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U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg Treasures Time on His Feet

He has toddler twins and a very big job, but the cabinet member makes running a priority.

When you’re a “transportation guy,” as Pete Buttigieg calls himself, there’s no better place to run than Gravelly Point Park, in Arlington, Virginia, under the flight path of planes on final approach at Reagan Washington National Airport.

“It feels as though the planes are trying to land right between your eyes, and then you watch them go over your head,” said Buttigieg, the 41-year-old U.S. Secretary of Transportation. “It’s just really fun and motivating.”

Buttigieg—who in 2021 was sworn in as the youngest member of President Biden’s Cabinet—is (with all respect due to a government leader) a bit of a dork when it comes to planes.

“There it is!” he said, as a United Airbus passed close overhead. “You hear that swizzling noise in the air? That’s wake turbulence!”

“Turbulent” is a word Buttigieg uses regularly, although his political career has been mostly smooth sailing. In 2011, he was elected mayor of his hometown of South Bend, Indiana. Eight years later, he entered the Democratic presidential race as a longshot candidate and won the Iowa caucuses. He ended his bid in March 2020 and endorsed the man who’s now his boss, Joe Biden. 

Recently Buttigieg squeezed a midmorning run with this reporter into a typically hectic day at the helm of a 53,000-employee department: getting his two-year-old twins fed, dressed, and off to daycare; meeting with the German minister of transportation; welcoming the newly confirmed FAA administrator to his post; meeting with colleagues at the Commerce Department; talking permitting processes at the White House; and then attending a state dinner for the Prime Minister of Australia. Wardrobe requirements included a suit, running clothes, and a tuxedo.

On days like that, running is a source of satisfaction and stress relief. As a cabinet secretary, Buttigieg is required to train with security; his detail trails behind him on a bike while he runs, or waits by the water’s edge while he swims. (When members of Buttigieg’s open-water swimming group tried to correct a hitch in the Secretary’s stroke, his security team protested, “Don’t fix that! It’s the only way we know which one is him!”) 

For Buttigieg, knowing Secret Service members’ jobs revolve around his workout schedule is the ultimate in accountability. “It’s definitely kept me from hitting the snooze button more than once,” he said.

Apart from this interview, conducted at sub-10-minute-mile pace, and the occasional bit of bipartisan “jogging diplomacy,” as he calls runs with members of Congress, Buttigieg tends not to mix work with training. He runs about five days a week, usually early in the morning, when most people are too focused on their own workouts to recognize him.

“I get spotted a little bit, but not enough to disrupt my training,” Buttigieg said. “Once in a while somebody wants to take a selfie when I’m mid-run, and I’m never sure how to handle that. Usually I just do it.” 

Humble run beginnings

As a teenager, Buttigieg did not take to running naturally.

“It’s difficult to overstate how unathletic I was,” said Buttigieg, who joined the track and cross-country teams at St. Joseph’s High School in South Bend. “I was the kid who was so far behind at a cross-country meet that I might take a wrong turn because there was nobody left on the course. So it meant a lot to me, years later, when I got to be speedier.”

His progression from back-of-the-packer to one of the fittest members of the executive branch took years. As an undergrad at Harvard, Buttigieg would run on the treadmill or along the Charles River, but never more than three to four miles. At Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar, Buttigieg added rowing to his endurance repertoire. By his mid 20s, running had become a “comfortable habit”—and a gratifying one.

“There’s a level of coordination that I may never have to be good at basketball,” he said. “But running—the more you do it, the more rewarding it becomes.”

When Buttigieg joined the U.S. Naval Reserve in 2009, he excelled at the 1.5-mile run that was part of the requisite fitness test, getting close to a perfect score of 9 minutes flat.

“For a while I was the fastest guy in my unit, which felt great because I was always the slowest guy in my high school,” he said. 

In 2014, during a seven-month deployment as a counterintelligence officer in Afghanistan, Buttigieg ran a half marathon at the U.S. base in Bagram. In addition to the typical instructions about course markers and fluid stations, the pre-race briefing included warnings to participants about the potential for rocket attacks. He ran his current PR of 1:42.

A triathlon two years in the making

Buttigieg continued to run throughout his mayorship of South Bend and his 2019–20 presidential run. In 2021, his first year as transportation secretary, he was training for a half-Ironman in Michigan when he and husband, Chasten, adopted premature newborn twins, Penelope and Gus. Suddenly, instead of miles, Buttigieg was counting ounces of formula. Long training runs were scrapped during sleepless nights and Gus’s hospitalization with RSV.

It took until this year before Buttigieg could try another tri. Preparing for a half-Ironman (1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike, 13.1-mile run) is a major undertaking for anyone. But when you’ve got 2-year-olds, Buttigieg said, “physically redirecting and restraining them is a huge part of parenting.” He followed a 16-week training plan he got online and relied on Chasten to hold down the fort with their kids on weekend mornings while he did long runs or four-hour bike rides.

“I would try to make up for it later in the day, but there’s no way I could’ve done this without Chasten being very supportive,” Buttigieg said. “While there’s an ethos of self-discovery and self-reliance in endurance sports, it really does bring out how dependent you can be on others to support you.”

During the race, held in mid-September in Michigan, Chasten and the kids hung out at a nearby playground—“we were playing with fire when it came to naptime”—and were at the finish line when “Papa” crossed in 6 hours and 31 minutes, largely on the strength of a 2:05 half marathon leg.

“It was pretty thrilling, although there was a fair amount of pain,” Buttigieg said. “But the kids really got into it, and that’s part of why you do this, to be in good health for the people you love.”

Buttigieg said he was wrecked for a couple of days post-race, but he now hopes to take his fitness out for an occasional spin—perhaps a run at a half marathon PR. But he won’t undertake another 6-hour race anytime soon.

“I don’t think I can do something this time intensive again while I’ve got this job,” he said. “It’s too much to ask of Chasten.”

A runner’s perspective on infrastructure

After he averaged about 25 miles per week during his triathlon buildup, now it’s back to shorter workouts for Buttigieg. And with more than 100 miles of traffic-separated pathways up and down the Potomac, the nation’s capital is an endurance athlete’s paradise. “There are few better places to run in the whole world, I would argue,” he said. 

The Washington area represents the kind of well-connected, accessible and pedestrian-friendly infrastructure the Department of Transportation wants to build more of through its National Roadway Safety program. For Buttigieg, helping communities around the country build separate paths for running and biking is about a population’s safety as much as its fitness.

“I worry sometimes that a path like this is viewed as purely ornamental,” he said. “I would argue that the recreational case is pretty compelling, but also fundamentally, safety is on the line. The very layout of our roads can either incentivize or discourage active transportation, and they can either make it safer or more dangerous.”

Buttigieg formed a new perspective on road design in 2016, when he was part of a group of U.S. mayors who traveled to Denmark. Buttigieg saw 1970s-era photos of Copenhagen, which now rivals Amsterdam for highest rate of bike commuting, and recognized the look of a lot of car-dependent American cities.

“That’s when the lightbulb went off,” he said. “It’s not some immutable Nordic cultural characteristic that changed things. It was some conscious decisions made by planners to make it more attractive and safer. By doing that, they reduced congestion, they reduced pollution, and over the long run, they increased safety.”

Buttigieg has a lot of priorities beyond encouraging active transportation. He wants to train more air traffic controllers. Strengthen HazMat requirements for railroads. Build more roads and bridges. Budget cuts or a government shutdown would make it harder to accomplish those projects.

When political roadblocks lead to frustration, he works through it with exercise. He is a transportation secretary who gets to where he needs to be, psychologically and physically, by putting one foot in front of the other. 

“Especially in the early morning when the dawn’s just breaking over the river here, it’s hard not to feel even in our troubled Washington that there’s some magnificence to our nation’s capital,” Buttigieg said. “You count your blessings after a run, if not always during one.”

(11/11/2023) Views: 114 ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World

Isai Rodriguez, Sam Chelanga capture gold and silver for U.S. in men´s 10,000 meters at Pan American Games

Isai Rodriguez and Sam Chelanga made history Friday at the Pan American Games, becoming the first American teammates to take the top two spots in the men’s 10,000-meter final at Julio Martinez Pradanos National Stadium in Santiago, Chile.

Rodriguez, an All-American at Oklahoma State, and Chelanga – the collegiate 10,000 record holder from 2010 at Liberty – became the first pair of teammates from any country since 1979 and only the third tandem in meet history to secure gold and silver in the event.

Rodriguez prevailed in 28 minutes, 17.84 seconds, the fastest Pan Am Games winning performance since 2007, and Chelanga clocked 29:01.21, with Guatemala’s Alberto Gonzalez earning bronze in 29:12.24.

Rodriguez and Chelanga joined Mexico’s Rodolfo Gomez and Enrique Aquino in 1979, along with Luis Hernandez and Gomez in 1975 as the only teammates to sweep the top two spots in the men’s 10,000.

Rodriguez secured the first 10,000 gold for the U.S. since Bruce Bickford triumphed in 1987 in Indiana.

It marked the second straight Pan Am Games that the Americans had two athletes on the 10,000 podium, with Reid Buchanan and Lawi Lalang achieving silver and bronze in 2019 in Peru. The U.S. also had a pair of 10,000 medalists in 1967 in Winnipeg.

The Americans added bronze medals in the women’s 1,500-meter final and javelin throw competition, in addition to the men’s shot put, taking the lead with 19 overall medals entering the last day of the track and field schedule.

Brazil leads with seven gold medals and is second behind the Americans with 18 overall medals.

Darlan Romani triumphed for Brazil in the men’s shot put with a fifth-round effort of 70-1 (21.36m).

Mexico’s Uziel Aaron Munoz secured silver at 69-4.75 (21.15m), with former Arizona standout and NCAA Division 1 champion Jordan Geist edging fellow American athlete Roger Steen for bronze by a 67-4.25 (20.53m) to 67-3.50 (20.51m) margin.

Colombia’s Flor Denis Ruiz won the women’s javelin gold medal with a throw of 207 feet (63.10m) on her opening attempt.

Nebraska teammates Rhema Otabor, representing the Bahamas, and American competitor Maddie Harris captured silver and bronze, respectively. Otabor had a mark of 198-7 (60.54m) and Harris produced a throw of 197 feet (60.06m).

Venezuela’s Joselyn Brea completed a sweep of the women’s 1,500 and 5,000 titles, clocking 4:11.80 to edge Cuba’s Daily Cooper (4:11.86) and American athlete Emily Mackay (4:12.02).

Gianna Woodruff believed she had become the first female athlete from Panama to capture a Pan Am Games gold medal in any event, clocking 56.44 in the women’s 400-meter hurdles.

But Woodruff was later disqualified as a result of Rule 22.6.2, which states that an athlete is penalized after “knocking down or displacing any hurdle by hand, body or the upper side of the lead leg.”

Brazil’s Marlene Santos, who ran 57.18, was elevated to the event winner, with Daniela Rojas from Costa Rica earning silver in 57.41 and Montverde Academy of Florida senior Michelle Smith, representing the U.S. Virgin Islands, taking bronze in 57.53.

Jamaica’s Jaheel Hyde emerged victorious in the men’s 400-meter hurdles in 49.19.

Brazil’s Matheus Lima earned silver in 49.69 and Cuba’s Yoao Illas was the bronze medalist in 49.74.

Cuba’s Luis Enrique Zayas cleared 7-5.25 (2.27m) on his third attempt to prevail in the men’s high jump final.

Puerto Rico’s Luis Joel Castro achieved a 7-4.25 (2.24m) clearance on his first opportunity to capture silver, with Donald Thomas of the Bahamas grabbing bronze after achieving the height on his third try.

Cuba added two more medals in the men’s triple jump final, with Lazaro Martinez winning on his first attempt with a 56-4.75 (17.19m) performance.

Brazil’s Almir Dos Santos secured silver at 55-6.25 (16.92m) and Cuba’s Cristian Napoles took the bronze medal at 54-8 (16.66m), holding off American athlete Chris Benard and his fourth-place mark of 54-1 (16.48m).

(11/07/2023) Views: 135 ⚡AMP
by Erik Boal
Pan American Games

Pan American Games

The Pan American Games (also known colloquially as the Pan Am Games) is a continental multi-sport event in the Americas featuring summer sports, in which thousands of athletes participate in a variety of competitions. The competition is held among athletes from nations of the Americas, every four years in the year before the Summer Olympic Games. It is the second...


British ultra runner Carla Molinaro wins world 50km title

British ultra runner strikes individual gold and leads to GB squad to team title at the IAU World 50km Championship in India

Great Britain’s Carla Molinaro took gold at the IAU World 50km Championship in Hyderabad early on Sunday morning (Nov 5) in a time of 3:18:22, Adrian Stott reports.

She finished just over 40 seconds ahead of Andrea Pomaranski of the United States, who recorded 3:19:05.

British 100km champion Sarah Webster took the bronze medal in 3:20:05.

With Anna Bracegirdle fourth in 3:20:37 and Rachel Hodgkinson fifth in 3:20:47, GB & NI were clear winners of the team medals ahead of the United States and Croatia.

For Molinaro, the 39-year-old Clapham Chaser who splits her time between London and South Africa, it capped a successful year, having placed third in the 56km Two Oceans Marathon and the 56-mile Comrades Marathon in South Africa.

Webster, who broke Carolyn Hunter-Rowe’s long-standing British 100km record when winning the GB title earlier in the year, was always in contention and her 100km strength paid dividends in the final kilometers.

Hodgkinson and Bracegirdle were both running their first 50km races, selected on the back of good marathon performances earlier in the year.

Clean sweep for Spain in men’s race

Spain dominated the men’s race, taking all three podium places as Chakib Lachgar claimed the gold medal in 2:48:18.

His compatriots Alejandro Vicente and Jesus-Angel Pascual took the silver and bronze medals, clocking 2:49:28 and 2:50:10 respectively.

Lachgar, 34, who boasts a marathon best of 2:11:11 and a half-marathon of 1:01:45, again confirmed at a global level that 50km is continuing to be the domain of competent marathon runners moving up in distance. His time, subject to confirmation, puts him fourth on the all-time European 50km rankings.

Will Mycroft was Great Britain & Northern Ireland’s first finisher in ninth with 2:55:58, leading the men’s team to the bronze medals. He was backed up by Andrew Davies in 13th. The bronze medalist from the 2022 European 50km championships recorded 2:57:14.

(11/06/2023) Views: 147 ⚡AMP
by Athletics Weekly
IAU 50km world championships

IAU 50km world championships

The IAU 50km World Championship is a prestigious ultramarathon race organized by the International Association of Ultrarunners (IAU) first time in India.The 50km distance is a popular choice for ultrarunners, offering a unique challenge that falls between a marathon and longer ultramarathon distances. Participation in the IAU 50km World Championship is typically based on qualification standards established by each country's...


Caster Semenya says World Athletics president Seb Coe damaged her life

Caster Semenya has claimed that World Athletics damaged her personally and professionally through the hormone suppression medication that she had to take for six years.

In her new book, The Race to Be Myself, two-time Olympic champion Caster Semenya has revealed how World Athletics seemingly destroyed her life and she singled out President Seb Coe.

In her book, which was published on Tuesday, October 31, the South African claimed that they (World Athletics) damaged her personally and professionally through the hormone suppression medication she was required to take for six years. As reported by The Telegraph, Semenya explained how Coe had something against her.

“With me and Sebastian, it’s personal. He has something against me – that’s how I feel, and no one can change my mind,” Semenya writes.

She started her professional career at 18 and her hyperandrogenism, which comes under the technical label of DSD (differences in sexual development), caused a dilemma in the world of athletics. In her book, she sets the record straight that she was born with a vagina but no womb and internal testes.

After her victory at the World Championships in 2009, World Athletics noted that she could only be allowed to compete if she suppressed her testosterone levels below 10 nmol/L.

However, the restriction was lifted in 2016 after another DSD athlete – Indian sprinter Dutee Chand – brought a legal challenge against the rule.

“The man (Coe) couldn’t help himself. Coe has always struck me as a small man, unsure of himself. He couldn’t stand being questioned about the regulations or me in particular.

He could barely say my name in interviews … My thoughts are that he should concentrate on doing the job he said he would do.

Clean up the sport … Everybody knows there is a systemic doping issue in athletics, and the IAAF has made a mess of dealing with it,” Semenya narrates.

Follow the Pulse Sports Kenya WhatsApp Channel for more news. 

Meanwhile, Semenya noted that she will never again take hormone suppressants – to which she attributes side effects such as weight gain, cramps, and the weakening of bones – in order to race.

She disclosed that she did not know about her DSD condition until it was made public in 2009, soon after that first World Championship gold in Berlin.

“I found out, along with the rest of the world, that I did not have a uterus or fallopian tubes. I would say I was being treated like an animal, but I grew up tending to my family’s livestock, and we treated them with more respect than that,” she explained.

(11/01/2023) Views: 173 ⚡AMP
by Abigael Wuafula

Foot Pain When You’re Running? This Issue May Be to Blame

These mysterious bumps can cause discomfort and pain, but prevention and early treatment can help you stick to your training schedule.

Picture this: You’re blissfully clocking your miles on a Saturday morning until you feel a small but growing pressure on top of your foot. It’s slight, so you ignore it, but over time that discomfort starts to become more noticeable—and once you take your running shoes off at home, you notice a bulb-like bump on your foot.

What gives? You could have what’s known as a ganglion cyst. These sometimes painful bumps aren’t often talked about in the running community, but they’re one of the most common soft tissue masses found in the foot and ankle, per a 2023 review in the Journal of Clinical Orthopaedics and Trauma. Plus, they can derail your training if not addressed.

Here’s everything you need to know about ganglion cysts as a runner, including how to prevent and treat them. 

How might a ganglion cyst show up in runners?

A ganglion cyst develops slowly over weeks or months, but it may grab your attention during a run. 

“There will be some soreness associated with a ganglion during a run due to shoe pressure against it,” says Karen A. Langone, D.P.M., a Southampton, New York-based spokesperson for the American Podiatric Medical Association and podiatrist who specializes in sports and fitness medicine. “You might notice a lump on the foot, which can worsen during the run.” 

That lump on your foot can be easy to confuse with a number of other conditions. Found along a tendon or near a tendon, a ganglion cyst can be mistaken for an exostosis, for example, which is a benign (noncancerous) bone tumor, per the Cleveland Clinic. 

“It might also be confused with a stress fracture of a metatarsal bone,” says Alex Kor, D.P.M., a spokesperson for the American Podiatric Medical Association, a podiatrist at Hendricks Regional Health in Danville, Indiana and team podiatrist for the athletic programs at Butler University. A metatarsal stress fracture is a break in the bone from repeated injury or stress, which can be caused by running. 

What is a ganglion cyst?

On the other hand, ganglion cysts are noncancerous bumps that usually appear along your tendons or the joints of the wrists or hands, but they can also occur in ankles and feet, according to the Mayo Clinic. They’re filled with a jellylike fluid. 

“A ganglion cyst, like any mass, makes the runner’s foot feel tight,” says Kor. “The pain can be characterized as dull or sharp if mileage is extended or there is increased shoe pressure.” 

This cyst is usually caused by a bony point that’s exacerbated by shoe pressure (and possibly by your foot swelling at the end of a run), a tendon that gets overused (which may be the result of tendonitis), or from acute trauma. The fluid in the tendon sheath can “leak out” after overuse or trauma to form the ganglion cyst, adds Kor.

Once one of these things occurs, the inflammation within the tendon sheath accumulates in one area and worsens, forming the ganglion cyst. 

Although they’re filled with fluid, they can feel firm to the touch, per Yale Medicine. They can be as small as a pea or as large as an inch in diameter. Sometimes, they can affect joint movement and cause pain if they press against a nerve. 

The majority of ganglion cysts occur on the top of the foot or the front of your ankle, says Kor. They are rare on the bottom of the foot.

Risk factors for these cysts include sex and age (most often, ganglion cysts occur in women between the ages of 20 and 40) and osteoarthritis (particularly when they occur in the hands), per the Mayo Clinic. 

Should you run with a cyst?

You can continue to run with a ganglion cyst, especially if there is no pain. Even if there is some pain, your level of discomfort will determine the best steps for treatment.

“This is not a condition that will significantly worsen [if you run on it],” says Kor. “In other words, it is not like a stress fracture that can ‘break’ to the point that surgery is needed.” 

However, it’s important to check with a doctor to make sure the bump is a ganglion cyst and not something more serious, and to determine ways to avoid discomfort.

Being a runner alone does not increase your risk of ganglion cysts, but your foot shape may play a role. “They are a little more common in very high arched feet and very flat feet,” says Kor.

How can runners treat ganglion cysts?

First, visit your doctor, who may conduct imaging tests like an X-ray and ultrasound to confirm that it is a ganglion cyst (and not something else). 

Once the bump has been identified as a ganglion cyst, there are a few treatment options, starting with these less invasive methods:


This can be placed around (not on) the ganglion cyst to avoid pressure from a running shoe. “A pad or blister bandage directly over the ganglion cyst may worsen the pain,” says Kor. “Typically, a horseshoe pad or donut pad is applied to offload the cyst.”


You can also ice your foot after a run and on a daily basis for 20 to 30 minutes. Place a towel between your foot and the ice pack to avoid skin irritation. “Ice can cause vasoconstriction to reduce inflammation, swelling, and pain,” says Kor. 

Changing Shoes

A supportive shoe has the potential to reduce overuse, which may help in the initial stages of a ganglion cyst, says Kor. A supportive shoe should not bend at the sole (typically, this has nothing to do with the brand name or price of the shoe).

Taking Breaks from Footwear

When you’re not running, avoid shoes that exacerbate the ganglion cyst area. For instance, skip the one-strap sandal that directly rubs the cyst area. Unsupportive footwear, like flip-flops with a flexible sole, can also worsen the cyst. 

Adjusting Your Shoe Laces

If the ganglion is on the top of the foot, your shoelace pattern can be changed to avoid direct pressure on the ganglion. For instance, your podiatrist might recommend a lacing pattern often used for patients with high instep (the bony structure on top of your foot). 

In this case, cross your laces as usual toward the bottom of the tongue, skip crossing them over in the middle (and instead create a line along each side of the tongue), then finish lacing near the top of the tongue. This offloads the top of the foot that may be affected by the cyst. See an example of how to do it here. 

Take Anti-Inflammatory Medication

If approved by your doctor, you can take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications to ease the discomfort of a ganglion cyst.

If you’re in pain, it’s worth speaking with your doctor about longer-term solutions for treating the cysts. Kor notes that many runners may see little to no improvement with these conservative options. 

If these steps don’t help, your podiatrist might suggest an in-office procedure in which the fluid is withdrawn and sometimes injected with a small amount of cortisone to shrink the remaining cyst—or complete surgical removal of the cyst.

Even surgery isn’t a magic bullet: The recurrence of ganglion cysts after surgical removal ranges from 4 to 40 percent, according to a 2021 study in The Archives of Bone and Joint Surgery. 

Clearly, it’s important to speak with your doctor transparently about your pain levels to determine the pros and cons of each treatment. Fifty percent of the time, ganglion cysts resolve on their own, according to a historic study in Current Reviews in Musculoskeletal Medicine. 

How can runners prevent ganglion cysts?

Some of the methods described above for treating an early-stage cyst can also be used to prevent one in the first place, starting with your running shoe.

“Ganglions are often found over areas where the bone is prominent and there is aggravation from shoe pressure,” says Langone. “A well-fitting running shoe is an important part of avoiding ganglions, as is altering lacing patterns to avoid painful pressure.”

If your doctor has already aspirated your ganglion cyst and you want to prevent recurrence, a well-fitting shoe and altering lacing patterns may still help—along with icing after runs. 

“Over-the-counter or custom-made orthotics can also indirectly help with a ganglion cyst,” says Kor. “There is some indication that increasing support within the shoe can reduce the overuse on a tendon, which may in turn reduce the irritation that contributes to a cyst.” 

Your podiatrist can prescribe custom orthotics based on your foot’s specific shape. That said, if a ganglion cyst is already significantly symptomatic, an over-the-counter orthotic will typically not help.

As with most things, prevention and early detection are key. If you start to notice discomfort or an unusual bump, make an appointment with your doctor to discuss treatment options—so you can get back to pain-free miles.

(10/29/2023) Views: 141 ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World

24 Hours with One of the World’s Best Marathoners

As the 2023 Boston Marathon winner and Olympian Hellen Obiri puts final touches on her build for the NYC Marathon, she’s aiming to become the seventh woman ever to win two majors in one year

Four weeks out from competing in the 2023 New York City Marathon, one of the world’s most prestigious road races, an alarm clock gently buzzes, signaling the start of the day for 33-year-old Hellen Obiri.

Despite having rested for nearly nine hours, Obiri, a two-time world champion from Kenya, says the alarm is necessary, otherwise she can oversleep. This morning’s training session of 12 miles at an easy pace is the first of two workouts on her schedule for the day as she prepares for the New York City Marathon on November 5.

The race will be her third attempt in the distance since she graduated from a successful track career and transitioned into road racing in 2022. Obiri placed sixth at her marathon debut in New York last November, finishing in 2:25:49.

“I was not going there to win. I was there to participate and to learn,” she says, adding that the experience taught her to be patient with the distance. This time around in New York, she wants to claim the title.

Obiri drinks two glasses of water, but she hasn’t eaten anything by the time she steps outside of her two-bedroom apartment in the Gunbarrel neighborhood of Boulder, Colorado.

In September 2022, the three-time Olympian moved nearly 9,000 miles from her home in the Ngong Hills, on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya, to Colorado. She wanted to pursue her marathon ambitions under the guidance of coach and three-time Olympian Dathan Ritzenhein, who is the fourth-fastest U.S. marathoner in history. Ritzenhein retired from professional running in 2020 and now oversees the Boulder-based On Athletics Club (OAC), a group of elite professional distance runners supported by Swiss sportswear company On.

Obiri, who was previously sponsored by Nike for 12 years before she signed a deal with On in 2022, said that moving across the world wasn’t a difficult decision. “It’s a great opportunity. Since I came here, I’ve been improving so well in road races.”

In April, Obiri won the Boston Marathon. It was only her second effort in the distance, and the victory has continued to fuel her momentum for other major goals that include aiming for gold at the 2024 Paris Olympics and also running the six most competitive and prestigious marathons in the world, known as the World Marathon Majors.

Obiri says goodbye to her eight-year-old daughter Tania and gets into a car to drive six miles to Lefthand trailhead, where she runs on dirt five days a week. She will train on an empty stomach, which she prefers for runs that are less than 15 miles. Once, she ate two slices of bread 40 minutes before a 21-mile run and was bothered by side stitches throughout the workout. Now, she is exceptionally careful about her fueling habits.

Three runners stretch next to their cars as Obiri clicks a watch on her right wrist and begins to shuffle her feet. Her warmup is purposely slow. In this part of Colorado, at 5,400 feet, the 48-degree air feels frostier and deserving of gloves, but Obiri runs without her hands covered. She is dressed in a thin olive-colored jacket, long black tights, and a black pair of unreleased On shoes.

Obiri’s feet clap against a long dirt road flanked by farmland that is dotted with horses and a few donkeys. Her breath is hardly audible as she escalates her rhythm to an average pace of six minutes and 14 seconds per mile. This run adds to her weekly program of 124 miles—some days, she runs twice. The cadence this morning is hardly tough on her lungs as she runs with her mouth closed, eyes intently staring ahead at the cotton-candy pink sunrise.

“Beautiful,” Obiri says.

Her body navigates each turn as though on autopilot. Obiri runs alone on easy days like today, but for harder sessions, up to four pacers will join her.

“They help me to get the rhythm of speed,” Obiri says. For longer runs exceeding 15 miles, Ritzenhein will bike alongside Obiri to manage her hydration needs, handing her bottles of Maurten at three-mile increments.

After an hour, Obiri wipes minimal sweat glistening on her forehead. Her breathing is steady, and her face appears as fresh as when she began the run. She does not stretch before getting into the car to return home.

The remainder of the morning is routine: a shower followed by a breakfast of bread, Weetabix cereal biscuits, a banana, and Kenyan chai—a mix of milk, black tea, and sugar. She likes to drink up to four cups of chai throughout the day, making the concoction with tea leaves gifted from fellow Kenyan athletes she sees at races.

Then, she will nap, sometimes just for 30 minutes, and other times upwards of two hours. “The most important thing is sleeping,” Obiri says. “When I go to my second run [of the day], I feel my body is fresh to do the workout. If I don’t sleep, I feel a lot of fatigue from the morning run.”

Obiri prepares lunch. Normally she eats at noon, but today her schedule is busier than usual. She cooks rice, broccoli, beets, carrots, and cabbage mixed with peanuts. Sometimes she makes chapati, a type of Indian flatbread commonly eaten in Kenya, or else she eats beans with rice.

The diet is typical among elite Kenyan athletes, and she hasn’t changed her eating habits since moving to the U.S. Obiri discovered a grocery store in Denver that offers African products, so she stocks up on ingredients like ground corn flour, which she uses to make ugali, a dense porridge and staple dish in many East African countries. She is still working through 20 pounds of flour she bought in June.

Obiri receives an hour massage, part of her routine in the early afternoon, three times a week. Usually the session is at the hands of a local physiotherapist, but sometimes Austin-based physiotherapist Kiplimo Chemirmir will fly in for a few days. Chemirmir, a former elite runner from Kenya, practices what he refers to as “Kenthaichi massage,” an aggressive technique that involves stretching muscles in short intervals.

Ritzenhein modifies Obiri’s training schedule, omitting her afternoon six-mile run so she can rest for the remainder of the day and reset for a speed workout tomorrow morning. Last fall, he took over training Obiri, who was previously coached by her agent Ricky Simms, who represented Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, an eight-time gold medalist and world record holder, and British long distance runner Mo Farah, a four-time Olympic gold medalist.

Ritzenhein has programmed Obiri’s progression into the marathon with more volume and strength training. The meticulous preparation is essential to avoid the aftermath of her marathon debut in New York City last fall, when she was escorted off the course in a wheelchair after lacking a calculated fueling and hydration strategy. Obiri had averaged running 5:33-minute miles on a hilly route that is considered to be one of the most difficult of all the world marathon major races.

“It’s a real racing race. You have to make the right moves; you have to understand the course,” Ritzenhein says of the New York City Marathon. “We’ve changed some things in training to be a little more prepared. We’ve been going to Magnolia Road, which is a very famous place from running lore—high altitude, very hilly. We’ve been doing some long runs up there. In general, she’s got many more 35 and 40K [21 and 24 miles] runs than she had before New York last year.”

In New York, Obiri is aiming to keep pace alongside a decorated elite field that will include Olympic gold medalist Peres Jepchirchir, former women’s marathon world record holder Brigid Kosgei, and defending New York Marathon champion Sharon Lokedi, all of whom are from Kenya. In fact, Kenyan women have historically dominated at the New York City Marathon, winning nine titles since 2010 and 14 total to date, the most of any country since women were permitted to race in 1972.

“They are all friendly ladies,” Obiri says. “But you know, in sports we are enemies. It’s like a war. Everybody wants to win.”

While Obiri is finishing her massage, her daughter returns from school. Though Obiri arrived in Colorado last fall, her husband Tom Nyaundi and their daughter didn’t officially move to the U.S. until this past March. The adjustment, Obiri says, was a hard moment for the family.

“We didn’t have a car. In the U.S. you can’t move [around] if you don’t have a car. We had a very good team that helped us a lot,” Obiri says of the OAC, whom she refers to as her friends. “The athletes made everything easier for us. They were dropping my daughter to school. Coach would pick me up in the morning, take me to massage, to the store. I was lucky they were very supportive.” Now, Obiri says she and her family have fully adjusted to living in the U.S.

Obiri returns home and makes a tomato and egg sandwich before taking another nap. Usually she naps for up to two hours after lunch. Today, her nap is later and will last for two and a half hours.

Obiri doesn’t eat out or order takeaway. “We are not used to American food,” she says, smiling. “I enjoy making food at home.” Dinner is a rotation of Kenyan dishes like sukuma wiki—sautéed collard greens that accompany ugali—or pilau, a rice-based dish made with chicken, goat, or beef. This evening, she prepares ugali with sukuma wiki and fried eggs.

Before bed, Obiri says she can’t resist a nightcap of Kenyan chai. She will pray before falling asleep. And when she wakes up at 6:00 A.M. the next day, she will prepare for a track session, the intervals of which add up to nearly 13 miles: a 5K warmup, followed by 1 set of 4×200 meters at 32 seconds (200 meter jog between each rep); 3 sets of 4×200 meters at 33 seconds  (200 meter jog between each rep); 5×1600 meters at 5:12 (200 meter jog between each rep) and finishing with a 5K cool down.

The workout is another one in the books that will bring her a step closer to the starting line of the race she envisions winning. “I feel like I’m so strong,” Obiri says. She knows New York will be tough. But “when I go to a race I say, ‘you have to fight.’ And if you try and give your best, you will do something good.”

(10/29/2023) Views: 204 ⚡AMP

After a fruitful track season, Daniel Simiu is not resting on his laurels as he focuses on the Vedanta Delhi Half Marathon

World 10,000m silver medalist Daniel Simiu is a man on a mission as he shifts his focus to the Vedanta Delhi Half Marathon on Sunday.

Simiu has had a decorated track season and his hope is to extend the winning streak to the roads. He explained that there is no rest for him since he has a couple of road races lined up for him after the assignment in India.

“It’s been God through and through and my season is not even over. Next week I’ll be in Delhi for the Half marathon.

I’m just getting started…we are just closing the track season and shifting the focus to the roads. And then after that we shall focus on the cross-country. We are not closing the season,” Simiu said.

He started off his 2023 season at the World Cross-country championships, competing in the men’s senior race where he finished sixth.

He then competed in his first track race at the Kip Keino Classic where he won the 10,000m in flying colors. Before his first track race, he also competed at the Istanbul Half Marathon where he dominated.

After that, the World Half Marathon silver medalist competed at the National Police Championships, National Championships and later the World Championships National Trials.

His second major assignment was at the World Championships held in Budapest, Hungary where he finished an impressive second before extending the hot streak to the Diamond League Meeting in Brussels.

After the showpiece in Brussels, Simiu went ahead to compete at the World Road Running Championships where he finished second in the half marathon.

His focus is now on road races as he gears up for the major assignment next, the Olympic Games in Paris, France.

(10/14/2023) Views: 269 ⚡AMP
by Abigael Wuafula
Vedanta Delhi Half Marathon

Vedanta Delhi Half Marathon

The Airtel Delhi Half Marathon is a haven for runners, creating an experience, that our citizens had never envisaged. The streets of Delhi converted to a world-class running track. Clean, sanitized road for 21.09 kms, exhaustive medical support system on the route, timing chip for runners, qualified personnel to ensure smooth conduct of the event across departments. The race...


Kelvin Kiptum, Noah Lyles among 11 men shortlisted for World Athlete of the Year Award

World marathon record holder Kelvin Kiptum will battle it out for the Men’s World Athlete of the Year Award with 10 other athletes, including world 100m and 200m champion Noah Lyles

World marathon record holder Kelvin Kiptum has been shortlisted for the World Athletics’ Men’s World Athlete of the Year Award.

Kiptum, who ran an astonishing 2:00:35 at the Chicago Marathon on Sunday, is among 11 male athletes who had an outstanding 2023 season who have made the shortlist.

The 23-year-old has made the list after winning in Chicago and breaking Eliud Kipchoge’s world record by 34 seconds as well as claiming victory at the London Marathon in April, when he clocked 2:01:25, the second fastest time in history at the time.

Kiptum will battle it out for the prestigious award with American Noah Lyles, the world 100m and 200m champion who was undefeated in six finals at 200m.

Norwegian Jakob Ingebrigtsen, the world 5,000m champion and 1,500m silver medalist, who is also the European record holder in 1,500m, mile and 3,000m, is also among those shortlisted as well as Morocco’s Soufiane El Bakkali, the world 3,000m steeplechase champion, who was undefeated in six finals in 2023.

World javelin and Asian champion Neeraj Chopra from India, American Ryan Crouser, the world shot put champion and record holder, American-born Swede Mondo Duplantis, who is the world pole vault champion, and Decathlete Pierce LePage from Canada are also on the list.

World walking race champion Alvaro Martin from Spain, Miltiadis Tentoglou, the world long jump champion, and 400m hurdles world champion Karsten Warholm complete the 11-man shortlist.

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

Individual graphics for each nominee will be posted on Facebook, X, Instagram and YouTube this week; a 'like' on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube or a retweet on X will count as one vote.

The World Athletics Council’s vote will count for 50 per cent of the result, while the World Athletics Family’s votes and the public votes will each count for 25 per cent of the final result.

Voting for the World Athletes of the Year will close on October 28. At the conclusion of the voting process, five women and five men finalists will be announced by World Athletics on 13-14 November. The winners will be revealed on World Athletics’ social media platforms on 11 December.

Kiptum will be seeking to join Kipchoge and David Rudisha as the Kenyan men to have won the prestigious award while multiple world champion Faith Kipyegon seeks to become the first woman from the country to be feted.

(10/12/2023) Views: 220 ⚡AMP
by Joel Omotto

Kartik, Sanjivani to lead India’s charge at Vedanta half marathon

Asian Games silver medalist in the 10,000m race Kartik Kumar and Defending Champion Sanjivani Jadhav will headline the Indian elite athletes in the men’s and women’s categories at the 18th Vedanta Delhi Half Marathon, a World Athletics Gold Label Road Race. The event will be held here on Sunday, October 15.

Kartik Kumar, who is a very successful 10,000m runner, recorded his personal best (1:04:00) at the Vedanta Delhi Half Marathon last year. He was also the runner-up at the TCS World 10K 2022, Bengaluru with a timing of 30:06. Kartik became the first Indian to win a medal in the 10,000m event at the Asian Games since Gulab Chand in 1998. Kartik’s compatriot Gulveer Singh won a Bronze in the same event.

Kartik, however, will face stiff competition from the winner of the Dhaka Half Marathon 2023 Abhishek Pal, the champion of the Tata Mumbai Marathon 2023 Half Marathon Murali Kumar Gavit and National marathon winner Srinu Bugatha.

Experienced marathoners Kalidas Hirave and Durga Bahadur will also vie for a place on the podium in the Indian Elite Men’s category.

Meanwhile, Defending Champion Sanjivani Jadhav will lead the charge in the Indian Elite Women’s category. She recorded a timing of 77:53 in the last edition of the Vedanta Delhi Half Marathon and also won the TSK 25K 2022. Moreover, Jadhav clinched the bronze medal in the 5000m event at the 2017 Asian Athletics Championships and triumphed in the 10,000m event at the National Federation Cup in 2022.

She will receive strong opposition from the winner of the TCS World 10K Bengaluru 2023 Tamshi Singh and the champion of the New Delhi Marathon 2019 and 2020 – Jyoti Gawate in the Indian Elite Women’s Race.

The USD 268,000 prize money will see tens of thousands of amateurs join the world’s best elites on one of the fastest courses in the world.

(10/11/2023) Views: 258 ⚡AMP
Vedanta Delhi Half Marathon

Vedanta Delhi Half Marathon

The Airtel Delhi Half Marathon is a haven for runners, creating an experience, that our citizens had never envisaged. The streets of Delhi converted to a world-class running track. Clean, sanitized road for 21.09 kms, exhaustive medical support system on the route, timing chip for runners, qualified personnel to ensure smooth conduct of the event across departments. The race...


Molly Seidel Stunned the World (and Herself) with Olympic Bronze in Tokyo. Then Life Went Sideways.

She stunned the world (and herself) with Olympic bronze in Tokyo. Then life went sideways. How America’s unexpected marathon phenom is getting her body—and brain—back on track. 

On a clear December night in 2019, Molly Seidel was at a rooftop holiday party in Boston, wearing a black velvet dress, doing what a lot of 25-year-olds do: passing a joint between friends, wondering what she was doing with her life.

“You should run the Olympic Trials,” her sister, Izzy, said, as smoke swirled in the chilly air atop The Trackhouse, a retail shop and community hub on Newbury Street operated by the running brand Tracksmith. “That would be hilarious if you did that as your first marathon.” 

Molly, an elite 10K racer who’d spent much of 2019 injured, looked out at the city lights, and laughed. Why the hell not? She’d just qualified for the trials, winning the San Antonio Half with a time of 1:10:27. (“The shock of the century,” as she’d put it.) True, 13.1 miles wasn’t 26.2—but running a marathon was something to do. If only because she never had before. 

A four-time NCAA track and cross-country champion at The University of Notre Dame in Indiana, Molly had moved to Boston in 2017, where she’d worked three jobs to supplement her fourth: running for Saucony’s Freedom Track Club. The $34,000 a year that Saucony paid her (pre-tax, sans medical) didn’t go far in one of America’s most expensive cities. Chasing kids around as a babysitter, driving around as an Instacart shopper, and standing around eight hours a day as a barista—when you’re running 20 miles a day—wasn’t ideal. But whatever, she had compression socks. And she was downing free coffee and paying rent, flying to Flagstaff, Arizona, every so often for altitude camps, and having a good time. Doing what she loved. The only thing she’s ever wanted to do since she was a freckly fifth-grader in small-town Wisconsin clocking a six-minute mile in gym class. 

“I was hustling, and I loved it. It was such a fun, cool time of my life,” she says, summarizing her 20s. Staring into Molly’s steely brown eyes, listening to her speak with such clarity and conviction about her struggles since, it’s easy to forget: She is still only 29. 

After Molly had hip surgery on her birthday in July 2018, her doctors gave her a 50/50 chance of running professionally again. By summer 2019, she’d parted ways with FTC, which left her sobbing on the banks of the Charles River, getting eaten alive by mosquitoes and uncertainty. Her biggest achievement lately had been being named #2 Top Instacart Shopper (in Flagstaff; Boston was big-time).

The day after that rooftop party, Molly asked her friend and former FTC teammate Jon Green, who she’d newly anointed as her coach: “Think I should run the marathon trials?” Sure, he shrugged. Nothing to lose. Maybe it’d help her train for the 10K, her best shot—they both thought—at making a U.S. Olympic team. 

“I’m going to get my ass kicked six ways to Sunday!” she told the host of the podcast Running On Om six weeks before the trials in Atlanta.

Instead, on February 29, 2020, she kicked some herself. Pushing past 448 of the fastest, most-experienced women marathoners in the country, coming in second with a 2:27:31, earning more in prize money ($60,000) than she had in two years of racing—and a spot on the U.S. trio for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, along with Kenyan-born superstars Aliphine Tuliamuk and Sally Kipyego. “I don’t know what’s happening right now!” Molly kept saying into TV cameras, wrapped in an American flag, as stunned as a lottery winner. 

Saucony who? Puma came calling. Along with something Molly hadn’t anticipated: the spotlight. An onslaught of social media followers. And two weeks later, a global pandemic and lockdown—and all the anxiety and isolation that came with it. She was drowning, and she hadn’t even landed in Tokyo yet.

The 2020 Olympics, as we all know, were postponed to 2021. An emotional burden but a physical boon for Molly, in that it allowed her to get in a second marathon. In London, she finished two minutes faster than her debut. When the Olympics finally rolled around, she was ready. 

Before the race, Molly says, “I was thinking: ‘Once I cross the starting line, I get to call myself an Olympian and that’s a win for the day.’” 

But then she crossed the finish line—with a finger-kiss to the sky and a guttural Yesss!—in third place with a 2:27:46, just 26 seconds behind first (Kenya’s Peres Jepchirchir). And realized: She gets to call herself an Olympic medalist forever. Only the third American woman to ever earn one in the marathon.

Lots of kids have fleeting hopes of making it to the Olympics. I remember thinking I could be Mary Lou Retton. Maybe FloJo, with shorter fingernails. Then I decided I’d rather be Madonna or president of the United States and promptly forgot about it. But Molly held tight to her Olympic aspirations. She still has a poster she made in 2004, with stickers and a snapshot of her smiley 10-year-old self, to prove it. “I wish I will make it into the Olympics and win a gold medal,” she wrote, and signed it: Molly Seidel, the “y” looping back to underline her name. In case there was any doubt as to who, specifically, would be winning the medal.

Molly grew up in Nashotah, Wisconsin, and is the eldest of three. Her sister and brother, younger by not quite two years, are twins. Izzy is a running influencer and corporate content creator for companies like Peloton; and Fritz favors Formula 1 racing and weightlifting and works for the family’s leather-tanning business. The family was active, sporty. Dad, Fritz Sr., was a ski racer in college; Mom, Anne, a cheerleader. You can tell. Watching clips of Molly’s mom and dad watching the Olympic race from their backyard patio, jumping up and down, tears streaming, is the kind of life-affirming moment you wish you could bottle. “I’m in shock. I’m in disbelief,” Molly says into the mic, beaming. “I just wanted to come out today and I don’t know…stick my nose where it didn’t belong and see what I could come away with. And I guess that’s a medal.” When the interviewer holds up her family on FaceTime, Molly breaks down. “We did it,” she says into the screen between sobs and smiles. “Please drink a beer for me.

Molly hasn’t always been unabashedly herself, even when everyone thought she was. A compartmentalizer to the core, she spent most of her life hiding a huge part of it: anorexia, bulimia, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, debilitating depression. 

It started around age 11, when she learned to disguise OCD tendencies, like compulsively knocking on wood, silently reciting prayers “to avoid God getting mad at me,” she says. “It was a whole thing.” She says her parents were aware of the behaviors, but saw them more as odd little habits. “They had no reason to suspect anything. I was very high-functioning,” she says. “They didn’t realize that it was literally taking over my life.” 

She wasn’t officially diagnosed with OCD until her freshman year of college, when she saw a therapist for the first time. At Notre Dame, disordered eating took hold, quietly yet visibly, as it does for up to 62 percent of female college athletes, according to the National Eating Disorders Association. As recently as the Tokyo Olympics, she was making herself throw up in the airport bathroom, mere days before taking the podium. Molly hesitates to share that detail; she fears a girl might read this and interpret it as behavior to model. “Having been in that place as a younger athlete, I know I would have,” she says. But she also understands: Most people just don’t get how unrelenting eating disorders can be. 

In February 2022, she finally received a diagnosis of the root cause for all of it: ADHD. About being diagnosed, she says, “It made me feel really good, like [I don’t have] a million different disorders. I have a disorder that manifests itself in a lot of different symptoms.”

She waited to try Adderall until after the Boston Marathon in April, only to drop out at mile 16 due to a hip impingement. Initially, the meds made her feel fantastic. Focused. Free. Until she realized Adderall hurt more than it helped. She couldn’t sleep, couldn’t eat, lost too much weight. Within weeks, she devolved. “The eating disorder came roaring back,” she says, referring to it, as she often does, as its own entity, something that exists outside of herself. That ruthlessly takes control over her very need for control. “I almost think of it as an alter ego,” she explains. “Adderall was just bubblegum in the dam,” as she puts it. She ditched the drug, and her life—professionally, physically—unraveled.

In July 2022, heading into the World Championships, she bombed the mental health screening, answering the questions with brutal honesty. She’d been texting Keira D’Amato weeks prior. “Yo girl, things are pretty bad right now. Get ready…” Sobbing on the sidewalk in Eugene, Oregon, she texted D’Amato again. And the USATF made it official: D’Amato would take her spot on the team. Then Molly did what she’d been “putting off and putting off”— checked herself into eating disorder treatment for the second time since 2016, an outpatient program in Salt Lake City, where her new boyfriend was living at the time. 

Somehow (see: expert compartmentalizer) mid-meltdown, in February 2022, she had met an amateur ultrarunner named Matt, on Hinge. A quiet, lanky photographer, he didn’t totally get what she did. “I didn’t understand the gravity of it,” he tells me. “I was like, Oh she’s a pro runner, that’s cool. I didn’t realize she was, like, the pro runner!” 

Going back to treatment “was pretty terrible,” she says. At least she could stay with Matt. Hardly a honeymoon phase, but the new relationship held promise. “I laid it all out there,” says Molly. “And he was still here for it, for all the messiness. It was really meaningful.” And a mental shift. “He doesn’t see me as just Molly the Runner.”

Almost a year later, on a freezing April evening in Flagstaff, Molly is racing around Whole Foods, palming a head of cabbage, grabbing a thing of hummus, hunting for deals even though she doesn’t need to anymore. 

“It’s all about speed, efficiency, and quality,” she says, explaining the secret to her earlier Instacart success. She checks the expiration date on a container of goat cheese and beelines for the butcher counter, scans it faster than an Epson DS3000, though not without calculation, and requests two tomato-and-mozzarella-stuffed chicken breasts. Then she darts over to the beverage aisle in her marshmallow-y Puma slip-ons that Matt custom-painted with orange poppies. She grabs a case of La Croix (tangerine), then zips to the checkout. We’re in and out in under 15 minutes and 50 bucks, nothing bruised or broken.

Other than her body. Let’s just say: If Molly were an avocado or a carton of eggs, she probably wouldn’t pass her own sniff test. The week we meet, she is just coming off a month of no running. Not a single mile. She’s used to running twice a day, 130 miles a week. No wonder she’s spraying her kitchen counter with Mrs. Meyer’s and scrubbing the stovetop within minutes of welcoming me into her new home. 

The place, which she shares with Matt and his Australian border collie, Rye, has a post-college flophouse feel: a deep L-shaped couch draped in Pendleton blankets, a bar cluttered with bottles of discount wine, a floor lamp leaning like the Tower of Pisa next to a chew toy in the shape of a ranch dressing bottle. Scattered about, though, are reminders that an elite runner sleeps here. Or at least tries to. (“Pro runner by day, mild insomniac by night” reads the bio on her rarely used account on what used to be Twitter.) There’s a stick of Chafe Safe on the coffee table. Shalane Flanagan’s cookbooks on the counter. And framed in glass, propped on the office floor: Molly’s Olympic kit—blue racing briefs with the Nike Swoosh, a USA singlet, her once-sweat-drenched American flag, folded in a triangle. “I’m not sure where to hang it,” she says. “It seems a little ostentatious to have it in the living room.” 

With long brown curls and a round, freckly face, Molly has an aw-shucks look so innocent that it’s hard, at first, to perceive her struggles. Flat-out ask her, though—How are you even functioning?—and she’ll tell you: “I’m an absolute wreck. There’s no worse feeling than being a pro runner who can’t run. You just feel fucking useless.” Tidying a stack of newspapers, she adds, “Don’t worry, I’ve had therapy today.” 

She’s watched every show. (Save Ted Lasso, “too sickly sweet.”) Listened to every podcast. (Armchair Expert is a favorite.) She’s got nothing else to do but PT and go easy on the ElliptiGo in the garage, onto which she’s rigged a wooden bookstand, currently clipped with A History of God: The 4,000 Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. “I don’t read running books,” she says. “I need something different.”

Like most runners—even the most amateur among us—running, moving, is what keeps her sane. “What about swimming? Can you at least swim?” I ask, projecting my own desperation if I were in her size 8.5 shoes. “I fucking hate swimming,” says Molly. Walking? “Oh, yeah, I can go on walks. Another. Long. Walk.”

The only thing she has on her schedule this week is pumping up a local middle school track team before their big meet. The invitation boosted her spirits. “Should I just memorize Miracle on Ice?” she says, laughing. “No, I know, I’ll do Independence Day.”

Injuries are nothing new for Molly. Par for the course for any professional athlete. But especially for women, like her, who lack bone density—and have since high school, when, according to a study in the Orthopedic Journal of Sports Medicine, nearly half of female runners experience period loss. Osteoporosis and its precursor, osteopenia, are rampant in female runners, leading to ongoing issues that threaten not just their college and professional running careers, but their lives.

Still, Molly admits, laughing: She’s especially accident-prone. I ask her to list every scratch she’s ever had, which takes her 10 minutes, and goes all the way back to babyhood, when she banged her head against the bathtub spout. There was a cracked spine from a sledding incident in 8th grade, a broken collarbone from a ski race in high school, shredded knee cartilage in college when a driver hit her while she was riding a bike. “Ribs are constantly breaking,” she says. In 2021, two snapped, and refused to heal in time for the New York City Marathon. No biggie. She ran through the pain with a 2:24:42, besting Deena Kastor’s 2008 time by more than a minute and setting the American course record.

Molly’s latest injury? Glute tear. “Literally a gigantic pain in the ass,” she posted on Instagram in March. Inside, Molly was devastated. Pulling out of the Nagoya Marathon—the night before her 6:45 a.m. flight to Japan, no less—was not in the plan. The plan, according to Coach Green, had been simple. It always is. If the two of them even have one. “Just to have fun and be consistent.” And get a marathon or two in before the Olympic Trials in February 2024. 

She’d been finally—finally—fit on all fronts; ready to race, ready to return. She needed Nagoya. And then, nothing. “It feels like I’m back at the bottom of the well,” says Molly, driving home from Whole Foods in her Toyota 4Runner. “This last year-and-a-half has been so difficult. It’s just been a lot of doubt. How do I approach this, as someone who has now won a medal? Like, man, am I even relevant in this sport anymore?” She pops a piece of gum in her mouth. I wait for her to offer me some, because that’s what you do with gum, but she doesn’t. She’s so in her head. “It’s hard when you’re in the thick of it, you know, to figure out: Why the fuck do I keep doing this? When it just breaks my heart over and over and over again?” 

We pull into her driveway. “I was prepared for the low period after Tokyo,” she says. “But this has been much longer and lower than I expected.” 

The curse of making it to the Olympics, let alone coming back with a medal: expectations. Molly’s own were high. “I think I thought, after the Olympics, if I win a medal, then I will be fixed, it will fix everything.” Instead, in a way, it made everything worse. 

That’s the problem that has plagued Molly for most of her running career: Her triumphs and troubles intermingle, like thunder and lightning. Which, by the way, she has been struck by. (A minor backyard-grill, summer-thunderstorm incident. She was fine.)

The next morning in Flagstaff, Molly’s feeling like she can run a mile, maybe two. It’s snowing, though, and she doesn’t want to risk the slippery track, so we meet at Campbell Mesa Trails. She loops a band around the back of her truck to stretch and sends me off into the trees to run alone while she does a couple of laps on the street.

Molly leaves for an acupuncture appointment, and we reunite later at Single Speed Coffee (“the best coffee in Flagstaff,” promises the ex-barista who drinks up to three cups a day). We curl up on a couch like it’s her living room, and she talks as freely—and as loudly—as if it was. Does she realize everyone can hear her? She doesn’t care. I guess that’s what happens when you’ve grown so comfortable sharing—in therapy, on podcasts, in a three-part video series on ADHD for WebMD—you just…share. Loud and proud. 

Mental illness is so insidious, says Molly. “It’s not always this Sylvia Plath stick-my-head-in-a-fucking-oven thing, where you’re sad all the time,” she says. “High-functioning depressed people live normal successful lives. I can be having the happiest moment, and three days later I’m in a total downward spiral.” It’s something you never recover from, she says, but you learn to manage. 

“I’m this incredibly flawed person who struggles so much. I think: How could I have won this thing when I’m so flawed? I look at all the people around me, all these accomplished people who have their shit together, and I’m like, ‘one of these things is not like the other,’” she says, taking a sip of her flat white. “I was literally in the Olympic Village thinking: Everybody is probably looking at me wondering: Why the hell is she here?” 

They weren’t. They don’t. She knows that. 

And yet her mind races as fast as she does. It takes up So. Much. Space. When she’s running, though, the noise disappears. She’s not Olympic Molly or Eating Disorder Molly, she’s not even, really, Runner Molly. “When I’m running,” she says, “I’m the most authentic version of myself.” 

Talking helps, too. Molly first shared her mental health history a few years ago, “before she was famous,” as she puts it. After the Olympics, though, she kept talking and hasn’t stopped. The Tokyo Games were a turning point, she says. Suddenly the most revered athletes in the world were opening up about their mental health. Molly credits Simone Biles’s bravery for her own. If Biles, and Michael Phelps and Naomi Osaka, could come clean... then maybe a nerdy, niche-y, unlikely medaling marathoner could, too.

“Those guys got a lot more shit for it than I did,” says Molly. “I got off easy. I’m not a household name,” she laughs. She knows she can be candid and off the cuff—and chat freely in a not-empty café—in a way Biles never could. “I’m a nobody!” she laughs.

Still, a nobody with 232,000 Instagram followers whom she has touched in very IRL ways—becoming an unintentional poster woman for normalizing mental health challenges among athletes. “You are such an incredible inspiration,” @1percentpeterson posts, one comment of a zillion similar. “It’s ok to not be ok!” says another. Along with all the online love is, of course, online hate. Molly rattles off a few lowlights: “She’s an attention-seeking whore,” “Her bones are so brittle she’ll never race again,” “She’s running so badly and posting a lot she should really focus on her running more.” Molly finds it curious. “I’m like, ‘If you hate me, you don’t need to follow me, sir.’” 

It’s Molly’s nobody-ness—what Outside writer Martin Fritz Huber called her “runner-next-door” persona, and I’ll just call “genuine personality”—that has made her somebody in running’s otherwise reserved circles. 

Somebody who (gasp!) high-fives her sister in the middle of a major race, as she did at mile 18 of the 2021 New York City Marathon. “They shat on me in the broadcast for it,” she says. “They were like, ‘She’s not taking this seriously.’” (Except, uh, then she set the American course record, so…) 

Somebody who, obviously, swears like a sailor and dances awkwardly on Instagram, who dresses up like a turkey, and viral-tweets about getting mansplained on an airplane. (“He starts telling me how I need to train high mileage & pulls up an analysis he’d made of a pro runner’s training on his phone. The pro runner was me. It was my training. Didn’t have the heart to tell him.”)

Somebody who makes every middle-aged mom-runner I know swoon like a Swiftie and say: “OMG! YOU HUNG OUT WITH MOLLY SEIDEL!!?” Middle-aged dad-runners, too. “I saw her once in Golden Gate Park!” my friend Dan fanboyed when he heard. “I waved!” Did she wave back? “She smiled,” he says, “while casually laying down 5:25s.”

And somebody who was as outraged as I was that I bought a $16 tube of French toothpaste from my hip Flagstaff motel. (It was 10 p.m.! It was all they had!) “For that price it better contain top-shelf cocaine,” she texted. Lest LetsRun commenters take that tidbit out of context: It’s a joke. It’s, in part, what makes Molly America’s most relatable pro runner: She’s not afraid to make jokes. (While we’re at it… Don’t knock her for smoking a little legal weed, either. That’s so 2009. Per the World Anti-Doping Agency: Cannabis is prohibited during competition, not at a Christmas party two months before it. Per Molly: “People would be shocked to know how many pro runners smoke weed.”)

I can’t believe I never asked to see it. Molly’s medal. A real, live Olympic medal. Maybe because it was tucked into a credenza along with Matt’s menorah and her maneki-neko cat figurines from Japan. But I think it was because hanging out with Molly felt so…normal, I almost forgot she’d won one. 

People think elite distance runners have to be one-dimensional, she says. That they have to be sculpted, single-minded, running-only robots. “Because that’s what the sport has been,” she says. 

Molly falls for it, too, she says. She scrolls the feeds, sees her fellow pros living seemingly perfect lives. She wants everyone to know: She’s not. So much so that she requested we not print the photos originally commissioned for this story, which were taken when she was at the lowest of lows. (“It’s be pretty open and real with Rachel [about] the challenges of the last year,” she wrote in an email to Runner’s World editors. “But the photos [were taken at] a time when I was really struggling and actively trying to hide how bad my eating disorder had become.”)

Molly finds the NYC Marathon high-five thing comical but indicative of a more serious issue in elite running: It takes itself too seriously. It’s too…elitist. Too stilted. “Running a marathon is a pretty freaking cool experience!” If you’re not having fun, she asks rhetorically, what’s the point? Still, she admits, she isn’t always having fun. Though you wouldn’t know it from her Instagram. “Oh, I’m very good at making it seem like I am,” she says.

She used to enjoy social media when it was just her friends. Before she gained 50,000 followers in a single day after the trials, and some 70,000 on Strava. Before the pandemic, before the Olympics. Keeping up with content became a toxic chore. “You feel like you’re just feeding this beast and it’s never going to stop,” she says. She’s taken to deleting the app off her phone, reloading it only to fulfill contractual agreements and post for her sponsors, then deleting it again. 

As much as she hates having to post, she enjoys plugging products the only way that feels natural: through parody. As does Izzy, her influencer sister, who, like Molly, prefers to skewer rather than shill (à la their idea behind their joint Insta account: @sadgirltrackclub). “The classic influencer tropes make me want to throw up,” she says (perverse pun as a recovering bulimic not intended). “New Gear Drop!’ or ‘This is my Outfit of the Day!’ Cringe. “Hot Girl Instagram is not how I identify,” she says. 

Nor is TikTok. “Sponsors tell me all the time: You should TikTok! I’m like, ‘I am not doing TikTok.’ I know how my brain works. They’ll say, ‘We’ll pay you less if you don’t’—and I’m, like, I don’t care.”

And to those sponsors who ghosted her after she returned to eating disorder treatment, good riddance. “Michelob dropped me like a bad habit,” she says. “Whatever. You have watery-ass beer anyway.”

To those who have stood by her, though, she’s utterly devoted. Pissed she couldn’t wear the Puma panther head to toe in Tokyo, Molly took off her Puma Deviate Elites and tied them over her shoulder, obscuring the Nike logo on her Olympic singlet for all the world to see. Or not see. “Nike isn’t paying my fucking bills.”

The love is mutual, says Erin Longin, a general manager at Puma. After decades backing legends like Usain Bolt, Puma was relaunching road running and wanted Molly as their guinea pig. “She’s a serious athlete and competitor, but she also has fun with it,” says Longin. “Running should be fun. Molly embodies that.” At their first meeting, in January 2020, Molly made them laugh and nerded out over their new shoes. “We all left there, fingers crossed she’d sign with us,” says Longin.

Come February, they all flipped out. Longin was watching the trials, not expecting much. And then: “We were all messaging, “OMG!!” Then Molly killed in London. Medaled in Tokyo. “What she did for us in that first year…” says Longin. “We couldn’t have planned it!” 

Then came the second year, and the third, and throughout it all—injuries, eating disorder treatment, missed races, missed opportunities—Puma hasn’t flinched. “It’s easy for a company to do the right thing when everything is going great,” Molly posted in April, heartbroken from her couch instead of Heartbreak Hill. “But it’s when the sh*t hits the fan and they’re still right there with you….” She received 35,000 hearts—and a call from Longin: “You make me feel so proud.” 

Does it matter to Puma if Molly never places—never races—again? “Nope,” Longin says. 

My last afternoon in Flagstaff, it’s cloudy skies, still freezing. I find Molly on the high school track wearing neoprene gloves, black puffy coat, another pair of Pumas. Her breath is white, her cheeks red. Her legs churning in even, elegant strides. Upright, alone, at peace, backed by snow-dusted peaks. Running itself is what matters, not racing, she tells me. “I honestly don’t give a shit about winning,” she says. All she wants—really wants, she says—is to be healthy enough to run until she’s old and gray.

Molly’s favorite runner is one who didn’t get to grow old. Who made his mark decades before she was born: Steve Prefontaine. “Pre raced in such a genuine way. He made people feel something,” she says. “The sports performances you truly remember,” she adds, “are the ones where you see the struggle, the work, the realness.” 

Sounds familiar. “I hate conversations like, ‘Who’s the GOAT?’” Molly continues. “Who fucking cares? Who’s got the story that’s going to get people excited? That’s going to make some kid want to go out and do it?” 

I know one of those kids: My best friend’s daughter, Quinn, a rising track phenom in Oregon, who has dealt with anxiety and OCD tendencies. She has a picture of Molly Seidel, and her times, taped to her bedroom wall. This past May, Quinn joined Nike’s Bowerman Club. She was named Oregon Female Athlete of the Year Under 12 by USATF. She wants to run for Notre Dame. 

“Quinn loves running more than anything,” her mom tells me, texting photos of her elated 11-year-old atop the podium. “But I don’t know…” She’s unsure about setting her daughter on this path. How could she not, though? It’s all Quinn wants to do. Maybe what Quinn, too, feels born to do. 

It’ll be okay, I tell her, I hope. Quinn has something Molly never had: She has a Molly. 

Molly and I catch up via phone in June. A team of doctors in Germany has overhauled her biomechanics. She’s been running 110 miles a week, feeling healthy, hopeful. Happy. A month later, severe anemia (and accompanying iron infusions) interrupts her summer racing schedule. She cancels the couple of 10Ks she had planned and entertains herself by popping into the UTMB Speedgoat Mountain Race: a 28K trail run through Utah’s Little Cottonwood Canyon—coming in second with a 3:49:58. Molly’s focus is on the Chicago Marathon, October 8th; her first major race in almost two years. 

Does it matter how she does? Does it matter if she slays the Olympic Trials in February? If she makes it to Paris 2024? If she fulfills her childhood dream and brings home gold? 

Nah. Not if—like Matt, like Puma, like, finally, even Molly herself—you see Molly the Runner for who she really is: Molly the Mere Mortal. She’s the imperfect one who puts it perfectly: What matters isn’t her time or place, how she performs on the pavement. Or social media posts. What matters—as a professional athlete, as a person—is how she makes people feel: human. 


She’d been finally—finally—fit on all fronts; ready to race, ready to return. She needed Nagoya. And then, nothing. “It feels like I’m back at the bottom of the well,” says Molly, driving home from Whole Foods in her Toyota 4Runner. “This last year-and-a-half has been so difficult. It’s just been a lot of doubt. How do I approach this, as someone who has now won a medal? Like, man, am I even relevant in this sport anymore?” She pops a piece of gum in her mouth. I wait for her to offer me some, because that’s what you do with gum, but she doesn’t. She’s so in her head. “It’s hard when you’re in the thick of it, you know, to figure out: Why the fuck do I keep doing this? When it just breaks my heart over and over and over again?” 

(10/08/2023) Views: 324 ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World

The Road to the Paris Olympics and here is What You Need to Know.

American runners are about to begin training for the U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon

It’s early October, which means it’s the peak marathon season for many runners. But with an Olympic year on the horizon, it also means America’s top marathoners are about to hit the road to Paris.

More specifically, the men’s and women’s 2024 U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon races—scheduled for February 3 in Orlando, Florida—are just four months away. And that means the top U.S. runners hoping to represent their country at  next summer’s Olympics are about to begin preparing for the all-or-nothing qualifying race that decides which six runners will represent Team USA next summer on the streets of Paris.

Although several top American runners are racing the Chicago Marathon on October 8, even they have their eyes on a much bigger prize next February.

“There’s nothing in my mind that compares with being an Olympian and being in the Olympic Games,” says 26-year-old Utah-based Nike pro Conner Mantz, who returns to Chicago after finishing seventh last year in 2:08:16 in his debut at the distance. “So putting that first has been the plan for a long time. We’re just putting that first and we’re working backwards through the season with other races.” 

Registration will open for the U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon in early November for runners who have surpassed the qualifying times in the marathon (2:18:00 for men, 2:37:00 for women) or half marathon (1:03:00 for men, 1:12:00 for women). The qualifying window extends through December 3—the race date of the last-chance California International Marathon, which for decades has been one of the most popular Olympic Trials qualifying races.

In 2020, a record 708 runners—465 women and 243 men—qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon in Atlanta just before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. But USA Track & Field lowered the women’s qualifying standard by eight minutes from the more attainable 2:45:00 plateau, which means there will most likely be a much smaller women’s field this year.

But even so, amid the handful of runners who have a legitimate shot at making the Olympic team, there will also be dozens of dreamers, wannabes, and just-happy-to-be-there elite amateurs who have worked hard, put in the miles, and earned the chance to be on the start line of the deepest and most competitive U.S. distance-running races that only happen once every four years.

The men’s and women’s races will run simultaneously with the men beginning at 12:10 P.M. EST. and the women starting 10 minutes later. Runners have complained that a high noon start means they will be forced to race in hot, humid conditions. Over the past decade, the average temperature on February 3 in Orlando has been 69.6 degrees Fahrenheit at noon, rising to 73.3 at 4 PM. But actual temperatures have varied drastically, from 81 degrees Fahrenheit at 2 P.M. last year to 56 at the same time the year before. USATF officials have responded by saying that the start times are to accommodate live coverage on NBC and to match the expected conditions in Paris.

Here’s an update and overview of what’s next, who the top contenders are, the course, and what to expect in the next four months.

The 26.2-mile U.S. Olympic Trials course runs through downtown Orlando and consists of one 2.2-mile loop and three eight-mile loops. The marathon course will run through several neighborhoods, main streets, and business districts in Orlando, including Central Business District, City District, South Eola, Lake Eola Heights Historic District, Lake Cherokee Historic District, Lake Davis Greenwood, Lake Como, North Quarter, Lawsona/Fern Creek, SoDo District, and the Thornton Park neighborhood. It will then head east to and around The Milk District neighborhood and Main Street. (Notably, the course will come close to Disney World, which is about 15 miles to the southwest.)

Unlike the Olympic Marathon course in Paris, which will challenge runners with significant hills in the middle, the Orlando course is mostly flat. Each loop has a few minor variations in pitch, but only 38 feet separate the high and low points on the course. Ultimately, though, it’s a spectator-friendly route with chances for family, friends, and fans of runners to see the action several times. 

The top women—based on personal best times and recent race results—are Emily Sisson, Emma Bates, Keira D’Amato, Betsy Saina, and Lindsay Flanagan. But the U.S. Olympic Trials races almost always produce surprises with a few great runners having off days and a few good runners having exceptional days, so there is reason to expect the unexpected.

Sisson lowered the American record to 2:18:29 last year when she finished second in the Chicago Marathon. She’s running Chicago again on October 8 along with Bates, who has said she’s hoping to break the American record. In January, Sisson, 31, chopped her own American record in the half marathon in Houston with a 1:06:52 effort, and most recently won the U.S. 20K Championships (1:06:09) on September 4 in New Haven, Connecticut. Bates, also 31, hasn’t raced at all since her sterling fifth-place effort at the Boston Marathon in April, when she slashed her personal best to 2:22:10. 

While Chicago will be another good place to test themselves, both have unfinished business after Bates was seventh at the 2020 Trials and Sisson dropped out near the 21-mile mark.

The same goes for Flanagan, 32, who has been one of America’s best and most consistent marathoners for the past five years. She placed 12th at the trials in 2020. She had a breakthrough win (2:24:43) at the Gold Coast Marathon in 2022 followed by a strong, eighth-place finish (2:26:08) at the Tokyo Marathon earlier this year. In August, she ran perhaps the best race of her career, when she finished ninth (2:27:47) at the world championships in Budapest amid hot, humid conditions.

The 38-year-old D’Amato, meanwhile, just capped off another strong season with a 17th-place showing (2:31:35) at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, a year after finishing eighth in the world championships and setting an American record 2:19:12 at the 2022 Houston Marathon. She was 15th at the Trials in 2020 in 2:34:24, just two years into her competitive return to the sport after having two kids and starting a career in real estate in her early 20s.

“It’s such a huge goal of mine to become an Olympian,” says D’Amato, who lowered Sisson’s U.S. record in the half marathon with a 1:06:39 effort at the Gold Coast Half Marathon on July 1 in Australia. “It’s really hard for me to put words into this because my whole life, wearing a Team USA jersey has been like a huge dream. And when I left the sport (temporarily), I felt like I said goodbye to that dream and I kind of mourned the loss of being able to represent my country. I feel like it’s the greatest honor in our sport to be able to wear our flag and race as hard as possible.”

Saina, a 35-year-old Kenya-born runner who ran collegiately for Iowa State University, became a U.S. citizen in late 2021. She placed fifth in the 10,000-meters at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro while competing for Kenya. She’s spent the past several years splitting time between Kenya and Nashville, Tennessee, where she gave birth to a son, Kalya, in December 2021.

She’s returned with a strong fourth-place 1:11:40 result at the Tokyo Half Marathon last October and a fifth-place 2:21:40 showing at the Tokyo Marathon in February. In May, Saina won the U.S. 25K Championships in Michigan. Two weeks ago she broke the tape at the Blackmores Sydney Marathon in Australia in 2:26:47.

Other top contenders include but are not limited to Tokyo Olympics bronze medalist Molly Seidel (who’s personal best is 2:24:42), 2022 U.S. Olympic Trials champion Aliphine Tuliamuk (2:24:37, 11th in Boston this year), Susanna Sullivan (2:24:27 personal best, 10th in London this year), two-time Olympian and 2018 Boston Marathon winner Des Linden (2:22:38), and Sara Hall (2:20:32, fifth at last year’s world championships), plus Kellyn Taylor (2:24:29), Nell Rojas (2:24:51), Sarah Sellers (2:25:43), Lauren Paquette (2:25:56), Dakotah Lindwurm (2:25:01), Annie Frisbie (2:26:18), Sara Vaughn (2:26:23), Tristin Van Ord (2:27:07), and Jacqueline Gaughan (2:27:08).

The list of potential men’s top contenders isn’t as clear-cut, partially because there are so many sub-2:11 runners and several fast runners who are relatively new to the marathon. But all that suggests a wide-open men’s race where more than a dozen runners are legitimately in the mix for the three Olympic team spots. That said, the top runners on paper, based on both time and consistent results over the past few years, are Scott Fauble, Jared Ward, Galen Rupp, Conner Mantz, Leonard Korir, Matt McDonald, and C.J. Albertson.

The 31-year-old Fauble, who was 12th in the Olympic Trials in 2020 and owns a 2:08:52 personal best, has finished seventh in the Boston Marathon three times since 2019 and also finished seventh in the New York City Marathon in 2018. Ward is a 2016 U.S. Olympian and has three top-10 finishes at the New York City Marathon and a 2:09:25 personal best from Boston in 2019. He’s 35, but he just ran a 2:11:44 (27th place) at the Berlin Marathon in late September.

Rupp, who won the past two U.S. Olympic Trials Marathons and earned the bronze medal in the marathon at the 2016 Olympics, is nearing the end of his competitive career. He boasts a 2:06:07 personal best and has run under 2:10 more than any American in history, including when he finished 19th at the world championships (2:09:36) last year. He’s a bit of a wild card because he’s 37 and hasn’t raced since his lackluster 17th-place showing at the NYC Half Marathon (1:04:57) in March, but the world will get a glimpse of his fitness in Chicago this weekend.

Mantz followed up his solid debut in Chicago last fall with a good Boston Marathon in April (11th, 2:10:25) and solid racing on the track and roads all year, including his recent runner-up showings at the Beach to Beacon 10K in August and the U.S. 20K Championships in September.

McDonald, 30, who was 10th in the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials, has quietly become one of the best marathoners in the U.S. while serving as a postdoctoral associate in chemical engineering at M.I.T. His last three races have clocked in at 2:10:35 (Boston 2022), 2:09:49 (Chicago 2022), and 2:10:17 (Boston 2023). The only other runner who rivals that kind of consistency is Albertson, 29, who has run 2:10:23 (Boston 2022), 2:10:52 (Grandma’s Marathon 2022) and 2:10:33 (Boston 2022) in his past three marathons and was seventh in the U.S. Olympic Trials in 2020 (2:11:49).

The men’s race will likely have a mix of veteran runners and newcomers who have run in the 2:09 to 2:10 range since 2022. Among those are 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials runner-up Jake Riley (2:10:02 personal best), who is returning from double Achilles surgery; 2016 U.S. 10,000-meter Olympian Leonard Korir (2:07:56), who ran a 2:09:31 in Paris in April; Zach Panning (2:09:28, plus 13th at the world championships in August); U.S. 25K record-holder Parker Stinson (2:10.53); Futsum Zienasellassie who won the California International Marathon last December in his debut (2:11:01) and then doubled-back with a new personal best (2:09:40) at the Rotterdam Marathon in the spring; Abbabiya Simbassa, who ran a solid debut marathon (2:10:34) in Prague this spring; and Eritrean-born Daniel Mesfun (2:10:06) and Ethiopian-born Teshome Mekonen (2:10:16), who both received U.S. citizenship within the past year; and solid veterans Nico Montanez (2:09:55), Elkanah Kibet (2:10:43) and Nathan Martin (2:10:45).

Additional sub-2:12 runners who will  be in the mix are Andrew Colley (2:11:26), Clayton Young (2:11:51), Brendan Gregg (2:11:21), Josh Izewski (2:11:26), Jacob Thompson (2:11:40), and Kevin Salvano (2:11:49).

As noted previously, some top contenders will season their marathon legs one final time at the flat and fast Chicago Marathon on October 8. An even more select few will opt for the New York City Marathon on November 5. After that, nearly every American with eyes set on an Olympic berth will double-down over the holiday season for that one final, critical marathon training cycle. Expect to see a wide range in heat training, from sauna protocols, to warm weather training trips, to simply an adjusted race day strategy.

Of course, with the Olympic Marathon falling under the purview of World Athletics, qualifying for the U.S. Olympic Marathon team is not quite as simple as finishing on the podium in Orlando. Any American looking to have a breakout performance and finish within the top three at the U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon will need to have run under 2:11:30 for men and 2:29:30 for women within the qualification window, which spans from November 1, 2022 to April 30, 2024. Given the possibility of oppressively hot and humid temps on February 3 in Orlando, they’re best bet is to secure that time now.

These qualification standards are in accordance with a new rule from World Athletics, which allows national Olympic committees to circumvent the typical Olympic qualification process of running under 2:08:10 for men and 2:26:50 for women, or being ranked among the top 65 in the world on a filtered list of the top three athletes from each country. The catch, though, is that three other runners from said country must have met one of these two standards. If this sounds complicated, that’s because it is.

For the hundreds of elite amateurs on the cusp of hitting that coveted U.S. Olympic Trials qualifying time, it’s do or die mode. While a few made the cut at the Berlin Marathon on September 24, one of those opportunities was lost when the Twin Cities Marathon was canceled on October 1 because of excessive heat. Temperatures are shaping up for an auspicious day in Chicago this weekend, and many more will give it a final shot at the Columbus Marathon on October 15; Indianapolis Monumental Marathon on October 28; the Philadelphia Marathon on November 18; and the last-call California International Marathon, a point-to-point race ending in Sacramento, California on December 3. 

Ultimately, only six American runners will likely continue on along the road to Paris and earn the chance to run in the men’s and women’s Olympic marathons next August 10-11. For a handful of younger runners, the 2024 U.S. Olympic Trials will be a motivation to reinvigorate the Olympic dream or keep a faint hope alive, at least until the 2028 U.S. Olympic Trials that will determine the team for the Los Angeles Olympics. But for many runners, the journey to the U.S. Olympic Trials in Orlando will lead to the end of their competitive road running careers as new jobs, young families, a switch to trail running, and other priorities will take hold. 

“I think the Olympic Trials is an important part of American distance running,” says Kurt Roeser, 36, a two-time U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon qualifier who works full-time as a physical therapist in Boulder, Colorado. “I’m glad that they kept it the same event for this cycle and hopefully for future cycles because it gives people like me a reason to keep training. I’m older now and I’m not going to actually have a chance to make an Olympic team, but for somebody that’s fresh out out of college and maybe they just barely squeak in under the qualifying time, maybe that’s the catalyst they need to start training more seriously through the next cycle. And maybe four years from now, they are a serious factor for making the team.” 

(10/07/2023) Views: 153 ⚡AMP
by Outside Online

TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon extends warm welcome to canceled Twin Cities Marathon athletes

The TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon is extending a helping hand to several elite runners who were affected by the last-minute heat cancellation of the 2023 Twin Cities Marathon last Sunday.

Although Canada’s largest marathon had been sold out for months, marking the first time in the race’s history that the marathon has reached full capacity this early. There ended up being several withdrawals in the men’s and women’s elite fields two weeks before the Oct. 15 race day.

Jim Estes, the manager of the elite program at the Twin Cities Marathon, reached out to TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon race director Alan Brookes, exploring the possibility of accommodating some of the elite runners. Brookes shared that he and Jim have a close relationship and have worked on elite teams at Chicago and Houston marathons. “We ended up extending three spots to athletes who did not get the chance to run the marathon in Minnesota,” says Brookes.

This period is crucial for U.S. marathoners, as many are shooting to qualify for U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in Orlando next February. The fall marathon season represents a final opportunity to secure a qualification spot there or to chase an Olympic qualifying time of 2:08:10 (men) and 2:26:50 (women) before the trials.

Toronto was not the only marathon to offer invitations. The McKirdy Micro Marathon in Valley Cottage, N.Y., the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon and the Philadelphia Marathon have also offered spaces in their elite fields for athletes originally slated to compete in Twin Cities.

The Twin Cities Marathon was set to host nearly 8,000 runners on Oct. 1 but ended up being abruptly canceled just two hours before its 7 a.m. start due to soaring temperatures. Despite the short notice, many runners who had traveled to Minnesota decided to go ahead with their race on their own. The temperature in Minneapolis–Saint Paul, Minn., reached a high of 27 C (80 F) by 11 a.m. on Sunday.

Eli Asch, the race director of Twin Cities, defended their decision to cancel the race in an interview with Runners World, stating, “We saved lives.” However, Asch did not confirm whether the race would provide refunds or offer credits to the 20,000 registered participants but said the race’s intention is to be “as generous as possible.”

(10/06/2023) Views: 192 ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson
TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon

TCS 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...


Two-time Olympic champion Ashton Eaton embraces distance running

It’s been seven years since two-time Olympic and world decathlon champion Ashton Eaton called it a career, but he has not hung up the running shoes quite yet. The 35-year-old ran in the Portland Half-Marathon over the weekend and tweeted about how taken aback he was by the toughness of distance running.

Eaton finished the half marathon in just under an hour and 50 minutes for 530th place overall. Eaton took to social media post-race to share how his body was feeling. “I think I ran 1:49. During the run, I felt fine, but now I feel like I can’t move at all. Insanely painful.”

During Eaton’s professional career, despite being the only decathlete to break the 9,000-point mark twice, he was never particularly dominant at distance events. His weakest event of the 10 was known to be the final one—the men’s 1,500m—an event where he only had a personal best of 4:14.48.

Eaton wasn’t only surprised by how painful half-marathons are; he also posted that he was astonished by the variety of running styles. “Runners are basically like fingerprints,” wrote Eaton. “I’ve always admired the mental toughness of distance running, and now even more so. It was a very cool experience.”

It’s clear that Eaton is now embracing life as a distance runner in his retirement. Last week, Eaton was named an event ambassador at India’s Vedanta Delhi Half Marathon, scheduled for Oct. 15.

Eaton and his wife, Canada’s Brianne Theisen-Eaton, retired from the sport at the prime of their respective careers in 2017. Eaton was coming off defending his Olympic gold medal at the Rio Olympics. While Theisen-Eaton won bronze in the heptathlon at the same Olympics. The multi-events power couple now live and reside in Oregon with their three-year-old boy.

(10/03/2023) Views: 221 ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson
Portland Marathon

Portland Marathon

Portland is the unrivaled leader of the running world. It is the birthplace of the American distance running movement. It is home to several of the world's largest brands in the active lifestyle industry as well as the most talented athletes in the sport. People get running here. Businesses, schools, non-profits, and kids get excited about it. Add that local...


Should I Tune In or Tune Out During My Run?

How to think on challenging runs depends on your intention. Here’s what the research says. Runners often develop a type of tunnel vision. Case in point: In 2006, Scott Douglas went to India to cover a five-day stage race in the Himalayan foothills. The day before the race, he and the eventual winner went for a run from the race headquarters in Mirik. There was a small lake with a perimeter path nearby that was perfect for the occasion—they could easily settle into a rhythm and crank out several 10-minute loops until it was time to call it a day.

When Douglas got back to the lodge, his wife, Stacey, asked, “Wasn’t that amazing!?” It turned out that Stacey had also gone to the lake for a stroll and had come upon a couple dozen women celebrating the Diwali festival. Clad in bright yellow and red wraps and head scarves, they squatted next to the lakeside trail with big bowls of bananas, melons, other fruits, vegetables, and flowers as offerings.

Douglas can relay these details, thanks to a photo Stacey took, but he hadn’t noticed them—not on the first loop around the lake, or the third, or any other one. Without making a conscious decision to do so, he’d been entirely focused on his run.There are far loftier examples of intense concentration in running history. In the 2004 Olympic marathon, Deena Kastor didn’t realize she was in the bronze-medal position until the final 100 meters. During the 2018 Boston Marathon, which was run in an apocalyptic rain-and-wind storm, eventual winners Des Linden and Yuki Kawauchi didn’t know they had taken the lead until well after doing so.

Some of this seeming tunnel vision stems from runners focusing on what are known as “process goals,” such as running the next mile as well as they’re able, rather than thinking about outcomes, such as winning an Olympic medal. Also, during hard efforts, seasoned runners are good at suppressing strong emotions like anxiety that can lead to focusing on distracting and irrelevant information.

Let’s look in more detail at how successful runners hone their ability to concentrate on the task at hand to the point of seeming oblivious to much of what’s going on around them.

Throughout his career as one of the world’s leading exercise psychology researchers, Noel Brick asked athletes ranging from beginners to Olympians a simple question: What were you thinking? The answers provide fascinating insight into what athletes think about during peak performances. Brick has lost count of the number of times he has sat captivated as athletes recounted how they struggled with, and overcame, the challenges they experienced when racing and training.

One of the most common themes that emerges is that running fast is incredibly hard, both physically and mentally. This is true for novices and Olympians alike. But what separates the best from the rest is their ability to extract exceptional performances through a process of deep focus and concentration. These athletes know what they need to focus on and, more importantly, have the mental tools in their kit to do it. Take this example from an elite cross-country runner whom Brick interviewed following one of her toughest races:

I went through two and four [kilometers] on the back of the leading group. And going into the third lap, I started falling off the leading group. And it was everything for me to stay attached [because I was distracted by a spectator] and suddenly I just lost a second’s concentration, and it was like, “Don’t lose concentration, concentrate now,” and I covered the move. I finished second in that race. But if I had fallen off that group, I wouldn’t have gotten back on and that would have been it.

Triumph in a footrace—however that’s defined for you—often requires winning the battle that takes place within your mind. For athletes like the one quoted above, this means resisting a range of different distractions. Some are external, like a spectator who momentarily captures the athlete’s attention. Others are internal thoughts, like worry or the sometimes-irresistible urge to stop or quit.

So how do they do it? What tools do athletes use to remain focused and on task? Just as important, how do they get their concentration back if they lose it?

The first answers to these questions began to emerge in the late 1970s. Across a series of studies, psychologist William Morgan and exercise physiologist Michael Pollock interviewed recreational and elite distance runners to discover what they focused on during training and competition.

Their findings revealed that national- and world-class marathoners adopted what Morgan and Pollock called an “associative strategy.” As described in a classic study, these runners “paid very close attention to bodily input such as feelings and sensations arising in their feet, calves, and thighs, as well as their respiration; . . . [their] pace was largely governed by ‘reading their bodies’; . . . [and] they constantly reminded or told themselves to ‘relax,’ ‘stay loose,’ and so forth.”

The details of what elite runners paid attention to when racing surprised the research team. Up until this point, the consensus was that it was best to tune out from bodily sensations. After all, if running fast was hard, then surely paying less attention to physical feelings would be better than focusing in on them.

But Morgan and Pollock soon realized that these elite marathoners were different from the recreational athletes they usually interviewed. Not only were their physical performances miles apart, literally and figuratively; so, too, were their mental strategies.

What non-elites preferred to do was adopt a range of distraction strategies. In other words, they preferred to tune out from the physical sensations they experienced. They did so by thinking about past memories, imagining listening to music (remember, this was pre-earbuds), singing, or, for one runner, visualizing stepping on the faces of two coworkers she detested.

With these two separate ways of thinking, we’ve now got a dilemma. What is the best way for athletes to think? Which type of strategy helps most: tuning out or tuning in?

These were the questions that grabbed Brick’s attention when he began to plot his PhD research in 2012. By 2014, he had published a review of 112 studies on the attentional strategies of endurance athletes—that is, what they focus their attention on. In it, he sifted through the evidence supporting distraction, on the one hand, and association, on the other.

Before we can answer this question, we first need to consider a much simpler one. What do we mean by best? If better—that is, faster—performance is the goal, then athletes probably want to avoid being distracted at all costs.

But that’s not the full picture. In Brick’s review, he noted that distractions, such as daydreaming, conversing with a training partner, or focusing on scenic views, can help to reduce boredom and make a run more enjoyable. In other words, when the outcomes are less about going faster and more about feeling better, then distraction is best. A recreational runner whom Brick interviewed put it like this:

My mind just wanders whenever I’m out. It’s as if it’s a freedom. It’s my time and it’s me thinking about my things, you know? You’re not sitting in the house or you’re not working or you’re not thinking about things. You’re just thinking about your things.

What these insights tell us is that distraction has its place in our mental tool kit. It can be a useful way to manage our emotions, especially when we need to switch off, chill out, and get away from it all.

One great way to do this is to spend time in natural spaces, such as the countryside or a park. Studies have found increased brain activity relating to calmness and meditative thoughts when people exercise in a park versus crowded urban settings. In the latter, brain activity linked with negative thoughts such as rumination has been found to be much higher than when people exercise in more natural settings.

But this is only half the story. Although positive distractions like nature have benefits, performing to the best of their capabilities is a more immediate priority for athletes during competition. In these instances, tuning in might be a better approach than tuning out.

When Brick dug deeper into the results of more than 35 years of research, he soon discovered that the effects of association strategies on performance were much more nuanced than previously thought. When athletes focused excessively on bodily sensations like breathing or muscle soreness, their performance suffered. Doing so made tasks feel harder. In contrast, strategies like keeping relaxed or optimizing movement technique improved performance, sometimes without increasing how hard a task felt.

An intricate study involving 60 experienced runners helps to explain some of these nuances. These individuals completed three 5-kilometer runs, once on a laboratory treadmill, once on a 200-meter indoor running track, and once on a flat outdoor road route. Half the runners—the association group—were asked to tune in every 30 seconds during each run to the heart rate and pace readings on their watch. The other half were assigned to a distraction strategy of listening to music through headphones. All participants were instructed to run as fast as they would like during each 5-kilometer run. The research team also recorded how good or bad runners felt, how hard each run was perceived to be, and their final 5-kilometer times.

In line with research on other distraction strategies, the findings revealed that those who listened to music felt calmer and more tranquil during their runs. Runners also felt better when running outdoors than they did in the indoor settings.In terms of performance, however, runners in the heart rate and pace-monitoring group ran faster than the music group by an average of 1 minute and 47 seconds. In a sport in which participants obsess over every second of a race time, that’s a significant difference!

Just as interesting were the effects of location on performance. Although 5-kilometer times were slower on the treadmill than both the track (by 3 minutes and 46 seconds) and the road route (by 4 minutes and 2 seconds), running on the treadmill felt hardest. This was most likely because of the treadmill environment, devoid of mental stimulation or distraction. In this setting, athletes probably focused on little else other than how tough their run felt. In contrast, running the outdoor road route, the fastest location of all, felt easiest.

Periodically monitoring bodily sensations and tuning into pace allows for better performance. In contrast, tuning out might result in a slower pace but can help make an activity feel more pleasant. In effect, our focus matters, and when best performance is a priority, then having the mental skill to focus effectively is essential.

(09/23/2023) Views: 165 ⚡AMP

No rest for talented Daniel Simiu as he heads to Delhi Half Marathon

World 10,000m silver medalist Daniel Simiu is not resting on his laurels as he eyes more victory at the Vedanta Delhi Half Marathon scheduled for October 15.

Simiu headlines the men’s field with a Personal Best time of 59:04 and is closely followed by compatriot Leonard Barsoton who has a PB time of 59:09. The third fastest in the field is Isaac Kipkemboi with a PB time of 59:17.

The 27-year-old has had a fair season thus far that even saw him bag his first medal at the World Championships. After his exploits in the Hungarian capital, Simiu competed at the Diamond League Meeting in Brussels where he set a Personal Best time of 26:57.80 to win the race.

He has also been selected for the team representing the country at the World Road Running Championships in Riga, Latvia starting October 1.

Simiu will be seeking victory in the Half Marathon alongside Benard Kibet, Charles Kipkirui Langat, Samwel Nyamai Mailu, and Sabastian Kimaru Sawe.

In the women’s race, Almaz Ayana headlines the field with her impressive time of 65:30. She has not had a busy season this year since she started off with a win at the Lisboa Half Marathon.

She then proceeded to the London Marathon where she finished seventh and has not raced since then. She will be hoping to mark another victory as she heads to India.

She will enjoy the company of her compatriot Betelihem Afenigus who is the second fastest in the field with a PB time of 66:46. Viola Chepngeno completes the top three list with a PB time of 66:48.

(09/13/2023) Views: 290 ⚡AMP
by Abigael Wuafula
Vedanta Delhi Half Marathon

Vedanta Delhi Half Marathon

The Airtel Delhi Half Marathon is a haven for runners, creating an experience, that our citizens had never envisaged. The streets of Delhi converted to a world-class running track. Clean, sanitized road for 21.09 kms, exhaustive medical support system on the route, timing chip for runners, qualified personnel to ensure smooth conduct of the event across departments. The race...


USA dominates men’s 4x400m to win fourth relay gold in Budapest

Sometimes a country’s depth in a particular event doesn’t necessarily translate to a strong relay performance.

But other times – like for tonight’s men’s 4x400m final – it leads to pure domination.

The USA went in as the favourites and duly delivered their fourth relay gold of the championships, winning in a world-leading 2:57.31.

French athletics fans breathed a huge sigh of relief as their quartet came through to take silver – their first and only medal of the championships – in a national record of 2:58.45, holding off Great Britain (2:58.71).

As far as the race went, it was USA all the way. Quincy Hall, the 400m bronze medallist earlier in the week, gave them an early lead, handing over to Vernon Norwood, the fourth-place finisher in the 400m final.

By the half-way point, they already had a comfortable lead over the rest of the field, all of whom were battling for the front of the chasing pack.

Justin Robinson, who was part of the victorious mixed 4x400m quartet on the first day of the championships, maintained USA’s led on leg three. By this point, France had moved into second place from Great Britain with Jamaica and Botswana in close pursuit.

Rai Benjamin, the 400m hurdles bronze medallist, extended USA’s lead on the last leg and went on to cross the line first in 2:57.31, earning USA’s ninth gold medal in the men’s 4x400m from the past 10 editions of the championships.

France’s anchor leg runner Teo Andant ran a strong lap to maintain his country’s standing in the race, taking silver in 2:58.45.

At one point it looked as though Antonio Watson, the individual 400m champion, would move Jamaica into a medal position, but Britain’s Rio Mitcham held on to third place, crossing the line in 2:58.71. Watson brought Jamaica home fourth in 2:59.34.

India, who had challenged USA in the heats, didn’t quite feature in the medal hunt and placed sixth in 2:59.92.

“I felt like I wasn't moving that fast but I'm happy these guys got me in a position to bring it home,” said Benjamin. “After the 400m hurdles, I wanted to come back and anchor this relay. It means a lot that the guys have faith in me and trust me. Quincy had an amazing start and the rest of the boys finished strong. I just had to finish the race. It was team work.”

(08/28/2023) Views: 266 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
World Athletics Championships Budapest 23

World Athletics Championships Budapest 23

From August 19-27, 2023, Budapest will host the world's third largest sporting event, the World Athletics Championships. It is the largest sporting event in the history of Hungary, attended by athletes from more than 200 countries, whose news will reach more than one billion people. Athletics is the foundation of all sports. It represents strength, speed, dexterity and endurance, the...


Wait … Is It Okay to Run in a Cemetery?

A strongly-worded sign in Eugene, Oregon, sparked debate: Fair game or a somber spot?

Just south of the University of Oregon, sits the Eugene Masonic Cemetery—a ten-acre hilly plot that’s filled with Douglas Fir Trees and wood-chip trails. In a city renowned for its rich running history, it’s relatively common to see runners using the paths as a neighborhood cut-through or spot to work in some hills. 

But last month, some residents started to notice red signs: “Runners, this is a cemetery NOT a training area.” The signs prodded discussion on Twitter, with some users scorning them while others emphasized the need to respect the dead. Some pointed out that seven blocks north is the Eugene Pioneer Cemetery, a slightly bigger area, which is a common warm-up spot for athletes competing at nearby Hayward Field. 

Cemeteries can be a confusing middle ground between a green space and a solemn place of remembrance, and it brings up an ethical question: When is it okay to run in a cemetery?

Striking a balance

The Eugene Masonic Cemetery is private property—it’s an active burial ground. But Shawn Walker, the president of the Board of the Eugene Masonic Cemetery Association, clarifies that outsiders are still welcome in the space.

“I think it can be helpful for visitors to keep in mind that the cemetery is first and foremost a cemetery,” he said to Runner’s World in an email. “Visitors come to the cemetery to grieve, remember those who have passed on, and seek solace. Other ‘non-cemetery’ related activities are fine and encouraged as long as the activities do not disrupt the cemetery’s primary role.”

Not all cemeteries are privately owned; different types have emerged over the years. Take the Oakland Cemetery in downtown Atlanta. Oakland is the oldest cemetery in the city, founded in 1850, but it’s also the oldest public park. 

The City of Atlanta owns the 48-acre space, but it operates differently from a church graveyard or military cemetery (don’t try to run in Arlington National Cemetery). Oakland is a “Victorian rural garden cemetery,” says Sandy White, the Director of Adult Programs and Volunteers at the Historic Oakland Foundation. Early cemeteries were connected with churches, but as cities grew, governments realized they needed more space to bury the dead, says White. But instead of a somber, religious space, these area were also used as parks.

In fact, during the Victorian period (1837 to 1901), it was common for families to visit cemeteries for leisure. During a time when diseases like yellow fever and cholera were rampant, families would pack a lunch and visit their dead relatives. Nowadays, you’re less likely to see a charcuterie board in front of a gravestone, but some cemeteries still retain those park-like qualities. 

Fifteen years ago, the Historic Oakland Foundation created the Run Like Hell 5K. “At the time, [the foundation] was really searching for things that would be good fundraisers and respectful of the grounds and of the people that are buried in Oakland, but at the same time, really serve the modern communities that were built up around,” White says.

The race—which features a costume contest—has become the largest cemetery race in the U.S. with 219 runners toeing the line at this year’s April edition. The money raised from the race helps keep the cemetery humming through beautification and preservation projects, and it’s a key part of Oakland’s identity as a public green space. 

“It’s every citizen in Atlanta’s park as much as it’s our cemetery,” White says.

Appreciation is key

Ultimately, running in a cemetery comes down to respect. 

Walker says the red signs at the Masonic Cemetery were put up after some runners started taking advantage of the open gates. He says training groups would come to the cemetery and disrupt the peace with drills like sprints and chain runs. Sometimes a coach would even shout and whistle at the athletes. 

“We felt that this type of activity and training was not consistent with the environment that we believe is important to maintain in the cemetery,” Walker says.

He admits the red signs might come off as harsh, but it’s tough to convey the message clearly.

“We love having visitors in the cemetery and part of our mission is to maintain and operate the cemetery as a resource for the community,” he says. “I believe it can be perfectly appropriate for runners to run in the cemetery as long as their activities are respectful to other visitors and to the space.”

Rob Rueff is familiar with this balance. His favorite race is a small 5K in Franklin, Indiana, called the Sparkler Sprint. Held on the 4th of July, the race is a fundraiser for the Franklin Community High School cross country team. The course meanders through a local park and the nearby Greenlawn Cemetery, and it reminds Rueff of trips to visit his grandparents as a child. In fact—the race literally goes past their graves. 

“It’s like I can feel them cheering me on as I reach the final quarter mile of the race,” he says. 

For Rueff, the cemetery is a reflective place of solace—but something he can combine with his passion for running. “When I’m training for races and I’ve hit a wall during training, I’ll drive down and run there,” he says. “I’ll make it a point to run by their graves just to check on things. It helps me clear my head and refocus on my training.”

Sarah Lorge Butler contributed to this report.

(08/12/2023) Views: 246 ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World

9 Things Every Running Shop Employee Wishes You Knew

Yes, this shoe comes in other colors. No, that doesn’t mean you should buy it.

For two years, I worked at the best run specialty store in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota. For seven years after that, I worked for a running shoe brand. In that time, I learned there’s a sizable knowledge gulf between folks in the industry and most consumers. Even many consumers who pay pretty close attention to racing and shoe reviews weren’t always up-to-speed on the latest tech, how a certain brand fits or whether they need a neutral. stability, minimal, or trail shoe.  

It’s our own fault. Brands create so many SKUs that it can be hard to keep up with each development. Stores stack so many models next to each other on the wall that it can seem impossible to know where to start. 

I can ensure you we didn’t keep things convoluted on purpose. On the brand side, we wanted people to feel like they knew enough about our footwear to confidently buy shoes from our website. In the shop, we knew customers appreciated feeling like they were empowered to pick the right pair. If they felt overwhelmed at our store, we knew, they probably wouldn’t come back.

That got me thinking: What else did I wish every runner out there knew about shoes? So I jotted down this list. It’s far from comprehensive. Maybe there’ll be a part two. 

Full disclosure: My wife works on the product team for the aforementioned shoe brand. But I think that gives me a valuable window into how brands ideate and produce their products, and I’ll do my best to be objective. Besides, I didn’t consult her on this. To counterbalance this, I’m going to go make some major purchases, also without consulting her! 

One person I did consult, since he’s been in the shop game a lot longer than I have, is Jeff Metzdorff, co-owner of Mill City Running and Saint City Running. He will really hate that I called his cross-town rival the best shop in the Twin Cities, but them’s the breaks. In any case, here’s what came up for us. 

Your coworker might love Asics. Your run club friend might hate Nike. That doesn’t mean you should buy Asics or avoid Nike. You should try both—and a bunch of others—to see what works for you. (FYI: Sizing can be different from brand to brand, so don’t be alarmed if you’re a full size bigger or smaller than you thought, or even a full size different from brand to brand.)

Every set of feet is different, and shoe choice is highly individual. Anyone who tells you with broad strokes to avoid or buy any one brand across the board might mean well, but they’re probably wrong. (And if they’re right, it’s a coincidence.)

So how do you know if a shoe is for you? It’s simple—if it’s comfortable when you put it on, there’s a really good chance it’ll serve you well. Shoes shouldn’t require a break-in period to feel good. (This is in addition to other considerations you should address before you’re trying them on, like whether the tread pattern will be sufficient for the surface on which you plan to run.)

Not to get all hippy-dippy, but your body is a pretty good judge of this sort of thing—and the (albeit very limited) science seems to agree. 

They can absolutely contribute, to be sure, but it’s also tempting (and lazy) to point the finger to shoes alone when injuries happen. They’re part of an ecosystem that includes individual mechanics, stressors, your training, and other factors. 

Being in the wrong pair of shoes won’t help your odds of avoiding injury, but if you’re in the wrong pair, you won’t blow out your knee in the first few steps. You’ll get some warning signs before an injury, so make sure you heed them if they appear. 

Things like ramping up your mileage too quickly, or neglecting ancillary strength and mobility, probably play a bigger role in injuries than shoe choice alone. You’re not Indiana Jones trying to pick out the Holy Grail, so don’t stress too much. 

All it often means is that the shoe contains more physical material like midsole cushion, or more expensive material like carbon fiber, and therefore was more expensive to produce. That doesn’t mean the $200 shoe won’t work for you, but don’t rule out the $130 shoe on this basis alone.

I’ve already covered this on the brand front—that just because your favorite athlete wears Hoka or On doesn’t mean you should—but this applies to shoe type, too. A lot of pros train and race in shoes that are lighter-weight and lower-profile than many of us should be using. They tend to be lighter, more efficient, and in more dire need of shedding ounces. (It’s their job to go fast, after all.) If you try and wear road racing flats in a 100-mile trail race because your favorite pro did it, there’s a good chance you’ll regret it after mile 50. 

Of course, there are exceptions, but a lot of pros know very little about the shoes and brands they’re endorsing. So take those endorsements with a grain of salt. 

“I need support.” I’ve heard it a thousand times, and I was only working the floor for two years. “Support” can mean more cushion. It can mean more medial stability, designed to mitigate overpronation. For a handful of people, it means the feeling that the arch is hugging the bottom of their foot when they step into the shoe. The list goes on. 

Cushion can be good if it’s more comfortable for you – but an ultra-cushioned shoe won’t necessarily prevent injury at a higher rate than its more moderately-cushioned peers. 

Medial stability is something pronators might need, although there’s been a move away from overtly-prescriptive footwear in favor of “inherently stable” shoes that work for a broader variety of folks in the last decade or so. (A shop employee should be able to help you decide whether you want a stability shoe.) 

As for the arch, an insole that hugs the foot tightly might feel good at the outset, but it could be a one-way ticket to blister city. (Earlier I noted that comfort is king, but here’s one case where comfort now doesn’t necessarily translate to comfort later. Just don’t view arch-hugging fit as a dealbreaker.) 

So, are you sure you need “more support,” whatever that means to you? Try some shoes on and find out! 

I know, I know. They ruined your favorite shoe. Or even worse, they discontinued it. I certainly won’t try to convince you that the last model didn’t fit you just a little better, or feel a little more right. And this probably won’t ease the pain. But I can assure you that brands aren’t updating their shoes arbitrarily, or—as conspiratorially-minded YouTube reviewers occasionally insinuate—for marketing alone. 

When a new shoe hits the market, the brands get a deluge of feedback from customer reviews, media reviews, store staff, and reps in the field. It’s too wide, it’s too narrow, the upper rips after 100 miles—stuff they would’ve liked to catch in testing, but didn’t until their sample size was the entire marketplace. 

From the noise, some signals emerge, and they’ll chart a plan to address the most consistent pieces of feedback. It might be delayed by a model, because it’s usually a 12- to 18-month process to brief, build, and iterate a shoe before it launches. So the fifth version of a shoe often addresses the feedback they hear from the third version, for example.

That doesn’t mean you’ll like the new version as much as the old one. It would be ideal if everyone loved every update, but that’s not realistic, so the brands’ big bet is that more people will prefer the new version. That’s just business.

Does that mean they always get it right? (Stares at a pile of unused Hoka Clifton 2s in the corner.) Heck no. But they aren’t doing it just to mess with you. And let’s be real—sometimes your old favorite wasn’t quite as perfect as you remember it. 

Where are you now, guy who took that size 8 Brooks Dyad off the wall, squeezed your toes into it, and declared: “This doesn’t fit!” without remorse? Did you think that ruled out the Dyad entirely? Did you tell your friends that Brooks shoes are too narrow? Did you not think we had a size 12 in the back that you could try on? Did you wonder why there was only one shoe, and where the matching half was? I think about you often.

And no, we don’t mind checking for you. If getting the color you want means you’re more likely to run, we’re more than happy to help.

To that end, we know it can be a touch intimidating to make your first run specialty visit. A display wall brimming with technical-looking choices and a floor staffed by serious (nutritionally- and sleep-deprived)-looking runners. 

But, don’t be scared. Don’t worry about saying the wrong thing. Good shop staff meets you where you’re at, and wants to help get you on your way to enjoying a new pair of shoes. With any luck, you’ll turn into a lifelong runner and a lifelong customer. 

You see, the stores need you more than you need them. If any staff treats you otherwise—and I know it happens—go shop at their competitor across town. 

(08/05/2023) Views: 259 ⚡AMP
by Outside online

Kiwi woman crushes 48-hour treadmill world record

New Zealand’s Emma Timmis has broken the women’s 48-hour treadmill world record after running 340.36 kilometres at a fitness club in Christchurch over the weekend.

With her run, an effort averaging more than seven kilometres an hour, Timmis put a healthy distance between herself and Swedish runner Kristina Paltén, who has held the record since 2014, running 322.93 kilometres.“Well, what a weekend that was!!!! It was everything I expected and more,” Timmis wrote in an Instagram post, in which she shared her motivation for tackling this treadmill world record. “One (reason) was to push my mental strength, and it definitely did!!! I went to some pretty dark places throughout the run, felt it with all my heart and managed to pull myself out of it each time.”

Making Timmis’s feat all the more remarkable was her comment that the 48-hour run was a “practice run” for a much larger challenge she plans on attempting later this year, although she’s keeping details of that “big goal” under wraps for now.Timmis added she “felt 100% loved and cared for every minute of the run. To be able to complete something this huge you have to put full trust in people around you. Each and every person in the event showed me that the trust given was deserved.”

Once ratified, this will be the third Guinness World Record held by Timmis, who is originally from Derby, England, but now lives in the town of Reefton, New Zealand.

In January 2022, she broke the record for the fastest crossing of New Zealand on foot by a female, completing the trek from the northern town of Cape Reinga to the southern town of Bluff in 20 days, 17 hours, 15 minutes and 57 seconds.“Averaging over 100K every day, this run had many, many challenges—it was no walk (run!) in the park,” Timmis said of that run on her website. “I battled extreme heat, heavy, fast traffic, several injuries, one of my support crew being involved in a car accident, and so much more. It takes incredible grit, resilience and determination to achieve something like this.”

In 2017, she set the record for the longest journey by elliptical cycle in a single country, travelling 7,753 km from Denham, Western Australia to Cape Byron in 74 days.

Three years earlier, Timmis completed an 89-day run from the Atlantic Ocean at Henties Bay, Namibia, to the Indian Ocean at Pemba in Mozambique, covering 3,974 km. Her run across southern Africa, which she called “the toughest thing I have done in my life,” was the inspiration for a children’s book, The Girl Who Ran Across Africa, which she published in 2020.

(07/29/2023) Views: 242 ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine

British man runs 200 marathons in 200 days with his dogs

A 40-year-old British man and his two dogs have hit a marathon milestone, completing their 200th 42.2-km run in 200 days. Aaron Robinson of London, along with his border collies—one-year-old Inca and two-year-old River—hit their 200th consecutive day of running the marathon distance on Thursday.

The streak has already more than doubled the men’s official world record for the most consecutive days running the marathon distance—82, set by India’s Devdutt Sharma in January. But Robinson told BBC News he doesn’t plan to stop as long as his dogs remain eager to go on their extended mornining walks, which Robinson says typically last five hours. “I just want to run and push myself and do as many as we can,” he said. If the dogs want to run in the morning, then we’ll run.”

Robinson said he has stayed injury free so far during the streak, and that he’s consistently resisted the temptation to sleep in—he and the dogs get up at 3 a.m. to fit in the run before Robinson goes to work—but that he came very close to giving up on Day 171. “I did five miles and I thought, ‘I’ve had enough of this, I can’t do this any more,'” he told BBC News, adding that he then stopped and posted on Strava that his record attempt was over. “Then my dogs had a very stern word with me—words I couldn’t possibly repeat … and said, ‘Get back out there and finish this.’ So that’s what we did and now we’re still going. So it’s thanks to my dogs that we’re still doing this.”

Border collies are known to be exceptional runners that can easily outpace their owners. The number of kilometres a dog can run can vary depending on the dog’s breed, health, attention span and training.

Earlier in his streak, Robinson told the Daily Mail that he faced a lot of heat online for putting this mileage on his dogs, but he defended himself: “Since border collies are working dogs, if they weren’t pets they would be used to working on a farm all day, so they’re very used to running and working hard, and actually the cruel thing is just to keep them inside,” said Robinson. “They love it.”

Robinson is using the streak to raise funds for the charity he works for, Hope for Justice, which fights against modern-day slavery and human trafficking

(07/08/2023) Views: 265 ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine

There’s a Six-Day Ultramarathon Happening Inside a Speed Skating Rink

Runners have been logging miles around a 443-meter running track all week. Last year’s winner ran 437 miles. 

While summer racing heats up, some ultra athletes in Milwaukee are keeping on their layers as they race ’round the clock at the Six Days in the Dome ultramarathon. Held inside the Pettit National Ice Center, which houses two full-sized hockey rinks and a speed skating track nestled inside the 443-meter running track, the facility’s temperature is kept at a steady 55 degrees year-round.

That’s the point in this competition, which originated in 2014 at the Alaska Dome in Anchorage—where Joe Fejes broke the then American record for six days by running 580 miles. Eventually, the race relocated to Milwaukee for its second running in 2019. Whereas many ultra competitions feature rough terrain, brutal conditions, and require an “expect anything” mindset, the original race director, Steve Durbin, wanted to create an ultra race in a fully-controlled environment.

But just because the environment is carefully calibrated for racing success doesn’t mean the great distances require any less mettle than ultras that are contested in rugged outdoor settings. Ultramarathon running requires a great deal of planning—runners schedule their sleep, kit changes, showers, and fueling, and must stay on top of the unavoidable blisters, chafing, and other small aches and pains that can end their race if not tended to. 

“The thing about ultra-running, the finish is not a guarantee,” race co-director Mike Melton told “That’s part of the challenge. How deep into yourself will you go? How deep into the pain cave can you handle? How can you manage the sleep deprivation, the miles you want to do? Everyone’s motivation is something different, something unique.”

As Saturday night looms, athletes are nearing the end of the nearly weeklong competition, which began on June 18. The stakes are high, as those who place in the top six will secure their place on the U.S. 24-Hour National Team. As of Wednesday afternoon, Romania’s Nicolae Buceanu and Sandra Villines-Burruss from Florida were in the lead, at 268.268 and 243.243 miles, respectively.

Canadian Viktoria Brown took the win last year with a total of 457.4135 miles, setting two Canadian records and one world record in the process, but she didn’t return to defend her title, so the multi-day competition is anyone’s game at this point.

In addition to the six-day competition, there are 12, 24, 48, and 72-hour categories, and several attempts at records have been pursued. New Delhi’s Meenal Kotak was cheered on Wednesday afternoon as she completed her 72-hour attempt, recording just over 235 miles and setting a women’s record for India.

(06/25/2023) Views: 282 ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World

Olympic gold medalist and top coach Harvey Glance dies at age 66

Former American sprinter and international coach Harvey Glance, who helped to propel Grenada's Kirani James to world and Olympic glory, has died at the age of 66 after suffering a cardiac arrest.

Tributes are being paid to the three-time Olympian and Olympic gold medalist following his death on Monday (June 12).

Glance underlined his talents at the Auburn University in the United States where he achieved four sprint National Collegiate Athletics Association titles.

He won the 100 meters gold at the US Olympic Trials in Eugene to secure his place on the team for the Montreal 1976 Olympics.

After finishing fourth in the 100m final, Glance teamed up with Johnny Jones, Millard Hampton and Steve Riddick to win the men’s 4x100m title.

Glance claimed 100m silver and 4x100m gold at San Juan 1979 Pan American Games.

He won his first world gold in 1987 when he linked up with Lee McRae, Lee McNeill and Carl Lewis to be crowned 4x100m champions before securing another Pan American Games 4x100m title in Indianapolis that same year.

His coaching career began at Auburn University, first as assistant coach before stepping up to become head coach.

In 1997, Glance became head coach at the University of Alabama where he worked with several top athletics including James.

He was notably the men's assistant coach for sprints and hurdles at the Beijing 2008 Olympics and head men's coach at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin.

After retiring from the University of Alabama, Glance continued to coach James, who claimed the world 400m crown in 2011, the Olympic 400m title at London 2012 and achieved further global medals in the one-lap event between 2015 and 2022.

Grenada’s Minister for Youth, Sports and Culture Ron Redhead was among those to pay tribute to Glance.

"I extend heartfelt condolences to the family, colleagues to the family, colleagues and friends of Mr Harvey Glance, one of our top-ranked athletic coaches, whose untimely passing has truly shocked the entire sporting fraternity," said Redhead.

"Mr Glance displayed the highest level of sportsmanship in coaching athletic greats such as our Olympic champion Kirani James and many other athletes across the globe.

"On behalf of the Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports, and Culture, I offer deepest sympathy to all his loved ones, and I pray that the almighty comforts you in this time of grief and immeasurable loss."

Alabama track and field head coach Dan Waters said Glance had "left a lasting mark" on university's athletics programme and described him as a "true legend in the sport".

"He impacted so many people in the track world, and his spirit will always live with us," added Waters.

"He was such a charismatic person and always left a positive impact on everyone he encountered over the years."

(06/15/2023) Views: 521 ⚡AMP
by Geoff Berkeley

At 69, Bobby Kersee is track's 'mad scientist' and as influential as ever

Four years ago, the man associated with speed more than any track and field coach in the world felt himself slowing down, and he did not know why.

Since he was born in Panama in 1954 to a Panamanian mother and U.S. Navy father, Bobby Kersee has always been restless, a self-described wanderer with energy that matched his athletes. But in 2019, feeling unusually sapped, he called his doctor in St. Louis. Blood tests produced results dangerously far beyond the norm. Pancreatitis kept him stuck in a hospital for four weeks.

Once discharged, Kersee gave up red meat and alcohol.

What he would not quit was track.

Forty years after coaching his first world champion Kersee, now 69, paced relentlessly for four hours on Thursday while watching his training group at West Los Angeles College.

“Everyone kind of says the same thing: You know, he's different in terms of he's basically a mad scientist,” said Athing Mu, the 20-year-old reigning Olympic and world champion at 800 meters who switched to Kersee’s coaching in September to expand her range. “He knows what he's doing.”

Under cloudy skies at the track high above Culver City, nine athletes in his training group, dubbed Formula Kersee, ran tailored workouts and waited for his every word, from the barked “let’s go!” to commands about mechanics he hollered to athletes mid-run. He lifted hurdles, held court with reporters and stopped only to film block starts with his iPhone.

At an age when he might have become anachronistic, Kersee and his methods still represent sprinting’s gold standard, associates and athletes say. Invigorated by a training group that describes itself as a family and could be dominant into the next decade behind headliners Mu and 23-year-old 400-meter hurdles world champion and world record-holder Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone, Kersee said his career has no discernible finish line.

His coaching, primarily of sprinters and hurdlers, has brought his athletes at least one gold medal in 10 consecutive Summer Olympics, a litany of world championships and world records and, for Kersee, veneration, criticism and influence.

As the first professional meet held at UCLA’s Drake Stadium since 1990, and a key early tentpole in USA Track & Field’s attempted plan to grow its U.S. fanbase before the 2028 L.A. Olympics, this weekend’s Los Angeles Grand Prix is both a callback to a time when track’s popularity soared and, its organizers hope, a harbinger such times can return.

Outside of Sebastian Coe, the 1984 Olympic gold medalist in the 1,500 who has since ascended to lead track’s global governing body, World Athletics, few figures have spanned both eras as prominently as Kersee.

Athletes and associates credit his ability to turn seemingly outlandish goals and times into tangible results to an ability to know what they need. Malachi Davis, who has overseen McLaughlin-Levrone’s training since she turned professional, likened Kersee to a conductor, his whistle and yellow stopwatch replacing a baton to direct “a beautiful dance of confidence and knowledge.”

Many coaches can teach how to run fast and build a race plan, McLaughlin-Levrone said, but Kersee understands “how to break it down piece by piece.”

Robert Forster, a Santa Monica-based physical therapist who has worked with Kersee’s athletes since 1983, said Kersee understands the “work-rest ratio” better than any coach, and does not overtrain where other coaches might double down on mileage. Forster has seen Kersee send an athlete home to rest just from the look on their face, and likes to tell a story about the 2016 Olympics, that Kersee later confirmed. Allyson Felix, the Los Angeles native who under Kersee became the most decorated athlete in track’s history, was nursing a severely sprained ankle and the physical therapist told Kersee it needed to be iced 20 minutes every hour. Forster did not expect, however, that Kersee would stay up the entire next night icing the ankle as Felix slept.

Kersee was an early adopter of technology, upgrading his video cameras at a Westwood electronics store years before he could film block starts of sprinters Jenna Prandini and Morolake Akinosun on his iPhone and zip the footage to an iPad on the infield of the West L.A. track.

Yet the Kersee mystique has endured as much because of his grasp on psychology as biomechanics — feeling for when to push and when to pull back.

Brandon Miller, a top 800-meter hopeful who began working with Kersee in September, has heard other athletes describe Kersee as “crazy.” He disputes that characterization, but noted that Kersee knows to stoke his competitiveness entering a workout’s final repetition with four words: “OK, what you got?”

“I've never met any coach like him,” Mu said. “He's not going to make you do anything that's for his sake. You know, it's gonna be all for you and the benefit of you and your career. And so, I come in here, I knew that he was very intentional, and that's something I needed, especially if I want my career to be long.”

Raised by a grandmother as an “A-train baby” bouncing between the Bronx and Queens, Kersee lost his mother, Daphne, when he was 14, before moving to San Pedro for high school.

He put himself through college at Long Beach State by working at a youth correctional facility in Whittier, where Kersee watched wards from midnight until 8 a.m. After graduating, he had two jobs: Track coach at Cal State Northridge, and counselor at another youth facility in Chino. He took over UCLA’s track and field program in 1980 and that provided enough money to be comfortable. Coaching Greg Foster to his first world championship in 1983, and watching his athletes win six golds and four silvers at the Los Angeles Olympics one year later, provided the final confidence he could sustain coaching as a career.

But he did not leave behind the edge required to do his former jobs.

“I used to work in the prisons, so you can’t walk into the prisons being Mother Teresa,” he said. “And then I did find myself carrying a little bit too much of that to the track. I had to calm myself down and say, 'Wait a minute, you’re not working with a warden.'”

Once, an elderly woman approached Kersee in an airport in Indiana and told him she did not like what she had seen from Kersee or the other famed coach with the B.K. initials: Bobby Knight. He did not belittle his athletes, he said, but he also didn’t leave room for interpretation about who ran the workout. The edge created a mystique that “he's crazy,” Miller said. “But he's not. I feel like everybody has preconceptions of everybody but you won't really know unless you're there and you're with them every day.”

Just as when he built his vaunted World Class Athletic Club in the 1980s, he will only train those he can coach hard and have chemistry. His athletes typically train Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. He treats Monday Zoom calls with the group as though he is re-interviewing for the job. It’s more convenient than years before, he said, when he recalled gathering before dawn in Europe to address their complaints with him.

“I think we have that understanding that I’m going to listen and respect them,” he said. “But my job is to get the job done for them individually and collectively but you hired me. And if you hired me, let me do my job.”

That job, essentially, can be reduced to one thing: Imparting confidence in his plan. And no one does it like Kersee, said Davis, who sprinted professionally before aiding McLaughlin-Levrone.

“He's a competition coach, so the time it counts, you feel confident,” Davis said. “And your head coach is basically your general and then competition is basically war. And yes, you prepare for war but that final voice, that presence, that action, that essence, that’s Bobby. And he earned that by what he’s accomplished throughout his career.”

Kersee allows that age has softened him. As McLaughlin-Levrone recalled last August, Kersee earned her trust when he saw her overwhelmed with emotion at a 2020 practice and handed her a paper showing a wheel of emotions, saying he had trouble expressing himself, too.

Though accustomed to criticism of himself for years — he joked he would be buried in a track, and "probably as much as people hate me, they’ll put me in lane one, because I’ll be stepped on the most" — he worries about how the inundation of social media affects athletes’ mental health. He has traveled to support the singing ambitions of Formula Kersee sprinter Chloe Abbott. This spring, a smiling Kersee was featured on TikTok when his athletes remade the opening credits of the 1990s sitcom “Family Matters.”

Four decades into his career, he has “a whole lot of knowledge and a whole lot of patience,” he said. “But still, don’t let grandpa get out of the chair.”

Ato Boldon was never coached by Kersee during his sprinting career but has known him for 31 years, since they overlapped at UCLA, and has seen a “golden-hearted” side to the coach. He also described Kersee’s coaching equivalent as either Knight or San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich.

“Everybody under him wins,” said Boldon. “But it’s not necessarily a democracy.

“... As time has gone on, people are like, ‘Wow he’s so this or he’s so that, he’s so abrasive.’ Listen, do you want results, or do you not want results?”

No one argues that Kersee gets results. The most common criticism is how rarely his athletes compete en route to smashing records and claiming gold.

Among athletes, meet directors, agents and track officials who see a need for the sport’s biggest stars and strong competition to draw in casual fans, it has become a question of how to unite what is best for the top athletes’ futures with what is best for the sport’s growth. The tensions surrounding the discussion are not dissimilar from the way “load management” in the NBA has sparked concerns whether it will turn off fans from the regular season.

Because many top athletes train under Kersee, he has become a focal point. There is also his history of pulling athletes late before a meet, sometimes because of injury, and sometimes as a power play, as in 1994, when a dispute over pay led him to withdraw Gail Devers from a high-profile Los Angeles indoor meet.

The topic reignited last week when he withdrew Mu and McLaughlin-Levrone from the Grand Prix, a meet for which he serves as co-promoter. It came soon after telling Track & Field News in February that even he would like to see McLaughlin-Levrone run more often, and told The Times in March that there was no reason meets in the U.S. couldn’t draw thousands if the sport’s leaders banded together to promote strong competitions.

Asked about the balance of what is best for his athletes, or the sport, Kersee this week called it a byproduct of limited sponsorship money within the sport, which incentivizes performances at the biggest meets, which often require qualification earlier in the season. Only a handful of stars make big money and can afford to be choosy. He contrasted it with the NFL and NBA, where athletes can still earn a paycheck while resting.

“I think it’s a little tougher on our athletes to try to balance out wanting to run for the public and run for our sport and also knowing if I run too much or make one little mistake it might cost me making a team,” Kersee said. “That if I go out there and run five or six races I’m going to get to the point of, 'OK why is he running me so much and she gets injured over there, did she really need to run?'”

McLaughlin-Levrone released a statement after being pulled from the Grand Prix field that she “regrettably” would not be competing, citing her coach’s choice. It also said she trusted his judgment, which the world record-holder echoed again Thursday.

“He has a plan and he is going to work it out to perfection,” said Boldon, who will call Saturday’s meet as part of NBC’s broadcast team. “It might not benefit USATF, it might not benefit the fans, but you tell me, what moment stood out most from last summer's world championships?”

It was McLaughlin-Levrone’s stunning 50.68 time to win the 400-meter world title and lower her own world record. The run cut through the noise to make SportsCenter. It also left McLaughlin-Levrone sore for days, she said. Seeing her parents in the stands, for the first time after becoming the first woman to run under 51 seconds, she told them “that hurt, so bad.”

“We've been very calculated in when we run and I think it's yielded us great results,” McLaughlin-Levrone said. “Bobby always uses analogies and he's like, 'You don't take the Ferrari out every day for a drive. You take it out when it needs to come out and it does its things and you put it back in the garage.' So, your body can only be pushed to a certain level so much in your career.

“You only have so many races in your legs and I think we're really strategic about which ones we choose to run. Obviously I know the sport wants to see a little bit more and I think we're trying to figure out how to do that in a safe way that we can still accomplish our goals and give them something to look forward to.”

For McLaughlin-Levrone and Mu, the question is not whether they will make this summer’s world championships in Hungary, or next summer’s Paris Olympics, but which events — possibly plural — they will run.

When Kersee evaluates whether to bring an athlete into his coaching, he also looks for their potential range. He thought he lost his job coaching Felix when he told the 200-meter star during his interview that he would have her run the 400.

Mu and McLaughlin-Levrone’s youth and potential range is one of the sport’s most speculative discussions; news about their upcoming races create instant headlines. The duo are “two of maybe the most talented athletes he’s ever had,” Boldon said.

Their world championships last summer gave McLaughlin-Levrone an automatic berth into the upcoming world 400-hurdle field, and Mu an entry into the 800. With that secured, Kersee has focused on running McLaughlin-Levrone in the open 400 meters, where Marita Koch’s world record of 47.60 has been effectively unapproachable for 38 years — only four women have run even faster than 49 seconds in the past 20 years. She once thought 47.60 was “impossible.” Not anymore.

“It's a very daunting number to look at, I'll tell you that,” McLaughlin-Levrone said. “But at the end of the day, I think if we can take the 400 hurdles to 50.6, I think 47.6 isn't too far off.”

In addition to her 800-meter world title, Mu once owned the collegiate 400-meter record and ran on the U.S. 4x400-meter relay team that won Olympic gold in Tokyo.

“I'm still super young and I have not touched the surface of a lot of things yet,” Mu said. “But I do have visions, which is like really big goals of competing in obviously the Olympics again, and then worlds and hopefully, doubling up.”

Would that mean the 800 and 400, or the 800 and 1,500?

“Hopefully both,” she said. “I mean, I would love to have a chance to do 4/8 and then go ahead and do the 8/15 at some point.”

Maybe this explains why Kersee moved so quickly across the track during practice. There was no sign he had once slowed down.

“I’m glad,” he said, “I have that Energizer Bunny still in me.”

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

(06/04/2023) Views: 429 ⚡AMP

10 Reasons to Start Following Track and Field This Year

The 2023 season should be full of record-breaking performances from the sport’s biggest stars. Here are the most important things to know. 

Track is back, and if the results from the indoor season and early outdoor meets are any indication, it should be another year of eye-popping results around 400-meter ovals this summer.

Why is track and field relevant to the average recreational runner?

Perhaps you’re running some of the same distances in your training and racing. Or maybe you have a connection to some of the events from your youth, days in gym class or on the playground. From a human performance perspective, no sport showcases the all-out speed, red-line endurance, max power, dynamic agility, and meticulous bodily control as track and field does.

Here’s a primer on the most awe-inspiring athletes and events of this summer’s track season. Because, come on: with a sport that includes events as multifaceted as the pole vault, as primal as the shot put, and as wild as the 3,000-meter steeplechase—a 1.8-mile race with 28 fixed barriers to hurdle and seven water pits to jump—what’s not to like?

One of the many things that makes track and field so special is that it’s one of the most diverse sports on the planet, both culturally and athletically.

Last summer, athletes from a record 29 different countries earned medals in the 25 different running, jumping, and throwing events at the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon.

At the highest level, there are athletes of all shapes and sizes from every culture and socioeconomic background. While there certainly are racial and cultural stereotypes that need dissolving and vast inequality among competing countries, from a performance point of view the sport is largely meritocratic, based on the time or distance achieved in a given competition.

Watching American Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone masterfully win the 400-meter hurdles in a world-record time last summer in front of a deafening crowd at Hayward Field in Eugene was a riveting experience. It was vastly different than watching Grenada’s Anderson Peters win the javelin world title with a career-best throw of 90.54 meters on his final attempt to beat India’s Neeraj Chopra, but both had edge-of-your-seat excitement, athletic excellence, and cultural significance.

One of the knocks against track and field in recent years is that it hasn’t done enough to attract casual fans the way professional football, basketball, hockey, and soccer have. Following the On Track Fest, the USATF Los Angeles Grand Prix on May 26-27 in Los Angeles is trying to up the ante by combining a mix of elite-level competition, an interactive fan festival, and top-tier musical performances.

Billed as the one of the deepest track meets ever held on U.S. soil, it will feature a star-studded 400-meter face-off featuring Americans Michael Norman, the reigning world champion, and Kirani James, a three-time Olympic medalist from Grenada, and a women’s 100-meter hurdles clash with world champion Tobi Amusan of Nigeria, Olympic silver medalist Keni Harrison of the U.S., and Olympic gold medalist Jasmine Camacho-Quinn of Puerto Rico.

Saturday’s action will be broadcast live on NBC Sports from 4:30 P.M. to 6 P.M. ET and be followed by a concert event called the Legends Jam, which will include appearances from some legendary athletes and be headlined by Grammy-winning singer Judith Hill.

American sprint sensation Sha’Carri Richardson will be racing the 100-meter dash at the USATF Los Angeles Grand Prix. You probably remember her for her perceived failures more than the astounding times she’s actually achieved on the track.

Two years ago, the sprinter from Dallas blew away the field in the 100-meter dash at the U.S. Olympic Trials with a 10.86 effort, but then she was famously suspended after testing positive for cannabis (which is on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s list of banned substances) and missed the Tokyo Olympics as a result. (She admitted using the drug to cope with the pressure of qualifying for the Olympics while also mourning the recent death of her biological mother.)

Then last year, despite strong early season performances, Richardson failed to make the finals of the 100-meter or 200-meter at the U.S. championships, so she missed out on running in the first world championships held on American soil.

This year, the 23-year-old sprinter appears to be locked in and better than ever, posting a world-leading 10.76 100-meter time on May 5 in Doha (she also ran an eye-popping 10.57 with an over-the-limit tailwind on April 9 in Florida) and posted the second-fastest time in the 200-meter (22.07) on May 13 at a meet in Kenya.

If she keeps it all together, expect Richardson to finally contend with elite Jamaican sprinters Shericka Jackson and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce in the 100 and 4×100-meter relay in August at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

A few years ago, American sprinter Fred Kerley was on his way to becoming one of the world’s best 400-meter runners. But he wanted more than that. What he really had his heart set on was becoming the world’s fastest man, a moniker that goes with the most dominant sprinter in the 100-meter dash.

Ignoring doubters, Kerley retooled his training and earned the silver medal in the 100-meter at the Tokyo Olympics (.04 seconds behind Italy’s Marcell Jacobs) and then continued his ascent last year by winning the U.S. championships (in 9.76, the sixth-fastest time in history) and world championships (9.86).

The 28-year-old from San Antonio, Texas, also became one of just two other runners (along with American Michael Norman and South African Wayde van Niekerk) to ever run sub-10 seconds in the 100-meter, sub-20 seconds in the 200-meter, and sub-44 seconds in the 400-meter. So far this year, Kerley has two of the four fastest 100-meter times of the season, including a speedy 9.88 on May 21 in Japan.

After trading barbs on social media this spring, Kerley and Jacobs are expected to face off in an epic 100-meter showdown on May 28 at a Diamond League meet in Rabat, Morocco, marking the first time the Olympic gold medalist and the world champion in the men’s 100m face off since the 2012 Olympic final, when Jamaican Usain Bolt beat countryman Yohan Blake. American Trayvon Bromell, the silver medalist at last year’s world championships, is also in the field, so it should be an extraordinary tilt.

If you’re a gambler, bet on Kerley to win that one and eventually get close to Bolt’s 9.58 world record. (To do so, he’ll be running faster than 26 miles per hour!) But don’t count out Kenya’s Ferdinand Omanyala, the early world leader (9.84), or fellow American sub-9.9 guys Bromell, Norman, Christian Coleman, and Noah Lyles at the 2023 World Athletics Championships on August 20, in Budapest. Depending on which three Americans join Kerley (who has an automatic qualifier) at the world championships, it’s actually quite likely the U.S. could sweep the top four spots in the 100 in Budapest.

If you’ve ever wanted to see the world’s top track and field stars competing live in the U.S., this is the year to do it. The May 26-27 USATF Los Angeles Grand Prix meet and June 3-4 Portland Track Festival are part of what might be the mosst compelling outdoor track season ever held on U.S. soil.

If you’re looking for an athlete to marvel at, start with Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone, the gold medalist in the 400-meter hurdles at the Olympics in 2021 and World Athletics Championships last summer. She’s been one of the sport’s rising stars since she was a teenager and yet she’s only 23. Her trajectory is still rising—especially since she moved to Los Angeles to train under coach Bob Kersee. Driven by her strong faith, McLaughlin-Levrone is the personification of hard work, grace and competitiveness.

This year she’ll temporarily step away from her primary event to show off her pure sprinting prowess when she opens her season in a “flat” 400-meter race at the Diamond League meet in Paris on June 9. Her personal best in the 400-meter is 50.07 seconds, set when she was a freshman at the University of Kentucky, but she clocked a speedy 50.68 while running over hurdles, en route to a world-record setting win at last summer’s world championships.

Her best 400-meter split as part of a 4×400-meter relay is 47.91, so it’s within reason to think she could be one of several runners to challenge the long-standing world record of 47.60 set in 1985 by East German Marita Koch. Because McLaughlin-Levrone has an automatic qualifier to the world championships in the 400-meter hurdles, she will likely run the open 400-meter at the U.S. championships and decide after the meet which one she’ll focus on.

American 800-meter ace Athing Mu has looked unbeatable for the past several years as she won Olympic gold in the event at the Tokyo Olympics and last year’s world championships. In fact, she has been unbeatable, having won 13 straight races since she dropped out of a mile race at the Millrose Games in January 2022. Going back to 2020 (when she was a senior in high school) and 2021 (during her one season at Texas A&M), she’s finished first in 51 of her past 53 races (relays included), with her only loss being a narrow runner-up finish to Kaelin Roberts in the 400-meter at the 2021 NCAA indoor championships.

Mu, who is also coached by Kersee and trains with McLaughlin-Levrone, seems to be the most likely athlete to challenge the women’s 800-meter world record of 1:53.28, set in 1983 by the Czech Republic’s Jarmila Kratochvílová. It’s the longest standing record in track and field, and only two runners have come within a second of it in the past 15 years. Her personal best of 1:55.04 is an American record and the eighth-fastest time in history. She’s still only 20 years old, so she has many years to keep improving and other historic opportunities ahead of her.

Mu said earlier this year she’d like to try a 400-800-meter double at an Olympics or world championships if the schedule permits—it’s only been done once successfully by Cuba’s Alberto Juantorena at the 1976 Games—but her coach has said she might attempt a 800-1,500-meter double next year at the Paris Olympics.

This year, Mu will run the 1,500 meters at the USATF Championships in July, but will likely defend her 800-meter title at the world championships in Budapest, as well as potentially running on the U.S. women’s 4×400-meter relay and the mixed-gender 4×400-meter relay (with McLaughlin-Levrone) for an opportunity to win three gold medals in a single championships.

With apologies to quarterback extraordinaire Patrick Mahomes, gymnastics all-arounder Simone Biles, and skiing superstar Mikela Shiffrin, pole vaulter Armand Duplantis just might be the most dynamically talented athlete in the world. That’s because he’s the world’s most dominant athlete (and has set six world records) in arguably the most demanding discipline, not only in track and field but quite possibly in any sport. No sport discipline involves such a dynamic combination of speed, power, precision and agility, and Duplantis, who is only 23, is already the greatest of all-time.

Prove me wrong or watch him set his latest world record (6.22 meters or 20 feet, 5 inches) at an indoor meet on February 25 in Clermont-Ferrand, France. That’s the equivalent of vaulting onto the roof of a two-story building, and in his case, often with room to spare.

Duplantis, who grew up in Lafayette, Louisiana, to athletic parents with Swedish and Finnish heritage, represents Sweden in international competitions. He started pole vaulting at age three, set his first of 11 age-group world-best marks at age seven, and won an NCAA title in 2019 as a freshman competing for LSU before turning pro.

All indications are that North Carolina State junior Katelyn Tuohy could become the next American running star. All she has done since she was young is win races and break records.

After winning the NCAA outdoor 5,000-meter a year ago, she won the NCAA cross country title in November. During the indoor track season this past winter, she set a new collegiate mile record (4:24.26) and won both the 3,000-meter and 5,000-meter title at the NCAA indoor championships in March. On May 7, the 21-year-old from Thiells, New York, broke the NCAA outdoor 5,000-meter record by 17 seconds, clocking 15:03.12 at the Sound Running On Track Fest.

Tuohy will be running both the 1,500-meter and 5,000-meter at the NCAA East Regional May 24-27 in Jacksonville, Florida, with the hopes of eventually advancing to the finals of both events at the June 7-10 NCAA Division I championship meet in Austin, Texas.

University of Arkansas junior Britton Wilson is a top collegiate star who is ready for prime time at the pro level. She won the 400-meter in a world-leading and collegiate record time of 49.13 in mid-May at the SEC Championships, where she also won the 400-meter hurdles (53.23) in a world-leading time. The 22-year-old from Richmond, Virginia, was the runner-up in the 400-meter hurdles at last year’s U.S. championships and fifth in the world championships, and could contend for a spot on Team USA in either event at the July 6-9 U.S. championships.

Kerley and Lyles are expected to square off in a 200-meter race at the USATF New York Grand Prix meet on June 24 at Icahn Stadium on Randall’s Island in New York City. There are also two high-level Puma American Track League meets in Tennessee—the Music City Track Carnival June 2 in Nashville and the Ed Murphey Classic August 4-5 in Memphis—and two Under Armour Sunset Tour meets organized by Sound Running on July 22 in Los Angeles and July 29 in Baltimore.

The best U.S. meet of the year, though, will be the USATF Outdoor Championships held July 6-9 in Eugene, Oregon, where American athletes will be vying for top-three finishes to earn a chance to compete for Team USA at the 2023 World Athletics Championships August 19-27 in Budapest.

The U.S. season will culminate with the September 16-17 Pre Classic in Eugene, Oregon, a two two-day meet that will double as the finals of the international Diamond League circuit and should include many of the top athletes who will be representing their countries in next summer’s Paris Olympics. (And if you want to see the country’s top high school athletes run unfathomable times for teenagers, check out the Brooks PR Invitational on June 14 in Seattle, Washington.)

At the June 2 Diamond League meet in Rome, Italy, the men’s field in the 5,000-meter run will have what might be the fastest field ever assembled, with 13 runners who have personal best times of 12:59 or faster.

The field will be headlined by Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda, who lowered the world record to 12:35.36 in Monaco three years ago. (That’s a pace of 4:03 per mile!). But it will also include Kenya’s Jacob Krop (12:45.71) and Nicholas Kipkorir (12:46.33), Ethiopia’s Yomif Kejelcha (12:46.79), American Grant Fisher (12:46.79), Canadian Mohammed Ahmed (12:47.20), and Guatemalan-American Luis Grijalva (13:02.94), among others. With a big prize purse at stake and pacesetters ramping up the speed from the start, it should be a race for the ages.

(05/28/2023) Views: 320 ⚡AMP
by Outside Online

Kenyan’s Sabastian Sawe and Ethiopia’s Tsehay Gemechu were the winners in Bengaluru

Bengaluru, 21 May 2023: In what will go down as a classic in Indian road running history, Sabastian Sawe (Kenya) took the men’s title and Ethiopia’s Tsehay Gemechu the women’s crown in the Elite category of the landmark 15th edition of the Tata Consultancy Services World 10K Bengaluru on Sunday.

Among the Indian elite, Murli Gavit, making only his second appearance at the iconic race, dashed to a sensational finish to bag the Indian men’s title while debutant Tamshi Singh won the women’s category.

Sawe, who clocked the world’s fifth fastest 10K time in Germany last month, ran a superbly-paced race to win in a close contest and Gemechu was equally impressive in the way she kicked on at the end in the prestigious USD 210,000 World Athletics Gold Label Road Race. The winners took home an equal prize cheque of USD 26,000 each in what is possibly one of the greatest road races in Asia. Sawe won in a time of 27:58.24 and Gemechu in 31:38.

It was an Ethiopian 1-2-3 in the women’s race with Fotyen Tesafe finishing four seconds behind Gemechu and the experienced Dera Dida only seven seconds shy of the winner.

It came down to the final kilometre after the trio grippingly ran almost similar times through 2.5 km, 5 km and 7.5 km splits and it was a strong finish by Gemechu that saw this year’s Tokyo Marathon runner-up take the crown.

In her previous visit to Bengaluru in 2019 Gemechu had finished sixth. “I was determined to get this victory. In 2019, I had made one mistake, this time I had the experience so this was an easier race. I think my track experience came in handy today,” she told reporters after her sensational win.

Three Kenyans finished in the top four in the men’s race that saw last year’s winner and course record holder Nicholas Kipkoekir come fourth, as his countryman Sawe won in spectacular style after kicking on at the finish.

Sawe won milliseconds ahead of Rodrigue Kwizera (Burundi) after the latter was ahead moments earlier in what was a gripping race. “It’s my first time here. I was feeling confident coming into the run because I’m coming off a victory in Germany. The last two kilometres was really tough. I told myself I have to push really hard, even the last 500m was very challenging,” he said.

In the race for the Indian elite athletes, India's most promising distance runner  Murli ensured a brilliant finish clocking 29:58.03 with Harmanjot Singh giving a close contest for the top spot. He finished with a time of 29:59.10 and Uttam Chand finished third with a time of 29:59.24.  

The Indian men’s race followed a similar template as the international one with the athletes running together as a pack from the get-go. Initially, it was Uttam Chand who led the charge, with Gaurav hot on his heels.   

While Uttam was being chased by Gaurav for most of the race, it was Harmanjot Singh and Murli Gavit who powered through the pack in the latter stages of the contest. The rankings changed significantly in the final couple of kilometres as the likes of Harmanjot and Murli went through the gears and took the contest down to the wire.  

It was Murli who had just the right amount of fuel in the tank to power through the home stretch as he stormed into the lead and finished ahead of Harmanjot and Uttam.  “This was my second race here. I last took part in TCS World 10K in 2015. The weather didn’t matter much to me, I have been training well. Although this wasn’t my personal best, I am happy with the big win,” stated an elated Murli.

Among the Indian women, it wasn’t as much of a tight contest, as the 19-year-old Tamshi Singh produced a personal best performance in only her first appearance here. She timed 34:12 while Poonam Sonune was second with a time of 34:29, and Seema finished third with the clock reading 34:30. 

Both Murli and Tamshi walked away with a grand cash purse of INR 2,75,000 each.

The start of the women’s race, however, was a different story. It was Neetu Kumari and Bharti Nain who led the pack for the first 12 minutes, with Tamshi staying on their shoulders. But soon after, it was Tamshi who broke away just after the mid-way stage, and continued to build on.

Soon enough, the youngster had a lead of about 50 metres. With no one coming close to challenging her, Tamshi continued in her merry ways finishing off the contest in style. “It feels great to win in my debut race here. I’ve never ran the 10K before. The prize money here will definitely help me in my career to buy shoes and other gear. Next, I’m going to prepare for All India University meet, that is my next target,” stated Tamshi.

The 15th edition held in India’s running capital of Bengaluru also witnessed over 27,000 amateurs participate in a road race that has changed the fitness paradigm of the country and grown into one of the greatest road races in Asia.

(05/21/2023) Views: 571 ⚡AMP


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. ...


Nicholas Kipkorir Kimeli and Irene Cheptai will defend titles against quality fields in Bengaluru

One year after setting course records at the TCS World 10K Bengaluru, Nicholas Kipkorir Kimeli and Irene Cheptai return to the World Athletics Gold Label road race with the aim of becoming back-to-back winners on Sunday (21).

Kipkorir Kimeli won last year in 27:38, while Cheptai clocked 30:35. Kipkorir Kimeli, who has a PB of 26:51, is the fastest in the men’s field, but there are three athletes in the women’s line-up with a PB quicker than Cheptai’s (30:16).

“I’m excited to be defending my title,” said Kipkorir Kimeli, who finished fourth over 5000m at the Tokyo Olympics. “I’ve prepared well and am feeling confident.”

The 24-year-old Kenyan came close to his PB last month in Herzogenaurach, where he finished third in 26:54. Earlier in the year, he finished 13th at the World Athletics Cross Country Championships Bathurst 23.

Twelve athletes in the men’s field have a PB quicker than the course record, and Kipkorir Kimeli is one of three runners with a sub-27-minute best.

Sebastian Sawe actually heads to Bengaluru in better form, having beaten Kipkorir Kimeli in two clashes earlier this year. Sawe was seventh at the World Cross, and then won over 10km in Herzogenaurach in a PB of 26:49. In between those races, Sawe also won the Berlin Half Marathon in 59:00 – his fifth sub-60-minute half marathon in just over 14 months.

Burundi’s Rodrigue Kwizera, one of the winners of the World Athletics Cross Country Tour, is the third athlete in the field with a sub-27-minute PB. The 23-year-old finished just behind Sawe at the World Cross, and more recently he won over 10km in Camargo.

Other contenders include Ethiopian duo Gemechu Dida and Birhanu Legesse, and Uganda’s Stephen Kissa.

Legesse is a two-time winner of the Tokyo Marathon, and in 2019 he clocked a marathon PB of 2:02:48 in Berlin, making him the fourth-fastest man in history at that distance. More recently he set a half marathon PB of 58:59.

“I’m feeling very positive but I hope that things fall my way,” said Legesse, who has raced in Bengaluru on five previous occasions, achieving three podium finishes.

Dida won over 10km in Lille in March in a PB of 27:12, while former track specialist Kissa clocked 2:04:48 on his marathon debut in Hamburg last year.

Cheptai, the 2017 world cross-country champion, enjoyed one of her best seasons to date last year. She took silver over 10,000m at the Commonwealth Games, then went on to win over 10km in Prague (30:16) and at the New Delhi Half Marathon (1:06:42), setting PBs on both occasions.

“I’m thrilled to be back in Bengaluru and I have fond memories of India,” said the 31-year-old Kenyan. “I’ve trained well, but a lot depends on how you feel on race day.”

The four fastest runners in the women’s race have PBs faster than the course record.

Jesca Chelangat is still relatively new on the international scene, but she has made a mark already, winning over 10km in Durban last year and finishing runner-up in Valencia in January in 30:01, making her one of the fastest women of all time.

Compatriot Vicoty Chepngeno finished more than a minute behind Chelangat in Valencia, but she is a 30:14 performer at her best, and should be in contention in Bengaluru.

Ethiopia’s Tsehay Gemechu is also one to watch. She finished second at the Tokyo Marathon this year in 2:16:56 who took second place at this year’s Tokyo Marathon in 2:16.56, moving to eighth on the world all-time list.

Other contenders include world 5000m bronze medalist Dawit Seyaum, and fellow Ethiopian Dera Dida, the 2019 world cross-country silver medallist, who won the Dubai Marathon earlier this year in a PB of 2:21:11.

(05/19/2023) Views: 358 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics


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. ...


World record holder Rhonex Kipruto to vie for honours at 15th TCS World 10K Bengaluru on May 21, 2023

Men’s field includes defending champion & world’s 4th fastest marathoner

Bengaluru, 8 May: Rhonex Kipruto, the men’s world 10K road race world-record holder, will go for gold at the landmark 15th edition of the World Athletics Gold Label, TCS World 10K Bengaluru on Sunday, May 21, 2023.

The Kenyan set a world mark of 26:24 in January 2020 in Valencia (Spain), a year after claiming the 10,000m track bronze at the World Athletics Championship in Doha.

The 23-year-old, a former World U-20 10,000m champion, headlines an exciting field in the USD 210,000 prize fund race that includes 14 runners with personal bests under the course record of 27:38 set last year by defending champion Nicholas Kipkorir Kimeli of Kenya.

The race promises to be a treat for running aficionados given the talented mix at the men’s start line that includes, apart from Kipruto and Kipkorir Kimeli, Gemechu Dida (winning the 10K in Lille, France in March), Birhanu Legese (the world’s fourth fastest male marathoner), Stephen Kissa (2:04.48 on his debut Haspa Marathon in Hamburg in 2022), and Sabastian Sawe (who finished seventh at this year’s World Cross Country Championships in Australia).

The women’s field is equally exciting, with defending champion Irene Cheptai (Kenya), Ethiopia’s Dera Dida, the 2019 World Cross Country silver medallist), and the talented Tsehay Gemechu (who took second place at this year’s Tokyo Marathon in 2:16.56).

The Elite winner takes home USD 26,000, and the athletes are further incentivized by an Event Record bonus of USD 8,000.

Kipruto came fourth with a time of 27:09 in the Adizero Road to Records event in Germany last month, which was won by Sawe in 26:49 to move to fifth position on the men’s world 10km all-time list. Kipkorir Kimeli was third in the race in 26:54.

“Considering the quality of the field there is big chance a new course record will be set this year. I hope that will be me!  I’m thrilled to be coming to India. I’ve heard so much about this event and the field is truly exceptional,” Kipruto said.

“This elite athlete field is amazing. Its like a World Championship taking place here in Bengaluru. It’s going to be exhilarating, both for the Elites and the amateurs. Can’t wait for May 21," said Vivek Singh, Jt MD of race promoter Procam International.

(05/08/2023) Views: 389 ⚡AMP


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. ...


Defending champions Nicholas Kimeli and Irene Cheptai set to return for TCS World 10K Bengaluru

The Tata Consultancy Services World 10K Bengaluru is set to witness a fierce competition on Sunday, May 21, 2023, as Kenya’s Nicholas Kipkorir Kimeli and Irene Cheptai return to defend their titles in the men’s and women’s categories respectively.

The event, which holds a prestigious World Athletics Gold Label Road Race status, boasts of a prize fund of USD 210,000 and saw the two athletes shatter the course records last year. Kimeli clocked a remarkable 27:38, while Cheptai stormed to victory in 30:35.

The event will feature an impressive International Elite field and enthusiastic amateurs from all over India and the world, converging on the Garden City to soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the race. Kimeli, who won last year’s edition, said, “I’m excited to be defending my title. I’ve prepared well and am feeling confident.” The men’s field is set to be highly competitive, with the top 12 runners holding personal bests under the course record and the top 3 having timed below 27.

In the women’s section, Cheptai will face tough competition from several other runners. The top four runners have personal bests under the course record. “I’m thrilled to be back in Bengaluru, and I have fond memories of India. I’ve trained well, but a lot depends on how you feel on race day,” said Cheptai.

Ethiopians Gemechu Dida and Birhanu Legese, Ugandan Stephen Kissa, and Kenya’s Sabastian Sawe are among the top runners in the men’s category. Legese, who is the world’s fourth fastest male marathoner, has finished on the podium a few times but is yet to secure the top spot at the TCS World 10K Bengaluru. “I’m feeling very positive, but I hope that things fall my way,” said Legese.


Dida, who won the 10K in Lille, France, in March, and finished fourth in the RAK Half Marathon in the UAE in February, is in excellent form. Kissa, who represented Uganda in the Tokyo Olympics over 10,000m, brings years of track speed to the road, and clocked an impressive 2:04.48 on his debut Haspa Marathon in Hamburg in 2022. He was also a third-place finisher at the 2020 Delhi Half Marathon in 58:56.

On the women’s side, Ethiopia’s Dera Dida, the 2019 World Cross Country silver medallist, ran a personal record and took home her first marathon victory in 2:21:11 at the Dubai Marathon in February this year. Among the favourites for the women’s honours is the talented Tsehay Gemechu, who finished second at this year’s Tokyo Marathon in 2:16.56.

(05/03/2023) Views: 434 ⚡AMP


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. ...


Indy Mini-Marathon named nation's best half-marathon

The Greatest Spectacle in Running is getting national attention.

The OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon has been named the nation's best half-marathon as part of USA TODAY's 2023 10Best Readers' Choice travel awards.

According to USA TODAY, the half-marathon is the fastest-growing race distance in the United States with some 2 million runners participating annually. 

The public had the opportunity to vote on their favorite race and in the end it was the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon that came out on top. 

The marathon, often referred to as the Indy Mini, takes runners through downtown Indianapolis, past historic landmarks and famous sites like the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. 

It's one of the nation's largest half-marathons, bringing some 35,000 runners to the Circle City each year. It's also part of the 500 Festival, which leads up to the iconic Indianapolis 500. 

The Indy Mini beat the RunTheBluegrass Half Marathon in Lexington, which is known for being "America's prettiest half-marathon," and the Hippie Half, which brings people to Gregory, Michigan every summer to camp, run, listen to live music and enjoy a festive atmosphere. 

(04/29/2023) Views: 325 ⚡AMP

Nikki Hiltz, Sam Prakel both become two-time winners at Usaft 1 mile road

The USATF Indoor 1,500-meter winners demonstrated they could also rule the roads Tuesday night at the USATF 1 Mile Championships.

Nearly 10 weeks after both winning USATF Indoor titles Feb. 18 in Albuquerque, N.M., adidas professional Sam Prakel and Lululemon athlete Nikki Hiltz each secured their second career national road championships as part of the annual Grand Blue Mile event.

Hiltz produced the fastest performance in the history of the women’s race, which began in 2009, clocking 4 minutes, 27.97 seconds to edge reigning USATF Outdoor 1,500 champion Sinclaire Johnson of Nike’s Union Athletics Club in 4:28.70.

Hiltz, who prevailed in 2019 in Des Moines in 4:29.7, became the only athlete in event history to produce a pair of sub-4:30 efforts, benefitting from a 65-second opening quarter-mile and the pack reaching the midway point in 2:14.

Emily Lipari, who had the previous all-time mark of 4:29.3 in 2020, and Johnson are the only other competitors to achieve a sub-4:30 performance in the race.

Hiltz, who ran a lifetime-best 1:59.03 in the 800 meters April 14 at the Bryan Clay Invitational at Azusa Pacific University, earned $5,000 for the victory and an additional $2,500 for the record bonus. Hiltz also joined Heather Kampf and Emily Lipari as the only three competitors to capture multiple women’s championships in event history.

Addy Wiley, a freshman at Huntington University in Indiana who secured five NAIA Indoor national titles March 2-4 in South Dakota, raced for the first time since that memorable showcase and took third in 4:30.94.

Wiley, 19, became the youngest top-three finisher in event history and achieved the No. 6 all-time performance in the nine years the competition has been held in Des Moines.

Wiley, who placed fourth in the 1,500 at the USATF Indoor Championships in February in Albuquerque, elevated to No. 7 in the history of the national road mile competition, including Sara Hall clocking 4:30.8 in Minnesota to secure the 2011 crown.

Colleen Quigley, representing Lululemon, finished fourth in 4:31.1 in her debut at the event, with Nike’s Shannon Osika and Alex Teubel also being credited with 4:31 performances to secure fifth and sixth.

Alli Cash (4:32), Jenn Randall (4:33), Micaela DeGenero (4:34) and Helen Schlachtenhaufen (4:37) completed the top 10 women’s competitors in the 23-athlete race.

Prakel prevailed in 4:01.21, remaining patient following an opening quarter mile of 61 seconds and a 2:05 split at the midway point, to take control in the final 500 meters and never relinquish his advantage.

Under Armour Mission Run Baltimore Distance athlete Casey Comber edged last year’s champion Vincent Ciattei by a 4:02.88 to 4:02.91 margin to grab second.

Prakel, who ran 13;22.78 in the 5,000 meters April 14 at Bryan Clay, also secured a $5,000 prize for the road mile title, becoming only the third male athlete in event history to capture multiple championships, joining David Torrence (2009-11) and Garrett Heath (2013 and 2015).

Prakel produced the fastest all-time mark in Des Moines with his 3:58.3 effort in 2020. Ben Blankenship holds the meet record with his title in 3:55.8 in 2016 in Minnesota.

Nick Randazzo, Kasey Knevelbaard and Jake Gillum were all credited with 4:04 performances to finish fourth, fifth and sixth, followed by Shane Streich and David Ribich both clocking 4:05 for seventh and eighth, Craig Nowak earning ninth in 4:06 and Colin Abert taking 10th in 4:08 in the 17-athlete race.

(04/27/2023) Views: 430 ⚡AMP
Grand Blue Mile

Grand Blue Mile

The Grand Blue Mile was created by Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield and the Drake Relays to encourage healthy habits and empower positive change. Held annually since 2010, the Grand Blue Mile has hosted more than 30,000 participants from 26 states, six countries, and four continents. The annual event brings friends and families together to celebrate wellness through a...


Competition Is Stacked at This Year's Lake Sonoma 50

The Lake Sonoma 50 is one of the fastest and most competitive 50-milers in the U.S., and it's turning up the notch on competition in its 16th year. 

Set in the rolling foothills near Healdsburg, California, the hilly course is known for its smooth singletrack and more than a dozen creek crossings. For the first time, Lake Sonoma will be the 50-mile selection race for Team USA, and all runners who race their way onto the podium will get an automatic invitation to run for Team USA in the long-format race in this year's  World Mountain and Trail Running Championships set for June 6-10 in Innsbruck-Stubai, Austria. 

While Lake Sonoma has always been a competitive event (previously a Golden Ticket Race), that invitation has certainly encouraged a high level of competition. 

"I'm super psyched for Lake Sonoma to be a USA Selection Race," says Gina Lucrezi, race director and founder of Trail Sisters, a non-profit that supports women in the trail space. "This event has been a top 50-mile race in the U.S. since its inception. John Medinger, Lisa Henson, and Skip and Holly Brand have created a sought-after course and event, and I'm proud to continue their legacy of keeping it a barn burner event, pulling in top talent to test their fitness and abilities." Lucrezi represented the U.S. at several USATF MUT Championship events, and she's excited that her event will extend that opportunity to a new generation of ultra athletes. "It's both an honor and privilege to host this opportunity for runners vying to represent the USA," says Lucrezi. 

The event is Trail Sisters certified, which means there will be equal podium spots, awards, women's specific race swag, menstrual products at aid stations, and equal space for women on the start line. Lake Sonoma races are held within the Native lands of the Southern Pomo. The Southern Pomo are part of the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, a federally recognized tribe. The race has also partnered with a local charity, The Children of Vineyard Workers Scholarship, which provides education funding to the kids of agricultural workers in the area. 

"In terms of diversity, equity, and inclusion, when hosting the lottery, we split the field 50/50 male/female. (Non-binary folks were grouped in the field that they noted as their gender assigned at birth). We then utilized gender-specific waitlists if participants cancel or defer, but we extinguished our waitlists and then allowed for open registration to fill our vacant spots. In the lottery form, we requested race and ethnicity information," Luzrezi told Trail Runner in an interview. "This provided insight into the diversity of signups and helped us make sure the starting line could be as diverse as possible."

Sweet Sixteen

In its 16th year, Lake Sonoma has ushered a generation of ultrarunners onto the scene, and many are returning to reconnect with those fond memories at an event that epitomizes the grassroots appeal of trail races, with an internationally competitive field. 

Ultrarunner Devon Yanko is competing in the marathon after her win and earning a Hoka Golden Ticket at Javelina Jundred, says she feels a deep connection to the race after winning it early on in 2010. Building up to Western States in June, Yanko says her primary objective is to feel healthy and enjoy the race. 

"I have been a part of Lake Sonoma almost since its inception and have been a spectator/crew for most of its biggest years," says Yanko, who formerly lived in San Anselmo, California. "It was an extension of my local community and always had the best vibes. I'm mostly looking forward to seeing friends, supporting the race, and helping keep the tradition of Lake Sonoma alive."

Many runners have long histories with the buttery, grass-lined trails. Lake Sonoma was one of the first ultras OCR athlete and ultrarunner Amelia Boone ever knew about more than a decade ago. But, a broken femur derailed her initial attempts at the 50-mile event, and she's been looking for an opportunity to get back to Lake Sonoma's start line ever since. She says the high level of competition and community vibe were big draws as well. 

"I'm looking to run strong in a competitive field. It's been a while since I've run a race with a super deep field, so I'm looking to put the ego aside and have some faith in myself. My ultimate reach goal would clearly be top 3 to qualify for the U.S. World team, but that'd just be a bonus," says Boone. "Oh, and give as many high fives on the trails as possible."

Brett Hornig, a coach and athlete from Ashland, Oregon, hopes that the third time's the charm. He's run the race twice, and hasn't had the day he wanted.

"LS50 was one of the premier 50-mile races in the world when I was first introduced to trail and ultrarunning around 2014, so the allure of competing against the best has always been there for me," says Hornig. "That initially drew me to the race, and the competition is still there, but it is the community who puts on the race that keeps me coming back. The race directors (both past and current), the volunteers, sponsors, and fans of the sport put on an incredible event that everyone should check out for themselves at least once."

Ryan Miller, the winner of the 2022 Gorge Waterfalls 50k and Bandera 100k, from Vero Beach, Florida, says he's excited by the fast and smooth Sonoma trails.

"The primary allure of Lake Sonoma 50 has to be the trails themselves. Have you seen the videos and pictures of this place?! It's absolutely stunning. I'm most looking forward to the competitive racing with big stakes as it tends to bring the best out of everyone," says Miller. 

The proximity to wine country doesn't hurt either. 

"Throw in a deep competitive field, prize money, my wife's excitement to go to California wine country, and an opportunity to earn a spot on the World Championship team, and it's a no-brainer for an athlete like me focusing on the 50K-100K distances."

Miller, like others, is gunning for a podium finish that would earn an invitation to race for Team USA at the World championship. 

The race field is chock full of talented runners, including the women's field with Abby Levene, Anne-Marie Madden, Allison Baca, Tara Fraga, Sarah Keys, Megan Drake, Sarah Biehl, Erin Clark, Natalie Sandoval, Erin Viehl, Amelia Boone, Anna Kakis, Catrin Jones, Mercedes Siegle-Gaither, Sarah Cummings, Kristina Randrup, Jackie Merrit and Hannah Osowski.

The men's race includes Miller, Hornig, Drew Holmen, Seth Ruhling, David Kilgore, Drew Macomber, Preston Cates, Terence Copeland, Reed Breuer, Aubrey Myjer, Charlie Ware, Ryan Sullivan, Caleb Olsen, Chris Myers, Jason Schlarb, Erik Sorenson, Matthew Seidel, Morgan Elliot, Addison Smith, and Travis Lavin.

"The overall Lake Sonoma race event is focused and centered on community," says Lucrezi.   "I'm really excited about our new start and finish location and the celebration vibe we are creating. No matter your pace, experience, or what place you finish, Lake Sonoma is an event that welcomes all runners and fosters friendships made through the event and on the trails."

(04/08/2023) Views: 466 ⚡AMP
Lake Sonoma 50

Lake Sonoma 50

The race is held on the rugged trails at Lake Sonoma, about 10 miles northwest of Healdsburg. The course is 86% single track and 9% dirt roads, with the first 2.4 miles on a paved country road.The race starts at 6:30 a.m. and has a 14-hour time limit. ...


Two-time world champion Kirui clears path for his retirement

Two-time world marathon champion Abel Kirui has revealed he is two years away from hanging his spikes, but not entirely.

The National Police Service officer has outlined his plan for the next two years as he seeks to retire after the 2024 Paris Olympics, which will coincide with his 20th anniversary in distance running.

Kirui, who won the marathon titles at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin and at Daegu two years later, is the proprietor of Grace Joy Educational Centre where, in addition to education, he hopes to churn future athletics prospects.

The 2016 Chicago Marathon champion said: "Having been in the game for 18 years, I feel I should hang my spikes in the next two years and embark on giving back to society."

"It is important for me to help upcoming athletes. I struggled to start my running at Samitui Primary School and, having succeeded in the sport over the years, I feel we must teach children to be patient and love the sport at an early age," he said.

Kirui, the 2008 Vienna Marathon winner, said most young people are always excited when they see him going for morning runs and he wants to capitalise on this to pull as many as possible into the sport.

He said he is already mentoring some pupils at Grace Joy.

"We always sit together. We watch my previous races on Youtube and they are motivated to train harder. I am part of the team. I am always practical to convince them that I am a human being, not an alien from another planet," he explained.

The 2012 Olympic Games marathon silver medalist revealed how he got into Grace Joy.

"I had an idea of establishing a school way back in 2008 when I was in New York. I used to tell my friends that I needed a school and years later, I found this school on sale and I realised my dream," he noted.

"My aim is to create champions at Great Joy Academy, which I refer to as Old Trafford since I am a Manchester United fan."

He said he will use both his resources and influence in the sporting circles to develop the facility into a world-class sporting institution. Kirui said despite being a successful runner, his focus is not just on his sport of choice.

"I have a guy from Nyanza who wants to train these kids in football, a friend from India is keen on making this place a cricket centre while an American friend wants to train them in baseball," said Kirui, who chalked up second place finishes at the 2007 Berlin and 2017 Chicago marathons.

Works have already started at Grace Joy, geared towards the establishment of a running track.

"We will first put murram but in the future, we shall have a tartan track," he said.

The school has six pupils preparing for the Uasin Gishu County Primary Schools track and field championships set for this Friday in Eldoret.

Naomi Jemutai (3,000m), Sarah Patience (100m), Ian Sum (3,000m), Charlotte Talam (5,000m), Mathew Kibet (1,500m) and Eugene Kiplagat will represent the school in the event.

Pius Waliala, a teacher at Grace Joy, observed that the current Competence Based Curriculum (CBC) is all about talent development and that's why they are emphasising on sports.

"Since the founder is a champion, his dream is to empower talented kids. Here, we help the learners explore their talents. We search for talents during game time and expose them through inter-class competitions," said Waliala.

Another teacher/coach, Stella Koech, added: "We have learners who are good in academics, others are good in sports and others are good in both. We always try to make sure that we strike a balance."

(04/04/2023) Views: 417 ⚡AMP
by Emmanuel Sabuni

Garcia breaks 35km race walk world record in Dudince

Double world champion Kimberly Garcia got her 2023 campaign off to a superb start on Saturday (25), breaking the 35km race walk world record with 2:37:44* at the Dudinska 50, the first World Athletics Race Walking Tour Gold meeting of the year.

The Peruvian race walker produced a solo effort from the early stages, passing through the first kilometre as part of a small lead group and then breaking away just a couple of minutes later. By the time she reached 5km in 22:41, she had a 16-second lead over Chinese duo Liu Hong and Ma Li.

Garcia’s lead grew to more than a minute by 15km, which she passed in 1:07:29 with four-time world champion Liu still level with compatriot Ma. World silver medallist Katarzyna Zdzieblo was a further minute behind in fourth.

Ma started to lose contact with Liu at about 18km, but Garcia continued churning out her metronomic splits, reaching 20km in 1:29:58. With 10km to go, Garcia’s lead

over Liu had grown to 84 seconds. Wu Quanming, meanwhile, was starting to close on Chinese teammate Ma.

Garcia reached 30km in 2:15:10, almost two minutes clear of Liu, who was safe in second place. Wu had moved into third by this stage, but Ecuador’s Magaly Bonilla was closing fast.

There was no catching Garcia, though, who maintained her relentless pace to charge through the finish line in 2:37:44, taking two seconds off the previous fastest mark for the distance.

Liu, who was making her debut at the distance, followed more than two minutes later in 2:40:06 but was rewarded with an Asian record. Bonilla was third in an Ecuadorian record of 2:46:32 and a fading Wu held on for fourth (2:47:34).

"I knew I was in good shape and that I could challenge the world record," said Garcia. "The first 20km was ok and at a good pace, then I started to tire and the wind got stronger. Thankfully I found some extra energy for the final five kilometres.

"It's a big thing for me to achieve this record," added Garcia, who also confirmed she will defend both of her titles at this year's World Championships. "I still think I can go faster, maybe at the World Championships. I'm not planning any more 35km races before Budapest."

Doctor remedies last year’s runner-up finish

One year after finishing second over 35km in Dudince, Mexico’s Jose Doctor triumphed in a national and meeting record of 2:26:37.

He trailed Olympic bronze medallist Evan Dunfee and Ecuador’s Brian Pintado during the early stages, as Dunfee led through 10km (41:25). They moved together as a trio up until 17km, reached in 1:10:14, but Dunfee then started to slip behind. By 20km, which Pintado and Doctor reached in 1:22:31, an 11-second gap had emerged to Dunfee.

Pintado tried to make a break after 22km, but Doctor reeled him back in just over a kilometre later. Brazil’s Caio Bonfim, meanwhile, was also moving through the pack. Doctor reached 25km in 1:43:21 with an 18-second lead over Bonfim, who was now in second, 24 seconds clear of Pintado.

Pintado continued to slip behind and eventually withdrew after 27km. Doctor, however, remained a safe distance ahead of Bonfim, while China’s Cui Lihong was making up ground on Dunfee.

Doctor extended his lead in the final kilometres and crossed the line a confortable winner in 2:26:37. Bonfim was second in 2:27:30. Lihong moved into third place with just over a kilometre left, finishing 15 seconds ahead of the Canadian in 2:29:00.

In the closest finish of the day, 2017 world champion Eider Arevalo of Colombia won the men’s 20km in 1:19:23 with double world bronze medallist Perseus Karlstrom finishing 21 seconds behind.

India’s Sandeep Kumar led during the early stages, going through 5km in 19:38 with a five-second lead over Karlstrom. The Swede drew level with Kumar a few kilometres later and the duo went through 10km in 39:33, 17 seconds ahead of Arevalo and Mexico’s Noel Chama.

Kumar was given a third red card and had to sit out a one-minute penalty, essentially taking him out of contention. It left Karlstrom alone in the lead between 12km and 17km when Arevalo finally caught up with him.

They rallied for the best part of a lap before Arevalo finally broke free thanks to a 3:50 final kilometre, winning in 1:19:23. Karlstrom was second in 1:19:44 and Chama was third in 1:20:46.

Elsewhere, Mexico’s Alegna Gonzalez won the women’s 20km race in 1:28:09, winning by more than two minutes from Puerto Rico’s Rachelle de Orbeta.

(03/26/2023) Views: 484 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics

Five times runners proved that age is just a number

We know that running is a sport for anyone, regardless of age, but it can still be quite surprising when senior citizens throw down amazing race results. The rest of us can only hope to be able to put our bodies through running races when we reach our 80s, 90s and beyond. There have been so many times that older athletes have wowed the running community, but here are five from the past few years that really impressed us. 

The 93-year-old road runner 

Canio Polosa of London, Ont., is the owner of multiple Canadian masters records in the M90 division. In 2021, then 93, Polosa broke the 5K record at a Halloween road race in London, where he ran 36:30. Just a few months later in April 2022, he ran another London race, this time a 10K, and although he was hoping to get anywhere under an hour and 20 minutes, he ran an amazing 1:14:04. This time was the 10K Canadian record, and he also beat the five-mile and 8K M90 records en route to the finish. 

Running and jumping into the record books

Canadian Carol Lafayette-Boyd was named 2022 World Masters Athlete of the year after breaking a whopping six world records in the W80 age division last year. She broke the outdoor 100m (16.23 seconds), 200m (34.90 seconds), long jump and triple jump records, as well as the indoor long jump and 60m dash. In her time as a masters athlete, Lafayette-Boyd has amassed an amazing 17 world records, and she doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. 

A 90-year-old record holder 

In the summer of 2022, Australian masters athlete David Carr turned 90, and in the following months, he broke five M90 world records on the track. Carr ran a 1,500m race in 7:32.95, a 3,000m in 16:20.96, the 5,000m in 29:47.83, a 10,000m in 62:48.93 and the 2,000m steeplechase in 12:50.43. All of these times are incredible, but to truly appreciate just how fast Carr is, one needs to look at his age-graded 1,500m result. The current 1,500m world record is 3:26.00, but Carr’s age-graded time works out to 3:16.00. He may not be a household name, but Carr is a track superstar, all the same. 

Hurricane Hawkins

In 2021, American Julia “Hurricane” Hawkins became the first 105-year-old woman to race the 100m. She set a PB and world record of 1:02.95, although this was far from her first big result. Amazingly, Hawkins only started running when she turned 100, and she promptly began earning world records in the 100+ age division. 

The battle of the 105-year-olds 

Another 105-year-old woman recently broke Hawkins’ 100m world record. India’s Rambai ran the world record in June 2022 when she posted a time of 45.40 seconds. Rambai ran this time at the National Open Masters Athletics Championship in Vadodara, India, just a year after she began running competitively (that’s right–she started racing at 104). Not surprisingly, Rambai was the only runner in the 100-plus age division, but the lack of competition didn’t appear affect her motivation, and she smashed the previous world record by 17 seconds.

(03/03/2023) Views: 496 ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath

Runners set world, state records at Publix Atlanta Marathon

ATLANTA — With nearly 8,000 participants, world and state records were set in the Publix Atlanta Marathon weekend. From distances of 50 meters to 26.2 miles, runners of all ages shattered records.

On Sunday, during the half marathon, Kenyans Nicholas Kosimbei and Dorcas Tuitoek made history. Kosimbei ran the fastest half marathon ever in Georgia shattering the previous mark of 1:03:59 and finishing more than two minutes ahead of his nearest rival with a time of 1:00:36.Tuitoek also shattered the record with a time of 1:08:22 in the women's half marathon race just seven seconds under the Georgia state record set by Molly Seidel last year, who went on to win a bronze medal in the Olympic Games marathon. 

Additionally, Matt McDonald of Cambridge, Massachusetts, finished 6th overall in the half marathon at 1:05:32 and Dakotah Lindwurm of Eagan, Minnesota, finished with a time of 1:12:27. Chris Nasser of Atlanta won the Push Assist Division at 1:17:14. 

“It’s fun to run by so many of my old spots,” McDonald said. “Almost every mile, I had some memory of some good time in that neighborhood, whether it was Georgia Tech where I did my Ph.D. or Piedmont Park where I did all my workouts.”

Shlomo Fishman of Silver Spring, Maryland, finished in 1st place in the Atlanta Publix Marathon with a time of 2:37:32.  

“At Mile 18, I just decided I needed to get out of the rain,” Fishman said, who ran a personal best in his first marathon victory. “So, I picked it up a little bit and just went for it.”

In the women's marathon race, Amanda Furrer of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, finished in 1st place with a time of 3:02:47, despite starting in Wave C, eight minutes behind the first non-elite runners. “I was alone for a while, so the cyclist on the course just started telling everyone my name. So people kept cheering for me. It was awesome!” Furrer said. 

On Saturday, the 5K was won by Luke Mortensen, 39, of Athens, at 16:11 and Ellen Flood, 24, of Atlanta, at 17:25. Flood is also a former Georgia Tech runner. 

Atlanta Track Club also hosted the USATF 5km Masters Championships, with 225 athletes ages 40 and over competing for both overall and age-group titles. Bryan Lindsey, 41, of Zionsville, Indiana, and Jessica Hruska, also 41, of Dubuque, Iowa won the overall titles. A world record was set by 97-year-old Betty Lindberg of Atlanta, a legend of the Atlanta Track Club. Her time of 55:48 set a world age-group record winning her 95+ division and destroying the previous mark by more than 30 minutes. 

The 3K Atlanta Publix Kids Marathon was won by 13-year-old Nuriel Shimoni Stoil of Atlanta and 14-year-old Valeria Zambrano of Marietta. 

(02/26/2023) Views: 682 ⚡AMP
Publix Georgia Marathon

Publix Georgia Marathon

The Publix Georgia Marathon & Half Marathon is the perfect opportunity to visit the city of Atlanta. Atlanta's ONLY marathon, the event is a must do for adventure marathoners looking to cover all 50 states. A true Southeast tradition, you'll experience the spirit of the city as you travel through four college campuses, ten welcoming neighborhoods and dozens of iconic...


Emily Sisson sets a new half marathon American record in Houston

Emily Sisson shattered her own American record in the half marathon by finishing in 1:06:52. She is now the first American woman to break the 1:07 barrier after placing second behind race winner Hiwot Gebremaryam of Ethiopia, who ran 1:06:28.

Ethiopian Leul Gebresilase Aleme won the men’s half in a sprint finish. He ran 1:00:34—less than a second ahead of runner-up Wesley Kiptoo of Kenya.

Emily Sisson Re-Breaks Her Own American Record

Sisson improved on her record the hard way by going out fast, slowing down slightly through the last sections, and kicking it in towards the finish. After Gebremaryam broke the race open in the first few miles—by 5K, she was already 17 seconds ahead of the chase pack—Sisson ran with Jessica Warner-Judd of Great Britain through 15K. The American record-holder averaged 5-minute mile pace through the first 5K but struggled in the latter half of the course, clocking 5:12 miles around 20K.

“I went out a little too fast the first 5K or so, so the last few miles I was definitely feeling it,” Sisson said on the ABC 13 broadcast.

But Sisson pushed through the discomfort as she neared the finish line to make history once again. “I’m really excited about it. I really wanted to break 67 minutes and I’m happy I did,” she said. “I actually think I could have run a little more evenly so I’m already hoping to run another half and even try to run faster.”

Sisson broke the American record for the first time in May 2022 at the USATF Half Marathon Road Championships in Indianapolis. The Providence College alum won the national title in 1:07:11, four seconds faster than the previous American record set by Sara Hall less than four months earlier at the 2022 Houston Half Marathon.

Prior to the U.S. championships, Sisson came extremely close to the mark on two occasions. When the record was 1:07:25 (held by her former training partner Molly Huddle), she ran 1:07:30 in 2019 and 1:07:26 in 2020.

Last year, the momentum continued in a big way for Sisson when she broke the American record in the marathon. In October, she demolished the time by running 2:18:29 in Chicago—lowering the previous record set by Keira D’Amato at the 2022 Houston Marathon by 43 seconds.

Close Finish in the Men’s Half Marathon

The men’s half marathon featured one of the most exciting finishes of the day. After pulling away from the chase pack together with a few miles remaining, Aleme and Kiptoo battled down to the wire. The East African competitors fought through the homestretch—where Kiptoo kept looking back to assess the distance between himself and his rival—until Aleme sprinted ahead at the last second to claim the victory.

Aleme’s performance follows a breakthrough season, which included a runner-up finish at the 2022 London Marathon in October.

Conner Mantz was the first American to finish after placing sixth in 1:01:12.

Past Greats Return to Racing, While Familiar Faces Make Debuts

In addition to Sisson’s record, there were several other notable performances in the Houston women’s half marathon, including Huddle in her postpartum return to competitive racing. The previous American record-holder finished fifth in 1:10:01 almost nine months after welcoming her daughter. In her 13.1 debut, former 1500-meter specialist and Olympic bronze medalist Jenny Simpson placed ninth in 1:10:35. Also making her debut, Vanessa Fraser finished 13th in 1:11:00. All three had room to spare in achieving the standard to compete at the 2024 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials.

Three-time Olympic champion Tirunesh Dibaba also made her highly anticipated return. In the Ethiopian's first race in four years, she finished 16th in 1:11:35.

(01/15/2023) Views: 733 ⚡AMP
by Runners World
Aramco Houston Half Marathon

Aramco Houston Half Marathon

The Chevron Houston Marathon offers participants a unique running experience in America's fourth largest city. The fast, flat, scenic single-loop course has been ranked as the "fastest winter marathon" and "second fastest marathon overall" by Ultimate Guide To Marathons. After 30 years of marathon-only competition, Houston added the half-marathon in 2002, with El Paso Energy as the sponsor. Today the...


Ethiopia’s Lemi & Haymanot set course records in Tata Mumbai Marathon

Mumbai sprung to life early on a nippy Sunday morning as over 55,000 people took part in the 18th edition of the Tata Mumbai Marathon.

 Records tumbled in Asia’s most prestigious race as the Ethiopian duo of Hayle Lemi and Anchalem Haymanot won with new course records to take home USD 45,000 winners prize and a course record bonus of USD 15,000 each.

Lemi took advantage of the slow pace in the first half of the men's race.  The 2016 Boson Marathon winner ran alongside the defending champion and countryman Derara Hurisa, Kenyan Philemon Rono and half a dozen other runners as they passed through the iconic Rajiv Gandhi Sea Link towards the halfway mark.

Lemi, Rono and another Ethiopian Hailu Zewdu broke away from the rest of the group at the 26th kilometre.  The three athletes climbed the Peddar Road together on their return journey.  Lemi increased his pace while coming down to enter Chowpatty beach corner and started running on the Marine Drive well ahead of the other two.  His 2:07:32 is an early season lead in the world this year.  Rono clocked 2:08:44 and Zewdu 2:10:23 for the other two places on the podium.

The women started their race at a fast pace and there was a keen tussle between five Ethiopian runners at the midway stage.  Worknesh Alemu, the 2019 champion here, drew from her past experience on the course to take the lead at that point. However, Haymanot, a marathon debutant, broke away from Alemu.  Rahma Tusa, two times Rome Marathon winner, and 2022 Sydney marathon runner-up Letebrhan Haylay ran shoulder-to-shoulder with her.   "Running along with these two experienced runners with fast timings to their credit was really a challenge, but I gained much experience from them,” Haymanot revealed during a post-race press conference.

For the first time, the podium finishers in the women’s section finished under 2:25, as Tusa (2:24:22) also finished under the previous course record of 2:24:33 held by Valentine Kipketer (Kenya) since 2013.

Gopi T made a winning return to competitive action while Chavi Yadav pulled off a spectacular victory on her marathon debut in the Indian race.

Olympian Gopi, the first Indian male to win the Asian Marathon Championship in 2017, clocked 2:16:41 to finish on top of the domestic Elites and 10th overall in the 18th edition of the USD 405,000 prize fund World Athletics Gold Label Road Race.

All eyes were on Gopi who was returning to competition after three years following knee surgery and the Army runner didn’t disappoint as he clocked 2:16:41, and was followed by Man Singh, who was 17 seconds behind, and Kalidas Hirave.

Gopi fell short of the upcoming Asian Games cut-off of 2:15 but said the win in India’s largest marathon gave him a tremendous boost.

“It felt good to be back after three years. I maintained a good pace for the first 30-odd kilometres but slowed down towards the end,” the Army runner told a news conference. “I never give up,” added Gopi, who previously won in 2018.

The 2020 winner Srinu Bugatha finished fifth in 2:23:05.

Bhopal’s Chavi said she was running the classic distance for the first time. “I didn’t run more than 25 km even in training,” she told a news conference. Arati Patil finished second, over 10 minutes behind, and Renu Singh was third.

The Elite Indian podium finishers were richer by INR 500,000, 400,000 & 300,000 respectively.

Meanwhile, Parul Chaudhary bettered her course mark in the women’s half marathon and Murli Gavit won the men’s crown. The podium finishers took home INR 100,000, 75,000 & 60,000 respectively.

(01/15/2023) Views: 612 ⚡AMP
Tata Mumbai Marathon

Tata Mumbai Marathon

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


Fit-again Philemon Rono bullish ahead of Sunday's Mumbai Marathon

Fit-again Philemon Rono remains optimistic ahead of his Mumbai Marathon on January 15, in Mumbai, india.

Rono, popularly known as 'Baby Police' due to his pint-sized stature, Rono said he has managed to fend off a calf injury in time for his first outing of the year.

“I missed last year’s last season due to an injury but I have fully and ready for the Mumbai race,” said Rono, who is based at the Global Sports Communication in Kaptagat.

Rono, who won the 2017, 2018 and 2019 Toronto marathon will be up against defending champion Derara Hurisa from Ethiopia, who clocked 2:08:09 to break the course record of 2:08:35, set by Kenya’s Gideon Kipketer.

“I want to have a better time in India. I have competed in some half marathons in the country but I am heading there for my first marathon. I have previously run in New Delhi and Bangalore,” he added.

Abshero, who was second behind Hurisa at this event last year, comes to this race with the fastest time of 2:04:23 set while winning the 2012 Dubai Marathon.

Rono established himself globally as a pacemaker, pacing for former world marathon record holder Wilson Kipsang (2:03:23). The 31 year-old trains alongside world marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge, two-time world champion Abel Kirui, Laban Korir, Augustin Choge among other top stars.

(01/11/2023) Views: 608 ⚡AMP
by Emmanuel Sabuni
Tata Mumbai Marathon

Tata Mumbai Marathon

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


AIU report shows five nations represent 54 per cent of banned athletes

Earlier this week, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) released its Global List of Ineligible Persons of 473 athletes or athlete support currently serving sanctions. Five countries account for more than half the total number of sanctions, with 92 athletes representing Russia.

The majority of the cases listed are related to infractions in the last five years. But there are lifetime bans for offenses dating back a decade. Many of the Russian infractions date from before the 2015 doping scandal, but numerous infractions have been detected in the last three years.

Russia is followed by India, with 65 recorded sanctions, Kenya with 54, Morocco with 24 and China with 20. These five countries make up 54 per cent of the AIU’s Global List of Ineligible Persons. 

Russia (RusAF) and the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) are working with World Athletics to lift the ban on Russian athletes and the federation. 

When World Athletics president Sebastian Coe was asked to comment on the RUSADA situation at a year-end media conference, he said, “The council will have a better update after their next meeting in March 2023.”

Kenya entered the spotlight in recent months, with many well-known distance runners receiving sanctions for doping violations. Last month, 2021 Boston champion Diana Kipyokei was given a six-year ban for a positive test for the weight-reducing and endurance-increasing drug triamcinolone acetonide. Twenty-one of the 54 Kenyan athletes serving suspensions were caught in the past year.

Since 2016, the East African nation has been classified in Category A of the countries under surveillance by World Athletics and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), alongside Belarus, Ethiopia, Morocco and Ukraine.

Coe said after the World Athletics Council Meeting in November 2022 that Athletics Kenya has “a long journey” to regain trust, and that Kenyan sports minister Ababu Namwama and the council were working toward a solution.

In an attempt to crack down on doping, the Kenyan sports minster told BBC News Africa in December that he hopes to fast-track modifications to legislation and crack down on doping the same way the government does with illegal drugs–by criminalizing it.


Previous attempts to criminalize doping in Kenya have been unsuccessful, with a motion submitted by former member of parliament and 2012 Boston Marathon champion Wesley Korir being defeated in 2016. Korir and his wife, Tarah Korir, lived in Waterloo, Ont. for several years before moving back to Kenya. 

(01/09/2023) Views: 519 ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson

Kenya targeting 2029 World Athletics Championships

Kenya has revealed plans to bid for the 2029 World Athletics Championships after missing out on the 2025 hosting rights last year.

Sports Minister Abadu Namwamba has confirmed Kenya's intent to become the first African nation to stage the event as the country looks to play host in six years' time.

Namwamba's announcement came during World Athletics President Sebastian Coe's visit to Kenyan capital Nairobi this week.

"Having lost the bid for 2025, we will prepare for 2029 and we believe we will be in a very strong position to put in a compelling bid," said Namwamba.

"We will be banking on the goodwill from World Athletics.

"We will come up with a much stronger bid."

Nairobi was among four bidders for the 2025 World Athletics Championships with Japanese capital Tokyo securing the event in July 2022.

Speaking at the time of the decision, Coe cited concerns over the Moi International Stadium as a reason why the Kenyan capital lost out to Tokyo.

The venue in Kasarani hosted the 2020 World Athletics under-20 Championships and has also staged the Kip Keino Classic, a World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting, in the past two years.

"There were challenges around the stadium which would have needed a great deal of refurbishment and that was concern expressed by the [World Athletics] Council about the timeframe and the quantum of resource that would be needed in order to do that," said Coe in July.

"I have spoken to the Kenyan Athletics Association, and they know that I am fully committed to helping them or any other African country stage a World Championship in the foreseeable future."

Only the United States has won more medals than Kenya at the World Athletics Championships.

Kenya has claimed 62 gold, 55 silver and 44 bronze medals with much of their success coming over the long-distance races.

Coe visited Nairobi where he met Kenyan President William Ruto and Sports Minister Abadu Namwamba as well as representatives from Athletics Kenya and anti-doping authorities and several athletes.

There were fears that Athletics Kenya would be banned by World Athletics following a spate of positive doping cases.

However, the governing body evaded a lengthy ban after the Kenyan Government acted promptly, committing $25 million (£20.5 million/€23.7 million) to fight doping.

According to the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), Kenya has 54 athletes serving bans - the third most behind Russia with 92 and India with 65.

Kenya is one of seven "Category A" nations deemed by the AIU to have the highest doping risk and threaten the overall integrity of the sport.

Diana Kipyokei and Lawrence Cherono, both former Boston Marathon winners, are among the high-profile Kenyan athletes currently banned.

Last year's delayed World Athletics Championships was staged in Eugene in the US.

Hungarian capital Budapest is set to host this year's edition before Tokyo stages the event in two years' time.

(01/09/2023) Views: 502 ⚡AMP
by Geoff Berkeley

Marathon wisdom - what fires you up?

This year’s stupendous season of outdoor track and field has finally drawn to a close, and goodness me, what a season it has been!

The World Athletics Championships Oregon22 took place only two months ago, but it feels like an eternity has passed since, with the Commonwealth Games, World U20 Championships, European Championships and NACAC Championships giving athletics fans the world over a feast of unforgettable performances.

If you are feeling your athletics fever dwindling somewhat, fear not, because September is always the month when we turn our attention to the roads and (I admit I am biased) the best event of them all – the marathon!

The names of iconic marathon host cities – Berlin, London, Chicago, Valencia – will soon be in the news. Perhaps you are taking on the 26.2-mile challenge at one of these events? Or thinking about dipping your toe in during 2023 as the northern hemisphere spring marathon season beckons? The lure and appeal of the legendary marathon distance seems as popular as ever. If you haven’t tried a marathon yet, naturally I recommend it; and I always advise persevering beyond the first time as it definitely improves with a few attempts.

It is nearly 10 years since I retired from elite competition, so I’m thrilled that my first book, Marathon Wisdom, An Elite Athlete’s Insights on Running and Life, was published earlier this year by Meyer & Meyer Sport. It is a collection of 42.195 (the number of kilometres in a marathon) nuggets of wisdom which I learned from a lifetime of running – as a child, a young adult, a world-class athlete, and now as a retired recreational runner.

From setting goals and overcoming setbacks, to making the best of a bad situation and celebrating success when it comes, these insights are universal and relevant for all levels of runner. The following extract – Insight 1: What Fires You Up? – gives you a flavour of my book. It can be read from cover to cover, or dipped in and out of when time allows. It is available now from online retailers and in bookshops.

What fires you up?

When I was a small child growing up in Nairobi, Kenya, I loved playing outdoors. I ran up and down the steep driveway to our house and dived into all kinds of adventures in the garden. The year-round tropical, warm climate lent itself to spending time outside. I grew up loving sports and being physically active. At weekends and during the holidays, my parents took my sister and me on safari, or to the coast and the Indian Ocean, or any number of exciting adventures under Africa’s sun and big skies.

Fast-forward to 1984 and my family had moved to Oxford, England. During that summer, at age 11, I remember watching the Los Angeles Olympics on television and being utterly mesmerised by the sports extravaganza taking place on the other side of the world. The enormous stadium, the glitz and glamour, the athletes giving it their all … I was transfixed by this spectacle and spent many hours watching it all on television.

Strangely, in hindsight I was not really interested in the women’s marathon, which was making its hard-won debut in the Olympic Games. Instead, I was focused on the best all-rounders there are, the decathletes and my hero, Daley Thompson. To be able to compete brilliantly in all those various events inspired awe in me, and encompassed what I wanted to be: an all-round athlete.

The excitement of watching wore me out and I could not stay awake for the final event, the 1500m. My mother woke me up in the middle of the night to tell me that Daley had won the gold. After the Games were finished, I watched the BBC’s highlights on videotape, set to Spandau Ballet’s Gold, again and again. After watching those Games, I decided I wanted to be a top-class, world-beating athlete. At age 11, I had no idea how I was going to do it, but from that summer on I had discovered something that really fired me up – a dream of becoming a sporting champion.

Becoming beside yourself with excitement is one of the wonders of childhood. Many children want to be like the fabulous and attractive people they encounter. But if I can describe in general terms what that summer gave me, it was an enduring, aspirational desire to do something special and specific with my life. This desire never left me and always gave me a clear goal to aim and strive for. Between that summer and 17 August 2008, when I finally stood on the start line of my first Olympic marathon in Beijing, 24 years had passed. A quarter of a century! You could say it was not a very motivating or compelling dream since it took me so long to make it happen. But it was not a straightforward journey. I had become side-tracked with other activities along the way, such as earning a living. I believe it is testament to how strong that desire was that it sustained me for so many years to keep going and ensured that I never gave up on my dream.

What I learnt from this burning desire born all those years ago was that discovering a love for something is immensely valuable and worth spending time on. That having a dream which really inspires you provides the engine for hard work, a motivating goal to focus on, and the ability to keep going through hard times. That a love for a particular activity might hit you at a time when you can’t do much about it and you might need to return to it later. And that being clear about what you are aiming for is important because it gives you direction and motivation.

Why did it take me so long to realise my childhood dream? Most world-class athletes become professionals straight after or during their full-time education and retire while they are young adults. For me, it was different. When I left university, I wanted to become a full-time athlete but was nowhere near fast enough to earn a living from it. My parents encouraged me to look for a ‘proper job’. Like many students, I had no money. Therefore, on leaving full-time education I had no choice and simply had to find a job. I applied to the British Civil Service’s Fast Stream graduate recruitment programme and became a diplomat with the Foreign Office. This too was a fascinating adventure. I travelled to places I had never been, had the opportunity to learn Japanese and the privilege of working with issues that mattered. I was posted to the British Embassy in Tokyo and enjoyed further adventures there … but during all that time, the dream of becoming a world-class athlete was always there in the back of my mind.

When my Tokyo posting came to an end and I returned to London at the age of 29, I decided that if I was to realise my childhood dream, it was now or never. I spent the next three years working and training hard and finally became a full-time athlete in 2006 at the age of 33. I was 35 when I finished sixth in the 2008 Beijing Olympics women’s marathon, the joint best performance ever by a British woman in the Olympic marathon. I was 35 when I set my personal best of 2:23:12 in the 2009 London Marathon.

It was a long journey of ups and downs, going off on tangents, and spells when realising my dream seemed like a very distant prospect. But throughout that quarter century, I was always clear what my goal was and what I wanted to be.

Sport is not everyone’s cup of tea. Nor is spending a large part of your life pursuing one clear goal. I am not claiming that this is the only way to live a life. But this was my experience. My wish is that by sharing it, you will see how you can pursue and achieve an ambitious goal. We all have talents and gifts of one kind or another, whether it’s in sport, music or something else.

Having a dream or overall goal provides motivation, direction and meaning. It might take time, but pursuing what you love is an enriching, life-changing journey.

(01/08/2023) Views: 397 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics

Emily Sisson, Conner Mantz, Jenny Simpson, Tirunesh Dibaba Headline 2023 Aramco Houston Half Marathon

The Houston Marathon Committee announced today the elite athletes who will chase the $10,000 first-place prize in this historically fast race. Elite fields for the Chevron Houston Marathon which is held simultaneously on Sunday, January 15, will be announced tomorrow.

American records in the half marathon and marathon were set in Houston last year, but by the end of 2022, Emily Sisson had broken them both. Houston will be Sisson’s first race since running 2:18:29 at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon in October, shattering Keira D’Amato’s record by 43 seconds. Earlier in the year, her 1:07:11 performance in Indianapolis shaved four seconds off Sara Hall’s half marathon record.

“I have really enjoyed racing here in the past and am excited to start my 2023 season in Houston,” said Sisson who finished fifth in the 2019 Aramco Houston Half Marathon. “I felt good coming out of Chicago and am really looking forward to another opportunity to race.”

Sisson will have to contend with one of the greatest distance runners of all time as Tirunesh Dibaba of Ethiopia makes a return to competition after a more than four-year hiatus. The three-time Olympic gold medalist and five-time world champion has not raced since 2018 but says after giving birth to a second child in 2019 and then battling COVID-19, she is ready to add another chapter to her storied career.

“Houston is a famous race and my training has been going well,” said Dibaba, the 2017 Chicago Marathon Champion. “It seemed like the best way to test myself and see what could be next.”

Other top contenders in the women’s half marathon elite field include 2021 Berlin Marathon runner-up Hiwot Gebrekidan of Ethiopia and 2022 World Championship Marathon fourth-place finisher Nazret Weldu of Eritrea. Dom Scott will attempt to break the South African half marathon record of 1:06:44, after a 3rd place finish in Houston last year. The top Americans include 28-time U.S. Champion Molly Huddle who set the then-American record here in 2018, as well as World Champion and Olympic Bronze Medalist Jenny Simpson who will make her half marathon debut.

“All of the racers I am learning from speak so highly of their experience with the Aramco Houston Half Marathon,” said Simpson. “It’s the perfect place for me to make my half marathon debut because the timing, course and organization are so well tested.”

In the men’s race, Edward Cheserek of Kenya, known to fans as “King Ches,” will look to trade in his crown for a king-sized belt buckle. Cheserek is coming off a 1:00:13 half marathon personal best in Valencia last month. “After Valencia this fall, I’ve trained harder and think sub-60 is possible,” said Cheserek, a 17-time NCAA Champion at the University of Oregon. “Houston is known for being a fast course and I want to have a chance at a personal best.”

Cheserek will face off against 2019 champion Shura Kitata of Ethiopia who lines up for his fourth Aramco Houston Half Marathon. With career marathon victories in London, Frankfurt and Rome, Kitata says he “feels home and comfortable in Houston.”

Other contenders to watch are Ethiopia’s Leul Gebresilase Aleme, runner up at last year’s London Marathon, and 2020 Olympian Mohamed El Aaraby of Morocco. The top American in the field is Conner Mantz of Utah. Mantz, the 2020 and 2021 NCAA Cross Country Champion at BYU, made his much-anticipated marathon debut in Chicago last October running 2:08:16, the fastest debut ever by an American-born runner.

Houston-native Frank Lara will return for a second consecutive year. Lara, a former Gatorade Texas High School Runner of the Year, was the top American finisher in the marathon last year. This year he competes in the half marathon.

The HMC is the only organizer to host two World Athletic Gold Label events simultaneously, which are Sunday’s Chevron Houston Marathon and Aramco Houston Half Marathon. These two races will have over 27,000 registrants, with an additional 6,000 registrants in the We Are Houston 5K presented by Aramco and Chevron, held on Saturday, January 14.

“Whether you are an elite athlete or a new runner, our committee is dedicated to hosting your individual pursuits with the utmost care and respect for the extraordinary efforts made to toe the start line with us,” said Wade Morehead, Executive Director of the Houston Marathon Committee.

The Aramco Houston Half Marathon and Chevron Houston Marathon will be broadcast on ABC13 from 7 a.m.-10 a.m., on Sunday, January 15 with a race day recap at 10:35 p.m. Joining ABC13’s Greg Bailey and Gina Gaston as expert commentator will be Des Linden, the 2018 Boston Marathon winner and 50K world-record holder. Linden made the first of her two U.S. Olympic Marathon teams in Houston in 2012. The trio will be joined by long-time analyst and Rice University cross country coach Jon Warren.

(01/04/2023) Views: 524 ⚡AMP
by Letsrun
Aramco Houston Half Marathon

Aramco Houston Half Marathon

The Chevron Houston Marathon offers participants a unique running experience in America's fourth largest city. The fast, flat, scenic single-loop course has been ranked as the "fastest winter marathon" and "second fastest marathon overall" by Ultimate Guide To Marathons. After 30 years of marathon-only competition, Houston added the half-marathon in 2002, with El Paso Energy as the sponsor. Today the...


Ethiopian Derara Hurisa to defend crown at 2023 Tata Mumbai Marathon

Ethiopia’s Derara Hurisa returns to defend his crown at Asia’s most prestigious Tata Mumbai Marathon on January 15, 2023, in a competitive Elite men’s field, with a dozen runners holding personal bests under the 2:08:09 course record he set in 2020.

The 18th edition of the USD 405,000 prize fund World Athletics Gold Label Road Race takes place after a two-year pandemic-forced break and will also witness over 55,000 amateurs across six categories on its much-awaited return.

The elite men’s and women’s winners will take home USD 45,000 each. The runners will be

further incentivized by a Course Record Bonus of USD 15,000.

“I’m up for the challenge and have set my sights on the title,” said Hurisa, who clinched the 2021 Guadalajara Marathon in Mexico in a time of 2:12:28.

Toeing the start line in the men’s section are also Hurisa’s compatriots Ayele Abshero and

Hayle Lemi and Kenya’s Philemon Rono, a training partner of the legendary Eliud Kipchoge.

Abshero was runner-up here in 2020, 11 seconds adrift of Hurisa, on an AIMS-certified course that is widely regarded as challenging. Abshero, who finished 10th at the 2022 Linz Marathon in Austria in 2:09:37, has a personal best of 2:04:23, which makes him the fastest in the field.

With a personal best of 2:04:33, Lemi is the second fastest in the group.

“I’m excited about my first Tata Mumbai Marathon. I’ve heard it’s a tough course,” said Lemi, winner of seven marathons, including the Boston Marathon in 2016 and Dubai in 2015. “It’s a tremendous field and is going to be close,” added the Ethiopian, a.k.a. Lemi Berhanu, who was runner-up in the 2021 Boston Marathon.

Rono finished an impressive sixth at the 2019 Boston Marathon and won the Toronto Marathon the same year in 2:05:00. He recorded sixth-place finishes at the 2021 Abu Dubai Marathon and the 2022 Seoul Marathon.

Chepkech, the dark horse

In the women’s field, seven runners hold personal bests under the course record of 2:24:33 set by Valentine Kipketer in 2013, with Dera Dida (Ethiopia), Sharon Cherop (Kenya) and Rahma Tusa (Ethiopia) leading the charge on their debut here.

Silver medalist at the 2019 World Cross Country Championships, Dida won bronze in 10,000m at the 2019 African Games. In 2022, she won the Bejaia Half Marathon in 71:17 and finished eighth at the Great Ethiopian Run 10K.

“The Tata Mumbai Marathon has been on my running bucket list for some time. I’ve heard the people of Mumbai and India are very passionate about the running festival, and I look forward to this experience,” Dida said.

Cherop won marathon bronze at the 2011 World Championships and emerged victorious at the 2012 Boston Marathon. In 2022, she finished third at the Nairobi Marathon and the Buenos Aires Marathon.

Tusa took fourth place at the 2022 Sydney Marathon in 2:26:30 and the 2021 Valencia Marathon (in 2:23:20). She was fifth at the 2018 New York Marathon and won in Rome the same year.

Kenya’s Sheila Chepkech, also a first-timer in Mumbai, is the dark horse here. She won the 2022 Nairobi Marathon in 02:27:04. Previously, she finished second at the 2018 Milan Marathon and the 2017 Kosice Marathon. Also in the fray is the 2019 winner Worknesh Alemu of Ethiopia.

Vivek Singh, Jt MD, race promoter Procam International, said: “A truly world-class field will descend in Mumbai for the Tata Mumbai Marathon, a reflection of the event’s stature as one of the top 10 marathons in the world. The TMM returns bigger and better, and the spirit of #HarDilMumbai will burst to life come race day, with runners taking part across six categories.”

International Elite field:


Derara Hurisa (ETH) 2.08.09 (Course Record holder)

Ayele Abshero (ETH) 2.04.23

Hayle Lemi (ETH) 2.04.33

Philemon Rono (KEN) 2.05.00

Kebede Wami (ETH) 2.06.03

Aychew Bantie (ETH) 2.06.23

Hailu Zewdu (ETH) 2.06.31

Merhawi Kesete (ERI) 2:06:36

Masresha Bere (ETH) 2.06.44

Okubay Tsegay (ERI) 2.06.46

Reuben Kerio (KEN) 2.07.00

Hosea Kiplimo (KEN) 2.07.39

Abdela Godana (ETH) 2.08.06

John Langat (KEN) 2.09.46

Abida Ezamzamil (MOR) 2.09.52

Mesfin Nigusu (ETH) 2.09.53

Augustine Choge (KEN) 2.20.53


Dera Dida (ETH) 2.21.45

Sharon Cherop (KEN) 2.22.28

Rahma Tusa (ETH) 2.23.20

Sifan Melaku (ETH) 2.23.49

Adanech Anbesa (ETH) 2:24:07

Zinah Senbeta (ETH) 2.24.21

Ayantu Kumela (ETH) 2.24.29

Worknesh Alemu (ETH) 2.24.42

Letebrhan Haylay (ETH) 2.24.47

Zenebu Fikadu (ETH) 2.25.11

Rodah Tanui (KEN) 2.25.46

Kumeshi Sichala (ETH) 2.26.01

Lemeneh Kasu Bitew (ETH) 2.26.18

Sheila Chepkech (KEN) 2.27.04

Beshadu Birbirsa (ETH) 2.30.03

Gode Chala (ETH) 2.33.22

Anchalem Haymanot (ETH) Debut.

(01/04/2023) Views: 569 ⚡AMP
by Sports Africa
Tata Mumbai Marathon

Tata Mumbai Marathon

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


Do Runners Drink Too Much Alcohol?

A growing body of research says that no amount of alcohol is good for our fitness and health. It’s time to rethink our relationship with booze.

Pro ultrarunner Coree Woltering doesn’t do anything halfway. “If I’m going to do it, I want to do like 120 percent, no matter what it is,” he says. When he brings that attitude to his running and racing, the results speak for themselves—like setting a new fastest known time on the 1,000-plus-mile Ice Age Trail across Wisconsin in 2020. 

However, Woltering also brought that attitude to the bar. “It wasn’t just a ‘let’s have two beers and be done’ thing,” says the 32-year-old from Dalton, Georgia. Two beers at his house would lead to four more at the bar. “Six a night would be normal.” The results were noteworthy—but in all the wrong ways. His training became inconsistent. After long nights out, he’d sometimes skip sessions. When he did get out to run, he found his focus and mental fortitude lacking. Woltering doesn’t take over-the-counter pain management medications like Tylenol or ibuprofen. Instead, he’d slam a beer or two late in a race, hoping to hush the screaming of his feet and legs.

This approach is not unusual, says David Wyrick, PhD, a public health education professor and the director of the Institute to Promote Athlete Health & Wellness at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. Wyrick studies alcohol use among student-athletes. Pain control is one of three primary reasons athletes report using alcohol (along with stress management and as a way to celebrate). Though, when it comes to pain, “there’s no evidence that alcohol has medicinal benefits,” says Wyrick. 

Almost all the benefits Americans attribute to alcohol—that it is good for the heart, helps you sleep, eases pain—are false, says George F. Koob, PhD, director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. “The truth is, there’s no safe amount of alcohol, not even one drink a day,” he says. 

And yet: Running culture—which is otherwise populated by protein-shake-drinking, heart-rate-tracking, health-obsessed fitness nuts—is enmeshed with drinking. From brewery-based runs to the infamous beer mile to groups with the motto “a drinking club with a running problem,” alcohol is as much a part of the fabric of our sport as energy gels. But the fact is, alcohol destroys lives and families. Running culture that glibly celebrates it is feeding that destruction. 

Pulling them apart doesn’t mean eliminating alcohol. Koob has spent the last eight years working on issues around alcohol abuse, yet he describes his own approach to alcohol as “one eye open.” A glass of beer or wine every now and then? That’s fine for most runners. But blithely telling yourself beer is a recovery drink because it has carbs and your Tuesday night run ends at a bar? Not so much. 

It’s time to take a good look at what we know—and don’t know—about alcohol’s relationship to our health, running performance, and mental well-being. 

Booze and Sleep Don’t Mix

Three years ago, journalist Lisa Slade, a 38-year-old recreational marathoner, purchased a Whoop wearable device. Each morning, Whoop prompted her to input data about what she did before bed. Questions included: Did you eat a big meal? Are you under a lot of stress? Did you consume alcohol last night?

At the end of the first month, Slade got a summary of her data. “Pretty much the only thing I noticed that negatively impacted me to an alarming amount was alcohol,” she says. Slade had considered herself a light drinker—maybe a beer while making dinner, or two cocktails if she was out with friends. Even that low dose, though, was affecting her recovery times and sleep quality by as much as 20 percent. “I could tell that I was having a harder time recovering from it,” she says. After “just one or two drinks, I’d wake up and wouldn’t feel so good, like I hadn’t slept super well.” 

Emily Capidolupo, senior vice president of data science and research at Whoop, says Slade’s revelation is common among new Whoop users. She adds that many cut back on drinking after a few months of using the wearable, which uses biometric data like heart rate, heart-rate variability, respiration rate, and sleep quality to score a user’s overall recovery. Alcohol “is one of those things we know is bad for us, but we don’t realize quite how bad,” she says. When Whoop presents the data in a tidy end-of-month report, it’s clear for many users that alcohol is a poison. “It’s a fun poison,” says Capidolupo. “But it’s poison.”

When you head out for beers after an evening run, you put an extra task on your body’s to-do list. In addition to recovering, it now must divert energy to breaking down the alcohol entering your bloodstream, inhibiting crucial functions like repairing exercise-induced muscle damage. Alcohol also impacts your immune system, blocking inflammatory responses vital to this process. For chronic drinkers, the negative effect on immunity can lead to more illness and fewer training days. 

Compounding the issue, though, is that the most popular time to imbibe is in the hours before bed. Alcohol wrecks sleep quality, says Christopher Winter, MD, a Charlottesville, Virginia–based sleep specialist and host of the Sleep Unplugged podcast. If this seems counterintuitive, and a single beer makes you drowsy, you’re not alone. Alcohol is the most popular sleep aid in the country, he says, but that’s because most people don’t understand the difference between being sedated and being asleep. 

Alcohol suppresses your central nervous system. That is not high-quality rest. Since alcohol relaxes a lot of the muscles involved with breathing, you may breathe less deeply as you sleep, lowering your oxygen saturation levels, says Winter. When you’re not getting enough oxygen, your body’s natural response is to wake you up. Alcohol also suppresses deep sleep, which is when your body makes growth hormone. 

“If you’re grinding out the miles and trying to recover before a race or your next training session, alcohol impairs your ability to do that,” he says. It may also interfere with the secretion of melatonin, a hormone associated with sleep, which can mess with your shut-eye schedule causing daytime drowsiness and nighttime restlessness—so you reach for another beer. If you do plan to drink, drink less and do it very early, says Winter. “There really is no way to sidestep its negative properties.” 

Not being able to fall asleep can cause extreme anxiety, especially as you count the minutes wide awake until the alarm says it’s time to get up. Many people turn to alcohol to dull anxiety, though it’s neither good nor effective, says Winter. It may mask the issue for a night, but it won’t give you the rest you need. If you’re struggling to get to sleep at night, first clean up your sleep hygiene by logging off devices and stress-inducing news sources at least an hour before bed. Consider meditation or quiet journaling, which can help you unwind, says Winter. And if you’re still worried about your sleep quality, take the issue to a sleep specialist. 

The Pandemic Didn’t Help

J.R. Jamison, a 43-year-old Indiana-based author and NPR host, took up running 10 years ago and eventually lost 80 pounds. He was healthy and fit and loved how running got him out into the world. But when the pandemic hit, he found it difficult to differentiate between weekends and weekdays. 

Jamison admits his weekend drinking habits had always been on the heavy side. But when Tuesday night started to feel just like a Friday night and no one was going anywhere, weekend drinking became everyday drinking. Next thing he knew, the running habit that had changed his life had fallen by the wayside. “There’s no doubt that substance use disorders have skyrocketed since the pandemic,” says Dave Rabin, MD, PhD, a San Francisco–based psychiatrist. A CDC report from August of 2020 found that 13 percent of Americans started or increased their use of substances like alcohol during the first six months of 2020.

Rabin says that, at its core, substance use stems from a human desire to avoid discomfort like stress, anxiety, or lack of control. And if we haven’t learned healthy, long-term strategies for managing discomfort, we look for something to alleviate that discomfort. Alcohol often produces the desired numbing effect.

As Jamison found himself drinking more, he had less energy and motivation. He’d wake up with brain fog and struggle through a day of work. With no impetus to run, and little accomplished professionally, he’d reach for a drink each night.

What’s so insidious about alcohol and other sedatives, says Rabin, is that these drugs numb our frontal-cortex activity, decreasing our insight and judgment. As a result, we unwittingly train ourselves to embrace a casual attitude toward self-reflection—and wind up oblivious to our problematic behavior, he says. 

Running, however, does the opposite. It results in a neurochemical response in the brain, with endogenous pleasure molecules, endogenous opioid molecules, and endogenous cannabinoid molecules, plus dopamine and serotonin, all releasing on cue like one glorious feel-good chorus. This is why addiction specialists often recommend it as a coping mechanism for those struggling with alcohol use disorder, says Rabin.

But running won’t help if you can’t summon the motivation to do it. It took Jamison more than a year to rediscover his enthusiasm. As 2021 came to a close, he committed to Dry January. “I didn’t have a drop to drink throughout January, and I started to notice that I wasn’t waking up anymore with headaches,” he says. He started running again. “I liked the way I felt. I was happier. I just decided not to drink again, and I haven’t.”

The Myth of Healthy Drinking

Not long after Lisa Slade saw the effect of alcohol on her Whoop data, she clicked around the Internet looking for more info on why the impact was so dramatic. “We’ve been told our whole lives that a beer or a glass of wine is heart-healthy,” says Slade, who has since cut back her drinking. “But I was reading studies about the effects of alcohol and it turns out that maybe it’s not good for you at all.”

Alcohol is a known carcinogen, a substance that can cause cancer, says Tim Rebbeck, MD, a professor of cancer prevention at Harvard University. When you drink, your body relies on two enzymes to break alcohol molecules into pieces small enough for removal from the body. That breakdown process creates a byproduct called acetaldehyde. Laboratory, animal, and human studies have all shown that acetaldehyde causes DNA damage to cells, and this damage can lead to cancerous tumors. “We are sure that alcohol is a causative factor in some cancers, and it’s supported by lots of different lines of evidence,” says Rebbeck. 

Getting the word out that alcohol—like tobacco—is a carcinogen has been difficult for several reasons. For one thing, alcohol is socially acceptable and even socially encouraged. Furthermore, the relationship between alcohol and cancer is more complicated than smoking’s direct link to lung cancer. Head, neck, liver, and breast cancer all have strong links to alcohol, says Rebbeck. But, of course, some people who never drank a drop will still get breast cancer and vice versa. “It’s a complex story, and people have a hard time digesting complex stories,” he says. And how much of a role alcohol played in any one person’s cancer development is an impossible equation to tease out.

As for a glass of wine being heart-healthy, recent research has debunked that advice, says Koob. The early studies concluding that it helps your heart were based on the resveratrol in red wine, but the amount you’d have to drink to get the benefits of the compound would tear your liver up, he says. A 2019 study published in the Journal of The American Heart Association confirms this, finding that heavy drinking is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

Even studies that find some benefit to drinking may not hold up under scrutiny. Over the years, a handful of meta-analyses of all-cause mortality among drinkers versus nondrinkers found a “J-shaped curve” between the two. Basically, mortality was slightly higher for nondrinkers, but dipped for moderate drinkers, and then rose sharply for heavy drinkers, forming a J. This would appear to make the “glass of wine for heart health” statement true. But in 2015, researchers took a closer look at these studies. When they teased out exactly why many abstainers did so, they found a confounding variable: These people were eschewing alcohol because of existing health concerns. In other words, they were less healthy than the moderate-drinking group to begin with. When researchers adjusted the data to account for abstainers with outstanding health concerns, the initial hump on the J flattened out. 

Studying alcohol use and health effects is difficult, in part because people often don’t remember how much they consumed or because they aren’t being honest about it, says Rebbeck. That makes giving recommendations on how much and how often to drink difficult, too. 

Interestingly, not a single expert interviewed for this story told us to stop drinking. Several mentioned that they occasionally enjoy wine and beer. “‘Don’t ever do anything that might harm you’ is not useful messaging,” says Rebbeck. Life is full of things that can harm us. Overly charred toast. Processed meats. The flame retardant on our couches. Uneven sidewalks waiting for unsuspecting runners. 

A better approach is to consider your personal risk factors, your tolerance for risk, and the joy that alcohol—in moderation—brings you. If you have a family history of breast cancer, or head and neck cancers, you may decide the risk isn’t worth it. If you don’t, drinking in moderation may be a risk you’re willing to take. However, “limiting your exposure to alcohol is the bottom-line answer,” Rebbeck says. “You are consuming a carcinogen. How much of that do you really want?”

The Longest Race: Sobriety

For Coree Woltering, that amount was zero. On November 1, 2021, Woltering got sober. In past years, he’d taken time away from drinking and seen an improvement in his training. But then he’d go back to drinking—and plunge off the deep end. There wasn’t a happy medium where he just had one beer every other night. “It wasn’t just like I drank to get drunk,” he says. “I really enjoyed the taste of certain wines, certain beers. But that’s part of the problem, I enjoyed it to 150 percent.”

A week of sobriety passed. Then another. He jumped in to crew a friend through an ultra and got offered a shot of Fireball at an aid station. When he turned it down, everyone was surprised. “They’re like, ‘Oh, are you not feeling well?’ I’m like, ‘No, I feel great. I’m just not drinking.’ And everyone’s like, ‘Oh, are you sick?’ ‘No, I’m not sick. I’m just literally not drinking.’” That drinking culture and running culture knot is tight. 

In the first month, Woltering focused on consistency. He set a goal to run every day in December and hit 30 of the 31 days. Over time, the awkwardness with friends abated, and Woltering found a community of similarly sober athletes. But his performance wasn’t doing the about-face he’d hoped for. 

The second month was the rough one. “It was like, ‘Oh, now I feel every little pain in my body,’” he remembers. And then there was the FOMO. “It’s like, for the rest of my life, am I missing out on all these beers and wine that I haven’t tasted yet?” 

It would take Woltering six months to get back to a place where he felt good. Yet he wasn’t seeing the times he’d hit in previous training peaks. That was frustrating. Giving up alcohol was supposed to be this golden ticket to better health. 

Finally, eight months into sobriety, things started to click. His times began to improve. Those better numbers bolstered his commitment to the sober path. And then, in October of 2022, three weeks before hitting a year of sobriety, Woltering won the Blue Ridge Ultra 50K. It was his first ultra victory since 2019. He celebrated with cake and ice cream. 

(12/25/2022) Views: 663 ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World

Tata Mumbai Marathon to be held in January 2023 after two year gap

The Tata Mumbai Marathon (TMM), a World Athletics Elite Label Road Race, will be held on January 15, 2023, said its organizers Procam International.

This will be the 18th edition of the marathon and will be flagged off from the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) and the categories are classic distance marathon, popular half marathon, open 10k, Senior Citizens’ Run, Champions with Disability, and Dream Run. 

Eknath Shinde, chief minister of Maharashtra, said, “The much awaited marathon returns after two years. Today the event is one of the top 10 marathons in the world and that is a big achievement. It is a pride of Mumbai and India, that brings our community together across all ages, caste, creed to run as one. We extend our support to the event and we are with you." 

Harish Bhat, brand custodian, Tata Sons, said “The Tata Group is proud to be associated with this iconic race that brings alive the essence of Mumbai. Embodying the spirit of Mumbai, the city that never stops moving, overcoming every challenge just like the marathon runners moving towards their goal with a never-give-up attitude, the marathon brings together amateur and professional runners from across the country. The race gives every runner the opportunity to push beyond the limits of body and mind to succeed in this test of human strength and endurance.  Ujjwal Mathur, senior vice president and country head, India business, TCS said “TCS has been associated with the marathon for many years and has now grown as a pioneer of running events across the globe.“

Bollywood actor Tiger Shroff is the face of the event. IDFC First Bank will be a part of the marathon for the first time after the technology-led bank signed up to be an associate sponsor across Procam International’s four events and marked their arrival in mass-participation sport, at the TCS World 10K Bengaluru in May this year.




(12/23/2022) Views: 527 ⚡AMP
Tata Mumbai Marathon

Tata Mumbai Marathon

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


Now healthy, Canadian Brandon McBride sets running priorities for 2023, brightens holidays for others

Fully healed from a broken left foot, Brandon McBride will work to improve his mental strength on the track in 2023, with an eye on qualifying for a fourth consecutive World Athletics Championships next summer in Budapest.

The Canadian middle-distance runner will take a more experienced, strategic and smarter approach to races after falling hard to the track while jostling for position in his 800-meter heat on July 20 at the world championships in Eugene, Ore.

McBride, 28, and Navasky Anderson of Jamaica exchanged shoves near the turn off the backstretch. About 200 meters into the race, McBride said he was bumped during the cut-in and lost control but stayed on his feet before suddenly colliding with others.

The Windsor, Ont., native fell nearly five seconds off the pace and finished eighth, and last, in one minute 57.43 seconds.

"You could say it was a freak accident [but] I take full responsibility," McBride, told CBC Sports over the phone from Victoria. "It could have been avoided if I had raced smarter. I need to approach races as a six-foot-five speed/power athlete [and] have to know I can't fit in certain spaces [between opposing runners]."

Going forward, McBride suggested he would sit at the back of the pack for the "first lap or so" and work his way up from 400 metres.

"That's something I [did] last year," said the two-time Olympian, "but maybe it's something I didn't have the confidence to do during world championships."

McBride encountered a similar situation in the first round at the 2019 worlds in Doha, Qatar, where he allowed Peter Bol of Australia to cut him off and almost tripped 150 to 200 metres from the start. At the time, McBride recalled, he had the utmost confidence in his endurance and speed. He recovered to win the heat while a tired Bol faded to fifth.

"In the future, I would love to have the confidence in myself to allow the individual to go ahead instead of jostling," he said. "You have to protect your space but remember the goal of the race is to finish."

In Eugene, McBride broke the fifth metatarsal, the long bone on the outside of the foot that connects to the small toe. The four-time Canadian champion worked with physiotherapist Mary Brannigan in Windsor during his rehabilitation and Dr. Brian Murer, a chiropractic specialist based in Indiana, who solved overall movement issues the runner was experiencing.

Four weeks into recovery, McBride could walk without issue and returned to his regular training program at the beginning of October.

"Rehab was straightforward, strengthening the muscles and tendons near the bone," said McBride, who ran a Canadian-record time of 1:43.20 in 2018. "[The broken bone] was the most painful experience I've ever had. I couldn't walk for the first 72 hours and it hurt when I was at rest and when I [eventually] moved around on crutches."

McBride moved to Victoria in late November to join coach Mark Rowland, with whom he has worked since November 2021 when he joined Oregon Track Club Elite in Eugene. Five months ago, Rowland accepted a job to coach endurance athletes out of Athletics Canada's West Hub in the B.C. capital. McBride and three others also relocated and live together in a cottage.

These days, McBride runs a combined 21 kilometers across morning and evening workouts and over the past month has experienced his best period of November/December training since turning professional in June 2016.

"Physically, we're [pushing] him a little harder [than in early 2022] and he seems to be responding," Rowland told CBC Sports. "We haven't done the anaerobic speed [workouts] or speed testing because I don't think we've done enough conditioning work to put his body in that position. We'll do that probably in January."

During his downtime, McBride has kept busy with his not-for-profit group. McBride Youth United Association has partnered with several organizations and this week will help 50 families in need ahead of the holiday season.

Care packages, which will be distributed in Windsor through Friday, include cognitive toys, sensory toys, board games, action figures, building blocks, hygiene products, gift cards and food cards.

McBride and the six-member MYUA — which includes his girlfriend, Yesmina Captan — has partnered with the Border City Athletics Club, Border City Boxing Club, Windsor United Basketball Training Facility, Windsor Region Hospital and Eastern Flavours Restaurant and Banquet Hall.

"It means the world to see the direct impact you're making with these kids and their families," said McBride, who has a master's degree in business from Wayne State University in Detroit. "I want to do my best to help the youth of Windsor and their development. It ties in with our mentorship and tutoring services we're going to be offering in 2023.

"I believe every child has greatness within them. They just need an individual or situation to bring out that greatness."

Early in 2020, McBride and Captan purchased grocery cards from FreshCo in Windsor and delivered them to eight families in need during the coronavirus pandemic. Later in the year, McBride delivered over 100 winter coats for children connected to nine organizations.

(12/22/2022) Views: 504 ⚡AMP
by Doug Harrison
World Athletics Championships Budapest 23

World Athletics Championships Budapest 23

From August 19-27, 2023, Budapest will host the world's third largest sporting event, the World Athletics Championships. It is the largest sporting event in the history of Hungary, attended by athletes from more than 200 countries, whose news will reach more than one billion people. Athletics is the foundation of all sports. It represents strength, speed, dexterity and endurance, the...


Questions Arise About Selection of 2024 Olympic Marathon Trials Site

The USATF national office overrode a recommendation from its board of directors that Chattanooga host the Trials.

Despite a recommendation from the USA Track & Field (USATF) board of directors that Chattanooga be named the host city for the 2024 Olympic Marathon Trials, the city will not host the event. Instead, Orlando, the only other city to bid on the Trials, was named as the host city. 

According to minutes from the October 9 USATF board meeting held in Miami Beach, recently posted to USATF’s website, the board issued “an advisory vote of approval for the 2024 USATF U.S. Olympic Trials - Marathon bid to be awarded to Chattanooga, Tennessee. Final approval still remains with the USATF National Office.” 

The vote was unanimously carried with one abstention. But the national office announced on November 8 that Orlando would be getting the nod. 

Runner’s World asked USATF spokesperson Natalie Uhl and CEO Max Siegel for clarification on why the national office overrode the board of directors. Uhl referred questions on the matter to Mike Conley, the chairman of the board of directors. 

Conley wrote in an email to Runner’s World, “The [United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee] is looking into the matter and until I hear back from them I have no comment.”

The USOPC was unable to provide comment to Runner’s World immediately, but a spokesman said he would do so at a later time. 

Multiple sources told Runner’s World both Orlando and Chattanooga performed well at site visits. But late in the selection process, after the board vote, Chattanooga’s bid was disqualified.

Neither USATF nor Conley would confirm that Chattanooga was disqualified nor explain why. 

A board member, Jim Estes, had been involved as an advisor on Chattanooga’s bid. Estes had disclosed the relationship from the beginning—board members and other volunteers with USATF are required to file conflict of interest forms and keep them up to date—and Estes recused himself from voting on anything related to the Olympic Marathon Trials. His recusal is noted in the meeting minutes. 

According to his LinkedIn profile, Estes previously worked in the USATF national office in Indianapolis for almost 12 years, from 2005 to 2016. For the last four, he was the director of events. He is now a consultant for events in the running industry. 

Estes declined to comment to Runner’s World. The chief sports officer at the Chattanooga Sports Commission, Tim Morgan, was directing Chattanooga’s bid for the Trials. He did not return multiple calls and messages requesting comment. 

The board bases its vote on recommendations from members of the men’s and women’s long distance running committees, volunteers who visit potential sites and evaluate the bids for what will help produce the strongest Olympic team and be best for the athletes. 

At a November virtual meeting of USATF’s board of directors, the topic of the bid for the Olympic Marathon Trials came up again. But the discussion was held in executive session, meaning that what was discussed remains private. The executive session lasted for 15 minutes. Again, Estes recused himself from the session. 

A similar disagreement marred the selection of the 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials. For that event, the men’s and women’s long distance running committees recommended that the Trials return to Houston, which had staged a successful Trials in 2012. Siegel overrode that decision and decided the Trials should be in Los Angeles, a larger media market. 

That race in Los Angeles went off in warm conditions. February temperatures reached into the mid-70s, and several athletes struggled in the heat, with many claiming inadequate fluids on the course. For the men, Galen Rupp, Meb Keflezighi, and Jared Ward made the team. On the women’s side, Amy Cragg and Des Linden finished first and second, and Shalane Flanagan collapsed at the finish line in third place. 

USATF is facing scrutiny about other administrative matters. In November, when the nonprofit organization’s most recent tax forms were made public, it showed Siegel had a total compensation package of $3.8 million in 2021. The chief operating officer, Renee Washington, made more than $1.6 million. Together, those two salaries represented more than 16 percent of the organization’s revenues. 

Earlier this month, heptathlete Taliyah Brooks filed a lawsuit against USATF for failing to reschedule the heptathlon during extreme heat at the 2021 Olympic Track and Field Trials.


(12/18/2022) Views: 548 ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World

Sophia Kennedy, Daughter Of Bob Kennedy, Looks For Steady Progress As She Prepares For Two National Meets

INDIANAPOLIS – As far as she is concerned, Dad is Dad. But every once in a while, Sophia Kennedy’s father comes up in conversation.

“Oh yeah, my dad ran professionally,” she says.

“Who’s your dad?”

“Bob Kennedy.”

After the oh-my-gosh replies, Sophia can’t help but smile.

“That always feels kind of cool.”

Also cool: Sophia Kennedy has qualified for both high school nationals in cross country, the Nike race Saturday at Portland, Ore., and Champs Sports (formerly Foot Locker and Eastbay) on Dec. 10 at San Diego. She is a senior at Park Tudor School in Indianapolis and has committed to Stanford.

For an American distance runner, being Bob Kennedy’s daughter is analogous to being an Obama sister entering politics or an actress whose father is Brad Pitt.  Comparisons are inevitable, and inevitably unfair.

Yet by now, 52-year-old father and 17-year-old daughter are so used to it, it is a source of amusement rather than pressure. No one will be another Bob Kennedy. His impact on track and field cannot be overstated.

The two-time Olympian won four NCAA titles while at Indiana University and became the first non-African to run 5,000 meters in less than 13 minutes. His 1998 American record at 3,000 meters, 7:30.84, has been lowered little (to 7:28.48 by Grant Fisher) despite a 24-year span and introduction of super-shoes.

Sophia did not have to follow in those spikesprints. Her twin brother, Marcus, is a soccer standout. No way Sophia was going that route. She was once a goalkeeper “because I was a liability on the soccer field.”

Sophia took ballet lessons, played the clarinet. Her mother, Melina, a former IU runner who once ran for mayor of Indianapolis, and father encouraged the twins to try everything.

“Ultimately, they choose their own passion,” the father said. “We were big on hopefully finding something. Because I think it’s important to life and growth to find something that interests you, whether you’re the best at it or just really enjoy it.”

For Sophia, that became running. She was among the best and really enjoyed it.

Her transformational moment came when she nearly won a two-mile race around school grounds as a fifth-grader. She was outkicked by a boy. Then “it was on,” her father said.

Sophia affiliated with a local club, the Carmel Distance Project, and began winning races. In age-group cross-country nationals, she was 32nd in 2016 and 11th in 2017.

She didn’t have to travel far for competition, either. The Kennedy and Farley families used to live on Pennsylvania Street in Indianapolis homes separated by 73rd Street. Sophia grew up playing with a future Park Tudor teammate, Gretchen Farley, who has also qualified for San Diego.

Bob Kennedy has characterized Farley, a 2:09/4:50 runner who competes in four sports, as “a super talent.”

Sophia said all her parents have ever asked is whatever she does, give it her all.

“My parents have made it super clear, if I’m ever not happy in the sport, I don’t have to keep running,” she said. “It’s just something I’ve come to love because I love the hard work and the opportunities that it brings and the people that I meet.”

Sophia’s progress has not gone uninterrupted.

After setting an Indiana indoor 3,200-meter record of 10:12.32 last Feb. 19, she developed a fever, then an injury. She tried to maintain fitness via cross-training and anti-gravity treadmill. In May, when she began state track qualifications in a sectional, it was her first running on the ground in six weeks.

Given all that, it was redemptive to finish second at state in 10:25.02, or two seconds behind champion Nicki Southerland. Sophia lowered that to a 10:20.13 two-mile in finishing eighth at the Brooks PR Invitational.

Sophia took a measured approach to this cross-country season. Her father has credited her high school coaches, Garrett Lawton and Ryan Ritz, with prioritizing long-term future over short-term success. Sophia does not exceed 40 miles a week, and sometimes runs as few as 30.

“The one thing I realized,” she said, “if I want to be successful, I need to be healthy this year.”

That has been manifested in what is arguably her best run of runs. In a span of six 5Ks over eight weeks – none of which she won – she clocked 17:10, 17:12, 17:25, 17:24, 17:11, 17:23. She was third at state, fifth at NXR Midwest and second at Champs Midwest.

Even her cautious father conceded the daughter is on a trajectory that will accelerate as her strength matches her aerobic capacity. Sophia’s VO2 max is 82. Bob Kennedy’s was 83.

“I’m a little biased. I think you’re going to see huge leaps,” he said.

Sophia has come along during an unprecedented era in Indiana. Not only did Addy Wiley set a national record for 1,600 meters last June, there have been opponents such as Lily Cridge, Southerland, Addison Knoblauch and Farley.

According to, Cridge, Southerland and Kennedy rank Nos. 1, 4 and 5, respectively, in Indiana cross-country over the past 40 years.

Sophia is not intimidated at national meets. She sees such competition regularly. At San Diego last December, she led through a 5:19 mile and finished seventh.

She became the first Indiana girl in 15 years to have four top-five finishes at state cross-country . . . but never has she been a state champion on grass or track.

“She’s generationally great, and hasn’t won one yet. That’s stunning to me,” said Scott Lidskin, who coached Westfield to four state titles in girls cross-country.

Sophia will be surrounded by talent at Stanford. She chose the Farm over Notre Dame, North Carolina State, Virginia and Colorado.

Stanford was 13th in NCAA cross-country with a roster of six sophomores and one freshman. The team did not include two 1:59 freshmen, Roisin Willis and Juliette Whittaker, who won gold and bronze medals in the 800 meters at the World Under-20 Championships. Nor did it include Irene Riggs, a 2023 recruit coming off a 16:02 that was the second-fastest 5K in high school cross country history.

Sophia Kennedy, taking cues from her parents, pleads patience.

“I don’t want to be just a really good freshman,” she said. “I want to be really good in four years and five years and 10 years.”

It is mildly disappointing to be without a state title in Indiana’s single-class system. To win state at 3,200 meters, for instance, she suggested it might take 9:50 to beat Cridge (10:03.16 PB) and win.

No high school girl has broken 9:50 in an outdoor two-mile. Three have done so indoors: Mary Cain, Natalie Cook, Sydney Thorvaldson.

“I’m not looking for these immediate responses in my high school career,” Sophia said. “I want to run better at Nike nationals than I would have at the state meet. I want to be strong for the spring and not get injured.”

And not get caught up in what Dad did, other than to have a long career in the long run.

(12/11/2022) Views: 505 ⚡AMP
by Runner’s Space

Kenya will look to criminalize doping in athletics

In an attempt to crack down on doping, Kenyan Sports Minster Ababu Namwama told BBC News Africa that he hopes to fast-track modifications to legislation and crack down on doping the same way the government does with illegal drugs.

Last week, the East African country avoided a sanction by governing body World Athletics—despite having 55 athletes currently serving doping-related suspensions. Kenya has the third highest number of suspensions behind Russia (102) and India (61) and is categorized as one of the seven “Category A” nations threatening the overall integrity of the sport.

On Dec. 2, the Kenyan government reached an agreement with World Athletics to spend USD $25 million over the next five years to combat the war on doping, which will help pay for more anti-doping personnel, increase testing and investigation and strengthen education.

“I believe we need to criminalize doping and elevate the handling of doping substances to the same level [as] narcotics,” says Namwama. “Convicted dopers should be dealt with the way we deal with drug traffickers.”

According to Kenyan law, any person who is in possession of any narcotic drug is guilty of an offense and faces a fine of five million Kenyan shillings (USD $40,000) or imprisonment for up to five years. They may also be forced into a rehabilitation program for a minimum of six months.

France is one country that outlaws doping in sports with prison sentences and fines. In 2009, the government adopted a law that penalizes the possession and trafficking of doping products in sports. Offenders can receive up to five years in jail and a 75,000-euro fine. For more severe cases, the penalty may also be increased to seven years and a fine of 150,000 euros. If an athlete is found guilty of personal use, they can be sentenced to a year in prison and a 3,750-euro fine.

During a World Athletics Council meeting in Rome in November, WA president Sebastian Coe said Kenya faces “a long journey ahead” to regain the trust of the World Athletics.

Coe told BBC News Africa that he has no problems with Kenya criminalizing the trafficking of these substances, but pointed out that criminalizing athletes can be complicated.

Previous attempts to criminalize doping in Kenya have been unsuccessful, with a motion submitted by former member of parliament and 2012 Boston Marathon champion Wesley Korir being defeated in 2016. Korir and his wife Tarah Korir lived in Waterloo, Ont. for several years before moving back to Kenya. 

(12/08/2022) Views: 590 ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson

Kenya doping: World Athletics urged not to ban country despite doping cases

World Athletics has been urged not to ban Kenya from the sport for violations of doping rules by a government minister from the East African country.

The nation is reportedly at risk of a sanction following a string of cases, with 55 of its athletes serving suspensions issued by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU).

Kenya's situation will be discussed at the World athletics council meeting in Rome next week, BBC Sport Africa understands.

Ababu Namwamba, the cabinet secretary for the Ministry of Youth Affairs, Sports and the Arts, has written to World Athletics president Lord Coe to assure him that Kenya's government is taking firm measures to uphold the integrity of athletics.

"We cannot allow our nation to be banned because of the actions of some greedy unethical individuals," Namwamba said.

"We will target and deal decisively with the criminals and their syndicates. We must work together to eradicate doping and cheating from athletics and sports in general."

Kenya is among seven countries deemed a 'Category A' federation - the highest doping risk - by the AIU, meaning athletes from the countries have to undergo at least three tests in the 10 months prior to a major event to be able to compete there.

Its total of 55 athletes serving bans is the third most of any nationality behind Russia (102) and India (61).

Russia has been banned by World Athletics from competing as a nation in athletics since 2015 but untainted athletes were still able to compete under a neutral flag until the country's invasion of Ukraine in February, when all athletes, support personnel and officials from the country were banned.

Seventeen Kenyan athletes have been sanctioned by the AIU this year for a range of violations, with a further eight provisionally suspended and awaiting the outcomes of their cases.

An overarching ban by World Athletics and the AIU would be a huge blow to the reputation of the East African country, which has won 34 of its 35 Olympic gold medals in track and field events.

The National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) welcomed the government's intervention and said it would continue supporting "all efforts and actions as a partner in dismantling all systems and avenues perpetuating the vice of doping in athletics".

A statement from the body said the country had built an "illustrious history" in the sport and that "it is not ready to sacrifice this reputation due to the greed of a few actors".

"We join our voice in pleading with World Athletics and other parties to withhold any punitive measures such as a ban and consider the multifaceted efforts of the Kenyan community, led by the government, as a positive sign and contribution towards a zero-doping environment in Kenya," NOC-K president Paul Tergat added.

Two-time Olympic champion and marathon world record holder Eliud Kipchoge has said the increasing number of doping cases is "worrying" and "clean sport is the way to go".

The Ministry of Youth Affairs, Sports and the Arts said Kenya has a zero tolerance to doping and is "fully committed to ending the doping menace".

"We must defeat doping and its perpetrators. This is a serious concern and that is why the government is giving total undivided attention," Namwamba added.

"We are treating it as a matter of top strategic national interest."

(11/25/2022) Views: 569 ⚡AMP
by BBC Sport
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