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Articles tagged #London Marathon
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5 Marathons Down, One to Go: Takeaways From Shalane Flanagan’s Fall “Eclipse”

The retired 2017 New York City Marathon champion takes inventory of how her attempt to complete six marathons in seven weeks has gone so far (October 18).

Shalane Flanagan has 131 miles worth of World Marathon Majors down since September 26 and 26.2 miles to go on November 7, at the New York City Marathon, to complete all six races this fall. So far? She’s still in one piece and in good spirits, she said.

This fall, Flanagan embarked on what she dubbed “the eclipse,” what we all hope is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to run all the major marathons in one season—and, in fact, just seven weeks—due to the rescheduling of big events during the pandemic. On Monday, Flanagan ran her own version of a Tokyo Marathon, the only in-person event that was canceled due to COVID-19, on a 12.4-mile looped flat course near her home in Portland, Oregon. She feared it might be the hardest one, lacking the energy and enthusiasm of the crowds, but she finished in 2:35:14—far from the “slow” time she predicted three days beforehand.

“I think this one is going to be the toughest to really get after it,” she said on Friday. “I’m going to guess that this will be my slowest one, though it will be fun with some friends and family out there.”

Flanagan, 40, retired from pro running in 2019, but she hasn’t retired from challenging goals, hoping to not just finish the 26.2-mile courses, but clock sub-three-hours on all of them. In addition to her race on Monday, she ran Boston on October 11 in 2:40:34, the day after she had clocked 2:46:39 in Chicago. Prior to that, Flanagan ran 2:35:04 on October 3 at the London Marathon and 2:38:32 on September 26 in Berlin.

Flanagan spoke with Women’s Running on Friday by phone to talk about how she’s measuring her effort, recovering, and learning valuable strategies along the way. Here are a few takeaways before she takes on the grand finale on November 7, at the New York City Marathon, a race she won in 2017.

You can let the pace come to you.

Flanagan has never experienced racing that is solely dictated by how she feels at the starting line. When it was her job to compete, the strategy was not always up to her—it was largely guided by the field.

“It’s fun because we figure out how hard we want to work each day—when you’re an elite, the race and other people are influencing how you run,” she said. “It’s now up to me on the day, how much I want to suffer. It’s a completely different dynamic. It’s like a different sport to me.”

The result? After racing the Boston Marathon five times, 2021 was the most enjoyable one yet. And the recreational athletes running around her are equally thrilled. One even pulled out a phone to FaceTime a friend to show he was racing with Flanagan.

“Normally I never feel in control at Boston. I get to mile 17 and I feel like trash. I never feel full of running, with the exception of maybe my first Boston because it was a kind of slow race. But the other times, the wheels were coming off and I didn’t enjoy it,” Flanagan said. “This was just a completely different experience and it was so fun and refreshing to have that.”

To decide on pace, Flanagan said she’s been looking at the weather, considering if she has a friend to run with that day, and how she feels when she starts. Then she lets the pace reveal itself.

“What feels sustainable, knowing that I’m not going max effort in any one of these?” she said. “Where’s that fine line that I can still recover as fast as possible but still dip my toe into that uncomfortable-ness that I’m craving?”

But even seasoned pros make rookie mistakes.

Although London was only her second race, it took a lot out of Flanagan, mostly because she made a mistake all of us can relate to: she went out too fast. She still finished in 2:35:04, but suffered during the second half (she ran 1:15:04 in the first 13.1 miles and 1:20:00 for the second).

“I had a cold and ran way too hard. That was the low so far,” Flanagan said. “I thought I maybe got myself in a pickle, with the [swollen] ankle, the cold, and all the travel, I was a little bit nervous about the whole thing. But now I can sniff the barn. I’ve physically rebounded.”

It was also the one race that she didn’t have a friend to run with, so she started in the wave with the sub-elite men.

“There was this vibe of competitiveness and of course I’m a competitive person so I fed off of it,” she said. “Then I got to 20 miles and I was like, ‘Uh-oh, You shouldn’t have done that.’ It backfired big for me. I learned my lesson on that one. That’s not the point of what I’m doing.”

Recovery is the name of the game.

Between the marathons, Flanagan pulls out all the old recovery tricks she’s learned along the way. Although unconvinced that ice baths make a big difference, she still did one between the back-to-back Chicago and Boston marathons. The travel and the running produce a lot of inflammation. She gets massages and physical therapy work twice a week after having no body work since stepping away from competition.

During her preparation before the attempt began in Berlin, she tried back-to-back long runs, including a 21-miler on a flat course at 6:40 pace followed by a hilly 21-miler at 6:20 pace the next day. When it came to the real-life scenario, she ended up feeling better in Boston than she did the day before in Chicago (“Which is kind of weird and kind of blew my mind,” she said.)

“I did a really good job hydrating, knowing those two were both going to be pretty humid marathons,” she said. “I think that’s why I came back well in Boston, because I did such a good job fueling and hydrating in Chicago, but I’ve been nonstop hungry since then.”

Reconstructed knees can take it, so far.

After retirement from competition in 2019, Flanagan had surgery on both of her knees and a long rehabilitation period afterward. So far, she hasn’t felt any pain and she’s worked with the Nike Sports Research Lab to have scans of her tendons and knees to monitor any damage through her training a racing.

“When I get back from each segment, they scan them to make sure the tissue in my knees is OK,” Flanagan said. “Anecdotally, I feel nothing and we’re actually seeing a strengthening of my quads—there’s no breakdown, which is incredible. My knees actually feel better than they did a year ago.”

The only hiccups so far occurred after the London Marathon, when she caught a cold and had a bit of an ankle flair up. It looked like she rolled the ankle, but she didn’t.

“London by far was the hardest for me. I didn’t pace myself well, so I had to stop and walk,” Flanagan said. “I was really tentative between London and Chicago. I didn’t run very much. The ankle was a low-level irritation. Maybe I tied my shoes too tight and got a tendon irritation? I have no idea what I would have done, but my physical therapist has been taping it to give it more stabilization.”

The super shoes help.

While the runner still needs to power the body over 26.2 miles, it’s no great secret that the newest models of shoes, like the Nike AlphaFly, can help ease the wear and tear on the legs, absorbing more of the shock as we pound the pavement day in and day out. Flanagan believes that the technology is a nice tool to have to reach her audacious goal.

“I think the foam is definitely a game changer in terms of shock absorption,” she said. “It’s been to my benefit to be able to come back. But at the end of the day, if you still aren’t fit enough to keep up with the shoes, you can still walk like I did in London. But typically my quads are sore after Boston. I have some other soreness but the shoe allows a quicker recovery.”

The New York City Marathon finish line will be a special place, once again.

When Flanagan won the 2017 New York City Marathon, it was the victory of her career. She had always believed she had the ability to win a World Marathon Major but as she edged toward the end of her competitive days, she started losing hope that it might be a box she would leave unchecked.

When she approached the finish line that year, with a fist pump and a “f*ck yes!” the stretch of Central Park by Tavern on the Green instantly became sacred ground. But after completing six marathons in seven weeks, will it be doubly so?

“I think any time people set hard goals and achieve them, yeah I think it’ll be a big celebration with my team who’s helped me do this. We’ve had so much fun and I’ll be sad that it’s over, to a degree because I’ve formed a really great team around me to do this and we’ve had a blast,” Flanagan said. “But it’ll be fun to dream up another adventure. There’s great phases in life to have these crazy things going on and then it’ll be nice to get back to some normalcy, not traveling the world running marathons.”

(10/22/2021) Views: 100 ⚡AMP
by Erin Strout (Women’s Running)
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The 2022 edition of Lagos City Marathon will return to full capacity

Organizers of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon have confirmed the Silver Label race will be returning to full capacity for its next edition billed for February 12, 2022.

This development means the event will join other elite races across the world to return as a full race with about 80,000 to 100,000 runners expected to participate in the full marathon and the 10km fun run.

This was revealed by Yussuf Alli, the General Manager, Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, in an official press statement.

The 2021 edition of the Access Bank Lagos City was an elites only race because of COVID-, with only 300 athletes participating.

Other elite races like London, Tokyo, and others were also elites only races, while many races were outrightly cancelled.

But since September 2021, label races that were elites only in 2021 or were cancelled, have returned as full races, with thousands of runners.

These include the Berlin Marathon, London Marathon, Chicago Marathon, Boston Marathon, and others.

New York Marathon is slated for November 7, while other races are slated for the latter part of the year. Early in 2022 will be the Amsterdam Marathon, Dubai Tokyo, Paris, Houston, and others.

Mr Alli revealed that the World Athletics and Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) are excited that the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon will return as a full race.

“I also want to use this medium to assure our numerous runners, especially the 10km fun runners who came to our office or contacted us on phone, emails, and via our website that on February 12, 2022, we will have a full race and that it will include the 10km race. I appeal to intending runners to step up their training”.

The General Manager also said there will be a world press conference the first week of November 2021 to unveil plans for the 2022 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon.

“This is our 7th edition. We are the first marathon in Nigeria to organize the 7th edition. We are also the first race to win a World Athletics Bronze Label in Africa after two editions and the first in the world to win the prestigious Silver Label after four editions.

“Last year, World Athletics gave us the Elite Road Race Label, we are one of the most sought after elite races in the world, in terms of prize money we rank among the top 10 in the world and in the number of participants we are top five in the world, I could go and on.

“To achieve all these before our seventh edition calls for celebration and the celebration is not just for staff, sponsors and vendors but for the media and thousands of runners that love and throng our race,” added Mr Alli.

(10/22/2021) Views: 52 ⚡AMP
by Tunde Eludini
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Access Bank Lagos City Marathon

Access Bank Lagos City Marathon

“The IAAF and AIMS have a special interest in the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon so if you see their top officials at the third edition, don’t be surprised. Lagos is one of the few marathons in the world that got an IAAF Label after just two editions. This is a rare feat. The event had over 50,000 runners at...

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Eliud Kipchoge and Joshua Cheptegei to battle for best male athlete award

Olympics men's marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge will be hoping for a hattrick of awards after he was nominated for the World Athletics Male Athlete of the Year award alongside nine others. 

The world record holder for the men's marathon was crowned victor in 2018 and 2019 but missed out last year, which came almost two months after a disappointing outing at the London Marathon where he finished a shocking eighth due to fitness complications. 

Kipchoge has since bounced back handsomely from that setback to win a second successive Olympic marathon title in Tokyo, a couple of months after he excelled at the NN Mission Marathon in Twente, the Netherlands. 

However, it will not be an easy passage to the throne for the Kenyan as the other nine competitors have an equal claim to the top gong owing to their stellar seasons. 

Among them is Ugandan Joshua Cheptegei who finally clinched his first Olympic gold at the Tokyo Games in August, timing 12:58.15 to win the men's 5000m. 

The 10,000m world champion and world record holder also came away from the Japanese capital with a silver medal in the 16-lap race.

A world lead of 8:09.55 in 5000m at the Prefontaine Classic was the icing on the cake for the Ugandan who has been one of the standout athletes in the world for the past two years. 

Voting ends on November 6 and is open to WA Council, WA Family whereas fans can vote via WA's social media pages. 

Other nominees:

Sweden's Mondo Duplantis (Olympic and world pole vault champion); Norway's Jakob Ingebrigsten (Olympic 1500m champion); Portugal's Pedro  Richardo (Olympic triple jump champion); Ryan Crouser (Olympic and Diamond league shot put champion); Norway's Karsten Warholm (Olympic 400m hurdles and world record holder); Canadian Damian Warner (Olympic decathlon champion); Greece's Miltiadis Tentoglou (Olympic long jump champion) and Sweden's Daniel Stahl (Olympic discus champion).

(10/22/2021) Views: 38 ⚡AMP
by Omondi Onyatta
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Ruth Chepngetich went out at world record pace in Chicago

In the first major race in the U.S. since the pandemic began, the American women had their best showing at the Chicago Marathon since 1994 Sunday October 10.  

Ruth Chepngetich of Kenya did it the hardest way possible, but after starting the 2021 Chicago Marathon at a blistering pace, she held on for the win on Sunday, finishing in 2:22:31. Emma Bates and Sara Hall placed second and third, respectively—the first time since 1994 that two American women finished the race in the top three.

Chepngetich, 27, was racing among some of the elite men in the first half of the race, touching a potential 2:11 finish time at one point (the world record is 2:14:04, set by Brigid Kosgei at the 2019 Chicago Marathon). She began to slow right before hitting 13.1 miles in 1:07:34 and faded drastically over the final miles, her slowest 5K split was her final one, 18:15, compared to her first, which was 15:37. It was Chepngetich’s first race in the United States and she was greeted with some steamy midwest conditions—at the start it was 70 degrees with 70 percent humidity.

The victory was a bit of a redemption run for Chepngetich, who dropped out of the Olympic marathon in August.

“The race was good; it was nice,” she said afterward, “but it was tough. To push alone is not easy.”

Bates, 29, executed an opposite race strategy, starting off conservatively and closing the last 10K with her fastest miles. It resulted in a personal best on two levels: her time, 2:24:20, and her first podium finish at a World Marathon Major event. Since placing seventh at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, then fourth in December at the Marathon Project (2:25:40), Bates moved from her base in Idaho to Boulder, Colorado, to join Team Boss, the training group coached by Joe Bosshard.

“I didn’t want to push too much, too soon, and so I went through halfway still feeling really, really good,” Bates said. “And then I was like, ‘Oh crap, I don’t know how far ahead all these women are.’ I was getting a little nervous and I needed to pick it up. I just started slowly and surely just like picking it up, just bit by bit.”

As Bates stepped it up, she was able to catch the U.S.’s Keira D’Amato, who ultimately placed fourth in 2:28:22, and Hall, as well as Vivian Kipligat, who had spent most of the race in second place but finished fifth in 2:29:14.

“Having all those people lining the streets again just really gave me the energy to press on and really pick up my legs faster,” said Bates, who is now the ninth-fastest American woman at the 26.2-mile distance.

It was the first major marathon held in the U.S. since the pandemic shut most events down for the past 19 months. The 2021 Boston Marathon, delayed from its typical April date, will also go off on Monday.

Hall, 38, who lives in Flagstaff, Arizona, was able to compete at an impressive level through the pandemic, becoming the second-fastest American woman in history when she finished the Marathon Project in 2:20:32. She had originally planned to go for the American record on Sunday, but changed her objectives because of the weather. Deena Kastor keeps that title for now, running 2:19:36 at the 2006 London Marathon.

It was Hall’s second top-three finish at a World Marathon Major event—she placed second at the 2020 London Marathon, out-sprinting Chepngetich in the final meters of that elite-only race around Buckingham Palace. On Sunday Hall said she thought she had started the race at a conservative pace (she went through the halfway point in 1:11:37) but the humidity caught up with her over the second half. Still, she said she’s “in the best shape of my life” and will continue pursue that record if the opportunity presents itself—it’s a matter of having the fitness on the right day with the right conditions.

“I’m really excited to have a chance to go for [the American record] sometime. I knew today wasn’t going to be the day to do that,” Hall said. “I would have had to be in sub-2:18 shape to try for that today, maybe even faster. It’s going to take preparation meeting opportunity…hopefully in the near future I’ll get a stab at that.”

With all six major marathon events being held within a short window this season, the elite fields were spread thin between them, giving the American women a chance to showcase their talent in Chicago, placing seven in the top 10.

Chepngetich wins $55,000 for first place, while Bates takes home $45,000 for second place, Hall banks $35,000 for third, and D’Amato wins $25,000 for placing fourth.

(10/10/2021) Views: 94 ⚡AMP
by Erin Strout (Women’s Running)
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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 and more 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...

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Kenya’s Reuben Kipyego and Ruth Chepngetich will target Chicago Marathon crowns

Reuben Kipyego and Ruth Chepngetich head the fields for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on Sunday (10), with Sara Hall and Galen Rupp leading US hopes at the World Athletics Elite Platinum Label road race.

After action in Berlin and London in recent weeks, Chicago is the next race in a busy period of major marathons and the Boston event follows just one day later. The weather in Chicago looks set to be warm, with temperatures of around 21°C expected for the start of the elite races at 7:30am local time.

The last edition of the Chicago Marathon in 2019 saw a world record fall as Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei clocked 2:14:04 to take 81 seconds from Paula Radcliffe’s 2003 mark. This time her compatriots Chepngetich, who won the 2019 world title, and Vivian Kiplagat are among the athletes in the spotlight.

Chepngetich sits fourth on the women’s marathon all-time list thanks to the 2:17:08 PB she set when winning in Dubai in 2019 and she ran a world half marathon record in Istanbul in April with 1:04:02. The 27-year-old was unable to finish the Olympic marathon in Tokyo but is looking forward to her US debut race in Chicago.

“I have never raced in the States and making my debut in such a great race like the Bank of America Chicago Marathon is more than a dream to me,” she said. “I will give all myself trying to run as fast as possible.”

Hall will be among those looking to challenge her. The US athlete beat Chepngetich at last year’s London Marathon, as the pair finished second and third respectively behind Kosgei, and Hall went on to run a PB of 2:20:32 in Arizona a couple of months later. Now she has her eye on Deena Kastor’s 2:19:36 US record, should the conditions allow.

“When I thought about where I wanted to chase the American record, I thought it would be more exciting to do it at home, in the US, and Chicago is such an epic race,” she said.

The other sub-2:25 women in the field are Kiplagat, the USA’s Keira D'Amato and Ethiopia’s Meseret Belete. Kiplagat, who ran her marathon PB of 2:21:11 in 2019, clocked 2:39:18 in Eldoret in June but showed her current form with a personal best performance in the half marathon of 1:06:07 in Copenhagen last month. Like Hall, D'Amato also ran a PB in Arizona in December, clocking 2:22:56, while 22-year-old Belete – who was sixth at the 2018 World Half Marathon Championships and ran a world U20 best of 1:07:51 later that year – has a marathon PB of 2:24:54 set when finishing fourth in Houston last year.

Among those joining them on the start line will be the USA’s Emma Bates, Diane Nukuri and Lindsay Flanagan.

Kipyego ready to turn up the heat

With his PB of 2:03:55 set at the Milan Marathon in May, Kipyego goes into the Chicago race as the second fastest man in 2021. The 25-year-old made his marathon debut in Buenos Aires in 2019, clocking 2:05:18, and later that year he improved to 2:04:40 to win in Abu Dhabi, despite having started the race as a pacemaker. He also seems unfazed by the warmer than expected temperatures, simply replying: ‘No problem’ at the pre-race press conference when asked about the weather.

Ethiopia’s Seifu Tura, meanwhile, explained how he is not as comfortable in the heat but he will go into the race looking to build on the 2:04:29 PB he set when finishing fourth in that same Milan Marathon in May. He also has experience of the Chicago event, having finished sixth in 2019 in 2:08:35.

Rupp leads US hopes as the 2016 Olympic bronze medallist returns to action after his eighth place in the Tokyo Olympic marathon nine weeks ago and third-place finish in the Great North Run half marathon in 1:01:52 last month. Eighth fastest among the entries, his PB of 2:06:07 was set in Prague in 2018 but he will be looking to regain the crown he claimed in 2017.

Kenya’s Dickson Chumba is also a former Chicago winner, having triumphed in 2015, and he set his PB of 2:04:32 in the same city the year before that. The fourth sub-2:05 runner in the field is Kengo Suzuki, who broke the Japanese record with his 2:04:56 to win the Lake Biwa Marathon in February.

Kenya’s Eric Kiptanui is also one to watch. Having helped to pace world record-holder Eliud Kipchoge in the past, the 58:42 half marathon runner made his own marathon debut last year and improved to 2:05:47 to win in Siena in April. 

“I was so happy to run 2:06 for my first marathon,” he told NN Running Team. “What it proved to me was, yes, I was in good shape but that I had the mentality to perform over the marathon distance.” Looking ahead to Chicago, he added: “I aim to run 2:03/2:04 but my first priority is to win the race."

Ethiopia’s Chalu Deso and Shifera Tamru have respective bests of 2:04:53 and 2:05:18, while Ian Butler, who is coached by former world record-holder Steve Jones and balances his running with his job as a teacher, is the second-fastest US runner in the field with a PB of 2:09:45 set in Arizona last year.

(10/09/2021) Views: 89 ⚡AMP
by Jess Whittington for World Athletics
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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 and more 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...

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Will Sara Hall take down the American record at Chicago marathon?

The 43rd running of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon is returning to the streets of the Windy City on Sunday, and all eyes will be on Sara Hall, who will be attempting to break Deena Kastor’s 15-year-old American record of 2:19:36, which she set when she won the London Marathon in 2006.

Hall will have an impressive elite field to help her get there, including world half-marathon record-holder Ruth Chepngetich. Newfoundland’s Kate Bazeley will be the only Canadian elite on the start line.

The women’s field

Chepngetich, who is the reigning world champion in the marathon, is the favourite to win on the women’s side, boasting a personal best of 2:17:08, which she ran in Dubai in 2019. Since her marathon debut in 2017, she has finished in the top three in every race she has completed and is the only woman in the field who has run under 2:20 for the marathon. She was one of the favourites to contend for gold at the Tokyo Olympic marathon in August, but struggled under the intense heat and dropped out at 30K, the first DNF of her marathon career. She is the fourth-fastest woman in history, and this will be her first marathon on American soil.

“I have never raced in the States and making my debut in such a great race like the Bank of America Chicago Marathon is more than a dream to me,” she said in an interview with NBC Chicago. “I will give all myself trying to run as fast as possible. The presence of such a wonderful elite field will boost me.”

Hall had to drop out of the 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, but won the Marathon Project in Arizona in 2:20:32 last December, putting her in second place in the American record books behind Kastor. If she breaks Kastor’s record on Sunday she will be only the second American woman to ever run under 2:20.

Hall will be joined on the start line by several other Americans, including Keira D’Amato, Emma Bates, Lindsay Flanagan and Diane Nukuri, among several others. Canada’s Bazeley has also recently been added to the elite field and will be entering the race with a personal best of 2:36:35, which she ran in 2019.

Live coverage of the event will begin at 8 a.m. ET (7 am local time), with the men’s and women’s wheelchair race setting off at 8:20 and 8:21. The first wave of runners is set to begin at 8:30 a.m. ET (7:30 local time).

Unfortunately, there are no free platforms covering the Chicago Marathon in Canada. Canadians can sign up for a FloTrack membership to watch the action or you can follow the live results here, which will be updated every five kilometers.

The weather is expected to be dry and partly sunny on Sunday, with temperatures starting around 18 C and rising to a high of 26 C later in the day.

(10/08/2021) Views: 99 ⚡AMP
by Brittany Hambleton
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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 and more 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...

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World marathon champion, Ruth Chepng’etich, will headline the women’s race in Sunday’s Chicago Marathon.

Ruth Chepng´etich will team up with 2021 Copenhagen Marathon bronze medallist Vivian Kiplagat in the third race in the 2021 World Marathon Majors (WMM) series.

And Kiplagat, who will be competing outside the country for the first time this year, has predicted a good race.

“We don’t know how things will unfold on Sunday, but the target remains to run well and beat the quality field,” Kiplagat, who trains at Kapsait Athletics Training Camp in Elgeyo Marakwet alongside world marathon record holder Brigid Kosgei, told Nation Sport at the Eldoret International Airport on Friday before flying out to Chicago.

Chepng'etich, who ran the marathon at the 2020 Tokyo  Olympic Games in August but dropped out mid-way through the race, will be seeking redemption in Chicago on Sunday as she takes on 2020 London Marathon second-placed runner, Sara Hall.

Chepng'etich rose to the limelight when she won 2017 Istanbul Marathon in 2 hours, 22 minutes and 36 seconds. She then finished second in 2018 Paris Marathon (2:22:59).

In 2019, she retained the  Istanbul Marathon title in a course record time of 2:18:35, and went on to win the 2019 Dubai Marathon in a personal best time of 2:17:08.

Chepng’etich then ended the season in style, winning the marathon race at the 2019 World Athletics Championships in 2:32:43 in Doha.

Last year, she finished third in the London Marathon behind fellow Kenyan Brigid Kosgei who won the race and Hall.

She went on to run in a world record time of 64:02 in victory at the 2021 Istanbul Half Marathon in April.

In the 2019 edition, Brigid Kosgei won the Chicago Marathon in a world record time of 2:14:04 ahead of Ethiopians Ababel Yeshaneh (2:20:51) and Gelete Burka (2:20:55) who were in second and third respectively.

(10/07/2021) Views: 87 ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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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 and more 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...

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Sissy Lemma wins London Marathon

Ethiopia's Sisay Lemma won the men's London Marathon in a time of two hours, four minutes and one second after breaking away from the leading pack late in the race on Sunday.

In cool and dry conditions, Lemma improved on his podium finish last year to surge ahead and seize victory, bouncing back after failing to finish the Olympic marathon in Japan.

The 30-year-old crossed the line 27 seconds ahead of Kenya's Vincent Kipchumba, who took the runner-up spot for the second successive year, while his compatriot Mosinet Geremew finished third.

Defending champion Shura Kitata, who pulled out of the Olympic marathon in Tokyo after suffering in the hot and humid conditions, finished sixth in the British capital in 2:07.51 after being hampered by an apparent hamstring niggle.

Kenyan great Eliud Kipchoge, winner of four of the previous five London Marathons before 2020, was absent from this year's event, with Britain's Mo Farah also missing after failing to qualify for the Tokyo Games and suffering a stress fracture in his foot.

The marathon, which celebrated its 40th anniversary in April, returned to its traditional route from Blackheath to The Mall for the first time in over two years.

More than 36,000 competitors joined some of the world's best in the mass participation event and up to 40,000 joined in virtually, organisers said.

Only elite races took place on the course around St James's Park last year, with amateurs last competing in 2019.

Earlier, Kenya's Joyciline Jepkosgei emerged victorious in the women's race on her London debut with a time of 2:17.43, upsetting twice winner and compatriot Brigid Kosgei.

The race

Much like the women’s race, the pace started quick as six men hit halfway in 61:25. At 30k (1:27:19), the lead pack was down to five as Kenya’s Titus Ekiru, who had won the last 5 marathons he’d finished, dropped out with a limp 1:19 into the race. At 30k, the pace still projected to 2:02 high (2:02:49) but things would slow on the way home as the leaders had to battle wind gusts up to 25 mph on over the final 7 miles as the course goes from West to East after miile 19 and the wind was coming out of the SW.

Just before the clock hit 1:55, Lemma, who finished third in a 3-way sprint finish in London last year, decided he didn’t want history to repeat itself and he accelerated away from Kipchumba and Geremew to get the win. Lemma was unchallenged on the way home and was super pumped to get his first major win, totally unbothered or unaware of the fact that his waves to the crowd likely cost him $25,000 in time bonuses as London pays out $75,000 for a sub-2:04 clocking and $50,000 for a sub-2:05.

(10/03/2021) Views: 126 ⚡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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Kenya's Joyciline Jepkosgei races to victory in women's London Marathon

If there was one lesson from the women’s race at the 2021 London Marathon on Sunday, October 3, it was that this distance can’t be bluffed, one that can’t be adequately prepared for in less than two months.

The marathon requires respect, time, and patience. Those who didn’t have that luxury during the buildup were made to pay a heavy price.

Kenya's Joyciline Jepkosgei stormed to victory in the elite women's race at this year's London Marathon on Sunday, crossing the line in an impressive two hours, 17 minutes and 43 seconds.

She held off competition from the likes of compatriot Brigid Kosgei, who was bidding to win the event for a third consecutive year but could only manage a fourth-place finish. 

(10/03/2021) Views: 75 ⚡AMP
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Welsh athlete Josh Griffiths Aiming For Extraordinary World Record At London Marathon

Josh Griffiths has a number of targets at this Sunday’s Virgin Money London Marathon . . . including a world record attempt!

But the Swansea Harrier won’t be going for Eliud Kipchoge’s remarkable 2:01.39 world best for the 26.2 mile distance.

Griffiths, who will be eyeing a top British placing in the elite race, is also targeting the Guinness world record for the fastest marathon run by a father and son.

The Carmarthenshire athlete and his dad – Nick Griffiths – are hoping to challenge the record set by Tommy Hughes, who ran at the 1992 Olympics, and his son Eoin.

At the Frankfurt Marathon in 2019, the Irish pair ran an aggregate time of 4:59:22, which will be under serious threat on Sunday if the Griffiths boys are on top form.

Griffiths Junior’s personal best is 2:13:11 from the 2020 London Marathon where he finished third Briton home.

Griffiths Senior, meanwhile, only began running in his 40s after previously being a rugby player with the likes of Amman United and Aberavon, but clocked a PB of 2:47:17 at the age of 52 at the Cheshire Elite Marathon in April this year.

“I think if we both run a personal best or if one of us runs a PB and the other gets really close then there’s a possibility it could happen,” says Josh, who also trains his dad.

“He’s running really well for a 52-year-old. If there’s a chance we can do it, it will be pretty awesome.

“But I think if we both just focus on our own races and running well, then we’ll have half a chance,” says Josh, whose mother has also run internationally for Wales.

As much as Griffiths would love to enter the record books with his father, his main focus on Sunday will be his own performance in the men’s elite race.

The Swansea Harrier hit the headlines back in 2017 London Marathon when he emerged from the ranks of the club runners to finish as the first British athlete home.

That performance earned him a place in the Great Britain team at the World Athletics Championships in London later that year.

This time around the Carmarthenshire runner will need to improve his PB by almost two minutes to make the GB team at next year’s World Championships in Eugene, Oregon.

But the worlds aren’t the only show in town next summer, which will also see the European Athletics Championships in Germany and the Birmingham Commonwealth Games being staged in quick succession.

Griffiths already has the qualifying standard for the Commonwealth Games but also has ambitions of possibly wearing the Great Britain vest in Germany or the United States.

With next summer’s championships coming in such a quick succession, those who are eligible for all three will have to make a tough choice over which one to compete in.

Griffiths just hopes there may be a choice to make.

“Next year is a dream year for marathon runners, there’s three championships to aim for,” he said.

(10/02/2021) Views: 86 ⚡AMP
by Owen Morgan
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

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

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London Marathon's never-ending race towards sustainability continues

Since launching 40 years ago, the London Marathon has become firmly established as one of the world’s leading mass participation events and is embedded as an iconic occasion in the international road running calendar.

It has been the scene of several world records, most notably in 2005 when Paula Radcliffe reset the boundaries of women's endurance running by clocking 2:15:25, roared on by a packed and passionate British crowd.

Fast forward to 2021, on the eve of this Sunday’s World Athletics Elite Platinum Label event, Virgin Money London Marathon organisers have broadened their world-leading ambitions to include environmental sustainability.

“We recognise we have a responsibility as a high-profile mass participation event to set a higher standard,” says Megan Hunt, head of sustainability at London Marathon Events (LME), which also hosts 12 other hugely popular events with more than 200,000 annual participants.

This weekend alone, up to 50,000 participants will take to the London streets to tackle the classic distance, cheered on by an estimated 750,000 spectators lining the route, and a further 50,000 are expected to take part ‘virtually’ by running, jogging or walking the 42.195km distance in their own communities across the world.

By any estimate, it is a huge operation, involving massive numbers of people, and with that comes the potential for a large environmental impact. It is an obligation they take very seriously, both in terms of their events and the role they play in influencing the behaviour of hundreds of thousands of people.

‘We are in a unique position, and we can do something about it’

“Environmental sustainability is one of our company-wide objectives, it’s a really important pillar of what we do, it’s something that needs to be in the DNA of every organisation across all aspects and the LME recognises that,” says Hunt.

“As we organise mass participation events, we have a responsibility to try and reduce our environmental impact and create collective action amongst our partners and participants. We are in a unique position, and we can do something about it.”

Since 2019, the London Marathon has experimented with and activated several environmental innovations to reduce its impact. With last year’s event reduced to an elite-only field in London, 2021’s event presents a first opportunity to roll out more eco-friendly practices.

This includes printing numbers at the event registration rather than posting them in pre-race packs, which – it is estimated – will result in 1000 less numbers being printed. Following testing in 2019, this year will also see a clothing donation system in place at the start, with a charity on hand to collect all discarded clothing for re-use or recycling. At another LME event, 55% of clothing was reused and the remainder was recycled.

Plastic water bottles are an almost unavoidable feature of any mass participation event, and this is another area in which race organisers have taken big strides forward.

Every water bottle used is made from recycled material and is 100% recyclable. To support this, #DrinkDrainDrop messaging to all runners is designed to encourage the proper draining of bottles and for them to be dropped in the assigned sacks to enable a closed loop system of recycling. In addition, there will also be compostable cups used on site for sports drinks and runners are being urged to use bottle belts to reduce overall use of plastic bottles. The latter, it is estimated, can reduce the demand for water bottles by 40%.

Creating a positive conversation around environmental sustainability

For fuel emissions, organisers have also made changes to reduce carbon, switching to Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil fuel over red diesel for their power generators and deploying electric lead vehicles ahead of the elite field. When it comes to waste, a system of general waste, food and recycling will be in place to reduce litter and landfill. At the end, runners’ finisher bags are made from sugarcane, also with a lower carbon footprint.

The environmentally-friendly face of the event has been welcomed by participants. “We’ve had good feedback, we’ve had positive feedback, but we know we can do more,” says Hunt, who hopes the experience of the London Marathon has a ripple effect.

“The aim is to create a positive conversation around environmental sustainability and create behaviour change for when participants go into other running events. But we are always looking for feedback to see how we can improve and how we can do better.”

The event continues to evolve year on year, but not every environmental experiment has worked.

“We’ve been honest. We’ve trialled things and if they don’t work, that’s fine. At least we’ve tried it,” Hunt admits. “So, one example, in 2019, was capes. We picked 500 participants and the aim of those capes was to reduce discarded clothing at the start and the number of kit bags used. But we decided in the end not to continue with them because the environmental impact in the production of those capes and washing them, outweighed the waste reduction benefits.”

Organisers are conscious that the influence of the London Marathon goes well beyond Sunday and also beyond the UK, and so they take acollaborative, long-term and international view.

“We’ve been working closely with other mass participation events in the UK and also our Abbott World Marathon Majors partners to share learnings and create best practice, so the behaviour change and good environmental behaviours are taken at all events. With environmental sustainability and climate action, working together and working collaboratively is the way you will gain positive change. I think everyone recognises that you can’t do it alone,” she says.

As well as working with their partners at the Berlin, Tokyo, Boston, Chicago and New York marathons on environmental sustainability, London organisers are also seeking to make a difference in the home countries of their elite athletes.

“We wanted to support projects that had a link with where our elite athletes are from. A lot of the elite athletes are positive and endorse taking climate action. So, one of the things we are trying to do is invest in carbon balancing and carbon offsets and those projects will be based in Kenya. One example is community reforestation in Kenya,” reveals Hunt.

As for the future, Hunt is ultra-keen for London to continue to be a leader in environmental innovation and for improvement year on year. “One big area that we want to do is reduce the emissions from our own operations (aside from the events),” she says. “Being able to decarbonise those and switch to renewable forms of power and electrifying our fleet (of vehicles). Waste is another key area, so transitioning and increasing the amount of circularity in our products too.”

When it comes to climate action, London Marathon is in it for the long run.

(10/02/2021) Views: 71 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Kenyan Titus Ekiru is eager to make grand entry to big stage

Milano Marathon champion Titus Ekiru is among athletes to watch on Sunday during this years’ edition of the London Marathon.

Ekiru has been training in Kapsabet, Nandi County at the Stanley Biwott Nike camp and wants to lower his personal best time of 2 hours, 02 minutes and 57 seconds.

In May this year, Ekiru posted one of the fastest times this season after winning Milano Marathon in 2:02:57 improving his own course record he set in 2019 of 2:04:46.

But he wants to lower it further if the weather conditions allow on Sunday in his World Marathon Majors debut in London.

Ekiru improved the Milano course record he set in 2019 of 2:04:46 by one minute and 49 seconds, becoming the fifth fastest marathoner of all time alongside compatriot Denis Kimetto. His time went into the records as the fastest marathon ever run on Italian soil.

He will be the third fastest in the elite field on Sunday behind Ethiopia’s Birhanu Legese who has a personal best time of 2:02:48 and Mosinet Geremew whose personal best time is 2:02:55.

He will be teaming up with compatriots Valencia Marathon champion Evans Chebet and Vincent Kipchumba who was second last year in London.

“After my good performance in Milano, I went straight to camp to continue with my training programme because I knew there were many upcoming races I could participate in. It has been four months of vigorous preparations and I just want to run a good race,” said Ekiru who is under Rosa Associati Company.

Ekiru said that he had high hopes of participating in the Olympic Games but a nagging knee injury locked him out.

"It’s sad the knee injury I was nursing in 2020 locked me out of many events and thus missing out on the Olympics slot but I’m happy my season has begun well. My focus now is to do well in the race as I look forward to next year's World Championships in Eugene, USA,” said the 29-year-old Ekiru.

Ekiru’s career took shape in 2016 when he finished second at Casablanca Marathon in Morocco clocking 2:15:43 before winning the 2017 Seville Marathon in Seville, Spain in 2:07:42. He later emerged fourth in the Honolulu Marathon that year.

In 2018, he won the Honolulu Marathon in a time of 2:09:01 and the half marathon event of the Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Half Marathon clocking 1:01:02. He also won Mexico City Marathon in a new course record of 2:10:38.

In 2019, Ekiru won the Milano City Marathon and set a new course record of 2:04:46.

He also won the Portugal Half Marathon in 2019 and set a new course record of 1:00:12.

Later in December that year, he defended his Honolulu Marathon title in a new course record of 2:07:59. 

In 2021, he won the Milano City Marathon in a new course record of 2:02:57 and is now looking forward to improving it as he focuses on running the fastest time in the world.

The world record is currently held by Eliud Kipchoge after clocking 2:01:39 in 2018 Berlin Marathon.

(10/01/2021) Views: 133 ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

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

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Kenyan Brigid Kosgei is confident of winning third straight London Marathon

World record-holder feels fit and ready for a tilt at the hat-trick on Sunday despite tight turnaround since the Olympics

Eight weeks after winning a silver medal in the Olympic marathon, Brigid Kosgei will attempt to win her third successive women’s title at the Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday.

From the heat and humidity of Sapporo in Japan in early August, the 27-year-old from Kenya is likely to face considerably cooler and damper conditions in the British capital. More of a worry, though, is whether she has recovered and rediscovered sufficient fitness given the short turnaround since the Games, where she finished runner-up to fellow Kenyan Peres Jepchirchir.

“My body was very tired after the Olympics but I did a lot of preparation to correct this and now I have come to London to do my best,” said Kosgei, who took only a couple of days off after her marathon at the Games before getting back into training.

On claiming a hat-trick of titles in London this weekend, Kosgei added: “I love London so I would really like to do that here. I am ready as I have prepared well as I want to defend my title.”

Mary Keitany, who retired a few days ago, won London three times in recent years – the latter with a women-only world record of 2:17:01. This is a natural target for Kosgei, who holds the outright women’s world record with 2:14:04 from Chicago in 2019.

Paula Radcliffe also won three London Marathon titles, but the last woman to win three consecutive crowns is Katrin Dörre of Germany, who took victories from 1992 to 1994.

Kosgei won her first London crown two years ago in 2:18:20 but then returned last year during to win an elite- only race in St James’s Park in cool and damp conditions in 2:18:58. 

Which course does Kosgei prefer? The traditional one that skirts around the entire city or the looped course from last year?

“I do not really like running lots of laps,” she smiled. “It made me feel dizzy.”

And the weather? “Better London than Tokyo,” she said. “I did not run my best in the Olympics.”

Jepkosgei is the reigning New York City Marathon champion while Dibaba is a two-time winner in the Tokyo Marathon and they all looked confident of cracking the 2:20 barrier on Sunday – the kind of time which will almost certainly be required to win.

“I wish my best to my colleagues and let the best athlete win,” said Kosgei. “Everyone wants to be in the top three and I just hope to do my best.”

(09/30/2021) Views: 110 ⚡AMP
by Jason Henderson
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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 Shura Kitata ready to defend his London Marathon title despite injury

Shura Kitata has been suffering from hamstring problems; the Ethiopian won a sprint finish last year to de-throne Eliud Kipchoge, who finished eighth; he pulled out of the Tokyo Olympic marathon due to the conditions; Kipchoge will not be running London.

Kitata could not follow up a maiden London Marathon title with success at the Olympics this summer and pulled out in hot and humid conditions in Sapporo.

"I have some slight problems but still I am preparing to win and looking forward to it," the 25-year-old said via a translator during Wednesday's press conference.

"I was prepared very well before the Olympics and just two weeks before I had a hamstring injury, that was a big pressure for me. Otherwise I have prepared well and I am feeling confident to run on Sunday in London.

"The hamstring and the pain is not really easy and when it is a very fast speed, there might be some problem but I am looking forward to doing what I did before."

Another sprint finish this year would raise doubts over the Ethiopian's ability to clinch the event for a second time but he reflected on the life-changing experience of triumphing over Kipchoge, who bounced back to defend his Olympic title in August.

"I was very happy with the win last year and it had great meaning because Eliud is a very famous runner and a very strong runner so winning meant a lot," Kitata added.

While Kipchoge will not be in London to try and regain his crown as he recovers following his exploits in Japan, the 36-year-old will no doubt be watching on from afar and backing countryman Evans Chebet.

The Kenyan will run the 26.2-mile course for the first time and hope to play his part in a long-standing rivalry with the Ethiopian runners, with only athletes from the two countries winning the event since 2002.

Chebet admitted: "The rivalry is there and I know the Ethiopians are used to staying behind a bit and kicking on for the last 200 or 300 metres. It will be a challenging race and I know I will need a lot of strength at the end to win.

"If Eliud is watching on Sunday, it will give me more to run faster but I have my times already and the goal is just to go for a personal best.

"For 2:02 or 2:03 maybe depending on condition but I am looking forward to the race. Eliud gives morale but I have my own interest and motivation to win."

Kipchoge's last win in London in 2019 saw the Kenyan break the course record to post a time of 2:02:37.

Birhanu Legese will be the fastest man in the field following his winning run of 2:02:48 at the 2019 Berlin Marathon and he hopes the return of a crowd this year will help him make history.

"It depends on the weather on the day. If the weather is good, I plan to break the record and that is my target now. This is what I am preparing for," the Ethiopian and third fastest man in the world warned.

"We are pleased now everything is returning back to normal and we look forward to see the cheering of the crowd on the straight end. It will make us very happy."

(09/29/2021) Views: 127 ⚡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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David Turner, 84-year-old prepares to run his seventh London Marathon this weekend

A pensioner from Hemel Hempstead is preparing to run his seventh London Marathon this weekend.

On Sunday, October 3, 84-year-old David Turner, from Boxmoor will be swapping his usual St John's Road training track for the full 26.2 miles of the Virgin Money London Marathon.

This will be David's seventh London Marathon, and he is raising money for the Arthur McCluskey Foundation, and the Mother's Village Orphanage in Bosnia.

The charity aims to help the people of Bosnia Herzegovina and relieve poverty and advance education whilst respecting varying religions and cultures.

David, who moved to Boxmoor in 1972 with his wife and four sons, started running the London Marathon's in 2010.

He said: "My wife, Rita, who was Chair of Governors at John F. Kennedy School, died in 1996, and I only took up running when I was 67.

"I'm so pleased this race is in October, so I'll only be 84.

"At the age of 84 years and 11 months, this must be my last London Marathon. I am running it again for Mother's Village Orphanage in Bosnia, because they still need help.

"Other catastrophes may make new headlines. But Bosnia Herzegovina has still not finished burying its dead, nor binding the wounds of its living.

"I feel good, I have ran the London Marathon before, and last year's one was different as it was virtual, so I ran around Boxmoor!

"I'm looking forward to it, and I'm hoping to raise as much money as possible for the charity. If you feel you can help me, thank you!

Pat Henry, director of Arthur McCluskey Foundation, said: "David is an example to the orphans and staff at Mother's Village.

"They see the huge efforts he makes to help them to survive. The pandemic caused havoc in their lives so your support is desperately needed."

(09/27/2021) Views: 112 ⚡AMP
by Holly Patel
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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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Shalane Flanagan to run 6 marathons in 42 days

Nearly three years after Shalane Flanagan officially retired from elite racing, she’s toeing the line of her marquee event again — not once, but six times in 42 days. With five of the six World Major marathons coming up in the next few weeks, the 16-time national champion will be aiming to run each of them in less than three hours, and then to run a sixth to make up for the postponed Tokyo Marathon.

Because of delays caused by COVID-19, five of the six World Majors are being crammed into a tightly packed fall schedule. Flanagan’s marathon of marathons will start in Berlin on September 26, the same course where she ran her personal best of 2:21:14 in 2014 and became the fourth-fastest American marathon runner of all time. She’ll have one week of recovery before heading to the U.K. to compete in the London Marathon, and from there she’ll return to North America where she’ll run the Chicago Marathon on October 10 and turn around the very next day to run the Boston Marathon on October 11.

The Tokyo Marathon was to be her next race on October 17, but organizers postponed the race again until March 2022. In its place, Flanagan will travel to Portland, Oregon to run her fifth marathon in four weeks. She’ll then have three weeks of recovery before completing her challenge at the New York City Marathon on November 7. New York will be a special place to end her gruelling series, since it was there that she became the first American woman to win the race in 40 years in 2017.

Flanagan retired from professional running in 2019, and since then has had two reconstructive knee surgeries, become a coach with the Bowerman Track Club and adopted a baby boy. In an interview with Self, she explained that she’s taken on this challenge as a way to “reunite” with running after retirement and knee surgery.

“I felt the need to set some goals again,” she said. “Realizing this was a once in a lifetime opportunity presenting itself, with six major world marathons in 42 days, I feel like I’m doing it for myself, for my son, and for young women to showcase the connection between mental and physical health and how important of a role athletics can play in your life.”

(09/25/2021) Views: 131 ⚡AMP
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Kenya’s six-pronged attack will headline on the streets of London

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(09/24/2021) Views: 147 ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

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

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Grandfather Harmander Singh who struggled to walk down the stairs after contracting Covid-19 is preparing to run his 37th consecutive London Marathon.

Harmander Singh, 62, from Ilford, tested positive for coronavirus in January.

The retired local authority worker has run 163 marathons over the years but said he felt “doddery” after overcoming the virus and it took him four months to get back to running.

He said he lost 12lbs in a week while he had Covid-19.

Describing his illness, he said: “In all my life that I’ve been working I’ve never had a day off sick, so it was a new experience for me. I couldn’t breath.”

He did not go to hospital, instead isolating in an upstairs guestroom in the family home.

“After my isolation period finished, I found it a struggle to even come down the stairs,” he said.

There wasn’t any moment when I said I’m going to give up but I was becoming more realistic about what my chances were of ever running a marathon again. But I was determined

“I took it one step at a time and was a bit doddery.

“I started walking a bit more each day. It was a struggle.

“There wasn’t any moment when I said I’m going to give up but I was becoming more realistic about what my chances were of ever running a marathon again. But I was determined.”

He said that running the London Marathon will be the “biggest stepping stone to being normal again”.

“London is my favorite by far,” he said.

“It’s not just because I’m a Londoner it’s genuinely the best race in the world.

Mr Singh, whose personal best time for a marathon is three hours 11 minutes at a race in Manchester said he has no target time for the London Marathon on October 3.

“I’m going to, for the first time in so long, genuinely going to just enjoy it,” he said.

Mr Singh is club president of the Sikhs In The City running group, which he described as the “only Asian-led athletics club in the UK”.

He is coach to 110-year-old Fauja Singh, who he said is the world’s oldest marathon runner – running his first marathon aged 89 and his last aged 101.

This year’s London Marathon will be Mr Singh’s 164th marathon in total.

He has also completed the Great North Run every year for the last 37 years and said he wants to continue with both races until he is 74, meaning he will have run 50 of each.

“But that’s not within my gift, it’s up to god,” he said.

(09/24/2021) Views: 96 ⚡AMP
by Barney Davis
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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 Mary Keitany retires due to back injury

Kenyan running great Mary Keitany announced her retirement on Wednesday (22) after a stellar career which saw her win the London Marathon on three occasions and the New York Marathon four times, as well as triumph at the 2009 World Half Marathon Championships.

Keitany, 39, also still holds the marathon world record for a women-only race, having clocked a stunning 2:17:01 when winning the third of her London Marathon titles in 2017.

“After my successful 2019, when I had some good results including second place in New York, I was hopeful that I could still be very competitive internationally for several more years, even though I am in my late 30s,” said Keitany, who is third on the world all-time list for the marathon.

“However, I’m sad to say, a back injury that I suffered in late 2019 made a decision about my retirement for me. I couldn’t get the treatment I wanted in Europe because of the pandemic-related travel restrictions last year and every time I thought I had got over the injury and started training hard, it became a problem again. So now is the time to say goodbye – if only as an elite runner – to the sport I love so much.”

Keitany first came to global attention in 2007, after local success in Kenya the previous year, with a series of good performances in European half marathons which then earned her a place in the Kenyan team at that year’s World Half Marathon Championships. A silver medal at the 2007 edition of that event, and team gold, was followed by more than a decade among the very best of the world’s road runners, even with breaks in 2008 and 2013 to give birth to her children Jared and Samantha.

Keitany won the 2009 world half marathon title in Birmingham by more than a minute in 1:06:36, at the time the second-fastest mark ever on a record-legal course and an African record. She also led Kenya to the team gold medals.

After finishing third in New York on her marathon debut in 2010, her first major marathon win came in her next race over the classic distance when she triumphed at the 2011 London Marathon and further victories in the British capital came in 2012 and 2017.

She will also be remembered fondly for her three impressive consecutive wins at the New York Marathon between 2014 and 2016 before winning in the Big Apple again in 2018.

Other accolades include setting a world half marathon record of 1:05:50 at the 2011 RAK Half Marathon, fourth place in the London 2012 Olympic Games marathon, and she continues to hold the women-only 25km world best of 1:19:43, set during her triumphant 2017 London Marathon run. She set her half marathon PB of 1:04:55 in 2018, which at the time ranked her third on the world all-time list.

“As for the future, I haven’t fully decided on my plans but I’m looking forward to spending more time with my family,” said Keitany. “My children are currently 13 and eight. In addition, I am involved with some local charitable enterprises.”

(09/22/2021) Views: 89 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Kenenisa Bekele will lead the entries for Sunday’s BMW Berlin Marathon

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

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

Here is how the autumn marathon period plays out…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

(09/21/2021) Views: 121 ⚡AMP
by Athletics Weekly
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BMW Berlin Marathon

BMW Berlin Marathon

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

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Three years after retirement, Shalane Flanagan will run Berlin, London, Chicago, Boston and one other marathon this fall

Nearly three years after Shalane Flanagan officially retired from elite racing, she’s toeing the line of her marquee event again — not once, but six times in 42 days. With five of the six World Major marathons coming up in the next few weeks, the 16-time national champion will be aiming to run each of them in less than three hours, and then to run a sixth to make up for the postponed Tokyo Marathon.

Because of delays caused by COVID-19, five of the six World Majors are being crammed into a tightly packed fall schedule. Flanagan’s marathon of marathons will start in Berlin on September 26, the same course where she ran her personal best of 2:21:14 in 2014 and became the fourth-fastest American marathon runner of all time.

She’ll have one week of recovery before heading to the U.K. to compete in the London Marathon, and from there she’ll return to North America where she’ll run the Chicago Marathon on October 10 and turn around the very next day to run the Boston Marathon on October 11.

The Tokyo Marathon was to be her next race on October 17, but organizers postponed the race again until March 2022. In its place, Flanagan will travel to Portland, Oregon to run her fifth marathon in four weeks.

She’ll then have three weeks of recovery before completing her challenge at the New York City Marathon on November 7. New York will be a special place to end her grueling series, since it was there that she became the first American woman to win the race in 40 years in 2017.

Flanagan retired from professional running in 2019, and since then has had two reconstructive knee surgeries, become a coach with the Bowerman Track Club and adopted a baby boy. In an interview with Self, she explained that she’s taken on this challenge as a way to “reunite” with running after retirement and knee surgery.

“I felt the need to set some goals again,” she said. “Realizing this was a once in a lifetime opportunity presenting itself, with six major world marathons in 42 days, I feel like I’m doing it for myself, for my son, and for young women to showcase the connection between mental and physical health and how important of a role athletics can play in your life.”

(09/21/2021) Views: 164 ⚡AMP
by Brittany Hambleton
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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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American Galen Rupp And Olympic Marathon Bronze Medalist Bashir Abdi will Lead Field For The Great North Run Half-Marathon

After having its anniversary celebrations scuppered by the pandemic last year, the Great North Run returns on September 12 with a redesigned course as many of the athletics stars of 2021 meet over the 13.1-mile distance.

For the first time since 2013 there will be a men’s winner other than Mo Farah. The multiple global track gold medallist won the Great North Run from 2014-2019 and the 2020 race was called off. But the new champion could still have strong links to Farah.

The women’s race also sees top runners from the track and roads collide. Hellen Obiri, the world 5000m champion from Kenya, faces Molly Seidel, the American marathon runner who won a surprise bronze medal at the Olympics.

British hopes, meanwhile, are led by Eilish McColgan, who is making her debut at the distance after a fine track season, plus Charlotte Purdue ahead of racing at the Virgin Money London Marathon on October 3.

The athletes will be following in famous footsteps as the event first took place in June 1981. The first man home that day was local runner Mike McLeod and the England footballer Kevin Keegan effectively became the first celebrity runner when he took part wearing a top that incorporated the colours of Newcastle and Sunderland.

“I think there is an extra significance to this year,” says race founder Brendan Foster. “It will demonstrate that the country’s getting back to normal and that ordinary people are getting back to doing what they want to do.”

The course starts and finishes in the centre of Newcastle, crossing the Tyne Bridge twice, with live coverage on BBC.

In the men’s race much will depend on how well Abdi and Rupp have recovered from the Olympic marathon five weeks ago.

Abdi clocked 2:10:00 that day in hot conditions but has a best of 2:04:49 from Tokyo last year. The 32-year-old also has run 60:42 on the old Great North Run course that finished in South Shields.

Rupp won Olympic 10,000m silver behind Farah in 2012 and marathon bronze in Rio in 2016 before finishing eighth in the marathon in Tokyo last month. His half-marathon best is 59:47.

(09/09/2021) Views: 230 ⚡AMP
by Jason Henderson
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Great North Run

Great North Run

Great North Run founder Brendan Foster believes Britain is ready to welcome the world with open arms after the launch of the event's most ambitious plan to date. The Great World Run campaign seeks to recruit one runner from every country in the United Nations – 193 in total – to take part in the iconic half marathon in...

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

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

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

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


Berlin Marathon—Sunday, September 26

MEN:

Kenenisa Bekele, Ethiopia (2:01:41)

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

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

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

London Marathon—Sunday, October 3

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

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

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

Chicago Marathon—Sunday, October 10

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Boston Marathon—Monday, October 11

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

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

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

New York City Marathon—Sunday, November 7

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

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

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

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

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

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

(08/28/2021) Views: 159 ⚡AMP
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2021 Virgin London Marathon won't feature any RW Pacers

Alongside many important changes to make the Virgin Money London Marathon 2021 as safe as possible for all involved, it was announced that there will be no RW Pacers at this year's event.

The long-standing relationship between Runner's World and VMLM to provide pacers at the event began in 2000 and our team of trusty flag carriers have helped guide numerous runners to the finish line and that much sought-after PB.

If you were relying on following a flag at the event this year, do not worry, you've already got through marathon training during a pandemic, so this will be easy.

A simple measure to help stay on track is noting down your mile splits for a certain time you are aiming to run and then arming yourself with a basic stopwatch with built in lap function/memory.

Each time you pass a mile marker on course, you click that lap button and you'll see how you're getting on. This negates relying on GPS, which can sometimes fail at points on the course. It's not a fail-safe method, but it's good to have a back up. It's also quite a nice distraction and helps you tick off the miles!

On Sunday October 3, it will be 889 days since we last ran the 26.2 miles of the Virgin Money London Marathon from Greenwich to Westminster.

For the last 40 years, these miles have been steeped in tales of human endeavour, in tales of perseverance, joy and tears, and, above all, in tales of the extraordinary and indomitable spirit of humankind coming together to celebrate life and raise more than a billion pounds for charity.Today we launched our campaign – We Run Together – to celebrate everyone taking on the 26.2-mile challenge on 3 October, whether that’s on the streets of London, or elsewhere in the UK or around the world in the virtual event.

Sunday October 3, is going to be a day to remember. It will be a marathon that you will never forget, and we look forward to welcoming you to the Start Line as we run together again.

Many of these new procedures have been tested in events since May, when we organised one of the first mass participation running events under the government’s Events Research Programme, and in events since: at Hatfield Park, the Standard Chartered Great City Race, and The Vitality Big Half.

(08/26/2021) Views: 149 ⚡AMP
by Ben Hobson
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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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Sanlam Cape Town Marathon has been announced as an Abbott World Marathon Majors Candidate Race

The Sanlam Cape Town Marathon has officially been confirmed as an Abbott World Marathon Majors (AbbottWMM) candidate race - the first marathon in Africa to be nominated.

The announcement marks the commencement of a multi-year evaluation process conducted by AbbottWMM.

In order to become a Major, the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon will be required to meet certain criteria for three years and if successful, will join an elite group of races - Tokyo Marathon, Boston Marathon, Virgin Money London Marathon, BMW-BERLIN Marathon, Bank of America Chicago Marathon and TCS New York City Marathon - as a new member of the prestigious Abbott World Marathon Majors in 2025.

“We have always believed that the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon could be Africa’s first Abbott World Marathon Major, so becoming a candidate race is a tremendous honour”, said Sanlam Cape Town Marathon Chairman, Francois Pienaar at the announcement event at Cape Town Stadium.

“It acknowledges the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon as a global event that has consistently delivered a top quality world-class race, and one that continuously innovates and creates world-first initiatives like the immersive audio experience during the 2020 virtual race.

“Becoming an Abbott World Marathon Major would be like hosting a world championship event every single year, and achieving this status would be a tremendous boost for the city, country and continent. Africa is home to the best marathon runners in the world and we hope they will get the opportunity to run an Abbott World Marathon Major on home turf in the coming years.”

Headline sponsor Sanlam is celebrating its eighth sponsorship year and is equally thrilled at the prospect of the event becoming a jewel in the AbbottWMM crown.

Sydney Mbhele, Chief Executive of Sanlam Brand, says: “This is our eighth year as headline sponsor of the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon and we have always believed deeply in the vision for this race – to become Africa’s first Abbott World Marathon Major. Africa is our home, this is our race and we are absolutely committed to investing in the potential of this wonderful continent. Our purpose is to help people across Africa live with confidence and this race is the perfect way to foster the growth of Africa’s economy, and to showcase our people’s unparalleled potential.  Creating a lasting legacy for generations to come is a vision and dream we share with all our partners.

“And now we are celebrating coming a step closer. The collective confidence that the continent will garner from hosting an event of this stature will deliver value in many ways, enabling us to benefit economically and socially from a world-class event. We extend our sincerest congratulations to all of our partners who have worked tirelessly to elevate the event to this level. We have no doubt that in just three short years, we will tick all the boxes and have the honour of hosting the continent’s first major on home soil.”

Cape Town is a port city on the tip of South Africa’s southwest coast that is overlooked by the world-renowned Table Mountain, an official New7Wonder of Nature. It is consistently rated as one of the world’s most beautiful cities and most popular tourist destinations - renowned for its exquisite natural beauty, sweeping vistas, beaches, family friendly activities and some of the best restaurants in the world.

Cape Town Executive Mayor Dan Plato said that this candidacy means a lot for Cape Town, South Africa and Africa, and will further solidify the Mother City’s reputation as a sports capital. “We are proud to be the host of SA and Africa’s first Abbott World Marathon Majors Candidate and wholeheartedly support the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon in the coming years.

“We know that these evaluation years will already offer a tremendous economic boost for Cape Town and its residents, and expect an annual influx of approximately 10,000 international athletes and their supporters in the coming years - especially once the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon earns Abbott World Marathon Major status. We can’t wait to welcome more recreational and elite marathoners to Cape Town; it’s time to show the world how we run a marathon to the African beat.”

Pienaar noted that the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon already meets many of the requirements set by the Abbott World Marathon Majors, and that continued enhancements will be made to the race. This also includes a new strategic partnership with Infront, the media and marketing specialists who will join the event on this exciting journey, noted Pienaar. “We are pulling out all the stops to achieve these goals, and are excited to receive the support from our runners, spectators, sponsors and the City to make this dream a reality.”

Hans-Peter Zurbruegg, Senior Vice President Personal & Corporate Fitness at Infront, said: “We are happy to become a shareholder of the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon and we fully buy into the ambition to reach AbbottWMM status by 2025. This is exciting news for the city of Cape Town, South Africa and Africa. Our direct involvement forms part of our growing ambition to further enter the African market and will both strengthen our relationship with the AbbottWMM as well as support future business opportunities.”

Added James Moloi, President of Athletics South Africa: "This is an important step in the history of road-running in the country and Africa as a whole. It will be a significant recognition which would elevate the race to another prestigious level.”

Tim Hadzima, Executive Director, Abbott World Marathon Majors said, “The Abbott World Marathon Majors are delighted to welcome the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon into the candidate process from 2022. This presents an exciting opportunity to expand our impact into Africa and further our mission to create, grow and support opportunities for all to discover the power of the marathon community. We look forward to working closely with the team in Cape Town as we start this journey together!”

It was also announced that adidas South Africa will be partnering with the Cape Town Marathon from 2022 and looks forward to supporting the race during its candidacy period as it strives to become the first World Marathon Major on the African continent.

(08/25/2021) Views: 129 ⚡AMP
by Running USA
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Cape Town Marathon

Cape Town Marathon

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

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Olympic Marathoner Ryan Hall Shared Things to Do the Night Before a Big Race

Ryan Hall made history as a runner, becoming the first American to break the hour barrier in the half-marathon. Since retiring from pro running in 2016, he has packed on the muscle and is now able to deadlift more than 500 pounds—while still holding onto his record as the fastest American runner of all time in the half and full marathon categories.

Hall's wife Sara, meanwhile, continues to kill it as an elite distance runner; she was the first American in over a decade to reach the podium at last year's London Marathon. Today, Sara is competing in a half-marathon race in Eugene, and in a post shared to Instagram last night, Hall broke down the seven most important things that they have both learned over the years about how to best prepare for a long-distance race.

First off, Hall recommends lying down rather than sitting wherever possible. "Sitting creates all kinds of tightness and kinks that you want to avoid pre-race," he says

Secondly: eat up. A common pitfall is to not consume enough calories to keep you going when the time comes. "Don't be afraid to eat," he says. "Remember that you are fueling today for tomorrow’s race." He also advises to "keep your food simple," suggesting white meat and egg whites as good sources of protein and white rice and pasta as simple carb sources, as well as to keep your electrolytes up, "as they are needed not only for holding water/hydration but also for your muscles to neurologically fire."

Ryan Hall made history as a runner, becoming the first American to break the hour barrier in the half-marathon. Since retiring from pro running in 2016, he has packed on the muscle and is now able to deadlift more than 500 pounds—while still holding onto his record as the fastest American runner of all time in the half and full marathon categories.

Hall's wife Sara, meanwhile, continues to kill it as an elite distance runner; she was the first American in over a decade to reach the podium at last year's London Marathon. Today, Sara is competing in a half-marathon race in Eugene, and in a post shared to Instagram last night, Hall broke down the seven most important things that they have both learned over the years about how to best prepare for a long-distance race.

First off, Hall recommends lying down rather than sitting wherever possible. "Sitting creates all kinds of tightness and kinks that you want to avoid pre-race," he says

Secondly: eat up. A common pitfall is to not consume enough calories to keep you going when the time comes. "Don't be afraid to eat," he says. "Remember that you are fueling today for tomorrow’s race." He also advises to "keep your food simple," suggesting white meat and egg whites as good sources of protein and white rice and pasta as simple carb sources, as well as to keep your electrolytes up, "as they are needed not only for holding water/hydration but also for your muscles to neurologically fire."

He also urges you to stay away from hot tubs as they can "leave legs feeling jello-y", and says it's perfectly normal to not sleep very well the night before a big race.

Finally, he says, be sure to enjoy yourself. "Reminding myself of this reality takes the pressure off and reminds me to soak it all in and enjoy every part of the experience," he says. "I’ve found, when I am having the most fun is when I’m usually performing the best."

(08/23/2021) Views: 102 ⚡AMP
by Philip Ellis
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Charlie Purdue and Jake Smith enjoy Big Half victories

Around 12,000 runners took part in 13.1-mile event in London on Sunday

Charlotte Purdue and Jake Smith put in solid performances on the roads of London as they struck victory in the Vitality Big Half on Sunday (Aug 22).

In her third win in the women’s race, Purdue improved her own course record to 69:51, which bodes well for her chances at the Virgin Money London Marathon on October 3.

In the men’s race, Smith clocked 62:06 to beat Jack Rowe by five seconds and the Cardiff runner will hope to go quicker still when he lines up in the Great North Run on September 12.

Around 12,000 runners set off in various waves as part of the return of mass participation running following the pandemic. In the race to finish first woman home, Purdue ran with Samantha Harrison in the early stages before pulling away in the second half of the race. Harrison held on for second in 70:40 as Natasha Cockram was third in 72:46.

Next came Hannah Irwin in 73:24 followed by Naomi Mitchell in 74:24 and Verity Ockenden in 74:35.

“It’s good to be back running with a crowd,” said Purdue, who was racing for the first time since February 2020 due to injury. “I was happy with the time. I was more bothered about ‘racing’ it than the clock, though. I’ve been training really hard for London Marathon so wasn’t sure how tired I’d be, although I felt okay.”

On her build-up to the London Marathon, she said: “My main aim is not to get injured and to keep training consistent and get to the start line healthy.”

Smith was part of a group with Rowe, Mo Aadan and Phil Sesemann mid-way through his race but he broke away at around nine miles and held his advantage over the chasing Rowe despite multiple nervous glances over his shoulder in the latter stages.

Smith ran 62:06 with Rowe clocking 62:11, Aadan 62:28 and Sesemann 62:47.

In fifth Andrew Heyes ran 63:10, followed by Matt Clowes in 63:40, Jamie Crowe in 64:19, Ollie Lockley in 64:26, Doug Musson in 64:36, Calum Johnson 64:38, Jonny Mellor 64:44 and Josh Griffiths 65:11.

“I came into this race as the fastest and had the pressure to deliver so to come away with the win is amazing,” he said. “It’s the first race I’ve done when they bring you forward on the start line (to introduce you to the crowd). After that I just put my head down and tried to race it.

“My aim was to throw in surges throughout and then go hard with about 5km to go. I ran a negative split as well which I’m really happy about.”

Sam Kolek won the men’s wheelchair race in 50:37 as Nikki Emerson won the women’s wheelchair category in 67:38 after Shelly Woods punctured.

(08/22/2021) Views: 125 ⚡AMP
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The Vitality Big Half

The Vitality Big Half

Created by London Marathon Events Ltd, in partnership with Sported,The Vitality Big Half is a community running festival, taking place in London in March. This one-day event offers a host of running distances, from a challenging half marathon to a free one-mile course, as well as a family-friendly festival of food, music and activities. What’s happening? Take part with friends...

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Kenyan Ruth Chepngetich and Galen Rupp will headline the elite field at the Chicago Marathon

A number of the world’s top distance runners will be at the 2021 Bank of America Chicago Marathon on Sunday, Oct. 10, organizers announced today, joining headliners Galen Rupp and Sara Hall. So far, there are no Canadians featured in the Chicago Marathon elite field.

Ruth Chepngetich (Kenya), Diane Nukuri (USA) and Keira D’Amato (USA) are among the names to watch in the women’s race for the 43rd running of the Chicago Marathon. Chepngetich, who dropped out of the Olympic marathon at around 30 km, is the reigning world champion and comes to Chicago as the pre-race favourite. Hall ousted Chepngetich in a sprint for second place at the 2020 London Marathon, but all eyes will be on their Oct. 10 rematch. Chepngetich is the only East African runner in an elite field that’s deep with American talent.

The men’s field features three athletes who have run under 2:05, as well Rupp, who won in 2017. Rupp is the only individual in the field with an Abbott World Major Marathons victory under his belt. Getaneh Molla (ETH) has won the Dubai Marathon, and Hassan El Abbassi (BRN) was the runner-up at the 2018 Valencia Marathon. Rupp had a sub-par Olympic Games, finishing a disappointing eighth in Tokyo (2:11:41) after many thought he would challenge Eliud Kipchoge for a medal. Rupp will enter Chicago as the pre-race favorite, thanks to his previous success on the course.

Past champions Daniel Romanchuk and Marcel Hug will battle it out in the elite wheelchair competition. Romanchuk is the defending two-time champion (2018 and 2019) and world record holder, while Hug won this race in 2016 and 2017. Hug and Romanchuk will compete on back-to-back days, in Chicago on Oct. 10 and at the Boston Marathon on Oct. 11.

With the cancellation of the New Jersey Marathon, larger mass races are putting together strict Covid protocols to avoid transmission of the virus, including face coverings at the start and finish and either proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test within 72 hours of the race.

(08/18/2021) Views: 296 ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson
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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 and more 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...

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2022 London Marathon pushed back to October

The 2022 London Marathon has been pushed back to October, meaning the event will take place away from its traditional spring slot for the third year in succession.

Last year’s race was initially postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic and then staged as an elite-only event in October, being raced in laps around a course in St. James’ Park to ensure spectators could not line the streets in the usual manner.

On October 3 this year, the mass participation element is set to return with up to 50,000 runners competing on the traditional 26.2-mile course from Greenwich to The Mall, while thousands more will participate remotely.

Next year’s edition had been slated to be held in April, but event director Hugh Brasher today announced that it will be pushed back to October 2 in order to give the race the best chance of going ahead in its usual form.

“We are living in a hugely uncertain world – a world where different approaches to managing Covid-19 are being explored and executed,” he said.

“The London Marathon is an extraordinary and unique celebration of the family of humankind coming together. We believe that by moving the 2022 event to October we give ourselves the best chances of welcoming the world to the streets of London, enabling tens of millions to be raised for good causes and giving people the certainty that their hard work and training will allow them to experience the amazing crowds cheering them every step of the way from Greenwich to Westminster.

“We are extremely grateful to the Mayor of London, the London boroughs of Greenwich, Lewisham, Southwark, Tower Hamlets, the City of Westminster and the City of London, Transport for London, The Royal Parks, BBC TV and our many other partners for their support in confirming the  October 2, date for 2022.

“For 39 years, the London Marathon has been a spring event and we will return to our traditional slot in the calendar in 2023, when the TCS London Marathon will take place on Sunday April 23.”

(08/17/2021) Views: 121 ⚡AMP
by Malik Ouzia
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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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Olympic Champion Eliud Kipchoge will miss 2021 London Marathon

Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge's name was conspicuously missing from the list of elite runners who will be competing at this year's London Marathon on October 3.

Organisers Thursday released a stellar list that has women's world record holder Brigid Kosgei and men's champion Shura Kitata of Ethiopia.

Kipchoge, who retained his Olympic marathon crown at the recently concluded Tokyo Games, finished eighth at the 2020 London Marathon, timing 2:06:49, more than a minute behind winner Shura Kitata.

He was expected to return to London to try and reclaim the title he won in 2019. Efforts to get a comment from the world record holder provide futile as his phone went unanswered.

Speaking to journalists on Wednesday after arriving from Tokyo, the 36-year-old remained non-committal on whether he would hang his boots after the triumph in Japan.

"I think it is good not to ask about retirement... When your wife delivered the first child, did you plan for the next one immediately?" Posed Kipchoge to a journalist, who responded in negation.

Kosgei, the Olympic silver medalist, will be attempting to win her third successive London Marathon after victories in 2019 and 2020.

She will be competing against New York City Marathon champion Joyciline Jepkosgei and six other women who have run under two hours and 20 minutes.

"It is a great feeling to be coming back as London is one of my favourite marathons. Last year's win was very special, particularly given what the whole world was going through. It was fantastic just to have the London Marathon organised and even more so to be the winner. I hope to arrive again in very good shape 

Jepkosgei set a new personal best of 2:18:40 last December at the Valencia Marathon, where she finished second to Olympic champion Peres Chepchirchir.

Also in the elite women's field are Ethiopians Roza Dereje, whose PB of 2:18:30 makes her the tenth-fastest female marathoner of all time, and Birhane Dibaba (PB 2:18:35), who won the Tokyo Marathon in 2018 and 2015, and finished second in the same race on three other occasions (2020, 2017 and 2014).

The other women to have run inside 2:20 are Kenya's Valary Jemeli (2:19:10), Ethiopia's Zeineba Yimer (2:19:28) and Tigist Girma (2:19:50).

Also returning is Australia's Sinead Diver, who has had two top 10 London Marathon finishes in the past two years, and was 10th at the Tokyo Olympics.

In the men's race, Shura Kitata- who pulled out of the Olympic Games marathon last weekend after suffering in the hot and humid conditions in Sapporo- will line up with the other men as he seeks to defend his title.

Kitata bagged victory ahead of Kenya's Vincent Kipchumba and both will be meeting again in the contested race in October with Sisay Lemma also in the race.

Also on the starting line will be Kenya's Evans Chebet, the current Valencia Marathon champion and fastest man in the world last year (2:03:00), and the two-time Tokyo Marathon champion Birhanu Legese who is the third-fastest marathoner of all time (2:02:48).

Ethiopians Mosinet Geremew (2:02:55) and Mule Wasihun (2:03:16), who both finished on the podium at the 2019 race, also return.

Titus Ekiru, who clocked the fastest time during the Milano Marathon of 2:02:57, will make his debut.

The 2021 London Marathon returns to its traditional and iconic course from Blackheath to The Mall after last year's elite-only race on a multiple closed-loop circuit around St James's Park.

Up to 50,000 runners are expected in the mass race and another 50,000 around the world will take on the virtual event, completing the 26.2 miles on the route of their choice any time between 00:00 and 23:59:59 BST October 3.

(08/14/2021) Views: 236 ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

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

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Kenyan Brigid Kosgei and Ethiopian Shura Kitata to defend London marathon titles

Kenyan world record holder Brigid Kosgei and Ethiopian Shura Kitata will defend their titles at the London Marathon in October, organisers said on Thursday.

Kosgei won silver in the women's marathon event at the Tokyo Games last weekend. The 27-year-old is aiming for her third consecutive London Marathon victory.

"Last year's win was very special, particularly given what the whole world was going through ... I hope to arrive again in very good shape and win for the third time," Kosgei was cited as saying in a statement from the organisers.

Kosgei set the women's marathon world record of 2:14.04 in Chicago in 2019.

Kitata, who pulled out of the Olympic Games marathon after suffering in the hot and humid conditions in Sapporo, said he was healthy and ready to return.

"I have set my mind on how I can run fast and better than last year and I'm looking forward to seeing if I can repeat the victory and make history in the race," the statement quoted 25-year-old Kitata as saying.

The London Marathon will be held on Oct. 3.

(08/12/2021) Views: 130 ⚡AMP
by Reuters
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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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30 runners DNF in Sapporo heat

It wasn’t as fast as we’ve come to expect, but from 30K in, there was never any doubt that Eliud Kipchoge was on his way to a repeat performance of his 2016 Olympic marathon win. He stepped on the gas and immediately started to put distance between himself and the rest of the small lead pack, crossing the finish line in 2:08:38, a minute and 20 seconds ahead of the next finisher. The race for silver and bronze was won by lesser known runners, Abdi Nageeye of the Netherlands (silver, in a season’s best 2:09:58) and Bashir Abdi of Belgium, who crossed the line for the bronze medal two seconds later, in 2:10:00 (also a season’s best time).

With this win, Kipchoge joins the greats who have won back-to-back marathons at an Olympic Games. He is the third runner to do so – and in 2024, he will have the chance to become the only athlete ever to three-peat in the marathon.

Nageeye is one of Kipchoge’s training partners on the NN Running Team. This was his best marathon performance, in terms of finishing position; he has two top-10 finishes at the Boston Marathon (seventh in 2018 and eighth in 2016). The same is true for Abdi, who is a training partner of Mo Farah’s and paced Farah to his one-hour world record on the track in 2020. His best finish before today was seventh at the 2019 London Marathon.

Despite the heat, Canadians Ben Preisner, Trevor Hofbauer and Cam Levins had excellent races, Preisner in particular, who finished in 46th position, in 2:19:27), followed closely by Hofbauer in 48th (2:19:57). Preisner was in 73rd position at 5K and made steady progress as he made his way up throughout the race. Levins was in good shape through the first half, but was not able to maintain the pace, dropping to 72nd in 2:28:43 – a very respectable result, considering the high attrition rate.

Heat and humidity result in multiple DNFs

It was another hot, muggy morning in Sapporo for the final event of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. The lead pack consisting of Kipchoge, defending bronze medallist from 2016 and U.S. Trials winner Galen Rupp and 2019 world champion Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia, among others, set off at 7 a.m., settling into a comfortable pace of just over three minutes per kilometre. Jeison Alexander Suarez of Colombia maintained a position at or near the front for more than half of the race as athletes stuffed their hats with ice to keep their bodies as cool as possible.

Around halfway, Kipchoge was seen exchanging fist bumps with Daniel Do Nascimento of Brazil, but a short time later, Do Nascimento collapsed, then rallied, then dropped out. By halfway, 10 men had already left the course, including 2012 Olympic champion Stephen Kiprotich, 2020 London Marathon winner Shura Kitata and Jack Rayner of Australia, who was one of Kipchoge’s pacers at INEOS 1:59. Sisay Lemma (third at Berlin and Tokyo marathons, with a PB of 2:03) appeared to be struggling soon thereafter. Galen Rupp led the pack briefly, but for the most part appeared willing to let others do the work at the front; he ended up finishing eighth. By 27K, the lead pack had dwindled to about 10, with Kipchoge, Rupp and Suarez leading; Japanese record holder Suguru Osaka was still in the lead pack, as was Desisa.

At 30K, Rupp dropped further and further off the pace. Amos Kipruto also dropped back (eventually joining the long list of DNFs), and the chase pack dwindled to 2019 Boston Marathon winner Lawrence Cherono, Ayad Lamdassem of Spain, Nageeye and Abdi. Osaka tried to come back to them, as Kipchoge stormed toward the finish line with a bounce in his step. Cherono ultimately finished fourth, Lamdassem fifth and Osako sixth.

Top 10 finishers

Eliud Kipchoge (Kenya)

Abdi Nageeye (Netherlands)

Bashir Abdi (Belgium)

Lawrence Cherono (Kenya)

Ayad Lamdassem (Spain)

Suguru Osako (Japan)

Alphonce Felix Simbu (Tanzania)

Galen Rupp (USA)

Othmane El Goumri (Morocco)

Koen Naert (Belgium)

(08/08/2021) Views: 112 ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Brigid Kosgei seeks Kenyan Olympic marathon redemption

World record holder Brigid Kosgei has the unenviable task at the Tokyo Olympics of restoring Kenya's image in the marathon, which suffered a huge dent after the 2016 Rio Games.

Compatriot Jemima Sumgong became the first Kenyan woman to win an Olympic marathon gold in Brazil, but she subsequently tested positive for the endurance booster EPO and was banned for eight years.

Kosgei, who ran the fastest women's marathon of all time, clocking 2hr 14min 04sec in Chicago in October 2019, is eyeing a medal on Saturday in Sapporo to spare Kenyan blushes.

Organizers moved the marathons from the capital to avoid Tokyo's punishing summer heat but temperatures in Sapporo are currently in the 30s, which will make the race a tough challenge for the entire field.

"I know it wouldn't be easy winning the gold medal... but I will go out there and take my chances since this is my first Olympics," Kosgei told AFP.

Like so many athletes, Kosgei traveled to the Olympics after 18 disrupted months due to the coronavirus crisis.

"It is unfortunate that we didn't have many competitions to help us prepare us for the Games since the Covid pandemic led to many race cancellations," she said.

A late starter in the sport, Kosgei -- a mother of eight-year-old twins -- had a difficult time growing up in a large family of seven children to a single peasant mother in Elgeyo Marakwet in Kenya's Rift Valley.

Like many of the girls in her village, Kosgei saw athletics as a vehicle to help her escape a life of destitution.

Her first marathon was in Porto, Portugal, in 2015 when the 27-year-old made a dream debut, winning the event in 2:47.59.

- 'Sharing the limelight' -

Kosgei credits her coach Erick Kimaiyo, a former winner of the Honolulu marathon and a runner-up in the 1997 Berlin marathon, for believing in her and helping to nurture her raw talent at his Kapsait training camp situated outside Nairobi at over 9,600 feet (2,900 meters) above sea level.

"I had grown up listening about the great marathon achievements of Catherine Ndereba and Tegla Loroupe, but I didn't expect that I could one day be sharing the same limelight with them," Kosgei said.

"But it was Kimaiyo’s belief in me that helped to propel me and see myself succeeding as a champion marathon runner."

The mentorship resulted in two contrasting victories at the 2016 and 2017 Honolulu marathons, with the difference in winning times between the two events -- 2:31:10 and then 2:22:15 -- further illustrating the power of the forged partnership.

She has won the London marathon twice and set a half-marathon course record of 64min 28sec at the Great North Run in northeast England in September 2019.

However, having missed the 2019 Doha world championships, Kosgei is hoping the Covid-affected Olympics will provide the big stage for her -- and redemption for Kenya.

(08/06/2021) Views: 211 ⚡AMP
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Tokyo Olympics preview: marathon-Women's marathon

World record-holder Brigid Kosgei will start as the woman to beat in the marathon when she hits the road on the Games' penultimate day. But she won’t be lacking for formidable opposition.

The 27-year-old Kenyan has been among the best marathon runners on the planet since 2017 when she first threatened the 2:20 barrier at that year's Chicago Marathon, finishing second in 2:20:22. She returned the following year to take the title in 2:18:35 and then returned again in 2019 to smash the world record with a jaw-dropping 2:14:04 performance.

She followed up well with a successful title defence at the London Marathon last October in 2:18:58, winning by more than three minutes to secure her fourth consecutive marathon victory.

Kosgei hasn't contested the distance since and has only raced twice in 2021, so her current form will be somewhat of a mystery. This will also be the first time she has competed at a major championship. Given her marathon pedigree, though, you can expect her to arrive in Sapporo well prepared.

But she'll have plenty of fast company, beginning with her teammates.

Peres Jepchirchir, the two-time world half marathon champion, heads to her first Olympics courtesy of her 2:17:16 victory at the Valencia Marathon last December, the fastest in the world last year. Just over a month earlier, she broke the half marathon world record for a women-only race, clocking 1:05:16 at the World Half Marathon Championships.

They'll also have Ruth Chepngetich, the world champion, for company. Chepngetich clocked 2:17:08 in Dubai in 2019 that currently places her fourth on the world all-time list. After a third-place finish at the London Marathon last October in 2:22:05, Chepngetich returned to action at the Istanbul Half Marathon earlier this year when she broke the world record in a mixed race, clocking 1:04:02.

That Kenyan trio is about as good as they come. But the Ethiopian team isn't too far off that mark.

Birhane Dibaba clocked 2:18:35 to finish second in Tokyo last year, one of the fastest performances of 2020. Teammate Roza Dereje was even faster a few months earlier, clocking 2:18:30 in Valencia in December 2019. Zeineba Yimer, 23, is another rising star, clocking 2:19:28 and 2:19:54 at the 2019 and 2020 editions of the Valencia Marathon.

Expect Israeli record-holder Lonah Salpeter to be in the hunt. The 32-year-old broke into the all-time top-10 after a sensational 2:17:45 run to win the 2020 Tokyo Marathon and has tuned up with a solid but pressure-free 2:22:37 run at home in March.

Helalia Johannes of Namibia, the surprise bronze medallist at the 2019 World Championships, also made a notable jump last year into the sub-2:20 club, finishing third in Valencia in 2:19:52. She'll turn 41 the week after the Olympics ends and is showing few signs of slowing down. Winner of the Commonwealth title in 2018, Johannes excels in championship races held in hot conditions.

Japan will be well represented by a pair of consistent runners who could be ready to challenge for the podium. Mao Ichiyama has a 2:20:29 lifetime best from her victory at the 2020 Nagoya Marathon and was nearly as fast the following year when winning in Osaka in 2:21:11. Meanwhile, Mizuki Matsuda clocked 2:21:47 to win the Osaka Marathon in 2020 and 2:21:51 to win Nagoya earlier this year.

(07/24/2021) Views: 139 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Tokyo Olympics preview: Mens marathon

Five years ago, marathon world record-holder Eliud Kipchoge was the last champion crowned at the Olympic Games in Rio. He'll be aiming to replicate that achievement in Sapporo on 8 August, the final day of the postponed Tokyo 2020 Games.

Successfully defending any title over the marathon distance is no easy task. Only two runners have managed the feat at the Olympics: 1960 and 1964 champion Abebe Bikila of Ethiopia and East German Waldemar Cierpinski, the winner in Montreal in 1976 and Moscow in 1980. Over the course of his career, Kipchoge has arguably achieved more than both of those legendary marathoners: he's broken the world record, which currently stands at 2:01:39, and pieced together a 10-race unbeaten streak over a five-year stretch which included victories at most of the world's most prestigious races, a record unparalleled in modern marathon running.

That streak finally came to a halt at the London Marathon in 2020, where he finished eighth in 2:06:49, the slowest marathon of his career. But he bounced back in April, winning in Enschede in 2:04:30. Four men have run faster this year in a season still battered by pandemic cancellations, but it was nonetheless a performance which illustrated that Kipchoge is fully capable of winning, even at 36. Indeed, he's widely considered a grand old man of the distance these days, a characterisation that certainly fits at this year's Games when only 11 of the 115 entrants are older.

Picking favourites in a marathon is difficult at the best of times. Throw a pandemic into the picture that ravaged the road racing season over the past 16 months, and it becomes a near impossible task.

That said, Kipchoge can expect a strong challenge from the Ethiopian squad, led by world champion Lelisa Desisa, Shura Kitata and Sisay Lemma. Desisa hasn't run under 2:06 since 2018 but his performance in Doha's difficult conditions in 2019 bodes well for a mid-summer marathon that is also expected to endure warm temperatures. Kitata won the London race that ended Kipchoge's streak, clocking 2:05:41, while Lemma has raced well in recent big city marathons, finishing third in both Berlin in 2019 (2:03:36) and Tokyo (2:04:51) in 2020.

But both of Kipchoge's teammates have run faster more recently, suggesting ambitions to claim more than one podium spot. Lawrence Cherono and Amos Korir earned their spots after finishing second and fourth at last year's Valencia Marathon in 2:03:04 and 2:03:30, respectively, the second and fourth fastest times of 2020.

Stephen Kiprotich, the 2012 Olympic champion and 2013 world champion, leads the Ugandan squad, returning for another shot after a 14th-place finish in Rio. But his most recent top-two finish dates back to 2017 when was second in Fukuoka so Ugandans will have higher hopes for Felix Chemonges, who has a 2:05:12 lifetime best from the 2019 Toronto Marathon, and Fred Musobo, whose 2:06:56 best was set in Daegu in 2019.

Belgian Bashir Abdi could also be factor. The 32-year-old improved his national record to 2:04:20 at the Tokyo Marathon last year. Other notables include Galen Rupp, the 2016 bronze medallist, who earned his return ticket after his victory at the US trials in Atlanta in February last year.

The marathon-mad host nation's hopes lie with Suguru Osako, who broke his own national record with a 2:05:29 run at the Tokyo Marathon in 2020, finishing fourth. He'll be joined by Marathon Grand Championships winner Shogo Nakamura and Yuma Hattori who has a 2:07:27 PB from 2018.

The field also includes Tachlowini Gabriyesos, a 23-year-old Eritrean native who clocked 2:10:55 at the Hahula Galilee Marathon on 14 March to become the first refugee athlete to better an Olympic qualifying standard.

(07/24/2021) Views: 345 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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TCS will Renew Sponsorship of TCS New York City Marathon Through 2029

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) a leading global IT services, consulting, and business solutions organization, announced that it has signed an eight-year contract with New York Road Runners (NYRR) to extend its title and technology sponsorship of the TCS New York City Marathon through 2029. TCS’ sponsorship of global running events will also be highlighted in a new advertising campaign which debuts today. 

TCS’ extended partnership with NYRR follows its announcement earlier this month that it will become the new title sponsor of the London Marathon starting in 2022. Collectively, TCS plans to invest $30 million to $40 million annually in global running sponsorships and related community programming from 2022 to 2029.

“We are delighted to extend our sponsorship of the TCS New York City Marathon, the foremost running event in the world,” said Surya Kant, Chairman, North America, TCS. “We sponsor running events across the world because we want to inspire local communities to live healthy and active lifestyles, and also because of the obvious parallels between marathons and the growth and transformation journeys that we help our customers undertake. Running a marathon makes you feel that there’s nothing you can’t do. With each step, you’re building on belief.”

As part of the sponsorship, TCS will launch a new version of its TCS New York City Marathon App that incorporates augmented reality (AR) features that became popular for virtual races during the pandemic. The new version will include features to support both in-person and virtual runners along with surprise-and-delight AR experiences. Fans and athletes will be able to access real-time runner tracking, digital cheer cards, and a finishing-time predictor.

The other pillar of TCS’ sponsorship focuses on redoubling its efforts to encourage communities to adopt active, healthier lifestyles. TCS will donate $4 million to NYRR’s youth and community programs including  Rising New York Road Runners, a free, nationwide NYRR program that incorporates physical education into the school day. TCS will also develop a marathon version of its award-winning goIT STEM education contest that will challenge students to develop an app concept that promotes active lifestyles and inclusivity. Lastly, TCS will host the Team TCS Teachers Program, which will select 50 teachers from across North America who demonstrate an ability for sharing their passion for running with students. Selected teachers will receive free race entries, a VIP race day experience, and marathon-themed lesson plans for students from TCS’ STEM education program, Ignite My Future in School.

The company’s new advertising campaign titled We Believe is anchored in its marathon sponsorships, and complements TCS’ new brand direction. Using marathon supporters and fans as the heroes of the story, the campaign is centered around a runner’s journey and the team of individuals it takes to turn a belief into reality.

“At NYRR, we are thrilled to extend our incredible partnership with TCS for the next eight years,” said Kerin Hempel, CEO, NYRR. “Since 2014, TCS has helped us transform our runners’ experience through technological advancements, while also providing tremendous support of our community programs across the five boroughs. TCS and NYRR have shared core values, commitment to service, and passion for innovation, and I can’t wait to see what we co-create in our next chapter together.”

(07/22/2021) Views: 161 ⚡AMP
by Running USA
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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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All about the marathon at the Tokyo Olympics

While the men’s marathon has been a staple of the Olympics since the first modern Games in 1896, women were not allowed to run the 26.2-mile race until the 1984 Summer Games, which were held in Los Angeles. Now both the men’s and women’s races are among the most anticipated events on the Olympic calendar.

When is the Olympic marathon?

The women’s race is scheduled for Aug. 7, and the men will run on Aug. 8, the final day of Olympic competition.

Where will the Olympic marathon take place?

While the bulk of the Olympic competition takes place in Tokyo, the marathon races will be staged in Sapporo, which is located 500 miles north of the host city. Local Olympic organizers were eager to keep the race in Tokyo, but the International Olympic Committee pushed to relocate both marathons and the racewalking events in October 2019 due to concerns about high temperatures in Tokyo.

Who will represent the United States in marathon?

The United States staged its Olympic trials in February 2020, so the top American runners have had nearly one and a half years to prepare for the Sapporo course.

Galen Rupp, 35, was the top men’s qualifier, posting a first-place time of 2 hours 9 minutes 20 seconds at trials and earning a spot in his fourth Olympic Games. Rupp won silver in the men’s 10,000 meters at the 2012 Games before tackling the marathon four years later. He took bronze in the 2016 Olympic marathon with a time of 2:10:05, even though it was only the second time in his life that he tackled a 26.2-mile course.

He’ll be joined in Tokyo by fellow Americans Jake Riley and Abdi Abdirahman. Riley, 32, was 42 seconds behind Rupp at trials and was also the top American finisher at the 2019 Chicago Marathon. The Somali-born Abdirahman will be competing in his fifth Olympics and at 44 years old will be the oldest American runner to ever compete in a Summer Games.

Kenyan-born Aliphine Tuliamuk won the women’s marathon trials with a time of 2:27:23, and will be making her Olympic debut at age 32. Before the Tokyo Games were postponed due to covid-19, Tuliamuk had planned on starting a family immediately following the 2020 Olympics. The year-long delay changed her timeline and she gave birth to her daughter, Zoe, in January.

She’ll be joined at trials by Molly Seidel, who finished the trials just eight seconds behind Tuliamuk, and Sally Kipyego. The 27-year old Seidel will be making her Olympic debut. She was also the second American woman finisher at the 2020 London Marathon.

Kipyego, 35, is a decorated long-distance runner who will be competing in her second Olympics. Running for her native Kenya in 2012, she took silver in the 10,000-meter race.

(07/20/2021) Views: 182 ⚡AMP
by Rick Maese
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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Long-distance running legend Paula Radcliffe was devastated when her daughter was diagnosed with a rare tumor last year

Paula Radcliffe experienced the full range of highs and lows during her glittering running career. From smashing world records on the streets of the capital, winning the London Marathon three times, to sitting forlornly on the roadside in Athens with her Olympic dream in tatters, she tasted it all.

But nothing could have prepared her for the moment last year when a doctor broke the news that Isla, her 14-year-old daughter, had a tumor growing on one of her ovaries.

“After Isla had undergone a battery of hospital tests, I hoped it would still be something benign even though we had been sent to the oncology department,” recalls Paula.

“But I was given the diagnosis that nobody wants to hear when the doctor said Isla had cancer. The doctor had asked Isla to sit in the waiting room before telling me what it was.

“I burst into tears but had to stop crying and pull myself together before Isla came back into the room a few minutes later. The doctor then explained the diagnosis to Isla.”

It was a shattering blow for Paula, 47, and husband and former coach Gary Lough, who live with Isla and their 10-year-old son Raphael, in Monaco.

Small signs that something might be amiss with Isla’s health had begun a few months earlier.

“In March last year Isla started her period, which was a little more painful than I remember, but we didn’t really think anything of it,” says Paula.

“But by July Isla said she was getting out of breath when having underwater swimming races with Raph in the pool.

“She also didn’t want to go on their trampoline as it gave her a pain in her bladder. After the diagnosis we realized this was because the tumor was bouncing on it.”

By late August, Isla was suffering unexplained bleeding between periods. Paula knew something was wrong so made an appointment with a paediatrician. The next day, at a hospital in nearby Nice, Isla underwent an ultrasound scan and other tests. When the results came in the family were devastated.

Isla had a malignant germ cell tumor, which grows in the cells that form the eggs in the ovary. They are rare and affect roughly one in 200,000 women. In men they can develop in the testicle where the sperm is formed.

“It was hard to take in as everything had happened so fast,” says Paula.

“But the care was phenomenal. A week later, Isla was starting chemo.”

For Isla, having a clear diagnosis was helpful. “A lot of the time leading up to the diagnosis I didn’t feel right, but I didn’t expect it to be cancer,” says Isla. “I thought it would be something like an allergy or an intolerance.

“I didn’t take it in that we were going to a cancer department, and only realized that afterwards. When I went back into the doctor’s room after being examined, mum was crying – although she had been crying a lot the day before that. Then the doctor started to explain it was cancer and I think I was just in a state of shock.”

Because of ongoing Covid restrictions, it was decided Paula would be mostly with Isla at the hospital while Gary took care of Raphael.

“We made a decision which was best for our family,” explains Paula. “I probably cope better with stress and I don’t think he could have seen his little girl going through all this in hospital on a daily basis. But he could still come in every day and cheer her up.”

When Gary visited, Paula would either spend time with Raphael or go for a short run, which she still does most days. “When we were over the initial shock and the medical team had explained everything, having that sporting background helped,” says Paula. “We had a treatment plan – like all the training plans I have followed over the years, and it was something we could stick to and see things improving.”

The prognosis was good with a high chance of it being successfully cured with surgery, and in Isla’s case, chemotherapy too, which started in September, just as she was starting a new school term. The drugs were delivered intravenously five days in a row, taking seven hours each time.

(07/20/2021) Views: 106 ⚡AMP
by Adrian Monti
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London Marathon new date confirmed

The London Marathon has been given the green light to go ahead and it’s been confirmed that the famous run will take place on October 3 in a route across the city.

A record 50,000 people are expected to run the 26.2 mile route after coronavirus has led to postponements.

Organizers of mass participation running events have welcomed the news after the government confirmed England would move to Step 4 from July 19, allowing outdoor events to resume.

Last year’s Virgin Money London Marathon was postponed from April to October due to the pandemic, and then changed to a virtual event where most participants completed the distance from home.

Hugh Brasher, Event Director of London Marathon Events, said: “It is wonderful to confirm that our great mass participation events are returning across the country.

“The UK’s event organisers have worked together to ensure the safe return of mass participation sports events outdoors by participating in the government’s Events Research Programme and collaborating on a range of protocols that ensure our events will be safe and Covid-secure.”

A total of 37,966 finished the virtual event in 2020 giving it an official Guinness World Records title for the “most users to run a remote marathon in 24 hours”.

(07/16/2021) Views: 188 ⚡AMP
by Isabella D'Emilio
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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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Amy Stone runs London marathon alone after cancellation

A woman from Clapham has won plaudits after running the London marathon on her own after it was cancelled due to Covid-19 concerns.

Amy Stone, 31, had planned to run the 2020 London Marathon last year and fundraise for Macmillan Cancer Support in the process.

Yet the sudden onset of the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic in the UK forced organisers to cancel the event and threw her plans into jeopardy.

Amy was not to be deterred, however, and decided to run the marathon several months later anyway, despite the cancellation.

 

The Clapham woman described her motivation after discovering how she and generations of her female family members were at high risk of contracting breast and ovarian cancer.

"After my Auntie Katie was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2017, she decided to take a genetic test to see if she carried the BRCA1 gene.

"Over the next 2 years we all started to get tested. 5 out of 6 of us are carrying the mutated BRCA1 gene, including myself," Amy said.

Consequently, she and others are at an increased lifetime risk of breast cancer by as much as 90 per cent, and a heightened risk of ovarian cancer by up to 60 per cent.

Amy pointed out that in one photo featuring six "wonderful" female family members represented "two bouts of triple negative breast cancer, four double mastectomies, three ovarian removals and a mum who lost her fight with ovarian cancer at 58."

As such she has been forced to make difficult life choices in anticipation of a potentially difficult future, and roundly praised Macmillan for their support in this regard, underlining how the 2020 Marathon's cancellation wouldn't stop her from supporting the charity.

"I wasn’t prepared to give up – I had worked so hard and this race was never purely about running for me. It was about an amazing charity that has done so much for my family. And for the brave women who have climbed mountains and my nan who lost her life too young.

"So, on 4th October 2020 I ran around London completing my own Marathon and finishing my 26.2 miles at my home in Clapham Junction.

(07/08/2021) Views: 132 ⚡AMP
by Orlando Jerkinson
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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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Thinking About Racing Again? Here’s How to Approach the Starting Line for the First Time in a Year

Consider why you race—those reasons play a big role in deciding when to lace up again.

If you’re feeling a little rusty after a year or more without racing, the first thing to know is that your competition drought is, unfortunately, the norm. Although it may feel like races have been popping up most weekends since fall, most of those have been limited to small elite fields. The rest of the running world has been watching and biding its time until the racing door swings back open.

The second thing to know is that there are many criteria for returning to racing—like reaching a certain level of fitness, getting vaccinated, or simply craving competition—and all of them are valid. Deciding when to approach your next starting line, and how to frame that first race back, is a matter of preference that looks different for us all.

Depending on the type (or types) of runner you identify with, here are some ways to think about your comeback.

If You Race to Stay Motivated

As with a deadline at work, some runners need a race on the calendar to focus and structure their training. Susan Griffen, who splits time between Frankfort, Michigan, and Los Angeles, falls into that category. Whether in-person or virtual, her commitments hold her accountable and add a sense of purpose to her miles (as do the causes she supports through her racing).

Following a string of virtual races, Griffen plans to line up in October for the London Marathon, which will be her sixth and final World Marathon Majors race. In the meantime, once she is fully vaccinated, she hopes to race locally as part of her build-up. The uncertain future of mass events doesn’t shake Griffen’s approach.

“As far as my training, I will pretend [London’s] happening,” she says. “It’ll keep me sane and fit.”

Comeback Tips: If you’ve been running virtual races, you shouldn’t feel as out of your element in a real race as you might otherwise (although being in a crowd may still feel unsettling). You can, however, expect to get a little more out of yourself from the atmosphere and competition.

For those holding out for an in-person event, it looks like you’ll be back in business late summer or early fall. If you’re eager to start training with a goal in mind, it may be time to register for (or plan on) a race, with the least risky option being small local road races in the fall.

If You Race to Capitalize on a Good Opportunity

Dawn Grunnagle, a three-time Olympic Trials qualifier and youth coach in Dallas, says that “opportunity to race is number one” in her return-to-racing criteria. Similar to Griffen, Grunnagle trains best with “something solid” on the calendar. But virtual races don’t quite do it for Grunnagle, who’s waiting for an in-person opportunity that feels meaningful and exciting.

“Once I have a set date for a race,” she says, “I know my physical and mental fitness will come around to be ready on that day.”

Grunnagle’s last race was the Olympic Marathon Trials in February 2020, and her next big one will likely be a fall marathon. There, she plans to “jump in and rip off the band-aid.” She sees it as a fresh start, as well as an opportunity to practice staying positive, to trust in her coaching and preparation, and to get even stronger for her next battle.

Comeback Tips: If, like Grunnagle, you’ve had a long gap between racing opportunities that fire you up, you can expect your options to increase by the month. Depending on how hard you’ve been training (or not) this last year, it may take you a while to get back in the swing of structured training and reclaim a competitive mindset. Grunnagle’s advice is to focus on daily and weekly improvement, be consistent with your training, and believe that your fitness will fall into place.

If You Race When You Feel the Itch

New York-based Allison Devereux treats racing like a surfer treats a big wave. They’re out there, watching for opportunities, and when a wave of motivation comes, they ride it. The New York City Marathon, held every November (in non-COVID years), typically gives Devereux a reason to ramp up her training the prior spring. The thawing of the city around that time helps, too.

Devereux ran 2:57 in the 2019 edition, which was her last race, and is waiting to hear whether she’s been accepted into this fall’s field. With spring in the air and a decision coming soon, she senses some momentum bubbling beneath the surface. The return of races in general will likely fuel her fire, too. “I miss waking up early and running with a big group of strangers,” says Devereux. With mass vaccinations under way, soon that might not be such a crazy concept.

Comeback Tips: 2020 wasn’t an inspiring year for road racers, to say the least. If your motivation has flagged, that’s understandable. Honor your cravings (as you might with food) and look for the next scheduled race that gets your heart pumping.

If, on the other hand, your eagerness to compete has been building, use that a secret weapon for your next race. Either way, Devereux recommends a slow transition back. Rather than fixating on speed or mileage, focus on “recovering the pure, simple joy of getting outside and running,” and trust that the urge to race—if not already present—will follow.

If You Race Your Way to Full Fitness

Then there’s the type—take Molly Grabill of Boulder, Colorado, for example—who uses early-season races as stepping stones leading to future goals. These runners start racing when they’re in good shape but not at 100 percent, and they keep lining up until (ideally) they’re in peak fitness for their target race. This approach works for Grabill because it takes some pressure off individual races and offers frequent, valuable benchmarks.

After placing 25th in the Olympic Marathon Trials, Grabill dialed back her training for the first nine months of the pandemic, slashing her mileage from triple-digit weeks to 25 to 30 miles per week.

Almost a year to the day after her last race, and on just six weeks of focused training, Grabill kicked off her 2021 track campaign with a 10,000-meter race in Austin, Texas. She walked away from that race with a PR (32:46), a runner-up finish in her heat, and a solid step taken towards her goal of qualifying for this summer’s U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials, which will be hosted by her alma mater, the University of Oregon. Grabill hopes that race was the first of many between now and June, and has her eyes set on another 10,000-meter attempt in May.

Comeback Tips: First (and half-jokingly), Grabill pleads, “Don’t use the phrase ‘rust-buster’ or say you haven't done speedwork.” No one is in PR shape year-round, so you don’t need an explanation for a sub-stellar result—especially on the heels of a global pandemic. More seriously, Grabill says, “I think being confident in your running ability, and okay with where you are in your fitness, is the best way to feel successful.” As you reenter the racing scene, try to see those early ones like quizzes en route to an exam (your end goal); how you’re trending is a better metric than any one result.

If You Race to Run Fast, Place High, or Crush a Big Goal

Some people race only when they feel ready to run really well—whatever that means to them. American 25K record-holder Parker Stinson says, “I want to always be at a starting line feeling prepared and like I have a chance to break a PR or go for the win.” If he’s not in that position, he’d rather stay home and train, saving that max effort for a better day.

That doesn’t mean that all of Stinson’s races are a home run. But by constantly putting himself in positions in which running well is likely, his successes mount and his confidence soars.

In January, Stinson ended a 15-month racing lull that started with a knee injury after the 2019 Chicago Marathon, extended through 2020 (and kept him out of the marathon trials), and ended with his victorious comeback in a Naples, Florida, half marathon. He chose that race because it was low-key and he liked his odds of winning. Next up for Stinson is a half marathon in Omaha in late April, where his main objective is to “run really fast.”

Comeback Tips: Big goals come with some degree of nerves and pressure—especially when you haven’t chased one in a while. Don’t be surprised if, like Stinson, you feel “nervous as hell” before your return. Two things helped him transition back smoothly. First, he ran a few indicator workouts leading up to the race that helped him set realistic goals and boosted his self-belief. Second, Stinson reflected back on everything that seemed to work in past races, from his wakeup time and pre-race breakfast to his acknowledgement that “it’s not a workout and it’s going to hurt really, really bad.”

If You Race When You Feel Ready to Brave a Big Crowd

Though an outlier among elites, Boston-based Kaitlin Goodman has plenty of company among road racers at large. As she detailed in December, the four-time Olympic Trials qualifier, coach, and public health professional won’t race until she and more people are fully vaccinated, COVID-19 is better contained, and she feels that the rewards of racing outweigh the risks. She also cares about a race’s safety precautions, such as a mask and vaccination proof requirements.

The last starting line Goodman toed was the Olympic Marathon Trials in early 2020, and her next one probably won’t be until this summer or fall. In the meantime, she’s hardly sitting around waiting for the pandemic to pass.

“I’m keeping up baseline fitness,” she says, “so when the time comes for me to compete again, I can jump back into race-specific training, hopefully without any injuries.” She’ll also run some solo time trials to reduce the shock of a race-like effort.

Comeback Tips: Waiting to race until you feel completely safe and ready to brave big crowds is as respectable of a requirement as it gets. Mass events may not reach pre-pandemic safety levels for a while—Goodman points out that the CDC still advises against medium- and large-scale gatherings (even for the vaccinated)—but there are other ways to test your fitness until they do. In addition to running time trials, Goodman suggests signing up for virtual races, which have the added benefit of supporting a financially strapped race organization. 


Meanwhile, keep an eye on CDC recommendations and know that peace of mind is a powerful performance enhancer, no matter how long you’re away.

(07/04/2021) Views: 304 ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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Star-studded field 2021, announced for Antrim Coast Half Marathon

With over 100 runners in the International elite race, over 400 in the sub-elite and with record numbers entering the mass race, this year’s Antrim Coast Half Marathon will be arguably one of the best half marathons in Europe, and one of the greatest ever in the United Kingdom.

The men’s race has seven men confirmed who have run under the 60-minute barrier.

Headlining the African contingent will be Jemal Yimer – winner of the Valencia Half Marathon in 2018. The current 6th fastest man of all time, Ethiopian record holder and ranked second in the world for the last two years, with a PB of 58:32 will be looking to better his own personal best on the super-fast route.

Joining Yimer will be fellow countryman Tesfahun Akalnew, the 21-year-old sensation, with a personal best time of 59:22 from the New Delhi Half Marathon will also look to better his time at this year’s event.

Shadrack Kimining, one of three Kenyans confirmed in this year’s race, twice breaking 60 minutes last year, placing third in Houston and running a PB in New Delhi with a time of 59:27 is also a confirmed starter.

Abrar Osman the Eritrean Olympic finalist and bronze medallist is looking to better his personal best of 59.47 set at the Lisbon International Half Marathon. A former winner of the African Games, he was seventh in the World Half Marathon championships in Cardiff in 2016.

Kenya’s latest star Daniel Mateiko, part of the postponed 2021 Kenyan World Cross Country team will be competing in his first ever half marathon after his world-class 10,00m debut in Hengelo last month, recording a time of 27:03, the fastest ever debut 10,000m.

With hopefully one global superstar still to announce, the British challenge will come from last year’s second place finisher, two-time European record holder and second fastest Briton all-time over 10,000m Marc Scott, looking to break the 60-minute barrier for the first time, returning fresh from the 5000m/10,000m double at the Tokyo Olympics.

British Olympian and Berlin Marathon fifth placer Scott Overall will also return to this year’s race.

The Irish contingent in the men’s race will be headlined by four Olympian’s young and old.

Belfast native Paul Pollock, post Tokyo Olympics will be looking to better his 62:09 and reclaim his Northern Ireland record broken at last year’s race by Stephen Scullion.

The women’s race will be headlined by Ethiopian sensation and third fastest ever Yalemzerf Yehualaw targeting the World Record on the super-fast course, a feat only ever achieved by Khalid Kannouchi and Paula Radcliffe in the UK, on both occasions set at the London Marathon.

After posting personal bests earlier in the year over the half marathon distance in Istanbul, with a time of 64:40 and running her first ever 5,000m in Paris last month, in a sensational debut of 14:53 her preparation has been perfect for an assault on the women’s world record.

Ethiopian stablemate Tsehay Gemechu will arrive fresh from her assault at the Olympic 10,000m in Tokyo, where she will be looking to better her two fourth place in the World Championships and sixth in the World Cross Country.

Gemechu will attack her own personal best of 66 min 0 sec, which she set winning the New Delhi Half Marathon in 2019.

Two-time World Half Marathon medallist Mary Ngugi is also confirmed and will look to get back to her form of 2016 which saw her take the silver medal at the World Half marathon championships in Cardiff, before targeting one of the major city marathons in October.

The British contingent will be headlined by last year’s fourth placer Becky Briggs, Tracey Barlow, and Ellie Davis with Irish distance stars Ann Marie McGlynn and Marie McCambridge also confirmed to start.

Last year’s winner Lily Partridge has had to pull out of defending her title due to an operation on her ankle, but has confirmed she will still make the journey to the province to support on the day.

(07/02/2021) Views: 136 ⚡AMP
by The Newsroom
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Antrim Coast Half Marathon

Antrim Coast Half Marathon

Welcome to the new Antrim Coast Half Marathon hosted by Larne AC. The redesigned P&O Ferries Antrim Coast Half Marathon (formerly Larne Half Marathon) course promises to be one of the flattest and fastest in the UK & Ireland, taking in many prominent landmarks & stunning scenery along the route. ...

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Galen Rupp and Sara Hall will headline the 43rd annual Bank of America Chicago Marathon elite field

The Bank of America Chicago Marathon announced today that two-time Olympic medalist Galen Rupp and America’s second fastest female marathon runner ever, Sara Hall, will be at the helm of this year’s elite field, a year that marks a global comeback for the road racing industry. Rupp stands out as one of the most decorated runners on the track and in the marathon, winning the 2016 and 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon trials and the 2017 Chicago Marathon; he is a five-time U.S. record holder, and eight-time U.S. 10,000 meter champion. Hall, a seven-time Olympic trials qualifier with ten national titles from the mile to the marathon, to her name, hopes to rewrite history by breaking the American marathon record, 2:19:36, set in 2006 by Deena Kastor.

“We are thrilled to welcome Galen and Sara, two of the most talented runners in U.S. history, to our start line this fall,” said Bank of America Chicago Marathon Executive Race Director Carey Pinkowski. “This is a celebratory moment not only for U.S. running, but for the global running community. The resilience and determination that Galen and Sara have shown throughout their careers is the same kind of resilience and determination that lives within every runner showing up in Grant Park this fall.”

Rupp, a four-time Olympian with a bronze medal in the marathon and a silver medal in the 10,000m, will make a quick turn-around to Chicago after going for gold in Tokyo. Rupp put on a show during his first appearance in Chicago in 2017 when he became the first American male since Khalid Khannouchi to stand on top of the podium. He returned in 2018, finishing fifth in 2:06:21, the fifth fastest time in American history on a record eligible course (he also owns the third fastest time ever run, 2:06:07). Shortly after his performance in 2018, he underwent surgery to correct Haglund’s Deformity. Rupp used his 2019 and 2020 seasons to announce his comeback to the top of elite running.

On an unrelenting hilly course in Atlanta, Rupp showcased his dominance at the 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon trials, swiftly winning the race while making his fourth Olympic team. Since then, he has continued to run well, setting an American record for 10 miles in 2020 (en route to a half marathon victory), and running in the Olympic Trials in the 10,000m. In addition to his accolades on the track and in the marathon, he is the second fastest American ever over the half marathon distance (59:47). If Rupp breaks the tape first this fall, he will be only the seventh man in Bank of America Chicago Marathon history to claim victory twice.

“Chicago is a special city and I’m excited to be coming back after so long,” said Rupp. “I have a personal connection to the city, and the 2021 Bank of America Chicago Marathon is going to be an awesome celebration.

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

Like Rupp, Hall stands out as one of the most versatile athletes in any elite field. She launched her professional career as a middle-distance specialist and steeplechaser while slowly migrating to the roads and, in 2015, to the marathon. She finished 10th in Chicago in 2015, ninth in New York in 2016, sixth in Tokyo in 2017, first in the California International Marathon in 2017 (her first U.S. title in the marathon), and third in Ottawa in 2018. But those achievements pale in comparison to what came next.

In 2020, Hall picked herself up from a disappointing DNF at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, refocused, and commenced her campaign to make history. She finished as the runner-up in 2:22:01 at the London Marathon last October (one of the only elite events in 2020), becoming the first American to finish in the top three in 14 years. Eleven weeks later - unconventional timing for a marathon runner - she competed in the Marathon Project, winning in a personal best, 2:20:32, while also inching closer to Kastor’s American record. Hall enters this year’s Chicago Marathon with a goal written on her bathroom mirror: “American Marathon record-holder.”

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

American marathon record holder and 2005 Chicago Marathon champion, Deena Kastor, is eager to watch Hall chase history.

“It’s exciting to see Sara go after the American record again,” said Kastor. “Her incredible fitness and joy of running makes this an opportunity worth fighting for. Chicago is certainly a great choice to be your best, so spectators can expect to witness some exciting performances on race day.”

The 43rd annual Bank of America Chicago Marathon will take place on Sunday, October 10.

(06/29/2021) Views: 200 ⚡AMP
by Business wire
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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 and more 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...

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London Marathon introduces bottle belts as part of COVID-19 countermeasures

Organisers of this year’s London Marathon are urging all participants to use its new bottle belts to reduce the number of touchpoints during the event.

London Marathon Events (LME) claim the introduction of bottle belts is "one of a number of measures" being planned to ensure the event, scheduled to take place on October 3, is "COVID-19 secure".

The full details of LME’s plans to mitigate the risk of spreading COVID-19 are expected to be announced by the end of August.

Designed by LME, the bottle belts are said to be made from more than 90 per cent recycled plastic by Manhattan Portage.

According to LME, a trial at the 2019 London Marathon found that the use of the belts led to a 45 per cent reduction in the number of bottles used by each participant.

The belts, specially designed to carry both the Buxton Natural Mineral Water 250-mililetre bottles and 500ml bottles of Lucozade Sport, enable participants to keep their bottles with them rather than discarding them after a few mouthfuls.

"The use of bottle belts means a potential huge reduction in touchpoints for runners, which is part of our planning to create a COVID-19 secure event, so we encourage every runner at this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon to wear a bottle belt," said LME event director Hugh Brasher.

"It’s also a very practical and useful training aid for all runners.

"Our trial showed that wearing a bottle belt led to a 45 per cent reduction the numbers of bottles of water required by a participant and that will significantly reduce gathering around water stations and touchpoints on October 3.

"In addition, use of the belts means we can ensure runners have the hydration they need to finish one of their greatest challenges while also reducing waste."

Buxton Natural Mineral Water and Lucozade Sport bottles are said to be fully recyclable and made from 100 per cent recycled plastic.

LME promised it would create dedicated drop zones for used bottles to be collected during the event and returned to be recycled as part of "a bottle-to-bottle closed loop system".

The belts are part of LME’s long-term commitment to reduce its impact on the environment, set out in its annual report, labelled "Leaving the Right Impression".

LME’s pledges include switching to 100 per cent renewable energy, donating more than 8,000 items of clothing to charitable causes, planting more than 1,000 trees to balance its carbon emissions and joining other mass participation sports organizations to share knowledge, experience and set cross-industry standards.

(06/28/2021) Views: 159 ⚡AMP
by Geoff Berkeley
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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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Kenya's Olympic marathon contender Ruth Chepngetich has had a remarkable year

Kenya's Ruth Chepngetich has had to cope with the restrictions on training and racing brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic but managed to smash the half-marathon world record.

When the 26-year-old Chepngetich was getting ready for the Istanbul Half Marathon in April she was just focused on running a good, confident race but she ended up obliterating the world record by 29 seconds and fulfilling a dream.

"I was thinking about 'world record, world record,' I can (now) say... in Istanbul, I broke the world record," Chepngetich told Reuters in an interview. read more

Following her impressive victory in Turkey, the 2019 world marathon champion set up camp in Ngong, an hour from Kenya's capital Nairobi to get ready for the Tokyo Olympics.

Among her competitors in the marathon will be compatriot and world record holder Brigid Kosgei.

Chepngetich understands that her own strong performances have turned up the pressure.

"I say I should focus at these Games because everybody now has an eye on me," she said. "I think when somebody is on a high level, there is a lot of pressure there."

But Chepngetich said all she can do is focus on herself and what she needs to do to bring a medal back home.

"I am preparing my mind for the Olympics, I am focusing for that Olympics," she said.

DIFFICULT YEAR

The past year has not been easy for Chepngetich.

As COVID-19 ground the world to a halt, with restrictions in place to stop the virus spreading bringing sport to a standtill, Chepngetich had to change her training approach, running with a small group as few races were available to test her progress.

"Athletics for me is my life, I don't have any other jobs," she said.

When races resumed in the autumn of 2020, it took her time to get back to full throttle.

Chepngetich finished third in the London marathon, which was won by Kosgei, where she also picked up an injury that she attributed partly to her long layoff.

"I relaxed and I came back to train with full force, because I was confirmed in London. So I forced my body until I got the hamstring injury," she said.

Chepngetich came second in New Delhi in November and in a 10km race in Madrid a month later.

"I was not 100% because of COVID (restrictions that limited practice and racing)," Chepngetich said.

But those races built up her momentum and when she arrived in Istanbul Chepngetich was able to fly.

"Last year's races made me more active than before, and that's why I ran well in Istanbul."

The soft-spoken Chepngetich grew up in Kericho County in eastern Kenya, born to parents who keep poultry and grow maize. She is the only athlete in the family of five and caught the running bug early at about nine years old, she said.

When she was around 16 running became more than just a hobby. She followed the exploits of compatriots Hellen Obiri, the Rio 2016 Olympic silver medallist and 5,000 metres world champion in 2017 and 2019, and Faith Chepngetich, the 1,500m gold medallist at the Rio Games, and wanted to emulate them.

"I was admiring them (and promised myself) that one day I will be like them," she said.

When Chepngetich completed secondary school in 2015, she turned to athletics full-time and began training with older athletes in Kericho where a local coach gave her training tips.

That same year she competed in one of her first professional races in Nairobi, a 10km run where she came third.

A few months later, in Morocco, in her first competition abroad, she finished third again in a half-marathon.

The performances were encouraging and in 2017 wins in Adana, Paris, Milan and Istanbul and improving times gave her more confidence that she could be a professional athlete. Later that year, she won her first marathon race in Istanbul.

"That marathon gave me more confidence that I could do more," she said.

Since then Chepngetich has elevated her performances to become world marathon champion in 2019 and world record holder in the half-marathon with her scintillating performance in Istanbul and will be among the favourites for gold in Tokyo.

Despite all the challenges brought about by the pandemic, Cheptengish remains upbeat about her prospects and said she will continue to "think positive to race a beautiful race".

Reporting by Omar Mohammed; Editing by Ken Ferris

(06/25/2021) Views: 131 ⚡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, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision. ...

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After setting a personal best of 2:02:37 to win the Milano Marathon in May, Titus Ekiru believes he can run under two hours

 Titus Ekiru believes he can run under two hours at the upcoming Chicago and London marathons. 

The 2019 African Games half marathon champion led a 1-2-3 Kenyan finish as he set a new course record, ahead of Reuben Kipyego (2:03:55) and Barnabas Kiptum (2:04:17) in second and third respectively. 

"I've been working hard in training to improve on the weak aspects of my performance. So far, so good; I believe that running under two hours is possible with the way my training has worked out so far. We are discussing with the management to explore the possibility of running at the Chicago and London marathons, among other races in the future," Ekiru said.

If he achieves this target, he would become the second man to ever run a marathon under two hours after marathon world record holder Eliud Kipchoge timed 1:59:40 during the INEOS Challenge in Vienna, Austria. 

Ekiru admitted that he had dreamt of representing the country at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics until these hopes were dashed when Athletics Kenya named Eliud Kipchoge, Lawrence Cherono, Vincent Kipchumba and Abel Kirui as Kenya's representatives in the road races. 

"It was my desire and hope that I would have been selected to compete in the marathon. Now that the team has been named, there's nothing much to do but to focus on the future. I can't compete in the 10,000m because I have not been specialising in it for a while," he said. 

(06/21/2021) Views: 124 ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Gene Dykes breaks M70 50K world record clocking 3:56:43, breaking the previous record by nearly 19 minutes

On a sunny Sunday in East Islip, NY, Gene Dykes broke the M70 50K world record at the USATF national 50K road championships, crossing the finish line in 3:56:43. He beat the previous record of 4:15:55, set by Germany’s Wilhelm Hofmann in 1997, by nearly 19 minutes.

This is the third world record Dykes can add to his resume, along with his M70 100-mile and 24-hour records. While his time has yet to be ratified, this is an incredible accomplishment for the already-decorated ultrarunner. To make his run even more impressive, he completed another 50K trail race only two weeks prior to his record-breaking run, and it’s been barely one month since he ran 152 miles (245 kilometres) at the Cocodona 250 in Arizona.

According to Dykes, the weather for Sunday’s race in Caumsett State Park was sunny, moderately windy, and not too hot, with temperatures hovering in the low 20s (Celsius) for most of the event. In a brief conversation with him after the race, he told Canadian Running (in a half-joking, half-serious manner) that he credits Canada’s late Ed Whitlock, one of the most decorated masters runners who ever lived, with his new 50K record.

“Thank you, Ed Whitlock, for never running a 50K,” he says.

Dykes is still aiming to take down Whitlock’s M70 marathon world record of 2:54:48, which he will attempt to do at this year’s London Marathon on October 3.

(06/14/2021) Views: 119 ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Tata Consultancy Services to become the title partner of London Marathon from 2022

This year’s ambition is for 50,000 runners to take part in the mass participation event from Blackheath to The Mall

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) will become the title partner of the London Marathon from 2022, following this year’s race on October 3.

TCS has a historic track record with major marathons across the world, including New York, Amsterdam, Singapore, and Mumbai. London will be the second Abbott World Marathon Major where TCS is the title partner and the fourth where TCS is the partner, as well as its seventh title partnership globally.

TCS plans to use digital innovation to further enhance the event experience for all future races which will continue to be a hybrid of physical and virtual events. This year’s ambition is for 50,000 runners to take part in the mass participation event from Blackheath to The Mall, and a further 50,000 in the virtual event.

“The London Marathon was founded on the core belief that the family of mankind can be united. TCS is building innovative and impactful technology solutions to help realize this belief, and inspire people to believe in themselves,” said Amit Kapur, Country Head, TCS UK & Ireland. “We are pleased to take on the role of title partner and lead the way in driving the future success of physical and virtual London Marathons.”

“We are delighted to welcome TCS as the new title partner of the London Marathon from 2022. This is a landmark day in our history, and we look forward to working with TCS to evolve and grow our digital reach, inspire millions more to become active and develop opportunities to raise even more for charities. TCS has been an integral part of the Marathon for the past five years, delivering the latest technology to enhance the marathon experience for participants and spectators.

This new title partnership marks the dawning of a new era in what we can achieve together,” commented Hugh Brasher, Event Director of the London Marathon.

(06/08/2021) Views: 180 ⚡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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Molly Seidel, Molly Huddle, Des Linden, Edna Kiplagat and Sara Hall, to Headline Mastercard New York Mini 10K on June 12

The 2021 Mastercard New York Mini 10K, the world’s original women-only road race, will feature the return of professional athletes to NYRR races for the first time since 2019. The all-star lineup on Saturday, June 12 will include U.S. Olympians Molly Seidel, Molly Huddle and Des Linden and past Mini 10K champions Sara Hall, Edna Kiplagat (and Huddle) in the open division, and two-time defending champion Susannah Scaroni and five-time TCS New York City Marathon champion Tatyana McFadden in the wheelchair division.

Seidel was the runner-up at the 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, running 2:27:31 in her first-ever marathon to secure a spot on the U.S. Olympic team. She finished in sixth place at the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon and is also a four-time NCAA champion. This will mark her third race appearance in New York; she won the 2017 NYRR Midnight Run and finished as runner-up at the 2017 USATF 5 km Championships.

“Although it’s my first time running the Mini, I’m well-aware of the race’s significance as the first-ever road race just for women,” Seidel said. “I’m excited that this is another step forward in returning to mass-participation and elite running, especially in a place as important to road racing as New York City. Personally, this race is a great opportunity to come down from the mountains of Flagstaff, Arizona, and test my legs as I prepare for the Olympic Games marathon in August.”

Linden won the Boston Marathon in 2018 and is a two-time U.S. Olympian in the distance, and she just missed out on a third Olympic Games appearance after placing fourth at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials last year. To kick off 2021, she ran a 2:59:54 in the 50K, a new world best for the distance.

Huddle is a two-time Olympian, having run the 5,000 meters at the London 2012 Games and setting the 10,000-meter American record at the Rio 2016 Games. In New York, she won the 2014 Mini 10K and is a three-time champion of the United Airlines NYC Half. She made her marathon debut at the 2016 TCS New York City Marathon, taking third place as the top American.

Hall, whose participation was announced last month, won the event in 2019 in 32:27 in a race that doubled as the USATF 10 km Championships. She has eight national titles to her name and was runner-up (2:22:01) at the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon last October and then in December clocked the second-fastest marathon ever by an American woman (2:20:32) at The Marathon Project in Chandler, Ariz.

Kiplagat has a storied history in New York, having won her New York City Marathon debut in 2010 and followed that with a second-place finish in the 2011 NYC Half and a victory in the 2012 Mini 10K. Outside of New York, she has won the World Championships Marathon in 2011 and 2013, the London Marathon in 2012, and the Boston Marathon in 2017.

“I am excited to return to the Mini 10K for the fifth time,” Kiplagat said. “It is a special feeling to stand on that starting line and feel the support of not only the women running with you, but all of the women who came before you. It is a very special race and I’m happy to be going back to New York City.”

In Central Park, they will be challenged by a number of athletes competing in the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials later in June, including Laura Thweatt, Emma Bates, Lindsay Flanagan, Maggie Montoya and Emily Durgin. 

The event will also feature a professional wheelchair division for the third time, making it the only all-women professional wheelchair race in the world. U.S. Paralympian Scaroni is the two-time defending champion in the wheelchair division, having raced world-best 10K times in both of her victories, including a 22:22 in 2019. She followed that performance by setting an American best in the marathon of 1:30:42 to win the 2019 Grandma’s Marathon, and then took third place at the TCS New York City Marathon that fall. Scaroni will once again line up against five-time New York City Marathon champion and 17-time Paralympic medalist McFadden, who is in search of her first Mini 10K title.

“The Mini 10K always means so much to me because the feeling of being on that line surrounded by so many women reminds me of how big of a celebration road racing is for the human spirit,” Scaroni said. “This year raises even more emotions – the opportunity to again unite with one another highlights the beauty of road racing and its ability to continuously bring us together through adversity.”

 To mitigate the risk of spread of COVID-19, the professional athletes taking part will be in a controlled environment. The field will be required to provide proof of a full vaccination series or negative COVID-19 test before traveling to New York and will undergo daily COVID-19 testing and tracing while in New York for the race. There will be a separation of the pro field and general field at the start, no guests will be allowed to accompany the athletes, and they will be required to wear masks at the start and finish areas. Additionally, there will be an elimination of touchpoints, including no large gatherings or in-person meetings until race morning.

(05/25/2021) Views: 326 ⚡AMP
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New York Mini 10K

New York Mini 10K

Join us for the NYRR New York Mini 10K, a race just for women. This race was made for you! It’s the world’s original women-only road race, founded in 1972 and named for the miniskirt, and it empowers women of all ages and fitness levels to be active and to look and feel great on the run. Every woman who...

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New York City Marathon Will Return in November

The race will have 33,000 entrants, instead of the usual 55,000. But staging it will satisfy runners desperate to run again.

The New York City Marathon, one of the biggest events staged in the city each year, will return in November with a reduced but still sizable field of runners, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced on Monday.

The race will take place on its usual date, the first Sunday in November, with about 33,000 runners instead of the typical 55,000 leaving the starting line on the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge in Staten Island. The 26.2-mile race through the five boroughs, months after the returns of teams and fans to baseball stadiums and indoor arenas, is expected to be a milestone in New York’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s the North Star,” Ted Metellus, the race director, said of the marathon’s return. “It’s the thing that says we’re back.”

The announcement comes as New York continues to emerge from the kind of pandemic restrictions that led to the cancellation of last year’s marathon. With vaccinations rising and coronavirus cases decreasing, the city and state continue to end or ease rules on everything from dining in restaurants to attendance at ballparks and fitness centers.

For months, city officials and health experts have been in discussions with leaders of New York Road Runners, the organization that owns and operates the marathon, about the scale of this year’s race.

Officials agreed to reduce the size of the field this year to prevent overcrowding, though any plan to control crowds along the course — and any restrictions that might be imposed on them — remain unclear.

The smaller field will help to reduce the number of people on the ferries and buses that shuttle runners to the starting village at Fort Wadsworth in Staten Island and create more room for social distancing among participants once they arrive.

Officials plan to begin the race with a staggered start, sending runners onto the course a few at a time, every few seconds. The process, which will take several hours, is one that the Road Runners have been using in smaller races for several months.

The change, however, will also lengthen the race day, and require the city to close streets for more hours than usual.

To compete, runners will be required to test negative for the coronavirus in the days before the race or show proof of full vaccination, though organizers must still determine policies about when tests will take place, who will pay for them and the consequences for someone who tests positive. Runners will not be required to wear masks while on the course.

Those requirements may change, Metellus said, as organizers monitor changing guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as state and local mandates.

“Those changes will dictate a lot of change we see in the event,” said Metellus, who predicted the guidance would continue to evolve until race day.

For now, the organization said it was re-evaluating just about anything that may cause crowding, including rethinking aid stations, which are usually set up on every mile of the course, and reimagining bag drop off and pick up. First aid will remain at every mile marker, but hydration stations may be more spaced out, with volunteers following various safety guidelines. And while runners will still be able to drop off a bag of their belongings, they will not be able to bring their bags to the start.

A field of more than 30,000 runners will provide plenty of room for everyone who had registered for the 2020 race before it was canceled or who opted to defer to 2021. (About 54 percent of the 30,000 early registrants for the 2020 race opted to run the 2021 race.)

ImageVolunteers handing out water in 2019. Organizers expect monitoring guidance from health officials as they plan everything from aid and hydration stations to the size of the field.

Volunteers handing out water in 2019. Organizers expect monitoring guidance from health officials as they plan everything from aid and hydration stations to the size of the field.Credit...Sarah Blesener for The New York Times

The organization is still figuring out how to fill all the spots in the race, but it has decided not to hold a new drawing. Other avenues of entry into the race will include runners who complete and volunteer for a specified number of New York Road Runners events and those who have completed 15 or more New York City Marathons. Registration for those who qualify for a guaranteed entry will take place during the second week in June.

Organizers also plan to have a significant contingent of charity runners who pledge to raise about $3,000 for a chosen organization when they participate.

Many charities rely on the marathon to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars every year. But New York Road Runners also relies on charities for a significant portion of its revenue, since the charities pay about three times as much as an individual runner does to secure a place in the race. The individual registration fee for the 2020 race was $295.

Organizers expect interest in any open spots to be high. The Boston Marathon, scheduled for Oct. 11, was oversubscribed by more than 9,000 runners, all of whom had met the qualifying standard for their age groups.

Officials with New York Road Runners had predicted earlier in the spring that the 2021 race would take place without revealing the size and scope of the event. New York’s event will join an unusually crowded calendar of major marathons, a situation that will force top runners into difficult decisions about where and when to race.

Marathons in Boston, London, Los Angeles and Tokyo that usually take place in February, March and April have moved to the fall this year, joining races in Berlin, Chicago, New York and Washington. Elite runners usually do only one race in the spring and one in the fall. The Berlin Marathon (Sept. 26), the London Marathon (Oct. 3) and the Tokyo Marathon (Oct. 17) all have plans to take place before New York’s race in November.

Organizers can’t quite plan how New Yorkers will respond to their beloved marathon returning to all five boroughs. While there are significant modifications to the course experience, including limiting mass gathering locations, “it’s still New York City,” Metellus said. “The city will still live and breathe.”

(05/17/2021) Views: 200 ⚡AMP
by Matthew Futterman and Talya Minsberg (NY Times)
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