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Articles tagged #Ethiopia
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2020 Valencia Marathon boasts deepest field ever and the race is going to be extremely entertaining

The Valencia Marathon is set to be run on Sunday, and the men’s and women’s fields won’t just be the strongest of the year, but quite possibly the strongest ever. LetsRun.com looked at the race start lists and compared them to past major marathons, and they all pale in comparison to the Valencia lineups, which are absolutely stacked.

After missing much of the season, so many of the world’s top runners were looking for a fast race to enter before the end of 2020, and while the Valencia Marathon isn’t listed as a world major, it’s certainly got the star power of one this year. 

The men’s field 

The men’s lineup is headlined by Ethiopians Birhanu Legese, whose PB of 2:02:48 is the third-fastest marathon time in history, and Kinde Atanaw, who has a PB of 2:03:51. They’re the only two men in the Valencia field to have run under 2:04, but they’re followed by seven runners with sub-2:05 results to their names, including former Boston Marathon champions Lawrence Cherono (2:04:06) of Kenya and Lelisa Desisa (2:04:45) of Ethiopia.

In total, there are nine men under 2:05 racing in Valencia, beating out the fields from the London Marathon in 2015 and 2019, two years that saw eight sub-2:05 runners. 

Another five men have run under 2:06 before, nine more own sub-2:07 PBs and two have bests under 2:08. This brings the total of sub-2:08 runners in the field to a whopping 25, which beats the 2019 Boston Marathon‘s previous best of 15. In addition to these 25 sub-2:08 runners, another 26 men have PBs under the Olympic standard of 2:11:30. This field is so deep, and there will be exciting racing from the lead pack, where the top runners will fight for the win, all the way back to the 2:11 pack as Olympic hopefuls give everything they have to reach standard. 

The women’s field 

The women’s side is also super deep, and like the men’s field, the women are led by a pair of Ethiopians in Ruti Aga and Birhane Dibaba. With PBs separated by just one second, Aga (2:18:34) and Dibaba (2:18:35) sit at 12th- and 13th-best of all time, respectively. They’re the lone women under 2:19, but several runners aren’t far behind with sub-2:20 and sub-2:21 PBs, including American Jordan Hasay (whose PB of 2:20:57 is the second-fastest in U.S. history). These eight women under 2:21 match the 2019 London Marathon field that saw a similarly quick top echelon of runners.

In total, there are 19 women set to race in Valencia who own sub-2:25 PBs, which is better than the previous best of 12 (Tokyo Marathon in 2019 and 2020, Boston Marathon in 2019). There are also six women outside of that 2:25 range who have run under the Olympic standard of 2:29:30, although they’re quite spread out. While runners in the men’s race will have plenty of people to work with no matter where they rank, that might not be the case for the women, some of whom might have to commit to running much faster than their PBs (such as the 2:26 runners looking to hang onto the sub-2:25 group) to avoid running solo. 

(12/03/2020) Views: 32 ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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VALENCIA TRINIDAD ALFONSO MARATHON

VALENCIA TRINIDAD ALFONSO MARATHON

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

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More details about the Delhi Half Marathon Record performances

t was a great morning for the 2020 World Half Marathon bronze medallists as Ethiopians Yalemzerf Yehualaw and Amedework Walelegn both picked up $37,000 wins ($27k for 1st, $10k for event records) in event record time today at the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon.

The headline performance came in the women’s race where Yehualaw, the 21-year old who just missed out on winning in Delhi by 1 second last year in 66:01, ran an unofficial 64:46, the second-fastest women’s half marathon in history on a records-eligible course.

The 5 Fastest Women’s Half Marathons Ever1 64:28* Brigid Kosgei KEN 2019 Great North Run 08.09.20192 64:31 Ababel Yeshaneh ETH 2020 RAK Half 21.02.20203 64:46 Yalemzerf Yehualaw ETH  2020 Delhi Half 28.11.20194 64:49 Brigid Kosgei KEN 2020 RAK Half 21.02.20205 64:51 Joyciline Jepkosgei KEN 2017 Valencia 22.10.2017*Not records eligible

In the men’s race, the Walelegn, also 21, won a three-way sprint finish in an unofficial 58:52 as two-time defending champion Andamlak Belihu of Ethiopia and Stephen Kissa of Uganda also broke 59:00 to finish second and third respectively. The order of finish today was the same as it was at World Half last month as in Poland Walelegn was third, Belihu was 5th and Kissa 19th. 2017 and 2019 world 5000 champion ran Muktar Edris of Ethiopia also ran very well today in his debut as he was in fourth in 59:04 .

The course this year was different than in years past due to Covid-19 but the event record coming in was 59:06 for the men and 66:00 for the women.

Ethiopia’s Yalemzerf Yehualaw produced a stunning run over in the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon  2020, a World Athletics Gold Label Road Race, to clock the second fastest  women’s time ever over the distance when she crossed the line in the  Indian capital in 64:46. 

The 21-yearold, who had to settle for third at the World Athletics Half  Marathon Championships last month when she slipped around 80 metres  from the line, bounced back with aplomb to take the $27,000 first prize and  an additional $10,000 as an event record bonus. 

In the men’s race, the event record – with the course having been  changed significantly from previous years – also fell when Amdework Walelegn outsprinted his Ethiopian compatriot and two-time defending  champion Andamlak Belihu to win in 58:53, the latter coming home in  58:54 and just missing out on an unprecedented third title. 

A blistering pace from the gun was set in the women’s race by the  Kenyan male pacemaker Alex Kibarus and several of the elite field were  quickly dropped. 

Six women – three Kenyans: Irene Cheptai, 2019 world marathon  champion Ruth Chepngetich and marathon world record holder Brigid  Kosgei; and three Ethiopians: two-time defending champion and event record holder Teshay Gemechu, world record holder Ababel Yeshaneh and Yalemzerf Yehualaw – followed Kibarus through 5km in 15:27. 

World marathon record holder and recent London Marathon winner  Kosgei was forced to drop out midway through the eighth kilometre, holding her leg as she limped to the side of the road. 

A kilometre later, Gemechu also started to suffer and lost contact with the  leaders although she hung on to eventually finish fifth.

Chepngetich, Cheptai, Yehualaw and Yeshaneh went through 10km  together in 30:49 as a thrilling race started to take shape. 

Cheptai was the next to fall away, becoming detached in the 12th kilometre with the remaining trio going through 15km in 46:15. 

With just three kilometres to go, and within the space of a few hundred  metres, first Chepngetich and then Yeshaneh found themselves unable to  stay with the pace. 

However, Yehualaw continued to follow Kibarus, and once he dropped  out with two kilometres to go it was just a question of how much she would  take off Gemechu’s 2019 course record of 66:00. 

In the end, she improved the mark by more than a minute, aided by a  strong run over the final quarter of the race. 

Yehualaw won in 64:46 but Chepngetich also ran the race of her life to  finish in a personal best of 65:06 and move up to equal-sixth on the world  all-time list.  

“My training since the world championships told me that maybe I could  break the course record as I ran 65:19 there, but this was more than I  expected, and I hoped for a win here after just losing by a second a year  ago,” said Yehualaw. 

“My plan was to push hard with two kilometres to go and that helped my  fast time, and it was also very nice weather,” she added, with early  morning temperatures in Delhi around 12-14 degrees Celsius. 

In the men’s race, three pacemakers took field through 3km in 8:22 and  then 5km in 13:57 – well under 59-minute pace – with Belihu always to the  fore. 

The main pacemaker, Uganda’s Abel Sikowo, continued to forge ahead  and passed 8km 22:17 and then 10km in 27:50, with eight men still directly  in the wake of Sikowo who was doing an admirable job in keeping the  tempo high and sub-59 times definitely in sight. 

Just after 12km Sikowo dropped out and Belihu, along with Kenya’s  Leonard Barsoton, dictated matters at the front for the next two kilometres  although, as he was later to admit, this decision might have cost the  defending champion dearly in the later stages of the race. 

Eight men were still in contention at 15km, which was passed in 42:00. By  18km the leading group had slimmed just slightly to six men: the Ethiopian  quartet of Belihu, Walelegn, 2017 and 2019 world 5000m champion Muktar  Edris who was making his competitive debut over the distance, Tesfahun  Akalnew, Barsoton and Uganda’s Stephen Kissa. 

Akalnew started to falter shortly afterwards and with two kilometres to go,  Edris and Barsoton also started to drop off the back of the group as their  challenge for a place on the podium began to evaporate. 

Belihu, Walelegn and Kissa passed the 20km checkpoint in 55:59, and just  a hundred or so metres later, Walelegn threw down the gauntlet. 

However, Kissa was still full of running and darted between the two  Ethiopians with 500m to go and held the lead for the next 300 metres  before Walelegn found another gear and passed the Ugandan on his  right as he sprinted for the line. 

Walelegn finished in 58:53, the third fastest time of the year and an event record by 13 seconds as well as a personal best by 15 seconds. Belihu was  just one second in arrears and Kissa two seconds further back, both men also setting personal bests. 

“I had a few bad patches but in the final kilometre I felt strong. I was  second in Delhi in 2018 and this is a much faster course which has less  sharp turns,” commented Walelegn, reflected on the new circuit which  incorporated two six-kilometre loops. 

“I have to be happy as I ran a personal best. After the pacemaker  dropped out I pushed the pace but I think this might have left me with a  bit less energy when we sprinted in the last kilometre,” reflected Belihu,  who just fell short in his bid to be the first three-time winner in Delhi. 

In fourth place Edris ran 59:04, the second fastest debut over the distance  ever, while Avinash Sable smashed the Indian record by more than three  minutes when he ran 60:30 in tenth place.

(11/29/2020) Views: 52 ⚡AMP
by Lets Run
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Walelegn breaks course Record Time for 2020 Airtel Delhi Half Marathon.

Ethiopian  Amedework Walelegn is the new  course record holder of Airtel Delhi Half Marathon in men's race with time of 58:53.

Ethiopian Amedework Walelegn dethroned his campatriot 2018 and 2019 winner Andamlak Belihu in a nail-bitting finish to win the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon men's race in a course record time of 58:53. Andamlak who was second settled for silver medal with a time of 58:54 while Stephen Kisa of Uganda Pocket bronze in 58:56.

Walelegn who is 21-years- old broke 2014 course record set by his compatriot Guye Adola in 2014.

In women category Yalemzert Yahualaw beat reigning Marathon Champion Ruth Chepngetich by winning in a time of 64:46 while Ruth followed a distance in 65:06. Abadal Yeshaneh of Ethiopia was third with time of 65:21.

The course was different from the normal course because of covid-19 pandemic protocol. The runners had to cover around 4.5 km starting at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium and then ran on two loops of about 6 km , before getting to the finish line outside the stadium by the same route. The route was sprayed with chemicals to minimise the effect of the annual toxic smog that blankets the megacity in winter due to traffic and industrial pollution crop subble, burning and cold temperature.

(11/29/2020) Views: 40 ⚡AMP
by Willie Korir
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Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

Ethiopia’s Birhanu Legese and Almaz Ayana took the honours at the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon, crossing the line in the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in 59:46 and 1:07:11 respectively to win, world and Olympic 10,000m champion Ayana was making her debut over the half marathon distance but hardly looked like a novice as she led home an Ethiopian clean sweep of...

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Defending champion Gemechu eyes hat-trick of course records at Delhi Half Marathon

Two-time defending champion Ethiopia''s Tsehay Gemechu on Thursday said she is aiming to break the course record for the third time in the women''s race of the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon here on Sunday.

The 21-year-old Gemechu made a huge impact on her ADHM debut in 2018, setting a women''s course record of 66:50. She then went on to better her own record by 50 seconds when she ran a stunning personal best of 66 minutes last year.

"This year again I''m going to try for the course record. After corona I have done a lot of training and I am in shape to go even faster than last year," Gemechu said at the pre-race press conference.

Her compatriot, men''s defending champion Andamlak Belihu, who will be aiming for an unprecedented third successive victory like Gemechu, also expressed his desire to break the course record.

The 22-year-old is coming off a fifth place finish in the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships and said he is in good shape despite the coronavirus pandemic stalling training earlier this year.

"I came fifth in the World Half Marathon Championships and after that I trained for a month to five weeks and my training improved. So, I''m expecting to go for the race record like last year. I''m in similar or maybe even better shape," Belihu said.

"Last year, I was just four seconds outside the course record (59:06 set by Ethiopia''s Guye Adola in 2014) and I think I can find the difference," the two-time champion added.

The 16th edition of the ADHM will see one of the best fields of international elite athletes with an unprecedented 13 men, having run under the world class bench mark of one hour, and seven women clocking sub-67 minutes results.

This year''s ADHM has two women''s world record holders in Kenya''s Brigid Kosgei (marathon record) and Ethiopian Ababel Yeshaneh (half marathon record) and an enticing battle between the two is on the cards.

"I am coming here looking to show what I can do after finishing fifth at the World Half," Yeshaneh said.

"I fell there (about three kilometres from the finish) and was very frustrated, finishing in tears, because I know I was in shape to win but you just have to pick yourself up and carry on. I have brought the shape I had in Poland to Delhi."

On the other hand, Kosgei stunned the world when she broke the long-standing women''s world marathon record by more than a minute at the 2019 Chicago Marathon, clocking 2:14:04, with Yeshaneh a distant second on that occasion although she still ran a superb personal best of 2:20:51.

However, Yeshaneh prevailed with a world record 64:31 at the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon in February this year with Kosgei (64:49) finishing second. More recently, Kosgei won the London Marathon on October 4 with a timing of 2:18:58.

"After London, I took 10 days off, but I have since had six weeks very good preparation for this race. I have a good record in half marathons, but I am not going to make predictions about this race as it is a very tough field," commented Kosgei.

(11/27/2020) Views: 35 ⚡AMP
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Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

Ethiopia’s Birhanu Legese and Almaz Ayana took the honours at the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon, crossing the line in the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in 59:46 and 1:07:11 respectively to win, world and Olympic 10,000m champion Ayana was making her debut over the half marathon distance but hardly looked like a novice as she led home an Ethiopian clean sweep of...

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Defending champions Belihu and Gemechu believe that course records could fall at the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon 2020

The topic of discussion at the traditional pre-race press conference for the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon on Thursday was whether the course records could be broken at this year’s World Athletics Gold Label Road Race on Sunday (29). The response was resoundingly positive from everyone.

"I have been training very well, and I was disappointed with my fifth place at the World Half Marathon Championships in Poland last month, so I am in shape and very motivated to run well here," commented the two-time men’s defending champion Andamlak Belihu, from Ethiopia.

"Last year, I was just four seconds outside the course record (59:06 set by Ethiopia’s Guye Adola in 2014) and I think I can find the difference." On Sunday, Belihu will be bidding for an unprecedented third successive title in the Indian capital but the course he will cover is radically different to the one he won on in 2018 and 2019.

To comply with prevailing health-related related measures, the runners will cover around 4.5 kilometres, starting at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, and then embark on two loops of approximately six kilometres, before returning to the finish outside the stadium by the same route.

"However, with smoother corners, less undulations and with the elite runners not having to contend with mass-race participants, I believe this is a faster course than previous years," said race director Hugh Jones.

Belihu’s compatriot Tsehay Gemechu, who revised the women’s course record when winning in both 2018 and 2019 - it currently stands at 66:00 - concurred with the comments about course records being in danger.

"I am in shape to go even faster than last year," said Gemechu. However, the defending champion will face an even stronger set of rivals on Sunday than the two outstanding fields she defeated in the past two years.

On the start line will be Gemechu’s fellow Ethiopian and world half marathon record holder Ababel Yeshaneh.

"I am coming here looking to show what I can do after finishing fifth at the World Half. I fell there (about three kilometres from the finish) and was very frustrated, finishing in tears, because I know I was in shape to win but you just have to pick yourself up and carry on. I have brought the shape I had in Poland to Delhi," said Yeshaneh

This year’s Airtel Delhi Half Marathon can boast of not one but two world record holders in the women’s race.

Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei stunned the world when she broke the long-standing women’s world marathon record by more than a minute at 2019 Chicago Marathon, clocking 2:14:04, with Yeshaneh a distant second on that occasion although she still ran a superb personal best of 2:20:51.

However, at the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon in February this year Yeshaneh prevailed in a world record 64:31 with Kosgei second in 64:49. More recently, Kosgei won the London Marathon on 4 October in 2:18:58. "After London, I took 10 days off, but I have since had six weeks very good preparation for this race. I have a good record in half marathons, but I am not going to make predictions about this race as it is a very tough field. Some of the ladies may be better prepared as they competed at the World Half Marathon Championships last month," commented Kosgei.

(11/26/2020) Views: 56 ⚡AMP
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Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

Ethiopia’s Birhanu Legese and Almaz Ayana took the honours at the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon, crossing the line in the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in 59:46 and 1:07:11 respectively to win, world and Olympic 10,000m champion Ayana was making her debut over the half marathon distance but hardly looked like a novice as she led home an Ethiopian clean sweep of...

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Indian Steeplechase runner Avinash Sable wants to challenge the best at Delhi half-marathon

India’s 3,000-meter steeplechase record holder and Olympic hopeful Avinash Sable, starved of track races ahead of the Tokyo Games due to the pandemic, will run the weekend’s Airtel Delhi half marathon to keep his competitive juices flowing.

“My goal is to stay with the leading pack of elite runners and give a good timing,” Sable said from his base in Bengaluru on Tuesday.

His coach Amrish Kumar said the target was to clock 60 minutes for the 21.0975 km race. “He has been doing really well in training. In the lockdown period too he has been training consistently. He can go all out,” Kumar said.

If Sable achieves his ambitious target, he will better the national best—1:03:46 by Kalidas Nirave. The Indian best in the Airtel race is 1:03:54. Sable has not run under 64 minutes.

Sable often used to run road races in winter months when there are no track races, but has never attempted to race with the elite group led by Kenyans and Ethiopians due to the scorching pace they set. The elite winner usually runs under 60 minutes.

The surge in coronavirus cases across the globe has disrupted the athletics calendar as well. Sable said Sunday’s race will be a good platform to test his nerves. “I’m hungry to run hard and fast,” he added.

“The season has been frustrating. There was no competition because of the pandemic. I have done good endurance training. So I thought this will be a good platform to test myself against international athletes at home.

“I don’t run in marathons now—the last was in 2017. Both steeplechase and half marathons are tests of endurance. I was doing high-altitude training in Ooty in July and shifted to Bengaluru in August under Amrish sir,” Sable said.

Last year, the Maharashtra runner’s heroic efforts at the Doha world championships earned him a ticket to the Olympics. He lowered the national record twice in steeplechase, clocking a best of 8min, 21.37 secs (Olympics qualification mark: 8 min, 22 secs) in the final, finishing 13th out of 16 competitors.

“In steeplechase, I have worked on my speed, strength and hurdle technique. I know we will not get many competitions before Olympics. I have to work harder to improve,” said Sable.

(11/25/2020) Views: 66 ⚡AMP
by Navneet Singh and Avishek Roy
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Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

Ethiopia’s Birhanu Legese and Almaz Ayana took the honours at the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon, crossing the line in the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in 59:46 and 1:07:11 respectively to win, world and Olympic 10,000m champion Ayana was making her debut over the half marathon distance but hardly looked like a novice as she led home an Ethiopian clean sweep of...

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Ababel Yeshaneh, Brigid Kosgei, Kibiwott Kandie and Jacob Kiplimo will renew rivalry at Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon

The fastest half-marathon in the world has attracted the best half-marathon runners on the planet again.

The 15th edition of the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon on February 19 will see reigning champions Kibiwott Kandie and Ababel Yeshaneh defending their titles while world half-marathon champion Jacob Kiplimo and world marathon record-holder Brigid Kosgei will try to wrestle their titles off them.

The event, which is often known simply as ‘the RAK Half’ and which takes place on a super-fast course in the northernmost emirate of the United Arab Emirates in three months’ time, will see mouth-watering clashes in separate men’s and women’s races. More entries are expected to be announced in coming weeks but so far they include:

» Kibiwott Kandie – fastest man in the world over 13.1 miles in 2020 with 58:38 from Prague in September and winner in Ras Al Khamah in February with 58:58. The Kenyan (below) was also runner-up in the World Half Marathon Championships in 58:54, making him the first man to run sub-59min three times in one year.

» Jacob Kiplimo – the Ugandan took the world-marathon title ahead of Kandie in Gdynia last month following a track season that saw him run 7:26.64 for 3000m and 12:48.63 for 5000m. Only 20, he also took world cross-country champs silver behind Joshua Cheptegei in Aarhus last year.

» Ababel Yeshaneh – set a women’s world half-marathon record of 64:31 to win the Ras Al Khaimah race in February. At the World Half in Gdynia she was fifth but the Ethiopian fell in the closing stages. Over the marathon she was runner-up to Kosgei in Chicago last year with 2:20:51.

» Brigid Kosgei – world record-holder for the marathon with 2:14:04 from Chicago in 2019 and winner of the last two London Marathons, whereas over 13.1 miles the Kenyan (below) was 18 seconds behind Yeshaneh in Ras Al Khaimah this year in the second-fastest time in history.

The race is often dominated by east African distance runners but Sara Hall of the United States is one of the early entries, too, and will be sure to attract interest from US fans after her battling runner-up performance at the London Marathon in October.

“This is the fastest half-marathon course in the world and we want it to maintain its fame,” says Ras Al Khaimah Half race director Andrea Trabuio.

With the coronavirus pandemic causing problems around the world, Trabuio says the elite races and non-elite events will be run separately on February 19 in order to maintain social distancing. With the non-elite event there will be seven waves with about 400 runners in each wave with temperature checks at the start and masks being worn for the first few hundred meters.

(11/25/2020) Views: 48 ⚡AMP
by Jason Henderson
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Rak Half Marathon

Rak Half Marathon

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

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Finalists for Female Athlete of the Year 2020

With just 11 days to go until the World Athletics Awards 2020, the names of the five finalists for the Female World Athlete of the Year 2020 have been confirmed.

In spite of the many challenges presented by the global Covid-19 pandemic this year, the five athletes, who represent five countries and four area associations, have excelled, producing brilliant performances across a range of athletics disciplines in 2020.

The finalists are (in alphabetical order):

Letesenbet Gidey, Ethiopia- set a world record of 14:06.62 over 5000m- was second in the 5000m at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Monaco

Sifan Hassan, Netherlands- set a world record of 18,930m in the one hour run- set a European record of 29:36.67 over 10,000m, the fourth fastest performance in history

Peres Jepchirchir, Kenya- won the world half marathon title- twice broke the world half marathon record for a women-only race (1:05:34 and 1:05:16)

Yulimar Rojas, Venezuela- undefeated in four triple jump competitions indoors and outdoors- broke the world indoor triple jump record with 15.43m

Elaine Thompson-Herah, Jamaica- undefeated in seven 100m races- ran world-leading 10.85 over 100m

The male and female World Athletes of the Year will be announced live at the World Athletics Awards 2020 to be staged as a virtual event on Saturday 5 December and streamed live on the World Athletics YouTube channel, its Facebook page and via Twitter.

(11/24/2020) Views: 36 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Ethiopia’s Andamlak Belihu eyeing course record at 2020 Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

This year has been tough for all of us, especially athletes since we have not been able to train at our optimum level due to the circumstances.

However, it's always exciting to come back to the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon and I have trained to the fullest in the last one month for the race.

The World Half Marathon Championships in October was really difficult for me. With the training areas closed for a considerable amount of time, it was hard for me to get the desired result.

But my fitness levels are really good and I am feeling confident. The feeling about myself is brilliant at the moment and I am coming not just to win, but to aim for the course record timing as well.

The Airtel Delhi Half Marathon is the most prestigious half marathon for a reason. The course is exquisite and India is a beautiful country with a rich culture much like Ethiopia.

I am really looking forward to a cracking race and I am very confident about improving my timing this year.

All the athletes in the race are going to bring out their A-game and that's what will make the contest all the more exciting.

It's going to be a bit different this time though, as the people of Delhi will not be able to cheer us on. However, safety ensured for everyone involved in the event is important.

Extremely grateful to know all teams involved have worked hard to detail out various Covid-secure protocols and better running conditions have been given topmost priority.

(11/24/2020) Views: 57 ⚡AMP
by Andamlak Belihu
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Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

Ethiopia’s Birhanu Legese and Almaz Ayana took the honours at the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon, crossing the line in the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in 59:46 and 1:07:11 respectively to win, world and Olympic 10,000m champion Ayana was making her debut over the half marathon distance but hardly looked like a novice as she led home an Ethiopian clean sweep of...

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World record holders Brigid Kosgei and Ababel Yeshaneh are set to clash at Delhi Half Marathon

World record holders Brigid Kosgei and Ababel Yeshaneh have been added to the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon women's field, making the 16th edition of this World Athletics Gold Label race on 29 November the strongest in the history of event - and one of the strongest half marathon contests in the world in 2020.

At the Chicago Marathon in October 2019, Kenya’s Kosgei stunned the world when she broke the long-standing women’s world marathon record by more than a minute, clocking 2:14:04. Yeshaneh was a distant second on that occasion but nevertheless still ran a superb personal best of 2:20:51.

However, the tables were turned at the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon in February this year when a head-to-head contest in the final stages of the race saw Ethiopia’s Yeshaneh prevail in a world record 1:04:31 with Kosgei second in 1:04:49.

In their most recent outings last month, the 26-year-old Kosgei won the rescheduled London Marathon in 2:18:58 while the 29-year-old Yeshaneh had to contend with misfortune and fell at the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships in Gdynia, Poland, with just over three kilometres remaining, which took her out of medal contention although she recovered quickly to finish fifth.

A trio of Ethiopian runners have already been announced that will provide stiff competition for Kosgei and Yeshaneh as well as a host of other world class athletes.

Women's course record holder Tsehay Gemechu is seeking an unprecedented third successive victory. In 2019, Gemechu improved her own course record from 12 months earlier by no less than 50 seconds when she stopped the clocking 1:06:00.

Yeshaneh and Gemechu's compatriots on the start line in in the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium include Yalemzerf Yehualaw and Netsanet Gudeta.

Yehualaw finished second in the ADHM 2019, just one second behind Gemechu, and third at the 2020 World Championships last month in a personal best of 1:05:19 while Gudeta finished eighth in Poland but was the 2018 world half marathon champion.

Both the men's and women's races have first prize cheques of US$27,000, part of a total prize money purse (combined men and women) of US$233,270.

Strict safety measures in place

This year's race will be unlike any previous edition with only an estimated 60 elite international and Indian runners in action on the Delhi roads, with the traditional start and finish still in the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. The event will follow the highest level of safety standards, with bio-secure zones to ensure a COVID-free race for the runners. All mandatory protocols in line with the advisories issued by the Government of India have been established for the event crew, vendors and suppliers, elite athletes, media and all guests.

(11/21/2020) Views: 65 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

Ethiopia’s Birhanu Legese and Almaz Ayana took the honours at the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon, crossing the line in the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in 59:46 and 1:07:11 respectively to win, world and Olympic 10,000m champion Ayana was making her debut over the half marathon distance but hardly looked like a novice as she led home an Ethiopian clean sweep of...

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Africa cross country silver medalist Leonard Barsoton is now eyeing New Delhi Half Marathon

Fresh from competing at the World Half Marathon in Gdynia, Poland, former Africa cross country silver medalist Leonard Barsoton is now eyeing honors in New Delhi Half Marathon.

In an interview, Barsoton said his mission in New Delhi will not only be to win the title but also to improve on his 59:09 personal best.

“I am working towards this and I am sure come the New delhi event, I will be ready,” said Barsoton.

The New Delhi race will be his third this year after finishing sixth at the Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) Half Marathon and winning Kolkata 25km road race, where he lowered Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele’s

“This will be my first race after World Half Marathon and I know I am capable of pulling it off,” he noted.

Barsoton, who is also the Africa Games 10,000m silver medalist, bragged that he is an all weather runner hence he is not worried of the harsh climatic conditions in New Delhi.

Barsoton will enjoy the company of fellow Kenyans  Josphat Boit (59:19) and Edwin Kiptoo (59:26).

Others in the race are Abraham Cheroben (Bahrain) and Ethiopia’s Guye Adola, Amdework Walelegn, Andamlak Belihu and Solomon Berihu.

(11/18/2020) Views: 68 ⚡AMP
by Emmanuel Sabuni
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Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

Ethiopia’s Birhanu Legese and Almaz Ayana took the honours at the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon, crossing the line in the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in 59:46 and 1:07:11 respectively to win, world and Olympic 10,000m champion Ayana was making her debut over the half marathon distance but hardly looked like a novice as she led home an Ethiopian clean sweep of...

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2020 Delhi Half Marathon (Nov 29th) Is Loaded As Usual – 12 sub-60 men and 9 sub-70 women will compete

Race promoters Procam International are happy to announce that defending champions Andamlak Belihu and Tsehay Gemecu will return to the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon for the 16th edition of this prestigious World Athletics Gold Label Road Race on Sunday 29 November.

The Ethiopian pair will both be aiming for an unprecedented third successive victory in the Indian capital.

“I have been training well in (the Ethiopia capital) AddisAbaba for the last couple of months and I am very thankful to have the opportunity to race in Delhi, a city I always enjoy returning to and racing in,” commentedBelihu, who will turn 22 just over a week before race day.

“This has been a difficult year, for everyone around the world, not just professional athletes, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and I have been training alone much more than that I am normally used to but my fifth place at the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships in Poland last month has assured me that I am in good shape and I am confident I can put up a good defence of my title,” he added.

Belihu’s compatriot Guye Adola still holds the ADHM course record with 59:06 that the latter clocked in 2014 but Belihu has gone very close in the last two years with 59:18 and a personal best 59:10 in 2018 and 2019 respectively.

He will be aiming to finally go into new territory on the streets of Delhi, perhaps even going under 59 minutes, and confirm his place as the most successful runner in ADHM history after having also placed second in his race debut in 2017.

An unprecedented 13 men in the ADHM 2020 elite field have run under the world class benchmark of one hour, and five of them have actually run faster than Belihu in their careers including Adola who returns to Delhi for the first time since his record run six years ago.

The fastest man in the field is Bahrain’s 2018 World Athletics Half Marathon Championships silver medallist Abraham Cheroben, who holds the Asian record for the distance with 58:40.

Two other men to watch will be the Ethiopian pair of Amdework Walelegn, who was second in Delhi last year and also took the bronze medal at 2020 World Athletics Half Marathon Championships last month, and 2017 and 2019 world 5000m champion Muktar Edris, who will be making his half marathon debut.

Last year, Tsehay Gemechu improved her own women’s course record from 2018 by no less 50 seconds when she ran a stunning personal best of 66:00

Ideally, Gemechu would like to go even faster this year but, like so many runners around the world, her training and racing this year have been hugely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“COVID-19 is a disaster which has affected everyone’s life all over the globe and, definitely, it has affected my training, not least in the early stages of the pandemic when we were all fearful of infection. Later, my coach and I decided to take care of ourselves, taking into account all the advice from the World Health Organisation, and I started my own individual training programme with my main goal of coming back to Delhi, although since September I have had some races on the track,”reflected Gemechu, who will turn 22 in December.

“Like all the athletes who will be coming to Delhi, I’d like to express my thanks to the race promoters Procam International who have committed their time and effort and invested their money in making sure this race goes ahead while we all respect the appropriate health measures,” sheadded.

Gemechu will have a host of outstanding rivals in this year’s race, arguably the strongest women’s field ever seen in the history of the ADHM with seven women having run under 67 minutes.

Among them are two of her compatriots, Yalemzerf Yehualaw and Netsanet Gudeta.

The in-form Yehualaw finished second in the ADHM 2019, just one second behind Gemechu, and showed she’s a rising star of women’s distance running by finishing third at the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships last month in a personal best of 65:19. Gudeta, the 2018 world half marathon champion. was eighth in Poland but helped Ethiopia to team gold.

Both the men’s and women’s races have a first prize cheques of US$27,000 with a total prize money purse (combined men and women) of US$233,270.

The ADHM 2020 will be unlike any previous edition with an estimated 60 elite international and Indian runners in action on the Delhi roads, with the traditional start and finish still in the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. The event will follow the highest level of safety and hygiene standards with bio-secure zones to ensure a COVID-19 free race.

Non-elite runners of all abilities will have the chance to participate virtually from any location, running at any time between 25-29 November via the ADHM App. Details of how to download and use this app can found on the ADHM 2020 website airteldelhihalfmarathon.procam.in

Procam International Pvt. Ltd. A-262, 1st Floor, Defence Colony, New Delhi – 110024. India, Tel. +91112433 5984/85/86 Fax +911141634836

Elite fields for the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon 2020 (with personal bests)

Men

Andamlak Belihu (ETH) 59:10

Abraham Cheroben (BRN) 58:40

Guye Adola (ETH) 59:06

Amdework Walelegn (ETH) 59:08

Leonard Barsoton (KEN) 59:09

Solomon Berihu (ETH) 59:17

Josphat Boit (KEN) 59:19

Edwin Kiptoo (KEN) 59:26

Stephen Mokoka (RSA) 59:36

Abrar Osman (ERI) 59:47

Aron Kifle (ERI) 59:51

Dawit Wolde (ETH) 59:58

Women

Tsehay Gemechu (ETH) 66:00

Yalemzerf Yehualaw (ETH) 65:19

Ruth Chepngetich (KEN) 65:30

Netsanet Gudeta (ETH) 65:45

Evaline Chirchir (KEN) 66:01

Brillian Kipkoech (KEN) 66:56

Irene Cheptai (KEN) 67:39

Mimi Belete (BRN) 68:16

Failuna Matanga (TAN) 69:36

Nazret Weldu (ERI) 70:51

Tsigie Gebreselama (ETH) debut

Hawi Feysa (ETH) debut

Eva Cherono (KEN) debut

(11/15/2020) Views: 75 ⚡AMP
by Lets Run
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Defending champions Tsehay Gemechu and Andamlak Belihu set to face tough opposition at Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

Organizers of the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon have announced that Tsehay Gemechu and Andamlak Belihu will defend their titles at the World Athletics Gold Label road race on Sunday 29 November.

The Ethiopian duo will both be aiming for an unprecedented third successive victory in the Indian capital, but both will race strong fields containing world champions.

Last year, Gemechu improved her own course record from 2018 by 50 seconds when she ran a stunning personal best of 1:06:00.

Ideally, Gemechu would like to go even faster this year but, like so many runners around the world, her training and racing this year have been hugely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Covid-19 is a disaster which has affected everyone's life all over the globe and, definitely, it has affected my training, not least in the early stages of the pandemic when we were all fearful of infection,” said Gemechu, who will turn 22 next month.

“Later, my coach and I decided to take care of ourselves, taking into account all the advice from the World Health Organization, and I started my own individual training programme with my main goal of coming back to Delhi.”

Gemechu will have a host of outstanding rivals in this year's race, arguably the strongest women's field ever seen in the history of the Delhi Half Marathon with seven women having run under 67 minutes.

Among them are two of her compatriots, Yalemzerf Yehualaw and Netsanet Gudeta, as well as world marathon champion Ruth Chepngetich.

The in-form Yehualaw finished second at the 2019 Deli Half Marathon, just one second behind Gemechu, and showed she's a rising star of distance running by finishing third at the World Half Marathon Championships in Gdynia last month in a personal best of 1:05:19.

Gudeta, the 2018 world half marathon champion, was eighth in Gdynia after falling over mid-race, but helped Ethiopia to team gold.

Chepngetich won the world marathon title in Doha last year, having clocked PBs of 1:05:30 for the half marathon and 2:17:08 for the marathon earlier in the season. More recently, she finished third at the London Marathon in 2:22:05.

Belihu will be aiming to finally go into new territory on the streets of Delhi, perhaps even finishing inside 59 minutes, and confirm his place as the most successful runner in Delhi Half Marathon history after having also placed second in his race debut in 2017.

“I have been training well in Addis Ababa for the last couple of months and I am very thankful to have the opportunity to race in Delhi, a city I always enjoy returning to and racing in,” said Belihu, who will turn 22 just over a week before race day.

“This has been a difficult year, for everyone around the world, not just professional athletes, due to the Covid-19 pandemic and I have been training alone much more than I am normally used to,” he added. “But my fifth place at the World Half Marathon Championships in Poland last month has assured me that I am in good shape and I am confident I can put up a good defence of my title.”

The 2020 Delhi Half Marathon will be unlike any previous edition with an estimated 60 elite international and Indian runners in action on the Delhi roads, with the traditional start and finish still in the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. The event will follow the highest level of safety and hygiene standards with bio-secure zones to ensure a Covid-19-free race.

(11/11/2020) Views: 80 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

Ethiopia’s Birhanu Legese and Almaz Ayana took the honours at the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon, crossing the line in the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in 59:46 and 1:07:11 respectively to win, world and Olympic 10,000m champion Ayana was making her debut over the half marathon distance but hardly looked like a novice as she led home an Ethiopian clean sweep of...

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Kenyan´s Rhonex Kipruto and Jacob Kiplimo from Uganda contest key talking point in Valencia race

Last month, Kiplimo shocked the world by winning the World Half Marathon title in 58min, 49sec, beating a strong field featuring Kenya’s Kibiwott Kandie who came second in 58:54 and Ethiopia’s Amedework Walelegn who sealed the podium places in 59:08.

Both Kipruto and Kiplimo have been preparing for the race individually, although the Kenyan has kept his cards very close to his chest.

The two athletes last met during the 2018 World Under-20 Championships held in Tampere, Finland, where Kipruto bagged gold in a course record time of 27:21.08.

Kiplimo wound up in second place after timing 27:40.36, while Ethiopia’s Berihu Aregawi was in third in 27:48.41.

Kipruto is no stranger to Valencia, the athlete having set the world record over 5km (13:18) in the 12th edition of the 10K Valencia Ibercaja on January 14. However, this year’s race was assigned a Gold Label status by World Athletics.

Kipruto has been training in Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet for the race, which he reckons will be a close contest.

“We have some few weeks before competition. I have been out of competition since January and naturally, I want to perform well. It will be a tight race but I will do my best.  I always believe in going for glory,” he told Nation Sport Sunday.

He is not bothered by his rival Kiplimo and has vowed to stick to his game plan, the last details of which he will finalise in training weeks ahead of the race.

The 2016 World Half Marathon silver medalist Bedan Karoki who is currently training in Japan, Alfred Barkach, Stephen Kiprop and Kelvin Kiptum will be also compete in the 21km race.

Sheila Chepkirui who won the Valencia and Prague 10km Run in January will compete in the women’s 21km race. She will come up against defending champion Senbere Teferi from Ethiopia.

(11/09/2020) Views: 93 ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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Valencia Half Marathon

Valencia Half Marathon

The Trinidad Alfonso Valencia Half Marathon has become one of the top running events in the world in its 25th year. For the second year running, Valencia is the fastest half marathon in the world. The race, organized by SD Correcaminos Athletics Club, celebrated its silver anniversary in style with record participation, record crowd numbers, Silver label IAAF accreditation and...

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Benard Cheruiyot Sang and Diana Chemtai Kipyogei of Kenya won in the men’s and women’s category respectively in Sunday’s Istanbul Marathon.

The world’s only intercontinental marathon, in addition to being in the World Athletics' Gold category, the 42.195-kilometer (26.2-mile) event was run without spectators this year to protect against the transmission of COVID-19.

Sang completed the race at 2 hours, 11 minutes and 49 seconds, his personal best. He was followed by fellow Kenyan Felix Kimutai at 2:12:00. Ethiopia's Zewudu Hailu Bekele took third, finishing in 2:12:23.

Diana Chemtai Kipyogei won the top women's title by completing the race in 2:22:06. Ethiopia's Hiwot Gebrekidan and Tigist Memuye secured the second and third spots with running times of 2:24:30 and 2:37:52 respectively.

In a separate event for local athletes, Yavuz Ağralı won the marathon's Turkish championship by completing the course at 2:19:23. In women’s, Tubay Erdal, who took sixth in the general category, won the Turkish championship by finishing the race in 2:41:11.

The marathon reversed its course for the first time this year. Instead of starting from the Asian side of the city, athletes took off from the European side. Another change to this year’s race was crossing the July 15 Martyrs’ Bridge over the Bosporus twice this year.

The marathon began at Yenikapı, a venue allocated for large-scale rallies, on the city’s European side, to give more space to runners amid the pandemic. Athletes then crossed a route straddling in front of the city’s ancient city walls before reaching the iconic Galata Bridge. They then headed to Beşiktaş and climbed Barbaros Boulevard, a long uphill stretch needed to reach the bridge. After a U-turn at Altunizade on the Asian side, they returned to Europe to wrap up the race.

The pandemic forced organizers to scrap the 15-kilometer race and an 8-kilometer “public” run. Instead, participants were given the opportunity to “Run Alone, With Us” in which they could take part in virtual races of 5, 10 or 15 kilometers.

There were also a pandemic-limited number of participants, as only 4,000 people ran the race compared with around 37,000 last year.

Athletes were required to keep a distance of 1.5 meters between them at the starting line and took off at five-second intervals in different groups to prevent crowding. They were only allowed to remove their masks after the marathon began.

 

(11/09/2020) Views: 55 ⚡AMP
by Daily Sabah
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Vodafone Istanbul Marathon

Vodafone Istanbul Marathon

At the beginning, the main intention was simply to organise a marathon event. Being a unique city in terms of history and geography, Istanbul deserved a unique marathon. Despite the financial and logistical problems, an initial project was set up for the Eurasia Marathon. In 1978, the officials were informed that a group of German tourists would visit Istanbul the...

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Ethiopia's Hailu Zewdu and Diana Chemtai lead their respective fields for the Istanbul Marathon as the World Athletics Gold Label road race series resumes in Turkey's largest city on Sunday

Zewdu made his marathon debut at the Dubai Marathon in January, clocking 2:06:31 to finish 10th. He'll be joined by compatriot Tsegaye Getachew, the next fastest in the field with a 2:06:50 career best, set at the Valencia Marathon last year where he finished eighth. Earlier in the year Getachew won the Dalian Marathon in 2:11:25, his first and to date only international victory over the distance.

Felix Kimutai, with 2:09:23 credentials, leads the Kenyan contingent. The 31-year-old won here in 2018 and finished third one year ago.

Cosmas Birech, who clocked 2:08:03 to win the Rome Marathon in 2018, is also in the field, along with Edwin Soi, the 2008 Olympic bronze medallist over 5000m, who'll be making his marathon debut.

Local hopes will rest with Yavuz Agrali, who set his 2:10:41 lifetime best in Seville in February.

Chemtai, who made her marathon debut last year, leads the women's field. The 26-year-old Kenyan clocked 2:22:07 at last year's Ljubljana Marathon, finishing third. She has a 1:07:07 half marathon best from 2018.

She'll face a pair of formidable Ethiopians, Hiwot Gebrekidan and Yeshi Kalayu Chekole. Gebrekidan has a 2:23:50 career best set in Guangzhou last year while Chekole, 23, has a 2:24:28 best set in Abu Dhabi, also one year ago.

Strict safety measures in place

Organisers have put several measures in place to ensure the safety of all runners, beginning with a cap of 3000 participants.

The start and finish area was moved to a massive open space to ensure a safe distance between the runners both before and after the race. The area will be secured, barring entry to anyone without a clearance code provided by Turkey's Ministry of Health. A negative test for Covid-19 was required to enter the race.

All participants, including the elite athletes, will be required to wear face masks at the start, and will be able to dispose of them in designated boxes at 20 metres, 200 metres and one kilometres from the start.

The gun will sound the start of the elite race at 9am. The mass race will follow with groups of four runners starting every five seconds.

The change in course means that this year, instead of starting on the Asian side of the city and finishing on the European side, runners will first cross from Europe to Asia and then back again. With the change to a much more difficult course, organisers don't expect the race records - Daniel Kipkore Kibet's 2:09:44 set in 2019 and Ruth Chepngetich's 2:18:35 from 2018 - to be under threat.

The accompanying shorter races that regularly attract up to 70,000 participants were cancelled this year.

(11/07/2020) Views: 79 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Vodafone Istanbul Marathon

Vodafone Istanbul Marathon

At the beginning, the main intention was simply to organise a marathon event. Being a unique city in terms of history and geography, Istanbul deserved a unique marathon. Despite the financial and logistical problems, an initial project was set up for the Eurasia Marathon. In 1978, the officials were informed that a group of German tourists would visit Istanbul the...

more...
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The Kenyan trio of Hellen Obiri, Faith Kipyegon and Peres Jepchirchir are among 10 nominees for the 2020 World Athletes of the Year- Female Award

The winner will be declared during the 2020 World Athletics Awards to be held virtually on December 5.

Obiri, the World 5,000m champion, remained undefeated in three races over 3000m and 5000m during this season's Diamond League and ran a world-leading of 8:22.54 over 3000m at Doha on September 25.

Kipyegon also had a great year undefeated in five races over all distances and also ran world-leading performances over 800m (1:57.68) and 1000m (2:29.15) in Doha.

Peres Jepchirchir twice broke the world half marathon record for a women-only race (1:05:34 and 1:05:16) at the Prague Half Marathon and at the World Half Marathon Championship. No Kenyan woman has ever emerged the World Athlete of the Year winner despite their dominance in long distance races.

On Monday, Kenya's Timothy Cheruiyot was shortlisted for the men's award.

World Athletics disclosed on Tuesday that the list of 10 nominees for the Female World Athlete of the Year were selected by an international panel of athletics experts comprising representatives from all six continental areas of World Athletics.

“The nominations reflect the remarkable range of exceptional performances that the sport has witnessed this year, despite the challenges that the global Covid-19 pandemic presented,” said a statement on World Athletics website.

The trio of Kenyans will definitely face stiff competition from Muir, Gidey, Ababel Yeshaneh and Ethiopian-born Dutch European 10,000m record holder, Sifan Hassan. Also to watch out is Jamaican sprinting queen Elaine Thompson-Herah.

 

(11/04/2020) Views: 49 ⚡AMP
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Britain’s Laura Muir and Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei among World Athletics awards nominees

Britain’s Laura Muir is among the nominees for the female world athlete of the year honor, while Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei is on a shortlist for the male prize at the World Athletics Awards.

This year the global governing body’s awards event will be held virtually on Saturday December 5.

Muir clocked 1500m times of 3:57.40, 3:57.86 and 3:58.24 to lead the world rankings and set a British 1000m record of 2:30.82 in 2020, while Cheptegei broke three world records throughout the year – running 12:51 for a road 5km, 12:35.36 for 5000m on the track and 26:11.00 for 10,000m on the track.

Ethiopia’s Letesenbet Gidey, who set a world record of 14:06.62 over 5000m, and Netherlands’ Sifan Hassan, who recorded a world record distance of 18,930m in the one-hour run and broke the European 10,000m record with 29:36.67, are also among the female nominees.

The men’s shortlist also features Sweden’s world pole vault record-breaker Mondo Duplantis and Norway’s Karsten Warholm, who ran a world-leading 46.87 in the 400m hurdles and was unbeaten in that event.

Female world athlete of the year nominees: Femke Bol, Netherlands; Letesenbet Gidey, Ethiopia; Sifan Hassan, Netherlands; Peres Jepchirchir, Kenya; Faith Kipyegon, Kenya; Laura Muir, Great Britain and Northern Ireland; Hellen Obiri, Kenya; Yulimar Rojas, Venezuela; Elaine Thompson-Herah, Jamaica; Ababel Yeshaneh, Ethiopia

Male world athlete of the year nominees: Donavan Brazier, USA; Joshua Cheptegei, Uganda; Timothy Cheruiyot, Kenya; Ryan Crouser, USA; Mondo Duplantis, Sweden; Jacob Kiplimo, Uganda; Noah Lyles, USA; Daniel Stahl, Sweden; Johannes Vetter, Germany; Karsten Warholm, Norway

A three-way voting process will determine the finalists. The World Athletics Council and the World Athletics Family will cast their votes by email, while fans can vote online via the World Athletics’ social media platforms.

As well as male and female athlete of the year honors, the World Athletics Awards will include the president’s award, coaching achievement award and athletics photograph of the year, as well as a Covid inspiration award, athletes community award and member federations award.

Last year Eliud Kipchoge and Dalilah Muhammad were named world athletes of the year, while the 2018 winners were Kipchoge and Caterine Ibarguen.

(11/03/2020) Views: 46 ⚡AMP
by Athletics Weekly
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Competition updates for some of the best races around the world

Here is a round-up of updates relating to international competitions, from cancellations to postponements and confirmations.

This page covers announcements made since the start of July. Up until the end of June, most other significant announcements were incorporated into our 'new normal' reporting pages.

If you're a competition organiser and have news to share regarding the staging of your event, please share it with us.

Boston Marathon (was 19 Apr 2021, now autumn 2021) - postponed

The Boston Athletic Association announced that the 125th Boston Marathon, traditionally held on the third Monday in April — Patriots’ Day in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts — will be postponed until at least the fall of 2021 due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.Announcement (28 October)

Tokyo Marathon (was 7 Mar 2021, now 17 Oct 2021) - rescheduled

The 2021 Tokyo Marathon will be held on Sunday 17 October 2021 with the intention of having an elite and mass race. Further details will be released in due course.Announcement (9 October)

Cross Internacional de Soria (22 Nov 2020) - cancelled

“The current situation in our territory, although much more favorable than in recent times, makes it impossible for us to stage the Cross Internacional de Soria. This Soriana Athletics Delegation, fully supported in its activities by the Soria City Council and the Soria Provincial Council, has therefore decided to cancel the 2020 Cross Internacional de Soria."(8 October)

Athens Authentic Marathon (8 Nov 2020) - cancelled

"Even by following a strict manual of rules and regulations - staging only the marathon race and not the shorter races, reducing the number of participants and having all participants to go through a Covid-19 test before the race - it was not enough. It seems that such measures would not secure the absolute safety of runners’ health, which is and will be the top priority in our minds."Announcement (1 October)

Cross de Atapuerca (15 Nov 2020) - cancelled

“Given the evolution of the Covid-19 pandemic and the impossibility of guaranteeing the safety of participants and the general public, it has been decided to cancel the Cross de Atapuerca for this year. We look forward to enjoying this outstanding sporting event again next year."(23 September)

European Cross Country Championships (13 Dec 2020) - cancelled

European Athletics has confirmed the cancellation of the European Cross Country Championships that was due to take place in Dublin, Ireland, on 13 December. As a part of an Executive Board meeting held in Lausanne, European Athletics spoke with the Fingal-Dublin 2020 local organising committee concerning the current Covid-19 situation in Ireland and the impact that this may have on the 2020 European Cross Country Championships. It soon became clear that, due to the overall uncertainty on hosting mass sporting events, the existing sanitary restrictions in Ireland, and the travel restrictions imposed across Europe due to the coronavirus pandemic, it would not be possible to host the event as scheduled.

Valencia Marathon (6 Dec 2020) - UPDATE

Update: The mass race has been cancelled, but the elite races will take place. 

World Mountain Running Championships (13-14 Nov 2020) - cancelled

"Together with our friends in the organisation team (Arista events), the local Haria government on Lanzarote and the Spanish Athletics Federation (RFEA), we have decided that this is the best action to take. It is regrettable that our mountain running community and family can not meet and share the experiences together that we have grown to love over the past 36 years of WMRA competitions."Announcement (4 September)

Meeting Città di Padova (12 Sep 2020) - cancelled

"With the impossibility of guaranteeing a competition programme with the presence of a sufficient number of international athletes, due to the global continuation of the Covid-19 pandemic, we are forced to cancel the event."Announcement (31 August)

Amsterdam Marathon (18 Oct 2020) - cancelled

"The 45th edition of the TCS Amsterdam Marathon scheduled for Sunday 18 October 2020 has been cancelled. Despite the significantly modified programme, the Municipality of Amsterdam has decided not to grant a permit to the organiser, Le Champion, in light of the rising numbers of coronavirus infections in the capital. The international nature of the marathon and increasingly complex travel options have also been deciding factors behind the decision."Announcement (21 August)

IAU 50km World Championships (27 Nov 2020) - cancelled

"Following the development of the coronavirus situation in Jordan and across the region, it is with regret that we have to inform you of the cancellation of the 2020 IAU 50 km World Championships that was planned for 27th November in Aqaba, Jordan."Announcement (15 August)

Marathon des Alpes Maritimes Nice-Cannes (29 Nov 2020) - cancelled

"Unfortunately, after having tried everything to keep the race going, we find ourselves obliged to cancel the 2020 edition of the Marathon des Alpes Maritimes Nice-Cannes. To stem the spread of the coronavirus epidemic which is currently affecting France, the Mayor of Nice, Christian ESTROSI has just decided to cancel the sporting events which bring together more than 300 competitors scheduled in Nice on the calendar for this end of year 2020."Announcement (15 August)

Paris Marathon (15 Nov 2020) - cancelled

"Faced with the difficulty that many runners, especially those coming from abroad, had in making themselves available for the 14th / 15th November, it was decided that it would be better and simpler for those concerned if we organised the Schneider Electric Marathon de Paris in 2021."Announcement (12 August)

Frankfurt Marathon (25 Oct 2020) - cancelled

The race organisers have decided to cancel the Mainova Frankfurt Marathon 2020. The 39th edition of Germany’s oldest city marathon was to have taken place on 25 October. "We have not taken this step of cancellation lightly and have done our utmost to find solutions and alternatives," says race director Jo Schindler. "Now we have to face the cold reality that cancellation is inevitable."Announcement (11 August)

Nairobi Continental Tour Gold Meeting (was 26 Sep 2020, now 3 Oct 2020) - rescheduled

The Kip Keino Classic, a World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting which was moved to 26 September, was rescheduled once again and will take place on 3 October.

Doha Diamond League (25 Sep 2020) - rescheduled

The 2020 Wanda Diamond League today announced a further change to its 2020 calendar, with the date for the Doha Diamond League brought forward by around a fortnight. The fifth meeting of the season was scheduled for 9 October after it could not be held as the traditional season opener in April, but will now take place instead on 25 September. The plan is to stage 12 disciplines. A list of athletes who will compete in the Qatari capital will be announced in due course.Annoucement (3 August)

Valencia Half Marathon 2020 - cancelled

The 2020 Medio Marathon Valencia Trinidad Alfonso EDP, scheduled for Sunday 25 October has been cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation. In a statement, the organisers said: "SD Correcaminos (running club), the organiser of the Valencia Half-Marathon Trinidad Alfonso EDP, after fully appraising the health situation and consulting all the authorities involved, hereby announces the cancellation of the 30th edition of the race. The results of the appraisal and consultation showed that it was impossible to go ahead with the race, which was scheduled for the 25th of October 2020."Announcement (30 July)

Great Ethiopian Run (15 Nov 2020) - postponed

"The 20th edition of TOTAL Great Ethiopian Run International 10km was scheduled to be held on 15 November 2020. However, due to the current situation of Covid-19, we are forced to postpone the race. We will announce the new date on a later date. Please bear with us while we work through the details to deliver the 20th edition of our flagship race."Announcement (27 July)

Nanjing Continental Tour Gold Meeting 2020 - cancelled

Following the decision taken by China's National Administration of Sports to suspend all international sporting events until next year, organisers of the World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting in Nanjing have announced that the competition will not go ahead this year.Announcement (25 July)

Shanghai Diamond League (19 Sep 2020) - cancelled

Following the decision taken by the National Administration of Sports to suspend all international sporting events until next year, we are sorry to announce that the 2020 Shanghai Diamond League will not go ahead as planned on 19th September. The meeting will return next year, taking its traditional place as one of the early-season events in the Diamond League calendar.Announcement (24 July)

Müller Grand Prix, Gateshead (12 Sep 2020) - cancelled

The Wanda Diamond League today announced a further change to its 2020 calendar. The Müller Grand Prix in Gateshead, UK, scheduled for 12 September to have been the fifth competitive meeting of the season, has been cancelled.Announcement (23 July)

ISTAF (13 Sep 2020) - confirmed

“With 3500 spectators instead of 45,000, the ISTAF will certainly be different this time, but it may be a first small step back to normal," said meeting director Martin Seeber. "We want to set an example for sport and be a beacon for athletics."Announcement (21 July)

Hamburg Marathon (13 Sep 2020) - cancelled

Major sporting events in Hamburg, which have been postponed until late summer and autumn 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic that has been raging since spring 2020, will no longer take place this year, but will be postponed until 2021.Announcement (21 July)

Madrid Half Marathon (4 Oct 2020) - cancelled

"The organisation of the Movistar Madrid Half Marathon and the ProFuturo Race announce the cancellation of the 2020 edition, originally scheduled for 29 March and which, due to the coronavirus health emergency, was postponed to 4 October. The circumstances are still not ideal for the celebration of these two sporting events with a joint participation of close to 20,000 people, and the prospect for the coming months does not offer security guarantees for participants, spectators, volunteers and the organisation team either."Announcement (21 July)

Rotterdam Marathon (was 24-25 Oct 2020, now 10-11 April 2021) - postponed

"With pain in our hearts we have decided to reschedule the event due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation. The NN Marathon Rotterdam is now scheduled to take place on the 10th and 11th of April 2021. Every individual runner with a place in the 2020 edition will be able to use their place in the rescheduled event."Announcement (20 July)

Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon (7 Feb 2021) - cancelled

"The 75th anniversary running of the Kagawa Marugame International Half Marathon scheduled for 7 February 2021 will not take place. After careful consideration we determined that, with no visible end to the coronavirus crisis in sight, for the health and safety of participants, volunteers, staff, medical and rescue personnel, fans along the course and everyone else involved with our event, our 75th running must be postponed for one year."Announcement (20 July)

Meeting Liege (9 Sep 2020) - cancelled

"There will be no 19th edition of the Meeting International d'Athlétisme de la Province de Liège this year. The applicable corona measures meant it is not possible to organise the event properly later this summer. The 19th edition can take place in July 2021 and we are also looking forward to the 20th anniversary of this international event in 2022."Announcement (16 July)

Youth Olympic Games Dakar 2022 - postponed

Senegal and the International Olympic Committee have mutually agreed to postpone the Youth Olympic Games Dakar 2022 to 2026. This postponement meets the requirement of responsibility and the concern for efficiency imposed by current circumstances.Announcement (15 July)

Great Birmingham Run (11 Oct 2020) - cancelled

"There’s no option to stage the event as planned, or at a later date in the year."Announcement (15 July)

Chicago Marathon (11 Oct 2020) - cancelled

Event organisers and the City of Chicago announced the decision to cancel the 2020 Bank of America Chicago Marathon and all race weekend activities in response to the ongoing public health concerns brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.Announcement (13 July)

Toronto Marathon (18 Oct 2020) - cancelled

Working closely with the City of Toronto and Mayor John Tory, event organisers Canada Running Series have made the decision to cancel the event due to Covid-19 related health and safety concerns. "We are pleased to announce that we will be transitioning to a virtual event this year, to continue to offer the best possible running and fundraising goals in these challenging times."Announcement (13 July)

Seiko Golden Grand Prix Tokyo (was 10 May 2020, now 23 Aug 2020) - postponed

Originally set to take place on 10 May, the Seiko Golden Grand Prix – a World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting – will now be held on Sunday 23 August. “Only domestic athletes will participate,” read a statement on the meeting’s website. “We are also considering allowing high school athletes to play a role. Details will be announced once they are confirmed.”Announcement (13 July)

(11/02/2020) Views: 56 ⚡AMP
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Kenya's Amos Kipruto focused on Valencia Marathon

The 2019 World Athletics Championships marathon bronze medalist Amos Kipruto is intent on improving his personal best time even in a season adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

He will get another chance to attempt on lowering his personal mark of 2 hours 5 minutes 43 seconds when he races in the Valencia Marathon on December 6.

Kipruto has been fine-tuning for race in Kapsabet, Nandi County for several months now after his 18th placed finish in the Tokyo Marathon in March in a time of 2:08:00.

In an interview with Nation Sport, Kipruto said he was in good shape when he went to Japan for the Tokyo race but complications arose as he was running which slowed him down.

“It has been a challenging year and for me it started when I competed in the Tokyo Marathon. I had some calf muscle problem. I was disappointed to finish 18th,  but that is now gone and I am focused on doing well in Valencia and also going for a PB.”

“Being selected for the race is humbling and I must say I’m lucky because many athletes are at home and have not been able to compete,” said Kipruto.

According to Kipruto, the lineup looks tough with many Ethiopian athletes in the mix who have registered faster times than him.

(10/29/2020) Views: 74 ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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Creating the bubble, cutting-edge technology, flexible thinking – how the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon is the the only major city marathon to take place since the Covid-19 pandemic struck

The 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday 4 October was the first major marathon in the world to take place since the Covid-19 pandemic changed the sporting landscape. It was also the first truly global sporting event in the UK to take place in a non-stadium or venue setting since the country went into lockdown in March. How was it done?

An autumn London Marathon for the first time

The 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon was due to be held on Sunday 26 April – that now seems a lifetime ago. As the Covid-19 epidemic turned into a global pandemic, London Marathon Events announced on Friday 13 March that the event had been postponed to Sunday 4 October, the first time ever the London Marathon would be held in the autumn.

The postponement was announced at a time when hundreds of events across the UK were being cancelled. However, London Marathon Events, unlike virtually all other organisers, was able to announce a new date thanks to the strong relationships and huge support for the world’s greatest marathon and biggest one day annual fundraising event from a multitude of stakeholders and partners.

Speaking immediately after communicating the news to all runners who had signed up to run in the 2020 race, Hugh Brasher, Event Director of the Virgin Money London Marathon, said: “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.”

Only certainty is uncertainty

When the 4 October date was announced on Friday 13 March, the hope and expectation of Brasher and his team was the event would run in its usual format in 2020, just six months later. But the true scale of the pandemic was only just beginning to emerge. Just 10 days after the postponement announcement, the UK went into a full lockdown. As the country remained in lockdown throughout spring and into early summer, the London Marathon Events team were looking at all options to deliver one of Britain’s flagship sporting events while others fell by the wayside, seemingly on an almost weekly basis.

Brasher spoke to reporters ahead of what would have been the date of the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday 26 April and said: “The flame is still burning. 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 so much to take into account when making any decision.”

London Marathon Events committed to making a final decision on the 2020 event by August and staff continued to work on a range of scenarios as the landscape changed on an almost weekly basis. Scenarios ranged from holding a socially-distanced mass event to an elite-only race. As Brasher said continuously to his team, ‘the only certainty is uncertainty and we have to remain agile’.

Elite race confirmed

A final decision had to be made.

The overall picture in the UK during July and going into August, though improving, did not indicate that an event involving 40,000 people running through the streets of London in October would be possible. Sport had returned but was taking place behind closed doors. Restrictions were lifting gradually but local lockdowns were being implemented and there was a growing sense that once autumn and winter arrived, cases would again be on the rise.

London Marathon Events had been working on plans to deliver a socially distanced mass participation event – either a run or a walk – and were looking to use new technology which would monitor the distance participants were from one another throughout their run (this planning did not go to waste as it would be used for the elite event, more of which later).

Ultimately, however, the challenge of managing spectators, ensuring the emergency services had access across London, the increased likelihood of a second spike and the ongoing concern about the pressure on the NHS, ensured a final decision was made that there could be no mass-participation event on the streets of London.

Instead, the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon would have an entirely new format for 2021: elite races only on a closed-loop circuit in central London and a virtual race for 45,000 people who were encouraged to run the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon – Your Way, the first virtual event in the 40 year history of the London Marathon.

Build it and they will come

When athletes’ agents were first contacted to ask if their runners would be interested in coming to London, the response was unequivocal: if London Marathon Events could build it then the world’s best would come – it was now down to Brasher’s team to hold up their end of the bargain.

How do you put on an elite race for more than 100 of the best marathon athletes on the planet in a safe, secure environment? That would be a challenge given 12 months of planning but for London Marathon Events, the total preparation time amounted to about eight weeks.

The first priority was confirming a course. All other sports that had returned to action during the course of the summer of 2020 had done so in either a stadium (think football and cricket) or in a secure venue such as Silverstone in the case of F1. There had been no organisation that had tried to close down public roads to create an event.

The team’s solution was to create a venue that could be contained and prevent general public access. The organisation has a long-standing and strong relationship with The Royal Parks, the Mayor of London’s Office and Westminster City Council and their support meant the first choice of course could go ahead: the event to be held on a closed-loop circuit around St James’s Park in central London which would ensure the iconic finish on The Mall would remain in the same place as it has done for the past 27 years.

A constant dialogue with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) ensured that the Government gave its blessing to the plans and granted the necessary permissions for athlete travel. With the green light given, a 19.7 lap closed-loop circuit was created which followed the perimeter of St James’s Park, starting and finishing on The Mall. Screened barriers were to be erected on either side of the course to deter people from coming to watch on the day and, in effect, a venue had been created in the heart of London.

The London Marathon Events team was also able to build on invaluable experience from 12 months earlier as an integral part of the delivery team that put on the INEOS 1.59 Challenge, Eliud Kipchoge’s historic sub two hour marathon which took place on a closed loop circuit in Vienna. For that event, the team had carried out detailed research on putting a marathon on a looped course and, furthermore, when searching for a course for the INEOS 1.59 Challenge, had explored the the possibility of staging the challenge on the St James’s Park loop.

Creating a biosecure bubble

Securing a course and a world-class line up in four races (elite men, elite women and men’s and women’s wheelchair) was the relatively easy part – or at least areas of great expertise for the London Marathon Events team. However the team had no previous experience in putting on an event in a Covid-19 world but they learnt fast.

To make the race completely safe and secure for athletes and all staff, the team created a biosecure bubble around the event. Information on the best way to do this was garnered from other sports which had returned to action, as well as from medical and security experts and Government advisors from DCMS.

The biosecure bubble would be created from the moment the elite athletes arrived in the country to the moment they left the UK after the race. In total it amounted to a nine-day window from Sunday 28 September to Monday 5 October.

The first challenge was finding a location where elite marathon athletes could stay for the week leading up to the race. A checklist was drawn up for what was needed: exclusive use of a hotel, within an hour’s travelling distance from the course, grounds large enough for athletes to train in, big enough to create socially distanced eating and relaxation areas, the ability to hold remote press conferences…the list was exhaustive.

Eventually a hotel was found about 60 minutes outside central London. Its identity was kept secret to prevent anyone from turning up to see athletes. Hotel staff were booked in for the full eight days to ensure they were in the bubble and security was booked to man the site 24/7.

Race sponsor Abbott, a life-changing tech company and global diagnostics leader, provided the critically important Covid-19 testing for the elite athletes, staff and everyone else working in the biosecure bubble.

All elite athletes, their coaches and support staff had to undertake a Covid-19 test in their country of origin before flying into London, Anyone who failed a test could not travel. In addition, every single person that went into the hotel from the UK had to return a negative Covid-19 test four days prior to arrival. Everyone was tested again the day they arrived at the hotel and again on Friday 2 October. Absolutely nothing was left to chance.

Of all the athletes and support staff invited to London, only two people, both from Ethiopia, had positive Covid-19 tests prior to travel. Degitu Azimeraw, the 2019 Amsterdam Marathon champion, and Haji Adillio, the coach to the eventual men’s champion Shura Kitata, were the unfortunate pair prevented from travelling. Adillio had been away from home and only in contact by telephone with his athletes for the 10 days prior to the travel window, meaning his athletes could still travel.

Another headache for the London Marathon team was getting the athletes from their countries to London in a safe environment. The majority of the international athletes were coming from East Africa, either Kenya or Ethiopia, so to mitigate against the risk of small groups travelling on different scheduled flights to the UK, a charter flight was booked for all of the East Africans. The plane, containing world record holders Eliud Kipchoge and Brigid Kosgei, made stops in Eldoret, Kenya, and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, before heading to London.

Elsewhere around the world, athletes were boarding planes in the likes of Chicago, Melbourne and Amsterdam on their way to London.

On arrival at the hotel, every athlete and support staff member was tested again by the Abbott team and all tested negative. Everyone resident in the bubble was then tested again on Friday 2 October, two days before race day, for a final time. Given all the hard work and effort that had been put in by the organisers to this point, awaiting the final test results was undoubtedly the nerviest time in the entire event.

Extra reinforcement with cutting-edge Bump technology

Though the Friday testing was an anxious time for all, London Marathon staff were reassured by the knowledge that they had done everything in their power to ensure all those in the hotel were Covid free, including introducing new technology to implement social distancing.

The Bump devices, created by Tharsus, were worn by all elite athletes and 500 members of the Virgin Money London Marathon’s operational team both in the athlete hotel and at the venue to help maintain the biosecure bubble for the event.

The Bump devices were attached to a lanyard and worn around the neck like a medal. Bump helped inform effective social-distancing behaviour by using sophisticated Radio Frequency technology to create a 'Personal Motion System' that immediately alerts wearers when they are getting too close to another person. Going within two metres of someone prompted a blue flashing light and within 1.2 metres a red flashing light and loud beeping noise.

Data was downloaded daily which allowed organisers to accurately monitor how often and how long elite athletes and event staff spent in close proximity to each other. If anyone in the bubble tested positive for Covid-19 either during the event or during the two weeks following the event, organisers would be able to trace interactions back to specific wearers and inform them accordingly.

These Bump devices were part of the new normal in the elite athlete hotel as the best marathoners in the world got used to the flashing warning lights and sounds should they get too close to another person.

Away from the hotel, the Bumps were worn by all staff working on the build of the event site in the run-up to and on race day itself as the team prepared to build a venue on the Queen’s front garden befitting The 40th Race in London Marathon history.

Race Day

A quick glance at the BBC television pictures on race day morning and you would have been forgiven for thinking that though it might have been six months later, it looked like the same old London Marathon – with the familiar iconic finish on The Mall. But the reality was very different. Just like the work that went into delivering the hotel bubble, every last intricate detail of Race Day was planned to ensure the bubble, which would travel from hotel to the venue, would remain secure.

From the individual areas (including personal toilets!) provided for each athlete to the socially-distanced media interviews post-race, nothing was overlooked.

The halt to trials of bringing fans back to sport in September extinguished any hope that some spectators would be allowed into the venue which meant staff were brought in to patrol the interior and exterior perimeters of the route – though the awful weather on the day did mean most people were content to watch it in the warmth of their homes.

A very limited number of media was allowed into the venue with London Marathon Events creating their own content service which pushed out interviews and B-roll footage throughout the day. This followed the virtual press conferences held during race week and the daily updates of life inside the bubble in video and photographic form which were produced every day from the athletes’ hotel and made available for free to all media.

The only lack of social distancing that took place for the whole week was when the racing started but women’s world record holder Brigid Kosgei is used to running solo and she proved again that she is streets ahead of the opposition to win the first race of the day, in heavy rain and wind. However Kosgei was the only favourite to come out on top in a year where the unexpected really should have been expected.

Men’s world record holder, sub-two hour marathon man and four-time champion Eliud Kipchoge (Kenya) dramatically surrendered his title with Ethiopia’s Shura Kitata triumphing while both Brent Lakatos (Canada) and Nikita den Boer (Netherlands) overturned the form books to win the wheelchair races.

For all the winners, their moments of triumph will be memories they will never forget. But even in the instant triumph of winning the greatest marathon in the world, they were reminded this is 2020 and nothing is as it was. Bumps were returned, celebratory pictures and media interviews were held with social distancing prioritised and the never-to-be-forgotten moment of standing on top of the podium in front of Buckingham Palace, posing for pictures was done while wearing a face mask – an image that will forever capture the London Marathon in 2020.

While Kipchoge – the greatest marathon runner in history - was not on the podium himself this time, he summed up the feelings of all the athletes that had taken part when he said: “I want to thank the organisation of the London Marathon for going the extra mile to make the event possible. It shows what’s possible and gives hope other organisations can incorporate their plans to make sports possible in current times.”

Long after Kipchoge and the other elites had left The Mall, darkness had descended and London Marathon staff were in a race against time to deconstruct the venue they had built for this historic occasion.

In the murky October gloom, hundreds of staff worked in the rain and wind to take down in a matter of hours what had been months in the planning. Amid the usual flurry of work seen while de-rigging a site, there was one recurring and very 2020 sight and sound: the flashing lights and warning beeps of the Bump technology that ensured everyone, to the very end, did all they could to protect one another in a year and an event like no other.

That was The 40th Race.

(10/24/2020) Views: 79 ⚡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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Kenya’s Peres Jepchirchir says that her next target is the Valencia Marathon

Kenya’s Peres Jepchirchir will enjoy only a week’s rest after Saturday’s record-breaking victory in the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships in Gdynia, Poland.

Because she has the Valencia Marathon on December 6 in her cross-hairs.

"My season is not yet complete. I still have Valencia Marathon in December so I’ll prepare for that. I think this win gave me a lot. I'd like to run 2:17 or 2:18 for the marathon,” she said after winning yesterday’s World Athletics Half Marathon Championships in a world record time of one hour, five minutes and 16 seconds.

"This pandemic was difficult and it affected a lot of people. I used this time to train, I didn’t stop my training because I was trying to reach my shape.

"I am so happy with this. It’s a gift to all the Kenyans, to my family. I am going to rest now for one week to recover then I’ll continue training for Valencia," she told World Athletics.

Jepchirchir’s world records and the meteoric rise of Kibiwott Kandie have been the talk on the road racing circuit in this coronavirus-ravaged season.

On Saturday, Jepchirchir recaptured the crown she won last in 2016 in Cardiff.

It was a cat-and-mouse game in the last two kilometres between Jepchirchir, Ethiopia’s Yalemzerf Yehualaw and Melat Kejeta from Germany before the Kenyan out-sprinted them to triumph.

The 27-year-old Kenyan, who failed to defend her title in 2018 after taking a maternity break, improved her own women’s only half marathon world record by 18 seconds.

Kenya’s Joyciline Jepkosgei finished sixth in 1:05:58 while compatriots Brillian Jepkorir (1:06:56), Rosemary Wanjiru (1:07:10) and Dorcas Kimeli (1:07:55) came in ninth, 10th and 11th. That saw Kenya finish second in the team event followed by Germany.

“My goal was to win but it’s unbelievable since I didn’t expect that I would beat the world record. It was a little bit windy, but the course was good for me," said Jepchirchir.

Kandie might have lost the battle to Uganda’s Jacob Kiplimo, but his second place finish on his debut for Kenya could as well as signalled his entry to the elite club.  

“It’s not that I lost my power in the last kilometres, but it’s my calculations that went wrong,” Kandie reflected.

“It was a good race and I enjoyed the course. It was my first time at the World Half Marathon Championships and I won!” said Kiplimo.

“It is hard to explain, because I am full of emotion.”

(10/19/2020) Views: 131 ⚡AMP
by Ayumba Ayodi
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VALENCIA TRINIDAD ALFONSO MARATHON

VALENCIA TRINIDAD ALFONSO MARATHON

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

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Registration for the highly anticipated Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon 2021 is now officially open

Registration begins for next years Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon, with runners from across the UAE and further afield invited to secure a spot at next year’s event, which is scheduled to take place on Friday (Feb.19, 2021) on Al Marjan Island.

The 2021 World Athletics Gold Label race will be the landmark 15th edition of the event, which has proved to be a huge success down the years as both professional and amateur athletes gather in Ras Al Khaimah to compete.

Preparations for the event are now underway, with stringent safety measures to be implemented across the board in order to safeguard participants, volunteers, guests and residents, aligned with global best practice and national federal directives.

The Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon 2021 is Bureau Veritas certified as a SafeGuard Assurance Programme, a four-step methodology designed to verify, certify and promote the hygiene and cleanliness standards of customer-facing businesses, ensuring all health, safety and hygiene procedures are effectively implemented.

The 2020 event, which took place earlier this year, attracted over 5,200 entries and saw Ethiopia’s Ababel Yeshaneh break the world record by 20 seconds in the elite female race as she recorded a time of 64:31.

Those runners wishing to compete at the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon 2021 are advised to secure a place as soon as possible in order to avoid disappointment, with registrations now open via the below link: https://www.therakhalfmarathon.com/registration/

New for next year’s event is the introduction of a Platinum Package, which is priced AED 550 and provides participants with an Elite Race Experience.

With only 100 slots available, Platinum Package runners will begin the race in a special area of the course and start ahead of other competitors, ensuring the best possible race conditions.

Aside from the Platinum Package, the earliest starting slot is Wave 1 at 7.30am, with the latest Wave 7 at 9am. Starting grids, consisting of no more than 400 athletes per Wave, will be marked for social distancing, with 15-minute intervals between each Wave beginning the race. Apart from the Platinum Package, which will stay open until capacity is reached (max. 100), each respective Wave will only go on sale once the previous one has sold out.

Raki Phillips, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority shared, “Aligned with the strong upturn in the Emirate’s tourism and hospitality performance, we are delighted to announce that the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon will be returning to the Emirate on the Feb.19, 2021. We look forward to hosting the stellar line-up of elite athletes, as well as local families and enthusiasts to join in what is sure to be a memorable event.”

CEO of RCS Sports and Events Enrico Fili’ said, “Once again, we are proud to support Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority in delivering the 15th edition of the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon on Al Marjan Island. We witnessed fantastic results in the 2020 race, with Ababel Yeshaneh from Ethiopia smashing the women’s World Record by 20 seconds. This result has recently been ratified by World Athletics and we look forward to having another unforgettable elite line-up in 2021 that will ensure the event remains the fastest half marathon in the world.”

(10/19/2020) Views: 109 ⚡AMP
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Rak Half Marathon

Rak Half Marathon

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

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Kiplimo makes history for Uganda at World Athletics Half Marathon Championships Gdynia 2020

For the first time in the 28-year history of this event, a Ugandan athlete stood proud atop the podium, but it wasn’t the one most expected. In the men’s race at the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships Gdynia 2020 on Saturday (17), it was Jacob Kiplimo and not Joshua Cheptegei who reigned supreme, the 19-year-old coming of age with his first global title at senior level.

With a devastating surge over the last of the four laps, no one could live with Kiplimo and he hit the line a delighted champion in a championship record of 58:49, with Kenya’s Kibiwott Kandie second in 58:54 and Ethiopia’s Amedework Walelegn third in 59:08.

Next in was Cheptegei, who had lost contact with the leaders with a little less than five kilometres to run, the king of the track demoted to fourth place on the roads but rewarded with a swift time of 59:21 on his debut at the distance.

“I couldn’t give more than that,” said Cheptegei, who set a world 10,000m record in Valencia just 10 days ago. “I have been training more for 5000m and 10,000m so I was not well prepared for it, but I’m very happy – running a sub-60 is really special for me. My body was really going very well but I discovered I still had some fatigue in the legs.”

In a race of outstanding quality, the first 10 runners broke 60 minutes, the first time that ever happened at the event and just the second time it has ever happened. This, despite a relatively pedestrian start that saw the leading contenders cruise through the opening lap waiting for one another to make a decisive move.

No Ugandan had ever won an individual medal in 23 previous editions of the event – their one team medal a men’s bronze in 2004 – but the nation has been a rising force in distance running these past few years so today’s result came as no surprise. Kiplimo, after all, had clocked a world-leading 7:26.64 for 3000m in Rome last month and 12:48.63 for 5000m so his credentials were unquestioned, and he had followed Cheptegei home at last year’s World Cross Country Championships.

His only half marathon before today was the 1:01:53 he ran in Kampala last year but from the outset today, he looked most at home at the distance.

In contrast to the women’s race, the men’s race set off at a conservative tempo, the leading contenders happy to coast through the opening 5km in 14:20 as Switzerland’s Julien Wanders towed them along out front.

A leading pack of 23 went through 10km in 28:23, and the gears slowly began to shift in the third lap, with Kandie and Ethiopia’s Guye Adola applying some pressure. Kandie stepped the pace up even more as he clicked through 15km in 42:17 and clocked the first sub-14-minute 5km split of the race with 13:54.

It whittled the leading pack to 11 with a lap to go, with Cheptegei passing the bell a few seconds behind Kandie in eighth place. Kandie was soon joined by Kiplimo as they ran uphill and as he saw the gaps open behind to Cheptegei, Kiplimo kept the pressure on, building a 15-metre lead over his teammate.

Kandie, too, began to fall off pace behind the smooth-striding Kiplimo, but with less than 3km to run he clawed his way back to Kiplimo’s shoulder. The pace now was red-hot, Kiplimo surging to 20km in 55:55, a 13:37 5km split giving him a four-second lead over Kandie as he ran downhill towards the coast for the final time.

Kandie refused to lie down, chasing Kiplimo for all he was worth as they neared the finish in a bid to keep the men’s crown in Kenya for the fourth successive championships, following Geoffrey Kamworor’s three straight wins between 2014 and 2018. But he simply couldn’t close down the advantage and he had to make do with silver.

“I feel great, it was my first time at the World Half Marathon Championships and I won!” said Kiplimo. “It is hard to explain, because I am full of emotion. Unbelievable. The weather was really good, as were the conditions and course. I'm so grateful for everyone who has supported me.”

Kandie led Kenya to gold in the team event, with Leonard Barsoton’s 59:34 and Benard Kimeli’s 59:42 giving them a cumulative time of 2:58:10. Ethiopia took team silver with 2:58:25, and Uganda bronze with 2:58:39. All three teams finished inside the previous championship record.

(10/17/2020) Views: 158 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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World Half Marathon Championships

World Half Marathon Championships

The first one was first held in 1992. The collaboration with the world half marathon championships allows the Trinidad Alfonso Foundation to continue its strategy of supporting sports events that help to position València as the city of running. It has been the main contributor to the Valencia Marathon and Half Marathon for the past five years. The Spanish Federation...

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Jepchirchir breaks women-only world record at World Athletics Half Marathon Championships Gdynia 2020

In an arena where endurance is king, speed also proved a precious commodity. In the end, Peres Jepchirchir needed both to reign supreme in the women’s race at the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships Gdynia 2020 on Saturday (17), powering to gold in 1:05:16, a world record* in a women-only race.

She led home Germany's Melat Yisak Kejeta, who smashed the European women-only record to take silver in 1:05:18, with Ethiopia’s Yalemzerf Yehualaw a close third in 1:05:19.

In a race blighted by falls, where three of the leading contenders saw their chances scuppered through unfortunate incidents, the race boiled down to a clash between those able to stay on their feet through the four laps around the streets of Gdynia.

On what was a cold, breezy morning alongside the Baltic Sea, the pace was scorching from the outset. Kenya’s Joyciline Jepkosgei was one of the chief aggressors, leading a pack of 13 through the first 5km in 15:20. Midway through the second lap the first casualties began to show from that group and it was whittled to eight, with Turkey’s Yasemin Can another keen to push things along.

Ethiopia’s Netsanet Gudeta’s race almost came to an abrupt stop as the leaders took a 90-degree turn on to the seafront, the defending champion taking a fall and losing several seconds to the leaders. It was a gap she would never close, the Ethiopian slipping farther behind during the third lap.

Can led a group of seven through 10km in 30:47, but on the third lap Jepchirchir made her first strong move, the women-only half marathon world record holder injecting a surge and putting many of those behind in visible distress.

At this point a trio of Ethiopians – Ababel Yeshaneh, Zeineba Yimer and Yehualaw – were coasting quietly in their slipstream along with Germany’s Kejeta, and as they turned away from the beach to head out on their final lap Yehualaw made her first move towards the front.

However, Jepkosgei soon seized the advantage again as they ran uphill, with a pack of seven reaching 15km in 46:24. The entire spectre of the race changed with 54 minutes on the clock. Yeshaneh surged to the front but soon began to drift towards the kerb due to the camber of the road, her legs tangling with Jepkosgei and both athletes hitting the deck.

Both were left some 30 metres in arrears by the time they were up and running, with Yehualaw, Can and Kejeta suddenly left alone out front, Yimer and Can also falling off pace as the leaders powered downhill towards the coast for the final time.

Yehualaw and Jepchirchir ran side by side, with Kejeta hanging tough in their slipstream, and as they turned for home with less than a kilometre to run the three ran side by side towards the finish.

Jepchirchir bided her time and took advantage as Yehualaw hesitated entering the finishing straight, the Kenyan 27-year-old digging in and surging clear to a memorable victory. Kejeta took more than three minutes off her personal best in second and the 28-year-old, who previously represented Ethiopia, was ecstatic with her runner-up spot.

"It's unbelievable," said Jepchirchir. "My goal was to win this race. I did not expect that I would beat the world record, but I realised that it could happen when we passed 20km. It was a little bit windy, but the course was good for me."

Back in third, Yehualaw led Ethiopia to gold in the team event to back up the title they won at the last edition two years ago, with Yimer’s 1:05:39 in fourth and Yeshaneh’s 1:05:41 in fifth giving them the quickest cumulative time with 3:16:39, smashing the championship record. Kenya took team silver with 3:18:10 while Germany took bronze with 3:28:42.

In a race of unprecedented depth, the first six women finished inside 66 minutes and the top nine finished inside 67 minutes.

(10/17/2020) Views: 104 ⚡AMP
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ONICO Gdynia Half Marathon

ONICO Gdynia Half Marathon

The date for Gdynia Half Marathon Mass start was moved from March to October 17,2020. This year's race will only be for Elite runners. The first race debuted in 2016, becoming one of the biggest half marathons in Poland in the first year. The race offers a unique opportunity to launch the spring season in Gdynia - "the city...

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Sebastian Coe said on Friday he embraced new track technology that features pacemaking lights, a system used to great effect in two stunning world records last week

World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said on Friday he embraced new track technology that features pacemaking lights, a system used to great effect in two stunning world records last week.Ugandan Joshua Cheptegei (men's 10,000m) and Ethiopia's Letesenbet Gidey (women's 5,000m) blew two longstanding records apart in Valencia.

Both athletics had a team of metronomic pacemakers around them who utilised Wavelight technology -- a trackside visual time guidance system which lights up to indicate the world record pace."You have to innovate, there's no question about that," Coe said in Gdynia, Poland, ahead of Saturday's world half-marathon races. 

While acknowledging there was a balance to be struck, Coe argued that technological advances were paramount in attracting new audiences.

"You need to create a connection and the key connection is understanding.

"Pace lights I have no problem with. Our one-day meetings are about entertainment and I think Wavelight that allow people on television, to understand a little bit more about the incredible talent, the incredible talent, the incredible speeds our competitors are running at actually lends to the type of understanding I want."

Coe also argued that pacemakers had been around for decades, notably citing Roger Bannister's first sub-four-minute mile as a "pace-made event".

(10/16/2020) Views: 87 ⚡AMP
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World Half Marathon Championships

World Half Marathon Championships

The first one was first held in 1992. The collaboration with the world half marathon championships allows the Trinidad Alfonso Foundation to continue its strategy of supporting sports events that help to position València as the city of running. It has been the main contributor to the Valencia Marathon and Half Marathon for the past five years. The Spanish Federation...

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Two current world record-holders Peres Jepchirchir and Ababel Yeshaneh line up against one another this weekend

For the first time in the history of the championships, the women’s race at the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships Gdynia 2020 will have two current world record-holders for the distance as Peres Jepchirchir and Ababel Yeshaneh line up against one another on Saturday (17).

From 2013 onwards there have been separate world records in women’s roads events — one for women-only races, and one for mixed races. And this year both half marathon records have been broken with Ethiopia’s Yeshaneh clocking 1:04:31 at the Ras Al-Khaimah Half Marathon in February and Kenya’s Jepchirchir running 1:05:34 in a women-only race at the Prague 21.1K in September.

Jepchirchir’s performance is the more recent of the two, so there is little doubt over the 27-year-old’s form heading into Gdynia. She is also a past winner of the title, having won gold in Cardiff in 2016, and she went on to set a short-lived world record of 1:05:06 in Ras Al Khaimah in 2017.

She gave birth to daughter Natalia at the end of 2017 and so missed most of 2018, but she returned to form last year with victories at the Lisbon Half Marathon (1:06:54) and Saitama Marathon (2:23:50).

Yeshaneh, however, is a formidable opponent and she’ll be lifted by the memories of their one previous clash, at the 2016 Delhi Half Marathon, where she finished three places and 36 seconds ahead of Jepchirchir.

Yeshaneh finished ninth in the 10,000m at the 2013 World Championships and 14th in the 5000m at the 2016 Olympic Games before devoting most of her time to road running. She has finished in the top two in 10 of her past 12 half marathons and has impressed over the full marathon distance, placing second in Chicago last year in a PB of 2:20:51.

Her final outing before heading to Poland was Ethiopia’s 15km trial race, in which she finished fourth. Knowing that she only needed to finish in the top six, though, she could well have been doing just enough to secure her spot on the team, wanting to stay fresh for Gdynia.

Saturday’s race isn’t just about the two world record-holders, though. Netsanet Kebede Gudeta and Joyciline Jepkosgei, the gold and silver medallists from 2018 – and, incidentally, the previous world record-holders of the two women’s half marathon marks—will also line up in Gdynia.

Gudeta won in Valencia two years ago in a women-only world record of 1:06:11, comfortably beating pre-race favourite Jepkosgei, who in 2017 had set two outright world records for the distance.

Since then, however, both women have had mixed fortunes. Gudeta hasn’t won a half marathon since 2018, but she equalled the Ethiopian record of 1:05:45 in 2019. She also failed to finish the 10,000m at the World Championships in Doha, but Saturday’s race could be an opportunity for redemption for the 29-year-old.

And while Jepkosgei — the fastest woman in history over 5km, 10km, 15km and 20km—hasn’t quite yet returned to her record-breaking form from 2017, the 26-year-old Kenyan impressed at last year’s New York City Marathon to win on her debut at the distance in 2:22:38, just a few seconds shy of the long-standing course record. Jepchirchir and Jepkosgei are joined on the Kenyan team by Rosemary Wanjiru, Dorcas Kimeli and Brillian Kipkoech.

 

(10/16/2020) Views: 113 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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World Half Marathon Championships

World Half Marathon Championships

The first one was first held in 1992. The collaboration with the world half marathon championships allows the Trinidad Alfonso Foundation to continue its strategy of supporting sports events that help to position València as the city of running. It has been the main contributor to the Valencia Marathon and Half Marathon for the past five years. The Spanish Federation...

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Kenyan Benson Kipruto will take time out after he picked up a hamstring injury during the London Marathon

Former Toronto Marathon champion Bernard Kipruto will not participate in any races this year after he picked a hamstring injury during the London Marathon.

Kipruto was disappointed with his seventh place finish at the race despite finishing one place better than top favourite Eliud Kipchoge, who placed eighth.

“I had prepared well for the race to win but I had challenges. I was one of the best competitors but the injury slowed me down hence I got this result that I did not plan for,” Kipruto said.

Apart from the injury, Kipruto also blamed the blistery weather conditions in London for his under-whelming performance.

“I don’t know how Ethiopians train in such wet and windy conditions but when it is sunny, we always beat them hands down,” he said.

Nonetheless, his performance at London Marathon was much improved from the Boston Marathon in September 2020, where he finished 10th.

Kipruto said he has taken vital lessons from this year that will be useful as he trails his focus on next year.

“After the race, I took time to review my performance. It was tough. This time, I want to get a good rest before deciding with my coaches on the plan for next year. I will be looking to participate in most of the major races next year, especially marathon races,” he said.

(10/14/2020) Views: 115 ⚡AMP
by Emmanuel Sabuni
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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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Head coach Patrick Makau is confident that Kenya will dominate World Half Marathon Championships

Head coach Patrick Makau is confident that his team for the World Half Marathon Championships due Saturday in Gdynia, Poland will win both the team and individual titles.

Makau, who won silver medals at the 2007 Udine and 2008 Rio de Janeiro editions, said he is aware of stiff competition and the adverse weather that awaits them in Poland.

Makau said defending champion Geoffrey Kamworor might be missing in action but reckons that the selected team led by Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) and Prague Half Marathon champion Kibiwott Kandie and 2017 World Cross Country Championships silver medallist Leonard Barsoton is equal to the task.

Makau, a former world marathon record holder, indicated that the women’s team is the finest ever with on form 2016 world half champion Peres Jepchirchir back in the team and Joycilline Jepkosgei out to make amends after settling for silver in Valencia 2018.

“This is a strong team and I can tell you the athletes are focused on the task ahead. They are determined to deliver,” said Makau.

Kamworor sealed his third consecutive title when he won in Valencia in 2018 in 1:00:02 as compatriots Barsaton, Barselius Kipyego and Jorum Okombo finished 12th, 15th and 18th. Alex Oloitiptip failed to finish the race.

Jepkosgei and Pauline Kaveke failed the test, settling for silver and bronze in Valencia as Netsanet Gudeta claimed victory not only in championship record but also in women’s only world record time of 1:06:11.

Kenya would also lose the team titles to Ethiopia.

“Kandie posted a world lead in half marathon with victory in 58:38 in Prague, Czech in September. This goes without saying that he will be the man to watch. We shall really bank on Barsaton’s experience,” Makau said adding that Bernard Kipkorir (59:07), Bernard Kimeli (59:07) and Morris Munene (59:22) also look strong by virtue of having good times.

Makau noted that even though the women’s team will be under pressure to deliver with the defending champion coming from Ethiopia, having Jepchirchir, who is fresh from setting a new women’s only world record in Prague with a time of 1:05:34, is a major boost.

“Peres is back and looks stronger after maternity leave and is eager to reclaim her title. One can easily see the hunger in Joyciline that she is ready to upgrade her silver to something better this time around,” said Makau. “They are ready to neutralise the weather and any challenge posed.”

(10/13/2020) Views: 172 ⚡AMP
by Ayumba Ayodi
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World Half Marathon Championships

World Half Marathon Championships

The first one was first held in 1992. The collaboration with the world half marathon championships allows the Trinidad Alfonso Foundation to continue its strategy of supporting sports events that help to position València as the city of running. It has been the main contributor to the Valencia Marathon and Half Marathon for the past five years. The Spanish Federation...

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Former Africa Cross Country Champion Leonard Barsoton, banks on team work to take down the Ugandans

Japan-based Leonard Barsoton has said that Kenya will rely on team work to down the challenge of Uganda and Ethiopia at the World Half Marathon Championships this Saturday in Gdynia, Poland.

Kenyan athletes will be heading to the world road race intent on retaining the men’s title currently held  by Geoffrey Kamworor  following his triumph in Valencia, Spain in 2018.

Kamworor won in 1:00:02 ahead of Bahrain’s Abraham Cheroben, who timed 1:00:22 while Eritrea’s Aron Kifle was third in 1:00:31.

This year Kamworor will not be competing but a strong team has been selected by Athletics Kenya and vowed to keep the crown home.

Kibiwott Kandie, fresh from winning Prague Half Marathon, will lead his compatriots Morris Munene, Japan-based Leonard Barsoton, Bernard Kipkorir and Bernard Kimeli in the Gdynia assault.

Nation Sport caught up with the 2014 Africa Cross Country champion Barsoton in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County where he had gone for the mandatory  Covid-19 tests a requirement before their travel.

With the defending champion Kamworor missing in the start list, Barsoton said Kenya’s work was cut out for them particularly considering the threat set by double world record holder in 5,000m and 10,000m Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda.

“We shall run as a team. The challenge is that we have been training differently and everyone has his own techniques of reacting but we hope for the best,” he said.

The in-form Cheptegei will lead a Ugandan team that also has Moses Kibet, Jacob Kiplimo, Abel Chebet and Stephen Kissa.Barsoton, whose career has been on the rise since he relocated to Japan in 2012, two years after completing high school, is relishing the challenge.

He has competed in the last three editions of the World Half Marathon Championship and will no doubt be a key plank in Team Kenya’s strategy to keep the men’s crown.

In Valencia, Barsoton finished 12th in a time of 1:01:14, a result he was not happy with but on the positive, learned about his shortcoming. He said he had a problem when he entered the race which he traced to his training and has worked to ensure he was ready for the Poland race.

My training has gone on well and we are ready to travel and meet other competitors after a long wait due to the coronavirus.

“It’s not easy when you are training alone because we are used to group training which pushes you to the limit. I believe since April I have done enough and I will be ready to fight for a podium finish on Saturday,” he said.

(10/12/2020) Views: 119 ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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World Half Marathon Championships

World Half Marathon Championships

The first one was first held in 1992. The collaboration with the world half marathon championships allows the Trinidad Alfonso Foundation to continue its strategy of supporting sports events that help to position València as the city of running. It has been the main contributor to the Valencia Marathon and Half Marathon for the past five years. The Spanish Federation...

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London Marathon Silver medalist Vincent Kipchumba could be the next road king?

Vincent Kipchumba, who finished second at the 40th London Marathon, on Sunday has come a long way.

While a young boy at Chepkatet village, near Eldoret International Airport, Kipchumba could see aircraft take off and land at the airport. He harboured a lofty dream: that one day he would board a plane and enjoy the feel of air travel. It came to pass.

On Sunday, the athletics world had placed their bets on world marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge but Kipchumba surprised everyone as he settled for second spot at the London Marathon behind Ethiopia’s Chura Kitata.

Everyone was expecting Kipchoge to easily win the race, but after his loss, many Kenyans are of the idea that Kipchumba could be the next big thing.

Yesterday at Chepkatet village, Kipchumba was still revelling on his achievement.

At his home which is located about 700m off the Eldoret-Kapsabet road, his relatives and neighbours gathered to welcome him back and wish him well in future races in the hope that he can be the next Kipchoge.

Kipchumba revealed an arduous athletics journey that almost propelled him to a win in his debut at the World Marathon Majors. What he did in London was not shocking to those who know him well.

It is a journey that started in 2011, when he was 21.

“After several years of yearning to run a marathon, I decided to bite the bullet. It has never been easy. I ran my debut at the Family Bank Half Marathon in Eldoret in 2013 and finished 12th. I continued with my training despite the poor performance,” said Kipchumba.

Kipchumba, a father of two – a daughter and a son – ran his first international in Dresden (Germany) in 2015 where he was second in 2:15:22.

He later returned to the German town in 2016 and improved his time by four minutes, from 2:15:22 to 02:10:32.

As he started off his career, Kipchumba trained in Kaptagat where his mentor 2010 world half marathon champion Wilson Kiprop also trained.

He currently trains in Kapsabet under coach Claudio Berardelli.

(10/08/2020) Views: 142 ⚡AMP
by Stephen Rutto and Jonathan Komen
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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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Uganda's Joshua Cheptegei smashed the men's 10,000m world record as Ethiopia's Letesenbet Gidey broke that of the women's 5,000m in Valencia

Cheptegei, 24, clocked 26 minutes 11.00 seconds to beat Kenenisa Bekele's 15-year-old time by more than six seconds.

Gidey, 22, clocked 14 minutes 6.62 seconds to better the 14mins 11.15secs set by Tirunesh Dibaba in 2008.

They achieved the feats at the NN Valencia World Record Day, a one-off event taking place in the Spanish city.

"I'm happy," said Gidey, who won 10,000m silver at the 2019 World Championships in Doha. "This has been a long-time dream. It is very big for me."

Bekele's previous world record time of 26mins 17.53secs had been the longest standing men's 10,000m world record in history.

Cheptegei's success marks his fourth world record in 10 months, having broken the 10km road best in December and the 5km road record in February.

At the Monaco Diamond League in August, he broke another of Bekele's world records, beating his 16-year-old mark in the 5,000m by two seconds.

The World Record Day, in which both Cheptegei and Gidey had pacemakers, took place at Valencia's Turia stadium with 400 people present.

(10/07/2020) Views: 100 ⚡AMP
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Ugandan Joshua Cheptegei is setting his sights on the 10,000m mark at a special event in Valencia on Wednesday

Less than two months after breaking the 5,000 metres world record, Ugandan Joshua Cheptegei is setting his sights on the 10,000m mark at a special event in Valencia on Wednesday.

Gold medallist in the 10,000 at last year’s World Athletics Championships in Doha, Cheptegei is hoping to beat the 26 minutes, 17.53 set by Kenenisa Bekele in 2005.

Cheptegei, 23, took Ethiopian Bekele’s 5,000m record at the Diamond League in Monaco in August, wiping 1.99 seconds off the 16-year-old mark when he crossed the line in 12:35.36.

His Dutch-based NN Running Team has organised the World Record Day and he will count on pacers who include former Dutch champion Roy Hoornweg as well as Australian Matt Ramsden and Kenyan Nicholas Kipkorir, both world championship finalists in 2019.

Although there will be little support from the largely empty stands, Cheptegei will be helped by Wavelight technology, which flashes lights on the inside of the track to indicate a specific pace.

Cheptegei has already made history over the distance in Valencia, smashing a 10-year 10km world record last December by six seconds, wearing the Nike Zoom Vaporfly shoes which have caused a huge debate in athletics.

“I am very excited to be given the opportunity to target the 10,000m world record,” Cheptegei said last month. “As my performance in Monaco showed, I am in outstanding form, so I would like to make the most of my current shape.

“Kenenisa’s 10,000m world record is one of the toughest in the books, but my training continues to go well and this gives me real confidence I can set another world record.”

(10/06/2020) Views: 96 ⚡AMP
by Reuters
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Sifan Hassan, Faith Kipyegon and Yomif Kejelcha are among the stars signed up for a middle and long distance meeting set for 10 October at FBK Stadium in the Dutch city of Hengelo

Organized by Global Sports Communication (GSC), the meeting will provide a select group of world class athletes with an opportunity to compete once more at the end of a season that was heavily restricted by the global Covid-19 pandemic. The programme will feature three events: 1000m and 10,000m races for women and a 5000m race for men.

Hasan, the reigning world 1500m and 10,000m champion, will contest the longer the distance, taking on Ethiopian rising star Tsehay Gemechu. Hassan, who broke the world record for the one-hour run in Brussels in August, is looking for one last track outing before her attempt to add another world title to her collection at the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships Gdynia 2020 on 17 October.

The women’s 1000m features Olympic 1500m Champion Faith Kipyegon who will mount another assault on world record which barely eluded her in Monaco earlier this summer.

The Kenyan’s sparkling 2:29.15 run at the Stade Louis II in Monaco put her second on the all-time list, just 0.17 seconds shy Svetlana Masterkova’s world record which has stood for 24 years.

In the men's 5000m the focus will fall on Ethiopia’s world 10,000m silver medalist Yomif Kejelcha who'll face in-form Australian Stewart McSweyn.

"Our athletes were not done with the season yet," said GSC event manager Ellen van Langen. "They were super motivated for running another race. That’s why we had the idea to organize a race ourselves. Where else than Hengelo?” 

Hans Kloosterman, meeting director for the FBK Games, added: “Next year we celebrate the 40th edition of the FBK Games. We expect Covid-19 will still play a role by then. It is great to have the opportunity to organize a professional race within Covid-19 restrictions."

The Wavelight electronic pace-setter will be used to help guide the athletes. Current pandemic restrictions will prohibit spectators, but a broadcast of the meeting will be available via livestream. The link will be announced in the lead-in to the race.

(10/06/2020) Views: 95 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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World half marathon record holder, Peres Jepchirchir will lead strong Kenyan field in Valencia

World Half Marathon record holder, Peres Jepchirchir, is among the Kenyan runners listed for Valencia 21km race set for December 6.

She will be up against fellow Kenyans including the former world half marathon record-holder, Joyciline Jepkosgei, Joan Chelimo and Fancy Chemutai.

World 10,000m silver medalist Letesenbet Gidey of Ethiopia will make her half marathon debut and will take on Sheila Chepkirui, the second-fastest woman in history over 10km (29:46), and 2015 world 5000m silver medalist Senbere Teferi, who won in Valencia last year in 1:05:32.

In recent years, Valencia has built a reputation as a city that produces fast times. Two world records have been set in the men’s 10km in the Spanish city, along with two women’s world records for the half marathon.

The course records of 58:18 and 1:04:51— which are just shy of the world records (58:01 and 1:04:31)— are expected to come under threat.

In the men’s half marathon, world 10,000m bronze medalist Rhonex Kipruto, who set a world 10km record of 26:24 in Valencia earlier this year, will return to the Spanish city to make his half marathon debut. World cross-country silver medalist Jacob Kiplimo of Uganda is also among the athletes entered.

Ten other runners with sub-60-minute PBs are in the field, including 2019 Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon champion Stephen Kiprop, 2016 world half marathon silver medalist Bedan Karoki, 2019 Valencia Half runner-up Bernard Ngeno, European record-holder Julien Wanders and African cross-country champion Alfred Barkach.

Fast times will be the target once again the full marathon as 2019 Tokyo Marathon champion Ruti Aga, the fastest woman in the field  with a PB of 2:18:34,  is pitted against fellow Ethiopian Birhane Dibaba, whose PB is just one second slower at 2:18:35.

Mare Dibaba, the 2015 world champion, is also in the field, along with Ethiopian compatriots Zeineba Yimer and Tigist Girma—all of whom have sub-2:20 PBs. USA’s Jordan Hasay completes the field.

In the men’s marathon, Kinde Atanaw, who set a course record of 2:03:51 last year, will defend his title when he lines up against fellow Ethiopian Birhanu Legese, whose 2:02:48 PB makes him the third-fastest man in history.

Others in the field include world champion Lelisa Desisa, Boston and Chicago Marathon champion Lawrence Cherono, European record-holder Kaan Kigen Özbilen and Ethiopian half marathon record-holder Jemal Yimer, who will be making his marathon debut.

The organizers will create a health bubble around the race and take stringent safety measures to ensure the event carries minimal health risk.

(10/05/2020) Views: 143 ⚡AMP
by Star Reporter
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Valencia Half Marathon

Valencia Half Marathon

The Trinidad Alfonso Valencia Half Marathon has become one of the top running events in the world in its 25th year. For the second year running, Valencia is the fastest half marathon in the world. The race, organized by SD Correcaminos Athletics Club, celebrated its silver anniversary in style with record participation, record crowd numbers, Silver label IAAF accreditation and...

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Kitata conquers Kipchoge while Kosgei retains title at London Marathon and US Sara Hall finishes second

The man is fallible after all. Eliud Kipchoge’s reign of invincibility came to a crushing end with an eighth-place finish at the Virgin Money London Marathon, a World Athletics Platinum Label race, as Ethiopia’s Shura Kitata won a dramatic, last-gasp sprint to take the honours in the men’s race.

Kipchoge, the Olympic champion and world record-holder and unbeaten in 10 previous marathons, had been widely expected to claim an unprecedented fifth London title in his first race since making history by breaking the two-hour barrier in Vienna.

His principal challenger, Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekeke, had been forced to withdraw with a calf injury just two days before the race, while Kipchoge had cut a confident figure in the build-up as he discussed how well his preparations had gone.

Moments before he went to the start-line, fellow Kenyan Brigid Kosgei had raced to a runaway victory to retain her London crown, and few predicted anything but a Kipchoge triumph to complete a Kenyan double.

But this time, the race did not follow the usual script. Looking comfortable among a lead group of nine runners for much of the race, Kipchoge appeared to be biding his time before launching a characteristic surge of pace to break up the field.

On this occasion, though, the attack failed to materialise. Instead, the tables were turned on the mighty Kenyan as his rivals launched a breakaway with three miles of the race remaining.

With Kipchoge unable to respond, a lead group of five soon turned into a three-way battle between Kitata, fellow Ethiopian Sisay Lemma and the towering Kenyan, Vincent Kipchumba. Kipchoge, meanwhile, was disappearing into the distance.

In one of the most exciting finishes in London Marathon memory, Kipchumba was the first to strike for home, only to be overtaken on the line by the diminutive Kitata. Just a single second separated the two men as Kitata clocked a winning time of 2:05:41.

“I prepared very well for this race,” Kitata, 24, said afterwards. "Kenenisa Bekele helped me. I am very happy to win the race.”

Lemma was third in 2:04:45 while Kipchoge crossed the line in eighth in 2:06:42 – his slowest ever time in a city marathon. It was his first defeat since 2013.

“I am really disappointed,” Kipchoge said afterwards. “I don't know what happened.

“The last 15km, I felt my right ear was blocked and I had cramp in my hip and leg.

“It just happened in the race. I started well. It's really cold but I don't blame the conditions.”

It was a remarkable outcome to an extraordinary race, which was staged for the first time over 19 laps of a closed-loop course around St James’s Park in central London after the original race scheduled for April had to be postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The course was also off limits to spectators to maintain a ‘biosecure’ bubble for the athletes and support staff. It was just a shame that no one was there to witness in person one of the most dramatic men’s races in the event’s 40-year history.

By contrast, the women’s race followed a more predictable path.

Kosgei, the overwhelming pre-race favourite after obliterating Paula Radcliffe’s 16-year-old world record when she won in Chicago last October in a stunning 2:14:04, delivered another imperious performance to retain her London crown.

Her time of 2:18:58 may have been 38 seconds slower than her victory a year ago, but her winning margin of more than three minutes spoke volumes for her dominance. At the age of just 26, she is already taking the marathon into uncharted territory.

“I just tried my best,” she said afterwards. “The weather affected us today. There was some wind and rain all the way, which made our muscles colder. No one could warm up so it was difficult to even finish.”

Earlier in the race, Kosgei’s main challenge came from fellow Kenyan Ruth Chepngetich, the world champion and London debutant, as the pair set a hot pace to break away just before the 10-mile mark.

The halfway split of 1:08:15 put the duo on track to lower Mary Keitany’s women’s only world record of 2:17:01, though the soggy conditions and tight corners on the looped course were never going to be conducive to record-breaking times.

Chepngetich made a brave attempt to surge away from Kosgei after the midway point, though the attack was swiftly countered and the pair settled into a more sedate pace for several miles, ending all thoughts of breaking records.

It was after the 19-mile mark that Kosgei made the decisive attack and this time Chepngetich had no answer, dropping back quickly and looking suddenly fatigued as she evidently paid the price for going with the early pace.

As Kosgei’s race turned in a one-woman exhibition over the closing miles, the real contest was taking place further back in the field as veteran Sara Hall of the US overhauled Ethiopia’s Ashete Bekere to move into third place before training her sights on the tiring Chepngetich.

In an exciting sprint finish that presaged the men’s race a couple of hours later, Hall, 37, found the energy to burst past the Kenyan with just 80 metres remaining, crossing the line in second place in a lifetime best of 2:22:01 for her first ever top-three finish in a major city marathon. Chepngetich finished four seconds behind her.

It was also the first time an able-bodied US athlete had made it on to the London Marathon podium since Deena Kastor’s victory in 2006 – an achievement that will help atone for Hall’s disappointment in failing to gain selection for the Tokyo Olympics at last year’s US Olympic trials.

 

(10/04/2020) Views: 142 ⚡AMP
by Simon Hart for World Athletics
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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 record holder Eliud Kipchoge loses to retain 2020 London Marathon title.

World record holder Eliud Kipchoge loses the 40th London Marathon  after finishing at 8th position in time of 2:08:42.Shura Kitata from Ethiopia won with a time of 2:05:42 which was a close finish with Vincent Kipchumba 2:05:45.Lemma Sisay came third 2:05:45  after leading from 25km to almost 41.8km where the high pace set by Kitata edge him out of the lead and settled at third position

The men race which was full of surprises saw Eliud Kipchoge who has won four London marathons and never lost for seven years over the distance dropped at 22-mile mark  due to stomach issues,hip problem and right ear blockage.

The men had 3 pace makers who helped them crossed 5km in 14:48,10km 29:45 and all through 15km in 44:31. At 25km , Lemma Sisay hicked the pace higher making the group goes in a single lane.Vincent Kipchumba picked a paced through 30km at 1:29:00.Mo farah on the chasing pack  was pacing for European athletes who wanted to beat personal best and also Olympics qualifyers time.

In the women category ,world record holder Brigid kosgei swept a win in 2:18:58 followed a distance away by Hall Sara of USA 2:22:01 while Ruth Chepngetich settle at 2:22:05.Sara Hall set her pb after outshining Chepngetich(KE) in the last 300m who had harmstring problem.

The women race had pacemakers than included Vivian Kiplagat that did a nice job despite harsh weather conditions with incessant rain with alot of humidity and low temperatures of about 9 degrees celsius.The 19.7 laps race around St. James Park rather than normal  traditional route was tough for the majority of the athletes that saw the likes of Vivian Cheruiyot dropped in the middle of the race.The 2020 London marathon route was change to loop running due to covid-19 pandemic that has affected all sports facilities in the entire world.

(10/04/2020) Views: 130 ⚡AMP
by Willie Korir reporting from Kenya
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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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Valencia Half Marathon announces the names of the first athletes taking part in its ambitious ‘Elite Edition’

The Valencia Marathon Trinidad Alfonso EDP is organising an Elite Edition marathon and half marathon to be held on 6 December 2020 and it can now confirm the names of the first male and female athletes who will seek to achieve the most ambitious sporting goal possible by trying to set new race records.

in the Valencia Half Marathon Elite Edition, which will also be held on 6 December but without overlapping on the course with the marathon, will include a team of athletes who will seek, in the fast streets of Valencia Ciudad del Running, to approach the world record for both men (58:01) and women (1h04:21).

The Kenyan Rhonex Kipruto, who achieved the world record at 10K (26:24) in the Ibercaja Valencia 10K, is the big favourite to fight for a world-beating time at 21,097.5 metres, along with another runner who has not yet premiered in the half marathon, the Ugandan Jacob Kiplimo (26:41 at 10K). And up to ten more runners with times below 60 minutes augur well for a very fast race. Stephen Kiprop (58:42), Bedan Karoki (58:42), Bernard Ngeno (59:07), Alexander Mutiso (59:09), Julien Wanders (59:13 and European record), Philemon Kiplimo (59:28), Geoffrey Koech (59:36), Gabriel Geay (59:42), Alfred Barkach (59:46) and Kelvin Kiptum (59:53) will be running to beat their best times.

And in the women’s race, distance debutante Ethiopian Letensenbet Gidey, with the world’s best time over 15K (44:20) along with Kenyan Sheila Chepkirui, winner of the 10K in Valencia and Prague, will fight for the best women’s time in history alongside the experience of 2019 winner Senbere Teferi (1h05:32).

For Marc Roig, International Elite Coach for the Valencia Marathon and Half Marathon “we have worked hard in recent months to put together two lists that include the highest-level elite athletes, to break our own records and get as close as possible to the world records for the two distances. Along with these names, there are others to be confirmed that will, without a doubt, make Valencia the biggest race of 2020”.

The Valencia Marathon Elite Edition will also look forward to achieve this ambitious goals.

(10/03/2020) Views: 118 ⚡AMP
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Valencia Half Marathon

Valencia Half Marathon

The Trinidad Alfonso Valencia Half Marathon has become one of the top running events in the world in its 25th year. For the second year running, Valencia is the fastest half marathon in the world. The race, organized by SD Correcaminos Athletics Club, celebrated its silver anniversary in style with record participation, record crowd numbers, Silver label IAAF accreditation and...

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Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele out of London Marathon due to a calf injury

Kenenisa Bekele withdrew from Sunday’s London Marathon, citing a calf injury two days before he was to duel world-record holder Eliud Kipchoge.

“I was in good shape but then I picked up a niggle in my left calf after two fast training sessions close together in the last weeks of preparation,” was posted on Bekele’s social media. “I have been having treatment every day since then and I truly believed I would be ready, but today it is worse and I now know I cannot race on it.”

Bekele did not mention the injury in a Wednesday press conference, sitting socially distanced from Kipchoge at a table.

The marathon, with more than 40 elite men entered, was headlined as a duel between the two fastest marathoners in history. It was postponed from its traditional April date and moved to a looped course in St. James’s Park due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Kenyan Kipchoge lowered the world record to 2:01:39 at the 2018 Berlin Marathon. Last year in Berlin, the Ethiopian Bekele won in 2:01:41 without Kipchoge in the field.

Kipchoge has won 11 of his 12 career marathons. Bekele, a more accomplished track runner who won Olympic gold medals and lowered world records at 5000m and 10,000m, has never beaten Kipchoge in a marathon.

“This race was so important to me,” Bekele posted. “My time in Berlin last year gave me great confidence and motivation and I was looking forward to show that again, I have worked so hard for it. I realise many people around the world have been looking forward to this race and I am sorry to disappoint my fans, the organisers and my fellow competitors. I will take time to recover and become fit again and I hope to be back in London next year.”

(10/02/2020) Views: 174 ⚡AMP
by OlympicTalk
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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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Valencia half marathon has attracted some of the world’s best distance runners

Along with its World Athletics Platinum Label marathon on December 6, the Valencia Marathon Trinidad Alfonso EDP will also stage an elite half marathon on the same day, and both races have attracted some of the world’s best distance runners.

In recent years Valencia has built a reputation as a city that produces fast times. Two world records have been set in the men’s 10km in the Spanish city, along with two women’s world records for the half marathon.

Fast times will be the target once again on 6 December. 2019 Tokyo Marathon champion Ruti Aga, who has a PB of 2:18:34, is the fastest woman in the field, but fellow Ethiopian Birhane Dibaba’s PB is just one second slower at 2:18:35.

Mare Dibaba, the 2015 world champion, is also in the field, along with Ethiopian compatriots Zeineba Yimer and Tigist Girma – all of whom have sub-2:20 PBs.

Peres Jepchirchir, who recently broke the world half marathon record, is also set to compete, as are fellow Kenyans Joyciline Jepkosgei, the former world half marathon record-holder, Joan Chelimo and Fancy Chemutai. USA’s Jordan Hasay completes the field.

Kinde Atanaw, who set a course record of 2:03:51 last year, will defend his title when he lines up against fellow Ethiopian Birhanu Legese, whose 2:02:48 PB makes him the third-fastest man in history.

Others in the field include world champion Lelisa Desisa, Boston and Chicago Marathon champion Lawrence Cherono, European record-holder Kaan Kigen Özbilen and Ethiopian half marathon record-holder Jemal Yimer, who will be making his marathon debut.

The half marathon will be held on the same day without overlapping with the marathon, but the end goal is the same: fast times. The course records of 58:18 and 1:04:51 – which are just shy of the world records (58:01 and 1:04:31) – are expected to come under threat.

World 10,000m bronze medalist Rhonex Kipruto, who set a world 10km record of 26:24 in Valencia earlier this year, will return to the Spanish city to make his half marathon debut. World cross-country silver medallist Jacob Kiplimo of Uganda is also among the athletes entered.

Ten other runners with sub-60-minute PBs are in the field, including 2019 Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon champion Stephen Kiprop, 2016 world half marathon silver medalist Bedan Karoki, 2019 Valencia Half runner-up Bernard Ngeno, European record-holder Julien Wanders and African cross-country champion Alfred Barkach.

World 10,000m silver medallist Letesenbet Gidey of Ethiopia will make her half marathon debut and will take on Sheila Chepkirui, the second-fastest woman in history over 10km (29:46), and 2015 world 5000m silver medalist Senbere Teferi, who won in Valencia last year in 1:05:32.

The organizers will create a health bubble around the race and take stringent safety measures to ensure the event carries minimal health risk. The race will have its own medical app, which will be supported by an external consultant to collect all the data and ensure, if necessary, the traceability of the movements made by the athletes and other people involved in organizing the race.

(10/01/2020) Views: 129 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Valencia Half Marathon

Valencia Half Marathon

The Trinidad Alfonso Valencia Half Marathon has become one of the top running events in the world in its 25th year. For the second year running, Valencia is the fastest half marathon in the world. The race, organized by SD Correcaminos Athletics Club, celebrated its silver anniversary in style with record participation, record crowd numbers, Silver label IAAF accreditation and...

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Sifan Hassan is among the top names entered for the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships Gdynia 2020

Based on the figures at the entry deadline, 157 men and 127 women from 62 teams have been entered for the championships.

Even with the expected slight drop in numbers ahead of the publication of the official start lists, the figures compare favorably to previous editions, most of which ranged between 150 and 250 athletes.

World 1500m and 10,000m champion Sifan Hassan, who also holds the world record for the mile, is one of several standout entries for the women’s race.

The Dutch runner will take on Ethiopia’s Ababel Yeshaneh and Kenya’s 2016 world half marathon champion Peres Jepchirchir, who respectively hold the outright and women-only world records for the half marathon.

Ethiopia's Netsanet Gudeta, who won in Valencia two years ago in a women-only world record time, will defend her world half marathon title.

In one of the highest-quality fields ever for a half marathon, 15 of the men entered have sub-60-minute PBs and a further 14 have PBs inside 61 minutes. The 10 fastest women entered have PBs of 1:06:30 or faster, while 21 women in total have sub-69-minute PBs. Area record-holders for Africa, Europe and Asia are also entered.

(10/01/2020) Views: 124 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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World Half Marathon Championships

World Half Marathon Championships

The first one was first held in 1992. The collaboration with the world half marathon championships allows the Trinidad Alfonso Foundation to continue its strategy of supporting sports events that help to position València as the city of running. It has been the main contributor to the Valencia Marathon and Half Marathon for the past five years. The Spanish Federation...

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Ethiopia`s Degitu Azimeraw withdraws from London Marathon after positive COVID-19 test

An Ethiopian runner had to pull out of the London Marathon after she and the coach of two other elite marathoners tested positive for the coronavirus, the race director said Tuesday.

Degitu Azimeraw, who won the 2019 Amsterdam Marathon, and coach Haji Adilo tested positive in Ethiopia.

"As a result (of the positive tests), they didn't get on the plane," London Marathon event director Hugh Brasher said in a conference call ahead of Sunday's race.

Adilo is the coach of Ethiopian runners Shura Kitata and Alemu Megertu, both of whom will remain in the race because there was no "face-to-face contact" with their coach in the past two weeks, Brasher said.

The London race has all the trappings of a 2020 sporting event: hotel bubble for athletes, competition modifications and no spectators. Athletes and their coaches are staying at a hotel reserved only for them outside London.

Protocols required virus testing before athletes left for London and on the day of their arrival. They'll also be tested on Friday.

Instead of snaking along the River Thames, the athletes will compete on a 26.2-mile (42.2 kilometer) closed-loop course consisting of 19.6 clockwise laps around St. James' Park, ending on the Mall. It should be a fast course for defending champions Eliud Kipchoge, Brigid Kosgei and their challengers, but potential wet weather could dampen hopes of world records.

"Heavy rain is not ideal conditions to do a world record in," Brasher said of current forecasts. "You want light winds, you want dry conditions.

"We, whatever the conditions, believe that there will be some incredible racing that will live long in people's memory, and it could be incredibly quick."

Only one other World Marathon Major -- Tokyo -- was held this year as Boston, Berlin, Chicago and New York all canceled because of the pandemic. Like Tokyo, London's field was reduced to elites only.

Even with prize money slashed nearly in half, the event has drawn elite runners who have had few opportunities to compete during the pandemic.

(10/01/2020) Views: 128 ⚡AMP
by Associated Press
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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 has unveiled the shoes he will use for London Marathon this Sunday, inspired by Kenyan flag

Eliud Kipchoge, the world marathon record holder, will be cladding a Kenyan flag-inspired Nike “Alpha fly N% Kenya”, custom made for him for this race.

"The shoes for Sunday's competition. Inspired by colours of the Kenyan flag, representing (the) great people of this beautiful country and to celebrate one year anniversary of the achievement 1:59:40 in marathon distance by EK," Kipchoge posted in his official Facebook page.

It is an Alpha fly N% shoe, just like the one he used during the Ineos 1:59 Challenge in Vienna last year.

The personal details include a green-and-red colourway – a nod to the national flag of Kenya. The shoes also feature the runner’s initials and 1:59:40 – the time he ran in Vienna.

The Kenyan distance running legend became the first man to run the marathon in under two hours after clocking 1:59:40.2 in Vienna.

This Sunday, Kipchoge comes face-to-face with Ethiopia's distance running great Kenenisa Bekele, who is also the second fastest man in marathon.

There were some complaints after the Ineos 1:59 Challenge with ritics claiming that the shoe had multiple carbon plates and there were calls for it to be banned from competition.

However, Kipchoge and Nike have always insisted that it’s not about the shoes but the person using them.

“The shoes have not been banned hence I am looking forward to another great show on them as I seek my fourth victory on the course,” said Kipchoge during the launch of domestic tourism at the Serena Mara in the Maasai Mara, Narok County in August.

Defending women’s London Marathon champion Brigid Kosgei also used similar shoes when she set the women’s world marathon record in winning the Chicago Marathon in 2:14:04, just a day after Kipchoge’s exploits in Vienna.

Then Bekele would come close to breaking Kipchoge’s world marathon record of 2:01:39 set by Kipchoge in Berlin in 2018 by two seconds when he won in Berlin in 2:01:41 last year.

Nike's Vaporfly range was the talk around the world with the feeling that it gave undue advantage to other runners owing to its sole technology.

However, World Athletics — the global athletics governing body —  said it will not ban the shoes but would instead institute tighter regulations around high-tech running shoes.

(10/01/2020) Views: 180 ⚡AMP
by Ayumba Ayodi
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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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10km world record holder Rhonex Kipruto is set to make his half marathon debut in Valencia

Rhonex Kipruto, the 10km world record holder, will make his Half Marathon debut in December after being named as part of the stellar cast for the Valencia Half Marathon.

The 2019 10,000m world bronze medalist will be returning to the city in which he broke the 10km world record in January this year, running 26:24, and he hopes for second time luck in his debut over the 21km.

He will contest for the title alongside 2016 World Half Marathon silver medalist Bedan Karoki, currently training in Japan as well as compatriots Alfred Barkach, Stephen Kiprop and Kelvin Kiptum. Also named in the elite list is Ugandan Jacob Kiplimo.

Sheila Chepkirui who won the Valencia and Prague 10km runs will headline the Kenyan cast in the corresponding women’s race where she is set to compete against defending champion Senbere Teferi.

Meanwhile, Joyciline Jepkosgei will be returning to the city where she broke the Half Marathon world record in 2017, but will be going the full distance this time round.

The 27-year old comes into the Marathon elite list on the backdrop of winning the New York Marathon last year, which was also her first attempt at the full marathon. Jepkosgei seems to have some special love for Valencia as she also won a World Half Marathon silver medal there in 2018.

Peres Jepchirchir, the holder of the current women only World Half Marathon record will also be in the line up for the race as well as Fancy Cherono and Joan Chelimo.

The Ethiopian charge will be led by Azmera Abreha (2h18:33), Ruti Aga (2h18:34), Birhane Dibaba (2h18:35), Zeineba Yimer (2h19:28), Tigist Girma (2h19:52) and Mare Dibaba (2h19:52).

The men’s race will be highlighted by Boston and Chicago Marathon Champion Lawrence Cherono who will also use the race to test himself with an eye on next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Reigning world champion Lelisa Desisa and fellow Ethiopian Birhanu Legese will offer competition for the Kenyan.

The race will be held on December 6.

(09/30/2020) Views: 161 ⚡AMP
by Timothy Olobulu
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Valencia Half Marathon

Valencia Half Marathon

The Trinidad Alfonso Valencia Half Marathon has become one of the top running events in the world in its 25th year. For the second year running, Valencia is the fastest half marathon in the world. The race, organized by SD Correcaminos Athletics Club, celebrated its silver anniversary in style with record participation, record crowd numbers, Silver label IAAF accreditation and...

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Kenya's Lawrence Cherono will headline the 2020 Valencia Marathon assault

Kenya's Boston and Chicago marathon champion Lawrence Cherono will lead the 2020 Valencia Marathon assault, organizers confirmed on Wednesday.

Cherono will take on Ethiopians Birhanu Legese, holder of the third-fastest time of 2:02:48 in marathon history and Kinde Atanaw, the race defending champion and current record holder for the Valencian course in a race slated for December 6.

"I feel great that I will finally compete this year after the coronavirus shattered by season, including my Olympic debut. Now I have a chance to race before starting again on my Olympic preparations," Cherono, who was named by Athletics Kenya in their Olympic men team alongside world marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge and world marathon bronze medalist Amos Kipruto, told Xinhua.

In the women's elite race, former world half-marathon record holder and winner of the 2019 New York Marathon winner Joyciline Jepkosgei will spearhead the event.

Jepkosgei will return to the same course she shattered the world record in 2017 in half marathon and will face up against fellow countrywoman Joan Chelimo.

Kenyan Peres Chepchirchir, the current half marathon record holder and Fancy Chemutai will also be in the frontline.

"Elite edition of the Valencia marathon and half marathon will be held on Dec. 6, we can now confirm the names of the first male and female athletes who will seek to achieve the most ambitious sporting goal possible by trying to set new race records," the organizers said in a statement.

The women will also have a strong Ethiopian presentation including Azmera Abreha, Ruti Aga, Birhane Dibaba, Mare Dibaba, Tigist Girma and Zeinaba Yimer, all the women have run the 42km race under 2:20.

(09/30/2020) Views: 118 ⚡AMP
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VALENCIA TRINIDAD ALFONSO MARATHON

VALENCIA TRINIDAD ALFONSO MARATHON

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

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Coach Addy Ruiter on star pupil Cheptegei, he will be the new standard

When Joshua Cheptegei made history to wipe 1.99 seconds from Kenenisa Bekele’s world 5000m record in Monaco in August, it generated an outpouring of ecstasy in a mild-mannered Dutchman situated some 9000 kilometres away in Uganda.

“I’d been following the race by livestream and after he set the record I was leaping around the house, I was very happy,” explains Cheptegei’s coach, Addy Ruiter.

Yet despite the inevitable nerves Ruiter experienced that night, he was also very optimistic.

Some four weeks earlier, Cheptegei completed a track session on a far from standard grass oval track in Kapchorwa which filled his coach with confidence.

“That day, Joshua showed me he was in 12:30 shape (for the 5000m) and at a much higher level than Bekele’s 12:37 (5000m world record),” he said. “Knowing he was that much further ahead of the world record was important because we knew the likely hot conditions he would face in Monaco would slow him down a little.”

Still aged just 23, the world cross country and 10,000m champion appears armed with all the qualities to become the dominant distance runner of his generation.

After taking down Bekele’s world 5000m record his next target is the Ethiopian’s 15-year-old world 10,000m record of 26:17.53 which he will attack on October 7, in Valencia.

Some ten days later the Ugandan sensation will make his eagerly-awaited debut over the 21.1km distance at the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships Gdynia 2020 in Poland where he will look to claim his first world road title.

‘Coaching was in my blood’

His potential looks limitless, yet behind every great athlete is always a great coach and there is little doubt the avuncular Ruiter ticks all the boxes as a knowledgeable and innovative foil for the super-talented Cheptegei.

Born and raised in the small city of Papendrecht in western Holland, Ruiter was a handy schoolboy athlete but with a curious nature he was quickly drawn to coaching and recalls guiding a number of runners as a high school student.

“Coaching was in my blood,” he says.

Yet running and coaching back then could not dislodge his passion for travel. With an interest in the world around him and a desire to experience different cultures, he would spend periods of time working to save enough money to visit many far flung parts of the world.

He travelled extensively through Asia, spent prolonged periods in Australia and in total has visited 97 countries around the globe.

The Dutchman re-engaged with running for a short period of time around the age of 30. He trained hard and whittled his 10km personal best down to 30 minutes. Then the travel bug took over once again.

“I was someone with a talent but not enough of a talent to train so for a long period of time,” he adds.

On Gdynia: ‘he is capable of winning’

That next target is the world 10,000m record followed by his half marathon debut in Gdynia. There will be huge expectations around Cheptegei, but Ruiter is slightly cautious.

“It was sad they were forced to postpone the original race back in March because we had enjoyed the perfect preparation,” he says.

“In recent months we have been preparing to run the 5000m and 10,000m world records, so this time it has not been a perfect preparation. But even without an ideal build up he is capable of winning the race.”

In the longer term the priority is the track climaxing with the 2024 Paris Olympics, from which point the road and the marathon will be the main priority and of all surfaces, Ruiter believes the road is the one best suited to the Ugandan.

(09/28/2020) Views: 127 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Why Kipkemboi is relishing to pace at London Marathon

In 2011, Kipkemboi joined Rock High School in Tororo, Uganda after his brother,Eliud Kibet Too, who is also an athlete secured a place for him. He sat his Form Four exams and when he was unable to continue to Form Five, Kipkemboi returned home.

That is when he started training after being inspired by what his brother was doing. Kipkemboi joined Complete Sports stable before shifting to Global Sports Communication.

When London Marathon was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Kaptagat-based athlete Noah Kipkemboi engaged high gear in training instead of reverse considering the importance of the race.

His mind had been set on the initial April 26 race date, but organisers moved the event to October 4 owing to travel restrictions and Covid-19 health concerns. Now only elite races for men, women and wheelchair athletes will be held in an enclosed loop.

Coronavirus scuttled the global sports calendar that resulted in the cancellation of major events including the Olympic Games that were postponed to next year in Tokyo, Japan.

Kipkemboi is one of the pacemakers for some of the best athletes in the world. Defending champion and world marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge (2hours:01 minute:39 seconds), Rotterdam Marathon champion Marius Kipserem, Amsterdam Marathon champion Vincent Kipchumba and 2016 Mumbai Marathon champion Gideon Kipketer will line up on the big day in London.

The spotlight will be on Kipchoge, the first man to run a sub-two hours (1:59:40) in the INEOS 1:59 Challenge in Vienna, Austria, last October as he goes head-to-head with his great rival, Ethiopian legend Kenenisa Bekele.

Nation Sport recently caught up with Kipkemboi training at Kipchoge Keino Stadium in Uasin Gishu County. 

Together with his colleagues from the Global Sports Communication stable, the athletes were tying up loose ends as they prepare for the race.

Kipchoge, who is also the Olympic marathon champion, Kipkemboi and Victor Chumo, who was also a pacemaker in Vienna, took turns to set the pace when we found them training at the Kipchoge Stadium.

In an interview with Nation Sport, Kipkemboi said that he is privileged to be among the pacemakers who will be leading some of the best athletes in the world. He is satisfied with his preparations.

"It will not be an easy task because some of the best athletes will be competing in the race. That means the pace will be fast, but I’m ready for the assignment,” said Kipkemboi.

He said that after competitions were cancelled because of the virus in April, he was disappointed. He had to train alone and he followed the Ministry of Health directives on social distancing.

“It was not easy training alone because athletes are used to training in a group. Nevertheless, I stayed focused. I am in good shape. My colleagues and I are putting some final touches. I believe I will perform well in the huge task ahead,” said the runner.

Kipkemboi said he was delighted when he was picked as one of the athletes who will set the pace in London.

“It will be my first time to pace in a major marathon. This has made me work extra hard in training because this race will need effective preparations. I don’t want to disappoint anyone,” he said.

Kipkemboi joined the Global Communications stable in 2017 and has been rising steadily. He was among the athletes who paced for Kipchoge during the sub-two project in Monza, Italy, where he missed the mark.

Kipkemboi was again selected last year among the 41 pacemakers for Kipchoge in the INEOS 1:59 Challenge in Vienna. Kipkemboi rates the Vienna race as one of the best he has ever participated in.“That was a good race because it brought together many athletes from different countries for a worthy course,” said Kipkemboi.

Last year, he finished in ninth position in the Lisbon Half Marathon in a personal best of 60:52, before emerging third in Sevenhills Road Race in Netherlands.

Kipkemboi was second during the Kass Half Marathon in 2018 and he was also second in the Kakamega Half Marathon last year.

Kipkemboi was born in 1993 in Legetet, Uasin Gishu County. He went to school at Legetet Primary School and then proceeded to Ndubeneti Secondary School. However, he dropped out of school for lack of fees.

In 2011, he joined Rock High School in Tororo, Uganda after his brother ,Eliud Kibet Too, who is also an athlete secured a place for him. He sat his Form Four exams and when he was unable to continue to Form Five, Kipkemboi returned home.

That is when he started training after being inspired by what his brother was doing. Kipkemboi joined Complete Sports stable before shifting to Global Sports Communication.

(09/27/2020) Views: 133 ⚡AMP
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SARA HALL REFLECTS ON HARD WORK AND MOTHERHOOD IN BUILD UP TO LONDON MARATHON

Running At Peak Form Into Her Late 30s, Hall Continues Lifelong Pattern Of Putting In The Effort

When the future of racing in 2020 looked bleak as the COVID-19 crisis swept the world last spring, Sara Hall didn’t lose hope.

“I started training for a marathon in faith, before I knew there would be any real competitions,” said Hall, who has been eager to finally move past her heartbreaking performance from February at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, where she dropped out at mile 22.

“It would have been easier just to hit the couch, but I set my mind on running a marathon, some way some how.”

Even if it meant racing 26.2 miles by herself, she said.

Ryan Hall, a two-time U.S. Olympic marathoner who retired in 2016, said his wife’s relentless competitive drive is one of his biggest challenges as her coach.

“She loves to train hard, but has a hard time taking extended breaks,” he said. “She is always ‘chomping at the bit’ to get back out there.”

When Hall heard that the London Marathon would host a highly secure, elite-only race amid the pandemic, she jumped at the precious opportunity.

On Oct. 4, she will face some of the world’s best marathoners, including defending London champion and world record holder Brigid Kosgei of Kenya and U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials champion Molly Seidel.

“Getting into the London Marathon felt like such a reward for a lot of perseverance this year — being willing to put in the work on faith alone,” said Hall, 37. “It felt against all odds to get to toe the line in a world marathon major.”

‘Against all odds’ is a familiar theme for Hall, a mother of four who has posted the fastest times of her career well into her 30s, including a 2:22 marathon last year in Berlin, where she finished fifth. Last month, with two male pacers, she ran a personal best of 1:08:18 in a half marathon along the Row River Trail in south of Eugene, Oregon, making her the sixth-fastest American woman ever in that distance.

A former Foot Locker Cross Country National Champion in high school and distance standout at Stanford University, Hall has competed at the highest levels of distance running for two decades — a great accomplishment in itself.

“It’s definitely surprised me,” she said of her longevity in the sport. “I think it’s a lot of factors, but I think the biggest are being naturally durable and learning to be really mentally-emotionally resilient.”

Ten years ago, after disappointing results as a 1,500-meter and 5,000-meter runner on the track, Hall thought her elite running career was over. She credits her Christian faith and Ryan with convincing her she had more to achieve.

Since then, she’s not only moved up to and mastered the marathon distance, she’s done it while becoming a mother to four adopted sisters from Ethiopia.

“When we adopted them, I didn’t think I’d be able to keep competing, but instead I’ve improved every year since they’ve been here,” said Hall, who is using her race in London to raise money for homeless children in Ethiopia, where she and Ryan have spent a lot of time working on various causes.

“I get to model to (my daughters) so many character aspects I want to instill in them: picking yourself up after defeat, taking risks, hard work, commitment,” she said. “Running is the greatest teacher.”

Inspired by their parents, three of the Halls' daughters have become runners. The oldest, Hana, currently a freshman runner at Grand Canyon University, won the Division 2 Arizona Cross Country Championships last fall. Hana and Mia, 16, both ran with their mom at the half marathon in Oregon.

In addition managing her kids’ remote learning and getting in her workouts, Hall has made time to discuss the racial justice movements happening across the United States.

“I’ve told my daughters about George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor,” she said. “We’ve discussed the movement in the U.S. and the systemic racism over the last 400 years that is the backstory to these recent events. I personally have been learning a lot.”

Despite the world’s turmoil in recent months, Hall has maintained extraordinary focus on the road ahead.

In the London Marathon, which will be held on a closed-loop course around St. James Park, she hopes to snag a new personal best and would love to finally land on the podium, after finishing fifth at the Frankfurt and Berlin Marathons.

“I’m focused on having my best marathon yet,” she said.

(09/26/2020) Views: 153 ⚡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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Frankfurt Marathon champion Valary Jemeli Aiyabei is currently ranked as the 10th fastest woman in marathon history

Vegetables vendor who conquered the Frankfurt marathon, ranked as the 10th fastest woman in marathon history.

This is after breaking the course record in Frankfurt last year, winning in two hours, 19 minutes and 10 seconds.

But she’s not done yet and will be seeking to move up the pecking order at the London Marathon next Sunday.

Her’s is an amazing story of a late bloomer who started off selling vegetables to eke out a living before taking to athletics.

In London, she will be competing against compatriots, defending champion Brigid Kosgei, 2018 champion Vivian Cheruiyot, world marathon champion Ruth Chepng’etich and debutant Edith Chelimo.

Aiyabei told Nation Sport that her preparations for the London race are complete and that she looks forward to a good race.

“My training was injury free and I’m happy because despite the Covid-19 challenges, I managed to train well and I’m just waiting for the race day,” said Aiyabei.

She also said that training in a group helps athletes gauge their limit but she has been training alone which she feels that she has done well so far.

“It’s my first time to compete in London Marathon and I will be doing my best despite the fact that I was training alone. I trust I did well and finished my training programme and I will be implementing what I have done so far,” she added.

Went there to set up business

Aiyabei joins the long list of athletes who started their training and ventured straight into the road and marathon races. She trains in Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet County, where she has called home since 2011 when she went there to set up business but decided to join athletes who used to train every day.

Aiyabei comes from a humble background and after graduating from Kapkitony High School in Elgeyo Marakwet, life was hard and she decided to shift base to Iten where she started a small business to keep her going. The athlete decided to look for some income generation and her mind clicked Iten, a busy town full of athletes training for various races where she thought there could be good circulation of cash.

It was while she was selling her vegetables and fruits, that she could see athletes training every day and she was attracted to the sport.

“Poverty pushed me to Iten town where I used to hear that athletes were camping and I wanted to go there and make money. In my interaction with them, I came to love the sport and I started training in the morning and evening every day,” said Aiyabei.

She started training on road races and she later had her first child, Michelle Chebet, before getting back to serious training.

“With good training I’m very much sure that I can still lower that time but my target is to also run a world record time in the near future,” said Aiyabei.

At the Frankfurt Marathon, Aiyabei broke from the leading pack with her husband Ken Tarus pacing for her in the initial stages before he dropped out of the race after feeling unwell.

“It was tough running alone when the pacemaker dropped but I kept going because I wanted to win the race. Breaking early saved me because the Ethiopian athlete (Kebede) looked strong and she would have beaten me in the final part of the race,” said Aiyabei.

(09/26/2020) Views: 128 ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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Venice Marathon will go forward with just two Runners, one man and one woman

Instead of the usual 5000 runners this year's Venice Marathon will only have two, one man and one woman. Under an initiative announced by race organizers yesterday called "Venicemarathon One for All," one male and one female runner will be chosen at random from the field of 5000 entrants to run the famous course from Villa Pisani Museo Nazionale, through the Piazza San Marco, to the finish at the Giardino della Marinaressa. Because of the pandemic, the remainder of the field must run virtually.

"During this hard time we worked in close and continuous contact with local authorities, health institutions and FIDAL (the Italian Federation of Athletics) to try and organize the event this year as our tradition saw in the past," said marathon president Piero Rosa Salva through a statement. "Unfortunately, the strong concern for an epidemiological situation still in progress, especially abroad, forced us, with great regret but with a necessary sense of responsibility, to recognize the impossibility of managing in health safety the events which involved last year about 30,000 people including athletes, school children, volunteers, police forces and professionals."

The marathon's 5000 registrants may run virtually, from October 24, to November 1. But the two in-person participants will "have the opportunity to run for all athletes," on the official race day of Sunday, October 25, organizers said. Those runners will have a full escort of vehicles "that will assist them along the race course, guaranteeing their safety," according to the organizers. There will be a live video stream of their run.

There will also be a start-as-you-please 10-K in the nearby Parco San Giuliano where runners can complete a marked race course anytime between 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. and get an official time. The park is near the 30-K mark of the marathon course, and 10-K runners can possibly get a glimpse of the two marathoners when they go by.

The Venice Marathon is widely recognized as Italy's best fall marathon. The course records were both set by Kenyans: 2:08:13 by John Komen in 2009 and 2:23:37 by Helena Loshanyang Kirop in 2011. Last year's winners, Tesfaye Ambesa Lencho of Ethiopia and Judith Korir of Kenya, each earned 5000 euros in prize money plus time bonuses.

(09/25/2020) Views: 149 ⚡AMP
by David Monti
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Venice Marathon

Venice Marathon

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

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