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Ethiopia's Andamlak Belihu and Tsehay Gemechu will return to defend their men's and women's titles respectively in the 15th edition of the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon on October 20.
Belihu won men's half marathon title of this prestigious IAAF Gold Label Road Race last year in 59:18, just missing out on the course record of 59:06 which remained since 2014 in the name of compatriot Guye Adola.
"Immediately after last year's race I said that I was going to come back to Delhi in 2019 as I had unfinished business with the course record and I am keeping my promise," commented Belihu, who will still be just 20 on race day.
He returned to India in May earlier this year to also win the TCS World 10K title in Bengaluru, another IAAF Gold Label Road Race promoted by Procam International.
Last year, Belihu had to work hard to hold off his fellow Ethiopian Amdework Walelegn to win by four seconds. Walelegn will also return with the ambition of going one better in this year's race.
No less than eight men in the ADHM 2019 elite field have run under the world class benchmark of one hour but much of the attention will be on a man who has yet to run the distance, Hagos Gebrhiwet.
Gebrhiwet had planned to make his half marathon debut in Delhi last year but a late bout of illness curtailed his training. However, he will stand on the start line this year. He won a bronze in Rio Olympics 5000m race.
The fastest man in Delhi this year will be Erick Kiptanui. The Kenyan notched up two impressive half marathon victories in 2018 when winning at high-quality Lisbon and Berlin races, coming home in the German capital in a personal best 58:42, and he is currently equal seventh on the world all-time list.
Kiptanui has been concentrating mainly on the track but had a solid win at the Barcelona Half Marathon earlier in the year.
In the women's elite section last year, Gemechu made a huge impact in her debut over the distance when she set an ADHM women's course record of 66:50 and in 2019 she has shown it was no fluke with a string of sparkling performances both on the roads and the track, including taking the African Games 10,000m title.
The third and fourth-placed women from the ADHM 2018 also return with Ethiopia's Zeineba Yimer and Kenya's Stacy Ndiwa coming back to do battle.
The fastest woman in the ADHM 2019 elite field will be Caroline Kipkirui. The Kenyan-born runner, who now competes under the Kazakhstan flag, set a personal best of 65:07 in the 2018 Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon.(09/25/2019) ⚡AMP
Ethiopia’s Birhanu Legese and Almaz Ayana took the honours at the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon, crossing the line in the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in 59:46 and 1:07:11 respectively to win, world and Olympic 10,000m champion Ayana was making her debut over the half marathon distance but hardly looked like a novice as she led home an Ethiopian clean sweep of...more...
The 2016 Olympic gold medallist, who already qualified for the event as the reigning world champion, suffered the injury while participating in a celebrity rugby match in 2017.
Despite the setback, van Niekerk’s management remains confident that the two-time world champion will return to competitive running.
“I’m still positive and I’m just taking things day by day, respecting all the calls made by the doctor and respecting my body,” van Niekerk said in a statement.
The two-time world champion has been cleared by his coach Ans Botha to resume training having undergone additional rehabilitation at Aspetar Sports Medicine Hospital in Doha.
Van Niekerk added that he was extremely happy, at peace with where he was and not rushing or pressuring himself.
“My main goal is to look after my body and when the opportunity comes, I’ll take it,” van Niekerk said.
Van Niekerk’s doctor, Louis Holtzhausen, is also optimistic of his return noting that the latest rehabilitation process yielding promising results.
“The medical teams, both in Bloemfontein and Aspetar, did all we could to have him ready for the World Championships, but it was just not possible,” Holtzhausen said.
Van Niekerk has raced only once in 2019 at the Free State Championship in Bloemfontein in February winning the event in a time of 47.28. In contrast, his world record stands at 43.03 while his best time since the Rio Olympics is 43.62 in July 2017.
Van Niekerk’s focus is likely to be a full recovery in preparation for the defense of his Olympic title at the Games in Tokyo next year.
In July, van Niekerk’s agent said that the South African had picked up a bone bruise in his right knee that had set back his training by five to six weeks.(09/03/2019) ⚡AMP
The seventeenth edition of the IAAF World Championships is scheduled to be held between 27 September and 6 October 2019 in Doha, Qatar at the renovated multi-purpose Khalifa International Stadium. Doha overcame bids from Eugene, USA, and Barcelona, Spain to be granted the rights to host the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Athletics. Having hosted the IAAF Diamond League, formerly...more...
The New Balance 5th Ave Mile stretches 20 blocks down Manhattan’s most famous thoroughfare and is expected to draw nearly 8,000 runners across 24 heats. It includes specialty heats for youth and seniors, with the professional athlete races rounding out the day. In partnership with New York Road Runners and USA Track & Field, NBC will broadcast the professional athlete races live on NBC at 12:30 p.m. ET.
“The New Balance 5th Avenue Mile is such an iconic road race that allows people of all ages and abilities to participate in the event on one of the most famous streets in New York City,” said Michael Capiraso, president and CEO of New York Road Runners. “This year will be incredibly special, as we celebrate 20 years of NYRR’s free youth programs.”
In the professional women’s race, Jenny Simpson, who serves as an ambassador and special advisor to NYRR’s youth programs, owns the event-record time of 4:16.6 on Fifth Avenue, which she set when winning the race in 2017. She has earned three IAAF World Championships medals in the metric mile, beginning with a gold at the 2011 World Championships. She followed that with a silver in both 2013 and 2017. In 2016, she took bronze in the 1500 meters at the Rio Olympics, making her the first American woman in history to reach the podium in that event.
Simpson will be challenged in the professional women’s race by Nikki Hiltz, who just won gold over 1500 meters at the Pan American Games and has been America’s best road miler in 2019 with wins at the BAA Mile, Adidas Boost Games Mile, and the USATF Road Mile Championships.
Allie Ostrander, a three-time NCAA champion in the steeplechase who qualified for her first World Championships this fall, will join them as she lines up for her first road race as a professional athlete. Elinor Purrier, who also qualified for her first World Championships this year, will look to contend as well. Canada’s 2019 national champion Genevieve Lalonde and Olympian Jessica O’Connell, and Great Britain’s Jessica Judd, will lead the international contingent.
Leading the professional men’s field will be nick Willis, a four-time New Balance 5th Avenue Mile champion and two-time Olympic medalist who finished second last year. Willis, who won the event in 2008, 2013, 2015, and 2017, is tied with Spain’s Isaac Viciosa for the most career victories in the men’s race.
Challenging him as he goes for a record-breaking fifth title will be Great Britain’s two-time New Balance 5th Avenue Mile runner-up Chris O’Hare and road 5K world record-holder Edward Cheserek, who is the most decorated athlete in NCAA history with 17 titles at the University of Oregon.
Also joining them at the start line will be Johnny Gregorek, who is fresh off a silver medal at the Pan American Games and the world’s fourth-fastest miler this year.(08/21/2019) ⚡AMP
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...more...
At first, the Kenyan marathoner felt invincible. Racing out beyond the pack, his energy levels buoyed by blood doping, nothing seemed to stand in the way of victory.
"At 35 kilometres, I started getting cramps," the athlete told AFP on condition of anonymity, recalling the 2012 race in Europe where his health starting failing.
"I then started limping from 36-37 kilometres until I crossed the finish line."
Remarkably, he still finished second and recorded a personal best, returning home from the European race with a silver medal and a tidy pot of prize money.
Elated at the result, and unaware of the health risks associated with erythropoietin (EPO) abuse, the 35-year-old started doping again.
The pain came roaring back, worse than before. EPO boosts the capacity of blood to carry oxygen to the muscles but its misuse can cause a host of serious complications.
"I feel pain in my chest, my muscles are sore and I cough a lot," he said, describing common side effects of EPO, a peptide hormone banned by the World Anti-Doping Authority (WADA) since the early 1990s.
By 2016, he was forced off the track into early retirement, and has not run since.
"All I knew, was that once you dope, you end up running well. I never knew there would be such problems," he said.
Kenya barely survived a string of high-profile doping scandals in 2016 that almost saw the African nation celebrated for its distance runners barred from the Rio Olympics.
Since then, Kenya has increased its testing of athletes 10-fold through a new anti-doping authority and tough new laws also threaten users and their dealers with criminal sanctions.
But EPO use has not been stamped out, say Kenyan athletes, suppliers of the substance and anti-doping officials.
There are thousands of professional runners registered with Kenya's athletic federation, but only a handful of elite competitors are regularly screened by the national doping watchdog ADAK.
The lure to rise above the pack is strong.
"When life becomes difficult, you look for an option to make ends meet," said the former Kenyan athlete, who has struggled to make a living after his health deterioration from EPO abuse.
"I was told if I used it, I'd run much better. But now I have missed out on everything."
The Anti-Doping Agency in Kenya (ADAK) has run awareness campaigns under its slogan "Stay Clean, Win Right", trying to educate athletes on the harms of abusing performance enhancing drugs.
"They try, but it's not enough. Not everyone on the field has received the information," the athlete told AFP.
He said athletes themselves needed to spread the word about the dangers of doping.
"I would encourage them not to dope, because even if they made money... they could also damage their bodies."(08/12/2019) ⚡AMP
The Kenyan government has backed a move by Athletics Kenya (AK) to block all cheats from representing the country in international championships.
Sports cabinet secretary Amina Mohammed said in Nairobi that for the country to reverse the damage doping has on its athletes, they must stop any elite runner banned for doping from competing in international races beyond the Olympics, World Championships, Commonwealth Games and Africa Games.
"We must stop them. Athletes must understand that once they fail doping test, its over for them, even if they serve their suspension from active competition, we will not allow them to leave the country to compete abroad," Mohammed said this week in Nairobi.
Kenya has had six cases of doping in the last seven months, joining over 50 athletes who have been banned since the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games including 2016 Rio Olympics marathon champion Jemima Sumgong, half-marathon world record holder Abraham Kiptum and former Olympic champion and three-time world title winner in 1,500m Asbel Kiprop.
Kenya is in Category A along with eastern African rivals Ethiopia, Belarus and Ukraine, described by the IAAF as "member federations majorly at risk of doping."
Mohammed said the move by the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) to have athletes tested more before major athletics championships will also help eradicate the vice.
"Kenya is ranked in category A and athletes must go through stringent measures like three tests out of competition and one in competition prior to international competitions. We must support these measures hence we shall not allow dopers to go and shame this country again," said Mohammed.
Athletics Kenya (AK) president Jack Tuwei said Kenya has enough talent to win clean and no cheat should be allowed to put on the national jersey.
"For four years running, we have been on the watch list of IAAF. Last year that was upgraded because athletes don't want to listen to advice on anti-doping," he said.(07/27/2019) ⚡AMP
“I only thought about shoes that were lighter, lighter, lighter,” admits Jared Ward, who finished third in Los Angeles and then a strong sixth at the Rio Olympics. “As far as we knew, that was the most important thing.” Ward wore a pair of Saucony Type A8 shoes in 2016; they weighed a mere 5.9 ounces.
Ward didn’t even notice the clunky-looking Nike shoes worn by Los Angeles Marathon Trials winner Galen Rupp. In Rio, Ward didn’t realize the top three finishers—Eliud Kipchoge, Feyisa Lelisa, and Rupp—wore similarly big, cushy Nike shoes. They were 0.6 ounces heavier than Ward’s shoes and twice as thick in the rearfoot.
After Rio, however, it didn’t take long for Ward and the rest of the world to learn about Nike’s revolutionary Vaporfly 4% shoes. Scientific testing at several labs showed the shoes could improve a runner’s efficiency by about four percent. (Study 1; Study 2). That’s a huge difference in a world where one percent gains are rare, if not downright illusory. The shoes combined a stiff carbon plate with a new, responsive, and lightweight midsole foam.
Then came the highly publicized Breaking2 marathon attempt on a car track in Monza, Italy. There Kipchoge clocked a previously unthinkable 2:00:25, indicating the Nike shoes were game changers.
To answer that question, Ward joined a BYU research team that analyzed the Vaporfly 4% shoes. The results of that study have just been published by the Journal of Sports Scientists. The BYU group found the Vaporfly shoes improved runner efficiency by 2.7 percent—not quite as much as other reports, but similar.
Fortunately for Ward, Saucony’s research and development group had already begun the hunt for more efficient shoes. “I give Nike credit for their breakthrough,” says Saucony VP Spencer White, head of the company’s Human Performance and Innovation Lab. “But we weren’t far behind.”
White’s team was also investigating composite plates and new foams. “The pieces of the puzzle have been around for decades,” he notes. “We’re just getting better at fitting them together. It’s a complex process. If it were easy, I wouldn’t have a job.”
Saucony is testing new prototype shoes with a number of its best runners. Ward just happens to be an outstanding subject. “He’s willing to try something new,” says White, “and he understands the science and statistics behind what we’re doing.”
A year ago, Saucony began shipping new models to Ward. He takes them straight to Hunter’s lab for personalized, on-the-treadmill testing, subjecting himself (and the new shoes) to both a max test and an efficiency test. So far, the experience has made him a believer in “the preferred movement paradigm” proposed by veteran running biomechanist Benno Nigg.
“When I try new prototypes, the ones that feel the best on my feet and body almost always produce the best lab results,” Ward observes.(07/11/2019) ⚡AMP
A top-class duel is in prospect in the BMWBerlin Marathon when Germany’s biggest marathon takes place on September 29. Gladys Cherono, both title and course record holder, will face Vivian Cheruiyot.
The two Kenyans are among an elite group of world-class women runners who have improved their personal bests to below 2:19 in the past year, winning high quality races in the Abbott World Marathon Majors (AWMM) series.
But they will both have to beware of a dangerous Ethiopian, Mare Dibaba, who has twice run under 2:20 and took the bronze medal in the 2016 Olympic Marathon in Rio.
“We are naturally delighted that we’ll be having the defending champion Gladys Cherono on the start line,” said Race Director Mark Milde and added: “Compared to the men, the women in Berlin have some ground to make up.
With three very strong contenders in the line-up, the women’s race on September 29 could be centre stage.” In the past twelve years the men’s race at the BMW Berlin Marathon has produced a string of world class times with six world records into the bargain. The presence of Gladys Cherono and Vivian Cheruiyot suggests that these two Kenyans could headline a show-stealing performance from the elite women in general.
After victories in 2015 and 2017 Gladys Cherono achieved her third triumph in the BMW Berlin Marathon last year. The 36-year-old, who won the World Half Marathon title in 2014, also broke the course record of the Japanese Mizuki Noguchi of 2:19:12 which had stood for 13 years. Cherono’s time of 2:18:11 was a big improvement on her lifetime best and helped her join the exclusive company of women champions in Berlin with three wins apiece: Renata Kokowska of Poland, the home town favorite Uta Pippig and Ethiopia’s Aberu Kebede. “My goal is now to win for the fourth time in Berlin,” announced Gladys Cherono soon after she had completed the hat-trick last year.
Her return is a clear bid to go for the unique honour of a fourth title.
Gladys Cherono may well have to run another personal best to win title number four. Among her rivals will be her compatriot Vivian Cheruiyot who will be making her debut in the BMW Berlin Marathon. The 35-year-old Olympic 5,000m champion in 2016 won last year’s London Marathon, improving her best to 2:18:31.
This year in London she finished runner-up, beating Gladys Cherono on both occasions. Both Kenyans are in the women’s top ten of all-time fastest marathon runners with Cherono at number six and Cheruiyot at number eight, setting up what should be a fascinating clash.
Another who will be making her BMW Berlin Marathon debut will be Mare Dibaba. The 29-year-old Ethiopian actually has more marathon experience than either Gladys Cherono or Vivian Cheruiyot.
She won the world title in Beijing in 2015 and one year later took the bronze medal at the Rio Olympics. She has a best of 2:19:52, achieving that time twice, in 2012 and 2015. Given Berlin’s renowned fast course, Dibaba will be aiming to run another very fast time and challenge the Kenyan duo.
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...more...
Kenyan-born Bahraini Eunice Jepkirui Kirwa, who won silver in the women’s marathon in Rio Olympics was suspended after failing a dope test.
Kirwa has been suspended by the International Association of Athletics Federation’s Athletes Integrity Unit (AIU) after testing positive for Erythropoietin (EPO).
Kirwa, 34, was suspended alongside Indian runner Gomathi Marimuthu, who failed a dope test after winning the Asian 800 metres title last month. She tested positive to prohibited Norandrosterone, a type of anabolic steroid.
Kirwa, who also claimed bronze for Bahrain at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing, China, becomes the second athlete from the Middle East country to get suspended after Ruth Jebet, who also won gold in 3,000m steeplechase at the Rio Olympics.(06/18/2019) ⚡AMP
These were the best performances ever by members of the Athlete Refugee Team.
Lobalu dominated the race, winning by more than a minute in 29:14 ahead of Lokoro, who represented the ART at the 2018 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships, who clocked 30:32. Four of the first five finishers were members of the Athlete Refugee Team who train at the Tegla Loroupe Training Camp For Refugee Athletes in Ngong, Kenya.
"I am very happy to have won," said Lokinyomo, who covered the opening five kilometres in 14:20, by then already running alone. "I am going back to even more intense training when I return to Kenya."
Lokinyomo, 20, showed signs of solid form soon after the new year when he finished 8th at at Athletics Kenya Cross Country Series meeting in Kisii on 12 January. He was to race at a 5km in Monaco on 17 February and at the IAAF World Cross County Championships Aarhus 2019 on 30 March but was denied a visa on both occasions.
He's now targeting a spot on the Athlete Refugee Team for October's World Championships in Doha in the 10,000m where selection will be based on performances set this year.
Swiss runner Morgan Le Guen was third with refugee athletes Simon Ayong and Pur Biel rounding out the top five, clocking 30:53 and 31:37, respectively. Biel was a teammate of Lokoro's at the Rio Olympics.
Founded in 2015, the Tegla Loroupe Training Camp For Refugee Athletes is supported by the United Nation High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the IAAF and other organisations.
The team’s victory was celebrated at the finish line by thousands of spectators, including Rossella Pagliuchi, UNHCR UK's representative and Sukru Cansizoglu, Head of UNHCR programs in Kakuma, Kenya.
On Sunday, Gatkuoth Puok competed in the event’s half marathon, finishing 83rd in 1:21:37 despite suffering a severe stitch after the seventh kilometer.(05/14/2019) ⚡AMP
The Harmony Geneva Marathon for Unicef is arguably one of the most picturesque city marathons in Europe and unquestionably one of the fastest. The course takes in the countryside nestled between mountains and the shore of Lake Geneva before finishing in the heart of the city in front of the famous Jet d’Eau. The 15th edition of the Harmony Geneva...more...
Three years ago, and prior to giving birth to a baby boy, Tirfi Tsegaye was ranked amongst the world’s greatest marathoners with some incredible performances. Now, after gradually returning to training, the Ethiopian Olympic runner makes her first start at the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon, May 26th since the arrival of young Tilember Miresa.
Tsegaye, 34, ran the world-leading time of 2:19:41 in January 2016 in Dubai – her personal best time – then three months later finished 2nd in the Boston Marathon. At the Rio Olympics, she missed the podium by 17 seconds finishing 4th in 2:24:47. It was quite a year, indeed.
As if these credentials aren’t impressive enough, consider she also won the both the Tokyo and Berlin Marathons in 2014 and finished 3rd in London. Few athletes have made the podium in one World Marathon Major let alone four.
“Training is going good,” Tsegaye says from her home in Addis Ababa. “But, I’m not like how I was before. It’s been a little different for me coming back but still training. I’ve missed it a lot. I’ve even missed the training more than the actual competitions. I’m pretty excited about the Ottawa marathon.”
Under coach Gemedu Dedefo she has slowly regained her form and counts such stalwarts as Shure Demise, a two-time Toronto winner, and Alia Mohammed, 2018 Ottawa 10k champion amongst her training partners.
During her maternity leave, she split with her husband and is combining motherhood and marathon training, which would cause concern but for the fact she is such a disciplined and highly experienced athlete.
“It’s tough but I manage,” she admits. “I have a nanny and she helps me out with the baby and other errands. When I come back from training I get exhausted, so, it’s really nice to have some help around the house.
“Pregnancy takes a lot from you and the time I had off was really therapeutic. I feel like I’ve recovered enough for now.”
Tirfi grew up in the town of Bekoji, 220 kilometres south of the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa. Bekoji was immortalized in a documentary “Town of Runners” as an unusually large number of Olympic champions have ‘graduated’ from the training of local coach Sentayehu Eshetu. These include Kenenisa Bekele, Tirunesh Dibaba and Derartu Tulu.
“Growing up in Bekoji was an inspiration in itself,” she admits. “Tulu was a major inspiration for me since we were one of the same. My coach was Sentayehu Eshetu at the time when I was in Bekoji. I moved to Addis in 2008.”
“Yeah, Derartu, Haile (Gebrselassie), Kenenisa and others have inspired me to try and push myself and be my best. I fell in love with their work and dedication when I saw them on television.”
As her impressive curriculum vitae suggests, Tirfi places high expectations upon herself even for this comeback race. Although predicting marathon performances is a difficult proposition at the best of times, it is unlikely she, or coach Gemedu, would confirm her entry unless she was going to be ready. Still, there is that element of the unknown.
Her Italian manager, Gianni DeMadonna, has made her aware that the course record of 2:22:17 was set by her compatriot Gelete Burka last year but for the moment that is secondary to having a successful return. Victory would bring her $30,000 CDN and the course record is worth an additional $10,000 CDN. That is also a significant factor.
“Ottawa is a big deal for me now because I need to get back to my winning form,” she stresses. “I have big expectations for Ottawa and I will try and do my level best.
“I figure it’s going to be a little hard for me to beat the record set by Gelete last year. But, I think if I try my best I believe that it is beatable. I’m not familiar with the course or the climate. And I have not yet talked with any other athletes about the Ottawa race. But, soon I hope.”
Should she cross the finish line first she would be the tenth consecutive Ethiopian woman to emerge triumphant in this IAAF Gold Label race. There are, without a doubt, plenty of resources then for her to approach when it comes time to seeking advice on how to run the Ottawa course.(05/09/2019) ⚡AMP
Welcome to Canada’s largest and fastest marathon: the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon. As one of two IAAF Gold Label marathon events in Canada, the race attracts Canada’s largest marathon field (7,000 participants) as well as a world-class contingent of elite athletes every year. Featuring the beautiful scenery of Canada’s capital, the top-notch organization of an IAAF event, the atmosphere of...more...
With her sights set on a return to London in a month, Elmira native Molly Huddle opened the outdoor track season with a runner-up finish in the 10,000 meters Friday night at the Stanford Invitational in Palo Alto, California.
Huddle, 34, posted a time of 30 minutes, 58.46 seconds at Stanford's Cobb Track and Angell Field. Emily Sisson won in 30:49.59. Sisson's time was the sixth-fastest ever for an American woman, with only Huddle and Shalane Flanagan having run quicker times.
Huddle's time was good enough to top the standard of 31:25 for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, though she would still need to qualify for Tokyo at next year's U.S. Trials. Huddle set the still-standing American record in the 10,000 at the 2016 Rio Olympics with a sixth-place time of 30:13.17.
After the meet, Huddle credited Sisson with helping to push her to a sub 31-minute race.
The meet included both professional and college runners. Allie Ostrander of Boise State took third in 32:06 in the 10K invitational race behind Sisson and Huddle.
Huddle is tuning up to compete in the London Marathon on April 28. It will be the fourth career marathon for Huddle, who finished fourth at the New York City Marathon in November after placing third in her marathon debut there in 2016. She ran the Boston Marathon last year. Sisson, who is Huddle's training parter, will make her marathon debut at London(04/23/2019) ⚡AMP
The London Marathon was first run on March 29, 1981 and has been held in the spring of every year since 2010. It is sponsored by Virgin Money and was founded by the former Olympic champion and journalist Chris Brasher and Welsh athlete John Disley. It is organized by Hugh Brasher (son of Chris) as Race Director and Nick Bitel...more...
Japan's 39-year-old Suehiro Ishikawa, 2016 Rio Olympics marathoner announced that he will retire from competition at the end of the month.
At the time of the Rio Olympics Ishikawa was 36 years and 11 months old, surpassing 1996 Atlanta Olympics marathoner Hiromi Taniguchi's record of 36 years and 3 months to become Japan's oldest-ever Olympic marathoner. He finished 36th.
"Since I started running high school it's been 24 years," said Ishikawa at the press conference. "I've been with Honda for 17 years, and I made it all the way to the top, the Olympics. I'm glad that I've kept going this long.
Ishikawa ran the Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon on March 10 but dropped out after only 10 km. It will be his last race of his career.
"It was the first time in my career that I'd ever DNFd, and I thought, 'OK, this is where it ends,'" said Ishikawa. Shortly after the race he made the decision to retire.
Beginning in April he will become an assistant coach with the Honda team.(03/22/2019) ⚡AMP
The Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon held in Otsu, Shiga, is one of the prominent Japanese marathon races of the year. It is a male-only competition and has IAAF Gold Label status. It was first held in 1946 and, having taken place every year since then, it is Japan's oldest annual marathon race. The early editions of the race were held...more...
On Jan. 29 it was learned that final discussions are underway for staging some track and field individual event finals at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics during morning sessions. Road events such as the men's and women's marathons and race walks are already scheduled to be held in the morning in order to deal with the expected hot conditions, but an additional seven or eight individual events are now also likely to see their finals held at the New National Stadium during the morning Japan time.
According to a source involved in the talks, the plan is under discussion by the IOC and IAAF. As will be the case with swimming, the morning sessions will allow an American television network that has paid large sums for broadcast rights to the IOC to show the events during primetime in the United States. A Japanese official involved in the situation commented, "We expect to see a good balance struck between jumps, throws and track." Events with competitive American athletes such as the triple jump and shot put are likely candidates.
If preliminary rounds are uniformly held during morning sessions and finals during afternoon sessions there is bound to be a difference in attendance and viewership between the two. In terms of the planned 68,000-seat capacity of the New National Stadium, for Japan as well there are merits to holding some morning finals. There was also precedent at the 2016 Rio Olympics, where events including the women's 10000 m had finals held during the morning.
High-profile events such as the men's 4x100 m relay and 4x400 m relay are planned for afternoon sessions as usual. "We will be watching the outcome of the talks between the IOC and IAAF closely," said the source.(02/02/2019) ⚡AMP
Chepkirui will return to Osaka after she posted a slow time back in 2015 when she was placed in position 14, clocking 2:41:47.
She has since evolved and will be the athlete to beat having improved her best time to 2:24:19 from her Prague victory.
"It is a crucial year to me because we have the World Championships. I will run in Osaka and probable defend my title in Prague in May. But the target is to get to the Kenya team and compete at the Doha World Championships in Qatar in October," said Chepkirui.
Kenya's Eunice Jeptoo will also be back in the run after failing to finish this race in last year's contest.
The 36-year-old took more than six minutes off her best time to win the recent Eindhoven Marathon in 2:26:13. However, the two Kenyans should not expect a walk in the park.
They will be up against Ethiopian Sutume Asefa Kebede, who has the best recent time among the internationals in the field with a 2:24:00 in Dubai 2016.
Three other Africans are positioned at the 2:26 to 2:27 level, perfect to help pace the Japanese women along to marathon qualification marks.
Japan are using the race as part of its trials and qualifier for the 2020 Olympic Games. Absent are last year's debut winner Mizuki Matsuda but there will be the 2016 winner Kayoko Fukushi, who will be running her first marathon since the Rio Olympics.
There is also the duo of Tomomi Tanaka and Rei Ohara, who went head-to-end until the final meters of the 2016 Nagoya Women's Marathon.
Ohara is already in for trials for Japan's Olympic team while China will have HE Yinli, who holds a fast time of 2:30:26 from the 2017 race in Wuxi.(01/26/2019) ⚡AMP
The Osaka International Ladies Marathon is an annual marathon road race for women over the classic distance of 42.195 kilometres which is held on the 4th or 5th Sunday of January in the city of Osaka, Japan, and hosted by Japan Association of Athletics Federations, Kansai Telecasting Corporation, the Sankei Shimbun, Sankei Sports, Radio Osaka and Osaka City. The first...more...
The 29-year-old Olympian plans to take part in the Tokyo Marathon on March 3 in an attempt to qualify for the quadrennial meet that will be held in Tokyo, Japan next year.
This year will be a busy one for Cebu’s Mary Joy Tabal will be an understatement as she will be eyeing the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and will compete in the Southeast Asian Games.
“It’s still an initial plan since there has been no release yet of the IAAF Olympic qualifying time for the marathon,” Tabal told SunStar Cebu. “But that’s one of the races we are looking at.”
Tabal of Motor Ace Kawasaki Racing Team made it to the 2016 Rio Olympics by clocking 2 hours, 43 minutes and 32 seconds in a qualifying race in Canada. The qualifying time for female marathoners in the 2016 Olympics was 2:45.
“The Tokyo Marathon is part of the plan to be our first race then the Ottawa Marathon in May before I start my preparation for the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games,” she said.
The Ottawa Marathon is the same race where Tabal got the Rio Olympics qualifying time.
For the SEA Games, Tabal is looking to defend her crown in the 42-kilometer race, especially since the country will host the 30th edition of the biennial regional meet on Nov. 30 to Dec. 11.
“It’s a different feel when you compete in your hometown. That makes the 2019 SEA Games exciting for us,” Tabal earlier said.(01/05/2019) ⚡AMP
After spending five years in politics, the 2012 Boston marathon champion Wesley Korir is now fully concentrating on his athletics career with reclaiming the Boston title his major focus in 2019.
The 36-year-old served in the National Assembly as a Member of Parliament of Cherangany from 2013-2017 and had a quiet stint in the sport after politics took the better part of his time thus failing to replicate his earlier form.
Prior to joining politics, Korir had won back- to-back titles at the Los Angeles Marathon in 2009 and 2010 before finishing as the runners up at the 2011 Chicago Marathon and thereafter winning the Boston Marathon a year later.
Although he made it to Team Kenya in the 2016 Rio Olympics, Korir failed to finish the race after the mix up in the drinks saw him develop stomach upsets and subsequently dropped out at the 30km mark.
Apart from his young family, Korir dedicates much of his time managing his Transcend Running Academy.
The academy aims at unlocking the potentials of young talents in athletics, with youngsters between the ages of 14-16 the major target.
After his 2012 Boston win, Korir has failed to make it to the podium in three years he returned, finishing fifth in 2013 and 2015 before settling for the fourth position in 2016.
Having competed at the Beirut Marathon last November, Korir is now aiming to make a comeback at the Boston this time round with the aim of reclaiming the victory.
Although the veteran athlete finished the Lebanon race seventh in a time of 2:14.17, he is upbeat of improving on the performance more so after shaking off a long term injury.
“I have been fighting with injuries since I left Parliament and so I was going to Beirut to test my recovery and I am happy that I am fully fit now. I am now looking forward to participating in a couple of races in 2019 with my main target being the Boston Marathon,” said Korir.(01/02/2019) ⚡AMP
2016 winner Kayoko Fukushi, who will be running her first marathon since the Rio Olympics, and the duo of Tomomi Tanaka and Rei Ohara, who went head-to-end until the final meters of the 2016 Nagoya Women's Marathon are running too.
Ohara is already in for the MGC Race (Marathon Grand Championship), but the rest of the home crowd will have to be under 2:28:00 if among the top three Japanese women and under 2:27:00 if in the next three.
Hanae Tanaka has a slightly easier route, only needing to clear 2:28:20 to get in via the two-race sub-2:28:00 average the same way Ohara did in Berlin this year. With only eight women qualified so far versus twenty-one men hopes are high for a few more to join the list and bring the women's numbers up at least half the men's. Highest potential among the first-timers is Natsuki Omori, a team mate of last year's winner Matsuda.
Ethiopian Sutume Asefa Kebede has the best relatively recent time among the internationals in the field with a 2:24:00 in Dubai 2016, but the probably favorite to push the front end of the race is 2018 Prague Marathon winner Bornes Chepkirui of Kenya with a 2:24:19 best from her Prague victory. Three other Africans are positioned at the 2:26 to 2:27 level, perfect to help pace the Japanese women along to MGC marks. Look for more coverage closer to race date.(12/20/2018) ⚡AMP
The King of The Marathon Part Two: an inside look into the life of Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge. He began his move into road running in 2012 when he clocked 59:25 for the half marathon. In 2013 Eliud ran his first marathon when he won the Hamburg Marathon clocking 2:05:30, setting a new course record.
In 2016 he won the gold medal in the marathon at the Rio Olympics. He has won 10 out of the 11 marathons he has run. Wilson Kipsang beat him in 2013 in Berlin when setting the world record.
We Eliud trains in Eldoret, the home of Champions. His humbleness is seen when training with athletes. Eliud keeps a low-profile and even does house chores in camp like washing toilets, utensils, cutting grass and cleaning the dining hall. He uses public buses or bodaboda to travel despite having good cars.
He has earned a lot of prize, bonus and sponsorship money from running especially since he moved to the road. However, money hasn't changed his character. He says, "An athlete with 50 million Kenyan shillings ($500,000US) in his bank account can brag, but a farmer who uses the same amount to plant wheat is not even noticed as he walks around town."
Eliud loves the simple life and when he travels he arrives without many people realizing it. He loves his Nike shoes and is comfortable with NN running and with his mentor and neighbor Patrick Sang. During the Nike project, he almost broke the two hour mark clocking 2:00:23 for the full Marathon. Yes, the conditions were perfect and he was paced like in a time trial but his body ran the distance.
He puts in a lot of hardwork, discipline and good training. He also eats a healthy diet. Before he lined up to run the Berlin Marathon this was the kind of workouts he was doing. 8x1600 (recovery 1:30) + 10x400m (recovery 45 seconds) in Eldoret altitude 2200m (7200 feet) above sea level. His 1600m times were: 4:35, 4:33, 4:32, 4:34, 4:33, 4:32, 4:33, 4:33. His 400m times were: 62, 63, 63, 62, 62, 62, 61, 62, 61, 60.
He always does speedwork on the track wearing racing shoes with other fast athletes like Kamworor, Brimin kipruto and Conselsius. "You can't train alone because you need others to push you higher to reach your best limit," Kipchoge told me last month at Kabarak university. No marathoner has been more dominant in the marathon than Kipchoge.
The 5'6" 115 pound Eliud has never sustained a serious injury because he listens to his body and eats a healthy diet. Even the greatest runners have days when they have a strained muscle or an upset stomach kept them from winning but not Kipchoge.
He actually has a winning formula: Motivation plus disipline equals consistency. Pain, he says, is nothing more than a mind set so he distracts himself with other thoughts such as the joy of running and the finish line ahead, then the pain fades with a smile on his face. He has a habit of smiling whenever pain sets in.
Tomorrow in part three of this series we look closer at Eliud’s healthy diet and at the day he broke the world Marathon record. We talk about the prize money and how Eliud wants to help others.(09/21/2018) ⚡AMP
“No conflict of interest as far as I'm concerned,” says Carla van Kampen in response to Nike naming a building in Seb Coe’s name. “Coe was one of the greatest runners of all time (800/1500),” Carla continued.
“If Coe shows any favoritism towards Nike in the future, well then that's something else. I met Coe a couple of years ago while he was in Rome for the World Race Walking Championships before the Rio Olympics, and he was a class act, so engaged and friendly.”
Bob Anderson, the founder and publisher of Runner’s World for 18 years (1966-1984) and now MBR answered, “I agree, Lord Seb Coe is a class act. But if he needs to make some decisions on matters that does not favor Nike, he needs to be able to do this without Nike retaliating.
"Many years ago when we published that, at the time, Brooks made a better shoe in our shoe issue, Nike retaliated by not attacking RW (since everyone loved our magazine) but Nike attacked me.
"They sent out a press release to all their dealers questioning my integrity and then pulled out one million dollars of advertising.
"They were our largest advertiser but we published the shoe ranking results in the order as our Penn State lab presented them to us. (Nike's action caused the FTC to do an investigation. After a year or so they announced no company was favored unfairly.) What is important now is that the IAAF runs our sport not Nike. However, Nike’s support (just like their support of RW from 1966 to 1980) is very valuable to our sport. It is a fine line.” Bob says.(03/14/2018) ⚡AMP