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Articles tagged #Eliud Kipchoge
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The postponed Haspa Marathon Hamburg will be allowed to take place with 10,000 runners, both elite and mass races

In a surprising turn of events, the postponed Haspa Marathon Hamburg will be allowed to take place with both elite and mass races on Sunday, September 13.  The event, which was originally scheduled for April 19, has been granted an exemption by German authorities –who had implemented a ban on all large events through October 24– because organizers have agreed to implement a rigorous anti-COVID hygiene plan.  The event is a World Athletics Gold Label Road Race.

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

Organizers are expecting 10,000 runners for the marathon, plus an additional 4,000 in a companion half-marathon (last year’s marathon had 10,079 finishers).  The marathon and half-marathon will have different start and finish areas.  Runners in the half-marathon will start in several groups between 8:00 and 8:30 a.m., while the marathon runners will begin racing at 9:30 a.m. with a starting time window of just under two hours. The athletes will be sent on the course in “batches” of 1,000 per starting group in roughly ten-minute intervals.

To ensure physical distancing before the race, runners will assemble in predetermined groups in different halls of the Expo building.  There, and also in the finish areas, a total of 120,000 square meters of space will be available to the organizers and under their control; spectators will not be allowed to enter.  Disinfection stations will be set up both in the event areas and along the course.

Moreover, all participants will be given a tubular scarf with a breathing filter.  These must be worn over the nose and mouth in the event area including the start and finish areas.  During the race runners must have these with them and put them over mouth and nose after they cross the finish line.  No open drinks or individual food offerings will be available in the finish area; instead all participants will receive a refueling package.  Other facilities which are usually on offer, such as massage and showers, will not be available.

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

The elite field will be scaled down to about 30 athletes, organizers said.  These will be the only athletes standing together on the starting line. These athletes will have to undergo testing for the novel corona virus before the race, and will only be drawn from certain countries given travel restrictions.  Participation by athletes from countries where the novel corona virus poses a higher risk will not be allowed, either in the elite or the mass field.

The detailed hygiene policy was developed with the help of Manchester Metropolitan University in England which offers a masters degree in Crowd Safety and Risk Analysis.

The Haspa Marathon Hamburg was founded in 1986.  Ethiopians Tadu Abate (2:08:26) and Dibaba Kuma (2:24:42) were the race champions in 2019.  The course records are 2:05:30 by Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge in 2013, and 2:21:54 by Ethiopia’s Meselech Melkamu in 2016.

Separately, the massive BMW Berlin Marathon, scheduled for Sunday, September 27, has yet to announce how their event will be staged this year, if at all.  Their most recent statement, dated May 27, said that officials were continuing “to put all our energy into considering various options” for the race.  An announcement is expected, soon.

(06/24/2020) ⚡AMP
by David Monti
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Haspa Marathon Hamburg

Haspa Marathon Hamburg

The new date for the 2020 marathon is set for September 13, 2020. The HASPA MARATHON HAMBURG is Germany’s biggest spring marathon and since 1986 the first one to paint the blue line on the roads. Hamburcourse record is fast (2:05:30), the metropolitan city (1.8 million residents) lets the euphoric atmosphere spill over and carry you to the finish. Make...

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How Eliud Kipchoge has been handling things during the COVID-19 crisis

Ever since he won the marathon Olympic gold at the Rio Games in 2016, Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya has been smashing records with authority. He planned to crack a few more this year before the pandemic struck and halted his progress.

“The postponement of the Tokyo Games [to 2021] has turned everything, from preparation to planning, upside down for me,” he told Sportstar  from Kenya on Friday.

The World record holder, who has won 11 of the 12 official marathons he has taken part in, said he is tackling the tough days by staying positive and setting safety as his priority.

Isolation training

“I have never been in a hard situation like this. This one is completely different and has hampered my training in a big way,” he said. “It has not only affected my training but my fitness too. Training in isolation is not easy and, without your teammates around, it is hard to gauge your fitness as well. Consistency and setting your goal is another recipe.”

But Kipchoge was quick to point out that the pandemic has taught him life’s big lesson: “To treat the uncertainties and accept the change as it happens.”

Having run 3.2kms to school on a daily basis, the Kenyan has moulded himself into a tough nut to crack. “Yes, I was born tough and have also gone through some tough situations in life but the pandemic is tougher still,” he said.

Patiently waiting

How about defending the marathon title at the Tokyo Games? “It’s not easy to clinch the gold as it needs total dedication and patience and, above all, consistency,” said the 35-year-old, who won at Rio with the biggest margin of victory (70 seconds) in the Olympics since 1972. The Kenyan had bagged a silver at Beijing (2008) and bronze at Athens (2004), both over 5000m.

Despite his advancing years, Kipchoge, who ran the world’s first ever sub-two-hour marathon by clocking 1:59:40 at a special event in Vienna last year, is determined to run many a mile. Besides the Olympics, he is eyeing a fifth London Marathon title.

He may have to wait for things to settle down before getting back on the road.

(06/21/2020) ⚡AMP
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These carbon fibre shoes are coming for Nike’s running crown In the race for every advantage, footwear designers are improving on nature by adding carbon fibre flex

Nike has conquered long distance running. Its thick, foam-soled shoes have grabbed headlines and rewritten records. In October 2019, the Portland, Oregon-based company provided the footwear worn by Eliud Kipchoge, who ran a marathon in less than two hours, a feat once thought impossible. At the Tokyo marathon in March, 28 of the top 30 runners were wearing a variant of Nike’s Air Zoom Alphafly Next% shoe.

The success of the footwear is thought to be down to a rigid carbon fibre plate with a thick stack of foam, which helps athletes use less energy, leading to faster times. But, by the time the world’s best runners return to Tokyo for the Olympics in 2021, Nike could have serious competition on its hands, from a little-known company that started out making suitcases.

Carbitex founder Junus Khan began experimenting with carbon fibre technology ten years ago in his garage in Washington state, with an initial focus on luggage. “What Nike did was fantastic, it’s proven,” says Khan, who has a background in the automotive industry and learned about materials and carbon fibre while working for supercar brands, in particular during a collaboration with Skylar Tibbits, the founder of MIT’s Self Assembly Lab. “They created an entire system which has shaken the running footwear industry to its core. But our approach is different.”

Carbitex, which now has 50 staff, makes a new kind of carbon plate designed to aid natural running. It has two technologies: AFX and DFX. The former stands for asymmetrically flexible, meaning the plates can bend more one way than the other, much like parts of our body. DFX means dynamically flexible, where the plate exponentially increases in stiffness in order to meet the particular movement needs.

This means, in theory, that the plate could work to provide everyday comfort for walking, but also the stiffness required for a sprint. “When you go past a certain angle when you’re running, your foot bends beyond what it needs to, and the more it does that, the more energy you use,” Khan explains. “Our technology takes the foot to the angle it wants to go to, and then it gets stiff. That’s the concept our carbon fibre material enables, that other carbon fibre plates just can’t.”

The changing stiffness of the plate in the shoe means your foot has, in effect, different gears, depending on its needs. “Our premise in footwear is that we look to augment your natural human ability,” says Khan. “We help the foot do more things it wants to do, and protect it from doing things it doesn’t want to do.”

In March of this year, a young Ethiopian athlete called Bayelign Teshager won the Los Angeles marathon in a pair of adidas adizero pro running shoes, equipped with Carbitex technology.

But the company has ambitions beyond the track. Khan reveals that work is underway on a shoe that would be popular among triathletes, as it would lose stiffness when transitioning from cycling to running, and the company is also in talks with ballet and dance companies, and even the military. “If you can take out the super heavy rubber in military boots, then you can go further and waste less energy,” he says. Carbitex seems to be taking a suitably flexible approach.

(06/21/2020) ⚡AMP
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Eliud Kipchoge said that he was incredibly happy to see the world running as one at the Run as One virtual team marathon

Imagine running on the same team as Olympic icons Eliud Kipchoge, Kenenisa Bekele, Geoffrey Kamworor...

Well that's exactly what happened this weekend as normal people across the world ran with Olympic champions in the 'Run as One' worldwide virtual relay marathon.

Teams of four completed a marathon by running 10.5k each, and just by entering you were in with a chance to run alongside some of the biggest names in sport.

But it wasn't just running superstars who stepped up, Tottenham Hotspur football club, Olympic triathlon gold medallist from Germany Jan Frodeno and Spanish sky runner/ultramarathon/daredevil Kilian Jornet also got involved.

The event was organised by NN Running Team, an international team of elite long-distance runners managed by a company in the Netherlands.

Kipchoge, whose historic sub-two hour run in Vienna last October broke new ground, teamed up with amateur runners from Brazil.

The Kenyan ran 10.5k in 31:28 seconds, not the fastest time on the leaderboard, but this event was about much more than running fastest or coming first.

"It makes me incredibly happy to see the world running as one this weekend," said Kipchoge the day before his run.

"Today I ran for my Brazilian team," he posted on Instagram after his 10.5km run, "but together we have all run as one. Runners from all over the world have joined us and showed how ours is a running world."

"Good luck everybody who is taking part today," said Kipchoge as he signed off on Sunday with many more runners still to come.

Another world-record holder and three-time Olympic champion Kenenisa Bekele ran with Joris, Stephen, Andy and Tharkun from the Netherlands.

The Ethiopian ran his 10.5km in 32:57 on his own track that he built in Sululta, 25 minutes outside the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.

The 5000m and 10,000m World record-holder built a six-lane all-weather track which is home to many athletes training and dreaming of Olympic glory.

They call it Bekele's ‘field of dreams’.

"It was a great pleasure to run my 10.5k as part of the MA RA TH ON challenge on my own track in Sululta," he posted.

It was hardly any surprise that half-marathon world record holder Geoffrey Kamworor put in the fastest time, going 10.6 km in 30:08s.

This time Eliud Kipchoge wasn't there to greet him at the finish line like he did at the 2019 New York marathon, but Kamworor was pleased with the run.

The Kenyan ran with a team from the USA.

Kilian Jornet does many things - like ultramarathons and literally running up and down mountains.

He is said to hold the fastest known time for the ascent and descent of Mount Everest for example.

For most of us, running 10.5km is a struggle, but when Jornet's Strava App told him that he had only run 10.49km making his entry invalid, he said ok:

I'll start again.

"It’s been actually pretty fun this MA RA TH ON!" Jornet posted, despite having to do it twice.

"Today I did my relay to join my teammates @davidnilssons@mustafamohamed79 and @fra_puppinho to finish this challenge among more than 100.000 runners worldwide. Thanks guys!"

(06/08/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ken Browne
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Ugandan World and Olympic champion Joshua Cheptegei is excited to be featured in the worldwide virtual relay marathon due June 6 and 7

Joshua Cheptegei will be joining a star-studded group of runners, the likes of marathon superstar Eliud Kipchoge, Kenenisa Bekele and Geoffrey Kamworor.

With traditional races cancelled and postponed due to the coronavirus crisis, this virtual race will have each runner in the four-strong teams completing 10.5km.

Speaking ahead of the event, Cheptegei highlighted the importance of a collective effort in effectively bring athletics back to life during this pandemic.

“I think at this time, It’s not about pushing of course, It’s about trying to be organized and running together with the rest of the world in different locations,” the 2019 Doha World Championships gold medalist told teammate Diego, from Spain in a conversation.

Cheptegei is expected to race on Sunday as he helps other runners from different parts of the world to revive the spirit of athleticism.

Runners around the world can join in the event with teams of four of their own.

If a participate is running alone, they will be matched with runners around the world to complete a team. The NN Running Team athletes will be randomly added to 10 of the participating teams.

A digital relay will also take place on Facebook Live, with each segment featuring athletes, run crews and other special guests talking about how they’re getting active on Global Running Day.

(06/06/2020) ⚡AMP
by Edgar Kazibwe
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I was overcome with sadness - Kenyan Kipchoge said after the London Marathon postponement

Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge took two weeks to get over the news of the London Marathon postponement, it was revealed on Wednesday.

The race was scheduled for April, with Kipchoge the defending champion, before it was postponed and rescheduled for October due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

“It was painful for me when London was postponed,” Kipchoge told Runner’s World.

“I was at peak fitness before that race. I took two weeks to be sad, and then I went back to training. This is life.”

Kipchoge set the men’s marathon record of 2:01:39 at the Berlin Marathon in 2018, and in October last year became the first man to break two-hours for the 42.2km distance in an unofficial challenge run in Vienna.

Known as the Ineos159 Challenge, Kipchoge with a series of different pacemakers clocked 1:59:40 to become the first person to break two hours for the marathon distance.

This weekend, Kipchoge will be taking part in a virtual 42km relay event called “M A R A T H O N”.

Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele, Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei and Kenyan Geoffrey Kamworor will also be participating.

That high-powered quartet will take part in a the team event on Saturday and Sunday which invites runners from around the world to join teams of four to complete a full marathon together, alone.

(06/06/2020) ⚡AMP
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

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

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Athletics Kenya say Olympic marathon team not cast in stone

Athletics Kenya could make changes to its marathon teams to the Tokyo Olympic Games basing on form.

The federation’s senior deputy president in charge of competitions, Paul Mutwii, disclosed that a lot could happen between now and the Olympic Games in 2021 after the action was deferred by one year owing to the coronavirus pandemic.

Mutwii was speaking on Thursday in reaction to the new Olympic qualification guidelines issued by World Athletics for July 23 to August 8, 2021.

The Games were postponed from July 24 to August 9 this year to the same period next year owing to concerns over the coronavirus spread.

The qualifying period for track and field events for the Olympic will now end on June 29, 2021, just 23 days before the start of the world’s biggest sporting bonanza.

In its four-year strategic plan and Olympic qualifying process, World Athletics says the marathon and race walk entry period will elapse on May 31, 2021.

World marathon record holders Eliud Kipchoge and Brigid Kosgei were on January 31 this year picked lead “Team Kenya” over the 42-kilometre race at the Tokyo Olympics.

The men's team also has World Championships marathon bronze medallist Amos Kipruto and Boston and Chicago Marathon champion Lawrence Cherono.

Bedan Karoki and Titus Ekiru are reserves.

Besides Kosgei, the women’s team has 2018 London Marathon champion Vivian Cheruiyot, world champion Ruth Chepng'etich with Valary Aiyabei and Sally Chepyego the reserves.

(06/06/2020) ⚡AMP
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World marathon record holder, Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge to race in Tottenham's virtual marathon

World marathon record holder, Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge has welcomed the challenge by English Premier League side, Tottenham Hotspurs’ fans ahead of the virtual 42km run due Saturday and Sunday.

The race dubbed, MA RA TH ON and is free to enter, is a virtual team relay where runners can register either in teams of four or as an individual and be placed in another group of three.

During the relay, each runner will run 10.5km sometime between Saturday and Sunday at a location that suits them, to make up a collective marathon distance.

Cumulative Time.- Logged on a running app, your team’s cumulative time will be placed on a virtual leaderboard to show how you compare with some of the world’s best.

“A football club is a family, players and fans together. On the weekend we will all run as one, good luck to all fans of @SpursOfficial.  Great to have you guys on the start line! #RunAsOne,” Kipchoge tweeted.

Kipchoge is among Hotspurs fans who have been invited to race in the global virtual marathon relay that is organised by Maurten, the club’s official sport fuel supplier.

To add further incentive, each participating team has the chance to be one of 10 teams that will see a running superstar join their squad. These include Kipchoge, Berlin Marathon champion Kenenisa Bekele, World Cross Country and World 10,000m champion Joshua Cheptegei and World half marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor.

“Every runner has their own pace, their own background and their own motives to why they run. I am very excited to join someone’s team,” said Kipchoge adding they are really looking forward to joining the relay in this wonderful initiative with his teammates.

Also involved is legendary former player and 1991 FA Cup winner David Howells, who was up for the challenge when asked to take part.

Spurs will be well represented across the event, with members of Supporters’ Clubs from across England, the Netherlands, South Africa, the United States and Canada all pounding the pavements and donning their club colors.

“Like football, running and mass participation events have come to a grinding halt over the last few months,” Howells, the popular former midfielder said. “This is a great initiative that still carries team spirit, sets a target and encourages exercise, which is so important for physical and mental health right now.”

Howells said he is looking forward to the challenge, pulling on that Spurs kit again and representing the club with other fans around the world.

(06/05/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ayumba Ayodi
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Kipchoge, Bekele to face off in virtual relay marathon

Marathon icons Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya and Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele will hold a virtual team relay marathon between June 6 and 7, which may act as a dry run to their unprecedented clash in London in October.

With the world closed down and international travel not allowed in many countries, the two greatest marathon runners will form part of the teams that will compete in the relay race together with Uganda's world 10,000m champion Joshua Cheptegei and New York marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor.

All four runners are managed by Global Sports Communications, under the NN Running team, and are using the lockdown to offer fans and elite runners hope as they wait for the sports season to open starting in August.

"On June 6-7, we run as one in a worldwide virtual marathon relay. Assemble a team of four, or be assigned a team with three other runners from around the world. Run against, or even possibly with, superstars like Eliud, Kenenisa, Joshua and Geoffrey," said NN Running team on Friday.

The virtual relay marathon is open to all athletics across the world. Each individual runner will be required to run for 10.5km alone so the team completes a full marathon together. This allows participants to safely run solo in their own locations while running in a team via the virtual standings.

"My teammates and I are really looking forward to joining the relay in this wonderful initiative. Success comes with hard work," world marathon record holder Kipchoge said.

"It has been an unusual time whereby all runners had to readjust their plans after having prepared well towards their own goals for this past spring season," the Olympic champion continued.

Bekele and Kipchoge will clash in the rescheduled London marathon on October 4 with Kipchoge hinting at making an attempt to break the course record, which he set in winning the 2019 race in the English capital.

Kipchoge cemented his status last year as the greatest marathon runner of all time by clocking the third-fastest time in history and becoming the first man to achieve a quartet of victories at the London marathon.

He clocked 2:02:37, carving 28 seconds out of the London course record he set three years ago.

"I hope to win again. We all look forward to a positive future and I believe that this is a great first step in that direction. Marathon is a sport whereby elite athletes and fun runners are actually all racing in the same race. It's what makes our sport unique and I find the essence of this to be beautiful," said Kipchoge. Enditem

(05/30/2020) ⚡AMP
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Athletic superstars like Eliud Kipchoge and Kenenisa Bekele will take part in a worldwide virtual team relay marathon next month

Athletic superstars Eliud Kipchoge, Kenenisa Bekele, Joshua Cheptegei and Geoffrey Kamworor are to take part in a worldwide virtual team relay marathon next month.

The marathon, which will take place between 6 and 7 June, is open to all athletics fans worldwide.

An initiative of the NN Running team, MA RA TH ON is a virtual team relay marathon race where people around the world can form a team of four to cover the marathon distance.

Each individual runner covers 10.5k so the team completes a full marathon together, alone. This allows participants to safely run solo in their own locations while running in a team via the virtual standings.

“I can say that myself and my teammates are really looking forward to join the relay in this wonderful initiative," said Kipchoge, the world marathon record holder.

"It has been an unusual time whereby all runners had to readjust their plans after having prepared well towards their own goals for this past spring season.

"We all look forward to a positive future and I believe that this a great first step in that direction. Marathon is a sport whereby elite athletes and fun runners are actually all racing in the same race. It’s what makes our sport unique and I find the essence of this to be beautiful.“

(05/28/2020) ⚡AMP
by Sport Africa
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World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge distributes food and face masks to athletes at Kaptagat in Elgeyo-Marakwet County

Eliud Kipchoge has appealed to more well-wishers to contribute towards the Covid-19 food stimulus programme for athletes, saying he’s eager to see the programme roll out to the rest of Kenya.

So far, the focus of the relief food has been in the Rift Valley region where the Olympic champion has himself distributed food to athletes in Kericho, Nandi, Uasin Gishu and Elgeyo-Marakwet counties through the Ministry of Sport, his Eliud Kipchoge Foundation and other well-wishers.

On Wednesday, Kipchoge was in Elgeyo-Marakwet County again to assist athletes in his training base of Kaptagat after well-wishers Zaharia Hassanali and family in collaboration with Eliud Kipchoge Foundation gifted 24 athletes with food aid.

Kipchoge said many athletes have been suffering and need support because they can’t train on empty stomachs, forcing him to reach out to various corporates to help reach the vulnerable.

With more support from well-wishers, Kipchoge said he will go across the country to help athletes, footballers, volleyball players and any other sportspersons in dire need of support.

“I have been doing this for four weeks now, and I’m trying to reach those athletes who are vulnerable,” the world marathon record holder said.

“Today, I managed to meet 24 athletes who benefited from the exercise. I know how tough it is to train in an empty stomach and I will always support the upcoming in this exercise including those who are in other events.

“In these hard times, I know what the athletes are going through, and I would urge for more support so that together we can beat this pandemic which has affected the athletes’ lives.”

With elite runners depending on races across the globe, cessation of sports events due to fears over the spread of the coronavirus has forced the athletes into a tight financial corner.

Kipchoge also thanked Sara Janmohamed, who made 100 masks for the Olympic champion’s foundation, urging more youths to be innovative.

“I was touched by Janmohamed, who is still in secondary school, who was able to make 100 masks which I have also distributed to athletes. I would like to urge the youths to be more proactive in the fight against the Covid-19,” he said.

He urged athletes to continue training hard hoping that the next season would be better if the virus is contained.

“For now, apart from the food distribution, safety is more paramount but when competition resumes we shall come out stronger as athletes as we look forward to a better season,” said Kipchoge.

Kipchoge is preparing for the much awaited duel with Ethiopian legend Kenenisa Bekele at the rescheduled London Marathon on October 4.

“Right now, safety is my priority and I will soon be starting my training and when that time comes, I will be able to tell you my training programme,” added Kipchoge.

Ismail Cheboror, one of the athletes who benefited yesterday, said he was touched by the support from the athletics legend and he is looking forward to be like him in future.

“I’m happy for the support I have received which will keep me going in my training. “Kipchoge is God-sent and I want to be like him in future because he always inspires me,” said Cheboror.

Sarah Jelagat, who is a road racer, couldn’t hide her joy after receiving her food ration, saying she has been struggling to put food on the table.

“I was preparing for a road race in the United States of America in March, but it was cancelled due to the virus and since then I have just been training to keep fit,” said Jelagat.

(05/28/2020) ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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Having been cancelled due to the pandemic, this year’s Lewa Safari Marathon will be staged virtually, with Eliud Kipchoge leading the way

On Saturday, Kipchoge ran in a practice session at the Conservancy alongside Lewa Rangers to help drum up support for the virtual race.

The fastest marathoner in the world teamed up with World Half Marathon giant Geoffrey Kamworor alongside two other athletes, Philemon Rono and Jonathan Rotich.

Kipchoge’s presence at the Conservancy located in Kenya’s North was a boost for the wildlife rangers and Tusk’s Director of Programmes in Africa, Sarah Watson who joined them on the run.

“I urge everybody to participate and just run where they are. We are all part of the human family and we must keep strong, stay fit, observe directives from our government, and know this situation is not permanent.”

“I have never taken part in the Lewa (Safari) Marathon before, but it was very inspiring to run with the rangers today in this beautiful conservancy and motivate them. I would ask the rangers to continue doing a good job, because they are conserving our wildlife and environment.”

Kipchoge struck through the picturesque Lewa terrain, with a mouth-watering background of grazing elephants and buffalos as the Rangers struck in tow, looking to keep up with the pace of a world beater.

It was a win-win day for Kipchoge who also got to experience a different set-up from his Eldoret base where he has been training in isolation since all athletics camps were closed as the world battles to control the spread of the coronavirus.

“My team and I are honored and very excited to have run with Eliud and his team today. Eliud is our brother, friend and supporter who recognizes the challenges that we face as wildlife rangers. This run has boosted our morale and encouraged us to keep going in this difficult time,” said Edward Ndiritu, Lewa’s Head of Anti-Poaching.

Athletes who will have registered will run from wherever they are as they continue supporting the marathon which had hoped to raise close to Sh500mn this year to aid in Lewa’s conservancy projects.

This year’s race was set to be supported by Safaricom and Huawei, with Safaricom having stepped down their annual financial support and instead joined up with the Chinese electronics company to raise the annual budget.

 

(05/25/2020) ⚡AMP
by Timothy Olobulu
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Safaricom Lewa Marathon

Safaricom Lewa Marathon

The first and most distinctive is that it is run on a wildlife conservancy, which is also a UNESCO world heritage site. The Lewa Wildlife Conservancy is home to a number of endangered and threatened species- and also a catalyst for community development for its neighboring communities. For the past 17 years, funds raised from the marathon have gone...

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Marathon world record holder Eliud Kipchoge wants to reach out and inspire at least half the world’s population while trying to defend his title at next year’s Tokyo Olympics

The Kenyan long distance runner, who will be 36 by the time the Tokyo Games are held next year, has insisted that he wants to inspire “at least half the world” while resorting to a clean and dignified manner of competitive sports.

“My dream has always been to defend my marathon title. The London Marathon [to be held on April 26 and now postponed to October 4] was to be my preparation race towards Tokyo. I want to be there and be competitive and win with a good time,” Kipchoge told the International Olympic Committee (IOC) website on Wednesday.

“My goal is to reach more than three billion people through what I do. I need to inspire more and more people in this world so that we are in a much better place now than before,” he added.

Formerly a middle-distance runner while participating in the 5,000 metres as his pet event, Kipchoge has so far won 12 of the 13 marathons that he has entered in so far after switching to road running in 2012. He is the world record holder in the distance while clocking a time of 2:01.39 at the Berlin Marathon on September 16, 2018.

Often described as the “greatest marathoner of the modern era”, Kipchoge’s run broke the previous world record by 1 minute and 18 seconds.

On October 12, 2019, Kipchoge ran the marathon distance at a special sponsored event in Vienna, Austria, and achieved a new record time of 1:59:40. However, the run did not count as a new marathon record, as standard competition rules for pacing and fluids were not followed and also, the race was not an open event for other competitors.

But that doesn’t seem to deter the steely Kenyan runner. “I am calm and concentrated in my mind, and the body is well controlled whenever I am competing,” Kipchoge said. “I don’t run with my legs, but by my heart and mind.”

Faced with the uncertainty following the coronavirus pandemic, Kipchoge became philosophical and compared marathon running to life. “A marathon is like life. We get flat courses and we get downhill courses,” he added.

“But, right now we are faced with a hilly course. These are perhaps the hardest of times, and it is normal to struggle and go up the hill. But the main thing will be to stay positive at all times and let the heart and mind do the running.”

(05/21/2020) ⚡AMP
by Alaric Gomes
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Boston and Chicago Marathon champ Lawrence Cherono boosts children’s home in Eldoret, where he donated foodstuff to more than 50 children to help them cope with the coronavirus

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(05/20/2020) ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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Three-time World Half Marathon Championships title holder Geoffrey Kamworor vows to come back stronger

Three-time World Half Marathon Championships title holder Geoffrey Kamworor is optimistic he will come back stronger when competition resumes after the coronavirus hibernation.

Speaking during the third National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) online forum titled “The Home Athlete Nutrition Plan,” Kamworor said he has been training alone at home hoping for a better season.

Kamworor was to defend his World Half Marathon Championships title in March in Gdynia, Poland, before the race was postponed to October 17.

“I have been training alone at home after I bought a treadmill to help me in training. I thought the government might not allow anybody outside his house and I had to plan well,” said Kamworor who has been nicknamed “man of all surfaces” for his prowess on the road, in cross-country running and on the track.

Kamworor, who is also the world half marathon record holder, has been training with world marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge in Kaptagat, Elgeyo-Marakwet County.

He said before the Poland race was cancelled, he was in top form and was optimistic that the 21-kilometer title would remain in Kenya for the fourth time.

(05/19/2020) ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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Berlin Marathon´s organizers have said they need more time to examine their options as discussions continue on whether the race will take place in 2020

SCC Events had previously announced that the World Marathon Major would not take place on its original September 27 date, leading to many publications reporting the race as cancelled.

This was due to restrictions put in place by the local Government, which placed a ban on gatherings of more than 5,000 people until October 24.

A decision is still to be made by SCC Events on this year's race, however, with further information to be released by the end of June at the latest.

Many major marathons around the world have faced a similar fate with the races in Boston and London, which are also part of the World Marathon Majors, postponed to September and October respectively. 

"Due to the size of the event and the large number of people involved, we need a little more time to examine different options for this implementation of the further procedure," SCC said.

"In addition, at the moment we cannot work on the upcoming tasks in full team strength; like many others, the SCC Events team is currently on short-time work.

"Nevertheless, as usual, we put all the available energy into this process and will contact you by the end of June at the latest with details on the further procedure relating to the BMW Berlin Marathon. 

"If we have new information beforehand, we will of course let you know immediately."

In Germany, there are more than 172,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 nationwide, resulting in the deaths of more than 7,600 people.

The 2018 edition of the race saw Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge smash the men's marathon world record in a time of 2 hours 1min 39sec.

This was nearly bettered by Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele last year, who was two seconds short on his way to victory.

(05/13/2020) ⚡AMP
by Michael Houston
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BMW Berlin Marathon

BMW Berlin Marathon

2020 Marathon has been cancelled. The story of the BERLIN-MARATHON is a story of the development of road running. When the first BERLIN-MARATHON was started on 13th October 1974 on a minor road next to the stadium of the organisers‘ club SC Charlottenburg Berlin 286 athletes had entered. The first winners were runners from Berlin: Günter Hallas (2:44:53), who...

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London Marathon Counts on Eliud Kipchoge

Where will the next marathon world record be set? This autumn, the London Marathon is aiming for the duel between top stars Eliud Kipchoge and Kenenisa Bekele. Kipchoges unofficial world record of less than two hours should not be in danger. However, the Berlin Marathon, notorious for world records, cannot take place as planned.

The Corona crisis has also had far-reaching consequences for the marathon scene. The London Marathon, for example, had to be postponed from 26 April until 4 October.

However, it is still unclear whether the event will also be open to amateur runners or if only professionals like world record holder Eliud Kipchoge are allowed to compete. According to "Athletics International", the organizers have asked all athletes originally invited for April to come back for the fall date. This includes the Kenyan Kipchoge.

He holds the official marathon world record of 2:01:39 hours (Berlin Marathon 2018) as well as the unofficial world record of 1:59:40 hours at the INEOS 1:59 Challenge in Vienna 2019 under laboratory conditions with constantly changing pacemakers and drinks and food available at all times.

Kenenisa Bekele, who missed the official world record at the 2019 Berlin Marathon by only two seconds, is also expected to compete in London. A direct duel between the two top runners could come to happen in October. For Bekele, an improvement of the official world record could be possible. 

"With good weather conditions and if we both worked together on the pace, a time in the range of the world record might have been possible", Athletics International quotes hin speaking about the cancelled event in April.

(05/12/2020) ⚡AMP
by Martin Jahns
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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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Kenya´s Vincent Kipchumba can´t wait to run against world’s best in London

The postponement of the London Marathon from April to October due to the coronavirus pandemic hit Vincent Kipchumba hard.

Kipchumba, who is the reigning Amsterdam Marathon champion, was delighted to have been included in the elite men’s list and had been following a program that he hoped would give him a chance to challenge for glory in Europe’s capital center.

“It was also going to give me a chance to make some money. When I heard it was postponed I felt traumatised," said Kipchumba.

“At least the race was postponed to October but we are still not sure if the virus will have been contained by then. It’s my prayer that things get back to normal because athletics is my career, and to many others out there.”

Kipchumba, had been training in Kapsabet, Nandi County under the watchful eye of his coach Claudio Berardelli. He said that even though the London race had been pushed back by six months it will not diminish his desire to make his debut in a Majors race.

“When I was informed that I will be competing in London Marathon, I was happy because this was a dream come true for me. I have been eyeing a place in one of the biggest marathons in the world,” said Kipchumba.

He also said that he will be privileged to compete with some of the best athletes in the world over the distance.

“Competing with the world marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge and Berlin Marathon champion Kenenisa Bekele is something I even didn’t think will be possible but here we are waiting for the big day,” said Kipchumba.

However, just like many other elite athletes, the coronavirus has played havoc with his schedule.

He was due to participate in the Roma Ostia Half Marathon, as part of his build up for London, but the race was cancelled.

(05/11/2020) ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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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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Kenya: 1000 Needy Kenyan Athletes to Benefit From Food Relief and Cash Stipends

he Ministry of Sports, Culture and Heritage has identified over 1000 needy athletes who are set to benefit from food packages and cash stipends.

Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed revealed this as she flagged off an initial donation of food packages to 58 athletes based in Eldoret on Thursday morning.

"Eliud Kipchoge has helped us identify the needy athletes who really deserve to get these food packages as an initial relief. These are athletes who were meant to participate in the World Youth Championship in July and other local races which have since been called off due to the coronavirus pandemic," Mohamed said.

The CS also revealed that her ministry is working on giving out a cash stipend to Kenyan athletes to cushion them during these hard times.

"Other than athletes, we also have rugby players, footballers in the Kenyan Premier League and Kenya Women's Premier League and many other sportsmen and women. We haven't forgotten them and we will soon be rolling out cash stipends to them," she said.

"Our plan is to give them Sh 10,000 each but we are still on the planning phase of how we will roll it out successfully," she added.

The CS called on corporate entities to partner with the ministry for this initiative.

"We have some money from the Sports Fund for these activities but it can never be enough to reach all the needy and deserving athletes. I call upon organizations to come on board and help us reach more sportsmen and women," she emphasized.

The food packages donated to the athletes in Eldoret have maize and wheat flour, rice, cooking oil, pasta among other foodstuffs.

(05/09/2020) ⚡AMP
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Eliud Kipchoge, the legend, is leading from the front in distributing relief food to vulnerable athletes in the Rift Valley

On Friday, the Olympic champion and world marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge spent his day in Kericho County distributing the food which was flagged off by Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed on Thursday.

Kipchoge, along with his Eliud Kipchoge Foundation, was picked as the ambassador of the relief project by the Ministry of Sport to motivate and come to the aid of athletes who have lost huge potential income owing to cancellation of races as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to bite.

The food was donated by the ministry and well wishers, including the Hindu Council of Kenya, with Sports Principal Secretary Joe Okudo joining Amina in flagging off the consignments on Thursday.

The packages being given to each athlete, have, inter alia, maize and wheat flour, rice, cooking oil and pasta.

Athletes in Kericho were excited to not only receive the portions, but also have a close encounter with their legend Kipchoge who became the first man to run the marathon in under two hours in Vienna last October.

Kipchoge was, perhaps, difficult to identify, given that he wore a face mask in tandem with public health directives, but his Nike jumper and unique, grey Nike Zoom shoes along with the spring the famous spring in his step as he moved up and down, unloading the consignments from trucks, gave him in.

Seeing the legend “live” was huge consolation for the disruption in the Kericho athletes’ training programmes by Covid-19 precautions that outlaw group training sessions and races from being held.

Kipchoge’s programme too has been seriously disrupted by the pandemic.

Last month, he had been lined up with his Ethiopian Global Sports Communication stable mate but rival, Kenenisa Bekele, at the London Marathon.

Then in July, he was primed to defend his Olympic marathon title in Sapporo.

But while the April 26 London Marathon was postponed to October 4, the Olympic Games have been pushed to July and August next year, holding all factors constant.

Kipchoge has now to juggle between staying in shape and helping out the disadvantaged athletes, indeed the hallmark of a selfless legend.

n Friday, Kipchoge will be on the food relief mission in Kapsabet, Eldoret, Iten and Kaptagat.

"Through Eliud Kipchoge, we have identified 58 athletes who are very needy and deserve to get these food packages,” CS Amina said on Thursday while flagging off the food convoy at Nyayo National Stadium.

“The effects of the pandemic mean they cannot compete and they do not have any source of income.”

The CS, who announced earlier in the week that cover 1,000 sportsmen and women will benefit from the relief food, also appealed to the private sector and individuals to supplement the government's efforts in helping the vulnerable sportsmen and women.

(05/08/2020) ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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It is not only the athletes who have been forced to adjust during the Covid-19 pandemic but also their coaches

For Nelio Moura, former coach to 2008 Olympic long jump champion Irving Saladino, the lockdown has created a coaching conundrum spanning not just one country but two continents.

The Brazilian horizontal jumps coach works with several athletes from his homeland, including South American women’s long jump champion Eliane Martins, Uruguay’s South American long jump champion Emiliano Lasa and a trio of leading Chinese athletes.

Back on 19 January, Moura flew from Brazil to China completely unaware of the new coronavirus but by the time he landed in China two days later he says “the news of the coronavirus was everywhere,”

“The situation was getting worse, but we kept to the plan and two weeks later we flew to Madrid,” he explains.

Mersha Asrat, coach to three-time Olympic track champion Kenenisa Bekele, believes his role in the these challenging times is to put a plan in place to “survive the storm.”

With both the opportunity to race - in the foreseeable future - and group training taken away from athletes, he believes this has impacted on motivation.

Yet as a coach Asrat insists he has to remain positive.

“All my athletes need to be strong – a role model for others with their behaviour,” he says. “As a coach, I have to tell them that this will pass.”

With no events on the immediate horizon he has advised his athletes to rein back on the training – and he has recommended combining a mixture of endurance running and strength training.

“There are no races happening for some time so this is a time when they can run three time a week alternating with workouts. I’ve given them all individual workouts with a meaning. This is an opportunity to work on their strength exercises, to improve and even become masters of the workout.”

Despite the uncertainty surrounding future international competition, Dale Stevenson, coach to 2019 Diamond League shot champion and World Championship bronze medallist Tom Walsh, is preparing his athletes with the mindset that events will re-start sooner rather than later. 

“When full training resumes, I’m hoping that it is a step in for us rather than a step back,” he explains. “So when they go back to normality they’ll feel as if they are a full-time athlete.”

Stevenson, a 2012 Olympic shot put representative for Australia, says as a coach he had to react quickly in March as New Zealand went from a level two alert to a full level four lockdown in a matter of 48 hours.

For athletes who remained in Christchurch such as Walsh, the main task for Stevenson and his coaching team was to source gym equipment while for others in his training group who has moved back to different regions the main task was to identify training implements during this frantic period.

The coach has been immensely impressed with how the athletes have readjusted to training in a full lockdown. Some have revealed great improvisation skills with one athlete converting a cow shed into a throwing area and another making a homemade hammer out of a kettle bell.

Stevenson too has been forced to adapt.

Patrick Sang, coach to world marathon record-holder Eliud Kipchoge and world half-marathon record-holder Geoffrey Kamworor, believes “delegating greater authority” to his athletes following training restrictions created by the Covid-19 pandemic is the biggest challenge he has faced.

Sang coaches a large group of athletes based out of a training group in Kaptagat, Kenya, but government restrictions around group gatherings put in place in March meant athletes had to head home to their families and train alone.

Breaking down his athletes into smaller groups of track and marathon athletes the initial challenge was communication but having alleviated this issue thanks to WhatsApp and other methods it has been his lack of a “coach’s eye” on the progress of his athletes which has proved the biggest obstacle.

“Our coaching is very much one on one and the ‘coach’s eye’ is an instrument we use to see how the individual athletes are responding to the workload at any given time. The activation of the coach’s eye in these circumstances is not possible. You are relying on the feedback of the athletes.”

Sang insists the athlete manager, Valentijn Trouw, has played a pivotal role in maintaining the information flow to athletes to help them maintain a positive stance in challenging times.

And positivity is the keen message Sang likes to emit at all times.

“We’ve experienced calamities before and normally they don’t last forever,” explains Sang. “We have a time scale and a race plan (for later in the year) we are looking at and our energies are focused on the remaining part of the season.”

Coach to a group of athletes led by 2017 World 1500m champion Faith Kipyegon, Dutch-based Bram Som says it is important to stay focused on the “circle of influence” and not the “circle of concern” during the Covid-19 crisis.

“One of the biggest challenges is that you no longer look an athlete in the eye to see how he or she is behaving,” explains Som, a former European 800m champion. “To counter this you have to improve your conversation skills, ask the right questions and listen carefully.”

Som insists the middle-distance athletes he coaches have largely been able to carry out long runs, interval and hill sessions as normal but he has also introduced solo time trials to keep the athletes focused. Flexibility, he insists, is key.

(05/04/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Eliud Kipchoge and Kenenisa Bekele talk training and sub-2

The two distance running greats had been set to go head-to-head in the London Marathon on Sunday

Eliud Kipchoge and Kenenisa Bekele should have been in London this week, preparing for a mouthwatering marathon clash on the streets of the UK capital.

Thursday morning would have seen them speak with the world’s media in the elite men’s pre-race press conference, but instead, on Friday, they dialled into a telephone conference from their respective homes in Kenya and Ethiopia.

While it is too early to know whether the two fastest marathon runners in history will take part in the rescheduled event on October 4, they were both happy to share insight into their current lives amid the coronavirus crisis.

They talked about what might have been had Sunday’s race taken place as planned, plus their training and thoughts on the sub-two-hour marathon.

SOLO TRAINING

Social distancing measures mean that NN Running Team athletes Kipchoge and Bekele must now train alone, rather than as part of the big groups they are used to. How does that affect them both physically and mentally?

“You cannot run really in a strong way because you are alone,” said Kipchoge, who is based in Eldoret.

“Physically I am training to make sure that I am fit but when you have the whole team then you can train to make sure that you are in the best-ever shape.

“Mentally, you can get tired early,” he added, “because if you have an hour run and you’re running alone, then you can really get tired because you are running alone, you are thinking alone.

“I have been with a team for the last 15 years and it’s really crazy for me. I can say it is not comfortable at all, but safety is my number one priority.”

Bekele has also found it a challenge.

“It is not really nice to run alone but of course it’s not possible to run together,” he said. “It is difficult to prepare and it has affected us a lot.

“I’m trying to maintain my performance, but it’s really not efficient. I am praying that this time will be over soon.”

On his sessions, he added: “I am doing four or five days a week outside, alone just running in the forest.

“Most of the time I am staying at home.”

SUB-TWO

Both athletes had an incredible 2019, with Kipchoge having broken two hours for the marathon with 1:59:41 in the non-record eligible INEOS 1:59 Challenge in Vienna and Bekele having run 2:01:41 to win in Berlin, missing the Kenyan’s official world record mark by just two seconds.

Would their plan for the London Marathon on Sunday have been to go for an official sub-two?

“I was coming to London as a defending champion and not really to run under two hours but I trust that it would have been a good race, an interesting one, but I don’t think it would have been under two hours,” said Kipchoge.

“I think on Sunday, if the London Marathon could have happened, we could actually have had the best race ever.

“Kenenisa has run 2:01:41 and I have run 2:01:39. It could have been the best-ever time and London could have been the best race ever between two people who have the fastest times in the marathon.”

Bekele agreed that it would have been a great clash but that two hours would have been unlikely.

“London is of course a really great race to bring us together,” he said. “I don’t think the time would have been under two hours.

“Maybe if there were good weather conditions, it could have been possible maybe around a world record, if we had been pushing together. I don’t think under two hours would have happened this time.”

BUT IN THE FUTURE?

“Absolutely, why not?” Kipchoge replied, when asked if he thinks someone in the next 10 years could run a competitive marathon in under two hours.

“Personally, I tried last year, and I ran under two hours, but I trust and believe in all my mind and my heart that in the next 10 years, one human being will run under two hours in a normal marathon. That is my view.

“Human beings need to be shown the way, and I trust that I have shown everybody the way.”

(05/03/2020) ⚡AMP
by Athletics Weekly
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The 2020 sports season is lost to many sportsmen, but Eliud Kipchoge hopes to return stronger in 2021 and win a back-to-back Olympic title

In 2016, Kipchoge reclaimed Kenya's gold in the marathon, which was first won by the late Samuel Wanjiru at the magnificent Bird's Nest stadium in the 2008 Beijing Olympics but was lost at the 2012 London Games to Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda.

Now the 35-year-old is dreaming of adding another feather to his illustrious cap by having a great addition to his impressive distance running record to win the second gold on the Olympic marathon.

"If all goes well next year 2021, I will defend my title in the marathon in a competitive field and probably post a good time. It will add more to my running career," Kipchoge told the Olympic Channel.

Over a decade ago, Kipchoge felt like he had the inspiration and energy to finally get crowned the Olympic champion in Beijing.

He was making his second appearance at the Games having clinched bronze at the Athens Games in 2004. But he had to wait another eight years to win the Olympic title."I was really in shape in Beijing.

Even with two laps to go my mind was telling me, 'You will be Olympic Champion this year'. But I had no more fuel and Kenenisa Bekele won the race," he said.

Now the two men, despite missing out to meet at the London marathon on Sunday, are set to clash at the Tokyo Games in 2021. It will be their fifth meeting over the marathon distance. Kipchoge has won all four previous shows.

"It's true, Bekele beat me several times on the track. But I have won all the races in the marathon," said Kipchoge.

Kipchoge became only the second Kenyan after Wanjiru to win an Olympic marathon.

(04/27/2020) ⚡AMP
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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NN Running Team releases a short documentary followed several training groups in Africa called The long run, an inside view

The NN Running Team has possibly the most stacked lineup of long distance runners in the world. With world, European and national record-holders, and names like Eliud Kipchoge and Kenenise Bekele, the team uniform can often be seen in the lead at the world’s biggest races. NN Running recently released a min-documentary called The long run, an inside view, which takes viewers into several training camps and focuses on the importance of the long run, which is an integral part of every marathon training plan.

It’s a brief look at what training is like for the world’s best marathoners, and it has great lessons for runners of all levels.

The NN Running Team doesn’t have one set training location, so the film looks at groups in Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda. In the doc, Kipchoge and Bekele are interviewed in their home countries of Kenya and Ethiopia, respectively, along with Kenyan half-marathon world record-holder, Geoffrey Kamworor, and Joshua Cheptegei, the 5K and 10K world record-holder from Uganda.

Switzerland’s Julien Wanders, the European half-marathon record-holder, is also a member of the NN team, and shots of his training in Iten, Kenya, are included in the film. Selly Chepyego is the only woman from the team featured in the documentary. In 2019, Chepyego, who is from Kenya, came in third at the Berlin Marathon, and earlier this year she was fourth at the Tokyo Marathon.

When we see videos of elite athletes in training, a lot of the time they’re shots from hard workouts on the track. Sometimes there are clips from long runs, but that training session is never the focus. This mini-documentary shows just how important the long run is, especially for marathoners.

“[Marathon training] is basically 90 to 95 per cent mileage,” Victor Chumo says in the film. “If you don’t do it, the chances that you are going to perform [are] less likely. That’s where you find some athletes who are less prepared. When he reaches around 35 to 40K, that’s when he faces some kind of problems or challenges.”

Kipchoge says his group rarely talks during their long runs, because it is a time to “concentrate on yourself.” Just like any other session, the long run requires your focus and attention. Wanders emphasizes that the long run is not a race, and although it can be tempting to run fast and push your training partners, it’s absolutely necessary to hold back and save your speed for another day. They also mention that, rain or shine, the long run always gets done. This is one of the most important parts of marathon training, so you can’t skip it.

Even if you don’t run marathons, there are lessons to be learned from this film, but besides the lessons, it’s just a fun look into the lives (or at least one part of the lives) of some of the world’s best runners.

(04/27/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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Eliud Kipchoge and Vivian Cheruiyot will be grateful returning to action in London marathon

Olympic champions Eliud Kipchoge and Vivian Cheruiyot have urged their fans to remain hopeful even as the world battles the effect of coronavirus globally.

The two were due to compete on Sunday in London marathon (April 26), but the race, like many across the globe, has been postponed. Organizers have picked on Oct. 4 as the new dates if the health situation allows.

Cheruiyot, who has recovered from a tendon injury, which ruled her out of the Berlin marathon last year, says despite there being no competition across the sports spectrum, she was happy to be healthy and said she will live to compete again soon.

"Today, there will be no London marathon, but we will be back in action soon. Stay positive and stay healthy," said Cheruiyot on Sunday from Eldoret.

On his side, Kipchoge, who is unable to train with his teammates, says the virus will be defeated and sports will flourish yet again.

"We will return to action stronger and with a lot of hope," said Kipchoge.

"The important thing is to remain focused and disciplined. We have a war to fight against the coronavirus, but we have a responsibility to remain healthy and safe."

The two were also named in the Kenya team for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics before it was pushed back to 2021.

But with no guarantees, Cheruiyot hopes to remain injury free and will always honor a call to represent the country in the Olympics. However, Cheruiyot is non-committal on her fitness when the new dates for the Tokyo Olympics.

"One year is a long time and we want to be in our best shape and compete. But we will be patient and see how the season unfolds. The important thing for now is to remain safe, there are no immediate plans on sports and we have to live with that. Until then, we just train as often as we can under the health guidelines," he said.

Already the London Marathon race director Hugh Brasher has said that while he hopes the London Marathon will take place as normal on Oct. 4, it might have to be slimmed down to an elite only race.

"But in today's society, you can never say never. We are trying to stay really agile and to keep scenario planning. And at the moment, I don't want to discount anything until it becomes really impossible," he said.

Brasher also would not confirm whether Kipchoge and Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele had signed up for October's revised race. 

(04/27/2020) ⚡AMP
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

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

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More about the 2020 Berlin Marathon Cancelation

The decision was made after the Germany government banned group gatherings of more than 5,000 people until after October 24.

On April 21, the Berlin Marathon announced that the race will not happen as planned on September 27, due to coronavirus restrictions on group sizes in Berlin.

The announcement did not mention whether the race is canceled outright or will be postponed for a later date.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact a huge number of lives across the globe, large races set for the fall have begun to seem less and less likely to happen. And on April 21, the unfortunate news came: the Berlin Marathon, scheduled for September 27, has been canceled due to coronavirus restrictions.

According to an announcement on the race’s event page, the marathon can’t be run as scheduled because of an ordinance set in place by the German government prohibiting all events with more than 5,000 people from now until October 24.

The announcement did not mention whether the race is canceled outright or will be postponed for a later date. It also didn’t mention whether or not registered runners will be able to receive a refund for their race bib or roll over their registration to 2021.

The announcement did not mention whether the race is canceled outright or will be postponed for a later date. It also didn’t mention whether or not registered runners will be able to receive a refund for their race bib or roll over their registration to 2021.

“We will now deal with the consequences, coordinate the further steps, and inform you as soon as we can. Let us remain strong together,” said the Berlin Marathon event team in an Instagram post.

Eliminating the Berlin Marathon from the fall race schedule is especially sad news for the running community, as the fast course has hosted spectacular performances over the years, including Eliud Kipchoge’s current marathon world record of 2:01:39.

The cancellation also puts into question the likelihood of whether the other World Major Marathons—Boston, London, Chicago, and New York City—will happen as planned later this year.

The Chicago Marathon, still scheduled to run on October 11, recently announced a cancellation option for runners registered for the 2020 race. Meanwhile, Boston and London—which were originally planned for this month but postponed until September 14 and October 4, respectively—as well as New York City, scheduled for November 1, have not yet made announcements about coronavirus-related schedule changes.

(04/25/2020) ⚡AMP
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BMW Berlin Marathon

BMW Berlin Marathon

2020 Marathon has been cancelled. The story of the BERLIN-MARATHON is a story of the development of road running. When the first BERLIN-MARATHON was started on 13th October 1974 on a minor road next to the stadium of the organisers‘ club SC Charlottenburg Berlin 286 athletes had entered. The first winners were runners from Berlin: Günter Hallas (2:44:53), who...

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The race director of London Marathon admits that the event may include only elite runners

The race director of the London Marathon has refused to rule out staging the event as an elite-only race in the autumn if social distancing rules make it impossible to run as normal.

Hugh Brasher told the Guardian that while organisers still hoped to hold the event with 45,000 mass participants on 4 October, they were now scenario-planning around 10 other options because of the global pandemic.

“The flame is still burning,” said Brasher. “And is there hope? Absolutely. But you have to do what’s right for society. You usually have 750,000 people out in central London watching 45,000 runners. Then there’s the medics, the 6,000 volunteers and the transport system. There’s masses to take into account when making any decision.”

When asked directly whether the London Marathon – which was due to take place this Sunday before being pushed back – might have to be only for elite athletes if social restrictions had not eased completely, Brasher replied: “Honestly, I don’t know. But in today’s society, you can never say never. We are trying to stay really agile and to keep scenario planning. And at the moment, I don’t want to discount anything until it becomes really impossible.”

Last month’s Tokyo marathon was staged as an elite-only race, with the field reduced to just 300 runners and the streets largely deserted. Most major spring marathons subsequently decided to postpone their races to the autumn – but those events also look in doubt with no vaccine in sight and, ominously, the Berlin marathon has already cancelled its race in September.

“Our decision will be made by the back end of August at the latest,” explained Brasher. “It will be based on the government guidelines, and what we and society think is right and what feels right.”

Brasher would not confirm whether Eliud Kipchoge and Kenenisa Bekele, who were due to meet on Sunday in a clash for the ages, had signed up for October’s revised race. However he told the Guardian: “We always want to get the most competitive race. This was going to be the 40th London marathon, and its greatest race. It was going to be spectacular. But we want to make October 4 spectacular too. So that’s what our focus is.”

Last year the London Marathon raised £66.4m for charities, again making it the biggest single-day fundraising event in Britain. And while Sunday’s race will not take place, organisers are still hoping that thousands of people will spend the day raising and donating money for charities as part of a nationwide 2.6 Challenge – in which people tackle something related to the numbers two and six.

More than £1.5m has already been raised for the campaign, and Brasher said he hoped it would prove a lifeline for many charities which usually rely heavily on the race to fund their work.

“The London Marathon is normally about so many scripts and so many stories,” said Brasher. “It’s the greatest athletes in the world with the everyday athlete – who are doing this incredible challenge with the gods of the sport such as Kipchoge, Bekele and Brigid Kosgei, on the same day, on the same course, with the same crowd. In fact, the everyday person gets more people watching them. That’s the incredible thing. And, of course, they are raising so much money for charity too.”

 

(04/24/2020) ⚡AMP
by Sean Ingle
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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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Eliud Kipchoge and Kenenisa Bekele, two of the world best marathon runners, were due to clash on Sunday in London but have been forced to shelve the plans with the event postponed due to the coronavirus

The two of the world best marathon runners, will be at their homes in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and Eldoret, Kenya with their families.

Kipchoge reminisces that it was this week seven years ago that he made his debut in a marathon in Hamburg, Germany, clocking an impressive 2:05.30.

"On this day in 2013, I ran the very first marathon of my life. The memories of my debut in Hamburg are actually really good, I won this marathon in 2:05:30. It has been a beautiful journey so far," Kipchoge said on Wednesday.

But with the prospect of the two clashing in London on Sunday now impossible, Kipchoge will focus on remaining fit for future competitions.

London would have been their fifth time racing together in a marathon. Kipchoge has won all four previous encounters.

However, for Bekele (2:01:41), he believes a clash between the two would serve as the highlight of the track and field program, especially should the pair be included in their respective teams for the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games.

It's anticipated Kenenisa will return to the Olympics after his shock exclusion by the Ethiopian Athletics Federation for Rio 2016.

Kipchoge has already secured his spot in the Kenya team and will do everything to defend his title.

"One year is not a long time," Bekele, 37, a three-time Olympic champion, albeit on the track, told the Olympic Channel regarding the Games postponement to July 2021.

"I hope I can stay in good shape, disciplined, because one year is just tomorrow. The most important thing is to stay healthy and stay fit."

Bekele, who has overcome an Achilles tendon injury, believes he can shave more than a minute off his personal best, and even lower the official world record to less than two hours.

The current mark of 2:01.39 was set by Kipchoge in Berlin in 2018.

Only Kipchoge has run under two hours, albeit in closed conditions and with aids, at the Vienna course back in October, where he posted a time of 1:59.40.

"I'm sure, it's possible to run that time [two hours]," Bekele told the Olympic Channel.

"I can run maybe faster than the world record, maybe close to two hours or something. It's down to the weather conditions and a good course."

(04/23/2020) ⚡AMP
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

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

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World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge says he has focused on strength training while in isolation to stay injury-free

World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge urges athletes to continue training to avoid injury.

Kipchoge, whose season was wrecked by the COVID-19 pandemic, has returned to his family in Eldoret from their training camp in Kaptagat to heed a Kenyan government call to remain safe and avoid public places.

The Olympic marathon champion was due to defend his title in Tokyo in August and use the London marathon on April 26 as his gauging race, though both competitions have been pushed back to 2021.

Kipchoge warned fellow athletes not to switch off training, saying if they push their bodies too much whenever the situation around the world improves, they will be prone to injuries.

"Keep training, doing what you used to do. I have a physio all the time and when something emerges, it easy to solve it. The actual period on course and the long runs help me chase away the injuries," he added.

(04/16/2020) ⚡AMP
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Kenyan marathon runner Vincent Kipsegechi Yator, handed four-year doping ban

Another Kenyan athlete has been handed a doping ban after marathon runner Vincent Kipsegechi Yator was suspended for four years following positive tests for a number of banned substances.

Yator, who represented his nation at the Commonwealth Games and African Championships in 2010, was given a four-year-ban, having provisionally been suspended after testing positive in October.

The Athletics Integrity Unit announced the sanction after the 30-year-old was hit with two charges.

The first charge was related to the admitted presence of metabolites of testosterone after a test was taken on July 7 of last year, while the second was related to the alleged use of several banned substances including exogenous testosterone, trimetazidine, prednisone, prednisolone and clomiphene. 

The Kenyan argued that the presence of prednisone and prednisolone came from medication he was taking after he was allegedly in a road accident in 2018.

Yator's positive test came immediately after he broke his marathon personal best at the Gold Coast Marathon in Australia with a time of 2 hours 9min 59sec.

At the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games, Yator finished fourth in the men's 5,000 metres behind team-mate Eliud Kipchoge - future holder of the marathon world record - who came second.

He also finished third at the Honolulu Marathon in Hawaii in December 2018.

Yator will not be eligible to compete again until October 1 2023 and has had all results from April 10 to October 1 in 2019 expunged.

He follows a string of high-profile Kenyans to test positive recently, with the most famous name of them all being Beijing 2008 Olympic 1,500m champion Asbel Kiprop.

(04/08/2020) ⚡AMP
by Michael Houston
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Eliud Kipchoge says that we will win fight against coronavirus

Eliud Kipchoge, the world's greatest marathon man, reckoned his first reaction was shock when he heard at home in Kenya that the 2020 Olympic Games had been postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak.

That shock soon gave way to disappointment - but then defiance.

"We will win this fight against the COVID-19," the barrier-breaking Kenyan, who's widely considered the world's finest runner, said in an interview with Reuters.

And the man who last year became the first to run a marathon in under two hours confirmed he can see himself refreshed and ready to defend his marathon title in a rearranged Tokyo Olympics next year.

For the moment, though, the 35-year-old insists his only concern is to care for his family at their home in Eldoret.

"I am totally concentrating on my safety, I am totally concentrating on the safety of the whole family," he said.

"We will win this fight against the COVID-19," the barrier-breaking Kenyan, who's widely considered the world's finest runner, said in an interview with Reuters.

And the man who last year became the first to run a marathon in under two hours confirmed he can see himself refreshed and ready to defend his marathon title in a rearranged Tokyo Olympics next year.

For the moment, though, the 35-year-old insists his only concern is to care for his family at their home in Eldoret.

"I am totally concentrating on my safety, I am totally concentrating on the safety of the whole family," he said.

"I was a little shocked and I had to go back, just to think more. I think and then I said, 'it's not a bad idea to actually postpone'.

"You know the Olympic Games is whereby everybody wants to participate ... it's in the dreams of every sportsman in this world.."

Kipchoge thinks a delayed Olympics could actually benefit his title defence.

"It's a great time for us to go back, train again and we will come back with a lot of energy," he said.

The pandemic has led to the postponement or cancellation of sporting events around the world, including the London Marathon, which next month was scheduled to be Kipchoge's first outing since October's landmark one hour, 59 minutes, 40 seconds run in Vienna.

Even though the run in Austria did not count as a world record because of the special conditions, the feat captured the world's imagination and brought Kipchoge a whole new level of fame.

Kenya has confirmed 42 coronavirus cases, including one fatality, with the country having imposed restrictive measures to arrest the spread of the disease. It even affects their brilliant runners.

But working together within a couple of months to come, this COVID-19 will go away.

"My priority number one is to get the virus away, come back with one mind, one thinking, one line of actually standing and competing."

(03/30/2020) ⚡AMP
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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Eliud Kipchoge says the IOC and the Japanese government made the right decision to postpone the Tokyo Olympic Games and move it to 2021

Marathon great Eliud Kipchoge, who was due to defend his Olympics marathon title in the 2020 Tokyo Games later this year, said the decision by the IOC and the Japanese Government was the right one as the world battles to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

"All in all a very wise decision to postpone the Olympics until 2021. I look forward to come back to Japan to defend my Olympic title next year and look forward to witness a wonderful event. I wish everybody good health in these challenging times," the world marathon record holder tweeted.

Kipchoge, who is in the Kenyan men's marathon team along side Boston and Chicago marathons champion Lawrence Cherono and World Championships marathon bronze medalist Amos Kipruto, won the 2016 Rio Olympics gold medal in 2 hours 8 minutes 44 seconds.

Kipchoge became the first man to run the full marathon in under two hours after his 1:59:40.2 feat during the Ineos Challenge in Vienna last year.

Olympics javelin silver medalist Julius Yego also took to his Instagram account to express his views over the postponement of the Games to 2021.

"It's been all fun and smiles and happiness in preparation for this year's Tokyo Olympics but then the unexpected came!#Covid-19!! Terrible and scaring respiratory disease! But it's all upon us to compete against our dear opponents, we together on this fight to overcome the world pandemic, see you next year in Tokyo at the very least, stay safe and stay home," said Yego.

(03/26/2020) ⚡AMP
by Japheth Mutinda
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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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World record marathon holder Eliud Kipchoge suffers loneliness at his running training

When he broke the two-hour barrier for the marathon in October, Eliud Kipchoge did not run alone, but now, as a diary he is recording reveals, he has no choice.

Kipchoge may be the only man to have broken two hours, but when he set the time in Vienna he ran with an echelon of pacemakers.

Now, as the first episode of "Eliud Kipchoge's Isolation Diary", makes clear, he is experiencing the loneliness of the long-distance runner.

The diary, recorded for the BBC, opens with the Kenyan rising from a kitchen chair with his tracksuit and running shoes on.

"It's now 6 o'clock," he says.

"This is now the third day since we broke up from the the camp due to coronavirus. It's really hard to train because I value teamwork. It's mutual interest because it helps me so much."

"I am trying to quarantine myself, stay with the family and make sure I don't actually mingle with a lot of people," he says.

"I am trying to keep more fit myself and wake up early at 6 o'clock and go for a run and make sure I stay fit," he adds.

"Good morning," he adds, waving, turning and heading on his own for open front door.

Outside it is dark and dogs can be heard barking.

(03/23/2020) ⚡AMP
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INEOS 1:59 Challenge

INEOS 1:59 Challenge

Mankind have constantly sought to reach new frontiers and to achieve the impossible. From Edmund Hillary reaching the summit of Mount Everest to Roger Bannister’s four-minute mile to Felix Baumgartner jumping from space we have frequently redefined the limits of human achievement and broken new barriers previously seen as simply impossible. After the four-minute mile and the ten second 100m...

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Somali-Belgian athlete Bashir Abdi sets sights on European record after sub-2:05 clocking in Tokyo

Bashir Abdi became only the second European athlete in history to break the 2:05-barrier for the marathon in the Tokyo Marathon on 1 March and he harbours aspirations of becoming the fastest.

The 31-year-old shattered his own national record with 2:04:49 to take the runner-up spot in the Japanese capital ahead of a prospective second successive Olympic appearance. And what is most remarkable about his ascent is he former amateur football player only started running at the age of 18.  

Abdi was born in the Somalian capital of Mogadishu and arrived in Belgium in 2002 at the age of 13. Back then running made no sense as he was a football addict. “As a kid I could not even understand why people would run in circles. Chasing a football made sense but skinny people running in circles did not at all. That was until I started running at the age of 18 and I have never regretted that decision”. 

Now Abdi is second on the European all-time marathon list with  2:04:49, his third consecutive Belgian record in only his fourth marathon after previous record runs in London (2:07:03) and Chicago (2:06:14) last year. Abdi came second in Tokyo, only 34 seconds behind Ethiopia’s Birhanu Legese, in a race which was devoid of the mass participation element due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

“I expected a finishing time around 2:05, because I have had the best preparation ever towards a marathon. My trainer Gary [Lough] made that very clear during the last weeks of altitude training in Sululta, Ethiopia. I was however surprised by the fact that I finished in second place in a World Marathon Major. To start with about 200 athletes in what normally is a race with 38,000 runners was a rather odd experience. It felt as if I was running a tiny street race in my hometown Ghent.” 

Abdi made his marathon debut back in April 2018 in Rotterdam with a solid 2:10:46 clocking despite bloodying his knees in a collision at the start. Now he is a sub-2:05 marathoner who is considered to be one of the outsiders to win a medal at the Olympic marathon in Sapporo.  

Abdi closed exceptionally quickly in the Chicago Marathon last October and he also ran faster than any other athlete in the Tokyo Marathon between the 35 kilometre checkpoint and the finish. His finish speed could be a great weapon at the Olympics.  

“I received wonderful reactions on my Tokyo performance, but for me finishing in the top eight would be great already. To my account there are six or seven runners that top the bill such as Eliud Kipchoge, Kenenisa Bekele and Birhanu Legese. I also doubt that I will be able to use the same tactics towards Sapporo, as I am not as experienced in the marathon, because I have had the benefit of pacers in my past four races. 

“The conditions will also be fairly different. Both Chicago and Tokyo were somehow similar to what I am used to in Belgium. Together with the Belgian Olympic Team we will prepare towards Sapporo as much as possible. Workouts in a heat chamber will be part of that preparation, combined with the usual altitude camp in Sululta” 

Abdi also has something else to look forward to during his build-up to the Olympics. In June he will become a father for the second time. His daughter Kadra celebrated her first birthday back in October. There is only one race on his schedule before Sapporo so far.   

“Becoming a father for the second time is something I am looking really forward to. I have a great wife who understands that sacrifices have to be made to perform at this level, especially in a year like this. Thanks to apps like Facetime and social media I am able to stay in touch with my family when I am on training camps. My baby daughter even recognises me thanks to social media, so it is somehow a blessing.  

2020 is all about the Olympics for Abdi but he is already thinking about the 2021 season - namely the Belgian half marathon record of 60:18 and more importantly the European marathon record of Kaan Kigen Ozbilen which stands at 2:04:16.   

(03/19/2020) ⚡AMP
by Quinten Lafort
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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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Kipchoge and Bekele showdown to wait until October 4 in London

Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele (left) and Kenya's marathon world-record holder Eliud Kipchoge will have to wait until October 4 to face off.

The London Marathon scheduled to take place on April 26 has been postponed to October 4 due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The organisers made the announcement on Friday, with event director Hugh Brasher citing health as a priority as the world continues to battle with containing the virus.

“The world is in an unprecedented situation grappling with a global pandemic of COVID-19 and public health is everyone’s priority,” Brasher said.

World record-holder Eliud Kipchoge was among the first top athletes to react to the news of the cancellation of the marathon on social media, expressing his disappointment while still sharing a message of positivity.

"It is unfortunate news that the London Marathon has been postponed but I fully respect the decision made by the organization as safeguarding the health of the world always takes our top priority. To the thousands of runners who with me, have devoted the last months of our lives towards this goal I would like to say: Be proud of the work you have put into this journey, keep smiling and seek your next goal on the horizon to continue running in a smooth and positive way. I hope to share the starting line with you again soon," said Kipchoge. 

Eliud Kipchoge and Brigid Kosgei pose for a picture with Prince Harry while holding their awards in last year's marathon.

Kipchoge and Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele were set to go head to head in a contest for the ages, as was Kenya’s women's record-holder Brigid Kosgei.

Kipchoge broke the two-hour marathon barrier in Vienna last October in the INEOS 1:59 Challenge.

The marathon was intended to be an Olympic qualifying event for Team Great Britain. British Athletics said it would hold a separate marathon trial for the Tokyo Games “in a closed location, with limited numbers” potentially around April 25 to 27.

The Boston Marathon, another one of the six World Marathon Majors, has also been postponed to mid-September.

These developments come days after the Kenyan Ministry of Sports banned athletes from travelling to any international sports events for the next month following the global outbreak of Covid-19.

The decision to push this year’s London Marathon to October 4, means the race will now take place on the same day as the Cardiff Half Marathon.

Brasher, thanked every institution that came to support them during this time and expressed optimism of finding the best dates for future races.

“We are extremely grateful for all the support we have received from City Hall, the London boroughs of Greenwich, Lewisham, Southwark, Tower Hamlets, the City of Westminster and the City of London, Transport for London, the emergency services, the Royal Parks, BBC TV and many others as we worked to find an alternative date. The 40th race is scheduled to go ahead on Sunday, October 4, 2020.”

Here are the new major marathon schedules:

Boston Marathon – September 14

Berlin Marathon – September 27

London Marathon – October 4

Chicago Marathon – October 10

(03/15/2020) ⚡AMP
by Robert Abong’o
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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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Cherono wary of long term effects coronavirus may cause

Long distance runner Lawrence Cherono is wary of the long term effects the coronavirus pandemic might have on global sports.

Speaking moments after the 124th Boston Marathon, scheduled for April 20, was postponed to September 14 due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, Cherono told Nation Sport that said it will be difficult for athletes to prepare adequately for 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games amid the cloud of uncertainty hanging over the Games.

Cherono, who is also the reigning Chicago Marathon champion, was due to defend his Boston title on April 20.

There are already fears that the Summer Games that are scheduled for July 24 to August 9 could also be postponed but the International Olympic Committee and the Games Local Organising Committee have affirmed that the event will continue as scheduled.

Men’s marathon, which will be the last race at the Olympics on August 8, has been moved from Tokyo to Sapporo for fear of the adverse weather in the Japanese capital.

Cherono, 31, had planned to use Boston Marathon as part of his preparations for Tokyo Olympics but with the coronavirus havoc, he will now have to halt his training until May.

“I had planned for only two marathons races this year and it’s disappointing. However, that is fate. One would rather stay healthy and look forward for the best than regret,” said Cherono, who is training in Eldoret under the Rosa Associati management.

“I really want to compete at the Olympics but we can only pray to God for everything to fall into place. We hope the virus will be contained by then,” said Cherono, adding that he will now take a break before resuming training.

Cherono has been picked alongside the reigning Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge and World marathon bronze medallist Amos Kipruto to represent Kenya at the Tokyo Games. Bedan Karoki and Titus Ekiru are the reserves.

 

(03/15/2020) ⚡AMP
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World record-holder Eliud Kipchoge disappointed by coronavirus outbreak after cancellation of London Marathon

World record-holder Eliud Kipchoge on Thursday took to social media to express his disappointment over the cancellation of the 2020 London Marathon amid coronavirus outbreak.

According to the event organizers, the 40th edition of the race, which was due to take place on April 26, will now be held on October 4.

Kipchoge and Kenenisa Bekele were among the men's elite names due to take part, as was women's record-holder Brigid Kosgei.

Following the postponement, the fastest marathon runner immediately expressed his disappointment, sharing a photo of himself crossing the line of the 2019 London Marathon, with a caption:

"It is unfortunate news that the @londonmarathon has been postponed but I fully respect the decision made by the organization as safeguarding the health of the world always takes our top priority.”

He also shared a message of positivity to all the runners disappointed by the news.

"To the thousands of runners who with me, have devoted the last months of our lives towards this goal I would like to say: Be proud of the work you have put into this journey, keep smiling and seek your next goal on the horizon to continue running in a smooth and positive way. I hope to share the starting line with you again soon," he added.

The decision comes three days after the Ministry of Sports banned Kenyan athletes from travelling to any international Sports events for the next 30 days following the global outbreak of Covid-19 (coronavirus).

Already a number of other high-profile sporting events, including marathons in Paris and Boston, have been called off due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

(03/14/2020) ⚡AMP
by Odero Charles
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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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Groundwork Endurance has announced its partnership with Skechers for the 35th annual Carlsbad 5000 presented by National University

The global footwear company will serve as official footwear partner as well as title sponsor of the Skechers Performance Elite Invitational, the event’s iconic professional races, set to take place on Sunday, March 22, 2020.

“I am extremely excited that Skechers has officially joined forces with the Carlsbad 5000. Their dedication and commitment to the running community is unmatched and we look forward to working with their talented team to ensure that our 35th year is the best yet,” said Meb Keflezighi, co-owner of Carlsbad 5000 and longtime Skechers-sponsored athlete.

“We’re pleased to again join Meb and the Carlsbad 5000 organization as title sponsor of the iconic Elite Invitational race—especially since Edward Cheserek will attempt a repeat win,” said Michael Greenberg, president of Skechers. “This event is known as the world’s fastest 5K, so it’s a great opportunity to illustrate how our award-winning and innovative Skechers GO RUN footwear can help runners get their speed on.”

The event also announced that headlining the 2020 Skechers Performance Elite Invitational will be Kenya’s Edward Cheserek and Dejen Gebremeskel of Ethiopia. Cheserek, the defending Carlsbad 5000 champion and Skechers elite athlete, matched what was then the IAAF 5km road world record in a winning time of 13:29 at the 2019 Carlsbad 5000. The 17-time NCAA National Champion holds personal bests of 3:49.44 for the mile and 13:04.44 for 5,000 meters on the track. He recently ran a sub-4:00 mile, finishing second at the Camel City Elite Races with a time of 3:59.84.

“Winning the Carlsbad 5000 last year was an incredible experience and I am looking forward to racing again in March,” said Cheserek. “This event has everything you could want in a road race. The course is beautiful and the huge crowds make the atmosphere very special.”

Gebremeskel was a virtual unknown before arriving in Carlsbad for the first time in 2010, when he finished second to Eliud Kipchoge. His victory the following year sparked a four-year run of dominance at the event – the longest winning streak in its event history. He would also add a fifth win in 2017. In addition to his impressive success at the Carlsbad 5000, Gebremeskel has earned two world championship medals over 5000 meters, taking silver at the 2012 London Olympics and a bronze medal at the 2011 World Championships in Athletics.

“It’s fantastic that King Ches will be returning to Carlsbad after his record run last year. Defending his title won’t be easy with Dejen Gebremeskel in the field and we expect a battle for the ages at this year’s race!” said Keflezighi.

As the official footwear partner, Skechers will maintain a strong digital presence in the lead up to race week festivities and will host an interactive experience for participants and spectators at the Health & Wellness Expo over event weekend.

The Carlsbad 5000 will celebrate its 35th edition the weekend of March 21-22, 2020. Since 1986, the prestigious event has seen 17 World records and eight U.S. records, as well as numerous national and age group marks. The famous seaside course starts and finishes in downtown Carlsbad, taking runners past some of Southern California’s most scenic coastal views along the way. The full day of racing begins at 6:55am on Sunday, March 22 with events for all ages and abilities. At 12:00pm, the Skechers Performance Elite Invitational takes center stage as the world’s fastest pros compete for a substantial prize purse and pursue new records.

(03/03/2020) ⚡AMP
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Carlsbad 5000

Carlsbad 5000

The 2020 events were moved from March 22 to September 20 because of the Coronavirus. The Carlsbad 5000 features a fast and fun seaside course where 16 world records have been set. Both rookie runners and serious speedsters alike enjoy running or walking in one of seven people's races. The 35th running of the iconic Carlsbad 5000 presented by National...

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Kenenisa Bekele breaks Mo Farah's course record at the Vitality Big Half

Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele broke Mo Farah's course record in the men's Vitality Big Half race in London with a time of one hour and 22 seconds.

Bekele shaved 1:18 minutes off the record set in 2019 by Briton Farah, who missed out with an Achilles injury.

Britain's Lily Partridge won the elite women's race for the first time with a time of 1:10:50.

Two-time marathon winner Shelly Woods made a successful return to the capital in the women's wheelchair race.

Brent Lakatos won the men's wheelchair event with six-time Paralympic champion David Weir in second.

Britain's Christopher Thompson finished second in the men's race, with Jake Smith in third.

The full London marathon will take place on Sunday, 26 April.

Bekele's victory sets up an exciting head-to-battle with Eliud Kipchoge, as the two fastest marathon runners of all time line up for April's race.

"The new course record is a great bonus. I wasn't focused on time today, I just wanted to win," said Bekele.

"I'm on schedule in my preparation for the London Marathon in April. There's no question about the crowds in London being great.

"They were cheering all around the course and it felt like a great place to be."

Partridge - running in her third London half-marathon - cruised to victory in the women's race.

Her compatriots Samantha Harrison and Stephanie Davis finished second and third respectively.

"My coach said to me before the start that the goal was to win," said Partridge.

"It wasn't about the time today. It's my fastest ever half marathon during a marathon build-up."

 

(03/01/2020) ⚡AMP
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The Vitality Big Half

The Vitality Big Half

Created by London Marathon Events Ltd, in partnership with Sported,The Vitality Big Half is a community running festival, taking place in London in March. This one-day event offers a host of running distances, from a challenging half marathon to a free one-mile course, as well as a family-friendly festival of food, music and activities. What’s happening? Take part with friends...

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World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge and David Rudisha lead Absa initiative to boost education in Kenya

World record holders Eliud Kipchoge and David Rudisha are among five athletes signed up by Absa Bank Kenya PLC to power their “Torch of possibilities run” initiative that seeks to raise funds for education in Kenya.

ABSA Bank Kenya managing director and CEO Jeremy Awori said the bank also intends to partner with the ministries of sports and education in the initiative that seeks to raise funds for education, sports and the future for Kenyan children.

Others athletes included in the campaign are two-time world marathon champion Catherine Ndereba, former world 800 meters champion Janeth Jepkosgei and three-time Diamond League 3,000 meters steeplechase winner Paul Kipsiele Koech.

Awori said that the athletes will participate and champion the cause in five races to be held in Eldoret, Nairobi, Nyeri, Kisumu and Mombasa where they also intend to raise funds from entry fees and sponsorship from other corporates.

Awori added that the campaign is aimed at motivating emerging and future athletes, as well as millions of young Kenyans to aspire for greatness.

Eldoret will open the proceedings on March 21 followed by Nairobi on March 28 where entry fees across all the events is Sh1,000.

Awori said they will inject Sh45 million into the cause that is divided between two major projects with Sh20 million going towards the construction of ablution blocks in 40 primary schools across the country.

“Sh25 million will be used to set up 66 computer centers across the country in partnership with Computer for Schools project,” said Awori during the launch at Movenpick Hotel, Nairobi, that was attended by all the contracted athletes save for Kipchoge, who gave a recorded speech.

Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed, Director of Secondary Education Paul Kibet, who represented Cabinet Secretary for Education George Magoha and Athletics Kenya CEO Susan Kamau, among others, graced the launch.

“We wanted to bring possibilities of life in education through sports and the place to experience that is young people,” said Awori, adding that they picked on the athletes because of their remarkable status in sport.

Awori highlighted the intention of the bank to keep differentiating itself through participating in projects that are attuned to the needs of the communities in which it operates.

In the last three years, the bank has invested Sh161 million to support 574 university students through the Absa Scholarship program.

Amina said the best gift the country can give to the youth is good education and health through programs like sports and hailed Absa’s initiative.

“Sanitation and especially ablution blocks have been a challenge in schools. Our first phase is the primary schools first moving to secondary hence Absa’s initiative will help us,” said Amina, adding that they intend to construct 19 sports academies across the country where children coming from such programs will continue to pursue their sporting talent.”

(02/28/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ayumba Ayodi
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World marathon bronze medalist Amos Kipruto is planning to break the course record on his second appearance at Tokyo Marathon

World marathon bronze medalist Amos Kipruto is planning to lower his personal best time and perhaps break the course record on his second appearance at Tokyo Marathon on Sunday.

Kipruto, who ran his personal best of two hours, five minutes and 43 seconds when finishing fourth at the 2017 Amsterdam Marathon, believes a good show in Tokyo should set a good stage for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Former world marathon record holder Wilson Kipsang holds the course record time of 2:03:58 set in 2017.

Another fast time on the course was set last year by Ethiopian Birhanu Legese, who won the race in 2:04:48.

“I am expecting a pretty fast race with a possibility of the field breaking the 2:03 barrier,” said Kipruto, who is determined to finish in a better podium place than in 2018 when he settled third in 2:06:33, a race won by compatriot Dickson Chumba in 2:05:30.

“I have really trained well since claiming bronze at the World Championships last year and I feel ready to battle,” explained Kipruto, who has been training in Kapsabet with the 2Running team under Italian coach Claudio Berardelli.

I know the field will go at a great pace but my plan is to beat my personal best for a possible victory.

It will be his third World Marathon Majors race, having finished third at 2018 Tokyo before chalking a second place finish at 2018 Berlin Marathon where compatriot Eliud Kipchoge set a new world marathon record of 2:01:39. Kipruto returned a time of 2:06:23 with Kipsang wrapping up the podium place in 2:06:48.

(02/27/2020) ⚡AMP
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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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Cherono replaces injured Farah, to battle Bekele in London Half Marathon

Chicago Marathon champion Lawrence Cherono has been drafted in to replace injured Mo Farah and battle Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele in the March 1 Vitality London Half Marathon.

Cherono, one of the world's most successful marathon runners, will take on Bekele as part of his training ahead of his title defense on the streets in Boston in April.

Cherono, who has been selected to represent Kenya at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, is the reigning champion of both the Boston and Chicago Marathons and has an incredible record of eight wins in 11 races over the 42km distance.

"I am really looking forward to going to London to run in such a high-quality race. I'm thankful for the opportunity. It is exactly the test I was looking for as I prepare for the Boston Marathon and I am sure it will be a great race," Cherono said on Wednesday.

The London Half Marathon, which starts close to London's iconic Tower Bridge, will offer Cherono a stern test gauging his fitness against Bekele, he is to fight at the Tokyo Olympic games later in August.

Bekele is the current world record holder for 5000m and 10000m and the second-fastest marathon runner in history having clocked 2:01:41 in winning Berlin race in 2019.

Both men will use the London Half Marathon as crucial preparation for upcoming marathons.

Bekele is working towards a mouth-watering match-up between himself and marathon world record holder Eliud Kipchoge on April 26 while Cherono will defend his Boston Marathon title six days earlier on April 20.

As well as Cherono and Bekele, the reigning Rotterdam Marathon champion Marius Kipserem from Kenya and a host of leading British athletes including Chris Thompson, Dewi Griffiths and Ross Millington will race in this year's event.

Mo Farah withdrew from this year's race due to injury and is still in Kenya to continue with his training.

(02/22/2020) ⚡AMP
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The Vitality Big Half

The Vitality Big Half

Created by London Marathon Events Ltd, in partnership with Sported,The Vitality Big Half is a community running festival, taking place in London in March. This one-day event offers a host of running distances, from a challenging half marathon to a free one-mile course, as well as a family-friendly festival of food, music and activities. What’s happening? Take part with friends...

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Chicago Marathon champion Lawrence Cherono will replace injured Farah, to battle Bekele in London Half Marathon

Chicago Marathon champion Lawrence Cherono has been drafted in to replace injured Mo Farah and battle Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele in the March 1 Vitality London Half Marathon.

Cherono, one of the world's most successful marathon runners, will take on Bekele as part of his training ahead of his title defense on the streets in Boston in April.

Cherono, who has been selected to represent Kenya at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, is the reigning champion of both the Boston and Chicago Marathons and has an incredible record of eight wins in 11 races over the 42km distance.

"I am really looking forward to going to London to run in such a high-quality race. I'm thankful for the opportunity. It is exactly the test I was looking for as I prepare for the Boston Marathon and I am sure it will be a great race," Cherono said on Wednesday.

The London Half Marathon, which starts close to London's iconic Tower Bridge, will offer Cherono a stern test gauging his fitness against Bekele, he is to fight at the Tokyo Olympic games later in August.

Bekele is the current world record holder for 5000m and 10000m and the second-fastest marathon runner in history having clocked 2:01:41 in winning Berlin race in 2019.

Both men will use the London Half Marathon as crucial preparation for upcoming marathons.

Bekele is working towards a mouth-watering match-up between himself and marathon world record holder Eliud Kipchoge on April 26 while Cherono will defend his Boston Marathon title six days earlier on April 20.

As well as Cherono and Bekele, the reigning Rotterdam Marathon champion Marius Kipserem from Kenya and a host of leading British athletes including Chris Thompson, Dewi Griffiths and Ross Millington will race in this year's event.

Mo Farah withdrew from this year's race due to injury and is still in Kenya to continue with his training.

(02/12/2020) ⚡AMP
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The Vitality Big Half

The Vitality Big Half

Created by London Marathon Events Ltd, in partnership with Sported,The Vitality Big Half is a community running festival, taking place in London in March. This one-day event offers a host of running distances, from a challenging half marathon to a free one-mile course, as well as a family-friendly festival of food, music and activities. What’s happening? Take part with friends...

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The true test of the newest Nike shoe will be in under three weeks' time at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials

Last week Nike released their newest line of shoes which includes the Air Zoom Alphafly Next%, complete with a 39.5 mm stack height, falling just under World Athletics’ new ruling of a maximum of 40 mm. Since the release of the so-called super shoe shoe (that conveniently follows all of World Athletics’ new rules) there has been heavy speculation that Nike was tipped off, but WA claims that’s not the case.

World Athletics told The Guardian last week, “We spoke to several shoe companies, including Nike, a few days before we released our new shoe regulations to let them know what we were planning. But that was the extent of it.”

Alex Hutchinson has written extensively on this topic (including in the current issue of Canadian Running Magazine). He spoke to Nike and claimed on Twitter that according to the company, the commercial version of the Air Zoom Alphafly Next% isn’t all that different from the shoe Eliud Kipchoge wore to break the two hour barrier in October.

Here are the major takeaways from the thread: 1.- Kipchoge’s Alphafly prototype was legal, and basically identical to the upcoming consumer version. 2.- World Athletics measured a size eight as 39.5 mm [stack height], which is their reference size (WA rules actually say size 42). 3.- Heel-toe offset will be 8 mm in commercial shoe.

If the Kipchoge shoe was, in fact, nearly identical to the consumer version (available February 29 in limited release), then perhaps World Athletics’ assertion that no shoe company had advance notice is credible.

When asked last week about what the future holds for running shoe technology, Hutchinson points out that we don’t actually know how good the Alphafly is yet. He wrote in an email, “Seeing Kipchoge run sub-two in the earlier prototype was obviously impressive, but there was a lot going on in that race. With the original Vaporfly, we had actual external lab data telling us how good it was. But for subsequent models, we’re just guessing. Just because it looks crazy doesn’t mean it’s substantially better than previous models. I guess we’ll find out—but for now, that knowledge gap makes predictions about the Alphafly’s impact difficult.”

The true test will come at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials when the shoe will go head-to-head against other companies’ carbon-plated creations for the first time. That event will have spectators watching shoes just as closely as the runners.

(02/11/2020) ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

The 2020 US Olympic Trials for both men and women took place in Atlanta, Ga on Sunday Feb 29. Runners had to qualify by running certain standards beforehand. The trials are hosted by the Atlanta Track club. The course runs through the heart of Atlanta and past monuments from the 1996 Olympic Games Most countries around the world use a...

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By Defying Expectations, Nike NEXT% Moves Athletes Forward

Call it the ultimate test run: When Eliud Kipchoge broke the two-hour marathon barrier in Vienna this past October, he was wearing a prototype of the Nike Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT%.

"For runners, records like the four-minute mile and two-hour marathon are barometers of progress. These are barriers that have tested human potential. When someone like Eliud breaks them, our collective belief about what's possible changes," says Tony Bignell, VP, Footwear Innovation. "Barriers are inspiring to innovators. Like athletes, when a barrier is in front of us, we are challenged to think differently and push game-changing progress in footwear design.”

The NEXT% platform is the ultimate expression of Nike's ambition to engineer footwear with measurable performance benefit. NEXT% is all about creating more efficient intersections between the body and technology to enable athletes to shatter personal boundaries — and sometimes, as our athletes have shown, break records. It is the ultimate meeting of sports science and purposeful design.

“The groundbreaking research that led to the original Vaporfly unlocked an entirely new way of thinking about marathon shoes,” says Carrie Dimoff, an elite marathoner and member of Nike’s Advanced Innovation Team. "Once we understood the plate and foam as a system, we started thinking about ways to make the system even more effective. That’s when we struck upon the idea of adding Nike Air to store and return even more of a runner’s energy and provide even more cushioning.”

Nike NEXT% is a footwear innovation system engineered to give athletes a measurable benefit. Informed by sport science and verified by the Nike Sport Research Lab, the Nike Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT% features three critical components, working together to help runners on race day:

Nike’s newest race-day shoe, the Nike Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT% features two new Nike Zoom Air pods, more ZoomX foam and a single carbon fiber plate (all updates from its predecessor, the Nike ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT%), and an ultra-breathable, lightweight Flyknit upper – all adding up to improved cushioning and running economy.

The shoe is part of a suite of products releasing in summer 2020, including the Nike Air Zoom Tempo NEXT% and Nike Air Zoom Tempo NEXT% FlyEase, complementary training shoes that translate the principles of the Alphafly to rigorous daily use, and track spikes (the Nike Air Zoom Victory) that extend the NEXT% design ethos to new disciplines.

For the Tempo NEXT%, the NEXT% system is specifically tuned to training. The plate shifts from carbon to a composite — softer for added comfort over higher mileage — but still serves to provide stability and transition throughout a runner's full stride. ZoomX, prized for its energy return and responsiveness, sits above the plate at mid and forefoot. For maximum impact protection and durability, Nike React Foam is used at the heel. The same Nike Zoom Air pods featured in the new Nike Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT% are also placed in the Tempo’s forefoot to offer responsive cushioning and a sensation of propulsion.

The Nike Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT%, Nike Air Zoom Tempo NEXT% and Nike Air Zoom Tempo NEXT% FlyEase give athletes of today an opportunity to stamp their mark and motivate athletes (and designers) of tomorrow to set even greater goals.

(02/09/2020) ⚡AMP
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Eliud Kipchoge has called Kenya's team kit for Tokyo 2020 unique and awesome, despite mixed opinion

Eliud Kipchoge, who became the first runner to complete a marathon under two hours in the Ineos 1:59 Challenge in October, said that it bears the colors of the national flag and resonates well with the new generation, according to Kenyan news service, Daily Nation.

“I think it will turn tables as far as sport is concerned. 

"I trust I will see Kenyans draped in the Kenyan colors in all streets of our towns,” said Kipchoge. 

“It is a good thing that Nike has promised to make these awesome clothes available on retail.”

Kipchoge also added that it absorbs and drains moisture fast, tailoring it to the conditions set for Tokyo.

The launch took place on Tuesday in New York, including 1500 meters champion Timothy Cheruiyot alongside athletes from other nations such as United States and Brazil. 

However, the reception was not loved by all, with athletics fan Jack Waiyaki calling it a "Tasteless, poor design."

"The name 'KENYA' should be clearly seen and dominant," said Waiyaki. 

"The other kit does not need to be changed- it is a well known global trademark and brand that sends fear to rivals."

The honeycomb kit sparked controversy on Twitter after the announcement with one user joking, "I'm no longer Kenyan."

Another Facebook user, Mosdef Apollo said, "Did someone get paid for that? 

"The laziest designer, there is no iota of creativity - return that thing, it doesn't befit Kenya."

One other commenter asked if the vest was "inspired by bees."

One supporter, Kamal Kaur said, "Modern, vibrant and it stands out."

Kenya won all 13 of their Olympic medals from Rio 2016 in athletics with their last non-athletics medal coming at Seoul 1988. 

(02/08/2020) ⚡AMP
by Michael Houston
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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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On Sunday April 26, 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon will celebrate 40 years

Virgin Money London Marathon, the world’s greatest marathon celebrates another landmark moment in its extraordinary history – The 40th Race.

From the legendary hand-in-hand finish of joint winners Dick Beardsley and Inge Simonsen in the very first London Marathon to countless world records; from one million finishers to £1 billion raised for charity; from crazy costumes to the incredible and inspiring examples of spirit and courage, The 40th Race – the name of this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon campaign – will celebrate them all.

The 40th Race campaign was launched at a star-studded reception on Tower Bridge, the iconic halfway point of the race, tonight (Tuesday 4 February) as a special film celebrating The 40th Race was released.

Hugh Brasher, Event Director of the Virgin Money London Marathon, said: “This year will be The 40th Race and we are so proud of how far the event has come since that wet day back on 29 March 1981. The London Marathon has proved to be a unique force for good and continues to have an extraordinary impact on society. It is an event that has inspired profound social change.

“Every year on Marathon Day, London is transformed. On one amazing day, the runners take on the challenge of 26.2 miles as families and friends come out to support them. Charities, which spend months championing causes and runners, line the route. Many thousands of volunteers come together and more than 750,000 spectators line the streets, cheering on every runner – it is London, and the UK, at its best.

“We look forward to celebrating the rich history of the London Marathon and, as always, we are also looking to the future of the event and how we can continue to develop and grow the world’s greatest marathon.”

In the men’s elite race, the two fastest marathon runners of all time, world record holder Eliud Kipchoge (KEN) and Kenenisa Bekele (ETH) go head-to-head while women’s world record holder and defending champion Brigid Kosgei (KEN) leads the greatest female marathon field ever assembled, as she takes on 2018 champion Vivian Cheruiyot (KEN) and world champion Ruth Chepngetich (KEN).

(02/05/2020) ⚡AMP
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

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

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British distance-running great Mo Farah has withdrawn from next month's Big Half race in London with an achilles injury, organizers announced on Wednesday

The four-time Olympic gold medalist, preparing for the 2020 Games in Tokyo, suffered the minor injury in training.

Farah, 36, has won the half-marathon event for the past two years and was due to take on a field featuring Ethiopia star Kenenisa Bekele on March 1.

"I was really looking forward to racing the Vitality Big Half again," said Farah in a statement issued by event organizers.

"Everyone knows how much I love racing in London, but my priority is to be fit, healthy and competitive for the summer season and for that reason I have had to make the tough decision not to race this year."

Farah will continue his Olympic preparations in Africa after changing his mind about running the marathon in Tokyo to return to the track, having won double gold over 5,000 meters and 10,000m at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Games.

He won the 2018 Chicago marathon in a European record time but could only manage a fifth-place finish at last year's London Marathon.

Eliud Kipchoge, the world record holder, is the favorite to win marathon gold in Tokyo. Farah is set to defend his 10,000m title in Japan instead.

(02/05/2020) ⚡AMP
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The Vitality Big Half

The Vitality Big Half

Created by London Marathon Events Ltd, in partnership with Sported,The Vitality Big Half is a community running festival, taking place in London in March. This one-day event offers a host of running distances, from a challenging half marathon to a free one-mile course, as well as a family-friendly festival of food, music and activities. What’s happening? Take part with friends...

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Nike's controversial Vaporfly shoe has been permitted for use in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics

World Athletics has temporarily updated its guidelines for sports shoes worn in competitive events ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in July.

The new guidelines from the international governing body for athletics bans the trainer Eliud Kipchoge wore to break the two-hour marathon record.

Vaporfly meets new stipulations, However, Nike's Vaporfly range – including the Nike ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT% and the Zoom Vaporfly 4% – meets the stipulations of World Athletics' amended Technical Rules.

These prohibit shoes with soles that are thicker than 40 millimetres and the inclusion of more than one carbon-fibre plate, or similar item, in the sole.

The news comes amid criticism of the fairness of allowing athletes to compete while wearing the Vaporfly range, which have thick, foam soles and carbon-fibre plates to improve speed.

In 2019, 31 of the 36 podium positions in the six world marathon majors were won by elite athletes wearing Vaporfly, as reported by the Guardian.

World Athletics' Moratorium, which forms part of the Clothing section of the guidelines, also states that, from 30 April, shoes have to be on the open market for at least four months before an elite athlete can wear them for a contest.

While Vaporfly remains within the amends, the prototype Air Fly trainer that Nike-sponsored Kenyan runner Eliud Kipchoge wore to run a sub-two-hour marathon in October 2019 will be banned under the regulations.

The sneaker has a much chunkier sole than the Vaporfly and reportedly includes three carbon-fibre plates.

It has been reported, however, that Nike still has time to make amends to the Alpha Fly ahead of a release in March – over four months before the start of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics on 24 July.

This could make it possible for athletes to wear the shoe during the major competition.

(02/04/2020) ⚡AMP
by Eleanor Gibson
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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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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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