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Both the men and women course records were smashed at the 35th Annual Zurich Marathon in Sevilla

Ethiopians Ayana Tsedat and Guteni Shone grabbed convincing victories at the 35th Zurich Maratón de Sevilla, an IAAF Gold Label road race, on Sunday February 17. 

Running in nearly ideal weather conditions, the 22-year-old Tsedat clocked 2:06:36 to improve the race record by 1:07. Likewise Shone’s winning time of 2:24:29 broke the course record by a similar difference, 1:06.

Both men’s and women’s contests had strong depth as five men ducked under 2:07 while four women ran inside 2:27 as the new circuit proved to be even faster than the previous one.

The men’s race opened at a steady pace of 3:00m per kilometer.  A group of 13 runners hit the 10km point in 29:56 with Kenya’s Daniel Kipkore Kibet plus the Ethiopian group of Tsedat, Belay Asefa and Birhanu Berga.

The Madrid-based Tsegay went through the halfway point in 1:03:18 with ten men still running at his shoulder. By the 27k it was Kibet who moved to the front to maintain the rhythm, sharing the lead with Tsegay by 30 kilometers, reached in 1:30:09. Surprisingly, the Eritrean, a 2:09:56 performer, didn’t quit the race at that point and ran on with relative ease.

By then the main group included Tsegay, Kibet and the Ethiopian trio of Tsedat, Asefa and Berga, with the race record of 2:07:43 seemingly well within reach. In the closing kilometer Tsedat launched his attack. First Kibet and then Tadese fell back while Asefa and Berga followed behind in single file, but unable to maintain the pace. Tsedat cross the line in 2:06:36 to obliterate his previous lifetime best of 2.09:26 set last year in Barcelona while Asefa (2:06:39) and Berga (2:06:41) secured an Ethiopian podium sweep, also improving their career bests.

Meanwhile Tsegay, the designated pacemaker, crossed the line in 2:06:46 to break the Eritrean national record and obliterate his previous best. Tsegay trains in Madrid under the guidance of Jerónimo Bravo, the coach who led Zersenay Tadese to the world half marathon record of 58:23 back in 2010.

In the women's race, it was Spanish marathon Roger Roca who was given pacing duties on track to break the 2:25:35 record set last year. He set a steady 3:26 per kilometer pace to go through the opening 10,000m in 34:25 with ten women following closely. The halfway point was reached in 1:12:40 by a group of eight Ethiopians.

The leading quintet passed 30k in 1:43:17, still led by Roca and well on schedule to set a new race record. Shone and Gebremeskel proved to be the strongest as they comfortably led by the 35k point, still on track for a sub-2:25 performance.

Then Shone, one of Tirunesh Dibaba’s training partners, made her move, reaching the 40km point in 2:17:03 with a 12 second advantage over Gebremeskel. The 27-year-old injected an even faster pace over the closing kilometers to romp home in 2:24:29, less than one minute outside of her PB set four years ago. Gebremeskel clocked 2:24:53, improved her previous best by more than five minutes. 

(02/17/2019) ⚡AMP
by from IAAF
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Zurich Marathon Sevilla

Zurich Marathon Sevilla

This urban, flat, fast and beautiful brand new race course will drive athletes through the most beautiful monuments of the city. Zurich Maraton de Sevilla brings the unique opportunity to brake the Best personal result over the mythical distance to all the athletes, professional or age groupers, in one of the most perfect international marathon circuits. This fast marathon takes...

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Samuel Tefera breaks long standing world indoor 1500m Record in Birmingham, Yomif was second

Samuel Tefera from Ethiopia upstaged compatriot Yomif Kejelcha to break the indoor 1500m record at the IAAF World Indoor Tour meeting in Birmingham England on Saturday Feb 16.  The record has stood for over twenty years.  

Kejelcha, who last week came within 0.01 of the world indoor mile record, had announced his intentions to break the 1500m mark ahead of his race in Birmingham. The pacemakers hit their required target times, taking Kejelcha through 800m in 1:52.70 and 2:49.28 at 1200m.

But Tefera, the world indoor champion at the distance, was tucked right behind Kejelcha and looked ominously comfortable with the pace. The clock ticked through 3:03 as the bell sounded for the final lap and Tefera made his move, kicking past Kejelcha to take the lead.

Tefera charged towards the line and stopped the clock at 3:31.04, taking 0.14 off the previous record set by Hicham El Guerrouj in 1997.

Kejelcha finished second in a personal best of 3:31.58.

Top photo by Mark Shearman 

(02/16/2019) ⚡AMP
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Müller Indoor Grand Prix Birmingham

Müller Indoor Grand Prix Birmingham

Ranked as the best one-day indoor meeting in the world, the Müller Indoor Grand Prix returns to Birmingham in 2019. Over the years this meeting has seen British stars such as Sir Mo Farah, Dina Asher-Smith and Laura Muir regularly appear alongside the world’s very best athletes and 2019’s event won’t disappoint as more world-class head to heads are expected...

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World half marathon record holder Joyciline Jepkosgei will make her marathon debut at the Haspa Marathon Hamburg

Joyciline Jepkosgei's debut over the marathon distance has been fervently anticipated since the Kenyan, now 25, produced her sensational 2017 season, breaking six world records. Four of those came in one race, the Sportisimo Prague Half Marathon, where she clocked 30:05 at 10km, 45:37 at 15km and 1:01:25 at 20km en route to a 1:04:52 performance over the full distance.

She clipped another second from that mark in Valencia the following October, lowering the world record to 1:04:51 where it currently stands. In 2017, again in Prague, Jepkosgei shattered the 10km record at the Birell Prague Grand Prix, clocking a phenomenal 29:43.

Slowed in part by illness, her follow-up year didn't produce the same record-shattering achievements, but she did race to silver at the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in Valencia in March.

Hamburg organizers were quick to draw a parallel to another high profile marathon debut on their course, that of Eliud Kipchoge in 2013 when the Kenyan ace cruised to victory in 2:05:30. He's since gone on to be considered the best marathon runner of all time. Jepkosgei insists that parallel wasn't on her mind when choosing the setting for her debut.

"My manager and my coach both told me that Hamburg has a fast and flat course," she said.

"I would like to achieve a time of around 2:22. But there are still two months of preparation to come. I have to wait and see how my body reacts to the training. Once I am a week away from the race I will see what kind of form I am in. Then I will determine my final goal."

As a final preparation, Jepkosgei will run the United Airlines NYC Half on March 17 in New York.

(02/14/2019) ⚡AMP
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Haspa Marathon Hamburg

Haspa Marathon Hamburg

Be one of more than 25.000 athletes. The HASPA MARATHON HAMBURG is Germany’s biggest spring marathon and since 1986 the first one to paint the blue line on the roads. Hamburgcourse record is fast (2:05:30), the metropolitan city (1.8 million residents) lets the euphoric atmosphere spill over and carries you to the finish. Make this experience first hand and...

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IAAF battle with Olympic 800m Champion Caster Semenya saying she should be classified as a biological male

South Africa's world and Olympic 800 metres champion Caster Semenya is challenging a proposed new rule brought in by the IAAF which, if upheld, would force her to either take medication to reduce her testosterone levels or compete against men.

Semenya has called the rule - which only affects athletes competing in events between 400m and the mile - unfair, and the case is due to be heard at the CAS in Lausanne next week.

The British newspaper The Times had claimed that when the case begins, the IAAF will argue Semenya is a biological male.

The newspaper stated lawyers for the IAAF are preparing to argue that the 28-year-old two-time Olympic champion and other athletes with differences of sexual development (DSD) should be treated as female but are in fact biologically male.

The lawyers will argue therefore, the paper claimed, that such athletes should take testosterone suppressants before competing in middle distance events in order to level the playing field.

In response the IAAF released a statement saying it is not classifying any athletes with Semenya's condition as male.

"To the contrary, we accept their legal sex without question, and permit them to compete in the female category," they said.

They did stick to their original position, though, saying that to allow DSD athletes to compete against women with normal testosterone levels unchecked would be unfair.

"If a DSD athlete has testes and male levels of testosterone, they get the same increases in bone and muscle size and strength and increases in haemoglobin that a male gets when they go through puberty, which is what gives men such a performance advantage over women," they said.

"Therefore, to preserve fair competition in the female category, it is necessary to require DSD athletes to reduce their testosterone down to female levels before they compete at international level."

Previously, the IAAF claimed athletes such as Semenya competing against women is comparable to adults competing against children, so significant is the perceived advantage. 

Semenya's lawyers have also responded to the piece in The Times, saying the South African is "unquestionably a woman".

They also responded to quotes attributed to the IAAF's lawyer Jonathan Taylor, who reportedly said that if the CAS rules in Semenya's favour, "then DSD and transgender athletes will dominate the podiums and prize money in sport", saying her situation cannot be compared to that of transgender athletes. 

"There are different regulations for DSD athletes and transgender athletes," they say in a statement.

"Ms Semenya respects the rights and interests of transgender athletes around the world.

"Her case however, is about the rights of women such as Ms Semenya, who are born as women, reared and socialised as women, who have been legally recognised as women for their entire lives, who have always competed in athletics as women and who should be permitted to compete in the female category without discrimination."

The proposed rule has caused significant controversy since it was first put forward by the IAAF and has been criticised by human rights experts from the United Nations who called it "unjustifiable". 

(02/14/2019) ⚡AMP
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Yomif Kejelcha going after 1500m World Record at the Muller Indoor Grand Prix Birmingham

The two-time world indoor 3000m champion won the mile at the recent Millrose Games in 3:48.46, just 0.01 outside Hicham El Guerrouj’s world indoor record set in 1997, six months before Kejelcha was born.

The Ethiopian will be targeting another one of El Guerrouj’s marks in Birmingham: the world indoor 1500m record of 3:31.18. El Guerrouj recorded that time just 10 days before his world indoor mile record, so given that Kejelcha is in near identical form as the Moroccan during his record-breaking run in 1997, the 21-year-old stands a good chance of taking down the mark in the shorter distance.

There will be tough opposition, too, including the three other men who have won 1500m races in this year’s World Indoor Tour: Torun winner and world indoor champion Samuel Tefera, Madrid winner Bethwel Birgen, and Karlsruhe winner Vincent Kibet.

One week after coming within a whisker of the world indoor mile record, Yomif Kejelcha will be one of the biggest focal points of the Muller Indoor Grand Prix Birmingham when he lines up for the 1500m at the penultimate IAAF World Indoor Tour meeting of 2019 on Saturday

(02/14/2019) ⚡AMP
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Müller Indoor Grand Prix Birmingham

Müller Indoor Grand Prix Birmingham

Ranked as the best one-day indoor meeting in the world, the Müller Indoor Grand Prix returns to Birmingham in 2019. Over the years this meeting has seen British stars such as Sir Mo Farah, Dina Asher-Smith and Laura Muir regularly appear alongside the world’s very best athletes and 2019’s event won’t disappoint as more world-class head to heads are expected...

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Sineard Diver improved her 40 Plus world record at Marugame Half Marathon clocking 1:08:55

Betsy Saina pulled away from Ayuko Suzuki in the final kilometer of the Marugame Half Marathon to successfully defend her title at the IAAF Silver Label road race in 1:07:49 on Sunday Feb 3.

Abdi Nageeye, meanwhile, caught front-running Simon Kariuki just before the 20-kilometer point and went on to win in 1:00:24, taking 46 seconds off the Dutch record set 20 years ago by Greg van Hest.

Saina and Suzuki ran together, passing five kilometers in 16:02, 10 kilometers in 32:06 and 15 kilometers in 48:15. They were still together at 20 kilometers, reached in 1:04:25, but Saina then made her move and pulled away from Suzuki to win in 1:07:49, smashing her previous best of 1:09:17 set in Marugame last year.

The Kenyan became the fifth woman to win back-to-back Marugame Half Marathon titles, joining Eunice Kirwa (2016 and 2017), Tiki Gelana (2012 and 2013), Kayoko Fukushi (2006, 2007 and 2011) and Yasuko Hashimoto (2003 and 2004). Her time is also the third fastest time in Marugame.

Despite missing out on victory, Suzuki was still pleased with her 1:07:55 half marathon debut.

“I am bit disappointed to be out kicked at the end of the race, but it was good that I was able to keep the steady pace all the way,” said Suzuki.

41-year-old Sinead Diver finished third in 1:08:55, improving her own world W40 best by 25 seconds. Charlotte Purdue was fourth in 1:09:46, her first sub-70-minute performance. Mao Ichiyama, who will be running the Tokyo Marathon in four weeks, was sixth in 1:10:49, about a minute shy of her PR.

Before Diver, American marathon record holder Deena Kastor held the record at 1:09:37. 

The lead group in the men’s race went through five kilometers in 14:16 and then Japan-based Kenyan Simon Kariuki pulled away from the pack. He went through 10 kilometres in 28:24, about 20 seconds ahead of the chase pack, and managed to maintain that lead up to 15 kilometres, which he reached in 42:46.

Nageeye then started to reel in Kariuki and took the lead just before 20 kilometres, which he passed in 57:18. The 29-year-old continued to pull away from his competitors in the closing stages to win in 1:00:24, improving his PB by one minute and 44 seconds.

Kariuki finished second in 1:00:43, a PR by 42 seconds. Australia’s Jack Rayner was third in 1:01:36, while fourth-placed Takato Suzuki was the first Japanese finisher, just ahead of Masao Kizu, both credited with PRs of 1:01:45.

(02/04/2019) ⚡AMP
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Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon

Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon

The Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon is an annual road running competition which takes place in early February in Marugame, Japan. It currently holds IAAF Silver Label Road Race status and the professional races attract over 1000 entries each year, and hosted by the Sankei Shimbun, Sankei Sports, Okayama Broadcasting, BS Fuji. The race in Marugame was first held in 1947...

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Ethiopians were the big winners at the Lagos City Marathon today

Ethiopians took home 100,000 US dollars each as winners of 2019 Lagos Marathon, 2nd and 3rd take 40,000 and 30,000 dollars. Ethiopians Suntayahu Legese and Dinke Meseret won the 2019 Lagos City Marathon held on Saturday, February 2.

Since the inception of the annual marathon festival no Nigerian has emerged winner. Legese beat all competition to win in a time of 02:17:28. Two Kenyans made the podium in second and third place.

Joshua Kipkorir and William Yegon finished on the podium with 02:21:11 of 02:18:16 and 02:19:04 to pick up huge cash amounts in the competition sanctioned by the governing body IAAF.

For females, Meseret beat all competition to win with clocking 02:48:02. 

In second place was Alemnesh Herepa with a time of 02:49:05 and Kebena Chala in third with a time of 02:49:09.

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

Access Bank Lagos City Marathon

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

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Tokyo Olympics Likely to Feature Morning Track and Field Finals to Meet Demands of U.S. Broadcasting

On Jan. 29 it was learned that final discussions are underway for staging some track and field individual event finals at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics during morning sessions. Road events such as the men's and women's marathons and race walks are already scheduled to be held in the morning in order to deal with the expected hot conditions, but an additional seven or eight individual events are now also likely to see their finals held at the New National Stadium during the morning Japan time.

According to a source involved in the talks, the plan is under discussion by the IOC and IAAF. As will be the case with swimming, the morning sessions will allow an American television network that has paid large sums for broadcast rights to the IOC to show the events during primetime in the United States. A Japanese official involved in the situation commented, "We expect to see a good balance struck between jumps, throws and track." Events with competitive American athletes such as the triple jump and shot put are likely candidates.

If preliminary rounds are uniformly held during morning sessions and finals during afternoon sessions there is bound to be a difference in attendance and viewership between the two. In terms of the planned 68,000-seat capacity of the New National Stadium, for Japan as well there are merits to holding some morning finals. There was also precedent at the 2016 Rio Olympics, where events including the women's 10000 m had finals held during the morning.

High-profile events such as the men's 4x100 m relay and 4x400 m relay are planned for afternoon sessions as usual. "We will be watching the outcome of the talks between the IOC and IAAF closely," said the source.

(02/02/2019) ⚡AMP
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Excitement is building as the Glasgow hosted European Indoor Championships fast approaches

There is now only one month to go until some of the world’s leading athletes descend on Glasgow for the European Athletics Indoor Championships.

The event will take place over three days (March 1-3), returns to Glasgow next month for the first time since 1990 and there will be 650 athletes from more than 45 nations setting their sights on glory.

The Scottish city continues to build on its reputation as a world-class sporting destination, and today at the Emirates Arena, Andy Butchart was in attendance to share their feelings ahead of the championships.

The competition will be the second major European event held in Glasgow within twelve months after a hugely successful inaugural European Championships last August. Glasgow continues to receive global recognition for this reputation with a coveted top five ranking as a sporting destination.

British 5000m runner Butchart has turned in some superb performances at the highest level in sport, most notably, at the Olympic Games in 2016 and at the IAAF World Championships in 2017.

The Stirling-born runner will have his sights set on clinching success in front of a home crowd next month as he comes off a major injury which meant the 27-year-old was forced to rule himself out of last year’s Commonwealth Games.

Glasgow 2019 will present a real opportunity for him to run to victory in front of a home crowd. 

“The Emirates Arena will be the place to be in early March,” said Butchart. “I’ll put on a good show along with the other Scottish athletes and give the crowd something to cheer about. Super excited to get on the track and race in front of a home crowd.”

(02/01/2019) ⚡AMP
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European Athletics Indoor Championships

European Athletics Indoor Championships

The 2019 European Athletics Indoor Championships is coming to Glasgow, March 1-3. Witness six sessions of action-packed sport over three days of intense competition in the intimate Emirates Arena as some of the best athletes in the world compete for prestigious European titles. Don’t miss the opportunity to witness this thrilling event and get closer to the action. Glasgow’s Emirates...

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Defending champions will face a strong field at Lagos City Marathon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Access Bank Lagos City Marathon

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

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Ethiopian Fatuma Sado won the 38th edition of Osaka International Women’s Marathon

Surging away from Rei Ohara after 38 kilometers, Fatuma Sado won the 38th Osaka International Women’s Marathon, an IAAF Gold Label road race, on Sunday clocking  2:25:39.

“I was very happy, but the time was not fast enough to be selected for the Olympic team,” said the 27-year-old Ethiopian who became just the fourth African to win the race after Lornah Kiplagat, Catherine Ndereba and Amane Gobena. “I want to run faster time in the next race.”

Rei Ohara of Japan was second, seven seconds behind the winner, with Bornes Jepkirui another 15 seconds behind in third.

“I wanted to make my move at 30 kilometers,” Ohara said, “but I could not do it right. I tried my surge again at 35K, but it was far from decisive. I wanted to win, but could not close the gap at the end of the race.”

The pacemakers did an admirable job, bringing the lead pack through five kilometers in 17:00, 10 kilometres in 33:59, and 15 in 51:02. At 15 kilometers, the lead pack consisted of three pacemakers, an Ethiopian trio of Sado, Asefa Sutume and Abebech Afework, Kenyans Jepkirui and Jeptoo and Japanese Ohara, Fukushi and Hatsuki Omori.

Between kilometers 17 and 20, Jeptoo, Afework and Omori lost contact with the leaders. By half way, the lead dwindled to the pacemakers, Jepkirui, Sado, Fukushi and Ohara. After 25 kilometers, the pace started to slow, but Fukushi began to drift back anyway. At 30 kilometers, the final pacemaker dropped out and Ohara surged ahead, followed by Sado and Jepkirui.

(01/28/2019) ⚡AMP
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Osaka International Women´s Marathon

Osaka International Women´s Marathon

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

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Two-time Tokyo marathon champion Dickson Chumba going for victory again March 3

Dickson Chumba, who also won the Tokyo Marathon in 2014, has a life time best of 2:04:32 having finished inside 2:05 in both of his Tokyo victories. He also finished third at the 2015, 2016 and 2017 editions of the race. He faces a stellar line-up that includes multiple world and Olympic champion Kenenisa Bekele.

Bekele set a national record of 2:03:03 when winning the 2016 Berlin Marathon but he has struggled in some of his races since then. He failed to finish in Dubai in 2017 but rebounded to finish second in London in 2:05:57 three months later.

He then withdrew from the Berlin Marathon later the same year before returning to action at the 2018 London Marathon, where he finished sixth in 2:08:53,. He recorded another ‘DNF’ at the Amsterdam Marathon in October 2018.

Bekele’s last race in Japan was at the 2007 IAAF World Championships in Osaka, where he won the 10,000m—one of his six global titles at the distance.

He is one of five men in the field with PBs faster than 2:05. Fellow Ethiopian Birhanu Legesse ran 2:04:15 in Dubai on his debut at the distance last year and will contest his third career marathon in Tokyo.

Bahrain’s Asian record-holder El Hassan El Abbassi and Ethiopia’s Seifu Tura, both of whom recorded their sub-2:05 lifetime bests last year, are also in the mix.

Most of the local fans, however, will be focused on Suguru Osako, who broke the Japanese record when finishing third at the Chicago Marathon last year in 2:05:50.

Two sets of pacemakers are planned for the men’s race. The first set will aim for 2:57-2:58/km pace until 30km, targeting a finishing time in the region of 2:04:30 to 2:05:10. The second set will run at 3:00/km pace with a target finishing time of about 2:06:35.

(01/27/2019) ⚡AMP
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Tokyo Marathon

Tokyo Marathon

The Tokyo Marathon is an annual marathon sporting event in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. It is an IAAF Gold Label marathon and one of the six World Marathon Majors. Sponsored by Tokyo Metro, the Tokyo Marathon is an annual event in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. It is an IAAF Gold Label marathon and one of the six World...

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Ethiopian Getaneh Molla runs 2:03:34 and Kenyan Ruth Chepngetich 2:17:08 at Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

Dubai Marathon winners shattered records at this year’s race, beating tens of thousands who donned their running shoes early Friday morning to participate in the iconic sporting event.

Ethiopian Getaneh Molla and Kenyan Ruth Chepngetich broke the course records in the 19th edition of the marathon, with Molla clocking 2:03:34 or about roughly half minute faster than Mosinet Geremew’s 2:04:00 set last year.

Chepngetich emerged as the winner for the female division, finishing the race with a time of 2:17:08 shattering the course record of Roza Dereje at 2:19:17 at last year’s race.

Getaneh Molla produced the fastest marathon debut in history to win the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon, while Ruth Chepngetich moved up to third on the women’s world all-time list at the IAAF Gold Label road race on Friday (25).

Molla’s winning time of 2:03:34 took 26 seconds off the course record that was set last year and puts him sixth on the world all-time list.

Chepngetich, meanwhile, took 87 seconds off the PB she set in Istanbul just two months ago to win in 2:17:08, an improvement of two minutes and nine seconds on the previous course record. It moves her from eighth to third on the world all-time list behind world record-holder Paula Radcliffe (2:15:25) and Mary Keitany (2:17:01).

(01/25/2019) ⚡AMP
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Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

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

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South African Nolene Conrad will face some of the world’s best at Osaka Marathon

Nolene Conrad faces a defining moment in her impressive running career on Sunday when she lines up against some of the world’s best at the start of the Osaka Marathon in Japan.

Japan is right up with Kenya and Ethiopia in women’s marathon running, boasting four athletes in Sunday’s race with marathon best times faster than two hours and 24 minutes. And with several top east Africans also in the mix, a top-15 finish in a personal best time would represent an outstanding result for Conrad.

The diminutive athlete from Blue Downs has risen to the top echelon of South African distance running in recent years and led her compatriots home at last year’s world half marathon championships in Spain, where she earned IAAF gold label status for her top-25 position.

But an elite standard marathon time still eludes Conrad, although her 2:34:39 at last year’s Cape Town Marathon came close.

Her half marathon best of 1:11:44 suggests that a five-minute improvement, which will lift her into world-class sub-2:30 territory, may not be beyond her.

“I’m definitely aiming for a big improvement on my best of 2:34:39 I achieved in last year’s Cape Town Marathon,” admitted Conrad. “My coach (Ernie Gruhn) believes that I can get close to 2:30. 

I was rather cautious at Cape Town, not wanting to risk anything. That earned me a solid performance, but perhaps not quite what I could have achieved.

“I’m adopting a new fierce approach for Japan. I’m going for it - let’s see how it works out. I should be comfortable going through half way in 75 minutes, which will be a few minutes slower than my half marathon best. The course is pancake flat, so hopefully I’ll be able to hold on in the second half.”

(01/24/2019) ⚡AMP
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Osaka International Women´s Marathon

Osaka International Women´s Marathon

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

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The Mexican Olympic Sports Center (CDOM) was selected to have an air quality monitor installed.

The Mexican Olympic Sports Center (CDOM) was selected to have an air quality monitor installed.

The monitor will collect air quality data in real time, measuring the levels of several pollutants and, with it, assessing the impact of environmental pollution on the performance of the athletes, as well as designing new policies and strategies to counteract it.

The IAAF has been conducting the pilot programme in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), National Olympic Committees, national federations and government organisations since 28 May 2018.

Mexico’s CDOM athletics track was selected by the IAAF to represent the North American and Caribbean area and it is the fourth installation of its kind following installations in Monaco, Addis Ababa and Australia.

The ultimate aim of the programme is to develop an air quality monitoring network linking 1000 IAAF-certified tracks around the world.

 

(01/23/2019) ⚡AMP
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Switzerland's Tadesse Abraham going after European record at Dubai Marathon

Switzerland’s Tadesse Abraham has his sights set on going after the European marathon record at the 2019 Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon on Friday (January 25).

Despite Farah cutting the European Record to 2:05:11 at the Chicago Marathon just three months ago, Eritrean-born Abraham is gearing up for a full-on assault on the time when he makes his debut appearance at the Middle East’s only IAAF Gold Label Marathon.

If he breaks the record, it will signify the climax of a remarkable journey for the 36-year-old. Born and raised in Eritrea, Abraham had to run 20km to school each day at an altitude of 2,400m before embarking on a running career that saw him represent the country of his birth at the World Junior Cross Country Championships in 2004.

The same year, he took the courageous step of leaving his team and moving to Switzerland to start a new life. And while it was a drawn-out affair to get Swiss citizenship, he was finally eligible to compete for his adopted homeland at the 2014 European Championships in Zurich where he finished ninth and helped Switzerland to the bronze medal in the marathon team event.

Since then he was won gold at the 2016 European Half Marathon Championships and finished fourth at the 2016 Seoul Marathon where he set his current personal best of 2:06:40.

Breaking Farah’s European Record would mean shaving more than a minute off his own PB but it has always been a personal goal and Abraham is focused on giving it his best over Dubai’s notoriously flat and fast route.

“I love my job as a runner and I treat it with great respect, which means not only strictly adhering to my training programme but also giving it my full concentration,” said Abraham. 

(01/22/2019) ⚡AMP
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Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

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

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Kenyan´s Cosmas Lagat and Ethiopian´s Worknesh Alemu win the Tata Mumbai Marathon

Cosmas Lagat of Kenya and Worknesh Alemu of Ethiopia surprised pre-race favorites to win the men’s and women’s crowns respectively in the Tata Mumbai Marathon Sunday (Jan 20).  They shared in the $405,000US of prize money. 

Lagat, winner of the Sevilla Marathon in 2016, made the marathon in this coastal city his own over the last 10k to storm home in 2:09:15, the second-best time in the 16-year history of the race.

The course record of 2:08:35, made in 2016, just barely survived as the long-legged Lagat’s onslaught after he left behind all his rivals.

In second place was Aychew Bantie of Ethiopia in 2:10:05 and Akalnew Shumet, also from Ethiopia, took the third spot in 2:10:14. The man with the best time going into the race, Kuma, finished seventh in 2:13:10 after he was with the lead bunch of 10 runners, including some pacers, on the sea link after 19k before the bunch split up.

The women’s race Ethiopian Alemu took charge with 12k left in the race.

She came home all alone well in front of the others, including pre-race favorite, compatriot and defending champion Amane Gobena, in 2:25:45, which was outside the course record.

Gobena came in second in 2:26:09 while another Ethiopian woman, Birke Debele, was third in 2:26:39 to mark a clean sweep for the African nation.

Significantly, India’s Sudha Singh finished on top among the Indian runners while setting at a personal best of 2:34:56, but also dipped well under the qualifying mark of 2:37:00 set by IAAF for the September-October Doha World Championships.

Singh, a 3,000 m steeplechase specialist and winner of gold and silver medals in two Asian Games, finished 8th overall, ahead of former champion Dinkesh Mekash of Ethiopia who finished in 9th spot in 2:36:31. Her earlier personal best in the marathon was 2:35:35 that she clocked while finishing 19th in the 2015 Beijing World Championships.

(01/21/2019) ⚡AMP
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Tata Mumbai Marathon

Tata Mumbai Marathon

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

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Uganda’s teen phenomenon Jacob Kiplimo ran to victory at the Cross Internacional de Italica

Uganda’s teen phenomenon Jacob Kiplimo and Kenya’s world steeplechase record holder Beatrice Chepkoech captured commanding victories at the Cross Internacional de Itálica in Santiponce.

Held on a pleasant and dry afternoon with the temperature about 66F (19C), the men’s 9.9km event didn’t kick off particularly fast as a large pack covered the opening two kilometers in 5:50, led by Bahrain’s Albert Rop while the main favorites ran conservatively in these early stages.

The following 1.95km circuit took a faster 5:38 with eight men still in the heading group which included Rop, the Ugandan trio of Kiplimo, world 10,000m silver medallist Joshua Cheptegei and Mande Bushendich, Kenya’s Vincent Rono, Morocco’s world steeplechase silver medalist Soufiane El Bakkali and the Spanish pair of Toni Abadía and David Palacio who were fresh from respective performances of 7:47:60 an 7:54:33 over 3000m indoors last Friday in Valencia. Morocco’s 2012 Olympic 1500m bronze medalist Abdelaati Iguider dropped out during the second lap.

At halfway Abadía moved to the front and shared the lead for a while with the top Africans but shortly afterwards it was the teen phenomenon Kiplimo who injected a brisker pace which could only be followed by Cheptegei, Rop, Rono and the long-legged El Bakkali.

Kiplimo’s relentless rhythm – a frantic 5:23 for the fourth loop – soon paid off and he only had Cheptegei for company some 18 minutes into the race and they built a huge margin on Rop, Rono and El Bakkali.

Defending champion Cheptegei, who was aiming to match his fellow Ugandan Matthew Kisorio’s achievement of back-to-back titles (2008 and 2009) could only stay with Kiplimo for four minutes as his younger compatriot unleashed a devastating kick with the clock reading 22:10 to open a sizable margin on him already inside the closing lap. To the astonishment of the assembled crowd, Kiplimo effectively ended the race in a matter of seconds as Cheptegi proved to be unable to follow in his footsteps.

A stellar Kiplimo even smiled to the crowd during the last lap, his ease suggesting he still had another gear if necessary, while Rop began to threaten Cheptegei’s runner-up place way back.

The closing lap only took 5:15 for the 18-year-old leader and he romped home unopposed to claim his fourth victory of the current IAAF Cross Country Permit series and avenge his defeat from 12 months ago. Cheptegei managed to keep Rop at bay to take the runner-up spot.

“I decided to run conservatively for the first half of the race, then I changed the pace and felt great until the end,” said an all-smiles Kiplimo. The Ugandan rising star confirmed he will contest the senior race at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships Aarhus 2019 on 30 March, even though he would be young enough to defend his U20 title.

Asked about his chances of breaking the world 10,000m record on the track after his impressive 26:41 road performance in Madrid, he said: “why not? That’s a long-term goal in my career.”

(01/21/2019) ⚡AMP
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Cross internacional de Italica

Cross internacional de Italica

The Cross Internacional de Itálica is an annual cross country running competition that is held every January in Santiponce, near Seville, Spain. Inaugurated in 1982, the race course is set in the ruins of the ancient Romancity of Italica. As one of only two Spanish competitions to hold IAAFpermit meeting status, it is one of the more prestigious races on...

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Ugandans Jacob Kiplimo and Joshua Cheptegei will face off at the Cross Internacional de Itálica on Sunday

The pair are currently two of the world’s leading distance runners.

They clashed last year in this race, the victory going to Joshua Cheptegei on that occasion while Jacob Kiplimo finished runner-up barely one second behind so Sunday’s event will act as a rematch over the 9975m distance.

The 22-year-old Cheptegei looked destined for gold at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships Kampala 2017 before fatigue set in during the closing stages, forcing him to settle for 30th place. However, he bounced back that season by earning10,000m silver at the IAAF World Championships London 2017 in a huge career best of 26:49.94.

His 2018 accolades include a brilliant 5000/10,000m double victory at the Commonwealth Games in April and more recently a world best over 15km with a stunning 41:05 performance at the Seven Hills Run in Nijmegen on 18 November.

As for Kiplimo, still just 18, he remains unbeaten this winter season having won all four of his appearances on Spanish soil: the Atapuerca, Soria and Alcobendas Cross Country permit races plus the New Year’s eve 10km race in Madrid when he clocked an impressive 26:41, albeit on an aided course. The two Ugandan aces should play a key role at World Cross Country Championships in Aarhus on 30 March and Sunday’s race will mark the season’s first round between the pair.

Mande Bushendich might well complete the podium in what would be an Ugandan clean sweep. The 21-year-old proved to be in top form in Madrid’s New Year’s Eve 10km with a 27:24 clocking to his name.

Kenya’s Vincent Rono, a creditable seventh at the Kampala World Championships and recent winner in Venta de Baños on 16 December, will also be in contention alongside Bahrain’s Albert Rop who is fresh from a victory in Amman on 5 January.

Watch out too for Morocco’s Soufiane El Bakkali, the reigning world 3000m steeplechase silver medallist; the 23-year-old boasts an impressive 7:58:15 career best which places him in the top-ten on the all-time lists. He will be joined by his compatriot Abdelaati Iguider, the 2012 world indoor champion and Olympic bronze medallist over 1500m.

(01/19/2019) ⚡AMP
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Cross internacional de Italica

Cross internacional de Italica

The Cross Internacional de Itálica is an annual cross country running competition that is held every January in Santiponce, near Seville, Spain. Inaugurated in 1982, the race course is set in the ruins of the ancient Romancity of Italica. As one of only two Spanish competitions to hold IAAFpermit meeting status, it is one of the more prestigious races on...

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Norwegian brothers Jakob, Filip and Henrik Ingebrigtsen will make their IAAF World Indoor Tour debut in Düsseldorf

The Ingebrigtsens are currently training in South Africa as part of their preparation for the European Indoor Championships in Glasgow on March 1-3. Before then, the trio will compete in Dusseldorf and all three are looking forward to racing the 1500m in the Arena-Sportpark.

“We are well prepared and ready to rock Düsseldorf,” said older brother Henrik, the 2012 European 1500m champion.

At the age of 17, younger brother Jakob completed an astounding 1500m/5000m double at last year’s European Championships in Berlin. In doing so, he became the third member of the family to win a senior European title with Filip having won the 1500m crown in 2016.

The brothers will face stiff competition in Dusseldorf as they’ll take on Djibouti’s 2014 world indoor champion Ayanleh Souleiman, Poland’s world indoor silver medallist Marcin Lewandowski, 2015 European indoor champion and two-time world indoor silver medallist Jakub Holusa, and 2014 world indoor silver medallist Aman Wote of Ethiopia.

(01/10/2019) ⚡AMP
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Former champions Lemi Berhanu and Worknesh Degefa will be among the elite line-up at the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

The two Ethiopians winners in 2015 and 2017 respectively, are key figures at the Middle East’s biggest mass participation event, the only IAAF Gold Label marathon in the region.

Berhanu has performed well on the global stage but his best performances have always been on the flat and fast streets of Dubai. As well as winning the title four years ago in 2:05:28, he set his personal best of 2:04:33 when finishing runner-up in 2016.

Still only 25, Berhanu represented Ethiopia at the IAAF World Championships Beijing 2015 and the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, finishing in the top 15 on both occasions.

Like an increasing number of elite runners, he has also prospered at the marathon distance in China, winning in Hengshui last year in 2:08:51, Xiamen in 2017 in 2:08:27 and Taiyuan in 2014 in 2:13:10.

Worknesh Degefa surprised many in 2017 by winning on her marathon debut in Dubai, beating a strong field of experienced marathon runners in 2:22:36.

Although she didn’t retain her title 12 months later, Degefa finished fourth in a PB of 2:19:53 in a race in which the top four women finished within 2:20 – the first time the feat has ever been achieved.

“It’s very unusual that a runner will break the 2:20 mark and not win a marathon,” said event director Peter Connerton. “But that just shows how deep the quality runs in our elite fields. Last year we had seven men break 2:05 – a unique result in marathon history – so the athletes competing in Dubai know they have to be at their very best to get among the medals.”

(01/10/2019) ⚡AMP
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Ethiopia’s Dejene Debela retains Xiamen Marathon Title Clocking 2:09:26

Ethiopia’s Dejene Debela emerged victorious from a five-man contest to retain his Xiamen Marathon title in 2:09:26 at the first IAAF Gold Label road race of the year on Sunday.

Compatriot Medina Deme Armino won the women’s race in 2:27:25. With their teammates filling the top three spots in both races, it was the third consecutive Ethiopian double podium sweep in Xiamen.

The tall and strong Debela, who will celebrate his 24th birthday on Wednesday, led the race almost from the start to the finish to become the first back-to-back men’s winner in the 17-year history of the race.

His winning mark of 2:09:26 is nearly two minutes faster than his clocking in Xiamen last year. It is also his second sub-2:10 performance to date, following his 2:07:10 PB set in Dubai two years ago.

The race, held in cloudy and cool conditions, started with a group of six runners leading the way, followed closely by seven chasers. When the leaders hit the 15-kilometer mark in 44:49, they were just four seconds away from the same split time of Moses Mosop when he set the 2:06:19 course record in 2015.

However, the leading pack that consisted of Debela and compatriot Birhan Nebebew as well as Kenyan trio Eliud Kiptanui, Asbel Kipsang and Gilbert Masai, slowed down gradually afterwards and was unable to drop the chasers.

Kipsang limped off the course after reaching 25 kilometers in 1:15:50 and had to withdraw from the race while the remaining four leaders were finally caught by the chasers before 29 kilometers.

After another eight kilometers, the lead group was once again trimmed to an all-Ethiopian quintet comprising Debela, Nebebew, Afewerk Mesfin, Belachew Alemayehu and Chele Dechasa.

None of the leaders was willing to take the risk to pull away too early and the group remained together patiently until the final kilometer when Alemayehu dropped away first, followed by Dechasa.

Thanks to his powerful home stretch, the long-legged Debela held off Mesfin to take the victory, maintaining his all-win record on Chinese soil as he also won the Beijing Marathon in 2:12:08 last September.

(01/07/2019) ⚡AMP
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Ethiopian Abera Kuma lead the list of elite runners at Tata Mumbai Marathon

The men's list contains four runners who have run under 2:08:00 and 11 under 2:09:00, race organizer’s Procam International announced Saturday.

Kuma, 28, ran his personal best of 2:05:50 when finishing second in last years Rotterdam Marathon and in that sort of form could challenge the course record of 2:08:35 set in by Kenya’s Gideon Kipketer in 2016.

The Ethiopian is hoping that success in the Mumbai Marathon will help him book a place in the Ethiopian team going to the IAAF World Championships in Doha later this year.

He was part of Ethiopian teams at the 2011 and 2013 world championships on the track as well as two IAAF World Cross Country Championships.

Kuma will be racing in India for the first time but his younger sister Dibaba Kuma, who was an impressive winner at the Tata Steel Kolkata 25K last month, has already taken part in Mumbai.

One man who has experience of Mumbai and India, having raced in the country several times before, is Bahrains Shumi Dechasa, who finished fourth in last years race.The 29-year-old Dechasa is the second fastest man in the field with a best of 2:06:43 and has been a top 15-finisher at the last two world championships, including fifth place in 2015.

He will be looking to make the podium after the disappointment of just missing out on a top-three place 12 months ago.

Another runner to highlight in this year's men's elite field is Ethiopian Aychew Bantie who finished fifth last year.

No less than nine men in this year's race have personal bests faster than the course record and will be motivated by the fact that a USD 45,000 first prize money, for both men and women, is India’s richest road race. 

(01/06/2019) ⚡AMP
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The 29-year-old Olympian Mary Joy Tabal will be running the Tokyo Marathon in March

The 29-year-old Olympian plans to take part in the Tokyo Marathon on March 3 in an attempt to qualify for the quadrennial meet that will be held in Tokyo, Japan next year.

This year will be a busy one for Cebu’s Mary Joy Tabal will be an understatement as she will be eyeing the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and will compete in the Southeast Asian Games.

“It’s still an initial plan since there has been no release yet of the IAAF Olympic qualifying time for the marathon,” Tabal told SunStar Cebu. “But that’s one of the races we are looking at.”

Tabal of Motor Ace Kawasaki Racing Team made it to the 2016 Rio Olympics by clocking 2 hours, 43 minutes and 32 seconds in a qualifying race in Canada. The qualifying time for female marathoners in the 2016 Olympics was 2:45.

“The Tokyo Marathon is part of the plan to be our first race then the Ottawa Marathon in May before I start my preparation for the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games,” she said.

The Ottawa Marathon is the same race where Tabal got the Rio Olympics qualifying time.

For the SEA Games, Tabal is looking to defend her crown in the 42-kilometer race, especially since the country will host the 30th edition of the biennial regional meet on Nov. 30 to Dec. 11.

“It’s a different feel when you compete in your hometown. That makes the 2019 SEA Games exciting for us,” Tabal earlier said.

(01/05/2019) ⚡AMP
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World U20 10,000m silver medallist Jacob Kiplimo will be the man to beat at Vallecana 10k race

In the men's race, world U20 10,000m silver medallist Jacob Kiplimo will start as the man to beat. The Ugandan teenager, still 17, is unbeaten in four races this autumn season: a 10km event in Trento in October and three IAAF Cross Country Permit races in the Spanish cities of Atapuerca, Soria and Alcobendas.

Kiplimo clocked 28:17 at the Giro al Sas in Trento, his best 10km on the roads, a performance he will likely improve upon Monday in his quest for the win. However, the reigning world U20 cross country champion will face dangerous rivals including Ethiopia’s Abadi Hadis, the reigning world cross country bronze medallist and Kenya’s Benard Ngeno. Both competed at the Valencia Half Marathon in October, Hadis finishing third in 58:44 and Ngeno sixth in 59:22, massive PBs for both. Hadis, 21, also finished fourth in Atapuerca.

Watch out too for Uganda’s Mande Bushendich, a 21-year-old who improved his 10km PB to 28:01 in Durban in October. Eritrea’s Abrar Osman will also looking for a top-three spot after his recent 42:34 15km career best in Nijmegen while Kenya’s Solomon Boit, a creditable fourth (27:57.44) at the World U20 Championships over 10,000m, Ethiopia’s Mogos Tuemay, a 27:48:41 10,000m specialist and Tanzania’s Agustino Sulle, a 2:07:46 marathoner, should also fight for a top-five spot.

Spanish hopes rest on Adel Mechaal, fresh from an eighth place finish at the European Cross Country Championships in Tilburg and Toni Abadía, the national record holder for the distance with a 27:48 clocking set in Laredo last March. The 28-year-old came 14th in Tilburg and will defend the third place he managed here the last two years. Javier Guerra, an accomplished road athlete with 1:01:38 and 2:08:36 half marathon and marathon credentials, will also be on show.

The race is held on a slightly downhill 10km point-to-point course and starts alongside Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu stadium before finishing on the pitch of another football team, Rayo Vallecano, in Madrid’s southern suburbs.

Forecasters predict a mild night on Monday with temperatures ranging between 8-10C and no rain expected when the gun sounds the start of the last IAAF Label road race of 2018.

(12/29/2018) ⚡AMP
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Fastest half marathon time by a Japanese woman in over 10 years was run today at Sanyo Ladies Road Race

The 37th annual Sanyo Ladies Road Race was held at the Okayama City circle course today December 23 in Okayama, Japan.

In the half marathon division, MGC Race 2020 Olympic marathon trials qualifier Honami Maeda (Tenmaya) won her first Sanyo title in 1:09:12, the fastest time by a Japanese woman in over 10 years.  Her previous PR according to her IAAF profile was 1:10:22. 

Dropping the lead pack just a kilometer into the race, Maeda ran solo the entire way to become the only Japanese woman under 1:10 this year.

Australian Ellie Pashley was 2nd in 1:09:20, with Maeda's teammate and fellow MGC qualifier Rei Ohara (Tenmaya) 3rd in 1:10:37. National record holder Kayoko Fukushi (Wacoal) was 6th in 1:11:32. 

(12/23/2018) ⚡AMP
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The marathon that 70-year-old Gene Dykes ran 2:54:23 was not sanctioned by the USATF and his world record will not be accepted

70-year-old Gene Dykes clocked 2:54:23 at the Jackson Marathon but it is not going to be accepted as an official world Record because the race was not sanctioned by the USATF.  Gene posted this on Facebook.

“Before running the Jacksonville Marathon, I reached out to the race director for assurance that it was a suitable venue for setting a world record, and I received the response that "you should have a good shot at the record".  

“I assumed that he was correct, but I was remiss in not doing my own homework.  It appears that, although the Jacksonville Marathon (course) is certified by the USATF, the race was not sanctioned by the USATF, and both must be valid for recognition of records by USATF/IAAF.”

Many races do not pay the fee to be sanctioned by the USATF because they do not see the benefit.  The larger races with elite runners have to be sanctioned and they do pay the fee.  

A race of 30,000 plus runners pay $15,300 to the USATF.  A smaller race of 3000 pay $1460.

These fees have nothing to do with the course being certified.  Most races know the importance of having their course certified.  It appears in this case, Jacksonville paid to have their course certified but not the sanctioned fee. 

This would have gone completely unnoticed and maybe the race Director did not realize Gene Dykes was going to break Ed Whitlock world record.

But Gene did and now it is not going to be accepted as an official record because this fee was not paid. Maybe in a case like this the fee could not be paid after the fact? 

“Gene Dykes deserves the record,” says Bob Anderson “and there should be something that can be done to make this right.  If it is just about money, we can pay that.”

Obtaining a USATF sanction involves filling out a sanction agreement to form a relationship between the sanctioned event and USATF. Basically, it means that an event has agreed to follow applicable USATF rules and will be afforded the benefits like insurance and other things as outlined on their site.

Gene continued on FB.  “Thank you all so much for the nice things posted about my race.  I am still proud of what I've accomplished - it just looks like it's not going to be "official".  That said, I still have four more years to do it right, and, who knows, that might happen sooner than you think!”

”Let’s not give up on what you already did Gene. You ran 26.2 miles in 2:54:23 and it should be accepted as the official world record,” says MBR Bob Anderson. “This time is too amazing to ignore.”

(12/22/2018) ⚡AMP
by Bob Anderson
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For the third year in a row, Caster Semenya went undefeated in the 800 meters

For the third year in a row, Caster Semenya went undefeated in the 800 meters. And though there was no global championship to cap it off, this was her most impressive year yet as she broke 1:56 five times and broke 1:55 three times (after never having broken 1:55 prior to 2018).

Only one woman in history had ever accomplished either of those feats: Pamela Jelimo, who broke 1:55 four times and 1:56 eight times during the 2008 season.

One of the reasons Semenya ran faster in 2018 was that, more so than in previous years, she chose to cut loose and chase times rather than solely concentrating on wins.

At the Diamond Leagues in Paris and Monaco and the Continental Cup in Ostrava, Semenya — running without a pacemaker — went out hard from the gun and was rewarded with the three fastest times of her life, including a sparkling 1:54.25 PR in Paris that ranks her fourth on the all-time list.

For much of her career, Semenya from South Africa has faced criticism for “sandbagging” — she made winning look so easy that some thought she was intentionally holding back. Maybe a (very fast) pacemaker could have helped her this year, but the Semenya we saw in 2018 was one that pushed herself to her limits.

The question now becomes: have we seen the last of this version of Caster Semenya? The IAAF announced that it will be implementing new eligibility regulations for the female classification that include testosterone limits for women in events between 400 and the mile (the events that Semenya just so happens to run).

Semenya challenged the ruling, with a decision due by the Court of Arbitration for Sport due in March. That decision will determine the future of the women’s 800, because it has become clear over the last three years that, as things stand, no non intersex or transgender woman is beating Caster Semenya.

(12/20/2018) ⚡AMP
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Best Racing Moment of 2018 and My Best Runs 2019 World Best 100 Races were announced today

My Best Runs "Best Racing Moment in 2018" and the My Best Runs "2019 World Best 100 Races" were announced today in Mountain View, California at the My Best Runs (MBR) headquarters.

First on the agenda was the announcement of the 2018 Best Racing Moment. MBR founder Bob Anderson stated, "Eluid Kipchoge was all smiles as he crossed the finish line at the Berlin Marathon September 29." 

"He had just smashed the world marathon record clocking 2:01:39.  Eliud ran the last 17k without pacers, pushing himself, taking off one minute and 18 seconds off of Dennis Kimetto's record."

"The world has rarely seen one event so dominated by one man, Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge," says Bob who also was the founder of Runner's World magazine (1966) and publisher for 18 years.

Eliud has won many awards this year including World Athletes of the Year at the IAAF Awards.

Next up on the agenda was the annoucement of the 4th Annual My Best Runs 2019 World Best 100 Races. 

"There are so many good races in the world.  This list could easily be much bigger.  However, as we have done now for four years, we have narrowed it down to the top 100," stated Bob. 

The featured race at 44 of the best 100 are marathons.  There are 20 half marathons and 14 10ks.  There is the Western States 100 miler and the Comrades Ultra marathon in South Africa.

The shortest race is the New Balance 5th Avenue Mile in New York City.  The longest is the 156 mile Marathon Des Sables coming up March 5 in Morocco. 

Most offer prize money totally million of US dollars.  The Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon coming up January 26 is offering $1,316,000.  This marathon which was first held in 2000 top four men at the 2018 race all ran under between 2:04:00 and 2:04:06.  Four women ran between 2:19:17 and 2:19:53.

"It is good to see over $21 million (from races MBR are featuring) in prize money being offered runners," says Bob.  "Running is what these runners do and the money is well deserved and important for our sport."

Of course the Berlin Marathon is one of our top 100 but so is the Valencia Half Marathon (Spain) where Abraham Kiptum broke the world half marathon record in the 2018 race by clocking 58:18. 

The Birell 10k Race in Prague, CZE also made the list again for the 4th year. 18-year-old Phonex Kipruto from Kenya clocked 26:46 while Caroline Kipkirui clocked 30:19.  "This is one fast evening race and obviously belongs on our top 100 list," stated Bob.

The list has races from 23 different countries. 

"You can not go wrong in running any of these races," says Bob Anderson. "Your biggest challenge in many of these races will be to be able to be on the starting line. But if you can get in, you will have a blast."

(12/19/2018) ⚡AMP
by My Best Runs
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GDL Electrolit Half Marathon makes history and achieves the IAAF gold label

The 32-years-old GDL Electrolit Half Marathon made history for Mexican running this Thursday it was announced that it has achieved the IAAF Gold label.

By reaching this label, at the same time as the maximum certification that can be granted to the IAAF, the Half Marathon becomes the first athletic event in the country to achieve such status.  

Fernando Ortega, general director of the Municipal Sports Council of Guadalajara (Comude) was pleased to have collaborated so that this Half Marathon is already among the 50 best in the world.

At the same time, the leader said they remain firm in their plan to make it the best in Latin America.

(12/14/2018) ⚡AMP
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Yuki Kawauchi and Desiree Linden will return to defend their titles at the Boston Marathon

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

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

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

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

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

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

(12/10/2018) ⚡AMP
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No Japanese Women Runners qualify for Olympic trials at the Saitama Marathon

Marie Imada finished fourth for Japan's best performance in the Saitama International Marathon on Sunday, failing to meet the qualifying standards for the Marathon Grand Championship, 2020 Olympic trials. 

In the race won by 20-year-old Dalila Gosa of Bahrain in 2 hours, 25 minutes, 35 seconds, Imada clocked 2:29:35, neither making the top three and running under 2:29:00, nor finishing in the top six under 2:28:00 to earn a place in next fall's MGC Race.

Only eight women have met the qualifying standards so far for the MGC Race to be held Sept. 15 next year in Tokyo. The MGC is a race that will determine two of the three members for both the men's and women's marathon teams for the Tokyo Olympics.

On Sunday, Imada and Saki Tokoro fell behind the leading pack around the 23-kilometer mark, while the IAAF Race turned into a duel between Gosa and fellow Bahraini Shitaye Habtegebrel down the final stretch.

"I was able to win because I trained hard. I'm very happy," Gosa said. "I'd like to work more on speed and endurance, and be able to maximize my performance." Habtegebrel crossed the finish line at the Saitama Super Arena four seconds after Gosa, and Kenya's Sylvia Jebiwot Kibet took third in 2:28:38.

Mao Kiyota, who competed in the world athletics championships in London last summer, finished fifth in 2:31:07, and Tokoro came home sixth.

(12/09/2018) ⚡AMP
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Olympic steeplechaser Donn Cabral is going to make a Surprise Marathon Debut In Honolulu tomorrow

Through the mud and over the hills, Donn Cabral pressed forward along the trail at Reservoir #6 in West Hartford, Conn. The Olympic steeplechaser was in the middle of a workout that consisted of 22 miles with 18-19 of them at 5:20 pace, a monumental training session for a marathon runner. While most track athletes wouldn't even think of attempting such a challenging run, Cabral felt like he was home. "It just felt great. I wasn't able to get into a rhythm because of the course, but I just knew that I was so strong and my body was working the way it was supposed to. This is the way running is supposed to feel," Cabral told Race Results Weekly over the phone on Thursday. He went on to complete the early November workout with 19 miles run at 5:15 pace which, if maintained for 26.2 miles, would equate to a 2:17 marathon. The workout is one of many that have given Cabral confidence heading into his surprising marathon debut at the Honolulu Marathon here on Sunday. At this point in the 28-year-old's career, he has accomplished a great deal in the steeplechase: two eighth-place finishes at the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games, two NCAA titles, and a 10th-place finish at the 2015 IAAF World Championships. While Cabral still feels that he has unfinished business in his primary event, the decision to run a marathon now came as a result of listening to his body and the training that he responds to. "A big reason that I wanted to run a marathon was that I think it's the best way for me to run my best steeplechase," Cabral said. "I look back at my training in 2015, the year that I ran my 8:13 personal best, and I think it was a week before the USA prelims, I did a hard 10-mile run at 5:15 pace in really humid weather and I ran 90 miles two weeks before. Nothing about that is crazy, it just shows that I do run well with that type of work."  (12/08/2018) ⚡AMP
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Kenya’s Moses Mosop will lead a quality field at the Guangzhou Marathon this weekend

Five sub-2:10 runners will toe the line in the men’s race targeting the course record of 2:10:01 set by Morocco’s Abdellah Tagharrafet in 2015. 33-year-old Mosop owns the fastest PB of this year’s entrants with his 2:05:03 clocking from the 2012 Rotterdam Marathon. He also holds the Chinese all-comers’ record of 2:06:19, set at the 2015 Xiamen Marathon. The Kenyan, however, hasn’t raced since placing third at the 2016 Dongying Marathon in 2:09:33 so there is a question mark over his form ahead of this weekend. Compatriot David Kemboi Kiyeng, 35, is perhaps the most experienced marathon runner in the field, having won in Reims, Seoul, Chuncheon Sao Paulo, Daegu and Kosice over the past 12 years. But the 35-year-old’s best recent performance was a 2:17:59 clocking in Taiyuan three months ago, more than 11 minutes shy of his PB. Fellow Kenyan Cosmas Jairus Birech – not to be confused with the steeplechaser with the similar name – is arguably the most in-form runner in the field. The 32-year-old improved his PB to 2:08:03 to take his first title over the classic distance in Rome eight months ago. The field also includes Birhanu Teshome of Ethiopia, who has a PB of 2:09:03, and Kenya’s Mathew Kipsaat, whose lifetime best of 2:09:19 was achieved in Rome last year. Despite the absence of defending champion and course record-holder Rahma Tusa, Kenya’s Flomena Cheyech could challenge the course record of 2:25:12 in the women’s race. Cheyech, the fourth-place finisher at the IAAF World Championships London 2017, set a PB of 2:21:22 in Paris last year. Her season’s best is 2:33:01, set at the Nagoya Women's Marathon in March. Ethiopia’s Zinash Debebe is another title contender. The 22-year-old cut nearly three minutes off her PB to finish fourth in Seville in 2:27:47. It will be Debebe’s third marathon of the year and she is still chasing her first career victory over the distance. (12/07/2018) ⚡AMP
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Eliud Kipchoge and Caterine Ibarguen were named World Athletes of the Year at the IAAF Awards

Kipchoge underlined his status as the world’s most dominant distance runner. The 34-year-old Kenyan won the London Marathon in April in 2:04:17 to finish comfortably ahead of one of the deepest marathon fields in history.

Five months later, he won the Berlin Marathon in 2:01:39 to smash the world record. His time in the German capital was 78 seconds faster than the previous world record, representing the biggest single improvement on a men’s marathon world record since 1967.

Not content with being the best triple jumper in the world, Ibarguen also tested herself against the world’s best in the long jump this year – and consistently came out on top in that too.

The 34-year-old Colombian won both horizontal jumps at the Central American and Caribbean Games, the IAAF Continental Cup and at the IAAF Diamond League finals – winning the latter two titles in two different cities within the space of 24 hours.

She was unbeaten in all eight of her triple jump competitions, ending the year with a world-leading mark of 14.96m in her specialist event and a national record of 6.93m in the long jump.

(12/05/2018) ⚡AMP
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Eliud Kipchoge feels that Geoffrey Kamworor will surpass what he has done in running

This evening, the IAAF will name their Athlete of the Year and Eliud Kipchoge discussed how he sees the future of running. The IAAF reported that Kipchoge was asked to evaluate the prospects of his training partner. He responded, “I think Geoffrey, in future will surpass what I have done in this sport.” Now that’s humility. Kamworor responded that he’s interested in continuing his half-marathon and cross-country career for now. Kamworor has won three World Half-Marathon titles and two World Cross-Country titles. He was also the 2015 World Championship silver medallist over 10,000m and the 2017 New York City Marathon Champion. As far as Kipchoge’s future plans are concerned, he’s not rushing to reveal his winter or spring schedule. But he is the feature runner in a newly published book, which he signed copies of today. The book is called, “Eliud Kipchoge 2:01:39.” The other athletes in the running against Kipchoge for Athlete of the Year are: Christian Coleman, Timothy Cheruiyot, Armand Duplantis, Emmanuel Korir, Noah Lyles, Luvo Manyonga, Kevin Mayer, Abderrahman Samba and Tomas Walsh. The award will be presented this evening in Monte Carlo, Monaco. (12/04/2018) ⚡AMP
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IAAF announced it plans to honor some of the most highly accomplished runners in history

The first runners on the list of those to be honored are American sprinter Jesse Owens, Finnish distance runner Paavo Nurmi, Czech distance runner Emil Zatopek, Dutch sprinter and hurdler Fanny Blankers-Koen, British distance runner Emil Voigt, Australian sprinter Betty Cuthbert, Ethiopian marathoner Abebe Bikila, Polish sprinter Irena Szewinska and American Mildred “Babe” Didrickson Zaharias, who won two gold medals in track and field at the 1932 Olympics. IAAF president Sebastian Coe made the announcement in Monaco yesterday.  (12/03/2018) ⚡AMP
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Leul Gebrselassie wins the Valencia Marathon clocking an outstanding 2:04:30

Leul Gebrselassie smashed the Spanish all-comers Record at the Maraton Valencia Trinidad Alfonso, an IAAF Gold Label road race, in the eastern Spanish city on Sunday December 2. Running for just the second time over the distance, the 25-year-old Ethiopian clocked 2:04:30 to finish almost a full minute inside the previous Spanish all-comers record set at this race last year. In a race of exceptionally strong depth, the top-three athletes dipped below 2:05 and no fewer than six men ran under 2:05:30, a figure only bettered in the Dubai marathon this season. In the women’s race Ethiopia’s Ashete Dido obliterated the course record and her previous best in 2:21:14 to take a commanding victory ahead of Kenya’s Lydia Cheromei, the leader for much of the race. Boosted by five pacemakers, the men’s opening splits were quite fast with the large heading group going through the five and 10-kilometer points in 14:48 and 29:47 respectively. By then, all the main favorites – Gebrselassie and the Kenyan pair of Mathew Kisorio and defending champion Sammy Kitwara – ran close together in ideal weather conditions of 55F (13C) and very slight wind.  Leul’s time is the fifth fastest winning time of marathons run over the last 12 months according to My Best Runs.  Only Berlin (2:01:39), Dubai (2:04:00), Amsterdam (2:04:06) and London (2:04:17) were faster.  2018 is clearly the best marathon year ever. (12/02/2018) ⚡AMP
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AIMS World Record Award has been presented to Ethiopia’s Netsanet Gudeta

AIMS is delighted to announce that the AIMS World Record Award has been presented to Ethiopia’s Netsanet Gudeta in recognition of her “women-only” Half Marathon World Record of 1:06:11 set at the IAAF/Trinidad Alfonso World Half Marathon Championships Valencia 2018 on 24 March 2018. Netsanet beat the previous record of 1:06:25 set by Lornah Kiplagat (Kenya), a record that has stood since 2007. Ermias Ayele, Race Director of the Great Ethiopian Run presented Netsanet with her award as part of a pre-race media event in advance of the Great Ethiopian Run on Sunday 18 November. The time of 1:06:11 has been officially recognised as the world record by the IAAF and by AIMS. AIMS set the world record criteria for performances on the road later adopted by the IAAF and have been awarding athletes in recognition of world record breaking performances since 1985. Netsanet Gudeta commented: “It is very special for me to receive this award in Ethiopia.” Ermias Ayele, race director of the Great Ethiopian Run, said: “We are very proud, on behalf of AIMS, to welcome Netsanet to our race and host her presentation here. Netsanet is an inspiration to women and girls in Ethiopia and the entire world.” (12/01/2018) ⚡AMP
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Salpeter smashes the course record in Florence and sets a new national record for Israel

Lonah Chemtai Salpeter smashed the course record at the 35th ASICS Firenze Marathon, an IAAF Bronze Label road race, on Sunday (25). The reigning European 10,000m champion clocked 2:24:17 to clip nearly four minutes from the previous record of 2:28:15 set by Slovenia’s Helena Javornik in 2002. Her performance was also a national record for Israel, shattering the 2:35:59 standard set by Elena Dolinin in Berlin two years ago. Salpeter dominated the race, winning by more than six minutes over Kenyan Caroline Chepkwony.  Salpeter took the lead in the early stages, running with Gebiyanesh Gedamu from Ethiopia and Clementine Mukandanga from Rwanda, the trio passing 10 kilometres in 34:37 and 15 in 51:42. Salpeter and Gedamu reached the halfway mark in 1:12:38, but the Israeli started pushing the pace, building a gap of eight seconds over Gedamu (1:26:04 to 1:26:12) by 25 kilometres. Salpeter continued to pull away, extending her gap over Gedamu to one minute at 30 kilometres (1:43.16) and to more than four minutes five kilometres later, propelled by a 6:30 two-kilometre split between kilometres 33 and 35. She covered the challenging second half in 1:11:39 for a negative split to smash her previous personal best by 16 minutes. Her 2:24:17 performance was the sixth fastest time ever run on Italian soil and the fastest by a European this year. Salpeter set her previous best of 2:40:16 in Berlin in 2016, but recently showed good form with a half marathon PB of 1:07:55 in Lisbon in October. This year she made her breakthrough improving all her career best times on the track running the 3000m in 8:42.88, the 5000m in 15:17.81, the 10,000m in 31:33.03 at the European 10000m Cup in London last May. She won the 10000m European title in Berlin in 31:43.29. “The crowd gave me strong support along the course,” said Salpeter, who grew up in Eldoret, Kenya, and moved to Israel in 2008. “I did not fear the rain, because I was ready with any condition. Firenze is the springboard event of my marathon career.” Chepkwony clocked 2:30:46 for second ahead of Mukandanga who clocked 2:30:59 to knock nearly five minutes from her previous lifetime best. Croatia’s Nikolina Sustic improved her PB to 2:41:51, finishing fourth.  (11/25/2018) ⚡AMP
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European 10,000m champion Lonah Chemtai Salpeter will be in the spotlight at the 35th edition of the Asics Firenze Marathon on Sunday

The 29-year-old has this year set Israeli records at various distances from the 1500m to the half marathon and she will be looking to add another to her collection this weekend. Before winning the continental 10,000m title in Berlin, she set a European-leading national record of 31:33.03 to win the European Cup in London in May. At the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships Valencia 2018 earlier in the year she set a national record of 1:08:58 and reduced that mark to 1:07:55 in Lisbon last month. Salpeter is yet to fully master the marathon, though. She has completed three marathons to date – her one failure to finish came at the 2016 Olympic Games – and her finishing times have all been between 2:40:16 and 2:40:22, a surprisingly consistent series of times for someone who appears capable of going much quicker for 26.2 miles. This weekend Salpeter is aiming at improving the course record of 2:28:15 set in 2002 by Helena Javornik. She could even challenge the European-leading time of 2:25:25 set by European champion Volha Mazuronak. Salpeter will take on Kenya’s Caroline Jepchirchir Chepkwony, who set her marathon PB of 2:27:37 in Lubljana in 2013, Ethiopia’s Ayele Gebaynesh, who has a career best of 2:26:54, and Kenya’s 2:27:07 performer Sarah Jebet. Croatia’s ultramarathon specialist Nikolina Sustic will run her fourth Italian race this autumn after Venice, Turin and Verona. The world 100km champion set a marathon PB of 2:42:44 at the European Championships in Berlin, improved to 2:42:10 in Turin at the start of November and last week clocked 2:42:26 in Verona. (11/23/2018) ⚡AMP
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Taye Girma captured victory at the Boulogne-Billancourt Half-Marathon,

Taye Girma and Parendis Lekapana captured victories at the Boulogne-Billancourt Christian Grangier Half-Marathon, an IAAF Bronze Label road race, on Sunday. Spearheaded by Precious Mashele of South Africa, who established a steady tempo from the gun, the lead pack of eight runners hit the five-kilometer and 10-kilometer marks in 14:31 and 29:02 respectively. Mashele, Olika Adugna, Yismaw Ayenu, Taye Girma, Josphat Tanui and 2008 Olympic steeplechase champion Brimin Kipruto were still in contention for the victory at 15 kilometres, reached in 43:32. Mashele broke up the field by ramping up the pace after about 17 kilometers and only Girma and Tanui were able to follow him. Then Girma began his decisive attack with two kilometers remaining, passing the 20-kilometers mark in 57:55, two seconds ahead of Tanui and six seconds ahead of Mashele. Girma maintained his pace in the closing stages and won in 1:00:52. It’s my first experience of a half marathon and I’m very happy to win today,” said the Ethiopian, who earlier this year set a 10km PB of 28:06. “I felt cold during most of the race.”  Tanui came home second in 1:01:00 as Mashele rounded the podium in 1:01:14. Kipruto, now focusing on road running, finished fifth in 1:02:24. Parendis Lekapana produced a solo effort to prevail over compatriot Susan Jeptoo, whose PB of 1:09:02 is 11 seconds faster than Lekapana’s personal record. Lekapana, 27, set out well inside PB pace and covered the first five kilometres in 15:51, suggesting a possible finish time of 1:06:50. She was then timed in 32:21 at 10 kilometers, 42 seconds ahead of Jeptoo, and was still on pace to challenge the course record of 1:08:29 set by Rahma Tusa last year. The Kenyan couldn’t maintain that kind of speed and covered the next 10-kilometer section in 34:32, but she still held a 55-second lead over Jeptoo at 20 kilometres. Although the gap had reduced to 40 seconds, Lekapana, second last year, crossed the line in 1:10:46 to seal her second win of the year following a 1:09:23 success in Krems. Karine Pasquier of France finished third in 1:15:26. (11/20/2018) ⚡AMP
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Ethiopia’s Yebrgual Melese broke the women’s course record by more than a minute at the Shanghai International Marathon on Sunday

Melese´s compatriot, Abdiwak Tura took the men’s title following a breath-taking home stretch battle, securing the first Ethiopian double in the 19-year history of the IAAF Gold Label event. Running in cold and drizzly conditions with temperatures ranging from 10 to 12 degrees (50-54 degrees F), Melese built up a comfortable lead in the final five kilometers to wrap up the win in 2:20:37, beating the course record of 2:21:52 set three years ago by compatriot Tigist Tufa. The 28-year-old led a group of seven and maintained a fast pace in the early stage of the race, passing 10 kilometres in 35:30 and 20 kilometres in 1:06:30. The group was cut to three women at the 25-kilometre water station, which they reached in 1:23:35, and Muluhabt Tsega of Ethiopia quit the title contest after another two kilometres. The in-form Melese, whose PB of 2:19:36 from Dubai earlier this year made her the fastest entrant, kept pushing ahead. After several unsuccessful mini-breaks, she finally pulled away from Azmera Abreha to achieve the sole lead after 36 kilometres and never looked back before breaking the tape in style to celebrate her first marathon title in three years. Eight of the top 10 finishers in the women’s race achieved a lifetime best. The 20-year-old Abreha, also from Ethiopia, improved her PB by more than three minutes to finish second in 2:21:51. Third place went to Kenya’s Betty Lempus, who improved her PB by nearly six minutes to 2:23:41. In the men’s event, two sub-2:05 runners turned the race into a last 100-metre sprinting contest, with Tura rallying to edge fellow Ethiopian Tsegaye Mekonnen in front of the finish. The 21-year-old Tura clocked 2:09:20 to claim the title, 4:36 shy of his career best of 2:04:44 set in Dubai earlier this year. Mekonnen, a 2:04:32 performer, finished with the same clocking but had to settle for second place. Dickson Tuwei of Kenya finished third in 2:09:21. (11/20/2018) ⚡AMP
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Sub-2:20 runners Sarah Chepchirchir and Yebrgual Melese will face one another in the women’s race at Shanghai International Marathon

Ethiopia’s Melese trimmed more than three minutes off her PB to finish third in Dubai in 2:19:36. She also clocked 2:27:47 to finish second at the Yellow River Estuary International Marathon in Dongying, China. Sunday’s race will be her third marathon of the year. The 34-year-old Chepchirchir of Kenya is the second-fastest woman in the field. Following a solid season in 2017 when she registered her big PB of 2:19:47 from her victory at the Tokyo Marathon and successfully defended her title in Lisbon, Chepchirchir will be keen to continue her winning streak in her first race in 2018. Kenya’s Flomena Cheyech, 36, is the other title contender whose PB is faster than the 2:21:52 course record in Shanghai set by Tigist Tufa of Ethiopia three years ago. Cheyech clocked a PB of 2:21:22 to finish third in Paris last April and finished fourth over the classic distance at the IAAF World Championships in London. Her most recent performance was a 2:33:01 clocking at the Nagoya Women's Marathon in March. Helen Tola Bekele, who will celebrate her 24th birthday next week, is another woman to watch. The rising Ethiopian has improved her PB each season since making her marathon debut in 2015, recently reducing it to 2:22:48 in Berlin. (11/16/2018) ⚡AMP
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Brimin Kipruto will make Half Marathon Debut in Boulgne-Billancourt on Sunday

Kenya’s 2008 Olympic steeplechase champion Brimin Kipruto will embark on the road-running chapter of his career when he lines up for the Boulogne-Billancourt Christian Grangier Half-Marathon, an IAAF Bronze Label road race, on Sunday. The 33-year-old, who also won the 2007 world steeplechase title, was eliminated from his heat at the IAAF World Championships London 2017, which was his last competition to date. Having now shifted his focus to the roads, he will have much to do in Boulogne-Billancourt with the likes of Josphat Tanui and Olika Adugna also in the race. Tanui has a personal best of 59:22 set last year in Usti, suggesting that Franklin Chepkwony’s course record of 1:00:11 from 2013 could be in jeopardy. His season’s best, however, is 1:01:14 from the Prague Half Marathon in April, while his most recent performance at the distance was a 1:02:42 clocking in Usti Nad Labem in September. The field also includes Precious Mashele of South Africa, who set a PB of 1:01:48 last year in Boulogne-Billancourt, Yismaw Ayeno of Ethiopia, who was fifth in Marseille-Cassis, and Taye Girma, whose 10km PB of 28:06 indicates he could play a leading role in what will be his half marathon debut. In the women’s race, Kenya’s Parendis Lakapana will attempt to move up from her second-place showing last year. Two months ago Lakapana won in Krems in a time of 1:09:23, only 10 seconds outside her PB. Her main opponent should be compatriot Susan Jeptoo, who clocked a best of 1:09:02 in Lille last year. This year she has set PBs of 31:59 for 10km and 2:30:50 for the marathon, while she also prevailed in Porto in a season’s best of 1:11:06. (11/16/2018) ⚡AMP
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Mohamed Reda El Aaraby of Morocco breaks Men´s course records in Beirut

Mohamed Reda El Aaraby of Morocco ran a course record at the BLOM Bank Beirut Marathon clocking 2:10:42, an IAAF Silver Label road race. The women’s race also saw some swift performances, with Ethiopia’s Medina Deme Armino taking victory in 2:29:31 ahead of Nazret Weldu Gebrehiwet, who clocked an Eritrean record of 2:29:48 in second. But it was El Aaraby who stole the show, the 28-year-old surprising the East African contingent with his surge early in the race, taking full advantage of the hesitancy in the pack among his rivals, with several leading contenders instead keeping their eyes trained on Wesley Korir, the 2012 Boston Marathon champion who was running his first marathon since April 2017. After struggling with injuries on the build-up, Korir was far from his best, coming home seventh in 2:14:18, but given his shortened preparation the 35-year-old was upbeat about performance. El Aaraby ran behind one of the pacemakers until halfway, which he reached in 1:05:07, then ran most of the second half alone. Back in the pack, Korir’s rivals were still watching his every move, paying him more respect than he wanted as the Moroccan out front built an 88-second lead in the first half. His advantage was closed down in the final miles, but El Aaraby was still all alone at the finish, hitting it in 2:10:41 to take a single second off the event record set by Dominic Rutto of Kenya in 2017. “It’s a big result for me to be first in the World Military Championship and to break the course record,” said El Aaraby. “This result came after hard training and big preparation.” (11/13/2018) ⚡AMP
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Ruth Chepngetich runs the 7th fastest women’s marathon time of all times Sunday in Turkey

Kenya’s Ruth Chepngetich stormed to a Turkish all-comers record at the 40th Vodafone Istanbul Marathon on Sunday November 11, clocking 2:18:35 at this IAAF Gold Label Road Race.  With a 2:22 pace initially in mind to try breaking the 2:22:36 race record she set in her debut last year, Chepngetich surprised at Saturday’s technical meeting when the defending champion asked that intermediate times be calculated for a sub-2:19 run. Having noted those, the 24-year-old went in pursuit of exactly what she targeted. Leading from the gun, Chepngetich opened her bid with a 16:13 opening five kilometers, already four seconds ahead of her compatriot Margaret Agai, with Fatuma Sado of Ethiopia following behind closely. While Agai and Sado did not attempt to maintain the pace, Chepngetjch reached the 10K mark in 31:59. Agai was 30 seconds behind at that point, with Sado another 27 seconds adrift with Ethiopian Zerfie Limeneh on her shoulder. Chepngetich confidently passed the 15-kilometres marker in 48:15 before reaching the halfway in 1:08:22, ahead of world record pace. She increased the gap to nearly three minutes at 30K where she passed at 1:37:42, and cruised onwards to her 2:18:35 performance to end the day in a tie as the seventh fastest women’s marathoner of all-time. Agai was a distant second in 2:25:04 with Sado third in 2:31:05. (11/11/2018) ⚡AMP
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Olympic silver medallist Feyisa Lilesa had been in exile in the US since making this anti-government gesture

The Ethiopian had been in exile in the USA since making an anti-government gesture while crossing the finish line of the marathon and clinching the silver medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. But after Feyisa Lilesa recent return to Ethiopia following the election of a new reformist government, the 28-year-old – who won half marathons in New York and Bogota during his exile in the USA – has returned to training and set his sights on once again competing at the highest level of distance running, starting with his first appearance at the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon since finishing fourth in 2015. “It has been a difficult time for Feyisa but we are delighted he has chosen to compete in the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon, which is the only IAAF Gold Label race in the Middle East,” said event director Peter Connerton. “Although his training regime was disrupted while in exile, he has a personal best of 2:04:52 to his name as well as being an Olympic silver medallist, finishing second to current world record-holder Eliud Kipchoge, and a World Championships bronze medal winner. “Now that he is home in Ethiopia and training in familiar surroundings, we look forward to seeing him back to his best when we stage the 20th anniversary of the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon. (11/07/2018) ⚡AMP
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Milaw breaks course record at Marathon Des Alpes Maritimes clocking 2:07:26

Ethiopia’s Abrha Milaw and Nurit Shimels claimed the titles at the Marathon des Alpes Maritimes, an IAAF Bronze Label road race held between the French southern cities of Nice and Cannes on Sunday. In the men’s race, a group of six –Milaw, Kenyans Nixon Kurgat, Benad Too, Ronald Kurgat, Ben Sowinko as well as Berhane Tsegaye of Eritrea – hit the first 10-kilometer checkpoint in 30:25, suggesting a possible finish time of about 2:08. At the halfway point, reached by the leaders in about 1:03:45, Ronald Kurgat and Tsegaye trailed behind by 1:34. At this point, only Milaw, Nixon Kurgat and Too were still in contention for the victory.  Milaw took command of the race at the 30 kilometers point clocking 1:31:10. His opponents started to drift back as Kurgat was 13 seconds back, and Too 19 seconds adrift. The gap continued to increase over the remaining kilometers. By the 40-kilometer mark, hit in 2:00:45, Milaw’s lead grew to 2:27 over Kurgat and 3:17 over Too. He didn’t fade in the waning stages, crossing the line in 2:07:26, 1:14 faster than the previous course record of 2:08:40 set by Kenya’s Lukas Kanda in 2008. The 30 year-old Ethiopian, who improved his personal best by 20 seconds, notched his second career win over the distance following a success in Stockholm last year. Kurgat, who was the fastest man of the field with a PB of 2:07:11, held on for second in 2:10:41, as his compatriot Too rounded the podium clocking 2:11:56. (11/05/2018) ⚡AMP
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Ethiopia’s Azmeraw Bekele will be looking to claim victory at Hangzou Marathon on Sunday

Ethiopia’s Azmeraw Bekele will be looking to claim back-to-back victories and challenge his own course record at the Hangzhou Marathon, an IAAF Silver Label road race. Last year, the 32-year-old emerged triumphant from a three-man battle in the final kilometer to take the top honors in 2:10:33 in what was his first appearance at the scenic city in southeastern China, beating the previous course record set by countryman Bejigan Regasa Mndaye in 2016 by 49 seconds. Although he has not run in any race at any distance since that victory, Bekele is still seen as one of the top favorites to continue the record-breaking streak in Hangzhou, thanks to his 2:07:12 personal best achieved at the 2014 Dubai Marathon, which made him the fastest man among the entrants. However, he will also be facing a strong challenge from a clutch of Kenyan sub-2:10 runners on Sunday with the biggest threat being the 31-year-old Edwin Kibet Koech. Since his marathon debut in 2014, Koech has remained consistent. He registering his career best time of 2:08:17 three years ago from his fifth place finish in Eindhoven and went on to won at the 2016 Linz Marathon in 2:09:06. His most recent performance was staged at the Dalian International Marathon six month ago, as he broke the course record with a winning mark of 2:09:44. Kenya’s Geoffrey Ronoh, who will turn 36 on Monday , will also toe the line with high spirits. The 2:09:29 performer has yet to run in any marathon in the current season but collected two half marathon titles in August and September respectively. Ronoh’s compatriot Evans Sambu is another man to watch. Following his victories in China’s Taiyuan and Shenzhen in 2016, the 25-year-old broke the 2:10 barrier for the first time last October when he clocked a career best mark of 2:09:05 to finished fifth in Gongju. However, Sambu has been struggling to find his best form in 2018, finishing seventh in Dongying and Taiyuan with a lackluster season best mark of 2:17:39. (11/03/2018) ⚡AMP
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