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Articles tagged #Nike
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Galen Rupp and Suguru Osako are aiming for a fast half marathon on Friday near Eugene

Olympians Galen Rupp and Suguru Osako have signed on for what is expected to be a blazingly fast half marathon Friday at an undisclosed location in Lane County.

Eugene Marathon has set up the course and ensured it is certified. Organizers are declining to reveal the course’s location or time in deference to the coronavirus pandemic. All participants have been tested for the virus.

Rupp won the men’s race at 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials last February in Atlanta. The former University of Oregon star is the 2012 Olympic silver medalist in the 10,000 meters and the 2016 Olympic bronze medalist in the marathon. He holds the U.S. record for the 10,000.

Osako is the Japanese record-holder in the marathon, as well as the 3,000 and 5,000 meters.

The two runners are former teammates with the now defunct Nike Oregon Project. Both are based in Portland, although Osako has been training in Flagstaff, Arizona.

“Galen called me maybe a month ago,” said Pete Julian, Osako’s coach. "He asked if Suguru would be interested in throwing down somewhere in Oregon in this time frame.

“I was like, ‘Galen, you called at the perfect time. That’s exactly what we want to do.'”

Rupp has not raced since winning in Atlanta. Osako was active with Julian’s group in track races over the summer. He had begun training for December’s Honolulu Marathon before that was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I think they’re pretty lined up,” Julian said of the two runners. “Galen hasn’t raced in a long time. But he is old enough and wise enough now that if he says wants to run a good, hard, fast half marathon, you have to believe he is ready to go. I know Suguru is ready to go. It will be cool.”

The course is said to be flat. And if the race is fast, well, the U.S. record for a half marathon of 59 minutes, 43 seconds has been held by Ryan Hall since 2007. The Japanese half-marathon record is of 1:00.00 was set earlier this year by Yusuke Ogura.

Julian wouldn’t call Friday’s race a record attempt.

“Hey, man, 13.1 miles is a long way to go,” Julian said. “It’s almost foolish to say we’re targeting something because I know nothing about the course. My assumption is if the weather is nice, it’s warm enough and it’s not windy, and you have two guys like that, running around an hour for a half marathon is certainly within their capabilities.”

Eugene Marathon will be posting more details on its Twitter and Instagram accounts as the race nears. On Friday, organizers will use those platforms to provide updates on the progress of the competition.

(10/28/2020) Views: 49 ⚡AMP
by Ken Goe
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Christian Coleman will miss the Olympic Games in Tokyo next year after the world 100m champion was banned for two years after two missed drugs tests and a filing failure in 2019

Coleman had disputed one of the missed tests, saying he had been out Christmas shopping but had returned during the one-hour window required to be tested. But an athletics disciplinary panel rejected the sprinter’s explanation and banned him until 13 May 2022.

The 24-year-old American earns close to a seven-figure salary from his sponsors at Nike and in July issued a lengthy defence of his actions, saying he was Christmas shopping “five minutes away” and should have been telephoned by testers “who didn’t even bother to call me”.

“I think the attempt on 9 December was a purposeful attempt to get me to miss a test,” he said. “I’ve been contacted by phone literally every other time I’ve been tested – why would the AIU tell him not to call me?”

However, the disciplinary panel ruled that testers were under no obligation to “invite an athlete to come for testing”.

“The athlete’s evidence was that he was out Christmas shopping, though he stated that he arrived home shortly before the end of the one-hour period because he recalled watching the kick-off of the Monday night football game, which starts at 8.15pm.

“His case was that the doping control officer must have left slightly before the end of the 60-minute time slot and he must have just missed him.”

Shopping receipts show that the athlete was shopping at least from 7.13pm, also purchased a Chipotle at 7.53pm and finally purchased 16 items from a Walmart Super Centre at 8.22pm. “The athlete’s evidence was that he returned home briefly some time between 8 and 8.10pm, ate his Chipotle while watching the kick off and then went out again. We do not accept the athlete’s evidence.”

The tester was there at his gated community residence from 7.15pm to 8.15pm, also taking a picture at 8.21pm to confirm the time.

A statement from the Athletics Integrity Unit, posted on social media, said: “The disciplinary panel has upheld the AIU’s charge and banned sprinter Christian Coleman of the USA for two years for three whereabouts failures in 12 months.”

Coleman is yet to comment but has always insisted that he has never used performance-enhancing drugs.

(10/27/2020) Views: 73 ⚡AMP
by 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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We call them carbon-plated shoes, but the advantage might not come from the carbon after all

Carbon-plated shoes have been on the running market for years, and they have taken over road racing on the promise that they can make runners more economical.

Efficiency is tied to a runner’s economy, which refers to the amount of energy expended to maintain a particular speed. The more efficient you are, the better your running economy. Nike’s promise with the Vaporfly 4% was to make runners up to four per cent more efficient, but new research is suggesting that these energy savings might not come from the carbon plate. 

A group of researchers recently published a paper in Nature Journal that refutes some of the carbon-plated hype. They suggest that the stiffness of the shoe alone might not be significant when it comes to lessening the effort to maintain a particular pace. 

The ankle joint

This paper assessed the bending stiffness of shoes (which is what the plate changes) and how much added stiffness improved running economy. Researchers added carbon plates to Adidas shoes that were 0.8, 1.6 and 3.2 mm thick. They found no difference in the flexion of the ankle joint or muscle activation in the feet or legs by adding the plates, meaning that they didn’t find these plates improved economy at all. 

It’s not about the plate, it’s about the foam

While these researchers don’t believe that the plate alone is responsible for the improvement in running economy, they can’t deny that Nike has seen improvements through their carbon-plated shoes. Their new working hypothesis is that the magic isn’t in the plate, it’s in the foam – the plate is merely a prop to help the foam to do its thing. 

When considered alongside World Athletics’ new shoe rules this hypothesis makes a little more sense. WA’s rules, which came out in early 2020, put a regulation on the plate (there can be only one per shoe), but they almost imposed an upper limit to stack heights, putting regulations on the foam as well. This could’ve been a happy accident or maybe they’re onto the fact that the foam is very much a part of the secret sauce of Nike, and other companies’, fastest shoes. 

What does this mean?

There have been lots of hypotheses about how much faster one could’ve run if only they’d had carbon-plated shoes back in the day. Researchers in this study suggest that you probably wouldn’t have run much faster by slapping a stiff plate into the middle of your shoe’s foam. They concluded, “Changing footwear bending stiffness hardly changes athlete biomechanics and may not improve running economy. Therefore, if competitive distance runners went back in time, added carbon-fiber plates to their footwear, and re-raced, their performance would likely not change.”

But slapping some fancy new foam and a carbon plate onto your old upper – now that might have produced some faster times. 

(10/20/2020) Views: 56 ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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Ugandan Joshua Cheptegei is setting his sights on the 10,000m mark at a special event in Valencia on Wednesday

Less than two months after breaking the 5,000 metres world record, Ugandan Joshua Cheptegei is setting his sights on the 10,000m mark at a special event in Valencia on Wednesday.

Gold medallist in the 10,000 at last year’s World Athletics Championships in Doha, Cheptegei is hoping to beat the 26 minutes, 17.53 set by Kenenisa Bekele in 2005.

Cheptegei, 23, took Ethiopian Bekele’s 5,000m record at the Diamond League in Monaco in August, wiping 1.99 seconds off the 16-year-old mark when he crossed the line in 12:35.36.

His Dutch-based NN Running Team has organised the World Record Day and he will count on pacers who include former Dutch champion Roy Hoornweg as well as Australian Matt Ramsden and Kenyan Nicholas Kipkorir, both world championship finalists in 2019.

Although there will be little support from the largely empty stands, Cheptegei will be helped by Wavelight technology, which flashes lights on the inside of the track to indicate a specific pace.

Cheptegei has already made history over the distance in Valencia, smashing a 10-year 10km world record last December by six seconds, wearing the Nike Zoom Vaporfly shoes which have caused a huge debate in athletics.

“I am very excited to be given the opportunity to target the 10,000m world record,” Cheptegei said last month. “As my performance in Monaco showed, I am in outstanding form, so I would like to make the most of my current shape.

“Kenenisa’s 10,000m world record is one of the toughest in the books, but my training continues to go well and this gives me real confidence I can set another world record.”

(10/06/2020) Views: 69 ⚡AMP
by Reuters
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Tokyo Marathon to be Held in Fall of 2021

On Oct. 4 it was learned from an involved source that the 2021 Tokyo Marathon, currently scheduled for Mar. 7, has made a final decision to move to the fall next year with a full field size of 38,000 rather than as an elite-only race.

The postponement is a result of the ongoing coronavirus crisis, but the organizers do not plan to reduce the event's size. The decision has been approved by the board of directors of the Tokyo Marathon Foundation and a formal announcement is expected to be made on Oct. 9.The move puts the 2021 Tokyo Marathon in the aftermath of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. According to the source, the original Mar. 7 was viewed as simply not feasible given the current status of the coronavirus crisis.

The move will allow the race to be held without a reduction in the number of participants, roughly 38,000 people in normal years. The Foundation was keen to avoid a reduction in the number of participants for a second-straight year after this year's mass participation field was cut shortly before the race. One consequence of the coronavirus crisis has been a reduction in the event's income from sponsors.This year's Tokyo Marathon in March was held as an elite-only competition, with Suguru Osako (29, Nike) setting a new national record of 2:05:29. The cancelation of the mass-participation race came two weeks beforehand, with entrants given the option of shifting their entries to either 2021 or 2022.

Since then, marathons and road races all across the country have canceled, announced one-year postponements, or scaled down their event sizes. As the largest marathon in Japan, an announcement that Tokyo plans to go ahead with a full field may help to slow down this domino effect.The Foundation originally planned to make a final decision about next year's race by August of this year. That decision was delayed in order to make it possible to make a decision informed by the latest government policies regarding public events. Government policies currently call for events to reduce the maximum number of people present by 50% through the end of November, with the subsequent level still under study.

Based upon that timeline and its impact on preparations the Tokyo Marathon organizers decided the planned spring date was not feasible.

Foundation spokespeople had previously said that they were examining all options but did not plan to hold another elite-only race.

(10/05/2020) Views: 93 ⚡AMP
by Brett Larner
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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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Brigid Kosgei and Ruth Chepngetich will use controversial shoes worn by Eliud Kipchoge in the London Marathon

Kenyan duo Brigid Kosgei and Ruth Chepngetich will use controversial shoes worn by Eliud Kipchoge in the London Marathon on Sunday.

Kenya's Kipchoge broke the two-hour barrier in an unofficial event in Vienna last October when he wore the platform Alphafly Next% shoes.

While the shoes allowed by World Athletics' regulations, they are estimated to improve running economy by up to eight per cent.

Kipchoge's record led to calls for the Nike shoes to be banned, but women's marathon world record holder Kosgei is adamant the runner makes the difference rather than the footwear.

Asked which shoes she would be wearing in the her London Marathon title defence, 2019 champion Kosgei said: "The ones Kipchoge will use.

"You know the shoes could not run. It is someone who can run, it's not the shoes, it does not depend on the shoes.

"If I use the training shoes and the body is not there, you cannot run good. So for me it's just the body which enables me to run good, it is not the shoes."

Kosgei's fellow Kenyan -- reigning world champion Chepngetich -- also confirmed she would wear the shoes.

Kosgei and Chepngetich said their training had been interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, with their training camps both closed temporarily, leaving the pair having to train alone.

At the Chicago Marathon in October last year, Kosgei set a world record with a time of 2 hours 14 minutes 4 seconds, but she will not be targeting a better time on Sunday.

"We did not get a group like last year, (when) we are in groups together we just had to push each other. So it's not like in Chicago but I will try," she said.

(10/02/2020) 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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Eliud Kipchoge has unveiled the shoes he will use for London Marathon this Sunday, inspired by Kenyan flag

Eliud Kipchoge, the world marathon record holder, will be cladding a Kenyan flag-inspired Nike “Alpha fly N% Kenya”, custom made for him for this race.

"The shoes for Sunday's competition. Inspired by colours of the Kenyan flag, representing (the) great people of this beautiful country and to celebrate one year anniversary of the achievement 1:59:40 in marathon distance by EK," Kipchoge posted in his official Facebook page.

It is an Alpha fly N% shoe, just like the one he used during the Ineos 1:59 Challenge in Vienna last year.

The personal details include a green-and-red colourway – a nod to the national flag of Kenya. The shoes also feature the runner’s initials and 1:59:40 – the time he ran in Vienna.

The Kenyan distance running legend became the first man to run the marathon in under two hours after clocking 1:59:40.2 in Vienna.

This Sunday, Kipchoge comes face-to-face with Ethiopia's distance running great Kenenisa Bekele, who is also the second fastest man in marathon.

There were some complaints after the Ineos 1:59 Challenge with ritics claiming that the shoe had multiple carbon plates and there were calls for it to be banned from competition.

However, Kipchoge and Nike have always insisted that it’s not about the shoes but the person using them.

“The shoes have not been banned hence I am looking forward to another great show on them as I seek my fourth victory on the course,” said Kipchoge during the launch of domestic tourism at the Serena Mara in the Maasai Mara, Narok County in August.

Defending women’s London Marathon champion Brigid Kosgei also used similar shoes when she set the women’s world marathon record in winning the Chicago Marathon in 2:14:04, just a day after Kipchoge’s exploits in Vienna.

Then Bekele would come close to breaking Kipchoge’s world marathon record of 2:01:39 set by Kipchoge in Berlin in 2018 by two seconds when he won in Berlin in 2:01:41 last year.

Nike's Vaporfly range was the talk around the world with the feeling that it gave undue advantage to other runners owing to its sole technology.

However, World Athletics — the global athletics governing body —  said it will not ban the shoes but would instead institute tighter regulations around high-tech running shoes.

(10/01/2020) Views: 139 ⚡AMP
by Ayumba Ayodi
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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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Paul Chelimo: “Go Hard Or Suffer The Rest Of Your Life”

THE WILD CARD of the U.S. distance scene? That would be Paul Chelimo. He’s unpredictable on the track: witness his blistering 57-second opening at last year’s USATF 5000, his brutal pace for half the race, then a switch to slowish sit-and-kick tactics for the second half of what turned out to be a runner-up performance.

Chelimo can also be unpredictable—as well as funny—off the track. He had plenty of people going this spring with his social media demonstration of how to use a bathtub as a treadmill.

Then there’s his April training account via Twitter: “I drank liquid bleach and went for a tempo run, now I’m seated somewhere on the trail breathing fire… KABOMMMM!!!”

In jest? Of course. Much of the time that’s how the 29-year-old Chelimo operates. But he’s dead serious about where he’s going in this sport. It shows in his oft-repeated mantra: “Go hard or suffer the rest of your life.”

He tells us, “I’m not a perfectionist, but I like being close to perfection in everything I try to do. If I feel like I’m tying up in a workout or in a race, if I don’t go hard, then I’m definitely going to suffer. If I don’t go hard at the Olympics next year, it’s going to be tough for the sponsors to believe in me.”

Still, he has to laugh often, he says, because “I have funny things going on.” He describes one workout that happened the day after he raced at one of Winston-Salem’s Camel City events:

“I went for a long run and it was pouring rain that day, it was crazy. Luckily, I can swim, you know? I ran from the hotel because I missed the shuttle. I was running to where we usually begin our long runs. I got to like, mile 2, and I figured out, ‘Wow, there’s a reason why this year they said they were going with a shuttle.’ It turns out that where we used to cross the water, there was a lot of water, and nothing like a bridge.

“I couldn’t even jump; over the years we used to just jump over the water. And I was like, ‘Man, I’m not going to miss a long run today.’ Because if I decided to go back, that would mean I’m not going to do the long run. And by the side I saw a tree that fell across the water. And I figured I can just jump on this tree and cross. Trust me, it wasn’t a good idea.

“The next thing I saw was just red—it was dirty water. I fell in the water. My whole body. It’s a good thing I can swim. It was like 10-feet deep. I had headphones on and long-run gear and I was drowned, I was drained. I just crossed through and kept going. I met the guys and they were like, ‘How did you get here? Why are you sweating like this?’ I told them what happened and they started laughing at me. They were like, ‘Man, you’re crazy!’ When I am running, there’s a lot of stories happening.”

Chelimo always has been an interesting story himself. He came to the U.S. from Kenya 10 years ago as a recruit for NAIA school Shorter in Arkansas. After winning several national titles, he transferred to UNC Greensboro, where he was twice a runner-up in the NCAA 5000.

In ’14 he entered the Army’s World Class Athletic Program where he found an accelerated path to U.S. citizenship and started to emerge as world class. Two years later his 3rd in the Trials 5000 led to his impressive silver medal performance in Rio, with a then-PR 13:03.90. He landed on the podium again at the London Worlds with his bronze. In ’18, he ran his lifetime best 12:57.55, a mark that makes him the No. 4 American ever.

Last season, however, he didn’t run as well as he had hoped. No longer in the Army, he was competing for Nike but still working with WCAP coach Scott Simmons.

“It was a different thing,” he says, noting that the biggest change came when his wife, Brenda, gave birth to their daughter, Arianna, at the end of ’18. “She has to eat, she has to dress well, she has to get some nice stories, she has to go to school. I had to step up and properly care for my daughter.”

Arianna makes her appearance in the interview, running to her father but tumbling en route and erupting in tears. “She fell down, but she’s OK,” assures Chelimo. “When she sees me, every time she wants all the attention.” He adds, “But definitely, I was able to pick up fitness as the season went by.”

That led him to Doha, where everything went perfectly in the 5000 final, until it didn’t. “I really don’t know what happened to me,” he explains. “When we got to 400 to go, I felt like, ‘Yeah, I think I’ve got the gold this time.’ And just after that, at 300 to go, my legs started tying up; 200 to go I’m in 3rd place and I can’t even move anymore. I mean, [normally] no one can match me in the last 200m.”

Instead, he struggled to 7th in 13:04.60, more than 3 seconds away from a podium spot. “It told me I have an issue with strength,” he says. “If it gets to the point where my legs just give up, it’s time to do it a different way.” So he and Simmons revamped his training to focus on that deficit.

With almost no races this season—2 XC meets in January, 2 indoor affairs in February—Chelimo got frustrated at first, tweeting in May, “Someone find me a race before I lose my mind.” He included a photo of plants growing in his spikes.

“It got to a point.” He acknowledges the frustration, but says he got past it: “I just made up my mind. It doesn’t do any good stressing about racing. The only thing is to stay positive. When you panic, bad things happen. When I stay consistent, that’s the best thing. And trust me, I never, never go to the starting line unless I am really ready to run a race.”

His only “competition” of 2020 after winning the USATF Indoor 3000 was, yes, a triathlon of sorts, where he and his training partners battled in the long jump, shot and discus. For the record, he probably won’t be lured away from the distances after hitting PRs of 13-9½ (4.20) for the long jump, 23-8¾ (7.23) for the shot and 55-9¼ (17.00) for the discus. 

He explains that the impromptu field event competition followed a 20M (32K) long run at 9500ft (2895m) of altitude. “I’m a very competitive guy. It was good for me mentally. At first I thought it was going to be easy. When you’re on the runway, you think you’re going to jump really far, but then once you’re in the air, you start worrying about getting injured and breaking your leg.”

He says that if ’21 goes according to plan, he hopes to hit the Olympic 10K standard of 27:28.00 in the early season and tackle both of the long track races at the OT: “I’ll definitely double. The 5K comes first, which is perfect for me, because the 10K is not my main goal.”

Recall that in May ’19 he ran his first 10,000 in 8 years, scoring a PR 27:43.89 in Stockholm. That came two months after his debut half-marathon (62:19) in New York.

“At this point, I’m trying to move up in distance,” he says. “A few years down the line, I might be dropping into marathons, that is my big goal. I mean, in 2028 in LA, I’m going to be in the marathon hopefully.”

Chelimo sums up his career ambition by saying that for him, medals mean much more than records. “I feel like I was built for championship races. I have a tough mentality. It wouldn’t do me any good to break the American Record and not medal at the Olympics. My big goal is I want to peak really well for the Olympic Games. I don’t want to get distracted.

“I want to be smart and I want to be patient.”

 

(09/27/2020) Views: 142 ⚡AMP
by Track and Field News
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Runners sponsored by smaller companies might be in a better position than those who are signed by major brands

Earlier this week, the Swiss running shoe company On announced that it was starting an elite training group in Boulder, Colorado, called the On Athletics Club. It’s safe to say that this doesn’t seem like the most auspicious time to invest in professional running. Even though the Diamond League—the world’s premier track and field competition circuit—is scheduled to begin an abridged summer season on Friday, this year has seen an unprecedented number of race cancellations and it’s difficult to predict when the bleeding will stop.

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach has already gone on record saying that the Tokyo Games, which have been postponed to summer 2021, will not be delayed a second time. If they can’t be staged next August, the Olympics will be canceled outright, thus depriving track athletes of their quadrennial moment in the sun.

According to Steve DeKoker, On’s Global Sports Marketing Manager, the company has long been looking to develop an elite running team and the Boulder-based group represents the most significant move in that direction to date. For now, the On Athletics Club consists of eight runners, all of whom are in their 20s and were standout NCAA athletes (the University of Colorado’s Joe Klecker and the University of Wisconsin’s Alicia Monson are the headliners).

Recently retired Olympian Dathan Ritzenhein will act as coach. It has been disclosed that these athletes will be signing multi-year deals with no reduction clauses (i.e. performance quotas)—a risky move, perhaps, but one that On might currently be well-positioned to make thanks to a potential pandemic-inspired uptick in recreational running.

“Running is kind of experiencing this second boom,” DeKoker told Letsrun.com. “We’ve got all these folks at home who are struggling with different issues, but running is a viable activity for them. Whereas if you’re Nike, and you’re in 50 different verticals, running might be a positive one, but you’ve got a bunch of other sports that are hemorrhaging right now.”

There has been some evidence to bear this out. Nike has reported a 38 percent decline in total revenue through May 31. More specifically, last week, the market research company NPD published an article noting that prominent brands (Nike, Adidas, Under Armour) had an overall sales decline in athletic footwear in the first half of 2020, while several running-focused shoe companies had fared conspicuously well.

Hoka One One and On, in particular, saw year-over-year sales increases of 75 and over 50 percent, respectively. (An On representative has confirmed this, and added that the brand had recorded its highest ever sales month in June 2020.) Matt Taylor, the co-founder and CEO of the independent running apparel brand Tracksmith, told me that “there’s been a noticeable uptick in people running over the last few months,” and that Tracksmith was “seeing this trend reflected” in its business.

While the running industry will never be entirely insulated from the state of the overall economy, there is some logic to the notion that the sport is well-suited to weather a financial downturn. To use DeKoker’s term, running is a “viable activity” for many people because it is relatively cheap, accessible, and offers both physical and mental health benefits during times of uncertainty.

The most recent running boom occurred during the years immediately following the Great Recession; starting around 2008, there was a continual increase in running event participation, culminating in 2013, when a record 19 million runners took part in U.S. road races.

Of course, from a running perspective, one of the uniquely cruel aspects of the COVID-19 recession is that the pandemic has precluded the staging of most mass participation events. The New York Road Runners, the largest non-profit running events company in the United States, laid off eleven percent of its employees and furloughed an additional 28 percent in July. Hence, any discussion about how the pandemic might end up “benefiting” the running industry in shoe or apparel sales must be weighed against this freeze of running events.

For professional runners, meanwhile, the cancellation of big-ticket races signifies a loss in prospective appearance fees and prize money. Some athletes might also be contractually obligated to run a pre-set number of races, which, needless to say, has not been so easy in 2020. That’s why this has been the summer of intrasquad competitions, in which training partners take part in de facto time trials that have been spruced up just enough to qualify as official meets. While some of these events have yielded impressive performances—most notably Shelby Houlihan, of the Bowerman Track Club, breaking her own American record in the 5,000-meters—there have also been farcical scenarios where world-class athletes phoned it in, presumably so that they can reach their race quotas. (Last week, reigning Olympic 1,500-meter champion Matthew Centrowitz “raced” an 800... and ran 3:08. His personal best in the event is 1:44.)

It’s not a coincidence that the most prominent examples of these sham races have involved Nike athletes. After all, the Oregon-based company sponsors far more runners than any other brand. They have the funds to do it, but casting a wide net might also make it more difficult for Nike to offer elite runners the contractual perks of smaller, running-focused companies like Oiselle, On, and, recently, Tracksmith. For now, reduction clauses still seem to be the norm for the typical Nike track athlete. (A Nike spokesperson told me that the company does not comment on athlete contracts.)

Hawi Keflezighi, an agent whose clients include his brother Meb Keflezighi and recent U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon champion Aliphine Tuliamuk, agreed that this was likely to be the case. “I think Nike deserves credit for all the athletes and events that they sponsor, but at the same time, within that business model, if you have a lot of athletes, you can’t be as flexible as when you only have five or ten athletes on your roster,” Keflezighi, whose brother was a Nike athlete for years before signing with Skechers in 2011, told me. He added that, while it’s typical for companies to reassess which athletes they want to sponsor at the end of an Olympic cycle, the current uncertainty surrounding the fate of the Games, and looming recession, mean that conditions for athletes are even more cutthroat than usual.

“I think the bigger brands definitely have tougher decisions to make, just because they have a bigger investment overall,” Keflezighi says. “The athletes with those brands, especially if they are not medal contenders or in a great position to make the US Olympic team—under this environment, those athletes’ contracts are a little bit more vulnerable. If you have a smaller roster of athletes, you might be able to say, ‘Hey, you know what? Let me give that athlete an extra year or two.”

DeKoker echoed this sentiment. “Obviously, performance is going to be a key element, but it’s not the only element with On,” he says. “I do think that, at some of these other companies, it’s much more of a numbers game and unfortunately some athletes are going to be on the losing end of that.”

What will the “numbers game” look like in a worst case scenario where next year’s Olympics ultimately do get canceled? With any luck, we won’t get to find out.

(09/19/2020) Views: 110 ⚡AMP
by Outside Online
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After more than two decades, John Capriotti is stepping down as leader of Nike’s track and field sports marketing group

“John is going into the consulting business,” said Steve Miller, a former Nike executive and the man who hired Capriotti at the company.

The fiery former track coach still worked for the sneaker giant as of Friday. But he is leaning toward a consulting deal that would make Nike one of his clients, according to a second source close to Capriotti.

News of the change had the track and field world buzzing on Friday.

“It’s kind of unbelievable,” said a third source, a prominent sports agent. “He’s been in that position for the entire 21 years I’ve been around track and field. He’s been the single most influential person in the sport.”

Neither Capriotti nor Nike could immediately be reached for comment.

Capriotti’s decision comes as Nike is cutting costs and laying off employees. The company lost about $790 million last quarter.

Since Nike brought in John Donahoe as its new CEO and chairman in January, there has been speculation about the ramifications for the company’s sports marketing arm, and for its track and field operations in particular. Donahoe’s athletic background is unknown. But outsiders speculate that the longtime technology executive does not share the passion for track and field of his predecessors Phil Knight and Mark Parker.

Under Capriotti’s watch, Nike solidified its position as the sport’s superpower. It hired more track athletes to endorsement contracts than any other sponsor. It also bankrolled USA Track & Field, the sport’s governing body in this country, signing a sponsorship in 2014 worth more than $400 million.

Nike sponsored three different teams of elite runners, all of them based in Oregon. Its audacious goal was to make American runners once again competitive with the rest of the world.

Capriotti and Nike also helped secure Eugene’s position as one of the world capitals of the sport. He was such a fixture at Hayward Field that his customary spot in the grandstands became known as Cap’s Corner.

The stunning decision to award the 2021 track and field world championships to Eugene came in part because of the enthusiastic support of Knight and Nike. The coronavirus pandemic has delayed the running of those championships in Eugene until 2022.

There was also plenty of controversy. Alberto Salazar was Nike’s superstar coach for the Nike Oregon Project. But Salazar was dogged for years by allegations that he encouraged his athletes to use banned substances. He was banned from the sport for four years “for orchestrating and facilitating prohibited doping conduct.”

Nike sided with Salazar and continued to back him even after the ban, which Salazar is appealing.

(09/19/2020) Views: 101 ⚡AMP
by Oregon Live
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Victor Chumo will be the lead pacesetter at the London Marathon

Pacesetters are the unsung heroes in athletics.

Theses are the men and women who set up the main contenders in a race for first finishes and records, besides the titles.

Marathon races, run over two hours require meticulous planning, disciplined pacing and tactical awareness.

Enter pacesetters, who, as the name suggest, are used to pace the contenders through the required time lines on the way to a world record, meet record, course record attempt, as the case may be.

The dynamics at the London Marathon that will be held on October 4 will be no different.

The race has attracted easily two of the fastest marathon runners in the history of athletics, Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge, and Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele.

Kipchoge needs no introduction. He is the world record holder, reigning Olympic champion and reigning London Marathon champion.

Bekele is the reigning Berlin Marathon champion, his winning time of 2 hours 01 minutes 41 seconds last year just two seconds shy of Kipchoge’s world record of 2:01:39.

Of course Kipchoge has run faster, 1:59:40- during the Ineos 1:59 Challenge in Vienna, Austria last October.

Victor Chumo was one of the runners who paced Kipchoge to that historic feat. Chumo is indeed a high profile pacemaker.

Nation Sport caught up with Chumo, who is one of the pacesetters tasked with leading the athletes in the London Marathon next month through their splits in the 42 kilometres race with a fast finish the clear objective.

The other Kenyan pacesetters for the London race are Noah Kipkemboi, Eric Kiptanui, Alfred Barkach and Shadrack Kimining.

Kaptagat-based Chumo also paced Kipchoge in his earlier failed mission to run a sub two hours marathon in Monza, Italy in 2017.

“I’m privileged that I have been selected to pace for some of the best athletes in the world. It is a hard task given that the athletes will always depend on the pacemakers during the race but I’m ready for the task because it’s not my first time to help top athletes run fast times,” said Chumo.

In fact, pacing Eliud Kipchoge in his first attempt to break the 2-hour marathon barrier in a project dubbed “Breaking2”, and sponsored by Nike, was Chumo’s first major assignment as a rabbit.

He trained hard for the assignment and was as disappointed as Kipchoge when the mission failed.

Kipchoge missed the magical barrier by only 25 seconds, after running 2:00:25.

Chumo joined Global Sports Communication stable in May 2019 and here again he was chosen among 41 pacesetters in the Ineos 1:59 Challenge that saw Kipchoge become the first and only man to run a marathon in under two hours.

“Pacing Eliud in the Ineos 1:59 Challenge was one of my best experience in my athletics career and I will remember that day for the rest of my life, he says."

(09/15/2020) Views: 120 ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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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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Adidas, ASICS and Nike boost anti-doping programme ahead of road running return

World Athletics’ road running season will recommence this month with an improved anti-doping programme thanks to the financial support of three major shoe companies.

The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) revealed that Adidas, ASICS and Nike have agreed to inject money into the Road Running Integrity Programme, meaning more than 300 platinum and gold label athletes will be monitored and tested during the coming season.

The 2020 schedule is due to resume on Sunday (September 6) with the Vidovdanska Trka 10km and is set to feature the Virgin Money London Marathon on October 4 – the same day as the Kosice Peace Marathon in Slovakia.

Last year, the AIU reached an agreement with the Abbott World Marathon Majors which pledged to provide additional funding for intelligence-led anti-doping investigation and testing programmes.

The Road Running Integrity Programme has been expanded this year with contributions from other key stakeholders of the road running community – the organisers of all Label races, athlete representatives and the three shoe companies.

More than 350 out-of-competition tests were carried out by the AIU during the first three months of the year.

But due to the decreased number of races in 2020 following the COVID-19 outbreak, the programme has been adapted.

"When we put together this programme, we had no forewarning of how disruptive the coronavirus pandemic would be to the road racing calendar this year," Brett Clothier, head of the AIU, said.

"Despite the very many other challenges this has created for Label races, agents and shoe manufacturers, not least financially, we’re delighted that these funding contributors remain committed to this anti-doping programme.

"Race cancellations have allowed us to reduce the annual budget in these exceptional circumstances and make smaller demands on some of our contributors than they initially agreed but even the directors of cancelled races have been willing to continue making some contributions to a programme that will protect the integrity of their events in years to come.

"We are pleased that these three shoe companies also recognise that this programme is crucial to the health of the sport, both ethically and commercially, and are willing to support it.

"Their collaboration will allow us to build an even stronger integrity platform for 2021, when we hope that the sport can resume on a more normal footing."

Jon Ridgeon, chief executive at World Athletics, added: "The cooperation that we are seeing between the different commercial stakeholders, including some of the shoe companies, to support the integrity of our sport, is an important development for the future of road racing and I would like to thank them for their commitment."

One of the key features of the programme for 2020 includes an overall registered testing pool of 305 athletes with the majority of those believed to be from Kenya and Ethiopia.

The top 40 runners (20 male and 20 female) are set to be tested in accordance with an advanced intelligence-led testing programme that is appropriate to their 2020 racing calendar.

The remaining 265 athletes will be subject mainly to group testing specifically for the purpose of establishing their athlete biological passport (ABP) profile.

The AIU, in conjunction with the two National Federations and the National Anti-Doping Agencies in Ethiopia and Kenya, is also expected to support educational activities across the 305 athletes, utilising digital resources, leaflets, virtual conferences and face-to-face seminars, when and where they are safe to conduct, for the remainder of the year.

"This approach is a practical response to the unique circumstances we currently face with regards to road running," Clothier added.

"There was clear feedback from the key stakeholders, that, despite the financial difficulties, the sport does not want to raise the white flag on anti-doping and when the sport does return to a more normal level of competition in the future, it should be with a strong integrity platform still in place."

 

(09/06/2020) Views: 115 ⚡AMP
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Stop Counting Your Running Mileage

It’s the one training metric virtually all runners track, but running scientists think we can do better

Even in this brave new world, with wearable technology that tracks and shares our every twitch and palpitation, the fundamental unit of training data for runners is still very old-school: How many miles did you run last week? In fact, as a new opinion piece in the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy notes, the rise of GPS watches has only strengthened our obsession with tracking mileage. And that, the article’s authors argue, is a problem—or at least a missed opportunity.

The authors have plenty of cred in the world of running science. Lead author Max Paquette is a biomechanist at the University of Memphis (and the husband, for what it’s worth, of 15:10 5,000-meter runner Lauren Paquette). Chris Napier and Rich Willy are highly respected physical therapists and researchers at the University of British Columbia and the University of Montana. And Trent Stellingwerff is a physiologist and coach who works with the Canadian Olympic team (and the husband of two-time 1,500-meter Olympian Hilary Stellingwerff). They’ve all tracked plenty of mileage totals in their time. But they think it’s time to move on.

The first part of their paper explains why relying on mileage alone to track training is a problem. Their basic point is fairly obvious: the distance you cover often isn’t a good proxy for how much stress you’re putting on your body. An easy 10K trail run is very different from 10 x 1,000 meters all-out on the track in spikes. And, more subtly, an easy 10K run is harder on your body if you’re exhausted from previous training than if you’re fresh.

There are two reasons to care about getting an accurate sense of the training stress you’re incurring. One is that it will determine how tired you are (in the short term) and how much fitter you get (in the long term). Getting the balance between fatigue and fitness right determines how fast you’ll race. The other is that it will determine, or at least strongly influence, your risk of injury.

On the first question, there’s a fairly long history of research into figuring out a better way of quantifying the balance between fitness and fatigue. What you need is something that takes into account how hard you run, not just how far. There are different ways of measuring “hard,” either externally (pace) or internally (heart rate, perceived effort). Either way, if you multiply duration by intensity for each day’s session, you get a measure of “training impulse” that carries a lot more information than mileage alone. When I covered Nike’s Breaking2 project, the scientific team used a method like this to analyze the training of the three runners. (For kicks, they analyzed mine too, and concluded that I needed to train harder, because I wasn’t building up much cumulative fatigue. They were right.)

Cyclists have already taken this information to heart, in part because power meters make it easy to quantify exactly how hard you’re pushing at any given moment. Software like TrainingPeaks can also calculate equivalent “Training Stress Scores” for running, based on pace data. In my circles, no one asks what your training stress was last week, but the idea is definitely out there. You can do a simple, tech-free version yourself by multiplying the duration of your run (in minutes) by the session’s average perceived effort (on a scale of 1 to 10), and totaling the points you accumulate each week. That would give you a better sense of how hard the week was, in a physiological sense, than mileage alone.

Having said all that, it’s the second problem—injury risk—that makes the new paper most interesting. Most studies that have looked for links between training patterns and injuries have used mileage as the sole measure of training load. Some also look at running pace. What’s missing once again is a combination of those two, but in this case it’s trickier to figure out what that combination should be.

The paper includes a fascinating table that compares three different scenarios that each involve 10K of running: an easy run on a soft trail in cushioned shoes when fresh; a similar easy run when tired; and a track session of 10 x 1,000 meters in rigid spikes. The paces represent an elite runner: 6:00 miles for the fresh easy run, just under 7:00 miles for the tired run, and 2:45 per kilometer (4:25/mile pace) for the intervals. For the tired run, the runner’s average cadence drops from 180 to 177, but the total time is greater, meaning that he takes more steps in total. For the track session, cadence jumps to 198, but the time elapsed is way less. Here’s how the total number of steps compares:

If you care about injury risk, this is a big difference! But there are more variables to consider. The faster you run, the harder your foot smacks into the ground: the track session has a peak vertical ground reaction force of 3.3 bodyweights, compared to just 3.1 for the fresh easy run and 2.9 for the tired easy run. That difference adds up with each step. Similarly, the peak Achilles tendon force is 11.5 bodyweights on the track, compared to 10.0 for the fresh run and 9.1 for the tired run.

At this point, it would be cool to give a formula for how you combine these and other variables to give you an estimate of how likely you are to blow your Achilles. Unfortunately, no one knows the answers. There have been some early attempts: a study published a few years ago at the University of California, Davis, had nine college runners wear a hip-mounted accelerometer in order to calculate the cumulative ground reaction forces that they experienced with each stride over a 60-day period. With such a small sample, it’s hard to draw any conclusions—but the three runners who ended up getting injured did, on average, accumulate more ground reaction force per run.

What Paquette and his colleagues are really calling for is more research like the UC Davis study. Wearable tech has advanced so much in recent years that it’s possible to get detailed biomechanical information from ordinary consumer devices. And with further development, these devices may be able to narrow it down and estimate the load on individual parts of the body like shin bones and Achilles tendons. Somewhere in that mountain of data, there should be one or more measures of cumulative training load that beat mileage as a predictor of injury risk.

Will this approach usher in a new era of perfectly predictable training? Probably not. “Even with the best monitoring approaches,” the authors acknowledge, “differences in individual runners’ tissue load capacity will always make injury prediction elusive.” Predicting race performance will be equally challenging, I suspect. Better data will allow us to improve our guesses, but some fundamental randomness and uncertainty will remain.

That’s not the real reason we still focus on mileage, though. Regardless of whatever superior alternatives scientists come up with, mileage will endure because it has tangible physical meaning both inside and outside the narrow world of running obsessives. The daily struggle is transmogrified into a single number that conveys exactly how far your feet have carried you in the past week, and that you can casually mention (modestly rounding down, of course) in response to the inevitable question from a co-worker or relative. In a pursuit whose meaning and purpose is abstract at the best of times, that’s not nothing.

(08/31/2020) Views: 450 ⚡AMP
by Outside Online
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Kenyan Victor Chumo looking forward to London Marathon duties

As world marathon Eliud Kipchoge and Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele, the biggest threat to the Kenyan's 2:01:39 mark, prepare for the October 4 London Marathon, ‘Rabbit’ Victor Chumo is preparing for an equally daunting task.

Chumo will be pacing for Kipchoge as he seeks to retain his title in the streets of London and has revealed his kind of routine as he battles to stay sharp for the task ahead.

The reigning Barcelona Half Marathon champion disclosed that he has been running at least 30km daily ahead of what is expected to be a highly-charged race.

Chumo will be guiding the elite-runners only event, occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic, where he leads the first group while Chicago Marathon champion, Mo Farah, will be pacing for the second group.

He said he fully understands what is at stake now that it will be the third time pacing for the only man to have dipped under two hours over the distance.

“I first paced Kipchoge during the Nike Breaking 2 where he ran 2:00: 25. I then paced him during Ineos 1:59 Challenge, running 1:59:40. With this, he has trust in me and I have to once again deliver," said Chumo.

Kipchoge will be chasing his fifth title in London after winning the 2015, 2016, 2018 and 2019 editions.

“There will be a strong field in London and that needs a strong pacesetter. You can imagine how speedy the race will be with some of the greatest marathon runners on show,” said the former Kenya Defence Forces man.

Kipchoge and Bekele (2:01:41) will also have to contend with some of the toughest challengers including nine who have dipped under 2:06.

They include Mosinet Geremew (2:02:55), Mule Wasihun (2:03:16), Sisay Lemma (2:03:36), Tamirat Tola (2:04:06), Marius Kipserem (2:04:11), Shura Kitata (2:04:49), Vincent Kipchumba (2:05:09), Sondre Nordstad Moen (2:05:48) and Gideon Kipketer (2:05:51).

Other pace-setters include Noah Kipkemoi, who also paced at Ineos Challenge, Erick Kiptanui, Alfred Barkach, Shadrack Kimining, Matt Clowes (Great Britain), and Jake Smith (Great Britain).

(08/26/2020) Views: 159 ⚡AMP
by Emmanuel Sabuni
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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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Everything you need to know about Nike’s newly-released plated spikes

Nike has quietly been working on two pairs of spikes that every runner will want to get their hands on – they’re called the Dragonfly and the Air Zoom Victory and were released earlier this summer and have since sold out worldwide. The shoes are lightweight but more padded with the addition of ZoomX foam, the same material first used in the Vaporfly and perfected in subsequent models. 

The Dragonfly is what Mohammed Ahmed wore to break his own Canadian 5,000m record and run one of the fastest times over the distance in history, and what Joshua Cheptegei wore to break the 5,000m world record on Friday. That’s two top-10 5,000m times in the space of one month in this particular pair of shoes. 

How does this compare to Nike’s road shoes?

The Dragonfly shoe seems to be everything that the Vaporfly is on the road. After companies were going more and more minimal for years (with the exception of Hoka) Nike started going maximal. While restrictions will limit how high this spike can go, its softer material and bigger stack height set it apart from the other shoes on the market. 

Before the Dragonfly, spikes had almost no cushioning. Now, with the addition of the full-length plate and a decent amount of ZoomX foam, the shoe will feel plush relative to spikes most middle distance runners are used to. 

While this shoe is more expensive than other spikes on the market, it isn’t shockingly priced. Most runners will spend around C$150 on a pair of good spikes and the Dragonfly sets you back $195 – a price increase but much more affordable than the $330 sticker on the NEXT%. 

Designed for events ranging from the 1,500m to 10,000m, this shoe will be on the feet of many runners through winter 2020 and summer 2021.

The Dragonfly isn’t the only Nike shoe that dropped this summer. The Air Zoom Victory is also built for middle distance running, but this shoe has an air bag and carbon-plate along with ZoomX foam. Slightly more expensive than the Dragonfly (coming in at $230), this shoe can be worn for any event from the 800m through to the 5,000m. 

These shoes are going fast and are currently sold out in almost every size except for men’s 13 and 14. Much like Nike’s road shoes, if runners want to get their hands on these spikes, they’ll need to watch for a re-release date and act quickly. 

(08/18/2020) Views: 101 ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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St. George Marathon cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus

Citing concerns related to the potential spread of COVID-19 and the challenge of providing adequate health and safety protections for race participants and volunteers, the city has canceled the 2020 St. George Marathon, which was originally scheduled for Oct. 3.

“This was a difficult decision for us to make. We have enjoyed 43 consecutive years of this race, which has become one of the crown jewels of the marathon circuit,” Michelle Graves, race director for the St. George Marathon, said in a press release.

“However, the health and safety of our runners, volunteers, staff members and residents outweighed the potential benefits of moving forward with this year’s race.”

As the St. George Marathon advertised at the outset of the registration period in April, each registered participant has the option for a full refund or deferral to the 2021 St. George Marathon.

All registered participants have been contacted via email conveying their options. The next St. George Marathon is set for Oct. 2, 2021.

“We really tried to make this work out. We are sad that we won’t have a race this year, but we are beyond excited for the 2021 version of the St. George Marathon,” race operations director Nikelle Pledger said.

“We look forward to our great runners, effervescent volunteers and feeling of accomplishment that comes with the St. George Marathon.”

(08/12/2020) Views: 135 ⚡AMP
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St. George Marathon

St. George Marathon

Rated by Runner's World as one of the four "Marathons to Build a Vacation Around" in the World. Included in Runner`s World 10 Most Scenic and Fastest Marathons and Top 20 Marathons in the USA. It begins in the majestic Pine Valley mountains and descends nearly 2600 feet through scenic southwest Utah, to the beautiful Worthen Park. The St. George...

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Eliud Kipchoge will use the Nike Vaporfly, the shoes he used during the Ineos 1:59 Challenge, to defend his London Marathon title

Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge will use the Nike Vaporfly Next % — the shoes he used during the Ineos 1:59 Challenge — to defend his London Marathon title on October 4.

At the same time, Kipchoge has welcomed Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele’s challenge at the London Marathon, but hastened to add that “every athlete who will compete in the race is a threat.”

“The shoes have not been banned hence I am looking forward to another great show on them as I seek my fourth victory on the course,” said Kipchoge during the launch of domestic tourism at the Serena Mara in the Maasai Mara, Narok County.

Kipchoge made history on October 12 last year when he became the first man to run a marathon (42 kilometres) in under two hours when he conquered the Ineos 159 Challenge in 1:59.41 using the new Nike Vapour Next % shoes.

Defending women’s London Marathon champion Brigid Kosgei also used similar shoe technology to set the women’s world marathon record in winning the Chicago Marathon in 2:14:04, just a day after Kipchoge’s Vienna exploits.

Then Bekele would come close to breaking Kipchoge’s world marathon record of 2:01:39 set by Kipchoge in Berlin in 2018 by three seconds when he won in Berlin in 2:01:last year. Nike's controversial Vaporfly range was the talk around the world with the feeling that it gave undue advantage to other runners owing to its sole technology. However, World Athletics — the global athletics governing body —  said it will not ban the shoes but would instead institute tighter regulations around high-tech running shoes. Any new shoe technology developed after April 30 this year will have to be available on the open market for four months before an athlete can use it in competition.

World Athletics has also introduced an immediate indefinite ban on any shoes that have a sole thicker than 40 millimetres.

“Everybody is a threat, especially when you are on a running course. Personally, I don’t see everybody less or high,” said Kipchoge adding that the only threat or difference will be the unusual training and competition conditions. “I don’t know what everyone has been doing in training. For sure it will be a different race where it won’t have the usual large field and fans owing to Covid-19 regulations,” said Kipchoge, adding that it will feel good running in London, a course where he won in 2015, 2016, 2018 and 2019.

Kipchoge said he has been training in Kaptagat, Elgeyo-Marakwet County, in isolation and in small groups but hopes that the government will reopen camps in the next week to enable them to train well.

“This is a non-contact sport and it’s my prayer that the government allows some camps to open,” said Kipchoge, who has occupied himself in reading books. He has also attended over 100 zoom meetings in the last four months from across the world.

(08/11/2020) Views: 151 ⚡AMP
by Ayumba Ayodi
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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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Paul Chelimo says that he is willing to die in a race

United States Olympic 5,000m silver medallist Paul Chelimo was the guest on last week’s LetsRun.com Track Talk podcast and he had a lot of interesting things to say about his career, running fast, his goals, doping in Kenya, racism in America, his daughter, his rivalry with Lopez Lomong, and a lot more.

As a teenager in Kenya, Chelimo ran a tryout race in the hopes of earning a scholarship to come to the United States. Though Chelimo ran poorly, he still made it to the States, and the rest is history. He arrived at NAIA Shorter (Ga.) University with $450 to his name. He’d move on to UNC Greensboro and become a two-time NCAA runner-up, but then joined the Army thinking his running career may be over. Fortunately for Chelimo, he was accepted into the Army World Class Athlete Program and in 2016 he burst onto the professional scene in the biggest way possible, ending up with an Olympic silver in the 5,000m in Rio.

Chelimo revealed two factual things of note we had not heard before. First, he said his ultimate goal is to run the Los Angeles Olympic marathon in 2028.

And he revealed that he missed two out-of-competition drug tests when he was first put into the anti-doping pool after bursting onto the scene in 2016. He said he was unfamiliar with the whereabouts system and how it worked so he missed two tests. “Since then I was so strict, because I knew if I just missed the last one, the third one, it’s gonna be a huge mess,” he said, explaining that a lack of familiarity with the system may be why runners in Kenya are now getting whereabouts failures of their own.

More highlights from Chelimo’s comments below. You can click on the timestamps to listen to them.

[60:06] On what he thinks of Moh Ahmed running 12:47 for 5,000m and Lopez Lomong going sub-13:00 and whether that makes him scared or confident:

“I never get scared. As long as we start from the same starting line in a race, and we finish at the same finishing line in a race [it] really, really doesn’t scare me…

“Usually they say it’s the lion that is smart that strikes the meat. My goal is, it’s towards the Olympics…

“If you’re going to show up and run really fast, and try to frustrate me or frustrate anyone else, I really don’t care. I have a strong mind…. I know they can run fast now. They can pace me. I don’t have to pace them anymore… So it’s good. It’s good for the sport, actually.”

On whether his rivalry with Lomong is overstated:

[62:37] “You know, it gets to a point like when someone is becoming dominant. It’s time someone else tries to break that dominance and I see Lopez Lomong try[ing] break the dominance that I’ve had in the 5K and I like it. I like challenges and Lopez Lomong is very competitive. We’re going to show up and we’re going to race and whoever wins is a champion that day.”

Chelimo says his ultimate goal is running the Olympic marathon in LA 2028, so that makes it easy to avoid taking the shortcut of doping.

[63:41] “Eventually the big goal is to get to LA 2028 in the marathon, think about me being in the LA 2028 marathon. It’s gonna be big. So I just want to keep going and keep going to when I get there.  I just want to have a long career. That’s that’s what my big goal is and I just don’t want to be greedy and that’s why I don’t support the drug cheats because I know the more patient you are, the more you get. I know like if I cheat today, yeah, I’ll make a lot of money. But what happens if I get busted? I stay out of running for four years…. And it’s so easy in track and field to be so greedy. It’s so easy to be greedy, especially when people are smoking you in races. It’s so easy to be greedy and try take the shortcuts but let them… I’m happy with what the anti-doping [authorities] are doing and everything because people are getting busted. Which shows it’s working.”

On being willing to die in a race:

[89:19] “Really, it’s all about life. I just have to put food on my table. I just have to hustle hard and I just have to make a living. People hate, they don’t know what I’ve been through…  I ran a 5k on a dirt track in Kenya. I ran like eight laps. And I got kicked out of the track because I got lapped in a 5k, running barefoot. And I remember I ran a cross country race in Kenya. I was third to last. I was like, second or third to be last….So, coming from that, and now Nike [is] sponsoring me, I have the best shoes in the world and you want to put me in a race against someone who has had shoes the whole time? You’re gonna think that guy is gonna beat me? I mean I’m just gonna do my best, just to do all I can win the race because I know where I’ve come from…. And I really, really want it. So am I guy, I’m willing to die in a race. And trust me if I die in a race one day, that’s the best way I could die man. I could be happy because I know I was hustling and I know I was digging deep. So that’s pretty much it. That’s pretty much me.”

(08/05/2020) Views: 131 ⚡AMP
by Lets Run
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Long hours, short nights and ulcers: Portland Track defies the coronavirus to stage elite meets

If Portland Track’s Jeff Merrill feels a little ragged, well, no wonder.

The legwork it takes to stage elite track meets during the coronavirus pandemic would be a strain on anybody.

“It’s an around-the-clock type of thing,” Merrill says. “The days all kind of blur together.”

Portland Track has put on two popup meets, the Big Friendly 1 on July 3 at Portland’s Jesuit High School and the Big Friendly 2 (the Bigger Friendly) on July 17 at McKenzie Track, 40 miles outside of Eugene.

Big Friendly 3 is being planned for Friday at an undisclosed location somewhere in the Portland area. Organizers are staying mum about the location to discourage spectators and prevent potential spread of the virus.

The effort it’s taken to get to this point would exhaust a marathoner. Portland Track has consulted with Oregon’s three, Nike-sponsored elite distance groups — the Bowerman Track Club, Oregon Track Club Elite and coach Pete Julian’s unnamed group.

The Portland Thorns of the National Women’s Soccer League have advised. The office of Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has signed off. So have Multnomah and Lane counties, and, presumably, the county in which the next one will take place if it’s not Multnomah. So has USA Track & Field.

Portland Track organizers have arranged with Providence-Oregon for participants to be tested twice in a 48-hour period shortly before race day. They have had to find available tracks suitable for Olympic-level athletes that meet USATF’s sanctioning criteria.

In the case of McKenzie Track, that meant building an inside rail the day before the meet, even while on the phone to Lane County Health and Human Services.

“We weren’t sure the meet was going to happen because a new mask order was going into effect and we wanted to find out for sure that we were OK to hold it,” Merrill says.

They were — once they had passed the hat to participants to pay for the rail. Portland Track is a shoestring operation with an all-volunteer board and next-to-no budget. Merrill, who is a Portland Track board member and works fulltime for Nike, hasn’t slept much this month.

None of this is easy. All of it is time consuming. Start with finding a track.

“It’s pretty hard,” says Portland Track president Michael Bergmann. “I’ve learned about all the tracks in the state, from Lane Community College, to George Fox, to Linfield, to Mt. Hood Community College. All of those guys have rails. But the schools are closed. The campuses are closed. Most of those places don’t want to take the risk of having any sort of event, which I totally understand and respect.”

McKenzie Community Track & Field didn’t have those concerns, which made the track available on July 17 — providing Portland Track brought the rail.

But that track’s tight turns make it less suitable for running fast and setting records, which is what athletes such as Donavan Brazier, Craig Engels, Konstanze Klosterhalfen, Raevyn Rogers and Shannon Rowbury of Team Julian, Nijel Amos and Chanelle Price of OTC Elite, and Josh Kerr of the Brooks Beasts want to do.

“A good call out is, when you’re looking at an aerial view on Google Maps, you want a track with a soccer field in the middle because those are wider,” Merrill says. “If they just have a football field in the middle, they’re a little narrow.”

The Thorns became involved because some players are fans of Tracklandia, a talk show Portland Track streams and Merrill co-hosts with two-time Olympian Andrew Wheating.

Thorns defender Emily Menges, who ran track at Georgetown, has been known to join the pre-pandemic post-show gatherings at an adjacent restaurant. When Merrill mentioned Portland Track was trying to set up a coronavirus testing protocol, Menges put the organizers in touch with the Thorns training staff. That led Portland Track to Providence for the testing.

“Their system is awesome,” Bergmann says.

On race day, Portland Track is serious about keeping out spectators and holding down the number of people around the track.

At McKenzie Track, “we had folks from their board at the front of the road access with a checklist,” Bergmann says. “Nobody got past who wasn’t on the list. When people come into the facility, we do a temperature check and give them a wristband to show they’ve been checked.”

Athletes are asked to wear masks when not competing. Portland Track board members do everything from labeling and handing out race bibs to counting laps to handling the public address announcing.

They had hoped to livestream the McKenzie meet, but rural Lane County couldn’t provide the necessary bandwidth. That shouldn’t be a problem Friday.

J.J. Vazquez, a Portland State professor who runs the production company Locomotion Pictures, is set to be in charge of streaming the action live on Portland Track’s free

There should be plenty to watch. Team Julian, OTC Elite, the Brooks Beasts of Seattle and Little Wing of Bend will compete. Seattle-based post-collegians mentored by University of Washington coaches Andy and Maurica Powell also figure to be there.

Bergmann has hinted there could be surprises — either entries or record attempts — but declines to be more specific.

The Bowerman Track Club has opted out, choosing instead to hold intrasquad time trials.

Bergmann says BTC coach Jerry Schumacher “knows what we’re doing. But they’ve been pretty successful doing it their way. He has his plan. I’m not going to beg him.”

The people at Portland Track have enough on their plate as it is. They aren’t getting rich.

On their own time, they are providing the region’s Olympic-level athletes a chance to do what they train to do.

“We’re having a blast,” Merrill says. “Although, I might have an ulcer.”

(08/02/2020) Views: 116 ⚡AMP
by Oregon Live
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The World athletics updates on new shoe rules

On Tuesday morning, World Athletics announced their amended shoe rules for the 2020-2021 competition season. The new rules were first announced in January when WA set boundaries on the two biggest issues in shoe technology: availability and shoe construction. The newest changes to the rules include a maximum height for spikes and the establishment of an ‘Athletic Shoe Availability Scheme’ for unsponsored elite athletes. The maximum stack height for road shoes of 40mm (which caused much controversy in January) remains the same. 

WA says in their release, “The purpose of these amendments is to maintain the current technology status quo until the Olympic Games in Tokyo across all events until a newly formed Working Group on Athletic Shoes, which includes representatives from shoe manufacturers and the World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry (WFSGI), have had the opportunity to set the parameters for achieving the right balance between innovation, competitive advantage and universality and availability.”

Running contracts, especially for Canadians, are hard to come by. Beyond getting paid to run, one of the perks of being contracted by a running company is the ability to wear prototype shoes before they hit the market. The Athletic Shoe Availability Scheme is working to eliminate the technological disadvantage that unsponsored athletes face when they’re not able to access the same gear as those they’re competing against. This rule is in line with the clause that WA has always had regarding shoes, stating that they need to be, “reasonably available to all athletes.”

WA will work to ensure that all elite runners have access to the same gear. While this is great in principle, the organization is not clear on their criteria for “elite” or who exactly will have access to this prototype pool. 

Track spikes have a maximum height now, too

The second change is that track spikes now have a ceiling when it comes to stack height. Previously unregulated, spikes now have to fall under a certain height, depending on a runner’s event. For sprint events, including hurdles and relays, the height is 20mm. For the 800m and up, it’s 25mm (this includes cross-country). The average pair of distance spikes on the market currently sits around a 15 mm stack height, so companies have some room to grow. However, the Nike spikes that Gwen Jorgensen wore at the 2018 USATF championships, for example, will now be illegal. 

These rules are currently transitional and WA acknowledges that they have a long way to go. These temporary rules will be in place until after the 2021 Olympics when more permanent guidelines will be finalized. 

(07/29/2020) Views: 129 ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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Runners face potential contract reductions for failing to race in 2020

A possible explanation for the slow times from world-class runners at Monday's High Performance Invitational

On Monday, a group of runners came together to run the AP Ranch High Performance Invitational in Fort Worth, Texas. This meet produced some extremely impressive results, including Michael Norman’s world-leading 100m time of 9.86. However, following Norman’s strong mark, he ran a series of very slow times in off-distances like the 250m, 60m and 150m. While many runners are taking this season to explore some new running distances, few are completing three or more in a day. Educated members of the running community speculated on Twitter that this unorthodox compilation of events and times is to fulfill athlete contracts, which can stipulate that runners must race in at least 10 World Athletics-sanctioned competitions during the contract year, or face pay reductions.

Norman’s impressive 100m mark garnered some serious attention (as everyone is a little racing-news starved). But once fans checked the meet results, they saw the odd combination of events that followed and the comparably slow finishing times associated with those off distances. For example, Norman’s 250m finishing time of 34.82 was basically a jog, and is slower than his 300m personal best (while running 50m shorter). Kori Carter, a sprinter and jumper, wore five different outfits that day, sharing a picture on Instagram captioned, “5 meets. 5 lerwks. 1 day.”

With most athletes competing in four to five indoor races a year (or fewer, considering that the indoor season was cut short due to COVID-19), 10 races is a very lofty goal for 2020.

All of the athletes who raced in the Fort Worth invitational are either unattached, Nike or Jordan Brand (a Nike affiliate) runners. While we can’t be certain that this was the motive for their strange mix of events and yo-yoing results, it seems likely that these runners are making an effort to fulfill obligations to their employer.

n a contract obtained by Canadian Running through a former Nike athlete who signed in 2018 (who requested anonymity), there is a section for reductions based on number of performances alone. It reads, “If ATHLETE does not, for any reason, compete in at least ten (10) IAAF-sanctioned competitions [now WA] during a Contract Year, NIKE may, in its sole discretion, reduce Base Compensation as follows:

Number of IAAF competitions that ATHLETE competed in and the reduction:

Less than 6 50%

6 or 7 35%

8 or 9 25%”

Like any other job, failure to perform results in penalties. Running is no different. However, the circumstances that runners (like everyone else) have faced in 2020 are extraordinary. While those getting paid to train and compete should make every effort to continue doing so, racing is a fickle business these days. For example, Quebec is the only Canadian province where sanctioned track events are taking place, and they’re not able to offer events over 400m until August 1.

(07/28/2020) Views: 134 ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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After a four-month break due to the Covid -19, the country’s senior athletes got their chances to be back on track at the Ashenheim Stadium at Jamaica College on Saturday

Despite windy conditions which affected the track events all afternoon, the athletes showed little rust in putting on creditable performances, with World champions Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Tajay Gayle leading the way.

Competing in a negative wind of 2.2 metres per second in Section Two of the women’s 100m, Fraser-Pryce, now representing Nike, outclassed her opponents to stop the clock at a world-leading 11.00 seconds to win the event. Sprintec Track Club’s Shashalee Forbes (11.49s), and MVP Track Club’s Anthonique Strachan (11.84s), of the Bahamas, were some way behind for second and third, respectively.

Gayle, the surprise gold medallist in the men’s long jump at the World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar, last year, used his first attempt of 8.52m, competing in a positive wind of 4.5 metres per second, to win the event. Teammate Ramone Bailey (7.54m), and The University of the West Indies’ Damon Williams (7.46m) took second and third, respectively.

One of the most competitive events on the day came in the women’s 200m, which included Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah and World Championships 400m bronze medallist Shericka Jackson, who are teammates at MVP. Thompson-Herah used her scorching speed to take early control of the race, coming off the curve in front, but Jackson caught her late to win the event in 22.89s as Thompson-Herah was second in 22.98s. Forbes had another top-three finish after coming third in 23.45s. Here, the athletes competed in a negative wind of 2.2 metres per second.

Meet organiser Bruce James said that everything went well on the day.

“It was a good day for the athletes and the officials, as we did our best to ensure that all (health) protocols were intact,” he said. “The Ministry of Health and the police were on hand to ensure that all procedures were followed.

“We had several new innovations in place, including the athletes not competing in numbers as it was all digital, and we did not use a call-room system. The athletes had to report straight to the start of their event at the time stated.”

James is hoping to put on another meet this Saturday but he will be waiting for approval again from the Ministry of Health and Wellness.

(07/13/2020) Views: 192 ⚡AMP
by Raymond Graham
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Nike reports unexpected loss as sales tumble 38%, shares fall

Nike reported an unexpected quarterly net loss and a sales decline of 38% year-over-year. 

Digital sales soared 75%, representing about 30% of total revenue, as shoppers flocked to Nike’s website for sneakers and workout gear. 

But expenses for shipping and returns also put more pressure on the company’s profits. Nike’s margins during its fiscal fourth quarter shrank to 37.3% from 45.5% a year ago. 

Even Nike, often lauded as one of the strongest global brands in the retail industry, is taking a hit from the coronavirus pandemic. 

The Portland, Oregon-based sneaker maker on Thursday reported an unexpected quarterly net loss and a sales decline of 38% year-over-year, as its business was hurt from its stores being shut temporarily, and online revenue was not enough to make up for that. 

Its inventories also piled up, weighing on profits, as its wholesale partners such as department stores also had their shops shut and took in fewer orders for shoes and clothes. 

Nike shares were recently down around 4% in after-hours trading. 

Here’s how Nike did during its fiscal fourth quarter: 

Loss per share: 51 cents 

Revenue: $6.31 billion 

Nike reported a loss of $790 million, or 51 cents per share, during the period ended May 31, compared with net income of $989 million, or earnings of 62 cents a share, a year ago. 

Total revenue was down 38% to $6.31 billion from $10.18 billion a year ago. Sales in North America were down 46%, while sales in China were down just 3%, with many of Nike’s stores in that region reopening sooner during the pandemic than in the U.S. 

Sales at the Converse brand dropped 38%. For the Nike brand, footwear sales fell 35%, apparel was down 42% and equipment revenue tumbled 53%, as sports and many recreational activities have largely been put on hold due to the Covid-19 crisis. 

Digital sales soared 75%, representing about 30% of total revenue, as shoppers flocked to Nike’s website for sneakers and workout gear. The company had previously set a goal to reach 30% digital penetration by 2023. But that timeline was accelerated rapidly because of the pandemic. Now, the company said it is targeting its e-commerce sales accounting for 50% of overall sales “in the foreseeable future.” 

But expenses for shipping and returns also put more pressure on the company’s profits. Nike’s margins during its fiscal fourth quarter shrank to 37.3% from 45.5% a year ago. 

Analysts were calling for the company to report earnings of 7 cents per share on revenue of $7.32 billion, according to Refinitiv data. However, impact from the coronavirus pandemic makes it difficult to compare the company’s results to analysts’ estimates. 

“We are continuing to invest in our biggest opportunities, including a more connected digital marketplace,” Chief Executive John Donahoe said in a statement. 

During a call with analysts, he went on to explain that Nike will make its online business more “central” to everything the company does, and that Nike will invest in opening additional smaller-format stores that are meant for customers to do things such as pick up their online orders. It said it will open about 150 such locations globally. 

“Consumers want modern, seamless experiences, online-to-offline, so we’re accelerating our approach,” Donahoe said on the call. 

Nike said its inventories as of May 31 amounted to $7.4 billion, up 31% from a year ago. The company said the increase was due, in part, to it shipping less merchandise to its wholesale partners because of the pandemic. 

Nike said product shipments to wholesale customers were down nearly 50% during the quarter. 

As of Thursday, Nike said roughly 90% of its owned stores are back open globally. In China, almost all of its owned stores are reopened. About 85% are open again in North America. 

According to CEO Donahoe, Nike’s digital business is up triple digits, so far, in June. Bricks-and-mortar retail traffic remains below prior-year levels, he said. 

Nike is not offering a complete fiscal 2021 outlook at this time. But Donahoe said revenue should be flat-to-up compared with the prior year. 

As of Thursday’s market close, Nike shares are down less than 1% this year. The stock is up about 22% from a year ago. Nike is valued at $157.7 billion. 

(06/28/2020) Views: 909 ⚡AMP
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With Hayward Field’s reconstruction complete, the University of Oregon takes possession

The University of Oregon took formal possession of Hayward Field on Tuesday, bringing to an end a two-year reconstruction project that transformed the well-loved if antiquated UO stadium into one said to be among the best track and field facilities in the world.

Paul Weinhold, president and CEO of the University of Oregon Foundation confirmed the Tuesday handover in a text message on Wednesday.

The campus property that houses the stadium had been leased to the limited liability corporation Hayward Field Enhancement for the length of the privately funded project. The project began in June 2018 and is estimated to have cost more than $200 million.

Weinhold said by text he knew of no immediate plans for a public unveiling of the new Hayward Field, and didn’t anticipate one until fall. The campus remains closed to the general public because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“That decision will be a UO Athletics decision,” Weinhold wrote.

Replying Monday by email, UO athletic department spokesman Zach Lawson referred a reporter to the university’s “Hayward Field Renovation” webpage, last updated for the week of June 1.

The original Hayward Field was built as a football stadium in 1919. It has been used for track meets since 1921. It was conceded to be inadequate for many reasons to host the 2021 World Outdoor Track & Field Championships, awarded to Eugene in 2015. The meet since has been delayed until 2022 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Organizers originally had hoped to preserve as much of the historic stadium’s character as possible, including the east grandstand.

But attempts to raise private money for that design foundered. When Nike co-founder Phil Knight, a former UO track athlete, became involved, the original plans were scrapped in favor of a more modern look.

That led to a contentious back and forth between some longtime fans in the community. Hoffman Construction, the firm that handled the project, acted quickly to level the east grandstand less than two weeks after the conclusion of the 2018 NCAA Outdoor Championships, the final major event staged at the old Hayward Field.

The permanent seating of the new stadium is listed as 12,650 and expandable to nearly,25.000, making it significantly larger than the previous stadium. The older Hayward Field had a listed seating capacity of 10,500. But a hand count done in 2018 revealed no more than 8,500 seats.

Knight and his wife, Penny, are said to have contributed the lion’s share of the project’s funding.

The new stadium is said to feature a number of spectator upgrades, such as 22-inch seats and unobstructed sight lines.

It also will be used as a training facility for members of the UO track team. Among the enhancements are much larger indoor practice areas, locker rooms, a video room, weight room, treatment rooms, a theater and an area for training aids such as hydrotherapy pools and anti-gravity machines.

Attempts Wednesday to reach UO track coach Robert Johnson and Jimmy Stanton, UO senior associate athletic director for communications, were not immediately successful.

(06/21/2020) Views: 179 ⚡AMP
by Oregon Live
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Nike has made Juneteenth an annual paid holiday for employees

The running giant has declared June 19 a paid holiday for employees in support for the Black community

Nike is adding June 19, a civic holiday called Juneteenth, to its list of official paid holidays. The holiday is the oldest known celebration of the end of slavery in America. It commemorates the day that slaves in Galveston, Texas were told of their emancipation. Nike CEO John Donahoe made the announcement on Thursday following two weeks of anti-racism protests and demonstrations across the world. Juneteenth is recognized as a holiday or observance by 47 states, but still isn’t considered a federal holiday.

This news comes one week after Nike pledged $40 million USD to supporting the Black community in the U.S. “Systemic racism and the events that have unfolded across America over the past few weeks serve as an urgent reminder of the continued change needed in our society. We know Black Lives Matter. We must educate ourselves more deeply on the issues faced by Black communities and understand the enormous suffering and senseless tragedy racial bigotry creates,” said Donahoe.

“The NIKE, Inc. family can always do more but will never stop striving to role model how a diverse company acts. We will continue our focus on being more representative of our consumers while doing our part in the communities we serve.”

(06/21/2020) Views: 148 ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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These carbon fibre shoes are coming for Nike’s running crown In the race for every advantage, footwear designers are improving on nature by adding carbon fibre flex

Nike has conquered long distance running. Its thick, foam-soled shoes have grabbed headlines and rewritten records. In October 2019, the Portland, Oregon-based company provided the footwear worn by Eliud Kipchoge, who ran a marathon in less than two hours, a feat once thought impossible. At the Tokyo marathon in March, 28 of the top 30 runners were wearing a variant of Nike’s Air Zoom Alphafly Next% shoe.

The success of the footwear is thought to be down to a rigid carbon fibre plate with a thick stack of foam, which helps athletes use less energy, leading to faster times. But, by the time the world’s best runners return to Tokyo for the Olympics in 2021, Nike could have serious competition on its hands, from a little-known company that started out making suitcases.

Carbitex founder Junus Khan began experimenting with carbon fibre technology ten years ago in his garage in Washington state, with an initial focus on luggage. “What Nike did was fantastic, it’s proven,” says Khan, who has a background in the automotive industry and learned about materials and carbon fibre while working for supercar brands, in particular during a collaboration with Skylar Tibbits, the founder of MIT’s Self Assembly Lab. “They created an entire system which has shaken the running footwear industry to its core. But our approach is different.”

Carbitex, which now has 50 staff, makes a new kind of carbon plate designed to aid natural running. It has two technologies: AFX and DFX. The former stands for asymmetrically flexible, meaning the plates can bend more one way than the other, much like parts of our body. DFX means dynamically flexible, where the plate exponentially increases in stiffness in order to meet the particular movement needs.

This means, in theory, that the plate could work to provide everyday comfort for walking, but also the stiffness required for a sprint. “When you go past a certain angle when you’re running, your foot bends beyond what it needs to, and the more it does that, the more energy you use,” Khan explains. “Our technology takes the foot to the angle it wants to go to, and then it gets stiff. That’s the concept our carbon fibre material enables, that other carbon fibre plates just can’t.”

The changing stiffness of the plate in the shoe means your foot has, in effect, different gears, depending on its needs. “Our premise in footwear is that we look to augment your natural human ability,” says Khan. “We help the foot do more things it wants to do, and protect it from doing things it doesn’t want to do.”

In March of this year, a young Ethiopian athlete called Bayelign Teshager won the Los Angeles marathon in a pair of adidas adizero pro running shoes, equipped with Carbitex technology.

But the company has ambitions beyond the track. Khan reveals that work is underway on a shoe that would be popular among triathletes, as it would lose stiffness when transitioning from cycling to running, and the company is also in talks with ballet and dance companies, and even the military. “If you can take out the super heavy rubber in military boots, then you can go further and waste less energy,” he says. Carbitex seems to be taking a suitably flexible approach.

(06/21/2020) Views: 157 ⚡AMP
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CAS to hear Salazar appeal in November

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has said it will hear banned track coach Alberto Salazar’s appeal to overturn his four-year doping suspension in November.

American Salazar, who coached some of the world’s top distance runners including British Olympic and world champion Mo Farah, was banned by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) in October for “orchestrating and facilitating” doping as head coach of the Nike Oregon Project (NOP).

Swiss-based CAS, the world’s highest sports court, said on Tuesday it would hear appeals from Salazar and endocrinologist Jeffrey Brown between Nov. 8-16. Brown, who worked for NOP on performance enhancement and served as a physician for numerous athletes in the training program, was also banned by USADA for four years.

Nike Inc, which funds NOP — an elite long-distance running training centre in Portland under a long-term sponsorship deal with U.S. Track and Field — has previously said it would support Salazar’s bid to clear his name.No NOP runner was directly implicated in doping by USADA.

Salazar won three consecutive New York City marathons from 1980 before coaching a slew of Olympians, including Farah, who won the 5,000 and 10,000m golds at the London and Rio Olympics before splitting with the American in 2017.

Farah has never failed a drugs test and has not been accused of any wrongdoing.

(06/06/2020) Views: 181 ⚡AMP
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There are many races that will not survive the Pandemic

In this time of coronavirus when so much of normal life has been disrupted and locked down, running has once again been touted as a healthy habit to engage in, not just physically, but emotionally and psychologically, as well. And yet the great irony is that coming together by the hundreds and thousands to run in road races is considered a dangerous catalyst to the spread of the virus. And so as race cancellations increase and the calendar ahead is denuded of our annual mass gatherings, Running USA CEO Rich Harshbarger acknowledged the industry is “suffering tremendously” and that, since it has no league or players association, it is sometimes overlooked. 

While there has always been something of a prideful outsider’s mentality to the sport of running, being overlooked as an industry is an altogether different matter. So in April 2020, over 500 endurance event operators across the country — including Ironman and Running USA — banded together to launch the Endurance Sports Coalition, which sought longer-term funding for event operators. 

“Without specifically targeted help from the federal government,” said the Endurance Sports Coalition, “the endurance sports may not survive the COVID-19 pandemic. Many events with long and proud histories do not have the resources to weather this storm and will not be able to ramp up again next year.”

That’s the sound of strident individuality falling in the face of the existential threat brought about by the Coronavirus.

Long the backbone of the running industry, the individual event summoning thousands of individual runners is now finding that flinty independence has a cutting edge.  It has been the sports’ resolute refusal to aggregate its numbers to form anything beyond the individual race, that now threatens the viability of many long-standing events.

This lack of a wider view was first made apparent when Nike pulled out sponsorship of the Cascade Run-Off in Portland, Oregon, a classic 15K event that hosted the first open prize money road race on the fledgling Association of Road Race Athletes (ARRA) tour in 1981. When Nike pulled out a few years later and local organizers couldn’t find an immediate sponsor replacement, rather than seeing financial support coming from the broader road race community to bridge the gap until a new sponsor could be found, the event just died, taking with it a seminal milestone in the history of the sport. There was no sense that ‘we are all in this together”; it was every event for itself.

True, there have been some examples of multiple-race series over the years, most notably the 154-event Diet Pepsi 10K Series in the late Seventies, early Eighties.  And Dr. Scholl’s staged their Pro Comfort 10K series for a few years in the mid-`80s.  Elite Racing, Inc. founded the Rock ‘n’ Roll-themed series of marathons and half-marathons in 1998 and literally changed the game.  Competitor Group and now Ironman continued to develop the participation aspect of the RnR Series while largely eliminating the pro racing division. On that front, the Abbott World Marathon Majors branded six of the world’s preeminent marathons.  But in recent cycles, there has been a shift in public recognition from tour champions to Six-Star Finishers – due in part to the negative publicity of drug cheaters taking the series titles before having to give them up upon being caught.

But throughout its first four-plus decades, the running industry has primarily developed via an individual event, individual runner orientation. And that orientation was sufficient to grow the events even if it didn’t do the same for the sport at the leading edge of the events.  Yes, the elite sporting element has maintained a presence, but largely it has been managed more than promoted.

There are 44 million runners? 35,000 races? 17.6 million racers?  These are striking numbers reflecting a robust industry (though the number of racers has slowly been eroding for the last half-decade). But when every one of those numbers is constituted as a universe of one, they don’t add up to anything more than an academic data point. And now in the face of Coronavirus, road running’s mass gatherings are seen as Petri dishes of viral concern. But because the industry never successfully formed a league or developed a players association to create a larger force, it finds itself particularly vulnerable, exposing the weakness of the sport’s atomic event sensibility to help bridge a time of crisis. 

Runners were once ridiculed (“It’s spring and the saps are running” was a Boston favorite). Then the sport found broad acceptance through the original Running Boom. Still, I am reminded of those early years when you would go to meetings at City Halls looking for street closing permits and the like. And often race directors would tell city officials, “we will start very early and stay off main roads. Nobody will know we are there.” And I always wondered, is “nobody knows we’re there” a proper goal? Former Houston Marathon director David Hannah had a famous line about that mentality, “A long time ago running made an unconscious decision to be a closely held secret.”

It makes you wonder whether events, athletes, and agents are paying close attention to the current crisis. Have they figured it out yet?  Fish have. Birds have. Wildebeests have. Ants have.  And finally, an endurance events coalition has, too. There are safety and power and insurance in numbers. If this Coronavirus crisis doesn’t set this sport up for some sort of unified effort going forward, you just wonder whatever will?

(05/31/2020) Views: 169 ⚡AMP
by Toni Reavis
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Prefontaine Memorial Run canceled

COOS BAY — The annual Prefontaine Memorial Run became the latest victim of the COVID-19 pandemic this week, when the long-running tribute to Marshfield great Steve Prefontaine was canceled for this year.

The Prefontaine Memorial Foundation committee agreed unanimously to cancel the event, which had been scheduled for Sept. 19, due to COVID-19 guidelines and concerns.

“This would have been the 41st year for our event, and though we regret the necessity of the cancellation, our foremost concern is to safeguard the wellbeing of our participants, volunteers and those who gather to watch and cheer on the walkers and runners,” said Bob Huggins, the executive director for the Foundation.

Huggins noted that refunds would be sent to people who already have signed up for the race.

The committee had hoped to be able to hold the race, which is the largest annual sports event on the South Coast, typically drawing more than 1,000 runners and walkers for its 10-kilomter race and 2-mile run walk and an associated high school cross country race.

“There are just too many situations we can’t control,” Huggins said. “The outdoor running portion of it is OK. The likeliness of getting COVID if you’re outdoor running is remote.

“But when we start dealing with indoor registration, start-line gathering with people around, handing out awards — there’s just too many things we can’t control.”

Plus, Huggins pointed out, “The governor’s proclamation that sporting events and large gatherings are prohibited through September pretty much made our decision for us.”

Locally and statewide, other big events also have been canceled, including the Hood to Coast Relay, the Butte to Butte run in Eugene, Cycle Oregon and county fairs.

The South Coast Running Club also this week canceled all its summer events, including the Jennifer’s Cathing Slough Classic in June, the rescheduled Roseburg to Coos Bay Relay in June, the Mayor’s Firecracker Run on July 4 in Mingus Park, the Circle the Bay in August and the Sunset Bay Trail Run on Labor Day Weekend.

“Given the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, we have made the difficult decision to cancel running events through September,” club officials said in a message sent out to members. “We believe this is the most responsible course of action.

“We are saddened by the circumstances that are causing us not to be hosting these events. We believe it is our role to keep our runners and their families healthy by decreasing exposure risk.”

This was going to be a particularly big year for the Prefontaine Memorial Run because the Road Runners Club of America had declared the run this year’s National Championship 10K race. But Huggins said RRCA officials already have told him they will award that distinction to next year’s run.

“We look forward to Sept. 18, 2021, when we plan to once again invite runners to take part in our premier event to honor our hometown hero, Steve Prefontaine, his celebrated running career and his memory,” Huggins said.

The annual run helps the Prefontaine Foundation fund a number of projects each year.

Huggins said projects made possible by the generous support of sponsors and the proceeds from the run include grants to support track and cross country programs in Coos County high schools, annual scholarships to high school seniors who participate in track or cross country, and helping fund the Pre Track Club, a summer training program at Marshfield High School.

This year’s sponsors include Nike, Pacific Properties, Tower Motor Company, Banner Bank, Vend West Services, Farr’s Hardware and North Bend Medical Center.

More information about the run and the Prefontaine Foundation is available at www.prefontainerun.com or by calling Huggins at 541-297-0230.

(05/23/2020) Views: 178 ⚡AMP
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Two elite athletes Mary Cain and Nick Willis sign with Tracksmith as full-time employees

Tracksmith, the independent running apparel brand out of Boston, announced its newest pair of partner athletes: Mary Cain and Nick Willis. This is not a traditional partnership, though, as Cain and Willis will both be working as full-time employees for the company in addition to running for the brand.

The duo will represent Tracksmith as they both work toward the Tokyo Olympic Games, which are set for July 2021, and they will do it as amateurs, a term that Tracksmith is looking to reclaim for everyone who loves to run.

In a post entitled “For the love” on the Tracksmith website announcing the brand’s newest partnership, founder and CEO Matt Taylor talks about the word “amateur,” which comes from Latin roots meaning “to love” and “I love.”

Taylor says “amateur” only recently became a term for non-professionals (around the 19th century or so), and now the team at Tracksmith wants to take the term back to its roots and refer to anyone who loves to run as “amateurs.”

In sports, athlete sponsorships are always dictated by results, and the better an athlete performs, the stronger their brand partnerships become. On the other hand, if their results start to decline, it’s not uncommon to see these relationships deteriorate and disappear.

This won’t be the case for Cain and Willis, because, working as Tracksmith employees and representing the brand as amateurs, they will have “the freedom to participate in the sport with no expectations or pressures outside of the ones they place on themselves.”

Cain made international headlines in November when she told the New York Times about the abuse she sustained while running with the Nike Oregon Project (NOP) under now-banned coach Alberto Salazar. Cain won gold in the 3,000m at the the world junior championships in 2014 before leaving the NOP a year later. In 2020, she returned to racing for the first time since 2016, and she is now working toward making her first U.S. Olympic team.

Cain’s official role at Tracksmith is New York community manager, and she will help grow the company’s “on-the-ground and virtual efforts in one of the most vibrant running scenes in the world.”

Willis, who’s 37 years old, tweeted he was leaving Adidas on Sunday, and there was some speculation that he might be retiring. Today, he tweeted again, saying, “I’m not retiring; I’m turning amateur.” Willis is a two-time Olympic medallist for New Zealand, having won silver in the 1,500m in Beijing in 2008 and bronze in the same event eight years later in Rio.

Willis is quoted on the Tracksmith site, saying, “It may sound counterintuitive, but I always discovered that my running career thrived the most when I embraced more. My best years, my fastest times, all emerged from times in my life when my running came, well, second.”

He’ll be looking to qualify for his fourth Olympics in 2021 while working as the athlete experience manager at Tracksmith, building programs to “inspire, motivate and deepen our community’s connection to the sport.”

(05/13/2020) Views: 391 ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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Nike will be donating 30,000 pairs of shoes to frontline workers fighting Covid-19

Nike is donating 30,000 pairs of shoes — specifically designed for healthcare workers — to health systems and hospitals in cities across the United States.

The Air Zoom Pulse, which was released in November 2019, is the company's "first shoe designed for the healthcare athlete, an everyday hero," Nike said in its announcement on Monday.

The company went to OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital in Portland, Oregon, to study those in the profession. They took into account the challenges of those on the job — including long hours on their feet and liquid spills — and the comfort needed for long shifts.

Nike (NKE) partnered with Good360, a non-profit specializing in efficient distribution of product donations, to help deliver the shoes to workers in Chicago, Los Angeles, Memphis, and New York City, and within the Veterans Health Administration, according to Nike.

The company said health care workers in New York City and Los Angeles will also receive about 95,000 pairs of soccer socks offering mild compression.

"The effort is led by messages of gratitude to healthcare professionals," Nike said in its release. "From one athlete to another, Nike athletes recognize the physical and mental resilience of healthcare athletes."

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted his appreciation for the sportswear company.

"Thank you so much for supporting our front line health care heroes," he wrote on Monday.

Hospitals across Europe — including Barcelona, Berlin, London, Milan, Paris and Belgium — will receive an additional 2,500 pairs, Nike said.

More than 3.5 million cases of the novel coronavirus, including at least 251,000 deaths, have been recorded worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Nike's donation comes as healthcare workers continue to help battle the coronavirus pandemic, often putting themselves at risk. Many are helping patients without adequate supplies and equipment.

Nike said some of its teams came together to help create and donate full-face shields and powered, air-purifying respirator (PAPR) lenses to help protect healthcare workers.

To date, Nike and the Nike Foundation have committed more than $25 million to Covid-19 relief efforts, according to the company.

(05/12/2020) Views: 199 ⚡AMP
by Lauren M. Johnson
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To Run or Walk the Hills, That Is The Question

Those old enough to have learned to drive with a manual transmission were probably told they had to shift gears when the tachometer reached a certain RPM. Once you became proficient at it, you simply knew when to shift, by feel or sound, and didn’t need to look at the gauge much less think about it. The same is true of changing between running and walking uphill, but, surprisingly, it isn’t as simple, involving many variables. In fact, it is so complex that the choice of when to run or walk up a hill was the focus of a mountain runner student’s recent honors thesis.

Jackson Brill, a Salomon-sponsored runner and soon-to-be-graduate of the University of Colorado-Boulder, wrote his thesis on “To Run or Walk Uphill: A Matter of Inclination” toward earning his degree in Integrative Physiology. In researching it, he worked with his advisor, prominent CU faculty member, Dr. Roger Kram, Ph.D., Integrative Physiology, who runs the locomotion lab that did the original Nike 4% testing.

The Study

Brill’s thesis centers on the point at which uphill trail and mountain runners transition to walkers. He measured three different speeds at which this can occur. First is the “Preferred Transition Speed” (PTS), where people prefer to switch—any slower, humans prefer to walk, any faster, they prefer to run. The second is the “Energy Optimal Transition Speed,” (EOTS), where exercise economy — the cost required to maintain a certain speed — indicates transitioning to walking is mechanically better. (Note: Brill shies away from saying “more efficient” as there is no way to truly measure mechanical power in runners.) Finally, there is the heart rate optimal transition speed (HROTS); a third measure that is basically the same idea as EOTS but using heart rate as the efficiency indicator. At HROTS, heart rate is the same between walking and running. Slower than this speed, walking heart rate is lower than running heart rate. Faster than HROTS, vice versa.

Brill’s study set out to examine the effect that incline had on PTS and EOTS, and to determine “how heart rate is influenced by gait selection.” Brill’s hypothesis was that at certain speeds it would be more efficient to walk on steeper inclines and that both speed and incline play into PTS and EOTS. In other words, that both measures would get slower at steeper inclines.

“I thought this would occur because both walking and running are more metabolically demanding at steeper inclines and, thus, there would be greater drive to minimize energetic cost,” he says. “Finally, I hypothesized that HROTS and EOTS would be equal at each incline. I thought this would occur because heart rate generally correlates with energetic cost during steady state endurance exercise.”

Brill based his study on testing ten “healthy, high-caliber, male trail and mountain runners.” He tested the runners in two sessions, one where the treadmill was set at 0 degrees and 15 degrees and a second at 5 degrees and 10 degrees. PTS and EOTS were determined from metabolic cost data for walking and running at three or four speeds per incline near the expected EOTS.

Expected and Unexpected Research Findings

Image Courtesy Jackson Brill

Brill’s study and analysis produced expected and unexpected results. Consistent with prior research, the study showed that at all inclines walking generally required less metabolic power at slow speeds and running required less at faster speeds, and that the transition would arrive at a slower speed on steeper inclines. Also consistent with prior research was that PTS would be less than EOTS at shallow inclines. The reasons we transition sooner than what would be most metabolically efficient is unclear, but theories point to biomechanical factors, such as sparing fatigue on specific muscles.

This changed at a higher incline, however. At 15 degrees, PTS and EOTS were the same. Since this was only on average (not all of the subjects showed this change), Brill is cautious with drawing conclusions “especially because no prior research looked at PTS and EOTS on these steep inclines and, thus, nobody else has validated such a finding,” he says. However, he observes: “There’s physiological plausibility for PTS and EOTS to converge at steeper inclines since the greater intensity of the steeper inclines means that subjects are closer to their VO2 max and energetic cost or oxygen consumption begins to become a limiting factor at higher intensities, unlike lower intensities on the more gradual inclines.”

Unexpectedly, the study determined that HROT did not equal EOTS at all inclines and, accordingly, that heart rate is not a reliable predictor of when a runner will shift to walking. Therefore, athletes and coaches shouldn’t rely on heart rate monitors to govern gait.

Further Questions

As part of Brill’s written conclusion, he states: “Energetic, biomechanical, and neuromuscular factors may influence gait transition, and these should be studied in further detail, especially on inclines commonly experienced by trail and mountain runners, where the question of gait transition has large performance implications.” He says he’d love to delve into the effects of fuel utilization and carb sparing, local fatigue and the relative strength and weakness of specific lower leg muscles.

Image courtesy: Jackson Brill

Brill points out that the study was limited by the fact that the subjects weren’t able to place their hands on their quadriceps or knees to facilitate knee extension during late stance due to the constraints of the mouthpiece and breathing tube that collected expired air. This may have influenced metabolic cost and discomfort, especially at 10 and 15 degrees, and thus artificially distorted the results. Brill’s thesis also recognizes that the limitations of lab-based research eliminated a variety of relevant factors such as the steepness of the incline, length of the climb, ground surface, and the overall duration of the effort, which all weigh on an individual’s gait selection. Those factors are crucial, along with fueling choices, a runner’s unique leg strengths and weaknesses, use of poles or no poles, at what point in the run the incline comes, and, perhaps most importantly, whether there are other runners to pass or be passed by, or observers to cheer or jeer.

Impact of the Study

Brill says he thought this study was “important because many trail and mountain running coaches and athletes believe that deciding whether to walk or run uphill is solely determined by speed or solely determined by incline.” He wants runners and coaches to understand the “nuance and complexity of gait selection.” Additionally, many trail and mountain running coaches and athletes rely on cardiovascular or energetic models in their training—in the sense of VO2 max and anaerobic threshold workouts—and he wanted to determine whether that reliance was well founded. “Furthermore,” he says, “since coaches and athletes often utilize heart rate monitors to approximate cardiovascular stress or energetic cost, I also wanted to learn if this was a useful tool for approximating EOTS.”

Beyond heart rate, Brill says, “The practical importance of this finding is that if someone says ‘I always switch to walking if I’m going slower than 12 minutes per mile’ or, alternatively, ‘I always switch to walking if I’m going steeper than 10 degrees,’ they’re dumb, because ultimately the speed of transition—whether we’re talking PTS, EOTS, or the unknown transition speed that optimizes performance—is a function of both incline and speed, not just one or the other.”

Expected and Unexpected Research Findings

Brill’s study and analysis produced expected and unexpected results. Consistent with prior research, the study showed that at all inclines walking generally required less metabolic power at slow speeds and running required less at faster speeds, and that the transition would arrive at a slower speed on steeper inclines. Also consistent with prior research was that PTS would be less than EOTS at shallow inclines. The reasons we transition sooner than what would be most metabolically efficient is unclear, but theories point to biomechanical factors, such as sparing fatigue on specific muscles.

This changed at a higher incline, however. At 15 degrees, PTS and EOTS were the same. Since this was only on average (not all of the subjects showed this change), Brill is cautious with drawing conclusions “especially because no prior research looked at PTS and EOTS on these steep inclines and, thus, nobody else has validated such a finding,” he says. However, he observes: “There’s physiological plausibility for PTS and EOTS to converge at steeper inclines since the greater intensity of the steeper inclines means that subjects are closer to their VO2 max and energetic cost or oxygen consumption begins to become a limiting factor at higher intensities, unlike lower intensities on the more gradual inclines.”

Unexpectedly, the study determined that HROT did not equal EOTS at all inclines and, accordingly, that heart rate is not a reliable predictor of when a runner will shift to walking. Therefore, athletes and coaches shouldn’t rely on heart rate monitors to govern gait.

Further Questions

As part of Brill’s written conclusion, he states: “Energetic, biomechanical, and neuromuscular factors may influence gait transition, and these should be studied in further detail, especially on inclines commonly experienced by trail and mountain runners, where the question of gait transition has large performance implications.” He says he’d love to delve into the effects of fuel utilization and carb sparing, local fatigue and the relative strength and weakness of specific lower leg muscles.

Brill points out that the study was limited by the fact that the subjects weren’t able to place their hands on their quadriceps or knees to facilitate knee extension during late stance due to the constraints of the mouthpiece and breathing tube that collected expired air. This may have influenced metabolic cost and discomfort, especially at 10 and 15 degrees, and thus artificially distorted the results. Brill’s thesis also recognizes that the limitations of lab-based research eliminated a variety of relevant factors such as the steepness of the incline, length of the climb, ground surface, and the overall duration of the effort, which all weigh on an individual’s gait selection. Those factors are crucial, along with fueling choices, a runner’s unique leg strengths and weaknesses, use of poles or no poles, at what point in the run the incline comes, and, perhaps most importantly, whether there are other runners to pass or be passed by, or observers to cheer or jeer.

Impact of the Study

Brill says he thought this study was “important because many trail and mountain running coaches and athletes believe that deciding whether to walk or run uphill is solely determined by speed or solely determined by incline.” He wants runners and coaches to understand the “nuance and complexity of gait selection.” Additionally, many trail and mountain running coaches and athletes rely on cardiovascular or energetic models in their training—in the sense of VO2 max and anaerobic threshold workouts—and he wanted to determine whether that reliance was well founded. “Furthermore,” he says, “since coaches and athletes often utilize heart rate monitors to approximate cardiovascular stress or energetic cost, I also wanted to learn if this was a useful tool for approximating EOTS.”

Beyond heart rate, Brill says, “The practical importance of this finding is that if someone says ‘I always switch to walking if I’m going slower than 12 minutes per mile’ or, alternatively, ‘I always switch to walking if I’m going steeper than 10 degrees,’ they’re dumb, because ultimately the speed of transition—whether we’re talking PTS, EOTS, or the unknown transition speed that optimizes performance—is a function of both incline and speed, not just one or the other.”

(05/09/2020) Views: 191 ⚡AMP
by Podium Runner
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Eliud Kipchoge, the legend, is leading from the front in distributing relief food to vulnerable athletes in the Rift Valley

On Friday, the Olympic champion and world marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge spent his day in Kericho County distributing the food which was flagged off by Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed on Thursday.

Kipchoge, along with his Eliud Kipchoge Foundation, was picked as the ambassador of the relief project by the Ministry of Sport to motivate and come to the aid of athletes who have lost huge potential income owing to cancellation of races as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to bite.

The food was donated by the ministry and well wishers, including the Hindu Council of Kenya, with Sports Principal Secretary Joe Okudo joining Amina in flagging off the consignments on Thursday.

The packages being given to each athlete, have, inter alia, maize and wheat flour, rice, cooking oil and pasta.

Athletes in Kericho were excited to not only receive the portions, but also have a close encounter with their legend Kipchoge who became the first man to run the marathon in under two hours in Vienna last October.

Kipchoge was, perhaps, difficult to identify, given that he wore a face mask in tandem with public health directives, but his Nike jumper and unique, grey Nike Zoom shoes along with the spring the famous spring in his step as he moved up and down, unloading the consignments from trucks, gave him in.

Seeing the legend “live” was huge consolation for the disruption in the Kericho athletes’ training programmes by Covid-19 precautions that outlaw group training sessions and races from being held.

Kipchoge’s programme too has been seriously disrupted by the pandemic.

Last month, he had been lined up with his Ethiopian Global Sports Communication stable mate but rival, Kenenisa Bekele, at the London Marathon.

Then in July, he was primed to defend his Olympic marathon title in Sapporo.

But while the April 26 London Marathon was postponed to October 4, the Olympic Games have been pushed to July and August next year, holding all factors constant.

Kipchoge has now to juggle between staying in shape and helping out the disadvantaged athletes, indeed the hallmark of a selfless legend.

n Friday, Kipchoge will be on the food relief mission in Kapsabet, Eldoret, Iten and Kaptagat.

"Through Eliud Kipchoge, we have identified 58 athletes who are very needy and deserve to get these food packages,” CS Amina said on Thursday while flagging off the food convoy at Nyayo National Stadium.

“The effects of the pandemic mean they cannot compete and they do not have any source of income.”

The CS, who announced earlier in the week that cover 1,000 sportsmen and women will benefit from the relief food, also appealed to the private sector and individuals to supplement the government's efforts in helping the vulnerable sportsmen and women.

(05/08/2020) Views: 173 ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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Dathan Ritzenhein Retires at Age 37

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(05/07/2020) Views: 205 ⚡AMP
by David Monti
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Former UK Athletics performance director Neil Black, dies at age 60

Neil Black, the former performance director of UK Athletics, has died aged 60, the organization has confirmed.

Black, who worked closely with Mo Farah throughout his career, became performance director in September 2012.

He left his position in 2019 after coach Alberto Salazar was banned for four years for doping violations.

British four-time Olympic champion Farah paid tribute on Twitter, saying: "I have lost a good friend. Known him since I was 14 years old."

Farah added: "Neil supported me all the way in my career since I was kid. My heart is broken. I wouldn't be where I am today without Neil Black. No-one knew me like he did. We lost a great man."

A UK Athletics statement released on Tuesday said Black died at the weekend; the organisation said it was "shocked and saddened" at the news.

"Neil loved the sport of athletics and dedicated his life to supporting athletes - as a world-class physiotherapist, as head of sport science, and then in recent years as performance director for British Athletics," the statement continued.

Ed Warner, former UK Athletics chairman, described Black's death as "an immense loss to British high performance sport and to athletics in particular".

Warner added: "It was a great privilege to work with him, and to share the highs and lows of British teams through the cycles of major competitions. I'll particularly treasure our celebratory clinch in the mixed zone at the Olympic Stadium after the last session of the London 2017 World Championships.

"Neil bore the barbs of the critics that are an inevitable part of the job of any leader in elite performance sport with a grace and sense of humour that were truly a mark of the man.

"He wanted to lead the British teams into Tokyo. He won't now be able to cheer their successes there.

"But I am certain there are British athletes who will win medals in Olympics and championships to come who will look back with enormous gratitude at the role Neil played in preparing them for their success. He will be greatly missed."

Black was a physiotherapist with UK Athletics before moving up through the organisation's ranks.

He worked with Farah as the athlete won 5,000m and 10,000m gold at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympics.

Black made the decision to step down as performance director in October 2019 after the banning of Salazar, who coached Farah from 2011 to 2017, and who was appointed as a consultant by UK Athletics in 2013.

UK Athletics had conducted a review in 2015 and said there was "no concern" about Salazar's link with Farah.

In 2015, following a BBC Panorama programme, the United States Anti-Doping Agency (Usada) began an investigation into how Salazar ran the Nike Oregon Project.

Salazar has always denied that the Nike Oregon Project permitted doping, saying he was "shocked" by Usada's findings, and he is appealing against the ban.

UK Athletics said that Black continued to work as an adviser to several athletes following his resignation.

(04/22/2020) Views: 214 ⚡AMP
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Remembering Boston 2014, when Meb Keflezighi ran all the way to one of the defining victories in the race’s 123-year history, becoming the first U.S. male runner to win in 31 years

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(04/20/2020) Views: 254 ⚡AMP
by Meb Keflezighi
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

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

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Nike Develops Face Shield for Health-Care Workers on the front lines of the coronavirus fight

With personal protective equipment in short supply for medical workers on the front lines of the coronavirus fight, Nike is offering up its services.

The Beaverton, Ore.-based athletic company announced today that its innovation, manufacturing and product teams have developed face shields and powered, air-purifying respirator (PAPR) lenses in partnership with health professionals from Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU).

Nike delivered its first shipment of face shields and PAPR lenses to OHSU on Friday. The sportswear giant’s PPE is being provided to medical systems located in the vicinity of its Oregon world headquarters, including Providence, Legacy Health Systems and Kaiser Permanente.

“Nike’s generous response to the COVID-19 crisis helps to instill an added layer of confidence and support for health-care workers that we can safely carry out the jobs we were born to do,” said Dr. Miko Enomoto, associate professor of anesthesiology and perioperative medicine at the OHSU School of Medicine.

The Swoosh’s version of a face shield features elements of its footwear and apparel that have been repurposed, including TPU from its Air soles, collar padding meant for shoes and cords originally destined to become apparel. The full-face shield includes three parts which come together through a nine-step process, a collaborative effort of a few Nike teams at its Air Manufacturing Innovation facilities in Oregon and Missouri. Similarly, Nike is making PAPR helmets using the same TPU that is being utilized for the face shields.

n March, OHSU announced a $7 million donation from Nike’s current and former top brass — CEO John Donahoe and wife Eileen, Chairman Mark Parker and wife Kathy, and founder Phil Knight and wife Penny — to coordinate care and provide equipment as it combats COVID-19 in Oregon.

Other athletic companies based in the United States are also offering their manufacturing capabilities to help solve the PPE shortage. Last week, Under Armour said it has delivered 1,300 face shields to the University of Maryland Medical System and expects to make more than 500,000 fabric face masks and 50,000 fanny packs.

And New Balance said on March 27 that it is creating masks in its Lawrence, Mass., manufacturing facility to be used by health-care professionals.

(04/14/2020) Views: 195 ⚡AMP
by Ella Chochrek
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Dr. Michael Joyner, the Guy Who Predicted the Sub-2:00 Marathon, Now Helping Lead the COVID-19 Fight

Dr. Michael Joyner of the Mayo Clinic is best known in running circles as being the guy who in 1991 published a paper saying a human being could run a marathon in 1:57:58. Joyner, an anesthesiologist and physiologist by trade, now is using his skills on a much more serious matter by helping lead the National COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project (CCPP19). The CCPP19 is a nationwide effort of researchers, institutions, and blood blanks to try to use plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients to better treat patients suffering from COVID-19.

“What we’re trying to do is leverage the antibodies produced by people who have recovered from COVID-19. Harvest those antibodies from recovered patients and then give these antibodies in the form of plasma to people to either prevent disease in people that have been exposed but aren’t yet sick, to treat people who are in the hospital and try to keep them from going to the intensive care unit, or to try to shorten the stay in the intensive care unit. This is called convalescent plasma therapy. It’s been around since the late 1800s. It’s worked numerous times before,” said Joyner on this week’s LetsRun.com Track Talk Podcast.

Joyner said the goal is for people to continue to practice social distancing and proper pandemic control while groups like his develop better short-term treatments for COVID-19 before a vaccine can be made to really stop the virus.

“We believe it’s our best shot on kind of [a] biological goal in the short run, and then after that, we anticipate concentrated gamma globulin, like antibodies, [being] available toward the end of the summer. And then we are waiting for the vaccine and biotech cavalry to come to the rescue,” Joyner said.

Running did play a tangential role in getting Joyner involved with CCPP19. Joyner has always been interested in oxygen transport and physiology because of his days as a competitive runner at the University of Arizona. Recently, Joyner was on Twitter and he saw a retweet by David Epstein, the former Columbia 800m runner and former ProPublica journalist who, along with the BBC, broke the allegations that Alberto Salazar and the Nike Oregon Project were breaking anti-doping rules.

The retweet was a link to a Wall Street Journal article by Dr. Arturo Casadevall on using antibodies to try to treat the coronavirus:

(04/12/2020) Views: 203 ⚡AMP
by Letsrun
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Under Armour brand is manufacturing face masks for hospital workers amid Coronavirus

Under Armour is the latest brand to pivot production to assist in the fight against novel coronavirus.

The Baltimore-based footwear and apparel brand announced on March 31 it plans to manufacture and distribute more than 500,000 fabric face masks while assembling and distributing 50,000 specially equipped fanny packs to support the 28,000 healthcare providers and staff that comprise the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS).

“This is an unprecedented time. Companies with the ability to innovate and provide resources to make a difference are needed now more than ever,” Under Armour CEO Patrik Frisk said in an e-mail. “Our partners at the University of Maryland Medical System and other medical organizations on the frontlines of this pandemic are facing a new kind of challenge. We hope to deploy our heritage in helping make athletes better—as well as our legacy of local community support—in this new way to help the heroic healthcare workers as they make the lives of all better every day.”

The United States is currently facing a face mask shortage as novel coronavirus continues to sweep through the nation; as of 9:20 a.m. March 31 there are more than 161,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 3,000 deaths.

With numbers rising and the demand for medical equipment also increasing, various sports companies have stepped up to contribute during these unprecedented times.

Fanatics announced on March 26 it is partnering with Major League Baseball to support emergency personnel in the fight against novel coronavirus by making hospital face masks and gowns out of the same material used to make baseball jerseys. Nike announced on March 25 it is prototyping personal protective equipment including face shields with guidance from healthcare workers at Oregon Health & Science University. New Balance is producing prototypes for face masks out of its manufacturing facility in Lawrence, Massachusetts, with the hopes to scale production throughout its other New England factories soon.

Under Armour designed a one-piece face mask that doesn’t require sewing. The mask’s origami-style folds mold the fabric into the desired mask shape. Under Amour senior vice-president of advanced material and manufacturing innovation Randy Harward estimates the company can generate as many as 100,000 masks per week moving forward utilizing its knife cutter which can carve nearly 100 pieces of fabric at once.

The brand is not only helping supply healthcare providers and staff at UMMS, it has begun providing face masks to LifeBridge, a regional health care organization based in Baltimore, and is in discussion with Johns Hopkins Medicine, MedStar and other local medical institutions regarding supplies.

Under Armour, which is exploring 3-D printing N95 and N80 masks for medical professionals, has already delivered 1,300 face shields to UMMS.

“Ensuring the health and safety of our medical staff and patients is our first priority,” said Dr. Mohan Suntha, president and CEO of University of Maryland Medical System. “The national shortage of personal protective equipment has put our hospitals—and every other hospital in the country—under intense pressure to manage supplies while delivering care in a setting that is safe for our patients and employees.

(04/04/2020) Views: 232 ⚡AMP
by Michael LoRé
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After coronavirus forces postponement of 2020 Tokyo Olympics, elite athletes share their sorrow

Former University of Oregon sprinter English Gardner was looking at the big picture when the news broke Tuesday that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics were being postponed for a year because of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic.

Gardner has a 2016 Olympic gold medal from the Team USA women’s 4x100 relay and big hopes for Tokyo.

But she fully supports the decision by the International Olympic Committee and Japanese organizers to postpone.

“I’m bigger than track and field,” Gardner said. “I’m part of the community. I’m a human being. I’m a sister. I’m a mother. I’m a girlfriend. I’m a godmother. As a whole world, we’re kind of going through it right now. It’s OK that the Games got postponed because this problem, this illness, this sickness is way bigger than Tokyo.”

Gardner is among the Olympic-level athletes and coaches who spoke to The Oregonian/OregonLive on Tuesday about the postponement. They shared varying mixtures of relief, resignation, disappointment and hope for the future.

Shortly after the decision about the Olympics became public, the TrackTown USA local organizing committee announced the U.S. Olympic trials for track and field scheduled for June at Hayward Field in Eugene also had been postponed.

In most of the country, athletes are living in various degrees of social isolation as state, regional and municipal governments try to slow the spread of the virus. In many cases it has affected their ability to train.

Maybe worse has been the uncertainty of not knowing what the future holds and watching major sporting events be canceled or postponed, one after another. It seemed only a matter of time before the Olympics became the next domino to fall.

“I wasn’t super surprised,” said Shelby Houlihan of the Portland-based Bowerman Track Club and reigning USA Track & Field outdoor women’s champion in the 1,500 and 5,000 meters. “I figured it was probably going to happen. But it still kind of sucks.

“Obviously, it was probably for the best because of the situation we’re in. Safety should definitely be the No. 1 priority. But it does suck because I was ready for this year.”

Pete Julian coaches a Nike-sponsored, Portland-based team of elite distance runners who have been gearing up for the Olympics.

Julian’s group includes, among others, U.S. mid-distance stars Donavan Brazier, the 2019 world outdoor champion in the 800 meters, and Craig Engels, German star Konstanze Klosterhalfen and former University of Oregon runner Jessica Hull of Australia.

“I don’t think any of them are happy about the Olympics getting moved,” Julian said. “I think a lot of them feel they’re ready to go and believe they can win medals. They’re sort of kicking the post. They want to race.”

But Julian agrees with the decision to postpone. His message to his runners is they can be better in 2021 than they are now. He believes the Olympics can be too.

“I think Tokyo is one of the few cities in the world that could pull this off without a hitch,” he said. “I don’t think most of us can even imagine the logistical nightmare that this is going to create, and what the IOC and Tokyo will have to work through. But they will be able to do it, and it will be amazing.”

Evan Jager of the Bowerman Track Club is the 2016 Olympic silver medalist in the men’s steeplechase. He said he had a strong winter of training and liked his positioning heading into the outdoor season. But he believes this step back can turn to be a bigger step forward.

“Postponing it a year and having the Olympics as that light at the end of the tunnel is going to be a very positive thing to look forward to,” Jager said. “We can come out of this crisis a year from now, and hopefully be healthy. The Olympics can be a celebration of getting out of these dark times.”

Marathoner Galen Rupp said he planned to keep training and keep perspective.

The former University of Oregon star won an Olympic silver medal in the men’s 10,000 meters in 2012 and a bronze in the marathon in 2016. He already had made the 2020 U.S. Olympic team by winning the marathon trials on Feb. 29 in Atlanta.

“The health, safety and well-being of the global population are of the utmost importance and beyond any sporting event,” Rupp said. “Already so many people have gotten sick or died and so many more have been greatly impacted by the coronavirus. We need to listen to the advice of health experts.”

Even if that means going dark in 2020 and waiting a year so the coronavirus can be contained.

Gardner, the former UO sprinter who lives in New Jersey, said training has become difficult because of quarantine containment regulations. She joked she has to get creative to do track workouts because of padlocked facilities.

“I’ve been hopping a lot of fences,” she said. “I’ve been working on my long jump and high jump approaches.”

But turning serious, she said she endorsed the quarantines and social-distancing rules as a way to keep vulnerable family members safe. She said the Olympic postponement would protect athletes and fans.

“I was mostly concerned that we would calm the virus down, we all would go to Tokyo and spur it back up again,” Gardner said.

She said it could hit athlete housing in Tokyo the way an outbreak of the norovirus struck at the 2017 World Outdoor Championships in London.

“We share common eating rooms,” she said. “We all share the same tracks, the same weight rooms, the same hotels. It would just be a matter of time before it spurred back up again.“

(03/29/2020) Views: 203 ⚡AMP
by Oregon Live
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Looking for Some Running Content to Watch? On Running’s Chasing Tokyo Series May be Just For You

On Running’s Chasing Tokyo series may be just for you. The video series chronicled the nine athletes of the On ZAP Endurance professional running team (Tyler Pennel, Joe Stilin, Andrew Colley, Johnny Crain, Tristin Van Ord, Matt McClintock, Joanna Thompson, Josh Izewski, and Nicole DiMercurio) and their attempts to qualify for the 2020 US Olympic marathon team. The five-part series became a hit on social media, with 1.35 million views on YouTube, and more than 7.2 million views across all platforms according to On.

The On ZAP runners came up short of the Olympic goal.

If you want to watch the series without knowing how the On runners did, scroll to the videos embedded below. Otherwise keep reading.

However, they had two strong performances in the men’s race at the US Olympic Marathon Trials in Atlanta. with Tyler Pennel (11th in 2:12:34) and Josh Izewski (17th in 2:14:15) both posting top-20 finishes. Pennel’s run showed just how strong the men’s race was; despite a PR on the tough Atlanta course, Pennel could not match his 5th-place finish from the 2016 Trials.

While the top 3 finishers in Atlanta got the most attention, the series captures why so many runners dedicate a significant portion of their lives training for and dreaming of the Olympics. Joe Stilin, who had an off day at the Trials and finished 107th, is in tears in the final episode talking about how much it meant to him to have his high school coach, his dad, his brother, and even fellow teammates encouraging him at the Trials.

“It’s what the sport’s about…Sometimes, it’s not about just crushing and being top 3 and all that. It’s why we run,” Stilin said (that clip is here).

The series is directed by Emmy-winning director, Andrew Hinton (“Man with the Halo”) and starts following the team in 2019 in episode 1, “Dudes in the Woods,” which explains what the On ZAP team — located in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Boone, N.C., — is all about. Episode 5 concludes with the Olympic Trials. There isn’t much footage from the Trials — only four minutes of the one-hour series comes from once they’re on the starting line in Atlanta — but the point isn’t to capture the race itself, but to show the buildup and struggles all Olympic dreamers go through.

Episode 1 is only five minutes, so give it a shot and see if you get hooked.

And don’t feel too bad that the ZAP runners didn’t make it to Tokyo. They’re already dreaming of Paris 2024. “Of the nine athletes on the team, I think probably half of them are thinking about this race four years from now. Sometimes it’s the people who are just too stupid to quit who get things done and we’re probably in that category,” said On ZAP head coach Pete Rea in the final episode.

One final thing: is the On ZAP runners were allowed to wear the new Nike super shoes during the race. We are full of praise for On for allowing this: it shows they put their athletes first. On was founded by former world duathlon champion Olivier Bernhard, who knows a thing or two about performance (LRC’s Wejo went to Olivier’s house in Switzerland in 2012 or 2013). Olivier was a Nike-sponsored athlete back in the day, and when he got injured he tinkered with his shoes, and that led him to starting a shoe company once he stopped competing. Roger Federer is now working with On and an investor in the company. Athletes of that caliber know is it not right to force athletes to compete at a disadvantage, so they let the On ZAP runners wear the Nike shoes. We applaud them. None of the ZAP runners are forced to wonder “What if…

(03/22/2020) Views: 231 ⚡AMP
by Let’s Run
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Mo Farah explains over taking supplement

Mo Farah has explained how he came to change his account when questioned in 2015 about taking the supplement L-carnitine before the 2014 London Marathon.

A BBC Panorama documentary aired last Monday revealed that Farah was interviewed by investigators from the US Anti-Doping Agency in 2015 as part of its investigation into his former coach Alberto Salazar and asked whether he had been given L-carnitine before the previous year’s London Marathon.

Farah was tested six days after that race and the BBC reported that, despite listing a number of other products and medicines, he failed to record L-carnitine on his doping control form. In transcripts obtained by the BBC, Farah denies having been given the injection in the initial 2015 interview with Usada.

Panorama reported he then met the UK Athletics head of distance running, Barry Fudge, immediately after the interview and returned to the room as the investigators were preparing to leave. At this point, Farah, who won 5,000 metres and 10,000m gold at the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games, told them he had been given the injection.

In an interview with the Sunday Mirror, Farah explains: “I was questioned for five hours. I said one thing and then other things got said and now it’s made out like I’ve done wrong, but if you know how it happened then it’s easier to understand. When I came out I said to Barry, ‘Hey mate, they kept asking me about this supplement. What’s that?’

“He said, ‘Yeah, it’s this, you did take it’, so I went straight back in and told them. I forgot, but as soon as I was told I ran back in. If I was a liar, why would I go straight back in? I said, ‘Look, I genuinely forgot, I didn’t know that. Now I do.’”

Farah said when he was questioned by investigators he thought he had only been given magnesium injections. “I was 100% convinced I hadn’t taken it [L-carnitine],” Farah said. “In my mind I hadn’t taken anything else apart from magnesium. I put magnesium on the doping control form.

“I can sleep at night knowing I’ve done nothing wrong. I love representing my country, making my country proud and doing what I do best because it is a gift and that’s why I do it with a smile. But it’s not fair what comes with it. It’s not fair on my kids and my family. It’s just not right. It’s depressing. Mentally and physically it’s had an effect on me.”

L-carnitine is not a prohibited substance under Wada rules. Injections and infusions of it were permitted within Wada rules in 2014 provided the volume was below 50 millilitres every six hours. The permitted volume is now 100ml every 12 hours.

Salazar, Farah’s former coach at the Nike Oregon Project, was handed a four-year ban by Usada in October last year for doping violations, though he has appealed to the court of arbitration for sport.

Farah, who ended his relationship with the American in 2017, has never failed a drugs test and is not accused of any wrongdoing.

(03/19/2020) Views: 264 ⚡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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How European indoor 5000m record-holder Marc Scott is coping amid the Coronavirus outbreak. Some good advice

The European indoor 5000m record-holder on life in Oregon amid the Covid-19 outbreak and how running at times like these has many benefits.

Some of Britain’s top athletes are sharing insight into how they are coping during the coronavirus outbreak, which continues to cause great uncertainty and disruption to training and competition. Here European indoor 5000m record-holder Marc Scott talks about his own situation and shares some advice for other athletes in a similar position.

“Competitions will be resumed, there is always something to train for!” “So far, here in Portland in the United States, things seem to be going ahead as normal despite all the cancellations everywhere else,” says Scott, who is now back in training after a strong winter season which saw him break Mo Farah’s European indoor 5000m record with 13:08.87 in Boston.

“Nike HQ where we are based has limited the gyms and facilities to current employees and athletes only so that helps. We can still use the track and surrounding trails.”

Training as normal.- “Our coach has told us that we are continuing training as normal, sessions will go ahead unless informed otherwise,” adds the Bowerman Track Club runner.

“We still plan on heading to altitude camp in a few weeks also, because as of now the Olympic Games and other championships are still on! We typically don’t meet in large groups anymore but that’s not restricted training.

“I usually find out my competition schedule after a block of training, based on how that has gone. No cancelled races just yet, fingers crossed.”

Running has many great benefits.- “My top tip would be to ensure you are self isolating whenever necessary,” Scott says. “Maybe the group runs and social events will stop, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go outside for a run on your own!

“Competitions will be resumed, there is always something to train for! So, keep training. Running doesn’t just have a fitness aspect to it, it has many great benefits. It will break up the constant media surrounding us and enable us to get out there and enjoy ourselves.”

(03/17/2020) Views: 550 ⚡AMP
by Jessica Whittington
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28 of Top 30 Men at Tokyo Marathon Used Nike's Latest and Previous Platform Shoe Models

Nike's recent generations of thick-soled platform racing shoes swept the 2020 Tokyo Marathon, with 28 out of the top 30 placing men wearing them, including international entrants. Of these, 9 including new Japanese national record holder Suguru Osako (Nike) wear wearing the new Air Zoom Alphafly Next% model with a 3.95 cm thick sole complying with new regulations from World Athletics. With 10 Japanese men running under 2:08 in a single race for the first time in history, all 10 were wearing models of the platform shoes.

Despite a mix in choice of models, the shoes dominated the market in the race. One after another, thick green, black, pink, and green and orange shoes crossed the finish line in Marunouchi, Tokyo. From winner Birhanu Legese to 30th-place Shuho Dairokuno, 28 men had the Nike shoes on their feet. The other 2 were wearing Adidas and Asics. Wearing the latest model of the Nike shoes for his latest national record, Osako said, "Every race feels different afterwards. It's hard to say how much of a role the shoes played, but being able to take advantage of Nike's latest technology is a strength for us."

On Jan. 31 World Athletics established a new rule setting the maximum shoe sole thickness at 4 cm. On Feb. 5 Nike unveiled its new model with a thickness of 3.95 cm. With the shoes going on sale in Japan, the Tokyo marathon represented their Japanese debut.

Switching from the previous model to the new one for this race and finishing 27th in 2:09:41, Kenji Yamamoto (Mazda) commented, "My left foot starting hurting at 10 km, and something felt wrong. In the second half my legs felt like sticks, but I still felt like I was getting a lot of assistance. Somehow I still managed to squeeze out a sub-2:10. The rebound in these is amazing." Comparing them to the previous model he wore at last fall's MGC Olympic trials race he said, "The softness is completely different. When you step in them it feels like you're on top of a balance ball, and you get a real feeling of rebound."

There's no denying that the hard work and dedication that athletes put in on a day-to-day basis plays the biggest role in their success, but it's equally true that the last few generations of these platform shoes were in the director's seat of a race that saw an unprecedented 10 Japanese men run under 2:08.

(03/14/2020) Views: 383 ⚡AMP
by Japan Running News
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Birhanu Legese win the Tokyo Marathon clocking 2:04:15 while Suguru Osako sets a new Japanese record with 2:05:29

The Tokyo marathon mass race was cancelled  because of the worldwide panic concerning the Coronavirus.  However, the elite race took place as scheduled.  What a race it was.  Perfect running weather.  Birhanu Legese from Ethiopia was the overall winner clocking 2:04:15.  He also won last year. 

Suguru Osako was the first Japanese across the line  setting a new national record with 2:05:29. This giving him a big pay day.  Lonah Cemtai Salpeter set a new course record in winning the women's race clocking 2:17:45.  Legese, wearing Nike's much-discussed carbon-plated shoes, hit the front before the 40 kilometre mark, winning by more than half a minute but missing out on Wilson Kipsang's 2017 record of 2:03.58.

Somali-born Belgian Bashir Abdi (2:04.49) pipped Ethiopian Sisay Lemma (2:04.51) to second place in a race for the line.

Japan's Suguru Osako finished fourth in 2:05.29, improving his own national record by 21 seconds and locking up Japan's third and final spot in the men's field for the Tokyo Olympics later this year.

Lonah Korlima Chemtai Salpeter, who runs for Israel, won the women's race in a record time of 2:17.45, 50 seconds ahead of Birhane Dibaba with her fellow Ethiopian Sutume Asefa Kebede a distant third two minutes back.

Sarah Chepchirchir owned the previous women's record of 2:19:47 from the 2017 race.

Suguru Osako's national record brought him a 100 million yen bonus (US$950,000) from the Japan Corporate Track and Field Federation as part of their "Project Exceed" initiative to improve performances in the build-up to the Olympics Games.  "It is not clear if the same person can be paid the bonus twice," says Bob Anderson, MBR editor.  "This is still being confirmed."

Suguru Osako (Ōsako Suguru, born 23 May 1991) is a Japanese long-distance runner. He won the 10,000 metres gold medal at the 2011 Summer Universiade in Shenzhen and holds the Asian junior record for the half marathon. He held the Japanese National Record for the marathon of 2:05.50 set at the 2018 Chicago Marathon, where he finished third.

 

(02/29/2020) Views: 719 ⚡AMP
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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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Galen Rupp says he is ready for the US Olympic Marathon Trials

Portland's Galen Rupp will attempt to make his fourth U.S. Olympic team in next weekend's marathon trials in Atlanta. 

After a turbulent 16 months Galen Rupp is in a better place now physically and emotionally, and just in time.

The former University of Oregon star and Portland resident will attempt to make his fourth U.S. Olympic team in next Saturday’s marathon trials in Atlanta.

“I’ve had a great last week and a half of training,” Rupp says. “I got some good speed work in. I did a really long run that went longer than marathon distance. I’m feeling really good about where I’m at.”

Rupp, 33, is the reigning men’s trials champion and the 2016 Olympic marathon bronze medalist. But in some ways that was in another lifetime.

He last completed a marathon in October of 2018, when he came across fifth in Chicago. The next day his left foot was so swollen he barely could walk.

Doctors determined the problem was a bony protrusion on his heel that was causing the Achilles tendon to fray. It required surgerythat kept him out of action for months.

Rupp’s left leg still wasn’t right when he returned to competition a year later for last fall’s Chicago Marathon. He was forced off the course late in the race with a calf strain.

“I told myself, ‘This is going to hurt like crazy. You’re just going to have to suck it up and get through it,’” Rupp says of his pre-race mindset. “Unfortunately, my body didn’t allow me to do that.”

By then, Rupp was without his coach, Alberto Salazar. Salazar had been given a four-year ban two weeks earlier for violating doping rules. Nike disbanded the Oregon Project, the distance team which Salazar coached and of which Rupp was a member.

None of the violations for which Salazar was banned were for intentionally doping athletes. None of Salazar’s athletes were implicated in violations that led to the ban, nor have any failed drug tests. Salazar is appealing the ban.

But the upshot was, Rupp was without the man who had been his primary coach since high school. It was a tough time.

“I’m pretty religious, a strong Catholic,” Rupp says. “I truly believe God has this big plan for each and every one of us. Even if it doesn’t make sense at the time, or you’re struggling to see some good in it, you have to just keep pushing through it. It’s about having faith that it’s going to be all right.”

The philosophy has allowed him to put the pain, the injury setbacks, the coaching upheaval aside and turn his attention inward.

“All I can do is try to be the best athlete, the best person, the best husband, the best father I can be.” Rupp says. “Obviously, none of us is perfect. I would rather focus on what I can do to keep making myself better than worry about things I can’t control.”

He studied Tai Chi, which has helped him zero in on what matters most to him, being fully present for his wife, Keara, and their four children and getting race-ready for Atlanta.

At long last, Galen Rupp is within reach of the mountain top

He hired Northern Arizona coach Mike Smith to oversee his training. Smith has flown up from Flagstaff a few times to supervise workouts. But for the most part, former Oregon Project assistant Tim Rowberry has served as Smith’s eyes in Portland.

Rupp says the new coaching arrangement has worked well. Smith kept much of the training Rupp had been doing with Salazar, but not all.

“I wasn’t looking for someone who just wanted to replicate things and be a yes man,” Rupp says. “I think that would have been almost the worst thing. I wanted someone who was going to continue to challenge me.”

Rupp tested himself three weeks ago while winning the Sprouts Mesa Half Marathon in Mesa, Arizona in 1 hour, 1 minute, 19 seconds.

He looked good, felt good and came back from Arizona with renewed confidence. His left leg held up.

“There were a few little thoughts, like, ‘What if it does start to hurt again?’” Rupp says. “Obviously, the last year hasn’t gone all that great.

“That stuff certainly was running through my head. But running the race and feeling as good as I did and as strong as I did on that leg — I wouldn’t say it’s completely back to where it was before the surgery, but it’s pretty darn close.”

Rupp says he has driven himself hard to be prepared for anything he might see in Atlanta — the weather, the hills, the competition and the physical discomfort.

“It’s how I’ve always looked at training,” he says. “You put yourself in extremely uncomfortable situations. You make yourself hurt. You make yourself suffer. That’s how you get better.”

(02/23/2020) Views: 312 ⚡AMP
by Ken Goe (Oregon Live)
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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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2020 Nike Vapormax is set To Debut At Tokyo Olympics

February 2017 marks a pivotal notch in Nike’s innovation timeline as this was the very instance that Vapormax technology made its retail introduction to the globe.

Since this moment, the segmented Air unit is still considered to be one of the Swoosh’s significant creations of last decade and has spawned an entire generation of new Sportswear models designed equally for performance and lifestyle purposes.

And while many of its releases in the past year have delivered compelling colorways and hybrid silhouettes such as the recent Vapormax 360, it’s ready to turn the page to its new chapter, and what better event to do so than at the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The Vapormax 2020, a brand new silhouette that keeps most of its traditional DNA, but modifies its constructions with elements more aligned with futuristic proportions.

Engineered with a more sustainable approach, this new model’s Flyknit upper is comprised of 75% recycled manufacturing waste, and features multi-colored threading inspired by a bird’s eye view of piles of waste (We didn’t know trash could ever look this good either). In addition, the heels have been upgraded with a much sleeker shape with curvy molds plastered to the rear which, for these initial launch colorways, arrive in an icy blue hue set with scrap speckles on the USA edition, and an oceanic marble for its GR colorway. 

However, perhaps the component that reflects its evolution the most, is the addition of Flyease – Nike’s laceless technology system that allows users to slide in and out of the shoe while still providing a flexible and secured fit.

The translucent outsole is also altered slightly with the arrival of an “S” shaped mold that separates the forefoot and heel, as well as more chippy recycled accents pasted onto its borders. You can expect to these to make their debut on the Olympic podiums via this Summer’s medalists, as well as see a public release sometime during Summer/Fall 2020.

 

(02/19/2020) Views: 306 ⚡AMP
by Elliot Santiago
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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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A look at the latest from Adidas, Adizero Pro carbon-plated shoe

Adidas has announced the release date of its commercially available carbon-plated shoe. The Adizero Pro is made of a Carbitex carbon-plate, a Lightstrike midsole (padded by a bit of Boost at the heel) and a Continental rubber outsole.

The shoe will be available to select markets on April 1, 2020 and worldwide on May 15, 2020.

Prototype versions of this shoe have been seen on the feet of four-time New York Marathon Champion Mary Keitany, 10K world record-holder Rhonex Kipruto, and even in 2008, on the feet of the former marathon world record-holder Haile Gebrselassie.

This is the first time the company is using Lightstrike in a running shoes (a TPU foam that made its debut in basketball). Adidas believes Lightstrike’s combination of stability and energy return will be appreciated by runners, especially over the full marathon distance.

The Adidas prototype that debuted at the 2020 Houston Marathon isn’t the shoe that was announced today. The all-white shoe had very subtle markings, with huge stack height and a line through the midsole, that presumably sandwiches a carbon plate.

While this isn’t the prototype that is hitting the market this spring, it could be a version of the carbon-plated shoe that we’ll see in available commercially in the fall.

Adidas joins Saucony, New Balance, Hoka, Under Armour, Brooks and Nike, which all have announced the release of their latest carbon-plated shoes this spring.

(02/13/2020) Views: 675 ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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The true test of the newest Nike shoe will be in under three weeks' time at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials

Last week Nike released their newest line of shoes which includes the Air Zoom Alphafly Next%, complete with a 39.5 mm stack height, falling just under World Athletics’ new ruling of a maximum of 40 mm. Since the release of the so-called super shoe shoe (that conveniently follows all of World Athletics’ new rules) there has been heavy speculation that Nike was tipped off, but WA claims that’s not the case.

World Athletics told The Guardian last week, “We spoke to several shoe companies, including Nike, a few days before we released our new shoe regulations to let them know what we were planning. But that was the extent of it.”

Alex Hutchinson has written extensively on this topic (including in the current issue of Canadian Running Magazine). He spoke to Nike and claimed on Twitter that according to the company, the commercial version of the Air Zoom Alphafly Next% isn’t all that different from the shoe Eliud Kipchoge wore to break the two hour barrier in October.

Here are the major takeaways from the thread: 1.- Kipchoge’s Alphafly prototype was legal, and basically identical to the upcoming consumer version. 2.- World Athletics measured a size eight as 39.5 mm [stack height], which is their reference size (WA rules actually say size 42). 3.- Heel-toe offset will be 8 mm in commercial shoe.

If the Kipchoge shoe was, in fact, nearly identical to the consumer version (available February 29 in limited release), then perhaps World Athletics’ assertion that no shoe company had advance notice is credible.

When asked last week about what the future holds for running shoe technology, Hutchinson points out that we don’t actually know how good the Alphafly is yet. He wrote in an email, “Seeing Kipchoge run sub-two in the earlier prototype was obviously impressive, but there was a lot going on in that race. With the original Vaporfly, we had actual external lab data telling us how good it was. But for subsequent models, we’re just guessing. Just because it looks crazy doesn’t mean it’s substantially better than previous models. I guess we’ll find out—but for now, that knowledge gap makes predictions about the Alphafly’s impact difficult.”

The true test will come at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials when the shoe will go head-to-head against other companies’ carbon-plated creations for the first time. That event will have spectators watching shoes just as closely as the runners.

(02/11/2020) Views: 308 ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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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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A look at who's got a shot at making the American Olympic marathon squad

The U.S. Olympic Trials are less than three weeks away. The fields are finalized, the tapers are starting soon and runners and fans are anticipating one of the most exciting trials yet.

Here’s a look at which runners we think are most likely to place in the top three and be named to the U.S. Olympic squad after the February 29 race in Atlanta.

Women’s field.- The favorites to make this Olympic team are Sara Hall (Asics), Des Linden (Brooks), Molly Huddle (Saucony) and Emily Sisson (New Balance). Hall has been extremely consistent over the past year, running personal bests in both the marathon and the half (a 2:22:16 in Berlin and a 1:08 in Houston just a few weeks ago). Linden is a gamer and someone who shows up no matter the conditions. She’s also an Olympic marathon veteran.

Huddle and Sisson are training partners who have helped each other improve over the marathon distance. Huddle has been a staple on the American distance scene for years (she’s a multi-time American record holder) and Sisson is the rising star who has flourished alongside Huddle. The pair own 2:23:08 (Sisson) and 2:26:33 (Huddle) marathon personal bests and know how to show up on race day. But the knock on Sisson is that she’s only run one (albeit, fantastic) marathon, and inexperience could be her downfall.

Our best bet for the top three, in order, is: Hall, Huddle, Linden.

The dark horses.-  Jordan Hasay (Nike) and Amy Cragg (Nike) are the dark horses. We just haven’t seen enough to know where these two runners are at. Hasay’s most recent result is a DNF from the Chicago Marathon. Admittedly, her training group had just folded and her former coach was charged with doping infractions, so her racing conditions weren’t ideal. But Hasay hasn’t even gotten on a start line since then.

As for Cragg, she’s the 2017 World Championship medallist and 2016 Olympian over the distance. Cragg’s results are few and far between over the past two years, but she put it all together at the Tokyo Marathon in 2018 to run a 2:21:42–one of the fastest American times in history. Both Hasay and Cragg boast the best personal bests of the bunch, but with no indication of fitness, it’s impossible to predict where they’ll end up in 20 days’ time.

Men’s field.- The favorites in the men’s race are Galen Rupp (Nike), Leonard Korir (Nike), Scott Fauble (Hoka) and Jared Ward (Saucony). Rupp was almost a dark horse, due to his poor resume from the past year, but on Saturday he clocked a 1:01:19 in a tune up half-marathon in Arizona. So he’s in good shape.

As for the other three, all hold personal bests from 2019 around the same time. Korir’s is 2:07:56 from Amsterdam and Fauble and Ward’s are both from Boston 2019 at 2:09:09 and 2:09:25. Among these three it’s really a toss-up, based on past performances, as to who makes the team.

Our best bet for the top three, in order, is: Rupp, Ward, Korir.

The dark horses.- The dark horses in this event are the masters men: Bernard Lagat (Nike) (45) and Abdi Abdirahman (Nike) (42).  Like in women’s marathoning, the men are also proving that age is just a number on the race course. Lagat and Abdirahman have both recently clocked 2:11 and 2:12 marathons and are in the conversation for the team if they have a good day in Atlanta.

(02/11/2020) Views: 530 ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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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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