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Articles tagged #Molly Seidel
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SARA HALL REFLECTS ON HARD WORK AND MOTHERHOOD IN BUILD UP TO LONDON MARATHON

Running At Peak Form Into Her Late 30s, Hall Continues Lifelong Pattern Of Putting In The Effort

When the future of racing in 2020 looked bleak as the COVID-19 crisis swept the world last spring, Sara Hall didn’t lose hope.

“I started training for a marathon in faith, before I knew there would be any real competitions,” said Hall, who has been eager to finally move past her heartbreaking performance from February at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, where she dropped out at mile 22.

“It would have been easier just to hit the couch, but I set my mind on running a marathon, some way some how.”

Even if it meant racing 26.2 miles by herself, she said.

Ryan Hall, a two-time U.S. Olympic marathoner who retired in 2016, said his wife’s relentless competitive drive is one of his biggest challenges as her coach.

“She loves to train hard, but has a hard time taking extended breaks,” he said. “She is always ‘chomping at the bit’ to get back out there.”

When Hall heard that the London Marathon would host a highly secure, elite-only race amid the pandemic, she jumped at the precious opportunity.

On Oct. 4, she will face some of the world’s best marathoners, including defending London champion and world record holder Brigid Kosgei of Kenya and U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials champion Molly Seidel.

“Getting into the London Marathon felt like such a reward for a lot of perseverance this year — being willing to put in the work on faith alone,” said Hall, 37. “It felt against all odds to get to toe the line in a world marathon major.”

‘Against all odds’ is a familiar theme for Hall, a mother of four who has posted the fastest times of her career well into her 30s, including a 2:22 marathon last year in Berlin, where she finished fifth. Last month, with two male pacers, she ran a personal best of 1:08:18 in a half marathon along the Row River Trail in south of Eugene, Oregon, making her the sixth-fastest American woman ever in that distance.

A former Foot Locker Cross Country National Champion in high school and distance standout at Stanford University, Hall has competed at the highest levels of distance running for two decades — a great accomplishment in itself.

“It’s definitely surprised me,” she said of her longevity in the sport. “I think it’s a lot of factors, but I think the biggest are being naturally durable and learning to be really mentally-emotionally resilient.”

Ten years ago, after disappointing results as a 1,500-meter and 5,000-meter runner on the track, Hall thought her elite running career was over. She credits her Christian faith and Ryan with convincing her she had more to achieve.

Since then, she’s not only moved up to and mastered the marathon distance, she’s done it while becoming a mother to four adopted sisters from Ethiopia.

“When we adopted them, I didn’t think I’d be able to keep competing, but instead I’ve improved every year since they’ve been here,” said Hall, who is using her race in London to raise money for homeless children in Ethiopia, where she and Ryan have spent a lot of time working on various causes.

“I get to model to (my daughters) so many character aspects I want to instill in them: picking yourself up after defeat, taking risks, hard work, commitment,” she said. “Running is the greatest teacher.”

Inspired by their parents, three of the Halls' daughters have become runners. The oldest, Hana, currently a freshman runner at Grand Canyon University, won the Division 2 Arizona Cross Country Championships last fall. Hana and Mia, 16, both ran with their mom at the half marathon in Oregon.

In addition managing her kids’ remote learning and getting in her workouts, Hall has made time to discuss the racial justice movements happening across the United States.

“I’ve told my daughters about George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor,” she said. “We’ve discussed the movement in the U.S. and the systemic racism over the last 400 years that is the backstory to these recent events. I personally have been learning a lot.”

Despite the world’s turmoil in recent months, Hall has maintained extraordinary focus on the road ahead.

In the London Marathon, which will be held on a closed-loop course around St. James Park, she hopes to snag a new personal best and would love to finally land on the podium, after finishing fifth at the Frankfurt and Berlin Marathons.

“I’m focused on having my best marathon yet,” she said.

(09/26/2020) Views: 118 ⚡AMP
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

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

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Molly Seidel has found a way to run again

Molly Seidel ran her first marathon in February at the U.S. Olympic trials in Atlanta -- finishing second and qualifying for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The games have been postponed, but Seidel, 26, continues to train and will compete in her second marathon Oct. 4 with an elite group of runners at the London Marathon. What follows is the story of her journey of recovery from anxiety, depression and disordered eating told in her words.

When I crossed the finish line in Atlanta this year, my full, messy story was out there. And, to some degree, the media and people on the outside wanted to put a nice tidy bow on it. They wanted this marathon and the Olympics to be my new story: the next phase of Molly the Runner. But the reality is much messier.

I will never overcome my eating disorder. I still struggle: I relapse and I actively deal with the ups and downs that come with chronic OCD, depression and anxiety. It's not something that a nice tidy bow -- like the Olympic trials or even the Olympics -- can disguise.

Obviously, there was a sadness to the Olympics being postponed. I would have loved to get to race this summer. But part of my recovery and mental health journey is all about realizing what I can control. And right now, I can't control that the Olympics were postponed. I can, however, control how I view this postponement. Since I'm new to marathons, I'm looking at this postponement year as a big opportunity. I can use the extra time to my advantage and improve every aspect of my training.

Before the trials, I had five months of healthy training. And after the trials, the narrative buzzing around me was, "Molly Seidel's second marathon will be the Tokyo Olympics." Honestly, I didn't want my second race to be the Olympics. This postponement allows me the time to gain more experience, train for an extra year, nail down my nutrition and run another marathon.

Instead of competing in Tokyo this August, I traveled to Flagstaff, Arizona, for altitude training. About eight weeks before the London Marathon in October, I learned I would be one of the elite racers competing overseas. A normal marathon training schedule is closer to 12 weeks, but just like the Olympic postponement, I realized the only thing I could control was utilizing the next two months to prepare.

Beyond my training and marathon builds, I have to make sure that I'm focusing on my mental health over the next year. It's by no means going to be seamless. I know there will be a lot of good times and bad times over this next year. I can't just stay consistent in my training, but I also need to stay consistent in going to therapy and all the nitty-gritty stuff that isn't quite as fun, but I have to maintain.

Today, I would not be the runner I am without my struggles. I would not be the person I am without my struggles.

I don't have to be perfect. The London Marathon won't be perfect. It might not be the greatest race of my life, but it will be a learning experience. And it will bring me one step closer to the Olympics.

Molly Seidel has stopped trying to outrun OCD, depression and anxiety. She has taken control of her story and is preparing for the London Marathon -- and eventually the Tokyo Olympics.

 

(09/25/2020) Views: 137 ⚡AMP
by Charlotte Gibson
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

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

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London Marathon Creates a Biosecure Bubble for the Upcoming Elite-Only Race

All runners will stay in the same hotel, and will be allowed to train on the surrounding 40 acres.

The London Marathon, scheduled for elites only on October 4, is creating a bubble environment to protect the runners and necessary staff.

This will be the first World Marathon Major to take place since the Tokyo Marathon was run as an elite-only race on March 1.

On Thursday, September 3, race organizers for the World Marathon Major announced plans to implement a biosecure bubble for the elite-only race on Sunday, October 4. The biosecure bubble will be created using a strict testing protocol and an athlete-only hotel surrounded by 40 acres for runners to train ahead of the marathon.

“It is our duty and responsibility to ensure this event is held in a safe and secure environment,” Hugh Brasher, the London Marathon event director, said in an announcement. “We have looked at other examples and taken learnings from other sports which have returned to action as we developed our detailed plans for this biosecure bubble around the event.”

To enter the biosecure bubble, athletes will be required to test for COVID-19 in their home country four days prior to travel. They will be tested once again when they arrive at the athlete hotel in London, and testing will continue until the Friday before the event. The hotel will be used exclusively by athletes, support staff, and race officials, all of whom will be required to remain socially distant from each other and wear face masks at all times with the exception of training, eating, and being inside their single rooms.

“By finding a hotel for exclusive use and putting in place the strict testing, hygiene and security measures to protect the bubble, we are confident we have created the safest environment possible for everyone,” Brasher said.

The race will be held over 19 laps on a 2.15K-closed course around St. James’s Park plus an extra 1,345 meters to the usual finish line. To keep the competition secure, no spectators will be allowed on the course.

The London Marathon, originally scheduled to run in April, is the first World Marathon Major to take place since the coronavirus was declared a global pandemic on March 11 (the Tokyo Marathon staged an elite-only race on March 1). Outside of running, the NBA became the first professional sports organization to start back up, creating a bubble in Orlando, Florida, in an effort to protect players during a three-month season.

For many athletes, the London Marathon will be their first major competition of 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions, which forced many events to be postponed or canceled.

The men’s race features a highly-anticipated match-up between world record-holder Eliud Kipchoge and 2019 Berlin Marathon winner Kenenisa Bekele. In Berlin, Bekele came within two seconds of breaking the 2:01:39 world record set by Kipchoge at the 2018 Berlin Marathon.

Brigid Kosgei leads the women’s field after breaking the world record at the 2019 Chicago Marathon. She will be competing in her first race since the RAK Half Marathon in February when she finished second to Ababel Yeshaneh who broke the half marathon world record.

Americans Sara Hall, Molly Seidel, Lindsay Flanagan, and Jared Ward will be competing in London as well.

On August 7, Hall ran an impressive half marathon personal best of 1:08:18 with two male pacers and two of her daughters following at a distance in a race staged by Eugene Marathon organizers.

In February, Seidel made her first Olympic team in her 26.2 debut when she finished second at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in Atlanta. Flanagan finished 12th at the Olympic Trials.

For Ward, a 2016 Olympic marathoner, London will be his first major marathon since finishing 27th at the Trials.

While the 40th running of the London Marathon will feature elites only, 45,000 people signed up to participate in the virtual 26.2.

(09/06/2020) Views: 152 ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

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

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With major marathons canceled, Emily Sisson chose a virtual one

When Emily Sisson stepped off the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials course on Feb. 29, she would not have predicted the wait would be eight months until her next race.

Even more unusual: Sisson will contest her next marathon as a solo runner.

She’s a headliner among the elites signed up for the Virtual New York City Marathon, where runners can cover a distance of their choice any time and any place between Oct. 17 and Nov. 1. The in-person five-borough event was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Sisson, a 28-year-old based in Arizona, plans to run exactly 26.2 miles for the virtual competition with no prize money (Sisson is sponsored by New Balance, which is a New York Road Runners partner). She said last week that she was still deciding on her route.

“It’s hard to find somewhere where I can get 26.2 miles without having to stop for traffic,” she said.

Sisson originally planned to race the in-person New York City Marathon. When it was canceled in June, she was left in a foreign state — training without any competitions on the horizon. She was eager once told about the virtual option.

“Obviously, a virtual race can’t completely replace the New York City Marathon,” she said. “But it’s something to put on my schedule, to work towards and train for right now.

“That’s the reward for working really hard.”

Sisson, after her marathon debut in London in April 2019, spent last fall and winter with Leap Day circled. She flew to Atlanta among the contenders to make the three-woman U.S. Olympic marathon team. Many tapped her the overall favorite.

But her legs felt off early on the hilly course, Sisson shared on the Ali on the Run podcast in April. Tightness crept up around mile 11. She looked at the elites around her. Laura Thweatt was bounding. Des Linden was floating.

Sisson’s quads were taking a beating. She was dropped around mile 20 and, by mile 22, stepped off the course and into the arms of her husband, Shane Quinn.

“It sounds dramatic, but that was probably the most disappointing race I’ve had in my career,” she said last week. “I’ve never had to drop out of a race before. I’ve also never blown up like that in a race before. Take that back, I fainted once. I’ve never had a race where I performed so far off where my fitness level was.”

Sisson implemented the plan B that coach Ray Treacy discussed the night before. If your chances of finishing top three are done, pull the rip cord and save your legs for the 10,000m at the track trials in June.

Sisson’s legs were “destroyed.” She took three weeks off from running, consulting with a chiropractor while weighing the risk of that long of a rest. She also knew that the Olympics were under threat of postponement, which eventually was announced on March 24, three and a half weeks after the marathon trials.

The U.S. Olympic marathon team of Aliphine Tuliamuk, Molly Seidel and Sally Kipyego is expected to remain in place for next year. The track trials are now in June 2021. Sisson will race this virtual 26.2 miles, then will probably focus on the 10,000m. Her unfinished business in the marathon — the in-person variety — will be on the agenda after the Tokyo Games.

Sisson will set at least one personal best this year. Her virtual marathon will be her longest-ever solo run, though Quinn will likely ride a bike alongside her. She will put on headphones and probably listen to music.

“It’s hard hitting pause on a low,” Sisson said, reflecting on the Atlanta trials. “It’s nice to have something else right now.”

(09/06/2020) Views: 126 ⚡AMP
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With the marathons cancelled, Emily Sisson chose a virtual one

Sisson, a 28-year-old based in Arizona, plans to run exactly 26.2 miles for the virtual competition with no prize money (Sisson is sponsored by New Balance, which is a New York Road Runners partner). She said last week that she was still deciding on her route.

“It’s hard to find somewhere where I can get 26.2 miles without having to stop for traffic,” she said.

Sisson originally planned to race the in-person New York City Marathon. When it was canceled in June, she was left in a foreign state — training without any competitions on the horizon. She was eager once told about the virtual option.

“Obviously, a virtual race can’t completely replace the New York City Marathon,” she said. “But it’s something to put on my schedule, to work towards and train for right now.

“That’s the reward for working really hard.”

Sisson, after her marathon debut in London in April 2019, spent last fall and winter with Leap Day circled. She flew to Atlanta among the contenders to make the three-woman U.S. Olympic marathon team. Many tapped her the overall favorite.

But her legs felt off early on the hilly course, Sisson shared on the Ali on the Run podcast in April. Tightness crept up around mile 11. She looked at the elites around her. Laura Thweatt was bounding. Des Linden was floating.

Sisson’s quads were taking a beating. She was dropped around mile 20 and, by mile 22, stepped off the course and into the arms of her husband, Shane Quinn.

“It sounds dramatic, but that was probably the most disappointing race I’ve had in my career,” she said last week. “I’ve never had to drop out of a race before. I’ve also never blown up like that in a race before. Take that back, I fainted once. I’ve never had a race where I performed so far off where my fitness level was.”

Sisson implemented the plan B that coach Ray Treacy discussed the night before. If your chances of finishing top three are done, pull the rip cord and save your legs for the 10,000m at the track trials in June.

Sisson’s legs were “destroyed.” She took three weeks off from running, consulting with a chiropractor while weighing the risk of that long of a rest. She also knew that the Olympics were under threat of postponement, which eventually was announced on March 24, three and a half weeks after the marathon trials.

The U.S. Olympic marathon team of Aliphine Tuliamuk, Molly Seidel and Sally Kipyego is expected to remain in place for next year. The track trials are now in June 2021. Sisson will race this virtual 26.2 miles, then will probably focus on the 10,000m. Her unfinished business in the marathon — the in-person variety — will be on the agenda after the Tokyo Games.

Sisson will set at least one personal best this year. Her virtual marathon will be her longest-ever solo run, though Quinn will likely ride a bike alongside her. She will put on headphones and probably listen to music.

“It’s hard hitting pause on a low,” Sisson said, reflecting on the Atlanta trials. “It’s nice to have something else right now.”

(08/26/2020) Views: 107 ⚡AMP
by Nick Zaccardi
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Almost 10,000 participants are expected in the New Balance Falmouth Road Race At-Home Edition Kicks Off on Saturday

Almost 10,000 participants are expected in the New Balance Falmouth Road Race At-Home Edition, which begins Saturday – the birthday of late race founder Tommy Leonard – and continues through August 29.

As of 5 p.m. Wednesday, 9,482 people had registered, from 45 states plus the District of Columbia and nine countries – England, Ireland, Canada, Brazil, Germany, Mexico, Australia and Spain as well as the U.S.

“Although the road from Woods Hole to Falmouth Heights will be quiet this year, being able to share our race with those who otherwise might not get to experience the Falmouth spirit is definitely a plus,” said Scott Ghelfi, president of the Falmouth Road Race, Inc. board of directors.

Among those entered are 719 families of three or four, and 45 wheelchair athletes. The oldest registrant is 97-year-old Helen Richards, of Coral Gables, Florida, who is running for The Boston House, a nonprofit. As of Wednesday, the 1,629 participants in the race’s Numbers for Nonprofits Program had already raised $1.2 million for Massachusetts-based charities.

“We’re especially proud to be able to continue helping nonprofits in these difficult times, when other fund-raising avenues have narrowed even as the needs have grown,” said Ghelfi.

Wearing Bib #1, which is usually awarded to either the defending champion or the fastest pro runner in the field, this year will be worn by Phil Svahn of Austin, Texas, for being the top fund-raiser in the race’s Numbers for Nonprofits Program. Svahn has raised $7,850 for the Glen Doherty Memorial Foundation.

Also taking part in the At-Home Edition will be Ben Flanagan, the 2018 New Balance Falmouth Road Race champion; Abdi Abdirahman, a five-time Olympian and longtime Falmouth competitor; Diane Nukuri, the 2015 Falmouth champion and a fan favorite here; and Molly Seidel, who recently made the 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon Team. The four will also square off in a Zoom scavenger hunt.

And on August 23 at 10 a.m. EDT, wheelchair athletes will participate in an event to be streamed on Facebook Live. Details on both the scavenger hunt and wheelchair event will be announced soon.

The 48th running of the New Balance Falmouth Road Race will be celebrated as a virtual event beginning on Saturday and concluding on August 29, with runners covering 7 miles in their own neighborhoods any time in that period. Registration will be available at falmouthroadrace.com throughout the event.

(08/14/2020) Views: 169 ⚡AMP
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Falmouth Road Race

Falmouth Road Race

2020 will be a virtual race. The New Balance Falmouth Road Race was established in 1973 and has become one of the premier running events of the summer season. Each year the race draws an international field of Olympians, elite runners and recreational runners out to enjoy the scenic 7-mile seaside course. The non-profit Falmouth Road Race organization is dedicated...

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Boston resident Molly Seidel qualified for the Olympic marathon but she’s worried about what happens now

The trials was one of the best days of my life, Seidel said. “To potentially have that taken away is very stressful."

When Molly Seidel reflects on the day she qualified for the 2020 Summer Olympics, she’s reminded of a seemingly distant reality.

“Just thinking back to the huge number of crowds that were there and the hugs after the race,” recalled Seidel in a telephone interview Tuesday afternoon. “Hell, just sitting down at a restaurant afterward. We all went out to a bar that night, too, and shared drinks at the bar. It’s a completely different world than the one we’re in now.”

Less than a month ago, Seidel placed second in the US Olympic marathon trials to punch her ticket to Tokyo. The 25-year-old Boston resident finished the race, her first-ever marathon, with a time of 2:27:31, just eight seconds behind Aliphine Tuliamuk.

As the threat of the coronavirus escalated rapidly, and the list of postponed or canceled sporting events grew, Seidel started to consider the possibility more and more. Could the Olympics really go on as scheduled?

She wasn’t shocked when the postponement became official Tuesday.

“I just don’t think there is any way we could be planning for an Olympics four months from now, especially when the country is going through such a difficult time and the world is going through such a difficult time,” said Seidel. “It would have put a lot of athletes and spectators and just the general public in a lot of danger.”

While Seidel agrees with the International Olympic Committee’s decision, she is certainly disappointed. She’s also incredibly frustrated. The US Olympic & Paralympic Committee, Seidel says, has not been forthcoming with updates. The lack of communication leaves her worried about her status.

There has been some chatter about whether runners should have to re-qualify, given the extended period of time between the marathon trials, which took place Feb. 29, and the rescheduled Games, which do not yet have new dates.

Seidel is hopeful that won’t be the case.

“The trials was one of the best days of my life,” she said. “To potentially have that taken away is very stressful. I’m hoping that they honor the Olympic trials and keep their current marathon team, but we haven’t heard anything from USOC, USATF, from anybody. It’s been difficult getting the information that we need.”

Fellow marathoner Des Linden, who placed fourth in the trials, doesn’t foresee a re-qualification. Linden recently called Seidel to express her support.

“I haven’t heard anything from governing bodies, and I would imagine that they’re not even entertaining that idea,” Linden said. “I think it’s just kind of interesting talk right now, particularly with so much time on our hands.”

Amid the uncertainty, Seidel is still training. She frequently runs on the Esplanade and will soon ramp up her mileage after recovering from the trials. Her coach, who lives locally, is encouraging her to make the best of the extra year, especially considering the fact she’s participated in only one marathon.

Should road races resume this fall, Seidel is looking forward to gaining more experience at the distance.

In her free time, Seidel enjoys binging “Gilmore Girls,” reading, and practicing her banjo and ukulele. She no longer has a job or a roommate, as Tatte cut most of its staff amid the coronavirus outbreak and her sister moved back to their home state of Wisconsin for the time being. But Seidel’s doing her best to make due.

“It was so weird coming off that huge emotional high at the trials,” she said. “Now, it’s just like, ‘OK, back to quarantine.’”

(03/27/2020) Views: 423 ⚡AMP
by Nicole Yang
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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The Elite field at the River Bank 25k Run and other races may be affected because they needed to move their date to the fall

The rescheduling of the Amway River Bank Run in Grand Rapid Michigan to the fall will affect the number of elite runners for the 25K race, but organizers say that was expected anyway in an Olympic year.

"If it was May, we knew the Olympics would have an impact and we expect that will carry over and extend to the fall as well," said Greg Meyer, the elite athlete coordinator for the River Bank Run.

Race officials announced Friday the 43rd edition of the run would be rescheduled from May 9 to Oct. 24 because of the coronavirus.  

The upcoming Summer Olympics had already affected interest and availability in the elite field, said Meyer, noting that’s an every-four-year challenge for organizers. The Olympic contingent includes Aliphine Tuliamuk, a three-time women’s winner of the River Bank Run, and Molly Seidel, who was second last year.

Add in the fears of COVID-19 and the expectations have been narrowed.

"There's not a whole lot we can do about it," he said. "Yeah, it is basically starting from scratch (with the date change), but it's a one-year thing and we'll do the best we can. For the majority of people, this is a community run, the highlight of their running year, and that's something that won't change."

Last year about 3,700 competed in the 25K, won by Parker Stinson of Boulder, Colorado (1:13:46.44) and Emma Bates of Boise, Idaho (1:23:49.50).

Meyer has heard complaints from those who dislike the second Saturday in May for the race and may prefer the fall date. But he dismissed that.

"To me, the River Bank Run is really the rite of spring around here," he said. "Yeah, for some it's not the perfect timing. But you know what? For so many it's been just right. I'm not going to second-guess that."

The River Bank Run, with around 17,000 entries for its various events, is now like many big races pushed to the fall, including the Boston Marathon (from April to September) and the London Marathon (from April to October), while the Chicago Marathon remains set for Oct. 11.

(03/21/2020) Views: 505 ⚡AMP
by Peter Wallner
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Amway River Bank Run

Amway River Bank Run

2020 race was moved to October 24 from May 9. The Amway River Bank Run presented by Fifth Third Bank with Spectrum Health the Official Health Partner will celebrate 43 years of road running on Saturday, May 9, 2020. More than 16,000 people are expected to compete in the event which features the largest 25K road race in the country...

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After placing fourth at the Olympic Trials, Desiree Linden planned to race the Boston Marathon. Like everybody else, she’s trying to figure out what’s next

Very little has gone according to plan for anybody this year. And Desiree Linden is no exception.

After placing fourth on February 29 at the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials (the top three—Aliphine Tuliamuk, Molly Seidel, and Sally Kipyego—made the U.S. Olympic Team), she was disappointed. The alternate position wasn’t what the two-time Olympian was after on the hilly Atlanta course. However, her spirits were quickly lifted, she said, because she also had the Boston Marathon coming up on April 20—the race she won in 2018.

“Having Boston on the schedule made me move on and not dig into what happened at the Trials too much,” she said. “Then Boston got canceled and I was like, ‘Dear god, I probably need to process this.’

Officials announced on Friday that the 2020 Boston Marathon would be postponed until September 14 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Linden said she found out at the same time everybody else did, at her home in Rochester Hills, Michigan.

“I went for a run during the press conference,” she said. “Obviously I had been connecting the dots like everybody else and it was the obvious thing to do.”

Linden, 36, took a little time on Monday during a phone interview with Women’s Running to reflect on her Trials race and the Boston Marathon cancellation, as well as offer some advice to runners struggling without races on the calendar. What follows are some outtakes from the conversation.

The Olympic Marathon Trials and evaluating her performance.- Linden said she hasn’t spent a lot of time going over the details of the Atlanta race. The course was difficult, but she felt prepared for it. The training got a little tricky when she came down with the flu about three weeks before the race.

“We managed the training—I just didn’t have a great hand of cards. I had a respectable day, but it wasn’t indicative of my ability and I think the further away we get from that race, the less I remember. I don’t think there’s a lot of value in overthinking it anyway. Obviously the course was super tough and I remember that Laura [Thweatt] was pushing the group most of the second lap [of an eight-mile loop, run three times] and part of the third. She stretched us out a little bit and I covered her move, then Aliphine and Molly went after that. I had run that last [5K] section of the course the day before and I wonder if I over-respected it or got it just right? I was on super tired legs and I knew that last section was going to be really tough for everybody, so I left a little bit in the reserves. When I finished, I was perfectly exhausted—my legs were toast and there was nowhere in those last three miles I could have done more.”

After the Trials finish, Linden said she was feeling more positive because her training had been going in the right direction after recovering from the flu. She knew she could capitalize on it for the Boston Marathon.

“Immediately after the Trials, it was just Boston, Boston, Boston. That was super exciting. That day after the Trials I felt surprisingly decent. Then this buzz about the coronavirus started getting louder and then it became a little more exhausting to get out the door. It was hard to think about workouts geared toward Boston when I started thinking, ‘I could just be recovering right now.’ But also, running is my normal and what makes me feel better. Anyway, I’m enjoying a little break finally and that feels good—I’m just running based on how I feel, assuming we can continue running outside. I’ll slowly get back into it.”

(03/18/2020) Views: 218 ⚡AMP
by Erin Strout
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(03/03/2020) Views: 640 ⚡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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Molly Seidel had never run a marathon until Feb 29 where she made the 2020 US Olympic Marathon team

The US Olympic Marathon Trials in Atlanta February 29 was Molly Seidel’s First Marathon. 

Seidel, 25, has two jobs, shares an apartment with her sister and runs turkey trots in costume. No, she can’t believe this is happening, either.

What does it feel like to qualify for the 2020 Olympics in your debut marathon?

Molly Seidel was ebullient when she qualified for the U.S. Olympic marathon trials.

She had been a standout athlete in college, but in recent years she had struggled with injuries. She’d started working at a coffee shop in Boston and babysat to make ends meet. She hoped for a good race at the trials in Atlanta on Saturday, but tried not to have big expectations.

It would be her first marathon, after all. She never could have predicted it would lead to the Olympics.

Seidel, 25, ran away with second place at the trials, finishing in 2 hours 27 minutes 31 seconds and securing one of three spots on the U.S. women’s team for the Tokyo Games this summer.

Seidel is known for her performances in 5,000- and 10,000-meter races. She won the Foot Locker Cross Country Championship in 2011and has four N.C.A.A. titles. She qualified for the Olympic marathon trials with her time in the half marathon, a 1:10:27 in San Antonio in December.

“I had no idea what this was going to be like,” she said after the race on Saturday. “I didn’t want to oversell it and put way too much pressure on, knowing how competitive the field was going to be. But talking with my coach, I didn’t want to phone it in just because it was my first one.”

The challenging course played to Seidel’s strengths. She called herself a racer, not someone who would thrive in a time trial. And she said the conditions — a hilly course on a chilly, windy day — played to her advantage.

In a race that included some of the biggest names in running — Jordan Hasay, Sara Hall, Molly Huddle, Emma Bates, Des Linden — Seidel flew under the radar until she broke away from the pack along with Aliphine Tuliamuk and Sally Kipyego in Mile 21. When she made the move, she said she knew she would “make the team or spectacularly go down in flames.” All three made the Olympic team, with Tuliamuk in first with a time of 2 hours 27 minutes and 23 seconds.

 

(03/01/2020) Views: 357 ⚡AMP
by Talya Minsberg
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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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Rupp and Tuliamuk will be running the marathon at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Galen Rupp and Aliphine Tuliamuk booked their spots to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games after churning out impressive victories at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials Marathon in Atlanta on Saturday (29).

Contested in chilly and windy conditions on a challenging undulating course, the goal was straightforward: finish in the top-three and an Olympic berth would be yours.

Rupp, who won the 2016 trials race in his debut over the distance and then went on to take Olympic bronze in Rio, used that experience to his advantage.

The Portland, Oregon, native broke from early leader Brian Shrader in the 16th mile, with Augustus Maiyo, Atlanta Track Club member Matt McDonald and Abdi Abdirahman in tow. That leader's group remained intact until mile 20 where Rupp put in a surge that created a three second cushion on Maiyo and McDonald, with Abdirahman another four seconds back.

Soon thereafter, the battle for the win was over as Rupp surged away, first to a 17 second lead after 21 miles, a lead he extended to 29 a mile later. He was a solitary figure when he crossed the line in 2:09:20, forced to wait nearly a minute to see who'd be joining him in Tokyo.

Jacob Riley, running sixth and 11 seconds behind the chase group at mile 23, fought his way into contention over the next two miles to eventually finish second in 2:10:02. Abdirahman held off Leonard Korir to finish third in 2:10:03 and punch his ticket for a fifth Olympic appearance at age 43.

"It's incredible. I feel relief almost more than anything," said Rupp, who has raced just twice since his fifth place finish at the Chicago Marathon in October 2018. Sidelined by a major foot injury, he returned to action in Chicago last October but didn't finish. "It's been a long year and a half.

Tuliamuk wins the waiting game. In contrast, 11 women were in contention for win when they reached the half in 1:14:38 before the pack began to string out by mile 16. There, Kellyn Taylor, debutante Molly Seidel and Tuliamuk formed the leading triumvirate, with Laura Thweatt, Des Linden and Sally Kipyego running another second back.

That pack remained until the 21st mile when Tuliamuk and Seidel decided to take command. Running together, they built a seven second lead over Kipyego a mile later, and extended it to 22 seconds by mile 23. Tuliamuk then broke away in the 25th mile to finish unchallenged in 2:27:23, seven seconds ahead of Seidel.

Kipyego, who won Olympic 10,000m silver for her native Kenya in 2012 and becames a US citizen last year, took the third spot in 2:28:52, 11 seconds ahead of one of the pre-race favourites, Des Linden.

"It was amazing," said Tuliamuk, a native of Kenya, who became a US citizen in 2016. "When we broke away, I kept saying 'Molly, let's go'. I knew it wouldn't happen by itself."

Seidel, who qualified for the trials by virtue of a 1:10:27 win at the Rock ’n’ Roll San Antonio Half Marathon in December, suffered from eating disorders and injury during and since her successful college career at Notre Dame where she took NCAA titles in cross country and indoors and outdoors on the track. She wasn't an unknown in Atlanta but was considered a long shot.

"I didn't think I was going to be here," she said. "I'm still in shock right now."

(02/29/2020) Views: 373 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Tokyo Marathon

Tokyo Marathon

The Tokyo Marathon is an annual marathon sporting event in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. It is an IAAF Gold Label marathon and one of the six World Marathon Majors. (2020) The Tokyo Marathon Foundation said it will cancel the running event for non-professional runners as the coronavirus outbreak pressures cities and institutions to scrap large events. Sponsored by Tokyo...

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Aliphine Tuliamuk is the women’s U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials champion

Rio 2016 marathon bronze medallist Galen Rupp and Kenyan-born Aliphine Tuliamuk have won the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in cold and windy conditions in Atlanta, Georgia, to confirm their spots on Team USA at Tokyo 2020.

Rupp won in two hours, nine minutes 20 seconds, repeating his feat from four years ago in Los Angeles.

There was a three-way race to the end for the second and third places, taken by Jacob Riley and Abdi Abdirahman.

Abdirahman will become the oldest Team USA runner in Olympic history at 43 when he attends his fifth Olympic Games this summer. He made his debut at Sydney 2000.

Tuliamuk finished in two hours, 27 minutes 23 seconds.

In her first-ever marathon, Molly Seidel finished second. Sally Kipyego, the marathon silver medallist for Kenya at London 2012, took the final spot.

Rupp has had to deal with a turbulent last 18 months or so.

His last finished marathon was the Chicago Marathon in October 2018, and has had Achilles surgery since. Rupp also retired from last year's Chicago race through injury.

"I feel relief, almost, more than anything," Rupp said after crossing the finish line.

"It's been a really long year and a half."

Tuliamuk said: "It was amazing, I actually still don't believe it happened. When we pulled away, Molly and I, I said 'Molly let's go' because I knew I wasn't going to finish it by myself.

"I thought I had went too early. This is just a big day for me and I am so grateful to have won the trials."

(02/29/2020) Views: 546 ⚡AMP
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2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

The 2020 US Olympic Trials for both men and women took place in Atlanta, Ga on Sunday Feb 29. Runners had to qualify by running certain standards beforehand. The trials are hosted by the Atlanta Track club. The course runs through the heart of Atlanta and past monuments from the 1996 Olympic Games Most countries around the world use a...

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Jemal Yimer, Jared Ward, Sara Hall, Molly huddle and more on Tap at 2020 Houston Half Marathon

Year-in, year-out, no American half marathon assembles better fields than Houston. In addition to being the site of both the men’s (Ryan Hall, 2007) and women’s (Molly Huddle, 2018) American records, there is always a deep list of sub-60:00 men and sub-67:00 women on the start line. Last year, Brigid Kosgei kicked off one of the greatest years in the history of distance running with a win in Houston.

The international fields in Houston, which takes place on Sunday, are strong once again. But from an American perspective, the more intriguing storyline is the impending US Olympic Marathon Trials, to be held in six weeks’ time in Atlanta. Several top Trials contenders — Molly Huddle and Sara Hall on the women’s side, Jared Ward and Shadrack Biwott on the men’s — will be racing on Sunday, and while no result will make or break their Trials hopes, it does give us one last piece of evidence to go on. 

When Huddle debuted in the marathon, placing third in New York in 2016, it looked to be the first step in a journey that would culminate at the 2020 Olympic marathon. Among Americans, Huddle was the queen of all distances between 5k and the half marathon and her grind-it-out style seemed well-suited to marathon success.

Tuliamuk, the 2018 US half marathon champ, is an option, though she’s got progressively slower in Houston the last three years, from 69:58 in 2017 to 71:41 in 2018 to 72:03 last year. She’ll need to get back to her 2017 form to crack the top two Americans on Sunday.

Katy Jermann (née Moen) and Molly Seidel both ran 70:27 last year, tied for third-fastest in the US. Of the two, Seidel, who in 2015 broke the “Foot Locker curse” to win the the 2015 NCAA XC title, is the more intriguing prospect. Seidel had never run a half before October 2019, but Houston will be her third in three months, and she plans to make her marathon debut at the Trials.

With a 2:09 in Boston and two sixth-place finishes in New York, Jared Ward has been the most consistent American marathoner over the last 18 months. Beating him on Sunday doesn’t guarantee a repeat result next month in Atlanta, but it would be a positive sign for the other Olympic hopefuls in this field.

With a high of 59, the temperature looks great for running on Sunday, though 13 mph winds mean the conditions won’t be perfect. Still, with the talent on hand in Houston, there should be competitive races up front. In the men’s race, there’s no clear favorite.

Ethiopia’s Jemal Yimer (58:33), the fourth-fastest man ever, was a close second last year after taking a wrong turn late in the race. He went on to run 59:09 in Valencia in October, where he finished two seconds behind Kenya’s Bernard Ngeno, also entered in Houston. Andamlak Belihu had a terrific 2019 (26:53/59:10, 5th at Worlds in 10k), while the last two Houston champs, Shura Kitata of Ethiopia and Jake Robertson of New Zealand, return as well.

(01/17/2020) Views: 408 ⚡AMP
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Aramco Houston Half Marathon

Aramco Houston Half Marathon

The Chevron Houston Marathon offers participants a unique running experience in America's fourth largest city. The fast, flat, scenic single-loop course has been ranked as the "fastest winter marathon" and "second fastest marathon overall" by Ultimate Guide To Marathons. After 30 years of marathon-only competition, Houston added the half-marathon in 2002, with El Paso Energy as the sponsor. Today the...

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Stephen Sambu of Kenya and Leonard Korir of the U.S., Sara Hall and Des Linden will return for the 47th running of the New Balance Falmouth Road Race

Stephen Sambu of Kenya and Leonard Korir of the U.S., who together staged an epic battle to the finish line in 2017, and Americans Sara Hall and Des Linden will return for the 47th running of the New Balance Falmouth Road Race, organizers announced today.

The fields for the Wheelchair Division presented by Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital Cape Cod and the Aetna Falmouth Elite Mile will be announced next week.

Sambu won the New Balance Falmouth Road Race every year from 2014-2017, becoming the first four-time winner of the men’s open division in race history. The runner-up in two of those victories was Korir, a 2016 Olympian at 10,000 meters who will represent the U.S. this fall at the IAAF World Championships. In 2017, Korir nearly denied Sambu his place in the history books in a fight to the finish that saw both athletes awarded the same time.

Sambu and Korir will be challenged by a tough international field that includes Thomas Ayeko of Uganda, who finished seventh in the 2019 IAAF World Cross Country Championships; David Bett of Kenya, who won the B.A.A. 10K in June; and Silas Kipruto of Kenya, winner of the 2019 Cooper River Bridge Run. Massachusetts native Colin Bennie, who was the top American at the AJC Peachtree Road Race on July 4, and Scott Fauble, a top contender to make Team USA at the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials in February and runner-up here last year to Canadian Ben Flanagan, should be in the hunt.

Flanagan’s season has been cut short by injury, but he will return to Falmouth to speak on a Past Champions panel at the Health & Fitness Expo, hand out gift bags at bib pickup and run with a group of local youth.

In the women’s open division, Hall – who finished second here in 2015 – comes in as the reigning USA 10K champion, and in her long career has won U.S. titles at distances ranging from the mile to the marathon. Fellow American Des Linden, a two-time OIympian and the 2018 Boston Marathon champion, will make her Falmouth competitive debut after running with the pack here last year in celebration of her Boston victory.

“It’s beautiful,” said Linden of the course after her 2018 run. “It helps you forget it’s really hard. Some really impressive things have been done on this course. It’s cool to cover it, and it would be really fun to race it.”

They will face a deep women’s field, highlighted by a trio of Kenyans: 2012 New Balance Falmouth Road Race Champion Margaret Wangari, 2018 NCAA 10,000-meter champion Sharon Lokedi and Iveen Chepkemoi, who recently finished second in the Boilermaker 15K in Utica, N.Y.  Also challenging will be two athletes from Great Britain: Lily Partridge, the 2018 national marathon champion, andTish Jones, who will compete in the marathon at the 2019 World Championships. 

Allie Kieffer, who finished fifth in the 2015 TCS New York City Marathon; Melissa Dock, the top American woman here last year who competed for Team USA at the 2019 Bolder Boulder;Molly Seidel, the 2015 NCAA 10,000-meter champion; and Nell Rojas, winner of the 2019 Grandma’s Marathon and daughter of Ric Rojas, who competed for Harvard and at one time held the 15K world record, round out a solid American lineup.

Three-time winner Caroline Chepkoech of Kenya will not return to defend her title.

First prize in the men’s and women’s open division is $10,000, part of a total $126,000 prize purse for Race Week events, which include the Aetna Falmouth Elite Mile the evening before the 7-miler. In addition, the men’s and women’s winners will seek to prevail in “The Countdown.”

A beat-the-clock handicap race, “The Countdown” features a finish-line clock that starts when the first woman breaks the tape, counting down the number of minutes and seconds the winning man has to beat, according to a pre-determined formula. If the clock runs out before he crosses the line, the victorious woman wins a $5,000 bonus; if it doesn’t, the winning man takes home the money. The time to beat this year is 3 minutes and 35 seconds.

(08/08/2019) Views: 816 ⚡AMP
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Falmouth Road Race

Falmouth Road Race

2020 will be a virtual race. The New Balance Falmouth Road Race was established in 1973 and has become one of the premier running events of the summer season. Each year the race draws an international field of Olympians, elite runners and recreational runners out to enjoy the scenic 7-mile seaside course. The non-profit Falmouth Road Race organization is dedicated...

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Huddle and Korir ran away from the fields at the River Gate Run this morning

In her final race before next month’s Boston Marathon, Molly Huddle put on a dominating display in the women’s race at the USATF 15 km Championships (River Gate Run in Jacksonville Florida) while fellow Olympian Leonard Korir repeated as men’s champion Saturday morning. With the women starting six minutes ahead of the men, with an equalizer bonus on the line, Huddle and fellow frontrunners Jordan Hasay and Molly Seidel shot to the lead, running by themselves well ahead of the rest of the field. With the finish in sight, Huddle raised her arms in victory, crossing the line in 47:50. Running her own Boston Marathon tune-up, Hasay came in second with a mark of 48:40, well ahead of Seidel, who earned third in 49:20. (03/10/2018) Views: 1,115 ⚡AMP
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Korir Outsprinted Rupp to win USATF XC Championships

At the USATF Cross Country Championships meet today in Tallahassee, Florida. Leonard Korir out kicked Galen Rupp to win by 1.2 seconds to become the champion for the second year in a row. Korir posted 29:16.6 over the 10k course and Rupp 29:17.8. Rupp had only run one cross country race (in 2011) since winning an NCAA title in 2008. Stanley Kebenel was third in 29:31.4 and Evan Jager fourth in 29:31.5. For the women Emily Infield won in 33:18.7 with Molly Seidel right behind in 33:22.1. Stgephanie Bruce was third 33:34.2. (02/03/2018) Views: 977 ⚡AMP
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Counting Down to 2018 at the NYRR Midnight Run

As the temperature in Central Park hovered above 10 degrees, runners at the NYRR Midnight Run started the countdown from 10 to mark the end of 2017 and the start of 2018. With a select group of professional athletes leading the pack of nearly 4,000 runners, Reid Buchanan became the first to complete four miles in the new year by breaking the tape in 19:08. In the women's race, Molly Seidel earned the top spot with a time of 21:24. (01/01/2018) Views: 876 ⚡AMP
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More Than 5,000 Runners to Run NYRR Midnight Run

More than 5,000 runners will usher in 2018 at the four-mile NYRR Midnight Run in Central Park on Sunday, December 31, with a professional athlete field that includes past event champions Sarah Pagano and Daniel Winn, 2017 TCS New York City Marathon top-10 finisher Stephanie Bruce, and USATF 5K Championships runner-up Molly Seidel leading the way. Fireworks will light up the sky at the stroke of midnight. (12/20/2017) Views: 765 ⚡AMP
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