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Articles tagged #Kenenisa Bekele
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Extensive COVID-19 countermeasures to be in place at New York City Marathon

The New York City Marathon is set to have extensive COVID-19 countermeasures in place, with organisers eager for the race to run on November 7 after the 2020 edition was cancelled because of the pandemic.

Runners will need to provide proof of at least one vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test from within 48 hours of race day to compete.

Efforts have also been made to reduce crowding throughout the event.

The three-day Expo prior to the race has been closed to the general public and the number of attendees at any one time has been restricted.

The start of the race will be staggered across multiple waves in an attempt to maintain social distancing.

On the course, runners will be permitted to wear hydration belts in order to reduce crowding at drinks stations dotted along the track.

Family members will also be banned from the finish area to reduce the risk of overcrowding.

Face coverings are set be required at the Expo, on public transportation during race day, at the race start, and at the post-finish area.

Kenya's Peres Jepchirchir is set to compete in the elite women's race after winning the women's marathon gold medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

The event is the last of the six World Marathon Majors, preceded by Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin and Chicago.

The Tokyo race has been rescheduled to March 6 2022.

The Berlin Marathon is set to take place tomorrow in what will be its first edition since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, while the other four all take place over the space of seven weeks.

Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia is due to be competing in Germany as the three-time Olympic gold medallist - all over shorter distances than the marathon - looks to retain his Berlin title.

In the 2019 edition, Bekele finished two seconds shy of the world record set by Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge, and has vowed to attack the mark at tomorrow's race.

(09/25/2021) Views: 45 ⚡AMP
by Owen Lloyd
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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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Bekele back in Berlin and targeting third triumph

Ethiopian long distance superstar Kenenisa Bekele will defend his BMW Berlin Marathon title on Sunday (26) in what will be his fourth appearance at the World Athletics Elite Platinum Label road race.

Two years ago he ran through the Brandenburg Gate on his way to an Ethiopian record of 2:01:41, a mere two seconds outside Eliud Kipchoge’s world record set on the same course just one year prior. Thanks to that performance, Bekele remains the second fastest marathon runner of all time and heads Berlin’s elite field for this Sunday.

Although the 39-year-old made no concrete mention of a world record attempt at Friday’s press conference, there were signs that he had the target on his mind.

Eleven marathon world records have been set in Berlin so far, more than at any other race. Could Bekele make it a round dozen on Sunday?

“I have prepared well, but the pandemic hasn’t made it easy in the last two years,” said Bekele. Asked about the difference with his 2019 race in Berlin where he went so close to the world record, the three-time Olympic gold medallist said: “At the time it wasn’t clear whether I could run that fast. This time I have more confidence and will do my best.

“Sunday may not be my last chance of the world record, I want to run a couple of years more,” added the 39-year-old, who won the 2016 Berlin title in 2:03:03, only six seconds outside the then world record. The next year he had to drop out.

This Sunday offers Bekele arguably his best chance of breaking the world record, which is a view shared by his Dutch manager Jos Hermens. “Kenenisa has energy and the ability to be right up front at over 40,” said Hermens. “But Sunday’s race will be his best chance of a world record.”

The race is about more than one man, though, as the field includes 10 men with sub-2:10 PBs. “We have connected almost seamlessly with where we had our last race in 2019,” said race director Mark Milde. “Naturally we are delighted that we have been able to recruit a very strong field with Kenenisa Bekele at the top.”

Bekele’s compatriots Guye Adola and Olika Adugna could also produce impressive results. Adola famously stuck with Kipchoge until the very last stages of the 2017 Berlin Marathon, eventually finishing second in 2:03:46 – a time which, at that point, was the fastest marathon debut in history.

“I want to be among the leading group on Sunday,” said Adola, the 2014 world half marathon bronze medallist.

Adugna, meanwhile, also produced a notable performance on his marathon debut, clocking 2:06:15 in Dubai last year. The 22-year-old hasn’t raced since then, so will be raring to go on Sunday.

(09/25/2021) Views: 21 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Kenya’s six-pronged attack will headline on the streets of London

This years’ edition of the London Marathon has attracted a smaller field, but the race is nevertheless expected to be competitive when the athletes line up in the English capital on October 3.

This year’s race is taking place at a time the world is still battling the coronavirus pandemic which has forced organizers to shift the race from the traditional month of April to October.

Compared to last year, only six athletes from Kenya will compete in the race.

Vincent Kipchumba, Titus Ekiru and Valencia Marathon champion Evans Chebet will line up in the men’s category.

In the women’s category, defending champion Brigid Kosgei who is also the Olympics silver medalist will team up with reigning New York Marathon champion Joyciline Jepkosgei and Frankfurt Marathon champion Valary Jemeli.

Last year, the race was held in a bio-secure bubble at the St James Park in London. As a precautionary measure against the possible spread of Covid-19, no fans were allowed to cheer the athletes along the route during the race.

Ethiopia’s log distance running legend Kenenisa Bekele pulled out of the men’s race at the last minute due to a calf injury he had picked in training.

More disappointments were to follow as pre-race favorite Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya who is also the world marathon record holder finished in eighth position, clocking 2 hours, 06 minutes and 49 seconds.

Ethiopia’s Shura Kitata (2:05:41) claimed victory in a sprint finish with Kenya’s Vincent Kipchumba (2:05:42) who, nevertheless, had to contend with second place. Ethiopian runner Sisay Lemma clocked 2:05:45 to finish third.

In the women’s category, Kosgei retained her title after winning in 2:18:58 ahead of United States of America’s Sara Hall who timed 2:22:01.

Reigning world marathon champion Ruth Chepng’etich was third in 2:22:05.

To minimize the chance of contracting Covid-19, Kenyan athletes who were to participate in the race jetted out of the country in the same flight.

Athletes and members of their technical teams also boarded the same flight. The aeroplane carrying athletes was scheduled to pick more athletes in Addis Ababa, before heading to Athens for a scheduled stop over. The team would then head straight to London’s Stanstead Airport.

Pacemakers and elite athletes with their technical support teams were ferried in a 56-seater plane which landed at the Eldoret International Airport a day before the scheduled date of travel.

The crew who were six in number, spent the night at The Boma Inn Hotel in Eldoret.

Speaking exclusively to Nation Sport in Eldoret at the time, captain Julian Mogg who isin charge of the flight, said that he was delighted to fly athletics champions to London whom he has been seeing on television.

“We are delighted to fly the athletes who will compete in the London Marathon. I’m happy because I will be able to see them during the flight,” Mogg said at the time.

The London Marathon route is iconic and runs from Black heath in the south east of London to the finish line at The Mall.

Athletes will be able to go through Greenwich before passing over the Thames as they cross the Tower Bridge before going through central London. They will pass the Canary Wharf and famous landmarks such as the London Eye and Big Ben.

The athletes will then turn to Buckingham Palace, and follow a stretch of The Mall to reach the finish line.

(09/24/2021) Views: 68 ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

The London Marathon was first run on March 29, 1981 and has been held in the spring of every year since 2010. It is sponsored by Virgin Money and was founded by the former Olympic champion and journalist Chris Brasher and Welsh athlete John Disley. It is organized by Hugh Brasher (son of Chris) as Race Director and Nick Bitel...

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Kenenisa Bekele will lead the entries for Sunday’s BMW Berlin Marathon

When Kenenisa Bekele lines up for the BMW Berlin Marathon this weekend (Sept 26) it marks the beginning of an unprecedented period of marathon racing. Due to Covid-related postponements, five of the six Marathon Majors will be staged within a 42-day period. If you’re a fan of the classic 26.2-mile distance, you are in for a feast.

Bekele is clearly excited by the prospect as he is racing in not just one but two of these races. After Berlin on Sunday he will attempt to recover and re-boot before tackling the New York City Marathon in early November.

Here is how the autumn marathon period plays out…

Sept 26 – BerlinOct 3 – LondonOct 10 – ChicagoOct 11 – BostonNov 7 – New York

Tokyo Marathon, which is also one of the Marathon Majors, was due to take place on October 17 too, but has been called off due to the pandemic. However the TCS Amsterdam Marathon is still on October 17 – and this Dutch race often sees fast times.

First comes Berlin, though. Bekele has not raced since March last year and during this time he has seen his world 5000m and 10,000m records fall to Joshua Cheptegei. Last October he was due to race in London but withdrew on the eve of the race with a calf injury. He is now aged 39 but don’t write him off. People thought he was a spent force in 2019 but he came within two seconds of the world record with 2:01:41 in Berlin.

“I will come back with good energy and motivation,” says Bekele. “The last race in Berlin motivated me a lot, so I hope I will fulfil my plan this year.”

Bekele will be among around 25,000 runners in Berlin as mass participation road running emerges from the pandemic. His opposition on Sunday includes Guye Adola, an Ethiopian who ran the world’s fastest ever debut marathon of 2:03:46 in Berlin four years ago but has struggled to improve since.

There is also Eliud Kiptanui of Kenya, who has run 2:05:21, plus a further eight men who have run inside 2:07 such as Philemon Kacheran and Festus Talam of Kenya, Olika Adugna and Tadu Abate of Ethiopia, plus Hidekazu Hijikata of Japan.

Adugna won his debut marathon in Dubai in 2:06:15 while Hijikata took the Lake Biwa Marathon victory earlier this year.

The women’s race, meanwhile, includes Hiwot Gebrekidan, who won the Milan Marathon this year in 2:19:35, plus fellow Ethiopian Shure Demise, together with Kenyans Fancy Chemutai and Purity Rionoripo.

Just seven days after Berlin, the Virgin Money London Marathon takes place with the fields led by women’s world record-holder Brigid Kosgei together with fellow Kenyan Joyciline Jepkosgei and Ethiopians Roza Dereje and Birhane Dibaba.

The men’s race in London features Ethiopians Shura Kitata, Mosinet Geremew and Birhanu Legese plus Kenyans Titus Ekiru and Evans Chebet, whereas Brits like Charlotte Purdue and Jonny Mellor will create plenty of home interest.

Chicago includes world champion Ruth Chepngetich of Kenya in the women’s race alongside American hope Sarah Hall, while another home nation hope, Galen Rupp, takes on Ethiopians Getaneh Molla and Seifu Tura in the men’s race.

 

(09/21/2021) Views: 52 ⚡AMP
by Athletics Weekly
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BMW Berlin Marathon

BMW Berlin Marathon

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

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2021 Berlin marathon to atract 25,000 runners

Berlin Marathon organizers expect around 25,000 runners to take part on Sunday, making it the biggest marathon since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

The event was cancelled last year because of the global health crisis but returns on the streets of the German capital.

"The time is ripe for us to send a signal to the outside world that we are still a sports metropolis," Juergen Lock, managing director of organiser SCC Events, said.

He expects more than 90 per cent of participants to be either fully vaccinated or to have recovered from a coronavirus infection.

All others must undergo a PCR test no earlier than 48 hours before the start.

Wearing masks in the start and finish areas is mandatory for runners, as well as for all spectators along the 42.195km course.

"All runners can run liberated," Lock said.

With two smaller events in recent weeks including a half marathon, the organizers have gained experience for the big event, which will be held on the same day as the German general election.

The most prominent runner is Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele.

The 39-year-old missed the world record of Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya by only two seconds in his victory in 2019 in two hours one minute 41 seconds.

Kipchoge set the mark in Berlin in 2018.

The women's field is led by Hiwot Gebrekidan, the Ethiopian who ran a year's best 2:19:35 in Milan.

(09/20/2021) Views: 91 ⚡AMP
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BMW Berlin Marathon

BMW Berlin Marathon

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

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Markus Ryffel donates 1984 Olympic shoes to Heritage Collection

Markus Ryffel has generously donated to the World Athletics Heritage Collection one of the running spikes he wore when earning the 5000m silver medal at the 1984 Olympic Games.

The Swiss distance runner donated his left shoe to the collection in June and it is now on permanent view in glorious 360˚ 3D in the Olympic Athletics Collection room of the Museum of World Athletics (MOWA), the world’s first virtual sports museum.

This evening at the Weltklasse Zürich Heritage Night, Ryffel was able to officially hand over the spike in person to his friend and racing contemporary, World Athletics President Sebastian Coe, who won his second 1500m title in Los Angeles in 1984.

Still the Swiss 5000m record

The final day of the 1984 Olympic athletics programme was hot and damp. The Swiss spectators among the 90,000 crowd in the Memorial Coliseum started to sweat even more as Ryffel geared up for his final sprint, 300 metres from the finish line of the 5000m final.

Portugal’s Antonio Leitao, pre-race favourite Said Aouita of Morocco, and Ryffel were neck and neck in lanes one, two and three. For a moment, even a Swiss Olympic victory seemed possible.

Aouita, however, showed himself unimpressed by Ryffel’s efforts and ran the last 400m in an unheard-of 54.7 seconds. He became the victor of a memorable race: then the third-best time in history for the Moroccan (13:05.59), with fifth place on the world all-time list for Ryffel.

Ryffel’s 13:07.54 still stands as the Swiss record 37 years later. Aouita’s Olympic record was only improved in Beijing in 2008 by Kenenisa Bekele.

Calf injury

While Aouita became the first man to run 5000m within 13 minutes in Rome, 11 months after his triumph in Los Angeles, for Ryffel the silver medal from Los Angeles remained the highlight of an illustrious career.

At the European Championships two years later, he was in a promising position but had to withdraw with an injury, which ended up requiring surgery. His calf muscles – including varicose veins inherited from his father – also thwarted his efforts at his last great aim, the marathon. He made several attempts at completing races, but time and again he had to give up some time after 30 kilometres with calf pain. He never made it to a fourth Olympics and retired from elite sport in late 1991.

New York comes to Uster

Ryffel was by no means bitter; quite the contrary. He had planned ahead during his active years. As a young man he had been a fan of Frank Shorter, the 1972 Olympic marathon champion. So it was not surprising that, aged 22, he accompanied his older brother Urs, himself a fairly successful cyclist, to the 1977 New York Marathon. He finished 16th, just ahead of four-time Olympic champion Lasse Viren.

Both of them were impressed by the “amazing atmosphere” of this mass event.

“We wanted to start something similar in our home-town Uster,” said Ryffel. And so, they established the race around the idyllic Greifensee near Zürich which has been running since 1980, initially 19km long, and over the half marathon distance since 1992. In 1998, Uster even hosted the World Half Marathon Championships, where Paul Koech and Tegla Loroupe from Kenya were the winners.

Running weeks

By the end of the 1970s, Ryffel began organising running weeks in St Moritz and trips to the New York Marathon, alongside his friends and training partners Dietmar Millonig of Austria and Thomas Wessinghage of West Germany.

The trio of runners still work together. Although the goal of the original ‘running weeks’ was to help participants achieve a 3:30 marathon time, the events have now morphed into more general running and fitness holidays in St Moritz and other alpine destinations.

Around the same time, Ryffel opened his first Ryffel Running Shop in Bern together with his brother Urs and business partner Markus Bill. A second shop in Uster followed shortly after, and the business later employed up to 28 people.

“It started in a cow shed next to my parents’ restaurant,” remembers Ryffel. He has since sold the shops to a larger company, and now organises running events, active holidays, trips to marathon races and private coaching.

‘The bike really shaped me’

Ryffel learned early that it was important to be decisive and work hard towards one’s aims. “My parents had a restaurant and a butcher shop, and we had a delivery service. Without it, I would never have become such a good runner. The kilometres on the bike really shaped me because the heart does not distinguish between cycling and running.

“Even in primary school, I did 20 or 30 km on my bike,” he added. “I had my 17 customers to whom I delivered cordon bleu and other meats.”

Ryffel’s parents, however, were not supportive of their son’s sporting ambitions at first. So it was lucky that Ryffel moved to Bern for an apprenticeship in typesetting, where he could be near his supporter and coach Heinz Schild. There he started running in the uniform of the City of Bern gymnastics club.

Ryffel is now 66. He still runs and has calculated from his paper training log that he jogged his 200,000th kilometre in 2020. That’s five times around the earth.

“I can still run regularly – and, most importantly, without pain,” he said. “And if all goes well, I will be running my 98th marathon in Chicago this year.” Because of Covid, the usual group trip to New York cannot happen, and Ryffel wants to participate in this marathon with a group aiming at a 4:30 finish time.

Times have changed. “Just being there is everything now,” he says.

(09/09/2021) Views: 73 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Hiwot Gebrekidan and Kenenisa Bekele will lead powerful Ethiopian Challenge in Berlin

The BMW BERLIN-MARATHON will get underway on Sunday, September 26 with high quality elite fields headed by the Ethiopian superstar Kenenisa Bekele on his fourth appearance in Germany’s biggest and most spectacular marathon, while his compatriot Hiwot Gebrekidan will run in Berlin’s women’s field for the first time. Gebrekidan is currently the fastest female marathon runner in the world this year. The BMW BERLIN-MARATHON is part of the Abbott World Marathon Majors and a Platinum Label Road Race, awarded by World Athletics, the international governing body of athletics.

Kenenisa Bekele is 39 now and will be running the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON for the fourth time. He won the race in 2016 but dropped out the next year and returned in 2019 to triumph once again. In both victories the Ethiopian missed the then world record by a matter of seconds.

In terms of his achievements on the track and cross country, Kenenisa Bekele is the greatest long distance runner of all time. The multiple world record holder won the 5,000m at the 2008 Olympic Games as well as at the 2009 World Championships, took the 10,000m title at the Olympics in 2004 and 2008 as well as at the World Championships in 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2009. In addition, he has won eleven gold medals at the World Cross Country Championships.

At the same time, Kenenisa Bekele’s marathon career has been by no means a smooth one. He has failed to finish three of his six races at the classic distance, including an attempt on the world record in Dubai in 2017 and Berlin later in the same year.

Yet on two occasions Kenenisa Bekele was able to convert his enormous potential to the marathon though there was still an element of disappointment attached, since he missed breaking the world record by a handful of seconds each time. In 2016 in Berlin he went within six seconds of the then global best, improving his own best to 2:03:03. Two years ago Bekele won again, this time running 2:01:41, two seconds outside the world record which his Kenyan rival Eliud Kipchoge had improved to 2:01:39 in the meantime. This achievement in 2019 means the Ethiopian is the second fastest marathon runner in history. It may well be that the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON on September 26 is his last chance to break the world record at the distance. “I’m looking forward to the race in the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON and all my training has been with this in mind. It’s gone well. I am doing everything to make sure my preparation is perfect,” said Kenenisa Bekele.

Ethiopia’s superstar will face two strong compatriots among his rivals. Guye Adola made an outstanding marathon debut in 2017 beside the River Spree with second place in 2:03:46. His time was record for a marathon debutant and Adola even put the eventual winner, Eliud Kipchoge, under pressure, leading the great Kenyan until shortly before 40 kilometres. Another Ethiopian who surprised many on his marathon debut is Olika Adugna. He will be running in Berlin on September 26 with a best of 2:06:15 from winning debut in Dubai in 2020.

The women’s field includes the fastest marathoner in the world this year, Ethiopia’s Hiwot Gebrekidan, who won the Milan Marathon in a personal best of 2:19:35 in April. Purity Rionoripo of Kenya (pb 2:20:39) and the Ethiopian Shure Demise (pb 2:20:59) should also be relied upon to offer strong challenges.

More information is available online at: Berlin-Marathon.com.

(09/07/2021) Views: 103 ⚡AMP
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BMW Berlin Marathon

BMW Berlin Marathon

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

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It’s Going to Be a Busy 7 Weeks With All 6 World Marathon Majors Taking Place

For the first time ever, all six World Marathon Majors will be contested in the fall of the same year. Due to postponements caused by COVID-19, the Berlin, London, Tokyo, Chicago, Boston, and New York City marathons are all scheduled to take place within a seven-week timeframe.

For many athletes, these marathons will be their first 26.2 since the onset of the pandemic, and they’ve set big goals for the return of the sport.

Between runners doubling in events to some chasing national records, the best marathoners in the world are taking full advantage of these highly anticipated competitive opportunities. Here, we outlined some quick takeaways and storylines we’ll be watching based on the early elite field announcements. (And we’ll keep this list updated if and when top runners throw their name into one of these amazing fields!)


Berlin Marathon—Sunday, September 26

MEN:

Kenenisa Bekele, Ethiopia (2:01:41)

Right now, the only elite runner confirmed for the Berlin Marathon is Kenenisa Bekele. Berlin will be the first of two marathons in 42 days for the Ethiopian runner, who is also scheduled to race the New York City Marathon on November 7, a grueling double that will mark Bekele’s first races since March 2020.

As three-time Olympic champion told Sports Illustrated, he is ready for the challenge.

“For a whole year, I couldn’t race and it’s been really difficult for athletes,” Bekele said. “I want to take this chance and see what is possible.”

London Marathon—Sunday, October 3

Eight weeks after winning silver at the Tokyo Olympics, Brigid Kosgei aims to defend her title in London. The world record-holder from Kenya will be going for her third consecutive victory in London against a stacked field that includes defending New York City Marathon champion Joyciline Jepkosgei and two-time Tokyo Marathon winner Birhane Dibaba.

On the men’s side, Shura Kitata will also be looking to defend his title in London after a disappointing performance in Tokyo. The Ethiopian standout struggled in the heat during the Olympic marathon in Sapporo and dropped out of the race, but he’s aiming for redemption on a course where he experienced a breakthrough last year.

“I was disappointed to have to pull out of the Olympic Games Marathon, but I just did not adapt to the weather well,” Kitata told World Athletics. “It was very cold in Ethiopia prior to leaving for Tokyo and when we got there the weather took its toll on my body and made my breathing very hard. But I’m healthy and looking forward to racing in the Virgin Money London Marathon again. I am preparing very well and my coach has me very ready to defend my title in London.”

Chicago Marathon—Sunday, October 10

Almost a year after she nearly broke Deena Kastor’s American marathon record, Sara Hall is gearing up to again chase the elusive time set 15 years ago. In Chicago, Hall aims to continue her breakthrough streak, which started during the 2020 COVID-adjusted season, and run under the record of 2:19:36.

“It has been too long since I’ve been back, and when I thought about where I wanted to chase the American record, I thought it would be more exciting to do it at home, in the U.S., and Chicago is such an epic race,” Hall said in a statement. “I’m really excited to have my best marathon yet on U.S. soil.”

After dropping out of the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials, Hall made an impressive comeback with a runner-up finish at the London Marathon last October, and a victory at the Marathon Project in December. Hall’s winning time of 2:20:32 is her personal best and the second-fastest performance ever by an American woman.

Hall will have stiff competition up front with Ruth Chepngetich in the field. The Kenyan marathoner set the half marathon world record in April. She had an off day at the Tokyo Games and dropped out of the marathon around the 20-mile mark. Chicago will be the 2019 world champion’s first major marathon since the Olympics and her first race on U.S. soil.

Another American to watch will be Keira D’Amato; she made headlines in 2020 with huge improvements on the track and the roads, which helped her land her first professional contract with Nike at 36 years old. D’Amato was expected to be an Olympic team contender in the 10,000 meters, but she withdrew from the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials, citing a hamstring injury. The Chicago Marathon will be D’Amato’s first race since February.

Galen Rupp, who placed eighth in 2:11:41 at the Tokyo Olympics on August 8, is returning to race the marathon in Chicago. This marathon holds some significance for Rupp, who became the first American male athlete since Khalid Khannouchi to win the race in 2017. The last time he competed in the Windy City was during his comeback to the sport after having Achilles surgery. In the 2019 race, he dropped out just before the 23-mile mark, but he’s looking to improve this time around.

“My goal is winning,” Rupp said in a statement. “I want to come back and win. 2019 left a sour taste in my mouth. I didn’t finish that race so I cannot wait to get back out there and come back stronger than ever. It has been a wild ride since then. I’m healthy, I’m happy, and it’s going to be tremendous to come back.”

Boston Marathon—Monday, October 11

Boston will have one of the deepest elite fields on the women’s side with nine women who have run under 2:22, including Olympic bronze medalist Mare Dibaba and 2017 Boston Marathon winner Edna Kiplagat.

The race will also be Des Linden’s first of two marathons this fall. The 2018 Boston Marathon champion is entered in the New York City Marathon on November 7, a shorter than normal timeframe between major marathons. Boston will be Linden’s first major marathon since she finished fourth at the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials. This spring, Linden set the 50K world record by averaging 5:47 pace for more than 31 miles.

Fellow Americans Jordan Hasay and Molly Huddle will also be returning to Boston after the event took a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic.
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In the men’s field, several past podium finishers are making their return to Boston, including Kenyan standouts Wilson Chebet, Felix Kandie, and Paul Lonyangata. A large American contingent will be led by four-time Olympian Abdi Abdirahman, who finished 41st in the marathon at the Tokyo Games. Including Abdirahman, eight of the top 12 finishers from the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials are scheduled to compete.

New York City Marathon—Sunday, November 7

The field assembled for the women’s race, especially the American contingent, is the most stacked marathon of all the fall races. Tokyo Olympians Molly Seidel, Sally Kipyego, and Aliphine Tuliamuk are all slated to return to competition in the Big Apple after representing Team USA in Sapporo.

Fellow podium finisher Peres Jepchirchir of Kenya is also returning to the distance after dominating the marathon to win gold in her first Olympic Games. She has the fastest personal best among the field after running 2:17:16 in Valencia last year. Including Jepchirchir, the New York City field includes four women who have run under 2:21.

Outside of the Olympic team, a handful of the top Americans are also gearing up for fast times in the city. Emily Sisson, Kellyn Taylor, Stephanie Bruce, Roberta Groner, and Laura Thweatt are scheduled to compete. And Des Linden will be racing her second marathon of the fall after competing in Boston on October 11.

Along with Bekele’s double, Abdi Nageeye’s performance will draw fans in to watch the men’s race in New York City. The runner from the Netherlands secured a silver medal in the Tokyo marathon by crossing the finish line in 2:09:58, a huge improvement from his 11th-place finish in Rio. He’s finished in the top 10 twice at the Boston Marathon, but this fall will mark his debut in New York City and he’s feeling confident in his chances.

“For me, winning the silver medal in the Olympic Games was not a surprise,” Nageeye said in a statement. “There were many good athletes in the race, but I knew my preparation had been good. I was ready for the conditions, and most importantly I believed in myself. I will take that same focus into my preparations for New York, and my belief and confidence in my abilities is even higher than it was in Sapporo. There is nothing I want more than to bring a New York City victory back home along with my Olympic medal.”

There will also be a couple of highly anticipated marathon debuts, including Kibiwott Kandie and Ben True. Kandie is the half marathon world record-holder and a world championships silver-medalist. True will be aiming for redemption after finishing fourth in the 10,000 meters and narrowly missing out on making Team USA at the Olympic Trials in June.

(08/28/2021) Views: 112 ⚡AMP
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Olympic medalist Abdi Nageeye, Kibiwott Kandie and Kenenisa Bekele to clash in New York

World half marathon record holder, Kenya’s Kibiwott Kandie is due for his maiden marathon at the New York City marathon on November 7 this year.

Kandie, the 2020 World Half Marathon Championships silver medalist, faces baptism by fire when he takes on Tokyo Olympic marathon silver medallist, Abdi Nageeye from the Netherlands, and two-time Berlin Marathon champion, Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele.

Kandie, who missed the Kenyan Olympic trials in 10,000m owing to an injury, holds the world half marathon record of 57:32 from 2020 Valencia.

Bekele has the fastest time in the star-studded field, having won the 2019 Berlin Marathon in 2:01:41, missing Eliud Kipchoge’s world record by two seconds.

Nageeye won the silver medal at the Olympic marathon in Sapporo this year, crossing the line in 2:09:58 behind Kipchoge.

The Somali-born Dutch runner was 11th at the Rio 2016 Olympic marathon and has finished in the top 10 at the Boston Marathon twice.

“For me, winning the silver medal in the Olympic Games was not a surprise,” Nageeye said. “There were many good athletes in the race, but I knew my preparation had been good. I was ready for the conditions, and most importantly I believed in myself.”

Nageeye said he will take that same focus into his preparations for New York, and that his belief and confidence in his abilities is even higher than it was at the Tokyo Olympics.

“There is nothing I want more than to bring a New York City victory back home along with my Olympic medal,” said Nageeye in a statement released by the race organizers on Thursday.

Bekele, a four-time Olympic medalist and 16-time world champion,  will make his debut in the men’s open division.

“I am proud of the many accomplishments in my career, but I have never had the opportunity to compete in the New York City Marathon,” Bekele said. “I am excited that 2021 will be the year for me to make my attempt in New York.”

Leading the American men will be Rio 2016 Olympian Jared Ward, who has finished as the top American in the last two New York City Marathons.

Great Britain’s Callum Hawkins will also make his New York City Marathon debut.

Hawkins is a two-time Olympian who finished fourth at both the 2019 and 2017 World Championships in the marathon.

 The 2019 New York City Marathon second and third-place finishers, Kenya’s Albert Korir and Ethiopia’s Girma Bekele Gebre will return in an attempt to repeat their podium performances, in addition to 2016 race winner Ghirmay Ghebreslassie of Eritrea.

(08/20/2021) Views: 181 ⚡AMP
by Ayumba Ayodi
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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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Kenenisa Bekele is set to run the Berlin Marathon

On September 26, all eyes will be on the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON. After a bitter period of deprivation, a large field of runners will be allowed to celebrate on the streets of the German capital. Due to the current pandemic situation, this year there is a reduction in participants and a detailed hygiene concept, which makes it possible for an event of this magnitude to be realized at all.

Not only are the recreational athletes appreciative of the endless efforts by the organiser SCC EVENTS, which are making it possible to finally compete together again at the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON. A look at the list of favourites shows quite clearly how much the world’s elite is also waiting for top notch races. None other than running legend Kenenisa Bekele will aim for victory on September 26.

At the 2019 BMW BERLIN-MARATHON, he clearly demonstrated with his time of 2:01:41 hours that he is always a force to be reckoned with. Whether he can shine again this year with one of the fastest marathon times ever remains to be seen. Anything is possible for the Ethiopian jack-of-all-trades. The #berlinlegend Bekele appears to do particularly well in the Berlin air. This is underlined not only by his victories at the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON in 2016 and 2019, but also by his captivating performances at the 2009 World Athletics Championships in the capital city on the Spree River.

(08/13/2021) Views: 158 ⚡AMP
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BMW Berlin Marathon

BMW Berlin Marathon

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

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World record holder Joshua Cheptegei wins 5000m gold for Uganda

Joshua Cheptegei added the Olympic 5000m title to his world record in a race which was just short of achieving a Games best time.

The Ugandan was forced to settle for silver in the 10,000m, but made amends by winning the shorter distance in 12:58.15, less than half a second slower than the Olympic record set by Kenenisa Bekele in 2008.

Cheptegei finished ahead of Canada's Mohammad Ahmed and American Paul Chelimo to succeed Mo Farah as champion.

Britain's Andy Butchart fell off the leading pack with around 1000m to go, finishing 11th.

Cheptegei, who revealed he had been struggling with a heel injury heading into the Games, made sure he was near the front of the field right from the start.

But he will be thankful to his team-mate Jacob Kiplimo, who did much of the heavy lifting early on, setting a pace which always looked like it would dip below 13 minutes.

It was easily the quickest 5000m Olympic final since Bekele’s victory in Beijing 13 years ago, and Cheptegei looked to ease to victory when he took full control on the final lap. Ahmed finished well, but never appeared likely to overhaul his rival.

The victory makes the Ugandan, whose world record stands at 12:35.36, an Olympic and world champion, adding to his 10,000m win at Doha 2019

(08/06/2021) Views: 212 ⚡AMP
by Richard Newman
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision. ...

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Here's everything you need to know about the Tokyo Olympics marathon

The men's Olympics marathon is traditionally held on the very last day of competition, with the women's race staged a day earlier. 

Both events will be starting early in the morning to avoid the heat, with the women running on Saturday, August 7 and the men racing on Sunday, August 8. 

Here's everything you need to know about the Tokyo Olympics marathon.

WHEN IS THE TOKYO OLYMPICS MARATHON? 

The women's race will be held on Saturday, August 7.

The men's race will be run on Sunday, August 8.

WHO IS RUNNING THE OLYMPIC MARATHON? 

There are a number of high-profile runners who won't feature in Tokyo, with Ethiopian legend Kenenisa Bekele topping that list. 

It is still a packed field though, with defending Olympic champion and current world record holder Eliud Kipchoge set to run. 

Kipchoge will be joined on a formidable Kenyan team by Lawrence Cherono and Amos Kipruto.

Ethiopia will be represented by Lelisa Desisa, Shura Kitata and Sisay Lemma, while Rio 2016 bronze medalist Galen Rupp is back representing America. 

In the women's race, it's hard to go past world record-holder Brigid Kosgei of Kenya. 

Kosgei will be joined by 2019 marathon world champion Ruth Chepngetich and two-time world half-marathon champion Peres Jepchirchir in Kenyan colours. 

The Ethiopian trio of Birhane Dibaba, Roza Dereje and Zeineba Yimer will also be in the mix and are all capable of comfortably running under 2:20. 

RIO 2016 OLYMPICS MARATHON WINNER

Eliud Kipchoge stormed to a memorable victory in the rain in Rio, finishing ahead of Ethiopia's Feyisa Lelisa and American Galen Rupp. 

In the women's race, Kenyan Jemima Sumgong won gold in front of Eunice Kirwa and Mare Dibaba. 

(08/02/2021) Views: 377 ⚡AMP
by Brendand Brandford
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision. ...

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No Olympics for Kenenisa Bekele

Kenenisa Bekele’s manager Jos Hermens has responded to an enquiry by confirming that Bekele will not compete in the Tokyo Olympic Games Marathon to be held in Sapporo on August 8.

The highly-anticipated duel between him and defending champion and world record holder Eliud Kipchoge will not take place. The Kenyan is the hot favorite for the Gold medal.

Bekele missed the Ethiopian Olympic elimination race over 35 km on  May 1, but there was still a possibility that the Ethiopian Olympic Committee would nominate the 39-year-old for an Olympic place.

A year after Kipchoge set his world record in the 2018 Berlin Marathon Bekele all but equalled it, running only two seconds slower. Sisay Lemma is likely to be the runner who fills the selection spot.

Bekele will now be able to prepare for an autumn marathon. All six races of the big-money “World Marathon Majors” series are currently planned to be run between September 26 and November 7.

(06/28/2021) Views: 145 ⚡AMP
by Race News Service
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision. ...

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The athletes' NN Running Team is organizing a global online mass run and Kipchoge, Bekele and Cheptegei are set to participate

Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge is set to take part in an online virtual mass run this weekend (22-23 May) along with some 30,000 members of the public who have signed up.

Organised by the Kenyan's Dutch-based NN Running Team, the event - dubbed MA RA TH ON - is being held for the second time. In 2020, some 106,000 registrations were accepted, with participants clocking a distance far enough to run around the world 28 times.

"I am really excited for this coming Saturday and Sunday as the world is running as one," Kipchoge said in quotes reported by the Kenyan Broadcasting Corporation.

"It’s not about running fast, it’s not about winning, but it’s all about participating."

The event sees teams of four around the world run just over 10.5 kilometers each, for a total of the marathon distance 42.195 km.

Each runner runs alone, and records their activity on the Strava application. Additionally, ten teams will each have an NN Running Team athlete compete alongside them.

Among the elite athletes competing are Kipchoge, his fellow Kenyan Geoffrey Kamworor, Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele, and 5 km and 10 km world record holder Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda.

"I am very happy that we organize this event again. It has given all the participating athletes a huge motivation in a difficult year," Kamworor said according to the KBC.

Kipchoge's last event was the NN Marathon in Enschede, Netherlands, in April, which he won in 2:04:30.

Kamworor finished second in the Istanbul Half Marathon in 59:38 in April; Bekele won a half marathon in London (1:00:22) at the start of March; while Cheptegei's last outing was a third place finish in a 1500m race at the Ugandan Athletics Federation Trials in April.

(05/19/2021) Views: 283 ⚡AMP
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Joshua Cheptegei will go for Komen's legendary 3000-Meter World Record on Wednesday

Last year, Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei set world records in the 5,000 and 10,000 meters as part of an unforgettable 2020 season.

On Wednesday at the Golden Spike meet in Ostrava, he will try to go one better and become just the third man to hold the 3,000, 5,000, and 10,000 records simultaneously. Yes, that’s right. Cheptegei will attempt to break Daniel Komen‘s legendary 7:20.67 3,000-meter world record which has stood for nearly 25 years — since September 1, 1996.

Cheptegei´s camp is under no illusions as to the difficulty of the feat.

“It’s a big ask for Joshua to break [the 3,000-meter world record], we have to be realistic about that,” Cheptegei’s agent Jurrie van der Velden told LetsRun.com. “But we believe it’s possible with the training he’s done. It will be the toughest attempt for him thus far.”

There are several reasons why. First is the 3,000-meter record itself is one of the longest-standing men’s world records and has scarcely been challenged since. Only Hicham El Guerrouj, who ran 7:23.09 in 1999, has come within four seconds of the mark. Even the great Kenenisa Bekele, previous holder of the 5,000 and 10,000 records, never ran faster than 7:25.79.

Second is Cheptegei’s skillset. While the World Athletics scoring tables say 7:20 is equivalent to 12:36 and 26:15 for 5,000 and 10,000 — both marks Cheptegei has bettered — it will be tougher for Cheptegei who, as a distance specialist, is more suited to the longer events. He will need a lot of speed to break 7:20.67 — it’s 3:56 mile pace for seven-and-a-half laps — and Cheptegei, whose 3,000 pb is 7:33.26, has yet to demonstrate the raw 1500 speed of Komen, who had a personal best of 3:29.46.

In Cheptegei’s defense, he has barely raced the 1500. His Tilastopaja profile lists just three races at the distance, the most recent of which was a pb of 3:37.36 on April 24 in Kampala (elevation: 3,937 feet). He will have to run close to that pace for twice the distance to break Komen’s record.

Cheptegei does have a few things working in his favor, however. He has an ace pacemaker in Australia’s Stewart McSweyn, who ran 3:30 and 7:28 last year, and will also benefit from the pacing light system that aided Cheptegei in his world records in Monaco and Valencia last year. The pace is scheduled for 2:26-2:27 per kilometer, with Dutchman Richard Douma serving as the first pacer through 1200 meters before giving way to McSweyn, who will attempt to go through 2000.

Cheptegei also has Nike’s superspikes, which have made Komen’s once-untouchable record seem more attainable. For eight years — from 2012 through 2019 — no man broke 7:28 for 3,000. In the last eight months, five men have done it, all in Nike spikes.

(05/18/2021) Views: 160 ⚡AMP
by Jonathan Gault
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Shura Kitata and Tigist Girma Win Ethiopian Olympic Marathon Trials

The much-discussed 35k Ethiopian Olympic marathon trial race was held today in Ethiopia without Kenenisa Bekele. Unless the Ethiopian Athletics Federation changes course, your Ethiopian Olympic marathon team will consist of the top three finishers from each race.

Here are the top five results from each race along with the credentials of the finishers. Race results and photos are courtesy of the Ethiopian Athletics Federation Facebook page with translation via Teferi Debebe.

The times of the men have been updated based on an update to the facebook page. The first results had Kitata winning by 20 seconds which made no sense given the photo of the finish shows it was close.

Shura Kitata 1:46:15 – 24-year-old was winner of 2020 London Marathon last October, runner-up in NYC and London in 2018, winner of Frankfurt and Rome in 2017. 2:04:49 pb (2018).2. Lelisa Desisa – 1:46:16 – 31-year-old is past winner of Dubai (2013), Boston (2013, 2015), NYC (2018), and Worlds (2019). Only 35th in Valencia last December. 2:04:45 pb (2013).3. Sisay Lemma – 1:46:19 – 30-year-old has never won a major. 3rd is his best major finish (Tokyo and London 2020, Berlin 2019, Dubai 2017). Past winner of Frankfurt, Vienna, Warsaw and Ljubljana. 2:03:36 pb (2019).4. Chalu Deso – 1:46:34  – Age not listed.  9th in Dubai (2:06:29) and 6th in Valencia (2:04:53). Past winner of Porto (2019 – 2:09:08).5. Kinde Atanaw – 1:47:03 – 28-year-old won Valencia in 2019 (2:03:51 pb), DNF Valencia in 2020. No other marathon results.

*The Ethiopian site now lists the times as 1:46:14.53, 1:46:15.10, 1:46:18.21, 1:46:33.67, 1:47:02.53 so we rounded them all up to the next second per rules protocol but we imagine most outlets will list the lower time.

Women’s Results

1. Tigist Girma – 1:59:23 – 27-year-old has never won a major (best finish is 5th and that’s the only major she ever ran — Tokyo 2020) but has twice run 2:19. 2:19:52 pb from Amsterdam 2019. Has won 2 of her career 13 marathons.2. Birhane Dibaba – 1:59:45 – 27-year-old was runner-up in Tokyo last year (2:18:35 pb) and 9th in Valencia (2:23:07). Also ran 2:18:46 for 3rd in Valencia in 2019. 2015 and 2018 Tokyo champ.3. Roza Dereje Bekele 2:00:16  – 23-year-old won Valencia (2:18:30) and was 3rd in London in 2019. Won Dubai and was 2nd in Chicago in 2018. No results in 2020. 2:18:30 pb (2019 Valencia).4. Zeineba Yimer – 2:03:41 –  22-year-old has two carer marathon finishers, a 2:19:27 for 5th in Valencia in 2019 and a 2:19:54 that got her 4th in 2020.5. Ruti Aga – 2:04:28 – 27-year-old was 2019 Tokyo champ. Has finished in the top 3 five other times (runner-up in Berlin in 2017 and 2018 and Tokyo 2018 and 3rd in Berlin 2016 and New York 2019). 2:18:34 pb from 2018 Berlin.

(05/02/2021) Views: 163 ⚡AMP
by Let’s Run
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Kenenisa Bekele Will Not Run Ethiopian Olympic Marathon Trials

Kenenisa Bekele, the three-time Olympic champion on the track and second-fastest marathoner of all time, announced today that he will not compete in Saturday’s Ethiopian Olympic marathon trials, which will be held as a 35 km race in the city of Sebeta, 15 miles outside the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. Considering that the Ethiopian Marathon coach Haji Adilo has told LetsRun.com the top three finishers across the line on Saturday will comprise the Ethiopian Olympic team, that would mean that Bekele’s dream of becoming the first person — male or female — in the professional era to win an Olympic gold on the track and the marathon would be over.

Bekele, however, is protesting his exclusion from the team as prior to COVID-19 it was stated that Ethiopia would select their marathon team based on who had the fastest times during the qualifying window and Bekele led the pack on that front by over a minute.

For the last month, speculation has flown about whether Bekele, who has not run a marathon since his near-world record of 2:01:41 in Berlin in September 2019, would compete in the trials. Today, we learned that he will not be running the Trials as a protest letter that Bekele wrote in Amharic to the Ethiopian Athletics Federation in which he also addressed the Ethiopian sports journalists was published on Twitter.

According to Ethiopian journalist Teferi Debebe, whom LetsRun.com spoke to on Wednesday evening, in the above document Bekele said he was 100% healthy but criticized the Ethiopian Athletics Federation for changing its selection criteria and staging its trials too close to the Olympic marathon in Sapporo, which will be held on August 8. The gap between the two races is 14 weeks. For reference, when Eliud Kipchoge won Olympic gold in 2016, there was a 17-week gap between Kipchoge’s spring marathon (London) and the Olympic marathon in Rio de Janeiro. Fourteen weeks between a 35 km race and a marathon is a relatively tight turnaround and Bekele said he would not be competing as a result. In the document, according to Debebe, Bekele mentioned how countries like the US are honoring selections from a long time ago.

Debebe told us that Bekele started off the letter by reminding the federation that he’s got an amazing resume of success in representing Ethiopia in the past. He’s very proud of his past performances on the world stage while representing the country, as was everyone in the country. He hopes to do so again in 2021 or he says he’ll have to consider “another option.” He also complained that in 2016 he was left off the team according to what he said was discrimination.

We asked Debebe if he thought Bekele’s appeal would be successful and he said yes. In fact, he guaranteed us that Bekele would eventually be named to the team. “His appeal is very powerful because it comes from Bekele. At the end, he says he will consider another option and that will get him a lot of support….Definitely, the federation is going to do something in my opinion.”

Debebe did add that he didn’t really agree that discrimination kept Bekele off the Olympic team in 2016 as while Bekele is from the Oromo tribe, so is Feyisa Lelisa who was selected and famously did his X protest.

Bekele is not the only notable athlete who will be missing Saturday’s Olympic trials, which will be contested over 35 kilometers rather than the 42.2-kilometer marathon distance. A reliable source confirmed to LetsRun.com that Birhanu Legese and Mule Wasihun will both miss out as well.

(04/30/2021) Views: 187 ⚡AMP
by LetsRun
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Paul Chelimo is chasing the American indoor 5,000m record this Thursday

If the Olympic silver medalist Paul Chelimo accomplishes his goal, he stands to be the first American man to run under 13 minutes in the indoor 5,000m.

The track meet is being staged by the American Distance Project with strict COVID-19 mitigation protocols, which means there will be no spectators, coaches or competitors outside the American Distance Project’s training group bubble.

The race is being held with the goal of chasing the Olympic and U.S. Olympic Trials qualifying time, as well as Galen Rupp’s seven-year-old indoor record of 13:01.26.

According to a press release on LetsRun.com, the meet will consist of just a 5,000m and a 10,000m race for both men and women, and will be held on Virginia’s new 200-metre hydraulically banked indoor track.

Athletes will also be using the Light Speed Pacing System, which is a wireless LED pacing that assists runners with setting target paces. Other athletes in the impressive field include Leonard Korir (13:15.45), and NCAA Champions Lawi Lalang (13:00.95 outdoor) and Anthony Rotich (13:31.95), among others.

Chelimo is currently ranked sixth in the world in the men’s outdoor 5,000m and owns a PB of 12:57.55, which he set in 2018. Should he achieve his goal of breaking Rupp’s indoor 5,000m American record, that will put him in the top 10 in the world at the indoor event, along with world record-holder Kenenisa Bekele (who ran 12:49.6 in 2004), Haile Gebrselassie (12:50.38 from 1999) and four other men who have run under 13 minutes in the indoor 5,000m.

In order to run under 13 minutes, Chelimo’s pace will have to be less than 2:36 per kilometre, or 31 seconds per lap of the indoor track. With that in mind, the American record is certainly a lofty goal, but Chelimo must be in good shape if he’s planning on going after it.

In a short season that has been packed with incredible performances, this would be yet another record to add to the books, and the eyes of the track world will certainly be watching on Thursday to see if Chelimo gets the job done.

(03/03/2021) Views: 201 ⚡AMP
by Brittany Hambleton
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Ethiopian marathon ace Birhanu Legese sets sights on Olympic glory

While the staggering marathon feats of Eliud Kipchoge and to a lesser extent Kenenisa Bekele have quite righty earned the bulk of media attention in recent years, it would be a little churlish not to also acknowledge the feats of Ethiopian marathon ace Birhanu Legese.

Standing at 1.68m the diminutive Ethiopian, an NN Running Team team-mate of Kipchoge and Bekele, has claimed four successive marathon podiums which have included back-to-back successes in the Tokyo Marathon, a second place finish in the 2019 Berlin Marathon - to advance to third on the all-time marathon lists - and more recently a third place finish in the 2020 Valencia Marathon.

For sheer marathon consistency few can currently match the 26-year-old athlete, who according to his coach, Getaneh Tessema, has the potential to make history.

“There is no doubt Birhanu is a quality athlete,” explains Getaneh. “I see that every day in training. If everything goes perfectly, I know he can achieve the same results as Kenenisa and Kipchoge.”

Legese, the third eldest of seven siblings, enjoyed his breakthrough performance at the 2012 10km Great Ethiopian Run when placing second in 28:41 behind 2016 Olympic 5000m bronze medallist Hagos Gebrhiwet.

He continued to make steady progress for the next couple of seasons: in 2013 he clocked a slick 27:34 for 10km on the road in Taroudant and the following year posted a 5000m track PB of 13:08.88 in Shanghai.

Yet it was on the roads where Legese has most excelled and in 2015 he further hinted at his exciting potential by winning both the Berlin (59:45) and New Delhi (59:20) half marathons.

Notable marathon debut

The following couple of seasons he enjoyed intermittent success with victory in the 2016 RAK and 2017 New Delhi Half Marathons yet all too often he was hampered by ongoing shin splints issues, which prevented him from consistently producing his best.

In 2018 Legese made his eagerly awaited marathon debut in Dubai, running an outstanding time of 2:04:15 for sixth. Yet still he craved more.

“I was pleased with the time but not with the position,” he explains. 

Stomach issues hampered his efforts later that year at the Chicago Marathon when he wound up tenth in 2:08:41 – more than three-and-a-half minutes behind race winner Mo Farah.

“I was in a lot of pain but I kept on going because I thought the pain would go away,” he recalls. “I was disappointed with the performance but as soon as I returned to training my disappointment disappeared.”

Tokyo win ushers marathon breakthrough

Unlike many elite Ethiopian athletes, Legese has chosen not to live in Addis Ababa but just north of the capital city in the town of Sendafa, where he lives with his brother, Gezahegne, and training partner Tariku Kinfu.

Away from the pollution of the city and living closer to his regular training routes has cut down his commute time to and from training and aided his rest and recovery with the consequence that he enjoyed a smooth build up to the 2019 Tokyo Marathon. 

Competing in wet and windy conditions in the Japanese capital he made his winning move just before 35 kilometres, kicking clear of former world half marathon silver medallist Bedan Karoki.

Despite the inclement weather he crossed the line first in 2:04:48 to record the second fastest time in the history of the race and claim a victory, which was pivotal to his career development.

“Winning Tokyo gave me the chance to be invited to other big races and it was a big confidence boost,” he explains. “Financially, it was also a big change for me.”

Sub-2:03 in Berlin

Bolstered by his first Marathon Majors victory and enjoying a trouble-free build up for the 2019 Berlin Marathon, confidence was high he could produce a red hot performance on the course commonly regarded as the fastest in the world.

“I hoped to break the world record that day and that is why I broke clear of the field at 25-k,” explains Legese. “But a few kilometres later I had a problem with my hip, I was feeling pain and that caused me to slow.”

At 38 kilometres he was caught and passed by race winner Kenenisa Bekele, who went on to record victory in 2:01:41 – within two seconds of Eliud Kipchoge’s world record mark. Legese battled on bravely to the finish and was rewarded with a time of 2:02:48 to elevate himself to third on the all-time marathon lists.

Although, understandably, a little frustrated with the hip he was delighted with the time.

“The performance was wonderful,” said Tessema. “It was a good time and finishing position and a very good race from Birhanu. Maybe, he could have waited until 35-k to make his move. If he had then maybe the result might have been different, but that is all with the benefit of hindsight.”

Successful Tokyo defence

Further sheen was added to his growing reputation in the Covid-restricted elite-only 2020 Tokyo Marathon, where the Ethiopian became the first man in history to claim back-to-back wins in the race, recording 2:04:15 despite sustaining a hip injury after just one kilometre and being forced to manage the issue for the remaining 41. 

“Birhanu considered dropping out at 35-k but he has a strong mind and kept on running the race,” explains Tessema, his long-time coach.

Launching his winning move at 38.5km he went on to claim a memorable victory and a place in Tokyo Marathon history.

Shortly after his triumph, however, and with the world in the tightening grip of a global pandemic, restrictions in Legese’s homeland led to several weeks without training for the Ethiopian marathon star.

Optimistic of making the Ethiopian team for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics he later learned of the Games’ postponement and rescheduling to 2021.

“It was hard that they had to reschedule the Olympic Games but on the other hand, there was no choice,” he explains. “Everybody’s health and safety was the most important thing.”

(01/05/2021) Views: 397 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision. ...

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World records ratified: Gidey's 5000m and Cheptegei's 10,000m

The monumental performances of Ethiopia’s Letesenbet Gidey and Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei, to break two of the sport’s most revered world records within one glorious hour, have been officially ratified.

Gidey’s 5000m mark of 14:06.62 and Cheptegei's 10,000m performance of 26:11.00 were both set at the aptly named NN Valencia World Record Day on 7 October.

Gidey went first, producing a stunning run that clipped more than four seconds from the previous record set by Tirunesh Dibaba 12 years earlier. A few minutes after the 22-year-old crossed the line, Cheptegei took his turn, churning out 25 laps of the track in an average of less than 63 seconds apiece to better Kenenisa Bekele’s 15-year-old benchmark by more than six seconds. The records for those two events had never been broken on the same day.

The two-race meeting was held at the Spanish city’s intimate Turia Stadium before a crowd limited to less than 150 due to Covid-19 pandemic restrictions.

That scene was in stark contrast to those in Oslo, on 6 June 2008, when Dibaba took command of the world 5000m record with a 14:11.15 run and three years earlier, in Brussels on 26 August 2005, when Bekele clocked 26:17.53 to clip 2.57 seconds from his own year-old mark. The roar of capacity crowds at the events, both fixtures of the Golden League series, were crucial in those record assaults. In Brussels, the pulsating beat provided by an African expat drum orchestra added to the thunder produced by the crowd of 47,000 that packed the King Baudouin Stadium.

That was absent in Valencia, but it didn’t seem to matter to either Gidey or Cheptegei whose phenomenal form and singular focus landed both in the record books. For Cheptegei, whose performance came 54 days after he broke the world 5000m record in Monaco, where attendance was also restricted, the circumstances of the setting wasn’t anything new.

“I wanted to show the sports lovers of the world that the track is exciting," said the 24-year-old, who became the 10th man to hold the 5000m and 10,000m world record concurrently.

Pace setters brought Cheptegei through the first half in 13:07.73, before the Ugandan forged on alone over the final 12 laps. He slowed slightly over the sixth kilometre but then picked up the pace in the seventh to steadily build a gap on Bekele's legendary mark before sealing it with a 60-second final lap.

Alluding to the coronavirus pandemic, Cheptegei added, "In this difficult situation, I hope things like this can still give us joy and some hope for tomorrow."

Gidey, a cross country standout with two world U20 titles to her credit and a bronze medal finish at the World Cross Country Championships in Aarhus, Denmark, last year, arrived in Valencia with just one race on her CV this season, a solid 14:26.57 run in Monaco, but reportedly in form suggesting that she could run significantly faster. 

Unlike Cheptegei, who made no secret about his planned assault on the record, Gidey opted for a more understated approach in the lead-in to the meeting, choosing to play down pre-race talk of her attack on Dibaba's mark. But her ambitions became evident when she passed the 3000-metre point nearly seven seconds ahead of world record pace. She closed the deal with back-to-back 67-second laps before crossing the finish.

“I have been dreaming about this (setting a world record) for six years,” said Gidey, who hadn't won a 5000m race since 2016. "I am very happy now."

 

(12/13/2020) Views: 241 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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American Record Alert: Emily Sisson Targeting Molly Huddle’s 67:25 AR at Sunday’s Valencia Half Marathon

At times, the 2020 track & field season has felt like one giant record chase. With the vast majority of major championships cancelled, athletes have shifted their targets from medals to times. And with the ability to focus on one race with the sole goal of running as fast as possible, records have tumbled around the globe. Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei took down Kenenisa Bekele‘s 16-year-old 5,000-meter world record in August. In the span of one hour in October, Letesenbet Gidey broke Tirunesh Dibaba‘s 5,000-meter world record and Cheptegei fully erased Bekele from the outdoor record books by breaking his 10,000m mark. Domestically, Shelby Houlihan chopped over 10 seconds off her American 5,000-meter record back in July, taking it down to 14:23.92.

The latest installment of the Great Record Chase of 2020 comes on Sunday in Valencia, where distance studs Rhonex Kipruto, Jacob Kiplimo, and Gidey will have the half marathon world records in their sights. Just a few minutes back, Emily Sisson — one of the few Americans making the trip to Spain (Jordan Hasay is also entered in the marathon) — will be shooting for a mark of her own: the 67:25 American half marathon record, currently held by her friend and occasional training partner Molly Huddle.

says Ray Treacy, who coaches both Sisson and Huddle. “That’s the goal and see how she feels the last 5k…We’re just hoping for the best and she gets her reward for all the hard work she’s done over the last four or five months, because this is her only race.”

Sisson hasn’t raced since dropping out of the US Olympic Marathon Trials in February, though she did run the virtual New York City Marathon in 2:38:00 in October (Treacy says the aim was merely to get in a good long run effort, adding that it felt “easy” for Sisson and that she recovered “immediately”). Considering her goal is to make the Olympic team at 10,000 meters next year, Treacy did not want Sisson to run another marathon this fall, making the half marathon a natural distance for a target race. And with USATF opting not to send a team to the World Half Marathon Championships, Valencia was the best option.

Treacy says Sisson’s fitness is “really, really good” at the moment, with the 29-year-old clocking 24:37 recently for a five-mile time trial and averaging 5:05 pace for a 4 x 2-mile workout — well under American record pace (AR paceis 5:09). Currently, Sisson sits #2 on the all-time US list thanks to her 67:30 in Houston last year.

There are a couple of potential stumbling blocks, however. First, Sisson may not have any company during the race. The top women will be aiming to run the world record (64:31) or close to it, which is beyond Sisson’s abilities. Though there are two other women — Kenyans Brenda Jepleting (67:07) and Sheila Chepkirui (67:37) — with personal bests close to Sisson, it’s unclear whether they’ll try to run with her or opt for the more aggressive pace up front.

Treacy believes Sisson should be able to handle that situation just fine, though. She was alone for most of the second half of her marathon debut in London in 2019 and came out with a stellar 2:23:08 personal best.

“She’s pretty good at doing that anyway, so I’m not worried about it,” Treacy says.

The larger concern is the weather. The high of 58 degrees in Valencia on Sunday is fine, but the projected winds of 15 to 25 miles per hour could prove problematic.

While Sisson still has several years of her prime remaining, record opportunities like this are precious. Under Treacy, Huddle only raced one half marathon per year from 2015 to 2020, and three of those came on a relatively tough course in New York. Even when Huddle did finally set the record in Houston in 2018, she wasn’t 100% as she had gotten sick a few days earlier.

“[Huddle] never had the opportunity to run really, really fast,” Treacy says. “Certainly when Molly was in the shape she was in Rio, (where she ran an American 10,000m record of 30:13 at the 2016 Olympics), I think she could have run 66:30, 66:40.”

Sisson will get her shot on Sunday. Can she give the Great Record Chase of 2020 a fitting send-off?

(12/05/2020) Views: 303 ⚡AMP
by Let’s Run
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Emily Sisson will be targeting Molly Huddle’s 67:25 AR at Sunday’s Valencia Half Marathon

At times, the 2020 track & field season has felt like one giant record chase. With the vast majority of major championships cancelled, athletes have shifted their targets from medals to times. And with the ability to focus on one race with the sole goal of running as fast as possible, records have tumbled around the globe. Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei took down Kenenisa Bekele‘s 16-year-old 5,000-meter world record in August. In the span of one hour in October, Letesenbet Gidey broke Tirunesh Dibaba‘s 5,000-meter world record and Cheptegei fully erased Bekele from the outdoor record books by breaking his 10,000m mark. Domestically, Shelby Houlihan chopped over 10 seconds off her American 5,000-meter record back in July, taking it down to 14:23.92.

The latest installment of the Great Record Chase of 2020 comes on Sunday in Valencia, where distance studs Rhonex Kipruto, Jacob Kiplimo, and Gidey will have the half marathon world records in their sights. Just a few minutes back, Emily Sisson — one of the few Americans making the trip to Spain (Jordan Hasay is also entered in the marathon) — will be shooting for a mark of her own: the 67:25 American half marathon record, currently held by her friend and occasional training partner Molly Huddle.

says Ray Treacy, who coaches both Sisson and Huddle. “That’s the goal and see how she feels the last 5k…We’re just hoping for the best and she gets her reward for all the hard work she’s done over the last four or five months, because this is her only race.”

Sisson hasn’t raced since dropping out of the US Olympic Marathon Trials in February, though she did run the virtual New York City Marathon in 2:38:00 in October (Treacy says the aim was merely to get in a good long run effort, adding that it felt “easy” for Sisson and that she recovered “immediately”). Considering her goal is to make the Olympic team at 10,000 meters next year, Treacy did not want Sisson to run another marathon this fall, making the half marathon a natural distance for a target race. And with USATF opting not to send a team to the World Half Marathon Championships, Valencia was the best option.

Treacy says Sisson’s fitness is “really, really good” at the moment, with the 29-year-old clocking 24:37 recently for a five-mile time trial and averaging 5:05 pace for a 4 x 2-mile workout — well under American record pace (AR paceis 5:09). Currently, Sisson sits #2 on the all-time US list thanks to her 67:30 in Houston last year.

There are a couple of potential stumbling blocks, however. First, Sisson may not have any company during the race. The top women will be aiming to run the world record (64:31) or close to it, which is beyond Sisson’s abilities. Though there are two other women — Kenyans Brenda Jepleting (67:07) and Sheila Chepkirui (67:37) — with personal bests close to Sisson, it’s unclear whether they’ll try to run with her or opt for the more aggressive pace up front.

Treacy believes Sisson should be able to handle that situation just fine, though. She was alone for most of the second half of her marathon debut in London in 2019 and came out with a stellar 2:23:08 personal best.

“She’s pretty good at doing that anyway, so I’m not worried about it,” Treacy says.

The larger concern is the weather. The high of 58 degrees in Valencia on Sunday is fine, but the projected winds of 15 to 25 miles per hour could prove problematic.

While Sisson still has several years of her prime remaining, record opportunities like this are precious. Under Treacy, Huddle only raced one half marathon per year from 2015 to 2020, and three of those came on a relatively tough course in New York. Even when Huddle did finally set the record in Houston in 2018, she wasn’t 100% as she had gotten sick a few days earlier.

“[Huddle] never had the opportunity to run really, really fast,” Treacy says. “Certainly when Molly was in the shape she was in Rio, (where she ran an American 10,000m record of 30:13 at the 2016 Olympics), I think she could have run 66:30, 66:40.”

(12/01/2020) Views: 429 ⚡AMP
by Jonathan Gault
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Valencia Half Marathon

Valencia Half Marathon

The Trinidad Alfonso Valencia Half Marathon has become one of the top running events in the world in its 26thyear. For the third year running, Valencia is the fastest half marathon in the world. The race, organized by SD Correcaminos Athletics Club, celebrated its silver anniversary in style with record participation, record crowd numbers, Silver label IAAF accreditation and an...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(11/18/2020) Views: 349 ⚡AMP
by Emmanuel Sabuni
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Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

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

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Joshua Cheptegei's world 5000m record of 12:35.36 set at the Wanda Diamond League in Monaco on August 14 has been ratified

The Ugandan, now 24, took two seconds off Kenenisa Bekele’s mark of 12:37.35, set 16 years earlier in Hengelo. Amazingly, it was Cheptegei’s first race since setting a world 5km record on the roads on 16 February, also in Monaco.

Paced through the early stages by Roy Hoornweg (2:31.87 at 1000m) and Matthew Ramsden (5:03.77 at 2000m), Cheptegei, the reigning world cross country and 10,000m champion, took up the running at half way and continued the metronomic pace, churning out 61-second laps. He passed through 3000m in 7:35.14 and then upped the pace slightly with a 2:30 fourth kilometre.

Having left the rest of the field way behind, he maintained his tempo and eked out another 2:30 split for the final kilometre, bringing him to the finish line in 12:35.36 after a 59.64 final lap.

With his season cut short by the Covid-19 pandemic, Cheptegei made no secret of his ambitions to take down's Bekele's record which had stood since the rising star was seven years old, and targeted precisely that in Monaco.

After the race Cheptegei revealed: “It took a lot of mind setting to keep being motivated this year because so many people are staying at home but you have to stay motivated. I pushed myself, I had the right staff with me, the right coach. I'm also usually based in Europe, but being based in Uganda with my family was actually great.

“If you believe in something, anything is possible," he continued. "Breaking a record was something really difficult, but when you know the right way, it’s not difficult anymore. So, the next challenge is to go chase one or two more world records. I would be the happiest person in the world.”

On 7 October in Valencia, in his third race of the year, Cheptegei shattered the world record in the 10,000m, clocking 26:11.00, a performance which is now awaiting ratification.

(10/28/2020) Views: 313 ⚡AMP
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Four-year ban for Daniel Wanjiru

Kenyan runner who won London Marathon in 2017 is punished for biological passport violation

Daniel Wanjiru joins the list of high-profile Kenyan runners who have received an anti-doping ban recently.

The 28-year-old, who won the London Marathon three years ago, has been given a four-year ban due to biological passport irregularities – a ban which has been backdated to the day of his original suspension on December 9 last year.

This means he will be banned until December 2023, while his results since March 9 last year, which include 11th place in the 2019 London Marathon, have also been disqualified.

The 27-year-old, who beat Kenenisa Bekele to the 2017 London Marathon title, has a marathon PB of 2:05:21, set when winning the Amsterdam Marathon in 2016.

On his biological passport irregularities, a panel said: “That anomaly is far beyond any physiological possible adjustment and by itself carries a very high risk of thrombotic complications, coronary thrombosis and sudden death.”

You can read the full details of the case via the Athletics Integrity Unit here.

“I feel I am already seen as a sinner of doping, but I am not,” Wanjiru said when he heard of his provisional suspension. “I am innocent.”

Other top Kenyan runners currently serving bans include marathoners Jemima Sumgong and Wilson Kipsang plus miler Asbel Kiprop.

(10/17/2020) Views: 420 ⚡AMP
by Athletics Weekly
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Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda says he’s under no pressure to deliver at Saturday’s World Half Marathon Championships in Gdynia

Distance running’s triple world record holder Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda says he’s under no pressure to deliver at Saturday’s World Half Marathon Championships in Gdynia, Poland.

Cheptegei said he is not really bothered by the weather and competition in Gdynia, having already achieved what he had planned for from track despite the Covid-19 challenges.

“For me what is important is that I finished my track season well. A debut in the half marathon won’t put much pressure on me,” said Cheptegei, who is proud of having set two world records within seven weeks this year in the 5,000 and 10,000 metres.

The weather in Gdynia will range from between six to 11 degrees on the competition day.

The Ugandan lowered the previous mark of 26:17.53 set by Kenenisa Bekele on August 26, 2005 in Brussels to cement his standing as the new track sensation.

The 24-year-old 10,000m world champion had on August 14 in Monaco wiped out Bekele’s 16-year-old world record over the 5,000m after breaking the five-kilometre world record on the streets of Monaco in February.

In his first track race since the advent of coronavirus early this year, Cheptegei clocked 12:35.35 to beat Bekele’s previous record by two seconds.

Heading into Valencia last week, Cheptegei only had the 18th quickest time over 10,000m with a best in Doha of 26:48.36, over half a minute outside the record.

The Ugandan team to Poland this weekend also has 2018 World Under-20 Championships 10,000m silver medallist Jacob Kiplimo, who also played second fiddle to Cheptegei in last year’s World Cross Country Championships in Uganda’s 1-2 finish.

Kiplimo’s only other half marathon experience is his victory at Kampala Half Marathon in 1:01:53 in November last year.

Others in the Uganda team are Moses Kibet (1:00:59), Victor Kiplagat (1:00:16), Abel Chebet (1:01:41) and Stephen Kissa (1:00:00).

(10/15/2020) Views: 376 ⚡AMP
by Ayumba Ayodi
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World Half Marathon Championships

World Half Marathon Championships

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

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Uganda's Joshua Cheptegei smashed the men's 10,000m world record as Ethiopia's Letesenbet Gidey broke that of the women's 5,000m in Valencia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(10/07/2020) Views: 268 ⚡AMP
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Ugandan Joshua Cheptegei is setting his sights on the 10,000m mark at a special event in Valencia on Wednesday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(10/06/2020) Views: 268 ⚡AMP
by Reuters
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Kitata conquers Kipchoge while Kosgei retains title at London Marathon and US Sara Hall finishes second

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

(10/04/2020) Views: 463 ⚡AMP
by Simon Hart for World Athletics
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

The London Marathon was first run on March 29, 1981 and has been held in the spring of every year since 2010. It is sponsored by Virgin Money and was founded by the former Olympic champion and journalist Chris Brasher and Welsh athlete John Disley. It is organized by Hugh Brasher (son of Chris) as Race Director and Nick Bitel...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(10/02/2020) Views: 431 ⚡AMP
by OlympicTalk
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

The London Marathon was first run on March 29, 1981 and has been held in the spring of every year since 2010. It is sponsored by Virgin Money and was founded by the former Olympic champion and journalist Chris Brasher and Welsh athlete John Disley. It is organized by Hugh Brasher (son of Chris) as Race Director and Nick Bitel...

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Eliud Kipchoge has unveiled the shoes he will use for London Marathon this Sunday, inspired by Kenyan flag

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(10/01/2020) Views: 465 ⚡AMP
by Ayumba Ayodi
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

The London Marathon was first run on March 29, 1981 and has been held in the spring of every year since 2010. It is sponsored by Virgin Money and was founded by the former Olympic champion and journalist Chris Brasher and Welsh athlete John Disley. It is organized by Hugh Brasher (son of Chris) as Race Director and Nick Bitel...

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2020 London Marathon is set to be the race of the year

Top two long distance runners Kipchoge and Kenenisa come face to face on October 4

Bekele is the second fastest man in the 42.2 km race London Marathon is set to be the race of the year

Almost a year to the first anniversary of Eliud Kipchoge making history by being the first human to run the marathon below 2 hours in Vienna, he is set to run his first marathon after that triumphant race.

Come next Sunday morning, on the start line will be these two men among other elite runners, as they put their enviable times on the line.  

Eliud Kipchoge holds both the world record (2.01.39) set in 2018 and a sub-2-hour personal best marathon time of 1:59.40, while Kenenisa Bekele is the second fastest man in the 42.2 km race having come two seconds shy of beating the world record in 2019.

A sub-2 hour in this race is out of question, but could we have a world record?

Considering the very elite field that will be running and the expected fast pace due to a modified course, many pundits are rooting for a world record.

Why should we fancy a world record? One just needs to look at the assembled elite field and an equally elite squad of pacemakers and will see why a record could be a possibility.

Of the 45 elite men chosen to run this race; five have a personal best time of below two hours and four minutes (2:04), eight are sub-2:05 and 11 sub-2:06.  

Without considering the times of the remaining runners, this already promises to be a very fast race.

The frosting on the cake are the eight elite pacemakers led by Sir Mo Farah and Kenya’s Victor Chumo and you have an atmosphere close to that of INEOS 1:59 Challenge; where the 41 elite pacers kept Kipchoge’s pace at a high tempo throughout.

Unlike in the INEOS 1:59 Challenge though, should the world record be broken in the London marathon, it will stand.

This is because the pacemakers will not be rotated throughout the race as they did in the INEOS 1:59 Challenge - but will be the same through the first 30 kilometers after which, they will drop out.  

Secondly, the pacers will not form a deliberate human shield around the athletes to protect them from head winds.

Lastly, the corners of the course have not been specially modified to aid the athletes as they go round them.

There is a counter argument that a world record is not a possibility. The main thrust of this argument is that the race will have very many twists and turns during the 19 laps in the 2.15km route.

The race will also be run on concrete compared to asphalt which athletes argue is softer on the knee joint.

Furthermore, if history is anything to go by, in the last 17 years, the world record has been broken seven times and all of them, at the Berlin marathon.

(09/30/2020) Views: 376 ⚡AMP
by Paul Ochieng and Gerald Lwande
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

The London Marathon was first run on March 29, 1981 and has been held in the spring of every year since 2010. It is sponsored by Virgin Money and was founded by the former Olympic champion and journalist Chris Brasher and Welsh athlete John Disley. It is organized by Hugh Brasher (son of Chris) as Race Director and Nick Bitel...

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Vivian Cheruiyot will be heading to London Marathon for the fourth time

Cheruiyot is on the celebrity elite list of athletes who will jet out Sunday night for the eagerly-anticipated London Marathon next weekend.

Big names will be on parade in the women’s race. Cheruiyot will be up against compatriots; world marathon champion Ruth Chepng’etich, Frankfurt Marathon champion Valary Jemeli Aiyabei, world marathon record holder Brigid Kosgei, who is also the defending champion, and debutant Edith Chelimo.

There will be special focus on the men’s race which has two of the finest athletes over the distance competing. World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge and Berlin Marathon champion, Kenenisa Bekele.

Cheruiyot mainly trained in Kaptagat and Eldoret. She scaled down her training schedule a bit when the race was postponed from April 26 to October 4 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Cheruiyot told Nation Sport she was in great shape before the race was cancelled. The athlete, who spoke after a speed session at Kipchoge Keino Stadium in Eldoret, said she was disappointed when the race was put off.

“I had finished my programme and I was ready to conquer the world. If the race was to be held then, I would have been in a very good position,”  she said.

After the setback, Cheruiyot encouraged herself that things will return to normal since health was more important.

“Everyone has been affected by the virus because it is a worldwide pandemic. We are happy that athletics is opening up slowly, which is a good sign,” she said.

“My preparations for the race have been thorough for the last two months. So far, so good. I expect stiff competition on Sunday, but I am ready for the challenge ahead,” Cheruiyot said.

Asked if she is in good shape compared to 2018 when she last won the race, Cheruiyot said that she feels "much better."

“My prayer is to run well and clock a personal best. But the most important thing is to win the race. There are able competitors in the race because everyone has trained hard. I will focus on my race,” Cheruiyot said.

She said usually there is the pre-race anxiety over how the race will unfold, but she does not fear her opponents because she has prepared adequately.

“I don’t fear anybody, but there is always tension over how the big day will turn out. Every runner is good in her own right. The  thought that may stick in your head is the position you will be after the 42 kilometres race,” she said.

Cheruiyot said running in a loop will be an advantage though doing that for 42km is really challenging, but she will do her best.

“The route was changed due to the virus. I love going one way instead of running in a loop which is not hard because I have done this before in the track events.  But I will concentrate on the race. I’m aiming for good results."

Cheruiyot said that training for speed was very important because it helps an athlete prepare for anything that might come up towards the end of the race.

The athlete, fondly known as “pocket rocket”, has won many accolades in her career.

Cheruiyot started participating in international races in 1998 when she represented Kenya in the World Cross Country Championships in Marrakech, Morocco. She emerged fifth in the junior category.

Cheruiyot later switched to track events with her specialty being the 5,000m and 10,000m races where she registered mixed results.

(09/28/2020) Views: 406 ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

The London Marathon was first run on March 29, 1981 and has been held in the spring of every year since 2010. It is sponsored by Virgin Money and was founded by the former Olympic champion and journalist Chris Brasher and Welsh athlete John Disley. It is organized by Hugh Brasher (son of Chris) as Race Director and Nick Bitel...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘Coaching was in my blood’

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

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

“Coaching was in my blood,” he says.

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

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

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

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

On Gdynia: ‘he is capable of winning’

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

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

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

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

(09/28/2020) Views: 324 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Why Kipkemboi is relishing to pace at London Marathon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(09/27/2020) Views: 307 ⚡AMP
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Kenenisa Bekele and his thoughts about Eliud Kipchoge

The coronavirus lockdown has been a bitter-sweet experience to Kenenisa Bekele, the world’s most decorated distance runner of all time.

The 38-year-old superstar from Bekoji in the Ethiopian Rift Valley has experienced the ebb and flow of an elite career, a regular customer on and off the injury list, worst of which was a calf rupture in 2010.

That’s why he brushes aside the fact that the pandemic subjected athletes to training in isolation.

This is a situation that he’s accustomed to, having endured various injuries in his stellar career that forced him to retreat, knock himself into shape before rejoining the fray.

NN Running Team:

“This (training alone during the coronavirus lockdown) was not new to me. I had some bad injuries in my career and during those times I had to train alone to come back to good performance,” he told Nation Sport in an exclusive interview.

Bekele, who owns a resort and private, synthetic track in Sululta on the outskirts of Addis Ababa, along with various other real estate investments, is in the same management as his Kenyan rival Eliud Kipchoge.

Both run in the NN Running Team colours under the Global Sports Management camp, the branchild of former Dutch distance running record holder, Jos Hermens.

Managed out of Nijmegen in The Netherlands, the NN Running Team is also home of Kenya’s half marathon world record holder Geoffrey Kamworor and a galaxy of other wold beaters.

On October 4, Hermens will be in an awkward position when Bekele and Kipchoge clash at the London Marathon, at a time both are enjoying a stellar career on the roads, and are separated by just two seconds, in terms of personal best times over the 42-kilometer distance.

World record:

In 2018, Eliud Kipchoge shattered the world marathon record in winning the Berlin Marathon in Two hours, one minute and 39 seconds.

Just 12 months later, Bekele responded by completing the distance in 2:01:41, on the same Berlin streets, despite struggling with discomfort in the first half of the race.

Bekele’s brilliant second half (negative splits) convinced many that he could, perhaps, upstage Kipchoge.

Their eagerly-awaited duel was plotted for April 26, but the London Marathon was shelved as Covid-19 struck, prompting organizers to postpone the duel to October 4.

A great ambassador:

Now with the new big day just 14 days away, Bekele has nothing but respect for Kipchoge, appreciating the Kenyan’s contribution to athletics.

“I have great respect for Eliud,” he said during the interview from Addis Ababa.

“We have been competitors for a long time. He is a great ambassador for our sport and I respect him a lot.”

The October 4 London Marathon will be an elites-only race with no mass runners or spectators due to precautions over the coronavirus.

The 40th anniversary race will also see the elite races take part on a closed-loop circuit around St James’s Park, with the athletes staying in a hotel outside of London which has been chosen for its 40 acres of grounds where athletes will be able to train during race week.

Bekele says racing against Kipchoge and other top elites on October 4 gives him added motivation.

“It gives me great motivation, to run in one of the greatest marathons in the world against the greatest athletes. I give myself pressure, I want to run my best race.”

“Running world records is not easy and difficult to predict what is possible. But seeing Kipchoge’s sub-two performances, we know anything is possible,” he said.

“I had to adapt my training programme with some more alternative training, like on the bike and gym training to remain fit with my team supporting me as usual,” said Bekele who loves spending time with his family when free.

The shifting of the big race from April to October is the least of his worries.

“I was well prepared for the London Marathon in April but as an athlete you need to be ready and flexible, so I focused on October and went on with my training.

(09/21/2020) Views: 503 ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

The London Marathon was first run on March 29, 1981 and has been held in the spring of every year since 2010. It is sponsored by Virgin Money and was founded by the former Olympic champion and journalist Chris Brasher and Welsh athlete John Disley. It is organized by Hugh Brasher (son of Chris) as Race Director and Nick Bitel...

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Epic clash at London Marathon this year, but with lower prize money

Top athletes will earn less in this year's London Marathon as effects of Covid-19 continue to hit the sports world.

Organisers of the October 4 race say the prize money has been cut by nearly half of what was offered last year.

With only 17 days to the 40th edition of the London Marathon, the announcement comes as a shocker for marathoners who are just returning to the sport after months of heavy lockdowns.

Interestingly, for the first time there will be a separate prize pool for the best performing British athletes for the London clash that will present the scintillating clash between the world’s fastest marathoners - Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge and Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele.

The elite men’s race will see one of the most eagerly anticipated clashes in marathon history with Kipchoge going head-to-head with Bekele, the man who came within two seconds of his world record last year in Berlin.

 

(09/18/2020) Views: 359 ⚡AMP
by Stephen Rutto
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

The London Marathon was first run on March 29, 1981 and has been held in the spring of every year since 2010. It is sponsored by Virgin Money and was founded by the former Olympic champion and journalist Chris Brasher and Welsh athlete John Disley. It is organized by Hugh Brasher (son of Chris) as Race Director and Nick Bitel...

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Victor Chumo will be the lead pacesetter at the London Marathon

Pacesetters are the unsung heroes in athletics.

Theses are the men and women who set up the main contenders in a race for first finishes and records, besides the titles.

Marathon races, run over two hours require meticulous planning, disciplined pacing and tactical awareness.

Enter pacesetters, who, as the name suggest, are used to pace the contenders through the required time lines on the way to a world record, meet record, course record attempt, as the case may be.

The dynamics at the London Marathon that will be held on October 4 will be no different.

The race has attracted easily two of the fastest marathon runners in the history of athletics, Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge, and Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele.

Kipchoge needs no introduction. He is the world record holder, reigning Olympic champion and reigning London Marathon champion.

Bekele is the reigning Berlin Marathon champion, his winning time of 2 hours 01 minutes 41 seconds last year just two seconds shy of Kipchoge’s world record of 2:01:39.

Of course Kipchoge has run faster, 1:59:40- during the Ineos 1:59 Challenge in Vienna, Austria last October.

Victor Chumo was one of the runners who paced Kipchoge to that historic feat. Chumo is indeed a high profile pacemaker.

Nation Sport caught up with Chumo, who is one of the pacesetters tasked with leading the athletes in the London Marathon next month through their splits in the 42 kilometres race with a fast finish the clear objective.

The other Kenyan pacesetters for the London race are Noah Kipkemboi, Eric Kiptanui, Alfred Barkach and Shadrack Kimining.

Kaptagat-based Chumo also paced Kipchoge in his earlier failed mission to run a sub two hours marathon in Monza, Italy in 2017.

“I’m privileged that I have been selected to pace for some of the best athletes in the world. It is a hard task given that the athletes will always depend on the pacemakers during the race but I’m ready for the task because it’s not my first time to help top athletes run fast times,” said Chumo.

In fact, pacing Eliud Kipchoge in his first attempt to break the 2-hour marathon barrier in a project dubbed “Breaking2”, and sponsored by Nike, was Chumo’s first major assignment as a rabbit.

He trained hard for the assignment and was as disappointed as Kipchoge when the mission failed.

Kipchoge missed the magical barrier by only 25 seconds, after running 2:00:25.

Chumo joined Global Sports Communication stable in May 2019 and here again he was chosen among 41 pacesetters in the Ineos 1:59 Challenge that saw Kipchoge become the first and only man to run a marathon in under two hours.

“Pacing Eliud in the Ineos 1:59 Challenge was one of my best experience in my athletics career and I will remember that day for the rest of my life, he says."

(09/15/2020) Views: 446 ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

The London Marathon was first run on March 29, 1981 and has been held in the spring of every year since 2010. It is sponsored by Virgin Money and was founded by the former Olympic champion and journalist Chris Brasher and Welsh athlete John Disley. It is organized by Hugh Brasher (son of Chris) as Race Director and Nick Bitel...

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London Marathon Creates a Biosecure Bubble for the Upcoming Elite-Only Race

All runners will stay in the same hotel, and will be allowed to train on the surrounding 40 acres.

The London Marathon, scheduled for elites only on October 4, is creating a bubble environment to protect the runners and necessary staff.

This will be the first World Marathon Major to take place since the Tokyo Marathon was run as an elite-only race on March 1.

On Thursday, September 3, race organizers for the World Marathon Major announced plans to implement a biosecure bubble for the elite-only race on Sunday, October 4. The biosecure bubble will be created using a strict testing protocol and an athlete-only hotel surrounded by 40 acres for runners to train ahead of the marathon.

“It is our duty and responsibility to ensure this event is held in a safe and secure environment,” Hugh Brasher, the London Marathon event director, said in an announcement. “We have looked at other examples and taken learnings from other sports which have returned to action as we developed our detailed plans for this biosecure bubble around the event.”

To enter the biosecure bubble, athletes will be required to test for COVID-19 in their home country four days prior to travel. They will be tested once again when they arrive at the athlete hotel in London, and testing will continue until the Friday before the event. The hotel will be used exclusively by athletes, support staff, and race officials, all of whom will be required to remain socially distant from each other and wear face masks at all times with the exception of training, eating, and being inside their single rooms.

“By finding a hotel for exclusive use and putting in place the strict testing, hygiene and security measures to protect the bubble, we are confident we have created the safest environment possible for everyone,” Brasher said.

The race will be held over 19 laps on a 2.15K-closed course around St. James’s Park plus an extra 1,345 meters to the usual finish line. To keep the competition secure, no spectators will be allowed on the course.

The London Marathon, originally scheduled to run in April, is the first World Marathon Major to take place since the coronavirus was declared a global pandemic on March 11 (the Tokyo Marathon staged an elite-only race on March 1). Outside of running, the NBA became the first professional sports organization to start back up, creating a bubble in Orlando, Florida, in an effort to protect players during a three-month season.

For many athletes, the London Marathon will be their first major competition of 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions, which forced many events to be postponed or canceled.

The men’s race features a highly-anticipated match-up between world record-holder Eliud Kipchoge and 2019 Berlin Marathon winner Kenenisa Bekele. In Berlin, Bekele came within two seconds of breaking the 2:01:39 world record set by Kipchoge at the 2018 Berlin Marathon.

Brigid Kosgei leads the women’s field after breaking the world record at the 2019 Chicago Marathon. She will be competing in her first race since the RAK Half Marathon in February when she finished second to Ababel Yeshaneh who broke the half marathon world record.

Americans Sara Hall, Molly Seidel, Lindsay Flanagan, and Jared Ward will be competing in London as well.

On August 7, Hall ran an impressive half marathon personal best of 1:08:18 with two male pacers and two of her daughters following at a distance in a race staged by Eugene Marathon organizers.

In February, Seidel made her first Olympic team in her 26.2 debut when she finished second at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in Atlanta. Flanagan finished 12th at the Olympic Trials.

For Ward, a 2016 Olympic marathoner, London will be his first major marathon since finishing 27th at the Trials.

While the 40th running of the London Marathon will feature elites only, 45,000 people signed up to participate in the virtual 26.2.

(09/06/2020) Views: 495 ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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Virgin London Marathon

The London Marathon was first run on March 29, 1981 and has been held in the spring of every year since 2010. It is sponsored by Virgin Money and was founded by the former Olympic champion and journalist Chris Brasher and Welsh athlete John Disley. It is organized by Hugh Brasher (son of Chris) as Race Director and Nick Bitel...

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Elite athletes will be protected in bio secure bubble for 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon

The Virgin Money London Marathon today announced plans for the biosecure bubble for the historic elite-only races on Sunday 4 October.

The races will take place on a closed-loop circuit around St James’s Park in central London on Sunday 4 October. The elite men’s race will see one of the most eagerly anticipated match-ups in marathon history with world record holder and defending champion Eliud Kipchoge (KEN) going head-to-head with Kenenisa Bekele (ETH), the man who came within two seconds of his world record last year.

In the elite women’s race, defending champion and world record holder Brigid Kosgei (KEN) will return, as will the two best marathon wheelchair athletes in the world: Daniel Romanchuk (USA) and Manuela Schar (SUI).

Special permission has been granted by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to allow athletes and support staff to travel and compete in the biosecure bubble, with strict guidelines on testing, travel, accommodation and competition.

Flora also announced that Paula Radcliffe, who famously won three London Marathon titles and broke two world records when Flora was headline sponsor of the event, has become an official Flora Running Ambassador to mark the partnership.

In order to create and preserve a biosecure bubble around the athletes, the following measures will be put in place:

Testing: Athletes will be tested for Covid-19 in their country of origin/home four days prior to travel and again on arrival at the hotel. Testing will continue at the hotel until the Friday before the event. Anyone who tests positive for Covid-19 or displays symptoms will be placed in quarantine immediately and, in the case of athletes, will not be able to participate in the race.

Athlete-only hotel: The athletes will stay in a hotel outside London which will be used exclusively by athletes and support staff, plus a team from the Virgin Money London Marathon. The hotel was chosen for its 40 acres of grounds where athletes will be able to train during Race Week inside the bubble. An extensive hygiene protocol will be in place in the hotel and it will be mandatory for everyone inside the bubble to observe social distancing rules and to wear face coverings at all times, apart from when training, while dining and in their own rooms. All athletes and their support staff will have single rooms.

Hugh Brasher, Event Director of the Virgin Money London Marathon, said: “We are extremely grateful to the Government, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), The Mayor of London, The Royal Parks and all our stakeholders for helping us put on the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon for elite athletes. Sports fans all over the world are eagerly anticipating these great races in this unique environment.

“It is our duty and responsibility to ensure this event is held in a safe and secure environment. We have looked at other examples and taken learnings from other sports which have returned to action as we developed our detailed plans for this biosecure bubble around the event.

“By finding a hotel for exclusive use and putting in place the strict testing, hygiene and security measures to protect the bubble, we are confident we have created the safest environment possible for everyone.”

The Virgin Money London Marathon also revealed details of the course for the elite races at the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon.

Each race will comprise 19 x 2.15 kilometre clockwise laps of St James’s Park plus an extra 1345m with the Finish Line in its traditional place on The Mall.

2020 Virgin Money London Marathon elite race route map

The course will be sealed off from the public to maintain the integrity of the biosecure bubble. There is no spectator access and there will be no public viewing points along the course.

(09/03/2020) Views: 416 ⚡AMP
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

The London Marathon was first run on March 29, 1981 and has been held in the spring of every year since 2010. It is sponsored by Virgin Money and was founded by the former Olympic champion and journalist Chris Brasher and Welsh athlete John Disley. It is organized by Hugh Brasher (son of Chris) as Race Director and Nick Bitel...

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Joshua Cheptegei targets world 10,000m record in Valencia

World 10,000m champion Joshua Cheptegei hopes to create another magical moment in his rising career as he plans an assault on the world 10,000m record at the NN Valencia World Record Day on Wednesday 7 October at Turia Stadium in Valencia, Spain.

The one-off event aims to capitalise on the Ugandan’s stunning recent form, which last month saw him lower Kenenisa Bekele’s world 5000m record in Monaco. In Valencia, Joshua will be targeting the stunning mark of 26:17.53 set by Kenenisa in Brussels 15 years ago – the longest standing men’s 10,000m world record in history.

As a further measure of the quality of the world 10,000m record, no athlete other than Bekele has come within five seconds of the time. But following Joshua’s 1.99-second improvement on the Ethiopian’s 5000m mark in Monaco, the Ugandan will be confident he can mount a strong challenge in Valencia.

“I am very excited to be given the opportunity to target the 10,000m world record,” said Cheptegei, whose current personal best for the distance is 26:48.36. “As my performance in Monaco showed, I am in outstanding form, so I would like to make the most of my current shape by attacking the 10,000m world record.

“Kenenisa’s 10,000m world record is one of the toughest in the books, but my training continues to go well and this gives me real confidence I can set another world record. I have many happy memories in Valencia, having set the world 10km road record there last year, so hopefully we can once again create something truly special in Valencia, were running plays such an important role.”

In an attempt to add the 10,000m world record to the 5000m track world record and his current world road records over 5km and 15km, Cheptegei  will be utilising world-class pace making support as well as the innovative Wavelight technology.

Following his world record bid in Valencia, Cheptegei plans to make his debut over the 21.1km distance at the rescheduled World Athletics Half Marathon Championships Gdynia 2020 on 17 October.

(09/03/2020) Views: 240 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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London Marathon releases race day schedule

A series of elite events will take place in St James’s Park on October 4

The race schedule for the elite-only Virgin Money London Marathon has been announced, with a series of events taking place throughout the day on Sunday October 4.

The action will kick off with the elite women’s race at 07:15 before the elite men’s race at 10:15 and the wheelchair races at 13:10.

As announced earlier this month, the 2020 London Marathon will not feature a mass race and the elite racing will take place within a “secure biosphere” in St James’s Park.

As recently confirmed by World Athletics, the times recorded in London will be eligible for Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualification.

ELITE RACE SCHEDULE

07:15 – Elite women’s race

10:15 – Elite men’s race

13:10 – Wheelchair races

The elite men’s field features distance running greats Eliud Kipchoge and Kenenisa Bekele in a highly-anticipated clash, together with Mosinet Geremew and Mule Wasihun, who placed second and third in 2019.

Britain’s Mo Farah will be a pacemaker to athletes looking to achieve the Olympic marathon qualifying standard of 2:11:30, with his compatriots Jonny Mellor, Chris Thompson and debutants Ross Millington and Ben Connor all set to run.

World record-holder and defending London Marathon champion Brigid Kosgei leads the women’s field and is joined by five other women who have run inside 2:20: Ruth Chepngetich, Roza Dereje, Vivian Cheruiyot, Valary Jemeli and Degitu Azimeraw.

Among the leading British women confirmed to race are Steph Twell and Lily Partridge.

In the wheelchair races, both Daniel Romanchuk and Manuela Schär will defend their titles.

Athletes will cross the same traditional finish line on The Mall after each completing 19.8 laps of the St James’s Park course, while mass runners will take on their 26.2 miles from home or anywhere in the world as part of the event’s first virtual edition.

(08/28/2020) Views: 431 ⚡AMP
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

The London Marathon was first run on March 29, 1981 and has been held in the spring of every year since 2010. It is sponsored by Virgin Money and was founded by the former Olympic champion and journalist Chris Brasher and Welsh athlete John Disley. It is organized by Hugh Brasher (son of Chris) as Race Director and Nick Bitel...

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Kenyan Victor Chumo looking forward to London Marathon duties

As world marathon Eliud Kipchoge and Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele, the biggest threat to the Kenyan's 2:01:39 mark, prepare for the October 4 London Marathon, ‘Rabbit’ Victor Chumo is preparing for an equally daunting task.

Chumo will be pacing for Kipchoge as he seeks to retain his title in the streets of London and has revealed his kind of routine as he battles to stay sharp for the task ahead.

The reigning Barcelona Half Marathon champion disclosed that he has been running at least 30km daily ahead of what is expected to be a highly-charged race.

Chumo will be guiding the elite-runners only event, occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic, where he leads the first group while Chicago Marathon champion, Mo Farah, will be pacing for the second group.

He said he fully understands what is at stake now that it will be the third time pacing for the only man to have dipped under two hours over the distance.

“I first paced Kipchoge during the Nike Breaking 2 where he ran 2:00: 25. I then paced him during Ineos 1:59 Challenge, running 1:59:40. With this, he has trust in me and I have to once again deliver," said Chumo.

Kipchoge will be chasing his fifth title in London after winning the 2015, 2016, 2018 and 2019 editions.

“There will be a strong field in London and that needs a strong pacesetter. You can imagine how speedy the race will be with some of the greatest marathon runners on show,” said the former Kenya Defence Forces man.

Kipchoge and Bekele (2:01:41) will also have to contend with some of the toughest challengers including nine who have dipped under 2:06.

They include Mosinet Geremew (2:02:55), Mule Wasihun (2:03:16), Sisay Lemma (2:03:36), Tamirat Tola (2:04:06), Marius Kipserem (2:04:11), Shura Kitata (2:04:49), Vincent Kipchumba (2:05:09), Sondre Nordstad Moen (2:05:48) and Gideon Kipketer (2:05:51).

Other pace-setters include Noah Kipkemoi, who also paced at Ineos Challenge, Erick Kiptanui, Alfred Barkach, Shadrack Kimining, Matt Clowes (Great Britain), and Jake Smith (Great Britain).

(08/26/2020) Views: 495 ⚡AMP
by Emmanuel Sabuni
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

The London Marathon was first run on March 29, 1981 and has been held in the spring of every year since 2010. It is sponsored by Virgin Money and was founded by the former Olympic champion and journalist Chris Brasher and Welsh athlete John Disley. It is organized by Hugh Brasher (son of Chris) as Race Director and Nick Bitel...

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World champion Ruth Chepng’etich promises thrilling battle at London Marathon

World champion Ruth Chepng’etich says her clash with world marathon record-holder Brigid Kosgei at London Marathon on October 4 will “read like a script from a thriller.”

“Nothing can really describe that rare moment when some of the best marathoners clash,” said Chepng’etich, who has been training in isolation in Ngong, Kajiado County.

“People should expect thrills and a tough battle. That is why I want to be in one of my best shape before meeting my good friend Brigid and the rest of the star-studded pack,” explained Chepng’etich as the London Marathon organisers Friday unleashed the star-studded elite cast for the rescheduled race on October 4.

NTV has exclusive rights for the race in Kenya and will broadcast the eagerly-awaited clash live.

The 26-year-old Chepnng’etich said everyone will be heading into the race with unknown qualities owing to Covid-19 pandemic restrictions.

“You really can’t tell what someone has been doing in isolation or predict the winning time,” said Chepng’etich, adding that it will feel great running her first World Marathon Majors race.

“It will take a lot of courage and focus to face some of these athletes who have conquered races at the World Marathon Majors like Brigid and Vivian Cheruiyot. I have a lot to learn from them too,” she said. Kosgei, who has a personal best of two hours, 14 minutes and four seconds, will be making her third stab at the London Marathon, having won last year in 2:18:20 after finishing second behind compatriot Vivian Cheruiyot in 2018 clocking 2:20:13.

Agemates, Kosgei and Chepng'etich will have company in Cheruiyot, who won in London in 2018 in a career best 2:18:31, and Valary Aiyabei, the winner of the 2019 Frankfurt Marathon (2:19.10).

British athletics legend Mo Farah has agreed to be one of the pacemakers for this year’s London Marathon with his aim to help fellow Britons make the qualifying time for the Olympics.

The 37-year-old will also hope to tee up a spectacular final duel between two fellow legends in Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele and Kenya’s world record holder Eliud Kipchoge.

(08/22/2020) Views: 427 ⚡AMP
by Ayumba Ayodi
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

The London Marathon was first run on March 29, 1981 and has been held in the spring of every year since 2010. It is sponsored by Virgin Money and was founded by the former Olympic champion and journalist Chris Brasher and Welsh athlete John Disley. It is organized by Hugh Brasher (son of Chris) as Race Director and Nick Bitel...

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London Marathon Elite Fields Released, 2020 elite field will be the best in years

Eliud Kipchoge and Kenenisa Bekele face battle from six more sub-2:05 runners in elite men’s race.

World record holder Brigid Kosgei among six sub-2:20 athletes in elite women’s race.

The Virgin Money London Marathon today confirmed the full fields for the historic elite men’s and women’s races on Sunday 4 October.

The elite men’s race – headlined by the greatest marathon runners in history, Eliud Kipchoge (KEN) and Kenenisa Bekele (ETH) – will include eight athletes who have run sub 2:05 marathons, including Mosinet Geremew (ETH) and Mule Wasihun (ETH) who were second and third respectively at the 2019 Virgin Money London Marathon.

Sisay Lemma (ETH), Tamirat Tola (ETH), Marius Kipserem (KEN) and Shura Kitata (ETH) are the other men to have run inside 2:05 while Sondre Nordstad Moen (NOR), who broke the European hour record in Norway earlier this month by running 21.132km, is also included.

The news that World Athletics will lift its suspension of the Olympic qualification system for marathon races from 1 September means there will also be a clutch of athletes racing with the ambition to achieve the Olympic standard of 2:11:30.

Adding yet further superstar quality to the event, the Virgin Money London Marathon can also announce that Sir Mo Farah will be a pacemaker for this group of Olympic hopefuls.

Farah, the four-time Olympic champion, said: “The London Marathon has been so important to me since I was a schoolboy and when they asked me to do this I thought it would be great to help. I am in good shape, I’ll be in London that week and it fits in with my training.

“I’ve been training here in Font Romeu with some of the British guys who are going for that Olympic qualifying time and they are good lads. I know just how special it is just to compete for your country at an Olympic Games and it would be great to help other athletes achieve this. With the current global situation and lack of races, the Virgin Money London Marathon in October is the best chance for athletes to run the Olympic qualifying time.”

Hugh Brasher, Event Director of the Virgin Money London Marathon, said: “This is the greatest Olympian in British track and field history coming to run as a pacemaker to help others achieve their dreams of making the Tokyo Olympic Games. It is a wonderful gesture of togetherness from Sir Mo and I’m sure his presence and support will inspire the athletes chasing that qualifying time on Sunday 4 October.”

At present only two British athletes other than Farah have run inside this time: Callum Hawkins, who has been pre-selected for the Olympic Games marathon, and Jonny Mellor who ran 2:10:03 in Seville in January. Farah himself has opted to run on the track at the Olympic Games.

Mellor is one of a number of British athletes running the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon – The 40th Race – on Sunday 4 October. Other British men joining Mellor on the Start Line are Chris Thompson and debutants Ross Millington and Ben Connor.

Among the leading domestic women confirmed to race are Steph Twell, who ran a personal best (PB) of 2:26:40 in Frankfurt last year to go sixth on the British all-time rankings, and 2018 British marathon champion Lily Partridge.

The elite women’s field is headlined by world record holder Brigid Kosgei (KEN). Confirmed today are five other women who have run inside 2:20: current world champion Ruth Chepngetich (KEN), 2019 Valencia Marathon champion Roza Dereje (ETH), 2018 Virgin Money London Marathon champion Vivian Cheruiyot (KEN), 2019 Frankfurt Marathon winner Valary Jemeli (KEN) and 2019 Amsterdam Marathon champion Degitu Azimeraw (ETH).

Ashete Bekere (ETH), the winner of last year’s BMW Berlin Marathon, Alemu Megertu (ETH), the 2019 Rome Marathon champion, plus Sarah Hall (USA) and Sinead Diver (AUS) are also included in a star-studded race.

(08/21/2020) Views: 632 ⚡AMP
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

The London Marathon was first run on March 29, 1981 and has been held in the spring of every year since 2010. It is sponsored by Virgin Money and was founded by the former Olympic champion and journalist Chris Brasher and Welsh athlete John Disley. It is organized by Hugh Brasher (son of Chris) as Race Director and Nick Bitel...

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Mo Farah will be the pacemaker for the elite men's race at October's rescheduled London Marathon

Briton Mo Farah, 37, is among the competitors to have achieved the Olympic-qualifying time of two hours 11 minutes 30 seconds.

Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge, who won last year's event, leads the men's field with Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia.

Reduced fields of 30-40 athletes will also compete for the elite women's and wheelchair titles on 4 October.

The races will take place on a bio-secure closed course amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"The London Marathon has been so important to me since I was a schoolboy and when they asked me to do this I thought it would be great to help," said Farah, who finished third in 2018 and fifth last year.

"I am in good shape. I'll be in London that week and it fits in with my training."

Ethiopians Mosinet Geremew and Mule Wasihun, who finished runner-up and third respectively in 2019, are among eight athletes who have run marathons in under two hours five minutes.

Brigid Kosgei of Kenya heads up the women's elite field alongside compatriot and world champion Ruth Chepngetich.

Ethiopia's Roza Dereje and Kenyans Vivian Cheruiyot, Valary Jemeli and Degitu Azimeraw are the other picks of the line-up.

The full elite wheelchair fields will be released next week.

The route will consist of laps of about 1.5 miles, taking in The Mall, Horse Guards Parade, Birdcage Walk and Buckingham Palace.

(08/21/2020) Views: 459 ⚡AMP
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

The London Marathon was first run on March 29, 1981 and has been held in the spring of every year since 2010. It is sponsored by Virgin Money and was founded by the former Olympic champion and journalist Chris Brasher and Welsh athlete John Disley. It is organized by Hugh Brasher (son of Chris) as Race Director and Nick Bitel...

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Uganda's Joshua Cheptegei now eyes 10,000m record

Freshly minted 5,000 meters world record holder Joshua Cheptegei will be looking to smash the 10,000m world record before the Olympics.

However, the Ugandan, 23,  said it will depend on if organisers of Diamond League races and other major events include the 5,000m and 10,000m races.

Cheptegei, who is also the World Cross Country Championships 10km champion, shattered Ethiopian legend Kenenisa Bekele’s 16-year-old world 5,000m record on Friday last week, setting a new time of 12 minutes and 35.36 seconds during the Diamond League leg in Monaco.

“I would like to improve my 5,000m world record as well as take a shot at the 10,000m world record. I’m in good shape. Let’s hope more long distance events on the track will be organized,” he said.

Bekele, who has since moved to road running, holds the 10,000m world record, having broken it twice - the first time on June 8, 2004 (26:20.31) in Ostrava, Czech Republic and on August 26, 2005 (26:17.53) in Brussels, Belgium.

Cheptegei is alive to the fact that staying healthy is key during the Covid-19 pandemic. “It’s hard to predict the future since it’s in God’s hands. The best you can do is to strive to remain healthy,”  he said.

The 10,000m race had not been held as a Diamond League event for over five years and World Athletics (WA) scrapped the competition entirely from the Diamond League alongside 5,000m and 3,000m steeplechase last year. The longest track race is 3,000m but events that will accommodate 5,000m and 10,000m won’t have them featured on prime time.

Only four events have been lined up in this year’s Diamond League series that have been delayed with some events being scrapped owing to Covid-19.

The next events are in Stockholm, Sweden on August 23; Rome, Italy on September 18 and Doha on September 25.

(08/20/2020) Views: 301 ⚡AMP
by Ayumba Ayodi
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Aaron Scott and Josh Lunn from England are among 50 local elite athletes invited to take part in the elite only London Marathon

There was disappointment on the local running scene after the organisers were left with no choice but to pull the plug on this autumn’s rearranged mass participation 2020 race because of the coronavirus crisis.

 

However a version of the prestigious event will go ahead on October 4 for elite runners only and excitingly local hot shot Scott will be on the start line alongside his Helpston Harriers second claim teammate Lunn.

The race will now take place on a 20- lap spectator- free course around St James Park in the heart of the capital.

“It’s amazing to be part of such a unique event” said Scott. “I think there is going to be 40 to 50 maximum on the startline for both the men’s and the ladies races.

“That will only include a dozen domestic athletes, so to feature with Josh is incredible. Training over lockdown has been on track. I worked on my 5km speed and managed five or six efforts of between 14:30 and 14:45 which was plenty fast enough for where I wanted to be.

“I have done plenty of laps of the Stamford Town Cricket Club outfield. I reckon I’ve racked up over 1000 miles around the boundary. People might think that’s a little odd, but all of us runners are a bit bonkers. The pitch is fast, traffic free and I can switch off and just use my lap times to compare week on week, month on month or even year on year improvement.

“London is going to be 20 loops of just over 2km around The Mall, Horse Guards Parade and Birdcage Walk, so it’s also good mental preparation for that. The aim is a big personal best, but the focus of my current training has been to forget about any goal times and run to effort.

“Around three to four weeks out I can start to see what pace my training suggests. I’d like to think that will be 2:14 to 2:15, but I also want to give myself the possibility of going even faster.

“It’s going to be an odd experience running around a closed loop, and I can imagine it’s going to be a tougher mental battle than ever. Usually at London you can rely on the crowd support in the last 10k, but there will be none of that.

“With Eliud Kipchoge and Kenenisa Bekele set to do battle there could be a world record chance, so I’m very excited to have a front row seat for that.

“It’s helped having a target now as I lost a lot of motivation in lockdown,” Lunn said. “I’m very excited as it’ll be a niche event and probably never happen again.”

(08/18/2020) Views: 404 ⚡AMP
by Alan Swann
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

The London Marathon was first run on March 29, 1981 and has been held in the spring of every year since 2010. It is sponsored by Virgin Money and was founded by the former Olympic champion and journalist Chris Brasher and Welsh athlete John Disley. It is organized by Hugh Brasher (son of Chris) as Race Director and Nick Bitel...

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Joshua Cheptegei thanks Kenenisa Bekele for inspiring him

Joshua Cheptegei shaved two seconds from Kenenisa Bekele’s world 5000m record in Monaco and here we take a look at their remarkable runs

On crossing the 5000m finish line with a time of 12:35.36 on the clock at the Louis II Stadium in Monaco on Friday night, Joshua Cheptegei smashed a world record which had stood for 16 years, two months, and 14 days.

The Ugandan was aged just seven when Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele stormed to his historic 12:37.35 in Hengelo. Until Friday night, no athlete since had come within five seconds of the mark, with Selemon Barega going closest with his 12:43.02 in Brussels in 2018.

Ahead of the meeting in Monaco, which was the first more traditional style Diamond League event of this pandemic-affected summer, Cheptegei was open about his goal.

“I believe if there is a time to attack the world record, it is this year,” he told the NN Running Team, of which both he and Bekele are a part.

“It is now or never.”

Cheptegei gave his thanks to Bekele for inspiring him, while Bekele – who ran his 26:17.53 world 10,000m record the year after his 5000m mark – offered his congratulations to his younger team-mate.

“I’ve learned that anything is possible, if you have the right mindset and believe,” said Cheptegei. “I really thank Kenenisa so much for inspiring me when I started running.

“He has always been a big inspiration and motivation to me.

“This record is a special moment for me and I like to thank Kenenisa for his inspiration.”

In an Instagram post, Bekele wrote: “I have great memories of running my world record in Hengelo 16 years ago. It is very difficult to run any world record. Congratulations to my teammate Joshua Cheptegei for running a new world record for 5000m tonight in Monaco.”

To which Cheptegei replied: “You are forever my all time role model and idol. Your career inspires me the most. I am forever grateful to emulate and follow your footsteps.”

(08/18/2020) Views: 314 ⚡AMP
by Athletics Weekly
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Lots of fast times in Monaco including a new 5000m world record

Ugandan Joshua Cheptegei broke a 16-year-old world record in the 5000m by nearly two seconds, clocking 12:35.36 in Monaco on Friday.

Cheptegei, the 2019 World 10,000m champion who reportedly needed 80 hours to travel from Uganda for the Diamond League meet, took 1.99 seconds off Ethiopian legend Kenenisa Bekele‘s world record from 2004. Bekele is also the 10,000m world-record holder and the second-fastest marathoner in history.

“It took a lot of mind setting to keep being motivated this year because so many people are staying at home, but you have to stay motivated,” Cheptegei said, according to organizers. “I pushed myself, I had the right staff with me, the right coach.”

Cheptegei, 23, came into Monaco as the 73rd-fastest man in history with a personal best of 12:57.41. But he declared before the meet that the world record was his goal, given he had no Olympics or world championships to peak for this year.

“It is very difficult to run any world record,” was posted on the Instagram of Bekele, who is part of the NN Running Team with Cheptegei. “Congratulations to my teammate [Cheptegei].”

The Diamond League next moves to Stockholm on Aug. 23.

In other events Friday, Noah Lyles easily won a 200m after raising a black-gloved first before the start. More on Lyles’ gesture and victory here.

Donavan Brazier extended a year-plus 800m win streak, clocking 1:43.15 and holding off countryman Bryce Hoppel by .08. Brazier won his last seven meets, including national, world and Diamond League titles in 2019, when he broke a 34-year-old American record.

Olympic silver medalist Orlando Ortega of Spain won the 110m hurdles in 13.11 seconds, overtaking world champion Grant Holloway. Holloway, who won worlds in 13.10 last autumn, finished fourth in 13.19.

Timothy Cheruiyot followed his 2019 World title by clocking his second-fastest 1500m ever. The Kenyan recorded 3:28.45, holding off Norwegian 19-year-old Jakob Ingebrigtsen, who set a European record of 3:28.68.

Sifan Hassan, the world’s top female distance runner, dropped out of the 5000m with two and a half laps left while in the lead pack. Two-time world champion Hellen Obiri won in 14:22.12, surging past Ethiopian Letesenbet Gidey on the final lap.

Karsten Warholm ran the joint eighth-fastest 400m hurdles in history, a 47.10 against a field that lacked rivals Rai Benjamin and Abderrahman Samba. Warholm, the two-time world champion, ranks second in history with a personal best of 46.92, trailing only American Kevin Young‘s 46.78 from the 1992 Olympics.

American Lynna Irby won her Diamond League debut with a 50.50 in the 400m. Irby, the second-fastest American in 2018, failed to make the 2019 World team. On Friday, she beat Wadeline Jonathas, the top American in 2019.

(08/14/2020) Views: 284 ⚡AMP
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