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Kenya’s long distance runner, Mikel Kiprotich Mutai has been handed a four-year ban with compatriot Japhet Kipchirchir Kipkorir getting a provisional suspension for doping offences

World Athletics’ (WA) Athletes Integrity Unit (AIU) announced on Friday that it had found Mutai guilty of having tested positive to prohibited substance Norandrosterone.

Mutai’s suspension starts on March 20, 2020 for four years and his results dating back to December 15, 2019 will be nullified.

Mutai and another Kenyan long distance runner Alex Oloitiptip were flagged down on May 13 by AIU for separate violations of anti-doping rules. AIU is yet to determine on Oloitiptip’s case after the athlete was flagged down for his whereabouts violation.

In his last race, Mutai finished third during the Taipei Marathon in 2:17:14 on December 15 last year in Taipei, almost a month after claiming an ninth place finish at Nanchang International Marathon in China in 2:19:06.

Mutai had started the year at the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon where he finished eighth in 2:12:54 on February 17, having won the race for the first time in 2016 in 2:12:12.

Mutai, who has personal best 2:09:18 from 2012 Dubai Marathon, would then finish sixth at New Taipei City Marathon in 2:25:32 on March 1 last year.

Mutai started his road running career at the 2008 Nairobi Half Marathon where he finished eighth has a chance to appeal the decision.

Kipkorir, who finished third at 2011 Gold Coast Marathon in personal best 2:10:50, too has tested positive to prohibited substance Norandrosterone.

Mutai, Kipkorir and Oloitiptip join several other Kenyans who have either been banned or under provisional suspension for various doping offences this year by AIU.

They are the 2017 London Marathon champion Daniel Wanjiru, Kennth Kipkemoi, 2014 World Under-20 800m champion Alfred Kipketer and former world marathon record holder, Wilson Kipsang.

Others are Mercy Kibarus, Vincent Kipsegechi Yator and Peter Kwemoi.

(05/29/2020) ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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Michael Wardian set out for a virtual ultra marathon. He kept running for 2½ days.

n the early days of the second full month of the global novel coronavirus pandemic that has all but paralyzed the sports world, Michael Wardian went out for a run around the block. He woke up early Saturday morning, laced up his shoes and stepped outside to run around his Northern Virginia neighborhood.

He circled the block and then did it again. And then again and again. Wardian ended up running for more than 2½ days, skipping sleep and piling up miles. When he finally unlaced his shoes late Monday night, he’d run 262½ miles in all, winning a long-distance event called the Quarantine Backyard Ultra, a virtual race inspired by the social distancing recommendations that make a standard road race impossible in the midst of a pandemic.

The unique event was intended to fill a void for distance runners who saw their race calendars wiped clean by the spread of the coronavirus. It brought together more than 2,000 runners from nearly 60 countries and turned into a captivating affair with a drama-filled, controversial finish.

“We do not know when this situation is going to end, and this is a fun way to bring a whole bunch of people together to be able to test their fitness, join a community, and do something together when many people cannot leave their homes,” a Calgary-based distance-running outfit called Personal Peak wrote in a March post announcing the race.

The rules were simple enough. The runners had to honor social distancing recommendations and either compete on a treadmill or in some sequestered environment. Some, such as Wardian, circled their neighborhood, while others circled their backyard. One entrant did laps around his living room in Dubai, and another ran circles in a Canadian coffee shop that had been closed because of the virus.

Runners were connected via Zoom and required to run 4.167 miles each hour. After hitting their hourly mark, the runners flashed their watch to the camera and then waited for the next lap to begin at the top of the hour.

For each 4.167-mile lap in the race, Wardian made 10 loops around the block in his Arlington neighborhood. That means that once the race began Saturday morning, he passed the same neighbors, same trees, same parked cars — same everything — more than 620 times.

The race began with more than 2,400 entrants, but they slowly dropped, and Monday was mostly a duel between Wardian and a runner halfway around the world named Radek Brunner, who was pounding out miles on a treadmill in the Czech Republic. Wardian officially won shortly before midnight Monday after more than 62½ hours of running when Brunner was disqualified because of a technicality.

Brunner failed to start running his 63rd lap precisely at the top of the hour, apparently because of some technical difficulty or confusion, and organizers reluctantly said they had no choice but to disqualify him for a rules violation.

In winning the event, Wardian ran the equivalent of 10 marathons in a little more than 2½ days. That’s a bit farther than running straight from Washington to Pittsburgh. Perhaps equally impressive: A sleep-deprived Wardian consistently turned in sub-10-minute miles, but his fastest lap was his final one, when he averaged 7:23 over the event’s final four miles.

Wardian, who turns 46 on Sunday, is well-known on the ultra circuit, his running exploits growing longer each year. He has raced against horses, run around the Capital Beltway, completed marathons on seven continents (twice) and competed in the U.S. Olympic marathon trials and most every other premier distance event. Until this virtual competition, though, he had never run so many hours and so many miles consecutively, he said.

To prepare, Wardian ran a full marathon in his neighborhood the week before, knowing he would be in for a grueling turn in the virtual race. After the first hours of the event ticked by Saturday, the field whittled down quickly. Treadmills broke, hamstrings tweaked, work and real life beckoned, quick power naps turned into full-bore slumber. But mostly the miles and hours just became too much.

By Sunday evening, after 36 hours and 150 miles, the field was down to 14. By that point, Wardian was running in the dark, and his kids were nearing bedtime. Overnight, the runners kept dropping, and at one point, Wardian thought he would be joining them. Around 3 a.m., he briefly stopped running and walked over to his wife, Jennifer.

“I was crumbling in the middle of the night,” he later explained. “She asked if I was all right. I said, ‘No, I just don’t want to be doing this anymore.’ She said that’s not a good enough excuse.”

So he kept going, finding a second wind. He would usually finish his 4.167-mile lap in 40 or so minutes, which gave him a bit of time to catch his breath before lining up again at the top of the hour. This was the reflective period when others typically bowed out.

After 42 hours and 175 miles, Matt Shepard, who had been circling the Tall Timber coffee shop in Canada, Matthieu Weiner of Pennsylvania and Scott Martin from Oregon all dropped. Then Greg Armstrong in Tennessee an hour later. And then, after 46 hours of running, the last female runner, Anna Carlsson, who had been trekking through the outdoors near the northern tip of Sweden, had to stop. She had been running on a frozen lake that had been plowed for the occasion but had to drop when a snowstorm approached.

Finally, as the race hit the 48-hour mark Monday morning, just Wardian and Brunner were left. Both knew it wasn’t the speed or mile-pace that counted. It was a race of attrition, and the last man standing would be the sole winner. Brunner sneaked quick naps at the bottom of each hour, but Wardian hadn’t slept since Friday night.

“Sleep, what? None,” Wardian said at one point. “This is my money race. I don’t need to sleep.”

Because we live in virtual times, the entire event was streamed online, first on YouTube and later on Facebook, and thousands tuned in to watch the runners in Zoom’s now-familiar checkerboard format. The audience was able to engage and ask questions of the runners as they rested between laps.

“Let’s keep doing this!” Wardian said into the camera after he was 216 miles into the race.

And so they kept running into a third day and night. Even with 250 miles behind them — around 9 p.m. Monday — both were turning in a relatively fast pace, and Wardian had his sights set on what organizers say is the virtual backyard ultra record: 69 laps.

But then a whistle sounded for lap No. 63. Wardian took off running in the dark, but more than 4,000 miles away, Brunner stood still on his treadmill, seemingly unaware the lap had started. The online audience watched as Brunner fielded a phone call from race organizers, visibly in disbelief that after 62 hours of running, he was disqualified over what seemed like a minor infraction.

Wardian finished his lap and was slightly confused, too — and also disappointed the race was over and he couldn’t add another record to his lengthy race résumé.

(04/12/2020) ⚡AMP
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Great Britain´s Tish Jones has endured injuries, a bike crash and a kidney stone problem but remains focused on the London Marathon

Since running a marathon PB of 2:31:00 in London last year to qualify for the World Championships in Doha, luck has not been on Tish Jones’ side and she has endured injuries, a bike crash and a kidney stone problem among other things.

Speaking from her training base in South Africa, she says she has had “a bumpy road” in recent months – and she is not exaggerating.

The build-up to her first GB appearance in Doha went well, with much of her training done in Colorado, but just before going to the holding camp in Dubai her carbon fiber bike was stolen in Teddington – a blow for an athlete who enjoys mixing cycling with running.

She was then forced to pull out of the marathon in Doha in October with a leg muscle injury.

Then just days later she came off her mountain bike while riding along a trail and broke a bone in her arm and cut her face badly in the crash. This led to her arm being in a sling for a while but she battled on training with Tokyo selection in her sights.

However, 2020 then began with her father suffering a major heart attack and her own training has been troubled by a kidney stone problem.

“It’s been a bit physically and mentally exhausting lately,” she says with some understatement.

Based in Cape Town and covering several hundred kilometers every week on her bike, in addition to running, Jones is used to taking the unconventional route. In her younger days she was not a keen runner at school and instead spent more time horse riding before eventually coming into running after impressing in obstacle course racing.

She has faced plenty of obstacles during recent months of training too. On her bike crash in October, she says: “I’d ridden the trail many times but my front suspension didn’t take kindly to this one chunk of wood that I tried to go over. My wheel planted into it and stuck and my arm collapsed on the handlebar. I landed on my face and my elbow, so I broke my radius.

“I think I was mildly concussed but I got up, checked that I had everything in my pockets and that my teeth were okay because there was blood everywhere. My helmet was crushed on one side and my ear was cut up with gravel. I thought my arm was sore but didn’t realize it was broken. I was at a high point on the mountain so had to ride down, although I realized I couldn’t brake properly so I got off occasionally and carefully made my way back to the gym in the end, where my stuff was.

“When people saw me, they were shocked. I didn’t know how bad my face was. When I got to the emergency room, I ended up being there for six hours until midnight. Although I was fine after that. It was just annoying that all that stuff (bad luck) happened at the same time.”

On her current kidney stone problem, she says: “The doctor didn’t seem too concerned about the size of it so I think I just have to wait and it’ll go of its own accord and I’m keeping myself as hydrated as possible in the meantime.”

The 34-year-old had an injury-hit build-up to London last year, though, but she came good in the end to finish second Brit behind Charlie Purdue and ahead of Lily Partridge, Hayley Carruthers, Tracy Barlow and Sonia Samuels. Jones was unable to run during January but kept fit with cross-training and then packed lots of work into the final two months before taking two minutes off her PB in the big race itself.

“I was devastated not to run in Doha,” she says, adding that the British Athletics team were brilliant in helping her throughher preparations and subsequent difficulties. “The hot climate didn’t matter to me. I wanted to run and I would have dragged myself to the finish. But my coach says it was a blessing that I missed it because I could have come out of it in a bad way.

“I was so upset not to race there though as it was my first British vest. I was in bits. It was like being in mourning afterwards. But with the injury there was no way I could have run it – that was the problem.”

“I don’t have much patience for most things. I lose my temper so easily. But I have patience for running. Everything goes into my running.”

(03/11/2020) ⚡AMP
by Jason Henderson
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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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An assault on both the men's and women's records is expected at the Tokyo Marathon, a World Athletics Platinum level, on Sunday

The best fields ever assembled for this race in the Japanese capital will be targeting Wilson Kipsang's 2:03:58 and Sarah Chepchirchir's 2:19:47 course records, both set in 2017.

Three entrants with lifetime bests faster than Kipsang's mark head the men's field, all three from Ethiopia. Birhanu Legese is the fastest at 2:02:48, Getaneh Molla next at 2:03:34 with Sisay Lemma just a couple ticks behind with 2:03:36. All three set their bests in 2019 - Legese and Lemma in Berlin and Molla in Dubai - so should be near top form now.

Five more runners - Asefa Mengstu, Dickson Chumba, Hayle Lemi, El Hassan El Abbassi, and Titus Ekiru – come armed with sub-2:05 bests. The favorite may be Legese, the defending Tokyo Marathon champion, who recorded his personal best behind Kenenisa Bekele's world record attack in the German capital.

Although Molla stated his time goal as 2:03:55, he may be ready to run faster given his PB was set in his debut over the distance. The most ambitious runner may be Lemma who said he's gunning for a 2:02:00 performance.

Dickson Chumba, who won this race in 2014 and 2018, is going for a record third victory. He has run in every Tokyo Marathon since 2014 and never finished further back than third.

Aga and Dibaba head deep women's field, Four runners with personal bests faster than Chepchirchir's course record time will start the women’s race: Ruti Aga, who clocked 2:18:34 in Berlin in 2018; Birhane Dibaba who ran 2:18:46 in last year's quality Valencia race; Kenyan Valary Aiyabei, who clocked 2:19:10 in Frankfurt last year; and Israel's Lonah Chemtai Salpeter, who has a 2:19:46 best set in Prague last year.

With 2:19:52 credentials, Tigist Girma rounds out the sub-2:20 field. Four others have dipped under 2:22.

Dibaba, who has run in Tokyo five times, is the only multiple winner, collecting victories in 2015 and 2018. She said she's targeting a 2:18:30 performance and a third victory. Aga, the defending Tokyo champion, is aiming for a lifetime best. Although her marathon best is only 2:24:11, Senbere Teferi, with a 1:05:32 career best one of the fastest half marathon runners in history and the Ethiopian record holder, should also be capable of running with the field's sub-2:20 runners.

"We have been preparing for the Tokyo Marathon 2020 while implementing preventive safety measures, however, now that case of COVID-19 has been confirmed within Tokyo, we cannot continue to launch the event within the scale we originally anticipated," organizers said.

(02/28/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Tokyo Marathon

Tokyo Marathon

The Tokyo Marathon is an annual marathon sporting event in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. It is an IAAF Gold Label marathon and one of the six World Marathon Majors. (2020) The Tokyo Marathon Foundation said it will cancel the running event for non-professional runners as the coronavirus outbreak pressures cities and institutions to scrap large events. Sponsored by Tokyo...

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Chen Huang of China and Denmark's Kristina Madsen both claim fourth wins in race five of World Marathon Challenge

Chen Huang of China and Denmark's Kristina Madsen continued their domination of the World Marathon Challenge in Madrid, Spain on Tuesday (February 11) with their fourth victories out of the five marathons held so far.

"Well, I ran the course last year, I did a 3:12 last year, my personal best last year, so I knew what was coming. Embraced all the hills, I like the uphills and I like the downhills, so it's just a perfect course for me, perfect." Says Madsen.

The athletes are attempting to run seven marathons in seven days which began last week in Cape Town (Africa), followed by Novo (Antarctica), Perth (Australia), Dubai (Asia), Madrid (Europe), Fortaleza (South America) and Miami (North America).

In Madrid, Chen completed the marathon held on the Jarama motor racing track in a time of three hours, 14 minutes, 32 seconds, finishing almost four minutes ahead of Frenchman Olivier Thiriet.

Madsen won the women's race in 3:18:25, crossing the finish line alongside Thiriet and almost five minutes clear of American Jessica Jones in second place.

Chen's only finish off the winner's podium was in Antarctica where he was fourth, while Madsen's only defeat so far was when she took second place behind Jones in Perth.

Immediately after the race, the athletes travelled to Fortaleza in Brazil for race six on Wednesday (February 12) with the concluding race in Miami in the early hours of Thursday (February 13).

(02/12/2020) ⚡AMP
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World Marathon Challenge

World Marathon Challenge

The World Marathon Challenge ® is a logistical and physical challenge to run seven marathons on seven continents in seven days. Competitors must run the standard 42.2 km marathon distance in Antarctica, Africa, Australia, Asia, Europe, South America and North America within 168 hours, or seven days. The clock starts when the first marathon begins in Antarctica. ...

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Kenya’s David Barmasai Tumo won the 2020 edition of the Lagos Marathon

Kenyan long-distance runner David Barmasai Tumo wins Lagos marathon. He won the race in 2 hours, 10 minutes 22 seconds. The 42km race commenced from National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos.

It was a clean sweep as Debeko Dakama and Paul Waweru Chege also from Kenya joined Barmasai on the podium finishing second and third.

The male and female 42km runners competed for the grand prize of $50,000 while the second and third place winners will get $40,000 and $30,000 respectively.

In 2011, David has a personal best of 2:07:18 hours, set winning of Dubai Marathon and came fifth at the 2011 World Championships in Athletics.

The 42km race commenced from National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos, at about 6:30am and ended at Eko Atlantic City.

Since the inception of the annual marathon festival, no Nigerian has emerged winner, now in its fifth edition.

 

(02/08/2020) ⚡AMP
by Taiwo Okanlawon
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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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Wounded war hero Luke Wigman is set to run seven marathons, on seven continents for a second time

War hero Luke Wigman will this week run seven marathons, on seven continents in seven days – for a second time.

Elite RAF paratrooper Luke, 33, from Selston, Nottingham, starts the epic race this Thursday in Antarctica as he bids to become the first Brit to ever run the World Marathon Challenge twice.

He scooped a Sun Military Award after completing the epic running challenge in 2017 after suffering horror leg injuries when he stood on a hidden bomb in 2011 in Helmand.

And now he is back to run it again – this time raising funds for the RAF Benevolent Fund – which supported him during his rehabilitation.

Married Luke, who was a Senior Aircraftsman with the RAF Regiment, revealed he agreed to take on the epic race with just two weeks’ notice.

He said: “My goals are different for this one, I want to survive. I’m not focused on running the best times every single day, I just want to get to the end in one piece.

“When you’re doing this, you don’t know what country you’re in, what time zone, but it’s all irrelevant.

“All you’ve got to remember is you’ve got 168 hours to run 183.4 miles.

“What makes the World Marathon Challenge so hard is the travel, you’re traveling for 60 to 70 hours on a plane, through the week.

“My injury is lower leg, and my blood flow through to the leg is quite bad, so the flying and the traveling is really hard for me.

“I could end up with an elephant leg by the third day just from the flying.

“But if I can get to the end in one piece and shed some light on the RAF Benevolent Fund, then it will be mission accomplished.”

Luke believes the endurance challenge is the toughest of its kind out there, saying: “It’s physically horrendous, it's mentally tiring and it’s a logistical nightmare, but you just need to get to the end.

“I couldn’t let the opportunity pass, the first time was such a success, this time I want to do it for the RAF Benevolent Fund.

“They have had a huge, direct impact, on my life since my injury in 2011.

“If I can replicate what I did three years ago then why not, I’ll do it again.

“This is an opportunity to pay them back, I can only do these incredible challenges because of the rehab I received and the support from the charities along the way.”

In 2017 Luke, who served with the crack Special Forces Support Group, ran consecutive 26.2 mile races in Antarctica, Chile, Miami, Madrid, Marrakech, Dubai and Sydney, in less than a week.

This year the route starts in Antarctica before jetting to Cape Town, South Africa, Perth, Australia, Dubai, Asia, Madrid, Europe, Fortaleza, South America before ending in Miami, North America.

Luke aims to complete the challenge despite his leg being re-built two years ago to repair scar damage caused by the bomb blast.

(02/06/2020) ⚡AMP
by David Willetts
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World Marathon Challenge

World Marathon Challenge

The World Marathon Challenge ® is a logistical and physical challenge to run seven marathons on seven continents in seven days. Competitors must run the standard 42.2 km marathon distance in Antarctica, Africa, Australia, Asia, Europe, South America and North America within 168 hours, or seven days. The clock starts when the first marathon begins in Antarctica. ...

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Commercial Bank of Dubai (CBD) has been announced as a primary sponsor for the 14th edition of the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon

This sponsorship with the world’s fastest half marathon is another major endorsement for the race, which recently announced an impressive lineup of world-class elite runners.

One of the leading banks in the UAE, CBD’s sponsorship of the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon forms an integral part of its social responsibility strategy to promote a healthy lifestyle, a strategy that has seen the bank previously partner with other prominent runs in the United Arab Emirates.

Dr. Bernd van Linder, Chief Executive Officer of Commercial Bank of Dubai, said: “We are excited to be playing a significant part in such a high-profile international event, as one of the race’s Primary Sponsors. As the world’s fastest half marathon, this event elevates the UAE’s reputation as a top destination for elite sport and we are proud to be associated with the race.

“This initiative also aligns well with our overall social responsibility strategy to promote a healthy lifestyle amongst UAE residents. The RAK Half Marathon has engaged the local running community for many years and this year is poised to attract even more participants due to the increase in the category options on offer.

“At CBD, we are all looking forward to the 21st February and seeing thousands of happy, active people crossing the finish line.”

Raki Phillips, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, commented: “The world-renowned Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon goes from strength to strength with each passing year, so we are delighted to welcome on-board such an equally prominent partner as Commercial Bank of Dubai for the 2020 race.

“With just under a month to go, the anticipation is really building, so we’d really like to encourage as many runners as possible to sign up and come and enjoy this remarkable experience in the beautiful emirate of Ras Al Khaimah for themselves.”

Set against the picturesque backdrop of the Arabian Gulf, the popular Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon (www.therakhalfmarathon.com) will welcome thousands of professional and amateur runners from around the world. The annual premier road race will host a variety of race categories, including elite runners, club and recreational runners, people of determination and juniors.

In 2020, it will also introduce a new relay race category for the first time, while a 1 KM Fun Run designed for children will allow families to enjoy themselves as well. Registration is open until the 15th February.

A prize purse of Dh1,219,000 will be distributed among the leading elite runners as well as the UAE National and age group categories.

Among the favorites will be women’s marathon world record-holder, Brigid Kosgei from Kenya, while the men’s race will see Kenyan Benard Kimeli, who clinched back-to-back half marathon titles in Prague in 2018 and 2019, battle it out with the likes of Mosinet Geremew – one of only five men to complete a marathon in under two hours and three minutes – and European half marathon record-holder, Julien Wanders of Switzerland.

(02/04/2020) ⚡AMP
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Rak Half Marathon

Rak Half Marathon

The Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon is the 'world's fastest half marathon' because if you take the top 10 fastest times recorded in RAK for men (and the same for women) and find the average (for each) and then do the same with the top ten fastest recorded times across all races (you can reference the IAAF for this), the...

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World record-holders Eliud Kipchoge and Brigid Kosgei headline the star-studded Kenyan marathon team for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Eliud Kipchoge, who is the first man to run the marathon in under two hours, will be seeking to defend the title he won in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil four years ago where he clocked 2:08:44.

Kipchoge, whose record stands at 2:01:39, will lead the Kenyan men’s team which also has debutant Chicago Marathon champion Lawrence Cherono, world silver medalist Amos Kipruto, former world half marathon silver medalist Bedan Karoki, and African Games half marathon winner Titus Ekiru. The duo of Karoki and Ekiru are on stand by.

Cherono, 32, made it to the team courtesy of his heroics in Chicago last year, where he timed 2:05:45 to win the race— just six months after claiming the Boston Marathon. He has a personal best of 2:04:06 recorded in Amsterdam in 2018. Cherono’s half marathon personal best stands at 1:00:46 posted in San Diego, USA last year.

Kipruto called on the sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed to accord the team support like she did during the 2019 World Championships in Doha, Qatar. He termed the selection process as tough for AK owing to the number of top marathoners in the country pursuing to make the team.

“It was tough for AK to pick the team from the pool of marathoners we have. We are happy to have made the cut and we hope we will enjoy maximum support. The CS was in Doha with us during the World championships and her presence motivated the team. We will maintain our mentality and discipline in camp,” he said.

Similarly, Brigid Kosgei will lead the women’s team which will also feature world champion Ruth Chepngetich and former London Marathon champion Vivian Cheruiyot. Sally Kaptich and Vallary Aiyabei are on standby

Kosgei broke Paula Radcliffe's 16-year-old record held by a massive 81 seconds in October last year during the Chicago Marathon after crossing the line in 2:14:04. She is also the London Marathon champion and has half marathon personal best of 1:04:28. 

Chepngetich defied sweltering conditions in Doha to be crowned the world champion last year, where she clocked 2:32:43. The 26-year-old has a marathon personal best at 2:17:08 which she ran in Dubai last year. Her half marathon best time is 1:05:30. 

For Vivian, she returns to the Olympics as a marathoner after reigning supreme in the 5,000 and 10,000m races in the previous four editions. The decorated athlete won the 5,000m race in Rio and took silver in 10,000m. She will be hoping to add yet another Olympic gold medal to her rich collection. Her full marathon personal best is 2:18:31 which was recorded in London in 2018. Her half marathon best time is 1:06:34.

“It is the best team ever assembled for the Olympics. We are going to work hard in training and make our country proud,” said Cheruiyot

Training is set to begin on May 1 in Kaptagat according to AK President Jackson Tuwei.

(01/31/2020) ⚡AMP
by Meshack Kisenge
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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Nontuthuko Mgabhi from Richards Bay aims to be the first woman from Africa to run the World Marathon Challenge

A Richards Bay woman is aiming to become the first woman in Africa to run the World Marathon Challenge - seven marathons on seven continents in seven days - in February.

On Suday, a 15km and 5km fun run and walk was held in Bulwer to raise awareness about her attempt and to help raise funds for it.

Nontuthuko Mgabhi, 32, will use the challenge to raise R3.5million for Khipinkunzi Primary School in Mtubatuba.

“I wanted to do something special for my birthday and was asked to give a motivational speech at the primary school last year, which has 657 pupils from Grade R to Grade 7. When I arrived at the school, I saw the poor state it was in and wanted to make a difference,” Mgabhi explained.

She is aiming to raise R3.5million to build five classrooms, two administration offices and to revamp the school.

Participating in the World Marathon Challenge means she would have to cover 295km and spend about 68 hours flying. The first marathon is in Antarctica on February 6, the second will be Cape Town on February 7, February 8 is in Perth, February 9 in Dubai, February 10 in Madrid, February 11 in Fortaleza in South America, and finishing in Miami on February 12.

Mgabhi said she started running in 2013, when a friend asked her to participate in the East Coast Radio Big Walk with her.

Ten months later, she participated in the Comrades Marathon and has since completed more than 50 marathons, including four Comrades and 15 ultra marathons.

(01/28/2020) ⚡AMP
by Kwazulu-Natal
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World Marathon Challenge

World Marathon Challenge

The World Marathon Challenge ® is a logistical and physical challenge to run seven marathons on seven continents in seven days. Competitors must run the standard 42.2 km marathon distance in Antarctica, Africa, Australia, Asia, Europe, South America and North America within 168 hours, or seven days. The clock starts when the first marathon begins in Antarctica. ...

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Defending champ Ruti Aga and last year's winner Birhanu Legese will be back for 2020 Tokyo Marathon

Ethiopia is pretty far down the road to overtaking Kenya as the world's leading marathon nation, and its presence is heavy in both the women's and men's fields for the Olympic year 2020 Tokyo Marathon. Lacking London's star power the Tokyo fields won't win many nominations for best of 2020, but with loads of World Marathon Majors top three finishers and winners of next-tier gold label marathons they're still fields at a level most other races would love to be able to pull off.

On the women's side, with PBs of 2:18:34 and 2:18:46 defending champ Ruti Aga and past winner Birhane Dibaba lead a main of twelve top-tier invited elites, of which nine were born in Ethiopia. The other three, Valary Jemeli Aiyabei, nationality transfer Lonah Chemtai Salpeter, and Selly Chepyego Kaptich, were all born in Kenya.

With Tokyo not counting in last-chance Olympic qualification for Japanese women the top entrant from outside those two countries is Japan's Haruka Yamaguchi, an amateur who took 7th in this past weekend's Osaka International Women's Marathon in 2:26:35. Former Canadian national record holder Rachel Cliff and locals Kaori Yoshida, Risa Noguchi, Shiho Kaneshige and Yurie Doi fill out the rest of the sub-2:30 set.

On the men's side Ethiopians make up five of the eleven invited internationals including the top four, with last year's winner Birhanu Legese leading the way in 2:02:48. Things are heavily stacked in the 2:04 to low-2:05 range, perfectly designed to set it up for the Japanese men. Their task and its payoff are simple: be the top Japanese guy in 2:05:49 or better and replace national record holder Suguru Osako (Nike) on the Sapporo 2020 Olympic marathon team.

Osako's there to stop them, fresh off a 25 km tempo in Dubai. His main competition is previous national record holder Yuta Shitara (Honda), who said last week that 2:05 isn't good enough and that if he doesn't run 2:04 in what he's calling his final marathon in Japan then he'll turn down the Olympic team spot.

Shitara's got that crazy edge working, which can count for a lot, but the biggest danger to Osako is probably going to be the ultra-disciplined Hiroto Inoue (MHPS), who ran 2:06:54 in Asics behind Shitara's NR two years ago, then made the switch to the Next% this season and promptly crushed the course record on the New Year Ekiden's longest stage. Put him in the same shoes as Osako and Shitara and they'd better watch out.

Kenta Murayama has the goods to be the other three's equal, but with his sponsor team Asahi Kasei having lost the plot when it comes to marathoning it would be a surprise to see him go much below 2:08. With twelve current sub-2:10 Japanese men in the field it's one of the best domestic races ever assembled, but apart from Murayama and possibly his talented teammate Shuho Dairokuno it's hard to see any darkhorses breaking through to the level of Osako, Shitara and Inoue. 

Mizuki Matsuda's 2:21:47 win in Osaka last weekend bumped her up into the 3rd Olympic women's spot but left her vulnerable to others in Nagoya, but with all the main men in Tokyo it's even harder to see anyone in Lake Biwa a week later going better than what they might do here.

(01/28/2020) ⚡AMP
by Brett Larner
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Tokyo Marathon

Tokyo Marathon

The Tokyo Marathon is an annual marathon sporting event in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. It is an IAAF Gold Label marathon and one of the six World Marathon Majors. (2020) The Tokyo Marathon Foundation said it will cancel the running event for non-professional runners as the coronavirus outbreak pressures cities and institutions to scrap large events. Sponsored by Tokyo...

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I never expected to hold to world marathon record for so long said Paula Radcliffe in Dubai this weekend

British marathon legend Paula Radcliffe revealed that she hadn't expected her world record to stand the test of time for so many years and said that it was only a matter of time before a new mark came about.

Radcliffe's women's world record of 2:15:25 seconds mark set at the London Marathon in 2003 had stood for 16 years until Kenyan Brigid Kosgei etched a new mark of 2:14:04 seconds at the Chicago Marathon last October.

And Radcliffe, who won the London Marathon in 2002, 2003 and 2005 apart from clinching gold at the World Championship in Helsinki in 2005, had felt an inkling of what was to transpire after watching Kosgei at the Great North Run just a month prior to the new world record being set. "I think when I saw Brigid Kosgei running in the Great North Run prior to Chicago, I knew that she was in shape to be able to beat the time," Radcliffe told the Khaleej Times on Friday.

As always, Radcliffe was in Dubai to attend the 21st edition of the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon.

"You never expect to hold a world record even as long as I did but certainly not forever. So, it is always a matter of time until it is beaten," she added.

The 46-year-old Radcliffe also did the commentary for the race and felt that it was a great day of racing. Ethiopian Olika Adugna Bikila won the men's title while countrywoman Worknesh Degefa Debele won the women's title.

"Again, we saw excellent racing," felt Radcliffe. "Every year, the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon produces usually very fast times and very good racing.

"Today (Friday), because of the conditions maybe, the times were not so fast. But still, it was very impressive racing and it was exciting to watch. Getting to see so many men coming into the final 300-400 metres together, produced a very, very exciting finish. And good wins and first and second for debutants in Dubai.

"Dubai is always known for bringing through the debutants with a good race. On the women's side, I think Worknesh went out very bravely and very strongly.

"She paid the price (recurrence of a back problem) a little bit in the second half but still managed to have a very dominant victory," added Radcliffe.

Radcliffe also paid a glowing tribute to Dubai after the city put on another good show. "I think it is the support, the course and the organisation. It is second to none," Radcliffe said about what makes the Dubai Marathon so special.

"It is a very fast course and conditions are usually good. The organisation is really strong so it helps the athletes to not have to worry about anything else other than their performance.

"And now, we are in the 21st year. Year upon year, it builds reputation and standing. So, now, it is the place to come in January if you are running well," she added.

(01/26/2020) ⚡AMP
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Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

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

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Ethiopian Haftamnesh Tesfay leads a quartet of sub-2:22 runners at the 39th edition of the Osaka Women’s Marathon

Four runners from abroad have faster personal bests than the Japanese: Ethiopians Tesfay and Meskerem Assefa, Mimi Belete of Bahrain and Kenyan Bornes Jepkirui. Tesfay ran 2:20:13 in her debut at the 2018 Dubai Marathon, at the time the fourth fastest marathon debut in history. She followed up with a 2:20:47 run in Frankfurt later that year. Assefa won the Nagoya Women’s Marathon in 2018 and later in the year finished 11 seconds ahead of Tesfay in Frankfurt with a 2:20:36 PB. Although they did not have a good 2019 season, both have sub-2:20 potential and said they are running to win on Sunday.

With a 2:21:22 performance to her credit, Mimi Belete is the third fastest in the field; more importantly, she set that at last October’s Amsterdam Marathon, clipping more than a minute from her previous best. Belete was a solid performer on the track, with 1500m and 5000m medals Asian Games medals in her collection.

Defending champion Fatuma Sado and Jepkirui, who was third last year, are back. Jepkirui improved her personal best to 2:21:26 in the 2019 Ljubljana Marathon. The last runner to win back-to-back titles was Lidia Simon who won in 1999 and 2000. Before the Romanian, Katrin Dorre also collected back-to-back victories. The German won in Osaka a record four times. Her daughter, Katharina Steinruck, a 2:27:26 marathoner, will be running this year.

For Japanese women, it is the second to last opportunity to secure the third spot on the Olympic marathon squad. The first two finishers at September's Marathon Grand Championships (MGC) were automatically selected for the team. But third place finisher Rei Ohara, who finished four seconds behind the automatic-qualifying spot for the team, is not confirmed. Four years ago at the Nagoya Women’s Marathon, Ohara finished one second behind Tomomi Tanaka who clinched the final spot on the team bound for Rio. Thus Ohara is a sentimental favourite here, but if somebody runs faster than 2:22:22 in Osaka, or later in Nagoya, Ohara will be out.

Ohara could have chosen to sit and wait, but she decided run in Osaka.

“The memory of missing the team by one second four years ago still haunts me,” Ohara said, speaking at today’s pre-race press conference. “I could have sat and waited, but I want to be a challenger. On Sunday I want to go after the team berth which eluded me at the MGC.”

That sets up the clash between Ohara, who was third in the MGC, Mizuki Matsuda, fourth in the MGC and Kayoko Fukushi, seventh in the MGC, as a potential highlight of the race. Fukushi is the fastest with a 2:22:17 personal best from the 2016 Osaka race. Matsuda is six seconds slower with 2:22:23, recorded in the 2018 Berlin Marathon.

“I have done the best training possible,” said Matsuda, who also attended today’s press conference. “I will run on Sunday as if it is the last race of my life.”

Finally, newly minted Japanese half marathon record holder Hitomi Niiya, who blitzed to a 1:06:38 victory in Houston last weekend, will run as a pacemaker. 

(01/24/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Osaka International Womens Marathon

Osaka International Womens Marathon

The Osaka International Ladies Marathon is an annual marathon road race for women over the classic distance of 42.195 kilometres which is held on the 4th or 5th Sunday of January in the city of Osaka, Japan, and hosted by Japan Association of Athletics Federations, Kansai Telecasting Corporation, the Sankei Shimbun, Sankei Sports, Radio Osaka and Osaka City. The first...

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Ethiopians Worknesh Degefa sizzles 2:19:38 in Dubai, while debutant Olika Adugna prevails in men's race

For tenacity, Worknesh Degefa was the star of the show in the 21st anniversary race of the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon, a World Athletics Gold Label road race on Friday 24, the Ethiopian enduring mid-race physical problems to clock 2:19:38 and win the women’s race. But for sheer opportunism, debutants Olika Adugna of Ethiopia and Eric Kiptanui of Kenya carried the day, outwitting the tried and tested marathoners, to finish first and second in the men’s race, in 2:06:15 and 2:06:17.

Degefa won by half a minute from compatriot Guteni Shone, with another Ethiopian Bedatu Hirpa further back in third; but the measure of the blanket finish of the men’s race was that Beshah Yerssie ran 2:06:34, which would have been a world record two decades ago, yet his 11th place meant he got zero prize money.

The mass sprint was more reminiscent of a track event. And sure enough the sprinters won; or rather the former track men. The experienced marathoners were keeping a close eye on one other and ignoring Adugna and Kiptanui, but when it came down to speed rather than staying power, Adugna followed the initial sprint of Kiptanui from 500 metres out, then whizzed past him after another 100 metres, and took the victory and the $100,000 first prize. Two more Ethiopians followed on 2:06:18, with Tsedat Abeje getting the nod over Lencho Tesfaye.

Degefa won this race on her own debut in 2017, and finished fourth the following year, yet though she could only finish second to Ruth Cheongetich last year, she said that her national record of 2:17:41 followed by victory in Boston last April meant that she now felt "really confident as a marathon runner".

Accordingly, she set out to underline her status as world’s sixth fastest woman. She asked for a fast pace, and approaching halfway, with a lead of over a minute, she was on course for a 2:16 clocking. But then a back injury that has blighted her training and caused her miss New York in November flared up, and looking distinctly uncomfortable, she dropped off the pace.

With her lead reduced considerably by the end, she only just managed to cross the line before collapsing and needing medical attention. But she revived soon enough to say, "I’m really proud that I managed to keep going when my back was giving me so many problems. I want to sort them out, because my aim is to represent my country in the Olympic Games (Tokyo in August)." That would be after defending her Boston title in April.

Degefa also won $100,000, out of an overall prize pot of a million dollars. And after expressing his surprise that the leaders should have followed a relatively sedate pace - "At 40k, I realised that, with my speed I could win," - Adugna underlined the financial primacy of road running, and marathons in particular nowadays when he completely dismissed the idea of returning to track. Then again, a hundred grand is a powerful argument for sticking to the roads.

 

(01/24/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

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

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The Hong Kong Marathon prize money competes with major world marathons

The men’s and women’s winners of next month’s Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon  will each receive a cash award of US$65,000 (HK$507,000) from the organizers, a figure which does not lag far behind other major races around the world.

Although the amount remains the same as last year, the annual Hong Kong showpiece, to be held on Sunday, February 9, is still attractive to many distance runners from marathon powerhouses such as Kenya and Ethiopia, with all top 10 finishers to be rewarded.

The runner-up will receive US$30,000 with US$15,000 going to the third-placed finisher, down to US$1,000 to the runner who finishes 10th.

There will be an additional bonus for runners who can break the 42.195-kilometer course record starting from Nathan Road in Tsim Sha Tsui to the finish in Victoria Park on the Island side. But after Barnabus Kiptum, of Kenya, set an impressive time of two hours, nine minutes and 20 seconds for the men’s in 2019 and Volha Mazuronak of Belarus’s 2:26:13, which was also set last year, it would be a touch challenge to collect that extra US$12,000 (HK$93,600) cash bonus.

But if they can’t beat the course record, there is still be a consolation prize of US$10,000 if a runner can finish below 2:10 in the men’s and 2:28 in the women’s.

Local runners may struggle to beat the overseas legions to collect the cash awards, but the best Hong Kong runner is still rewarded with a cash prize of US$3,400 (HK$26,500), down to US$200 for the 15th place finisher. 

Hong Kong runners may also find it difficult to set personal bests because of the difficult course, which involves running up to the top of Stonecutters Bridge from the 10km mark before going through the Western Harbour Tunnel when they reach the Island side. But it serves as a good opportunity to secure some prize money.

In Asia, the 2020 Tokyo Marathon, which will be held a month after the Hong Kong event, offers US$98,000 to the men’s and women’s champions as one of the six marathon majors in the world. The Seoul International Marathon, also in March, rewards each winner US$80,000, provided they can finish below 2:10 for the men’s and 2:24 for the women’s. If not, the two winners receive US$40,000 each.

The Dubai Marathon in UAE once offered a stunning cash prize of US$200,000 for the winners, but the 2020 event only sees a top prize of US$100,000, which is the same amount offered by the two Majors in the United States – the Chicago and New York City Marathons. The Boston Marathon, which began in 1897 and usually takes place on the third Monday of April, hands out the biggest cheque of US$150,000 to the 2020 champions.

At least 4,000 marathon runners have entered the IAAF “Gold Label” event in Hong Kong, including home favorite Christy Yiu Kit-ching who aims to get into the top five in the women’s category to secure her berth for the 2020 Tokyo Games.

(01/23/2020) ⚡AMP
by Chan Kin-wa
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STANDARD CHARTERED HONG KONG MARATHON

STANDARD CHARTERED HONG KONG MARATHON

The Hong Kong Marathon, sponsored by Standard Chartered Bank, is an annual marathon race held in January or February in Hong Kong. In addition to the full marathon, a 10 km run and a half marathon are also held. Around 70,000 runners take part each year across all events. High levels of humidity and a difficult course make finishing times...

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Will the Course Records Fall For the Third Straight Year at 2020 Dubai Marathon!

It’s a good week to be a running fan and we  get an appetizer with the Dubai Marathon. Though it’s not the most historic race or the most challenging course (flat with only six turns), Dubai always cranks out fast times and sets the tone as the year’s first major (but not technically an Abbott World Marathon Major) marathon.

The names in this year fields aren’t all familiar, but the depth is certainly there again in 2020: there are 11 sub-2:08 men entered — among major marathons in 2019, only Boston (15) had more. On the women’s side, Boston Marathon champ Worknesh Degefa returns to Dubai, where she ran 2:17:41 to finish second last year, to lead a field of six sub-2:24 women. There’s also $100,000 for the win — one of the richest first-place prizes in marathoning, and life-changing money for most of these athletes.

Many athletes use Dubai as a stepping stone in their careers: show up, run a fast time, and use the performance to boost their appearance fees at major marathons. But since Dubai itself rarely offers appearance fees (outside of the years Haile Gebrselassie or Kenenisa Bekele showed up), the winner doesn’t always return to defend their title and it can be hard to predict a favorite from what is always a deep field.

This year’s men’s race is wide open. Ethiopia’s Solomon Deksisa, coming off a runner-up finish in Amsterdam, is the fastest in the field by PR (2:04:40), but seven other men have run within two minutes of his best. Realistically, any of those guys could win, but two stand out as particularly intriguing.

The first is another Ethiopian, Andualem Belay. Entering 2019, Belay had run 14 marathons, breaking 2:11 just once (2:09:59 at 2015 Dubai). Then Belay, now 27, dropped a 2:08:16 pb to win the Castellon Marathon in Spain, followed by a 2:08:51 victory in Riga and another huge PR of 2:06:00 to win Lisbon in October, breaking the course record in all three instances. That’s a pretty unbelievable breakthrough for a guy who was a relatively mediocre marathoner before last year, but after his 2019 campaign, he’s clearly among the favorites in Dubai.

Unlike the men’s race, there is a clear favorite on the women’s side: Worknesh Degefa. The Ethiopian, who won Boston last year, has raced Dubai three times and has run a PR each time: a debut 2:22 win in 2017, 2:19 for 4th in 2018, and 2:17 for 2nd last year. With reigning Dubai champ Ruth Chepngetich opting for London instead this year, Degefa is the class of the Dubai field.

While Degefa is the fifth-fastest woman of all time, only one other woman entered in Dubai has broken 2:21: Buzunesh Deba, the 2014 Boston Marathon champ who hasn’t done anything of note since finishing 3rd in Boston in 2015. Barring a major breakthrough, Degefa should roll here.

(01/23/2020) ⚡AMP
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Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

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

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Ethiopians Soloman Deksisa and Seifu Tura lead a strong men's field for the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

The men's race is guaranteed a new champion as no previous winners are entered for this year's Dubai Marathon.

Ethiopian men have triumphed at the past eight editions of the race and that trend looks set to continue as a strong Ethiopian contingent - including six men with PBs faster than 2:07 - will be in action on Friday.

With a PB of 2:04:40, 25-year-old Deksisa is the fastest athlete on the men's start list. Despite his relatively young age, the talented Ethiopian has built up plenty of experience at the marathon distance after a brief track career.

At the age of just 20, he won the 2014 San Diego Half Marathon with a personal best of 1:00:12, then two years later he moved up to the marathon and ran an impressive 2:06:22 debut in Rotterdam to finish second.

Since then he has fully focused on the 42.195km distance and claimed his first marathon victory in Mumbai in 2018 before winning again in Hamburg a few months later. It proved to be his best year so far as he ended it with a 2:04:40 PB to finish third in Amsterdam. His lifetime best is just one minute outside the Dubai course record set in 2019 by Getaneh Molla.

Deksisa’s compatriot Seifu Tura is another of Ethiopia’s crop of rising stars who made an impressive marathon debut with a solid second place in 2:09:26 in Seoul in 2017.

Still just 22, Tura enjoyed his best day at the 2018 Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon when he took full advantage of the renowned fast course to carve a big slice off his personal best, improving by four minutes to run 2:04:44 for seventh. The young Ethiopian has also sealed marathon wins in Milan and Shanghai, while setting a half marathon personal best of 59:17 in Buenos Aires in August.

With a best of 2:06:00, Andualem Belay Shiferaw may not be the fastest in the field, but he will be feeling confident after being unbeaten at the marathon distance in 2019. He set his PB in his most recent race, winning the Lisbon Marathon in October.

Aychew Bantie Dessie, 38-year-old Birhanu Bekele Berga and Limenih Getachew Yizengaw are the other sub-2:07 performers in the field. If the conditions are kind - temperatures are expected to be about 19C at the time of the race - then they could improve on their times on the flat and fast course.

Bahrain's Aweke Ayalew and Kenya's marathon debutant Eric Kiptanui will be looking to end Ethiopia's winning streak in Dubai. Ayalew made his marathon debut in Frankfurt last year, finishing third in 2:07:12, while Kiptanui's half marathon PB of 58:42 suggests he could run a swift time in the marathon.

(01/22/2020) ⚡AMP
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Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

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

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Ethiopian record-holder Worknesh Degefa will target a second victory at the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

Worknesh Degefa will start as red-hot favorite thanks to her enviable record on the flat and fast streets of Dubai. In 2017, the diminutive 29-year-old stunned an experienced field by winning in Dubai on what was her marathon debut, clocking 2:22:36. A year later, she finished fourth and improved her PB to 2:19:53.

Last year she finished second in Dubai in 2:17:41, taking 15 seconds off the Ethiopian record with what is now the fifth fastest time in history.

Aside from her three appearances in Dubai, the only other marathon she has contested is the 2019 Boston Marathon, which she won in 2:23:31.

Fellow Ethiopian Bezunesh Deba will be racing in Dubai for the first time. The 32-year-old set her PB of 2:19:59 when winning the 2014 Boston Marathon, but didn't race at all in 2019 so will be treating this as a comeback race.

Kebede Megertu Alemu made a big step up in the second half of 2018. She chopped eight minutes from her half marathon PB with 1:06:43 in Copenhagen and reduced her marathon best to 2:21:10 to finish second in Frankfurt.

Bedatu Hirpa will be one of the youngest in the field. The 2015 world U18 1500m champion has switched to the roads in recent years and clocked a marathon PB of 2:21:32 in Frankfurt in 2018.

Two years after making her marathon debut in Dubai, world cross-country silver medalist Dera Dida is back and aims to improve on the PB of 2:21:45 she set on her previous visit.

Dubai has often been a happy hunting ground for marathon debutantes, so 20-year-old Hawi Feysa will be hoping for a strong run in her first race at 42.195km. The 2017 world U20 cross-country silver medalist finished eighth in the 5000m at last year's World Championships.

(01/22/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

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

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Kenyan Eric Kiptanui faces a stern test as he makes his full marathon debut at the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon on January 24

Eric Kiptanui is the sole Kenyan contestant  in the elite men's field. The 29-year-old is half marathon specialist and is the sixth-fastest man over the distance, thanks to the 58:42 he clocked  while winning Berlin Half Marathon in 2018.

He won the Barcelona Half Marathon last year  in 1:01.40 and also bagged the 2018 Lisbon Half Marathon in 1:00:05. Kiptanui finished ninth at the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon in October last year, posting 1:02:23.

He was also one of the pacemakers used by world marathon record holder, Eliud Kipchoge when he broke the sub two-hour marathon mark in Vienna last year.

Kiptanui will have to contend with a strong Ethiopian lineup led by Solomon Deksisa and Seifu Tura. Deksisa has a personal best of 2:04:40 while Tura's PB is 2:04:44.

Despite his relatively young age, the talented Deksisa has built up plenty of experience at the marathon distance after a brief track career.

At 20, he won the 2014 San Diego Half Marathon with a personal best of 1:00:12, then two years later, he moved up to the marathon and ran an impressive 2:06:22 debut in Rotterdam to finish second.

Since then he has fully focused on the 42.195km distance and claimed his first marathon victory in Mumbai in 2018 before winning again in Hamburg a few months later. 

2018 proved to be his best year so far as he ended it with a 2:04:40 PB to finish third in Amsterdam. His life-time best is just one minute outside the Dubai course record set in 2019 by Getaneh Molla. Kenya last won the Dubai Marathon in 2012 through David Barmasai.

In the absence of defending and World champion Ruth Chepngetich, Ethiopia will have the edge in the race with the likes of Worknesh Degefa, Deba Dejene, Alemu Megertu, Dera Dida and Guteni Shone all present.

(01/21/2020) ⚡AMP
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Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

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

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Lagat and Alemu back to defend Mumbai titles

Defending champions Lagat and Alemu ready to battle at Mumbai Marathon

Defending champions Cosmas Lagat and Worknesh Alemu both proclaimed themselves fit and ready to not only bid for back-to-back titles at the Tata Mumbai Marathon, but the pair also aim to attack the course records on Sunday (19). 

Kenya’s Lagat won at this World Athletics Gold Label road race 12 months ago in decisive fashion when he broke away from the rest of the leading pack around 29 kilometres into the race.

He raced twice more in 2019 but injuries in the middle of the year derailed his hopes of building on his success in the City of Dreams last January.

“I had injuries to my left calf and Achilles tendon. It happens in training sometimes,” he reflected stoically, demonstrating where his problems were at the traditional pre-race press conference on Friday.

“However, I am back in good training now and I think all is well. I train with Lawrence Cherono, who was the winner of the Boston and Chicago Marathons last year, and I do the same training as him so I think I can perform as well as him.

“Running here last year and doing so well has given me confidence that I can win again, and I am thinking about the course record. I have learnt how to run this race better,” added Lagat.

Last year, Lagat crossed the line in 2:09:15, the second fastest time in race history and just 40 seconds outside the course record of 2:08:35 set by his compatriot Gideon Kipketer in 2016. The race has a first prize cheque of US$45,000 for both men and women with a US$15,000 bonus on offer for a course record.

Lagat will be aiming to become just the second man to win back-to-back titles in the race’s 17-year history, following in the footsteps of fellow Kenyan John Kelai who won in 2007 and 2008.

Race organisers have signed up 15 men who have run faster than 2:10:00, making the TMM 2020 the highest quality marathon ever staged in India.

Like Lagat, Ethiopia’s Alemu upset the form book in Mumbai 12 months ago and won in what was then a personal best of 2:25:25, which was also the second fastest winning time in race history.

She showed her win was no fluke when she improved her best to 2:24:42 later in 2019 at the Amsterdam Marathon in October so this time around her role has changed from underdog to favourite.

“I have had good races in 2019 so my confidence is strong. It is a tough field, but I am in good shape. If I do well here, it could set me on the road to representing my country at the Olympics in Tokyo. Why not?” said Alemu, all smiles and looking relaxed in front of a rapt audience. 

Alemu heads a very strong women’s field that has eight women who have run under 2:28:00.

The fastest women in the field is another Ethiopian, Amane Beriso, who had a stunning marathon debut when she ran 2:20:48 for second place in the 2016 Dubai Marathon, which placed her third on that year’s world list. However, a variety of injuries mean that she has not raced in 15 months.

All the leading women will have as their target the course record of 2:24:33 set by Kenya’s Valentine Kipketer in 2013.

Approximately 55,000 runners will take to the roads in Mumbai for six different races in what has become a traditional annual event in the city on the third Sunday of January.

Entries for the marathon itself are just under 10,000 runners which means that the anticipated number of finishers in the race will have more-or-less doubled in the last five years.

A similar upward trajectory can be seen in the half marathon which has more than 15,000 entries, with an expected increase in finishers which will have increased by approximately 20% in just two years.

(01/18/2020) ⚡AMP
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Tata Mumbai Marathon

Tata Mumbai Marathon

Distance running epitomizes the power of one’s dreams and the awareness of one’s abilities to realize those dreams. Unlike other competitive sports, it is an intensely personal experience. The Tata Mumbai Marathon is One of the World's Leading Marathons. The event boasts of fundraising platform which is managed by United Way Mumbai, the official philanthropy partner of the event. Over...

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Strong elite field set for action at Lagos City Marathon

More top runners across the world are indicating interest to be part of the 2020 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon.

The latest set of elite runners to join the already star-studded list for the February 8 race are Philes Moora Ongori and Dadi Yami.

In a statement signed by Head, Communications and Media, Olukayode Thomas, Ongori, who started her career in Japan and won a number of All-Japan Corporate titles, is delighted to be selected to run in Lagos.

Ongori was on the track running the 10,000 metres for Kenya at the 2007 World Championships in Athletics.

She came to prominence in the half marathon in 2008 when she won the Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon in the fastest time of the year.

At the 2009 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships, she won the silver medal.

Ongori won on her marathon debut at the Rotterdam Marathon in 2011, setting a time of 2:24:20 hours.

She made her full marathon debut in April 2011 at the Rotterdam Marathon and she outran the more experienced Hilda Kibet in the final stages to win the race in a quick first-time run of 2:24:20 hours.

Another rich addition is Dadi Yami, an Ethiopian runner with a personal best of 2:05:41 hours.

Yami made his marathon debut at the 2011 Eindhoven Marathon finished in 2:11:04 hours.

He ran 2:05: 41 hours, his personal best, at Dubai Marathon. In the extremely fast race, this was only enough for sixth place, but still ranked him in the top twenty in the world that year, and in the top forty on the all-time list.

He also did a 2:07:01 hours at Hamburg Marathon and 2:07:55 hour at Dubai Marathon recently.

Mr Thomas said that 52 elite runners from five continents will be Lagos. He also said about 30 Nigerian elite runners will join the foreign elites.

“In all, we expecting about a 100 elite runners’’ he said.

(01/08/2020) ⚡AMP
by Tunde Eludini
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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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Kenya will renew their rivalry with Ethiopia on Sunday in quest for Xiamen Marathon in China

Kenyan athletes are keen to end Ethiopian dominance in the Southern China city. Kenyan duo Reuben Kerio and Kennedy Cheboror also renewed their lifetime bests in 2019.

The 25-year-old Kerio clocked 2:07:00 in Eindhoven and won the Rock 'n' Roll Madrid Marathon last year, while Cheboror, 29, improved his personal best (PB) to 2:06:59 when finishing fourth in Daegu and went on to win the Gyeongju Marathon in October, which was his third title in six races since debuting over the classic distance in 2016.

"It is a tough race with top names from Ethiopia. But I believe we have a chance to showcase to the world that we are top of the game," said Cheboror on Friday.

Kenya's Moses Mosop was the last man to win in Xiamen, setting a course record of 2:06:19 in 2015.

"The course in Xiamen is tough and it requires strong preparations. I felt depleted after the race and it will not be easy for the athletes when they line up to improve the record," Mosop said.

The tall and long-legged Debela, who will celebrate his 25th birthday next Thursday, edged compatriot Afewerk Mesfin by just two seconds last year to take a second successive Xiamen victory in 2:09:26.

He went on to earn a runner-up finish in Chicago last October at 2:05:46, improving his personal best by 84 seconds, which suggests he has the ability to challenge the 2:06:19 course record set by Moses Mosop of Kenya in 2015.

While Debela is eyeing a hat-trick, Shura Kitata is expecting third-time lucky in Xiamen.

The 23-year-old Ethiopian has progressed rapidly in recent years and is the fastest man on paper with a best time of 2:04:49, which was set from his second-place finish at the 2018 London Marathon. He came close to that mark in April 2019 when he returned to London to finish fourth in 2:05:01.

After a third-place finish in 2016 and a runner-up spot in 2017, Kitata will be keen to set his foot onto the top step of the podium and challenge the course record which also stands as the Chinese all-comers' record.

Salah Eddine Bounasr of Morocco is another man to watch on Sunday. Although it will be his first outing in the southern Chinese city, the 29-year-old arrives in good form.

He has been unbeaten since his Beijing Marathon title in September 2017. He clocked a winning time of 2:09:29 in Vienna in 2018 and reduced his career-best to 2:07:52 in Otsu last March.

The 22-year-old Armino will also face a challenging title defense in the women's race. Last year Armino trimmed almost two minutes off her PB to score an upset victory over a strong field at 2:27:25. And the field she will face on Sunday is even stronger.

Armino's compatriot Yebrgual Melese leads the women's elite list with a best time of 2:19:36, which was achieved from her third-place finish in Dubai two years ago.

She is also the only woman in the field that has ever run faster than Mare Dibaba's course record of 2:19:52 set in 2015.

The 29-year-old Melese has built a reputation for her consistency, having won titles in Houston, Prague and two straight victories in Shanghai.

Fellow Ethiopian Afera Godfay is also a serious title contender. The 28-year-old grabbed her first international marathon victory in Dongying last April and improved her PB to 2:22:41, which made her the second-fastest entrant in Xiamen. More recently, she clocked 2:29:18 to finish 10th at the Ljubljana Marathon three months ago.

Ethiopian runners swept all 10 of the women's titles in Xiamen over the past decade. Volha Mazuronak of Belarus would be the biggest hope to break such dominance this year.

Mazuronak's best time of 2:23:54, which also stands as the Belarusian record, was set at the 2016 London Marathon.

The 2018 European champion has maintained a high level of competitiveness in recent seasons, taking the top honours two years ago in Dusseldorf and last year in Hong Kong before finishing fifth at the World Championships in Doha last September.

(01/04/2020) ⚡AMP
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XIAMEN INTERNATIONAL MARATHON

XIAMEN INTERNATIONAL MARATHON

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

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Defending champions Cosmas Lagat and Worknesh Alemu are set to defend their Mumbai marathon titles

Defending champions Cosmas Lagat and Worknesh Alemu will return to the Tata Mumbai Marathon, a World Athletics Gold Label road race, on 19 January.

Kenya’s Lagat won 12 months ago in decisive fashion when he broke away from the rest of the leading pack around 29 kilometers into the race. He was out on his own over the final 13 kilometers, almost a third of the race, before crossing the line in 2:09:15, the second fastest winning time in race history.

Having come home just 40 seconds outside the course record of 2:08:35, set by his compatriot Gideon Kipketer in 2016, Lagat will be back on the start line in the City of Dreams motivated not only by the possibility of pocketing another US$45,000 first prize cheque but also the US$15,000 on offer for a course record.

“My Mumbai Marathon win was my best race of 2019 so I have fond memories of running in India, and the experience I got running this race last year will be very important this time,” Lagat said. “Coming so close to the course record, I have thought about what I can do to improve, and I think I can run the first half of the race faster than I did last year.”

Lagat will be aiming to become just the second man to win back-to- back Tata Mumbai Marathon titles in the race’s 17-year history, following in the footsteps of fellow Kenyan John Kelai who won in 2007 and 2008.

Race organizers have signed up no less than 14 men who have run faster than 2:10:00, making it the strongest marathon ever to be staged in India.

Of those men, nine have run faster than the course record during their careers and six have run under the super-elite benchmark of 2:07:00.

The four fastest men in the field are all Ethiopians, led by Ayele Abshero who has a personal best of 2:04:23 and although that time came almost eight years ago, when he won the Dubai Marathon, he showed that he is still a very competitive runner at the highest level by taking second place in the Hamburg Marathon in 2:08:26 last April.

Like Lagat, Ethiopia’s Alemu upset the pre-race form book in 2019 and won in Mumbai in a personal best of 2:25:25, which was also the second fastest winning time in race history.

She improved her best to 2:24:42 later in 2019 when finishing sixth at the Amsterdam Marathon in October.

Alemu heads a very strong women’s field that has eight women who have run under 2:28:00.

The fastest women in the field is another Ethiopian, Amane Beriso, who had a stunning marathon debut when she ran 2:20:48 for second place in the 2016 Dubai Marathon, which placed her third on that year’s world list. She took a break from competitive running last year so it will be interesting to see what form she can bring to her first race in 15 months.

All the leading women will have as their target the course record of 2:24:33 set by Kenya’s Valentine Kipketer in 2013.

In addition to the marathon – which has a total prize fund of US$405,000 – there is a half marathon, a 10km race, a Dream Run (5.9km), Senior Citizens Race (4.2km) and a Champions with Disability Race (1.5km). About 50,000 runners are expected to take part.

(01/04/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Tata Mumbai Marathon

Tata Mumbai Marathon

Distance running epitomizes the power of one’s dreams and the awareness of one’s abilities to realize those dreams. Unlike other competitive sports, it is an intensely personal experience. The Tata Mumbai Marathon is One of the World's Leading Marathons. The event boasts of fundraising platform which is managed by United Way Mumbai, the official philanthropy partner of the event. Over...

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Ethiopia’s defending champions Dejene Debela and Medina Deme Armino will return to China with the aim of retaining their titles at the Xiamen Marathon

The tall and long-legged Debela, who will celebrate his 25th birthday next Thursday, edged compatriot Afewerk Mesfin by just two seconds last year to take a second successive Xiamen victory in 2:09:26.

He went on to earn a runner-up finish in Chicago last October in 2:05:46, improving his personal best by 84 seconds, which suggests he has the ability to challenge the 2:06:19 course record set by Moses Mosop of Kenya in 2015.

Debela has an unbeaten record on Chinese soil, winning two titles in Xiamen and emerging victorious at the 2018 Beijing Marathon.

While Debela is eyeing a hat-trick, Shura Kitata is expecting third-time lucky in Xiamen.

The 23-year-old Ethiopian has progressed rapidly in recent years and is the fastest man on paper with a PB of 2:04:49, which was set from his second-place finish at the 2018 London Marathon. He came close to that mark last April when he returned to London to finish fourth in 2:05:01.

After a third-place finish in 2016 and a runner-up spot in 2017, Kitata will be keen to set his foot on to the top step of the podium and challenge the course record which also stands as the Chinese all-comers’ record.

Salah Eddine Bounasr of Morocco is another man to watch on Sunday. Although it will be his first outing in the southern Chinese city, the 29-year-old arrives in good form. He has been unbeaten since his Beijing Marathon title in September 2017. He clocked a winning time of 2:09:29 in Vienna in 2018 and reduced his career best to 2:07:52 in Otsu last March.

Kenyan duo Reuben Kerio and Kennedy Cheboror also renewed their lifetime bests in 2019. The 25-year-old Kerio clocked 2:07:00 in Eindhoven and won the Rock 'n' Roll Madrid Marathon last year, while Cheboror, 29, improved his PB to 2:06:59 when finishing fourth in Daegu and went on to win the Gyeongju Marathon in October, which was his third title in six races since debuting over the classic distance in 2016.

The 22-year-old Armino will also face a challenging title defence in the women’s race. Last year Armino trimmed almost two minutes off her PB to score an upset victory over a strong field in 2:27:25. And the field she will face on Sunday is even stronger.

Armino’s compatriot Yebrgual Melese leads the women’s elite list with a PB of 2:19:36, which was achieved from her third-place finish in Dubai two years ago. She is also the only woman in the field that has ever run faster than Mare Dibaba’s course record of 2:19:52 set in 2015.

The 29-year-old Melese has built a reputation for her consistency, having won titles in Houston, Prague and two straight victories in Shanghai.

Fellow Ethiopian Afera Godfay is also a serious title contender. The 28-year-old grabbed her first international marathon victory in Dongying last April and improved her PB to 2:22:41, which made her the second fastest entrant in Xiamen. More recently, she clocked 2:29:18 to finish 10th at the Ljubljana Marathon three months ago.

Ethiopian runners swept all 10 of the women’s titles in Xiamen over the past decade. Volha Mazuronak of Belarus would be the biggest hope to break such dominance this year.

The women’s field also includes local runner Li Zhixuan, the fastest Chinese woman in 2019 as she improved her PB to 2:26:15 last March, and Hiwot Ayalew of Ethiopia, a former steeplechase specialist who clocked 2:26:40 three months ago on her marathon debut.

(01/03/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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XIAMEN INTERNATIONAL MARATHON

XIAMEN INTERNATIONAL MARATHON

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

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Strong Elite Field Grows For Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

A powerful field of elite athletes from the hotbeds of African distance running will come together for the first major international marathon of the new year when the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon is staged on January 24.

Soloman Deksisa (2:04:40) and Seifu Tura (2:04:44) of Ethiopia lead the men’s field, while former winner Worknesh Degefa (2:17:41) and Alemu Megertu (2:21:10) - also from Ethiopia - will head up the women’s elite division when Dubai hosts many of the best marathon runners in the world for the 21st time.

With a world-class personal best of 2:04:40, 25-year-old Deksisa is the fastest athlete in the start list. Despite his relatively young age the talented Ethiopian has built up plenty of experience at the marathon distance after a brief track career.

At the age of just 20, he won the San Diego Half Marathon with a personal best of 60:12, while less than two years later he moved up to the marathon and ran an impressive debut in Rotterdam where he finished second in 2:06:22. Since then he has fully focussed on the 42.195km distance and claimed his first marathon victory in Mumbai in 2018 before winning again in Hamburg a few months later. He capped his best year so far in Amsterdam with a marathon personal best of 2:04:40 that is just one minute outside the Dubai course record set in 2019 by Getaneh Molla.

Deksisa’s compatriot Tura is another of Ethiopia’s crop of rising stars who made an impressive marathon debut with a solid second place in 2:09:26 in Seoul in 2017.Still just 22, Tura enjoyed his best day at the 2018 Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon when he took full advantage of the renowned fast course to carve a big slice off his personal best, improving by over four minutes to run 2:04:44 for seventh. The young Ethiopian has also sealed marathon wins in Milan and Shanghai, while setting a Half Marathon personal best of 59:17 in Buenos Aires in August.

In the women’s field, Worknesh Degefa - Ethiopia’s fastest female marathon runner of all time - will start as red-hot favourite thanks to an enviable record running the flat and fast streets of Dubai.

In 2017, the diminutive 29-year-old stunned an experienced field by winning in Dubai on what was her marathon debut. A year later, she broke the 2:20 mark for the first time but had to settle for fourth, while last year saw her finish second in Dubai in a remarkable time of 2:17:41. Not only did Degefa smash the Ethiopian record by 15 seconds, she also set what is now the fifth fastest time in women’s marathon history

Held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, and under the aegis of the Dubai Sports Council, the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon will be the first major sporting event in what is a historic year for the city with some 30,000 runners expected across three races.

(01/02/2020) ⚡AMP
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Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

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

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Ugandan Mande Bushendich and Kenyan Ruth Chepngetich will be the main favorites at the Nationale-Nederlanden San Silvestre Vallecana

The Ugandan Mande Bushendich and the Kenyan Ruth Chepngetich are the main favorites in the Nationale-Nederlanden San Silvestre Vallecana, which takes place on December 31 through the streets of the center of Madrid and that this Monday presents its favorites of the international elite test .

Ugandan Mande Bushendich returns to Vallecas after his third place last year wanting to climb to the top of the podium. In the record race last year he registered 27:24, and this year he has already dropped 28 minutes in Holland, although in the spring, which makes him run as one of the favorites.

Another candidate for the victory will be the Belgian-Somali Bashir Abdi, silver in the Berlin Europeans in 10,000 meters and that 'shattered' the Belgian marathon record a few months ago, with 2h06: 14 in Chicago. Also, Ugandan Moses Kurong, fourth in the Gothenburg Half Marathon 2019 and third in Barcelona in 2018.

The San Silvestre Vallecana women's will feature the Kenyan Ruth Chepngetich, current marathon world champion in Doha 2019, and victories in the Dubai Marathon and the Istanbul Half Marathon this year. Second in 2018 at the Paris Marathon, Chepngetich will seek to follow the path of his compatriot Brigid Kosgei, who flew last year to set the new test record, with 29:54.

The Ethiopian Helen Bekele Tola is postulated as one of her rivals for victory. Second in the Tokyo Marathon and fourth in Berlin in this 2019, in Spain it has already won in 2017 in the Barcelona Marathon. It has 31:13 as a personal mark in a '10K' en route.

Among the women spain runners, the 23-year-old Carmela Cardama, a university runner of 10,000 meters in the United States and who is the fastest national in the history with her age, beats Alessandra Aguilar.

She was the leader of the Spanish team that won team silver in the 2019 European Cup of 10,000 meters. The San Silvestre Vallecana arrives in great shape, as evidenced by its recent national record in indoor track at 5,000 meters, the tenth best Spanish mark in the distance including outdoors.

(12/27/2019) ⚡AMP
by Dani Sanchez
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San Silvestre Vallecana

San Silvestre Vallecana

Every year on 31st December, since 1964, Madrid stages the most multitudinous athletics event in Spain.Sport and celebration come together in a 10-kilometre race in which fancy dress and artificial snow play a part. Keep an eye out for when registration opens because places run out fast! The event consists of two different competitions: a fun run (participants must be...

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Ethiopia’s Mulu Seboka will take on the in-form Celestine Chepchirchir of Kenya at the Guangzhou Marathon, a World Athletics Gold Label road race, on Sunday

The Prolific Ethiopian racer, who will compete in her fifth marathon of the year, owns the fastest personal best in the field at 2:21:56 set in Dubai four years ago. The 35-year-old competed in the southern Chinese city in 2016 and finished second in 2:32:26.

Seboka, a past Dubai Marathon, has a season’s best of 2:27:19 from her four marathons. She will obviously not be running with fresh legs in Guangzhou as her last race was just one week ago in Kunming, where she scored a 2:32:54 victory.

The rising Chepchirchir, 23, is the second fastest but the highest ranked (43) woman toeing the line. She knocked more than two minutes off her PB to finish third in Seoul in 2:24:48 nine months ago and went on to set a course record of 2:26:44 at the Cape Town Marathon in September.

Guangzhou will be her third race of the year and first time competing on Chinese soil.

Lilia Fisikovici of Moldova also improved lifetime best this April to 2:27:26 and has been pursuing her second international marathon title following her win in Krakow last April.

Other sub-2:30 runners in the field include two-time Daegu Marathon winner Pamela Rotich of Kenya who has a PB of 2:27:48, Ethiopia’s Hiwot Gebrekidan, who set a winning mark of 2:25:45 in See Genezareth two years ago, as well as Chinese duo Ding Changqin and He Yinli.

The men’s field is led by Kenya’s Eliud Kiptanui. The 30-year-old clocked a PB of 2:05:21 to finish second at the Berlin Marathon four years ago and has managed to run inside 2:10 every year since 2014. But the past winner in Ottawa and Prague has yet to break that barrier in 2019 as he only clocked a mediocre 2:14:15 to finish seventh in Xiamen in January and failed to finish in Taiyuan three months ago.

Kiptanui’s countryman Mike Kiptum took more than three minutes off his career best to finish third at Seoul Marathon in 2:06:22 in March, suggesting that the 27-year-old would be another serious candidate not only to win the title but also to rewrite the 2:10:01 course record set by Morocco’s Abdellah Tagharrafet in 2015.

The powerful Kenyan contingent also includes Felix Kirwa, whose PB of 2:06:13 was set in Eindhoven two years ago, and 31-year-old Josphat Letting, winner of the Tallinn Marathon in September.

Ethiopia’s Gebretsadik Abraha could be the biggest threat to the Kenyans. Although the 27-year-old achieved his 2:06:23 PB back in 2012, the consistent Abraha has maintained a high level of competitiveness, earning four podium finishes in his six races since 2017.

(12/06/2019) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Guangzhou International Marathon

Guangzhou International Marathon

The Guangzhou Marathon was launched in 2012 and certified by CAA as the A level event. From 2014 to 2017,Guangzhou Marathon was recognized as the CAA Gold Medal Race for four consecutive years. The year of 2018 has seen this event was upgraded as IAAF Gold Label Road Race after it was awarded as IAAF Bronze and Silver Label Road...

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Callum Hawkins was named Scottish athlete of the year

Callum Hawkins and Maria Lyle received FPSG Scottish athlete of the year honors at the sold out awards dinner in Glasgow on Saturday.

World marathon fourth-placer Hawkins won the award ahead of other shortlisted athletes Laura MuirEilish McColgan, Jake Wightman, Jacob Adkin and Andrew Douglas.

“I’m thrilled to win the FPSG athlete of the year award given the competition this year,” said Hawkins, who broke the Scottish marathon record in 2019 and finished just outside the medals in Doha at the IAAF World Championships.

“There have been Scottish records broken on the track and the two hill guys, Jacob Adkin and Andy Douglas, have performed superbly, too.

“It is quite exciting to see some progress in the marathon rankings for 2019 by Scottish athletes and hopefully we can add to that over the next couple of years.

“Steph Twell broke the women’s record which had stood for a long time and I managed that, too,” he added. “If you have people at the very top end performing then I think there are others who get inspiration – especially if it is someone they know, someone they have seen competing in cross country or on the road in Scotland, and they start to raise their own standards.

“We would love to see two full teams (three athletes each) on the men’s and women’s side for Team Scotland at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in 2022 and I am pretty certain we will get that. And it should be six very strong marathon runners at Commonwealth level.”

Lyle, who won a sprint double at the World Para Athletics Championships in Dubai, was named the FPSG para athlete of the year.

“I’m delighted to win the para athlete of the year title again,” she said.

“There was so much success in Dubai and it was really special to be part of that and win my first global titles.

“I had thought earlier in the year that just being in Dubai would be the main target but once you get there then you want to be really competitive.

“I’ve had a few struggles mentally and needed medication and professional help. But the biggest thing was the support of my family and my coach, Jamie Bowie. I am really enjoying athletics again and that is so important.”

Guest of honor Paula Radcliffe helped to make the presentations, with clubs, coaches, officials and volunteers also receiving recognition.

Robert Hawkins, who coaches his son Callum, was named performance coach of the year, while the Dallas Trust Trophy went to Wightman.

(11/25/2019) ⚡AMP
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Valencia Marathon has a solid elite field in its quest to become one of the World’s Top five fastest marathon circuits

The Valencia Marathon Trinidad Alfonso EDP 2019 will feature the best elite field never seen before in a Spanish trial. The aim is to put the Valencia Marathon among the world’s Top 5 fastest circuits. To achieve this, a minute needs to be shaved off the Men’s current world record of 2 hours 04:31, which will once more make the race the fastest marathon in Spain.

To achieve this, there are three key male contenders: the man who set the circuit record in 2018, the Ethiopian athlete Leul Gebresilase (2 hours 04:02) and especially his fellow-countrymen Getaneh Molla (2 hours 03:34) and Herpesa Negasa (2 hours 03:40). The time set by Molla in Dubai in January established that marathon as the world’s third fastest circuit.

One should also keep an eye on the Kenyan runner Emmanuel Saina (2 hours 05:02), who in seven months between 2018 and April 2019 ran the distance in under 2 hours 06:00 on no fewer than three occasions.

Furthermore, the line-up features twelve runners with times of under 2 hours 06:00, and 22 runners with times of under 2 hours 10, including Tsegaye Kebede (2 hours 04:38), Norbert Kigen (2 hours 05:13), and Felix Kiprotich (2 hours 05:33).

Among them will be the Kenyan runner Gideon Kipketer (2:05:51), an athlete who regularly runs in under 2 hours 06, and who was the pace-setter for Geoffrey Kamworor in Copenhagen in the INEOS 1 hour 59 Challenge; and the Eritrean Ghirmay Gebreselassie, winner in the marathon world championship, and who came first in the New York Marathon in 2016.

The duel for the European Marathon Record between the Turk Kaan Kigen Ozbilen (2:05:27) (who is just 16 seconds off the record time) and the Norwegian Sondre Moen (2:05:48) (just 37 seconds short of the mark) promises to be especially thrilling. Moen knows the circuit well given that he has run in earlier editions of the Valencia Half-Marathon.

(11/20/2019) ⚡AMP
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VALENCIA TRINIDAD ALFONSO MARATHON

VALENCIA TRINIDAD ALFONSO MARATHON

Sammy Kiprop Kitwara set a Spanish all-comers’ record at the 2017 Maraton Valencia Trinidad Alfonso, the 31-year-old Kenyan produced a 2:05:15 effort to finish almost a full minute inside the previous record, moving to seventh on this year’s world list in the process. Ethiopia’s Aberu Mekuria Zennebe won the women’s race in 2:26:17 to improve on her fourth-place finish from...

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How Kenyan athletes are paid millions in the Richest Marathons in the World

For most elite marathoners, there is more at stake than just the glory of winning the race.

For these professional athletes, for instance, Eliud Kipchoge, there is a huge prize for crossing the finish line ahead of everyone in marathons such as Berlin, Boston, Bank of America Chicago marathons among many others. (The current exchange rate is 102 Kenya shillings to one US dollar.) 

Here we take a look at some of the top few marathons over the world that offer the highest prize money to athletes.

1. Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon.- The Dubai Marathon is the world’s richest marathon with the most expensive prize money of Sh.20 ($196,000US) million for first place winners and an additional Sh.10 ($98,000US) million for marathon world record bonus.

In January of 2008, the Dubai Marathon was the richest long-distance running event in history.

The winners received Sh.25 ($245,000US) million (more than double any prize money to that date) and a million-dollar offer from Dubai Holding if they set a world best according to the Standard Chartered Dubai marathon website

Getaneh Molla of Ethiopia and Kenya’s Ruth Chepngetich won the 20th edition of the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon.

2. Boston Marathon.- The Boston Marathon is the oldest marathon in the world established in 1887 by a non-profit organization with a mission of promoting a healthy lifestyle through sports, especially running. The top male and female finishers each receive Sh.15 ($145,000US) million with second place earning Sh.7.5 million and third takes home Sh.4 million according to Boston Marathon official website.

According to Forbes, there is a bonus prize of Sh.5 million for breaking the world's best time and Sh.2.5 for breaking the course record.

The most rewarded Boston runner of all time was four times champion Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot, a Kenyan runner who has earned a total of Sh.46.9 ($450,000US) million from the Boston race alone.

3. TCS New York City Marathon.- The first NYC Marathon was held in 1970, entirely in Central Park, with only 127 entrants, 55 finishers and a lone female racer, who dropped out because of an illness, according to TCS New York City Marathon website.

Today the TCS New York City Marathon prize purse totals a guaranteed Sh.70.5 ($670,000US) million. The men’s and women’s champion receive Sh.10million each, with an extra Sh.5 million for a time of sub-2:05:30 (men) and sub-2:22:30 (women).

4. London Marathon.- The first London Marathon, held on 29 March 1981, finished on Constitution Hill between Green Park and Buckingham Palace.

According to World Marathon majors today, the race winner earns Sh.5.5 million with second place taking home Sh.3 million

There are also financial rewards for finishing under certain times, with these differing for men and women.

 5. Bank of America Chicago Marathon.- This coveted race is a showcase of some of the top marathoners.

The prize money for winning the 2015 race was Sh.10 million, plus Sh.7.5 million if you set a course record and time bonuses (non-cumulative) of Sh.5.5 and below according to the Bank of America Chicago Marathon official website

6. The Berlin Marathon.- The race was founded in 1974 by a Berlin baker, Horst Milde, who combined his passion for running with a family bread and cake business

According to the Berlin Marathon official website, the prize money is as follows;

26.45 million-plus bonuses in 2018. Expected to be similar in 2019.

First place male: 4.6 million (10 deep) in 2018

First place female: 4.6 million (10 deep) in 2018

Bonuses of Sh.5million. Time bonuses available for 1st and 2nd places only Sh.3 million for first place sub-2:04:00 men, sub-2:19:00 women.

7. Seoul International Marathon.- Celebrating its 85th year running, the Seoul Marathon in South Korea is one of the most prestigious races.

The champion male and female finishers get to bring home Sh.8 million provided that they finish under 2:10:00 and 2:24:00 respectively Sh.4 million if they do not meet the target time) according to World Marathons.

According to the Seoul International Marathon, the world record bonuses are Sh.5million for men and Sh.3 million for women.

There is also a time bonus of Sh. million for sub-2:04:00 (male) and sub-2:18:00 (female); and other time bonuses amounting down to Sh. 500000

8. Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon.- Since the launch of the Marathon in 2003, only one winner has successfully defended their title. Every year the marathon produces new winners.

This year, the organizers increased the cash award for the 42km race prize money from Sh.1.5 million to Sh2million, according to the Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon official website.

The half marathon price has also been increased to Sh300, 000 while the 10km race will see a cash award of Sh200, 000.

(11/19/2019) ⚡AMP
by Joshua Ondeke
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Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

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

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Lonyangata and Melese regain Shanghai Marathon titles in the heat

Thirty-eight thousand runners from 85 countries and regions beat the heat to challenge their physical limits as the 2019 Shanghai International Marathon began at 7am on Sunday from the Bund.

About 25,000 took part in the marathon, while 6,000 were featured in the 10km race and another 7,000 in the 5.5km run. Kenya’s Paul Lonyangata and Yebrgual Melese of Ethiopia took the men’s and women’s title at the Shanghai International Marathon, a World Athletics Gold Label road race, on Sunday (17).

The 26-year-old Lonyangata broke clear before 35km and led alone the rest of the way to hit home with a clocking of 2:28:11, 57 seconds shy of the 2:07:14 course record he set in the Chinese city in 2015.

“It has been five years since I run here last time,” Lonyangata said. “I noticed nobody had broke my course record so I came back to break it myself. But the weather was much hotter than five years ago.” 

The temperature was around 15c degrees when the race started but rose quickly. When the men’s leaders reached 20km 1:00:12, it was already near 20c (69F) degrees.

A group of 12 runners led the race to a fast pace in the early stages, reaching 5km in 14:57 and 10km in 29:58. When the leaders passed the 15km mark in 45:01 they were already 47 seconds ahead of the course record, and by 20km they were still six seconds ahead. 

But the pace slowed after 20km and when the last pace maker left the seven-runner leading pack, the leaders were 43 seconds behind the record time.

“I think the pacers stopped too early. One of the two pacers stopped after 11 kilometres and the other left by 25km. Because of the weather and the pace maker, I did not break the course record,” said Lonyangata, who decided to control the race with his own pace after 30km and pulled clear by 35 km before breaking the tape in style to celebrate his first marathon victory of the year.

Hassan El Abbassi of Bahrain, who set the Asian record of 2:04:43 last year in Valencia, finished second in 2:08:58, followed by Lmenih Getachew of Ethiopia with a clocking of 2:09:14.

Defending champion Yebrgual Melese also managed to confirm her favourite status in the women’s race although the wining time of 2:23:19 is more than two minutes slower than the 2:20:36 course record she achieved 12 months ago.

As the fastest entrant in the field with a personal best of 2:19:36 set last year in Dubai, the 29-year-old Melese was among a six-athlete leading group in the first half of the race. When she arrived at the 25km water stations in 1:24:12, only countrywoman Waganesh Mekasha managed to keep up with the chasers trailing 16 seconds behind.

After another four kilometres, the 27-year-old Mekasha began to fade gradually. Melese was leading by 14 seconds at 30km and kept widening the gap until wrapping up her fourth title over the classic distance.

Mekasha, a 2:22:45 performer, finish second in 2:25:37 while Ethiopia’s Obse Abdeta, 19, finished third in 2:27:47 in her marathon debut. 

(11/17/2019) ⚡AMP
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Shanghai International Marathon

Shanghai International Marathon

Shanghai International Marathon has established itself as the marquee running event on China’s Marathon calendar. Every November, tens of thousand participants run passing the many historical places of this city such as Bund Bull, Customs House, Shanghai Museum, Shanghai Grand Theater, Shanghai Exhibition center, Jing’an Temple, Nan Pu Bridge, Lu Pu Bridge, Long Hua Temple, Shanghai Stadium. The course records...

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Course record-holders Yebrgual Melese and Paul Lonyangata, will return to the Shangai Marathon this weekend

Ethiopia’s Melese won comfortably last year, taking more than a minute off the course record with 2:20:36.

A past winner of the Houston and Prague marathons, Melese set a PB of 2:19:36 when finishing third in Dubai last year, but her form in 2019 hasn’t been quite so good. The 29-year-old finished 11th in Tokyo in March in 2:31:40 but last month clocked a promising 1:09:02 at the Lisbon Half Marathon.

Fellow Ethiopian Waganesh Mekasha is another title contender. The 27-year-old reduced her PB by more than three minutes to finish fourth in Dubai in January in 2:22:45 and went on to clock 2:23:19 at the Yellow River Estuary International Marathon in Dongying seven months ago.

The Ethiopian contingent also includes Fantu Jimma, a 32-year-old with a PB of 2:26:14 set four years ago in Xiamen. It will be Jimma’s fourth marathon of the year, having won in Wuhan in 2:28:25 and finished third in Xiamen and Lanzhou. She was also victorious at the Changzhou West Taihu Lake Half Marathon last month.

Lonyangata is among the main favorites in the men’s race. The 26-year-old Kenyan set his PB of 2:06:10 when winning the 2017 Paris Marathon, the first of two victories in the French capital. He set the Shanghai course record of 2:07:14 in 2015 and has a season’s best of 2:07:29, set when finishing third in Paris.

Bahrain’s Hassan El Abbassi is another top contender. The 35-year-old, who set his marathon PB of 2:04:43 in Valencia last year, is the 2014 Asian Games 10,000m champion and 2018 Asian Games marathon silver medalist. More recently he finished seventh in the marathon at the World Championships in Doha in 2:11:44 but is still in pursuit of his first international marathon title.

Kipsang Kipkemoi will compete in China for the first time in his career. The 29-year-old Kenyan clocked his PB of 2:08:26 in Seville in 2017 and came close to that in April when he finished second in Madrid with 2:08:58. Sunday’s race will be his fourth marathon of the year as he has also competed in Mumbai and Cape Town but didn’t better 2:10 on either occasion.

Other sub-2:10 runners in the field include Kenya’s 2011 world silver medalist Vincent Kipruto and Ernest Ngeno, a 2:06:41 performer who finished second in Shanghai two years ago.

(11/15/2019) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Shanghai International Marathon

Shanghai International Marathon

Shanghai International Marathon has established itself as the marquee running event on China’s Marathon calendar. Every November, tens of thousand participants run passing the many historical places of this city such as Bund Bull, Customs House, Shanghai Museum, Shanghai Grand Theater, Shanghai Exhibition center, Jing’an Temple, Nan Pu Bridge, Lu Pu Bridge, Long Hua Temple, Shanghai Stadium. The course records...

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All eyes will turn to the Following crowning of Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon winners Lelisa Desisa and Ruth Chepngetich as Marathon Runners of the Year

The 2019 ‘Best Marathon Runner’ award was made to both Desisa and Chepngetich by the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) at the end of a year that saw them both add Marathon World Championship titles to their already impressive CVs.

But it was on the flat and fast streets of Dubai that Desisa of Ethiopia and Kenya’s rising star Chepngetich first made their marks in the record books - just two of a growing number of world-class distance runners to launch their careers in the emirate.

Making his marathon debut in Dubai in 2013, Desisa won in 2.04.45, while in January 2019 the diminutive Chepngetich produced one of the best women’s performances of all time as she stormed to victory in 2:17:08, now the fourth fastest in history.

"Over the past ten years or so, the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon has consistently produced race winning times that rival and often exceed the Marathon Majors," said Event Director Peter Connerton.

"The city is now firmly recognised as hosting one of the fastest routes in world athletics. Established elite athletes as well as up-and-coming runners are always keen to take part in what is the first major event of the new year. With the benign weather conditions, excellent road surfaces and a flat course, the athletes know they can target a personal best and even a new course record in Dubai."

While the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon has been held in various parts of the city - with race routes that have included both the Sheikh Zayed Road and Downtown Dubai - in recent years the race has settled on a home stretching out along the city’s Jumeirah Beach Road in the west with a finish in the shadow of the seven-star Burj Al Arab Hotel.

Held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, the 2020 event is expected to see more than 30,000 runners sign up to take part.

The race - the 21st in the event’s history - will again see the runners compete in the same location with competitors spread across three races, namely a 4km Fun Run, the hugely-popular 10km and the traditional Marathon distance itself.

(11/14/2019) ⚡AMP
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Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

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

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World Champions Lelisa Desisa and Ruth Chepngetich named Marathon Runners of the Year by the AIMS

This year’s World Marathon Champions Lelisa Desisa and Ruth Chepngetich are the Marathon Runners of the Year. The runners from Ethiopia and Kenya respectively were honored at the AIMS Best Marathon Runner (BMR) Gala in Athens tonight. The Gala, which was shown live on Greek TV, was staged by the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) and the Hellenic Athletics Federation, SEGAS. On Sunday the 37th edition of the "The Athens Marathon. The Authentic" will take place on the original course with a record field of 20,000 runners.

Three further distinctions were awarded by AIMS on Friday evening in Athens: the French journalist Alain Lunzenfichter, for a long time a reporter with the sports newspaper L’Équipe, received the AIMS Lifetime Achievement Award. The AIMS Green Award went to the Xiamen Marathon in China and the Harmony Geneva Marathon for UNICEF received the AIMS Social Award.

Two outstanding personalities in the sport of marathon running were also honored at the Gala on Friday evening: Britain’s Ron Hill and Stefano Baldini of Italy. Hill won the 1969 European title on the Athens course and Baldini took the Olympic title here in 2004. 15 years after his Olympic triumph, the Italian will be running the Athens Marathon once again. “I hope I can enjoy the race since Athens is a very special place for me,” said Stefano Baldini.

“We are honored to have the best marathon runners in the world here in Athens, where the marathon as well as the Olympic Games of the modern era began, and honor them at the Gala,” explained the president of the Hellenic Athletics Federation (SEGAS) Kostas Panagopoulos. The AIMS president, Paco Borao from Spain, spoke in referring to both winners: “No-one will be in any doubt that these two World champions, who won in extreme weather conditions in Doha, deserve to be the Best Marathon Runners.”

Lelisa Desisa is the first Ethiopian to have received this award which was first made in 2013. The most recent recipient was Kenya’s Olympic champion and world record holder Eliud Kipchoge who was awarded the prize for the last four years in succession. During the relevant period for the AIMS Best Marathon Runner, Lelisa Desisa won the New York Marathon in November 2018, running an impressive 2:05:59 on the difficult course. After a second place in Boston in April the 29-year-old Ethiopian won the World Championships marathon gold in Doha, Qatar a month ago. “The Olympic marathon in 2020 is my dream,” said Lelisa Desisa. “I want to follow in the footsteps of Abebe Bikila and win the gold. I hope I can inspire a new generation of young athletes by my success.”

Ruth Chepngetich established herself among the world’s best marathon runners with two outstanding victories: First she took the Istanbul Marathon in November 2018 with 2:18:35 then became the third fastest woman ever at that time when she won in Dubai in January with 2:17:08. At the end of September the 25 year-old took the World Championship title in Doha in extreme weather conditions. “It is a great honor to receive this award in Athens, where the marathon was born. This is a lifetime event in my career,” said Ruth Chepngetich. Asked about the world record, which was recently lowered to 2:14:04 by fellow-Kenyan Brigid Kosgei the BMR winner said: "I believe it is possible for me too to break the world record if I train accordingly.”

Among the distinguished international guests from Sport, Politics and Culture at the Gala on Friday evening in Athens was Greece’s Minister for Development and Investment, Adonis Georgiadis. “I ran the marathon myself last year and have to say, it was a once in a lifetime experience. I recommend everyone to run this race. The Athens Marathon stands for fun, happiness and energy,” added the Minister.

(11/09/2019) ⚡AMP
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Course record broken at the Beijing Marathon

Kenya’s Mathew Kipkoech Kisorio broke away in the final 10 kilometres of the Beijing Marathon to rewrite the men’s course record at the IAAF Gold Label road race on Sunday (3).

The 30-year-old clocked 2:07:06 to earn his second victory over the classic distance, knocking 10 seconds off the course record set six years ago by Ethiopia’s 2013 world bronze medallist Tadese Tola.

“It is my first time to run in Beijing and I am very happy to win and to break the course record,” said Kisorio, who set his PB of 2:04:53 last year in Valencia. “The weather was fantastic. I expect to come to Beijing again next year.”

Starting under cloudy and drizzling skies with the temperature ranging from 7-10C, the race was fast from the outset. Four runners – Bazu Worku of Ethiopia, Kisorio and his compatriots Emmanuel Rutto and Solomon Kirwa Yego – led the race to 25km.

Worku, a three-time winner of the Houston Marathon, was the first to fade away after 28km, while 36-year-old Rutto quit the title contest after 30km. After another two kilometres, Kisorio broke away from Yego to move into a sole lead.

The 2017 Daegu Marathon winner was well on track to break the course record at 35km, reached in 1:45:10, and kept pushing ahead before hit the line in 2:07:06. Yego trailed by more than two minutes to finish second in 2:09:45. Rutto clocked 2:10:15 to finish third.

Ethiopia’s Sutume Asefa, 24, ran alone for most of the women’s race and scored her first marathon title in 2:23:31, trimming 29 seconds off her PB set in Dubai three years ago.

China’s Li Zhixuan, the sixth-place finisher in Beijing last year, took second place in 2:29:06. Pre-race favourite Mulu Seboka, the fastest entrant in the field with a PB of 2:21:56, finished third in 2:29:09.

“I am satisfied with second place but the time is kind of slower than I expected,” said the 25-year-old Li, who set a PB of 2:26:15 in Nagoya eight months ago.

The last time a Chinese runner managed to earn a podium finish in the country’s most prestigious road race was in 2014, when Gong Lihua finished third in the women’s race.

(11/03/2019) ⚡AMP
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Prague Half Marathon

Prague Half Marathon

This event lets runners experience Prague at twilight, when the city is at its magical, mysterious best. The women’s run celebrates the power and beauty of sisterhood. The 10K that follows unites all runner of all levels in a fun, fast romp through the beautiful Czech evening....

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Ethiopia’s Mekuant Ayenew returns to the Chinese capital aiming to regain the title he took three years ago at the Beijing Marathon

The 28-year-old Ayenew, who set his 2:09:00 PB at the 2017 Prague Marathon, clocked 2:11:09 to earn his first international marathon victory in 2016 at the most prestigious road running race in China, which was first launched in 1981.

It will be Ayenew’s third appearance in Beijing as he also finished seventh with 2:15:16 two years ago. His familiarity of the course, which starts at the landmark Ti’anmen Square and ends outside the Olympic Stadium, will be a big advantage for Ayenew. But retaining the title will not be an easy task as Ayenew will face a quality field that includes several sub 2:05 runners.

Fellow Ethiopian Endeshaw Negesse is the fastest man on paper with a personal best of 2:04:52 set in Dubai back in 2013. Negesse came close to that mark two years later when he won in Tokyo with 2:06:00, but his only race since then was a 17th-place finish in Dubai in 2:26:27.

Kenya’s Mathew Kipkoech Kisorio, meanwhile, is a serious title contender in Beijing. The 30-year-old improved his PB to 2:04:53 last year when he finished third in Valencia and clocked 2:06:36 to finish second at the Paris Marathon last April.

The men’s field also includes Bazu Worku of Ethiopia, a three-time winner of the Houston Marathon with a PB of 2:05:25, as well as Kenyan duo Evans Korir and Solomon Kirwa Yego, who both have sub-2:07 career-best times and both have broken 2:08 in 2019.

Mulu Seboka of Ethiopia is the fastest entrant in the women’s field. The 35-year-old owns a PB of 2:21:56, set in Dubai in 2015, and has won three straight races in China since 2018 with two victories in Dalian and one in Shenzhen. She clocked 2:27:19 in May to retain her title in Dalian.

Compatriots Sutume Asefa and Letebrhan Haylay are also among the favourites. With a best of 2:24:00, Asefa is the slightly quicker of the two women but is yet to win a marathon, while Haylay set a PB of 2:24:47 to break the course record at the Dongying Yellow River Marathon last year.

Kenya’s 2018 Daegu Marathon champion Janet Jelagat Rono, a 2:26:03 performer at her best, is another woman to watch.

Li Zhixuan is China’s best hope for the title on Sunday. The 25-year-old is the fastest Chinese woman this year as she clocked 2:26:15 in Nagoya in March, improving her PB by more than four minutes. She will be hoping to improve on her sixth-place finish from last year.

The last time Chinese runners took the top honours at Beijing Marathon dates back to 2013, when Zhang Yingying clocked 2:31:19 to extend China’s winning streak in the women’s race to 22 years.

(11/01/2019) ⚡AMP
by IAAF
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Beijing Marathon

Beijing Marathon

The Beijing Marathon is an annual marathon held in Beijing, People's Republic of China. The race was first held in 1981 and has been held every year since. The race begins at Tiananmen Square and finishes at the National Olympic SportsCenter stadium. Beijing Marathon is now a full marathon only marathon race. At the 2009 edition of the race, 4897...

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Kenyans Andrew Ben Kimutai and Cynthia Cherop are the favorites in Venice

Kenyan Andrew Ben Kimutai starts as the fastest runner in the men’s field at the 34th edition of the Hauwei Venice Marathon, an IAAF Bronze Label road race on Sunday (27). The 30-year-old, who set his 2:08:32 personal best at the Seville Marathon in 2018, won this year's Wuhan Marathon in China in 2:10:06.

Kimutai will take on compatriot Geoffrey Yegon, who finished second at the Rome Ostia Half Marathon in 1:00:23 and has four sub-one hour half marathon runs to his credit. He clocked 59:56 at the Prague Half Marathon in 2018 and has a career best of 59:44 from 2016.

The men’s line-up also features Moses Mengich of Kenya, who was second at the Treviso Marathon in 2019 and Ethiopians Asefa Habtamu (2:08:32 in Dubai 2013) and Tsegaye Hiluf (PB 2:12:30 in Barcelona 2018).

The top Italian runner is Ahmed Nasef, who won the national marathon titles in 2016 and 2017.

The favorite in the women’s race is Kenya’s Cynthia Cherop, who clocked 2:25:55 on a slightly downhill course at the Los Angeles Marathon in March and finished runner-up at the Gothenburg Half Marathon setting her PB with 1:08:26 in May.

She'll face compatriots Judith Korir, winner at the Belgrade Marathon this year, and Jackline Autonyang, who will make her debut over the distance.

More than 13,000 runners are expected to take part in the Venice Marathon and the popular 10km mass race.

(10/26/2019) ⚡AMP
by IAAF
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Venice Marathon

Venice Marathon

The Venice Marathon is one of the most beautiful marathons known for the historical, artistic and picturesque surrounding in which it takes place. It starts in Stra, a small village located at about 25 km west of Venice, at the beginning of the Riviera del Brenta, a beautiful area near the River Brenta, where the rich and noble Venetians built...

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Ethiopian Junior World Record Holder Tsegaye Mekonnen joins the Frankfurt marathon

“The addition of Meskerem Assefa and Tsegaye Mekonnen means two more top stars have joined our race. It says a lot for the quality of the Mainova Frankfurt Marathon that these two athletes want to run their autumn marathon here. If weather conditions are right, we have a good chance for very fast races,” said the race director Jo Schindler.

A year ago Meskerem Assefa set a course record of 2:20:36 despite windy conditions which was also her personal best. The 34-year-old has the potential to target a sub-2:20 time for her latest appearance in Frankfurt. She may well have company in this challenge since the Kenyan Valary Aiyabei has a best of 2:20:53, only 17 seconds slower than Meskerem’s course record in Frankfurt.

Sylvia Kibet can also be expected to produce a considerable improvement on her fastest time.

The 35-year-old won in Rabat in Morocco in April, setting a personal best of 2:25:52. Her pedigree for the marathon includes impressive speed over shorter distances on the track which helped her win two silver medals over 5,000m in the 2009 and 2011 World Championships and an Olympic bronze for the same distance in 2008.

Another newcomer to the women’s race in the Mainova Frankfurt Marathon is Fabienne Königstein, better known as Fabienne Amrhein.

The 26-year-old made her breakthrough last year, improving to 2:32:34 to win the women’s title in Düsseldorf, followed by becoming the top German finisher in 11th place in the European Championship Marathon in Berlin. Injuries have prevented her from racing in the early part of 2019 but she is likely to be aiming for the Olympic qualifying time of 2:29:30 in Frankfurt.

Tsegaye Mekonnen is a runner with enormous potential. In 2014 the Ethiopian was the shooting start of the international marathon scene, running, as an 18-year-old, an unofficial junior world record in Dubai on his debut at the distance of 2:04:32 (the IAAF does not record official marathon world records for juniors).

Since then Tsegaye Mekonnen’s progress has been restricted by a succession of injuries. He also suffered misfortune when making his Frankfurt debut in 2014, recovering from a fall during the race but subsequently dropping out.

In 2017 Tsegaye Mekonnen won his second marathon with 2:07:26 in Hamburg. He has not raced internationally this year but the flat and fast course in Frankfurt should give him the opportunity to show what he can do.

(10/18/2019) ⚡AMP
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Mainova Frankfurt Marathon

Mainova Frankfurt Marathon

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

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Ethiopian Seifu Tura is the latest addition to the Chicago Marathon

Bank of America Chicago Marathon officials have announced several changes to the elite field for Sunday’s race, including Getaneh Molla and Herpasa Negasa’s withdrawal from the race.

The runners, who both hail from Ethiopia, had the two best personal-records among the men’s field, but neither will participate in Sunday’s race.

Race organizers did announce that a pair of new runners will join the field, including Seifu Tura, the Ethiopian racer who set a blistering career best time in the Dubai Marathon in 2018, crossing the line in 2:04:44.

While that result was only good for seventh in the race, Tura did win the 2018 Milan Marathon in Italy and the 2018 Shanghai International Marathon in China, giving him a pair of quality victories that he’ll look to build upon in Chicago.

Also added to the field is Ethiopia’s Dejene Debela. The 24-year-old set a personal best time of 2:07:10 in the Eindhoven Marathon in the Netherlands back in 2017. He is the defending champion at the Xiamen International Marathon in China, posting a time of 2:09:26 in the race earlier this year.

He also won the Beijing Marathon in 2018 and is currently the 45th ranked marathon runner in the world, according to the IAAF.

(10/09/2019) ⚡AMP
by Natalie Martinez
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Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Bank of America Chicago Marathon

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

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Course Record Holder Meskerem Assefa returns to defend women’s title at Mainova Frankfurt Marathon

Last year’s women’s champion and course record holder Meskerem Assefa will return to run the Mainova Frankurt Marathon while another world-class Ethiopian distance runner will also be on the start line on October 27.

Tsegaye Mekonnen, the junior men’s world record holder in the marathon is set to race in the men’s division.  In addition to these new recruits to the elite line-up, two more athletes will be joining them in the race for top prizes: Kenya’s Olympic bronze medallist in the 5,000m in 2008, Sylvia Kibet and last year’s German champion Fabienne Königstein.

About 14,000 runners are expected to complete the field in the Mainova Frankfurt Marathon which is an IAAF Gold Label race, the highest category in road racing.

“If weather conditions are right, we have a good chance for very fast races," said the race director Jo Schindler.

A year ago Meskerem Assefa set a course record of 2:20:36 despite windy conditions which was also her personal best. The 34-year-old has the potential to target a sub-2:20 time for her latest appearance in Frankfurt. She may well have company in this challenge since the Kenyan Valary Aiyabei has a best of 2:20:53, only 17 seconds slower than Meskerem’s course record in Frankfurt.

Sylvia Kibet can also be expected to produce a considerable improvement on her fastest time. The 35-year-old won in Rabat in Morocco in April, setting a personal best of 2:25:52. Her pedigree for the marathon includes impressive speed over shorter distances on the track which helped her win two silver medals over 5,000m in the 2009 and 2011 World Championships and an Olympic bronze for the same distance in 2008.

Another newcomer to the women’s race in the Mainova Frankfurt Marathon is Fabienne Königstein, better known as Fabienne Amrhein. The 26-year-old made her breakthrough last year, improving to 2:32:34 to win the women’s title in Düsseldorf, followed by becoming the top German finisher in 11th place in the European Championship Marathon in Berlin. 

Tsegaye Mekonnen is a runner with enormous potential. In 2014 the Ethiopian was the shooting start of the international marathon scene, running, as an 18-year-old, an unofficial junior world record in Dubai on his debut at the distance of 2:04:32 (the IAAF does not record official marathon world records for juniors).

Since then Tsegaye Mekonnen’s progress has been restricted by a succession of injuries. He also suffered misfortune when making his Frankfurt debut in 2014, recovering from a fall during the race but subsequently dropping out. 

(10/09/2019) ⚡AMP
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Mainova Frankfurt Marathon

Mainova Frankfurt Marathon

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

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It was very hot even at midnight for the women’s marathon at the IAAF world championships in Doha

A first midnight marathon at a world championship saw Kenya’s Ruth Chepngetich earn her first major gold on the floodlit Corniche tonight, clocking 2:32:43 in testing heat and humidity.

It was also the first gold to be won at the IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019.

The 25-year-old became the third fastest ever in the women’s lists in winning the Dubai Marathon in January in 2:17:08, but on this occasion the challenge was about endurance rather than speed as the race began in temperatures officially estimated at between 30 and 32.7 Centigrade, and humidity of 73 per cent.

Bahrain's defending champion Rose Chelimo took silver on the seven-lap circuit in 2:33:46, 63 seconds back, and bronze went to Namibia's Commonwealth champion Helalia Johannes in 2:34:15.

At the age of 39 - she turns 40 on November 15 – Kenya’s 2011 and 2013 world champion, and 2017 silver medallist Edna Kiplagat missed out on another medal by one agonising place having tracked the lead for the bulk of the race.

Her time in a race where the top 10 finishers qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Games was 2:35:36.

Volha Mazuronak of Belarus, the European champion who survived a massive nosebleed to win in Berlin, hung onto fourth place after a long solo run, clocking 2:36:21.

Forty-one-year old Roberta Groner of the United States claimed sixth place in 2:38:44, one place ahead of Japan's Mizuki Tanimoto.

North Korea's Ji Hyang Kim earned eighth place in 2:41:24, Lyndsay Tessier of Canada claimed ninth place in 2:42:03, and tenth place went to Un Ok Jo of North Korea in 2:42.23.

On an unpredictable occasion which saw 23 of the 68 starters fail to finish, the biggest surprise was the fact that all three Ethiopian runners dropped out before the race got past halfway.

Ethiopia were represented by the runners who stood third and fourth on the entry list behind Chepngetich – Ruti Aga, who has run 2:20:40 this year and has a best of 2:18:34, and Roza Dereje, who has run 2:20:51 this year and has a best of 2:19:17.

And the third Ethiopian selected, Shure Demise, has run 2:21:05 this season.

Israel’s sole entrant was also a runner to be noted – 30-year-old Lonah Salpeter, who won the European 10,000m title in Berlin last summer and has a best of 2:19:46.

She ran gallantly in fifth place for much of the race, closing a minute’s gap on the lead group, only to see them accelerate away. She pulled out between the 31st and 32nd kilometres.

Chelimo’s silver was a surprise given her relatively poor record this year.

Amidst good numbers of spectators lining the barriers, Chepngetich made an early effort to break away but was hauled back into the main group.

Any thought that she might have misjudged her effort was dismissed, however, she made a second, decisive break as she entered the last of the seven scheduled laps and was never headed.

“I am feeling good,” she said. “I am very happy and I thank God for my win.”

Asked about the conditions, she responded: “It was not bad for me!”

And on the subject of whether she could win at next year’s Tokyo Olympics, she added: “I will try my best.”

(09/27/2019) ⚡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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Leading ethiopian trio, Ayele Abshero, Solomon Deksisa and Tadu Abate are set to battle at the TCS Amsterdam Marathon on Sunday October 20

Ayele Abshero, Solomon Deksisa and Tadu Abate will be competing for victory during the TCS Amsterdam Marathon on Sunday 20 October. The Ethiopian trio will try to lower the already very fast course record of 2:04:06. On paper, Abshero is the fastest, with a top finish time of 2:04:23. Last year Deksisa was third to cross the finish line in the Amsterdam Olympic Stadium in 2:04:40. And Tadu Abate won the Hamburg Marathon this spring.

Ayele Abshero has fond memories of the Netherlands, having won the NN Egmond Half Marathon in 2011, 2014 and 2019. The 28-year-old marathon runner’s personal best is a world-class time of 2:04:23, which led him to a glorious win during his marathon debut in Dubai in 2012. This was followed by a third-place finish in the London marathon in 2013 and a second-place finish in Hamburg earlier this year. For Ayele, the TCS Amsterdam Marathon will be an opportunity to gain revenge against compatriot and rival Tadu Abate, who beat him to the finish line by a second in the Hamburg Marathon this spring.

Solomon Deksisa shaved a massive two minutes off his personal best in Amsterdam last year, lowering it to 2:04:40. This was the 25-year-old Ethiopian’s third success in 2018, after winning the Mumbai marathon in January and the Hamburg Marathon in April.

Tadu Abate is the youngest of the Ethiopian athletes. The talented 22-year-old runner finished second in his debut marathon in Hamburg last year. He then placed seventh in Amsterdam with a time of 2:06:47, and continued his string of impressive performances by winning his first major marathon in Hamburg.

As has already been announced, Abdi Nageeye will also be running the TCS Amsterdam Marathon. He will be aiming to beat his own Dutch marathon record of 2:06:17 and is odds-on favorite to win the marathon title in the capital.

The TCS Amsterdam Marathon ranks as the world's sixth fastest marathon city and is since 2018 also the Netherlands' fastest marathon. Lawrence Cherono, who won last year’s marathon, demonstrated yet again that it is possible to run a fast time in Amsterdam. The Kenyan shaved more than a minute off the course record he set in 2017, finishing in 2:04:06.

The three main distances of the TCS Amsterdam Marathon are completely sold out. On Sunday October 20th 45.000 runners appear at the start of the marathon, 

(09/27/2019) ⚡AMP
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TCS Amsterdam Marathon

TCS Amsterdam Marathon

Do you want to enjoy Amsterdam in October and all that the city has to offer you? Want to feel a real athlete and start and finish in the historic Olympic stadium? Or run across the widely discussed passage under the beautiful National Museum? Then come to Amsterdam for the 44rd edition of the TCS Amsterdam Marathon in October! The...

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Legendary Yiannis Kouros, one of the biggest names in ultramarathons, will be present in Dubai to cheer on participants as they take part in the world's longest desert race, the 300-km Al Marmoom Ultramarathon, for a share of the $100,000 prize-purse

Kouros, 63, is often described as the modern-day Pheidippides, the Greek hero whose run from Marathon to Athens is the inspiration behind the Olympic sport of marathon. He has broken more than 160 world records in long-distance running, including the fastest 100-miles on roads, and the record for 1,000-km on both track and road, and 1,000 miles on road. He also set a new mark for the 875km Sydney to Melbourne Utramarathon in 1985, crossing the finish line in 5 days, 5 hours, 7 minutes and 6 seconds.

"I'm really excited to be coming to Dubai this December to see desert ultra-running history being made, when ultra-runners from around the world race across 300km of tough desert terrain," said Kouros, who is also remembered for breaking six wold records in the New York City Six-Day Race in 1984.

He added: "Dubai has created the ultimate endurance running event and I'd like to say well done to Dubai Sports Council for organizing such an epic event that any long distance runner would love to take on.

"Dubai is the place to be this December to witness the world's best take on the world's longest desert ultramarathon - AMUM19."

Welcoming Kouros to Dubai and the 2019 Al Marmoom Ultramarathon, Saeed Hareb, secretary general of Dubai Sports Council, said: "Yiannis Kouros is one of the legends of ultra-running and his presence here for the 2019 Al Marmoom Ultramarathon will be a huge inspiration for all the participants. He is a true legend of the sport and a modern-day Pheidippides indeed, and we are looking forward to welcoming him to Dubai.

"The world's best endurance and ultra-runners, including the two defending champions Rachid El Mourabity and Magdalena Boulet, have already confirmed their spots for the second edition of the Al Marmoom Ultramarathon.

"The first edition of the Al Marmoom Ultramarathon was a huge success with elite ultra-runners from 48 countries taking part in the 270km race. Media from around the globe covered the event, while CNN International flew down a team to Dubai for the event. This year, the Al Marmoom Ultramarathon is going to be even bigger and better. The distance has been increased to 300-km, and so the competition is going to be stiffer.

"The Al Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve is the perfect place to host an event like this and the Ultramarathon provides participants with a unique opportunity to experience the beauty and tranquility of our deserts."

Alongside the main event, the grueling 300-km Ultramarathon, the race also offers lesser distances of 110km and 50km to encourage endurance runners from the UAE and region to participate. The 300-km race will be completed in 5 days and over four separate routes starting from the base camp situated in Al Qudra. The 110km race will be a non-stop 24 hour run, while the 50-km race will be completed in one day.

All three races are self-sufficient with water and tents supplied, as well as medical and safety support given. Top rankings and special recognition winners in all three races will get a share of the prize money, while all finishers will receive medals and T-shirts.

(09/25/2019) ⚡AMP
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Al Marmoom Ultra Marathon

Al Marmoom Ultra Marathon

Launched under the initiative of UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of DubaiHis Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Al Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve will host the world's longest desert ultra-run Meraas Al Marmoom Ultramarathon. Meraas Al Marmoom Ultramarathon is a 300km, 100km and 50km race across desert terrain and will be held 9th to 11th December...

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LEMA BREAKS COURSE RECORD IN HENGSHUI

Ethiopia’s Marta Lema Megra took more than a minute off the course record to secure a convincing victory at the Hengshui Lake International Marathon, an IAAF Gold Label road race, on Sunday (22).

The 28-year-old Lema, who set a PB of 2:22:35 last year in Toronto, enjoyed a comfortable sole lead in the latter half of the race and wrapped up her first victory in China in 2:24:21.

It was Lema’s second appearance in Hengshui; she finished second in 2:25:59 four years ago behind Kenya’s Agnes Kiprop. And Kiprop’s winning mark of 2:25:43 had stood as the course record until Megra renewed it by 1:22.

Lema’s compatriot Askale Alemayehu trimmed nearly one-and-a-half minutes off her career best to finish second in 2:27:32. Her previous PB of 2:29:01 was set three years ago in Shanghai.

Olympian Tirfi Tsegaye finished third in 2:28:30 to complete an Ethiopian sweep of the podium. The 34-year-old, who won the 2016 Dubai Marathon in 2:19:41 and finished fourth at the Olympic Games later that year, was contesting her first marathon in three years having taken a maternity break.

As the fastest entrant in the men’s field, Aychew Bantie of Ethiopia led from gun to finish to claim the victory in 2:08:51.

A leading group of 12 runners paced the race to 10km in 30:37. After passing the 20km water tables in 1:00:10, the group started to wither rapidly as eight runners, including 2015 Hengshui winner Ernest Ngeno of Kenya, dropped off one after another.

Only four men were left in the leading pack after 25km and Ethiopia’s Teshome Girma quit the contest for the title before 40km.

The leading trio – Bantie, Bonsa Dida of Ethiopia and Kenya’s Joel Kemboi Kimurer – remained together until Bantie launched his powerful charge for the win with about 400 metres to go.

Bantie’s winning mark was a couple of minutes shy of the 2:06:23 PB he set four months ago in Prague, but it was his first ever marathon victory.

Dida, 24, bettered 2:10 for the first time as he finished second in 2:09:04. Kimurer, a 2:07:48 performer, trailed one more second behind to take the third place.

(09/22/2019) ⚡AMP
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Hengshui lake International Marathon

Hengshui lake International Marathon

The Hengshui Lake international Marathon, held in September every year, is considered one of China’s top sports and tourism events. The race takes competitors around the Northern Chinese city’s scenic Hengshui Lake. It attracts runners and spectators from throughout China and abroad. Nearly 16,000 runners participated in one of the three race categories - the Full Marathon, the Half Marathon...

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Former winners Agnes Kiprop and Aberu Mekuria will both return to the Chinese city of Hengshui to compete for the women’s title at the Hengshui Lake International Marathon

The 36-year-old Ethiopian, Mekuria clocked a course record of 2:26:07, her personal best time at that time, to win in 2013. Two years later Kenyan, Kiprop claimed the tile in 2:25:43, which has stood as the course record until now.

However, the 39-year-old Kenyan, whose PB of 2:23:54 was set in Frankfurt back in 2011, hasn’t come close to 2:26 since her 2015 Hengshui victory. She clocked 2:29:04 to finish fourth at the Dongying Yellow River Marathon in April, which was her fastest time in more than four years.

Mekuria, on the contrary, has been enjoying a second wind in her decade-long career, achieving a PB of 2:24:30 to break the course record at the 2019 Chongqing International Marathon. It will be her third race in Hengshui as she also clocked 2:32:53 to finish eighth in 2015.

The organizers have assembled the deepest women’s field in the eight-year history of the race, as other race favorites also include Marta Megra of Ethiopia, who set her PB of 2:22:35 last year in Toronto, as well as her compatriot Tirfi Tsegaye, the fastest woman toeing the line with a PB of 2:19:41 from her massive victory in Dubai in 2016.

The men’s field also contains a former champion. 24-year-old Ernest Ngeno of Kenya took the top honors in Hengshui four years ago with a winning mark of 2:07:57, which was his PB at the time and 12 seconds shy of the course record set by Markos Geneti in 2014.

Last year, he improved his PB to 2:06:41 when finishing third in Paris, which makes him the second-fastest entrant in the field.

Although Ngeno is keen to end a three-year title drought following his victory in Milan in 2016, he could face a serious threat from Aychew Bantie.

The rising Ethiopian, who turned 24 this month, trimmed more than two minutes off his career best to finish third at the Prague Marathon in 2:06:23 four months ago and is still pursuing his first title since debuting over the classic distance in 2017.

Bantie’s compatriot Fikadu Kebede, who turns 33 on Friday, also arrives in Hengshui in high spirits. He set a PB of 2:08:27 in Dubai in January and came close to that mark three months later with a second-place finish in Dongying in 2:09:38.

The men’s field also includes Kenyan duo Dominic Ruto and Ismael Boshendich Chemtan

(09/21/2019) ⚡AMP
by Vicent Wu
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Hengshui lake International Marathon

Hengshui lake International Marathon

The Hengshui Lake international Marathon, held in September every year, is considered one of China’s top sports and tourism events. The race takes competitors around the Northern Chinese city’s scenic Hengshui Lake. It attracts runners and spectators from throughout China and abroad. Nearly 16,000 runners participated in one of the three race categories - the Full Marathon, the Half Marathon...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

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

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Scotland’s marathon record holder Callum Hawkins is turning up the heat in preparation for Doha

Callum Hawkins hopes that subjecting himself to heat chamber therapy, twilight training and running at altitude will set him up to win a medal at this autumn’s IAAF World Athletics Championships.

Hawkins is selected to represent Britain in the marathon in Doha, where the temperatures can hit 35 degrees in late September and early October, when the championships are being held.

The potential heat and humidity has prompted race organisers to choose a start time of one minute before midnight for the men’s marathon on 5 October, and Hawkins has decided to adjust his usual build up for major races to try to acclimatise to the challenging conditions and unconventional start time in the Qatar capital.

Hawkins, who was admitted to hospital after collapsing in unbearably warm conditions during the marathon at the Commonwealth Games in Australia last year, has already been running in the University of the West of Scotland’s environmental chamber to build resistance to the hot conditions.

Speaking after winning Bella-houston Harriers’ Brian Goodwin Memorial 10k in Glasgow on Friday night, the Kilbarchan AAC athlete said he was determined to “get the monkey off my back” in the next major championships.

“The fact it is a night time race in Doha makes it more favorable,” Hawkins said. “The sun is the worst thing, so taking that factor out should take away a bit of the harshness of the heat.”

Marathon-specific training tailored towards Doha is still around six weeks away for Hawkins, but preparation  is set to ramp up shortly.

On July 3, Hawkins will commence altitude training in Flagstaff, Arizona, before he flies to Majorca for further warm weather training. Under the guidance of coach and father Robert, Hawkins will punctuate his schedule with the Beach to Beacon 10k in Maine in early August, and a half marathon in early September – likely the Great North Run – on the agenda.

A further trip to Dubai to join the other British athletes selected for Doha in a pre-championships training camp has also been built into Hawkins’ schedule, and it is during these final couple of weeks of training that he will begin to adjust his body clock.

(08/12/2019) ⚡AMP
by Stuart Miller
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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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Two defending champions Rachid El Mourabity and Magdalena Boulet, will be back in Dubai to defend their Al Marmoom Ultramarathon title

El Mourabity of Morocco and American Boulet took the men's and women's crown in the inaugural edition of the Al Marmoom Ultramarathon last December with El Mourabity clocking 31 hours, 17 minutes and 29 seconds across the four-day and 270-km race, and Boulet finishing with a time of 37:27:59.

Both have now confirmed, along with a number of other elite ultra-runners, for the second edition of the Al Marmoom Ultramarathon, which will be a longer 300-km race and spread across five days with a prize purse of $100,000.

"Some of the world's best endurance and ultramarathon runners, including the defending champions Rachid El Mourabity and Magdalena Boulet, will be back in Dubai to take part in the second edition of the Al Marmoom Ultramarathon," said Nasser Aman Al Rahma, Assistant Secretary General of the Dubai Sports Council.

"The first edition of the Al Marmoom Ultramarathon was a huge success with elite ultra-runners from 48 countries taking part in the 270km race. Media from around the globe covered the event, while CNN International flew down a team to Dubai to cover the race and the Al Marmoom Desert Conservation.

"This year, the Al Marmoom Ultramarathon is going to be even bigger and better. The distance has been increased to 300-km, and so the competition is going to be stiffer. We have developed a special GPS system to track participants this year and there will be drones covering the full race. We will have a much bigger race headquarters as well and a lot more tents for athletes to relax in.

"The Al Marmoom Ultramarathon is a translation of the guidance of our wise leadership to take advantage of the many opportunities that the Al Marmoom Desert Conservation offers and to encourage all segments of our society to use the Al Marmoom for their sports and outdoor activities. The Reserve is the perfect place to host this challenging event and provides participants with a unique opportunity to experience the beauty and tranquillity of our deserts."

Alongside the main event, the gruelling 300-km Ultramarathon, the race also offers lesser distances of 110-km and 50-km to encourage endurance runners from the UAE and region to participate. The 300-km race will be completed in five days and over four separate routes starting from the base camp situated in Al Qudra. The 110-km race will be a non-stop 24 hour run, while the 50-km race will be completed in one day.

All three races are self-sufficient with water and tents supplied, as well as medical and safety support given. Top rankings and special recognition winners in all three races will receive prize money, and all finishers will receive medals and t shirts.

The organisers are encouraging runners who wish to sign up and prepare for the event to join the weekly 'build up runs' training programme, which will start Friday, August 30, and run for 12 weeks leading up to the main event.

(08/06/2019) ⚡AMP
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Al Marmoom Ultra Marathon

Al Marmoom Ultra Marathon

Launched under the initiative of UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of DubaiHis Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Al Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve will host the world's longest desert ultra-run Meraas Al Marmoom Ultramarathon. Meraas Al Marmoom Ultramarathon is a 300km, 100km and 50km race across desert terrain and will be held 9th to 11th December...

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The winner of the 300km Al Marmoom Ultramarathon is going to win $100,000 at this year ultra event

If you thought a 270km race through the desert wasn’t long enough, well your wish has just come true, as this year’s longest desert race in the world has added an extra 30km to it.

The Al Marmoom Ultramarathon 2019 is upping its length this year to 300km.  And is offering $100,000 (more than Dhs360,000) for the winner.

The race will place over five days from Monday December 9 until Friday 13, the world’s longest desert race will see some of the world’s most famous ultra-runners come to Dubai to battle it out over tough desert terrain.

This year will see three distances, including the incredible 300km race set to be completed in five days and over four separate routes starting from the base camp situated in Al Qudra. Just a casual 60km per day, through the desert.The 110km race will be a non-stop 24-hour run through day and night, while the 50km race is to be completed in one day.Tents will be pitched throughout the course and there will be water rations on the route and in the camp.

A medical team of doctors and paramedics will also be supervising the race, in case of injury or exhaustion.“The UAE is home to some of the world’s most-seasoned and experienced desert ultra-runners and we are encouraging UAE based ultra-runners to enter all three distances as well as team entries for the 50km distance,” said event director Ruth Dickinson.

In it for the experience and not the cash? Those who finish the incredible race will get a medal and a t-shirt so you can show off to everyone you completed it. Well earned.The first edition saw elite runners from 48 countries race over 270km in four days.

(08/01/2019) ⚡AMP
by Darragh Murphy
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Al Marmoom Ultra Marathon

Al Marmoom Ultra Marathon

Launched under the initiative of UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of DubaiHis Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Al Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve will host the world's longest desert ultra-run Meraas Al Marmoom Ultramarathon. Meraas Al Marmoom Ultramarathon is a 300km, 100km and 50km race across desert terrain and will be held 9th to 11th December...

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27-year-old Ethiopian Tamirat Tola won the Bogota Half Marathon clocking 1:02:34

Bogota Half Marathon turned 20 years old and crowned as champions Ethiopian Tamirat Tola in the men's branch, with a figure of 1:02:34, and Kenyan Ruth Chepngetich in the women's branch, with a time of 1:10:39. In the male branch, the best Colombian was Miguel Amador, in the tenth position with 1:08:00.

The competition, as usual, was run with more than 42 thousand athletes enrolled in the male and female categories and in which only 9% of the competitors are professionals.

"I hope to return to this Half Marathon, the height makes it demanding but I want to go back for the record. I am very happy. I really like marathons, I took advantage of my speed and took advantage," said Tamirat Tola, after his victory.

Meanwhile, Ruth Chepngetich said that, "I am very happy and I felt the support of the people on the street. I want to go back and I liked being in Bogotá."

The Ethiopian runner was the dominator of the race, but could not beat his best mark and was close to Geoffrey Mutai's record with 1:02:20. However, the African adhered to his record the bogota half marathon victory, next to the World Cup in London 2017 and the Half Marathon of Prague and Dubai in 2017.

It should be noted that Tamirat Tola has been an expert in cross-country racing throughout his career. The Ethiopian was world runner-up in 2017 in the marathon test and also participated in the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games in 2016, at which time he won a bronze medal in the 10,000 meters, being surpassed by the British Mo Farah, winner of the Gold and Kenyan Paul Tanui.

(07/29/2019) ⚡AMP
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Bogota Half Marathon

Bogota Half Marathon

The Bogotá International Half Marathon, or mmB as it is traditionally known, is an annual road running competition over a half marathon distance 21.0975 kilometres (13.1094 mi) taking place in Bogotá, Colombia in late July or early August. Established in 2000, it holds IAAF Gold Label Road Race status, making it the first and thus far only South American race...

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