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Articles tagged #Tokyo Marathon
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Ethiopian marathon ace Birhanu Legese sets sights on Olympic glory

While the staggering marathon feats of Eliud Kipchoge and to a lesser extent Kenenisa Bekele have quite righty earned the bulk of media attention in recent years, it would be a little churlish not to also acknowledge the feats of Ethiopian marathon ace Birhanu Legese.

Standing at 1.68m the diminutive Ethiopian, an NN Running Team team-mate of Kipchoge and Bekele, has claimed four successive marathon podiums which have included back-to-back successes in the Tokyo Marathon, a second place finish in the 2019 Berlin Marathon - to advance to third on the all-time marathon lists - and more recently a third place finish in the 2020 Valencia Marathon.

For sheer marathon consistency few can currently match the 26-year-old athlete, who according to his coach, Getaneh Tessema, has the potential to make history.

“There is no doubt Birhanu is a quality athlete,” explains Getaneh. “I see that every day in training. If everything goes perfectly, I know he can achieve the same results as Kenenisa and Kipchoge.”

Legese, the third eldest of seven siblings, enjoyed his breakthrough performance at the 2012 10km Great Ethiopian Run when placing second in 28:41 behind 2016 Olympic 5000m bronze medallist Hagos Gebrhiwet.

He continued to make steady progress for the next couple of seasons: in 2013 he clocked a slick 27:34 for 10km on the road in Taroudant and the following year posted a 5000m track PB of 13:08.88 in Shanghai.

Yet it was on the roads where Legese has most excelled and in 2015 he further hinted at his exciting potential by winning both the Berlin (59:45) and New Delhi (59:20) half marathons.

Notable marathon debut

The following couple of seasons he enjoyed intermittent success with victory in the 2016 RAK and 2017 New Delhi Half Marathons yet all too often he was hampered by ongoing shin splints issues, which prevented him from consistently producing his best.

In 2018 Legese made his eagerly awaited marathon debut in Dubai, running an outstanding time of 2:04:15 for sixth. Yet still he craved more.

“I was pleased with the time but not with the position,” he explains. 

Stomach issues hampered his efforts later that year at the Chicago Marathon when he wound up tenth in 2:08:41 – more than three-and-a-half minutes behind race winner Mo Farah.

“I was in a lot of pain but I kept on going because I thought the pain would go away,” he recalls. “I was disappointed with the performance but as soon as I returned to training my disappointment disappeared.”

Tokyo win ushers marathon breakthrough

Unlike many elite Ethiopian athletes, Legese has chosen not to live in Addis Ababa but just north of the capital city in the town of Sendafa, where he lives with his brother, Gezahegne, and training partner Tariku Kinfu.

Away from the pollution of the city and living closer to his regular training routes has cut down his commute time to and from training and aided his rest and recovery with the consequence that he enjoyed a smooth build up to the 2019 Tokyo Marathon. 

Competing in wet and windy conditions in the Japanese capital he made his winning move just before 35 kilometres, kicking clear of former world half marathon silver medallist Bedan Karoki.

Despite the inclement weather he crossed the line first in 2:04:48 to record the second fastest time in the history of the race and claim a victory, which was pivotal to his career development.

“Winning Tokyo gave me the chance to be invited to other big races and it was a big confidence boost,” he explains. “Financially, it was also a big change for me.”

Sub-2:03 in Berlin

Bolstered by his first Marathon Majors victory and enjoying a trouble-free build up for the 2019 Berlin Marathon, confidence was high he could produce a red hot performance on the course commonly regarded as the fastest in the world.

“I hoped to break the world record that day and that is why I broke clear of the field at 25-k,” explains Legese. “But a few kilometres later I had a problem with my hip, I was feeling pain and that caused me to slow.”

At 38 kilometres he was caught and passed by race winner Kenenisa Bekele, who went on to record victory in 2:01:41 – within two seconds of Eliud Kipchoge’s world record mark. Legese battled on bravely to the finish and was rewarded with a time of 2:02:48 to elevate himself to third on the all-time marathon lists.

Although, understandably, a little frustrated with the hip he was delighted with the time.

“The performance was wonderful,” said Tessema. “It was a good time and finishing position and a very good race from Birhanu. Maybe, he could have waited until 35-k to make his move. If he had then maybe the result might have been different, but that is all with the benefit of hindsight.”

Successful Tokyo defence

Further sheen was added to his growing reputation in the Covid-restricted elite-only 2020 Tokyo Marathon, where the Ethiopian became the first man in history to claim back-to-back wins in the race, recording 2:04:15 despite sustaining a hip injury after just one kilometre and being forced to manage the issue for the remaining 41. 

“Birhanu considered dropping out at 35-k but he has a strong mind and kept on running the race,” explains Tessema, his long-time coach.

Launching his winning move at 38.5km he went on to claim a memorable victory and a place in Tokyo Marathon history.

Shortly after his triumph, however, and with the world in the tightening grip of a global pandemic, restrictions in Legese’s homeland led to several weeks without training for the Ethiopian marathon star.

Optimistic of making the Ethiopian team for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics he later learned of the Games’ postponement and rescheduling to 2021.

“It was hard that they had to reschedule the Olympic Games but on the other hand, there was no choice,” he explains. “Everybody’s health and safety was the most important thing.”

(01/05/2021) Views: 94 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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Lake Biwa Marathon to be Subsumed Into Osaka Marathon beginning in 2022

On Dec. 25 it was learned that the longest-running marathon in Japan, the Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon, will become a part of the Osaka Marathon beginning in 2022.

Following Lake Biwa's 76th edition on Feb. 28, 2021, it will next take place under the tentative title of the 10th Osaka Marathon and 77th Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon Combined Competition. 

The Osaka Marathon executive committee finalized the plan at a meeting in Osaka on Dec. 25. Plans call for the 2022 race to take place on Feb. 27 utilizing the existing Osaka course.

With an eye toward World Athletics' preference for large-scale races that combine elite and mass participation marathons, the plan will combine Lake Biwa's history of attracting top-level international and domestic athletes with Osaka's status as the second-largest mass-participation marathon behind only the Tokyo Marathon.

Organizers are aiming to go one level higher than Lake Biwa's current World Athletics ranking of gold to achieve the top-level platinum ranking, and hope that the arrival of such a prestigious event will help pave the way for success for the Kansai region at the 2025 Osaka World Expo.

Lake Biwa's first edition in 1946 was held in Osaka, moving to its current location in 1962. Its lakeside course has welcomed countless famous athletes and helped produced a large number of Olympic and World Championships team members.

The Osaka Marathon began in 2011. Starting in front of the Osaka Government Offices, its course passes many of Osaka's most popular tourist sites before finishing at Osaka Castle Park.

Its 10th running in late November this year was cancelled due to the coronavirus crisis, but it had attracted a field of 35,000 entrants.

(12/28/2020) Views: 90 ⚡AMP
by Brett Larner
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LAKE BIWA MAINICHI MARATHON

LAKE BIWA MAINICHI MARATHON

The Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon held in Otsu, Shiga, is one of the prominent Japanese marathon races of the year. It is a male-only competition and has IAAF Gold Label status. It was first held in 1946 and, having taken place every year since then, it is Japan's oldest annual marathon race. The early editions of the race were held...

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5 reasons why The Marathon Project will be the race of the year

With just over 100 of the top athletes in North America (and several athletes representing other nations) prepared to race on Sunday on a flat and fast course in Chandler, Ariz., The Marathon Project has the potential to be the best race of 2020. Records could be broken, Canadians could hit Olympic standard and drama could unfold, all of which makes the event mandatory viewing for all fans of the sport. There are many reasons why The Marathon Project could be a top event, but here are just a few if you needed any more convincing.

It’s one of the only races of the year

The Marathon Project could be one of the best races of the year because, well, it’s one of the only races of the year. So far this year, the biggest races we’ve seen have been the U.S. Marathon Trials in February, the Tokyo Marathon in March, the London Marathon in October and the Valencia Marathon in December. Based on its stacked lineup, The Marathon Project will likely join this list as one of the top events of 2020, and if the contenders are firing on all cylinders on Sunday, it could beat out those other events as the top race of this strange year.

Canadians are racing

Six Canadians are set to race in Arizona on Sunday, and we can’t wait to see any of them run. On the men’s side, Cam Levins will look to better his Canadian marathon record of 2:09:25, and he’ll be joined by Rory Linkletter, who has a marathon PB of 2:16:42, and Ben Preisner and Justin Kent, who will be running their debut marathons. (Preisner ran a solo marathon earlier this year, but this will be his first official race over 42.2K.) While Levins is the only one to have ever run under the Olympic qualifying standard of 2:11:30 (although he has yet to do it in the current qualifying window for Tokyo 2021), they’re all certainly capable of hitting this time, and it will be exciting to see how they fare on Sunday.

Natasha Wodak and Kinsey Middleton will represent Canada in the women’s race, and like the runners on the men’s team, they’re both threats to beat the Olympic standard, which is 2:29:30 for women. Wodak has run one marathon before, but that was all the way back in 2013. She ran a 2:35:16 back then, and now, seven years later, she’ll be looking to take a significant chunk off that result. Middleton won the Canadian Marathon Championships in 2018, when she ran her PB of 2:32:09. Two years removed from that result, she’s likely hungry to run even quicker in Arizona.

Records could fall

Sara Hall is the top-seeded runner in the women’s field, and she’s coming off a spectacular PB at the London Marathon, where she ran 2:22:01. If she has a good run, she could be in the hunt for the American record of 2:19:36, which belongs to Deena Kastor. On the men’s side, Levins could challenge his own Canadian record, which he set at the 2018 STWM.

It’s a chance to race

Not being able to race in 2020 has been hard on all runners, but for these elites, this is how they pay their bills. Racing brings prize money and sponsorships, and with so few chances to race this year, it has been extremely tough on these athletes. The Marathon Project is giving runners the opportunity to earn some cash, which is a great gift in time for the winter holidays.

Olympic spots are up for grabs

The Olympic qualifying window was closed for runners throughout the summer, and even if it had been open, there were next to no chances for athletes to run standard at official races. The American Olympic marathon team was decided at the trials in February, but for athletes from other countries, this presents an opportunity to potentially book their tickets to Tokyo next summer. With so much at stake, there will definitely be some thrilling racing on Sunday.

(12/19/2020) Views: 59 ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon, Japan's first World Athletics gold label race will be discontinued after 2021 Race

In an interview with a source involved in the decision, it was learned on Dec. 17 that the Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon will be discontinued after next year's 76th edition on Feb. 28, 2021. One of Japan's three major men's marathons, Lake Biwa's position on the calendar as the last chance to qualify for Olympic and World Championships teams meant it has had a long history of being the place where Japan's best marathoners earned to right to compete against the best in the world. But in recent years Lake Biwa has felt increasing pressure from the rise of the Tokyo Marathon, where national records and other fast times have been run almost every year, and Lake Biwa's relevance and value began to come into question. The Osaka Marathon is likely to replace Lake Biwa as a national team selection race in the future.

Having begun in 1946, Lake Biwa is the oldest existing marathon in Japan. Along with the Fukuoka International Marathon and the Tokyo Marathon it is counted as one of Japan's three major men's marathons. But now its long, colorful history is set to come to an end next year when Olympic marathon trials winner Shogo Nakamura (28, Fujitsu) and others stand on its starting line one final time. 

Starting and finishing on the track at Ojiyama Field, Lake Biwa has long been the final selection race for Olympic and World Championships teams. At both the 2012 London Olympics and 2016 Rio de Janeiru Olympics two of the three men's team members earned their places at Lake Biwa. At both the 1964 and 1968 Olympics all three members were chosen there. Its position on the calendar relative to Fukuoka and Tokyo meant the battles were always furious, and those who emerged victorious went on to take on the world.

There's no question that Lake Biwa has been the site of countless classic races and a vital part of Japan's marathon tradition, but in recent years its relevance has faded. One of the major factors in this was the Tokyo Marathon's change to a faster course in 2017. In 2018 Yuta Shitara (29, Honda) broke the Japanese national record in Tokyo, and two years later Suguru Osako (29, Nike) followed Shitara's lead and did the same. With that record of success, Tokyo has become the first choice for Japanese men targeting fast times. 

The outcome of that change for Lake Biwa, an elite-only marathon, was that the athletes who could have provided the fireworks started staying away. With the Tokyo Marathon having moved to Lake Biwa's traditional date the first Sunday in March two years ago, Lake Biwa's shift a week later meant it was now the same day as the Nagoya Women's Marathon, hiding it in the shadows even further. The race's viability, financial and otherwise, came into question.

According to those involved, the Osaka Marathon is the most likely candidate to replace Lake Biwa as a national team selection event. With 35,000 people running on a downtown urban course it is the second-largest marathon in Japan after only Tokyo. With that kind of modern prestige to it, Osaka is highly likely to pick up the selection race label.

Modernity has a way of burying history. The MGC Race, a one-shot selection race for the Tokyo Olympics, was a major success. Those in power are leaning toward using the same kind of single trials race for the 2024 Paris Olympics. With the coronavirus crisis an ongoing issue, this is a period of transition. The Japanese marathon world isn't immune to those transitional forces, and we can only hope that its reorganization and reformation produce even more exciting races.

(12/18/2020) Views: 98 ⚡AMP
by Brett Larner
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LAKE BIWA MAINICHI MARATHON

LAKE BIWA MAINICHI MARATHON

The Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon held in Otsu, Shiga, is one of the prominent Japanese marathon races of the year. It is a male-only competition and has IAAF Gold Label status. It was first held in 1946 and, having taken place every year since then, it is Japan's oldest annual marathon race. The early editions of the race were held...

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Derartu Tulu has been nominated to be permanent President of Ethiopian Athletics Federation

Derartu Tulu, the first black African woman to win an Olympic gold medal, has been officially nominated as the permanent President of the Ethiopian Athletics Federation (EAF).

The 1992 Olympic 10,000 metres champion has been serving as Interim President since November 2018.

Tulu stepped in when double Olympic 10,000m gold medallist Haile Gebrselassie stood down two-years into a four-year term

Gebrselassie announced his resignation, citing "irreconcilable differences", a day after a group of athletes protested in Sululta, south of the capital Addis Ababa, over a lack of facilities and services from the Federation.

Like Gebrselassie, the 48-year-old Tulu is a two-time Olympic 10,000m champion.

Her first victory in Barcelona entered Olympic legend when she beat Elena Meyer in an iconic race at South Africa's first Games appearance since the end of apartheid.

Then, eight years later in Sydney, Tulu won her second title before returning at Athens 2004 to win a bronze medal.

During a glittering career, Tulu also won the gold medal in the 10,000m at the 2001 World Championships in Edmonton and the silver at Gothenburg in 1995.

She also won the London and Tokyo Marathons in 2001 and the New York City Marathon in 2009.

Tulu, who has been nominated by the Oromia regional state, will face opposition from Tefera Mull in the election on Sunday (December 14).

He has been nominated by the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples' Region.

Another of Ethiopia's Olympic gold medalist from Sydney 2000, the marathon winner Gezahegn Abera, has been nominated for the EAF Executive Board.

Belayeneh Kindie, the chief executive of the BK Business Group, one of the largest commodity trading companies in Ethiopia, has also been put forward for the Executive Committee.

(12/08/2020) Views: 93 ⚡AMP
by Duncan Makay
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Kibiwott Kandie smashes half marathon world record, a Kenyan double in Valencia marathon

All top four finishers in the half marathon managed to beat the previous mark of 58:01 set by Geoffrey Kamworor last year. Evans Chebet and Peres Jepchirchir win the men and women's marathon in course records.

Kibiwott Kandie led Jacob Kiplimo home in world record time to win the Valencia Half Marathon on Sunday in a reverse of the World Championship resultfrom October.

Kandie, Kiplimo, Rhonex Kipruto, and Alexander Mutiso all finished the race in under 58 minutes, bettering the existing record of 58:01 set by Geoffrey Kamworor in Copenhagen in September 2019.

Kenya's Kandie finished in 57:32, taking more than a minute off his previous personal record of 58:37. Ugandan Kiplimo and Kandie's compatriot Mutiso also lowered their own personal bests by similar margins, while it was Kipruto's debut over the distance.

The new record is subject to World Athletics' usual ratification processes.

It is the fourth time Kandie has run sub-59 minutes this year, having also done so at the Ras Al Khaimah, Prague, and Gdynia half marathons.

Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia won the women's race in a course record one hour, five minutes 18 seconds, missing the women's world record in a mixed race (1:04.31) currently held by Ababel Yeshaneh who set it in RAK earlier this year.

It was Dibaba's first race in 16 months, since last August, and her debut over the half marathon distance.

Kenyan double in the marathon

Kenya’s Evans Chebet sprinted past compatriot Lawrence Cherono in the home stretch to win the Valencia marathon in a course record of 2:03:00.

The men’s race was a close one with Chebet and Cherono going head to head in the final kilometre after dropping Ethiopia’s Birhanu Legese, the 2019 Tokyo marathon champion.

This was the first big marathon win for the 32-year-old Chebet that moves him to sixth in the men’s marathon all-time list.

Chebet’s victory also ensured that a Kenyan topped the podium again for the 18th time in the last 40 editions of the Valencia Marathon.

“I am happy because I have run my personal best here," said Chebet after the race.

"I know this course very well. I am happy because it’s my first major win and in a course record,” said the Kenyan who finished 28th at the Rio 2016 marathon, delighted and hopeful that his top finish could impress Athletics Kenya selectors for the Tokyo Olympics.

Evans Chebet of Kenya won the Men’s Marathon in Valencia with a course Record.

The reigning Boston and Chicago Marathon champion Cherono who had a slight stumble in the last bend clocked 2:03:04 for second, in his third big marathon in the last 18 months.

Legese finished third in 2:03:16, in the race that saw eight of the top 10 finishers record personal bests.

Cherono, 32, was named by Athletics Kenya in Kenya’s provisional Tokyo Olympics marathon team alongside the Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge and World Championships marathon bronze medalist Amos Kipruto.

Double Olympian Ayad Lamdassem set a Spanish men's marathon record of 2:06:35 that qualifies him for the Games in Tokyo.

Just seven weeks after winning the World Half Marathon title in a world record, Peres Jepchirchir of Kenya won the women’s race in 2:17:16, also a course record.

“It’s unbelievable,“ said Jepchirchir, a double world half marathon gold medallist.

It was the perfect ending of the season for Jepchirchir who holds the world record for the women-only of 1:05:16 from her winning run in Poland on 17 October.

In Gdynia she improved her own 21km world mark from the previous month set in Prague, and is now the fifth fastest women marathoner.

Peres Jepchirchir of Kenya wins the Women’s Marathon in Valencia with a Course Record.

It was another 1-2 finish for Kenya as Joyciline Jepkosgei clocked 2:18:40 for second ahead of third placed Namibian record holder Helalia Johannes, the 2019 World Championships bronze medallist. Johannes crossed the line in 2:19:52.  

(12/06/2020) Views: 216 ⚡AMP
by SK Goh and Evelyn Watta
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Valencia Half Marathon

Valencia Half Marathon

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

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2020 Valencia Marathon boasts deepest field ever and the race is going to be extremely entertaining

The Valencia Marathon is set to be run on Sunday, and the men’s and women’s fields won’t just be the strongest of the year, but quite possibly the strongest ever. LetsRun.com looked at the race start lists and compared them to past major marathons, and they all pale in comparison to the Valencia lineups, which are absolutely stacked.

After missing much of the season, so many of the world’s top runners were looking for a fast race to enter before the end of 2020, and while the Valencia Marathon isn’t listed as a world major, it’s certainly got the star power of one this year. 

The men’s field 

The men’s lineup is headlined by Ethiopians Birhanu Legese, whose PB of 2:02:48 is the third-fastest marathon time in history, and Kinde Atanaw, who has a PB of 2:03:51. They’re the only two men in the Valencia field to have run under 2:04, but they’re followed by seven runners with sub-2:05 results to their names, including former Boston Marathon champions Lawrence Cherono (2:04:06) of Kenya and Lelisa Desisa (2:04:45) of Ethiopia.

In total, there are nine men under 2:05 racing in Valencia, beating out the fields from the London Marathon in 2015 and 2019, two years that saw eight sub-2:05 runners. 

Another five men have run under 2:06 before, nine more own sub-2:07 PBs and two have bests under 2:08. This brings the total of sub-2:08 runners in the field to a whopping 25, which beats the 2019 Boston Marathon‘s previous best of 15. In addition to these 25 sub-2:08 runners, another 26 men have PBs under the Olympic standard of 2:11:30. This field is so deep, and there will be exciting racing from the lead pack, where the top runners will fight for the win, all the way back to the 2:11 pack as Olympic hopefuls give everything they have to reach standard. 

The women’s field 

The women’s side is also super deep, and like the men’s field, the women are led by a pair of Ethiopians in Ruti Aga and Birhane Dibaba. With PBs separated by just one second, Aga (2:18:34) and Dibaba (2:18:35) sit at 12th- and 13th-best of all time, respectively. They’re the lone women under 2:19, but several runners aren’t far behind with sub-2:20 and sub-2:21 PBs, including American Jordan Hasay (whose PB of 2:20:57 is the second-fastest in U.S. history). These eight women under 2:21 match the 2019 London Marathon field that saw a similarly quick top echelon of runners.

In total, there are 19 women set to race in Valencia who own sub-2:25 PBs, which is better than the previous best of 12 (Tokyo Marathon in 2019 and 2020, Boston Marathon in 2019). There are also six women outside of that 2:25 range who have run under the Olympic standard of 2:29:30, although they’re quite spread out. While runners in the men’s race will have plenty of people to work with no matter where they rank, that might not be the case for the women, some of whom might have to commit to running much faster than their PBs (such as the 2:26 runners looking to hang onto the sub-2:25 group) to avoid running solo. 

(12/03/2020) Views: 112 ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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VALENCIA TRINIDAD ALFONSO MARATHON

VALENCIA TRINIDAD ALFONSO MARATHON

Sammy Kiprop Kitwara set a Spanish all-comers’ record at the 2017 Maraton Valencia Trinidad Alfonso, the 31-year-old Kenyan produced a 2:05:15 effort to finish almost a full minute inside the previous record, moving to seventh on this year’s world list in the process. Ethiopia’s Aberu Mekuria Zennebe won the women’s race in 2:26:17 to improve on her fourth-place finish from...

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Amateur Runner, 23, Kaito Iwasa Hoping for Breakthrough at Fukuoka International Marathon

Local Hiratsuka resident Kaito Iwasa, 23, will run the 74th Fukuoka International Marathon on Dec 6. With the number of entrants limited to a select few due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis, Iwasa earned the right to stand on the starting line by meeting the strict qualifying standards. "Fast times will come later," he said. "Before anything else I just want to enjoy this one."

Iwasa graduated from Kasugano J.H.S. and Oiso H.S. He attended Chuo University. where he was part of the ekiden team. After graduating from Chuo this year he started working at a local company in April, training all the while for next spring's Tokyo Marathon. When Tokyo was postponed until next October due to the coronavirus crisis, he started looking for another race he could run and heard that Fukuoka would be happening. 

In March this year Iwasa ran the Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon as the final race of his college career, recording a respectable 2:19:51. "Fukuoka is an elite race," he said. "To be honest I didn't think I had a chance." But in a field of 94 his Lake Biwa time earned him bib # 83. He hopes to break 2:15.

Still in his first year of full-time work, it's a challenge for him to balance his job and training. "My life can't be completely focused on running like it was in university," Iwasa says. "but I've been able to work it so far so that I can still train six days a week." He gets up at 5:00 a.m. to run, generally following Route 1 along the coast or in the Hiratsuka municipal park, before heading to work. 

At Chuo Iwasa was selected as one of the entry members for the Hakone Ekiden but never made it to the starting lineup. That disappointment is what drives him now. "I want to stay involved with athletics and someday coach an athlete who will run the Hakone Ekiden's Fourth Stage through Hiratsuka," he says. "I want to show younger athletes that you can still have a career in athletics even if you're in the workplace."

(11/26/2020) Views: 104 ⚡AMP
by Brett Larner
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Fukuoka Marathon

Fukuoka Marathon

The Fukuoka International Open Marathon Championship is one of the longest running races in Japan, it is alsoan international men’s marathon race established in 1947. The course record is held by Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia, running 2:05:18 in 2009. Frank Shorter won first straight years from 1971 to 1974. Derek Clayton set the World Record here in 1967 running 2:09:37. ...

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Ryu Takaku Withdraws from Fukuoka International Marathon

On Nov. 20 the organizers of the Dec. 6 Fukuoka International Marathon announced that invited athlete Ryu Takaku (Yakult), the fastest man in the field with a PB of 2:06:45 from this year's Tokyo Marathon, has withdrawn.

The statement said Takaku is suffering fasciitis of the adductor longus muscle in his right thigh.

 

(11/21/2020) Views: 97 ⚡AMP
by Brett Larner
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Fukuoka Marathon

Fukuoka Marathon

The Fukuoka International Open Marathon Championship is one of the longest running races in Japan, it is alsoan international men’s marathon race established in 1947. The course record is held by Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia, running 2:05:18 in 2009. Frank Shorter won first straight years from 1971 to 1974. Derek Clayton set the World Record here in 1967 running 2:09:37. ...

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Competition updates for some of the best races around the world

Here is a round-up of updates relating to international competitions, from cancellations to postponements and confirmations.

This page covers announcements made since the start of July. Up until the end of June, most other significant announcements were incorporated into our 'new normal' reporting pages.

If you're a competition organiser and have news to share regarding the staging of your event, please share it with us.

Boston Marathon (was 19 Apr 2021, now autumn 2021) - postponed

The Boston Athletic Association announced that the 125th Boston Marathon, traditionally held on the third Monday in April — Patriots’ Day in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts — will be postponed until at least the fall of 2021 due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.Announcement (28 October)

Tokyo Marathon (was 7 Mar 2021, now 17 Oct 2021) - rescheduled

The 2021 Tokyo Marathon will be held on Sunday 17 October 2021 with the intention of having an elite and mass race. Further details will be released in due course.Announcement (9 October)

Cross Internacional de Soria (22 Nov 2020) - cancelled

“The current situation in our territory, although much more favorable than in recent times, makes it impossible for us to stage the Cross Internacional de Soria. This Soriana Athletics Delegation, fully supported in its activities by the Soria City Council and the Soria Provincial Council, has therefore decided to cancel the 2020 Cross Internacional de Soria."(8 October)

Athens Authentic Marathon (8 Nov 2020) - cancelled

"Even by following a strict manual of rules and regulations - staging only the marathon race and not the shorter races, reducing the number of participants and having all participants to go through a Covid-19 test before the race - it was not enough. It seems that such measures would not secure the absolute safety of runners’ health, which is and will be the top priority in our minds."Announcement (1 October)

Cross de Atapuerca (15 Nov 2020) - cancelled

“Given the evolution of the Covid-19 pandemic and the impossibility of guaranteeing the safety of participants and the general public, it has been decided to cancel the Cross de Atapuerca for this year. We look forward to enjoying this outstanding sporting event again next year."(23 September)

European Cross Country Championships (13 Dec 2020) - cancelled

European Athletics has confirmed the cancellation of the European Cross Country Championships that was due to take place in Dublin, Ireland, on 13 December. As a part of an Executive Board meeting held in Lausanne, European Athletics spoke with the Fingal-Dublin 2020 local organising committee concerning the current Covid-19 situation in Ireland and the impact that this may have on the 2020 European Cross Country Championships. It soon became clear that, due to the overall uncertainty on hosting mass sporting events, the existing sanitary restrictions in Ireland, and the travel restrictions imposed across Europe due to the coronavirus pandemic, it would not be possible to host the event as scheduled.

Valencia Marathon (6 Dec 2020) - UPDATE

Update: The mass race has been cancelled, but the elite races will take place. 

World Mountain Running Championships (13-14 Nov 2020) - cancelled

"Together with our friends in the organisation team (Arista events), the local Haria government on Lanzarote and the Spanish Athletics Federation (RFEA), we have decided that this is the best action to take. It is regrettable that our mountain running community and family can not meet and share the experiences together that we have grown to love over the past 36 years of WMRA competitions."Announcement (4 September)

Meeting Città di Padova (12 Sep 2020) - cancelled

"With the impossibility of guaranteeing a competition programme with the presence of a sufficient number of international athletes, due to the global continuation of the Covid-19 pandemic, we are forced to cancel the event."Announcement (31 August)

Amsterdam Marathon (18 Oct 2020) - cancelled

"The 45th edition of the TCS Amsterdam Marathon scheduled for Sunday 18 October 2020 has been cancelled. Despite the significantly modified programme, the Municipality of Amsterdam has decided not to grant a permit to the organiser, Le Champion, in light of the rising numbers of coronavirus infections in the capital. The international nature of the marathon and increasingly complex travel options have also been deciding factors behind the decision."Announcement (21 August)

IAU 50km World Championships (27 Nov 2020) - cancelled

"Following the development of the coronavirus situation in Jordan and across the region, it is with regret that we have to inform you of the cancellation of the 2020 IAU 50 km World Championships that was planned for 27th November in Aqaba, Jordan."Announcement (15 August)

Marathon des Alpes Maritimes Nice-Cannes (29 Nov 2020) - cancelled

"Unfortunately, after having tried everything to keep the race going, we find ourselves obliged to cancel the 2020 edition of the Marathon des Alpes Maritimes Nice-Cannes. To stem the spread of the coronavirus epidemic which is currently affecting France, the Mayor of Nice, Christian ESTROSI has just decided to cancel the sporting events which bring together more than 300 competitors scheduled in Nice on the calendar for this end of year 2020."Announcement (15 August)

Paris Marathon (15 Nov 2020) - cancelled

"Faced with the difficulty that many runners, especially those coming from abroad, had in making themselves available for the 14th / 15th November, it was decided that it would be better and simpler for those concerned if we organised the Schneider Electric Marathon de Paris in 2021."Announcement (12 August)

Frankfurt Marathon (25 Oct 2020) - cancelled

The race organisers have decided to cancel the Mainova Frankfurt Marathon 2020. The 39th edition of Germany’s oldest city marathon was to have taken place on 25 October. "We have not taken this step of cancellation lightly and have done our utmost to find solutions and alternatives," says race director Jo Schindler. "Now we have to face the cold reality that cancellation is inevitable."Announcement (11 August)

Nairobi Continental Tour Gold Meeting (was 26 Sep 2020, now 3 Oct 2020) - rescheduled

The Kip Keino Classic, a World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting which was moved to 26 September, was rescheduled once again and will take place on 3 October.

Doha Diamond League (25 Sep 2020) - rescheduled

The 2020 Wanda Diamond League today announced a further change to its 2020 calendar, with the date for the Doha Diamond League brought forward by around a fortnight. The fifth meeting of the season was scheduled for 9 October after it could not be held as the traditional season opener in April, but will now take place instead on 25 September. The plan is to stage 12 disciplines. A list of athletes who will compete in the Qatari capital will be announced in due course.Annoucement (3 August)

Valencia Half Marathon 2020 - cancelled

The 2020 Medio Marathon Valencia Trinidad Alfonso EDP, scheduled for Sunday 25 October has been cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation. In a statement, the organisers said: "SD Correcaminos (running club), the organiser of the Valencia Half-Marathon Trinidad Alfonso EDP, after fully appraising the health situation and consulting all the authorities involved, hereby announces the cancellation of the 30th edition of the race. The results of the appraisal and consultation showed that it was impossible to go ahead with the race, which was scheduled for the 25th of October 2020."Announcement (30 July)

Great Ethiopian Run (15 Nov 2020) - postponed

"The 20th edition of TOTAL Great Ethiopian Run International 10km was scheduled to be held on 15 November 2020. However, due to the current situation of Covid-19, we are forced to postpone the race. We will announce the new date on a later date. Please bear with us while we work through the details to deliver the 20th edition of our flagship race."Announcement (27 July)

Nanjing Continental Tour Gold Meeting 2020 - cancelled

Following the decision taken by China's National Administration of Sports to suspend all international sporting events until next year, organisers of the World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting in Nanjing have announced that the competition will not go ahead this year.Announcement (25 July)

Shanghai Diamond League (19 Sep 2020) - cancelled

Following the decision taken by the National Administration of Sports to suspend all international sporting events until next year, we are sorry to announce that the 2020 Shanghai Diamond League will not go ahead as planned on 19th September. The meeting will return next year, taking its traditional place as one of the early-season events in the Diamond League calendar.Announcement (24 July)

Müller Grand Prix, Gateshead (12 Sep 2020) - cancelled

The Wanda Diamond League today announced a further change to its 2020 calendar. The Müller Grand Prix in Gateshead, UK, scheduled for 12 September to have been the fifth competitive meeting of the season, has been cancelled.Announcement (23 July)

ISTAF (13 Sep 2020) - confirmed

“With 3500 spectators instead of 45,000, the ISTAF will certainly be different this time, but it may be a first small step back to normal," said meeting director Martin Seeber. "We want to set an example for sport and be a beacon for athletics."Announcement (21 July)

Hamburg Marathon (13 Sep 2020) - cancelled

Major sporting events in Hamburg, which have been postponed until late summer and autumn 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic that has been raging since spring 2020, will no longer take place this year, but will be postponed until 2021.Announcement (21 July)

Madrid Half Marathon (4 Oct 2020) - cancelled

"The organisation of the Movistar Madrid Half Marathon and the ProFuturo Race announce the cancellation of the 2020 edition, originally scheduled for 29 March and which, due to the coronavirus health emergency, was postponed to 4 October. The circumstances are still not ideal for the celebration of these two sporting events with a joint participation of close to 20,000 people, and the prospect for the coming months does not offer security guarantees for participants, spectators, volunteers and the organisation team either."Announcement (21 July)

Rotterdam Marathon (was 24-25 Oct 2020, now 10-11 April 2021) - postponed

"With pain in our hearts we have decided to reschedule the event due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation. The NN Marathon Rotterdam is now scheduled to take place on the 10th and 11th of April 2021. Every individual runner with a place in the 2020 edition will be able to use their place in the rescheduled event."Announcement (20 July)

Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon (7 Feb 2021) - cancelled

"The 75th anniversary running of the Kagawa Marugame International Half Marathon scheduled for 7 February 2021 will not take place. After careful consideration we determined that, with no visible end to the coronavirus crisis in sight, for the health and safety of participants, volunteers, staff, medical and rescue personnel, fans along the course and everyone else involved with our event, our 75th running must be postponed for one year."Announcement (20 July)

Meeting Liege (9 Sep 2020) - cancelled

"There will be no 19th edition of the Meeting International d'Athlétisme de la Province de Liège this year. The applicable corona measures meant it is not possible to organise the event properly later this summer. The 19th edition can take place in July 2021 and we are also looking forward to the 20th anniversary of this international event in 2022."Announcement (16 July)

Youth Olympic Games Dakar 2022 - postponed

Senegal and the International Olympic Committee have mutually agreed to postpone the Youth Olympic Games Dakar 2022 to 2026. This postponement meets the requirement of responsibility and the concern for efficiency imposed by current circumstances.Announcement (15 July)

Great Birmingham Run (11 Oct 2020) - cancelled

"There’s no option to stage the event as planned, or at a later date in the year."Announcement (15 July)

Chicago Marathon (11 Oct 2020) - cancelled

Event organisers and the City of Chicago announced the decision to cancel the 2020 Bank of America Chicago Marathon and all race weekend activities in response to the ongoing public health concerns brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.Announcement (13 July)

Toronto Marathon (18 Oct 2020) - cancelled

Working closely with the City of Toronto and Mayor John Tory, event organisers Canada Running Series have made the decision to cancel the event due to Covid-19 related health and safety concerns. "We are pleased to announce that we will be transitioning to a virtual event this year, to continue to offer the best possible running and fundraising goals in these challenging times."Announcement (13 July)

Seiko Golden Grand Prix Tokyo (was 10 May 2020, now 23 Aug 2020) - postponed

Originally set to take place on 10 May, the Seiko Golden Grand Prix – a World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting – will now be held on Sunday 23 August. “Only domestic athletes will participate,” read a statement on the meeting’s website. “We are also considering allowing high school athletes to play a role. Details will be announced once they are confirmed.”Announcement (13 July)

(11/02/2020) Views: 98 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics is
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2021 Lake Biwa Marathon to Go Ahead Feb. 28

With race after race canceling or postponing, this week the organizers of the Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon announced plans for next year's 76th running to go ahead on Feb. 28, 2021.

A week earlier that its traditional date due to the Tokyo Marathon's move to March, the planned date comes with the caveat that, "depending on the future situation with regard to COVID-19, there may be changes to the race's operation, including the possibility of cancelation." 

But with that said, it looks like the organizers plan no additional restrictions on their event's field beyond the normal qualifying times and requirement for national federation approval.

In that past that has typically meant a field of under 200 finishers from Japan and abroad. For the domestic field, with no Beppu-Oita or Tokyo Marathon there's sure to be record-setting depth. as between Beppu-Oita, Tokyo and Lake Biwa this year 29 men went sub-2:10 and 50 sub-2:12.

For international men, if it actually happens Lake Biwa will be one of the only elite spring marathons in the world. In contrast to the 2020 Fukuoka International Marathon and 2021 Nagoya Women's Marathon, both of which restricted their fields to those already in Japan, Lake Biwa appears to be open to any internationals who meet the standards, have federation approval, and are willing to make the trip. 

At the moment immigration restrictions would prevent that from being an easy option for most nationalities, but as it works on its athlete COVID protocols for the Tokyo Olympics it's quite possible that changes to Japan's policies could open the door to a legit international field at Lake Biwa. With the race's application deadline standing at Dec. 31 there's just over 2 months for those changes to happen one direction or the other.

Major Japanese marathons still scheduled to happen in 2020 and 2021 marathon announcements to date:

Dec. 6: Fukuoka International Marathon (370) - scheduled with limited field size.

Dec. 20: Hofu Marathon (2,724) - scheduled with limited field size.

(10/29/2020) Views: 130 ⚡AMP
by Brett Larner
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LAKE BIWA MAINICHI MARATHON

LAKE BIWA MAINICHI MARATHON

The Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon held in Otsu, Shiga, is one of the prominent Japanese marathon races of the year. It is a male-only competition and has IAAF Gold Label status. It was first held in 1946 and, having taken place every year since then, it is Japan's oldest annual marathon race. The early editions of the race were held...

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Kenya's Amos Kipruto focused on Valencia Marathon

The 2019 World Athletics Championships marathon bronze medalist Amos Kipruto is intent on improving his personal best time even in a season adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

He will get another chance to attempt on lowering his personal mark of 2 hours 5 minutes 43 seconds when he races in the Valencia Marathon on December 6.

Kipruto has been fine-tuning for race in Kapsabet, Nandi County for several months now after his 18th placed finish in the Tokyo Marathon in March in a time of 2:08:00.

In an interview with Nation Sport, Kipruto said he was in good shape when he went to Japan for the Tokyo race but complications arose as he was running which slowed him down.

“It has been a challenging year and for me it started when I competed in the Tokyo Marathon. I had some calf muscle problem. I was disappointed to finish 18th,  but that is now gone and I am focused on doing well in Valencia and also going for a PB.”

“Being selected for the race is humbling and I must say I’m lucky because many athletes are at home and have not been able to compete,” said Kipruto.

According to Kipruto, the lineup looks tough with many Ethiopian athletes in the mix who have registered faster times than him.

(10/29/2020) Views: 114 ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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2021 Kagoshima Marathon Canceled and updates on other Marathons in Japan

We have studied a variety of options for staging the 2021 Kagoshima Marathon, but with no end to the coronavirus crisis in sight we have come to the unfortunate conclusion, in light of the need to ensure the safety of the runners, event staff and local residents, that it would not be possible to hold the race as planned and that it must be canceled for the second year in a row.

We sincerely pray for a swift end to the crisis and that we can once again hold the Kagoshima Marathon as a safe event that will delight runners and locals alike. We will be working hard to make that a reality.

With regard to priority entry for those who were entered to run in 2020, we are still studying how we might move forward with improved coronavirus measures in the future, including examining the field size, and do not have a clear answer at this point.

We will post that information as soon as it has been determined and thank you for your patience until then. We are planning to hold events including a running clinic and an online marathon and will also post that information on our website as soon as all the details have been decided.

Kagoshima Marathon Organizing Committee

Major Japanese marathons still scheduled to happen in 2020 and 2021 marathon announcements to date:

Dec. 6: Fukuoka International Marathon (370) - scheduled with limited field size

Dec. 20: Hofu Marathon (2,724) - scheduled with limited field size

2021

Jan. 10 - Ibusuki Nanohana Marathon (10,954) - canceled

Jan. 31 - Katsuta Marathon (10,627) - canceled

Jan. 31 - Osaka International Women's Marathon (423) - TBA

Feb. 7 - Beppu-Oita Marathon (3,141) - canceled

Feb. 14 - Ehime Marathon (9,554) - canceled

Feb. 14 - Nobeoka Nishi Nippon Marathon (536) - TBA

Feb. 21 - Kyoto Marathon (13,894) - canceled

Feb. 21 - Kochi Ryoma Marathon (10,924) - canceled

Feb. 21 - Kumamoto Castle Marathon (10,444) - canceled

Feb. 21 - Kitakyushu Marathon (9,485) - canceled

Feb. 21 - Okinawa Marathon (7,990) - canceled

Feb. 28 - Shonan International Marathon (16,821) - rescheduled from Dec. 6

Feb. 28 - Himeji Castle Marathon (6,938) - canceled

Feb. 28 - Iwaki Sunshine Marathon (5,259) - canceled

Feb. 28 - Lake Biwa Marathon (174) - TBA

Mar. 7 - Kagoshima Marathon (9.356) - canceled

Mar. 7 - Tokyo Marathon (151) - postponed to October 17

Mar. 14 - Shizuoka Marathon (9,802) - canceled

Mar. 14 - Nagoya Women's Marathon (96) - scheduled with limited field size

Mar. 21 - Itabashi City Marathon (13,310) - canceled

Mar. 21 - Koga Hanamomo Marathon (8,766) - canceled

Mar. 21 - Saga Sakura Marathon (8.509) - canceled

Mar. 28 - Tokushima Marathon (11,010) - decision in early November

Mar. 28 - Sakura Marathon (5,614) - TBA

Apr. 18 - Kasumigaura Marathon (10,096) - decision by end of October

Apr. 18 - Nagano Marathon (8,082) - decision by end of October

(10/18/2020) Views: 122 ⚡AMP
by Japan Running News
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Tokyo marathon 2021 has been postponed until after Olympics

Next year's Tokyo marathon has been postponed until after the delayed 2020 Olympics, organizers said Friday (Oct 9), as the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact sporting events across the world.

The race was originally set to take place on Mar 7 and include around 38,000 runners, including top athletes.

But with restricted entry into the country and rules around big events, it is now being pushed back to Oct 17 "due to various restrictions related to the new coronavirus", a spokesman for the Tokyo Marathon Foundation told AFP.

Marathons worldwide were cancelled or severely scaled back this year as the deadly new disease spread.

The 2020 Tokyo marathon was held in March with a reduced field of around 200 elite runners.

The spokesman said holding the marathon later in 2021 could allow a larger race to take place, but added that the number of entrants was yet to be decided.

The news comes as questions swirl about how and whether the Olympics, also forced back a year by the COVID-19 crisis, will go forward.

(10/09/2020) Views: 151 ⚡AMP
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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. (2020) The Tokyo Marathon Foundation said it will cancel the running event for non-professional runners as the coronavirus outbreak pressures cities and institutions to scrap large events. Sponsored by Tokyo...

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World half marathon record holder, Peres Jepchirchir will lead strong Kenyan field in Valencia

World Half Marathon record holder, Peres Jepchirchir, is among the Kenyan runners listed for Valencia 21km race set for December 6.

She will be up against fellow Kenyans including the former world half marathon record-holder, Joyciline Jepkosgei, Joan Chelimo and Fancy Chemutai.

World 10,000m silver medalist Letesenbet Gidey of Ethiopia will make her half marathon debut and will take on Sheila Chepkirui, the second-fastest woman in history over 10km (29:46), and 2015 world 5000m silver medalist Senbere Teferi, who won in Valencia last year in 1:05:32.

In recent years, Valencia has built a reputation as a city that produces fast times. Two world records have been set in the men’s 10km in the Spanish city, along with two women’s world records for the half marathon.

The course records of 58:18 and 1:04:51— which are just shy of the world records (58:01 and 1:04:31)— are expected to come under threat.

In the men’s half marathon, world 10,000m bronze medalist Rhonex Kipruto, who set a world 10km record of 26:24 in Valencia earlier this year, will return to the Spanish city to make his half marathon debut. World cross-country silver medalist Jacob Kiplimo of Uganda is also among the athletes entered.

Ten other runners with sub-60-minute PBs are in the field, including 2019 Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon champion Stephen Kiprop, 2016 world half marathon silver medalist Bedan Karoki, 2019 Valencia Half runner-up Bernard Ngeno, European record-holder Julien Wanders and African cross-country champion Alfred Barkach.

Fast times will be the target once again the full marathon as 2019 Tokyo Marathon champion Ruti Aga, the fastest woman in the field  with a PB of 2:18:34,  is pitted against fellow Ethiopian Birhane Dibaba, whose PB is just one second slower at 2:18:35.

Mare Dibaba, the 2015 world champion, is also in the field, along with Ethiopian compatriots Zeineba Yimer and Tigist Girma—all of whom have sub-2:20 PBs. USA’s Jordan Hasay completes the field.

In the men’s marathon, Kinde Atanaw, who set a course record of 2:03:51 last year, will defend his title when he lines up against fellow Ethiopian Birhanu Legese, whose 2:02:48 PB makes him the third-fastest man in history.

Others in the field include world champion Lelisa Desisa, Boston and Chicago Marathon champion Lawrence Cherono, European record-holder Kaan Kigen Özbilen and Ethiopian half marathon record-holder Jemal Yimer, who will be making his marathon debut.

The organizers will create a health bubble around the race and take stringent safety measures to ensure the event carries minimal health risk.

(10/05/2020) Views: 198 ⚡AMP
by Star Reporter
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Valencia Half Marathon

Valencia Half Marathon

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

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Tokyo Marathon to be Held in Fall of 2021

On Oct. 4 it was learned from an involved source that the 2021 Tokyo Marathon, currently scheduled for Mar. 7, has made a final decision to move to the fall next year with a full field size of 38,000 rather than as an elite-only race.

The postponement is a result of the ongoing coronavirus crisis, but the organizers do not plan to reduce the event's size. The decision has been approved by the board of directors of the Tokyo Marathon Foundation and a formal announcement is expected to be made on Oct. 9.The move puts the 2021 Tokyo Marathon in the aftermath of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. According to the source, the original Mar. 7 was viewed as simply not feasible given the current status of the coronavirus crisis.

The move will allow the race to be held without a reduction in the number of participants, roughly 38,000 people in normal years. The Foundation was keen to avoid a reduction in the number of participants for a second-straight year after this year's mass participation field was cut shortly before the race. One consequence of the coronavirus crisis has been a reduction in the event's income from sponsors.This year's Tokyo Marathon in March was held as an elite-only competition, with Suguru Osako (29, Nike) setting a new national record of 2:05:29. The cancelation of the mass-participation race came two weeks beforehand, with entrants given the option of shifting their entries to either 2021 or 2022.

Since then, marathons and road races all across the country have canceled, announced one-year postponements, or scaled down their event sizes. As the largest marathon in Japan, an announcement that Tokyo plans to go ahead with a full field may help to slow down this domino effect.The Foundation originally planned to make a final decision about next year's race by August of this year. That decision was delayed in order to make it possible to make a decision informed by the latest government policies regarding public events. Government policies currently call for events to reduce the maximum number of people present by 50% through the end of November, with the subsequent level still under study.

Based upon that timeline and its impact on preparations the Tokyo Marathon organizers decided the planned spring date was not feasible.

Foundation spokespeople had previously said that they were examining all options but did not plan to hold another elite-only race.

(10/05/2020) Views: 158 ⚡AMP
by Brett Larner
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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. (2020) The Tokyo Marathon Foundation said it will cancel the running event for non-professional runners as the coronavirus outbreak pressures cities and institutions to scrap large events. Sponsored by Tokyo...

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Valencia half marathon has attracted some of the world’s best distance runners

Along with its World Athletics Platinum Label marathon on December 6, the Valencia Marathon Trinidad Alfonso EDP will also stage an elite half marathon on the same day, and both races have attracted some of the world’s best distance runners.

In recent years Valencia has built a reputation as a city that produces fast times. Two world records have been set in the men’s 10km in the Spanish city, along with two women’s world records for the half marathon.

Fast times will be the target once again on 6 December. 2019 Tokyo Marathon champion Ruti Aga, who has a PB of 2:18:34, is the fastest woman in the field, but fellow Ethiopian Birhane Dibaba’s PB is just one second slower at 2:18:35.

Mare Dibaba, the 2015 world champion, is also in the field, along with Ethiopian compatriots Zeineba Yimer and Tigist Girma – all of whom have sub-2:20 PBs.

Peres Jepchirchir, who recently broke the world half marathon record, is also set to compete, as are fellow Kenyans Joyciline Jepkosgei, the former world half marathon record-holder, Joan Chelimo and Fancy Chemutai. USA’s Jordan Hasay completes the field.

Kinde Atanaw, who set a course record of 2:03:51 last year, will defend his title when he lines up against fellow Ethiopian Birhanu Legese, whose 2:02:48 PB makes him the third-fastest man in history.

Others in the field include world champion Lelisa Desisa, Boston and Chicago Marathon champion Lawrence Cherono, European record-holder Kaan Kigen Özbilen and Ethiopian half marathon record-holder Jemal Yimer, who will be making his marathon debut.

The half marathon will be held on the same day without overlapping with the marathon, but the end goal is the same: fast times. The course records of 58:18 and 1:04:51 – which are just shy of the world records (58:01 and 1:04:31) – are expected to come under threat.

World 10,000m bronze medalist Rhonex Kipruto, who set a world 10km record of 26:24 in Valencia earlier this year, will return to the Spanish city to make his half marathon debut. World cross-country silver medallist Jacob Kiplimo of Uganda is also among the athletes entered.

Ten other runners with sub-60-minute PBs are in the field, including 2019 Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon champion Stephen Kiprop, 2016 world half marathon silver medalist Bedan Karoki, 2019 Valencia Half runner-up Bernard Ngeno, European record-holder Julien Wanders and African cross-country champion Alfred Barkach.

World 10,000m silver medallist Letesenbet Gidey of Ethiopia will make her half marathon debut and will take on Sheila Chepkirui, the second-fastest woman in history over 10km (29:46), and 2015 world 5000m silver medalist Senbere Teferi, who won in Valencia last year in 1:05:32.

The organizers will create a health bubble around the race and take stringent safety measures to ensure the event carries minimal health risk. The race will have its own medical app, which will be supported by an external consultant to collect all the data and ensure, if necessary, the traceability of the movements made by the athletes and other people involved in organizing the race.

(10/01/2020) Views: 169 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Valencia Half Marathon

Valencia Half Marathon

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

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A study estimates a loss of more than $ 6.7 billion in cancellation of the Japan marathons

A study released on September 27 by Katsuhiro Miyamoto, professor emeritus of theoretical economics at Kansai University, estimated that the cancellation or postponement of 460 marathons and road races in Japan from the fall of 2020 through the spring of 2021 due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis would result in an estimated economic loss of 710 billion yen (USD 6.74 billion, EUR 5.75 billion).

For races with more than 2000 participants, apart from direct losses such as entry fees and accommodation costs, the study’s calculation included linked losses such as reduced purchases of supplies and materials, and secondary losses such as reduced spending by vendors due to decreased income. After performing the calculation for a number of representative races, numbers for other races were estimated based on their field sizes.

The loss due to the cancellation of November’s Osaka Marathon was estimated at 18 billion yen (171m USD, 145m EUR). Its 2019 race attracted 33,000 participants from across the country, making it the second-largest in Japan. The Kobe Marathon, likewise cancelled, is expected to face losses of 7 billion yen (66.5m USD, 56m EUR). Whether the 2021 Tokyo Marathon goes ahead as scheduled in March is yet to be decided, but with 38,000 entrants in 2020 its losses should it be cancelled are expected to total 29 billion yen (275m USD, 235m EUR).

Since the beginning of the 2000s the number of mass participation marathons across Japan has increased dramatically. The races help promote the region in which they are held and boost tourism and related consumption. Many attract foreign runners to make the trip to run in Japan. Professor Emeritus Miyamoto noted, “As an economic loss, the cancellation and postponement of marathons represents a negative stimulus to regional economic revitalisation.”

According to R-bies Inc., the Tokyo-based operator of an online race entry site, of the races in its system scheduled after the end of September, more than 130 have already cancelled. Doshisha University professor Hiroaki Ninomiya, a specialist in sports economics, commented, “Even if races are able to go ahead there is a risk of major deficits. Moving forward, rather than just going ahead with an event no matter what, it will be essential to develop income streams other than entry fees to make races profitable.”

The study estimates only losses for the upcoming year and does not include losses for the hundreds of races cancelled between February and September this year.

(09/29/2020) Views: 146 ⚡AMP
by Brett Larner
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2021 Tokyo Marathon examining alternative plans

Tokyo Marathon is reported to be examining a plan to hold next year’s race, currently scheduled for 7 March, in October 2021 with a maximum field of 15000.

The plan is among the leading candidates for a solution to dealing with the ongoing coronavirus crisis. The Tokyo Marathon Foundation continues to examine the options and projections for the future and intends to make a final decision at its executive board meeting in early October.

This year’s race on 1 March was run as an elite-only event due to the effects of the coronavirus crisis. 38,000 mass participation runners had been scheduled to run through the city’s streets before the mass participation race was cancelled. Those who had been entered have the option to run in either 2021 or 2022 instead.

The countdown to next year’s race continues in the midst of uncertainty. Back in August there was a clear statement from the Foundation that “We are not considering an elite-only race.”

The postponed Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games are set to take place next summer. Some athletics officials are worried that if the Tokyo Marathon goes ahead with a large number of people on 7 March a cluster outbreak there would have serious repercussions for the Olympics’ and Paralympics’ chances of happening.

If the 7 March date is judged not to be feasible, the October date with a half-sized field of 15,000 seems like the most likely alternative. But with the Paralympics set to end on 5 September it remains to be seen whether another large-scale event could be realistically staged just a month later.

(09/10/2020) Views: 204 ⚡AMP
by Brett Larner
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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. (2020) The Tokyo Marathon Foundation said it will cancel the running event for non-professional runners as the coronavirus outbreak pressures cities and institutions to scrap large events. Sponsored by Tokyo...

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London Marathon Creates a Biosecure Bubble for the Upcoming Elite-Only Race

All runners will stay in the same hotel, and will be allowed to train on the surrounding 40 acres.

The London Marathon, scheduled for elites only on October 4, is creating a bubble environment to protect the runners and necessary staff.

This will be the first World Marathon Major to take place since the Tokyo Marathon was run as an elite-only race on March 1.

On Thursday, September 3, race organizers for the World Marathon Major announced plans to implement a biosecure bubble for the elite-only race on Sunday, October 4. The biosecure bubble will be created using a strict testing protocol and an athlete-only hotel surrounded by 40 acres for runners to train ahead of the marathon.

“It is our duty and responsibility to ensure this event is held in a safe and secure environment,” Hugh Brasher, the London Marathon event director, said in an announcement. “We have looked at other examples and taken learnings from other sports which have returned to action as we developed our detailed plans for this biosecure bubble around the event.”

To enter the biosecure bubble, athletes will be required to test for COVID-19 in their home country four days prior to travel. They will be tested once again when they arrive at the athlete hotel in London, and testing will continue until the Friday before the event. The hotel will be used exclusively by athletes, support staff, and race officials, all of whom will be required to remain socially distant from each other and wear face masks at all times with the exception of training, eating, and being inside their single rooms.

“By finding a hotel for exclusive use and putting in place the strict testing, hygiene and security measures to protect the bubble, we are confident we have created the safest environment possible for everyone,” Brasher said.

The race will be held over 19 laps on a 2.15K-closed course around St. James’s Park plus an extra 1,345 meters to the usual finish line. To keep the competition secure, no spectators will be allowed on the course.

The London Marathon, originally scheduled to run in April, is the first World Marathon Major to take place since the coronavirus was declared a global pandemic on March 11 (the Tokyo Marathon staged an elite-only race on March 1). Outside of running, the NBA became the first professional sports organization to start back up, creating a bubble in Orlando, Florida, in an effort to protect players during a three-month season.

For many athletes, the London Marathon will be their first major competition of 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions, which forced many events to be postponed or canceled.

The men’s race features a highly-anticipated match-up between world record-holder Eliud Kipchoge and 2019 Berlin Marathon winner Kenenisa Bekele. In Berlin, Bekele came within two seconds of breaking the 2:01:39 world record set by Kipchoge at the 2018 Berlin Marathon.

Brigid Kosgei leads the women’s field after breaking the world record at the 2019 Chicago Marathon. She will be competing in her first race since the RAK Half Marathon in February when she finished second to Ababel Yeshaneh who broke the half marathon world record.

Americans Sara Hall, Molly Seidel, Lindsay Flanagan, and Jared Ward will be competing in London as well.

On August 7, Hall ran an impressive half marathon personal best of 1:08:18 with two male pacers and two of her daughters following at a distance in a race staged by Eugene Marathon organizers.

In February, Seidel made her first Olympic team in her 26.2 debut when she finished second at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in Atlanta. Flanagan finished 12th at the Olympic Trials.

For Ward, a 2016 Olympic marathoner, London will be his first major marathon since finishing 27th at the Trials.

While the 40th running of the London Marathon will feature elites only, 45,000 people signed up to participate in the virtual 26.2.

(09/06/2020) Views: 221 ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

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

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2021 Tokyo Marathon may be moved to fall due to coronavirus

Tokyo Marathon organizers are weighing the possibility of rescheduling next year's race to the fall, should the coronavirus appear likely to remain an obstacle by the usual date in March, sources close to the matter said Monday.

The organizers restricted this year's event to elite competitors in response to the coronavirus pandemic but have indicated they are against excluding general entry runners for a second year in a row.

General entrants excluded from this year's race, after initially being accepted via lottery, were given automatic entry to next year's event, scheduled for March 7, or the 2022 event.

The Tokyo Marathon is one of the six World Marathon Majors. This year's races in Boston, Berlin, Chicago and New York have all been canceled, while the London Marathon will feature only elite runners after being postponed from April to October.

(09/01/2020) Views: 407 ⚡AMP
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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. (2020) The Tokyo Marathon Foundation said it will cancel the running event for non-professional runners as the coronavirus outbreak pressures cities and institutions to scrap large events. Sponsored by Tokyo...

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Bashir Abdi and Sir Mo Farah talk about their upcoming one hour world record attempt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(08/28/2020) Views: 286 ⚡AMP
by Hannah Borenstein
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Tokyo Marathon 2021 could exclude non-elite runners again due to pandemic

Organizers of the Tokyo Marathon are considering excluding runners from the general public for a second consecutive year over coronavirus concerns, Jiji Press learned Thursday.

Next year’s Tokyo Marathon, scheduled for March 7, may accept elite athletes only. The Tokyo Marathon Foundation will make a decision on the matter early next month, informed sources said.

In this year’s race, held on March 1, participation by some 38,000 runners from among the public was canceled due to the spread of the new coronavirus. Spectators were asked to refrain from watching from along the marathon route as elite athletes ran in the race, which served as a qualifier for Japanese athletes for the men’s marathon in the Tokyo Olympics.

Suguru Osako set a new Japanese record of 2 hours, 5 minutes and 29 seconds to place fourth in the race. He was later selected to compete in the Tokyo Olympics, which has been postponed by one year to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Tokyo Marathon, which started in 2007, is one of the largest marathon events in Japan in terms of the number of participants.

The foundation has already notified runners from the general public for this year’s race that they are eligible to participate in the Tokyo Marathon for next year or for 2022. They were initially asked to choose the year by last month, but the selection process has been postponed.

(08/28/2020) Views: 182 ⚡AMP
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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. (2020) The Tokyo Marathon Foundation said it will cancel the running event for non-professional runners as the coronavirus outbreak pressures cities and institutions to scrap large events. Sponsored by Tokyo...

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Tokyo Games look to be in trouble with marathons cancelling into 2021

The 2021 edition of Japan's Marugame Half-Marathon was cancelled, which is not a good sign for next year's Olympics.

On Monday morning, the Marine Corps Marathon became the most recent major marathon to announce that they won’t be running their 2020 event. While some 2020 marathons hold out, like London, most others have pulled the plug. While it’s not very surprising anymore when 2020 races cancel, it is most sobering when you see that events are looking shaky into next year. Even though July 2021 is still 12 months away, not even the Tokyo Olympics are safe just yet, and now Japanese events slated for next year are calling things off well in advance.  

Along with the Marine Corps Marathon, organizers of the Marugame Half-Marathon, one of Japan’s premier road races, cancelled their 2021 event on Monday. With this news, Marugame has become the third major Japanese race to cancel for 2021 and the first World Athletics labelled race to cancel. The event is one of the most competitive half-marathons in the world and was typically used as a tune-up race for the Tokyo Marathon. It was scheduled to run February 7, 2021. Canadian Rachel Cliff is no stranger to the race, running a 1:10:28 there in 2019 – one of the fastest-ever times run by a Canadian. 

With the Olympics looming, Japan cancelling races only five months out of their start date isn’t very promising. With the qualification window opening on December 1, the hope is that athletes will have the opportunity to travel, get into fast races and achieve the necessary standards. However, if travel bans remain and races continue to cancel, runners won’t be able to qualify for the Games. 

In addition to the matter of cancelled races, which is making the prospect of the 2021 Olympics appear more and more bleak, a recent poll of Japanese citizens has been released which shows that just one in four people hope to see the Games go ahead next summer. According to an article from the Agence France-Presse, 23.9 per cent of Japanese citizens want the Games to be held in 2021. Another 36.4 per cent of those polled said they would like to see the Olympics delayed even more, and 33.7 per cent of respondents simply think the event should be cancelled. 

The IOC and Japanese government have already stated that there is no Plan C for the Tokyo Games, and if they cannot be held in July 2021, then they won’t be held at all. 

(07/21/2020) Views: 200 ⚡AMP
by Canadian Running
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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2021 Kagawa Marugame International Half Marathon has been cancelled due to the coronavirus crisis

We regret to announce that the 75th anniversary running of the Kagawa Marugame International Half Marathon scheduled for Feb. 7, 2021 will not take place.

After careful consideration we determined that, with no visible end to the coronavirus crisis in sight, for the health and safety of participants, volunteers, staff, medical and rescue personnel, fans along the course and everyone else involved with our event, our 75th running must be postponed for one year.

We apologize to everyone who had anticipated taking part in our race, but we ask for your understanding of this difficult situation. We hope for a solution to the coronavirus situation and look forward to welcoming you all to our next race on Feb. 6, 2022.

We will be busily preparing for that day and thank you all for your continued support of the Kagawa Marugame International Half Marathon. Kagawa Marugame International Half Marathon Organizing Committee.

This is the third major Japanese race of 2021 and, as far as I'm aware, the first World Athletics label race in 2021 worldwide to cancel. Marugame is Japan's premier winter half marathon, one of the deepest in the world and a key tuneup every year for top-level Japanese athletes competing in the Tokyo Marathon, Lake Biwa Marathon and Nagoya Women's Marathon.

(07/20/2020) Views: 220 ⚡AMP
by Brett Larner
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Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon

Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon

The Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon is an annual road running competition which takes place in early February in Marugame, Japan. It currently holds IAAF Silver Label Road Race status and the professional races attract over 1000 entries each year, and hosted by the Sankei Shimbun, Sankei Sports, Okayama Broadcasting, BS Fuji. The race in Marugame was first held in 1947...

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Kenyans Brigid Kosgei and Lawrence Cherono, disappointed after Chicago Marathon cancelled

The cancellation of this year’s Chicago Marathon has left a number of Kenyan athletes disappointed.

This is the fourth Abbot Major Marathon race to be cancelled after Boston, Berlin and New York Marathon races were moved to next year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The race was primed for October 11 with an estimated field of around 45,000 runners and wheelchair athletes.

Chicago Marathon has good memories for the Kenyan athletes with Brigid Kosgei shattering the world record by clocking 2:14:04 lowering Paula Radcliffe’s time of 2:15:25 in last year’s women’s edition of the race.

Kosgei broke the world record a day after Eliud Kipchoge made history by becoming the first man to run under two-hours in a race dubbed INEOS 1:59 Challenge in Vienna, Austria leaving no doubt that Kenya is an athletics powerhouse.

The Kapsait-based athlete zoomed to victory after beating Ethiopia’s Ababel Yeshaneh (2:20:51) by six minutes, while her compatriot Gelete Burka was third in 2:20:55.

Kosgei is hopeful that she will able to defend her London Marathon in October 4.

“I had two options, but with the Chicago Marathon race cancelled, I’m left to train for the London Marathon race, which we are still crossing fingers will be able to proceed,” said Kosgei.

Lawrence Cherono, who won the men’s race last year in a sprint finish against Ethiopians, has also been left disappointed by the cancellation.

Cherono clocked 2:05:45 beating Dejene Debela, who timed 2:05:46 ahead of fellow countryman Asefa Mengistu who came in third in 2:05:48.

“It’s really demoralising because all the races I was to compete in this year have since been cancelled and that has left me to just do my work as we focus on next year and hope the virus will be contained,” said Cherono.

Cherono was to race in the Boston Marathon as well as the now postponed 2020 Tokyo Olympics Games.

“I have been working on my farm because there is no race I can participate in this year, but at the same time I’m waiting for the management to communicate if there will be any other small race that I can do as we wait for next year,” said a disappointed Cherono.

So far Tokyo Marathon remains the only successful major marathon that was held back in March. Toronto Marathon, which was scheduled for October 18,  has also been cancelled.

(07/18/2020) Views: 259 ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Bank of America Chicago Marathon

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

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The 2020 Chicago Marathon has been canceled

For the second time in its history, the Chicago Marathon has been canceled before runners cross the starting line.  Organizers on Monday announced the 43rd running of the race, scheduled for Oct. 11, will not proceed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Bank of America Chicago Marathon typically draws about 45,000 runners and wheelchair athletes to the city, with a record 45,786 finishers in 2019 from 50 states and more than 100 countries. Organizers estimate about 1.7 million spectators annually line the 26.2-mile course that starts and ends near Grant Park and travels as far north as Wrigleyville and as far south as Bridgeport.

Registered participants can receive a refund for their race entry or defer their place and entry fee to the 2021, 2022 or 2023 race. Registered runners for the International Chicago 5K will have the same options.

“The Chicago Marathon is our city’s beloved annual celebration of more than 45,000 runners, as well as tens of thousands of volunteers, spectators and city residents, all of whom come together race weekend as one community here in our city,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a statement. “Like all Chicagoans, I’m personally disappointed that this year’s event won’t take place as originally planned; however, we look forward to welcoming all runners and their cheering squads once again when the Chicago Marathon returns to our city in full force for another very exciting race.”

Organizers are developing plans for a virtual race experience.

“Our highest priority has always been the safety of our participants and our volunteers,” race director Carey Pinkowski said in a statement. “We understand the disappointment, but when we return to the streets of Chicago, it will be a celebratory moment and an uncompromising statement about the collective spirit of who we are as a running community: We are powerful, we are persistent, and we will reach the finish line again.”

The Chicago Marathon is one of six Abbott World Major Marathons, along with Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, and New York. Only elite marathoners and wheelchair athletes were allowed to compete in the March 1 Tokyo Marathon.

Boston, originally scheduled for April 20 and rescheduled for Sept. 14, was canceled for the first time in its 124-year history on May 28. Organizers instead will make it a virtual race, giving finisher’s medals to participants who prove they ran 26.2 miles.

London was postponed from April 26 to Oct. 4. Berlin, slated to run Sept. 27, was canceled in April. New York, originally scheduled for Nov. 11, was canceled on June 24.

The Chicago race is a major fall tourist event. Organizers estimated in 2019 that the race has a $338 million economic impact annually on the city.

The only other time the Chicago Marathon didn’t start was in 1987, when sponsor Beatrice Foods withdrew its support. Organizers held a low-budget half-marathon with about 3,000 runners instead.

The first Chicago Marathon took place Sept. 25, 1977, as the Mayor Daley Marathon and had more than 4,200 runners.

In the 42nd running in 2019, Lawrence Cherono and Brigid Kosgei, both of Kenya, won the men’s and women’s races. Cherono finished in 2 hours, 5 minutes, 45 seconds. Kosgei broke the women’s world record by finishing in 2:14:04.

(07/13/2020) Views: 271 ⚡AMP
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Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Bank of America Chicago Marathon

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

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These carbon fibre shoes are coming for Nike’s running crown In the race for every advantage, footwear designers are improving on nature by adding carbon fibre flex

Nike has conquered long distance running. Its thick, foam-soled shoes have grabbed headlines and rewritten records. In October 2019, the Portland, Oregon-based company provided the footwear worn by Eliud Kipchoge, who ran a marathon in less than two hours, a feat once thought impossible. At the Tokyo marathon in March, 28 of the top 30 runners were wearing a variant of Nike’s Air Zoom Alphafly Next% shoe.

The success of the footwear is thought to be down to a rigid carbon fibre plate with a thick stack of foam, which helps athletes use less energy, leading to faster times. But, by the time the world’s best runners return to Tokyo for the Olympics in 2021, Nike could have serious competition on its hands, from a little-known company that started out making suitcases.

Carbitex founder Junus Khan began experimenting with carbon fibre technology ten years ago in his garage in Washington state, with an initial focus on luggage. “What Nike did was fantastic, it’s proven,” says Khan, who has a background in the automotive industry and learned about materials and carbon fibre while working for supercar brands, in particular during a collaboration with Skylar Tibbits, the founder of MIT’s Self Assembly Lab. “They created an entire system which has shaken the running footwear industry to its core. But our approach is different.”

Carbitex, which now has 50 staff, makes a new kind of carbon plate designed to aid natural running. It has two technologies: AFX and DFX. The former stands for asymmetrically flexible, meaning the plates can bend more one way than the other, much like parts of our body. DFX means dynamically flexible, where the plate exponentially increases in stiffness in order to meet the particular movement needs.

This means, in theory, that the plate could work to provide everyday comfort for walking, but also the stiffness required for a sprint. “When you go past a certain angle when you’re running, your foot bends beyond what it needs to, and the more it does that, the more energy you use,” Khan explains. “Our technology takes the foot to the angle it wants to go to, and then it gets stiff. That’s the concept our carbon fibre material enables, that other carbon fibre plates just can’t.”

The changing stiffness of the plate in the shoe means your foot has, in effect, different gears, depending on its needs. “Our premise in footwear is that we look to augment your natural human ability,” says Khan. “We help the foot do more things it wants to do, and protect it from doing things it doesn’t want to do.”

In March of this year, a young Ethiopian athlete called Bayelign Teshager won the Los Angeles marathon in a pair of adidas adizero pro running shoes, equipped with Carbitex technology.

But the company has ambitions beyond the track. Khan reveals that work is underway on a shoe that would be popular among triathletes, as it would lose stiffness when transitioning from cycling to running, and the company is also in talks with ballet and dance companies, and even the military. “If you can take out the super heavy rubber in military boots, then you can go further and waste less energy,” he says. Carbitex seems to be taking a suitably flexible approach.

(06/21/2020) Views: 201 ⚡AMP
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Paula Wright from Newport Ireland is going to run ten marathons in five days.

After being cooped up for almost three months due to Covid-19 restrictions, Paula Wright from Newport Ireland is aiming to run 10 marathons in 5 days to raise funds for Crumlin Children’s Hospital.

Paula Wright will begin the self entitled Lockdown Midsummer Madness Run this Saturday 20th June at 9am and finish on Wednesday 24th June and will run one marathon in the morning and one in the evening.

Each run will take place at the Longhouse field 500 metre track at Gortnavarnoge, Newport.

Daily updates on her progress can be followed on Facebook

https://facebook.com/events/s/paula-wright-running

Paula, who only took up endurance running in recent years decided to take up the challenge after walking a marathon within 5k radius of her home during the shutdown. It took her six and a half hours to complete, but she felt rejuvenated by it.

“As a runner my races came to an end in March,” she said. 

“I had just missed out on Tokyo Marathon at the start of March which was cancelled due to fears of Covid19 spreading in Japan. Little did I know that this virus would become widespread here and change our lives forever.

“Instead of planning to run races, I found myself working from home full-time, schooling my children, meeting nobody and being thankful that I could at least get some running done within the 2km radius.

“As a positive person I took everything week by week, sticking to the restrictions and guidelines, finding joy of the smallest things and hoping we could move forward.

“Every restriction which got lifted gave me different routes to run and made me feel hope that we are going to win this.

“Through this progress I have felt a growing urge to do something. All these races which I missed and the future of not knowing when I will get to run any long races have made me restless. This made me think, I will need to challenge myself and wanted to help others by doing it.

Crumlin Children’s Hospital treats hundreds of sick children each year under the expert care of their world-class medical team. They need ongoing and urgent support to provide the essential funds, equipment and resources that help make the difference to patients and their families.

Paula is inviting everyone to come to support her during her task but by following government guidelines on social distancing. You can come to keep her company or maybe you would like to join for a loop or two? Support is really needed.

(06/18/2020) Views: 354 ⚡AMP
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The Boston Marathon has been canceled for the first time in its 124-year history.

The 2020 Boston Marathon has been canceled. 

BAA organizers said Thursday that they instead will have a “virtual event” in which participants who verify that they ran 26.2 miles on their own will receive their finisher’s medal. The race had originally been scheduled for April 20 before being postponed for five months because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“While we cannot bring the world to Boston in September, we plan to bring Boston to the world for a historic 124th Boston Marathon,” said Tom Grilk, the CEO of the Boston Athletic Association.

The BAA has announced that the 124th Boston Marathon will be held as a virtual event, following Boston Mayor Martin Walsh’s cancellation of the marathon as a mass participation road running event due to the COVID-19 pandemic. pic.twitter.com/tlIdvsU9sq

The B.A.A. will offer a series of virtual events & activities throughout September’s Marathon Week to bring the Boston Marathon experience to the world. This will include exclusive panel discussions, champions interviews, and a downloadable toolkit with signature race elements.

Although the title of Boston Marathon champion is contested by a few dozen elite athletes, the field includes more than 30,000 recreational and charity runners, with as many as 1 million people lined up along the course trek from Hopkinton to Boston’s Back Bay. That presented organizers with a social distancing problem that won’t be solved by the fall.

The cancellation is the first ever for the race, which began in 1897 when 15 men drew a starting line in the dirt in Ashland and headed for the city to commemorate the first modern Olympic Games the previous year. In 1918, the format was modified to a relay due to World War I; the 2013 race was stopped when two bombs exploded at the finish line, several hours after the winners had finished but while many recreational runners were still on the course.

For each of those years, the race was held in April on the state holiday to commemorate the battles in Lexington and Concord that marked the start of the Revolutionary War. Traditionally, the Red Sox have scheduled their first pitch for the morning so baseball fans could wander over to Kenmore Square after the game to see the runners pass by with one mile to go.

In March, when the race was postponed to Sept. 14, Mayor Marty Walsh cited the desire to salvage the estimated $211 million pumped into the city’s economy each year. The Boston Athletic Association and marathon runners also raise about $40 million for charity.

Walsh said at the time that there was no thought of excluding the tens of thousands of amateur runners who consider running Boston a bucket list achievement. The Tokyo Marathon went on as scheduled in March with just over 200 elite runners but not the 38,000 recreational runners who had signed up; spectators at the Los Angeles Marathon were advised to practice social distancing.

“That’s not the Boston Marathon. We’re an inclusive marathon,” Walsh said. “The Boston Marathon is for everyone.”

The 2021 Boston Marathon is scheduled for April 19 and the 125th anniversary edition is scheduled for April 18, 2022.

(05/28/2020) Views: 378 ⚡AMP
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

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

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The 2020 Dublin Marathon is expected to be cancelled

The Board of Directors met last night to discuss the future of the race which was scheduled for Sunday, October 25. It would have been the 41st running of the event which has been sold out for months.

A decision on the future of the event could not be delayed any longer as the merchandise for this year's race needs to be ordered in the next couple of weeks.

But given the current rules on social distancing which are likely to remain in place for the foreseeable future, running an event which is likely to have over 20,000 participants and a quarter of a million spectators, is not practical.

Medical experts have suggested that the risk of participants in a marathon passing on the virus to fellow runners during the race itself is very low. However, it would still be regarded as unsafe due to the congregation of the runners at the start at the start of the race.

The last big city marathon to take place prior to the worldwide Covid 19 shutdown as the Tokyo marathon in which only the elite runners were allowed participate.

All the other major spring marathons such as Boston and London were postponed until the autumn.

Major question marks remain over whether they will now go ahead as the Berlin marathon which was due to take place in September has already been cancelled. The dublin Marathon, which was the brainchild of Louis Hogan - then a radio producer with RTE - and the late Noel Carroll was first held in 1980 on the October Bank Holiday Monday.

After an initial surge in interest the event almost folded during the 1990s when participation levels dropped to below 3,000.

However, under the leadership of current race director Jim Aughney the event was revived and now attracts over 20,000 entries annually.

 

(05/15/2020) Views: 302 ⚡AMP
by Sean McGoldrick
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KBC Dublin Marathon

KBC Dublin Marathon

The KBC Dublin Marathon, which is run through the historic Georgian streets of Dublin, Ireland's largest and capital city.The course is largely flat and is a single lap, starting and finishing close to the City Centre. Conditions formarathon running are ideal....

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World Half Marathon silver medalist Bedan Karoki says athletes must learn from Covid-19 crisis

The road racer flew to Japan to sign a deal with Toyota Motor Corporation before the suspension of international flights.

He managed to fly to Tokyo moments before Kenya suspended all international flights due to the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic.

And from the experience, Bedan Karoki, the 2016 World Half Marathon silver medalist, says the Covid-19 crisis serves as a wake-up call to sportsmen and women. That was barely one week after competing in Tokyo Marathon on March 1.

The 2020 edition of the Tokyo Marathon was restricted to elite athletes only. The race organisers had canceled the event for 38,000 fun runners due to health and safety fears.

“I had just come home after competing in Tokyo Marathon when the first case was reported. I had to make quick decision to go back to Japan, where I had to sign a deal to start working with Toyota Motor Corporation in April. My fears were that Kenyan authorities could cancel all international flights immediately and I had to rush back. 

“Though there are no group training sessions here in Japan, we train individually to keep fit. My new company has a large training ground. 

“But Covid-19 has been a wake-up call to sportsmen and women. I have realised that careers and earnings can come to an abrupt end. Some of us are lucky to be earning some money from our employers,” said Karoki, who previously competed for DeNA Cooperate team in Tokyo.

Karoki, who comes from Nyandarua, was on the marathon reserve list for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games team.

Since his debut in the national team at the 2011 at All Africa Games in Maputo, Mozambique, where he won silver medal in 10,000m, Karoki has always donned the national team colours – featuring prominently in 10,000m, World Cross Country and World Half Marathon championships alongside three-time World Half Marathon winner Geoffrey Kamworor. 

He has finished second behind Kamworor at the 2015 IAAF World Cross Country Championship in Guiyang, China and World Half Marathon Championships in Cardiff, United Kingdom in 2016.

(05/05/2020) Views: 242 ⚡AMP
by Dennis Okeyo
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Like everywhere else, lives and plans in Japan have been put on hold by the global outbreak of the Covid-19 virus

Japan was one of the first countries after China to detect cases of the virus, its first on 16 January, but taking until 7 April for official numbers to climb enough for the national government to declare a state of emergency.

The official response within Japanese athletics has been similar, simultaneously fast and slow. The Tokyo Marathon on 1 March was one of the first outside China to put a stop order on this year’s edition, announcing that it would cancel its mass-participation race and go ahead as an elite-only event. The Nagoya Women’s Marathon on 8 March echoed that days later.

But while other road races joined Nagoya in following Tokyo’s lead, outdoor track season appeared ready to go forward. Some individual events in early April were voluntarily cancelled, but after 2008 Olympic 4x100m silver medallist Naoki Tsukahara was diagnosed with the coronavirus on 30 March, the JAAF Athlete Committee submitted a formal written request to the JAAF that all competitions through the end of May be cancelled or postponed. The JAAF went one better, cancelling or postponing everything through the end of June, including the National Championships.

So where did this leave Japan’s athletes? For some, it put fresh-caught dreams straight on to ice. Tokyo, Nagoya and Lake Biwa were the culmination of a three-year process to put together the best Olympic marathon teams Japan could. After these races, on 8 March the JAAF confirmed the line-ups of Honami Maeda, Ayuko Suzuki, and Mao Ichiyama for women, and Shogo Nakamura, Yuma Hattori and Suguru Osako for men.

On 15 March at the 20km race walk Olympic trials, Nanako Fujii and Koki Ikeda joined Kumiko Okada, Toshikazu Yamanishi, Yusuke Suzuki and Masatora Kawano on the Olympic race walk teams. Eiki Takahashi was added a few weeks later.

Japanese athletes have it easier. Low official infection numbers and the absence of a lockdown have meant comparatively fewer restrictions, but it’s still meant changes. Yuki Saito, assistant coach for both marathon runner Suzuki and 5000m Olympic team favourite Ririka Hironaka, said: “Suzuki was supposed to get physiotherapy at the Japan Institute of Sport Science, but it’s been closed and that’s been an issue. With 11 athletes on our team, we never have more than four or five running together. We can’t do out-of-town training, and since the declaration of emergency, the university where we do workouts has been closed. We’re probably going to use some nearby parks twice a week. With more people working from home there’ll be more around, so we have to be careful not to come too close.”

Post-collegiate Japanese athletes also have a little more peace of mind thanks to the corporate team system. Team members are salaried employees of the sponsor company, meaning that if the situation stretches on for months, they should still get paid whether or not they compete. That means less financial vulnerability than many professional athletes elsewhere.

But there is still the frustration of carefully worked-out plans thrown out the window and no races on the immediate horizon. Brendan Reilly, agent for all three women on the Olympic marathon squad, said: “We had race and/or training plans in place, and the last of those was scrapped in early April.”

For now, like everywhere, it’s a holding pattern. Like everywhere, Japanese athletes are doing what they can to stay optimistic and focused, and to help transmit the same feelings to the general population as the situation becomes more serious. From the members of the 4x100m team to high jump national record-holder Naoto Tobe to marathon runner Hattori, they’ve been posting workouts the average person can do at home, baking tips, and just positive messages.

“Sport is not only essential to maintain and elevate our physical and mental health,” wrote National Sports Agency commissioner and Olympic gold medallist Daichi Suzuki, “but also gives people pride, joy, dreams, excitement, courage. I hope all of us in the sport community can work together as one to help bring this public health threat under control.”

It’s a sentiment everyone in the sport worldwide can take to heart as we all face uncertainty in the year to come.

(04/29/2020) Views: 247 ⚡AMP
by Brett Larner for world Athletics
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NN Running Team releases a short documentary followed several training groups in Africa called The long run, an inside view

The NN Running Team has possibly the most stacked lineup of long distance runners in the world. With world, European and national record-holders, and names like Eliud Kipchoge and Kenenise Bekele, the team uniform can often be seen in the lead at the world’s biggest races. NN Running recently released a min-documentary called The long run, an inside view, which takes viewers into several training camps and focuses on the importance of the long run, which is an integral part of every marathon training plan.

It’s a brief look at what training is like for the world’s best marathoners, and it has great lessons for runners of all levels.

The NN Running Team doesn’t have one set training location, so the film looks at groups in Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda. In the doc, Kipchoge and Bekele are interviewed in their home countries of Kenya and Ethiopia, respectively, along with Kenyan half-marathon world record-holder, Geoffrey Kamworor, and Joshua Cheptegei, the 5K and 10K world record-holder from Uganda.

Switzerland’s Julien Wanders, the European half-marathon record-holder, is also a member of the NN team, and shots of his training in Iten, Kenya, are included in the film. Selly Chepyego is the only woman from the team featured in the documentary. In 2019, Chepyego, who is from Kenya, came in third at the Berlin Marathon, and earlier this year she was fourth at the Tokyo Marathon.

When we see videos of elite athletes in training, a lot of the time they’re shots from hard workouts on the track. Sometimes there are clips from long runs, but that training session is never the focus. This mini-documentary shows just how important the long run is, especially for marathoners.

“[Marathon training] is basically 90 to 95 per cent mileage,” Victor Chumo says in the film. “If you don’t do it, the chances that you are going to perform [are] less likely. That’s where you find some athletes who are less prepared. When he reaches around 35 to 40K, that’s when he faces some kind of problems or challenges.”

Kipchoge says his group rarely talks during their long runs, because it is a time to “concentrate on yourself.” Just like any other session, the long run requires your focus and attention. Wanders emphasizes that the long run is not a race, and although it can be tempting to run fast and push your training partners, it’s absolutely necessary to hold back and save your speed for another day. They also mention that, rain or shine, the long run always gets done. This is one of the most important parts of marathon training, so you can’t skip it.

Even if you don’t run marathons, there are lessons to be learned from this film, but besides the lessons, it’s just a fun look into the lives (or at least one part of the lives) of some of the world’s best runners.

(04/27/2020) Views: 430 ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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The 2020 Boston Marathon was postponed but some experts are saying maybe it should be canceled altogether until the fall of 2021

The 2020 Boston Marathon was postponed due to the coronavirus. Could it be canceled altogether?

Marty Walsh is "hopeful" the race will happen in September. Some experts aren't sure it should.

For the first time since the 19th century, April will pass in Boston without a Boston Marathon.

Rather than cheering crowds, the course was overcome by eery silence this Patriots’ Day, after the 124th edition of the race was postponed until Sept. 14 due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has said he hopes runners and fans will still embrace the “once-in-a-lifetime” late-summer race. But as a clearer picture begins to emerge of the steps needed to effectively beat back the virus, it’s increasingly unclear whether the 2020 marathon can — or should — happen at all.

“I do not think such a race will be wise in September,” said Glen Weyl, a co-author of a report released this week by Harvard’s Safra Center for Ethics on the steps needed to combat the pandemic in order to safely return to normalcy.

The Safra Center report and others, released by both right-leaning and left-leaning groups, broadly recommend a similar path forward: While certain nonessential businesses may be allowed to reopen in phases as COVID-19 testing and tracing is ramped up, bans against mass public gatherings — like concerts and sporting events — should remain in place until mass immunity or a vaccine is developed, which is expected to take at least another year.

Given its usual pool of 30,000 runners and hundreds of thousands of spectators along the 26.2-mile course, it’s hard to foresee the Boston Marathon going forward in any recognizable way in September, according to Weyl.

“Anything even close to the current format could not work,” he told Boston.com.

Walsh is aware of the bleak projection; in a recent CNN interview, he acknowledged the possibility that concerts and sporting events may not be able to resume in Boston until 2021.

And during a press conference Wednesday, he noted the recent cancellation of the Berlin Marathon — a 60,000-person race scheduled two weeks later than the Boston Marathon and in a country with more widespread testing — after city officials extended a ban on all events of more than 5,000 people through Oct. 24.

“To be honest, we haven’t had those conversations yet,” the mayor said during a press conference Wednesday, when asked about the chances that the Boston Marathon would happen as planned in September.

“I am hopeful that we will be able to have the marathon, because certainly it felt on Monday there was a void in the city of Boston,” he added. “But we will have more conversations and discussions.”

The Boston Athletic Association, which organizes the annual race, says it will follow the guidance of city and state officials on matters of public health and safety, particularly when it comes to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We will remain flexible to address and explore all factors with public officials as we plan for the race,” the BAA told Boston.com in a statement. “Our priority remains the health and well-being of members of our community.”

The marathon has never been canceled in its history. Only in 1918, due to World War I, was the annual Patriots’ Day race changed to a military relay race. In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the usually 38,000-runner Tokyo Marathon last month narrowed down its field to 200 elite runners and advised spectators against gathering along the route.

Walsh, however, has dismissed the notion of stripping the Boston Marathon of its defining characteristics.

“That’s not the Boston Marathon,” he said last month, when asked about restricting the race to elite runners. “We’re an inclusive marathon. The Boston Marathon is for everyone.”

While the Berlin race will not take place in September “as planned,” the Boston Marathon isn’t the only major event still slated for this year.

Major marathons in London and Madrid, originally scheduled in April, have also been postponed until the fall. And the New York City Marathon is  still officially planned to go forward on Nov. 1.

Experts say certain social distancing measures could be incrementally repealed this summer in the so-called second phase of the coronavirus response. However, they agree that bans on large gatherings will be the last to be lifted.

Scott Gottlieb, the former Food and Drug Association commissioner under President Donald Trump, wrote in a recent report that while “the majority of schools, universities, and businesses” could reopen during the second phase, “social gatherings should continue to be limited to fewer than 50 people wherever possible,” until a vaccine has been approved.

The liberal-leaning Center for American Progress made a similar recommendation.

“Gatherings of more than 50 people must continue to be banned,” the think tank wrote in a report earlier this month. “Once herd immunity has been achieved through mass vaccination, all remaining restrictions can be lifted.”

Given the timeline for developing a treatment for the disease, epidemiologists at Harvard’s Chan School of Public Health estimated in a report last week that the bans on large gatherings may not be “fully relaxed by early- to mid-2021,” with intermittent social distancing possibly needed until 2022.

“It depends on the data and information we have available to us and where we are with the coronavirus, what cases are still active, how much testing do we have, how many people are immune to the virus,” Walsh told CNN last week.

There are also some concerns about a second wave of coronavirus hitting in the fall in conjunction with flu season when the weather gets colder.

In a recent New York Times interview, bioethicist Zeke Emmanuel ridiculed the notion that the largest gatherings — specifically conferences, concerts, and sporting events — could be put off until later in the year.

“When people say they’re going to reschedule this conference or graduation event for October 2020, I have no idea how they think that’s a plausible possibility,” Emmanuel said. “I think those things will be the last to return. Realistically we’re talking fall 2021 at the earliest.”

(04/25/2020) Views: 651 ⚡AMP
by Nik DeCosta-Klipa (Boston.com)
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

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

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The race director of London Marathon admits that the event may include only elite runners

The race director of the London Marathon has refused to rule out staging the event as an elite-only race in the autumn if social distancing rules make it impossible to run as normal.

Hugh Brasher told the Guardian that while organisers still hoped to hold the event with 45,000 mass participants on 4 October, they were now scenario-planning around 10 other options because of the global pandemic.

“The flame is still burning,” said Brasher. “And is there hope? Absolutely. But you have to do what’s right for society. You usually have 750,000 people out in central London watching 45,000 runners. Then there’s the medics, the 6,000 volunteers and the transport system. There’s masses to take into account when making any decision.”

When asked directly whether the London Marathon – which was due to take place this Sunday before being pushed back – might have to be only for elite athletes if social restrictions had not eased completely, Brasher replied: “Honestly, I don’t know. But in today’s society, you can never say never. We are trying to stay really agile and to keep scenario planning. And at the moment, I don’t want to discount anything until it becomes really impossible.”

Last month’s Tokyo marathon was staged as an elite-only race, with the field reduced to just 300 runners and the streets largely deserted. Most major spring marathons subsequently decided to postpone their races to the autumn – but those events also look in doubt with no vaccine in sight and, ominously, the Berlin marathon has already cancelled its race in September.

“Our decision will be made by the back end of August at the latest,” explained Brasher. “It will be based on the government guidelines, and what we and society think is right and what feels right.”

Brasher would not confirm whether Eliud Kipchoge and Kenenisa Bekele, who were due to meet on Sunday in a clash for the ages, had signed up for October’s revised race. However he told the Guardian: “We always want to get the most competitive race. This was going to be the 40th London marathon, and its greatest race. It was going to be spectacular. But we want to make October 4 spectacular too. So that’s what our focus is.”

Last year the London Marathon raised £66.4m for charities, again making it the biggest single-day fundraising event in Britain. And while Sunday’s race will not take place, organisers are still hoping that thousands of people will spend the day raising and donating money for charities as part of a nationwide 2.6 Challenge – in which people tackle something related to the numbers two and six.

More than £1.5m has already been raised for the campaign, and Brasher said he hoped it would prove a lifeline for many charities which usually rely heavily on the race to fund their work.

“The London Marathon is normally about so many scripts and so many stories,” said Brasher. “It’s the greatest athletes in the world with the everyday athlete – who are doing this incredible challenge with the gods of the sport such as Kipchoge, Bekele and Brigid Kosgei, on the same day, on the same course, with the same crowd. In fact, the everyday person gets more people watching them. That’s the incredible thing. And, of course, they are raising so much money for charity too.”

 

(04/24/2020) Views: 316 ⚡AMP
by Sean Ingle
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

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

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Virus scrapped your marathon? In Japan, there's an app for that

When the coronavirus outbreak forced organisers to cancel marathons in the Japanese city of Nagoya, they turned to tech to ease the disappointment, offering runners the chance to race alone.

The Nagoya Women's Marathon and Nagoya City marathon were scheduled for March 8 and expected to attract some 20,000 runners -- a potential health hazard during a global pandemic.

So instead of having racers run together, organisers have offered up two apps to allow participants to complete the marathons alone, tracked online.

"It's the first time the annual marathon events were cancelled, and it's the first time we launched apps to replace the real ones," one of the organisers of the Nagoya city marathon told AFP.

Instead of running the original route, registered participants can run wherever they like -- keeping an appropriate social distance -- and the apps measure and verify their performance.

There are two apps -- one for those who want to finish the marathon in one go and another for those who want to complete it by running over several days.

Runners can complete the marathons between March 8 and May 31, the official race website says.

The organisers said on their website that they wanted to respond to the spirit shown by those who trained for the now-cancelled races.

But they "don't recommend running in a big group," the official warned.

Those who are registered for the women's event and complete the marathon via the app will receive a T-shirt and a necklace as originally promised for finishers.

The coronavirus has wreaked havoc on the international sporting calendar, with the Tokyo marathon among the early fixtures to be affected.

Organisers cancelled the amateur portion of the race scheduled for March 1, affecting around 38,000 runners, who were not offered a refund.

They will, however, be eligible for a spot in 2021's marathon.

The pandemic has also forced the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics to next year.

Japan has so far recorded over 3,600 coronavirus infections and 73 deaths.

(04/12/2020) Views: 246 ⚡AMP
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When the coronavirus outbreak forced organizers to cancel marathons in the Japanese city of Nagoya, they turned to tech to ease the disappointment, offering runners the chance to race alone

The Nagoya Women's Marathon and Nagoya City marathon were scheduled for March 8 and expected to attract some 20,000 runners -- a potential health hazard during a global pandemic.

So instead of having racers run together, organizers have offered up two apps to allow participants to complete the marathons alone, tracked online.

"It's the first time the annual marathon events were cancelled, and it's the first time we launched apps to replace the real ones," one of the organizers of the Nagoya city marathon told AFP.

Instead of running the original route, registered participants can run wherever they like -- keeping an appropriate social distance -- and the apps measure and verify their performance.

When the coronavirus outbreak forced organizers to cancel marathons in the Japanese city of Nagoya, they turned to tech to ease the disappointment, offering runners the chance to race alone.

The Nagoya Women's Marathon and Nagoya City marathon were scheduled for March 8 and expected to attract some 20,000 runners -- a potential health hazard during a global pandemic.

So instead of having racers run together, organizers have offered up two apps to allow participants to complete the marathons alone, tracked online.

"It's the first time the annual marathon events were cancelled, and it's the first time we launched apps to replace the real ones," one of the organizers of the Nagoya city marathon told AFP.

Instead of running the original route, registered participants can run wherever they like -- keeping an appropriate social distance -- and the apps measure and verify their performance.

There are two apps -- one for those who want to finish the marathon in one go and another for those who want to complete it by running over several days.

Runners can complete the marathons between March 8 and May 31, the official race website says.

The organizers said on their website that they wanted to respond to the spirit shown by those who trained for the now-cancelled races. 

But they "don't recommend running in a big group," the official warned.

Those who are registered for the women's event and complete the marathon via the app will receive a T-shirt and a necklace as originally promised for finishers.

The coronavirus has wreaked havoc on the international sporting calendar, with the Tokyo marathon among the early fixtures to be affected.

Organizers cancelled the amateur portion of the race scheduled for March 1, affecting around 38,000 runners, who were not offered a refund.

They will, however, be eligible for a spot in 2021's marathon.

The pandemic has also forced the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics to next year.

(04/06/2020) Views: 265 ⚡AMP
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Somali-Belgian athlete Bashir Abdi sets sights on European record after sub-2:05 clocking in Tokyo

Bashir Abdi became only the second European athlete in history to break the 2:05-barrier for the marathon in the Tokyo Marathon on 1 March and he harbours aspirations of becoming the fastest.

The 31-year-old shattered his own national record with 2:04:49 to take the runner-up spot in the Japanese capital ahead of a prospective second successive Olympic appearance. And what is most remarkable about his ascent is he former amateur football player only started running at the age of 18.  

Abdi was born in the Somalian capital of Mogadishu and arrived in Belgium in 2002 at the age of 13. Back then running made no sense as he was a football addict. “As a kid I could not even understand why people would run in circles. Chasing a football made sense but skinny people running in circles did not at all. That was until I started running at the age of 18 and I have never regretted that decision”. 

Now Abdi is second on the European all-time marathon list with  2:04:49, his third consecutive Belgian record in only his fourth marathon after previous record runs in London (2:07:03) and Chicago (2:06:14) last year. Abdi came second in Tokyo, only 34 seconds behind Ethiopia’s Birhanu Legese, in a race which was devoid of the mass participation element due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

“I expected a finishing time around 2:05, because I have had the best preparation ever towards a marathon. My trainer Gary [Lough] made that very clear during the last weeks of altitude training in Sululta, Ethiopia. I was however surprised by the fact that I finished in second place in a World Marathon Major. To start with about 200 athletes in what normally is a race with 38,000 runners was a rather odd experience. It felt as if I was running a tiny street race in my hometown Ghent.” 

Abdi made his marathon debut back in April 2018 in Rotterdam with a solid 2:10:46 clocking despite bloodying his knees in a collision at the start. Now he is a sub-2:05 marathoner who is considered to be one of the outsiders to win a medal at the Olympic marathon in Sapporo.  

Abdi closed exceptionally quickly in the Chicago Marathon last October and he also ran faster than any other athlete in the Tokyo Marathon between the 35 kilometre checkpoint and the finish. His finish speed could be a great weapon at the Olympics.  

“I received wonderful reactions on my Tokyo performance, but for me finishing in the top eight would be great already. To my account there are six or seven runners that top the bill such as Eliud Kipchoge, Kenenisa Bekele and Birhanu Legese. I also doubt that I will be able to use the same tactics towards Sapporo, as I am not as experienced in the marathon, because I have had the benefit of pacers in my past four races. 

“The conditions will also be fairly different. Both Chicago and Tokyo were somehow similar to what I am used to in Belgium. Together with the Belgian Olympic Team we will prepare towards Sapporo as much as possible. Workouts in a heat chamber will be part of that preparation, combined with the usual altitude camp in Sululta” 

Abdi also has something else to look forward to during his build-up to the Olympics. In June he will become a father for the second time. His daughter Kadra celebrated her first birthday back in October. There is only one race on his schedule before Sapporo so far.   

“Becoming a father for the second time is something I am looking really forward to. I have a great wife who understands that sacrifices have to be made to perform at this level, especially in a year like this. Thanks to apps like Facetime and social media I am able to stay in touch with my family when I am on training camps. My baby daughter even recognises me thanks to social media, so it is somehow a blessing.  

2020 is all about the Olympics for Abdi but he is already thinking about the 2021 season - namely the Belgian half marathon record of 60:18 and more importantly the European marathon record of Kaan Kigen Ozbilen which stands at 2:04:16.   

(03/19/2020) Views: 354 ⚡AMP
by Quinten Lafort
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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28 of Top 30 Men at Tokyo Marathon Used Nike's Latest and Previous Platform Shoe Models

Nike's recent generations of thick-soled platform racing shoes swept the 2020 Tokyo Marathon, with 28 out of the top 30 placing men wearing them, including international entrants. Of these, 9 including new Japanese national record holder Suguru Osako (Nike) wear wearing the new Air Zoom Alphafly Next% model with a 3.95 cm thick sole complying with new regulations from World Athletics. With 10 Japanese men running under 2:08 in a single race for the first time in history, all 10 were wearing models of the platform shoes.

Despite a mix in choice of models, the shoes dominated the market in the race. One after another, thick green, black, pink, and green and orange shoes crossed the finish line in Marunouchi, Tokyo. From winner Birhanu Legese to 30th-place Shuho Dairokuno, 28 men had the Nike shoes on their feet. The other 2 were wearing Adidas and Asics. Wearing the latest model of the Nike shoes for his latest national record, Osako said, "Every race feels different afterwards. It's hard to say how much of a role the shoes played, but being able to take advantage of Nike's latest technology is a strength for us."

On Jan. 31 World Athletics established a new rule setting the maximum shoe sole thickness at 4 cm. On Feb. 5 Nike unveiled its new model with a thickness of 3.95 cm. With the shoes going on sale in Japan, the Tokyo marathon represented their Japanese debut.

Switching from the previous model to the new one for this race and finishing 27th in 2:09:41, Kenji Yamamoto (Mazda) commented, "My left foot starting hurting at 10 km, and something felt wrong. In the second half my legs felt like sticks, but I still felt like I was getting a lot of assistance. Somehow I still managed to squeeze out a sub-2:10. The rebound in these is amazing." Comparing them to the previous model he wore at last fall's MGC Olympic trials race he said, "The softness is completely different. When you step in them it feels like you're on top of a balance ball, and you get a real feeling of rebound."

There's no denying that the hard work and dedication that athletes put in on a day-to-day basis plays the biggest role in their success, but it's equally true that the last few generations of these platform shoes were in the director's seat of a race that saw an unprecedented 10 Japanese men run under 2:08.

(03/14/2020) Views: 443 ⚡AMP
by Japan Running News
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The Boston Marathon Could Be Postponed

In an unprecedented move, the 2020 Boston Marathon may switch to the fall because of the coronavirus. Sources familiar with race planning confirmed today that there have been discussions about postponing the race.

No decision has been made about the future of the 2020 marathon, but Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has met with representatives from municipalities along the course. The Mayor's office confirmed one potential option is postponing the race to the fall. Meetings are ongoing and a sources indicated they hoped to have a decision soon.

By rescheduling the race, local officials from the towns and cities along the historic route hope to preserve as much of the event’s economic benefit as possible. An outright cancellation would likely mean a loss of hundreds of millions of dollars. The race and related events, including the marathon expo, annually inject more than $200 million into the Greater Boston economy,  according to the Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Each year, the Boston Marathon welcomes more than 30,000 runners and thousands of visitors from around the world. For the 2020, race, the Boston Athletic Association accepted runners from 112 countries and all 50 states. More than a million spectators annually line the course that runs from Hopkinton to Boston.

If race organizers move forward with a fall date, it would be the first time in the marathon’s 124-year history that the race wouldn’t be held on its traditional April date. This year, the race was scheduled for Monday, April 20.

Other major road races have been altered or cancelled because of the coronavirus. On March 1, the Tokyo Marathon was limited to elite participants only. The New York Half Marathon, one of the largest races in the country, was originally scheduled for this Sunday, March 15 but officials cancelled the event a couple days ago. The New Bedford Half Marathon, a traditional tune-up for Boston Marathon runners, was also scheduled for this Sunday and cancelled.

(03/12/2020) Views: 334 ⚡AMP
by Shira Springer
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

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

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Ukrainian runner Oleksii Borysenko is missing in Japan

In Japan for the Tokyo Marathon, Ukrainian runner Oleksii Borysenko has been missing since late February.

A search was launched on Monday on Mt. Fuji for Ukrainian marathoner and trail runner Oleksii Borysenko. Borysenko was in Japan for the Tokyo Marathon, but was unable to race due to the cancellation of the mass participation race. He was last seen on February 28 heading into a subway station.

Borysenko, 37, is an accomplished runner and ambassador for Hoka One One Ukraine. In 2019, he posted several impressive results from races across Europe. He ran a 2:37:29 at the Berlin Marathon in September, and later in November he came fifth at the Kyiv City Half-Marathon in 1:14:58 (which, according to his Instagram page, are his PBs at each distance).

He also represented Ukraine at the 2019 Trail World Championships in Miranda do Corvo, Portugal.

The Tokyo Reporter wrote that the search was called off after just one day due to unsafe weather conditions on Mt. Fuji. The rescue team reached an elevation of 3,000 meters before they had to turn around (Mt. Fuji has a total elevation of 3,776 meters). The search is set to resume once the conditions clear up.

(03/11/2020) Views: 361 ⚡AMP
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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. (2020) The Tokyo Marathon Foundation said it will cancel the running event for non-professional runners as the coronavirus outbreak pressures cities and institutions to scrap large events. Sponsored by Tokyo...

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How an uncertain spring is affecting runners' chances at becoming Olympians

The rapid spread of coronavirus has already caused numerous changes in the 2020 racing season. News of events being canceled or postponed is breaking daily. This is having an effect upon every road runners’ racing season, including those trying to qualify for the upcoming Olympics. While the IOC says the Olympics will go ahead as planned, the Games have already been impacted, even before they’ve begun.

Molly Huddle, the American half-marathon record holder, wrote in Slate Magazine yesterday that factory closures have meant that some athletes aren’t getting their gear–a small price to pay for worker safety, but a consideration for runners nonetheless. At the Olympic Trials, which took place on February 29, Huddle raced in some well-worn flats.

“I had to race on some shoes with maybe 100 more miles on them than I’d have liked,” she says, “as the fresh pair of Saucony flats I ordered a few months ago were coming directly from the factory in China and production had already been shut down when I tried to do my usual pre-race order about five weeks out.”

One possible avenue for Olympic hopefuls to achieve standard is through a top-10 finish at a World Major Marathon. The 2020 Tokyo Marathon mass participation race was canceled, but the elites were still allowed to run (though the course was without spectators and the field sizes was under 200).

As the situation progresses, there’s speculation that the next two World Majors on the calendar (Boston and London) could be outright canceled. And even if the elite races still run, travel bans will affect runners’ ability to get to the race.

For track runners who haven’t achieved standard, world ranking will play a huge role on their shot at qualification. One place where runners stood a chance to gain big points was at the 2020 World Indoor Championships, which has now been postponed until 2021.

Another spot for points, which would’ve been a huge grab for marathoners, was the World Half-Marathon Championships which has also been postponed until fall 2020.

(03/10/2020) Views: 425 ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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Ichiyama clinches final spot on Japan’s Olympic marathon team in Nagoya

Going into the Nagoya Women’s Marathon on Sunday (8), the goal for Japan’s leading distance runners was clear: run faster than 2:21:47 at the World Athletics Platinum Label road race and secure a spot on the national Olympic team.

Mao Ichiyama, who had finished sixth at last year’s Marathon Grand Championship, Japan’s main trial race, broke away from the two fastest runners in the field at 30km to go on to win in 2:20:29, claiming the third and final spot on Japan’s Olympic marathon squad.

Before this race, Mizuki Matsuda – who had won the Osaka Women’s Marathon in January in 2:21:47 – was in line to take the third place on the team, but she will now be entered as a reserve after being supplanted by Ichiyama.

The pacemakers, aiming for a finishing time of 2:20:30, led a huge pack through 5km in 16:41 and 10km in 33:19. Nancy Kiprop was the first big name to drop out, stopping at 11km. Betsy Saina, who finished fifth in the 10,000m at the 2016 Olympic Games, did likewise one kilometre later.

After 15km, reached in 50:12, Olympic team contenders Reia Iwade and Kayoko Fukushi started to falter. 11 runners passed 20km in 1:06:50 and only Ai Hosoda had drifted out of the group by 25km (1:23:30). After passing 30km in 1:40:31, Ichiyama made a decisive move, covering the next five-kilometre segment alone in 16:14.

By 35km Ichiyama was 25 seconds ahead of Rionoripo. By the time she reached the finish line in 2:20:29, a PB by four minutes, the 22-year-old was more than two minutes ahead of the next finisher.  

Yuka Ando, who passed four runners in the final seven kilometres, finished second in 2:22:41, the second-fastest time of her career. Rionoripo, who was in second at 40km, finished third in 2:22:56, while Ethiopia’s Hirut Tiberu was fourth in a PB of 2:23:17. Marathon debutante Sayaka Sato was fifth in 2:23:27.

Ichiyama is now the fourth-fastest Japanese woman in history, behind Mizuki Noguchi, Yoko Shibui and Naoko Takahashi, all legendary runners in Japan. Her winning performance is also the fastest time by a Japanese woman on home soil, replacing Noguchi’s 2:21:18 from Osaka in 2003.

“I had been dreaming of a day like this,” said Ichiyama. “The weather was bad, so I thought it would look great if I ran fast today. My goal was to run under 2:21:47, so I am very happy to run much faster.

“I trained to run alone from 30km on, so I am happy that the race went as planned. However, my time is still not world class, so I am going to train at a higher level for the Olympics and produce a great performance at the Games for my country.

“Last year at the Tokyo Marathon the weather was even worse, but that was a good rehearsal for today,” she added. “My only concern today was my time, so I was not worried about my overseas opponents. The race went exactly as I imagined. At about 37km, I was sure I could run under 2:21. But after 40km, it was starting to get tough.”

(03/08/2020) Views: 385 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Nagoya Women's Marathon

Nagoya Women's Marathon

The Nagoya Women's Marathon named Nagoya International Women's Marathon until the 2010 race, is an annual marathon race for female runners over the classic distance of 42 km and 195 metres, held in Nagoya, Japan in early March every year. It holds IAAF Gold Label road race status. It began in 1980 as an annual 20-kilometre road race held in...

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Foundation of Tokyo Marathon donates extra masks and disinfectants to schools and hospitals

On Mar. 5 the Tokyo Marathon Foundation announced that it has donated 40,000 masks and 200 liters of disinfectant left over from its measures against the novel coronavirus at last weekend's Tokyo Marathon to schools and medical institutions.

The Tokyo Marathon's general division was canceled and its volunteer staff was cut by 90%, leaving the Foundation with a surplus of material it donated to municipalities through the Tokyo metropolitan area and through the Tokyo Medical Association.

According to the Metropolitan Government, the items donated for schools will be used at after-school care programs and elsewhere.

(03/07/2020) Views: 369 ⚡AMP
by Brett Larner
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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. (2020) The Tokyo Marathon Foundation said it will cancel the running event for non-professional runners as the coronavirus outbreak pressures cities and institutions to scrap large events. Sponsored by Tokyo...

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An assault of Wilson Kipsang's course record on tap at the 75th edition of the Lake Biwa Marathon

An assault of Wilson Kipsang's 2:06:13 course record from 2011 is on tap at the 75th edition of the Lake Biwa Marathon, a World Athletics Gold Label road race, in Otsu, Japan, on Sunday.

Three sub-2:06 and two sub-2:07 runners are in the line-up. Four of those have career bests faster than Kipsang's nine-year-old record. All of those performances came in 2019, suggesting that quartet is on top of their game.

The fastest in the field is Evan Chebet who clocked 2:05:00 in winning last year's Buenos Aires Marathon. Chebet has also produced sub-2:06 runs in Valencia, Berlin and Seoul and also finished fourth in the Tokyo Marathon with 2:06:42.

The next fastest is Filex Chemonges who broke the Ugandan national record with a 2:05:12 performance in Toronto last year. He has run three marathons and each time improved his personal best.

Felix Kiprotich, the third fastest in the field, won the 2019 Daegu Marathon with 2:05:33, and also has three more sub-2:07 runs to his credit. Samuel Ndungu, the Lake Biwa winner in 2015, improved his personal best to 2:06:02 in Lisbon last year. The final sub-2:07 man in the field is Dutch national record holder Abdi Nageeye who improved clocked 2:06:17 in Rotterdam, also last year.

Former winners joining Ndungu are 2018 champion Joseph Ndirangu and 2019 winner Salah Bounasar. Other contenders include Stephen Mokoka who was third in 2019 in 2:07:58, the second-best time of his career.

The race also serves as the final chance for Japanese men to win a spot on the Olympic Marathon team. To secure their spot, a runner must run faster than the 2:05:29 national record set last week by Suguru Osako.

The fastest among the five invited Japanese runners is Yuki Kawauchi, with a lifetime best of 2:08:14. Other high-profile Japanese include Takuya Noguchi, with a 2:08:59 best; Kohei Ogino, who's clocked 2:09:36; Shohei Otsuka, a 2:10:12 man; and Kengo Suzuki, who has a 2:10:21 best.

(03/06/2020) Views: 426 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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LAKE BIWA MAINICHI MARATHON

LAKE BIWA MAINICHI MARATHON

The Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon held in Otsu, Shiga, is one of the prominent Japanese marathon races of the year. It is a male-only competition and has IAAF Gold Label status. It was first held in 1946 and, having taken place every year since then, it is Japan's oldest annual marathon race. The early editions of the race were held...

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A quintet of sub-2:23 runners will be gunning for the course record at the Nagoya Women's Marathon on Sunday

Traditionally, the Nagoya race is the largest women's-only marathon in the world, with 24,000 runners entered to run this year. But due to concerns over the outbreak of Coronavirus cases in Japan, organizers restricted entry to this year's race to elite athletes only. 

Among those are five sub-2:23 runners who set their career bests in 2019 who will be eying the 2:21:17 course record set by Eunice Kirwa in 2017. 

Purity Rionoripo is the fastest in the field at 2:20:39 from the 2019 Valencia Marathon, but also has a 2:20:55 to her credit from the Paris Marathon in 2017.

Helen Tola was second in the 2019 Tokyo Marathon with 2:21:01 and also ran 2:21:36 in Berlin later in the year. Tola also has two additional 2:22 performances under her belt, both from Berlin.

Helalia Johanness is the defending champion, clocking a personal best of 2:22:25 last year. Shen has a strong championships records having won the 2018 Commonwealth Games title and taking bronze at last year's World Championships.

If the favorite falters, then Nancy Kiprop, Stella Barsosio, Betsy Saina, Birke Debele and Hirut Tiberu could emerge.

Kiprop ran 2:22:46 in Frankfurt in 2018 and then ran a personal best of 2:22:12 in Vienna the following year. Barsosio clocked 2:23:43 in Paris two years ago and 2:23:36 in Rotterdam last year. Saina won the 2018 Paris Marathon with 2:22:56 and ran 2:22:43 in Toronto last May. Debele ran 2:23:19 in that Toronto race while Tiberu has a best of 2:23:35. Tiberu has run 2:25 or faster in all her completed marathons since 2017.

The race also provides the final chance for Japanese women to make the Olympic Marathon team. They'll have to faster than 2:21:47, the winning time at the Osaka Women’s Marathon, which may prove to be a tall order.

Yuka Ando is the fastest among Japanese with a 2:21:36 personal best set in this race in 2017. The best she's run since is 2:26:47.

Kayoko Fukushi is vying to make a fifth Olympic team. The 37-year-old, who has a 2:22:17 personal best which dates to 2016, started but dropped out of January's Osaka Marathon to focus on Nagoya.

Others to watch include Mao Kiyota, who comes armed with a 2:23:47 best; Reia Iwade, who's clocked 2:23:52; and Mao Ichiyama, with a best of 2:24:33. 

(03/06/2020) Views: 531 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Nagoya Women's Marathon

Nagoya Women's Marathon

The Nagoya Women's Marathon named Nagoya International Women's Marathon until the 2010 race, is an annual marathon race for female runners over the classic distance of 42 km and 195 metres, held in Nagoya, Japan in early March every year. It holds IAAF Gold Label road race status. It began in 1980 as an annual 20-kilometre road race held in...

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Seoul Marathon Has Been Canceled Due to Coronavirus

The 2020 Seoul Marathon has been canceled due to the coronavirus. In some good news for those registered, full refunds will be given to all runners.

The 2020 Seoul Marathon was scheduled to take place on March 22 and now, a bit less than 3 weeks from the start date, the organizers of the Seoul Marathon have decided to cancel this year’s running of the event.

Unlike Tokyo Marathon, the Seoul Marathon will be issuing refunds to all runners. Here is their statement on this matter:

2020 Seoul Marathon cancellation and refund, Seoul Marathon Organizing Committee is officially announcing the cancellation of 2020 Seoul Marathon due to the outbreak of COVID-19. There will be a full refund for every participant. If you have paid with a credit/debit card, a refund will be automatically made. If you have paid with a wire transfer, please leave your bank account detail as you apply for a refund on our official website. It might take a while for the refund to be processed. Thank you for your understanding and hope you all be safe and healthy.

This is definitely going to be a disappointment to the 44,000 runners that were set to participate in the various events for the Seoul Marathon. However, I have to say that the organizers did a great job with this.

First of all, they cancelled it before the taper for runners would begin. This can help those that were planning on running to keep their running  program going as they look for another event. The second thing was that they are giving a full refund. They still would have had to make outlays for many things leading up to the marathon but they are not taking that out of the pockets of the people who registered.

Both of those things are likely to go a long way in creating some loyalty from runners who were signed up for this year. Also, while I am sure that many runners would have preferred a longer wait-and-see mode, I think it was the right call to cancel it now.

South Korea has been hit hard already with the coronavirus in terms of numbers compared to other countries and they likely would have seen many runners either not want to come or unable to come for the race. This is due to things like countries warning against travel there right now due to the coronavirus.

(03/05/2020) Views: 651 ⚡AMP
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Seoul International Marathon

Seoul International Marathon

The only marathon hosted in the heart of the Korean capital. Seoul marathon is the oldest marathon race hosted in Asia andis one of the fastestmarathon in the world. First held in 1931, Seoul marathon is the oldest marathon eventcontinuously held in Asia, and the second oldest in the world followingthe Boston Marathon. It embodies modern history of Korea, also...

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The Virgin Money London Marathon is in danger to be cancelled

The London Marathon has never been canceled before in its 39-year history, but organizers may have to pull the plug on one of the six World Marathon Majors should the coronavirus epidemic get worse.

The annual 26.2-mile (42.195km) race is set to take place on April 26, attracting around 45,000 runners and one million spectators.

The sheer volume of people is a concern for British health officials as large gatherings could be a hotbed for the spread of the disease, known as Covid-19 and which originated from the Chinese city of Wuhan.

As of yesterday, there have been 51 reported cases with no deaths in Britain.

While the UK's Health Secretary Matt Hancock believes it is still "far too early" to make any decisions about the race, authorities are prepared to cancel it should the outbreak turn into a global pandemic.

Speaking on the BBC Breakfast program on Tuesday, he said: "Right now, we do not recommend the canceling of mass events and schools.

"There may be things we have to do down the line that we don't want to, but we will need the powers to do that, hence proposing emergency legislation."

In response to his comments, Hugh Brasher, the event director of the London Marathon, said: "We are monitoring closely the developments relating to the spread of coronavirus and noting the updates and advice given by the UK government, the World Health Organization and other UK public bodies.

"With just under eight weeks to go before the event... we will continue to monitor the situation."

The contagion has already affected other races, with last weekend's Tokyo Marathon taking place on empty streets, while the Paris Half Marathon was scrapped.

The country has been most affected by the virus in Europe, with 2,502 infections and 79 deaths.

(03/05/2020) Views: 354 ⚡AMP
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

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

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Birhanu Legese win the Tokyo Marathon clocking 2:04:15 while Suguru Osako sets a new Japanese record with 2:05:29

The Tokyo marathon mass race was cancelled  because of the worldwide panic concerning the Coronavirus.  However, the elite race took place as scheduled.  What a race it was.  Perfect running weather.  Birhanu Legese from Ethiopia was the overall winner clocking 2:04:15.  He also won last year. 

Suguru Osako was the first Japanese across the line  setting a new national record with 2:05:29. This giving him a big pay day.  Lonah Cemtai Salpeter set a new course record in winning the women's race clocking 2:17:45.  Legese, wearing Nike's much-discussed carbon-plated shoes, hit the front before the 40 kilometre mark, winning by more than half a minute but missing out on Wilson Kipsang's 2017 record of 2:03.58.

Somali-born Belgian Bashir Abdi (2:04.49) pipped Ethiopian Sisay Lemma (2:04.51) to second place in a race for the line.

Japan's Suguru Osako finished fourth in 2:05.29, improving his own national record by 21 seconds and locking up Japan's third and final spot in the men's field for the Tokyo Olympics later this year.

Lonah Korlima Chemtai Salpeter, who runs for Israel, won the women's race in a record time of 2:17.45, 50 seconds ahead of Birhane Dibaba with her fellow Ethiopian Sutume Asefa Kebede a distant third two minutes back.

Sarah Chepchirchir owned the previous women's record of 2:19:47 from the 2017 race.

Suguru Osako's national record brought him a 100 million yen bonus (US$950,000) from the Japan Corporate Track and Field Federation as part of their "Project Exceed" initiative to improve performances in the build-up to the Olympics Games.  "It is not clear if the same person can be paid the bonus twice," says Bob Anderson, MBR editor.  "This is still being confirmed."

Suguru Osako (Ōsako Suguru, born 23 May 1991) is a Japanese long-distance runner. He won the 10,000 metres gold medal at the 2011 Summer Universiade in Shenzhen and holds the Asian junior record for the half marathon. He held the Japanese National Record for the marathon of 2:05.50 set at the 2018 Chicago Marathon, where he finished third.

 

(02/29/2020) Views: 802 ⚡AMP
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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. (2020) The Tokyo Marathon Foundation said it will cancel the running event for non-professional runners as the coronavirus outbreak pressures cities and institutions to scrap large events. Sponsored by Tokyo...

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