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Yes, It’s Okay to Take a Month Off from Running

If Des Linden can do it, so can you.

Convincing us runners to take time off is always a struggle. But given the state of the world right now—non-stop stress and no races for the foreseeable future—you’d be forgiven for wanting to hang up your sneakers for a little while.

Even the elites are doing it. Last week, Des Linden—former Boston Marathon champion! Olympian!—posted on Twitter that she hadn’t run a step for a full month. When a well-intentioned commenter asked what she’d been doing in the meantime, she responded (with the typical Des wittiness): “Growing a sofa on my ass.”

Linden may have been nonchalant about her time off, but, for a lot of us, a month feels like a long time. What will happen to your Strava stats? How will this affect your training status on your smartwatch? Forget the metrics—will you even be able to run again after all that time off?

The short answer: Yes. But you will likely lose some fitness.

After just a few weeks of little to no exercise, your heart starts to show significant signs of detraining, according to a 2018 study on marathoners published in the Journal of Applied Physiology. And adults who took a month off after following a regular cardio routine for four straight months lost almost all their aerobic gains in that month, earlier research published in Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases.

But a month isn’t that long and well-trained athletes like Des can bounce back fast. “If you take a month off, it will take you about a month to get back to where you were,” says Polly de Mille, R.N., certified strength and conditioning specialist and director of Tisch Sports Performance Center at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS). Think about it this way: What’s two months when the rest of 2020’s race calendar is a big ol’ blank?

For most people, though, taking a month off running doesn’t mean melting into your couch. “Most of the research shows that three sessions a week at at least 70 percent of your VO2 max—whether that’s swimming or biking or an online class—is going to do a pretty good job of maintaining your aerobic conditioning,” says de Mille.

So if you’re tempted to take time off from running to give your body a break or restore your motivation mentally, you can easily maintain most of your fitness by doing some cross-training.

While aerobic fitness starts to decline in seven to 14 days, muscle loss typically starts to occur in as little as three days, says Krishna Curry, community and digital marketing director for Run Mercury and contributing coach at RUNGRL. “What’s important to consider is what your training looked like before you take a break,” she says. “If you’ve been training intensely over the past several weeks, you’ve put a lot into your tank so it’s not going to be as fast as a decline as somebody who wasn’t that consistent with their running or who was a lot weaker to start with. And you’re going to adapt a lot faster when you come back to training.”

That month off could actually be a good thing—especially right now. Remember, training is a stressor. Your body can only handle so much stress at once; if you’re already stressed about COVID-19, social isolation, and the reckoning of systemic racism, layering that stress with high-intensity training (i.e. running), can put you on a road to overtraining and burnout. “At this point, we’re not recovering the way we used to,” says de Mille. “There’s only so much we can take.” So if a break from running is what you need, that’s self-care.

Plus, a break is an opportunity to set new goals. When you’re following a training plan, it doesn’t leave a lot of time for things you know you should be doing. Forget about mileage, and use a break to develop other areas of strength that you normally don’t have as much time to focus on because you’re racking up double digit runs, says Curry. “You can build your strength, do core work, zero in on mobility—things that will make running easier when you do get back it,” she says. You may not be running, but you’re shoring up all the weak links. “Now’s the time to address any compensations or imbalances you’ve been coping with so you can rebuild yourself properly,” Curry adds.

When you are ready to get back to running, ease into it. “Don’t assume that it’s like tapering for a race and when you come back, you’re going to be even more fit,” says de Mille. You especially need to be respectful of the orthopedic stress of running. “There’s nothing quite like the impact that you experience when you’re running, so if your tendons and muscles haven’t experienced that sort of eccentric stress in a while, your cardiovascular system may be way ahead of your musculoskeletal system in terms of readiness to go long or work hard.”

Sure, you’ll probably be excited to get back to it. But don’t feel like you need to make up for lost time. “It’s really important that people map out their plan beforehand so they can stay consistent,” says Curry.

Look back at the weekly volume you were maintaining before your break and pick the bare minimum, healthy volume of running that you can maintain without inciting any injury, she says; then, she typically starts by adding one to two miles per week. As the volume increases relative to your starting point, those weekly increases get smaller. Just make sure to “lower your expectations for what you’re going to do when you go back,” says de Mille. “Be patient with yourself and listen to your body.”

And if that first post-break run doesn’t go as smoothly as you’d hoped, take comfort in the fact that even pros like Linden struggle, but it doesn’t get any worse than day two.

(07/05/2020) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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Olympics-Bound Marathoner Jake Riley Signs with On

Jake Riley, the surprise second-place finisher at the 2020 USA Olympic Team Trials Men's Marathon last February, has signed a sponsorship agreement with On, the Swiss maker of running shoes and apparel. Riley, 32, was unsponsored at the Trials.

"We are thrilled to partner with Riley as he sets off to represent On and the United States in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics next year," said On co-founder and former world duathlon champion Olivier Bernhard through a media release. "Not only has he proven himself an outstanding athlete, he embodies the resilience and drive to succeed that powers performance running here at On."

Riley, who lives in Boulder, Colo., where he trains under coach Lee Troop and is also working towards a masters degree in biomechanical engineering at the University of Colorado, was a promising athlete after graduating from Stanford in 2012 and joining the Hansons-Brooks program in Michigan where he stayed through 2016. But an Achilles injury took him out of the sport for yearly three years until he mounted a comeback in the summer of 2019 which culminated in a 2:10:36 personal best at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon last October.

"This was well beyond expectations," Riley told Race Results Weekly after his run in Chicago. He said that he "very seriously" thought about quitting the sport, but under coach Troop was optimistic about his future after "months of feeling like ten pounds of dirt in a five pound bag."

His run in Chicago elevated him to a possible Tokyo team-maker, but he still did not sign with a sponsor, waiting for the right opportunity. He feels that the wait was worth it.

"I'm so happy to be joining the On team," Riley said through a statement. "I'm excited to represent a company that's committed to running and runners, and I'm looking forward to finding out just how far we can go together."

Riley will wear his On kit and shoes for the first time in a competition tomorrow where he will face Olympic marathoner Jared Ward in a remote 5-K competition where Riley will run in Boulder and Ward in Provo, Utah. The race, called the Virtual 5-K Challenge presented by KT Tape, will be streamed live via Instagram on the @TeamBoulder account with commentary from Ed Eyestone (who coaches Ward) and Troop.

On is a fast-growing brand in the running space, according to an analysis by data company NPD Group published last September. Ten years after market launch, their products are available at over 6,000 retailers in 55 countries, the company said. A few months ago tennis legend Roger Federer joined the company as a "true partner," and is helping to oversee "product development, marketing, and fan experiences," the company said.

(07/04/2020) ⚡AMP
by David Monti
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David Rudisha says that he is firmly on road to recovery

David Rudisha says he’s happy with Thursday’s surgery on his fractured ankle.

The two-time Olympic 800 meters champion was on Saturday discharged from St Luke’s Hospital in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County, after the successful surgery.

Rudisha, who has been training in Iten, Eldoret and Kilgoris in Narok County, was preparing for his comeback ahead of the Olympics Games in Tokyo.

The Games were postponed to next year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The champion picked an injury during a walk in his compound in Narok County after stepping on uneven ground.

He went on with training which caused further harm on his ankle forcing him to visit the hospital where the fracture was detected and successful surgery done by Dr. Victor Bargoria.

Bargoria said he said Rudisha suffered a “Supination-External Rotation” which he fixed with a 1/3 tubular plate and 3.5 millimeter screws.

Talking to Nation Sport from his hospital bed on Saturday, Rudisha said that he was happy the surgery went on well and that he will be recovering at home after being discharged.

“I’m doing well and will be leaving the hospital today (Saturday). I would just ask Kenyans and my fans to continue praying for me. I’m in good condition and on the path to recovery now,” said Rudisha.

Rudisha will recover from home and after six weeks he will be able to get into rehabilitation when the tissues will have healed. “In six weeks he should start the rehabilitation process and we shall be there with my team to make sure it goes on well because he also needs to do his normal life activities,” said the doctor, who also handles Kenya’s Olympic team.

(06/02/2020) ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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Dathan Ritzenhein Retires at Age 37

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(05/07/2020) ⚡AMP
by David Monti
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Kenyan Faith Chepng'etich hopeful of returning stronger once the Athletics season resume

Coronavirus pandemic has put all athletics activities on hold but Olympics 1,500 meters champion and former World Champion Faith Chepng’etich Kipyegon is hoping to restore her faith in the race when the athletics season resumes.

Chepng’etich, 26, claimed silver medal at last year’s World Athletics Championships in Doha in a time of 3min, 54.22secs, more than two seconds behind Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands.

The athlete has said the cancellation of major athletics meetings is a big setback to her plans of bouncing back to the top of her speciality.

“I’m hopeful of making a strong comeback. I miss serious athletics competitions,” Chepng’etich told Nation Sport on Monday from her individual training base.

Chepng’etich, who won a gold medal in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics in a time of 4:08.92, is determined to stamp her authority as the queen of the race by retaining the Olympic crown and registering victories in the Diamond League series once the athletics season resumes proper in 2021 after the deadly virus has been contained.

“My campaign has been jolted by the arrival of coronavirus pandemic which has halted sports globally but that will not bog me down,” said Chepng’etich.

She added: “It is not easy for an athlete who has been consistent in training and strategising for major races for more than six months to adjust. However, as a true sportswoman, I’m now alive to the fact that the planned events will not be held this year.”

Ahead of the Tokyo Olympic Games which have now been pushed to next year, Chepng’etich also stepped up her training to participate in the Diamond League series this year.

“My body has been responding very well to my training schedule and I have no injury worries. I was banking on the good form to prepare for a good fight with my opponents in the Diamond League and the Olympics,” said Chepng’etich.

“After the cancellation of the Olympic Games and Diamond League meetings, my training program has taken a new twist. I was hoping to make a big comeback before this deadly virus invaded our country and forced me to change my way of training and socializing inside and outside the track with my coach and other athletes,” said Chepng’etich.

“I have wonderful moments with my baby everyday after completing my morning and afternoon workouts.”

“My baby girl Alyn was born in June 2018 and is almost celebrating her second birthday. She is now big and talking. I’m enjoying the way she is keeping me busy. Her noise, perfect touch and the way she is doing some joyful little things in the living room is hilarious and makes motherhood more enjoyable after a rigorous training in the track,” added Chepng’etich.

(05/06/2020) ⚡AMP
by Francis Mureithi
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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With his race event cancelled, 72-year-old Eric Spector inspires other seniors to remain active

The key is to commit to staying fit, whether during a pandemic or not, says Eric Spector.

If these were normal times, Eric Spector would be in the final phase of training for the race of his dreams — the annual Western States Endurance Run, a 100-mile trail run from Squaw Valley to Auburn. It's an event he calls the Superbowl of ultramarathons.

But with the June event canceled, along with most other activities, due to the coronavirus crisis, the 72-year-old fitness enthusiast has been forced to adapt his fitness routine.

Rather than rigorously training in the hills above Palo Alto, Spector has turned to power walking. And rather than swimming and exercising at the Oshman Family Jewish Community Center, he has set up a gym in his garage where he can lift weights, ride a stationary bicycle and generally keep moving.

"The key is working up a sweat and getting the benefit of a cardiovascular workout," said the Palo Alto resident, who has participated in more than 20 marathons in the United States and abroad and was the oldest person to complete the 2018 Rio del Lago 100-Mile Endurance Run in the Sierra Nevada foothills.

Though a committed runner, Spector, who turns 73 on May 5, is no exercise snob. In fact, he's a promoter of exercise for anybody and everybody through his Twitter page, [ @fitatallages.

"It doesn't really matter what activity somebody chooses — the benefits of being fit are extraordinarily clear," he said."It prevents so many diseases and, if you get sick, your recovery time is usually much shorter because of your fitness.

"Whether you speed walk, bicycle, play racquetball, hike — the most important thing is that you do it regularly and that you sweat. With those two ingredients, it provides a longer, healthier, more vigorous life."

On his Twitter feed, Spector often shares links to inspirational stories of older athletes as well as small exercise tips like:"Well, you don't want to run? Then dance."

During the stay-at-home order, he has been sharing the many ways athletes, from Olympians to coaches, have adapted their fitness routines. One marathoner who qualified for this year's Olympics in Tokyo, shared this philosophy with the New York Times: The only thing athletes can control at this point, since competitions and events are canceled, is their training routines. Another story that Spector shared from Sports Illustrated features a running coach who provided some creative inspiration to those looking to compete or exercise: He organized a virtual ultramarathon where participants mapped out their own running loop in their backyards, neighborhoods or treadmills and livestreamed their runs on Zoom.

Spector said the key is to commit to staying fit, whether during a pandemic or not. He recommends picking an exercise and following through with a routine. This can be anything from walking around the block once a week to walking around the backyard everyday. Tracking when, where and for how long you do a particular activity will help you maintain a routine and stay motivated.

Exercise wasn't always a priority for Spector.

As a young man he was overweight and working long hours at a New York City startup.

"I wasn't at all plugged in to athletics of any kind — I'd really done nothing more than work and eat and put on some weight," he said.

But he became intrigued when some of his business school classmates flew in from California to run the 1978 New York City Marathon.

"I thought, 'If these guys can do it, I should be able to do it,' so I bought some sneakers, went out for a run to the west side of the Hudson River and barely made it," he said.

Spector kept at it, and a little more than a year later, he entered the 1979 New York City Marathon.

"It was my first running event ever but I did quite well and loved it," he said."I really loved the fitness, the clarity of mind, the stream of consciousness as you're running."

He grew to love the "runner's high," which he describes as"a kind of a euphoria, where you're not even conscious of the effort. It's just the rhythm and the joy of physical activity.

"For me, that kind of activity has been a mainstay of mental health and sanity, with the benefit of staying fit," he said.

(05/01/2020) ⚡AMP
by Chris Kenrick
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Western States 100

Western States 100

2020 race has been cancelled. The Western States ® 100-Mile Endurance Run is the world’s oldest and most prestigious 100-mile trail race. Starting in Squaw Valley, California near the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics and ending 100.2 miles later in Auburn, California, Western States, in the decades since its inception in 1974, has come to represent one of the...

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Remembering Boston 2014, when Meb Keflezighi ran all the way to one of the defining victories in the race’s 123-year history, becoming the first U.S. male runner to win in 31 years

Before starting the 2014 Boston Marathon, Meb Keflezighi had four names scribbled in marker on his race bib corners: Martin, Krystle, Lingzi and Sean.

Martin Richard, Krystle Campbell and Lingzi Lu died as a result of the twin bombings near the Boylston Street finish line during the 2013 Boston Marathon. Three days later, Sean Collier, a policeman, was shot and killed in a confrontation with the attackers.

Keflezighi ran in 2014 in their memory and with his own remembrance. All the way to one of the defining victories in the race’s 123-year history, becoming the first U.S. male runner to win in 31 years.

A year earlier, Keflezighi left an observer grandstand near the finish line of the Boston Marathon about five minutes before the bombs went off.

“The four victims that died in the explosion were spectators just like me,” he said.

It marked a career turnaround at age 38 for Keflezighi, who had been dropped by Nike three years earlier. He considered retirement. The 2004 Olympic silver medalist and 2009 New York City Marathon champion had placed 23rd at his previous marathon and withdrew before the 2013 Boston race with a calf injury.

Keflezighi went out hard from the start, keen on meeting his minimum pre-race goal: to set a personal best. At the halfway point, he and little-known American Josphat Boit led the field by 30 seconds.

In the chase pack, other Americans conversed and strategized not to push the pace in pursuit.

“We needed to give Meb as much space as possible,” Ryan Hall, the fastest American marathoner in history, texted Tim Layden, then of Sports Illustrated and now of NBC Sports. “If the African guys were going to try to catch him, we weren’t going to do the work to help them. It wasn’t my day to win, as much as I wanted to. Meb winning was the next best thing and what the US needed.”

Keflezighi pulled away from Boit between the 15th and 19th miles, opening a one-minute lead. The margin dropped to about eight seconds at the 25-mile mark, but Keflezighi held off Kenyan Wilson Chebet by 11 seconds on Boylston.

“This is beyond running,” Keflezighi, whose full first name, Mebrahtom, means “let there be light” in the Eritrean language, said in a finish-area TV interview. “This is for the people, for the Boston Strong. We’re resilient as runners.”

Keflezighi, born in Eritrea, moved to the U.S. at age 12. His first time running seriously was in San Diego in junior high school, when PE students were given a grade for how much effort they put into a mile. He eventually earned a scholarship to UCLA and made his first Olympic team at age 25 in 2000.

Keflezighi retired from elite running in 2017 after 26 marathons, but he felt complete after Boston in 2014.

“99.9 of my career was fulfilled,” Keflezighi said after winning Boston. “Today, 110 percent.”

(04/20/2020) ⚡AMP
by Meb Keflezighi
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

The 124th Boston Marathon originally scheduled for April 20 was postponed to September 14 and then May 28 it was cancelled for 2020. The next Boston Marathon is scheduled for April 19, 2021. Among the nation’s oldest athletic clubs, the B.A.A. was established in 1887, and, in 1896, more than half of the U.S. Olympic Team at the first modern...

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More about the Legendary Texas Tech track and field distance runner Sally Kipyego who qualified for Tokyo Olympics

Legendary Texas Tech track and field distance runner Sally Kipyego qualified for the 2020 Summer Olympics Saturday in the marathon. Kipyego, 34, competed at the US Olympic Marathon Trials in Atlanta, where she ran 2:28.52 to claim the third and final spot on the roster.

The Kenyan-born runner will represent the United States in Tokyo this summer, a goal she has had since becoming a U.S. citizen in 2017. She was one of three to make the U.S. team Saturday, joining 10-time national champion and fellow Kenyan immigrant Aliphine Tuliamuk and Molly Seidel.

"What a great accomplishment for Sally," said Director of Track & Field and Cross Country Wes Kittley, who coached Kipyego at Tech from 2006-2009. "Red Raiders far and wide are so proud of what she has accomplished."

Kipyego's return to the Olympics is being praised across the track world, as the former Tech runner has battled through considerable adversity to make it back to the Games. After earning silver in the 10,000m in London in 2012, Kipyego had to pause her training in 2017 while she was pregnant with her daughter, Emma. During her pregnancy, she was unable to run from 18 weeks through childbirth. In the months following, she struggled with pneumonia and malaria, making a return to racing shape even more difficult. Ultimately, she was forced to delay her comeback and withdraw from the NYC Marathon in November 2018.

Still, Kipyego persevered, eyes set on Tokyo. A member of the elite Oregon Track Club, she lived and trained in her home country of Kenya, using the altitude to bolster her regimen. By early 2019, she had worked her mileage up to 115 per week at marathon pace.

In April of that year, she attempted a comeback at the Boston Marathon but walked off the course after 18 miles due to fatigue. Though the plan was to not run another marathon until Saturday's Trials, Kipyego, seeking redemption and a confidence boost, entered the Berlin Marathon last September. It was the perfect decision, as she ran a lifetime best of 2:25.10. Five months later, of course, she would complete her comeback and earn a spot on the U.S. team.

"It's just a testament to her incredible hard work and dedication to the sport," said head distance coach Jon Murray, who coached Kipyego to three straight NCAA and Big 12 titles in cross country. "Coming back from pregnancy and some of the rough times she's had these past few years really shows her commitment. At Tech, she hated to lose, and I think that shows in her continued pursuit to be back in race shape and be the best that she can be."

Kipyego's career at Tech is considered one of the greatest of any collegiate athlete in any sport in NCAA history. During her four years in Lubbock, she won eight national titles. Kipyego is the only NCAA athlete ever to win four national titles in one year, doing so in 2007 when she won championships in cross country, the indoor 3000m, indoor 5000m and the outdoor 10,000m. She is the only Big 12 runner ever to win three consecutive conference titles in cross country. Kipyego owns the outdoor school records in the 1500m, 5000m and 10,000m, and ran on the record-holding distance medley relay. Indoors, her records in the mile, 3000m and 5000m still stand today, as do her 5k and 6k cross country marks.

In 2019, Kipyego was inducted into the Texas Tech Athletic Hall of Fame.

(03/03/2020) ⚡AMP
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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Groundwork Endurance has announced its partnership with Skechers for the 35th annual Carlsbad 5000 presented by National University

The global footwear company will serve as official footwear partner as well as title sponsor of the Skechers Performance Elite Invitational, the event’s iconic professional races, set to take place on Sunday, March 22, 2020.

“I am extremely excited that Skechers has officially joined forces with the Carlsbad 5000. Their dedication and commitment to the running community is unmatched and we look forward to working with their talented team to ensure that our 35th year is the best yet,” said Meb Keflezighi, co-owner of Carlsbad 5000 and longtime Skechers-sponsored athlete.

“We’re pleased to again join Meb and the Carlsbad 5000 organization as title sponsor of the iconic Elite Invitational race—especially since Edward Cheserek will attempt a repeat win,” said Michael Greenberg, president of Skechers. “This event is known as the world’s fastest 5K, so it’s a great opportunity to illustrate how our award-winning and innovative Skechers GO RUN footwear can help runners get their speed on.”

The event also announced that headlining the 2020 Skechers Performance Elite Invitational will be Kenya’s Edward Cheserek and Dejen Gebremeskel of Ethiopia. Cheserek, the defending Carlsbad 5000 champion and Skechers elite athlete, matched what was then the IAAF 5km road world record in a winning time of 13:29 at the 2019 Carlsbad 5000. The 17-time NCAA National Champion holds personal bests of 3:49.44 for the mile and 13:04.44 for 5,000 meters on the track. He recently ran a sub-4:00 mile, finishing second at the Camel City Elite Races with a time of 3:59.84.

“Winning the Carlsbad 5000 last year was an incredible experience and I am looking forward to racing again in March,” said Cheserek. “This event has everything you could want in a road race. The course is beautiful and the huge crowds make the atmosphere very special.”

Gebremeskel was a virtual unknown before arriving in Carlsbad for the first time in 2010, when he finished second to Eliud Kipchoge. His victory the following year sparked a four-year run of dominance at the event – the longest winning streak in its event history. He would also add a fifth win in 2017. In addition to his impressive success at the Carlsbad 5000, Gebremeskel has earned two world championship medals over 5000 meters, taking silver at the 2012 London Olympics and a bronze medal at the 2011 World Championships in Athletics.

“It’s fantastic that King Ches will be returning to Carlsbad after his record run last year. Defending his title won’t be easy with Dejen Gebremeskel in the field and we expect a battle for the ages at this year’s race!” said Keflezighi.

As the official footwear partner, Skechers will maintain a strong digital presence in the lead up to race week festivities and will host an interactive experience for participants and spectators at the Health & Wellness Expo over event weekend.

The Carlsbad 5000 will celebrate its 35th edition the weekend of March 21-22, 2020. Since 1986, the prestigious event has seen 17 World records and eight U.S. records, as well as numerous national and age group marks. The famous seaside course starts and finishes in downtown Carlsbad, taking runners past some of Southern California’s most scenic coastal views along the way. The full day of racing begins at 6:55am on Sunday, March 22 with events for all ages and abilities. At 12:00pm, the Skechers Performance Elite Invitational takes center stage as the world’s fastest pros compete for a substantial prize purse and pursue new records.

(03/03/2020) ⚡AMP
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Carlsbad 5000

Carlsbad 5000

The 2020 events were moved from March 22 to September 20 because of the Coronavirus. The Carlsbad 5000 features a fast and fun seaside course where 16 world records have been set. Both rookie runners and serious speedsters alike enjoy running or walking in one of seven people's races. The 35th running of the iconic Carlsbad 5000 presented by National...

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Caster Semenya has run her first public race in eight months, breaking the national 300m record at a low-level meeting at a South African university

Caster Semenya runs first public race for eight months in 300m before proclaiming: 'Track and field, you will still see my face'.  "I'm here to stay."

The Olympic 800m champion is currently banned from competing in her favored event at major meets, and any distance from 400m to one mile, unless she follows World Athletics rules that require her to medically reduce her natural testosterone levels to compete in women's competitions.

The regulations were designed for female athletes with differences of sex development like Semenya and have been severely criticized.

The race at the University of Johannesburg on Friday night, which also featured high school students, was Semenya's first appearance since June last year when she won an 800m race at the Prefontaine Classic in America.

"Track and field, you will still see my face," Semenya said after winning Friday's 300m race in 36.78 seconds. "That is all I can say for now."

It's not the first time Semenya has guaranteed a comeback. The Olympics are just five months away and it's doubtful if Semenya will be able to defend her title in the 800m. But maybe she has another plan.

Semenya, who turned 29 last month, has twice appealed against the regulations. She lost her first appeal at sport's highest court. Her second legal challenge at the Swiss supreme court is still being considered. Her chances of winning that second appeal are seen as slim.

Semenya has repeatedly refused to adhere to the testosterone regulations and her decision to open the Olympic year with a 300m race might be significant.

The rules do not apply to races below 400m and Semenya could compete in the 200m at the Olympics without having to reduce her hormone level.

Semenya didn't indicate if that was her intention when she stated that her track career was not over. The South African has rarely run the 200m and her personal best is 24.26 seconds. Semenya would have to improve that by nearly two seconds to meet the qualifying standard of 22.80 seconds for the Tokyo Olympics.

(02/19/2020) ⚡AMP
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Kilian Jornet is always up to something and this ultra feat might top his list

Kilian Jornet is always up to something: Breaking the records for the fastest ascent and descent on Mount Everest, winning some of the biggest ultramarathons in the world—including the 2017 Hardrock Endurance Run in a sling—and living his best life with his wife Emelie Forsberg in the mountains of Norway.

This time around, Jornet challenged his ski partner and world-class BASE jumper Tom Erik Heimen, 44, of Norway, to a race up and down one of the most-iconic climbing mountains in the world: Romsdalshorn. Sitting at more than 5,000 feet, both would have to climb up between 1,300 to 1,500 feet and descend to be declared the winner—Jornet doing so on foot and Heimen BASE-jumping down to the bottom.

Both took separate routes. Jornet went up the north face and climbed down Halls Renne on the other side while Heimen went up Halls Renne and BASE-jumped off the north face. This way, the two would cross paths during their treks.

“It was very unpredictable who would be faster,” Jornet said about the challenge. “I knew I could climb much faster, but the downhill is down climbing so it takes as much time as going up for me. And I also knew that Tom Erik [has] a very good physical level, so he would be quick to climb and of course very fast on the way down.”

As you can see in the video, Jornet has no issue ascending, finishing in just over 30 minutes before beginning his descent. Heimen reached the top 15 minutes after crossing paths with Jornet during his descent and quickly suited up for his jump.

Heimen hit the ground two minutes after takeoff, but Jornet made it to the bottom in a time of 52:26. Heimen’s time was 53:55.

“What surprised me most with the challenge was how fast Kilian is descending the technical and steep Halls Renne with the challenges of loose rocks all the way,” Heimen said. “I know he is very fast going up, and had no doubts that he would beat me to the summit, but I was expecting him to spend more time climbing down than climbing up.”

Jornet’s latest antics add to a constantly growing number of wild races and feats that runners are attempting like Nick Symmonds going for the fastest mile while dribbling a basketball, Mario Mendoza’s 50K treadmill record, or Cynthia Arnold smashing the triple-person stroller marathon record.

Who knows what we’ll see next?

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(01/25/2020) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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Ethiopian Haftamnesh Tesfay leads a quartet of sub-2:22 runners at the 39th edition of the Osaka Women’s Marathon

Four runners from abroad have faster personal bests than the Japanese: Ethiopians Tesfay and Meskerem Assefa, Mimi Belete of Bahrain and Kenyan Bornes Jepkirui. Tesfay ran 2:20:13 in her debut at the 2018 Dubai Marathon, at the time the fourth fastest marathon debut in history. She followed up with a 2:20:47 run in Frankfurt later that year. Assefa won the Nagoya Women’s Marathon in 2018 and later in the year finished 11 seconds ahead of Tesfay in Frankfurt with a 2:20:36 PB. Although they did not have a good 2019 season, both have sub-2:20 potential and said they are running to win on Sunday.

With a 2:21:22 performance to her credit, Mimi Belete is the third fastest in the field; more importantly, she set that at last October’s Amsterdam Marathon, clipping more than a minute from her previous best. Belete was a solid performer on the track, with 1500m and 5000m medals Asian Games medals in her collection.

Defending champion Fatuma Sado and Jepkirui, who was third last year, are back. Jepkirui improved her personal best to 2:21:26 in the 2019 Ljubljana Marathon. The last runner to win back-to-back titles was Lidia Simon who won in 1999 and 2000. Before the Romanian, Katrin Dorre also collected back-to-back victories. The German won in Osaka a record four times. Her daughter, Katharina Steinruck, a 2:27:26 marathoner, will be running this year.

For Japanese women, it is the second to last opportunity to secure the third spot on the Olympic marathon squad. The first two finishers at September's Marathon Grand Championships (MGC) were automatically selected for the team. But third place finisher Rei Ohara, who finished four seconds behind the automatic-qualifying spot for the team, is not confirmed. Four years ago at the Nagoya Women’s Marathon, Ohara finished one second behind Tomomi Tanaka who clinched the final spot on the team bound for Rio. Thus Ohara is a sentimental favourite here, but if somebody runs faster than 2:22:22 in Osaka, or later in Nagoya, Ohara will be out.

Ohara could have chosen to sit and wait, but she decided run in Osaka.

“The memory of missing the team by one second four years ago still haunts me,” Ohara said, speaking at today’s pre-race press conference. “I could have sat and waited, but I want to be a challenger. On Sunday I want to go after the team berth which eluded me at the MGC.”

That sets up the clash between Ohara, who was third in the MGC, Mizuki Matsuda, fourth in the MGC and Kayoko Fukushi, seventh in the MGC, as a potential highlight of the race. Fukushi is the fastest with a 2:22:17 personal best from the 2016 Osaka race. Matsuda is six seconds slower with 2:22:23, recorded in the 2018 Berlin Marathon.

“I have done the best training possible,” said Matsuda, who also attended today’s press conference. “I will run on Sunday as if it is the last race of my life.”

Finally, newly minted Japanese half marathon record holder Hitomi Niiya, who blitzed to a 1:06:38 victory in Houston last weekend, will run as a pacemaker. 

(01/24/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Osaka International Womens Marathon

Osaka International Womens Marathon

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

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Ethiopian record-holder Worknesh Degefa will target a second victory at the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

Worknesh Degefa will start as red-hot favorite thanks to her enviable record on the flat and fast streets of Dubai. In 2017, the diminutive 29-year-old stunned an experienced field by winning in Dubai on what was her marathon debut, clocking 2:22:36. A year later, she finished fourth and improved her PB to 2:19:53.

Last year she finished second in Dubai in 2:17:41, taking 15 seconds off the Ethiopian record with what is now the fifth fastest time in history.

Aside from her three appearances in Dubai, the only other marathon she has contested is the 2019 Boston Marathon, which she won in 2:23:31.

Fellow Ethiopian Bezunesh Deba will be racing in Dubai for the first time. The 32-year-old set her PB of 2:19:59 when winning the 2014 Boston Marathon, but didn't race at all in 2019 so will be treating this as a comeback race.

Kebede Megertu Alemu made a big step up in the second half of 2018. She chopped eight minutes from her half marathon PB with 1:06:43 in Copenhagen and reduced her marathon best to 2:21:10 to finish second in Frankfurt.

Bedatu Hirpa will be one of the youngest in the field. The 2015 world U18 1500m champion has switched to the roads in recent years and clocked a marathon PB of 2:21:32 in Frankfurt in 2018.

Two years after making her marathon debut in Dubai, world cross-country silver medalist Dera Dida is back and aims to improve on the PB of 2:21:45 she set on her previous visit.

Dubai has often been a happy hunting ground for marathon debutantes, so 20-year-old Hawi Feysa will be hoping for a strong run in her first race at 42.195km. The 2017 world U20 cross-country silver medalist finished eighth in the 5000m at last year's World Championships.

(01/22/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

In its relatively brief history (the race was first held in 2000), the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon has become one of the fastest, most respected and the most lucrative marathon in the world in terms of prize money. Each year thousands of runners take to the roads in this beautiful city in the United Arab Emirates for this extraordinary race...

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Faith Chepngetich is getting ready for Tokyo face-off with Sifan Hassan

As Faith Chepngetich Kipyegon gears towards defending her Olympic title at this year’s Summer Games in Tokyo, Japan, she is ready for the prospect of facing off with double world champion Sifan Hassan.

The pair clashed at the 2019 World Championships in Doha, Qatar with the in-form Hassan carrying the day as Kipyegon settled for silver.

As the clock ticks towards this year’s Olympic Games slated for July 24-August 9 at the Japanese capital, Kipyegon is optimistic of defending her title she bagged four years ago in Rio, Brazil.

“Yes, we are in an Olympic season and that is my main goal this year. I have already resumed my build up exercises to make sure that I make the team because everyone is also eyeing the tickets to Tokyo,” said Kipyegon.

Kipyegon hailed the Ethiopian-born Dutch Hassan while speaking on the possibility of renewing their rivalry again this year.

“I normally prefer not to talk about somebody else but it is true that she (Hassan) was on form (last year) having took part in many races and also notching the world record over the mile.

“I knew she was very strong ahead of the World Championships and I congratulate her. I know we shall meet again this year and let’s wait and see what happens (laughs),” said the soft-spoken athlete.

Prior to the Worlds, Kipyegon was just a few months into training after returning from maternity leave and the Keringet-born athlete is hoping to enjoy more success this year with early preparations.

“For sure I expect this year to be different from 2019 because I had a very short time to prepare for World Championships having come back from maternity break. I know that if I build up well towards Tokyo then I will be much stronger,” she said.

After the World Championships, the 25-year-old shifted her training base from Keringet in Nakuru County to the famous Global Sports Communication camp in Kaptagat where she now joins fellow world beaters including world marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge and world half marathon record holder Geoffrey Kamworor among others.

“I am honoured to train at Kaptagat with the likes of Kipchoge (Eliud), Kamworor (Geoffrey) and Kiyeng (Hyvin). I also thank my coach Patrick Sang for the guidance he has offered me since I joined the camp,” said Kipyegon.

(01/06/2020) ⚡AMP
by Gilbert Kiprotich
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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Tracy Sundlun settles Lawsuit against the Rock N Roll Marathon Series he co-founded

Tracy Sundlun, the former track coach who helped create the Rock ‘N’ Roll Marathon Series, has settled his breach-of-contract lawsuit against the company he co-founded.

The deal with Competitor Group Inc. was quietly reached recently in San Diego federal court, where the case was moved after being filed last January in San Diego Superior Court.

Sundlun, 67, sued CGI for $146,000 — the amount he says he was owed in a severance agreement after being let go by the international firm in July 2016.

The Santee resident known as “Mr. Marathon” had been senior vice president of Competitor Group, which has changed ownership of the years. CGI is now a part of Ironman-operator World Triathlon Corp., a unit of Chinese-based Wanda Sports Group.

On Tuesday, Sundlun lawyer David Greifinger said: “The case has settled and the terms are confidential. Neither Tracy nor I can make any comment.”

CGI and World Triathlon Corp. didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Lawyers for CGI said in court filings that Sundlun was denied his severance because he violated its terms. They said he disparaged the company in a Times of San Diego story that appeared in November 2016. Sundlun denies any disparagement.

CGI alleged that Sundlun slammed the company when he said “the elite-athlete budget has been cut again” and “I just know that … [the elite-athlete budget] just keeps getting cut.”

In the run-up to a possible trial before Judge Linda Lopez, CGI lawyers issued a subpoena to freelance writer Ken Stone, a Times of San Diego contributor represented pro bono by Dan Gilleon of San Diego.

Along with a request for documents, the CGI lawyers set a deposition date for Stone. (Only previously published documents were provided.) But with both parties agreeing not to call Stone as a witness, the deposition order was dropped.

On Dec. 11, the same day as the canceled deposition, the case was settled in Lopez’s court. 

Sundlun declined to comment on the case against his employer of nearly 20 years.

With Tim Murphy, Sundlun helped grow Elite Racing — organizer of the original Rock ‘N’ Roll Marathon in San Diego and the Carlsbad 5000. (Elite essentially became the events arm of CGI in December 2007.)

In May 2017, Sundlun told Times of San Diegothat CGI owed him well over $160,000 and hadn’t been reimbursed for all his business expenses. He also said he was owed $2,000 monthly COBRA health insurance payments.

Among personal mementos yet to be returned, he said at the time, was private correspondence with his daughter and files related to his friendship with basketball great Wilt Chamberlain. (Sundlun coached Wilt’s Wonder Women, an outgrowth of the La Jolla Track Club.)

On May 12, 2017, Sundlun filed a complaint against CGI with the state Department of Fair Employment and Housing and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Greifinger said then that CGI was using the Times story as an excuse not to pay 38 weeks’ severance on his $200,000-a-year salary, plus other benefits.

“That doesn’t justify their not paying him,” he said. “(They) unilaterally backed out of the settlement agreement.”

Originally based in Mira Mesa, CGI moved to Sorrento Valley in March 2017.

But after being acquired in June 2017 by Ironman (owned by Chinese billionaire Wang Jianlin), CGI’s staff shrank from over 200 to about 20.

Former CGI president and CEO Josh Furlow — who let Sundlun go in 2016 — was himself fired in January. 

“Somebody had to be the fall guy” for corporate losses, said an industry veteran who didn’t want to be named.

On Dec. 12, Magistrate Judge Lopez ordered both sides to file a joint motion for dismissal of the case by Feb. 10, 2020.

Sundlun is a member of the Running USA Hall of Champions and the National High School Track and Field Hall of Fame.A U.S. track team manager at the 2016 Rio Olympics, he continues to be active in the sport.

Next month, he’ll be a race director of the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in the 50-kilometer men’s race walk, again being staged in Santee.

(01/01/2020) ⚡AMP
by Times of San Diego
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Ben Preisner and Emebet Anteneh, won the Boxing Day 10 Miler, beating the reigning champions Matt Hughes and Robyn Mildren.

The 99th annual Boxing Day 10 and 4 Miler took place on Thursday morning in Hamilton, Ont. The race draws huge crowds of runners to compete in an off-distance road race. Among the runners were Olympians, Canadian record holders and national champions.

This year saw two new victors in the men’s and women’s races, Ben Preisner and Emebet Anteneh, who beat reigning champions Matt Hughes and Robyn Mildren.

Preisner caught Canadians attention when he won the 2019 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Half-Marathon. There he ran a two-minute personal best, hitting 1:03:02 for the half-marathon win. He won Thursday’s 10 miler in 48:18, just 13 seconds off of Hughes’ course record. Second place went to ACXC (national cross-country) champion Mike Tate (48:47) and third place to the Canadian steeplechase record holder Hughes (49:21).

In the women’s race, Emebet Anteneh won in 55:18, almost a full minute ahead of the second place finisher. Anteneh has been a force on the Canadian roads in 2019. She ran a 1:10:28 at the Edmonton Half-Marathon and a 16:04 5K in the fall. Anteneh comes from a track background, owning an extremely impressive 14:43.29 5,000m personal best.

Second place in the women’s race went to Sanna Mustonen (56:04) and third place to Leslie Sexton (56:19).

(12/27/2019) ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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Boxing Day 10 Miler

Boxing Day 10 Miler

Come run our 100th annual event (2020). The course is both scenic and challenging, taking runners through Hamilton in Ontario. Snowman medal for all finishers (Gold Snowman medals for the very fast). Indoor registration, refreshments and awards. Spectators are welcome in the gymnasium. Change rooms with showers for entrants. All entrants will receive embroidered cotton baseball cap at bib pickup....

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Iain Mickle of Sacramento turned 59 three days before this year’s California International Marathon and finished in an impressive 2:42:57

Californian Iain Mickle of Sacramento takes the record for most time elapsed between sub-3 finishes. Even more impressive is that the first time he ran a sub-3 was a staggering 42 years, 151 days previously, when he was a junior in high school.

That’s a world record–for the longest elapsed time between two sub-3 marathon finishes, according to the Association of Road Racing Statisticians.

According to 1968 Boston Marathon champion Amby Burfoot’s entertaining story in Podium Runner, Mickle’s first sub-3 was at the San Francisco Marathon in July 1977, where he finished in about 2:50, 10 minutes ahead of his father, who ran the same race. It was also Mickle’s first marathon.

But Mickle didn’t run competitively very much for the next several years, so he doesn’t earn any kudos for sub-3 finishes across multiple decades or anything like that. Still, his comeback, which started about 10 years ago, is impressive.

He ran a PB of 2:38 at the 2014 Boston Marathon, and was #3 on the list of longest time elapsed between sub-3s, with 40 years, 146 days between sub-3s, before CIM put him on top.

Mickle’s record could be in danger, though. He took it from Antonio Arreola, 60, who is hoping to take it back again at Houston on January 19.

If Arreola does go sub-3 in January, he will have sub-3 finishes spanning 43 years and 45 days, and it would also make him one of the first runners in history to achieve sub-3 finishes spanning six decades.

Arreola’s last marathon was last year’s CIM, where he ran 2:54:48. Since then he has been dealing with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, but managed to race two half-marathons this fall, finishing both in 1:22 high. Arreola set his PB of 2:46:17 in 2001.

(12/19/2019) ⚡AMP
by Anne Francis
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California International Marathon

California International Marathon

The California International Marathon (CIM) is a marathon organized by runners, for runners! CIM was founded in 1983 by the Sacramento Running Association (SRA), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The SRA Board of Directors is comprised of runners with a combined total of 150+ years of service to the CIM. The same route SRA management created for the 1983 inaugural CIM...

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Veteran Olympian and cancer survivor Kikkan Randall, Shares 3 Tips for athletes facing setbacks and Fitness Comeback

As a veteran Olympian, cancer survivor and marathoner-in-the-making, Kikkan Randall has learned a lot along the way about how to thrive on life’s toughest days.

In a series of interviews with Women’s Running, Randall shared her key messages for athletes facing setbacks, be it cancer or injuries, and life after the disease.

1.-Keep moving. Continue to set goals.

Fresh off her Olympic experience and years as an elite athlete, Randall was in great shape when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in June 2018. Even though she faced a rough road ahead, which included surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, Randall was determined to maintain some fitness.

“I made the commitment to stay as physically as active as I could through my treatment, and that was super important,” she says, noting that she did cardio and strength training. “Knowing I could do a workout every day, even at lower level, it felt like a little victory.”

Not only did easy exercise help with fluid retention caused by cancer-fighting drugs, it lifted her mood and gave her a sense of control.

“Be open-minded about what you can do,” Randall says. “Always be willing to try. I had a ten-minute rule for myself. I would go out and try to do something for ten minutes, if it went well I would keep going, and if it was too awful, I would go home and rest.”

2.- Surround yourself with people who give you hope.

Just as Randall needed a powerful support system to get her to five Olympic Games, she leaned on a strong team to get her through cancer treatment.

Her husband, Jeff, kept her focused on her good prognosis, while her toddler son, Breck, provided a much-needed distraction from her worries. Her parents took care of her while she received treatment in Alaska and the list goes on.

Liz Stephen, Randall’s ski buddy, was with her when she received her diagnosis and visited Randall on days when she felt especially terrible.

“Everybody around me was just really proactive and positive, and that encouraged that side of my personality,” Randall says.

She also drew inspiration from Gabe Grunewald, who died in June after a ten-year battle with adenoid cystic carcinoma. Last fall, Randall met Grunewald at an AKTIV Against Cancer event.

“I just finished chemo a week earlier, and she was just congratulating me and was so positive,” Randall says.

In May, Randall ran the Brave Like Gabe 5K as a virtual participant to show support for Grunewald, who was in the hospital at the time, battling complications from cancer. Randall recalls struggling through the solo run.

“I thought, ‘I’m out doing this for Gabe, so I’m not going to quit.’ I came back at the end of that run, and I felt recharged and I sent her a picture,’” she says.

Since Grunewald’s death, Randall says she’s as motivated as ever to run and honor her role model’s memory.

3.-Be patient with your fitness comeback. Celebrate your progress.

Randall says her body bounced back well after the rigors of cancer treatment, but women shouldn’t expect to immediately regain their fitness.

“As soon as you finish treatment, you are so motivated you’re like, ‘I just want to get back to the way I was.’ It takes time,” she says, “And there are some lingering (treatment) effects that take a while to iron out.”

As you gradually build your fitness, remind yourself how far you have come already.

“Celebrate what you can do is my biggest thing,” she says.

Even for Randall, an Olympic champion, marathon training has been a grind, starting with the intense pounding on her legs she didn’t experience in skiing. In addition, she had to adjust to the fact that, unlike in skiing, she can’t use downhills to recover.

“I’m celebrating the fact that my treatment’s been effective, and we have a good, optimistic look forward on being cancer free,” she says. “I’m just really grateful for that.”

(12/10/2019) ⚡AMP
by Theresa Juva-Brown
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Kaan Kigen Ozbilen from Turkey smashed Mo Farah’s European record in the Valencia Marathon on Sunday, clocking 2:04:16 to finish second behind Ethiopian debutant Kinde Atanew

Farah’s now-beaten mark of 2:05:11 moved into Ozbilen’s view after he finished second in the Rotterdam Marathon in April in 2:05:27 to become the second fastest European marathon runner in history and Ozbilen credits following the instructions of the venerable Kenyan coach Patrick Sang for taking him below this record.

Ozbilen had to settle for the runner-up spot again but the 33-year-old has taken the European record into new territory, slashing almost one minute off Farah’s mark which was set in the Chicago Marathon last October. There is unlikely to be a riposte from Farah next spring after the Brit announced on Friday he is aiming to contest the 10,000m at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

Ozbilen was on pace to eclipse Farah’s mark from the gun and the former European cross country champion passed through the halfway mark in 61:58 which put him on course for a sub-2:04 clocking. As the temperatures rose and the leading group splintered, Ozbilen drifted off this schedule slightly but the Turk was never in danger of relinquishing his grip on the record, securing his second podium finish of the season in 2:04:16.

“I’ve been training with the best group in the world - the wonderful Patrick Sang who is coaching Eliud Kipchoge. I was expecting to run well but I was only at 80 percent because I had a problem but today it was my day. Everything went the way I wanted it,” Ozbilen told Alberto Stretti after the race. 

On whether Kipchoge had imparted any advice or words of wisdom ahead of the race, Ozbilen added: “Eliud told me ‘you are capable of winning this race because we have been training together and in every section we have been finishing together.”

In a high calibre race, Norway’s Sondre Nordstad Moen made an excellent comeback after a series of setbacks since running a European record of 2:05:48 to win the Fukuoka Marathon in 2017. In his first completed marathon since that race almost two years ago, Moen finished seventh in 2:06:16 to easily secure the Olympic qualifying standard for 2020.

The theme of Scandinavian success continued as David Nilsson broke the long-standing Swedish record, finishing 16th in 2:10:09 to improve Kjell-Erik Stahl’s mark of 2:10:38 which had stood since the 1983 World Championships. Nilsson recorded near identical halfway splits of 65:05 and 65:04.

(12/02/2019) ⚡AMP
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VALENCIA TRINIDAD ALFONSO MARATHON

VALENCIA TRINIDAD ALFONSO MARATHON

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

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New York and Boston Marathon winner says everyone should run at least one marathon

When Meb Keflezighi ran his first competitive race in the seventh grade, his motivation was simple: to get a t-shirt for his school’s running club that his older brothers also wore.

Yet after running a mile in 5 minutes, 20 seconds, he discovered he had a unique talent. His teacher at the time told him, “You’re going to go to the Olympics.” And word in school quickly spread.

“I didn’t speak English at the time, but my picture by the gym made history,” said Keflezighi, who immigrated to the U.S. from Eritrea.

“They said, ‘Hey, here’s the fastest kid,’ and people started giving me high-fives,” he added. “And that was how my running started.”

Today, Keflezighi, 44, is the only runner to have won an Olympic medal, the Boston Marathon and the New York City Marathon. 

Before winning the New York City Marathon, Keflezighi faced a number of setbacks that led him to question whether he would ever be able to run again. That included a stress fracture in his hip that left him crawling on his hands and knees just to get around.

“I couldn’t stand up to bear weight, and I remember looking over the window of the city, because I couldn’t stand up,” Keflezighi said.

Around that time, his friend and fellow professional runner Ryan Shay died of a heart attack.

“You can’t compare when the guy you were sitting next to on the bus to the starting line passed away,” Keflezighi said. “That kind of puts life in perspective.”

Keflezighi, who was already an Olympic silver medalist, considered retiring. But something internally told him he was not done.

“What it taught me was to celebrate every personal best,” Keflezighi said. “Just to be able to run, you’re grateful when it’s not taken away from you.”

He set his sights on winning the New York City Marathon. In 2009, with a time of 2:09:15, he became the first American to win the race since 1982.

The challenges did not end there. In 2011, Nike declined to renew his contract. Though Keflezighi still had other sponsors, he relied on the shoe brand for the bulk of his financial support.

He went without a shoe contract until August of that year, when Skechers stepped up.

“They took a risk,” Keflezighi said. “They gave me a one-year contract.

“I said, I need more than that, but let’s see how it goes,” he added. “And it went really well.”

In 2012, Keflezighi made the U.S. Olympic team and placed fourth in the summer Olympics marathon. “Finishing fourth, that kind of sparked a little light in me to say, ’Hey, I can still win,” he said.

In 2014, he did win, coming in first in the Boston Marathon, with a time of 2:08:37. At the time, he was the first American man to come in first since 1983. The race was one year after the notorious bombing. To pay tribute to victims of that terror attack, Keflezighi wrote their names with marker in small letters on his bib.

“As a lead athlete, they tell you not to tamper with your bib, but I took a risk,” Keflezighi said. “I just wrote it with a Sharpie to give them respect and to draw inspiration from them.”

In 2017, Keflezighi retired at the New York City Marathon after running 26 marathons.

Today, he works to inspire other runners through the Meb Foundation, which works to help promote children’s health, education and fitness.

Last week, he was inducted into the New York Road Runners Hall of Fame, 10 years after his New York City Marathon win. And the lessons he has learned along the way inform his advice for other runners.

When Nike pulled their contract, Keflezighi still had the support of other sponsors. However, the loss of that income prompted the athlete and his wife to scale back financially.

They rented their home in San Diego and moved to Mammoth Lakes, California, to cut down on commuting costs. And for a long time, they had one car for the family.

“It’s not how much you make, it’s what you do with that money,” Keflezighi said. “You have to be a saver, and that’s what we try to do.”

Participating in races is a great way to increase your motivation. But nothing compares to running a full marathon, according to Keflezighi.

“I tell people you should do one marathon in your lifetime,” Keflezighi said. “After that, it’s optional.”

That’s because running that 26.2-mile distance can teach you things that running a half marathon or 10K or 5K race can’t, he said.

“If you can overcome those challenges to get ready for a marathon and get to that finish line, it changes your life,” Keflezighi said. “You are going to find something you never thought you were capable of doing.”

It’s important to stay focused on your goals, even when you are faced with setbacks.

“You go through ups and downs in life, and you go through ups and downs in training,” Keflezighi said.

With the sport often come injuries. The beauty of running, Keflezighi said, is you can scale down your efforts or cross train with another activity, such as swimming or biking.

“If you’re hurting, get healthy, refocus and set a new goal,” Keflezighi said.

The same goes for long-term achievements that you look to accomplish in life, he said. For those goals, it’s important to remember that one setback does not have to interfere with your progress over months or even years.

“Don’t give up on your dreams,” Keflezighi said.

(11/10/2019) ⚡AMP
by Lorie Konish
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TCS  New York City Marathon

TCS New York City Marathon

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

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Age is no barrier for Tokyo-Bound marathoner Diver age 42

For most of the elite field competing at this weekend’s New York City Marathon, running has been a lifelong pursuit; years of extreme tunnel vision from an early age in search of physical excellence. Australia’s Sinead Diver, however, has taken a very different and much more unconventional route to the start line at Staten Island.

Born and raised in County Mayo on the west coast of Ireland, Diver flirted with a few sports at a recreational level in her early years, but never had any desire to participate in running.

“When I was a child I played soccer and basketball and I did a bit of swimming. However, when I was in secondary school I just played basketball. We didn’t have any physical education classes and girls weren’t really allowed to play sport at my school.”

Having lived in Ireland until the age of 25, she moved to Melbourne, Australia in 2002 with her now husband Colin and has lived there for the past 17 years. 

“It was for a bit of adventure. I wanted to travel. There were loads of Irish people going to Australia and I always wanted to go. It just seemed like the place to be. We decided to go for a year and ended up staying long term.”

It wasn’t until eight years later, at the age of 33, that Diver finally got involved in athletics, accidentally discovering her talent when competing in a fun run while trying to get fit after giving birth to Eddie, the first of her two children.

“My sister was organising a team for a fun running event at her work. She needed somebody to fill in on her team as they were missing someone, so she asked me would I run. One of the guys there thought I was pretty quick and said I should join a running club.”

She joined the ‘Crosbie Crew’ coached by Tim Crosbie soon after and progressed rapidly. She initially competed at national level in Australia and flirted with different distances on the track and roads before making her big breakthrough in 2014 in her debut marathon in Melbourne.

Running 2:34:15, Diver easily achieved the qualification standard for the IAAF World Championships Beijing 2015 and faced a difficult decision on which country to represent; Ireland or Australia.

“I thought I would run for Ireland. I’m Irish after all. But then Athletics Ireland changed their qualifying time for Beijing to 45 seconds faster than my time from Melbourne. It was upsetting and I took it a bit personally.

“Thankfully Athletics Australia offered me a spot on the team and by then I had lived in Australia for 12 years and I was set up there, so I was delighted to represent them and have done so ever since.”

Diver finished 21st in the marathon in Beijing and followed it up with 20th at the IAAF World Championships London 2017. Since making her breakthrough into world class territory with a clocking of 2:25:19 at last year’s Melbourne Marathon, she has joined the Melbourne Track Club coached by Nick Bideau, parting ways with her long-time coach Tim Crosbie.

“I got a great base with Tim and the ‘Crosbie Crew’ but moving to Nick has helped me take the next step in my running career. I’ve moved to the next level and my training has changed quite a bit. I’m now training in a group of elite athletes and being around them has made a massive difference to my running. I’m really glad I made the move.”

The switch has paid dividends with Diver, finishing an impressive seventh at this year’s London Marathon in 2:24:11, securing qualification for next year’s Tokyo Olympics. She followed it up with 14th in the 10,000m at the IAAF World Championships Doha 2019 with 31:25.49, just half a second outside the automatic Olympic qualification standard.

“The London Marathon was brilliant. I went there aiming for 2:23 but unfortunately it was a bit windy. I led the race for half of it which was unexpected and was a bit of fun. I really loved the experience.”

With Olympic qualification secured, Diver will look to place highly in New York on Sunday, rather than focus on bettering her PB.

“New York will be hilly and I prefer flat courses, but the experience of just racing for placing will be great practice leading into Tokyo. To get the opportunity to run in that calibre of field in New York is really special.”

New York will likely be the 42-year-old’s last marathon before the Olympics. Having missed out on Rio 2016 due to a knee injury caused by the cuboid bone in her foot, competing in Tokyo will be extra special for Diver.

“Missing out on Rio was really hard to stomach, so to compete in Tokyo would be a dream come true. The Olympics is the pinnacle of sport. It would be amazing to be part of it.”

Now aged 42 and showing no signs of slowing down, Diver believes it’s never too late to take up a sport for the first time and that people should ignore those who say it’s not possible to excel at a mature age.

“If you feel good enough to do it then give it a go. Nobody else can tell you what your body is capable of. There is nothing to suggest that when you turn 40 you need to fall apart. It hasn’t happened for me and I feel fitter than I was ten years ago.

“If I can do it then I can’t see why other people can’t do it too.”

(11/02/2019) ⚡AMP
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TCS  New York City Marathon

TCS New York City Marathon

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

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Allan Weitzman, 70, will be running his 11th NYC Marathon with his 11 nieces and nephews

This race should be a ‘relative’ breeze.

When 70-year-old Allan Weitzman runs in his 11th New York City marathon this Sunday he’ll have plenty of very familiar faces competing alongside him — nearly a dozen of his nephews and nieces, who agreed to lace up to honor their ailing aunt, The Post has learned.

It was the brave way Weitzman’s wife Regina, 67, has dealt with her lupus over the last 22 years that inspired the couple’s 11 relatives to run the big race.

“All our nieces and nephews who’ve spent time with Regina think she’s a hero,” Allan said.

“She’s been a role model as somebody who lives with hope, with a smile on her face all the time and the belief of the miracle that one day there will be life without lupus.”

Regina was diagnosed in 1997 with the inflammatory disease, that causes the immune system to attack its own tissues. Since then, she’s had had to deal with daily fatigue, muscle aches and joint pains, as well as blood clots, seizures and regular trips to doctors and hospitals.

But “she’s never played the victim card, never complained, never says ‘why me?'” Allan said.

When Allan ran his last marathon in 2014, to raise money for lupus research, one of his nephews told him he wanted to be included in the next race and, “we grew from two to three and all of a sudden there were 12 of us.”

The group — nine nieces and nephews and two of their partners — range in age from late 20s to early 30s. Three live in New York and the rest are coming from as near as Boston and Jacksonville to as far as Finland.

None of them had ever attempted a marathon when they signed up, and some had never seriously run at all.

Over the last year, they’ve all trained virtually on a group chat where they encourage each other with photos and videos, provide updates on their progress, give and receive tips and discuss how to treat aches and pains.

“We’ve all been comparing notes [and] I think they’re ready,” said Allan, by far the most experienced runner in the group.

The retired attorney ran his first eight New York City Marathons in the 1980s and 90s when he and Bronx-born Regina lived on the Upper East Side.

The couple — who met on a blind date at the Waldorf Astoria and wed a year to the day later in 1984  — moved to Boca Raton, Fla., in 1994. Allan, who is originally from Baltimore ran the marathon again in 2013 and 2014.

Every time he’s raced, Regina cheers him on from 69th Street and 1st Ave — and Allan pauses to give her a kiss.

“I’m not worried about time, she deserves a hug and kiss,” Allan said. “Every day I have Regina, I’m a lucky guy.”

(11/01/2019) ⚡AMP
by Tamar Lapin
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TCS  New York City Marathon

TCS New York City Marathon

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

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Tyler Pennel is Ready for Long-Awaited Marathon Comeback At TCS New York City Marathon

With little fanfare, Tyler Pennel has quietly established himself as one of America's top marathoners over the past five years. Despite often being overshadowed by bigger names from high-profile training groups, he's won a national title, played a decisive role in the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials, and finished in the top five at an Abbott World Marathon Majors race. But he's also dealt with a series of frustrating injuries that have disrupted his momentum and left some unanswered questions about his true potential.

With the next Olympic Trials looming this winter, the 31-year-old Pennel will make his comeback at the distance on November 3, at the TCS New York City Marathon. It will be his first marathon in 18 months and only his fourth race at any distance this year. "I'm a little nervous," Pennel told Race Results Weekly in a recent telephone interview from Blowing Rock, N.C., where he lives and trains as part of the On ZAP Endurance group. "That first race back is always a shock to the system. A lot of it is mentally remembering what it feels like to race."

Pennel grew up in Golden, Colo,, and had an impressive career at Western State College (since renamed Western Colorado University), winning the NCAA Division II title over 10,000 meters as a senior in 2012. He joined the ZAP Endurance group shortly after graduating and made his 26.2-mile debut at the Twin Cities Marathon in 2014, which doubled as the USA Track & Field championship that year. He pulled off a surprise win that day, setting a still-standing personal best of 2:13:32.

He carried that momentum into 2015 with a series of strong results on the roads and track (including lowering his best in the mile to 3:58.99), and headed into the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials riding high with confidence. Perhaps too high. On a hot day in Los Angeles, Pennel took the lead in the 16th mile and forced the pace for the next several miles. The tempo ultimately took a toll and he faded to fifth place in 2:14:57, missing a spot on the squad for the Rio Games by just under two minutes.

"The Trials was my second marathon, and I think since I had a good first one maybe I was a little bit overconfident," he says. "Initially when I made that move I felt great. That first mile that I led I was almost shocked nobody went with me. That's how good I felt. It wasn't until after I started pressing after that first mile of leading that it really hurt."

Since that disappointment, a variety of injuries prevented Pennel from consistently training and racing. He's put together some bright spots, including finishing eighth at the TCS New York City Marathon in 2016 and running to a gutsy fourth-place finish at the 2018 Boston Marathon during the now-infamous nor'easter that turned the race into a cold, wet and windy war of attrition. But after taking third-pace at the Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta in July 2018 he didn't race again for 11 months, first battling a sacral stress fracture, followed this past winter and spring by a bout of osteitis pubis (inflammation of the tissues around the pubic bone). That's the same injury that plagued marathoner Laura Thweatt.

Pennel has been healthy since May, but raced sparingly during his preparation for New York. "The build-up has been really stellar," says On ZAP Endurance coach Pete Rea. "He was able to train through the summer and put together a full marathon build-up cycle. In terms of actual true consistency and healthy running for months and months, that had not happened for Tyler since 2016 until these last six months."

Pennel has been making adjustments to his routine to avoid injuries, including taking one day off from running each week. "If anything I would say he has really made a conscious effort to try to hit fewer home runs in training since, in some respects, that's what got him in trouble in the past," Rea says. "He's actually running more quickly at a lower intensity. He's working less-hard in terms of intensity, but it seems far more comfortable than it did a few years ago."

(10/29/2019) ⚡AMP
by Runners web
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TCS  New York City Marathon

TCS New York City Marathon

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

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Eric Kiptanui was involved in Eliud Kipchoge's record-breaking feat in Vienna, and now he is set to run the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

Kiptanui was part of a 41-member pacemaking team at the Vienna event that ran in front of Kipchoge in a V-formation, protecting him from drag caused by wind, allowing the main runner to save energy in the process — a technique known as drafting or slipstreaming in running events and in motorsports.

"My family was happy. Everybody at home was happy. Eliud is a friend to me, always encouraged me to train. Has done a lot for me. So I think it’s very special for me and for my family," said Kiptanui at an event in New Delhi in the build-up to the 15th edition of the event certified as an IAAF Gold Label Road Race.

When asked about his standout memory from the record-breaking feat, Kiptanui picked the moment when his compatriot finally crossed the finish line to complete the historic feat. The sight of Kipchoge raising his arms in celebration, as did his pacemakers behind him, before embracing his wife on the other side of the finish line has now become an iconic sporting moment.

Can a feat like this be achieved without a team of in-and-out pacemakers? Kiptanui replied by saying: "It’s possible, and even now it’s possible. Even now one can say 'I want to run alone, maybe one pacemaker along the course of the 30k.'"

Life however was far from easy for Kiptanui. Early in his career, the runner resorted to washing toilets to make ends meet, which he now says has been a learning experience and has only made him a stronger person.

"In college, I had nothing. I had no money. I had to look for a job. I got a job for washing toilets. That experience made me a stronger person, because where I am today, and what I did some time back, it tells a lot. I believed in myself, that one day, one time, I will be somebody. No matter who I am now, I will be somebody one day one time," said Kiptanui.

Being part of Kipchoge's 41-member team of pacemakers at Vienna however, isn't his only claim to fame, for he is a serious contender himself as far as long-distance IAAF events are concerned. Kiptanui enjoyed a good run in 2018 by winning the Berlin (58.42 seconds) and Lisbon (60.05 seconds) half marathons, and had won the Barcelona half marathon earlier this year.

For Kiptanui, part of his training for the Delhi half marathon came in the form of his pacemaking duties at Vienna, and has had a fair bit of training in the build-up to the Delhi event in order to keep his body in shape.

East African runners have dominated long-distance running events across the world for decades now, and the Delhi Half Marathon is no different — nearly all the winners in both the men's and women's categories in the event hailing from either Ethiopia or Kenya — both titles being won by an Ethiopian last year.

Come Sunday, Kiptanui will face a stiff challenge from defending champion Andamlak Belihu and debutant Hagos Gebrhiwet. In the women's category, its defending champion and course record-holder Tsehay Gemechu will be in the spotlight along with Kenya-born Kazakh runner Caroline Kipkirui. Over 40,000 are expected to take part in the upcoming event, which begins in the wee hours on Sunday in the national capital, across five categories — Half Marathon (21.097 km), Great Delhi Run (5 km), Open 10K, Senior Citizens' Run (3.2 km) and Champions with Disability (3.2 km).

(10/19/2019) ⚡AMP
by Amit Banerjee
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Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

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

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Mike Reynolds will run his 39th Columbus Marathon on Sunday

Mike Reynolds opens a scrap book full of his biggest running memories, including his race bib from the first Columbus Marathon in 1980.

“It cost $7 to enter,” Reynolds says. “And you had to finish to get your windbreaker.”

A lot has changed since 1980, including the entry fee (now $145) and runners getting their race swag in the days before the race at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.

As organizers plan to hold the 40th running of the marathon, which is set to start Sunday at 7:30 a.m., Reynolds will step to the starting line for the 39th time. He missed the 1983 race because of illness.

So what else has changed since those early days?

“We started at noon because we were concerned about the church crowd,” Reynolds says. Another big distinction between the early 80s and now is the addition of electronics and breathable fabrics.

“We were all wearing cotton and nylon,” Reynolds says.

“They bragged that were five water spots on the course.” Reynolds says, adding that runners didn’t get any snacks unless they brought them with them. There are 17 water stands now, many of them passing out energy bars and Powergel packets.

As far as changes he’d still like to see, Reynolds says he wishes organizers gave more recognition to people who’ve hit milestones, like participating in their fifth or 10th marathon.

His advice for people running their first marathon on Sunday?

“I always say get a friend. Find somebody else to run with,” Reynolds says. “If you’re very good, that’s a different situation, but if you’re a normal person, find somebody who’s a friend and share that situation with them.”

(10/18/2019) ⚡AMP
by Steve Brown
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Columbus Marathon

Columbus Marathon

The Nationwide Children's Hospital Columbus Marathon, first run in 1978 and held annually since 1980, features a flat, fast course which saw nearly 20 percent of finishers qualify for the Boston Marathon in 2010. The event has sold-out in mid-August the past eight years. There are 7,000 runners in the full marathon and 11,000 in the half marathon, making it...

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Kenenisa Bekele wins Berlin Marathon just missed breaking the world record by two seconds

Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele won the Berlin Marathon in 2:01:41, the second-fastest time in history, on Sunday.

Bekele, 37, missed Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge‘s world record, set in Berlin last year, by two seconds.

Kipchoge skipped Berlin this year to attempt a special sub-two-hour marathon in October in Vienna, not under record-eligible conditions.

Former Olympic and world champion Kenenisa Bekele staged a thrilling comeback on Sunday, dramatically missing the world record by two seconds.  

Ethiopian Bekele, winner in Berlin in 2016 and world record holder over 5,000 and 10,000 meters, finished in two hours, one minute and 41 seconds, agonizingly close to Eliud Kipchoge's world record time despite a full sprint in the final 400 meters.

"I felt a little pain in the beginning so I dropped behind," Bekele told reporters. "After a few kilometers I started relaxing so I tied to push a little bit.

"I am very sorry. I am not lucky. I am very happy running my personal best. But I still can do this (world record). I don't give up. It is encouraging for the future."

Bekele was part of a group, including fellow countrymen Birhanu Legese and Sisay Lemma, that quickly broke from the pack with a quick pace.

Legese, winner of this year's Tokyo marathon, then gradually shook off Bekele and then Lemma after the 30km mark.

But Bekele battled back, leaving Lemma in his wake and then reined in Legese to cruise ahead but missed the world record time by two seconds despite a thrilling sprint toward the finish line.

"I was recovering (from injury) only three months ago. My preparation was not 100%. Fantastic result but I feel sorry missing marathon record by two seconds," Bekele said.

Legese took second place in 2:02:48, becoming the third fastest marathon runner ever. Lemma was third, another 48 seconds behind.

In the women's race Ethiopian Ashete Bekere beat Mare Dibaba in a sprint to the finish to win with a time of 2:20:14 and complete the Ethiopian sweep.

(09/29/2019) ⚡AMP
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BMW Berlin Marathon

BMW Berlin Marathon

2020 Marathon has been cancelled. The story of the BERLIN-MARATHON is a story of the development of road running. When the first BERLIN-MARATHON was started on 13th October 1974 on a minor road next to the stadium of the organisers‘ club SC Charlottenburg Berlin 286 athletes had entered. The first winners were runners from Berlin: Günter Hallas (2:44:53), who...

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Legendary Marathoner Meb Keflezighi will return for the 48th running of the Yuengling Shamrock Marathon Weekend

J&A Racing announced today that Meb Keflezighi will return for the 48th running of the Yuengling Shamrock Marathon Weekend. This will be Keflezighi’s second consecutive appearance at the iconic running event in Virginia Beach over St. Paddy’s Day weekend.

“Virginia Beach and J&A Racing is the best,” said Keflezighi. “The community is genuine. You can see the heartbeat of the people that are there and this entire community.”

Keflezighi, the only athlete ever to have won an Olympic medal, the Boston Marathon, and the New York City Marathon, has remained active in the running community since his retirement in 2017. As part of Keflezighi’s 2020 visit to Virginia Beach, he will once again pace the 1:35 time group of runners at the Anthem Shamrock Half Marathon providing participants the chance to run with one of America’s greatest distance runners.

“This was a run of a lifetime. It was so fun. I never imagined being able to run an entire half marathon with a legend. I ran a personal best by four minutes with Meb,” said Lauren, a participant in the 2019 Anthem Shamrock Half Marathon.

In addition to pacing on the half marathon course, Keflezighi will make appearances at the Virginia Eye Consultants Shamrock Sports and Fitness Expo, serve as the official starter for all of the races throughout Yuengling Shamrock Marathon Weekend, and visit select local elementary schools participating in the Operation Smile Shamrock Final Mile.

“We are ecstatic that Meb will be attending the 48th running of the Yuengling Shamrock Marathon weekend.  The four-time Olympian is very personable and inspiring.” said Amy Frostick, co-owner of J&A Racing. “Meb has such a great story of success to share with our runners.”

The 2020 Yuengling Shamrock Marathon Weekend takes place March 20-22. 

(09/10/2019) ⚡AMP
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Yuengling Shamrock Marathon Weekend

Yuengling Shamrock Marathon Weekend

The 2020 events have been cancelled due to the Coronavirus. The Shamrock Marathon was born in 1973. It was the brainchild of Jerry Bocrie, who along with his wife Lori would serve as race director for 30 years. The inaugural marathon had 59 entrants and 38 finishers, and the weekend also featured 1-mile, 2-mile, and 6-mile races. In 1976, the...

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Pau Capell aggressive tactics pay off as he becomes first non-French winner since Kilian Jornet to win UTMB

Pau Capell won the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB) in 20 hours, 19 minutes and seven seconds. He is the first non-French winner since his fellow Spaniard Kilian Jornet won in 2011.

The UTMB is one of the premier ultra trail races in the world. It is the culmination of a week long running festival, which sees the best in the sport compete for the coveted winners titles.

The brutal 171km course, with over 10,000 meters of accumulative elevation, favors runners who pace themselves conservatively – a common refrain is that “the race does not start until 100km”. But, Capell ignored the advice and set off at an aggressive pace, taking the lead in the first few kilometres and holing it until he ultimately won.

“Leading from wire to wire, in heroic fashion, it goes against common sense in endurance sport and everything you would expect given the field,” said UTMB commentator Dylan Bowman, who finished second in the 145km TDS at the UTMB week in 2018.

Bowman added it shows the sport is evolving, and to win at the top level, you now need to take risks.

Finish line announcer Eoin Flynn listed Capell’s other wins and compared him to a superhero.

‘I felt horrible’: Ruth Croft reflects on OCC win at UTMB

Capell modestly said “I’m not a superhero but if one did exists it would be my parents.”

The race started in Chamonix, 6pm, on Friday. A few Chinese athletes set off at a mad speed. In particular, HK100 2018 champion Qi Min looked like he was trying to set his 5km personal best, rather than run for almost a day. Qi looked over his shoulder and saw the lead he had built in the first few hundred meters and slowed until Capell was level with him. The pair stuck together, but Qi began to fade from the top five. Between 80km and 100km he dropped out of the top five and then out of the top 100. 

The pack began to set and it looked as though the podium was decided well before the finishing line. Capell had an unassailable lead over three time champion and eventual second place Xavier Thevenard (21:07:56), who himself was well ahead of third place New Zealander Scotty Hawker (21:48:04).

Audrey Tanguy wins TDS, Hillary Allen marks comeback from near-fatal fall

“What to say about Pau? He did a great race today. I saw the time, it got 10 minutes farther and 10 minutes farther,” Thevenard said. “He was untouchable.”

Thevenard used his time in the limelight to call people to protect the environment for future generations.

Hawker crossed the finish line, running hand in hand with his young daughter, mirroring scenes at the HK100 when she sang Happy Birthday.

“It’s a dream come true,” Hawker said of reaching the podium at the UTMB. “I thought maybe one day, but it was just a dream, now it’s real.”

Hawker was in the leading group along with Capell at the start of the race.

“At the start, it may have looked fast but it was honestly slower than other years,” he said.

A tearful Hawker said as he ran he thinking of his parents watching at home and his family at the finish line.

(09/01/2019) ⚡AMP
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North Face Ultra Trail du Tour du Mont-Blanc

North Face Ultra Trail du Tour du Mont-Blanc

Mountain race, with numerous passages in high altitude (>2500m), in difficult weather conditions (night, wind, cold, rain or snow), that needs a very good training, adapted equipment and a real capacity of personal autonomy. It is 6:00pm and we are more or less 2300 people sharing the same dream carefully prepared over many months. Despite the incredible difficulty, we feel...

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Katy and Tyler Jermann got married last summer, they train together and now are set to Run the Faxon Law New Haven 20K

They are on the same running team in Minnesota. They run the same races. They are a little competitive with each other.

“We get a little competitive with our times,” Tyler said.

Tyler gives Katy a 35-second-per-mile handicap.

“If it’s anything under a half-marathon, she wins, usually,” he said. “Anything longer, I win.

“We’ve been doing it for a year or two. Katy had a big injury two years ago but she’s on the comeback. We had to adjust the conversion. It started off as a minute [per mile] but now it’s not fair anymore.”

So Katy, 27, may have the edge at Monday’s Faxon Law New Haven Road Race, which is the 20K USATF national championship (8:30 a.m. start, New Haven Green).

“I’m usually stronger at the marathon distance,” said Tyler, 27, who won the 50K national championship in 2017. “20K is a bit out of my wheelhouse.”

Both are training for the New York City Marathon in November and both have qualified for the Olympic Marathon Trials Feb. 29 in Atlanta.

Katy qualified in her marathon debut in Houston in January, running a negative split (78 minutes the first half and 75 the second) to go under the “A” standard (2:37) for the trials, finishing in 2:33:41. It turned out to be a great day for the Jermanns as Tyler also ran under the men’s “A” standard (2:15) with a personal best of 2:13:29. Both finished ninth in their respective races.

“It was great,” Katy said. “I loved it. I was very conservative. I wanted to make sure I could walk away from the marathon knowing that I loved it and wanted to do more and felt confident about the distance.”

It was Tyler’s 13th marathon and his fifth attempt at trying to get the “A” standard.

The two met while running at Iowa State, where Katy was a Big 12 champion in the 5,000 and 10,000 meters, but they didn’t really become friendly until after graduation. They reconnected at a training camp in Flagstaff, Ariz., started dating in January of 2017 and were married last summer.

They live outside of Minneapolis and train with Team USA Minnesota.

“We have the same running schedules and the same workouts,” Katy said. “We can do our warmup together with the team. Then he goes and does his run and I do mine.

“It’s neat to be able to share our stories. If I was tired and he was also, it’s nice to have that camaraderie – like it’s normal to feel tired today. It’s nice to go through that together.”

Tyler’s half-marathon personal best is 1:03:31; Katy’s is 1:10:27. She hopes to be in the top three at New Haven. Last year’s winner Sara Hall is the favorite in the women’s field, while two-time men’s winner Leonard Korir is the favorite to win the men’s title. Korir became the first American since 1988 to win the Falmouth Road Race earlier this month.

(08/31/2019) ⚡AMP
by Lori Riley
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New Haven Road Race

New Haven Road Race

Home of the Men’s & Women’s USATF 20K National Championship.The New Haven Road Race has again been selected to host the U.S. Men’s & Women’s 20K National Championship. The event expects to feature a number of past champions and U.S. Olympians.The New Haven Road Race is the LONGEST RUNNING USATF NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP! The race has been selected as Runner’s World...

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The Phalula twins are plotting a major comeback at Cape Town Marathon

The Phalula twins, now 34, used to rule the race fields, but after getting married and having kids, coupled with injuries in between, they have slowed down.

Now, the once lethal twins, are plotting a major comeback. Lebogang and Lebo-Diana have recently disappeared from the podium, but they have attributed that to injuries.

"For me, I've been struggling since I came back from my maternity leave. I had a lot of injuries, because I came back early after giving birth. But that's not an excuse," said Lebo-Diana, now a mother and engaged to be married.

"I don't have any injury now. My focus is to gain back my form. Hopefully, next year I'll be fully recovered and back to my level best. I'm not going to be harsh on myself. I know what I want to achieve and I'm going on my own pace. Don't be envious of other people's success, because you don't know what's God's plan for you. I'm happy for everyone doing well this year."

On Sunday at the Spar Women's 10km Challenge in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, the twins failed to make it into the top 10, with Lebogang finishing 11th in 35mins 33seconds, while Lebo-Diana took 16th position in 37:07.

"I'm doing well with my training. It's just that I'm not focused on competing with elite athletes now... But, I'll bounce back."

Lebogang, who is now married and a mother of one, won the same title in 2015 and feels she is hitting her stride again.

"With the Spar races, it's not that bad. I've been struggling to be in the top 15. But the Centurion and Pietermaritzburg [races] were better, because I did finish in the top 11. I can see that I'm coming back. I might surprise everyone in the next race [the Joburg leg] and finish in the top three. We are giving others a chance to shine, because when we come back, it's [going to be] double trouble."

With Helaila Johannes taking the Spar races by storm - winning five out of five races, Lebo-Diana said she's not surprised as she knew the Namibian from way back when they used to race together.

"Helaila struggled when she was about 34 or 35. Look now, she's 39 and is running brilliantly. No one ever complained then when she was struggling," said Lebo- Diana. "Now that she came back with a bang, some people are suspecting that she's using something. But she is not. I know her. It's just that she peaked at the right age."

The twins will next take part in the upcoming Cape Town Marathon next month. For Lebo-Diana, a top-10 finish will be a major morale boost.

Lebogang chipped in: "I'm also doing Cape Town marathon. Marathons are not easy but I'm hoping for a top-10 finish or to be the first South African to cross the finish line."

(08/27/2019) ⚡AMP
by Seanokeng Molosankwe
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Cape Town Marathon

Cape Town Marathon

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

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Gwen Jorgensen has set her sights on winning the gold medal in the marathon at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo

Gwen Jorgensen knows how to attack a challenge.

The 33-year-old Waukesha native has set her sights on winning the gold medal in the marathon at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. She wanted a new goal after winning the triathlon at the 2016 Rio Games.

No American woman has claimed Olympic gold in the marathon since Joan Benoit Samuelson in 1984. Jorgensen is trying to do it two years after giving birth to her son and while dealing with a recent injury setback.

"It’s been  an uphill battle, I’d say," Jorgensen said. "But one that I like. One of the reasons I switched sports, I wanted that challenge. I wanted something that keeps me motivated."

She had been bothered by pain in her right foot, especially after finishing 11th in the 2018 Chicago Marathon. Jorgensen was diagnosed with Haglund’s deformity.

"It's basically a bone overgrowth in the heel," she said. "And then every time you take a step, the Achilles and the bursas and everything rub against the bone overgrowth. And it causes pain. It causes damages to those things."

Just putting on socks was excruciating. Jorgensen did everything to avoid surgery, including platelet-rich-plasma therapy, cortisone shots and changing her running form. But she finally went under the knife in May.

“For me that pain is gone, which is so good," Jorgensen said.

It's been a slow and steady comeback since then.

"I’ve been able to run a little bit now," Jorgensen said. "I would love to increase a ton but I’ve put a lot of time and energy into getting healthy and that’s my main goal right now."

She has gotten up to running 40 minutes every other day. 

“That probably sounds like a lot for a lot of people," Jorgensen said. "But I’m used to an hour-and-a-half in the morning and an hour at night."

(08/19/2019) ⚡AMP
by Ben Steele
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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Canadian Sasha Gollish is set to race the TCS New York City Marathon this fall

Sasha Gollish will join defending champion Mary Keitany, 2018 Boston Marathon champion Des Linden, 2019 Boston champion Worknesh Degefa, and half-marathon world record-holder Joyciline Jepkosgei on the start line on Staten Island in November. 

Sinead Diver of Australia, 2019 Comrades Marathon champion Gerda Steyn of South Africa and Americans Sara Hall, Allie Kieffer, Lindsey Scherf and Kellyn Taylor round out the exceptionally deep field of women athletes racing New York this year.

On the men’s side, notable names include defending champion Lelisa Desisa, 2017 champion Geoffrey Kamworor, Somali-American Abdi Abdirahman, Ethiopians Shura Kitata and Tamirat Tola and American Jared Ward, who finished eighth at this year’s Boston Marathon.

Gollish had a long and successful career in track and cross-country, winning bronze in the 1,500m at the 2015 Pan Am Games before attempting her debut marathon attempt at Berlin last year. 

She was forced to drop out just after the 30K mark with severe cramping, but had a very successful comeback at Houston in January, finishing in 2:32 just behind fellow Canadian Malindi Elmore, who was also taking her first stab at the marathon distance.

Gollish, it should be pointed out, has the world championship standard in the marathon (2:37:00), and so far only Lyndsay Tessier has been named to Team Canada. Athletics Canada will announce the full team on August 26.

(08/13/2019) ⚡AMP
by Anne Francis
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TCS  New York City Marathon

TCS New York City Marathon

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

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There are times when running indoor on a treadmill might be the best solution

Summertime might make living easier. But running? Not so much. With record-high temperatures and humidity reaching 90 percent, chasing miles on the treadmill makes for a much better, less insanely sweaty run than the open road. Of course, getting outside for sunshine and fresh air provides its mental and physical benefits, but sometimes it really is better to find your stride on a machine.

Here, some of the benefits of running on a treadmill vs. outside, and six scenarios that say, "hey, let's stay inside and cruise through some distance in the comfort of AC and the predictability of tread terrain."

1. When simply standing on a street corner makes you sweat.

Check the weather before you even leave the house, says David Siik, co-founder and creative director at Precision Run. He suggests only attempting short runs on those 80- and 90-degree days when the humidity hits 40 percent or higher. "Heat indexes of 95 degrees or higher is my recommended breaking point—just don't do it, it's not worth it," he says. "If you do head out and within 10 minutes you feel like you are working harder than usual, feel heavy, or start to feel a little cold and clammy, get back inside.”

Marni Wasserman, a coach at Mile High Run Club, recommends checking the dew point, which considers both heat and humidity. When the dew point hits 70 or 80 degrees, you probably want to turn to the tread. 

2. When you're making your comeback post-injury.

One of the major benefits of running on a treadmill is that it's a softer surface and therefore less force on your joints. While running on trails or a track offer more give than pavement, many manufacturers design treadmills to specifically absorb the shock of each step. 

Running on a treadmill also means you don't have to worry about moving laterally to dodge sticks, trees, cars, or people, says Siik. 

3. When you need more motivation to speed through intervals.

It's easy to slow down on the open road during running interval workouts, even when you're trying to get in some sprint drills and all-out efforts because you don't have someone (or something) forcing you to move faster. The treadmill, on the other hand, requires you to go hard to keep up with the belt. "The treadmill is painfully honest. It cannot lie to you," says Siik. "If you put in 10 mph, the treadmill will hold you accountable to that speed unless you change it or step off. That freedom from the ability to cheat is a wonderful accountability tool."

Another benefit of running on the treadmill is that you can make micro-adjustments to your run that gets you to push harder without making it crazy dramatic—say adding 0.1 percent incline or 0.1 mph. "This creates a type of engagement that makes the run so much more fun and dynamic," says Siik. 

4. When you don't have hills in your 'hood.

If you live in a mostly flat area, but you've signed up for a race with steep incline climbs, then you'll want to become BFFs with the treadmill. "If you have access to the course elevation profile, you can try to mimic it on the tread to make long runs more interesting. Or, if you take the inclines faster, you can get a feel for the climbs at race pace," says Wasserman.

She recommends doing rolling hills at 3 to 6 percent incline when you don't have the course to copy. "You can also play around with hill sprints to build leg strength, improve form, and boost power—they're really tough and will make you feel like you're flying once you drop the hill," she says. Not to mention, it's a lot easier than finding the perfect hill to do sprint repeats IRL.

5. When you want to protect your skin.

Crushing runs outside multiple days a week means the sun continuously beats down on you, especially if you forget sweat-proof sunscreen before you head out the door. So you might want to go inside occasionally just to keep your skin under cover, says Siik. 

”Although you should enjoy running outdoors, if you supplement the 'harsh' days (heavy exposed sun and high heat or cold, windy, slippery weather) you lift the burden and fatigue on not only your body but your skin," he says. "Imagine spending 40 percent less of your life being destroyed by the sun or chapped from the wind but keeping up the same level of fitness and cardiovascular health—win, win!"

(08/11/2019) ⚡AMP
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New mom Allyson Felix qualifies for her 13th world championships at Doha

Allyson Felix, the most decorated track runner in world championship history with 16 career medals, made a very respectable comeback yesterday at the USATF Outdoor Championships yesterday, finishing sixth in the 400m final, qualifying her for the 4x400m relay pool for the 2019 world championships at Doha. It will be her 13th world championships.

Felix ran 51.94s in her first race back since having her baby last November. She made headlines a few months ago when she openly criticized her sponsor, Nike, for not supporting women athletes who choose to start a family, and followed that up with testifying before the US House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee on the maternal mortality crisis.

Though she had excellent healthcare and was in top physical condition, Felix suffered serious complications during her pregnancy and underwent an emergency C-section at 32 weeks.

She spent the next few months with her baby in the NICU before going public with her story in December 2018. Felix is still without a contract, and raced unattached this weekend.

Felix wasn’t the only mom commanding attention on the track this weekend. Nia Ali, who had her second baby last year, took second place in the women’s 100m hurdles, securing herself a berth on the American world championship team with a season’s best 12.55s. (The baby’s father is Canadian sprinter Andre De Grasse, who finished second in the 100m at the Canadian nationals this weekend.)

(07/29/2019) ⚡AMP
by Anne Francis
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IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha

IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha

The seventeenth edition of the IAAF World Championships is scheduled to be held between 27 September and 6 October 2019 in Doha, Qatar at the renovated multi-purpose Khalifa International Stadium. Doha overcame bids from Eugene, USA, and Barcelona, Spain to be granted the rights to host the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Athletics. Having hosted the IAAF Diamond League, formerly...

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Three-time Bix 7 men’s champion Silas Kipruto is coming back to the Quad-City Times Bix 7 in hopes of making a little more history

The three-time Bix 7 men’s champion will be joined in the 45th annual race through the streets of Davenport by a deep women’s field that includes two former champions, the second fastest female runner in the race’s history and a world record-holder in two events.

Kipruto already is among the most successful runners in the history of the race, which is scheduled this year for July 27. The 34-year-old native of Kenya not only won the Bix 7 in 2011, 2012 and 2016, but he has finished in the top five on three other occasions.

His half dozen top-five finishes equal the most ever by a male runner in the race, tying Meb Keflezighi, Bill Rodgers, John Korir and Lazarus Nyakeraka.

Kipruto is one of 17 African runners in the preliminary men’s elite field assembled by elite athlete coordinator John Tope — 13 from Kenya and two each from Eritrea and Tanzania.

Besides Kipruto, male runners to watch include Tanzania’s Gabriel Geay, who won both the Lilac Bloomsday 12k and the Bay to Breakers 12k in May; Kenya’s Edwin Mokua, a top-three finisher at both Bloomsday and Bay to Breakers; Kenya’s Leonard Barsoton, who was first in the African Cross Country championships in 2014 and second in the African Games 10,000 meters in 2015; and Emmanuel Kiprono, Kenya’s 10,000-meter champ in 2013.

(07/24/2019) ⚡AMP
by Kevin E. Schmidt
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Bix 7 miler

Bix 7 miler

This race attracts the greatest long distance runners in the world competing to win thousands of dollars in prize money. It is said to be the highest purse of any non-marathon race. Tremendous spectator support, entertainment and post party. Come and try to conquer this challenging course along with over 15,000 other participants, as you "Run With The Best." In...

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Ethiopia´s Almaz Ayana hopes to be successful in Doha on September 28

The ability to overcome challenges appears to be part of Almaz Ayana’s DNA.

By working hard to climb to the summit of global distance running, despite hailing from a modest rural background, to triumphing in the 10,000m on her season’s debut at the IAAF World Championships London 2017, no challenge appears beyond the capability of the world and Olympic 10,000m champion.

Yet the latest task to return to full fitness after undergoing surgery on both knees is, arguably, Ayana’s greatest obstacle to date as she builds up for what she hope will be a successful defence of her world 10,000m title in Doha on 28 September.

Born the seventh youngest of nine siblings in western Ethiopia, Ayana first engaged in running when registering for a school race at about the age of 13 or 14.

Having no clue as to how she would perform, she recalled finishing “second or third” over 1500m but faced a significant obstacle to her progress.

“When I started racing there was a girl at my school who always finished number one,” explains the quietly-spoken and unfailingly polite Ayana. “I was afraid of that girl but somebody told me that I have to beat her. I listened to that person, beat that girl and later joined a project (a training group for beginners) in my local area.”

Encouraged by how hard work could reap rewards, she moved to Addis Ababa and joined the Defence Force Club. A coach there advised her to try the steeplechase and she quickly advanced to the international level. In 2010 she placed fifth in the steeplechase at the IAAF World U20 Championships in Moncton, Canada and later that year shattered the world U20 record with a stunning 9:22.51 for third in Brussels.

African and Continental Cup 5000m victories followed in 2014 but it was the 2015 campaign when Ayana emerged as a world-class star. In Shanghai she ran a blistering 14:14.32 performance to climb to third on the world all-times list – behind Dibaba and Defar – with the kind of fearless front-running performance which has become her signature.

Then at the World Championships in Beijing later that year, a blistering final 3000m of 8:19 enabled Ayana to quell the considerable threat of compatriot Genzebe Dibaba to bank 5000m gold inside the crucible of the Bird’s Nest Stadium.

In 2016 the Ethiopian then entered another realm by obliterating the 23-year-old world 10,000m record by more than 14 seconds with a jaw-dropping time of 29:17.45 to claim the Olympic title in Rio.

(07/23/2019) ⚡AMP
by iaaf
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IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha

IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha

The seventeenth edition of the IAAF World Championships is scheduled to be held between 27 September and 6 October 2019 in Doha, Qatar at the renovated multi-purpose Khalifa International Stadium. Doha overcame bids from Eugene, USA, and Barcelona, Spain to be granted the rights to host the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Athletics. Having hosted the IAAF Diamond League, formerly...

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German Katharina Steinruck will return to run the Mainova Frankfurt Marathon on October

For the 29-year-old her marathon comeback after an operation on her heel is the chance to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. The qualifying time is 2:29:30.

The organisers of the Frankfurt Marathon expect up to 14,000 runners to take part in the race, and places are still available.

Katharina Steinruck – still better known to many under her maiden name Katharina Heinig – is the first prominent female runner to be signed up for this year’s Mainova Frankfurt Marathon.

“We are very pleased that Katharina has decided to run in the Mainova Frankfurt Marathon again and we will offer her the best possible conditions to run an Olympic qualifying time,” says race director Jo Schindler.

“I am happy that we can present a top German runner who is also a local champion. Many Frankfurt citizens will identify with her, as she lives and works here in the city,” he adds.

“It is always something special to be able to run the marathon in your home town,” says Katharina Steinruck, who belongs to the police sports team of the state of Hessen. “I have lived in Frankfurt for 15 years and of course I have many friends and colleagues here who will come to cheer me on. I am already looking forward to the awesome atmosphere.”

In the previous two years Katharina Steinruck made a strong showing and achieved time of slightly under 2:30. In 2017 she unexpectedly became German women’s champion in 2:29:29 and came eighth. Despite a short training time after starting the Euro championship in August, in 2018 she reached the finish line in the Frankfurt Festhalle in 2:29:55.

After an operation on her heel last November Steinruck returned to running to win the 7.9km city run in Aschaffenburg in May. Looking forward she is now preparing for the race in her home town on 27 October. Currently she is training in the pre-Alpine Allgäu region of Bavaria.

(07/20/2019) ⚡AMP
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Mainova Frankfurt Marathon

Mainova Frankfurt Marathon

Frankfurt is an unexpectedly traditional and charming city, with half-timbered buildings huddled in its quaint medieval Altstadt (old city), cosy apple wine taverns serving hearty regional food, village-like neighbourhoods filled with outdoor cafes, boutiques and street art, and beautiful parks, gardens and riverside paths. The city's cache of museums is second in Germany only to Berlin’s, and its nightlife...

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Cancellation of 2019 Hardrock 100 because the trail is not in good shape because of heavy snow during the winter doesn’t deter ultra community

There may not be a 2019 running of the Hardrock Hundred Endurance Run through the San Juan Mountains, but there will be plenty of trail running events that will provide ultra-running enthusiasts a chance to interact with some of the world’s best athletes.

A week of activities kicked off Sunday in Durango, as running stars Anna Frost, François D’haene, Dakota Jones and Hardrock 100 director Dale Garland will gather at the Durango Outdoor Exchange for a public meet and greet and run.

“I think everyone loves talking about Hardrock and running,” said Frost, a two-time Hardrock 100 champion originally from New Zealand who now also calls Durango home. “It’s a great opportunity for us to have these world-class athletes right here in Durango as well as having the race director of Hardrock here.”

D’haene was one the favorites to win this year’s Hardrock 100 but will have to wait until next year to run for his first chance to kiss the rock, as this year’s run was canceled after a winter of heavy snow that resulted in avalanche debris making many sections of the 100.5-mile loop from Silverton to Telluride, Ouray and Lake City and back to Silverton impassable. There was also big concern about high water with a late runoff from the melting snow.

France’s D’haene, a four-time Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc champion and UTMB course record holder, had planned to spend time running in the San Juan Mountains to prepare for this year’s Hardrock, and he still traveled to Southwest Colorado despite the race cancellation that was announced June 10.

“François D’haene, in my mind, is probably the best runner on the planet in terms of consistency and skill at ultra-running,” Frost said. “He has so much experience. He had a baby boy and was coming for Hardrock and decided to still come anyway. He’s pretty dedicated to his commitment to coming for Hardrock.”

Garland has yet to meet D’haene in person and is eager for him to join the Hardrock community this weekend.

“It does mean a lot when somebody of his stature and with his prestige in the ultra-running community says, you know what, it’s worth it for me to not blow this thing off and rearrange my schedule, I’m still going to enjoy the San Juan Mountains and still gonna be part of the Hardrock community,” Garland said.

Durango’s Jones also will be in attendance along with representatives from Salomon running. Frost said there will be several gear giveaways as well as a donation box to benefit the Silverton community and help mitigate the economic impact of there not being a race this year.

“I know Salomon is doing a special work day on Monday, so they are giving back and being part of the community, which I think is really cool,” Garland said.

(07/15/2019) ⚡AMP
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Hardrock 100

Hardrock 100

100-mile run with 33,050 feet of climb and 33,050 feet of descent for a total elevation change of 66,100 feet with an average elevation of 11,186 feet - low point 7,680 feet (Ouray) and high point 14,048 feet (Handies Peak). The run starts and ends in Silverton, Colorado and travels through the towns of Telluride, Ouray, and the ghost town...

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Kinsey Middleton and Malindi Elmore are both seeking a spot on Canada's Olympic marathon team going to Tokyo

Kinsey Middleton and Malindi Elmore both ran their first marathons in the last nine months, Middleton becoming Canadian champion at Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon last year, and Elmore making a strong debut at Houston in January.

Though they are at very different points in their lives and careers, their times were almost identical (2:32:09 and 2:32:15), and both are now chasing a spot on Canada’s Olympic team in the marathon. Middleton and Elmore will contest the Canadian Marathon Championships (which double as the Canadian Olympic marathon trials) at Scotiabank on October 20.

Middleton, 26, claims to have learned a lot from her first marathon. A native of Boise, Idaho, which is at 800m altitude and surrounded by mountains (she has dual citizenship, since her mother is Canadian), Middleton has relatively easy access to higher altitudes for training purposes.

She says she may plan to surpass the 190K peak weekly mileage she reached during last summer’s build, with the goal of getting even faster.

Malindi Elmore 39, represented Canada at the 2004 Olympics, the 2006 Commonwealth Games and the 2011 Pan Am Games, then became a triathlete for a while before returning to running. She has two children, and is in the midst of a comeback after retiring from her career as a 1,500m runner seven years ago–a comeback that surprises even her.

“I didn’t see this coming at all,” Elmore told us last month after her third-place finish at the Vancouver Sun Run. “I didn’t even think this was possible a year ago. I started running for fun and then the marathon went really well along with my 10K and half training. I’m feeling fresh again.”

Middleton and Elmore went two and three at this year’s Vancouver Sun Run, behind Canadian 10K and 10,000m champion Natasha Wodak.

(07/12/2019) ⚡AMP
by Anne Francis
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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The movie, Forrest Gump was released on July 6, 1994, it won six Oscars and became one of the most popular running films of all time

It was 25 years ago Saturday that Robert Zemeckis’s film Forrest Gump opened to wild acclaim and became one of the world’s best-loved running films.

Based on a novel by Winston Groom and adapted for the screen by Eric Roth, the movie concerns a simple-minded but wise man (played by Tom Hanks) who overcame childhood polio to become an endurance runner, on a whim, and went on to participate in some of the most significant events of the 20th century.

One day Forrest just starts running, and ends up running from his home in Alabama to the California coast, then back across America to the Atlantic. He runs back and forth across America for three years, two months, 14 days and 16 hours. And he inspires others to run, as well.

The movie most likely appeals to endurance runners in particular because of Forrest’s stripped-down approach. When asked by reporters if he was running for world peace, or the homeless, or women’s rights, or the environment, or for animals, Forrest replies, “I just felt like running.”

“They just couldn’t believe that somebody would do all that running for no particular reason,” he narrates.

Of course, Forrest eventually gets tired of running, and quits as suddenly as he started, possibly having fulfilled his purpose of outrunning the past.

Forrest Gump won Academy Awards for directing, best picture, best actor, best adapted screenplay, best film editing and best visual effects.

(07/08/2019) ⚡AMP
by Anne Francis
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I really enjoyed this movie. Have seen it several times. 7/10 9:59 pm


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Bernard Lagat sets new Master American marathon record clocking 2:12:10 in Australia

44-year-old Bernard Lagat ran 2:12:10 in the Gold Coast Marathon in Australia, which averages out to 5:02.5 per mile for 26.2 miles on Sunday. The result placed him 7th overall and more importantly broke Meb Keflezighi‘s US masters record (40+) of 2:12:20 in the men’s marathon. 2:12:10 represented a massive personal best of more than 5 minutes for Lagat as the two-time Olympic medalist in the 1,500 ran 2:17:20 in his only other marathon last November in New York.

He was happy to share this moment with his son (first photo).  He wrote that he was pleased to be able to finish strong.  

The only negative about the race was Lagat came up 40 seconds short of the Olympic qualifying standard of 2:11:30 for the men’s marathon (if he’d placed the top 5, he also would have been credited with the standard but 5th was 2:10:29).

He has been training in Colorado (photo). 

(07/06/2019) ⚡AMP
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What an amazing runner. He holds all US master records from the 1500m to the marathon now! I think he can even run a faster marathon! He now has experience. 7/10 10:03 pm


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America’s Camille Herron has a real shot at winning the Comrades marathon for the second time

The 94th running of the world-famous Comrades Marathon is scheduled to begin at 5:30am (8:30pm Pacific time Saturday) on Sunday, taking place from Durban to Pietermaritzburg.

“The Comrades Marathon attracts the very best ultra-runners in the world and this year will be no different. This year’s up-run already promises to be an epic race,” said Cheryl Winn, CMA chairperson.

In the women’s race, America’s Camilla Herron has a real shot of winning for the second time but her competition is top notch.

Here are the top five female contenders: 

1. Ann Ashworth (second photo) shocked the field to win the 2018 race with a tactical and composed performance. She subsequently left her career as an advocate to run full time ahead of the 2019 race. Ashworth is in good form and achieved a marathon PB of 2:35 at the Valencia Marathon in December.  A genuine contender to become the first female to win back-to-back races since Elena Nurgalieva.

2. Gerda Steyn The 28-year-old has enjoyed a meteoric rise from amateur to professional in the space of just five years. After finishing as runner-up last year, Steyn took a six-week break from the sport before preparing to tackle the New York Marathon, finishing 13th in a PB of 2:31. The 2018 and 2019 Two Oceans winner has made it clear, her goal this year is to claim a maiden Comrades Marathon title.

3. Camille Herron (first photo) was left gutted just weeks before last year’s race as injury robbed her of a chance to claim back-to-back victories. It has been two years since her big win but the raging crowds and electric atmosphere which greeted her at the finish at Scottsville Racecourse will serve as a huge motivating factor as she prepares for a comeback. She set a new 100-mile record at the Desert Solstice Track Invitational in December. As the reigning up-run champion, the 37-year-old is a genuine title contender.

4. Charne Bosman The 2016 down-run winner has proved to be one of South Africa’s most consistent athletes in recent years. She has five gold medals from six starts at Comrades. She is now 43 but there are no signs of her powers waning. She won the Johnson Crane Hire Marathon in January and the Om Die Dam Marathon in March. Bosman is in red hot form and is a genuine contender to win the race.

5. American Devon Yanko’s (third photo) Comrades journey began back in 2012 when she came fifth on debut. She then took a four-year break from the race but returned over the last two years to earn another two gold medals. She won the Oaklands Marathon in a time of 2:43 in March. An accomplished runner who knows what it takes push for a win.

Should the winner in either the Men’s or Women’s races in this year’s Comrades break the ‘Up Run’ Best Times of Russia’s Leonid Shvetsov (2008 – 5:24:49) or Elena Nurgalieva (2006 – 6:09:24) respectively, he or she will take home a minimum of R1-million ($66,849US) in Comrades prize money, comprised of a first prize of R500,000 plus a R500,000 incentive for breaking the Best Time; in addition to prizes for First South African (R200,000) and First KZN Man and Woman (R45,000). 

(06/08/2019) ⚡AMP
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Comrades Marathon

Comrades Marathon

2020 race has been officially cancelled. Arguably the greatest ultra marathon in the world where athletes come from all over the world to combine muscle and mental strength to conquer the approx 90kilometers between the cities of Pietermaritzburg and Durban, the event owes its beginnings to the vision of one man, World War I veteran Vic Clapham. A soldier, a...

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Happy Global Running Day! Be sure to run, walk or jog at least one mile today!

Global Running Day is a worldwide celebration of running that encourages everyone to get moving. It doesn’t matter how fast you run or how far you go—what’s important is that you take part, and how you do it is up to you.

Run a lap around your block, take your dog for a long walk, or call your friends for a pick-up game in the park. The important thing is that you have fun being active—and you inspire others to join you.

Global Running Day is a day that celebrates the sport of running. It is held annually on the first Wednesday of June. 

Participants of all ages and abilities pledge to take part in some type of running activity by submitting their names through the Global Running Day website. 

Global Running Day was formerly known as National Running Day and began in the United States. The first event was in 2009.

The inaugural Global Running Day was held on June 1, 2016. More than 2.5 million people from 177 countries pledged to run more than 9.2 million miles. 

New York City Mayor, Bill de Blasio, declared June 1, 2016 to be Global Running Day in the City of New York. 2014 Boston Marathon winner Meb Keflezighi led a group run from the Boston Run Base, and the Atlanta Track Club organized a “run around the clock” event, where at least one person from the Atlanta metro area would be running every hour of Global Running Day.

More than 100 organizations support Global Running Day and the Million Kid Run.

As part of Global Running Day, the Million Kid Run aims to get young people excited about fitness. By moving and having fun, kids discover that living an active lifestyle can be fun and easy.

The 2018 Global Running Day inspired Bob Anderson to start the Run The World Challenge.  It launched July 4, 2018.  Since then 289 people all over the world have run and logged over 110,000 miles.  This program encourages people to run and or walk everyday.

”If you are a runner already,” says My Best Runs founder Bob Anderson, “be sure to run at least a mile today.  For everyone else, there is no better time than today to get started.”  71-year-old Bob Anderson is a lifetime runner who ran his first mile Feb 16, 1962.  He is on track to hit 1820 miles over the last 12 months ending July 3.  

“I just love to run and programs like Global Running Day and Run The World challenge motivate me to do more,” says Bob Anderson.  “So get in your mile today.  Run, walk, jog it all counts.” 

(06/05/2019) ⚡AMP
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Global Running Day

Global Running Day

What is Global Running Day? Global Running Day is a worldwide celebration of running that encourages everyone to get moving. It doesn’t matter how fast you run or how far you go—what’s important is that you take part, and how you do it is up to you. Run a lap around your block, take your dog for a long walk,...

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Peres Jepchirchir and Mohammed Ziani, the winners in 2016, headline the fields for Saturday night’s Ottawa 10km

The elite women are given 3:40 head start over the elite men and the first across the line earns an extra CDN$2,000 in addition to the CDN$5,000 winner’s purse. It was Jepchirchir who held off Ziani in 2016.

Jepchirchir, who held off Ziani in 2016, is making her comeback since giving birth to a baby boy at the tail end of 2017. Whether she can find the form that carried her to a PB of 30:55 for the distance in 2015 as well as capture the 2016 world half marathon title is intriguing, but she started 2019 strongly with a 1:07:36 clocking at the Ras Al-Khaimah Half Marathon.

The expected competition will likely come from her compatriot Paskalia Kipkoech, the 2012 world half marathon bronze medallist who has a 10km PB of 30:57, and 20-year-old Ethiopian Gete Alemayehu, who ran 31:12 to win the Corrida Pédestre Internationale de Houilles in France last December.

The heat and humidity at the 2016 Ottawa 10k left Jepchirchir shattered at the finish and requiring brief medical attention. But the forecast calls for rain this year, possibly even a thunderstorm.

Ziani, who finished fourth last year, will be joined by compatriot Mohamed El Aaraby who ran 27:58 at the Valencia 10k earlier this year.

Kenya’s Moses Kibet, a former steeplechaser, will challenge the two Moroccans no doubt. Last June he won the La Corrida de Langueux in a personal best of 28:26, while more recently he finished second at the Jianzhen International Half Marathon in China in a PB of 59:58.

Major flooding in recent weeks along the Ottawa River has meant that the Ottawa Marathon course has undergone substantial changes. Still, the incoming international athletes are aware that the women’s (Gelete Burka 2:22:13 2018) and men’s race records (Yemane Tsegay 2:06:54 2014) are going to be tough to beat.

Pre-race favorite Tirfi Tsegaye was forced to withdraw earlier this week after picking up a hamstring injury, but her absence leaves an evenly matched group tasked with extending Ethiopia’s winning streak to 10 women’s marathon titles in Ottawa.

Shuko Gemeno, Abeba Gebremeskel, Bethelhem Moges and Tigist Girma are all capable of victory. The latter keeps improving in leaps and bounds though her personal best is still ‘just’ 2:26:44. The winner will earn CDN$30,000.

(05/25/2019) ⚡AMP
by IAAF
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Ottawa 10K

Ottawa 10K

Ottawa's course is fast, scenic and few elevation changes. Considered to be an excellent course for first timers and should provide an environment conducive to setting a PR. The Ottawa 10K is the only IAAF Gold Label 10K event in Canada and one of only four IAAF Gold Label 10Ks in the world. The Ottawa 10K attracts one of the...

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Two defending champions Risper Gesabwa and Brendan Gregg, are returning for the 43rd annual Bellin Run

Risper Gesabwa and Brendan Gregg have signed on to the 10K on June 8.

Gesabwa broke the tape last year, setting a record sixth Bellin Run title, followed closely by 2017 champ Kaitlin Gregg Goodman.

Goodman and Gesabwa have history. Goodman also finished a close second to Gesabwa in 2016, meaning their 2019 rematch will be one to watch.

Kaitlin's brother, Brendan will try to get a second consecutive Bellin Run victory after winning last year's run. He will be up against former Bellin Run champ, Meb Keflezighi and 2016 Olympic marathoner, Jared Ward.

Other notable veteran athletes to participate this year are Uta Pippig, Joan Samuelson and Bill Rodgers.

The last of the 12,050 Bellin Run entrants had barely crossed the South Webster Avenue starting line Saturday morning when Brendan Gregg arrived at the finish.

Gregg finished the 42nd annual 10-kilometer race through Green Bay and Allouez in an impressive 29 minutes, 52 seconds. Meb Keflezighi, the 2016 Bellin winner, finished second with a time of 31:06. Jared Ward, at 31:19, was third for the second straight year.

Risper Gesabwa won a record sixth women's elite division title, finishing in 33:24; 2017 champ Kaitlin Goodman — Gregg's sister — was second at 33:30. Dawn Grunnagle was third at 35:29.

Saturday's event began under partly-cloudy skies, with a temperature of 62. More than 12,000 runners registered; 13,892 took part a year earlier.

The first Bellin Run, in 1977, had 881 participants. It grew to 1,100 in year two.

"I remember the days where you could stand on Greene Avenue and see groups of runners, and see the street in-between," said Green Bay resident Bob Cramer, who began running the Bellin in 1984. "Now, it's wall-to-wall people."

Joseph Kimani retains the men’s course record of 27:46, set in 1997. Tegla Loroupe holds the women’s course record of 31:48, set in 1999.

(05/15/2019) ⚡AMP
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Bellin 10k Run

Bellin 10k Run

The Bellin Run, a 10K held annually in Green Bay, Wisconsin on the second Saturday in June, is one of the region’s premier sporting events and has grown to be one of the largest 10K races in the nation. The event was first held on June 12, 1977, and was known as the Bellin Heartwarming Run, to promote cardiovascular fitness....

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Jordan Hasay will headline the women’s race in the 2019 Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Jordan Hasay has announced that she will target the American women’s marathon record this fall in Chicago.

Rupp’s Nike Oregon Project teammate, Jordan Hasay, offers incredible inspiration when it comes to successful comebacks. After a storybook 2017 season that saw her run the American debut marathon record, 2:23:00, for a third-place finish in Boston and then post the second-fastest time ever run by an American woman in Chicago (2:20:57), she shut down her 2018 season due to two stress fractures in her foot.

She announced her comeback with confidence this spring in Boston, acquiring another podium finish and posting a swift time, 2:25:20. Hasay hopes to take down Deena Kastor’s long-standing American record of 2:19:36. “I am honored to return to the streets of Chicago,” said Hasay. “I love the fast course and exciting atmosphere, which I believe can lead to an attempt at the American record. I look forward to being at my best again and giving it all I have in October.” 

In its 42nd year on Sunday, October 13, the Bank of America Chicago Marathon welcomes thousands of runners from more than 100 countries and all 50 states, including a world-class elite field, top regional and Masters runners, race veterans, debut marathoners and charity runners.

The race’s iconic course takes runners through 29 vibrant neighborhoods on an architectural and cultural tour of Chicago. Annually, an estimated 1.7 million spectators line the streets cheering on more than 40,000 runners from the start line to the final stretch down Columbus Drive.

As a result of the race’s national and international draw, the Chicago Marathon assists in raising millions of dollars for a variety of charitable causes while generating $338 million in annual economic impact to its host city. The 2019 Bank of America Chicago Marathon, a member of the Abbott World Marathon Majors, will start and finish in Grant Park beginning at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday, October 13.

(05/11/2019) ⚡AMP
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Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Bank of America Chicago Marathon

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

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Tirfi Tsegaye was ranked amongst the world’s greatest marathoners is now returning from maternity leave to run the Ottawa Marathon

Three years ago, and prior to giving birth to a baby boy, Tirfi Tsegaye was ranked amongst the world’s greatest marathoners with some incredible performances. Now, after gradually returning to training, the Ethiopian Olympic runner makes her first start at the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon, May 26th since the arrival of young Tilember Miresa.

Tsegaye, 34, ran the world-leading time of 2:19:41 in January 2016 in Dubai – her personal best time – then three months later finished 2nd in the Boston Marathon. At the Rio Olympics, she missed the podium by 17 seconds finishing 4th in 2:24:47. It was quite a year, indeed.

As if these credentials aren’t impressive enough, consider she also won the both the Tokyo and Berlin Marathons in 2014 and finished 3rd in London. Few athletes have made the podium in one World Marathon Major let alone four.

“Training is going good,” Tsegaye says from her home in Addis Ababa. “But, I’m not like how I was before. It’s been a little different for me coming back but still training. I’ve missed it a lot. I’ve even missed the training more than the actual competitions. I’m pretty excited about the Ottawa marathon.”

Under coach Gemedu Dedefo she has slowly regained her form and counts such stalwarts as Shure Demise, a two-time Toronto winner, and Alia Mohammed, 2018 Ottawa 10k champion amongst her training partners.

During her maternity leave, she split with her husband and is combining motherhood and marathon training, which would cause concern but for the fact she is such a disciplined and highly experienced athlete.

“It’s tough but I manage,” she admits. “I have a nanny and she helps me out with the baby and other errands. When I come back from training I get exhausted, so, it’s really nice to have some help around the house.

“Pregnancy takes a lot from you and the time I had off was really therapeutic. I feel like I’ve recovered enough for now.”

Tirfi grew up in the town of Bekoji, 220 kilometres south of the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa. Bekoji was immortalized in a documentary “Town of Runners” as an unusually large number of Olympic champions have ‘graduated’ from the training of local coach Sentayehu Eshetu. These include Kenenisa Bekele, Tirunesh Dibaba and Derartu Tulu.

“Growing up in Bekoji was an inspiration in itself,” she admits. “Tulu was a major inspiration for me since we were one of the same. My coach was Sentayehu Eshetu at the time when I was in Bekoji. I moved to Addis in 2008.”

“Yeah, Derartu, Haile (Gebrselassie), Kenenisa and others have inspired me to try and push myself and be my best. I fell in love with their work and dedication when I saw them on television.”

As her impressive curriculum vitae suggests, Tirfi places high expectations upon herself even for this comeback race. Although predicting marathon performances is a difficult proposition at the best of times, it is unlikely she, or coach Gemedu, would confirm her entry unless she was going to be ready. Still, there is that element of the unknown.

Her Italian manager, Gianni DeMadonna, has made her aware that the course record of 2:22:17 was set by her compatriot Gelete Burka last year but for the moment that is secondary to having a successful return.  Victory would bring her $30,000 CDN and the course record is worth an additional $10,000 CDN. That is also a significant factor.

“Ottawa is a big deal for me now because I need to get back to my winning form,” she stresses. “I have big expectations for Ottawa and I will try and do my level best.

“I figure it’s going to be a little hard for me to beat the record set by Gelete last year. But, I think if I try my best I believe that it is beatable. I’m not familiar with the course or the climate. And I have not yet talked with any other athletes about the Ottawa race. But, soon I hope.”

Should she cross the finish line first she would be the tenth consecutive Ethiopian woman to emerge triumphant in this IAAF Gold Label race. There are, without a doubt, plenty of resources then for her to approach when it comes time to seeking advice on how to run the Ottawa course.

(05/09/2019) ⚡AMP
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Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon

Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon

2020 race has been canceled and it is going viral. Welcome to Canada’s largest and fastest marathon: the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon. As one of two IAAF Gold Label marathon events in Canada, the race attracts Canada’s largest marathon field (7,000 participants) as well as a world-class contingent of elite athletes every year. Featuring the beautiful scenery of Canada’s capital,...

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Mo Farah and Galen Rupp are set to comeback to Chicago Marathon in October

Mo Farah appears to have ended his lengthy flirtation with a return to the track at this year’s world championships after announcing that he will instead defend his Chicago marathon title on  October.

That surely rules him out of competing in the 10,000m in Doha, given the final at the world championships takes place just seven days’ beforehand on 6 October.

Mo Farah regrets Haile Gebrselassie row but sticks ‘by every word I said’

Although there has been no official confirmation from Farah’s camp, there seems little chance of the 36-year-old flying halfway around the globe to compete over 26.2 miles on tired legs just days after a major championships.

Instead he will return to Chicago, where he ran 2hr 05min 11sec to break the European record over 26.2 miles and record his first marathon victory.

“Winning the Chicago Marathon last year was very special for me,” said Farah. “It was my first time to win a world marathon major and my time was a European and British record. I am looking forward to returning in 2019 to defend my title on the streets of Chicago. It is a fast course with good organisation. I expect they will recruit a strong field to make it a great race.”

Farah who ran 2:05:39 in finishing fifth at the London marathon last month, had hinted for months that he was considering returning to the track for the first time since 2017 to defend his world championship title over 10,000m, fuelling speculation that he would do that and then attempt the New York marathon in November.

However, a frustrating showing at the London marathon seems to have altered his plans and he will instead return to Chicago to face his former Nike Oregon Project teammate and best friend Galen Rupp. “After undergoing achilles tendon surgery following last year’s race, I have been pouring all of my energy into my recovery and returning strong in 2019,” said Rupp. “I look forward to being at my best again and giving it all I have in October.”

Meanwhile, Chicago Marathon executive race director Carey Pinkowski said he was delighted that Farah had decided to return.

“Mo is an Olympic champion and he put on quite a show here last year, and we are excited that Galen has chosen the Chicago marathon as his comeback race. I’m confident we are going to see great races up front on October 13.”

(05/09/2019) ⚡AMP
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Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Bank of America Chicago Marathon

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

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Gene Dykes, 71, is looking to break the Big Sur International Marathon record for his age group this weekend

For someone who has done two marathons 24 hours apart, two weeks between Boston and Big Sur may seem like an eternity for Gene Dykes.

Unlike others that have challenged themselves by doing the two marathons in a short time span, it’s not the reason Dykes is running in Sunday’s 34th Big Sur International Marathon.

Instead, the Philadelphia resident is calling it unfinished business from his last trip out west to run the world-renowned course.

“They took my record away when I was 65,” Dykes said. “I owned the course record in my age class for about two months. Then it was discovered on paper that someone ran faster years earlier.”

Ray Piva set the record in the 65-69 age division in 1992 at 3 hours, 10 minutes. Dykes ran 3:26.44 in 2013.

Dykes, 71, can’t get that record back. But he’s looked at the record in the 70-older division — 3:46.36 by Heinrich Gutbier in 1997. His eyes are set on rewriting the mark, adding to his mantel of record-setting accomplishments of late.

“I shouldn’t have trouble beating that mark,” said Dykes, who broke the Boston Marathon record in his age group on April 15, clocking 2 hours, 58 minutes, 50 seconds. “It’s how fast do I want to go.”

What could derail Dykes from shattering the record is he will run the race with his daughter, who is roughly 30 minutes slower than him in a marathon.

“It will depend on how long we run together,” Dykes said. “I’m going to try and get her to run a little harder in the first half. Then I’ll do a negative split the last half of the race.”

While Dykes is six years older than during his last appearance on the Monterey Peninsula, he’s gotten faster covering marathons of all kinds. Most of his personal bests have come in the last year.

“I hired a coach a few years back,” Dykes said. “I just keep dropping time. It’s more of a retirement achievement.”

This will be Dykes’ third crack at Big Sur, but the first time he’s running it after tackling Boston in the same year.

“I guess I’ve always wanted to do Boston-Big Sur,” Dykes said. “Running marathons close together is nothing new to me. It seemed like a good time to do it. Two weeks is plenty of time to recover.”

Dykes’ accomplishments as an ultra distance runner have gained nationwide attention. Last year, the Wall Street Journal labeled him “Earth’s fastest 70-year-old distance runner.”

After setting the record at Boston, men’s winner Meb Keflezighi tweeted “Special shout out to 71-year-old Gene Dykes, who ran an outstanding 2:58.50.”

For someone who didn’t run his first road race until 12 years ago, Dykes has become one of the top ultramarathon runners in his age class in the world.

“I was a jogger my whole life,” Dykes said. “I wasn’t very good in track in high school or college. I was a mediocre runner at best. So I golfed and bowled a lot. I jogged for fun.”

That is until Dykes got in with what he now jokes as a bad crowd — a group of runners, who talked him into his first road race, a half marathon in 2006.

From that point, running became an addiction. Dykes ran well enough that his time allowed him to bypass the lottery for the New York Marathon.

“I could not pass that up,” Dykes said. “So I ran my first marathon. I ended up earning a qualifying time for Boston. So I had to do that.”

By his estimation, Dykes will do 10 to 20 road races a year ranging from 200 miles to the regular 26-mile, 385-yard marathon.

“I race longer and more frequent,” Dykes said. “I’ve done five 200 milers. It’s an endurance race. The clock is running. You run when you can and sleep when you have to. I’ve done them in four days.”

Six weeks before Boston, Dykes completed a 200-mile race, a 100-mile event and two 50-mile races in 2019.

“Every year I try and stretch the boundaries,” Dykes said. “I don’t know if I can do it. So there’s only one way to find out. The hardest part is finding time to sleep. Four hours over four days isn’t much.”

Dykes comes into each race with a plan. After completing his ultra road races — totaling 400 miles — he began preparing for Boston with the mindset of breaking the record in his age division.

“I told my coach you’ve got six weeks to get me under three hours at Boston,” Dykes said

(04/27/2019) ⚡AMP
by John Devine
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Big Sur Marathon

Big Sur Marathon

2020 was postponed and moved from April to November 15th. This is a confirmed date. The Big Sur Marathon follows the most beautiful coastline in the world and, for runners, one of the most challenging. The athletes who participate may draw inspiration from the spectacular views, but it takes major discipline to conquer the hills of Highway One on the...

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Strong field has been assembled for the PZU Cracovia Marathon and the course record will be under attack

The 19th edition of the PZU Cracovia Marathon taking place in Krakow this Sunday, marks the first time that the race has been given IAAF Bronze Label status and appropriately strong fields have been assembled.

Hopes are high that the current course records of 2:11:34 by Berga Birhanu Bekele and 2:28:14 by Tetyana Gamera may be broken.

Philip Sanga Kimutai is the fastest man in the field. The 35-year old Kenyan has bettered 2:07 three times in his career, topped by 2:06:07 in Frankfurt in 2011 and has achieved podium finishes in multiple major races, including Vienna, Rome and Eindhoven.

Cybrian Kotut could start as the marginal favorite. The Kenyan won the 2016 Paris Marathon in a PB of 2:07:11 and finished third in Frankfurt in 2:07:28 the same year, but this will be a comeback race for him as he has competed since December 2017.

With a best of 2:08:35, Japan's Kentaro Nakamoto might not be the fastest runner in the field, but he is hugely experienced and extremely consistent, having finished in the top 10 at four global championships.

France’s Abraham Kiprotich, world ranked No.75 in the marathon, is another top contender. He won in Daegu in 2013 with a PB of 2:08:33 and followed it with victories in Istanbul and Taipei in 2017.

Kenya’s Josphat Leting, Philip Kangogo and Wycliffe Biwott all stand good chances of making it on to the podium, as does 2016 Krakow runner-up David Metto, who won three marathons last year, including two in Poland.

Kenyan duo Gladys Kipsoi and Eunice Jeptoo will start as the favourites for the women’s race. Kipsoi clocked a PB of 2:27:32 in Houston last year, while Jeptoo has gone even faster, with a 2:26:13 win in Eindhoven in 2017.

Nastassia Ivanova's best of 2:27:24 dates back to 2012, but the Belarusian has competed well in recent seasons, winning in Warsaw in 2017 and 2018 and finishing fifth at the 2018 European Championships.

Germany’s Katharina Heinig has bettered 2:30 in each of the past three seasons, with a best of 2:28:34 set in Berlin in 2016.

Two Ukrainians in the field are also possible contenders. Natalia Lehonkova won in Dublin in 2017 with 2:28:58, while 2008 Krakow winner Olga Kotovska has a PB of 2:28:47.

(04/26/2019) ⚡AMP
by Pawel Jackowski
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PZU Cracovia Marathon

PZU Cracovia Marathon

The 2020 marathon has been moved from April to November 8. The Marathon, organized since 2002 is one of the most popular running events in Poland. It is also the event which brings the biggest number of international participants, who every year come to Krakow to compete. So far, the Cracovia Marathon has seen participants from 55 countries. The Sports...

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