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Articles tagged #London
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Kenenisa Bekele and Eliud Kipchoge will face off at the London Marathon

Kenenisa Bekele has agreed to race Eliud Kipchoge in a London Marathon in April – and said he is not surprised Mo Farah is swerving the race in favour of returning to the track.

Bekele, a three-time Olympic gold medallist who has won 17 world titles over cross-country, track and road, roared with laughter when asked what he thought of Farah’s decision to leave the marathon and then added: “I am not surprised. Of course if you see Mo Farah’s races in marathons, he’s struggling – it’s not easy to get good results over a marathon. You need experience. It’s a different course, a different racing mentality.

“But it is really hard for all of us. You need to learn how to run it and also the training is different. I think it’s harder, not only for Mo, but for all of us – even I struggled.”

However the Ethiopian, who ran the second fastest marathon time in history in Berlin in September, two seconds shy of Kipchoge’s official world record of 2hr 01min 39sec, said Farah is still good enough to win a medal in the 10,000m at the Tokyo Olympics.

“I’m sure we’ll see Mo doing better things on the track. If he focuses and concentrates like before I’m sure he will be in the medals in the 10,000. I’ve no doubt about that.”

Bekele still holds the 5,000m and 10,000m world records, which were set in 2004 and 2005 respectively, and insisted he was capable of claiming Kipchoge’s marathon best even at the age of 37.

“My training is going well and I feel well,” he said.“Before last year I was struggling with injury. Everyone knows I’m a strong athlete from 15 years on the track. When we came to the marathon I’ve struggled maybe to achieve good results but of course this is because of injury, not a lack of training or my personality. I was a bit behind but my health came back and now I’m doing a lot better in the marathon.”

Bekele also admitted the sight of his great Kenyan rival running a sub-two-hour marathonin Vienna in October, albeit in an event that was not recognised by World Athletics, has spurred him on.

“When he ran under two hours, and of course it is not recognised, but it made me very motivated,” he said. “If someone like me also gets this big chance we will do a similar thing or do better. I believe in myself – you need the opportunity of course but some athletes will do a similar thing.”

The pair have met four times over 26.2 miles, with Kipchoge winning all four races. However Bekele has the better head-to-head record across all distances and surfaces.

“I am looking forward to racing Eliud once again,” added Bekele. “We have had many great battles over the years on the track, roads and cross-country. My big dream is to break the world record and an amazing performance will happen at the London Marathon.”

(01/16/2020) ⚡AMP
by Sean Ingle
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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 features a strong line up, but it's missing the one match up we really wanted to see, Kipchoge-Bekele

Eliud Kipchoge announced in December that he would be running the 2020 London Marathon but until today it was not known who he would face. It turns out that the men’s lineup is almost as strong as the women’s but is missing one key player: Kenenisa Bekele.

Bekele finished the 2019 Berlin Marathon race just two seconds shy of Kipchoge’s world record, and seeing the two race head-to-head would’ve been special.

The 2020 London Marathon will see the entire podium from the 2019 race returning. They announced on Tuesday morning that Mosinet Geremew and Mule Wasihun, the Ethiopian duo, would be vying for first place again in 2020.

The 2019 event saw a fast finish–one of the fastest ever, with both second and third place finishing in PBs. Kipchoge finished in 2:02:37, just over a minute off his world record.

Since London 2019, Kipchoge became the first person to run a sub-two-hour marathon at the INEOS 1:59 Challenge. Through halfway, the runners were right on pace, coming through at 59:35, well ahead of Kipchoge’s 59:57 half at Breaking2 in 2017. The runner clicked off 1K splits like a metronome, never deviating from his 2:50 pace by more than two seconds. He finished in 1:59:40.

(01/15/2020) ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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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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Nike Vaporfly running shoes will most likely be banned

The running shoe used by Kenya's Brigid Kosgei to smash Paula Radcliffe's marathon record is set to be banned.

There is no decision yet on whether the new women's marathon mark — which Kosgei set wearing the Nike Vaporfly — will be allowed to stand.

The 25-year-old recorded a time of 2hr 14min 4sec in Chicago, well inside Radcliffe's mark of 2:15:25 set at the London Marathon in 2003.

It is also understood shoes which sources at World Athletics believe to be a hybrid of the Vaporfly — and in which Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge ran an unofficial sub-two-hour marathon in Vienna last year — will also be outlawed.

The contentious issue is the foam and carbon-fibre composition of the sole, which acts like a spring to help runners get the most forward push from each stride. A technical body looking into the Nike shoes are set to deliver their findings at the end of this month.

A moratorium is being considered by World Athletics, which may see records stand despite likely bans for the shoes.

Also set to be outlawed are the revolutionary running spikes developed for sprinters. These have sparked fears that inferior athletes at this year's Tokyo Olympics will break Usain Bolt's 100metres best of 9.58sec.

The shoes worn by Laura Muir to set a British record for the women's indoor mile (4min 18.75sec) in Glasgow last year are also likely to be axed.

 

(01/15/2020) ⚡AMP
by Mike Keegan
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INEOS 1:59 Challenge

INEOS 1:59 Challenge

Mankind have constantly sought to reach new frontiers and to achieve the impossible. From Edmund Hillary reaching the summit of Mount Everest to Roger Bannister’s four-minute mile to Felix Baumgartner jumping from space we have frequently redefined the limits of human achievement and broken new barriers previously seen as simply impossible. After the four-minute mile and the ten second 100m...

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The London marathon has announced a strong women´s field that includes six women who've run under 2:20

The 2020 London Marathon will see one of the most competitive women’s lineups in history. With five of the 10 fastest women of all time and six women with personal bests under 2:20, the race could see the fastest women’s finish ever.

The headliner is Brigid Kosgei, the world record-holder and reigning Chicago champion. The Kenyan ran the women’s marathon world record of 2:14:04 in Chicago last year. Other than her pacers, the runner was completely alone for almost the entire marathon. She shattered Paula Radcliffe’s 16-year-old world record of 2:15:25, which many considered to be nearly unbeatable and one of the toughest records in the books.

Joyciline Jepkosgei, the half-marathon world record-holder, is also in the field. Her 1:04:51 half-marathon record from 2017 was challenged by Kosgei in 2019, but wasn’t ratified due to the point-to-point Great North Run course.

Another runner to watch is masters marathoner Sinead Diver. The Irish-born runner now competes for Australia, where she lives and trains. She’s a member of the Melbourne Track Club and training partner to Canadian World Championship 5,000m finalist Andrea Seccafien.

The advantage to choosing London as a spring marathon for elite runners is the 13 week timeline to the Olympics. Because there are over three months between the two events (late April to early August), runners have time to build again and perform well at the Games.

Those are the women who have run under 2:20:  Brigid Kosgei – 2:14.04, Ruth Chepngetich – 2:17.08, Gladys Cherono – 2:18.11, Roza Dereje – 2:18.30, Vivian Cheruiyot – 2:18.31, Degitu Azimeraw – 2:19.26.

(01/14/2020) ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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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 duo Mosinet Geremew and Mule Wasihun, have confirmed they will return to the Virgin Money London Marathon

Mosinet Geremew and Mule Wasihun, the Ethiopian duo who pushed the legendary Eliud Kipchoge to the limit at the 2019 Virgin Money London Marathon, have confirmed they will return to the World Athletics Platinum Label road race on April 26. 

With Kipchoge, the 2018 and 2019 World Athlete of the Year already confirmed, it means all three podium finishers from last year will be back for the 2020 edition.

Geremew, 27, ran the fifth fastest time in history of 2:02:55 to take second place behind Kipchoge in last year’s race and then had to settle for second again in his next marathon, the World Championships in Doha last October.

Wasihun’s time in finishing third in London last year, 2:03:16, was the 11th fastest marathon the world has ever seen.

Shura Kitata, who was fourth last year and second in 2018, has also been confirmed, ensuring that it looks likely to be a year when it is the Ethiopians who will be the biggest threat to Kipchoge winning an historic fifth London Marathon title.

Spencer Barden, Head of Elite Athletes, said: “Last year’s elite men’s race was one of the best races we have seen for many years. Mosinet Geremew and Mule Wasihun pushed Eliud Kipchoge as hard as I have ever seen but ultimately could not hang on to the great man in the final two miles. But they will have taken confidence from last year and will come back this time round looking to cause a real shock.”

Kipchoge, who made history by becoming the first human to cover the marathon distance in under two hours at the INEOS 1:59 Challenge in October, is looking to become the most successful able-bodied athlete in London Marathon history by winning a fifth title in 2020.

(01/14/2020) ⚡AMP
by 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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World record holder Brigid Kosgei will defend her title at the Virgin Money London Marathon

The 25-year-old Kenyan broke Paula Radcliffe’s 16-year-old marathon world record at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon last October clocking an incredible time of 2:14:04. The record-breaking run came six months after Kosgei won the London Marathon for the first time.

“I am very much looking forward to returning to the Virgin Money London Marathon," Kosgei said. "Last year was an incredible year for me and it started by winning in London. Coming back will be very special and I hope it can be the start of another memorable year.”

Brigid Kosgei is joined in the elite women’s field by a stellar list of rivals, four of whom have also run sub-2:19 marathons.

The list includes 2018 London Marathon winner Vivian Cheruiyot of Kenya, three-time BMW Berlin Marathon champion Gladys Cherono of Kenya, 2019 Valencia Marathon champion Roza Dereje of Ethiopia and the reigning world champion Ruth Chepngetich, also from Kenya.

Also on the start line will be the world half marathon record holder and 2019 TCS New York City Marathon champion Joyciline Jepkosgei who is joint top of the Abbott World Marathon Majors (AWMM) Series XIII leaderboard alongside Kosgei and Chepngetich.

The London elite men's field will be announced on Tuesday 14 January and the complete fields announced on Friday 17 January.

(01/13/2020) ⚡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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Former Marathon World Record holder Wilson Kipsang banned in doping case

Wilson Kipsang, a former marathon world-record holder and Olympic bronze medalist, was provisionally suspended for whereabouts failures and tampering, according to doping officials.

The ban came from the Athletics Integrity Unit, track and field’s doping watchdog organization. Athletes must provide doping officials with locations to be available for out-of-competition testing, and missed tests can be tantamount to failed tests.

Kipsang, a 37-year-old Kenyan, won major marathons in New York City, London, Berlin and Tokyo between 2012 and 2017.

He lowered the world record to 2:03:23 at the 2013 Berlin Marathon, a mark that stood for one year until countryman Dennis Kimetto took it to 2:02:57 in Berlin. Another Kenyan, Eliud Kipchoge, lowered it to 2:01:39 at the 2018 Berlin Marathon.

Kipsang, the 2012 Olympic bronze medalist, last won a top-level marathon in Tokyo in 2017. He was third at the 2018 Berlin Marathon and 12th at his last marathon in London last April.

Kipsang is the latest Kenyan distance-running star to receive a doping-related ban.

Rita Jeptoo had Boston and Chicago Marathon titles stripped, and Jemima Sumgong was banned after winning the Rio Olympic marathon after both tested positive for EPO. Asbel Kiprop, a 2008 Olympic 1500m champion and a three-time world champ, was banned four years after testing positive for EPO in November 2017.

(01/10/2020) ⚡AMP
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World U20 10,000m champion Rhonex Kipruto is confirmed for the Valencia Ibercaja 10km road race on Jan. 12 in Spain

Rhonex  Kipruto, who is eyeing to make the Kenya team to the Tokyo Olympics, will use the road race in Valencia to gauge his endurance before returning to the track to prepare for the explosive Kenya trials.

"The Olympics is the main target for me this year. However, to attain the best fitness, I need to gauge myself against top runners and this platform will be provided in Valencia, which I hope to take up the challenge in my strides," Kipruto on Sunday.

Kipruto will be up against European record-holder Julien Wanders from Switzerland (27:25), Uganda's Stephen Kissa (27:13) and reigning champion Chala Regasa from Ethiopia (27:23). Brits Callum Hawkins (28:55) and Ben Connor (28:56) are also confirmed.

"It is a strong line-up and I have to be in my best form. I have rested enough since the World Championships in Doha and I will hope for some fast time in Valencia," he added.

The women's line-up is headed by Kenya's Sheila Chepkirui (29:57), Israel's European 10,000m champion Lonah Chemtai Salpeter (30:05) and Kenya's Norah Jeruto (30:07).

Chepkirui holds Africa's all-time best record and is the world leader in the 10,000m distance. But she will have no chance if she looks down upon the caliber of opposition facing her in Valencia.

"I am really happy with my performance in 2019, especially the fast time in Durban, as it was my first road race in South Africa," said Chepkirui.

"I usually stay at the back in the beginning and then make my move closer to the race finish. It is the same strategy I will apply to Valencia. However, I will try to stay with the leading pack," said Chepkirui.

Chepkirui, who was seventh at the World Championships in London back in 2017, hopes to make the Kenya team to the Olympics in the 10,000m and hopes a good performance in Valencia will earn her slot in the team.

(01/10/2020) ⚡AMP
by Huaxia
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10k Valencia Ibercaja

10k Valencia Ibercaja

Around the corner we have one more edition of the 10K Valencia Ibercaja, organized one more year by the C. 10K VALENCIA Athletics premiering the running season in Valencia. It is a massive urban race with more than 3,000 registered annually of 10 kilometers, where the maximum duration of the test will be 1 hour 40 minutes (100 minutes). The...

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Mike Smith is the new coach for Galen Rupp

Two-time Olympic medalist Galen Rupp has a new coach.

Rupp, whose previous coach, Alberto Salazar, is serving a four-year ban from track due to anti-doping violations, is now entrusting his training to Mike Smith, the head coach of the Northern Arizona University cross-country and track teams.

Smith confirmed the coaching relationship in an email to Runner’s World, writing that he was surprised to get a phone call from Rupp last fall and took a long time to consider whether to coach him.

The move marks a major change for Rupp, 33, who had been under Salazar’s guidance since Salazar spotted him playing soccer when he was a 14-year-old high school student in Portland, Oregon. Rupp went to college nearby at the University of Oregon and after graduating in 2009, he joined the Salazar-led Nike Oregon Project (NOP).

While still in college, Rupp made the 2008 U.S. Olympic team in the 10,000 meters, finishing 13th. At the 2012 Games in London, he won silver in the 10,000 meters behind his then-NOP teammate Mo Farah of Great Britain. In 2016, Rupp was the Olympic bronze medalist in the marathon. He also won the 2017 Chicago Marathon and the 2018 Prague Marathon, where he set his personal best of 2:06:07, second on the U.S. all-time list.

But Rupp was plagued by Achilles problems and Haglund’s deformity in his left foot, and he underwent major surgery in October 2018.

Last October, as Rupp was preparing to race Chicago again, his first race since the surgery, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency announced news of Salazar’s ban. Salazar is appealing the decision, but in the meantime, he is not allowed to coach, and athletes who are in contact with him are subject to sanction. Nike executives shut down the Oregon Project a few days after the ban. Rupp made it to about 23 miles of the Chicago Marathon in 2019, before dropping out with a calf strain.

Rupp has never failed a drug test, and he is one of the most frequently tested American athletes.

He is also very private, staying off of social media and eschewing media interviews except around major marathons. Other athletes who had been training under Salazar had announced moves to new coaches, but Rupp had not, fueling speculation about his training and preparations for the Olympic Marathon Trials next month in Atlanta.

His move to Smith, who is based in Flagstaff, Arizona, is a radical shift away from the insular culture Salazar created at the NOP in Beaverton, Oregon.

Smith, 39, is a well-respected collegiate coach, having led the NAU men’s cross-country team to NCAA team titles in 2017 and 2018, and a runner-up finish in 2019. The women were 14th in 2019. Before NAU, he coached at Georgetown, his alma mater. In college, he earned All-American honors in cross country, and he later qualified for the Olympic marathon trials in 2007 (for the 2008 Games). He got his start in coaching working under legendary distance coach Jack Daniels.

(01/10/2020) ⚡AMP
by Sarah Lorge Butler
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Callum Hawkins going back to basics ahead of the Tokyo Olympics

"My shed could help me win a marathon medal at the Tokyo Olympics," says Callum Hawkins.  

Britain's Callum Hawkins explains how a garden shed is helping him to win a medal in the marathon at the Tokyo Olympics

Elite athletes spend years fine-tuning their bodies in preparation for an Olympic Games with elaborate training and diet plans.  But sometimes it's best to go back to basics. Training in your garden shed with heaters kind of basic.

That's according to Scottish marathon runner Callum Hawkins, who is doing everything possible to prepare his body for the hot and humid conditions in Japan this summer.

"We had a couple of bad winters where sometimes it was too icy to go out and get good quality sessions," Hawkins told Sky Sports News.

"So we thought we'd put up a shed with a treadmill to help me train. We did a bit in the heat chamber and thought we could replicate it instead."

The warm weather is expected to be a big talking point at Tokyo, where temperatures regularly reach 35 Celsius (95F) and humidity hits 80 per cent in summer.  The Olympic marathon and race walk events have already been moved more than 500 miles north from Tokyo to Sapporo to reduce the impact of heat on the athletes.

Regardless of the location, the 27-year-old from Elderslie is planning for all eventualities.  Hawkins is confident he will be able to deal with the heat in Tokyo

"Looking at the history of Sapporo weather, I don't think it will make too much of a difference - it's been similar to Tokyo. I've just got to go out there, I'll be on the start line and give it 100 per cent," he said.

"It can be pretty monotonous in the shed and the crippling heat can be quite tough. But it's just about getting through it and that's what makes champions."

A champion is what Hawkins hopes to become in Tokyo, improving on the ninth place he achieved at his debut Games at Rio 2016.

Since then, he has come agonisingly close to a podium finish on more than one occasion.

He finished fourth at the 2017 World Athletics Championships in London and just a few months ago at the World Championships in Doha, he missed out on a medal by just six seconds.

"I still talk to myself if I could have done more or not taught myself a bit more," he said. "But it's about passion, it's about moving on, it's about Tokyo from here on in.

"I try not to let it get me down and try not to let it discourage me, but I think I am a little bit disappointed and won't ever quite get over it unless I win a medal at Tokyo."

Despite missing out on a medal, Hawkins' performance in the extreme heat and humidity in Doha last October is all the more remarkable.

What keeps him motivated for the Olympics, he says, is the fact he's no stranger to the impact of heat exhaustion on an endurance runner.

At the 2018 Commonwealth Games at the Gold Coast in Australia, Hawkins was leading the race until severe dehydration caused him to collapse with just two kilometres to go.

Hawkins was given assistance after collapsing during the 2018 Commonwealth Games.  "A lot of people thought I might not come back from it but I knew myself I would. I've come back from worse," he said.

"I feel very experienced. I've had both scenarios - one where it's gone wrong and one where it went well so I've managed to tweak enough to make sure I'll be in the best condition I can on the day."I think getting a medal is definitely up there. With the conditions and the fact it is a championship marathon, anything is up for grabs."

With Sir Mo Farah returning to the track instead of taking on the marathon at Tokyo, Team GB's chances of a medal in the men's race now lie with Hawkins and he is leaving nothing to chance.

(01/09/2020) ⚡AMP
by Sarah Dawkins
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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A new study suggests that training for a marathon causes cardiovascular benefits equivalent to around a four-year reduction in vascular age

The health benefits of running have further been highlighted following the research into training for a debut marathon, with findings published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

A group of 138 first-time marathoners were assessed by Barts Heart Centre and University College London following their journey of training for and completing the London Marathon. The purpose of the study was to determine whether real-world exercise training for a first-time marathon could reverse age-related aortic stiffening.

The study concluded that training for and completing a marathon, even at relatively low exercise intensity, reduces central blood pressure and aortic stiffness. The group of novice runners were aged between 21 and 69 years and had an estimated training schedule of 6 to 13 miles per week.

“Greater rejuvenation was observed in older, slower individuals,” added the study’s conclusion.

AW MD Wendy Sly, who claimed Olympic 3000m silver at the 1984 Games in Los Angeles, is training for her first marathon in London in April and told Sky News: “Running a marathon or a half-marathon gives you a goal, so I think there’s a very good target for people who are trying to get fit. It puts you into a forced regime, almost, because you know that you have committed to do something in the future.

“We know generally that running is very good for you, for your heart and lungs, for your weight, for mental reasons and feeling good about yourself, plus it’s good for your bones and your muscles. So there’s nothing bad to really be said about it.”

(01/09/2020) ⚡AMP
by Athletics Weekly
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Past Champions and Olympians will Headline NYRR Wanamaker Mile Men’s Field at 113th NYRR Millrose Games

Olympian and 2018 champion Chris O’Hare of Great Britain, 2017 champion Eric Jenkins of the United States, four-time Olympian Nick Willis of New Zealand, and world championship medalist Filip Ingebrigtsen of Norway will headline a talented NYRR Wanamaker Mile men’s field at the 113th NYRR Millrose Games on Saturday, February 8 at The Armory’s New Balance Track and Field Center.

The signature event at the NYRR Millrose Games has taken place every year on the men’s side since 1926 and will be broadcast live nationally on NBC for the fourth consecutive year from 4:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. ET, in addition to streamed live online on NBC Sports Gold.

“Already one of the greatest mile races in the world, the men’s 2020 NYRR Wanamaker Mile is expected to be one of the best with past champions, Olympians, and rising stars all lining up in front of a national audience,” said NYRR Millrose Games Meet Director Ray Flynn.

O’Hare won the 2018 NYRR Wanamaker Mile after building an insurmountable lead on the last lap and crossing the line in 3:54.14. In New York, he has also finished as runner-up at the New Balance 5th Avenue Mile three times, most recently in 2018. The Scotland native represents Great Britain on the world stage, having won a bronze medal in the 1500 meters at the European championships and competing in the event at the Rio 2016 Olympics.

“I have always loved having the NYRR Millrose Games and the NYRR Wanamaker Mile in my racing schedule,” O’Hare said. “When you look back at the athletes who have competed in the NYRR Wanamaker Mile, it goes to show the nature of the event. It is without a doubt, the most prestigious indoor mile race in the world and I can’t wait to step on the start line and go to battle with my fellow competitors.”

Jenkins won the 2017 NYRR Wanamaker Mile in a last-lap sprint against Olympic 800-meter bronze medalist Clayton Murphy. The year prior in New York, he narrowly defeated Olympic 1500-meter champion Matthew Centrowitz to win the New Balance 5th Avenue mile by one-tenth of a second. Last year, Jenkins finished third in New York at the USATF 5 km Championships in Central Park.

Willis has finished as runner-up at the NYRR Wanamaker Mile three times (2009, 2015, 2016), was third twice (2008, 2014) and took sixth last year. As a four-time Olympian, the University of Michigan graduate and Ann Arbor, MI resident won the silver medal in the 1500 meters at the Beijing 2008 Games, carried New Zealand’s flag at the London 2012 Opening Ceremony, and returned to the podium with a bronze medal in the 1500 meters at the Rio 2016 Games. In 2019, he won a record-breaking fifth men’s title at the 5th Avenue Mile, adding to his previous victories on Manhattan’s most famous thoroughfare from 2008, 2013, 2015, and 2018.

Ingebrigtsen coached by his father, Gjert, won the 1500-meter European title in 2016 and a world championship bronze medal in the distance in 2017.

(01/07/2020) ⚡AMP
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NYRR Millrose Games

NYRR Millrose Games

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

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Toronto Marathon champion Magdalyne Masai has set her eyes on running the Boston Marathon

The 26-year-old has only run three marathons and though she has little hope of making the Kenya team to the Tokyo Olympics, she will not pass the chance to have a dry run in March in the Japanese capital should organizers of the city marathon invite her.

However, it is the challenge of Boston Marathon that Magdalyne Masai, a former world cross country bronze medalist, is keen to conquer in 2020.

"My management has not got the invitation yet. But it will be a great step if I get a chance to fight against the best in Boston and gain the experience it comes with," Masai said on Monday.

The younger sister of former World 10,000m champion Linet Masai won silver at the Hamburg Marathon last year against a strong challenge from the Ethiopians and is also the winner from Hefei Marathon, in China.

"China was my first debut in marathon and I loved it because I went on to win in Hefei. It gave me the stage to showcase my talent in marathon and since then, I have been improving. Now I am ready for the big-city marathon and Boston looks a great place to run," she said.

Magdalene said out of the three marathons she has competed, Toronto remains her favorite.

"I know people will talk of London, Chicago, New York, Boston, Tokyo and Berlin but I prefer to start in Boston because of the magical experience people talk about. I want to experience it first hand," she noted.

Masai credits her elder brother Moses Masai, who is currently battling a career-threatening ankle injury, for motivating her to take up running. Though her sister Linet has played a part in her career, Magdalyne feels Moses is the cornerstone in the short marathon rise she has experienced.

"Moses always asked me to go for it. There is also former Commonwealth marathon champion Flomena Cheyech and former track star Sylvia Kibet who have helped me a lot," she added.

In 2016 she changed from the track to the road races with a debut at Ostia Half Marathon clocking 67:30. A year later she was fourth at the South Shields Great North Run in England clocking 1:10:39. She has also run in Lisbon (Portugal) and Belfort (France).

However, it was in Hefei in China that she launched her career in the marathon, and she won against a strong challenge clocking 2:28:20. And from China, Masai now targets to conquer the world.

"The Tokyo Olympics are coming a little bit earlier and I may not have the experience to be considered. But I want to represent Kenya in next Olympics," she added. Enditem

(01/07/2020) ⚡AMP
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

The Boston Marathon is the world's oldest annual marathon and ranks as one of the world's best-known road racing events. The event attracts 500,000 spectators each year, making it New England's most widely viewed sporting event. Though starting with 18 participants in 1897, the event now attracts over 20,000 registered participants each year. You have to qualify to participate. Among...

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British athlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson is set to compete at the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix

World heptathlon champion set to compete at the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix, Anniversary Games and Gateshead Grand Prix in 2020

After winning world heptathlon gold in Doha, Katarina Johnson-Thompson has confirmed that she will compete at three world-class events in the UK next year: the Müller Indoor Grand Prix Glasgow, the Müller Anniversary Games and the Müller Grand Prix Gateshead.

With all eyes turning to Tokyo and the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the British record-holder will kick-start her year in Scotland at the Indoor Grand Prix on February 15.

Come the summer, the 26-year-old will head to London to compete at the  Anniversary Games on July 4 and 5, with an appearance at the Müller Grand Prix in Gateshead coming after the Olympic Games on August 16.

“It’s amazing to know I’ve got three great events and some real testing competition in the diary for 2020,” said Johnson-Thompson, who scored her British record tally of 6981 points to take the heptathlon title in Qatar.

“I’m really looking forward to performing in front of British crowds, with the Müller Indoor Grand Prix Glasgow and Müller Anniversary Games being vital preparation for the Olympics.”

She added: “The support I received from back home both during and after my competition in Doha was crazy. It really shows how lucky I am to compete for Britain and that the British fans really are the best in the world.

“It’s going to be amazing to compete on home soil on three occasions in 2020, with these fans cheering us all on.”

(01/06/2020) ⚡AMP
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Muller Indoor Grand Prix Glasgow

Muller Indoor Grand Prix Glasgow

Ranked as the best one-day indoor meeting in the world, the Müller Indoor Grand Prix returns to the Emirates Arena on February 15, 2020. The top-ranked indoor meeting in the world will feature the biggest athletics stars from across the globe aiming to start their Olympic and Paralympic year with a bang. One year on from hosting the most successful...

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Kenya will renew their rivalry with Ethiopia on Sunday in quest for Xiamen Marathon in China

Kenyan athletes are keen to end Ethiopian dominance in the Southern China city. Kenyan duo Reuben Kerio and Kennedy Cheboror also renewed their lifetime bests in 2019.

The 25-year-old Kerio clocked 2:07:00 in Eindhoven and won the Rock 'n' Roll Madrid Marathon last year, while Cheboror, 29, improved his personal best (PB) to 2:06:59 when finishing fourth in Daegu and went on to win the Gyeongju Marathon in October, which was his third title in six races since debuting over the classic distance in 2016.

"It is a tough race with top names from Ethiopia. But I believe we have a chance to showcase to the world that we are top of the game," said Cheboror on Friday.

Kenya's Moses Mosop was the last man to win in Xiamen, setting a course record of 2:06:19 in 2015.

"The course in Xiamen is tough and it requires strong preparations. I felt depleted after the race and it will not be easy for the athletes when they line up to improve the record," Mosop said.

The tall and long-legged Debela, who will celebrate his 25th birthday next Thursday, edged compatriot Afewerk Mesfin by just two seconds last year to take a second successive Xiamen victory in 2:09:26.

He went on to earn a runner-up finish in Chicago last October at 2:05:46, improving his personal best by 84 seconds, which suggests he has the ability to challenge the 2:06:19 course record set by Moses Mosop of Kenya in 2015.

While Debela is eyeing a hat-trick, Shura Kitata is expecting third-time lucky in Xiamen.

The 23-year-old Ethiopian has progressed rapidly in recent years and is the fastest man on paper with a best time of 2:04:49, which was set from his second-place finish at the 2018 London Marathon. He came close to that mark in April 2019 when he returned to London to finish fourth in 2:05:01.

After a third-place finish in 2016 and a runner-up spot in 2017, Kitata will be keen to set his foot onto the top step of the podium and challenge the course record which also stands as the Chinese all-comers' record.

Salah Eddine Bounasr of Morocco is another man to watch on Sunday. Although it will be his first outing in the southern Chinese city, the 29-year-old arrives in good form.

He has been unbeaten since his Beijing Marathon title in September 2017. He clocked a winning time of 2:09:29 in Vienna in 2018 and reduced his career-best to 2:07:52 in Otsu last March.

The 22-year-old Armino will also face a challenging title defense in the women's race. Last year Armino trimmed almost two minutes off her PB to score an upset victory over a strong field at 2:27:25. And the field she will face on Sunday is even stronger.

Armino's compatriot Yebrgual Melese leads the women's elite list with a best time of 2:19:36, which was achieved from her third-place finish in Dubai two years ago.

She is also the only woman in the field that has ever run faster than Mare Dibaba's course record of 2:19:52 set in 2015.

The 29-year-old Melese has built a reputation for her consistency, having won titles in Houston, Prague and two straight victories in Shanghai.

Fellow Ethiopian Afera Godfay is also a serious title contender. The 28-year-old grabbed her first international marathon victory in Dongying last April and improved her PB to 2:22:41, which made her the second-fastest entrant in Xiamen. More recently, she clocked 2:29:18 to finish 10th at the Ljubljana Marathon three months ago.

Ethiopian runners swept all 10 of the women's titles in Xiamen over the past decade. Volha Mazuronak of Belarus would be the biggest hope to break such dominance this year.

Mazuronak's best time of 2:23:54, which also stands as the Belarusian record, was set at the 2016 London Marathon.

The 2018 European champion has maintained a high level of competitiveness in recent seasons, taking the top honours two years ago in Dusseldorf and last year in Hong Kong before finishing fifth at the World Championships in Doha last September.

(01/04/2020) ⚡AMP
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XIAMEN INTERNATIONAL MARATHON

XIAMEN INTERNATIONAL MARATHON

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

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Ethiopia’s defending champions Dejene Debela and Medina Deme Armino will return to China with the aim of retaining their titles at the Xiamen Marathon

The tall and long-legged Debela, who will celebrate his 25th birthday next Thursday, edged compatriot Afewerk Mesfin by just two seconds last year to take a second successive Xiamen victory in 2:09:26.

He went on to earn a runner-up finish in Chicago last October in 2:05:46, improving his personal best by 84 seconds, which suggests he has the ability to challenge the 2:06:19 course record set by Moses Mosop of Kenya in 2015.

Debela has an unbeaten record on Chinese soil, winning two titles in Xiamen and emerging victorious at the 2018 Beijing Marathon.

While Debela is eyeing a hat-trick, Shura Kitata is expecting third-time lucky in Xiamen.

The 23-year-old Ethiopian has progressed rapidly in recent years and is the fastest man on paper with a PB of 2:04:49, which was set from his second-place finish at the 2018 London Marathon. He came close to that mark last April when he returned to London to finish fourth in 2:05:01.

After a third-place finish in 2016 and a runner-up spot in 2017, Kitata will be keen to set his foot on to the top step of the podium and challenge the course record which also stands as the Chinese all-comers’ record.

Salah Eddine Bounasr of Morocco is another man to watch on Sunday. Although it will be his first outing in the southern Chinese city, the 29-year-old arrives in good form. He has been unbeaten since his Beijing Marathon title in September 2017. He clocked a winning time of 2:09:29 in Vienna in 2018 and reduced his career best to 2:07:52 in Otsu last March.

Kenyan duo Reuben Kerio and Kennedy Cheboror also renewed their lifetime bests in 2019. The 25-year-old Kerio clocked 2:07:00 in Eindhoven and won the Rock 'n' Roll Madrid Marathon last year, while Cheboror, 29, improved his PB to 2:06:59 when finishing fourth in Daegu and went on to win the Gyeongju Marathon in October, which was his third title in six races since debuting over the classic distance in 2016.

The 22-year-old Armino will also face a challenging title defence in the women’s race. Last year Armino trimmed almost two minutes off her PB to score an upset victory over a strong field in 2:27:25. And the field she will face on Sunday is even stronger.

Armino’s compatriot Yebrgual Melese leads the women’s elite list with a PB of 2:19:36, which was achieved from her third-place finish in Dubai two years ago. She is also the only woman in the field that has ever run faster than Mare Dibaba’s course record of 2:19:52 set in 2015.

The 29-year-old Melese has built a reputation for her consistency, having won titles in Houston, Prague and two straight victories in Shanghai.

Fellow Ethiopian Afera Godfay is also a serious title contender. The 28-year-old grabbed her first international marathon victory in Dongying last April and improved her PB to 2:22:41, which made her the second fastest entrant in Xiamen. More recently, she clocked 2:29:18 to finish 10th at the Ljubljana Marathon three months ago.

Ethiopian runners swept all 10 of the women’s titles in Xiamen over the past decade. Volha Mazuronak of Belarus would be the biggest hope to break such dominance this year.

The women’s field also includes local runner Li Zhixuan, the fastest Chinese woman in 2019 as she improved her PB to 2:26:15 last March, and Hiwot Ayalew of Ethiopia, a former steeplechase specialist who clocked 2:26:40 three months ago on her marathon debut.

(01/03/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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XIAMEN INTERNATIONAL MARATHON

XIAMEN INTERNATIONAL MARATHON

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

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Belgium’s Bashir Abdi and Ethiopia’s Helen Bekele Tola signed a successful farewell to 2019, taking convincing victories at the 55th San Silvestre Vallecana on Tuesday

Belgium’s Bashir Abdi and Ethiopia’s Helen Bekele Tola signed a successful farewell to 2019, taking convincing victories at the 55th San Silvestre Vallecana, a World Athletics Gold Label road race.

While Bashir got the better of Uganda’s Mande Bushendich in 27:47, Tola beat Kenya’s world marathon champion Ruth Chepngetich by seven seconds, winning in 30:50. The downhill nature of the course means times achieved here are not valid for PB or record purposes.

On a pleasant windless night with the thermometer reaching 9C, the race kicked off at a moderate pace as a 10-man pack covered the opening kilometer in 2:48. Spain’s Toni Abadía moved to the front and opened a 30-meter gap by the second kilometer; shortly afterwards Jesús Ramos joined Abadía in the lead and the local pair went through three kilometers in 8:04.

The main favorites were about 40 meters behind, led by Turkey’s Aras Kaya, the Ugandan trio of Moses Kurong, Boniface Sikowo and last year’s third-place finisher Bushendich plus Bashir Abdi.

The Spaniards’ lead was to be short lived and before reaching the halfway point (13:30) they were caught by the chasing group with Kurong making most of the pacing duties. The key movement came with the clock reading 19:00 when Abdi broke away from the heading pack to build a two-second advantage on Bushendich and five over Abadía with 2.5km to go.

Abdi, the European 10,000m silver medalist, who had remained in the middle of the leading group for the first half of the race, proved to be in fine form over the tough final stages. At the tape, the Belgian was timed at 27:47, his first ever sub-28-minute clocking on the roads, while Bushendich finished in 27:51. Abadía managed the fastest ever time by a Spaniard here with 27:56, some consolation for recording his fourth third-place finish in Madrid.

“After competing at the Chicago Marathon (where he set a Belgian record of 2:06:14), I rested for several weeks but then I resumed training and I felt good today,” said Abdi, who was born in Somalia but fled the country at the age of 12. “The closing two kilometers were very tough but I reserved my energy in the first half and the tactic paid off.

“This year I have broken the Belgian record twice (2:07:03 in London and 2:06:14 in Chicago) and I would like to get close to the European record (2:04:16) in some of my next outings over the distance,” said Abdi, who will run a half marathon in the Netherlands on 12 January before contesting the Tokyo Marathon in March. “I would like to compete at the Tokyo Olympics, but also understand the decision to move the road events venue to Sapporo due to the weather conditions.”

The anticipated clash between Kenya’s world marathon champion Ruth Chepngetich and Ethiopia’s Helen Bekele Tola didn’t disappoint.

Sandwiched between a large pack of men, the two women were evenly matched for the first three kilometers which they covered in 8:56, clearly ahead of Portugal’s Carla Salomé Rocha (9:20) and Uganda’s late addition to the field Juliet Chekwel (9:24),

Chepngetich, who had declared at the pre-race press conference that she was not yet in the same kind of form which led her to the gold medal in Doha, could not follow in the Ethiopian’s footsteps before reaching halfway (14:50 vs 14:54); by then Rocha kept her four-second margin on the Ugandan (15:29/15:33).

In the second half, 25-year-old Tola managed to extend her lead to eight seconds with about two kilometers to go while Rocha also widened her advantage on Chekwel to another eight seconds.

Tola confirmed her supremacy during the uphill closing section and romped home in 30:50, the fourth fastest time ever recorded at this race. Meanwhile, Rocha completed the podium more than a minute behind the winner (31:52) but 21 seconds clear of Chekwel.

“I have beaten the recent world champion and that’s great for me,” said Tola, who is based in Geneva where she is coached by Tesfaye Eticha. “I feel in great shape and look forward to running under 2:20 in Tokyo in March.”

(01/02/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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San Silvestre Vallecana

San Silvestre Vallecana

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

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Callum Hawkins is hopeful that his brother, Derek, can join him on the GB marathon team for the Tokyo Olympics

Callum is hopeful that his brother, Derek, can join him for the Tokyo Olympics next summer, repeating the feat of 2016 which saw them both compete for Britain in the marathon in Rio.

It was announced last week that Callum has already been pre-selected for the 2020 Olympics, becoming one of the first GB athletes to secure their seat on the plane to Japan. And he firmly believes his brother is capable of claiming one of the remaining two marathon spots, with things being made slightly easier following the announcement earlier this year from four-time Olympic track medallist Mo Farah that he will concentrate on the 10,000m. This is after his decision in 2017 to retire from the track and concentrate on the road.

The Kilbarchan AAC duo put in impressive showings at Rio 2016, with Callum having a superb run to finish in ninth place, while Derek overcame a build-up severely afflicted by injury to finish just 114th.

The London Marathon in April is the ‘trial race’ for the Olympics, with the British Athletics men’s standard for Japan 2 hours 11 minutes 30 seconds. This means Derek must set a new personal best if he is to make it to his second Olympics, with his best to date being 2 hours 12 minutes 49 seconds, which he clocked in Frankfurt in October.

“There are slots available now at London and hopefully Derek can make it,” said Callum, who believes his older brother is capable of dipping under the British qualifying time.

“He ran a PB in Frankfurt and I think he had a bit more to come that day.

"So we will see how that goes with him and a couple of other Brits come London. I’d love him to be there. We were both selected for Rio in 2016 but at that time he had a real struggle with injury in the last few months and it was all about just making the start-line.

"It would be a nice achievement for two brothers to make it twice to the Olympics in the marathon."

Callum, fourth in the last two World champs events in London and in Doha, feels the competition in Sapporo will be even harder come next August.

"I’m not in any doubt that the level of competition in Japan will be even tougher than Doha," the 27-year-old said.

"That’s just the way I feel because I’m sure the very fact it is the Olympics will motivate people even more and there will be greater depth to the top 10 or the top 20 or whatever. Making the top 10 again will be really tough and the conditions could be difficult, too, even though they’ve moved it.

"I won’t have any fear, though. I will go out there feeling no pressure and, assuming everything has gone well in the build-up, I will really go for it. With a marathon, it comes down to how you cope and how you feel on the day."

If his current plan for next year remains unchanged, he could be making a trip east even before the main event, with a half marathon in Japan on the radar for family Hawkins.

"I’ve been out to Japan before," Callum recalled.

"I was due to run the Fukuoka Marathon at the end of 2018 but a hamstring injury prevented that, but we went on the trip anyway and got an idea of the place.

"We’re firming up the race-plan at the moment but one of the half marathons could be over in Japan, although not at the Olympic venue."

(12/29/2019) ⚡AMP
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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The 4th Annual My Best Runs World’s Best 100 Races for 2020 have been announced

It was made official today (Dec 26) the My Best Runs 2020 World's Best 100 Races.  The editors at My Best Runs lead by MBR and Runner's World magazine founder Bob Anderson considered thousands of races; races that are the best, most interesting and unique and races that if you can get into won't let you down.  

"There are well over 100,000 official running races around the world," stated Bob Anderson from his office in Mountain View California, "and these are our 100 of the best.  It was very hard to only pick 100 since there are many more I know I would enjoy to run or at least watch."

Bob Anderson loves to race.  The soon to be 72-years-old (Dec 28) has run over 1000 races (including time trials) since he started racing in April of 1962.  He still races and in fact won his age-group in winning the second half at the San Francisco marathon in 2019 and placed third in his age-group at the London Vitality 10k last May.  In 2012 he ran 50 races, 350.8 miles and averaged 6:59 pace.  

His My Best Runs website and the UjENA Fit Club website keeps him and his team plugged in to the current racing scene.  

"We did not consider races which are more local in nature.  Even through I love local races we only considered races that are international in scope.  A race if you travel too, you would not be disappointed.

"With our nearly 80,000 unique visitors monthly from countries around the world, we considered all races around the planet," says Bob Anderson.  "Some of these races are very hard to get into.  But not impossible.  If you can get in,  these all would be a good racing experience for you.  I hope to run more of these myself."

We would love to get your feedback on these races and recommendations for 2021.  Post your comments or email Bob Anderson at bob@mybestruns.com (photos - Boston Marathon, Carlsbad 5000, Semi de Paris)

(12/26/2019) ⚡AMP
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I have run ten of these. Carlsbad 5000 (25 times), Boston Marathon (my fav), London vitality 10000 (which I am planning on running regularly), New York City Marathon, Kauai Marathon (beautiful course), Falmouth, Silicon Valley Turkey Trot, Bay to Breakers, Honolulu Marathon and San Francisco Marathon Weekend (second half). How about you? 12/26 4:40 pm


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David Rudisha’s 2012 Olympic 800m triumph has been chosen as the athletics moment of the decade

Over the past two weeks, athletics fans from around the world have been casting their votes on the World Athletics Instagram page, whittling down a long list of 16 moments.

In the final stage of voting, Rudisha was up against Eliud Kipchoge’s marathon world record from Berlin in 2018. The votes were close, but Rudisha ultimately had the edge, 1151 votes to Kipchoge’s 939.

Rudisha’s victory in London in 2012 was the greatest moment of the Kenyan’s career. Leading up to those Games, he had twice broken the world record in 2010 and won the world title in 2011. He arrived in London undefeated throughout the 2012 season and with the four fastest times in the world that year. Unsurprisingly, he started as the overwhelming favorite.

But few would have predicted that Rudisha would have been capable of breaking his own world record in a non-paced championship setting. One of the few people who perhaps had an inkling of what was to come was Kenyan teammate Timothy Kitum, whom Rudisha had told before the race: “Don’t follow me or you’ll die towards the end. Go for the silver.”

It turned out to be good advice as Rudisha was unchallenged. He passed through 200m in 23.4 and 400m in 49.28. He already had a two-metre lead as he entered the back straight for the second time and his advantage only grew as the race progressed, reaching 600m in 1:14.30.

Urged on by the 80,000 fans who were sensing a stunning moment in the making, the long-striding Rudisha maintained his lead to the finish, crossing the line in 1:40.91 and punching the air as he did so, a lifetime’s ambition realised.

“I have waited for this moment for a long time,” said Rudisha. “I had no doubt about winning, but to come here and get a world record is unbelievable.”

(12/26/2019) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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New York marathon champion Joyciline Jepkosgei eyes London or Tokyo in 2020

New York marathon champion Joyciline Jepkosgei will gauge her fitness in cross country before coming to return to marathon running in April.

The 26-year-old, is still pinching herself after she staged one of the biggest coups in 2019 when running her only second marathon won in New York clocking an impressive 2:22:38, beating race favorite and defending champion Mary Keitany.

"It was a big surprise to me to win New York City marathon. Certainly, it was not in the plans because there were top contenders and I was there to make a new attempt to the distance after I had flopped in London," Keitany said on Monday.

Though she started light training after her run in New York, Jepkosgei said that it will be a while before she is fit to race again. However, she is open to run in Boston, London or Tokyo in 2020.

"The muscles still hurt and it is one day at a time. I was nervous at the start and I only realized that I could go for it after the halfway mark. The win crowned my season and beating my mentor was no mean task. Mary Keitany is up there with the greats in marathon and she will always win big races. The pressure was too much, but I took it in my stride."

She also won in June the New York half marathon clocking 70:07 minutes. But her winning time on New York race in November was just seven seconds off the course record.

"I always have the desire to take up challenges and I feel it is the right time to run the full marathon. I had already achieved in half marathon and taking up a new challenge was good for my career," she added.

In 2017, Jepkosgei smashed the world half-marathon record to become the first woman to run 21km in under 65 minutes. Brigid Kosgei later broke her record as she set 64.28 minutes.

Jepkosgei hopes one day she will be strong enough to challenge the world record in full marathon. Brigid Kosgei has reshuffled the tables with a fast run in Chicago in October when she posted a new world record of 2:14:04. She shreds Paula Radcliffe's record that had stood since 2003 of 2:15:25.

(12/24/2019) ⚡AMP
by Mu Xuequan
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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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Jamaican Sprinter, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce confirmed that she will tackle both the women’s 100m and the 200m at next year’s Olympics in Tokyo

Throughout her career, Fraser-Pryce has mainly focused on the 100m at major championships, only ever winning one Olympic medal(silver) in the 200m at the 2012 London Olympics. But next year, Fraser-Pryce is setting her sights on achieving the gold in both events.

“[I will be] doubling up definitely. Last year [season] I really wanted to attempt the double but coach had other plans, so I just worked with that plan. He knows best so I just worked with his plan,” she told reporters in Jamaica.

The sprinter has never dipped below 22 seconds in the 200m, which is also another aim for her in the 2020 season.

“I am definitely looking forward to doing the 200m, especially because I believe in my heart that I can run 21s. It’s a big passion of mine so I am working really hard towards that. So hopefully, I will get to run some more 400m even though I don’t like it, but hopefully I will get it done for 2020,” she shared.

Last month, Fraser-Pryce announced that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will be her fourth and final Olympic games. “I am always grateful for the opportunity to represent my country, my family, myself, but Tokyo is my last Olympics. I definitely know that,” she said.

The sprinter did not confirm whether she would completely retire from athletics, but hinted at the idea. “It doesn’t make me feel anything. I will miss the sport, but I will be OK. I don’t think it will be hard to retire. Athletics is just one thing I do.”

(12/23/2019) ⚡AMP
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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Callum Hawkins has been pre-selected to race for Great Britain in next year’s Olympic Games marathon

The 27-year-old Callum Hawkins ran a Scottish record of 2:08:14 in London earlier this year before finishing fourth at the IAAF World Championships in Doha and will look to improve on the ninth place he achieved on his Olympic debut in Rio in 2016 when he lines up in Sapporo on August 9.

Doha marked the second successive World Championships marathon in which Hawkins has finished fourth as he also secured that result in London in 2017.

“British Athletics have taken the opportunity to pre-select him seven months in advance of Tokyo 2020 in order to give him the best possible preparation to compete for a medal,” the national governing body said when announcing Hawkins’ pre-selection.

British Athletics will officially select Hawkins for nomination to the British Olympic Association following the final marathon selection meeting on April 28, provided he has demonstrated form and fitness prior to the meeting taking place.

Despite the fine marathon performances of the likes of Charlotte Purdue, Steph Twell and Jess Piasecki this year, no British women have been pre-selected and attention will now turn to the Virgin Money London Marathon on April 26, which acts as British Athletics’ official marathon trial for the Olympic Games.

The top two finishers there are guaranteed selection as long as they have also achieved the qualifying standard of 2:11:30 for men and 2:29:30 for women.

Hawkins does not look set to be joined by Mo Farah on the GB men’s marathon team as the four-time Olympic champion announced his track return last month, with his sights on defending his 10,000m title in Tokyo.

(12/18/2019) ⚡AMP
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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John Hancock and the Boston Athletic Association announced 16 Boston marathon champions will be running the 2020 Boston Marathon

In a joint statement this morning, John Hancock and the Boston Athletic Association announced that sixteen prior race champions, including 2018 winner Desiree Linden, would run the 2020 Boston Marathon scheduled for Monday, April 20.  The 2020 race, always held on the third Monday in April, will be the 124th running of the world’s oldest marathon.

“In our 35th year as principal sponsor of this historic race, we are excited to welcome back our accomplished champions,” said John Hancock chief marketing officer Barbara Goose through a statement.  “Their return is a testimony to the tradition and legacy that is the Boston Marathon. These champions are not just racing each other, they are chasing history.”

While today’s announcement included the race’s four open and wheelchair division champions from 2019 –Lawrence Cherono of Kenya, Worknesh Degefa of Ethiopia, Manuela Schär of Switzerland and Daniel Romanchuk of the United States– it is the inclusion of Linden, a two-time Olympian, which will likely get the most attention, at least domestically.  Linden, 36, who won the bitterly cold and rain-soaked edition of the race in 2018 where three quarters of the elite field couldn’t finish, will run Boston for the eight time.  Moreover, she plans to double back from the USA Olympic Team Trials Marathon which will take place 51 days earlier in Atlanta on February 29.  A top-3 finish there would put her on her third Olympic team.

“Running the Boston Marathon seven weeks after the U.S. Olympic Trials is a plan that has been in the works for roughly a year,” Linden explained in a written statement.  “I crossed the finish line in 2019 and knew if my body was capable, I wanted to return to Boston in 2020. My coach, Walt Drenth, and I had some long conversations on doing the double, how we would tailor the training, and if it was reasonable to expect to run well in both races.  We were both excited about the challenge.”

Linden’s marathon career began inauspiciously in Boston in 2007 when she finished 18th in 2:44:56, a time which would only have qualified her for next year’s Olympic Trials by four seconds.  But when she returned to the race in 2011, she was a different athlete, nearly winning in a personal best 2:22:38 after a thrilling three-way battle against Kenya’s Caroline Kilel and Sharon Cherop on Boylston Street.  Kilel got the win in 2:22:36, just two seconds ahead of Linden and six seconds ahead of Cherop.

Other prior race champions in the open division announced for the 2020 marathon were Yuki Kawauchi of Japan (first in 2018); Edna Kiplagat (2017), Geoffrey Kirui (2017), and Caroline Rotich of Kenya (2015); and Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia (2013 and 2015), the reigning World Athletics marathon champion.  Prior wheelchair division champions who have entered were Tatyana McFadden of the United States (2013 – 2016, 2018), Marcel Hug of Switzerland (2015 – 2018), Ernst van Dyk of South Africa (2011 – 2016, 2008 – 2010, 2014), Hiroyuki Yamamoto (2013) and Masazumi Soejima (2007 and 2011) of Japan, and Josh Cassidy of Canada (2012).

“The race for the tape on Patriots’ Day will surely be both competitive and compelling, as John Hancock has fielded a tremendous team of champions,” said Tom Grilk, the B.A.A. CEO.  “With 16 returning champions, the roads leading to Boston will be filled with many of the most decorated runners and wheelchair racers in history. Another memorable chapter in Boston Marathon history will surely unfold on April 20.”

The Boston Marathon –which recorded 26,632 finishers in 2019– is part of the Abbott World Marathon Majors, a confederation of the world’s top marathons, and is also a World Athletics Platinum Label road race.  The Platinum Label is new for 2020 and has been given only to a super-elite group of eight marathons so far: Tokyo, Nagoya Women’s, Seoul, Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York (two to four more may be added, according to World Athletics).

(12/17/2019) ⚡AMP
by David Monti
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

The Boston Marathon is the world's oldest annual marathon and ranks as one of the world's best-known road racing events. The event attracts 500,000 spectators each year, making it New England's most widely viewed sporting event. Though starting with 18 participants in 1897, the event now attracts over 20,000 registered participants each year. You have to qualify to participate. Among...

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Eliud Kipchoge believes he can break the marathon world record in London

Eliud Kipchoge believes he could break his own world record when he bids to become the first able-bodied athlete to win the Virgin Money London Marathon for a fifth time next April. 

The Kenyan superstar, who created history with his groundbreaking run of 1:59:41 in October, has announced he will race in the UK capital once again in 2020 for the 40th edition of an event he has won four times in four appearances. 

Kipchoge’s sub-two-hour run in Vienna was not eligible to be considered for world record purposes, given the controlled conditions in which it was achieved, but he can see the two-hour barrier being broken in a big city marathon in the not-too-distant future. 

For now, the official world record stands as the 2:01:39 which the Olympic champion ran in Berlin last year and, though he insists there is plenty of training to do between now and the London race day of April 26, he won’t rule out going quicker come springtime.  

“Absolutely,” was Kipchoge’s answer when asked if he could create yet more history in London, where he won in a time of 2:02:37 earlier this year which broke his own course record. “It is possible.”

Has what he achieved in Vienna in fact given him the confidence that anything is possible?

“Absolutely, yes.”

Kipchoge is undoubtedly the dominant force in world marathon and his achievements have gained recognition across the globe, with the 35-year-old currently in Britain to attend the BBC Sports Personality of the Year, where he will receive the World Sport Star of the Year award.

He is feted as a hero, too, in his native country, where he received a very different kind of medal. 

“Everyone in Kenya is recognising me,” he said. “I can say it is a crazy time. There was no need for a big procession because the president honoured me with the national certificate. I was given the honour – the golden heart – the highest recognition by the Head of State.”

(12/15/2019) ⚡AMP
by Euan Crumley (Athletics Weekly)
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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 will defend his title at the 2020 London Marathon

World Athlete of the Year Eliud Kipchoge will defend his title at the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon, a World Athletics Platinum event, set to take place in the British capital on 26 April.

Kipchoge, who earlier this year became the first person to cover 42.195km within two hours, has his sights set on continuing his incredible streak of record-breaking performances at what will be the 40th edition of the London Marathon.

In September last year he set an official world record of 2:01:39 in Berlin, then in April earlier this year he smashed his own course record to win in London in 2:02:37. The Olympic champion from Kenya will be aiming to become the first person to win five London Marathon titles.

Kipchoge is currently tied with Ingrid Kristiansen in the London Marathon history books for the most wins by an able-bodied athlete. The Norwegian great won four London Marathon titles between 1984 and 1988.

If Kipchoge continues his unbeaten run at the London Marathon next April – where he won in 2015, 2016, 2018 and 2019 – he will surpass Kristiansen’s tally.

“I am delighted to be returning to the Virgin Money London Marathon in 2020,” said Kipchoge. “I love running in London where the crowd support is always wonderful. Breaking the two-hour barrier in Vienna was an incredible moment. It showed that no human is limited and that is a belief that continues to drive me on to set new objectives.

“Making history in London is my next target. I am proud that I am currently the only male able-bodied athlete to have won this great race four times and that no one, male or female, has won it more than that.

“Eliud Kipchoge is the greatest marathon runner of all time,” said event director Hugh Brasher. “Eliud’s belief that no human is limited resonated with millions in every walk of life and we are delighted that this extraordinary and truly inspirational man will be part of the 40th race.”

Kipchoge was given the highest honour of Kenya following his performance in Vienna, the Elder of the Order of the Golden Heart of Kenya (EGH).

As well as his four Virgin Money London Marathon titles and the Olympic gold medal he won in Rio in 2016, Kipchoge has also won the Berlin Marathon on three occasions and the Chicago Marathon once. In addition, he has won the overall Abbott World Major Marathon series titles four times.

He is the first of the elite runners to be announced for the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon. Further names will be revealed in January.

 

(12/15/2019) ⚡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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A New York Times study finds the Nike Next% and Vaporfly could lead runners to improved odds of a personal best

The New York Times repeated, with a larger sample size, the study of the Nike Vaporfly that they conducted in 2018. Their updated study included the Nike Next% and the findings were surprising. We knew the Vaporfly and Next% were arguably some of the best shoes on the market, but the NYT finds that their current dominance is undeniable.

The New York Times repeated, with a larger sample size, the study of the Nike Vaporfly that they conducted in 2018. Their updated study included the Nike Next% and the findings were surprising. We knew the Vaporfly and Next% were arguably some of the best shoes on the market, but the NYT finds that their current dominance is undeniable.

The study founds that, “The Zoom Vaporfly 4% or ZoomX Vaporfly Next% — ran 4 to 5 percent faster than a runner wearing an average shoe, and 2 to 3 percent faster than runners in the next-fastest popular shoe.” The name four per cent was born out of Nike’s finding that the shoe could make the wearer four per cent more efficient–efficiency translates to less effort at the same pace, which means a runner can go faster. So the claim that the shoe makes a runner faster as opposed to simply more efficient is new.

Another key finding was that men had a 73 per cent chance of running a personal best in the shoes, while women had a 74 per cent chance, “In a race between two marathoners of the same ability, a runner wearing these shoes would have a significant advantage over a competitor not wearing them.” The Times also reports, “In the final months of 2019, about 41 per cent of marathons under three hours were reported to have been run in these shoes (for races in which we have data).”

When someone first comes to running, they find that after the initial agony of getting your legs used to the motion, there’s quick improvement. You’ll run a 5K personal best and then a subsequent PB just weeks (or even days) later. Because you’re new to the sport, the time melts away in the first few races.

But as you progress and become better, it can take months and even years to run a personal best. And for the competitive runner, staying patient is the hardest part. But what if someone told that runner who’d been trying to PB for 14 months, 27 days and 13 hours, that if they spent $330 CAD they had a 73 per cent chance at finally improving? If they have the budget, that’s an appealing statistic.

Two weeks ago Molly Huddle, who has the sixth-fastest marathon time among American women in 2019 (she ran a personal best 2:26:33 at the London Marathon), replied to a tweet by sports journalist Cathal Dennehy about the AlphaFly (Nike’s next step in the carbon-plated game). The shoe was first seen on the feet of marathon world record-holder Eliud Kipchoge, who raced to a 1:59:40 finish in them at the INEOS 1:59 Challenge in Vienna last month. Huddle’s comment: “Kinda nervous as to how this would affect the Olympic Trials over here @usatf.”

It’s not just Huddle who has noticed the effect the shoe (or prototype versions) could have on the US Olympic Marathon Trials. Runners are qualifying for the event at unprecedented rates. With the qualifying window still open for another five weeks, entries are already nearing the thousands.

It’s important to note that the qualifying standard for the trials did get two minutes easier (2:43 in 2016 to 2:45 in 2020). But does two minutes warrant a potentially doubled field size or are technological advantages, like the Nike shoes, the reason for the jump? The New York Times’ finding would suggest the latter.

(12/13/2019) ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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Dina Asher-Smith, four-time European gold medallist will race in front of the London Stadium for the final time before going for a first solo Olympic sprint title at Tokyo 2020

Asher-Smith will take on a world class field at the Diamond League event in London, where British fans will get a chance to give their heroes a rousing send-off before they board the plane for Japan.

The news follows the recent announcement that Asher-Smith’s British teammate and fellow world champion Katarina Johnson-Thompson will also compete at the Müller Anniversary Games, along with the Müller Indoor Grand Prix Glasgow (February 15) and Müller Grand Prix Gateshead (August 16).

“I’ve always been vocal about my love of competing in front of a home crowd, so to finish my Olympic preparations by competing at the London Stadium will be special and truly is the best send-off I could ask for,” said Asher-Smith.

“2019 has been a whirlwind of a year – the best of my career so far. I hope 2020 can be even better, and to put in a great performance at the Müller Anniversary Games would be a huge boost for me ahead of Tokyo.”

(12/11/2019) ⚡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, from July 24 to August 9, 2020. The Games in 1964 radically transformed the country. According to the organizers of the event in 2020, the Games of the XXXII Olympiad of the modern era will be “the most innovative...

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Kenya's Marius Kipserem will face his compatriot Dickson Chumba in his quest to defend Abu Dhabi marathon title

Kenya's Marius Kipserem believes nothing will stop him in his bid to retain the Abu Dhabi Marathon on Friday.

The women's race will invoke a teammate rivalry as Kenya's Vivian Kiplagat (2:22:25) and Bahrain's Eunice Chumba (2:24:27), who is 10,000m silver medalist of Asian Athletics Championships in Wuhan, China.

However, unlike last year during the inaugural race, Kipserem will have to dig deeper if he has to keep at bay his rivals led by compatriot and former Chicago and Tokyo Marathon winner Dickson Chumba.

"I have done well in training and am focused on the race in Abu Dhabi. I have no pressure whatsoever because I know what work, I have put in and what is expected.

There are other runners with a higher pedigree and records, but the reality on the race day is how prepared one is in the mind and fitness," Kipserem said on Tuesday.

Kipserem won the 2018 Rotterdam in 2:06:11 in April and improved that record to 2:4:12 in Abu Dhabi in December.

"I am going to defend my title and hopefully with a better time than last year," Kipserem added. In winning the inaugural race in Abu Dhabi, Kipserem stopped the clock at 2:04:12.

He is hoping to shave off two minutes to join the elusive club of marathon runners who have hit the two hours and two minutes' mark, currently held by just around four runners - Kenenisa Bekele (2:01.42), Eliud Kipchoge (2:01.39), Birhanu Legese and Dennis Kimetto.

"Everyone wants to compete in the big city marathons and after Abu Dhabi, I believe London will be the next stage, which I consider a good trial for the Tokyo Olympics. London is very important for me because a good result can earn me a spot in Kenya's four-member marathon team at the Olympics," he added.

Kipserem made the Kipchoge's INEOS 1:59 Challenge. He was part of the 31 pacesetters, who were contracted to help Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge to accomplish his task to become the first man to run the 42km distance in less than two hours. Kipchoge stopped the clock at 1:59.40.

Chumba (2:04:32), who will provide the challenge to Kipserem, has not had a good season. He failed to defend his Tokyo marathon title and was seventh at the Chicago marathon in October.

"I feel strong after the Chicago race. In Tokyo, it was wet and slippery and I had to slow down to avoid injury. I have not raced since then and will be happy to go to Abu Dhabi and win against the strong athletes lined up," Chumba said.

(12/03/2019) ⚡AMP
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ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon

ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon

The Abu Dhabi Marathon is shaping up to being first class marathon for both elite runners and average runners as well. Take in the finest aspects of Abu Dhabi's heritage, modern landmarks and the waters of the Arabian Gulf, at this world-class athletics event, set against the backdrop of the Capital's stunning architecture.The race offered runners of all abilities the...

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Newcomer Kinde Atanaw Alayew wins the Trinidad Alfonso Valencia Marathon and shatters the record

Ethiopians Roza Dereje and Kinde Atanaw Alayew produced impressive victories at the Maraton Valencia Trinidad Alfonso, a World Athletics Gold Label road race, in the eastern Spanish city on Sunday (1).

In the women’s race Dereje clocked 2:18:30 to move up to No. 8 on the all-time world list while pulling the next three finishers under 2:19, the first time four women have broken that barrier in the same race.

In the men’s contest the 26-year-old Alayew clocked 2:03:53 in his debut over the distance to finish 38 seconds inside the previous Spanish all-comers record set at this race last year.

Extraordinary depth - women’s race

The early pace in the women’s race was ambitious with Kenya’s Purity Rionoripo plus the Ethiopian pair of Workenesh Edesa and Dereje going through 10 kilometres in 32:33. Meanwhile, pre-race favourite Vivian Cheruiyot proved to be a bit more conservative but even so the Kenyan ace clocked 32:47 running with Ethiopia’s Birhane Dibaba.

Cheruiyot and Dibaba caught the leading pack at 15 kilometres (49:12) before reaching the half in 1:09:18, well inside the race record schedule with Ethiopia’s Azmera Abreha, a 2:21:51 performer, running alone another 22 seconds behind.

The leading quintet covered 30 kilometres in 1:38:36 while behind them Abreha cut their lead to nine seconds. Shortly afterwards, first Rionoripo and then Edesa began to drift back and were easily overtaken by Abreha.

At 40 kilometres, Dereje lead in 1:55:04 alongside Dibaba, with Cheruiyot one second adrift and Abreha, who finally joined the trio, for company. From there, Dereje began to step up her pace to open a sizeable margin on Cheruiyot and Dibaba. But Abreha kept up the pressure.

Dereje, who was third in this year’s London Marathon, kept her compatriot at bay to finish in 2:18:30, improving her lifetime best by 47 seconds to break into the all-time top-10. Abreha was next in 2:18:33, a massive 3:18 improvement for the 21-year-old.

Dereje, who managed her second victory on Spanish soil this year following her 1:06:01 career best to win the Barcelona half marathon in February, said, "I love the city of Valencia and its course. I'm doubly happy as I broke the race record and also improved my career best."

In a race of astounding depth, Dibaba was third in 2:18:46 and Cheruiyot fourth in 2:18:51 also personal bests. Zeineba Yimer was fifth in 2:19:27 - only five women had run faster this year prior to this race.

First time lucky for Alayew

The men’s race was nearly as impressive, with the top-four all dipping under 2:05.

Boosted by a triumvirate of pacemakers in the guise of Kenyans Bernard Ngeno, Victor Chumo and William Wanjiru, the men’s opening splits were fast as well with the large leading group going through the five and 10-kilometre points in 14:36 and 29:15 respectively. All the main favourites – Kenya’s Emmanuel Saina and Philemon Kacheran plus Ethiopia’s Leul Gebrselassie and Gude Ayola among others – were running together in almost ideal conditions, 15C and very slight winds.

A large group of ten – pacesetters aside – led by Saina, Kacheran and Adola reached the half in a promising 1:01:58, well on schedule to break the race record of 2:04:31 set last year by Gebrselassie. By then Turkey’s Kaan Ozbilen and Norway’s Sondre Moen were still in the leading pack, targeting the 2:05:11 European record. Surprisingly, Ethiopia’s Alayew was in the pack as well in first appearance over the 42.195km distance, likely boosted by his 1:00:13 half marathon career best set in Copenhagen in September.

But that demanding rhythm soon whittled down the pack. Saina and Ethiopia’s Tsegaye Kebede were the first to fall, and shortly after the 30-kilometre point (1:28:20) defending champion Gebrselassie dropped out of contention. By 35 kilometres, the lead pack was composed of Ethiopians Abebe Negewo Degefa, Alayew, Guye Adola, Kenya’s Kacheran and Turkey’s Ozbilen.

The key move came in the 37th kilometre when Alayew injected successive splits of 2:48, 2:46 and 2:40 to reach 40km in 1:57:33, on pace to break 2:04. Behind him, Ozbilen dropped Adola and Degefa to secure the runner-up spot.

The 26-year-old Alayew broke the tape in 2:03:53 while Ozbilen clocked 2:04:16 to clip nearly a full minute from Mo Farah’s European record and lower his previous best by 1:11. Adola completed a quality podium at 2:04:42 with Degefa next in 2:04:5, improving his career best by two minutes.

"I knew that my time to make the marathon debut has already come," Alayew said. "I had a lot of confidence on my chances as the training sessions had gone really well."

(12/01/2019) ⚡AMP
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VALENCIA TRINIDAD ALFONSO MARATHON

VALENCIA TRINIDAD ALFONSO MARATHON

Sammy Kiprop Kitwara set a Spanish all-comers’ record at the 2017 Maraton Valencia Trinidad Alfonso, the 31-year-old Kenyan produced a 2:05:15 effort to finish almost a full minute inside the previous record, moving to seventh on this year’s world list in the process. Ethiopia’s Aberu Mekuria Zennebe won the women’s race in 2:26:17 to improve on her fourth-place finish from...

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Kipkorir and Cherono retain Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon titles

With the dazzling city skyline as his backdrop, Joshua Kipkorir of Kenya stormed home to successfully defend his Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon (SCSM) title on Saturday (Nov 30) night, in the first evening edition of the annual running event.

The 25-year-old breasted the tape at The Float @ Marina Bay in 2hr 19min 13sec, ahead of Munyo Solomon Mutai of Uganda (2:19:46) and Benson Seurei of Bahrain (2:20:25).

Fellow Kenyan Priscah Cherono also retained her title in the women's race, winning in 2:28:53 to set a new SCSM record - the previous mark was 2:31:55 set by her compatriot Salina Kosgei in 2006.

Another Kenyan, Stella Jepng'Etich Barsosio, was second in 2:30:18 while Alemnesh Guta of Australia (2:37:03) rounded off the podium places.

Both Kipkorir and Cherono won US$50,000 (S$68,390) in prize money and ensured Kenya's dominance at the SCSM for a fifth straight year.

The marathon attracted over 15,000 participants with the overall event - which includes a kids' dash, and distances of 21km, 10km, 5km as well as a wheelchair category - seeing over 50,000 entrants.

Unlike the previous editions when the marathon began before dawn - last year's start time was 4.30am - this year's 42.195km marathon flagged off at 6.05pm at the F1 Pit Building.

The switch is part of the effort to fulfil various criteria in the organisers' bid to get the SCSM listed among the Abbott World Marathon Majors (WMM), a series of the most prestigious marathons in the world.

None of the six WMM races - Berlin, Boston, Chicago, London, New York and Tokyo - are held at night.

This year's course took runners from the F1 Pit Building through the Central Business District to places such as West Coast Highway, Marina Barrage, Gardens by the Bay and Marina Bay Sands, before ending at The Float.

Meanwhile, national record holder Soh Rui Yong was the top local male finisher for the third year in a row, crossing the finish line in 2:45:52. He earned $10,000 for his efforts.

Sharon Tan celebrated a first title as the fastest Singapore woman, finishing in 3:12:49.

(11/30/2019) ⚡AMP
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STANDARD CHARTERED MARATHON SINGAPORE

STANDARD CHARTERED MARATHON SINGAPORE

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

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Olympic champion Vivian Cheruiyot believes a good performance in Valencia on Sunday will almost guarantee her a slot in the Kenya team for the Tokyo Olympic Games

Vivian Cheruiyot has finally shaken off a recurrent tendon injury, which ruled her out of the Berlin marathon in September. She will lead Kenya's legion to the Valencia marathon, her sixth race on the road, as she intends to push for a faster time.

"I will be running my sixth marathon on December 1 in Valencia. My training has gone on very well and I can feel my body is back in shape. It is not long to go now," Cheruiyot said on Friday in Nairobi.

With victories in London and Frankfurt, Cheruiyot will be pushing for her third win to supplement her collection so far.

"I know next year we have the Olympics and everyone is talking about it. I feel it is good to prove my fitness in Valencia and then see what will happen in 2020 in London or any other race I will run," she said. "The Olympics in August is still way ahead and I want to do my part and let the selectors do theirs."

Cheruiyot will face strong opposition from Ethiopians Roza Dereje and Birhane Dibaba, both of whom have broken the two-hour-20-minute barrier for the distance. Ethiopian Zeineba Yimer, who has clocked 65 minutes 46 seconds for the half marathon, makes her full marathon debut with Ethiopians Roza Dereje (2:19:17) and Birhane Dibaba (2:19:51) also jostling for the title.

(11/29/2019) ⚡AMP
by Shi Yinglun
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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Four-time Olympic gold medallist Mo Farah has announced he will return to the 10,000m on the track next year in a bid to win a fifth Olympic title in Tokyo

The British distance runner hung up his track spikes at the end of 2017 after the World Athletics Championships in London, where he earned his sixth world title by winning the 10,000m and claimed silver in the 5000m.

He shifted his focus to the roads in 2018, placing third at the London Marathon and then winning in Chicago with a European record of 2:05:11.

He came close to his marathon PB in London earlier this year, finishing fifth in 2:05:39, three minutes behind eventual winner Eliud Kipchoge. In his most recent race, last month’s Chicago Marathon, Farah placed eighth in 2:09:58, four minutes adrift of winner Lawrence Cherono.

“It has been really exciting to compete in the marathon for the past couple of years,” said Farah, who won Olympic 5000m-10,000m doubles in 2012 and 2016. “To win the Chicago Marathon, a major marathon, was nice. To finish third at the London Marathon was good.

“It’s been a great learning curve for me. Doing a marathon and to run 2:05, a European record, it was very exciting. The training for it was totally different to the track.

“I have decided that next year at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games I’m going to be back on the track,” he added. “I’m really excited to be competing back on the track and to give it a go in the 10,000m. Hopefully I haven’t lost my speed, but I’ll train hard for it and see what I can do. It’s exciting.”

Farah’s last 10,000m on the track was at the 2017 World Championships where he won in 26:49.51 with Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei finishing second. Cheptegei, the world cross-country champion, has now succeeded Farah as the world champion at the distance after the 23-year-old won in Doha in 26:48.36.

Farah’s 2017 victory in London and Cheptegei’s recent triumph in Doha played out in similar fashion. Their splits at 9000m were near identical (Farah 24:20.69 in London, Cheptegei 24:20.79 in Doha). But Cheptegei was faster than Farah in the final 1000m (2:27.57 v 2:28.82), 800m (1:56.63 v 1:57.55) and 400m (55.38 v 55.63).

Should Farah recapture his speed from his peak track-racing days, it would make for a mouth-watering clash against Cheptegei, one of the most exciting distance runners in the world at present.

If Farah, who will turn 37 in March next year, earns a medal or even simply finishes in the top 10 in Tokyo, he will make history. No one aged 37 or older has ever finished in the top 10 in a men’s 10,000m final at the Olympic Games. Mamo Wolde was 36 years and four months when he earned silver in 1968, while fellow Ethiopian Miruts Yifter was 36 years and two months when he claimed gold in 1980.

(11/29/2019) ⚡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, from July 24 to August 9, 2020. The Games in 1964 radically transformed the country. According to the organizers of the event in 2020, the Games of the XXXII Olympiad of the modern era will be “the most innovative...

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Kenya´s Geoffrey Kirui recovers from tendon injury ahead of 2020 marathon

Former world marathon champion Geoffrey Kirui has started light training after shaking off a tendon injury that has limited his performance in the last two years.

Geoffrey Kirui, whose last marathon win came back in 2017 at the London World Championships, believes he will be back to his best ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, though he is not guaranteed a spot in the Kenya team.

However, Kirui is hopeful the 2020 season will bring better prospects for him, as he plots a big city marathon in March or April.

Both Tokyo and Boston marathons are open for him to choose, and he will wait for his management team to secure a good contract before committing.

"I have been running with some hesitation because of a nagging tendon injury in the last two months including during the World Championship in Doha, where I failed to defend my title."

"Injuries are things that each athlete has to live with but I have recovered and I am looking forward to the new season with high hopes," Kirui said on Thursday.

To show his commitment, the 26-year-old has opted to join the winning camp of Global Sports Communication, which is run by former steeplechaser Patrick Sang under the tutelage of Dutchman Jos Harmens.

It is the same training camp that features Olympic marathon champion and world record holder Eliud Kipchoge and New York Marathon winner Geoffrey Kamworor.

"I am focusing on building up for the new year even though my management is yet to enroll me in any marathon," he said.

Besides returning to the winner's podium in 2020, Kirui has high hopes of being able to improve on his personal best time of 2:06:27.

"It has been three years since I posted my best time in the marathon. I still have a lot of potential and now it is important to improve and maybe shed off about three minutes. With Sang, Kipchoge and Kamworor training together with me, I hope to hit this target," said Kirui.

"I believe I will be able to follow suit and be as successful as Kipchoge," he added.

(11/29/2019) ⚡AMP
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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World Record Holder Brigid Kosgei wants to win the gold medal in the marathon at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games

Brigid Kosgei snubbed the call to represent Kenya at the World Championships in Doha in October in order to chase the world record in Chicago. It is a move she does not regret.

Now she has set her eyes on running at the Olympics having broken the world record for the women's marathon in Chicago, clocking 2:14:04.

"My coach and management have agreed that I should run at the Olympic Games in Tokyo. It remains the main target and challenge for me in 2020, which I want to accomplish," Kosgei said on Thursday on her way back from the World Athletics gala in Monaco, where she was among the final nominees for Female Athlete of the Year.

Kosgei will likely be in London in April to defend her London Marathon title. It will be her 10th marathon since her debut in Porto in 2015.

She has so far won in Porto, Milan, Chicago and London. Her worst performance was in Boston in 2018 in bad weather, where she clocked 2:31:48 on her way to eighth place.

"I am always motivated and I have no hard feelings for missing out on the World Athletics Female Athlete of the Year Award. I take a lot of positives from the fact that I was nominated among the best five runners in 2019, which means I had a good season. To make the final list is a win on its own," she said.

Kosgei was accompanied by her husband and coach Mathew Kosgei to Monaco, where 400m hurdler Dalilah Muhammad from USA won the Female Athlete of the Year Award, pipping Kosgei, Jamaica's Shelly Ann Fraser and Sifa Hassan of the Netherlands.

"I had my husband with me in Monaco, he has always encouraged me and coached me. He reminded me of the journey we have had, how far we have come and why being there was a victory in itself," Kosgei said.

For now, Kosgei will take a deserved rest as she plots her return next season in her push for the Olympic marathon crown.

(11/28/2019) ⚡AMP
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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Jakob Ingebrigtsen is set to return to Dusseldorf, the third stop of the 2020 World Athletics Indoor Circuit

Jakob Ingebrigtsen will headline the men's 1500m at the PSD Bank Meeting in Dusseldorf on 4 February, the third stop of the 2020 World Athletics Indoor.

Ingebrigtsen powered to a commanding upset victory in the race last year, freshly-minted world indoor record holder Samuel Tefera in 3:36.02 to break the world U20 record. The Norwegian teenager, who famously took the 1500m/5000m double at the 2018 European Championships, went on to produce another notable campaign in 2019 which culminated at the World Championships in Doha with a fourth place finish in the 1500m and a fifth place showing over 5000m.

He also improved the European U20 records in both events with 3:30.16 and 13:02.03 performances at the Lausanne and London legs of the Diamond League, respectively. Ingebrigtsen celebrated his 19th birthday on 19 September. 

Older brother Filip, 26, will also return. He was third in the Dusseldorf race last year.

Organizers also announced that Piotr Lisek of Poland, the reigning world bronze medalist indoors and outdoors and a member of the event’s six-meter club but indoors and outdoors, will be among the headliners in the pole vault.

(11/28/2019) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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What is Eliud Kipchoge secrets for being one of the best runners in the world ever

Consistency, self-discipline and hard work are the ingredients that made him retain the World Athletics Male Athlete of the Year title, Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge said on Sunday.

The world marathon record holder, who tuned 35 on November 5, edged out four other contestants to retain the award during the World Athletics gala in Monaco on Saturday night.

Kipchoge, who was not at the gala but accepted the accolade in a telecast interview, won the London Marathon on April 28 in a course record of two hours, two minutes and 37 seconds.

It was Kipchoge’s fourth victory in London, having staged similar exploits in 2015 (2:04:42), 2016 (2:03:05) and 2018 (2:04:17).

However, what perhaps engrossed the world was when he made history as the first man to run a marathon under two honors, completing the “Ineos 1:59 Challenge” in 1:59:40.2 on October 12 in Vienna, Austria.

This was the second time Kipchoge, the 2016 Rio Olympic Games marathon champion, was attempting to run a marathon under two hours, having fallen short by 26 seconds during the Nike Breaking2 on May 6, 2017, in Monza, Italy.

“Consistency is the key in sport while self-discipline is the mother and father of not only sports but any other undertaking,” said Kipchoge. “Working hard is recognizable in the world of sports.”

The athlete said that breaking the two-hour barrier was the true inspiration to the generation, what with 500 million people having watched the race live in the duration of 1:59.40.

“One billion people had watched by the end of the day on October 12. It goes further to affirm that no human is limited. It was truly historic for me since I’m sure I’ve helped some people kick out the limitations in their mind to achieve what they had deemed impossible,” he said.

(11/27/2019) ⚡AMP
by Ayumba Ayodi
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INEOS 1:59 Challenge

INEOS 1:59 Challenge

Mankind have constantly sought to reach new frontiers and to achieve the impossible. From Edmund Hillary reaching the summit of Mount Everest to Roger Bannister’s four-minute mile to Felix Baumgartner jumping from space we have frequently redefined the limits of human achievement and broken new barriers previously seen as simply impossible. After the four-minute mile and the ten second 100m...

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Paula Radcliffe clarifies her coaching role with Jordan Hasay

It has been widely reported that Jordan Hasay has hired former marathon world record holder Paula Radcliffe as her coach or coach advisor.

This is not exactly accurate according to Radcliffe.

She told Athletics Illustrated, “I am happy to help Jordan out as well as I can. It’s not an official coaching role since I am not actually qualified to coach but primarily, I also don’t have the time to travel full time as a coach while my kids are still young and my priority.”

Hasay was formerly coached by Alberto Salazar of the Nike Oregon Project. Since Salazar has received a four-year coaching ban for apparent doping-related offences, his athletes have had to find new coaches.

Hasay, who is knowledgeable about training and what she needs to do to get ready for racing, has chosen Radcliffe more as an advisor.

“Jordan completely understands this, and my role is more of a mentor/advisor than a coach. She is very smart and already knows very well what works for her, and what doesn’t really work. She is also open to listening to ideas and changing things when she sees the sense behind it. A lot of the basis of what she already does is very good, and the changes so far are agreed by both of us and are very fluid.”

Hasay owns the second-fastest marathon by an American, all-time, behind only Deena Kastor, who ran the 2006 London Marathon in the time of 2:19:36. Hasay has gone as fast as 2:20:57, which the 28-year-old accomplished in Chicago two years ago.

Hasay dropped out of the 2019 Chicago Marathon due to a hamstring issue, which found her walking through the 5K mark in over 22 minutes. She was going for Kastor’s record in that race. She has recovered now.

“She came over to stay and we chatted and worked out a lot of things going forward. We feel that we can make this work long-distance with someone on the ground training with her in workouts and providing constant honest feedback between. Of course, in the future we will aim to do some training camps together, but it is very flexible right now,” added Radcliffe.

Radcliffe continues to reside in Monaco, France, while Hasay lives in Arroyo Grande, California.

Radcliffe owned the marathon world record until Oct this year. She set the record at 2:15:25 in London 2004. The record stood until the same Chicago race where Hasay dropped out. Kenyan Brigid Kosgei crossed the finish line in the remarkable time of 2:14:04.

Radcliffe has also run the fifth and seventh fastest marathon times.

Her connection to Hasay may be from her husband’s (Gary Lough) connection to Salazar as both have coached multi-time worlds and Olympic gold medallist Mo Farah, who trained with the Nike Oregon Project as did Hasay.

“I have known her for a while now and got to know her better in the last couple of weeks,” shared Radcliffe. “I am really impressed with her mental strength and ability to focus on what is important. We have similar outlooks on a lot of things, training, competition, and lifestyle-related and I admire her style of racing and think she still has a lot of progress to come. The main thing now is getting fully healthy and as fit as possible by the trials.”

On February 29, 2020, Americans will take to the streets of Atlanta, GA to compete in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic marathon trials.

(11/24/2019) ⚡AMP
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Marathon debutante Piasecki wins in Florence

Britain’s Jessica Piasecki recorded the second-fastest time in the history of the Asics Firenze Marathon, winning the World Athletics Bronze Label road race in 2:25:29 on her debut at the distance on Sunday (24).

Ethiopia’s Nigussie Sahlesilassie Bekele took the honours in the men’s race with 2:10:14, just four seconds shy of the PB he set earlier this year.

A leading group formed by Piasecki, Kenya’s Salina Jebet, Viola Yator Jelagat, Ethiopia’s Mekash Dinknesh Tefera, Amelework Bosho Fikadu, and Burundi’s Elvanie Nimbona went through 15km in 52:34.

Tefera, the fastest runner in the field with a 2:23:12 PB from a few years ago, went to the front and reached the halfway mark in 1:14:31, closely followed by Piasecki, Yator and Jebet. Tefera and Piasecki then broke away, clocking 1:27:55 at 25km with a 14-second margin over Yator.

Piasecki launched her attack soon after, opening up an eight-second gap on Tefera by 35km, reached in 2:01:38.

The 29-year-old continued to ramp up the pace and by 40km her lead had grown to more than a minute. She crossed the finish line in 2:25:29 to move to third on the British all-time list. Only Lonah Salpeter, who won here in 2:24:17 last year, has recorded a faster time on this course. Tefera finished second with 2:26:47 ahead of Salina Jebet (2:30:28).

“The course was quite twisty, but it was an amazing race,” said Piasecki, the 2012 European U23 cross-country champion. “It was the first marathon race of my career and I achieved my goal of getting the Olympic qualifying standard for Tokyo. I can’t believe it.”

Her next goal is the 2020 London Marathon in April, which will double as the British trials for the Olympic Games.

A six-man group formed by Kenyans Kipkemoi Kiprono, Jackson Rutto Kemboi, Peter Kirui Cheruiyot, 2014 Florence winner Asbel Kipsang and Ethiopians Nigussie Sahlesilassie Bekele and Azmeraw Gereme Mengistu took the early lead, going through 10km in 30:15, 15km in 45:24, half way in 1:04:28 and 30km in 1:32:00.

Bekele stepped up the pace and broke away from Mengistu, going through the 35km mark in 1:47:18 with a lead of 24 seconds. Kipsang was further back in third place.

Bekele crossed the finish line in 2:10:14, missing his career best by just four seconds. It was his third consecutive 2:10 clocking of the year, having set PBs of 2:10:46 in Wuxi in March and 2:10:10 when winning in Stockholm in June.

“After 30km I tried to step up the pace,” said the winner. “I saw that my rivals were not able to keep up with my pace. I held on until the end.”

(11/24/2019) ⚡AMP
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Firenze Marathon

Firenze Marathon

This is Firenze (Florence) Marathon! Along the way you will be surrounded by centuries of art, history and culture, a unique emotion that can only be experienced by those who run in Florence. Thousands of sports people and enthusiasts from all over the world come to participate in this classic race on the last Sunday in November. The route takes...

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New York marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor is not ruling out running on the track at the Tokyo Olympics

Speaking in Nairobi on Monday, Kamworor rued the missed opportunity to win an Olympic gold medal back in Rio 2016 when he finished 11 clocking 27:31.94 in the 10,000m race.

Kamworor said he would prefer to run on the track in Tokyo in what he believes will offer him the best chance to secure the only medal missing from his illustrious collections.

"I might want to have a go on the track in Tokyo. It pains me that I still don't have an Olympic medal," he said.

Kamworor turned to marathon two years ago, winning the New York race in 2017 and 2019.

"The truth is if I was offered a chance to represent Kenya at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, certainly I will not turn it down. It is an honor to run for Kenya at international competitions, especially the Olympic Games. If it is in marathon, then I will not turn it down to competitively team up with the greatest marathoner of all time," said Kamworor.

With over 500 runners, especially in marathon, there is no dearth in talent for Kenya to pick the best three to compete at the Olympics.

Defending champion Eliud Kipchoge has put up his hand ready to retain his title should he be considered.

Kipchoge has run 14 marathons and has won 13, losing only once to compatriot Wilson Kipsang. Kipchoge and Kamworor are training mates and their partnership would certainly be good for the country.

"I could not have asked for a better friend in a training partner. You have to be flattered when a person of Kipchoge's caliber holds you in high esteem and train together day after day," said Kamworor.

Kipchoge ran a record 2:01:39 in Berlin last year, while Kamworor shattered the half marathon mark in Copenhagen, Denmark in September when he clocked 58.01.

Kipchoge also ran in Vienna, the fastest time by any human attaining his goal to write history as the first person to run the marathon in under two hours. He clocked 1:59.40 at the INEOS Challenge. However, it is not the world record because it was run as a time trial.

Kipchoge has said his management will select one race for him prior to the Olympic Games to see how sharp he is.

Kenya first won the Olympic gold medal through the late Samuel Wanjiru in Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

However, Uganda's Stephen Kiprotich won in London 2012 before Kipchoge retook the title in Rio 2016.

(11/20/2019) ⚡AMP
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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How Kenyan athletes are paid millions in the Richest Marathons in the World

For most elite marathoners, there is more at stake than just the glory of winning the race.

For these professional athletes, for instance, Eliud Kipchoge, there is a huge prize for crossing the finish line ahead of everyone in marathons such as Berlin, Boston, Bank of America Chicago marathons among many others. (The current exchange rate is 102 Kenya shillings to one US dollar.) 

Here we take a look at some of the top few marathons over the world that offer the highest prize money to athletes.

1. Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon.- The Dubai Marathon is the world’s richest marathon with the most expensive prize money of Sh.20 ($196,000US) million for first place winners and an additional Sh.10 ($98,000US) million for marathon world record bonus.

In January of 2008, the Dubai Marathon was the richest long-distance running event in history.

The winners received Sh.25 ($245,000US) million (more than double any prize money to that date) and a million-dollar offer from Dubai Holding if they set a world best according to the Standard Chartered Dubai marathon website

Getaneh Molla of Ethiopia and Kenya’s Ruth Chepngetich won the 20th edition of the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon.

2. Boston Marathon.- The Boston Marathon is the oldest marathon in the world established in 1887 by a non-profit organization with a mission of promoting a healthy lifestyle through sports, especially running. The top male and female finishers each receive Sh.15 ($145,000US) million with second place earning Sh.7.5 million and third takes home Sh.4 million according to Boston Marathon official website.

According to Forbes, there is a bonus prize of Sh.5 million for breaking the world's best time and Sh.2.5 for breaking the course record.

The most rewarded Boston runner of all time was four times champion Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot, a Kenyan runner who has earned a total of Sh.46.9 ($450,000US) million from the Boston race alone.

3. TCS New York City Marathon.- The first NYC Marathon was held in 1970, entirely in Central Park, with only 127 entrants, 55 finishers and a lone female racer, who dropped out because of an illness, according to TCS New York City Marathon website.

Today the TCS New York City Marathon prize purse totals a guaranteed Sh.70.5 ($670,000US) million. The men’s and women’s champion receive Sh.10million each, with an extra Sh.5 million for a time of sub-2:05:30 (men) and sub-2:22:30 (women).

4. London Marathon.- The first London Marathon, held on 29 March 1981, finished on Constitution Hill between Green Park and Buckingham Palace.

According to World Marathon majors today, the race winner earns Sh.5.5 million with second place taking home Sh.3 million

There are also financial rewards for finishing under certain times, with these differing for men and women.

 5. Bank of America Chicago Marathon.- This coveted race is a showcase of some of the top marathoners.

The prize money for winning the 2015 race was Sh.10 million, plus Sh.7.5 million if you set a course record and time bonuses (non-cumulative) of Sh.5.5 and below according to the Bank of America Chicago Marathon official website

6. The Berlin Marathon.- The race was founded in 1974 by a Berlin baker, Horst Milde, who combined his passion for running with a family bread and cake business

According to the Berlin Marathon official website, the prize money is as follows;

26.45 million-plus bonuses in 2018. Expected to be similar in 2019.

First place male: 4.6 million (10 deep) in 2018

First place female: 4.6 million (10 deep) in 2018

Bonuses of Sh.5million. Time bonuses available for 1st and 2nd places only Sh.3 million for first place sub-2:04:00 men, sub-2:19:00 women.

7. Seoul International Marathon.- Celebrating its 85th year running, the Seoul Marathon in South Korea is one of the most prestigious races.

The champion male and female finishers get to bring home Sh.8 million provided that they finish under 2:10:00 and 2:24:00 respectively Sh.4 million if they do not meet the target time) according to World Marathons.

According to the Seoul International Marathon, the world record bonuses are Sh.5million for men and Sh.3 million for women.

There is also a time bonus of Sh. million for sub-2:04:00 (male) and sub-2:18:00 (female); and other time bonuses amounting down to Sh. 500000

8. Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon.- Since the launch of the Marathon in 2003, only one winner has successfully defended their title. Every year the marathon produces new winners.

This year, the organizers increased the cash award for the 42km race prize money from Sh.1.5 million to Sh2million, according to the Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon official website.

The half marathon price has also been increased to Sh300, 000 while the 10km race will see a cash award of Sh200, 000.

(11/19/2019) ⚡AMP
by Joshua Ondeke
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Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

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

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Tara Welling Shares Her Experiences as a Member of the Nike Oregon Project coached by Alberto Salazar

Two weeks ago, high performance coach/elite meet director Jonathan Marcus reached out to LetsRun.com to share his experiences with Alberto Salazar and the Nike Oregon Project. During the process of fact-checking that story, we contacted Tara Welling, who ran for the Oregon Project from 2012-14 (and later Marcus), who said she preferred to tell her story in her own words.

Throughout college, I dealt with an eating disorder, but it never spiraled out of control until the summer/fall of 2012, my first year with the Oregon Project. I was 23 years old and going through a tough personal time with my mom being diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time. She lived alone and I felt a sense of guilt that I should not be leaving the country to follow my running dreams with the Oregon Project. I joined the group in Europe as they prepared for the Olympic Games. I was the only female and didn’t feel like I had anyone I could really open up with and talk to.

Tension was high and I wanted to be a great runner, but also wanted to be home with my family during this difficult time. When I joined the Oregon Project, I was 5-foot-4 and weighed around 100 lbs. During our time in Font Romeu and London, I dropped to around 88 lbs, stemming from my levels of stress and depression.

Alberto never weighed me during this time, but my weight loss was very apparent. I later learned that a teammate brought it up to Alberto during our time in Font Romeu. It wasn’t until after the Olympics that Alberto first talked to me about it. He said that he would get me all the help I needed.

Alberto set weight goals for me: first 95 lbs, then 98 lbs, and I would be allowed to race the USATF 5k and 10k road champs that fall if I hit those numbers. Alberto was very concerned about my weight and took me to the store to get high-calorie, nutrient-dense foods that would fuel me for my runs and help me gain healthy weight. I was told that when we got back to the States, he would help me get connected with a nutritionist, therapist, and doctors to keep me on track and help me get healthy, and I did eventually meet with a nutritionist and a therapist.

What hasn’t been made public yet is that my visit to Dr. [Jeffrey] Brown, in September 2012, was related to this process of helping me get healthy, including numerous tests that were done. Initially, this was something very difficult for me to share with USADA [during their investigation of Salazar and Dr. Brown] as it required reopening wounds which are still challenging for me to talk about. Until the USADA investigation, these details are something I hadn’t talked to anyone else about, outside of my parents and Alberto.

I ended up racing the 5k & 10k champs that fall and eventually found a steady weight. A little while later I was up to ~105 lbs and had been following my lifting program per our strength coach Dave McHenry and Alberto. I was then told my arms were getting too muscular and I needed to lose a few pounds. I stopped lifting heavier weights on my upper body and was limited to only bodyweight exercises so I didn’t have to “carry extra weight.” 

Alberto constantly said I should look like Kara Goucher and Genzebe Dibaba. He also said I should be 100 lbs with a low body fat percentage, but muscular. It was confusing and I found it mentally difficult when I had to lose weight and look like other runners when I was not them. It was a constant comparison battle. I was often weighed with the underwater scale and had body measurements done via skinfold measurement. I was never weighed publicly or in front of teammates, but Alberto was always present.

In summary, I felt like weight was certainly a focus and embedded into the training process. I did witness Alberto weighing other athletes and criticizing their weight (both men and women). For me, it wasn’t always “less is better” in terms of weight. I had a target weight that Alberto felt was “healthy” but also ideal for performance and he wanted to do everything to help ensure I was at that (which was 100 pounds in his mind).

I do wish things would have been different. I wish I sought more advice apart from the doctors and therapists that Alberto had available. At the time, I felt like I didn’t have a choice and I had to prove to him that I was getting healthy and gaining weight. I didn’t feel like I had much of a say and it was a “do-as-you’re-told” type of culture. But at the time, I felt that Alberto had my best interests as an athlete in mind, and I had no reason not to trust him.

I left the Oregon Project in the winter of 2014. By that point, I was solely working with [NOP assistant] Pete Julian as I felt he better understood how I responded to training. I was told that if I wanted to remain with the Oregon Project, I had to win the USATF Club Cross Country Championships in December 2014 and prove that I could compete at a high level. I placed second that year in Bethlehem, Pa., and I was not re-signed.

After leaving the Oregon Project, I later found the fun in training again and somewhat let go of an ideal race weight. I lowered my PRs in the 1500, 3k, 5k, 10k, and won two national road titles (15k and half marathon) before competing at the Olympic Trials in the 5k and 10k in 2016. I’d be lying if I said I was 100% recovered from my eating disorder and tendencies, but I’ve found ways to manage it much better.

(11/19/2019) ⚡AMP
by Tara Weiling
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2020 Diamond League meetings have been confirmed

The Diamond League has released the 2020 Diamond disciplines, revealing which meetings will host which disciplines during the course of next season

As in previous years, the world’s top athletes will compete for points on the road to the final as they bid for a ticket to the Diamond League final and a shot at the Diamond trophy.

In each discipline, those who have picked up the most points will earn a starting place in Zurich on 11 September 2020 and the chance to be crowned Diamond League champion.

The 11th season of the Diamond League, which will commence in Doha on 17 April, is comprised of the 15 best track and field invitational meetings in the world.

The meetings form the top tier of World Athletics’ global one-day meeting competition structure and are spread across Asia, Europe, Africa and North America with US$8 million in prize money on offer across the series.

2020 Diamond League calendar

17 April – Doha, 10 May – China (city tbc), 16 May – Shanghai, 24 May – Stockholm, 28 May – Rome, 31 May – Rabat, 7 June – Eugene, 11 June – Oslo, 13 June – Paris

4 July – London, 10 July – Monaco, 16 August – Gateshead, 20 August – Lausanne, 4 September – Brussels, 11 September – Zurich

(11/18/2019) ⚡AMP
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Olympic champion Vivian Cheruiyot is back in training after shaking off a recurrent tendon injury that has kept her off competition for over three months, but now is set for Valencia marathon

Cheruiyot, 36, has only run two races this year, as she finished second at the London Marathon behind compatriot and World marathon record holder Brigid Kosgei and won the Lisbon half marathon back in March.

She was due to a challenge for the Berlin marathon in September, but the injury stopped her. Now Cheruiyot believes she is back in form and will seek a good performance on her sixth marathon career in the Spanish city in Valencia on Dec. 1.

"I am back in training," said Cheruiyot on Friday. "The focus is to gauge the body and see good performance. The injury denied me a big opportunity in Berlin. It was frustrating after a lot of training, the injury flared up again."

The diminutive athlete has been seeking medication in Germany and Kenya and hopes her injury worries are over for the time being.

Cheruiyot will face strong opposition from Ethiopians Roza Dereje and Birhane Dibaba, both of whom have broken the two-hour-20-minute barrier for the distance.

Fellow Ethiopian Zeineba Yimer, who has clocked 65 minutes 46 seconds for the half marathon, makes her full marathon debut.

"At this stage of competition, there are no simple challenges. Everyone enters a race with the hope of winning. However, for me, I run my own race and my strength and inspiration is drawn from what I want to attain," she added.

Cheruiyot remains one of the top marathon women runners in the country and in contention to make the Kenya team to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

However, that will be dependent on her performance in Valencia and then next year in London.

Organizers of the Valencia marathon have also confirmed that the men's race will have former World Indoor bronze medalist Augustine Choge, who will be making his debut in the marathon. Choge had a false start in Chicago last year and pulled out after just 10km.

In Valencia, he hopes to make a new start in his quest to emulate his mentor and training mate World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge. Choge will battle it out with Ethiopians Getaneh Molla (2:03:34), Herpasa Negasa (2:03:40) and reigning champion Leul Gebrselassie (2:04:02).

In total, the men's race features 12 runners, who have run 2:06.00 personal best time and another 22 with a best time of two hours and 10 minutes.

(11/16/2019) ⚡AMP
by Mu Xuequan
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VALENCIA TRINIDAD ALFONSO MARATHON

VALENCIA TRINIDAD ALFONSO MARATHON

Sammy Kiprop Kitwara set a Spanish all-comers’ record at the 2017 Maraton Valencia Trinidad Alfonso, the 31-year-old Kenyan produced a 2:05:15 effort to finish almost a full minute inside the previous record, moving to seventh on this year’s world list in the process. Ethiopia’s Aberu Mekuria Zennebe won the women’s race in 2:26:17 to improve on her fourth-place finish from...

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At least US$2.5million in extra revenue will be made available for a comprehensive integrity programme for road running in 2020, under a new funding scheme announced by World Athletics and the Athletics Integrity Unit

World Athletics has today announced a schedule of more than 165 Label road events that will be held in 2020, including the first Platinum Label races.

Each race will contribute to the system approved by the World Athletics Council this year, by which the financial burden for out-of-competition drug testing is shared by all road race stakeholders – organisers, athlete managers and athletes.

Races will contribute according to their status: Platinum marathons $66,667, Gold marathons $15,000, Silver marathons $10,000 and Bronze marathons $5,000; Platinum road races $20,000, Gold road races $10,000, Silver road races $5,000 and bronze road races $2,500.

The list of Label events that will take place from January to September 2020 was released today. More races will be added when their race dates are confirmed. 

Their contributions, together with the fees managers pay for their athletes included in the testing pool – $500 for Gold status athletes and $1000 for Platinum – and the 1.5% levy on prize money that athletes agreed to contribute, make up the bulk of the fund. In all, that means some US$2.6 to 3.2 million in funding will be available in 2020. The programme, which includes out-of-competition testing, investigation and education, will be carried out by the Athletics Integrity Unit.

The list of Gold and Platinum status athletes for 2020, determined by their position in the world rankings, was also released today.

“This is a brilliant example of our key stakeholders coming together to protect the integrity of our sport,’’ World Athletics CEO Jon Ridgeon said. “I would like to thank our athletes, race directors and athlete managers for supporting this important scheme, which will greatly enhance the Athletics Integrity Unit’s efforts to ensure that all leading road runners are subject to a comprehensive anti-doping programme.’’

Under the previous system, the AIU and IAAF had funding to test just the first 50 athletes (the marathon and half marathon athletes) in the testing pool, which left an alarming shortfall in out-of-competition testing of athletes who compete on the rapidly expanding and increasingly lucrative road running circuit. World Athletics granted 103 races label status in 2017. That number grew to 114 in 2018 and 136 in 2019.

David Howman, Chairman of the Athletics Integrity Unit, said: “This is a great reflection on the commitment to integrity of the road running industry. It is encouraging that so many races, athletes and managers have signed up to make tangible financial contribution to address the challenges in a proactive manner. 

“With this new funding we will be able to put together a comprehensive integrity programme that will ensure that a level playing field can be enjoyed by all road runners. We are in advance stage of planning its implementation and this will begin with extensive education sessions this December in Ethiopia and Kenya, where a vast majority of the Platinum and Gold Label athletes are based.”

Platinum Label to debut in 2020.- The new Platinum Label races, first announced in 2018, will be introduced in 2020. Nine races have been granted Platinum status thus far, with up to three more late season races to be confirmed early next year.

Platinum Label races are required to have at least three athletes with Platinum Status, per gender, and at least four athletes with Gold Status (or higher) start the race and compete with a bonafide effort. (2020 Label Road Race regulations).

The number of Platinum Status athletes for 2020 will be fixed at 30 per gender and determined in a two-phase process. The first, based on positions in the world rankings on 15 October 2019, will include the top 19 ranked athletes in the 'marathon' event group, the top three ranked athletes in the 'road running' event group (excluding any athletes who acquired Platinum Status in the 'marathon' group) and the top ranked athlete in the '10,000m' event group (excluding any athletes who acquired Platinum Status in the 'marathon' and 'road running' event groups).

The second phase will add seven more athletes, per gender, based on positions in the world rankings on 28 January 2020: the top four ranked athletes in the 'marathon' group, the top two in the 'road running' group and the top one in the 10,000m event group who had not yet achieved Platinum Status.

World Athletics Platinum Label events, Tokyo Marathon, Nagoya Women’s Marathon, Seoul Marathon, BAA Boston Marathon, Virgin Money London Marathon, Media Maratón de Bogotá, BMW Berlin MarathonBank of America Chicago MarathonTCS New York City Marathon

(11/16/2019) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Veteran Bernard Lagat and Chris Brown have both announced plans to hopefully compete in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Not too long ago, professional athletes rarely produced world-class results after they passed their mid-thirties and ventured into their forties. Today, however, athletes like Roger Federer and Serena Williams (both 38 years old), Tom Brady (42) and Tiger Woods (43) are proving that age is just a number, each continuing to find success in their sports. 

American Bernard Lagat and Chris Brown of the Bahamas are also looking to prove they’ve still got what it takes to compete with the world’s best, with both men recently announcing they will attempt to qualify for their sixth Olympic team each.

Chris Brown, a 400m runner, is 41 years old. He has competed at each Summer Games since Sydney in 2000, where he picked up a bronze medal in the 4 x 400m relay with the Bahamian team. The Athens Games were the only ones from which Brown has returned home without a medal. He and his teammates added three more in the 4 x 400m after Sydney, winning gold in London, silver in Beijing and another bronze in Rio. 

He currently coaches the Clayton State University track team in Georgia. His bio on the Clayton State track page reads that he joined the team “following a tremendous international career,” but Brown announced that he isn’t quite finished on the world stage. 

Brown told the Bahamian paper the Nassau Guardian that although he took a year off of competing since joining the Clayton State staff, he hasn’t stopped training. 

“My body is still active and ready to compete at any minute now,” he said. “I just try and maintain and keep my body consistent with what it has been doing.” 

From the 2008 to the 2016 Olympics, Lagat competed in the 5,000m. His focus is now on the marathon, a distance which he has only raced twice. His first shot at 42K was at the New York City Marathon in 2018, where he ran a 2:17:20. In July 2019, he travelled to Australia and set an American masters record of 2:12:10 at the Gold Coast Marathon. 

Lagat will be at the US Olympic Trials in Atlanta on February 29 to book his ticket for the 2020 Olympic marathon. If he makes the team, he’ll be 45 years old at the start line in Sapporo.  

Brown isn’t just looking for a fun, lighthearted Olympic finale–he wants to help the Bahamian team to continue their success in the 4 x 400m. If Brown makes the team, he could be running with Steven Gardiner, a fellow Bahamian who won the 400m world championship a month ago in Doha, who would be a huge addition to the already stellar cast of previous 400m runners from the Bahamas.

Bernard Lagat Like Brown, the 44-year-old Lagat has competed on the track of each Summer Olympics since 2000. Lagat won a medal in his first two Olympic appearances, taking a bronze in 2000 and silver in 2004, both in the 1,500m. At that time, he was competing for Kenya, where he was born and raised. In 2005, however, Lagat became an American citizen, and he has represented the U.S. ever since. 

(11/13/2019) ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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Edna Kiplagat, one of the world's top marathon runners plans to compete in the 2019 Manchester Road Race

One of the world's greatest marathon runners will compete at the 83rd Manchester Road Race on Thanksgiving Day. Race officials announced Monday that Edna Kiplagat, who won the 26.2-mile event at the World Championships in 2011 and 2013, will return to Manchester after a two-year absence.

She finished fourth at the 2016 MRR with a time of 24:34.

Kiplagat, who turns 40 on Nov., 15, grew up in Kenya and recently relocated to the Boulder, Colorado area. She won the 2017 Boston Marathon, the 2014 London Marathon, and the New York City and Los Angeles Marathons, both in 2010. Kiplagat recorded her best time for the event in 2012 when she placed second behind Mary Keitany at the London Marathon in 2:19:50.

The mother of five children and a former police physical fitness instructor in Kenya, Kipligat was the runner-up at the Boston Marathon last April, and finished fourth in the marathon at the 2019 World Championships, which were held last month in Doha, Qatar.

Kiplagat will join Olympic silver medalist Sally Kipyego in a highly competitive womens elite field at the annual 4.78-mile Thanksgiving Day run through Manchester's central streets.

The 83rd Manchester Road Race is scheduled will take place on Nov. 28 at 10 a.m.

(11/12/2019) ⚡AMP
by Chris Dehnel
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Manchester Road Race

Manchester Road Race

The Manchester Road race is one of New England’s oldest and most popular road races. The 80th Manchester Road Race will be held on Thanksgiving Day. It starts and finishes on Main Street, in front of St. James Church. The Connecticut Sports Writers’ Alliance recently honored the Manchester Road Race. The CSWA, which is comprised of sports journalists and broadcasters...

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Marathon world record holder Brigid Kosgei is one of five finalists for the Female World Athlete 2019 award

Last month the Kenyan broke Briton Paula Radcliffe's 16-year-old world record, running a time of 2hrs 14mins 04secs to win the Chicago Marathon.

Kosgei, 25, also became the youngest winner of the London marathon in April.

American Dalilah Muhammad, Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Venezuelan Yulimar Rojas and the Netherlands' Sifan Hassan are also up for the award.

Sprinter Fraser-Pryce won the world 100m and 4x100m titles in world-leading times of 10.71 and 41.44 in Doha, while Hassan broke the world mile record with a time of 4:12:33 in Monaco.

Triple-jumper Rojas won nine of her 12 competitions, including gold at the World Championships with 15.37m, while Muhammad set a new world record of 52.16 in the 400m hurdles in Doha.

Britain's world heptathlon gold medallist Katarina Johnson-Thompson missed out on the shortlist, having featured among the initial 11 nominees.

The male and female World Athletes of the Year will be announced live on stage at the World Athletics Awards 2019 in Monaco on Saturday 23 November.

(11/12/2019) ⚡AMP
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Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Running the Bank of America Chicago Marathon is the pinnacle of achievement for elite athletes and everyday runners alike. On race day, runners from all 50 states andmore than 100 countries will set out to accomplish a personal dream by reaching the finish line in Grant Park. The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is known for its flat and fast...

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Sinead Diver proved again that age is no barrier as the 42-year-old finished fifth at the New York City Marathon

Proving again that age is no barrier to the distance or pace of elite marathon running, Sinead Diver finished a superb fifth best woman in the New York Marathon, her time of 2:26:23 equally rewarding over what is one of the toughest of all the big city courses.

Improving on her seventh place finish in the London Marathon back in April, Diver was also closing fast on the fourth-placed Nancy Kiprop from Kenya, finishing just two seconds behind, the top four women all from the East African nations that typically dominate the long distances. 

Although quietly insistent about not making a big deal about her age, now just four months shy of her 43rd birthday, Diver’s performance is among the most impressive in the now 49 years of the New York Marathon, especially given the mother of two, who still works full-time as a software developer, only took up running at 33.

Her best time remains the 2:24:11 she clocked in London just six months ago, although New York is rarely a place to run records of any sort. Still very much the Irish woman running for Australia - as Diver is happy and proud to put it - it’s also the best Irish performance in the race after Mark Carroll took sixth place in the men’s race in 2002.

With outright victory and the $100,000 top prize going to Kenya’s Joyciline Jepkosgei in 2:22:38, just seven seconds shy of the course record and the second fastest women’s time ever run in New York, this was also one of the most competitive races in those 49 years.

Kenya’s four-time previous winner Mary Keitany was broken by Jepkosgei in the closing miles and ended up second in 2:23:33, with the top Ethiopian Ruti Aga, who won the Tokyo Marathon back in March, third in 2:25:51.

Unlike the other Marathon Majors, New York also doesn’t employ pacemakers, male or female, which also makes it a true run race. Diver actually put herself at the very front from just after the starting canon, setting the pace from the start on Staten Island and over the Verrazzano Bridge into Brooklyn.

Diver then endured a slight detour around the three-mile when directed to the wrong side of a course crash barrier, forcing her to duck under some race tap to escape, but she quickly regained her composure.

After the East African women pressed ahead before halfway, Diver held her own pace, passing halfway in 1:12:02, average out at 5:35-mile pace: the American Desiree Linden, former winner of the Boston Marathon, who also set the pace early on, was reeled in over the final miles and ended up sixth 2:26:46, still one of the fastest times by any American run in New York.

With around 52,500 starters, the biggest of the big city marathons, the testing course, winds through the Five Boroughs, before finishing up through the rolling hills of Central Park, rarely lets up and neither did Diver. 

“New York will be hilly and I prefer flat courses, but the experience of just racing for placing will be great practice leading into Tokyo,” she said beforehand, her 2:24:11 from London almost certain to get her on the start line for that Olympic marathon next summer, where she be will representing Australia, and the clearly now not unrealistic medal contender. 

New York will likely be her last marathon before the Olympics. Having missed out on Rio 2016 due to a knee injury caused by the cuboid bone in her foot, competing in Tokyo will be extra special for Diver.

Recently taking a small leave of absence from here full-time work as a software developer in order to prepare of for New York, she said: “If you feel good enough to do it then give it a go,” she says about racing so competitively at age 42. “Nobody else can tell you what your body is capable of. There is nothing to suggest that when you turn 40 you need to fall apart. It hasn’t happened for me and I feel fitter than I was ten years ago. If I can do it then I can’t see why other people can’t do it too.”

She’s come a long way from her native Belmullet in Mayo, then Limerick and now Melbourne, where she moved in 2002 with her Limerick-born husband Colin, now also home to their two sons young Eddie (nine) and Dara (six).

Just over a month ago she clocked an excellent 31:25:49 to finish 14th in the World Championships 10,000m in the searing heat of Doha, a world record for a woman over the age of 40. Her 2:24:11 in London improved by over a minute the 2:25:19 she ran to win the Melbourne Marathon in October 2018, that already the second fastest ever by an Irish woman, her London time now the third fastest by Australian standards.

Her remarkable running story (and unfortunate “switch” to Australia, after Athletics Ireland refused to select her for the 2015 World Championship marathon in Beijing) has been told before: within six months of winning Melbourne last year, Diver also improved her track times over 5,000m (15:23.65) and 10,000m (31:50.98), before running 1:08:55 for the half marathon in Japan in February, also the fastest ever time for a woman over the age of the 40. 

Geoffrey Kamworor made it a Kenyan double by winner the men’s race in 2:08:13, the best non-African finisher there being the American Jared Ward in sixth, in 2:10:45, making Diver the outright best non-African finisher on the day. Superb running by any standards.

(11/03/2019) ⚡AMP
by Ian O’Riordan
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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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Welsh runner Natasha Cockram breaks national marathon record despite being kicked by a horse four days earlier

Heard the one about the woman who got kicked by a horse and four days later broke the Welsh marathon record?

Natasha Cockram set a new national women's record of 2hr 30min 50sec, finishing fifth in the Dublin Marathon.

Remarkably, she completed the feat just two years after her first race, four days after being kicked in the leg by a horse and despite working full time.

"I didn't have the best week before the race," Cockram told BBC Sport Wales. "I was in panic mode after the kick!"

'I didn't think I would even make my flight'

Cockram's rise in Welsh athletics has been extremely fast, having fallen off the radar because of injuries after a promising junior career.

She had not even run the marathon distance until 2017, but she ran so well in Dublin (running 2:49:37) that she decided to try and take athletics more seriously.

On Sunday at the same venue the Cwmbran runner beat the previous Welsh best of 2:31:33 set by Susan Tooby at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul and did it despite having a big bruise on her knee.

Cockram rescued a horse and when she went to visit it last Wednesday, got an unpleasant surprise.

"I didn't have the best week. On Wednesday I went to check on my horse and I got kicked by another horse in the field," she said.

"So I had a bit of panic mode and didn't think I'd even make my flight to Dublin, let alone the race.

"It did cross my mind when it happened I might not be able to race. I was straight on to the phone to the Welsh athletics physio, but he assured me it was just a bruise.

"It didn't hurt during the race, my leg went numb in mile 18... but I pushed through.

"It didn't really register right away that I had broken the record, I knew I had the time, but I think I was more disappointed I didn't get the Olympic standard, as I was on course to hit it."

Full time work and told she would never run again

Cockram is now targeting a place at the Tokyo Olympics after finishing 80 seconds short of the Team GB marathon qualifying time.

She says she will run the Houston Marathon in January and the London Marathon as she looks to hit the Olympic mark of 2:29:30, having just failed to do so in breaking the Welsh record.

Her success is all the more amazing considering she is not a full time athlete and has suffered with severe injury issues.

"I always liked the idea of doing a marathon. Dublin in 2017 was my first one so it's a good place for me. I have always liked the distance and I have always looked up to people like Paula Radcliffe, I would watch her race as a child," she explained.

"I did Dublin in 2017 more for fun but I ran two hours 49 seconds and thought that was a pretty amazing time and I should do it more seriously again."

At that point Cockram, who went to university in the USA, had all but given up on running professionally.

"I headed out to university as quite a high achieving junior, but university didn't go my way, I think I was over-training and then I got quite a serious injury and was told I would never run again," she added.

"Just to be running again is a blessing. I tore the tendon in my knee and had my patella bone scraped, it is just a serious surgery. Quite a few doctors here said it would be a career ending injury, so I headed back out to the USA to talk to doctors until one said he would give it a go.

"I went into surgery and came out and it took me about two years to get back running."

All eyes now on Tokyo 2020

Cockram works full time for the Welsh Government and admits it is only after breaking the Welsh record that is has dawned on her that Olympic qualification is a realistic aim, having previously mixed training with a 'normal' career.

"Most days I am out of bed at 4, 4.30am to train then and I do a full day's work before training in the evening until about 9.30pm," she said.

"A normal Monday would be a ten mile run in the morning, followed by working all day and then heading straight over to Sport Wales to do strength and conditioning training and then head out for another run and then home and to bed. Repeat it again for the rest of the week!

"I have not run any major championships yet, which is weird to say when I am talking about Tokyo, but I don't see why I can't give it a go.

"I think knocking off 80 seconds is something I can do, especially as things didn't really go my way in Dublin, even leading into the week before.

"Before the race the Olympics didn't seem realistic at all, I was thinking more about 2024, but as the race went on, I was close and now I've definitely got to go for Tokyo 2020.

"My consistency of training, working with my coach and Welsh athletics, it has all contributed to my times getting better and better."

Cockram knows she may have to make sacrifices at work to turn her Olympic dream into a reality.

"I do value my work and life outside of running, but I think to improve and go to the Olympics I will need to be thinking about sponsorship and at least dropping some of my hours in work," she said.

"I don't really sleep enough for an athlete or have the right recovery time, so I would like to give it a go as a full time athlete.

"The motivation is the fact I love it. Even when it hurts I enjoy it and now the Olympics being on the cards is the goal to keep me going."

(11/02/2019) ⚡AMP
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KBC Dublin Marathon

KBC Dublin Marathon

The KBC Dublin Marathon, which is run through the historic Georgian streets of Dublin, Ireland's largest and capital city.The course is largely flat and is a single lap, starting and finishing close to the City Centre. Conditions formarathon running are ideal....

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