qatar is a special occasion for the country, as so many people throughout Doha have played a vital role in delivering the competition. A gold medal will naturally take pride of place in an athlete’s collection and they will be reminded of the competition being held in the Middle East forever.

“The whole of Qatar is excited to welcome the world’s best athletes and we look forward to celebrating the successes of all those competing and those iconic moments at the finish lines and on the podiums.”

(08/27/2019) ⚡AMP
by IAAF
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IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha

IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha

The seventeenth edition of the IAAF World Championships is scheduled to be held between 27 September and 6 October 2019 in Doha, Qatar at the renovated multi-purpose Khalifa International Stadium. Doha overcame bids from Eugene, USA, and Barcelona, Spain to be granted the rights to host the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Athletics. Having hosted the IAAF Diamond League, formerly...

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The IAAF is going to rebrand as World Athletics

The IAAF Council has approved proposals to change the name of the governing body to ‘World Athletics’ and to introduce a new logo.

The Council said the rebrand is designed to more clearly communicate the organisation’s mission and attract a younger audience for the sport. The new identity will be introduced in October after one last edition of the World Championships under the IAAF banner.

The organisation was founded as the International Amateur Athletic Federation in 1912 but changed its name to the International Association of Athletics Federations in 2001 as the sport became more professionalised.“The hope is that our new brand will help attract and engage a new generation of young people to athletics,” said IAAF president Seb Coe. “We have now created a brand that can come to life in the digital world while reflecting the changing nature of the sport. And at the same time bring into focus the athletes, the heroes of our sport.”

The rebrand comes at a time when IAAF is seeking to draw a line under a wide array of doping and corruption scandals. In May, French prosecutors requested that Lamine Diack, the former president of the organisation stand trial over allegations of corruption linked to the Russian doping scandal.

It was also announced at the IAAF Council Meeting in Monaco that Russia’s ban from international meetings had been extended over ongoing doping concerns.

Russia has been suspended from the sport since 2015, though many athletes have since been allowed to compete as neutrals.

The next vote on the issue is likely to be taken at an IAAF Council meeting on September 23 – just five days before the start of the World Championships in Doha.

(06/11/2019) ⚡AMP
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IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha

IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha

The seventeenth edition of the IAAF World Championships is scheduled to be held between 27 September and 6 October 2019 in Doha, Qatar at the renovated multi-purpose Khalifa International Stadium. Doha overcame bids from Eugene, USA, and Barcelona, Spain to be granted the rights to host the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Athletics. Having hosted the IAAF Diamond League, formerly...

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Nicky Spinks will lead the way at Trail Skills for Ultrarunners

Scotland-based women’s guided trail running company, Girls on Hills Ltd, have just announced that they will be hosting a ‘Trail Skills for Ultrarunners’ course in Glencoe October 11-13, with the legendary ultrarunner Nicky Spinks the star tutor.

Spinks will be sharing her experiences and coaching women in the essential skills of ultrarunning, including training advice and running with poles. She will be joining an otherwise all-Scottish line-up of other providers, with experts covering areas such as yoga, nutrition, foot-care and self-massage. 

For female ultrarunners, there can be no better teacher than Spinks. The inspirational Inov-8 athlete just became the first person to complete double rounds of Britain’s three classic 24-hour mountain running challenges: the Bob Graham Round in England; the Charlie Ramsay Round in Scotland; and now the Paddy Buckley Round in Wales. 

On her two laps of the Paddy Buckley Round circuit last month, Spinks ran 94 peaks and 56,000ft of height gain (almost two times Mount Everest), in 57hrs 27mins to complete the ‘doubles’ and make fell-running history. 

Girls on Hills Ddirector Keri Wallace told runABC Scotland online: “Nicky is an incredible woman and an inspiration to so many people, runners and non-runners alike. As a 51-year old, a woman, a farmer and a cancer-survivor, she breaks so many trail-running stereotypes! Who better to join us at Girls on Hills and help coach women in the skills they need to get outside and explore their limits through ultrarunning!”

As a company, Girls on Hills Ltd, who are sponsored by Ellis Brigham Mountain Sports and are partnered with Inov-8 clothing, seeks to address the gender gap in participation that exists in trail, fell and skyrunning by increasing the accessibility of off-road running disciplines. 

“There are no actual barriers stopping women from running long distances in remote places or exploring the mountains – there are only perceived barriers. We welcome women of all ages and from all walks of life, and surprise them with how much they can achieve!”  

(06/03/2019) ⚡AMP
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The Crown Prince of Denmark is so excited about the upcoming world cross-country championships that he decided to run it

This Saturday is the World Cross-Country Championships in Aarhus, Denmark. Many of the world’s best athletes will be competing, including world half-marathon champion and world 10,000m gold medallist Geoffrey Kamworor in the senior men’s race.

Also running is distance stud Jakob Ingebrigtsen in the U20 men’s race, 5,000m world champion Hellen Obiri in the senior women’s race and world juinor 5,000m champion Beatrice Chebet in the U20 women’s event.

The IAAF president and former Olympic medallist Seb Coe and Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark, are taking part in the 8K event.

The Crown Prince is an avid runner.

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

IAAF/Mikkeller World Cross Country Championships

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

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The IAAF will elect its first female vice-president this year as it continues its efforts to ensure that women are represented at the highest levels of the sport

As part of the widespread reforms adopted by the IAAF Congress at the end of 2016, the IAAF has added minimum gender targets into its constitution to establish parity at all levels in the sport’s governance.

As we celebrate International Women’s Day, six women currently sit on the IAAF Council. That number will increase to seven at this year’s elections in September, and to 10 in 2023, before reaching parity with male Council members in 2027. Following the election of the first female vice president at this year’s IAAF Congress, two of the four vice president positions will be filled by women in 2027.

The IAAF Council established a Gender Leadership Taskforce in 2017 to work alongside the IAAF Women’s Committee to develop and organise global and regionally specific programmes to ensure a robust pipeline of eligible female candidates is available for this year’s elections and beyond.

“On International Women’s Day, I’m absolutely delighted to reinforce our commitment to gender balance in the governance structures of our sport,” IAAF President Sebastian Coe said. “I formed our Gender Leadership Taskforce because I want to encourage more women into our sport and to provide the pathway and programmes to allow them to do that. 

“We have equal opportunities for women in competition, and we are committed to having equal opportunities for women in all our governance structures. I have always believed that any organisation is stronger and more effective when women are properly represented at every level."

Athletics has long been a pioneer both on and off the field of play in creating and ensuring gender equality.

At major championships, the sport has an equal number of disciplines for men and women and offers the same prize.

At the IAAF headquarters, 51 percent of the staff are women, and 40 percent of those women are in managerial positions.

(03/08/2019) ⚡AMP
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Michael Wardian finished running ten marathons in ten days on Saturday at a 2:55 avg pace and then Sunday ran a 17:01 5k race! Wow!

Michael Wardian is one of a kind.  Most people would think that running seven marathons in seven days on seven continents would be enough.  It was not enough for Michael.  

On Saturday, Wardian set the pending world record for completing 10 marathons in 10 days, with a cumulative time of 29 hours, 12 minutes, and 46 seconds.

That is an average of 2:55:17 per marathon. And it’s more than 43 minutes faster than the previous record (29 hours, 54 minutes, and 56 seconds), set by Brit Rik Vercoe in 2013.

Before heading off to do the seven in seven in seven, he called a running friend.  “I’d like to add three more. I think I can break the record,’” Michael told Chris Farley, owner of Pacers Running stores. So Farley mapped out an eight-loop, USATF-certified marathon course around Hains Point and invited D.C.’s enthusiastic running community to watch history in the making.

Wardian crossed a makeshift finish line on Hains Point on Saturday afternoon, completing his 10th marathon in as many days, with a time of 2 hours, 44 minutes, and 33 seconds (averaging 6:16 per mile). It was his fastest race of the entire journey.

“I’ve been trying to think of how to put it in context so that people can understand how difficult this is,” said Farley.  “If you did a 30-mile week, that’s a strong week for most runners.  Michael did close to that distance every day for 10 days straight.  He ran more than 262 miles in the last 10 days. And he finished the last 5K of a marathon in under six-minute pace. That’s insane.”

Wardian did all of this on just 20 hours of sleep over the past 10 days. While most of that deprivation can be attributed to his rigorous travel to all seven continents, he slept in his own bed, at his home in Arlington the past three nights. Apparently, that isn’t enough to get a full night’s sleep.

“Too excited,” he explained after the race. “I’m just ready to go.”

This is perhaps what makes Wardian most impressive. He is absolutely relentless.

While elite marathoners tend to do one or two key races in a year, Wardian doesn't hit the brakes. In the distance running community, he’s well known for his punishing race schedule of ultramarathons and marathons.

To successfully tackle an odyssey like this, Wardian kept a rigorous training schedule, which included finishing the one of the most difficult 100-mile courses in the world—the HURT 100—just last month.

“The training for each event just builds on itself,” he explains. “I ran the HURT 100 back in January, which was 27 straight hours of running.”

But Wardian’s training was only part of the equation. There were plenty of other challenges he’d have to face, including hydration and nutrition, travel logistics, and weather.

“During the seven marathons in seven continents in seven days, the most challenging part was staying on top of my nutrition,” says Wardian. “You’re really at the mercy of where you are and what food is in front of you.”

“I just eat whatever my body will tolerate,” he adds, noting that he did get sick during his marathon in Santiago, Chile.

But with such a tight travel schedule, it was just a matter of pushing through the tough parts, get enough calories to fuel his next run. For a vegetarian like Wardian, this can be doubly challenging. 

The weather also threw some curveballs at Wardian. “The temperature fluctuations were tough,” he says. “One day might be cold, and the next is hot. While usually your body gets the chance to acclimate to those conditions, this time it was just go-go-go.”

The very next day after finishing 10 marathons in ten days,  Wardian didn't sleep in or take a day off from running. But instead, he competed in the Love The Run You're With 5K with his vizsla, Rosie, near his home. 

Wardian finished ninth overall in 17:01 (a 5:28 per mile pace). The one-of-a-kind runner can!

(02/11/2019) ⚡AMP
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IAAF announced it plans to honor some of the most highly accomplished runners in history

The first runners on the list of those to be honored are American sprinter Jesse Owens, Finnish distance runner Paavo Nurmi, Czech distance runner Emil Zatopek, Dutch sprinter and hurdler Fanny Blankers-Koen, British distance runner Emil Voigt, Australian sprinter Betty Cuthbert, Ethiopian marathoner Abebe Bikila, Polish sprinter Irena Szewinska and American Mildred “Babe” Didrickson Zaharias, who won two gold medals in track and field at the 1932 Olympics. IAAF president Sebastian Coe made the announcement in Monaco yesterday.  (12/03/2018) ⚡AMP
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Significant changes and new regulations for 2019 IAAF Label road races to improve the quality of events

Significant changes have been made to the regulations for IAAF Label road races starting in 2019 to improve the quality of events for the athletes who take part and the fans that follow them. An IAAF Label denotes high standards in event organization, full application of the IAAF competition rules, complete support from authorities for the event, a commitment by the organizer to the advancement of the sport, and concrete steps in the global fight against doping. Several changes have been made to the IAAF Label regulations for 2019, including the introduction of a 'Platinum Label', the use of IAAF World Rankings to determine an athlete's Label status, and allowing 5km races to apply for Labels. “This is a milestone for the IAAF and the global road racing community," said IAAF President Sebastian Coe. "It’s a stepping stone towards 2020, when we will have an even more coherent structure of races, with better defined tiers to guide fans and athletes, and with integrity measures that are proportionate to the level of the competition. In 2019 we will be reducing the pool of athletes who hold the coveted 'Gold Label Status' to ensure the highest-earning pros are subject to out-of-competition drug-testing . “I’d like to thank the AIU and Abbott World Marathon Majors for their guidance in this area, and stress that these changes are being introduced in cooperation with race and athlete representatives, who have been very supportive all the way. A more robust regulatory framework for athlete representatives is also in the making.” The 2019 regulations will apply to any road races seeking Label status for 2020. (10/09/2018) ⚡AMP
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Cross-Country is making its debut at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games

The IAAF World Cross Country Championships Aarhus 2019 will take place in 200 days’ time, but Tuesday 11 September marks another important milestone for cross country. In one month from today (October 6-18), the athletics program will get under way at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games, where cross-country running will make its debut. Cross-country running last appeared in the Olympic arena back in 1924 at the summer Games in Paris, but it will feature in the Argentinean capital next month in a new and innovative format. As is the case with all individual athletics disciplines at the Youth Olympic Games, there will be two stages to the distances events, in which 48 boys and 48 girls will be entered. In stage one of the 1500m, 3000m and 2000m steeplechase, all athletes will compete in a heat of their individual event. In the second stage of the competition, all athletes from those three events will compete in a cross-country race – one race for boys and one race for girls.  The placings of athletes in each individual event and in the cross-country race will be added to determine the overall final placings with the athlete having the lowest total score being the overall winner. The results of the cross-country race will be adjusted to reflect separate rankings for the 1500m, 3000m and 2000m steeplechase respectively with medals being allocated accordingly in the three individual track disciplines. For example, an athlete placing second in the 3000m and fourth of the 3000m runners in the cross-country race will receive a final score of six points. “It has long been our desire to see cross country running back in the Olympic Games,” said IAAF President Sebastian Coe. “We see the inclusion of cross country in the program for the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires as the first step towards its return to the main program of the Olympic Games." "Cross country is the endurance bedrock on which all middle and long distance running is based and we believe it deserves this recognition,” Coe added. (09/11/2018) ⚡AMP
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IAAF releases the biggest ever biomechanics study for Track and Field

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) today released the results of, what they claim, is the largest biomechanical study in the sport’s history. Almost everything that moved in the Olympic Stadium at last year’s IAAF World Championships was recorded by 49 high-speed cameras and has now been measured and analyzed as part of the study.  "Biomechanics are crucial to the development of athletes where milliseconds and millimeters can make the difference between qualifying for a final, or not, and winning a medal, or not," says IAAF President Sebastian Coe. Among the highlights of the research was that on the steeplechase, which was recorded in detail for the first time. It is claimed the outstanding technique of American athletes Emma Coburn and Courtney Frerichs in the women’s 3,000m steeplechase clearly showed that medals were won and lost in the water. The research showed in detail that the United States team’s effective water jump clearance techniques were key to their performances.  The data captured on women's 10,000m champion Almaz Ayana of Ethiopia, meanwhile, shows a difference of up to 20 centimeters between the length of her strides from right to left - her right to left is longer than left to right. While it is hoped the reports will provide useful insight for coaches and athletes, it is anticipated they will also help the sport innovate by providing new data and graphics that can be shared with the media and fans around the world. (07/15/2018) ⚡AMP
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Mo Farah says it was nice running alongside club runners at London 10,000m

Great Britain’s Olympic legend Sir Mo Farah won the biggest ever Vitality London 10,000 today, while Steph Twell took her first victory in the women’s race. Farah treated the enthusiastic London crowds, who had turned out in the thousands to watch the race.  Mo outsprinted young British runners Richard Allen (29:48) and Matthew Sharp (29:50) in the final 500m to take his sixth Vitality London 10,000 victory, and the British road 10k title, on his first appearance at the race since 2013. Twell also dominated in the women’s race, finishing in 32:34, almost half a minute ahead of Gemma Steel (33:00), while 2017 champion Jo Pavey completed the podium with her third-place finish in a time of 33:12.  Vitality ambassadors Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill and Lord Sebastian Coe set the masses on their way as more than 14,000 runners crossed the starting line on The Mall to make this the biggest Vitality London 10,000 in 11 editions.  As they headed along The Mall and through Admiralty Arch in bright sunshine, Farah looked supremely comfortable as a group of six runners – which included Richard Allen, Jonathan Mellor, Mohamud Aadan, Matthew Sharp and Abdulle Abdishakur – ticked off the first few kilometers of the race. But once the group had passed the halfway point, just after the Bank of England, Farah started to increase the pace and dropping first one then two runners to reduce group to four, then to three, until Allen and Sharp were the only two men able to stay with the four-time Olympic gold medallist. With 800m to go, Farah moved up a gear to move into the lead, making the final turn into Spur Road and on to the Finish Line alone, to the delight of the crowds who had turned out in huge numbers to cheer their hero to victory in 29:44. “The pace was nice and comfortable and I really enjoyed the race,” Farah said afterwards. “I was happy with the win, which is the most important thing, but it was nice to be able to run alongside club runners who look up to you. “It’s good to forget about who you are – and what you have achieved – and just enjoy the moment, which is what I did out there. (05/29/2018) ⚡AMP
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Few could have predicted the winner of the women’s race in Prague

Bornes Jepkirui Kitur of Kenya ran to victory at the Volkswagen Prague Marathon on Sunday, May 6.  Few could have predicted the results in the women’s race.  Kitur wasn’t even considered in the favorite's group before the race, but she managed to hold off all challenges en route to a clear victory in 2:24:19. “I had a really good race, the only slight issue I found were the cobblestones," she said. "I managed to shave more than four minutes off my personal best and am really delighted to have won.” The 30-year-old set her previous personal best of 2:28:48 in Mumbai in January where she finished second. The second and third podium spots went to Ethiopians Belaynesh Oljira and Amane Gobena who clocked 2:27:43 and 2:25:13 respectively. The event's 24th edition featured 9778 runners. IAAF President Sebastian Coe started the race. (05/07/2018) ⚡AMP
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Should Caster Semenya be forced to lower Testosterone levels to compete in Tokyo?

Caster Semenya is very much in the news lately. We have already published two stories about the new IAAF rule which will require Caster to take testosterone-lowering medication in order to compete on an international level. 

Per the report: "The IAAF, will reportedly announce the creation of a new female classification to be known as Athletes with Differences of Sexual Development, which includes those with Hyperandrogenism, such as Semenya.

"From November 1, 2018, athletes who fit into that classification will be forced to undergo testosterone-lowering treatment."  

Caster was born with this medical condition.  Caster is a South African middle-distance runner and a gold medalist and for sure could easily pass for a man on the outside. 

Last August Caster shared this story about her love story with her wife Violet Raseboya in a TV interview.  "We met in a restroom in 2007. She was a runner and was being escorted by doping officials.

She thought I was a boy and said 'What is a boy doing in here?'" "I'm not a boy. You think I'm lost? You think I can just walk in here?" It took a while for them to start dating and Caster said it was her that told Violet about her feelings for her. 

"We were in denial. She had a past. She had a boyfriend. (She) was trying to deny being in love with a woman"  They got married in 2017.  

This is a tough situation for the IAAF.  Seb Coe just wants the competition to be fair.  However, this is a medical condition a person is born with. Penalizing  an athlete for a natural trait of her body does not seem right.   

(05/01/2018) ⚡AMP
by Bob Anderson
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Should the mile be added back into the Commonwealth Games? How about the 1500m?

A mile race could be added to the programme for future editions of the Commonwealth Games as part of a broader attempt to embrace the heritage of athletics. International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) President Sebastian Coe spoke enthusiastically about such a plan here today when asked about possible innovations. The mile featured on the programme at all editions of the event until Kingston 1966, when it was replaced by the 1,500 metres. It is not yet clear if a restored mile would sit alongside, or instead of, the 1,500m, although the latter scenario seems more likely due to the similarities between the events. "We have had the thought of introducing the mile back into the Commonwealth Games and I have an ambition to create and celebrate our own heritage, because often we have events that are the bedrock of our history," Coe said. "Some of the great moments in track and field have been established in a Commonwealth Games. "We still talk about the Miracle Mile, 1954 in Vancouver, these are indelible moments." The Miracle Mile saw England's Sir Roger Bannister beat Australian rival John Landy at Vancouver 1954 in the first race in which two men broke the four minute barrier. "The mile is something that we have been talking with the IAAF about recently, particularly with the passing of Roger Bannister," added Commonwealth Games Federation chief executive David Grevemberg today in Australia. (04/08/2018) ⚡AMP
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Seb Coe may need to make tough decisions that don’t favor Nike, then What?

“No conflict of interest as far as I'm concerned,” says Carla van Kampen in response to Nike naming a building in Seb Coe’s name. “Coe was one of the greatest runners of all time (800/1500),” Carla continued.

“If Coe shows any favoritism towards Nike in the future, well then that's something else. I met Coe a couple of years ago while he was in Rome for the World Race Walking Championships before the Rio Olympics, and he was a class act, so engaged and friendly.”

Bob Anderson, the founder and publisher of Runner’s World for 18 years (1966-1984) and now MBR answered, “I agree, Lord Seb Coe is a class act. But if he needs to make some decisions on matters that does not favor Nike, he needs to be able to do this without Nike retaliating.

"Many years ago when we published that, at the time, Brooks made a better shoe in our shoe issue, Nike retaliated by not attacking RW (since everyone loved our magazine) but Nike attacked me.

"They sent out a press release to all their dealers questioning my integrity and then pulled out one million dollars of advertising.

"They were our largest advertiser but we published the shoe ranking results in the order as our Penn State lab presented them to us. (Nike's action caused the FTC to do an investigation. After a year or so they announced no company was favored unfairly.) What is important now is that the IAAF runs our sport not Nike. However, Nike’s support (just like their support of RW from 1966 to 1980) is very valuable to our sport. It is a fine line.” Bob says.

(03/14/2018) ⚡AMP
by Bob Anderson
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Is there a conflict of interest - Nike just dedicated a building to Sebastian Coe

Yesterday Nike dedicated a building on their Global Campus to Sebastian Coe. A little more than three years ago Coe severed his ties with Nike. The Nike Oregon Project is still part of an on going doping investigation, but the sportswear giant announced they would name a new building after the president of the IAAF on the same Nike Campus where Alberto Salazar coaches. In November 2015, Coe terminated his agreement as a $140,000-a-year ambassador for Nike in the face of accusations that a conflict of interest existed over the controversial award of the 2021 athletics World Championships to Eugene, Oregon. Maybe Nike named a building in his name because of what he did as an athlete? Sebastian Coe is a two time Olympic gold medalist (1,500 meters, 1980, 1984) and Olympic silver medalist (1980, 1984, silver medalist 800 meters). Very impressive and of course he is the current President of the IAAF. (03/13/2018) ⚡AMP
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Sea Coe says the IAAF takes the fight against doping very seriously

"Give athletics some kudo, my sport is not in tatters," IAAF President, Seb Coe response to the DCMS committee report on combating doping. "I sat in front of the select committee for well over three hours when I was asked to appear, going through the processes by which we, the IAAF, follow such procedures. We’ve made a set of wide-sweeping reforms to revamp the governance of the sport, made 200 changes to its constitution and set up the aforementioned integrity unit. Plus, there is the ongoing suspension of the Russian Member Federation. So, frankly I didn’t see athletics in tatters at the World Championships in London last summer nor did I at the World Indoors in Birmingham the past week." The IAAF World Half Marathon Championships takes place March 24 and they are enforcing the anti-doping program. This year’s event will be the 23rd edition of the championships and the second time it has been held in Spain. (03/06/2018) ⚡AMP
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Roger Bannister’s achievement transcended sport, let alone athletics says Seb Coe

(Keith Burge on Twitter)...On the 6th of May 1954 Sir Roger Bannister did a shift at St Mary's Hospital in London, then sharpened his running spikes in the hospital lab, took the train to Oxford, grabbed some lunch, walked to the track and then ran a mile in under 4 minutes...(from NY Times) Paced by Chataway and Brasher and powered by an explosive kick, his signature, Bannister ran a mile in under four minutes — 3:59.4, to be exact — becoming the first man ever to do so, breaking through a mystical barrier and creating a seminal moment in sports history. (BBC Sports) IAAF president, Seb Coe, two-time Olympic 1500m gold medallist for Great Britain and three-time mile world record holder says, "His achievement transcended sport, let alone athletics. It was a moment in history that lifted the heart of a nation and boosted morale in a world that was still at a low ebb after the war. We have all lost a giant and, for many of us, a deep and close friendship.” Sir Roger Bannister passed away March 3, 2018 in Oxford, England. R.I.P. (03/04/2018) ⚡AMP
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American’s Becca Pizzi wins the First Marathon - Six to Go by Feb 5

American's Becca Pizzi was the overall winner of the 2016 World Marathon Challenge. Today she won the Antarctic Intercontinental Marathon (the first of seven) in a time of 4:06:45. In second was Renee DeMarsh(USA) 4.28.10, third Gulzhamal DeFelice (RUS/USA)4.38.03, fourth Meghan Newcomer (USA) 4.41:14, and fifth Cara Nelson (USA) 4:50:15. For men, Gary Thornton (IRL) won in a time of 2.58.39 today. Gary ran an amazing sub 3 hour time. Second was Jason Cousins (GBR) 3.44.56, third Scott Coey (AUS) 3.52.47 and in fourth Joshua Cohen (USA) 3.55.05. (01/30/2018) ⚡AMP
Epic Running Adventures
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Seb Coe Hopes Cross Country Will be Added to 2024 Olympics

"The 2024 Olympic Games in Paris would be a fitting time to see the return of cross country to the Olympic programme,” said IAAF President Sebastian Coe, who attended and participated in Sunday’s Cross de Italica in Seville. Organisers of the IAAF World Cross Country Championships 2019 to be held in Aarhus, Denmark scheduled for 30 March 2019, says they have already promised initiatives to help guide the Championships into new territory. More news about the course will be announced soon. (01/24/2018) ⚡AMP
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