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Joshua Cheptegei and Jacob Kiplimo lead Ugandan team for World Athletics Half Marathon Championships Gdynia 2020

World 10,000m champion Joshua Cheptegei and world 3000m leader Jacob Kiplimo are among the athletes selected to represent Uganda at the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships Gdynia 2020 on 17 October.

Cheptegei, the world cross-country champion, broke the world 5000m record at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Monaco last month with 12:35.36 and is targeting a tilt on the 10,000m mark on 7 October before heading to Poland.

Kiplimo, meanwhile, won the 5000m at the World Athletics Continental Tour meeting in Ostrava with a PB of 12:48.63 and then went on to triumph over 3000m at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Rome in a world-leading 7:26.64, breaking the Ugandan record and becoming the fastest teenager in history for the distance.

Given their exploits on the track in recent months, Cheptegei and Kiplimo will be among the medal favourites when they take to the startline in Gdynia – despite the fact that both men will be making their half marathon debut.

They are joined on the team by 2009 world U20 cross-country bronze medallist Moses Kibet, Stephen Kissa and Abel Chebet.

Juliet Chekwel, who holds the Ugandan records for 10,000m (31:37.99), half marathon (1:09:45) and the marathon (2:23:13), leads the women’s team.

Doreen Chemutai, Doreen Chesang, Rachael Zena Chebet make up the rest of the Ugandan women’s roster.

Ugandan team for Gdynia

Men: Abel Chebet, Joshua Cheptegei, Moses Kibet, Jacob Kiplimo, Stephen Kissa

Women: Juliet Chekwel, Doreen Chemutai, Doreen Chesang, Rachael Zena Chebet

(09/21/2020) Views: 60 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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World Half Marathon Championships

World Half Marathon Championships

The next World Half Marathon Championships will be held in Gdynia, Poland. It was scheduled for March 29, 2020 but was postponded until Oct 17, 2021 due to the Coronavirus. The first one was first held in 1992. The collaboration with the world half marathon championships allows the Trinidad Alfonso Foundation to continue its strategy of supporting sports events...

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Stop Counting Your Running Mileage

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(08/31/2020) Views: 384 ⚡AMP
by Outside Online
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celebrities who love running

We runners love to find people in our gang. Whether it's swapping training plan advice or stalking Strava stats, our running pals are some of our best. But sometimes, we find inspiration in unlikely places - the celebs we follow on Instagram to start.

We've already rounded up these celebrities you didn't know were marathon runners, but of course, you don't need to run a marathon to be a runner, so we've found this list of celebs who have spoken about their love of putting one foot in front of another.

Meghan Markle Speaking to Shape years before becoming a royal, Meghan explained that she gets a lot more from running than just the fitness side of it. 'I love running but i think you have to find a work out routine that really speaks to you beyond trying to get goals for your body. For me, running, I need it as much for my head and to clear my head as I d for keeping in shape.'

Ellie Goulding The 'Starry Eyes' singer has often spoken about her love of running in interviews, recently sharing her 'run for heroes' 5K time of 23 minutes! Goulding completed the Royal Parks Half Marathon in 2014, finishing with a time of 1 hour 41 minutes.

Bear Grylls-The Man vs. Wild host had to run as part of his military training, and after taking a short break after he got out, he started up again to get in shape for TV.

'Now I really enjoy running,' he told Runner’s World. 'We live in a pretty hilly area in North Wales, and I run three times a week for about 40 minutes as part of my training.'

Jennifer Aniston The Friend's star is known to mix up her workouts to stay in shape. Aniston has been spotted out running over the years, but her trainer told Women's Health she also loves spin classes and boxing for cardio.

Jennifer Lawrence Jennifer Lawrence is said to incorporate running into her Hunger Games training, however in an interview in 2012, she admitted she was worried about people critiquing her running style. 'I’m most nervous about everybody making fun of the way I run' Lawrence said, 'I do, like, karate hands. Instead of running with my hands closed together like a normal person. It’s like I’m trying to be aerodynamic or something, so my hands are straight like razors'.

Mark Zuckerberg In 2016, the Facebook founder did a 'year of running challenge', where he attempted to run 365 miles in a year to encourage other Facebook members to get moving. Zuckerberg finished the challenge five months early.

Kate Middleton The Duchess of Cambridge is said to be a runner. In a 2018 interview with Bryony Gordon, the Duchess revealed she would never be allowed to take part in a large event like the London Marathon due to the security risk.

Gordon Ramsay The celebrity chef is a well-known runner, with an impressive marathon PB of 3:30:37.

Eva Longoria In an interview with Health the Desperate Housewives star said, 'I'm a runner, first of all. I run a lot. But I also do SoulCycle, Pilates, yoga. I usually mix it up.

Victoria Beckham Victoria Beckham's workout regime is said to include a daily 5K. Speaking to Vogue Australia, Posh Spice herself said, 'I go for a three mile run every morning and I work out for an hour with a PT, which gives me just enough time to get to the kitchen to puree Romeo's avocados'.

Reese Witherspoon The Big Little Lies star is often spotted on daily jogs with friends and her husband around LA.

Boris Johnson The Prime Minister himself recently spoke about his running regime, saying he has 'lost nearly a stone' running with his dog. The PM is running to lose weight after admitting he was 'too fat' when he caught coronavirus earlier this year.

Chris Evans Radio presenter Chris Evans has completed the London Marathon a total of five times, with a PB of 4:41:06 was in the 2017 race.

Eminem After Eminem got sober, he turned to running, regularly logging 17 miles on the treadmill. 'It gave me a natural endorphin high, but it also helped me sleep, so it was perfect. It’s easy to understand how people replace addiction with exercise,' he told Men’s Journal.

Will Smith On November 18, Will Smith knocked something else off his bucket list: he finished the Havana Half Marathon, also known as the Marabana.

According to the official race results, the actor completed the race—which went through the streets of Cuba’s capital—with a net time of 2:29:04.

Richard Branson Sir Richard Branson ran the London Marathon in 5:02:24 in 2010 and loved it so much he signed up to be lead sponsor the following year.

(08/30/2020) Views: 89 ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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Bashir Abdi and Sir Mo Farah talk about their upcoming one hour world record attempt

When the global implications of COVID-19 were made clear in early March, the UK’s Mo Farah and Belgium’s Bashir Abdi immediately thought about their families. Abdi had just come off of a stellar performance at the Tokyo Marathon – finishing 2nd in a time of 2:04.51 to break his own national record. He then went to Belgium to spend some time with his family but was planning to return to Ethiopia for a training camp in the spring. Farah was still in Ethiopia, training through an injury and looking to find his next race. Deciding to transition back down to the track from the roads meant that he wanted to sharpen his skills a few times in the leadup to the Olympic Games.

Neither, however, had any plans to line up at the beginning of September in an empty stadium in Belgium to break a world record. But since the end of July, the two have been training in Font-Romeu, France, with the goal of breaking Haile Gebrselassie’s one hour record. On September 4, they will be chasing a distance, rather than a time, at the reimagined AG Memorial Van Damme competition.

Months earlier, in highland Ethiopia, Farah was focused on getting into some races. “At that time I wasn’t thinking anything except finding a race to test myself,” he said. “I was supposed to go leave at the end of March but so many countries were going into lockdown and I left quickly to make sure I didn’t get stuck and could get back to the UK to be with my family.”

With his four children at home due to school closures, Farah embraced the time with his family after his safe arrival. It allowed him to recover from his injury and was a welcome distraction to the Olympic Games being cancelled. He even got some of his competitive juices flowing while being a stay-at-home dad, challenging his kids and his wife to competitions like mini-triathlons, and shooting football penalties in a dizzied state.

Abdi was in Belgium but was so sure of his plans to return to Ethiopia in April, that he left many of his belongings in a house the Mudane team rents outside of Addis Ababa. Instead, he trained in the uncertainty in a much colder and damper Belgium, and was able to care for his wife before she gave birth in June. “Cancelling the Olympics was obviously sad to hear, especially after getting so much motivation from the race in Tokyo,” Abdi said. “But the most important thing is health, and it was nice to get to spend more time with my family. It would have been a difficult period welcoming in a new child and training for the Games.”

Even as they both embraced the circumstances and stayed in shape at home, the itch to compete lingered. Thus, as soon as the idea was presented to chase the record, they were in.

While in cycling, the one hour record is an oft-contested event, in running it is far more rare. Although the event has roots dating back to the mid-1800s, it never garnered comparable popularity, despite legends such as Paavo Nurmi, Emil Zatopek, Jos Hermens, and the current record holder, Haile Gebreselassie, owning impressive titles at various points.

To get the record, Farah will have to beat Gebreselassie’s distance of 21,285 meters, which he ran in 2007 at the 46th Golden Spike Grand Prix in Ostrava, Czech Republic. However, Gebreselassie had an important asset on his side, which Farah and Abdi will not: a packed stadium. Because of the pandemic, the event will be closed off to spectators. In the final meters when they are throwing down the hammer, the arena will remain still and silent.

But little phases Farah at this point in his career, whose accomplishments are too long to list. “I’ve been running since I was 12 and over the years you just learn from races what works for you and what doesn’t work for you,” he said. Obviously this is a different style of running, but he plans to employ similar tactics for this attempt. “It’s really first just about getting fit – once I’m fit enough to run under 60 minutes for a half marathon I can build smaller components from there.”

(08/28/2020) Views: 207 ⚡AMP
by Hannah Borenstein
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London Marathon Elite Fields Released, 2020 elite field will be the best in years

Eliud Kipchoge and Kenenisa Bekele face battle from six more sub-2:05 runners in elite men’s race.

World record holder Brigid Kosgei among six sub-2:20 athletes in elite women’s race.

The Virgin Money London Marathon today confirmed the full fields for the historic elite men’s and women’s races on Sunday 4 October.

The elite men’s race – headlined by the greatest marathon runners in history, Eliud Kipchoge (KEN) and Kenenisa Bekele (ETH) – will include eight athletes who have run sub 2:05 marathons, including Mosinet Geremew (ETH) and Mule Wasihun (ETH) who were second and third respectively at the 2019 Virgin Money London Marathon.

Sisay Lemma (ETH), Tamirat Tola (ETH), Marius Kipserem (KEN) and Shura Kitata (ETH) are the other men to have run inside 2:05 while Sondre Nordstad Moen (NOR), who broke the European hour record in Norway earlier this month by running 21.132km, is also included.

The news that World Athletics will lift its suspension of the Olympic qualification system for marathon races from 1 September means there will also be a clutch of athletes racing with the ambition to achieve the Olympic standard of 2:11:30.

Adding yet further superstar quality to the event, the Virgin Money London Marathon can also announce that Sir Mo Farah will be a pacemaker for this group of Olympic hopefuls.

Farah, the four-time Olympic champion, said: “The London Marathon has been so important to me since I was a schoolboy and when they asked me to do this I thought it would be great to help. I am in good shape, I’ll be in London that week and it fits in with my training.

“I’ve been training here in Font Romeu with some of the British guys who are going for that Olympic qualifying time and they are good lads. I know just how special it is just to compete for your country at an Olympic Games and it would be great to help other athletes achieve this. With the current global situation and lack of races, the Virgin Money London Marathon in October is the best chance for athletes to run the Olympic qualifying time.”

Hugh Brasher, Event Director of the Virgin Money London Marathon, said: “This is the greatest Olympian in British track and field history coming to run as a pacemaker to help others achieve their dreams of making the Tokyo Olympic Games. It is a wonderful gesture of togetherness from Sir Mo and I’m sure his presence and support will inspire the athletes chasing that qualifying time on Sunday 4 October.”

At present only two British athletes other than Farah have run inside this time: Callum Hawkins, who has been pre-selected for the Olympic Games marathon, and Jonny Mellor who ran 2:10:03 in Seville in January. Farah himself has opted to run on the track at the Olympic Games.

Mellor is one of a number of British athletes running the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon – The 40th Race – on Sunday 4 October. Other British men joining Mellor on the Start Line are Chris Thompson and debutants Ross Millington and Ben Connor.

Among the leading domestic women confirmed to race are Steph Twell, who ran a personal best (PB) of 2:26:40 in Frankfurt last year to go sixth on the British all-time rankings, and 2018 British marathon champion Lily Partridge.

The elite women’s field is headlined by world record holder Brigid Kosgei (KEN). Confirmed today are five other women who have run inside 2:20: current world champion Ruth Chepngetich (KEN), 2019 Valencia Marathon champion Roza Dereje (ETH), 2018 Virgin Money London Marathon champion Vivian Cheruiyot (KEN), 2019 Frankfurt Marathon winner Valary Jemeli (KEN) and 2019 Amsterdam Marathon champion Degitu Azimeraw (ETH).

Ashete Bekere (ETH), the winner of last year’s BMW Berlin Marathon, Alemu Megertu (ETH), the 2019 Rome Marathon champion, plus Sarah Hall (USA) and Sinead Diver (AUS) are also included in a star-studded race.

(08/21/2020) Views: 197 ⚡AMP
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

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

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Uganda's Joshua Cheptegei now eyes 10,000m record

Freshly minted 5,000 meters world record holder Joshua Cheptegei will be looking to smash the 10,000m world record before the Olympics.

However, the Ugandan, 23,  said it will depend on if organisers of Diamond League races and other major events include the 5,000m and 10,000m races.

Cheptegei, who is also the World Cross Country Championships 10km champion, shattered Ethiopian legend Kenenisa Bekele’s 16-year-old world 5,000m record on Friday last week, setting a new time of 12 minutes and 35.36 seconds during the Diamond League leg in Monaco.

“I would like to improve my 5,000m world record as well as take a shot at the 10,000m world record. I’m in good shape. Let’s hope more long distance events on the track will be organized,” he said.

Bekele, who has since moved to road running, holds the 10,000m world record, having broken it twice - the first time on June 8, 2004 (26:20.31) in Ostrava, Czech Republic and on August 26, 2005 (26:17.53) in Brussels, Belgium.

Cheptegei is alive to the fact that staying healthy is key during the Covid-19 pandemic. “It’s hard to predict the future since it’s in God’s hands. The best you can do is to strive to remain healthy,”  he said.

The 10,000m race had not been held as a Diamond League event for over five years and World Athletics (WA) scrapped the competition entirely from the Diamond League alongside 5,000m and 3,000m steeplechase last year. The longest track race is 3,000m but events that will accommodate 5,000m and 10,000m won’t have them featured on prime time.

Only four events have been lined up in this year’s Diamond League series that have been delayed with some events being scrapped owing to Covid-19.

The next events are in Stockholm, Sweden on August 23; Rome, Italy on September 18 and Doha on September 25.

(08/20/2020) Views: 98 ⚡AMP
by Ayumba Ayodi
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First american trio Cory McGee, Dani Jones and Emma Coburn, to run sub 4:24 in the same race at Indiana Mile

Cory McGee, Dani Jones and Emma Coburn took advantage of racing at sea level for the first time outdoors this year and achieved history by becoming the first American trio to all run under 4 minutes, 24 seconds in the same race Saturday at the Team Boss Indiana Mile at Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion.

McGee, a New Balance professional, surged with 250 meters remaining and never relinquished control, clocking a lifetime-best 4:21.81 to elevate to the No. 8 all-time American outdoor performer.

Jones (4:23.33), a first-year professional, and Coburn (4:23.65), also a New Balance athlete, achieved significant personal bests to ascend to the Nos. 10 and 11 outdoor performers in U.S. history.

Tripp Hurt won the men’s mile in a world-leading 3:56.18, just off his 3:56.02 lifetime best, with Nick Harris running a personal-best 3:57.11 and Mason Ferlic achieving a sub-4 clocking for the first time in his career to place third in 3:58.87.

McGee also achieved a 1,500-meter personal best en route of 4:03.82 to run the fastest female mile time ever on Indiana soil. Jones also ran 4:05 to lower her 1,500 personal best as well.

Canadian talent Nicole Sifuentes clocked 4:30.50 in the mile on the oversized indoor track at Notre Dame in 2016, to move just ahead of Suzy Favor Hamilton’s 4:30.64 on a standard 200-meter indoor banked track from 1989 in Indianapolis.

But thanks to the aggressive pacing of South African Dom Scott Efurd, an adidas professional who brought the group through 440 yards at 1:03.2 and the midway point in 2:10.08, all of her teammates benefited to post the top three outdoor marks in the world this year.

Coburn, who ran 4:32.72 at 4,583 feet elevation June 27 to win the Team Boss Colorado Mile at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, held the advantage with one lap remaining Saturday at 3:16.30, followed closely by McGee (3:16.56) and Jones (3:16.85).

On four previous occasions, a pair of Americans had both run under 4:24 in the same mile race, but never a trio of athletes. The most recent occurrence came at the 2018 Muller Anniversary Games, the annual London Diamond League Meeting, with Jenny Simpson placing fourth in 4:17.30 and Kate Grace taking eighth in 4:20.70 behind winner and Dutch star Sifan Hassan in 4:14.71.

Grace and Shannon Rowbury were the only tandem to achieve the feat indoors at the 2017 Wanamaker Mile at the NYRR Millrose Games, finishing second and third behind World 1,500-meter gold medalist Hassan.

The other two races where two Americans have run under 4:24 outdoors occurred at the 2015 Diamond League final in Belgium – with Rowbury and Simpson taking third and fourth behind Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon and Hassan – along with the 1998 Goodwill Games in New York, where Regina Jacobs and Favor Hamilton took second and third behind Ireland’s Sonia O’Sullivan.

The last country to achieve the feat of three athletes running sub-4:24 in the same mile race was Ethiopia, which had Gudaf Tsegay (4:18.31), Axumawit Embaye (4:18.58) and Alemaz Samuel (4:23.35) at last year’s Diamond League Meeting in Monaco.

Russia at the 1993 Golden Gala in Rome and Great Britain at the 2017 Muller Anniversary Games in London are the only other countries to accomplish the sub-4:24 trifecta in the same race.

Australian talent Morgan McDonald paced the men’s race through 440 yards in 58.9 and the midway point in 1:58.87. He brought his teammates through 1,000 meters at 2:28, before moving out wide to give way to Hurt just before the bell lap at 2:57.25.

Harris surged with 300 meters remaining to take a brief lead, but Hurt responded to regain the advantage with 200 left, as the athletes achieved the top two outdoor times in the world this year, with Ferlic elevating to the No. 4 global performer.

The fastest men’s mile time on Indiana soil remains a 3:54.48 from Irish star Marcus O’Sullivan in Indianapolis in 1993.

 

(07/27/2020) Views: 155 ⚡AMP
by Mile Split
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Tick Check: A Guide for Running in Tick Country

Growing up, my dad wouldn’t let us bring our shoes inside during the spring and summer. It wasn’t because of how terrible they smelled, but rather because they had hitchhikers lurking! I grew up in Northern Wisconsin, as the daughter of two physicians, and in a hot bed for a variety of ticks. Along with shoes that never came in the house, “tick checks” were not just lyrics in a country song, they were a real thing.

For much of my life, ticks have been a problem in certain areas of North America, Europe, and Asia. Because of their regional geographic limitations, ticks were a vector for diseases that many did not have to worry about. However, as the climate warms, not only does tick population control in their traditional regions become increasingly difficult but they are also finding new habitats to thrive in.

What do we know about these creepy crawlies, what should we be on the lookout for, and what should you do for your own health and safety when running in tick country?

Tiny Vector, Big Problem

What’s a vector? A vector is an organism that can transmit a disease or parasite from one animal or plant to another. Along with ticks, other biting insects such as mosquitoes are excellent vectors. Not all ticks are actively carrying infectious pathogens that they can pass onto you, but when they are, they are capable of causing a wide range of viral and bacterial diseases.

Most ticks belong to one of two families, Ixodidae the hard ticks or Argasidae the soft ticks. Of the 950-plus species of ticks found throughout the world, only about 60 species are known to bite and transmit diseases to humans (1).

That brings up an interesting point. If only 60 species are disease-spreading vectors in humans, then what else do they do and are they good for something? They seem to have two important roles for the ecosystem more broadly. First, they are an important food source for reptiles, amphibians, and bird. And second, through being a disease vector in animals like deer, rabbits, and mice, they help control wildlife populations (9). Ticks can also be used as an ecosystem indicator, meaning that researchers monitor tick populations and their predators to get a sense of the general health and wellbeing of the ecosystem from a diversity perspective.

For the purpose of this article–and knowing that that this shouldn’t take more than one cup of coffee to read–let’s focus on the few most common types of ticks and the specific diseases they carry. In North American those are the blacklegged tick (also known as the deer tick), the lone star tick, and the American dog tick (also known as a wood tick) (3). Ticks are not a uniquely North American problem. The European relative to the blacklegged tick is the castor bean tick (sometimes called the sheep tick). Similar to the blacklegged tick, the castor bean tick is the leading cause of Lyme disease in Europe. In Asia, the longhorned tick is known to carry similar strains of bacteria found in blacklegged and lone star ticks (4). Ah, creepy crawlies!

Where Do These Critters Live?

I grew up in one of the hot beds for ticks in the Upper Midwest of the U.S., but over the past 30 years the real estate for ticks has grown exponentially. A warming climate has made winter survival and migratory animal hosts more plentiful, allowing ticks to travel into previously tick-void regions, and we as humans overlap more and more in the spaces (natural grass and woodlands) where those animals and their hitchhikers reside (5).

What that means is that tick populations are now fairly widespread, particularly over the U.S.’s Northeast, Midwest, South, and throughout the Rocky Mountains. There is a growing tick population (of western blacklegged ticks) in the Pacific Northwest. Curiously enough, one of their main and preferred hosts, is the western fence lizard which carries a specific protein in their blood that neutralizes the bacteria that is responsible for Lyme disease. Essentially, after feeding on this lizard, the tick becomes “cured” of its Lyme disease and so cannot spread it when it meets its next host. So cool!

How Do Ticks Spread Disease?

Most species of ticks live on a two to three-year life cycle that passes through four distinct life stages: egg, larva, nymph–baby ticks, how cute!–and adult. Even at the larva stage, ticks must have a blood meal in order to survive. Although ticks cannot fly or jump, they can detect a potential host by smell, body heat, moisture, vibrations, and even shadows (3). Once on a host, ticks transmit pathogens–generally bacteria–through the process of feeding. Depending on the tick, feeding can last as little as 10 minutes and as much as two hours, after this blood meal–maybe the creepiest thing I have ever typed–the tick will drop off the host to prepare for its next life stage where it will then transmit any acquired disease to its new host. When a tick bites you, it may secrete saliva that has an anesthetic property, numbing you to its presence. Unfortunately that saliva may also contain any pathogen the tick is infected with that it then transmits to you.

The most common tick-borne diseases in the U.S. are Lyme disease, ehrilichiosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tick-borne relapsing fever, and babesiosis. In Europe, the castor bean tick is responsible for two tick-borne diseases, Lyme disease and tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) (7). TBE is a viral infection that affects the central nervous system, encephalitis means inflammation of the brain, and can be fatal if left untreated. In Asia (and Russia), the taiga tick is known to be a vector for TBE. Finally, the most common tick-borne diseases in Asia (carried by the longhorned tick) include Lyme disease, TBE, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, and a disease known as severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (8).

If left untreated, Lyme disease seems to include a long list of varying secondary symptoms and conditions such as cardiac problems (Lyme carditis), arthritis, severe joint swelling, and facial paralysis or weakness on one side of face. Interestingly, and not a common trait among tick bites, is that some people bitten by the lone star tick will develop an allergy to red meat called Alpha-gal syndrome (6). Most of these tick-borne diseases (aside from babesiosis which is a parasitic infection and requires treatment with antiparasitic drugs and TBE which is a viral infection and has no effective treatment but does have a vaccine in countries where it is endemic) can be treated with a course of antibiotics. Several different antibiotics are effective but deciding the right antibiotic for you (that takes into account your age, gender, other medical conditions, allergies, sun exposure, and more) is an important decision for your physician and care team.

How to Protect Yourself From Hitchhiking Ticks

So, should you never leave your house again? That’s definitely not my suggestion, but there are some things you can do to limit your risk of being bitten by one of these little guys and what to do in case it does happen.

Know Before You Go. Find out what kind of ticks are prevalent in the area in which you will be running. Know that they love tall grass, bushes, and overhanging foliage as a way to meet their new host, so use care to avoid these areas when possible.

Cover Up. Although not always easy when running, consider clothing garments that make identifying ticks easier and that serve as a protective barrier from your skin. This includes tall socks, long sleeves, and light-colored gear.

Add Repellent. If you are running or racing in a high-tick environment, use a tick repellent on your skin and clothing (containing about 20% DEET). Consider pre-treating your clothes with the repellent permethrin for an extended backpacking or camping trip in tick country.

Do a Tick Check. Once inside after your run, examine your gear, pets (ticks love dogs!), and clothing for any hitchhikers. Leave your shoes outside and tumble dry your clothes in the dryer on high for 10 minutes to kill any ticks that have made the journey onto them. Shower as soon as you can to help remove unattached ticks. Finally, perform a standard tick check in high-risk areas such as under the arms, in and around the ears, on the backs of the knees, throughout your scalp and hairline, between your legs, and around your waist.

But What If It’s Attached? If you find a tick that has managed to burrow, you want to remove it, in its entirety, as soon as possible. Using fine-tipped tweezers, pinch the tick as closely to your skin as you can and pull upward with steady pressure. Next, clean the bite area with soap and water. Dispose of the tick by flushing it down the toilet, or you can put it in a jar of rubbing alcohol (my dad’s favorite method). Watch for symptoms of tick-borne disease for the next 30 days, and contact your primary-care provider if you experience a rash, fever, headache, muscle pain, fatigue, or joint pain and swelling.

(07/26/2020) Views: 130 ⚡AMP
by I Run Far
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Is Reducing Inflammation Really the Best Way to Treat Running Injuries?

What is the role of inflammation in running injuries?

For a long time, inflammation has been identified as the main culprit for pain resulting from running injuries.

The inflammatory theory of running injuries asserts that, following minor damage from overuse to a muscle, tendon, or connective tissue, the body attacks the injured area with a rush of inflammatory cells which results in the pain, stiffness, and soreness at the injured site.

This inflammation has a detrimental effect on healing because the swelling and inflammation can cause secondary damage to the already-injured area.

To combat this, many treatments that have become mainstays of physical therapy offices and athletic training rooms are designed around reducing inflammation. This includes ice, anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen, and compressive wraps.

But is this inflammatory model valid?

By definition, inflammation has features that are observable both on the macroscopic level of sensations in your body (like pain, redness, swelling—things a doctor would call “clinical features”), and on the microscopic level of the inner workings of your cells—this consists mainly of special inflammatory cells which flood an inflamed area and mediate your body’s response to the injury.

If the cause of the pain or irritation at the site of an injury truly is inflammatory in nature, both the macroscopic and microscopic signs should be evident – but microscopic signs aren’t easily detectable.

Sensations like pain, redness, and swelling are easy to observe, but you need to actually look at tissue under a microscope or with high-tech biology equipment to see the cellular markers of inflammation.

As you might guess, runners and other athletes with mild or moderate overuse injuries aren’t too keen on letting researchers put a slice of their Achilles tendon or plantar fascia under a microscope in the name of science.

Partly because of the difficulty of observing the cellular signs of inflammation, the inflammatory theory of running injuries has been popular for quite a while. Problems with it have arisen only recently, as doctors and researchers have begun to thoroughly investigate the root causes of overuse injuries.

Treatments and rehabilitation vs inflammatory model

Using tissue samples taken from patients with chronic tendon or plantar fascia injuries who undergo surgery (and are hence being sliced open anyhow), recent studies have demonstrated a lack of inflammatory markers at the cellular level. Instead, what they observe in injured tissue under a microscope is profound damage and degeneration in the microscopic structure of the tissue.

Other research has highlighted the relatively poor track record of anti-inflammatory treatments like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and corticosteroid injections. And the most promising emerging treatments for soft-tissue overuse injuries don’t appear to address inflammation at all.

The eccentric heel drop exercise developed for Achilles tendonitis and the decline squat exercise developed for patellar tendonitis both focus instead on attempting to fix the structure of the tendon through controlled eccentric stress, and the most successful rehab programs for knee injuries like IT band syndrome and patellofemoral pain syndrome (runner’s knee) are focused on improving hip strength and coordination to reduce damaging stresses on the knee from poor running mechanics. In essence, as our very own Matt Phillips pointed out, we need to think prehab rather than rehab!

More intensive emerging treatments like shockwave therapy or nitroglycerin patches don’t focus on reducing inflammation either—in fact, often the goal is to induce controlled inflammation or increase bloodflow, targets anathema to an inflammatory model of injury. This is in keeping with the fact that some researchers believe that inflammation is a helpful and necessary component of recovery.

Final notes and specific recommendations for rehabbing your injuries

So, knowing that the inflammatory model of injury is unsatisfactory, how does this inform the way we think about treating and rehabbing injuries?

First, it should give us pause when evaluating any new treatment, therapy, or device which claims to reduce inflammation.

Second, we should also acknowledge that many (if not all!) injuries are painful because there is real, physical damage to something in your body.

Instead of icing a bit or taking some ibuprofen before you run, your recovery plan should be more cautious and allow your body time to repair the damaged tissue.

While this might include taking time off from running, it might also be simply modifying your running schedule to put less stress on an injured area.

Finally, it means that you should concentrate your rehabilitation efforts on the treatments that are most likely to help with your particular injury (typically specific strength exercises and sometimes stretches) and put less emphasis on traditional anti-inflammation tactics like icing, anti-inflammatory drugs, compression wraps, and elevation.

Though we need scientific research on individual treatments to explicitly rule out specific treatments for specific injuries—for instance, the absence of inflammation in connective tissue injuries doesn’t necessarily mean we should throw out the notion that icing, for example, can be useful—an overall model of understanding the biology that underpins an overuse injury can help you prioritize your recovery plan.

(07/19/2020) Views: 120 ⚡AMP
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Summer Running Challenge Combats Isolation

Athletic teams, no matter what the sports is, do not know what the fall season will bring. Will the student-athletes be back in school? Will Colonial Conference competitions resume?

The Haddonfield Memorial High School boys cross country team, however, isn’t waiting to find out. The runners are taking a unique approach to summer conditioning with a mileage challenge that is benefiting the area Interfaith Caregivers.

The team members are seeking pledges for each training mile they run during the month of July, with the goal of hitting 1,500 miles.

HMHS assistant coach Dave Stewart explained how the challenge came about.

 

"With everything that has happened, I think it became clear to everyone independently that ‘business as usual’ wasn’t really an option. It’s always been a great group of service-oriented kids, but we hadn’t really tried to tie in these impulses to our running,” said Stewart. "The captains, Caleb [Clevenger] and John [Hurly], were very strong on the idea of keeping support local, and aiding people who were greatly affected by the pandemic. 

"But they also wanted something that would help re-energize and set goals for the team, who had trained all spring but pretty much without their teammates or coaches, and without the positive feedback you get from doing well in races. A few ideas were batted around but when Interfaith Caregivers was brought up it seemed like a perfect fit, since they fight against isolation for seniors at all times, but it’s a service that’s needed even more right now.  And a mileage challenge would mean that they could support each other and contribute for the team, just like they would during a competitive season, should we ever get back to that.”

He added the entire coaching staff is proud of what the team is doing. Stewart is handling some of the paperwork and donations. The student-athletes, meanwhile, are the ones running the miles and logging them.

Stewart noted supporters of the team, Interfaith Caregivers, and the general community are all helping make the challenge a success.

"Right now, pledges are approaching $2 a mile, which would mean a donation of $3000 to Interfaith Caregivers, which I think exceeds expectations. That’s from a few dozen supporters, pledging anywhere from one to 10  cents a mile, all of which are welcome as are any other pledges, which we’ll accept through the end of the month,” said Stewart.  "Now, the running part has been tough. 1,500 miles is definitely a stretch goal, especially with the brutal weather we’ve been having, and with a few people having nagging injuries that haven’t been able to contribute as much.

But ‘next man up’ has always been our team philosophy anyway, and we still have it  in our sights.”

Doing summer conditioning and training is not new to these Haddonfield runners. Because the spring season was cancelled due to the pandemic, Stewart said the team took a break a little earlier than they would during a typical season. The mileage plan, however, is similar to what the runners would do during a normal summer.

"What we’re hoping to see is a lot of consistency throughout the team, since the runners who are maybe not competing for a varsity spot still know they’re contributing a lot to the team when they record their miles,” said Stewart. "And of course everything is still a great deal different than other years since we haven’t been able to meet personally with them since mid-March.”

In terms of the fall season, COVID-19 has already forced the cancellation of the Manhattan Invitational, which was scheduled to take place on Oct. 9. The status of other competitions are up in the air.

Talent-wise, Haddonfield graduated another exceptional senior class, but head coach Nick Baker has runners ready to fill the leadership roles.

Junior Seth Clevenger is a returning first team All-South Jersey selection. Seniors Caleb Clevenger, a First Team All-Colonial Conference honoree, and John Hurly are the new team captains.

Junior Tobias Janssen, who also earned First Team All-Conference, is back, too.  Seniors Sean Eisenhower and Elijah Fernands are expected to be major contributors as well.

Juniors Ethan Wellborn and Andrew Sullivan along with sophomores George Andrus, Donnie Jellig, and Ian Romea are expected to fill key roles, as well.

Since the coaches have not been able to participate in the workouts as a result of COVID-19 protocols, Baker has relied on his senior captains to set the tone.

"John and Caleb have been doing an outstanding job of communicating and motivating the team during a difficult time. Summer training has always been the foundation of our cross country program and John and Caleb are making sure the guys are getting the work done,” said Baker.

Starting July 13, Baker, Stewart and the other coaches will be able to join in as part of phase 1.

At the same time, the Haddonfield runners will continue racking up those miles for a good cause.

For more information about the mileage challenge or to make a pledge, visit haddonfieldbulldogscrosscountry.com or email assistant coach Dave Stewart, dstewart@haddonfield.k12.nj.us, with the subject line "July Mileage Challenge” and the amount you’d like to pledge per mile. Pledges can be accepted any time through the month of July, and donations will not be collected until the challenge is over.

(07/12/2020) Views: 353 ⚡AMP
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8 Muhammad Ali quotes for running motivation

On June 3, 2016, boxing legend and civil rights activist Muhammad Ali passed away at the age of 74. Throughout his career in the 60s and 70s, he had a lot of big wins, including a gold medal at the 1960 Olympics in Rome and becoming the world heavyweight champion on multiple occasions. He also provided the world with a lot of great quotes, many of which pertain to boxing and sports in general, so in honour of one of the greatest boxers of all time, here are eight of his best quotes that can help motivate runners everywhere.

1)“I am the greatest. I said that even before I knew I was.”

2)“He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.”

3)“Only a man who knows what it is like to be defeated can reach down to the bottom of his soul and come up with the extra ounce of power it takes to win when the match is even.”

4)“Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”

5)“I hated every minute of training, but I said, “Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.'”

6)“A man who has no imagination has no wings.”

7)“The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses—behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights.”

8)“(Sonny Liston is) too ugly to be the world champ. The world champ should be pretty like me.”

(06/21/2020) Views: 139 ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Exercise and the Immune System

There seem to be two groups of people, those who “never get sick” and those who are chronically under the weather. Over the years, I have been a member of both camps. While I have previously suffered from overtraining syndrome and had what felt like chronic upper respiratory infections–which I wrote about in this RunFar article–I have more recently (and despite teaching high-school kids) avoided colds, flus, and other bugs. I’m sure writing that sentence will cause me to soon fall ill, though!

Why do we seem to get sick more often sometimes, and less sick in others? How does our immune system work to protect us from illness? And in what ways does exercise impact our immune system’s function? These are important questions for a community that enjoys pushing our bodies, sometimes in fairly extreme ways.

The Basics of the Immune System

I’ve mentioned this before and I think it’s worth mentioning again now: the human body is an incredibly clever system that works surprisingly well most of the time! One particularly clever element is our immune system. The immune system’s job is to protect you from outside intruders such as antigens (any toxin or foreign substance), including pathogens (bacterium, virus, or microorganism that can cause disease). Your immune system is broken into two main responses: innate immunity which is often referred to as non-specific immunity and adaptive immunity which is known as specific immunity

graphic showing how the immune system is broken down into two major response types, innate and adaptive immunity, and what those responses involve. Image: Hackney, A. C. (2013). Clinical management of immuno-suppression in athletes associated with exercise training: Sports medicine considerations. Acta Medica Iranica, 51(11), 751–756.

The innate immune system is referred to as non-specific because it mounts the same response each time no matter the type of intruder. The innate immune response includes what are known as your first and second lines of defense. The first line of defense includes not only physical barriers like your skin, but also chemical defenses like sweat, stomach acid, tears, mucus linings, and saliva. The second line of defense can be considered a chemical defense, in this case involving a variety of white blood cells. The white blood cells primarily responsible in the innate system are called neutrophils and macrophages. Both of these cell types are phagocytes, which means their job is to protect us via the process of phagocytosis (engulfing and digesting things that do not belong).ow a macrophage (the biggest of the phagocytes) identifies an intruder, engulfs it, and then uses enzymes in its lysosome to “digest” the invader. The macrophage then releases “signals” (in the form of cytokines) to sound the alarm to other cells. Image: Letstalkscience.ca/educational-resources/stem-in-context/immune-response

The adaptive immune response, called the specific response and the third line of defense, is a more complex chemical response because of how it learns to identify different antigens and is acquired over our lifetime starting from the moment we make our entrance into this world. Like the innate immune response, the adaptive response utilizes white blood cells to identify and destroy intruders, this time relying on a type of white blood cell called a lymphocyte. Lymphocytes are special in the sense that they develop memory when exposed to antigens, so that when you are exposed to them again your body is better prepared to fight them off. We develop our adaptive immunity from both natural exposures to antigens over the course of our lifetime and via other exposures like vaccines.

Moderate Aerobic Exercise is Good for the Immune System

Despite the field of exercise immunology being a relatively new area of scientific study with 90% of papers published after 1990, original studies date back over a century (4). Early research focused specifically on exercise-induced changes in cell counts (how many white blood cells were present before and after exercise of different intensities). From this vast body of scientific literature, we know that daily moderate exercise (up to 60 minutes of easy aerobic exercise) provides an overall “boost” to our immune system’s function, increasing our resistance to mild infections like the common cold (8). This is due to the enhanced recirculation of immunoglobulins (proteins that help recognize specific antigens), anti-inflammatory cytokines (molecules that help regulate inflammatory response), neutrophils (part of our innate immune response), and lymphocytes (part of our adaptive immune response) (4).

Can Exercise Be Bad for the Immune System?

If 60 minutes of aerobic exercise is good for our immune system, then is more better? It’s quite possible that you’ve become sick shortly after a big effort or goal race, and that’s exactly what researchers have found in widely published studies in the 1980s continuing through the present. These studies illustrate that infectious episodes (reported upper respiratory infection [URI] symptoms) increased after taking part in large endurance events. This includes a study from the 1982 Two Oceans Marathon–actually a 56-kilometer ultramarathon–where one third of the participants self-reported URI symptoms within two weeks of the race (4, 5). This and many other studies (generally conducted on major road marathon participants) helped to form the idea behind an exercise immunology theory known as the open window theory (5, 6).

The open window theory is the idea that after an intensive exercise session (either a long or hard effort) there is a period of time, generally three to 72 hours, where you have an increased susceptibility to illness. This was supported by what appeared to be a dramatic falloff of circulating lymphocytes (in particular natural killer cells, a subset of lymphocytes called T cells) post-exercise (1, 2). These values were shown to be as much as 40% below baseline cell counts (2). This was concerning because the initial studies reporting this rapid lymphocyte reduction also reported large rates of cell death (2).

That sounds bad. Well, those initial cell-death values were never substantiated–phew!–but where are the lymphocytes going if they are not dying? It turns out that lymphocytes are believed to shift to more peripheral locations in the body where they are more likely to encounter an antigen, such as in the lungs or gut (2). Think of this as white blood cell redeployment in which there is enhanced immune surveillance following strenuous exercise.

What Should Athletes Do to Decrease Illness Risk?

If we know that multiple factors influence our immune systems, what can each of us do to make sure our immune system functions properly? Address those factors!

Monitor your exercise workload. Adequate stress plus adequate rest equals optimal physiological improvement. But when this is thrown out of alignment and physical stress accumulates without appropriate rest, impairments in your immune system function may occur and result in an increased risk of getting sick (8). Regular exercise is good for your immune system, but a training load that is too high for too long can take its toll. Be sure to read our article on overtraining syndrome to learn more about the stress-rest balance.

Consider fueling strategies during exercise and avoid overall nutritional deficiency and caloric restriction. The scientific literature suggests that ingesting carbohydrates during prolonged or intense activity is associated with reduced stress hormones and reductions in inflammation. Additionally, maintaining a balanced and diverse diet that meets your needs and energy demands to match your training, including proper hydration, is important (2).

Practice good hygiene. Avoid close contact with individuals who are or have been sick recently, frequently wash your hands throughout the day, and avoid touching your face (nose, mouth, and eyes).

Practice stress management. Although short-term stress (like exercise) might have a positive effect on your immune system, chronic stress does not. Chronic stress can suppress your immune responses by decreasing the numbers and functionality of lymphocytes, and dysregulating your innate and adaptive immune responses (7).

Get adequate sleep. Sleep disturbances can depress your immune system, increase inflammation, and promote other poor health outcomes. Aim for seven to nine hours of sleep a night. Learn more about how sleep and your immune system interact in our in-depth sleep article.

Evaluate your touchpoints with others. Be considerate of how you interact with the world around you, including at running events and races. Consider fist bumps over high fives, be considerate of how you interact with race volunteers, and minimize what you touch at aid stations. (I have a habit of touching everything.) Be cognizant of not only your own health, but also the health of others. Practicing good hygiene isn’t limited to only when it’s convenient.

(05/24/2020) Views: 544 ⚡AMP
by I Run Far
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What is going to happen to road racing as we know it? Bob Anderson thoughts on the situation. Could it be the end of big races?

The COVID-19 virus is deadly.  Already (as of May 17) at least 317,000 people worldwide have died from the virus.  This number is still growing by thousands each day.  By the end of this week most likely over 100,000 people in the US will have died from the Coronvirus (COVID-19).

Some people think this number has been inflated.  Others think it is low.  It is hard to really know the true facts.  In any case thousands of people have died from this new virus.  That's a fact.  

Some still feel this virus is no worse than the common flu.  Many of these ill informed people might be some of the ones who are continuing to spread the Cornavirus.  Many of these people don't wear face masks while in public nor practice social distancing.  These types of people could easily be those that end up infecting others.  And kill racing too.  More on this later.  

Doctors are saying this virus is much more contagious than the common flu and the death rate particularly for people aged 60 plus is high.  Much higher than the common flu.

This information is talked about daily in the news and there is no need to further exam that here.  The focus here is road racing and what impact this crisis is going to have on the sport.  

The My Best Runs (MBR) website only features and follow the best, most interesting and unique races in the world.  The site is currently following 837 races from all over the world.  

One thing the website does is list the leaderboard results from the races featured. The top four men and women and then age-group winners in ten year age-groups starting at age 40 are posted.  Stats are complied and compared among the races.  Nearly 90,000 unique people visited the site in February to look for races, follow races or read Running News Daily.  The traffic had doubled in a year.  That's over one million annually.  The growth of the site illustrates how road racing around the world was growing.  

Everything was set for a banner year.  The Boston Marathon had lined up another amazing field for their annual races that has been held every year since 1896 on Patriots Day.  The London marathon had confirmed that the world's top two marathoners would battle it out on the streets of London.  Maybe the first sub two hour marathon in a real race was going to happen? However both races were postponed and they hope to have races this fall.  Some feel that is not going to happen. 

It was in early February when people began talking about the Cornavirus.  A virus started in China.  But mostly people did not seem overly concerned. 

The month before (January 26) the Ujena Fit Club (UFC) Training Camp in Thika Kenya was opened.  The camp was not totally finished but the core group of runners had been selected, a time trial was staged and a traditional goat feed blessed the opening. A couple hundred people showed up for the affair.

A third floor of the club would be added in the following months to house guests interested in training with elite Kenyan runners.  The official grand opening was set for the end of May with a Double Road Race 15k race planned the same weekend.  Sponsored were being lined up for a world record attempt.    

The top runner in the club and part owner is Joel Maina Mwangi.  For the last couple of years prior he would travel to Italy in the spring and bring back enough prize money to take care of him and his family for the rest of the year.  

2020 was going to be his best year yet.  Joel was in top form being trained at his UFC Training Camp by coach Dennis.  His teammates pushed Joel in three-a-day workouts to higher limits.  

Joel left for Italy in early February right after the UFC Training Camp US partners Bob and Catherine Anderson had left after attending the opening.

Joel's first race was in Verona, Italy Feb 16.  He won that race and clocked 1:00:40 for the half marathon, a personal best.  His plan was to race each weekend after that and then run the Rome Half Marathon set for March 8.  This point to point course is fast.  Galen Rupp had won there a couple of years back breaking an hour in the process.  Joel's plan was to win, break an hour for the first time and bring home the big prize purse.

This didn't happen as Italy started closing down their country to battle COVID-19.  It was going out of control.  Joel luckily left Italy March 7th for his home in Thika, Kenya while he could still travel. But not with the over $20k(US) he was planning on bringing back home with him.

The world was shutting down.  Whole countries were locking down.  The last race featured by MBR to take place was the LA Marathon March 8 along with several others held that same weekend.  There has not been a significant race held any place in the world since March 8.  California ordered everyone to Shelter in Place starting March 17.  Other states and countries followed.  

Every race scheduled for April or May and featured on the MBR website were either canceled or postponed.  Most races also in June and July have been canceled or postponed as well.  The Tokyo Olympics were postponed for a year.  The Berlin marathon in September was canceled (but they are trying to workout a new date), Western States 100, the Camrades Marathon, the Dipsea, and so many other well established races were cancelled.   

Pippa Stevens a CNBC writer posted, "As running has grown in popularity, local clubs have popped up around the country, and there are now roughly 35,000 races each year in the U.S. alone, data from industry trade group Running USA shows.

"More than 44 million people in the U.S. identify as a runner, and 17.6 million people crossed the finish line in U.S. races in 2019.

"With all races cancelled for the time being, billions of dollars are at stake. The biggest marathons – from Boston to Chicago to London to Tokyo – inject hundreds of millions of dollars into local economies. The most recent analysis of the TCS New York City Marathon, for example, found that the race’s economic impact topped $400 million."

A lot is at stake.  But race directors need to know that even if cities allow them to hold their races, not everyone will automatically be there on the starting line.  

Dan Anderson wrote, "I am having a major motivational problem with my running!  For the first time in my running career (almost 55 years) I have no races to train for.  I really miss them.  But I will not run in a race until a vaccine is available.  Being 68 years old with several preexisting risk factors it is too dangerous!  Hopefully within a year a vaccine will be available.  Until then I will push myself to get out and run."

Racing is addictive and so many people around the world love it. Once things are figured out and it is safe again many will be there on the starting line.                                                                                       

Sam Tada who lives in Japan wrote, "Racing helped me so many times in my life and I miss it.  

"Racing gives us opportunity of challenge, growth, and communication.  It makes us happy and healthy mentally and physically.  I love racing and miss it. 

"We are facing difficult time right now but once this health concern is gone I think we will be able to enjoy racing more since we understand how racing is important for us.   

"I am looking forward to racing again and I am trying to do my best effort to stop the spread of this virus."

There are a lot of things that will need to be addressed.  Here are some ideas I have.  Maybe at least for awhile or forever all runners will need to show up wearing a Face Mask.

Then they walk into a screening booth and have their temperature checked.  If they pass, they walk into another booth were they are sprayed with a solution (totally safe) that would kill any viruses they may have on their clothing, shoes or body.  At this point they are still wearing their face mask.  And they continue to wear their face mask until about a quarter mile out or until there is spacing between them and others.  Once they finish they put back on their Face Mask until they are back in their car.

Of course everyone would have to sign a Waiver saying that if they contract COVID-19 at the race and if they die later their family could not sue the race or city.  No idea how porta potties, water stops or handing out medals at the end could work out other than eliminating them. 

I see two problems with these ideas. Remember those people that are already not following the rules?  Do you think they would show up at a race wearing a Face Mask?  And we also know that signing a waiver does not restrict a family from sueing everyone if a member of their family dies from COVID-19 which they determined they got at a race.  Even before this crisis a husband ran a half marathon in San Francisco and died at the finish line.  He had signed a waiver but his wife sued everyone and won lots of money.  The race Director got out of the business (sadly) yet he did nothing wrong from the inside information I know.  

There is not a clear answer about the future of road racing.  No matter how careful race directors, cities and charities (because they are big losers too)  work together it would only take a few jerks to ruin it all.

So what race is going to be the first one back?  Any day now the Old Dominion 100 Miler set for June 8th will be making a decision.  They posted on their website, "The Old Dominion Run is still working all options in an attempt to have the run this year.

"We are working with numerous authorities in our area to assist in providing a good and safe race day experience for everyone involved. The governor of Virginia has gone to phase one in our area and our authorities are reviewing our plan vs the restrictions. 

"Currently, part of our proposal has had to include a limit on our field to 50% for any hopes for us to proceed. We currently have 55 entrants and will not immediately be taking more from the wait list.

"Responses from the authorities will be a major part of our decision on 17 May. If the race proceeds, entries will not be more than 55. The waitlist will remain active," posted by Ray, Wynne and Race Management.

On June 20th the Shelter Island 10k (first photo) is scheduled to take place in Shelter Island New York.  It is a big race and there are always fast winning times.  We have contacted the race director and have not gotten a comment from them.  There is no mention on their website about COVID-19.  We are assuming they are trying to make it happen but what is their plan?  

A couple of other races in late June are also trying to figure something out.  Like the Halifax Marathon (second photo) has not torn in the towel just yet but are closely monitoring the situation as noted on their website.  

Another one of the 837 races being followed by MBR wrote, "Our race was cancelled for this year, fingered crossed we will be back in 2021, april 17th.

"Our race of 2500 might look a bit different in 2021, 10 wave starts of 250 each? Each 10, 15 to 20 minutes apart? Lots of questions like what will aid stations look like and function? Maybe results may go to chip times, or no awards at all? Things will be different.

"The big question now is how we will all deal with the city, county and state mandates and permits. In the past, permits were a pretty easy process, no mass gatherings limitations.

"Locally I believe we will have some small events, mostly if not all on our trail system which limits events to 200 participants. A couple are still moving forward with fall dates, hopefully they will happen. Currently we have a limit for runs set by our city, set at 250 runners with wave starts, with really no other details. In the past road events have had much bigger fields. Going forward if the social distancing stays part of the rules it will be very hard to stage a very large running event.

"Events may look like some ultrarunning events, with very little or no finish line parties, just finish, quick drink and maybe food and head home.

"Runners and organizations will adapt to the rules and events will happen," wrote Brian at Race to Robie Creek.

Hopefully the game changer is going to be that a vaccine is created and COVID-19 is wiped off the face of the earth.  Just as long as everyone gets vaccinated and don't continue to think that COVID-19 is no worse than the common flu. This could solve most everything as long as cities who issue permits think it is enough.  

It sure would be nice to get back to things as they were.  Or at least close to it.  But many of us will continue to wash our hands more often, wear a face masks at times and not go out if they are not feeling well.  Road racing is just too important to so many people. 

(05/17/2020) Views: 780 ⚡AMP
by Bob Anderson
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Old Dominion One Day 100 Mile

Old Dominion One Day 100 Mile

(May 19, 2020) Thank you all so much for your patience as we were waiting to hear back on all of our approvals today. However, we are very sad to say the race is cancelled for 2020 due to COVID-19. We did not receive all of the approvals needed from our area authorities. See you in 2021. The Old Dominion...

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Paul Holliday runs marathon in living room for charity

As coronavirus lockdown restrictions continue to be enforced, Bolton Wanderers' head of marketing and communications - and keen runner - Paul Holliday had to think on his feet after his plan to raise money for charity by running a series of marathons had to be abandoned.

His solution? Running a full 26-mile marathon in his own living room.

Holliday, who has been furloughed during the crisis, streamed his efforts on social media on Wednesday as he ran 4,500 laps of his front room.

"I must confess that after the first couple of laps, the size of the task in front of me made me feel a bit daunted," he admitted to BBC Sport.

"But once I got into my groove I had no further doubts or issues.

"I had done a trial mile in my living room just over a week ago to see what it would be like and I felt dizzy after that.

"But I prepared well over the past couple of days by eating and hydrating well so I knew I'd have the energy to get this done."

Holliday, whose daughter Isabella has Down's Syndrome and ADHD, had planned to run three marathons this year in order to raise money for High Five, a Lancashire-based charity his wife and a friend set up to support the families of children with disabilities.

When the pandemic led to his outdoor runs being cancelled, however, Holliday pressed on with his aim to continue fundraising and streamed his indoor marathon to thousands via his Twitter account.

So far, he has raised over £2,000 - double his original target.

"I've been overwhelmed by the support of everyone; family, friends, colleagues and especially people who I've never met," he said.

"To be so generous during these uncertain times shows how kind-hearted people can be and I'm truly grateful."

Having finished in a time of four hours 38 minutes, how was he physically and what was the state of the living room?

"The carpet, quite miraculously, is unscathed. There aren't any signs of wear and tear but we've been wanting to replace it for years. I plan to do a couple more indoor marathons before the outdoor marathons resume so we will wait until after I've done them," he said.

(04/10/2020) Views: 206 ⚡AMP
by Jay Freeman
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Celia Duncan trained for months to run the London Marathon, then it was called off, but she runs 1,555 laps at her back garden

You have to be nuts to sign up for a marathon: training for months in the rain, the dark and the skin-stinging wind.

And all for what? To hang a bit of metal round your neck while nursing damaged knees, blistered feet and lost toenails.

So perhaps it is only to be expected that, with marathons cancelled worldwide (Paris, Manchester, Rome, Boston and counting), and with governments pleading for us to stay at home, all those stir-crazy runners would funnel their obsession somewhere else, somewhere more local, somewhere… like their garden.

In the past six weeks, thwarted would-be marathon men and women all over the world have launched a new craze for long-distance running in the confines of their own homes.

Chinese runner Pan Shancu, 44, was one of the first. On February 14, under lockdown in Hangzhou, Eastern China, the massage therapist ran 50km (31 miles) in four hours 48 minutes, lapping two treatment beds in his sitting room 6,250 times. ‘I could not bear sitting down any more,’ he said.

Now the trend has been embraced by us Brits. When the London Landmarks Half Marathon was cancelled last month, the organisers encouraged competitors to run locally instead.

Deborah Meredith, a 40-year-old mum-of-three and lunchtime supervisor at her local primary school in Telford, Shropshire, duly ran the full distance in her garden. ‘The neighbours thought I was crazy, but, with my three boys cheering me on, I put on my running number and did 250 laps.’

And now I too am officially a proud RFH (running-from-home) nutter. With my hard-won opportunity to run in the London Marathon postponed until October 4, last week I ran a half marathon in my back garden.

This is not a big space. In fact it is so small, my Endomondo tracker failed to register the distance I was running — something I discovered 15 minutes in.

So with a tape measure, my son worked out our postage-stamp lawn (approximately 5m squared) had a 13.5m circumference.

This meant that in order to run the requisite 21.1km or 13.1 miles I would have to complete 1,555.5 laps. One and a half thousand!

The nation’s favourite PE teacher Joe Wicks provided the warm-up session online, which I completed alongside my eight-year-old daughter.

Then I set off — past the choisya (annoyingly bushy), the olive trees (thankfully trimmed) and the vegetable patch (the lettuce had self-seeded on the lawn, I noticed), before reaching the home straight of our pot-lined patio.

And then I ran round again. And again. And again. And again.

By lap 1,343, I could feel a blister forming and my ankles ached from the strain of leaning inwards. Yes, I could grab energy chews off a garden table to keep my spirits up, and it was a relief to chuck my sweatshirt onto the patio rather than knotting it around my waist as I usually do. But the tedium was starting to kick in.

When I finally limped over the finish line, I’d been running for two hours 29 minutes. A personal worst. And yet, I’d done it: I’d run a half marathon. The garden may never be the same again — as my husband keeps telling me — but that’s not the point.

As the lockdown continues, other disappointed would-be marathon runners will be carving out more courses in their homes.

(04/09/2020) Views: 249 ⚡AMP
by Celia Duncan
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

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

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Bill Johncock's dream of pushing his disabled son in the Boston Marathon has to wait until September

Bill Johncock and his differently-abled son Logan have gotten pretty accustomed to rolling with the punches over the past year, as Dad has pushed them – quite literally – toward a big running goal: the 2020 Boston Marathon.

The first major milepost came on March 2,2019, when Johncock fought through leg cramps at the Myrtle Beach Marathon but ultimately won the battle, pushing then-20-year-old Logan across the finish line in a borrowed racing wheelchair in a time fast enough to qualify them for Boston as a “duo team”.

Much more recently, a different borrowed racing chair turned out to have a steering problem that wore out Johncock’s arms more than his legs at the Atlanta Half Marathon, a tune-up race he ran with Logan just a few weekends ago.

And now they are having to roll with something Johncock never could have anticipated when he first started down his personal road to Boston: With the coronavirus pandemic and the current trend of cancelling large public events continuing, the Boston Marathon – originally set for April 20 – has been postponed to Sept 14.

Johncock’s trying to take it all in stride.

“It’s just like the chair, or the weather. It’s something that is beyond our control, ” says the 55-year-old podiatrist. “We’re gonna control what we can control. The rest, we’ve gotta put it in God’s hands.... We’ll go to Plan B.”

But at the same time, you can tell how big a blow it is to him. After all, getting to the Boston Marathon with Logan – who has a rare genetic disorder called Angelman syndrome, which makes walking difficult and talking impossible – has been Johncock’s dream for the past 15 years.

Johncock developed a nearly instant passion for running when he was 13 years old.

Even after Johncock started having kids of his own, he kept running, eventually logging more than 100 marathons. He pushed his first son, Drake, in a jogging stroller on the weekends. But by the time Logan came along, Drake was on to other things, and as his three kids grew up, Johncock bonded with each of them over different activities.

His and Logan’s was running; in fact, by the time Logan was about two years old, they were already entering races together.

“My oldest son used to like to ride in the running chair that we had well enough, but... Logan just lit up – in a different way, ” Johncock says. “I guess maybe because of some of his lack of mobility, he really enjoyed the movement of it. It was just like, ‘Wow.’”

Angelman is somewhat similar to Down syndrome, marked by delayed development and intellectual disability.

Logan can’t speak at all, communicating either via a very limited sign-language vocabulary he uses only “if he’s really motivated”, his dad says, laughing – “he signs pretty good for cheeseburgers, but he doesn’t sign very well for broccoli” – or by either pointing or pulling his parents or siblings toward what he wants. He can feed himself, but he can’t dress himself. He can walk, but not very far or for very long; and he certainly can’t run.

Oh, and one other thing about people with Angelman: They generally are unusually happy. Logan is no exception. And the more his dad ran with him, the happier he seemed.

‘The best motivation in the world’

As an individual, Johncock has qualified for and run the Boston Marathon six times – in 1984 with his dad, then again in 1991,1992,1993,2002 and 2005.

But it was while there solo in 2005 that he got the idea to mix things up a little bit. While at the race expo in Boston, he happened to meet Dick Hoyt and his son Rick, who for decades were a fixture at the event, with Dick pushing Rick (who has cerebral palsy) and the pair inspiring countless spectators and runners along the way.

Johncock went home inspired, eventually signing up to push then-six-year-old Logan in the Thunder Road Marathon in Charlotte later that year. Johncock also decided to tie a charity component to his efforts, and wound up raising US$30,000 (RM127,500) for a playground for Logan’s school – the Conover School, which serves children with special needs.

After their long run in Charlotte, Johncock pushed Logan through another marathon in 2007, and a third in 2013. But while these other marathons permitted children, Boston’s rules specify that riders on duo teams must be 18 or older.

Logan became “legal” in 2017, and in 2019, Johncock mustered up the time and the motivation to try to qualify, at age 54.

But, as always, all Johncock can do is just roll with it. “A life is more important. As big as this is for us, the health of a lot of other people is more important. So yeah, it looks like we’ll have to wait. But... eventually, we’ll get there.”

 

(03/31/2020) Views: 270 ⚡AMP
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

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

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The Wanda Diamond League has today postponed three more meetings which had been scheduled to take place in May

An alternative calendar for the 2020 season is to be announced in due course.

Following the postponement of early-season events in Qatar and China last week, the series has decided to also suspend meetings in Stockholm (scheduled for 24 May), Naples/Rome (28 May) and Rabat (31 May). 

The decision was made in close consultation with all the relevant parties. The dynamic global spread of the COVID-19 disease, the travel restrictions expected to be in force for some time and above all concerns over athlete safety have made it impossible to stage the competitions as planned. 

The meeting organizers, the Wanda Diamond League and World Athletics remain committed to delivering a structured extensive season in 2020. The aim is to ensure that athletes can compete at the highest possible level this year, and that fans will be able to see their favorite stars in action, whenever the global health situation allows. 

New dates for Wanda Diamond League events will be announced in cooperation with the World Athletics Global Calendar Unit as soon as the extraordinary situation makes a reliable plan possible.

We are working intensively with all stakeholders (athletes, managers, broadcasters, sponsors, local authorities and federations) to develop a new calendar for a 2020 Wanda Diamond League season which best serves the interests of athletes and fans.

(03/27/2020) Views: 257 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Prefontaine Classic

Prefontaine Classic

World Athletics made official Thursday what long has been suspected, with international track & field’s governing body announcing the Prefontaine Classic has been postponed. No new date has been set. The Pre Classic, part of the Diamond League series of international meets featuring Olympic-level athletes, had been scheduled for June 6-7 at the new Hayward Field in Eugene. All Diamond...

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Running During the Lockdown in Italy

From their balconies each day, Italians are collectively demonstrating solidarity during the COVID-19 nationwide lockdown: at noon with a heart-felt applause for health care workers, and again at 6 p.m. with a sing-along that features a different song each day.

This has become a sort of balcony block party in my apartment complex, where everyone lets loose in a liberating moment of responsible social togetherness, blasting music from speakers, banging on pots and pans, blowing a horn, greeting neighbors across the way, whatever it takes to make the day feel a little bit more normal.

Italian runners on the other hand, are anything but united, divided on the appropriate behavior to take during the lockdown and whether running is a valid reason to go outside, like shopping for food, or walking the dog, or simply a selfish act that puts others as well as themselves at risk for contracting the virus. Under the current decree, anyone who leaves their house for whatever reason is supposed to carry a “self-declaration” form prepared by the government, that states why you are leaving your house. Police are on the streets stopping people, asking why they’re out and liars face fines and jail time.

While running or going out for a walk or bike ride is not prohibited under the current law if it is done alone and not in a group, many, including other runners, are saying that those who want to go out for their daily run or workout should put their own pleasures aside and stay inside, a small sacrifice to make for the well-being of the country. The runners still getting in their miles have argued that there is no more risk of them running alone than the there is of the person who goes out to buy cigarettes or to the person who goes to the supermarket more than once in a day to buy food or a favorite snack.

Running in the time of COVID-19 is seen by many as frivolous even though the medical experts say that physical activity increases endorphins which help to reduce the stress that many are feeling now.

Before the nationwide lockdown went into effect on March 10, 2020, signs were already there that the running life we know and love it in Italy was about to change. At the end of February, the National Indoor Masters Championships scheduled to be held in Ancona, was abruptly canceled days before the start, followed by many road races including the famous Huwai Roma-Ostia Half Marathon scheduled for March 8, the race that Galen Rupp won in 59:47 in 2018. While tracks in Rome were still open, there was uncertainty as most races on the calendar were being annulled, until the lockdown went into effect and definitively suspended all sporting events - professional and amateur - and shut down gyms, pools and other places of congregation, including the parks of Rome, until further notice.

Runners who had been training all winter for indoor championships as well as for spring races, both on the track and off, suddenly found themselves without their goal race or other arena to test their fitness.

Marathon runners in the eternal city were only three weeks away from the start of the Run Rome Marathon, when it too got postponed to a later, as yet undecided date. The problem for these runners is finding another marathon as most European spring marathons have all been canceled or postponed as well.

Paola Tiselli (third photo), 46, an international level master’s runner, specializing in the 800 and 1500 meters and current Italian age-group record holder in the 1000 meters indoor (3:01:14), said that she had been training all winter for the Italian and European indoor championships, which have now both been canceled.

“I’ve returned to the preparation I was doing about two months ago to stretch out the (training) time”, said Tiselli on how she has had to reorganize her training in view of the fact that there are currently no races on the immediate calendar.

She’s added more strength training sessions to her usual routine of twice per week and has added longer hill repeats – up to 300 meters – as well as an occasional long run of 12/13 kms, interspersed with faster intervals, something that she had eliminated as she was focusing on the 800 meters for this indoor championships.

“In this period of emergency and with all of the races canceled, I’ve re-formulated my preparation with a goal of (maybe) the Italian Masters Relay Championships in July in Catania and the World Masters Athletics championships” at the end of July in Toronto, Canada. “So, let’s say that I’m practically back to a winter preparation”.

Anna Micheletti (second photo), 67, another age-group record-holder with numerous Italian and European titles from 100 meters to 400 meters, echoes Tiselli’s current training focus, adding that it’s not easy in the lockdown but it can be done.

“At home we’re (she and husband, sprinter Claudio Rapaccioni) trying to maintain the workouts. For us sprinters that means to maintain the strength in our legs, with exercises” adding that as a former middle-distance runner “if you don’t also maintain your resistance you won’t be able to run, in my case, a 400. It becomes impossible”.

Micheletti, President of Romatletica Footworks, the current Italians women’s masters team champions, is doing many of her workouts at home and on the grounds of her condominium and avoids contact with others as best as she can.

“We all have to try and do everything that we can to maintain the shape we’re in and we should keep up our activity, with respect for others,” she said referring to current running norms adding that “unfortunately this is something that we’re missing in our society”.

Rita del Pinto, the sprint and middle-distance coach of my team, Liberatletica, of which Tiselli is also a member, recommended her runners to follow a circuit training program that they can do either outside or in, depending on their circumstances.

“The sprinters repeat the program twice, while the middle-distance runners should repeat it three or four times” said del Pinto, who oversees the training of many of the top masters’ sprinters in the country.

For the moment, though, each runner must decide what the best way to stay in shape is for the races they hope to run when life in Italy returns to normal.

In the meantime, we’ll all put our different opinions to one side and enjoy the music from our balconies!

(03/17/2020) Views: 669 ⚡AMP
by carla Van Kampen (in Rome)
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Italy in Lockdown mode: Day 3

As we enter Day 3 of the nation being essentially “Chiuso” or closed, many things have changed, especially the social habits that make Italy, Italy.  

As of this writing, there have been more than 1,000 deaths caused by the virus and more than 15,000 cases of people who have tested positive for COViD-19 in Italy

As a response, the Prime Minister of Italy Giuseppe Conte announced on March 10 that the country will take drastic measures in the fight against the virus by virtually locking down the country. 

That morning coffee at the bar or aperitivo with friends after work doesn’t exist anymore because all eateries have been closed; church mass has been suspended because people can’t congregate in close quarters; shops except for supermarkets, pharmacies, hardware/computer stores are all closed.  

If you take your car from one place to another, or even walk on the streets, you may get pulled over by the police and asked to show a self-declaration that states you are out because you are going to work or to a medical appointment or for some other necessary movement. If you lie, you could face a fine or jail time. 

And perhaps the most dramatic of all for Italians, all professional soccer matches have all been momentarily cancelled, leaving the Italian championship title for 2020 at risk.

Supermarkets are open but in the past three days, long lines have formed outside as people are panic buying because it is not clear how long the lockdown will last. A population that has never respected lines, now respectfully wait their turn in line, wearing masks and obeying the recommended one meter of distance that should be kept from person to person.

The big question for runners this past week has been whether their daily run is considered a non-essential activity that could get them fined, as running on the roads or parks is the only alternative since all tracks and other sports venues, gyms and pools have been closed until further notice.

 NOTE: Special exception has been given to Italian athletes training for the Olympics or hoping to make the national team.

Italian runners on social media have been split over whether running during the lockdown is socially responsible or not. 

Others seem to think that it is a healthy outlet for being locked indoors most of the day with little else to do. But there hasn’t been a clear, official voice until yesterday, when several authorities explained that yes, it was okay to go running, if you go by yourself, or at the most, with another person, always respecting the one meter of distance. 

Rome is lucky to have a few very large parks – Villa Borghese, Villa Pamphili and the Caffarella – where it is easy to run in practical anonymity.  On Sunday morning and Tuesday midday when I went to the Caffarella to do my workout, it was full of people out for a run or walk, soaking up the sun of a spring-like day in Rome. But this was before the lockdown.  

On Wednesday morning, I went for an early morning run at a favorite park behind the San Paolo Basilica in my neighborhood and it was relatively empty, maybe for the time of day, maybe because people still didn’t understand what they could and couldn’t do. 

Seeing people out running, cycling, walking and just out doing their thing, responsibly, on a beautiful day, seems to be the best medicine against the increasingly negative news of this virus.

Second photo Carla getting in a run.  

(03/13/2020) Views: 557 ⚡AMP
by Carla van Kampen reporting from Rome
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The Coronavirus is really hurting a lot of professional runners in Kenya and around the world

This is a tough time for professional runners in Kenya and other parts of the world.  All races in Italy have been cancelled for at least a month.  Plus many other races in Europe have been cancelled or postponed due to the Coronavirus.  

Case in point, Kenya's Joel Maina Mwangi had won three races in three weeks in Italy (last being March 1).  In one race he clocked 1:00:40 and he was set to break an hour in Rome this weekend and win the race.  This is the half where Galen Rupp ran his first sub hour half in 2018.  That half marathon was cancelled and all the prize money associated with it.    Of course,  thousands of non-professional runners could not run either.  

So Joel is heading home today to continue to train at the Ujena Fit Club training Camp in Thika.  He had no reason to stay in Italy.  

Like many professional runners he was looking forward to winning thousands of dollars from races to help support his family.  Prize money has been his only source of income for several years.  Kenya runners alone have been winning millions of dollars annually from races.  Races featured on the My Best Runs lists over $20 million (US) of prize money.  There is most likely over $25 million US being awarded annually.  Much of this going to Kenya runners. 

Hopefully the world will get a handle on this deadly virus.  There have been no cases reported in Kenya todate.  

"In the meantime our team in Thika at our UjENA Fit Club Training Camp is training hard and getting stronger and stronger," says Coach Dennis.  What else can they do but remain positive.  

"The spirit of our team is inspiring," says operations director Willie Korir.  "We only started  training together since January 19 of this year and our Ujena Fit Club team is really shaping up.  We will be ready to run some good times."

This is a tough times for racing in many parts of the world.  But things will return to normal at some people.  Runners just need to keep training and be strong during this time.  

 

(03/07/2020) Views: 273 ⚡AMP
by Bob Anderson
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The 2020 Run The Rome Marathon Canceled Due to Coronavirus

Another big marathon has canceled – the Rome Marathon organizers announced that the 2020 Rome Marathon is canceled.

Here is the statement from the Rome Marathon organizers on their Facebook page: “This is a message that we never wanted to write but unfortunately, following the health emergency in progress and the Government Decree, the #ACEARunRomeTheMarathon of 29 March has been canceled.

We have worked and invested so much into it. We did it with passion and professionalism. We changed the name, logo, communication.

We thought of a marathon and an entirely new village. We had organized a great course offering music and surprises that would have surely amazed everyone.

Like you, we worked very hard during the #RRTMGetReady training sessions, which we organized for free in Rome and in many Italian cities. We met, laughed and shared emotions with you. We also planned projects and especially goal time to be hit during the race.

We photographed, filmed, as well as reposted your stories, your training sessions and achievements thousands of times.

Let’s freeze this experience, passion and desire. Health is the only asset that we must NEVER jeopardise. But we would like to make you a promise: we will double the efforts, enthusiasm, and color next time. The eternal city together with its beauty and history is here forever.

Now, let’s put away those sad faces, as we are still marathon runners. We are strong, tenacious and stubborn. Nothing can stop our desire to run.

We look forward to seeing you in 2021, your registration fee will be moved and guaranteed FOR ALL next year. We’ll see you at the finish line in Via dei Fori Imperiali, which is the road used by the Romans steering their chariots. Finally, in the shadow of the Colosseum, we will put two medals around your neck. One for 2020, as a symbol of your strength and perseverance; and one for 2021 as a metaphor for your double victory.

The one who falls and gets back up is so much stronger than the one who never fell.

However, when we get up, we will RUN.”

Yes, they did say that the registration fee for all who had registered is good for next year and will be moved for 2021. That is a great move by them for sure to bring runners back next year.

(03/05/2020) Views: 366 ⚡AMP
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Run Rome The Marathon

Run Rome The Marathon

Sunday, March 29 2020 you will have the feeling of going back to the past for two thousand years. Back in the history of Rome Caput Mundi, its empire and greatness.Run Rome The Marathon is a journey in the eternal city that will make you fall in love with running and the marathon, forever. The rhythm of your heartbeat will...

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Roma-Ostia half marathon cancelled due to coronavirus

Yesterday the organizers had confirmed the event. Today, in a meeting in the Prefecture attended by the governor of Lazio, Nicola Zingaretti, and the mayor of Rome, Virginia Raggi, was judged as "inappropriate for the running" of the race.

In the end there is no running. The Rome-Ostia half marathon, which was scheduled for Sunday, March 8, on the roads to the Lido of the capital, and confirmed yesterday, was canceled today due to the coronavirus emergency.

Yesterday the confirmation, today the cancellation, Yesterday the organizers had confirmed the event, "barring any future interventions". 

Today, in a meeting in the Prefecture on the coronavirus emergency, convened by the prefect Gerarda Pantalone and attended by the governor of Lazio, Nicola Zingaretti, and the mayor of Rome, Virginia Raggi, was assessed as "inappropriate for the half marathon to take place" .

The statement of the Capitol, The Capitol then issued a cancellation of the test and a statement: "A meeting was held this morning in the Prefecture on the topic of the epidemiological emergency coronavirus, convened by the prefect Gerarda Pantalone.

Also attended by the governor of Lazio Nicola Zingaretti and the mayor of Rome Virginia Raggi. The medical-health evaluations from the competent bodies have led to the assessment of the Roma-Ostia 2020 half-marathon, a sports event scheduled for Sunday, March 8, as inappropriate. "

(03/04/2020) Views: 360 ⚡AMP
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Roma Ostia Half Marathon

Roma Ostia Half Marathon

Italy's most popular half marathon, this road race is a popular event for runners of all abilities. The Roma-Ostia Half Marathon is an annual half marathon road running event which takes place in the spring in Rome, Italy. The course begins in the EUR district of the city and follows a direct south-easterly route to the finish point near the...

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Ethiopian and Kenyans contingents are expected to battle at the 37th Zurich Maratón de Sevilla on Sunday

The race boasts one of the flattest courses worldwide and the new circuit inaugurated last year witnessed race records set by Ethiopian duo Ayana Tsedat (2:06:36) and Guteni Shone (2:24:29).

Kenya’s Barnabas Kiptum is in the form of his life following a 2:06:33 PB in Lisbon last October. Over the past three years the 33-year-old has shown great consistency, having bettered 2:10 six times. He will be joined by compatriots Emmanuel Kibet, a 2:08:42 performer in Rabat last year, Michael Kunyunga (2:10:05) and Stanley Kiptotich (2:10:12).

The large Ethiopian contingent is headed by Birhane Bekele and Tebalu Zawude; the former finished third last year in a lifetime best of 2:06:41 although the 38-year-old has raced only once at any distance since then with a 2:11:08 outing in Taiyuan last September while Zawude won the last Rome marathon in 2:08:37 in April 2019.

Other Ethiopians include Bazu Worku, who clocked 2:06:15 as an U20 athlete back in 2009. The 29-year-old has not approached that kind of time in recent years, but he clocked a respectable 2:10:56 in Beijing in November.

Yet the quickest athlete on show will be 2:04:50 performer Dino Sefer, but the 31-year-old Ethiopian will be contesting his first competition in more than two years. Getu Feleke, who boasts an identical PB of 2:04:50 from 2012, had a best last year of 2:10:39.

Sunday’s event will also serve as the Spanish championships for the distance. Javier Guerra, who set a career best of 2:08:33 a couple of years ago, is fresh from a 10km PB of 28:11 in Valencia last month and might also be a factor. Same goes for Hamid Ben Daoud, a 2:08:14 performer. The 24-year-old ran a fine 28:06 at the San Silvestre Vallecana at the end of December. The fight for the Spanish title promises to be thrilling with Juan Antonio Pérez, a 1:00:58 half marathon performer, also in the hunt for the win.

Likewise, the women's race doesn’t have a clear favorite. The cast is led by Ethiopia’s Sifan Melaku, who finished fourth last year in a PB of 2:26:46 and went on to improve to 2:25:29. She will be joined by fellow Ethiopians Bezabeh Fitaw, who made her debut last November in 2:29:15 in Hefei, Bekelu Beji, holder of a 2:28:21 time, and Melkaw Gizaw, who won in Nanchang last November and has a PB of 2:24:28 from 2016.

Kenya’s Purity Changwony should be in contention for victory on Sunday as the 30-year-old ran 2:30:34 to win in the altitude of Nairobi last October. Josephine Jepkoech, the runner-up at last year’s Barcelona Marathon in a PB of 2:25:20, will also try to get a podium spot.

Watch out too for Uganda’s Juliet Chekwel. The 29-year-old, who has PBs of 1:09:45 over the half marathon and 31:37:99 at the 10,000m, will be making her debut over the classic distance. The Ugandan’s last outing came in Madrid on the New Year’s eve when she finished fourth in 32:13.

The European charge will be headed by Poland’s Izabela Trzaskalska, fresh from a 1:11:09 lifetime best at the Seville Half Marathon four weeks ago; the 32-year-old seems ready to improve on her marathon best of 2:29:57 set in 2017. Spain’s Marta Galimany, who came second in Seville in a PB of 1:11:13, and Germany’s Anja Scherl (2:27:50) will also fight to finish inside the top 10 on Sunday.

The course will pass several iconic landmarks, including La Giralda, one of the largest cathedrals in the world, and the La Real Maestranza bullring or ‘La Torre del Oro’. A record number of 13,500 runners from 86 countries have entered. The forecast calls for sunny conditions with temperatures between 14-16C at the start.

(02/22/2020) Views: 309 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Zurich Marathon Sevilla

Zurich Marathon Sevilla

This urban, flat, fast and beautiful brand new race course will drive athletes through the most beautiful monuments of the city. Zurich Maraton de Sevilla brings the unique opportunity to brake the Best personal result over the mythical distance to all the athletes, professional or age groupers, in one of the most perfect international marathon circuits. This fast marathon takes...

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Joel Mwangi won the 13th Edition of the Verona Italy half marathon clocking a personal best of 1:00:40 the fastest half in Italy over the last year

The Kenyan Joel Maina Mwangi and Valeria Straneo are the winners of the 13th edition of the Giulietta & Romeo Half Marathon staged in Verona Italy on Sunday February 16 2020. 

The men's race was fast with Mwangi crossing the finish line in 1:00:40 preceding the compatriots Solomon Koech (1:00:56) and Ishmael Chelanga Kalale (1:01:26) who dropped after the 15th kilometer. In fourth place was Sounder Moen, former European marathon record holder, clocking 1:01:28; in seventh was the German record holder Arne Gabius (1:03:23).

This was the fastest Italian half marathon of the last 365 days.  After the race Joel Mwangi who is training at the newly opened (January 19) UjENA Fit Club Training Camp in Thika, Kenya said: "Despite a lot of corners, I took the lead from 18km.  I was well prepared for any pace.  Any time they tried to push I pushed back. At 10k I push for 1km (2:40) to break the group of four.  We remained two, Solomon and me.  At 18k I took over and he was not able to resist."

This was a personal best for Joel by 39 seconds.  His pace was 2:50 per k.  Third photo is Joel training with his Ujena Fit club team in Thika at an altitude of 5351 feet.  

The Italian title goes to the policeman Daniele D'Onofrio in 1:93:15 (7th place and personal best) ahead of Neka Crippa (6th) and Xavier Chevrier (1:03:25).

In the women's race, Valeria Straneo, who took over at 2km from the finish, got rid of the Kenyan Lenah Jerotich, who finished second in 1:11:43, Straneo clocked 1:11:34. Giovanna Epis also did well placing third clocking 1:12:13. 

(02/16/2020) Views: 723 ⚡AMP
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Giulietta & Romeo Half Marathon

Giulietta & Romeo Half Marathon

The Giulietta & Romeo Half Marathon is held each February in Verona, a beautiful city of art and culture, and the setting for Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet play. It's a very popular early-season road running event that attracts a crowd of more than 5,000 half marathon runners and 500 relay teams (10km+11km). (2020) Joel Mwangi won the 13th Edition of...

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By Defying Expectations, Nike NEXT% Moves Athletes Forward

Call it the ultimate test run: When Eliud Kipchoge broke the two-hour marathon barrier in Vienna this past October, he was wearing a prototype of the Nike Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT%.

"For runners, records like the four-minute mile and two-hour marathon are barometers of progress. These are barriers that have tested human potential. When someone like Eliud breaks them, our collective belief about what's possible changes," says Tony Bignell, VP, Footwear Innovation. "Barriers are inspiring to innovators. Like athletes, when a barrier is in front of us, we are challenged to think differently and push game-changing progress in footwear design.”

The NEXT% platform is the ultimate expression of Nike's ambition to engineer footwear with measurable performance benefit. NEXT% is all about creating more efficient intersections between the body and technology to enable athletes to shatter personal boundaries — and sometimes, as our athletes have shown, break records. It is the ultimate meeting of sports science and purposeful design.

“The groundbreaking research that led to the original Vaporfly unlocked an entirely new way of thinking about marathon shoes,” says Carrie Dimoff, an elite marathoner and member of Nike’s Advanced Innovation Team. "Once we understood the plate and foam as a system, we started thinking about ways to make the system even more effective. That’s when we struck upon the idea of adding Nike Air to store and return even more of a runner’s energy and provide even more cushioning.”

Nike NEXT% is a footwear innovation system engineered to give athletes a measurable benefit. Informed by sport science and verified by the Nike Sport Research Lab, the Nike Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT% features three critical components, working together to help runners on race day:

Nike’s newest race-day shoe, the Nike Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT% features two new Nike Zoom Air pods, more ZoomX foam and a single carbon fiber plate (all updates from its predecessor, the Nike ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT%), and an ultra-breathable, lightweight Flyknit upper – all adding up to improved cushioning and running economy.

The shoe is part of a suite of products releasing in summer 2020, including the Nike Air Zoom Tempo NEXT% and Nike Air Zoom Tempo NEXT% FlyEase, complementary training shoes that translate the principles of the Alphafly to rigorous daily use, and track spikes (the Nike Air Zoom Victory) that extend the NEXT% design ethos to new disciplines.

For the Tempo NEXT%, the NEXT% system is specifically tuned to training. The plate shifts from carbon to a composite — softer for added comfort over higher mileage — but still serves to provide stability and transition throughout a runner's full stride. ZoomX, prized for its energy return and responsiveness, sits above the plate at mid and forefoot. For maximum impact protection and durability, Nike React Foam is used at the heel. The same Nike Zoom Air pods featured in the new Nike Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT% are also placed in the Tempo’s forefoot to offer responsive cushioning and a sensation of propulsion.

The Nike Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT%, Nike Air Zoom Tempo NEXT% and Nike Air Zoom Tempo NEXT% FlyEase give athletes of today an opportunity to stamp their mark and motivate athletes (and designers) of tomorrow to set even greater goals.

(02/09/2020) Views: 230 ⚡AMP
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Nike’s Investigation of the Oregon Project is Complete

After Mary Cain alleged emotional abuse as an athlete under Alberto Salazar’s coaching, Nike conducted an internal probe of the professional running group.

Nike said on Monday that it is planning to take multiple actions to better support its female professional athletes, following an internal investigation into the now-defunct professional running group, the Oregon Project.

The company started the probe in November after former Oregon Project athlete Mary Cain went public with a New York Times op-ed piece about her experiences as a young track star under coach Alberto Salazar, who is currently serving a four-year ban from the sport for doping violations. (Salazar denies the charges and is appealing them—Nike said in an email to Women’s Running on Monday that “we support Alberto in his decision to appeal and wish him the full measure of due process that the rules require.”)

Cain joined the Oregon Project as a teen phenom, foregoing NCAA eligibility in 2013 to sign a pro contract with Nike. She moved from Bronxville, New York, to Portland, Oregon, at age 17, as a national high school record holder—the youngest athlete to ever represent the U.S. in a world-championships competition, where she raced the 1500 meters.

In the documentary, titled “I Was the Fastest Girl in America, Until I Joined Nike,” she described the pressure that Salazar and the all-male Oregon Project staff put on her to become thinner in order to perform better. Cain said she was weighed in front of her teammates and publicly shamed by Salazar for not hitting the goals he demanded—allegations that were later corroborated by former members of the group.

Now 23 years old, Cain said while training with the Oregon Project and during a period afterward, she suffered five stress fractures and didn’t menstruate for three years, which are symptoms of RED-S (relative energy deficiency in sport), a syndrome of insufficient caloric intake, with symptoms that can include excessive fatigue, amenorrhea, and decreased bone density. It can have serious long-term health effects like cardiovascular disease, infertility, and osteoporosis. Before she left Oregon to return home in 2015, she said she felt so isolated and trapped that she had suicidal thoughts and cut herself.

After the New York Times piece was published, Salazar denied any abuse or gender discrimination at the Oregon Project and added, “I may have made comments that were callous or insensitive over the course of years of helping my athletes through hard training.”

In the email to Women’s Running on Monday, Nike said the results of the internal investigation will not be made public, but “we are using the findings to identify areas where we can do better in supporting female athletes.” It was not confirmed who was involved in leading the investigation or who participated in it.

The initiatives that Nike identified include:

• Investing in scientific research into the impact of elite athlete training of girls and women

• Increasing the number of women coaches in sports

• Hiring a vice president of global women’s sports marketing in the coming weeks to have “strategic oversight” of Nike’s female athletes

• Creating an athlete think tank to help the company understand the opportunities and challenges faced by female athletes

• Partnering with Crisis Text Line, a free, confidential text messaging service for people to ask for help when in crisis

During a phone interview with Women’s Running on Monday, Cain said she was contacted in the fall by phone and email by a Nike lawyer, but opted not to participate in the probe because some of the people involved were Nike employees whose participation in it made her feel uncomfortable.

“There was no real transparency in the process, so I became very frustrated with the fact that there was no clear-cut person in charge, it was Nike investigating Nike, and seemingly some of the people involved in the process were investigating themselves,” she said.

Upon hearing the actions that Nike—the biggest sponsor of the sport’s governing body, U.S.A. Track & Field (a deal that goes through 2040 with an estimated value of $500 million)—wants to take as a result of the findings, Cain said she supports anything that promotes women’s health and opportunities in sports.

“It’s great to push money and push opportunity into the future—I whole-heartedly support that,” she said. “But the vagueness and no ability to see the report makes me worried that they’re hiding behind gestures that will almost make people forget the issues.”

Runners and other athletes have identified with Cain’s experiences since she shared them, creating a public conversation about the destructive culture underlying sports, where antiquated training philosophies perpetuated by a male-dominated coaching profession often result in eating disorders and worse for athletes.

“I have this renewed love of the sport that I only really found in the last few months because I do have so much hope in what women’s sports can and will become—so anything that’s generating interest and investment and research, I’m all for,” Cain said. “What I hope can happen through some of this work is that Nike can start hearing more voices.”

Still, Cain is hesitant to put too much stock in the proposed initiatives.

“It looks both weak and cowardly that as a corporation they won’t release what they found,” she said. “There’s a certain point where people would have a lot more respect for them as a broader institution and respect what they’re now trying to do if they also admitted what they did wrong. I can’t look at a future brightly if I can’t see them reflecting on their past.”

Since November, Cain has returned to training after about three years away, with the goal of making the U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials in June. She most recently raced the 3,000 meters on Saturday at the Armory in New York, finishing in 9:24.38.

In December, she told Women’s Running that advocating for women’s sports and healthy coaching practices is her new dream.

“Due to lack of education and inappropriate societal norms, many people have a poor understanding of how to address topics such as women’s cycles, weight, and training appropriately,” Cain said. “My goal is now to create educational programs that coaches and athletes must take on these subjects.”

(02/02/2020) Views: 300 ⚡AMP
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Brazier and Ali kick off World Athletics Indoor Tour with dominant victories in Boston

The 2020 World Athletics Indoor Tour began with national records and fantastic performances in Boston, as world champions Donavan Brazier and Nia Ali kicked off their Olympic campaigns with victories at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix on Saturday night (25).

Brazier, the world champion in the 800m, dominated the men’s 600m. In the final event of the evening, Brazier came through 400m in 49.62, and obliterated the field to win in a meeting record of 1:14.39. Brazier, who owns the world indoor best for the 600m with his 1:13.77 from last year’s US Indoor Championships, won by nearly six seconds from Michael Stigler.

“It feels great,” said Brazier, who was contesting his first race since the World Championships. “This is my tradition so far while being a professional. I’ve run at the Reggie Lewis Center four years straight now and I’ve come out with four wins in a row – so I might as well just keep coming back.”

Ali started her indoor season right where she left off, winning the 60m hurdles in 7.94. The world 100m hurdles champion pulled away over the final barrier to beat world indoor silver medallist Christina Clemons, who finished in 7.98.

“It means a lot to start off the season here,” said Ali after running her fastest 60m hurdles time since winning the 2016 world indoor title. “My family is able to get down and see me and I appreciate that. Especially being from the East coast. I know the crowd is always good to me, so I love it.”

In the women’s 1500m, Jessica Hull of Australia sat on the shoulder of Konstanze Klosterhalfen for 1450m before bursting to the front in the final straight to win in 4:04.14, taking more than two seconds off the Oceanian indoor record.

Klosterhalfen, the German athlete coming off a bronze medal in the 5000m at the World Championship in Doha, finished second in 4:04.38. Ciara Mageean finished third in 4:06.42 to break her own Irish indoor record.

In his first indoor race as a professional, Bryce Hoppel, who did not lose a race collegiately last year, nipped Jake Wightman at the line to win the 1000m in 2:17.41. Wightman, who set a British indoor record of 2:17.51, led going into the final lap, but Hoppel clocked a 27.1 final circuit pick up the win.

World indoor bronze medallist Bethwell Birgen of Kenya won a duel over Edward Cheserek, who announced this week he would be competing internationally for Kenya, in the 3000m. After the pacemaker stepped off the track with just over 1000m to go, Cheserek and Birgen traded the lead before Birgen unleashed a stunning final 300m, closing his last lap in 26.33 to take the win over Cheserek, 7:44.21 to 7:46.74.

In the women’s two miles, Elinor Purrier buried the competition over the final lap to win in 9:29.19 as 2017 world steeplechase champion, Emma Coburn, finished third.

Gabby Thomas blitzed a 36.52 to win the 300m. Thomas, a graduate of Harvard University, won the first heat by a wide margin and held on for the win after Shamier Little beat out Kendall Ellis in the second heat, 37.07 to 37.36.

“It was really great to compete at home, here in Boston,” Thomas said. “Especially this being my first year out of college and having that energy around me, it’s a really an amazing feeling.”

Chris O’Hare of Great Britain held off a hard-charging Nick Willis in the men’s mile, winning 3:59.62 to 3:59.89.

Demek Kemp won the 60m in 6.50, taking 0.05 off his personal best. Trayvon Bromell, running the 60m for the first time since winning the 2016 world indoor title at the distance, finished seventh in 6.84. Obi Igbokwe, a senior at the University of Houston, won the men’s 400m in 46.50.

In the field events, Pablo Torrijos of Spain kept his cool after four successive fouls in the men’s triple jump, eventually sailing out to 16.75m in the fifth round to seal the victory. Amina Smith of the US cleared 1.89m to win the women’s high jump.

The World Athletics Indoor Tour will next head to Karlsruhe, Germany, on 31 January, when athletes will continue to chase tour ranking points as well as wildcards for the World Athletics Indoor Championships Nanjing 2020.

(01/29/2020) Views: 361 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Kilian Jornet is always up to something and this ultra feat might top his list

Kilian Jornet is always up to something: Breaking the records for the fastest ascent and descent on Mount Everest, winning some of the biggest ultramarathons in the world—including the 2017 Hardrock Endurance Run in a sling—and living his best life with his wife Emelie Forsberg in the mountains of Norway.

This time around, Jornet challenged his ski partner and world-class BASE jumper Tom Erik Heimen, 44, of Norway, to a race up and down one of the most-iconic climbing mountains in the world: Romsdalshorn. Sitting at more than 5,000 feet, both would have to climb up between 1,300 to 1,500 feet and descend to be declared the winner—Jornet doing so on foot and Heimen BASE-jumping down to the bottom.

Both took separate routes. Jornet went up the north face and climbed down Halls Renne on the other side while Heimen went up Halls Renne and BASE-jumped off the north face. This way, the two would cross paths during their treks.

“It was very unpredictable who would be faster,” Jornet said about the challenge. “I knew I could climb much faster, but the downhill is down climbing so it takes as much time as going up for me. And I also knew that Tom Erik [has] a very good physical level, so he would be quick to climb and of course very fast on the way down.”

As you can see in the video, Jornet has no issue ascending, finishing in just over 30 minutes before beginning his descent. Heimen reached the top 15 minutes after crossing paths with Jornet during his descent and quickly suited up for his jump.

Heimen hit the ground two minutes after takeoff, but Jornet made it to the bottom in a time of 52:26. Heimen’s time was 53:55.

“What surprised me most with the challenge was how fast Kilian is descending the technical and steep Halls Renne with the challenges of loose rocks all the way,” Heimen said. “I know he is very fast going up, and had no doubts that he would beat me to the summit, but I was expecting him to spend more time climbing down than climbing up.”

Jornet’s latest antics add to a constantly growing number of wild races and feats that runners are attempting like Nick Symmonds going for the fastest mile while dribbling a basketball, Mario Mendoza’s 50K treadmill record, or Cynthia Arnold smashing the triple-person stroller marathon record.

Who knows what we’ll see next?

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/6dgm5MQPGz8" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>

(01/25/2020) Views: 343 ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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Naples to host Golden Gala Pietro Mennea in 2020

The San Paolo Stadium in Naples will host this year’s edition of the Golden Gala Pietro Mennea, the fifth leg of the Wanda Diamond League, due to take place on 28 May.

Rome’s Olympic Stadium, the traditional venue of the meeting, is undergoing renovation work ahead of the UEFA European Championships, so this year the world’s best track and field athletes will instead head to the San Paolo Stadium, which hosted the World University Games last year.

It will be the fourth time in its 40-year history that the meeting will not be held in Rome. The 1988 (Verona), 1989 (Pescara) and 1990 (Bologna) editions were all held in alternative venues.

It was initially intended that Milan would host this year’s Golden Gala Pietro Mennea, but constraints with the stadium – namely the lighting system, the expansion of the press stand, and the removal of large sections of the old railings surrounding the track – combined with the short time frame meant it wasn’t a viable option for this year.

(01/12/2020) Views: 306 ⚡AMP
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Faniel ends Italian drought in Bolzano while Kipkemboi equals course record

World 5000m silver medallist Margaret Chelimo Kipkemboi equalled the course record at the BOclassic Silvesterlauf while marathon specialist Eyob Gebrhiwet Faniel became the first Italian winner of the World Athletics Bronze Label road race since 1988 in Bolzano on Tuesday (31).

Faniel took an upset win in 28:21, beating world 5000m leader Telahun Haile Bekele by seven seconds. The last time an Italian runner won in Bolzano was in 1988 when Salvatore Antibo and Maria Curatolo took top honours.

Kenya’s Amos Kipruto, the world marathon bronze medallist, finished third in 28:37 ahead of Ugandan steeplechase specialist Albert Chemutai (28:50) and European 10,000m bronze medallist Yemaneberhan Crippa (28:54).

A leading group formed by Bekele, Kipruto, Chemutai, Crippa, Faniel and Ethiopia’s Mohammed Abdilmana took the lead in the early stages of the race. They ran at a conservative pace, clocking 3:31 for both the first and second laps. Faniel took the initiative and moved to the front at the end of the third lap with 10:44 on the clock.

The leading pack was whittled down to five runners during the fifth lap. Bekele, Faniel and Kipruto broke away from Crippa and Chemutai with two laps to go and went through the sixth lap mark in 21:23. Faniel went to the lead and only Bekele managed to keep up with the Italian, while Kipruto was dropped by three seconds.

Bekele, who clocked a world-leading 12:52.98 for 5000m in Rome earlier in 2019, launched his attack during the last lap, but Faniel caught up with the Ethiopian and broke away by unleashing his final kick with 200 metres to go near the Fountain of Frogs. He crossed the finish line in Walther Square in 28:21, improving his previous career best over this distance by three seconds.

Faniel finished fifth in the marathon at the European Championships in 2018 and 15th at the World Championships in Doha. Earlier this year the 27-year-old improved his half marathon PB to 1:00:53 in Padua. Born in Eritrea but living in Italy since 2004, Faniel is coached by Italian former marathon runner Ruggero Pertile.

“I knew that I could run a good race, but I was not sure that I would be able to win against such great athletes,” said Faniel. “I am now training hard in preparation for the Seville Marathon in February.”

Two-time Boclassic winner and world half marathon champion Netsanet Gudeta, Margaret Chelimo Kipkemboi, Mercy Cherono, Tariku Alemitu and Gloria Kite ran at a swift pace from the early stages of the women’s 5km race.

They went through the first lap in 3:43 and the second lap in 7:42. Gudeta, Kipkemboi and Kite pulled away from Cherono during the third lap and clocked 11:39 at the bell.

Gudeta and Kipkemboi stepped up the pace and were neck and neck race during the final lap. Kipkemboi launched her final kick with 200 metres to go and held on to take the win in 15:30, equalling the course record set by her compatriot Agnes Tirop in 2017. In a close finish, Gudeta was just one second behind with Kite a further second in arrears.

Kenya’s 2013 world 5000m silver medallist Mercy Cherono finished fourth in 15:38, while Italy’s double European U20 cross-country champion Nadia Battocletti was sixth in 16:11.

“It was my second time in Bolzano and I was well prepared as I am familiar with the course,” said Kipkemboi, who intends on contesting some cross-country races over the next few months. “It was a fast race and I am happy that I managed to beat Gudeta.”

(01/01/2020) Views: 684 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Luca Naso plans to run the entire coast and perimeter of Italy, the islands of Sicily and Sardinia included starting January 1 because he believes in the value of dreams

As the first rays of sun timidly wash over the eastern Sicilian city of Catania on January 1, Luca Naso will be lacing up his running shoes and heading out the door for an easy 15 kilometer run.

While there is nothing particularly eventful in Luca’s choice to run while the rest of the city (and country) sleeps off the festivities of the night before, it will not be his only run of the day. He will run another 15 kilometers again later in the day, starting from where he left off in the morning, sleeping in Riposto, a seaside village 30 kilometers north of Catania. 

As far as New Year’s resolutions go, Luca’s is an ambitious one: he plans to run the entire coast and perimeter of Italy, the islands of Sicily and Sardinia included, for a total of 8,800 kilometers (5,468 miles), running 15 kilometers twice a day, for a total of 30 kilometers a day, six days a week.

“I’m not sure how the idea of this challenge came about, but since it was born, it has only grown day by day to become a real dream”, said Luca. “I decided to do it because I believe in the value of dreams and I am convinced that knowing your dreams and making efforts to make them come true will make us better people.”

Naso, 38, is a prominent astro-physicist who caught the running bug in 2008 and has since run four marathons, including the Berlin Marathon and Beijing Marathon.  It was while working in China that Naso met his wife, Yan Yan, who will accompany him on bike as far as Messina, approximately 90 kilometers north of Catania.

Luca’s plan is to circle Sicily (counter-clockwise) and then cross over to Calabria where he will start his run along the perimeter of the boot, running counter-clockwise from the southern regions during the winter months. If his calculations go according to plan, he plans to reach Rome by September 2020.

And while Luca is being assisted by a technical team that includes a coach, nutritionist and doctor, the logistical and organizational aspects of Naso’s endeavor are complicated, as his daily needs of lodging, food, transportation of luggage and other equipment will be in different towns and cities every day of the year.

“I hope that all of the passion that I am putting into this challenge can motivate other people to realize their dreams” said Naso. 

Luca can be followed on the following Link:

https://www.facebook.com/correreaiconfini/

(12/30/2019) Views: 1,028 ⚡AMP
by carla Van Kampen reporting from Rome
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Christmas Day Run Through Rome

If you’re in Rome over the Christmas and New Years’ holidays and want to get in a good run while also being a tourist, then this may be for you.

“Una Tapasciata nella Storia”, (“A Jog Through History”) is a friendly, non-competitive run through the center of Rome that passes many of the Eternal City’s most beautiful landmarks.

It’s the perfect chance to visit a gentler, quieter city when everyone (Romans anyhow) are still asleep and the chaos that usually defines Rome is momentarily suspended.

Runners assemble at Il Biscotto, a popular runner’s park across from the Baths of Caracalla (it gets its name because it’s shaped like a long biscotto cookie) and then head off on a joyful jog, that goes by the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish steps, Piazza del Popolo, St. Peter’s Square and Piazza Navona. There are a few stops along the way for group photos but other than that it’s a run-at-your-own-pace 12 kms, accompanied by the cheers and holiday wishes of foreign tourists snapping pictures as the group goes by!

The run is the brainchild of local marathon runners Gino Mirabella (2h40’) and Renato Agostoni (2h26’) almost 20 years ago. What began as a low-key run among friends has now grown into an annual Christmas classic that runners who train at the tack by Caracalla or at the Biscotto wouldn’t think of missing. Fortunately, in Italy, presents are exchanged on Christmas Eve after the traditional multi-course dinner, leaving Christmas morning free for the runners in the family to sneak out and do their Christmas morning run.

And, because we’re in Italy, the run ends back at the Biscotto with a traditional Christmas toast of spumante and a table laid with Christmas panettone and other seasonal treats giving runners a chance to wish each other Auguri!

NOTE: For the truly intrepid runners, the run repeats itself on New Year’s Day, but for obvious reasons not as many runners show up.

INFO: Una Tapasciata nella Storia / Christmas Day Run Through Rome

DAY: December 25, 2019 and January 1, 2020

TIME: 9:30 a.m. get-together / 10 a.m. Start

PLACE: Il Biscotto, Via di Valle delle Camene

(12/23/2019) Views: 503 ⚡AMP
by Carla Van Kampen
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The Rome Marathon is under new management with a new name, logo and new date, Sunday March 29 2020

The Rome marathon is under new management and will be run Sunday March 29 it was announced this morning at the Ara Pacis Museum.

With a new name and logo, the new management has a desire to show that Rome loves sports and, in particular, running.

An international level marathon with tens of thousands of athletes, half of them from hundreds of countries will showcase Rome, a unique city for its charm, monuments, history and heritage. 

The Marathon looks to the future, but at the same time retains its unique charm represented by a path that runs the history of Rome and its symbolic monuments said the new director of the event, Michaela Castelli.  

Run Rome The Marathon is the most fascinating race in the world. you will feel your heart beat each of the 42.195 km that you will run.

Your steps will cross the same roads where the ancient romans used to walk more than two thousand years ago. every view will tell you a story. Every sight will be eternal like Rome is.

The course will carry through Foro Italico, the Mosque of Rome, you will be running on the same steets trampled a few millennia ago by the ancient Romans. On the route, you won’t miss Piazza Navona, Via del Corso, Piazza del Popolo and Piazza di Spagna, with the famous stairway of Trinità dei Monti. The main character of the marathon will be the Colosseum, majestic background, start and finish points of the race.

Running and monuments, sweat and history, personal achievements and medals to conquer, joy, thrills and tears. Rome will surround you, will embrace you, will capture you, Rome awaits you.

The marathon has ancient roots, here in Rome it has a strong tradition. We can go back a century, up to April 2, 1906, when Dorando Pietri won the marathon crossing the finish line in Piazza di Siena. Or we can go back 60 years, to the magic night in 1960 when during the Olympic Games in Rome, Ethiopian Abebe Bikila opens the season of African Marathoners, running bare footed the whole race. His run through Appia Antica enlightened only by torches became pure history in athletics, as well as his winning photo while crossing the finish line at the Arco di Costantino.

The marathon we all know and that will be held on Sunday, 29 March 2020 has its roots in 1995 with Italia Marathon Club, and has been awarded with the prestigious Gold Label IAAF in 2011. In 2019 FIDAL hosted the event and for 2020 a new organizing committee took place, made up by Infront, Corriere dello Sport – Stadio, Italia Marathon Club and Atielle Roma.

More than 115 countries took part in the past editions.

(12/17/2019) Views: 783 ⚡AMP
by Cesare Monetti
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Run Rome The Marathon

Run Rome The Marathon

Sunday, March 29 2020 you will have the feeling of going back to the past for two thousand years. Back in the history of Rome Caput Mundi, its empire and greatness.Run Rome The Marathon is a journey in the eternal city that will make you fall in love with running and the marathon, forever. The rhythm of your heartbeat will...

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Diane Leather and Roger Bannister – the similarities and differences of two trailblazers

The world reverberated with the news that Roger Bannister had become the first man to run the mile in less than four minutes on 6 May 1954. Twenty three days later, a landmark was achieved in the women’s mile when fellow Briton Diane Leather became the first to dip under five minutes – unheralded, and, at the time, without fanfare.

Bannister’s progress continued to top the sporting agenda as he beat his Australian rival, and by then world mile record-holder, John Landy at the British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Vancouver, before hoovering up the European 1500m title and retiring to start a stellar career in medical research.

Leather remained as a runner until 1961, but while she won two silver medals in the 800m at the European Championships, and captained the women’s team at the 1960 Rome Olympics, she never got the chance to run at her best distance in a major international championship.

Less than a month after Bannister had clocked 3:59.4 at the Iffley Road track in Oxford, Leather recorded 4:59.6 at the Alexander Sports Ground in Birmingham – reacting with the words “Oh good. At last” – and the following year she ran 4:50.8 and then 4:45.0, which remained a world record until 1962.

By then Leather – who had also set an 800m world record of 2:09 in 1954 – had retired, aged 27. Women’s records for the mile were not ratified until 1967, and she never had the opportunity to race over her preferred distance at an international championship.

Both runners were honoured at the World Athletics Heritage Mile Night in Monaco last month with awards being made to Leather’s daughter, Lindsey Armstrong, and Bannister’s daughters Erin Bannister-Townsend and Charlotte Bannister-Parker.

The contrast in recognition for two great athletes who both died in 2018 was mirrored, oddly, in a contrast in recognition within their own families.

Lindsay Armstrong had no idea that her mum had been an athlete, or indeed a world record-holder, until she was 11.

“She didn’t tell me herself,” recalled Lindsay, who runs Shakespeare’s Schoolroom and Guildhall in Stratford-upon-Avon. “I learned about it when I found some scrapbooks that one of her brothers had kept. They were on the bottom shelves somewhere in the sitting room, just tucked away.

“I didn’t know what to do about it – it was almost as if I was being naughty!

“In the end it wasn’t really such a big conversation. She said it was just something she used to do.

“I don’t want you to get the wrong idea. She wasn’t shy and retiring. But it was just something she’d done.

“On the day she broke five minutes for the mile, she had broken an 800m record earlier that day – it may have been a national record. So she had two great legs on her.

“She ran in the Olympics in 1960, but again they still didn’t allow her to run the mile. There was nothing further than the 200 until 1960 and then they were allowed to do the 800m. So she was the women’s team captain but she didn’t get to the final. Because, you know, it was six years past her prime. We have still got her Olympic jacket at home. She stopped soon after that.

“She didn’t talk about her athletics. I know that in later years according to people that knew her then that she felt somewhat slighted, and instead of letting it upset her she just turned away from athletics earlier than she would have done.

“But she did a lot of officiating in athletics after her career. So she didn’t really turn away from the sport. She always loved it.

“She was an extraordinary athlete. She ran the 400m, she ran the relay, she was a cross country champion. She did a huge range of distances.

“She was a chemist and she went on to be a child social worker. That was her passion. She was more than just an athlete. She was an extraordinary woman who really did change lives.

“She was beautiful – so beautiful. You could see it in the film we just watched. And it was really lovely to see. We were so proud of her. To be here with all these other extraordinary runners – she would have loved to be here.”

By contrast, Bannister’s daughters Charlotte, who is a Church of England Minister at the University Church in Oxford, and Erin, an accomplished painter, recalled their father introducing athletics into their life from the point where they could remember.

“I think it would be fair to say that my father was a pretty humble man throughout his life considering what he achieved both medically and athletically,” said Charlotte.

“But in terms of us being aware that he was a runner and that running was important was something that happened right from the start of my very consciousness.

“We were encouraged to run every day. There was a little park outside our house which was a square, and he would run every day of his life, right until he had a car accident and he no longer could. But it was deeply engrained within our childhood. Much more… why it was good for you…

Her sister continued the narrative: “Why he loved to be outside… being outdoors, and including other sports, including climbing and walking, and tennis, and sailing, and a whole range of sports. He was always trying things that weren’t necessarily to do with athletics. So things like sailing were quite dangerous, but they gave us enormous fun.”

Charlotte recalled: “He would train us to get off the starting line. He just loved watching people run, and he would come to our school sports days and he would look around the field and he would say that young boy or that young girl, they have got great style.

“And then of course he was broadcasting at the Olympics as a journalist – that was one of the times we were allowed to watch television, to see the Olympic Games and the Commonwealth Games.

“He didn’t generally talk about his athletics, but during anniversaries of his achievements he would sometimes talk about them, and he would talk about how his father had taken him to see athletics very early on.

“I remember going to Crystal Palace with him a lot. And then of course when he was Chairman of the Sports Council he would have to attend a lot of sporting events and if my mother couldn’t make it he would take one of us children.

“And then of course there were interviews. When something happened in the athletics world, he used to get rung up by the BBC and asked to comment on things to do with drugs, apartheid, politics…”

Both recalled travelling to Vancouver in 1967 for the unveiling of a statue depicting the decisive moment of the Vancouver Mile race, when Landy looked back inside him as their father was making his decisive burst of speed in the lane outside.

Charlotte added: “We used to have very interesting Sunday lunches, where there were always discussions around politics, athletics and sport, and it would be a summary of the week’s news and what was going on in the wider world. So there was no sense of not being involved in what was his passion – or of him not passing on his passion to us.”

(12/15/2019) Views: 795 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Peter Snell has died in Dallas. He was a three-time Olympic champion and world mile record-holder

Three-time Olympic champion and world mile record-holder Peter Snell has died in Dallas. He was aged 80.

Snell, who is regarded as one of the greatest middle-distance runners, won the 800 meters at the 1960 Rome Olympics aged 21, and the 800-1,500 double at the 1964 Tokyo Games.

He was the first man since 1920 to win the 800 and 1,500 at the same Olympics. No male athlete has done so since.

Snell also won two Commonwealth Games gold medals in the 880 yards and mile at Perth in 1962.

He twice held the mile world record, and held world records in the 800 meters, 880 yards, 1,000 meters, and the 4x1-mile relay.

Snell's death was confirmed by family friend and New Zealand sports historian Ron Palenski, who heads New Zealand's Sport Hall of Fame.

“It is very sad news, a grievous loss for New Zealand,” Palenski said. “In terms of track and field, he is probably the greatest athlete New Zealand has had.”

Snell was coached by Arthur Lydiard, an innovator who was regarded as one of the world’s finest coaches of middle and long distance athletes. Lydiard also coached Murray Halberg to win the 5,000 meters at Rome in 1960.

Snell was the best miler of his generation, at a time when the mile was the blue riband event of world athletics. He began immediately after Roger Bannister's epoch-making sub-four-minute mile and while the glow of that achievement still suffused the sport.

In his physique he was unlike milers of the time: Snell was strong and powerful — more like a 400-meter runner — and not like the mostly lithe athletes who vied for world supremacy over the mile.

His stride was so powerful he often scarred the tracks on which he ran, kicking up puffs of debris, especially on grass or cinder tracks. Lydiard's training — based on massive mileage mostly on the road rather than the track — gave him enormous stamina but he also had unusual speed.

Snell's friend and training partner, Olympic marathon bronze medalist Barry Magee said “there will never be another New Zealand athlete like him.”

“He won three Olympic gold medals, two Commonwealth Games gold medals, and broke seven world records. He was the best-conditioned athlete of his time.”

Snell’s wife, Miki, said he died suddenly at his home in Dallas around noon on Thursday. He had been suffering from a heart ailment and required a pacemaker for several years.

Snell’s athletics career was relatively short. He retired in 1965 to pursue educational opportunities in the United States.

"Peter Snell was like a god to me," says MBR founder Bob Anderson.  "I started running in February 1962 and Peter was my hero.  I met him at one of our National Running Weeks in the early 80's and it was like meeting a rock star."

Snell graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in human performance from the University of California, Davis, and later with a Ph.D. in exercise physiology from Washington State University.

He became a research fellow at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in 1981, later becoming director of the university's Human Performance Center.

Snell was knighted by New Zealand in 2009. A statue in his honor stands at Cooks Gardens, Whanganui, near his birthplace of Opunake, where he broke the mile world record for the first time in 1962.

(12/13/2019) Views: 617 ⚡AMP
by Associated Press
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Tara Welling Shares Her Experiences as a Member of the Nike Oregon Project coached by Alberto Salazar

Two weeks ago, high performance coach/elite meet director Jonathan Marcus reached out to LetsRun.com to share his experiences with Alberto Salazar and the Nike Oregon Project. During the process of fact-checking that story, we contacted Tara Welling, who ran for the Oregon Project from 2012-14 (and later Marcus), who said she preferred to tell her story in her own words.

Throughout college, I dealt with an eating disorder, but it never spiraled out of control until the summer/fall of 2012, my first year with the Oregon Project. I was 23 years old and going through a tough personal time with my mom being diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time. She lived alone and I felt a sense of guilt that I should not be leaving the country to follow my running dreams with the Oregon Project. I joined the group in Europe as they prepared for the Olympic Games. I was the only female and didn’t feel like I had anyone I could really open up with and talk to.

Tension was high and I wanted to be a great runner, but also wanted to be home with my family during this difficult time. When I joined the Oregon Project, I was 5-foot-4 and weighed around 100 lbs. During our time in Font Romeu and London, I dropped to around 88 lbs, stemming from my levels of stress and depression.

Alberto never weighed me during this time, but my weight loss was very apparent. I later learned that a teammate brought it up to Alberto during our time in Font Romeu. It wasn’t until after the Olympics that Alberto first talked to me about it. He said that he would get me all the help I needed.

Alberto set weight goals for me: first 95 lbs, then 98 lbs, and I would be allowed to race the USATF 5k and 10k road champs that fall if I hit those numbers. Alberto was very concerned about my weight and took me to the store to get high-calorie, nutrient-dense foods that would fuel me for my runs and help me gain healthy weight. I was told that when we got back to the States, he would help me get connected with a nutritionist, therapist, and doctors to keep me on track and help me get healthy, and I did eventually meet with a nutritionist and a therapist.

What hasn’t been made public yet is that my visit to Dr. [Jeffrey] Brown, in September 2012, was related to this process of helping me get healthy, including numerous tests that were done. Initially, this was something very difficult for me to share with USADA [during their investigation of Salazar and Dr. Brown] as it required reopening wounds which are still challenging for me to talk about. Until the USADA investigation, these details are something I hadn’t talked to anyone else about, outside of my parents and Alberto.

I ended up racing the 5k & 10k champs that fall and eventually found a steady weight. A little while later I was up to ~105 lbs and had been following my lifting program per our strength coach Dave McHenry and Alberto. I was then told my arms were getting too muscular and I needed to lose a few pounds. I stopped lifting heavier weights on my upper body and was limited to only bodyweight exercises so I didn’t have to “carry extra weight.” 

Alberto constantly said I should look like Kara Goucher and Genzebe Dibaba. He also said I should be 100 lbs with a low body fat percentage, but muscular. It was confusing and I found it mentally difficult when I had to lose weight and look like other runners when I was not them. It was a constant comparison battle. I was often weighed with the underwater scale and had body measurements done via skinfold measurement. I was never weighed publicly or in front of teammates, but Alberto was always present.

In summary, I felt like weight was certainly a focus and embedded into the training process. I did witness Alberto weighing other athletes and criticizing their weight (both men and women). For me, it wasn’t always “less is better” in terms of weight. I had a target weight that Alberto felt was “healthy” but also ideal for performance and he wanted to do everything to help ensure I was at that (which was 100 pounds in his mind).

I do wish things would have been different. I wish I sought more advice apart from the doctors and therapists that Alberto had available. At the time, I felt like I didn’t have a choice and I had to prove to him that I was getting healthy and gaining weight. I didn’t feel like I had much of a say and it was a “do-as-you’re-told” type of culture. But at the time, I felt that Alberto had my best interests as an athlete in mind, and I had no reason not to trust him.

I left the Oregon Project in the winter of 2014. By that point, I was solely working with [NOP assistant] Pete Julian as I felt he better understood how I responded to training. I was told that if I wanted to remain with the Oregon Project, I had to win the USATF Club Cross Country Championships in December 2014 and prove that I could compete at a high level. I placed second that year in Bethlehem, Pa., and I was not re-signed.

After leaving the Oregon Project, I later found the fun in training again and somewhat let go of an ideal race weight. I lowered my PRs in the 1500, 3k, 5k, 10k, and won two national road titles (15k and half marathon) before competing at the Olympic Trials in the 5k and 10k in 2016. I’d be lying if I said I was 100% recovered from my eating disorder and tendencies, but I’ve found ways to manage it much better.

(11/19/2019) Views: 361 ⚡AMP
by Tara Weiling
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2020 Diamond League meetings have been confirmed

The Diamond League has released the 2020 Diamond disciplines, revealing which meetings will host which disciplines during the course of next season

As in previous years, the world’s top athletes will compete for points on the road to the final as they bid for a ticket to the Diamond League final and a shot at the Diamond trophy.

In each discipline, those who have picked up the most points will earn a starting place in Zurich on 11 September 2020 and the chance to be crowned Diamond League champion.

The 11th season of the Diamond League, which will commence in Doha on 17 April, is comprised of the 15 best track and field invitational meetings in the world.

The meetings form the top tier of World Athletics’ global one-day meeting competition structure and are spread across Asia, Europe, Africa and North America with US$8 million in prize money on offer across the series.

2020 Diamond League calendar

17 April – Doha, 10 May – China (city tbc), 16 May – Shanghai, 24 May – Stockholm, 28 May – Rome, 31 May – Rabat, 7 June – Eugene, 11 June – Oslo, 13 June – Paris

4 July – London, 10 July – Monaco, 16 August – Gateshead, 20 August – Lausanne, 4 September – Brussels, 11 September – Zurich

(11/18/2019) Views: 330 ⚡AMP
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Kenyans Andrew Ben Kimutai and Cynthia Cherop are the favorites in Venice

Kenyan Andrew Ben Kimutai starts as the fastest runner in the men’s field at the 34th edition of the Hauwei Venice Marathon, an IAAF Bronze Label road race on Sunday (27). The 30-year-old, who set his 2:08:32 personal best at the Seville Marathon in 2018, won this year's Wuhan Marathon in China in 2:10:06.

Kimutai will take on compatriot Geoffrey Yegon, who finished second at the Rome Ostia Half Marathon in 1:00:23 and has four sub-one hour half marathon runs to his credit. He clocked 59:56 at the Prague Half Marathon in 2018 and has a career best of 59:44 from 2016.

The men’s line-up also features Moses Mengich of Kenya, who was second at the Treviso Marathon in 2019 and Ethiopians Asefa Habtamu (2:08:32 in Dubai 2013) and Tsegaye Hiluf (PB 2:12:30 in Barcelona 2018).

The top Italian runner is Ahmed Nasef, who won the national marathon titles in 2016 and 2017.

The favorite in the women’s race is Kenya’s Cynthia Cherop, who clocked 2:25:55 on a slightly downhill course at the Los Angeles Marathon in March and finished runner-up at the Gothenburg Half Marathon setting her PB with 1:08:26 in May.

She'll face compatriots Judith Korir, winner at the Belgrade Marathon this year, and Jackline Autonyang, who will make her debut over the distance.

More than 13,000 runners are expected to take part in the Venice Marathon and the popular 10km mass race.

(10/26/2019) Views: 623 ⚡AMP
by IAAF
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Venice Marathon

Venice Marathon

The Venice Marathon is one of the most beautiful marathons known for the historical, artistic and picturesque surrounding in which it takes place. It starts in Stra, a small village located at about 25 km west of Venice, at the beginning of the Riviera del Brenta, a beautiful area near the River Brenta, where the rich and noble Venetians built...

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Olika Adugna of Ethiopia will be aiming to defend his title at the 41st edition of Marseille Cassis 20km

It’s been 12 years since Wilson Chebet retained his title in the race, the last runner to do so. Last year the 20-year-old Adugna defeated Amera Kuma following a fierce sprint. But Adugna, who clocked a half marathon PB of 1:01:43 one year ago, has a season’s best of just 1:04:23 from August, so doesn’t seem to his in his best shape.

One of Adugna’s rivals will be Vincent Gerald of Kenya, who also knows the challenging course along the French Mediterranean coastline. He rounded out the podium last year in 1:00:33, just four seconds behind Adugna.

Yasin Haji, who’ll be making his debut in this event, will be another strong contender. The Ethiopian, 23, is the fastest man on the field courtesy of a 1:01:19 half marathon career best, a time he ran just two weeks ago.

Josphat Kiproo Menjo should also be a threat, on paper, as he is the fastest man in the field over 10km, although his 27:04 came nine years ago.

The Kenyan, who turned 40 in August, set his half marathon best in March 2018 when running 1:01:36. In 2019 he clocked season’s best of 28:37 and 1:06:23.

Dennis Rutoh will have a role to play following his victory at the Montbéliard half marathon last September in a new lifetime best of 1:01:44. He also set his 10 km best in July with 28:21. 

French hopes will rest on Mohammed Serghini and Julien Devanne. The latter won within a month both half marathon and marathon national titles.

On the women’s side, Brillian Jepkorir Kipkoech looks to be the favourite to succeed to Gete Alemayehu. 

The Kenyan, 24, improved her half marathon best one month ago with a 1:07:12 run. She also bettered her 10km best to 31:04 in July. She seems to have a big margin over the rest of the field.

Compatriots Susan Kipsang Jeptoo and Lucy Macharia should be her main rivals. The former improved her 10km, half marathon and marathon bests in 2019 while the latter finished fourth at last year’s event.

French hopes will rest on the shoulders of Elodie Normand and Leonie Periault.

The start takes place near Marseille’s well-known Velodrome Stadium and then follows the Mediterranean coast before a tough 327-metre climb up to the Col de la Gineste halfway through the race. Runners then wind down a long descent towards the finish line in the port town of Cassis.

(10/25/2019) Views: 543 ⚡AMP
by IAAF
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Marseille Cassis

Marseille Cassis

Once upon a time…How could we imagine one day of March 1979, the idea of organizing a race opened to everyone between Marseilles and Cassis could take such an International dimension? A very young athletic section, a group of close friends and the unfailing support of every sections of an “omnisport” club, the SCO Ste Marguerite, gave birth...

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Marathoners are ready to sweat it out in Doha tonight and Kenyan runners should be leading the pack

If recent history is any guide, the men’s marathon title is likely to go to an African runner with Kenya entering four runners led by defending champion Geoffrey Kirui who will be out defending the title at midnight.

Despite the race starting at midnight in an attempt to avoid the brutal heat of the day, temperatures are still expected to be 30C as marathoners take on the course along the waterfront of Doha’s famous Corniche connecting Doha Bay and Doha City Centre, set against the capital city’s towering skyline.

Unlike track and field being staged in an air-conditioned Khalifa International Stadium, marathoners have to endure the unforgiving Qatari heat as witnessed on day during the women’s race where also half the field failed to complete simply because you can’t air-condition 42km of road.

Kirui who is also the 2017 Boston Marathon winner will partner with Laban Korir who has wealth of experience on the roads having won Setúbal Half Marathon in Portugal, and another followed at the 2009 Pombal Meia Maratona.

At the 2011 Amsterdam Marathon, he finished second with his run of 2:06:05 behind his compatriot Wilson Chebet. Korir then won the 2014 Toronto Waterfront Marathon with a time of 2:08:15. He holds a personal best of 2:05.05 from Armsterdam Marathon in 2016.

Paul Lonyangata is another member of the squad that holds personal best of 2:06.1.

Amos Kipruto is the fourth member of the team, he made his marathon running at the  2016 Rome Marathon with a victory. In 2017, Kipruto won the Seoul Marathon in 2:05:54, before finishing fifth in the Amsterdam Marathon in 2:05:43. He was runner-up at the 2018 Berlin marathon.  

Away from the Kenyans Mosinet Geremew tops the entry list with a PB of 2:02:55, set as he followed home Kenya’s Olympic champion and world record-holder Eliud Kipchoge as he won the London Marathon.

Mule Wasihun was one place behind in London in a personal best of 2:03:16 that places him third in this season’s list also.

(10/05/2019) Views: 667 ⚡AMP
by Dennis Okeyo
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IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha

IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha

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...

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Mark Husbands will be tackling a half marathon to say thanks for daughter's life-saving operations

At just two weeks old, Holly Husbands was a tiny figure undergoing keyhole surgery to help her lungs function properly and ultimately keep her alive.

Holly, who was born with a congenital heart defect, would eventually need three complex operations that have represented a rollercoaster ride for her parents.

But one moment stands out as a marker of Holly’s irrepressible spirit and the expertise and care of the medics who have treated her. Leaving hospital after the final operation with a tear in her eye, she told her father Mark: “Daddy, I’m not out of breath anymore!”.

Holly, now seven, has led a full life ever since.  

But Mark, from Ross-on-Wye, hasn’t forgotten the care she received and is taking part in this year’s Simplyhealth Great Birmingham Run on Sunday, October 13 to say thanks to Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

The 36-year-old and Holly’s mum attended a 20-week-scan at Hereford County Hospital where they were told by doctors that one of the ventricles in their baby girl’s heart was not visible.

Holly was diagnosed with Hypo plastic Right Heart Syndrome, which meant the right side of her heart would struggle to pump enough blood to her lungs. Due to her high-risk pregnancy, Holly’s mum was referred to Birmingham Women’s Hospital where she could receive specialist care and Holly could be delivered by specialist consultants.

Within 24 hours of being born at the women’s hospital, Holly was transferred straight to Birmingham Children’s Hospital and admitted to the Infant Cardiac Ward, where she underwent her first operation at just two-weeks-old. Using keyhole surgery, doctors successfully inserted a small tube into Holly’s heart, to allow blood to flow into her lungs, but this was a temporary fix and they told her parents that Holly would need two more operations in the future.

Holly was only eight months old when she underwent her second operation, this time open-heart surgery to make further repairs to her tiny heart.

Holly’s heart was monitored for the next few years and then in March, this year, at the age of seven, Holly was ready for her third and final operation.  The wait during her final surgery was agonizing for Mark, and after seven hours – which felt like an eternity – Holly was brought out of theater. However, soon after, doctors and nurses swarmed around her bed, and Mark knew something was wrong – Holly was experiencing more bleeding than expected. Luckily, they were able to stop the bleeding and Holly could begin to recover.

Mark said: “Each time, waiting for Holly to come out of theater has been the worst experience I’ve ever had as a parent – you feel so helpless. It hurt us so much to see her lying there covered in tubes and drains, but after the first operation it was a relief to know it was all done and our little girl had got the chance to live a normal life.

“We’re so thankful that Mark has decided to take part in the Great Birmingham Run for us. The Great Birmingham Run is one of our favorite events of the year, as we see so many of our amazing supporters in our red balloon charity vests take over the streets of Birmingham! We’ll be right behind Mark and our other fantastic supporters who tackle the 13.1 mile route on the day.”

(09/24/2019) Views: 604 ⚡AMP
by Josh Layton
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Birmingham International Half Marathon

Birmingham International Half Marathon

The Birmingham International Marathon is a long-distance running event held in Birmingham, UK. For security reasons the 2019 race was not a full half marathon. The distance was 11.07 miles. It forms part of the Great Run British Marathon Series. The first event will be held on October 15, 2017 on the same day as the existing Great Birmingham Run...

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Alemu Kebede of Ethiopia will aim for 2:20 course record at the Mainova Frankfurt Marathon

Could spectators witness a new women’s course record at the Mainova Frankfurt Marathon on 27 October? Two women who could be about to produce a world class time of around 2:20 are among the favorites.

Valary Jemeli of Kenya has a best of 2:20:53 while her Ethiopian rival Alemu Kebede has achieved 2:22:52. Alemu also showed last weekend that she is in formidable form in preparation for the Mainova Frankfurt Marathon, running her fastest ever half marathon in Copenhagen.

Two European runners who could also feature are Ana Dulce Felix of Portugal and Britain’s Stephanie Twell as well as the home contender Katharina Steinruck.

“We have put together a strong women’s elite field once again and expect a high-class and possibly thrilling race. Our goal is to one day have a sub 2:20 course record. It would of course be great if we could achieve it this year,” said race director Jo Schindler. With 14,000 runners expected to take part, the organizers say places remain available for this IAAF Gold Label race, the top category awarded for road races worldwide.

Last year the Ethiopian Meskerem Assefa improved Frankfurt’s course record to an impressive 2:20:36. It is highly possible that with good weather conditions this time could be under threat on October 27 and the city beside the River Main will stage its first ever sub-2:20 time by a woman.

Valary Jemeli has certainly gone close to that barrier on several occasions. The Kenyan has broken 2:22 three times with her best achieved in Berlin two years ago when she finished third in 2:20:53. A strong sign of her potential for sub-2:20 is a personal best of 66:14 for the half marathon, set this year.

A strong performance at half marathon is also a reason for making Alemu Kebede one of the favorites. The Ethiopian finished fourth in a highly competitive women’s field for the half marathon in Copenhagen last Sunday, improving her personal best to 66:43. In spring this year she set another personal best to win the Rome Marathon in 2:22:52.

Ana Dulce Felix has been one of the best European marathon runners for some time now. The 36-year-old Portuguese will be making her debut at the Mainova Frankfurt Marathon. She has a personal best of 2:25:15 and took 16th place in the 2016 Olympic Games marathon in Rio.

A runner who might well use Frankfurt as a springboard to establishing herself among the European Marathon elite is Stephanie Twell. The 30-year-old Briton was once regarded as a potential successor to Paula Radcliffe after some outstanding performances at junior level but subsequently suffered injuries which hindered her development. She made her marathon debut in Valencia last December, finishing seventh in 2:30:14. This could be a good omen for a marathon breakthrough.

Katharina Steinruck will be running the Mainova Frankfurt Marathon for the third year in succession. The 29-year-old competes for the home club Eintracht Frankfurt and is making her first appearance at the distance since heel surgery.

Her target will be the qualifying time for the Tokyo Olympics next year which is 2:29:30. Steinruck, better known under her maiden name of Katharina Heinig, has a personal best of 2:28:34.

(09/24/2019) Views: 678 ⚡AMP
by AIMS
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Mainova Frankfurt Marathon

Mainova Frankfurt Marathon

Frankfurt is an unexpectedly traditional and charming city, with half-timbered buildings huddled in its quaint medieval Altstadt (old city), cosy apple wine taverns serving hearty regional food, village-like neighbourhoods filled with outdoor cafes, boutiques and street art, and beautiful parks, gardens and riverside paths. The city's cache of museums is second in Germany only to Berlin’s, and its nightlife...

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Nagoya marathon bronze medalist Valary Jemeli will be the athlete to beat at the Frankfurt marathon

Jemeli will face Ethiopia's Alemu Kebede in the German city as they seek to push for a better ranking ahead of the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020.

"I hope to run a good race and boost my ranking among Kenyan runners. It is hard to get selected as a marathoner to represent Kenya, but with a win in Frankfurt, I will be a step closer to Tokyo Olympic Games team," said Jemeli on Friday.

Jemeli has the best time of 2:20:53, while Kebede's fastest time is 2:22:52.

"We have put together a strong women's elite field once again and expect a high-class and possibly thrilling race. Our goal is to one day have a sub 2:20 course record. It would, of course, be great if we could achieve it this year," said race director Jo Schindler in a statement.

The line-up also features Portugal's Ana Dulce Felix (2:25:15), Britain's Steph Twell (2:30:14) while the home contingent is led by Katharina Steinruck (formerly Heinig) who has a 2:28:34 PB.

Last year the Ethiopian Meskerem Assefa improved Frankfurt's course record to an impressive 2:20:36. It is highly possible that with good weather conditions this time could be under threat on October 27 and the city beside the River Main will stage its first-ever sub-2:20 time by a woman.

Jemeli has gone close to that barrier on several occasions. The Kenyan has broken 2:22 three times with her best achieved in Berlin two years ago when she finished third in 2:20:53. A strong sign of her potential for sub-2:20 is a personal best of 66:14 for the half marathon, set this year.

A strong performance at the half marathon is also a reason for making Alemu Kebede one of the favorites. The Ethiopian finished fourth in a highly competitive women's field for the half marathon in Copenhagen last Sunday, improving her personal best to 66:43. In spring this year she set another personal best to win the Rome Marathon in 2:22:52.

Ana Dulce Felix has been one of the best European marathon runners for some time now. The 36-year-old Portuguese will be making her debut at the Frankfurt marathon. She has a personal best of 2:25:15 and took 16th place in the 2016 Olympic Games marathon in Rio.

(09/20/2019) Views: 617 ⚡AMP
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Mainova Frankfurt Marathon

Mainova Frankfurt Marathon

Frankfurt is an unexpectedly traditional and charming city, with half-timbered buildings huddled in its quaint medieval Altstadt (old city), cosy apple wine taverns serving hearty regional food, village-like neighbourhoods filled with outdoor cafes, boutiques and street art, and beautiful parks, gardens and riverside paths. The city's cache of museums is second in Germany only to Berlin’s, and its nightlife...

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Canadians Reid Coolsaet, Dylan Wykes & Rob Watson will return to the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Three very familiar faces will be among the outstanding Canadian entries for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon October 20th, all lured by the Athletics Canada National Championship which runs concurrently in this IAAF Gold Label race.

Moreover, this year’s event also serves as Canada’s Olympic trials with the ‘first past the post' earning an automatic spot on the team bound for Tokyo provided he or she has achieved the Olympic standard (2:11:30/2:29:30).

Two-time Olympian Reid Coolsaet will seek a third berth, Dylan Wykes a second and Rob Watson, a three-time World Championships performer, relishes the challenge of earning another podium finish. The ‘three amigos’ between them have won twenty-one national titles.

Coolsaet turned 40 on July 29th and acknowledges his best days are behind him - he is Canada’s third fastest marathoner of all time with a 2:10:28 personal record - but believes he has the experience to make the team for Tokyo. "Yeah, it is my goal, I am totally focused on making the Olympics," said Coolsaet, who has run under 2:11:30 six times in his career. "It’s definitely my main motivation for training as hard as I do in the marathon.

"If it wasn’t for the 2020 Olympics, knowing I am not really looking for a PB anymore, I think I would have moved to the trails last year. I am happy to train this hard knowing the reward would mean a lot to me."

With Cam Levins (2:09:25) also returning to the site of his dramatic Canadian record-breaking performance, Coolsaet realises that something would have to go seriously wrong for Levins to miss the automatic place. Still, he remains optimistic he has a chance.

"I know what it takes to run the level I need to run to potentially qualify for the Olympics," Coolsaet says believing a 2:12:30 might be good enough to earn a place through the IAAF ranking system.

"Although I don’t want to get hurt, I don’t want to sell myself short and think ‘what if?’ I am going to be smart about my training and listen to my body. "I am not going to run quite as much mileage as in the past. But I know I can’t let being 40 be an excuse to back off my training because I can't handle it or something like that. Although there will be some slight changes, they are going to be very slight."

Wykes who was Canada’s top finisher in the 2012 Olympic marathon (20th in 2:15:26) has a personal best of 2:10:47 making him the fourth fastest Canadian of all time. Many were surprised by his return. After failing to make the Rio Olympic team he effectively retired to focus on his family - he and his wife Francine have two young children - and his coaching business ‘Mile2Marathon’.

Coach Richard Lee had once declared that he doubted Wykes would ever want to put himself through the disruption which ultimately led to his place on the 2012 London Olympic team. He made three attempts to achieve the standard sacrificing much in the process. His 2:10:47 came at the 2016 Rotterdam Marathon. Reminded of this the now 36-year old laughs.

"It’s certainly taken a few years to wrap my head around things and realize I am probably not going to do it again if it’s like the buildup was to London," he admits. "I would be lying if I said Tokyo wasn’t in the back of my mind. But I think I am trying to see things less ‘big picture’ and trying to focus on staying healthy and getting to the finish line in Toronto.

"If Cam Levins is on his game he’s in a different stratosphere. But I guess guys like Tristan Woodfine, Reid, Trevor Hofbauer, these kind of guys, if I am going well, I will mix it up with them.That is kind of what I am most excited about."

Following the 2012 Olympics, Wykes’ motivation was at a peak. The London experience had left him excited with endless possibilities to set about achieving. But there were obstacles that cropped up along the way. "I was as focused or more focused after London as any time in my career and the years between London and Rio were going to be my best," he reveals. "But a lot of that was injuries and kind of biting off more than I could chew.

"Some of that had to with the buildup to London and having to run so many marathons. And I made the silly mistake of trying to chase down (Jerome Drayton’s Canadian record). After London that became my focus. And, when I didn’t make Rio, I was kind of done."

A year ago Wykes and his family moved east from Vancouver after Francine received a post-doctoral position at Carleton University. Together with Rob Watson he coaches runners of all abilities through their company ‘Mile2Marathon’. With over 200 clients and ten coaches it is a thriving business. Somewhere along the way he rediscovered his own love for disciplined training. At his peak Watson achieved a personal best of 2:13:29 at the 2013 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon.

(08/02/2019) Views: 726 ⚡AMP
by Paul Gains
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Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Scotiabank 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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Norwegian Marathon superstar Ingrid Kristiansen will be heading the Kosice Peace Marathon in October

Kosice Marathon organizers are honored that Ingrid Kristiansen, one of the best distance runners in history, will visit Kosice in October as a special guest of the Kosice Peace Marathon.

She was the first woman to become world champion – on the track, road and cross-country. She broke many world records and took many victories at great marathons around the world.

She set a world record for 5000m in London in 1985 to become the first woman to run under 15 minutes.

That same year her winning time in the London Marathon, 2:21:06, stood as a world record for 13 years. She won the London Marathon four times, the Boston Marathon twice as well as the New York and Chicago marathons. Her greatest success on the track was becoming world champion at 10,000m in Rome in 1987.

She attends the Kosice Marathon, founded in 1924 and second only to the Boston Marathon in longevity, as part of the “In the Footsteps of Marathon Legends” project.

(07/10/2019) Views: 769 ⚡AMP
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This sounds like one amazing marathon! 7/10 9:52 pm


kosice Peace Marathon

kosice Peace Marathon

The Kosice Peace Marathon is the oldest European marathon.This year for the organizers of Kosice Peace Marathon is also about memories and flashbacks. One of the fastest marathon courses has been created in Košice 20 years ago on that occasion it was the 1997 IAAF World Half Marathon Champioships. Tegla Loroupe and Shem Kororia were awarded from the hands of...

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Five-time Canadian record-holder Mohammed Ahmed and NCAA champion Justyn Knight are going head-to-head this Sunday in the Pre Classic two-mile

Both runners have had great 2019 seasons. Knight has already run a huge 5,000m personal best 13:09.76 at the Rome Diamond League to secure Olympic standard and one of the fastest 5,000m times in Canadian history.

In the same race, Ahmed became the first Canadian ever to go sub-13 in a 5,000m. He broke his own Canadian record by three seconds, running a 12:58.16 to finish sixth.

Ahmed had been hunting the 12:59 for a long time, but to run that fast takes a special day, and in Rome his time came.

Heading into Pre this weekend, both runners have an Olympic standard, which means they also have World Championship standard for this year’s championship in Doha. Ahmed has already been named to the team in the 10,000m.

(06/26/2019) Views: 712 ⚡AMP
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Prefontaine Classic

Prefontaine Classic

World Athletics made official Thursday what long has been suspected, with international track & field’s governing body announcing the Prefontaine Classic has been postponed. No new date has been set. The Pre Classic, part of the Diamond League series of international meets featuring Olympic-level athletes, had been scheduled for June 6-7 at the new Hayward Field in Eugene. All Diamond...

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Cam Levins will return to the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon to defend his national title and hopefully lower his own Canadian marathon record

On Sunday, October 21, 2018, Levins broke a record that had stood for many more years than he’d been alive. Levins crossed the line in his marathon debut in 2:09:25, 44 seconds ahead of the record set 43 years ago by Jerome Drayton.

Levins had hoped to take another stab at the marathon in London this year, but was sidelined due to injury. Since withdrawing from the London Marathon, Levins has gotten healthy and announced his fall marathon will take place in Toronto.

Levins told journalist Paul Gains, “I was thrilled with how I performed, and I will probably remember crossing the finish line there for the rest of my life. It’s exciting to go back to a race where I now know the entire course.

I also feel like I know what to expect. I may not feel the same as I did last year, but if I can go and have a similar experience, I will be happy.”

As an added bonus, the 2019 STWM is also the Canadian Marathon Championships, and therefore, an Olympic qualifier. The first Canadian male and female finishers will receive automatic pre-selection for the Tokyo Olympic marathon next August, provided they achieve the 2:11:30 (male) and 2:29:30 (female) standards.

If they do not go under those standards on October 20th, a place will still be held open for them until May 31, 2020 to allow them to attain the standard. Anyone else hoping to represent Canada in the marathon in Tokyo will have to wait until June 1, 2020 before selections are announced, so the Toronto Championship race offers a huge incentive.

(06/20/2019) Views: 794 ⚡AMP
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Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Scotiabank 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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Selemon Barega is going to defend his two-mile title at the Prefontaine Classic at Stanford and Yomif added to mile field

Ethiopia’s Selemon Barega will return to the Prefontaine Classic to defend his two-mile title at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Stanford on 30 June.

Barega, the 2016 world U20 champion, won the 2018 Diamond League 5000m title in 12:43.02, a time bettered only by the last three world record setters – two of whom ran before he was born.

Already this year, the 19-year-old has finished fifth at the World Cross Country Championships, first over 10,000m at the Ethiopian Championships and has recorded a season’s best of 12:53.04 for 5000m.

Olympic silver medallist Paul Chelimo finished second to Barega in the two-mile race at last year’s Prefontaine Classic. He may have one eye on the North American best of 8:07.07 set by Matt Tegenkamp in 2007.

Asian champion Birhanu Balew was the only athlete to beat Barega on the IAAF Diamond League circuit last year. The Bahraini runner, who finished third in this event at last year’s Pre Classic, will be looking to get the better of Barega once again.

Abadi Hadis, the 2017 world cross-country bronze medallist, recently came close to his 5000m PB with 12:56.48 in Rome. The versatile Ethiopian also equalled his half marathon PB of 58:44 earlier this year.

Olympic bronze medallist Hagos Gebrhiwet will be contesting the distance for the first time. The Ethiopian has finished third over 5000m in Shanghai and Rome so far this year and second over 10,000m in Stockholm.

World cross-country champion Joshua Cheptegei and fellow Ugandan Jacob Kiplimo are also in the field. Kiplimo finished 11th in this race last year, setting a national record of 8:25.17 – a time that should be within range for both men this time round.

Mo Ahmed, who last week lowered the Canadian 5000m record to 12:58.16, was also in last year’s Pre Classic two-mile race, finishing fourth.

Getaneh Molla made headlines earlier this year when he won the Dubai Marathon in 2:03:34, the fastest debut marathon in history. The Ethiopian will be moving down in distance in Stanford.

While younger brothers Filip and Jakob will line up for the mile in Stanford, older brother Henrik Ingebrigtsen will contest the two-mile event and will look to improve upon his 8:22.31 fifth-place finish from last year.

Others in the field include world U20 1500m record-holder Ronald Kwemoi, Olympic 10,000m silver medallist Paul Tanui, 2018 world 10,000m leader Richard Yator, world U20 cross-country champion Milkesa Mengesha, Australia’s Stewart McSweyn and Canada’s Justyn Knight.

In other Stanford-related news, world indoor record-holder Yomif Kejelcha has been added to the Bowerman Mile field.

(06/12/2019) Views: 908 ⚡AMP
by IAAF
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Prefontaine Classic

Prefontaine Classic

World Athletics made official Thursday what long has been suspected, with international track & field’s governing body announcing the Prefontaine Classic has been postponed. No new date has been set. The Pre Classic, part of the Diamond League series of international meets featuring Olympic-level athletes, had been scheduled for June 6-7 at the new Hayward Field in Eugene. All Diamond...

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Chris Geils is running 1242 miles from Pretoria to Cape Town South Africa to raise awareness about disabilities

Chris Geils and 11 others have embarked on a journey, running from Pretoria to Cape Town South Africa, to raise awareness about disabilities.

The 41-year-old and team Ocal Global will leave the Mother City for Pretoria before starting an incredible non-stop, 24-hour-a-day challenge that spans two 100km (62 miles) over 10 days.

“The Ocal 2019 Journey for Change is being run not only to raise awareness around disability, but to raise funds for differently-abled children in the Northern Cape,” said Geils.

“All these children have physical disabilities, most commonly resulting from cerebral palsy, spina bifida, amputations, genetic syndromes, spinal injuries and traumatic brain injuries.”

He has committed to raising R25 000 ($1750) for the children’s immediate mobility and day-to-day living needs, including wheelchairs, walkers, prosthetics and crutches.

“When I was 24 years old I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, a chronic inflammatory bowel disease with no known cure. 

"Over the next six years, I’d yo-yo between states of being well, and then lows of feeling terrible and being in constant pain.

‘‘Eating anything would leave me in pain and immediately running to the bathroom. At the age of 30, I decided to make a change and listen to my body. It was about this time that I started running.

‘‘Thankfully, I’m well enough now to live a healthy, active lifestyle, but this could change at any moment and I want to make the good days count.

‘‘It’s for this reason that I want to be able to help and bring about change for the children in the Northern Cape.”

Ocal Global founder Nicolene Anley said: “People are disabled not because of their condition - they’re disabled by the poorly accessible world we currently live in.

‘‘With all of those daily challenges, disability can be something that you create within yourself that disables you from living a life that’s whole and that’s full and that’s meaningful.”

They plan to finish their challenge in Cape Town, South Africa on May19.

(05/16/2019) Views: 821 ⚡AMP
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Cape Town 12 Onerun

Cape Town 12 Onerun

This fast flat route takes runners through a working harbour and into a quiet city centre for a scintillating, fast and furious finish; music, enthusiastic support and a later than usual start time for a road race. The FNB Cape Town 12 ONERUN, the most passionate and welcoming road race on the South African running calendar. ...

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Defending champion Geoffrey Kirui and two times champion Edna Kiplagat will lead Kenya's marathon team for the World Athletics Championships in Doha

Edna Kiplagat won the title in 2011 and 2013 before settling for silver in 2017 London and Dubai Marathon champion Ruth Chepngetich will be participating on the Kenya team at the World’s Chsmpionships.  

The men's team has Amos Kipruto who finished second in Berlin Marathon last year, the 2018 Paris Marathon champion Paul Lonyangata along with Geoffrey Kirui.

Athletics Kenya senior vice president, Paul Mutwii, said the team will start training in July in Kaptagat under coaches Joseph Cheromei and Richard Kimetto.

“We picked the team on availability after many of our top athletes decided not to honor the invite," said Mutwii.

(05/08/2019) Views: 829 ⚡AMP
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IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha

IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha

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...

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