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Mateiko and Gebreselama with bright future after dominant RAK wins

There were breakout victories for hitherto little known Daniel Mateiko of Kenya and Tsigie Gebreselama of Ethiopia in the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon in the United Arab Emirates early Saturday morning. And the imperious manner of their wins on a breezy, humid morning with a sea mist invading the latter stages suggests they both have a very bright future.

Yet the contrast in their race-winning tactics could hardly have been greater. Mateiko led from the gun, and only conceded the lead for brief periods, before outgunning his colleagues John Korir and Isaia Lasoi in the final kilometre, to win in a world leading 58min 45sec. Korir and Lasoi finished five and ten seconds behind respectively.

In contrast, Gebreselama contented herself to stay in the pack until she was ready to strike for home in the last five kilometres. Only former world record holder (64.31) and 2020 winner, colleague Ababel Yeshaneh could go with her, but that challenge didn’t last long. And such was Gebreselama’s attritional pace that by the time she crossed the line in 65.14, Yeshaneh was exactly half a minute in arrears. Jackline Sakilu of Tanzania was the surprise of the day, setting a national record of 66.05 in third place. What was no surprise was that the podium places were taken by athletes from three East African countries who share the same topography, the high altitude plateau of the Great Rift Valley.

Konstanze Klosterhalfen of Germany threatened to gatecrash that exclusive club up to the hallway point in a race, having come directly from her own training camp in Ethiopia. But, having headed the field up to 10k, which she passed in 31.09, which would have been a PB had she finished the race, she tailed off drastically and dropped out shortly afterwards, saying she did not feel well.

Olympic marathon champion, Peres Jepchirchir had been one of the favourites to win, but in the bustle of the start, someone trod on her heel and she lost around 20sec putting her shoe back on. Surprisingly for someone with her long experience, instead of working her way gradually back to the group, she shot off and rejoined them before they had completed the first kilometre. She paid for that unnecessary effort in the closing stages, and could only finish seventh in 67.19.

Gebreselama was not entirely unknown prior to today; she finished second in the world cross country championships in Australia last year. ‘That was my best performance, but today is better than that, because I won,’ she said after the race. ‘I knew I was in good shape. I think I like cross country and road running equally, but now I must prepare for the track’. In a reversal of tradition, she is leaving here for a four-month stint in an altitude training camp in the USA, before she runs the Ethiopian trials with the intent on making the Olympic team at 10,000 metres.

Having been told that there was no pacemaker in the men’s race, we wondered why Mateiko, who led from the gun kept consulting his watch and checking over his shoulder at his pursuers. Maybe he was surprised they were still there for so long, right up to the final kilometre. But having done all work, he was rewarded with a more than worthy victory, then engagingly stated that that was his intent throughout the race. ‘After finishing second last year, I promised myself to win. But the conditions were difficult; it was windy and very humid.’

Mateiko hails from Mount Elgon on the Kenya-Uganda border, but now trains in Eldoret with twice Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge under the tutelage of former steeplechaser Patrick Sang. ‘Patrick told me I was in good shape, but to be strong-minded. And Eliud is giving me advice too. I would like to have his consistency. Now my dream is to run well in the London Marathon’. If his marathon debut is as impressive as his win here today, the London crowds in April will be in for a treat.

Results, Men:

1 Daniel Mateiko KEN 58:45

2 John Korir KEN 58:50

3 Isaia Lasoi KEN 58:55

4 Gerba Dibaba ETH 59:38

5 Benard Koech KEN 59:42

6 Birhanu Legese ETH 59:43

7 Tamirat Tola ETH 59:46

8 Amos Kibiwot KEN 59:51

9 Boki Diriba ETH 60:10

10 Alphonce Simbu TAN 60:28

Women:

1 Tsigie Gebreselama ETH 65:14

2 Ababel Yeshaneh ETH 65:44

3 Jackline Sakilu TAN 66:05

4 Margaret Chelimo KEN 66:31

5 Evaline Chirchir KEN 66:36

6 Catherine Amanang’ole KEN 66:49

7 Peres Jepchirchir KEN 67:19

8 Gete Alemayehu ETH 67:25

9 Megertu Alemu ETH 69:23

10 Ashete Bekere ETH 70:03

(02/25/2024) Views: 72 ⚡AMP
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Rak Half Marathon

Rak Half Marathon

The Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon is the 'world's fastest half marathon' because if you take the top 10 fastest times recorded in RAK for men (and the same for women) and find the average (for each) and then do the same with the top ten fastest recorded times across all races (you can reference the IAAF for this), the...

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14 Tips to Make the Most of Your Treadmill Workouts

Improve performance with your indoor workouts, thanks to this expert-backed advice.

We’re going to go out on a limb here and guess that if given the choice between an outdoor run and a treadmill session, most athletes would pick option A, no hesitation. And while there’s a lot of stigma surrounding the dreadmill—er, treadmill—there are also a lot of legit perks to relying on this tool every now and then. 

The obvious: Treadmills can help you complete scheduled workouts when weather or safety concerns kibosh outside runs, T.J. Garlatz, cross country and track and field coach at Western Washington University, and certified run coach with RunDoyen, tells Runner’s World. 

They also allow busy runners to train more consistently. For example, folks with a treadmill and kids at home can hop on the machine and bust out a workout without having to arrange childcare, Garlatz adds. Another plus: You can control key variables—namely, pace and incline—making it easy to accomplish specific workouts, like hill repeats and threshold runs. This can be especially helpful for runners who don’t live in hilly places but want to train that skill, as well as those who struggle to pace themselves. 

To boot, treadmills provide a flat, soft surface, which can make running more comfortable for people with joint pain or injuries, Kai Ng, USATF- and RRCA-certified run coach in New Jersey and New York, tells Runner’s World. 

Of course, to reap the benefits of treadmills, you need to be willing to use them in the first place, which for many runners involves overcoming the negative association they have with this oft-loathed machine. To help facilitate a more positive mindset, we tapped Garlatz and Ng for their tips for how to run on a treadmill. From beating boredom to setting paces to specific workouts to try, here’s the advice that may just tempt you to hop on the belt today. 

1. Toggle With Speed and Incline

The biggest mental block people have with the treadmill is “the monotony and boredom associated with it,” Garlatz says. And if you’re running at the same exact speed and incline for your entire treadmill workout, of course it’s going to be a mind-numbing experience. 

One easy way to shake things up? Change the pace and/or grade often throughout your workout. For example, do two minutes at a 3 percent grade, then two minutes flat, then two minutes at a 5 percent grade, then two minutes flat, then two minutes at a 7 percent grade, then two minutes flat, and repeat that pattern until you’ve completed your mileage for the day. Or, embrace the concept of Fartleks and alternate between easy, moderate, and hard paces. (Of course, there are nearly infinite ways to vary your pace and incline in one workout, these are just two examples.) 

However you choose to splice things up, expect your workout to feel a whole lot quicker. “As you’re rotating through either pace zones or incline zones, after a while, you don't realize it and 25 minutes have passed,” Garlatz says. 

2. Give Yourself Time to Find a Flow

Treadmill running (and really, any type of running) is not going to feel awesome for the first mile or two. “I don’t think anybody really enjoys the first 20 minutes,” Ng says. “No one starts running and says that this is amazing. Not even elite athletes.” 

Instead, “it takes some time to get into a flow state where everything locks in and you feel good,” he explains. Remind yourself of this fact before you start your treadmill workout so that you can better embrace the initial discomfort instead of being tempted to quit three minutes in when your legs still feel like lead. 

3. Focus on Form

Logging an easy run on the treadmill is “a great opportunity to work on good running form,” Ng says. That’s because the surface is soft and even, and there are fewer distractions compared to outdoor running, he explains. To do this, complete a body scan every five minutes. 

Here’s how: First, check your posture. Are you standing up tall? If not, imagine a balloon gently pulling the top of your head, straightening your spine, Ng says. Next, think about relaxing your shoulders, arms, and hands. Then, make sure you’re leaning slightly forward from your ankles (not your hips) and focus on pushing the belt backwards with every step, he says. 

Finally, note where on the belt you’re running. “‘The ideal place is probably the middle,” Ng says. “You don’t want to be too far back where you have to worry about falling off or you don’t want to be too far forward where it intrudes on arm swing.” 

4. Combine Outdoor Runs With Treadmill Time

The treadmill doesn’t have to be an all or nothing tool. “You can make treadmill running part of your run—it doesn’t have to be the run,” Ng says. 

What he means by this: Weather and location permitting, instead of committing to a full workout on the treadmill, which in itself can be daunting and loathsome, warm up by jogging outdoors to the gym. Once you get there, hop on the belt and run a little faster for a brief period of time (for example, go for 20 minutes at marathon pace). Then, get off and jog home at an easy pace, Ng suggests. This hybrid approach can reduce the intimidating factor of treadmill running by bookending your run with fresh air and sunshine. 

5. Recruit a Friend–or Five

Fact: “All running is better when you’ve got friends or workout buddies,” Garlatz says. Though most social runs happen outdoors, cajoling a pal or group to join you for a treadmill session (so long as you have access to a space with multiple machines in a row) can be a great way to make an otherwise loathsome workout more appealing. 

Don’t know any local people who run? Reach out to an area run club to get connected with possible treadmill buddies or sign up for Peloton to join a virtual community. 

6. Pair It With Something Positive

One surefire way to make the ‘mill more palatable is to cue up a favorite movie or TV show to watch it while you stride, Garlatz says. Consider it a treadmill-specific treat (after all, you can’t safely stream Netflix while running outdoors) and save up your most-anticipated episodes for the days when you’ll be hopping on the belt. A side benefit of this approach: By combining exercise and screen time, you can free up your schedule late in your day when you may otherwise be parked on the couch watching the tube. 

Just be sure to save this for an easy or long treadmill run where you can just zone out instead of a speed or interval-focused workout that requires more concentration. 

Oh, and speaking of concentration, if you’re streaming and striding, make sure to stay aware of your surroundings. Obviously you need to pay attention enough so you don’t fall off the treadmill, Ng says. 

Not a TV or movie buff? Lean on your go-to podcast or favorite Spotify playlist to help pass treadmill minutes. 

7. Try a Threshold Run

Outdoor threshold workouts can be a tough skill to master, considering people tend to either over or undershoot their goal pace, Garlatz explains. But on the treadmill, pacing is guaranteed: Simply input your desired speed and then resist the urge to toggle with the numbers until you’ve completed your workout. You can also pay attention to your heart rate as you go to make sure you stay within that zone. 

8. Conquer Hills

Like we mentioned, treadmills can be a great way to incorporate hill-specific training, and playing with the incline can be a surefire hack for making your workout more interesting. 

For a no-brainer hill workout, simply use the machine’s “hill run mode” (many treadmills have this) and you’ll get a workout that automatically cycles through varying incline levels, Garlatz says. 

If your treadmill doesn’t have this feature, simply adjust the incline manually. Garlatz recommends alternating between a 2, 3, and 4 percent grade. If you’re looking for a little more challenge, increase the grade to 6, 7, or 8 percent for brief bursts, though keep in mind “once you get past 6 or 7 percent, it’s honestly pretty darn steep and it makes it a little bit less enjoyable,” Garlatz warns. 

Another option: If you’re training for a specific race with known hills, look up the course elevation profile and simulate some of the climbs during your treadmill runs, Ng says. 

9. Run Intervals for Time vs Distance

The treadmill can be a great place for speed workouts, but instead of going for distance, run for time. That’s because the former can involve doing a lot of math—wait, how many tenths of a mile equals one 200-meter repeat?—which can be distracting and tedious, Ng says. Plus, if the treadmill is running continuously, sometimes it’s hard to remember exactly what distance you started a sprint at (and thus when it’s time to pump the brakes), Garlatz adds.

For a fuss-free workout, crunch the numbers ahead of time to figure out how to translate your sprint workout from distance into time. For example, if you typically run 400-meter sprints at an 8-minute mile pace, aim to run hard for 2 minutes on the treadmill at 7.5 mph.

10. Embrace 0% Grade

You may have heard the common advice to always set the treadmill to a 1 percent incline if you want to simulate running on flat ground outdoors. “The theory behind it is that because there’s no wind resistance or air resistance that you’re encountering when you’re running on a treadmill,” Garlatz explains. So, by bumping up the treadmill incline, you level the playing field, so to speak. 

But a 1 percent grade isn’t always necessary, Gartlaz caveats. In fact, he sometimes encourages athletes to leave the grade at 0 and instead run at a slightly faster pace—say, 7:50 per mile versus 8 minutes. “If you put the treadmill at 1 percent and theoretically, the effort is a little bit harder, our legs aren’t turning over as fast,” he explains. “And so if you keep the incline flat, then sometimes you’re getting a little bit more practice just turning your legs over more quickly.” This can help train your neuromuscular system to be able to maintain faster paces, which can become helpful in a race day scenario, he explains. 

11. Stay Hydrated and Cool

Unless it’s the heat of the summer, chances are you’ll sweat more during a treadmill workout compared to an outdoor session. That’s because on a treadmill, the room tends to be hotter than outside and the heat your body generates from exercise hangs around you, sort of like a hot fog, Garlatz explains. Compare that to outdoor running, where the naturally cooler temps and wind resistance help cool you as you stride, and it’s no surprise you may overheat on a treadmill. 

Combat the effects of that—namely, discomfort and diminished performance—by bringing ample hydration. Also consider propping a fan on the treadmill for mid-workout cooling. Even a little tiny fan can “go a long way,” Ng says. 

12. Don’t Trust Your Watch

PSA for all runners who use a fitness smartwatch: You can’t trust the distance and pacing data for treadmill runs. “At least for now, the GPS and indoor running mode for Garmin, for any other running watches, is just so inaccurate,” Ng says. So instead of tracking your workouts via a wrist-worn device, simply rely on what the treadmill itself reports for your distance and pace, he advises. 

13. Work on Cadence

Another way to rev up your excitement for the treadmill—plus practice your cadence—is to line-up a beats-per-minute (bpm)-specific playlist. Ng recommends striding at 150 bpm or faster, he explains. 

On Spotify or most any other music provider, search for playlists tagged under a certain bpm. A bunch of options should show up; pick one that jives with your musical tastes. Then, once you’re adequately warmed up, hit play and do your best to stride to the rhythm. 

14. Maintain Paces You’d Run Outside

Need to move a scheduled outdoor run to the treadmill? You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. “A lot of the components are really easy to mimic,” Gartlaz explains. A well-rounded run will start and end with easy running, two components Gartlaz recommends also doing on the treadmill. 

In terms of the workout itself, whatever target pace you planned for your outdoor run will likely suffice for a treadmill session, Gartlatz says. For example, if you were aiming to hold a 9-minute-per-mile pace outside, then that should be your target for the treadmill—most machines will tell you how a mile-per-hour pace corresponds to a minutes-per-mile pace, but if not, here’s a quick cheat sheet you can reference. 

For interval and threshold running, just make sure you know ahead of time which pace zones you’re targeting so you can set the treadmill accordingly. Also, don’t feel beholden to the numbers. “You definitely can run by feel and just adjust the paces up and down accordingly,” Gartlaz says.

(02/24/2024) Views: 29 ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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Kelvin Kiptum: Thousands mourn marathon world record holder at funeral in Kenya

On Friday in Chepkorio, Kenya, thousands gathered for the funeral of marathon world record holder Kelvin Kiptum, who died at the age of 24 in a car accident on Feb. 11 with his coach, Gervais Hakizimana.

Kiptum will be remembered as one of the biggest rising stars in the sport for his record-breaking two-hour and 35-second run to break the world record at the 2023 Chicago Marathon.

Kiptum’s widow, Asenath Rotich, led the mourners at the funeral for the Kenyan marathon star. According to BBC Africa, she broke down when revealing that the couple had been planning a big wedding celebration in April. He had stunned the world in his short marathon career, and figures from sports and politics came to pay tribute to a man whose life had promised so much.

Kenyan president William Ruto was in attendance, as well as World Athletics president Sebastian Coe, who believed Kiptum would have become the first person to run a competitive marathon in under two hours. “It is a frustration to all of us that we won’t witness what I truly know he was capable of,” Coe told BBC Africa. “For sure he would have broken it. It would have been (Roger) Bannister and Edmund Hillary, both of them, wrapped into one.”

Kiptum was looking to better his world record time at the 2024 Rotterdam Marathon in April.

Also in attendance were notable Kenyan athletes Faith Kipyegon, former world record holder Paul Tergat, and 2022 London Marathon champion Amos Kipruto, who was one of Kiptum’s pallbearers at the service. Eliud Kipchoge did not attend as he continues to prepare for the Tokyo Marathon on March 3.

“Since he arrived… he has rewritten history,” said Tergat. “He has a legacy that we’ve never seen in this world. We are here to celebrate what he has achieved in a very short time.”

Before Kiptum became one of the world’s biggest marathon stars, he had worked as a livestock herder and trained as an electrician in Chepkorio. The government in Elgeyo-Marakwet County plans to honor the late marathoner by building an athletics stadium in his name.

(02/23/2024) Views: 89 ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson
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RAS AL KHAIMAH HALF MARATHON IS ON SATURDAY AND IT SHOUlD BE A FAST ONE

New regime, new course, but with Olympic and world champions and the usual array of speedsters, Saturday’s Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon is virtually assured of the sort of fast times that have been a feature of the event throughout its 17 year history, including three women’s world records.

Pride of place both on the start list and at this morning’s press conference in one of the smaller emirates in the UAE were Olympic marathon and three time world half-marathon champion, Peres Jepchirchir of Kenya, and keeping the balance in the long-term East African distance running rivalry, world marathon champion Tamirat Tola of Ethiopia heads the men’s entry. The wild card, hoping to gatecrash the party is Konstanze Klosterhalfen of Germany, who surprised the East Africans when she beat a dozen of them to win her debut half-marathon in Valencia in 2022.

Jepchirchir may neither be the fastest marathoner or half-marathoner among current women long distance runners, but she knows how to win races, an asset far more valuable than fast times. In the seven months between late August 2021 and mid-April 2022, she won the Olympic, New York and Boston Marathons, a rare collective achievement. In her comeback marathon following an injury, she finished third in last year’s London Marathon. And she has won 12 of her 16 half-marathons. She is loath to admit her plans yet, but this RAK ‘half’ is perfectly scheduled as a springboard, to going back to London in April, to upgrade that third place.

Tola was similarly annoyed that an injury preventing him successfully defending his 2022 world marathon title in Budapest last summer, but a speedy recovery saw him break the long-standing New York Marathon record with 2.04.58 three months later. He is one of the few elites to be making his debut in the RAK ‘half’ and the scale of his task may be judged by the fact that on paper there are 15 men faster than his best of 59.37 set seven years ago in Prague. But he suggested that is due for drastic revision. ‘I’d like to think I can do under 59 minutes if the race turns out to be fast,’ he said at the press conference. Fastest man in the field is Daniel Mateiko of Kenya with 58.26, but his colleague Benard(sic) Kibet has the advantage of having won last year in 58.45.

Klosterhalfen, ‘Koko’ to her pals may prove to be not only the wild card, but the joker in the pack in the women’s race. A world bronze medallist on the track and European 5000 metres champion, the German called a halt to her summer season last year when a foot injury caused her to reassess her career. She had changed her shoe sponsor, left her coach and long-term training venue in the USA already. She then switched again and has teamed up with Gary Lough, latter-day coach to Mo Farah and spouse of former world record holder Paula Radcliffe (here in RAK as a TV commentator). Klosterhalfen has also switched her altitude training venue to Addis Ababa, where she has just spent six weeks, coming directly to here. ‘Road running is still a bit of an adventure for me’, she said this morning. ‘I still want to run on the track, but I want to more road races’.

The roll-call of winners since the race began in 2007 is a ‘Who’s Who’ of distance running over the last two decades; beginning with Sammy Wanjiru and Berhane Adere in the inaugural race, via luminaries such as Patrick Makau, Geoffrey Mutai, Elvan Abeylegesse, Mary Keitany, Geoffrey Kamworor, Lelisa Desisa, Samson Kandie and Hellen Obiri. Add to that Jepchirchir herself who won in 2017 in a then world record of 65min 06sec.

The promoters of the successful marathon down the road in Dubai have been invited this year to give the RAK ‘half’ a makeover, and they began by introducing a 10k race for locals and altering the half-marathon course. ‘It’s faster and better than any route before here in Ras Al Khaimah; we’ve cut out some of the sharp turns,’ said race director Peter Connerton, ‘so we’re hoping for at least similar times and hopefully better. But with a couple of good races into the bargain’.

ELITE CONTENDERS

MEN

Daniel MateikoKEN58:26

Kennedy KimutaiKEN58:28

Seifu TuraETH58:36

Amdework Walelegn ETH 58:40

Benard Kibet KoechKEN58:45

Alex Korio KEN 58:51

Birhanu Legese ETH 58:59

Haftu Teklu ETH 59:06

Tamirat TolaETH59:37

WOMEN

Ababel YeshanehETH64:31

Margaret KipkemboiKEN64:46

Peres JepchirchirKEN65:06

Catherine Amanang’ole KEN 65:39

Konstanze KlosterhalfenGER65:41

Tsigie Gebreselama ETH65:46

Evaline ChirchirKEN66:01

Vivian Kiplagat KEN 66:07

Yalemget YaregalETH66:27

(02/22/2024) Views: 118 ⚡AMP
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Rak Half Marathon

Rak Half Marathon

The Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon is the 'world's fastest half marathon' because if you take the top 10 fastest times recorded in RAK for men (and the same for women) and find the average (for each) and then do the same with the top ten fastest recorded times across all races (you can reference the IAAF for this), the...

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Konstanze Klosterhalfen is running the RAK Half Marathon

Konstanze Klosterhalfen is one of the few Europeans who have successfully challenged East African superiority in long distance running in recent years; but the German star will have a mass challenge from Kenyans and Ethiopians in her next venture, the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon on Saturday February 24.

The reigning European 5000 metres champion ‘Koko,’ to her fans, won bronze in the World Championships at that same distance in 2019, but her debut victory over a posse of leading East Africans in the Valencia Half Marathon in October 2022 signalled not only a step-up in prestige but also potential for success in the full marathon. And RAK in nine days’ time will be another stepping stone.

The RAK ‘half’ has been one of the fastest 21.1k races in the world since its inception 17 years ago in one of the smaller emirates in the UAE. The list of winners and record breakers reads like a ‘who’s who’ of distance running. Leading this year’s women’s field and a formidable opponent for Klosterhalfen is reigning Olympic marathon champion and three-time world ‘half’ winner, Peres Jepchirchir of Kenya, who set a then world record of 65:06 when she ran RAK in 2017. Burgeoning competition and the advent of super-shoes has resulted in that record now standing at 62.52, to Letesenbet Gidey of Ethiopia.

Klosterhalfen’s debut win in Valencia came in 65:41; and with another former world record holder – Ababel Yeshaneh of Ethiopia (64:31) in the RAK field, the German will not have an easy task, the more so since she took a break in the second half of last summer season, and has not raced for six months. She was understandably cautious this week when she said, ‘Overall I am happy with how my training has been going and I’m ready to test myself and see exactly where I am after a good training camp. I’m certainly looking forward to returning to racing, especially at the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon as it is a race I’ve heard a lot about’.

Klosterhalfen spends a lot of time training at altitude in the USA, and in her quieter moments has walked the runway at Berlin Fashion Week, and also plays piano and flute; but running full tilt for just over an hour before breakfast will be the order of the morning a week on Saturday.

(02/16/2024) Views: 142 ⚡AMP
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Rak Half Marathon

Rak Half Marathon

The Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon is the 'world's fastest half marathon' because if you take the top 10 fastest times recorded in RAK for men (and the same for women) and find the average (for each) and then do the same with the top ten fastest recorded times across all races (you can reference the IAAF for this), the...

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Striking similarities between Kelvin Kiptum and Samuel Wanjiru who both died in tragic fashion

Pulse Sports explains how the careers of marathon sensations Kelvin Kiptum and Samuel Wanjiru followed the same path before they met their death in tragic fashion.

The world is still coming to terms with the untimely death of world marathon record holder Kelvin Kiptum, who passed away alongside his coach, following a road accident on Sunday.

Kiptum and his Rwandan coach Gervais Hakizimana had big plans for the year that included an attempt at running a sub-two at the Rotterdam Marathon as well as winning Olympics gold but that is now water under the bridge.

The athlete’s death has robbed not just Kenya but the world an incredible talent who was set to dominate the marathon, bringing back memories of the late Samuel Wanjiru, who passed away similarly in tragic fashion in May 2011.

The two men’s careers and the manner in which they died have very striking similarities which will leave many surprised.

Died in tragic fashion

While Kiptum lost control of his car before hitting a tree, along the Elgeyo Marakwet-Ravine road, killing him on the spot, Wanjiru died following a mysterious fall off a balcony at his house in Nyahururu on May 15, 2021.

Just like Kiptum, the incident happened at night and his death remains a mystery that is yet to be unraveled to date.

Both died at 24

What is more heartbreaking is that the two runners died aged just 24 when they were just getting started.

Wanjiru had won the Chicago Marathon in 2009 and 2010 as well as the London Marathon (2009).

He was also the reigning Olympic marathon champion after winning gold in Beijing 2008 in an Olympic record time of 2:06:32.

For Kiptum, he held three of the six fastest times by the time he died, having broken the world marathon record in Chicago last year, clocking 2:00:35.

That came after an incredible win in London last April where he timed 2:01:25, coming close to the world record. Kiptum had run the fastest debut marathon in history when he won in Valencia in December 2022 in a time of 2:01:53.

Careers just taking off

Following their heroics in a short period of time, the two had the world at their feet by the time they died.

Wanjiru had been seen as the next big thing in marathon and was tipped to break the world record as well as retaining his Olympics gold in London the following year but he did not live to do it.

Kiptum was similarly tipped to be the man to take the mantle from legendary Eliud Kipchoge, especially after his astonishing run in London.

He was also seen as the man who would make history by running an official marathon under two hours and considered favourite to win Olympics gold in Paris, France this year.

Course records in London

In April 2009, Wanjiru won the London Marathon in a time of 2:05:10, a new personal record and also a new course record. That achievement saw him state that he was going to break Haile Gebrselassie's world record in the near future.

Fourteen years later in the English capital, Kiptum did the unthinkable, winning decisively with the second-fastest mark in history at 2:01:25, a course record which was only 16 seconds outside Kipchoge’s world record.

He would break the world record six months later in Chicago.

Sub-two-hour ambitions

Back in February 2008, Wanjiru declared he would become the first man to run a marathon under two hours.

"In five years' time, I feel capable of clocking a sub two hour-time for the marathon,” Wanjiru said at the Granollers Half Marathon which he won.

Meanwhile, since last year, the world has been waiting for Kiptum to run an official marathon under two hours.

He had already expressed his intentions of doing it at the Rotterdam Marathon in April.

“He had told me that he was feeling his body was in good shape and ready to run 1:59 or 1:58,” his heartbroken father Samson Cheruiyot told Citizen TV on Monday while recounting his last conversation with his son.

Last race in Chicago

The other striking similarity between Wanjiru and Kiptum is that Chicago Marathon was their last race before they died.

Wanjiru went to Chicago in October 2010 bidding to retain his title but a stomach problem had affected his preparations and his camp were just hoping for a podium finish.

He, however, surprised them when he defended his crown in a time of 2:06:24.

For Kiptum, Chicago was his third race in under a year and while he had set incredible times, not many expected a world record.

He delivered in style, clocking 2:00:35, to become the first man to break the 2:01 barrier, igniting hope that a sub-two-hour race was on the cards before death struck.

(02/14/2024) Views: 132 ⚡AMP
by Joel Omotto
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Ethiopian Tamirat Tola heads stellar field for RAK Half Marathon

Former world marathon champion Tamirat Tola of Ethiopia has confirmed his participation in the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon on February 24. The area is where he emerged as a world-class road runner when winning the neighbouring Dubai Marathon in 2017.

Chicago Marathon winner Seifu Tura and former women’s half marathon world record holder, Ababel Yeshaneh, will also be joining their compatriot in RAK. The entry for the 17th edition of the event is expected to read like a who’s who of international distance running as a wealth of elite athletes seek to take advantage of the benign Gulf conditions in the countdown for the spring marathons and the Paris Olympics.

Having won Olympic bronze on the track at Rio 2016, Tola established himself as one of the leading road runners of his generation when he won Dubai 2017, and followed that up with silver at the World Championships in London later that year. Tola won world marathon gold in Eugene in 2022, but in the interim, he won the Amsterdam Marathon in 2021 and then topped that with victory in the New York City Marathon three months ago. He also finished third in the Tokyo and London Marathons in 2022. The 33-year-old’s fastest half marathon was a winning performance in 59:37 in Prague in 2017. His close family also keeps him on his toes; his wife Dera Dida won the Dubai Marathon 2023, and his younger brother Abdisa took the corresponding men’s title.

It’s a measure of the fast course in RAK that his compatriot Tura has run over a minute faster than Tola, but his 58:36 in 2022 was only good for fourth. But a victory and second place in the Chicago Marathon has bolstered his credentials.

Their colleague Ababel Yeshaneh returns to the scene of one of her greatest victories, having set a world record of 64:31 in winning on the spectacular course around Al Marjan Island in the 2020 race. That time remains her personal best at the distance, although at the marathon distance, she also has two runner-up finishes to her name in Chicago 2019 and Boston 2022, as well as a third-place finish at the New York Marathon 2021.

The three Ethiopians will join elite fields that already include men’s defending champion Benard Kibet of Kenya (58:45) and his colleague, reigning Olympic Marathon Champion and three-time World Half Marathon Champion Peres Jepchirchir, who set her best half marathon in winning RAK 2017 in a then world record of 65:06.

(02/06/2024) Views: 138 ⚡AMP
by Christopher Kelsall
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Rak Half Marathon

Rak Half Marathon

The Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon is the 'world's fastest half marathon' because if you take the top 10 fastest times recorded in RAK for men (and the same for women) and find the average (for each) and then do the same with the top ten fastest recorded times across all races (you can reference the IAAF for this), the...

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6 Benefits You Gain from Slowing Down Your Runs

Pumping the brakes on your runs can boost your performance in a number of ways. 

For many runners, embracing the concept of slow and easy runs is a game of mental gymnastics. Can you really become a better, faster runner if you’re consistently going at a pace that feels easy and relatively slow to you?

“It can be very hard, especially for new runners, to really understand that anything positive is happening when a run feels really easy,” South Carolina-based exercise physiologist Heather Hart, C.S.C.S., certified run coach and founder of Hart Strength and Endurance Coaching explains to Runner’s World. 

That’s to a runner’s detriment, because there are tons of awesome benefits of slow running any athlete can reap from regularly training at an easy pace. 

To convince you to pump the brakes, we tapped two experts to learn all there is to gain—both physically and mentally—from slowing down.

What “Slow Running” Really Means

Before we dig into its perks, let’s get clear on what constitutes “slow running.” Basically, it’s any run in which your heart rate is at or below about 70 percent of your maximum heart rate, Hart explains. This is typically considered zone 1 or zone 2 training.

You don’t have to track your heart rate to know if your run meets the criteria for “easy,” though. A simpler method is to tune into your own sense of what feels “easy” and what feels “hard” using the rate of perceived exertion scale (RPE). Imagine a scale of 0 to 10 where zero is no exertion at all and 10 is all-out work—an easy run should fall between a 4 and a 6, says Hart. 

Another way to monitor whether you’re striding easy enough: Try holding a conversation. If you’re able to chat without gasping, then you’re likely nailing slow running, Hart says. 

“My rule of thumb is that if an athlete [questions] am I running too fast?, then they probably are,” Hart explains. In fact, slow running is probably slower than you think. 

6 Slow Running Benefits

Here are all the amazing things—in no particular order—that can happen when you embrace a slow pace. 

1. Higher Lactate Threshold

It’s logical to think the only way to get better at running fast is to, well, run fast. But dedicating time to slow running can actually provide a physiological benefit that improves your ability to pick up the pace. 

Here’s why: Slow running increases the density of your mitochondria, the little organelles in cells that help metabolize lactate, a byproduct of glycolysis or the process of turning food into fuel for exercise. 

There’s an association between the onset of fatigue while exercising and elevated levels of circulating lactate, Janet Hamilton, C.S.C.S., exercise physiologist and coach with Running Strong in Atlanta tells Runner’s World. “That’s known as the lactate threshold,” she says. “You get more lactate production than you have consumption.” 

Boosting your mitochondrial density with slow running means you can increase your lactate threshold even during hard efforts, Hart explains. Instead of hitting your lactate threshold (and thus fatiguing out) at, say, a 9-minute mile pace, you may be able to push, say, an 8-minute mile pace. In other words, “you can run faster,” without running out of gas as quickly, Hamilton explains. 

2. Reduce Your Chances of Hitting a Wall

While runners rely on fast-twitch muscle fibers for speed work, there’s a subtype of fast-twitch fibers that are somewhat convertible—they can utilize fuel aerobically as well as anaerobically. That means you can strengthen them through high-intensity efforts or by doing long, slow aerobic runs, Hamilton explains. 

During a long, slow run, when the slow-twitch fibers start to tire, your body recruits some of the convertible fast-twitch fibers to help out. Do this enough and you are training these fibers to pitch in more reliably. This can help you run longer without getting as fatigued. 

Mitochondria also plays a role here, because aside from gobbling up lactate, it metabolizes fat. When running, your body primarily relies on glycogen (the stored form of glucose or sugar) in your muscles for fuel. Because you only have a limited supply of glycogen, that plan works well until it doesn’t. Any runner who has bonked during a distance race knows how awful this crash can feel. 

As a backup, though, your body has an almost unlimited supply of intramuscular triglyceride, also known as fat. Training your muscles to more efficiently burn fat for fuel, as you do with long, easy runs, will decrease the likelihood of hitting the wall, Hamilton explains. 

3. Happier Running

Though there are some folks who genuinely love running all out, for a lot of athletes, “speed work is hard,” says Hamilton. Not only can fast running be uncomfortable and demand a lot of focus, it can physically stress your body, she explains. And surprise, surprise: Physical stress can impact your mental health, too, says Hart. 

Easy running, by contrast, “is a nice way to let running be a stress reliever instead of a stress producer,” Hamilton says. Indeed, Hart finds that low-intensity workouts provide a chill space where you can simply enjoy running for what it is without worrying about hitting certain paces. “You can stop and smell the roses,” she says. 

And if you’re a beginner still trying to build a consistent run routine, finding this type of joy in the activity can make you more likely to stick with it. Case-in-point: A 2015 study involving 41 people concluded that experiencing more positive feelings during a training session improved participants’ adherence to their exercise program. 

4. Improved Recovery

Running hard all the time can result in cumulative fatigue, which ultimately affects performance in all your workouts, Hart explains. So regularly slotting slow runs into your schedule can help facilitate recovery and conserve energy so that when it is time for a speed workout, you’re able to run at a high level and hit your target paces. As Hart puts it: “It’s super important to keep those easy days easy so that the hard days can be hard.”

Along those lines, a lot of people don’t realize the adaptations we make from intense training occur during the recovery period following a workout—and not during workouts themselves, Hart explains. By taking it easy after hard and fast runs, you will reap the full gains of those workouts.

5. Decreased Risk of Injury

Fast running places more strain on your feet and lower legs than easy running, and research suggests a link between logging speedy paces—especially when you’re not ready for speed—and potentially higher risk of certain injuries, like plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis, and calf strains. Embracing slow running allows you to increase the percentage of your total weekly mileage while minimizing the amount of stress you’re placing on your body and reducing your overall injury risk, Hart explains. 

Ultimately, this can translate to better performance. As Hamilton puts it: “The only way to get faster in your races is to train well, and the only way to train well is to stay healthy.” 

6. Stronger Mind-Body Connection

Routinely alternating between hard and easy runs will encourage you to tune into your body and its relationship with different exertion levels. And this mindfulness can benefit you in a race scenario, Hart says. 

It will give you an understanding of how hard you’re working at a given pace and whether or not you should pick up, slow down, or maintain the pace, she explains. Instead of blindly following a pacing plan that may or may not be right for you on a given day, you’ll be able to adapt in real-time to how your body is actually feeling, thus becoming a more strategic competitor.

(02/04/2024) Views: 153 ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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World and Olympic champions to compete at Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon

The powerful list of elites confirmed for the 2024 Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon continues to grow with former world marathon champion Tamirat Tola, Chicago Marathon winner Seifu Tura and former half marathon world record holder Ababel Yeshaneh joining the starting line-up.

The 17th edition of the event on February 24 will read like a Who’s Who of international distance running as a wealth of elites take advantage of the beautiful weather conditions in the countdown to both the London Marathon and the Paris Olympics.

Hosted by the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon will see Tola make his debut in the emirate just three months after winning the 2023 New York Marathon.

The Ethiopian has a personal best of 59:13 and is no stranger to the flat, fast roads of the Middle East having won the Dubai Marathon in 2017.

Fellow Ethiopian Seifu Tura returns to the race route on the iconic Al Marjan Island with a half marathon personal best of 58:36, which he set when finishing fourth at the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon two years ago.

Now 26, Tura is an established distance runner with a number of impressive results on his CV most notably a superb victory in the 2021 Chicago Marathon.

He also has four other top six finishes in Major marathons including a runners-up spot in Chicago in 2022 and two fifth place finishes in London and Chicago last year.

On the women’s side, Ababel Yeshaneh will return to the scene of one of her greatest victories next month. The 32-year-old Ethiopian will kick off her 2024 season in Ras Al Khaimah and has fond memories of Al Marjan Island having set the then Half Marathon World Record of 64:31 when she claimed the women’s title there in 2020.

That time remains her personal best at the distance, although in the full marathon she also has two runner-up finishes to her name in Chicago (2019) and Boston (2022) as well as a third place finish at the New York Marathon in 2021.

The three Ethiopians will join elite fields that already include men’s defending champion Benard Kibet Koech (PB 58:45) and 2017 Ras Al Khaimah winner, reigning Olympic marathon champion and three-time World Half Marathon champion Peres Jepchirchir (PB 65:06).

As well as a wealth of elite distance runners, the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon will also offer races at 10km, 5km and 2km runs for athletes of all ages and abilities. Registration is open at rakhalfmarathon.com.

(01/29/2024) Views: 149 ⚡AMP
by khaleej Times
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Rak Half Marathon

Rak Half Marathon

The Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon is the 'world's fastest half marathon' because if you take the top 10 fastest times recorded in RAK for men (and the same for women) and find the average (for each) and then do the same with the top ten fastest recorded times across all races (you can reference the IAAF for this), the...

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Kenyan Sammy Kitwara wins Marrakech Marathon

The 2010 World Half Marathon bronze medallist, Sammy Kitwara ran away with the men’s marathon title at the 34th edition of the Marrakesh International Marathon held on Sunday (28) at the High Patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, stadium in Marrakech, Morocco.

The 37 year-old who is also the 2015 Valencia Marathon champion, took the honors in a time of 2:07.55 and was followed by Morocco’s Omar Ait Chitachen in second place in a time of 2:08.45 with Mustapha Houdadi completing the podium in 2:09.38.

LEADING RESULTS

42KM MEN

Sammy Kitwara        (KEN) 2:07.55

Omar Ait Chitachen (MOR) 2:08.45

Mustapha Houdadi    (MOR) 2:09.38

(01/29/2024) Views: 167 ⚡AMP
by James Koech
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Marrakech Marathon

Marrakech Marathon

The magical town of Marrakesh offers an exceptional setting, a very mild climate in January and a beautiful circuit considered as one of the fastest in the world. It goes along the alleys of palm trees, orange, and olive trees, but also the ramparts of the city. The International Marathon of Marrakesh is not only expected to reconquer the prime...

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2017 Valencia Marathon champion to compete in first marathon after doping ban

The 2017 Valencia Marathon champion will be keen to make a comeback to winning ways this year after successfully serving his doping ban.

An estimated 13,000 runners from more than 70 countries have been confirmed for the Marrakech International Marathon (MIM), scheduled for Sunday, January 28.

Sammy Kitwara, a former World Half Marathon Championships bronze medalist will bid to make an impression in his first marathon after concluding his doping ban.

The 2017 Valencia Marathon champion was banned by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) back in 2019 for the presence of Nanning Terbutaline, a drug used as a "reliever" inhaler in the management of asthma symptoms.

His positive test came from the Seul International Marathon in March 2019 where he took seventh place with 2:09:52. Kitwara said he took the drug without knowing it was banned by WADA. He had also failed to consult with a doctor to obtain a therapeutic use exemption (TUE).

Kitwara will be joined by compatriot Nicholas Kirwa and the Kenyan duo will be up against top runners including Ethiopia’s Hiribo Shano Share and Omar Ait Chitachen.

Speaking at a press conference, Mohamed Knidiri, the Grand Atlas (AGA) and director of this international competition indicated that the marathon is organized under the high patronage of HM King Mohammed VI.

“Over the years, MIM has become a school for promoting and launching great champions of this discipline, who have left their mark on the international scene, particularly among Moroccan athletes.

“Thanks to upstream planning and operational management experienced in major competitions, the MIM aims not only to obtain the 11th place in the world obtained in 2013 but, even better, to become the essential international meeting for all the stars of this sporting discipline, like its glorious position in 2012 when it was the only marathon on the African continent qualified for the London Olympic Games,” he said.

He also hoped that this edition would be marked by the achievement of new records, particularly among the men.

(01/26/2024) Views: 170 ⚡AMP
by Abigael Wuafula
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Marrakech Marathon

Marrakech Marathon

The magical town of Marrakesh offers an exceptional setting, a very mild climate in January and a beautiful circuit considered as one of the fastest in the world. It goes along the alleys of palm trees, orange, and olive trees, but also the ramparts of the city. The International Marathon of Marrakesh is not only expected to reconquer the prime...

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Stellar Field Assembled to Challenge Yared Nuguse in the NYRR Men's Wanamaker Mile

The 116th Millrose Games is now just 19 days away, as the eyes of the global athletics community will once again return to the Nike Track & Field Center at The Armory. As always, the meet will conclude with the NYRR Men’s Wanamaker Mile, a legendary race with over a century of tradition.

The Millrose Games is scheduled to take place on Sunday, February 11th.

Previously announced as the headliner for this race is defending champion Yared Nuguese, the American record holder in the mile indoors and outdoors. Nuguse has his eyes on the world record of 3:47.01, but he will have to contend with a number of the best athletes in the world if he is to win his second straight Wanamaker title, including two additional 1500m finalists from last summer’s World Championships.

“[The world record] feels like a goal that’s within my grasp of achieving.” said Nuguse. “Not only am I stronger and smarter than I was last year, but I feel like I will be able to attack this race with a lot more confidence to chase the world record. When I went to Millrose for the first time, I was just chasing the American record. So changing that mindset, just seeing how far I’ve come, it feels like a very real possibility at this point.”

The elite athletes lining up to challenge Nuguse are as follows:

-Mario Garcia Romo was last year’s runner-up, and he is the 2022 1500m champion for Spain and a two-time World Championship finalist.

-Neil Gourley is a three-time British 1500m champion, and he holds the European indoor mile record.

-George Mills placed third in the mile at the Diamond League final, moving up to third on the all-time British list, before also placing second at the NYRR 5th Avenue Mile.

-Hobbs Kessler is the reigning World Road Mile champion, and he also holds the national high school indoor mile record.

-Andrew Coscoran is an Olympian and the Irish record holder over 1500m.

-Adam Spencer of the University of Wisconsin and Australia holds the NCAA 1500m record.

-Sam Prakel is the US Road Mile champion, and he placed fourth nationally in the 1500m.

-Charles Philibert-Thiboutot is a Canadian Olympian and the 2023 NACAC 1500m champion.

The winner of the mile at the Dr. Sander Invitational this Saturday, January 27th will be added to the NYRR Wanamaker Mile field as well.

Stay tuned over the coming weeks before the 116th Millrose Games, as the world-class start lists are finalized. Top athletes already confirmed to compete include Laura Muir, Elle Purrier-St. Pierre, Dina Asher-Smith, Julien Alfred, Alicia Monson, Grant Fisher, Danielle Williams, Josh Kerr, Cooper Teare, Yaroslava Mahuchikh, Christian Coleman, Andre De Grasse, Nia Ali, Chris Nilsen, and KC Lightfoot, with even more Olympians and World Championship medalists still to come.

As always, the Millrose Games will feature the absolute best athletes in the sport, including dozens of Olympians and world champions. The Millrose Games is a World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold meet. With highest-level competition at the youth, high school, collegiate, club, and professional levels, there is truly something for everyone at the Millrose Games. 

Tickets can be purchased at https://www.millrosegames.org/ 

(01/24/2024) Views: 162 ⚡AMP
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NYRR Millrose Games

NYRR Millrose Games

The NYRR Millrose Games,which began in 1908 as a small event sponsored by a local track club, has grown to become the most prestigious indoor track and field event in the United States. The NYRR Millrose Games meet is held in Manhattan’s Washington Heights at the New Balance Track & Field Center at the Armony, which boasts a state-of-the-art six-lane,...

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This historic track froze into a skating rink

The West Coast of the U.S. and Canada got hit with sub-zero temperatures over the weekend as a cold front swept through the Midwest. Northern California and Southern Oregon reported unusual seasonal lows around -5 and -10 C, resulting in extreme cold that even froze over Hayward Field at the University of Oregon, transforming one of the most well-known tracks in the world into a skating rink.

Instead of wearing spikes for their Monday morning workout, the Oregon Ducks track and field team was seen skating on the track, turning their usual practice into more of a speed-skating session.

The video was posted to Oregon freshman Simeon Birnbaum’s Instagram story on Monday, where he was also seen sporting a Team Canada kit T-shirt. Although Birnbaum is from South Dakota, he has Canadian roots, having spent his early years in Alberta, where he learned to skate, according to Runnerspace. He transitioned from hockey to track in his early teenage years and is now a sub-four-minute miler with the University of Oregon track and field team under coach Jerry Schumacher.

The sight of people skating on Hayward Field has sparked a few ideas. First, envision an epic NHL Winter Classic game in that stadium. With a capacity of up to 25,000 fans and oval-shaped grandstands reminiscent of an NHL arena, the venue could provide an ideal setting and atmosphere for a game.

I know the recent Winter Classic between the Seattle Kraken and Las Vegas Golden Knights at MLB stadium T-Mobile Park in Seattle on Jan. 1 accommodated way more fans than Hayward, but let’s get NHL commissioner Gary Bettman on the phone to arrange a future Winter Classic matchup between the Seattle Kraken and L.A. Kings at Hayward.

The second idea involves Hayward Field hosting a long-track speed skating World Cup event in January or February. This cross-up between two of the most popular summer and winter Olympic events would be unreal. While I am no expert on speed skating, I would only think that having track-meet-style races could be highly entertaining, especially if wind or snow becomes a factor. Though the University of Oregon might not permit either event, it doesn’t hurt to start the buzz.

(01/20/2024) Views: 135 ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Peres Jepchirchir headlines women field at Ras Al Khaimah Half-Marathon

Olympic marathon champion Peres Jepchirchir will headline the 16th edition of the Ras Al Khaimah Half-Marathon scheduled for February 24, 2024 in Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates.

The three time World Half Marathon champion is also the only woman to simultaneously hold the Olympic, New York and Boston marathon titles, which she achieved in the seven months between August 2021 and April 2022.

Jepchirchir who also holds two world marathon majors, knows this course so well as she set her first world half marathon record here in 2017 when she broke Florence Kiplagat’s record of 1:05.09 that she had set in Barcelona in 2015 with a new world record of 1:05.06.

The mother of one will be looking to challenge the race course record of 1:04.14 set last year by the 2018 World U20 5000m bronze medallist, Girmawit Gebrzihair of Ethiopia.

Race Director and Pace Events CEO Peter Connerton said today, ‘We were honoured and enormously gratified to be invited by the Ras Al Khaimah tourist authorities to organise an event like the RAK half-marathon. We feel it’s a reflection of the success we’ve had with the Dubai Marathon since 2000.

We’ve added a 10k to the RAK programme since we’ve seen how successful the shorter event has been in Dubai; either as a challenge in its own right, or as a stepping stone for runners on the way to a half or full marathon. Jepchirchir is the first of many leading names we shall be announcing for the RAK ‘half’ in the coming weeks”.

(01/17/2024) Views: 168 ⚡AMP
by John Vaselyne
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Rak Half Marathon

Rak Half Marathon

The Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon is the 'world's fastest half marathon' because if you take the top 10 fastest times recorded in RAK for men (and the same for women) and find the average (for each) and then do the same with the top ten fastest recorded times across all races (you can reference the IAAF for this), the...

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Benard Kibet Koech ready to defend Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon title

The 17th Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon will see the welcome return of defending men’s champion Benard Kibet Koech and reigning world half marathon and Olympic marathon champion Peres Jepchirchir.

The Kenyans are the first two of what is expected to be a constellation of stars at the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon, hosted by the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), on February 24.

Jepchirchir’s standing as one of the world’s all-time greats is underlined not only by her Olympic marathon win in Tokyo, but also by three individual world half marathon titles, and the considerable feat of being the only woman to simultaneously hold the Olympic, New York and Boston marathon titles, which she achieved in the seven months between August 2021 and April 2022.

When she won the 2017 Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon it was in a then world record of 65m:06s, which remains her best time.

Compatriot Koech is one of many Kenyans recruited to run on one of Japan’s corporate teams. He is similarly unusual in being one of the diminishing number of athletes who combine track with road running and is a 13-minute 5,000 metre runner who also has several 10,000 metre finishes of just over 27 minutes to his name.

His victory last year in Ras Al Khaimah in a time of 58m:45s was one of the 10 fastest of 2023.

Since its inauguration in 2007, the Ras Al Khaimah race has proved to be one of the fastest half marathons on the international circuit with the race staged around the spectacular sea-side route on the iconic Al Marjan Island.

As well as the likes of Koech and Jepchirchir, the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon will see thousands of runners coming together in the associated 10km, 5km and 2km runs.

(01/15/2024) Views: 182 ⚡AMP
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Rak Half Marathon

Rak Half Marathon

The Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon is the 'world's fastest half marathon' because if you take the top 10 fastest times recorded in RAK for men (and the same for women) and find the average (for each) and then do the same with the top ten fastest recorded times across all races (you can reference the IAAF for this), the...

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Ugandan Olympic steeplechaser found murdered just outside of Eldoret

Ugandan three-time Olympian Benjamin Kiplagat has been killed. Kiplagat, 34, is believed to have been murdered early Sunday morning, reported the BBC. Kiplagat, who specialized in the 3,000m steeple, was living in the Marakwet District of Kenya, and his body was discovered in his vehicle just outside of the city of Eldorat. Eldorat is the fifth largest city in Kenya and known as a top training center for athletes.

He broke onto the international scene in 2006 when he was sixth in the 3,000m steeple at the World Junior Championships in Beijing, China. He was a silver medalist at the 2008 World Junior Championships in Poland, and narrowly missed the podium at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India. Kiplagat was 10th at the 2011 World Championships in South Korea, and made the semifinals in the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Kenyan police commandant Stephen Okal said that officers received a message about a traffic accident, and arrived at the scene around 5.00 am, as reported by NTV Kenya. Police found Kiplagat lying in the driver’s seat—the athlete had been stabbed in the chest and neck. Police believe the assailants had used a motorcycle to block Kiplagat’s path, and his vehicle had hit the motorcycle before the attack.

“We are still investigating the incident to ascertain what really happened, but what we can confirm is that the man found dead is an international athlete called Benjamin Kiplagat,” said Okal.

Kiplagat had been training in Eldoret before heading to Uganada to compete. He had Kiplagat had secured a bronze medal while representing Uganada at the Africa Championships in Porto Novo, Benin in 2012, and finished in the heats at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing, China, the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and the 2019 World Championships in Doha, Qatar.

Kiplagat’s death will be mourned by the international athletics community, while investigations continue to uncover the circumstances around his tragic death.

(01/02/2024) Views: 187 ⚡AMP
by Keeley Milne
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The Dubai Marathon opening the athletics year on January 7

Distance runners looking to qualify for the Paris Olympics in midsummer next year get two early opportunities in the United Arab Emirates, with the Dubai Marathon opening the athletics year on January 7, followed by the Ras Al Khaimah half-marathon, now under the same management, on February 24. 

Heading the Dubai women’s entries so far are Haven Hailu Desse of Ethiopia and Betty Chepkwony of Kenya. Hailu Desse scored two notable victories in the last 18 months, taking the Rotterdam title in 2022, in 2hr 22min 01sec, and the Osaka Women’s Marathon two months ago in 2:21:13; while her best remains 2:20:19 from Amsterdam 2019. Chepkwony made her breakthrough on the international marathon scene by winning in Rome nine months ago in a personal best of 2:23:02.

In the men’s field, Ethiopians Workineh Tadese Mandefro and Kebede Tulu Wami lead the way with the former’s personal best of 2:05:07 coming in Hamburg 2022. Tulu is only a few seconds slower, his best of 2:05:19 earned him second place Seville in nine months ago.

Traffic restrictions in downtown Dubai last year saw the first post-pandemic marathon staged around Expo City, where the COP 28 climate conference has just concluded. But next month’s race sees a return to the flat, fast, coast-hugging course, which has proved such a hit in the past. Peter Connerton, race director for the organising company PACE Events, says, “The athletes are excited about the event returning to the flat course around Umm Suqeim, the Burj Al Arab and the Jumeirah Beach Road, which is renowned for delivering fast times. The elite field is looking strong with several more names to be confirmed in the coming days”.

The Dubai Marathon was inaugurated in 1998, and the Ras Al Khaimah ‘half’, in one of the smaller, coastal emirates half a dozen years later. Both races have become celebrated for fast times, with the latter results regularly under 59 minutes.

For the first time, both races come under the umbrella of PACE Events, who are adding an RAK international 10k to the programme. Race Director Connerton says, “We are honoured to be entrusted with organising the Ras Al Khaimah Half-Marathon. Over the years, the race has produced some fast times and world-class winners; and with 2024 being an Olympic year, we expect to have an even better field. Similarly, by adding a 10k to the schedule we aim to make race day in RAK bigger and better than ever”.

(12/13/2023) Views: 204 ⚡AMP
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Dubai Marathon

Dubai Marathon

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

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Kipchoge becomes U20 refugee team mentor as World Athletics makes Global Refugee Forum pledge

Kenya’s two-time Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge is to mentor the U20 World Athletics Athlete Refugee Team (ART), using his great experience in the sport to educate and inspire upcoming athletes.

Kipchoge will motivate the team members by sharing his knowledge and discipline in the sport, while also encouraging them to pursue their education and read books, which is one of his own passions. Committed to helping the underprivileged, the former world record-holder will also share life skills as part of the role, which he will hold through to next year’s World Athletics U20 Championships Lima 24.

Confirmation of Kipchoge’s mentorship, which will begin in January, coincides with the announcement of the Multistakeholder Pledge on Sport for Inclusion and Protection of Refugees, a commitment signed by more than 100 organisations represented at the Global Refugee Forum 2023, which gets under way today (13) in Geneva. As one of the signatories, and as part of the Sport for Refugee Coalition which it joined earlier this year, World Athletics reaffirmed its commitment to use sport to help improve the lives of stateless people around the world.

Held every four years, the Global Refugee Forum is the world’s largest international gathering on refugees. It is designed to support the practical implementation of the objectives set out in the Global Compact on Refugees: ease pressures on host countries, enhance refugee self-reliance, increase access to third-country solutions and improve conditions in countries of origin.

World Athletics’ pledge outlines the role that sport can play in improving the lives of refugees, including through sport programming, policy change, skill development, and communication and advocacy efforts.

The World Athletics Athlete Refugee Team, composed of athletes who have fled violence, conflict and injustice at home, was founded in 2016 and has since evolved into the world's only year-round full-time refugee team programme. The team made its first competitive appearance as part of the Refugee Olympic Team at the 2016 Olympic Games and has competed at nearly every World Athletics Series event since. 

The U20 team was formed as a pilot in 2022, with the objective of presenting a well-prepared U20 ART for the World Athletics U20 Championships Lima 24.

Kenya’s 2007 world 800m champion Janeth Jepkosgei is head coach of the U20 ART, which is partly based at Kakuma Refugee Camp, located around 100km from the South Sudan border in east Africa, and Kapsabet, Kenya. Swiss educator Barbara Moser-Mercer leads the programme, supported by coach Arcade Arakaza, himself a refugee from Burundi, and now Kipchoge.

Earlier this month, World Athletics was part of a delegation including the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Olympic Refugee Foundation (ORF), National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) and African Higher Education in Emergencies Network (AHEEN) that visited the Kakuma and Kalobeyei refugee camps in Kenya. World Athletics was invited to be part of the delegation by the ORF, recognising the work that World Athletics is doing in this domain.

Global Refugee Forum pledge: Sport for Inclusion and Protection of Refugees

“In its capacity as world governing body of athletics, World Athletics pledges to mobilise its sphere of influence to support the inclusion of refugee athletes in athletics events around the globe. We commit to providing them safe sport, promoting gender parity in our selection, educating them on safeguarding and offering academic and sport scholarships. Through our sponsor, Asics, they will benefit from our value in kind kit provision and will be eligible like any other athlete to win prize money.

“Together with our stakeholders, we will pursue and advocate for more World Athletics certified refugee coaches and support staff. We will offer media training courses for refugee athletes. In collaboration with the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), we will be diligent on the wellbeing of refugee athletes under our programme and advocate running clean in the spirit of fair play.

“During our World Athletics Series (WAS) events, refugee athletes will be treated like their fellow elite athletes, and we will maximise their presence by offering them ambassadorial opportunities to promote the sport and share its impact on their lives. All expenses to our World Athletics Series events will be covered by World Athletics.

“World Athletics will serve as the team’s member federation, and the team will compete under the Athlete Refugee Team flag.”

(12/13/2023) Views: 207 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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A Marathon Where Victory Isn’t Reserved for the Winners

CJ Albertson and Grace Kahura-Malang won the California International Marathon while dozens more fulfilled lifelong dreams to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Trials in their last chance

If there’s one race where the adage ‘To the victor go the spoils” does not ring entirely true, it’s the California International Marathon (CIM). The commanding wins of CJ Albertson and Grace Kahura-Malang were certainly deserving of celebration. But they shared in the sweet taste of victory with dozens more high-level runners on last Sunday morning.

For several minutes after Albertson stormed from behind to take the men’s race in 2:11:09 and Kahura broke the tape in the women’s race with a personal best of 2:29:00, the finish line exhilaration continued to build as numerous runners sprinted their way to the finish line on M Street, adjacent to the California Capitol Mall in downtown Sacramento. 

That’s because the winning prizes extended far beyond the $10,000 to something money can’t buy. American runners who could get to the finish line in time earned a qualifying berth for the 2024 U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon on February 3 in Orlando, Florida. That event will determine the six U.S. runners who will compete in next summer’s Paris Olympics, but it’s also a quadrennial benchmark of domestic distance running excellence, and the chance to run in it—especially for those who have no chance at making the Olympic team—is a badge of honor that lasts a lifetime.

Sunday’s CIM was the last opportunity to grab that proverbial brass ring, and as the time ticked down to the cutoffs—2:18 for men and 2:37 for women—41 runners realized dreams that had been several years in the making. That’s a considerably smaller number than the 109 runners who qualified four years ago, but the Olympic Trials are four weeks earlier this time around and many runners opted for earlier races.

To reach the lofty Olympic Trials qualifying (OTQ) standards, many runners had to face their inner demons as they accepted the physical, mental, and emotional challenge of running 26.2 miles faster than they ever have.

“It was very hard-fought,” said Mary Denholm, a Colorado runner who lowered her personal best by more than four and half minutes to finish in 2:36:28 and earned the OTQ time. “During the race, I tried to think as little as possible, but you know those little negative thoughts creep in. I kept saying to myself, Well, you’d be happy with a 2:37 or a 2:38, which is true, but I had to not allow myself to accept that and slow down. Marathoning is so hard. It’s a process. You really have to love the journey.” 

Celebrating its 40th year, CIM has developed a reputation as one of the best domestic races for elite and age-group runners seeking personal best efforts, whether that’s chasing an OTQ or Boston Marathon-qualifying time. The race’s point-to-point, net-downhill 26.2-mile course from Folsom to Sacramento amid Northern California’s typically favorably cool, dry early December weather is ideal for running fast for any of the 10,000 participants. But what makes fast times more likely is the communal effort of the large packs of runners at nearly every pace group.

With the Trials-qualifying deadline of December 5 looming, about 200 American runners lined up at CIM to specifically chase the 2024 OTQ marks. While a few have been training with the aid of sponsorships or trying to become professional runners, the majority were amateur runners who work full-time jobs.

For some—like first-time marathoners and twenty-somethings Charlie Sweeney, Christian Allen, Ava Nuttall, and Abbie McNulty—it was the initial opportunity to meet the mark. But it wasn’t the first rodeo for many others who were back after coming up short in previous years, including thirty-somethings Denholm, Noah Droddy, Allie Kiefer, and Chad Beyer. For some who are slowing with age, or on the verge of hanging up their racing shoes for bigger career pursuits, CIM might have been the final shot of their competitive running careers.

In the moments before the race in Folsom, the nervous energy of every elite runner was palpable as they did their final pre-race strides and stretches, each one carrying with them their own long backstory that brought them to the brink of their dreams. After a brief moment of calm on the starting line, the gun went off and the enticing challenge began.

“This was my shot,” said Droddy, a 33-year-old Salomon-sponsored pro from Boulder, Colorado, who had a breakthrough 2:09:09 runner-up performance at The Marathon Project in 2020 but, because of a variety of injuries, hadn’t finished a marathon since. “I qualified on the last day in 2016, and so this was another full-circle moment to try to do it on the last day again.”

For the next two-plus hours, every runner locked into the silent rhythm of their race pace—each with their own goal in mind—holding onto the cadence of the random runners nearby. This is all the while knowing that consistent effort would gradually transition from being smooth and tolerable to eventually becoming extremely difficult by the later miles of the race. 

Allen, a marathon rookie from Salt Lake City eager to make his mark, boldly opted to run off the front from the start with New Zealand’s Matt Baxter and Kenyan Milton Rotich, while Albertson, a Fresno-based runner who has been one of the most consistent elite-level marathoners in the U.S. for the past several years, looked calm and content as he ran just off the lead near the front pack. 

While many OTQ-seeking American women grouped together in the quest for a 2:33 to 2:37 finish, Kahura-Malang, a 30-year-old Kenyan runner who lives near Boulder, started quickly and tagged along with a much-faster group of men with hopes of breaking 2:30 for the first time.

“I really didn’t know how far I was from the other women, but I didn’t want to focus on that,” she said. “I just wanted to keep running fast.”

Achieving success in a marathon can be a fickle task—one that relies on equal parts sufficient training, optimal fueling, and mental tenacity. But the magic of an elite-level marathon, especially CIM during a pre-Olympic Trials year, can be tied to finding confidence running amid the collective rhythm of a pack of like-minded runners, at least until things get difficult at the crux of the race somewhere near mile 20. 

Maintaining race pace and grinding through the final miles is something every runner experiences, each one to varying success. That’s where inspirational mantras, acknowledging motivational words written on an arm, or a variety of other mental tricks come into play.

“We had a great group for a while, and then about 20 miles, it started to thin out,” said Jacob Shiohira, 27, from Bentonville, Arkansas. He sliced seven minutes off his personal best with his 13th-place, 2:16:34 finish to make the OTQ cut. “The last three miles turned into a grind, but everyone’s in the same boat, and that’s what makes it special.” 

The 26-year-old Allen, fresh off finishing an All-American track and cross country collegiate career at Brigham Young University, spent the summer racing shorter distances on roads and trails. He stuck with his gutsy strategy to lead the race until his legs began to tighten up at the 23-mile mark. Albertson had let Allen and Rotich get ahead of him on a few of the later hills in the race but patiently stayed within himself and seized the lead late in the race to open up a two-minute advantage before the finish.

Rotich finished two minutes after Albertson in 2:13:04 for second, followed by Charlie Sweeney, a 24-year-old runner from Boulder, who completed a stunning debut marathon with a third-place, 2:13:41 finish to earn the Olympic Trials-qualifying standard. After that, Baxter, a Kiwi runner who runs for NAZ Elite, put down a new personal best of 2:14:08, followed by Eritrea’s Amanuel Mesel (2:14:11). From there, Robert Miranda (2:14:43), Jerod Broadbooks (2:14:58) and Allen (2:15:01) led a parade of 27 American men who celebrated securing their OTQ times.

Droddy made it too, finishing 17th in 2:16:56, to earn one of the celebratory golden OTQ flags CIM handed out to each of the qualifiers.

“I didn’t care about the time at all, just as long as it was under 2:18,” said Droddy, who also qualified in 2016 and 2020. “I was just happy to get it done. It means a lot because now I know I can join my teammates at the Olympic Trials.”

More than four minutes after Kahura-Malang ran away with the women’s title, Kiefer (2:33:26) led the charge of a long string of American women who cruised in under the OTQ cutoff. Once a top American runner, the 36-year-old from Austin, Texas, hadn’t finished a marathon since she placed seventh in New York in 2018. Like a lot of runners, she’s been through a lot of challenges in recent years, including injuries, races she’s dropped out of (including the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials in Atlanta), relocating to new cities, changing coaches, and general motivation.

“I’m back to the basics of having fun with it,” Kiefer said. “There’s no pressure right now. I just wanted to have a good experience, and it was a great experience. It feels validating to get back to the Trials. It’s just nice to go out there and do the part you love.” 

Nuttall, 22, was perhaps one of the positive surprises of the day. A senior at Miami University in Ohio, where she was the top cross country runner for the Redhawks this fall, she finished her debut marathon in third place in 2:35:09. After that it was Kaylee Flanagan, 28 who earned her first OTQ with a strong 2:35:24 effort to join her older sister and Asics pro Lindsay Flanagan in Orlando. After that it was professional trail runners Rachel Drake (2:35:28) and Peyton Thomas (2:35:42), who finished fifth, and sixth, respectively. (Drake is also the mother to 14-month-old son, Lewis.)

Nine more women earned the OTQ time—14 total—including Denholm, who finished 13th in 2:36:28.

But amid the joy of dreams coming true, there was also the heartbreak of near-misses. Tammy Hsieh sprinted to the finish just in the nick of time, crossing in exactly 2:37:00 to make the women’s cut, but moments later Gina Rouse (2:37:10) and Jennifer Sandoval (2:37:11) narrowly missed it and went home disappointed.

On the men’s side, Duriel Hardy dashed across the line in 2:17:56 to become the final men’s OTQ’er, but then Alexander Helmuth came across the line two seconds too late in 2:18:02. 

After a record 511 women qualified for the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon in Atlanta—nearly double the number of male qualifiers—the women’s standard was lowered by eight minutes, down from 2:45 to 2:37. The new mark equates to a hefty 18 seconds per mile faster, down from 6:18 minute mile pace to 6 minutes flat. Denholm, who qualified in 2020 with a 2:42:02 effort at the 2019 CIM, was one of hundreds of women who spent the past several years trying to make that big leap. 

After running a personal best of 2:40:59 at the 2022 Boston Marathon, Denholm hoped to continue her progression and earn her qualifying time months ago. But the marathon is a fickle event because training never goes perfectly and something—injuries, work, life—always gets in the way. And sometimes everything goes right and it’s just not your day on race day.

After dealing with a torn labrum and then going through a divorce, career changes, and a move from California to Colorado, the 36-year-old running coach targeted last summer’s Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, Minnesota—another domestic race on par with CIM when it comes to providing a competitive platform for elite and sub-elite runners to excel. 

But despite a good training block, Denholm struggled in that race and finished in 2:43:19. After that, she refocused her training with the help of coach and three-time OTQer Neely Gracey and set her sights on the September 24 Berlin Marathon, only to come down with COVID after she arrived in Germany. Not wanting to give up, she retooled her training one more time and registered for CIM as a last-ditch effort.

She was on 2:36 pace the entire way, running near-identical 13.1-mile splits of 1:18:17 and 1:18:11, but needed the encouragement of friend, Sofie Schunk, to get her through the final miles. Schunk, 31, of Albuquerque, finished six seconds ahead of her in 2:36:22.

“I went to a really dark place out there and had to fight through that,” she said. “It was awesome to have other women out there to go for it with and encourage along the way. I split some of my faster miles near the end, and I’ve never been able to do that, so that was a huge victory for me. I hope this can be encouraging to other women because I really think everyone is limitless. I’ve just worked really hard to get where I am and I just want others to feel encouraged.”

(12/10/2023) Views: 208 ⚡AMP
by Outside Online
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Obiri, Kibet expected to defend titles as date for 2024 Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon is revealed

Kenyan champions prepare to defend titles in the 17th Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon, featuring new routes and 10km race.

The 17th Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon has officially announced its date promising an electrifying event on February 24, 2024, against the stunning backdrop of the United Arab Emirates.

The prestigious event, held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, is set to make history this year with a new route on Al Marjan Island and the introduction of its inaugural 10km Road Race.

Hosted by the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), this renowned marathon will once again see elite long-distance athletes from around the globe, while also inviting thousands of passionate runners to participate in the associated 10km or 2km runs.

For the very first time in its illustrious history, the RAK Half Marathon will include a 10km race, a distance that serves as the perfect stepping stone for aspiring runners looking to prepare themselves for the ultimate challenge of a half marathon.

A significant change for this year's race is the introduction of a new route that will see the start and finish line located on Al Marjan Island.

Looking ahead to 2024, all three races will unfold on the scenic roads of this premier destination, a remarkable cluster of four coral-shaped islands within a stunning man-made archipelago.

As per Gulf News Raki Phillips, Chief Executive Officer of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, expressed his enthusiasm, stating, "We are very excited to announce the new date for the iconic RAK Half Marathon.

Since its inception 17 years ago, the event has carved its own niche on the global running stage, shining a bright spotlight on Ras Al Khaimah and attracting spectators and competitors of all skill levels. This annual race continues to produce world-class champions, while fostering a sense of unity between the local and international communities."

The news of the RAK Half Marathon's return has already captured the attention of world-class athletes who are eager to test their mettle in the ideal racing conditions provided by this event.

Many of them see this race as a crucial stepping stone as they prepare for prestigious competitions like the London Marathon and the Paris Olympics.

Reflecting on the previous edition, the 16th Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon witnessed a Kenyan double win, with Bernard Koech securing the men's elite title and Hellen Obiri dominating the women's event in impressive times of 58:45 and 1:05:05, respectively.

Obiri's victory this year marked a remarkable improvement from her runner-up position in the previous Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon.

Peter Connerton, Managing Director of Pace Events and Race Director of the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon, conveyed his honor and excitement, saying, "We are honored to have been entrusted with organizing the RAK Half Marathon, one of the most prominent sporting and social events in the UAE.

By introducing a 10km Road Race to the schedule as well as the option for team competition through the Corporate Challenge, we aim to make race day bigger and better than ever, while at the same time ensuring that the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon continues to attract the world's best distance runners."

The 2023 edition of the event attracted a star-studded lineup, including athletes like Seifu Tura, Daniel Mateiko, Kennedy Kimutai, Brigid Jepchirchir Kosgei, and Gotytom Gebreslase.

(12/09/2023) Views: 223 ⚡AMP
by Festus Chuma
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Rak Half Marathon

Rak Half Marathon

The Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon is the 'world's fastest half marathon' because if you take the top 10 fastest times recorded in RAK for men (and the same for women) and find the average (for each) and then do the same with the top ten fastest recorded times across all races (you can reference the IAAF for this), the...

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Taylor Swift uses treadmill workouts to train for Eras Tour

All is right with the world–Taylor Swift has confirmed she’s a runner.

In an interview with Time Magazine in acceptance of her Person of The Year award, Swift revealed that she frequently ran to her 180-minute set list on the treadmill to train and stay in shape for her Eras Tour.

Every day I would run on the treadmill, singing the entire set list out loud […] I would run fast for fast songs and fast walk or jog the slow songs,” Swift said to Time Magazine.

The blockbuster Eras Tour, which kicked off this summer, includes 151 shows across five continents, each of which features a 44-song setlist spanning her 10 studio albums.

According to Time Magazine, Swift began the training regimen six months before her tour began. Her shows are on average more than three hours–a time frame comparable to a marathon. Her trainers reportedly crafted a plan that incorporates running alongside weight training and other forms of conditioning.

This isn’t the first time Swift revealed she dabbles in running. In 2016, she shot a commercial with Apple Music that saw her running on the treadmill and singing along to Drake’s hit song “Jumpman.”

Swift also revealed that she performs regardless of whether she’s “sick, injured, heartbroken, or stressed.” She makes sure to devote a full day to rest and recovery after each stop on the tour.

Given a recent video where Swift was seen sprinting into the arms of her boyfriend, NFL star Travis Kelce, after an Eras Tour show in Argentina, we think it’s safe to speculate that Swift has some running potential. Now, we just need her to qualify for the Boston Marathon

(12/09/2023) Views: 166 ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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American runner postpones wedding to compete at World Road Running Championships

Last weekend, American middle-distance runner Sam Prakel faced a challenging decision: choosing between love and representing his country at the World Athletics Road Running Championships in Riga, Latvia.

Prakel had originally planned to marry his long-time partner Katie Landwehr on Sept. 30. However, when he received an invite to join Team USA for the World Athletics Road Running Championships on Oct. 1, he made the difficult choice to postpone the wedding.

During a pre-race press conference, Prakel shared, “It’s a tremendous honour to represent the U.S. […] they have the world’s best track team. I even had to reschedule my wedding for a week later so I could be here for this event. It’s wonderful to be here and represent the U.S.”

The tough decision appeared to pay off for Prakel as he clinched the bronze in the men’s road mile with a time of 3:56.43, earning a prize of USD $3,500. Prakel finished third, with his compatriot Hobbs Kessler securing gold in his senior national team debut with a time of 3:56.13. Great Britain’s Callum Elson also earned his first world championship medal, narrowly beating Prakel for silver with a time of 3:56.41.

Prakel revealed that he was able to reschedule the wedding for the following week, which raised questions among track fans about why Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigtsen did not make a similar decision, considering the circumstances of winning another world championship medal. Ingebrigtsen married his longtime partner Elisabeth Asserson on Sept. 23 and celebrated their honeymoon in the Maldives the past week.

Perhaps the bonus will help fund an unforgettable wedding and honeymoon for Prakel and his future wife.

(10/07/2023) Views: 256 ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Daniel Mateiko will be making his debut in marathon at the Chicago marathon

After recording the fastest time over the half marathon distance in the world this year at the fourth edition of the Antrim Coast in Northern Ireland, Daniel Mateiko will be making his debut in marathon at the Chicago marathon, the fourth largest race in the world that is slated to be held on Sunday (8) in Chicago, Illinois, United States.

The 25 year-old who clocked a world leading time of 58:36, breaking the UK and Irish all-comers’ record ahead of the 2019 All-Africa Games 10,000m bronze medallist, Jemal Yimer of Ethiopia, said that the world should expect shocking results in Chicago despite having a deep elite field that includes the second fastest man in the world Kelvin Kiptum.

“This is my first time to participate in a marathon and a world major. This means I have to work extra hard to keep up with the pace,” said Mateiko.

He explained that he made a good run while pacing at the London marathon early this year where Kiptum ran the second fastest time in the world.

“I had good pacing at the London marathon where I dropped at the 30km mark, just 12km remaining. Some race organizers saw what I could do. At the same time, I have a very good management ( NN Running Team) that looks for great races for their athletes,” he said.

The inaugural Eldama Ravine Half marathon champion said the training is so intense to conquer the world.

Mateiko who finished in second place at this year’s Ras Al Khaimah half marathon also missed out to represent Kenya at the 2021 Olympic Games after finishing 6th during the Kenya National trials.

“Expect good things from me. Right now, I am preparing very well when I received the invitation,” he added.

Having the personal best time standing at 58:26 set during his third position at the Valencia Half marathon last year, Mateiko has set the goal of improving on his time too.

Mateiko who runs under the Global Sports Communication stable in Kaptagat, went ahead to finish third at the Valencia Half marathon in 58:26, Copenhagen third after timing 59:25, RAK in sixth place in 58:45 and Ravine half marathon.

He will be facing off with some of the best experienced marathoners that include Kiptum, the defending champion Benson Kipruto and the Tokyo Olympics marathon bronze medalist, Bashir Abdi.

(10/06/2023) Views: 298 ⚡AMP
by John Vaselyne
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Bank of America Chicago

Bank of America Chicago

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

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Beyond Marathons: Uncovering the World’s Most Scenic Trail Runs

For experienced trail runners searching for their next trail marathon and newcomers to the sport who are researching trail run events for the first time, we have compiled a list of the top destinations for trail running 

These races are renowned and provide breathtaking scenery, making them a must-have addition to your race calendar. Our selection deliberately combines well-known races with hidden gems you may not be familiar with. These hidden gems offer a unique sense of adventure and excitement, going beyond the usual races that everyone knows about.

 

WaitomoTrailRun,New Zealand

 

The Waitomo Trail Run, a one-of-a-kind event located in New Zealand's North Island, offers a unique and unforgettable experience. Now in its third year, this trail run has quickly become the largest of its kind in the country. 

Participants find themselves immersed in the stunning landscape of Hobbit country, with its picturesque rolling hills adorned with vibrant green grass. As you traverse the course, you'll also have the opportunity to explore captivating limestone caves illuminated by the enchanting glow of glowworms. 

 

It's important to note that littering is strongly discouraged, as there is a peculiar consequence for those who discard their energy gel wrappers. Participants may find themselves tasked with clearing gorse from the hills above Te Anga road while sporting nothing but jandals, shorts, and a singlet. However, they will be rewarded with warm cordial for sustenance and have the opportunity to partake in the wet Perendales crutching experience for several days.

 

 

Lavaredo Ultra Trail, Northern Italy  

Located in central-eastern Italy, the Dolomites showcase breathtaking rock formations that are truly remarkable. The Lavaredo Ultra Trail takes place within this distinctive lunar landscape, ranking as one of the most exquisite races worldwide. Only by participating in this event will you truly grasp why this place holds a magical allure, much like Venice. 

Even the world’s best sportsbooks that cover marathon odds would struggle to conjure up the necessary prices due to the distraction this location's beauty presents.  

 

As part of the UTWT competitions, the race unfolds amidst the majestic Dolomite mountains, running alongside the picturesque Misurina Lake and at the base of the renowned Tre Cime of Lavaredo, a symbol of global mountaineering. The beauty of this location stems from the striking contrast between the lush alpine forests, the rugged gray rocks, and the vivid blue skies and lakes. 

 

While the race offers fast sections, it is also technically demanding, requiring attentiveness to the rocky terrain and tree roots along the course. This is an event that should not be missed, although securing a spot through the registration draw is essential. Be sure to mark it on your agenda, as the experience is bound to be unforgettable!

 

Vallee Du Trail, Chamonix, France

Chamonix, renowned as the valley for trail running and the official host of the prestigious Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc, embodies the essence of the trail running community. Chamonix is a paradise for trail runners, as it offers a remarkable collection of 18 well-marked running routes that meander through picturesque mountain trails, enchanting forests, and serene alpine meadows, all while providing breathtaking panoramas of majestic mountains and icy peaks. 

 

What sets Chamonix apart is its inclusive and hospitable trail running community, which caters to elite athletes and anyone who possesses a deep affection for the mountains and the exhilarating outdoors.

 

 

MatterhorUltraks, Switzerland 

The Matterhorn, the ultimate representation of a picturesque alpine setting and alpine skiing, takes center stage for trail running during the summer. In Switzerland's Matterhorn Ultraks event, this majestic peak is visible from all directions and can be encircled through various routes ranging from 16 to 46 km. 

One particularly remarkable feature is the K30 trail, which spans 31.5 km and includes a thrilling highlight: a suspension bridge crossing the glacier gorge. Zermatt serves as the starting point for all the trails. 

By the way, "Ultraks" represents a series of trail running events at the most awe-inspiring mountain peaks across Europe.

 

 

X-TerraTrailRunWorld Championship, Hawaii 

The X-Terra Trail Run World Championship is held at Kualoa Ranch, located in Hawaii. This ranch is famously known as Jurassic Valley, as it served as the backdrop for the iconic dinosaur movies. 

The trails used in the X-Terra Trail Run World Championship are typically inaccessible to the general public. Therefore, this race offers a unique opportunity for runners to explore and appreciate the natural beauty of this area. 

The terrain itself is diverse and awe-inspiring. Participants will have the chance to run alongside cliffs and white sand beaches and navigate their way through dense rainforests. 

 

 

No prior qualifications are required to participate in the 21-kilometer championship course. This event also includes a 10-kilometer race, a five-kilometer race, and an "adventure walk," making it accessible to runners of all ages and skill levels, from beginners to elite athletes.

(09/22/2023) Views: 391 ⚡AMP
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Scott Fauble Is Aiming for the Olympic Standard at Berlin Marathon

Fauble will hope to become first American man to hit 2:08:10 Olympic standard in Sunday’s race

Scott Fauble was not planning on running a fall marathon in 2023. On April 17, he finished 7th at the Boston Marathon to earn top American honors — just as he did in Boston and New York in 2022. His time of 2:09:44 represented the fourth sub-2:10 of his career, making him just the seventh American to accomplish that feat after Ryan Hall, Galen Rupp, Meb Keflezighi, Khalid Khannouchi, Alberto Salazar, and Mbarak Hussein. In previous years, a top-10 finish at a World Marathon Major counted as an automatic qualifying standard for the Olympic marathon; Fauble, with three straight top-10 finishes on his resume, figured he was in good position for Paris and could shift his focus to the US Olympic Trials in February 2024.

But the Olympic qualifying system for 2024 is far more complicated than in previous years, with ever-shifting world rankings and things like “quota reallocation places” creating confusion among fans and athletes alike. Any athlete ranked in the top 65 of the filtered “Road to Paris” list on January 30, 2024, is considered qualified…except the “Road to Paris” list does not currently exist. After Boston, Fauble, who is currently ranked 122nd* — that’s in the world rankings, which is a different list than “Road to Paris” — tried to take a closer look at where he stood, creating spreadsheets and projecting where he might rank after accounting for time qualifiers, the three-athlete-per-country limit, and potential changes after the 2023 fall marathon season. After a while, his brain began to hurt.

“I felt like the Pepe Silvia meme from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” Fauble said. “…It was like, this is complicated and stressful and I can just get the standard. This doesn’t need to be an issue.”

That is why Fauble, begrudgingly, made the decision to run the Berlin Marathon. He was not initially looking forward to the race, but with a strong training block in Boulder behind him and the race just four days away, he has changed his tune.

“I’m very excited,” Fauble said. “I wasn’t planning on doing a fall marathon after Boston and I had to figure out ways to get excited for it and I think that’s one of the things that has fired me up, actually seeing how fast I can go and pushing for a PR as opposed to letting the race play out and seeing what I can do.”

Chasing a time is a dramatically different approach to Fauble’s typical marathon M.O. Of the nine marathons he has run, only two have featured pacemakers: his debut in Frankfurt in 2017, and the Marathon Project in 2020. When Fauble runs Boston and New York, the hilly courses where he has found the greatest success, he does not enter with a goal time in mind. Instead, Fauble will wait until the race begins and assess a number of factors — the weather, how he’s feeling, how fast the other runners are going — before deciding which pace to run. Typically, that has led to Fauble letting the leaders go early and picking off stragglers as they fade over the second half of the race.

Berlin will be different. There are no hills to account for, and while Fauble will still fight for every place, he is not hiding the fact that the primary goal of this race is to hit a time. Specifically, the Olympic standard of 2:08:10. Only five Americans have ever bettered that time in history, but Fauble, who ran his personal best of 2:08:52 in Boston in 2022, believes he is capable of doing it.

“I don’t think that me running in the 2:07s is a huge stretch of the imagination,” said Fauble, who has removed some of the hillier routes from his training under coach Joe Bosshard but has otherwise prepared similarly for Berlin as he would Boston or New York. “I think I’ve been in that kind of shape a bunch of times.”

Every American marathoner will be rooting for Fauble

Currently, no male American marathoner has earned the 2024 Olympic standard — either by hitting the time standard of 2:08:10 or by finishing in the top five of a Platinum Label Marathon (which includes Berlin). It’s pvery likely someone such as Fauble or Conner Mantz will be ranked in the top 65 of the “Road to Paris” list at the end of January, but with the Olympic Trials less than five months away, US marathoners are getting antsy.

American pros rarely run the Berlin Marathon, typically opting for Chicago or New York in the fall — both of which pay much bigger appearance fees to American runners. But this fall, many are bypassing New York because of the date (just 13 weeks before the Trials) and the course (too slow for a shot at the Olympic standard). A sizeable crew, led by Mantz and Galen Rupp, will be in Chicago, while a far larger number than usual have opted for Berlin.

Berlin’s course is just as fast as Chicago’s, if not faster. It’s also two weeks before Chicago — an extra two weeks to prepare for the Trials — and the weather is typically a little better in Berlin than Chicago. That’s why Keira D’Amato opted for Berlin over Chicago for her American record attempt last year. It’s also why 60:02 half marathoner Teshome Mekonen — another American targeting the Olympic standard this fall — chose Berlin over Chicago.

In addition to Fauble and Mekonen, the 2023 Berlin field also includes 2016 Olympian Jared Ward, 2021 Olympian Jake Riley, and Tyler Pennel, who has finished 5th and 11th at the last two Olympic Marathon Trials. All of them will be looking to run fast. And every other American marathoner will be hoping they do the same.

That’s because of a new provision in the Olympic qualification system which states that any country with three qualified athletes may choose to send any three athletes it wants to Paris — as long as they have run at least 2:11:30 (men) or 2:29:30 (women) within the qualifying window. That’s why every American will be rooting for Fauble and others to run fast this fall: if the US has three athletes with the standard, then anyone who has run under 2:11:30 has the opportunity to make the team by finishing in the top three at the Trials.

The above provision, which World Athletics is referring to as “quota reallocation” means that someone such as Fauble could run the Olympic standard and open up a spot in Paris for an American athlete who ends up beating him at the Trials — thus taking a spot that would not otherwise be available had Fauble not run the standard. Fauble, obviously, is hoping such a scenario does not come to pass. But he is aware of the possibility and has accepted it as part of his reality.

“I don’t mind it,” Fauble said. “Sports have never really been about identifying the best team or the best athlete. They’re an entertainment product and they overemphasize very specific days on the calendar. Even if I was the only one with the standard and I get beat at the Trials, the 73-9 Warriors didn’t win the NBA title that year. You’ve gotta do it on the big days. That’s what being a professional athlete is about.”

(09/21/2023) Views: 357 ⚡AMP
by Jonathan Gault
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BMW Berlin Marathon

BMW Berlin Marathon

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

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Road mile performances from Hiltz and Prakel submitted for world record ratification

The winning times from this year’s US Road Mile Championships – 4:27.97 for Nikki Hiltz and 4:01.21 for Sam Prakel – have been submitted for world record ratification. Pending the usual ratification process – which includes doping control and shoe compliance – these performances will become the inaugural world records for the discipline.

The road mile became an official world record discipline as of 1 September. As announced after the World Athletics Council Meeting in November 2022, official recognition of a world record will require a performance of at least 3:50.00 (men) or 4:19.00 (women) between 1 January and 1 September 2023. If they were not met, the fastest recorded record-eligible performances will be recognised as the world records.

As such, the winning times at the US Road Mile Championships in Des Moines on 25 April proved to be the fastest eligible performances within that time frame.

There will, however, be a strong chance of these records being broken at the World Athletics Road Running Championships Riga 23 on 1 October, where the road mile is being contested by dozens of the world’s best middle-distance runners.

(09/09/2023) Views: 342 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Sharon Kemboi looking to prove herself at TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Sharon Kemboi might not be well known on the world athletics stage at the moment but there’s a solid chance the Kenyan will have a major impact on the TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon on October 15.

For a start, the 30-year-old Asics athlete from the town of Iten raced only in Kenya until 2022. And she has only one marathon race to her credit winning the 2022 Kobe Marathon in Japan last November in a time of 2:29:13. That saw her end the year as the 241st fastest woman of the year, hardly a world beater.  Yet, to dismiss her as a contender in this World Athletics Elite Label race would be foolish.

Last year Kemboi ran two world-class half marathons in Spain finishing second both times. Her personal best of 1:07:28 in Madrid followed by a strong 1:08:08 clocking two weeks later in Malaga indicates a time on Toronto Waterfront’s fast course nearer 2:22 is possible. The course record remains 2:22:16 by Magdalyne Masai – also from Kenya – set in 2019.

“The Kobe marathon course was a hard course, it is not easy. The course is so hard,” Kemboi says during a video call from her home in Iten. “I will try to run 2:25 or faster in Toronto. I want to run my personal best.

“I am training with Antonina Kwambai. She won last year in Toronto (2:23:20). She told me about Toronto and also I used to watch the Toronto races on YouTube.  She told me the course is not so hard and she said she really enjoyed it.”

A few hours prior to her overseas video call Kemboi and Kwambai along with their training partners, Immaculate Chemuta, who is a Ugandan training in Kenya, and Gladys Chepkurui, had run a 30 kilometres time trail paced by three male pacemakers and under the watchful eye of coach Thomas Portzinger. The Austrian native has worked with Kemboi for close to three years now and with Kwamboi for nearer seven. Pacemakers are often employed for special sessions. Training for Toronto Waterfront is progressing well.

Clearly, she is taking her running seriously now after showing promise as a high school runner at Chepkongony Church of Christ Secondary School near Eldoret.

“When I ran in high school I ran at the national level in the 5,000m and 10,000m. And then I got married and had two kids. Then I started training again,” she offers.

“I wanted to be like (2016 Olympic 5000m champion) Vivian Cheruiyot when I was in high school. I did not meet her but I used to watch the races she ran. I watched her Olympic races on YouTube.”

It was during her time at high school that she met her husband Lawrence Kemboi Kipsang who attended a boy’s school in Marakwet which is very close to her home village of Kendur. 

A world-class 3,000m steeplechaser, he has a best time of 8:11.26 in the event. In 2022 he was a much sought after pacemaker on the European circuit and helped Ethiopia’s Lamecha Girma beat the world 3,000m steeplechase record at the Paris Diamond League meet. The husband and wife will occasionally run together.

“We have a house helper who watches our children when we go training,” she reveals. “They are 7 and 4 and their names are Adele Jelegat and Adriana Jerop.”

Unlike many other Kenyan distance runners, she does not stay in a training camp but instead meets up for training sessions in Iten with her mates. The town of Iten is well known as a haven for distance runners from many nations. With a balance in training and family life Kemboi is very content with her fortunes.

Once again TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon is a World Athletics Elite Label race meaning the competition she will face is sure to be of the highest standard. Kemboi welcomes the challenge. This, after all, will be her opportunity to continue her successful transition from the half marathon to the marathon and shine on the world stage.

(09/06/2023) Views: 340 ⚡AMP
by Paul Gains
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TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon

TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon

The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Half-Marathon & 5k Run / Walk is organized by Canada Running Series Inc., organizers of the Canada Running Series, "A selection of Canada's best runs!" Canada Running Series annually organizes eight events in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver that vary in distance from the 5k to the marathon. The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and Half-Marathon are...

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Josh Kerr, Elle St. Pierre, and Nikki Hiltz to Headline Professional Athlete Field at New Balance 5th Avenue Mile

World champion Josh Kerr, U.S. Olympian Elle St. Pierre, and American mile record-holder Nikki Hiltz will headline a world-class professional athlete field that spans 14 different countries at the New Balance 5th Avenue Mile on Sunday, September 10. The New Balance 5th Avenue Mile – the world’s most iconic road mile race since 1981 – stretches 20 blocks down Manhattan’s most famous thoroughfare.

Great Britain’s Kerr will arrive in New York fresh off winning a world title in the 1,500 meters in Budapest; he is in search of his first victory on 5th Avenue in his second appearance in the event. Kerr also owns an Olympic bronze medal in the 1,500 meters from the Tokyo 2020 Games.

“Winning the World Championships was the culmination of every step of running I’ve ever taken,” Kerr said. “Now, my confidence is higher than it’s ever been, and I have some unfinished business to take care of on 5th Avenue.”

Lining up against Kerr will be New Zealand’s 5,000-meter record-holder George Beamish, and an American contingent led by 2023 Falmouth Mile champion Johnny Gregorek, last year’s 1,500-meter national champion Cooper Teare, two-time 5th Avenue Mile podium finisher Sam Prakel, and U.S. Olympian Woody Kincaid.

In the women’s race, U.S. Olympian St. Pierre will make her return to New York for the first time since finishing as runner-up at the event in 2019. It will also be her first race back since giving birth in March.

“My preparation for the New Balance 5th Avenue Mile this time has been different, as I fit training around feedings, nap time, and playing with Ivan,” St. Pierre said. “But my body feels good, and the workouts have been solid. I’m excited to be back on 5th Avenue this weekend.”

She will be joined at the start line by Hiltz, Great Britain’s 2021 New Balance 5th Avenue Mile champion Jemma Reekie, Great Britain’s reigning 1,500-meter champion Katie Snowden, Mexican record-holder Laura Galvan, Australian record-holder Jessica Hull, Japanese record-holder Nozomi Tanaka, and Jamaican record-holder Adelle Tracey. Olympian Courtney Frerichs and four-time NCAA champion Dani Jones will also toe the line for the U.S.

In addition to professional athlete and age-group heats, this year’s New Balance 5th Avenue Mile will feature Back to School Mile heats for youth, a New Balance Run Your Way Mile for first-time marathoners using NYRR Coaching Lab, a George Sheehan Memorial Mile for seniors, an NYPD and FDNY heat for service members, and NYRR Road Mile Championship races.

In partnership with NYRR and USA Track & Field, NBC will broadcast the event nationally from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. ET. The broadcast will feature live coverage of the professional athlete races as well as a recap of the day’s earlier heats. Live coverage of the event will be available internationally on USATF.TV.

(09/05/2023) Views: 487 ⚡AMP
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New Balance 5th Avenue Mile

New Balance 5th Avenue Mile

The New Balance 5th Avenue Mile opens a beautiful 20-block stretch of 5th Avenue to runners of all ages and abilities who want to run their best mile in New York City. Special races include a youth mile, the George Sheehan Memorial Mile for runners age 60 and over, the NYRR Road Mile Championships, and Olympic-caliber professional men's and women's...

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Brimin Misoi determined to defend Nairobi Marathon title

Nairobi City Marathon 42km champion Brimin Misoi will be back on the streets of the Kenyan capital to attempt to defend the title he won in 2022.

The second edition of Africa's richest marathon in terms of winners' prize money will be held on Sunday and will be majorly run on the Expressway.

Misoi, the winner of the 2022 Frankfurt Marathon is full of confidence and believes he has what it takes to defend his title. He said he is currently enjoying top shape and has undergone intensive training.

"I feel great and I believe in my training. I trust my abilities and I believe no one will beat me to the title. Nairobi's altitude is a bit lower compared to Kapkitony, Elgeyo Marakwet County where I train thus making it easier for me to win," he said.

The double Nairobi Standard Chartered Marathon winner clocked two hours and 8:03 minutes to win the race in 2022 after breaking off from the leading pack at the 34km mark. 

The 35-year-old had a poor run in Japan at the Tokyo Marathon in March, where he finished 13th in 2:07:36. 

"My target is to defend my title and lower the time I set last year. I target to run sub-2:06:11, which is my PB set in Germany last year,"  Misoi added.

This year's edition has attracted more than 13,000 athletes with the organisers targeting 15,000.

On his quest for title defence, Misoi will be up against a group of elite athletes who have registered for the race.

Among the names to watch out for during the race include Edwin Kemboi with a personal best of 2:06:52 and who finished fourth in this year’s Seoul Marathon in March.

Joshua Kipsang (2:08:09), Simon Kipkosgei (2:07:07), and Robert Kipkemboi (2:07:09) are among the fastest athletes who have also registered for the 42km race.

An Ethiopian quartet led by Haile Mekonnen with a PB of 2:14:13, Maseret Yitbarek (2:11:34), Desta Tafa (2:11:13) and Haile Assefa will also be in the chase for the Sh3.5million winner's purse. 

In the women’s 42km race, Lydia Simiyu (2:25:44), Sheila Chepkoech (2:27:04) and Sharon Cheimo (2:33:03) are among the fastest Kenyans who will battle it out in the women’s 42km race.

Defending champion Agnes Barsosio who clocked 2:24:45 in last year's event pulled out of Sunday's race after picking a hamstring injury in training.

(08/01/2023) Views: 394 ⚡AMP
by Samuel Nganga
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NAIROBI MARATHON

NAIROBI MARATHON

Nairobi Marathon is an annual road running competition over the marathon distance held in October in Nairobi, Kenya. First held in 2003, the competition expanded and now includes a half marathon race along with the main race. It was part of "The Greatest Race on Earth", fully sponsored by Standard Chartered Bank....

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At 69, Bobby Kersee is track's 'mad scientist' and as influential as ever

Four years ago, the man associated with speed more than any track and field coach in the world felt himself slowing down, and he did not know why.

Since he was born in Panama in 1954 to a Panamanian mother and U.S. Navy father, Bobby Kersee has always been restless, a self-described wanderer with energy that matched his athletes. But in 2019, feeling unusually sapped, he called his doctor in St. Louis. Blood tests produced results dangerously far beyond the norm. Pancreatitis kept him stuck in a hospital for four weeks.

Once discharged, Kersee gave up red meat and alcohol.

What he would not quit was track.

Forty years after coaching his first world champion Kersee, now 69, paced relentlessly for four hours on Thursday while watching his training group at West Los Angeles College.

“Everyone kind of says the same thing: You know, he's different in terms of he's basically a mad scientist,” said Athing Mu, the 20-year-old reigning Olympic and world champion at 800 meters who switched to Kersee’s coaching in September to expand her range. “He knows what he's doing.”

Under cloudy skies at the track high above Culver City, nine athletes in his training group, dubbed Formula Kersee, ran tailored workouts and waited for his every word, from the barked “let’s go!” to commands about mechanics he hollered to athletes mid-run. He lifted hurdles, held court with reporters and stopped only to film block starts with his iPhone.

At an age when he might have become anachronistic, Kersee and his methods still represent sprinting’s gold standard, associates and athletes say. Invigorated by a training group that describes itself as a family and could be dominant into the next decade behind headliners Mu and 23-year-old 400-meter hurdles world champion and world record-holder Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone, Kersee said his career has no discernible finish line.

His coaching, primarily of sprinters and hurdlers, has brought his athletes at least one gold medal in 10 consecutive Summer Olympics, a litany of world championships and world records and, for Kersee, veneration, criticism and influence.

As the first professional meet held at UCLA’s Drake Stadium since 1990, and a key early tentpole in USA Track & Field’s attempted plan to grow its U.S. fanbase before the 2028 L.A. Olympics, this weekend’s Los Angeles Grand Prix is both a callback to a time when track’s popularity soared and, its organizers hope, a harbinger such times can return.

Outside of Sebastian Coe, the 1984 Olympic gold medalist in the 1,500 who has since ascended to lead track’s global governing body, World Athletics, few figures have spanned both eras as prominently as Kersee.

Athletes and associates credit his ability to turn seemingly outlandish goals and times into tangible results to an ability to know what they need. Malachi Davis, who has overseen McLaughlin-Levrone’s training since she turned professional, likened Kersee to a conductor, his whistle and yellow stopwatch replacing a baton to direct “a beautiful dance of confidence and knowledge.”

Many coaches can teach how to run fast and build a race plan, McLaughlin-Levrone said, but Kersee understands “how to break it down piece by piece.”

Robert Forster, a Santa Monica-based physical therapist who has worked with Kersee’s athletes since 1983, said Kersee understands the “work-rest ratio” better than any coach, and does not overtrain where other coaches might double down on mileage. Forster has seen Kersee send an athlete home to rest just from the look on their face, and likes to tell a story about the 2016 Olympics, that Kersee later confirmed. Allyson Felix, the Los Angeles native who under Kersee became the most decorated athlete in track’s history, was nursing a severely sprained ankle and the physical therapist told Kersee it needed to be iced 20 minutes every hour. Forster did not expect, however, that Kersee would stay up the entire next night icing the ankle as Felix slept.

Kersee was an early adopter of technology, upgrading his video cameras at a Westwood electronics store years before he could film block starts of sprinters Jenna Prandini and Morolake Akinosun on his iPhone and zip the footage to an iPad on the infield of the West L.A. track.

Yet the Kersee mystique has endured as much because of his grasp on psychology as biomechanics — feeling for when to push and when to pull back.

Brandon Miller, a top 800-meter hopeful who began working with Kersee in September, has heard other athletes describe Kersee as “crazy.” He disputes that characterization, but noted that Kersee knows to stoke his competitiveness entering a workout’s final repetition with four words: “OK, what you got?”

“I've never met any coach like him,” Mu said. “He's not going to make you do anything that's for his sake. You know, it's gonna be all for you and the benefit of you and your career. And so, I come in here, I knew that he was very intentional, and that's something I needed, especially if I want my career to be long.”

Raised by a grandmother as an “A-train baby” bouncing between the Bronx and Queens, Kersee lost his mother, Daphne, when he was 14, before moving to San Pedro for high school.

He put himself through college at Long Beach State by working at a youth correctional facility in Whittier, where Kersee watched wards from midnight until 8 a.m. After graduating, he had two jobs: Track coach at Cal State Northridge, and counselor at another youth facility in Chino. He took over UCLA’s track and field program in 1980 and that provided enough money to be comfortable. Coaching Greg Foster to his first world championship in 1983, and watching his athletes win six golds and four silvers at the Los Angeles Olympics one year later, provided the final confidence he could sustain coaching as a career.

But he did not leave behind the edge required to do his former jobs.

“I used to work in the prisons, so you can’t walk into the prisons being Mother Teresa,” he said. “And then I did find myself carrying a little bit too much of that to the track. I had to calm myself down and say, 'Wait a minute, you’re not working with a warden.'”

Once, an elderly woman approached Kersee in an airport in Indiana and told him she did not like what she had seen from Kersee or the other famed coach with the B.K. initials: Bobby Knight. He did not belittle his athletes, he said, but he also didn’t leave room for interpretation about who ran the workout. The edge created a mystique that “he's crazy,” Miller said. “But he's not. I feel like everybody has preconceptions of everybody but you won't really know unless you're there and you're with them every day.”

Just as when he built his vaunted World Class Athletic Club in the 1980s, he will only train those he can coach hard and have chemistry. His athletes typically train Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. He treats Monday Zoom calls with the group as though he is re-interviewing for the job. It’s more convenient than years before, he said, when he recalled gathering before dawn in Europe to address their complaints with him.

“I think we have that understanding that I’m going to listen and respect them,” he said. “But my job is to get the job done for them individually and collectively but you hired me. And if you hired me, let me do my job.”

That job, essentially, can be reduced to one thing: Imparting confidence in his plan. And no one does it like Kersee, said Davis, who sprinted professionally before aiding McLaughlin-Levrone.

“He's a competition coach, so the time it counts, you feel confident,” Davis said. “And your head coach is basically your general and then competition is basically war. And yes, you prepare for war but that final voice, that presence, that action, that essence, that’s Bobby. And he earned that by what he’s accomplished throughout his career.”

Kersee allows that age has softened him. As McLaughlin-Levrone recalled last August, Kersee earned her trust when he saw her overwhelmed with emotion at a 2020 practice and handed her a paper showing a wheel of emotions, saying he had trouble expressing himself, too.

Though accustomed to criticism of himself for years — he joked he would be buried in a track, and "probably as much as people hate me, they’ll put me in lane one, because I’ll be stepped on the most" — he worries about how the inundation of social media affects athletes’ mental health. He has traveled to support the singing ambitions of Formula Kersee sprinter Chloe Abbott. This spring, a smiling Kersee was featured on TikTok when his athletes remade the opening credits of the 1990s sitcom “Family Matters.”

Four decades into his career, he has “a whole lot of knowledge and a whole lot of patience,” he said. “But still, don’t let grandpa get out of the chair.”

Ato Boldon was never coached by Kersee during his sprinting career but has known him for 31 years, since they overlapped at UCLA, and has seen a “golden-hearted” side to the coach. He also described Kersee’s coaching equivalent as either Knight or San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich.

“Everybody under him wins,” said Boldon. “But it’s not necessarily a democracy.

“... As time has gone on, people are like, ‘Wow he’s so this or he’s so that, he’s so abrasive.’ Listen, do you want results, or do you not want results?”

No one argues that Kersee gets results. The most common criticism is how rarely his athletes compete en route to smashing records and claiming gold.

Among athletes, meet directors, agents and track officials who see a need for the sport’s biggest stars and strong competition to draw in casual fans, it has become a question of how to unite what is best for the top athletes’ futures with what is best for the sport’s growth. The tensions surrounding the discussion are not dissimilar from the way “load management” in the NBA has sparked concerns whether it will turn off fans from the regular season.

Because many top athletes train under Kersee, he has become a focal point. There is also his history of pulling athletes late before a meet, sometimes because of injury, and sometimes as a power play, as in 1994, when a dispute over pay led him to withdraw Gail Devers from a high-profile Los Angeles indoor meet.

The topic reignited last week when he withdrew Mu and McLaughlin-Levrone from the Grand Prix, a meet for which he serves as co-promoter. It came soon after telling Track & Field News in February that even he would like to see McLaughlin-Levrone run more often, and told The Times in March that there was no reason meets in the U.S. couldn’t draw thousands if the sport’s leaders banded together to promote strong competitions.

Asked about the balance of what is best for his athletes, or the sport, Kersee this week called it a byproduct of limited sponsorship money within the sport, which incentivizes performances at the biggest meets, which often require qualification earlier in the season. Only a handful of stars make big money and can afford to be choosy. He contrasted it with the NFL and NBA, where athletes can still earn a paycheck while resting.

“I think it’s a little tougher on our athletes to try to balance out wanting to run for the public and run for our sport and also knowing if I run too much or make one little mistake it might cost me making a team,” Kersee said. “That if I go out there and run five or six races I’m going to get to the point of, 'OK why is he running me so much and she gets injured over there, did she really need to run?'”

McLaughlin-Levrone released a statement after being pulled from the Grand Prix field that she “regrettably” would not be competing, citing her coach’s choice. It also said she trusted his judgment, which the world record-holder echoed again Thursday.

“He has a plan and he is going to work it out to perfection,” said Boldon, who will call Saturday’s meet as part of NBC’s broadcast team. “It might not benefit USATF, it might not benefit the fans, but you tell me, what moment stood out most from last summer's world championships?”

It was McLaughlin-Levrone’s stunning 50.68 time to win the 400-meter world title and lower her own world record. The run cut through the noise to make SportsCenter. It also left McLaughlin-Levrone sore for days, she said. Seeing her parents in the stands, for the first time after becoming the first woman to run under 51 seconds, she told them “that hurt, so bad.”

“We've been very calculated in when we run and I think it's yielded us great results,” McLaughlin-Levrone said. “Bobby always uses analogies and he's like, 'You don't take the Ferrari out every day for a drive. You take it out when it needs to come out and it does its things and you put it back in the garage.' So, your body can only be pushed to a certain level so much in your career.

“You only have so many races in your legs and I think we're really strategic about which ones we choose to run. Obviously I know the sport wants to see a little bit more and I think we're trying to figure out how to do that in a safe way that we can still accomplish our goals and give them something to look forward to.”

For McLaughlin-Levrone and Mu, the question is not whether they will make this summer’s world championships in Hungary, or next summer’s Paris Olympics, but which events — possibly plural — they will run.

When Kersee evaluates whether to bring an athlete into his coaching, he also looks for their potential range. He thought he lost his job coaching Felix when he told the 200-meter star during his interview that he would have her run the 400.

Mu and McLaughlin-Levrone’s youth and potential range is one of the sport’s most speculative discussions; news about their upcoming races create instant headlines. The duo are “two of maybe the most talented athletes he’s ever had,” Boldon said.

Their world championships last summer gave McLaughlin-Levrone an automatic berth into the upcoming world 400-hurdle field, and Mu an entry into the 800. With that secured, Kersee has focused on running McLaughlin-Levrone in the open 400 meters, where Marita Koch’s world record of 47.60 has been effectively unapproachable for 38 years — only four women have run even faster than 49 seconds in the past 20 years. She once thought 47.60 was “impossible.” Not anymore.

“It's a very daunting number to look at, I'll tell you that,” McLaughlin-Levrone said. “But at the end of the day, I think if we can take the 400 hurdles to 50.6, I think 47.6 isn't too far off.”

In addition to her 800-meter world title, Mu once owned the collegiate 400-meter record and ran on the U.S. 4x400-meter relay team that won Olympic gold in Tokyo.

“I'm still super young and I have not touched the surface of a lot of things yet,” Mu said. “But I do have visions, which is like really big goals of competing in obviously the Olympics again, and then worlds and hopefully, doubling up.”

Would that mean the 800 and 400, or the 800 and 1,500?

“Hopefully both,” she said. “I mean, I would love to have a chance to do 4/8 and then go ahead and do the 8/15 at some point.”

Maybe this explains why Kersee moved so quickly across the track during practice. There was no sign he had once slowed down.

“I’m glad,” he said, “I have that Energizer Bunny still in me.”

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

(06/04/2023) Views: 535 ⚡AMP
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For over 100 years San Francisco has hosted the Bay to Breakers

Attire on Sunday at the Bay to Breakers ranged from a Hot Cheetos bag outfit to shark and bovine costumes -- to proudly worn birthday suits -- as thousands of runners raced across San Francisco in the annual Bay to Breakers footrace from the city’s eastern side to Ocean Beach .

With attendance for the 7.5-mile race rebounding from pandemic doldrums, organizers reported 17,000 registered runners, up from 12,000 last year. The walkers, runners and revelers started off at 8 a.m. from Main and Howard streets near the Embarcadero and filled the streets westward, chugging up the Hayes Street Hill and racing through Golden Gate Park to the shore. 

Colin Bennie of San Francisco won first place and completed the race in 35 minutes and 49 seconds (photo).  The fastest women was Sarah Anderson, who finished in 43 minutes and 2 seconds.

At the halfway mark Sunday, near Fell and Broderick streets, the scent of sizzling bacon-wrapped hot dogs and pop music blaring from speakers filled the air as families and onlookers cheered from the sidelines. As is customary, most runners were in wacky costumes, including the likes of a furry Elmo suit and bee and duck attire.

Among the numerous “centipede” runner teams was one group dressed in a Golden Gate Bridge outfit. Other participants were naked, wearing only hats and tennis shoes in 55-degree weather. For most, the idea was not to win the race, and many racers stopped to take a break and photos with their friends or gobble down hot dogs.

“It’s just such an iconic San Francisco event,” said Seth Cotterell, who donned a Hamilton-inspired dress, pearl necklace, black dangly earrings and black sneakers. It was his first time back running Bay to Brakers since he first ran it nearly 20 years ago, he said. 

Although C.J. Timloy did not sign up for this year’s race, she dressed up anyway in a Where’s Waldo costume to get in the spirit. Timloy, her wife and a friend trekked from the Mission District to the Panhandle park for a picnic, grabbing a front-seat view of the race.

“We just love to party and take part of the festivities,” Timloy said, adding that she grew up attending the race because her parents ran it. Her mother, she said, always dressed up as a hula dancer.

 Timloy said she plans to run the race next year.

The Breakers have run yearly since 1912, pausing only in 2020 and 2021 as a pandemic precaution.

Bay to Breakers is an annual footrace in San Francisco, California typically on the third Sunday of May. The phrase "Bay to Breakers" reflects the fact that the race starts at the northeast end of the downtown area a few blocks from The Embarcadero(adjacent to San Francisco Bay) and runs west through the city to finish at the Great Highway(adjacent to the Pacific coast, where breakers crash onto Ocean Beach). The complete course is 7.46 miles (12 km) long.

Course records

Men: 33:31 (2009)Sammy KitwaraWomen: 38:07 (2010)Lineth Chepkurui

Very little if any prize money is now paid to the winners. 

 

(05/21/2023) Views: 732 ⚡AMP
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Defending champions Nicholas Kimeli and Irene Cheptai set to return for TCS World 10K Bengaluru

The Tata Consultancy Services World 10K Bengaluru is set to witness a fierce competition on Sunday, May 21, 2023, as Kenya’s Nicholas Kipkorir Kimeli and Irene Cheptai return to defend their titles in the men’s and women’s categories respectively.

The event, which holds a prestigious World Athletics Gold Label Road Race status, boasts of a prize fund of USD 210,000 and saw the two athletes shatter the course records last year. Kimeli clocked a remarkable 27:38, while Cheptai stormed to victory in 30:35.

The event will feature an impressive International Elite field and enthusiastic amateurs from all over India and the world, converging on the Garden City to soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the race. Kimeli, who won last year’s edition, said, “I’m excited to be defending my title. I’ve prepared well and am feeling confident.” The men’s field is set to be highly competitive, with the top 12 runners holding personal bests under the course record and the top 3 having timed below 27.

In the women’s section, Cheptai will face tough competition from several other runners. The top four runners have personal bests under the course record. “I’m thrilled to be back in Bengaluru, and I have fond memories of India. I’ve trained well, but a lot depends on how you feel on race day,” said Cheptai.

Ethiopians Gemechu Dida and Birhanu Legese, Ugandan Stephen Kissa, and Kenya’s Sabastian Sawe are among the top runners in the men’s category. Legese, who is the world’s fourth fastest male marathoner, has finished on the podium a few times but is yet to secure the top spot at the TCS World 10K Bengaluru. “I’m feeling very positive, but I hope that things fall my way,” said Legese.

 

Dida, who won the 10K in Lille, France, in March, and finished fourth in the RAK Half Marathon in the UAE in February, is in excellent form. Kissa, who represented Uganda in the Tokyo Olympics over 10,000m, brings years of track speed to the road, and clocked an impressive 2:04.48 on his debut Haspa Marathon in Hamburg in 2022. He was also a third-place finisher at the 2020 Delhi Half Marathon in 58:56.

On the women’s side, Ethiopia’s Dera Dida, the 2019 World Cross Country silver medallist, ran a personal record and took home her first marathon victory in 2:21:11 at the Dubai Marathon in February this year. Among the favourites for the women’s honours is the talented Tsehay Gemechu, who finished second at this year’s Tokyo Marathon in 2:16.56.

(05/03/2023) Views: 544 ⚡AMP
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TCS WORLD 10K BENGALURU

TCS WORLD 10K BENGALURU

The TCS World 10k Bengaluru has always excelled in ways beyond running. It has opened new doors for people to reach out to the less privileged of the society and encourages them to do their bit. The TCS World 10K event is the world’s richest 10 Km run and has seen participation from top elite athletes in the world. ...

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U.S. Olympian stripped of national title after positive cannabis test

On Tuesday, The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) reported the one-month suspension of U.S. Olympian Tara Davis-Woodhall after a positive cannabis test in February 2023. The test came after Davis-Woodhall won the long jump at the 2023 USA Indoor Track and Field Championships, held in Albuquerque, N.M. As a result, she will have to give up her national title and she will forfeit any medals, points and prizes accumulated between Feb. 17 and March 21.

Davis-Woodhall tested positive for a urinary metabolite of THC (the active ingredient in cannabis) in a sample collected on Feb. 17, according to the report. The use of cannabis is still banned in competition by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and usually holds a penalty of up to three months. Davis-Woodhall’s period of ineligibility was reduced to one month because her use of the substance occurred out of competition and was unrelated to sports performance, per USADA.

The 23-year-old also successfully completed a substance abuse treatment program.

Davis-Woodhall qualified for the 2020 Summer Olympics in the women’s long jump, where she placed sixth in the final. She is married to a prominent U.S. Paralympian Hunter Woodhall, who won medals at the previous two Paralympic Games.

In 2021, WADA altered its code involving THC, allowing for a reduced three-month sanction if the athlete establishes that their use of the substance occurred out-of-competition and unrelated to sports performance. This came after the July 2021 suspension of Sha’Carri Richardson, who lost her chance to compete at the 2020 Olympics after she tested positive for the substance. Richardson also served a one-month suspension and had her U.S. outdoor 100m title revoked.

Richardson’s suspension caused a stir on social media, with many siding with the U.S. sprinter. Even Toronto rapper Drake weighed in on the suspension, name-dropping Richardson in the song No Friends in the Industry of his Certified Lover Boy album.

(04/29/2023) Views: 487 ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Nikki Hiltz, Sam Prakel both become two-time winners at Usaft 1 mile road

The USATF Indoor 1,500-meter winners demonstrated they could also rule the roads Tuesday night at the USATF 1 Mile Championships.

Nearly 10 weeks after both winning USATF Indoor titles Feb. 18 in Albuquerque, N.M., adidas professional Sam Prakel and Lululemon athlete Nikki Hiltz each secured their second career national road championships as part of the annual Grand Blue Mile event.

Hiltz produced the fastest performance in the history of the women’s race, which began in 2009, clocking 4 minutes, 27.97 seconds to edge reigning USATF Outdoor 1,500 champion Sinclaire Johnson of Nike’s Union Athletics Club in 4:28.70.

Hiltz, who prevailed in 2019 in Des Moines in 4:29.7, became the only athlete in event history to produce a pair of sub-4:30 efforts, benefitting from a 65-second opening quarter-mile and the pack reaching the midway point in 2:14.

Emily Lipari, who had the previous all-time mark of 4:29.3 in 2020, and Johnson are the only other competitors to achieve a sub-4:30 performance in the race.

Hiltz, who ran a lifetime-best 1:59.03 in the 800 meters April 14 at the Bryan Clay Invitational at Azusa Pacific University, earned $5,000 for the victory and an additional $2,500 for the record bonus. Hiltz also joined Heather Kampf and Emily Lipari as the only three competitors to capture multiple women’s championships in event history.

Addy Wiley, a freshman at Huntington University in Indiana who secured five NAIA Indoor national titles March 2-4 in South Dakota, raced for the first time since that memorable showcase and took third in 4:30.94.

Wiley, 19, became the youngest top-three finisher in event history and achieved the No. 6 all-time performance in the nine years the competition has been held in Des Moines.

Wiley, who placed fourth in the 1,500 at the USATF Indoor Championships in February in Albuquerque, elevated to No. 7 in the history of the national road mile competition, including Sara Hall clocking 4:30.8 in Minnesota to secure the 2011 crown.

Colleen Quigley, representing Lululemon, finished fourth in 4:31.1 in her debut at the event, with Nike’s Shannon Osika and Alex Teubel also being credited with 4:31 performances to secure fifth and sixth.

Alli Cash (4:32), Jenn Randall (4:33), Micaela DeGenero (4:34) and Helen Schlachtenhaufen (4:37) completed the top 10 women’s competitors in the 23-athlete race.

Prakel prevailed in 4:01.21, remaining patient following an opening quarter mile of 61 seconds and a 2:05 split at the midway point, to take control in the final 500 meters and never relinquish his advantage.

Under Armour Mission Run Baltimore Distance athlete Casey Comber edged last year’s champion Vincent Ciattei by a 4:02.88 to 4:02.91 margin to grab second.

Prakel, who ran 13;22.78 in the 5,000 meters April 14 at Bryan Clay, also secured a $5,000 prize for the road mile title, becoming only the third male athlete in event history to capture multiple championships, joining David Torrence (2009-11) and Garrett Heath (2013 and 2015).

Prakel produced the fastest all-time mark in Des Moines with his 3:58.3 effort in 2020. Ben Blankenship holds the meet record with his title in 3:55.8 in 2016 in Minnesota.

Nick Randazzo, Kasey Knevelbaard and Jake Gillum were all credited with 4:04 performances to finish fourth, fifth and sixth, followed by Shane Streich and David Ribich both clocking 4:05 for seventh and eighth, Craig Nowak earning ninth in 4:06 and Colin Abert taking 10th in 4:08 in the 17-athlete race.

(04/27/2023) Views: 533 ⚡AMP
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Grand Blue Mile

Grand Blue Mile

The Grand Blue Mile was created by Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield and the Drake Relays to encourage healthy habits and empower positive change. Held annually since 2010, the Grand Blue Mile has hosted more than 30,000 participants from 26 states, six countries, and four continents. The annual event brings friends and families together to celebrate wellness through a...

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Elite Fields Released For USATF 1 Mile Road Championships At The Grand Blue Mile

Elite Fields Released For USATF 1 Mile Road Championships At The Grand Blue Mile.

On November 30, 2022, World Athletics, the international governing body of the sports of track and field and road running, announced that an official world record for the road mile would be introduced beginning on January 1, 2023.

The flat and fast Grand Blue Mile course meets all requirements for World Record ratification, quickly distinguishing the 2023 USATF 1 Mile Road Championships as a destination for American athletes aspiring to make history. For immediate ratification, a World Record will require a performance of at least 3:50.00 for the men and 4:19.00 for the women. If the listed standards are not met by September 1, the fastest recorded, record-eligible performances will be recognized as the World Records.

After thousands of recreational and competitive runners have navigated the 1 mile course through downtown Des Moines, more than 40 elite runners will compete for the title of USA Road 1 Mile Champion. Those runners include four former 1 Mile Road Champions in Sam Prakel (2020), Katie Follett (2017), Nikki Hiltz (2019) and the defending men’s champion Vincent Ciattei.

Ciattei won last year’s race in 4:03 but owns a personal best of 3:51 and was an NCAA runner-up in the mile and 1,500m as a collegian at Virginia Tech.

Prakel claimed the title in 2020 in a COVID pandemic-altered race that finished in Drake Stadium. He aims to add a third national title to his resume this year, as he recently claimed USATF indoor titles in the 3,000m and 1,500m. The men’s field also includes faces familiar to the Grand Blue Mile in Shane Streich, who finished third last year, and Abe Alvarado, who was fourth in 2021.

Nikki Hiltz, a champion in the event in 2019, returns to Des Moines fresh from the USATF Indoor Championship in the 1,500m they captured in March. The 2019 Pan-American Games gold medalist was also a 2019 World Championships qualifier.

Sinclaire Johnson joins the field to make her Grand Blue Mile debut after winning the USATF Outdoor 1,500m title in 2022 to earn her a spot at the 2022 World Championships, where she finished sixth.

The women’s lineup also includes a pair of Iowa talents returning to Des Moines in Alex Teubel and Abby Kohut-Jackson. Teubel, an assistant coach at UNI, finished third in last year’s race, and the Lisbon, Iowa, native was an Olympic Trials finalist in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Kohut-Jackson is a product of Ballard, Iowa, who advanced to the USATF Outdoor Championships finals in the steeplechase and was Big Ten champion in the event at the University of Minnesota.

The fastest road mile ever run on Iowa soil was at the inaugural Grand Blue Mile in 2010, when Boaz Lalang won in 3:54.3. A special incentive has been created for the winner, who eclipses that time or 4:29.3 in the women’s championship race. A performance that is successfully ratified as a new World Record will earn an additional $5,000 bonus.

The full fields are listed below.

Men’s USATF 1 Mile Road Championship

Colin Abert

Abe Alvarado

Michael Brannigan

Jacob Brueckman

Luca Chatham

Vincent Ciattei

Casey Comber

Graham Crawford

Owen Hoeft

Austin Dalquist

Jonathan Davis

Kasey Knevelbaard

Nate Mylenek

Craig Nowak

Sam Prakel

Nick Randazzo

David Ribich

Nate Sloan

Shane Streich

Women’s USATF 1 Mile Road Championship

Stephanie Brokaw

Katie Camarena

Alli Cash

Anna Connor

Micaela DeGenero

Katie Follett

Eleanor Fulton

Jessa Hanson

Nikki Hiltz

Marisa Howard

Sinclaire Johnson

Abby Kohut-Jackson

Melissa Menghini

Shannon Osika

Angel Piccirillo

Colleen Quigley

Jenn Randall

Emily Richards

Helen Schlachtenhaufen

Alex Teubel

Emi Trost

Addy Wiley.

(04/12/2023) Views: 551 ⚡AMP
by Letsrun
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Grand Blue Mile

Grand Blue Mile

The Grand Blue Mile was created by Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield and the Drake Relays to encourage healthy habits and empower positive change. Held annually since 2010, the Grand Blue Mile has hosted more than 30,000 participants from 26 states, six countries, and four continents. The annual event brings friends and families together to celebrate wellness through a...

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Competition Is Stacked at This Year's Lake Sonoma 50

The Lake Sonoma 50 is one of the fastest and most competitive 50-milers in the U.S., and it's turning up the notch on competition in its 16th year. 

Set in the rolling foothills near Healdsburg, California, the hilly course is known for its smooth singletrack and more than a dozen creek crossings. For the first time, Lake Sonoma will be the 50-mile selection race for Team USA, and all runners who race their way onto the podium will get an automatic invitation to run for Team USA in the long-format race in this year's  World Mountain and Trail Running Championships set for June 6-10 in Innsbruck-Stubai, Austria. 

While Lake Sonoma has always been a competitive event (previously a Golden Ticket Race), that invitation has certainly encouraged a high level of competition. 

"I'm super psyched for Lake Sonoma to be a USA Selection Race," says Gina Lucrezi, race director and founder of Trail Sisters, a non-profit that supports women in the trail space. "This event has been a top 50-mile race in the U.S. since its inception. John Medinger, Lisa Henson, and Skip and Holly Brand have created a sought-after course and event, and I'm proud to continue their legacy of keeping it a barn burner event, pulling in top talent to test their fitness and abilities." Lucrezi represented the U.S. at several USATF MUT Championship events, and she's excited that her event will extend that opportunity to a new generation of ultra athletes. "It's both an honor and privilege to host this opportunity for runners vying to represent the USA," says Lucrezi. 

The event is Trail Sisters certified, which means there will be equal podium spots, awards, women's specific race swag, menstrual products at aid stations, and equal space for women on the start line. Lake Sonoma races are held within the Native lands of the Southern Pomo. The Southern Pomo are part of the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, a federally recognized tribe. The race has also partnered with a local charity, The Children of Vineyard Workers Scholarship, which provides education funding to the kids of agricultural workers in the area. 

"In terms of diversity, equity, and inclusion, when hosting the lottery, we split the field 50/50 male/female. (Non-binary folks were grouped in the field that they noted as their gender assigned at birth). We then utilized gender-specific waitlists if participants cancel or defer, but we extinguished our waitlists and then allowed for open registration to fill our vacant spots. In the lottery form, we requested race and ethnicity information," Luzrezi told Trail Runner in an interview. "This provided insight into the diversity of signups and helped us make sure the starting line could be as diverse as possible."

Sweet Sixteen

In its 16th year, Lake Sonoma has ushered a generation of ultrarunners onto the scene, and many are returning to reconnect with those fond memories at an event that epitomizes the grassroots appeal of trail races, with an internationally competitive field. 

Ultrarunner Devon Yanko is competing in the marathon after her win and earning a Hoka Golden Ticket at Javelina Jundred, says she feels a deep connection to the race after winning it early on in 2010. Building up to Western States in June, Yanko says her primary objective is to feel healthy and enjoy the race. 

"I have been a part of Lake Sonoma almost since its inception and have been a spectator/crew for most of its biggest years," says Yanko, who formerly lived in San Anselmo, California. "It was an extension of my local community and always had the best vibes. I'm mostly looking forward to seeing friends, supporting the race, and helping keep the tradition of Lake Sonoma alive."

Many runners have long histories with the buttery, grass-lined trails. Lake Sonoma was one of the first ultras OCR athlete and ultrarunner Amelia Boone ever knew about more than a decade ago. But, a broken femur derailed her initial attempts at the 50-mile event, and she's been looking for an opportunity to get back to Lake Sonoma's start line ever since. She says the high level of competition and community vibe were big draws as well. 

"I'm looking to run strong in a competitive field. It's been a while since I've run a race with a super deep field, so I'm looking to put the ego aside and have some faith in myself. My ultimate reach goal would clearly be top 3 to qualify for the U.S. World team, but that'd just be a bonus," says Boone. "Oh, and give as many high fives on the trails as possible."

Brett Hornig, a coach and athlete from Ashland, Oregon, hopes that the third time's the charm. He's run the race twice, and hasn't had the day he wanted.

"LS50 was one of the premier 50-mile races in the world when I was first introduced to trail and ultrarunning around 2014, so the allure of competing against the best has always been there for me," says Hornig. "That initially drew me to the race, and the competition is still there, but it is the community who puts on the race that keeps me coming back. The race directors (both past and current), the volunteers, sponsors, and fans of the sport put on an incredible event that everyone should check out for themselves at least once."

Ryan Miller, the winner of the 2022 Gorge Waterfalls 50k and Bandera 100k, from Vero Beach, Florida, says he's excited by the fast and smooth Sonoma trails.

"The primary allure of Lake Sonoma 50 has to be the trails themselves. Have you seen the videos and pictures of this place?! It's absolutely stunning. I'm most looking forward to the competitive racing with big stakes as it tends to bring the best out of everyone," says Miller. 

The proximity to wine country doesn't hurt either. 

"Throw in a deep competitive field, prize money, my wife's excitement to go to California wine country, and an opportunity to earn a spot on the World Championship team, and it's a no-brainer for an athlete like me focusing on the 50K-100K distances."

Miller, like others, is gunning for a podium finish that would earn an invitation to race for Team USA at the World championship. 

The race field is chock full of talented runners, including the women's field with Abby Levene, Anne-Marie Madden, Allison Baca, Tara Fraga, Sarah Keys, Megan Drake, Sarah Biehl, Erin Clark, Natalie Sandoval, Erin Viehl, Amelia Boone, Anna Kakis, Catrin Jones, Mercedes Siegle-Gaither, Sarah Cummings, Kristina Randrup, Jackie Merrit and Hannah Osowski.

The men's race includes Miller, Hornig, Drew Holmen, Seth Ruhling, David Kilgore, Drew Macomber, Preston Cates, Terence Copeland, Reed Breuer, Aubrey Myjer, Charlie Ware, Ryan Sullivan, Caleb Olsen, Chris Myers, Jason Schlarb, Erik Sorenson, Matthew Seidel, Morgan Elliot, Addison Smith, and Travis Lavin.

"The overall Lake Sonoma race event is focused and centered on community," says Lucrezi.   "I'm really excited about our new start and finish location and the celebration vibe we are creating. No matter your pace, experience, or what place you finish, Lake Sonoma is an event that welcomes all runners and fosters friendships made through the event and on the trails."

(04/08/2023) Views: 580 ⚡AMP
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Lake Sonoma 50

Lake Sonoma 50

The race is held on the rugged trails at Lake Sonoma, about 10 miles northwest of Healdsburg. The course is 86% single track and 9% dirt roads, with the first 2.4 miles on a paved country road.The race starts at 6:30 a.m. and has a 14-hour time limit. ...

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How Long Does It Take To Get Used To Running?

You have decided to start running. Well done, you have taken the most important step. But after the first few workouts, you feel tired and want to quit.

In this article, you will find out how long it takes to get used to running.

Generally speaking, it takes an average person about 4 to 8 weeks to get used to running. The final time is influenced by current fitness level, age, and obesity. With a consistent and proper training approach, you will get used to running faster.

Some get used to the stress of running after just a few weeks, while others need several months. It is difficult to give an exact answer because it depends on the person.

Most people think that if you run continuously for 30 minutes without stopping or slowing down too much, you will get used to running.

It is important to follow the guidelines in the beginning so you do not overdo it and give up training or get injured.

Tip

When you enter the world of running, trust the process because you have a long way to go. The more effort you put in, the more you will get back. Try to enjoy every mile of running and the daily victories of yourself. Over time, you will get used to the exertion of running and it will become easier.

Below are tips that will help you get used to running as quickly as possible.

How to get used to running as soon as possible?

Running is not that easy, but with these tips you will quickly get used to the exertion of running.

Here are some guidelines that will help you get the most out of it.

1. Start slow

Whether you have just started running or you want to take it a step further and run a longer distance or get faster, the important thing is to start slow.

If you are a beginner, start with a combination of walking and running. For example, run for 1 minute, then walk for 1 minute, and so on for 8 reps.

Over time, you will build up so much endurance that you will no longer need walking breaks. Run the running segments at a conversational pace. This means that you can talk normally while running without getting out of breath.

In the initial phase of training, you cannot run too slow, just too fast.

In the beginning, three training sessions per week are enough. Make sure you have at least one day of rest between training sessions. Be sure to take at least one rest day between workouts.

2. Progress gradually

It is important to gradually increase the distance and intensity of your running.

If you change your training plan too quickly and do not give your body a chance to adapt, you run the risk of injury or overtraining, which will keep you from continuing to train.

3. Choose a training plan or consult a coach

Novice runners very often start with training that is too intense. They want to progress as quickly as possible, but out of ignorance they overdo it.

If you are new to running, join a running club or choose a training plan to follow. This way you are less likely to overdo it and quickly give up or get injured.

4. Include strength training

It is important to prepare your body for the stress of running to reduce the likelihood of injury. It is necessary to do strength exercises to strengthen muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints.

Runners should do strength training at least twice a week. Research has shown that it is optimal to strength train 2 to 3 times per week for a period of 8 to 12 weeks to improve the running abilities of middle and long-distance runners.

Strength training not only reduces the risk of injury but also improves running technique and thus running economy.

They also improve neuromuscular efficiency, which is the communication between nerves and muscles, by speeding up the nerve impulses that send signals to muscle fibers.

In this way, your muscles are better coordinated for a more intense workout or race and you can run longer.

You can do strength training anywhere, even at home, without excuses.

5. Focus on running technique

With proper running technique, you can improve your running economy and efficiency. You will tire less, be able to run longer and get used to the effort of running faster.

When running, it is important to:

Keep your body straight, lean slightly forward

Look straight ahead.

Arms are bent at the elbows at a 90-degree angle. Swing your arms in the direction of your movement.

Do not clench your fists, keep your palms open.

Pay attention to the position of your feet. Do not run on your heels. When running fast, run on the balls of your feet.

Tip

Avoid overstriding, as this wastes too much energy and decreases your performance. Foot strike should be just below the knee and slightly in front of your center of gravity. This maintains speed and helps avoid braking. It also protects the knee and allows the muscles and tendons of the legs to absorb the force of the impact.

6. Take care of adequate recovery

Recovery is just as important as training.

Do not neglect your rest days, no matter how good you feel. More training does not mean you will progress faster.

Without adequate recovery, you risk injury, and it is very likely that results will stagnate. This will further demotivate you and you will most likely give up.

7. Listen to your body

Every runner is an individual and each of us knows our body best.

Listen to your body and gradually push your limits.

If you feel tired or sore, take a break and let your body recover before continuing. However, do not let a lack of discipline and motivation keep you from sticking to your plan and reaching your goal.

8. Be patient

Patience is a trait of every runner because nothing happens overnight. It takes time for the body to get used to the exertion/effort of running.

Just as one missed training session will not set you back, one training session is not enough to make progress.

9. Keep a running log

Record the workouts you complete in a running log. Describe how you felt before, during, and after the workout. Note which workouts were easy and which were too hard.

Keeping a log makes it easier to monitor your progress and review your goals to see if you are on track.

Tip

Keeping a running log not only helps you track your progress, but also helps you stay motivated. When your workouts get too strenuous, you can refer back to your previous records and remind yourself of the progress you have made since you started.

10. Don’t compare yourself with others

There will always be runners who are faster or slower than you. Focus on yourself and your abilities and push yourself to your own limits. Others can only help you get the best out of you.

11. Believe in yourself

I often hear “I can’t do that”, but don’t limit yourself with bad preconceptions. Prove to yourself that you can do it the very next workout.

There will be better days and worse days. Sometimes you can’t wait to go running, and sometimes you just don’t feel like it. And that’s perfectly normal. When a crisis comes to you, remember why you are running and what your goal is.

If you listen to the coach’s advice or follow the training plan, and take care of your nutrition and hydration, there is no reason why you can’t run.

What running taught me is that the more effort you put in, the more you will get back.

12. Enjoy running

Finally, no matter how crazy it sounds, enjoy it. With a smart approach to training, that is possible.

(04/07/2023) Views: 671 ⚡AMP
by Matea Matošević
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Ruth Chepngetich returns for another fast race in Istanbul

Both course record holders will return to the N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon on 30th April: Organizers from Spor Istanbul announced today that Ruth Chepngetich and fellow-Kenyan Rodgers Kwemoi will head extraordinary strong elite fields next month. The marathon world champion from 2019 has established a unique win streak at the Bosphorus, which she will try to build on further: Ruth Chepngetich won the N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon three times and triumphed in the N Kolay Marathon twice.

In total she competed five times in these races and broke the course record on all occasions. When Ruth Chepngetich established the current half marathon mark of 64:02 in 2021 this was a world record as well. Rodgers Kwemoi will compete in Turkey’s best quality elite road race for the second time. He improved the course record to 59:15 a year ago.

Currently, nine men are on the start list of the Istanbul Half Marathon who have already broken the hour mark and nine women feature personal bests of sub-67 minutes. Istanbul 2023 offers one of the strongest line-ups in half marathon racing this year. The 18th N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon is an Elite Label Road Race of World Athletics.

Kenyan Ruth Chepngetich has shown superb marathon form earlier this month, when she took the Nagoya women’s race with a world-class 2:18:08. Seven weeks later the 28-year-old hopes to be ready for another fast performance in Istanbul.

“I am super excited to come to the N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon for the fourth time and to defend my title. I have always performed well in Istanbul and I am hoping to run another fast race if the weather cooperates,“ said Ruth Chepngetich, whose course record of 64:02 still is the Kenyan record while the world record now stands at 62:52. 

To build on her Istanbul win streak Chepngetich is mixing with a top-level field on Sunday, April 30. A group of Ethiopians could challenge the Kenyan.At just 21 years of age Bosena Mulatie already has a strong personal best of 65:46. She ran the time in Ras Al Khaimah (United Aarab Emirates) last year, where she finished fifth. In the summer, she achieved qualification for the World Championships and placed eighth in the 10,000 m final. Ethiopians Ftaw Zeray and Bekelech Gudeta feature personal records of 66:04 and 66:35 respectively. Gudeta ran her PB last year in Istanbul when she was third. Gete Alemayehu has been in fine form earlier this year, when she finished 12th in the challenging World Cross Country Championships. The Ethiopian has a half marathon PB of 66:37.

Additionally, there is Evaline Chirchir, she ran 66:01 in Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) in 2020 when taking fourth. The 24-year-old did not compete for some time internationally, but ran a solid race in RAK last month with 67:15 for fifth place.

Rodgers Kwemoi is not only the course record holder but also the fastest athlete on the start list. The 25-year-old ran 58:30 when he was runner-up in RAK last year. After that race he broke the Istanbul course record by 20 seconds with 59:15 despite windy conditions. “My next goal in the half marathon is a time of 58:00,“ said Rodgers Kwemoi after this impressive win. He had no opportunity yet to reach that goal, so the N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon could be the place for him to chase such a world-class time. 

Among Rodgers Kwemoi’s competitors there will be Amedework Walelegn, who has good memories of the N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon as well. The Ethiopian was the winner in 2018 and at that time became the first runner to break the one hour barrier at the Bosphorus with a time of 59:50. Since then he has improved this PB to 58:40. The 24-year-old was in great form recently, when he first took the Sevilla Half Marathon with 60:28 and then won the Seoul Marathon in 2:05:27. 

Recent road race results from Kenyans Charles Langat and Daniel Ebenyo have been impressive as well and suggest that they could be in contention for victory in Istanbul as well. Langat won the Barcelona Half Marathon in February with 58:53 and Ebenyo, who has a very fast 10k PB of 26:58, was runner-up in the Manama Half Marathon in Bahrain in December with 59:04. 

Britain’s Marc Scott is the fastest European runner on the start list. The 3,000 m bronze medalist from the World Indoor Championships 2022 ran 60:39 in Larne (Northern Ireland)  three years ago for a runner-up spot behind Mo Farah. 

(04/05/2023) Views: 583 ⚡AMP
by Christopher Kelsall
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N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon

N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon

The Istanbul Half Marathon is an annual road running event over the half marathon distance (21.1 km) that takes place usually in the spring on the streets of Istanbul, Turkey. It is a IAAF Gold Label event. The Istanbul Half Marathon was first organized in 1987. After several breaks it was finally brought back to life in 2015 when the...

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Two-time Olympic medalist Hellen Obiri joins Boston Marathon elite list

On Wednesday, Hellen Obiri, a two-time Olympic medalist from Kenya, was announced as a late addition to the women’s elite field at the 2023 Boston Marathon on April 17, joining an already star-studded field featuring world championship and Olympic medalists. 

This will be the second marathon of Obiri’s 12-year professional career. Her debut came last fall in New York, where she finished sixth in 2:25:49. 

Last fall, Obiri moved from Kenya to Boulder, Colo., joining forces with coach Dathan Ritzenhein and On Athletics Club. She started her 2023 season with a bang, winning UAE’s RAK Half Marathon in February in 65:05 and setting a course record of 67:21 at the NYC Half two weeks ago. Obiri owns the fifth-fastest half-marathon result in history, with a personal best of 1:04:22 from February 2022.

This past week, Obiri made headlines on Strava as she did a 25-mile long run at 2:25 marathon pace with her OAC training partner Joe Klecker of the U.S. (who posted the run). According to Klecker’s Strava caption, Obiri hit 40K in 2:18 (even with a 7:14 first mile).

Obiri’s winning streak has indicated that she’s in great shape and now comes into Boston as one of the favourites in the women’s elite field. She will be challenged by 2022 world marathon champion Gotytom Gebreslase, 2020 Tokyo Marathon champion Lonah Salpeter and the woman who beat Obiri last fall in NYC, Sharon Lokedi.

We are less than three weeks away from the 127th Boston Marathon.

(03/29/2023) Views: 523 ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

Among the nation’s oldest athletic clubs, the B.A.A. was established in 1887, and, in 1896, more than half of the U.S. Olympic Team at the first modern games was composed of B.A.A. club members. The Olympic Games provided the inspiration for the first Boston Marathon, which culminated the B.A.A. Games on April 19, 1897. John J. McDermott emerged from a...

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Kenyan Bravin Kiprop shifts focus to Berlin Half Marathon

Following a successful outing at the University of Eldoret cross country, Bravin Kiprop's focus has shifted to next month's Berlin Half Marathon.

Kiprop, who won the 7.4km senior men’s title, said he was using the race, part of UoE's 100th anniversary, as part of his preparations for the German race on April 2.

“I came here with the sole purpose of preparing for the Berlin Half Marathon and this victory has added positives to my preparations,” said Kiprop.

Kiprop, who trains in Keiyo South added that running in local races forms the best preparations for any athlete since, due to the competitiveness, they help runners gauge their fitness and endurance ahead of races abroad.

“Competing in these local races gives an individual a good start. I have two weeks to prepare and this race has offered me a good training ground,” said Kiprop, from Elgeyo Marakwet county.

He won the senior men’s race in 16:40.3, beating Ayub Kiptum to second in 16:54.2 while Titus Kiprotich took third place in 16:59.4.

In January, Kiprop finished second at the Discovery Kenya Cross country championships behind Weldon Langat.

Immaculate Anyango was victorious in the senior women's race, ahead of upstart Stella Jepkosgei and Dorothy Kimutai.

Anyango, who won Discovery cross country in January won the title in 25:09.7 while Jepkosgei and Kimutai clocked 25:26.6 and 25:30.5 respectively.

Mathew Kipkosgei and Janet Jepkosgei were the respective winners of the junior men's 5.55km and junior women's 3.7km races.

Kipkosgei led St Francis Kimuron to a clean sweep of the junior men's podium in 16:40.1, followed by Linus Kipkemoi (16:54.2) and Titus Kiprotich in 16:59.0.

Jepkosgei won the junior women's title in 12:38.01 ahead of Maurine Jepkoech and Martha Jelimo, who timed 12:41.0 and 12:45.2 respectively.

(03/22/2023) Views: 522 ⚡AMP
by Emmanuel Sabuni
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Berlin Half Marathon

Berlin Half Marathon

The story of the Berlin Half Marathon reflects a major part of the history of the German capital. It all began during cold war times and continued during reunification. The events leading up to today's event could really only have happened in this city. Its predecessors came from East- and West Berlin. On 29th November 1981 the Lichtenberg Marathon was...

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Kenyan Magdalene Masai will be going for the win at the Vienna City Marathon on April 23

Fresh from finishing third at the Rome-Ostia Half Marathon, Magdalene Masai will be chasing the Vienna City Marathon on April 23 in Vienna, Austria.

Sharpening her skills in Iten in Elgeyo Marakwet county, the youngest of the Masai running siblings, said she hopes she will run well and earn a slot for Team Kenya at the 2023 World Athletics Championships later in the year in Budapest, Hungary.

“Training is going on well in Iten and I hope to post my personal best in Vienna on my debut in a  race that has been dominated by Kenyans,” said Masai.

Currently enjoying a personal best of 2:22.16 set in 2019 with victory at the Toronto Marathon, Masai said if she runs well, she is likely to land a place in the Kenya team to Budapest.

“I last represented the country in the 2015 Africa Championships, where I finished 4th in the 3,000m steeplechase. This is an opportunity for me to win the confidence of the Kenyan athletics authority,” said Masai.

Kenyans have won Vienna 17 times in the men's cadre and nine in the women's since the inception of the race in 1984.

The title is currently held by Vibian Chepirui, who won both the 2021 and 2022 titles while Cosmas Matolo is the men's champion.

“ Kenyans have in the past performed well in the race and it's because of this that we are always invited for the race. I want to run well on my debut in the race to enter history books,” she said.

The Mount Elgon-born athlete in Bungoma county returned into action last year after maternity leave, where she finished 4th in Toronto Marathon.

She then finished third in the Rome-Ostia Half Marathon where Kenyan Dorcas Tuitoek and Kenyan-born Israeli Lonah Salpeter took the top two positions.

“On my return, I did not manage to run well but at the moment, I have trained well for the championships,” she said.

Masai will be up against fellow Kenyan Visiline Jepkesho as well as Ethiopian Senbere Teferi and home girl Julia Mayer. 

 

(03/21/2023) Views: 527 ⚡AMP
by Emmanuel Sabuni
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Vienna City Marathon

Vienna City Marathon

More than 41,000 runners from over 110 nations take part in the Vienna City Marathon, cheered on by hundreds of thousands of spectators. From the start at UN City to the magnificent finish on the Heldenplatz, the excitement will never miss a beat. In recent years the Vienna City Marathon has succeeded in creating a unique position as a marathon...

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Eilish McColgan will tackle NYC Half on the road to London

In-form Brit is set to face Hellen Obiri, Molly Huddle, Senbere Teferi and Karoline Grøvdal in New York next week as Joshua Cheptegei and Jacob Kiplimo lead the men’s field

After breaking Paula Radcliffe’s long-standing British 10,000m record in California last weekend, Eilish McColgan’s next big race in the run-up to her marathon debut in London is the United Airlines NYC Half on March 19.

She will face Hellen Obiri, the former world cross-country champion and two-time Olympic medalist, plus three-time NYC Half winner Molly Huddle of the United States.

Senbere Teferi of Ethiopia, who holds the course record with 67:35, also runs, in addition to 2018 Boston Marathon champion Des Linden of the US and reigning European cross-country champion Karoline Bjerkeli-Grøvdal of Norway.

McColgan’s British record is 66:26 from last year’s RAK Half, but Obiri’s best is 64:22 from the same RAK Half, Teferi ran 65:32 in Valencia in 2019 and Huddle has a best of 67:41 from 2016.

Obiri and McColgan clashed at the Great North Run in 2021 with the Kenyan breaking away in the latter stages to win by six seconds. But the Briton has been in terrific form lately with a 30:00.86 national record for 10,000m at the Sound Running Ten event in California.

Her marathon debut in London is set to take place on April 23 too.

McColgan is among a number of Brits set to race in New York City too with others being Jess Warner-Judd, Chris Thompson and Andy Butchart. Warner-Judd ran a half-marathon PB of 67:19 in Houston in January and will be looking to revise those figures.

(03/09/2023) Views: 593 ⚡AMP
by Jason Henderson
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United Airlines NYC Half-Marathon

United Airlines NYC Half-Marathon

The United Airlines NYC Half takes runners from around the city and the globe on a 13.1-mile tour of NYC. Led by a talent-packed roster of American and international elites, runners will stop traffic in the Big Apple this March! Runners will begin their journey on Prospect Park’s Center Drive before taking the race onto Brooklyn’s streets. For the third...

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Gerda Steyn hopes for a fourth win at Two Oceans

With 50 days to go to the “world’s most scenic race”, the Totalsports Two Oceans Marathon (TTOM) is shaping up to be an elite fest with a stellar field.

Once again, any athlete who breaks the record in the Men’s or Women’s Ultra Marathon Race can look forward to a record incentive of ZAR 250,000 (EUR 12,800) in cash.

With prize money for the Totalsports Two Oceans Ultra Marathon at ZAR 250,000, any record-breaker could look forward to a massive ZAR 500,000 pay day on 15 April 2023.

Nkosikhona “Pitbull” Mhlakwana, who made a sensational Totalsports Two Oceans Marathon debut last year, lived up to his nickname showing tremendous tenacity finishing in a superb second place behind Ethiopia’s Endale Belachew, with Sboniso Sikhakhane coming in third.

As expected, the 30-year-old considers himself to be a bit stronger and wiser, and determined to do one better this year.

“My main goal is to improve my position from last year,” says Mhlakwana.

The Hollywood Athletic club athlete says he picked up invaluable experience last year and now knows what to expect.

Another epic battle for supremacy is expected this year in the women’s Ultra. Gerda Steyn and ASICS athlete, Irvette van Zyl, who both shattered Frith van der Merwe’s longstanding women’s 56km record of 3:30:36 set in 1989, have confirmed they will line up again this year.

Steyn (3:29:42) became the first woman to run the grueling route in sub 3:30. The 32-year-old returns this year in a bid to be crowned champion for an unprecedented fourth consecutive time, while running as the current record-holder.

The three-time champion, who will be running in her permanent blue number, 6067, will, however, not have it all her own way, with the 34-year-old Van Zyl (3:30:31) finishing just a few seconds behind her last year. The purists can rest assured that Van Zyl will come out guns blazing and ready for another classic battle with Steyn.

Steyn says she is very excited to be preparing for the Totalsports Two Oceans Marathon again.

“This will be my fifth time running the race, and I am really hoping for a fourth win after taking the title three times in a row now. Last year was such a highlight for me. I am just hoping to repeat that experience and that win. The preparations until now have been going well, which makes me even more excited for the race,” she says.

With 50 days to go before Race Day, Steyn feels the next three to four weeks will be crucial to her preparations.

“Another very exciting aspect of this year’s Totalsports Two Oceans Marathon is that it will be the first time that I will be running in my permanent number in any race.

“Usually, one has to complete 10 Ultra Marathons, but I managed to win the race three times, therefore earned a blue number. This brings a very special touch for me. At the moment I am preparing for the Two Oceans in Johannesburg. The energy level and excitement is at an all-time high," adds Steyn before wishing all runners everything of the best with the final stretch of preparations.

If excitement levels are high for the Ultra on the Saturday, the battle for supremacy in the Half Marathon on Sunday, 16 April, will be even higher. The likes of previous winners Stephen Mokoka, Elroy Gelant, as well as Precious Mashele from the Boxer Athletic Clubs, have all confirmed their entries. Moses Tarakinyu from Zimbabwe is back to defend his title with Entsika’s Desmond Mokgobu also looking to improve on his third place from last year.

Last year’s winner, Fortunate Chidzivo, will not be lining up to defend her title in the women’s Half Marathon this year, which leaves the race wide open for a new champion to be crowned.

(02/28/2023) Views: 618 ⚡AMP
by AIMS
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Two Oceans Marathon

Two Oceans Marathon

Cape Town’s most prestigious race, the 56km Old Mutual Two Oceans Ultra Marathon, takes athletes on a spectacular course around the Cape Peninsula. It is often voted the most breathtaking course in the world. The event is run under the auspices of the IAAF, Athletics South Africa (ASA) and Western Province Athletics (WPA). ...

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Giants of track and field prepare for battle at Millrose Games

print showdowns, the world’s greatest shot putters and magnificent mile fields highlight the Millrose Games, this season’s fourth World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold meeting, in New York on Saturday (11).

Fresh off a PB and 60m win in Boston, world 200m champion Noah Lyles takes on 60m world record holder and defending Millrose champion Christian Coleman at The Armory, which boasts the nickname ‘The Fastest Track in the World’.

Shot putters Ryan Crouser and Joe Kovacs open their 2023 campaigns by resuming their fierce rivalry, essentially picking up where they left off last September in Switzerland. As the women’s shot returns to Millrose for the first time since 2003, the event couldn’t ask for a better field led by Chase Ealey, the world champion and world indoor silver medallist.

According to tradition, the Rudin Wanamaker Miles cap the storied meeting, which was founded in 1908. A national record might be needed to win the men’s race, but which country will take the honours? Defending champion Ollie Hoare of Australia, USA’s Yared Nuguse, Sam Tanner of New Zealand and Mario Garcia Romo of Spain are top contenders. Great Britain’s Olympic and world medallist Laura Muir is the favourite in the women’s mile, having already claimed a New York record on the road.

Straight down the middle

Although The Armory is far from the neon lights of Times Square, it’s still a hop, step and a jump from Broadway – and perhaps no athlete enjoys putting on a show more than Lyles.

At the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix Boston, he posted a PB of 6.51, edging Trayvon Bromell by .002. Coleman clocked 6.71 in Fayetteville two weeks ago to open his season, well off his world record of 6.34 set in 2018 when he was also world indoor champion. Lyles, the Olympic 200m bronze medallist, has been working on his start in a bid to double in the 100m and 200m at the World Athletics Championships later this year in Budapest.

Lyles will also attempt to avenge an early season loss to his younger brother Josephus in Florida. Ronnie Baker, the third-fastest 60m runner in history and 2018 world indoor bronze medallist, won this event in 2018 and 2020. Ackeem Blake of Jamaica, Miles Lewis, the Puerto Rican record-holder, and Kendal Williams, who defeated Lyles in Florida but lost to him in Boston, are also in the field.

Aleia Hobbs is seeking her second straight win in the women’s 60m after exploding to a meeting record 7.02 in Boston. She also owns the world-leading time of 6.98, run in Fayetteville in late January. In Boston, Hobbs held off world indoor silver medallist Mikiah Brisco and Celera Barnes, who get another chance to defeat her at Millrose.

 

Melissa Jefferson, who edged Hobbs in the 100m at last year’s USA Championships; world indoor bronze medallist Marybeth Sant-Price, and English Gardner are also in the field. Shawnti Jackson was third at Millrose last year, setting a national high school record of 7.18, and will look to improve both her placement and her time.

Olympic silver medallist Keni Harrison, the Millrose 60m hurdles winner in 2020, will take on 2019 world champion Nia Ali, heptathlete Anna Hall, and Olympians Anna Cockrell, Devynne Charlton and Cindy Sember.

Ring rivalry renewed

The road to Budapest begins for the top shot putters on the planet. World and Olympic champion Crouser will face Kovacs, a double outdoor world champion and two-time Olympic silver medallist.

While Crouser has won at Millrose three years in a row and holds both the indoor and outdoor world records, he knows his compatriot is always in the hunt to topple him. Kovacs set the world-leading mark in 2022 while moving to second on the all-time list and winning the Diamond league final in Zurich. At the season-ending meeting for both, Kovacs won at Bellinzona with a toss of 22.19m, with Crouser next at 22.00m. Tripp Piperi and Nick Ponzio of Italy round out the field.

Ealey had a dream season in 2022, building on her world indoor silver to take the world title in Oregon and then capture the Diamond League title. Compatriots Maggie Ewen, the 2021 Diamond League champion, and Jessica Woodard will challenge Ealey for the first Millrose crown in 20 years, along with Canada’s Commonwealth champion Sarah Mitton.

The women’s pole vault features Katie Moon (formerly Nageotte) and Katerina Stefanidi, the last two Olympic gold medallists. However, in their previous meeting, the Greek vaulter was third and the Tokyo champion placed fourth in Boston, with Bridget Williams and Gabriela Leon going 1-2. All four athletes will be on the runway at Millrose.

Steiner seeks another record

The rarely run 300m has become something of a specialty for USA’s Abby Steiner. She already holds the NCAA record and is targeting the national record of 35.71 in her first indoor season as a professional. Two weekends ago, Steiner raced to a 400m victory in Fayetteville in 50.59. The world record of 35.45 is shared by Irina Privalova and Shaunae Miller-Uibo, with the Bahamian clocking her winning time in 2018 at Millrose. Jenna Prandini, Steiner’s teammate on the victorious 4x100m relay in Oregon, and 2019 world 200m silver medallist Brittany Brown offer strong competition.

The men’s 400m could be another duel between USA’s Noah Williams and Trinidad & Tobago’s world indoor champion Jereem Richards. In Boston, both clocked 45.88, but Williams surged on the inside to win by .004. Michael Cherry, fourth in the 400m in Tokyo and an Olympic and world gold medallist at 4x400m, opens his season at Millrose, along with the fourth man in the field, Bryce Deadmon, another Olympic and world gold medallist on relays.

Going the distance

The great Paavo Nurmi raced at the Millrose Games nearly 100 years ago and the distance races never disappoint. Of course, the signature event is the Rudin Wanamaker Mile.

After recently setting a North American indoor record over 3000m, Yared Nuguse is in a New York state of mind to break another continental record: Bernard Lagat’s 3:49.89 in the indoor mile. Nuguse and training partners Hoare and Romo are hoping for a fast pace to propel them into the record books. Hoare set an Oceanian record of 3:50.83 in winning the 2022 Wanamaker Mile and is the Commonwealth 1500m champion. Other contenders include Tanner, a three-time New Zealand champion; Great Britain’s Neil Gourley, whose home straight sprint led to a world-leading 3:52.84 in Boston; 2022 US indoor 1500m champion Cole Hocker, Johnny Gregorek, Sam Prakel and Kenya’s Eliud Kipsang.

Muir had a US indoor race debut in Boston, clocking 8:40.34 in the 3000m, and now is dropping back down to more familiar territory. The world and Olympic medallist in the 1500m set a course record of 4:14.8 on the road in the Fifth Avenue Mile in 2022. At Millrose, the record is 4:16.85, set by Elle Purrier St Pierre in 2020, which is the third-fastest indoor mile in history after Gudaf Tsegay’s 4:16.16 in Torun. In a deep field, Muir will be challenged by training partner and Olympic 800m finalist Jemma Reekie, and US champion Sinclaire Johnson.

In the men’s 3000m, Geordie Beamish and Cooper Teare, who went 1-2 last year, return to the Armory track where they will try to fend off Josh Kerr, the Olympic 1500m bronze medallist; Joe Klecker, Guatemala’s Luis Grijalva and Nico Young.

Alicia Monson, defending Millrose champion in the women’s 3000m, faces national indoor 5000m record-holder Elise Cranny with Karissa Schweizer’s national indoor 3000m record of 8:25.70 in their sights. Monson set a Millrose Games and Armory record last year of 8:31.62 en route to a stellar outdoor season. Katelyn Tuohy recently set an NCAA mile record of 4:24.26 in a race won by Monson; she’s primed for another test against the pros. European champion and 2019 world bronze medallist Konstanze Klosterhalfen won the Wanamaker mile in 2019 and has the fastest 3000m time in the field, clocking 8:20.07 outdoors.

Streaks at stake for Wilson

In the 600m, world indoor 800m champion Ajee’ Wilson will attempt to extend some impressive winning streaks.

Since losing to Alysia Montano in the 600m at the 2013 Millrose Games, she has won 17 straight races at The Armory, including seven at Millrose. She also has won 15 straight races indoors, most recently the 800m in Boston with a time of 2:00.45. Wilson is the second-fastest woman in history in the 600m outdoors and could threaten Keely Hodgkinson’s newly minted world indoor best of 1:23.41. The fastest performer in the field this season Shamier Little, the 2015 world silver medallist in the 400m hurdles, who clocked 1:24.65. 

The men’s 800m will be a rematch between world indoor silver medallist Noah Kibet, still just 18 years of age, and world indoor bronze medallist Bryce Hoppel, the defending Millrose champion. The loaded field includes his compatriots Clayton Murphy, the 2016 Olympic bronze medallist, world indoor finalist Isaiah Harris, Great Britain’s Kyle Langford, Mexico’s Tonatiu Lopez and Irish record-holder Mark English. Cade Flatt, the second-fastest US high school runner at this distance, is also in the field.

(02/09/2023) Views: 535 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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NYRR Millrose Games

NYRR Millrose Games

The NYRR Millrose Games,which began in 1908 as a small event sponsored by a local track club, has grown to become the most prestigious indoor track and field event in the United States. The NYRR Millrose Games meet is held in Manhattan’s Washington Heights at the New Balance Track & Field Center at the Armony, which boasts a state-of-the-art six-lane,...

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Dubai Marathon promises fast times from leading Ethiopians

World Athletics Gold Label race takes place on Sunday in the United Arab Emirates

The Dubai Marathon returns to the sporting calendar on Sunday (Feb 12) with strong line-ups and a course that starts and finishes from Expo City Dubai for the first time.

The World Athletics Gold Label sees a mix of experienced international marathon runners with raw talent keen to make a mark in the early years of their careers.

Women’s line-up

Ethiopian elites dominate the entry list in the women’s competition with Ruti Aga and compatriots Gutemi Shone and Gelete Burka all targeting the biggest marathon in the Middle East on February 12.

Twenty-nine-year-old Aga is the athlete with the fastest personal best in the field having clocked 2:18:34 when finishing second in the Berlin Marathon in 2018. Last year, the Ethiopian – who won the Tokyo Marathon in 2019 – claimed fourth in Chicago and will certainly be one to watch.

But while Aga, with three Marathon Majors medals to her name, has an impressive pedigree, her compatriot Shone knows exactly what to expect in Dubai having finished second last time she competed in the UAE in January 2020 – the last time the Dubai Marathon was staged before the pandemic.

That runner-up spot behind champion Worknesh Degefa was achieved with a personal best of 2:20:11 and the 31-year-old, who finished fifth last year in Seoul, will be looking to use that ‘local knowledge’ to go one place better on the podium on the race’s return to the sporting calendar.

Also returning to the Middle East with experience of running in the Gulf is 37-year-old Gelete Burka. In 2018, Burka enjoyed a successful year starting off with sixth place and a personal best in Dubai (2:20:45) before winning the Ottawa Marathon in Canada and closing the year with third place and a podium finish in Abu Dhabi.

A hugely talented runner, in 2019 Burka added victory in the Paris Marathon and third place in Chicago to an impressive running CV that also includes World Championship medals and a 5000m top five finish at the London Olympics in 2012.

“Over the years we’ve enjoyed some breath-taking performances from marathon debut makers as well as experienced campaigners,” said Dubai Marathon event director Peter Connerton. “Athletes know that with the world-class infrastructure and benign weather conditions in Dubai, they can run a personal best and gain international recognition.”

Elite men’s field

As in the women’s race, it is Ethiopia that dominates the men’s elite field with a clutch of international champions set to fight it out for the title.

While Tsegaye Mekonnen, the 2014 Dubai Marathon champion, boasts the field’s personal best time of 2:04:32, he will face a number of talented and experienced rivals including 2022 Rome and Linz Marathon winner Fikre Bekele, former Rotterdam Marathon champion Abera Kuma and Gebretsadik Abraha, a winner in Marrakech, Prague, Guangzhou and, most recently, in Ljubljana.

And they face a challenging new 42.195km route that will take them from the expanse of Expo City Dubai out on to some of the city’s most modern highways, past Dubai Investments Park and Jumeirah Golf Estates, before returning to finish in front of the iconic Wasl Dome.

Still just 24, Fikre Bekele – known as Fikre Tefera until a few years ago – has competed in just six international marathons during his career, winning five and finishing fourth in the other. While his first two wins came in 2018 in Vadodara and Bilbao, the following year he was the surprise winner of the Frankfurt Marathon where he outkicked his rivals with 300m to go.

Bekele returned to action after the pandemic in 2022 with another two impressive victories winning in Rome (2:06:48) before securing his personal best of 2:06:13 in Linz, Austria – on both occasions he smashed the course records.

Like Bekele, Abraha comes to Dubai full of confidence as his most recent race was probably his best ever. In October he won the Ljubljana Marathon in Slovenia in a time of 2:06:09, finally improving a personal best he had set a decade earlier. Last year saw him run three marathons, winning two of them with that triumph in Ljubljana following on from victory in Lens in France.

Abera Kuma is another of the many Ethiopian world-class athletes who have made their marathon debuts at the Dubai Marathon. In 2014 he produced a fine performance in a top field and finished 10th in 2:09:53. He ran his second marathon in Berlin, where he improved by almost four minutes, taking third place in 2:05:56, which remains his second fastest time at the distance.

His big marathon victory came in 2015 in Rotterdam, a city where he also clocked his personal best of 2:05:50 three years later, finishing in second place just six seconds behind the winner.

(02/07/2023) Views: 598 ⚡AMP
by Athletics Weekly
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Dubai Marathon

Dubai Marathon

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

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Ethiopia’s Worku Leads World-class Runners to 2023 Lagos City Marathon

Ethiopia’s Hayla Bazu Worku will be leading the team of foreign world-class runners that will compete at the Gold-label 8th Access Bank Lagos City Marathon on Saturday,  February 4th.

Worku, is one of the fastest full marathon runners in the world, having ran six world-class marathons in less than 2hours 9 minutes.

The 2014 Houston Marathon winner, ran his fastest time of 2:05:25 when he finished third place at the Berlin Marathon in 2010.

He ran a time of 2:06:16 when he finished second place at the Paris Marathon in 2009, ran 2:06:47 when he placed 6th at the Zurich Marathon in 2020.

Another world-class foreign runner ready to burn the route at the February 4 Gold-label Access Bank Lagos City Marathon is Kenya’s John Komen, a 2019 Athens Marathon winner  at a time of 2:16:34.

The 42-year- old Komen had recorded better time in past races; 2:07:13 in 2011 when he won the La Rochelle Marathon, 2:08:06 in 2008 at Reims Marathon, 2:08:12 at Paris Marathon and 2:08:13 when he won the Vanezia Marathon in 2009.

Kenya’s Barmasai David is another worldclass foreign runner with the biggest chances to prove a point at the Gold-Label 8th Access Bank Lagos City Marathon.

David, has a personal best of 2:07:18 when he won the 2011 Dubai Marathon, the same year he placed fifth at the World Marathon Championships.

The 2020 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon winner has a very rich resume and the brightest opportunity to stay tops following his familiarity with the Lagos City Marathon route, having won the 2020 race at 2:10:23 and placed second in 2022, at the 7th edition of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon at 2:13:37. Its the same route and same weather.

In the women class, the top leading world-class foreign runners include; Tinbit Didey, former champion of the Marrakesh Marathon, Esther Macharia, a former winner of Graz Marathon and winner of Bregenz Marathon. She has a personal best of 2:27:15 recorded in 2022 at the Grandma’s Marathon in USA.

Kenya’s Mercy Jerop Kwambai, is yet another world-class runner, with the most recent performances that may change some expectations at the Gold-Label 8th Access Bank Lagos City Marathon.

A total of 76 foreign runners were invited by the organizers, Nilayo Sports Management Limited, for the Gold-Label 8th Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, made up of 47 men and 29 women world class runners.

(02/03/2023) Views: 523 ⚡AMP
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Access Bank Lagos City Marathon

Access Bank Lagos City Marathon

“The IAAF and AIMS have a special interest in the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon so if you see their top officials at the third edition, don’t be surprised. Lagos is one of the few marathons in the world that got an IAAF Label after just two editions. This is a rare feat. The event had over 50,000 runners at...

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Judith Korir and Hellen Obiri among elite runners to compete in RAK Half Marathon

With only a few weeks to go, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) on Monday revealed an initial line-up of four world-class runners set to take part in the 16th edition of the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon on February 18, 2023.

The elite female category in the highly anticipated race will see the Women’s Marathon silver medalist at the World Athletic Championships Oregon 2022, Judith Jeptum Korir of Kenya, return to the nature-based Emirate in a bid to claim the title.

With a fourth-place finish in last year’s Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon, Korir will be looking to beat her personal best time of 65:28 as she takes to the start line for the 2023 edition.

Korir will face competition from Hellen Obiri of Kenya, a two-time 5,000-metre Olympic silver medalist, who finished runner up in Rio de Janeiro 2016, and Tokyo 2020, and holds a personal best half marathon time of 64:22.

She also entered the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon 2022, placing second in a competitive field.

The male elite runners include Ethiopian star Seifu Tura, who recently claimed second place in the Chicago Marathon 2022, and Kenyan Daniel Mateiko, who holds a personal best time of 58:26 and recently finished third in the Valencia Half Marathon 2023.

Additionally, race organizers have unveiled a first look at the medal which will be awarded to all finalists once they cross the finish line at the much-awaited race.

The colors of the medals have been carefully selected to represent Ras Al Khaimah’s three key natural elements and core values: the sea with its perpetual swelling and subsiding waves, the desert with its undulating dunes, and the mountains with their staggering elevations.

A landmark event on the Ras Al Khaimah calendar, the half marathon will return to Marjan Island, the Emirate’s spectacular coral-shaped destination home to majestic white sandy beaches and a plethora of world-class hotels and resorts. 

(01/24/2023) Views: 555 ⚡AMP
by Gulf Today
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Rak Half Marathon

Rak Half Marathon

The Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon is the 'world's fastest half marathon' because if you take the top 10 fastest times recorded in RAK for men (and the same for women) and find the average (for each) and then do the same with the top ten fastest recorded times across all races (you can reference the IAAF for this), the...

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Chinese TikToker earns millions running in high heels

A 41-year-old TikToker and salesman from Sichuan, China, Wu Nan, has found a niche way to sell women’s high heels. The man’s marketing strategy involves sprinting in stilettos–and he has reportedly generated a staggering six million yuan (CAD $1,100,000) in monthly sales.

After years of struggling to sell cakes, and then curtains, Nan found running in heels a great technique to boost his online sales.

In Nan’s videos, he can be seen sprinting aggressively on the treadmill, track or outdoors while wearing big black boots or dazzling stilettos, showcasing how sturdy the heels are. Apparently many women face this trouble with heels and need a durable pair to get around in.

Nan is also very descriptive with his marketing. In one clip, he refers to the softness of the sheepskin and the shoe’s “special feeling” when sprinting in it.

According to the South China Post, Wu began selling women’s shoes in 2008 when he opened his first shop. He began posting videos online in March 2020 and has gained over 1.2 million subscribers on TikTok.

Wu told Chinese news that his expectations were low at first. He thought he’d only sell around 500 pairs a year. After he made his first video, he sold over 100 pairs, raking in $10,000; now he makes more than a million dollars per month.

The prices of his shoes ranges from $40 to $200 CAD (US$150).

His videos have gone viral in China, as locals express their admiration for grown men who can run in high heels.

(01/20/2023) Views: 628 ⚡AMP
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Paul Tergat named ambassador for World Athletics Cross Country Championships Bathurst 23

Paul Tergat has been announced as ambassador of the World Athletics Cross Country Championships Bathurst 23, with one month to go until the 44th edition of the global showpiece in Australia.

Kenya’s multiple world cross country gold medallist will be in Bathurst for the competition on 18 February, when some of the world’s current best athletes will descend on Mount Panorama looking to emulate him as a world cross country champion.

Tergat is one of the greats of long-distance running and it was in cross country that his success story really began. The first of his five individual world cross country crowns was claimed in Durham in 1995 and he would go on to gain gold at the next four editions – in Stellenbosch in 1996, Turin in 1997, Marrakech in 1998 and Belfast in 1999.

Cross country running paved the way for his achievements on the road and track, which included multiple world records, two world half marathon titles, two Olympic 10,000m silver medals, and three 10,000m medals – two silvers and a bronze – at the World Championships.

The singlet he wore when winning in Turin in 1997 is on display in the Museum of World Athletics.

“Cross country will always be a special event in my athletics career,” said Tergat. “It evokes very nostalgic and fond memories, because this is really where my long athletics career was birthed, developed and blossomed, with the crowning of five straight World Cross Country Championships titles between 1995 and 1999."

“In cross country running, I picked up lifelong lessons after conquering diverse conditions, twists and turns, terrains, wetlands and barriers that define the athletics event.”

Tergat has experience of racing in Australia; the 10,000m final at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games – where he pushed Haile Gebrselassie all the way before ultimately ending up with silver – was perhaps the most iconic race of Tergat's career.

As current world-class and mass runners prepare to take on the challenging Bathurst course, Tergat – who won individual and team titles for Kenya at each of those five editions of the World Cross Country Championships – reflected on the event in 1999 as his own competitive standout.

“Belfast remains an iconic race for its challenging, muddy course,” he explained, “but, most importantly, as the race in which I attained my historic fifth consecutive senior men’s title and a 14th successive team title for my country. This is the reason I have declared that race as ‘the toughest yet, but the best’.

“For these and many other reasons, I never hesitate to make any contribution towards raising the profile of cross country as a central event for every athlete, from track to road running.”

(01/18/2023) Views: 519 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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World Athletics Cross Country

World Athletics Cross Country

Athletes from across the globe will descend on Australia for the World Athletics Cross Country Championships Bathurst 2021. Mount Panorama is better known as the home of Australia’s premier endurance motor race, but in one year from now, it will welcome the world’s best endurance runners for what will be Australia’s first World Athletics Series event in...

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Ollie Hoare to defend Wanamaker mile title at Millrose Games

Organizers of the Millrose Games have announced that Ollie Hoare will defend his Wanamaker Mile title at the World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold meeting in New York on February 11.

Hoare, the Commonwealth 1500m champion, won last year’s Wanamaker mile in an Oceanian indoor record of 3:50.83.

“I’m thrilled to be able to come back and defend my Wanamaker title,” said the Australian. “It will be great to be out there competing at one of my favorite mile races in the world.”

He will take on a field that includes 2021 US 1500m champion and Olympic finalist Cole Hocker, European bronze medalist Mario Garcia Romo of Spain, US Olympian Yared Nuguse, NCAA record-holder Eliud Kipsang of Kenya, 2017 world finalist Johnny Gregorek, three-time New Zealand champion Sam Tanner, world indoor and outdoor finalist Neil Gourley, as well as USA’s Josh Thompson, Sam Prakel and Drew Hunter.

(01/12/2023) Views: 531 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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NYRR Millrose Games

NYRR Millrose Games

The NYRR Millrose Games,which began in 1908 as a small event sponsored by a local track club, has grown to become the most prestigious indoor track and field event in the United States. The NYRR Millrose Games meet is held in Manhattan’s Washington Heights at the New Balance Track & Field Center at the Armony, which boasts a state-of-the-art six-lane,...

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