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Cheptegei leaves rivals with no response to retain world 10,000m title in Oregon

Just like the Olympic final in Tokyo, there was a mass queue of runners still in contention as the bell sounded in the men’s 10,000m final at the World Athletics Championships Oregon22.

On that occasion there were seven men remaining in the hunt for gold. This time there were eight.

There was another subtle difference as the 25-lap event built up to just as thrilling a crescendo as the women’s final the previous day. 

In Tokyo the slender Ethiopian Selemon Barega refused to budge from the front, keeping ahead of Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei with a 53.9 final lap.

In Eugene, having controlled most of the race from halfway, Cheptegei hit the front again at the sound of the bell and stayed there. The fastest man in history at 5000m and 10,000m was not going to relinquish the title he toiled to gain in Doha three years ago.

Barega moved on to his shoulder down the back straight and looked set to pounce with 200m to go, but as Cheptegei led round the final bend and into the finishing stretch the world indoor 3000m champion had nothing in the tank.

Like Sifan Hassan in the women’s final, Barega faded out of the medals. Like Barega’s compatriot Letesenbet Gidey, Cheptegei gritted his teeth and kept his feet on the gas. The 25-year-old could afford to open his arms in celebration as he crossed the line 0.47 clear of his closest pursuer in 27:27.43.

In doing so, Cheptegei became only the fourth man to win back to back 10,000m world titles, following in the footsteps of Ethiopians Haile Gebrselassie and Kenenisa Bekele and Britain’s Mo Farah. His final lap was faster than Barega’s in Tokyo: 53.42.

"I knew that if I could get into the last fight, I could control it and I could speed it up," said Cheptegei, who won the world U20 title back at Hayward Field eight years ago. "It was very emotional for me to come back to the USA where I started my international career in 2014. Now, I want to continue my dominance in long distance running and I hope I will manage it."

The surprise silver medal winner, in 27:27.90, was Stanley Mburu. The world U20 silver medallist at 5000m in 2018, the 22-year-old Kenyan had quickly regained his composure after falling on the opening lap.

As in the Olympic final, Jacob Kiplimo took the bronze medal, Cheptegei’s compatriot clocking 27:27.97 to resist the challenge of home favourite Grant Fisher. The spirited US challenger had to settle for fourth in 27: 28.14, with Barega fifth in 27:28.39.

There were Ugandan flags fluttering in the stands as the 24 runners took their place on the start line, the loudest cheer coming for Fisher, who settled into second as Spain’s Carlos Mayo led through 400m in 66.70.

Mayo remained in front through 800m in 2:12.72, 1km in 2:46 and 2km in 5:51, with Fisher maintaining in second spot and Cheptegei keeping a watching brief on proceedings in third.

After Mayo passed 3km in 8:20.08, Cheptegei’s teammate Stephen Kissa took over at the front but without upping the pace.

Indeed, the speed slowed to 2:51 for the fourth kilometre, prompting Barega to show his face at the front for the first time with 13 laps to go, reaching halfway in 14.01.32.

Kiplimo was first to make a notable injection of pace, stretching out the field with a 64.46 lap. When Cheptegei moved through on to his compatriot’s heels, Barega was alert to the potential threat, surging back up into third.

Cheptegei then took over at the front but slowed the pace to steady laps of 67 seconds. All the while, Barega breezed along, eyes fixed on the target on Cheptegei’s back as 15 men remained in contention. 

With two laps to go, Mburu made the long run for home but at the bell there were still eight contenders. It was then, after a fleeing appearance at the front by Barega’s teammate Berihu Aregawi, that Cheptegei regained control – this time for good.

(07/17/2022) Views: 114 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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World Athletics Championships Oregon22

World Athletics Championships Oregon22

The World Athletics Championships was held in the United States for the first time ever. WCH Oregon22 was an unmissable global experience, and it took place in the United States for the very first time. The best track and field athletes in the world came together in a celebration of diversity, human potential, and athletic achievement. This extraordinary showcase took...

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Mo Farah: I was smuggled into UK and this isn’t my real name

Multiple Olympic and world champion reveals in BBC documentary that he was trafficked under a false name as a child

The Home Office has confirmed it will not be taking any action against Mo Farah following revelations in a BBC documentary that he was smuggled into the country as a child under a false name. “No action whatsoever will be taken against Sir Mo and to suggest otherwise is wrong,” said a statement.

The BBC programme, which is called The Real Mo Farah and which airs on Wednesday night, tells the story of the athlete being originally called Hussein Abdi Kahin but being illegally trafficked into Britain using the name of another child.

He had previously claimed he had left Somalia aged eight to join his father, after his parents made the decision to send three of their six children to London for the chance of a better life.

But in the BBC documentary the 39-year-old admits he was brought to London by a stranger under an assumed name.

“Most people know me as Mo Farah, but it’s not my name or it’s not the reality,” he says. “The real story is I was born in Somaliland, north of Somalia, as Hussein Abdi Kahin. Despite what I’ve said in the past, my parents never lived in the UK.”

In the programme he adds: “When I was four my dad was killed in the civil war, you know as a family we were torn apart. I was separated from my mother, and I was brought into the UK illegally under the name of another child called Mohamed Farah.”

Farah said he and his twin, Hassan, were sent by their mother to live with an uncle in neighbouring Djibouti and that he would be taken to Europe and renamed Mohamed. “As a kid, you never think beyond what you’ve been told,” he says.

But on arriving in England, he says: “I had all the contact details for my relative and once we got to her house, the lady took it off me and right in front of me ripped them up and put it in the bin, and at that moment I knew I was in trouble.”

After London 2012 he brought out an autobiography that talked about growing up in Djibouti near the border with Somalia but he has now decided to talk about something which has always been buried in his past.

“I’ve been keeping it for so long, it’s been difficult because you don’t want to face it and often my kids ask questions, ‘Dad, how come this?’ And you’ve always got an answer for everything, but you haven’t got an answer for that.”

In the documentary, Farah says he has concerns about his immigration status. But the Home Office has confirmed that he would not face any repercussions. “No action whatsoever will be taken against Sir Mo and to suggest otherwise is wrong,” a spokesperson said.

The documentary, which was a year in the making, ends with Farah speaking to the real Mohamed Farah, whose identity he took entering the UK, before adding Farah will continue to go by the name he was given when he entered the UK. There have also been unsuccessful attempts to speak to the woman who trafficked Farah to England.

The story has received widespread coverage, featuring on many of the front pages of British newspapers on Tuesday. Among the many people to comment, Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Everything Sir Mo has survived proves he’s not only one of our greatest Olympians but a truly great Briton. Thank you for sharing your story and shining a spotlight on these awful crimes. We must build a future where these tragic events are never repeated.”

(07/12/2022) Views: 165 ⚡AMP
by Athletics Weekly
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Mo Farah set to run this year’s TCS London Marathon

Britain’s Sir Mo Farah has announced that he will run the 2022 TCS London Marathon, which takes place Oct. 2. Farah has not raced a marathon since the 2019 Chicago Marathon, where he finished eighth, in 2:09:58. (The previous year, Farah won in a European record of 2:05:11; he also finished third at London in 2018, setting a new British record at 2:06:21. In 2020 he performed pacing duties in a scaled-down, elite-only pandemic version of the race.)

Farah considers the British capital his hometown; he expressed his excitement at returning to this race in a press release accompanying the announcement. “I can’t wait to get back out there again, test myself against the best marathon runners in the world and enjoy that buzz and amazing atmosphere London creates on Marathon Day,” he said.

Farah, who has gone back and forth between the marathon and the track in recent years, won Olympic gold in both the 5,000m and 10,000m in 2012 and 2016 and is a six-time world champion. In 2020, he broke the one-hour world record on the track, racing with his training partner Bashir Abdi, who went on to a bronze medal in the Olympic marathon in Tokyo and later the European record; in 2021, Farah failed to make the British team for the Tokyo Olympics in the 10,000m and suffered a stress fracture in his foot that scuppered the rest of his season.

He hinted at the time that he was considering returning to the marathon distance.

Farah expects to race The Big Half in London on Sept. 4 as a tune-up for his return to the marathon; he has won this race on two previous occasions.

No further information is yet available on who Farah will face in London. The women’s elite list was announced earlier this week and will include Scottish runner Eilish McColgan’s debut at the distance, as well as defending champion Joyciline Jepkosgei and world record holder Brigid Kosgei, among many others.

(07/07/2022) Views: 150 ⚡AMP
by Keeley Milne
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TCS London Marathon

TCS London Marathon

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

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Hellen Obiri and Eilish McColgan will renew rivalry at the Great Manchester run

Last September Hellen Obiri beat Eilish McColgan by six seconds in the Great North Run and this Sunday (May 22) the duo renew their rivalry over the shorter distance of 10km at the Great Manchester Run.

McColgan has been in brilliant form, with a UK 5km record at the start of this month followed by victory in the Vitality London 10,000 where she missed Paula Radcliffe’s British record of 30:21 by only two seconds.

Obiri’s achievements make her the athlete to beat, though. As well as winning two world 5000m titles on the track, the Kenyan is the reigning Commonwealth 5000m champion and world cross-country gold medalist.

McColgan chose to give last week’s Night of the 10,000m PBs in London a miss in order to focus on training in the French Pyrenees. She will hope to push Obiri close again but the quality fields assembled for Manchester mean this won’t just be a two-horse race.

Ruth Chepnegetich defied horrendous heat and humidity to win the world marathon title in Doha in 2019 and the Kenyan has clocked 64:02 for the half-marathon, which was a world record when she ran it 13 months ago but has since been beaten by Letesenbet Gidey.

Sara Hall of the United States will be familiar to British fans after her runner-up performance at the 2020 London Marathon. She also held the US half-marathon record until recently, has a marathon best of 2:20:32 and is looking for a strong run in Manchester on Sunday.

Gerda Steyn, the South African ultra-marathon specialist, is also set to test her speed over 10km.

In addition to McColgan there are of course a number of other Brits in the elite women’s race. They include Jess Piasecki, the Stockport Harriers athlete who went No.2 on the UK all-time marathon rankings earlier this year with 2:22:27.

Steph Twell, the Tokyo Olympic marathon runner, is racing in Manchester ahead of the European Cup 10,000m in France a few days later.

After finishing ninth in the Boston Marathon in 2:25:26 in April, Charlotte Purdue also lines up in Manchester. Look out, too, for Lauren Heyes, Lily Partridge and Calli Thackery, the latter of whom is also racing at the Diamond League in Birmingham 24 hours earlier.

Like Thackery, Stewart McSweyn is also racing in Birmingham the day before the Manchester event as he continues to try to race himself into shape following a bout of Covid. He is joined by fellow Australian Jack Rayner plus New Zealand brothers Jake and Zane Robertson and Spaniard Antonio Abadia in the men’s 10km.

Sadly Mo Farah pulled out of the event following his under-par run at the Vitality London 10,000 earlier this month. But the winner that day, Ellis Cross, is set to race in Manchester and all eyes will be on him to see if he can repeat his form.

Mo Aadan, the Brit who finished third at the Vitality London 10,000, is in Manchester too. Further British contenders, meanwhile, include Ben Connor, Chris Thompson, Adam Craig, Josh Griffiths, Ross Millington, Phil Sesemann and Andrew Heyes.

(05/20/2022) Views: 195 ⚡AMP
by Jason Henderson
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Great Manchester Run

Great Manchester Run

The Great Manchester Run, established in 2003, is an annual 10 kilometer run through Greater Manchester and is the largest 10K in Europe. Usually held in mid-May, it is the third-largest mass participation running event in the United Kingdom behind the Great North Run and the London Marathon. It is part of the Great Runs series of road races in...

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Mo Farah says his elite track career could be over

Multiple Olympic and world champion Mo Farah admitted his elite track career could be over after he finished runner-up in the Vitality London 10,000 on Monday on his return to action.

Farah, who completed the 5,000 and 10,000 meters double at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, was racing for the first time since June after failing to qualify for last year's Tokyo Games.

The 39-year-old Briton finished a minute outside his best time at the London road race, which came in 2010, as he was out-sprinted by 26-year-old club runner Ellis Cross, who finished four seconds ahead with a time of 28min 40secs."In terms of the track, that's it, I think," Farah said. "Your body has to be ready. You have to be in the right frame of mind and compete with the guys. I love the sport and what I do, I've had a long career.

"The reality is that it has been so, so long. In my career, I've never been out that long before... Today was tough and Ellis did well to beat me."

Farah, who has won the London race seven times, confirmed he would definitely miss the World Championships in Eugene in July.

However, he was noncommittal when asked if he would run at the Commonwealth Games or European Championships in August.

"Right now, no," Farah said. "In three, months, two months...We've still got time.

"There's no secret to this, you've got to put in the miles, you've got to put in the work. If my body allows me to continue to do it then maybe.

"The World Championships are not on my radar at the minute... Because I've been there and done it, unless I can compete with the guys and be competitive, you've got to be honest and make that decision."

(05/03/2022) Views: 225 ⚡AMP
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Eilish McColgan motors to victory in the Vitality London 10,000 in 30:23

Eilish McColgan came within two seconds of Paula Radcliffe’s long-standing British and European 10km record at the Vitality London 10,000 on Monday (2) morning.

After a frantic sprint finish, McColgan stopped the clock at 30:23 to miss the record by a tantalising margin. However, Eilish did relieve her mother and coach Liz of yet another family record as she improved her Scottish record of 30:38 which had stood since 1989.

This was McColgan’s second near-European record in just over a week, proving the European 5000m silver medallist is back in top shape after testing positive for coronavirus in March. In Malaga last week, McColgan clocked 14:45 for 5km to fall one second short of Sifan Hassan’s European standard bearer.

At twice the distance eight days later, McColgan came within touching distance of Radcliffe’s 10km mark of 30:21 from 2003 which also stood as a world record for more than a decade. However, the European all-time list is headed by Lonah Chemtai Salpeter’s 30:05 clocking from Tilburg in 2019 although that time was not ratified for record purposes.

“I am gutted to have missed the British record by a couple of seconds. I probably didn’t believe I could do it, so I went into the race thinking I’d be happy to run 31:40, but I’m in much better shape than I give myself credit for,” said McColgan.

McColgan passed through halfway in 15:15 - by contrast Radcliffe rocketed through 5km in 14:48 when she clocked 30:21 - and despite mustering up some of her track speed in the last 200 meters, McColgan couldn’t quite revise the record books. 

“I only saw the clock when I turned the corner towards the finish line, and I thought: ‘Oh my god, I could make it in time. I think I probably ran a 200m PB in the push for the finish line. I was so desperate to get the record but hopefully there will be another opportunity to go for it again later this year,” said McColgan who holds the European 10km record in a women’s only race at 30:52.

McColgan won the women’s race by more than one minute from fellow Olympian Jess Piasecki in 31:28 with Samantha Harrison third in 31:44.

In the men’s race, British international Ellis Cross achieved a significant victory over multiple Olympic, European and world 5000m and 10,000m champion Mo Farah who was racing for the first time in almost one year due to a stress fracture. 

Cross broke clear of Farah in the last two kilometers for victory in 28:40 to Farah’s 28:44. "I’m lost for words – I did not expect this in a million years. Honestly, I know it’s a cliché, but I couldn’t believe it. I just felt very good from the get-go. Obviously, I knew Farah had a finish, so the last 2K I thought I’d try and wind it up a bit – try to sting his legs a little bit to hold him off,” said Cross.

(05/02/2022) Views: 192 ⚡AMP
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Vitality London 10,000

Vitality London 10,000

The Vitality London 10,000 takes you past many landmark sites, including the London Eye, Buckingham Palace and the Bank of England – so you even get to do a bit of sightseeing along the way! You will run alongside elite runners and have coverage from the BBC, making this 10km one of the highest in profile of its kind....

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Sir Mo Farah will be targeting his eight victory at the Vitality London 10,000 as his first race back since picking up an injury last year

More than 16,500 people will take part in the Vitality London 10,000 on Bank Holiday Monday May 2, headed by elite races that will see Sir Mo Farah returning to racing for the first time since June 2021 and the event debut of in-form Eilish McColgan, who could threaten Paula Radcliffe’s 19-year-old British and European 10K record.

Sir Mo is the most successful athlete in the history of the Vitality London 10,000, with seven victories to his name, and the multiple world and Olympic champion will use this year’s event as his first race back since picking up an injury last year while trying to qualify for the Tokyo Olympic Games.

The 39-year-old will face his long-time friend and adversary Chris Thompson, as well as Phil Sesemann, the first British finisher at last year’s London Marathon. Andy Butchart, however, has had to withdraw from the race.

McColgan comes into the elite women’s race in red-hot form having smashed the British 5K record in Malaga, Spain, last Sunday (April 24). The Scottish star is already the owner of the women’s only British 10K record (30:52), which she set at the Great Manchester Run last year.

Only two British women have ever run faster over 10K than McColgan: Radcliffe, whose European and British record stands at 30:21, and McColgan’s mum, Liz Nuttall (formerly McColgan) who is the Scottish record holder with her personal best of 30:39 set in Orlando in 1989.

McColgan said: “I couldn’t have asked for a better start to my 2022 season than to set a new British 5K record in my first race. Now I’m really looking forward to coming back to the UK and running the Vitality London 10,000 and seeing what shape I am in over 10K.”

Joining McColgan in the elite women’s field is two-time Vitality London 10,000 champion Steph Twell and Jess Piasecki, the sixth fastest British woman of all time over 10K. Charlotte Purdue, who was ninth at The Boston Marathon earlier this month and was due to race, has had to withdraw due to illness.

A record 18 wheelchair athletes will take part this year, with the field led by Paralympic stars David Weir and Shelly Woods.

There will be 10 start waves at the Vitality London 10,000, including a Run for Ukraine wave, where the 2,000 entrants are encouraged to wearing blue and yellow and fundraise for the Ukraine relief effort. One hundred per cent of the discounted £15 entry fees for this wave will be donated by organisers London Marathon Events to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.

Anthony Seddon, 40, from Brighton, is one of those who will be joining the Run for Ukraine wave, as part of a 1,569-mile fundraising challenge to raise money for a cause that means so much to him.

Anthony’s wife Anna is Ukrainian and he is running 10 kilometres for as long as it takes to complete 1,569 miles – the distance between the football grounds of Brighton and Hove Albion, the club he supports, and Anna’s favourite football team in her home town of Dnipro.

Anna’s mother has fled Ukraine to live with the couple in Brighton, but the remainder of her family remain in the war-torn country.

Anthony said: “Anna has many friends and family still in Dnipro, some unable to leave but most wanting to stay in their homes.

I met Anna while watching England play football at the Euro 2012 tournament. As it was football that brought us together, I have committed to run those 1,569 miles, the distance from Brighton’s Amex Stadium to the Dnipro Arena by way of running events like the Vitality London 10,000 and other half and full marathons until I complete the distance.

“Between our fundraising page and money donated by friends and family beforehand we have managed to send more than £16,000 of aid so far and we hope we can send so much more. Every penny we raise is spent solely on medical aid.”

After a successful first edition in 2019, the Celebrate You wave returns to this year’s Vitality London 10,000 to promote the mental health benefits that regular exercise delivers.

The wave of 1,000 participants will be led by Celebrate You co-founder, journalist and author Bryony Gordon who will be running her 10th consecutive 10K as part of her ‘10 days of 10Ks’ challenge to promote the importance of activity for mental health and the peer support group Mental Health Mates that she founded in 2016.

Also running in the Celebrate You wave are theatre star Carrie Hope Fletcher, body positivity influencers and models Shareefa J and Jade Seabrook and Helen Thorn, one half of the comedy duo Scummy Mummies.

The Vitality Westminster Mile, staged in partnership with Westminster City Council, takes place on Sunday 1 May, with thousands of participants taking on a series of mile events throughout the day from 10:00 to 14:30.

Among the 15 waves on the day are the #RunforRuth wave for the Ruth Strauss Foundation, led by Sir Andrew Strauss, and a Special Olympics GB Unified Mile. There are also nine family waves, a parkrun wave and a junior wheelchair athletes wave. Parents or guardians have been able to register children under-12 for free.

The free Vitality Wellness Festival takes place in Green Park on both days, featuring exciting free activities for children on the Sunday and the chance to run on the Vitality Tumbleator, a giant treadmill, on both days.

The events share one of the most stunning Start and Finish Lines in sport, with The Mall providing the setting for an iconic start and Buckingham Palace as the backdrop for a stunning finish.

The Vitality London 10,000 will be broadcast live on BBC Sport Online, iPlayer and Red Button, as well as the Vitality London 10,000 Facebook page, from 09:45 to 11:45.

(04/28/2022) Views: 224 ⚡AMP
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Vitality London 10,000

Vitality London 10,000

The Vitality London 10,000 takes you past many landmark sites, including the London Eye, Buckingham Palace and the Bank of England – so you even get to do a bit of sightseeing along the way! You will run alongside elite runners and have coverage from the BBC, making this 10km one of the highest in profile of its kind....

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Mo Farah’s racing comeback gathers pace

After his disappointing season last year he talked about having one last hurrah – a big farewell race somewhere to mark the end of a career that has brought him, among other things, 10 global track titles.

But there is now speculation he could be involved in this summer’s major championships on the track. Who knows, a return to the London Marathon in October could even be on the cards too.

Firstly, let’s stick to what we know. As Farah is racing 10km on the roads of London on May 2 and Manchester on May 22, this means we can pretty much rule him out of racing in the Müller Birmingham Diamond League on May 21.

Farah does not seem afraid of putting his reputation on the line either, incidentally, as the Great Manchester Run is also set to feature Stewart McSweyn, the Australian who holds the Oceania record for 1500m, mile and 3000m in addition to having clocked 27:23.80 for 10,000m on the track.

In addition, Andy Butchart is set to race and has been in good shape recently after having run 27:36.77 for 10,000m in California this month to break Ian Stewart’s 45-year-old Scottish record.

So if Farah’s road races in May go well, what are his options? Surprisingly he has never won a Commonwealth title and with the event on home soil in Birmingham it must be tempting.

The consensus is that he would struggle on the track against the likes of Joshua Cheptegei and Selemon Barega in the World Championships in Oregon in July. But Christian Malcolm, the head coach of the British team, has suggested it is “50/50”.

Speaking as last weekend’s World Indoor Championships in Belgrade drew to a close, Malcolm said: “Sir Mo is working hard and training. We will see how he goes in the summer. But he’s at that age now where you have to take it week-by-week, month-by-month, see where you are at in training.”

On the chances of him competing in Oregon, Malcolm added: “It’s possible. We don’t know at the moment. It’s 50-50 if I am being honest with you. Hopefully we will know a little bit more over the next six weeks.

As for the Great Manchester Run, Farah last took part in the event in 2018 when he outkicked Moses Kipsiro to clock 28:27.

Farah said: “I’m pleased to say the injury problems I had last year are now behind me, training has been going well and I am happy with the shape I am showing.

“Any time I race in the UK it is exciting for me because I love running in front of my home fans and I want to give my best for them.  I had an amazing reception in Manchester when I won the event in 2018 so I’m looking forward to racing on the streets of the city again later this year.”

It will be fascinating to see if Farah’s form during May is close to his best or whether there is little improvement on last year when he struggled at the British 10,000m Championships in Birmingham to clock 27:50.64 before barely improving three weeks later to run  27:47.04 in an invitation 10,000m at the Olympic trials in Manchester.

How will he fare, too, if he comes up against the rising force of Marc Scott, who beat Farah in Birmingham last year despite not being 100% fit himself and has since won the Great North Run, clocked 12:57.08 for 5000m indoors and on Saturday won bronze in the 3000m at the World Indoor Championships?

Distance running legend returns to the roads of London and Manchester in May but what else does the summer of 2022 hold in store?

After signing up to race the Vitality London 10,000 on the roads of the British capital on May 2, Mo Farah has now announced he will be running the Great Manchester Run on May 22.

Despite turning 39 years old March 23 and enduring an injury-hit summer in 2021 which saw him fail to make the British Olympic team for Tokyo, there are signs he could be entering a surprisingly busy racing period.

(03/26/2022) Views: 231 ⚡AMP
by Athletics Weekly
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Josh Kerr hopes to make history at Hayward Field

Josh Kerr knows the history, that long line of British middle-distance greats who all but monopolised the men’s 1500m back in the 1980s. Those names – Seb Coe, Cram, Ovett, Elliott – conjure up memories of grainy footage, the kind Kerr has watched countless times on YouTube. 

Now that he’s run faster than them all – his PB of 3:29.05 is behind only Mo Farah on the British all-time list – Kerr feels part of that lineage, especially after winning an Olympic bronze medal last year. 

But as much as he appreciates the achievements of past generations, the 24-year-old Scot is keen to kickstart a new golden era.

“Myself and (Jake) Wightman, we’ve run faster than all those guys but they’re not known for how fast they ran, they’re known for what medals they won and what colours they are,” says Kerr. “We hadn’t won an Olympic medal in 33 years and hopefully we’re moving back into an era people will remember as the Kerr-Wightman era. I want to leave a stamp on the 1500 and grab that British record as an extra.

“But,” he adds, “it’s mostly about medals.”

The game is changing these days. In the decade preceding the 2019 World Championships, the quickest winning time in a global 1500m final was 3:33.61, and in just two out of seven championships did the winner come home in under 3:35. 

Then there was Doha, where Timothy Cheruiyot blitzed a solo 3:29.26 to take gold. Two years later in Tokyo, Jakob Ingebrigtsen outkicked and outlasted Cheruiyot to set an Olympic record of 3:28.32.

Cheruiyot is 26, Ingebrigtsen is 21. Neither is going anywhere any time soon, and both are at their best when the pace is hard from the gun, which means that when it comes to global finals, the future is almost certainly fast. 

Kerr knows this, and he prepares accordingly. 

“The 1500 has evolved over the last two or three years,” he says. “We have to be strong and we train like a 5km athlete. That helps, knowing I’m going to get better round by round. It’s exciting for people to watch and it’s really hard for us racing, but that’s what we’re there for: to find the best. 

“I do believe the world and Olympic champions over the next three or four years will be true champions – who are the best at the distance. Jakob last year was the best and he showed that in the final and Cheruiyot was second and I was third: those are honest, clear-cut, black-and-white results, and you can’t ask for anything more.”

Kerr prepared for Tokyo in his typical manner, racking up 65-70 miles (104-112km) a week in training, along with two gym sessions. It’s been his approach since 2018, when he joined the Brooks Beasts in Seattle and began training with coach Danny Mackey. 

Being a three-time NCAA champion for the University of New Mexico, the Scottish athlete had a wealth of options in the professional ranks. Why did he choose the Brooks Beasts? It came down to his trust in Mackey. 

“I’ve had the most amazing, honest conversations with him,” says Kerr. “He knows me very well, I know him very well. He said, ‘this is the coach I am, we’re not the flashiest group but you come here, you’ll get better.’ He stayed true to that promise. I’ve got six seconds quicker since I’ve gone there.

“The training isn’t massively intense but what I do really well: my injury rate is really low and I’m able to stack a bunch of days together and it ends up being a phenomenal fitness level.”

That was exactly what Kerr carried to Tokyo, and while his 1500m PB of 3:31.55 had many underrating him at the time, his workouts convinced him he was ready to run 3:28. 

“I thought, ‘you know what, the best way to run that is evenly,’” says Kerr. “I wasn’t planning on being so far at the back after the first lap but it was just so fast.”

Kerr narrowly avoided disaster in the heats, scraping through as a non-automatic qualifier, but he was far more convincing in the semifinal, finishing a close third.

After the first lap of the final, with Ingebrigtsen pouring it on from the outset, Kerr was 10th, splitting 57.3 seconds. By 800m he’d moved up to seventh. By 1200m, he was fourth, and ready to take aim at the big two out front – Ingebrigtsen and Cheruiyot – along with Abel Kipsang of Kenya. Kerr waited until the home straight before going for broke, overtaking Kipsang and finishing just 0.04 behind Cheruiyot. 

“I was hoping for a better medal than the one I got,” he says now.  

After the Games, he went to Albuquerque, USA, to spend time with his fiancee and a few weeks later he returned to Scotland. The last six months have been a “whirlwind”, but after a few weeks off Kerr was back into base training to prepare for better things again in 2022. 

“It’s about building the motivation back up, climbing back up the hill with fitness and trying to show some better performances,” he says. “And hopefully better colour of medals.”

He had just one race set in stone for the indoor season: the Wanamaker Mile at last month's Millrose Games, a World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold event. After biding his time for seven laps, Kerr powered to the lead at the bell, but couldn’t hold off the vicious surge of longtime rival Ollie Hoare, who won in 3:50.83 with Kerr second in 3:52.27, just shy of Peter Elliott’s British record of 3:52.02. 

“First one of the season is always going to be a bit rocky but I told myself I’d be aggressive, I’d push,” says Kerr. “I may have pushed a little bit too early, but I gave it my all. I like to press a little bit and see who falls apart, and it might be me. I’m not scared of anyone or any distance or any race.”

That may be Kerr’s only race of the indoor season. With an outdoor season overflowing with medal opportunities, he’s giving that his prime focus. 

His main targets are the World Athletics Championships Oregon22 in July and the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. Only after that will he make a decision on the European Championships in Munich. 

“Because that’s enough for my brain to explode,” he says. “We’ll take it step by step.”

When he speaks of such championships, Kerr does so with a calm but resolute confidence that he can beat whoever he faces. It’s not surprising, given he has a habit of toppling favourites. 

When he lined up in the mile at the 2017 NCAA Indoor Championships, he was a 19-year-old with a 1500m personal best of 3:41.08 – an athlete no one expected to challenge the all-conquering Ed Cheserek. 

When Kerr surged past Cheserek with two laps to run, the ESPN commentator all but dismissed his chances: “That’s Josh Kerr, the New Mexico freshman, and that may just be a freshman move.” 

But it wasn’t. Kerr ran Cheserek into the ground during the final lap, coming home a distant winner. He added the NCAA title outdoors that year – winning the 1500m at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon – and repeated his indoor win in 2018. Those successes taught him he could contend at global level. 

“You have that mindset of wanting to be the champ, to go after the fastest guys,” he says. “You don’t care who anyone is, and if you have that fearless mentality you’re going to be fine in the pros. But if you always look at stats and look up to these guys, you’re going to find it hard to toe the line against them.”

Does he believe he can match Ingebrigtsen and Cheruiyot this summer?

“Yeah, definitely,” he says. “It’s quite funny, but people were saying, ‘any other Olympics you’d have won with the times,’ but they’re different races. The 1500m is exploding because of the way we’re running these races. Those guys are doing great things for the sport.”

Kerr knows those two will likely be the men to beat again in Eugene this summer. He’s not yet raced in the new-and-improved Hayward Field, but is relishing the chance to do so.

“It’s over the top,” he laughs. “It’s a phenomenal facility and I’m excited to go there and run fast. It’s built for fast times and for history to be made, and that’s what’s going to happen this year.” 

He knows his sport’s history, but he also knows his own, and Kerr can extrapolate plenty from it about what might lie ahead.

“I was 37th (at the World Championships) in 2017, sixth in 2019, and third (at the Olympics) in 2021,” he says. “So in 2022 the trajectory is looking like second or first. That’s always what I’m going for. I’m always looking for progress.”

(03/21/2022) Views: 219 ⚡AMP
by Cathal Dennehy (World Athletics)
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World Athletics Championships Oregon22

World Athletics Championships Oregon22

The World Athletics Championships was held in the United States for the first time ever. WCH Oregon22 was an unmissable global experience, and it took place in the United States for the very first time. The best track and field athletes in the world came together in a celebration of diversity, human potential, and athletic achievement. This extraordinary showcase took...

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Sir Mo Farah set to return to action at London 10k

Four-time Olympic champion Mo Farah will make his return to competition at the Vitality London 10,000 in May.

The 38-year-old, Britain's most decorated track and field athlete, has not raced since suffering a fractured foot in June last year.

He fell short of the 10,000m selection time for last year's Tokyo Olympics at the British Championships.

Farah, the 5,000m and 10,000m champion at both the London and Rio Games, is a seven-time winner of the London 10,000.

The race, won by Farah in five consecutive years between 2009 and 2013, and again in 2018 and its most recent edition in 2019, will take place on Monday 2 May.

"I've been working hard to get back into shape following my injury last summer and I've got a few more months of hard training ahead of me," said Farah.

"I have great memories of the event. I have won it seven times and racing in central London is something you can never get bored of. The atmosphere among the thousands of participants is always fantastic and I can't wait to be part of it again."

Farah said he would consider his future after failing to qualify for Tokyo, saying: "If I can't compete with the best why bother?"

He later told the BBC he had "been struggling for quite a while" but added he was determined to recover from the injury and finish his career on his own terms.

(02/21/2022) Views: 297 ⚡AMP
by Athletics Weekly
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Vitality London 10,000

Vitality London 10,000

The Vitality London 10,000 takes you past many landmark sites, including the London Eye, Buckingham Palace and the Bank of England – so you even get to do a bit of sightseeing along the way! You will run alongside elite runners and have coverage from the BBC, making this 10km one of the highest in profile of its kind....

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What it takes to become a Kenyan distance champion

For several generations now, Kenya has produced many of the world’s greatest distance runners.

Many athletes from elsewhere in the world, meanwhile, have tried to tap into the secrets of Kenya’s success as they try to play catch-up – quite literally – with the east African nation that continues to churn out global medallists and world record-breakers.

The truth is, there is no one single reason why Kenya is so dominant in distance events. It’s more down to a combination of factors, many of which were explained during a recent trip to the NN Running training camp in Kaptagat, about 24km east of Eldoret, where the likes of Eliud Kipchoge trains for 11 months of the year.

A way of life

There are few countries where people live and breathe athletics, and where the No.1 Olympic sport can claim to be more popular than football, filling entire stadiums even for age-group championships.

And while Kenya isn’t the only country in the world where kids run long distances to get to school, running has a whole different meaning to many people in the country.

Running is something that comes naturally to us as it’s something that has been part of our lifestyle since we were born,” says three-time world half marathon champion and two-time New York City Marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor. “As a kid, I used to run from home to my school three kilometres away back and forth each day, so you end up running sometimes 12 kilometres a day as a teen without even realising it.”

Beyond being a means to an end, there is also a genuine love for running among the Kenyan population.

“As a kid, I would always go and watch athletics competitions when not at school and I enjoyed watching people competing,” added Kamworor. “It awoke my passion for running, especially seeing people cross the finish line and winning a trophy. In high school, it was always a fun and proud moment to represent your class and win a cup. I found it very encouraging.”

Having running embedded into day-to-day life sets Kenya apart from many other nations. But it’s just one of the many reasons why it is known as being the ‘home of the champions’.

Genetics

Simply running to school each day doesn’t automatically turn everyone into a world-class athlete. Genetics, as it does for every elite athlete, likely play a significant part.

Many people in the Rift Valley, where most of Kenya’s top distance runners originate, belong to the Kalenjin tribe. When compared to other Kenyan tribes, Kalenjin people are often described as having good natural running attributes: namely lean bodies and long legs.

Kipchoge, for example, isn’t particularly tall (1.67m / 5ft 6in), but the muscles on his legs are incredibly lean, his body fat percentage is low, and the strength in his feet make it appear as though he bounces along the grass.

But attributing all of Kenya’s success to just their genetics would be a gross over-simplification.

Conditions

Another element that helps Kenyan athletes in their training and preparation is the unique climate and surroundings in this part of the country. It also probably explains why there are so many training camps between Kaptagat and Iten, and why some people refer to it as the ‘Hollywood of elite runners’.

This region is located at 2500 metres above sea level, which, given the lack of oxygen, helps athletes produce a higher concentration of red blood cells and haemoglobin when training. This, in turn, gives runners an advantage when they return to lower altitudes to race.

The Eldoret region is also full of endless forests and dirt roads for athletes to use when running, while the area also enjoys a temperate climate with daytime temperatures ranging between 22-26C (68-78F) throughout the year, dropping to 10-12C (50-53F) at night time. That, combined with the good air quality, makes the area something of a distance-running paradise.

But as Kenya’s economy continues to develop, so do the local villages and the wider region, meaning many of the local dirt paths are now being made into proper roads – which is great for facilitating transport and access from other points of the country, but less so for athletes seeking a run-friendly surface.

Athletes are adapting well to this evolving environment, though, while remaining in close contact with nature. The Kalenjin community, Kipchogeand Kamworor  included, are running many tree-planting initiatives. “We evolve in a very natural environment which is a great advantage when it comes to training,” says Kamworor.

Patrick Sang, the 1992 Olympic silver steeplechase medallist and head coach at the Kaptagat training camp, explains how the new generation of running shoes can help counter the effects of running on harder roads.

“New running shoes help a lot because athletes can now do a lot more training on a hard surface and still recover on time to do their next hard session,” says Sang. “Overall, you can get more work done to help improve performance.”

Sleep, eat, train, repeat

Most world-class athletes are fully committed to their sport, but the elite runners at the Kaptagat training camp in particular take dedication to a whole new level.

Many of these athletes – including young mothers such as two-time Olympic 1500m champion Faith Kipyegon – have children who are at home during the week so that they can entirely focus on their training at the camp.

“Of course, it’s very hard but that’s the only way to be fully dedicated to being the best athlete you can and avoid any distraction,” said Kipyegon.

When not running, athletes at the Kaptagat training camp are focused entirely on other elements of their training, namely recovery and nutrition.

“When you are at the camp, your sole focus is on running and you are not distracted by anything else,” says Kamworor, father to five children, including young triplets. “You are away from your family, your wife and your kids during the whole week, and that makes you take your training very seriously as you are making sacrifices to achieve your goals. That’s the only way to be focused 100% on running and to give your very best.”

As in any walk of life, hard work and having the right mind-set are key to success. Kipchoge might be the most successful athlete at the camp, but Sang says that’s not just down to his talent. “Eliud isn’t the most gifted athlete within his training group but certainly the most dedicated,” Sang says of Kipchoge, who is always the first one ready for training and the last one to leave.

In an average week, athletes at the Kaptagat camp do one long run of 30km (once a month it will be 40km), which usually takes place early on a Thursday morning. Typical track sessions, meanwhile, would be something like 8x1600m (each rep completed in 4:40) and 8x400m (at an average of 65 seconds) on their local 380m cinder track.

“Have you seen him?” Sang says when watching Kipchoge train. “This guy is a machine.”

Athletes are religious in their approach to punctuality and producing their best effort in training. And other local athletes from outside the NN Running team are welcome to join in the sessions, provided they arrive on time. After all, no one wants to be playing catch-up with the likes of Kipchoge and Kamworor.

Community

The Kaptagat training camp is run entirely by the 25 athletes who live there for 11 months a year from Monday to Saturday morning before going back to spend quality time with their family, often in the big city of Eldoret. In and around the 12 training runs they do in a typical week, the resident athletes to everything at the camp.

“If you look at life at the camp, the one making bread is an athlete, the cleaning is done by the athletes, the one doing shopping for the camp is an athlete,” says Sang. “You don’t want athletes to live on another island.

“The whole idea is to make sure these athletes become well-rounded people. You wouldn’t want to help someone become a great athlete who lacks social skills or is out of touch with society.”

Kipchoge, whose wife and three children live just 45 minutes away from the training camp, could easily go and spend time with his family during his time off, but instead he chooses to stay at the camp with the rest of the group, monastically isolated from the rest of the world.

Kipchoge is rarely bored, too. When he’s not training or resting, he will be reading or working at the camp or reading.

The sense of community extends to caring about the environment. Every athlete at the camp gets a tree planted at the entrance as a welcome gesture and to symbolise their connection to nature. Some special guests to the camp – including Ethiopian legend Haile Gebrselassie – have also had a tree planted for them in Kaptagat.

Occasionally, athletes at the camp will give each other lessons, or they will engage in real debates around serious issues, helping them develop holistically as people.

Simplicity

Far away from the latest technological innovations you often hear about in other parts of the world, daily life at the camp is basic.

Upon entering the gates at the Kaptagat training camp, the 380m cinder track is located on the left. It has a slight incline on the first bend and a couple of cows as spectators, but it meets all their needs.

“A synthetic track isn’t needed for what we do and the way we train,” says Marc Roig, a former international runner from Spain, who now works as a jack of all trades for NN Running, acting as a fitness coach, physio, runner, mentor and pacemaker. “If our athletes need a synthetic track, they can go to the one in Eldoret an hour away.” In fact, there are just four synthetic tracks in the whole of Kenya, but it’s clearly not a barrier to producing top athletes.

The runners at the camp rarely lift weights or spend time stretching, but twice a week they will do core strength sessions. Instead of water, they drink mursik – a nutritious fermented milk – in the morning and Kenyan tea in the afternoon. And not a single drop of water during their 30km long run. “That’s okay,” says Sang. “They don’t need it.”

Within the camp itself, there is a TV room with a small library corner with a few books there for the athletes, a living room for their meals, the dormitory (one for women and another for men), a basic gym comprising a bike, a treadmill, some elastic bands and a light weightlifting bar (with maximum 40kg available) and a big blue plastic drum outside used for ice baths.

It’s all quite rudimentary, but they don’t need more, and it seems to work.

The only visible ‘luxury’ – aside from the eco-friendly solar panels to get hot water – is that Kipchoge has his own bedroom. But even the king of the marathon does his fair share of the chores. He prepares tea for other athletes, and there’s a strict cleaning schedule that all athletes must stick to.

“I think that when you stop leading a simple life, your mind-set loses contact with the outside world and you lose your focus on your actual goals,” says Kipchoge. “At this point, you run the risk of forgetting about the really important things in life.”

Life at the camp is minimalistic, but nobody complains. Indeed, this simplicity is what defines them and enables the athletes to keep their focus and remain humble about who they are, where they come from and what they are here for.

Hollywood of running

To be the best, you need to surround yourself with the best – which is another reason why the Rift Valley continues to produce champion athletes.

The likes of Kipchoge, Kamworor and Kipyegon are true A-listers, but Kaptagat is filled with talented athletes who have achieved podium finishes at major championships and big city marathons.

Roig, who has a 2:18:05 marathon PB, moved to Kenya several years ago. “When I take my kids to school, I feel ashamed saying I am a runner as many of the dads there have 2:05 marathon PBs,” jokes Roig, who is now the race director for the Valencia Marathon. “There is even a mother at the school who has a PB similar to mine!”

But the Kaptagat camp isn’t the only leading training venue in the area. Iten, a small town at 2400 metres above sea level about an hour north of Kaptagat, is often referred to as the ‘home of champions’ or the ‘Hollywood of distance running’.

One of the drivers used for NN Running Team’s trip to Kenya, for example, was a former 1:06 half marathon runner. His wife, meanwhile, was a 2:21 marathon runner who finished second at the Rotterdam Marathon a couple of years ago. His neighbour is Emmanuel Korir, the Olympic 800m champion, and he is good friends with Joyciline Jepkosgei, the multiple world record-breaker and 2021 London Marathon champion.

Abdi Nageeye, the Olympic marathon silver medallist, also happened to be in Iten at the time of the trip. While ferrying around members of the media, the driver passed by a gas station named ‘Oslo’, which is one of many local businesses owned by Vivian Cheruiyot. The 2016 Olympic 5000m champion opened the station after winning at the Oslo Diamond League meeting.

One of the biggest training venues in Iten is the High Altitude Training Centre founded by multiple world half marathon champion Lornah Kiplagat, who herself is part of a highly successful family of runners, including Sylvia Kibet, Hilda Kibet and Susan Sirma. Many international athletes, including the likes of Mo Farah and Paula Radcliffe, have previously stayed there, while former steeplechaser Bob Tahri of France opened his own training centre in Iten a few years ago.

The Rift Valley – Iten and Kaptagat in particular – is like nowhere else on earth. Everybody knows a champion who is friends with another champion, who is the neighbour of another champion.

It’s yet another way – and one of the many – of becoming a great runner.

(01/16/2022) Views: 466 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Canadian Cam Levins is leaving Hoka

The Canadian marathon record holder announces on his Instagram that he is parting ways with the brand.

After spending three and a half years with Hoka, the Canadian marathon record holder Cam Levins announced on his Instagram that he has left the brand.

During his tenure, Levins broke two Canadian records, including Jerome Drayton’s Canadian record of 2:10:09 that stood since 1975. He ran 2:09:25 at the 2018 Toronto Waterfront Marathon to become the first Canadian to break 2:10. At the 2018 World Half Marathon Championships in Valencia, Spain, Levins broke the Canadian 20K record (59:09) on his way to a top 30 finish and a PB of 1:02:15.

The reason for Levins’s departure has not been announced, but his departure marks the third Canadian athlete to leave Hoka in the last six months. 3,000m steeplechaser Matt Hughes and aspiring marathoner Rory Linkletter both left the brand in 2021. 

Levins was selected to represent Canada in the marathon at the Tokyo Olympics after running 2:10:14 in the final few days of Olympic qualifying. He had a rough day at the office in Tokyo, finishing 72nd in humid conditions.

Before Levins joined Hoka in 2018, he was a part of Alberto Salazar’s Nike Oregon Project alongside Mo Farah and Galen Rupp. Levins currently lives and trains in Portland, Ore., and is coached remotely by Victoria, B.C. runner Jim Finlayson.

(01/05/2022) Views: 344 ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson
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Coach Alberto Salazar's lifetime ban upheld by US Center for SafeSport

Track coach Alberto Salazar's lifetime ban appeal for sexual misconduct has been rejected by the US Center for SafeSport.

The 63-year-old was handed the lifetime ban following allegations he had emotionally and physically abused a number of athletes during his time as part of the Nike Oregon Project.

In January 2020, SafeSport temporarily banned Salazar with the decision subsequently made permanent in July 2021.

However, his entry in the SafeSport database has now been updated to permanent ineligibility - signaling the appeal had been rejected.

In a separate case earlier this year, the Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld a four-year ban for a series of doping-related violations that occurred while Salazar was training Olympians with the Nike project. Nike shut down the running team shortly afterwards.

None of Salazar's former runners have ever been charged with doping violations.

As an athlete himself, Salazar won the Boston and New York Marathons in the early 1980s before going on to coach a number of Olympic medalists, including Sir Mo Farah and Galen Rupp.

(12/23/2021) Views: 360 ⚡AMP
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The former Nike Oregon Project changes team name to Union Athletic Club

One of the world’s best-known professional running clubs has found a new name after the Nike Oregon Project was abolished, coincident with the four-year ban of ex-head coach Alberto Salazar. The new name, Union Athletic Club, was announced on the Elevation Om YouTube page and confirmed by Chris Chavez on Twitter on Thursday.

After Salazar’s dismissal, the group remained intact through the past three years under coach Pete Julian.

Julian is currently the coach of many of the world’s top athletes, such as Suguru Osako, Shannon Rowbury, Raevyn Rogers, Jessica Hull, Donovan Brazier and Craig Engels.

He spent three years coaching at Washington State University before moving to the Oregon Project in 2012, where he was the assistant coach to Galen Rupp, Matt Centrowitz, Mo Farah and Canadian record holder Cam Levins.

The 2021 NCAA indoor 800m champion and Australian Olympian Charlie Hunter will be the newest member of the group.

Union Athletic Club is based out of Oregon and sponsored by Nike Running.

(12/18/2021) Views: 334 ⚡AMP
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Mary Cain sues Alberto Salazar and Nike for $20 million over alleged abuse

Mary Cain, the promising distance runner whose career fizzled after what she has described as four miserable years at the Nike Oregon Project, has filed a $20 million lawsuit against her former coach, Alberto Salazar, and their employer, Nike.

Cain accused Salazar of emotionally abusing her when she joined the team as a 16-year-old. The lawsuit portrays Salazar as an angry control freak who was obsessed with Cain’s weight and didn’t hesitate to publicly humiliate her about it.

That, she said, took a toll on her physical and mental health. Nike was aware, the lawsuit alleges, but failed to intervene.

Nike did not return messages. Salazar could not be reached but has previously denied abuse allegations, and he has said neither Cain nor her parents had raised concerns while she was part of the program.

In the lawsuit filed Monday in Multnomah County Circuit Court, Cain alleges Salazar on several occasions required her to get on a scale in front of other people and would then criticize her.

“Salazar told her that she was too fat and that her breasts and bottom were too big,” the lawsuit alleges.

Salazar took to policing Cain’s food intake, she said. At times, Cain was so hungry, she said, she stole Clif Bars from teammates.

Cain went to her parents for support. She alleges Salazar eventually tired of the parental interference.

“He prevented Cain from consulting with and relying on her parents, particularly her father, who is a doctor,” said Kristen West McCall, a Portland lawyer representing Cain.

By 2019, Cain says she was deeply depressed, had an eating disorder, generalized anxiety and post-traumatic stress syndrome. She also was cutting herself.

Darren Treasure, Nike’s in-house sports psychology consultant, knew of Cain’s distress, the lawsuit alleges. But he’s accused in the complaint of doing nothing about it, other than to share this “sometimes intimate and confidential information … with Salazar.”

Nike did nothing to intervene, Cain alleges.

“Companies are responsible for the behavior of their managers,” McCall said. “Nike’s job was to ensure that Salazar was not neglecting and abusing the athletes he coached.”

McCall added: “Nike was letting Alberto weight-shame women, objectify their bodies, and ignore their health and wellbeing as part of its culture. This was a systemic and pervasive issue.  And they did it for their own gratification and profit.”

Nike athletes generally sign non-disclosure statements that strictly prohibit them from revealing any sensitive corporate secrets. Cain smashed the Nike code of silence two years ago when The New York Times published her wrenching account of her years at Nike.

Due in part to a protracted series of injuries, Cain never lived up to her superstar-in-the-making expectations. But when she was 16, after a brilliant high school running career, she was a hot commodity in distance running circles.

In 2012, she opted to skip college and go straight to Beaverton to run for Salazar. Salazar, himself a legendary runner, helped found the Nike Oregon Project to make American distance runners competitive with the rest of the world.

Salazar has had some big successes, particularly with Galen Rupp, the Portland kid who has become one of the world’s best marathoners. On Aug. 5, 2012, two Salazar athletes — Mo Farah and Rupp — finished one-two in the 10,000 at the Olympic Games in London.

His program also has  been dogged by allegations that he pushed the use of  performance-enhancing drugs.

The Nike Oregon Project was disbanded in 2019 after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency accused Salazar of three violations. The agency banned him from the sport for four years.

Salazar appealed to the Court for Arbitration for Sport. Last month, the court upheld Salazar’s ban from the sport and some of USADA’s findings. It ruled that Salazar attempted an “intentional and orchestrated scheme to mislead” anti-doping investigators when he tampered with evidence.

The court reduced the duration of his ban from four to two years.

Salazar added:  “Mary at times struggled to find and maintain her ideal performance and training weight.” Nike added that Cain had requested to be allowed back on the team after she left.

Salazar said this to Sports Illustrated:

My foremost goal as a coach was to promote athletic performance in a manner that supported the good health and well-being of all my athletes. On occasion, I may have made comments that were callous or insensitive over the course of years of helping my athletes through hard training. If any athlete was hurt by any comments that I have made, such an effect was entirely unintended, and I am sorry. I do dispute, however, the notion that any athlete suffered any abuse or gender discrimination while running for the Oregon Project.”

(10/12/2021) Views: 407 ⚡AMP
by Jeff Manning
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Sissy Lemma wins London Marathon

Ethiopia's Sisay Lemma won the men's London Marathon in a time of two hours, four minutes and one second after breaking away from the leading pack late in the race on Sunday.

In cool and dry conditions, Lemma improved on his podium finish last year to surge ahead and seize victory, bouncing back after failing to finish the Olympic marathon in Japan.

The 30-year-old crossed the line 27 seconds ahead of Kenya's Vincent Kipchumba, who took the runner-up spot for the second successive year, while his compatriot Mosinet Geremew finished third.

Defending champion Shura Kitata, who pulled out of the Olympic marathon in Tokyo after suffering in the hot and humid conditions, finished sixth in the British capital in 2:07.51 after being hampered by an apparent hamstring niggle.

Kenyan great Eliud Kipchoge, winner of four of the previous five London Marathons before 2020, was absent from this year's event, with Britain's Mo Farah also missing after failing to qualify for the Tokyo Games and suffering a stress fracture in his foot.

The marathon, which celebrated its 40th anniversary in April, returned to its traditional route from Blackheath to The Mall for the first time in over two years.

More than 36,000 competitors joined some of the world's best in the mass participation event and up to 40,000 joined in virtually, organisers said.

Only elite races took place on the course around St James's Park last year, with amateurs last competing in 2019.

Earlier, Kenya's Joyciline Jepkosgei emerged victorious in the women's race on her London debut with a time of 2:17.43, upsetting twice winner and compatriot Brigid Kosgei.

The race

Much like the women’s race, the pace started quick as six men hit halfway in 61:25. At 30k (1:27:19), the lead pack was down to five as Kenya’s Titus Ekiru, who had won the last 5 marathons he’d finished, dropped out with a limp 1:19 into the race. At 30k, the pace still projected to 2:02 high (2:02:49) but things would slow on the way home as the leaders had to battle wind gusts up to 25 mph on over the final 7 miles as the course goes from West to East after miile 19 and the wind was coming out of the SW.

Just before the clock hit 1:55, Lemma, who finished third in a 3-way sprint finish in London last year, decided he didn’t want history to repeat itself and he accelerated away from Kipchumba and Geremew to get the win. Lemma was unchallenged on the way home and was super pumped to get his first major win, totally unbothered or unaware of the fact that his waves to the crowd likely cost him $25,000 in time bonuses as London pays out $75,000 for a sub-2:04 clocking and $50,000 for a sub-2:05.

(10/03/2021) Views: 454 ⚡AMP
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TCS London Marathon

TCS London Marathon

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

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Olympic Marathon Bronze Medalist Bashir Abdi is planning to chase the European record in the NN Rotterdam Marathon on October 24

Less than three months after battling to a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympic Games, Bashir Abdi is planning to chase the European record in the NN Rotterdam Marathon on October 24.

Abdi is the second fastest European performer in history with his 2:04:49 clocking from the 2020 Tokyo Marathon where he finished second but the Belgian is looking to run even faster in Rotterdam next month with Kaan Kigen Ozbilen’s European record of 2:04:16 the foremost target.

"Rotterdam is the city of the marathon for me. It has a fast course and the organization is always excellent. Additionally Rotterdam feels like a home match for me. I don't get that anywhere else. If I have any chance of beating the European record anywhere, then it is here but I will have to do my very best for it," said Abdi as quoted by the race organisers.

After a solid track career, Abdi stepped up to the marathon distance in 2018. He made his debut in Rotterdam and placed a creditable sixth in 2:10:46 when the event was held in its traditional springtime slot, a performance made all the more impressive by the fact Abdi fell at the start and grazed his knees in the melee.

Now coached by Gary Lough, the husband of Paula Radcliffe and also the coach of Mo Farah, Abdi broke his lifetime best in his next three marathons which culminated with a sub-2:05 performance in the Tokyo Marathon in March 2020 just before the spread of coronavirus shut down the sporting world.

And despite the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics, Abdi carried this stellar form through to the rescheduled Games this summer by winning bronze to become the first Belgian to win a medal in the marathon since the great Karel Lismont in Montreal 1976. 

This year’s edition of the Rotterdam Marathon marks the 40th edition of an event which has produced record-breaking performances in its long and illustrious history.

In 1988, Belayneh Dinsamo from Ethiopia set a world record of 2:06:50 which stood on the record books for a decade. On the women's side, Kenya's Tegla Loroupe also set a world record of 2:20:48 in the 1998 edition.

The course records now stand at 2:04:11 to Kenya’s Marius Kipserem on the men’s side and 2:18:58 to Ethiopia’s Tiki Gelana on the women’s side.

(09/23/2021) Views: 422 ⚡AMP
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NN Rotterdam Marathon

NN Rotterdam Marathon

The marathon has been the biggest one-day sporting event in the Netherlands for many years in a row with over 35000 athletes professionals inclusive. The world's top athletes will at the start on the bustling coolsingel, alongside thousands of other runners who will also triumph,each in their own way.The marathon weekend is a wonderful blend of top sport and festival. ...

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CAS releases official report on Salazar ban

Reports on Wednesday announced the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) had upheld the four-year suspension imposed on former Nike Oregon Project coach Alberto Salazar and former team endocrinologist, Dr. Jeffrey Brown for doping violations, and less than 24 hours later the official CAS report has been released.

In its report, the CAS ruled that Salazar had committed three anti-doping rule violations, including possession of testosterone, complicity in Brown’s administration of a prohibited method and tampering with the doping control process with respect to the issue of L-carnitine infusions/syringes. Similarly, Brown was charged with four violations, including complicity in Salazar’s possession of testosterone, trafficking of testosterone to Salazar, administration of a prohibited method and tampering with the doping control process.

The investigation into Salazar and the NOP began in 2015 when a BBC Panorama documentary entitled “Catch Me If You Can” alleged the coach used prescription drugs and therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs) to push the boundaries of performance.

The film interviewed former NOP athlete Kara Goucher and former coach Steve Magness, who described the experiments Salazar performed to determine exactly how much testosterone cream could be applied to an athlete’s skin without triggering a positive test. An experiment was also done to test a rapid-acting (and illegal, under WADA rules) infusion of a supplement known to boost the body’s L-carnitine levels, which in turn helps the body convert fat to energy.

In 2017, a leaked  U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) report from 2016 indicated that Salazar had been giving his athletes, including Sir Mo Farah, the amino acid L-carnitine, via an IV drip. L-carnitine is not a banned substance, but infusions of more than 50 mL in the span of six hours are prohibited, and reports claimed the coach “almost certainly” broke those rules.

Throughout the process, Salazar has continued to deny the allegations, and none of his former athletes, including Farah, Galen Rupp, Sifan Hassan, Matthew Centrowitz and Canada’s Cam Levins have ever tested positive for illegal substances, which the CAS notes in its report.

It also acknowledged that the way in which USADA’s  investigation was conducted was “out of proportion and excessive when compared to the severity and consequences of the ADRVs [anti-doping rule violations] that have been established,” yet it still upheld the bans: “the Panel was satisfied that the rules have been properly applied, and that, on the basis of the ADRV’s found by the CAS Panel, the sanctions have been determined in accordance with the relevant version of the WADC.”

(09/17/2021) Views: 380 ⚡AMP
by Brittany Hambleton
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American Galen Rupp And Olympic Marathon Bronze Medalist Bashir Abdi will Lead Field For The Great North Run Half-Marathon

After having its anniversary celebrations scuppered by the pandemic last year, the Great North Run returns on September 12 with a redesigned course as many of the athletics stars of 2021 meet over the 13.1-mile distance.

For the first time since 2013 there will be a men’s winner other than Mo Farah. The multiple global track gold medallist won the Great North Run from 2014-2019 and the 2020 race was called off. But the new champion could still have strong links to Farah.

The women’s race also sees top runners from the track and roads collide. Hellen Obiri, the world 5000m champion from Kenya, faces Molly Seidel, the American marathon runner who won a surprise bronze medal at the Olympics.

British hopes, meanwhile, are led by Eilish McColgan, who is making her debut at the distance after a fine track season, plus Charlotte Purdue ahead of racing at the Virgin Money London Marathon on October 3.

The athletes will be following in famous footsteps as the event first took place in June 1981. The first man home that day was local runner Mike McLeod and the England footballer Kevin Keegan effectively became the first celebrity runner when he took part wearing a top that incorporated the colours of Newcastle and Sunderland.

“I think there is an extra significance to this year,” says race founder Brendan Foster. “It will demonstrate that the country’s getting back to normal and that ordinary people are getting back to doing what they want to do.”

The course starts and finishes in the centre of Newcastle, crossing the Tyne Bridge twice, with live coverage on BBC.

In the men’s race much will depend on how well Abdi and Rupp have recovered from the Olympic marathon five weeks ago.

Abdi clocked 2:10:00 that day in hot conditions but has a best of 2:04:49 from Tokyo last year. The 32-year-old also has run 60:42 on the old Great North Run course that finished in South Shields.

Rupp won Olympic 10,000m silver behind Farah in 2012 and marathon bronze in Rio in 2016 before finishing eighth in the marathon in Tokyo last month. His half-marathon best is 59:47.

(09/09/2021) Views: 502 ⚡AMP
by Jason Henderson
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Great North Run

Great North Run

Great North Run founder Brendan Foster believes Britain is ready to welcome the world with open arms after the launch of the event's most ambitious plan to date. The Great World Run campaign seeks to recruit one runner from every country in the United Nations – 193 in total – to take part in the iconic half marathon in...

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Sir Mo Farah out of Great North Run but he will return to competition next year

Sir Mo Farah will not defend his Great North Run title this weekend but will return to competition next year.

Britain’s most decorated athlete, who has won the last six GNRs, took part in Soccer Aid last weekend despite a stress fracture in his foot.

He appeared briefly as a substitute at the Etihad before limping off and it has been confirmed he has no plans to race in the foreseeable future.

Farah, 38, failed to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics in June and his reaction sparked speculation he was about to retire.

“I’ve always said if I can’t compete with the best I won’t just go to be in a final,” he said that evening. “Tonight showed it’s not good enough.”

However, Great North Run founder Sir Brendan Foster revealed: “I can assure you Mo isn’t going to finish and I can assure you he’ll compete in the Great North Run again.

“He literally can’t run this weekend and he’s gutted about that as he’s won every year since 2014. We’ve never had anybody as successful as him and everyone will miss him.

“But forget all the talk that he is going to finish. He’s assured me he’ll be running seriously again next summer.”

Next summer sees three major events, with the Birmingham Commonwealth Games sandwiched between World and European Athletics Championships.

The Worlds take place in Oregon where Farah lived and trained for six years. The Somali-born Londoner is a six-time world champion.

(09/08/2021) Views: 461 ⚡AMP
by Alex Spink
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Great North Run

Great North Run

Great North Run founder Brendan Foster believes Britain is ready to welcome the world with open arms after the launch of the event's most ambitious plan to date. The Great World Run campaign seeks to recruit one runner from every country in the United Nations – 193 in total – to take part in the iconic half marathon in...

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Stephen Scullion and Paul Pollock ready for big guns in Antrim Coast Half Marathon

Tokyo Olympians Stephen Scullion and Paul Pollock will spearhead the local challenge against a star-studded international field in the Antrim Coast Half Marathon on Sunday.

Sir Mo Farah - who won the 5,000m and 10,000m double at both London 2012 and Rio 2016 before missing out on Tokyo qualification - is unable to defend the inaugural title he won last year in a time of one hour and 27 seconds due to injury but will be at the event as race starter and will also carry out media and ambassadorial roles. Sir Mo said: "I can't wait to be involved this time around, especially with the kids race.

I aim to be back for another crack at the race next year." Big-race organiser James McIlroy - an 800m semi-finalist at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and who roomed with Sir Mo on Team GB trips - feels it will be one of the strongest half marathon line-ups ever seen on these islands.

"It promises to be one of the greatest half marathons ever assembled in the UK or Ireland with 53 men and 25 women taking to the start. With three full national teams confirmed, and runners from Africa, America, Europe, UK and Ireland, this year’s first ever World Athletics event in the province promises to be one of the leading road races in the world for 2021," said the Larne man, grandson of Belfast Celtic legend Sid McIlroy.

In addition to boasting 11 Olympians, headlining the men’s race will be Ethiopian record holder Jemal Yimer. Yimer won his last half marathon outing at the Houston half marathon in 2020 and has also achieved the fastest ever debut half marathon in 59:00 achieved in R’as al Khaimah in the UAE back in 2019.

He will be joined by countryman Tesfahun Akalnew, who has a personal best of 59:22, previously finished second in the African Games and comes to the Antrim Coast with strong runs in 2020, finishing fifth in the Barcelona Half Marathon and sixth in New Delhi. Completing the African trio will be Shadrack Kimining, winner of the 2016 Cardiff Half Marathon and in Gothenburg in 2018 and 2019.

Leading the UK and Ireland challenge will be Tokyo Olympians Scullion, Pollock and Marc Scott, the latter the two-time European record holder and second fastest all-time Briton behind Sir Mo over 10,000m. On Sunday Scott will seek to become only the second Briton to break the 60-minute barrier.

Belfast ace Scullion finish fourth in last year’s race on the way to setting a new Northern Ireland record of 61.12. Pollock, fresh from his second Olympics, will make his debut on the fast scenic course and should also threaten the top positions.

Barcelona Olympian and multiple World record holder Tommy Hughes will have huge crowd support as he makes his latest bid on the Vet +60 World record, which he smashed at last year’s race in a time of 71.09. McIlroy added: "With full strength teams from Ireland, England and Northern Ireland, we may well see the first ever sub-60-minute half marathon in Ireland." The women’s race is headlined by Ethiopian sensation Yalemzerf Yehualaw.

The 22-year-old finished third in last year’s World Half Marathon Championship after tripping on the finishers mat, and has targeted the Antrim Coast's fast course since lthe inaugural event last September. The elite race starts at 8.00am in Larne with the mass participation event - cancelled last year due to the Covid pandemic - starting at 9.30am. There will be live coverage on the BBC.

(08/28/2021) Views: 465 ⚡AMP
by Frank Brownlow
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Antrim Coast Half Marathon

Antrim Coast Half Marathon

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

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Jacob Ingebrigtsen and Karsten Warholm will attack European records in Lausanne

The Athletissima meeting in Lausanne on Thursday (Aug 26) is part of the Diamond League series. Perhaps the most intriguing event of the night, though, is an event that is not part of the Diamond League programme – the men’s 400m.

Karsten Warholm will enjoy a rare race on the flat with no barriers in his way. His target? Thomas Schönlebe’s long-standing European record of 44.33 which was set when the East German won the 1987 world title in Rome ahead of Innocent Egbunike of Nigeria and Butch Reynolds of the United States.

The mark has stood for 34 years. Warholm’s best time is 44.87 which dates back to 2017. However the 25-year-old Norwegian took down Kevin Young’s long-standing world 400m hurdles record earlier in Oslo this summer and then annihilated his own mark with a further improvement to 45.94 in the Olympic final in Tokyo this month.

What’s more, Warholm equalled Schönlebe’s European indoor 400m record of 45.05 in Glasgow in 2019. The omens are good and in Lausanne he faces a field that is led by Isaac Makwala – a 43.72 man who was seventh in the Olympic final.

Jakob Ingebrigtsen also has a European record in his sights – Mohammed Mourhit’s 3000m mark of 7:26.62 which was set 21 years ago in Monaco and one-year before he was suspended for using EPO. Ingebrigtsen ran 7:27.05 in Rome last year when he finished close behind Ugandan Jacob Kiplimo.

Kiplimo is again in the field on Thursday along with Olympic 10,000m champion Selemon Barega of Ethiopia, Canadian Mohammed Ahmed, American Paul Chelimo, Australian Stewart McSweyn and Ethiopia’s Olympic steeplechase silver Lamecha Girma.

Andy Butchart, meanwhile, will be having a crack at Mo Farah’s UK record of 7:32.62 in what promises to be a fast race.

Fresh from her stunning 10.54 100m run in the Diamond League in Eugene on Saturday, Elaine Thompson-Herah travels back to Europe to race over the distance again. Her rivals include fellow Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, in-form Swiss sprinters Ajla Del Ponte and Mujinga Kambundji, Marie-Josee Ta Lou of the Ivory Coast and Britain’s Daryll Neita.

The meeting actually kicks off with a city center high jump contest between Olympic medalist Mutaz Essa Barshim, Gianmarco Tamberi and Maksim Nedasekau on Wednesday (Aug 25) in Lausanne. It acts as a prelude to the main event on Thursday and will see a rematch of the men who famously shared gold in Tokyo.

Back in the stadium on Thursday, the field events see triple jump world record-holder Yulimar Rojas in action, as well as German javelin star Johannes Vetter and shot put giants Ryan Crouser, Joe Kovacs, Tom Walsh and Darlan Romani.

(08/24/2021) Views: 462 ⚡AMP
by Jason Henderson
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30 runners DNF in Sapporo heat

It wasn’t as fast as we’ve come to expect, but from 30K in, there was never any doubt that Eliud Kipchoge was on his way to a repeat performance of his 2016 Olympic marathon win. He stepped on the gas and immediately started to put distance between himself and the rest of the small lead pack, crossing the finish line in 2:08:38, a minute and 20 seconds ahead of the next finisher. The race for silver and bronze was won by lesser known runners, Abdi Nageeye of the Netherlands (silver, in a season’s best 2:09:58) and Bashir Abdi of Belgium, who crossed the line for the bronze medal two seconds later, in 2:10:00 (also a season’s best time).

With this win, Kipchoge joins the greats who have won back-to-back marathons at an Olympic Games. He is the third runner to do so – and in 2024, he will have the chance to become the only athlete ever to three-peat in the marathon.

Nageeye is one of Kipchoge’s training partners on the NN Running Team. This was his best marathon performance, in terms of finishing position; he has two top-10 finishes at the Boston Marathon (seventh in 2018 and eighth in 2016). The same is true for Abdi, who is a training partner of Mo Farah’s and paced Farah to his one-hour world record on the track in 2020. His best finish before today was seventh at the 2019 London Marathon.

Despite the heat, Canadians Ben Preisner, Trevor Hofbauer and Cam Levins had excellent races, Preisner in particular, who finished in 46th position, in 2:19:27), followed closely by Hofbauer in 48th (2:19:57). Preisner was in 73rd position at 5K and made steady progress as he made his way up throughout the race. Levins was in good shape through the first half, but was not able to maintain the pace, dropping to 72nd in 2:28:43 – a very respectable result, considering the high attrition rate.

Heat and humidity result in multiple DNFs

It was another hot, muggy morning in Sapporo for the final event of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. The lead pack consisting of Kipchoge, defending bronze medallist from 2016 and U.S. Trials winner Galen Rupp and 2019 world champion Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia, among others, set off at 7 a.m., settling into a comfortable pace of just over three minutes per kilometre. Jeison Alexander Suarez of Colombia maintained a position at or near the front for more than half of the race as athletes stuffed their hats with ice to keep their bodies as cool as possible.

Around halfway, Kipchoge was seen exchanging fist bumps with Daniel Do Nascimento of Brazil, but a short time later, Do Nascimento collapsed, then rallied, then dropped out. By halfway, 10 men had already left the course, including 2012 Olympic champion Stephen Kiprotich, 2020 London Marathon winner Shura Kitata and Jack Rayner of Australia, who was one of Kipchoge’s pacers at INEOS 1:59. Sisay Lemma (third at Berlin and Tokyo marathons, with a PB of 2:03) appeared to be struggling soon thereafter. Galen Rupp led the pack briefly, but for the most part appeared willing to let others do the work at the front; he ended up finishing eighth. By 27K, the lead pack had dwindled to about 10, with Kipchoge, Rupp and Suarez leading; Japanese record holder Suguru Osaka was still in the lead pack, as was Desisa.

At 30K, Rupp dropped further and further off the pace. Amos Kipruto also dropped back (eventually joining the long list of DNFs), and the chase pack dwindled to 2019 Boston Marathon winner Lawrence Cherono, Ayad Lamdassem of Spain, Nageeye and Abdi. Osaka tried to come back to them, as Kipchoge stormed toward the finish line with a bounce in his step. Cherono ultimately finished fourth, Lamdassem fifth and Osako sixth.

Top 10 finishers

Eliud Kipchoge (Kenya)

Abdi Nageeye (Netherlands)

Bashir Abdi (Belgium)

Lawrence Cherono (Kenya)

Ayad Lamdassem (Spain)

Suguru Osako (Japan)

Alphonce Felix Simbu (Tanzania)

Galen Rupp (USA)

Othmane El Goumri (Morocco)

Koen Naert (Belgium)

(08/08/2021) Views: 338 ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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World record holder Joshua Cheptegei wins 5000m gold for Uganda

Joshua Cheptegei added the Olympic 5000m title to his world record in a race which was just short of achieving a Games best time.

The Ugandan was forced to settle for silver in the 10,000m, but made amends by winning the shorter distance in 12:58.15, less than half a second slower than the Olympic record set by Kenenisa Bekele in 2008.

Cheptegei finished ahead of Canada's Mohammad Ahmed and American Paul Chelimo to succeed Mo Farah as champion.

Britain's Andy Butchart fell off the leading pack with around 1000m to go, finishing 11th.

Cheptegei, who revealed he had been struggling with a heel injury heading into the Games, made sure he was near the front of the field right from the start.

But he will be thankful to his team-mate Jacob Kiplimo, who did much of the heavy lifting early on, setting a pace which always looked like it would dip below 13 minutes.

It was easily the quickest 5000m Olympic final since Bekele’s victory in Beijing 13 years ago, and Cheptegei looked to ease to victory when he took full control on the final lap. Ahmed finished well, but never appeared likely to overhaul his rival.

The victory makes the Ugandan, whose world record stands at 12:35.36, an Olympic and world champion, adding to his 10,000m win at Doha 2019

(08/06/2021) Views: 508 ⚡AMP
by Richard Newman
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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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Ankle injury rules out Kenya's Geoffrey Kamworor at Olympics

Kenyan 10,000 meters runner and 2019 New York Marathon winner Geoffrey Kamworor has pulled out of the Tokyo Olympics due to an ankle injury, he told BBC Sport Africa on Thursday.

The 28-year-old is a three times world Half Marathon champion, and previous world record holder, and had hopes of a medal in the 10,000m after winning the national trials.

He won silver at the 2015 world championships in Beijing, behind Britain's Mo Farah.

The injury comes after he was hit by a motorcycle while training near his home in June last year, suffering a fractured tibia.

"These are obstacles which can come on your way when you come back from a tough injury earlier on. It's only now extremely bad timing," the BBC quoted his manager Valentijn Trouw as saying.

(07/23/2021) Views: 468 ⚡AMP
by CNA Sports
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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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Mo Farah targets one more race despite stress fracture set-back

Mo Farah’s efforts to qualify for the Tokyo Games ended in frustration with a failed attempt at the Olympic qualifying mark in Manchester last month. Any hope he had of racing again this summer have been thwarted, too, by a stress fracture. But he still hopes to finish his career in a road or track race somewhere.

When asked by Victoria Derbyshire from BBC where he sees his final race being, Farah said: “I think it will be a marathon or half marathon. And I’d like to show one more track event.”

Over 10,000m?

“Somewhere,” he replied, before adding that he could not say whether it might be next year’s World Championships or not.

He added: “You know what goes up must come down at some point, so I know my career will (come down) because that’s just life.

“But at the same time I don’t want it to end like this. I want to keep pushing it. And then when I want to finish, I’ll finish.

“But right now, for the minute, it’s like ‘nah’.”

So how does he want it to finish?

“I want to be out there celebrating with my fans,” he explained. “I want to show people who have supported me through my career from being a young child. And so if I’m going to do one race then I’d like to get everyone out and show the appreciation and show what I can do.”

(07/18/2021) Views: 487 ⚡AMP
by Athletics Weekly
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Ex-New York marathon champ Geoffrey Kamworor to compete in Hengelo ahead of Tokyo Olympics

Former New York marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor will compete and train in Hengelo, Netherlands as part of his preparations for the Tokyo Olympics Games.

Kenya's head athletics coach Julius Kirwa said on Monday in Nairobi that the former World Cross Country champion will head to the Dutch city from Wednesday to compete in selected races over the 3,000m distance.

The coach said it was critical for Kamworor to gauge himself in short distance races to test his speed prowess ahead of the Olympics, which starts on July 23.

"Kamworor is heading to Hengelo for training and to compete. He will step down from his traditional 10,000m distance to 3,000m so as to gauge his speed. We want him to test himself and see where he is on the scale," Kirwa told Xinhua in Nairobi.

Kenya will line up former World Cross Country champion Kamworor, Rodgers Kwemoi and Weldon Kipkurui Langat in the 10,000m race at the Olympics hopeful to regain the elusive gold medal.

Kenya last won gold in the 10,000m race back in 1968 through Naftali Temu in Mexico City.

But Kirwa is optimistic, the new team, which is a blend of youth and experienced athletes will weather the storm from Ethiopia, Uganda and America challenge.

"We have a blend of young and ambitious prodigies, who will complement Kamworor to learn and exploit his experience in the Tokyo Olympics," Kirwa added.

The coach noted that in a normal cycle, athletes mature and wither, form comes and goes, momentum shifts and stars periodically align.

However, he feels that Kenya has the right blend of stars to alter the matrix and break the jinx to clinch the gold at the Tokyo Olympics.

Reigning champion Mo Farah of England will not defend his title in Tokyo as he failed to make the team.

However, Kirwa has pointed out world 10km record holder Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda as a main hurdle in Kenya quest to win gold.

"Cheptegei is a strong candidate, but we will work on a strategy to fix him. I believe in my team and Kamworor is eager to do well because this might be his last track competition before he turns his focus fully on the marathon," he said.

Kamworor, who skipped the World Championships in Doha in 2019 to focus on reclaiming his title at the New York marathon, said the allure of having an Olympic gold medal dangle down his neck is too strong to ignore.

"I have had several challenges in the past one year. Our mentor Eliud Kipchoge challenged me to make the team so that we can go to Tokyo together," Kamworor told reporters in Nairobi.

At the Rio Games, Kenya won 13 medals - six gold, six silver and one bronze - all in athletics.

(07/06/2021) Views: 429 ⚡AMP
by Xinhua News
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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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I'm not finished yet, vows Sir Mo Farah after not making the Olympic team

Britain's Mo Farah has vowed to end his career on a high note despite failing to earn a chance to defend his Olympic 10,000m crown in Tokyo.

Farah won the 5,000m and 10,000m double at both the London and Rio Olympics.

But the 38-year-old will not compete in Japan after falling short in his final qualification bid in Manchester on Friday.

That was a crushing blow for Farah, but he is determined not to step away from athletics until he has enjoyed one more "massive" moment.

"At the moment in my career, I feel like I'm not finished yet. I know I can do it and I will not end it like this," Farah told TalkSport on Monday.

"I want to end it with something massive. Although obviously nothing is going to be as big as the Olympics, I want to come back out and do something great.

"That's what makes us champions. You have to continue, you have to go over many hurdles and you have to push on.

"At the moment, it's tough, but I will continue. You'll see that smile again."

After his Olympics heroics in 2012 and 2016, Farah admitted his failure to qualify for Tokyo came as a shock.

"The Olympics only come around every four years and when the opportunity comes you've got to take it, but this is the reality now, I'm not going. I'm so disappointed," he said.

"But I've said from day one, if I can't compete with the best out there, I wouldn't bother. If I'm not capable of that, why would I turn up just to make it on the team? I wouldn't do that."

(06/30/2021) Views: 450 ⚡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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Sir Mo Farah fails to qualify for Olympics and will not defend 10,000m title in Tokyo

Sir Mo Farah will not defend his 10,000m Olympic title later this summer after failing to qualify for the Tokyo Games.

The four-time Olympic champion missed the qualifying time in an invitational 10,000m at the British Athletics Championships and suffered a devastating blow in Manchester.

Farah needed to go under 27 minutes 28 seconds at the Regional Arena to earn his place on the plane to Tokyo ahead of Sunday night’s deadline.

But he clocked 27 minutes 47.04 seconds and will not defend the 10,000m title he won in 2012 and 2016.

Farah, a double 5,000m Olympic champion, said trackside: “I don’t know what to think or what’s next. If I can’t compete with the best why bother?

“There’s no excuse in terms of conditions – it is what it is. I genuinely thought I’d come out here, get the time and then go back to the training camp.

“I’ve had an amazing career. Thinking about it tonight it’s a bit shocking and I don’t really know what to say.

“I’m lucky enough to have so many medals. I’m one of these athletes who, if you can’t compete with the best, why bother?”

The invitational race was hastily arranged after Farah failed to qualify during the 10,000m trials in Birmingham earlier this month.

He was the second Brit home in eighth on that occasion, behind Marc Scott in 27 minutes 50.54 seconds, and blamed an ankle problem for hampering his attempt.

It was the first time he had lost a 10,000m race in a decade having decided to return to the track after focusing on the marathon since 2017.

(06/26/2021) Views: 381 ⚡AMP
by Talk Sport
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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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Mo Farah’s Manchester mission

Olympic champion hopes to beat the 10,000m qualifying standard for the Tokyo Games at an invitational race on the first day of the Müller British Athletics Championships

After shaking off the ankle problem which affected his performance at the Müller British 10,000m Championships and European Cup event at the University of Birmingham last week, Mo Farah will have another crack at the Olympic qualifying mark in a special invitational race on Friday June 25 at the Müller British Athletics Championships in Manchester.

Farah clocked 27:50.64 in Birmingham on June 5 as he finished second Briton home behind Marc Scott and eighth overall in a race won by Morhad Amdouni of France. But after seeking treatment for the injury, the 38-year-old is going to Sportcity in Manchester next week to attack the 27:28.00 qualifying mark.

Farah insisted in Birmingham last week that he can still get into shape to defend his Olympic title in Tokyo and rumours are he was in excellent form up until the eve of the British trials and European Cup race but the edge was taken off his fitness in the final fortnight due to the injury and slight illness.

This invitational 10,000m race will kick off a busy three-day Olympic trials meeting and will evoke memories of classic 10,000m races on Friday night at the AAA Championships from yesteryear.

Most notably, for example, Dave Bedford set a world record of 27:30.8 at Crystal Palace in 1973. Ironically, Farah needs to run just 2.8 seconds quicker next Friday too, although it is unlikely to be easy and the veteran distance runner will rely on several pacemakers to help him in his quest.

(06/20/2021) Views: 471 ⚡AMP
by Athletics Weekly
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Mo Farah is set to race at European 10,000m cup

The European 10,000m cup is taking place this Saturday, June 5 in Birmingham, U.K. According to European Athletics, 111 athletes from 26 countries will be competing, including an Athlete Refugee team in the men’s race. The highlight of the meet for track fans will be the return of Mo Farah, who will be running his first 10,000m since the 2017 World Athletics Championships in London.

38-year-old Farah will be aiming to hit the Olympic standard of 27:28 on Saturday, which shouldn’t be a problem for the 4-time Olympic gold medalist (twice in the 10,000m, twice in the 5,000m), whose PB at the distance is 26:46.57, set in 2011. He will be toeing the line with other strong British runners, including Marc Scott and Sam Atkin. Both men have already run Olympic qualifying times at the distance with 27:10.41 for Scott and 27:26.58 for Atkin, which should make for an exciting race.

Other notable athletes set to compete in Birmingham include reigning European 10,000m champion Morhad Amdouni from France and European 10,000m silver medallist Bashir Abdi from Belgium. Abdi is one of Farah’s main training partners.

European 5000m silver medallist Eilish McColgan will be the fastest seed on the women’s side, with a recent personal best at the 10,000m of 30:58.94. Several other women are within striking distance of McColgan, however, and with many of them yet to hit the Olympic qualifying standard, we are likely to see some fast racing on Saturday.

(06/01/2021) Views: 332 ⚡AMP
by Brittany Hambleton
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Marathon runner completes epic 110-day challenge running the same marathon course since February 1

A runner has finished an epic challenge of completing 110 marathons in 110 consecutive days.

Gary McKee ran the same 26.2 mile (42km) circuit around his home in Cleator Moor, Cumbria, UK every day since 1 February, in memory of his father.

The 51-year-old has raised more than £110,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support and Hospice at Home West Cumbria, smashing his initial target of £10,000.

Cheering crowds welcomed him home as he crossed the finish line.

He said he was pleased the town had turned out to greet him.

"I enjoyed the moment. I did look up at the sky and think of the people who you have been running for and the people you run in memory of, and there have been lots of them. I thought about my dad," he said.

"It's a wonderful feeling because everyone had a smile on their face. It has captured the imagination of the town of Cleator Moor and further afield."

Initially after completing the challenge he was holding a cup of tea to keep warm, but he said he was "looking forward to a beer".

Mr McKee is no stranger to challenges - he has previously climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, trekked through New Zealand and ran from Land's End to John O'Groats.

He was inspired to fundraise for Macmillan after his father was diagnosed with cancer in 1997. He died from an unrelated illness in 2003.

His 16-year-old son Alfie and nephew Stuart McKee have also been taking part by cycling 110 marathons in 110 days, and a younger son, Beau, and daughter Minnie have done their own running challenges.

He has also been accompanied by friends Kevin Hetherington, who took part in 55 marathons, and Michael Watson, who joined him for 44.

Mr McKee, who would often complete a marathon before starting his shift at Sellafield, said he would not necessarily be sorry to end the challenge.

Speaking before his final run he described it as an "emotional day".

"I know that it's coming to an end and people tend to think you can't wait to get finished and have a rest," he said.

"But the way I see it is that when you finish donations stop coming in and that's a little bit of a sad part of it."

Sue McDonald, Macmillan fundraising manager for Cumbria, said: "To smash out 110 consecutive marathons is an incredible feat.

"The support from Gary's children and the community has been phenomenal - and to get messages of support from Mo Farah, Sally Gunnell and yesterday from Kevin Sinfield has given everyone such a boost over the many long days.

"There's quite a few tears of joy and pride today - and with good reason."

(05/23/2021) Views: 378 ⚡AMP
by BBC
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Mo Farah has revealed his daily routine as he trains for the Tokyo Olympics this summer

On a typical day, Farah said, he’ll have a little toast for breakfast, before going out for a 10 or 12 mile run around 9 or 9.30 am. When he has come back and showered, he might answer a few emails before taking a nap. In the afternoon he’ll go for a light jog, covering five or six miles. In total he will usually run around 17 to 18 miles, apart from Sundays when he will often do a long 20 mile run.

At the time of recording, Farah was taking part in a training camp in Flagstaff, Arizona, 7,000 feet above sea level. Farah said a handful of fellow Team GB athletes were due to join him there, including Laura Muir and Andrew Butchart.

Although he is the reigning Olympic champion, Farah still has to qualify for the games at the Müller British Athletics 10,000m Championships in Birmingham on Saturday, June 5.

Asked about his high-mileage training regime, Farah told Wicks, 'You have to be able to put in the work.' 'Anything is possible in life if you condition yourself, condition your body – you can get through it.'

He added: 'With me, I have to run that kind of distance and condition my body. I’m not just going to turn up at the Olympics and try and win off the back of one month, two months, three months – it’s the whole leading up to it. Condition your body, get yourself in the best shape that you can.'

Describing how he maintains his focus, Farah described himself as 'an addict.'

He said, 'When you go out for a run, or when you do a session, you feel that relief – that’s what drives me. Having so many people behind you and knowing you’re doing it for your country, that’s what keeps me going.'

He added, 'I think what keeps me going to this day is 2012 – what I did in 2012 and how it happened – that bit drives me every day.

'Over the years I’ve learned from races and making mistakes – it’s OK to make mistakes. If you get it wrong in a race, it’s OK! As long as you learn what went wrong, it’s easier to fix it' Farah told Wicks.

(05/22/2021) Views: 579 ⚡AMP
by Jacob Moreton
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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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Sir Mo Farah aims to earn Tokyo spot in 10,000m trial in Birmingham

Despite being reigning Olympic champion, Mo Farah must still qualify for this summer’s Tokyo Games and on June 5 at a University of Birmingham track that is likely to be bereft of spectators he will take on the rising stars Marc Scott, Jake Smith and Sam Atkin over 25 laps.

The trio have been named as part of the British team for the European 10,000m Cup, which is held as part of the Müller British Athletics 10,000m Championships.

The event, which is also the official Olympic trial for British athletes, sees a strong domestic line up in the women’s race too with Eilish McColgan, Jess Judd and Amy-Eloise Markovc among others.

Farah’s last 10,000m on the track was at the 2017 World Championships in London where he won his sixth world title. Since then he has enjoyed a foray on to the roads and the marathon but he is returning to the track this year to try to win another Olympic track title aged 38.

Since 2017 he has only raced once on the track – in a one-hour run in Brussels last summer – but appears to have been training well and is set to face a new generation of hungry young British runners in a 10,000m showdown.

This is also the first official trial for a major championship that Farah has done since 2010 when he ran the UK Inter-Counties Cross-Country Championships.

(05/12/2021) Views: 446 ⚡AMP
by Athletics Weekly
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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New Salazar documentary questions reasons for his 2019 suspension

Nike’s Big Bet, the new documentary about former Nike Oregon Project head coach Alberto Salazar by Canadian filmmaker Paul Kemp, seeks to shed light on the practices that resulted in Salazar’s shocking ban from coaching in the middle of the 2019 IAAF World Championships. Many athletes, scientists and journalists appear in the film, including Canadian Running columnist Alex Hutchinson and writer Malcolm Gladwell, distance running’s most famous superfan.

Most of them defend Salazar as someone who used extreme technology like underwater treadmills, altitude houses and cryotherapy to get the best possible results from his athletes, and who may inadvertently have crossed the line occasionally, but who should not be regarded as a cheater. (Neither Salazar nor any Nike spokesperson participated in the film. Salazar’s case is currently under appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.)

Salazar became synonymous with Nike’s reputation for an uncompromising commitment to winning. He won three consecutive New York City Marathons in the early 1980s, as well as the 1982 Boston Marathon, and set several American records on the track during his running career.

He famously pushed his body to extremes, even avoiding drinking water during marathons to avoid gaining any extra weight, and was administered last rites after collapsing at the finish line of the 1987 Falmouth Road Race.

Salazar was hired to head the Nike Oregon Project in 2001, the goal of the NOP being to reinstate American athletes as the best in the world after the influx of Kenyans and Ethiopians who dominated international distance running in the 1990s. It took a few years, but eventually Salazar became the most powerful coach in running, with an athlete list that included some of the world’s most successful runners: Mo Farah, Galen Rupp, Matt Centrowitz, Dathan Ritzenhein, Kara Goucher, Jordan Hasay, Cam Levins, Shannon Rowbury, Mary Cain, Donovan Brazier, Sifan Hassan and Konstanze Klosterhalfen.

Goucher left the NOP in 2011, disillusioned by what she saw as unethical practices involving unnecessary prescriptions and experimentation on athletes, and went to USADA in 2012. An investigation by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency followed on the heels of a damning BBC Panorama special in 2015, and picked up steam in 2017.

When Salazar’s suspension was announced during the World Championships in 2019, he had been found guilty of multiple illegal doping practices, including injecting athletes with more than the legal limit of L-carnitine (a naturally-occurring amino acid believed to enhance performance) and trafficking in testosterone – but none of his athletes were implicated. (Salazar admitted to experimenting with testosterone cream to find out how much would trigger a positive test, but claimed he was trying to avoid sabotage by competitors.)

That Salazar pushed his athletes as hard in training as he had once pushed himself is not disputed; neither is the fact that no Salazar athlete has ever failed a drug test. Gladwell, in particular, insists that Salazar’s methods are not those of someone who is trying to take shortcuts to victory – that people who use performance-enhancing drugs are looking for ways to avoid extremes in training.

That assertion doesn’t necessarily hold water when you consider that drugs like EPO (which, it should be noted, Salazar was never suspected of using with his athletes) allow for faster recovery, which lets athletes train harder – or that the most famous cheater of all, Lance Armstrong, trained as hard as anyone. (Armstrong, too, avoided testing positive for many years, and also continued to enjoy Nike’s support after his fall from grace.)

Goucher, Ritzenhein, Levins and original NOP member Ben Andrews are the only former Salazar athletes who appear on camera, and Goucher’s is the only female voice in the entire film. It was her testimony, along with that of former Nike athlete and NOP coach Steve Magness, that led to the lengthy USADA investigation and ban.

Among other things, she claims she was pressured to take a thyroid medication she didn’t need, to help her lose weight. (The film reports that these medications were prescribed by team doctor Jeffrey Brown, but barely mentions that Brown, too, was implicated in the investigation and received the same four-year suspension as Salazar.) Ritzenhein initially declines to comment on the L-carnitine infusions, considering Salazar’s appeal is ongoing, but then states he thinks the sanctions are appropriate. Farah, as we know, vehemently denied ever having used it, then reversed himself.

It’s unfortunate that neither Cain, who had once been the U.S.’s most promising young athlete, nor Magness appear on camera. A few weeks after the suspension, Cain, who had left the NOP under mysterious circumstances in 2015, opened up about her experience with Salazar, whom she said had publicly shamed her for being too heavy, and dismissed her concerns when she told him she was depressed and harming herself. Cain’s experience is acknowledged in the film, and there’s some criticism of Salazar’s approach, but Gladwell chalks it up to a poor fit, rather than holding him accountable.

Cain’s story was part of an ongoing reckoning with the kind of borderline-abusive practices that were once common in elite sport, but that are now recognized as harmful, and from which athletes should be protected.

Gladwell asserts that coaches like Salazar have always pushed the boundaries of what’s considered acceptable or legal in the quest to be the best, and that the alternative is, essentially, to abandon elite sport. It’s an unfortunate conclusion, and one that will no doubt be challenged by many advocates of clean sport.

(05/02/2021) Views: 483 ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Pacer Great Britain's Jake Smith makes mid-race decision to run full marathon and wins in 2:11:00

British road runner Jake Smith ran an impressive debut marathon on Sunday, taking the win at the Cheshire Elite Marathon in Wales in 2:11:00. His win was a big surprise, not because he was an underdog in the race, but because he wasn’t supposed to finish the marathon at all. Smith started the race as a pacer, but after his planned exit point, he decided to keep running on a whim, and he carried on to the finish line far ahead of second place and well under the Olympic standard of 2:11:30.

Smith is one of the fastest British half-marathoners ever, and his PB of 1:00:31 (which he ran at the 2020 World Athletics Half Marathon Championships, where he finished in 18th) is third-best in national history, behind only Callum Hawkins (1:00:00) and British legend Mo Farah (59:32). His success over 21.1K made him a perfect pacing candidate to help marathoners through the first half of their races, and he did so on several occasions before Sunday.

In October, just two weeks before he ran at the World Half Marathon Championships in Gdynia, Poland, Smith paced a group of elite men (including Canadian Cam Levins) at the London Marathon. As Smith wrote on Instagram after that race, he led that pack through 21.1K in 1:03:45, and instead of stopping, he kept going for another mile or so before his coach told him he had to get off the course. “The marathon life is not for me just yet,” Smith wrote.

Next up was the British Olympic Marathon Trials, once again in London, in March. Back on Instagram, Smith wrote before the race that he planned to run 25K, leading the front pack through halfway in around 1:05:00. Again, he went farther than originally planned, sticking in the race until 29K, writing that he was “tempted at one stage to keep going.” He fought this impulse, though, and pulled out well ahead of the finish, again noting that he wasn’t ready to run a full marathon, saying, “[I] think I’ll pass on the distance for a few more years.”

It turns out that waiting period was actually only a few weeks, and on Sunday, just a month after his run in the British Olympic Marathon Trials, Smith was back on pacing duties, but this time he let the urge to keep running win. He entered the event expecting to pace elite men in both the half and full marathons, but at around 27K into the run, he decided to finish the race. “Looked down at the watch at like mile 17 and thought ‘sod it,’ let’s try to run the Olympic time,” Smith wrote on Instagram.

He had carried the leaders close to two thirds of the way at that point, and with his role as a pacer fulfilled, he shifted focus to his own goal — one that he hadn’t known he wanted to hit until that moment mid-race. He ran away from the rest of the field and closed impressively (despite never having run that fast for that long before), crossing the line in 2:11:00, 38 seconds in front of the second-place runner. Smith’s run now places him at 30th all-time among British runners, and he didn’t even train specifically for the event.

To add to his achievement, Smith’s debut marathon win came just four days after he won a 1,500m, also in Wales, in 3:50.89. After his run on Sunday, he wrote on Instagram that he plans to focus on the shorter event this season, and based on both times, he’s certainly capable of thriving at either distance.

(04/26/2021) Views: 414 ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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World records could be the order of the day at the Antrim Coast Half Marathon as Ethiopia star Yalemzerf Yehualaw confirms spot

World records could be the order of the day at the Antrim Coast Half Marathon with four-time Olympic gold medallist and defending champion Sir Mo Farah set to be joined by Ethiopian distance sensation and second fastest woman of all time Yalemzerf Yehualaw.

Elite race organiser James McIlroy - who himself reached the 800m semi-finals at the 2000 Sydney Olympics - has swooped to sign up Yehualaw for the August 29 showpiece and the athlete's agent has made clear that the opportunity to break the world record of 64 minutes 31 seconds on what is a very fast course is one of the main attractions drawing her there.

The 21-year-old boasts a PB of 64.46 and the Antrim Coast Half Marathon will be one of only four events she will contest this year and the first after the Tokyo Olympics.

Yehualaw's agent Daan van den Berg said: "Yalemzerf will only do two half marathons this year - Istanbul and the Antrim Coast Half - along with two 10,000m before the Olympic Games.

"The Antrim Coast coming three weeks after the Olympics is perfect timing, and we know if the Irish crowd get behind her she can break the world record as last year's race looked brilliant, with 35 out of 62 runners recording personal bests."

Yehualaw finished third at last year's World Championship after leading for most of the race before tripping on the finishing straight mat, and will be joined at the Larne event by Ethiopian team-mates Yitasyish Mekonnen and Tsehay Gemechu.

The African stars will be joined by early confirmed British internationals Jo Pavey, Sam Harrison, Tracy Barlow and Kirsty Longley.

The men's race will be one of the greatest half marathon fields ever assembled in the UK or Ireland. Race organisers have made no secret of attacking the 60-minute barrier and already have a strong international line-up, with four sub-60 runners already confirmed.

Making their first appearance ever in Ireland will be the African quartet of Tesfahun Akalnew (59.22), Victor Kiplangat (59.26), both from Uganda, Abrar Osman (59.47) of Eritrea and up and coming Kenyan Daniel Mateiko, all of whom will be attacking Sir Mo's course record 60.27 from last year.

It is hoped Sir Mo - coached by Larne-born Gary Lough, who is married to distance legend Paula Radcliffe - could be coming to Larne with Olympic gold number five tucked safely away after Tokyo.

(03/13/2021) Views: 574 ⚡AMP
by Frank Brownlow
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Antrim Coast Half Marathon

Antrim Coast Half Marathon

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

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Sir Mo Farah opened his 2021 racing season winning the inaugural Djibouti International Half-Marathon

Mo Farah opened his 2021 racing season Friday at the Djibouti International Half-Marathon, winning the race in a time of 1:03:06. This was his first competition since he ran the Antrim Coast Half Marathon on September 12, where he crossed the finish line in 60:27 for the win.

After spending the last seven weeks at a training camp in Ethiopia, this race was meant to be a test of fitness ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, where the four-time Olympic champion will be hunting for another gold medal.

The Djibouti Half-Marathon is a special race for the 37-year-old, because it’s a chance for him to run in the place where he spent his childhood before moving to Britain. In an interview with Athletics Weekly ahead of the race, Farah was not shy about his goal: he was there to win.

“It’s not just going to be a case of me turning up. It’s going to be tough and there are a lot of decent guys racing so I’ll just go out there and see what I can do,” he said. ““It’ll be good to get back in the right frame of mind in terms of racing again and to test myself.”

As Farah predicted, the race was tough, and he didn’t win it handily. His training partner Bashir Abdi finished only four seconds behind him in 1:03:10, and the top seven men all ran under 1:05.

With the Tokyo Olympic Games only four-and-a-half months away, Farah will now be turning his attention to the track as he prepares to defend his 10,000m Olympic title. With competitors like Joshua Cheptegei, who ran a 26:11.00 for 10K last October, challenging him for the win, this won’t be an easy feat, but Farah told AW that results like that get him “fired up.”

“It’s not just Cheptegei – there’s Jacob Kiplimo, Moh Ahmed – you’ve got so many guys coming through at the moment and I think it’s exciting for the sport to have all of these people at that level.”

While his result in Djibouti was a few minutes off his half-marathon personal best of 59:32 (set in 2015), Farah did exactly what he set out to do, which was to test his fitness and win the race. With that goal accomplished, it’s safe to say that Farah is progressing well toward the Olympics, and we look forward to seeing what he will do on the track this summer.

(03/06/2021) Views: 428 ⚡AMP
by Brittany Hambleton
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Alberto Salazar appeal takes place in Lausanne

Banned athletics coach Alberto Salazar's appeal against his four-year suspension will be heard by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Wednesday.

Salazar was found guilty of doping violations along with Dr Jeffrey Brown, who treated Salazar's athletes, after an investigation.

The 62-year-old's hearing will take place in Lausanne, Switzerland.

It was set for November but was pushed back because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Salazar ran the Nike Oregon Project (NOP), based in Beaverton, Oregon. It was established in 2001 and was the home of British four-time Olympic champion Mo Farah, who was coached by Salazar between 2011 and 2017.

A BBC Panorama programme in 2015 focusing on Salazar and the NOP prompted a four-year investigation by the US Anti-Doping Agency (Usada) and a two-year court battle behind closed doors. It eventually resulted in bans for both Salazar and Brown, announced in October 2019.

(03/03/2021) Views: 384 ⚡AMP
by BBC Athletics
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Mo Farah believes the Olympic Games will go ahead this summer and claims athletes have been told they will get Covid vaccines

Farah, who has won gold in both the 5,000 and 10,000 meters at the last two Games in London and Rio, has previously said he is targeting success in the longer distance only in Tokyo.

However, the Games are again under threat from the coronavirus pandemic, which were originally postponed by 12 months in March last year.

The idea of vaccinating athletes has been floated by International Olympic Committee member Dick Pound, and Farah told TalkSsport: “I think most people in a career want to go to an Olympics and take part in an Olympics. The key thing is to stay safe and see what the country can do.

What they have said to us is basically everyone will be able to get Covid injections and after that it’s less risk of spreading the disease, and then from there just see what happens and take one day at a time.

“I think [the Games] will go ahead but at the same time, for me I have had the experience of taking part in three Olympics and I have to see it as another race and see what happens.”

It is understood the British Olympic Association is not involved in any active conversations with the government in regard to vaccinating athletes, and its chief executive Andy Anson said earlier this month: “The priority has to be the people who need it most – frontline workers, the elderly and the vulnerable.

“There will come a time, hopefully ahead of the Olympic Games when the athletes can be considered for vaccination, but we’ll only do that when it’s appropriate.”

IOC president Thomas Bach has previously said there is “no reason whatsoever” to further delay the Games, which are due to start on 23 July.

(01/26/2021) Views: 480 ⚡AMP
by The Guardian
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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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Mo Farah set to defend Antrim Coast crown as Half Marathon granted elite world status

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sir Mo won the first ever Antrim Coast Half

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

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

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

(01/22/2021) Views: 599 ⚡AMP
by Frank Brownlow
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Antrim Coast Half Marathon

Antrim Coast Half Marathon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(01/21/2021) Views: 563 ⚡AMP
by Athletics
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Antrim Coast Half Marathon

Antrim Coast Half Marathon

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

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Ethiopian marathon ace Birhanu Legese sets sights on Olympic glory

While the staggering marathon feats of Eliud Kipchoge and to a lesser extent Kenenisa Bekele have quite righty earned the bulk of media attention in recent years, it would be a little churlish not to also acknowledge the feats of Ethiopian marathon ace Birhanu Legese.

Standing at 1.68m the diminutive Ethiopian, an NN Running Team team-mate of Kipchoge and Bekele, has claimed four successive marathon podiums which have included back-to-back successes in the Tokyo Marathon, a second place finish in the 2019 Berlin Marathon - to advance to third on the all-time marathon lists - and more recently a third place finish in the 2020 Valencia Marathon.

For sheer marathon consistency few can currently match the 26-year-old athlete, who according to his coach, Getaneh Tessema, has the potential to make history.

“There is no doubt Birhanu is a quality athlete,” explains Getaneh. “I see that every day in training. If everything goes perfectly, I know he can achieve the same results as Kenenisa and Kipchoge.”

Legese, the third eldest of seven siblings, enjoyed his breakthrough performance at the 2012 10km Great Ethiopian Run when placing second in 28:41 behind 2016 Olympic 5000m bronze medallist Hagos Gebrhiwet.

He continued to make steady progress for the next couple of seasons: in 2013 he clocked a slick 27:34 for 10km on the road in Taroudant and the following year posted a 5000m track PB of 13:08.88 in Shanghai.

Yet it was on the roads where Legese has most excelled and in 2015 he further hinted at his exciting potential by winning both the Berlin (59:45) and New Delhi (59:20) half marathons.

Notable marathon debut

The following couple of seasons he enjoyed intermittent success with victory in the 2016 RAK and 2017 New Delhi Half Marathons yet all too often he was hampered by ongoing shin splints issues, which prevented him from consistently producing his best.

In 2018 Legese made his eagerly awaited marathon debut in Dubai, running an outstanding time of 2:04:15 for sixth. Yet still he craved more.

“I was pleased with the time but not with the position,” he explains. 

Stomach issues hampered his efforts later that year at the Chicago Marathon when he wound up tenth in 2:08:41 – more than three-and-a-half minutes behind race winner Mo Farah.

“I was in a lot of pain but I kept on going because I thought the pain would go away,” he recalls. “I was disappointed with the performance but as soon as I returned to training my disappointment disappeared.”

Tokyo win ushers marathon breakthrough

Unlike many elite Ethiopian athletes, Legese has chosen not to live in Addis Ababa but just north of the capital city in the town of Sendafa, where he lives with his brother, Gezahegne, and training partner Tariku Kinfu.

Away from the pollution of the city and living closer to his regular training routes has cut down his commute time to and from training and aided his rest and recovery with the consequence that he enjoyed a smooth build up to the 2019 Tokyo Marathon. 

Competing in wet and windy conditions in the Japanese capital he made his winning move just before 35 kilometres, kicking clear of former world half marathon silver medallist Bedan Karoki.

Despite the inclement weather he crossed the line first in 2:04:48 to record the second fastest time in the history of the race and claim a victory, which was pivotal to his career development.

“Winning Tokyo gave me the chance to be invited to other big races and it was a big confidence boost,” he explains. “Financially, it was also a big change for me.”

Sub-2:03 in Berlin

Bolstered by his first Marathon Majors victory and enjoying a trouble-free build up for the 2019 Berlin Marathon, confidence was high he could produce a red hot performance on the course commonly regarded as the fastest in the world.

“I hoped to break the world record that day and that is why I broke clear of the field at 25-k,” explains Legese. “But a few kilometres later I had a problem with my hip, I was feeling pain and that caused me to slow.”

At 38 kilometres he was caught and passed by race winner Kenenisa Bekele, who went on to record victory in 2:01:41 – within two seconds of Eliud Kipchoge’s world record mark. Legese battled on bravely to the finish and was rewarded with a time of 2:02:48 to elevate himself to third on the all-time marathon lists.

Although, understandably, a little frustrated with the hip he was delighted with the time.

“The performance was wonderful,” said Tessema. “It was a good time and finishing position and a very good race from Birhanu. Maybe, he could have waited until 35-k to make his move. If he had then maybe the result might have been different, but that is all with the benefit of hindsight.”

Successful Tokyo defence

Further sheen was added to his growing reputation in the Covid-restricted elite-only 2020 Tokyo Marathon, where the Ethiopian became the first man in history to claim back-to-back wins in the race, recording 2:04:15 despite sustaining a hip injury after just one kilometre and being forced to manage the issue for the remaining 41. 

“Birhanu considered dropping out at 35-k but he has a strong mind and kept on running the race,” explains Tessema, his long-time coach.

Launching his winning move at 38.5km he went on to claim a memorable victory and a place in Tokyo Marathon history.

Shortly after his triumph, however, and with the world in the tightening grip of a global pandemic, restrictions in Legese’s homeland led to several weeks without training for the Ethiopian marathon star.

Optimistic of making the Ethiopian team for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics he later learned of the Games’ postponement and rescheduling to 2021.

“It was hard that they had to reschedule the Olympic Games but on the other hand, there was no choice,” he explains. “Everybody’s health and safety was the most important thing.”

(01/05/2021) Views: 721 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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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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Seb Coe relaxed over game-changing shoe technology in athletics

Seb Coe says he is not about to push for the banning of the controversial track spikes worn by Mo Farah’s biggest Olympic rival.

Joshua Cheptegei, who is due to go head-to-head with reigning champion Farah in the 10,000m in Tokyo, recently obliterated the world record both for that distance and the 5,000m.

He did so wearing the new Nike ZoomX Dragonfly shoes which contain a carbon plate and a unique foam and have been billed as the “fastest shoes ever”.

Coe, president of World Athletics, is aware that former British star Tim Hutchings believes the latest shoe technology merits a new classification of world records.

The Olympic legend insists world records “do matter”, need to be “cherished” and recognised the world over as a “benchmark of a suffusion of skill, talent, hard work and great coaching”.

But he says: “We shouldn't be in the business of trying to suffocate innovation. I don't think we've reached that point where world records are being handed out like confetti.”

Coe has seen shoe technology change the face of road running, with Eliud Kipchoge becoming the first human to clock a sub two-hour marathon, wearing Nike’s revolutionary Alphafly shoe.

But he plays down fears for the track record book being rewritten, claiming there are now more control mechanisms in place.

But Hutchings is unconvinced, telling insidethegames : "It's clear that performances in these shoes, both road and track, should be in a separate category, or at least asterisked.

"To compare performances in the shoes, with those not in the shoes, is grossly unfair to the athletes in the latter category.”

Seb Coe says he is not about to push for the banning of the controversial track spikes worn by Mo Farah’s b

(01/04/2021) Views: 418 ⚡AMP
by Alex Spink
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Joshua Cheptegei aims for 'amazing' Tokyo double

Joshua Cheptegei has said his focus is on becoming just the eighth man to successfully complete the 5,000m-10,000m double at an Olympic Games.

The Ugandan, 24, set world records over bothdistances last year, adding to the 5,000m world gold he won at Doha 2019.

"It would be a mountain to climb, but the challenge is up to me," he told BBC World Service Sport.

"It is demanding a lot, in terms of racing and mindset but I want to give myself a try to win both gold medals."

Seven men have won both 5,000m and 10,000m golds at the same Olympics, with Britain's Mo Farah doing the double at both London 2012 and Rio 2016.

As a teenager, Cheptegei finished eighth and sixth in the 5,000m and 10,000m finals respectively in Rio.

"It would be really amazing to win the double, but if I win gold in the 10,000m I would still be grateful," Cheptegei added.

Uganda have won only two Olympic gold medals in their history, with John Akii-Bua winning the 400m hurdles in 1972 and Stephen Kiprotich winning the marathon 40 years later in London.

Cheptegei wears Nike's ZoomX Dragonfly spikes, which transplant the sportswear giant's controversial combination of highly resilient foam and carbon plates to the track.

However Cheptegei believes that, with the same technology available to all athletes if they want it, he doesn't have any unfair advantage.

"The shoes really do help," he said.

"But in this case the shoes are not only available to Mr Cheptegei.

"They are available for everyone who wants to attack the world record.

"You have seen the likes of Yomif Kejelcha, Selemon Barega...it is not about shoes only, but athletes having this period concentrating more on training and not travelling.

"I was focused on just this one thing. And that was breaking the world record."

(01/02/2021) Views: 718 ⚡AMP
by BBC
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Ugandan Joshua Cheptegei has said his focus is on becoming just the eighth man to successfully complete the 5,000m-10,000m double at an Olympic Games

The Ugandan, 24, set world records over both distances last year, adding to the 5,000m world gold he won at Doha 2019.

"It would be a mountain to climb, but the challenge is up to me," he told BBC World Service Sport.

"It is demanding a lot, in terms of racing and mindset but I want to give myself a try to win both gold medals."

Seven men have won both 5,000m and 10,000m golds at the same Olympics, with Britain's Mo Farah doing the double at both London 2012 and Rio 2016.

As a teenager, Cheptegei finished eighth and sixth in the 5,000m and 10,000m finals respectively in Rio.

"It would be really amazing to win the double, but if I win gold in the 10,000m I would still be grateful," Cheptegei added.

Uganda have won only two Olympic gold medals in their history, with John Akii-Bua winning the 400m hurdles in 1972 and Stephen Kiprotich winning the marathon 40 years later in London.

Cheptegei wears Nike's ZoomX Dragonfly spikes, which transplant the sportswear giant's controversial combination of highly resilient foam and carbon plates to the track.

However Cheptegei believes that, with the same technology available to all athletes if they want it, he doesn't have any unfair advantage.

"The shoes really do help," he said.

"But in this case the shoes are not only available to Mr Cheptegei.

"They are available for everyone who wants to attack the world record.

"You have seen the likes of Yomif Kejelcha, Selemon Barega...it is not about shoes only, but athletes having this period concentrating more on training and not traveling.

"I was focused on just this one thing. And that was breaking the world record."

(12/29/2020) Views: 617 ⚡AMP
by BBC Athletics
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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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Tommy Hughes has won the prestigious Athletics Weekly World Masters Athlete of the Year award.

The 60-year old former Maghera man has had a remarkable year of running achievements, despite a much reduced programme due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Back in October, he set a record-breaking time for athletes aged over 60 when he clocked 1.11.09 at the Antrim Coast Half Marathon. 

Commenting on that performance, the judges said: “Tommy set a stunning world masters half-marathon record of 71:09 at Larne to even overshadow Mo Farah’s victory. 

“He also set a world indoor M60 3000m record of 9:41.24 and wins the world masters male award.”

It is a remarkable time for someone entering his seventh decade. However, Tommy says he is nothing but thankful to running for even getting him this far.

At the peak of his powers Tommy was ready to compete at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992.

He had qualified after running 2:13:59 in the Marrakesh Marathon in Morocco, but a stress fracture in his foot significantly affected him in Barcelona.

The men’s marathon was the last event and because of the closing ceremony taking place that night, anyone with a finishing time longer than 2:45 would redirected to a finish outside the stadium. As he soldiered around the streets, he was determined to finish inside the stadium. He managed to do it, finishing 72nd in 2.32.55.

Tommy got married at 21, moved to Maghera, and in his own words began ‘piling on the pounds.’

To counteract that, he played Gaelic football and went for runs on his own. That provided him with something of a revelation, a passion and a huge talent, for running.

At the Rotterdam Marathon in April last year, he ran 2:30:15, and in Frankfurt in October, 2019 he teamed up with his eldest son, Eoin, to become the fastest father-son marathoners of all time. Tommy ran an over-55s world record of 2:27:52, while Eoin clocked 2:31:30 for a combined time of 4:59:22.

(12/10/2020) Views: 718 ⚡AMP
by The Down Recorder
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Antrim Coast Half Marathon

Antrim Coast Half Marathon

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

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Here's why you feel faster when running in the dark

Sadly you’ve not turned into Mo Farah – it’s about spatial awareness say scientists.

If you’re looking for a tiny silver lining about the winter months closing in, it’s that when you go running in the dark you can feel as though you’re running faster even though you’re not making any extra effort. (The downside is that you’re actually not going quicker but let’s not focus on that.)

When we run at night our perception of pace changes because some of our spatial cues are taken away and our impression of where we are in space in comparison to our surroundings changes. Scientists call it ‘optic flow influence’.

A study in the Journal Of Sport And Exercise Psychology conducted trials with subjects on a stationary bike, and discovered that when the riders’ surroundings went past them quicker they felt like they were both working hard and going faster. The reverse was true too: when the passing scenery in the test was slowed down, the test subjects felt they were working less hard.

A similar thing happens at night because, unless you’re a bat or a superhero, you can only see objects when they’re closer to you. This makes it feel as though the landscape is passing by quicker, making you think you’re running faster. Getting home and feverishly checking your training stats can therefore be a slightly underwhelming experience but you can’t win ‘em all.

Another study published in the Medicine & Science In Sport And Exercise journal outlined a different test where runners completed three 5K time trials using different ‘optic flow rates’. The results were interesting, showing that the runners’ ability to judge distance was impaired. When things came at them quickly - as it does at night - they stopped running short of 5K (on average 400m short) thinking they’d already completed the distance. And when the passing scenery slowed down they overran by an average of a whole kilometre thinking that’s when the 5K was up.

What’s the lesson from all of this? Firstly: if you need to run at a specific pace during your night-time training, take a GPS watch with you. Secondly: darkness is not a performance aid.

(11/07/2020) Views: 470 ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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Work your core like champion Mo Farah

As every runner knows, core strengthening is an important aspect of your training schedule, but many of us are guilty of skipping core workouts on a regular basis. You know who doesn’t skip core sessions? Four-time Olympic champion Mo Farah.

Yes, we know core hurts and it’s not nearly as fun as getting out on the roads, trails or track, but it will help you improve as a runner and all-around athlete. So drop what you’re doing, get on the floor and try Farah’s quick and easy core routine, which he says has helped him achieve his goals in the sport.

Russian twist — 20 reps

Start off with a classic — the Russian twist. Farah uses a medicine ball for this exercise, but you can use a dumbbell or anything else you have at your disposal. If you find it too difficult to perform this exercise with a ball or weight, you can also do it without holding anything. Start by sitting on the floor, lifting your feet off the ground and crossing your legs. Making sure to keep your legs as still as possible, twist from side to side, moving the medicine ball to either hip. Farah notes that it’s important to “lean in and squeeze your core” while performing this move, and it’s also key not to rush it (even though you might want to just get it over with).

Oblique crunches — 20 reps

Next up is oblique crunches, which will have you lying on your back. With one leg bent and your foot resting on the floor, bring your other leg up and rest it against your opposite knee. Then, with your hands behind your head, twist and lift upward toward the knee of your elevated leg, making sure that your shoulder blade comes off the floor and your elbow touches your knee. Once complete, repeat 20 reps on the opposite side. 

Bent-leg crunches — 10 reps

On your back once again, bend both legs and lift them so they’re at a 90-degree angle. Keep your legs open and about hip-length apart, then perform a crunch, again making sure to get your shoulder blades off the ground. 

Hand to foot stability pass — 10 reps

You’ll need a Swiss ball for this workout. Start flat on your back with the ball in your hands, then simultaneously lift your arms and legs and let them meet in the middle, above your torso. When they meet, place the ball between your feet and lower your limbs back to the floor before repeating the motion and trading the ball once again. Farah says to exhale as you crunch and inhale as you extend, also adding that you should focus on keeping your lower back flat to the floor. 

Lower-abs pulse — 10 reps

This exercise also requires a Swiss ball, but if you don’t have one, you can place your legs on a chair. With one leg outstretched straight beneath you and resting on the ball, extend the other into the air above you. From there, lift your pelvis off the floor, pulsing up and dropping down repeatedly for 10 reps on each side. 

Swiss ball opposite-arm and leg-lift — 5 reps

Resting your torso on the Swiss ball, place your feet and arms on the floor. Extend one arm out while also lifting the opposite leg, then repeat with the other pair. Be sure to keep your head in line with the rest of your body and also remember to engage your glutes when lifting your legs. 

Lower-back extension — 5 reps

In the same position on the Swiss ball as the previous exercise, lift your upper body up, extending straight up, then to either side. Take care to do this slowly, otherwise you’ll gain too much momentum and lose control of the motion. 

(11/05/2020) Views: 580 ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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Mo Farah's preparations for the rescheduled 2020 Olympics next summer could be hampered by a rumoured appearance on a reality TV show, says UK Athletics

Accoridng to reports in the UK media, Farah is set to go in to isolation this week so he can join the cast of the ITV show, before travelling to Gwrych Castle, north Wales, where the latest series is being filmed next month.

The reports also suggest Farah has accepted a £300,000 fee to appear in the show, but UK Athletics are more concerned about how it will affect Farah's training.

“It’s a knife-edge decision,” the UKA chief executive, Jo Coates, said. “For me as a marketer, to have athletes in mainstream TV shows is just perfection. We worked so hard to get netballers into these shows. However – and a big however – you would never want to do that to the detriment of performance.

Farah would join a long list of athletes who took part in the show. Former sprinter Linford Christie, who took home an Olympic gold medal in the 100m in 1992 took part in 2010. Silver medal javelin star Fatima Whitbread, 59, came third in 2011 with hockey star Samantha Quek, 32, coming 4th in 2016.

Swimmer Rebecca Adlington, 31, who won two golds at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, appeared on the show in 2013.

(10/30/2020) Views: 581 ⚡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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