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Articles tagged #London Marathon
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Hamburg Marathon, Which Still Hasn’t Canceled, Announces a Strict Hygiene Policy

In the same week the Berlin Marathon and New York City Marathon were canceled, Hamburg Marathon race organizers announced they are moving forward with plans to host 26.2 in Germany amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

On June 23, race organizers shared an extensive hygiene policy, which was proposed to the city of Hamburg in hopes that the marathon will happen on September 13.

Hamburg Marathon race organizers do not have the city’s approval to gather the 14,000 runners anticipated for the event, but they are hoping to receive permission by the beginning of August, communications director Reinald Achilles confirmed in an email to Runner’s World.

The Hamburg marathon and half marathon were planned for April 19 but had to be rescheduled when the German government implemented a nationwide shut down in mid-March. While the number of new infections has stabilized at a lower level, as reported by Reuters on June 17, the country’s ban on large events was extended to October 24. But exceptions are being made for events where contract tracing and hygiene regulations are possible. 

If the event continues, the Hamburg Marathon will likely be the first large-scale international marathon to be hosted since the start of the pandemic. 

“We are optimistic that the Haspa Marathon Hamburg will be started on September 13,” race director Frank Thaleiser said in a statement. “We have the plans and the infrastructure required. We will now make detailed plans together with the city to realize the race.”

The hygiene policy, outlined by race officials last Tuesday, was developed by experts at Manchester Metropolitan University in England, which offers a masters degree in crowd safety and risk analysis. 

To prepare for the 10,000 marathon participants and 4,000 half marathon runners expected to compete, race organizers are planning to include social distancing and increased hygiene measures prior to and during the event. 

The half marathon and the marathon will have different start and finish areas, and the runners will begin each race in staggered groups of 1,000 about 10 minutes apart over the course of two hours. Before the event, runners will be assigned in predetermined groups and corralled in different halls of the expo building prior to the start. Disinfection stations will be available throughout the event area and along the course. 

Each participant will be given a scarf with a breathing filter to be worn over the nose and mouth in the event areas. And unlike previous races, open food and drink will not be available in the finish area. Instead, race organizers will be offering a refueling package to the participants. 

The elite field will be a smaller group of 30 athletes who will be required to complete COVID-19 testing prior to the competition. Runners in the elite and the mass field will not be allowed to participate if they are traveling from countries where the virus poses a higher risk. 

“The organizational and hygiene policy should demonstrate that a running event with up to 14,000 participants within a city environment can be carried out responsibly while respecting the restrictions on contact and current hygiene guidelines since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Thaleiser said in a statement. 

On June 24, the Berlin Marathon, which hosted 62,444 participants in 2019, was officially canceled. The news followed earlier reports in April in which race organizers announced the World Marathon Major would not go on as planned because of the ordinance set in place by the German government prohibiting all events with more than 5,000 people until October 24. The race looked into different options for holding the event but ultimately determined it wasn’t possible to continue on September 26-27. 

The New York City Marathon was also canceled last Wednesday in a joint decision made by the New York Road Runners and the New York City Mayor’s Office. The marathon was supposed to take place in November, and it would have been the 50th running of the event. 

New York and Berlin are the latest World Marathon Majors to be canceled or postponed in 2020. The Boston Marathon was initially postponed from April to September before being canceled in May. The London Marathon was rescheduled for October 4, and the Chicago Marathon remains on the calendar for October 11.

(06/30/2020) ⚡AMP
by Taylor Dutch (Runner’s World)
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Haspa Marathon Hamburg

Haspa Marathon Hamburg

The new date for the 2020 marathon is set for September 13, 2020. The HASPA MARATHON HAMBURG is Germany’s biggest spring marathon and since 1986 the first one to paint the blue line on the roads. Hamburcourse record is fast (2:05:30), the metropolitan city (1.8 million residents) lets the euphoric atmosphere spill over and carry you to the finish. Make...

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New York marathon champion Joyciline Jepkosgei dreams to rule the roost in marathon despite cancellations

 New York marathon champion Joyciline Jepkosgei had not planned to venture into the ultimate distance late in 2019.

For her, the graduation from road races to the marathon was penciled for 2018 after meticulous planning.

However, illness, poor form and injury delayed her promotion to the new challenge until late in 2019.

Jepkosgei had plans to answer her critics by running at the Honolulu marathon and later in the London marathon in 2018 but failed to get the chance due to injury and sickness.

However in 2019, after a lot of self-evaluation, she took a leap of faith and ventured into the marathon and was handsomely rewarded with a win in New York on first asking, powering to cut the tape in 2:22:38, which was seven seconds off the course record of Margaret Okayo (2:22:31) set in 2003.

"I was not expecting to win in New York, based on the high profile athletes that I was running against, especially my village mate Mary Keitany," Jepkosgei told Xinhua on Monday from Iten, her training base.

However, the 26-year-old never anticipated her development in the marathon would be stalled by COVID-19. She had planned to compete at the Africa Cross Country Championships in Lome, Togo in March as part of her preparations for the London marathon in April. But the event was postponed to 2021.

Earlier Jepkosgei had let the chance to compete at the World Half Marathon in Gdynia, Poland slip past her to focus on running in London.

However, the sports calendar was wrecked by the global pandemic and all the three events were either postponed or canceled.

"At first, I thought it was going to be a short time and we would return to action by June. Then we saw governments closing down, movement within and outside the country was restricted and all hope was dashed and we had to isolate even in training at home. Our training camps were shut down and we had to retreat back to our homes to avoid catching the COVID-19 pandemic," said Jepkosgei.

While all this was happening, Jepkosgei, who is also the world marathon record holder (64:51) hinged her hopes on defending her title in New York in November.

However, even that has been taken away from her, throwing the season into uncertainty.

That cancellation of the 2020 New York City marathon was no surprise to Jepkosgei.

"I was preparing for another good run to defend my title in New York. I had turned down my chance to compete at the World Half Marathon so as to focus on London and New York marathons, but both will not be held as planned in 2020," Jepkosgei added.

She, however, has not given up on her hope and dreams to lead Kenya to one day win the Olympic gold in the 2024 Paris Games.

"For me, I take the cancellations of marathon races positively knowing that there will always be another chance to excel, to showcase my talent and to work on my career performances. A chance will always come when we will return to competition post-COVID-19 and that is why I keep on training. To be ready when called upon to compete again," she said.

Jepkosgei, however, believes though 2019 was her best season, so far, better performances are in cue for her starting in 2021.

"Past records are just that, they lay in the past. I look forward to the future and want to do well," she said.

Indeed last year, Jepkosgei excelled better than predicted. For an athlete who held world records in the half marathon and road 10K, the year saw her clinch the New York City Half Marathon in March and go on to overcome her fears and compete in her first full marathon.

In addition, Jepkosgei is the youngest women's marathon champion in New York since 2001. She is the first woman to win in her debut since Tegla Loroupe of Kenya in 1994 and posted the fastest debut finish by a woman in New York City Marathon history.

"I have scaled down my training because I love running. I always want to be in my best shape. For now, there is no inspiration to train hard for a competition venture, but for the love of sport, I have to continue doing what I love, running," Jepkosgei added.

For now, she is at peace with organizers' projection to host the next New York City Marathon in 2021 with a set date being Nov. 7.

Hopefully, for Jepkosgei, she prays to remain injury-free and fit to defend her title. Time will tell.

(06/29/2020) ⚡AMP
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TCS  New York City Marathon

TCS New York City Marathon

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

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Will any of the six World Marathons Majors be held this year other than the elite field in Tokyo?

The Berlin Marathon, one of the world’s six elite long-distance races, has been cancelled this year as organisers conceded the event cannot be held under German Covid-19 containment regulations.

The decision yesterday (Wednesday) came as the 2020 New York City Marathon, originally scheduled for November 1 and another member of the World Marathon Majors (WMM) group, was also cancelled due to Covid-19.

The Berlin Marathon was scheduled for September 26-27, but organisers had already announced in April that this year’s race would not go ahead as scheduled after the German government extended its ban on large-scale gatherings of more than 5,000 people until October 24.

SCC Events has now said that after “extensive examination and various discussions” it would not be possible to hold the event at a later date this year. It added: “Over the past weeks, we have put a lot of commitment and effort into examining all options for holding the BMW Berlin-Marathon 2020 under the given conditions.

“We worked hard on the development of a hygiene concept and held countless discussions with our experts, the responsible authorities and service providers, among others.”

The media and sponsorship rights to the Berlin Marathon are sold by the Infront agency, which is also responsible for the broadcast production. Of the six World Marathon Majors, only Tokyo has taken place so far this year on March 1, with a reduced field consisting only of elite runners, without the mass participation element.

The Berlin and New York decisions came weeks after the Boston Marathon was cancelled for the first time in its 124-year history. The London Marathon has been postponed until October 4, while the Chicago Marathon remains scheduled for October 11.

(06/26/2020) ⚡AMP
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How Eliud Kipchoge has been handling things during the COVID-19 crisis

Ever since he won the marathon Olympic gold at the Rio Games in 2016, Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya has been smashing records with authority. He planned to crack a few more this year before the pandemic struck and halted his progress.

“The postponement of the Tokyo Games [to 2021] has turned everything, from preparation to planning, upside down for me,” he told Sportstar  from Kenya on Friday.

The World record holder, who has won 11 of the 12 official marathons he has taken part in, said he is tackling the tough days by staying positive and setting safety as his priority.

Isolation training

“I have never been in a hard situation like this. This one is completely different and has hampered my training in a big way,” he said. “It has not only affected my training but my fitness too. Training in isolation is not easy and, without your teammates around, it is hard to gauge your fitness as well. Consistency and setting your goal is another recipe.”

But Kipchoge was quick to point out that the pandemic has taught him life’s big lesson: “To treat the uncertainties and accept the change as it happens.”

Having run 3.2kms to school on a daily basis, the Kenyan has moulded himself into a tough nut to crack. “Yes, I was born tough and have also gone through some tough situations in life but the pandemic is tougher still,” he said.

Patiently waiting

How about defending the marathon title at the Tokyo Games? “It’s not easy to clinch the gold as it needs total dedication and patience and, above all, consistency,” said the 35-year-old, who won at Rio with the biggest margin of victory (70 seconds) in the Olympics since 1972. The Kenyan had bagged a silver at Beijing (2008) and bronze at Athens (2004), both over 5000m.

Despite his advancing years, Kipchoge, who ran the world’s first ever sub-two-hour marathon by clocking 1:59:40 at a special event in Vienna last year, is determined to run many a mile. Besides the Olympics, he is eyeing a fifth London Marathon title.

He may have to wait for things to settle down before getting back on the road.

(06/21/2020) ⚡AMP
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A message from the race director of the London Marathon Hugh Brasher

I am sure earlier this week you will have seen the news that the Great North Run was sadly, but understandably, cancelled.

There has been much speculation that this means the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon will also be cancelled. However, it doesn’t.

All road races have unique challenges. These might be transporting people to the start; transporting them from the finish; the density of runners on the course; the density and movement of spectators; providing runners with appropriate medical care and facilities such as loos and drinks; dealing with the logistics of road closures and reopenings – the challenges are always different for every race.

The team at London Marathon Events has been looking at the logistics of the Virgin Money London Marathon and coming up with innovative ways to socially distance the event.

We have also been working with other mass participation event organisers in the UK, including the Great Run Company and Human Race, to make recommendations to the UK Government on how mass participation events can return.

As I write, there are currently just over 15 weeks before the planned date of our 40th Race on Sunday 4 October. Therefore, on the usual timescale for our event, we are currently at the equivalent of the first week of January.

That means there is still plenty of time to train and there is neither a need, nor should there be a desire, to be at your peak fitness yet.

We still don’t know whether we will be able run together, walk together and be together on that journey of 26.2 miles on 4 October. Almost every day we hear hopeful news from other countries and we hear tales of despair.

However, what we do know is that we have hope, desire and ingenuity. Hope that the world will have found a way through Covid-19 by October. Desire to show the positive effects of running a marathon, running for communities and good causes. Ingenuity of thought, technology and people.

So please, focus on your own health and the health of those around you. Focus on running and exercise. It is great for you physically and mentally.

I assure you that whatever decision we take about 4 October, it will be taken in line with our values and with the responsibility we have to you, our runners, our charities, our sponsors, our volunteers, our medics, our communities and our city.

Just over 40 years ago, on 26 October 1979, my father Chris Brasher, the co-founder of the London Marathon, started his column in The Observer with these words:

To believe this story, you must believe that the human race can be one joyous family working together, laughing together, achieving the impossible…

From those words, the first London Marathon was born.

While some may think what we are trying to do on Sunday 4 October is impossible, we will not give up hope.

The 40th Race should be a day that shows the best of humanity. A togetherness, a joy and a celebration of everything we treasure.

I look forward to that day.

Thank you for your patience and understanding. We will be in touch again on 28 July.

(06/19/2020) ⚡AMP
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

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

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Brendan Foster doubtful the rescheduled 2020 London Marathon can take place

A decision on the fate of this year's London Marathon, which has already been postponed from April to October will be made on Sunday.

Former British long-distance runner Brendan Foster has said it will be "extremely difficult" to stage this year's London Marathon amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Foster is the founder of the Great North Run and Monday saw this year's edition of that race, due to take place on September 13, canceled as a result of COVID-19.

A decision on whether this year's London Marathon — already postponed from April to October — is expected on Sunday June 21.  

"Mass participation events in the form that ours takes, and the London Marathon takes, are clearly going to be extremely difficult to hold and it's going to be up to us to find a formula for the future," said Foster.

He added it would have been impossible to make the race virus secure amid the U.K.'s current two-meter social distancing regulations, as it would have meant a start line that "would have stretched from Newcastle to Berwick."

Foster is now looking to the 2021 edition, saying: "It's in our DNA to run, and to run in groups. We have been doing it for two million years, so there's no way that a pandemic like this is going to blow away man's endeavour in terms of running, and running together."

(06/17/2020) ⚡AMP
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

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

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2021 London Marathon set to host GB Olympic trial

British Athletics confirms there will be no further marathon team pre-selections ahead of the rescheduled Olympic Games

British athletes will race for Olympic Games places at next April’s Virgin Money London Marathon, provided athletics competition has safely returned by then following the coronavirus pandemic.

This year’s London Marathon had been due to incorporate the GB trial for the 2020 Games in Japan before the event in the UK capital was moved to October 4, with the postponement of the Olympics until July and August 2021 announced a short while later.

Sharing the news on Twitter, the UKA Athlete Commission said: “Last month saw us undertake a consultation process with some of GB’s top marathon runners and coaches regarding selection for Tokyo 2020. Today’s announcement confirms London Marathon April 2021 will be the trial race."

In a statement, the national governing body said: “British Athletics can today confirm that, subject to the safe return to competition for the sport of athletics, the Virgin Money London Marathon in April 2021 will be the trial race for the Tokyo Olympic Games.

“In addition there will be no further marathon team pre-selections.”

The Olympic marathon and race walk events are still set to take place in Sapporo, rather than Tokyo, in 2021, with Callum Hawkins the sole athlete to have been pre-selected for the British team.

Despite impressive marathon performances by the likes of Charlotte Purdue, Steph Twell and Jess Piasecki last year, no British women gained pre-selection.

There had been questions as to whether the rescheduled London Marathon, should it take place as planned in October, would still incorporate the GB Olympic trial but it looked unlikely following World Athletics’ decision to suspend the Olympic qualification period meaning that results achieved between April 6 and December will not count as Tokyo 2020 entry marks.

Last month event director Hugh Brasher highlighted the uncertainty regarding the running of the 40th edition London Marathon on October 4 and a further update is due from organisers on June 21.

On Monday it was confirmed that this year’s Great North Run half-marathon, which had been due to take place on September 13, has been cancelled.

(06/16/2020) ⚡AMP
by Athletics Weekly
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

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

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The Great North Run has been Cancelled

This year’s Great North Run in September has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The iconic half marathon race, which raises more than £25 million for charity, was due to take place on 13 September, but race organisers have now confirmed it will not go ahead due to health risks.

A statement read: “Today, we have confirmed the cancellation of the 2020 Great North Run. The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic mean it isn’t possible to stage the event as planned this year.

The 40th Great North Run is now scheduled to take place on 12 September 2021, while the Great Manchester Run on 6 September has also been cancelled, with its next edition of the race set for 23 May, 2021.

Runners who had their place confirmed by the 2020 Ballot or through membership have the option of rolling their entry over to next year. While charity runners should wait to be contacted directly in the coming days or weeks to secure a place at next year’s race.

While the rescheduled London Marathon remains on for now, with 4 October the revised date.

(06/15/2020) ⚡AMP
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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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I was overcome with sadness - Kenyan Kipchoge said after the London Marathon postponement

Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge took two weeks to get over the news of the London Marathon postponement, it was revealed on Wednesday.

The race was scheduled for April, with Kipchoge the defending champion, before it was postponed and rescheduled for October due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

“It was painful for me when London was postponed,” Kipchoge told Runner’s World.

“I was at peak fitness before that race. I took two weeks to be sad, and then I went back to training. This is life.”

Kipchoge set the men’s marathon record of 2:01:39 at the Berlin Marathon in 2018, and in October last year became the first man to break two-hours for the 42.2km distance in an unofficial challenge run in Vienna.

Known as the Ineos159 Challenge, Kipchoge with a series of different pacemakers clocked 1:59:40 to become the first person to break two hours for the marathon distance.

This weekend, Kipchoge will be taking part in a virtual 42km relay event called “M A R A T H O N”.

Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele, Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei and Kenyan Geoffrey Kamworor will also be participating.

That high-powered quartet will take part in a the team event on Saturday and Sunday which invites runners from around the world to join teams of four to complete a full marathon together, alone.

(06/06/2020) ⚡AMP
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

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

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Athletics Kenya say Olympic marathon team not cast in stone

Athletics Kenya could make changes to its marathon teams to the Tokyo Olympic Games basing on form.

The federation’s senior deputy president in charge of competitions, Paul Mutwii, disclosed that a lot could happen between now and the Olympic Games in 2021 after the action was deferred by one year owing to the coronavirus pandemic.

Mutwii was speaking on Thursday in reaction to the new Olympic qualification guidelines issued by World Athletics for July 23 to August 8, 2021.

The Games were postponed from July 24 to August 9 this year to the same period next year owing to concerns over the coronavirus spread.

The qualifying period for track and field events for the Olympic will now end on June 29, 2021, just 23 days before the start of the world’s biggest sporting bonanza.

In its four-year strategic plan and Olympic qualifying process, World Athletics says the marathon and race walk entry period will elapse on May 31, 2021.

World marathon record holders Eliud Kipchoge and Brigid Kosgei were on January 31 this year picked lead “Team Kenya” over the 42-kilometre race at the Tokyo Olympics.

The men's team also has World Championships marathon bronze medallist Amos Kipruto and Boston and Chicago Marathon champion Lawrence Cherono.

Bedan Karoki and Titus Ekiru are reserves.

Besides Kosgei, the women’s team has 2018 London Marathon champion Vivian Cheruiyot, world champion Ruth Chepng'etich with Valary Aiyabei and Sally Chepyego the reserves.

(06/06/2020) ⚡AMP
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The Cardiff Half Marathon scheduled for October 4 has been postponed until 2021 due to the coronavirus

Organizer Run 4 Wales says holding it in just four months' time "really isn't feasible" and the event will instead take place on 28 March next year.

Since its foundation in 2003, the event has become the UK's third biggest race after the London Marathon and the Great North Run.

Last year 27,500 runners and 100,000 spectators attended the race.

The 2019 Cardiff Half Marathon saw men's winner Leonard Langat from Kenya finish the 13.1 mile course in a new record time of 59 minutes 29 seconds.

"There's still uncertainty about what the autumn looks like," Run 4 Wales chief executive Matt Newman told BBC Sport Wales.

"The prognosis is not very good at the moment and it looks like [mass] events are going to be one of the last things to come back when the world starts to settle down.

"Whilst we could have left this for 12 months and come back in the autumn of 2021, we wanted to give participants an option to come in March which we feel is long enough away for the world to start to come back to some sort of normality."

The Cardiff Half had been due to take place on the same day as the rearranged London Marathon. As it stands that event is still due to go ahead.

The Newport Wales Marathon - already postponed from April to October - has been pushed back again to a new date of 18 April 2021.

Newman is hopeful that postponing the Cardiff Half will allow organisers to hold an event "virtually as normal" next spring, but admits Run 4 Wales is preparing for some restrictions to still be in place.

"We're getting lots of information about how the running community across Europe is looking to stage events," he said.

"There's a lot of creativity going on about different waves, different start times, putting in place all sorts of safe practices.

"But right now it's a little bit early to explain all the options, as we're still hopeful that by the spring of 2021 some of the restrictions we have at the moment are relaxed."

The Cardiff Half Marathon typically sees more than £4m raised for charities and the hope is that only delaying the event will mean these good causes will not miss out on vital fundraising.

Next year will see two half marathons take place in the Welsh capital, with the autumn event still scheduled for 3 October 2021.

(06/04/2020) ⚡AMP
by Tom Brown
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Cardiff Half Marathon

Cardiff Half Marathon

The Cardiff University/Cardiff Half Marathon has grown into one of the largest road races in the United Kingdom. The first event took place back in 2003. The event is not only the UK’s second largest half marathon, it is Wales’ largest road race and Wales’ largest multi-charity fund raising event. The race is sponsored by Cardiff University and supported by...

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Kipchoge, Bekele to face off in virtual relay marathon

Marathon icons Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya and Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele will hold a virtual team relay marathon between June 6 and 7, which may act as a dry run to their unprecedented clash in London in October.

With the world closed down and international travel not allowed in many countries, the two greatest marathon runners will form part of the teams that will compete in the relay race together with Uganda's world 10,000m champion Joshua Cheptegei and New York marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor.

All four runners are managed by Global Sports Communications, under the NN Running team, and are using the lockdown to offer fans and elite runners hope as they wait for the sports season to open starting in August.

"On June 6-7, we run as one in a worldwide virtual marathon relay. Assemble a team of four, or be assigned a team with three other runners from around the world. Run against, or even possibly with, superstars like Eliud, Kenenisa, Joshua and Geoffrey," said NN Running team on Friday.

The virtual relay marathon is open to all athletics across the world. Each individual runner will be required to run for 10.5km alone so the team completes a full marathon together. This allows participants to safely run solo in their own locations while running in a team via the virtual standings.

"My teammates and I are really looking forward to joining the relay in this wonderful initiative. Success comes with hard work," world marathon record holder Kipchoge said.

"It has been an unusual time whereby all runners had to readjust their plans after having prepared well towards their own goals for this past spring season," the Olympic champion continued.

Bekele and Kipchoge will clash in the rescheduled London marathon on October 4 with Kipchoge hinting at making an attempt to break the course record, which he set in winning the 2019 race in the English capital.

Kipchoge cemented his status last year as the greatest marathon runner of all time by clocking the third-fastest time in history and becoming the first man to achieve a quartet of victories at the London marathon.

He clocked 2:02:37, carving 28 seconds out of the London course record he set three years ago.

"I hope to win again. We all look forward to a positive future and I believe that this is a great first step in that direction. Marathon is a sport whereby elite athletes and fun runners are actually all racing in the same race. It's what makes our sport unique and I find the essence of this to be beautiful," said Kipchoge. Enditem

(05/30/2020) ⚡AMP
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Kenya’s long distance runner, Mikel Kiprotich Mutai has been handed a four-year ban with compatriot Japhet Kipchirchir Kipkorir getting a provisional suspension for doping offences

World Athletics’ (WA) Athletes Integrity Unit (AIU) announced on Friday that it had found Mutai guilty of having tested positive to prohibited substance Norandrosterone.

Mutai’s suspension starts on March 20, 2020 for four years and his results dating back to December 15, 2019 will be nullified.

Mutai and another Kenyan long distance runner Alex Oloitiptip were flagged down on May 13 by AIU for separate violations of anti-doping rules. AIU is yet to determine on Oloitiptip’s case after the athlete was flagged down for his whereabouts violation.

In his last race, Mutai finished third during the Taipei Marathon in 2:17:14 on December 15 last year in Taipei, almost a month after claiming an ninth place finish at Nanchang International Marathon in China in 2:19:06.

Mutai had started the year at the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon where he finished eighth in 2:12:54 on February 17, having won the race for the first time in 2016 in 2:12:12.

Mutai, who has personal best 2:09:18 from 2012 Dubai Marathon, would then finish sixth at New Taipei City Marathon in 2:25:32 on March 1 last year.

Mutai started his road running career at the 2008 Nairobi Half Marathon where he finished eighth has a chance to appeal the decision.

Kipkorir, who finished third at 2011 Gold Coast Marathon in personal best 2:10:50, too has tested positive to prohibited substance Norandrosterone.

Mutai, Kipkorir and Oloitiptip join several other Kenyans who have either been banned or under provisional suspension for various doping offences this year by AIU.

They are the 2017 London Marathon champion Daniel Wanjiru, Kennth Kipkemoi, 2014 World Under-20 800m champion Alfred Kipketer and former world marathon record holder, Wilson Kipsang.

Others are Mercy Kibarus, Vincent Kipsegechi Yator and Peter Kwemoi.

(05/29/2020) ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge distributes food and face masks to athletes at Kaptagat in Elgeyo-Marakwet County

Eliud Kipchoge has appealed to more well-wishers to contribute towards the Covid-19 food stimulus programme for athletes, saying he’s eager to see the programme roll out to the rest of Kenya.

So far, the focus of the relief food has been in the Rift Valley region where the Olympic champion has himself distributed food to athletes in Kericho, Nandi, Uasin Gishu and Elgeyo-Marakwet counties through the Ministry of Sport, his Eliud Kipchoge Foundation and other well-wishers.

On Wednesday, Kipchoge was in Elgeyo-Marakwet County again to assist athletes in his training base of Kaptagat after well-wishers Zaharia Hassanali and family in collaboration with Eliud Kipchoge Foundation gifted 24 athletes with food aid.

Kipchoge said many athletes have been suffering and need support because they can’t train on empty stomachs, forcing him to reach out to various corporates to help reach the vulnerable.

With more support from well-wishers, Kipchoge said he will go across the country to help athletes, footballers, volleyball players and any other sportspersons in dire need of support.

“I have been doing this for four weeks now, and I’m trying to reach those athletes who are vulnerable,” the world marathon record holder said.

“Today, I managed to meet 24 athletes who benefited from the exercise. I know how tough it is to train in an empty stomach and I will always support the upcoming in this exercise including those who are in other events.

“In these hard times, I know what the athletes are going through, and I would urge for more support so that together we can beat this pandemic which has affected the athletes’ lives.”

With elite runners depending on races across the globe, cessation of sports events due to fears over the spread of the coronavirus has forced the athletes into a tight financial corner.

Kipchoge also thanked Sara Janmohamed, who made 100 masks for the Olympic champion’s foundation, urging more youths to be innovative.

“I was touched by Janmohamed, who is still in secondary school, who was able to make 100 masks which I have also distributed to athletes. I would like to urge the youths to be more proactive in the fight against the Covid-19,” he said.

He urged athletes to continue training hard hoping that the next season would be better if the virus is contained.

“For now, apart from the food distribution, safety is more paramount but when competition resumes we shall come out stronger as athletes as we look forward to a better season,” said Kipchoge.

Kipchoge is preparing for the much awaited duel with Ethiopian legend Kenenisa Bekele at the rescheduled London Marathon on October 4.

“Right now, safety is my priority and I will soon be starting my training and when that time comes, I will be able to tell you my training programme,” added Kipchoge.

Ismail Cheboror, one of the athletes who benefited yesterday, said he was touched by the support from the athletics legend and he is looking forward to be like him in future.

“I’m happy for the support I have received which will keep me going in my training. “Kipchoge is God-sent and I want to be like him in future because he always inspires me,” said Cheboror.

Sarah Jelagat, who is a road racer, couldn’t hide her joy after receiving her food ration, saying she has been struggling to put food on the table.

“I was preparing for a road race in the United States of America in March, but it was cancelled due to the virus and since then I have just been training to keep fit,” said Jelagat.

(05/28/2020) ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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Hugh Brasher addresses the uncertainty of holding the London Marathon this fall

Event director issues a message to runners who are targeting the rescheduled race on October 4

Event director Hugh Brasher has written an open letter to runners set to take on the Virgin Money London Marathon on October 4, highlighting the uncertainty and decisions to be made regarding the running of the 40th edition race.

The iconic marathon was originally scheduled for April 26 but was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

When that decision was announced in March, organisers were confident that the event would be able to take place in the autumn but in his recent update, Brasher states: “this is a world where things are changing so rapidly on a day to day basis and that is now far from certain”.

“The London Marathon has always been so much more than ‘just a marathon’,” he adds.

In an interview last month, Brasher explained how scenarios for the rescheduled race are ever-evolving.

“There are so many scenarios and, in reality, nothing is off the table,” he said.

In his letter to runners published on Wednesday, he adds: “We know that you would like certainty. We understand and acknowledge that you want to know if you should start serious training or restart your fundraising campaign.

“However, much as we would like to, we cannot offer you certainty.

“The London Marathon Events team is working hard on many different possible scenarios and, as circumstances change, we come up with new ideas.

“We know we have a huge responsibility to you, our runners, but we know that responsibility goes much further. It extends to our charities which, through the sweat of a record 42,549 finishers, raised an incredible £66.4 million in 2019. It extends to our staff, our elite athletes, our volunteers, our medics, our communities and our city.

“Every decision we make will be in line with our values. This is about far more than putting on a marathon. We need to be sure it is right for society.”

(05/24/2020) ⚡AMP
by Athletic Weekly
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

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

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Coronavirus Pandemic puts dreams of runners at Keringet Athletics Camp on hold

If there is an athletics camp in Kenya that has been badly affected by ban on sports activities due to coronavirus pandemic, is no doubt Keringet Athletics Training Camp in Nakuru County.

The camp was planning to start its second schedule of serious training from April 12 to 26 ahead of the World Under-20 Championships at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani, from July 7 to 12.

The camp held its first training schedule at Keringet Boarding Primary School from November 18 to December last year. The youthful athletes from the camp have now been forced to stop training in line with the government’s directive for people to observe social distance to help stop the spread of the deadly virus.

World Under-20 1,500 meters silver medalist Edna Jebitok, Africa Under-18 3,000m champion Zenah Chemutai and silver medalist Deborah Jemutai are some of the big names from the camp who were hoping to make the Kenyan team before the virus struck.

Other notable names from Keringet Athletics Training Camp who due to step up training include Viola Chepkirui (3,000m) and Maureen Cherotich (1,500m).

Those in men’s category include Benson Sigei (5,000m), Michael Kibon (400m), Nehemiah Kimutai (5,000m), Dennis Kirui (3,000m) and Steven Masindet (800m).

Some of the junior runners from the camp to have donned the national team colors include Kipkemoi Misoi (3,000m steeplechase) and Benjamin Kipkurui who represented Kenya in 1998 World Junior Championships in France.

“These are some of the athletes who were looking forward to make the team but their hopes of featuring in the national team have been put on hold,” said camp coordinator David Bii.

The popular athletics camp in Kuresoi South was started by the late Livingstone Kimutai Ng’etich who is a former Athletics Kenya (AK) South Rift Valley branch chairman. The camp has produced talented runners in junior and youth competitions.

Since the camp was established in 1998, it has given North Rift region a good run for its money, producing more athletes in Kenya’s junior and youth teams.

The camp, under head coach Charles Ng’eno assisted by Charles Ngau and Mike Koskei, is best known for producing reigning Olympics 1,500m champion Faith Chepng’etich, former World and London Marathon champion Geoffrey Kirui, and World 800m bronze medalist Ferguson Rotich among others.

The latest sensation from Keringet Athletics Training Camp who gave North Rift runners a scare is Amos Kirui who beat a star-studded field that included the World Cross Country Championships champion Geoffrey Kamworor to win the senior men's 10km race in the National Cross Country Championships at Eldoret Sports Club last year.

But visiting the camp’s training ground, you would be baffled by the poor state of the camp that has now been reduced to a grazing ground.

Prior to the outbreak of coronavirus, athletes used to train at Keringet Boys Primary School and along Molo – Olenguruone road and running the risk of being knocked down by motorists.

“The county government should speed up the construction of the athletics complex and this will help churn out more talents in the region,” said Bii. The devolved unit has set aside Sh50 million for upgrading the training camp. Apart from acquiring documents of the 20 acres of land on which the camp sits, nothing much has been done.

(05/22/2020) ⚡AMP
by Francis Mureithi
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Will the 2020 Belfast Marathon take place as schedule September 20? It doesn’t look good

There now appears to be a major question mark over the 39th Belfast Marathon taking place on the revised date of Sunday, September 20.

Belfast Marathon organizers discussed the matter yesterday against a background of Tuesday's announcement that the Dublin Marathon set for Sunday, October 25 would not now take place until 2021.

The matter is further complicated by a statement yesterday from the organizers of the London Marathon which is rescheduled for Sunday, October 4.

Event Director Hugh Brasher said: "We can't be certain if the event can go ahead or, if it can, in what form it will take place. We cannot offer certainty."

Brasher indicated there would be another update on June 21.

It is understood that yesterday's meeting on the Belfast event discussed both the Dublin and London situations. It was agreed that while the position here would be closely monitored, it was necessary for a decision to be taken fairly shortly .

This is because the complexities of arranging such an event require a long lead-in time.

The organization of the race itself could be possible in September with appropriate social distancing arrangements in place.

However there are many other key players involved such as volunteers, marshals, sponsors, suppliers, the PSNI, health and safety personnel plus the necessary infrastructure, all of which require substantial planning.

Last year's Belfast Marathon had a record 4,000 entries and a grand total of 18,000 participants including the Marathon Relay. This makes it easily the biggest mass participation sports event in the province.

With the cancellation of other marathons scheduled for this autumn it now appears more than likely that Belfast will become yet another casualty with a likely rescheduling to the normal May date next year.

(05/21/2020) ⚡AMP
by Brian Hill
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Belfast City Marathon

Belfast City Marathon

2020 race has been moved from May 3 to September 20. Over 17,500 runners are expected to hit the streets of North, South, East and West of the City. The 2020 Marathon has been moved from May 3 to September 20. The Half Marathon to Feb 28, 2021. The event has grown with the inclusion of new sponsors which now...

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Marathon world record holder Eliud Kipchoge wants to reach out and inspire at least half the world’s population while trying to defend his title at next year’s Tokyo Olympics

The Kenyan long distance runner, who will be 36 by the time the Tokyo Games are held next year, has insisted that he wants to inspire “at least half the world” while resorting to a clean and dignified manner of competitive sports.

“My dream has always been to defend my marathon title. The London Marathon [to be held on April 26 and now postponed to October 4] was to be my preparation race towards Tokyo. I want to be there and be competitive and win with a good time,” Kipchoge told the International Olympic Committee (IOC) website on Wednesday.

“My goal is to reach more than three billion people through what I do. I need to inspire more and more people in this world so that we are in a much better place now than before,” he added.

Formerly a middle-distance runner while participating in the 5,000 metres as his pet event, Kipchoge has so far won 12 of the 13 marathons that he has entered in so far after switching to road running in 2012. He is the world record holder in the distance while clocking a time of 2:01.39 at the Berlin Marathon on September 16, 2018.

Often described as the “greatest marathoner of the modern era”, Kipchoge’s run broke the previous world record by 1 minute and 18 seconds.

On October 12, 2019, Kipchoge ran the marathon distance at a special sponsored event in Vienna, Austria, and achieved a new record time of 1:59:40. However, the run did not count as a new marathon record, as standard competition rules for pacing and fluids were not followed and also, the race was not an open event for other competitors.

But that doesn’t seem to deter the steely Kenyan runner. “I am calm and concentrated in my mind, and the body is well controlled whenever I am competing,” Kipchoge said. “I don’t run with my legs, but by my heart and mind.”

Faced with the uncertainty following the coronavirus pandemic, Kipchoge became philosophical and compared marathon running to life. “A marathon is like life. We get flat courses and we get downhill courses,” he added.

“But, right now we are faced with a hilly course. These are perhaps the hardest of times, and it is normal to struggle and go up the hill. But the main thing will be to stay positive at all times and let the heart and mind do the running.”

(05/21/2020) ⚡AMP
by Alaric Gomes
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What is going to happen to road racing as we know it? Bob Anderson thoughts on the situation. Could it be the end of big races?

The COVID-19 virus is deadly.  Already (as of May 17) at least 317,000 people worldwide have died from the virus.  This number is still growing by thousands each day.  By the end of this week most likely over 100,000 people in the US will have died from the Coronvirus (COVID-19).

Some people think this number has been inflated.  Others think it is low.  It is hard to really know the true facts.  In any case thousands of people have died from this new virus.  That's a fact.  

Some still feel this virus is no worse than the common flu.  Many of these ill informed people might be some of the ones who are continuing to spread the Cornavirus.  Many of these people don't wear face masks while in public nor practice social distancing.  These types of people could easily be those that end up infecting others.  And kill racing too.  More on this later.  

Doctors are saying this virus is much more contagious than the common flu and the death rate particularly for people aged 60 plus is high.  Much higher than the common flu.

This information is talked about daily in the news and there is no need to further exam that here.  The focus here is road racing and what impact this crisis is going to have on the sport.  

The My Best Runs (MBR) website only features and follow the best, most interesting and unique races in the world.  The site is currently following 837 races from all over the world.  

One thing the website does is list the leaderboard results from the races featured. The top four men and women and then age-group winners in ten year age-groups starting at age 40 are posted.  Stats are complied and compared among the races.  Nearly 90,000 unique people visited the site in February to look for races, follow races or read Running News Daily.  The traffic had doubled in a year.  That's over one million annually.  The growth of the site illustrates how road racing around the world was growing.  

Everything was set for a banner year.  The Boston Marathon had lined up another amazing field for their annual races that has been held every year since 1896 on Patriots Day.  The London marathon had confirmed that the world's top two marathoners would battle it out on the streets of London.  Maybe the first sub two hour marathon in a real race was going to happen? However both races were postponed and they hope to have races this fall.  Some feel that is not going to happen. 

It was in early February when people began talking about the Cornavirus.  A virus started in China.  But mostly people did not seem overly concerned. 

The month before (January 26) the Ujena Fit Club (UFC) Training Camp in Thika Kenya was opened.  The camp was not totally finished but the core group of runners had been selected, a time trial was staged and a traditional goat feed blessed the opening. A couple hundred people showed up for the affair.

A third floor of the club would be added in the following months to house guests interested in training with elite Kenyan runners.  The official grand opening was set for the end of May with a Double Road Race 15k race planned the same weekend.  Sponsored were being lined up for a world record attempt.    

The top runner in the club and part owner is Joel Maina Mwangi.  For the last couple of years prior he would travel to Italy in the spring and bring back enough prize money to take care of him and his family for the rest of the year.  

2020 was going to be his best year yet.  Joel was in top form being trained at his UFC Training Camp by coach Dennis.  His teammates pushed Joel in three-a-day workouts to higher limits.  

Joel left for Italy in early February right after the UFC Training Camp US partners Bob and Catherine Anderson had left after attending the opening.

Joel's first race was in Verona, Italy Feb 16.  He won that race and clocked 1:00:40 for the half marathon, a personal best.  His plan was to race each weekend after that and then run the Rome Half Marathon set for March 8.  This point to point course is fast.  Galen Rupp had won there a couple of years back breaking an hour in the process.  Joel's plan was to win, break an hour for the first time and bring home the big prize purse.

This didn't happen as Italy started closing down their country to battle COVID-19.  It was going out of control.  Joel luckily left Italy March 7th for his home in Thika, Kenya while he could still travel. But not with the over $20k(US) he was planning on bringing back home with him.

The world was shutting down.  Whole countries were locking down.  The last race featured by MBR to take place was the LA Marathon March 8 along with several others held that same weekend.  There has not been a significant race held any place in the world since March 8.  California ordered everyone to Shelter in Place starting March 17.  Other states and countries followed.  

Every race scheduled for April or May and featured on the MBR website were either canceled or postponed.  Most races also in June and July have been canceled or postponed as well.  The Tokyo Olympics were postponed for a year.  The Berlin marathon in September was canceled (but they are trying to workout a new date), Western States 100, the Camrades Marathon, the Dipsea, and so many other well established races were cancelled.   

Pippa Stevens a CNBC writer posted, "As running has grown in popularity, local clubs have popped up around the country, and there are now roughly 35,000 races each year in the U.S. alone, data from industry trade group Running USA shows.

"More than 44 million people in the U.S. identify as a runner, and 17.6 million people crossed the finish line in U.S. races in 2019.

"With all races cancelled for the time being, billions of dollars are at stake. The biggest marathons – from Boston to Chicago to London to Tokyo – inject hundreds of millions of dollars into local economies. The most recent analysis of the TCS New York City Marathon, for example, found that the race’s economic impact topped $400 million."

A lot is at stake.  But race directors need to know that even if cities allow them to hold their races, not everyone will automatically be there on the starting line.  

Dan Anderson wrote, "I am having a major motivational problem with my running!  For the first time in my running career (almost 55 years) I have no races to train for.  I really miss them.  But I will not run in a race until a vaccine is available.  Being 68 years old with several preexisting risk factors it is too dangerous!  Hopefully within a year a vaccine will be available.  Until then I will push myself to get out and run."

Racing is addictive and so many people around the world love it. Once things are figured out and it is safe again many will be there on the starting line.                                                                                       

Sam Tada who lives in Japan wrote, "Racing helped me so many times in my life and I miss it.  

"Racing gives us opportunity of challenge, growth, and communication.  It makes us happy and healthy mentally and physically.  I love racing and miss it. 

"We are facing difficult time right now but once this health concern is gone I think we will be able to enjoy racing more since we understand how racing is important for us.   

"I am looking forward to racing again and I am trying to do my best effort to stop the spread of this virus."

There are a lot of things that will need to be addressed.  Here are some ideas I have.  Maybe at least for awhile or forever all runners will need to show up wearing a Face Mask.

Then they walk into a screening booth and have their temperature checked.  If they pass, they walk into another booth were they are sprayed with a solution (totally safe) that would kill any viruses they may have on their clothing, shoes or body.  At this point they are still wearing their face mask.  And they continue to wear their face mask until about a quarter mile out or until there is spacing between them and others.  Once they finish they put back on their Face Mask until they are back in their car.

Of course everyone would have to sign a Waiver saying that if they contract COVID-19 at the race and if they die later their family could not sue the race or city.  No idea how porta potties, water stops or handing out medals at the end could work out other than eliminating them. 

I see two problems with these ideas. Remember those people that are already not following the rules?  Do you think they would show up at a race wearing a Face Mask?  And we also know that signing a waiver does not restrict a family from sueing everyone if a member of their family dies from COVID-19 which they determined they got at a race.  Even before this crisis a husband ran a half marathon in San Francisco and died at the finish line.  He had signed a waiver but his wife sued everyone and won lots of money.  The race Director got out of the business (sadly) yet he did nothing wrong from the inside information I know.  

There is not a clear answer about the future of road racing.  No matter how careful race directors, cities and charities (because they are big losers too)  work together it would only take a few jerks to ruin it all.

So what race is going to be the first one back?  Any day now the Old Dominion 100 Miler set for June 8th will be making a decision.  They posted on their website, "The Old Dominion Run is still working all options in an attempt to have the run this year.

"We are working with numerous authorities in our area to assist in providing a good and safe race day experience for everyone involved. The governor of Virginia has gone to phase one in our area and our authorities are reviewing our plan vs the restrictions. 

"Currently, part of our proposal has had to include a limit on our field to 50% for any hopes for us to proceed. We currently have 55 entrants and will not immediately be taking more from the wait list.

"Responses from the authorities will be a major part of our decision on 17 May. If the race proceeds, entries will not be more than 55. The waitlist will remain active," posted by Ray, Wynne and Race Management.

On June 20th the Shelter Island 10k (first photo) is scheduled to take place in Shelter Island New York.  It is a big race and there are always fast winning times.  We have contacted the race director and have not gotten a comment from them.  There is no mention on their website about COVID-19.  We are assuming they are trying to make it happen but what is their plan?  

A couple of other races in late June are also trying to figure something out.  Like the Halifax Marathon (second photo) has not torn in the towel just yet but are closely monitoring the situation as noted on their website.  

Another one of the 837 races being followed by MBR wrote, "Our race was cancelled for this year, fingered crossed we will be back in 2021, april 17th.

"Our race of 2500 might look a bit different in 2021, 10 wave starts of 250 each? Each 10, 15 to 20 minutes apart? Lots of questions like what will aid stations look like and function? Maybe results may go to chip times, or no awards at all? Things will be different.

"The big question now is how we will all deal with the city, county and state mandates and permits. In the past, permits were a pretty easy process, no mass gatherings limitations.

"Locally I believe we will have some small events, mostly if not all on our trail system which limits events to 200 participants. A couple are still moving forward with fall dates, hopefully they will happen. Currently we have a limit for runs set by our city, set at 250 runners with wave starts, with really no other details. In the past road events have had much bigger fields. Going forward if the social distancing stays part of the rules it will be very hard to stage a very large running event.

"Events may look like some ultrarunning events, with very little or no finish line parties, just finish, quick drink and maybe food and head home.

"Runners and organizations will adapt to the rules and events will happen," wrote Brian at Race to Robie Creek.

Hopefully the game changer is going to be that a vaccine is created and COVID-19 is wiped off the face of the earth.  Just as long as everyone gets vaccinated and don't continue to think that COVID-19 is no worse than the common flu. This could solve most everything as long as cities who issue permits think it is enough.  

It sure would be nice to get back to things as they were.  Or at least close to it.  But many of us will continue to wash our hands more often, wear a face masks at times and not go out if they are not feeling well.  Road racing is just too important to so many people. 

(05/17/2020) ⚡AMP
by Bob Anderson
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Old Dominion One Day 100 Mile

Old Dominion One Day 100 Mile

(May 19, 2020) Thank you all so much for your patience as we were waiting to hear back on all of our approvals today. However, we are very sad to say the race is cancelled for 2020 due to COVID-19. We did not receive all of the approvals needed from our area authorities. See you in 2021. The Old Dominion...

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Running on empty: Coronavirus has changed the course for races big and small

The coronavirus pandemic has crippled the sports landscape. Leagues from the NBA all the way down to Little League Baseball have paused or canceled seasons.

In response to various stay-at-home orders that vary from state to state, people have been encouraged to exercise -- safely and while socially distancing. To run, walk and bike. Maybe, now with the idea, to one day compete in a 5K or a 10K race, maybe even a marathon.

When life resumes, whenever that is, those opportunities will be different and, in the case of some road races, not even there.

The racing organizations, big and small, that stage those events are having to grapple with postponements and cancellations to a point where they may not be able to ever come back at full strength.

Many of the world's largest marathons have already been impacted by the pandemic -- the Boston Marathon was postponed until September, the London Marathon until October and the Berlin Marathon, which had been scheduled for Oct. 24, has already been canceled.

Events that lead to mass gatherings, such as sports and concerts, are expected to be among the last to return even as the U.S. and the world look to reopen various businesses.

In the world of running, it is the smaller races -- from 5Ks and 10Ks to half marathons and marathons, many operated by local event organizers -- that are under financial stress.

In 2019, Running USA, an industry trade group, tracked more than 21,000 road races, which collected roughly $267 million in fees from more than 17.6 million registered runners.

Christine Bowen, vice president of programming partnerships and operations at Running USA, told ESPN.com that new estimates as of mid-March showed roughly 7,500 road races have been canceled so far into 2020, and thousands have been canceled since. That's more than 1.2 million participants who are left in limbo, she said -- and with more cancellations likely to come. In addition, race registrations nationwide are showing a 95 percent decline.

There's also the loss of raising money for charity, Bowen noted. Roughly 79 percent of road races are associated with at least one charity partner.

Fewer people signing up for races is one thing. The industry is also dealing with runners who are asking for their money back. While the average cost to enter a race is $70 to $79 per entry, many smaller events don't offer refunds, as those registration revenues are spent in advance for race security, staff, shirts, bibs, medals, water, snacks and other logistics -- sunk costs even if the races are not held.

"At the moment, I am not looking to register for any further road races as we have no idea what will happen," Samantha Music, a tax assistant who lives in Connecticut, said. "It is rather discouraging to continue to train even though the races are not happening."

Music had signed up to run seven races so far this year, with collective registration costs of more than $1,200. So far, six of the seven have been officially canceled, and a majority of the races, she said, are non-refundable.

However, two of the races did offer deferment for a non-complimentary guaranteed race entry for 2021 or a full refund and no-entry option for 2021. This means, if the race is lottery-based, she would need to reapply sometime next year.

"I am absolutely feeling stressed, as well as depressed about all the cancellations and losing money on the races that are being deferred to next year," Music said. "I understand that the race organizers have to pay for everything they ordered, but it doesn't suck any less to have to pay for a race again."

"I am absolutely feeling stressed, as well as depressed about all the cancelations and losing money on the races that are being deferred to next year."

Samanta Music, runner from Connecticut

The tune is a little different for Matt Becker, who is an applied mathematician at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Maryland. Becker, who is new to the road race scene, and his wife had signed up for six races between the two of them so far in 2020. Five of them have been canceled or postponed, and of those five, four offered deferred payments for next year, or whenever the rescheduled race will take place.

"I think, on the whole, the race organizers are doing their best to accommodate difficult circumstances," Becker said. "Once it is safe to do so, I don't think I'll have any different approach to signing up for races in the future."

As part of its guidance to race directors, Running USA issued this statement:

"Negative comments about refunds, chargebacks and greed are swirling. The running industry especially is not a faceless group. ... it may be helpful to share with participants that many expenses are incurred months ahead of the event and the option of refunds really is not straightforward or always possible. Remind runners of your commitment to the community."

But will there be races for the community in the future?

Bowen said that though the average running organization employs eight full-time employees, there are contractors working with event management companies who also rely on the events as their main source of income.

According to the Endurance Sports Coalition, hundreds of thousands jobs are in jeopardy in that space. The coalition is made up of more than 475 endurance sports groups seeking relief from congress. The endurance sports industry -- which also includes events such as Tough Mudder and Ironman triathlons -- is a $3 billion industry that provides more than 500,000 jobs.

The coalition includes bigger races, like the Boston Marathon and Rock 'n' Roll marathon series, that will always have people clamoring to run them. It's the medium to smaller-sized races, and the companies that put them on, that are facing the direst of straits.

J.T. Service is the co-founder and CEO of Soul Focus Sports, an event management company in the San Francisco Bay Area that helps to put on a handful of road races.

Run Local Bay Area is a client of Soul Focus Sports, which puts on races including the San Jose Shamrock Run, the Silicon Valley Half Marathon and the Across the Bay 12K. The Silicon Valley Half Marathon -- which did not occur as planned on April 5 -- would have usually attracted between 3,000 and 5,000 runners.

"I almost want people to kind of think about us as local businesses," J.T. Service said. "There's this huge push of support your local business or support your corner pizza shop where you normally would get pizza. I think there needs to be this element of seeing the race, your local fundraising charity event, as that local business that needs just as much support now -- maybe more now than ever -- for the long term good of the community, so they can come back and open their doors and open their starting lines to runners when this thing is cleared up."

Through June, six races have been canceled under the Soul Focus Sports umbrella in the Bay Area. Service said they have lost "a few hundred thousand [dollars] in revenue" and that affects roughly a dozen event staffers.

To make up for lost races, runners have been encouraged to participate in virtual runs instead -- a way to both encourage running and return some value.

For many of these virtual events, runners can run the scheduled "race" distance when they want, where they want -- from a local trail to a treadmill -- and can then log their time results on the event's website to compare against others, and have their medals, race shirts and other "swag" shipped to them.

In addition to its Walt Disney World Marathon and other events, runDisney has been holding virtual races for five years. The Rock 'n' Roll marathon series and IRONMAN triathlon series -- both part of the Wanda Sports Group -- have begun offering competitive virtual events, and other race directors have taken creative approaches to keep runners active.

The Hartford Marathon Foundation, which organizes more than 30 annual races throughout New England, launched the "WeRunCT" virtual challenge to encourage people to collectively run the equivalent of every square mile of Connecticut (5,018 miles). Within three weeks, more than 1,250 participants ran the state of Connecticut 14 times over -- covering the square mileage of all of New England, approximately 71,500 miles.

"We understand how important it is for us to provide our running community with encouragement to keep active and maintain a healthy outlet to help manage stress during this unprecedented time," HMF CEO Beth Shluger said in a statement. "While we can't hold events and gather together, we're committed to providing ways for people to experience some of the enjoyment of racing through virtual events and challenges."

Bowen said there is a glass-half-full approach.

"I think that mental health area is really going to look more at [running]," she said. "I wouldn't be surprised if you start seeing companies sort of corporate wellness programs to say to their employees, 'Maybe sign up for a virtual race in the office because we're all working from home right now.' That's something to keep people engaged."

Virtual races can be positive, she said: "Right now, I will stay for sure, it's given companies an opportunity to be very creative in how they work with their runners and their sponsors."

Those virtual events could continue to be a source of revenue for race directors, and alternative social distancing options for runners. And Service, from Soul Focus Sports, sees another silver lining: Many people are taking up running while seeking exercise during the pandemic, and all those outside running every day could fall in love with the sport -- and could stick around for a while, too.

"So I see an opportunity for this industry, and that's from local specialty shoe shops to races -- but we have to be almost leaders, to the point of saying: Running is going to help bring this country back," Service said. "Why wouldn't be this our fuel or a thing that brings people back together?

"They're resilient people."

(05/16/2020) ⚡AMP
by ESPN
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London Marathon Counts on Eliud Kipchoge

Where will the next marathon world record be set? This autumn, the London Marathon is aiming for the duel between top stars Eliud Kipchoge and Kenenisa Bekele. Kipchoges unofficial world record of less than two hours should not be in danger. However, the Berlin Marathon, notorious for world records, cannot take place as planned.

The Corona crisis has also had far-reaching consequences for the marathon scene. The London Marathon, for example, had to be postponed from 26 April until 4 October.

However, it is still unclear whether the event will also be open to amateur runners or if only professionals like world record holder Eliud Kipchoge are allowed to compete. According to "Athletics International", the organizers have asked all athletes originally invited for April to come back for the fall date. This includes the Kenyan Kipchoge.

He holds the official marathon world record of 2:01:39 hours (Berlin Marathon 2018) as well as the unofficial world record of 1:59:40 hours at the INEOS 1:59 Challenge in Vienna 2019 under laboratory conditions with constantly changing pacemakers and drinks and food available at all times.

Kenenisa Bekele, who missed the official world record at the 2019 Berlin Marathon by only two seconds, is also expected to compete in London. A direct duel between the two top runners could come to happen in October. For Bekele, an improvement of the official world record could be possible. 

"With good weather conditions and if we both worked together on the pace, a time in the range of the world record might have been possible", Athletics International quotes hin speaking about the cancelled event in April.

(05/12/2020) ⚡AMP
by Martin Jahns
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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 Vincent Kipchumba can´t wait to run against world’s best in London

The postponement of the London Marathon from April to October due to the coronavirus pandemic hit Vincent Kipchumba hard.

Kipchumba, who is the reigning Amsterdam Marathon champion, was delighted to have been included in the elite men’s list and had been following a program that he hoped would give him a chance to challenge for glory in Europe’s capital center.

“It was also going to give me a chance to make some money. When I heard it was postponed I felt traumatised," said Kipchumba.

“At least the race was postponed to October but we are still not sure if the virus will have been contained by then. It’s my prayer that things get back to normal because athletics is my career, and to many others out there.”

Kipchumba, had been training in Kapsabet, Nandi County under the watchful eye of his coach Claudio Berardelli. He said that even though the London race had been pushed back by six months it will not diminish his desire to make his debut in a Majors race.

“When I was informed that I will be competing in London Marathon, I was happy because this was a dream come true for me. I have been eyeing a place in one of the biggest marathons in the world,” said Kipchumba.

He also said that he will be privileged to compete with some of the best athletes in the world over the distance.

“Competing with the world marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge and Berlin Marathon champion Kenenisa Bekele is something I even didn’t think will be possible but here we are waiting for the big day,” said Kipchumba.

However, just like many other elite athletes, the coronavirus has played havoc with his schedule.

He was due to participate in the Roma Ostia Half Marathon, as part of his build up for London, but the race was cancelled.

(05/11/2020) ⚡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 runners call for Athletics Kenya to provide services to help athletes

Last week, two Kenyan distance runners were suspended by the Athletics Integrity Unit for anti-doping violations. This added to the already long list of Kenyan athletes to receive anti-doping sanctions in 2020, which includes 2017 London Marathon champion Daniel Wanjiru and former marathon world record-holder Wilson Kipsang.

According to a Daily Nation report, these latest suspensions have prompted athletes to call for Athletics Kenya to start a support program with counselling for athletes dealing with depression, whether it was caused by doping bans, loss of fame or other life stressors.

Asbel Kiprop is an Olympic and world champion in the 1,500m, and in 2019, he was banned from competition for four years following a failed test in 2017. Kiprop has been adamant that he is innocent, and in the fallout from his doping scandal, his life took a downward spiral.

“I became an alcoholic, my wife left and friends deserted me,” he said. “I never planned to end my athletics career this way.” Kiprop, who tested positive for EPO, said he plans on returning to professional racing after serving his ban.

Jemima Sumgong, another Kenyan marathoner who was banned for doping, described a similar fall from grace after also testing positive for EPO.

“It was tough for me when I was suspended,” she said. “There was no one to turn to.”

Sumgong, who won gold in the Rio Olympic marathon, said she was close to falling into a depression of her own following her doping scandal.

Speaking from experience, she said Athletics Kenya needs to provide counselling for athletes who are going through tough times, whether due to doping bans or for other reasons.

“There are athletes who might end up being banned for committing errors unknowingly and it can affect them mentally,” she said. “Athletics Kenya needs to come up with a counselling department because these people are also human despite having done something wrong.”

Wilfred Bungei is another Kenyan athlete who has dealt with depression, although not because of a doping scandal. In 2008, Bungei won Olympic gold in the 800m, and soon after retiring from professional racing in 2010, he became an alcoholic.

“There is a lot of loneliness up there when [athletes] are winning and success has come to their lives,” Bungei told the Daily Nation. “They are, therefore, easily lured into alcoholism, promiscuity and other destructive lifestyles just to hide from the real monster that brought them down.”

Bungei emphasized the importance of athlete support, and he agreed with Sumgong, stating that Athletics Kenya has a duty to look after its athletes. Athletics Kenya has yet to comment on the possibility of starting a support or counselling program.

(05/11/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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Eliud Kipchoge, the legend, is leading from the front in distributing relief food to vulnerable athletes in the Rift Valley

On Friday, the Olympic champion and world marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge spent his day in Kericho County distributing the food which was flagged off by Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed on Thursday.

Kipchoge, along with his Eliud Kipchoge Foundation, was picked as the ambassador of the relief project by the Ministry of Sport to motivate and come to the aid of athletes who have lost huge potential income owing to cancellation of races as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to bite.

The food was donated by the ministry and well wishers, including the Hindu Council of Kenya, with Sports Principal Secretary Joe Okudo joining Amina in flagging off the consignments on Thursday.

The packages being given to each athlete, have, inter alia, maize and wheat flour, rice, cooking oil and pasta.

Athletes in Kericho were excited to not only receive the portions, but also have a close encounter with their legend Kipchoge who became the first man to run the marathon in under two hours in Vienna last October.

Kipchoge was, perhaps, difficult to identify, given that he wore a face mask in tandem with public health directives, but his Nike jumper and unique, grey Nike Zoom shoes along with the spring the famous spring in his step as he moved up and down, unloading the consignments from trucks, gave him in.

Seeing the legend “live” was huge consolation for the disruption in the Kericho athletes’ training programmes by Covid-19 precautions that outlaw group training sessions and races from being held.

Kipchoge’s programme too has been seriously disrupted by the pandemic.

Last month, he had been lined up with his Ethiopian Global Sports Communication stable mate but rival, Kenenisa Bekele, at the London Marathon.

Then in July, he was primed to defend his Olympic marathon title in Sapporo.

But while the April 26 London Marathon was postponed to October 4, the Olympic Games have been pushed to July and August next year, holding all factors constant.

Kipchoge has now to juggle between staying in shape and helping out the disadvantaged athletes, indeed the hallmark of a selfless legend.

n Friday, Kipchoge will be on the food relief mission in Kapsabet, Eldoret, Iten and Kaptagat.

"Through Eliud Kipchoge, we have identified 58 athletes who are very needy and deserve to get these food packages,” CS Amina said on Thursday while flagging off the food convoy at Nyayo National Stadium.

“The effects of the pandemic mean they cannot compete and they do not have any source of income.”

The CS, who announced earlier in the week that cover 1,000 sportsmen and women will benefit from the relief food, also appealed to the private sector and individuals to supplement the government's efforts in helping the vulnerable sportsmen and women.

(05/08/2020) ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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Dilemma for Women's world marathon record holder Brigid Kosgei to defend Chicago or London titles

World marathon record holder Brigid Kosgei is in dilemma on which race to participate in come October.

The London Marathon was postponed from April to October 4 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Meanwhile the Chicago Marathon is scheduled for October 11.

Kosgei would love to run both Majors but she is certainly not a superwoman and must choose one.

According to the Kapsait-based athlete, she was in good shape in March and looking forward to the season before Covid-19 outbreak struck leading to the suspension of the athletics calendar.

“My preparations for the London Marathon race where I was going to defend my title were in top gear because I had less than two months to finalise my programme before coronavirus disrupted it,” said Kosgei at her home.

She was also named in the Kenya marathon team to the Olympic Games which were postponed to next year due to the virus.

She said that her programme had been all geared towards defending her title in London race then preparing for an assault on Tokyo Olympics gold.

“But now I have to wait for to next year. I believe I will still be in good shape to run and win the race,” said Kosgei, who is under Rosa Associati management.

With five months to go before the London and Chicago marathons are held Kosgei has all the time to decide as she picks up on her training.

She is currently training individually in Eldoret, following the government directives of social distancing. “When the camps were closed, the only thing possible was to training a lone. So I am doing that here in Eldoret, but how I miss competitive running. I cannot wait for things to return to normal,” she said.

She has also been tending to her five-acre potato farm in Kapsait, with the help of her husband Mathew Kosgei whom she says has been very supportive of her career.

Kosgei won last year’s prestigious London Marathon with a time of 2:18:20 ahead of compatriot Vivian Cheruiyot who clocked 2:20:14 while Ethiopia’s Rosa Dereje was third in 2:20:51.

She broke the women’s marathon record in Chicago last year clocking 2 hours, 14 minutes and 04 seconds.

She is optimistic of lowering her personal best in the near future.

(05/08/2020) ⚡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 andmore than 100 countries will set out to accomplish a personal dream by reaching the finish line in Grant Park. The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is known for its flat and fast...

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Kenyan Mary Keitany is ready to shed off added weight after hip injury lay-off

If you are familiar with former London Marathon champion Mary Keitany, the first thing you will notice when you meet her is the extra bit of weight she is obviously carrying.

Understandably, Keitany has been nursing a hip injury picked last year that has prevented her from engaging in any serious training.

Many may not be aware that she sustained the injury when she competed in last year’s London Marathon finishing fifth in 2:20:58 as compatriot Brigid Kosgei romped to victory in 2:18:20.

Keitany told Nation Sport that she has been treating the hip injury since then.

She lined up for the New York Marathon against the advise of her doctor and is paying the price for that.

Running as the defending champion, she finished second in 2:23:32 as New York got a surprise winner in the name of newcomer Joyciline Jepkosgei, who romped to a marathon debut win of 2:22:38 while Ethiopia’s Ruti Aga sealed the podium in 2:25:51.

In the new season, Keitany was to debut in Boston Marathon in April but she pulled out because the hip injury, that had been aggravated in New York and just could not heal, seriously affected her preparations.

“I was supposed to compete this year in the Boston Marathon but I had to cancel in February because I could not prepare adequately. I saw it wise to take a break this season,” said Keitany, who is also the world record holder in a women’s only marathon.

She did just that before starting easy training recently.In the new season, Keitany was to debut in Boston Marathon in April but she pulled out because the hip injury, that had been aggravated in New York and just could not heal, seriously affected her preparations.

“I was supposed to compete this year in the Boston Marathon but I had to cancel in February because I could not prepare adequately. I saw it wise to take a break this season,” said Keitany, who is also the world record holder in a women’s only marathon.

She did just that before starting easy training recently.

or a major marathon which is always competitive, I need four months of good training so that I can gun for a win. We hope by then the virus will have been contained and business back to normal especially in USA which has been seriously hit,” said Keitany at her home in Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet County.

Keitany said that the coronavirus pandemic may have stopped races but the athletes will come out stronger. “I really feel for the athletes who had their races cancelled or rescheduled. They didn’t get the money and I’m crying for that athlete who was going for his/her first race but it was cancelled due to the virus,” she said.

(05/07/2020) ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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Dathan Ritzenhein Retires at Age 37

Dathan Ritzenhein, a high school prodigy who went on to become a two-time global medalist, three-time Olympian, five-time national champion and a 2:07 marathoner, has decided to retire after 16 years of professional running. 

The 37 year-old, who grew up in Rockford, Mich., and competed for the University of Colorado during his collegiate career, decided that he had accomplished all of his main goals and the time was right to shift his focus away from competitive running.

“I guess I’m not necessarily 25 and retiring in my prime,” Ritzenhein told Race Results Weekly by telephone from his Michigan home yesterday just after finishing a hard 10-mile run.  He continued: “I have things that I wish that I have done in my career, but I’m also very satisfied, too.  I think right now it’s something that I thought a lot about the last year. 

I’ve had a lot of nostalgic moments, looking back a lot more than looking forward.  So, I don’t know that I had a lot more goals that I was looking to accomplish.”

While still competing for Colorado, Ritzenhein made his first of three Olympic teams in 2004, despite finishing only 22nd at the USA Olympic Trials in the 10,000m.  Ritzenhein made the team because he was one of only five athletes entered who had the Olympic “A” standard of 27:49.00 (he had run 27:38.50 in his debut at the distance in April, then a U.S. collegiate record).  Trials winner Meb Keflezighi opted for the marathon (where he would win the silver medal) and Bob Kennedy dropped out.  That left Abdi Abdirahman, Dan Browne (who would also compete in the Marathon) and Ritzenhein to run the 10,000m in Athens, the three remaining finishers who had the standard.  Running on a badly injured foot in Athens, Ritzenhein failed to finish.

“My first one was a miserable experience where I hobbled my way on,” Ritzenhein said of making his first Olympic team.  He continued: “I made the standard, and just not many people had it.  Bob Kennedy had it and Meb, and Dan Browne and Abdi.  Meb ended up running the marathon and Bob Kennedy dropped out of the 10-K, and I knew I just had to finish the race.”

Ritzenhein made his professional racing debut at the Boclassic 10-K in Bolzano, Italy, on December 31, 2004, the day after his 22nd birthday.  He pushed the pace with two laps to go in the 8-lap race and finished third behind Sergey Lebed of Ukraine and Stefano Baldini of Italy (Baldini was the reigning Olympic Marathon champion).  Ritzenhein had signed with Nike just prior to the Athens Olympics, and Brad Hudson became his coach.  He won both the USATF cross country and 10-K road running titles in 2005, and under Hudson’s coaching jumped right to the marathon in 2006, making his debut at the New York City Marathon.  It was a controversial decision, and after a 1:05:35 first half he finished 11th in 2:14:01, calling the discomfort he endured in the last four miles “undescribable.”

Almost exactly a year later, Ritzenhein returned to New York for the 2008 USA Olympic Trials Marathon (which were held in November, 2007), and he finished second to Ryan Hall in 2:11:07, a personal best.  He would go on to finish ninth in the Olympic Marathon the following year in Beijing, and it looked like Ritzenhein was going to focus mainly on the marathon.

But unlike other track runners who moved up, Ritzenhein wasn’t so quick to abandon the track, cross country or road races below the marathon distance.  He used his marathon strength to great effect in training, and his track running was never better.  In one of his best years, 2009, he set the American record for 5000m of 12:56.27 (since broken), ran a 10,000m personal best of 27:22.28 when he finished sixth at the IAAF World Championships 10,000m, and won a bronze medal at the IAAF World Half-Marathon Championships, running 1:00:00.  He was also the runner-up at the USATF championships for both the 10,000m and half-marathon, and finished 10th at the London Marathon.

“That’s what always drove me,” said Ritzenhein.  “I would always have these goals and you’d have these valleys between them.  Really high moments, like the American record, bronze medal at the world junior championships (in cross country), or the world half-marathon championships.  Those are the races where you just feel invincible.”

But he was not invincible.  Ritzenhein suffered numerous injuries throughout his career (he recalled having over 40 MRI’s), and had to have surgeries three times.  He missed most of 2011 due to a surgery to his right Achilles tendon, but his long recovery (made even longer by a lingering infection) set him up for his most dramatic year, 2012.

“After three years away from the track I had doubts,” Ritzenhein said.  “I poured it all out there.  At the Olympic Trials it was an epic day.  I didn’t have the standard and quite a few people in the race did.”  He added: “It seemed like an impossible task.”

Ritzenhein said that he will always be a runner, and that he’ll still run hard sometimes (he averaged a six-minute pace on yesterday’s 10-miler, he said).  He already coaches a few athletes, including marathoner Parker Stinson.

“This isn’t the end for sure,” he said.  “This is all I know.  The sport of running is my passion and my love.”  He added: “I’m looking forward to continuing to give back to the sport; coaching is a passion of mine.  I love writing, to talk to people, and give people advice.  It’s in my DNA.  I’ll always run.  It’s just something I can’t go without.”

(05/07/2020) ⚡AMP
by David Monti
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Eliud Kipchoge and Kenenisa Bekele talk training and sub-2

The two distance running greats had been set to go head-to-head in the London Marathon on Sunday

Eliud Kipchoge and Kenenisa Bekele should have been in London this week, preparing for a mouthwatering marathon clash on the streets of the UK capital.

Thursday morning would have seen them speak with the world’s media in the elite men’s pre-race press conference, but instead, on Friday, they dialled into a telephone conference from their respective homes in Kenya and Ethiopia.

While it is too early to know whether the two fastest marathon runners in history will take part in the rescheduled event on October 4, they were both happy to share insight into their current lives amid the coronavirus crisis.

They talked about what might have been had Sunday’s race taken place as planned, plus their training and thoughts on the sub-two-hour marathon.

SOLO TRAINING

Social distancing measures mean that NN Running Team athletes Kipchoge and Bekele must now train alone, rather than as part of the big groups they are used to. How does that affect them both physically and mentally?

“You cannot run really in a strong way because you are alone,” said Kipchoge, who is based in Eldoret.

“Physically I am training to make sure that I am fit but when you have the whole team then you can train to make sure that you are in the best-ever shape.

“Mentally, you can get tired early,” he added, “because if you have an hour run and you’re running alone, then you can really get tired because you are running alone, you are thinking alone.

“I have been with a team for the last 15 years and it’s really crazy for me. I can say it is not comfortable at all, but safety is my number one priority.”

Bekele has also found it a challenge.

“It is not really nice to run alone but of course it’s not possible to run together,” he said. “It is difficult to prepare and it has affected us a lot.

“I’m trying to maintain my performance, but it’s really not efficient. I am praying that this time will be over soon.”

On his sessions, he added: “I am doing four or five days a week outside, alone just running in the forest.

“Most of the time I am staying at home.”

SUB-TWO

Both athletes had an incredible 2019, with Kipchoge having broken two hours for the marathon with 1:59:41 in the non-record eligible INEOS 1:59 Challenge in Vienna and Bekele having run 2:01:41 to win in Berlin, missing the Kenyan’s official world record mark by just two seconds.

Would their plan for the London Marathon on Sunday have been to go for an official sub-two?

“I was coming to London as a defending champion and not really to run under two hours but I trust that it would have been a good race, an interesting one, but I don’t think it would have been under two hours,” said Kipchoge.

“I think on Sunday, if the London Marathon could have happened, we could actually have had the best race ever.

“Kenenisa has run 2:01:41 and I have run 2:01:39. It could have been the best-ever time and London could have been the best race ever between two people who have the fastest times in the marathon.”

Bekele agreed that it would have been a great clash but that two hours would have been unlikely.

“London is of course a really great race to bring us together,” he said. “I don’t think the time would have been under two hours.

“Maybe if there were good weather conditions, it could have been possible maybe around a world record, if we had been pushing together. I don’t think under two hours would have happened this time.”

BUT IN THE FUTURE?

“Absolutely, why not?” Kipchoge replied, when asked if he thinks someone in the next 10 years could run a competitive marathon in under two hours.

“Personally, I tried last year, and I ran under two hours, but I trust and believe in all my mind and my heart that in the next 10 years, one human being will run under two hours in a normal marathon. That is my view.

“Human beings need to be shown the way, and I trust that I have shown everybody the way.”

(05/03/2020) ⚡AMP
by Athletics Weekly
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Kenyan runners are not earning money, not able to train as hard as usual but are trying to be positive during this COVID-19 crisis

The coronavirus has brought most elite sports to a grinding halt. While athletes who compete in individual sports are at an advantage, marathon runners too are finding it difficult to maintain their competitive edge.

Albert Korir, Henry Kiprop and Felix Kandie are professional marathon runners. Under normal circumstances, each of them would run 180 to 300 kilometers (111 to 186 miles) every week as part of their usual training routines. However, as in most other countries, Kenya's government has implemented restrictions of movement in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19.

This means Kenyan athletes, like Korir, Kiprop and Kandie, are now forced to train alone, and the restrictions have also forced them to roll back their training regimes – by as much as 200 kilometers less than prior to the pandemic. The sudden reduction in training doesn't come without risks.

"I went from 200 to 50 kilometers a week, so I am worried," Albert Korir says. "When you start active training again you might get injuries."

Korir usually runs two marathons a year. In 2019 he finished first in Houston and second in New York – while setting a personal best in the Canadian capital, Ottawa. Even though the restrictions on movement in Kenya have only been in place for a few weeks, the 26-year-old has already noticed that his fitness is starting to suffer.

"When you're training you breathe hard. Your body is not fit like before, like when you were training hard," he said. "There's even been some changes like weight gain."

Trimming their distances isn't the only problem; elite runners usually train in camps with up to 50 other competitors, but now many are forced to train alone.

For Felix Kandie the coronavirus couldn't have come at a worse time. He had been looking forward to running in what would have been his third Boston Marathon this year. But on April 20, the day when it was originally scheduled for, Kandie was at home – as the coronavirus had forced this year's Boston Marathon to be postponed.

"Now I would have been in Boston racing a few days ago," he said.

Kandie could get another shot if the Boston Marathon goes ahead in September, as organizers are hoping. But when the coronavirus outbreak started, he had already completed 80 percent of his training program in preparation for the event. Last year the 33-year-old had an incredible campaign, placing fourth in the Boston marathon and fifth in Berlin.

He told us that he would stick to his training program as closely as possible despite the restrictions. But at the same time he noted that individual training just wasn't as effective as training in a group.

"You need people there to push you. You need them to make you more competent," he said. "When you're training alone you may feel like you're running fine, but you're actually not getting something out of running alone. In a group you're able to assist each other in all decisions, the speed walking sessions and the morale sessions."

Henry Kiprop was getting ready for this year's Milano Marathon when the pandemic put paid to those plans. He was runner-up at the 2019 Venice Marathon with a time of 2:10, and he had been aiming to knock five minutes off his previous best. Now he is concerned about what this forced break and the absence of optimal training will do to his future performances.

"A marathon is like a process. You do it this year, you do it next year, and finally you have mastered the art of marathon running," he says.  "If you're told to go and run the London Marathon without training, that is quite impossible."

Financial impact 

Quite apart from the restrictions on training, many elite runners are also facing severe financial concerns. Korir is sponsored by German sports giant Adidas, but he still depends on races as his main source of income.

"We have to run and compete. If you don't have any races, then you don't have any finances so it will be difficult for us athletes."

Although many runners find themselves in the same boat, Kiprop believes the financial impact will vary.

"It all depends on the individual. All the marathons that I have been running, I have used my money well," he said. "I've invested in some real estate. So it may take me some time before things get bad for me."

While some can cushion the financial burden better than others, it is a precarious situation for all.

Like Kiprop, Kandie also invested his earnings when he started racing. He knew he can't run forever and needed to secure his financial future. But despite having a what he believes to be a sound financial plan, he would rather not tap into his savings.

"If things continue into next season. If things stay the same there will be big challenges because you have to use the investments that you have," he said.

'No competitions = no prize money'

So is anybody listening? World Athletics and the International Athletics Foundation recently set up a fund to help track-and-field athletes during the coronavirus crisis. World Athletics President Sebastian Coe is well aware of the athletes' financial problems.

"Clearly, if there are no competitions, there's no prize money. So the first objective is to try and get competition back into their world again," he says. 

What that may look like and when it'll come about depends on how quickly the coronavirus is contained.

For professional marathon runners this means continuing to make the best out of a difficult situation. But they know bouncing back to pre-coronavirus levels could take a while. They'll simply have to rely on their endurance and resistance to get them through what is looking more and more like a marathon, not just for professional runners, but people of all walks of life all over the globe.

(05/02/2020) ⚡AMP
by Alima Hotakie
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Ben Banks ran his own Brighton Marathon by doing laps in his back garden

“It was very repetitive” was Ben Banks’ verdict on the 26.2-miles he ran by covering hundreds of laps in the back garden of his Thurston home.

The 25-year-old had been due to run the Brighton Marathon a week before, until it was cancelled due to the coronavirus crisis.

Many of us might’ve taken the opportunity to put our feet up - but, having caught the running bug, Ben decided to go ahead anyway and run the 26.2-miles by doing laps of his garden.

He admitted the so-called ‘route’ got a bit samey after a while, even with his attempts to bring in a bit of variety by running in different directions across the lawn.

Without the scenic routes and cheering crowds of most marathons, Ben admitted it was a “mental struggle” - although his relatives came out of the house regularly to offer him moral support.

However, once he was a couple of hours in, Ben told himself that he’d gone too far to give up half-way through.

And he even surprised himself by setting a new personal best, with a time of 4hrs, 13mins and 43secs.

Ben had originally aimed to run the Brighton Marathon for the charity Mind, as people close to him have been affected by mental ill health in the past.

However in light of the current pandemic, he has chosen to donate half of the money he is raising from the run on Sunday, April 26 - the same day as the London Marathon - to the Charities Aid Foundation, to help those affected by the crisis.

“I saw the campaign and wanted to do something to help out,” he said.

“I’ve still been doing my training, so wanted to put that to some use as well - especially at the moment, when getting outside to do anything is difficult.

“It was very repetitive but I tried to mix it up a bit, anything to make it a bit more interesting!. “It was a lot harder than a normal marathon. The only support I had was my family - every so often they would come out to see how I was getting on.

“It was a mental struggle but I really wanted to complete it. I knew I could have a rest at the end!”

Ben hopes to be able to run the Brighton Marathon itself later in the year.

(04/29/2020) ⚡AMP
by Andrew Papworth
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Brighton Marathon

Brighton Marathon

The Brighton Marathon is one of the UK’s favorite marathons. With stunning coastal scenery in one of the country’s most energetic cities, this is the perfect race for runners with all different levels of experience. The fast and beautiful course of the Brighton Marathon makes this a ‘must do’on any runners list. Come and experience it for yourself over 26.2...

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A family of three generations of Greenwich will undertake marathon on balcony

A Greenwich family of three generations say they are "blown away" by the response to their plan to walk a marathon on their balcony.

Ruth, 87, Charles, 58, Deborah, 57, and James Montlake, 31, will be walking a marathon's distance together on their balcony on the cancelled London Marathon date.

The challenge will be in aid of myeloma, a type of blood cancer that Charles was diagnosed with in December last year.

Charles told the PA news agency: "Myeloma UK is a charity which does a lot of good work and when I was first diagnosed in December, like many people, I didn't know anything about myeloma ... they really were there for me and I feel like in what we're doing, we're giving something back."

The family estimates that the challenge on the 11-metre-long balcony will take over 10 hours and around 4,000 lengths to complete.

They began the marathon at 9am on Sunday, and are expecting friends and family to cheer them on from the park below their flat.

Charles told PA: "As we live in Greenwich, we're very close to the marathon ... we always walk up the hill to watch it start and then come back down to cheer people as they pass by.

"We're obviously going to miss the marathon ... so we're going to do it ourselves!"

Aside from Charles's weekly chemotherapy at Guy's Hospital, he and the rest of the family must isolate, with neighbours delivering shopping for them.

Charles told PA: "We've been very lucky (during lockdown) because James is not normally in the UK. It's really nice to have our son with us and that has really helped us a lot.

"Apart from that, we've barely had a moment to get bored, we've all got things to do."

The challenge started with a £260 target to correspond with the marathon's 26-mile distance, but the family now has a target of £10,000 due to funds pouring in.

Charles's mother Ruth, who normally uses a walking frame, said: "I'm really quite excited about it ... this has been a wonderful opportunity to help.

(04/27/2020) ⚡AMP
by Euan O'Byrne Mulligan
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A Backyard London Marathon challenge in aid of Manorlands proved a runaway success

What began with a conversation between four people, who were due to take part in yesterday's marathon around the streets of the capital before it was cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic, escalated.

The quartet spread the word among fellow members and friends of Keighley & Craven Athletic Club and Craven Energy Triathlon Club.

And 41 entrants – equating, with relay teams, to more than 100 people – each pounded the 26.2-mile-distance around their gardens and yards yesterday.

They 'lined-up' on a virtual Zoom start line at 9.30am for the challenge, which so far has raised around £13,000.

Organiser Gary Chapman, 52, of Haworth, said the response had been "remarkable".

"I have been a member of both clubs for many years and I've never been as proud with so many people stepping-up at no notice to support Manorlands," he added.

"I help with the Keighley & Craven club's junior section and was inspired throughout the day with photos/videos of our wonderfully-talented youngsters pinging their way through to me on WhatsApp as I ran the entire 26.2 miles myself in my garden – it got me through the pain, with 6,400ft of ascent and 17,400 garden steps to negotiate in 372 laps!"

Also among those taking part were junior coaches Sue Straw and Tony Booth, with their children Dylan and Maizie. Tony ran the whole marathon in four hours 26 minutes, while the rest of the family completed it in relay formation. Sue also organised for a number of juniors to complete a virtual relay.

Dick Ballantine, 54, a headteacher from Haworth well-known for some of his long-distance challenges, stepped-up to the mark. He ran around his field, occasionally being accompanied by daughter Poppy on her horse. "Despite a nasty injury at six miles he completed the next 20 in lots of pain to show his support for Manorlands," said Gary.

Other participants included Pablo and Mel Vasquez and their children Marcela, six, Santi, ten, and Seb, 12, who between them completed the full marathon distance. Pablo said: "It was a fantastic family day for a great cause."

(04/27/2020) ⚡AMP
by Alistair Shand
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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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The 2020 sports season is lost to many sportsmen, but Eliud Kipchoge hopes to return stronger in 2021 and win a back-to-back Olympic title

In 2016, Kipchoge reclaimed Kenya's gold in the marathon, which was first won by the late Samuel Wanjiru at the magnificent Bird's Nest stadium in the 2008 Beijing Olympics but was lost at the 2012 London Games to Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda.

Now the 35-year-old is dreaming of adding another feather to his illustrious cap by having a great addition to his impressive distance running record to win the second gold on the Olympic marathon.

"If all goes well next year 2021, I will defend my title in the marathon in a competitive field and probably post a good time. It will add more to my running career," Kipchoge told the Olympic Channel.

Over a decade ago, Kipchoge felt like he had the inspiration and energy to finally get crowned the Olympic champion in Beijing.

He was making his second appearance at the Games having clinched bronze at the Athens Games in 2004. But he had to wait another eight years to win the Olympic title."I was really in shape in Beijing.

Even with two laps to go my mind was telling me, 'You will be Olympic Champion this year'. But I had no more fuel and Kenenisa Bekele won the race," he said.

Now the two men, despite missing out to meet at the London marathon on Sunday, are set to clash at the Tokyo Games in 2021. It will be their fifth meeting over the marathon distance. Kipchoge has won all four previous shows.

"It's true, Bekele beat me several times on the track. But I have won all the races in the marathon," said Kipchoge.

Kipchoge became only the second Kenyan after Wanjiru to win an Olympic marathon.

(04/27/2020) ⚡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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Eliud Kipchoge and Vivian Cheruiyot will be grateful returning to action in London marathon

Olympic champions Eliud Kipchoge and Vivian Cheruiyot have urged their fans to remain hopeful even as the world battles the effect of coronavirus globally.

The two were due to compete on Sunday in London marathon (April 26), but the race, like many across the globe, has been postponed. Organizers have picked on Oct. 4 as the new dates if the health situation allows.

Cheruiyot, who has recovered from a tendon injury, which ruled her out of the Berlin marathon last year, says despite there being no competition across the sports spectrum, she was happy to be healthy and said she will live to compete again soon.

"Today, there will be no London marathon, but we will be back in action soon. Stay positive and stay healthy," said Cheruiyot on Sunday from Eldoret.

On his side, Kipchoge, who is unable to train with his teammates, says the virus will be defeated and sports will flourish yet again.

"We will return to action stronger and with a lot of hope," said Kipchoge.

"The important thing is to remain focused and disciplined. We have a war to fight against the coronavirus, but we have a responsibility to remain healthy and safe."

The two were also named in the Kenya team for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics before it was pushed back to 2021.

But with no guarantees, Cheruiyot hopes to remain injury free and will always honor a call to represent the country in the Olympics. However, Cheruiyot is non-committal on her fitness when the new dates for the Tokyo Olympics.

"One year is a long time and we want to be in our best shape and compete. But we will be patient and see how the season unfolds. The important thing for now is to remain safe, there are no immediate plans on sports and we have to live with that. Until then, we just train as often as we can under the health guidelines," he said.

Already the London Marathon race director Hugh Brasher has said that while he hopes the London Marathon will take place as normal on Oct. 4, it might have to be slimmed down to an elite only race.

"But in today's society, you can never say never. We are trying to stay really agile and to keep scenario planning. And at the moment, I don't want to discount anything until it becomes really impossible," he said.

Brasher also would not confirm whether Kipchoge and Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele had signed up for October's revised race. 

(04/27/2020) ⚡AMP
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

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

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The Chicago Marathon Is Allowing Runners to Cancel Their 2020 Race Entries

Runners who do choose to cancel will have guaranteed entry into the 2021 race.

The Chicago Marathon—scheduled for Sunday, October 11, this year—has announced a cancellation option for runners registered for the 2020 race. The policy is not new for the race, but this year is slightly different with the uncertainties arising from the coronavirus pandemic, which has put many races this year in jeopardy because of the risks related to mass gatherings.

Chicago organizers sent an email (obtained by Runner’s World) to entrants on Tuesday announcing the option to cancel would be available starting May 5. Runners will have the option to cancel and earn guaranteed entry to the 2021 race. At the moment, there is no deadline by which runners have to cancel.

However, there are several caveats runners should note when making their decisions.

The move is one we’ll likely see from various races around the world that are canceling or postponing their events due to the coronavirus. The Boston Marathon and the London Marathon were both postponed until the fall, and the Berlin Marathon will not happen as scheduled because of coronavirus restrictions in place in Germany.

(04/26/2020) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Bank of America Chicago Marathon

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

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The race director of London Marathon admits that the event may include only elite runners

The race director of the London Marathon has refused to rule out staging the event as an elite-only race in the autumn if social distancing rules make it impossible to run as normal.

Hugh Brasher told the Guardian that while organisers still hoped to hold the event with 45,000 mass participants on 4 October, they were now scenario-planning around 10 other options because of the global pandemic.

“The flame is still burning,” said Brasher. “And is there hope? Absolutely. But you have to do what’s right for society. You usually have 750,000 people out in central London watching 45,000 runners. Then there’s the medics, the 6,000 volunteers and the transport system. There’s masses to take into account when making any decision.”

When asked directly whether the London Marathon – which was due to take place this Sunday before being pushed back – might have to be only for elite athletes if social restrictions had not eased completely, Brasher replied: “Honestly, I don’t know. But in today’s society, you can never say never. We are trying to stay really agile and to keep scenario planning. And at the moment, I don’t want to discount anything until it becomes really impossible.”

Last month’s Tokyo marathon was staged as an elite-only race, with the field reduced to just 300 runners and the streets largely deserted. Most major spring marathons subsequently decided to postpone their races to the autumn – but those events also look in doubt with no vaccine in sight and, ominously, the Berlin marathon has already cancelled its race in September.

“Our decision will be made by the back end of August at the latest,” explained Brasher. “It will be based on the government guidelines, and what we and society think is right and what feels right.”

Brasher would not confirm whether Eliud Kipchoge and Kenenisa Bekele, who were due to meet on Sunday in a clash for the ages, had signed up for October’s revised race. However he told the Guardian: “We always want to get the most competitive race. This was going to be the 40th London marathon, and its greatest race. It was going to be spectacular. But we want to make October 4 spectacular too. So that’s what our focus is.”

Last year the London Marathon raised £66.4m for charities, again making it the biggest single-day fundraising event in Britain. And while Sunday’s race will not take place, organisers are still hoping that thousands of people will spend the day raising and donating money for charities as part of a nationwide 2.6 Challenge – in which people tackle something related to the numbers two and six.

More than £1.5m has already been raised for the campaign, and Brasher said he hoped it would prove a lifeline for many charities which usually rely heavily on the race to fund their work.

“The London Marathon is normally about so many scripts and so many stories,” said Brasher. “It’s the greatest athletes in the world with the everyday athlete – who are doing this incredible challenge with the gods of the sport such as Kipchoge, Bekele and Brigid Kosgei, on the same day, on the same course, with the same crowd. In fact, the everyday person gets more people watching them. That’s the incredible thing. And, of course, they are raising so much money for charity too.”

 

(04/24/2020) ⚡AMP
by Sean Ingle
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

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

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Kenya's Gladys Cherono changes plans after Berlin race cancellation

Gladys Cherono has been forced to defer her dream for a fourth Berlin Marathon title with the 2017 World marathon champion, Geoffrey Kirui also putting on hold his debut in the race.

The organisers of the race that was due for September 27 have been forced to cancel the marathon after the Berlin Senate, the executive body that governs the city, extended the ban on gatherings of more than 5,000 participants until October 24 due to the novel coronavirus.

"We have learned from the press conference of the Berlin Senate on April 21, 2020, that according to the Containment Ordinance, all events with more than 5,000 persons will be prohibited until October 24, 2020. This applies to many of our events, but especially to the Berlin Marathon,” said a statement on the event’s website.

This is the first cancellation of a World Marathon Majors race this year owing to coronavirus, and it raises questions about the likelihood of other races taking place around the same time, including the rescheduled London Marathon, which is to take place on October 4.

Cherono, the 2014 World Half Marathon champion, was due to make her fifth appearance in Berlin where she won on her debut in 2015 before capturing the title again in 2017 and 2018.

Last year, the 36-year-old Cherono failed to finish the race after she fell sick just before the race.

Perhaps Cherono’s memorable victory was in 2018 when she triumphed with the fourth fastest time in marathon by then of 2:18:11, which still remains the course record.

“You can only understand what is happening across the world as nations battle to not only control the spread of Covid-19 but also get a cure for the disease,” said Cherono. “It’s impossible to plan for a race until October or November there.”

Cherono, who is now training alone in Eldoret under her coach-cum-husband Joseph Kwambok, said if all goes well she could compete in London due October or New York City Marathon planned for November 1.

(04/23/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ayumba Ayodi
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BMW Berlin Marathon

BMW Berlin Marathon

2020 Marathon has been cancelled. 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...

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Col Bignell plans to run London Marathon around his living room

Col Bignell, from Co Down, said he intends to raise money for the health service with his 26.2-mile run.

Col Bignell had been looking forward to travelling to the capital this weekend for the world famous run, but with the event postponed to October, Mr Bignell decided to run in his living room, which will involved going back and forth thousands of times.

The 26-year-old, originally from London, dared his Facebook friends to give him the push to do it by giving his post 260 likes.

He said he intends to raise money for the health service with the 26.2-mile run.

“I just thought I’d give something a bit different a go,” he told the PA news agency.

“I’ve marked out the space and it’s around 12 foot, so I’ve worked out it’ll probably take me about 7,000 back and forth, which is quite a lot. I’ll be running laps of my front room around 11,500 times.

“But I’ve seen Tom Moore and the lady who did the stairs and thought, if they can do it, why not do something myself.”

Retail worker Mr Bignell said he wanted to mark the day he had been due to run his first marathon.

“The London Marathon is still going ahead in October, but I thought it would be nice to have something on that day to mark the day I would have done it.

“The new date is two days after my wedding, hopefully it all still goes ahead. My fiancee thinks I’m crazy.”

Mr Bignell said he is aiming to raise £260.20 for the NHS with the length of the marathon being 26.2 miles, and has already raised £140 towards that goal.

“Any more would be great but that is the minimum I am hoping to raise,” he said.

(04/22/2020) ⚡AMP
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

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

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The Berlin Marathon can´t be held as planned in September because of new restrictions in the city related to the coronavirus pandemic

The Berlin Marathon will not go ahead as planned in September after Germany banned public gatherings of over 5,000 people until Oct. 24 due to the coronavirus pandemic, organisers have said.

They did not specify if the event, at which the last seven men's world records have been set, would be postponed or cancelled altogether.

"We have learned from the press conference of the Berlin Senate on April 21, that according to the Containment Ordinance, all events with more than 5,000 persons will be prohibited until Oct. 24," organisers said in a statement.

"This applies to many of our events, but especially to the Berlin Marathon, which cannot take place on Sept. 26 and 27 as planned.

"We will now deal with the consequences of the official prohibition of our events, coordinate the further steps and inform you as soon as we can."

The 2019 Berlin marathon was won by Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele who missed creating a new world record by two seconds.

The London Marathon, which was scheduled to be held on Sunday, has been postponed to Oct. 4 due to the virus.

The coronavirus has infected 2.5 million people globally causing over 172,900 deaths.

(04/22/2020) ⚡AMP
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BMW Berlin Marathon

BMW Berlin Marathon

2020 Marathon has been cancelled. 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...

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World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge says he has focused on strength training while in isolation to stay injury-free

World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge urges athletes to continue training to avoid injury.

Kipchoge, whose season was wrecked by the COVID-19 pandemic, has returned to his family in Eldoret from their training camp in Kaptagat to heed a Kenyan government call to remain safe and avoid public places.

The Olympic marathon champion was due to defend his title in Tokyo in August and use the London marathon on April 26 as his gauging race, though both competitions have been pushed back to 2021.

Kipchoge warned fellow athletes not to switch off training, saying if they push their bodies too much whenever the situation around the world improves, they will be prone to injuries.

"Keep training, doing what you used to do. I have a physio all the time and when something emerges, it easy to solve it. The actual period on course and the long runs help me chase away the injuries," he added.

(04/16/2020) ⚡AMP
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Natalie Bowbanks is going to run her London Marathon in her parents’ back garden

A runner will be taking on the entire 26-mile distance of the London Marathon in her parents' back garden in Co Armagh to raise money for the NHS.

Natalie Bowbanks, from Tandragee, has already smashed her £1,000 fundraising target as she aims to run 2,096 laps of the garden on April 26.

No stranger to marathons, the practice manager at My Dentist in Portadown is a pacer at the Belfast City Marathon and has competed in 64 events worldwide, but this will be her first in Tandragee.

Natalie has run marathons in New York, Paris, Berlin, Lanzarote and Dublin, as well as completing the Belfast City Marathon for the past 10 years.

The disappointment after the cancellation of the London and Belfast events because of coronavirus inspired the 38-year-old to help out the NHS.

So far, Natalie has raised more than £1,200 and is thinking of increasing her target to £2,000.

"I knew when London was cancelled I would probably cover the distance anyway, but I didn't think of the back garden at that stage," she explained.

"Obviously, there were going to be certain restrictions, so I kind of just pinched the idea from other people that I had seen all over the world who I would follow on social media.

I just thought that I would follow suit.

"I don't specifically know where the money will go in the NHS, but I have a few friends that work as nurses and doctors.

"Hopefully the money can go to personal protective equipment or wherever it's needed."

Natalie set up her GoFundMe page on Friday evening and raised £500 within 24 hours.

(04/15/2020) ⚡AMP
by Ralph Hewitt
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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 Daniel Wanjiru suspended for doping violation

Kenyan runner Daniel Kinyua Wanjiru, a former winner of the London Marathon, has been suspended due to irregularities in his biological passport, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) said on Tuesday.

The 27-year-old won the prestigious London race in 2017 and was fifth in the 2018 New York Marathon.

"The AIU has provisionally suspended marathon specialist Daniel Kinyua Wanjiru of Kenya with immediate effect for an Athlete Biological Passport violation under the @worldathletics anti-doping rules," the AIU said on Twitter.

He was suspended for "use of a prohibited substance/method".

With the charge having been issued, Wanjiru will now wait for his case to be heard.

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

In a statement released by his management company Volare Sports, Wanjiru protested his innocence, adding that he has “never used doping”.

Wanjiru is also quoted as saying: “This statement comes from the heart. I am clean in the sports I do. The ABP (athlete biological passport) finding is confusing and frustrating me. Specialists have informed me about how this can happen and I have come to realise there can be hundreds of reasons found why HB is fluctuating.

“I feel I am already seen as a sinner of doping, but I am not. I am innocent.

“It’s very painful what’s happening to me now. I’ve always believed that those athletes who are suspended because of a doping violation, were indeed guilty of what they did. But I’ve realised that being charged of guilt is just easy and now proving being unguilty is hard.

“I stand for clean sports. My results of the past came through hard work only. I have never used doping. We are currently investigating the case. Knowing I have never used anything, I have faith everything will be all right.”

(04/15/2020) ⚡AMP
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

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

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Study suggests that running and training for a marathon could help you live longer

Need another reason to sign up for a marathon? New research suggests training and running a marathon for the first time could reverse some of the effects of aging on our bodies.

Researchers found that for the 138 healthy, first-time marathon runners they tracked, training and completing the London marathon was associated with a four-year reduction in their "vascular age."

Specifically, they found that marathon training reversed the age-related stiffening of the body's main artery and helped reduce blood pressure.

As we age, the walls of our arteries, which deliver oxygen and nutrients to all our vital organs, grow thicker and stiffer, making our heart work harder to pump blood around our body. While a normal part of aging, this can contribute to the risk of cardiovascular disease, dementia and kidney disease, the study said.

"Our study shows it is possible to reverse the consequences of aging on our blood vessels with real-world exercise in just six months," said senior author Dr. Charlotte Manisty, a senior lecturer at University College London and a consultant cardiologist at the Barts Heart Centre and University College Hospitals.

"These benefits were observed in overall healthy individuals across a broad age range and their marathon times are suggestive of achievable exercise training in novice participants."

The greatest benefits were seen in older, slower male marathon runners with higher baseline blood pressure, according to the study which published Monday in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

The researchers didn't specify a particular training regimen, with participants encouraged to use the "Beginnner's Training Plan" provided by the marathon, which consists of approximately three runs per week that increase in difficulty for a 17-week period prior to the race.

The researchers found that the marathon training decreased systolic blood pressure -- when the heart beats -- by 4 units (mmHg), and diastolic blood pressure -- when the heart rests between beats -- decreased by 3 units (mmHg). Overall, the exercise reduced stiffness in the aorta, the main artery in the body.

The health benefits were not related to how fast the participants completed the race nor were the participants experienced runners, said Manisty. The average marathon running time was 5.4 hours for women and 4.5 hours for men -- below average completion times.

But Manisty said she didn't think the health benefits were unique to running a marathon. The key takeaway, she said, was to set a training goal and structure, and stick to it. Also, she said it was never too late to start sustained exercise, with the study finding the greatest changes in the oldest runners.

(04/13/2020) ⚡AMP
by Katie Hunt
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Celia Duncan trained for months to run the London Marathon, then it was called off, but she runs 1,555 laps at her back garden

You have to be nuts to sign up for a marathon: training for months in the rain, the dark and the skin-stinging wind.

And all for what? To hang a bit of metal round your neck while nursing damaged knees, blistered feet and lost toenails.

So perhaps it is only to be expected that, with marathons cancelled worldwide (Paris, Manchester, Rome, Boston and counting), and with governments pleading for us to stay at home, all those stir-crazy runners would funnel their obsession somewhere else, somewhere more local, somewhere… like their garden.

In the past six weeks, thwarted would-be marathon men and women all over the world have launched a new craze for long-distance running in the confines of their own homes.

Chinese runner Pan Shancu, 44, was one of the first. On February 14, under lockdown in Hangzhou, Eastern China, the massage therapist ran 50km (31 miles) in four hours 48 minutes, lapping two treatment beds in his sitting room 6,250 times. ‘I could not bear sitting down any more,’ he said.

Now the trend has been embraced by us Brits. When the London Landmarks Half Marathon was cancelled last month, the organisers encouraged competitors to run locally instead.

Deborah Meredith, a 40-year-old mum-of-three and lunchtime supervisor at her local primary school in Telford, Shropshire, duly ran the full distance in her garden. ‘The neighbours thought I was crazy, but, with my three boys cheering me on, I put on my running number and did 250 laps.’

And now I too am officially a proud RFH (running-from-home) nutter. With my hard-won opportunity to run in the London Marathon postponed until October 4, last week I ran a half marathon in my back garden.

This is not a big space. In fact it is so small, my Endomondo tracker failed to register the distance I was running — something I discovered 15 minutes in.

So with a tape measure, my son worked out our postage-stamp lawn (approximately 5m squared) had a 13.5m circumference.

This meant that in order to run the requisite 21.1km or 13.1 miles I would have to complete 1,555.5 laps. One and a half thousand!

The nation’s favourite PE teacher Joe Wicks provided the warm-up session online, which I completed alongside my eight-year-old daughter.

Then I set off — past the choisya (annoyingly bushy), the olive trees (thankfully trimmed) and the vegetable patch (the lettuce had self-seeded on the lawn, I noticed), before reaching the home straight of our pot-lined patio.

And then I ran round again. And again. And again. And again.

By lap 1,343, I could feel a blister forming and my ankles ached from the strain of leaning inwards. Yes, I could grab energy chews off a garden table to keep my spirits up, and it was a relief to chuck my sweatshirt onto the patio rather than knotting it around my waist as I usually do. But the tedium was starting to kick in.

When I finally limped over the finish line, I’d been running for two hours 29 minutes. A personal worst. And yet, I’d done it: I’d run a half marathon. The garden may never be the same again — as my husband keeps telling me — but that’s not the point.

As the lockdown continues, other disappointed would-be marathon runners will be carving out more courses in their homes.

(04/09/2020) ⚡AMP
by Celia Duncan
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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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Pete Collins will be running half marathon on his street during lockdown

A Long Eaton dad plans to run more than 13 miles up and down his street for two charities close to his heart after the London Marathon was postponed.

Pete Collins, 35, of Charlton Avenue, has managed to get the whole neighbourhood involved, raising more than £1,200 in just a matter of days.

He hopes some residents will be cheering on the dad-of-one from their gardens or bedroom windows.

Mr Collins, a sales manager, lost his dad Stephen Collins, 58, to Motor Neurone Disease in 2008 and then his auntie just three years later to the same illness.

He has been raising money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association for more than 10 years and he planned to run the London Marathon in honour of his family on April 26.

But when it was postponed due to the coronavirus lockdown, he started to think of new ways for how he could raise money for the charity.

After a Whatsapp group was formed with around 75 percent of residents from the 45 homes on his street, he discovered some were undergoing cancer treatment.

It was then he decided to set himself the challenge to run 13.1 miles - which is a half marathon - up and down the street for both Motor Neurone Disease Association and Cancer Research.

He said: "I want to cover a minimum of half a marathon, which is about 110 to 115 lengths of the street.

"I had been training for the London Marathon since last August.

"But a week before lock down, the marathon was postponed. It knocked me, because I had been training and raised money.

"I did not know what to do but I kept running.

"Since the lock down, we have a street Whatsapp and it was being used for a range of things - 'I am going to the shops, does anyone need something?' or my 'kids are doing this craft exercise' - it was about sharing ideas.

"I thought I could do something here and engage with the street as well."

He pitched the idea to his wife first and then "put it to the street" who got behind the idea immediately.

He is now carrying out the challenge on Saturday, April 11 from around 9am.

(04/07/2020) ⚡AMP
by Matt Jarram
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

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

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Eliud Kipchoge says that we will win fight against coronavirus

Eliud Kipchoge, the world's greatest marathon man, reckoned his first reaction was shock when he heard at home in Kenya that the 2020 Olympic Games had been postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak.

That shock soon gave way to disappointment - but then defiance.

"We will win this fight against the COVID-19," the barrier-breaking Kenyan, who's widely considered the world's finest runner, said in an interview with Reuters.

And the man who last year became the first to run a marathon in under two hours confirmed he can see himself refreshed and ready to defend his marathon title in a rearranged Tokyo Olympics next year.

For the moment, though, the 35-year-old insists his only concern is to care for his family at their home in Eldoret.

"I am totally concentrating on my safety, I am totally concentrating on the safety of the whole family," he said.

"We will win this fight against the COVID-19," the barrier-breaking Kenyan, who's widely considered the world's finest runner, said in an interview with Reuters.

And the man who last year became the first to run a marathon in under two hours confirmed he can see himself refreshed and ready to defend his marathon title in a rearranged Tokyo Olympics next year.

For the moment, though, the 35-year-old insists his only concern is to care for his family at their home in Eldoret.

"I am totally concentrating on my safety, I am totally concentrating on the safety of the whole family," he said.

"I was a little shocked and I had to go back, just to think more. I think and then I said, 'it's not a bad idea to actually postpone'.

"You know the Olympic Games is whereby everybody wants to participate ... it's in the dreams of every sportsman in this world.."

Kipchoge thinks a delayed Olympics could actually benefit his title defence.

"It's a great time for us to go back, train again and we will come back with a lot of energy," he said.

The pandemic has led to the postponement or cancellation of sporting events around the world, including the London Marathon, which next month was scheduled to be Kipchoge's first outing since October's landmark one hour, 59 minutes, 40 seconds run in Vienna.

Even though the run in Austria did not count as a world record because of the special conditions, the feat captured the world's imagination and brought Kipchoge a whole new level of fame.

Kenya has confirmed 42 coronavirus cases, including one fatality, with the country having imposed restrictive measures to arrest the spread of the disease. It even affects their brilliant runners.

But working together within a couple of months to come, this COVID-19 will go away.

"My priority number one is to get the virus away, come back with one mind, one thinking, one line of actually standing and competing."

(03/30/2020) ⚡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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The Elite field at the River Bank 25k Run and other races may be affected because they needed to move their date to the fall

The rescheduling of the Amway River Bank Run in Grand Rapid Michigan to the fall will affect the number of elite runners for the 25K race, but organizers say that was expected anyway in an Olympic year.

"If it was May, we knew the Olympics would have an impact and we expect that will carry over and extend to the fall as well," said Greg Meyer, the elite athlete coordinator for the River Bank Run.

Race officials announced Friday the 43rd edition of the run would be rescheduled from May 9 to Oct. 24 because of the coronavirus.  

The upcoming Summer Olympics had already affected interest and availability in the elite field, said Meyer, noting that’s an every-four-year challenge for organizers. The Olympic contingent includes Aliphine Tuliamuk, a three-time women’s winner of the River Bank Run, and Molly Seidel, who was second last year.

Add in the fears of COVID-19 and the expectations have been narrowed.

"There's not a whole lot we can do about it," he said. "Yeah, it is basically starting from scratch (with the date change), but it's a one-year thing and we'll do the best we can. For the majority of people, this is a community run, the highlight of their running year, and that's something that won't change."

Last year about 3,700 competed in the 25K, won by Parker Stinson of Boulder, Colorado (1:13:46.44) and Emma Bates of Boise, Idaho (1:23:49.50).

Meyer has heard complaints from those who dislike the second Saturday in May for the race and may prefer the fall date. But he dismissed that.

"To me, the River Bank Run is really the rite of spring around here," he said. "Yeah, for some it's not the perfect timing. But you know what? For so many it's been just right. I'm not going to second-guess that."

The River Bank Run, with around 17,000 entries for its various events, is now like many big races pushed to the fall, including the Boston Marathon (from April to September) and the London Marathon (from April to October), while the Chicago Marathon remains set for Oct. 11.

(03/21/2020) ⚡AMP
by Peter Wallner
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Amway River Bank Run

Amway River Bank Run

2020 race was moved to October 24 from May 9. The Amway River Bank Run presented by Fifth Third Bank with Spectrum Health the Official Health Partner will celebrate 43 years of road running on Saturday, May 9, 2020. More than 16,000 people are expected to compete in the event which features the largest 25K road race in the country...

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At the age of 70, grandpa Ralph Bernascone finished his 100th marathon on March 1

Ralph Bernascone completed a century of 26-mile runs at the Steyning Stinger on March 1, to the applause of his family who were there to watch.

“There’s nothing special about me,” said Ralph. “If I can do it, anybody can do it, it is just a question of giving it time and you will be able to do it too.”

Ralph, from Henfield, ran his first marathon in 2001 at the age of 51, completing the New York event six weeks after 9/11.  “I started running in 1998 because I was drinking too much, smoking too much and my wife Dorrit was fed up," he said.

“There’s a local running club called Henfield Joggers, I joined them and gradually built up.  You spend all that money getting to New York, that was the incentive, it was certainly not cheap.”

Since then, he has traveled the world running, from Norway to Dorking.  “All of them have been memorable, I’ve enjoyed them all," he said. 

“Reykjavic in Iceland was different – when you land it’s like Mars with all the craters.

“We did one in Marrakech. That was interesting as halfway around we had to stop as a caravan of camels were crossing.  But I do think London Marathon is the best in the world.”

The septuagenarian, who still runs with the Henfield Joggers after 22 years, is not even the oldest in the group.

He is urging others to pick up a passion for jogging.  “Try it, do it. One thing I can truthfully say is that I’ve never met a nasty runner – everyone is so nice and pleasant. It doesn’t matter how much money you have when you’re running up a steep hill, everyone is the same.

“All you need is some good running shoes for about £70 or £80. What’s that when a golf club costs £500?”

Ralph was cheered over the line of his 100th marathon by his daughter Karina Ray, 34, who lives in Shoreham.

She said: “I normally go to see him if it’s local and my husband has done the Brighton one with him before.

“On the day of the 100th, we were up there on the Downs with my husband and his two granddaughters.

“Steyning Stinger was a really hard one, running up the hills and it’s muddy. I’m pretty lazy compared to him.”

Henfield Joggers celebrated its 30th anniversary this year.

The first run as a club was on April 1, 1990, with six people taking part.

There are now nearly 130 runners “of all abilities”.

(03/19/2020) ⚡AMP
by Jody Doherty-Cove
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Mo Farah explains over taking supplement

Mo Farah has explained how he came to change his account when questioned in 2015 about taking the supplement L-carnitine before the 2014 London Marathon.

A BBC Panorama documentary aired last Monday revealed that Farah was interviewed by investigators from the US Anti-Doping Agency in 2015 as part of its investigation into his former coach Alberto Salazar and asked whether he had been given L-carnitine before the previous year’s London Marathon.

Farah was tested six days after that race and the BBC reported that, despite listing a number of other products and medicines, he failed to record L-carnitine on his doping control form. In transcripts obtained by the BBC, Farah denies having been given the injection in the initial 2015 interview with Usada.

Panorama reported he then met the UK Athletics head of distance running, Barry Fudge, immediately after the interview and returned to the room as the investigators were preparing to leave. At this point, Farah, who won 5,000 metres and 10,000m gold at the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games, told them he had been given the injection.

In an interview with the Sunday Mirror, Farah explains: “I was questioned for five hours. I said one thing and then other things got said and now it’s made out like I’ve done wrong, but if you know how it happened then it’s easier to understand. When I came out I said to Barry, ‘Hey mate, they kept asking me about this supplement. What’s that?’

“He said, ‘Yeah, it’s this, you did take it’, so I went straight back in and told them. I forgot, but as soon as I was told I ran back in. If I was a liar, why would I go straight back in? I said, ‘Look, I genuinely forgot, I didn’t know that. Now I do.’”

Farah said when he was questioned by investigators he thought he had only been given magnesium injections. “I was 100% convinced I hadn’t taken it [L-carnitine],” Farah said. “In my mind I hadn’t taken anything else apart from magnesium. I put magnesium on the doping control form.

“I can sleep at night knowing I’ve done nothing wrong. I love representing my country, making my country proud and doing what I do best because it is a gift and that’s why I do it with a smile. But it’s not fair what comes with it. It’s not fair on my kids and my family. It’s just not right. It’s depressing. Mentally and physically it’s had an effect on me.”

L-carnitine is not a prohibited substance under Wada rules. Injections and infusions of it were permitted within Wada rules in 2014 provided the volume was below 50 millilitres every six hours. The permitted volume is now 100ml every 12 hours.

Salazar, Farah’s former coach at the Nike Oregon Project, was handed a four-year ban by Usada in October last year for doping violations, though he has appealed to the court of arbitration for sport.

Farah, who ended his relationship with the American in 2017, has never failed a drugs test and is not accused of any wrongdoing.

(03/19/2020) ⚡AMP
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

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

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I badly need an Olympic marathon gold medal says Cheruiyot

Heading into these two major races, I will be running as a typical Vivian and I have hope, determination and the zeal to do well — Cheruiyot.

• Arguably the most decorated Kenyan runner, Cheruiyot began her international career in 1999, when she won a silver medal in the junior race at the World Cross Country Championships in Belfast and a 3000m bronze medal at the World Youth Championships in Bydgoszcz.

Olympic 5,000m champion Vivian Cheruiyot has revealed that winning the marathon title at this year's Olympic Games in Tokyo will be the icing on the cake in an illustrious career spanning over two decades.

Cheruiyot, nicknamed ‘Pocket Rocket’ is also a multiple-time world champion on track and cross country but insists she has her work cut out in her chase for what she describes as her all-time career goal.

But before Tokyo, Cheruiyot is keen on defending her title at the Lisbon Half (March 21) and reclaiming her London Marathon title on April 26.

This, she says, will boost her confidence heading to Tokyo.

Speaking in Elgeyo Marakwet County during the Maria Soti Cross Country Championships 10 days ago, the two-time 5,000m and 10,000m world champion said she has been preparing well for the Games.

“Heading into these two major races, I will be running as a typical Vivian and I have hope, determination and the zeal to do well,” said Cheruiyot.

“I will be defending my Lisbon title as a precursor for the London Marathon. I also have a big task ahead of me, that of representing my country Tokyo, where I also hope to win my second Olympic title.”

Arguably the most decorated Kenyan runner, Cheruiyot began her international career in 1999, when she won a silver medal in the junior race at the World Cross Country Championships in Belfast and a 3000m bronze medal at the World Youth Championships in Bydgoszcz.

Since then she has won numerous accolades at the African Championships, Commonwealth Games, World Championships, Olympic Games and World Marathon Majors.

“The journey has been good and I want to do better than I have ever done. I want to promise Kenyans a good fight in Tokyo,” added Cheruiyot.

Following her dominance on the track, she announced in 2016 that she had quit track to concentrate in marathon and road races, which it has been successful.

After graduating to the marathon, Cheruiyot won London Marathon in 2018 before finishing second behind Mary Keitany in 2019. She also grabbed a second-place finish at the 2018 New York Marathon.

(03/16/2020) ⚡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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