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Articles tagged #Sara Hall
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Sara Hall after finishing 5th at the American marathon Olympic Trials

My heart is broken, but my love for this sport is unchanged. Man I missed doing that and loved being out there flying along again, flanked by an incredible group of women I love and respect so much. 

Even when you come up short, there’s no better feeling than going all-in and all-out on something you love. 

This one hurts more than any of the other 7, and yet I feel proud and have no regrets. Was in 3rd/could see 3rd the whole last lap as I battled through cramps. Never stopped believing, fought every step. 

What a privilege to chase your dreams and have others believe in them with you. What incredible relationships I’ve made through this sport. I wouldn’t trade them for anything I’ve accomplished or could have accomplished.

Thanks for believing with me. The story continues.

Congratulations to our amazing team who are going to represent so amazingly in Paris! 

 

(02/05/2024) Views: 131 ⚡AMP
by Sara Hall
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2024 US Olympic Trials Marathon

2024 US Olympic Trials Marathon

Most countries around the world use a selection committee to choose their Olympic Team Members, but not the USA. Prior to 1968, a series of races were used to select the USA Olympic Marathon team, but beginning in 1968 the format was changed to a single race on a single day with the top three finishers selected to be part...

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These were the Fastest Shoes of the 2024 Olympic Marathon Trials

Asics, Puma, and Nike had a big day.

The city of Orlando witnessed some amazing performances under a blistering sun, with tickets to Paris at stake. When the dust settled after three loops, six brands placed among the top 10 men’s and women’s finishers. There was a time Nike ruled the roads, but Asics topped them in this year’s Olympic Trials Marathon, with two men and four women making my list below.

Here’s a look at what the top 10 finishers in both races wore in their quests for a spot on the Olympic team.

MEN’S TOP 10

1st — Conner Mantz, 2:09:05

Nike Air Zoom Alphafly Next% (v1)

Despite two updates to the Alphafly, Mantz (right in the image above) continues to wear the very first version. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

2nd — Clayton Young, 2:09:06

Asics Metaspeed Sky 3 prototype

Young (left, above) looks to be wearing the newest, unreleased Metaspeed Sky. Asics has three “development” shoes (prototype) approved by World Athletics for use in competition, currently. This colorway looks a lot like the existing Metaspeed Sky+ and Edge+, but when we zoom in closer we don’t see any labels, and the sidewall of the midsole looks different than the shoe you can buy now.

3rd — Leonard Korir, 2:09:57

Nike Air Zoom Alphafly 3

Korir laced up the latest Alphafly and might just have run himself onto the squad headed for Paris. We reviewed the Alphafly 3 recently.

4th — Elkanah Kibet, 2:10:02

Asics Metaspeed Edge 3 prototype

Kibet is wearing a prototype, like Young. His, however, appears to be the Metaspeed Edge. You can see the ridge on the sidewall of the forefoot swoops down low toward the sole of the shoe. The Edge’s plate curves lower, allowing for more foam between your foot and the plate than in the Sky.

5th — CJ Albertson, 2:10:07

Brooks Hyperion Elite 4 prototype

It looks like CJ is wearing Brooks’s top racing shoe, which was just announced. But, the company also has a “Hyperion Elite 4 RD.010” prototype shoe that was approved by World Athletics for use in competition just two weeks ago. It’s likely he wore that version (we don’t have details yet) but the outsole of CJ’s race shoe has gray rubber, whereas the newly announced version has a web of black and orange rubber.

6th — Zach Panning, 2:10:50

Brooks Hyperion Elite 4 prototype

Panning seems to be wearing the same prototype of the Hyperion Elite 4 that CJ wore.

7th — Nathan Martin, 2:11:00

Nike Air Zoom Alphafly 3

8th — Josh Izewski, 2:11:09

Nike Air Zoom Alphafly 3

9th — Reed Fischer, 2:11:34

Adidas Adizero Adios Pro 3

Fischer rolled to a top-10 finish with an all-white version of the Adios Pro 3. Adidas does not have any prototypes on the list of approved shoes as of race day.

10th — Colin Bennie, 2:12:17

Brooks Hyperion Elite 4 prototype

Bennie seems to be wearing the same prototype as Albertson and Panning.

WOMEN’S TOP 10

1st — Fiona O’Keeffe, 2:22:10

Puma Deviate Nitro Elite 3

Not a bad first effort for O’Keeffe and Puma. Fiona won her first marathon in record fashion. And Puma claimed victory with the Deviate Elite 3 on the first day it was approved for use in competition. The World Athletics approved shoe list shows the 3 green lighted for use as a “development” as of Feb. 3, 2024.

2nd — Emily Sisson, 2:22:42

New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Pacer

New Balance has a new super shoe, the FuelCell SuperComp Elite v4, out. But Sisson laced up the thinner, lighter Pacer. It’s a shoe most of us recreational runners might only grab for a 5K or 10K (maybe). Seems like it’s working just fine for the American record holder.

3rd — Dakotah Lindwurm, 2:25:31

Puma Deviate Nitro Elite 3

Lindwurm also wore the new Puma racer. Hey, Puma, need me to re-send my address? 

4th — Jessica McClain, 2:25:46

Nike Vaporfly 3

This marks an insane shift in racing footwear. On the men’s side, four of the top 10 runners laced up Nike. Only McClain, the team’s first alternate, cracked the top 10 women’s runners wearing the swoosh. Folks, we’re living in the golden age of running shoes. Pick the pair that fits and feels best—and rip it.

5th — Sara Hall, 2:26:06

Asics Metaspeed Edge 3 prototype

Like Kibet, it appears Hall wore the Metaspeed Edge prototype.

6th — Caroline Rotich, 2:26:10

Asics Metaspeed Edge+

Unlike Hall, Kibet, and Young, Rotich’s shoe seems to be the current Metaspeed Edge+ that you can buy right now.

7th — Makenna Myler, 2:26:14

Asics Metaspeed Sky 3 prototype

Myler is likely wearing the Sky 3 prototype—again, check out that ridge in the forefoot; it’s closer to the foot. One heck of a day for Asics, if I do say so.

8th — Lindsay Flanagan, 2:26:25

Asics Metaspeed Edge 3 prototype

N + 1.

9th — Emily Durgin, 2:27:56

Adidas Adizero Adios Pro 3

Durgin held onto a top-10 finish wearing Adidas’s most popular marathon racer.

10th — Annie Frisbie, 2:27:56

Puma Deviate Nitro Elite 3

Asics packed four runners in the top 10, but Frisbie finished strong to give Puma a triumphant trio, all wearing the new Deviate Elite 3.

(02/04/2024) Views: 230 ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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Molly Seidel withdraws from Olympic Marathon Trials due to injury

Tokyo Olympic bronze medalist Molly Seidel announced she is withdrawing from Saturday’s U.S. marathon trials for the Paris Games due to a knee injury.

Seidel, 29, said in a video posted Thursday that she suffered a knee injury a month ago, couldn’t run on it and got an MRI that revealed a broken patella and a partially torn patella tendon.

“I have done everything in my power over this last month to try and get myself to the (starting) line,” she said. “I’ve had just the most incredible physios and doctors doing everything in their power to help me. I’ve been cross-training my (butt) off, but ultimately I got to this week, and my knee had not healed up enough, and I knew that I could not race a marathon hard on it in its current state without really, really injuring myself.”

The trials are Saturday at 10 a.m. ET from Orlando, airing live on Peacock with coverage on NBC, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app at noon.

Four years ago, Seidel placed second in the trials in her marathon debut to make the three-woman Olympic team.

After the COVID-19 pandemic postponed the Tokyo Games by one year, Seidel finished third in the Olympic marathon held in Sapporo.

She became the third U.S. woman to win a marathon medal after Joan Benoit Samuelson, who won the first Olympic women’s marathon in 1984, and Deena Kastor, the 2004 bronze medalist.

After Tokyo, Seidel dealt with a hip injury and anemia, plus took time to focus on mental health after an eating disorder relapse.

Then last Oct. 8, Seidel finished a 26.2-mile race for the first time in two years. She was the second-fastest American woman at the Chicago Marathon, running a personal best and re-establishing herself as a prime candidate to make the Paris team of three at trials.

Seidel is the second contender to withdraw in the lead-up to trials.

Emma Bates, the third-fastest U.S. female marathoner of 2023, bowed out Jan. 7, saying then, “There’s just not enough time to be where I need to be.”

The field still includes three of the four fastest American women in history — American record holder Emily Sisson, former American record holder Keira D’Amato and Sara Hall, No. 4 on the all-time list.

Plus, former Iowa State teammates Betsy Saina (the fastest American in 2023) and Aliphine Tuliamuk (Tokyo Olympic Trials winner).

(02/01/2024) Views: 124 ⚡AMP
by Olympic Talk
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2024 US Olympic Trials Marathon

2024 US Olympic Trials Marathon

Most countries around the world use a selection committee to choose their Olympic Team Members, but not the USA. Prior to 1968, a series of races were used to select the USA Olympic Marathon team, but beginning in 1968 the format was changed to a single race on a single day with the top three finishers selected to be part...

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For Betsy Saina, the U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon Presents a Chance to Represent Her Son

For much of last year, Betsy Saina had a plan. She would race the Chicago Marathon in October, eager to run alongside Emma Bates (who placed fifth at last year’s Boston Marathon in a new personal best of 2:22:10) in pursuit of breaking Emily Sisson’s American record of 2:18:29, set the previous year at that same race.

Saina, 35, a naturalized U.S. citizen who represented Kenya in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro—she placed fifth in the 10,000 meters 30:07.78—had reason to be confident. Last spring, she set a new personal best of 2:21:40 with her fifth-place finish at the Tokyo Marathon, which wound up being the fastest marathon by an American woman in 2023 and made her the eighth-fastest U.S. female marathoner of all-time, solidifying her position as a top U.S. Olympic marathon team contender.

The Chicago Marathon had assured Saina’s agent, Tom Broadbent, that she was in for the race. But when the elite field was announced in August, Saina learned she had not been accepted, which not only threw a wrench in her fall training plans, but made for a lot of stress as she was planning her U.S. Olympic Marathon Team Trials buildup.

“I was shocked and spent three days looking at myself and trying to find any mistakes I made to not make the field, especially after running 2:21 in Tokyo,” Saina says. “I had never been rejected from a race before, and never got a response or an explanation as to why I didn’t make it. Being denied to run in Chicago honestly was one of the most disappointing things I’ve experienced in my career.”

Saina looked into entering the Berlin Marathon the following month, but had no such luck getting in with it being so late in the game. She was ultimately accepted into the Sydney Marathon (which shares its sponsor, ASICS, with Saina) on September 16. Unlike Chicago—with its fast, flat course that ended up having ideal racing conditions with temperatures in the 40s—Sydney has a hilly course and race-day weather was on the hotter side, with a starting temperature of 68 degrees.

Despite the conditions, Saina proved herself once again, winning the race in 2:26:47. This sealed her confidence as she began to look ahead to the Olympic Trials in Orlando on February 3. If she’s one of the top three finishers in the women’s race in Florida, she’ll earn a spot on the U.S. team that will compete in the marathon at the Paris Olympics on August 11.

“Challenges make people strong, and running a good marathon on a harder course made me come back feeling motivated,” she says. “[Even though it wasn’t the faster time I originally wanted], it didn’t stop me from being a better version of myself.”

Transcendent Transplant

Despite her impressive performances in 2023, Saina has remained largely under the radar in terms of media coverage and fan predictions leading up to the Trials in Orlando, similarly to what fellow Kenyan-born marathoners Aliphine Tuliamuk and Sally Kipyego (both of whom made the last Olympic marathon team) experienced in 2020. The lack of attention relative to her competitors hasn’t fazed Saina, however.

“I know how to deal with pressure, having been in the sport since 2013, so as long as my training is going well, I don’t pay too much attention to what people say,” Saina says. “I’m just more excited to see many of the U.S. women [who are also] my friends, like Emily Sisson, Sara Hall, and Keira D’Amato, and to be racing so many amazing U.S. athletes for the first time.”

Saina’s result in Tokyo was only about a minute faster than her debut at the distance at the 2018 Paris Marathon, which she won in 2:22:56 (after dropping out of the 2017 Tokyo and New York City Marathons). It was also a confidence boost for Saina because it was also her first marathon since giving birth to her son, Kalya, now two, in December 2021, after previously running 2:22:43 and 2:31:51 at the 2019 Toronto Waterfront and Honolulu Marathons, respectively.

Saina—who originally came to the U.S. to attend Iowa State University where she trained alongside Tuliamuk and was a three-time individual NCAA champion and 11-time NCAA All-American—has remained in her hometown of Iten, Kenya, for the majority of the time since having her son, as her husband, Meshack Korir, is a doctor completing his postgraduate education there.

Although Saina became a U.S. citizen in late 2020 and has a home base in Colorado Springs, she made the decision to return to Kenya to have additional family support and childcare as she worked to come back from pregnancy and childbirth to prepare for the Olympic Trials, which she’ll return for just a few days before the race. Saina also keeps busy managing a couple of guesthouses, which she regularly rents out to visiting athletes and tourists. She also works with Cross World Africa, a nonprofit that sponsors underprivileged children in pursuing secondary and higher education.

“Before I came from Kenya, my family was struggling and we had to fundraise for my flight ticket to come to the U.S. Being here has changed my family in a different way—I have two sisters who are now nurses in the U.S., and my parents can now more easily fly to visit us, and while it is not where I began running, the U.S. where I began competing at such a high level,” she says. “My son also gives me so much motivation and is my inspiration. When I see him, I see beauty in myself and see myself getting better when I’m running. So I am excited both to compete and represent my son, and to hopefully wear the U.S. uniform because it has so much meaning for me.”

Back in Iten, Saina has been training in a group with personal pacemakers alongside 2019 New York City Marathon champion Joyciline Jepkosgei, which she describes as game-changing for her progress in the marathon. Both Saina and Jepkosgei, who is also the former world-record holder in the half marathon and Saina’s best friend from high school, are coached by Jepkosgei’s husband, Nicholas Koech.

“Sometimes you will train with people who don’t want to help someone else get better, but [Jepkosgei], who has run 1:04 [in the half marathon] and 2:17 [in the marathon] is unique in that she has sacrificed a lot, which I don’t think a lot of women will ever do for each other, and I don’t think I would either,” Saina says. “But she has been pushing me a lot since the first day I joined her, and I think that’s the reason I came back and I’ve had better races. I have someone to chase and it’s like competition in training, but in a good way.”

American Original

Saina returned to the U.S. twice last year, to race the USATF 25K Championships in Grand Rapids, Michigan, (where she took the win in 1:24:32 for her first U.S. title, narrowly beating D’Amato) and to be inducted into Iowa State’s Athletics Hall of Fame in September. Saina had planned to do some shorter U.S. races, including the Bolder Boulder 10K in May and the NYRR Mini 10K in June, following her national championship title in the 25K. However, she ultimately decided she couldn’t bear to be away from her son any longer.

“As a mom, when you’re away, you are so worried because you’re like, ‘How is he doing right now? How can I handle the pressure, being away from him?’” Saina says. “This year, it’s really different for me because the only race I want to travel to without Kalya is the Olympic Trials. He is growing now and getting better, so I want to travel with him afterward to compete in the USATF circuit. That’s the biggest goal for 2024, to travel with my son.”

Later this year, Saina hopes to also run the April 7 Cherry Blossom 10-Miler in Washington, D.C., the Mini 10K on June 8 in New York City, and a fast spring half marathon to pursue the current American record (which was broken yet again by Weini Kelati on January 14 in Houston), before running another marathon in the fall. In the meantime, she noted that she is especially eager to compete in one of the deepest fields ever assembled for the Trials.

Although Bates withdrew from the Trials, Saina figures to be one of the favorites in Orlando along with Sisson, Hall, Tuliamuk, D’Amato, and Seidel. However, Lindsay Flanagan (ninth in last summer’s world championships), Sara Vaughn, Susanna Sullivan, Gabriella Rooker, Dakotah Lindwurm, and Nell Rojas are all sub-2:25 marathoners, and thus top contenders, too.

“The U.S. is no longer small and non-competitive. Look at Molly Seidel. She got bronze at the Tokyo Olympics, and I remember when Amy [Cragg] was a bronze medalist at the 2017 World Championships. If you put that in perspective, it has changed even more right now compared to that time,” she says. “The competition [to make the U.S. team] is no longer as easy as the way some people [thought], and I’m super excited to be competing with a lot of solid women. There is no difference between the U.S. and other countries right now—it’s not just to go compete at the Olympics; they’re going to compete for the medals, just like other countries.”

(01/25/2024) Views: 147 ⚡AMP
by Emilia Benton
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2024 US Olympic Trials Marathon

2024 US Olympic Trials Marathon

Most countries around the world use a selection committee to choose their Olympic Team Members, but not the USA. Prior to 1968, a series of races were used to select the USA Olympic Marathon team, but beginning in 1968 the format was changed to a single race on a single day with the top three finishers selected to be part...

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Orlando Unveils 2024 US Olympic Marathon Trials Course, Announces Races Will Start at 12:10 and 12:20 pm ET

Just over six months out from race day, organizers revealed the course for the 2024 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Marathon on Tuesday morning. The race, which will be held on February 3, 2024, in Orlando, Fla., will consist of one 2.2-mile loop through the downtown business district and three 8-mile loops through the city’s Milk District — so-called because it features the headquarters of T.G. Lee Dairy, which has been based in the area for 98 years. It will start and finish at the Walt Disney Amphitheater at Lake Eola Park. None of the course will run through Disney World, which is located to the southeast of the city of Orlando.

Unlike the Paris Olympic marathon course, which features considerable climbing and descending during the middle of the race, the Orlando course is relatively flat, with few small inclines but a variation of just 38 feet (11.6 meters) between the course’s lowest and highest points.

Mid-Day Start Time

Getting the actual course layout is nice but not that significant. We knew the course was going to be mostly flat as Orlando is mostly flat.

Organizers also announced something more significant: the start times for the race. The men will begin at 12:10 p.m. ET with the women to follow at 12:20 p.m. ET. Both races will be shown in their entirety on NBC.

With basically a noon start in Florida, it’s possible the race could be run in quite warm conditions. The debate of the once-rumored but now confirmed 12ish start times has been intense on the LRC forums for over a month now.

A couple of Trials veterans have already shared their thoughts, with Sara Halland Des Linden offering contrasting viewpoints. Hall, who is known to not like racing in hot weather, expressed concern about the heat and the safety of the athletes. She even challenged USATF CEO Max Siegel to run a hot weather marathon this summer.

It must be noted that Orlando has not seen a 90-degree day in February since 1962.

Meanwhile, two-time Olympian Linden had no issue with the start time and thought it could boost her chances of making the team by running smart.

For those interested in what the weather is typically like in Orlando on February 3, here’s a look at the temperature, wind, and dew point at specific times from 2012-22.

If the goal of the Olympic Marathon Trials was for every athlete to run their fastest possible race, obviously it would be better to start the race earlier, but there are other concerns. Television is the reason why the race is being held in the afternoon (there’s not a huge amount of West Coasters watching TV at 5 or 6 a.m. on a Saturday). The 2016 Trials began at 1:06 p.m. ET (10:06 a.m. local in Los Angeles) while the 2020 Trials in Atlanta began at 12:08 p.m. ET. Both races were shown on NBC in their entirety.

The fact is, in professional sports, there are often competing interests — what’s best for the athletes isn’t always what’s best for TV, and someone is going to be unhappy. USATF designed its US championships schedule this year with athletes in mind but the result was that USATF could not get the US outdoor championships shown on NBC. With the Trials, USATF is prioritizing the broadcast on NBC with the athletes a secondary consideration. You can be mad about one of those two things, but not both.

Orlando can be warm in February, no doubt about it — from 2012-22, the average temperature at 2 p.m. on February 3 was 73 degrees. But guess which race also is warm? The Olympic marathon. The Olympic marathons will be held on July 10-11, 2024. On July 10-11 this year, it was 73 degreees at 10 a.m. in Paris, which is when the marathons would be nearing their completion (8 a.m. start times).

In general, we are for athletics to be on live TV so we are fine with the races being scheduled for 12:10 and 12:20. We do believe if the temperatures are truly extreme (say 75 or higher at the start, certainly 80), USATF should move the race up and show it on tape-delay. But if you’re looking for conditions that mirror the Olympic marathon, Orlando in February is not a bad facsimile.

The one big issue we still have is with the new Olympic qualifying system. If you haven’t run under 2:11:30 for the men or 2:29:30 for the women during the qualifying window, you aren’t going to the Olympics even if you are in the top three. We think that’s ridiculous but those are the rules. That’s tough to do in warm weather. While it’s very unlikely someone who hasn’t run at least 2:11:30 or 2:29:30 in the window finishes top three, it could happen in the case of someone just moving up the marathon like Molly Seidel did in 2020 or someone coming back from injury or maternity leave like Kellyn Taylor.

We really wish WA would simply accept the top three from the Trials since the US is sending three per gender most likely no matter what happens, but we’d rather take the small risk that someone without the 2:11:30/2:29:30 times is top three and have the race be on live TV than put it early in the morning. Plus athletes could chase the time up until April 30 and we’d love to see WA have to take the PR hit of someone on the way back from maternity leave having to run a time. Maybe it would finally make them let the spots go to countries as long as the countries hold legitimate trials.

(To cover all our bases, it’s worth noting there’s a small chance on the men’s side that the US has only one or two qualified men’s athletes at the start of the Trials. We’re pretty sure we’ll have at least three but it’s not set in stone and we won’t know for sure until after the fall marathon season is over. If that’s the case, then the start time is more problematic as the US men would either have to hit the 2:08:10 auto standard or run fast enough to raise their world ranking into a qualification spot. If that’s the case and the US men don’t have three spots guaranteed, we think the men’s start time should be moved up and shown on tape delay but keep the women’s race as scheduled).

Talk about the trials on our forum:

(01/21/2024) Views: 156 ⚡AMP
by Let’s Run
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Ethiopians Jemal Yimer (60:42) and Sutume Kebede (64:37) won the overall titles in Houston Half

In what is becoming an annual tradition, Weini Kelati ran 66:25 on Sunday to break the American record at the 2024 Aramco Houston Half Marathon. It was the third straight year the record was broken in Houston as the 27-year-old Kelati, making her half marathon debut, followed in the footsteps of Sara Hall (67:15 in 2022) and Emily Sisson (66:52 in 2023) to become a record-breaker in Houston. Sunday marked the third time the record had been broken in the past year as Keira D’Amatolowered Sisson’s record to 66:39 at the Asics Half Marathon in Australia in July.

Kelati finished 4th overall as Ethiopia’s Sutume Kebede, a late addition to the women’s field, upset Hellen Obiri to win in 64:37, a US all-comers record that moves her into a tie for 9th on the all-time list. The time was a pb of more than three minutes for Kebede, who was previously best known for finishing 3rd at the 2020 Tokyo Marathon and running 2:18:12 at the 2022 Seoul Marathon. Obiri, who was with Kebede through 10k (30:28) faded over the second half and wound up a distant 2nd in 66:07.

The men’s race came down to a five-man sprint finish with Ethiopia’s Jemal Yimer, who won in Houston in 2020 and was 4th at the World Half Marathon Championships in October, prevailing in 60:42. Wesley Kiptoo of NAZ Elite and Kenya was 2nd for the second straight year in 60:43 with 2022 champ Milkesa Mengeshaof Ethiopia 3rd in 60:45.

Biya Simbassa was the top American man in 60:45 in 4th, just ahead of a resurgent Diego Estrada, who led for the first 20 minutes and finished 5th in a pb of 60:49. Galen Rupp, tuning up for the Olympic Marathon Trials three weeks from now, hung back from the leaders and finished 14th in 62:37.

In the Chevron Houston Marathon, contested simultaneously, former NAIA star Zouhair Talbi of Morocco won the men’s race in 2:06:39 to boost his chances of Olympic selection. 2016 NCAA XC champion Patrick Tiernan, now training as part of Alistair and Amy Cragg’s Puma Elite Running team in North Carolina, was 4th in 2:07:45, hitting the Olympic standard and moving to #2 on the all-time Australian marathon list.

Ethiopia’s Rahma Tusa, the runner-up behind American Betsy Saina in September’s Sydney Marathon, won the women’s marathon in Houston in 2:19:33.

The races featured temperatures in the low 40s with 10 mph winds and gusts up to 17 mph, which made for a challenging end to the half marathon as miles 9, 10, and 11 were run directly into the teeth of the wind.

Below, six takeaways from the day’s racing in Houston.

2024 Houston Half Marathon men’s top 51. 60:42 Jemal Yimer, Ethiopia2. 60:43 Wesley Kiptoo, Kenya3. 60:45 Milkesa Mengesha, Ethiopia4. 60:45 Biya Simbassa, USA5. 60:49 Diego Estrada, USA14. 62:37 Galen Rupp, USA

2024 Houston Half Marathon women’s top 51. 64:37 Sutume Kebede, Ethiopia2. 66:07 Hellen Obiri, Kenya3. 66:24 Buze Diriba, Ethiopia4. 66:25 AR Weini Kelati, USA5. 67:36 Mestawut Fikir, Ethiopia

(01/14/2024) Views: 147 ⚡AMP
by Jonathan Gault (Let’s Run)
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Aramco Houston Half Marathon

Aramco Houston Half Marathon

The Chevron Houston Marathon offers participants a unique running experience in America's fourth largest city. The fast, flat, scenic single-loop course has been ranked as the "fastest winter marathon" and "second fastest marathon overall" by Ultimate Guide To Marathons. After 30 years of marathon-only competition, Houston added the half-marathon in 2002, with El Paso Energy as the sponsor. Today the...

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Emma Bates Withdraws from Olympic Marathon Trials 2024

Emma Bates was widely considered a top contender to make the U.S. Olympic team in the marathon this year. But over the weekend, she announced she won’t be lining up at the Olympic Marathon Trials in Orlando, Florida, on February 3.

Bates, 31, tore her plantar fascia during October’s Chicago Marathon. On December 12, she posted that she had been healing well and was back to running on the ground for an hour at a time when she developed another injury, posterior tibial tendonitis.

And in a tearful Instagram video posted Saturday night, Bates said that while she had returned to workouts with her Boulder-based training group, Team Boss, “we just know that there’s not enough time to be where I need to be.”

Bates’ personal best of 2:22:10 at the 2023 Boston Marathon, where she placed fifth, was the third-fastest time by an American last year.

She headed into Chicago in the fall with high hopes—saying she was in shape to run 2:18 to 2:19 pace—but stepped in a pothole around mile 14. She finished 13th in 2:25:04 and left the finish line in a wheelchair. A week after the race, an MRI revealed a torn plantar fascia.

She put on a boot and began cross-training on the bike, knowing the buildup to the Trials wouldn’t be easy. With the new setback last month, she and coach Joe Bosshard decided it simply wouldn’t be possible.

Bates, a 2014 NCAA champion in the 10,000 meters at Boise State University, won her marathon debut and the USATF Marathon Championships with a 2:28:18 at the 2018 California International Marathon and has steadily improved since. In her second marathon, the 2019 Chicago Marathon, she finished fourth in 2:25:27.

Those performances made her a contender for the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials, where she ran 2:29:35 to place seventh. But her next big breakthrough was around the corner. On a hot, humid day at the 2021 Chicago Marathon, she ran a personal-best 2:24:20 to place second.

And in 2022, she was part of a trio of Americans who produced top-10 finishes at the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon—she was seventh in 2:23:18, between Sara Hall (fifth in 2:22:10) and Keira D’Amato (eighth in 2:23:34).

Bates was clearly disappointed not to line up with the likes of Hall and D’Amato again in Orlando; “this one hurts a lot,” she wrote.

“It’s another four years to wait for another Olympic team,” she said in the accompanying video. “I’ll be OK. I’ll be OK.”

(01/11/2024) Views: 153 ⚡AMP
by Cindy Kuzma
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2024 US Olympic Trials Marathon

2024 US Olympic Trials Marathon

Most countries around the world use a selection committee to choose their Olympic Team Members, but not the USA. Prior to 1968, a series of races were used to select the USA Olympic Marathon team, but beginning in 1968 the format was changed to a single race on a single day with the top three finishers selected to be part...

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Elite women's marathoner Hall to run Manchester Road Race

Sara Hall, who was fifth in the World Marathon Championships last year, has entered this year's Manchester Road Race.  This will be her first appearance in the Thanksgiving Day run.

Hall, 40,  finished in 2:22:10 in the world event in Eugene, Oregon, and was the runner-up at the 2020 London Marathon in 2:22:01.  Her personal-best for the 26.2-mile run 2:20:32, and 1:07:15.

A seven-time All-American when she competed for Stanford, Hall ran the steeplechase before becoming a marathoner. She won the gold medal in the steeplechase at the 2011 Pan American Games in Mexico.

Hall is married to retired Olympic marathoner Ryan Hall.  Ryan, who also competed for Stanford, set the United States records for the marathon and half marathon.  In 2017, the couple adopted four young sisters from Ethiopia. The family resides in Flagstaff, Arizona.

 “Sara is a wonderful addition to this year’s race,” said Jim Harvey, the MRRs elite runner coordinator. “She is a very accomplished athlete and a great person.”

The 87th Manchester Road Race, which has been designated a World Athletics Label Event by World Athletics, starts at 10 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day Nov. 23. The 4.748-mile-long road race is run on a loop course through Manchester’s central district that starts and finishes on Main Street, in front of St. James Church.

(10/19/2023) Views: 319 ⚡AMP
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Manchester Road Race

Manchester Road Race

The Manchester Road race is one of New England’s oldest and most popular road races. The 86th Manchester Road Race will be held on Thanksgiving Day. It starts and finishes on Main Street, in front of St. James Church. The Connecticut Sports Writers’ Alliance recently honored the Manchester Road Race. The CSWA, which is comprised of sports journalists and broadcasters...

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Want to Qualify for the U.S. Olympic Trials? This Race Is Specifically Built for You.

For elite amateur marathoners, qualifying for the Olympic Trials is the ultimate life goal. Bakline’s McKirdy Micro Marathon removes the challenges of running a fast 26.2.

When it comes to trying to run a fast marathon, Zacch Widner knows that bottle service isn’t a luxury but a necessity. No, not tableside bottle service at a nightclub, but the ability for marathon runners to easily identify and grab their own hydration bottles off of a table every 5K or so on course while running at an extremely fast pace.

At the Berlin Marathon on September 23, the 32-year-old aspiring elite runner from Lansing, Michigan, was on the verge of running the race of his life. But because his bottles weren’t readily available at each aid station, he wound up grabbing only one of his eight bottles and suffered the consequences.

Although running the race without optimal calorie and hydration intake led to frequent cramping, he still finished in 2:20:02. That’s the second-best time of his career, but still two minutes short of his goal of breaking the U.S. Olympic Trials men’s qualifying standard of 2:18:00.

Widner is one of dozens of American runners—most of whom work nine-to-five jobs—still hoping to earn the standard (or 2:37:00 for women) by the December 5 deadline, in order to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon on February 3 in Orlando.

For Widner, it’s much more than a personal goal. It’s a commitment to a friend and former teammate. “It was a bummer,” says Widner, who works full-time as an IT analyst for the state of Michigan. “I know I’m capable of running faster. I didn’t capitalize on taking fluids, so when it came to running all out, I just couldn’t do it. I think the stress of it is actually what caused the cramps, because every time I missed a bottle, I just stressed out more…just mentally started destroying me.”

Three weeks later, Widner is ready to take another shot at the OTQ standard, this time at Bakline’s McKirdy Micro Marathon on October 14—a unique elite-only race that will be held about 30 miles north of New York City. Set on a nine-loop course at Rockland Lake State Park, the no-frills race will provide bottle service to each of the 180 entrants who met a stout qualifying standard (2:25 for men, 2:45 for women) to register.

“It’s got everything you need,” he says. “You have a lot of tough, fast runners. You have pacers and a flat course with a well-organized system for everyone’s fluids. I’m ready to go.”

In 2020, when running races were shut down because of COVID-19, athlete agent Josh Cox and Ben Rosario, founder and head coach of the Hoka NAZ Elite team, developed an elite-only marathon in Arizona that gave about 100 athletes from around the world the chance to run a highly competitive race on a USATF-certified course amid the still-pervasive coronavirus.

Known as The Marathon Project, the race was held in Chandler, Arizona, on December 20, 2020. Seven U.S. men ran faster than 2:10, while 12 American women finished under 2:30—the first time that’s ever happened. Martin Hehir, a fourth-year medical student who was coming off weeks treating COVID-19 patients, won the race in a personal best 2:08:59, while Sara Hall was the women’s winner in a personal best of 2:20:32, at the time the second-fastest marathon ever run by an American woman.

Several runners who trained under Flagstaff, Arizona coach James McKirdy and his online platform McKirdy Trained were in the race, and they performed well. He was so impressed by the concept that he quickly went about replicating it by hosting small regional marathons around the U.S. for a wider range of runners in early 2021.

At one of the McKirdy Micro Marathon races held at Rockland State Park, Denver-based runner Alex Burks won the race and lowered his personal best from 2:23:47 to 2:16:52. Dozens more earned personal bests and Boston qualifying (BQ) times.

“We really liked that idea and thought we could develop that concept for the masses, and they went off without a hitch,” McKirdy says. “The athletes had a great time and many runners—I think close to 150—earned a BQ from our races. So when the U.S. Olympic Trials qualifying standards were released two years ago, we felt we had the chops and experience to provide a marathon that would provide full on-course support for runners trying to qualify.”

Bakline’s McKirdy Micro Marathon will be held on a nine-lap, 26.2-mile course that will start with one 2.63-mile partial lap, followed by eight successive laps on a 2.945-mile circuit. Runners can have up to eight hydration bottles that will be set up on a series of well-marked, eight-foot tables 20 feet apart.

While the majority of runners will be aiming for the U.S. Olympic Trials qualifying standards, others are shooting for faster times. McKirdy and co-organizer Heather Knight Pech have enlisted pacers to guide runners to three different goal times for men (2:10:00, 2:11:30, and 2:18:00) and two for women (2:29:30 and 2:37:00).

The men’s field is headlined by Tsegay Tumay, an Eritrean runner with a 2:09:07 personal best who trains in Flagstaff under McKirdy. Tiidrek Nurme is an Estonian runner who is coming off a 31st-place, 2:15:42 at the World Athletics Championships on August 27, in Budapest. American runner Ben Blankenship, who finished eighth in the 2016 Olympic 1,500-meter finals in Rio de Janeiro, is making his marathon debut. Another OTQ hopeful is Hosava Kretzmann, a 29-year-old member of the Hopi Tribe from Flagstaff, Arizona, who finished sixth in his debut at the Los Angeles Marathon earlier this year in 2:19:58.

Among the runners who should be at the front of the women’s race is newly signed Nike athlete Calli Thackery, a British runner who just placed seventh in the half marathon at World Athletics Road Running Championships with a 1:08:56 personal best. American Makenna Myler has a 2:40:45 personal best, but is shooting for the U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon qualifying standard just seven months after giving birth to her son in mid-March. (In 2021, she placed 14th in 10,000 meters on the track in the U.S. Olympic Trials seven months after giving birth to her daughter.) She had originally registered and was onsite for the October 1 Twin Cities Marathon in Minneapolis, but that race was canceled because of extreme heat.

Other runners include Monica and Isabel Hebner, identical twins who most recently competed for the University of Texas, who will be making their marathon debuts with hopes of running in the 2:34-2:35 range, and Maura Lemon, a mother of three from Dayton, Ohio, who owns a 2:42:57 personal best but is aiming for the 2:37 OTQ standard.

Many U.S. runners on the cusp of the OTQ times ran the Chicago Marathon on October 8, while others are waiting until the California International (CIM) Marathon on December 5.

What the McKirdy Micro Marathon aims to do is eliminate the challenges that runners face at other races—difficult travel, congested race expos, crowded race courses, and, perhaps most importantly, a lack of bottle support on the course. Plus, it offers a spectator friendly circuit where family, friends, or coaches can cheer for runners on every loop.

“This gives them that chance to run fast,” Knight Pech says. “There’s still  a lot of runners out there—a lot of women and a lot of men—who are sitting on the cusp of the qualifying standards. And they should have the opportunity to be able to swing large and take a moonshot. We believe this race gives them a real chance to get it done here in a way that I don’t think other races offer them.”

While the top three men’s and women’s finishers in the U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon will represent the U.S. at the Paris Olympics, just getting to the Olympic Trials is a lifetime goal for many runners. It’s the deepest and most competitive domestic marathon in the U.S., but it only happens every four years. While a tiny portion of the qualifiers are sponsored professional athletes, most of the runners have already moved on to full-time jobs.

For Widner, there is more at stake than just running a fast time. He’s forever running to honor Jeremiah Hargett, a former teammate at Oakland Community College in suburban Detroit who dealt with ongoing mental challenges. One day back in 2011, Hargett called Widner and told him how much he believed in him as a runner and as a friend, and how they’d both eventually make it to the U.S. Olympic Trials. Sadly, Hargett took his own life the very next day. Widner has more or less dedicated every race to Hargett since then.

Although his best time in the 1,500-meter run (3:53.90) fell well short of the Olympic Trials qualifying standard on the track, Widner hasn’t given up his pursuit for Hargett. Amid the rigors of working full-time for the past eight years, he’s continued to improve as a long-distance runner.

Despite what he calls a disastrous marathon debut at the CIM in 2018—where he went out way too fast and wound up struggling to finish in 2:45:39—he’s still chasing that goal. In 2022, he had a breakthrough race at Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, Minnesota, lowering his personal best to 2:19:54. In January, he lowered his best time in the half marathon to 1:05:52 in January, but that was still nearly three minutes off the half-marathon OTQ of 1:03:00.

He’s continued to add mileage—he’s averaged about 94 miles per week this year—executed better workouts, and improved his fueling strategy, especially since McKirdy started coaching him in March. Now he’s on the cusp of reaching that magical qualifying mark once again.

But it’s as much for Hargett as it is for him.

“That’s the reason I keep running,” Widner says. “It’s the closest thing to my heart. Every time I run, I think about him and his family. When that happened, mentally, it changed me. After that, I bounced up and started running much better.”

“Running taught me how to be patient, and it is teaching me that life is the exact same way,” Widner adds. “It’s all about being patient, and when things go wrong or things seem to not go the way you were expecting, to just stay relaxed and understand that it could change for the better. I’ve been able to use that for everything in life—all my connections, and then have that thought in my mind to make the Olympic Trials, just like he agreed that we would do together.”

(10/14/2023) Views: 284 ⚡AMP
by Outside Online
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Annie Rodenfels Wins Boston 10k For Women

The 47th running of the Boston 10K for Women, presented by REI, returned to the Boston Common and the streets of Boston and Cambridge on Saturday.

Over 4,000 women participated in the autumn classic, which began at 8:50 a.m. for handcycle and wheelchair participants and at 9 a.m. for all runners.

Formerly known as the Tufts Health Plan 10K for Women, the race is New England's largest all-women's sporting event.

The 6.2-mile course brings runs through Boston’s Back Bay and into Cambridge and finishes on Charles Street between the Public Garden and Boston Common.

This year's race was won by Annie Rodenfels, who broke the tape in her 10K debut in a time of 32:08. She was followed by Emily Venters with a time of 32:31 and Jenny Simpson at 32:39.

A Boston resident, Rodenfels surged on the Massachusetts Avenue bridge and ran uncontested through the last mile until the Charles Street finish line.

“I thought I would sit back and wait and out-kick them at the end, like -- their mistake if they leave me until the end -- because besides maybe Jenny Simpson I think I’ve probably got the best kick in the field,” Rodenfels said afterward, with an American flag draped around her shoulders. “But I just felt too good, I figured I’d just go for it. What do I have to lose?”

For Rodenfels, who trains along the banks of the Charles River, the familiarity aided her approach in the new distance.

“I like the course a lot – I love running in Boston, I feel like I can have a mediocre year the rest of the year and then when I get a race in Boston, I knock it out of the park. I feel like I get more cheers because I am from around here,” said Rodenfels, who earned $9,000 with the victory.

Winning the Masters Division and finishing 11th overall was Sara Hall, who clocked a 33:19. Fourteen-year-old Madelyn Wilson won the wheelchair division in a time of 35:50, racing for the first time in a larger chair.

 

(10/09/2023) Views: 398 ⚡AMP
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Boston 10K for Women

Boston 10K for Women

The Boston 10K for Women, formerly known as the Tufts Health Plan 10K for Women and the Bonne Bell Mini Marathon, is a major 10K held annually in Boston, on Columbus Day, popular as both an elite world-class competition and a women's running event promoting health and fitness. Feel the empowerment as you unite with over 7,000 fellow runners...

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The Road to the Paris Olympics and here is What You Need to Know.

American runners are about to begin training for the U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon

It’s early October, which means it’s the peak marathon season for many runners. But with an Olympic year on the horizon, it also means America’s top marathoners are about to hit the road to Paris.

More specifically, the men’s and women’s 2024 U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon races—scheduled for February 3 in Orlando, Florida—are just four months away. And that means the top U.S. runners hoping to represent their country at  next summer’s Olympics are about to begin preparing for the all-or-nothing qualifying race that decides which six runners will represent Team USA next summer on the streets of Paris.

Although several top American runners are racing the Chicago Marathon on October 8, even they have their eyes on a much bigger prize next February.

“There’s nothing in my mind that compares with being an Olympian and being in the Olympic Games,” says 26-year-old Utah-based Nike pro Conner Mantz, who returns to Chicago after finishing seventh last year in 2:08:16 in his debut at the distance. “So putting that first has been the plan for a long time. We’re just putting that first and we’re working backwards through the season with other races.” 

Registration will open for the U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon in early November for runners who have surpassed the qualifying times in the marathon (2:18:00 for men, 2:37:00 for women) or half marathon (1:03:00 for men, 1:12:00 for women). The qualifying window extends through December 3—the race date of the last-chance California International Marathon, which for decades has been one of the most popular Olympic Trials qualifying races.

In 2020, a record 708 runners—465 women and 243 men—qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon in Atlanta just before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. But USA Track & Field lowered the women’s qualifying standard by eight minutes from the more attainable 2:45:00 plateau, which means there will most likely be a much smaller women’s field this year.

But even so, amid the handful of runners who have a legitimate shot at making the Olympic team, there will also be dozens of dreamers, wannabes, and just-happy-to-be-there elite amateurs who have worked hard, put in the miles, and earned the chance to be on the start line of the deepest and most competitive U.S. distance-running races that only happen once every four years.

The men’s and women’s races will run simultaneously with the men beginning at 12:10 P.M. EST. and the women starting 10 minutes later. Runners have complained that a high noon start means they will be forced to race in hot, humid conditions. Over the past decade, the average temperature on February 3 in Orlando has been 69.6 degrees Fahrenheit at noon, rising to 73.3 at 4 PM. But actual temperatures have varied drastically, from 81 degrees Fahrenheit at 2 P.M. last year to 56 at the same time the year before. USATF officials have responded by saying that the start times are to accommodate live coverage on NBC and to match the expected conditions in Paris.

Here’s an update and overview of what’s next, who the top contenders are, the course, and what to expect in the next four months.

The 26.2-mile U.S. Olympic Trials course runs through downtown Orlando and consists of one 2.2-mile loop and three eight-mile loops. The marathon course will run through several neighborhoods, main streets, and business districts in Orlando, including Central Business District, City District, South Eola, Lake Eola Heights Historic District, Lake Cherokee Historic District, Lake Davis Greenwood, Lake Como, North Quarter, Lawsona/Fern Creek, SoDo District, and the Thornton Park neighborhood. It will then head east to and around The Milk District neighborhood and Main Street. (Notably, the course will come close to Disney World, which is about 15 miles to the southwest.)

Unlike the Olympic Marathon course in Paris, which will challenge runners with significant hills in the middle, the Orlando course is mostly flat. Each loop has a few minor variations in pitch, but only 38 feet separate the high and low points on the course. Ultimately, though, it’s a spectator-friendly route with chances for family, friends, and fans of runners to see the action several times. 

The top women—based on personal best times and recent race results—are Emily Sisson, Emma Bates, Keira D’Amato, Betsy Saina, and Lindsay Flanagan. But the U.S. Olympic Trials races almost always produce surprises with a few great runners having off days and a few good runners having exceptional days, so there is reason to expect the unexpected.

Sisson lowered the American record to 2:18:29 last year when she finished second in the Chicago Marathon. She’s running Chicago again on October 8 along with Bates, who has said she’s hoping to break the American record. In January, Sisson, 31, chopped her own American record in the half marathon in Houston with a 1:06:52 effort, and most recently won the U.S. 20K Championships (1:06:09) on September 4 in New Haven, Connecticut. Bates, also 31, hasn’t raced at all since her sterling fifth-place effort at the Boston Marathon in April, when she slashed her personal best to 2:22:10. 

While Chicago will be another good place to test themselves, both have unfinished business after Bates was seventh at the 2020 Trials and Sisson dropped out near the 21-mile mark.

The same goes for Flanagan, 32, who has been one of America’s best and most consistent marathoners for the past five years. She placed 12th at the trials in 2020. She had a breakthrough win (2:24:43) at the Gold Coast Marathon in 2022 followed by a strong, eighth-place finish (2:26:08) at the Tokyo Marathon earlier this year. In August, she ran perhaps the best race of her career, when she finished ninth (2:27:47) at the world championships in Budapest amid hot, humid conditions.

The 38-year-old D’Amato, meanwhile, just capped off another strong season with a 17th-place showing (2:31:35) at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, a year after finishing eighth in the world championships and setting an American record 2:19:12 at the 2022 Houston Marathon. She was 15th at the Trials in 2020 in 2:34:24, just two years into her competitive return to the sport after having two kids and starting a career in real estate in her early 20s.

“It’s such a huge goal of mine to become an Olympian,” says D’Amato, who lowered Sisson’s U.S. record in the half marathon with a 1:06:39 effort at the Gold Coast Half Marathon on July 1 in Australia. “It’s really hard for me to put words into this because my whole life, wearing a Team USA jersey has been like a huge dream. And when I left the sport (temporarily), I felt like I said goodbye to that dream and I kind of mourned the loss of being able to represent my country. I feel like it’s the greatest honor in our sport to be able to wear our flag and race as hard as possible.”

Saina, a 35-year-old Kenya-born runner who ran collegiately for Iowa State University, became a U.S. citizen in late 2021. She placed fifth in the 10,000-meters at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro while competing for Kenya. She’s spent the past several years splitting time between Kenya and Nashville, Tennessee, where she gave birth to a son, Kalya, in December 2021.

She’s returned with a strong fourth-place 1:11:40 result at the Tokyo Half Marathon last October and a fifth-place 2:21:40 showing at the Tokyo Marathon in February. In May, Saina won the U.S. 25K Championships in Michigan. Two weeks ago she broke the tape at the Blackmores Sydney Marathon in Australia in 2:26:47.

Other top contenders include but are not limited to Tokyo Olympics bronze medalist Molly Seidel (who’s personal best is 2:24:42), 2022 U.S. Olympic Trials champion Aliphine Tuliamuk (2:24:37, 11th in Boston this year), Susanna Sullivan (2:24:27 personal best, 10th in London this year), two-time Olympian and 2018 Boston Marathon winner Des Linden (2:22:38), and Sara Hall (2:20:32, fifth at last year’s world championships), plus Kellyn Taylor (2:24:29), Nell Rojas (2:24:51), Sarah Sellers (2:25:43), Lauren Paquette (2:25:56), Dakotah Lindwurm (2:25:01), Annie Frisbie (2:26:18), Sara Vaughn (2:26:23), Tristin Van Ord (2:27:07), and Jacqueline Gaughan (2:27:08).

The list of potential men’s top contenders isn’t as clear-cut, partially because there are so many sub-2:11 runners and several fast runners who are relatively new to the marathon. But all that suggests a wide-open men’s race where more than a dozen runners are legitimately in the mix for the three Olympic team spots. That said, the top runners on paper, based on both time and consistent results over the past few years, are Scott Fauble, Jared Ward, Galen Rupp, Conner Mantz, Leonard Korir, Matt McDonald, and C.J. Albertson.

The 31-year-old Fauble, who was 12th in the Olympic Trials in 2020 and owns a 2:08:52 personal best, has finished seventh in the Boston Marathon three times since 2019 and also finished seventh in the New York City Marathon in 2018. Ward is a 2016 U.S. Olympian and has three top-10 finishes at the New York City Marathon and a 2:09:25 personal best from Boston in 2019. He’s 35, but he just ran a 2:11:44 (27th place) at the Berlin Marathon in late September.

Rupp, who won the past two U.S. Olympic Trials Marathons and earned the bronze medal in the marathon at the 2016 Olympics, is nearing the end of his competitive career. He boasts a 2:06:07 personal best and has run under 2:10 more than any American in history, including when he finished 19th at the world championships (2:09:36) last year. He’s a bit of a wild card because he’s 37 and hasn’t raced since his lackluster 17th-place showing at the NYC Half Marathon (1:04:57) in March, but the world will get a glimpse of his fitness in Chicago this weekend.

Mantz followed up his solid debut in Chicago last fall with a good Boston Marathon in April (11th, 2:10:25) and solid racing on the track and roads all year, including his recent runner-up showings at the Beach to Beacon 10K in August and the U.S. 20K Championships in September.

McDonald, 30, who was 10th in the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials, has quietly become one of the best marathoners in the U.S. while serving as a postdoctoral associate in chemical engineering at M.I.T. His last three races have clocked in at 2:10:35 (Boston 2022), 2:09:49 (Chicago 2022), and 2:10:17 (Boston 2023). The only other runner who rivals that kind of consistency is Albertson, 29, who has run 2:10:23 (Boston 2022), 2:10:52 (Grandma’s Marathon 2022) and 2:10:33 (Boston 2022) in his past three marathons and was seventh in the U.S. Olympic Trials in 2020 (2:11:49).

The men’s race will likely have a mix of veteran runners and newcomers who have run in the 2:09 to 2:10 range since 2022. Among those are 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials runner-up Jake Riley (2:10:02 personal best), who is returning from double Achilles surgery; 2016 U.S. 10,000-meter Olympian Leonard Korir (2:07:56), who ran a 2:09:31 in Paris in April; Zach Panning (2:09:28, plus 13th at the world championships in August); U.S. 25K record-holder Parker Stinson (2:10.53); Futsum Zienasellassie who won the California International Marathon last December in his debut (2:11:01) and then doubled-back with a new personal best (2:09:40) at the Rotterdam Marathon in the spring; Abbabiya Simbassa, who ran a solid debut marathon (2:10:34) in Prague this spring; and Eritrean-born Daniel Mesfun (2:10:06) and Ethiopian-born Teshome Mekonen (2:10:16), who both received U.S. citizenship within the past year; and solid veterans Nico Montanez (2:09:55), Elkanah Kibet (2:10:43) and Nathan Martin (2:10:45).

Additional sub-2:12 runners who will  be in the mix are Andrew Colley (2:11:26), Clayton Young (2:11:51), Brendan Gregg (2:11:21), Josh Izewski (2:11:26), Jacob Thompson (2:11:40), and Kevin Salvano (2:11:49).

As noted previously, some top contenders will season their marathon legs one final time at the flat and fast Chicago Marathon on October 8. An even more select few will opt for the New York City Marathon on November 5. After that, nearly every American with eyes set on an Olympic berth will double-down over the holiday season for that one final, critical marathon training cycle. Expect to see a wide range in heat training, from sauna protocols, to warm weather training trips, to simply an adjusted race day strategy.

Of course, with the Olympic Marathon falling under the purview of World Athletics, qualifying for the U.S. Olympic Marathon team is not quite as simple as finishing on the podium in Orlando. Any American looking to have a breakout performance and finish within the top three at the U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon will need to have run under 2:11:30 for men and 2:29:30 for women within the qualification window, which spans from November 1, 2022 to April 30, 2024. Given the possibility of oppressively hot and humid temps on February 3 in Orlando, they’re best bet is to secure that time now.

These qualification standards are in accordance with a new rule from World Athletics, which allows national Olympic committees to circumvent the typical Olympic qualification process of running under 2:08:10 for men and 2:26:50 for women, or being ranked among the top 65 in the world on a filtered list of the top three athletes from each country. The catch, though, is that three other runners from said country must have met one of these two standards. If this sounds complicated, that’s because it is.

For the hundreds of elite amateurs on the cusp of hitting that coveted U.S. Olympic Trials qualifying time, it’s do or die mode. While a few made the cut at the Berlin Marathon on September 24, one of those opportunities was lost when the Twin Cities Marathon was canceled on October 1 because of excessive heat. Temperatures are shaping up for an auspicious day in Chicago this weekend, and many more will give it a final shot at the Columbus Marathon on October 15; Indianapolis Monumental Marathon on October 28; the Philadelphia Marathon on November 18; and the last-call California International Marathon, a point-to-point race ending in Sacramento, California on December 3. 

Ultimately, only six American runners will likely continue on along the road to Paris and earn the chance to run in the men’s and women’s Olympic marathons next August 10-11. For a handful of younger runners, the 2024 U.S. Olympic Trials will be a motivation to reinvigorate the Olympic dream or keep a faint hope alive, at least until the 2028 U.S. Olympic Trials that will determine the team for the Los Angeles Olympics. But for many runners, the journey to the U.S. Olympic Trials in Orlando will lead to the end of their competitive road running careers as new jobs, young families, a switch to trail running, and other priorities will take hold. 

“I think the Olympic Trials is an important part of American distance running,” says Kurt Roeser, 36, a two-time U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon qualifier who works full-time as a physical therapist in Boulder, Colorado. “I’m glad that they kept it the same event for this cycle and hopefully for future cycles because it gives people like me a reason to keep training. I’m older now and I’m not going to actually have a chance to make an Olympic team, but for somebody that’s fresh out out of college and maybe they just barely squeak in under the qualifying time, maybe that’s the catalyst they need to start training more seriously through the next cycle. And maybe four years from now, they are a serious factor for making the team.” 

(10/07/2023) Views: 243 ⚡AMP
by Outside Online
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Who Will Run the World Championships Marathon for the U.S. This Summer?

The three men and three women are selected by a descending order time list. But not everyone accepts their spot. Over 9 days in August, the World Athletics Championships will take place in Budapest, Hungary. The women’s marathon is scheduled for August 26, and the men’s is August 27, the last day of competition. 

USA Track and Field (USATF) uses different selection procedures for this event than it does for the Olympic Games. Instead of using a Trials race, as it does for the Olympics, USATF offers spots to athletes using a descending order time list for certain marathons run between December 1, 2021, and May 30, 2023, as long as those athletes have met the qualifying criteria set by World Athletics. (The rules are complicated. For instance, the Boston Marathon is not on the list of “World Athletics approved” courses, but USATF is allowing times run at Boston in 2022 and 2023 for the descending order list.)

Not every American athlete will accept a spot, if offered. Some instead will choose to focus on a fall marathon, where they can earn substantial appearance fees and prize money that aren’t offered at worlds. Others won’t race at all this summer or fall, and instead they’ll train for the Olympic Marathon Trials in February 2024. How is it likely to shake out? Runner’s World reached out to the top seven men and women currently on the list or their coaches or agents to inquire about their plans. The window to run a qualifying time, however, remains open until the end of May. So a top performance in the next month could shake up the list. 

Here’s what they said: 

Women

Emily Sisson, 2:18:29, 2022 Chicago Marathon: Not likely, per her agent, Ray Flynn

Keira D’Amato, 2:19:12, 2022 Houston Marathon: Yes, if offered a spot 

Betsy Saina, 2:21:40, 2023 Tokyo Marathon: No, she is focusing on a fall marathon 

Sara Hall, 2:22:10, 2022 World Championships marathon: Has not yet decided

Emma Bates, 2:22:10, 2023 Boston Marathon: Not likely, per her agent, Ray Flynn

Susanna Sullivan, 2:24:27, 2023 London Marathon: Yes, if offered a spot 

Aliphine Tuliamuk, 2:24:37, 2023 Boston Marathon: Will consider if offered a spot, per her agent, Hawi Keflezighi

Wild card: Will Molly Seidel run a May marathon? 

Men

Conner Mantz, 2:08:16, 2022 Chicago Marathon: Not likely, per his agent, Ray Flynn

Scott Fauble, 2:08:52, 2022 Boston Marathon: No Elkanah Kibet, 2:09:07, 2022 Boston Marathon: Yes, currently deployed with the U.S. Army in Poland but will accept a spot if offered 

Zachery Panning, 2:09:28, 2022 Chicago Marathon: Yes, per coach Kevin Hanson

Leonard Korir, 2:09:31, 2023 Paris Marathon: Did not immediately respond to a message from Runner’s World 

Galen Rupp, 2:09:36, 2022 World Championships marathon: No, will run a fall marathon, per his agent, Ricky Simms

Futsum Zeinasellassie, 2:09:40, 2023 Rotterdam Marathon: Will consider if offered a spot, per his agent, Hawi Keflezighi 

Wild card: Biya Simbassa runs the Prague Marathon, his debut, on May 7. 

(04/30/2023) Views: 533 ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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Nikki Hiltz, Sam Prakel both become two-time winners at Usaft 1 mile road

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(04/27/2023) Views: 522 ⚡AMP
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Grand Blue Mile

Grand Blue Mile

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

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Sara Hall set a new American master record in Boston

Sara Hall just set a new American Record in the Marathon for the Masters division.

Hall now 40 years old finished the Boston Marathon in 17th place in 2:25:48.She of course won her division.Old American record was 2:27:47 by Deena Kastor in 2015.

(04/18/2023) Views: 521 ⚡AMP
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

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

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USA Record For Hillary Bor Yields $59,000 Payday At Cherry Blossom 10 Mile

The 50th edition of the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile here this morning ended with a bang when Olympic steeplechaser Hillary Bor not only won the men’s division of the USATF 10 Mile Championships, but also claimed a $50,000 bonus for breaking Greg Meyer’s 40-year-old national record by just two seconds. 

Bor, 33, who represents Hoka One One and wore bib 13, clocked 46:11, three seconds behind overall race champion Tsegay Kidanu of Ethiopia.  Including his prize money, Bor collected a total of $59,000.

“I came here to break the record and the weather wasn’t going to stop me,” Bor told Race Results Weekly, referring to the unusually cold temperatures and  strong winds.  “It’s something I’ve been working for since October last year.”

Last October Bor won the USATF 10 Mile Championships in St. Paul, Minn.  He ran 46:06 in that race, a championships and course record, but that course was 31 meters downhill and not eligible for record setting.  However, Bor and coach Scott Simmons realized that breaking Meyer’s mark was within his capabilities, especially because a faster time run by two-time Olympic medalist, Galen Rupp, was never ratified by USATF.  Rupp ran a 10 mile split of 45:54 at the Row River Half-Marathon in Dorena, Ore., in October, 2020, but the paperwork for verifying that record was never completed or approved.

“My coach knew I was in really good shape to run 45 (minutes),” Bor said.  “But, the weather’s not good today.  The last two miles was just the wind on our face the whole time.”

Indeed, it was in those last two miles that Bor and Kidanu did their best to push each other.  Kidanu, who represents Asics, was just trying to keep up the pressure on Bor.

“The wind was very strong and it made it very tough,” Kidanu told Race Results Weekly through a translator.  He continued: “At the beginning there were a lot of us, but later only a few of us.  But the wind made it very difficult.  Two of us were able to prevail and we battled one another.  In the end, I was able to win.”

In the final sprint to the line, Bor wasn’t really sure where he stood against the clock.  The wind was so strong that the 9-mile marker blew down, despite being weighted with sandbags.  Also, Bor started the race without his watch.

“Today, I didn’t have my watch so that was not really good because I didn’t know the splits,” Bor said, looking slightly embarrassed.  “When I saw the split at 8 miles I knew I needed to run 4:45, but the wind was too much.  I just put my head down and just grind, and grind, and grind.”

Biya Simbassa (Under Armour) finished a distant third in 47:09 and finished second in the national championships division.  Kenya’s Charles Langat (Asics) was fourth in 47:25, and Jacob Thomson (Under Armour) took fifth –and third in the national championships– in 47:27.

Bor, who will return to the steeplechase during the track season, said that today’s race was all about self-belief.

“It shows if you put something in your head you can accomplish it,” he said.

The women’s competition was a tale of two races.

In the overall competition, Uganda’s Sarah Chelangat (Nike) surged away from the field just before the five mile mark.  Her six-mile split was a snappy 4:56, and that put her 22 seconds ahead at that point.  Despite running directly into the wind (and alone) in the final miles, she was able to extend her lead to 30 seconds by the ninth mile, and 33 seconds by the finish.  Her winning time of 52:04 was excellent given the conditions, but she fell well short of the 51:23 world best for an all-women’s race which would have given her a share of the race’s $50,000 bonus pool.

Behind Chelangat, there was a heated battle for both second place overall and the USATF title.  In the ninth mile, Emma Grace Hurley (Atlanta Track Club Elite), Sara Hall (Asics), Nell Rojas (Nike), and Molly Grabill (Unattached) separated themselves from the rest of the pack, all of them trying for the national title.  As they crested the final hill before the course turns slightly downhill to the finish line, Hall and Rojas were locked in a sprint for the win.  Hall, who is running the Boston Marathon in 15 days, got the best of Rojas, 52:37 to 52:38.

Hall, who turns 40 on April 15, almost skipped today’s race.  She just returned from a family trip to Ethiopia where her training didn’t go well because she got sick.

“Honestly, I feel so thankful for today because four days ago I wasn’t going to race,” Hall told Race Results Weekly.  “I had COVID last week and training was just so rough.  I had a fever.  I had two different viruses back to back.”

But like Bor, Hall had the power of self-belief working for her today.

“I think my whole career I’ve just chosen to show up,” Hall said, wrapped in an American flag.  “So, just today I decided to show up and I’m really glad I did, especially with Asics sponsoring this event.”

While the wind –which Rojas called “nasty”– was a challenge, Hall saw it as an opportunity to prepare mentally for Boston where conditions can be difficult, too. She thought about the 2018 race where temperatures were just above freezing and athletes had to run through a driving rain storm.

“I was thinking about Boston because, you know, 2018 with that headwind and the storm,” Hall said.  “I have Boston in two weeks, so this is just a good time to practice.

Like Bor, Hall had thought about trying for a share in the record bonus pool, but discarded that idea when she felt the power of the wind.

“Normally, I would have wanted to go for the record out here, but with the significant wind I didn’t know if that was going to be in the cards, so I just chose to compete,” she said.  “I think this was a great opportunity to do that with Boston coming up.”

With her win here today, Hall has won a total of 12 national titles, four at 10 miles (2017, 2018, 2019, and 2023).

Hurley finished fourth (third American) in 52:41, and Grabill got fifth (fourth American) in 52:42.  Defending champion Susanna Sullivan, who led most of the first half of the race, finished seventh (sixth American) in 53:25.  She’s running the TCS London Marathon in three weeks and has been doing heavy mileage.

“I’m ready to run a marathon,” she said, smiling, as she changed into warm clothes in the athlete recovery area.

Some 16,000 runners competed today after about 6,000 ran the companion 5-K yesterday (which took place in the rain).  Several former race champions were on hand to celebrate the 50th edition, including Kathrine Switzer (1973), Greg Meyer (1983), Eleanor Simonsick (1982 and 1983), and Bill Rodgers (1978 through 1981).  Race director Phil Stewart reflected on how the race had endured for so many years and through so many cultural and political changes.

“Through Watergate, gas crises, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the invention of the internet, the first and second Iraq Wars, the 2008 financial crisis, America’s first Black President, two impeachments, an insurrection and the War in Ukraine, runners have returned each spring for what is known as the ‘Runners Rite of Spring,'” Stewart said at last night’s pre-race dinner.

(04/03/2023) Views: 712 ⚡AMP
by David Monti
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Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run

Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run

The Credit Union Cherry Blossom is known as "The Runner's Rite of Spring" in the Nation's Capital. The staging area for the event is on the Washington Monument Grounds, and the course passes in sight of all of the major Washington, DC Memorials. The event serves as a fundraiser for the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, a consortium of 170 premier...

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Defending Champions Return to Run 50th Anniversary Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile

Organizers of the 50th annual Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile (CUCB) announced today the first of two rounds of news about this year’s invited field; look for the second announcement to come out on Wednesday, March 29. Today’s announcement features past champions and top-5 finishers expected to toe the respective men’s and women’s starting lines on Sunday, April 2. (The elite women will start first, at 7:18 a.m., followed by the men and the masses at 7:30 a.m.)

Three past champions are part of the women’s elite field: Susanna Sullivan, last year’s women’s champion from Reston, VA; 2021 champion Nell Rojas from Boulder, CO; and 2013 champion Caroline Rotich, a Kenyan who lives in Colorado Springs, CO. As part of the 50th celebration two additional former champions are entered: Colleen De Reuck from Boulder, CO, who won the race in 1998 and still holds the women’s course record of 51:16; and 1973 winner Kathrine Switzer.

Other top women finishers from past 10 Miles include: Carrie Verdon from Boulder, CO, who placed second last year; Paige (Stoner) Wood, last year’s third place finisher from Flagstaff, AZ; Sara Hall, also from Flagstaff, who placed fourth in 2014; and Flagstaff’s Diane Nukuri, who was fifth in 2018.

In the men’s race, the top-three finishers from 2022 return. All hailing from Kenya, they include champion Nicholas Kosimbei, second-place runner Wilfred Kimitei, and third-place finisher Shadrack Kimining. They’ll be joined on the starting line by second-place finisher in 2021 Abbabiya Simbassa from Flagstaff, AZ. Returning for the 50th running and starting a little bit farther back in the pack will be Bill Rodgers, from Boxborough, MA, who won the race four consecutive times between 1978 and 1981; placed second in 1982 and third in 1983; and has run CUCB a total of 22 times. Greg Meyer, whose American record of 46:13 still stands 40 years later, will be present for the 50th celebration, and will be holding the tape for the first American male finisher, who will be in hot pursuit of Greg’s mark — there’s a $50,000 shared bonus on the line for any American Records or World Bests set at the event.*

“It’s always a vote of confidence in the reputation of the event to see a large number of top finishers from previous years coming back. I am excited about this year’s set of repeaters, both past and present. This is another factor that will make our 50th anniversary special,” said Event Director Phil Stewart.

This year, international elite runners will be competing for $40,000 in prize money. The prize purse for Americans totals $25,000, and American runners placing in the top-10 overall are eligible to receive both open and American-only prize money. There is an additional $6,000 in RRCA RunPro Alumni Development Awards — runners eligible for the RRCA awards can also collect top-10 open and/or top-10 American payouts.

There is also a time-based set of bonus payments on offer for fast times:

• $50,000 to be shared by any runners setting a World Best or American Record*• Time incentives of $1,000 for the 1st male to run sub-46 minutes and 1st female to run sub-52 minutes, with an additional $750 on offer should a second male and/or female achieve those same sub-46 and sub-52 minute milestones.

The 10 Mile will serve as the USATF 10 Mile Championships, the RRCA National 10 Mile Championships, and the 2022-2023 Professional Road Racing Organization (PRRO) Circuit Championship.

Winners of the individual 2022-2023 PRRO Circuit events will be eligible for the $10,000 PRRO Super Bonus by winning the PRRO Championship (the bonus is split if an eligible male and female win the Championship). Susanna Sullivan and Nicholas Kosimbei are eligible for the PRRO Super Bonus. Any non-eligible winner of the PRRO Championship Super Bonus will earn $2500.

* If World Best times and American Records for men and women are set by the winners at the event (e.g. four records set), the $50,000 record bonus would be split into four $12,500 shares. If only one World or American record is set for either men or women, the athlete setting the record would get the full $50,000. If an American sets an American record and no other World or American records are set, he or she would receive the entire $50,000 as well. Currently, the times to beat are as follows:• Haile Gebreselassie’s (ETH) World Athletics Best of 44:24, run at the Tilburg 10 Mile in Tilburg, Netherlands, September 4, 2005;• Keira D’Amato’s World Athletics Best in a women’s only race of 51:23, run at the UpDawg 10 Mile in Washington, DC, November 24, 2020;• Greg Meyer’s American Record of 46:13, run at the Cherry Blossom 10 Mile in Washington, DC, March 27, 1983; and• Keira D’Amato’s previously mentioned World Best 51:23, which is also the American Record for a women’s only race.

For reference, the fastest CUCB time among the men’s field announced today is Kosimbei’s 45:15, which tied the event record set by Kenya’s Allan Kiprono in 2012. Among the elite women, Nell Rojas’s 52:13 from 2021 is the best CUCB finish time among this year’s elite entrants. Abbabiya Simbassa’s 46:18 from 2021 is the best CUCB mark among the American men, while Nell’s 52:13 is, of course, the leading mark among the American women.

The inaugural Cherry Blossom Ten Mile in 1973 was won by Sam Bair, in a time of 51:22; the women’s winner was Kathrine Switzer, in a time of 1:11:19; 127 men and 12 women ran that first race. Bill Rodgers holds the honor of most victories, with four consecutive wins between 1978 and 1981. Three women have each won the race three times: Julie Shea (1975-77), Lisa Weidenbach (1985, '89 and '90) and Lineth Chepkurui (2008-10). Ben Beach leads all Cherry Blossom finishers with an active streak of 49 years. A comprehensive media guide detailing a wide variety of statistics from the first 49 CUCB races is available here.

Thanks to Credit Union Miracle Day’s title sponsorship since 2002, the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Run has raised over $10.2 million for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, including $323,000 in 2022.

About the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile:

The Credit Union Cherry Blossom races, organized by Cherry Blossom, Inc., a 501c(3) chapter of the Road Runners Club of America, are known as “The Runner’s Rite of Spring®” in the Nation’s Capital. The staging area for Sunday’s 10 Mile is on the Washington Monument Grounds, and the course passes in sight of all of the major Washington, DC Memorials. In 2023, the reimagined Saturday 5K will stage on Freedom Plaza and traverse the route of Presidential Inaugurations down Pennsylvania Avenue before crossing the National Mall in the shadow of the Capitol Building and returning by the same route. The Kids Run is staged on the grounds of the National Building Museum. All events serve as a fundraiser for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, a consortium of 170 premier children’s hospitals across North America. About one-third of the funds raised support Washington, DC’s own Children’s National (“Children’s Hospital”). The event also funds the Road Runners Club of America’s “Roads Scholar” program designed to support up-and-coming U.S. distance running talent.

Credit Union Miracle Day, Inc., a consortium of credit unions and credit union suppliers, is the title sponsor of the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile, 5K, Kids Run and Virtual Run. Current presenting sponsors include ASICS, REI Co-op and Wegmans; supporting sponsors include CACI, Co-op Solutions, CUNA Mutual Group, FinisherPix, Gatorade Endurance, Guayaki, MedStar Health, PSCU, Potomac River Running, Suburban Solutions, The MO Apartments and UPS.

The 10 Mile is a proud member of the PRRO Circuit (PRRO.org), a series of this country’s classic non- marathon prize money road races with circuit stops in Washington, DC; Spokane, WA; and Utica, NY. The 2023 10 Mile will serve as the 2022-2023 PRRO Championship.

In addition to being sanctioned by USA Track & Field and the Road Runners Club of America, the Credit Union Cherry Blossom races have earned Gold Level Inspire Certification from the Council for Responsible Sport in recognition of its legacy of commitment to sustainability and thoughtful resource management.

To learn more, visit CherryBlossom.org and follow the event on social media @CUCB and #CUCB2023.

(03/23/2023) Views: 503 ⚡AMP
by David Monti
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Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run

Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run

The Credit Union Cherry Blossom is known as "The Runner's Rite of Spring" in the Nation's Capital. The staging area for the event is on the Washington Monument Grounds, and the course passes in sight of all of the major Washington, DC Memorials. The event serves as a fundraiser for the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, a consortium of 170 premier...

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Emily Sisson sets a new half marathon American record in Houston

Emily Sisson shattered her own American record in the half marathon by finishing in 1:06:52. She is now the first American woman to break the 1:07 barrier after placing second behind race winner Hiwot Gebremaryam of Ethiopia, who ran 1:06:28.

Ethiopian Leul Gebresilase Aleme won the men’s half in a sprint finish. He ran 1:00:34—less than a second ahead of runner-up Wesley Kiptoo of Kenya.

Emily Sisson Re-Breaks Her Own American Record

Sisson improved on her record the hard way by going out fast, slowing down slightly through the last sections, and kicking it in towards the finish. After Gebremaryam broke the race open in the first few miles—by 5K, she was already 17 seconds ahead of the chase pack—Sisson ran with Jessica Warner-Judd of Great Britain through 15K. The American record-holder averaged 5-minute mile pace through the first 5K but struggled in the latter half of the course, clocking 5:12 miles around 20K.

“I went out a little too fast the first 5K or so, so the last few miles I was definitely feeling it,” Sisson said on the ABC 13 broadcast.

But Sisson pushed through the discomfort as she neared the finish line to make history once again. “I’m really excited about it. I really wanted to break 67 minutes and I’m happy I did,” she said. “I actually think I could have run a little more evenly so I’m already hoping to run another half and even try to run faster.”

Sisson broke the American record for the first time in May 2022 at the USATF Half Marathon Road Championships in Indianapolis. The Providence College alum won the national title in 1:07:11, four seconds faster than the previous American record set by Sara Hall less than four months earlier at the 2022 Houston Half Marathon.

Prior to the U.S. championships, Sisson came extremely close to the mark on two occasions. When the record was 1:07:25 (held by her former training partner Molly Huddle), she ran 1:07:30 in 2019 and 1:07:26 in 2020.

Last year, the momentum continued in a big way for Sisson when she broke the American record in the marathon. In October, she demolished the time by running 2:18:29 in Chicago—lowering the previous record set by Keira D’Amato at the 2022 Houston Marathon by 43 seconds.

Close Finish in the Men’s Half Marathon

The men’s half marathon featured one of the most exciting finishes of the day. After pulling away from the chase pack together with a few miles remaining, Aleme and Kiptoo battled down to the wire. The East African competitors fought through the homestretch—where Kiptoo kept looking back to assess the distance between himself and his rival—until Aleme sprinted ahead at the last second to claim the victory.

Aleme’s performance follows a breakthrough season, which included a runner-up finish at the 2022 London Marathon in October.

Conner Mantz was the first American to finish after placing sixth in 1:01:12.

Past Greats Return to Racing, While Familiar Faces Make Debuts

In addition to Sisson’s record, there were several other notable performances in the Houston women’s half marathon, including Huddle in her postpartum return to competitive racing. The previous American record-holder finished fifth in 1:10:01 almost nine months after welcoming her daughter. In her 13.1 debut, former 1500-meter specialist and Olympic bronze medalist Jenny Simpson placed ninth in 1:10:35. Also making her debut, Vanessa Fraser finished 13th in 1:11:00. All three had room to spare in achieving the standard to compete at the 2024 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials.

Three-time Olympic champion Tirunesh Dibaba also made her highly anticipated return. In the Ethiopian's first race in four years, she finished 16th in 1:11:35.

(01/15/2023) Views: 813 ⚡AMP
by Runners World
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Aramco Houston Half Marathon

Aramco Houston Half Marathon

The Chevron Houston Marathon offers participants a unique running experience in America's fourth largest city. The fast, flat, scenic single-loop course has been ranked as the "fastest winter marathon" and "second fastest marathon overall" by Ultimate Guide To Marathons. After 30 years of marathon-only competition, Houston added the half-marathon in 2002, with El Paso Energy as the sponsor. Today the...

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Track legend Jenny Simpson puts her most challenging year behind her as she turns to the roads in 2023

After a year in which her world was turned upside down, the track legend has a new sponsor and new event as she makes her half marathon debut in Houston on Sunday.

As the Marshall Fire approached her house on December 30, 2021, there was a brief moment where Jenny Simpson thought to herself, I can’t believe I’m doing this. The house Simpson shares with her husband Jason was formerly a schoolhouse, built in 1900 and located in Marshall, Colo., 15 minutes southeast of Boulder. And on that day, it was under threat from what would eventually become the most destructive fire in state history.

The fire, spread by wind gusts of over 100 miles per hour, was moving quickly. As thick smoke enveloped their property, choking their lungs and blocking their vision, the Simpsons prepared for the worst. Trying to limit the burn, they watered down the yard with hoses, inadvertently soaking their clothes as the wind blew the spray everywhere. Then, as the flames moved in, Simpson took one last lap around the house, grabbing their laptops, their Jack Russell terrier Truman, and a bag containing her running medals and memorabilia — one she had assembled a month earlier while being interviewed for a documentary and fortunately had yet to unpack.

Simpson, like many of us, had previously had that conversation about the one thing you would grab if your house was burning down. She had always answered with her Bible, handed down to her from her great-grandmother Genevieve Schermerhorn (“Grandma Jenny”), for whom she was named. So, as she grabbed the Bible from her office and dashed out of the house, it hit her: I think I’m grabbing the thing that you get because we might lose everything.

By the time Simpson made it to her car, she no longer knew where Jason was or whether he would make it back to the car — the smoke was so dense, it was difficult to see. He eventually made it and they sped away from their house, not knowing when they would return — or if the house would still be there when they did.

Over the course of two days, Marshall Fire would ultimately burn over 6,000 acres, destroy over 1,000 buildings, and cause over $500 million in property damage, making it the most destructive fire in Colorado history. It was a traumatic event for Simpson and her community.

Though the Simpsons’ home survived the fire, it sustained damage, forcing them to live elsewhere while it was repaired. They bounced around from a hotel to the spare bedroom of some friends from church to, eventually, a sparse apartment near the University of Colorado campus, living out of a backpack with the few things they had managed to grab from their home before the fire hit.

“It’s hard to describe how stressful that time was,” Simpson says.

On top of that, Simpson was working through a sports hernia and stress reaction in her right hip — the most significant injury of her career — and her professional future was less certain than ever. During the 2010s, few athletes were more consistent and dependable than Simpson. From 2007 through 2019, Simpson made all nine World/Olympic teams for the United States, piling up 11 national titles, three World Championship medals, and an Olympic bronze in 2016. That success led to a series of lucrative contracts from her sponsor, New Balance, and, as a highly-ranked athlete, health insurance from USOPC.

But Simpson’s New Balance contract expired at the end of 2021 — just two days after the fire that displaced her from her home. On January 1, she lost her health insurance coverage from USOPC (to qualify for coverage, an athlete had to have medalled at either the 2019 Worlds or 2021 Olympics, finished in the top 12 at the 2021 Olympics, or finished the season ranked in the top 15 in the world in their event; Simpson no longer met any of the criteria). As 2022 began, she still had Jason, and she still had the support of her longtime coaches, Mark Wetmore and Heather Burroughs. But the other constants in her life suddenly weren’t so constant.

“This last year, I felt more vulnerable than ever,” Simpson says. “The major safety nets in my life have been being a top-performing athlete and being in the tier system and in the USATF system, being a New Balance athlete and knowing I have a future there and my security at home. And my health. All of those things were really wobbly and testy and some of them fell apart in the last year.”

Rebuilding and replacing

One year has passed since the fire that upended Simpson’s world. Some elements of her life have been rebuilt, others replaced. The Simpsons moved back into their house in Marshall on April 1, and after months of work, she says it is 100% back to normal. Her body is also back to full health. That too required months of work.

Simpson had felt pain in her hip area during the fall of 2021 and though she didn’t give it much thought initially, it grew into something that significantly disrupted her training. Even as 2022 began, she remained in denial. After her streak of making teams ended at the 2021 Olympic Trials, Simpson knew she couldn’t afford to miss time if she was to return to her best.

“Pushing through cross training, pushing through the life challenges that we were going through, I definitely made my circumstances a lot worse,” Simpson says. “And I don’t think that’s unusual for runners. That’s kind of in our nature.”

Simpson was determined to avoid surgery, but realized such a path would require a more conservative approach. As winter turned to spring, Simpson, reluctantly, began to back off the intensity to allow her body to heal.

“The toughest thing about having a sports hernia injury and choosing to rehab and go that route and not jump straight into surgery is that it’s just slow,” Simpson says. “And none of us that are athletes, I think in particular runners, want to take anything slow.”

Simpson did not race at all last spring or summer, missing USAs for the first time since 2006 and missing the chance to represent the US at the first World Championships held on American soil. Simpson is now healthy again, but she’s still rebuilding the fitness she lost in 2022.

Another pillar of Simpson’s life — her New Balance contract — had to be replaced rather than rebuilt. Simpson did not want to go into specifics, but says that while New Balance verbally offered her a deal at a reduced level from her previous contract, the two sides ultimately could not reach an agreement. Eventually, Simpson, who had not used an agent since 2014, hired Hawi Keflezighi to negotiate a new deal and announced a sponsorship agreement with Puma in October.

Leaving New Balance behind was painful. Simpson signed with the company coming out of the University of Colorado in 2010, and after 12 years together had envisioned staying with the brand in some fashion for the rest of her life. Seconds after crossing the finish line in 10th in the 2021 Olympic Trials 1500, Simpson looked at the scoreboard and saw that Elle St. Pierre, Cory McGee, and Heather MacLean — all New Balance athletes — had gone 1-2-3 to make the team; Simpson was the first to congratulate them. She figured that, even once her racing days were over, there would still be some sort of role for her at New Balance.

“My whole future in sport and beyond was about how can I take what I’m learning in my career and make that in any possible way benefit the women’s team in the future,” Simpson says. “So seeing that [1-2-3 at the Trials] and knowing there was a strong middle distance future here and how can I continue to pour into that, that’s what I thought my future was.”

A move to the roads and a new beginning

For the first decade of her professional career, Simpson’s running life was fairly straightforward. She was consistently one of the best in the world in her event, meaning she could enter any race she wanted and was always in-demand from her sponsor (two of the reasons she went without an agent for so long). Every year since rejoining Wetmore and Burroughs in 2013 (she was coached by Juli Benson from 2010-12), she would sit down with them and figure out how to be at her best in the biggest race of the year, either the World Championship or Olympic final. More often than not, she succeeded.

But after failing to make the Olympic team in 2021, Simpson began to ponder her athletic mortality. She was nearing her 35th birthday and had a few options if she wanted to stay in the sport.

“The biggest consideration was, do I move up to the 5k, do I try to run a great 10k, or do we do something totally different?” Simpson says.

(LetsRun founder Robert Johnson will be devastated to learn Simpson did not mention the steeplechase, the event in which she won two US titles and set the American record in 2009).

Simpson dipped her toes into Option C by running the Cherry Blossom 10-Miler in September 2021 (she finished 2nd in 52:16). Midway through 2022, she had fully committed to the roads.

“It’s always been part of the plan that I would give the roads some good years of my career,” says Simpson. “And I think I just saw those really good years becoming fewer and fewer and I realistically wanted to make the transition before I was so, not just physically tired, but also just emotionally drained and psychologically drained from the intensity of it.”

The last few years, Simpson carved out a niche as a mentor to some of the up-and-coming athletes in the Colorado program. As a volunteer assistant at CU, Simpson was able to watch runners like Dani Jones and Sage Hurta at practice, then aid their transition to the professional ranks by traversing the circuit alongside them as a competitor/friend. With Simpson’s move to the roads, that period of her career is over.

“I think that’s what I’ll miss the most, is feeling like I get to be a little bit of a mother hen for the [Colorado] women that are doing really well and have a future as a pro in the sport,” Simpson says.

Now, Simpson is heading into the unknown. The training, obviously, is different. Though Simpson ran relatively high mileage for a 1500 runner — it was not uncommon for her to hit 80 miles in a week — she is now running 80+ regularly, doubling up to five times per week. During her track career, a long workout for Simpson would consist of 12 or 14 by 400m. Now she’s running 2k and 3k repeats on the track.

“That’s a long way to go for someone like me,” Simpson says. “…You go out on the first lap or two and you think, Are you kidding me? This is it? But it doesn’t stay easy for very long.”

Simpson has also had to educate herself about the road races themselves. When we first spoke for this story in November, Simpson admitted that, outside of the World Marathon Majors, she didn’t know many of the major road races and was still learning about how they stacked up against each other in terms of prestige.

Part of that is due to how the sport is structured. Track is simple: Worlds or the Olympics is the end goal and the rest of the season is built around that. The roads are different — people reach top fitness at different times. For marathoners, it’s fairly intuitive — pick one race to peak for in the spring and one in the fall. But Simpson isn’t a marathoner (yet). For road racers at shorter distances, it’s more choose-your-own-adventure.

Simpson’s plan: sit down with Wetmore and Burroughs, pick a race to gear that year’s training around, and attack it like they would a World Championship or Olympics.

“Even though it’s not to the world a big World Championships, it will be Mark and Heather and Jenny’s World Championships,” Simpson says.

As for the marathon, Simpson would not commit to running one eventually, but did not rule it out either. She watched Jason, after years of grinding, finally qualify for the Olympic Marathon Trials at CIM in 2018 and knows how difficult the event is. She has no desire to rush into one.

“It is really freaking hard,” Simpson says. “You don’t know for sure that your body is suited for it just because you’ve been a good runner…What it will take for me to run a marathon? If I have a great half and I feel like my body’s handling that workload really well, we’ll absolutely do a marathon. Because at that point, you’ve gotta find out, right?”

Next stop: Houston

The big question hanging over all this: will Jenny Simpson be any good on the roads? It’s no certainty that prime Simpson, the one who won a record eight Fifth Avenue Miles, would have been a force over 10k and beyond, much less the 36-year-old version coming off the most disruptive injury of her career.

Thirty-six is not necessarily old by distance standards, though. Last year, Keira D’Amato broke the American marathon record at 37 and Sara Hall broke the American half marathon record at 38. Like Simpson, both were for a time milers on the track before moving up — though it took each several years before their big breakthrough.

After down years in 2021 and 2022, logic says Simpson could have a tough go of things. The bar for success, certainly, will have to be recalibrated. At her best on the track, Simpson was one of the top three women in the world in her event. That level of accomplishment is virtually impossible for her on the roads, but could she become one of the best in the US in the 10k, half, or marathon?

Her road debut at Cherry Blossom in 2021 was auspicious (2nd place, 52:16), her appearance at last fall’s USATF 5K champs in New York less so (she was 17th in 16:07, 39 seconds behind winner Weini Kelati) — though Simpson wasn’t fully fit in New York and knew that going in.

2023 will be the real test of whether Simpson has anything left to give on the roads. And for Simpson, 2023 begins in Houston, where she will make her half marathon debut on Sunday. There is a lot riding on the outcome, which is how Simpson likes it. She has yet to pick that one race that she will plan her 2023 season around; Houston will help her make that decision.

“This will kind of chart my course of whether we stick with the half marathon, whether I start dreaming about a marathon, or whether I say maybe it’s better for me to get back on the track, spike up, and do some faster stuff over the next year,” Simpson says.

Simpson says that while her training has gone well, the adjustment to training for the half marathon has been more challenging than she expected.

“When I ran Cherry Blossom and I ran 5:14/mile pace the whole way, the idea of running 5:10’s for a half marathon (67:43 pace) seemed right around the corner,” Simpson says. “Now having gone through a year of injury and a lot of other life challenges, I’m having to adjust what I think my half marathon debut is going to look like.”

Simpson will have Jason with her as a pacer on Sunday and said they will plan to go out faster than her pace at the Army 10-Miler in October, a race she won in 54:16 (71:08 half marathon pace). She says she has a time goal in mind but elected not to share it. Her main hope is that she can finish the race well. During her track career, Simpson was famous for her strength in the final 100 meters, but in her last two road races, she felt as if she was holding on for dear life at the end.

Simpson will step to the line on Sunday with an uncertainty that did not exist during her track career. When Simpson started a 1500-meter race, she came armed with knowledge gleaned from years of experience. She knew exactly what sort of time she could expect her workouts to translate to and how to respond tactically to every race scenario. In the half marathon, she’s starting over.

“That’s one of the trepidations of going into the race in Houston is that I’m so used to having such a clear idea of what I am capable of,” Simpson says. “My race in Houston will be as much of a discovery as the training has been.”

Even Simpson admits she doesn’t know how many more years she’ll continue to race professionally. A few years ago, she had scripted out a storybook ending for herself: a fourth Olympic team in Tokyo and a home World Championships in front of friends and family in Eugene. Make those two teams, she thought, and she would have total freedom to do whatever she wanted afterwards, whether it was continuing to race on the roads, pursuing a coaching career, or starting a family.

That, of course, did not happen. In professional sports, endings rarely go according to plan. But Simpson is embracing the adventure that comes with her new path, wherever it leads.

“The idea I had in mind was kind of cool, but there are some things that we’re now looking forward to that I couldn’t have even imagined,” Simpson says. “And if it turns out that way, it will end even better.”

(01/12/2023) Views: 853 ⚡AMP
by Jonathan Gault
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Aramco Houston Half Marathon

Aramco Houston Half Marathon

The Chevron Houston Marathon offers participants a unique running experience in America's fourth largest city. The fast, flat, scenic single-loop course has been ranked as the "fastest winter marathon" and "second fastest marathon overall" by Ultimate Guide To Marathons. After 30 years of marathon-only competition, Houston added the half-marathon in 2002, with El Paso Energy as the sponsor. Today the...

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B.A.A. announces women’s elite field for 127th Boston Marathon

The Boston Athletics Association (B.A.A.) has revealed the women’s elite field for the 127th Boston Marathon on Monday, April 17. The field features 16 women who have run under 2:21, including the 2022 world marathon champion Gotytom Gebreslase and two-time Boston champion Edna Kiplagat.

Three other notable athletes who are making their Boston debuts are 2022 world championship bronze medallist Lonah Salpeter of Israel, 2022 NYC Marathon champion Sharon Lokedi, and 2022 Valencia Marathon champion (and third fastest woman of all-time 2:14:58) Amane Beriso of Ethiopia.

“I am very excited to run the B.A.A. Boston Marathon this year,” said Salpeter in a press release. “It has always been my dream to run on this course and to experience the incredible atmosphere.” Salpeter is coming off a second-place finish at the New York City Marathon in November and a bronze medal in the 10,000m at the European Championships in August.  

Last year’s second and third-place finishers in Boston, Ababel Yeshaneh of Ethiopia and Mary Ngugi of Kenya, both return with hopes of claiming the top spot on the podium. Yeshaneh came within four seconds of victory, while Ngugi placed second and third in Boston in back-to-back years.

Also back is Joyciline Jepkosgei of Kenya, a past winner of the New York City and London Marathons. Jepkosgei fell shy of her expectations in her 2022 debut, with a seventh-place finish. She will look to better her time of 2:24:43 in 2023.

Among the American contingent are Sara Hall, Aliphine Tuliamuk, Emma Bates, Nell Rojas and 2018 champion Des Linden. Rojas has finished as the top American at Boston two years in a row (fifth in 2021 and 10th, 2:25:57 in April 2022), while Hall and Bates were fifth and seventh in the marathon at the 2022 World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Ore.

Canada will be well represented in Boston with three athletes on the elite list. Liza Howard, the top Canadian at the 2022 Chicago Marathon, will lead the way with the top qualifying mark of 2:35:29. Howard is an up-and-coming marathoner out of Toronto, who had a breakthrough 2022 with a 19th-place finish in Chicago and a 12th-place result at the Canadian 10K Championships in Ottawa last May. 

Other Canadians on the elite list are 2004 1,500m Olympian and masters athlete Carmen Hussar, who has returned to racing recently, coming off a Boxing Day 10 Miler win in Hamilton, Ont., and Julie Lajeunesse of Montreal, with a personal best of 2:44:49 from the 2022 Chicago Marathon.

(01/09/2023) Views: 612 ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

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

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Emily Sisson, Conner Mantz, Jenny Simpson, Tirunesh Dibaba Headline 2023 Aramco Houston Half Marathon

The Houston Marathon Committee announced today the elite athletes who will chase the $10,000 first-place prize in this historically fast race. Elite fields for the Chevron Houston Marathon which is held simultaneously on Sunday, January 15, will be announced tomorrow.

American records in the half marathon and marathon were set in Houston last year, but by the end of 2022, Emily Sisson had broken them both. Houston will be Sisson’s first race since running 2:18:29 at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon in October, shattering Keira D’Amato’s record by 43 seconds. Earlier in the year, her 1:07:11 performance in Indianapolis shaved four seconds off Sara Hall’s half marathon record.

“I have really enjoyed racing here in the past and am excited to start my 2023 season in Houston,” said Sisson who finished fifth in the 2019 Aramco Houston Half Marathon. “I felt good coming out of Chicago and am really looking forward to another opportunity to race.”

Sisson will have to contend with one of the greatest distance runners of all time as Tirunesh Dibaba of Ethiopia makes a return to competition after a more than four-year hiatus. The three-time Olympic gold medalist and five-time world champion has not raced since 2018 but says after giving birth to a second child in 2019 and then battling COVID-19, she is ready to add another chapter to her storied career.

“Houston is a famous race and my training has been going well,” said Dibaba, the 2017 Chicago Marathon Champion. “It seemed like the best way to test myself and see what could be next.”

Other top contenders in the women’s half marathon elite field include 2021 Berlin Marathon runner-up Hiwot Gebrekidan of Ethiopia and 2022 World Championship Marathon fourth-place finisher Nazret Weldu of Eritrea. Dom Scott will attempt to break the South African half marathon record of 1:06:44, after a 3rd place finish in Houston last year. The top Americans include 28-time U.S. Champion Molly Huddle who set the then-American record here in 2018, as well as World Champion and Olympic Bronze Medalist Jenny Simpson who will make her half marathon debut.

“All of the racers I am learning from speak so highly of their experience with the Aramco Houston Half Marathon,” said Simpson. “It’s the perfect place for me to make my half marathon debut because the timing, course and organization are so well tested.”

In the men’s race, Edward Cheserek of Kenya, known to fans as “King Ches,” will look to trade in his crown for a king-sized belt buckle. Cheserek is coming off a 1:00:13 half marathon personal best in Valencia last month. “After Valencia this fall, I’ve trained harder and think sub-60 is possible,” said Cheserek, a 17-time NCAA Champion at the University of Oregon. “Houston is known for being a fast course and I want to have a chance at a personal best.”

Cheserek will face off against 2019 champion Shura Kitata of Ethiopia who lines up for his fourth Aramco Houston Half Marathon. With career marathon victories in London, Frankfurt and Rome, Kitata says he “feels home and comfortable in Houston.”

Other contenders to watch are Ethiopia’s Leul Gebresilase Aleme, runner up at last year’s London Marathon, and 2020 Olympian Mohamed El Aaraby of Morocco. The top American in the field is Conner Mantz of Utah. Mantz, the 2020 and 2021 NCAA Cross Country Champion at BYU, made his much-anticipated marathon debut in Chicago last October running 2:08:16, the fastest debut ever by an American-born runner.

Houston-native Frank Lara will return for a second consecutive year. Lara, a former Gatorade Texas High School Runner of the Year, was the top American finisher in the marathon last year. This year he competes in the half marathon.

The HMC is the only organizer to host two World Athletic Gold Label events simultaneously, which are Sunday’s Chevron Houston Marathon and Aramco Houston Half Marathon. These two races will have over 27,000 registrants, with an additional 6,000 registrants in the We Are Houston 5K presented by Aramco and Chevron, held on Saturday, January 14.

“Whether you are an elite athlete or a new runner, our committee is dedicated to hosting your individual pursuits with the utmost care and respect for the extraordinary efforts made to toe the start line with us,” said Wade Morehead, Executive Director of the Houston Marathon Committee.

The Aramco Houston Half Marathon and Chevron Houston Marathon will be broadcast on ABC13 from 7 a.m.-10 a.m., on Sunday, January 15 with a race day recap at 10:35 p.m. Joining ABC13’s Greg Bailey and Gina Gaston as expert commentator will be Des Linden, the 2018 Boston Marathon winner and 50K world-record holder. Linden made the first of her two U.S. Olympic Marathon teams in Houston in 2012. The trio will be joined by long-time analyst and Rice University cross country coach Jon Warren.

(01/04/2023) Views: 605 ⚡AMP
by Letsrun
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Aramco Houston Half Marathon

Aramco Houston Half Marathon

The Chevron Houston Marathon offers participants a unique running experience in America's fourth largest city. The fast, flat, scenic single-loop course has been ranked as the "fastest winter marathon" and "second fastest marathon overall" by Ultimate Guide To Marathons. After 30 years of marathon-only competition, Houston added the half-marathon in 2002, with El Paso Energy as the sponsor. Today the...

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5 Reasons Why Athletes Can Embrace Aging

My grandfather lived until he was 94. By the time he died in 2009, he was the sole survivor of 13 siblings. His secret? For as long as I can remember he used to say, with a gusto I have yet to match, "You just have to keep moving!" And with every passing birthday he'd also remind me: "Getting older is better than the alternative."

Those two pearls of wisdom have continued to serve me well. But it has also occurred to me that since I became a masters runner (defined as 40 and older), I've focused primarily on the negative aspects of aging-albeit, mostly factors that my grandfather never had to experience. Women face a lot of challenges in mid-life that make it hard to maintain a cheery disposition, even as that simple advice to "keep moving!" holds true.

The decline of estrogen levels has an effect on just about everything, including mood, sleep, body composition, bone density, muscle mass, and more. It's a lot to navigate-especially for those of us who've been athletes for most of our lives. We have to adjust expectations and relearn how to properly train our bodies that have new needs and capabilities.

It's natural to fixate on what we're potentially losing as the years go by. But what if we explored the ways that aging serves us, instead? I'm not trying to pollyanna our way out of perimenopause, but taking a little time to reflect on the happier sides of getting older might entice some of us to relish this phase instead of fear it.

So I called Selene Yeager, host of the podcast Hit Play Not Pause and content manager for Feisty Menopause, a site that covers training, nutrition, and lifestyle advice to help women maximize performance during menopause and beyond. She shared some expertise and insight on how athletes can find hope and enjoyment during the second half of their active lives. Out of that conversation and many others over the years with runners who have experienced longevity in the sport, I came up with five reasons to embrace masters running.Perspective. 

It is impossible to acknowledge or appreciate the bigger picture when you're younger. Every botched workout, every missed PR, every off-pace long run seems like a big deal. But then life expands in wild ways. Whether it's a spouse or children or career or aging parents, everybody seemingly needs something from you for quite a while. 

The upside? Those important people who need you can also put performance into perspective. Before running the Berlin Marathon in September, Keira D'Amato, 37, who was trying to improve her American record during the race (2:19:12, which has since been broken by Emily Sisson at the Chicago Marathon in 2:18:29), remarked that while her goals are a priority, her results actually don't matter much in the grand scheme.

"At the end of the day, no matter what happens, I'm still going to come home to two kids who will ask me what's for dinner," D'Amato said during a pre-race interview.

Similarly, Yeager remembers when her daughter was younger, she felt a pivot in her outlook, too. "You're not sitting there ruminating about yourself anymore-it's a similar sort of transition phase in a woman's life that can bring that better head space."

The even better news is that eventually a lot of those people become less dependent as we enter midlife, leaving new-found time to focus more on your own endeavors.

"The shedding of those ovarian hormones that have you nurturing everybody but yourself gives you the brain space to look at what you need and want," Yeager says. "And that is a great thing. Not that nurturing is bad, but it's time for you."Liberation. 

The older we get, the less we care. In a good way. In the best ways, really. As Yeager puts it, "You can say it however you want, but you get to this point where you don't actually give a f*ck and it's very liberating and empowering."

You don't care what people think when you try something new, like mountain racing. You don't care what your time is and realize that nobody else does either (spoiler alert: nobody ever did care what your personal bests or weekly mileage were). You start to realize that the performances and goals can be broader and more creative than ever before-your effort can go toward something besides qualifying for the Boston Marathon, for example.

Look no further than somebody like Deena Kastor, who won the Olympic marathon bronze medal in 2004. Now 49, she still trains at a high level, but has continually redefined what success means to her, whether it's going after age-group records or racing all the World Marathon Major events, a goal she just completed when she finished the Berlin Marathon a few weeks ago, in 2:45:12.

"There's lots of empowerment that comes with midlife, especially around 50," Yeager says. "It takes some time and it might take hormonal changes-I don't know; they're still doing their research-to really accept and embrace that you are the only one thinking about you as much as you're thinking about you."Community. 

Not long ago I spoke with Kathryn Martin, who at 70 years old had just taken a five-year break from competing on the masters track scene. She has two dozen age-group American records and a dozen world records, but was feeling a little burned out from the high-intensity pursuits. During that break, she didn't stop running, but she did cease serious training. What brought her back? Aside from a renewed desire to tackle more records, she missed all the friends she made on the circuit.

"What I really missed was the camaraderie. Masters runners are so unique," Martin told me. "You can be warriors on the track, but prior to and immediately afterward, everybody's hugging. We're just so happy to see each other and be in each other's company."

While you don't have to grow older to appreciate the running community, Martin is right. The masters category hits a little different. Yeager sees it, too-and hears about it from plenty of women she interviews.

"Even if you're really competitive still, there's a genuine appreciation for your peers," Yeager says. "We've seen a lot of shit in our lives at this point and that creates a lot of camaraderie. You're also just more secure in your skin and not having all your self-worth wrapped up in beating another person."Technology and research. 

Sara Hall, 39, is the poster woman for longevity. She started having the best races of her career in her mid-30s, now one of the fastest U.S. women at the marathon (2:20:32). Many factors have worked in Hall's favor, but one thing she's continually given credit to is the advancement in shoe technology-not just the way in which they've elevated everybody's performances, but also how they've reduced the pounding on her legs and allowed quicker recovery between big efforts.

The generation entering its 50s now is the first to grow up in a post-Title IX world, with increased access to sports for their entire lives. As Yeager says, we aren't in the "Golden Girls" era anymore. Women remain competitive and active for far longer than they ever have not only thanks to that critical piece of policy, but also because of the technology (think: gear, nutrition, recovery tools, etc.) that keeps us healthier, longer. The research on all phases of the female athlete lifecycle still has plenty of catching up to do, but as it advances and we know better how to care for our maturing bodies, the possibilities will only increase.

"Everything we thought we knew about women after they had babies or when they go through the menopause transition-really about women at any stage-is being rewritten and discovered," Yeager says. "It's a huge thing, when performance and fitness is exponentially different because we've started and built it all from the time we were adolescents, many not stopping during pregnancy, either. Are you kidding? We're just different human beings than the women back in the Golden Girl time."Reinvention. 

Ever want to try different distances? Different terrain? Are you triathlon curious? Have you heeded the often repeated advice to start lifting weights (seriously, you need to lift weights)? After all is said and done, if you're still not convinced that growing older as a runner can become an equally enjoyable experience, then reinvent yourself. Try something new and see the comparisons to your former self disappear.

Yeager, for example, didn't start CrossFit until she was 48 years old, when "it was time to start 'lifting heavy sh*t' as they say.'" Desiree Linden, 39, winner of the 2018 Boston Marathon, has said she's looking forward to exploring trails and ultra-distance races after she retires from competitive road racing. 

"If you are open to expanding your horizons, it makes all the difference in the world," Yeager says. "You have nowhere to go but up. You're learning new things and experiencing something for the joy of it again. That's enormously positive."

It looks like my grandfather had a point. All you have to do is keep moving

(10/23/2022) Views: 542 ⚡AMP
by Trail Runner Magazine
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Make the Most of Difficult Long Runs

IF YOU’VE EVER found yourself mid–long run debating whether you should cut it short, you’re not alone. Fatigue has a way of inducing an internal discussion about the fate of your miles.

Making the decision that’s right for you can be tricky. On the one hand, you’re already really tired, and you have several miles to go. Won’t mindlessly sticking it out put you in a hole and compromise your upcoming training and racing? On the other hand, isn’t one of the main points of long runs to get used to “keep on keeping on” when the desire to stop strikes?

The best answer is “it depends.” Here are five things to consider to help you decide what to do.

• Do you have a specific bodily pain?

Discomfort—mild muscular fatigue or tightness, stomach distress, hot spots on your feet—is typical when you’re going long. These unpleasant sensations seldom merit changing your plan.

A specific bodily pain is another matter. Sara Hall, the second-fastest half-marathoner in U.S. history, says she cuts long runs short under only one condition—if she’s worried about an acute pain or tight spot becoming an injury.

A good rule of thumb: Assess whether your troublesome spot is making you alter your running form. If so, being disciplined in this instance means ending the run. Continuing with compromised form can lead to injury and cause problems elsewhere.

• Why do you want to stop?

Many runners consider stopping their long run because it’s a mental struggle or they’re just more tired than usual. We’re humans, not machines, after all, so this is common.

“People only have so much willpower,” says Mark Coogan, a member of the 1996 U.S. Olympic Marathon team who coaches the elite group New Balance Boston. Life circumstances are a part of training, so account for them, he says.

If your family or work life has been stressful lately, a long run can help you mentally reboot. But it can also seem like an obligation, and slogging away to hit an arbitrary mileage goal can further drain you psychologically. If the run isn’t crucial to your training, it’s probably not worth spending precious mental capital on it. So, cut the run short, and don’t beat yourself up for it.

If you feel okay mentally, but physically worn down from the start, you’re also probably best off cutting the run short, especially if you have an important race in the next week or two. If you don’t have a race soon, first try slowing your pace. If doing so doesn’t help—and the run isn’t super important—then go shorter.

• What is your long run goal?

Long runs for marathoners have two main goals: putting in time on your feet at an easy to moderate effort, and harder outings that incorporate stretches at goal marathon pace or a little faster. If you’re struggling on the first kind, see if backing off the pace helps. “I will adjust the pace if I’m not feeling like I should sustain the pace I’m at and prioritize hitting the distance,” Hall says. “In my mind, the point of a long run is to go the full distance or time, so I would rather finish the full duration and slow the pace down or cut the next day short if I need more recovery.”

Sara Slattery, retired elite runner, former college coach, and coauthor of How She Did It, says that seeing long runs through is an important part of marathon prep. “That run often gives athletes confidence,” she says. That’s especially true if covering the 26.2 miles of the marathon, without regard to pace, is the main challenge of the event. Knowing that you repeatedly stuck it out in training despite the urge to call it a day is a powerful psychological tool.

If you’re struggling on a long run that calls for segments at marathon race pace, consider doing a standard long run instead. Focus on hitting the distance, emphasize recovery, and try your race pace on the next long run instead.

• What are you training for?

Long runs have a place in all training programs. But prioritizing them depends on what you’re training to accomplish. If you’re getting ready for a marathon, they’re arguably the most important part of your buildup. If your focus is a 5K PR, not so much. Slattery and Coogan agree that if you’re not training for 13.1 or longer, the cut-it-short threshold is lower. Gutting out a two-hour run when you’re overly tired will likely detract from the harder sessions, like intervals, that specifically prepare you for shorter distances.

That’s not to say that marathoners should do all long runs as planned regardless of how they feel. “Almost all marathoners already know how to persevere,” Coogan points out. You don’t need to always prove to yourself you’re not a quitter.

• Is this bad run part of a pattern?

“If you are feeling that rundown and like you need to cut your runs short more than half the time, you may be overdoing it in training,” Slattery says. Adjust your distance or pace so you recover better and can train consistently.

Coogan suggests also looking outside your running. “Your takeaway is that you are overdoing it somewhere else in your life, and you don’t have the willpower right now,” he says. Figure out what’s making you mentally tired and what you can adjust.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU STOP YOUR LONG RUN SHORT

1. Maximize recovery.

Eat carbs and protein within an hour of finishing, hydrate, and do some gentle stretching or walking.

2. Take an additional easy day.

Even if it’s not on your training plan, doing a recovery run before your next challenging workout is smart.

3. Review your training.

Have you upped your mileage/intensity lately? Do you need more recovery time built into your plan? Are you not adjusting your training to meet the stressors of everyday life?

4. Make changes.

Your plan should be in pencil, and based on your answers to the questions laid out here, you might need to switch things up. Maybe you need three easy days before a tough session instead of one, an extra rest day per week, or long runs on more than one day a week. Every athlete is different, so your plan just might need a tweak to work for you.

(09/11/2022) Views: 844 ⚡AMP
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US record holder Keira d’Amato and Kenyan Nancy Jelagat Meto head Women’s Field At BMW Berlin Marathon Sept 25

The American record holder Keira d’Amato and Kenya’s Nancy Jelagat Meto lead a high quality women’s field for the 48th edition of the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON on Sunday, September 25. Keira d’Amato improved the US record to 2:19:12 which also gives her the accolade of the fastest in the women’s field, announced by the organisers today. Eight women will be on the start line with personal bests of under 2:21.

The return of Kenya’s double Olympic champion and world record holder Eliud Kipchoge had already been announced some weeks ago as well as the participation of the current BMW BERLIN-MARATHON champion Guye Adola of Ethiopia. Six men on the start lists have personal bests of under 2:06while the organisers SCC EVENTS expect more than 45,000 runners from around 150 countries for Germany’s top road race. The BMW BERLIN-MARATHON is an Abbott World Marathon Majors race and a Platinum Label Road Race, awarded by World Athletics, the international governing body of the sport.

“After securing the presence of Eliud Kipchoge and Guye Adola, we are delighted also to have a very strong women’s field on the start line. With the right weather conditions there is certainly a good chance of very fast times,” said race director Mark Milde.

The presence of Keira d’Amato and Nancy Jelagat Meto brings to the event two women who have already run sub-2:20. At the age of 37, Keira d’Amato sprang a major surprise to break the American record with 2:19:12 in winning the Houston Marathon. That led to her late nomination for the World Championships in Eugene where she ran impressively to finish eighth. Sara Hall, who plans to run Berlin and then New York as well, went even better, finishing fifth.

Hall’s best time is 2:20:32. Nancy Jelagat Meto showed fine form in the past year, winning the prestigious Valencia title with a major improvement of 2:19:31. Four months previously she made a strong showing with second place in 65:21 at the GENERALI BERLIN HALF MARATHON.

Quite a few women runners will hope to put Berlin’s fast course, where Eliud Kipchoge set the current men’s world record of 2:01:39 in 2018, to good use in their bid to break 2:20: Gutemi Shone Imana has a best of 2:20:11 while Workenesh Edesa has run 2:20:24 and a third Ethiopian,  Sisay Gola, has clocked 2:20:50. The Kenyans also have their contenders to break this landmark time in Maurine Chepkemoi, currently with a best of 2:20:18 and Vibian Chepkirui, who won the Vienna City Marathon in 2:20:59 in April.

Nor should marathon debutants be overlooked in the search for potential women winners, given that the Ethiopian Gotytom Gebreslase did just that to win last year’s BMW BERLIN-MARATHON title. Two possible contenders are Rosemary Wanjiru of Kenya and Ethiopia’s Nigisti Haftu. Both have strong performances at half marathon to their credit which could make them realistic challengers.

(08/25/2022) Views: 727 ⚡AMP
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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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Kenya's Hellen Obiri to train in US for New York Marathon

World 10,000 meters silver medalist Hellen Obiri plans to travel to America ahead of time before making her debut in New York Marathon race on November 6.

In an interview with Nation Sport, the double 5,000m world champion said that she will be heading to Colorado, USA to acclimatize.

Obiri said that she will be depending on her new coach Dathan Ritzenhein, who heads On Athletics Club, for guidance.

Ritzenhein is a former athlete who has previously competed in the New York Marathon.

Obiri, who has plans to relocate to the US, said that she is not moving yet.

“There is still some paperwork that I’m working on before finalizing my move to the US. But, I will be going to Colorado for training because I want to acclimatize before the race. I look forward to a good race, but the most important thing for me is to learn,” she said.

The World Athletics Cross Country Championships title holder, who has been training in Ngong, Kajiado County, said that when she stepped up to marathon racing, it was not easy because the training is different.

“Marathon training is different from what I was used to while competing in track races. At fast it was tricky, but I persevered and I am now used to it,” she said.

The Olympic 5,000m silver medalist said that she was inspired to switch to marathon by two-time world marathon champion Edna Kiplagat.

“I was really inspired by Edna Kiplagat who has been doing well for long and is still competing. I have interacted with her, and when I learned that she was part of the elite field at New York Marathon, I felt encouraged that she will be racing with me,” said Obiri.

“Before the competition, I look forward to train with Edna in the US.”

The Istanbul Half Marathon champion said that she took a leap of faith to compete in full marathon after performing well in half marathon races.

Obiri clocked 64:38 to win this year’s Istanbul Half Marathon after having triumphed in the same race last year in 64:51.

The former 5,000m African champion has had a good season which climaxed in her winning a 10,000m silver medal at the World Athletics Championships in Oregon, USA on July 16.

In New York, Obiri will be up against defending champion and Olympic marathon champion Peres Jepchirchir, Edna, debutante Sharon Lokedi, Caroline Rotich and US-based Viola Lagat, who was second last year.

Other top names in the race are newly crowned world champion Ethiopian Gotytom Gebreslase and her compatriot Senbere Teferi, world bronze medalist Israel’s Lorna Chemtai Salpeter, USA’s Sara Hall and Aliphine Tuliamuk.

(08/22/2022) Views: 740 ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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TCS  New York City Marathon

TCS New York City Marathon

The first New York City Marathon, organized in 1970 by Fred Lebow and Vince Chiappetta, was held entirely in Central Park. Of 127 entrants, only 55 men finished; the sole female entrant dropped out due to illness. Winners were given inexpensive wristwatches and recycled baseball and bowling trophies. The entry fee was $1 and the total event budget...

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World Championships Medalists Gotytom Gebreslase, Lonah Chemtai Salpeter, and Hellen Obiri to Join Women’s Field at 2022 TCS New York

Sara Hall, Emma Bates, Aliphine Tuliamuk, Des Linden, Nell Rojas, and Stephanie Bruce to anchor star-studded contingent of American women.

World Championships medalists Gotytom Gebreslase of Ethiopia, Lonah Chemtai Salpeter of Israel, and Hellen Obiri of Kenya will join previously announced New York City and Olympic champion Peres Jepchirchir in the women’s professional athlete division at this year’s TCS New York City Marathon on Sunday November 6. All three will make their TCS New York City Marathon debuts, with Obiri making her 26.2-mile debut across any course, and will line up against a star-studded contingent of American women that includes Sara Hall, Emma Bates, Aliphine Tuliamuk, Des Linden, Nell Rojas, and Stephanie Bruce. The 2022 TCS New York City Marathon women’s professional athlete field is presented by Mastercard®.

Women’s Open Division

Fresh off her victory at the world championships marathon, where she finished the course in a championship-record time of 2:18:11, Gebreslase will make New York City her next stop. She will look to add a five-borough title to her resume, having previously won the 2021 Berlin Marathon and finished third at the 2022 Tokyo Marathon.

“Winning the World Championships was like a dream, and I am honored to run my next marathon in New York City,” Gebreslase said. “It’s home to the biggest marathon in the world, and many of the top athletes have run there. I understand it’s a challenging course, and I’m looking forward to seeing further success there.”

Two-time Olympian Salpeter, a Kenyan-born Israeli who won the bronze medal at the world championships marathon and was the 2020 Tokyo Marathon winner, will challenge Gebreslase once again. Obiri, a two-time Olympic medalist and seven-time individual world championships medalist, will make her highly anticipated marathon debut shortly after winning a world championships silver over 10,000 meters.

“I’m very excited to make my marathon debut at the TCS New York City Marathon,” Obiri said. “I have watched the race many times on TV and have seen my Kenyan colleagues compete there. I know New York is a tough course, but I hope my experience on track, road, and cross-country will help me navigate the ups and downs. I also plan to get advice and tips from coach Dathan Ritzenhein, who competed in the race several times in the past.”

In addition to Jepchirchir, the group will be racing against Ethiopia’s Senbere Teferi, who will look to become the first athlete to win the United Airlines NYC Half, Mastercard New York Mini 10K, and TCS New York City Marathon in one year. Three other Kenyans will also be strong contenders for podium places, including the 2010 New York City, 2014 London and 2017 Boston Marathon champion Edna Kiplagat, last year’s runner-up Viola Cheptoo, and newcomer Sharon Lokedi.

The American effort will be led by 10-time national champion Hall, who was the top world championships marathon finisher from the U.S. last month in Oregon, where she placed fifth. She is also the former half marathon national record holder, the runner-up from the 2020 London Marathon, and a two-time winner of the Mastercard New York Mini 10K. She will be joined at the Staten Island start line by Bates, who clocked a personal best to finish seventh at the world championships and was the runner-up at last year’s Chicago Marathon.

“From winning the Millrose mile to back-to-back Mini 10K wins, most of my favorite career moments have happened in NYC,” Hall said. “I’m all-in to add to that by having my best marathon yet at the TCS New York City Marathon. I can’t wait to be back racing my heart out in the five boroughs of my favorite city.”

Tokyo 2020 Olympian Aliphine Tuliamuk, and two-time Olympian and 2018 Boston Marathon champion Des Linden, will also return to New York, as will national champion Stephanie Bruce, who will race the five boroughs for the final time before retiring. The deep U.S. women’s group will additionally include Nell Rojas, the top American finisher from the last two Boston Marathons, Lindsay Flanagan, the top American finisher from the 2022 United Airlines NYC Half, Annie Frisbie, last year’s seventh-place finisher, and her training partner Dakotah Lindwurm, who won Grandma’s Marathon in June. Emily Durgin, the sixth-fastest U.S. half marathoner of all-time, will make her marathon debut.

(08/11/2022) Views: 857 ⚡AMP
by Running USA
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TCS  New York City Marathon

TCS New York City Marathon

The first New York City Marathon, organized in 1970 by Fred Lebow and Vince Chiappetta, was held entirely in Central Park. Of 127 entrants, only 55 men finished; the sole female entrant dropped out due to illness. Winners were given inexpensive wristwatches and recycled baseball and bowling trophies. The entry fee was $1 and the total event budget...

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Americans Hall, Bates, D’Amato Shine in World Championships Marathon A team effort pushed the Americans to three top-eight finishes

Ethiopia’s Gotytom Gebreslase ran the fastest, but Sara Hall, Emma Bates, and Keira D’Amato got the biggest cheers from the crowd at Monday morning’s world championship marathon in Eugene, Oregon.

Running in front of the home crowd, Hall, Bates, and D’Amato smartly hung back in the chase back for the first half of the race and then began to work their way up as some of the runners in the original lead pack began to blow up.

Hall (39, Crested Butte, Colorado) was the best of the bunch, surging throughout the final 8 miles of the race to place fifth in a season-best 2:22:10. She passed Kenya’s Angela Tanui (6th, 2:22:15) in the final mile but ran out of room in her pursuit of fourth-place finisher Nazaret Weldu of Eritrea (2:20:29). Hall’s finish was the best showing by an American woman in the world championships marathon since Amy Cragg earned the bronze in 2017 in London.

Bates (29, Boulder, Colorado) followed a similar strategy and wasn’t far behind in seventh in a new personal best of 2:23:18. D’Amato (37, Richmond, Virginia), who originally had gone out a bit harder only to get stuck in between the first two packs, eventually settled in with the chase pack alongside Hall, Bates, and British runner Jess Piasecki and Uganda’s Immaculate Chemutai.

Hall, Bates, and D’Amato received roaring cheers from the crowd along the course that sent runners between Eugene and nearby Springfield, especially along the finish chute on Dr. Martin Luther King Drive. None had represented Team USA at a global outdoor championship before.

They were greeted at the finish line by American running legend Joan Benoit Samuelson, who won the 1984 Olympic marathon and served as the official starter of the women’s world championships race.

(07/18/2022) Views: 819 ⚡AMP
by BRIAN METZLER (Women's Running)
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World Athletics Championships Budapest23

World Athletics Championships Budapest23

Budapest is a true capital of sports, which is one of the reasons why the World Athletics Championships Budapest 2023 is in the right place here. Here are some of the most important world athletics events and venues where we have witnessed moments of sporting history. Throughout the 125-year history of Hungarian athletics, the country and Budapest have hosted numerous...

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Gotytom Gebreslase Wins World Marathon Gold in Championship Record

With a strong downhill surge in the 41st kilometer, Gotytom Gebreslase of Ethiopia won the 2022 world marathon title in 2:18:11. The time set a new championship record; the previous mark of 2:20:57 was held by Paula Radcliffe.

Judith Korir of Kenya, who led Gebreslase by half a step for most of the closing miles, finished second in 2:18:18, and Lonah Salpeter of Israel took the bronze medal in 2:20:18.

Sara Hall was the top American finisher, placing fifth in 2:22:10. Emma Bates placed seventh in a personal best of 2:23:18, and U.S. record-holder Keira D’Amato finished eighth in 2:23:34. D’Amato was added to the team at the beginning of the month after Molly Seidel withdrew because of injury. The three ran together through the middle miles until Hall, ninth at halfway, pulled away and started picking off former members of the lead pack.

Today’s 5-7-8 is the best team performance by a U.S. squad, male or female, since the marathon world championship was first run in 1983. They succeeded thanks to just the right mixture of aggressiveness and patience.

“I went out with the leaders, but then I could tell it was a little too fast,” Hall said. “So fortunately I had talked to Emma and Keira and been like,‘Hey, I’d love to work with you guys. I don’t want to mess up your mojo, but if we’re together somewhere I’d love to work together.’ So thankfully Emma and I found each other.

"I was checking our splits and we were running plenty fast out there, so I didn’t really want to run faster than that,” Hall continued. “It was awesome to get to work with [Emma] for so much of the race.”

Bates, who was the top American at Chicago last October, said, “My coach and I had decided that I go out in 70-minute pace for the first half. Which I had never done before, that’s close to my PR for the half marathon. We knew I could be in 2:20 range, fitness-wise.

“I went out with Sara. We were planning on working together before the race, so it was great the first lap to be with each other and then the second lap. Sara took off the later portion of the second lap. So proud of her today for going after it. She really pulled me along that first bit.

“I’m very happy,” Bates continued. “I always want more, we always want more. But to be top 10 in the world is something really really cool, especially on U.S. soil. And to run a PR doing it, it’s something that I won’t forget.”

Well past 30K, Hall was still acknowledging cheering spectators (including Olympian and fellow Flagstaff resident Rachel Schneider).

“I think this is the most fun I’ve ever had in a marathon,” Hall said. “I wanted to smile as much as I could early on, ’cause you know its gonna turn to a grimace eventually. But I was even smiling that last lap. I’m really thankful for everyone that turned out, ’cause I knew that this would be so special. I don’t know if I’ll ever get the opportunity to run a championship like this in the U.S. again.”

How the Race Was Won

Within the opening kilometer, it was obvious that the script for yesterday’s men’s marathon—a huge lead pack running cautiously for the first half—would be ignored. Headed by three Kenyans and three Ethiopians, the leaders took off at 2:17 marathon pace. D’Amato started with the pack but dropped back in the fifth kilometer; in the 12th kilometer, a chase pack led by Bates and Hall caught D’Amato, who then tucked in.

Toward the end of the first of three 14-kilometer loops, the chase pack got within 11 seconds of the leaders. Korir then spurted ahead just before an aid station. That reestablished a quicker tempo for the leaders, and the chase pack’s hope of joining the leaders was permanently ended.

The first significant event occurred in the 19th kilometer, when defending champion Ruth Chepngetich of Kenya stepped off the course, apparently looking for tall grass in which to make a pit stop. Sensing an opportunity, Gebreslase and fellow Ethiopian Ababel Yeshaneh surged on a downhill stretch. Subsequent kilometers of 3:05 and 3:09 (an average of roughly 5:00 mile pace) pared the group to four. They passed halfway in 69:01; the chase pack, including the three Americans, hit halfway in 70:17.

Toward the end of the second lap, Korir again surged approaching an aid station. Her teammate Angela Tanui briefly lost contact for the second time, clawed her way back, but was then dropped for good. In the 27th kilometer Yeshaneh started grabbing at her side and was left by the eventual gold and silver medalists.

Korir and Gebreslase ran within inches of each other for most of the third lap; the Ethiopian was usually just off of Korir’s right shoulder. Korir occasionally motioned to her rival to either help with the pace or back off a bit. It was hard to tell who was feeling more feisty or fatigued.

Or at least it was until the overpass over Route I-5. After cresting the summit, Gebreslase leaned into the long, gradual descent toward the finish. She almost immediately had two, then three, then five seconds on Korir. Gebreslase, who won Berlin last fall, had judged her effort perfectly. For the second day in a row, an Ethiopian won the world title in a championship record.

(07/18/2022) Views: 829 ⚡AMP
by Scott Douglas
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World Athletics Championships Budapest23

World Athletics Championships Budapest23

Budapest is a true capital of sports, which is one of the reasons why the World Athletics Championships Budapest 2023 is in the right place here. Here are some of the most important world athletics events and venues where we have witnessed moments of sporting history. Throughout the 125-year history of Hungarian athletics, the country and Budapest have hosted numerous...

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World Athletics Championships Oregon22 preview: marathon

Kenya’s Geoffrey Kamworor, whose career was traumatized in June 2020 when he was hit by a motorbike during a training run and required surgery on a broken tibia, is due to contest his first major championship marathon in Eugene on July 17.

The 29-year-old from Nyen was named on the Kenyan team for the World Athletics Championships Oregon22 along with 33-year-old Lawrence Cherono – who missed a medal by one place in the marathon at last year’s Olympics – and 35-year-old Barnabas Kiptum.

Kamworor, confident and outgoing, was flying high when he had his accident.

Although he had performed to high levels on the track, where he earned 10,000m silver at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing, it was on grass and roads that he had excelled, winning the world cross-country senior titles in 2015 and 2017, and world half marathon titles in 2014, 2016 and 2018.

In his first competitive marathon in 2012 he finished third in Berlin in 2:06:12, and he was a consistent presence on the podium at World Majors Marathons thereafter, particularly in New York, where he finished second in 2015, first in 2017, third in 2018 and first again in 2019.

Kamworor ran his first race since the accident in January 2021, winning the Kenyan Police Cross Country Championships before going on to secure a place on Kenya’s Olympic 10,000m team after winning the national trials, only to have to pull out with an ankle injury.

But at the Valencia Marathon last December he was able to perform to the peak of his ability once more as he set a personal best of 2:05:23 in finishing fourth.

At the previous year’s running in Valencia, Cherono was second in a personal best of 2:03:04, putting him eighth on the world all-time list, having made his World Marathon Majors breakthrough in 2019 when he won in Boston in 2:07:57 and then Chicago in 2:05:45.

Like Kamworor, Kiptum also set a personal best last year as he clocked 2:04:17 in placing third at the Milan Marathon and he has a solid top-three record in virtually every race he has contested.

Such is the depth of Kenyan talent that they can name 2017 world champion Geoffrey Kirui as a reserve.

Meanwhile Kenya’s perennial rivals Ethiopia will be looking to their current world champion Lelisa Desisa, who found the way to win in the steamy heat of Doha three years ago, to make the most of his wild card entry to this year’s competition.

Desisa had early track success, winning the African U20 10,000m title in 2009, and he has since become a highly consistent performer at the highest level, achieving podium finishes four times in New York, including victory in 2018, and four times in Boston, where he won in 2013 and 2015.

He also has championship pedigree, having earned world silver in 2013 six years before his Doha gold, and has a personal best from 2013 of 2:04:45.

The formidable talent Ethiopia can call upon was made clear when it was confirmed that Desisa will have as teammates Tamirat Tola, Mosinet Geremew and Seifa Tura.

Tola earned Olympic 10,000m bronze in 2016 and world marathon silver in 2017. He set his personal best of 2:03:38 last year.

Geremew took silver behind Desisa at the 2019 World Championships, having finished second at that year’s London Marathon in 2:02:55, the third-fastest time in history.

Tura set his personal best of 2:04:29 last year in Milan before going on to win the Chicago Marathon in 2:06:12.

Uganda, the rising nation in distance running, earned this title in 2013 thanks to their 2012 Olympic champion Stephen Kiprotich. But the 33-year-old hasn’t been selected for Oregon, nor have Stephen Kissa, who ran a national record of 2:04:48 in Hamburg earlier this year, and Victor Kiplangat who was third in the second-fastest time ever by a Ugandan, 2:05:09.

Instead, Filex Chemonges, Fred Musobo and Jackson Kiprop will run the World Championships marathon, according to the Uganda Athletics Federation. So Kiprop, who helped Kiprotich to win the 2013 world title, is back at the World Championships for the first time since 2015.

Kissa, meanwhile, is due to be in Oregon in the 10,000m, where he will run with fellow Ugandan Joshua Cheptegei, the world 5000m and 10,000m record-holder, while Kiplangat is reported to be running the Commonwealth Games marathon.

Abdi Nageeye of the Netherlands and Belgium’s Bashir Abdi earned surprise silver and bronze medals respectively at the Olympics last year, but went on to confirm that their performance in Sapporo was anything but a fluke. Abdi set a European record of 2:03:36 to win the Rotterdam Marathon just two months later, while Nageeye was victorious at the Rotterdam Marathon earlier this year in a Dutch record of 2:04:56, finishing ahead of Abdi.

Both men will line up for the marathon in Oregon, only this time it will be less of a surprise if they reach the podium.

The United States will be looking to the highly consistent figure of Galen Rupp. After taking Olympic 10,000m silver in 2012, Rupp moved to the roads and earned Olympic bronze in 2016.

In 2017 he became the first US man to win the Chicago Marathon since 2002 and finished second at the Boston Marathon. He qualified for Oregon by finishing eighth at last year’s Olympics.

The championships will be in Rupp’s home state, in the same city where he made his first Olympic team in 2008 while he was a student at the University of Oregon.

The other US selections are Elkanah Kibet and Colin Mickow. Kibet, who is with the US military, finished 16th at the 2017 World Championships and set a personal best of 2:11:15 in finishing fourth at last year’s New York marathon.

Mickow is a 32-year-old full-time financial analyst for an organic and natural foods distributor who took up road running six years after finishing his college track career. He qualified for his first international vest after being the top US man home at last year’s Chicago Marathon, where he was sixth in 2:13:31.

Japan’s trio of male runners will be headed by Kengo Suzuki, who set a national record of 2:04:56 in February 2021 at the Lake Biwa marathon in Otsu. Daniel Do Nascimento of Brazil has run a 2:04:51 personal best this year and is another one to watch.

The three-loop World Athletics Championships marathon course only varies by about seven meters between its high and low points and the weather is likely to be considerably cooler than it was in Sapporo or Doha, where the men's marathon had to be held at midnight and the start time temperature was 29C/84F with 51% humidity.

Women's marathon

Ruth Chepngetich will defend her marathon title at the World Athletics Championships Oregon22 on July 18 by virtue of a wild card.

Chepngetich claimed the first gold medal of the 2019 World Championships, clocking 2:32:43 in the steamy heat to gain her first major gold.

She went on to finish third at the 2020 London Marathon before a roller coaster 2021, when she set a world record of 1:04:02 at the Istanbul Half Marathon, failed to finish the Tokyo 2020 Marathon in Sapporo but then won the Chicago Marathon.

At this year’s Nagoya Women's Marathon she won in 2:17:18, just 10 seconds off her personal best and the second-fastest ever women-only marathon.

She will be joined on the Kenyan team in Oregon by Judith Jeptum and Angela Tanui. Jeptum set a French all-comers’ record of 2:19:48 to win the Paris Marathon this year, while Tanui won the 2021 Amsterdam Marathon in 2:17:57.

Ethiopia will be represented by Gotytom Gebreslase, who won the 2021 Berlin Marathon on her debut and finished third in this year’s Tokyo Marathon in 2:18:18, Ababel Yeshaneh, second at the 2019 Chicago Marathon in a personal best of 2:20:51, and Ashete Bekere, third in last year’s London Marathon in 2:18:18, who has run 2:17:58 this year.

USA’s Keira D’Amato, who broke the North American record when winning January’s Houston Marathon in 2:19:12 – taking 24 seconds off the mark set by Deena Kastor in 2006 – has answered a late call to join the host nation’s team following the withdrawal of Olympic bronze medalist Molly Seidel.

Seidel has been suffering from a hip injury that forced her to drop out of the Boston Marathon in April and withdrew from the team after being unable to resolve her issue, giving the 37-year-old D’Amato, who only began serious marathon running in 2017, three weeks to prepare, but she is reported to be in “great shape”.

Her teammates will be Emma Bates, runner-up at last year’s Chicago Marathon, and Sara Hall, who finished second at the 2020 London Marathon and third at last year’s Chicago Marathon.

Japan has named Mizuki Matsuda, who has a personal best of 2:20:52, Mao Ichiyama, who has run 2:21:02, and Hitomi Niiya, who has a best of 2:21:17.

Britain will be represented by Rose Harvey, Olympian Jess Piasecki and Charlotte Purdue, who ran a personal best of 2:23:26 in finishing 10th at last year’s London Marathon.

Other names to watch out for are Bahrain’s Eunice Chumba, who ran 2:20:02 in Seoul in April this year, and Israel’s European 10,000m champion Lonah Salpeter, who won the 2020 Tokyo Marathon in 2:17:45 and was going well in the lead group at last year’s Olympic marathon before dropping down to 66th place in the closing stages.

After also dropping out of the 2019 World Championships marathon, Salpeter will be seeking to make the global impact her talent warrants.

Meanwhile Eritrea’s Nazret Weldu, who has run a personal best of 2:21:56 this year, is another one to watch.

(07/11/2022) Views: 858 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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World Athletics Championships Budapest23

World Athletics Championships Budapest23

Budapest is a true capital of sports, which is one of the reasons why the World Athletics Championships Budapest 2023 is in the right place here. Here are some of the most important world athletics events and venues where we have witnessed moments of sporting history. Throughout the 125-year history of Hungarian athletics, the country and Budapest have hosted numerous...

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Keira D’Amato will be running the marathon in Eugene

How awesome is this!?! Keira D'Amato has been named to the team for the marathon at the World Track and Field Championships! She will be replacing Molly Seidel who unfortunately has an injury. Keira will be joining Sara Hall and Emma Bates to make up the U.S team. I wish Molly a speedy recovery. See you all in Eugene! 

(07/06/2022) Views: 943 ⚡AMP
by Dave Ross
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USA names 151-strong team for World Championships in Oregon

A team of 151 athletes will represent the USA on home soil at the World Athletics Championships Oregon22 on July 15-24.

Multiple global champions and world record-holders feature in the squad as Eugene’s Hayward Field gets ready to welcome the world for the first-ever outdoor World Athletics Championships to be hosted in the USA.

World record-holder and Olympic champion Sydney McLaughlin will take on the former world record-holder and reigning world champion Dalilah Muhammad as they look to further cement the US women’s global dominance in the 400m hurdles final on July 22.

In the men’s shot put on July 17, world record-holder and Olympic champion Ryan Crouser will go after the one title that has so far eluded him – that of world champion – and will take on two-time world champion Joe Kovacs.

Such is the strength of the women’s 800m squad of Athing Mu, Ajee Wilson and Raevyn Rogers, as well as the men’s 200m team of Noah Lyles, Erriyon Knighton, Fred Kerley and Kenny Bednarek, that athletes will be aiming for USA medal sweeps.

Returning to defend the titles they won in Doha in 2019 are Nia Ali (women's 100m hurdles), Donavan Brazier (men's 800m), Christian Coleman (men's 100m), Grant Holloway (men's 110m hurdles), Kovacs (men's shot put), Lyles (men's 200m), Muhammad (women's 400m hurdles), DeAnna Price (women's hammer) and Christian Taylor (men's triple jump).

Making her 10th World Championships appearance will be Allyson Felix, who has 18 world medals, including 13 golds, to her name and will be in the mixed 4x400m pool.

“I couldn’t be prouder to lead this amazing team for this once-in-a-lifetime event,” said USATF CEO Max Siegel. “We have been given the unique opportunity to impact the track and field landscape in the US, and we’ve put our best team forward.”

USA team for Oregon

Women

100m: Aleia Hobbs, Melissa Jefferson, Twanisha Terry

200m: Tamara Clark, Jenna Prandini, Abby Steiner

400m: Talitha Diggs, Kendall Ellis, Lynna Irby

800m: Athing Mu, Raevyn Rogers, Ajee Wilson

1500m: Sinclaire Johnson, Cory McGee, Elle St. Pierre

5000m: Elise Cranny, Emily Infeld, Karissa Schweizer

10,000m: Alicia Monson, Natosha Rogers, Karissa Schweizer

Marathon: Emma Bates, Keira D’Amato, Sara Hall

3000m steeplechase: Emma Coburn, Courtney Frerichs, Courtney Wayment

100m hurdles: Nia Ali, Alia Armstrong, Keni Harrison, Alaysha Johnson

400m hurdles: Shamier Little, Sydney McLaughlin, Dalilah Muhammad, Britton Wilson

Heptathlon: Michelle Atherley, Anna Hall, Kendell Williams, Ashtin Zamzow-Mahler

High jump: Vashti Cunningham, Rachel Glenn, Rachel McCoy

Pole vault: Gabriela Leon, Sandi Morris, Katie Nageotte

Long jump: Quanesha Burks, Tiffany Flynn, Jasmine Moore

Triple jump: Tori Franklin, Jasmine Moore, Keturah Orji

Shot put: Adelaide Aquilla, Chase Ealey, Maggie Ewen, Jessica Woodard

Discus: Valarie Allman, Rachel Dincoff, Veronica Fraley, Laulauga Tausaga-Collins

Hammer: Brooke Andersen, Annette Echikunwoke, Janee Kassanavoid, DeAnna Price

Javelin: Ariana Ince, Maggie Malone, Kara Winger

20km race walk: Robyn Stevens, Miranda Melville

35km race walk: Stephanie Casey, Miranda Melville, Maria Michta-Coffey

4x100m: Celera Barnes, Tamari Davis, Gabby Thomas (plus athletes named in individual sprints)

4x400m: Wadeline Jonathas, Jaide Stepter, Kaylin Whitney (plus athletes named in individual sprints) 

Men

100m: Marvin Bracy, Trayvon Bromell, Christian Coleman, Fred Kerley

200m: Kenny Bednarek, Fred Kerley, Erriyon Knighton, Noah Lyles

400m: Champion Allison, Michael Cherry, Michael Norman, Randolph Ross

800m: Donavan Brazier, Bryce Hoppel, Jonah Koech, Brandon Miller

1500m: Johnny Gregorek, Cooper Teare, Josh Thompson

5000m: Grant Fisher, Woody Kincaid, Abdihamid Nur

10,000m: Grant Fisher, Joe Klecker, Sean McGorty 

Marathon: Elkanah Kibet, Colin Mickow, Galen Rupp

3000m steeplechase: Hillary Bor, Evan Jager, Benard Keter

110m hurdles: Devon Allen, Trey Cunningham, Grant Holloway, Daniel Roberts

400m hurdles: Trevor Bassitt, Rai Benjamin, Khallifah Rosser

Decathlon: Steven Bastien, Kyle Garland, Zach ZiemekHigh jump: Darius Carbin, JuVaughn Harrison, Shelby McEwen

Pole vault: Andrew Irwin, Chris Nilsen, Luke WinderLong jump: Marquis Dendy, Steffin McCarter, Will Williams

Triple jump: Chris Benard, Will Claye, Donald Scott, Christian Taylor

Shot put: Josh Awotunde, Ryan Crouser, Joe Kovacs, Tripp Piperi Discus: Andrew Evans, Sam Mattis, Brian Williams

Hammer: Daniel Haugh, Rudy Winkler, Alex Young

Javelin: Ethan Dabbs, Tim Glover, Curtis Thompson

20km race walk: Nick Christie, Dan Nehnevaj

35km race walk: Nick Christie 

4x100m: Kyree King, Josephus Lyles, Elijah Hall-Thompson (plus athletes named in individual sprints)

4x400m: Bryce Deadmon, Vernon Norwood, Elija Godwin (plus athletes named in individual sprints)

Mixed

4x400m: Allyson Felix, Kennedy Simon, Ismail Turner, Noah Williams (plus athletes named in individual sprints).

(07/06/2022) Views: 791 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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World Athletics Championships Budapest23

World Athletics Championships Budapest23

Budapest is a true capital of sports, which is one of the reasons why the World Athletics Championships Budapest 2023 is in the right place here. Here are some of the most important world athletics events and venues where we have witnessed moments of sporting history. Throughout the 125-year history of Hungarian athletics, the country and Budapest have hosted numerous...

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Molly Seidel Out, Keira D’Amato in for World Championships Marathon

Seidel said last month she had sought a therapeutic use exemption for Adderall, which is banned in competition. 

Keira D’Amato, the American record holder in the marathon, was named to Team USA for the World Championships today, replacing Molly Seidel, according to multiple sources. 

The women’s marathon at the World Championships, to be held in Eugene, Oregon, is on July 18. 

Seidel, who won Olympic bronze last year in Sapporo, Japan, was named to the U.S. squad for the marathon based on that performance. But a hip impingement caused her to drop out of the Boston Marathon in April. 

On June 8, Seidel, 27, posted to her Instagram account that she had been taking Adderall for ADHD since Boston. Adderall is banned for in-competition use by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). Seidel wrote that taking the medication was “life changing,” and she was able to “get the quiet, functioning brain in my day-to-day life that I could previously only achieve with intense physical activity.” 

Seidel had applied to WADA for a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) to be able to take the medication when she was competing, but it had not been granted before the New York Mini 10K—and it wasn’t clear if it would be granted—so she withdrew. 

The reason why her spot is going to D’Amato is not clear, and Runner’s World sought clarification from Seidel, her coach, and her agent. 

D’Amato, 37, has less than three weeks to prepare for a marathon, but she “is in great shape,” according to her agent, Ray Flynn. She ran 2:19:12 in setting the American marathon record in January in Houston. 

She won the BAA 10K last Sunday on a hot day in 31:17. Her Strava training shows she did an 18-miler on June 27 and has been averaging 73 miles per week for the last four weeks. She’s also been racing frequently, finishing third at the New York Mini on June 11. 

On June 21, Runner’s World asked D’Amato if, in light of Seidel’s post, she was doing marathon training and was told she was an alternate for the Worlds team. “No one has contacted me,” she said at that time. 

Emma Bates and Sara Hall are the other two American women in the World Championships marathon. Galen Rupp, Elkanah Kibet, and Colin Mickow are the men. 

USA Track & Field usually names its World Championships marathoners based on a descending order time list. But given many marathons were canceled or postponed in 2021, it announced it would pick top 10 finishers from the Games (Seidel and Rupp) and then top finishers from the Chicago, Boston, and New York City marathons last fall. That decision was controversial because the selection criteria were announced in October after the Chicago and Boston marathons had already taken place. 

(07/02/2022) Views: 673 ⚡AMP
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Twelve Olympians will lead star-studded lineup at 50th anniversary of Mastercard New York Mini 10K

Twelve Olympians and five Paralympians will line up in Central Park for the 50th anniversary of the Mastercard® New York Mini 10K, the world’s original women-only road race, on Saturday, June 11, New York Road Runners (NYRR) announced today.

U.S. Olympians Emily SissonMolly SeidelAliphine Tuliamuk, and Rachel (Schneider) Smith will lead a strong American contingent that will go up against previously announced Olympic, TCS New York City Marathon, and Boston Marathon champion Peres Jepchirchir, United Airlines NYC Half champion and 5K world-record holder Senbere Teferi, and two-time Mini 10K champion Sara Hall.

Sisson will come into the race after claiming her sixth national title last month in an American record 1:07:11 at the USATF Half Marathon Championships. She made her Olympic debut in Tokyo last summer after winning the 10,000 meters at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials, where she broke the 17-year-old Trials record set by Deena Kastor in 2004. She has been very successful in her last three trips to New York, finishing as the runner-up at the United Airlines NYC Half twice and winning the USATF 5K Championships.

“After breaking the American record in the half-marathon, I’m excited to step down in distance and compete in the Mastercard® New York Mini 10K for the first time,” Sisson said. “It will be a privilege to take part in such a powerful event that has paved the way for so many women over the last 50 years.”

Seidel owns a bronze medal from the Tokyo Olympic marathon last year and in her last trip to New York set an American course record and recorded a fourth-place finish at the TCS New York City Marathon. Tuliamuk won the 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials and then gave birth to her daughter before running in the Olympic marathon in Tokyo. She will be making her first trip to New York since 2019 and is coming off winning the 25km national title, bringing her national title count to 11. Smith represented the U.S. at the Tokyo Olympics in the 5,000 meters after finishing third in the distance at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials.

The deep U.S. women’s contingent also includes American marathon record-holder Keira D’Amato, the top American finisher at the last two Boston Marathons Nell Rojas, 2019 New York Mini 10K runner-up Stephanie Bruce, U.S. national champion Erika Kemp, and the top American finisher at the 2022 United Airlines NYC Half Lindsay Flanagan.

Returning to the event 10 years after her victory will be Kenya’s Edna Kiplagat, a two-time world champion in the marathon who won the 2010 New York City, 2014 London, and 2017 Boston marathons, and was the runner-up in Boston in 2019 and 2021.

“Winning the New York City Marathon 12 years ago changed my life, and now, 10 years after also winning the Mini 10K, I still enjoy my racing and am happy to still be competing at a high level,” Kiplagat said. “NYRR always invites the highest quality fields, so I always like lining up in New York with the best in the world. There are so many inspiring women who have participated in this race over the years who set a positive example for everyone – both runners and non-runners – and I’m lucky to be part of such a prestigious group.”

Last year’s TCS New York City Marathon runner-up and Mastercard® New York Mini 10K runner-up Viola Cheptoo of Kenya and former NCAA 10,000-meter champion Sharon Lokedi of Kenya will contend for the title as well.

The professional wheelchair division will be headlined by two-time Paralympic medalist and three-time Mastercard® Mini 10K defending champion Susannah Scaroni. Since the addition of the professional wheelchair division in 2018, Scaroni is the only athlete to have won the race.

“The Mastercard New York Mini 10K is a special one to me for so many reasons, and I’m excited at the chance to race on what will be a milestone day for women’s running in Central Park,” Scaroni said. “Not only is the Mini 10K the world’s original women-only road race, but it is also one of the only women-only wheelchair races at the present time, which will hopefully pave the way for future generations of women’s wheelchair racers in the next 50 years.”

Lining up against Scaroni will be U.S. Paralympians Jenna Fesemyer, Yen Hoang, Hannah Dederick, and Eva Houston.

The Mini 10K, which began in 1972 as the Crazylegs Mini Marathon, was the first women-only road race and has gone on to garner more than 200,000 total finishers to date. Former NYRR President Fred Lebow named the race after the miniskirt, which back then was in vogue. A total of 72 women finished the first race, and three weeks later, Title IX was signed into law, guaranteeing girls and women the right to participate in school sports and creating new opportunities for generations of female athletes.

The Mastercard® New York Mini 10K will offer $45,000 in total prize money, including $10,000 to the winner of the open division and $2,500 to the winner of the wheelchair division. The professional athlete races will be streamed live on USATF.TV beginning at 7:40 a.m. ET. Mastercard® will serve as title sponsor of the event for the second time, and as part of its on-going partnership with NYRR will also serve as the presenting sponsor of professional women’s athlete field.

(06/03/2022) Views: 1,032 ⚡AMP
by Running USA
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New York Mini 10K

New York Mini 10K

Join us for the NYRR New York Mini 10K, a race just for women. This race was made for you! It’s the world’s original women-only road race, founded in 1972 and named for the miniskirt, and it empowers women of all ages and fitness levels to be active and to look and feel great on the run. Every woman who...

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Celebrating 50 Years of the Mini

The Mastercard New York Mini 10K began in 1972 as the first women-only road race, known as the Crazylegs Mini Marathon. Since then, the Mini has had more than 200,000 finishers, and this year's event will be the 50th running.  

You can register for the Mastercard New York Mini 10K, set for Saturday, June 11 in Central Park, and be part of the historic anniversary celebration. Youth ages 8-18 can register for the free Kids Run at the Mastercard New York Mini 10K Stage 2 or Stage 3.We share five "Mini Moments” that define the history of the Mini.

The First Mini and First 10K 

On June 3, 1972, the first women-only road race, the six-mile Crazylegs Mini Marathon, made its debut. There were 72 finishers—a huge number at the time. Three weeks later, Title IX was signed into law, guaranteeing women the right to participate in school sports and creating new opportunities for generations of female athletes.

In 1975, the Mini distance shifted from 6 miles to 10K (6.2 miles) to align with a standard racing distance for roads and track. 

Extraordinary 5-Time Champions

Two women, Grete Waitz of Norway and Tegla Loroupe of Kenya, each won the Mini an amazing five times. Waitz—also a nine-time winner of the New York City Marathon—scored her fifth victory in 1984 and Loroupe got her fifth Mini win in 2000.This year’s pro field will feature Olympians and other world-class athletes including defending champion Sara Hall and Boston and TCS New York City Marathon champion Peres Jepchirchir.

The Mini Grows and Grows

In 1998, the 100,000th Mini finisher crossed the line, and 20 years later, in 2018, the race saw its 200,000th finisher. This year’s Mastercard New York Mini 10K will have an estimated 10,000 finishers.

Youth at the Mini

In 2016, the first Girls Run at the NYRR New York Mini took place with hundreds of finishers on an age-appropriate course. A wheelchair division was added in 20xx. This year youth of all genders will take part in the Kids Run at the Mastercard New York Mini 10K.

Record-Setting Wheelchair Races

In 2018, Susannah Scaroni (above, center) won the first wheelchair division at the Mini, setting a world-best of 22:48 for the distance; she broke that record in 2019. 

The history of the Mini, and its return at full capacity with youth events this year, point to a bright future for women and girls in running.

(05/31/2022) Views: 826 ⚡AMP
by Gordon Bakoulis
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New York Mini 10K

New York Mini 10K

Join us for the NYRR New York Mini 10K, a race just for women. This race was made for you! It’s the world’s original women-only road race, founded in 1972 and named for the miniskirt, and it empowers women of all ages and fitness levels to be active and to look and feel great on the run. Every woman who...

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Hellen Obiri and Eilish McColgan will renew rivalry at the Great Manchester run

Last September Hellen Obiri beat Eilish McColgan by six seconds in the Great North Run and this Sunday (May 22) the duo renew their rivalry over the shorter distance of 10km at the Great Manchester Run.

McColgan has been in brilliant form, with a UK 5km record at the start of this month followed by victory in the Vitality London 10,000 where she missed Paula Radcliffe’s British record of 30:21 by only two seconds.

Obiri’s achievements make her the athlete to beat, though. As well as winning two world 5000m titles on the track, the Kenyan is the reigning Commonwealth 5000m champion and world cross-country gold medalist.

McColgan chose to give last week’s Night of the 10,000m PBs in London a miss in order to focus on training in the French Pyrenees. She will hope to push Obiri close again but the quality fields assembled for Manchester mean this won’t just be a two-horse race.

Ruth Chepnegetich defied horrendous heat and humidity to win the world marathon title in Doha in 2019 and the Kenyan has clocked 64:02 for the half-marathon, which was a world record when she ran it 13 months ago but has since been beaten by Letesenbet Gidey.

Sara Hall of the United States will be familiar to British fans after her runner-up performance at the 2020 London Marathon. She also held the US half-marathon record until recently, has a marathon best of 2:20:32 and is looking for a strong run in Manchester on Sunday.

Gerda Steyn, the South African ultra-marathon specialist, is also set to test her speed over 10km.

In addition to McColgan there are of course a number of other Brits in the elite women’s race. They include Jess Piasecki, the Stockport Harriers athlete who went No.2 on the UK all-time marathon rankings earlier this year with 2:22:27.

Steph Twell, the Tokyo Olympic marathon runner, is racing in Manchester ahead of the European Cup 10,000m in France a few days later.

After finishing ninth in the Boston Marathon in 2:25:26 in April, Charlotte Purdue also lines up in Manchester. Look out, too, for Lauren Heyes, Lily Partridge and Calli Thackery, the latter of whom is also racing at the Diamond League in Birmingham 24 hours earlier.

Like Thackery, Stewart McSweyn is also racing in Birmingham the day before the Manchester event as he continues to try to race himself into shape following a bout of Covid. He is joined by fellow Australian Jack Rayner plus New Zealand brothers Jake and Zane Robertson and Spaniard Antonio Abadia in the men’s 10km.

Sadly Mo Farah pulled out of the event following his under-par run at the Vitality London 10,000 earlier this month. But the winner that day, Ellis Cross, is set to race in Manchester and all eyes will be on him to see if he can repeat his form.

Mo Aadan, the Brit who finished third at the Vitality London 10,000, is in Manchester too. Further British contenders, meanwhile, include Ben Connor, Chris Thompson, Adam Craig, Josh Griffiths, Ross Millington, Phil Sesemann and Andrew Heyes.

(05/20/2022) Views: 984 ⚡AMP
by Jason Henderson
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Great Manchester Run

Great Manchester Run

The Great Manchester Run, established in 2003, is an annual 10 kilometer run through Greater Manchester and is the largest 10K in Europe. Usually held in mid-May, it is the third-largest mass participation running event in the United Kingdom behind the Great North Run and the London Marathon. It is part of the Great Runs series of road races in...

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Peres Jepchirchir, Senbere Teferi and Sara Hall Headline 50th New York Mini 10K

With one month to go until the 50th anniversary of the Mastercard® New York Mini 10K, New York Road Runners (NYRR) announced today that Olympic, TCS New York City Marathon, and Boston Marathon champion Peres Jepchirchir, United Airlines NYC Half champion and 5K world-record holder Senbere Teferi, and two-time Mastercard® New York Mini 10K champion Sara Hall will headline the professional athlete field for this year’s race.

The Mini 10K, which began in 1972 as the first women-only road race known as the Crazylegs Mini Marathon, has gone on to garner more than 200,000 total finishers to date. Former NYRR President Fred Lebow named the race after the miniskirt, which back then was in vogue. A total of 72 women finished the first race, and three weeks later, Title IX was signed into law, guaranteeing girls and women the right to participate in school sports and creating new opportunities for generations of female athletes.

Jepchirchir, of Kenya, is the only athlete – male or female – to have won the Olympic, New York City, and Boston marathons, and is also a two-time world champion in the half marathon. Last year, she won gold in the Tokyo Olympic marathon by 16 seconds, and then four months later ran the third-fastest time in TCS New York City Marathon history (2:22:39) to win the race in her U.S. debut. In April, in a back-and-forth race that came down to the final mile, she fended off Ethiopian Ababel Yeshaneh to take the Boston Marathon title in her debut in the event and will now be racing the Mastercard® New York Mini 10K for the first time.

“I have heard about the Mini and how it is a wonderful celebration of women and running,” Jepchirchir said. “It is very important to me that I use my success to inspire young women and girls coming after me. It is very special to be able to return to New York City after my marathon victories in New York and Boston to be a part of the 50th anniversary of this race.”

Teferi, of Ethiopia, is a two-time Olympian, two-time world championships silver medalist, and the 5K world-record holder. Earlier this year, she set both the course and event records at the United Airlines NYC Half, finishing in a time of 1:07:35 to win the race. She followed that up a month later by winning the B.A.A. 5K in a course-record time of 14:49. In her NYRR race debut, Teferi won the 2019 UAE Healthy Kidney 10K with a time of 30:59, breaking the previous course record set in 2014 by Joyce Chepkirui.

“My first race in the United States was in New York City in 2019, and I broke the event record at the Healthy Kidney 10K in Central Park,” Teferi said. “Then, earlier this spring, I broke the event record at the United Airlines NYC Half, again crossing the finish line in Central Park. I cannot promise another record on June 11, but I am happy to return to Central Park for my first Mini 10K, and look forward to be joined by thousands of my sisters-in-running.”

Hall, of the United States, who has 10 national titles to her name, ran what was then an American record-breaking 1:07:15 half marathon at the Houston Half Marathon in January. She was the runner-up at the 2020 London Marathon and that same year clocked what was then the second-fastest marathon ever by an American woman at The Marathon Project. She is the two-time reigning champion of the Mastercard® New York Mini 10K, having won the 2019 event that also served as the USATF 10 km championships and then following it up in 2021 with another victory.

“My three races at the Mini have all aligned with big important milestones in the history of the event: The first time hosting the USA Championships in 2019, the first big NYRR race coming out of the pandemic in 2021, and now the 50th anniversary in 2022,” Hall said. “I’m very aware that many of the opportunities I’ve had as an athlete are because of the groundbreaking work of the women who came before me, and of my duty to inspire the young women who will follow me, including my daughters. I will do everything I can to honor all of them with another top finish on June 11.”

The Mastercard® New York Mini 10K will offer $45,000 in total prize money, including $10,000 to the winner of the open division and $2,500 to the winner of the wheelchair division. The professional athlete races will be streamed live on USATF.TV beginning at 7:40 a.m. ET. Mastercard® will serve as title sponsor of the event for the second time, and as part of its on-going partnership with NYRR will also serve as the presenting sponsor of professional women’s athlete field.

To mark the 50th anniversary, several legends and pioneers of the sport will also be joining the Mastercard® New York Mini 10K race weekend festivities this year, including Jacki Marsh-Dixon, the first Mini 10K champion; Kathrine Switzer, the 1974 New York City Marathon champion who also ran the first Mini 10K; Deena Kastor, Olympic medalist and 2004 Mini 10K champion; and Lynn Blackstone, Pat Barrett, Jane Muhrcke, and Nina Kuscsik, four of the “Six Who Sat” at the 1972 New York City Marathon. Both Switzer and Blackstone will run the Mini 10K again this year.

(05/12/2022) Views: 974 ⚡AMP
by Letsrun
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New York Mini 10K

New York Mini 10K

Join us for the NYRR New York Mini 10K, a race just for women. This race was made for you! It’s the world’s original women-only road race, founded in 1972 and named for the miniskirt, and it empowers women of all ages and fitness levels to be active and to look and feel great on the run. Every woman who...

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Emily Sisson breaks the American Women half marathon record

Fifteen years after she won a national junior title in Indianapolis on the track, Emily Sisson returned here to set an American record in the women’s half-marathon on the road.

Sisson finished in 1 hour, 7 minutes, 11 seconds in the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon on Saturday.

The 30-year-old runner broke the American record of 1:07:15 set by Sara Hall on Jan. 16.

Sisson was paced throughout by male runner Brian Harvey, who finished in 1:07:12.

It was the first in-person Mini since 2019 after the annual race was twice canceled during the pandemic.

Hall’s time had broken the American record of 1:07:25 set by Notre Dame graduate Molly Huddle in 2018. Sisson twice nearly bettered that – clocking 1:07:30 in 2019 and 1:07:26 in 2020 – and finally secured the record on a breezy morning with temperatures in the low 50s.

Sisson, an NCAA and Big East champion while representing Providence, won the U.S. Olympic Trials at 10,000 meters last year and finished 10th at Tokyo.

In 2007, she won a USA junior title in the 5,000 meters at IUPUI’s Carroll Stadium, just a few blocks from where the Mini finished at Military Park.

Andrew (Kremer) Pomaranski, a Bishop Chatard graduate, finished second to Sisson in 1:13:12.

Pomaranski, 39, a mother of three who now lives in Michigan, broke a 10-year-old personal best. She was 10th in January’s Houston Marathon in 2:33:35, third-fastest ever by a native Hoosier. While at Miami (Ohio) in college, she set an American junior (under-20) record in the steeplechase.

(05/07/2022) Views: 1,130 ⚡AMP
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OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon

OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon

The mission of the 500 Festival is to produce life-enriching events and programs while celebrating the spirit and legacy of the Indianapolis 500 and fostering positive impact on the city of Indianapolis and state of Indiana. As an organization providing multiple events and programs, many of which are free to attend and impact over 500,000 people annually, our mission to...

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Kenenisa Bekele and Sara Hall drop out of the Boston Marathon

The Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) has announced updates to the professional fields at the 126th Boston Marathon in two weeks. Previous headliners Kenenisa Bekele, Titus Ekiru and Sara Hall have all announced that they will not be running, due to ongoing injuries. Ethiopia’s Sisay Lemma and Birhanu Legese have both been added.

Hall posted on her Instagram that her knee tendon has been aggravated since she tripped on a run in February, landing on a rock. She insists that she has done everything to make it to the line in Boston but does not want to risk the chance of a setback before the World Championships in Eugene, Ore. this July.

Among other big names to drop out of the women’s field are: 2019 Valencia Marathon champion Roza Dereje (ETH); 2019 Ottawa Marathon winner Tigist Girma (ETH); 2021 NYC Marathon sixth-place finisher Kellyn Taylor (USA) and sub-2:20 marathoner Zeineba Yimer (ETH).

Kenya’s Ekiru was the second-fastest elite male in the field, behind Bekele, running the fastest marathon time of 2021 (2:02:57 in Milan). Ekiru has struggled to come back from an ongoing injury he suffered at the RAK Half Marathon in February, which forced him out.

Bekele has been very silent on social media since his sixth-place finish at the 2021 New York Marathon. The reasoning for his Boston withdrawal has not been announced; the former four-time world-record holder continues to fight Father Time, turning 40 this June.

Legese of Ethiopia has been added to the men’s field. He is a two-time Tokyo Marathon champion with a personal best of 2:02:48. Lemma is the other addition to the men’s field: he won the 2021 London Marathon and has previous wins in Berlin and Tokyo and a PB of 2:03:36.

For the first time in almost three years, the prestigious Boston Marathon will return to its traditional Patriots’ Day date of April 18. 

(04/06/2022) Views: 785 ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson
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Sara Hall on Tokyo Marathon, Her Busy Schedule, & What’s Written on Her Bathroom Mirror Right Now

Few professional runners will have a busier first seven months of 2022 than Sara Hall. The 38-year-old American kicked off the year by running 67:15 to break the American half marathon record in Houston on January 16 and on March 6 ventured to Tokyo in an attempt to break the American record in the marathon. While Hall was on record pace through halfway (69:29), she faded over the second half but still ran 2:22:56 to finish 8th overall in the Japanese capital.

Hall is not resting on her laurels, however, as she will race the NYC Half on Sunday before tackling the Boston Marathon on April 18 and the World Championships marathon in Eugene on July 18. LetsRun.com caught up with Hall after she returned home from Tokyo last week to discuss her racing schedule, how she keeps improving deep into her 30s, how much faster she thinks Americans can run with the supershoes, and what goals she has written on her bathroom mirror.

You ran the Tokyo Marathon over the weekend. I assume you’re back stateside at this point. How are you feeling, and how is your body feeling after the race?

It feels pretty good. I would say pretty similar to other flat marathons I’ve done, maybe a little bit more sore on my right side, just with my knee, I think it’s been pulling a little more weight. But thankfully the knee came out of it really well and that was the main concern going in. And so I’m really excited to regroup toward the NYC Half and Boston, assuming I can stay healthy and have good training.

I emailed Ryan (Hall’s husband and coach) before the race and he mentioned that you fell and injured that knee in training a few weeks ago. How much did it affect your preparations for Tokyo, and how much, if at all, did it affect you during the race?

It didn’t affect me at all in the race. I didn’t feel it at all, thankfully. But it was one of those weird things where it just kind of dragged on. I didn’t expect it to be as much of an issue as it was but it was a pretty big setback at a pretty important time. It was hard to quantify how much it affected [my buildup] but I didn’t get in as much in the fourth and third weeks before the race. 

With 10 days out from the race, I was feeling really good and it was finally responding really well to training. So I felt really good going into the race and was optimistic that all the training I had done prior to the knee was still in me and I’d be okay and I still wanted to stick to my original goal and stuff. But unfortunately, I wasn’t quite able to hold the pace I thought I would be capable of out there.

You just ran Tokyo and you’ve got a pretty busy schedule in 2022. You’ve got the NYC Half next weekend and then Boston and then the Worlds in July. You didn’t have to run Boston, but you are running it, so what made you want to run that race?

Well because it’s Boston. I’ve only gotten to run Boston once, it was absolutely incredible as an American out there and [a race where] I really saw Ryan come alive running in his career, probably his favorite spot. The one time I ran it, it was off really limited training off a stress fracture, so I didn’t really get the full experience because I crashed and burned pretty hard. But yeah, I think also having the chance to compete in a marathon, I definitely want some more opportunities for that. I really loved London [in 2020, when Hall finished 2nd] where I just got to compete out there and time was out the window. I think [ahead of] Worlds, [Boston] gives me another opportunity to do that. But really it’s just for the fun of it. I just love racing marathons and am really excited to experience it out there.

Your best marathons so far have come on flat courses. You mentioned you didn’t run as well as you liked in Boston (in 2019, when Hall was 15th), that was also coming off of injury. Do you think you’re a better flat runner than hill runner? And do you expect you might be able to do better on the hills this time around? Have you changed anything that you think might be able to help you succeed on the hills in Boston?

I feel good about the uphills. I do need some more downhill training between now and then, especially because I was starting to do that right when the knee happened, and then that was the absolute worst thing for the knee at the time so I definitely feel a little behind on that, and I think that’s a big factor in Boston to handle the pounding early on of the downhills. It’s a net downhill course. So looking to continue that, and I’m going to really need to stay on top of my recovery, my protein intake with the MuscleTech Pure Series because that eccentric load just really beats you up, so it’s just a fine balance with that. But I’m hoping also the supershoes factor will help, just because it’s my first hilly marathon in a super-cushioned shoe and that, I know from training, helps with the pounding component.

You turn 39 a few days before the Boston Marathon, but you’re not really slowing down very much – you just ran an American record in the half marathon in January. How much longer do you think you can keep going at this level?

It’s a good question. It is kind of surreal to think I’m going to be a masters [athlete] in a year. [laughs] I would have never thought I’d still be competing as a masters. It’s something I try not to think about – I learned this from Terrence Mahon, one of my coaches early on. Deena [Kastor] was joking about being old and he was like, “Deena, once you start saying you’re old, you start the clock.”

I was only, like, 23 at the time, but for some reason that stuck with me, that what you speak about yourself and expect makes a big difference. So I’ve just tried to be really intentional about not joking about that or expecting to slow down. My body’s still handling training really well, I’m finding ways to train smarter because I can’t really train harder or necessarily do more than I’m doing. Obviously my therapist John Ball in Phoenix has helped me so much with staying injury-free. That’s really the biggest limiter. Later in life, you can keep building aerobic capacity for a lot of years, but it’s really just can you stay healthy? So that’s a big focus. Recovering from training, obviously protein intake with MuscleTech, the recovery part is just an art that I’ve continued to try to perfect over the years. So I’m optimistic that my best marathons are still ahead. 

You mentioned training smarter because there’s a limit to how hard you can train. Can you give me an example of something that you feel has helped you in that area to train smarter?

There’s some outside-the-box-stuff I do that I don’t really talk about because they’re my secret weapons. But I feel like those things are really what has allowed me to have the realistic jump I had in Berlin (in 2019 when Hall lowered her pb from 2:26 to 2:22) and I’ve really continued to do more and more of that type of training. They’re kind of secret, but I think what’s helped me is getting outside the groupthink of marathon training in the US. And that goes back to running Boston and Worlds and all these races. There’s a culture of we do things a certain way, but for me, I’ve been able to train in Kenya and Ethiopia and I’m just a curious person. I like to come up with outside-the-box stuff and Ryan’s similar. So I think some of that has really benefited me, having different perspectives and trying different things. 

Since the supershoes came along a few years ago, we’ve seen the half marathon and marathon world records have drop quite precipitously. Recently, we’ve also seen the American records in those events have been lowered in those events, but not quite as much. How much lower do you think those records can go? Now that pretty much every American has access to some form of supershoe, what kind of times do you think Americans can run in those events?

That’s a good question. I think how I felt in Houston after that (where Hall ran 67:15 to break the AR in the half and Keira D’Amato ran 2:19:12 to break the AR in the marathon), and this sounds ambitious, but Josh [Cox, her agent] and Ryan and I are like, maybe breaking 2:18, that might be possible at some point. I’m not there yet, but thinking if you can just keep chipping away little bits. Definitely, the later stages of the marathon, [the shoes] just save your legs. And I think if I can do that, definitely some of these other people – Keira, the people that are running well – can do that too.

As far as the half, I think I can break 67:00. I’m sure other people can too. So we’ll see. Probably under 66:00 eventually, which sounds nuts.

Maybe not as nuts now that the world record is 62:52, right?

Correct, yeah.

You’ve run all of the World Marathon Majors. You’re running the World Championships this year. I know you’d like to run the Olympics one day. Are there any other races on your bucket list that you haven’t gotten to do yet?

Really it’s the Olympics at this point for me. I’d like to podium at a major in the US, but I’ve gotten to experience them all. NYC Half is one that surprisingly I’ve never run and I’ve won all the marquee New York races like the Fifth Avenue Mile and Millrose Games and Mini 10K and Dash to the Finish 5K. And obviously, the marathon is the hardest one to win, so that one and the Half, that would be amazing to go for those at some point. But just to experience the Half will be fun next weekend.

I have one more question. You’re famous for writing your goals on your bathroom mirror. So I’ve got to ask you: what’s written there right now?

Well my Tokyo goals got erased. So now I just have Boston and a picture of a medal and Worlds and a picture of a medal there right now. Those are really gonna be really insanely hard goals. And I think my personality is one where going into Tokyo, it wasn’t an ideal buildup but I’m still gonna just go out there and go for it.

And that has its hard parts with that personality, because you struggle with disappointment a lot. Medalling in those races, that’s a really big ask. But at the same time, you do have those moments where it does come together like those Houston days or the London Marathon days, so I’m going to keep taking big swings and having fun with the process.

 

(03/21/2022) Views: 617 ⚡AMP
by Let’s Run
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Rhonex Kipruto will lead Kenyan cast for New York Half Marathon

Rhonex Kipruto will be hoping for a bright start to the season when he lines up for the New York Half Marathon in United States of America on Sunday.

He is among elite athletes who will be battling it out for top honours in the prestigious race which has attracted a good number of entries.

The race will begin in Brooklyn at Prospect Park before taking runners across the East River via the Manhattan Bridge then head to Lower East Side, up to Midtown, through Times Square and conclude at Central Park.

Kipruto, who has been training in Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet County will be competing against his compatriots who include Edward Cheserek who has been training in Kaptagat and Stephen Sambu who is also in the US.

The trio will face stiff competition from Ethiopians Tariku Bekele, Birhanu Dare and Ashenafi Birhana, Galen Rupp and Shadrack Kipchirchir from USA among other top athletes.

In an interview with Nation Sport, Kipruto said he has trained well and since this is his first race this season, he wants to gauge his performance as he sets his eyes on the World Championships slated for July 16-24 in Eugene, USA.

“The race will be competitive but I will be out to gauge my performance as we start another season where I’m looking forward to a better one compared to last year. I have trained well but I can’t say that my training is 100 percent,” said Kipruto.

He revealed that last year he participated in various races but this year he wants to concentrate on preparing for the World Championships thus he will reduce the number of races he will feature in.

“Last year I participated in many races and I came to realise they were not of help and that’s why I want to run few races as I prepare to make the team that will be participating in World Championships in July,” he added.

Kipruto was a late inclusion in the Tokyo Olympics team for the 10,000m race after withdrawal of Geoffrey Kamworor which led to his dismal performance where he finished ninth in 27:52.78.

In the women's category, Irene Cheptai will be joined by two-time world marathon champion Edna Kiplagat, Sharon Lokedi and Grace Kahura.

Cheptai, who is also starting her season revealed that she has been training well in Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet and she just wants to run a good race as she also sets her sights on World Championships.

“I’m going into the race to just see how I will perform and with such a good field of athletes, I will be eyeing a good race. This is part of my preparations for global events like World Championships and Commonwealth Games,” said Cheptai who finished sixth at Tokyo Olympic Games in the 10,000m after timing 30:44.00.

The Kenyan athletes will be competing against Ethiopia’s Senbere Teferi, USA’s Sara Hall, Charlotte Purdue among others. 

(03/19/2022) Views: 1,659 ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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United Airlines NYC Half-Marathon

United Airlines NYC Half-Marathon

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

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A word from Sara Hall who placed 8th at the Tokyo Marathon

You only regret the shots you don’t take. 

Let it rip, left it all out there in Tokyo Marathon. Went out faster than I ever have before with a great group, but wheels came off and ended up 8th in 2:22:56. No regrets, and grateful for the opportunity to run in this beautiful city and country that inspires me every time I visit! 

So proud to represent asics which embodies so much about what I love in Japanese culture- humble commitment to excellence and serving others. Inspired to keep perfecting my craft just as they do theirs’.

Thank you, Tokyo!

(Sara Hall posted this yesterday on Facebook)

 

 

(03/07/2022) Views: 1,005 ⚡AMP
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Kipchoge and Kosgei race to Japanese all-comers' records in Tokyo

World record-holders Eliud Kipchoge and Brigid Kosgei recorded another two of the fastest marathons of all time in Tokyo on Sunday (6), running 2:02:40 and 2:16:02 respectively on their return to Japan.

Back in the country where they claimed their respective Olympic gold and silver medals seven months ago, they both used their great experience to leave their rivals behind in the closing kilometres and break the Japanese all-comers' records in the Tokyo Marathon, the first World Athletics Elite Platinum Label road race of the 2022 calendar.

Kipchoge’s performance is the fourth-best ever behind his own world record of 2:01:39 set in Berlin in 2018, while Kosgei’s is a time that only she with her world record of 2:14:04 from Chicago in 2019 and Paula Radcliffe with her 2:15:25 from London in 2003 have ever beaten.

Kenya’s world bronze medallist Amos Kipruto had remained with Kipchoge until 36km and continued running solo to a PB of 2:03:13 in second, while Ethiopia’s Olympic and world medallist Tamirat Tola was third in the men's race in 2:04:14.

In the women’s race, Ethiopia’s 2019 Berlin Marathon winner Ashete Bekere was runner-up this time in a PB of 2:17:58, while another winner in Berlin – 2021 champion Gotytom Gebreslase – was third, 20 seconds behind her compatriot, in a PB of 2:18:18.

Although missing his targeted own Japanese record, Kengo Suzuki had another strong performance, running 2:05:28 to finish fourth as 22 athletes went sub-2:09. A total of 50 runners, including 43 Japanese athletes, dipped under 2:15, while in the women’s race the top five went sub-2:20, 13 went under 2:30 and Mao Ichiyama with 2:21:02 in sixth led the list of 13 Japanese athletes to go sub-2:40 on a sunny and cool morning.

Despite all he has achieved in the sport so far, marathon great Kipchoge has set himself another aim of winning each of the six Abbott World Marathon Majors. After four London wins, three Berlin victories and one Chicago triumph, he added Tokyo to the list on Sunday and will now aim for Boston and New York City at some point in the future to compete the set.

With his winning time in Tokyo, Kipchoge also extended his list of all-comers’ records, having now run the fastest ever marathons on German, British and Japanese soil with some of those majors wins. Only he with his world record and 2:02:37 run in London in 2019, plus Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele with 2:01:41 in Berlin in 2019, have ever gone faster than the Kenyan’s winning time in Japan’s capital.

The race had been fast from the start and the leaders – with Kipchoge in control at the front of the pack behind the pacemakers – were well under world record pace as they passed 5km in 14:17. That pointed to a predicted 2:00:13 finishing time, but one based on a first 5km featuring a substantial downhill. At 10km the clock showed 28:37, with Ethiopia’s Shura Kitata dropped by that point, the 2020 London Marathon winner having struggled to keep in touch from 8km. A course mishap that saw runners go slightly off track just after 10km gave Kitata the chance to close the gap but he was soon dropped again from a lead group that featured Kipchoge, Kipruto and Tola, together with Ethiopia’s world silver medallist Mosinet Geremew and Kenya’s Jonathan Korir.

That five-strong pack remained together through 15km in 43:16, 20km in 57:53 and half way in 1:01:03, with the world record looking less of a target.

Geremew had been right on Kipchoge’s shoulder up to that point but he dropped back slightly at around 23km and one kilometre later the world silver medallist – who sits fourth on the world marathon all-time list with the 2:02:55 he ran in London in 2019 – pulled up and started to walk, with his hands on his head.

When the final pacemaker stopped at 27km, Kipchoge continued to push ahead and the race was down to three: Kipchoge, Kipruto and Tola, who started to lose touch 2km later. Kipchoge led through 30km in 2:02:09 and at this point a determined Suzuki had caught Kitata and was a couple of minutes behind the leaders.

Kipchoge and Kipruto were side-by-side through 35km in 1:41:30 and then Kipchoge began to make his move. He was a stride ahead at 36km and that increased to around five seconds over the next kilometre as the athletes made a turn and began running into a headwind. But he hung on to record the fastest marathon ever run in Japan by over a minute and claim a 33-second victory.

“I am really happy,” said two-time Olympic marathon winner Kipchoge. “I am excited to be here in Japan, especially after winning the Olympic Games in Sapporo. I really appreciated the crowd.”

Before the race Kipchoge had written 'ST:RO:NG' instead of numbers on his finish time prediction card and the 37-year-old felt he had achieved his aim.

“I said I wanted to run strong in Japan and I did, I ran a course record,” he said. “I am really happy I won another major marathon.”

Kosgei, too, has multiple major marathon wins to her name, having triumphed twice in London and twice in Chicago. After securing silver at the Olympics behind her compatriot Peres Jepchirchir, she finished fourth in London just two months later but was back on top in Tokyo.

The women's race record had been held by Lonah Chemtai Salpeter with the 2:17:45 she set on a slightly different course in 2020 and that time always looked under threat. The leaders were on 2:15:44 pace for the first downhill 5km and then passed 10km in 32:14.

By that point, Kosgei was running as part of a larger mixed group along with fellow women’s race leaders Gebreslase and Bekere, plus Kenya’s Angela Tanui and Ethiopia’s Hiwot Gebrekidan. A chase group featuring Ichiyama and her compatriot Hitomi Niiya, who won the first Tokyo Marathon in 2007, plus Ethiopia’s Helen Bekele and the USA’s 2020 London Marathon runner-up Sara Hall was 30 seconds back.

The same group of five led through 15km in 48:21 and reached half way in 1:08:06. At 25km, passed by the leaders in 1:20:48, chase group athletes Ichiyama and Hall remained on national record pace but those aims began to move out of reach a short while later.

Kosgei was still in control with Gebreslase tracking her, and the pair had broken away by 35km, with 1:53:08 on the clock. Kosgei missed her drink at that point but she didn’t seem to mind as she forged ahead while Gebreslase dropped off the pace. Kosgei had broken away by 37km and went on unchallenged to record another magnificent mark.

Bekere – who ran 2:18:18 when finishing third at last year’s London Marathon – came through to claim the runner’s up spot and improve her PB by 20 seconds while Gebreslase also had the run of her life to match her compatriot’s former PB of 2:18:18, building on her 2:20:09 debut performance in Berlin.

Tanui was fourth in 2:18:42 and Gebrekidan fifth in 2:19:10, while Ichiyama secured sixth in 2:21:02, Niiya seventh in 2:21:17 and Hall eighth in 2:22:56.

With their respective 2:05:28 and 2:21:02 performances, Suzuki and Ichiyama achieved a combined time of 4:26:30 – the fastest recorded combined result for a married couple running in the same race.

Before the race, Kosgei had said her target time was “a secret” and although she went on to record the third-fastest ever women's marathon, she later explained how she felt the wind in the latter stages of the race had prevented her from again attacking 2:14.

(03/05/2022) Views: 995 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Tokyo Marathon

Tokyo Marathon

The Tokyo Marathon is an annual marathon sporting event in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. It is an IAAF Gold Label marathon and one of the six World Marathon Majors. Sponsored by Tokyo Metro, the Tokyo Marathon is an annual event in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. It is an IAAF Gold Label marathon and one of the six World...

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Olympian Ryan Hall Shared His Best Advice for Working Out Before a Big Race

The record-breaking marathoner offered his tips for optimizing your pre-race routine, as well as some common mistakes to avoid.

Former Olympic athlete Ryan Hall might have packed on the muscle and set his sights on mastering feats of strength since retiring as a professional long distance runner, but he still holds the American record for fastest marathon and the world record for fastest half-marathon. All of which is to say, if you're preparing for a race yourself, there are worse people to turn to for advice. 

In the lengthy caption to a new Instagram post, which sees him coaching his wife and fellow ultrarunner Sara through her last training session prior to the Tokyo Marathon this coming Sunday, Hall shared his top tips on what to do—and what is best avoided—while working out before a big race day.

Hall notes that it can be tempting to go hard in order to try and and "prove" your fitness to yourself as you approach the big day, but that you need to resist this urge, as it can have a detrimental effect on your performance when it really matters. "This is where I see the most mistakes made," he says. "Whether it’s easy running or light workouts, the point is to show up to the starting line fresh and hungry rather than depleted and having left your best stuff in training."

If you're unsure of how intensely you should be running in the days leading up to a race, Hall suggests threshold running with long strides. In other words, running at a constant pace that does not cause lactic build-up in the muscles. "Most athletes come out of threshold workouts feeling much better compared to MVO2 max/interval workout," he says.

"Stick to what works for you," he also writes. "The only way to find out what that is is through experimentation. Play with the workout timing and components."

Preparation for a race is not just physical, though: Hall speaks about the psychological aspect as well, saying: "It’s most important that you believe in what you’re doing. Confidence is of utmost importance prior to a race."

 

(03/05/2022) Views: 822 ⚡AMP
by Mens Health
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Here's Why You Should Watch the 2022 Tokyo Marathon

World record-holders Eliud Kipchoge and Brigid Kosgei headline the return of this World Major Marathon.

On Sunday, March 6, the Tokyo Marathon will finally take place after not having been run since March 2020. Nearly 25,000 athletes will storm the streets of Japan’s biggest city to chase the finish line and personal bests. 

The 2021 Tokyo Marathon was set for October last year, until the COVID-19 Delta variant forced postponement. Race officials decided to move the 2021 edition to March 6 this year and formally cancel the 2022 race.

How to Watch the 2022 Tokyo Marathon

WHAT: 2022 Tokyo Marathon

WHERE: Tokyo, Japan

WHEN: Sunday, March 6 in Tokyo. Saturday, March 5 in the United States. Professional wheelchair racers begin at 7:05 p.m. ET. The professional racers start at 7:10 p.m. EST. 

HOW TO WATCH: Flotrack will stream the event on Saturday, March 5, starting at 6:30 p.m. EST.

What to Watch For

Eliud Kipchoge Attempts Ninth World Major Marathon Win

World record-holder and two-time Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge has already cemented his legacy. But he’s now chasing the goal of winning all six World Marathon Majors. He already owns gold medals from Berlin, Chicago, and London—leaving Boston, New York City, and Tokyo as the remaining stops. 

An abundance of talent joins Kipchoge on the start line. 2020 Tokyo Marathon winner Legese Birhanu of Ethiopia hopes to repeat as champion. Mosinet Geremew of Ethiopia has run 2:02:55, making him the fourth-fastest man in history, and will also challenge for the victory. Behind them are two others with sub-2:04 PRs: Amos Kipruto of Kenya and Tamirat Tola of Ethiopia. Japan’s chance for gold lies on the shoulders of Kengo Suzuki, who finished fourth at the Chicago Marathon last fall and owns a personal best of 2:04:56, which is the Japanese record.

Brigid Kosgei Headlines Women’s Field, Sara Hall Chases American Record

World record-holder Brigid Kosgei is the favorite thanks to her 2:14:04 personal best and Olympic silver medal from last summer. Three other women competing have broken 2:20 for the marathon: Angela Tanui of Kenya and Ashete Bekere and Hiwot Gebrekidan of Ethiopia. 

Coming off a half marathon American record in Houston, Sara Hall attempts to run under the 2:20 barrier for the first time. Doing so could scare Keira D’Amato’s U.S. record of 2:19:12, also set in Houston in January. 

Japan’s Mao Ichiyama boasts a top-10 finish at the Olympic marathon. With a 2:20:29 personal best, she’s the home country’s ringer for a podium spot—and potentially a national record.

 

 

(03/05/2022) Views: 856 ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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2022 Tokyo Marathon Women's Preview

The women’s race at the 2022 Tokyo Marathon has a little something for everyone. There’s Brigid Kosgei, the Kenyan world record holder attempting to reassert herself as the world’s best marathoner after Peres Jepchirchir claimed that title in 2021.

There’s Angela Tanui, the breakout star who won three marathons last year, capped by a 2:17:57 course record in Amsterdam. And for American fans, there’s Sara Hall, fresh off setting a US half marathon record in Houston in January and ready to mix it up with the best in the world on a flat, fast course.

Women Elite Entries:

Brigid Kosgei (Kenya) – 2:14:04 (Chicago 2019)

Angela Tanui (Kenya) – 2:17:57 (Amsterdam 2021)

Ashete Bekere (Ethiopia) – 2:18:18 (London 2021)

Hiwot Gebrekidan (Ethiopia) – 2:19:35 (Milan 2021)

Gotytom Gebreslase (Ethiopia) – 2:20:09 (Berlin 2021)

Mao Ichiyama (Wacoal) – 2:20:29 (Nagoya 2020)

Sara Hall (U.S.A.) – 2:20:32 (Marathon Project 2020)

Helen Bekele (Ethiopia) – 2:21:01 (Tokyo 2019)

Natsuki Omori (Daihatsu) – 2:28:38 (Nagoya 2021)

Shiho Kaneshige (GRlab Kanto) – 2:28:51 (Osaka Int’l 2020)

Hitomi Niiya (Sekisui Kagaku) – 2:30:58 (Nagoya 2009)

Miharu Shimokado (SID Group) – 2:32:48 (Osaka Int’l 2020)

Yui Okada (Otsuka Seiyaku) – 2:32:00 (Nagoya 2020)

Hitomi Mizuguchi (Uniqlo) – 2:32:33 (Osaka Int’l 2020)

Mai Fujisawa (Hokkaido Excel AC) – 2:35:52 (Kanazawa 2021)

Tomomi Sawahata (Sawahatters) – 2:36:45 (Osaka Int’l 2022)

Debut / Do-Over

Kaori Morita (Panasonic) – 1:10:28 (Nat’l Corp. Half 2021)

Rika Kaseda (Daihatsu) – 31:39.86 (Nat’l Championships 2020).

Can Brigid Kosgei Return to the Top?

From the fall of 2018 through the fall of 2020 — four marathon cycles — Brigid Kosgei was the best marathoner in the world. By the end of that stretch, the gap between Kosgei and everyone else was not close. Her 2:14:04 in Chicago in 2019 was 81 seconds faster than Paula Radcliffe‘s previous world record and almost three minutes faster than any active marathoner had ever run. In her next race, 2020 London, she ran 2:18:58 in miserable conditions on a day when none of the rest of the world’s best marathoners could crack 2:22. She was in her own marathon galaxy.

Last year, however, Kosgei came back to Earth. That’s usually what happens when someone becomes World #1 in the fickle event that is the marathon (well, unless your name is Eliud Kipchoge). Kosgei was far from ordinary in 2021 — she still claimed second at the Olympics and fourth in London (in 2:18:40) just eight weeks later — but she was not the all-conquering giant of the previous three years. By the end of last year, the discussion about the world’s greatest female marathoner featured two women, and Kosgei wasn’t among them (right now it’s Olympic/NYC champ Peres Jepchirchir or London champ Joyciline Jepkosgei, who will race each other next month in Boston).

A win in Tokyo would nudge Kosgei back into that conversation, and she will start as the favorite on Sunday. Remember, after that dominant stretch from 2018-20, talk was starting to heat up that Kosgei could be the best marathoner the world has ever seen. That’s the trajectory she was on, and she only just turned 28 years old. If she can return to that sort of form, she’ll be your champion in Tokyo.

The Other Women Who Could Win

The top challenger to Kosgei in Tokyo is Angel Tanui, who emerged from relative obscurity to become one of the world’s top marathoners in 2021. Tanui, now 29, began last year as a serviceable road runner with pbs of 31:51/67:16/2:25:18 but wound up winning marathons in Dhaka (Bangladesh), Tuscany, and Amsterdam and finish as LetsRun’s third-ranked marathoner in the world. Tanui was only in Amsterdam because visa issues had prevented her from running Boston the previous week, but it certainly didn’t affect her race as she ran 2:17:57 to smash the course record. 2:17 doesn’t mean what it used to — these days, it’s barely fast enough to rank in the top 10 all-time — but it’s still plenty quick and signals Tanui as a major player.

Another woman to watch on Sunday is Ethiopia’s Ashete Bekere. She was only 7th in her last visit to Tokyo in 2016, but since then she’s won big-time races in Valencia (2018), Rotterdam (2019), and Berlin (2019). In her last marathon, she ran a pb of 2:18:18 to finish third in London, defeating Kosgei in the process (though Kosgei was just eight weeks removed from the Olympics). Clearly, Bekere has what it takes to win a major.

The other two notables in the field outside of Sara Hall — we’ll get to her in a minute — are the women who went 1-2 in Berlin last fall. Berlin was one of the weaker majors in 2021, but it was hard not to be impressed by Ethiopia’s Gotytom Gebreslase, who won the race convincingly in her debut in 2:20:09. Gebreslase is coached by the famed Haji Adilo, and he told Women’s Running he’s been impressed by what he’s seen recently:

“[Gebreslase] has even made big advancements in her training since Berlin,” Adilo says. “She set a personal best in the half marathon in December [1:05:36 in Bahrain], and if the weather and conditions are good in Tokyo, she could do something very special there.”

The runner-up behind Gebreslase in Berlin, Hiwot Gebrekidan, also had a good year in 2021 as she ran a pb of 2:19:35 to win Milan in May. But against this Tokyo field, 2:19 may not be good enough to challenge for the win.

Sara Hall Chases a Fast Time

Sara Hall running Tokyo is something we don’t get often: one of America’s top marathoners racing against the best in the world in a fast international marathon. Last month, Molly Seidel told Track & Field News that American pros “are gonna get our asses handed to us nine times outta ten, if the course is fast.”

(03/04/2022) Views: 1,172 ⚡AMP
by Jonathan Gault
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Tokyo Marathon

Tokyo Marathon

The Tokyo Marathon is an annual marathon sporting event in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. It is an IAAF Gold Label marathon and one of the six World Marathon Majors. Sponsored by Tokyo Metro, the Tokyo Marathon is an annual event in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. It is an IAAF Gold Label marathon and one of the six World...

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Top things to know about 2022 Tokyo Marathon

Eliud Kipchoge's addition to the elite list for the Tokyo Marathon has made it one of the key athletics races of the year.

The Kenyan heads back to Japan where, last August, he became the third man to retain the Olympic marathon title after Ethiopia’s Abebe Bikila and Waldemar Cierpinski of Germany.

After being postponed in 2021 due to the global pandemic, Tokyo Marathon 2021 returns on March 6, with Kipchoge and fellow marathon world record holder Brigid Kosgei part of a stellar field.

Here’s your guide to the top athletes to watch out for in the newest of six the World Marathon Majors, plus the route course and schedule.

After winning back-to-back Olympic golds with the largest victory margin since the 1972 Munich Games, Kipchoge cemented his reputation as the greatest marathon runner in history.

But the Kenyan, who ran the first sub-two-hour marathon in October 2019, says he wants to compete at Paris 2024 and become the first athlete to win three Olympic marathon titles.

“I still have something boiling in my stomach, that’s why I am looking forward to it… I want to be the first human to run and (win) three consecutive Olympics,” the 37-year-old star said on his plan for his fifth Olympics.

Kipchoge, a 5000m bronze and silver medalist on the track at Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 respectively, has previously won the Marathon Majors in Chicago, Berlin (three times) and London (four times).

Tokyo will be his fourth stop, and he plans to complete the majors by running in Boston and New York City before he rounds off his marathon career that began in 2013.

With Tokyo boasting a fairly flat course, Kipchoge could go close to his world record of 2:01:39 although Wilson Kipsang's course record of 2:03:58 may be a more realistic target.

But it certainly will not be just a race against the clock.

Up against him will be the third-fastest marathon runner in history, Ethiopia's Birhanu Legese, who is a two-time Tokyo Marathon winner. His compatriot Mosinet Geremew, fourth on the all-time list, will also be in action. Geremew’s PB of 2:02:55 was from the 2019 London Marathon where he finished behind Kipchoge.

Shura Kitata, who ended Kipchoge's seven-year unbeaten run in the marathon at London in 2020, another high-class Ethiopian in the field along with Olympic bronze medalist Tamirat Tola and Kenya’s Amos Kipruto, a world bronze medalist.

Kosgei aiming for Tokyo Marathon after Olympic silver

After her silver behind Peres Jepchirchir, which earned Kenya a historic 1-2 at the Olympic marathon held in Sapporo, Kosgei returns to Japan seeking her first Marathon Major win in two years.

The 27-year-old set a world record of 2:14:04 in the 2019 Chicago Marathon.

Her four-race winning streak came to an end in the Olympic marathon and, two months later, she was only fourth in her unsuccessful bid for a third consecutive London title.

With Jepchirchir not competing, Kosgei will be expected to win although she faces significant opposition from her fellow Kenyan, Angela Tanui, who won last year's Amsterdam Marathon.

There are also two strong Ethiopians in 2021 Berlin Marathon winner Gotytom Gebreslase and Ashete Bekere who was third - one place ahead of Kosgei - in London last year.

USA's Sara Hall, who took a surprise second place behind Kosgei in the 2020 London Marathon is in the line-up, as is home favourite Niiya Hitomi who won the first Tokyo Marathon back in 2007 and was 21st at last year's Olympics.

There is plenty at stake for the home runners as the race serves as a trial for July's World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon.

Tokyo Marathon 2021 course

The Tokyo Marathon runs on a flat course through the city’s famous tourist spots. What prevents it from being a super-fast course are at least a handful of 180-degree turns.

The runners will start outside the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office and then go downhill by about 30m in the first 5km.

They take on a winding route through the streets of the Japanese capital, crossing the Sumida River, going back through Nihombashi and then Minato City before the finish in between the Imperial Palace and Tokyo Station.

(02/23/2022) Views: 1,123 ⚡AMP
by Evelyn Watta
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Galen Rupp, Rhonex Kipruto, Molly Seidel and Sara Hall will headline 2022 united airlines NYC Half

The 2022 NYC Half Marathon scheduled for March 20 will boast its most impressive field of professional athletes ever, the New York Road Runners announced Tuesday.

In total, 24 Olympians, eight Paralympians, and six open division athletes who hold national half-marathon records in their respective countries will descend upon the big apple next month in the race’s first running since 2019. The last two years saw the NYC Half Marathon canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The men’s open division will see US Olympic medalist Galen Rupp try his hand in the half marathon. He is the American record-holder in the 10,000 meters while winning the silver medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London at that race. He also has a bronze medal in the marathon at the 2016 Summer Games in Rio. 

Rupp will be racing the NYC Half Marathon for just the second time ever after finishing third in 2011.

“The NYC Half was my debut at the distance, and was only the second road race of my professional career,” Rupp said. “I can’t believe that more than a decade has passed since then. It’s wild that the race will be more than double the size it was when I ran in 2011, and I’ve heard the Brooklyn-to-Manhattan course is challenging, but a great tour of the Big Apple. With the World Championships taking place in my home state of Oregon later this summer, I’m looking for the race to be a great stepping stone to everything else I want to achieve in 2022.”

He’ll have plenty of top-notch competition, however. Rhonex Kipruto of Kenya is the 10K world-record holder while Ben True was the first American man to win the NYC Half Marathon in the open division back in 2018.

Five-time US Olympian Abdi Abdirahman will be making his 10th appearance at this event next month — a stark contrast to US Army officer Elkanah Kibet, who makes his debut at the NYC Half Marathon after finishing in fourth place at the 2021 New York City Marathon back in November.

The women’s opened division is headlined by half-marathon American record holder Sara Hall, who is a two-time defending champion at the New York Mini 10K.

She ran a record 1:07:15 half marathon just last month in Houston.

“My NYC racing career started with my win at the Fifth Avenue Mile way back in 2006 and along the way I’ve broken the tape at… the New York City Marathon weekend and twice won the New York Mini 10K in Central Park,” Hall said. “Until now, though, I’ve never stepped to the line at the NYC Half. Setting the American record over that distance last month gives me a ton of confidence as I train for this new challenge.”

She’ll be joined by Molly Seidel, who won bronze in the marathon at the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics before setting an American course record in a fourth-place finish at the 2021 NYC Marathon.

Both the women’s and men’s wheelchair division champions from last year’s half marathon return in U.S. Paralympic medalists Tatyana McFadden and Daniel Romanchuk.

Romanchuk is a two-time NYC Marathon winner, including a title in 2018 that saw him become the first American and youngest athlete ever to win the men’s wheelchair division.

McFadden is one of the most decorated Paralympians there is, winning 20 medals over six Games.

“I love this race. We get to run by all the great NYC iconic spots,” McFadden said. “It’s fun seeing all the kids running in Times Square as we go by; it will be great to be back after so long.”

(02/23/2022) Views: 1,010 ⚡AMP
by Richard Heathcote
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United Airlines NYC Half-Marathon

United Airlines NYC Half-Marathon

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

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American record-setter Sara Hall sets sights on NYC Half, says U.S. poised to dominate in 2022

Fleet-footed Sara Hall returns to action at the New York City Half next month having claimed the United States half-marathon record last month ahead of what she sees as a banner year for American athletics.

She set the U.S. record of 1:07:15 in Houston last month, beating Molly Huddle's previous best (2018) by 10 seconds, after finishing on the podium at the 2020 London Marathon and at the Chicago Marathon last year.

Joining her at the marquee New York race are Tokyo bronze medalist Molly Seidel, who finished fourth in the New York City Marathon in November, and 2021 Chicago runner-up Emma Bates.

"It's been awesome to see U.S. female marathoners either getting on the podium or being in contention every time out at the highest level every time," Hall told Reuters.

With all eyes on the U.S. when it hosts the World Athletics Championships for the first time this summer, Hall believes the U.S. could dominate at Eugene, Oregon's Hayward Field.

"USA track and field is strong against so many," said Hall. "Every event, we're in medal contention... it's a really exciting time to be a fan of the sport."

She credits her own recent run of success in part to her husband, Ryan Hall, who began coaching her after he retired from professional athletics in 2016. Whereas "tough love" has been widely embraced in athletics coaching for decades, she says his softer approach has made the difference.

Together, they hold the men's and women's American half-marathon records.

"I've had coaches in the past that were like, 'Oh, you just gave up', you know, like that kind of stuff," said Hall.

"That was really detrimental to me because it really made me believe I wasn't mentally tough. And then when you believe that about yourself, it's kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy."

Hall hopes hers can be an example in what can be achieved with a method not based in "fear," as conversation about mental health and wellbeing dominates the upper echelons of sport.

"I hope that people are seeing what creates longevity," Hall told Reuters. "That win at all costs, tough love approach, that doesn't create longevity in the sport."

The NYC Half will take place on March 20.

(02/22/2022) Views: 1,004 ⚡AMP
by Amy Tennery
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United Airlines NYC Half-Marathon

United Airlines NYC Half-Marathon

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

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Best Simple Ways to Make Running Feel Easier

Let’s be honest, running isn’t known for being easy. Even professional athletes who run for a living admit that yeah, sometimes it can be really hard. Of course, the more you do it and the more conditioned your body becomes, the easier running feels. But no two runs are ever the same, and some days, it can be really tough to get through a few miles.

The good news? There are things you can do—other than just calling it a day and texting a friend to meet for happy hour (though we definitely recommend doing that after your run, because, balance)—to make it easier on yourself.

Next time you're about to lace up, try these expert-approved tricks for before and during your run to make it feel a little bit easier.

1. Use your core.

Making a few small tweaks to your running form can make things feel easier, Corrine Fitzgerald, coach at Mile High Run Club in New York City, tells SELF. "Focusing on running tall, being light on your feet, relaxing, and finding your rhythm will help," she says. Also, engage your core. "If your chest is going side to side, your energy is going that way. Pulling the core in and minimizing any side-to-side movement will keep all the energy moving forward," she explains.

2. Set mini distance goals.

If a set mileage or time goal feels daunting, set mini goals throughout your run. “There are so many different variations you can do. You can go by time, distance, or as you’re running you can say, ‘I’ll run to that building and then walk,’” Katie Bottini, a NASM-certified physical trainer and running and triathlon coach, tells SELF. You’ll feel a renewed sense of accomplishment each time you hit one.

3. Try a new route.

Sometimes running feels hard because you've fallen into a routine and it's become boring. "Find a different way or go on new roads that are more visually stimulating," Bottini suggests. "It may go by a little faster if you’re running and seeing new spots."

4. Warm up.

This sounds so simple, but it's surprising how many runners skip the warm-up because they think they don't need it. "To make a run feel easier, every runner should start with a 5- to 15-minute dynamic warm-up,” says Fitzgerald. “Getting your blood pumping, loosening up your muscles and heating up your core will make the first few miles easier on your body and also reduce the risk for injury.” A dynamic warm-up includes movements such as high-knee marches that stretch your muscles as you move. And don’t forget to cool down after, too!

5. Be flexible.

Sometimes, you go out planning to run 6 miles and end up really only feeling like you can do 4. That’s OK. “You need to be flexible in races and in your workouts,” Skechers Performance athlete Meb Keflezighi tells SELF. If you force yourself to get the mileage in, then it just becomes a chore. “I try to have fun as much as I can with it and try to be flexible once I get out the door and start running. Whether it’s a short or long run, focus on the exhilaration and excitement that you did it,” he adds.

6. Drink coffee.

“Caffeine can give you an energy boost and make your perceived effort go down,” ASICS elite athlete Sara Hall tells SELF. Research has shown that coffee can improve sprint performance and can also improve endurance because it delays the onset of muscle fatigue and central nervous system fatigue. Sip on a cup an hour to 30 minutes before your run so that the effects are in full force by the time you hit the pavement.

7. Breathe.

Of course you’re breathing. But Hall says that when a run starts to feel really tough, she likes to take “deep, cleansing breaths, to become more controlled.” Sometimes simply controlling your breath can make running easier.

8. Think about how cool it is that you can do this.

“Think about the people less fortunate than you who aren’t able to physically do what you can do,” Keflezighi says. A trainer I know ends every class by saying, “Take a moment to be thankful and grateful for the ability to move your body as you did today, because it is a gift.” I think about that when I’m running, and it always puts some extra pep in my step.

9. Slow down.

If you come out of the gates at full speed, it's going to be really hard to maintain. "Slowing down and adjusting your pace as you go is part of the art of running—you have to learn to listen to your body," Hall says. There's nothing wrong with slowing down when you need to and running at a pace that's comfortable. Over time, your comfortable pace will get faster.

10. Keep chafe in check.

“There's nothing worse than running with uncomfortable clothes,” Fitzgerald says. “The dreaded chafing can occur from having clothes loose in a certain area. When we're uncomfortable, we make adjustments to prevent that painful feeling. This is compensation, and can result in you running differently, with bad form.” Ditch clothes that rub or squeeze too tightly. You can also carry an anti-chafe stick (like Body Glide) or a small tube of Aquaphor.

11. Switch to strength.

If you're really not feeling a run, mix it up by adding some strength intervals throughout. "Run five minutes and then stop and do squats and push-ups," Bottini suggests. "Or even, if you're running at a track, run the stadium stairs. Not that it will make running easier, but it makes the run more fun." Running up and down stairs might not be your idea of fun, but it'll break up the monotony if that's what you need.

12. Think about literally anything else.

"Running is great because you can think about whatever serves you in the moment," Deena Kastor, ASICS elite athlete and American record holder in the marathon and half marathon, tells SELF. "Sometimes it’s my to-do list, other times I’m focused on my upcoming race goal or what craft I’ll do with my daughter when she comes home from school." Focus on whatever occupies your mind, but just make sure it's positive so you don't ruin your momentum.

If you’re having a tough time keeping your head in the game, think about why you’re running. What are your goals? Is it race related? Is it health related? Are you trying to PR, or just finish the race? “Whatever that goal is, keep it in mind throughout the run to stay present," Fitzgerald says. "For example, if you are training for a race, visualize yourself succeeding in that race. If you run for fun, then just get lost in your run and have fun with it. Enjoy the process and the journey of becoming and staying a healthy, strong runner."

(01/17/2022) Views: 1,058 ⚡AMP
by Amy Marturana Winderl, C.P.T.
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New women American Marathon and Half Marathon records set in Houston

Keira D'Amato just broke the American marathon record after running 2:19:12 at the Houston Marathon today.

Keira D’Amato, a 37-year-old who quit running competitively soon after college, then returned eight years later as a mother of two, broke the American record in the women’s marathon on Sunday.

D’Amato won the Houston Marathon in 2:19:12, taking 24 seconds off Deena Kastor‘s record from the 2006 London Marathon.

D’Amato competed collegiately for American University, then gave up middle-distance running in 2009.

She worked in real estate, got married and had two kids. She started running again to lose baby weight, setting a goal to sign up for a marathon.

D’Amato made it to the 2017 Shamrock Marathon in Virginia Beach, hoping to break three hours, and clocked 3:14:54 in sleet, wind and hail. She kept running and lowered her best time over the next three years.

She was 15th at the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials, then on Dec. 20, 2020, ran 2:22:56 at the Marathon Project in Arizona to become the eighth-fastest American woman in history.

Now she’s tied as the 22nd-fastest woman in history counting all courses, according to World Athletics.

Also in Houston on Sunday, Sara Hall, a 38-year-old mom, broke the American record in the half marathon, clocking 1:07:15, taking 10 seconds off Molly Huddle‘s record from four years ago.

Additionally, Outstanding marathon debut by @LukeACaldwell today with his 2:11:33 run for 7th place at #houstonmarathon - the fastest marathon debut by a Scot, bettering @callhawk 2:12:17 at Frankfurt in 2015. 

(01/16/2022) Views: 1,141 ⚡AMP
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Chevron Houston Marathon

Chevron Houston Marathon

The Chevron Houston Marathon offers participants a unique running experience in America's fourth largest city. The fast, flat, scenic single-loop course has been ranked as the "fastest winter marathon" and "second fastest marathon overall" by Ultimate Guide To Marathons. Additionally, with more than 200,000 spectators annually, the Chevron Houston Marathon enjoys tremendous crowd support. Established in 1972, the Houston Marathon...

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Ethiopia’s Askale Merachi and Kelkile Gezahegn will defend their titles at the 50th Chevron Houston Marathon, while Kenya’s Vicoty Chepngeno and Shadrack Korir lead the entries for the Aramco Half

Merachi won in Houston in 2020 in 2:23:29, finishing more than a minute ahead of the rest of the field. She went on to win the Taipei Marathon later that year in 2:28:31, but hasn’t raced since then, so her form going into this weekend’s race is relatively untested.

She will face stiff competition from compatriot Biruktayit Eshetu Degefa, a three-time winner in Houston who is aiming to become the race’s first four-time winner. She finished runner-up to Merachi in 2020, clocking 2:24:47. Her PB stands at 2:22:40, set in Toronto in 2019, while her fastest time in Houston is the 2:23:28 she ran to win three years ago.

Two-time Chicago Marathon winner Atsede Baysa has the fastest PB of the field with 2:22:03. A sub-2:25 time may be required to make the podium on Sunday, but the last time the 34-year-old Ethiopian bettered that barrier was back in 2012.

Ethiopian women have won the past 14 editions of the Houston Marathon, but that streak could be under threat on Sunday as Keira D’Amato aims to become the first US woman to win the Houston Marathon since 2005.

The 37-year-old, who took a complete break from running between 2009 and 2016, has been racking up impressive performances on the roads in recent years. She set a marathon best of 2:22:56 and a North American 10-mile record of 51:23 in 2020, finished fourth at last year’s Chicago Marathon, and clocked a half marathon PB of 1:07:55 last month. If conditions are good, the course record of 2:23:14 – set by Alemitu Abera in 2012 – could be under threat.

Ethiopian marathon debutante Tsige Haileslase and USA’s Robert Groner, who finished sixth at the 2019 World Championships, are among the other contenders.

Gezahegn, the defending men’s champion, won with 2:08:36 two years ago and finished two minutes clear of his nearest rivals. His only race since then was the 2021 Boston Marathon, where he finished 15th in 2:12:37. A 2:05:56 runner at his best, the 25-year-old will be keen to use this weekend’s race as an opportunity for redemption.

If John Langat can reproduce his form from 2019, when he won in Eindhoven in a PB of 2:07:11, he could contend for the victory on Sunday. Japan’s Kenta Uchida will also be a formidable opponent. He has a lifetime best of 2:08:12 and will be keen to earn his first marathon victory.

Bahrain’s Abdi Abdo, Ethiopia’s 2008 world indoor 3000m champion Tariku Bekele and US marathon debutant Frank Lara are others to watch out for.

Vicoty Chepngeno will start as the favourite for the Houston Half Marathon, held concurrently with the marathon. The 28-year-old Kenyan has an impressive record in US road races; she has won nine of her past 10 half marathons on US roads, and her lifetime best of 1:07:22 was set in her most recent outing over the distance, in Philadelphia two months ago. Despite her extensive racing experience, though, this will be Chepngeno’s first Houston Half Marathon.

Compatriot Monicah Ngige, meanwhile, will be making her third Houston Half Marathon appearance. The 28-year-old set her PB of 1:07:29 there in 2019. More recently, she finished fourth at the Boston Marathon in October on her debut over the distance, clocking 2:25:32.

Sara Hall leads the US entrants. The 38-year-old has focused more on the marathon in recent years, achieving podium places at the 2020 London Marathon and the 2021 Chicago Marathon, also clocking a PB of 2:20:32 in between those outings. But she has also won her two most recent half marathons, setting a PB of 1:08:18 in 2020.

Shadrack Kimining Korir returns to Houston after finishing third in 2020 in a personal best of 59:27, just two seconds shy of the winner. His most recent outing was at the Lisbon Half Marathon in October, where he finished fifth in 1:02:42.

Wilfred Kimitei also competed in Lisbon towards the end of last year, albeit in a different event to the one where Korir raced, and finished 11th in 1:00:03 – just 23 seconds shy of the PB he set in Ras Al Khaimah in 2018.

Ethiopia’s Milkesa Mengesha also heads to Houston in good form. The 2019 world U20 cross-country champion, still only 21, finished ahead of Kimitei in Lisbon in November, clocking a PB of 59:48 in what was just his second half marathon to date. Earlier in 2021 he set a 5000m PB of 12:58.28 and finished 10th in the Olympic final at that distance.

Kenya’s Raymond Magut, who clocked a PB of 1:00:00 in Herzogenaurach in September, should also be a strong contender, along with Ethiopia’s Bayelign Teshager and Eritrea’s Tsegay Tuemay.

Elite fields

WOMEN Half marathon

Vicoty Chepngeno (KEN) 1:07:22

Monicah Ngige (KEN) 1:07:29

Sara Hall (USA) 1:08:58

Caren Maiyo (KEN) 1:09:20

Sarah Pagano (USA) 1:09:41

Emily Durgin (USA) 1:09:47

Maegan Krifchin (USA) 1:09:51

Andrea Ramirez Limon (MEX) 1:10:20

Dominique Scott (ZAF) 1:10:42

Elaina Tabb (USA) 1:10:44

Nell Rojas (USA) 1:10:45

Julia Griffey (USA) 1:11:04

Emily Setlack (CAN) 1:11:41

Dakotah Lindwurm (USA) 1:11:43

Maor Tiyouri (ISR) 1:11:50

Paige Stoner (USA) 1:11:53

Jessica Judd (GBR) debut

Fiona O’Keeffe (USA) debut

Maddie Alm (USA) debut

Marathon

Atsede Baysa (ETH) 2:22:03

Biruktayit Eshetu Degefa (ETH) 2:22:40

Keira D’Amato (USA) 2:22:56

Askale Merachi (ETH) 2:23:29

Roberta Groner (USA) 2:29:09

Kathya Mirell Garcia Barrios (MEX) 2:34:46

Militsa Mircheva (BGR) 2:35:03

Tsige Haileslase (ETH) debut

Maggie Montoya (USA) debut

Emily Kearney (GBR) debut

Alice Wright (GBR) debut

MEN Half marathon

Shadrack Kimining Korir (KEN) 59:27

Wilfred Kimitei (KEN) 59:40

Milkesa Mengesha (ETH) 59:48

Raymond Magut (KEN) 1:00:00

Bayelign Teshager (ETH) 1:00:31

Tsegay Tuemay (ERI) 1:00:50

Patrick Tiernan (AUS) 1:01:22

Reed Fischer (USA) 1:01:37

Rory Linkletter (CAN) 1:01:44

Reid Buchanan (USA) 1:01:45

Colin Mickow (USA) 1:01:47

Matt Llano (USA) 1:01:47

Harvey Nelson (USA) 1:01:48

John Raneri (USA) 1:01:51

Brogan Austin (USA) 1:01:52

Zouhair Talbi (MAR) 1:02:00

Kirubel Erassa (USA) debut

Marathon

Kelkile Gezahegn (ETH) 2:05:56

John Langat (KEN) 2:07:11

Kenta Uchida (JPN) 2:08:12

Abdi Abdo (BRN) 2:08:32

Elisha Barno (KEN) 2:09:32

Tariku Bekele (KEN) 2:09:33

Augustus Maiyo (USA) 2:10:47

Jesus Arturo Esparza (MEX) 2:11:04

Birhanu Kemal Dare (ETH) 2:12:21

Tyler Jermann (USA) 2:12:40

Frank Lara (USA) debut

James Ngandu (KEN) debut

Luke Caldwell (GBR) debut

(01/14/2022) Views: 979 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Chevron Houston Marathon

Chevron Houston Marathon

The Chevron Houston Marathon offers participants a unique running experience in America's fourth largest city. The fast, flat, scenic single-loop course has been ranked as the "fastest winter marathon" and "second fastest marathon overall" by Ultimate Guide To Marathons. Additionally, with more than 200,000 spectators annually, the Chevron Houston Marathon enjoys tremendous crowd support. Established in 1972, the Houston Marathon...

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