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Gudaf Tsegay, Lamecha Girma head Ethiopia's 43-athlete squad to battle Kenya in Paris Olympics

In the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, Kenya bested Ethiopia as the top African nation, finishing 19th overall with 10 athletics medals.

World record-holders Gudaf Tsegay and Lamecha Girma are set to lead a formidable Ethiopian squad of 43 athletes at the upcoming Paris Olympic Games.

The robust team comprising top-tier talent across various track and field events promises to offer fierce competition to their long-time rivals Kenya in the race for Olympic medals.

Tsegay will be competing in the 10,000 meters, 5,000 meters, and 1,500 meters events.

The 27-year-old athlete's standout performance at the Prefontaine Classic, where she shattered the world record in the 5,000 meters with an astounding time of 14:00.21, means she will be challenging rival Kenya's Faith Kipyegon who will chase two gold medals after winning the 1500m and 5000m.

The women's team also boasts an impressive lineup in the 800 meters, featuring Tsige Duguma, Habitam Alemu, and Werknesh Mesele, with Nigist Getachew as the reserve.

In the 1,500 meters, Tsegay will be joined by Birke Haylom and Diribe Wolteji, with Hirut Meshesha on standby. Medina Eisa and Ejgayehu Taye will support Tsegay in the 5,000 meters, with Freweyni Hailu as reserve, while Fotyen Tesfay, Tsigie Gebreselama, and Aynadis Mebratu will compete in the 10,000 meters.

The 3,000 meters steeplechase will see Sembo Almayew and Lomi Muleta in action, and the marathon team includes Tigst Assefa, Amane Beriso, and Megertu Alemu, with Gotytom Gebreslase as reserve.

On the men's side, the team is equally impressive as Abdisa Fayisa, Samuel Tefera, and Ermias Girma will compete in the 1,500 meters.

The 5,000 meters team includes Hagos Gebrhiwet, Yomif Kejelcha, and Addisu Yihune, with Selemon Barega as reserve.

Kejelcha will also contest the 10,000 meters alongside Berihu Aregawi and Biniam Mehari, with Barega again as a reserve.

Lamecha Girma, alongside Samuel Firewu and Getnet Wale, will vie for victory in the men's 3,000 meters steeplechase, with Abrham Sime as reserve.

Ethiopia team to Paris

Women

800 meters: Tsige Duguma, Habitam Alemu, Werknesh Mesele, Nigist Getachew (Reserve)

1500 meters: Gudaf Tsegay, Birke Haylom, Diribe Wolteji, Hirut Meshesha (Reserve)

5000 meters: Gudaf Tsegay, Medina Eisa, Ejgayehu Taye, Freweyni Hailu (Reserve)

10,000 meters: Gudaf Tsegay, Fotyen Tesfay, Tsigie Gebreselama, Aynadis Mebratu (Reserve)

3000 meters Steeplechase: Sembo Almayew, Lomi Muleta

Marathon:Tigst Assefa, Amane Beriso, Megertu Alemu, Gotytom Gebreslase (Reserve)

Men

1500 meters: Abdisa Fayisa, Samuel Tefera, Ermias Girma, Teddese Lemi (Reserve)

5000 meters: Hagos Gebrhiwet, Yomif Kejelcha, Addisu Yihune, Selemon Barega (Reserve)

10,000 meters: Yomif Kejelcha, Berihu Aregawi, Selemon Barega, Biniam Mehari (Reserve)

Men's 3000 meters steeplechase: Lamecha Girma, Samuel Firewu, Getnet Wale, Abrham Sime (Reserve)

Marathon: Sisay Lemma, Deresa Geleta, Kenenisa Bekele, Tamirat Tola (Reserve)

20 km Race walk: Misgana Wakuma

(07/06/2024) Views: 122 ⚡AMP
by Festus Chuma
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Paris 2024 Olympic Games

Paris 2024 Olympic Games

For this historic event, the City of Light is thinking big! Visitors will be able to watch events at top sporting venues in Paris and the Paris region, as well as at emblematic monuments in the capital visited by several millions of tourists each year. The promise of exceptional moments to experience in an exceptional setting! A great way to...

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Simpson, Frisbie, Rodriguez, Estrada Commit to Run Crazy 8s 8K Hoping for USATF National Championshisp

With the announcement that the Ballad Health Niswonger Children’s Network Crazy 8s 8K Run will host both the USATF Men’s & Women’s 8K Road Championship Presented by Gatorade on July 20th, competition is heating up for both championships.

Olympic bronze medalist Jenny Simpson and Annie Frisbie will be two of the headliners in the women’s field with Isai Rodriguez and Diego Estrada the early favorites on the men’s side.“We’re off to a good start,” said co-director Hank Brown.

“We are receiving tremendous interest from some of the best runners from around the country. We’re expecting 40-50 elite runners in the USATF championship which will be very exciting.”

Simpson is arguably one of the more recognizable women’s middle/long distance runners in the United States. She won the bronze medal in the 1500 meters at the 2016 Rio Olympics, the gold medal at the 2011 World Championships, and followed with silver medals at the 2013 and 2017 World Championships Simpson is a former American record holder for the 3000 meter steeplechase and has represented the United States at three Olympics – 2008 Beijing, 2012 London, and 2016 Rio.

Frisbie is on a personal tear recently, running personal bests in 2024 for the 10K (31:49), 15K (49:28), 25K (1:22:37), and half marathon (1:07:34, 1st place). She is running her best and is in excellent shape.In 2023, the men’s race came down to a sprint finish in J. Fred Johnson Stadium with Clayton Young outlasting Andrew Colley and Isai Rodriguez. Young will be going to Paris to run the marathon and Colley is nursing a sore foot, so Rodriguez will be the top returning finisher (Colley is still tentative).

Rodriguez has a 10,000 meter personal-best under 28 minutes and was the Pan Am Games 10k champion in 2023.Estrada is a veteran runner making a successful comeback in 2024. He represented his native Mexico in the 10,000 meters in the 2012 London Olympics, but became a US citizen in 2014 at which time became eligible to represent the USA in international competition.

He has an impressive 10k time of 27:30 set in 2015, and 5K of 13:31 at the Carlsbad 5K in 2014. He is now 34 and quite possibly running his best times in 2024.

He placed fifth at the Aramco Houston Half Marathon in January, running a very fast 1:00:49, which is a personal best at that distance and tnen followed that a thrid-. place finish at the USATF 15K Championship in Jacksonville. In May he set an American best of 1:13:09 at the USATF 25K Championship, winning the Amway 25K River Run in Grand Rapids, MI.

“We are thrilled to have these guys and gals at Crazy 8s,” said Brown. “When we decided to host the USATF 8K Championship this is exactly the caliber of runners we were hoping to attract to Kingsport.”

The Regional Eye Center is offering a $10,008 American Record bonus for men who can break Alberto Salazar’s record of 22:04 (1981) or women who can break Deena Kastor’s record of 24:36 (2005).

In addition to the bonus, the race is offering prize money to the top 10 in the USATF Men’s and Women’s Championships.Sponsors are Ballad Health Niswonger Children’s Network, Gatorade, The Regional Eye Center, Eastman Credit Union, Kingsport Pediatric Dentistry, Food City, Martin Dentistry, Mycroft Signs, Culligan, Associated Orthopaedics of Kingsport, and JA Street.

(07/04/2024) Views: 91 ⚡AMP
by TriCitiesSports.com
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Crazy 8s 8k Run

Crazy 8s 8k Run

Run the World’s Fastest 8K on the world famous figure-8 course on beautiful candle-lit streets with a rousing finish inside J. Fred Johnson Stadium. Crazy 8s is home to womens’ 8-kilometer world record (Asmae Leghzaoui, 24:27.8, 2002), and held the men’s world record (Peter Githuka, 22:02.2, 1996), until it was broken in 2014. Crazy 8s wants that mens’ record back. ...

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'Doing it for my kids'- Kenya's new 800m star shares main motivation ahead of Olympics debut in Paris

Lilian Odira has opened up about the main motivation behind her pursuit for success in her debut at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

National 800m champion Lilian Odira has opened about her main source of motivation as she gears up for her maiden Olympic Games in Paris, France.

The Africa 800m silver medallist explained that her children mean the world to her and she cannot stand not being able to provide for them. Odira took a maternity break in 2020 and returned to competition in 2023 after having her two kids.

Speaking to Nation Sport, she noted that it was not an easy ordeal trying to make a comeback. The 25-year-old had added weight to 86kg and had to cut down to about 55kg, something that proved to be an uphill task.

However, she noted that two-time Boston Marathon champion Hellen Obiri, having walked the same path, was very instrumental in ensuring she does what is necessary to regain her form.

Follow the Pulse Sports Kenya X (Twitter) handle for more news.

“I’m doing all these just for my kids. You can’t explain to them (her kids) that you don’t have so I just have to work hard because of them. In 2020, I took a maternity break and then when I came back, I don’t if it’s by good luck or bad luck, I also got another baby,” she said.

“Then in 2023, I came back and my goal was to shed my weight. It’s not an easy journey, I had 86kg coming back from maternity and I remember Hellen Obiri is the one who took me to jog and I felt like it was not necessary for me to pursue this career. Obiri kept on motivating me and encouraging me since she had also been there.”

She had to sacrifice a lot, explaining that she used to do long runs up to 30km. Odira also explained that self-belief is what helped her get back into shape.

Odira bounced back this season, winning the national championships and proceeding to the Africa Senior Athletics Championships where she won a silver medal behind Sarah Moraa.

She also punched her ticket to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games and it will be her first time on the global stage. This was after she won the national trials, clocking 1:59.27 to cross the finish line ahead of Mary Moraa and Sarah who clocked respective times of 1:59.35 and 1:59.39.

“In Paris, it’s going to be a surprise to many…the trials were a surprise to many. I see many people talking on social media saying that we can’t win a gold medal,” she said.

“I think there was this race that Moraa had with Keely Hodgkinson and she came first. After that, people started talking but I want them to understand that as an athlete, you don’t get to win every day. People forgot about the many things Moraa has done and focused on that loss only.”

(07/03/2024) Views: 132 ⚡AMP
by Abigael Wuafula
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Paris 2024 Olympic Games

Paris 2024 Olympic Games

For this historic event, the City of Light is thinking big! Visitors will be able to watch events at top sporting venues in Paris and the Paris region, as well as at emblematic monuments in the capital visited by several millions of tourists each year. The promise of exceptional moments to experience in an exceptional setting! A great way to...

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How Many Carbs Are in Spring Energy, Really?

This fruit-based energy gel, once touted for its high-carb intake and low volume, contains about a third of calories than advertised, multiple independent nutritional analyses suggest

For the past 10 years, Spring Energy has provided endurance athletes with energy gels, and more recently drink mixes, made from “real” foods. Athletes looking for wholesome alternatives to more traditional sugar-based gels made in a lab have flocked to Spring’s smoothie-like gels made with fruit and basmati rice.

While Spring products are more expensive than many gels, many athletes have found the tradeoff for high-quality, real food fuel that goes down easily on the run to be worth it. Until now.

After skepticism about the actual contents of Spring’s gels began brewing late last year, it turned into a full-blown controversy this week.

In January 2021, Spring Energy released a game-changing gel, Awesome Sauce. In collaboration with coaches and runners Megan and David Roche (who taste-tested and named the flavor), the applesauce, basmati rice, and sweet potato-based gel was designed to provide endurance athletes with a whopping 180 calories per 54 gram packet.

This high-carb alternative became especially enticing when a study was published in April 2022 reporting that ultrarunners should consume 240 to 360 calories (60-90 grams of carbohydrates) per hour. It’s no surprise that Awesome Sauce (sold at $5 a gel), with its small but surprisingly mighty nutritional content, initially flew off the shelves. It seemed too good to be true.

After several third-party lab tests, that appears to be the case.

In late 2023, runners took to Reddit to discuss their doubts in Awesome Sauce’s nutritional facts, which were printed on the packaging and stated on Spring Energy’s website. Though it’s unclear who first performed a concrete test on the gel, two months ago, Liza Ershova, a Reddit user who uses the username “sriirachamayo”, posted in a thread called “False nutritional info on Spring Energy gels.” Ershova allegedly performed a test “in an environmental chemistry lab” and found that the dry weight of Awesome Sauce is 16g instead of the stated 45. She hypothesized that, “If all of those grams are carbs, that corresponds to about 60 calories, not 180.”

On May 17, German endurance sport speciality shop Sports Hunger released a video stating that they, too, had Awesome Sauce gels tested by a third party, and allegedly found that each packet contains 16g of carbs instead of the 45g that Spring Energy claimed.

“The maker of Spring Energy assures us that they will rework their manufacturing process to ensure that they will again reliably achieve their high numbers that they declare to have,” a Sports Hunger representative says in the video. “We hope that this is really going to happen because we believe that natural food for many of our customers is a great alternative to the regular gels.”

On May 28, ultrarunning coach Jason Koop, who coaches elite athletes sponsored by Spring Energy, posted an Instagram Reel saying that he’d paid for Spring Energy Awesome Sauce to be tested by a third party, RL Food Laboratory Testing in Ferndale, Washington. The results showed that the gels tested contained 76 calories and 18g of carbs. The lab results can be found on Koop’s website. Koop declined to be interviewed for this article.

Other runners have also come forward after attempting to replicate the gels with varying degrees of Awesome Sauce’s ingredients: organic basmati rice, organic apple sauce, apple juice, yams, maple syrup, lemon juice, vanilla, sea salt, and cinnamon—and could not achieve the gel’s original volume of 54g. Their experiments suggest that it’s impossible to fit all of those ingredients into the small Awesome Sauce package while achieving the stated nutritional content.

On May 22, the Ershova shared Spring Energy’s response to their experiment on Reddit: “Our analysis supports the accuracy of our product labeling. However, we will reevaluate to make sure our data is accurate. Although we hoped your experience with our products would have been wholly satisfactory, we recognize that individual needs can vary. Given the wide variety of options available across different brands, we are confident you will find the right product that suits your specific requirements.”

Four days later, on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, Spring Energy sent out an email to newsletter subscribers stating:

“In early May we submitted Awesome Sauce for third-party caloric and biomolecular analysis. Although the results indicated that on average our products deliver the designed nutrition value, we have recognized weaknesses in our processes and ingredients which can introduce unwanted variations in some batches.To mitigate those variations in our small batch production, we decided to modify some of the formulations, revise and innovate processes, and re-evaluate ingredient sources. These changes will bring higher quality and more consistency to our products. Enhancements of our products aimed to stabilize their nutrition values are on the horizon, and within the next few weeks, you’ll see the results of our efforts. A new and improved version of Awesome Sauce will soon be available.”

The internet outrage ballooned swiftly.

“‘On average’ – if someone has a beat on where I can grab packets of Awesome Sauce at 75g of carb per pack to allow for the average of their product to be 45g overall, hit my inbox,” @aidstationfireball posted on X. “Excited to taste the new, re-formulated, $7 gels they’ll replace these with.”

David and Megan Roche, the Boulder, Colorado-based running coach couple who collaborated with Spring Energy on Awesome Sauce, discussed the backlash on their podcast. They weren’t involved in the chemical composition and makeup of the gel, they claimed. Rather, they simply proposed the concept of a high-carb gel to their friend Rafal Nazarewicz, the founder and CEO of Spring Energy. They stated they understand the public’s outrage, and Megan added that they “didn’t really use it” during their runs because she didn’t feel that her body was responding to the energy it was supposed to provide.

In addition, the Roches stated on their podcast that they have quietly harbored concerns about Awesome Sauce for years, and while they did not explicitly tell their athletes not to use it, they made a point of promoting other gels instead. (The Roches currently have a financial partnership with The Feed, the online warehouse that sells a wide variety of sports fuel, including Spring Energy.)

David elaborated in a lengthy Instagram post on May 29: “It’s sad and infuriating that the nutrition was wrong, and we are thankful to the really smart people who figured it out on Reddit (including an athlete we coach who started the initial thread). When we described concerns to Spring, we were assured that the nutrition was correct and they followed all FDA regulations. We left the Spring sponsorship years ago, and we never received compensation for proposing the name/doing taste testing (outside of the $200 per month that we both received during the sponsorship). Since then, we have publicly directed athletes to other options for high-carb fueling, while hoping to be a source of love and support in the community. Our podcast covered our concerns as soon as the German lab testing indicated that we wouldn’t be risking making defamatory statements about a business without substantial evidence.”

While concerns around Awesome Sauce instigated this investigation, it’s not the only flavor under scrutiny. Koop sent additional Spring Energy gels, Canaberry (named after professional ultrarunner Sage Canaday) and Hill Aid, to the lab for testing. The results indicated that both of these flavors also contain fewer calories than stated on their nutrition labels.

The lab results showed that the batch of Canaberry that was tested contains 10g of carbs (versus the stated 17g), and the Hill Aid sample contains 10g of carbs (versus the stated 20g).

Koop also paid for Gu Chocolate Outrage to be tested. The results were consistent with the nutrition facts. All three of these reports can also be found on Koop’s website.

These vast discrepancies between Spring Energy’s reported nutrition facts and the lab results raise the question: which gels can be trusted?

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Association (FDA), most running gels fall under the category of “dietary supplements”, which don’t have to be approved before being sold. However, the FDA requires that all dietary supplements have nutrition information clearly marked on a product’s packaging (including serving size, number of servings, and ingredients) and periodically inspects manufacturing facilities to confirm that products meet the labeling requirements. The FDA also reviews product labels for accuracy.

“Dietary supplements are regulated by the FDA, but much of our role begins after products enter the marketplace. In fact, in many cases, companies can produce and sell dietary supplements without even notifying the FDA,” the FDA states on their website.

The FDA allows nutrition labels to have an inaccuracy margin of up to 20 percent—for reference, based on multiple lab results, Awesome Sauce’s caloric content is about 57 percent less than what the label says.

Sports psychologist and ultrarunning coach Krista Austin works with some of the top endurance athletes in the world, and is best known for training Meb Keflezighi to  his 2009 New York City Marathon win. She recommends several products out on the market to her ultrarunner athletes, as well as suggestions that might work with a person’s individual plan. Typically, she suggests that athletes rotate gel flavors to avoid flavor fatigue, which can impact an athlete mentally and derail performance. So if a certain brand is proven to work well for an athlete, she says, use a variety of flavors.

“I usually use high molecular weight carbohydrates, but the thing is, they’re not as sweet as other sports nutrition products out there,” says Austin, who owns a consulting business providing sport performance services to Olympic and professional athletes as well as military and industry personnel. “So what we’ll do is we might throw in another gel like the Awesome Sauce to help give them that sweet component. It’s just in their arsenal.”

She says, in general, her athletes who have consumed Awesome Sauce have had positive experiences, but that because these gels were just one part of the fuel plan, that muddies the waters a bit. In addition, the potential lower calorie count of this gel may make it easier to digest. However, Austin recalls that one of her clients was taking in one Spring Energy gel (multiple flavors) every hour in her ultra, but found herself so hungry that she needed to eat a lot of the food provided at aid stations on the course, too.

“She was a smaller ultrarunner, and I thought it was interesting that she was taking in all these calories,” Austin says. “She was using Spring Energy gels, and I now I’m thinking, ‘Maybe this is why she needed all the additional food on the course, too, because she wasn’t getting what we thought she was.’”

Ultramarathon dietician Julie Shobe is surprised and disappointed in the news about Awesome Sauce. “My clients and myself bank on the efficiency of the gel being easy and light to carry,” she says. “Underfueling within a long run can create acute symptoms like low energy, nausea, or brain fog. Ultrarunners find themselves in dangerous situations on long runs and races, and are often in remote areas, so unintentionally underfueling could have negative consequences.”

Austin says runners can still rely on information they’re receiving about endurance fuel, but that it’s always possible there are, as Spring Energy suggests, bad batches. She’s leaning toward this being the reason for the nutritional inaccuracies (keeping an open mind that more information can come out) because she’s had experiences with bad batches of gels in the past, where the product tasted off and she brought it to the attention of the brand, who confirmed it was an error on their part.

By May 30, Spring Energy had removed Awesome Sauce from its website, although it can still be purchased in the All Inclusive and Vegan Spring sampler packs. There, Awesome Sauce is described as, “our best-seller, has been created for all carb lovers who want to fuel in a healthy way, with wholesome products free of added sugars!”

Nashville Running Company owner Lee Wilson has made the decision to take Awesome Sauce,  Canaberry, and Hill Aid off store shelves. “It came down to the integrity of it,” Wilson says. “After the other flavors came out with the test results, we decided we can’t sell it.”

Nashville Running Company crew member Eric May added that this whole ordeal is disappointing, especially because the gel was so popular in the community.

“We used to have people come in when we got shipments and walk out with boxes of them,” May says. “It’s a bummer.”

He adds that a few customers have remarked that they still really enjoy Awesome Sauce and will keep using it.

“How a company reacts to the issue tells you a lot about them, and the fact that they’ve taken down their product, it means they’re probably doing their homework to see what’s going on,” Austin says. “I would say, give them a chance to rectify the situation.”

Sabrina Stanley, a pro ultrarunner from Silverton, Colorado, has used Awesome Sauce frequently in the past, but says she stopped eating it when she felt she was taking in three times what she should be consuming to keep hunger at bay. She adds that though it’s a huge disappointment that athletes thought they were buying a gel under the impression it was a different product, the company is the only party at fault.

“Professional athletes aren’t responsible for making sure the nutrition label is correct,” Stanley says. “They are often sub-contracted to give opinions and help promote a product in hopes of making a few extra dollar to continue doing what they love. They aren’t in the lab developing the product and writing the nutrition label, like the consumers, they are trusting the hired them to do their due diligence.”

On May 29, Spring Energy released an official statement on its Instagram, with Nazarewicz saying they’ve identified weaknesses in the manufacturing process, and that only some batches were accidentally made with varying nutritional values. Nazarewicz apologized and stated Spring Energy is introducing changes to its process and hopes to continue its mission toward making real food performance products.

“Spring Energy has admitted to inconsistencies in their product and also said in a recent IG post this was not intentional or malicious,” Shobe says. “However, to be this far off from your stated nutrition label deserves some major inspection. The whole thing made me question not only the integrity of their products but the nutritional labels of other products. Why, as a dietician, didn’t I become more suspicious of Awesome Sauce in the first place?”

(06/22/2024) Views: 34 ⚡AMP
by Outside Online
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After Double Knee Surgery, This Runner is Poised to Make Team USA for the Paris Olympics

Val Constien has surmounted obstacles along every step of her career—including a devastating knee injury just 13 months ago. Now the 28-year-old is a favorite to make her second Olympic team in the 3,000-meter steeplechase heading into the U.S. Track and Field Olympic Trials.

Val Constien started 2023 in the best shape of her life. She had been an Olympian in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the Tokyo Olympics. And yet, she had no professional sponsorships.

Constien, then 26, had spent the several years after graduating from the University of Colorado in 2019 continuing to train for the steeplechase under her college coaches while working a full-time job mostly because she loved it, and partly because she was betting on herself that she could continue to progress to a higher level.

While studying environmental engineering at CU, Constien twice earned All-American honors in the steeplechase and helped the Buffaloes win a NCAA Division I national championship in cross country.  She then finished 12th in the steeplechase at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021. And yet the Boulder, Colorado-based runner hadn’t been able to attract a sponsorship deal from a shoe and apparel brand. She squeezed her workouts in before work, paid for her travel to races, and remained determined and hopeful.

But then, after winning a U.S. indoor title in the flat 3,000 meters in early 2023, she caught the attention of Nike, which signed her to a deal that would lead into the 2024 Olympic year. Finally, it was the break she’d be hoping for.

However, less than three weeks after signing the contract, while running the steeplechase in a high-level Diamond League meet in Doha, Qatar, Constien landed awkwardly on her right leg early in the race and immediately knew something was wrong. She could be seen visibly mouthing “Oh no!” on the livestream, as she hobbled to the side of the track out of the race.

It was a worst case scenario: a torn ACL in her right knee. That meant surgery and a long road back to running fast again.

“That was awful,” said Kyle Lewis, her boyfriend who was watching the race online from Boulder. “The doctors over there initially told her they thought it was a sprain, but she came home and two days later she got an MRI and found out that it was a completely torn ACL, and she was obviously very upset. That was only a couple of weeks after she signed the Nike deal. But that’s just kind of been like with Val’s whole career. Nothing has ever come easy to that girl.”

How Constien, now 28, returned to top form a year later to become one of the top contenders to make Team USA in the steeplechase heading into the June 21-30 U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon—her preliminary race on June 24 will be only 398 days after her knee was surgically repaired—is a testament to the grit and confidence Constien possesses.

“It’s all just an extension of how tough I am and how willing I am to make hard decisions, and how badly I want it,” Constien said. “I love running. If I didn’t love running this much, I would’ve quit a long time ago.”

Constien had surgery last May 2023 at the Steadman Clinic in Vail, Colorado, not far from where she grew up. But that also presented a challenging twist.

One of the most popular types of ACL reconstructions for athletes is called a patella tendon graft, in which the doctor cuts off pieces of bone from the patient’s tibia and patella and several strands of the patella tendon and uses those materials to replace the ACL. Usually those grafts are harvested from the same injured leg, but doctors determined Constien’s right patella had a bone bruise on it and wasn’t healthy enough to use. So instead, they grafted the replacement materials from her left leg. That meant undergoing surgery on both legs, rendering her recovery even more difficult.

For the first two weeks after surgery, she couldn’t stand up or sit down on her own. She had trouble moving around and even had to sit down to take a shower. It took a full month until she started to get comfortable enough to go on short, easy walks and start to regain her mobility.

“The first month post-op was really devastating,” she said. “I was in a lot of pain, and it was hot and I was uncomfortable. I’m glad he did it the way he did it, but it was a really, really challenging recovery.”

All the while, though, Constien never stopped thinking about getting back to racing and the prospect of what 2024 might hold. That’s what helped her make a huge mental shift two weeks after the surgery and refocus all of her energy into returning to peak form and chasing another Olympic berth.

That was obviously easier said than done, but Constien has grown used to working hard and battling adversity. Her college career had been disrupted by injuries and slow progress. She was overlooked by brands when she got out of school in 2019 and again in 2021 after she slashed 7 seconds off her personal best time to finish third at the U.S. Olympic Trials and earn a spot in the Tokyo Olympics. And after she ran two strong races in Tokyo—the first international races of her career—to make it to the final and place 12th overall.

Even when she’s been overlooked or discounted, Constien has always believed in her potential. And that’s why, after a year of hyper-focused dedication, she’s on the brink of making it back onto Team USA to compete in this summer’s Paris Olympics.

“I’ve told her many times, no matter what happens after this point, what a comeback it’s already been,” Lewis said. “But what’s amazing about her is that, after that initial rough part, when she wasn’t able to walk, she just did an incredible job of compartmentalizing and being focused. I never saw her get sad or upset. She was always just super clinical about everything and really happy.  It’s been incredible to watch.”

All last summer and fall, she continued building strength and began rejuvenating her aerobic strength—running more miles, getting stronger and getting faster. And that was amid working full-time doing quality assurance work for Stryd, a Boulder-based company that makes a wearable device to monitor running power and gait metrics. Heather Burroughs and Mark Wetmore, who have coached Constien since 2014, knew she had made considerable progress. But it wasn’t until early February that they began to realize the magnitude of her comeback.

“There was a point this winter, when she wasn’t running races, yet but she had some workouts that impressed me,” Burroughs said. “I wasn’t really worried about her ability to get fit enough the last four months, but it was whether her knee could handle the steeple work, especially the water jump.”

They never discussed that—because there was no point—and Constien went boldly into the outdoor season with her goal of breaking the 9:41.00 Olympic Trials qualifying standard. She started training outdoors in March and started her season by running a strong 1500-meter race on April 12 near Los Angeles (she won her heat in 4:12.27). But it wasn’t until May 11—roughly a year after she blew out her knee in Doha—that she ran her first steeple race.

At the Sound Running Track Fest, she ran patiently (with a smile on her face most of the way) just off the lead for the seven-and-a-half-lap race. She then unleashed an explosive closing kick to outrun Kaylee Mitchell down the homestretch and win in 9:27.22—securing her place in the Olympic Trials. That got her an invitation to the Prefontaine Classic, an international Diamond League meet on May 25 in Eugene, where she ran the best race of her life and finished fifth—and first American—in a new personal best of 9:14.29.

That put Constien at No. 7 on the all-time U.S. list. But more importantly, Constien closed hard after Uganda’s Peruth Chemutai had split the field apart en route to a world-leading 8:55.09, the sixth-fastest time in history.

“I’m more impressed by her comeback than she is, and it’s because I think she expected it,” Burroughs said. “It’s not that I didn’t expect it, but it was still improbable. But even now that she’s come back, she’s not impressed with herself at all. After the Prefontaine meet, I texted her about the race, and I got a five-word response—‘Let’s get back to work’—just very businesslike. She’s just dialed in and, to me, that says, ‘My big goal is yet to come.’”

For the last decade-plus, Emma Coburn and Courtney Freirichs have dominated the U.S. women’s steeplechase. They both suffered season-ending injuries this spring (broken ankle and torn ACL, respectively). Their absence leaves the event wide open for the likes of Constein, who is ranked second, and Krissy Gear, who enters the meet at the top seed (9:12.81) and as the defending national champion. But rising stars Courtney Wayment (9:14.48), Olivia Markezich (9:17:36), Gabrielle Jennings (9:18:03), and Kaylee Mitchell (9:21.00) are among several fast, young runners eager to battle for a spot on the Olympic team.

Constien knows she has two just goals to execute: run smart and fast enough to qualify for the finals on June 27, and then do whatever it takes to finish among the top three in that race.

Burroughs believes she’s as fit and as strong as she’s ever been, much improved since 2022, when she finished a disappointing eighth at the U.S. championships (9:42.96) while recovering from Covid. In fact, she’s even much better than her breakout year in 2021.

Over the past several weeks in Boulder, Constien has sharpened her fitness, including a final tuneup on June 12: a robust tempo run on the track with two hurdles per lap, which was preceded and followed by several fast 200-meter repeats. She’s also sharpened her perspective.

“There were definitely some dark times where I doubted myself and I doubted the process,” Constien said. “But I kind of just had to lock those thoughts away and just try to focus on the positive. And it’s really paid off.

“I never gave up when I didn’t have a sponsor and had to figure it all out on my own,” she added. “So tearing my ACL, yeah, that really sucks. That was really, really hard. But a part of me was like, ‘I’ve already done the hardest thing ever’ just by staying in the sport on my own. I look at it like, ‘I am the toughest person out here regardless of that ACL.’”

(06/22/2024) Views: 145 ⚡AMP
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Under Armour Diversity Series: Toronto’s Karla Del Grande

For multiple world record holder Karla Del Grande, age is just a state of mind.

Under Armour has teamed up with Canadian Running to produce the Under Armour Diversity Series—an exclusive feature content series designed to highlight and promote individuals and organizations who have demonstrated a commitment to grow the sport of running, support those who are underrepresented and help others. The series features stories and podcasts highlighting these extraordinary Canadians who are making a difference in their communities and on the national running scene.

Karla Del Grande has a few big goals: First, she wants to set another world record, and take home another medal at World Masters Athletics Championships this year. She wants to support her track team at Variety Village in Toronto. And she really, really wants masters athletes to know that the track is open to everyone.

After all, she didn’t find her way there until she was nearly 50 years old. Now, at 71, she’s become a poster-woman of the sport in Canada, thanks to her indomitable record-setting, her sheer dedication to the sport and her love of bringing new people in.

We met up on a snowy day in March at Variety Village, where she trains and runs with the Variety Village Athletics Club. I arrived late, just in time to catch the last 15 minutes of her workout class. Rather than let me stand on the sidelines, she jogged over, grabbed me by the hand, and pulled me into the group class, where athletes of all ages, shapes, sizes and abilities started doing rubber band work with a partner. 

(“Everybody has the right to be part of a gym and have that social connection, no matter who you are, whether you’re a wheelchair user, or you have a mobility issue or anything else,” says Jill Ross Moreash, the class instructor, a former teacher and one of the fittest women I’ve ever seen, told me after class.)

Del Grande handed me a band after I shucked my winter coat and shoes. “You can be my partner,” she said. The workout was not easy.

This isn’t the first time Del Grande has helped bring someone into one of the workout classes. She recalls another snowy day, when she was heading into Variety Village for track practice, and she noticed an older woman standing next to her car, looking bereft. Del Grande started up a conversation, quickly learning the woman had recently been widowed and was hoping to find some conversation and community, but was overwhelmed about going into the gym. Del Grande shepherded her in, gave her a tour, helped her get signed up and brought her to class. She’s so well known as a woman who brings people into the community that she’s honoured on the wall at Variety Village.

That’s how she is on the track, as well: open and generous with her time (while still training to set world records, of course).

As a young girl, Del Grande was sporty, but she and her gym bestie (a race walker named Nicky Slovitt) both recall how, in gym class when they were in school, girls weren’t encouraged to run. That whole bit about our ovaries falling out if we sprinted or high jumped? Not a joke, if you were a gym teacher in the 60s, apparently. They believed it.

The track club at Variety Village isn’t just masters athletes; head coach Jamal Miller has created a vast community of runners ranging from pre-teens to the 70+ age group, with elite runners training alongside new track athletes. “We’re the best kept secret in Scarborough,” says assistant coach Katie Watkins. “We’re in a little bubble of what the world should be. Our track club is quite a diverse team. We cater to people of all abilities, from those living with disabilities to grassroots runners, starting off at age four, all the way up to world champions. The unique part about Jamal and how he trains is that if you’re interested, and you want to try it, he wants to work with you.”

Del Grande is at Variety Village early most days of the week. On Monday, she swims or aqua-jogs, then does weights. (“It’s a longevity thing,” she says. “You need to have balance between focusing on performance but also thinking toward longevity.”) Tuesday, she trains on the indoor track that runs around Variety VIllage’s main gym space. Wednesday is another weight session, this time in a class, and she runs again Thursday. Friday through Sunday depend on what her competition schedule looks like–when we met up on Wednesday, she was racing on Sunday, so the rest of the week was relatively easy, to prepare for that.

Del Grande found the track by accident–a work friend introduced her to running workouts on the track, and it grew from there. At the time, she did casual 5K and 10K runs and races, but she wouldn’t call herself a runner. Her friend brought her along to a track workout held by a local shop. “I really liked the short stuff,” she recalls. “We’d be doing track workouts and everybody else would be complaining that you had to go fast, and going around the track over and over was boring. But I loved it. And  finally somebody said, ‘Well, why aren’t you racing it?'”

It was a lightbulb moment. “I thought adults just did road races,” she says. “It’s very hard to get out the information about the sprinting. But it exists–and there are adults doing high jump and shot put and all the other track and field sports, as well.”

She signed up, one thing led to another, and now, she’s one of the fastest female masters athletes in Canada.

“We always say that you’re never too old, you’re only too young to join Canadian Masters Athletics,” she laughs.

 

(06/14/2024) Views: 230 ⚡AMP
by Molly Hurford
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Youngster Simon Koech is plotting an Olympic debut

Steeplechaser Simon Koech is plotting an Olympic debut as he fights for a slot at the upcoming national trials.

African Games bronze medallist Simon Koech will be looking to bounce back as he eyes the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

Koech’s main focus will be to qualify for the event at the Olympic trials coming up this weekend at the Nyayo National Stadium. The 21-year-old has been in fair shape this season, and he has hopes to rewrite history in the city of love.

The former world under-20 bronze medallist is aware of the tough opposition awaiting him in the trials and he is ready to striker.

“For now, the most important thing for me is to work extra hard and get into the Kenyan team,” Koech said following his second-place finish at the National Championships that were held at the Ulinzi Sports Complex.

The event was also used as trials for the Africa Senior Athletics Championships in Douala, Cameroon, and Koech intends to also improve on his bronze medal from the African Games.

He opened his season with a second-place finish at the African Games trials before finishing third at the African Games. He also competed in the 5000m, where he finished eighth.

“Whenever I step foot on the track, I usually start planning on the best way to execute a race. It depends on the pace and hoe each lap is going. I expect to do much better with the help of God,” he added.

Meanwhile, Koech made an impact last season, with a qualification to the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary but did not live up to the billing, fading to finish seventh.

However, he bounced back at the Prefontaine Classic, the Diamond League Meeting final in Eugene, Oregon, where he claimed his first trophy. Koech clocked a stunning 8:06.26 to win the race, sending warning shots to Ethiopians and Moroccans this Olympic season.

The youngster launched his career in 2021, where he made his first national team, competing at the World Under-20 Championships. In 2022, Koech did not compete in any race and he made a comeback in 2023.

(06/11/2024) Views: 233 ⚡AMP
by Abigael Wuafula
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Paris 2024 Olympic Games

Paris 2024 Olympic Games

For this historic event, the City of Light is thinking big! Visitors will be able to watch events at top sporting venues in Paris and the Paris region, as well as at emblematic monuments in the capital visited by several millions of tourists each year. The promise of exceptional moments to experience in an exceptional setting! A great way to...

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TWENTY-ONE YEARS AGO, HE WAS INCARCERATED FOR LIFE. LAST YEAR, HE RAN THE NYC MARATHON A RADICALLY CHANGED MAN.

RAHSAAN ROUNDED THOMAS A CORNER. Gravel underfoot gave way to pavement, then dirt. Another left turn, and then another. In the distance, beyond the 30-foot wall and barbed wire separating him from the world outside, he could see the 2,500-foot peak of Mount Tamalpais. He completed the 400-meter loop another 11 times for an easy three miles.

Rahsaan wasn’t the only runner circling the Yard that evening in the fall of 2017. Some 30 people had joined San Quentin State Prison’s 1,000 Mile Club by the time Rahsaan arrived at the prison four years prior, and the group had only grown since. Starting in January each year, the club held weekly workouts and monthly races in the Yard, culminating with the San Quentin Marathon—105 laps—in November. The 2017 running would be Rahsaan’s first go at the 26.2 distance. 

For Rahsaan and the other San Quentin runners, Mount Tam, as it’s known, had become a beacon of hope. It’s the site of the legendary Dipsea, a 7.4-mile technical trail from Mill Valley to Stinson Beach. After the 1,000 Mile Club was founded in 2005, it became tradition for club members who got released to run that trail; their stories soon became lore among the runners still inside. “I’ve been hearing about the Dipsea for the longest,” Rahsaan says. 

Given his sentence, he never expected to run it. Rahsaan was serving 55 years to life for second-degree murder. Life outside, let alone running over Mount Tam all the way to the Pacific, felt like a million miles away. But Rahsaan loved to run—it gave him a sense of freedom within the prison walls, and more than that, it connected him to the community of the 1,000 Mile Club. So if the volunteer coaches and other runners wanted to talk about the Dipsea, he was happy to listen. 

We’ll get to the details of Rahsaan’s crime later, but it’s useful to lead with some enduring truths: People can grow in even the harshest environments, and running, whether around a lake or a prison yard, has the power to change lives. In fact, Rahsaan made a lot of changes after he went to prison: He became a mentor to at-risk youth, began facing the reality of his violence, and discovered the power of education and his own pen. Along the way, Rahsaan also prayed for clemency. The odds were never in his favor. 

To be clear, this is not a story about a wrongful conviction. Rahsaan took the life of another human being, and he’s spent more than two decades reckoning with that fact. He doesn’t expect forgiveness. Rather, it’s a story about a man who you could argue was set up to fail, and for more than 30 years that’s exactly what he did. But it’s also a story of navigating the delta between memory and fact and finding peace in the idea that sometimes the most formative things in our lives may not be exactly as they seem. And mostly, it’s a story of transformation—of learning to do good in a world that too often encourages the opposite. 

RAHSAAN “NEW YORK” THOMAS GREW UP IN BROWNSVILLE, A ONE-SQUARE-MILE SECTION OF EASTERN Brooklyn wedged between Crown Heights and East New York. As a kid he’d spend hours on his Commodore 64 computer trying to code his own games. He loved riding his skateboard down the slope of his building’s courtyard. On weekends, he and his friends liked to play roller hockey there, using tree branches for sticks and a crushed soda can for a puck.

Once a working-class Jewish enclave, Brownsville started to change in the 1960s, when many white families relocated to the suburbs, Black families moved in, and city agencies began denying residents basic services like trash pickup and streetlight repairs. John Lindsay, New York’s mayor at the time, once referred to the area as “Bombsville” on account of all the burned-out buildings and rubble-filled empty lots. By 1971, the year after Rahsaan was born, four out of five families in Brownsville were on government assistance. More than 50 years later, Brownsville still has a poverty rate close to 30 percent. The neighborhood’s credo, “Never ran, never will,” is typically interpreted as a vow of resilience in the face of adversity. For some, like Rahsaan, it has always meant something else: Don’t back down. 

The first time Rahsaan didn’t run, he was 5 or 6 years old. He had just moved into Atlantic Towers, a pair of 24-story buildings beset with rotting walls and exposed sewer pipes that housed more than 700 families. Three older kids welcomed him with their fists. Even if Rahsaan had tried to run, he wouldn’t have gotten far. At that age, Rahsaan was skinny, slow, and uncoordinated. He got picked on a lot. Worse, he was light-skinned and frequently taunted as “white boy.” The insult didn’t even make sense to Rahsaan, whose mother is Black and whose father was Puerto Rican. “I feel Black,” he says. “I don’t feel [like] anything else. I feel like myself.” 

Rahsaan hated being called white. It was the mid-1970s; Roots had just aired on ABC, and Rahsaan associated being white with putting people in chains. Five-Percent Nation, a Black nationalist movement founded in Harlem, had risen to prominence and ascribed godlike status to Black men. Plus, all the best athletes were Black: Muhammad Ali. Reggie Jackson. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. In Rahsaan’s world, somebody white was considered physically inferior. 

Raised by his mother, Jacqueline, Rahsaan never really knew his father, Carlos, who spent much of Rahsaan’s childhood in prison. In 1974, Jacqueline had another son, Aikeem, with a different man, and raised her two boys as a single mom. Carlos also had another son, Carl, whom Rahsaan met only once, when Carl was a baby. Still, Rahsaan believed “the myth,” as he puts it now, that one day Carlos would return and relieve him, his mom, and Aikeem of the life they were living. Jacqueline had a bachelor’s degree in sociology and worked three jobs to keep her sons clothed and fed. She nurtured Rahsaan’s interest in computers and sent him to a parochial school that had a gifted program. Rahsaan describes his family as “upper-class poor.” They had more than a lot of families, but never enough to get out of Brownsville, away from the drugs and the violence.

Some traumas are small but are compounded by frequency and volume; others are isolated occurrences but so significant that they define a person for a lifetime. Rahsaan remembers his grandmother telling him that his father had been found dead in an alley, throat slashed, wallet missing. Rahsaan was 12 at the time, and he understood it to mean his father had been murdered for whatever cash he had on him—maybe $200, not even. Now he would never come home. 

Rahsaan felt like something he didn’t even have had been taken from him. “It just made me different, like, angry,” he says. By the time he got to high school, Rahsaan resolved to never let anyone take anything from him or his family again. “I started feeling like, next time somebody tryin’ to rob me, I’m gonna stab him,” he says. He started carrying a knife, a razor, rug cutters—“all kinds of sharp stuff.” Rahsaan never instigated a fight, but he refused to back down when threatened or attacked. It was a matter of survival.

The first time Rahsaan picked up a gun, it was to avenge his brother. Aikeem, who was 14 at the time, had been shot in the leg by a guy in the neighborhood who was trying to rob him and Rahsaan. A few months later, Rahsaan saw the shooter on the street, ran to the apartment of a drug dealer he knew, and demanded a gun. Rahsaan, then 18, went back outside and fired three shots at the guy. Rahsaan was arrested and sent to Rikers Island, then released after three days: The guy he’d shot was wanted for several crimes and refused to testify against Rahsaan. 

By day, Rahsaan tried to lead a straight life. He graduated from high school in 1988 and got a job taking reservations for Pan Am Airways. He lost the job after Flight 103 exploded in a terrorist bombing over Scotland that December, and the company downsized. Rahsaan got a new job in the mailroom at Debevoise & Plimpton, a white-shoe law firm in midtown Manhattan. He could type 70 words a minute and hoped to become a paralegal one day. 

Rahsaan carried a gun to work because he’d been conditioned to expect the worst when he returned to Brownsville at night. “If you constantly being traumatized, you constantly feeling unsafe, it’s really hard to be in a good mind space and be a good person,” he says. “I mean, you have to be extraordinary.”

After high school, some of Rahsaan’s friends went to Old Westbury, a state university on Long Island with a rolling green campus. He would sometimes visit them, and at a Halloween party one night, he got into a scrape with some other guys and fired his gun. Rahsaan spent the next year awaiting trial in county jail, the following year at Cayuga State Prison in upstate New York, and another 22 months after that on work release, living in a halfway house in Queens. He got a job working the merch table for the Blue Man Group at Astor Place Theater, but the pay wasn’t enough to support the two kids he’d had not long after getting out of Cayuga.

He started selling a little crack around 1994, when he was 24. By 27 he was dealing full-time. He didn’t want to be a drug dealer, though. “I just felt desperate,” he says. Rahsaan had learned to cut hair in Cayuga, and he hoped to save enough money to open a barbershop. 

He never got that opportunity. By the summer of 1999, things in New York had gotten too hot for Rahsaan and he fled to California. For the first time in his 28 years, Rahsaan Thomas was on the run. 

EVERY RUNNER HAS AN ORIGIN STORY. SOME START IN SCHOOL, OTHERS TAKE UP RUNNING TO IMPROVE their health or beat addiction. Many stories share common themes, if not exact details. And some, like Rahsaan’s, are absolutely singular. 

Rahsaan drove west with ambitions to break into the music business. He wanted to be a manager, maybe start his own label. His new girlfriend would join him a week later in La Jolla, where they’d found an apartment, so Rahsaan went first to Big Bear, a small town deep in the San Bernardino Mountains 100 miles east of Los Angeles. It’s where Ryan Hall grew up, and where he discovered running at age 13 by circling Big Bear Lake—15 miles—one afternoon on a whim. Hall has recounted that story so many times that it’s likely even better known than the American records he would go on to set in the half and full marathons. 

Rahsaan didn’t know anything about Ryan Hall, who at the time was just about to start his junior year at Big Bear High School and begin a two-year reign as the California state cross-country champion. He didn’t even know there was a lake in Big Bear. Rahsaan went to Big Bear to box with a friend, Shannon Briggs, a two-time World Boxing Organization heavyweight champion. 

Briggs and Rahsaan had grown up together in Atlantic Towers. As kids they liked to ride bikes in the courtyard, and later they went to the same high school in Fort Greene. But Briggs’s mom had become addicted to drugs by his sophomore year, and they were evicted from the Towers. Briggs and Rahsaan lost touch. Briggs began spending time at a boxing gym in East New York; often he’d sleep there. He had talent in the ring. People thought he might even be the next Mike Tyson, another native of Brownsville who was himself a world heavyweight champ from 1986 to 1989. 

Briggs went pro in 1991, and by the end of that decade he was earning seven figures fighting guys like George Foreman and Lennox Lewis. Rahsaan was at those fights. The two had reconnected in 1996, when Rahsaan was trying to rebuild his life after prison and Briggs’s boxing career was on the rise. In August 1999, Briggs was gearing up to fight Francois Botha, a South African known as the White Buffalo, and had decamped to Big Bear to train. “He was like, ‘Yo, come live with me, bro,’” Rahsaan recalls.

Briggs was running three miles a day to increase his stamina. His route was a simple out-and-back on a wooded trail, and on one of Rahsaan’s first days there, he decided to join him. Rahsaan hadn’t done so much as a push-up since getting out of prison, but he wanted to hang with his friend. Briggs and his training partners set off at their usual clip; within a few minutes they’d disappeared from Rahsaan’s view. By the time they were doubling back, he’d barely made it a half mile. 

Rahsaan never liked feeling physically inferior. So back in La Jolla, he started running a few times a week, going to the gym, whatever it took. Before long he was up to five miles. And the next time he ran with Briggs, he could keep up. After that, he says, “Running just became my thing.” 

FOR YEARS, RAHSAAN HAD BUCKED AT TAKING RESPONSIBILITY for the murder that sent him to prison. The other guys had guns, too, he insisted. If he hadn’t shot them, they’d have shot him. It was self-defense. 

In the moment, he had no reason to think otherwise. It was April 2000. A friend had arranged to sell $50,000 worth of weed, and Rahsaan went along to help. They met in the parking lot of a strip mall in L.A., broad daylight. The buyers brought guns instead of cash, things went sideways, and, in a flash of adrenaline, Rahsaan used the 9mm he’d packed for protection, killing one man and putting the other in critical condition. He was 29 and had been in California eight months. 

After awaiting trial for three years in the L.A. County jails, Rahsaan was sentenced to 55 years to life. But for the crushing finality of it, the grim interminability, the prospect of never seeing the outside world again, he was on familiar ground. Even Brownsville had been a kind of prison—one defined, as Rahsaan puts it now, by division and neglect, a world unto itself that societal forces made nearly impossible to escape. He was used to life inside. 

Rahsaan spent the next 10 years shuttling between maximum security facilities, the bulk of those years at Calipatria State Prison, 30 miles from the Mexican border. By the time he got to San Quentin, he was 42. 

As part of the prison’s restorative justice program, Rahsaan met a mother of two young men who’d been shot, one killed and the other critically injured. Her pain, her dignity, her ability to forgive her sons’ shooters prompted Rahsann to reflect on his own crime. “It made me feel like, damn, I did this to his mother,” he says. “I did this to my mother. You don’t do that to Black mothers. They go through so much.” 

 

ABOUT 2 MILLION PEOPLE ARE INCARCERATED IN THE UNITED States today, roughly eight times as many as in the early 1970s. Nearly half of them are Black, despite Black Americans representing only 13 percent of the U.S. population.

This disparity reflects what the legal scholar and author Michelle Alexander calls “the new Jim Crow,” an invisible system of oppression that has impeded Black men in particular since the days of slavery. In her book of the same title, Alexander unpacks 400 years of policies and social attitudes that have created a society in which one in three Black males will be incarcerated at some point in their lives, and where even those who have been paroled often face a lifetime of discrimination and disenfranchisement, like losing the right to vote. If you hit a wall every time you try to do something, are you really free? More than half of the people released from U.S. jails and prisons return within three years. 

After Rahsaan got out of Cayuga back in 1992, with a felony on his permanent record, he’d had trouble doing just about anything legit: renting an apartment, finding a decent job, securing a loan. Though he’d paid for the Mercedes SUV he drove to California, the lease was in his girlfriend’s name. Selling crack had provided financial solvency, and his success in New York made him feel invincible. One weed deal in California seemed easy enough. But he wasn’t naive. Rahsaan packed a gun, and if he felt he had to use it, he would. 

Today Rahsaan feels deep remorse for what transpired from there. But back then he saw no other way. “When we have a grievance, we hold court in the street,” he says of growing up in the Brownsville projects. “There’s no court of law, there’s no lawsuits.” Even while incarcerated, Rahsaan continued to meet threats with violence. But he also found that in prison, as in Brownsville, respect was temporary. “If you stab somebody, people leave you alone,” he says. “But you gotta keep doing it.” 

Not long after Rahsaan got to Calipatria, around 2003 or 2004, an older man named Samir pulled him aside. “Youngster, there’s nobody that you can beat up that’s gonna get you out of prison,” Rahsaan remembers Samir saying. “In fact, that’s gonna make it worse.” Rahsaan thought about Muhammad Ali, how he would get his opponents angry on purpose so they’d swing until they wore themselves out. He realized that when you’re angry, you’re not thinking clearly or moving effectively. You’re not responding; you’re reacting.

The next time Rahsaan saw Samir was in the yard at Calipatria. They were both doing laps, and the two men started to run together. Rahsaan told Samir about the impact his words had on him, how they helped him see he’d always let “somebody else’s hangup become my hangup, somebody else’s trauma become my trauma.” Each time that happened, he realized, he slid backward. 

Rahsaan began exploring various religions. He liked how the men in the Muslim prayer group at Calipatria encouraged him to think about his past, and the way they talked about God’s plan. He thought back to that day in April 2000 and came to believe that God would have gotten him out of that situation without a gun. “If I was meant to die, I was meant to die,” he says. “If I’m not, I’m not.” He started to see confrontations as tests. “I stopped feeding into the negativity and started passing the test, and I’ve been passing it consistently since,” he says. 

CLAIRE GELBART PLACED HER BELONGINGS IN A PLASTIC TRAY AND WALKED THROUGH THE METAL detectors at the visitors’ entrance at San Quentin. She crossed the Yard to the prison’s newsroom. It was late fall of 2017, and Gelbart had started volunteering with the San Quentin Journalism Guild, an initiative to teach incarcerated people the fundamentals of newswriting and interviewing techniques.

Historically infamous for housing people like Charles Manson and Sirhan Sirhan, the man convicted of killing Robert Kennedy, and for having the only death row for men in California, San Quentin has in recent years instituted reforms. By the time Rahsaan arrived, the facility was offering dozens of programs, had an onsite college, and granted some of the individuals housed there considerable freedom of movement. Hundreds of volunteers pass through its gates every year.

Rahsaan was in the newsroom working on a story for the San Quentin News, where he was a staff writer. Gelbart and Rahsaan started to chat, and within minutes they were bonding over running. They talked about the San Quentin Marathon—in which Rahsaan was proud to have placed 13th out of 13 finishers in 6 hours, 12 minutes, and 23 seconds—and Gelbart’s plans to run her first half marathon that spring. “It was like I lost all sense of place and time,” Gelbart says, “like I could have been in a coffee shop in San Francisco talking to someone.” 

In weekly visits over the next year, Gelbart and Rahsaan talked about their families, their hopes for the future. Gelbart had just graduated from Tufts University with dreams of being a writer. Rahsaan was working toward a college degree, writing for numerous outlets like the Marshall Project and Vice, and learning about podcasting and documentary filmmaking. In 2019, when Gelbart was offered a job in New York, she told Rahsaan she felt torn about leaving—they’d become close friends. They made a pact that if Rahsaan ever got out of prison, they would run the New York City Marathon together. “We couldn’t think of a better thing to celebrate him coming home,” Gelbart says.

When Rahsaan was sentenced, he still had hope for a successful appeal. But when his appeal was denied in 2011, he realized he was never going home. His parole date was set for 2085. 

At the time, though, the political appetite for mass incarceration was starting to shift. Gray Davis, who was governor of California from 1999 to 2003, had never granted a single pardon; and his successor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, granted only 15. Then, between 2011 and 2019, Governor Jerry Brown pardoned or commuted the sentences of more than 1,300 people. Studies show that the recidivism rate among those who had been serving life sentences is less than 5 percent in a number of states, including California. And according to the U.S. Bureau of Justice, 98 percent of people convicted of homicide who are released from prison do not commit another murder. 

In the fall of 2018, Governor Brown approved Rahsaan for commutation, but it was now up to his successor, Gavin Newsom, to follow through. And until a release date was set, there were no guarantees. 

Back at San Quentin, Rahsaan was busier than ever. He was working on his fourth film, Friendly Signs, a documentary funded by the Marshall Project and the Sundance Institute; it was about fellow 1,000 Mile Club member Tommy Lee Wickerd’s efforts to start an ASL program to aid a group of deaf and hard-of-hearing newcomers to the prison. He had recently been named chair of the San Quentin satellite chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and became a cohost and coproducer of Ear Hustle, a popular podcast about life in San Quentin that in 2020 was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize. He was also sketching out plans for a nonprofit, Empowerment Ave, to build connections to the outside world for other incarcerated writers and artists and to advocate for fair compensation. And after five years, he was just one history class away from getting his associate’s degree from Mount Tamalpais College.

 

In January 2020, Rahsaan began his final semester, eager to don his cap and gown that June. MTC always organized a festive graduation ceremony in the prison’s visiting room, inviting families, friends, students, and staff. Then COVID-19 hit. Lockdown. All classes canceled until further notice. The 1,000 Mile Club suspended workouts and races as well, its 70-plus members scattering throughout the prison, not sure when or if they’d ever get together again. Covid would officially kill 28 people at San Quentin and make many more very ill. College graduation, let alone races in the Yard and parole hearings, would have to wait.

For the first time since arriving at San Quentin, Rahsaan felt claustrophobic in his 4-by-10-foot cell. He couldn’t work on his films or go to the newsroom. All he could do was read and write, alone. After George Floyd was murdered that May, Rahsaan fell into a depression. He remembered something Chadwick Boseman had said in a 2018 commencement speech at Howard University: “Remember, the struggles along the way shape you for your purpose.”

Rahsaan decided his purpose was to write. Outside journalists couldn’t enter the prison during the pandemic, but their publications were thirsty for prison Covid stories. Rahsaan saw an opportunity. Between June 2020 and February 2023, he published 42 articles, and thanks to Empowerment Ave, he knew what those articles were worth. As a writer for the San Quentin News, Rahsaan earned $36 a month; those 42 articles for external publications netted him $30,000.

DOZENS OF PEOPLE GATHERED OUTSIDE SAN QUENTIN’S GATES. IT WAS A FRIGID MORNING IN EARLY February 2023; the sun hadn’t yet risen. Among those assembled were two cofounders of Ear Hustle, Earlonne Woods and Nigel Poor, along with executive producer Bruce Wallace, recording equipment in hand. A procession of white vans, each carrying one or two men, arrived one by one. After three or four hours, the air had warmed to a balmy 60 degrees. Another van pulled up, Rahsaan got out, and the crowd erupted. Nearly 23 years after he’d been sentenced to 55 years to life, Rahsaan Thomas had been released. 

Rahsaan got into a Hyundai sedan and was soon headed away from San Quentin. Wallace sat in the back, recording Rahsaan seeing water, mountains, and a highway from the front seat of a car for the first time in decades. “I feel like I’m escaping,” he joked. “Is anybody chasing us? This is amazing. This is crazy.” 

Rahsaan called his mom, who wasn’t able to make it to California for his release.

“Hey, Ma, it’s really real,” he said, breathless with joy. “I’m free. No more handcuffs.”

Jacqueline’s exuberance can be heard in her laughter, her curiosity about what his first meal would be (steak and French toast), and her motherly rebuke of his plan to buy a Tesla.

“You ain’t been drivin’ in a while and I know you ain’t the best driver in the world,” she teased. 

Rahsaan moved into a transitional house in Oakland and wasted no time adjusting to life in the 21st century. He got an iPhone, and a friend gave him a crash course in protecting himself from cyberattacks. He’s almost fallen for a few. “There’s some rough hoods on the internet,” he jokes. Earlonne Woods, who was paroled in 2018, and others taught Rahsaan how to use social media. He opened Instagram and Facebook accounts and worked on his own website, rahsaannewyorkthomas.com, which a friend had built for him while he was in San Quentin to promote his creative projects, Empowerment Ave, and even a line of merch. 

Despite all the excitement and chaos, Rahsaan never forgot about the pact he’d made with Claire Gelbart. He found her on Facebook and sent a simple, two-line message: “Start training. We have a marathon to run.” 

IN LATE MARCH, SIX WEEKS AFTER HIS RELEASE, RAHSAAN FLEW TO NEW YORK CITY. IT WAS THE FIRST time he’d been home in nearly a quarter century, and he hadn’t flown since before 9/11. The security protocols at SFO reminded him more of prison than of the last time he’d been in an airport. Actually, “it was worse than prison,” he jokes. They confiscated his jar of honey.

The changes to his home borough were no less surprising. He’d come to New York to take work meetings, see family, and catch a Nets game at Barclays Center in downtown Brooklyn. Rahsaan barely recognized Barclays; it had been a U-Haul lot the last time he was there, and skyscrapers now towered over Fulton Mall, where he used to buy Starter jackets at Dr. Jay’s and Big Daddy Kane tapes at the Wiz. 

He met up with Gelbart on Flatbush Avenue, where come November they’d be just hitting mile 8 of the New York City Marathon. They hadn’t been allowed to touch at San Quentin and weren’t sure how to greet each other on the outside. “It was weird at first, because I was like, do we hug?” Gelbart recalls. But the awkwardness faded fast, and as they walked, Gelbart saw a different side of Rahsaan. “He seemed so much more relaxed,” she says. “Much happier, much lighter.” 

Back in 1985, just a few blocks from where Rahsaan and Gelbart walked now, Rahsaan, his brother Aikeem, and his friend Troy had been on their way home from the Fulton Mall when out of nowhere, about a dozen guys rolled up on them. They started beating on Troy and, for a minute, left Rahsaan and Aikeem alone. Images of his father, throat slashed, flashed through Rahsaan’s mind. He pulled a rug cutter out of his pocket, ran to the smallest guy in the group, and jabbed it into the back of his head. “They looked at me like they were gonna kill me,” Rahsaan says. He threw the blade to the ground, slid his hand inside his coat, and held it there. “Y’all wanna play? We gonna play,” he said. The bluff worked; the guys ran. It was the first time Rahsaan had ever stabbed someone. 

Change sometimes occurs gradually, and then all at once. That was a different Brooklyn, a different Rahsaan. He began to confront his own violence when he had met Samir some 20 years before, and continued to do so through his studies, his faith, his work in restorative justice, and his own writing. But the origin of his tendency toward violence, the death of his father, remained firmly rooted in his psyche. Then, in 2017, Rahsaan spoke for the first time with his estranged half-brother, Carl. 

Carl had read Rahsaan’s work, and asked why he always said their father had been murdered.

“That’s what grandma told me,” Rahsaan said. 

“But he wasn’t murdered,” Carl told him. “He killed himself.” 

And it wasn’t in 1982, as Rahsaan remembered, but in 1985—the same year Rahsaan started carrying blades. 

Rahsaan didn’t believe it until Carl sent him a copy of the suicide note. Even then he remained in shock. “To think I justified violence, treating robbery like a life-or-death situation, over a lie,” he says. Jacqueline was as surprised as Rahsaan to learn the truth of Carlos’s death. He never seemed troubled or depressed to her when they were together, but, “You can’t really read people,” she says. “You don’t know.” 

Rahsaan still can’t account for why his grandmother told him what she did, nor for the discrepancy between his memory and the facts. Regardless, after more than 30 years, Rahsaan was finally able to let go of the one trauma that had calcified into an instinct to kill or be killed. And he has no intention of dredging it back up. 

THE FASTEST RUNNER IN THE 1,000 MILE CLUB’S HISTORY IS MARKELLE “THE GAZELLE” TAYLOR, WHO was paroled in 2019 and went on to run 2:52 in the 2022 Boston Marathon. Rahsaan is the slowest. At San Quentin, he was often the last one to finish a race, but that wasn’t the point—he liked being out in the Yard with the guys. It gave him a sense of belonging, and not just to the 1,000 Mile Club, but to the running community beyond.   

Like every other 1,000 Miler who gets released from San Quentin, Rahsaan had a rite of passage to conquer. On Sunday morning, May 7, 2023, he met a handful of other runners from the club and a few volunteer coaches in Mill Valley. After a decade of gazing up at Mount Tam from the Yard as he completed one 400-meter loop after another, Rahsaan was finally about to run over the mountain all the way to the Pacific. 

The runners did a few final stretches, wished one another luck, and started to run. Almost immediately they had to climb some 700 stairs, many made of stone, and the course only got more treacherous from there. Uneven footing, singletrack paths, and 2,000-plus feet of elevation all conspire to make the Dipsea notoriously difficult. The giant redwoods and Douglas firs along the course were lost on Rahsaan; he never took his eyes off the ground. 

One of the coaches, Jim Maloney, stayed with Rahsaan as his guide, and to help him if he slipped or fell. Markelle Taylor came too, but said he’d meet them in Stinson Beach. He knew how dangerous the trail was, Rahsaan says, and had vowed to never run it again. After his own initiation, Rahsaan decided that he, too, would never do it again. “I’ve been shot at,” he says. “I’ve been in physical danger. I don’t want to revisit danger.”

Rahsaan now logs most of his miles on a treadmill because of knee issues, but on occasion he ventures out to do the 3.4-mile loop around Lake Merritt, a lagoon in the heart of Oakland. He decided to use the New York City Marathon to raise money for Empowerment Ave, and to accept donations until he crossed the finish line in Central Park. Gelbart wrote a training plan for him and got him a new pair of shoes. In prison, Rahsaan had run in the same pair of Adidas for three years, and he was excited to learn about the maximalist shoe movement. Gelbart tried to interest him in Hokas, but Rahsaan thought they were ugly. He wanted Nikes. 

In June, Gelbart went to the Bay Area to visit family and met Rahsaan for a six-mile run around Lake Merritt. As they looped the lake at a conversational 11:30 pace, they talked about work, relationships, and, of course, the New York City Marathon. Rahsaan was disappointed to learn that he would probably not be the last person to finish. (He still holds the record for the slowest San Quentin Marathon in its 15-year history, and he hopes no one ever beats it.) Besides, the more time he spent on the course in New York, he figured, the longer people would have to donate to Empowerment Ave.

On Sunday, November 5, Gelbart and Rahsaan made their way to Staten Island. Waiting at the base of the Verrazzano Bridge, Gelbart recorded Rahsaan singing along to Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York” for Instagram, and captioned the video “back where he belongs.” They documented much of their race as they floated through Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, and the Bronx: greeting friends along the course, enjoying a lollipop on the Queensboro Bridge, beaming even as their pace slowed from 11:45 per mile for the first 5K to 16:30 for the last. Rahsaan finished in six hours, 26 minutes, and 21 seconds, placing 48,221 out of 51,290 runners. The next day, he sent me a text: “The marathon was pure love.” What’s more, he received more than $15,000 in donations for Empowerment Ave, enough to start a writing program at a women’s prison in Texas. 

Every runner has an origin story. Every runner finds a reason to keep going. At Calipatria, Rahsaan liked to joke that he ran because if an earthquake ever came along and brought down the prison’s walls, he needed to be in shape so he could escape and run to Mexico. In San Quentin, he ran for the community. Today he has a new reason. “I heard that running extends your life by 10 years,” he says, “and I gave away 22.” Now that he’s out, his motivation has never been higher. He has so much to do. 

(06/09/2024) Views: 286 ⚡AMP
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Six-Time Cancer Survivor Runs a Marathon on Every Continent

“Don’t let anyone tell you what you’re capable of. That’s for you to determine.”

For the last mile of the Antarctica Marathon, Jonathan Acott played one song on repeat. Trudging through snow and icy winds on the edge of the world, the runner from Surrey, United Kingdom, listened to Tim McGraw’s hit, “Live Like You Were Dying.” It was a fitting anthem for the six-time cancer survivor in his pursuit to run a marathon on all seven continents. 

With 500 yards remaining in the race, Acott took his headphones out. He wanted to be fully present for the homestretch of the seventh marathon. Running downhill toward a small tent with a timer next to the Russian research station, the 48-year-old made his way to the finish line area, where a group of volunteers and fellow competitors cheered him on. 

His legs sore from the descent, Acott took a moment to compose himself before stepping across the finish line, completing a challenge that seemed unimaginable five years ago. “The photographers are there and they say, ‘Put your arms up!’ But I don’t want to put my arms up. That’s not how I want to celebrate,” Acott said. “I needed to stop at that moment. There’ll be other mountains, but right now I just want to stop.”

Amid the devastation caused by multiple cancers and the arduous healing process that followed, Acott transformed his life, becoming a motivational speaker, coach, and avid runner intent on chasing epic goals. For Acott, becoming a member of the Seven Continents Club—645 men and 358 women who have completed 26.2 on all seven continents—is the latest example of the runner choosing to embrace every moment.

‘If I’m moving, I’m not dead.’ 

Acott’s cancer journey began 20 years ago. In 2004, he was diagnosed with testicular cancer at 29 years old. His first relapse occurred in 2007 when doctors discovered a tumor in his chest. He relapsed again in 2013 and 2016 and underwent back-to-back retroperitoneal lymph node dissections, a surgery to remove the lymph nodes in the back of the abdomen. In 2017, he was diagnosed with bowel cancer. The following year, doctors discovered he relapsed again. His final surgery in 2018 involved removing his kidney and spleen. The spleen ruptured during the procedure, which required an emergency blood transfusion on top of chemotherapy post-operation. 

In a span of 14 years, Acott underwent numerous rounds of chemotherapy (he estimates about seven months total) and six surgeries that left his body riddled with lifelong side effects, including permanent nerve damage and hearing loss. The experience also took a heavy toll on his mental health. At his lowest, Acott suffered from suicidal ideation. Working with a psychiatrist helped him cope and reframe his perspective. 

“Life is unfair to everybody. This just happens to be it,” Acott said. “And I can do two things. I can sit there and wallow about how miserable life is, or I can accept that life is difficult and hard and challenging, and you can make the most of it.”

Since 2018, Acott has been cancer free. After the last bout of the disease, his doctors encouraged him to start walking in the recovery process. He also lost his job after being unable to work during treatment. Walking not only gave him time to process his emotions, it also gave him something to work towards. In a few months, Acott was walking up to three hours at a time. 

After spending months building up to long distances, Acott decided he wanted to be more efficient by running. “I push because if I’m moving, I’m not dead,” Acott said. “If I’m moving further each day, I am getting healthier.”

Because Acott is immunocompromised and his body takes longer to heal now, he trains every other day. He’s also battling pain most of the time from scars and neuropathy in his feet, among other ailments, and needs to run a conservative pace most of the time. “My body has been through a lot, but it’s still capable of doing so much," he said. 

Choosing to live in optimism

In the fall of 2019—15 months after his last surgery—Acott raced the Berlin Marathon as a way to celebrate his comeback. He finished his first 26.2 in 4:58:38. Shortly after, he set out to complete the seven continents challenge. 

“I chose to apply myself to making the most of my time because I don’t know how much time I have,” Acott said. “It’s a choice about how you live. You can live in fear, and I am always scared, or I can live in optimism that I’m going to have the best life I possibly can.”

The following year, he ran the Africa leg at the 2020 Marrakech Marathon in 4:45:48. In 2020, he also took up motivational speaking on top of his full-time job as the head of guest experience at a business complex. 

After COVID restrictions were lifted, he finished the 2022 Austin Marathon in 5:15:28. The same year, he completed the South America portion by finishing the Curaçao Marathon in 5:09:16, trudging through flood waters on the course. 

He ran the Asia leg with a 5:15:33 at the 2023 Dubai Marathon along a desert roadway. Last fall, he covered Australia at the 2023 Perth Marathon with a finishing time of 5:01:40. On March 21, he completed the Antarctica Marathon in 5:38:16. 

Looking back on the experience, Acott remembered his surgeon’s warning after the last procedure. The doctor told him he wouldn’t be able to complete the same physical feats he used to do before cancer. Less than two months after completing the global marathon challenge, he’s already training for his next goal—breaking four hours in the marathon. 

“Don’t let anyone tell you what you’re capable of,” Acott said. “That’s for you to determine. Find what the best version of you looks like, and make it happen.”

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(06/09/2024) Views: 256 ⚡AMP
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Timothy Cheruiyot reveals struggles with injuries and overcoming challenges as he chases Olympic glory

Former world 1500m champion Timothy Cheruiyot has opened up on his struggles with injuries and his comeback plan to the top of the men's 1500m.

Olympic silver medallist Timothy Cheruiyot has opened up about his injury bout that saw him struggle to produce great results since the 2022 World Championships in Eugene, Oregon.

Cheruiyot, a former world champion, explained that he had been through a tough time with his injury and explained that he had a torn knee which cost him a lot in terms of training and performing well.

He was a favourite at the 2022 World Championships but failed to live up to the billing, finishing sixth in the final of the 1500m before proceeding to a second-place finish at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

Last season, Cheruiyot had a bitter exit from the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, where he was eliminated in the semifinal of the race. He explained that the injury has been a nightmare to him but appreciated his management and coach Bernard Ouma for walking with him during the difficult period.

“It was a bit hard because sometimes when an athlete has an injury, it’s a bit of a problem but for me, I thank my management and my coach for coming together and finding a good physiotherapist and a great rehab.

“At the moment I’m very happy to be back…it was hard because I had a torn knee and I’m happy to have come back and I’m training well now,” Cheruiyot said.

This season, the 28-year-old has been in great shape, and has competed in Diamond League Meetings and local races as he eyes the Olympic trials.

He was in action at the Diamond League Meeting in Doha, finishing second behind Brian Komen before almost upsetting Jakob Ingebrigtsen on home soil, at the Diamond League Meeting in Oslo.

Cheruiyot was also in action at the trials for the Africa Senior Athletics Championships, where he doubled in the 800m and 1500m and finished third and fifth respectively.

He has assured his fans of being fully back and will be keen to go back and take his rightful position as one of the greatest 1500m runners the world has ever known.

(06/06/2024) Views: 287 ⚡AMP
by Abigael Wuafula
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U.S. Olympic Team Trials Track And Field

U.S. Olympic Team Trials Track And Field

Eugene, Oregon has been awarded the 2024 U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Track & Field, USA Track & Field and the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee announced today. From June 21 to 30, Hayward Field at the University of Oregon will be home to one of the biggest track and field competitions in the country, as the U.S. Olympic Team...

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An amazing fast 5k in Oslo

OSLO, Norway (AP) — Hagos Gebrhiwet of Ethiopia ran the second-fastest 5,000 meters of all time in winning at the Diamond League meeting in Oslo on Thursday.

Gebrhiwet ran a final lap of 54.99 to finish in 12 minutes, 36.73 seconds — 1.37 seconds off the world record set by Olympic champion Joshua Cheptegei.

 Gebrhiwet's time is not only the second fastest time ever it was also a new national record for Ethiopia. New personal bests for the top eight finishers and new National records for Guatemala, Switzerland, Sweden, France and South Africa!

Also at the Bislett Games, home favorite Jakob Ingebrigtsen dived for the line to win the men's 1,500 just ahead of Timothy Cheruiyot in a world-leading 3 minutes, 29.74 seconds.

More details: Hagos Gebrhiwet produced the standout performance of the Bislett Games – and one of the biggest surprises of the year so far – when winning the men’s 5000m in 12:36.73 at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Oslo on Thursday (30).

It was one of three meeting records and five world leads set on an enthralling night of athletics action in the Norwegian capital, just two months away from the Paris Olympic Games.

Going into the men’s 5000m, many eyes were on world record-holder and Olympic champion Joshua Cheptegei, two-time world cross-country champion Jacob Kiplimo and last year’s Bislett Games winner Yomif Kejelcha. But Gebrhiwet – who produced the first sub-13-minute run of his career on this track as a teenager back in 2012 – ensured his name won’t be forgotten in the lead-up to the Olympics.

The early pace was strong but not spectacular as the field was paced through the first 1000m in 2:33.13 and 2000m in 5:07.05. Addisu Yihune maintained that tempo through 3000m, reached in 7:41.05, with all the big contenders still in contention.

Kejelcha took control soon after and started to wind up the pace. Gebrhiwet stayed close to his fellow Ethiopian with Ugandan duo Kiplimo and Cheptegei close behind as 4000m was reached in 10:11.86, the previous kilometre being covered in 2:30.

Cheptegei was unable to hold on for much longer and started to drift back. Kejelcha continued to drive the pace but the challenge from Gebrhiwet and Kiplimo wasn’t fading, despite the increase in pace. Gebrhiwet struck as the bell sounded and moved into the lead, kicking past his compatriot and pulling away with each stride.

With a final lap of 54.99, Gebrhiwet charged through the line in 12:36.73 to win by more than two seconds from Kejelcha (12.38.95) – the first time in history that two men have broken 12:40 in the same race.

Gebrhiwet’s winning time is just 1.37 seconds shy of the world record Cheptegei set in 2020 and moves him to second on the world all-time list, one place ahead of Kenenisa Bekele, whose Ethiopian record Gebrhiwet broke.

Kiplimo held on for third, setting a PB of 12:40.96, while Spain’s Thierry Ndikumwenayo (12:48.10) and Yihune (12:49.65) also finished inside 12:50.

It was just the second time in history that 13 men have broken 13 minutes. Along with Gebrhiwet, there were national records for Guatemala’s Luis Grijalva (12:50.58), Switzerland’s Dominic Lokinyomo Lobalu (12:50.90), Sweden’s Andreas Almgren (12:50.94), France’s Jimmy Gressier (12:54.97) and South Africa’s Adriaan Wildschutt (12:56.67).

“I’m really happy with my time,” said Gebrhiwet, the world road 5km champion. “I set a PB when I first ran in Oslo, and now it’s even better. The conditions and the crowd were great. It was a very fast race and it wasn’t easy for me, but it went very well. I’ll now try to qualify for the Olympics in the 10,000m too.”

There were notable performances in two other endurance events in Oslo.

Australia’s Georgia Griffith continued her breakthrough to win the 3000m in an Oceanian record of 8:24.20. The field had been paced through 1000m in 2:50.34, then that pace was maintained through 2000m in 5:40.73.

The field became more strung out over the final kilometre as the pace increased. Griffith made a break in the closing stages and Ethiopia’s Likina Amebaw tried to come back, but her challenge was in vain as the Australian won in a meeting record of 8:24.20, 0.09 ahead of Amebaw in a race where the top six women finished inside 8:30.

In the closing event of the night, Olympic champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen was made to dive for the line to ensure a home victory for the Norwegian fans.

He controlled the pace in the second half, but still had 2019 world champion Timothy Cheruiyot for company on the final lap. The Kenyan challenged the Norwegian down the home straight and appeared to have timed his kick to perfection, but Ingebrigtsen collapsed over the line to get the verdict in a world-leading 3:29.74, 0.03 ahead of Cheruiyot. The first 11 finishers all set either season’s or personal bests.

(05/30/2024) Views: 317 ⚡AMP
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Timothy Cheruiyot outlines comeback strategy with main focus on Paris 2024 Olympics

Former world 1500m champion Timothy Cheruiyot has opened up on his comeback strategy after injuries almost threatened to end his career.

Olympic 1500m silver medalist Timothy Cheruiyot is slowly gaining his confidence as he outlines his comeback plan to where he feels he rightfully belongs, the top.

Cheruiyot suffered an injury bout that cost him since 2022 where he failed to defend his world title at the Oregon World Championships and also faltered at the 2023 World Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

The former world champion is now plotting a great comeback and he has already started competing after his exit from the World Championships in Budapest.

He opened his season with a second-place finish at the Diamond League Meeting in Doha before doubling in the 1500m and 800m at the National Championships.

He now heads to the Diamond League Meeting in Oslo, where he will be up against a strong field, but he can’t be downplayed since he is also an able athlete.

Cheruiyot also disclosed that his main focus is on the Olympic trials where he intends to shine and go to Paris to improve his silver medal from the delayed 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games.

“I feel good…the races were good and I was well prepared. I decided to do two races, the 800m and 1500m, and it was really good because we are focusing ahead,” he said.

“I feel so great because last year I was having an injury but now I’m getting better. For now, I’m focusing on the Diamond League races and then the trials,” he said.

The Olympic silver medalist also noted that at the Diamond League Meeting in Doha, his body was about 85 per cent and fired warning shots at his opponents.

“At the Diamond League Meeting in Doha, my body was about 85 per cent because that was my first race after nine months, since Budapest. So, it was about gaining confidence and now, I’m ready to go. The confidence is coming back,” he added.

(05/30/2024) Views: 285 ⚡AMP
by Abigael Wuafula
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Walter Childs Memorial Race of Champions Marathon

Walter Childs Memorial Race of Champions Marathon

America's 10th Oldest Marathon and the 19th Oldest Marathon in the World, this marathon provides runners with a challenging and rural course....

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Cheating or an Honest Mistake: Should Marathoners Be DQ’d For Receiving Extra Bottles?

Race organizers say it’s to keep ensure fairness—some runners think a disqualification is taking it too far.

Esteban Prado trained for the Orange County Marathon for months. He told NBC that he was running 100-mile weeks over a 3-4 month period. On race day, he broke the tape, crossing the finish line in 2:24:54. But within an hour of his would-be victory, the 24-year-old runner received a phone call from race director Gary Kutscher. 

Kutscher asked him to confirm or deny the news he’d received that Prado had been receiving fluids and nutrition from someone on a bicycle, which is against USA Track and Field rules number 144 and 241—only “authorized persons” at official stations along the course can provide liquids. And the fact that Prado received the liquids from someone on a bike was a further violation.

“No official shall under any circumstances move beside an athlete while he is taking refreshment or water,” the rules say. Also: “A competitor who collects refreshment from a place other than a refreshment station is liable to disqualification by the referee.”

He was disqualified, and the runner-up, Jason Yang, who finished 17 seconds behind Prado, was named the official winner of the 2024 OC Marathon. 

The situation riled people up. Some said that what Prado did was cheating, while others felt that it was an honest mistake and that he shouldn’t be punished for it. However, while taking water from someone during a race may seem pretty harmless, as Kutscher pointed out in a phone call with Runner’s World, “The rules are there for a reason. We have to ensure fairness to all the people who are competing for those top spots. And I think we made the right decision.”

Complicating matters, several participants took to social media to express their disappointment with how the race was organized this year. Runners like Brandon, a man from Irvine in his mid-30s, who said the water stations along the course were not prepared. 

“The aid station situation was okay in the first half,” he told Runner’s World. “Sometimes there weren’t enough volunteers handing out water, which was probably terrible for elite runners where every second counts.” 

Brandon said he doesn’t recall seeing any official aid stations past mile 20, but after mile 23, “there were plenty of spectators handing out water.” However, while “this is okay for somebody just trying to make it through the race,” he added, “I don't understand how elites were supposed to adhere to the rules in this situation unless they got lucky and brought their own water.”

Ann, another participant in her 30s, says she only saw one water station that didn’t have water available. But, “It seemed like they weren’t pouring cups out fast enough to replace the ones grabbed by runners,” she told Runner’s World.

Participant claims notwithstanding, it’s hard to ignore the video footage that shows Prado running right past an aid station. It was also later confirmed that not only did his dad offer him water, but he rode alongside him on a bicycle for the majority of the race, pacing him and giving him coaching advice. It was an unfair advantage. 

Kutscher said he doesn’t think Prado was intentionally breaking the rules—“I don’t think that was his intention at all,” he said. “I don’t think he understood the rule. And I would have preferred that he just said that he didn’t understand the rules, and ‘I’m going to be a better runner as a result,’ but he mentioned that aid stations weren’t prepared and he’s even made some statements against Jason, our first place winner, now, that I think are unfortunate.” 

Whomever you believe in either situation, there’s no arguing that a DQ is an unfortunate thing. But the rules exist for a good reason, to keep the playing field fair and to give every athlete an equal opportunity to win. 

Ann, one of the OC Marathon mass field participants, said she’s glad when officials take the rules seriously. “As an amateur, I know they’re in place for my health and safety on course,” she says. “For the elites, I’m sure it’s also confidence in a fair race.” 

(05/26/2024) Views: 213 ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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Daniel Simiu secures US visa to join dense 10,000m field at Prefontaine Classic

Daniel Simiu has finally secured his US visa and will be out to challenge his compatriots in the men's 10,000m at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon.

The world number one, Daniel Simiu has finally secured his US visa and he will be out to battle for an Olympic slot at the Prefontaine Classic, the Diamond League Meeting in Eugene, Oregon.

Athletics Kenya announced that they will select the 10,000m team at the event and it will be very important for athletes seeking to qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympics.

Simiu, the world 10,000m silver medallist had issues securing his visa but it was secured and he travelled just in time ahead of Saturday’s event. The world half marathon silver medallist will go up against a formidable field, with the athletes fighting to make it to the top two.

He has since been unbeaten so far, winning the Sirikwa Classic Cross country and proceeding to take the crown at the 67° Campaccio-International Cross Country. He then won the Berlin Half Marathon last month.

Former world half marathon record holder Kibiwott Kandie will also be in the mix, after having a great start to his season when he won the eDreams Half Marathon Barcelona by Brooks.

He had quite a mixed season last year, where he was forced to pull out of the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary due to an injury setback. However, this season, he plans to bounce back and take all the glory on the track and roads.

Nicholas Kimeli will also be a top contender as he hopes to make a bounce back from last year’s dismal performance at the Hungarian capital.

Former world 10,000m silver medallist Stanley Waithaka also intends to make a statement on the track he won Kenya a silver medal in 2022. Waithaka has also suffered injury setbacks and he will be hoping to make a comeback this season.

Waithaka has already opened his season, finishing second at the 8th NITTAIDAI Challenge Games where he clocked an impressive 27:21.03 to cross the finish line. Weldon Langat and Daniel Mateiko have also been confirmed for the event.

(05/23/2024) Views: 336 ⚡AMP
by Abigael Wuafula
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Prefontaine Classic

Prefontaine Classic

The Pre Classic, part of the Diamond League series of international meets featuring Olympic-level athletes, is scheduled to be held at the new Hayward Field in Eugene. The Prefontaine Classicis the longest-running outdoor invitational track & field meet in America and is part of the elite Wanda Diamond League of meets held worldwide annually. The Pre Classic’s results score has...

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Controversy Arises Over Boston’s Moving 6-Hour Results Cutoff

For back of the packer, heartbreak is learning their finishes are not official, even though they have times.

Laura Caster wants to be clear: She knew what the Boston Marathon rule was about official finishers. 

She was aware she had 6 hours from the time the last finisher crossed the starting line to finish the race in order to be considered official. 

Her problem? She didn’t know what time the last finisher crossed the starting line. 

Caster, 52, from Idlewild, California, was in corral 7 of Boston’s final wave, wave 4. And she crossed the starting line at 11:25 a.m. So for how many more minutes were runners crossing the starting line behind her? “Are they a minute behind me? Five minutes?” she wondered. 

Every minute would count for her. 

As it turned out, the final starter crossed the line at 11:28 a.m., so Caster needed to finish by 5:28 p.m. to be considered official.

Caster typically runs about 5:40 for a marathon. She finished Tokyo on March 3 in 5:41:50. Tokyo was her fifth of the World Marathon Majors six-star challenge. Boston was to be her sixth. 

To gain entry to Boston, she had run for a charity, Team for Kids. She raised more than $5,000—part of the more than $40 million Boston Marathon organizers say the race raises through charity runners every year. And she treated Tokyo as a long run for Boston. 

But the weather was warm on Marathon Monday, April 15. The slower runners start later in the day. And from early on, Caster knew she was in trouble. Her stomach was upset. She couldn’t take in all the fluids she needed. She was grabbing ice every time a spectator offered it. 

Still, she plugged along, hitting every timing mat—even though the mats are rolled up along the course on pace with the 6-hour finish time. She passed halfway in 2:58:40.

At numerous points, Caster became aware of a vehicle trailing runners like her, who were going at about 6-hour pace. And she asked a volunteer at one timing mat, “How do I know if I’m going to be official?” Caster said he pointed at the car and told her she needed to finish in front of it. 

“I was like, okay. That’s a definite answer,” she said. “I’m not going to look at my watch. I’m going to focus on not throwing up and being in front of that car.” 

Caster was well ahead of the car on Commonwealth Avenue when she turned right onto Hereford Street. Just to be safe, as she approached the finish line on Boylston, Caster took a final look behind her. No sign of the official car. She crossed at 5:31 p.m., in 6:05:59. Volunteers put her in a wheelchair and sent her to the medical tent. From there, she was transported to a hospital with low blood potassium levels. She was released later that evening. 

At the hospital, she looked at the results and realized she was not official. She had a gun time and a net time, but no place. 

Caster was devastated. All the training, all the time and expense of pursuing the six stars, and she wasn’t really done. “I’ve worked for years, was so excited to have gotten to this point,” she said of her progress. “I was just leveled.” 

Caster’s coach is Meb Keflezighi, an Olympic silver medalist and the 2014 Boston Marathon champion. On the phone with him, she broke down. 

He told her, “I couldn’t be prouder of you. You missed it. We both know that you completed all six. You’re not official. But you showed grit, you showed determination.” 

Allowing roads to reopen

Caster was not alone. Chris Lotsbom, a BAA spokesman, wrote in an email to Runner’s World that 497 people appeared to have crossed the Boston finish line this year after it officially closed. Volunteers staffed the area and handed out medals for approximately 4 hours, or until 9:45 p.m., longer than the race has ever continued to note times before. 

Of those 497, many were within a few minutes or seconds of 5:28 p.m. 

Cortney Blackburn, also in pursuit of her sixth star at Boston, missed by 37 seconds. 

In an email exchange after the race with BAA officials, she asked how she was to know what the cutoff time was after she had started running. She, too, was told about the car, with flashing lights on the top, going at 6-hour pace and alerting runners if they were falling behind. Blackburn never saw the car—she finished well ahead of it—and she, too, recorded a split at every finish line mat along the way. 

Lotsbom confirmed the car was there—a “road reopening vehicle”—he called it, meant to inform runners that roads were reopening and aid stations were shutting down. 

“Without knowing specifics, I can’t comment on the individual instances referenced,” he wrote. “I can say that we are reviewing our processes and procedures in regards to final finishers for future Boston Marathons.”

Blackburn crossed the finish line and picked up two medals: the Boston Marathon medal and the World Marathon Majors six-star medal. Only later did she realize she wasn’t official in Boston’s results and therefore isn’t official in the WMM results, either. She has the medals, but no online record of her achievement.

But if the finish line remains open, and the timing continues, why not allow runners to be official? Or at least communicate a time—for example, 5:30 p.m.—that is consistent from year to year? Why use a moving target? 

Boston’s strict cutoff is part of the agreement the race has with the cities and towns along the route. The 6-hour time limit is in place “to support the communities throughout which the race runs, to allow their road reopening program to commence as planned,” Lotsbom wrote. 

“We understand we could do even more in communicating the closing time on race day and we are looking to enhance that messaging to all runners for next year to ensure everyone is clear [on] the time limit and time that the finish line will officially close on race day,” Lotsbom wrote. 

A grace period

A few runners who are much slower than 6 hours get to start in earlier waves, which gives them more time to finish. For some runners close to the 5:28 p.m. cutoff, starting in an earlier corral of wave 4 would have meant the difference between an official and unofficial finish. 

In 2015, some members of Boston’s Quarter Century Club, people with 25 or more consecutive Boston finishes, were concerned about the 6-hour limit, which was imposed for the 2016 race. So race officials moved them to Wave 2. Problem solved. 

For others, the problem remains. And the moving cutoff appears to affect more women than men, older runners more than younger ones, and many runners of color.

Hector Espinal, like Blackburn, only discovered well after the race that he wasn’t official. He wrote on Instagram on April 18, “Despite crossing the finish line, finishing the race and receiving my medals, this morning I was informed that I did not complete the Boston Marathon in the time allotted to be considered an official finisher and @wmmajors 6 Star Marathoner.” 

The post has more than 10,000 likes, and 1,000 comments, the majority of them supportive. Elite runner Mary Ngugi of Kenya, who was sixth in 2:24:24, wrote, “No no, you are a 6 time world major marathoner and a hero.”

Boston is a race that has at times struggled with its image, which critics call elitist. Spectators last year accused the race of over-policing enthusiastic fans, most of whom were people of color, at a mile 21 cheer zone, which prompted a lawsuit. Runner’s World reported in 2022 about the B.A.A.’s obscure, largely white, invitation-only membership group, which is involved with governance of the organization. 

To many observers in the running community, setting a fixed finish time would be an easy way to help the race’s image as concerned about runners of varying abilities, not just the front of the pack.

Other races in the World Marathon Majors are much more lax about their finishing times, with the exception of Tokyo, which has nine cutoff points along the route, and runners are stopped if they lag behind. There are no questions, however, about where they stand. 

But finishers of London, New York, and Chicago appear in results with times hours slower than the races’ published cutoff times. Berlin, which has a posted cutoff time of 6:15, stays open for an extra 15 to 20 minutes before the Brandenburg Gate closes, according to previous finishers. 

Blackburn won’t be back to Boston anytime soon. “I don’t know honestly if I would do it again without major changes to actually be inclusive of non-qualifying athletes,” she wrote in a message to Runner’s World. “I think [B.A.A. officials] are putting out ‘we are trying’ vibes without actually trying.”

Caster, on the other hand, plans to try again. The uncertainty while she was on the course—and the wrong information she was given about the official vehicle—were what upset her. She doesn’t know if it would have made a difference for her had she been aware of the time she had to beat. 

“But I would have liked to the opportunity to have tried,” she said. “That’s the part that I’m sore about.” 

(05/12/2024) Views: 340 ⚡AMP
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Salzburg prepares for duel between Murithi and Herzog

The Salzburg Marathon is ready for its 21st edition on Sunday, May 12th. A new starting area, the historic flair of the “Mozart City”, the participation of the Austrian national record holder and a truly international field with runners of 85 nationalities provide all the ingredients for an unforgettable event.

Austrian national record holder Peter Herzog and Kenyan Peter Wahome Murithi are the headliners in the marathon race. An exciting duel is on the cards. Herzog has a personal best of 2:10:06 from London 2020 and made a return to good shape this spring after a year and a half full of injuries. Murithi even ran 2:09:40 in Graz 2023, a time that has to remain unofficial, as this event was not registered in the World Athletics Global Calendar.

Both athletes are coming to Salzburg bringing their personal running experience from the recent Vienna City Marathon three weeks ago. Herzog made a fine comeback in 2:15:29 in Vienna, while Wahome was on course for a sub-2:10 time, but dropped out after 30 km due to health problems. He is now hoping to make the most of his second chance to achieve a good result in this spring marathon.

Local hero Peter Herzog explains: “It was a decision of desire, not necessarily one of logic. I have rediscovered my marathon euphoria and am delighted that I will be able to enjoy this special marathon feeling a second time.”

The marathon field will be sent off at a new start area on the “Staatsbrücke“ bridge with a great view on the historic city center and UNESCO World Heritage Site of Salzburg. “Over the past two decades, we have gradually put Salzburg on the international map of running and anchored it there. Today, we are an international event that attracts participants of 85 different nationalities from all over the world. Our aim is to ensure that they arrive in Salzburg with anticipation and a good feeling and return home with outstanding personal experiences“, say the race organizers.

Compared to previous years, the start has been brought forward by half an hour. This will give amateur runners in the marathon in particular the opportunity to run in the cooler morning hours for 30 minutes longer and 30 minutes less in the time when the highest temperatures of the day are expected.

Public transport to and from the race is available free of charge for all participants within the region of Salzburg on the day of their race. Salzburg Marathon is certified as an ecologically sustainable event by Austrian control authorities. Runners enjoy high quality organic food made from local products at the marathon village. The use of renewable materials and an integrated programme for the reduction of transports and natural resources is in place.

(05/11/2024) Views: 401 ⚡AMP
by AIMS
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Salzburg Marathon

Salzburg Marathon

The Salzburg Marathon is a marathon in Salzburg, Austria. First held in 2004 and organized by Club Run Austria. The program also includes a half marathon that has been held since 2001, a 10 km run, the "Get active" junior marathon and other competitions. Enjoy a special marathon-feeling while passing many of the best known sights of Mozart's hometown! The...

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Usain Bolt eyes a comeback

The greatest sprinter of all time is set to make a brief return, after Paris Saint Germain superstar Kylian Mbappe accepted the challenge of facing the eight-time Olympic champion in a 100m race.

Usain Bolt might well lace up his spikes again, writes Vlad Andrejevic. Bolt, the greatest sprinter of all time, is set to make a brief comeback, after Paris Saint Germain superstar Kylian Mbappe accepted the challenge of facing eight-time Olympic champion Bolt in a 100m race, though he does not fancy his chances against the Jamaican icon.

Bolt, who is an avid football fan and participates in numerous charity football events, recently spoke about his admiration of the 25-year-old forward, admitting he was “inspired” by the French international and suggested that Mbappe should face him in a charity race.

The World Cup winner responded warmly to Bolt’s comments at a recent promotional event organized by sponsors Nike and his ‘Inspired by KM’ foundation, offering fans the prospect of a tantalizing crossover event.

“It would be fun, why not one day if we both have the time? I don’t expect much from the result,” said Mbappe when asked about the potential matchup. “He inspired everyone, and I think everyone has woken up late in the night to watch one of Bolt’s races. I can say that it’s reciprocal and that I started to admire him first.”

Despite retiring in 2017, Bolt remains the world record holder of the 100m, clocking a remarkable 9.58s in Berlin in 2009. He has since moved on from professional athletics and taken up a multitude of roles throughout sport, most recently becoming T20 World Cup 2024 Ambassador, however he would be willing to return to the track for this event.

His opponent, who is 12 years his junior, could prove to be a formidable opponent as he is widely regarded as one of the fastest players in the game. The World Cup winner, who is set to leave Paris this summer after 7 years at the club, has shown his devastating pace and ability at the highest level since he burst onto the scene in 2016, making him the most valuable player in world football.

With Olympic fever starting to pick up as the event this summer draws nearer, and with Mbappe possibly representing his country at the games, a charity race between the two sporting greats would garner a huge crowd.

(05/10/2024) Views: 313 ⚡AMP
by The Voice
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Emma Coburn to miss Olympics with broken ankle

American steeplechase star Emma Coburn shared on Instagram that her “dream of Paris” is over after she broke her ankle at the Shanghai Diamond League last month.

The 2016 Olympic bronze medalist and 2017 world champion landed heavily during a jump in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the event in China, forcing her out of the race, and was diagnosed with a fracture in her right ankle.

Coburn had been gearing up for the U.S. Olympic trials in Eugene, Ore., next month and was a favorite to make her fourth American Olympic team in Paris this summer.

“I don’t know what to say,” she wrote in her post, which shows her fall at the Shanghai race, initially believing the damage was just a sprain. “When I got home, images showed torn ligaments, damaged cartilage, and a fracture in my medial malleolus.”

The 33-year-old shared that she had surgery on Wednesday and hopes to return to “jogging” some time in the next six weeks.

Coburn’s post shares videos of her in a cast, beginning her rehab with strength exercises and riding the stationary bike. A well-loved figure on the U.S. track and field scene, her post garnered supportive messages from several fellow running stars, such as marathoner Kara Goucher and decorated track star Allyson Felix, who wished her well in her recovery and expressed support for her comeback.

“I love this sport and nothing heals a broken heart like working hard and getting back,” she says in her post. “See ya out there later this year.”

Coburn placed 14th in the steeplechase at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics before learning her result was disqualified when she stepped off the track after a last-lap stumble over the barrier. 

(05/04/2024) Views: 346 ⚡AMP
by Claire Haines
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Paris 2024 Olympic Games

Paris 2024 Olympic Games

For this historic event, the City of Light is thinking big! Visitors will be able to watch events at top sporting venues in Paris and the Paris region, as well as at emblematic monuments in the capital visited by several millions of tourists each year. The promise of exceptional moments to experience in an exceptional setting! A great way to...

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Jennifer Bigham to Headline Women’s Field at 2024 DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon

Pittsburgher Jennifer Bigham will headline the women’s field at the 2024 DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon on Sunday, May 5. Bigham, a formidable force in the local running community, has an impressive record that includes victories at the USA Masters Half Marathon Championships and the USA Masters One Mile Championships in 2022. With five wins at the City of Pittsburgh Great Race, she already has cemented her status as a local legend but is now ready to tackle 26.2 miles for the first time in PIttsburgh.

“I’ve been looking forward to running the Pittsburgh Marathon for many years, and my time has finally come,” Bigham said. “I’ve been a part of many events on marathon weekend, from the toddler trot and kids marathon, to the 5K, and half-marathon. Lining up to experience the full 26.2 in my city that I love will be very special. I know the cheers from my community on race day will power me through the tough moments. This finish line will be a special one for me!”

After taking an eight-year hiatus from competitive running post-college, she returned to the sport following the birth of her first child. Now a mother of four, Bigham’s comeback story is an inspiration to athletes and parents alike. Her remarkable comeback was highlighted by qualifying for and competing in the 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon Team Trials.

This year she will face tough competition from Jane Bareikis, who set a marathon personal best of 2:29:00 at the Berlin Marathon last fall, and local runner Laura Harnish, who also ran in the 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon Team Trials and holds a marathon personal best of 2:42:09.

The 2024 DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon will offer a prize purse of $32,000 with a $7,000 top prize. For more information about the 2024 DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon, visit thePittsburghMarathon.com.

About the DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon Weekend of EventsThe Pittsburgh Marathon was held annually from 1985-2003. After a five-year hiatus, the DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon was relaunched in 2009 and debuted with a sold-out field of 10,000 participants. It has grown each year since, evolving from a single race day into a weekend of events for the whole family that annually attracts nearly 40,000 runners. Read more at: ThePittsburghMarathon.com

About P3RP3R is the region’s go-to premier sporting event and experience expert. While best known for the annual DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon, P3R organizes up to 20 major events every year. With a rich history of working with top-tier clients such as the Pittsburgh Steelers, UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, the Pittsburgh Penguins, the National Senior Games, and more, P3R brings operational excellence to every aspect of event planning and execution. As part of P3R’s non-profit mission to inspire any and all to MOVE with us, we provide premium event experiences and robust programming – including the Run for a Reason Charity Program, award-winning Kids of STEEL program, Pittsburgh Corporate Challenge, RUN Varsity, and more – that engage everyone in the Western Pennsylvania community and beyond.

(04/26/2024) Views: 334 ⚡AMP
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Dick's Sporting Good Pittsburgh Marathon

Dick's Sporting Good Pittsburgh Marathon

This race is your game - however you decide to play it. As a competitor. A fund raiser. An enthusiast. A veteran. A team player. It's whatever you want it to be. It's whatever you make it. It's YOUR game..... Run it. Play it. Own it. Love it. Runners will race on the North Shore of Pittsburgh, cross each of...

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Berihu, Ayele and Zeray ready for fast racing in Istanbul on Sunday April 28

Solomon Berihu of Ethiopia and Kenya’s Gladys Chepkurui head a very strong field of elite runners at the Türkiye Is Bankasi Istanbul Half Marathon on Sunday. They feature personal bests of 59:17 and 65:46 respectively. The men’s field is really impressive since eight runners have already broken the one hour mark and another nine feature personal bests of sub 61:00.

There are seven women with sub 68:00 PBs and an additional three have run under 70:00. A couple of European runners will try to achieve the qualifying times for the European Championships in Rome in June. Among them are Turkey’s record holder Ali Kaya, who will start a comeback, and Sweden’s debutant Meraf Bahta. The required times stand at 61:40 and 70:30 for men and women respectively.

Organisers of the Türkiye Is Bankasi Istanbul Half Marathon, which is a Gold Label Road Race of World Athletics, have registered a record number of 14,200 runners. This includes a 10k race staged parallel on Sunday. Turkey’s number one road race is one of the world’s major half marathons and has a world record course. Three years ago Kenya’s Ruth Chepngetich broke the global mark in Istanbul with 64:02. While the world record has been improved since the course record still stands and will likely remain in place on Sunday. 

However there could still be another very fast time from the women’s winner on Sunday. With a personal best of 66:04 Ftaw Zeray is the second fastest on the start list behind Gladys Chepkurui. It was three weeks ago when the 26 year-old ran her first race of the year and finished runner-up in the Berlin Half Marathon. In very difficult conditions with temperatures well over 20 Celsius she still ran 67:22. “I have well recovered from the race in Berlin. I feel I can run a personal best on Sunday,“ said Ftaw Zeray, who was sixth in the World Half Marathon Championships last year. 

With regard to the weather forecast high temperatures will not be a problem for Ftaw Zeray on Sunday in Istanbul. But with six other women who have already run sub 68:00 the challenge is likely to be tougher than in the German capital. While Gladys Chepkurui missed her flight to Istanbul and will now arrive half a day later, she will hardly be delayed when it comes to racing fast. The Kenyan clocked her 65:46 PB in Barcelona a year ago and has run sub 70:00 eleven times.

Ethiopians Betelihem Afenigus and Aberash Shilima are the next fastest on the entry list with PBs of 66:46 and 67:26 respectively. However a debutant could also be in the mix for a place on the podium: Just 21 years old Miriam Chebet showed great form and consistency this year with three sub 31:00 times at 10k. When she won the race in Ibiza, Spain, in January she clocked a fine PB of 30:40.

Another promising debutant is Sweden’s Meraf Bahta. The European 5,000 m champion from 2014 is a late entry to the Türkiye Is Bankasi Istanbul Half Marathon. The 34 year-old is the Swedish 10k record holder with a 31:22 PB from 2022. The former Eritrean could qualify for the European Championships if she runs 70:30 or faster in her debut. Due to an injury Italy’s Giovanna Epis had to withdraw from the race in Istanbul.

Solomon Berihu is the fastest runner on the start list with his PB of 59:17. He ran this time back in 2019 in New Delhi and has not raced for almost a year. “I had an injury that kept me away from training. Now, I am feeling better and I am back in shape,“ explained the 24 year-old Ethiopian, who hopes to come back with a bang on Sunday. “My first goal is to win the race, but I am also hoping to run 59:30 or even faster.“ The Istanbul course record stands at 59:15.

Another Ethiopian is among the hot favourites: Dinkalem Ayele has shown great form this year when he improved to 59:30 in Barcelona and then won the Lisbon Half Marathon in very warm conditions with 60:36. “I am in good form and confident that I can go close to 59 minutes if weather conditions are suitable,“ said 23 year-old Dinkalem Ayele.

Solomon Kipchoge will probably be among the athletes who will challenge the two Ethiopians. The Kenyan, who improved his half marathon PB by almost two and a half minutes last year when he ran 59:37 in Lille, chose to come to Istanbul because of the fast course. “I will not start the race with a certain time or placing in mind. It depends on how my body will feel during the race. But I will try to improve my PB,“ said Solomon Kipchoge, who has the same surname as the double Olympic Champion Eliud Kipchoge. “I have no connection to Eliud, I am often asked about this outside Kenya. I am happy to be asked, because Eliud is a legend.“

Having not race since 2020 Ali Kaya surprised the organisers when he asked them to include him on the start list for a comeback race. The 30 year-old former Kenyan, who competed for Turkey since 2013, is a former winner of the Türkiye Is Bankasi Istanbul Half Marathon. When he took the race in 2016 he established a national record of 60:16 that still stands today. The 61:40 qualifying time for the European Championships could be a goal for Ali Kaya. Spaniard Juan Antonio Perez, who has a PB of 60:58, will probably also target this time.

Elite runners and personal bests

MEN

Solomon Berihu ETH 59:17

Edmond Kipngetich KEN 59:25

Dinkalem Ayele ETH 59:30

Solomon Kipchoge KEN 59:37

Benard Biwott KEN 59:44

Antony Kimtai KEN 59:45

Tadesse Abraham SUI 59:53

Hicham Amghar MAR 59:53

Hillary Kipchumba KEN 60:01

Abraham Kipyatich KEN 60:03

Gemechu Bute ETH 60:12

Ali Kaya TUR 60:16

Cameron Levins CAN 60:18

Vincent Mutai KEN 60:20

Edward Pingua KEN 60:44

Benard Sang KEN 60:57

Juan Antonio Perez ESP 60:58

Albert Rop BRN 61:05

Mathew Samperu KEN 61:06

Tegegn Tamerat ETH 61:15

Ashenafi Moges ETH 61:22

WOMEN

Gladys Chepkurui KEN 65:46

Ftaw Zeray ETH 66:04

Betelihem Afenigus ETH 66:46

Aberash Shilima ETH 67:26

Anchinalu Dessie ETH 67:30

Zewditu Aderaw ETH 67:44

Betty Kibet KEN 67:44

Ruth Jebet BRN 68:22

Zinashwork Yenew ETH 69:16

Sheila Chelangat KEN 69:38

Meseret Dinke ETH 70:39

Amina Bettiche ALG 71:38

Miriam Chebet KEN Debut

Meraf Bahta SWE Debut

(04/26/2024) Views: 416 ⚡AMP
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Istanbul Half Marathon

Istanbul Half Marathon

WE ARE RUNNING A HALF MARATHON ON THE WORLD’S FASTEST RACE COURSE! The Historical Peninsula race course, home to 8,000 years of history, is enthusiastically run every year accompanied by the unique beauty of Istanbul! This unique Istanbul Half Marathon race course, which holds Türkiye’s first athletics record with the Women’s World Half Marathon record in 2021 and ranks first...

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Defending champions return to defend Belfast Marathon crowns

A RECORD 5,500 runners are expected to take to the streets of Belfast on Sunday, May 5 for the sold-out Moy Park Belfast City Marathon, making it the biggest to date.

The 2023 winners, Morocco’s Mohamed Oumaarir and Kenyan Shewaye Wolde Woldemeskel, will be there to defend their respective male and female titles.

Oumaarir, who ran a time of 2:22:54 for the overall victory 12 months ago, will lead a strong contingent of international and local athletes. These include former Great Britain and Wales steeplechase representative Adam Bowden, who finished runner-up in last year’s event.

There are three interesting entries of east African origin. Former Ethiopian and now Bahrain national Aweke Ayalew finished 11th in the 2018 World Half Marathon Championships, recording a world-class time of 61 minutes and 19 seconds. More lately he clocked 2:07:12 in the 2019 Frankfurt Marathon, making him the fastest man in the field.

The Kenyan duo of Mathew Kemboi and Moses Kilmulwo also boast impressive credentials. Kemboi finished fourth in last November’s Istanbul Marathon in a time of 2:13:48, while Tuyange was 15th at the Barcelona Marathon last month in a time of 2:12:43.

Also taking to the field, will be GB’s Michael Young, who recently ran a time of 2:24:33 in December at the Valencia Marathon; William Strangeway, who finished third in the Murcia Costa Calida Marathon last year, recording a time of 2:20:32; and Welshman, Dan Nash, who won the Great Welsh Marathon on St Patrick’s Day in a time of 2:27.19.

Favorite for the first local prize is Annadale Strider Eskander Turki, who won the 2023 Moy Park Belfast City Half Marathon in a time of 1:09:10.

Dark horse here is the comeback kid Ed McGinley, who returned to the sport after an absence of nine years to win the Larne 10 Miles just over a week ago.

Conor Gallagher of St Malachy’s should not be ignored either given he was runner-up in the 2022 Belfast Marathon.

Turning to the women’s race, it will be Woldemeskel’s third time competing in Belfast, while Morocco’s Hanane Qallouj is no stranger to the Emerald Isle either, finishing sixth at the Dublin Marathon last October in a time of 2:37:20.

Others to watch out for are Qallouj’s compatriot Laila Aziza Selsouli, who finished eighth in the Marrakesh Half Marathon, and Kenya’s Beatrice Jepkemei, who recently ran 2:30:41 in the Linz Marathon.

North Belfast Harrier Gladys Ganiel heads the home challenge.

This year’s Moy Park Belfast City Marathon runners will be joined by 12,500 relay runners and another 1,200 participants in the 8-Mile Walk, all adding up to making it the biggest mass sport participation event in the north.

(04/25/2024) Views: 239 ⚡AMP
by Malcolm McCausland
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Belfast City Marathon

Belfast City Marathon

The event has grown with the inclusion of new sponsors which now include Deep River Rock, Belfast City Council, U105, ASICS, Daily Mirror, Translink, Athletics Northern Ireland, Linwoods, Belfast Live, Centra, White's Oats, Podium 4 Sport, U105 and Tayto. The route will remain the same - starting at the City Hall and finishing at Ormeau Park. The race starts at...

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Moroccan winners at Enschede Marathon Taoufik Allam was victorious in the men's race and Oumaima Saoud won in the women's race

 With a record number of participants and several great winners, the Enschede Marathon was a great success on Sunday, April 21. “We have implemented various changes in recent years,” says Sandra Melief, director of Enschede Marathon. “And that is now paying off. What a great day it was last Sunday! We only saw excited and happy faces.”

Full and half marathon winnersThe participants of the Demcon Marathon and Mazars Half Marathon started at 10 a.m. under almost ideal conditions, although the wind seemed slightly stronger than expected. The men turned it into a real, but tactical, race in the 2nd part of the Demcon Whole Marathon . It was the Moroccan Taoufik Allam who, like a predator, eliminated his opponents one by one and took the win in 2:08:58. Kenyan Noah Kipkemboi finished 2nd at 8 seconds .

Among the women, Oumaima Saoud recorded the fastest time with 2:27:16.

The fastest Dutchman in the marathon was Gert-Jan Wassink in 2:23:33. Among the women, Elizeba Cherono Franken was the fastest, running 2:32:07 in her comeback marathon.

Enschede's Martijn Oonk was the big winner at the Mazars Half Marathon. He ran the 21.1 kilometers in a time of 1:08:28. The fastest woman over this distance was the German Joleen Gedwart in 1:14:28.

International appearance Just like last year, the start and finish of all distances took place on the Boulevard, with Van Heekplein set up as a pleasant meeting place for participants, supporters and visitors.

The total number of participants at the Demcon Marathon showed that the entire marathon remains popular in Enschede, says Melief. “This year there were almost 2,000 participants at the start of the longest distance. That is more than ever.” The participants no longer come exclusively from the region, she continues. “We see that Enschede Marathon now has an international appeal, which applies to all distances. No fewer than 35 different nationalities were present this year. It was striking that among the 15,000 participants, 1,470 participants came from Germany.”

Twee van EnschedeA special mention deserves the 'exercise event' the Twee van Enschede, which was organized the day before, on Saturday evening. Because although the Enschede Marathon is a top event in terms of sport, the organization also believes it is important to involve people who are at a distance from exercise. “That is why we organized the Twee van Enschede for the second time together with SPortal and the Municipality of Enschede. This is a cheerful and casual exercise event where fun is central. There is no timekeeping: everyone could participate at his or her own pace.” The route of two English Miles (3.2 km) led straight through the city center of Enschede with start and finish on the Oude Markt. “It was a cheerful party with only happy and enthusiastic participants. We are also proud of that, because that is also the Enschede Marathon!”

(04/22/2024) Views: 253 ⚡AMP
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Enschede Marathon

Enschede Marathon

Experience the oldest marathon in Western Europe! We write about August 1946. The European Athletics Championships were held in Olso and the I.A.A.F. conference had taken place. During that conference, an agreement was made to hold an athletics competition between the Netherlands and Czechoslovakia in Enschede in July 1947. Saturday July 12, 1947 was the big day: 51 participants took...

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Here Are the Celebrities Running the 2024 Boston Marathon

Zdeno Chara and Meb are a few of the big names toeing the line in Hopkinton this year.Every year, the Boston Marathon attracts celebrities from various fields, from athletes to actors, and this year is no different. Last year, former Boston Red Sox players Brock Holt and Ryan Dempster took to the streets alongside legendary quarterback Doug Flutie, who won the Heisman while at Boston College.

This year, things kick off with former Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski serving as grandmaster for the race. Gronkowski will also receive the Patriots' Award from the Boston Athletic Association, which honors a “patriotic, philanthropic, and inspirational” individual who “fosters goodwill and sportsmanship.”

This year, spectators will see not only a few returning faces in the streets but also a few first-timers. So, what notable names can we expect to see lining up in Hopkinton this year for the Boston Marathon? 1

Meb KeflezighiMeb Keflezighi, now with New Balance, announced his return to the race earlier this year. In 2014, Keflezighi became the first American to win the men’s race since 1983.

Keflezighi, 48, will run the race to support his MEB Foundation, which supports “health, education, and fitness worldwide.”

“I will be returning to the streets of Boston, taking on the prestigious race and celebrating my victory from 2014,” Keflezighi said on Instagram. “Together, we can light the path for those in need and show the world the power of compassion and community. Let’s run with purpose and inspire others to join us in spreading kindness and hope.”2

Zdeno CharaChara, the legendary Bruins hockey player who stands a mighty six feet, nine inches and helped bring the Stanley Cup to Boston in 2011, is again running in support of the Thomas E. Smith Foundation and the Hoyt Foundation.

“I’m excited to be running the 2024 Boston Marathon to raise money and awareness for @thomasesmithfoundation & @teamhoytofficial!,” Chara said on Instagram. “These two amazing foundations impact the lives of those living with disabilities through financial and emotional support.”3

Nicolas KieferKiefer’s Boston Marathon run will see the former tennis pro complete the last of the big six, having previously run Berlin, Chicago, London, New York, and Tokyo.

Kiefer, who won silver in the 2004 Olympics, wrote on Instagram that he felt “extremely good” during his final training run before the marathon.4

Chris NikicAt 22, Chris Nikic completed his first Boston Marathon in 2021. He is the first person with Down Syndrome to finish the Hawaii Ironman and all Big Six marathons. Nikic aims to improve his Boston time to 5:35 in 2024, his third time running the race.

“Last long run (20 miles) before @bostonmarathon next weekend and @londonmarathon in 2 weeks,” Nikic said on Instagram on Sunday. “Looking to see if I can do better each marathon.”5

Daniel HummDaniel Humm, the chef behind NYC’s three-Michelin star restaurant Eleven Madison Park, hoped to run the New York Marathon but had to drop out due to an Achilles injury. Instead, he will be running in Boston, hoping to beat his time in the same race last year when he ran a 2:58:53.6

Matt WilpersFamed Peloton instructor Matt Wilpers will be running the marathon as a long-time personal goal and as a way to inspire others as he does during his popular workouts.

“My success is when my athletes are successful, so if I can push them to be stronger, better versions of themselves by going out and leading by example, like, I love this stuff,” Wilpers told Boston.com. “I’ll have fun racing a marathon, I’ll have fun racing a 5K. Whatever it is, this is what I do for fun. And so if this is going to get people excited, let’s go do it.”

(04/13/2024) Views: 403 ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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Kenyan Titus Kimutai Kipkosgei won the 2024 Wizz Air Milano Marathon

The Kenyan - with his new personal best - won the finish line in Piazza del Duomo. In the women's race, Ethiopian Tigist Memuye Gebeyahu won.

Kenyan  Titus Kimutai Kipkosgei  won the 2024 Wizz Air Milano Marathon . With a time of 2h07'12" he crossed the finish line in Piazza del Duomo first. It is also his new personal best (the previous one was 2h07'46").  

Raymond Kipchumba Choge and defending champion Andrew Rotich Kwemoi complete the podium. In the women's race , Ethiopian Tigist Memuye Gebeyahu won in 2h26'32". Second was Jepchirchir in 2h27'13". Third was Fantu Gelasa with a time of 02h30'52".

In the men's race, the pace is fast from the start with a passage of 29:56 at 10km for a group of a dozen athletes, then 1h03:43 at half. Shortly after the 30th km (1h30:51) further selection with a quartet on the run: Kwemoi, Kipkosgei, Choge and Isaac Kipkemboi Too (then seventh in 2h11:16). The challenge for the victory lights up at the 34th km with the explosive action of Kwemoi but shortly before the 38th km he is caught by Kipkosgei who takes the reins of the race and takes off. Towards the last kilometre, the Ugandan pays for the attack and is also overtaken by Choge. At the foot of the podium were the Ethiopians Gerba Dibaba (2h08:25) and Barecha Tolosa Geleto (2h08:27). “I am very happy with my test - comments Kipkosgei - and with having obtained the staff in such a beautiful city. I preferred to run at my own pace, I was very careful to manage my strength. When I reached the lead of the race I charged up and found the energy for the final sprint.

Thanks Milan also for all the support along the way." More than 6900 reached the finish line, supported by 15 "cheering points", three of which were animated by Milanese clubs present and noisy with many young athletes ( Atletica Meneghina , Milano Atletica and Aspes ).

The initial protagonist of the women's race is the Ethiopian Gelasa who passes the half way mark in 1h10:34 and the 30th km in 1h40:59, however the pace turns out to be too fast with the decisive comeback of Memuye, leader of the race, and also of Jepchirchir who takes second place. Fourth was the Australian Sarah Klein (2h32:55), fifth the Ethiopian Tigist Bikila (2h32:59). “I no longer expected to be able to regain my head - the words of the winner Memuye - but I believed in it until the end. For me it is a great satisfaction, because Milan marks my return to racing after a long injury. In Ethiopia I train with the world record holder Tigist Assefa and the world champion Amane Beriso, both of whom encouraged me before leaving for Italy". First of the Italians was Giovanni Vanini (Cardarchitettura), fifteenth in 2h25:08, and in the women's category Nadine De La Cruz Aguirre (Gs Il Fiorino, 2h52:08) placed eighth : in a Lombard key the top is the double 15th place with Vanini and Chiara Milanesi (Runners Bergamo), 2h58:44 among women. Among the many people who experienced a Sunday dedicated to solidarity connected to the Boris Becker relay for Fondazione Laureus Italia, Silvia Salis and Paolo Kessisoglu: Federica Curiazzi, Beatrice Foresti, Giuseppe Dino and Daniele Breda), Elisa Di Francisca for WeWorld, Massimo Ambrosini, Rachele Sangiuliano and DJ Ringo for Fondazione Italiana Diabete, Pietro Arese and Andrea Lalli for Fiamme Gialle, Juliana Moreira for Magical Cleme. A Sunday also animated by the Levissima Family Run, with over 8 thousand runners including children and adults of all ages, and preceded by the Milano Running Festival presented by Sky, 40 thousand attendees from Thursday to Saturday.

(04/08/2024) Views: 294 ⚡AMP
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Milano Marathon

Milano Marathon

Passion is what allows us to go beyond our limits. It’s what makes us run when our heath is bursting in our chest, it’s whats makes our legs move even if they’re worn out. It’s passion against sacrifice, and the winner will be declared though hard training, hearth and concentration. Milano Marathon has been presented in the futuristic Generali Tower,...

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Edwin Kurgat, Laura Galvan defend Carlsbad 5000 championships on race’s new course

Reigning champions Edwin Kurgat of Kenya and Laura Galvan of Mexico successfully defended their titles in the Men’s Elite and Women’s Elite races to cap Sunday’s Carlsbad 5000.

The annual road race in Carlsbad Village, with events throughout the day for runners of different ages and skill levels, featured an updated course that benefited from the picturesque weather.

Under blue skies with only wispy clouds, competitors ran parallel to the coastline on Carlsbad Boulevard. They were cheered on both by spectators there to take in the “World’s Fastest 5K” and the beachgoers who became impromptu fans.“The new course is way fun,” said Kurgat. “You don’t have to think about much, so I like it better than last (year’s) course.”

Kurgat’s appreciation for the course manifested in a final time of 13:46.11. His 4:26 pace edged him ahead of New Zealand’s Matt Baxter, who finished second at 13:47.74.

“I felt surprisingly good throughout the entire race,” said Baxter, who ran a 4:27 pace. “I just couldn’t quite hold onto Edwin as we came up that last hill … When I saw him in sights coming through his home stretch, I was giving it everything, because I knew if I was even close to Edwin, it was going to be a day I could be happy with.”

With a mile remaining and the runners coming up the slope, the 2019 NCAA cross-country champion from Iowa State Kurgat gained separation.

Kurgat and Baxter pulled away from American Ben Veatch — who, at Indiana University set the USATF American Junior indoor 5K record with a since-broken 13:57.27. Veatch finished third on Sunday with a time of 14:09.39.

His repeat first-place performance at the Carlsbad 5000 continued an impressive 2024 for Kurgat, who in January ran a 12:57.52 in the indoor 5,000 meters at the John Thomas Terrier Classic in Boston.

An Olympic-qualifying time to his credit, Kurgat’s attention for 2024 turns to Paris and the Oymmpics. 

“It’s a big year, Olympic year. I wanted to come here, have some fun, take a quick break and I wanted to use (Carlsbad) as part of my training,” Kurgat said.Likewise, fellow repeat Carlsbad 5000 champion Galvan ran an Olympic-qualifying time during the World Championships last August in Budapest, Hungary.

A native of La Sauceda, Guanajuato, Galvan will represent Mexico in Paris for the 5,000 meters. She has designs on qualifying for the 10,000, as well.

Ahead of competing for the nation this summer, onlookers at the Carlsbad 5000 waved Mexican flags for Galvan on Sunday.

“I really like the atmosphere,” she said. “It was crazier than last year because last year, we had many turns (on the course) ... The crowd was really, really amazing.”An enthusiastic crowd made for a welcoming environment to Galvan amid the intensity of Olympic preparations.

“Stress builds up. Coming here to a race like this makes it fun,” Galvan said. “I said, ‘If I win, great. If I don’t, it’s fine.’ Because what I wanted to do as much as winning was having a good race.”Galvan accomplished her goal of running a strong race, and winning again came with that.

She finished with a time of 15:19, 20 seconds ahead of second-place finisher, Marissa Howard. Carrie Verdon came in third at 15:49.

Each champion’s successful defense ahead of their respective pursuits of Olympic success provided fitting punctuation to an all-around idyllic spring North County day.

San Diego running legend Meb Keflezighi, a part-owner of the race, summed it up this way: 

“Great turnout from the crowd, great turnout from the participants and perfect weather.” 

 

(04/07/2024) Views: 216 ⚡AMP
by Kyle Kensing
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Amebaw and Yimer win 10km titles at Paris Festival of Running

Likina Amebaw, Jemal Yimer, Hagos Gebrhiwet and Caroline Nyaga were among the winners as athletes descended on Paris for the Festival of Running ASICS Speed Race 5km and 10km events on Friday (5).

Competition took place on an iconic 2.5km loop that started and finished at Palais-Royal in the shadow of the Louvre.

Ethiopia’s Amebaw and Kenya’s Loice Chemnung both dipped under 30 minutes in the women’s 10km, with Amebaw clocking a PB of 29:56 to win and Chemnung finishing just one second behind her. They were joined by Kenya’s Miriam Chebet during the first half of the race but Chebet was unable to maintain the pace and finished third in 30:41.

Finishing fourth, Nadia Battocletti improved her own Italian record to 31:19.

“It was a very amazing race. It was a fast race – I ran under 30 minutes, so I liked it,” said Amebaw, who was recently confirmed as joint runner-up in the 2023-2024 World Athletics Cross Country Tour.

She also voiced her ambition to return to Paris to compete in the No.1 Olympic sport at the Games in August.

“I have got to work hard, and I hope I will be at the Olympic Games,” she said. “Now I will get ready for track competition.”

Less than three weeks after his Seoul Marathon win in a PB of 2:06:08, Ethiopia’s Yimer matched his 10km best, running 27:43 to win the men’s race, also by one second.

Kenya’s Hillary Kipkoech was runner-up in 27:44 and his compatriot Vincent Kibet was third in 27:48.

Ethiopia’s multiple world and Olympic 5000m medallist Gebrhiwet was racing a couple of weeks out from his African Games 5000m victory, which followed a 5km win in the rain at the Podium Festival in Leicester, UK. In Paris he won the men’s 5km in 13:24 ahead of Mohamed Ismael (13:32) and Adel Mechaal (13:34).

Kenya’s Nyaga, who also raced in Leicester where she finished second, this time topped the women’s 5km as she secured a dominant win in 14:40 over Uganda’s Joy Cheptoyek and Belinda Chemutai, who ran 15:03 and 15:05, respectively.

 

(04/06/2024) Views: 345 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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6 Ways to Be a Great Training Partner

These 2024 Olympians know how to help each other while keeping it fun.

Pianist Harold Mabern said that jazz is “competition without animosity.” He might well have been describing the running relationship of Conner Mantz and Clayton Young, who finished first and second, respectively, at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in February. 

That Mantz and Young are not just two guys who run together, but true training partners, became obvious over the second half of the Trials race. Zach Panning, who wound up finishing sixth, took the lead in the sixth mile and dropped the pace by more than 10 seconds per mile. Mantz and Young tucked in; by the 19th mile, when they were Panning’s only company, they slapped each other’s hands in an apparent celebration of making the team. 

When Panning started to slow a few miles later, Mantz and Young pushed on ahead. With two miles to go, Mantz was visibly struggling. Young, looking great by comparison, repeatedly talked to Mantz and stayed with him rather than running the faster pace he looked capable of. In the closing strides, Young eased back as an exhausted Mantz heaved himself over the finish line, one second ahead of his training partner.

Seven years earlier, their first run together was also memorable. Both are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS), the largest Mormon denomination. Many LDS members go on a one- to two-year mission in their late teens to early 20s. Even for members who are top athletes, the mission is primary; most do little to no training and gain a significant amount of weight.

In 2017, Mantz returned from his mission weighing 150 pounds, compared to his usual 120. A little more than a month later, down to 140, he showed up for his first day of practice with the Brigham Young University team. The group was doing an 8-mile tempo run a little slower than 5:00 per mile. “I held onto the pack for as long as I could,” Mantz recalls. “I almost made it 5 miles until I had to slow down.”

Young, who was in the pack, says, “When Conner stuck with us past halfway, I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, he’s only a month and a half off his mission. Conner is the real deal.’”

They began training together regularly in 2019, the year when Young went pro after winning the NCAA 10,000-meter title. Young remained in Provo to train under BYU coach Ed Eyestone, a two-time Olympic marathoner. While at BYU, where he won two NCAA cross country titles, Mantz mulled going pro. He initially stayed in Provo, but thought that he would soon move and join the Oregon-based Bowerman Track Club or another group. Instead, a few months became several months, then several months became a year. After Mantz ran 2:08:16 at the 2022 Chicago Marathon in his debut, he thought, “Alright, this is working.”

That’s an understatement. Here are six takeaways about being good training partners from Mantz and Young, who will run the Olympic Marathon in Paris on August 10.

Find people with similar goals and outlooks

Since their build-up for the 2023 Chicago Marathon, where both PRed (Mantz 2:07:47, Young 2:08:00), they’ve had near-identical competitive schedules. Mantz and Young typically run together six days a week. They do their main run of the day in the morning. Depending on their schedules, the two, who live a few miles away from each other, sometimes also meet for their shorter afternoon run.

Why don’t they run together seven days a week? Both run their 100-plus-mile weeks while devoting Sundays to their faith. Being an outlier in that regard was one reason that Mantz decided not to join a more formal pro group. “I knew nobody else would be taking Sundays off,” he says, “and that added to the list of reasons to stay here.”

Good training partners help you get more out of yourself

Mantz is a notoriously hard trainer. Young is probably better aware of that than anyone else.

“My best workouts are keeping up with Conner, but Conner’s worst workouts are staying with me,” Young says. “I can’t remember the last time I dropped him in a workout or a long run. That’s one of the beauties about working out with Conner—you really do get pushed to your limit. My workouts with Conner are usually far better than they would be by myself. I just have to make sure I don’t go too hard.”

But pace-pushing Mantz also benefits from having Young to gauge himself by. 

“For the most part, I would be way worse on my own,” Mantz says. “I can put a lot of pressure on myself and run too fast early on. I’m all about, ‘Let’s run faster than we did at this point last build-up.’ I see it as I want to get better every day. It’s a little difficult, because I may have gone a little too hard in workouts over the last few years, and so now to even match what I did a year or two ago is quite difficult.”

Compare yourself to you, not your training partners

“There are definitely workouts where Conner is totally trashing me the last interval,” Young says, “and I just have to say, ‘Okay, I did what Coach said and I’m faster in February 2024 than in February 2023. I just really need to compare myself with myself.”

If, like Young, you have a training partner who likes to hammer, do like Young and listen to what your body is saying on that day.

“Typically, Coach will give us some splits he thinks we should start at,” Young says about hard workouts. “But it’s not uncommon for Conner to go faster than those splits, and so I have to do these mental gymnastics of, ‘Do I go with Conner or do I do what Coach said?’ Conner and I are obviously really competitive, and you get a lot of confidence training with one of the best athletes in the marathon, so should I stick with what feels good and with what Coach said, or should I try to close this gap and run with Conner? Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t.”

Share both the joys and the struggles

As pros, Young and Mantz are unlikely to come up with reasons to blow off runs. But we all need an occasional pick-me-up.

“If I’m not feeling good during a workout, I turn to Clayton and say, ‘You’re leading the next one,’” Mantz says. “And he’s always like, ‘Alright, I’ll help out,’ even if he’s also having a bad day.”

For many of us, meeting our running partners doesn’t just help us get out the door. Doing so is often a dependable source of pleasure. That’s as true for Olympians as it for the regular runners. “I just get excited sometimes thinking about the camaraderie and that I get to run with Clayton today,” Mantz says.

Acknowledge irksome behaviors but keep them in perspective

Some days with your training partners won’t be exciting or fun. You might even find yourself wishing you were running alone. But as with a romantic partner, it’s the overall quality of the relationship that matters.

“There are times I’m like, ‘Conner, why did you go that fast? I thought Coach said to do this,’” Young says. “I can get frustrated. But at the end of the day, it’s making me faster. As long as I recognize that balance and look at the big picture, having Conner with me as a training partner far outweighs the little frustrations that I have every now and then.”

Use your time together to improve your lives

Like a lot of us, Young and Mantz spend a good amount of their running time talking about running—how their most recent workout went, what races they have coming up, how the BYU team and other top runners are doing, what the weather will be like on their next hard day. But, says Young, “we’re kind of unique professional runners in that we have a lot of stuff going on outside of running. So we’ll also talk about family, real estate, investments, taxes.”

Mantz, who at age 27 is three years younger than Young, has used a lot of their run time to discuss marriage. “That’s the biggest benefit of having Clayton as a training partner—asking questions and getting advice on things like adjusting to having somebody in your life at a new level,” he says.

Young, who had knee surgery less than a year before making the Olympic team, says, “We’ve gone through some tough stuff. We’ve been able to lean on each other a lot. Our runs together are often like a therapy session.”

(03/31/2024) Views: 337 ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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Four exercises to build bulletproof knees

We know that running doesn’t wreck your knees (and might even make them stronger) but newer runners or those making a comeback occasionally experience some soreness, and the knee is one of the most common areas of injury for runners. The easiest way to keep knee pain at bay is to beef up the muscles around the knee joint.

Adding a handful of simple exercises to your routine will help your legs provide better support and alignment, giving your legs the oomph they need to keep going strong while preventing common injuries such as patellofemoral pain syndrome and runner’s knee. We have four exercises to help you get started.

Single-leg glute bridge

This exercise strengthens the glutes, hamstrings, and core while also improving hip stability and alignment.

Begin lying on the floor with your knees bent and hands by your side.

Engage your core and lengthen one leg out, keeping one foot on the floor. Push through your foot, slowly lifting your hips into a bridge position and keeping your one leg extended.

Single-leg glute bridge

This exercise strengthens the glutes, hamstrings, and core while also improving hip stability and alignment.

Begin lying on the floor with your knees bent and hands by your side.

Engage your core and lengthen one leg out, keeping one foot on the floor. Push through your foot, slowly lifting your hips into a bridge position and keeping your one leg extended.

Hold for a second at the top, squeezing your glutes and engaging your core muscles. Gently to the starting position. Aim for 10 repetitions, and then repeat on the other side.

1.- Forward lunges

Lunges engage the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and calf muscles, and activate stabilizing muscles such as the hip abductors and adductors. They improve overall stability and reduce stress on the knees.

Stand with your feet hip-width apart.

Take a step forward with one leg and lower your body until both knees are at a 90-degree angle, hovering the back knee just above the ground.

Push off the front foot to return to the starting position and repeat with the other leg. Aim for five to 10 repeats to start. You can build resistance by adding sets, or by holding weights once you become comfortable.

2.- Step-ups with knee drive

Step-ups strengthen the muscles responsible for supporting the knee joint during weight-bearing activities like running and enhance the knee’s ability to withstand repetitive stress and maintain proper alignment, reducing the likelihood of overuse injuries.

Stand with feet hip-width apart, facing a step, box, or bench.

Step up with the right foot onto the box, and then drive the left knee up toward the chest. Aim for your hip and knee to form a 90-degree angle. Step back down and repeat on the other side. Aim for 3 sets of 10 reps on each side.

If you want more of a challenge, hold a light weight in the hand that is on the side doing the step-up (if you’re stepping up with your right leg, hold a weight in your right hand).

3.- Squats

Squats strengthen the quadriceps muscles which directly connect to the knee. Strong quadriceps provide the knee with more stability, thus reducing and preventing injury. Start with two to three sets of eight to 12 repetitions.

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes slightly turned out, and your chest up.

Lower your body by bending your knees and pushing your hips back as if you’re sitting in a chair, keeping your weight on your heels.

Lower until your thighs are parallel to the ground, then push through your heels to return to the starting position, squeezing your glutes at the top.

As strength improves, you can gradually increase the number of sets, repetitions, or resistance (such as adding weights) to continue challenging the muscles and promoting knee strength.

4.- Single-leg mini squat

This exercise mimics the motions of running, engaging all the major muscle groups involved in running to build strength and stability while It also challenges balance and building proprioception skills.

Begin by standing on one leg with your knee slightly bent. Keep your chest up, shoulders back and core engaged for balance.

Slowly lower your body by bending the knee of the leg you’re standing on, imagining that you’re sitting back in a chair. Keep your back straight, and go as low as you can (doesn’t need to be far!) while maintaining control.

Hold for a few seconds to challenge your balance and stability, and then push through the heel of the standing leg to return to the starting position. Try five-10 reps on each side to start.

As with any new activity, use caution and patience as you incorporate these into your routine. Feel free to modify by reducing the number of repetitions if you are struggling; if you’re very comfortable with lower-body strength training, add resistance by holding weights as you do the exercises.

 

(03/25/2024) Views: 284 ⚡AMP
by Keeley Milne
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Kenyans Leonard Langat and Vibian Chepkirui will return to defend their Vienna Marathon titles

Kenyans Leonard Langat and Vibian Chepkirui will return to defend their Vienna Marathon titles, while there are three men on the start list who have broken 2:06 and five women featuring personal bests of sub 2:25.

With regard to these personal records it will be strongest line-up in the history of the Vienna City Marathon which will see its 39th edition next week. Including races at shorter distances more than 31,000 runners have registered for Austria’s biggest running event, a World Athletics Marathon Label Road Race.

Kifle had a fine year in 2021: He was third in Enschede, 14th in the Olympic marathon in Sapporo and then 6th in Valencia, where he ran his PB. With his personal record the Eritrean is a little faster than Vienna’s course record of 2:05:41 by Ethiopia’s Getu Feluke in 2014. 

Abdi Fufa of Ethiopia is the third athlete in Vienna’s line-up who has run sub 2:06. A year ago he was second in Siena’s elite only race with 2:05:57.

It looks a tough task for Leonard Langat to defend his title in the Austrian capital. The Kenyan improved to 2:09:25 in Vienna last September. But with this PB he is only the eighth fastest athlete on the start list.  

Unfortunately there were a number of cancellations from elite runners recently. Among them are Mekuant Ayenew and fellow-Ethiopian Derara Hurisa, who had originally crossed the line first in last year’s Vienna City Marathon. However he then had to be disqualified for wearing illegal racing shoes and Leonard Langat became the winner. 

The fastest runner on the women’s start list is Caroline Kilel, who ran 2:22:34 when she took the Frankfurt Marathon back in 2013. While the Kenyan did not reach these sort of times recently there are other athletes who showed promising last year.

Defending champion Vibian Chepkirui may only be number five on the list with her PB of 2:24:29. However she did run this time last September in Vienna in very warm conditions.

Afterwards the Kenyan said that she could have been at least two minutes faster in more suitable conditions. Chepkirui could be capable of attacking the course record of fellow-Kenyan Nancy Kiprop who was the winner in 2019 with 2:22:12. 

Kenya’s Ruth Chebitok and Ethiopia’s Sifan Melaku are number two and three on Vienna’s start list with PBs of 2:23:29 and 2:23:49 respectively.

Sheila Jerotich of Kenya is a contender for victory as well. She took the Istanbul Marathon in November, improving to 2:24:15.

“We are very happy that we were able to surpass the mark of 30,000 entries. Compared to our comeback race in September 2021 this is a nice step forward. We feel the enthusiasm of the runners,“  said Kathrin Widu, the General Manager of the Vienna City Marathon.

There has never been an Eritrean winner in the history of the Vienna City Marathon which had its first edition back in 1984. This may change next week though since the two fastest entrants are from this country: Goitom Kifle and Oqbe Kibrom feature personal bests of 2:05:28 and 2:05:53 respectively.

(03/22/2024) Views: 274 ⚡AMP
by ATAF
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Vienna City Marathon

Vienna City Marathon

More than 41,000 runners from over 110 nations take part in the Vienna City Marathon, cheered on by hundreds of thousands of spectators. From the start at UN City to the magnificent finish on the Heldenplatz, the excitement will never miss a beat. In recent years the Vienna City Marathon has succeeded in creating a unique position as a marathon...

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Haspa Marathon Hamburg: Defending champion Bernard Koech returns

Defending champion and course record holder Bernard Koech will return for the 38th edition of the Haspa Marathon Hamburg on April 28th. The 36-year-old Kenyan, who improved the course best to 2:04:09 last year, will face very strong opponents in Germany’s major spring marathon. Samwel Mailu of Kenya and Ethiopia’s Abdisa Tola, who both produced breakthrough performances in 2023, will challenge the defending champion. In Martin Musau there will be another former winner of the Haspa Marathon Hamburg returning to the race: The Ugandan was the winner in 2021.

“After consecutive course records, we can look forward to another high-quality men’s race. Bernard Koech, Samwel Mailu, and Abdisa Tola are all capable of running world-class times on the fast course. We are happy that these three have chosen Hamburg for their spring marathon,“ said chief organizer Frank Thaleiser, who expects a total of around 12,000 marathon runners on 28th April. Online registration for the race is still possible at: www.haspa-marathon-hamburg.de

“I am looking forward to returning to Hamburg. Last year’s victory was a perfect comeback performance for me because I had problems for some time and there were the Corona lockdowns as well,“ said Bernard Koech, who tied his two-year-old personal best of 2:04:09 last year in Hamburg. However, after achieving his biggest career victory in that race the Kenyan was unlucky when he ran the Amsterdam Marathon in autumn. An injury forced him to drop out of the race. Looking ahead to his Hamburg return Bernard Koech said: “Although I broke the course record last year I believe that I can still run faster in Hamburg.“

A fast pace should suit Samwel Mailu, who wants to improve his personal best. The Kenyan newcomer, who is already 31 years old, stormed to a sensational course record of 2:05:08 despite warm weather conditions at the Vienna Marathon last spring. Later that year he produced another exceptional performance. Added to the Kenyan team at very short notice Samwel Mailu took the bronze medal at the World Half Marathon Championships in Riga, Latvia. “I chose Hamburg for my spring marathon because of the fast course. Hopefully, I can improve my current 2:05 personal best to 2:04,“ said Samwel Mailu.

Twenty-three-year-old Ethiopian Abdisa Tola will be another top contender on 28th April. The younger brother of Tamirat Tola, the World Marathon Champion from 2021 and current New York Marathon winner, ran a stunning marathon debut a year ago: Abdisa Tola won the competitive Dubai Marathon in 2:05:42.

Besides Bernard Koech there will be another runner in the elite field who has already won the Haspa Marathon Hamburg: Martin Musau of Uganda took the race at 2:10:15 in 2021, when the fields were much reduced due to the pandemic. It was last year in Hamburg when Musau improved to a fine 2:08:45 and finished in seventh position.

(03/21/2024) Views: 315 ⚡AMP
by Christopher Kelsall
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Haspa Marathon Hamburg

Haspa Marathon Hamburg

The HASPA MARATHON HAMBURG is Germany’s biggest spring marathon and since 1986 the first one to paint the blue line on the roads. Hamburcourse record is fast (2:05:30), the metropolitan city (1.8 million residents) lets the euphoric atmosphere spill over and carry you to the finish. Make this experience first hand and follow the Blue Line....

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More Than 100 Professional Athletes to Race Boston 5K

Fast fields featuring Olympians, Paralympians, rising stars, and recent B.A.A. event winners will take center stage at the Boston 5K presented by Point32Health and B.A.A. Invitational Mile on Saturday, April 13. The deepest professional field in race history will include more than 100 accomplished athletes from 19 nations, set to square off for prize money and awards in the open, wheelchair, and Para Athletics Divisions. 

“More than 40,000 athletes will take part in B.A.A. races across Boston Marathon weekend,” said Jack Fleming, President and Chief Executive Officer of the B.A.A. “Saturday’s Boston 5K and B.A.A. Invitational Mile fields feature some of the fastest American and international stars, many who are aiming to compete at the Olympics and Paralympics in Paris.”

A new champion will be crowned and the stage is set for another close race at the Boston 5K. Ben Flanagan (Canada), Edwin Kurgat (Kenya), and Alex Masai (Kenya) – all top-five finishers a year ago – will return. They were at the front of an exciting finish a year ago that saw the top 13 men come across the line within ten seconds of the winner.

Top Americans Cooper Teare, Zach Panning, and Drew Hunter look to be at the front of the field. Teare is the reigning U.S. club cross country national champion, while Panning led a majority of February’s USA Olympic Team Trials – Marathon and Hunter is a former national champion indoors at 2 miles. B.A.A. High Performance Team members Eric Hamer and Barry Keane will be racing their hometown event.

Also on the start line will be Ben Kigen, an Olympic steeplechase bronze medalist in 2021; Simon Koech, last year’s Diamond League winner in the steeplechase; and Merhawi Mebrahtu, the 5,000m World Junior Championships silver medalist. Ethiopians Getnet Wale and Addisu Yihune are the two fastest men in the field, having gone sub-13:00 on the track for 5,000 meters.

Leading the women’s field is USATF 5K National Champion and B.A.A. High Performance Team member Annie Rodenfels. Joining her are 2024 Team USA Olympic marathoner Dakotah Lindwurm, former American marathon record holder Keira D’Amato, perennial top-American Boston Marathoner Nell Rojas, as well as Team B.A.A. runners Abbey Wheeler, Bethany Hasz Jerde, and Megan Hasz Sailor.

Uganda’s Sarah Chelangat, the Cherry Blossom 10 Mile champion in 2023, and Mercy Chelangat, a former NCAA Cross Country and 10,000m winner, are both entered. Reigning B.A.A. Half Marathon champion Fotyen Tesfay of Ethiopia also comes back to Boston seeking another win.

In the wheelchair division, course record holder and six-time Boston Marathon champion Marcel Hug (Switzerland) will square off against Americans Daniel Romanchuk and Aaron Pike. Brazil’s Vanessa de Souza – the 2018 Boston 5K winner – is the women’s wheelchair division favorite. Perennial Para Athletics Division contenders El Amine Chentouf (T12, vision impairment), Brian Reynolds (T62, lower-limb impairment), and Marko Cheseto (T62, lower-limb impairment) will vie for prize money and podium placings. This will be the largest professional Para Athletics Division field in event history.

Nearly 10,000 participants will take part in the Boston 5K, serving as the first race of the 2024 B.A.A. Distance Medley series.

KRISSY GEAR LOOKS TO REPEAT IN B.A.A. INVITATIONAL MILE

Krissy Gear earned a hard-fought B.A.A. Invitational Mile win last year and now comes in with the target on her back as defending champion. Four of the top five finishers from 2024 return, including Susan Ejore (Kenya), Jazz Shukla (Canada) and Taryn Rawlings (USA). Micaela Degenero, the 2022 NCAA Indoor Mile champion, and 4:23.94 Helen Schlachtenhaufen are entered as well.

Massachusetts high school standout Ellie Shea will take on the professionals. The Belmont High School student-athlete finished 10th at last year’s B.A.A. Invitational Mile.

Massachusetts native and 3:52.94 miler Johnny Gregorek leads the men’s field of competitors. Melkeneh Azize of Ethiopia, the world junior champion at 3000m in 2022, and Harvard’s Vivien Henz, a national champion in Luxembourg, will each make their B.A.A. road racing debuts.

In addition to the professionals, student-athletes from each of the eight cities and towns that make up the Boston Marathon route will compete in a Scholastic Mile and Middle School 1K.

(03/20/2024) Views: 389 ⚡AMP
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B.A.A. 5K

B.A.A. 5K

The B.A.A. 5K began in 2009, and became an instant hit among runners from far and wide. Viewed by many as the “calm before the storm,” the Sunday of Marathon weekend traditionally was for shopping, loading up on carbohydrates at the pasta dinner, and most importantly- resting. But now, runners of shorter distances, and even a few marathoners looking for...

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Kenyan athletes Lagat Ivyne and Rutto Asbel secure the victories in women and men's category at the Run Rome The Marathon

The marathon of Rome, which took place today among the wonders of the eternal city, was a record-breaking event and dedicated to water. The Acea Run Rome the Marathon, in fact, is the first marathon dedicated to water and water saving. The 2024 edition was won by the Kenyans Asbel Rutto, in the men's competition, and Ivyne Lagat, in the women's competition.

The men's podium was completed by the other two Kenyans Brian Kipsang and Sila Kiptoo, while the Kenyan Lydia Simiyu and the Ethiopian Emebet Niguse finished second and third. Deputy general manager operations Giovanni Papaleo presented the award for Acea.

This year the Marathon has chosen "run for water" as its hashtag, to underline the profound connection that unites sport and water and the importance of water resources in protecting people's health and the health of planet Earth.

Along the over 42 kilometers of the race, Acea guaranteed many refreshment points, with around 60 thousand liters of water available to the athletes and over 100 thousand biocompostable glasses, with a view to the circular economy. It was a record race for the number of participants, for the number of foreigners and blessed by the record of the route.

The Rome marathon took place in one of the richest cities in the world in history and art but also in fountains and aqueducts, therefore an ideal place to affirm water as the identifying theme of one of the most important running events at a national level and international.

At the starting line this morning, over 19 thousand registered for the marathon alone, more than 40 thousand people who also ran the "Acea Run4Rome" solidarity relay and the 5 kilometer "Fun Run" city race. Four records have been achieved since the 2024 edition: record number of participants for an Italian marathon, record number of foreign participants, over 10, the record number of official pacers in the race, 200 of which over 100 foreigners from 15 nations and finally the record number of group training sessions, Get Ready, which were 5 in Rome and over 30 around the world, including the United States and Canada. A race route over 42 km long, renewed compared to last year, which from the historic center, starting and finishing on Via dei Fori Imperiali, crossed various points of the capital, among the wonders of the city.

Last kilometer, the arrival is thrilling, tears and heart pounding, the time needed to complete the Colosseum tour for the second time, which the marathon runners have achieved a spectacular finish line on the Imperial Forums with the Colosseum behind them which will also dominate in a unique souvenir photo in the world.

(03/19/2024) Views: 378 ⚡AMP
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Run Rome The Marathon

Run Rome The Marathon

When you run our race you will have the feeling of going back to the past for two thousand years. Back in the history of Rome Caput Mundi, its empire and greatness. Run Rome The Marathon is a journey in the eternal city that will make you fall in love with running and the marathon, forever. The rhythm of your...

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Ferdinand Omanyala's track rival hoping to bounce back as he eyes Olympic title

Ferdinand Omanyala's Italian track rival hopes to make a grand return this season as he gears up to defend his Olympic title in Paris, France.

Ferdinand Omanyala’s track rival Marcel Jacobs had a poor run last season due to a bout of injuries but the Italian hopes to make a strong comeback this season.

Jacobs, the reigning Olympic champion made a few changes at the end of last season where he parted ways with his coach Paolo Camossi who guided him to the 100m title at the delayed 2020 Olympic Games.

At the time, Jacobs had yet to decide on his new coach but noted that he would be leaving Rome where he had been based. Last season, he competed in four 100m races and failed to clock a sub-10 in all four and also failed to win any of the 100m races.

His final race last season was the Memorial Borisa Hanžekovića in Croatia where he finished third and he hopes to bounce back this season as he gears up to defend his Olympic title.

The Italian has also skipped the indoor tour this season, a move that is unlike him since he is usually a frequent competitor during the indoor races.

As per World Athletics, Jacobs will head straight to the outdoor season where he intends to open his season at the Ostrava Golden Spike for the first time as he works towards the European Championships on home soil.

As per World Athletics, Jacobs will head straight to the outdoor season where he intends to open his season at the Ostrava Golden Spike for the first time as he works towards the European Championships on home soil.

(03/14/2024) Views: 261 ⚡AMP
by Abigael Wuafula
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Paris 2024 Olympic Games

Paris 2024 Olympic Games

For this historic event, the City of Light is thinking big! Visitors will be able to watch events at top sporting venues in Paris and the Paris region, as well as at emblematic monuments in the capital visited by several millions of tourists each year. The promise of exceptional moments to experience in an exceptional setting! A great way to...

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Elle St. Pierre Upsets World Record-Holder to Win First World Championship Title

A year after giving birth, St. Pierre won gold in the 3,000 meters at the World Indoor Championships.

On Saturday, March 2, Elle St. Pierre threw down an electrifying kick to beat two-time world champion Gudaf Tsegay for gold at the 2024 World Indoor Championships. Running for Team USA, St. Pierre won the women’s 3,000 meters in 8:20.87, breaking the American record and championship record. Ethiopia’s Tsegay finished second in 8:21.13, and Beatrice Chepkoech ran a Kenyan national record when she placed third in 8:22.68, rounding out the podium of a thrilling race at Commonwealth Arena in Glasgow, Scotland.

The event began with Tsegay setting an aggressive early pace. With the 5,000-meter world record-holder out in front, Chepkoech, St. Pierre, and Jessica Hull of Australia followed. Running patiently, St. Pierre maintained contact in fourth place for much of the race. Together, the pack passed through the first 1600 meters in 4:29.

By 2,000 meters, the top four created a gap between the rest of the field. With two laps remaining, Tsegay attempted to break away from her rivals but she couldn’t shake Chepkoech and St. Pierre, who looked ready to strike at any moment.

At the bell, St. Pierre began to make her move to the front. To the cheers of a roaring crowd, the 29-year-old passed the Olympic bronze medalist on the homestretch. St. Pierre is the first American in history to win gold in the event. She is now No. 3 on the world all-time list two years after earning silver at the 2022 World Indoor Championships.

“It’s a dream come true,” St. Pierre told reporters after the race. “I don’t think it’s fully sunk in quite yet, but it feels amazing to be here with my family and my teammate, Emily [Mackay], and my coach in Scotland.”

In the mixed zone, St. Pierre said she expected a fast race but knew she could use her miler speed to close well if she put herself in position with the leaders, and that’s exactly what she did.

The victory took place two days before her son, Ivan, celebrates his first birthday. St. Pierre said not racing much last summer allowed her to build up mileage, resulting in a stunning postpartum comeback. “Having a baby has only made me stronger,” she said.

St. Pierre’s increased strength was evident three weeks prior to the World Championships. At the 2024 Millrose Games on February 11, the two-time world indoor medalist broke her own American record when she won the women’s Wanamaker mile in 4:16.41.

With the 2024 Paris Olympics fast approaching, St. Pierre looks poised to make a major leap from her 10th-place finish in the 1500 meters at the Tokyo Games.

(03/03/2024) Views: 417 ⚡AMP
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He’s Back! Meb Keflezighi Announces Return to Boston Marathon

Meb will line up to mark the 10th anniversary of his 2014 victory.

After a decade of one of the most famous wins in the Boston Marathon, Meb Keflezighi is returning.

On Wednesday, the two-time World Marathon Major winner and 2004 Olympic silver medalist confirmed that he will compete at the Boston Marathon in April. He is returning to mark the 10th anniversary of his 2014 win, where he became the first American man to win since 1983. It was an emotional year for many, as it was also the first running of Boston since the 2013 bombings.Keflezighi, 48, announced via X that he’ll run the marathon in support of his MEB Foundation, which supports health, education, and fitness worldwide.

“I am lacing my shoes in Hopkinton and running the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2024,” Keflezighi said in the announcement, to a fitting soundtrack. “10 years ago I had the great honor to put the victory for all of us among the 36,000 others who want to make a difference at the streets of Boston. Boston strong.”

Keflezighi has been absent from the race since he ran his last professional Boston Marathon in 2017 before finishing his competitive career at the 2017 New York City Marathon. Along with his Boston win, Keflezighi won New York in 2009 and earned a silver medal at the 2004 Olympic games in Athens, making him the only man to win the Boston and New York marathons and an Olympic medal in the marathon.

Since his big win in 2014, no American has run a time faster than his 2:08:37 effort.

MORE FROM RUNNER'S WORLD ON APPLE NEWS

 

(02/25/2024) Views: 283 ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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RAS AL KHAIMAH HALF MARATHON IS ON SATURDAY AND IT SHOUlD BE A FAST ONE

New regime, new course, but with Olympic and world champions and the usual array of speedsters, Saturday’s Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon is virtually assured of the sort of fast times that have been a feature of the event throughout its 17 year history, including three women’s world records.

Pride of place both on the start list and at this morning’s press conference in one of the smaller emirates in the UAE were Olympic marathon and three time world half-marathon champion, Peres Jepchirchir of Kenya, and keeping the balance in the long-term East African distance running rivalry, world marathon champion Tamirat Tola of Ethiopia heads the men’s entry. The wild card, hoping to gatecrash the party is Konstanze Klosterhalfen of Germany, who surprised the East Africans when she beat a dozen of them to win her debut half-marathon in Valencia in 2022.

Jepchirchir may neither be the fastest marathoner or half-marathoner among current women long distance runners, but she knows how to win races, an asset far more valuable than fast times. In the seven months between late August 2021 and mid-April 2022, she won the Olympic, New York and Boston Marathons, a rare collective achievement. In her comeback marathon following an injury, she finished third in last year’s London Marathon. And she has won 12 of her 16 half-marathons. She is loath to admit her plans yet, but this RAK ‘half’ is perfectly scheduled as a springboard, to going back to London in April, to upgrade that third place.

Tola was similarly annoyed that an injury preventing him successfully defending his 2022 world marathon title in Budapest last summer, but a speedy recovery saw him break the long-standing New York Marathon record with 2.04.58 three months later. He is one of the few elites to be making his debut in the RAK ‘half’ and the scale of his task may be judged by the fact that on paper there are 15 men faster than his best of 59.37 set seven years ago in Prague. But he suggested that is due for drastic revision. ‘I’d like to think I can do under 59 minutes if the race turns out to be fast,’ he said at the press conference. Fastest man in the field is Daniel Mateiko of Kenya with 58.26, but his colleague Benard(sic) Kibet has the advantage of having won last year in 58.45.

Klosterhalfen, ‘Koko’ to her pals may prove to be not only the wild card, but the joker in the pack in the women’s race. A world bronze medallist on the track and European 5000 metres champion, the German called a halt to her summer season last year when a foot injury caused her to reassess her career. She had changed her shoe sponsor, left her coach and long-term training venue in the USA already. She then switched again and has teamed up with Gary Lough, latter-day coach to Mo Farah and spouse of former world record holder Paula Radcliffe (here in RAK as a TV commentator). Klosterhalfen has also switched her altitude training venue to Addis Ababa, where she has just spent six weeks, coming directly to here. ‘Road running is still a bit of an adventure for me’, she said this morning. ‘I still want to run on the track, but I want to more road races’.

The roll-call of winners since the race began in 2007 is a ‘Who’s Who’ of distance running over the last two decades; beginning with Sammy Wanjiru and Berhane Adere in the inaugural race, via luminaries such as Patrick Makau, Geoffrey Mutai, Elvan Abeylegesse, Mary Keitany, Geoffrey Kamworor, Lelisa Desisa, Samson Kandie and Hellen Obiri. Add to that Jepchirchir herself who won in 2017 in a then world record of 65min 06sec.

The promoters of the successful marathon down the road in Dubai have been invited this year to give the RAK ‘half’ a makeover, and they began by introducing a 10k race for locals and altering the half-marathon course. ‘It’s faster and better than any route before here in Ras Al Khaimah; we’ve cut out some of the sharp turns,’ said race director Peter Connerton, ‘so we’re hoping for at least similar times and hopefully better. But with a couple of good races into the bargain’.

ELITE CONTENDERS

MEN

Daniel MateikoKEN58:26

Kennedy KimutaiKEN58:28

Seifu TuraETH58:36

Amdework Walelegn ETH 58:40

Benard Kibet KoechKEN58:45

Alex Korio KEN 58:51

Birhanu Legese ETH 58:59

Haftu Teklu ETH 59:06

Tamirat TolaETH59:37

WOMEN

Ababel YeshanehETH64:31

Margaret KipkemboiKEN64:46

Peres JepchirchirKEN65:06

Catherine Amanang’ole KEN 65:39

Konstanze KlosterhalfenGER65:41

Tsigie Gebreselama ETH65:46

Evaline ChirchirKEN66:01

Vivian Kiplagat KEN 66:07

Yalemget YaregalETH66:27

(02/22/2024) Views: 338 ⚡AMP
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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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Kenyan-born American runner seeking redemption at Tokyo Marathon after US Olympic trials heartbreak

Kenyan-born American runner Betsy Saina is seeking a comeback at the Tokyo Marathon after missing out on the US Olympic marathon trials.

Kenyan-born American runner Betsy Saina will seek redemption at the Tokyo Marathon after a heartbreaking run at the US Olympic Marathon trials.

Saina exuded confidence ahead of the Olympic trials in Orlando but unfortunately failed to finish the race after the hype surrounding her. She now heads to the Tokyo Marathon on Sunday, March 3 where she hopes to bounce back to winning ways.

Follow the Pulse Sports Kenya WhatsApp Channel for more news.

Two days ahead of the marathon trials, Saina had opened up on how her son motivates her to do better and she was optimistic of representing the US at the Olympic Games.

In a post on her Instagram, she said: “My little man has taught me to be resilient and brave. Everything I do he is the priority before anything else comes.

On Saturday I will be running for him, He has changed my life in many ways, I am the happiest woman in the world.”

She has now put the setback behind her and is looking forward to bouncing back at the Tokyo Marathon where she will be up against some of the greatest marathoners.

Defending champion Rosemary Wanjiru will be returning with the hope of bagging another title. During last year’s edition of the race, Wanjiru destroyed a strong field to claim the top prize, cutting the tape in 2:16:28. She enjoyed her 2023 season and will be looking to continue the hot streak to 2024.

Wanjiru also represented Kenya at the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary where she finished sixth in the marathon.

2023 London Marathon champion Sifan Hassan will also be in the mix, hoping to notch up her third marathon victory since her debut in London last year. The Dutch woman has proven what she can do both on the track and the full marathon.

Hassan made her full marathon debut at the London Marathon and won most dramatically. She clocked 2:18:33 to beat marathon experts including Peres Jepchirchir, the reigning Olympic marathon champion.

She extended her winning streak to the Chicago Marathon where she stunned defending champion Ruth Chepng’etich to second place.

Hassan will be eyeing the Olympic Games and the Toyo Marathon is a better place for her to build up for the event.

Kenyan-born Israeli Lonah Salpeter has also been invited and she will be out to challenge the double Olympic champion and Wanjiru for the top prize. The Ethiopian charge will be led by Sutume Kebede and Tigist Abayechew who will be out to reclaim the title they lost to Kenya last year.

Magdalena Shauri of Tanzania will also be hoping to continue soaring high after her dominant exploits in Berlin last year where she finished third.

(02/21/2024) Views: 344 ⚡AMP
by Abigael Wuafula
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Tokyo Marathon

Tokyo Marathon

The Tokyo Marathon is an annual marathon sporting event in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. It is an IAAF Gold Label marathon and one of the six World Marathon Majors. Sponsored by Tokyo Metro, the Tokyo Marathon is an annual event in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. It is an IAAF Gold Label marathon and one of the six World...

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World 60m hurdles records for Holloway and Jones in Albuquerque

By running the fastest time in hurdling history on Friday (16), Grant Holloway also extended one of the sport’s longest stretches of dominance.

On the first day of the US Indoor Championships in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Holloway ran 7.27* in the heats to break his own 60m hurdles world record before skipping the final hours later because he was already assured of a berth on the US team bound for the World Athletics Indoor Championships in Glasgow next month. 

The victory was Holloway’s 60th consecutive at the senior 60m hurdles, part of an astounding, decade-long streak that has left him still the only hurdler all time to dip under 7.30, a feat he has now achieved three times. That longevity and speed ensures he will arrive at Glasgow the prohibitive favourite to win a second straight world indoor gold medal – what he called the “main goal” of this season.

“I knew it was going to be a good one after I got out of the blocks,” Holloway said. “My main thing was just to continue going through with my steps and my rhythm. I wasn’t too upset about it but, you know, 7.27 at a nice track is always a good thing.”

With Holloway a spectator for Friday’s final, Trey Cunningham’s comeback season continued with a personal best 7.39 to claim his first national indoor title. The silver medallist at the 2022 World Athletics Championships in Oregon, Cunningham was hobbled by an injured back and hamstring in 2023, but has returned to form. 

Holloway’s world record run came only 20 minutes after another. Tia Jones equalled the women’s world record in the 60m hurdles by clocking 7.67* in the heats to match the mark set by Devynne Charlton of The Bahamas just five days earlier at the Millrose Games.

After crossing the finish line and bouncing off the facility’s protective padding, Jones glanced at the clock and initially turned away – before doing a double-take when recognising she had just equalled Charlton’s mark. 

In the final more than two hours later, Jones nearly matched her record yet again. Her winning time of 7.68 was 0.10 ahead of Jasmine Jones.

They were not the only favourites to win convincingly on the championships’ first day.

World-leading marks were set by Daniel Haugh, whose weight throw of 26.35m also broke the US record; Chase Jackson, who led the shot put from her first attempt and won it on her third with a mark of 20.02m; and long jumper Tara Davis-Woodhall, who described herself as “shocked” after leaping a personal best of 7.18m. Despite acknowledging that she was struggling with her approach on her final four jumps, Davis-Woodhall’s mark moves her to No.6 on the all-time list indoors.

“I think we have more in the tank,” said Davis-Woodall. 

In the pole vault, Chris Nilsen set a US Championships record with his winning vault of 6.00m, ahead of Sam Kendricks, who cleared 5.95m. Nilsen missed once and Kendricks twice at a US record height of 6.05m, before Nilsen raised the bar to 6.10m and missed two more attempts at the record. In one of the night’s few instances where a top contender stumbled, KC Lightfoot finished eighth on 5.65m.

Elle St. Pierre, the only racer in the 3000m with the World Indoor Championships standard, ran alone for much of the final to win in 8:54.40, nearly nine seconds ahead of second-placed Josette Andrews. Countries are allowed two entrants per event for the World Indoor Championships – unless they also have a wild card entry in certain disciplines due to athletes winning the World Indoor Tour in 2023 or 2024, as is the case for Holloway – and competitors must either own their event’s qualifying standard or, if not, advance via world ranking.

Expecting a tactical race, St. Pierre, who was accustomed to racing at Albuquerque’s altitude after months of training at elevation in Arizona, took control of the pace early. If she qualifies for the World Indoor Championships in the 1500m as well, St. Pierre indicated she “would just focus on the 3km” in Glasgow.

Like St. Pierre, Yared Nuguse entered his own 3000m final as the only racer already owning the standard for the World Indoor Championships. Unlike St. Pierre, he waited out a slower, more strategic race with his kick to win in 7:55.76.

Running in fifth through 1400m, Nuguse moved up to stay patient in second until taking the lead entering the bell lap. He never let it go by closing the final 400m in 54.39 to edge Olin Hacker, who was second in 7:56.22. Nuguse set the US mile record last year, but said he and his coach had aimed for the 3000m in Glasgow out of a desire to maintain the strength he’d accumulated during winter training.

Will Nuguse race Josh Kerr in Glasgow, in what would be a showdown of top 1500m medal contenders stepping up to a longer distance? Kerr, fresh off running 8:00.67 for two miles at the Millrose Games, has not tipped his hand. 

“Honestly, I like the suspense factor,” Nuguse said. “Maybe he’ll be there, maybe he won’t. It’s great.”

Vashti Cunningham’s reign in the high jump continued, needing only three jumps and never missing en route to winning her eighth consecutive indoor national title at 1.92m. Cunningham will enter Glasgow in position to add to her gold and silver medals earned at previous World Indoor Championships, as her season’s best of 1.97m is tied for third-best in the world this season. 

The men’s high jump saw another repeat champion, as Shelby McEwen leapt 2.28m to retain his title. McEwen has not yet met the World Indoor Championships standard of 2.34m, but could advance based on world ranking.

In other finals, Chris Carter won the men’s triple jump on his last attempt, though his mark of 16.49m remains short of the world indoor standard. Nick Christie claimed the men’s 3000m race walk in 11:56.06, and Miranda Melville claimed the women’s title in 13:55.24.

(02/17/2024) Views: 320 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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2024 USAFT Indoor Championships

2024 USAFT Indoor Championships

With the exception of the Combined Events, which will be selected by World Athletics invitation, the 2024 USATF Indoor Championships scheduled for February 16 – 17, 2024 will serve as the selection event for Open athletes for the 2024 World Athletics Indoor Championships. All athletes are required to complete team processing in order to be eligible for selection to a...

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Former world record holder Dennis Kimetto will race for 1st time since 2019 this weekend at Lagos Marathon

2013 Tokyo and Chicago Marathon champion Dennis Kimetto has confirmed where he will be competing after a five-year hiatus due to injuries.

The excitement is building for the 9th Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, scheduled for Saturday 10 February with the confirmation of over 81 world-class, Gold Label elite runners ready to descend on the course.

One notable name is Dennis Kimetto, a former world record holder over the marathon distance. The 2013 Tokyo and Chicago Marathon champion returns to competitive running since 2019 and he will hope to impress one more time.

Kimetto has suffered a series of injuries which started back in 2015. At the time he was not at his best as he only completed the London Marathon, finishing third, and failing to complete the IAAF World Championships marathon in Beijing.

Kimetto also failed to finish the Fukuoka Marathon in December of the same year where he stopped at the 5-kilometer mark after dropping off the pace at 2 kilometers due to an injury.

After finishing ninth at the 2016 London Marathon, Kimetto opted to run in the Chicago Marathon where he unfortunately pulled out ahead of the race, citing a stress fracture in his left leg.

His injury problems continued in 2017, with a knee injury forcing him to withdraw from the Boston Marathon field. The 2014 Berlin Marathon champion failed to finish both the Chicago Marathon in October and the Honolulu Marathon in December.

At the Vienna City Marathon in April 2018, Kimetto dropped out before the 25-kilometer mark. He then went to compete at the Shanghai Marathon where he finished 10th in 2:14:54.

In 2019, he tried making a comeback at the Daegu Marathon where he did not finish the race. He now returns with the hope of making waves like he did during his prime days.

Meanwhile, the field also includes 29 female runners and promises a highly competitive and potentially record-breaking event.

“The confirmation of over 81 Gold Label runners is a positive development for the 9th edition. As we prepare for the 10th edition, our goal is to elevate the race from Gold Label to Platinum Label status,” Yusuf Ali, the Race General Manager and former African record holder in the Long Jump said in an official statement issued.

(02/09/2024) Views: 334 ⚡AMP
by Abigael Wuafula
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Access Bank Lagos City Marathon

Access Bank Lagos City Marathon

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

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Josh Kerr puts Jakob Ingebrigtsen's beef aside as he focuses on next assignment

Scottish middle-distance runner Josh Kerr is not focusing on Jakob Ingebrigtsen's comments about him as he is eyeing another major assignment where he will attempt to attack the two-mile world record.

Reigning World 1500m champion Josh Kerr is not focusing on track rival Jakob Ingebrigtsen’s sentiments as he gears up for the Millrose Games on Sunday, February 11.

Kerr and Ingebrigtsen started their beef last year after the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary where the Scottish man bet the Norwegian to second place in the 1500m.

Kerr then rekindled the beef saying that Ingebrigtsen has a lot to work on when it comes to his manners on and off the track.

The Scot emphasised that the Norwegian has a “high ego” and is used to being surrounded by “yes men”, making it difficult for him to understand that there is a difference between respect and antipathy.

The reigning World 5000m champion, Ingebrigtsen has been out of competition due to an injury and he just made a comeback to the limelight announcing that he is expecting a child with his wife.

As per Letsrun.com, Ingebrigtsen also addressed Kerr, noting that he thinks the latter is just looking for attention ahead of the Olympic Games in Paris, France.

He said: “I realized that there was “something,” but I can’t quite say what it was. Let’s call it a desperate attempt. And I don’t think that was so smart. It might look silly at some point.”

However, Kerr seems unshaken by his sentiments and he is firmly eyeing his next assignment where he intends to make history.

He will tackle the two miles with Mo Farah’s world record of 8:03.40 in his sights. Kerr will be up against US 5000m and 10,000m record-holder Grant Fisher and Olympic 1500m sixth-placer Cole Hocker, New Zealander Geordie Beamish, and former US 1500m champion Cooper Teare.

“In February, I’m still coming off really high base training and I still want to be toward 5000m at that time of year. A two-mile just fits in perfectly where it is a bit speedier, but it’s not the mile,” he said as per Athletics Weekly.

(02/07/2024) Views: 325 ⚡AMP
by Abigael Wuafula
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NYRR Millrose Games

NYRR Millrose Games

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

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Faith Kipyegon donates history-making spikes to the Museum of World Athletics

Double world record holder Faith Kipyegon has donated her history-making bright pink running spikes to the Museum of World Athletics.

Three-time World 1500m champion Faith Kipyegon has donated the spikes that she competed in at the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary to the Museum of World Athletics.

The reigning World 5000m champion wore those bright pink running spikes while making history during last year’s global bonanza.

Kipyegon has now graciously chosen to donate to MOWA in recognition of the historic double accomplished by the Kenyan phenomenon with her formidable finish in the gripping 12-and-a-half lap final.

Kipyegon was in a class of her own during last year’s event, bagging both the 1500m and 5000m titles. In the 1500m final in Budapest, she controlled the race all the way, gradually winding up the pace before kicking hard at the bell and opening up a wide gap with 200m remaining.

She crossed the line in 3:54.87, comfortably clear of the young Ethiopian Diribe Welteji, who took second in 3:55.69. The fast-finishing Sifan Hassan claimed bronze in 3:56.00.

As would be the case in the 5000m, Kipyegon with the smooth, perfectly balanced high temp running style secured a historic achievement with her 1500m success.

No woman had ever completed a hat-trick of World Championships titles at the distance. Algeria’s Hassiba Boulmerka, Tatyana Tomashova of Russia, and Bahraini Maryam Jamal all won twice at the distance.

Kipyegon's first 1500m title came in London back in 2017 and her second in Oregon in 2022. In between, in Doha in 2019, on the comeback trail after the birth of her daughter, Alyn, she took the silver medal behind Hassan.

She now has focus on the Olympic Games where she intends to make history one more time by bagging her third Olympic title.

“That’s the big fish. If I win three times, back-to-back Olympic titles at 1500m, it will be a motivation to the next generation. And it will be a big motivation for me to try to achieve it. It would be a big legacy to leave behind. It would be something else,” she said as per World Athletics.

(02/07/2024) Views: 311 ⚡AMP
by Abigael Wuafula
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Defending champion Bernard Koech returns to Hamburg

Defending champion and course record holder Bernard Koech will return for the 38th edition of the Haspa Marathon Hamburg on 28th April. The 36 year-old Kenyan, who improved the course best to 2:04:09 last year, will face very strong opponents in Germany’s major spring marathon.

Samwel Mailu of Kenya and Ethiopia’s Abdisa Tola, who both produced breakthrough performances in 2023, will challenge the defending champion. In Martin Musau there will be another former winner of the Haspa Marathon Hamburg returning to the race: The Ugandan was the winner in 2021.

“After two course records in a row we can look forward to another high quality men’s race. Bernard Koech, Samwel Mailu and Abdisa Tola are all capable of running world-class times on the fast course. We are happy that these three have chosen Hamburg for their spring marathon,“ said  chief organiser Frank Thaleiser, who expects a total of around 12,000 marathon runners on 28th April. Online registration for the race is still possible at: www.haspa-marathon-hamburg.de

“I am looking forward to returning to Hamburg. Last year’s victory was a perfect comeback performance for me, because I had problems for some time and there were the Corona lockdowns as well,“ said Bernard Koech, who tied his two year-old personal best of 2:04:09 last year in Hamburg. However, after achieving his biggest career victory in that race the Kenyan was unlucky when he ran the Amsterdam Marathon in autumn. An injury forced him to drop out of the race. Looking ahead to his Hamburg return Bernard Koech said: “Although I broke the course record last year I believe that I can still run faster in Hamburg.“

A fast pace should suit Samwel Mailu, who wants to improve his personal best. The Kenyan newcomer, who is already 31 years old, stormed to a sensational course record of 2:05:08 despite warm weather conditions at the Vienna Marathon last spring. Later that year he produced another exceptional performance. Added to the Kenyan team at very short notice Samwel Mailu took the bronze medal at the World Half Marathon Championships in Riga, Latvia. “I chose Hamburg for my spring marathon because of the fast course. Hopefully I can improve my current 2:05personal best to 2:04,“ said Samwel Mailu.

23 year-old Ethiopian Abdisa Tola will be another top contender on 28th April. The younger brother of Tamirat Tola, the World Marathon Champion from 2021 and current New York Marathon winner, ran a stunning marathon debut a year ago: Abdisa Tola won the competitive Dubai Marathon in 2:05:42.

Besides Bernard Koech there will be another runner in the elite field who has already won the Haspa Marathon Hamburg: Martin Musau of Uganda took the race with 2:10:15 in 2021, when the fields were much reduced due to the pandemic. It was last year in Hamburg, when Musau improved to a fine 2:08:45 and finished in seventh position.

(02/05/2024) Views: 310 ⚡AMP
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Haspa Marathon Hamburg

Haspa Marathon Hamburg

The HASPA MARATHON HAMBURG is Germany’s biggest spring marathon and since 1986 the first one to paint the blue line on the roads. Hamburcourse record is fast (2:05:30), the metropolitan city (1.8 million residents) lets the euphoric atmosphere spill over and carry you to the finish. Make this experience first hand and follow the Blue Line....

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2017 Valencia Marathon champion to compete in first marathon after doping ban

The 2017 Valencia Marathon champion will be keen to make a comeback to winning ways this year after successfully serving his doping ban.

An estimated 13,000 runners from more than 70 countries have been confirmed for the Marrakech International Marathon (MIM), scheduled for Sunday, January 28.

Sammy Kitwara, a former World Half Marathon Championships bronze medalist will bid to make an impression in his first marathon after concluding his doping ban.

The 2017 Valencia Marathon champion was banned by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) back in 2019 for the presence of Nanning Terbutaline, a drug used as a "reliever" inhaler in the management of asthma symptoms.

His positive test came from the Seul International Marathon in March 2019 where he took seventh place with 2:09:52. Kitwara said he took the drug without knowing it was banned by WADA. He had also failed to consult with a doctor to obtain a therapeutic use exemption (TUE).

Kitwara will be joined by compatriot Nicholas Kirwa and the Kenyan duo will be up against top runners including Ethiopia’s Hiribo Shano Share and Omar Ait Chitachen.

Speaking at a press conference, Mohamed Knidiri, the Grand Atlas (AGA) and director of this international competition indicated that the marathon is organized under the high patronage of HM King Mohammed VI.

“Over the years, MIM has become a school for promoting and launching great champions of this discipline, who have left their mark on the international scene, particularly among Moroccan athletes.

“Thanks to upstream planning and operational management experienced in major competitions, the MIM aims not only to obtain the 11th place in the world obtained in 2013 but, even better, to become the essential international meeting for all the stars of this sporting discipline, like its glorious position in 2012 when it was the only marathon on the African continent qualified for the London Olympic Games,” he said.

He also hoped that this edition would be marked by the achievement of new records, particularly among the men.

(01/26/2024) Views: 382 ⚡AMP
by Abigael Wuafula
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Marrakech Marathon

Marrakech Marathon

The magical town of Marrakesh offers an exceptional setting, a very mild climate in January and a beautiful circuit considered as one of the fastest in the world. It goes along the alleys of palm trees, orange, and olive trees, but also the ramparts of the city. The International Marathon of Marrakesh is not only expected to reconquer the prime...

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Over a year after suffering season ending injury, Dina Asher-Smith makes a comeback into uncharted territory at Millrose Games

Every day, we are getting closer to one of the most anticipated events, The Millrose Games 2024. The track and field world is amped up to witness the thrilling performances of top-notch athletes in all the exciting events. Among this one athlete that has grabbed every track and field enthusiast’s attention is Dina Asher-Smith. This British Sprinter is ready to make a spectacular comeback in the 2024 iteration of the Millrose Games after facing trials and tribulations due to her hamstring injury. 

After sustaining an injury at the World Championships in Oregon, the athlete had to pull out from several events. However, after a year of grappling, Dina Asher-Smith has announced her participation in the Millrose Games 2024. Let’s have a panoramic view of the same. 

Dina Asher-Smith to participate in two events at the Millrose Games.

The British Sprinter Dina Asher-Smith faced a tough time after her hamstring Injury in 2022 as she had to pull out from the Commonwealth Games. She sustained this injury while performing at the 4x100m relay. However, more than a year after this incident, the Olympian has added her name to the Millrose Games giving a great start to her 2024 season. A US track and field Insider took to their X account to announce the same. 

The post carried, “Dina Asher-Smith will be running the 60m at the Millrose Games on February 11th!” Apart from this, the champion has added her name to the 4x400m as well. She is extremely excited to showcase her skills here at one of the most prestigious track and field competitions. 

She expressed, “The Millrose Games is one of the most prestigious and historic indoor competitions in the USA, and I am looking forward to racing there for the first time.” Dina Asher-Smith further added, “I am really enjoying my new training setup in Austin, and I’m looking forward to a big year in 2024”. This competition is going to be a great one as some of the most anticipated races will be held among the top-notch athletes. 

Athletes to compete with the British Olympian at the Millrose Games 2024 

The Millrose Games will be held on the February 11, 2024 at the Armory in NYC. The Armory this year will witness great races yet again with some of the notable athletes participating in the event. The 60m will be one of the anticipated races as along with Dina Asher-Smith, other renowned athletes will also be gracing the event. 

The first name on the list of the 60m event is the first woman in NCAA to break the seven-second barrier over the 60m, Julien Alfred. This Saint Lucian Sprinter is the Joint North American holder for the 60 meters. Then is the Olympian American athlete English Gardner. The Jamaican athlete Briana Williams will also be competing.

Other athletes like Shashalee Forbes, Tamari Davis, Marybeth Sant-Price, and Celera Barnes will be a part of the competition. The track and field enthusiasts cannot wait to witness which athlete will sprint towards victory and take the gold home. 

(01/23/2024) Views: 348 ⚡AMP
by Nancy Singh
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NYRR Millrose Games

NYRR Millrose Games

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

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91-year-old Italian woman Emma Maria Mazzenga speeds to age-group 200m world record

Emma Maria Mazzenga of Italy is etching her name in track and field history at the age of 91. Competing in the W90+ category at a Masters event in Veneto, Italy last weekend, she clocked an incredible 54.47 seconds for 200m indoors, shattering the world record by five seconds.

Mazzenga maintained an impressive speed of 13 km/hr for the 200m distance. Achieving such a feat is astounding, considering most would be content just to reach the age of 91, let alone set a new age group world record with a pace of 4:30/km. What adds to the awe of Mazzenga’s accomplishment is her incredible comeback. According to Vogue Italy, she started training just a month before her Jan 14 race, following a sternum fracture.

The former 200m indoor record for the W90+ category stood for 13 years and belonged to Canadian masters legend Olga Kotelko. Kotelko, who passed away in 2014 at the age of 95, held over 30 world records and won more than 750 gold medals in the masters competitions.

Mazzenga, a retired chemistry professor from northern Italy, only started competing masters races at the age of 53. Now, at 90, she continues to defy norms and set records. A video of her record-breaking run has gone viral on TikTok and Instagram.

Mazzenga told Vogue Italy that her secret to success is elegantly simple: she never stops. Each morning, Mazzenga takes a walk with her friend, interspersed with biking between her walks and runs. “The emotion that a race gives me, the adrenaline I get every training session, it brings energy to my days,” Mazzenga shared with Vogue Italy.

Despite setting a world record, Mazzenga remains humble and confident that she can achieve even faster times at her upcoming races at the Italian Masters Championships in Ancona, Italy, and the European championships in Torun, Poland, scheduled for March.

(01/20/2024) Views: 568 ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson
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Bored, Injured, or Experiencing a Plateau? Here’s How to Shake Up Your Running

Plus, coach-approved ways to shake up your training. We’re all for having a set run schedule, considering the ease it can bring to your life. You don’t have to formulate workouts on the fly or do any guesswork over how to reach your goals—simply lace up and follow the plan.

But sometimes, too much structure can backfire, causing you to fall into a rut. And that can zap the joy out of running, transforming the activity you once loved into nothing but negativity.

Fortunately, there are simple things you can do to bust out of a rut and get back into a happy running groove. First though, you have to identify that you’re in one. 

With that in mind, we tapped two coaches to learn the signs of when you might want to switch up your run routine, and what those signs might indicate. Plus, exactly how to inject excitement back into your runs. Let this be the permission you need to try something new. 

1. You Dread Working Out

It’s normal to feel less-than-chipper about an occasional workout, but if you find yourself outright dreading your runs more often than not, “it’s time to reassess,” Kaila DeRienzo, a South Carolina-based certified personal trainer and certified run coach tells Runner’s World. 

The potential cause: A few things could lead to dreading workouts. One possible culprit: Your workouts are too challenging because you’ve set a goal that’s unrealistic for your current fitness level, Kai Ng, USATF- and RRCA-certified run coach in New Jersey and New York, tells Runner’s World. Runs and workouts that are too hard cause you to overtrain and ultimately loathe your workouts because all you’re really doing is just beating up your body. 

Another potential cause: Other stressful factors in your life, such as a tough work schedule, or demanding caregiver responsibilities, or parenting duties, all of which can make it tough to devote as much time to running as your current training plan dictates, Ng says. 

The fix: First, have an honest conversation with yourself to understand why you’re feeling amiss, DeRienzo suggests. By identifying the root cause of your malaise, you can take targeted steps to address it, she explains. 

For example, if your dread is tied to a too-lofty goal, such as trying to run four days a week instead of aiming for a more manageable two days or aiming for a PR in a marathon instead of a half or 10K, then let yourself off the hook by lowering the bar. Though it’s great to dream big, it’s also important to be realistic. “Smaller wins are so, so important,” Ng says, as they help build confidence. 

If you pinpoint other factors in your life that are making it tough to stick with your current plan, be honest about what you’re actually able to commit to right now and adjust your routine accordingly, Ng suggests. Maybe this isn’t the season to log 50 miles a week, or finally run a marathon. That’s okay. Not every training cycle needs to end with a PR. 

Lastly, if you realize the sense of dread extends beyond running and into other areas of your life, you may be struggling with a mental health issue, such as depression. In this case, talk to a trained professional, DeRienzo says. 

2. You’re Really Bored

People get into running for various reasons, but one common thread that inspires folks to stick with it is that it engages and challenges them. If you find that your sense of joy about running has evaporated—for example, workouts or races that once felt exciting are now ho-hum—that’s worth looking into. 

The potential cause: You may not be challenged enough, Ng says. While all runners should regularly pencil in easy runs, only doing workouts that feel like a walk in the park can lead to boredom. 

Alternatively, you may not be injecting enough variety into your routine. Perhaps you run the same route every. single. day. Or you carbon copy your workouts week after week. That level of monotony can also lead to boredom. 

The fix: First, evaluate your fitness to get a solid sense of your current abilities in order to help figure out how to best challenge yourself. 

“Whether it is a fitness test, a time trial, a race, get out there and see where you’re at and how you stack up,” Ng says. From there, level up your plan as needed. You might want to talk to a coach for some helpful guidance. 

On the other hand, if you suspect your boredom is due to monotony, shake things up by exploring new running routes (Strava can be a great tool for this), joining a local run club (Ng suggests trying out a different one each week), or experimenting with different types of workouts. This could look like venturing out on trails if you’re typically a road runner or challenging yourself to run hills if you normally go flat. 

Dabbling in forms of exercise outside of running, such as swimming, cycling, dance, and Pilates—really whatever tickles your fancy—can also help add variety and excitement to your schedule. 

Finally, you can also reignite your spark with running by treating yourself to something novel, like a fresh pair of shoes, a snazzy new training outfit, or a fancy fitness tracker. “Getting something new always shakes things up,” says Ng. 

3. You’re Dealing with Injuries

According to 2021 study published in the Journal of Health and Sport Science, 50 percent of runners experience some type of injury every year that prevents them from running for a period of time, and 25 percent of runners are injured at any given time. These injuries can range from shin splints to ankle and knee problems. 

In other words: Almost every runner deals with injury at some point, but if ailments continuously crop up, that’s a surefire red flag your plan needs adjusting. 

The potential cause: Chances are, you’re overtraining by either running too many miles, logging too many high-intensity runs, or not allowing your body enough recovery time in between sessions, Ng says. 

The fix: It’s common sense, but it bears repeating: Don’t train through injury. Instead, scale back your running to allow your body time to heal. Seek help as needed from a physical therapist or coach to fully mend the issue and get their guidance on how to avoid future injuries. 

Keep in mind that factors like poor sleep and inadequate nutrition can increase your odds of injury, so take an honest look at your overall lifestyle and make adjustments as needed. 

4. Your Progress Has Stalled

If, despite consistent efforts, your performance in workouts and races has stagnated, then it’s high time to re-evaluate your current plan. 

The potential cause: You may be overtraining or struggling with a nutrition issue, says Ng, both of which can sabotage performance because your body isn’t getting the recovery it needs. Or, quite possibly, you don’t have enough variety in your routine, DeRienzo says. 

Over time, your body adapts to the work you demand, and if you don’t routinely challenge your body in novel ways, eventually you’ll stop seeing progress. 

As the American Council on Exercise explains: “Doing the same exercise repeatedly could lead to a plateau where no more physiological changes occur.” 

The fix: If you suspect you’re plateauing due to overtraining or nutrition problems, dial back your mileage and/or workout intensity and focus on eating frequent, well-balanced meals.

Also, inject other types of exercise into your schedule. “Move in different ways,” says Ng, explaining that most any type of cross-training movement—from strength training to skiing to swimming to yoga—is beneficial for runners. Because running is such a linear sport (you move in just one direction: forward), taking the time to build your strength and athleticism in other ways can ultimately make you a stronger, more resilient runner. 

Now, if you realize your stagnation is due to an unchanging run routine, spice things up however you can: Add speed work, hit the hills, challenge yourself to run longer, or try new interval workouts. “Having something new and exciting to look forward to each day of the week is going to keep it mentally stimulating and also keep your body stimulated, too,” DeRienzo explains. 

5. You Don’t Feel Confident in Your Workouts

If you don’t have a training plan, have low confidence in your program, or are unsure if the schedule you’re following is inching your toward your goals, it’s time to rethink your approach. 

The potential cause: Choosing the right training plan for you and your goals can help you feel accomplished by checking off workouts one by one. Plus, it will give more structure to your training so you get the right mix of intensities within your workouts and the right amount of rest—rather than simply winging it. If you have a plan, but it’s too generalized and not personalized to you, says DeRienzo, it may also leave you feeling less than confident in your training. “What somebody else does is not going to be the most beneficial” for your situation, she explains. 

The fix: Find the right training plan for you by determining your fitness level and your goals. (You can also use our quiz to point you in the right direction.)

If you're serious about becoming a better runner, you might also consider hiring a coach—even for just a few months—to get personalized guidance and a curated-for-you plan.

“There’s a myth that run coaching is super expensive,” says Derienzo. Truth is, “it’s a lot more affordable than personal training,” she says, noting that in her experiences, it’s realistic to find support for less than $100 per month. Search platforms like CoachUp, Training Peaks, and RunDoyen to connect with a pro. 

6. You’re Missing Workouts

While skipping a run here and there is NBD, if you’re consistently bailing on workouts, then your run plan clearly isn’t working for you. 

The potential cause: Life is probably too busy right now to sustain the level of running your plan requires, says Ng. Or, you may just need more rest. Either way, your current approach just isn’t appropriate for your schedule or fitness level. 

The fix: Take a close look at your schedule and map out which days make the most sense to do which workouts, says Ng. For example, instead of attempting long runs on Sundays like everyone, you might realize Wednesdays are more ideal since you don’t have any work meetings then. Or, perhaps Friday becomes your new strength training day instead of Tuesday, since the gym is less crowded then, making it easier to get in and out. 

Taking the time to rejigger your plan so that it actually makes sense with your schedule will increase your likelihood of sticking to it—and ultimately, seeing results. 

Of course, if you’re missing workouts because you really feel like you need it (or you’re injured), then it’s best to scrap your plan entirely and allow yourself the downtime you need to heal. 

Finally, if it’s your mental motivation that’s making you miss most of your planned runs, it’s probably time to take a break. “Get a breather and gather yourself,” says Ng. By putting distance between yourself and the sport, you can get a clearer picture of what you ultimately want to get out of running. 

(01/14/2024) Views: 275 ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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Mumbai Marathon 2024: Olympic medalist Meb Keflezighi named brand ambassador

Celebrated long distance runner Meb Keflezighi, who won a silver medal in the 2004 Athens Olympics, has been named brand ambassador of the 19th Tata Mumbai Marathon scheduled to be held on Sunday.

The race is a World Athletics Gold Label event and Procam International is the promoter of the event.

Celebrated long distance runner Meb Keflezighi, who won a silver medal in the 2004 Athens Olympics, has been named brand ambassador of the 19th Tata Mumbai Marathon scheduled to be held on Sunday.

The race is a World Athletics Gold Label event and Procam International is the promoter of the event.

“The Tata Mumbai Marathon has been on my bucket list for the longest time, and finally being able to witness Mumbai’s indomitable spirit, is indeed exciting,” Keflezighi, an Eritrea-born American, was quoted as saying in a press release.

“This event inspired a country to run and changed mindsets, that is the true legacy of a sporting event. Mumbai’s incredible energy and enthusiasm, combined with the dedication of its runners, embodies the universal language of endurance. I will only say this… remember to run with purpose, embrace the journey, and move ahead together. In every stride, find the strength to go the distance and make a difference to what you believe in.”

Keflezighi has several record-breaking accolades in his career.

He scripted history when he became the only runner to win an Olympic medal (2004), the New York City Marathon (2009) and the Boston Marathon (2014).

In 2009, Keflezighi became the first American since 1982 to win the New York City Marathon. He has achieved the feat of being in the top 10 in the New York Marathon for a total of eight times in his career.

In 2015, he set a TCS New York City Marathon masters event record with a timing of 2:13:32sec.

In 2014 he won the Boston Marathon (2:08:37), the first American male to do so since 1983, and the first American since 1985.

Since 1930, Keflezighi has held the record for being the oldest winner of the Boston Marathon as he triumphed there when he was 39 years old.

He is also a former USA National 10,000m track record holder.

The Tata Mumbai Marathon will flag off from the iconic Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus on Sunday.

(01/08/2024) Views: 379 ⚡AMP
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Tata Mumbai Marathon

Tata Mumbai Marathon

Distance running epitomizes the power of one’s dreams and the awareness of one’s abilities to realize those dreams. Unlike other competitive sports, it is an intensely personal experience. The Tata Mumbai Marathon is One of the World's Leading Marathons. The event boasts of fundraising platform which is managed by United Way Mumbai, the official philanthropy partner of the event. Over...

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Wilson Kipsang hints at marathon return after serving doping ban

Former world marathon record holder Wilson Kipsang has expressed his interest in returning to running after serving his four-year doping ban

Former world marathon record holder Wilson Kipsang has expressed interest in making a comeback to running after his doping ban elapsed.

Speaking to Nation Sport, Kipsang explained that he is currently sharpening his talons as he gears up for a grand return into competing.

He noted that he will be looking forward to competing at either the Tokyo Marathon on March 3, the Paris Marathon on April 7, or the Hamburg Marathon on April 24.

He expressed his interest in returning to competitive running after three of his family members and himself survived a road accident on Monday.

After the survival, Kipsang narrated that he swerved the vehicle on one side of the road and was lucky to have escaped with minor injuries.

“I want to assure everyone who is worried about our wellbeing that we are fine and back in Iten. Let them worry no more,” said Kipsang. 

The 41-year-old was slapped with a four-year-ban for whereabouts failures, not being available for drug testing, and providing false evidence in his case.

Kipsang had been provisionally banned in January 2020 in the case handled by the Athletics Integrity Unit. The former Olympic bronze medalist was punished for four whereabouts failures between April 2018 and May 2019.

Three such failures within 12 months led to an automatic ban, however, the Kenyan had his sanction increased after it was ruled that he had tampered with the investigation by providing “false evidence and witness testimony”.

(01/02/2024) Views: 305 ⚡AMP
by Abigael Wuafula
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Tokyo Marathon

Tokyo Marathon

The Tokyo Marathon is an annual marathon sporting event in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. It is an IAAF Gold Label marathon and one of the six World Marathon Majors. Sponsored by Tokyo Metro, the Tokyo Marathon is an annual event in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. It is an IAAF Gold Label marathon and one of the six World...

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Noah Lyles returns to training with plans for explosive start to 2024

Noah Lyles is not playing about winning an Olympic quadruple since he is already back in training.

Triple World champion Noah Lyles is back in training as he seeks an Olympic quadruple at next year’s Olympic Games in Paris, France.

The 26-year-old shared a video on his X (Twitter) lifting the heaviest weight (125kg) for the first time and he seemed to do it pretty well. He captioned the video saying: “Tried my max (125kg).”

The American has enjoyed a great 2023 season, winning triple gold at the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

He started his winning streak by bagging gold in the 100m, beating Botswana’s Letsile Tebogo and Great Britain’s Zharnel Hughes to second and third place respectively.

He then proceeded to defend his World 200m title before propelling the American 4x100m men’s relay team to victory.

The Olympic Games next year surely promise to be a thrilling showpiece, especially in the men’s sprints where each runner will be going for the top prize.

Lyles has already fired warning shots at his opponents and in an interview with World Athletics, he said: “I’m not different. I’m still the same Noah. If anything, I’m more hungry than before because I’ve proved to myself that I can do it, so now I’m even more eager to do it for next year. It’s almost like another fire has been ignited for next year.

“I was talking to a close friend and he's like: 'I already know you're going to win three golds at the Olympics. I want you to win four. I remember when you were in high school, I watched you at Penn Relays go from second to last to first in the 4x400m, chasing down all those Jamaicans - there's your fourth medal.

“I've never had somebody tell me something that has thrown my out-of-the-box thinking to inside-the-box, but that was like: okay, I'm not going to say no to that. Because after what I did at Budapest and seeing what my body could handle, if I train for it, okay, let's take a shot. If they allow me, if they need me and they are willing - let's go, let's take it,” he said.

(12/29/2023) Views: 333 ⚡AMP
by Abigael Wuafula
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Paris 2024 Olympic Games

Paris 2024 Olympic Games

For this historic event, the City of Light is thinking big! Visitors will be able to watch events at top sporting venues in Paris and the Paris region, as well as at emblematic monuments in the capital visited by several millions of tourists each year. The promise of exceptional moments to experience in an exceptional setting! A great way to...

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The ‘Taco Bell 50K’ Requires Strong Legs—and a Stronger Stomach

Every fall, a group of Denver runners celebrates National Taco Day by running 31 miles using the fast food Mexican chain as aid stations

Imagine you’re 12 miles into a running race and you arrive at an aid station, where, instead of refueling with energy gels, you’re required to eat a 540-calorie Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supreme. 

Yes, that’s one of the mid-race snacks you’ll need to consume if you want to be an official finisher of a bizarre and spirited, 31-mile run through the greater Denver area.

Welcome, if you dare, to the annual Taco Bell 50K Ultramarathon. 

What started as an offhand suggestion on a Saturday morning training run has now become a stupid and fun gastro-intensive ultra-distance event with 10 “aid station” stops at various Taco Bell restaurants. But, as silly as it seems, it’s all about sharing the community of running, says founder Dan Zolnikov. 

Held every October for the past six years, and loosely coinciding with National Taco Day (yes, that’s a thing), it’s an unconventional and entirely unsanctioned fun run that has several ridiculous rules—a.k.a. the semi-optional Taco Bell 50K Commandments that are printed on the back of the event’s race bibs—including the need to eat something from the Taco Bell menu at every stop. 

While that could mean consuming something small at most of the restaurant visits—like, say, an order of Nacho Fries or Cinnamon Twists—the fourth and eighth aid stations demand a higher level of gastrointestinal fortitude. At those stops, participants must opt for one of the larger and more calorie-intensive “Supreme” menu items, such as a Crunchwrap Supreme, Burrito Supreme, or Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Tacos Supreme.

“I always tell people it’s fun until the fourth stop,” says Zolnikov, a Denver lawyer and avid ultrarunner who started the event in 2018. “Most of those that are new to it are like, ‘Wait, I’ve gotta eat a Chalupa Supreme or a Crunchwrap Supreme and then keep running for almost 20 more miles?’ And we laugh and say, ‘Yep! That’s what we do.’ Honestly, that’s when a lot of people are like, ‘I think I’m just going to go home.’”

Running the Taco Bell 50K is what many ultrarunners call out-of-the-ordinary Type 2 fun—something that conceptually sounds fun before and afterwards, but in actuality is not quite that fun while it’s happening. But word has gotten out and it’s been compelling enough to have grown to a record 40 participants this year. There’s no entry fee, but each runner is expected to pay for their own food. 

While the Taco Bell chain of 7,000 Mexican-themed fast food restaurants isn’t a sponsor of the event—and the event organizers explicitly remind participants of that—a Denver-based Taco Bell franchise group agreed to open one of its locations early this year to accommodate the 7 A.M. start and welcome runners with free breakfast burritos, thanks, in part, to the persistent prodding of Jason Romero, one of the event’s original instigators.

Not just a zany group run, the Taco Bell 50K is rooted in ultrarunning lore and takes cues from some of the country’s most famous races. Not only does the course alternate between clockwise and counterclockwise every other year—a la Colorado’s Hardrock 100—it also requires runners to keep their Taco Bell food wrappers as an ode to how runners need to tear a page out of hidden books on the Barkleys Marathon course.

While Leadville 100 luminary Ken Chlouber has famously motivated runners for 40 years by saying “You’re better than you think you are, you can do more than you think you can,” Romero says the motto of the Taco Bell 50K is that “you’re hungrier than you think you are, and you can eat more than you think you can.” 

How does a convoluted event like the Taco Bell 50K get started in the first place? At a farmer’s market, of course. 

During long Saturday morning training runs in the spring of 2016, Zolnikov and running buddy Mike Oliva developed a habit of refueling by eating fresh, Colorado-grown or locally crafted food at Denver farmer’s markets. On one run, Oliva randomly stopped to use a bathroom at a Taco Bell and suggested to Zolnikov they should consider changing their route the next weekend and make Taco Bells their impromptu aid stations. 

“As soon as he said it, we laughed but then there was this awkward, five-minute silence between the two of us,” Zolnikov recalls. “We were just kind of jogging along and not really saying anything, but he said it so it was out there. I think we realized it was a stupid idea, but, as ultrarunners, we kind of wanted to do it. So I asked him, ‘Do you want to do that next week?’ And he was like, ‘No dude, just forget I said anything. Let’s just forget it.’” 

Although the idea never conjured up mouth-watering excitement, the odd craving to do it never went away. The banter about the idea continued on their Denver running Facebook group, as well as at weekly training runs of the Denver chapter of Achilles International, a running club in which runners with disabilities are guided on weekly training runs and weekend races. 

Oliva started that group in 2013, and it has met for weekly runs at Denver’s Washington Park every Monday night for the past 10 years, developing an easy-going camaraderie between guides and runners. 

“This talk about running to Taco Bells went on for about two years, and finally I got sick of hearing the trash talk, and just said, ‘That’s it, we’re doing it,” says Romero, 53, a regular Achilles runner who is legally blind. “And as soon as I said it, it kind of got silent. But I’m not about talking, I’m about doing. So I said, ‘You put together a course and we’re going to do this.” 

Within a few days Zolnikov had plotted out a course using Google Maps and Strava, connecting nine Taco Bells in the Denver metropolitan area in a 31.52-mile loop. (To make it an even 10 aid stations, the event starts and finishes at the same Taco Bell on the southwest side of the city.) And then, a few weeks later, in October 2018, seven courageous runners gave it a go and five finished in about seven and a half hours. (The other two tapped out, waving the white napkin of surrender midway through the route.)

Although it was mostly a celebratory season-ending fun run among a core group of friends for the first few years, it has garnered more interest as word of mouth spread. A few of the Achilles runners have joined in the fun every year.

“It’s not a glamorous route,” says Ben Garrett, who took over as race director after running the Taco Bell 50K for the first time in 2022. “It’s kind of what you’d call an urban ultra through the ‘scenic’ parts of Denver.”

Garrett, a 25-year-old structural engineer, was training for his first marathon when he was cajoled into joining the Taco Bell 50K—despite never having run more than 16 miles. He joined willingly and finished, giving him a boost of confidence heading into the Disney World Marathon three months later.

“It was great to know I could run that far before my marathon, especially knowing I had a stomach of steel after that,” Garrett says with a laugh. “But it also inspired me to run more. After my first marathon, I did another marathon and then a couple of 50Ks. Now I’m hooked for life.”

There are no winners, and there are no prizes. Instead over the years, runners have piled on extra gastrointestinal challenges for extra satiation. 

There’s the Baja Blast Challenge, which entails only imbibing two liters of Mountain Dew Baja Blast during the run, and then there’s the Diablo Challenge, which consists of oozing a packet of Taco Bell’s next-level hot and spicy Diablo Sauce on every single food item throughout the run. (By the way, two of the more precarious event rules state that no Pepto Bismal, Alka Seltzer, Pepcid AC or Mylanta will be allowed on the course, and the bathroom stops are only allowed at the Taco Bell restaurants.)

As if consuming 1,500 calories during the run wasn’t enough, some runners have added their own challenges—such as devouring a Voodoo Doughnut during the middle of it—and many runners engage in the Diablo Shooter Challenge, which is simply sucking down a packet of the restaurant’s fiery hot sauce to conclude the run. But to be fair, one of the forgiving commandments is the notion that every runner can take a mulligan and skip eating at one of the stops.

“It’s just meant to be a fun run,” says Denver runner Bill Garner, who has participated in five of the six Taco Bell 50Ks. “It’s the one ultra where you’re just really out there for the camaraderie. I don’t really feel like anybody’s racing, although I’m sure somebody’s going to show up one year and try to run it all-out. But for most of us, it’s a big camaraderie run.” 

It is mostly about the community spirit that pervades running, but for Garner, the Taco Bell 50K inspired him to run farther and pursue new running goals. Prior to participating in the first event in 2018, the 53-year-old cybersecurity technology specialist and strict vegetarian primarily ran marathons and half marathons on the roads. Since then, his focus has become ultra-distance races on trails, and believe it or not, he typically relies on cold Taco Bell bean-and-cheese burritos in his aid station resupplies.

“It’s the perfect ultra fuel,” says Garner, who consumed numerous Taco Bell delicacies enroute to finishing the Kansas Rails to Trails 100-miler in 2019. 

“I thought these ultrarunners were crazy, and I jumped into this because it was crazy, but then it changed my life,” he says. “I had never run an ultramarathon before I did the Taco Bell run, and I definitely learned that, if you just keep eating, you can keep going. That’s what ultras are all about.” 

A few years ago, Portland, Oregon, runner Bobi Jo Ousnamer befriended several Colorado runners in an online forum while training for the Pikes Peak Marathon. They told her about the Taco Bell 50K and asked her to come out and run it in 2019, but she couldn’t fit it into her schedule because she was training for her first 100-miler. 

However, she made it out for the 2020 edition, amid the Covid-19 pandemic. (That year, a small group of runners ran through Taco Bell drive-thrus to order their food because the inside dining areas weren’t open.) During the run, she admitted she had devised her own Taco Bell 50K course in Portland. That immediately sparked interest in doing Denver and Portland events on back-to-back days, which they finally pulled off in 2022 on the day of the Portland Marathon. 

That event included stops at seven Taco Bells and a marathon aid station a friend organized on her front lawn, where they devoured homemade breakfast tacos. Calling it the Double Deuce Challenge, it included 62 miles and 18 taco stops in two cities in less than 36 hours.

“I made the mistake of mentioning to Jason Romero that I had created a Portland course and he was like, ‘Oh my God, we’re doing a double!’” says Ousnamer, 34, who works as a juvenile public defender in Portland. “So for the fifth anniversary, he announced that we’d be doing this double. I think we all thought he was kind of joking, but as the months went on, he was like, ‘All right, I’ve got a plane ticket so we’re doing this.’ The Taco Bells are not as close together as the Denver ones and it’s hillier in Portland, so it was a bit of a bigger challenge. We were definitely feeling it on day two.”

Although the Taco Bell 50K has always meant to have been a low-key, end-of-the-season celebration for local runners, it’s continued to gain notoriety and to push the envelope of what’s possible. Runners in Texas and New Jersey have reached out about developing something similar, as have a couple of running clubs in Europe. Although the event details were typically only posted on Facebook when Zolnikov managed it, Garrett upped its visibility and inclusivity by developing an informational website with a link to the Strava map of the course.

Will the Taco Bell 50K continue to grow? 

“Honestly, I never wanted to see it start to begin with, but it’s kind of turned into this force of nature that’s bigger than me and bigger than Jason, and it’s become its own thing now,” Zolnikov says. “People can use it for whatever they want it to be, and if someone wants to get bragging rights for racing through it as fast as they can, go for it. My thing has always been about getting together and running, and, OK, ‘Let’s do this kind of dumb thing, and let’s have fun doing it.”

(12/23/2023) Views: 397 ⚡AMP
by Outside Online
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