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The Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon could move from its traditional December date to June starting next year

Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon could move from year-end to June date.

Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu told The Straits Times on Thursday (Jan 16) that this is being "talked about" and would be discussed with race organizers to see how it would fit in with the World Marathon Majors (WMM) series.

While the minister did not elaborate on the rationale for the possible date change, she said: "If we can establish that in the calendar, and if the other corporates, hotels and agencies are used to a certain timing, we can work towards de-conflicting better."

Last year's SCSM from Nov 30 to Dec 1 saw the flag-off times of the 42.195km marathon, 21.2km half-marathon and Ekiden relay shifted from their usual pre-dawn starts to 6pm on Nov 30 to boost its chances of being listed among the World Marathon Majors.

But this drew flak from the public after an unprecedented convergence of three other events resulted in some motorists being stuck in traffic snarls for over two hours. Couples holding wedding banquets in town also ran into issues as guests and vendors were unable to make it to the functions on time.

Speaking on the sidelines of the MCCY year-in-review 2019 media conference, Ms Fu said that "we really empathize with the people who have been inconvenienced" and that it was the first time that they were "doing it on such a scale in this location at such a time".

Stressing that it would be a "great opportunity" for Singapore to be part of the WMM, she pointed to the city's hosting of the Formula One Singapore Grand Prix and how organizers took a few years to get the kinks ironed out.

"What I can commit to Singaporeans is that all the agencies and the organizers and ourselves, we are treating this event very seriously," she added. "We're looking at all the feedback closely, and we will do our utmost best to do better in the next series."

Responding to queries from ST, Geoff Meyer, managing director of Ironman Asia, which organizes the SCSM, said: "The Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon is the leading mass participation run and only IAAF Gold Label race in South-east Asia. In the last 18 years, the marathon has grown significantly, and we continue to take strides towards our goal of becoming an Abbott World Marathon Major, joining the likes of prestigious marathons around the world.

"We continue to look for ways to enhance the marathon across several aspects, and focus on the event festivities as well as programmes and initiatives that promote the running culture and community engagement in Singapore."

A spokesman for Sport Singapore said that they “are carefully studying the different options”, adding that “we value all feedback and will work with our partners and stakeholders to build the SCSM into an event that Singapore can be proud of”.

Soh Rui Yong, who won the Local Men's marathon title, said: "I think that June is possibly the worst time to hold the Singapore Marathon given that May and June are usually the hottest months of the year. This will heighten the risk of heat injuries.

"But I guess we can try one year and see what happens; maybe it's not as bad as I foresee it being!"

Gerald Gan, an adjunct lecturer in leisure and events management at the Singapore Institute of Management, said that “there is no good time” to hold the marathon unless it moves away from the city center, stressing that better planning of logistics, timing and the route would help. 

He added: “Unfortunately, there is no win-win. Someone has to compromise ultimately... it is about mitigating the amount of exposure in terms of all of these inconveniences to the public.”

(01/17/2020) ⚡AMP
by Low Lin Fhoong
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STANDARD CHARTERED MARATHON SINGAPORE

STANDARD CHARTERED MARATHON SINGAPORE

The Singapore Marathon is an annual international marathon race which is held in December in the city of Singapore. It is an IAAF Gold Label Road Race. It has grown significantly since its inaugural race in 1982 – the 2013 event attracted a total of 60,000 entrants for all categories. There are four separate categories of competition: the full marathon,...

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KIMUTAI BREAKS COURSE RECORD IN HANGZHOU

Pre-race favourite Marius Kimutai lived up to expectations at the Hangzhou Marathon as he improved the course record by nearly half a minute at the IAAF Gold Label road race on Sunday (3).

The 26-year-old outraced Kenya’s Stanley Bett in the last kilometre of the race to become the first Bahraini winner in the 33-year history of the event, clocking 2:10:05.

It was Kimutai’s second victory in China this year, having won in Taiyuan in September with 2:09:43. It was also the sixth career marathon title for the 2:05:47 performer, following victories in Rotterdam, Danzhou, Ljubljana and Rennes since debuting over the distance in 2013.

The patient Kimutai bided his time in a crowded leading group in the early stages, passing 10km in 30:52 and 20km in 1:02:31.

The lead pack was cut to just five runners after the 30km mark and Bett waited for another five kilometres to make a move. Only Kimutai managed to keep up with Bett at 38km and the duo stayed together for three more kilometres before the in-form Bahraini pulled away at about 41km.

The 32-year-old Bett finish second with a personal best of 2:10:12, also finishing inside the course record of 2:10:33 set two years ago by Azmeraw Bekele of Ethiopia. Fellow Kenyan Douglas Kimeli, the runner-up in Hangzhou last year, finished third in 2:11:01, improving his PB by five seconds.

Agnes Jeruto Barsosio of Kenya also confirmed her favourite status in the women’s race, but in a more overwhelming way compared with Kimutai.

The 37-year-old, who owns a PB of 2:20:59 from the 2017 Paris Marathon, built up a comfortable lead soon after the gun and never met any real threat all the way to the finish.

Her winning mark of 2:25:20 was 10 seconds shy of the course record set by Ethiopia’s Hirut Tibebu last year.

Alice Jepkemboi Kimutai, winner of the 2018 Taiyuan Marathon and the 12th-place finisher in Hangzhou last year, clocked a lifetime best of 2:28:14 to take second place. Priscilla Chepatiy, winner of last year’s Wuxi Marathon, clocked 2:36:55 to complete a Kenyan podium sweep.

(11/03/2019) ⚡AMP
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Hangzhou Marathon

Hangzhou Marathon

The Hangzhou Marathon won the honor of “gold medal game” awarded by Chinese Athletics Association, ranking among top domestic competitions. Established in 1987, a total of 32,000 runners from 50 countries and regions compete in these events: Full Marathon (42.195 km) and Half Marathon (21.0975 km), Mini Marathon (7 km), Couple Run (4.5 km) and Family Run (1.2 km). The...

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Course record broken at the Beijing Marathon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Prague Half Marathon

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

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Peter Kmeli Some of Kenya and Bahrain’s Marius Kimutai will start as favorites at the Hangzhou Marathon on Sunday

Peter Kmeli Some of Kenya and Bahrain’s Marius Kimutai will start as favorites at the Hangzhou Marathon, an IAAF Gold Label road race, on Sunday.

The 29-year-old Some is the fastest entrant with a personal best of 2:05:38 set when winning the 2013 Paris Marathon. He came close to that mark last year when clocking 2:06:49 to finish third in Daegu. It will be Some’s second race in China following his 2:14:49 victory in Shenzhen two years ago.

Kimutai, 26, has also been triumphant in China. The 2:05:47 performer claimed the 2014 Danzhou Marathon title and more recently took the top honors at the Taiyuan International Marathon two months ago with a clocking of 2:09:43.

It will be Kimutai’s third race in China this year and his eyes may not be only set on the top podium but also on the course record of 2:10:33 achieved by Azmeraw Bekele of Ethiopia two years ago.

Kenya’s Sylvester Kimeli Teimet will be running his third straight race in Hangzhou after finishing fourth and fifth in the past two years. The 35-year-old set his lifetime best of 2:06:49 when winning in Seoul back in 2010 and has threatened the 2:10 barrier this season with a sixth-place finish at the Wuxi Marathon where he clocked 2:10:44.

The field also includes Evans Sambu of Kenya, who set his PB of 2:09:05 in 2017 and finished fourth last year in Hangzhou with 2:11:17, and Abraham Kiprotich of France.

Agnes Jeruto Barsosio of Kenya is the star attraction in the women’s race. The 37-year-old has earned podium finishes in eight consecutive marathons since October 2014, including recording a PB of 2:20:59 to finish second in Paris two years ago.

It will be Barsosio’s first race in Hangzhou but she has experience of running in China, including winning at the Guangzhou Marathon in 2014.

Barsosio’s compatriot Rael Kiyara Nguriatukei, 35, is another title contender. She set her PB of 2:25:23 when finishing fourth in Eindhoven in 2011 and has previously won marathons in Shanghai, Lanzhou, Chongqing, Luxembourg and, most recently, the Taipei Wan Jin Shi Marathon in last March.

Nastassia Ivanova of Belarus also has the credentials to make an impact, bringing a 2:27:24 lifetime best to the start line. The 36-year-old came close to her PB when clocking 2:27:49 to finish fifth at the European Championships in Berlin last year.

(11/02/2019) ⚡AMP
by IAAF
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Hangzhou Marathon

Hangzhou Marathon

The Hangzhou Marathon won the honor of “gold medal game” awarded by Chinese Athletics Association, ranking among top domestic competitions. Established in 1987, a total of 32,000 runners from 50 countries and regions compete in these events: Full Marathon (42.195 km) and Half Marathon (21.0975 km), Mini Marathon (7 km), Couple Run (4.5 km) and Family Run (1.2 km). The...

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The Xiamen Marathon to receive AIMS Green Award

The Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS), the member organization representing more than 460 of the world’s leading distance races is pleased to announce the Xiamen Marathon from the Chinese city of Xiamen as the recipient of the 2019 AIMS Green Award, becoming the first Chinese running event to win the Award.

The Award is given in recognition of excellence in environmental practice and will be presented during the prestigious AIMS ‘Best Marathon Runner’ (BMR) Awards Gala to be held in the birthplace of the Marathon in Athens, Greece on Friday November 8 2019.

Candidates for the AIMS Green Award are judged, among other criteria, on how the race promotes environmentally friendly practices, how volunteers contribute to the success of the event and how the race educates younger generations about the benefits of sport and environmental protection.

The two other races shortlisted by the judges were the Marine Corps Marathon (USA) – 2nd, and the Schneider Electric Marathon de Paris (France) – 3rd.

The Xiamen Marathon was founded in 2003 and has been rated as an ‘IAAF Gold Label Event’ for 12 straight years. The race organizers are demonstrating significant effort regarding climate change, waste reduction and environmental awareness raising. The start and finish of the race is Xiamen International Convention and Exhibition Center accessible by many public transport options which are promoted by the race. Free shuttle buses are provided to runners by the race while shared bicycle parking is provided. In 2019, over 40 thousand people took advantage of public transport options.

The race aimed to create the first ‘zero pollution’ marathon event in China by organizing volunteers to collect litter from the course of the marathon and categorize it for recycling. In 2019 the race recycled 16.15 tons of plastic bottles and paper cups and cleaned up six tons of plastic from the course.

Since 2015, the Xiamen Marathon have donated over 130 thousand saplings to be planted, creating the “Xiamen Forest of Love” in cooperation with the project ‘Million Forest’ run by China Green Foundation.

Ruan Dunliang, Vice President of the Xiamen Marathon comments: “We are very proud to be recognized with this very prestigious award by AIMS. We take our environmental responsibilities very seriously. From the year 2020, we will advocate Car-free Day on the race day. Meanwhile, we will continue to build ‘Xiamen Marathon Forest of Love’ and promote the plan of UNEP for cleaning the ocean to reduce environmental pollution. We look forward to visiting the home of the Marathon in Athens to receive the award.”

Paco Borao, President of AIMS: “I am looking forward to welcoming the Xiamen Marathon to Athens for the Best Marathon Runner Gala on behalf of AIMS Members, Partners and Sponsors. All our Members can look to their example for inspiration in how to host a sustainable event. We would like to thank and congratulate all the member races that submitted their candidateship for the AIMS Green Award.”

AIMS has been honoring races with the AIMS Green Award that have shown exceptional work in this area since 2013. However, AIMS intention is not only to honor ‘environmental initiatives’ of its members, but also to help them improve their races, in terms of good environmental practices during their marathon events. To this end, AIMS in collaboration with the Institute Team for the World Environmental Alliance 2004+, a scientific non-governmental not-for-profit organization headed by Mr. George Kazantzopoulos, Chairman of the AIMS Sustainability Commission and former Member of the IOC Sport & Environment Commission, has established a set of environmental guidelines, in line with the IOC Olympic Movement’s Agenda 21 and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, over and above the creation of the AIMS Green Award.

(10/31/2019) ⚡AMP
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XIAMEN INTERNATIONAL MARATHON

XIAMEN INTERNATIONAL MARATHON

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

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Senbere Teferi breaks Ethiopian half marathon record in Valencia clocking 1:05:32

Ethiopia’s Senbere Teferi and world indoor 3000m champion Yomif Kejelcha were victorious at the Medio Maratón Valencia Trinidad Alfonso EDP on Sunday (27), winning in 1:05:32 and 59:05 respectively at the IAAF Gold Label road race.

At yesterday’s technical meeting, pre-race favourite Sifan Hassan was cautious on her chances of breaking the world record. “I don’t know how my body has recovered from the Doha efforts,” said Hassan, who won the 1500m and 10,000m at the recent World Championships.

But right from the start, perfectly paced by compatriot Roy Hoornweg and Morocco’s Yakoub Labquira, Hassan seemed determined to chase the record as she went through the opening 5km in 15:19 with only Teferi and Kenya’s Joan Chelimo for company as the women-only record holder and world half marathon champion Netsanet Gudeta ran eight seconds in arrears.

With exactly 22:15 on the clock, Hassan tripped and fell hard, losing ground on the leaders. Even though the pacemakers didn’t seem to notice her fall, the European record-holder soon re-joined the lead group.

The lead trio reached 10km in 30:43 – still inside world record pace – with Teferi and Chelimo heading the race while Hassan trailed by four seconds, likely hampered by her fall.

Although Hoornweg remained pacing Hassan throughout, Teferi and Chelimo’s leading margin increased to 16 seconds by the 15km checkpoint, which the lead duo reached in 46:16.

Chelimo began to fade shortly afterwards and Teferi went on to win by a clear margin. The 24-year-old reached the finish in 1:05:32, taking 13 seconds off the Ethiopian record she had set in Ras Al Khaimah earlier this year. Hassan, who overtook Chelimo just before 20km, finished second in 1:05:53 with Chelimo finishing third in 1:06:09.

“I’m really satisfied with my performance,” said Teferi, the 2015 world 5000m silver medallist. “In addition to winning the race, I managed to improve my PB so I can’t ask for more.”

On a perfect day for road running (a slight wind and 12C), the men’s race opened according to plan with the main pack passing the opening 5km in 13:55. By the 10th kilometre, the pace had dropped slightly as the leading pack went through that checkpoint in 27:56. By then, only the Ethiopian duo of Jemal Yimer and Kejelcha plus the Kenyan quartet of Benard Ngeno, Albert Kangogo, Leonard Barsoton and Geoffrey Koech remained with winning chances.

Once the pacemakers had dropped out, the leading quintet of Ngeno, Kejelcha, Yimer, Barsoton and Koech passed 15km in 42:09, indicating the course record of 58:18 would remain intact.

Once Koech lost ground, Kejelcha, Yimer, Ngeno and Barsoton fought hard for the victory in the closing stages after passing 20km in 56:15. Kejelcha unleashed a significant change of pace with about 700 metres to go and went on to cross the finish line in 59:05.

Ngeno was runner-up in a lifetime best of 59:07 while Yimer completed the podium after a thrilling sprint finish with Barsoton, both being credited in 59:09, a PB for the Kenyan.

(10/27/2019) ⚡AMP
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Valencia Half Marathon

Valencia Half Marathon

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

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German Katharina Steinruck and Kenyan Mark Kiptoo will headline the elite field at Mainova Frankfurt Marathon On Sunday

Mark Kiptoo goes hunting for Masters World Record and Katharina Steinruck chases Olympic qualifying time. Mark Kiptoo and Katharina Steinruck know that the Mainova Frankfurt Marathon on Sunday is the most important race of the year in pursuit of their respective goals. The Kenyan Masters world record holder and the leading woman runner among the home contingent aim to exploit the Frankfurt course, renowned for its fast times.

Last year Kiptoo, now 43, ran 2:07:50 for a M40 world record and he says he feels capable of improving on that time. Katharina Steinruck has shown excellent form this year after heel surgery and her eyes are on the qualifying time of 2:29:30. Her personal best is currently 2:28:34, set three years ago.

Around 14,000 runners are expected on the startline for the Mainova Frankfurt Marathon which is an IAAF Gold Label race, the highest category of road race. It is still possible to enter during the Marathon Expo on Friday and Saturday. Further details can be found at: www.frankfurt-marathon.com

Mark Kiptoo credits his longevity with a disciplined attitude not only to training but also his life in general:"What we put into our body, is what will come out. So the training we have been doing means I have confidence the body is capable of going through halfway in 62:30." That level of performance would put the 43-year-old on course for a major improvement on his age group world best.

Kiptoo’s story may well give other late developers hope, though not everyone perhaps has the ability at his level:"I am sure that the reason why I can run so fast these days is because I began late as a runner. It wasn’t until I was 28 that I realised I had talent." He made his marathon debut at 37 after a solid career on the track and cross-country." His preparation has gone flawlessly:"The key is that I don’t have any physical problems and have also been able to do good speedwork sessions. Age is only a number." His personal best of 2:06:00 goes back to his pre-Masters days.

Frankfurt has been a happy hunting ground for the runner from Eldoret. He made his marathon debut here in 2013 with second place in 2:06:16, just one second behind the winner. A year later he won, aged 38, in 2:06:49, then came last year’s age group world best.

Everything points to Katharina Steinruck being in excellent form before she attempts to run the Olympic qualifying time of 2:29:30. After heel surgery in November 2018 she has set a clutch of personal bests recently which have put her on the right course:"I wouldn’t say I am in the form of my life but there has been a clear step forward." In preparation for the marathon Steinruck has run personal bests of 32:39 for 10km and 1:12:23 for the half marathon. „The Olympic qualifying time is of course my number one goal. However I am also looking for a personal best. To run sub 2:28 would be a dream come true.“

(10/24/2019) ⚡AMP
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Mainova Frankfurt Marathon

Mainova Frankfurt Marathon

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

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Philemon Rono won the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon for the third time on Sunday

The Kenyan, nicknamed ‘Baby Police’ for his role as a policeman, smashed his own Canadian all-comers’ record with a time of 2:05:00 at the IAAF Gold Label road race.

Behind him, Lemi Bernahu of Ethiopia, who had been leading until the final kilometer, took second in 2:05:09, Uganda’s Felix Chemonges third in 2:05:12 and defending champion Benson Kipruto of Kenya fourth in 2:05:13.

“It was important to win three times, because Toronto is like my home,” said Rono. “When I come here, I enjoy myself. I have a lot of friends from Kenya here. I am really, really happy to win today.”

While Rono achieved an incredible record, earning CDN$30,000 for the victory along with CDN$50,000 for the all-comers’ record, it was his compatriot Magdalyne Masai-Robertson who claimed the women’s victory with an enormous personal best of 2:22:16. That beat the course record set by Mimi Belete last year by 13 seconds and improved the Canadian all-comers' record by one second.

For the first time in its 30-year history, conditions were near perfect (8C and 5km/hr wind at the start).

A trio of pacemakers took a pack of six men through the halfway point in 1:03:08 and 30 kilometers in 1:29:24 before Lemi Berhanu hinted that the tightness in his legs, which had bothered him in the days immediately preceding the race, had vanished. By 38 kilometres he had surged to a lead of more than 15 seconds. But incredibly Rono closed the gap in the final two kilometres to snatch victory.

“I was running at my own pace,” Rono explained. “The pace at the front was really moving so I maintained my own pace. At 38km when he ran away I said ‘let me maintain my pace’. And I knew I could catch him.”

For his part, Berhanu, who was the 2016 Boston champion, complained of a stitch in his right side and was in distress. Disappointment registered on his face at the finish where he sat alone on the ground for 10 minutes before his coach Gemedu Dedefo collected him for the awards ceremony.

“I was thinking when I made the break I could run sub 2:05 and keep pushing, but after 40km I could not really move because of a stitch,” he explained.

Felix Chemonges took four minutes off his personal best to break 2012 Olympic champion Stephen Kiprotich’s Ugandan record with his 2:05:12.

The women’s race was equally compelling as eight women ran together through 30km. Five survived Birktuyat Eshetu’s surges up until 35km including Kenya’s Betsy Saina, Rachel Mutgaa and Masai-Robertson and then the race blew up. The latter took off, fearful of being caught. At 40km she spared a look over her shoulder and realised her nearest pursuer was Eshetu and quite a distance separated them.

(10/21/2019) ⚡AMP
by IAAF
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Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

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

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Course records smashed in Amsterdam

Ethiopia’s Degitu Azmeraw smashed the women’s course record at the TCS Amsterdam Marathon with 2:19:26, the second-fastest debut in history for the distance, while Kenya’s Vincent Kipchumba won a close men’s contest in 2:05:09 at the IAAF Gold Label road race on Sunday (20).

On a morning with perfect windless conditions and temperatures between 10-12C, the pace in the women’s race was swift from the outset. Azimeraw was one of six athletes in the lead pack and passed through 5km in 16:26 and 10km in 32:49. The six women were still together through the half-way point, reached in 1:10:00 exactly, and 30km, covered in 1:39:40.

It was only after then that the real racing began and the group was whittled down to five at 35km (1:56:14) with Azimeraw, Tigist Girma, Azmera Gebru, Besu Sado and Mimi Belete still in contention.

The quintet eventually dispersed over the final few kilometres with Azimeraw – who had clocked 1:06:07 for the half marathon this year – forging ahead to win in 2:19:26, taking almost two minutes from Meseret Hailu Debele’s 2:21:09 course record set in 2012. Former world record-holder Paula Radcliffe is the only woman to record a faster marathon debut, having clocked 2:18:56 in 2002.

“I wanted to see what it was like to run a marathon,” said Azimeraw. “I was expecting a time of about 2:20 so this result is definitely a success.”

Girma was second in 2:19:52, taking almost seven minutes off the PB she set when winning in Ottawa earlier this year. Gebru finished third, replicating her position from last year, but was rewarded with a PB of 2:20:48, while Sado – a former 1500m specialist making her marathon debut – was fourth in 2:21:03, also inside the previous course record.

Bo Ummels, another debutante, was the top Dutch finisher and so became the national champion, clocking 2:32:34.

As was the case in the women’s contest, the men’s race really got going after 35km. Up until that point, a large pack of nine men were still in contention, having gone through 10km in 29:27 and the half-way point in 1:03:00.

Kenya’s Elisha Rotich and Vincent Kipchumba and Ethiopia’s Solomon Deksisa and debutant Betesfa Getahun took the initiative after going through 35km in 1:44:07. Just before entering Vondelpark at 39km, Rotich and Deksisa accelerated and built up a small lead. Both pursuers, however, came back under the leadership of Kipchumba.

After leaving the park at the 41-kilometre point, Kipchumba ran away from the others to finally finish in Amsterdam’s Olympic Stadium in 2:05:09. Deksisa was second in 2:05:16, just holding off Rotich (2:05:18). Getahun also finished well below 2:06 on his debut with 2:05:28.

Kipchumba improved his personal record of 2:06.56 from April this year and was happy:

“We had a very strong group and the pace at the entrance to Vondelpark was very fast,” said Kipchumba, who improved on his PB of 2:06:56. “I started to close the gap with the two front runners. I was hoping for a time of 2:05:50, so I’m very satisfied with 2:05:09.”

The Dutch top runner, Abdi Nageeye, felt some pain in his right hamstring from 10km onwards and had to settle for ninth place in 2:07:39.

“My condition is fine, but mentally this was very tough,” he said. “Nevertheless, I am happy with my second-fastest time ever. Now I have to recover well and start planning smartly for the Olympic Games.”

 

(10/20/2019) ⚡AMP
by IAAF
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TCS Amsterdam Marathon

TCS Amsterdam Marathon

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

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Ethiopia’s Tsehay Gemechu smashes her own Airtel Delhi Half Marathon course record

Ethiopia’s Tsehay Gemechu retained her Airtel Delhi Half Marathon title in 1:06:00 on Sunday (20), taking 50 seconds off the course record she had set 12 months ago at the IAAF Gold Label road race.

Gemechu’s compatriot Andamlak Belihu also retained his title, clocking a PB of 59:10 to finish within four seconds of the course record.

The women’s race came down to a thrilling head-to-head duel over the final five kilometres between the 21-year-old defending champion and her compatriot Yelamzerf Yehualaw.

A large pack went through 5km in 15:43 before the male pacemakers brought the leading group of six past 10km in 31:22, indicating that the course record was very much under threat. One by one, runners became detached until only Gemechu and Yehualaw remained as they went through 15km in 47:05.

Coming into the final kilometre, Yehualaw – who won the African Games half marathon title in August – edged in front and briefly looked like she was going to cause an upset. But with the finish line approaching, Gemechu dug deep and managed to claw her way past her rival to notch up a personal best while becoming just the second woman to retain a title in Delhi.

“I was tired after Doha (where she finished fourth in the World Championships 5000m two weeks ago) but I wanted to come here and fight for the course record. I knew I was mentally strong,” said Gemechu, who becomes the sixth-fastest Ethiopian woman for the distance.

Yehualaw, even younger than the winner having turned 20 in August, took more than three minutes off her previous best for the distance when finishing just one second behind Gemechu in 1:06:01.

Zeineba Yimer, who started to lose contact with the leading pair just before 15km, held on to make it an Ethiopian 1-2-3 when she crossed the line in third place in 1:06:57, the same position as she had finished in 2018. Kenya’s 2017 world cross-country champion Irene Cheptai had a solid half marathon debut to finish fourth in 1:07:39.

The men’s contest also saw a thrilling head-to-head battle over the final few kilometres.

Six men passed 10km in 28:08. Belihu was still accompanied by another Ethiopian, Solomon Berihu, and the Kenyan pair of Kibiwott Kandie – who had made much of the pace in the middle stages of the race – and Alfred Barkachas.

The lead quartet reached 15km in 42:11 but between 17 and 18 kilometres firstly Barkach and then Kandie couldn’t stay with the relentless momentum and surges from the two Ethiopians and drifted backwards.

Berihu pushed again at 18km and Belihu looked in trouble for several minutes but recovered his poise and reeled in his rival with little more than a kilometre remaining before pulling away for victory.

“At about 18km I started to suffer some back pain; that possibly cost me the course record,” said Belhiu, who still managed to take eight seconds off his PB to move to seventh on the Ethiopian all-time list. “I have been mainly focusing on the track season in my training until recently but I always knew I was going to come here and so I had that in mind.”

Berihu, just 20, posted one of the fastest half marathon debuts ever when he came home second in 59:17 while Kandie hung on for third in 59:33.

(10/20/2019) ⚡AMP
by IAAF
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Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

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

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Eric Kiptanui was involved in Eliud Kipchoge's record-breaking feat in Vienna, and now he is set to run the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

Kiptanui was part of a 41-member pacemaking team at the Vienna event that ran in front of Kipchoge in a V-formation, protecting him from drag caused by wind, allowing the main runner to save energy in the process — a technique known as drafting or slipstreaming in running events and in motorsports.

"My family was happy. Everybody at home was happy. Eliud is a friend to me, always encouraged me to train. Has done a lot for me. So I think it’s very special for me and for my family," said Kiptanui at an event in New Delhi in the build-up to the 15th edition of the event certified as an IAAF Gold Label Road Race.

When asked about his standout memory from the record-breaking feat, Kiptanui picked the moment when his compatriot finally crossed the finish line to complete the historic feat. The sight of Kipchoge raising his arms in celebration, as did his pacemakers behind him, before embracing his wife on the other side of the finish line has now become an iconic sporting moment.

Can a feat like this be achieved without a team of in-and-out pacemakers? Kiptanui replied by saying: "It’s possible, and even now it’s possible. Even now one can say 'I want to run alone, maybe one pacemaker along the course of the 30k.'"

Life however was far from easy for Kiptanui. Early in his career, the runner resorted to washing toilets to make ends meet, which he now says has been a learning experience and has only made him a stronger person.

"In college, I had nothing. I had no money. I had to look for a job. I got a job for washing toilets. That experience made me a stronger person, because where I am today, and what I did some time back, it tells a lot. I believed in myself, that one day, one time, I will be somebody. No matter who I am now, I will be somebody one day one time," said Kiptanui.

Being part of Kipchoge's 41-member team of pacemakers at Vienna however, isn't his only claim to fame, for he is a serious contender himself as far as long-distance IAAF events are concerned. Kiptanui enjoyed a good run in 2018 by winning the Berlin (58.42 seconds) and Lisbon (60.05 seconds) half marathons, and had won the Barcelona half marathon earlier this year.

For Kiptanui, part of his training for the Delhi half marathon came in the form of his pacemaking duties at Vienna, and has had a fair bit of training in the build-up to the Delhi event in order to keep his body in shape.

East African runners have dominated long-distance running events across the world for decades now, and the Delhi Half Marathon is no different — nearly all the winners in both the men's and women's categories in the event hailing from either Ethiopia or Kenya — both titles being won by an Ethiopian last year.

Come Sunday, Kiptanui will face a stiff challenge from defending champion Andamlak Belihu and debutant Hagos Gebrhiwet. In the women's category, its defending champion and course record-holder Tsehay Gemechu will be in the spotlight along with Kenya-born Kazakh runner Caroline Kipkirui. Over 40,000 are expected to take part in the upcoming event, which begins in the wee hours on Sunday in the national capital, across five categories — Half Marathon (21.097 km), Great Delhi Run (5 km), Open 10K, Senior Citizens' Run (3.2 km) and Champions with Disability (3.2 km).

(10/19/2019) ⚡AMP
by Amit Banerjee
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Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mainova Frankfurt Marathon

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

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Kenya’s Gladys Cherono returns to the Berlin Marathon in search of a fourth victory on Sunday

One year on from breaking the course record at the BMW Berlin Marathon, Kenya’s Gladys Cherono returns to the IAAF Gold Label road race in search of a fourth victory on Sunday.

Cherono clocked 2:18:11 in the German capital 12 months ago, winning her third Berlin Marathon title and breaking a course record that had stood for 13 years. A fourth triumph here would give her more wins than any other woman.

“I’ve trained well and my aim is to retain my title,” said Cherono, who stands at sixth on the world all-time list. “I hope also to set a personal best.”

Although her compatriot Vivian Cheruiyot has had to withdraw because of achilles tendon problems, multiple world and Olympic gold medalist Meseret Defar could prove to be a tough competitor.

The Ethiopian won Olympic titles at 5000m in 2004 and 2012 and earlier this year clocked a PB of 2:23:33 in what was just her second marathon to date.

“I have had many injuries in recent years but now I’ve been training well,” said the 35-year-old. “I decided to run Berlin because the course is so fast.”

Another Ethiopian, Olympic bronze medalist and 2015 world champion Mare Dibaba, is keen to get back to the form that brought her to a PB of 2:19:52.

Germany’s Melat Kejeta will be making her marathon debut and is hoping to run 2:22, which would be comfortably inside the Olympic qualifying time of 2:29:30 and would make her the third-fastest German woman of all time. Compatriot Anna Hahner is also targeting the Olympic qualifying mark.

(09/28/2019) ⚡AMP
by IAAF
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BMW Berlin Marathon

BMW Berlin Marathon

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

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Ethiopia’s Bekelech Gudeta Borecha will make her Debut at Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

A first-time marathon requires a great leap of faith as any distance runner can attest. And so it is that Ethiopian distance star Bekelech Gudeta, who will turn 22 nine days before the race, enters the unknown at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon tackling one of the strongest women’s fields assembled on Canadian soil. Though she has no experience at the classic marathon distance she has performed admirably these past two years in the half marathon, running under 1:08 on three occasions, most recently on September 15th. That time of 1:07:21 earned her 6th place in the Copenhagen Half Marathon, which, like Toronto, is an IAAF Gold Label race. A year ago, she recorded her personal best 1:07:03 on the same course.

"I am really happy to start the marathon," she reveals. " have run some half marathons and I think I can run a (good) marathon as a half marathon is a quicker pace than the marathon. I started preparation for the Toronto Waterfront Marathon from June. My target is to run a fast time in Toronto."

The women’s course record in Toronto is 2:22:29 and was set a year ago by Mimi Belete the Ethiopian who now runs for Bahrain. This doesn’t seem to faze Gudeta.

"My coach is Dawit Hiluf and he is telling me that I can run sub 2:22 in my first marathon," she says. "He is telling me the athletes with 1:07 in the half marathon have run 2:19 to 2:21 in the marathon and he is telling me it is possible to run fast in the first marathon. He is telling me that the Toronto marathon has a fast course. We expect to see me on the Toronto marathon podium with a fast time."

What gives her more confidence is that she has increased her training volume significantly this year but did not reduce it for her Copenhagen appearance. Training through Copenhagen and still coming away with a time just 18 seconds slower than her best must have been satisfying to her and her coach.

"Last year I was doing 100km per week now it’s 160 - 170km. So, I was expecting to run 1:05 (in Copenhagen) but this year there was too much wind. We ran against the wind. Especially when I dropped from the leading group it was difficult. But I am happy as I ran sub 68 for my third time."

Gudeta is a member of a training group put together by Volare Sports, a Netherlands based sports management company. It includes Hiwot Gebrekidan (2nd in Ottawa in both 2017 and 2018) Betelhem Moges (2nd in Ottawa 2019) and Abeba Gebremeskel (2nd place Seville marathon 2019). Like other runners she lives in the Ararat area of Addis, Ethiopia’s capital and shares a ride to training sites outside the city.

"Our training is in different places around Addis most of time we train in Sululta, Sendafa, Kaliti, Entoto, Sebeta and around Ararat inside Addis," she continues.

"We have a Volare team bus and we meet 3-4 times per week training program with a team. Monday, Wednesday, Friday and sometimes Sunday we train together with the team and Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday we have easy training separately. When we are not with the team I train around Ararat."

Bekelech has not always lived in Addis. She was born in Shona just 50 kilometers outside the capital. After being introduced to running at school and having some success one of her brothers encouraged her to move to Addis and become a serious runner. She credits him with her success.

In Toronto she will face her experienced compatriots Dibaba Kuma, Eshetu Biruktayit and Hiwot Gebrekidan as well as Kenya’s Magdalyne Masai and Ruth Chebitok.

While the Toronto Waterfront Marathon signifies a dramatic change in direction for Bekelech Gudeta she sees it as a step towards meeting her ultimate goals.

"My goal is be a world class athlete like (Kenya’s four-time New York Marathon champion) Mary Keitany and Tirunesh Dibaba (three-time Olympic champion from Ethiopia)," she declares. " have represented my country during the World Half Marathon Championship last year in Valencia and I was 8th place. I want to represent Ethiopia again in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics or in other Olympics. It is my dream as a runner."

(09/25/2019) ⚡AMP
by Paul Gains
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Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

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

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Ethiopia's Andamlak Belihu and Tsehay Gemechu are ready to defend their men´s and women´s Airtel Delhi Half Marathon titles

Ethiopia's Andamlak Belihu and Tsehay Gemechu will return to defend their men's and women's titles respectively in the 15th edition of the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon on October 20.

Belihu won men's half marathon title of this prestigious IAAF Gold Label Road Race last year in 59:18, just missing out on the course record of 59:06 which remained since 2014 in the name of compatriot Guye Adola.

"Immediately after last year's race I said that I was going to come back to Delhi in 2019 as I had unfinished business with the course record and I am keeping my promise," commented Belihu, who will still be just 20 on race day.

He returned to India in May earlier this year to also win the TCS World 10K title in Bengaluru, another IAAF Gold Label Road Race promoted by Procam International.

Last year, Belihu had to work hard to hold off his fellow Ethiopian Amdework Walelegn to win by four seconds. Walelegn will also return with the ambition of going one better in this year's race.

No less than eight men in the ADHM 2019 elite field have run under the world class benchmark of one hour but much of the attention will be on a man who has yet to run the distance, Hagos Gebrhiwet.

Gebrhiwet had planned to make his half marathon debut in Delhi last year but a late bout of illness curtailed his training. However, he will stand on the start line this year. He won a bronze in Rio Olympics 5000m race.

The fastest man in Delhi this year will be Erick Kiptanui. The Kenyan notched up two impressive half marathon victories in 2018 when winning at high-quality Lisbon and Berlin races, coming home in the German capital in a personal best 58:42, and he is currently equal seventh on the world all-time list.

Kiptanui has been concentrating mainly on the track but had a solid win at the Barcelona Half Marathon earlier in the year.

In the women's elite section last year, Gemechu made a huge impact in her debut over the distance when she set an ADHM women's course record of 66:50 and in 2019 she has shown it was no fluke with a string of sparkling performances both on the roads and the track, including taking the African Games 10,000m title.

The third and fourth-placed women from the ADHM 2018 also return with Ethiopia's Zeineba Yimer and Kenya's Stacy Ndiwa coming back to do battle.

The fastest woman in the ADHM 2019 elite field will be Caroline Kipkirui. The Kenyan-born runner, who now competes under the Kazakhstan flag, set a personal best of 65:07 in the 2018 Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon.

(09/25/2019) ⚡AMP
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Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

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

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LEMA BREAKS COURSE RECORD IN HENGSHUI

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hengshui lake International Marathon

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

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Uganda’s Felix Chemonges goal is to win the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

No Ugandan runner has ever won the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon a blemish which Felix Chemonges wishes to eradicate October 20th on the race’s 30th anniversary.

"My goal is to win the race and improve on my personal best as I want to get selection with my Toronto performance for Tokyo 2020," he explains. "My future goals are to be a world class star."

"I have only run two marathons before, which were smaller marathons. Both times I finished second. Toronto will be my first big one and I am really looking forward to it."

In recent years, beginning with the inspiring victory of Stephen Kiprotich at the 2012 London Olympics, Ugandans have strived to match the competitive results of their East African rivals from Ethiopia and Kenya. Now, with young athletes like the 23-year-old Chemonges (he turns 24 on October 10th), the country’s fortunes are indeed in good hands.

One of those aforementioned second place finishes came at the 2019 Linz (Austria) Marathon back in April and yielded a personal best of 2:09:19 but since then he has also lowered his PB at the half marathon distance with a 61:03 clocking in Zwolle Netherlands. That is, indeed, encouraging as he builds towards the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon - an IAAF Gold Label race.

Netherlands based Global Sports Communications which represents world half marathon record holder Geoffrey Kamworor, world marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge (both from Kenya) and Ethiopia’s world 5000m and 10000m record holder Kenenisa Bekele, in addition to Kiprotich, operates a training camp in Uganda where Chemonges trains.

It is in Kapchorwa in Eastern Uganda which is around 50km from the border with Kenya. The elevation is roughly 2000 metres above sea level but they can reach even higher elevations nearby - perfect for training. "I live in the camp then we meet with other marathoners from different groups and train together," Chemonges says.

Under the guidance of coach Nalis Bugongo the group which can number as many as sixty athletes and includes Joshua Cheptegei, the 2019 IAAF World Cross Country Champion, Robert Chemonges (no relation) and Jackson Kiprop, winner of the 2019 Nagano Marathon, has a strict training regimen running twice a day.

Highlights are a 35 kilometre run on Thursdays and a Tuesday track session which sees the group running one kilometre ten times at 2:06 marathon pace with a very short recovery.

The camp is not far from the village of Chebungai where Chemonges grew up and where his siblings still live and farm, so he is able to return home on occasion. But like their Kenyan rivals they are incredibly dedicated to the end goal of achieving success on the roads. Everything points in that direction from getting enough rest as well as massage between training sessions, eating healthy and pushing each other.

It cannot be stressed enough what the impact of Kiprotich’s Olympic gold medal offered the young runners. Although he trains mainly in Kenya at the Global Sports Communication camp in Kaptagat he returns home on weekends.

"His medal has inspired me to strive for the same title and many medals for myself in the future," Chemonges says of the Olympic hero. "It’s the biggest inspiration for all of us from Kapchorwa region.

"I meet with him and he encourages me. We often train together when he is at home. He is the most well-known Ugandan and he also competed in Toronto last year."

The 2017 IAAF World Cross Country Championships were held in Uganda’s capital of Kampala which was an incredible source of national pride. Kiprotich returned home to be a member of the Ugandan team even though he is now a fully-fledged marathoner. At that point Chemonges had not yet distinguished himself. But that would change a year later.

Selected to represent Uganda for the first he finished 26th in the 2018 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in Valencia recording a then personal best of 62:10. That was just four places ahead of Canadian marathon record holder Cam Levins who is also racing for Olympic selection in Toronto.

Later the same year he finished second at the Beirut Marathon, with a promising debut of 2:11:57 on a demanding course.

"We chose Beirut with my manager Jurrie as it was a good place to debut and learn the distance and be competitive," he reveals adding, "I learnt that I can run a faster competition and time when I prepare well and that I can be confident."

As for Toronto his knowledge is limited to what he has gleaned from his management and Kiprotich. "I just know it is a marathon in Canada with a strong course and it can be cold," and then adding rather prophetically, "And no Ugandan has won, so far."

(09/20/2019) ⚡AMP
by Paul Gains
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Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

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

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Sydney marathon organizers are determined to see the course records go when this year’s race is run on Sunday

The IAAF Gold Label road race, centerpiece of the mass participation Sydney Running Festival that has attracted almost 40,000 entrants, is not as fast as some courses, but any road course in Australia’s biggest city boasting one of the world’s iconic harbors, must be a compromise between aesthetics and degree of difficulty.

Nonetheless, organizers are confident the course records – 2:11:18 by Ethiopia’s Gebo Gameda Burka in 2014 and 2:28:04 by Ethiopian-born Australian resident Makda Harun Haji in 2017 – can be substantially improved. They have assembled a field and will provide the pacing to make that happen in this year’s race.

Australian 10,000m record holder Ben St. Lawrence will spearhead the pacers endeavoring to pilot the leading male runners through the first 25km on pace to break the men’s record. Corresponding assistance should see the leading women – including Harun Haji – through half-way on the required pace.

“We want to see the records broken this year,” race director Wayne Larden said on Friday, “and we think we have the depth in both fields for that to happen.”

Felix Kiprotich looks the pick of the men’s field. The 30-year-old Kenyan runner comes with strong current form. He recorded his personal best – 2:05:33 – in winning Korea’s Daegu marathon this April, so he is fast and in a winning mood. He also brings consistency, having four sub-2:07 times on his c.v.

Kiprotich has bettered 2:07 in four of the past five years and ran sub-2:08 in the only year he did not. He is also familiar with the region, his best performances all coming in Asia.

Elijah Kemboi won last year’s Sydney race by over two minutes in 2:13:33. Before last year he had run sub-2:10 for the previous six years. Besides his win in Sydney, he was second in Linz and won in Macao, so his consistency remains at a high level. Another Kenyan, Kiprotich Kirui, has bettered 2:10 each of the past three years including a 2:09:05 for third place in Madrid earlier this year.

Japanese runners have a good recent record in Sydney, despite usually not arriving with the strongest credentials among the elite runners. Satoru Sasaki was third in the always-strong Fukuoka marathon in 2015 in his PB 2:08:56 and finished eighth there last year in 2:11:40. He and younger compatriot Ryo Kuchimachi – 2:13:30 in Tokyo this year – will bear watching.

Kenyan duo Stellah Barsosio and Josephine Chepkoech head the elite athletes in the women’s field.

Each comes with strong recent form. Barsosio was second in this year’s Rotterdam marathon in her fastest career performance of 2:23:36. The 26-year-old was fifth in Paris the previous year and also boasts a half-marathon best of 1:09:31.

Chepkoech, 30, is a little faster than her compatriot over the half distance, with a best of 1:08:53. That dates back to 2013, however, but her 2:25:20 performance in the Barcelona marathon earlier this year suggests she remains a strong contender.

Harun Haji holds the race record set in 2017, the second time in succession she triumped in Sydney. In both victories, she broke away in Centennial Park significantly before the half-way point where the tree cover and bends in the road make it relatively easy to “disappear” from the chasers. She does not have compelling domestic form coming into the race, but it will be interesting to see whether she, or any of her rivals, adopt similar tactics.

Ethiopian pair Hirut Alemayehu and Gebeyanesh Ayele will also be in the hunt. Ayele has a personal best of 2:26:54 from Hengshui just one year ago, while Alemayehu’s best is 2:30:09. Both have half-marathon bests of just over 70 minutes, so need to be respected.

Tejita Daba, Bahrain, and Bornes Kitur, third in Osaka this year and with a 2:24:19 PB from Prague last year, are also more than capable of winning in a very even women’s field.

(09/13/2019) ⚡AMP
by IAAF
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Sydney Marathon

Sydney Marathon

The Sydney Marathon is a marathon held annually in Sydney, Australia each September. The event was first held in 2001 as a legacy of the 2000 Summer Olympics, which were held in Sydney. In addition to the marathon, a half marathon, 9 kilometres (5.6 mi) "Bridge Run", and a 3.5 kilometres (2.2 mi) "Family Fun Run" are also held under...

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Ethiopian Tigist Girma Withdraws from Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Following last announcement of Tigist Girma´s participation in the 2019 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon we were surprised to receive an email from her management company, Elite Sports Management International, says Alan Brookes, the race director.

The email, sent on Monday September 9th, informed us that the athlete was withdrawing from the race because the athlete’s husband did not think the course was fast enough to match her condition.

We are surprised and disappointed as a contract was signed and returned to us on July 11th, 2019.

Furthermore, the Toronto course record set last year by Mimi Belete ( is 2:22:29 more than four minutes faster than Tigist´s personal best. Sharon Cherop ( and Koren Yal ( both ran 2:22:43 in 2010 and 2011 respectively. These times compare favorably with most IAAF Gold Label races.

As a professional IAAF Gold Label organization we enormously value our relationship with the world´s media. We understand athletes sometimes are injured and must withdraw. But, in this case, we hope that these unforeseen circumstances do not reflect badly upon our efforts to further grow the sport we love. We apologize for any inconvenience caused.

Though we are disappointed we wish Tigist well with her career.

(09/11/2019) ⚡AMP
by Alan Brookes
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Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

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

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Ethiopian Tigist Girma is going after the Toronto Marathon title

Tigist Girma’s best marathon time may not have caught up with her impressive competitive record but the Ethiopian is quickly establishing herself as a world-class athlete to be feared. When she lines up for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon on October 20, however, it will be a reality check of epic proportions.

Among the athletes she will face at this IAAF Gold Label road race are her countrywomen Bruktayit Degefa and Belaynesh Oljira who have run much, much faster times. Oljira, for instance, has a best of 2:21:53, almost five full minutes faster than Girma’s PB of 2:26:34 which she set in winning the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon in May. However, the 26-year-old Girma remains undaunted.

“Whenever I train for a specific competition, I have the goal to win as well as to run as fast as my training partners like Roza Dereje and Ruti Aga,” she says when asked what her target might be for Toronto. “So, I will try to run fast and win the race as well.”

Her resolve to match times recorded by members of her training group is decidedly ambitious. Dereje has a best of 2:19:17 while Ruti Aga has run 2:18:34. But it is the way Girma wins that is compelling. In each of her victories she has gone to the front with more than 12-15km remaining and simply run away from athletes, many of whom have superior personal bests.

“My coach (Haji Adilo) always trains us to run following our heart and condition. So, I am not afraid of running in front,” she explains. “My victory in both races (Guangzhou and Ottawa) with new personal bests was not only because of my strength but it was also with God’s support.

“According to my condition during the race I could have run better. But I won’t complain with the results I got in both races.”

The question of whether she can outwit and outrun her compatriots remains to be seen but there is much on the line. Toronto has seen the breakthrough of many international athletes. Past winners Sharon Cherop (Kenya) and Shure Demise (Ethiopian) went on to compete in the prestigious World Marathon Majors with Cherop finishing third in Boston in 2011, six months after her Toronto victory and was Boston champion in 2012. Demise went on to finish on the podium at both Tokyo and Chicago.

Girma first emerged on the scene with a victory in the 2016 Beirut Marathon where she ran a then personal best of 2:32:44. That was on a day when the temperature at the start was 21C. More recently she won the 2018 Guangzhou and 2019 Ottawa Marathons - both IAAF Gold Label races.

It is hard to believe that she has accomplished so much considering this is just her fourth season of competition. Moreover, coach Haji has reigned in her willingness to run three marathons in a year. Toronto Waterfront will be only her second marathon of 2019. She seems pleased with her training since Ottawa.

“I train four days a week with the team with coach Haji. Right now, I am doing all the training program my coach gave me and I run 170km each week,” she reveals.

Some of Haji’s favourite sites are well outside of Addis, the capital. This is because Addis traffic is notoriously heavy and not conducive to training. Haile Gebrselassie, for example, ran on a treadmill each afternoon in the basement gym in his office building.

 “Since the training sites are quite far and it’s long drive there my boyfriend drives me up and down,” Girma says.

The unpredictable weather coming off Lake Ontario in late October should not be a problem for her. Two of her victories were in heat and humidity while in Guangzhou it was cold and raining.

“I think (Toronto) is good timing for me,” she confirms. “Since it’s now winter-time here in Ethiopia I have been training in rain and very cold weather conditions. I don't think cold weather will be problem for my result.” 

(09/10/2019) ⚡AMP
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Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

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

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Collen Mulaudzi believes training with Stephen Mokoka gives him an advantage as he goes into the weekend’s Sanlam Cape Town Marathon

The Boxer Athletic runner is realistic enough, however, to not put himself under the pressure of wanting to replace his mentor as champion of Africa’s only IAAF Gold Label Status race.

“Of course I want to do well in Cape Town and I got some great advice from Stephen which I intend to heed. He told me to merely strive for a local podium finish as my time to be champion will come in the next two years.”

Mulaudzi finished 15th overall last year and was the fourth South African home when Mokoka blitzed the field to set a new course record.

“I rate Stephen very highly, I look up to him and Benedict Moeng as my mentors - they have a lot of marathon experience and I want to emulate their successes,” he said.

Mulaudzi knows that the race is likely to be just as fast if not faster than last year given the calibre of athletes on the start list and has set himself the goal of running a better time than he did on his debut.

“It was the first time I ran the race last year and I did 2:18:50 and my aim is obviously to better than this time around.

“And we know that there are top athletes who will be coming to Cape Town with some great PBs, the likes of the Peter Some, who has a 2:05 and Rarifu Kimku, who has ran a 2:06.

“They are both from Kenya and we all know their reputations as great runners.”

Unlike last year when he went to the race over-trained, the 26-year-old believes he has paced himself very well and will get to the start line fresh and ready to fire.

“I was tired last year because I went to Cape Town straight after the Cross Country Championships.

“Also I had not done enough mileage for the race like I did this time around.

“Stephen has been monitoring my training and he helped me rectify the mileage issue. So I am in good shape and I am hoping to pace myself well,” he added.

Unlike the majority of South Africans who will mainly be using the race as an Olympic qualifier, the man from Ramahantsha village in Makhado, Limpopo will not have Tokyo on his mind as he pounds the streets of the Mother City.

“It is a dream of every athlete to represent his country in the Olympics but for me that is not the focus. Of course if it happens it will be my biggest achievement and I would be delighted.”

He goes into the race on the back of a pretty good year that has seen him clock some PBs.

“I set my new PB in 10km in Morocco although I was in position 10. I went on to set my new PB in the Half Marathon at Port Elizabeth of 62:03.”

With that kind of time in the 21.1km, Mulaudzi clearly has it in him to realise his goal of being among the top South African finishers in Cape Town on Sunday.

(09/09/2019) ⚡AMP
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Cape Town Marathon

Cape Town Marathon

The Sanlam Cape Town Marathon is a City Marathon held in Cape Town, South Africa, which is sponsored by Sanlam, the City of Cape Town and Vital Health Foods. The marathon is held on a fast and flat course, starting and finishing in Green Point, near the Cape Town Stadium. Prior to existing in its current format, the Cape Town...

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Sheila Chepkirui and Dorcas Kimeli, who finished just half a step behind, were credited with 29:57 performances to become just the second and third women to cover the distance in under 30 minutes at Birell 10k race

Once again, the all-time 10km lists underwent major revision at the Birell Prague 10km, an IAAF Gold Label road race, on Saturday.

In the women's race, both winner Sheila Chepkirui and runner-up Dorcas Kimeli, who finished just half a step behind, were credited with 29:57 performances to become just the second and third women to cover the distance in under 30 minutes. Only their Kenyan compatriot Joyciline Jepkosgei, who set the 29:43 world record on this same course in 2017, has run faster.

In the men's race, Geoffrey Koech fought off Mathew Kimeli in the waning stages to reach the finish line in a world-leading 27:02, equalling the legendary Haile Gebrselassie as the fourth fastest man ever. Kimeli clocked 27:07, to move up to No. 7 all-time.

The women were off to a blazing start, with Chepkirui, Kimeli and Norah Jeruto, better known as a standout steeplechase, reaching the midway point in 14:46, with Fancy Chemutai another second back. 

That group was soon winnowed down to just Chepkirui and Kimeli who fought it out until the closing metres when Chepkirui finally prevailed by about half a second.

"The second five kilometres was very hard," Chepkirui said. "I was fighting so, so hard to win this race."

Jeruto, who beat world record-holder Beatrice Chepkoech in the 3000m steeplechase at the IAAF Diamond League stop in Oslo in June, was third in 30:07.

Like the women, the leaders in the men's race set a blistering pace from the outset, with Benard Kimeli leading Geoffrey Koech, Mathew Kimeli, Bravin Kiptoo and Shadrack Koech leading the field through the first five kilometres in 13:23. Another five runners were well within striking distance, just one or two seconds behind.

The pace soon proved too much for most, with just Kiptoo, Geoffrey Koech and Matthew Kimeli left in the hunt after seven kilometres. Koech, the runner-up here last year, powered away over the final kilometre to secure the win.

"Of course there is a lot of space for improvement but still I am very happy with my result,” said the 26-year-old Koech, who clipped 15 seconds from his previous career best.

Kiptoo, 18, was third in 27:12, a world U20 best.

Earlier in the day, organisers of five leading international half marathons --the EDP Lisbon Half Marathon, the Sportisimo Prague Half Marathon, the Copenhagen Half Marathon, the Cardiff University Cardiff Half Marathon and the Valencia Half Marathon Trinidad Alfonso EDP-- announced the formation of the SuperHalfs international running series that brings the five events under one banner with the aim of promoting running, tourism and environmental sustainability in the host cities.

(09/09/2019) ⚡AMP
by IAAF
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Birell 10K Race

Birell 10K Race

The Birell Prague Grand Prix is a charming evening race with a mysterious atmosphere in the historical Prague city center. During the first weekend of September Prague, streets are full of thousands of runners and spectators alongside the race course. The first race is aladies only affair. The adidas Women’s Race 5 km starts on Republic Square and continues over...

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Kenyan Mark Kiptoo, who set the world 40+ best at the Mainova Frankfurt Marathon last year, will return to Germany's oldest city marathon for its 38th edition on October 27

The Kenyan ran 2:07:50 12 months ago to finish sixth at this IAAF Gold Label road race while becoming the first 40+ runner to break the 2:08 barrier. At the moment, all signs suggest that the 43-year-old is capable of a further improvement this year as he aims to win the race for a second time.

Indeed, Kiptoo is still running at a very high level which m may be due to his late arrival to the event. Kiptoo made his marathon debut at 37 in Frankfurt and finished second in 2:06:15, just one second behind the winner. In 2014 he returned to win in 2:06:49. Three of his five best marathon times have been run in the city. His lifetime best is 2:06:00, achieved in the Dutch city of Eindhoven in 2015.

"I am very excited to be heading back to the Frankfurt Marathon this year," Kiptoo said. "I have enjoyed good experiences in the past, finishing second in 2013, winning in 2014 and last year of course breaking the world masters' best.

"This year my aim will be to challenge to win the race. I believe if I win the race then I probably break the record again. My preparations are going on well and God willing I see another successful day in Frankfurt ahead."

Two Kenyans who impressed at the Mainova Frankfurt Marathon last year and finished ahead of Kiptoo are also making a return: Amos Mitei, who was fourth with 2:07:28 in 2018 and Kenneth Keter, who finished fifth in 2:07:34. Bernard Kipyego also joins the Kenyan contingent and has similar ability, having won the 2015 Amsterdam Marathon in 2:06:19.

Despite the strong Kenyan presence, an Ethiopian could well emerge as leader of the pack. Fikre Bekele, no relation to the long distance multiple Olympic gold medallist Kenenisa, ran 2:06:27 to finish fourth in Seoul this spring, a traditionally high class event.

This was after suffering problems in his first two marathons last year, where he endured to finish in 2:20 and 2:17 in India and Spain respectively. 

Organisers are expecting up to 14,000 runners to take part.

 

(09/09/2019) ⚡AMP
by IAAF
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Mainova Frankfurt Marathon

Mainova Frankfurt Marathon

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

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Kenyans Geoffrey Koech and Fancy Chemutai lead the fields at the Birell Prague Grand Prix 10km

Fancy Chetumai and Geoffrey Koech will lead the fields at the Birell Prague Grand Prix 10km, an IAAF Gold Label road race, in the Czech capital on Saturday.

On the men's side, the main draw is Koech, who clocked 27:18 in this race last year, the 13th fastest performance of all time, to finish second. More recently the 26-year-old finished fourth at the Prague Half Marathon in April, clocking 1:00:30.

He'll face compatriot Vincent Kiprotich Kibet, who produced a 27:21 run to win in Berlin just over one year ago. Kibet, who turned 20 in March, has shown good form this year too, clocking 27:35 to win in Wurzburg in April and 27:24.09 on the track in July.

But perhaps in most impressive form is 22-year-old Ethiopian Jemal Yimer, who set his 27:54 best on the roads in Prague in 2017 before racing to the African 10,000m title in Asaba, Nigeria, last year. Yimer broke the Ethiopian record in the half marathon in Valencia last October, clocking an impressive 58:33. In July, he finished fifth in the Ethiopian 10,000m trials race for the World Championships in Hengelo, clocking 26:54.39, a lifetime best.

Others to watch include Kenya's Benard Kimeli, the winner of the Prague Half Marathon earlier this year, and Vedic Kipkoech, who improved his 10km best to 27:25 in Valencia in January.

On the women's side, Chemutai, the thrid fastest woman of all time on the roads with 30:06, will be looking to break the event's 30-minute barrier. Chemutai turned in that performance in Prague in 2017 when she chased Joycilene Jeppkosgei who eventually shattered the world record with her extraordinary 29:43 run. Chemutai, 24, impressed in Boston in June, winning a 10km there in 30:36.

She'll face 20-year-old Gloria Kite, who went even faster this year, clocking 30:26 in Valencia in January and currently sits in the No.9 position on the world all-time list. Steeplechase standout Norah Jeruto, who beat world record-holder Beatrice Chepkoech at the IAAF Diamond League stop in Oslo in June, could also be a factor.

(09/05/2019) ⚡AMP
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Birell 10K Race

Birell 10K Race

The Birell Prague Grand Prix is a charming evening race with a mysterious atmosphere in the historical Prague city center. During the first weekend of September Prague, streets are full of thousands of runners and spectators alongside the race course. The first race is aladies only affair. The adidas Women’s Race 5 km starts on Republic Square and continues over...

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Welsh marathon runner Josh Griffiths will be seeking olympic selection at Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

The IAAF Gold Label race (October 20th) is serving as the Athletics Canada Marathon trials for Tokyo 2020 and Josh Griffiths, fresh off his personal best performance in London (2:14:25), has chosen to make his own run for an Olympic berth.

The 25-year-old is presently ranked fifth in Britain behind Mo Farah (2:05:39), Callum Hawkins (2:08:14), Dewi Griffiths (2:11:46) and Jonny Mellor (2:13:25). Like the Canadians he will face in Toronto, he believes a 2:12:30 performance might be enough to cement a place on his national Olympic team. Asked what he is looking for in Toronto he is succinct.

"Just a really good, competitive race," he offers. "Malcolm (Anderson, his manager) said it would be a really good Canadian field, so if I can just get in the mix and, on a good day, see how far I can go with them.

"There's three really good British guys now. Obviously, it all depends on if they all stay fit and if they all choose to do the marathon. All I can do is focus on myself and if I run the best I can then I can’t really ask for more."

Canadian record holder Cam Levins (2:09:25) will be seeking to run with the international elite and improve upon the record he set a year ago, while fellow Olympians Dylan Wykes and Reid Coolsaet want to be in that 2:12 - 2:13 range that Griffiths is targeting.

Although he represents Swansea Harriers, Griffiths has lived all his life in Gorslas, Carmarthenshire in rural Wales where there are few runners. As a result, he is self-coached and does all his training alone. He supports himself financially by providing an online coaching program as well as some funding from Welsh Athletics and the London Marathon.

"It’s mentally tough getting out the door," he says of the solitude. "Sometimes it’s the hardest part of the run. I just think if it’s going to be that grim in training I am really prepared. If it rains in Toronto, I am prepared for anything.

"The weather is not always great in Wales; it rains a lot. But on those days, you have got to think what the goal is. If I want to run well in Toronto, then I have got to put the work in. I don’t struggle like that. I am in a pretty good position I can run all these amazing races and it’s well worth putting in the work."

The toughness that has characterized so many British runners over the years is epitomized especially by Welsh hero, Steve Jones, who set the world marathon record in the 1984 Chicago Marathon and won the 1992 Toronto Marathon.

"I met Steve a few times but when he was at his peak I wasn’t born yet. I have met him many times since," Griffiths reveals.

"We met at the Welsh track championships a couple of years ago. I went along to watch and so did he. We kind of got to chatting. It was after the London Marathon. He is always supportive."

Like Jones, he recalls his early start in athletics came as a schoolboy where he was exposed to many different sports.

"When I was in university I kind of took it seriously, started working with a good group of athletes in Cardiff. In 2017 I decided to do the marathon to try and qualify for the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast Australia. I had to run 2:16 and I managed to run 2:14 which qualified me for Gold Coast and for the World Championships."

In 2011 he visited southern Ontario on a schoolboy rugby trip. At the time he was billeted by families in Coburg, Brantford and Lindsay, Ontario. They also visited Toronto’s tourist sites. There will be little time for site seeing on this trip however as so much is at stake.

"I will be looking to go through halfway just under 66 minutes," he says returning to the reason for his Canadian adventure. "One thing I have learned in the marathons I have done it’s much better to feel good in the second half. I don’t want to go crazy at the start. If there is a good group, then I will work my way through."

 

(09/05/2019) ⚡AMP
by Paul Gains
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Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

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

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Cape Town Marathon is my ticket for Tokyo Marathon, the South Africa twin Lebogang Phalula says

Lebogang Phalula believes Tokyo is calling and she knows that Cape Town is her best way to answer.

“Cape Town Marathon is my ticket,” said the one half of South Africa’s famous road running twin sisters.

A good run at the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon on September 15 will help Phalula realise what she believes is every athlete’s dream - Olympic participation.

The IAAF Gold Label marathon also doubles up as the Athletic South Africa Marathon Championships and Phalula, her twin Lebo, and the other local women, need to run a sub-2:30 time to book a spot on Team SA for Tokyo 2020.

“The Olympics is the ultimate in sport. We all dream to participate in and to be part of the Games. I know I want to go to Tokyo next year and my sister also shares the same dream. We want to be part of the marathon team that will represent the country at the Olympics.”

Lebo concurred: “We have been working very hard in training with coach JP (Van der Merwe, the former Olympian) preparing for Sanlam. We hope that everything goes according to plan on race day so we can qualify for the Olympics.”

The time required for the Phalula twins to go to Tokyo will require serious effort on their part in Cape Town.

Lebogang has a 2:38:00 from the 2016 edition while Lebo ran a 2:38:55 in 2015.

They both missed last year’s edition. Lebogang was injured and admits it was hard not being part of those traversing the Mother City in the chase for a medal in Africa’s only Gold Label Status race.

“I did not run it last year because of a calf injury I had. It was not easy to watch on TV because I really wanted to be a part of it But that is all in the past and I am happy now that all is going well, I have no injuries. I am ready to take on the most famous race in Africa.”

Lebo is high on confidence too: “I was in position 14 in Pietermaritzburg (leg of the Spar Grand Prix Series). I am ranked in the 13 position which is not that bad on points for Spar Series. So I have the belief I will do well in Cape Town.”

Lebogang meanwhile says it is a blessing that they can run such a high standard race in their own backyard.

“Opportunities to go overseas and run gold label races like this one or even the majors are very rare. A lot of athletes in Africa do not get that chance. This is one of a kind race for us as African athletes, a gold label status race in our country. So now that the chance is presented to us right here in our home, we need to grab it.”

(09/04/2019) ⚡AMP
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele has been added to the men’s field at Berlin Marathon

Organizers of the BMW Berlin Marathon have announced that Kenenisa Bekele has joined a loaded men’s field for the IAAF Gold Label road race on 29 September.

Bekele is one of the greatest distance runners of all time. Along with his three Olympic gold medals, he has amassed 17 world titles on the track, indoors and outdoors, and cross country. His world records for 5000m and 10,000m have stood for 15 years.

He stepped up to the marathon in 2014 and set a course record of 2:05:04 in Paris on his debut at the distance. He set a personal best of 2:03:03 – which, at the time, was an Ethiopian record and just six seconds off the then world record – when winning the Berlin Marathon in 2016.

On 29 September he will line up against compatriots Guye Adola, Leul Gebrselassie, Sisay Lemma and Birhanu Legese in what looks set to be another memorable race in the German capital.

(09/03/2019) ⚡AMP
by IAAF
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BMW Berlin Marathon

BMW Berlin Marathon

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

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Ethiopians Belaynesh Oljira and Bruktayit Degefa Eshetu, are ready to compete at Toronto Marathon

Belaynesh Oljira brings an enviable reputation to the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon October 20th which includes two 2013 IAAF World Championships bronze medals at 10,000m and in cross country.

The Ethiopian star, who also represented Ethiopia at the 2012 London Olympics, has run 2:21:53 (Frankfurt 2018) for the marathon staking her claim as one of the heavy favorites to win this IAAF Gold Label race.

Oljira will be joined in Canada’s largest city by a member of her training group, Bruktayit Degefa Eshetu, who is also a world class marathoner. In January of this year Degefa ran a personal best of 2:23:28 to earn herself a hat trick of Houston Marathon victories. A year ago, Degefa beat Oljira in Houston by a mere six seconds.

Despite sharing a coach and training group their contact has been minimal and it will be every woman for herself when they line up in Toronto. 

“I train with the Demadonna Athletics Promotion team,” Oljira says, “which includes also Biruktayit Degefa. We don’t train together, except when there is group training, we meet with others.

“We are not friends. I joined the team recently, I didn’t socialize with most of them but once I met her at the Houston Marathon she seems sociable and I hope we will be friends in the future.” 

Their casual relationship is not unusual. With training groups numbering as many as a hundred the athletes will meet their coach - in this case Gemedu Dedefo - two or three times a week at some of the popular training sites such as Sendafa, a thirty-minute drive outside Addis Ababa. Athletes might ride share. Training sessions begin just as the sun is rising so it is not unusual that runners might get out of bed at 4am to be picked up.

After a brief warm-up the training session starts and from then on, it’s all business. If the athletes are going to socialize it is likely to be in Addis away from training. Another barrier in their relationship is the fact Degefa is also married to an American-based Ethiopian named Abinet Adraro and spends much time in the U.S. This past spring, she prepared for the Boston Marathon for several months there. She was eighth in Boston. 

“Training with the group can benefit you with different things like you share experience, you find new friends, you have fun with them especially when you train with them you don’t think of your tiring moments of training.”

Among their training group are a strong contingent of world-class women including Tirfi Tsegaye (2:19:41 personal best, who ran an impressive 2:22:44 in Toronto in 2010), Aberu Kebede (2016 Berlin winner in 2:20:45) and two-time Toronto champion, Shure Demise.

“Yes, Shure has told me about the Toronto marathon, about its course and weather, and all the good people there,” Degefa admits. “My expectation in Toronto is to win with a good time.”

Not surprisingly Oljira is also targeting victory in Toronto.

“My main goal as for any athlete is to run a good time and to win the race,” she declares.

The pair come from vastly different backgrounds. Oljira grew up in Wellega district about 315km west of Addis. She started out running cross country and track with immediate success. Indeed, her first overseas venture was a cross country race in France where the first-place prize was a car. She won.

(09/02/2019) ⚡AMP
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Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

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

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Vivian Kiplagat broke the women’s race record at the 37th Telcel Mexico City Marathon

Kiplagat, 31, ran the second half of the race 10 minutes faster than the first to cross the finish line in 2:33:27, taking almost three minutes off the race record of 2:36:16 set by Peru’s Pan American Games champion Gladys Tejeda in 2017.

Duncan Maiyo slowed down significantly in the second half, but his lead was good enough to secure victory in 2:12:50, two minutes shy of the 2:10:38 race record established by his compatriot Titus Ekiru.

With about 13C heat and 80% humidity at the start, Mexico’s Fabiola Pérez led the group through the first 5km in a pedestrian 20:25. The group of four Kenyan and four Ethiopian women took over and hit 10km in 39:40. By the time they reached the halfway mark, covered in 1:21:43, the group had shrunk to six.

Kiplagat and Paskalia Kipkoech reached the 25km point with a three-second lead over the chase pack of four women and gradually increased their leading margin. The former launched her attack at about 36km and Pamela Rotich could not respond.

Kiplagat, a two-time winner at the Milan Marathon, became the first Kenyan woman to win this race since 2011, crossing the line in 2:33:27. Kipkoech also finished inside the previous record in second place with 2:34:09. Rotich, who finished fifth last year, completed the all-Kenyan podium with 2:38:14.

In the men’s race, Kenya’s Mathew Kisorio, the only sub-2:05 man in the field, sped to the front early on and set a daring pace for a marathon contested at 2,240m above sea level.

With the course going downhill for the first eight kilometres, Kisorio covered the first 5km in 14:33, eight seconds ahead of Duncan Maiyo. By 10km, Maiyo had closed the gap to three seconds, 29:25 to 29:28, and remained in close contact at 15km (44:44 to 44:53).

Kisorio kept up the pressure and hit the halfway mark on Reforma Avenue in 1:03:59 with a 32-second gap on Maiyo. The chase group, meanwhile, was 2:08 adrift.

But the fast pace eventually took its toll on Kisorio as he slowed down significantly at about 30km. With the clock reading 1:39:20, Maiyo caught up with the long-time leader and Kisorio abandoned the race soon after.

More than three minutes ahead of the chase pack, Maiyo cruised to his victory in 2:12:50. It was his first marathon triumph since 2016, his best season when he twice bettered 2:10, including his lifetime best of 2:09:25.

Ethiopia’s Girmay Birhanu (2:16:14) and Eritrea’s Amanuel Mesel (2:16:28) completed the podium.

Both winners were rewarded with 550,000 Mexican pesos (about $27,000).

With a new and faster course, the only IAAF Gold Label marathon in Latin America drew about 25,000 runners.

(08/26/2019) ⚡AMP
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Mexico City International Marathon

Mexico City International Marathon

The Mexico City Marathon is held in Mexico City, the federal district capital of Mexico and the country´s largest and most important city. The Mexico City Marathon is organized by the Mexican Athletic Association and is the largest running-event in the country. The race has been held for more than 30 years. The route starts in the historic district...

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Kenyans Mathew Kipkoech and Vivian Kiplagat lead a group of eight sub-2:10 men and eight sub-2:30 women vying to become the new champions and to rewrite the records at the 37th Telcel Mexico City International Marathon on Sunday

After a successful 2018 edition, which honoured the 50th anniversary of the 1968 Olympic Games following the same course used at the Games, organisers have designed a new course and assembled one of the best fields in the 37-year-old history of the race, hoping to break the 2:10 and 2:30 barriers at high altitude (2,240m above sea level).

Mathew Kisorio is hoping to be that man. Third at this race last year, he cracked the 2:05 barrier three months later in Valencia with 2:04:53. The 30-year-old is comfortable racing at altitude as his pedigree shows. In February, he made his Mexican debut by winning the Guadalajara Half Marathon and went on to take the Eldoret Marathon two months later.

In the absence of last year’s winner Titus Ekiru, 2018 runner-up Edwin Koech will try to keep the Kenyan supremacy on Mexican roads. The 27-year-old has a personal best of 2:07:13 from 2017 in Milano. He returned to that Italian city last April and finished third with 2:08:24.

Vincent Kipruto, the 2011 World World Championships silver medallist at the distance, will make his Mexican debut. He boasts a personal best of 2:05:13 from 2010 and regained similar form two years ago in Berlin with 2:06:14. Sunday’s will be his first race of the year.

Other top candidates for victory are Ethiopia’s Deribe Merga (2:06:38), Abdela Godana (2:09:04) and Yihunilign Adane (2:09:11), as well as Eritrea’s Amanuel Mesel Tikue (2:08:17).

In the women’s field, Vivian Kiplagat is hoping to bring back the title to Kenya after Peru’s Gladys Tejeda's wins in 2016-2017 and Ethiopia’s Etaferahu Temesgen’s victory in 2018.

Kiplagat, 31, improved her personal best by over four and a half minutes to 2:22:25 to successfully retain her title in Milano last April. Sunday will mark her debut in Mexican races. She is also comfortable running at altitude, judging from her 2:28:06, good for second place, two weeks after her win in Italy.

After a busier season with three marathons in 2018, Tinbit Weldegebril will try to keep the women’s crown in Ethiopia. She improved her personal best twice last year, including a lifetime best of 2:23:37 in Valencia in December, her latest marathon before Sunday.

The running battle between Ethiopia and Kenya should produce an exciting day of racing on Sunday. Kenya is also represented by Paskalia Chepkorir Kipkoech (2:26:04), Valentine Kipketer (2:28:05) and Pamela Rotich (2:27:48), her country’s best ranked woman Mexico City last year, in fifth.

Ethiopia, a country that topped the four first places in the women’s race in 2018, also features Zerfie Limeneh (2:26:48), Zinash Debebe (2:27:15) and Tigist Gebeyahu (2:27:35).

With the start at UNAM University, the venue of the 1968 Olympic stadium, and finish at the Zócalo, Mexico City’s main square, organisers are hoping to see records broken as the race makes its debut as an IAAF Gold Label race.

The records were set by Kenya’s Titus Ekiru (2:10:38) in 2018 and Peru’s Pan American Games champion Gladys Tejeda (2:36:16) in 2017. The race has 25,000 runners registered.

(08/24/2019) ⚡AMP
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Mexico City International Marathon

Mexico City International Marathon

The Mexico City Marathon is held in Mexico City, the federal district capital of Mexico and the country´s largest and most important city. The Mexico City Marathon is organized by the Mexican Athletic Association and is the largest running-event in the country. The race has been held for more than 30 years. The route starts in the historic district...

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Canadians Reid Coolsaet, Dylan Wykes & Rob Watson will return to the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Three very familiar faces will be among the outstanding Canadian entries for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon October 20th, all lured by the Athletics Canada National Championship which runs concurrently in this IAAF Gold Label race.

Moreover, this year’s event also serves as Canada’s Olympic trials with the ‘first past the post' earning an automatic spot on the team bound for Tokyo provided he or she has achieved the Olympic standard (2:11:30/2:29:30).

Two-time Olympian Reid Coolsaet will seek a third berth, Dylan Wykes a second and Rob Watson, a three-time World Championships performer, relishes the challenge of earning another podium finish. The ‘three amigos’ between them have won twenty-one national titles.

Coolsaet turned 40 on July 29th and acknowledges his best days are behind him - he is Canada’s third fastest marathoner of all time with a 2:10:28 personal record - but believes he has the experience to make the team for Tokyo. "Yeah, it is my goal, I am totally focused on making the Olympics," said Coolsaet, who has run under 2:11:30 six times in his career. "It’s definitely my main motivation for training as hard as I do in the marathon.

"If it wasn’t for the 2020 Olympics, knowing I am not really looking for a PB anymore, I think I would have moved to the trails last year. I am happy to train this hard knowing the reward would mean a lot to me."

With Cam Levins (2:09:25) also returning to the site of his dramatic Canadian record-breaking performance, Coolsaet realises that something would have to go seriously wrong for Levins to miss the automatic place. Still, he remains optimistic he has a chance.

"I know what it takes to run the level I need to run to potentially qualify for the Olympics," Coolsaet says believing a 2:12:30 might be good enough to earn a place through the IAAF ranking system.

"Although I don’t want to get hurt, I don’t want to sell myself short and think ‘what if?’ I am going to be smart about my training and listen to my body. "I am not going to run quite as much mileage as in the past. But I know I can’t let being 40 be an excuse to back off my training because I can't handle it or something like that. Although there will be some slight changes, they are going to be very slight."

Wykes who was Canada’s top finisher in the 2012 Olympic marathon (20th in 2:15:26) has a personal best of 2:10:47 making him the fourth fastest Canadian of all time. Many were surprised by his return. After failing to make the Rio Olympic team he effectively retired to focus on his family - he and his wife Francine have two young children - and his coaching business ‘Mile2Marathon’.

Coach Richard Lee had once declared that he doubted Wykes would ever want to put himself through the disruption which ultimately led to his place on the 2012 London Olympic team. He made three attempts to achieve the standard sacrificing much in the process. His 2:10:47 came at the 2016 Rotterdam Marathon. Reminded of this the now 36-year old laughs.

"It’s certainly taken a few years to wrap my head around things and realize I am probably not going to do it again if it’s like the buildup was to London," he admits. "I would be lying if I said Tokyo wasn’t in the back of my mind. But I think I am trying to see things less ‘big picture’ and trying to focus on staying healthy and getting to the finish line in Toronto.

"If Cam Levins is on his game he’s in a different stratosphere. But I guess guys like Tristan Woodfine, Reid, Trevor Hofbauer, these kind of guys, if I am going well, I will mix it up with them.That is kind of what I am most excited about."

Following the 2012 Olympics, Wykes’ motivation was at a peak. The London experience had left him excited with endless possibilities to set about achieving. But there were obstacles that cropped up along the way. "I was as focused or more focused after London as any time in my career and the years between London and Rio were going to be my best," he reveals. "But a lot of that was injuries and kind of biting off more than I could chew.

"Some of that had to with the buildup to London and having to run so many marathons. And I made the silly mistake of trying to chase down (Jerome Drayton’s Canadian record). After London that became my focus. And, when I didn’t make Rio, I was kind of done."

A year ago Wykes and his family moved east from Vancouver after Francine received a post-doctoral position at Carleton University. Together with Rob Watson he coaches runners of all abilities through their company ‘Mile2Marathon’. With over 200 clients and ten coaches it is a thriving business. Somewhere along the way he rediscovered his own love for disciplined training. At his peak Watson achieved a personal best of 2:13:29 at the 2013 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon.

(08/02/2019) ⚡AMP
by Paul Gains
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Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

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

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Jake Robertson’s wife Magdalyne Masai wants to be in the top three at Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Magdalyne Masai’s performance at the Hamburg Marathon on 28 April earned her praise from around the world given that she had run a personal best of 2:26:04 and finished second in the highly competitive race.

Moreover, it earned her an invitation to this year’s Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, an IAAF Gold Label road race, on 20 October.

She will arrive in Canada’s largest city privy to useful knowledge of the city and the race as her husband, Jake Robertson of New Zealand, finished fifth here a year ago.

“I want to get a personal best and finish in the top three,” she said, speaking during a video call from her home in Iten, Kenya. “That is my aim. I want to be in top three. I think 2:23 or 2:22 is within reach.”

That would challenge the ‘family record’ held by her elder sister, Linet Masai, who ran 2:23:46 In her debut last year in Amsterdam.

‘Magz’, as she is affectionately known, comes from a family of runners. Linet was the 2009 world 10,000m champion while the eldest of the 10 Masai kids, Moses Masai, was the 10,000m bronze medalist at those same championships in Berlin. Another brother, Dennis Masai, won the 2010 World Junior Championships in Moncton, New Brunswick. A younger brother, Alex Masai, is currently running for Hofstra University in New York State.

It’s not difficult to see where her influences came from as she grew up in the Rift Valley of western Kenya where the altitude is roughly 2,500m above sea level.

“We moved a lot,” she says of her upbringing. “I was born in Mt. Elgon forest. After some point we moved to Kapsogom. Currently my parents are in Trans Nzoia district.

“I met Jake in Iten because my sister Linet was staying in Iten. I had come to start training in Iten as well and was staying with her.”

Robertson and his twin brother, Zane, had arrived in Kenya as teenagers fresh out of high school. Their intention was to live and train like the Kenyan runners they admired. He and Magdalyne fell in love and, after a six-year relationship, he famously proposed at the finish line of the 2017 Great North Run. Moments before, he had finished second to Olympic champion Mo Farah and Magdalyne finished fourth in the elite women’s race.

“So far in my training not only am I looking at time but also how I am feeling,” she explains. “Mostly I judge myself when we do long intervals on the roads. We run 4km at about 3:30 (per kilometre) pace. Then for one kilometre easier at 4:00 pace. We do that five times. If I finish that feeling like I can continue that’s when I know I am feeling good and ready to go." 

Magdalyne Masai may not have the fastest time among the elite women who will toe the line on 20 October, but she certainly will be prepared to run with the leaders. And nobody could be prouder than Jake Robertson if she achieves her goal of a top three finish.

(07/26/2019) ⚡AMP
by iaaf
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Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

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

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USA Olympic Trials Marathon has achieved the IAAF Gold Label Status

USA Track & Field (USATF) announced today that the 2020 USA Olympic Trials Marathon, scheduled for February 29, in Atlanta, has been granted IAAF Gold Label status. That's a critical development because it means that the top-5 male and female finishers will automatically achieve 2020 Olympic Games qualifying marks, regardless of their finish times. As part of the Tokyo Olympic Games qualifying program unveiled by the International Association of Athletics Federations earlier this year, top-5 finishers at Gold Label marathons are given automatic Olympic Games qualifiers. As such, the six-athlete USA Olympic team in the marathon can be named with certainty on the day of the Trials with the top-3 male and female finishers nominated for the team.

In a press release, USATF said that "the announcement of the Tokyo 2020 Qualification System in March presented challenges to USATF and its partners as planning for marathon trials had begun well before the changes to the qualification system were announced." Those partners include the not-for-profit Atlanta Track Club, which will host the Trials, as well as NBC the network which will broadcast them. The Trials would be devalued for both of these parties if the team could not be named that day.

Right now only a handful of USA athletes have achieved the Olympic Games qualifying standards (2:11:30 for men and 2:29:30 for women since January 1, 2019). On the men's side, there are only two, Scott Fauble and Jared Ward who ran 2:09:09 and 2:09:25, respectively, at last April's Boston Marathon (they also finished in the top-10, which also confers qualifying status at any Abbott World Marathon Majors event). On the women's side there are nine: Emily Sisson (2:23:08), Jordan Hasay (2:25:20), Kellyn Taylor (2:26:27), Molly Huddle (2:26:33), Aliphine Tuliamuk (2:26:50), Des Linden (2:27:00), Nell Rojas (2:28:06), Roberta Groner (2:29:09), and Lindsay Flanagan (2:30:07/9th place at Boston). Those athletes lose the relative advantage of having a qualifying mark in advance of the race.

But, for most of the 181 men and 340 women who have qualified, according to a tally done by MarathonGuide.com, this announcement will be good news. Athletes can now approach the trials in the traditional way, with their focus only finish place and not on time. That's particularly important considering the difficulty of the Atlanta course which has a number of challenging hills.

"Hilly is an understatement," said Brogan Austin who won the men's division of an 8-mile test event held on part of the course last March. "I definitely have a new respect for this marathon. I only ran eight miles. I can't imagine doing four times that distance."

Amy Cragg, the winner of the 2016 Trials in Los Angeles, agreed. "It's going to be really, really tough," she told Race Results Weekly after winning the women's division of the test event last March. "We're going to send a good women's team, a really good women's team (to Tokyo). If you can get through this course, you're going to be ready."

(07/23/2019) ⚡AMP
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2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

Atlanta will host the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Marathon for both men and women, USA Track & Field and the United States Olympic Committee announced Monday. Hosted by Atlanta Track Club as the local organizing committee, the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Marathon will be held Feb. 29, 2020, and will take place in conjunction with the...

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Kenya´s Benson Kipruto will Defend his Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon Title in October

"If I can defend my Toronto Marathon title it will be very good for me and for my marathon career," he declares with a smile. He remembers well the joy his 2:07:24 performance brought him and the festivities which followed upon his return to Kenya.

"I started the celebration at the (Eldoret) airport with my family, my friends and my training mates and also my coach," he recalls of the celebration which included drinking fermented milk called Mursik in the Kalenjin warriors’ tradition. "We extended the celebration to my camp. We feasted on some goats with my friends and training mates.

"This year I would like to run my personal best in Toronto. Hopefully, if the weather will be good and also, if the pacemakers do a good job, I am hoping to run maybe 2:06 and maybe try to run a course record."

Kipruto’s best is 2:07:11 set in finishing third at the 2018 Seoul Marathon and he also ran 2:07:21 at the 2017 Gongju Dong-A Marathon in Korea. With three recent 2:07 results he is clearly on the verge of another major breakthrough which could see him tackle the current Toronto course record held by his compatriot Philemon Rono (2:06:52 in 2017).

Asked what his greatest impression from last year’s five day visit to Toronto was he is quick to credit the organizers.

"The people I met, they are friendly like the first one, Alan Brookes the Race Director, he is very friendly," he reveals. "The course itself is good. And also, I think the weather that day was not so good."

Last year runners awakened to temperatures hovering near freezing point and also encountered a strong headwind coming off Lake Ontario. Still, winning this IAAF Gold Label race caught the attention of the world’s marathon running aficionados.

"I would say it opened doors to my future," Kipruto explains. "I was invited to the 2019 Boston Marathon because of Toronto. So my name has grown. (Toronto) was my first victory.

"Boston was a good performance for me; I managed to finish, first of all. I was injured during the race."

Kipruto’s feet were badly blistered during the race. But his coach Claudio Berardelli offers another explanation saying that he pushed Kipruto perhaps too much over the final three weeks of his preparation and so he was also over-trained. Ultimately, he finished a respectable 10th in 2:09:53 within two minutes of the winner Lawrence Cherono, also from Kenya.

Performing at this level has paid dividends for Kipruto. First place in Toronto earns CAD $30,000 while a course record is worth another CAD $40,000. In a country where the per capita income is less than $2,000 it is a lucrative business. He sees it as an investment for the future.

Though he was born in the village of Tolilet he recently bought some land 40 kilometres away in Kapsabet and moved his wife and one-year old daughter, who is called Princess Camille Chemutai, to the place.

Now his family is nearer to the training camp where he resides during the week and where he trains with such elite athletes as Amos Kipruto (2:05:43 personal best), Vincent Kipchumba (2:06:56), Solomon Yego (2:06:23) and Barselius Kipyego (2:07:57). He goes home on weekends.

(07/19/2019) ⚡AMP
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Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

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

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The 55-year-old San Silvestre Vallecana 10k has achieved the IAAF Gold label

Its recognition by the International Athletics Federation (IAAF) with the prestigious Golden Label running, which recognizes the best races in the world on the road.

In Spain, it is the only 10K race that has the Gold Race Running Label while in the rest of the world, only another three 10K have this same recognition: the Ottawa 10K (Canada), the Tata Consultancy Services World 10K Bengaluru( India) and the Birell Prague Grand Prix(Czech Republic).

Among the aspects that the IAAF takes into account when awarding this distinction is the level of the brands, which logically implies having international athletes of the highest level.

It is also important that the international media echo the news and, therefore, that the test has an important impact outside of Spain. The race must also be broadcast live.

Finally, the race must have a high organizational level, so that it meets the demanding quality standards established by the IAAF itself.

(07/09/2019) ⚡AMP
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This is one good race! 7/10 9:54 pm


San Silvestre Vallecana

San Silvestre Vallecana

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

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Yuta Shitara sets new course record at the Gold Coast Marathon even when weather conditions were not ideal

The second fastest Japanese marathon runner in history became the fastest runner in Gold Coast Marathon history when Yuta Shitara won the IAAF Gold Label race in 2:07:50 this morning.

The 27-year-old had an exciting duel with placegetters Barnabus Kiptum of Kenya and Zane Robertson of New Zealand over the final 12km before making his move with 2km remaining.

It was the eighth win by Japanese men in the 41-year history of the event and bettered the race record and Australian all comers record previously held by Kenyan Kenneth Mungara (2:08:42).

Shitara takes home $20,000 in victory prize money and an additional $10,000 time bonus for his record-breaking effort today.

Kiptum, the winner of the Hong Kong Marathon in February, finished second in a personal best 2:08:02, while marathon debutant Robertson placed third in 2:08:19.

It was an extra special result for Robertson as his time was a New Zealand record, bettering the previous mark of his brother Jake (2:08:26, Lake Biwa, 2018), and he was crowned the IAAF Oceania Area Marathon Champion for 2019.

The first Australian across the line was Victorian Liam Adams in sixth place clocking a pb 2:11:36 – a bittersweet result for the 32-year-old as it was an agonising six seconds outside the 2020 Olympic qualification standard.

Dual world champion over 1500m and 5000m on the track Bernard Lagat (USA) improved his marathon pr to 2:12:10 for seventh place, while 2013 race winner Yuki Kawauchi (JPN) placed 13th in 2:15:32.

"It's definitely a confidence builder, and I have had a lot of things to make me confident, but this is a big one heading into the Japanese Olympic trials," said Shitara.

Shitara, who stayed with the lead group of four throughout the race, said although he was not aiming for a particular time or result, the win showed his training had paid off.

“We did a lot of training, and I think that helped," he said in a post-race interview.

Weather conditions on the Gold Coast were less than ideal, with athletes in both the full- and half-marathons battling headwinds and heavy rain.

"Honestly, I'd like to be able to run together with Yuta but I'm still not good enough," Kimura said.

Kenyan Rodah Jepkorir (KEN) held off a strong finishing burst from Tasmanian Milly Clark (AUS/TAS) to take the women’s Gold Coast Marathon.

The 27-year-old broke away from the 30km mark and then lasted to break the tape in 2:27:56, with Clark second (2:28:08) and Eritrea’s Nazret Weldu (ERI) third in 2:28:57.

This year’s eight Gold Coast Marathon races attracted a total of 26,287 entries, including 3,678 overseas competitors, as the event continues to achieve a long-term upward trend.

(07/06/2019) ⚡AMP
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Well done. 7/10 10:05 pm


Gold Coast Airport Marathon

Gold Coast Airport Marathon

The Gold Coast Airport Marathon is held annually in one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world. It is Australia’s premier road race and was the first marathon in the country to hold an International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Road Race Gold Label. The event is held on the first weekend of July and attracts more than...

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This year Cape Town Marathon will aim for IAAF Platinum Label status

This year’s Sanlam Cape Town Marathon will be under close scrutiny by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), as the annual event aims to better its already-strong participant and spectator appeal by applying for the federation’s new Platinum Label status. 

The marathon, which takes place on Sunday 15 September, is currently the only IAAF Gold Label-status marathon in Africa.

“When you run in an IAAF Road Race Label event, you get to experience an event run on truly world-class best-practice principles,” says Olympian long-distance runner and race ambassador Elana van Zyl-Meyer.

“Not only does an IAAF Road Race Label event offer an excellent runner, spectator and media experience, it also yields great benefits for the development of the sport and helps fight the scourge of doping in sport.”

The new IAAF Platinum Label will be granted from 2020 to races meeting a full set of new requirements and regulations.

These range from the inclusion of a quota of international elite athletes, validation of the course, and photo-finish devices, through well-staffed refreshment stations and sound electronic-timing data-processing and results reporting, to sufficient medical services and local and international television-broadcast support.

With international support for the South African springtime festival of running quickly ramping up, organisers of the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon will this year need to increase marathon entries and further extend its international reach to 12.5% from the 82 countries represented last year.

(07/04/2019) ⚡AMP
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Cape Town Marathon

Cape Town Marathon

The Sanlam Cape Town Marathon is a City Marathon held in Cape Town, South Africa, which is sponsored by Sanlam, the City of Cape Town and Vital Health Foods. The marathon is held on a fast and flat course, starting and finishing in Green Point, near the Cape Town Stadium. Prior to existing in its current format, the Cape Town...

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British Steph Twell has been having a great year and is set to race the Mattoni Olomouc Half Marathon this weekend

The 29-year-old, Steph Twell has already improved both her half-marathon and 10km PBs in 2019 and is looking forward to testing herself at a race she describes as “a bit of an undiscovered gem."

The Olomouc Half Marathon is an IAAF Gold Label race and as a result it offers athletes the chance to gain points in the IAAF world rankings, while it is also the third race in the EuroHeroes Challenge series which was launched last year with the support of European Athletics and aims to celebrate and encourage athletes from the continent.

Twell is looking to be competitive at the front of a European-only field and also gain experience of racing in warm conditions, with temperatures set to be around 28°C when the race sets off at 7pm local time in Olomouc, a city situated 179 miles south east of the Czech Republic capital of Prague.

“It’s a new challenge for me to do a half-marathon at this time of year. I’m against a competitive field but one that I hope I can be quite close to the front of,” says Twell, who ran 71:33 when finishing second at The Vitality Big Half in March before getting close to that lifetime best when running 71:37 to win in Reading a week later.

“What was really important for me (in choosing to race in Olomouc) before the British Athletics selection policy came out for the Tokyo (Olympic Games) marathon, was really to try and sort out this confusion with the rankings system that I’m still trying to get my head around.

“It was a bit of an undiscovered gem, really, to have an IAAF Gold Label race at this time of year when maybe not everyone is targeting half-marathon. For me, it’s an opportunity to see where I can position myself and get as many points as possible to help support my opportunity to qualify for the Olympics. To come out here, in an IAAF ‘A’ race, I would love to try and get a podium place, if not a win, against some quality marathon runners.

“There’s that aspect for me personally trying to support myself as strategically as possible ahead of Tokyo,” adds the two-time Olympian. “But secondly, this concept (EuroHeroes) I just think is a fantastic concept. I have found it hard to be supported and to support myself bridging the gap to world-class athletics. I’ve been on the cusp for a long time but for me this year is about being more independent and trying to step up and improve in a new challenge over the roads.”

(06/21/2019) ⚡AMP
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Mattoni Olomouc Half Marathon

Mattoni Olomouc Half Marathon

The annual Mattoni Olomouc Half Marathon takes place in the ancient capital of Moravia. More than 6,000 runners wend their way past Baroque architecture. An experience matched only by the warmth of the welcome runners receive here. Come to Olomouc and Enjoy the sensational atmosphere of running through a charming Baroque city in the heart of Moravia which is one...

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Cape Town Marathon is in pursuit to get an IAAF Platinum Label status

This year's Sanlam Cape Town Marathon will be under close scrutiny by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) as the annual event aims to better its already strong participant and spectator appeal in its pursuit of the federation's new Platinum Label status.

The marathon, which takes place on September 15, is currently the only IAAF Gold Label status marathon in Africa.

"When you run in an IAAF road race label event, you get to experience an event run on truly world-class best practice principles," said race ambassador Elana van Zyl-Meyer.

"Not only does an IAAF road race label offer an excellent runner, spectator and media experience, it also yields great benefits for the development of the sport and helps fight the scourge of doping in sport."

The new IAAF Platinum Label status would be granted from January 2020 to races meeting a full set of new requirements and regulations.

These range from the inclusion of a quota of international elite athletes, validation of the course and photo-finish devices.

The organisers of the Sanlam Marathon will need to increase this year's marathon entries and further extend its international reach to 12.5% from 82 countries.

"Our aim has always been to become a member of the newly formed IAAF Platinum Label status marathons and there's little reason to believe that an African city marathon can't be added to this family of world-class city marathons," concluded Van Zyl-Meyer.

(06/11/2019) ⚡AMP
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Cape Town Marathon

Cape Town Marathon

The Sanlam Cape Town Marathon is a City Marathon held in Cape Town, South Africa, which is sponsored by Sanlam, the City of Cape Town and Vital Health Foods. The marathon is held on a fast and flat course, starting and finishing in Green Point, near the Cape Town Stadium. Prior to existing in its current format, the Cape Town...

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Ottawa's John Halvorsen directed his last Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon last Sunday, and was inducted into the Ottawa Sport Hall of Fame

A week after his final stint as race director of the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon, Run Ottawa president John Halvorsen was inducted into the Ottawa Sport Hall of Fame on Friday evening.

Halvorsen, along with a number of other prominent figures in the sporting life of the nation’s capital, became one of the more than 250 Hall of Fame inductees at a ceremony and dinner at Lansdowne Park’s Horticultural Building.

An Ottawa resident since his early teens, when his family moved there with the Norwegian Embassy, Halvorsen had a stellar running career, winning the Canadian university cross-country championships four times and the Canadian senior men’s title twice, competing at the World Cross Country Championships eight times, winning multiple Canadian 10K (road) championships and making it to the final of the 10,000m for Norway at both the 1988 and 1992 Olympics.

The first time Halvorsen won the Ottawa 10K, in 1988 (he would go on to win three more times), he set a course record of 28:12, which stood for 21 years, until it was finally broken by Ethiopia’s Deriba Merga in 2009, lowering it to 27:24.

A graduate of the University of Ottawa in both mechanical engineering and its MBA program, Halvorsen worked in Ottawa’s high-tech sector for 18 years while raising a family with his wife Susan, and running the not-for-profit Run Ottawa for several years on a volunteer basis before it became a full-time gig in 2013.

Over his 20-year tenure as race director, Halvorsen has shepherded the growth of the Ottawa race weekend event from a relatively modest affair involving 10,000 athletes to the biggest running event in Canada, with 40,000 participants and not one, but two IAAF Gold Label designations (for the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon and the Ottawa 10K).

Halvorsen was in good company on Friday evening, with a number of fellow inductees being honoured in similar fashion, including Glashan Public School coach Rick Desclouds, wheelchair athlete Chantal Benoit, retired Ottawa Senators defenceman Chris Phillips, and the 1968 and 1969 Ottawa Rough Riders.

(06/04/2019) ⚡AMP
by Anne Francis
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Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon

Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon

Welcome to Canada’s largest and fastest marathon: the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon. As one of two IAAF Gold Label marathon events in Canada, the race attracts Canada’s largest marathon field (7,000 participants) as well as a world-class contingent of elite athletes every year. Featuring the beautiful scenery of Canada’s capital, the top-notch organization of an IAAF event, the atmosphere of...

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The top four women were inside the course record at the Lanzhou Marathon Sunday

Ethiopia’s Worknesh Edesa beat the hot weather and a loaded field to break the women’s course record at the Bank of Lanzhou Cup Lanzhou International Marathon, an IAAF Gold Label road race, on Sunday June 2. 

The top four finishers in the women’s race all finished inside the previous course record of 2:31:22 set by Kenya’s Nguriatukei Rael Kiyara in 2015. The 26-year-old Edesa, whose 2:21:05 PB from Dubai earlier this year made her the fastest entrant for Lanzhou, lived up to expectations as she broke the tape in style in 2:30:22.

The race started under cloudy weather conditions but the sun came out about an hour after the gun and the temperature rose rapidly. A group of eight runners led the race to 15km in 53:31, 25km in 1:29:08 and 30km in 1:47:29.

After 35km, the pack was soon whittled down to just four runners: Edesa, Gutemi Shone, Sifan Melaku and Fantu Jimma. Edesa waited for another four kilometres before launching her powerful surge to pull away from the others.

Although the temperature reached as high as 26C, the in-form Ethiopian kept widening the gap and went on to win in 2:30:22. It was Edesa’s first marathon victory since winning the 2016 Xiamen Marathon in 2:24:04.

Edesa’s compatriot Shone, winner of this year’s Seville Marathon with a PB of 2:23:32, finished second in 2:30:40, while the 31-year-old Jimma, winner of this year’s Wuhan Marathon, lagged nine seconds further behind to complete the Ethiopian podium sweep.

Kenya’s Justus Kimutai upset a strong Ethiopian contingent to win the men’s race in 2:11:47.

Ethiopian runners filled the next six positions with Gizachew Hailu finishing second in 2:12:05 and Afewerk Mesfin third in 2:14:10.

The race saw a crowded leading group in the opening five kilometres and before they went through the 10km water station China’s Guan Yousheng was the first to drop back.

Ethiopia’s Bira Seboka, a 24-year-old with a PB of 2:08:51, made his bold early charge after reaching 20km in 1:03:01. Seboka built an advantage of some 15 seconds at 25km but was later swallowed by the chasers near 28km.

A new leading pack of seven runners paced the race for another five kilometres before the 26-year-old Kimutai, who was running for the first time on the Chinese soil, started his charge.

This time only Hailu and Mesfin managed to keep up with Kimutai’s pace. But the 26-year-old Mesfin, who set a course record of 2:09:49 in Chongqing in 2017 and improved his career best to 2:09:08 in Xiamen five months ago, had to drop behind near the 35km tables.

Kimutai then kept pressing ahead and finally notched the sole lead after 38km. When he reached 40km in 2:05:17, the Kenyan was 11 seconds ahead of the 21-year-old Hailu.

Kimutai’s winning time of 2:11:47 was more than one-and-a-half minutes shy of the 2:10:10 course record set by Ethiopian Abayneh Ayele in 2015.

(06/02/2019) ⚡AMP
by IAAF
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Lanzhou International Marathon

Lanzhou International Marathon

Lanzhou International Marathon has been honorably awarded as China’s “Best Marathon” and “Marathon Gold Label Race” by Chinese Athletics Association, meanwhile it has upgraded into one of the National Scoring Races.Lanzhou International Marathon is carefully crafted on the course along the Yellow River line which is spotted with beautiful natural scenery and mountains and waters along the way, and it...

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New Zealand-born Zane Robertson eagerly awaiting marathon debut at Gold Coast

When you want to be the best at something, you surround yourself with the best. That was New Zealand-born Zane Robertson’s thinking when he and twin brother Jake Robertson shunned US athletics scholarships and moved to Kenya at age 17 to immerse themselves in one of the culture that produces the world’s best runners.

Dubbed ‘Elvis’ by the Kenyans for once dying his hair black, the 29-year-old New Zealand 10,000m national record holder and Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games 5,000m bronze medallist has chosen to make his marathon debut at the Gold Coast Marathon, an IAAF Gold Label road race, on 7 July.

After a groin injury ruled him out of his first marathon at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, Robertson is hungry to make amends on the same flat and fast course.

“Missing out last year when I was in crazy shape was devastating. I watched the race from Kenya and couldn’t stop thinking about how I could have won,” Robertson said.

“By coming to the Gold Coast Marathon, I feel I can replace that loss of mine.”

Robertson, who has a half marathon PB of 59:47, is not letting last year’s disappointment faze him in the lead up to his first attempt at 42.195km.

“The mind is such a powerful thing in sport, especially in long distance races,” he said.

“If you don't believe in yourself, you've already lost. I always feel confident; if I don't, I won't race.”

Robertson is upbeat about his potential in this year’s event, despite toeing the line alongside a stellar line up in the men’s marathon including 2013 champion and 2018 Boston Marathon winner Yuki Kawauchi of Japan and three-time Gold Coast Marathon champion and race record holder Kenneth Mungara of Kenya.

“First and foremost, I always target the win. I want to run as fast as the pacemakers allow and once they step off the road anything can be possible. Perhaps a new Oceania record?” Robertson said. 

Robertson and his brother have now spent over a decade in Kenya and Ethiopia learning what makes the best runners tick and while the jury is out on whether it is nature or nurture, he’s confident the lessons learnt both on and off the track will stand him in good stead for a fast marathon time.

“I’ve learnt to live a runner’s life - which means to have discipline when you’re training, and to relax and recover when you’re not,” he said.

Twin brother Jake placed third on debut at last year’s Lake Biwa Marathon in Japan in an impressive 2:08:26, a time 16 seconds faster than Mungara’s Gold Coast Marathon race record of 2:08:42 set in 2015.

But despite his brother seemingly throwing down the gauntlet, Zane remains assured the pair have moved past sibling rivalry.

“We realised that this world is so much bigger than that and the challenge is not with each other but against ourselves to be better than we were yesterday,” he said.

(05/30/2019) ⚡AMP
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Gold Coast Airport Marathon

Gold Coast Airport Marathon

The Gold Coast Airport Marathon is held annually in one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world. It is Australia’s premier road race and was the first marathon in the country to hold an International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Road Race Gold Label. The event is held on the first weekend of July and attracts more than...

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Belihu takes the title at the TCS World 10K in Bengaluru

Andamlak Belihu added the TCS World 10K Bengaluru title to the Delhi Half Marathon crown he won seven months ago, crossing the line in the IAAF Gold Label road race in 27:56 on Sunday May 19.  

In difficult conditions with high humidity and temperatures reaching 26C, the 20-year-old Ethiopian was prominent at the front of the leading pack from the outset. Eight men went through 5km in 14:11 before Uganda’s Mande Bushendich made an audacious early move just after the halfway point.

Bushendich went through the gears so rapidly that the leading group was quickly fractured and by 7km only Belihu was left to challenge him. It initially looked as though Belihu was also going to be dropped as he briefly struggled to stay with his rival –later saying that he had suffered some knee pain which then passed – but he took the lead again with just under two kilometres to go before he pulled away, never to be headed all the way to the line in the Garden City’s Sree Kanteerava Stadium.

Belihu crossed the line in 27:56, just eight seconds outside his personal best and 12 seconds off the course record. Bushendich finished second in 28:03.

“I expected to run a fast time as there were so many good runners in this race, but I also expected to run even faster than this,” said Belihu, who finished 10th in the 10,000m at the IAAF World Championships London 2017 while still an U20 athlete.

Agnes Tirop’s finishing time may have been more than two minutes slower than her 31:19 course record from 12 months ago but the world 10,000m bronze medallist retained her title and became the first woman to win back-to-back crowns in the 12-year history of the race.

Nine women went through the first half of the race in a modest 18:06, more than two minutes down on last year’s split. Tirop put in regular short bursts of pace during the next three kilometres but they did nothing to break up the group apart from dropping Bahrain’s world marathon champion Rose Chelimo.

Eight women were still closely grouped together as they entered the stadium for one final lap of the track. Ethiopia’s Letsenbet Gidey darted into the lead on entering the stadium but, with 50 metres to go, Tirop still had plenty in reserve and emerged victorious in a thrilling five-woman sprint for the line.

Tirop won in 33:55 with just two seconds covering the top five. Senbere Teferi was second and Gidey third, both women also given 33:55.

“I would have liked to have run faster and I did my best but no one else wanted to push hard so I was just content with the win,” said Tirop.

(05/19/2019) ⚡AMP
by IAAF
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TCS World 10K

TCS World 10K

The TCS World 10k Bengaluru has always excelled in ways beyond running. It has opened new doors for people to reach out to the less privileged of the society and encourages them to do their bit. The TCS World 10K event is the world’s richest 10 Km run and has seen participation from top elite athletes in the world. Mike...

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Kenyan Victor Kipchirchir will be going after the course record at Salzburg Marathon

Salzburg Marathon is set for a record-breaking event this weekend. Nearly 8,400 runners from 79 countries get ready to compete in the Austrian city. This marks a new participation record for the “Running Festival in Mozart’s Hometown”.

In a varied programme of eight running events the marathon race with 1,000 participants takes centre stage. Top favorite Victor Kipchirchir from Kenya is a late entry to the race and leads the charge to break the course record. The 31-year-old set his personal best of 2:07:39 when winning the Valencia Marathon in 2016, an IAAF Gold Label Race, and also triumphed at marathons in Warszawa and Santiago de Chile. He is the fastest runner that has ever been on the start line in Salzburg.

In the half marathon he boasts a world-class personal best of 59:31 minutes back in 2012. It is clearly his target to celebrate his first victory in Austria and to break the Salzburg Marathon course record of 2:14:16, set by Eliud Kiplagat in 2013.

Picturesque marathon course, runners enjoy the world-famous sights of the Mozart city, that is part of the UNESCO list of World Cultural Heritage sites. The flat and AIMS / IAAF measured course leads through the centre of Salzburg and touches the green surroundings outside of town. Finish area is located in front of the world-famous "Grosses Festspielhaus" Large Festival Hall with a breathtaking view on Fortress "Hohensalzburg".Kipchirchir goes for course record

Victor Kipchirchir has everything what it takes to produce a new record performance in Salzburg. An experienced runner with many international races he finished ten marathons and broke 2:10 on four occasions. Besides his fastest time of 2:07:39 in Valencia 2016 he ran 2:08:52 in Seoul 2017, 2:09:13 in Frankfurt 2012 and 2:09:59 in Warszawa 2014.

The Kenyan definitely wants to do better than he did at his latest appearence in Austria. Six weeks ago he aimed for a podium place at the Vienna City Marathon and passed halfway in 63:22 as part of the leading group before dropping out after 30 k.

Talented runners want to shine in Salzburg, while no other runner in Salzburg matches the potential of Victor Kipchirchir, there is more talent assembled on the start line.

Kenyan Rogers Melly Kipchirchir with a PB of 2:13:38 and Stephen Katam Kipngetich with a PB of 2:14:08 want to improve their times. Rogers Melly came second in both Lodz and Münster marathons in 2016 with a 2:13 clocking. Should Victor Kipchirchir come into trouble, Roger Melly will have the chance for his first international victory.

Stephan Katam is the winner of Belgrade marathon 2017 and ran his fastest marathon in Tel Aviv 2016 when finishing in third place.

Marathon debutants Anthony Karinga Maina and Philip Kirui add more quali- ty to the elite field. They have proven themselves at half marathons. Maina ran 62:36 in high altitude at Nairobi 2016, Kirui clocked 63:11 in 2017.

The women’s race features Ethiopian Gadise Gudisa Negese as the favorite. At 21 she contests her first marathon race as an important new step in her career. Julia Brugger of Germany is another debutant. She aims for a time of about 2:50.

(05/17/2019) ⚡AMP
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Salzburg Marathon

Salzburg Marathon

The Salzburg Marathon is a marathon in Salzburg, Austria. Held every year since 2004, organized by Club Run Austria. The program also includes a half marathon that has been held since 2001, a 10 km run, the "Get active" junior marathon and other competitions. Enjoy a special marathon-feeling while passing many of the best known sights of Mozart's hometown! The...

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Tirfi Tsegaye was ranked amongst the world’s greatest marathoners is now returning from maternity leave to run the Ottawa Marathon

Three years ago, and prior to giving birth to a baby boy, Tirfi Tsegaye was ranked amongst the world’s greatest marathoners with some incredible performances. Now, after gradually returning to training, the Ethiopian Olympic runner makes her first start at the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon, May 26th since the arrival of young Tilember Miresa.

Tsegaye, 34, ran the world-leading time of 2:19:41 in January 2016 in Dubai – her personal best time – then three months later finished 2nd in the Boston Marathon. At the Rio Olympics, she missed the podium by 17 seconds finishing 4th in 2:24:47. It was quite a year, indeed.

As if these credentials aren’t impressive enough, consider she also won the both the Tokyo and Berlin Marathons in 2014 and finished 3rd in London. Few athletes have made the podium in one World Marathon Major let alone four.

“Training is going good,” Tsegaye says from her home in Addis Ababa. “But, I’m not like how I was before. It’s been a little different for me coming back but still training. I’ve missed it a lot. I’ve even missed the training more than the actual competitions. I’m pretty excited about the Ottawa marathon.”

Under coach Gemedu Dedefo she has slowly regained her form and counts such stalwarts as Shure Demise, a two-time Toronto winner, and Alia Mohammed, 2018 Ottawa 10k champion amongst her training partners.

During her maternity leave, she split with her husband and is combining motherhood and marathon training, which would cause concern but for the fact she is such a disciplined and highly experienced athlete.

“It’s tough but I manage,” she admits. “I have a nanny and she helps me out with the baby and other errands. When I come back from training I get exhausted, so, it’s really nice to have some help around the house.

“Pregnancy takes a lot from you and the time I had off was really therapeutic. I feel like I’ve recovered enough for now.”

Tirfi grew up in the town of Bekoji, 220 kilometres south of the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa. Bekoji was immortalized in a documentary “Town of Runners” as an unusually large number of Olympic champions have ‘graduated’ from the training of local coach Sentayehu Eshetu. These include Kenenisa Bekele, Tirunesh Dibaba and Derartu Tulu.

“Growing up in Bekoji was an inspiration in itself,” she admits. “Tulu was a major inspiration for me since we were one of the same. My coach was Sentayehu Eshetu at the time when I was in Bekoji. I moved to Addis in 2008.”

“Yeah, Derartu, Haile (Gebrselassie), Kenenisa and others have inspired me to try and push myself and be my best. I fell in love with their work and dedication when I saw them on television.”

As her impressive curriculum vitae suggests, Tirfi places high expectations upon herself even for this comeback race. Although predicting marathon performances is a difficult proposition at the best of times, it is unlikely she, or coach Gemedu, would confirm her entry unless she was going to be ready. Still, there is that element of the unknown.

Her Italian manager, Gianni DeMadonna, has made her aware that the course record of 2:22:17 was set by her compatriot Gelete Burka last year but for the moment that is secondary to having a successful return.  Victory would bring her $30,000 CDN and the course record is worth an additional $10,000 CDN. That is also a significant factor.

“Ottawa is a big deal for me now because I need to get back to my winning form,” she stresses. “I have big expectations for Ottawa and I will try and do my level best.

“I figure it’s going to be a little hard for me to beat the record set by Gelete last year. But, I think if I try my best I believe that it is beatable. I’m not familiar with the course or the climate. And I have not yet talked with any other athletes about the Ottawa race. But, soon I hope.”

Should she cross the finish line first she would be the tenth consecutive Ethiopian woman to emerge triumphant in this IAAF Gold Label race. There are, without a doubt, plenty of resources then for her to approach when it comes time to seeking advice on how to run the Ottawa course.

(05/09/2019) ⚡AMP
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Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon

Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon

Welcome to Canada’s largest and fastest marathon: the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon. As one of two IAAF Gold Label marathon events in Canada, the race attracts Canada’s largest marathon field (7,000 participants) as well as a world-class contingent of elite athletes every year. Featuring the beautiful scenery of Canada’s capital, the top-notch organization of an IAAF event, the atmosphere of...

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Former tennis star Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario is going to be the ambassador of TCS World 10K run event

Former women's world no one tennis player Arantxa Sanchez Vicario was named on Wednesday the ambassador of the IAAF Gold Label TCS World 10K run.

The Spanish legend accumulated 14 Grand Slam titles -- four singles, six doubles, and four mixed doubles -- and is also considered to be one of the most decorated Olympians in Spanish history with two silver and as many bronze.

Vicario will encourage the 25,000 runners of the 10k run through her story of determination and never-say-die-attitude.

"Running has played an important part in my career and I think it is the easiest way to keep your mind and body sound. Sport has the ability to connect communities beyond the competitive spirit, and instill a sense of pride amongst all and celebrate accomplishments," said Vicario.

"It is exciting that my association with India begins with the TCS World 10K in Bengaluru. I am glad to be there on the start line with all the runners and enjoy the infectious energy on race day," she said.

After retiring from competitive tennis in 2002, Vicario has been involved in multiple causes including as a Celebrity Chairperson of Children's Cancer Research in Spain and Foundation Sanchez-Vicario. In 2015, she coached Caroline Wozniacki, who is also a former world no. one.

(05/08/2019) ⚡AMP
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TCS World 10K

TCS World 10K

The TCS World 10k Bengaluru has always excelled in ways beyond running. It has opened new doors for people to reach out to the less privileged of the society and encourages them to do their bit. The TCS World 10K event is the world’s richest 10 Km run and has seen participation from top elite athletes in the world. Mike...

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Kenyan´s Bornes Jepkirui is back in the Czech capital to defend her title at the Prague Marathon on Sunday

Twelve months on from her convincing victory at the Volkswagen Prague Marathon, Bornes Jepkirui is back in the Czech capital to defend her title at the IAAF Gold Label road race on Sunday.

Jepkirui clocked a PB of 2:24:19 in Prague last year, winning by 54 seconds. Earlier this year she finished third in Osaka in 2:26:01, the second-fastest time of her career.

But given the quality of this year’s Prague Marathon field, the Kenyan may not have it all her own way again.

Since winning the European 10,000m title last August, Israel’s Lonah Chemtai Salpeter has shown fantastic form on the roads, winning over 10 miles in Zaandam and 10km in Rome, clocking a national marathon record of 2:24:17 to win in Florence, and more recently setting another national half marathon record to finish second in Prague in 1:06:09.

Lucy Cheruiyot finished two places behind Salpeter in Prague earlier this year, running 1:08:27. Although the Kenyan is a regular in Czech half marathons, the 22-year-old will still be stepping into the unknown on Sunday as it will be the first marathon of her career.

Amane Beriso is the fastest in the field. Her PB of 2:20:48 was set three years ago and she finished second in Prague in 2017, clocking 2:22:15.

Mamitu Daska’s PB of 2:21:59 dates back to 2011. Although she hasn’t bettered 2:25 since 2013, she finished third at the 2017 New York City Marathon against a quality field.

USA’s Kellyn Taylor-Johnson, who set a big PB of 2:24:29 last year, could challenge for a podium position. Getnet Yalew, who has represented Ethiopia at various major championships, should also feature among the leaders.

(05/04/2019) ⚡AMP
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Prague Marathon

Prague Marathon

The Volkswagen Prague International Marathon is considered by many, to be one of the top 10 marathons and invariably contains a number of high profile runners. Winding through the streets of one of Europe's most beautiful cities it is a spectacular race. And with a mainly flat course there is the chance for a personal best. Since its inception in...

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Ruth Chepngetich sets Japanese’s all-comers Half-Marathon record at Gifu

Ruth Chepngetich ran away from a loaded field at the Gifu Seiryu Half Marathon on Sunday (28) to win the ninth edition of the IAAF Gold Label road race in 1:06:06, the fastest half marathon ever recorded in Japan.

The Kenyan, who won this year’s Dubai Marathon in 2:17:08, took 98 seconds off the previous course record set by world record-holder Joyciline Jepkosgei in 2017.

Chepngetich set out fast and by 5km (15:10), the lead pack consisted of just three runners – Chepngetich, Joan Melly Chelimo and Evaline Chirchir.

But Chirchir and then Melly were dropped before Chepngetich reached 10km in 30:45. She continued to push the pace, passing 15km in 46:44 and 20km in 1:02:41, winning comfortably in 1:06:05.

Melly Chelimo was nearly two minutes behind with 1:08:01 and Chirchir was third in 1:08:07, improving her PB by more than four minutes. World marathon champion Rose Chelimo was never a factor and finished seventh with 1:12:58.

In contrast to the women’s race, a large lead pack formed during the early stages of the men’s race as 10 men were together at 5km (14:18). When course record-holder Bedan Karoki started to push the pace 20 minutes into the race, the lead pack reduced immediately to five men.

The leader’s pace soon slackened and Japanese half marathon record-holder Yuta Shitara joined them in front. Seven runners were in the lead pack at 10km (28:42), then Nicholas Kosimbei made a bid to break away about 37 minutes into the race, and only Karoki and Amos Kurgat were able cover the move.

When Kurgat started to push the pace three minutes later, only Karoki went with him. But soon even Karoki was slowly drifting backward. Kurgat’s two-second advantage at 15km (43:05) grew to 30 seconds by 20km (57:29) and he crossed the line in a PB of 1:00:34.

It was his second consecutive half marathon victory and PB, following his 1:01:06 run at the Japanese Corporate team Half Marathon Championships in February. Karoki, the 2014 champion, finished second in 1:01:07.

(04/28/2019) ⚡AMP
by IAAF
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Course records fall at the 42nd anual Madrid Marathon

Kenya’s Reuben Kerio and Ethiopia’s Shasho Insermu set race records at the 42nd Rock ’n’ Roll Madrid Marathon, crossing the line of the IAAF Gold Label road race in 2:08:18 and 2:26:24 respectively on Saturday (27).

While the 25-year-old Kerio led a Kenyan clean sweep of medals, Insermu obliterared the previous record by over four minutes, getting the better from her fellow Ethiopian Fetale Dejene Tsegaye on a perfect day (10C at the start).

Led by pacemakers Emmanuel Bett of Kenya and Ugandan cross-country specialist Timothy Toroitich, the main pack set off at a steady 3:03/km pace. The opening 10 kilometres were covered in 30:39 with 16 men still in the lead.

The pace increased in the following five-kilometre section and they went through 15km in 45:33 and reached the half-way point in 1:03:54 with Toroitich still in the lead. Bernard Kiprop Koech, Kiprotich Kirui, Kipkemoi Kipsang and Ethiopia’s Sisay Jisa ran closest to the pacemakers by then.

With the clock reading 1:19, Jisa fell injured and was forced to stop. Shortly afterwards Eliud Barngetuny lost contact with the main pack at the 29th kilometre.

Once Toroitich dropped out, Kirui took charge of the pace and only Kerio, Kipsang and Kiptoo managed to stay at his shoulder while the local favourite Javier Guerra could not live with their pace and ran in fifth alongside Nicholas Kirwa.

The lead pack reached 30km in 1:31:08 and with four men still in the group it became clear they were on pace to break the race record of 2:09:15.

The long-legged Kerio made his move at the 36th kilometre and he soon opened a clear gap over Kipsang, Kirui and Kiptoo. By 40km (2:01:35) the leader had built a 22-second margin on Kipsang and 24 on Kirui, having both secured podium places in detriment of a fading Kiptoo.

Kerio crossed the finish line in 2:08:18 to take nearly a full minute off the previous race record. Kipsang (PB of 2:08:58) and Kirui (2:09:05) also dipped inside the previous mark set in 2014. To the delight of the crowd, Guerra finished fifth in 2:10:19, a couple of seconds behind Kiptoo.

“This is my first win at an IAAF Gold Label event so I’m over the moon,” said Kerio. “In addition I ran 2:08 low which means a much faster time competing at sea level so I hope to be in the 2:05 region shortly.”

Paced by compatriot Fikadu Kebede, Ethiopia’s Shasho Insermu, a 2:23:28 performer, set out with the intention of breaking the 2:30:40 race record set last year, but she had a hesitant first 10km, covered in 35:41 in the company of compatriots Tsegaye Dejene, Beshadu Bekele, Gebeyanesh Ayele and Hemila Wortessa.

Shortly after 15km, reached in 52:24, Insermu had built up a sole lead while her three compatriots ran together, helped by 2006 5000m European champion Jesús España, a recreational runner nowadays after his retirement last summer

Insermu, contesting her 11th marathon, cruised to the half-way point in 1:13:00, some 1:15 ahead of record schedule and 20 seconds clear of debutant Tesfaye, Bekele and Ayele.

Taking advantage of Kebede’s pacing duties, Insermu maintained her rhythm for the rest of the event, despite the second half of the circuit being the toughest part.

By 30km, reached in 1:43:28, the leader still held a 20-second advantage over Tesfaye but Bekele and Ayele’s speed decreased dramatically as they lost 1:48 by then. Finally, the gap between the experienced Insermu and debutant Tesfaye increased and the only question remaining was how much the course record would be broken by.

The 26-year-old Insermu won in style in 2:26:24 with a 41-second advantage over Tesfaye while Bekele completed an Ethiopian sweep in 2:32:15.

“Once I knew I would run in Madrid in April, I set myself the goal of setting a new race record as a lot of people said it was not possible to dip under the 2:30 barrier,” said Insermu. “I thought I might clock 2:27 so my performance was even beyond expectations.”

(04/27/2019) ⚡AMP
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Rock n Roll Madrid Marathon

Rock n Roll Madrid Marathon

Tradition and much Rock ‘n’ Roll is what awaits you if you decide to run the 42K: vibrant, special and incredible journey that along which the flagship race of the capital of Spain. One of the top half marathons in Europe, Rock ‘n’ Roll Madrid EDP 1/2 Marathon does not disappoint. You will be cheered on by thousands of locals...

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