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Articles tagged #Ruth Chepngetich
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Gidey smashes world half marathon record in Valencia

Ethiopia’s Letesenbet Gidey smashed the world record* at the Valencia Half Marathon Trinidad Alfonso EDP, clocking 1:02:52 on her debut at the distance at the World Athletics Elite Label road race on Sunday (24).

Competing in the same Spanish city where she broke the world 5000m record last year, Gidey took 70 seconds off the previous world record of 1:04:02 set by world marathon champion Ruth Chepngetich earlier this year.

In doing so, 23-year-old Gidey becomes the first woman to officially break the 64 and 63-minute barriers. She’s also the first debutante to set a world record for the distance.

Perfectly paced by her compatriot Mebrahtu Kiros, Gidey went through the opening 5km in 15:00, well inside world record pace, with her compatriot Yalemzerf Yehualaw running five metres down. Yehualaw, whose recent 1:03:44 clocking in Larne could not be ratified as a world record due to the course being too short, drifted further back over the next few kilometres as Gidey reached 10km in 29:45 – the third-fastest clocking in history for the distance and just seven seconds shy of the world record set just a few weeks ago by Kalkidan Gezahegne.

While Yehualaw began to lose ground shortly afterwards, Gidey maintained her relentless rhythm to cover the next 5km segment in 14:44, reaching the 15km point in 44:29, barely nine seconds slower than her own world best for the distance.

Although her pace dropped very slightly in the last quarter of the race, Gidey had done more than enough to ensure victory in a world record time. She crossed the line in 1:02:52, adding a third world record to her name to go alongside the marks she owns for 5000m (14:06.62) and 10,000m (29:01.03).

Underscoring the quality of Gidey’s performance, she crossed the finish line alongside Spain’s Javier Guerra, a 2:07:27 marathon runner.

“I knew I could run this kind of time as my training sessions in the altitude of Addis Abeba have gone very well,” said an ecstatic Gidey, the Olympic bronze medallist and world silver medallist over 10,000m. “In future I’m thinking of competing at the marathon distance but I’m not sure that will come before the Paris 2024 Olympic Games or later.”

Yehualaw finished second in 1:03:51, also inside the previous world record. Kenya’s Sheila Chepkirui bettered her lifetime best by 45 seconds to complete the podium in 1:04:54.

The men’s race may not have witnessed a world record, but it still had record depth with an unprecedented seven men covering the distance within 59 minutes.

The leading group went through the opening 5km in 13:45, right on schedule for a 58-minute finishing time. Kenya’s world 10km record holder Rhonex Kipruto ran comfortably close to the pacemakers alongside compatriots Abel Kipchumba, Philemon Kiplimo, Felix Kipkoech, Daniel Mateiko and Kennedy Kimutai plus Ethiopia’s world 5000m champion Muktar Edris.

Surprisingly, the three pacemakers – Josphat Kiptoo Chumo, Emmanuel Maru and Evans Kipkemei Kurui – dropped out before the seventh kilometre and from then on the main favourites took turns in the lead to keep a swift pace. The 10km checkpoint was reached in 27:35, slightly outside their target, with Kipruto and 58:48 world leader Kipchumba making most of the pacing duties alongside the surprise package Mateiko, whose career best was 59:25 set in Copenhagen last month. At that point, 10 men still remained in the lead pack.

The first serious move came in the 12th kilometre when Mateiko, a training partner of Eliud Kipchoge, tried to break away from the rest but he was soon reeled in by the main contenders, who were now running in single file.

Shortly after reaching 15km in 41:16, Kipchumba moved to the front and only Kipruto could live with his pace. With about half a kilometre to go, Kipruto surged and gained a few metres on Kipchumba, but the latter never gave up and overtook Kipruto in the closing stages to win in a world-leading 58:07 with Kipruto taking second place in 58:09.

Kipchumba’s winning time elevates him to sixth on the world all-time list. Mateiko set a huge PB of 58:24 to secure a Kenyan sweep of the podium places.

 

 

(10/24/2021) Views: 66 ⚡AMP
by Emeterio Valiente for World Athletics
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Valencia Half Marathon

Valencia Half Marathon

The Trinidad Alfonso Valencia Half Marathon has become one of the top running events in the world in its 26th year. For the third year running, Valencia is the fastest half marathon in the world. The race, organized by SD Correcaminos Athletics Club, celebrated its silver anniversary in style with record participation, record crowd numbers, Silver label IAAF accreditation and...

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Ethiopians Letesenbet Gidey and Yalemzerf Yehualaw target world half marathon record in Valencia

The Valencia Half Marathon Trinidad Alfonso EDP witnessed a men’s world record last year as Kibiwott Kandie ran a stunning 57:32. This time the women’s world record is the target and organisers have assembled a star-studded line-up for the World Athletics Elite Label road race on Sunday (24).

Ethiopians Letesenbet Gidey and Yalemzerf Yehualaw will clash in a long-awaited showdown. Gidey is the world 5000m and 10,000m record-holder, while Yehualaw ran 1:03:44 in August, and although that time will not be ratified as a world half marathon record the two athletes will now go head-to-head in Valencia as they target the 1:04:02 run by Ruth Chepngetich in Istanbul in April, a mark which is pending world record ratification.

The 23-year-old Gidey has competed sparingly this year but managed to set a world 10,000m record by running 29:01.03 in Hengelo before claiming bronze at the Tokyo Olympics. While the diminutive Yehualaw is an accomplished half marathon specialist, with nine outings over the last three seasons, Gidey will tackle the distance for the first time but her impressive 44:20 world best for the 15km set in Nijmegen in 2019 suggests she might become the first debutante to set a world record for the distance.

Reportedly, each of the Ethiopian aces will be joined by their respective pacemakers – Mebrahtu Kiros and Genetu Molalign – in a battle which promises to be fierce, while the organisers will provide an official pacemaker for the rest of the elite targeting a 1:05 clocking.

That second group looks set to be led by Ethiopia’s Senbere Teferi, the winner in 2019 thanks to a 1:05:32 time; her compatriot Hawi Feysa, fresh from a 1:05:41 PB in Copenhagen last month; Sheila Chepkirui, runner-up last year in a career best of 1:05:39; and her fellow Kenyan Brenda Jepleting, a 1:06:52 performer.

After last year’s climax, when no fewer than four men ran inside the then world record of 58:01, one of them – Rhonex Kipruto – will be the marquee athlete this time. The Kenyan star, who clocked a 57:49 debut last year, also excelled in Valencia in January 2020 when he set the world 10km record of 26:24. He couldn’t place higher than ninth at the Tokyo Olympics over 10,000m but proved to be in top form in September when he recorded 26:43 at a 10km road race in Herzogenaurach.

While a men’s world record assault is not planned on this occasion, the pacemakers are set to go through the opening 10km in 27:30 on the hunt for a sub-58:00 finish time.

In addition to Kipruto, Sunday’s field includes another four Kenyan athletes with PBs under 59 minutes: Philemon Kiplimo, who was fifth last year in Valencia in a career best of 58:11, plus Kelvin Kiptum (58:42), Abel Kipchumba (58:48) and Felix Kipkoech (58:57).

Yet Kipruto’s toughest opposition might come from the two-time world 5000m champion Muktar Edris. The 27-year-old Ethiopian posted a promising debut over the distance last November by clocking 59:04 in New Delhi and should play a key role on Sunday, while the European challenge will be headed by Norway’s Sondre Moen and Spain’s Carlos Mayo.

Weather forecasters predict an ideal morning for running, with a 13ºC temperature and a very slight breeze. After the four records set in Valencia last year – the men’s 10km, half marathon and 10,000m, plus the women’s 5000m – the city could witness another world best on Sunday.

(10/23/2021) Views: 88 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Valencia Half Marathon

Valencia Half Marathon

The Trinidad Alfonso Valencia Half Marathon has become one of the top running events in the world in its 26th year. For the third year running, Valencia is the fastest half marathon in the world. The race, organized by SD Correcaminos Athletics Club, celebrated its silver anniversary in style with record participation, record crowd numbers, Silver label IAAF accreditation and...

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2021 Istanbul Marathon returns on November 7th with strong elite fields and a total of over 35,000 runners

With deep elite fields and an overall total of more than 35,000 runners the 43rd edition of the N Kolay Istanbul Marathon will go ahead on November 7. Ethiopians Herpasa Negasa and Mamitu Daska head the start lists with personal bests of 2:03:40 and 2:21:59 respectively.

The men’s defending champion and course record holder will both be returning to the Turkish metropolis, where the two winners will receive a prize purse of 35,000 US-Dollar each. The N Kolay Istanbul Marathon is an Elite Label Road Race of the international athletics federation, World Athletics.

The current start list features ten men who have personal bests of sub 2:08. Only a few international marathons this year were able to assemble such a deep field. Ethiopia’s Herpasa Negasa is the fastest on the list with an impressive time of 2:03:40. The 28 year-old achieved this result when he was second in the Dubai Marathon in 2019, crossing the line just six seconds behind the winner of this prestigious race.

It is common with a number of African top runners at the moment that they were not able to race for a longer period due to the pandemic. While Herpasa Negasa has not competed internationally for more than two years the N Kolay Istanbul Marathon will be only the second race of the year for the other athlete who has a personal record of sub 2:05: Mekuant Ayenew of Ethiopia will travel to Turkey with a PB of 2:04:46. With this time the 30 year-old marathon specialist won the race in Sevilla in 2020. This spring he clocked 2:09:34 in Milan. Another Ethiopian with a very fast personal best is Yitayal Atnafu Zerihun who ran 2:06:21 in Dubai, where he took fifth place last year.

The quality of the elite field suggests that the course record could be under threat if weather conditions are fine on 7 November. Daniel Kibet established the current record when he won the N Kolay Istanbul Marathon two years ago with 2:09:44. The Kenyan has a personal record of 2:06:49. Kibet will return to the start line of Turkey’s most prestigious road race together with the defending champion. A year ago Kenya’s Benard Sang triumphed in Istanbul with a personal best of 2:11:49.

The women’s race will have good depth as well. Eight athletes are on the start list with PBs of sub 2:28. Mamitu Daska ran her personal record of 2:21:59 when she took the Frankfurt Marathon back in 2011. The Ethiopian, who is a former winner of the Dubai Marathon as well, has achieved half a dozen times of sub 2:26. While Mamitu Daska has not raced for almost two years Jackline Chepngeno has returned to competing internationally last month. The Kenyan was second in the Paris Half Marathon with 69:07. With her marathon PB of 2:24:38 Chepngeno is among the favorites for the N Kolay Istanbul Marathon.

Two young Ethiopians are among those who could produce a surprise in Istanbul next month. 23 year-old Medina Deme Armino was the winner of China’s Xiamen Marathon in 2020, when she clocked a personal best of 2:26:12. Fetale Tsegaye, who is 23 as well, ran her best race when she was second in Madrid with 2:27:06 in 2019.

It is unlikely that there could be an attack on the world-class course record of 2:18:35 set by Kenya’s reigning World Champion Ruth Chepngetich. But a fast race with a number of quick times is possible in Istanbul.

(10/19/2021) Views: 92 ⚡AMP
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Vodafone Istanbul Marathon

Vodafone Istanbul Marathon

At the beginning, the main intention was simply to organise a marathon event. Being a unique city in terms of history and geography, Istanbul deserved a unique marathon. Despite the financial and logistical problems, an initial project was set up for the Eurasia Marathon. In 1978, the officials were informed that a group of German tourists would visit Istanbul the...

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Ruth Chepngetich went out at world record pace in Chicago

In the first major race in the U.S. since the pandemic began, the American women had their best showing at the Chicago Marathon since 1994 Sunday October 10.  

Ruth Chepngetich of Kenya did it the hardest way possible, but after starting the 2021 Chicago Marathon at a blistering pace, she held on for the win on Sunday, finishing in 2:22:31. Emma Bates and Sara Hall placed second and third, respectively—the first time since 1994 that two American women finished the race in the top three.

Chepngetich, 27, was racing among some of the elite men in the first half of the race, touching a potential 2:11 finish time at one point (the world record is 2:14:04, set by Brigid Kosgei at the 2019 Chicago Marathon). She began to slow right before hitting 13.1 miles in 1:07:34 and faded drastically over the final miles, her slowest 5K split was her final one, 18:15, compared to her first, which was 15:37. It was Chepngetich’s first race in the United States and she was greeted with some steamy midwest conditions—at the start it was 70 degrees with 70 percent humidity.

The victory was a bit of a redemption run for Chepngetich, who dropped out of the Olympic marathon in August.

“The race was good; it was nice,” she said afterward, “but it was tough. To push alone is not easy.”

Bates, 29, executed an opposite race strategy, starting off conservatively and closing the last 10K with her fastest miles. It resulted in a personal best on two levels: her time, 2:24:20, and her first podium finish at a World Marathon Major event. Since placing seventh at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, then fourth in December at the Marathon Project (2:25:40), Bates moved from her base in Idaho to Boulder, Colorado, to join Team Boss, the training group coached by Joe Bosshard.

“I didn’t want to push too much, too soon, and so I went through halfway still feeling really, really good,” Bates said. “And then I was like, ‘Oh crap, I don’t know how far ahead all these women are.’ I was getting a little nervous and I needed to pick it up. I just started slowly and surely just like picking it up, just bit by bit.”

As Bates stepped it up, she was able to catch the U.S.’s Keira D’Amato, who ultimately placed fourth in 2:28:22, and Hall, as well as Vivian Kipligat, who had spent most of the race in second place but finished fifth in 2:29:14.

“Having all those people lining the streets again just really gave me the energy to press on and really pick up my legs faster,” said Bates, who is now the ninth-fastest American woman at the 26.2-mile distance.

It was the first major marathon held in the U.S. since the pandemic shut most events down for the past 19 months. The 2021 Boston Marathon, delayed from its typical April date, will also go off on Monday.

Hall, 38, who lives in Flagstaff, Arizona, was able to compete at an impressive level through the pandemic, becoming the second-fastest American woman in history when she finished the Marathon Project in 2:20:32. She had originally planned to go for the American record on Sunday, but changed her objectives because of the weather. Deena Kastor keeps that title for now, running 2:19:36 at the 2006 London Marathon.

It was Hall’s second top-three finish at a World Marathon Major event—she placed second at the 2020 London Marathon, out-sprinting Chepngetich in the final meters of that elite-only race around Buckingham Palace. On Sunday Hall said she thought she had started the race at a conservative pace (she went through the halfway point in 1:11:37) but the humidity caught up with her over the second half. Still, she said she’s “in the best shape of my life” and will continue pursue that record if the opportunity presents itself—it’s a matter of having the fitness on the right day with the right conditions.

“I’m really excited to have a chance to go for [the American record] sometime. I knew today wasn’t going to be the day to do that,” Hall said. “I would have had to be in sub-2:18 shape to try for that today, maybe even faster. It’s going to take preparation meeting opportunity…hopefully in the near future I’ll get a stab at that.”

With all six major marathon events being held within a short window this season, the elite fields were spread thin between them, giving the American women a chance to showcase their talent in Chicago, placing seven in the top 10.

Chepngetich wins $55,000 for first place, while Bates takes home $45,000 for second place, Hall banks $35,000 for third, and D’Amato wins $25,000 for placing fourth.

(10/10/2021) Views: 94 ⚡AMP
by Erin Strout (Women’s Running)
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Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Bank of America Chicago Marathon

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

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Ruth Chepngetich Marks First US Race With First-Place Finish in Chicago Marathon

Ruth Chepngetich marked her first appearance racing in the U.S. with a huge victory at the 2021 Bank of America Chicago Marathon.

After dropping out of the Olympic Marathon in August due to an injury, Kenya’s Ruth Chepngetich, 27, came to the Chicago Marathon eager for a victory.

She blasted off at world record pace, running 15:37 for the first 5K and dropping her male pacer, Johnny Rutford, by around mile 8.5. But by mile 10, she'd slowed dramatically. Still—despite running much of the race alone and clocking a 5:53 mile between miles 23 to 24—she’d banked enough of a lead to hang on for the victory, crossing the line in 2:22:31

Since the Kenyan sensation made her marathon debut in 2017, she has finished in the top three of every race she has completed and Chicago was no different.

Taking an early lead in the race, Chepngetich beat out American competitors Emma Bates and Sara Hall and crossed the finish line well ahead of the rest of the elite women's field.

Chicago marks just the latest in a series of wins for Chepngetich, who also won in Dubai, Istanbul (twice), and at the 2019 IAAF World Championships. But it also marks a big return after a disappointing performance in the Tokyo Olympics.

While she went into the Olympics as the favorite for gold, she struggled during the race and dropped out around the 30K mark, her first DNF at the marathon distance.

Chepngetich holds a marathon personal best of 2:17:08, making her the fourth fastest woman in history.

“I have never raced in the States and making my debut in such a great race like the Bank of America Chicago Marathon is more than a dream to me,” said Chepngetich. “I will give all myself trying to run as fast as possible. The presence of such a wonderful elite field will boost me.”

Shalane Flanagan finishes 25th in the women's race at the #ChicagoMarathon in 2:46:39. Now she has less than 22 hours to get to the starting line of the #BostonMarathon. Her times so far: Berlin, 9/26, 2:38:32 London, 10/3, 2:35:04 Chicago, 10/10, 2:46:39

 

(10/10/2021) Views: 97 ⚡AMP
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Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Bank of America Chicago Marathon

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

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Kenya’s Reuben Kipyego and Ruth Chepngetich will target Chicago Marathon crowns

Reuben Kipyego and Ruth Chepngetich head the fields for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on Sunday (10), with Sara Hall and Galen Rupp leading US hopes at the World Athletics Elite Platinum Label road race.

After action in Berlin and London in recent weeks, Chicago is the next race in a busy period of major marathons and the Boston event follows just one day later. The weather in Chicago looks set to be warm, with temperatures of around 21°C expected for the start of the elite races at 7:30am local time.

The last edition of the Chicago Marathon in 2019 saw a world record fall as Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei clocked 2:14:04 to take 81 seconds from Paula Radcliffe’s 2003 mark. This time her compatriots Chepngetich, who won the 2019 world title, and Vivian Kiplagat are among the athletes in the spotlight.

Chepngetich sits fourth on the women’s marathon all-time list thanks to the 2:17:08 PB she set when winning in Dubai in 2019 and she ran a world half marathon record in Istanbul in April with 1:04:02. The 27-year-old was unable to finish the Olympic marathon in Tokyo but is looking forward to her US debut race in Chicago.

“I have never raced in the States and making my debut in such a great race like the Bank of America Chicago Marathon is more than a dream to me,” she said. “I will give all myself trying to run as fast as possible.”

Hall will be among those looking to challenge her. The US athlete beat Chepngetich at last year’s London Marathon, as the pair finished second and third respectively behind Kosgei, and Hall went on to run a PB of 2:20:32 in Arizona a couple of months later. Now she has her eye on Deena Kastor’s 2:19:36 US record, should the conditions allow.

“When I thought about where I wanted to chase the American record, I thought it would be more exciting to do it at home, in the US, and Chicago is such an epic race,” she said.

The other sub-2:25 women in the field are Kiplagat, the USA’s Keira D'Amato and Ethiopia’s Meseret Belete. Kiplagat, who ran her marathon PB of 2:21:11 in 2019, clocked 2:39:18 in Eldoret in June but showed her current form with a personal best performance in the half marathon of 1:06:07 in Copenhagen last month. Like Hall, D'Amato also ran a PB in Arizona in December, clocking 2:22:56, while 22-year-old Belete – who was sixth at the 2018 World Half Marathon Championships and ran a world U20 best of 1:07:51 later that year – has a marathon PB of 2:24:54 set when finishing fourth in Houston last year.

Among those joining them on the start line will be the USA’s Emma Bates, Diane Nukuri and Lindsay Flanagan.

Kipyego ready to turn up the heat

With his PB of 2:03:55 set at the Milan Marathon in May, Kipyego goes into the Chicago race as the second fastest man in 2021. The 25-year-old made his marathon debut in Buenos Aires in 2019, clocking 2:05:18, and later that year he improved to 2:04:40 to win in Abu Dhabi, despite having started the race as a pacemaker. He also seems unfazed by the warmer than expected temperatures, simply replying: ‘No problem’ at the pre-race press conference when asked about the weather.

Ethiopia’s Seifu Tura, meanwhile, explained how he is not as comfortable in the heat but he will go into the race looking to build on the 2:04:29 PB he set when finishing fourth in that same Milan Marathon in May. He also has experience of the Chicago event, having finished sixth in 2019 in 2:08:35.

Rupp leads US hopes as the 2016 Olympic bronze medallist returns to action after his eighth place in the Tokyo Olympic marathon nine weeks ago and third-place finish in the Great North Run half marathon in 1:01:52 last month. Eighth fastest among the entries, his PB of 2:06:07 was set in Prague in 2018 but he will be looking to regain the crown he claimed in 2017.

Kenya’s Dickson Chumba is also a former Chicago winner, having triumphed in 2015, and he set his PB of 2:04:32 in the same city the year before that. The fourth sub-2:05 runner in the field is Kengo Suzuki, who broke the Japanese record with his 2:04:56 to win the Lake Biwa Marathon in February.

Kenya’s Eric Kiptanui is also one to watch. Having helped to pace world record-holder Eliud Kipchoge in the past, the 58:42 half marathon runner made his own marathon debut last year and improved to 2:05:47 to win in Siena in April. 

“I was so happy to run 2:06 for my first marathon,” he told NN Running Team. “What it proved to me was, yes, I was in good shape but that I had the mentality to perform over the marathon distance.” Looking ahead to Chicago, he added: “I aim to run 2:03/2:04 but my first priority is to win the race."

Ethiopia’s Chalu Deso and Shifera Tamru have respective bests of 2:04:53 and 2:05:18, while Ian Butler, who is coached by former world record-holder Steve Jones and balances his running with his job as a teacher, is the second-fastest US runner in the field with a PB of 2:09:45 set in Arizona last year.

(10/09/2021) Views: 90 ⚡AMP
by Jess Whittington for World Athletics
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Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Bank of America Chicago Marathon

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

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Will Sara Hall take down the American record at Chicago marathon?

The 43rd running of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon is returning to the streets of the Windy City on Sunday, and all eyes will be on Sara Hall, who will be attempting to break Deena Kastor’s 15-year-old American record of 2:19:36, which she set when she won the London Marathon in 2006.

Hall will have an impressive elite field to help her get there, including world half-marathon record-holder Ruth Chepngetich. Newfoundland’s Kate Bazeley will be the only Canadian elite on the start line.

The women’s field

Chepngetich, who is the reigning world champion in the marathon, is the favourite to win on the women’s side, boasting a personal best of 2:17:08, which she ran in Dubai in 2019. Since her marathon debut in 2017, she has finished in the top three in every race she has completed and is the only woman in the field who has run under 2:20 for the marathon. She was one of the favourites to contend for gold at the Tokyo Olympic marathon in August, but struggled under the intense heat and dropped out at 30K, the first DNF of her marathon career. She is the fourth-fastest woman in history, and this will be her first marathon on American soil.

“I have never raced in the States and making my debut in such a great race like the Bank of America Chicago Marathon is more than a dream to me,” she said in an interview with NBC Chicago. “I will give all myself trying to run as fast as possible. The presence of such a wonderful elite field will boost me.”

Hall had to drop out of the 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, but won the Marathon Project in Arizona in 2:20:32 last December, putting her in second place in the American record books behind Kastor. If she breaks Kastor’s record on Sunday she will be only the second American woman to ever run under 2:20.

Hall will be joined on the start line by several other Americans, including Keira D’Amato, Emma Bates, Lindsay Flanagan and Diane Nukuri, among several others. Canada’s Bazeley has also recently been added to the elite field and will be entering the race with a personal best of 2:36:35, which she ran in 2019.

Live coverage of the event will begin at 8 a.m. ET (7 am local time), with the men’s and women’s wheelchair race setting off at 8:20 and 8:21. The first wave of runners is set to begin at 8:30 a.m. ET (7:30 local time).

Unfortunately, there are no free platforms covering the Chicago Marathon in Canada. Canadians can sign up for a FloTrack membership to watch the action or you can follow the live results here, which will be updated every five kilometers.

The weather is expected to be dry and partly sunny on Sunday, with temperatures starting around 18 C and rising to a high of 26 C later in the day.

(10/08/2021) Views: 99 ⚡AMP
by Brittany Hambleton
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Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Bank of America Chicago Marathon

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

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Kenenisa Bekele will lead the entries for Sunday’s BMW Berlin Marathon

When Kenenisa Bekele lines up for the BMW Berlin Marathon this weekend (Sept 26) it marks the beginning of an unprecedented period of marathon racing. Due to Covid-related postponements, five of the six Marathon Majors will be staged within a 42-day period. If you’re a fan of the classic 26.2-mile distance, you are in for a feast.

Bekele is clearly excited by the prospect as he is racing in not just one but two of these races. After Berlin on Sunday he will attempt to recover and re-boot before tackling the New York City Marathon in early November.

Here is how the autumn marathon period plays out…

Sept 26 – BerlinOct 3 – LondonOct 10 – ChicagoOct 11 – BostonNov 7 – New York

Tokyo Marathon, which is also one of the Marathon Majors, was due to take place on October 17 too, but has been called off due to the pandemic. However the TCS Amsterdam Marathon is still on October 17 – and this Dutch race often sees fast times.

First comes Berlin, though. Bekele has not raced since March last year and during this time he has seen his world 5000m and 10,000m records fall to Joshua Cheptegei. Last October he was due to race in London but withdrew on the eve of the race with a calf injury. He is now aged 39 but don’t write him off. People thought he was a spent force in 2019 but he came within two seconds of the world record with 2:01:41 in Berlin.

“I will come back with good energy and motivation,” says Bekele. “The last race in Berlin motivated me a lot, so I hope I will fulfil my plan this year.”

Bekele will be among around 25,000 runners in Berlin as mass participation road running emerges from the pandemic. His opposition on Sunday includes Guye Adola, an Ethiopian who ran the world’s fastest ever debut marathon of 2:03:46 in Berlin four years ago but has struggled to improve since.

There is also Eliud Kiptanui of Kenya, who has run 2:05:21, plus a further eight men who have run inside 2:07 such as Philemon Kacheran and Festus Talam of Kenya, Olika Adugna and Tadu Abate of Ethiopia, plus Hidekazu Hijikata of Japan.

Adugna won his debut marathon in Dubai in 2:06:15 while Hijikata took the Lake Biwa Marathon victory earlier this year.

The women’s race, meanwhile, includes Hiwot Gebrekidan, who won the Milan Marathon this year in 2:19:35, plus fellow Ethiopian Shure Demise, together with Kenyans Fancy Chemutai and Purity Rionoripo.

Just seven days after Berlin, the Virgin Money London Marathon takes place with the fields led by women’s world record-holder Brigid Kosgei together with fellow Kenyan Joyciline Jepkosgei and Ethiopians Roza Dereje and Birhane Dibaba.

The men’s race in London features Ethiopians Shura Kitata, Mosinet Geremew and Birhanu Legese plus Kenyans Titus Ekiru and Evans Chebet, whereas Brits like Charlotte Purdue and Jonny Mellor will create plenty of home interest.

Chicago includes world champion Ruth Chepngetich of Kenya in the women’s race alongside American hope Sarah Hall, while another home nation hope, Galen Rupp, takes on Ethiopians Getaneh Molla and Seifu Tura in the men’s race.

 

(09/21/2021) Views: 121 ⚡AMP
by Athletics Weekly
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BMW Berlin Marathon

BMW Berlin Marathon

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

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2021 Valencia Half Marathon hopes for new records

The Valencia Half Marathon Trinidad Alfonso EDP, organized by SD Correcaminos, has confirmed the first names of the international elite that will take to the streets of Valencia Ciudad del Running on October 24th.

After the Elite Edition last year in which a new male world record for the distance was set, 57:32 by Kibiwott Kandie, and four runners ran under 58 minutes, the Valencia Half Marathon aims to become the world’s fastest in 2021, all of this without losing sight of the challenge of the women’s world record, currently set at 1:04:02 in the hands of the Kenyan Ruth Chepngetich.

Ethiopia’s Letesenbet Gidey, current 5000m record holder (14:06.62 at the NN Valencia World Record Day in 2020), 10,000 (29:01.03, Hengelo) and 15K record holder (44:20), will try to improve upon her bronze medal in the 10,000m at Tokyo 2020 debuting at the Valencia Half Marathon at a world–class level. Alongside her, the last two winners of the event, Genzebe Dibaba (1:05:18 in 2020) and Senbere Teferi (1:05:32 in 2019), as well as Yalemzerf Yehualaw (1:04:40), third in the last World Half Marathon in Gdynia (Poland), and who improves her personal performance in each new asphalt race she takes part in.

In spite of the immeasurable records that were registered in the men’s category in 2020, with four runners under 58 minutes and the previous world record, the Valencia Half Marathon will also set up a race of an immensely high level in the men’s category. The third classified of the Elite Edition, Rhonex Kipruto (57:49 and the current 10K road world record) will return and the Ethiopian Muktar Edris, double world champion in 5.000m on track and with a time of 59:04 in half marathon, in his only experience in road race. They will be joined by several sub 59-minute runners over the distance and some world-class debutants from the track.

Marc Roig, manager of the international elite of the race, said that “Olympic years always have a special atmosphere, but the calendar does not stop and the half marathon (non-Olympic distance) has other crowns to share out. And they want them, both those who triumphed in Tokyo and those who fell short. That’s why dreaming about the world record is possible and desired.”

The Valencia Half Marathon is working with the teams of the top elite athletes so that their training in the weeks leading up to the event will culminate in an unprecedented peak of performance in Valencia.

(08/30/2021) Views: 187 ⚡AMP
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Valencia Half Marathon

Valencia Half Marathon

The Trinidad Alfonso Valencia Half Marathon has become one of the top running events in the world in its 26th year. For the third year running, Valencia is the fastest half marathon in the world. The race, organized by SD Correcaminos Athletics Club, celebrated its silver anniversary in style with record participation, record crowd numbers, Silver label IAAF accreditation and...

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Yehualaw smashes world half marathon record in Larne

Ethiopia’s Yalemzerf Yehualaw took 18 seconds off the world half marathon record, running a remarkable 1:03:44* at the Antrim Coast Half Marathon, a World Athletics Label Road Race, in Larne, Northern Ireland, on Sunday (29).

Yehualaw becomes the first woman to break 64 minutes for the half marathon, with her mark improving on the 1:04:02 world record which had been set by Kenya’s world marathon champion Ruth Chepngetich in Istanbul on 4 April.

Yehualaw had been second in that race in Istanbul, running 1:04:40, but this time her dominant performance saw her win the women's race by six minutes ahead of Kenya’s Jane Nyaboke (1:09:45). Britain's Rose Harvey was third (1:10:29) and Georgie Schwiening fourth (1:11:13), with Northern Ireland's Fionnuala Ross (1:13:10) and Ann-Marie McGlynn (1:13:13) fifth and sixth respectively. Yehualaw's time placed her ninth overall.

Paced by Roy Hoornweg and Mohamed Ali, Yehualaw was part of a pack of runners which went through the 5km mark in 15:05 and hit 10km in 30:22. Turning to run back along the coast, Yehualaw passed the 15km mark in 45:24 looking comfortable and continued to push on, eventually crossing the finish line full of emotion, with 1:03:44 on the clock.

“This was a dream come true for me,” said 22-year-old Yehualaw. “I have tried twice before to break the world record but it didn’t happen, but I’m so happy it happened today in Larne.”

The performance would have meant even more to Yehualaw after she finished fourth in the Ethiopian Trials 10,000m and did not make the team for the Olympic Games in Tokyo. She was also left motivated after her third-place finish at the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships in Gdynia last October.

“At the World Half Marathon Championships I was trying to win gold but it didn’t happen,” Yehualaw added. “But today I’m so happy.”

Coached by Tessema Abshero as part of the NN Running Team, Yalemzerf made her international debut in 2019 when she won the Rabat Half Marathon in 1:09:13. Returning to Rabat four months later, she won the African Games title and then finished second at the Delhi Half Marathon.

Her bronze medal win at the 2020 World Half Marathon Championships was followed by victory in Delhi, where her winning time of 1:04:46 was then the second-fastest ever women’s time on a record-eligible course. In Istanbul in April she improved to 1:04:40 which put her third on a world all-time list since rewritten thanks to her 1:03:44 in Larne.

It was an Ethiopian double in Larne as national record-holder Jemal Yimer won a close men's race in 1:00:30 ahead of his compatriot Tesfahun Akalnew (1:00:31) and Kenya's Shadrack Kimining (1:00:32).

A lead group of four had broken away early on and Kimining led Britain's Marc Scott, Yimer and Akalnew through 10km in 28:53. Kimining remained to the fore as the group passed 15km in 43:29 but as the race came down to a sprint finish it was 2017 world 10,000m fifth-placer Yimer who had the strongest kick and he held off Akalnew by a single second, with Kimining just another second behind. Scott finished fourth in 1:00:35 and Nigel Martin fifth in 1:03:22, with Ireland's Ryan Creech sixth in 1:03:26.

"I am happy with my win," said Yimer. "I had prepared for a course record but due to the wind and the circumstances I didn’t make sub-60 but I am happy with the win."

(08/29/2021) Views: 178 ⚡AMP
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It’s Going to Be a Busy 7 Weeks With All 6 World Marathon Majors Taking Place

For the first time ever, all six World Marathon Majors will be contested in the fall of the same year. Due to postponements caused by COVID-19, the Berlin, London, Tokyo, Chicago, Boston, and New York City marathons are all scheduled to take place within a seven-week timeframe.

For many athletes, these marathons will be their first 26.2 since the onset of the pandemic, and they’ve set big goals for the return of the sport.

Between runners doubling in events to some chasing national records, the best marathoners in the world are taking full advantage of these highly anticipated competitive opportunities. Here, we outlined some quick takeaways and storylines we’ll be watching based on the early elite field announcements. (And we’ll keep this list updated if and when top runners throw their name into one of these amazing fields!)


Berlin Marathon—Sunday, September 26

MEN:

Kenenisa Bekele, Ethiopia (2:01:41)

Right now, the only elite runner confirmed for the Berlin Marathon is Kenenisa Bekele. Berlin will be the first of two marathons in 42 days for the Ethiopian runner, who is also scheduled to race the New York City Marathon on November 7, a grueling double that will mark Bekele’s first races since March 2020.

As three-time Olympic champion told Sports Illustrated, he is ready for the challenge.

“For a whole year, I couldn’t race and it’s been really difficult for athletes,” Bekele said. “I want to take this chance and see what is possible.”

London Marathon—Sunday, October 3

Eight weeks after winning silver at the Tokyo Olympics, Brigid Kosgei aims to defend her title in London. The world record-holder from Kenya will be going for her third consecutive victory in London against a stacked field that includes defending New York City Marathon champion Joyciline Jepkosgei and two-time Tokyo Marathon winner Birhane Dibaba.

On the men’s side, Shura Kitata will also be looking to defend his title in London after a disappointing performance in Tokyo. The Ethiopian standout struggled in the heat during the Olympic marathon in Sapporo and dropped out of the race, but he’s aiming for redemption on a course where he experienced a breakthrough last year.

“I was disappointed to have to pull out of the Olympic Games Marathon, but I just did not adapt to the weather well,” Kitata told World Athletics. “It was very cold in Ethiopia prior to leaving for Tokyo and when we got there the weather took its toll on my body and made my breathing very hard. But I’m healthy and looking forward to racing in the Virgin Money London Marathon again. I am preparing very well and my coach has me very ready to defend my title in London.”

Chicago Marathon—Sunday, October 10

Almost a year after she nearly broke Deena Kastor’s American marathon record, Sara Hall is gearing up to again chase the elusive time set 15 years ago. In Chicago, Hall aims to continue her breakthrough streak, which started during the 2020 COVID-adjusted season, and run under the record of 2:19:36.

“It has been too long since I’ve been back, and when I thought about where I wanted to chase the American record, I thought it would be more exciting to do it at home, in the U.S., and Chicago is such an epic race,” Hall said in a statement. “I’m really excited to have my best marathon yet on U.S. soil.”

After dropping out of the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials, Hall made an impressive comeback with a runner-up finish at the London Marathon last October, and a victory at the Marathon Project in December. Hall’s winning time of 2:20:32 is her personal best and the second-fastest performance ever by an American woman.

Hall will have stiff competition up front with Ruth Chepngetich in the field. The Kenyan marathoner set the half marathon world record in April. She had an off day at the Tokyo Games and dropped out of the marathon around the 20-mile mark. Chicago will be the 2019 world champion’s first major marathon since the Olympics and her first race on U.S. soil.

Another American to watch will be Keira D’Amato; she made headlines in 2020 with huge improvements on the track and the roads, which helped her land her first professional contract with Nike at 36 years old. D’Amato was expected to be an Olympic team contender in the 10,000 meters, but she withdrew from the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials, citing a hamstring injury. The Chicago Marathon will be D’Amato’s first race since February.

Galen Rupp, who placed eighth in 2:11:41 at the Tokyo Olympics on August 8, is returning to race the marathon in Chicago. This marathon holds some significance for Rupp, who became the first American male athlete since Khalid Khannouchi to win the race in 2017. The last time he competed in the Windy City was during his comeback to the sport after having Achilles surgery. In the 2019 race, he dropped out just before the 23-mile mark, but he’s looking to improve this time around.

“My goal is winning,” Rupp said in a statement. “I want to come back and win. 2019 left a sour taste in my mouth. I didn’t finish that race so I cannot wait to get back out there and come back stronger than ever. It has been a wild ride since then. I’m healthy, I’m happy, and it’s going to be tremendous to come back.”

Boston Marathon—Monday, October 11

Boston will have one of the deepest elite fields on the women’s side with nine women who have run under 2:22, including Olympic bronze medalist Mare Dibaba and 2017 Boston Marathon winner Edna Kiplagat.

The race will also be Des Linden’s first of two marathons this fall. The 2018 Boston Marathon champion is entered in the New York City Marathon on November 7, a shorter than normal timeframe between major marathons. Boston will be Linden’s first major marathon since she finished fourth at the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials. This spring, Linden set the 50K world record by averaging 5:47 pace for more than 31 miles.

Fellow Americans Jordan Hasay and Molly Huddle will also be returning to Boston after the event took a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic.
​

In the men’s field, several past podium finishers are making their return to Boston, including Kenyan standouts Wilson Chebet, Felix Kandie, and Paul Lonyangata. A large American contingent will be led by four-time Olympian Abdi Abdirahman, who finished 41st in the marathon at the Tokyo Games. Including Abdirahman, eight of the top 12 finishers from the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials are scheduled to compete.

New York City Marathon—Sunday, November 7

The field assembled for the women’s race, especially the American contingent, is the most stacked marathon of all the fall races. Tokyo Olympians Molly Seidel, Sally Kipyego, and Aliphine Tuliamuk are all slated to return to competition in the Big Apple after representing Team USA in Sapporo.

Fellow podium finisher Peres Jepchirchir of Kenya is also returning to the distance after dominating the marathon to win gold in her first Olympic Games. She has the fastest personal best among the field after running 2:17:16 in Valencia last year. Including Jepchirchir, the New York City field includes four women who have run under 2:21.

Outside of the Olympic team, a handful of the top Americans are also gearing up for fast times in the city. Emily Sisson, Kellyn Taylor, Stephanie Bruce, Roberta Groner, and Laura Thweatt are scheduled to compete. And Des Linden will be racing her second marathon of the fall after competing in Boston on October 11.

Along with Bekele’s double, Abdi Nageeye’s performance will draw fans in to watch the men’s race in New York City. The runner from the Netherlands secured a silver medal in the Tokyo marathon by crossing the finish line in 2:09:58, a huge improvement from his 11th-place finish in Rio. He’s finished in the top 10 twice at the Boston Marathon, but this fall will mark his debut in New York City and he’s feeling confident in his chances.

“For me, winning the silver medal in the Olympic Games was not a surprise,” Nageeye said in a statement. “There were many good athletes in the race, but I knew my preparation had been good. I was ready for the conditions, and most importantly I believed in myself. I will take that same focus into my preparations for New York, and my belief and confidence in my abilities is even higher than it was in Sapporo. There is nothing I want more than to bring a New York City victory back home along with my Olympic medal.”

There will also be a couple of highly anticipated marathon debuts, including Kibiwott Kandie and Ben True. Kandie is the half marathon world record-holder and a world championships silver-medalist. True will be aiming for redemption after finishing fourth in the 10,000 meters and narrowly missing out on making Team USA at the Olympic Trials in June.

(08/28/2021) Views: 159 ⚡AMP
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World record holder Letesenbet Gidey to make debut at the Valencia Half Marathon

Ethiopia’s Letesenbet Gidey, who is the current 5,000m (14:06.62), and 10,000m (29:01.03) world record holder is taking on her first half-marathon at the 2021 Valencia Half Marathon on Oct. 24.

This will mark Gidey’s first time stepping up to the half-marathon distance, as the experienced long-distance track runner is known for using her exceptional endurance to wear down the field.

In addition to her world records, Gidey has the world’s best time over 15 km on the road, running a jaw-dropping 44:20 last fall in Nijmegen, Netherlands. If she can hold her 15K pace for six more kilometres, she will crush Ruth Chepngetich’s half-marathon world record of 1:04:02 by a minute and a half.

Gidey will be challenged by the last two winners of this event, Genzebe Dibaba (1:05:18) and Senbere Teferi (1:05:32), as well as Yalemzerf Yehualaw (1:04:40), who was third at the World Half Marathon Championships in Gdynia, Poland in 2020.

On the men’s side, the Valencia Half Marathon is stacked with high-level competition. Kenya’s Rhonex Kipruto is returning after running the second-fastest half marathon ever in 2020 (57:49). He also holds the 10K road world record at 26:24. Also in the race is Ethiopian Muktar Edris, a double world champion in the 5,000m who ran a 59:04 in his half-marathon debut.

The men’s half-marathon world record has been broken twice in Valencia over the past two years. The depth of the women’s and men’s fields are certain to threaten the record books this Oct. 24.

(08/27/2021) Views: 210 ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson
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Valencia Half Marathon

Valencia Half Marathon

The Trinidad Alfonso Valencia Half Marathon has become one of the top running events in the world in its 26th year. For the third year running, Valencia is the fastest half marathon in the world. The race, organized by SD Correcaminos Athletics Club, celebrated its silver anniversary in style with record participation, record crowd numbers, Silver label IAAF accreditation and...

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Chicago Marathon organizers have required participants to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test

Chicago Marathon participants required to prove vaccination or negative test.

Organizers confirmed the move as part of updated COVID-19 guidelines published for the annual event.

Around 35,000 people have registered for the 2021 Chicago Marathon, which was cancelled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Registered participants are required to provide proof of a complete COVID-19 vaccination series or a negative COVID-19 test result to participate in the 2021 Bank of America Chicago Marathon," organizers said.

"Registered participants who are not fully vaccinated are required to provide a negative COVID-19 test result for a test administered within 72 hours of attending the Bank of America Chicago Marathon.

"The event defines 'fully vaccinated' as individuals who are two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose vaccine series or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine.

"Proof of vaccination (hard copy, photocopy or digital version of an immunization record) or a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of attending the event is required for entrance to the Abbott Health & Fitness Expo.

"Individuals unable to prove full vaccination or negative test will be barred from entering the Health and Fitness Expo and unable to pick up the necessary race materials that allow for participation in the event."

Organizers say RT-PCR, RT-LAMP, lateral flow, and rapid antigen tests are approved.

Attendees will be required to wear face coverings while at indoor event venues, while participants are encouraged to wear face coverings in Grant Park prior to starting the race.

Ethiopia’s Getaneh Molla and Seifu Tura, Kenya’s Ruth Chepngetich, and Americans Keira D’Amato and Emma Bates have become the latest elite athletes to join the start list for this year’s event.

Two-times Olympic medallist Galen Rupp and Sara Hall were announced earlier this year, with the pair expected to lead the United States’ challenge in the men’s and women’s events, respectively.

Molla has the fastest personal best in the men’s field as he clocked 2 hours 3min 34sec to win the 2019 Dubai Marathon.

Chepngetich is the reigning women’s world champion, with the Kenyan poised to make her Chicago Marathon debut.

She set the world record in the half marathon this spring in 1:04:02, while her marathon personal best of 2:17:08 makes her the fourth fastest woman in history.

Daniel Romanchuk and Tatyana McFadden are among the US stars set to feature in the elite wheelchair races, with Switzerland’s Marcel Hug also included on the start list.

(08/19/2021) Views: 191 ⚡AMP
by Michael Pavitt
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Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Bank of America Chicago Marathon

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

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Kenyan Ruth Chepngetich and Galen Rupp will headline the elite field at the Chicago Marathon

A number of the world’s top distance runners will be at the 2021 Bank of America Chicago Marathon on Sunday, Oct. 10, organizers announced today, joining headliners Galen Rupp and Sara Hall. So far, there are no Canadians featured in the Chicago Marathon elite field.

Ruth Chepngetich (Kenya), Diane Nukuri (USA) and Keira D’Amato (USA) are among the names to watch in the women’s race for the 43rd running of the Chicago Marathon. Chepngetich, who dropped out of the Olympic marathon at around 30 km, is the reigning world champion and comes to Chicago as the pre-race favourite. Hall ousted Chepngetich in a sprint for second place at the 2020 London Marathon, but all eyes will be on their Oct. 10 rematch. Chepngetich is the only East African runner in an elite field that’s deep with American talent.

The men’s field features three athletes who have run under 2:05, as well Rupp, who won in 2017. Rupp is the only individual in the field with an Abbott World Major Marathons victory under his belt. Getaneh Molla (ETH) has won the Dubai Marathon, and Hassan El Abbassi (BRN) was the runner-up at the 2018 Valencia Marathon. Rupp had a sub-par Olympic Games, finishing a disappointing eighth in Tokyo (2:11:41) after many thought he would challenge Eliud Kipchoge for a medal. Rupp will enter Chicago as the pre-race favorite, thanks to his previous success on the course.

Past champions Daniel Romanchuk and Marcel Hug will battle it out in the elite wheelchair competition. Romanchuk is the defending two-time champion (2018 and 2019) and world record holder, while Hug won this race in 2016 and 2017. Hug and Romanchuk will compete on back-to-back days, in Chicago on Oct. 10 and at the Boston Marathon on Oct. 11.

With the cancellation of the New Jersey Marathon, larger mass races are putting together strict Covid protocols to avoid transmission of the virus, including face coverings at the start and finish and either proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test within 72 hours of the race.

(08/18/2021) Views: 296 ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson
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Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Bank of America Chicago Marathon

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

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What's next for Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge after Olympics?

Retirement is the last thing in the mind of Olympic marathon men's champion Eliud Kipchoge.

This came out clearly on Wednesday when the world record marathon holder arrived at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi from Tokyo, Japan, where he had successfully defended his Olympic maratthon crown. 

In the race held last Sunday on the streets of Sapporo, Kipchoge claimed gold after timing two hours, eight minutes and 38 seconds to become only the third man to win consecutive marathon titles. 

Dutchman Abdi Nageeye bagged silver in 2:09.58, while Belgian Bashir Abdi settled for bronze in 2:10.00. 

Responding to questions from journalists moments after landing at JKIA, alongside 1500m silver medalists Timothy Cheruyot and marathoner Ruth Chepngetich, the 36-year-old remained non-committal on whether he would hang his boots after the triumph in Japan.

He gave the analogy of how parents who are blessed with a baby never plan for the next one immediately, saying he will announce his next plans in one-month's time. 

“I think it is good not to ask about retirement…When your wife delivered the first child, did you plan for the next one immediately?" Posed Kipchoge to a journalist, who responded in negation. 

Government officials who welcomed the athletes at the airport said the event was low key due to Covid-19 containment protocols which prohibit large gatherings. They said a ceremony will be held at a later day to celebrate all the athletes who made Kenya proud in Tokyo.

Kipchoge, who has earned the title G.O.A.T. (Greatest Of All Time) from his supporters due his unmatched success in athletics, said he is not bothered by the time he posted in Tokyo, noting that winning in the Olympics is to inspire people that everything is possible.

“We trained very well, participated in a good way and got the best results…To run in the Olympics is about humanity. It is about winning and showing the world that we as human beings can do it. It is not about how fast or slow you are,” said the father of three. 

The victory at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics was Kipchoge’s 13th success in the 15 marathons he has raced in since 2013. He broke the world record in 2018 when he timed 2:01.39 in the Berlin Marathon.

About his future plans, Kipchoge reiterated that he will be nurturing talents. 

“I have a huge plan to inspire the youth and everybody in this world. I want to make running a Kenyan lifestyle. I want to make the young people to respect the sport, treat it like a real profession," he said.

(08/11/2021) Views: 154 ⚡AMP
by Victor Otieno
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision. ...

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Molly Seidel Shocks the World With Bronze Medal, as Kenya’s Peres Jepchirchir and Brigid Kogei Go 1-2 in 2020 Olympic Marathon

In one of the most remarkable and unlikely runs ever by an American distance runner, Wisconsin native Molly Seidel earned a bronze medal in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic marathon, running 2:27:46 in the heat of Sapporo on Saturday morning. Seidel established herself near the front of the race early, and remained there throughout. Late in the race, Seidel was in a battle for bronze with Israel’s Lonah Chemtai Salpeter, but with three miles to go, Salpeter stopped running, leaving Seidel in bronze-medal position, which she protected to the finish line.

Kenya’s Peres Jepchirchir, the world record holder in the women’s-only half marathon, pulled away from teammate Brigid Kosgei, the marathon world record holder, in the final two kilometers to take the gold in 2:27:20. Kosgei settled for the silver in 2:27:36, her first loss in her her last five marathons.

The story for American distance running fans was Seidel, running in only her third marathon of her life (her first was the Olympic Trials marathon in 2020 to get here). Seidel beat five sub-2:20 women. She entered the race with a 2:25:13 personal best and yet was in the conversation for the gold until the final 2k. She joined American running legends Joan Benoit Samuelson (gold in 1984) and Deena Kastor (silver in 2004), as the only American women to medal in the Olympic marathon.

The race

At race time, it was sunny and 76 degrees with 87% humidity, despite the race being moved up an hour because of the heat to start at 6 a.m. local.

As a result, the race went out slow, with 5K and 10K splits of 18:02 and 36:16 for the leaders (2:32:50 marathon pace at 10K). The lead pack remained about 40 or 50 women strong at the 10-kilometer split, but the effect of the heat was unmistakable, with women applying ice bags on themselves and running wide to get into the shade. By this point, US champion Aliphine Tuliamuk had fallen off the pace (she would eventually drop out).

From there, as the race advanced north on a slight downhill, it picked up. Honami Maeda of Japan took a few turns at the front, as did Americans Seidel and Sally Kipyego, but it was mostly shared. The next two 5K splits (17:31 and 17:41) were quicker and reduced the lead pack to less than 20 women by 20K. Zeineba Yimer, a 2:19 woman from Ethiopia, dropped out at the 17K mark.

The lead group went through halfway in 1:15:14, and the lead group was whittled down to 11 with Ethiopian contender Birhane Dibaba falling off the back.

Americans Seidel and Kipyego remained in the lead pack of 12 at 25K (Volha Mazuronak of Belarus rejoined the lead pack between halfway and 25k), which the women went through in 1:28:51 (2:29:47 pace). Ethiopian Roza Dereje Bekele (2:18:30 pb) and Salpeter (2:17:45 pb), along with the three Kenyans, were pushing the tempo slightly.

After that split, as the women continued to weave through the north Sapporo suburbs and Hokkaido University, racers started dropping off the lead pack like flies: first Kipyego, then Mazuronak and then a big casualty — Ruth Chepngetich of Kenya, the reigning world champ, falling back around the 29K mark.

Meanwhile at the front, Seidel led the entire 18th mile in around 5:26. The lead group of nine went through 30K in 1:46:03 (17:12 previous 5K, quickest of the race). The Japanese spectators pulled for their countrywoman Mao Ichiyama, who was still there.

The 30-35K split was the quickest of the race (16:54) and those five kilometers caused the biggest carnage: four women, including Ichiyama and Dereje, the final Ethiopian, dropped off the lead pack.

Now with the group down to five and less than five miles remaining, and Seidel continuing to run with confidence and share the lead with the two remaining Kenyans, the curiosity surrounding Seidel turned into a real possibility…could she snag a medal?

Bahrain’s Eunice Chumba dropped off just after the 35K mark, making it a four-woman race for three medals: Kosgei, Jepchirchir, Salpeter, and Seidel. Women with personal bests of 2:14, 2:17, 2:17, and 2:25. But in the summer Japan heat, the strongest women would win, not the fastest.

In the 24th mile, the Kenyans finally struck, Jepchirchir throwing in a surge and Kosgei covering it. They opened up a small gap on Salpeter and Seidel immediately, and Salpeter had a few meters on Seidel.Before one even had time to process whether Seidel’s fairytale quest for a medal was coming to an end, her fortunes changed drastically. At the 38-kilometer mark, Seidel caught Salpeter, who was still less than five seconds behind the leaders, but slowing slightly. Salpeter, however, was broken. Within a span of seconds she slowed to a walk and Seidel was into the bronze position, with the leaders still in her sights, Jepchirchir in front and Kosgei sitting on her.

At 40k, Jepchirchir and Kosgei were still together with Seidel only six seconds back, 31 seconds ahead of fourth place, comfortably in bronze position, barring a blowup. Seidel appeared to be closing on the leaders. Could she even get the silver or the gold?

Not quite. Jepchirchir had one final gold-medal move, dropping Kosgei just after the 40K split and quickly opening a 10-second gap. She would extend her winning margin to 16 seconds by running the final 2.195 kilometers at 5:23 pace.

Kosgei was fading slightly but so was Seidel. Both held their positions through the line, as Seidel could not quite summon the finish to get back to Kosgei and finished 10 seconds behind her in the bronze medal position.

Seidel yelled in delight as she crossed the finish line, while Kosgei looked slightly disappointed with the silver. The third American, Sally Kipyego, finished 17th in 2:32:53.

The temperature at the finish was 84 degrees with 67% humidity.

 

 

 

(08/07/2021) Views: 154 ⚡AMP
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision. ...

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Here's everything you need to know about the Tokyo Olympics marathon

The men's Olympics marathon is traditionally held on the very last day of competition, with the women's race staged a day earlier. 

Both events will be starting early in the morning to avoid the heat, with the women running on Saturday, August 7 and the men racing on Sunday, August 8. 

Here's everything you need to know about the Tokyo Olympics marathon.

WHEN IS THE TOKYO OLYMPICS MARATHON? 

The women's race will be held on Saturday, August 7.

The men's race will be run on Sunday, August 8.

WHO IS RUNNING THE OLYMPIC MARATHON? 

There are a number of high-profile runners who won't feature in Tokyo, with Ethiopian legend Kenenisa Bekele topping that list. 

It is still a packed field though, with defending Olympic champion and current world record holder Eliud Kipchoge set to run. 

Kipchoge will be joined on a formidable Kenyan team by Lawrence Cherono and Amos Kipruto.

Ethiopia will be represented by Lelisa Desisa, Shura Kitata and Sisay Lemma, while Rio 2016 bronze medalist Galen Rupp is back representing America. 

In the women's race, it's hard to go past world record-holder Brigid Kosgei of Kenya. 

Kosgei will be joined by 2019 marathon world champion Ruth Chepngetich and two-time world half-marathon champion Peres Jepchirchir in Kenyan colours. 

The Ethiopian trio of Birhane Dibaba, Roza Dereje and Zeineba Yimer will also be in the mix and are all capable of comfortably running under 2:20. 

RIO 2016 OLYMPICS MARATHON WINNER

Eliud Kipchoge stormed to a memorable victory in the rain in Rio, finishing ahead of Ethiopia's Feyisa Lelisa and American Galen Rupp. 

In the women's race, Kenyan Jemima Sumgong won gold in front of Eunice Kirwa and Mare Dibaba. 

(08/02/2021) Views: 412 ⚡AMP
by Brendand Brandford
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision. ...

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World record holder Eliud Kipchoge is ready to defend his Olympic crown

World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge cannot wait to defend his Olympic crown at the 2020 Tokyo Games.

Eliud won gold at the Rio Olympics in 2016 and is favorite to bag gold at the Summer Games. 

"I have completed my training and I am really excited to race in Sapporo. For me, there is no greater race than competing for an Olympic medal. In Japan, I will defend my title from Rio, to win a second Olympic medal in the marathon would mean the world to me," he posted on his Twitter handle Monday.

Kipchoge became the first man to ever run a full marathon, 42.195km, under two hours when he clocked 1:59:40 in Vienna, Austria in 2019. He also holds the world record over the distance at 2:01:39. 

Eliud is in the marathon team that also has Lawrence Cherono and Amos Kipruto. The women's team has record holder Brigid Kosgei, Ruth Chepngetich and Peres Jepchirchir.

The marathon teams will leave for Japan on August 1 and 2. The women's race will be held on August 7, while the men's race is on August 8 in Sapporo.

(07/26/2021) Views: 189 ⚡AMP
by Brian Yoga
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision. ...

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Tokyo Olympics preview: marathon-Women's marathon

World record-holder Brigid Kosgei will start as the woman to beat in the marathon when she hits the road on the Games' penultimate day. But she won’t be lacking for formidable opposition.

The 27-year-old Kenyan has been among the best marathon runners on the planet since 2017 when she first threatened the 2:20 barrier at that year's Chicago Marathon, finishing second in 2:20:22. She returned the following year to take the title in 2:18:35 and then returned again in 2019 to smash the world record with a jaw-dropping 2:14:04 performance.

She followed up well with a successful title defence at the London Marathon last October in 2:18:58, winning by more than three minutes to secure her fourth consecutive marathon victory.

Kosgei hasn't contested the distance since and has only raced twice in 2021, so her current form will be somewhat of a mystery. This will also be the first time she has competed at a major championship. Given her marathon pedigree, though, you can expect her to arrive in Sapporo well prepared.

But she'll have plenty of fast company, beginning with her teammates.

Peres Jepchirchir, the two-time world half marathon champion, heads to her first Olympics courtesy of her 2:17:16 victory at the Valencia Marathon last December, the fastest in the world last year. Just over a month earlier, she broke the half marathon world record for a women-only race, clocking 1:05:16 at the World Half Marathon Championships.

They'll also have Ruth Chepngetich, the world champion, for company. Chepngetich clocked 2:17:08 in Dubai in 2019 that currently places her fourth on the world all-time list. After a third-place finish at the London Marathon last October in 2:22:05, Chepngetich returned to action at the Istanbul Half Marathon earlier this year when she broke the world record in a mixed race, clocking 1:04:02.

That Kenyan trio is about as good as they come. But the Ethiopian team isn't too far off that mark.

Birhane Dibaba clocked 2:18:35 to finish second in Tokyo last year, one of the fastest performances of 2020. Teammate Roza Dereje was even faster a few months earlier, clocking 2:18:30 in Valencia in December 2019. Zeineba Yimer, 23, is another rising star, clocking 2:19:28 and 2:19:54 at the 2019 and 2020 editions of the Valencia Marathon.

Expect Israeli record-holder Lonah Salpeter to be in the hunt. The 32-year-old broke into the all-time top-10 after a sensational 2:17:45 run to win the 2020 Tokyo Marathon and has tuned up with a solid but pressure-free 2:22:37 run at home in March.

Helalia Johannes of Namibia, the surprise bronze medallist at the 2019 World Championships, also made a notable jump last year into the sub-2:20 club, finishing third in Valencia in 2:19:52. She'll turn 41 the week after the Olympics ends and is showing few signs of slowing down. Winner of the Commonwealth title in 2018, Johannes excels in championship races held in hot conditions.

Japan will be well represented by a pair of consistent runners who could be ready to challenge for the podium. Mao Ichiyama has a 2:20:29 lifetime best from her victory at the 2020 Nagoya Marathon and was nearly as fast the following year when winning in Osaka in 2:21:11. Meanwhile, Mizuki Matsuda clocked 2:21:47 to win the Osaka Marathon in 2020 and 2:21:51 to win Nagoya earlier this year.

(07/24/2021) Views: 139 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Kenya's Olympic marathon contender Ruth Chepngetich has had a remarkable year

Kenya's Ruth Chepngetich has had to cope with the restrictions on training and racing brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic but managed to smash the half-marathon world record.

When the 26-year-old Chepngetich was getting ready for the Istanbul Half Marathon in April she was just focused on running a good, confident race but she ended up obliterating the world record by 29 seconds and fulfilling a dream.

"I was thinking about 'world record, world record,' I can (now) say... in Istanbul, I broke the world record," Chepngetich told Reuters in an interview. read more

Following her impressive victory in Turkey, the 2019 world marathon champion set up camp in Ngong, an hour from Kenya's capital Nairobi to get ready for the Tokyo Olympics.

Among her competitors in the marathon will be compatriot and world record holder Brigid Kosgei.

Chepngetich understands that her own strong performances have turned up the pressure.

"I say I should focus at these Games because everybody now has an eye on me," she said. "I think when somebody is on a high level, there is a lot of pressure there."

But Chepngetich said all she can do is focus on herself and what she needs to do to bring a medal back home.

"I am preparing my mind for the Olympics, I am focusing for that Olympics," she said.

DIFFICULT YEAR

The past year has not been easy for Chepngetich.

As COVID-19 ground the world to a halt, with restrictions in place to stop the virus spreading bringing sport to a standtill, Chepngetich had to change her training approach, running with a small group as few races were available to test her progress.

"Athletics for me is my life, I don't have any other jobs," she said.

When races resumed in the autumn of 2020, it took her time to get back to full throttle.

Chepngetich finished third in the London marathon, which was won by Kosgei, where she also picked up an injury that she attributed partly to her long layoff.

"I relaxed and I came back to train with full force, because I was confirmed in London. So I forced my body until I got the hamstring injury," she said.

Chepngetich came second in New Delhi in November and in a 10km race in Madrid a month later.

"I was not 100% because of COVID (restrictions that limited practice and racing)," Chepngetich said.

But those races built up her momentum and when she arrived in Istanbul Chepngetich was able to fly.

"Last year's races made me more active than before, and that's why I ran well in Istanbul."

The soft-spoken Chepngetich grew up in Kericho County in eastern Kenya, born to parents who keep poultry and grow maize. She is the only athlete in the family of five and caught the running bug early at about nine years old, she said.

When she was around 16 running became more than just a hobby. She followed the exploits of compatriots Hellen Obiri, the Rio 2016 Olympic silver medallist and 5,000 metres world champion in 2017 and 2019, and Faith Chepngetich, the 1,500m gold medallist at the Rio Games, and wanted to emulate them.

"I was admiring them (and promised myself) that one day I will be like them," she said.

When Chepngetich completed secondary school in 2015, she turned to athletics full-time and began training with older athletes in Kericho where a local coach gave her training tips.

That same year she competed in one of her first professional races in Nairobi, a 10km run where she came third.

A few months later, in Morocco, in her first competition abroad, she finished third again in a half-marathon.

The performances were encouraging and in 2017 wins in Adana, Paris, Milan and Istanbul and improving times gave her more confidence that she could be a professional athlete. Later that year, she won her first marathon race in Istanbul.

"That marathon gave me more confidence that I could do more," she said.

Since then Chepngetich has elevated her performances to become world marathon champion in 2019 and world record holder in the half-marathon with her scintillating performance in Istanbul and will be among the favourites for gold in Tokyo.

Despite all the challenges brought about by the pandemic, Cheptengish remains upbeat about her prospects and said she will continue to "think positive to race a beautiful race".

Reporting by Omar Mohammed; Editing by Ken Ferris

(06/25/2021) Views: 131 ⚡AMP
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision. ...

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Briton Hutchings calls for records reset for high-tech shoes era

World Athletics should introduce a new set of records for times set by athletes wearing high-tech footwear, said British Olympian Tim Hutchings, as debate continues over whether the shoes give runners an unfair advantage.

Footwear developed by Nike played a role in two of the biggest distance-running achievements of 2019, with Eliud Kipchoge’s sub-two-hour marathon in Vienna and Brigid Kosgei’s record-breaking run at the Chicago Marathon bringing the Vaporfly shoes into the spotlight.

While World Athletics banned the shoes from professional sport last year, Nike has launched a new version of its Alphafly footwear that complies with new rules introduced by the governing body.

"People from many quarters are saying stop fussing about the shoes. Just move on and enjoy the racing. To which I'd respond, I've always enjoyed the racing and will continue to," Hutchings told The Times here.

“But I want to enjoy and respect times as well, not just cast aside that element. A reset would enable this. The shoes are here to stay, sadly the genie is out of the bottle.”

Kenya’s Ruth Chepngetich shaved 29 seconds off the world half marathon record on Sunday and British triathlete Beth Potter is awaiting ratification of a world record time from a low-key 5km road race a day earlier.

Both athletes wore high-tech footwear made by different manufacturers.

“Let folk race and record new era personal bests,” said Hutchings, who finished fourth in the 5,000m at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.

“A date needs to be identified retrospectively, then everyone would respect times in the right context. Athletes deserve that.”

(04/10/2021) Views: 273 ⚡AMP
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British Olympian Tim Hutchings calls for records reset in hi-tech shoes era

World Athletics should introduce a new set of records for times set by athletes wearing high-tech footwear, said British Olympian Tim Hutchings, as debate continues over whether the shoes give runners an unfair advantage. 

Footwear developed by Nike played a role in two of the biggest distance-running achievements of 2019, with Eliud Kipchoge's sub-two-hour marathon in Vienna and Brigid Kosgei's record-breaking run at the Chicago Marathon bringing the Vaporfly shoes into the spotlight. 

While World Athletics banned the shoes from professional sport last year, Nike has launched a new version of its Alphafly footwear that complies with new rules introduced by the governing body. 

"People from many quarters are saying stop fussing about the shoes. Just move on and enjoy the racing. To which I'd respond, I've always enjoyed the racing and will continue to," Hutchings told The Times. 

"But I want to enjoy and respect times as well, not just cast aside that element. A reset would enable this. The shoes are here to stay, sadly the genie is out of the bottle." 

Kenya's Ruth Chepngetich shaved 29 seconds off the world half marathon record on Sunday and British triathlete Beth Potter is awaiting ratification of a world record time from a low-key 5km road race a day earlier. 

Both athletes wore high-tech footwear made by different manufacturers. 

"Let folk race and record new era personal bests," said Hutchings, who finished fourth in the 5,000m at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. 

"A date needs to be identified retrospectively, then everyone would respect times in the right context. Athletes deserve that." 

(04/07/2021) Views: 157 ⚡AMP
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World half-marathon record falls to Ruth Chepngetich in Istanbul

Istanbul race promised fast times due to red-hot line up and it delivered despite damp conditions

Ruth Chepngetich took almost half a minute off the women’s world half-marathon record in Istanbul on Sunday (April 4).

The Kenyan, who won the world marathon title in the heat and humidity of Doha in 2019, clocked 64:02 for the 13.1-mile distance as she smashed the 64:31 mark held by Ababel Yeshaneh of Ethiopia.

The 26-year-old is certainly familiar with the roads of Istanbul. She has now won the city’s half-marathon three times and in 2018 she ran 2:18:35 to win the Istanbul Marathon.

Yeshaneh’s world record was set at the RAK Half in February last year. That race was called off this year due to the coronavirus, which effectively meant many of the leading entrants competed in Istanbul instead.

Racing less than 24 hours after Beth Potter ran the fastest ever 5km on the roads at the Podium 5km in Lancashire, Chepngetich drew away from a strong field in Istanbul in damp and cool conditions.

The event featured a mass participation field and also inline skaters and saw the runners tackling the distance on the banks of the Bosphorus on a wet morning in Turkey.

Not only was Chepngetich’s time a world record, too, but it was quicker than the fastest-ever half-marathon set on the roads – the 64:28 by Brigid Kosgei on a Great North Run course that is disallowed for record purposes.

Runner-up Yalemrzew Yehualaf clocked 64:40 to go No.3 on the world all-time lists while Hellen Obiri, the world cross-country champion, clocked 64:51 on her debut, making this the first time three women had broken the 65-minute barrier in the same race.

Joan Chelimo Melly was fourth in 65:09 and world marathon record-holder Kosgei fifth in 66:01 as the top seven broke 67 minutes.

The eagerly-anticipated men’s race head to head between Kibiwott Kandie beats Geoffrey Kamworor, meanwhile, saw Kandie take the win by three seconds in 59:35 as he gradually drew away from his rival in the closing stages.

The runners were well outside Kandie’s men’s world record of 57:32 but Kandie’s time was a course record and the top five men broke the one-hour mark.

 

(04/04/2021) Views: 369 ⚡AMP
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World Records in danger at Istanbul Half Marathon Sunday

Super-strong fields tackle 13.1 miles in Turkish city on Sunday with Hellen Obiri, Brigid Kosgei, Peres Jepchirchir, Kibiwott Kandie and Geoffrey Kamworor among the entries

World records could fall at the Istanbul Half Marathon on Sunday (April 4) due to the red-hot line-ups that have been assembled.

The women’s race features marathon world record-holder Brigid Kosgei, world half-marathon gold medallist Peres Jepchirchir and world cross-country and 5000m champion Hellen Obiri.

Whereas the men’s race sees world half-marathon record-holder Kibiwott Kandie against former world record-holder Geoffrey Kamworor.

Obiri makes her half-marathon debut and she could hardly have picked a tougher first race.

In addition to Kosgei and Jepchirchir, the Kenyan faces world marathon champion Ruth Chepngetich, plus Ethiopian Yalemzerf Yehualaw, Melat Kejeta of Germany and Yasemin Can of Turkey.

All eyes will be on Kandie and Kamworor in the men’s race but watch out too for Ethiopia’s Amdework Walelegn and Uganda’s Stephen Kissa plus Turkey’s Kaan Kigen Ozbilen.

Kandie and Kamworor were due to have a much-anticipated showdown at the RAK Half on February 19 but it was called off due to the pandemic.

If conditions are good Kandie’s world record of 57:32 – which was set in Valencia in December – will be under threat, whereas the women’s world record of 64:31 held by Ababel Yeshaneh is also in danger.

The races start 10am local time on Sunday April 4.

(04/03/2021) Views: 355 ⚡AMP
by Athletics Weekly
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Vodafone Istanbul Half Marathon

Vodafone Istanbul Half Marathon

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

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The most remarkable line-up has been announced for Istanbul Half Marathon

Organizers of the N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon have announced the most remarkable line-up in the history of this World Athletics Elite Label road race, to be held on 4 April.

Having staged a successful edition under intense measures against Covid-19 in September last year, the event is now set to host a limited number of 4000 participants on its traditional date of the first Sunday of April.

The race will see the long-awaited clash of the reigning and former world record-holders over the distance. Kibiwott Kandie of Kenya, now the world’s fastest half-marathon runner, improved the time set by his compatriot Geoffrey Kamworor in Valencia in December, bringing down the world record to 57:32 from 58:01. Kamworor, who has three World Athletics Half Marathon Championships gold medals under his belt, will be back on the roads following his recovery from surgery after he was hit by a motorcycle in June last year.

The two Kenyans will be joined by two sub-59 minute runners in Amedework Walelegn of Ethiopia, the Istanbul Half Marathon record-holder who won in 59:50 in 2018, and Uganda's Stephen Kissa, who made his debut over the distance in February 2020 and finished the year with a time of 58:56. Kenya’s Leonard Barsoton, sixth at the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships in Gdynia last year, will also be one of the fastest athletes on the start line.

Home hopes in Istanbul will be led by Kaan Kigen Ozbilen, who holds the national record with 59:48. Aras Kaya, European cross country champion in 2019, will also be a strong contender in the event that incorporates the National Half Marathon Championships.

The women’s field is equally as strong. Kenya’s marathon world record-holder Brigid Kosgei and the women-only half-marathon world record-holder Peres Jepchirchir, plus the second fastest female half-marathon runner of all time Yalemzerf Yehualaw of Ethiopia, will head the line-up.

Kenyan Ruth Chepngetich, the race record-holder and the reigning world marathon champion, will be a co-favorite in the race along with Joan Chelimo Melly.

The European women-only record-holder Melat Kejeta from Germany will also be on the start line on 4 April. The home crowd expects Kejeta’s record to be challenged by Yasemin Can.

Kamworor, Kandie, Kosgei and Yehualaw had been among the athletes set to race at the Ras Al Khamimah Half Marathon in February before it was cancelled due to the pandemic.

(03/24/2021) Views: 344 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Vodafone Istanbul Half Marathon

Vodafone Istanbul Half Marathon

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

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Sara Hall, motivated by motherhood and marathons

For athletics fans, Sara Hall is probably best known for her stunning marathon performances of 2020: the finishing kick to end all finishing kicks in London, where after 26 miles of hard running in the miserably grey and cold rain, she unleashed a stunning sprint gear, and hurtled past world champion Ruth Chepngetich to finish second. It was so impressive it achieved the ultimate 2020 accolade of becoming a meme. Then, just a few months later, there was her brilliant performance at the Marathon Project in Arizona, clocking another PB of 2:20:32 for the win and to become the second fastest marathon runner in US history.

But if all this was an unexpected late career renaissance for Hall, and an astonishing turnaround after the heartbreak of a DNF in the Olympic marathon trials, her personal story might be even more extraordinary. In October 2015 she and her husband Ryan went to bed one night as a couple, and woke up part of a family of six. The couple had adopted four Ethiopian sisters: Hana (15), Mia (13), Jasmine (8) and Lily (5) and brought them back to their home in the US.

“It was kind of surreal,” says Hall. “I felt like I was acting in a sitcom, playing the part of a suburban mom. All of a sudden I was driving them to school in our big old family car.” Of course, in reality the process was actually far from sudden – the couple had long had associations with Ethiopia, with many friends in the country, and had always enjoyed training there. Even once they had made the decision to adopt in Ethiopia and met the girls, they took their time. “We spent a lot of time in Ethiopia training, and we would visit the girls during that time. So we'd built a lot of trust with them and really got to know them. I think that really helped everyone's adjustment, but it was a surreal time for sure.”

For their daughters, the culture shock of moving to the US must have been huge. “They didn’t know any English when we met,” agrees Hall. “I learned their language – Amharic – and we were teaching them English in the orphanage on our visits. But when we put them in school in the US we didn't know if that would even work because they'd never been to school before. My 15-year-old was starting eighth grade having never been to school for a day in her life. But she – they all – just immersed themselves in it and I think that really helped them.”

In fact, for those who like to ponder the effects of nature vs nature, Hall’s eldest daughter Hanna is quite the study. Now a freshman at Grand Canyon University in Arizona, she is a three-time state champion and clearly a prodigious talent. Her sister Mia has also recently started running more seriously, and the girls both now join Sara for runs. Yet when the Halls first met their daughters, none ran so much as a single step. The orphanage where they had lived for three years was their entire world, and though they were cared for, opportunities for sport were non-existent.

“They definitely knew of their country’s running heroes, though,” recalls Hall. “They had seen some races on TV and when we told Hana that we were both runners, she said: ‘Oh I want to be a runner!’ That was cool because otherwise I think I would have wondered if it was, you know, kids trying to get their parents approval by doing the things they love.”

Of course, with a pedigree like Hall’s – not to mention husband Ryan’s 59:43 US record-holding half-marathon and 2:04:58 marathon – the girls clearly have big running shoes to fill. And, as with many parents, finding the right line between pushing and easing off has been tricky for the Halls.

“I think I’m still figuring that out, and I like to talk to other people whose parents ran, about their experiences,” she says. “When you see a kid has a talent, you want to be able to communicate to them: ‘Look, if you want to be good at this, you could be’, but also kind of leave it up to them, too. I think distance running takes a lot of internal drive to be good at it, and I think for me, that always came from within. I’ve always felt like if they have that fire, I will fan that flame – but I want to see their own fire for it first.”

Her two youngest daughters have yet to find what fuels their own fires, and that is absolutely fine with Hall. “There’s lots of different reasons to do sports, like just for fun,” she says. “Jasmine, who is 13, did cross country for two seasons and was undefeated, but was very much just seeing it as fun and hasn’t run for the last couple of years. I started myself in basketball and soccer and I think that’s actually a better way to become a good runner anyway, to do those sports early on. There’s just not as much pressure with team sports, and you learn teamwork.

“Typically, the professional athlete, everything’s kind of revolving around you – you’re eating, and sleeping, and training, and everything outside of training is all about rest, minimising energy expenditure at all costs,” muses Hall. “But then you become a parent and that's out the window. You can't just go into energy conserve mode – you're constantly tuning in with them and like, and seeing what they're needing.” Little surprise, then, that when the couple initially adopted the girls, Hall expected it to signal the end of her top-flight career.

Instead, that, and the move up to the marathon distance, seems to have revitalised it. So, did her new family life actually prove a new source of fuel for that fire? She laughs: “I think I’ve been able to improve despite it, definitely not because of it! It’s been difficult. That’s why I share stuff, because I think on the outside it could look like it’s been really easy but it hasn’t, by any means.

“I never thought I would want to do this with kids, just be torn in different directions. Having talked to other families who had adopted older kids, they’d all had a really difficult road, really life-altering for the family. And I was willing for these kids, willing to walk that road with them, do what they needed to heal from the trauma they've been through. But it turned out that wasn't really the case with them, they have just handled everything really remarkably so far. So it allowed me to continue to do what I'm doing”.

And that, these days, is quite definitely 26.2 miles, as fast as she can. “I’ve just loved marathon training. I think I should have been doing this a long time ago,” says Hall. “I just found my body had a lot of room to grow my aerobic capacity. Each build-up I'm able to add in more and absorb it better and so even though I'm getting older, I feel like I'm kind of young as far as the marathon goes. Maybe starting the marathon later just allowed me to have more mileage in my tyres.”

These days, Hall also has to contend with nerves from her daughters’ races as well as her own. Fortunately, she says she doesn’t suffer too badly for them. “But I do get really excited,” she adds. “I’m sprinting around the course trying to cheer for them 20 times!” But it’s important to Hall that her daughters also learn how to fail – and see her do it, too. “I think it’s really powerful for them to see me do something that makes me come alive – and see me fail and pick myself back up again after the biggest failure of my career – and train through a pandemic and then have the best race of my career. That’s the kind of stuff you want to instil in your kids and they learn more through watching you than from what you say.”

The girls certainly have two incredible role models to watch at home. And while she may not be at the Olympics, Hall’s marathon journey is far from over, she confirms. “I think I have some unfinished business there,” she says, “and I'm really looking forward to having some World Marathon Majors back in their normal glory, with the whole field.”

And if she can kick like she did in London on a miserable day with an elite-only field and no spectators, then surely with fair conditions, and the cheers of the crowd behind her, a sub-2:20 and that US record is well within her grasp.

(03/14/2021) Views: 288 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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5000m champion Hellen Obiri added to Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon line-up

Obiri, who won world titles at 5000m and cross country in 2019, will be making her half marathon debut. The Kenyan has limited road running experience, but her few outings to date have been promising; she clocked 29:59 for 10km on Madrid’s downhill course at the end of 2018.

World half marathon silver medallist Melat Kejeta of Germany and world marathon bronze medallist Helalia Johannes are the other recent top additions to the field, and they will face a formidable line-up of stars, as previously announced by the organisers.

World marathon champion Ruth Chepngetich, who recently set a half marathon PB of 1:05:06, will make her Ras Al Khaimah debut. Peres Jepchirchir, who won the world half marathon title last October in a women-only world record of 1:05:16, will return to the scene of her 2017 triumph when she set a world record of 1:05:06.

The three fastest women in history – world record-holder Ababel Yeshaneh, Ethiopia’s Yalemzerf Yehualaw and marathon world record-holder Brigid Kosgei – will also line up in Ras Al Khaimah.

Yeshaneh and Kosgei have clashed twice to date, both races resulting in world records. Their first duel came at the 2019 Chicago Marathon, which Kosgei won in a world record of 2:14:04 while Yeshaneh placed second in 2:20:51. Just four months later, Yeshaneh levelled the score by winning in Ras Al Khaimah in a world record of 1:04:31. Kosgei was runner-up in 1:04:49, the second-fastest time in history.

Yehualaw, meanwhile, finished third at the recent World Athletics Half Marathon Championships in Gdynia, just a few seconds behind Jepchirchir. Six weeks later, she won the New Delhi Half Marathon in 1:04:46, the second-fastest time in history.

USA’s Sara Hall, who placed second at this year’s London Marathon, and South Africa’s Gerda Steyn are also in the field.

(01/26/2021) Views: 364 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Rak Half Marathon

Rak Half Marathon

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

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World half marathon record holder Peres Chepchirchir seeks inclusion in Kenya's Olympic marathon team

World women's half marathon record holder Peres Chepchirchir harbors an Olympic dream after her successful but COVID-19 pandemic upended year which saw her claim three successive marathon podiums.

The 27-year-old Kenyan broke her own world record in the women's half marathon by crossing the line in 1:05:16 at the 2020 World Half Marathon championships in Gdynia, Poland, before ending the year with victory at the Valencia Marathon timing 2:17:16, a time that saw her move up to positive five on the all-time world women list.

"I had a very successful year in 2020 despite all the challenges brought about by COVID-19 pandemic, I'm glad I was able to compete. My new year wish is to see if Athletics Kenya can consider my performance and make an amendment on the 2020 Tokyo Olympics marathon team by including me in the squad," Chepchirir told Xinhua on Wednesday.

"I will love to compete at the Olympics; it will really make me a complete runner," she added.

Earlier in 2020, Athletics Kenya (AK) named world marathon record holder Brigid Kosgei, world marathon champion Ruth Chepngetich, Vivian Cheruiyot, a winner of the Olympic 5,000m title in 2016 to the Olympic team.

The 2019 Frankfurt Marathon champion Valary Aiyabei and 2014 world half marathon bronze medallist Sally Chepyego were named as reserves.

The 37-year-old, Cheruiyot aims to compete at her fifth Olympic Games, a record tally for a Kenyan athlete.

However, Paul Mutwii, Athletics Kenya senior vice president and director of competitions told Xinhua that the federation will make some adjustments to the marathon team in order to send a strong squad to the Games which is scheduled for July 23 to Aug. 8.

"Definitely, there will be some changes to the marathon squad depending on the athletes' current form. In fact, in the coming weeks, I will be chairing the technique committee that will determine who will be drafted into the team then make the announcement," Mutwii said on Wednesday.

The world men's marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge, Lawrence Cherono, a two-time Amsterdam Marathon champion who also won in Boston and Chicago in 2019, and world bronze medalist Amos Kipruto, who has a best of 2:05:43 were named in the men's team.

Two-time Honolulu Marathon winner Titus Ekiru and 2016 world half marathon silver medalist Bedan Karoki were drafted reserves.

(01/07/2021) Views: 335 ⚡AMP
by Xinhua News
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision. ...

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Kenyan Daniel Simiu and Ethiopian Yalemzerf Yehualaw imposed their rhythm in the San Silvestre Vallecana event

Kenyan athlete Daniel Simiu and Ethiopian Yalemzerf Yehualaw were proclaimed winners of the 56th edition of the Nationale-Nederlanden San Silvestre Vallecana on Thursday, after dominating their respective races with authority.

The athletic event with which Madrid says goodbye to the year 2020 surely missed the 'magic' of its usual route and seeing how the streets are flooded with runners for the popular test, and the spectators who approached the Ensache de Vallecas did not witness the usual spectacle of a San Silvestre marked by the wind and by the great dominance of its two winners.

In the men's event, from the beginning, the small group of candidates for victory was formed and to which the rest of the participants could hardly get close, with the Spanish-Moroccan veteran Ayad Lamdassen setting the pace from the beginning and with Ebenyo , the American Paul Chelimo, the Dutch Mike Foppen, the Burundian Thierry Ndikumwenayo and the Spanish Ouassim Ouaziz.

All eyes were focused on Chelimo, but it was Simiu who made the move that dictated the future of the event. The Kenyan was brave and changed pace on the third lap to open a gap that would already be impossible for his rivals.

Simiu, who had a personal best of 27:18 last September in Berlin, did not slacken and took advantage of his tactic. The African gradually opened the distance with the rest and was able to win comfortably with a record of 27:41.

On the other hand, in the women's race, there was a bit more emotion, mainly because the two indicated as favorites, the Kenyan Ruth Chepngetich and the young Ethiopian Yalemzerf Yehualaw Densa, fought a beautiful heads up.

However, Densa, who had already beaten Chepntegich in the New Delhi Half Marathon, was again stronger than her rival with an acceleration in the third lap against which the Kenyan could do nothing.

The Ethiopian went solo and won with a time of 31:17, ostensibly improving her personal distance record (31:55) and condemning Chepntengich, who reached more than half a minute, again to second place in the vallecana race. The podium was completed by the French Alessia Zarbo, one place ahead of the best Spanish, Carolina Robles.

(01/02/2021) Views: 319 ⚡AMP
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San Silvestre Vallecana

San Silvestre Vallecana

Every year on 31st December, since 1964, Madrid stages the most multitudinous athletics event in Spain.Sport and celebration come together in a 10-kilometre race in which fancy dress and artificial snow play a part. Keep an eye out for when registration opens because places run out fast! The event consists of two different competitions: a fun run (participants must be...

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Ethiopia’s Yalemzerf Yehualaw and Kenya’s Daniel Simiu poised to strike in Madrid

The 56th edition of the San Silvestre Vallecana will be held, as is tradition, on New Year’s Eve in Madrid, but this year there have been some significant changes to the World Athletics Gold Label road race.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, organisers have been forced to design a new circuit and so the race won’t start alongside Real Madrid’s famous Santiago Bernabeu stadium, nor will it finish in the stadium of another Spanish first division football club, Rayo Vallecano. Instead, competitors will have to cover four laps of a flat 2.5km circuit, meaning – unlike previous years when the race was held on a slightly downhill course – performances will be record-eligible.

The mass race, which often attracts about 40,000 runners, has been cancelled and only the elite contests will be held with separate starts for men and women.

The showdown between Ethiopia’s Yalemzerf Yehualaw and Kenya’s Ruth Chepngetich in the women’s race promises to be one of the highlights of the evening.

Yehualaw is in the form of her life. After taking bronze at the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships Gdynia 2020, the 21-year-old Ethiopian stormed to a 1:04:46 victory over the same distance in New Delhi in late November, beating Chepngetich in the process. Yehualaw now sits second on the world all-time list behind compatriot Ababel Yeshaneh, while Chepngetich, the world marathon champion, emerged from New Delhi with a lifetime best of 1:05:06.

Yehualaw’s fastest clocking in a standalone 10km race is 31:55, recorded more than a year ago at altitude in Addis Ababa. It’s worth noting, however, that she recorded 30:49 and 30:43 for the two 10km sections in New Delhi.

Chepngetich, meanwhile, has an official PB of 31:12 and she recorded 30:57 on Madrid’s downhill course last year. She, too, passed through the first 10km in New Delhi in 30:49.

Ethiopia’s Likina Amebaw, a 32:55 performer over 10km, is expected to battle with top Spaniards Lucía Rodríguez and Irene Sánchez-Escribano in the hunt for a place on the podium.

The men’s race features Olympic 5000m silver medallist Paul Chelimo. Having finished fourth and second at the World Athletics Cross Country Permit meetings in Elgoibar and Seville respectively in January, the 30-year-old US distance runner will compete in Spain for the third time this year.

His most recent outing was a cross-country race in November in Terre Haute where he finished second. His last completed race before that was the 3000m at the US Indoor Championships, which he won. Chelimo’s main aim in Madrid will be to break the US 10km record of 27:48, co-held by Bernard Lagat and Mark Nenow. The continental record of 27:41, held by Mexico’s Arturo Barrios, could also be within his sights.

Kenya’s Daniel Simiu Ebenyo appears to be the most in-form athlete heading into the race. The 25-year-old set a big 10km PB of 27:18 in Berlin in September to move to fourth on this season’s list.

Burundi’s Thierry Ndikumwenayo, who finished ninth at the 2019 World Cross in Aarhus, is also one to watch. He has recently enjoyed a one-month training stint in Tenerife in the company of Italian 3000m and 5000m record-holder Yemaneberhan Crippa.

Many of the top Spaniards will be in Madrid, headed by Ouassim Oumaiz, Toni Abadía, Javier Guerra, Fernando Carro, Ayad Lamdassem and Yago Rojo. Oumaiz improved to 13:13.14 over 5000m this summer, Abadía holds the national 10km record at 27:48, Guerra is fresh from a 1:01:21 PB at the Valencia Half Marathon, European steeplechase silver medallist Carro clocked 27:46 last month at a downhill event in Alcobendas, 39-year-old Lamdassem is the newly-minted Spanish marathon record-holder with a 2:06:35 clocking in Valencia, and Rojo is a newcomer to the elite, having run under 2:10 on his marathon debut earlier this month.

(12/30/2020) Views: 315 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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San Silvestre Vallecana

San Silvestre Vallecana

Every year on 31st December, since 1964, Madrid stages the most multitudinous athletics event in Spain.Sport and celebration come together in a 10-kilometre race in which fancy dress and artificial snow play a part. Keep an eye out for when registration opens because places run out fast! The event consists of two different competitions: a fun run (participants must be...

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Fresh from winning Valencia Marathon with a course record, Evans Chebet is looking towards the Olympic Games

Chebet, who edged out experience marathoners like Boston and Chicago Marathon champion Lawrence Cherono for the title, said his focus has now shifted to the Olympic Games.

“Running at the Olympic Games will be good achievement for me. It has been a long journey and making the marathon team will be a dream come true for me,” he added.

The Elgeyo Marakwet-based runner returned home after winning Valencia 42km race in a personal best time of of 2:03:00 ahead of compatriot Cherono (2:03:04) and Ethiopian Birhanu Legese (2:04:53), who completed the podium. 

“It will be good if the team is named early to ensure we start our preparations on time. If I can make the team, I assure Kenyans that I will  return with a medal,” added Chebet, who competed alongside world marathon bronze medalist Amos Kipruto.

“I look forward to competing for my country at the Olympics Games after a good break and my prayer is that Athletics Kenya names the team early," said a jubilant Chebet. He said his biggest worry in Valencia was Legese but he is happy he shook him off.

Amos Kipruto, who has dominated in many marathons across the world, was named alongside Eliud Kipchoge and Lawrence Cherono in the Olympic Games marathon team.

“I managed to run my personal best because that was my target and I still believe I will be joining Team Kenya to the Tokyo show. The team that ran in Valencia was the best and we hope the federation will take note,” said Kipruto.

In 2019, Kandie 42:39 edged Kiplimo (43:00) in the San Silvestre Road Race in Brazil. Other entrants in men's category include Alexander Mutiso Munyao, Ethiopian Mosinet Geremew, Japan-based Bedan Karoki and Stephen Kiprop, winner of the 2019 edition. 

Geremew won the Dubai Marathon in 2018 and came second in the London Marathon in 2019 with a time of 2.02.55, clocking the 4th fastest time ever in that distance.

Meanwhile, Mutiso recently placed 4th in Valencia in 57.59 and was runner-up in the men’s 2020 Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon in 59:16.

In the women's category, World Half Marathon champion Peres Jepchirchir will battle against World marathon record holder Brigid Kosgei and 2019 World marathon champion Ruth Chepngetich.

Jepchirchir has fond memories of the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon, where she set her personal best time of 1:05.06 in 2017 on her way to victory.  Chepngetich recently clocked a remarkable time of 1.05.06 at the New Delhi Half Marathon.

At the 20th Dubai Marathon in 2019, she won in a course record breaking time of 2.17.08, securing the world’s 4th best marathon time ever. Ethiopia's Ababel Yeshaneh will also be in contention.

(12/18/2020) Views: 353 ⚡AMP
by Emmanuel Sabuni
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision. ...

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World Half Marathon record holder Kandie Kibiwott and world defending champion Jacob Kiplimo of Uganda will face off at the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon in February next year

Kandie and  Kiplimo to renew rivalry in Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon.

The two are fast becoming rivals in the 21km race having faced off several times this year. 

In their latest meet-up on December 6, the Kenyan emerged top after clocking a world record 57:32 to finish ahead of Kiplimo at the Valencia Marathon. 

Kandie's win was revenge for his loss at the hands of the Ugandan at October's World Half marathon Championships in Gydnia, Poland where the latter crossed the finish line in in 58:49 — five seconds ahead of Kandie. 

In 2019, Kandie 42:39 edged Kiplimo (43:00) in the San Silvestre Road Race in Brazil. Other entrants in men's category include Alexander Mutiso Munyao, Ethiopian Mosinet Geremew, Japan-based Bedan Karoki and Stephen Kiprop, winner of the 2019 edition. 

Geremew won the Dubai Marathon in 2018 and came second in the London Marathon in 2019 with a time of 2.02.55, clocking the 4th fastest time ever in that distance.

 Meanwhile, Mutiso recently placed 4th in Valencia in 57.59 and was runner-up in the men’s 2020 Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon in 59:16.

In the women's category, World Half Marathon champion Peres Jepchirchir will battle against World marathon record holder Brigid Kosgei and 2019 World marathon champion Ruth Chepngetich.

Jepchirchir has fond memories of the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon, where she set her personal best time of 1:05.06 in 2017 on her way to victory.  Chepngetich recently clocked a remarkable time of 1.05.06 at the New Delhi Half Marathon.

At the 20th Dubai Marathon in 2019, she won in a course record breaking time of 2.17.08, securing the world’s 4th best marathon time ever. Ethiopia's Ababel Yeshaneh will also be in contention.

(12/18/2020) Views: 371 ⚡AMP
by William Njuguna
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Rak Half Marathon

Rak Half Marathon

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

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World champions Ruth Chepngetich and Peres Jepchirchir added to Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon line-up

The fields for the Ras Al Khamimah Half Marathon continue to go from strength to strength with world champions Peres Jepchirchir and Ruth Chepngetich being added to the line-up for the World Athletics Gold Label road race on 19 February 2021.

World marathon champion Chepngetich, who recently set a half marathon PB of 1:05:06, will be making her Ras Al Khaimah debut. Jepchirchir, who won the world half marathon title in October in a women-only world record of 1:05:16, will return to the scene of her 2017 triumph when she set a world record of 1:05:06.

But the Kenyan will be up against the three fastest women in history when she lines up in Ras Al Khaimah. World record-holder Ababel Yeshaneh, Ethiopia’s Yalemzerf Yehualaw and marathon world record-holder Brigid Kosgei will also be returning to the United Arab Emirates in February.

Yeshaneh and Kosgei have clashed twice to date, both races resulting in world records. Their first duel came at the 2019 Chicago Marathon, which Kosgei won in a world record of 2:14:04 while Yeshaneh placed second in 2:20:51. Just four months later, Yeshaneh levelled the score by winning in Ras Al Khaimah in a world record of 1:04:31. Kosgei was runner-up in 1:04:49, the second-fastest time in history.

Yehualaw, meanwhile, finished third at the recent World Athletics Half Marathon Championships in Gdynia, just a few seconds behind Jepchirchir. Six weeks later, she won the New Delhi Half Marathon in 1:04:46, the second-fastest time in history.

USA’s Sara Hall, who placed second at this year’s London Marathon, finishing between Kosgei and Chepngetich, is also in the field.

Three former winners – including the joint course record-holders – have been added to the men’s line-up. 2019 champion Stephen Kiprop and two-time winner Bedan Karoki, who jointly hold the course record at 58:42, will return to Ras Al Khaimah alongside 2015 winner Mosinet Geremew.

They will take on the previously announced defending champion Kibiwott Kandie, who recently set a world half marathon record of 57:32 in Valencia, and world half marathon champion Jacob Kiplimo of Uganda. Kiplimo reduced his PB to 57:37 in Valencia earlier this month, making him the second-fastest man in history for the distance.

Alexander Mutiso, who ran 57:59 in Valencia to move to fourth on the world all-time list, will also be in action in Ras Al Khaimah.

Switzerland’s Julien Wanders and Norway’s Sondre Nordstadt Moen complete the line-up.

(12/17/2020) Views: 429 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Rak Half Marathon

Rak Half Marathon

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

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Fresh from winning in Valencia, World Record Holder Peres Jepchirchir believes she deserves a Team Kenya ticket to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo

Speaking at her home in Kapsabet Wednesday upon arrival from Spain, the world half marathon record holder said her ambitions will be fulfilled once she gets an opportunity to fly the Kenyan flag in the Japanese capital.

 “My target is to run for Kenya at the Olympic Games next year. I have done a lot for the country and I think that's the only way to repay me,” said Jepchirchir.

Jepchirchir ran the fifth-fastest time over 42km while winning the Valencia Marathon on Sunday, clocking 2:17:16.

In Valencia, Jepchirchir defeated compatriot and New York City Marathon champion Joyciline Jepkosgei in a Kenya 1-2 podium finish.

Jepchirchir latest heroics throws spanner into the work for Athletics Kenya, who have already named a team to Tokyo.

It comprises of world record holder Brigid Kosgei (2:14:04), world champion Ruth Chepngetich (2:17:08) and 2018 London Marathon champion Vivian Cheruiyot (2:18:31) while Valary Aiyabei (2:19:10) and 2014 world half marathon bronze medallist Sally Chepyego (2:21:06) are the reserves.

“Just like Athletics Kenya included me in the world half marathon where I delivered the title in a world record, I believe I have what it takes to repeat the feat at the Olympic Games next year,” added Jepchirchir. 

"My target for the year was to run 2:17 at the Berlin Marathon to give myself a chance in the provisional team but unfortunately, that race was cancelled. I thank God I still did it in Valencia and I hope I will be considered."

(12/10/2020) Views: 363 ⚡AMP
by Emmanuel Sabuni
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision. ...

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More details about the Delhi Half Marathon Record performances

t was a great morning for the 2020 World Half Marathon bronze medallists as Ethiopians Yalemzerf Yehualaw and Amedework Walelegn both picked up $37,000 wins ($27k for 1st, $10k for event records) in event record time today at the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon.

The headline performance came in the women’s race where Yehualaw, the 21-year old who just missed out on winning in Delhi by 1 second last year in 66:01, ran an unofficial 64:46, the second-fastest women’s half marathon in history on a records-eligible course.

The 5 Fastest Women’s Half Marathons Ever1 64:28* Brigid Kosgei KEN 2019 Great North Run 08.09.20192 64:31 Ababel Yeshaneh ETH 2020 RAK Half 21.02.20203 64:46 Yalemzerf Yehualaw ETH  2020 Delhi Half 28.11.20194 64:49 Brigid Kosgei KEN 2020 RAK Half 21.02.20205 64:51 Joyciline Jepkosgei KEN 2017 Valencia 22.10.2017*Not records eligible

In the men’s race, the Walelegn, also 21, won a three-way sprint finish in an unofficial 58:52 as two-time defending champion Andamlak Belihu of Ethiopia and Stephen Kissa of Uganda also broke 59:00 to finish second and third respectively. The order of finish today was the same as it was at World Half last month as in Poland Walelegn was third, Belihu was 5th and Kissa 19th. 2017 and 2019 world 5000 champion ran Muktar Edris of Ethiopia also ran very well today in his debut as he was in fourth in 59:04 .

The course this year was different than in years past due to Covid-19 but the event record coming in was 59:06 for the men and 66:00 for the women.

Ethiopia’s Yalemzerf Yehualaw produced a stunning run over in the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon  2020, a World Athletics Gold Label Road Race, to clock the second fastest  women’s time ever over the distance when she crossed the line in the  Indian capital in 64:46. 

The 21-yearold, who had to settle for third at the World Athletics Half  Marathon Championships last month when she slipped around 80 metres  from the line, bounced back with aplomb to take the $27,000 first prize and  an additional $10,000 as an event record bonus. 

In the men’s race, the event record – with the course having been  changed significantly from previous years – also fell when Amdework Walelegn outsprinted his Ethiopian compatriot and two-time defending  champion Andamlak Belihu to win in 58:53, the latter coming home in  58:54 and just missing out on an unprecedented third title. 

A blistering pace from the gun was set in the women’s race by the  Kenyan male pacemaker Alex Kibarus and several of the elite field were  quickly dropped. 

Six women – three Kenyans: Irene Cheptai, 2019 world marathon  champion Ruth Chepngetich and marathon world record holder Brigid  Kosgei; and three Ethiopians: two-time defending champion and event record holder Teshay Gemechu, world record holder Ababel Yeshaneh and Yalemzerf Yehualaw – followed Kibarus through 5km in 15:27. 

World marathon record holder and recent London Marathon winner  Kosgei was forced to drop out midway through the eighth kilometre, holding her leg as she limped to the side of the road. 

A kilometre later, Gemechu also started to suffer and lost contact with the  leaders although she hung on to eventually finish fifth.

Chepngetich, Cheptai, Yehualaw and Yeshaneh went through 10km  together in 30:49 as a thrilling race started to take shape. 

Cheptai was the next to fall away, becoming detached in the 12th kilometre with the remaining trio going through 15km in 46:15. 

With just three kilometres to go, and within the space of a few hundred  metres, first Chepngetich and then Yeshaneh found themselves unable to  stay with the pace. 

However, Yehualaw continued to follow Kibarus, and once he dropped  out with two kilometres to go it was just a question of how much she would  take off Gemechu’s 2019 course record of 66:00. 

In the end, she improved the mark by more than a minute, aided by a  strong run over the final quarter of the race. 

Yehualaw won in 64:46 but Chepngetich also ran the race of her life to  finish in a personal best of 65:06 and move up to equal-sixth on the world  all-time list.  

“My training since the world championships told me that maybe I could  break the course record as I ran 65:19 there, but this was more than I  expected, and I hoped for a win here after just losing by a second a year  ago,” said Yehualaw. 

“My plan was to push hard with two kilometres to go and that helped my  fast time, and it was also very nice weather,” she added, with early  morning temperatures in Delhi around 12-14 degrees Celsius. 

In the men’s race, three pacemakers took field through 3km in 8:22 and  then 5km in 13:57 – well under 59-minute pace – with Belihu always to the  fore. 

The main pacemaker, Uganda’s Abel Sikowo, continued to forge ahead  and passed 8km 22:17 and then 10km in 27:50, with eight men still directly  in the wake of Sikowo who was doing an admirable job in keeping the  tempo high and sub-59 times definitely in sight. 

Just after 12km Sikowo dropped out and Belihu, along with Kenya’s  Leonard Barsoton, dictated matters at the front for the next two kilometres  although, as he was later to admit, this decision might have cost the  defending champion dearly in the later stages of the race. 

Eight men were still in contention at 15km, which was passed in 42:00. By  18km the leading group had slimmed just slightly to six men: the Ethiopian  quartet of Belihu, Walelegn, 2017 and 2019 world 5000m champion Muktar  Edris who was making his competitive debut over the distance, Tesfahun  Akalnew, Barsoton and Uganda’s Stephen Kissa. 

Akalnew started to falter shortly afterwards and with two kilometres to go,  Edris and Barsoton also started to drop off the back of the group as their  challenge for a place on the podium began to evaporate. 

Belihu, Walelegn and Kissa passed the 20km checkpoint in 55:59, and just  a hundred or so metres later, Walelegn threw down the gauntlet. 

However, Kissa was still full of running and darted between the two  Ethiopians with 500m to go and held the lead for the next 300 metres  before Walelegn found another gear and passed the Ugandan on his  right as he sprinted for the line. 

Walelegn finished in 58:53, the third fastest time of the year and an event record by 13 seconds as well as a personal best by 15 seconds. Belihu was  just one second in arrears and Kissa two seconds further back, both men also setting personal bests. 

“I had a few bad patches but in the final kilometre I felt strong. I was  second in Delhi in 2018 and this is a much faster course which has less  sharp turns,” commented Walelegn, reflected on the new circuit which  incorporated two six-kilometre loops. 

“I have to be happy as I ran a personal best. After the pacemaker  dropped out I pushed the pace but I think this might have left me with a  bit less energy when we sprinted in the last kilometre,” reflected Belihu,  who just fell short in his bid to be the first three-time winner in Delhi. 

In fourth place Edris ran 59:04, the second fastest debut over the distance  ever, while Avinash Sable smashed the Indian record by more than three  minutes when he ran 60:30 in tenth place.

(11/29/2020) Views: 325 ⚡AMP
by Lets Run
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Walelegn breaks course Record Time for 2020 Airtel Delhi Half Marathon.

Ethiopian  Amedework Walelegn is the new  course record holder of Airtel Delhi Half Marathon in men's race with time of 58:53.

Ethiopian Amedework Walelegn dethroned his campatriot 2018 and 2019 winner Andamlak Belihu in a nail-bitting finish to win the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon men's race in a course record time of 58:53. Andamlak who was second settled for silver medal with a time of 58:54 while Stephen Kisa of Uganda Pocket bronze in 58:56.

Walelegn who is 21-years- old broke 2014 course record set by his compatriot Guye Adola in 2014.

In women category Yalemzert Yahualaw beat reigning Marathon Champion Ruth Chepngetich by winning in a time of 64:46 while Ruth followed a distance in 65:06. Abadal Yeshaneh of Ethiopia was third with time of 65:21.

The course was different from the normal course because of covid-19 pandemic protocol. The runners had to cover around 4.5 km starting at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium and then ran on two loops of about 6 km , before getting to the finish line outside the stadium by the same route. The route was sprayed with chemicals to minimise the effect of the annual toxic smog that blankets the megacity in winter due to traffic and industrial pollution crop subble, burning and cold temperature.

(11/29/2020) Views: 341 ⚡AMP
by Willie Korir
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Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

Ethiopia’s Birhanu Legese and Almaz Ayana took the honours at the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon, crossing the line in the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in 59:46 and 1:07:11 respectively to win, world and Olympic 10,000m champion Ayana was making her debut over the half marathon distance but hardly looked like a novice as she led home an Ethiopian clean sweep of...

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2020 Delhi Half Marathon (Nov 29th) Is Loaded As Usual – 12 sub-60 men and 9 sub-70 women will compete

Race promoters Procam International are happy to announce that defending champions Andamlak Belihu and Tsehay Gemecu will return to the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon for the 16th edition of this prestigious World Athletics Gold Label Road Race on Sunday 29 November.

The Ethiopian pair will both be aiming for an unprecedented third successive victory in the Indian capital.

“I have been training well in (the Ethiopia capital) AddisAbaba for the last couple of months and I am very thankful to have the opportunity to race in Delhi, a city I always enjoy returning to and racing in,” commentedBelihu, who will turn 22 just over a week before race day.

“This has been a difficult year, for everyone around the world, not just professional athletes, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and I have been training alone much more than that I am normally used to but my fifth place at the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships in Poland last month has assured me that I am in good shape and I am confident I can put up a good defence of my title,” he added.

Belihu’s compatriot Guye Adola still holds the ADHM course record with 59:06 that the latter clocked in 2014 but Belihu has gone very close in the last two years with 59:18 and a personal best 59:10 in 2018 and 2019 respectively.

He will be aiming to finally go into new territory on the streets of Delhi, perhaps even going under 59 minutes, and confirm his place as the most successful runner in ADHM history after having also placed second in his race debut in 2017.

An unprecedented 13 men in the ADHM 2020 elite field have run under the world class benchmark of one hour, and five of them have actually run faster than Belihu in their careers including Adola who returns to Delhi for the first time since his record run six years ago.

The fastest man in the field is Bahrain’s 2018 World Athletics Half Marathon Championships silver medallist Abraham Cheroben, who holds the Asian record for the distance with 58:40.

Two other men to watch will be the Ethiopian pair of Amdework Walelegn, who was second in Delhi last year and also took the bronze medal at 2020 World Athletics Half Marathon Championships last month, and 2017 and 2019 world 5000m champion Muktar Edris, who will be making his half marathon debut.

Last year, Tsehay Gemechu improved her own women’s course record from 2018 by no less 50 seconds when she ran a stunning personal best of 66:00

Ideally, Gemechu would like to go even faster this year but, like so many runners around the world, her training and racing this year have been hugely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“COVID-19 is a disaster which has affected everyone’s life all over the globe and, definitely, it has affected my training, not least in the early stages of the pandemic when we were all fearful of infection. Later, my coach and I decided to take care of ourselves, taking into account all the advice from the World Health Organisation, and I started my own individual training programme with my main goal of coming back to Delhi, although since September I have had some races on the track,”reflected Gemechu, who will turn 22 in December.

“Like all the athletes who will be coming to Delhi, I’d like to express my thanks to the race promoters Procam International who have committed their time and effort and invested their money in making sure this race goes ahead while we all respect the appropriate health measures,” sheadded.

Gemechu will have a host of outstanding rivals in this year’s race, arguably the strongest women’s field ever seen in the history of the ADHM with seven women having run under 67 minutes.

Among them are two of her compatriots, Yalemzerf Yehualaw and Netsanet Gudeta.

The in-form Yehualaw finished second in the ADHM 2019, just one second behind Gemechu, and showed she’s a rising star of women’s distance running by finishing third at the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships last month in a personal best of 65:19. Gudeta, the 2018 world half marathon champion. was eighth in Poland but helped Ethiopia to team gold.

Both the men’s and women’s races have a first prize cheques of US$27,000 with a total prize money purse (combined men and women) of US$233,270.

The ADHM 2020 will be unlike any previous edition with an estimated 60 elite international and Indian runners in action on the Delhi roads, with the traditional start and finish still in the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. The event will follow the highest level of safety and hygiene standards with bio-secure zones to ensure a COVID-19 free race.

Non-elite runners of all abilities will have the chance to participate virtually from any location, running at any time between 25-29 November via the ADHM App. Details of how to download and use this app can found on the ADHM 2020 website airteldelhihalfmarathon.procam.in

Procam International Pvt. Ltd. A-262, 1st Floor, Defence Colony, New Delhi – 110024. India, Tel. +91112433 5984/85/86 Fax +911141634836

Elite fields for the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon 2020 (with personal bests)

Men

Andamlak Belihu (ETH) 59:10

Abraham Cheroben (BRN) 58:40

Guye Adola (ETH) 59:06

Amdework Walelegn (ETH) 59:08

Leonard Barsoton (KEN) 59:09

Solomon Berihu (ETH) 59:17

Josphat Boit (KEN) 59:19

Edwin Kiptoo (KEN) 59:26

Stephen Mokoka (RSA) 59:36

Abrar Osman (ERI) 59:47

Aron Kifle (ERI) 59:51

Dawit Wolde (ETH) 59:58

Women

Tsehay Gemechu (ETH) 66:00

Yalemzerf Yehualaw (ETH) 65:19

Ruth Chepngetich (KEN) 65:30

Netsanet Gudeta (ETH) 65:45

Evaline Chirchir (KEN) 66:01

Brillian Kipkoech (KEN) 66:56

Irene Cheptai (KEN) 67:39

Mimi Belete (BRN) 68:16

Failuna Matanga (TAN) 69:36

Nazret Weldu (ERI) 70:51

Tsigie Gebreselama (ETH) debut

Hawi Feysa (ETH) debut

Eva Cherono (KEN) debut

(11/15/2020) Views: 299 ⚡AMP
by Lets Run
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Defending champions Tsehay Gemechu and Andamlak Belihu set to face tough opposition at Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

Organizers of the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon have announced that Tsehay Gemechu and Andamlak Belihu will defend their titles at the World Athletics Gold Label road race on Sunday 29 November.

The Ethiopian duo will both be aiming for an unprecedented third successive victory in the Indian capital, but both will race strong fields containing world champions.

Last year, Gemechu improved her own course record from 2018 by 50 seconds when she ran a stunning personal best of 1:06:00.

Ideally, Gemechu would like to go even faster this year but, like so many runners around the world, her training and racing this year have been hugely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Covid-19 is a disaster which has affected everyone's life all over the globe and, definitely, it has affected my training, not least in the early stages of the pandemic when we were all fearful of infection,” said Gemechu, who will turn 22 next month.

“Later, my coach and I decided to take care of ourselves, taking into account all the advice from the World Health Organization, and I started my own individual training programme with my main goal of coming back to Delhi.”

Gemechu will have a host of outstanding rivals in this year's race, arguably the strongest women's field ever seen in the history of the Delhi Half Marathon with seven women having run under 67 minutes.

Among them are two of her compatriots, Yalemzerf Yehualaw and Netsanet Gudeta, as well as world marathon champion Ruth Chepngetich.

The in-form Yehualaw finished second at the 2019 Deli Half Marathon, just one second behind Gemechu, and showed she's a rising star of distance running by finishing third at the World Half Marathon Championships in Gdynia last month in a personal best of 1:05:19.

Gudeta, the 2018 world half marathon champion, was eighth in Gdynia after falling over mid-race, but helped Ethiopia to team gold.

Chepngetich won the world marathon title in Doha last year, having clocked PBs of 1:05:30 for the half marathon and 2:17:08 for the marathon earlier in the season. More recently, she finished third at the London Marathon in 2:22:05.

Belihu will be aiming to finally go into new territory on the streets of Delhi, perhaps even finishing inside 59 minutes, and confirm his place as the most successful runner in Delhi Half Marathon history after having also placed second in his race debut in 2017.

“I have been training well in Addis Ababa for the last couple of months and I am very thankful to have the opportunity to race in Delhi, a city I always enjoy returning to and racing in,” said Belihu, who will turn 22 just over a week before race day.

“This has been a difficult year, for everyone around the world, not just professional athletes, due to the Covid-19 pandemic and I have been training alone much more than I am normally used to,” he added. “But my fifth place at the World Half Marathon Championships in Poland last month has assured me that I am in good shape and I am confident I can put up a good defence of my title.”

The 2020 Delhi Half Marathon will be unlike any previous edition with an estimated 60 elite international and Indian runners in action on the Delhi roads, with the traditional start and finish still in the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. The event will follow the highest level of safety and hygiene standards with bio-secure zones to ensure a Covid-19-free race.

(11/11/2020) Views: 356 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

Ethiopia’s Birhanu Legese and Almaz Ayana took the honours at the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon, crossing the line in the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in 59:46 and 1:07:11 respectively to win, world and Olympic 10,000m champion Ayana was making her debut over the half marathon distance but hardly looked like a novice as she led home an Ethiopian clean sweep of...

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Ethiopia's Hailu Zewdu and Diana Chemtai lead their respective fields for the Istanbul Marathon as the World Athletics Gold Label road race series resumes in Turkey's largest city on Sunday

Zewdu made his marathon debut at the Dubai Marathon in January, clocking 2:06:31 to finish 10th. He'll be joined by compatriot Tsegaye Getachew, the next fastest in the field with a 2:06:50 career best, set at the Valencia Marathon last year where he finished eighth. Earlier in the year Getachew won the Dalian Marathon in 2:11:25, his first and to date only international victory over the distance.

Felix Kimutai, with 2:09:23 credentials, leads the Kenyan contingent. The 31-year-old won here in 2018 and finished third one year ago.

Cosmas Birech, who clocked 2:08:03 to win the Rome Marathon in 2018, is also in the field, along with Edwin Soi, the 2008 Olympic bronze medallist over 5000m, who'll be making his marathon debut.

Local hopes will rest with Yavuz Agrali, who set his 2:10:41 lifetime best in Seville in February.

Chemtai, who made her marathon debut last year, leads the women's field. The 26-year-old Kenyan clocked 2:22:07 at last year's Ljubljana Marathon, finishing third. She has a 1:07:07 half marathon best from 2018.

She'll face a pair of formidable Ethiopians, Hiwot Gebrekidan and Yeshi Kalayu Chekole. Gebrekidan has a 2:23:50 career best set in Guangzhou last year while Chekole, 23, has a 2:24:28 best set in Abu Dhabi, also one year ago.

Strict safety measures in place

Organisers have put several measures in place to ensure the safety of all runners, beginning with a cap of 3000 participants.

The start and finish area was moved to a massive open space to ensure a safe distance between the runners both before and after the race. The area will be secured, barring entry to anyone without a clearance code provided by Turkey's Ministry of Health. A negative test for Covid-19 was required to enter the race.

All participants, including the elite athletes, will be required to wear face masks at the start, and will be able to dispose of them in designated boxes at 20 metres, 200 metres and one kilometres from the start.

The gun will sound the start of the elite race at 9am. The mass race will follow with groups of four runners starting every five seconds.

The change in course means that this year, instead of starting on the Asian side of the city and finishing on the European side, runners will first cross from Europe to Asia and then back again. With the change to a much more difficult course, organisers don't expect the race records - Daniel Kipkore Kibet's 2:09:44 set in 2019 and Ruth Chepngetich's 2:18:35 from 2018 - to be under threat.

The accompanying shorter races that regularly attract up to 70,000 participants were cancelled this year.

(11/07/2020) Views: 391 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Vodafone Istanbul Marathon

Vodafone Istanbul Marathon

At the beginning, the main intention was simply to organise a marathon event. Being a unique city in terms of history and geography, Istanbul deserved a unique marathon. Despite the financial and logistical problems, an initial project was set up for the Eurasia Marathon. In 1978, the officials were informed that a group of German tourists would visit Istanbul the...

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At the age of 37 Sara Hall says that she is enjoying her sport more than ever

She says running has "broken my heart a hundred times," but each moment of heartbreak would have seemed worthwhile as Sara Hall moved into second place on the final straight of this year's London Marathon.

The dramatic finish saw a surging Hall overtake Ruth Chepngetich in a sprint finish having made up 40 seconds in little more than a mile by her husband's calculations.

Her time of two hours, 22 minutes and one second improved her previous personal best by 15 seconds, and her second-place finish made her the first American to mount the podium at London in 14 years.

The performance would have gone some way to atoning for the disappointment of pulling out of the Olympic Marathon Trials in Atlanta earlier this year -- likely one of the heartbreaks she had been referring to as she took to social media after the race.

"This is the highlight of my career so far," Hall tells CNN Sport as she reflects on her London Marathon performance.

Hall crosses the finish line in second place at the London Marathon.

"I feel so, so grateful to be enjoying the sport the most I ever have at age 37. It's been kind of a surprise to still be improving at this age, and I just feel so grateful that I got the opportunity to race.

"It was just a long year of training and faith that there would be an opportunity at the end of it. I put in a lot for this race and to have it all come together and have the race of my life that was just a dream come true."

Running 'completely alone'

The circumstances surrounding this year's London Marathon, which was moved from April to October and staged only elite races due to the coronavirus pandemic, were unique.

Competitors were tested multiple times before traveling and also upon arrival in the UK.

Wearing social distancing devices that would sound if they got too close to another person, athletes stayed in a bubble in a hotel the week leading up to the race with "a little, tiny grass loop" to train on, according to Hall.

For the race itself, each athlete had their own Porta Potti -- "every runner's dream," says Hall, rather than waiting in a long queue before rushing to the start line.

Rather than start in Greenwich in south London and finish in The Mall in the center of the British capital, the course was also altered to 19.6 laps of St James's Park and no crowds were in attendance -- something that posed a significant mental challenge.

"There were times I could just hear the echo of my footsteps out there because I was running completely alone," says Hall.

"I really just had to self-motivate a lot out there because it was a lonely, very quiet run without spectators.

"And I just tried to remember how grateful I was to be competing and (to) have an opportunity in Covid ... and it was really that gratitude that kept me moving forward and then eventually catching people."

(10/31/2020) Views: 314 ⚡AMP
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Kitata conquers Kipchoge while Kosgei retains title at London Marathon and US Sara Hall finishes second

The man is fallible after all. Eliud Kipchoge’s reign of invincibility came to a crushing end with an eighth-place finish at the Virgin Money London Marathon, a World Athletics Platinum Label race, as Ethiopia’s Shura Kitata won a dramatic, last-gasp sprint to take the honours in the men’s race.

Kipchoge, the Olympic champion and world record-holder and unbeaten in 10 previous marathons, had been widely expected to claim an unprecedented fifth London title in his first race since making history by breaking the two-hour barrier in Vienna.

His principal challenger, Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekeke, had been forced to withdraw with a calf injury just two days before the race, while Kipchoge had cut a confident figure in the build-up as he discussed how well his preparations had gone.

Moments before he went to the start-line, fellow Kenyan Brigid Kosgei had raced to a runaway victory to retain her London crown, and few predicted anything but a Kipchoge triumph to complete a Kenyan double.

But this time, the race did not follow the usual script. Looking comfortable among a lead group of nine runners for much of the race, Kipchoge appeared to be biding his time before launching a characteristic surge of pace to break up the field.

On this occasion, though, the attack failed to materialise. Instead, the tables were turned on the mighty Kenyan as his rivals launched a breakaway with three miles of the race remaining.

With Kipchoge unable to respond, a lead group of five soon turned into a three-way battle between Kitata, fellow Ethiopian Sisay Lemma and the towering Kenyan, Vincent Kipchumba. Kipchoge, meanwhile, was disappearing into the distance.

In one of the most exciting finishes in London Marathon memory, Kipchumba was the first to strike for home, only to be overtaken on the line by the diminutive Kitata. Just a single second separated the two men as Kitata clocked a winning time of 2:05:41.

“I prepared very well for this race,” Kitata, 24, said afterwards. "Kenenisa Bekele helped me. I am very happy to win the race.”

Lemma was third in 2:04:45 while Kipchoge crossed the line in eighth in 2:06:42 – his slowest ever time in a city marathon. It was his first defeat since 2013.

“I am really disappointed,” Kipchoge said afterwards. “I don't know what happened.

“The last 15km, I felt my right ear was blocked and I had cramp in my hip and leg.

“It just happened in the race. I started well. It's really cold but I don't blame the conditions.”

It was a remarkable outcome to an extraordinary race, which was staged for the first time over 19 laps of a closed-loop course around St James’s Park in central London after the original race scheduled for April had to be postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The course was also off limits to spectators to maintain a ‘biosecure’ bubble for the athletes and support staff. It was just a shame that no one was there to witness in person one of the most dramatic men’s races in the event’s 40-year history.

By contrast, the women’s race followed a more predictable path.

Kosgei, the overwhelming pre-race favourite after obliterating Paula Radcliffe’s 16-year-old world record when she won in Chicago last October in a stunning 2:14:04, delivered another imperious performance to retain her London crown.

Her time of 2:18:58 may have been 38 seconds slower than her victory a year ago, but her winning margin of more than three minutes spoke volumes for her dominance. At the age of just 26, she is already taking the marathon into uncharted territory.

“I just tried my best,” she said afterwards. “The weather affected us today. There was some wind and rain all the way, which made our muscles colder. No one could warm up so it was difficult to even finish.”

Earlier in the race, Kosgei’s main challenge came from fellow Kenyan Ruth Chepngetich, the world champion and London debutant, as the pair set a hot pace to break away just before the 10-mile mark.

The halfway split of 1:08:15 put the duo on track to lower Mary Keitany’s women’s only world record of 2:17:01, though the soggy conditions and tight corners on the looped course were never going to be conducive to record-breaking times.

Chepngetich made a brave attempt to surge away from Kosgei after the midway point, though the attack was swiftly countered and the pair settled into a more sedate pace for several miles, ending all thoughts of breaking records.

It was after the 19-mile mark that Kosgei made the decisive attack and this time Chepngetich had no answer, dropping back quickly and looking suddenly fatigued as she evidently paid the price for going with the early pace.

As Kosgei’s race turned in a one-woman exhibition over the closing miles, the real contest was taking place further back in the field as veteran Sara Hall of the US overhauled Ethiopia’s Ashete Bekere to move into third place before training her sights on the tiring Chepngetich.

In an exciting sprint finish that presaged the men’s race a couple of hours later, Hall, 37, found the energy to burst past the Kenyan with just 80 metres remaining, crossing the line in second place in a lifetime best of 2:22:01 for her first ever top-three finish in a major city marathon. Chepngetich finished four seconds behind her.

It was also the first time an able-bodied US athlete had made it on to the London Marathon podium since Deena Kastor’s victory in 2006 – an achievement that will help atone for Hall’s disappointment in failing to gain selection for the Tokyo Olympics at last year’s US Olympic trials.

 

(10/04/2020) Views: 488 ⚡AMP
by Simon Hart for World Athletics
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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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World record holder Eliud Kipchoge loses to retain 2020 London Marathon title.

World record holder Eliud Kipchoge loses the 40th London Marathon  after finishing at 8th position in time of 2:08:42.Shura Kitata from Ethiopia won with a time of 2:05:42 which was a close finish with Vincent Kipchumba 2:05:45.Lemma Sisay came third 2:05:45  after leading from 25km to almost 41.8km where the high pace set by Kitata edge him out of the lead and settled at third position

The men race which was full of surprises saw Eliud Kipchoge who has won four London marathons and never lost for seven years over the distance dropped at 22-mile mark  due to stomach issues,hip problem and right ear blockage.

The men had 3 pace makers who helped them crossed 5km in 14:48,10km 29:45 and all through 15km in 44:31. At 25km , Lemma Sisay hicked the pace higher making the group goes in a single lane.Vincent Kipchumba picked a paced through 30km at 1:29:00.Mo farah on the chasing pack  was pacing for European athletes who wanted to beat personal best and also Olympics qualifyers time.

In the women category ,world record holder Brigid kosgei swept a win in 2:18:58 followed a distance away by Hall Sara of USA 2:22:01 while Ruth Chepngetich settle at 2:22:05.Sara Hall set her pb after outshining Chepngetich(KE) in the last 300m who had harmstring problem.

The women race had pacemakers than included Vivian Kiplagat that did a nice job despite harsh weather conditions with incessant rain with alot of humidity and low temperatures of about 9 degrees celsius.The 19.7 laps race around St. James Park rather than normal  traditional route was tough for the majority of the athletes that saw the likes of Vivian Cheruiyot dropped in the middle of the race.The 2020 London marathon route was change to loop running due to covid-19 pandemic that has affected all sports facilities in the entire world.

(10/04/2020) Views: 440 ⚡AMP
by Willie Korir reporting from Kenya
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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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Brigid Kosgei and Ruth Chepngetich will use controversial shoes worn by Eliud Kipchoge in the London Marathon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(10/02/2020) Views: 378 ⚡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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London Marathon releases race day schedule

A series of elite events will take place in St James’s Park on October 4

The race schedule for the elite-only Virgin Money London Marathon has been announced, with a series of events taking place throughout the day on Sunday October 4.

The action will kick off with the elite women’s race at 07:15 before the elite men’s race at 10:15 and the wheelchair races at 13:10.

As announced earlier this month, the 2020 London Marathon will not feature a mass race and the elite racing will take place within a “secure biosphere” in St James’s Park.

As recently confirmed by World Athletics, the times recorded in London will be eligible for Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualification.

ELITE RACE SCHEDULE

07:15 – Elite women’s race

10:15 – Elite men’s race

13:10 – Wheelchair races

The elite men’s field features distance running greats Eliud Kipchoge and Kenenisa Bekele in a highly-anticipated clash, together with Mosinet Geremew and Mule Wasihun, who placed second and third in 2019.

Britain’s Mo Farah will be a pacemaker to athletes looking to achieve the Olympic marathon qualifying standard of 2:11:30, with his compatriots Jonny Mellor, Chris Thompson and debutants Ross Millington and Ben Connor all set to run.

World record-holder and defending London Marathon champion Brigid Kosgei leads the women’s field and is joined by five other women who have run inside 2:20: Ruth Chepngetich, Roza Dereje, Vivian Cheruiyot, Valary Jemeli and Degitu Azimeraw.

Among the leading British women confirmed to race are Steph Twell and Lily Partridge.

In the wheelchair races, both Daniel Romanchuk and Manuela Schär will defend their titles.

Athletes will cross the same traditional finish line on The Mall after each completing 19.8 laps of the St James’s Park course, while mass runners will take on their 26.2 miles from home or anywhere in the world as part of the event’s first virtual edition.

(08/28/2020) Views: 451 ⚡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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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: 665 ⚡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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Mo Farah will be the pacemaker for the elite men's race at October's rescheduled London Marathon

Briton Mo Farah, 37, is among the competitors to have achieved the Olympic-qualifying time of two hours 11 minutes 30 seconds.

Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge, who won last year's event, leads the men's field with Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia.

Reduced fields of 30-40 athletes will also compete for the elite women's and wheelchair titles on 4 October.

The races will take place on a bio-secure closed course amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"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," said Farah, who finished third in 2018 and fifth last year.

"I am in good shape. I'll be in London that week and it fits in with my training."

Ethiopians Mosinet Geremew and Mule Wasihun, who finished runner-up and third respectively in 2019, are among eight athletes who have run marathons in under two hours five minutes.

Brigid Kosgei of Kenya heads up the women's elite field alongside compatriot and world champion Ruth Chepngetich.

Ethiopia's Roza Dereje and Kenyans Vivian Cheruiyot, Valary Jemeli and Degitu Azimeraw are the other picks of the line-up.

The full elite wheelchair fields will be released next week.

The route will consist of laps of about 1.5 miles, taking in The Mall, Horse Guards Parade, Birdcage Walk and Buckingham Palace.

(08/21/2020) Views: 483 ⚡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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On Sunday April 26, 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon will celebrate 40 years

Virgin Money London Marathon, the world’s greatest marathon celebrates another landmark moment in its extraordinary history – The 40th Race.

From the legendary hand-in-hand finish of joint winners Dick Beardsley and Inge Simonsen in the very first London Marathon to countless world records; from one million finishers to £1 billion raised for charity; from crazy costumes to the incredible and inspiring examples of spirit and courage, The 40th Race – the name of this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon campaign – will celebrate them all.

The 40th Race campaign was launched at a star-studded reception on Tower Bridge, the iconic halfway point of the race, tonight (Tuesday 4 February) as a special film celebrating The 40th Race was released.

Hugh Brasher, Event Director of the Virgin Money London Marathon, said: “This year will be The 40th Race and we are so proud of how far the event has come since that wet day back on 29 March 1981. The London Marathon has proved to be a unique force for good and continues to have an extraordinary impact on society. It is an event that has inspired profound social change.

“Every year on Marathon Day, London is transformed. On one amazing day, the runners take on the challenge of 26.2 miles as families and friends come out to support them. Charities, which spend months championing causes and runners, line the route. Many thousands of volunteers come together and more than 750,000 spectators line the streets, cheering on every runner – it is London, and the UK, at its best.

“We look forward to celebrating the rich history of the London Marathon and, as always, we are also looking to the future of the event and how we can continue to develop and grow the world’s greatest marathon.”

In the men’s elite race, the two fastest marathon runners of all time, world record holder Eliud Kipchoge (KEN) and Kenenisa Bekele (ETH) go head-to-head while women’s world record holder and defending champion Brigid Kosgei (KEN) leads the greatest female marathon field ever assembled, as she takes on 2018 champion Vivian Cheruiyot (KEN) and world champion Ruth Chepngetich (KEN).

(02/05/2020) Views: 546 ⚡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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World record-holders Eliud Kipchoge and Brigid Kosgei headline the star-studded Kenyan marathon team for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Eliud Kipchoge, who is the first man to run the marathon in under two hours, will be seeking to defend the title he won in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil four years ago where he clocked 2:08:44.

Kipchoge, whose record stands at 2:01:39, will lead the Kenyan men’s team which also has debutant Chicago Marathon champion Lawrence Cherono, world silver medalist Amos Kipruto, former world half marathon silver medalist Bedan Karoki, and African Games half marathon winner Titus Ekiru. The duo of Karoki and Ekiru are on stand by.

Cherono, 32, made it to the team courtesy of his heroics in Chicago last year, where he timed 2:05:45 to win the race— just six months after claiming the Boston Marathon. He has a personal best of 2:04:06 recorded in Amsterdam in 2018. Cherono’s half marathon personal best stands at 1:00:46 posted in San Diego, USA last year.

Kipruto called on the sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed to accord the team support like she did during the 2019 World Championships in Doha, Qatar. He termed the selection process as tough for AK owing to the number of top marathoners in the country pursuing to make the team.

“It was tough for AK to pick the team from the pool of marathoners we have. We are happy to have made the cut and we hope we will enjoy maximum support. The CS was in Doha with us during the World championships and her presence motivated the team. We will maintain our mentality and discipline in camp,” he said.

Similarly, Brigid Kosgei will lead the women’s team which will also feature world champion Ruth Chepngetich and former London Marathon champion Vivian Cheruiyot. Sally Kaptich and Vallary Aiyabei are on standby

Kosgei broke Paula Radcliffe's 16-year-old record held by a massive 81 seconds in October last year during the Chicago Marathon after crossing the line in 2:14:04. She is also the London Marathon champion and has half marathon personal best of 1:04:28. 

Chepngetich defied sweltering conditions in Doha to be crowned the world champion last year, where she clocked 2:32:43. The 26-year-old has a marathon personal best at 2:17:08 which she ran in Dubai last year. Her half marathon best time is 1:05:30. 

For Vivian, she returns to the Olympics as a marathoner after reigning supreme in the 5,000 and 10,000m races in the previous four editions. The decorated athlete won the 5,000m race in Rio and took silver in 10,000m. She will be hoping to add yet another Olympic gold medal to her rich collection. Her full marathon personal best is 2:18:31 which was recorded in London in 2018. Her half marathon best time is 1:06:34.

“It is the best team ever assembled for the Olympics. We are going to work hard in training and make our country proud,” said Cheruiyot

Training is set to begin on May 1 in Kaptagat according to AK President Jackson Tuwei.

(01/31/2020) Views: 763 ⚡AMP
by Meshack Kisenge
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision. ...

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Will the Course Records Fall For the Third Straight Year at 2020 Dubai Marathon!

It’s a good week to be a running fan and we  get an appetizer with the Dubai Marathon. Though it’s not the most historic race or the most challenging course (flat with only six turns), Dubai always cranks out fast times and sets the tone as the year’s first major (but not technically an Abbott World Marathon Major) marathon.

The names in this year fields aren’t all familiar, but the depth is certainly there again in 2020: there are 11 sub-2:08 men entered — among major marathons in 2019, only Boston (15) had more. On the women’s side, Boston Marathon champ Worknesh Degefa returns to Dubai, where she ran 2:17:41 to finish second last year, to lead a field of six sub-2:24 women. There’s also $100,000 for the win — one of the richest first-place prizes in marathoning, and life-changing money for most of these athletes.

Many athletes use Dubai as a stepping stone in their careers: show up, run a fast time, and use the performance to boost their appearance fees at major marathons. But since Dubai itself rarely offers appearance fees (outside of the years Haile Gebrselassie or Kenenisa Bekele showed up), the winner doesn’t always return to defend their title and it can be hard to predict a favorite from what is always a deep field.

This year’s men’s race is wide open. Ethiopia’s Solomon Deksisa, coming off a runner-up finish in Amsterdam, is the fastest in the field by PR (2:04:40), but seven other men have run within two minutes of his best. Realistically, any of those guys could win, but two stand out as particularly intriguing.

The first is another Ethiopian, Andualem Belay. Entering 2019, Belay had run 14 marathons, breaking 2:11 just once (2:09:59 at 2015 Dubai). Then Belay, now 27, dropped a 2:08:16 pb to win the Castellon Marathon in Spain, followed by a 2:08:51 victory in Riga and another huge PR of 2:06:00 to win Lisbon in October, breaking the course record in all three instances. That’s a pretty unbelievable breakthrough for a guy who was a relatively mediocre marathoner before last year, but after his 2019 campaign, he’s clearly among the favorites in Dubai.

Unlike the men’s race, there is a clear favorite on the women’s side: Worknesh Degefa. The Ethiopian, who won Boston last year, has raced Dubai three times and has run a PR each time: a debut 2:22 win in 2017, 2:19 for 4th in 2018, and 2:17 for 2nd last year. With reigning Dubai champ Ruth Chepngetich opting for London instead this year, Degefa is the class of the Dubai field.

While Degefa is the fifth-fastest woman of all time, only one other woman entered in Dubai has broken 2:21: Buzunesh Deba, the 2014 Boston Marathon champ who hasn’t done anything of note since finishing 3rd in Boston in 2015. Barring a major breakthrough, Degefa should roll here.

(01/23/2020) Views: 937 ⚡AMP
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Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

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

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Kenyan Eric Kiptanui faces a stern test as he makes his full marathon debut at the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon on January 24

Eric Kiptanui is the sole Kenyan contestant  in the elite men's field. The 29-year-old is half marathon specialist and is the sixth-fastest man over the distance, thanks to the 58:42 he clocked  while winning Berlin Half Marathon in 2018.

He won the Barcelona Half Marathon last year  in 1:01.40 and also bagged the 2018 Lisbon Half Marathon in 1:00:05. Kiptanui finished ninth at the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon in October last year, posting 1:02:23.

He was also one of the pacemakers used by world marathon record holder, Eliud Kipchoge when he broke the sub two-hour marathon mark in Vienna last year.

Kiptanui will have to contend with a strong Ethiopian lineup led by Solomon Deksisa and Seifu Tura. Deksisa has a personal best of 2:04:40 while Tura's PB is 2:04:44.

Despite his relatively young age, the talented Deksisa has built up plenty of experience at the marathon distance after a brief track career.

At 20, he won the 2014 San Diego Half Marathon with a personal best of 1:00:12, then two years later, he moved up to the marathon and ran an impressive 2:06:22 debut in Rotterdam to finish second.

Since then he has fully focused on the 42.195km distance and claimed his first marathon victory in Mumbai in 2018 before winning again in Hamburg a few months later. 

2018 proved to be his best year so far as he ended it with a 2:04:40 PB to finish third in Amsterdam. His life-time best is just one minute outside the Dubai course record set in 2019 by Getaneh Molla. Kenya last won the Dubai Marathon in 2012 through David Barmasai.

In the absence of defending and World champion Ruth Chepngetich, Ethiopia will have the edge in the race with the likes of Worknesh Degefa, Deba Dejene, Alemu Megertu, Dera Dida and Guteni Shone all present.

(01/21/2020) Views: 833 ⚡AMP
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Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

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

more...
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