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Nell Rojas was so ready for Boston and ended up sixth setting a PR and finishing first American while Shalane Flanagan finishes her 4th major

The top US woman at the Boston Marathon was Nell Rojas from Boulder, Colo., placing sixth overall in a personal best 2 hours, 27 minutes, 12 seconds. It was her fourth Marathon.

She paced the pack for the first 10 kilometers, which was not part of her plan.

“I was expecting this one to go out fast and to just be able to hang on to the back of the pack,” said Rojas. “I never lead, so that was interesting for me.”

Despite being the top US finisher, Rojas believes she has plenty of room for improvement, citing downhills and staying relaxed in the pack as weaknesses.

“I learned a lot,” said Rojas. “I think that now that I know the course I can alter my training accordingly and run faster next time.”

Rojas who finished ninth at the 2020 Olympic Trials in 2:30:29, ran for the University of Northern Arizona and spent much of her mid-20s focusing on triathlons before transitioning back to distance running in 2018. Before Monday, her personal best in the marathon was 2:28:06.

Rojas is a coach in Boulder, where she developed a running and strength training program for all ages alongside her father, Ric Rojas.

Nell credits her father with being a role model athletically.

“Just growing up with that inspiration, trying to follow in his footsteps has been super helpful,” she said. “He has been my biggest supporter and cheerleader.”

The second American finisher was Elaina Tabb of Allison Park, Pa., She finished 12th in 2:30:33 in her first major marathon. Much of Tabb’s prior experience came in the half-marathon, where she placed 64th in the 2018 World Championships. She finished 24th at the 2021 Olympic Trials in 10,000 meters.

Marblehead native Shalane Flanagan, a former New York City Marathon winner and Olympic 10,000-meter silver medalist, also competed, just one day after running the Chicago Marathon. She placed 33rd on the women’s side in both races, finishing Boston in 2:40:36 and Chicago in 2:46:39. Flanagan retired in 2019 but returned this year in an attempt to run all six majors under three hours.  Her average after running four marathons in 16 days is 2:40:13.   Her time in Berlin (9/26) was 2:38:32 and London (10/3) 2:35:04.  

2018 Boston Marathon champion Desiree Linden placed 16th race with a time of 2:35:25. It wasn’t the performance for Linden hoped for, but she enjoyed the experience on one of her favorite courses.

“I was just excited to get out there,” said Linden. “Yeah, I didn’t have the day that I wanted but it was a pleasure to be back on the course and see the crowds.”

Linden plans to run the New York City Marathon on November 7. Boston was her main focus but is glad to have another race to run.

“It’s nice to have the next one,” said Linden. “To be able to say ‘Hey maybe this one will build and help me get ready for that.’ ”

 

(10/11/2021) Views: 161 ⚡AMP
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

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 games was composed of B.A.A. club members. The Olympic Games provided the inspiration for the first Boston Marathon, which culminated the B.A.A. Games on April 19, 1897. John J. McDermott emerged from a...

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Kenya´s Diana Kipyogei Wins Boston Marathon Women’s Race

Diana Kipyogei of Kenya pulled away from the pack late in Monday’s 125th Boston Marathon and crossed the finish line with a convincing victory. It is Kipyogei’s first Boston win and first win in a World Major.

Kipyogei broke the tape with an unofficial finish time of 2:24:45. The 27-year-old had only run two other marathons heading into Monday’s race, winning the 2020 Istanbul Marathon and placing third in the 2019 Ljubljani Marathon.

Kipyogei broke away from the pack at the 1:56 mark, and pulled away for good at the 22-mile mark. She crossed the line 24 seconds ahead of 2017 Boston winner Edna Kiplagat, who finished second at 2:25:09. Mary Ngugi (2:25:20) and Monicah Ngige (2:25:32) finished third and fourth, respectively, to give Kenya the top four finishers in the Women’s race.

Nell Rojas of Boulder, Colorado was the top American finisher, placing sixth with an unofficial finish of 2:27:12. Des Linden, who won the Boston Marathon in 2018, finished 17th in the Women’s field with a 02:35:25.

(10/11/2021) Views: 83 ⚡AMP
by CBS Boston
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

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 games was composed of B.A.A. club members. The Olympic Games provided the inspiration for the first Boston Marathon, which culminated the B.A.A. Games on April 19, 1897. John J. McDermott emerged from a...

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Cheserek, Rojas win ‘emotional’, long-delayed Cooper River Bridge Run

A 27-year-old Kenyan man was the first to finish the 44th Annual Cooper River Bridge Run.

Edward Cheserek completed the race with a time of 28:25, a pace of 4:34 per mile. Cheserek, who now lives in the United States, is a 17-time NCAA champion at the University of Oregon.

He was a runner-up at the 2021 Great North Run and his all-time personal best in a 10K is 27:23.

The leaderboard listed the top Female Elite runner as Nell Rojas from Boulder, Colorado with a time of 31:52, and a pace of 5.07 per mile.

The Bridge Run began at 8 a.m. Saturday with a smaller-than-normal crowd of runners. The 15th annual Wheelchair Division race began just before 7:30 a.m. with nine participants.

The Arthur Ravenel Bridge closed at 7 a.m. Saturday, an hour before the official start of the race.

The bridge, along with the rest of the race route shut down at 7 a.m. The route and support streets will remain closed until the final participant clears the area. Many downtown roads that shut down earlier Saturday morning are expected to reopen by 2 p.m.

The Ravenel Bridge will reopen after police and media are cleared off the bridge and any debris from the race is removed.

This year’s event is the first in-person Bridge Run held since April 6, 2019. The event planned for 2020 was changed to a virtual run because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Organizers imposed a lower-than-usual cap on the total number of runners and walkers for this year’s 10K event, limiting the total to 25,000 from its usual 40,000. That means more than a third fewer people will “Get Over It” in this year’s event, a reference to the iconic 2.5 mile Arthur Ravenel Bridge that serves as part of the course.

All of the individual registrations for the 25,000 in-person spots sold out.

People who take part in the event were told they would be required to show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 or to provide proof of a negative test conducted within 72 hours of the time they picked up their race packet.

But Bridge Run organizers say there will be food, entertainment, vendors, and souvenirs at the post-event festival at Marion Square.

The event will run until 12 p.m. on race day.

44 years of the Bridge Run

The Cooper River Bridge Run is the third-largest 10K race in the United States. It is normally held on the first Saturday in April unless that Saturday falls on Easter weekend.

Dr. Marcus Newberry founded the Cooper River Bridge Run in 1978. The 10K’s course takes runners down Coleman Boulevard through Mount Pleasant, over the Arthur Ravenel Bridge and into downtown Charleston.

Participants include world-class athletes as well as running enthusiasts, walkers and their friends and family members. The run has an annual grant program to promote health and wellness, supporting a dozen charities through fundraising and promotion.

In the race’s very first running on April 2, 1978, 766 finishers crossed the former Silas Pearman Bridge. It was one of the hottest temperatures on record at 82 degrees at the 10 a.m. start time. That was the only year the Bridge Run was held on a Sunday.

By 1980, the course had shifted to the former Grace Memorial Bridge where it would remain until 1995 when it returned to the Pearman Bridge.

Only once in the race’s history did it end in a tie. That happened on March 29, 1980, and the record time is 31:26.

Both of those bridges were replaced in 2006 by the Ravenel Bridge. The all-time record number of registrations occurred that same year when 45,663 signed up. Of those, 33,742 finished the race that year.

The event received the Governor’s Cup Award in 2019 for its impact on Tourism and Travel. It has a direct economic impact of $30 million.

The average age of participants in the annual event is 32.9, but people of all ages have taken part over more than four decades.

A virtual run replaced the traditional race in 2020 because of the pandemic. The 2021 event, which was originally planned for its late March or early April timeframe, was postponed to September, also because of the pandemic.

James Koskei of Kenya holds the current record for the all-time top performance in the men’s open category with a finish time of 27:40 in 2000. Elana Mayer, from South Africa, holds the women’s open category best time at 31:19, set in 1997.

For wheelchair finishers, the records are 24:30, set by Tyler Byers in 2007 and 37:10, set by Ilana Dupont in 2013.

Silas Kipruto and Monicah Ngige were the winners of 2019′s event, with finish times through the 6.2-mile course of 27:58 and 31:37 respectively.

Kipruto, then 34, has been in the top five finishes numerous times in some of the world’s most competitive races. Kipruto finished with a time of 27:58, securing the $10,000 top prize.

Monicah Nigige, then 25, was the top female Elite finisher, winning her third Cooper River Bridge Run in the past four years.

(09/26/2021) Views: 149 ⚡AMP
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Cooper River Bridge Run

Cooper River Bridge Run

The Cooper River Bridge Run provides a world-class 10-K foot race held in Charleston, S. Carolina. The race promotes continuous physical activity and a healthy lifestyle through education and opportunity. On Sunday morning, April 2, 1978, the starting gun was fired for the First COOPER RIVER BRIDGE RUN and the race began. Even at that time it was successful beyond...

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Nell Rojas Outkicks Jenny Simpson at 2021 Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile

On a warm and crystal clear late summer morning in our Nation’s Capital, American Nell Rojas won a thrilling race among the top women runners at this year’s Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile (CUCB), while Kenyan Edwin Kimutai left the rest of the men’s field in his footsteps 25 minutes into the race to handily win the men’s race.

With his 33-second victory, Kimutai honored the recent passing of his wife, while Rojas surprised all the pundits when she sprinted away from Jenny Simpson with less than one half mile left in the race to win the 2021 USATF Women’s 10 Mile Championship Presented by Toyota.

“I had zero expectations on place or time,” said Rojas in a post-race interview. “At seven or eight miles, I could tell Jenny and the others were working hard, and I was like ‘I’m not working hard.’ At that point I was OK letting myself believe I could win.”

Rojas added: “With 800 to go, I knew Jenny was right there, I was really scared. I kicked around 600, and made that decision because I couldn’t let Jenny have the last 50-meter sprint. At that point, I was like ‘I’m fine with second, but just let me do this.’”

While she may have been a novice on the roads at anything longer than one mile, Simpson displayed confidence and savvy from the start. In fact, USATF.tv webcast commentator Carrie Tollefson remarked that Jenny cut the tightest tangent in the women’s lead pack of 14, going into a roundabout on the Virginia end of Memorial Bridge at a little more than 1 ½ miles into the race. Throughout the race, Simpson could be seen moving around the dwindling lead pack — side to side, forward and back — while eventual third place American Annie Frisbie oftentimes found herself in the lead, pushing the pace, or sharing pacesetting duties with Rojas and overall third place finisher Antonina Kwambai.

“When Nell pushed it up the last hill, once she got separation, I just couldn’t respond,” said Simpson. “She was really strong.”

Simpson added: “Sometimes the best thing that can happen with a new experience is to get second. I’m finishing hungry. Overall, the entire experience was 10 times better than I expected.”

In the men’s race, American Frank Lara —who would eventually finish fifth overall as fourth American — charged out hard from the start, and the men’s field quickly strung out. By 5K four men had broken away: Kimutai, Lara, and his fellow Americans Abbabiya Simbassa and Augustus Maiyo. By 10K, Kimutai had established a 17-second lead over the Maiyo and Simbassa, with Lara a few seconds adrift of his compatriots. As Kimutai’s lead grew, Maiyo and Simbassa continued to run side-by-side through 15K. Two minutes later, the 28 year-old Simbassa began to pull away from 38-year-old Maiyo, building himself a five second margin by the finish.

When asked if he felt guilty taking the 2021 USATF Men’s 10 Mile Championships title from the 38-year-old Maiyo, Simbassa replied: “I respect those guys, they know more than I do. I’m just out to do my best.”

Well, today, Simbassa’s best earned him the title of America’s best after so many recent second-place finishes in USATF Championship races, and elicited this comment: “It feels good. I’ve been hunting for a long time, and it finally happened today.”

Here’s a compilation of place, times and money earned by the top-10 American women and men as well as open prize money winners, and RRCA Roads Scholar-RunPro Development Award winners.

(09/13/2021) Views: 163 ⚡AMP
by Running USA
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Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run

Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run

The Credit Union Cherry Blossom is known as "The Runner's Rite of Spring" in the Nation's Capital. The staging area for the event is on the Washington Monument Grounds, and the course passes in sight of all of the major Washington, DC Memorials. The event serves as a fundraiser for the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, a consortium of 170 premier...

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48th Edition of Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run to Feature Strong Men’s and Women’s Fields

It has been a long time coming — too long — and America’s finest distance runners are eager to toe the starting line at the 2021 Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile (CUCB), to be held in our Nation’s Capital on Sunday, September 12. With $26,000 in U.S. championship prize money on offer as well as a $10,000 bonus for an American Record (the bonus will be split if both the male and female break the American records), road racing fans can look forward to hotly contested races among both the men and women.

“It has been nearly two years since the last time the U.S. Ten Mile Championships for men and women were held,” said event director Phil Stewart. “I know a host of talented Americans are eager to take an important middle-distance test as most of them prepare for fall marathons, of which there are plenty, with all six World Marathon Majors events taking place over a six-week period between September 26 and November 7.”

This will be the third time one or more of the USATF 10 Mile Championships have been hosted by CUCB alongside the traditional international competition: the women’s championships were part of the 2013 Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile, with Janet Bawcom winning the title in 53:28 while placing fourth overall. A year later in 2014, race organizers hosted both the men’s and women’s championships. Christo Landry (46:41) was the first American to cross the finish line—in sixth place overall—while Bawcom repeated as the U.S. women’s champion by placing second overall in 52:12. Both of Bawcom’s times established American records at the time.

Keira D’Amato broke Bawcom’s American Record last fall at the Up Dawg Ten Mile, running 51:23 in a small invitational race organized by the Cherry Blossom Race Committee specifically for her to chase Bawcom’s record. D’Amato’s effort was recently verified as a women’s only World Record by the Association of Road Racing Statisticians as well. (ARRS is the only organization keeping world records at the 10-mile distance.)

D’Amato will be joined on the starting line by two American women who have broken 53 minutes for 10 miles: Jordan Hasay (52:49) and Emma Bates (52:51). Three other Americans have run 54:00 or faster: Natosha Rogers (53:45), Diane Nukuri (53:56), and Annie Frisbie (54:00).

On the men’s side, Futsum Zienasellassie will be defending the USATF 10 Mile Championship he won in Minneapolis in 2019 (the last time American runners competed for this title, thanks to Covid-19). His winning time of 46:55 is one of four sub-47:00 marks among the American men entered in the race. Chris Derrick boasts the fastest personal best (46:53), which he ran at CUCB in 2018 when he was top American and fifth overall. Abbabiya Simbassa ran 46:57 to place second behind Zienasellassie in Minneapolis in 2019, and Kiya Dandena ran 46:58 in 2017 at CUCB. The current pending men’s American record is 45:54 set by Galen Rupp last fall. Rupp’s time bettered Greg Meyer’s time of 46:13 from the 1983 Cherry Blossom Ten Mile.

Here’s a complete listing of elite American athletes who have confirmed their entry into the 2021 Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile, with personal bests noted in parentheses:

Women:

Keira D’Amato (51:23)

Jordan Hasay (52:49)

Emma Bates (52:51)

Natosha Rogers (53:45)

Diane Nukuri (53:56)

Annie Frisbie (54:00)

Bria Wetsch (54:14)

Susanna Sullivan (54:22)

Bethany Sachtleben (54:42)

Grayson Murphy (54:51)

Carrie Verdon (56:57)

Danielle Shanahan (31:22.9 10K)

Amy Davis (32:13 10K)

Abbie McNulty (33:07 10K)

Stephanie Bruce (1:09:55 half marathon)

Nell Rojas (1:10:45 half marathon)

Men:

Chris Derrick (46:53)

Futsum Zienasellassie (46:55)

Abbabiya Simbassa (46:57)

Kiya Dandena (46:58)

Augustus Maiyo (47:05)

Elkanah Kibet (47:15)

Girma Mecheso (47:22)

Noah Droddy (47:28)

Louis Serafini. (47:35)

Emmanuel Bor (47:39)

Reed Fischer (47:50)

Shadrack Biwott (47:53)

John Raneri (47:53)

Tyler McAndless (47:56)

Dhruvil. Patel (48:37)

Frank Lara (48:37)

Joel Reichow (48:41)

Alex Monroe (48:57)

Willie Milam (49:10)

Robert Brandt (27:39.2 10K)

Brendan Gregg (44:25 15K)

Reid Buchanan (44:40 15K)

Emmanuel Roudolff (1:04:08 half marathon).

(08/20/2021) Views: 147 ⚡AMP
by Running USA
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Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run

Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run

The Credit Union Cherry Blossom is known as "The Runner's Rite of Spring" in the Nation's Capital. The staging area for the event is on the Washington Monument Grounds, and the course passes in sight of all of the major Washington, DC Memorials. The event serves as a fundraiser for the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, a consortium of 170 premier...

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Kenyan compatriots, training partners and rivals Elisha Barno and Dominic Ondoro will renew their Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon rivalry on Sunday

Between them, the pair has won the last four editions of the event, with Barno entering this year’s race as the defending champion, but Ondoro still possessing the event record.  A wide-open women’s race will crown a new champion this year, with 2018 champ Sinke Biyadgilgn of Kenya racing elsewhere this fall.

Among the top women’s contenders are former Grandma’s Marathon record-holder Sarah Kiptoo of Kenya, 2014 Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon runner-up Heather Lieberg of Helena, Mont., and Team USA Minnesota rising star Dakotah Lindwurm of Burnsville.

The men’s and women’s marathon favorites will be racing for $5000 winners’ checks and $25,000 course record bonuses.

In the Medtronic TC 10 Mile, set for earlier Sunday morning, balanced men’s and women’s fields will race for USATF titles, $12,500 winners’ checks and a $10,000 “Equalizer Bonus for the first champion – female or male – to cross the finish line in a competition where the women start the race ahead of the men.

With defending champions Shadrack Kipchirchir and Sarah Hall not in the field this year, attention is focused on Josef Tessema of Castle Rock, Colo., last year’s 5th place finisher, Scott Fauble, a USATF Championship runner-up at 25K and half marathon, and local favorite Tyler Jermann of Burnsville, who represents Team USA Minnesota.

The women’s field is headlined by Katy Jermann, (spouse of Tyler) runner up at the recent USATF 20K Championships, Anne-Marie Blaney of Rochester Hills, Mich., 6th here last year, and 2019 Grandma’s Marathon champion Nell Rojas of Boulder, Colo.

The Medtronic TC 10 Mile with its more than 13,000 runners will start at approximately 6:54 a.m. Sunday, with the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon and its more than 8,700 participants starting at 7:55 a.m.

Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon Weekend kicks off at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, October 4, with the opening of the Health & Fitness Expo at Saint Paul RiverCentre. 

(10/01/2019) Views: 919 ⚡AMP
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Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon Weekend

Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon Weekend

The Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon Weekend offer races, walks and activities for every age and ability level! Learn more about the weekend's events and activities by using the navigation bar at the left or top of your screen. The Twin Cities Marathonis a running event in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area. The TCM was first run in 1982, and typically takes...

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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: 1,294 ⚡AMP
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Falmouth Road Race

Falmouth Road Race

The 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 to promoting health and fitness for all in...

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USA Olympic Trials Marathon has achieved the IAAF Gold Label Status

USA Track & Field (USATF) announced today that the 2020 USA Olympic Trials Marathon, scheduled for February 29, in Atlanta, has been granted IAAF Gold Label status. That's a critical development because it means that the top-5 male and female finishers will automatically achieve 2020 Olympic Games qualifying marks, regardless of their finish times. As part of the Tokyo Olympic Games qualifying program unveiled by the International Association of Athletics Federations earlier this year, top-5 finishers at Gold Label marathons are given automatic Olympic Games qualifiers. As such, the six-athlete USA Olympic team in the marathon can be named with certainty on the day of the Trials with the top-3 male and female finishers nominated for the team.

In a press release, USATF said that "the announcement of the Tokyo 2020 Qualification System in March presented challenges to USATF and its partners as planning for marathon trials had begun well before the changes to the qualification system were announced." Those partners include the not-for-profit Atlanta Track Club, which will host the Trials, as well as NBC the network which will broadcast them. The Trials would be devalued for both of these parties if the team could not be named that day.

Right now only a handful of USA athletes have achieved the Olympic Games qualifying standards (2:11:30 for men and 2:29:30 for women since January 1, 2019). On the men's side, there are only two, Scott Fauble and Jared Ward who ran 2:09:09 and 2:09:25, respectively, at last April's Boston Marathon (they also finished in the top-10, which also confers qualifying status at any Abbott World Marathon Majors event). On the women's side there are nine: Emily Sisson (2:23:08), Jordan Hasay (2:25:20), Kellyn Taylor (2:26:27), Molly Huddle (2:26:33), Aliphine Tuliamuk (2:26:50), Des Linden (2:27:00), Nell Rojas (2:28:06), Roberta Groner (2:29:09), and Lindsay Flanagan (2:30:07/9th place at Boston). Those athletes lose the relative advantage of having a qualifying mark in advance of the race.

But, for most of the 181 men and 340 women who have qualified, according to a tally done by MarathonGuide.com, this announcement will be good news. Athletes can now approach the trials in the traditional way, with their focus only finish place and not on time. That's particularly important considering the difficulty of the Atlanta course which has a number of challenging hills.

"Hilly is an understatement," said Brogan Austin who won the men's division of an 8-mile test event held on part of the course last March. "I definitely have a new respect for this marathon. I only ran eight miles. I can't imagine doing four times that distance."

Amy Cragg, the winner of the 2016 Trials in Los Angeles, agreed. "It's going to be really, really tough," she told Race Results Weekly after winning the women's division of the test event last March. "We're going to send a good women's team, a really good women's team (to Tokyo). If you can get through this course, you're going to be ready."

(07/23/2019) Views: 1,378 ⚡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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