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Articles tagged #London Marathon
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Mo Farah set to defend Antrim Coast crown as Half Marathon granted elite world status

Sir Mo Farah will be back to defend his Antrim Coast Half Marathon title - that is the bold prediction of elite race organiser James McIlroy after the contest was granted elite world status.

Former Olympian McIlroy is confident the four-time Olympic gold medallist will return for another crack at the title he won in stunning style last September - hopefully with gold No.5 in his back pocket if the Tokyo Games go ahead.

"Fingers crossed Mo will be back this year. The 2021 race really will be amazing when you think we will have the best runners in the world running on one of the most beautiful roads in the world while also welcoming the masses back, who not only will get to race with some of their heroes returning from the Tokyo Olympics but, due to the out and back nature of the course, they'll also get a great view of the elite race - which we hope will be a record-breaking race like last year," said McIlroy, close friends with Sir Mo - who is coached by Larne man Gary Lough - since their time together in Team GB.

"We also should be in a position to welcome the American and African competitors confirmed for last year's race but who unfortunately, due to restrictions, were unable to travel."

The race is the first in Ireland to be elevated to the prestigious series of IAAF Road Race Label events, and only the third in the UK - joining the London Marathon and Cardiff Half Marathon.

The Antrim Coast Half Marathon now sits alongside events in Barcelona, Rio, Houston, Buenos Aires, Tokyo, Seville, Valencia, Dubai, Istanbul, Naples and Shanghai on the prestigious roster. The IAAF have already indicated they will be sending a delegate to the race.

Sir Mo won the first ever Antrim Coast Half

Marathon - a revamped version of the long-running and highly-successful Larne Half Marathon - in a time of one hour and 27 seconds, while Lily Partridge took the women's race in 71.36, both all-comers records.

Larne man McIlroy is sure the race will be the first ever sub-60-minute men's and sub-70 women's half marathon in Ireland.

The event, which starts and finishes in Larne, had been scheduled to take place last March but due to the pandemic was postponed until September - with no mass participation race and spectators urged to stay away due to Covid - and this year's showdown will take place on August 29. Around 10,000 runners are expected to take part.

(01/22/2021) Views: 17 ⚡AMP
by Frank Brownlow
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Antrim Coast Half Marathon

Antrim Coast Half Marathon

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

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London Marathon is planning for 100,000 people to take part in its 2021 event, split between mass race runners and virtual participants

Virgin Money London Marathon hopes to host a record 50,000 runners on the traditional course and another 50,000 in a virtual event in October.

While last year’s event saw elite-only races take place in the UK capital as well as the inaugural virtual edition, organisers are hopeful that the action on October 3 can include a mass race featuring a record 50,000 participants on the traditional course from Blackheath to The Mall, an increase of more than 7000 on the previous finisher record.

A further 50,000 places will also be available in the second Virtual Virgin Money London Marathon, which will see participants take on 26.2 miles over the course of their choice between 00:00:00 and 23:59:59 on race day.

A total of 37,966 participants completed the 2020 virtual event and it has been awarded a Guinness World Records title for ‘most users to run a remote marathon in 24 hours’.

“With a national vaccination programme underway, we hope to see an unprecedented 100,000 people take part in this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday 3 October,” said event director Hugh Brasher.

“The London Marathon is a wonderful example of sport as a force for good while raising millions for charity. It’s all about communities and people coming together and one of our founding pillars is ‘to have fun and provide some happiness and a sense of achievement in a troubled world’.

“The world record-breaking success of the virtual event in 2020 and the incredible stories from participants across the globe showed how the world’s greatest marathon brought light and hope in the darkness of the pandemic. We want to offer that again and we have also accelerated the plans we have been working on for some years to increase the number of finishers on the streets of London to 50,000.

“People can run wherever they are in the world, they can run for charity, they can run for their mental or physical health or run for the sheer enjoyment of it – whatever the reason, they will be part of a unique day in the history of the London Marathon on Sunday 3 October.”

Also returning to the streets of the capital on October 3 is the Virgin Money Giving Mini London Marathon alongside the Virtual Virgin Money Giving Mini London Marathon for primary schools nationwide. More than 110,000 schoolchildren took part in the first virtual event last year.

Ballot results for the 2021 London Marathon are set to be released on February 8. Unsuccessful applicants will then have an exclusive window to enter the virtual event.

General entries, costing from £28, will open on February 16 on a first-come, first served basis.

(01/21/2021) Views: 46 ⚡AMP
by Athletics Weekly
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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Antrim Coast Half Marathon has been added to World Athletics' Road Race Label series

This year's Antrim Coast Half Marathon added to World Athletics' series of Road Race Label Events.

Won last year by Sir Mo Farah, which will take place on August 29, it is the first time an Irish race has been included in the series.

It joins the London Marathon and the Cardiff Half Marathon as the UK's only three races on the global schedule.

Four-time Olympic champion Farah won in one hour and 27 seconds last year, with Lily Partridge the women's winner.

Farah headed the entry over a scenic course in and around Larne in last year's inaugural event which had to be confined to elite athletes because of the Covid-19 pandemic, .

Race organiser 2000 Sydney Olympian James McIlroy said this year's race promises to be an "amazing" event.

"We will have the best runners in the world running on one of the most beautiful roads in the world, whilst also welcoming the masses back," said the former 800m star.

"We also should be in a position to welcome the American and African competitors confirmed for last year's race but unfortunately due to restrictions were not able to travel."

Other cities to have a race on the Road Race Label Events calendar include Dubai, Tokyo, Istanbul, Barcelona, Shanghai, Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires.

(01/21/2021) Views: 30 ⚡AMP
by Athletics
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Antrim Coast Half Marathon

Antrim Coast Half Marathon

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

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Osaka Women's Marathon will be Run on 2.8 km Loop Inside Nagai Park

On Jan. 17 it was learned that the Jan. 31 Osaka International Women's Marathon will be run on a multi-lap loop course inside Nagai Park. Some of the athletes scheduled to run were notified last week of the likelihood of the change from Osaka's traditional road course, a change made as a result of the continued spread of the coronavirus.

It is the first time the race will be run on a circuit course in the years since its first running in 1982. 

Tokyo Olympics women's marathon team members Mao Ichiyama (23, Wacoal) and Honami Maeda (24, Tenmaya) had planned to try to break the 2:19:12 national record in Osaka, but the impact of the change on times run there remains unclear at this point.

Osaka organizers have recruited male pacers, a first for a domestic women's marathon, to help chase the record, but with the government's declaration of a state of emergency last week they had no choice but to make the last-minute course change. 

Most road races over the last year have been canceled or postponed. In the midst of those circumstances it was all but impossible for Osaka organizers to go ahead with their race as usual, and the field was cut back to just 99 athletes, about a fifth the usual number.

Despite calls for the public to stay home and watch the race on TV, it was inevitable that some fans would turn up along the course, and the logistics of the race's usual format meant the need for a large number of operations personnel for duties like traffic control and drink stations. Many of those tend to be elderly people.

The change to a circuit course helped to significantly reduce the number of people needed, mitigating the risk of spreading the virus. 

Over the last few months a number of other races have been held inside parks instead of on public roads. October's Hakone Ekiden Yosenkai half marathon was held on an officially-certified 2.6 km circuit course around the runway at Tokyo's Tachikawa SDF Airbase, with 46 university teams taking part. November's East Japan Corporate Men's Ekiden likewise took place inside a park in Kumagaya, Saitama, with 24 teams covering a total of 76.4 km on a 4.2 km loop.

Amateur races have been held using loop courses along riverbanks. Overseas, October's London Marathon was held on a 2.15 km loop.

Osaka's traditional course was certified by both the JAAF and World Athletics, but it remains to be seen what the status of the new course will be. Consisting of 15 laps of a flat 2.8 km loop followed by a track finish inside Yanmar Stadium Nagai, the possibility of running a fast time looks considerable, but first the new course must be officially certified. With just half a year left until the Tokyo Olympics this will all but definitely by the last pre-Olympic marathon for both Ichiyama and Maeda, but it's hard to see this as a good simulation of racing in Sapporo.

Following the forced relocation of the Olympic marathon from Tokyo to Sapporo and the postponement of the Olympics, Osaka's course change is the latest hurdle for both women to clear in their quest to compete with the best in the world.

(01/19/2021) Views: 53 ⚡AMP
by Brett Larner
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Osaka International Womens Marathon

Osaka International Womens Marathon

The Osaka International Ladies Marathon is an annual marathon road race for women over the classic distance of 42.195 kilometres which is held on the 4th or 5th Sunday of January in the city of Osaka, Japan, and hosted by Japan Association of Athletics Federations, Kansai Telecasting Corporation, the Sankei Shimbun, Sankei Sports, Radio Osaka and Osaka City. The first...

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Kenyan middle-distance athlete Elijah Manang'oi, banned for doping offence

Kenyan middle-distance athlete Elijah Manang'oi has been banned for two years for a doping offence.

Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) had on July 23 flagged down the 2017 World 1,500m champion over whereabouts failures.

But AIU has since found Manang'oi guilty and banned him for two years starting December 22, 2019 - which is the date of third whereabouts failure - to December 21, 2021.

"Disqualification of all competitive results obtained by the athlete since 22 December 2019 with all resulting consequences, including the forfeiture of any  titles, awards, medals, points prizes and appearance money," read the ruling from AIU.

Manang'oi had three missed tests in the 12-month period beginning on July 3, 2019 followed by November 12 and December 22 of the same year.

In the first incident, Manang’oi asserted that, on July 2, 2019, his connecting flight from Frankfurt to Nairobi had been delayed and as a consequence he only arrived in Nairobi at around 11pm on July 2 2019.

Manang'oi claimed that his luggage did not arrive with him from his original departure destination (San Francisco) and that his house key was in his luggage.

Manang’oi stated that he had tried to change his Whereabouts information but “couldn’t do because time couldn’t allow because it was already past midnight”. As he did not have his house keys, he had stayed in the nearest airport hotel which led in turn to his missed test in Rongai the following morning.

However, AIU indicated that the athlete’s explanation failed to demonstrate that no negligence on his behalf caused or contributed to his failure to be present and available for testing during his designated time slot on July 3, 2019 or to update his Whereabouts information.

Manang'oi becomes the second high-profiled Kenyan athlete to be banned within one month after the 2017 London Marathon champion Daniel Wanjiru, who was handed a four-year ban after being found guilty of doping violation.

 

(01/09/2021) Views: 48 ⚡AMP
by Ayumba Ayodi
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For runners, 2020 was a year of noes, no races, no group runs, that is the reason why runners are looking forward to 2021

For runners, 2020 was a year of noes. No races, no group runs and, at least for a while, no (or very little) fun.

We eventually figured out how to have fun while keeping safe, which is one of the reasons next year looks like it has the potential to be better than 2020. Although the pandemic won’t magically end when we ring in the new year, the are several reasons runners should look forward to 2021, which could be a year of yeses.

Back to races:

It doesn’t look like mass participation races with thousands and thousands of runners will make a comeback in 2021, but that doesn’t mean smaller events won’t be held. As the pandemic wore on throughout the year, race organizers and event teams came up with plans for COVID-friendly runs. These organizing teams have worked closely with local and provincial health officials to create safe race formats, and that planning won’t stop throughout the winter.

Come spring, there could be a good number of race opportunities for runners across Canada, and while you shouldn’t expect to run alongside 10,000 of your closest running buddies, you might get the chance to run in a real race in 2021, which is definitely a reason to get excited. 

The fall marathon schedule:

With the postponements of the Tokyo, Boston and London marathons, all six World Marathon Majors (WMMs) are set to be run in the fall of 2021. The mass participation events at these races might not be able to go ahead as planned, but after the success of the London Marathon’s elite-only event this year, there’s a good chance that the other five WMMs will follow suit and host elite fields next year.

This packed fall schedule will make for an exciting few weeks of races for running fans to watch, which will be a welcome change following 2020, a year in which we only saw a few elite marathons. 

One of the biggest dissapointments for athletes in 2020 was the cancellation of the Tokyo Olympics. As we learned this year, nothing can be considered a sure thing in the age of COVID-19.

But International Olympic Committee officials have expressed their confidence that the Games will go ahead next summer. At the moment, the Games appear to be a go, and that is a big reason to look forward to 2021. 

When COVID-19 first hit, we were thrown into the world of no races with pretty much no warning. Now, after months of living through a pandemic, we know how to keep ourselves busy when we can’t race. We’re confident that race organizers will be able to get their events up and ready to go with proper COVID-19 guidelines in place next year, but now we’ve all gotten creative and figured out how to come up with different running challenges. Whether you’re into time trials, ultra challenges or any other kind of personal competition, you’re set for an entertaining 2021.

Virtual challenges and events:

This is the same deal as the last reason to look forward to 2021. When the pandemic first started, race organizing teams were caught off-guard and left without many options for their events. Many races transitioned to virtual formats, but some cancelled everything for 2020. In addition to planning COVID-friendly in-person races for next year, a lot of these organizing teams have virtual events and challenges ready for 2021, which means we’ll all have so many options to keep ourselves busy, no matter how the global health situation looks. 

(12/28/2020) Views: 99 ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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Think like a pro - Why all runners should practice these mind games

The pace at which the elites un is something that amazes me. The way they move effortlessly, as if they don’t fully comprehend how fast they are travelling, while the rest of us watch in awe. One of the beautiful parts of my job is interviewing some of these athletes, men and women whose abilities leave me wondering, how do you run that fast?

A few days after he ran the London Marathon, I spoke with Eliud Kipchoge, the first man to break two hours for the marathon, and the world record holder. Kipchoge’s race hadn’t gone to plan (he finished in eighth place) and I wanted to know how he dealt with that mentally, both during the race and after he had crossed the finish line.

Much of what he said was inspiring, but one thing stuck with me: he talked about the law of substitution, the idea that your mind can hold only a negative thought or a positive thought at onetime, but your mind can also choose to replace one thought with the other.

I realised it’s something I have been forced to do on several occasions. Things going wrong midrace or on training runs because of injury, poor fuelling, gastric distress, cramp, overtraining or not enough training; or just the simple fact that it wasn’t my day.

The question is, what can we do to prepare for or combat situations such as these, regardless of where we are on our running journey? Here are a few tricks that have helped me along the way. The beauty of these mental exercises is you can use them one at a time or all at once.

Visualise

Create a mood board of what your win looks like – create this in your head or make it physically. Visualise your goal completed. This method has got me over the finish line many times at the London Marathon. When the going gets tough, I think about the finish, the route, people cheering, crossing the line, holding the medal, celebrating.

Make your mantra

A mantra is a word or phrase repeated constantly to aid concentration, to help to keep you in the zone, motivated and moving. I have things that I scream at myself or whisper quietly, depending on how I feel at the time. My first has been with me since my first run; it is, ‘Get to the bottom of the road.’ My second has been with me since I hobbled over the line in tears at my first marathon and that is, ‘We’ve got this, we’ve been here before.’ Think of something meaningful to you that will help keep you going.

See your showreel

I like to have in my head a rolling showreel of beautiful memories that don’t have anything to do with running. A favourite is of me sitting on a beach with the water rolling in on my feet, the waves rippling and the sun beating down on my face. I smile and push on.

Think body and breath

Simply thinking of nothing but your body and breathing can send you into a meditative space, bringing an air of calm to your running. You might find that by listening to your heartbeat or footsteps, your body starts to relax, alleviating some tension that might be holding you back.

(12/27/2020) Views: 27 ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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Sarah Hall ran the second fastest time for the marathon at the Marathon Project

Sara Hall won The Marathon Project in Chandler, Arizona, on Sunday, December 20, running 2:20:32—making her the second-fastest American marathoner of all time. She took almost 90 seconds off her previous PR of 2:22:01, which she ran only 11 weeks ago at the London Marathon.

For about the first 18 miles of the race Hall, 37, flirted with the pace of Deena Kastor’s American record— 2:19:36—which has stood since 2006. But Hall, who ran behind two male pacesetters, couldn’t quite maintain the pace through the later miles.

Keira D’Amato, the Virginia realtor who earlier this year ran an American record for the women’s-only 10 mile, finished second in 2:22:56, taking nearly 12 minutes off her previous marathon best. 

Kellyn Taylor, 34, who went with Hall for the first half of the race, fell back in the second half and finished in 2:25:22. 

The 37-year-old Hall ran a personal best 2:22.01 at London on Oct. 4 and was hoping on a short turnaround to better Deena Kastor's 14-year American record of 2:19.36, set at London in 2006. She came close with another significant PR drop, improving from sixth best in U.S. history to second ahead of Jordan Hasay's 2:20.57 at Chicago in 2017.

"London was so wonderful getting to place as high as I possibly could have," Hall said. "This was more of a time trial, and that's kind of tough when it feels like training sometimes. I really look forward to when we can get back to normal races with crowds, but I feel so grateful for the guys I was able to run with. They kept me honest in the second half when I was really struggling."

She said being No. 2 on the American marathon list is "kind of surreal. I've had so much disappointment in my career (including not finishing at the U.S. Olympic Trials in February) and I would have walked from this sport 10 years ago. But my husband just relentlessly believed in me and God encouraged me there was more there. I kind of (rediscovered) my love for it. Getting rid of the fear of failure really helped me enjoy it a lot more."

Two-time Olympian Ryan Hall, third fastest all-time among American men's marathoners, now coaches his wife, whose next goal is to make the U.S. Olympic track team for Tokyo in the 10,000-meter. 

 

Sara Hall 2:20:32

Keira D'Amato 2:22:56

Kellyn Taylor 2:25:22

Emma Bates 2:25:40

Natasha Wodak 2:26:19

(12/20/2020) Views: 111 ⚡AMP
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5 reasons why The Marathon Project will be the race of the year

With just over 100 of the top athletes in North America (and several athletes representing other nations) prepared to race on Sunday on a flat and fast course in Chandler, Ariz., The Marathon Project has the potential to be the best race of 2020. Records could be broken, Canadians could hit Olympic standard and drama could unfold, all of which makes the event mandatory viewing for all fans of the sport. There are many reasons why The Marathon Project could be a top event, but here are just a few if you needed any more convincing.

It’s one of the only races of the year

The Marathon Project could be one of the best races of the year because, well, it’s one of the only races of the year. So far this year, the biggest races we’ve seen have been the U.S. Marathon Trials in February, the Tokyo Marathon in March, the London Marathon in October and the Valencia Marathon in December. Based on its stacked lineup, The Marathon Project will likely join this list as one of the top events of 2020, and if the contenders are firing on all cylinders on Sunday, it could beat out those other events as the top race of this strange year.

Canadians are racing

Six Canadians are set to race in Arizona on Sunday, and we can’t wait to see any of them run. On the men’s side, Cam Levins will look to better his Canadian marathon record of 2:09:25, and he’ll be joined by Rory Linkletter, who has a marathon PB of 2:16:42, and Ben Preisner and Justin Kent, who will be running their debut marathons. (Preisner ran a solo marathon earlier this year, but this will be his first official race over 42.2K.) While Levins is the only one to have ever run under the Olympic qualifying standard of 2:11:30 (although he has yet to do it in the current qualifying window for Tokyo 2021), they’re all certainly capable of hitting this time, and it will be exciting to see how they fare on Sunday.

Natasha Wodak and Kinsey Middleton will represent Canada in the women’s race, and like the runners on the men’s team, they’re both threats to beat the Olympic standard, which is 2:29:30 for women. Wodak has run one marathon before, but that was all the way back in 2013. She ran a 2:35:16 back then, and now, seven years later, she’ll be looking to take a significant chunk off that result. Middleton won the Canadian Marathon Championships in 2018, when she ran her PB of 2:32:09. Two years removed from that result, she’s likely hungry to run even quicker in Arizona.

Records could fall

Sara Hall is the top-seeded runner in the women’s field, and she’s coming off a spectacular PB at the London Marathon, where she ran 2:22:01. If she has a good run, she could be in the hunt for the American record of 2:19:36, which belongs to Deena Kastor. On the men’s side, Levins could challenge his own Canadian record, which he set at the 2018 STWM.

It’s a chance to race

Not being able to race in 2020 has been hard on all runners, but for these elites, this is how they pay their bills. Racing brings prize money and sponsorships, and with so few chances to race this year, it has been extremely tough on these athletes. The Marathon Project is giving runners the opportunity to earn some cash, which is a great gift in time for the winter holidays.

Olympic spots are up for grabs

The Olympic qualifying window was closed for runners throughout the summer, and even if it had been open, there were next to no chances for athletes to run standard at official races. The American Olympic marathon team was decided at the trials in February, but for athletes from other countries, this presents an opportunity to potentially book their tickets to Tokyo next summer. With so much at stake, there will definitely be some thrilling racing on Sunday.

(12/19/2020) Views: 56 ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Fresh from winning Valencia Marathon with a course record, Evans Chebet is looking towards the Olympic Games

Chebet, who edged out experience marathoners like Boston and Chicago Marathon champion Lawrence Cherono for the title, said his focus has now shifted to the Olympic Games.

“Running at the Olympic Games will be good achievement for me. It has been a long journey and making the marathon team will be a dream come true for me,” he added.

The Elgeyo Marakwet-based runner returned home after winning Valencia 42km race in a personal best time of of 2:03:00 ahead of compatriot Cherono (2:03:04) and Ethiopian Birhanu Legese (2:04:53), who completed the podium. 

“It will be good if the team is named early to ensure we start our preparations on time. If I can make the team, I assure Kenyans that I will  return with a medal,” added Chebet, who competed alongside world marathon bronze medalist Amos Kipruto.

“I look forward to competing for my country at the Olympics Games after a good break and my prayer is that Athletics Kenya names the team early," said a jubilant Chebet. He said his biggest worry in Valencia was Legese but he is happy he shook him off.

Amos Kipruto, who has dominated in many marathons across the world, was named alongside Eliud Kipchoge and Lawrence Cherono in the Olympic Games marathon team.

“I managed to run my personal best because that was my target and I still believe I will be joining Team Kenya to the Tokyo show. The team that ran in Valencia was the best and we hope the federation will take note,” said Kipruto.

In 2019, Kandie 42:39 edged Kiplimo (43:00) in the San Silvestre Road Race in Brazil. Other entrants in men's category include Alexander Mutiso Munyao, Ethiopian Mosinet Geremew, Japan-based Bedan Karoki and Stephen Kiprop, winner of the 2019 edition. 

Geremew won the Dubai Marathon in 2018 and came second in the London Marathon in 2019 with a time of 2.02.55, clocking the 4th fastest time ever in that distance.

Meanwhile, Mutiso recently placed 4th in Valencia in 57.59 and was runner-up in the men’s 2020 Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon in 59:16.

In the women's category, World Half Marathon champion Peres Jepchirchir will battle against World marathon record holder Brigid Kosgei and 2019 World marathon champion Ruth Chepngetich.

Jepchirchir has fond memories of the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon, where she set her personal best time of 1:05.06 in 2017 on her way to victory.  Chepngetich recently clocked a remarkable time of 1.05.06 at the New Delhi Half Marathon.

At the 20th Dubai Marathon in 2019, she won in a course record breaking time of 2.17.08, securing the world’s 4th best marathon time ever. Ethiopia's Ababel Yeshaneh will also be in contention.

(12/18/2020) Views: 97 ⚡AMP
by Emmanuel Sabuni
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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World Half Marathon record holder Kandie Kibiwott and world defending champion Jacob Kiplimo of Uganda will face off at the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon in February next year

Kandie and  Kiplimo to renew rivalry in Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon.

The two are fast becoming rivals in the 21km race having faced off several times this year. 

In their latest meet-up on December 6, the Kenyan emerged top after clocking a world record 57:32 to finish ahead of Kiplimo at the Valencia Marathon. 

Kandie's win was revenge for his loss at the hands of the Ugandan at October's World Half marathon Championships in Gydnia, Poland where the latter crossed the finish line in in 58:49 — five seconds ahead of Kandie. 

In 2019, Kandie 42:39 edged Kiplimo (43:00) in the San Silvestre Road Race in Brazil. Other entrants in men's category include Alexander Mutiso Munyao, Ethiopian Mosinet Geremew, Japan-based Bedan Karoki and Stephen Kiprop, winner of the 2019 edition. 

Geremew won the Dubai Marathon in 2018 and came second in the London Marathon in 2019 with a time of 2.02.55, clocking the 4th fastest time ever in that distance.

 Meanwhile, Mutiso recently placed 4th in Valencia in 57.59 and was runner-up in the men’s 2020 Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon in 59:16.

In the women's category, World Half Marathon champion Peres Jepchirchir will battle against World marathon record holder Brigid Kosgei and 2019 World marathon champion Ruth Chepngetich.

Jepchirchir has fond memories of the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon, where she set her personal best time of 1:05.06 in 2017 on her way to victory.  Chepngetich recently clocked a remarkable time of 1.05.06 at the New Delhi Half Marathon.

At the 20th Dubai Marathon in 2019, she won in a course record breaking time of 2.17.08, securing the world’s 4th best marathon time ever. Ethiopia's Ababel Yeshaneh will also be in contention.

(12/18/2020) Views: 79 ⚡AMP
by William Njuguna
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Rak Half Marathon

Rak Half Marathon

The Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon is the 'world's fastest half marathon' because if you take the top 10 fastest times recorded in RAK for men (and the same for women) and find the average (for each) and then do the same with the top ten fastest recorded times across all races (you can reference the IAAF for this), the...

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The Marathon Project is an elite only marathon being held Sunday Dec 20 in Chandler Arizona

When COVID-19 postponed or canceled all of the year’s major marathons in the U.S., two running industry insiders—Ben Rosario, the coach of NAZ Elite in Flagstaff, and Josh Cox, an agent to many marathoners, including several on the NAZ team—brainstormed a way for some of the country’s fastest athletes to race.

The result is The Marathon Project, an elite-only 26.2 that takes place at 10 a.m. ET on Sunday, December 20, on the Gila River Indian Reservation in Chandler, Arizona.

The course is on a flat, two-mile stretch of road with roundabouts at each end. Runners go up one side of the road and back down the other for a 4.2-mile loop that they’ll do parts of six times. The course is built for fast times, not for variety.

The race will be broadcast live on USATF.tv, and a 90-minute replay of the race will be available on NBCSN at 7:30 p.m. ET on Sunday evening. The broadcast will include veteran commentator Paul Swangard as well as Des Linden and Bernard Lagat, two experienced marathoners who should bring some insightful analysis.

Who is racing?

The race brings together 53 men and 44 women, plus 14 male pacers. Several were top-10 finishers at the Olympic Marathon Trials in February, the last chance these runners had a chance to race a major marathon on U.S. soil.

The top women include Sara Hall, who finished second in 2:22:01 at the London Marathon in October, and Keira D’Amato, who recently set a women’s-only 10-mile American record.

Stephanie Bruce, Emma Bates, Kellyn Taylor, and Julia Kohnen (who were sixth, seventh, eighth, and 10th, respectively at the Trials) also figure to be in the mix.

On the men’s side, Americans Scott Fauble and 2016 Olympian Jared Ward are among the top contenders. Four top-10 finishers from the Trials—Marty Hehir (sixth), CJ Albertson (seventh), Colin Bennie (ninth), and Matt McDonald (10th)—will also line up.

The men’s race also brings several international entrants. Amanuel Mesel Tikue of Eritrea boasts a PR of 2:08:17, although it dates back to 2013. Jose Antonio Uribe Marino of Mexico hopes to hit the Olympic standard of 2:11:30 to qualify for the Games, and Cam Levins of Canada also is looking for a strong performance to put him on the Canadian Olympic team.

Will Sara Hall set the American record?

Hall, 37, has been on a tear lately. After dropping out of the Trials at mile 22, she redeemed herself with a PR in a solo half marathon in Oregon and that runner-up finish in London, which she earned by way of a furious finishing kick in the race’s final meters.

The American record for the marathon, Deena Kastor’s 2:19:36, has stood since 2006. Hall has asked for a pacer to take her through the halfway point in 69:40, faster than Kastor’s record.

But in a prerace press conference, Hall was reluctant to call it a record attempt. “I want to go into this race with the mindset of trying to run as fast as possible,” she said on the Zoom call. “I can be all or nothing, and I don’t want to be in a scenario where I’m running really well and if I’m just off the American record pace, it feels like I’m failing. I think that would still be a big success, a big PR. That’s my main focus, just running as fast as I can.”

Hall added that she has done a lot of training faster than record pace. “I think [the record is] definitely possible based on my training,” she said.

In addition to Hall’s requested pace for a 2:19:20 marathon, the women’s race will have three other pace groups: 2:23, 2:26, and 2:29:30, which is the Olympic qualifying standard. The men will have two pace groups: 2:09 and 2:11:30.

What’s in it for the runners?

Rosario announced a modest prize purse: $5,000 for each winner, $2,000 for second, and $1,000 for third.

Otherwise, athletes are racing for sponsor bonuses—shoe companies often pay their athletes extra money for breaking certain times, although the terms of these deals aren’t publicly known.

Then, of course, there’s the joy of racing, when events have been hard to come by for the past 10 months.

“Every opportunity we have to be on a starting line is a gift in 2020,” Bruce said.

What safety measures are in place?

The race is following safety guidelines set out by USA Track and Field, World Athletics, and the state of Arizona. Participants must take two COVID-19 tests, separated by 24 hours, within the seven days before the race—which, of course, must both be negative. Most participants are staying in a race hotel near the course, creating a bubble environment of sorts.

But runners are traveling from all over to get to the race. Hehir, who is finishing up his final year of medical school, is traveling to the race from Philadelphia, where he has spent the past two weeks working in an ICU filled with COVID-19 patients.

“It’s just as scary as it’s hyped up to be,” Hehir said of Covid. “Yes, not everyone ends up in the ICU, but when you end up there, you are incredibly sick. It’s definitely a bleak place to be.”

He said he gave some “extra thought” into committing to the race, but he praised the precautions the race had put in place. “These opportunities are far and few between,” he said, “and as long as we feel like it’s being done in a safe way, a lot of us are going to jump on it.”

(12/17/2020) Views: 70 ⚡AMP
by Sarah Lorge Butler (Runner's World)
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World champions Ruth Chepngetich and Peres Jepchirchir added to Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon line-up

The fields for the Ras Al Khamimah Half Marathon continue to go from strength to strength with world champions Peres Jepchirchir and Ruth Chepngetich being added to the line-up for the World Athletics Gold Label road race on 19 February 2021.

World marathon champion Chepngetich, who recently set a half marathon PB of 1:05:06, will be making her Ras Al Khaimah debut. Jepchirchir, who won the world half marathon title in October in a women-only world record of 1:05:16, will return to the scene of her 2017 triumph when she set a world record of 1:05:06.

But the Kenyan will be up against the three fastest women in history when she lines up in Ras Al Khaimah. World record-holder Ababel Yeshaneh, Ethiopia’s Yalemzerf Yehualaw and marathon world record-holder Brigid Kosgei will also be returning to the United Arab Emirates in February.

Yeshaneh and Kosgei have clashed twice to date, both races resulting in world records. Their first duel came at the 2019 Chicago Marathon, which Kosgei won in a world record of 2:14:04 while Yeshaneh placed second in 2:20:51. Just four months later, Yeshaneh levelled the score by winning in Ras Al Khaimah in a world record of 1:04:31. Kosgei was runner-up in 1:04:49, the second-fastest time in history.

Yehualaw, meanwhile, finished third at the recent World Athletics Half Marathon Championships in Gdynia, just a few seconds behind Jepchirchir. Six weeks later, she won the New Delhi Half Marathon in 1:04:46, the second-fastest time in history.

USA’s Sara Hall, who placed second at this year’s London Marathon, finishing between Kosgei and Chepngetich, is also in the field.

Three former winners – including the joint course record-holders – have been added to the men’s line-up. 2019 champion Stephen Kiprop and two-time winner Bedan Karoki, who jointly hold the course record at 58:42, will return to Ras Al Khaimah alongside 2015 winner Mosinet Geremew.

They will take on the previously announced defending champion Kibiwott Kandie, who recently set a world half marathon record of 57:32 in Valencia, and world half marathon champion Jacob Kiplimo of Uganda. Kiplimo reduced his PB to 57:37 in Valencia earlier this month, making him the second-fastest man in history for the distance.

Alexander Mutiso, who ran 57:59 in Valencia to move to fourth on the world all-time list, will also be in action in Ras Al Khaimah.

Switzerland’s Julien Wanders and Norway’s Sondre Nordstadt Moen complete the line-up.

(12/17/2020) Views: 99 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Rak Half Marathon

Rak Half Marathon

The Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon is the 'world's fastest half marathon' because if you take the top 10 fastest times recorded in RAK for men (and the same for women) and find the average (for each) and then do the same with the top ten fastest recorded times across all races (you can reference the IAAF for this), the...

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Fresh from winning in Valencia, World Record Holder Peres Jepchirchir believes she deserves a Team Kenya ticket to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo

Speaking at her home in Kapsabet Wednesday upon arrival from Spain, the world half marathon record holder said her ambitions will be fulfilled once she gets an opportunity to fly the Kenyan flag in the Japanese capital.

 “My target is to run for Kenya at the Olympic Games next year. I have done a lot for the country and I think that's the only way to repay me,” said Jepchirchir.

Jepchirchir ran the fifth-fastest time over 42km while winning the Valencia Marathon on Sunday, clocking 2:17:16.

In Valencia, Jepchirchir defeated compatriot and New York City Marathon champion Joyciline Jepkosgei in a Kenya 1-2 podium finish.

Jepchirchir latest heroics throws spanner into the work for Athletics Kenya, who have already named a team to Tokyo.

It comprises of world record holder Brigid Kosgei (2:14:04), world champion Ruth Chepngetich (2:17:08) and 2018 London Marathon champion Vivian Cheruiyot (2:18:31) while Valary Aiyabei (2:19:10) and 2014 world half marathon bronze medallist Sally Chepyego (2:21:06) are the reserves.

“Just like Athletics Kenya included me in the world half marathon where I delivered the title in a world record, I believe I have what it takes to repeat the feat at the Olympic Games next year,” added Jepchirchir. 

"My target for the year was to run 2:17 at the Berlin Marathon to give myself a chance in the provisional team but unfortunately, that race was cancelled. I thank God I still did it in Valencia and I hope I will be considered."

(12/10/2020) Views: 147 ⚡AMP
by Emmanuel Sabuni
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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Ayad Lamdassem breaks Spanish record with 2:06:35 in the Valencia Marathon

Ayad Lamdassem rolled back the years to break the long-standing Spanish record in the Valencia Marathon on Sunday (6), leading five Spaniards under the 2:10-barrier on home soil.

Now 39, Lamdassem has been on the fringes of the Spanish national team in recent years but he is now a shoo-in for Olympic selection for a third time after finishing 12th in a national record of 2:06:35, eclipsing Julio Rey’s previous record of 2:06:52 from the Hamburg Marathon in 2006. He also moves to sixth on the European all-time list, surpassing the likes of former European record-holders Antonio Pinto from Portugal and France's Benoit Zwierzchlewski.

Lamdassem’s lifetime best prior to yesterday’s race stood at 2:09:28 from the 2013 London Marathon. His aim was to simply eclipse the 2:09-barrier but the veteran far exceeded his pre-race expectations with a first-half split of 63:10 setting him up nicely for an even faster time.

"I came to improve my personal best seven years later but in the end I broke the record and I am very happy. With age I have a lot of experience, I take good care of myself and you know how to improve your technique. I came here to drop below 2.09, but after passing through halfway I knew it was my day. I'm very happy,” said Lamdassem as reported by Marca.

Hamid Ben Daoud was the second Spaniard home in 14th in 2:07:03 followed by world tenth-placer Daniel Mateo who finished 18th in 2:08:22. Yago Rojo and Camilo Santiago also ducked inside the 2:10-barrier, clocking 2:09:56 to finish 28th and 29th respectively. 

The German record also fell to Amanal Petros in just the second marathon of his career. Petros finished 16th in 2:07:18 to slash more than one minute from Arne Gabius’ previous record of 2:08:33.

Petros’ main objective was to secure the Olympic qualifying standard of 2:11:30 but the former European U23 10,000m silver medallist ended up getting dragged to a significantly faster time. 

“We actually planned a half marathon split of around 65 minutes. Then I wanted to pick it up the last ten kilometres but I couldn't find the right pacemaker for this group after the start. I then just kept running with another group because I felt good,” he told Leichtathletik.de after the race.

His teammate Richard Ringer also achieved the Olympic qualifying standard on his debut at the distance. He finished 36th in 2:10:56.

Other top European performances came from Dutch record-holder Abdi Nageeye who finished 15th in 2:07:09 while European record-holder Kaan Kigen Ozbilen from Turkey faded to 19th in 2:08:50.

(12/07/2020) Views: 169 ⚡AMP
by European Athletics
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VALENCIA TRINIDAD ALFONSO MARATHON

VALENCIA TRINIDAD ALFONSO MARATHON

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

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2020 Valencia Marathon boasts deepest field ever and the race is going to be extremely entertaining

The Valencia Marathon is set to be run on Sunday, and the men’s and women’s fields won’t just be the strongest of the year, but quite possibly the strongest ever. LetsRun.com looked at the race start lists and compared them to past major marathons, and they all pale in comparison to the Valencia lineups, which are absolutely stacked.

After missing much of the season, so many of the world’s top runners were looking for a fast race to enter before the end of 2020, and while the Valencia Marathon isn’t listed as a world major, it’s certainly got the star power of one this year. 

The men’s field 

The men’s lineup is headlined by Ethiopians Birhanu Legese, whose PB of 2:02:48 is the third-fastest marathon time in history, and Kinde Atanaw, who has a PB of 2:03:51. They’re the only two men in the Valencia field to have run under 2:04, but they’re followed by seven runners with sub-2:05 results to their names, including former Boston Marathon champions Lawrence Cherono (2:04:06) of Kenya and Lelisa Desisa (2:04:45) of Ethiopia.

In total, there are nine men under 2:05 racing in Valencia, beating out the fields from the London Marathon in 2015 and 2019, two years that saw eight sub-2:05 runners. 

Another five men have run under 2:06 before, nine more own sub-2:07 PBs and two have bests under 2:08. This brings the total of sub-2:08 runners in the field to a whopping 25, which beats the 2019 Boston Marathon‘s previous best of 15. In addition to these 25 sub-2:08 runners, another 26 men have PBs under the Olympic standard of 2:11:30. This field is so deep, and there will be exciting racing from the lead pack, where the top runners will fight for the win, all the way back to the 2:11 pack as Olympic hopefuls give everything they have to reach standard. 

The women’s field 

The women’s side is also super deep, and like the men’s field, the women are led by a pair of Ethiopians in Ruti Aga and Birhane Dibaba. With PBs separated by just one second, Aga (2:18:34) and Dibaba (2:18:35) sit at 12th- and 13th-best of all time, respectively. They’re the lone women under 2:19, but several runners aren’t far behind with sub-2:20 and sub-2:21 PBs, including American Jordan Hasay (whose PB of 2:20:57 is the second-fastest in U.S. history). These eight women under 2:21 match the 2019 London Marathon field that saw a similarly quick top echelon of runners.

In total, there are 19 women set to race in Valencia who own sub-2:25 PBs, which is better than the previous best of 12 (Tokyo Marathon in 2019 and 2020, Boston Marathon in 2019). There are also six women outside of that 2:25 range who have run under the Olympic standard of 2:29:30, although they’re quite spread out. While runners in the men’s race will have plenty of people to work with no matter where they rank, that might not be the case for the women, some of whom might have to commit to running much faster than their PBs (such as the 2:26 runners looking to hang onto the sub-2:25 group) to avoid running solo. 

(12/03/2020) Views: 106 ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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VALENCIA TRINIDAD ALFONSO MARATHON

VALENCIA TRINIDAD ALFONSO MARATHON

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

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More details about the Delhi Half Marathon Record performances

t was a great morning for the 2020 World Half Marathon bronze medallists as Ethiopians Yalemzerf Yehualaw and Amedework Walelegn both picked up $37,000 wins ($27k for 1st, $10k for event records) in event record time today at the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon.

The headline performance came in the women’s race where Yehualaw, the 21-year old who just missed out on winning in Delhi by 1 second last year in 66:01, ran an unofficial 64:46, the second-fastest women’s half marathon in history on a records-eligible course.

The 5 Fastest Women’s Half Marathons Ever1 64:28* Brigid Kosgei KEN 2019 Great North Run 08.09.20192 64:31 Ababel Yeshaneh ETH 2020 RAK Half 21.02.20203 64:46 Yalemzerf Yehualaw ETH  2020 Delhi Half 28.11.20194 64:49 Brigid Kosgei KEN 2020 RAK Half 21.02.20205 64:51 Joyciline Jepkosgei KEN 2017 Valencia 22.10.2017*Not records eligible

In the men’s race, the Walelegn, also 21, won a three-way sprint finish in an unofficial 58:52 as two-time defending champion Andamlak Belihu of Ethiopia and Stephen Kissa of Uganda also broke 59:00 to finish second and third respectively. The order of finish today was the same as it was at World Half last month as in Poland Walelegn was third, Belihu was 5th and Kissa 19th. 2017 and 2019 world 5000 champion ran Muktar Edris of Ethiopia also ran very well today in his debut as he was in fourth in 59:04 .

The course this year was different than in years past due to Covid-19 but the event record coming in was 59:06 for the men and 66:00 for the women.

Ethiopia’s Yalemzerf Yehualaw produced a stunning run over in the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon  2020, a World Athletics Gold Label Road Race, to clock the second fastest  women’s time ever over the distance when she crossed the line in the  Indian capital in 64:46. 

The 21-yearold, who had to settle for third at the World Athletics Half  Marathon Championships last month when she slipped around 80 metres  from the line, bounced back with aplomb to take the $27,000 first prize and  an additional $10,000 as an event record bonus. 

In the men’s race, the event record – with the course having been  changed significantly from previous years – also fell when Amdework Walelegn outsprinted his Ethiopian compatriot and two-time defending  champion Andamlak Belihu to win in 58:53, the latter coming home in  58:54 and just missing out on an unprecedented third title. 

A blistering pace from the gun was set in the women’s race by the  Kenyan male pacemaker Alex Kibarus and several of the elite field were  quickly dropped. 

Six women – three Kenyans: Irene Cheptai, 2019 world marathon  champion Ruth Chepngetich and marathon world record holder Brigid  Kosgei; and three Ethiopians: two-time defending champion and event record holder Teshay Gemechu, world record holder Ababel Yeshaneh and Yalemzerf Yehualaw – followed Kibarus through 5km in 15:27. 

World marathon record holder and recent London Marathon winner  Kosgei was forced to drop out midway through the eighth kilometre, holding her leg as she limped to the side of the road. 

A kilometre later, Gemechu also started to suffer and lost contact with the  leaders although she hung on to eventually finish fifth.

Chepngetich, Cheptai, Yehualaw and Yeshaneh went through 10km  together in 30:49 as a thrilling race started to take shape. 

Cheptai was the next to fall away, becoming detached in the 12th kilometre with the remaining trio going through 15km in 46:15. 

With just three kilometres to go, and within the space of a few hundred  metres, first Chepngetich and then Yeshaneh found themselves unable to  stay with the pace. 

However, Yehualaw continued to follow Kibarus, and once he dropped  out with two kilometres to go it was just a question of how much she would  take off Gemechu’s 2019 course record of 66:00. 

In the end, she improved the mark by more than a minute, aided by a  strong run over the final quarter of the race. 

Yehualaw won in 64:46 but Chepngetich also ran the race of her life to  finish in a personal best of 65:06 and move up to equal-sixth on the world  all-time list.  

“My training since the world championships told me that maybe I could  break the course record as I ran 65:19 there, but this was more than I  expected, and I hoped for a win here after just losing by a second a year  ago,” said Yehualaw. 

“My plan was to push hard with two kilometres to go and that helped my  fast time, and it was also very nice weather,” she added, with early  morning temperatures in Delhi around 12-14 degrees Celsius. 

In the men’s race, three pacemakers took field through 3km in 8:22 and  then 5km in 13:57 – well under 59-minute pace – with Belihu always to the  fore. 

The main pacemaker, Uganda’s Abel Sikowo, continued to forge ahead  and passed 8km 22:17 and then 10km in 27:50, with eight men still directly  in the wake of Sikowo who was doing an admirable job in keeping the  tempo high and sub-59 times definitely in sight. 

Just after 12km Sikowo dropped out and Belihu, along with Kenya’s  Leonard Barsoton, dictated matters at the front for the next two kilometres  although, as he was later to admit, this decision might have cost the  defending champion dearly in the later stages of the race. 

Eight men were still in contention at 15km, which was passed in 42:00. By  18km the leading group had slimmed just slightly to six men: the Ethiopian  quartet of Belihu, Walelegn, 2017 and 2019 world 5000m champion Muktar  Edris who was making his competitive debut over the distance, Tesfahun  Akalnew, Barsoton and Uganda’s Stephen Kissa. 

Akalnew started to falter shortly afterwards and with two kilometres to go,  Edris and Barsoton also started to drop off the back of the group as their  challenge for a place on the podium began to evaporate. 

Belihu, Walelegn and Kissa passed the 20km checkpoint in 55:59, and just  a hundred or so metres later, Walelegn threw down the gauntlet. 

However, Kissa was still full of running and darted between the two  Ethiopians with 500m to go and held the lead for the next 300 metres  before Walelegn found another gear and passed the Ugandan on his  right as he sprinted for the line. 

Walelegn finished in 58:53, the third fastest time of the year and an event record by 13 seconds as well as a personal best by 15 seconds. Belihu was  just one second in arrears and Kissa two seconds further back, both men also setting personal bests. 

“I had a few bad patches but in the final kilometre I felt strong. I was  second in Delhi in 2018 and this is a much faster course which has less  sharp turns,” commented Walelegn, reflected on the new circuit which  incorporated two six-kilometre loops. 

“I have to be happy as I ran a personal best. After the pacemaker  dropped out I pushed the pace but I think this might have left me with a  bit less energy when we sprinted in the last kilometre,” reflected Belihu,  who just fell short in his bid to be the first three-time winner in Delhi. 

In fourth place Edris ran 59:04, the second fastest debut over the distance  ever, while Avinash Sable smashed the Indian record by more than three  minutes when he ran 60:30 in tenth place.

(11/29/2020) Views: 119 ⚡AMP
by Lets Run
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Olympian Molly Seidel runs 34:33 10K dressed in a turkey suit

On Thursday, Olympic marathon qualifier Molly Seidel ran a 34:33 10K dressed as a turkey (wings and all). That’s 3:26 per kilometre, in full turkey garb. A few weeks ago she announced her goal of becoming the Fastest Known Turkey (impersonator) and accomplished her task on Thanksgiving morning.

Seidel was accompanied by a few friends and family members for a small race on Cranberry Island, Maine. 

The 26-year-old has had a good year, already qualifying for the 2021 Olympics in the marathon. On top of being a future Olympian, she is an NCAA champion in the 10,000m and she owns a 2:25:13 personal best from the London Marathon.

Seidel was participating in the 2020 Virtual Peachtree 10K, one of the most prestigious 10K races in the U.S. In order to clock the fastest time possible, Seidel will run the distance twice.

Her first attempt was yesterday’s literal turkey trot and her second will come in a few days’ time, back home in Boston in typical running clothes. She predicts that she’ll shed 30 seconds when she ditches the suit. 

Seidel did confirm on Instagram that she in fact cooked a turkey, after dressing as one for her run. 

(11/28/2020) Views: 66 ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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Defending champion Gemechu eyes hat-trick of course records at Delhi Half Marathon

Two-time defending champion Ethiopia''s Tsehay Gemechu on Thursday said she is aiming to break the course record for the third time in the women''s race of the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon here on Sunday.

The 21-year-old Gemechu made a huge impact on her ADHM debut in 2018, setting a women''s course record of 66:50. She then went on to better her own record by 50 seconds when she ran a stunning personal best of 66 minutes last year.

"This year again I''m going to try for the course record. After corona I have done a lot of training and I am in shape to go even faster than last year," Gemechu said at the pre-race press conference.

Her compatriot, men''s defending champion Andamlak Belihu, who will be aiming for an unprecedented third successive victory like Gemechu, also expressed his desire to break the course record.

The 22-year-old is coming off a fifth place finish in the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships and said he is in good shape despite the coronavirus pandemic stalling training earlier this year.

"I came fifth in the World Half Marathon Championships and after that I trained for a month to five weeks and my training improved. So, I''m expecting to go for the race record like last year. I''m in similar or maybe even better shape," Belihu said.

"Last year, I was just four seconds outside the course record (59:06 set by Ethiopia''s Guye Adola in 2014) and I think I can find the difference," the two-time champion added.

The 16th edition of the ADHM will see one of the best fields of international elite athletes with an unprecedented 13 men, having run under the world class bench mark of one hour, and seven women clocking sub-67 minutes results.

This year''s ADHM has two women''s world record holders in Kenya''s Brigid Kosgei (marathon record) and Ethiopian Ababel Yeshaneh (half marathon record) and an enticing battle between the two is on the cards.

"I am coming here looking to show what I can do after finishing fifth at the World Half," Yeshaneh said.

"I fell there (about three kilometres from the finish) and was very frustrated, finishing in tears, because I know I was in shape to win but you just have to pick yourself up and carry on. I have brought the shape I had in Poland to Delhi."

On the other hand, Kosgei stunned the world when she broke the long-standing women''s world marathon record by more than a minute at the 2019 Chicago Marathon, clocking 2:14:04, with Yeshaneh a distant second on that occasion although she still ran a superb personal best of 2:20:51.

However, Yeshaneh prevailed with a world record 64:31 at the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon in February this year with Kosgei (64:49) finishing second. More recently, Kosgei won the London Marathon on October 4 with a timing of 2:18:58.

"After London, I took 10 days off, but I have since had six weeks very good preparation for this race. I have a good record in half marathons, but I am not going to make predictions about this race as it is a very tough field," commented Kosgei.

(11/27/2020) Views: 81 ⚡AMP
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Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

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

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Defending champions Belihu and Gemechu believe that course records could fall at the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon 2020

The topic of discussion at the traditional pre-race press conference for the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon on Thursday was whether the course records could be broken at this year’s World Athletics Gold Label Road Race on Sunday (29). The response was resoundingly positive from everyone.

"I have been training very well, and I was disappointed with my fifth place at the World Half Marathon Championships in Poland last month, so I am in shape and very motivated to run well here," commented the two-time men’s defending champion Andamlak Belihu, from Ethiopia.

"Last year, I was just four seconds outside the course record (59:06 set by Ethiopia’s Guye Adola in 2014) and I think I can find the difference." On Sunday, Belihu will be bidding for an unprecedented third successive title in the Indian capital but the course he will cover is radically different to the one he won on in 2018 and 2019.

To comply with prevailing health-related related measures, the runners will cover around 4.5 kilometres, starting at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, and then embark on two loops of approximately six kilometres, before returning to the finish outside the stadium by the same route.

"However, with smoother corners, less undulations and with the elite runners not having to contend with mass-race participants, I believe this is a faster course than previous years," said race director Hugh Jones.

Belihu’s compatriot Tsehay Gemechu, who revised the women’s course record when winning in both 2018 and 2019 - it currently stands at 66:00 - concurred with the comments about course records being in danger.

"I am in shape to go even faster than last year," said Gemechu. However, the defending champion will face an even stronger set of rivals on Sunday than the two outstanding fields she defeated in the past two years.

On the start line will be Gemechu’s fellow Ethiopian and world half marathon record holder Ababel Yeshaneh.

"I am coming here looking to show what I can do after finishing fifth at the World Half. I fell there (about three kilometres from the finish) and was very frustrated, finishing in tears, because I know I was in shape to win but you just have to pick yourself up and carry on. I have brought the shape I had in Poland to Delhi," said Yeshaneh

This year’s Airtel Delhi Half Marathon can boast of not one but two world record holders in the women’s race.

Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei stunned the world when she broke the long-standing women’s world marathon record by more than a minute at 2019 Chicago Marathon, clocking 2:14:04, with Yeshaneh a distant second on that occasion although she still ran a superb personal best of 2:20:51.

However, at the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon in February this year Yeshaneh prevailed in a world record 64:31 with Kosgei second in 64:49. More recently, Kosgei won the London Marathon on 4 October in 2:18:58. "After London, I took 10 days off, but I have since had six weeks very good preparation for this race. I have a good record in half marathons, but I am not going to make predictions about this race as it is a very tough field. Some of the ladies may be better prepared as they competed at the World Half Marathon Championships last month," commented Kosgei.

(11/26/2020) Views: 94 ⚡AMP
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Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

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

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Kenya's Brigid Kosgei dismisses fears over virus and Delhi pollution

Women’s marathon world record holder Brigid Kosgei said on Thursday she was gearing up for New Delhi’s half-marathon on Sunday, dismissing fears around the novel coronavirus outbreak and polluted air in the capital city.

The 26-year-old, who won the London Marathon in October, will race alongside many of the world’s leading long-distance runners at the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon 2020.

“When I told my family that I want to go to India for a marathon even during a pandemic, they supported my decision and told me to do well and take care of myself,” Kosgei told reporters at a news conference on Thursday.

India’s confimed cases of coronavirus infections stands at 9.27 million, the second-highest in the world after the United States, according to a Reuters tally.

Elite runners were being tested daily for infections and kept in bio-secure bubbles, race organiser Procam International said, adding there would be 60 healthcare officials across the course for health emergencies on Sunday.

To tackle Delhi’s hazardous air, anti-smog machines would be installed along the 21-km route for the elite runners, and sprayed with treated water.

Hundreds of other enthusiasts were participating in the shorter races.

Doctors have slammed the holding of a marathon in Delhi, which is facing one of the worst spells of air pollution this year, complicating efforts for controlling the coronavirus outbreak.

On Thursday, the average concentration of deadly particulate matter PM2.5, which can potentially cause respiratory diseases including lung cancer, was seven times the prescribed safe limit of the World Health Organisation.

Each year Delhi suffers one of the worst air pollution levels globally partly due to local vehicle emissions, toxic waste and smoke from the thousands of small unregulated industrial units.

(11/26/2020) Views: 116 ⚡AMP
by Neha Arora
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Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

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

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Iva Barr, Oldest London Marathon competitor has passed away at 93-years-old

IVA BARR, who became the oldest London Marathon competitor when she finished the 2016 race at age 88, has sadly passed away at 93-years-old.

Barr, from Bedford, first entered the London Marathon back in 1981 and completed 20 in total after confirming that the 2016 race was to be her last.

She tackled the first 14 miles of that year’s race before taking the Underground to Westminster and walking the final part to the finish at The Mall.

At the time the marathon enthusiast, who ran as a member of the Bedford Harriers Athletics Club and participated in marathons for “30-odd years”, said she would “never forget” her final attempt, despite not quite completing the route.

(11/25/2020) Views: 72 ⚡AMP
by Matthew Roscoe
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Ababel Yeshaneh, Brigid Kosgei, Kibiwott Kandie and Jacob Kiplimo will renew rivalry at Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon

The fastest half-marathon in the world has attracted the best half-marathon runners on the planet again.

The 15th edition of the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon on February 19 will see reigning champions Kibiwott Kandie and Ababel Yeshaneh defending their titles while world half-marathon champion Jacob Kiplimo and world marathon record-holder Brigid Kosgei will try to wrestle their titles off them.

The event, which is often known simply as ‘the RAK Half’ and which takes place on a super-fast course in the northernmost emirate of the United Arab Emirates in three months’ time, will see mouth-watering clashes in separate men’s and women’s races. More entries are expected to be announced in coming weeks but so far they include:

» Kibiwott Kandie – fastest man in the world over 13.1 miles in 2020 with 58:38 from Prague in September and winner in Ras Al Khamah in February with 58:58. The Kenyan (below) was also runner-up in the World Half Marathon Championships in 58:54, making him the first man to run sub-59min three times in one year.

» Jacob Kiplimo – the Ugandan took the world-marathon title ahead of Kandie in Gdynia last month following a track season that saw him run 7:26.64 for 3000m and 12:48.63 for 5000m. Only 20, he also took world cross-country champs silver behind Joshua Cheptegei in Aarhus last year.

» Ababel Yeshaneh – set a women’s world half-marathon record of 64:31 to win the Ras Al Khaimah race in February. At the World Half in Gdynia she was fifth but the Ethiopian fell in the closing stages. Over the marathon she was runner-up to Kosgei in Chicago last year with 2:20:51.

» Brigid Kosgei – world record-holder for the marathon with 2:14:04 from Chicago in 2019 and winner of the last two London Marathons, whereas over 13.1 miles the Kenyan (below) was 18 seconds behind Yeshaneh in Ras Al Khaimah this year in the second-fastest time in history.

The race is often dominated by east African distance runners but Sara Hall of the United States is one of the early entries, too, and will be sure to attract interest from US fans after her battling runner-up performance at the London Marathon in October.

“This is the fastest half-marathon course in the world and we want it to maintain its fame,” says Ras Al Khaimah Half race director Andrea Trabuio.

With the coronavirus pandemic causing problems around the world, Trabuio says the elite races and non-elite events will be run separately on February 19 in order to maintain social distancing. With the non-elite event there will be seven waves with about 400 runners in each wave with temperature checks at the start and masks being worn for the first few hundred meters.

(11/25/2020) Views: 97 ⚡AMP
by Jason Henderson
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Rak Half Marathon

Rak Half Marathon

The Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon is the 'world's fastest half marathon' because if you take the top 10 fastest times recorded in RAK for men (and the same for women) and find the average (for each) and then do the same with the top ten fastest recorded times across all races (you can reference the IAAF for this), the...

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British marathon trials for Tokyo 2020 to be held at Kew Gardens

The British Olympic marathon trials for Tokyo 2020 are scheduled to take place at Kew Gardens on March 26 next year.

British athletes usually fight for their spot on the GB team at the London Marathon, but after the 2021 event was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, British Athletics have decided to stage a new event.

The Olympic qualifying marks are 2:29:30 for the women and 2:11:30 for the men.

The new marathon trial event will also act as the British Marathon Championships for 2021.

Major events director of UK Athletics said: "We're delighted to confirm the British Championships incorporating the Olympic Marathon Trial race is to be held at Kew Gardens.

“It is an iconic venue and lends itself well to a marathon course over multiple laps.”

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games are due to take place on July 23-August 8.

 

(11/23/2020) Views: 89 ⚡AMP
by Alicia Turner
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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World record holders Brigid Kosgei and Ababel Yeshaneh are set to clash at Delhi Half Marathon

World record holders Brigid Kosgei and Ababel Yeshaneh have been added to the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon women's field, making the 16th edition of this World Athletics Gold Label race on 29 November the strongest in the history of event - and one of the strongest half marathon contests in the world in 2020.

At the Chicago Marathon in October 2019, Kenya’s Kosgei stunned the world when she broke the long-standing women’s world marathon record by more than a minute, clocking 2:14:04. Yeshaneh was a distant second on that occasion but nevertheless still ran a superb personal best of 2:20:51.

However, the tables were turned at the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon in February this year when a head-to-head contest in the final stages of the race saw Ethiopia’s Yeshaneh prevail in a world record 1:04:31 with Kosgei second in 1:04:49.

In their most recent outings last month, the 26-year-old Kosgei won the rescheduled London Marathon in 2:18:58 while the 29-year-old Yeshaneh had to contend with misfortune and fell at the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships in Gdynia, Poland, with just over three kilometres remaining, which took her out of medal contention although she recovered quickly to finish fifth.

A trio of Ethiopian runners have already been announced that will provide stiff competition for Kosgei and Yeshaneh as well as a host of other world class athletes.

Women's course record holder Tsehay Gemechu is seeking an unprecedented third successive victory. In 2019, Gemechu improved her own course record from 12 months earlier by no less than 50 seconds when she stopped the clocking 1:06:00.

Yeshaneh and Gemechu's compatriots on the start line in in the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium include Yalemzerf Yehualaw and Netsanet Gudeta.

Yehualaw finished second in the ADHM 2019, just one second behind Gemechu, and third at the 2020 World Championships last month in a personal best of 1:05:19 while Gudeta finished eighth in Poland but was the 2018 world half marathon champion.

Both the men's and women's races have first prize cheques of US$27,000, part of a total prize money purse (combined men and women) of US$233,270.

Strict safety measures in place

This year's race will be unlike any previous edition with only an estimated 60 elite international and Indian runners in action on the Delhi roads, with the traditional start and finish still in the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. The event will follow the highest level of safety standards, with bio-secure zones to ensure a COVID-free race for the runners. All mandatory protocols in line with the advisories issued by the Government of India have been established for the event crew, vendors and suppliers, elite athletes, media and all guests.

(11/21/2020) Views: 100 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

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

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Hasay only ran a 1:14:27 half-marathon on Monday as warming up for Valencia Marathon

Jordan Hasay, 29, ran the fastest marathon debut in U.S. history in 2017, finishing the Chicago Marathon in 2:20:57. This time remains the second-fastest marathon ever by an American woman, and Deena Kastor‘s national record of 2:19:36 is the only instance of a woman going faster.

Hasay has since been touted as the runner most likely to break Kastor’s record, but she has consistently fallen short of that mark. While her marathon debut was remarkable, Hasay has had a difficult time following up that result. 

Hasay completed a half-marathon in Portland on Monday, finishing in 1:14:27. This was a far cry from her goal, but she cited poor weather as the reason for her time. With only three and a half weeks until her marathon in Valencia, Hasay will hopefully surprise fans with a strong race.

A difficult two years

Hasay’s strongest result in the past two years came from the 2019 Boston Marathon, where she ran a 2:25:20 – an extremely impressive time on one of the hilliest marathon courses in the states. However, since Boston, Hasay has struggled. The 2019 Chicago Marathon fell just a few days after her former coach, Alberto Salazar, had been suspended. She ultimately didn’t finish that race and went on to come 26th at the 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials a few months later.

Neither of those results were what she had been hoping for. While her recent history isn’t particularly encouraging, Hasay is someone who’s proven she can rise to the occasion on race day, and we very well could see a stellar performance in three weeks’ time. 

Other runners who could threaten the record

While no one has run quite as fast as Hasay’s 2:20, there are several women closing in. Sara Hall ran a personal best in terrible weather at October’s London Marathon, finishing second in 2:22:01. Hall is scheduled to race the upcoming Marathon Project this December in Arizona.

 Emily Sisson is another runner to watch. The 29-year-old ran a 2:23:08 at the 2019 London Marathon. While Hasay is certainly still among the strongest marathoners in America, she’s no longer the only person who stands a chance at taking down Kastor’s record. 

(11/12/2020) Views: 106 ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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VALENCIA TRINIDAD ALFONSO MARATHON

VALENCIA TRINIDAD ALFONSO MARATHON

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

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Defending champions Tsehay Gemechu and Andamlak Belihu set to face tough opposition at Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

Organizers of the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon have announced that Tsehay Gemechu and Andamlak Belihu will defend their titles at the World Athletics Gold Label road race on Sunday 29 November.

The Ethiopian duo will both be aiming for an unprecedented third successive victory in the Indian capital, but both will race strong fields containing world champions.

Last year, Gemechu improved her own course record from 2018 by 50 seconds when she ran a stunning personal best of 1:06:00.

Ideally, Gemechu would like to go even faster this year but, like so many runners around the world, her training and racing this year have been hugely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Covid-19 is a disaster which has affected everyone's life all over the globe and, definitely, it has affected my training, not least in the early stages of the pandemic when we were all fearful of infection,” said Gemechu, who will turn 22 next month.

“Later, my coach and I decided to take care of ourselves, taking into account all the advice from the World Health Organization, and I started my own individual training programme with my main goal of coming back to Delhi.”

Gemechu will have a host of outstanding rivals in this year's race, arguably the strongest women's field ever seen in the history of the Delhi Half Marathon with seven women having run under 67 minutes.

Among them are two of her compatriots, Yalemzerf Yehualaw and Netsanet Gudeta, as well as world marathon champion Ruth Chepngetich.

The in-form Yehualaw finished second at the 2019 Deli Half Marathon, just one second behind Gemechu, and showed she's a rising star of distance running by finishing third at the World Half Marathon Championships in Gdynia last month in a personal best of 1:05:19.

Gudeta, the 2018 world half marathon champion, was eighth in Gdynia after falling over mid-race, but helped Ethiopia to team gold.

Chepngetich won the world marathon title in Doha last year, having clocked PBs of 1:05:30 for the half marathon and 2:17:08 for the marathon earlier in the season. More recently, she finished third at the London Marathon in 2:22:05.

Belihu will be aiming to finally go into new territory on the streets of Delhi, perhaps even finishing inside 59 minutes, and confirm his place as the most successful runner in Delhi Half Marathon history after having also placed second in his race debut in 2017.

“I have been training well in Addis Ababa for the last couple of months and I am very thankful to have the opportunity to race in Delhi, a city I always enjoy returning to and racing in,” said Belihu, who will turn 22 just over a week before race day.

“This has been a difficult year, for everyone around the world, not just professional athletes, due to the Covid-19 pandemic and I have been training alone much more than I am normally used to,” he added. “But my fifth place at the World Half Marathon Championships in Poland last month has assured me that I am in good shape and I am confident I can put up a good defence of my title.”

The 2020 Delhi Half Marathon will be unlike any previous edition with an estimated 60 elite international and Indian runners in action on the Delhi roads, with the traditional start and finish still in the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. The event will follow the highest level of safety and hygiene standards with bio-secure zones to ensure a Covid-19-free race.

(11/11/2020) Views: 122 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

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

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The start list of elite runners for Valencia Marathon and Half Marathon is quite impressive, especially in the case of the women

The Valencia half and full marathons are set to run on December 6 as elite-only races, and they will make for a must-see event. The start lists are quite impressive, especially in the case of the women, where the fields might be even stronger than they were at the London Marathon.

On the men’s side, the fields will see over 30 runners with personal bests under 2:10. Evan Esselink is the lone Canadian representative. The 2:18 marathoner will be looking to run a personal best and possibly secure the Olympic qualification time of 2:11:30. Two Canadian men have secured standard thus far – Trevor Hofbauer and Tristan Woodfine. 

Esselink first appeared on the roads in 2015 when he ran a 1:04:53 half-marathon in Indianapolis. He has since lowered his personal best considerably, running a 1:02:17 in 2019. He’s run only one marathon, finishing STWM 2019 in 2:18:38. 

The women’s field

In the half-marathon, one of the world’s greatest-ever track runners Genzebe Dibaba is making her debut alongside Letesenbet Gidey, the new 5,000m world record-holder. Emily Sisson will also be in the mix, one of America’s budding new talents on the road. Sisson has a 1:07:30 personal best in the event (and has run a 2:23 marathon). 

The marathon field includes headliners Joyciline Jepkosgei, Ruti Aga, Peres Jepchirchir and American Jordan Hasay. Jepkosgei is the 10K world record-holder, Aga is one of the fastest-ever women’s marathoners (2:18:34), Jepchirchir is the reigning world half-marathon champion and Hasay has been hunting the American marathon record for over two years. While Hasay owns the second-fastest women’s marathon time in U.S. history, her recent results have been disappointing by her standards. The runner most recently finished 26th at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in February 2020. 

The marathon fields will see a total of 35 runners with personal bests under 2:10 – a remarkably deep field, running at a pace that is sure to see many people qualify for the Olympics. Beyond running standard, the top 10 men and women in the marathon will automatically achieve standard as this is a platinum-level race.  The front runners will be 2:02 marathoner Birhanu Legese, Lawrence Cherono and Lelisa Desisa.

(11/10/2020) Views: 107 ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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VALENCIA TRINIDAD ALFONSO MARATHON

VALENCIA TRINIDAD ALFONSO MARATHON

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

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Eliud Kipchoge's 2021 Ambitions, Undecided About London Return

Olympic champion and world record holder Eliud Kipchoge says his main focus for 2021 will be defending his Tokyo Olympic title, but is uncertain whether he will try and reclaim his London Marathon title.

If all goes well, Kipchoge will look to retain his Olympic title in Tokyo in August while the London Marathon is scheduled for just over two months later, on October 3.

With the short turnaround between the two events, Kipchoge is uncertain whether he will go for the two, but is already assured that he will be at the start in Tokyo.

"I will be chasing the Olympic gold in 2021. I am praying that this pandemic will go away and we resume life as normal. I want to try and grab a marathon to test myself before then and see where my body is. As for London, I don't know yet but time will tell," Kipchoge told Capital Sport.

The world record holder suffered rare defeat at this year's London Marathon, finishing sixth for only his second loss over the distance in 14 races.

The cold weather coupled with a problem on one of his ears that troubled his equilibrium saw him suffer the shock loss that left everyone dumbfounded.

People should know that I am a human being just like them and anything can happen in a marathon. I don't want them to be disappointed but rather take positives and get inspired. They should take positive vibes of all the beautiful victories over the last seven years and not complain," Kipchoge noted.

The Marathon king says he has already moved on from the London loss and is plotting on his next assault; the Olympic crown.

"The words injury you can get is an injury to your mind. If the mind gets a puncture, you are done. The mind plays a big role in understanding what sport is. The defeat is now behind my back and I have learned lessons from it. Now the only thing is to look ahead," stated Kipchoge.

While he continues to focus on his next stream of athletics success, Kipchoge is busy rolling the wheels of his foundation as he looks to not only inspire the world with marathon running, but charitable works as well.

My heart felt gratitude and appreciation to those who have given my foundation a helping hand. Together we were able to feed vulnerable athletes and the wider community during these difficult times.

(11/05/2020) Views: 82 ⚡AMP
by Timothy Olobulu
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At the age of 37 Sara Hall says that she is enjoying her sport more than ever

She says running has "broken my heart a hundred times," but each moment of heartbreak would have seemed worthwhile as Sara Hall moved into second place on the final straight of this year's London Marathon.

The dramatic finish saw a surging Hall overtake Ruth Chepngetich in a sprint finish having made up 40 seconds in little more than a mile by her husband's calculations.

Her time of two hours, 22 minutes and one second improved her previous personal best by 15 seconds, and her second-place finish made her the first American to mount the podium at London in 14 years.

The performance would have gone some way to atoning for the disappointment of pulling out of the Olympic Marathon Trials in Atlanta earlier this year -- likely one of the heartbreaks she had been referring to as she took to social media after the race.

"This is the highlight of my career so far," Hall tells CNN Sport as she reflects on her London Marathon performance.

Hall crosses the finish line in second place at the London Marathon.

"I feel so, so grateful to be enjoying the sport the most I ever have at age 37. It's been kind of a surprise to still be improving at this age, and I just feel so grateful that I got the opportunity to race.

"It was just a long year of training and faith that there would be an opportunity at the end of it. I put in a lot for this race and to have it all come together and have the race of my life that was just a dream come true."

Running 'completely alone'

The circumstances surrounding this year's London Marathon, which was moved from April to October and staged only elite races due to the coronavirus pandemic, were unique.

Competitors were tested multiple times before traveling and also upon arrival in the UK.

Wearing social distancing devices that would sound if they got too close to another person, athletes stayed in a bubble in a hotel the week leading up to the race with "a little, tiny grass loop" to train on, according to Hall.

For the race itself, each athlete had their own Porta Potti -- "every runner's dream," says Hall, rather than waiting in a long queue before rushing to the start line.

Rather than start in Greenwich in south London and finish in The Mall in the center of the British capital, the course was also altered to 19.6 laps of St James's Park and no crowds were in attendance -- something that posed a significant mental challenge.

"There were times I could just hear the echo of my footsteps out there because I was running completely alone," says Hall.

"I really just had to self-motivate a lot out there because it was a lonely, very quiet run without spectators.

"And I just tried to remember how grateful I was to be competing and (to) have an opportunity in Covid ... and it was really that gratitude that kept me moving forward and then eventually catching people."

(10/31/2020) Views: 104 ⚡AMP
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World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge says that he will be back in big way

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: 153 ⚡AMP
by Geoffrey Anene
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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2020 Cardiff Half Marathon postponed again, until October 2021 due to coronavirus pandemic

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: 128 ⚡AMP
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Cardiff Half Marathon

Cardiff Half Marathon

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

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Creating the bubble, cutting-edge technology, flexible thinking – how the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon is the the only major city marathon to take place since the Covid-19 pandemic struck

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.

Race Day

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: 123 ⚡AMP
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

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

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The 2020 Boston Marathon virtual experience raises $32 million for charity

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: 126 ⚡AMP
by David Monti
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

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...

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Jordan Crookes a 23-year-old successfully ran the virtual London Marathon 2020 despite struggling with his Cerebral Palsy

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: 148 ⚡AMP
by Monica Charsley
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

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

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Four-year ban for Daniel Wanjiru

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(10/17/2020) Views: 188 ⚡AMP
by Athletics Weekly
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Tokyo trials tentatively announced

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: 194 ⚡AMP
by Athletics Weekly
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Kenya’s Daniel Wanjiru banned following doping violations, he won't be allowed to compete again until December 2023

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: 105 ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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Romania’s 2008 Olympic champion Constantina Dita has been named an ambassador for the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships Gdynia 2020

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: 130 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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World Half Marathon Championships

World Half Marathon Championships

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

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Kenyan Benson Kipruto will take time out after he picked up a hamstring injury during the London Marathon

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: 149 ⚡AMP
by Emmanuel Sabuni
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

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

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London Marathon Silver medalist Vincent Kipchumba could be the next road king?

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: 183 ⚡AMP
by Stephen Rutto and Jonathan Komen
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

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

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Stephen Scullion sets new Irish Marathon record in London Marathon

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: 149 ⚡AMP
by Malcolm McCausland
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

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

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Kitata conquers Kipchoge while Kosgei retains title at London Marathon and US Sara Hall finishes second

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

(10/04/2020) Views: 188 ⚡AMP
by Simon Hart for World Athletics
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

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

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World record holder Eliud Kipchoge loses to retain 2020 London Marathon title.

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: 168 ⚡AMP
by Willie Korir reporting from Kenya
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

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

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According to Spotify, this is the most popular song on running playlists

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:

Calvin Harris

David Guetta

Kanye West

Eminem

Avicii

(10/04/2020) Views: 463 ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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2020 London Marathon athletes to wear social-distancing tech

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: 164 ⚡AMP
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

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

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From landmarks to country lanes - 87-year-old prepares for unique 40th London Marathon

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: 174 ⚡AMP
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Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele out of London Marathon due to a calf injury

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(10/02/2020) Views: 211 ⚡AMP
by OlympicTalk
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

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

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Brigid Kosgei and Ruth Chepngetich will use controversial shoes worn by Eliud Kipchoge in the London Marathon

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: 172 ⚡AMP
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

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

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Ethiopia`s Degitu Azimeraw withdraws from London Marathon after positive COVID-19 test

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: 161 ⚡AMP
by Associated Press
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

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

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