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Sarah Lancaster was born to run but she also excelled in tennis and basketball too

If you’ve spent early mornings on the trails near downtown Austin, Texas you’ve probably crossed paths with Sarah Lancaster — 5 feet, 8 inches of mostly limbs and ponytail, casually eating up miles faster than you could drive on the Hike and Bike Trail, or sprinting so fast around the Austin High track off Lady Bird Lake that her male training partners have to tag each other in for pacing duty.

Lancaster is not just the fastest runner in Austin. She's one of the fastest women in the entire country, and she's competing at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore., on Friday in both the 1,500- and 5,000-meter runs.

Her personal bests of 4 minutes, 5.55 seconds and 15:13.56 are only a few seconds off the Olympic standards of 4:04.20 and 15:10, meaning she can make this summer's Tokyo Olympics team if she can shave a few seconds off her best times and place in the top three.

Texas legend Trey Hardee, a 2012 Olympic silver medalist in the decathlon, recently declared Lancaster the best athlete in Longhorns history on Twitter, although that actually has as much to do with her pedigree as a dual-sport athlete at UT in tennis and basketball as it does her running resume.

At 33 years old, Lancaster is nearly 15 years behind most of her competitors in terms of specific training for distance running. She works full-time as an attorney in Austin, but nearly everyone who has run with her or coached her agrees: the former tennis ace possesses an unbeatable work ethic and killer instinct that makes her a natural on the track, no matter how late she found the sport.

Tennis beginnings

Lancaster grew up in San Antonio playing every sport offered, but quickly found herself drawn to tennis and basketball. She started taking tennis lessons when she was six years old and was competing in statewide tournaments by the time she was 11.

Lancaster's mother, Kelly, says Sarah was competitive "in everything. It wasn't necessarily sports," and that she inadvertently stoked the fire a few times when Sarah drew a tough opponent during a travel tournament. 

“I would say, ‘Oh gosh, you play so-and-so today, I just hope you get a point,’” Kelly Lancaster said. “Because maybe it was one of the top girls in Texas. She’s commented that I’d pack up our bags to check out of the hotel because I knew she was playing somebody (who was a top seed). And you can always go check back in, but if you don’t check out by 10 or 11, then you have to pay for a whole ‘nother day.

“She said, ‘I’d see mom packing up the bags and think, ‘Obviously, she doesn’t think I’m gonna win today, so I’m gonna show her!' I really didn’t do it for that reason. I was thinking, ‘We’re done, I’m tired, we’re going home.’ Little things like that, I guess, motivated her a little bit to prove me wrong.”

Lancaster played tennis, basketball and ran track during her freshman year at Alamo Heights High School before deciding to enroll in a tennis academy that her coach established more than 200 miles away in Conroe. The academy is no longer in existence, but at the time was affiliated with John Roddick, the older brother of tennis star Andy Roddick.

“I was 15 at the time and, looking back at it, I can’t believe my parents let me do that,” Lancaster said.

A typical day at the tennis academy included two hours of practice in the morning, home school sessions for five to six hours, and another afternoon practice session that could last anywhere from two to three hours. There were about five other female boarders, more young men, and a number of local kids from the area who drove in for practice every day.

“We had a good time,” Lancaster said. “It was definitely not your normal high school experience. ... We were at tournaments a lot, we would go to the movies or just normal things like that ... (but) you’re there to play tennis and you’re there to get good, you’re not there to be partying and having fun.”

Lancaster thrived in the environment, improving her national and state rankings to become one of the best players in Texas.

“For me, it was — I want to go and I want to get as good as I can and see what I can do,” she said of her motivation to attend the tennis academy. “Maybe a little part of me thought I was going to play professionally one day, but I think the focus for me was more on college ... making sure I was going to be recruited.”

Lancaster committed to Texas — "hands down my first choice" — but then suffered a stress fracture in her back and had to take a few months off from tennis. She moved back home and re-enrolled at Alamo Heights, where her old friends convinced her to play basketball again.

It was an easy sell. After all, she was already the best player when she was only a freshman.

"I talked to the UT tennis coach," Lancaster said. "'Hey, you know, I'd kind of like to play basketball. I think it would be fun for me and it might be good for me, coming back from this injury, to do a different sport.'" And she was agreeable to it as long as I taped my ankles for every practice or game."

The move was eerily prescient for her career at Texas. Also prescient — she ran a few track races (she said her best time was a 58-second 400 meters as a freshman).

Texas fight

Given her experience living away from home at the tennis academy, Lancaster’s transition to college and NCAA athletics was pretty seamless. The Texas women’s tennis team, which recently captured its third national championship, was solidly ranked within the top 10 to 20 programs in the nation during her years there, and as a senior in 2010, she helped the Longhorns to the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA Tournament while totaling a 25-8 singles record, including an 11-0 mark in the Big 12.

“She is one of the best competitors I ever coached,” former UT women’s tennis coach Patty Fendick-McCain said in a text message. “She was the most solid player I ever coached at her position and when the chips were down, I always knew she would come through. She didn’t care what line she played, but that she would get a ‘W’ and contribute to the team.”

Of her own heroics on the court, Lancaster says simply that her personal highlight of her college tennis career was “probably the fact that we beat A&M every time we played them.”

Bored over the summer after her senior year and with one extra semester of school to complete, Lancaster and one of her tennis teammates filmed a video of her doing a trick layup shot. They sent it to their coach, who forwarded the video to the women’s basketball coach at the time, Gail Goestenkors.

To Lancaster’s surprise, Goestenkors told her to go play some pick-up games that summer with the team.

"I went and played with them over the summer, and it was really just pick-up games, coaches couldn't come," Lancaster said. "I didn't really feel like I was completely in over my head, you know — I wasn't like, 'Oh, I'm better than any of these people that have been playing their whole lives and have been recruited to play at the University of Texas,' (but) I felt like I could hold my own."

Sight unseen, based on positive feedback from the players on the team, Lancaster was invited to officially join the roster in the fall.

"None of the coaches had ever seen me play and they basically told me that they would let me play on the team, which was a little bit terrifying,” she said. “The first practice, I was like, please do not miss a layup, please do not miss a layup.

"I think part of it was, the team was really young, there were six or seven freshmen. There was really only one other senior at the time on the team and I think they were just kind of like, 'Sarah knows how to be a student-athlete, she can help these freshmen.' And I guess they confirmed with some other people that I wasn't a terrible basketball player."

Lancaster stepped into the leadership role naturally, had fun at practice and was fine with getting less minutes as the season went on. Her personal highlight from her basketball career didn’t even take place in the Big 12.

"My only basketball highlight is in seventh grade, when I scored 46 points in a game," she said with a straight face. 

'That’s just not something you see every day'

Paras Shah remembers the first time Lancaster showed up to a casual evening workout with RAW Running a few years ago. She made it up Wilke Road — a notoriously brutal 300-meter, 10.8% grade hill in the Barton Hills neighborhood — for all eight repeats, just a few strides behind Shah and the other former NCAA Division I male runners in the group.

"I asked her where she ran in college and she said she didn’t," said Shah, who ran at LSU. "(I thought) that’s obviously not possible. I just didn’t believe her.”

Lancaster was always naturally fast.

In mile time trials throughout her athletic career, she’d routinely clock in just under 5:30.

"Every running drill we did, Sarah was fastest and had the best endurance," Fendick-McCain said. "Her attitude was to leave blood on the court if necessary. She had better endurance than any other player I ever coached or that she played against. If it was a test of wills and endurance, she would always find a way to win."

When Lancaster started law school, she played in various recreational leagues and just had fun ("law school was the most free time I've ever had in my life," she said) while casually completing her first half-marathon. But a few years into the workforce, she happened to meet UT club running coach Kyle Higdon, a UT graduate student, and she asked him to train her to break five minutes in the mile.

"I just felt like that would be a cool thing to say I could do," she said. "And I had actually talked to multiple guys who told me that they tried to do it and couldn't do it. So I was, you know, even more motivated to try."

With light mileage (20-25 miles per week) and a few basic workouts under her belt, she clocked 4:46 in her first 1,500 meter race — the equivalent of a 5:07 mile. By the end of the spring, she had improved to about 4:30 for the 1,500, an incredible time for a brand new runner, albeit one who was 28.

As she watched the Rio Olympics that summer, she wondered: Could she qualify for the 2020 Olympic Trials?

“I had no concept of what a good time was,” she said.

The idea of the Trials wasn’t quite a solidified goal at that point — just a little bug in her head that popped up every now and then. With Higdon finishing his studies and moving on with his career, Lancaster evaluated her group running options, which, in Austin, are mostly marathon training groups that meet in the wee hours of the morning, or more casual after-work clubs.

She chose the latter, and started showing up to RAW. That’s where she met Shah, who helps organize the annual Schrader 1600 every May for high school runners and members of the community. 

At the 2018 event, with about two years of casual training under her belt, Lancaster ran 4:37.55 for 1,600 meters. The girl who kicked the boys’ butts at RAW workouts every Tuesday was legit.

Mike Kurvath remembers the race very vividly. Then 28, the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) track alum ran 4:17 in his section. At the time, he was thinking of moving on from running competitively.

"I remember that very specifically, because in the final 200 meters, she elbowed her way through a couple of high schoolers and it was a really strong move," Kurvath said. "That’s just not something you see every day.

"I was thinking that I was going to be done with running. After I saw that race ... it was actually quite inspiring. After a couple weeks of training with Sarah, you knew the potential was there. It gave me a second chance at my own running."

Kevin Kimball, a UT track alum, offered to help train her.

"Kevin was like, 'you could definitely run the Olympic Trials qualifying time,'" Lancaster said. “In the back of my mind, I had always thought I could … I haven't really been doing that much training and I can already run this fast, like, why can't I run, you know, sub-4:10 in the 1,500? I mean, looking back, that is kind of crazy to think about, but it probably benefited me that I had no real knowledge of running because I didn't see any limitations for myself.”

To make the 2021 Olympic Trials, the qualifying time in the 1,500 meters was 4:06, the equivalent of a 4:25 mile and 4:24 1,600 — a full 13 seconds faster than she had just run.

"Kevin was like, 'I think you can do it,' and I was like, 'all right, well, I'll give it a go.'"

2021 Olympic Trials

Lancaster definitely falls into the camp of athletes who benefited from having an extra pandemic year to train in preparation for the Olympic Trials.

She struggled with injuries in 2019 but regained form in early 2020, running an impressive 15:56 in a 5K time trial at the beginning of the pandemic. That made her consider switching events. She improved her time to 15:34 in December, then ran her Olympic Trials qualifying marks in a two-week period in May.

The major change she made in that six-month period was working with 1996 Olympian Juli Benson. The longtime coach has mentored some of the world’s best distance runners, including Jenny Simpson, whom she guided to a gold medal in the 1,500 at the 2011 World Championships.

"I was very taken aback," Benson said when Lancaster reached out to her. "That’s how unusual it is. I’ve been in the sport for a very long time and her story is really unique.

"I was certainly curious, but it was fairly late into the Olympic year to take on a new athlete who was trying to qualify for the Trials, but her story was so unique and her approach and perspective so intriguing that I definitely wanted to take up the challenge and she’s proven to be remarkable at every turn.

"She can handle everything I throw at her and it’s been really fun. It’s so rare and unique and surprising and refreshing and all of those adjectives, but she is an incredible athlete, I’ll say that."

For the Trials, Lancaster decided to focus on the 1,500, where she's the 14th seed, but also declared in the 5,000, where she's the 17th seed, as a backup plan in case she were to fall or otherwise not advance from her preliminary race. The first round of both races are Friday; the finals are on Monday.

Kurvath, who recently clocked his own personal best of 14:34 in the 5,000, said he knows Lancaster is capable of breaking the 15-minute barrier because they do all of their workouts together.

"I’ve seen it. I’ve seen the workouts, I’ve done the workouts," he said. "She’s been there with me and I just ran 14:34."

Benson thinks Lancaster is just tapping the surface of what she can do in the sport. 

"The other thing that's really, really fascinating about Sarah — she has got the most incredible race instincts," Benson said. "She races as if she's been on a world-class stage for seven or eight years. Her instincts are brilliant. ... I think she really loves to compete and it’s really no more complicated than that. Yes, she has interesting genetics, yes, she has really interesting talent, but I think she keeps it really simple and just wants to go out and see how many people she can beat.”

Lancaster isn’t sure if she’ll keep racing after this year. The World Athletics Championships are hosted by the United States next year, which presents a unique opportunity. She’s engaged to be married this fall. She’ll be 34 next year. For right now, it’s all about soaking in the realization of a long-awaited dream. 

And no, she’s not totally sure where her affinity for middle-distance running comes from, either.

"Tennis is an individual sport," she said. "It’s a high-pressure situation, you know you’re out there playing someone and you can only look at yourself (for) the outcome. You can’t blame anyone else. I think that translates to running. It’s you out there.

"I think I’ve always just wanted to win, I’ve always wanted to compete well and that’s just kind of ingrained in me. So I don’t know if I have a better answer for you than that.”

(06/18/2021) Views: 54 ⚡AMP
by Johanna Gretschel
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Three American Records and 10 National Records Fall at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix

Elle Purrier’s indoor two-mile American record was just one of many highlights in New York.

Many of the best track and field athletes in the world returned to competition—some for the first time in several months, due to the COVID-19 pandemic—at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix on February 13. The event, typically held at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston, was relocated to the Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex in Staten Island, New York, because the Boston venue is serving as a mass vaccination site.

And the athletes made the most of this racing opportunity by breaking three American records and 10 national records total on Saturday.

Almost one year after shattering the American record in the mile at the Millrose Games, Elle Purrier broke another national record by winning the women’s two-mile in 9:10.28. Her time improves on the previous American record (9:18.35) set by Jenny Simpson in 2015. Purrier’s performance is also the third-fastest two-mile ever run in history. For Purrier, the victory follows a runner-up finish and 2:02.05 personal best in the 800 meters at the Prickly Pear Invitational in Phoenix, Arizona on February 6—her first race of 2021.

“I felt pretty confident going in, but you never know when you’re just training,” Purrier told journalists in a virtual mixed zone. “[Coach] Mark [Coogan] felt pretty confident about my fitness level, but after that [race] I’m feeling pretty good now.”

Looking back on her mile record a year ago, Purrier—who trains under Coogan with the New Balance group in Boston—said navigating the challenges of 2020 brought some silver linings to her process.

“Millrose was probably one of the biggest highlights of my career, and I think stopping after that was kind of a bummer because I felt like I was on a roll and the team was on a roll,” Purrier said in the mixed zone. “But we were able to kind of just wait it out this summer and get into some great training. And I went home and I find a lot of happiness there, and so I think that built this up to another great training block this fall and this winter.”

The 2018 NCAA mile champion followed the pacemaking set by Leah Falland, who brought the field through the first mile in 4:41. For the remaining laps, Purrier and steeplechase world champion Emma Coburn ran 1-2 in the front. With three laps to go, Purrier broke away from Coburn to seal the win and the record, running the final 400 meters in 63 seconds.

Five seconds behind Purrier, Coburn finished second in a personal best of 9:15.71. In the same race, Julie-Anne Staehli of Canada (9:22.66) and Amy-Eloise Markovc of Great Britain (9:30.69) broke national records for their respective countries.

Hoppel Sets a World Best for 2021

About 20 minutes later, Bryce Hoppel followed the momentum by running a world lead and U.S. national record in the 1,000 meters. The former Kansas Jayhawk and NCAA 800-meter champion broke the previous American record (2:16.76) set by the late David Torrence in 2014.

“It means everything,” Hoppel said. “It’s just something you dream of as a kid, and I couldn’t have done it without all the support that I have, my family, and my coach. They all make it possible. I mean, it feels awesome to get it. That was what I was going for.”

Behind Hoppel, Marco Arop of Canada finished second in 2:17.10, and Charlie Grice finished third in 2:17.20, a national record for Great Britain.

An American Record for Donovan Brazier

Two weeks after being forced to withdraw from the American Track League meet due to COVID-19 exposure, Donavan Brazier returned to the track with a vengeance.

The 2019 world champion lowered the American record by winning the men’s 800 meters in 1:44.21, more than two seconds ahead of runner-up Jamie Webb of Great Britain. Brazier set the previous American record (1:44.22) at the Millrose Games last year.

After Saturday’s victory, Brazier said his coach, Pete Julian, didn’t want him to hold back, and the strategy proved to be successful.

“Pete wanted me to go out and die. That was literally what he said, word-for-word,” Brazier said. “He said, ‘go out hard, see if you can hold it, and we’ll just gauge where you’re at from a fast pace.’ ... I don’t think I’m quite where I was at in Millrose last year, but I still think I’m in decent shape.”

Ajeé Wilson Returns to Competition

The women’s 800 meters featured an unexpected performance from a four-time world championship medalist and American record-holder.

Ajeé Wilson was a late entry to the meet after receiving treatment for a hamstring injury earlier in the week. Unlike her signature racing tactic of leading from the gun, Wilson ran behind the race-leader Kaela Edwards until the homestretch, where she sprinted ahead to finish first in 2:01.79.

“Not knowing exactly how things will play out with my body, I wasn’t trying to take any chances and felt a little more comfortable hanging behind,” Wilson said. “That’s something that we’ve been working on in practice. We’re maybe five strong in our group now, so that definitely prepared me for today and just being comfortable and also making sure I was still in a good position so when I wanted to move, I could.”

The performance is Wilson’s first race since winning the 800 meters at the 2020 USATF Indoor Championships on February 15, 2020. After Saturday’s race, Wilson said she didn’t feel comfortable traveling for competition last year amid the COVID-19 pandemic, as she interacts with people who are more at risk of catching the virus. Instead, she focused on training at her home base in Philadelphia. Her next competition will be the Texas Qualifier in Austin, Texas from February 26 to 27.

“Although things aren’t much better, I'm feeling a little more comfortable with the precautions we're all taking to be safe,” she said.

Behind Wilson, Sophia Gorriaran—a 15-year-old high school sophomore from Rhode Island—finished fifth in 2:03.94. One week earlier, Gorriaran notched the standard to compete at the 2021 U.S. Olympic Team Trials by running 2:02.44 against a professional field at the American Track League meet in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Two National Records in the Men’s 1500

The men’s 1500 meters featured two national records. Oliver Hoare—who trains under coach Dathan Ritzenhein with the On Running pro group in Boulder, Colorado—kicked to victory in 3:32.35, a national record for Australia. Jake Wightman of Great Britain finished second in 3:34.48, and Sam Tanner—a sophomore at the University of Washington—finished third in 3:34.72, breaking the national record for New Zealand.

The women’s 1500 meters was won by Heather MacLean who out-paced Cory McGee in the final lap to win in 4:06.32.

Michael Norman Races the 400 Meters for the First Time in a Year

For the first time since the 2019 World Championships in Doha, Qatar, track fans got to see Michael Norman compete in his signature event, the 400 meters.

The former USC Trojan and NCAA champion—who broke the world record in the indoor 400 meters (44.52) at the NCAA championships in 2018—battled with his training partner Rai Benjamin down the homestretch to secure the victory in 45.34. Benjamin finished second in 45.39.

“The instinct just kicked in,” Norman said. “We're very competitive at practice, especially when it comes to competition. So having that little fun practice rivalry going on, I couldn't have Rai beat me in the race, but he's an amazing competitor, so it was a lot of fun.”

In 2019, Norman failed to make the world championship final in Doha after suffering from an injury in the semifinals. He raced once in 2020—9.86 in the 100 meters at a COVID-adjusted meet in Fort Worth, Texas last July. After a long hiatus from competition, Norman said he felt pleased with the effort on Saturday.

“I’m feeling good,” Norman said. “There's a lot of work that needs to be done, but the main purpose of today was just to go out and compete, have fun and to kind of knock the cobwebs off because it's been over a year since I’ve run that distance.”

Another National Record for Shaunae Miller-Uibo

In her second meet of the year, Shaunae Miller-Uibo broke another Bahamian national record by running 50.21 to win the women’s 400 meters. The time makes her the eighth-fastest performer all-time indoors. The 2016 Olympic champion achieved the mark two weeks after breaking the national record in the indoor 200 meters at the American Track League meet, where she ran a personal best of 22.40.

World record-holder Keni Harrison also ran a world leading time on Saturday. The 2018 world indoor champion won the 60-meter hurdles in 7.82 seconds.

In the same race, Sydney McLaughlin finished last in 8.56. The race was McLaughlin’s highly anticipated return to the track after earning silver in the 400-meter hurdles and contributing to Team USA’s winning performance in the 4x400-meter relay at the 2019 World Championships. Saturday’s race was McLaughlin’s first time contesting the event since 2015, when she was in high school.

After the race, she said the race was an exercise in training with her non-dominant leg over hurdles. “It’s something we've been thinking about for awhile, just being able to hurdle efficiently with both legs, and what better way to do that than the short hurdles?” McLaughlin said. “It's such a short race and such a fast-paced race that you can really work on that technique. It was good to get into a fast race and really be forced to use it without being able to think that much.”

Noah Lyles Keeping His Eyes on Tokyo

Noah Lyles did double duty in the sprints on Saturday. The 2019 200-meter world champion ran the first round of the 60 meters in 6.76 seconds and returned to the track to contest the 200 meters. Holding off competitors Deon Lendore and Jaron Flournoy, Lyles made it to the finish line in 20.80, well off the typical winning times in his signature event.

While Lyles admitted he wasn’t pleased with the time (and his body language conveyed as such), he still took the experience as a lesson moving forward in his bid to represent Team USA and win more medals at the Tokyo Games this summer.

“We’ve been training for a lot of strength and endurance and it obviously paid off because I was able to come into the 60, warm up, and then I was able to shake off any type of fatigue I had from it,” Lyles said. “I still feel really good, even coming off of the 200, like I could run three more. So I actually feel strong, which is really what we were trying to get out of training, and coming here was to see how much speed we got in the tank. To be honest, it actually proved that what we’re doing is working.”

Trayvon Bromell Crosses First in the 60 Meters

After battling a series of injuries for the past few years, Trayvon Bromell returned to his winning ways on Saturday. After leading the 60-meter semifinal in 6.53, the 2016 world indoor champion won the final in 6.50 by breaking away from his competition in the second half of the race. Runner-up Demek Kemp followed in 6.65.

Looking back on the challenges of the past few years, Bromell credited his spirituality with his return to form and a newfound motivation.

“I'm here to run and make an impact on kids, adults who may have lost hope,” Bromell said. “I feel like my testimony of what I’ve been through gives people that, and it shows the sport in another light than just winning medals or running fast times. That’s all good, but what impact do you leave? I’m trying to be impactful, not impressive.”


(02/14/2021) Views: 181 ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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Keira D’Amato Is Trying to Break the American 10-Mile Record on Monday. It Could Cost Her Thousands of Dollars.

Since 2011, Keira D’Amato has been part of the race committee for the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run, the famous Washington, D.C. road race held along the banks of the Potomac River. She’s held a few different roles over the years; recently she’s been responsible for coordinating speakers for clinics at the race expo. This year, Molly Huddle was one of the scheduled speakers, and D’Amato told her she believed Huddle could break the women’s-only American record of 52:12, set by Janet Bawcom at Cherry Blossom in 2014 (coincidentally, D’Amato held the finish line tape for that race). After telling Huddle about the record, D’Amato realized something: I can run that fast too.

Over the following six months, as D’Amato has risen from obscurity to one of the best distance runners in the United States, that statement has become blindingly obvious. After running a personal best 2:34:24 to finish 15th at the Olympic Marathon Trials in February, the 36-year-old has spent the summer and fall demolishing her pbs, from a 15:04 time trial 5,000 on the track in June to a 32:33 10,000 at the MVMNT Race Series in July to a 68:57 to win the Michigan Pro Half Marathon on October 28.

On Monday, D’Amato will try to back up her claim from the spring: she’s going for Bawcom’s record at the Up Dawg Ten Miler, where she’ll face a five-woman professional field that includes Olympian Molly Seidel. And that leads into one of the oddest statistics of a very odd year.

If D’Amato had broken the record at Cherry Blossom in April (which cancelled its 2020 edition due to COVID-19), she would have earned a $10,000 bonus.

If D’Amato breaks the record on Monday — or even if she doesn’t — she could end up out around $8,000.

That’s because D’Amato is covering most of the costs of the Up Dawg Ten Miler, which will take place in an undisclosed location in the DC area. Even though D’Amato is staging a race for five athletes rather than Cherry Blossom’s typical 17,000, several key expenses remain: getting the course USATF-certified and measured, securing park permits and road closures. It can add up quickly.

And then there is drug testing. USATF rules state drug testing is only required to ratify American records in events for which World Athletics recognizes an official world record. Since 10 miles is a “world best” distance, that means drug testing isn’t required to ratify an American record at the Up Dawg Ten Miler — but D’Amato is leaning toward including it anyway to avoid all doubts. However, based on the quote she received from USADA, it would run her an extra $3,000-$3,500. She hasn’t made a final decision yet.

There is an online store selling race merchandise to help offset the cost of the event. And around 20 members of the CUCB organizing committee have also chipped in a total of $2,000 — and, more importantly, their time — so that D’Amato can chase the record.

“If there was a way to measure intensity per person, this race would be much more intense [than the Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run],” says CUCB event director Phil Stewart. “We’re not dealing with getting 17,000 people entered in the race and moving them around or ordering as many porta potties or things like that, but this is a group of special individuals. I’ve spent a lot of time being consumed by making sure that we have all of the conditions set for the record to be accepted if the record is broken. If Keira or anybody breaks the record here, the worst nightmare would be that there was some little USATF rule that I didn’t know about that was required for an American record to be set.”

Stewart knows that feeling all too well; last year, Stanley Kebenei thought he had broken Greg Meyer‘s American 10-mile record at Cherry Blossom, only for it to be revealed that a set of cones had been improperly placed, making the course 240 feet short (CUCB still paid Kebenei the $10,000 bonus).

With no mass race entries to fund the Up Dawg Ten Miler, CUCB will lose money on the event. But it’s worth it to Stewart to support D’Amato, whose meteoric rise he has followed first-hand — Stewart was among a group of CUCB committee members who traveled to Atlanta to support her in the Trials in February.

“One of the things that has been fun about [this event] is that in a time when there’s so much downbeat news, I think a lot of people have gotten excited about working on something that’s upbeat,” Stewart says.

And D’Amato? Well, in keeping with her carefree, laid back demeanor, she’s trying not to think about the cost and electing to focus on the positives. Five fast women (Susanna Sullivan, Bethany Sachtleben, and Emily Durgin round out the field) are gathering on Monday at 8 a.m. to race 10 miles. There will be a free live stream, with commentary, on the CUCB Facebook page. This should be fun, right? No. This will be fun.

“For me, it’s not about the money at all,” D’Amato says. “Right now when everyone’s starving for motivation and opportunity, I felt like this would be a service to the running community. And it fell in line really perfectly with my training too.”

Keira D’Amato’s return to competitive running began with a joke. Which, if you know anything about D’Amato, could not be more fitting.

D’Amato loves all things humor. The name of Monday’s race, Up Dawg, was her idea — a nod to a joke from The Office. When D’Amato joined Strava a few years ago, she began using jokes or puns to title her runs. Sample entry: November 16. My cousin, a magician, decided to incorporate the use of trapdoors in his shows. But I think it’s just a stage he’s going through. She used to rely on her children’s popsicle sticks for material or by asking her Amazon Alexa, “Tell me a joke.” As she amassed Strava followers (she’s over 2,600 now), she began receiving suggestions from fans — which delights her to no end.

“You have no idea how awesome it is that when people hear a funny joke, they think, Oh, I need to send this to Keira,” she says.

D’Amato’s impishness was on display during Christmas 2016, when she decided to gift her husband, Anthony, an entry to the 2017 Shamrock Marathon, held in March in Virginia Beach.

“Who gives someone a gift of a marathon entry?” D’Amato says. “Because that means you have to start training a lot. It’s kind of a backhanded compliment gift, I guess. But then I felt a little bad, so I signed up too.”

D’Amato was no stranger to running. A four-time All-American at American University under coach Matt Centrowitz, she finished 6th at the 2005 NCAA XC champs as a senior, ahead of future stars Amy Cragg, Molly Huddle, and Jenny Simpson. She remains friendly with the Centrowitz family, and is even in a fantasy football league with Olympic 1500 champ Matthew Centrowitz — let’s just say both D’Amato and Centro are better runners than fantasy football managers.

“I think at one point, I was in second-to-last and he was dead last,” D’Amato says. “But I also think Centro does a whole bunch of them, so maybe in his other leagues he’s doing better. But it was either the first or second week, I played him, and I crushed him.”

After graduating in 2006, D’Amato (then known as Keira Carlstrom) spent a few years running for DC Elite, a post-collegiate group coached by Scott Raczko — better known as the coach of Alan Webb. By 2008, she had lowered her 1500 personal best to 4:22, but was in constant pain, beset by a series of stress fractures and ankle pain. Her issues were the result of a condition known as a tarsal coalition — an abnormal bridging of bones in the foot — but the surgery to correct it was not covered by her insurance.

So D’Amato “retired” and got a job at mortgage giant Freddie Mac. Even after undergoing surgery to correct her condition in 2009 (her new job had better insurance), D’Amato ran sparingly for the next seven years. In her first run back after giving birth to her daughter, Quin, in August 2016 (she also has a six-year-old son, Tommy), D’Amato couldn’t make it through a three-minute run without walking. Yet she steadily built up ahead of Shamrock, and despite hail, sleet, and brutal winds on race day, D’Amato blew past her pre-race goal of 3:25.

“I couldn’t run slow enough to do that pace,” says D’Amato, who ran 3:14.

D’Amato felt there was a lot left in the tank, and took her next marathon, in Richmond in November, more seriously. After running 2:47 there — just two minutes off the Olympic Trials standard — she knew it was time to return to serious training. She reunited with Raczko, and steadily dropped her times while balancing running with her career as a realtor. When she ran a pb of 2:34 to finish 15th at the Trials at age 35, it looked like the culmination of a remarkable three-year journey.

In reality, D’Amato was just getting started.

Since the Trials, D’Amato has run personal bests over almost every distance. Her 15:04 5,000 doesn’t officially count because it came in a time trial rather than a race, but it’s faster than the Olympic standard of 15:10 and would have ranked her 6th in the US during the 2020 outdoor season.

Her most impressive performance came in last month’s Michigan Pro Half Marathon, where she clocked 68:57, 47 seconds ahead of runner-up Emma Bates, a 2:25 marathoner who finished 7th at the Olympic Trials. That made D’Amato the second-fastest American half marathoner on the year, behind Sara Hall, and 10th on the US all-time list. She is now in very elite company.

(11/22/2020) Views: 328 ⚡AMP
by LetsRun
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First american trio Cory McGee, Dani Jones and Emma Coburn, to run sub 4:24 in the same race at Indiana Mile

Cory McGee, Dani Jones and Emma Coburn took advantage of racing at sea level for the first time outdoors this year and achieved history by becoming the first American trio to all run under 4 minutes, 24 seconds in the same race Saturday at the Team Boss Indiana Mile at Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion.

McGee, a New Balance professional, surged with 250 meters remaining and never relinquished control, clocking a lifetime-best 4:21.81 to elevate to the No. 8 all-time American outdoor performer.

Jones (4:23.33), a first-year professional, and Coburn (4:23.65), also a New Balance athlete, achieved significant personal bests to ascend to the Nos. 10 and 11 outdoor performers in U.S. history.

Tripp Hurt won the men’s mile in a world-leading 3:56.18, just off his 3:56.02 lifetime best, with Nick Harris running a personal-best 3:57.11 and Mason Ferlic achieving a sub-4 clocking for the first time in his career to place third in 3:58.87.

McGee also achieved a 1,500-meter personal best en route of 4:03.82 to run the fastest female mile time ever on Indiana soil. Jones also ran 4:05 to lower her 1,500 personal best as well.

Canadian talent Nicole Sifuentes clocked 4:30.50 in the mile on the oversized indoor track at Notre Dame in 2016, to move just ahead of Suzy Favor Hamilton’s 4:30.64 on a standard 200-meter indoor banked track from 1989 in Indianapolis.

But thanks to the aggressive pacing of South African Dom Scott Efurd, an adidas professional who brought the group through 440 yards at 1:03.2 and the midway point in 2:10.08, all of her teammates benefited to post the top three outdoor marks in the world this year.

Coburn, who ran 4:32.72 at 4,583 feet elevation June 27 to win the Team Boss Colorado Mile at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, held the advantage with one lap remaining Saturday at 3:16.30, followed closely by McGee (3:16.56) and Jones (3:16.85).

On four previous occasions, a pair of Americans had both run under 4:24 in the same mile race, but never a trio of athletes. The most recent occurrence came at the 2018 Muller Anniversary Games, the annual London Diamond League Meeting, with Jenny Simpson placing fourth in 4:17.30 and Kate Grace taking eighth in 4:20.70 behind winner and Dutch star Sifan Hassan in 4:14.71.

Grace and Shannon Rowbury were the only tandem to achieve the feat indoors at the 2017 Wanamaker Mile at the NYRR Millrose Games, finishing second and third behind World 1,500-meter gold medalist Hassan.

The other two races where two Americans have run under 4:24 outdoors occurred at the 2015 Diamond League final in Belgium – with Rowbury and Simpson taking third and fourth behind Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon and Hassan – along with the 1998 Goodwill Games in New York, where Regina Jacobs and Favor Hamilton took second and third behind Ireland’s Sonia O’Sullivan.

The last country to achieve the feat of three athletes running sub-4:24 in the same mile race was Ethiopia, which had Gudaf Tsegay (4:18.31), Axumawit Embaye (4:18.58) and Alemaz Samuel (4:23.35) at last year’s Diamond League Meeting in Monaco.

Russia at the 1993 Golden Gala in Rome and Great Britain at the 2017 Muller Anniversary Games in London are the only other countries to accomplish the sub-4:24 trifecta in the same race.

Australian talent Morgan McDonald paced the men’s race through 440 yards in 58.9 and the midway point in 1:58.87. He brought his teammates through 1,000 meters at 2:28, before moving out wide to give way to Hurt just before the bell lap at 2:57.25.

Harris surged with 300 meters remaining to take a brief lead, but Hurt responded to regain the advantage with 200 left, as the athletes achieved the top two outdoor times in the world this year, with Ferlic elevating to the No. 4 global performer.

The fastest men’s mile time on Indiana soil remains a 3:54.48 from Irish star Marcus O’Sullivan in Indianapolis in 1993.

 

(07/27/2020) Views: 670 ⚡AMP
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The 113th NYRR Millrose Games will host the greatest array of talent ever assembled

The 113th NYRR Millrose Games will host many of the world’s best track & field men and women to perform on centre stage on February 8 at The Armory New Balance Track & Field Center in Washington Heights in New York City. 

This year’s NYRR Millrose Games field is arguably the most talented overall since the meet moved to The Armory in 2012.

NYRR Millrose Games Meet Director Ray Flynn takes it one step further: “This year’s Millrose Games features probably the greatest array of talent ever assembled in its 113-year history.”

Moreover, 16 women and 15 men are Olympians in the 113th NYRR Millrose Games.

Allyson Felix headlines the women’s side. Felix is a six-time Olympic gold medalist and is the most decorated athlete in the history of track & field. She is entered in the Women’s 60m and has her sights set on the 2020 Tokyo Olympics this summer.

Joining Felix as the top women track & field athletes in this year’s NYRR Millrose Games are: Ajeé Wilson (competing in the Jack and Lewis Rudin Women’s 800m), the American Indoor and Outdoor record-holder in the 800m, two-time World Championships bronze medalist and two-time World Indoor silver medalist, Laura Muir (Jack and Lewis Rudin Women’s 800m), a four-time European Indoor champion and 2018 European 1,500m champion. 

Sandi Morris (Women’s pole vault), the World Indoor champion in 2018 and 2016 Rio Olympics silver medalist, Kenni Harrison (Women’s 60m hurdles), the 100m hurdles world record holder, 2018 World Indoor champion and 2019 World silver medalist, Nia Ali (60m hurdles), 2019 World gold medalist in 100m hurdles and 2016 Rio Olympics silver medalist, Wadeline Jonathas (Women’s 400m), 2019 World Championships gold medalist in 4x400m Relay.

Konstanze Klosterhalfen (Women’s Wanamaker Mile), the defending Women’s Wanamaker Mile champion and 2019 World Championships bronze medalist in the 5,000m, Nikki Hiltz (Women’s Wanamaker Mile), 2019 World Championships 1,500m finalist and last weekend turned in a PR 4:29.39 to win the mile at the Dr Sander Invitational Columbia Challenge at The Armory, Elinor Purrier (Women’s Wanamaker Mile), the 2018 NCAA Indoor Mile champion, runner-up in the 2019 New Balance 5thAvenue Mile Presented by NYRR with a time of 4:16.2 on the heels of winner Jenny Simpson’s 4:16.1 and this past weekend set a personal-best 9:29.19 to win the two-mile race at the New Balance Grand Prix, Brittany Brown(Women’s 400m), 2019 World Outdoor Championships 200m silver medalist.

The top men competing for feature Ryan Crouser and Joe Kovacs, who will reprise last year’s duel in the men’s shot put from the centre of the infield. Crouser is the 2016 Olympic champion and 2019 World silver medalist, while Kovacs is the 2015 and 2019 World champion and the 2016 Rio Olympics silver medalist.

Other top men competing in the 113th NYRR Millrose Games include, Omar McLeod (Men’s 60m hurdles), 2016 Rio Olympics gold medalist, Grant Holloway (Men’s 60m hurdles), the 2019 World Championships gold medalist in the 110 hurdles, Ronnie Baker (Men’s 60m), 2018 World Indoor Championships bronze medalist in 60m and third fastest 60m in history. 

Donavan Brazier (Men’s 800m) 2019 World Championship gold medalist and American indoor and outdoor record-holder in 800m; and in 2019 he broke the Indoor world record in 600m at USATF Championships, Michael Saruni (Men’s 800m), NYRR Millrose Games champion, NCAA record-holder and Kenyan Indoor 800m record-holder, Isaiah Harris (Men’s 800m), 2018 NCAA champion, Bryce Hoppel (Men’s 800m), 2019 NCAA champion and World Championships finalist, Rai Benjamin (Men’s 300m), 2019 World Championships silver medalist in 400 hurdles and 2019 U.S. Champion 400m hurdles.

Filip Ingebrigtsen (Men’s NYRR Wanamaker Mile), Norwegian National record holder in both the 1,500m and mile, and 2017 World Championships bronze medalist in 1,500m, Nick Willis (Men’s NYRR Wanamaker Mile), two-time Olympic 1,500m medalist, silver (2008) and bronze (2016). When Willis ran a 3:59.89 last weekend in the New Balance Grand Prix it marked the 18th consecutive year he ran a sub-4-minute mile, tying John Walker’s record. Willis won a record-breaking fifth title at the Fifth Avenue Mile last September, Chris O’Hare, (Men’s NYRR Wanamaker Mile), 2018 NYRR Wanamaker Mile champion, Eric Jenkins (Men’s NYRR Wanamaker Mile), 2017 NYRR Wanamaker Mile champion, Paul Tanui (Men’s 3,000m), 2016 Rio Olympics silver medalist in 10,000m.

(02/04/2020) Views: 693 ⚡AMP
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NYRR Millrose Games

NYRR Millrose Games

The NYRR Millrose Games,which began in 1908 as a small event sponsored by a local track club, has grown to become the most prestigious indoor track and field event in the United States. The NYRR Millrose Games meet is held in Manhattan’s Washington Heights at the New Balance Track & Field Center at the Armony, which boasts a state-of-the-art six-lane,...

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Kenya’s Joyciline Jepkosgei was voted the 2019 New York Road Runners Pro Performer of the Year after winning the TCS New York City Marathon

Joyciline Jepkosgei Voted 2019 New York Road Runners Pro Performer of the Year, in the second-fastest time in event history in her marathon debut and also winning the United Airlines NYC Half. The NYRR Pro Performer of the Year award recognizes the top athlete for his or her outstanding achievements at NYRR races over the entire year.

“Joyciline had an incredible year, becoming the first athlete ever to win an open division title at the TCS New York City Marathon and the United Airlines NYC Half in the same year,” said Chris Weiller, NYRR senior vice president of media, public relations and professional athletics. “She’s one of the world’s best runners and she showed it on streets of New York in her first two trips to the United States. We are extremely grateful at NYRR to have had Joyciline inspire our running community twice this year with her historic runs through the five boroughs.”

Jepkosgei, 26, won the 2019 TCS New York City Marathon in 2:22:38, just seven seconds off the women’s open division course record. It was the fastest time ever by a woman making her New York City Marathon debut. At the 2019 United Airlines NYC Half, during her first-ever trip to the United States, she won on a solo run to the finish in a time of 1:10:07. The world championship silver medalist in the distance became the sixth woman from Kenya to win the event, and the first to do so since 2014.

The finalists for the award were chosen based off their performances at the following NYRR races in the NYRR Pro Racing Series: NYRR Wanamaker Mile, United Airlines NYC Half, UAE Healthy Kidney 10K, NYRR New York Mini 10K and USATF 10 km Championships, New Balance 5th Avenue Mile, Abbott Dash to the Finish Line 5K and USATF 5 km Championships, and TCS New York City Marathon.

The other nominees for 2019 NYRR Pro Performer of the Year included: Geoffrey Kamworor (Kenya), Daniel Romanchuk (USA), Manuela Schär (Switzerland), Jenny Simpson (USA), and Nick Willis (New Zealand). The public vote accounted for one-third of the final tally, the media vote counted for one third, and an NYRR committee counted for one third.

(12/18/2019) Views: 744 ⚡AMP
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TCS  New York City Marathon

TCS New York City Marathon

The first New York City Marathon, organized in 1970 by Fred Lebow and Vince Chiappetta, was held entirely in Central Park. Of 127 entrants, only 55 men finished; the sole female entrant dropped out due to illness. Winners were given inexpensive wristwatches and recycled baseball and bowling trophies. The entry fee was $1 and the total event budget...

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Nick Willis and Jenny Simpson are the New Balance Fifth Ave Mile winners again

Nick Willis appears to be getting better with age.

The 36-year-old runner added to his legendary career with a record-breaking fifth victory at the New Balance 5th Avenue Mile Sunday in New York City.

Willis pulled out the victory with a time of 3-minutes,51.7-seconds in a photo-finish race.

The former University of Michigan runner and 2-time Olympic medalist has now claimed the men’s title five times, with victories in 2008, 2013, 2015 and 2017 and 2019, placing the New Zealand native alone atop the men’s division in the history books.

Willis still lives and trains in Ann Arbor and the win adds to his accomplishments, which include a silver medal in the Beijing 2008 Olympics, a bronze medal in the Rio 2016 Games and a bronze medal in the 2016 World Championships.

On the women’s side of the event, Jenny Simpson of Webster City, Iowa, claimed her seventh title in a row and eighth overall in 4:16.1 on Sunday. 

The New Balance 5th Avenue Mile race began in 1981 -- two years before Willis was born -- and overtime has become one of the world’s premier mile races.

(09/08/2019) Views: 1,079 ⚡AMP
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New Balance 5th Avenue Mile

New Balance 5th Avenue Mile

The New Balance 5th Avenue Mile opens a beautiful 20-block stretch of 5th Avenue to runners of all ages and abilities who want to run their best mile in New York City. Special races include a youth mile, the George Sheehan Memorial Mile for runners age 60 and over, the NYRR Road Mile Championships, and Olympic-caliber professional men's and women's...

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Nikki Hiltz plans to race for the podium at Fifth Avenue Mile

Nikki Hiltz will compete against a stacked field that includes Olympic medalist Jenny Simpson at the New Balance 5th Avenue Mile on Sept. 8.

Simpson will race for her record-extending eighth title in the event, which stretches 20 blocks down Manhattan’s most famous thoroughfare and is expected to draw nearly 8,000 runners across 24 heats. NBC will broadcast the professional races live at 9 a.m. PDT.

Hiltz, who recently won gold in the 1,500-meter race at the Pan American Games, has been America’s best road miler in 2019 with wins at the BAA Mile, adidas Boost Games Mile, and the USATF Road Mile Championships.

The race is expected to be her final tune-up before she competes in the 1,500 at the IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar, alongside Simpson and Shelby Houlihan.

Allie Ostrander, a three-time NCAA champion in the steeplechase who also qualified for her first World Championships this fall, will line up for her first road race as a pro athlete. Elinor Purrier, who also qualified for her first World Championships this year, in the 5 kilometers, will look to contend as well. Canadian Olympian Jessica O’Connell and 2019 10k national champion, Genevieve Lalonde, as well as Great Britain’s Jessica Judd, will lead the international contingent.

“Fast times don’t really give me confidence, but performances do,” she said. “I just want to race people. The Fifth Avenue Mile is an awesome race—I’m going to really go for it and it’ll be a really good springboard. It’s really what I need to be confident going into worlds.”

(08/22/2019) Views: 1,306 ⚡AMP
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New Balance 5th Avenue Mile

New Balance 5th Avenue Mile

The New Balance 5th Avenue Mile opens a beautiful 20-block stretch of 5th Avenue to runners of all ages and abilities who want to run their best mile in New York City. Special races include a youth mile, the George Sheehan Memorial Mile for runners age 60 and over, the NYRR Road Mile Championships, and Olympic-caliber professional men's and women's...

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Jenny Simpson will race for her record-extending eighth title and Nick Willis will chase his record-breaking fifth men’s title at the New Balance 5th Avenue Mile

The New Balance 5th Ave Mile stretches 20 blocks down Manhattan’s most famous thoroughfare and is expected to draw nearly 8,000 runners across 24 heats. It includes specialty heats for youth and seniors, with the professional athlete races rounding out the day. In partnership with New York Road Runners and USA Track & Field, NBC will broadcast the professional athlete races live on NBC at 12:30 p.m. ET.

“The New Balance 5th Avenue Mile is such an iconic road race that allows people of all ages and abilities to participate in the event on one of the most famous streets in New York City,” said Michael Capiraso, president and CEO of New York Road Runners. “This year will be incredibly special, as we celebrate 20 years of NYRR’s free youth programs.”

In the professional women’s race, Jenny Simpson, who serves as an ambassador and special advisor to NYRR’s youth programs, owns the event-record time of 4:16.6 on Fifth Avenue, which she set when winning the race in 2017. She has earned three IAAF World Championships medals in the metric mile, beginning with a gold at the 2011 World Championships. She followed that with a silver in both 2013 and 2017. In 2016, she took bronze in the 1500 meters at the Rio Olympics, making her the first American woman in history to reach the podium in that event.

Simpson will be challenged in the professional women’s race by Nikki Hiltz, who just won gold over 1500 meters at the Pan American Games and has been America’s best road miler in 2019 with wins at the BAA Mile, Adidas Boost Games Mile, and the USATF Road Mile Championships. 

Allie Ostrander, a three-time NCAA champion in the steeplechase who qualified for her first World Championships this fall, will join them as she lines up for her first road race as a professional athlete. Elinor Purrier, who also qualified for her first World Championships this year, will look to contend as well. Canada’s 2019 national champion Genevieve Lalonde and Olympian Jessica O’Connell, and Great Britain’s Jessica Judd, will lead the international contingent.

Leading the professional men’s field will be nick Willis, a four-time New Balance 5th Avenue Mile champion and two-time Olympic medalist who finished second last year. Willis, who won the event in 2008, 2013, 2015, and 2017, is tied with Spain’s Isaac Viciosa for the most career victories in the men’s race.

Challenging him as he goes for a record-breaking fifth title will be Great Britain’s two-time New Balance 5th Avenue Mile runner-up Chris O’Hare and road 5K world record-holder Edward Cheserek, who is the most decorated athlete in NCAA history with 17 titles at the University of Oregon.

Also joining them at the start line will be Johnny Gregorek, who is fresh off a silver medal at the Pan American Games and the world’s fourth-fastest miler this year. 

(08/21/2019) Views: 1,220 ⚡AMP
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New Balance 5th Avenue Mile

New Balance 5th Avenue Mile

The New Balance 5th Avenue Mile opens a beautiful 20-block stretch of 5th Avenue to runners of all ages and abilities who want to run their best mile in New York City. Special races include a youth mile, the George Sheehan Memorial Mile for runners age 60 and over, the NYRR Road Mile Championships, and Olympic-caliber professional men's and women's...

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Japanese Nozomi Tanaka missed the national record by miscounting her laps just misses national 3,000m record less than four seconds

This track season has seen a strange amount of mishaps. It started with Hagos Gebrhiwet miscounting his laps at the Lausanne 5,000m and was followed by Jonathan Jones missing the false start at the Monaco 400m and finishing the race.

The latest is from Japanese runner Nozomi Tanaka, who miscounted the laps in her national 3,000m record attempt on Wednesday. Japan Running News reported that with 800m to go (two laps) Tanaka broke away and opened up a sizable lead.

The runner said post-race, “It’s kind of embarrassing, but I lost count of the laps and thought I was on the last lap when I kicked. I didn’t have anything left after that.”

Tanaka finished in 8:48.38, under four seconds off of the national record of 8:44.40 set in 2002.

Jenny Simpson, one of the all-time greatest American runners, made a similar mistake in 2014 when she miscounted the laps in an indoor 2-mile, but still managed to come close to breaking the American record in the event.

World Championship finalist Lopez Lomong also fell victim to the lap miscount in 2012 at Payton Jordan, when he kicked too early but still held on to take the win in 13:11 over 5,000m.

(07/20/2019) Views: 798 ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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Ethiopian Yomif Kejelcha won the 5,000 easily at Payton Jordan invitational last night clocking 13:10 along with other top performances

The big names at the Payton Jordan Invitational at Stanford's Cobb Track and Field stadium in Palo Alto, Calif. all got wins last night. 

Clayton Murphy won the 1500 (3:37.59) comfortably, Jessica Hull won the 1500 (4:12.08).

 Allie Ostrander the steeple, Jenny Simpson got the win (15:21) over Rachel Schneider in the 5,000.

Yomif Kejelcha won the 5,000 easily (13:10 for him, 13:17 for 2nd) and Sifan Hassan’s 10,000m debut (31:18) was a success.

Ben True won the 10k (27:52) but no one got the Worlds standard.

New Balance professional Jenny Simpson won the women's 5,000 meters in her outdoor season opener in 15:21.12.

Simpson, who last ran an outdoor 5,000 in August of 2013 in Switzerland in a personal-best 14:56.26 after capturing the USATF title that year, was competing at Payton Jordan for the first time since winning the 1,500 in 2010 in 4:08.11.

Simpson ascended to No. 3 in the world this year in the 5,000, also achieving the IAAF World Championships standard.

(05/03/2019) Views: 853 ⚡AMP
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Laura Muir will start her summer by racing at the Vitality Westminster Mile

Racing for the first time since successfully defending her two European indoor titles, Laura Muir will look to pick up from where she left off as she seeks a strong start to her summer season at the Vitality Westminster Mile.

With the London race taking place on May 26, Muir will begin her outdoor campaign around the same time of year as she is used to, despite it being a longer season with the IAAF World Championships in Doha taking place in September and October. The difference now, however, is that the Scot heads into her summer as a full-time athlete for the first time, having juggled veterinary degree studies and exams with her athletics over the past seven years.

“The Vitality Westminster Mile will be my very first race of the outdoor season and then the plan is to get on the track the week or so after that,” explains Muir. “It’s a similar time I guess to normal for me opening up, but this time I won’t have exams a couple of weeks beforehand!

“I’m really excited. It was 2013 that I last competed there (at the Westminster Mile) and I remember it really clearly,” adds the 25-year-old, who clocked 4:46 then to place eighth in a race won by Hannah England in 4:31.

“For a race that was six years ago, I remember it really well. It’s so iconic, running on that course and finishing next to Buckingham Palace.”

Since then Muir has won four European indoor titles, including her 1500m and 3000m golds gained on home soil in Glasgow last month, plus two world indoor medals, 1500m gold at the European Championships in Berlin and two Diamond League titles.

As British 1500m record-holder with her time of 3:55.22 from 2016, Muir’s road mile best currently stands at 4:18.4 and she set that when finishing second behind USA’s Jenny Simpson at the 5th Avenue Mile in 2016.

While Muir says she doesn’t have Laura Weightman’s British record of 4:17.06 as a specific target next month, she could come close, especially as she aims for a maiden national road mile title, with the event incorporating the British one mile road championships.

“I just want to be competitive, go out there and race and really enjoy it,” says Muir, who broke the British indoor mile record with 4:18.75 in Birmingham in February. “Last time I recall there were a few corners and things, so I’m not sure if it’s going to be fast fast but it will still be a very high-quality race and at a really good pace.

(04/02/2019) Views: 948 ⚡AMP
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Jenny Simpson becomes the first woman to win the iconic season-ending race seven times at New Balance 5th Avenue Mile

It was chilly and rainy in Manhattan Sunday as world and Olympic medallist Jenny Simpson won her seventh and consecutive New Balance Fifth Avenue Mile, running 4:19. This was the 38th running of the iconic season-ending race. Colleen Quigley of the U.S. was second, in 4:20, and the U.K.’s Melissa Courtney was third, in 4:21. The men’s race was swept by runners from the Commonwealth, including Jake Wightman of Nottingham, U.K. in first place, with a time of 3:54, defending champion New Zealander Nick Willis in second (3:55) and Neil Gourley of the U.K. in third (3:56). Wightman is the 2018 European Championships bronze medalist in the 1,500m, and it was his first win at this event. (09/10/2018) Views: 979 ⚡AMP
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Three-time World Championships medalist Jenny Simpson and Nick Willis to Race the New Balance 5th Avenue Mile

18 Olympians will toe the line in the world’s most iconic road mile race, including Olympians Matthew Centrowitz, Emma Coburn, Lopez Lomong, and Boris Berian; Event to be aired live on NBC and feature 22 heats throughout the day, including Rising New York Road Runners heats for youth and the George Sheehan Memorial Mile for seniors.  Olympic bronze medalist and three-time World Championships medalist Jenny Simpson and two-time Olympic medalist Nick Willis will go for their record-setting seventh and fifth event titles at the 2018 New Balance 5th Avenue Mile on Sunday, September 9. Stretching 20 blocks down Manhattan’s most famous thoroughfare, the race will draw a professional athlete field from 11 countries. (08/28/2018) Views: 1,490 ⚡AMP
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