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Articles tagged #London Marathon
Today's Running News
Olympics marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge is still recovering from the London Marathon setback in which he finished eighth on October 4.
“I will take time to recover from the London Marathon loss. I’m healing, I want to move on and focus on the future,” he said on Thursday after touring the Isuzu D-Max Pick-up assembly line in Nairobi.
The world marathon record holder, who had won 10 consecutive marathons since 2014 before this year's London debacle on October 4 in which a blocked ear thwarted his bid for a fifth title, signed a new partnership agreement with Isuzu East Africa that will run until after 2020 Tokyo Olympics that were postponed to next year.
Kipchoge has been the Isuzu D-Max Pick-up ambassador for the last three years.
On Thursday, Isuzu East Africa hosted the legendary athlete who affirmed his commitment to making a comeback in the races ahead.
“If you despair, you lose what you have built over many years and miss future opportunities to come back stronger and better. If you train harder and build strength, you go to the track and run another race and rely on the strength you have built to propel you to another victory,” Kipchoge, who turns 36 on November 5, said.
He enjoys the use of a fully serviced luxury automatic Isuzu D-Max Pick-up in addition to two other vehicles that he was awarded for winning the 2018 Berlin Marathon in a world record time of two hours, one minute and 39 seconds, and for running under two-hours at the INEOS 1:59 Challenge in Vienna, Austria last year.
Isuzu East Africa Managing Director Rita Kavashe said that Kipchoge has been a reliable and dependable Isuzu D-Max brand ambassador.
“Through his record setting exploits, he has inspired a lot of people to believe in themselves and pursue their dreams,” she said.
Kipchoge thanked Isuzu for its demonstration of confidence in his capabilities and for supporting his dream.
Under the new deal, Isuzu East Africa will work with the Eliud Kipchoge Foundation to uplift the well-being of community through access to education, sports talent development and environmental conservation.(10/27/2020) Views: 38 ⚡AMP
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....more...
The Cardiff Half Marathon - already postponed from this October to next March - has been put back again.
The next edition of the race will now take place on Sunday, October 3, 2021.
Organizers had hoped to hold two half-marathons next year - the postponed event in March and then another as usual in October.
However, they say rising Covid-19 cases and new lockdown restrictions mean it will not be possible to hold an event like this in March.
The initial decision to move the race from October 2020 to March 2021 had been taken in June.
The next two races will now be in October 2021 and October 2022.
Organizer Run 4 Wales said it had been closely monitoring the ongoing coronavirus situation and the guidance issued by the Welsh and UK governments, whilst making arrangements to try and deliver a Covid-secure event in the spring of 2021 but that this was no longer a viable possibility.
"We had watched with optimism over recent months as lockdown restrictions had eased and successful pilot events across the UK have demonstrated that it is possible to safely deliver mass-participation events," said a statement announcing the latest postponement.
"It is now clear, however, against a backdrop of rising cases, freshly imposed lockdown restrictions and a turbulent winter period ahead that it will not be possible to deliver an event of this size and scale by March of next year."
Run 4 Wales now plans to deliver a number of smaller events with additional hygiene and social distancing measures in place, as it builds to the return of the Cardiff Half Marathon in October 2021.
"The health and safety of our runners, volunteers, event team and the wider population is of the utmost importance to us. We have therefore been working closely with the Welsh Government and other mass participation event organizers across Wales and the UK to chart a safe return to events."
Since its foundation in 2003, the Cardiff Half Marathon has become the UK's third biggest race after the London Marathon and the Great North Run.
It typically sees more than £4m raised for charities and last year 27,500 runners and 100,000 spectators attended the race.(10/27/2020) Views: 18 ⚡AMP
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...more...
The 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday 4 October was the first major marathon in the world to take place since the Covid-19 pandemic changed the sporting landscape. It was also the first truly global sporting event in the UK to take place in a non-stadium or venue setting since the country went into lockdown in March. How was it done?
An autumn London Marathon for the first time
The 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon was due to be held on Sunday 26 April – that now seems a lifetime ago. As the Covid-19 epidemic turned into a global pandemic, London Marathon Events announced on Friday 13 March that the event had been postponed to Sunday 4 October, the first time ever the London Marathon would be held in the autumn.
The postponement was announced at a time when hundreds of events across the UK were being cancelled. However, London Marathon Events, unlike virtually all other organisers, was able to announce a new date thanks to the strong relationships and huge support for the world’s greatest marathon and biggest one day annual fundraising event from a multitude of stakeholders and partners.
Speaking immediately after communicating the news to all runners who had signed up to run in the 2020 race, Hugh Brasher, Event Director of the Virgin Money London Marathon, said: “We are extremely grateful for all the support we have received from City Hall, the London boroughs of Greenwich, Lewisham, Southwark, Tower Hamlets, the City of Westminster and the City of London, Transport for London, the emergency services, The Royal Parks, BBC TV and many others as we worked to find an alternative date.”
Only certainty is uncertainty
When the 4 October date was announced on Friday 13 March, the hope and expectation of Brasher and his team was the event would run in its usual format in 2020, just six months later. But the true scale of the pandemic was only just beginning to emerge. Just 10 days after the postponement announcement, the UK went into a full lockdown. As the country remained in lockdown throughout spring and into early summer, the London Marathon Events team were looking at all options to deliver one of Britain’s flagship sporting events while others fell by the wayside, seemingly on an almost weekly basis.
Brasher spoke to reporters ahead of what would have been the date of the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday 26 April and said: “The flame is still burning. 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 so much to take into account when making any decision.”
London Marathon Events committed to making a final decision on the 2020 event by August and staff continued to work on a range of scenarios as the landscape changed on an almost weekly basis. Scenarios ranged from holding a socially-distanced mass event to an elite-only race. As Brasher said continuously to his team, ‘the only certainty is uncertainty and we have to remain agile’.
Elite race confirmed
A final decision had to be made.
The overall picture in the UK during July and going into August, though improving, did not indicate that an event involving 40,000 people running through the streets of London in October would be possible. Sport had returned but was taking place behind closed doors. Restrictions were lifting gradually but local lockdowns were being implemented and there was a growing sense that once autumn and winter arrived, cases would again be on the rise.
London Marathon Events had been working on plans to deliver a socially distanced mass participation event – either a run or a walk – and were looking to use new technology which would monitor the distance participants were from one another throughout their run (this planning did not go to waste as it would be used for the elite event, more of which later).
Ultimately, however, the challenge of managing spectators, ensuring the emergency services had access across London, the increased likelihood of a second spike and the ongoing concern about the pressure on the NHS, ensured a final decision was made that there could be no mass-participation event on the streets of London.
Instead, the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon would have an entirely new format for 2021: elite races only on a closed-loop circuit in central London and a virtual race for 45,000 people who were encouraged to run the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon – Your Way, the first virtual event in the 40 year history of the London Marathon.
Build it and they will come
When athletes’ agents were first contacted to ask if their runners would be interested in coming to London, the response was unequivocal: if London Marathon Events could build it then the world’s best would come – it was now down to Brasher’s team to hold up their end of the bargain.
How do you put on an elite race for more than 100 of the best marathon athletes on the planet in a safe, secure environment? That would be a challenge given 12 months of planning but for London Marathon Events, the total preparation time amounted to about eight weeks.
The first priority was confirming a course. All other sports that had returned to action during the course of the summer of 2020 had done so in either a stadium (think football and cricket) or in a secure venue such as Silverstone in the case of F1. There had been no organisation that had tried to close down public roads to create an event.
The team’s solution was to create a venue that could be contained and prevent general public access. The organisation has a long-standing and strong relationship with The Royal Parks, the Mayor of London’s Office and Westminster City Council and their support meant the first choice of course could go ahead: the event to be held on a closed-loop circuit around St James’s Park in central London which would ensure the iconic finish on The Mall would remain in the same place as it has done for the past 27 years.
A constant dialogue with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) ensured that the Government gave its blessing to the plans and granted the necessary permissions for athlete travel. With the green light given, a 19.7 lap closed-loop circuit was created which followed the perimeter of St James’s Park, starting and finishing on The Mall. Screened barriers were to be erected on either side of the course to deter people from coming to watch on the day and, in effect, a venue had been created in the heart of London.
The London Marathon Events team was also able to build on invaluable experience from 12 months earlier as an integral part of the delivery team that put on the INEOS 1.59 Challenge, Eliud Kipchoge’s historic sub two hour marathon which took place on a closed loop circuit in Vienna. For that event, the team had carried out detailed research on putting a marathon on a looped course and, furthermore, when searching for a course for the INEOS 1.59 Challenge, had explored the the possibility of staging the challenge on the St James’s Park loop.
Creating a biosecure bubble
Securing a course and a world-class line up in four races (elite men, elite women and men’s and women’s wheelchair) was the relatively easy part – or at least areas of great expertise for the London Marathon Events team. However the team had no previous experience in putting on an event in a Covid-19 world but they learnt fast.
To make the race completely safe and secure for athletes and all staff, the team created a biosecure bubble around the event. Information on the best way to do this was garnered from other sports which had returned to action, as well as from medical and security experts and Government advisors from DCMS.
The biosecure bubble would be created from the moment the elite athletes arrived in the country to the moment they left the UK after the race. In total it amounted to a nine-day window from Sunday 28 September to Monday 5 October.
The first challenge was finding a location where elite marathon athletes could stay for the week leading up to the race. A checklist was drawn up for what was needed: exclusive use of a hotel, within an hour’s travelling distance from the course, grounds large enough for athletes to train in, big enough to create socially distanced eating and relaxation areas, the ability to hold remote press conferences…the list was exhaustive.
Eventually a hotel was found about 60 minutes outside central London. Its identity was kept secret to prevent anyone from turning up to see athletes. Hotel staff were booked in for the full eight days to ensure they were in the bubble and security was booked to man the site 24/7.
Race sponsor Abbott, a life-changing tech company and global diagnostics leader, provided the critically important Covid-19 testing for the elite athletes, staff and everyone else working in the biosecure bubble.
All elite athletes, their coaches and support staff had to undertake a Covid-19 test in their country of origin before flying into London, Anyone who failed a test could not travel. In addition, every single person that went into the hotel from the UK had to return a negative Covid-19 test four days prior to arrival. Everyone was tested again the day they arrived at the hotel and again on Friday 2 October. Absolutely nothing was left to chance.
Of all the athletes and support staff invited to London, only two people, both from Ethiopia, had positive Covid-19 tests prior to travel. Degitu Azimeraw, the 2019 Amsterdam Marathon champion, and Haji Adillio, the coach to the eventual men’s champion Shura Kitata, were the unfortunate pair prevented from travelling. Adillio had been away from home and only in contact by telephone with his athletes for the 10 days prior to the travel window, meaning his athletes could still travel.
Another headache for the London Marathon team was getting the athletes from their countries to London in a safe environment. The majority of the international athletes were coming from East Africa, either Kenya or Ethiopia, so to mitigate against the risk of small groups travelling on different scheduled flights to the UK, a charter flight was booked for all of the East Africans. The plane, containing world record holders Eliud Kipchoge and Brigid Kosgei, made stops in Eldoret, Kenya, and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, before heading to London.
Elsewhere around the world, athletes were boarding planes in the likes of Chicago, Melbourne and Amsterdam on their way to London.
On arrival at the hotel, every athlete and support staff member was tested again by the Abbott team and all tested negative. Everyone resident in the bubble was then tested again on Friday 2 October, two days before race day, for a final time. Given all the hard work and effort that had been put in by the organisers to this point, awaiting the final test results was undoubtedly the nerviest time in the entire event.
Extra reinforcement with cutting-edge Bump technology
Though the Friday testing was an anxious time for all, London Marathon staff were reassured by the knowledge that they had done everything in their power to ensure all those in the hotel were Covid free, including introducing new technology to implement social distancing.
The Bump devices, created by Tharsus, were worn by all elite athletes and 500 members of the Virgin Money London Marathon’s operational team both in the athlete hotel and at the venue to help maintain the biosecure bubble for the event.
The Bump devices were attached to a lanyard and worn around the neck like a medal. Bump helped inform effective social-distancing behaviour by using sophisticated Radio Frequency technology to create a 'Personal Motion System' that immediately alerts wearers when they are getting too close to another person. Going within two metres of someone prompted a blue flashing light and within 1.2 metres a red flashing light and loud beeping noise.
Data was downloaded daily which allowed organisers to accurately monitor how often and how long elite athletes and event staff spent in close proximity to each other. If anyone in the bubble tested positive for Covid-19 either during the event or during the two weeks following the event, organisers would be able to trace interactions back to specific wearers and inform them accordingly.
These Bump devices were part of the new normal in the elite athlete hotel as the best marathoners in the world got used to the flashing warning lights and sounds should they get too close to another person.
Away from the hotel, the Bumps were worn by all staff working on the build of the event site in the run-up to and on race day itself as the team prepared to build a venue on the Queen’s front garden befitting The 40th Race in London Marathon history.
A quick glance at the BBC television pictures on race day morning and you would have been forgiven for thinking that though it might have been six months later, it looked like the same old London Marathon – with the familiar iconic finish on The Mall. But the reality was very different. Just like the work that went into delivering the hotel bubble, every last intricate detail of Race Day was planned to ensure the bubble, which would travel from hotel to the venue, would remain secure.
From the individual areas (including personal toilets!) provided for each athlete to the socially-distanced media interviews post-race, nothing was overlooked.
The halt to trials of bringing fans back to sport in September extinguished any hope that some spectators would be allowed into the venue which meant staff were brought in to patrol the interior and exterior perimeters of the route – though the awful weather on the day did mean most people were content to watch it in the warmth of their homes.
A very limited number of media was allowed into the venue with London Marathon Events creating their own content service which pushed out interviews and B-roll footage throughout the day. This followed the virtual press conferences held during race week and the daily updates of life inside the bubble in video and photographic form which were produced every day from the athletes’ hotel and made available for free to all media.
The only lack of social distancing that took place for the whole week was when the racing started but women’s world record holder Brigid Kosgei is used to running solo and she proved again that she is streets ahead of the opposition to win the first race of the day, in heavy rain and wind. However Kosgei was the only favourite to come out on top in a year where the unexpected really should have been expected.
Men’s world record holder, sub-two hour marathon man and four-time champion Eliud Kipchoge (Kenya) dramatically surrendered his title with Ethiopia’s Shura Kitata triumphing while both Brent Lakatos (Canada) and Nikita den Boer (Netherlands) overturned the form books to win the wheelchair races.
For all the winners, their moments of triumph will be memories they will never forget. But even in the instant triumph of winning the greatest marathon in the world, they were reminded this is 2020 and nothing is as it was. Bumps were returned, celebratory pictures and media interviews were held with social distancing prioritised and the never-to-be-forgotten moment of standing on top of the podium in front of Buckingham Palace, posing for pictures was done while wearing a face mask – an image that will forever capture the London Marathon in 2020.
While Kipchoge – the greatest marathon runner in history - was not on the podium himself this time, he summed up the feelings of all the athletes that had taken part when he said: “I want to thank the organisation of the London Marathon for going the extra mile to make the event possible. It shows what’s possible and gives hope other organisations can incorporate their plans to make sports possible in current times.”
Long after Kipchoge and the other elites had left The Mall, darkness had descended and London Marathon staff were in a race against time to deconstruct the venue they had built for this historic occasion.
In the murky October gloom, hundreds of staff worked in the rain and wind to take down in a matter of hours what had been months in the planning. Amid the usual flurry of work seen while de-rigging a site, there was one recurring and very 2020 sight and sound: the flashing lights and warning beeps of the Bump technology that ensured everyone, to the very end, did all they could to protect one another in a year and an event like no other.
That was The 40th Race.(10/24/2020) Views: 34 ⚡AMP
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...more...
The 2020 Boston Marathon Virtual Experience, held in September, raised $32.1 million for 242 charity programs, according to a joint statement from race organizer Boston Athletic Association and primary race patron John Hancock Financial. This year's haul brings the Boston Marathon's life-to-date fundraising total to $400 million since the program's inception in 1989.
"In a year when runners and supporters have faced countless challenges, all have remained determined to finish strong and make a difference within the community," said Boston Athletic Association CEO Tom Grilk through the statement. "We are immensely proud of each and every participant whose fundraising contributions will serve a meaningful purpose supporting 242 non-profit and charity organizations. To achieve the $400 million milestone in total funds raised adds even more meaning to this year's event, where Boston Marathoners brought the spirit of Boston to the world."
The 2020 Boston Marathon, traditionally held on the third Monday in April, was first postponed from April 20 to September 14 due to the pandemic, but was later cancelled when both city and race officials determined that it would be impossible to hold the race safely. Organizers switched to a virtual format, and over 16,000 runners from 83 countries and all 50 states ran their own 42.195-kilometer races between September 5 and 14. Many incorporated charity fundraising into their personal marathons.
"The Boston Marathon is a tradition in this city; it is the oldest, the toughest and the most iconic," remarked Marianne Harrison, President and CEO of John Hancock through the statement. "We're proud to be part of the race's history and community impact as part of our 35-year partnership. Although this year's race was different, runners came together to cross their own finish lines and collectively lift up each other and the non-profits they represent."
Marathon running is a critical part of charity fundraising, globally, and the staging of virtual running events has helped keep charitable contributions going during the pandemic. For perspective, the 2019 Virgin Money London Marathon raised £66.4 million ($87.0 million), a single-day world record for charity fundraising. The 2019 TCS New York City Marathon raised $45 million, and the 2019 Boston Marathon raised $38.7 million.(10/22/2020) Views: 60 ⚡AMP
The 124th Boston Marathon originally scheduled for April 20 was postponed to September 14 and then May 28 it was cancelled for 2020. The next Boston Marathon is scheduled for April 19, 2021. Among the nation’s oldest athletic clubs, the B.A.A. was established in 1887, and, in 1896, more than half of the U.S. Olympic Team at the first modern...more...
Jordan Crookes, of Mitcham, smashed his fundraising challenge for Cerebral Palsy Sport at the beginning of October.
After being born prematurely, Jordan faced a series of challenges due to his left side being much weaker than his right.
He was unable to crawl, his walking was delayed and he had issues with his speech and eyesight.
Growing up, Jordan was subject to bullying whilst dealing with "the pressure of daily school life". He left mainstream school to attend a site more catered to his academic needs.
Speaking about his condition, Jordan said: "Day to day tasks that many take for granted are a daily struggle for me. For example, locking a door with a key and tying shoelaces with a weak left hand is just a nightmare.
"My escape from daily life and pressures was to play football, football was my world. But once starting work, I was unable to continue with my love of football due to shift patterns.
“Running became my new love, it was able to fit around my work schedule and is now my escape from all the challenges that I face hour after hour. Running gave me a new focus in life."
Putting his new skills to the test, Jordan decided to sign up for a 10k run event.
"To run alongside hundreds of people and be treated as an equal, to have the same end goal as everyone to just cross the finish line is an amazing feeling," Jordan said.
Jordan's first 10k gave him the "bug" to run more and participate in further events, which overtime helped him prepare to run several half marathons.
And after signing up to volunteer at London Marathon 2019, Jordan decided to challenge himself further.
He said: "Last year at the marathon, I greeted people representing Children with Cancer UK.
"It was an amazing and emotional experience to see people so determined and focused. This gave me a new goal, to train, run and finish the London Marathon 2020."
Jordan completed his mission on October 4, and ran a total of 26.2 miles, finishing his goal at Morden Hall Park.(10/20/2020) Views: 72 ⚡AMP
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...more...
Kenyan runner who won London Marathon in 2017 is punished for biological passport violation
Daniel Wanjiru joins the list of high-profile Kenyan runners who have received an anti-doping ban recently.
The 28-year-old, who won the London Marathon three years ago, has been given a four-year ban due to biological passport irregularities – a ban which has been backdated to the day of his original suspension on December 9 last year.
This means he will be banned until December 2023, while his results since March 9 last year, which include 11th place in the 2019 London Marathon, have also been disqualified.
The 27-year-old, who beat Kenenisa Bekele to the 2017 London Marathon title, has a marathon PB of 2:05:21, set when winning the Amsterdam Marathon in 2016.
On his biological passport irregularities, a panel said: “That anomaly is far beyond any physiological possible adjustment and by itself carries a very high risk of thrombotic complications, coronary thrombosis and sudden death.”
You can read the full details of the case via the Athletics Integrity Unit here.
“I feel I am already seen as a sinner of doping, but I am not,” Wanjiru said when he heard of his provisional suspension. “I am innocent.”
Other top Kenyan runners currently serving bans include marathoners Jemima Sumgong and Wilson Kipsang plus miler Asbel Kiprop.(10/17/2020) Views: 89 ⚡AMP
British athletes are told what they must do to reach the Olympics and Paralympics – if they take place next year
British Olympic hopefuls will try to qualify for the rescheduled Tokyo Games in a track and field trials event staged in Manchester on June 26-27, whereas marathon contenders will race for places on the team on a multi-lap circuit in London on March 26.
With the Virgin Money London Marathon being held in October in 2020 and 2021, a new trials race over 26.2 miles has been created in the British capital with small elite fields battling for Olympic selection on a loop course.
For 10,000m runners, the trial event will be at the annual Highgate Harriers-organised event at Parliament Hill on June 5.
Race walkers, meanwhile, will have a 20km trial in Leeds in May or June and 50km trial in the spring at a European Race Walking Permit meeting.
At these trials athletes will be striving to qualify for Tokyo, although there remains uncertainty surrounding the staging of the Games themselves.
On the coronavirus pandemic, UK Athletics say in their selection policy statement: “Each of us is managing the impact of Covid 19 and we can see the impact it has had on society at large, the international calendar and the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2021.
“There is still considerable uncertainty surrounding the rescheduling of qualifying competitions. British Athletics is working closely with its international partners to ensure that British athletes have a fair and reasonable opportunity to meet the respective qualification and entry criteria outlined in the policy, and a realistic timeline in which to do so.”
AW understands the marathon trial will be held in a secure bio-bubble similar to the recent London Marathon, though, and is almost certain not to be cancelled.
UKA say their priority is to pick athletes capable of winning medals and reaching the top eight. Following this their selection will focus on picking “individual athletes demonstrating future global medal potential for the Olympic cycle running up to and including the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.”
The announcement follows the news that Britain’s new head coach, Christian Malcolm, has already started his job, albeit from Australia before moving back to the UK soon.
On the track and field trials at Sportcity, UKA’s selection policy states: “The first two placed eligible athletes in each individual trials event will be automatically selected for the same event, provided that, within at least one of the two qualification periods … the athlete has achieved at least one World Athletics qualification standard.”
Marathon and race walks selections will be announced March 30 although Callum Hawkins has already been preselected for the marathon. Athletes for all remaining events will be named on June 28 after the team has been approved by the British Olympic Association.
You can read the full Tokyo 2021 selection policy for Olympic athletes here and for Paralympic athletes here.
(10/17/2020) Views: 39 ⚡AMP
On Wednesday, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) announced that it gave Kenyan marathoner Daniel Wanjiru a four-year ban following an Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) violation. The 28-year-old Wanjiru has big wins to his name from the Amsterdam Marathon in 2016 and London Marathon in 2017, as well as a podium finish at the 2019 Vitality Big Half Marathon.
With race cancellations around the world, he hasn’t missed out on many racing opportunities during his suspension (which was issued by the AIU in April), but he is now officially banned from competition until December 8, 2023.
What is an Athlete Biological Passport?
Some drug tests can detect specific substances, but ABPs are more general, and according to the World Anti-Doping Agency, they monitor “biological variables over time that indirectly reveal the effects of doping.” Multiple rounds of blood tests are used to determine what the “normal” blood levels are for each individual athlete. Once this is set, any future changes or jumps in an athlete’s levels likely mean that they are doping.
According to the AIU’s disciplinary report on Wanjiru, he accepted a “volunteer provisional suspension” in December, agreeing not to race at all until a decision was made regarding his fate in the sport. Because of this, his ban retroactively starts on December 9, 2019. Four years from then, on December 8, 2023, the ban will be complete. As written in the report, Wanjiru told the AIU that he “did not have the medical or other means or motive to dope in any of the ways alleged, or at all.”
In addition to his ban, the AIU ordered that Wanjiru forfeit any results he recorded following the test in question, which was taken on March 9, 2019. He will also have to repay any prize money he won after this date. Unfortunately for Wanjiru, he ran all three of his races in 2019 after March 9, starting with his third-place finish at the Vitality Big Half Marathon on March 10, an 11th place at the London Marathon in April and finally another 11th at a 10,000m race in Kenya in July.(10/15/2020) Views: 62 ⚡AMP
Dita competed at eight editions of the World Half Marathon Championships and earned seven medals in the process, making her one of the most successful athletes in the history of the event. Her double victory in Edmonton in 2005, taking individual and team gold medals, remains one of the highlights of her career.
“I was surprised (to win by a significant margin),” she said of her 2005 triumph. “I was running a normal pace but maybe the opposition found it very cold. For me, it was good weather. I love to run in the rain.
“It was such a happy feeling to win my first gold medal at a major championship. For me, it was amazing and it was close to what it would have felt like to win a gold medal at the track and field World Championships.
“To win my gold medal was a great achievement,” she added. “It gave me much encouragement to run better in other races.”
Dita did exactly that, and three years later she won the marathon gold medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
Along with her major championship medals, Dita was also successful at big city marathons. She won the 2004 Chicago Marathon and finished second in 2005. She also made it on to the podium at three editions of the London Marathon.
Today Dita divides her time between her native Romania and the USA, and is still involved in the sport as founder and president of the annual Bucharest International 10km.
She still runs and last year she completed the Berlin (3:07) and New York City (3:30) marathons. She hopes to one day complete the full set of six Marathon Majors by running the Boston Marathon.(10/15/2020) Views: 61 ⚡AMP
The first one was first held in 1992. The collaboration with the world half marathon championships allows the Trinidad Alfonso Foundation to continue its strategy of supporting sports events that help to position València as the city of running. It has been the main contributor to the Valencia Marathon and Half Marathon for the past five years. The Spanish Federation...more...
Former Toronto Marathon champion Bernard Kipruto will not participate in any races this year after he picked a hamstring injury during the London Marathon.
Kipruto was disappointed with his seventh place finish at the race despite finishing one place better than top favourite Eliud Kipchoge, who placed eighth.
“I had prepared well for the race to win but I had challenges. I was one of the best competitors but the injury slowed me down hence I got this result that I did not plan for,” Kipruto said.
Apart from the injury, Kipruto also blamed the blistery weather conditions in London for his under-whelming performance.
“I don’t know how Ethiopians train in such wet and windy conditions but when it is sunny, we always beat them hands down,” he said.
Nonetheless, his performance at London Marathon was much improved from the Boston Marathon in September 2020, where he finished 10th.
Kipruto said he has taken vital lessons from this year that will be useful as he trails his focus on next year.
“After the race, I took time to review my performance. It was tough. This time, I want to get a good rest before deciding with my coaches on the plan for next year. I will be looking to participate in most of the major races next year, especially marathon races,” he said.(10/14/2020) Views: 87 ⚡AMP
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...more...
Vincent Kipchumba, who finished second at the 40th London Marathon, on Sunday has come a long way.
While a young boy at Chepkatet village, near Eldoret International Airport, Kipchumba could see aircraft take off and land at the airport. He harboured a lofty dream: that one day he would board a plane and enjoy the feel of air travel. It came to pass.
On Sunday, the athletics world had placed their bets on world marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge but Kipchumba surprised everyone as he settled for second spot at the London Marathon behind Ethiopia’s Chura Kitata.
Everyone was expecting Kipchoge to easily win the race, but after his loss, many Kenyans are of the idea that Kipchumba could be the next big thing.
Yesterday at Chepkatet village, Kipchumba was still revelling on his achievement.
At his home which is located about 700m off the Eldoret-Kapsabet road, his relatives and neighbours gathered to welcome him back and wish him well in future races in the hope that he can be the next Kipchoge.
Kipchumba revealed an arduous athletics journey that almost propelled him to a win in his debut at the World Marathon Majors. What he did in London was not shocking to those who know him well.
It is a journey that started in 2011, when he was 21.
“After several years of yearning to run a marathon, I decided to bite the bullet. It has never been easy. I ran my debut at the Family Bank Half Marathon in Eldoret in 2013 and finished 12th. I continued with my training despite the poor performance,” said Kipchumba.
Kipchumba, a father of two – a daughter and a son – ran his first international in Dresden (Germany) in 2015 where he was second in 2:15:22.
He later returned to the German town in 2016 and improved his time by four minutes, from 2:15:22 to 02:10:32.
As he started off his career, Kipchumba trained in Kaptagat where his mentor 2010 world half marathon champion Wilson Kiprop also trained.
He currently trains in Kapsabet under coach Claudio Berardelli.(10/08/2020) Views: 101 ⚡AMP
An Irish record for Stephen Scullion, an unexpected defeat for pre-race favorite Eliud Kipchoge and business as usual for Brigid Kosgei were just some of the talking points from yesterday’s very unusual London Marathon.
Run over 19 and a bit laps of St James Park, an autumn date and no spectators all marked out the 40th edition of the event as very different to the norm.
One aspect not to change was the unpredictable nature of marathon racing.
Things have been going swimmingly for Scullion over the past 12 months, apart from the occasional retirement.
A runner-up spot and Irish title at last year’s Dublin Marathon were followed by a fifth place in the Houston Marathon last January.
That qualified him for the Olympics because it was a gold standard marathon, although his time was outside the 2:11:30 qualifying standard.
As much affected by the lockdown as everyone else, the 31-year-old Belfast man set the athletics world talking with a Northern Ireland half-marathon record in Larne last month.
But surely only a few expected him to become arguably the fastest Irishman of all time with a 2:09:49 clocking for 11th in yesterday’s race.
Scullion put down a marker from early on, moving away from a group, consisting largely of British runners chasing the Olympic qualifying time and paced by Sir Mo Farah.
Instead, he ran in a small group of three, equidistant between the lead pack and Mo’s gang, for most of the way.
Whilst many faded in the rainy conditions, the Clonliffe Harrier stayed strong to complete his best-ever performance over the 26.2 mile distance.
Whilst Scullion’s time clearly displaces Kevin Seaward (2:10:09) as NI record-holder, it also eclipses John Treacy’s 2:09:56, set when winning the silver medal at the LA Olympics, as the national record.(10/05/2020) Views: 82 ⚡AMP
The man is fallible after all. Eliud Kipchoge’s reign of invincibility came to a crushing end with an eighth-place finish at the Virgin Money London Marathon, a World Athletics Platinum Label race, as Ethiopia’s Shura Kitata won a dramatic, last-gasp sprint to take the honours in the men’s race.
Kipchoge, the Olympic champion and world record-holder and unbeaten in 10 previous marathons, had been widely expected to claim an unprecedented fifth London title in his first race since making history by breaking the two-hour barrier in Vienna.
His principal challenger, Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekeke, had been forced to withdraw with a calf injury just two days before the race, while Kipchoge had cut a confident figure in the build-up as he discussed how well his preparations had gone.
Moments before he went to the start-line, fellow Kenyan Brigid Kosgei had raced to a runaway victory to retain her London crown, and few predicted anything but a Kipchoge triumph to complete a Kenyan double.
But this time, the race did not follow the usual script. Looking comfortable among a lead group of nine runners for much of the race, Kipchoge appeared to be biding his time before launching a characteristic surge of pace to break up the field.
On this occasion, though, the attack failed to materialise. Instead, the tables were turned on the mighty Kenyan as his rivals launched a breakaway with three miles of the race remaining.
With Kipchoge unable to respond, a lead group of five soon turned into a three-way battle between Kitata, fellow Ethiopian Sisay Lemma and the towering Kenyan, Vincent Kipchumba. Kipchoge, meanwhile, was disappearing into the distance.
In one of the most exciting finishes in London Marathon memory, Kipchumba was the first to strike for home, only to be overtaken on the line by the diminutive Kitata. Just a single second separated the two men as Kitata clocked a winning time of 2:05:41.
“I prepared very well for this race,” Kitata, 24, said afterwards. "Kenenisa Bekele helped me. I am very happy to win the race.”
Lemma was third in 2:04:45 while Kipchoge crossed the line in eighth in 2:06:42 – his slowest ever time in a city marathon. It was his first defeat since 2013.
“I am really disappointed,” Kipchoge said afterwards. “I don't know what happened.
“The last 15km, I felt my right ear was blocked and I had cramp in my hip and leg.
“It just happened in the race. I started well. It's really cold but I don't blame the conditions.”
It was a remarkable outcome to an extraordinary race, which was staged for the first time over 19 laps of a closed-loop course around St James’s Park in central London after the original race scheduled for April had to be postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The course was also off limits to spectators to maintain a ‘biosecure’ bubble for the athletes and support staff. It was just a shame that no one was there to witness in person one of the most dramatic men’s races in the event’s 40-year history.
By contrast, the women’s race followed a more predictable path.
Kosgei, the overwhelming pre-race favourite after obliterating Paula Radcliffe’s 16-year-old world record when she won in Chicago last October in a stunning 2:14:04, delivered another imperious performance to retain her London crown.
Her time of 2:18:58 may have been 38 seconds slower than her victory a year ago, but her winning margin of more than three minutes spoke volumes for her dominance. At the age of just 26, she is already taking the marathon into uncharted territory.
“I just tried my best,” she said afterwards. “The weather affected us today. There was some wind and rain all the way, which made our muscles colder. No one could warm up so it was difficult to even finish.”
Earlier in the race, Kosgei’s main challenge came from fellow Kenyan Ruth Chepngetich, the world champion and London debutant, as the pair set a hot pace to break away just before the 10-mile mark.
The halfway split of 1:08:15 put the duo on track to lower Mary Keitany’s women’s only world record of 2:17:01, though the soggy conditions and tight corners on the looped course were never going to be conducive to record-breaking times.
Chepngetich made a brave attempt to surge away from Kosgei after the midway point, though the attack was swiftly countered and the pair settled into a more sedate pace for several miles, ending all thoughts of breaking records.
It was after the 19-mile mark that Kosgei made the decisive attack and this time Chepngetich had no answer, dropping back quickly and looking suddenly fatigued as she evidently paid the price for going with the early pace.
As Kosgei’s race turned in a one-woman exhibition over the closing miles, the real contest was taking place further back in the field as veteran Sara Hall of the US overhauled Ethiopia’s Ashete Bekere to move into third place before training her sights on the tiring Chepngetich.
In an exciting sprint finish that presaged the men’s race a couple of hours later, Hall, 37, found the energy to burst past the Kenyan with just 80 metres remaining, crossing the line in second place in a lifetime best of 2:22:01 for her first ever top-three finish in a major city marathon. Chepngetich finished four seconds behind her.
It was also the first time an able-bodied US athlete had made it on to the London Marathon podium since Deena Kastor’s victory in 2006 – an achievement that will help atone for Hall’s disappointment in failing to gain selection for the Tokyo Olympics at last year’s US Olympic trials.
(10/04/2020) Views: 105 ⚡AMP
World record holder Eliud Kipchoge loses the 40th London Marathon after finishing at 8th position in time of 2:08:42.Shura Kitata from Ethiopia won with a time of 2:05:42 which was a close finish with Vincent Kipchumba 2:05:45.Lemma Sisay came third 2:05:45 after leading from 25km to almost 41.8km where the high pace set by Kitata edge him out of the lead and settled at third position
The men race which was full of surprises saw Eliud Kipchoge who has won four London marathons and never lost for seven years over the distance dropped at 22-mile mark due to stomach issues,hip problem and right ear blockage.
The men had 3 pace makers who helped them crossed 5km in 14:48,10km 29:45 and all through 15km in 44:31. At 25km , Lemma Sisay hicked the pace higher making the group goes in a single lane.Vincent Kipchumba picked a paced through 30km at 1:29:00.Mo farah on the chasing pack was pacing for European athletes who wanted to beat personal best and also Olympics qualifyers time.
In the women category ,world record holder Brigid kosgei swept a win in 2:18:58 followed a distance away by Hall Sara of USA 2:22:01 while Ruth Chepngetich settle at 2:22:05.Sara Hall set her pb after outshining Chepngetich(KE) in the last 300m who had harmstring problem.
The women race had pacemakers than included Vivian Kiplagat that did a nice job despite harsh weather conditions with incessant rain with alot of humidity and low temperatures of about 9 degrees celsius.The 19.7 laps race around St. James Park rather than normal traditional route was tough for the majority of the athletes that saw the likes of Vivian Cheruiyot dropped in the middle of the race.The 2020 London marathon route was change to loop running due to covid-19 pandemic that has affected all sports facilities in the entire world.(10/04/2020) Views: 86 ⚡AMP
Spotify has revealed that Eye of the Tiger, the theme song from Rocky III, is the most popular song included on running playlists in the UK.
The massive 1982 hit will feature on Spotify's UK Running playlist, to which the streaming service has added five hours of tracks for this weekend's virtual London Marathon. The UK's most popular running playlist is now eight hours long, ideal for 'back of the pack' runners needing a boost. More than 45,000 runners will take part in the event this Sunday.
Spotify has also announced it has had more than 25,000 streams of London Marathon-inspired playlists in the past month among UK listeners, almost all of whom, it has to be assumed, were preparing for Sunday’s event. The streaming platform reported a 36 per cent rise in streams on April 26, when the 40th race was originally set to take place.
If you’re planning to put together your own playlist on Sunday, the five most popular songs included in running playlists in the UK on Spotify are:
“Survivor” by Eye of the Tiger
“Titanium” by David Guetta featuring Sia
“Can't Hold Us” by Macklemore featuring Ryan Lewis
“Lose Yourself” by Eminem
“Wake Me Up” by Avicii
Five most popular artists included in running playlists in the UK on Spotify:
Avicii(10/04/2020) Views: 75 ⚡AMP
Staff and athletes in Sunday's London Marathon must wear social-distancing technology around their necks.
The Bump device, which makes an audible alert when the wearer is too close to others, will be worn by the 100 elite competitors and 500 event coordinators.
The race, 19 laps of a closed course in St James's Park, screened from public view, is the first major marathon since the Covid-19 pandemic, organisers say.
Non-elite runners can participate in a 24-hour virtual version of the event.
The device will not be worn during the race, however, with athletes taking them off just before the starting line.
The Bump uses radio-frequency technology, allowing organisers to track when athletes and staff are within a defined distance of one another.
And if one tests positive for coronavirus in the subsequent two weeks, those who have been in close proximity will be notified.
The device was designed by robotics company Tharsus, based in Blyth, Northumberland.
"This weekend's event is the culmination of months of planning around how to deliver a socially distanced 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon that is safe for all participants and stakeholders," director Hugh Brasher said.
"This technology has played an important role, giving our athletes and internal teams extra confidence to engage with the event safely."(10/03/2020) Views: 105 ⚡AMP
Ken Jones is gearing up to compete in his 40th London Marathon, however the 87-year-old will take to a start line with a difference.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the marathon is being run locally by competitors, so Jones will be running laps around the Strabane countryside near his home.
Jones, who has taken part in over 112 marathons, is the oldest man competing in the event and has been an ever-present since the first London Marathon in 1981.(10/03/2020) Views: 89 ⚡AMP
Kenenisa Bekele withdrew from Sunday’s London Marathon, citing a calf injury two days before he was to duel world-record holder Eliud Kipchoge.
“I was in good shape but then I picked up a niggle in my left calf after two fast training sessions close together in the last weeks of preparation,” was posted on Bekele’s social media. “I have been having treatment every day since then and I truly believed I would be ready, but today it is worse and I now know I cannot race on it.”
Bekele did not mention the injury in a Wednesday press conference, sitting socially distanced from Kipchoge at a table.
The marathon, with more than 40 elite men entered, was headlined as a duel between the two fastest marathoners in history. It was postponed from its traditional April date and moved to a looped course in St. James’s Park due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Kenyan Kipchoge lowered the world record to 2:01:39 at the 2018 Berlin Marathon. Last year in Berlin, the Ethiopian Bekele won in 2:01:41 without Kipchoge in the field.
Kipchoge has won 11 of his 12 career marathons. Bekele, a more accomplished track runner who won Olympic gold medals and lowered world records at 5000m and 10,000m, has never beaten Kipchoge in a marathon.
“This race was so important to me,” Bekele posted. “My time in Berlin last year gave me great confidence and motivation and I was looking forward to show that again, I have worked so hard for it. I realise many people around the world have been looking forward to this race and I am sorry to disappoint my fans, the organisers and my fellow competitors. I will take time to recover and become fit again and I hope to be back in London next year.”(10/02/2020) Views: 138 ⚡AMP
Kenyan duo Brigid Kosgei and Ruth Chepngetich will use controversial shoes worn by Eliud Kipchoge in the London Marathon on Sunday.
Kenya's Kipchoge broke the two-hour barrier in an unofficial event in Vienna last October when he wore the platform Alphafly Next% shoes.
While the shoes allowed by World Athletics' regulations, they are estimated to improve running economy by up to eight per cent.
Kipchoge's record led to calls for the Nike shoes to be banned, but women's marathon world record holder Kosgei is adamant the runner makes the difference rather than the footwear.
Asked which shoes she would be wearing in the her London Marathon title defence, 2019 champion Kosgei said: "The ones Kipchoge will use.
"You know the shoes could not run. It is someone who can run, it's not the shoes, it does not depend on the shoes.
"If I use the training shoes and the body is not there, you cannot run good. So for me it's just the body which enables me to run good, it is not the shoes."
Kosgei's fellow Kenyan -- reigning world champion Chepngetich -- also confirmed she would wear the shoes.
Kosgei and Chepngetich said their training had been interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, with their training camps both closed temporarily, leaving the pair having to train alone.
At the Chicago Marathon in October last year, Kosgei set a world record with a time of 2 hours 14 minutes 4 seconds, but she will not be targeting a better time on Sunday.
"We did not get a group like last year, (when) we are in groups together we just had to push each other. So it's not like in Chicago but I will try," she said.(10/02/2020) Views: 114 ⚡AMP
An Ethiopian runner had to pull out of the London Marathon after she and the coach of two other elite marathoners tested positive for the coronavirus, the race director said Tuesday.
Degitu Azimeraw, who won the 2019 Amsterdam Marathon, and coach Haji Adilo tested positive in Ethiopia.
"As a result (of the positive tests), they didn't get on the plane," London Marathon event director Hugh Brasher said in a conference call ahead of Sunday's race.
Adilo is the coach of Ethiopian runners Shura Kitata and Alemu Megertu, both of whom will remain in the race because there was no "face-to-face contact" with their coach in the past two weeks, Brasher said.
The London race has all the trappings of a 2020 sporting event: hotel bubble for athletes, competition modifications and no spectators. Athletes and their coaches are staying at a hotel reserved only for them outside London.
Protocols required virus testing before athletes left for London and on the day of their arrival. They'll also be tested on Friday.
Instead of snaking along the River Thames, the athletes will compete on a 26.2-mile (42.2 kilometer) closed-loop course consisting of 19.6 clockwise laps around St. James' Park, ending on the Mall. It should be a fast course for defending champions Eliud Kipchoge, Brigid Kosgei and their challengers, but potential wet weather could dampen hopes of world records.
"Heavy rain is not ideal conditions to do a world record in," Brasher said of current forecasts. "You want light winds, you want dry conditions.
"We, whatever the conditions, believe that there will be some incredible racing that will live long in people's memory, and it could be incredibly quick."
Only one other World Marathon Major -- Tokyo -- was held this year as Boston, Berlin, Chicago and New York all canceled because of the pandemic. Like Tokyo, London's field was reduced to elites only.
Even with prize money slashed nearly in half, the event has drawn elite runners who have had few opportunities to compete during the pandemic.(10/01/2020) Views: 86 ⚡AMP
Eliud Kipchoge, the world marathon record holder, will be cladding a Kenyan flag-inspired Nike “Alpha fly N% Kenya”, custom made for him for this race.
"The shoes for Sunday's competition. Inspired by colours of the Kenyan flag, representing (the) great people of this beautiful country and to celebrate one year anniversary of the achievement 1:59:40 in marathon distance by EK," Kipchoge posted in his official Facebook page.
It is an Alpha fly N% shoe, just like the one he used during the Ineos 1:59 Challenge in Vienna last year.
The personal details include a green-and-red colourway – a nod to the national flag of Kenya. The shoes also feature the runner’s initials and 1:59:40 – the time he ran in Vienna.
The Kenyan distance running legend became the first man to run the marathon in under two hours after clocking 1:59:40.2 in Vienna.
This Sunday, Kipchoge comes face-to-face with Ethiopia's distance running great Kenenisa Bekele, who is also the second fastest man in marathon.
There were some complaints after the Ineos 1:59 Challenge with ritics claiming that the shoe had multiple carbon plates and there were calls for it to be banned from competition.
However, Kipchoge and Nike have always insisted that it’s not about the shoes but the person using them.
“The shoes have not been banned hence I am looking forward to another great show on them as I seek my fourth victory on the course,” said Kipchoge during the launch of domestic tourism at the Serena Mara in the Maasai Mara, Narok County in August.
Defending women’s London Marathon champion Brigid Kosgei also used similar shoes when she set the women’s world marathon record in winning the Chicago Marathon in 2:14:04, just a day after Kipchoge’s exploits in Vienna.
Then Bekele would come close to breaking Kipchoge’s world marathon record of 2:01:39 set by Kipchoge in Berlin in 2018 by two seconds when he won in Berlin in 2:01:41 last year.
Nike's Vaporfly range was the talk around the world with the feeling that it gave undue advantage to other runners owing to its sole technology.
However, World Athletics — the global athletics governing body — said it will not ban the shoes but would instead institute tighter regulations around high-tech running shoes.(10/01/2020) Views: 136 ⚡AMP
Top two long distance runners Kipchoge and Kenenisa come face to face on October 4
Bekele is the second fastest man in the 42.2 km race London Marathon is set to be the race of the year
Almost a year to the first anniversary of Eliud Kipchoge making history by being the first human to run the marathon below 2 hours in Vienna, he is set to run his first marathon after that triumphant race.
Come next Sunday morning, on the start line will be these two men among other elite runners, as they put their enviable times on the line.
Eliud Kipchoge holds both the world record (2.01.39) set in 2018 and a sub-2-hour personal best marathon time of 1:59.40, while Kenenisa Bekele is the second fastest man in the 42.2 km race having come two seconds shy of beating the world record in 2019.
A sub-2 hour in this race is out of question, but could we have a world record?
Considering the very elite field that will be running and the expected fast pace due to a modified course, many pundits are rooting for a world record.
Why should we fancy a world record? One just needs to look at the assembled elite field and an equally elite squad of pacemakers and will see why a record could be a possibility.
Of the 45 elite men chosen to run this race; five have a personal best time of below two hours and four minutes (2:04), eight are sub-2:05 and 11 sub-2:06.
Without considering the times of the remaining runners, this already promises to be a very fast race.
The frosting on the cake are the eight elite pacemakers led by Sir Mo Farah and Kenya’s Victor Chumo and you have an atmosphere close to that of INEOS 1:59 Challenge; where the 41 elite pacers kept Kipchoge’s pace at a high tempo throughout.
Unlike in the INEOS 1:59 Challenge though, should the world record be broken in the London marathon, it will stand.
This is because the pacemakers will not be rotated throughout the race as they did in the INEOS 1:59 Challenge - but will be the same through the first 30 kilometers after which, they will drop out.
Secondly, the pacers will not form a deliberate human shield around the athletes to protect them from head winds.
Lastly, the corners of the course have not been specially modified to aid the athletes as they go round them.
There is a counter argument that a world record is not a possibility. The main thrust of this argument is that the race will have very many twists and turns during the 19 laps in the 2.15km route.
The race will also be run on concrete compared to asphalt which athletes argue is softer on the knee joint.
Furthermore, if history is anything to go by, in the last 17 years, the world record has been broken seven times and all of them, at the Berlin marathon.(09/30/2020) Views: 91 ⚡AMP
Cheruiyot is on the celebrity elite list of athletes who will jet out Sunday night for the eagerly-anticipated London Marathon next weekend.
Big names will be on parade in the women’s race. Cheruiyot will be up against compatriots; world marathon champion Ruth Chepng’etich, Frankfurt Marathon champion Valary Jemeli Aiyabei, world marathon record holder Brigid Kosgei, who is also the defending champion, and debutant Edith Chelimo.
There will be special focus on the men’s race which has two of the finest athletes over the distance competing. World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge and Berlin Marathon champion, Kenenisa Bekele.
Cheruiyot mainly trained in Kaptagat and Eldoret. She scaled down her training schedule a bit when the race was postponed from April 26 to October 4 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Cheruiyot told Nation Sport she was in great shape before the race was cancelled. The athlete, who spoke after a speed session at Kipchoge Keino Stadium in Eldoret, said she was disappointed when the race was put off.
“I had finished my programme and I was ready to conquer the world. If the race was to be held then, I would have been in a very good position,” she said.
After the setback, Cheruiyot encouraged herself that things will return to normal since health was more important.
“Everyone has been affected by the virus because it is a worldwide pandemic. We are happy that athletics is opening up slowly, which is a good sign,” she said.
“My preparations for the race have been thorough for the last two months. So far, so good. I expect stiff competition on Sunday, but I am ready for the challenge ahead,” Cheruiyot said.
Asked if she is in good shape compared to 2018 when she last won the race, Cheruiyot said that she feels "much better."
“My prayer is to run well and clock a personal best. But the most important thing is to win the race. There are able competitors in the race because everyone has trained hard. I will focus on my race,” Cheruiyot said.
She said usually there is the pre-race anxiety over how the race will unfold, but she does not fear her opponents because she has prepared adequately.
“I don’t fear anybody, but there is always tension over how the big day will turn out. Every runner is good in her own right. The thought that may stick in your head is the position you will be after the 42 kilometres race,” she said.
Cheruiyot said running in a loop will be an advantage though doing that for 42km is really challenging, but she will do her best.
“The route was changed due to the virus. I love going one way instead of running in a loop which is not hard because I have done this before in the track events. But I will concentrate on the race. I’m aiming for good results."
Cheruiyot said that training for speed was very important because it helps an athlete prepare for anything that might come up towards the end of the race.
The athlete, fondly known as “pocket rocket”, has won many accolades in her career.
Cheruiyot started participating in international races in 1998 when she represented Kenya in the World Cross Country Championships in Marrakech, Morocco. She emerged fifth in the junior category.
Cheruiyot later switched to track events with her specialty being the 5,000m and 10,000m races where she registered mixed results.(09/28/2020) Views: 109 ⚡AMP
In 2011, Kipkemboi joined Rock High School in Tororo, Uganda after his brother,Eliud Kibet Too, who is also an athlete secured a place for him. He sat his Form Four exams and when he was unable to continue to Form Five, Kipkemboi returned home.
That is when he started training after being inspired by what his brother was doing. Kipkemboi joined Complete Sports stable before shifting to Global Sports Communication.
When London Marathon was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Kaptagat-based athlete Noah Kipkemboi engaged high gear in training instead of reverse considering the importance of the race.
His mind had been set on the initial April 26 race date, but organisers moved the event to October 4 owing to travel restrictions and Covid-19 health concerns. Now only elite races for men, women and wheelchair athletes will be held in an enclosed loop.
Coronavirus scuttled the global sports calendar that resulted in the cancellation of major events including the Olympic Games that were postponed to next year in Tokyo, Japan.
Kipkemboi is one of the pacemakers for some of the best athletes in the world. Defending champion and world marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge (2hours:01 minute:39 seconds), Rotterdam Marathon champion Marius Kipserem, Amsterdam Marathon champion Vincent Kipchumba and 2016 Mumbai Marathon champion Gideon Kipketer will line up on the big day in London.
The spotlight will be on Kipchoge, the first man to run a sub-two hours (1:59:40) in the INEOS 1:59 Challenge in Vienna, Austria, last October as he goes head-to-head with his great rival, Ethiopian legend Kenenisa Bekele.
Nation Sport recently caught up with Kipkemboi training at Kipchoge Keino Stadium in Uasin Gishu County.
Together with his colleagues from the Global Sports Communication stable, the athletes were tying up loose ends as they prepare for the race.
Kipchoge, who is also the Olympic marathon champion, Kipkemboi and Victor Chumo, who was also a pacemaker in Vienna, took turns to set the pace when we found them training at the Kipchoge Stadium.
In an interview with Nation Sport, Kipkemboi said that he is privileged to be among the pacemakers who will be leading some of the best athletes in the world. He is satisfied with his preparations.
"It will not be an easy task because some of the best athletes will be competing in the race. That means the pace will be fast, but I’m ready for the assignment,” said Kipkemboi.
He said that after competitions were cancelled because of the virus in April, he was disappointed. He had to train alone and he followed the Ministry of Health directives on social distancing.
“It was not easy training alone because athletes are used to training in a group. Nevertheless, I stayed focused. I am in good shape. My colleagues and I are putting some final touches. I believe I will perform well in the huge task ahead,” said the runner.
Kipkemboi said he was delighted when he was picked as one of the athletes who will set the pace in London.
“It will be my first time to pace in a major marathon. This has made me work extra hard in training because this race will need effective preparations. I don’t want to disappoint anyone,” he said.
Kipkemboi joined the Global Communications stable in 2017 and has been rising steadily. He was among the athletes who paced for Kipchoge during the sub-two project in Monza, Italy, where he missed the mark.
Kipkemboi was again selected last year among the 41 pacemakers for Kipchoge in the INEOS 1:59 Challenge in Vienna. Kipkemboi rates the Vienna race as one of the best he has ever participated in.“That was a good race because it brought together many athletes from different countries for a worthy course,” said Kipkemboi.
Last year, he finished in ninth position in the Lisbon Half Marathon in a personal best of 60:52, before emerging third in Sevenhills Road Race in Netherlands.
Kipkemboi was second during the Kass Half Marathon in 2018 and he was also second in the Kakamega Half Marathon last year.
Kipkemboi was born in 1993 in Legetet, Uasin Gishu County. He went to school at Legetet Primary School and then proceeded to Ndubeneti Secondary School. However, he dropped out of school for lack of fees.
In 2011, he joined Rock High School in Tororo, Uganda after his brother ,Eliud Kibet Too, who is also an athlete secured a place for him. He sat his Form Four exams and when he was unable to continue to Form Five, Kipkemboi returned home.
That is when he started training after being inspired by what his brother was doing. Kipkemboi joined Complete Sports stable before shifting to Global Sports Communication.(09/27/2020) Views: 94 ⚡AMP
Running At Peak Form Into Her Late 30s, Hall Continues Lifelong Pattern Of Putting In The Effort
When the future of racing in 2020 looked bleak as the COVID-19 crisis swept the world last spring, Sara Hall didn’t lose hope.
“I started training for a marathon in faith, before I knew there would be any real competitions,” said Hall, who has been eager to finally move past her heartbreaking performance from February at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, where she dropped out at mile 22.
“It would have been easier just to hit the couch, but I set my mind on running a marathon, some way some how.”
Even if it meant racing 26.2 miles by herself, she said.
Ryan Hall, a two-time U.S. Olympic marathoner who retired in 2016, said his wife’s relentless competitive drive is one of his biggest challenges as her coach.
“She loves to train hard, but has a hard time taking extended breaks,” he said. “She is always ‘chomping at the bit’ to get back out there.”
When Hall heard that the London Marathon would host a highly secure, elite-only race amid the pandemic, she jumped at the precious opportunity.
On Oct. 4, she will face some of the world’s best marathoners, including defending London champion and world record holder Brigid Kosgei of Kenya and U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials champion Molly Seidel.
“Getting into the London Marathon felt like such a reward for a lot of perseverance this year — being willing to put in the work on faith alone,” said Hall, 37. “It felt against all odds to get to toe the line in a world marathon major.”
‘Against all odds’ is a familiar theme for Hall, a mother of four who has posted the fastest times of her career well into her 30s, including a 2:22 marathon last year in Berlin, where she finished fifth. Last month, with two male pacers, she ran a personal best of 1:08:18 in a half marathon along the Row River Trail in south of Eugene, Oregon, making her the sixth-fastest American woman ever in that distance.
A former Foot Locker Cross Country National Champion in high school and distance standout at Stanford University, Hall has competed at the highest levels of distance running for two decades — a great accomplishment in itself.
“It’s definitely surprised me,” she said of her longevity in the sport. “I think it’s a lot of factors, but I think the biggest are being naturally durable and learning to be really mentally-emotionally resilient.”
Ten years ago, after disappointing results as a 1,500-meter and 5,000-meter runner on the track, Hall thought her elite running career was over. She credits her Christian faith and Ryan with convincing her she had more to achieve.
Since then, she’s not only moved up to and mastered the marathon distance, she’s done it while becoming a mother to four adopted sisters from Ethiopia.
“When we adopted them, I didn’t think I’d be able to keep competing, but instead I’ve improved every year since they’ve been here,” said Hall, who is using her race in London to raise money for homeless children in Ethiopia, where she and Ryan have spent a lot of time working on various causes.
“I get to model to (my daughters) so many character aspects I want to instill in them: picking yourself up after defeat, taking risks, hard work, commitment,” she said. “Running is the greatest teacher.”
Inspired by their parents, three of the Halls' daughters have become runners. The oldest, Hana, currently a freshman runner at Grand Canyon University, won the Division 2 Arizona Cross Country Championships last fall. Hana and Mia, 16, both ran with their mom at the half marathon in Oregon.
In addition managing her kids’ remote learning and getting in her workouts, Hall has made time to discuss the racial justice movements happening across the United States.
“I’ve told my daughters about George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor,” she said. “We’ve discussed the movement in the U.S. and the systemic racism over the last 400 years that is the backstory to these recent events. I personally have been learning a lot.”
Despite the world’s turmoil in recent months, Hall has maintained extraordinary focus on the road ahead.
In the London Marathon, which will be held on a closed-loop course around St. James Park, she hopes to snag a new personal best and would love to finally land on the podium, after finishing fifth at the Frankfurt and Berlin Marathons.
“I’m focused on having my best marathon yet,” she said.(09/26/2020) Views: 122 ⚡AMP
Vegetables vendor who conquered the Frankfurt marathon, ranked as the 10th fastest woman in marathon history.
This is after breaking the course record in Frankfurt last year, winning in two hours, 19 minutes and 10 seconds.
But she’s not done yet and will be seeking to move up the pecking order at the London Marathon next Sunday.
Her’s is an amazing story of a late bloomer who started off selling vegetables to eke out a living before taking to athletics.
In London, she will be competing against compatriots, defending champion Brigid Kosgei, 2018 champion Vivian Cheruiyot, world marathon champion Ruth Chepng’etich and debutant Edith Chelimo.
Aiyabei told Nation Sport that her preparations for the London race are complete and that she looks forward to a good race.
“My training was injury free and I’m happy because despite the Covid-19 challenges, I managed to train well and I’m just waiting for the race day,” said Aiyabei.
She also said that training in a group helps athletes gauge their limit but she has been training alone which she feels that she has done well so far.
“It’s my first time to compete in London Marathon and I will be doing my best despite the fact that I was training alone. I trust I did well and finished my training programme and I will be implementing what I have done so far,” she added.
Went there to set up business
Aiyabei joins the long list of athletes who started their training and ventured straight into the road and marathon races. She trains in Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet County, where she has called home since 2011 when she went there to set up business but decided to join athletes who used to train every day.
Aiyabei comes from a humble background and after graduating from Kapkitony High School in Elgeyo Marakwet, life was hard and she decided to shift base to Iten where she started a small business to keep her going. The athlete decided to look for some income generation and her mind clicked Iten, a busy town full of athletes training for various races where she thought there could be good circulation of cash.
It was while she was selling her vegetables and fruits, that she could see athletes training every day and she was attracted to the sport.
“Poverty pushed me to Iten town where I used to hear that athletes were camping and I wanted to go there and make money. In my interaction with them, I came to love the sport and I started training in the morning and evening every day,” said Aiyabei.
She started training on road races and she later had her first child, Michelle Chebet, before getting back to serious training.
“With good training I’m very much sure that I can still lower that time but my target is to also run a world record time in the near future,” said Aiyabei.
At the Frankfurt Marathon, Aiyabei broke from the leading pack with her husband Ken Tarus pacing for her in the initial stages before he dropped out of the race after feeling unwell.
“It was tough running alone when the pacemaker dropped but I kept going because I wanted to win the race. Breaking early saved me because the Ethiopian athlete (Kebede) looked strong and she would have beaten me in the final part of the race,” said Aiyabei.(09/26/2020) Views: 104 ⚡AMP
Molly Seidel ran her first marathon in February at the U.S. Olympic trials in Atlanta -- finishing second and qualifying for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The games have been postponed, but Seidel, 26, continues to train and will compete in her second marathon Oct. 4 with an elite group of runners at the London Marathon. What follows is the story of her journey of recovery from anxiety, depression and disordered eating told in her words.
When I crossed the finish line in Atlanta this year, my full, messy story was out there. And, to some degree, the media and people on the outside wanted to put a nice tidy bow on it. They wanted this marathon and the Olympics to be my new story: the next phase of Molly the Runner. But the reality is much messier.
I will never overcome my eating disorder. I still struggle: I relapse and I actively deal with the ups and downs that come with chronic OCD, depression and anxiety. It's not something that a nice tidy bow -- like the Olympic trials or even the Olympics -- can disguise.
Obviously, there was a sadness to the Olympics being postponed. I would have loved to get to race this summer. But part of my recovery and mental health journey is all about realizing what I can control. And right now, I can't control that the Olympics were postponed. I can, however, control how I view this postponement. Since I'm new to marathons, I'm looking at this postponement year as a big opportunity. I can use the extra time to my advantage and improve every aspect of my training.
Before the trials, I had five months of healthy training. And after the trials, the narrative buzzing around me was, "Molly Seidel's second marathon will be the Tokyo Olympics." Honestly, I didn't want my second race to be the Olympics. This postponement allows me the time to gain more experience, train for an extra year, nail down my nutrition and run another marathon.
Instead of competing in Tokyo this August, I traveled to Flagstaff, Arizona, for altitude training. About eight weeks before the London Marathon in October, I learned I would be one of the elite racers competing overseas. A normal marathon training schedule is closer to 12 weeks, but just like the Olympic postponement, I realized the only thing I could control was utilizing the next two months to prepare.
Beyond my training and marathon builds, I have to make sure that I'm focusing on my mental health over the next year. It's by no means going to be seamless. I know there will be a lot of good times and bad times over this next year. I can't just stay consistent in my training, but I also need to stay consistent in going to therapy and all the nitty-gritty stuff that isn't quite as fun, but I have to maintain.
Today, I would not be the runner I am without my struggles. I would not be the person I am without my struggles.
I don't have to be perfect. The London Marathon won't be perfect. It might not be the greatest race of my life, but it will be a learning experience. And it will bring me one step closer to the Olympics.
Molly Seidel has stopped trying to outrun OCD, depression and anxiety. She has taken control of her story and is preparing for the London Marathon -- and eventually the Tokyo Olympics.
(09/25/2020) Views: 141 ⚡AMP
So stellar is the London Marathon cast that they have an Abu Dhabi and Honolulu Marathon champion as pacemaker.
Never mind the fact that multiple world and Olympic champion Mo Farah is also a “rabbit” for the October 4 race that will be televised live on NTV.
Abu Dhabi Marathon champion Vivian Jerono Kiplagat is among the athletes enlisted late to lay the groundwork for the women’s elite field.
The London Marathon is the only World Marathon Majors race scheduled post-coronavirus after Berlin, Boston, New York and Chicago marathons were cancelled.
Tokyo managed to sneak in an elite-only race in March before all hell broke lose, coronavirus-wise.
Kiplagat, who has been training with the world record holder Brigid Kosgei in Kapsait, Elgeyo Marakwet County, is optimistic that her training mate will retain her title and if possible run a course record.
Pacing for the first time in history, the soft-spoken athlete said that she has done adequate training and will be looking forward to a good race on October 4.
“I have done good training and I believe I will be able to finish the required distance but the most important thing is to help my friend and training mate Brigid to retain her title. She has done well in training and I trust her when she lines for the race,” she said.
Kiplagat was preparing for the Paris Marathon and was looking forward to be on the podium, but, just like many other athletes, she was rudely interrupted by coronavirus.
This made her reduce her work load aiming to just to keep fit as she waits for another season but she is happy she will be racing anyway.
“I was supposed to compete in Paris and I was in good shape… I knew I would be on the podium there, but the virus stopped my plans. It affected everybody and I’m happy I have been tasked to pace for London athletes. I will be doing my best despite the fact that it’s my first time,” said Kiplagat.
She noted that despite the huge expectations having been training with the world record holder, and coupled with the fact that she will be competing with the best in the world, she is confident that she’s up to the task.
“I was called upon to come back to the camp which is still closed for the other athletes and we had to prepare for the last three months. We are now finalising on our programme as we look forward to a good race,” she said.
Kiplagat also said that Brigid has been her mentor and she wants to run in future like her as she looks forward to taking the sport to another level.
“Athletics will always change, and I want to be in history as one of the athletes who took the sport to another level. My fans should watch this space!” she declared.
Kiplagat then stormed to victory in Abu Dhabi Marathon last year after she clocked 2:21:11, setting another new personal best, shaving over a minute off the time set in her victory at the Milano Marathon in 2019.(09/25/2020) Views: 90 ⚡AMP
Geoffrey Kamworor is not certain if he will compete after returning to training late, having recovered from injuries sustained from a freak accident on June 25 this year.
The world half marathon record holder was hit from behind by a speeding motorcycle, sustaining injuries on his head and above the ankle.
The 27-year-old Kamworor had to be operated on at St Luke's Hospital in Eldoret.
“I am not quite sure if I will run since I returned to training late owing to the accident,” said Kamworor, who resumed light training towards the end of July.
According to Dr Victor Bargoria, who treated Kamworor, the diagnosis was to open incomplete right tibia shaft fracture, knee bruises and scalp laceration.
“The procedure was debridement of contaminated soft tissue and loose bone fragments followed by irrigation and wound closure,” he explained after attending to the star at St Luke's Hospital.
The athlete who trains at the Global Communications camp in Kaptagat was targeting his fourth consecutive world half marathon title after 2014 Copenhagen, 2016 Cardiff and 2018 Valencia.
It’s in Copenhagen where Kamworor sealed his hat-trick with a championship record time of 59 minutes and 08 seconds, breaking Zersenay Tadese’s 2009 Birmingham’s winning time of 59:35.
Kamworor won the race in Valencia in 2018, beating Kenyan born Abraham Naibei Cheroben of Bahrain and Eritrean Aron Kifle to second and third places respectively.
Kamworor rolled out a world record when he claimed the Copenhagen Half Marathon in 58:01 in September last year, crushing the previous time of 58:23 set by Tadese in Lisbon in 2010. Another Kenyan Abraham Kiptum broke the record in 2018 Valencia but the time has been expunged for doping.
Kamworor would go on to seal his double at the New York City marathon in November last year after his 2017 exploits but his dream of a hat-trick this year has been curtailed after the event was cancelled due to Covid-19 pandemic.
Kamworor and World half marathon bronze medallist Pauline Kaveke were picked early March this year to lead Team Kenya for the 24th edition of the World Half Marathon that was planned for March 29 in Gdynia but postponed to October 17 due to Covid-19 pandemic.
Athletics Kenya will now have to rethink about the team selection after Kaveke and Victor Chumo, who is also in the team, were picked to pace at the London Marathon on October 4 this year.
The men’s team also had Kibiwott Kandie, who is fresh from winning the Prague Half Marathon in a course record and fourth fastest time in history over the distance of 58:38 on September 5.
Kandie, the national cross country champion, also won the Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) Half Marathon in February in the United Arab Emirates.(09/24/2020) Views: 137 ⚡AMP
The first one was first held in 1992. The collaboration with the world half marathon championships allows the Trinidad Alfonso Foundation to continue its strategy of supporting sports events that help to position València as the city of running. It has been the main contributor to the Valencia Marathon and Half Marathon for the past five years. The Spanish Federation...more...
Family Bank Half Marathon champion Nancy Jelagat, a pacemaker in the London Marathon, is looking forward to a great race and much-needed experience as she prepares to venture into full marathon running in the future.
Jelagat is tasked with pacemaking for the third set of athletes whose target time is 2hours:29minutes:00.
The athlete is optimistic of delivering results in her assignment, which she says is a new dawn in her career.
Jelagat, who has never been a “rabbit” before, wants to do a good job so that she can move up the ladder and set the pace for the leading set of athletes in a major marathon race.
With the London Marathon less than two weeks away, Jelagat has stepped up training in the face of challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic.
The runner, who has been training in Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet County, said she is grateful for the opportunity to feature in a major competition after several months on uncertainty owing to the virus.
The upcoming athlete is raring to go. She said: “I’m covering every area in training. This is my first time as a pacemaker, therefore, I need to be fit. The main participants in the race depend on the pacemaker. As a first timer, I am also going to learn,” Jelagat said.
She hopes to participate in many more races as she lays ground to plunge into marathon races.
“It’s an honor to be named as one of the athletes who will be participating in London Marathon. Initially, I had other plans for the two seasons, but they were ruined by coronavirus. But life is more important than competitions,” Jelagat said.
“I will use the race to weigh my performance. I don’t want to be just any other marathon runner. I want to be among the world beaters.”
After victory in the Family Bank Half Marathon last year, Jelagat competed in the Boulogne-Billancourt Half Marathon in France and won the race in 1:08:24. Ethiopia’s Beyene Medhin was second after timing 1:08:38 and another Kenyan, Deborah Samum, was third in 1:09:55.
Jelagat also won the Standard Chartered 10km road race after clocking 32:03 ahead of Delvine Meringor who timed 32:06 as Beatrice Chepkemoi sealed the podium places in 32:49.
Last year, Jelagat enjoyed good results and she looks forward to even better performance. She said: “Indeed, it has been a long journey. When the virus struck, I continued training even after I sustained a hamstring injury. I didn’t stop training so that I can heal faster. I’m happy that I healed quickly, I’m now as fit as a fiddle,” Jelagat said.
The runner said she chose to train in Iten because of the condusive environment. She said: “Despite lack of training facilities, I chose Iten. It is also a favorite for other athletes. The conditions are good to prepare for any race.”(09/23/2020) Views: 115 ⚡AMP
The coronavirus lockdown has been a bitter-sweet experience to Kenenisa Bekele, the world’s most decorated distance runner of all time.
The 38-year-old superstar from Bekoji in the Ethiopian Rift Valley has experienced the ebb and flow of an elite career, a regular customer on and off the injury list, worst of which was a calf rupture in 2010.
That’s why he brushes aside the fact that the pandemic subjected athletes to training in isolation.
This is a situation that he’s accustomed to, having endured various injuries in his stellar career that forced him to retreat, knock himself into shape before rejoining the fray.
NN Running Team:
“This (training alone during the coronavirus lockdown) was not new to me. I had some bad injuries in my career and during those times I had to train alone to come back to good performance,” he told Nation Sport in an exclusive interview.
Bekele, who owns a resort and private, synthetic track in Sululta on the outskirts of Addis Ababa, along with various other real estate investments, is in the same management as his Kenyan rival Eliud Kipchoge.
Both run in the NN Running Team colours under the Global Sports Management camp, the branchild of former Dutch distance running record holder, Jos Hermens.
Managed out of Nijmegen in The Netherlands, the NN Running Team is also home of Kenya’s half marathon world record holder Geoffrey Kamworor and a galaxy of other wold beaters.
On October 4, Hermens will be in an awkward position when Bekele and Kipchoge clash at the London Marathon, at a time both are enjoying a stellar career on the roads, and are separated by just two seconds, in terms of personal best times over the 42-kilometer distance.
In 2018, Eliud Kipchoge shattered the world marathon record in winning the Berlin Marathon in Two hours, one minute and 39 seconds.
Just 12 months later, Bekele responded by completing the distance in 2:01:41, on the same Berlin streets, despite struggling with discomfort in the first half of the race.
Bekele’s brilliant second half (negative splits) convinced many that he could, perhaps, upstage Kipchoge.
Their eagerly-awaited duel was plotted for April 26, but the London Marathon was shelved as Covid-19 struck, prompting organizers to postpone the duel to October 4.
A great ambassador:
Now with the new big day just 14 days away, Bekele has nothing but respect for Kipchoge, appreciating the Kenyan’s contribution to athletics.
“I have great respect for Eliud,” he said during the interview from Addis Ababa.
“We have been competitors for a long time. He is a great ambassador for our sport and I respect him a lot.”
The October 4 London Marathon will be an elites-only race with no mass runners or spectators due to precautions over the coronavirus.
The 40th anniversary race will also see the elite races take part on a closed-loop circuit around St James’s Park, with the athletes staying in a hotel outside of London which has been chosen for its 40 acres of grounds where athletes will be able to train during race week.
Bekele says racing against Kipchoge and other top elites on October 4 gives him added motivation.
“It gives me great motivation, to run in one of the greatest marathons in the world against the greatest athletes. I give myself pressure, I want to run my best race.”
“Running world records is not easy and difficult to predict what is possible. But seeing Kipchoge’s sub-two performances, we know anything is possible,” he said.
“I had to adapt my training programme with some more alternative training, like on the bike and gym training to remain fit with my team supporting me as usual,” said Bekele who loves spending time with his family when free.
The shifting of the big race from April to October is the least of his worries.
“I was well prepared for the London Marathon in April but as an athlete you need to be ready and flexible, so I focused on October and went on with my training.(09/21/2020) Views: 156 ⚡AMP
With the London Marathon just over two weeks away, defending champion and world record holder Eliud Kipchoge maintained his tight programme on Wednesday, making time for the ground-breaking ceremony for a library project that he inspired.
He was joined at the ceremony at Kapsisiywa Secondary School in his home Nandi County by Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha.
The project has been funded by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The marathon great narrated that at a meeting in Mombasa last year President Kenyatta asked him what gift he wanted after his exploits on the world stage, and he settled for a communal library.
“I'm here to witness one of my dreams come true. My vision to transform my community has come true courtesy of the President.
“I appreciate the President's gesture which confirms to me that, indeed, no human is limited," said an elated Kipchoge who was accompanied by his family.
Kipchoge said it came as a big surprise to him when the President made the offer.
“The answer is what we have here today,” Kipchoge said, noting that a library is crucial and that reading had expanded his thinking and outlook in life.
“Books have been my loyal friend. Books are the perfect mode to travel out of any locality through. Books have helped me navigate through many challenges in life. I'm happy the President will be with us in every step of the way in this project,” added Kipchoge, with his usual touch of philosophy.
President Kenyatta last year issued a directive for the construction of a multi-million library at Kipchoge’s home village of Kapsisiywa.
“Eliud Kipchoge who is alive and here with us has also inspired the world that no human effort is futile, that we can dream and make our dreams a possibility. He has demonstrated that through integrity, hard work and commitment to excellence nothing is out of reach,” said the President when he honoured the athlete last year after his successful exploits in Austria when he broke the two-hour barrier for the marathon.
President Kenyatta decorated Kipchoge with the Elder of the Order of the Golden Heart (E.G.H) award, lauding his work in inspiring future generations to achieve the seemingly impossible.
Magoha, accompanied by Ministry officials, on November 22 last year delivered the offer letter from the President to the famous athlete as well as the Kapsisiywa Secondary School principal.
Kipchoge made history last year after becoming the first man to run a marathon in under two hours – clocking one hour, 59 minutes and 40 seconds at the “Ineos 1:59 Challenge” staged in Vienna, Austria.(09/19/2020) Views: 78 ⚡AMP
First Lady’s Half Marathon champion Lydia Njeri Mathathi is among the pace-makers for next month’s London Marathon.
Yes, you guessed it! She is a sister of the famous distance running star, Martin Irungu Mathathi, bronze medallist at both the 2006 World Cross Country Championships (Fukuoka) and in the 10,000 metres at the 2007 World Championships (Osaka).
Lydia will be playing “rabbit” in a major race for the second time and has been delegated the responsibility to pace for the second group of athletes.
The time target for this group is two hours and 23 minutes.
Apart from pacing various athletes, Lydia is also an accomplished athlete in her own right, and has competed in various races on the road, catching the eye of race directors.We caught up with her at Kipchoge Keino Stadium in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County, last week where she was sharpening her skills in a speed work session.
Just like other athletes across the country, Lydia was forced to retreat from serious training when the coronavirus struck forcing the government to ban group training.
She said, that forced her to continue training alone due to the rules from the government but she is happy the country is slowly opening up and she is up to the task ahead.
“It has been a long journey in training because of the virus which sent us back to the drawing board where we missed the whole season of athletics,” said the younger Mathathi.
Lydia bagged victory in First Lady’s Half Marathon in Nairobi (one hour, 12 minutes and three seconds) with Londiani-based Emily Chebet coming in second in1:12:30 and Pacifica Jeptoo closing the podium in 1:12:44.
This was after disappointment from the Paris Half Marathon where they were forced to fly back home after the race was cancelled due to coronavirus.
"We flew all the way to Paris only for the organisers to cancel the race in the last minute due to the coronavirus pandemic which had started spreading across the world. I’m happy because I managed to bag victory in the First Lady’s Half Marathon and since then we have just been training at home,” she said.
“I used to participate in various races in school and this was because my brother was an athlete and I wanted to be like him. I’m happy because my brother has been of great help in my career and I will be going for nothing but the best,” said Lydia, who has a personal best of 67:51 in the half marathon.(09/18/2020) Views: 115 ⚡AMP
The Vienna City Marathon is the second major international marathon which has been moved from a spring date of 2021 into the second half of the year. The race is now scheduled for 12 September. This spring organizers had to cancel Austria’s biggest one day sporting event due to the corona virus pandemic. Because of the ongoing uncertainties during the pandemic there was too much risk continuing to plan with a race on 18 April 2021, organizers explained. The first major race that was moved from spring into the autumn in 2021 was the London Marathon. The Vienna City Marathon is a World Athletics Gold Label Road Race.
The world is still in a state of upheaval and constant change due to the corona virus pandemic. This especially applies to organizers of major events. That led to the decision to postpone the upcoming Vienna City Marathon from April to 12 September 2021. "In accordance with health experts and those in charge for the City of Vienna, we are convinced that on this date in September we will find an improved overall Covid-19 situation and be able to organize a major marathon in Vienna. We want to hold an event that offers a thrilling experience and inspires the participants and spectators - a race like the one we staged in 2019 or in the years before. Moving it to the second half of 2021 is the more honest answer to the difficult situation and brings more reliability and planning security, also for the participants", reads a statement of the organizers.
"Our goal is to organize the Vienna City Marathon safely but also with a great atmosphere. However, we cannot carry out the extensive conceptual and preparatory work for the marathon under unknown and constantly changing regulations. We want to organize running events and will do so according to the current rules. For our major event, the Vienna City Marathon, however, moving it to September is the more realistic way," says Vienna City Marathon Race Director Wolfgang Konrad.
"I am delighted that the Vienna City Marathon 2021 is planned to take place in an attractive and customary manner. The event mobilizes Vienna and the Viennese population. As a tourist magnet with strong economic effects, the event is of great importance beyond sports and health promotion. It is clear that due to the Covid-19 pandemic, events like the Vienna City Marathon have to cope with great challenges. However, in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic, holding the event in September 2021 offers a clear perspective. We hope that the marathon can be held on this new date on the well-known route, which passes numerous tourist attractions of Vienna," says Vienna’s Mayor Michael Ludwig.
The date of the Vienna City Marathon is usually fixed for several years in advance. "It would not have been feasible to wait and hope for the next few months. We could then have found ourselves in a position urgently trying to find a new date in the autumn of the same year. The move required coordination with the City of Vienna, the police, public authorities and other event organizers in order to keep the course through the entire city and the finish area in the Ringstrasse / Rathausplatz area available for the races and for the set-up work," says Gerhard Wehr, Managing Director of the Vienna City Marathon. He thanked the City of Vienna as well as the sponsors and partners for their support and cooperation.
"We hope that the current circumstances and regulations will continue to allow running events to take place. We look forward to every event that can go ahead. This is what our heart beats for, and this is what we will continue to do with all our commitment," Vienna organizers announced. Online entry for the Vienna City Marathon 2021 will start in autumn at: www.vienna-marathon.com(09/18/2020) Views: 91 ⚡AMP
More than 41,000 runners from over 110 nations take part in the Vienna City Marathon, cheered on by hundreds of thousands of spectators. From the start at UN City to the magnificent finish on the Heldenplatz, the excitement will never miss a beat. In recent years the Vienna City Marathon has succeeded in creating a unique position as a marathon...more...
Top athletes will earn less in this year's London Marathon as effects of Covid-19 continue to hit the sports world.
Organisers of the October 4 race say the prize money has been cut by nearly half of what was offered last year.
With only 17 days to the 40th edition of the London Marathon, the announcement comes as a shocker for marathoners who are just returning to the sport after months of heavy lockdowns.
Interestingly, for the first time there will be a separate prize pool for the best performing British athletes for the London clash that will present the scintillating clash between the world’s fastest marathoners - Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge and Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele.
The elite men’s race will see one of the most eagerly anticipated clashes in marathon history with Kipchoge going head-to-head with Bekele, the man who came within two seconds of his world record last year in Berlin.
(09/18/2020) Views: 120 ⚡AMP
It’s baffling that, at just 22 years of age, Sandrafelis Chebet has fallen in love with road running.
Ideally, one would expect her to gain some track experience from the middle distance to the 10,000 meters before hitting the asphalt.
The dearth of Kenyan talent in the 5,000 and 10,000 meters, with just Hellen Obiri to bank on, means Kenyan coaches needed to have enticed the likes of Chebet to work on the track, hoping to stop the potentially dangerous streak by Dutchwoman Sifan Hassan that could threaten Kenya’s gold medal hopes at the Tokyo Olympics next year.
Nonetheless, the 2015 World Under-18 Championships silver medalist in the 2,000 meters steeplechase hopes that her enlisting to pace the women’s lead group at next month’s London Marathon will motivate her to bigger things.
Chebet has been tasked with pacing for the lead group of women in London who include world record holder and defending champion Brigid Kosgei, world champion Ruth Chepng’etich, 2018 champion Vivian Cheruiyot, Frankfurt Marathon champion Valary Aiyabei and debutant Edith Chelimo.
Nation Sport caught up with Chebet at Lemotit Athletics Camp in Londiani, Kericho County, where she said her featuring in a major marathon will help improve her performance.
“I’m lucky to have been selected as one of the ‘rabbits’ who will be pacing for the lead group in London,” she said.
“It’s a tough task, but I will do my best to make sure I deliver good results,” said Chebet who is under the Italy-based Rosa Associati management, the same stable as Kosgei and Chepng’etich.
Chebet admitted that when the coronavirus struck, everything came to a standstill and with the closure of training camps, she decided to continue her training following the guidelines from the ministry of health of social distancing.
“It was tough training in a group of three or less but I’m happy because I was not discouraged knowing that the virus will be contained and competitions will resume.
“I went on with my training and with the big assignment ahead, I will do what I can to deliver,” she said.
She praised her training partner Beatrice Chebet, who is also the World Cross Country Championships’ junior title holder, for her assistance in speed work session.
“Beatrice has been of great help to me because she has good techniques in finishing which is good for an athlete, and I have been always ready to listen from her,” added Chebet who has a half marathon personal best time of 68:14.
Still only 22, Chebet looks forward to graduating to the full marathon in future and believes that pacing the best athletes in the world in London gives her the much needed drive.
She looks at it as a learning experience.
“I have participated in various half marathon races and by next year, I will be shifting to the full marathon where I want to register my name as one of the best in the distance, but I have to start slowly before becoming a world beater,” she added.
She said her mentors are Kosgei and Cheruiyot who make her work hard as she seeks to venture into marathon races and build up from there.
With silver medals at the World Under-18 Championships (steeplechase, Cali, Colombia), Africa Under-20 Championships (5,000m, 3,000m, Tlemcen, Algeria) and a 3,000m bronze at the Africa Under-20 Championships (3,000m, Addis Ababa), Chebet hopes to graduate to become the golden girl of distance running.(09/17/2020) Views: 151 ⚡AMP
Pacesetters are the unsung heroes in athletics.
Theses are the men and women who set up the main contenders in a race for first finishes and records, besides the titles.
Marathon races, run over two hours require meticulous planning, disciplined pacing and tactical awareness.
Enter pacesetters, who, as the name suggest, are used to pace the contenders through the required time lines on the way to a world record, meet record, course record attempt, as the case may be.
The dynamics at the London Marathon that will be held on October 4 will be no different.
The race has attracted easily two of the fastest marathon runners in the history of athletics, Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge, and Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele.
Kipchoge needs no introduction. He is the world record holder, reigning Olympic champion and reigning London Marathon champion.
Bekele is the reigning Berlin Marathon champion, his winning time of 2 hours 01 minutes 41 seconds last year just two seconds shy of Kipchoge’s world record of 2:01:39.
Of course Kipchoge has run faster, 1:59:40- during the Ineos 1:59 Challenge in Vienna, Austria last October.
Victor Chumo was one of the runners who paced Kipchoge to that historic feat. Chumo is indeed a high profile pacemaker.
Nation Sport caught up with Chumo, who is one of the pacesetters tasked with leading the athletes in the London Marathon next month through their splits in the 42 kilometres race with a fast finish the clear objective.
The other Kenyan pacesetters for the London race are Noah Kipkemboi, Eric Kiptanui, Alfred Barkach and Shadrack Kimining.
Kaptagat-based Chumo also paced Kipchoge in his earlier failed mission to run a sub two hours marathon in Monza, Italy in 2017.
“I’m privileged that I have been selected to pace for some of the best athletes in the world. It is a hard task given that the athletes will always depend on the pacemakers during the race but I’m ready for the task because it’s not my first time to help top athletes run fast times,” said Chumo.
In fact, pacing Eliud Kipchoge in his first attempt to break the 2-hour marathon barrier in a project dubbed “Breaking2”, and sponsored by Nike, was Chumo’s first major assignment as a rabbit.
He trained hard for the assignment and was as disappointed as Kipchoge when the mission failed.
Kipchoge missed the magical barrier by only 25 seconds, after running 2:00:25.
Chumo joined Global Sports Communication stable in May 2019 and here again he was chosen among 41 pacesetters in the Ineos 1:59 Challenge that saw Kipchoge become the first and only man to run a marathon in under two hours.
“Pacing Eliud in the Ineos 1:59 Challenge was one of my best experience in my athletics career and I will remember that day for the rest of my life, he says."(09/15/2020) Views: 119 ⚡AMP
Ruth Chepng’etich kept postponing the interview but it was quite understandable considering the Covid-19 contagion in the country.
There have been no sporting activities in the country since March this year after the government instituted measures to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus following the first case in the country.
By Saturday, Kenya had reported 35,969 cases with 22,771 recoveries and 619 deaths from the disease.
We checked into Vapor ground, Ngong, Kajiado County, where she had directed us and found her warming down after her morning workout in readiness for the delayed London Marathon due on October 4.
The diminutive athlete was alone.
On a normal day, Vapor ground could be teeming with elite and the not so serious athletes going through their paces.
Though well-kept, the place looked like a ghost arena...thanks to Covid-19 restrictions on social gatherings and social distancing.
Only a handful of athletes were working out separately at the venue but observing strict Covid-19 guidelines.
Well, many top athletes whether in athletics or other sporting disciplines can barely perform without the input of a coach.
They will go to greater lengths to hire or take along their coaches to major championships so that they reap the benefits of the “second eyes” to the maximum.
Majority of professional athletes have made it big after aping or getting inspired either by family members or friends, who were great sportsmen or women in a particular event.
However, there are always unique cases where some sportsmen and women are self-made right. Some have gone on to perform well at the highest level without a coach.
Chepng’etich is one of them.
The only time she had a coach, briefly, was when she was still in Kericho before shifting her base to Ngong in Kajiado County in 2015, a move that would toss her into a roller coaster of athletics achievements.
She has never thought about engaging a coach since setting foot in Ngong, an area that has produced some of Kenya’s top athletes like World 5,000m champion Hellen Obiri.
It would sound strange but self-coaching and group training are what have unleashed the best in the 26-year-old Chepng’etich and the best is yet to come through.
Within four years of moving to Ngong, she already has a world title and is ranked the fourth fastest women in marathon history, an accomplishment most female athletes can just but dream about.(09/14/2020) Views: 133 ⚡AMP
Mo Farah takes first as Marc Scott, Ben Connor, Stephen Scullion and M60 Tommy Hughes impress, while Lily Partridge enjoys women’s win
Mo Farah was first across the line in the Antrim Coast Half Marathon on Saturday (Sept 12) in 60:31 but the most eye-catching performances came from those following in his slipstream.
Runner-up Marc Scott was close behind with 60:43 on his debut at the distance to go No.3 on the UK all-time rankings. In third, London Marathon-bound Ben Connor took 16 seconds off his PB with 60:59 to go equal fourth with Steve Jones in fourth on the UK all-time lists.
Stephen Scullion, in fourth, smashed the Northern Ireland record by a big margin with 61:12. Like Connor, the Belfast man is set to run the London Marathon on October 4 too as the popular local athlete took more than two minutes off his best.
Lily Partridge, another London Marathon-bound Olympic hope, impressed as well as she broke away from Sam Harrison to win the women’s race in a Northern Ireland all-comers’ record of 71:36 – around a minute outside her PB but 23 seconds ahead of Harrison (71:58) as Clara Evans was third 72:21 and Becky Briggs, in fourth, ran a UK under-20 record of 72:54.
Perhaps most impressive of all, though, was masters sensation Tommy Hughes, who broke Martin Rees’ world half-marathon record for an M60 with 71:09 (even quicker than the 71:26 originally publicised shortly after he finished).
An Olympian in the marathon back in 1992, the Irish runner Hughes has been on a record-breaking spree recently and continued his great form here.
Ordinarily Farah and others might have been racing in the 40th Great North Run this weekend but with the event cancelled due to coronavirus he came to Northern Ireland instead to run in an event organised by his old friend and fellow athlete from his student days, James McIlroy.
McIlroy put together a fine domestic field for the event and Farah certainly did not have it all his own way as he only broke away from the in-form Scott in the final mile.
Scott has broken the UK 5km road record this summer and took the British 5000m title last week. He was leading in the closing stages but had no answer to Farah’s breakaway surge in the final mile.
A lead quartet of Farah, Scott, Connor and Scullion broke away early and ran together for much of the distance. Behind, Kevin Seaward was fifth in 63:09 followed by Josh Griffiths (63:12), Tom Evans (63:19), Adam Craig (63:28) and Adam Hickey (64:37).
There had been talk of Farah potentially attacking his UK record of 59:32 from Lisbon in 2015 but during media interviews on Friday he said winning the race was the main goal and he did not want to underestimate his rivals and treat it as a time trial.
Runners in this elite-only event, which was sponsored by P&O Ferries, enjoyed decent weather on a picturesque course that proved a great advertisement for athletics in Northern Ireland. The only frustration for fans was the poor quality of the live stream, which made following the race difficult after organisers had, ironically, encouraged spectators to stay at home instead of supporting from the side of the road.(09/12/2020) Views: 211 ⚡AMP
Within a week of cancelling the Valencia Marathon Trinidad Alfonso EDP has announced that it will hold a top-level elite-only event on December 6, 2020.
The event will be held together with a separate half marathon race also only for elite runners. It is expected that both races will include elite athletes who will approach the world records for both distances.
This elite edition will be possible thanks to the financial support of businessman Juan Roig through the Trinidad Alfonso Foundation, over which he presides. The Foundation is driving this top-level double event within the #EActíVateSport strategy that it launched to promote the reactivation of sporting events in Valencia.
This elite edition will be held for about 250 professional runners who will be attempting to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics in the summer of 2021. This year, due to the COVID-19 crisis, only the London Marathon, which celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2020 like the Valencia Marathon, will also offer top-level international competition at the Marathon distance. Participants in the MyBest42 elite programme will be in the hunt of the Olympic qualification as well as another 50 athletes looking for their best in the Half Marathon.
The two races will not be held concurrently. The organization plans to create a health zone around the event and will take exceptional safety measures to minimize any health risk. The races will be held on a reduced circuit coordinated with local authorities, to reduce the impact on the city.(09/11/2020) Views: 250 ⚡AMP
Sammy Kiprop Kitwara set a Spanish all-comers’ record at the 2017 Maraton Valencia Trinidad Alfonso, the 31-year-old Kenyan produced a 2:05:15 effort to finish almost a full minute inside the previous record, moving to seventh on this year’s world list in the process. Ethiopia’s Aberu Mekuria Zennebe won the women’s race in 2:26:17 to improve on her fourth-place finish from...more...
Three-time London Marathon champion Mary Keitany won't be at the starting line when this year's race blasts off near The Mall on October 4.
One of Kenya's greatest women marathon runners ever won't be in the elite-only field tackling the 19.6 laps of the 2.12-kilometre loop course crafted in a "biosecure bubble" orchestrated by the coronavirus pandemic.
As the athletes power down Horse Guards Road onto Birdcage Walk, Spur Road past the iconic Buckingham Palace and back to The Mall, Keitany won't be in the mix.
And she will be missed in the final, extra 1,345 metres to the finish line...
"Many are wondering why I'm not in the line-up this year, but I had been invited for the Boston Marathon race which I later cancelled due to an injury.
"The race has been postponed to next year and I have enough time to prepare because this will be my debut in the race," she told Nation Sport.
"One has to prepare well and you can't predict a race up to the last few kilometres because anything can happen with your body."
"A good example is the Boston and Chicago marathon where we saw athletes competing in a group up to the last 50 metres when Lawrence Cherono won both races in a sprint finish," she explained.
"When I broke the (women's only) world record in 2017, we just started the race in a high pace with my pacemaker, and by the time the other athletes reacted, I was very far and that's how I won the race.
"Even elite athletes have pressure during training and before the race starts, but for me that disappears when the race starts and I have to get focused to the finish line."
"Many athletes will hang on until the 35km mark where they will start dropping," she added.
Her prediction for the men's race on October 4 is that Eliud Kipchoge will carry the day, but that it will be a tight race.
(09/11/2020) Views: 129 ⚡AMP
A half marathon for elite runners only will be staged in Frankfurt next Sunday: The Frankfurt Half Marathon Invitational will be organized by the Race Director of the Mainova Frankfurt Marathon Jo Schindler and his team as well as Christoph Kopp, the Berlin based elite athletes manager. Only top runners living in Germany were invited. Germany’s marathon record holder Arne Gabius as well as Melat Kejeta and Katharina Steinruck, who have both achieved the qualifying times for the Olympic marathon in Japan next year, will be among the competitors. The race is a German qualifier for the World Half Marathon Championships which are scheduled for 17 October in Gdynia, Poland.
The Frankfurt Half Marathon Invitational will be run on a 3 k circuit in the Frankfurt fairground, which is closed to the public. „It is the ideal venue for us to provide secure surroundings and to fulfill all current requirements with regard to the Covid situation. Unfortunately we are not allowed to have spectators,“ said Jo Schindler, who received support from the city and the county to stage this half marathon. It was only last month when the Mainova Frankfurt Marathon, a World Athletics Gold Label Road Race, had to be cancelled due to the Corona pandemic. „Now we are very happy that we are able to organize a race in this difficult year. This is very motivating,“ said Jo Schindler.
"It is great that this race can go ahead and I am looking forward to returning to Frankfurt. I have of course excellent memories of the Mainova Frankfurt Marathon," said Arne Gabius, who clocked the German national marathon record there in 2015 with 2:08:33. His half marathon PB stands at 62:09. Since Arne Gabius will use Sunday’s race as a test for the London Marathon, where he intends to break the Olympic qualifying time of 2:11:30 on 4 October, he is not the favourite.
Amanal Petros currently holds the national lead in the half marathon with a time of 62:18. If he shows a solid performance on Sunday he would surely be selected for the World Championships. Germany’s national marathon champion from 2019 is Tom Gröschel. He ran 64:09 in the winter and needs to improve by at least nine seconds in Frankfurt to get the national qualifying time for Gdynia.
The qualifying standard of 74:00 was no issue for Melat Kejeta, when she ran a fine 68:55 in Ras Al Khaimah (UAE) in February. Normally she would be the overwhelming favourite on Sunday, however it remains to be seen in what sort of form she will come to Frankfurt.
Katharina Steinruck could not run a half marathon earlier in the year due to the Corona crisis. However she showed good form despite the restrictions, when she clocked 32:41 in a Berlin 10 k race in June. She missed her PB by just two seconds. "I am happy to be able to run a half marathon now. And to make it even better: this happens in my hometown. I have to thank the organizers for making this possible," said Katharina Steinruck, who has a half marathon PB of 72:23. To qualify for the World Championships she would need a time of 74:00.(09/08/2020) Views: 132 ⚡AMP
Frankfurt is an unexpectedly traditional and charming city, with half-timbered buildings huddled in its quaint medieval Altstadt (old city), cosy apple wine taverns serving hearty regional food, village-like neighbourhoods filled with outdoor cafes, boutiques and street art, and beautiful parks, gardens and riverside paths. The city's cache of museums is second in Germany only to Berlin’s, and its nightlife...more...
All runners will stay in the same hotel, and will be allowed to train on the surrounding 40 acres.
The London Marathon, scheduled for elites only on October 4, is creating a bubble environment to protect the runners and necessary staff.
This will be the first World Marathon Major to take place since the Tokyo Marathon was run as an elite-only race on March 1.
On Thursday, September 3, race organizers for the World Marathon Major announced plans to implement a biosecure bubble for the elite-only race on Sunday, October 4. The biosecure bubble will be created using a strict testing protocol and an athlete-only hotel surrounded by 40 acres for runners to train ahead of the marathon.
“It is our duty and responsibility to ensure this event is held in a safe and secure environment,” Hugh Brasher, the London Marathon event director, said in an announcement. “We have looked at other examples and taken learnings from other sports which have returned to action as we developed our detailed plans for this biosecure bubble around the event.”
To enter the biosecure bubble, athletes will be required to test for COVID-19 in their home country four days prior to travel. They will be tested once again when they arrive at the athlete hotel in London, and testing will continue until the Friday before the event. The hotel will be used exclusively by athletes, support staff, and race officials, all of whom will be required to remain socially distant from each other and wear face masks at all times with the exception of training, eating, and being inside their single rooms.
“By finding a hotel for exclusive use and putting in place the strict testing, hygiene and security measures to protect the bubble, we are confident we have created the safest environment possible for everyone,” Brasher said.
The race will be held over 19 laps on a 2.15K-closed course around St. James’s Park plus an extra 1,345 meters to the usual finish line. To keep the competition secure, no spectators will be allowed on the course.
The London Marathon, originally scheduled to run in April, is the first World Marathon Major to take place since the coronavirus was declared a global pandemic on March 11 (the Tokyo Marathon staged an elite-only race on March 1). Outside of running, the NBA became the first professional sports organization to start back up, creating a bubble in Orlando, Florida, in an effort to protect players during a three-month season.
For many athletes, the London Marathon will be their first major competition of 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions, which forced many events to be postponed or canceled.
The men’s race features a highly-anticipated match-up between world record-holder Eliud Kipchoge and 2019 Berlin Marathon winner Kenenisa Bekele. In Berlin, Bekele came within two seconds of breaking the 2:01:39 world record set by Kipchoge at the 2018 Berlin Marathon.
Brigid Kosgei leads the women’s field after breaking the world record at the 2019 Chicago Marathon. She will be competing in her first race since the RAK Half Marathon in February when she finished second to Ababel Yeshaneh who broke the half marathon world record.
Americans Sara Hall, Molly Seidel, Lindsay Flanagan, and Jared Ward will be competing in London as well.
On August 7, Hall ran an impressive half marathon personal best of 1:08:18 with two male pacers and two of her daughters following at a distance in a race staged by Eugene Marathon organizers.
In February, Seidel made her first Olympic team in her 26.2 debut when she finished second at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in Atlanta. Flanagan finished 12th at the Olympic Trials.
For Ward, a 2016 Olympic marathoner, London will be his first major marathon since finishing 27th at the Trials.
While the 40th running of the London Marathon will feature elites only, 45,000 people signed up to participate in the virtual 26.2.(09/06/2020) Views: 154 ⚡AMP
World Athletics’ road running season will recommence this month with an improved anti-doping programme thanks to the financial support of three major shoe companies.
The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) revealed that Adidas, ASICS and Nike have agreed to inject money into the Road Running Integrity Programme, meaning more than 300 platinum and gold label athletes will be monitored and tested during the coming season.
The 2020 schedule is due to resume on Sunday (September 6) with the Vidovdanska Trka 10km and is set to feature the Virgin Money London Marathon on October 4 – the same day as the Kosice Peace Marathon in Slovakia.
Last year, the AIU reached an agreement with the Abbott World Marathon Majors which pledged to provide additional funding for intelligence-led anti-doping investigation and testing programmes.
The Road Running Integrity Programme has been expanded this year with contributions from other key stakeholders of the road running community – the organisers of all Label races, athlete representatives and the three shoe companies.
More than 350 out-of-competition tests were carried out by the AIU during the first three months of the year.
But due to the decreased number of races in 2020 following the COVID-19 outbreak, the programme has been adapted.
"When we put together this programme, we had no forewarning of how disruptive the coronavirus pandemic would be to the road racing calendar this year," Brett Clothier, head of the AIU, said.
"Despite the very many other challenges this has created for Label races, agents and shoe manufacturers, not least financially, we’re delighted that these funding contributors remain committed to this anti-doping programme.
"Race cancellations have allowed us to reduce the annual budget in these exceptional circumstances and make smaller demands on some of our contributors than they initially agreed but even the directors of cancelled races have been willing to continue making some contributions to a programme that will protect the integrity of their events in years to come.
"We are pleased that these three shoe companies also recognise that this programme is crucial to the health of the sport, both ethically and commercially, and are willing to support it.
"Their collaboration will allow us to build an even stronger integrity platform for 2021, when we hope that the sport can resume on a more normal footing."
Jon Ridgeon, chief executive at World Athletics, added: "The cooperation that we are seeing between the different commercial stakeholders, including some of the shoe companies, to support the integrity of our sport, is an important development for the future of road racing and I would like to thank them for their commitment."
One of the key features of the programme for 2020 includes an overall registered testing pool of 305 athletes with the majority of those believed to be from Kenya and Ethiopia.
The top 40 runners (20 male and 20 female) are set to be tested in accordance with an advanced intelligence-led testing programme that is appropriate to their 2020 racing calendar.
The remaining 265 athletes will be subject mainly to group testing specifically for the purpose of establishing their athlete biological passport (ABP) profile.
The AIU, in conjunction with the two National Federations and the National Anti-Doping Agencies in Ethiopia and Kenya, is also expected to support educational activities across the 305 athletes, utilising digital resources, leaflets, virtual conferences and face-to-face seminars, when and where they are safe to conduct, for the remainder of the year.
"This approach is a practical response to the unique circumstances we currently face with regards to road running," Clothier added.
"There was clear feedback from the key stakeholders, that, despite the financial difficulties, the sport does not want to raise the white flag on anti-doping and when the sport does return to a more normal level of competition in the future, it should be with a strong integrity platform still in place."
(09/06/2020) Views: 114 ⚡AMP
Ancient Greek philosopher Plato once said: “Books give a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything.”
And with the elite-only October 4 London Marathon basically down to a battle of mental strength, Kenya’s defending champion Eliud Kipchoge has always stressed the importance of training the mind. There couldn’t be a better way to do this than read, read and read.
That’s why a consignment of books to Kipchoge’s Kaptagat training camp on Wednesday, courtesy of Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed, couldn’t have come at a better time.
Last year, while on a visit to Kipchoge’s Global Sports Communications camp, CS Amina promised to help equip the camp’s library to keep athletes busy after training. The books eventually arrived and were handed over to Kipchoge by Kenneth Boit on behalf of the CS.
Resumption of sports
“My training is going on well, although this time it was different from what we are used to due to the Covid-19 pandemic whereby all camps were closed and I have been training alone," said Kipchoge.
The Olympic champion and world record holder is looking forward to the resumption of sports saying many athletes are suffering because almost all competitions were cancelled.
"We look forward to resumption of sports because this is what athletes depend on and it has been hard for many of them to put food on the table. Competition is slowly coming back and we hope things will normalise soon and the virus shall be contained,” said Kipchoge.(09/03/2020) Views: 92 ⚡AMP
The Virgin Money London Marathon today announced plans for the biosecure bubble for the historic elite-only races on Sunday 4 October.
The races will take place on a closed-loop circuit around St James’s Park in central London on Sunday 4 October. The elite men’s race will see one of the most eagerly anticipated match-ups in marathon history with world record holder and defending champion Eliud Kipchoge (KEN) going head-to-head with Kenenisa Bekele (ETH), the man who came within two seconds of his world record last year.
In the elite women’s race, defending champion and world record holder Brigid Kosgei (KEN) will return, as will the two best marathon wheelchair athletes in the world: Daniel Romanchuk (USA) and Manuela Schar (SUI).
Special permission has been granted by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to allow athletes and support staff to travel and compete in the biosecure bubble, with strict guidelines on testing, travel, accommodation and competition.
Flora also announced that Paula Radcliffe, who famously won three London Marathon titles and broke two world records when Flora was headline sponsor of the event, has become an official Flora Running Ambassador to mark the partnership.
In order to create and preserve a biosecure bubble around the athletes, the following measures will be put in place:
Testing: Athletes will be tested for Covid-19 in their country of origin/home four days prior to travel and again on arrival at the hotel. Testing will continue at the hotel until the Friday before the event. Anyone who tests positive for Covid-19 or displays symptoms will be placed in quarantine immediately and, in the case of athletes, will not be able to participate in the race.
Athlete-only hotel: The athletes will stay in a hotel outside London which will be used exclusively by athletes and support staff, plus a team from the Virgin Money London Marathon. The hotel was chosen for its 40 acres of grounds where athletes will be able to train during Race Week inside the bubble. An extensive hygiene protocol will be in place in the hotel and it will be mandatory for everyone inside the bubble to observe social distancing rules and to wear face coverings at all times, apart from when training, while dining and in their own rooms. All athletes and their support staff will have single rooms.
Hugh Brasher, Event Director of the Virgin Money London Marathon, said: “We are extremely grateful to the Government, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), The Mayor of London, The Royal Parks and all our stakeholders for helping us put on the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon for elite athletes. Sports fans all over the world are eagerly anticipating these great races in this unique environment.
“It is our duty and responsibility to ensure this event is held in a safe and secure environment. We have looked at other examples and taken learnings from other sports which have returned to action as we developed our detailed plans for this biosecure bubble around the event.
“By finding a hotel for exclusive use and putting in place the strict testing, hygiene and security measures to protect the bubble, we are confident we have created the safest environment possible for everyone.”
The Virgin Money London Marathon also revealed details of the course for the elite races at the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon.
Each race will comprise 19 x 2.15 kilometre clockwise laps of St James’s Park plus an extra 1345m with the Finish Line in its traditional place on The Mall.
2020 Virgin Money London Marathon elite race route map
The course will be sealed off from the public to maintain the integrity of the biosecure bubble. There is no spectator access and there will be no public viewing points along the course.(09/03/2020) Views: 132 ⚡AMP
General entries to the first virtual Virgin Money London Marathon have sold out with 45,000 places taken up for this unique version of the world’s greatest marathon.
Following the announcement that the London Marathon could not take place in its usual format on Sunday 4 October, runners across the UK – and worldwide – were invited to complete The 40th Race – Your Way.
Participants have 23 hours 59 minutes and 59 seconds to run, jog or walk the 26.2 mile distance on the course of their choice, anytime from 00:00 to 23:59:59 BST on Sunday 4 October. A new app is being developed, powered by TCS, to enable participants to log their 26.2 miles and earn the unique finisher medal and New Balance finisher T-shirt.
Priority was given to runners and charities with places in the 2020 event and then general entries opened on Wednesday 26 August.
The 20,000 general entries were snapped up by runners from 81 different countries, 51 per cent women and 49% men. Outside the UK, the biggest number of entries came from Australia, Hong Kong and the USA.
Hugh Brasher, Event Director for the Virgin Money London Marathon, said: “The response has been amazing and the spirit of the London Marathon will shine brightly across the globe on Sunday 4 October.
“London is the most popular marathon on the planet with more than 457,000 people applying in the ballot for the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon. This first virtual London Marathon, The 40th Race, has offered a unique chance for runners around the world to earn that coveted finisher medal and T-shirt and we believe it is the biggest virtual marathon ever staged. It is also the most inclusive race in our history with runners having 23 hours, 59 minutes and 59 seconds to complete the 26.2 miles.
“We hope that millions will be raised for charities by our participants and we look forward to sharing their stories.”
There are a limited number of charity places left for the virtual Virgin Money London Marathon.(09/02/2020) Views: 116 ⚡AMP
Tokyo Marathon organizers are weighing the possibility of rescheduling next year's race to the fall, should the coronavirus appear likely to remain an obstacle by the usual date in March, sources close to the matter said Monday.
The organizers restricted this year's event to elite competitors in response to the coronavirus pandemic but have indicated they are against excluding general entry runners for a second year in a row.
General entrants excluded from this year's race, after initially being accepted via lottery, were given automatic entry to next year's event, scheduled for March 7, or the 2022 event.
The Tokyo Marathon is one of the six World Marathon Majors. This year's races in Boston, Berlin, Chicago and New York have all been canceled, while the London Marathon will feature only elite runners after being postponed from April to October.(09/01/2020) Views: 354 ⚡AMP
The Tokyo Marathon is an annual marathon sporting event in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. It is an IAAF Gold Label marathon and one of the six World Marathon Majors. (2020) The Tokyo Marathon Foundation said it will cancel the running event for non-professional runners as the coronavirus outbreak pressures cities and institutions to scrap large events. Sponsored by Tokyo...more...
We runners love to find people in our gang. Whether it's swapping training plan advice or stalking Strava stats, our running pals are some of our best. But sometimes, we find inspiration in unlikely places - the celebs we follow on Instagram to start.
We've already rounded up these celebrities you didn't know were marathon runners, but of course, you don't need to run a marathon to be a runner, so we've found this list of celebs who have spoken about their love of putting one foot in front of another.
Meghan Markle Speaking to Shape years before becoming a royal, Meghan explained that she gets a lot more from running than just the fitness side of it. 'I love running but i think you have to find a work out routine that really speaks to you beyond trying to get goals for your body. For me, running, I need it as much for my head and to clear my head as I d for keeping in shape.'
Ellie Goulding The 'Starry Eyes' singer has often spoken about her love of running in interviews, recently sharing her 'run for heroes' 5K time of 23 minutes! Goulding completed the Royal Parks Half Marathon in 2014, finishing with a time of 1 hour 41 minutes.
Bear Grylls-The Man vs. Wild host had to run as part of his military training, and after taking a short break after he got out, he started up again to get in shape for TV.
'Now I really enjoy running,' he told Runner’s World. 'We live in a pretty hilly area in North Wales, and I run three times a week for about 40 minutes as part of my training.'
Jennifer Aniston The Friend's star is known to mix up her workouts to stay in shape. Aniston has been spotted out running over the years, but her trainer told Women's Health she also loves spin classes and boxing for cardio.
Jennifer Lawrence Jennifer Lawrence is said to incorporate running into her Hunger Games training, however in an interview in 2012, she admitted she was worried about people critiquing her running style. 'I’m most nervous about everybody making fun of the way I run' Lawrence said, 'I do, like, karate hands. Instead of running with my hands closed together like a normal person. It’s like I’m trying to be aerodynamic or something, so my hands are straight like razors'.
Mark Zuckerberg In 2016, the Facebook founder did a 'year of running challenge', where he attempted to run 365 miles in a year to encourage other Facebook members to get moving. Zuckerberg finished the challenge five months early.
Kate Middleton The Duchess of Cambridge is said to be a runner. In a 2018 interview with Bryony Gordon, the Duchess revealed she would never be allowed to take part in a large event like the London Marathon due to the security risk.
Gordon Ramsay The celebrity chef is a well-known runner, with an impressive marathon PB of 3:30:37.
Eva Longoria In an interview with Health the Desperate Housewives star said, 'I'm a runner, first of all. I run a lot. But I also do SoulCycle, Pilates, yoga. I usually mix it up.
Victoria Beckham Victoria Beckham's workout regime is said to include a daily 5K. Speaking to Vogue Australia, Posh Spice herself said, 'I go for a three mile run every morning and I work out for an hour with a PT, which gives me just enough time to get to the kitchen to puree Romeo's avocados'.
Reese Witherspoon The Big Little Lies star is often spotted on daily jogs with friends and her husband around LA.
Boris Johnson The Prime Minister himself recently spoke about his running regime, saying he has 'lost nearly a stone' running with his dog. The PM is running to lose weight after admitting he was 'too fat' when he caught coronavirus earlier this year.
Chris Evans Radio presenter Chris Evans has completed the London Marathon a total of five times, with a PB of 4:41:06 was in the 2017 race.
Eminem After Eminem got sober, he turned to running, regularly logging 17 miles on the treadmill. 'It gave me a natural endorphin high, but it also helped me sleep, so it was perfect. It’s easy to understand how people replace addiction with exercise,' he told Men’s Journal.
Will Smith On November 18, Will Smith knocked something else off his bucket list: he finished the Havana Half Marathon, also known as the Marabana.
According to the official race results, the actor completed the race—which went through the streets of Cuba’s capital—with a net time of 2:29:04.
Richard Branson Sir Richard Branson ran the London Marathon in 5:02:24 in 2010 and loved it so much he signed up to be lead sponsor the following year.(08/30/2020) Views: 121 ⚡AMP
Athletics Kenya (AK) will select more youth and put them in camps in various regions ahead of 2020 World Under-20 Championships slated for August 17-22 next year in Nairobi.
While welcoming proposed health protocols issued by the government to guide resumption of sports activities countrywide, AK’s Youth Development chairman Barnaba Korir on Thursday said many athletes who could have made Team Kenya for the championship this year will not be eligible to compete in 2021.
He said this as 14 upcoming athletes at Kapsait Athletics Camp in Elgeyo Marakwet received assorted food donation and Sh3,000 for their upkeep to shield them from adverse effects of Covid-19.
“We shall continue giving support to the youth and at the same time we are aware that many athletes who could have made the team this year will not be eligible to compete in 2021. AK Youth Committee will go back to the drawing board to identify other athletes and prepare for the World Under-20 Championships slated for next year,” said Korir.
The athletes who have been struggling to put food on the table were happy to get food rations from the federation.
Kapsait is home to world marathon record holder Brigid Kosgei who is currently training for the London Marathon race slated for October 4.
The youth are among 1,400 probables who had been identified for residential training in various parts of the country to prepare for the World Under-20 Championships in Nairobi before Covid-19 struck, halting sports activities worldwide.
AK started distributing food rations two months ago across the country in collaboration with Ministry of Sports.
“We thank the Ministry of Sports through the Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed who has given guidance in the distribution of food. We hope the virus shall be contained and we shall get the best team for the global event next year as we seek to bag more medals,” added Korir. During the food distribution exercise, AK’s Youth Development head coach, Robert Ng’isirei, asked the young athletes to continue training.(08/29/2020) Views: 88 ⚡AMP