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Articles tagged #Tokyo Marathon
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Sharon Lokedi finally gets the chance she deserved after late inclusion in Kenya’s Olympics team

Marathoner Sharon Lokedi will be heading to the Paris 2024 Olympics after profiting from Brigid Kosgei’s misfortune, having been controversially omitted from the team.

Sharon Lokedi has finally got the chance to represent Kenya at the Paris 2024 Olympics after her late inclusion as a replacement for the injured Brigid Kosgei.

Lokedi was widely expected to make Kenya’s final three, alongside two-time Boston Marathon winner Hellen Obiri and defending champion Peres Jepchirchir, but was controversially omitted for former world record holder Kosgei.

The decision drew the ire of fans who felt Lokedi deserved a slot in the team given her recent form that has seen her win New York Marathon in 2022 before a third-place finish last year and ran Obiri close in Boston in 2024 before finishing second.

Kosgei, meanwhile, won the Lisbon Half Marathon in March this year but could only manage fifth in London and has not won a race since the Tokyo Marathon in March 2022, with injuries and form disrupting her.

However, Kosgei will now not be on the plane to Paris due to another injury, paving the way for Lokedi, who had been named as a reserve.

“The Kenya Marathon team heading to the Olympic games in Paris has been training for slightly over two months, and the athletes continue to receive financial support and technical support,” read a statement from the National Olympics Committee of Kenya.

“It’s during the one of the regular monitoring sessions that Olympic silver medalist Brigid Kosgei expressed an injury concern to the technical team. Upon a review by the medical team led by the Chief Medical officer Dr Ondiege, Kosgei will not be heading to Paris for her second Olympics.

“Sharon Lokedi, who was named in the reserve team, will now join defending champion Peres Jepchirchir and Hellen Obiri to fly Kenya’s flag in Paris.”

(07/10/2024) Views: 64 ⚡AMP
by Joel Omotto
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Paris 2024 Olympic Games

Paris 2024 Olympic Games

For this historic event, the City of Light is thinking big! Visitors will be able to watch events at top sporting venues in Paris and the Paris region, as well as at emblematic monuments in the capital visited by several millions of tourists each year. The promise of exceptional moments to experience in an exceptional setting! A great way to...

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Munyao to exploit underdog status in hunt for Olympic title

London Marathon champion Alexander Munyao says he will exploit his underdog status in the hunt for the men’s marathon title at the Paris Olympic Games.

Two-time Olympic Marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge and Ethiopian great Kenenisa Bekele are front runners.

The duo have won numerous championships and major marathons while Munyao only has last month's  London Marathon title to boast of. 

Tokyo Marathon champion Benson Kipruto will be the other Kenyan athlete in the race. But undaunted by the challenge, Munyao is determined to pull off a surprise in the French capital.

“I’m targeting nothing less than gold in Paris. I know Kipchoge will be chasing his third Olympic title and Kipruto is an equally serious contender but I’m ready for the challenge,” Munyao stated.

 The London Marathon London Marathon champion envisions a Kenyan sweep on the podium and expects the trio to push each other to victory. 

“A Kenya 1-2-3 finish is very possible. We’ll be pushing each other hard, and I believe Kenya will dominate in Paris,” he added.

Beyond winning gold, Munyao is keen to lower his personal best (PB). “I aim to reduce my PB to 2:01 or 2:02,” he added.

The 27-year-old  boasts a PB of 2:03:11 set in December 2023 during the Valencia Marathon, where he placed second.

Last week, the Ethiopian Athletics Federation announced its three male representatives for Paris, headlined by three-time Olympic track champion Bekele. He will team up with Valencia Marathon champion Sisay Lemma and Beijing Marathon champion Deresa Geleta.

Despite acknowledging the strength of the Ethiopian team, Munyao views his Kenyan compatriots as his main rivals.

“Ethiopia have a strong team no doubt but I don't see them posing any threat to us. I have run with Bekele and Lemma before and I know their techniques. However, I haven't run with Kipchoge or Kipruto before and that makes them more competitive unlike the Ethiopians,” he noted.

During his triumph in London last month, Munyao beat Bekele to the title, clocking 2:04:01 with Bekele, who was the pre-race favorite, settling for second place in 2:04:15.

At the 2023 Prague Marathon, Munyao clinched the title in 2:05:09, beating Lemma to second place in 2:06:51. Looking ahead to Paris, Munyao plans to stay with the leading pack and make his decisive move close to the finish. 

“My strategy will be simple! I have to stay with the leading pack and make my move a few kilometres to the finish as was the case in London,” Munyao noted.

However, Munyao tempered expectations for a new world record in Paris, citing the challenging nature of the course.

“I have not run the Paris course before but from what I have heard from athletes, it is a tough course. Breaking a world record there will not be easy. What will be important for us athletes is a medal,” he added.

Munyao resumed full training last week at Ngong Hills under the guidance of his coach Peter Muteti, running 30km daily.

“I resumed full training for the Olympics last week at Ngong Hills. I do 30km daily runs, 20km in the morning with light 10km runs in the evening,” he added.

(05/29/2024) Views: 350 ⚡AMP
by Teddy Mulei
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Paris 2024 Olympic Games

Paris 2024 Olympic Games

For this historic event, the City of Light is thinking big! Visitors will be able to watch events at top sporting venues in Paris and the Paris region, as well as at emblematic monuments in the capital visited by several millions of tourists each year. The promise of exceptional moments to experience in an exceptional setting! A great way to...

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Kipruto excited to run side by side with legendary Kipchoge

The 2024 Tokyo Marathon champion Benson Kipruto reckons he has polished his act satisfactorily to reap immensely at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

Kipruto emphatically stated his desire to light up the French capital with a sublime performance. 

“I’m looking forward to competing in the Paris Games. Being named to the team is a great privilege and I cherish the rare chance to represent the country in the Olympics,” Kipruto stated.

“I’m ready to fight bravely for my country. I believe I’m in good shape and ready to make the nation proud in Paris,” he added.

Kipruto said the thought of being on the same team as his role model Eliud Kipchoge fascinates him a lot, adding that the double Olympic champion has always been his key source of inspiration.

The duo mske up the quintet of Kenyan male marathoners tasked with flying the country’s flag at the quadrennial global multisport showpiece set for July 26 to August 11.

Kipruto tipped Kipchoge to spearhead Kenya’s lofty hunt for a podium sweep but vowed to give him a run for his money.

“He is a brilliant athlete, one who has always inspired me a great deal. I desire to be as great as him and step into his shoes once he calls time on his career,” Kipruto remarked.

Kipruto reiterated an earlier call made by his teammates for a concerted effort, pointing out it was the only way to ensure a podium sweep.

“I believe in the strength of team effort. Away from competition, we train together reside in the same camp, and interact like a family. I don’t see what should prevent us from going for an Olympic as a team,” Kipruto stated.

He said they would do away with their pre-race favourites tag to stave off complacency, adding that it would be tactically suicidal to underrate their opponents.

Kenya will be defending the title that Kipchoge stashed away at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in Japan and Kipruto has tipped the nation to replicate the feat in the French capital.

“We can’t afford to head to the competition with a superior mentality. I’ll appreciate that we have a solid team but we should be careful not to take our opponents for granted,” Kipruto said. “Marathon is a tricky venture and anything is bound to happen in competition,” he added.

Kipruto heads to the Games buoyed by impressive credentials as the winner of the Boston Marathon in 2021, the Chicago Marathon in 2022, and the Tokyo Marathon earlier this year.

(05/15/2024) Views: 422 ⚡AMP
by Tony Mballa
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Paris 2024 Olympic Games

Paris 2024 Olympic Games

For this historic event, the City of Light is thinking big! Visitors will be able to watch events at top sporting venues in Paris and the Paris region, as well as at emblematic monuments in the capital visited by several millions of tourists each year. The promise of exceptional moments to experience in an exceptional setting! A great way to...

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World champion Kiplangat to lead Uganda marathon team in Paris

World marathon champion Victor Kiplangat will lead Uganda’s athletics team at the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

Dominic Otuchet, President of the Uganda Athletics Federation (UAF), confirmed in an interview with Xinhua on Monday that despite multiple athletes meeting the qualifying standards, only the top three men and women have been selected for the team.

The 24-year-old Kiplangat, who clinched gold at the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest, will be joined by Stephen Kissa and Andrew Kwemoi.

“I continue to work hard because there is still some time left before the Olympics,” said Kiplangat, who finished 15th at the Tokyo Marathon in March.

The women’s team has Stella Chesang, the 2019 Commonwealth Games 10,000m champion, Mercyline Chelangat and Rebecca Cheptegei.

“I am very happy that I have made the team. This will be my first time to compete in such a highly formidable race,” said Chesang.

Otuchet expressed confidence in the selected athletes, noting their extensive experience and ongoing preparations. He emphasised that the six marathon runners representing Uganda are all seasoned athletes capable of winning medals at the Olympics.

(05/07/2024) Views: 381 ⚡AMP
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Paris 2024 Olympic Games

Paris 2024 Olympic Games

For this historic event, the City of Light is thinking big! Visitors will be able to watch events at top sporting venues in Paris and the Paris region, as well as at emblematic monuments in the capital visited by several millions of tourists each year. The promise of exceptional moments to experience in an exceptional setting! A great way to...

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Abdi Gelelchu and Margaret Agai took the honors at Copenhagen Marathon

With all 15,000 entries sold out in January, the Copenhagen Marathon already set a historic record since the race was born in 1980. But the elite runners were aiming for more records Sunday May 5th as they took on the newly designed, fast and flat course in near perfect marathon weather.

Edition number 43 of Copenhagen Marathon was a new breakthrough for the race with the strongest starting field ever sent out into the streets of the capital of Denmark. The female winner of the day was Margaret Agai from Kenya, who surprised the favorites and finished in 2:27.31.

“I’m very, very happy. The spectators were amazing and carried us through,” Agai said shortly afterwards and found a smile when talking about meeting the Danish crowd.

In the men’s race, favorite Gadisa Birhanu was also challenged by a strong field of favorites and was ultimately beaten by Abdi Gelelchu from Bahrain, who followed up on the surprises and crossed the finish line at Øster Allé in a winning time of 2:09.11.

“I’m very happy,” were the words that came out of the mouth of a hard-pressed winner who managed to lift his thumbs in triumph.

Last year’s female winner Rodah Chepkorir came into the race as the clear favorite with her race record from 2023 of 2:23.14. However, the 33-year-old Kenyan faced very strong competition. A total of 11 women were entered with times under 2 hours and 30 minutes. Mongolia’s Khishigsaikhan Galbadrakh surprisingly broke into the top 10 at the Tokyo Marathon this year and initially conquered the pacer and opened a small gap to Chepkorir and the other favorites. After 20 kilometers, she extended her lead to over a minute and was on course for direct Olympic qualification.

But her energy ran out and instead Agai came blowing from behind in a more measured race strategy to take the win and receive the flowers and be wrapped in the Kenyan flag.

Favorite defeat in the men’s raceIn the men’s race, expectations were high for Birhanu. The 31-year-old Ethiopian ran 2:04.59 when he won the Seville Marathon last year. The pacer was booked for a finishing time of just under 2:07 hours. It was a strong signal that the race record set by Eritrea’s Berhane Tsegay two years ago with 2:08.23 should be put to bed in the good conditions on an improved route. At the same time, it was well below the current time requirement for direct Olympic qualification of 2:08.10.

That goal was sought after early in the race when the favorite field of just under 10 runners completed 5 kilometers in 14.51. 25 seconds faster than the previous course record and also a pace well below the direct Olympic qualification requirements. It wasn’t enough for Gelelchu, but a lot of effort was put in to give the Danish audience a record.

After 25 kilometres, the front runners were still within reach of the race record. And after 35 km, a trio of Birhanu, Kenyan James Kiplagat and Abdi Gelelchu were decisively free and set the biodynamic GPS after breaking a yellow triumphal ribbon at the finish on Øster Allé.

Top-3 men and women

Women’s top three1: Margaret Agai, Kenya 2:27:312: Mercy Kwambai, Kenya 2:28,123: Alisa Vainio, Finland 2:28:21

Mens top three1: Abdi Gelelchu, Bahrain 2:09:112: Gadisa Birhanu, Ethiopia 2:09:553: Abebaw Muniye, Ethiopia 2:10:27

(05/06/2024) Views: 340 ⚡AMP
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Copenhagen Marathon

Copenhagen Marathon

The race is special in many ways But one thing is the course around almost every part of Copenhagen. The course goes to Frederiksberg which is a very beautiful part of the city. Theres a fantastic atmosphere in the city, and a lot of spectators along the route. The course is pretty fast, and the field of elite runners is...

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Course records could fall at Copenhagen Marathon this weekend

Sunday’s Copenhagen Marathon can once again boast a strong, East African dominated start field. In the women’s race, Rodah Chepkorir of Kenya is returning to the scene of her record-breaking race from last year, while Ethiopia’s Gadisha Berhanu in the men’s race holds the role of favorite.

With all 15,000 start numbers sold out as early as in January, the 44th edition of the Copenhagen Marathon has already set a record. At race day, Sunday the 5th of May, further records could as well be broken. In the women’s race, eyes are set on Rodah Chepkorir Tanui, who won last year’s edition in a race record of 2:23,14 hours. However, the 33-year-old Kenyan will be up for a tough task defending her title in the Danish capital. Among her strongest opponents is Derartu Gerefa of Ethiopia, who finished fourth at the Seville Marathon in February.

With 11 women entered with a personal best under two and a half hours, the international level of the race has never been higher. Alisa Vainio set a national record of 2:27,26 last year, and with the second pacemaker aiming for 2:26,59, the Finn will as well be targeting the Olympic entry standard (2:26,50). Another national record holder is Khishigsaikhan Galbadrakh of Mongolia, who ran 2:26,32 when finishing 8th at the Tokyo Marathon two months ago.

Birhanu of Ethiopia is the one to beatWith a personal best of 2:04,59, Gadisa Birhanu is the one to beat in the men’s race. The 31-year-old Ethiopian ran the impressive time when triumphing at the Seville Marathon last year. 10 men are entered with a personal best under 2:10 hour, among them Japan’s Tsubasa Ichiyama (2:07,41) who will have his debut on European soil. The elite field includes as well the legendary figure of Ser-Od Bat-Ochir; the 42-year-old runner has represented Mongolia at all Olympic Marathons since Athens 2004 – and at 11 (!) consecutive World Championships.

“We are thrilled to be able to present such a strong field of elite runners at this year’s Copenhagen Marathon – both men and women,” says Dorte Vibjerg, CEO of Sparta Athletics & Running.

“This is a great endorsement of Copenhagen Marathon as an organization and of Copenhagen as a city. It shows that we have the right framework for the runners to achieve something great on a beautiful, flat and fast course through Copenhagen and Frederiksberg. So if you want to see some of the world’s fastest runners unfold, Copenhagen is the place to be on Sunday.”

Pacemaker Mathew Chekwurui of Kenya is set to aim at finishing time of 2:07 hours – well below the race record of 2:08,23 set by Berhane Tsegay of Eritrea in 2022. At the same time, it’s close to the Olympic requirement of 2:06.50, so it will be exciting to see who will join that train.

The race incorporates once again the National Championships, and with deadline for Olympic qualification approaching soon, the best Danish runners are all set for fast times.

(05/03/2024) Views: 370 ⚡AMP
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Copenhagen Marathon

Copenhagen Marathon

The race is special in many ways But one thing is the course around almost every part of Copenhagen. The course goes to Frederiksberg which is a very beautiful part of the city. Theres a fantastic atmosphere in the city, and a lot of spectators along the route. The course is pretty fast, and the field of elite runners is...

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Kipchoge expects tough test in Paris

Two-time Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge anticipates a fierce battle at the Paris Olympic marathon, even tougher than when he won the first of his two titles in Rio 2016.

“It will be a tough race. 106 countries will be participating. Everyone at the start line is a champion in their rights. I do not underrate anybody. I am not the same as when I won my first title,” Kipchoge noted.

Last month, Kipchoge ran at the Tokyo Marathon, where he placed 10th in 2:06:50.

In a post-race interview, Kipchoge stated that it was a bad day in office for him but he hopes to build on the lessons learned.

The legendary Olympian said his sights are set solely on the Olympics, ruling out any other race as he puts all his energy and focus into securing a hat-trick of titles.

“I have no plans to race in any other marathon. I am putting all my mind and training into the Olympics. I want to win a third title,” he noted.

Confident in his abilities, the 39-year-old is determined to earn his spot to make his fifth appearance in the global extravaganza. 

“I trust I will make the final three to represent Kenya in Paris. This will be my fifth appearance in the Olympics,” he noted.

Athletics Kenya presented a list of five male athletes to the National Olympics Committee of Kenya to undergo training in readiness for the Olympics. Only three will go to Paris.

Kipchoge is joined by the Tokyo Marathon champion Benson Kipruto, Kagawa Half Marathon silver medalist Alexander Mutiso and Tokyo Marathon silver and bronze medalists Timothy Kiplagat and Vincent Ngetich.

 “Representing Kenya at such a stage feels good. This is the only way I can give back to my country. I can’t build bridges or roads. This is how I show my patriotism to my country,” he noted.

Kipchoge’s first appearance at the Olympics was in Athens 2004, where he won bronze in the 5,000m clocking 13:15.10. He upgraded it to silver at Beijing 2008 in a time of 13:02.80 — behind Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele (12:57.82).

In Rio 2016, he clocked 2:08:44 to bag the marathon title and defended it at Tokyo 2020, clocking 2:08:38.

NOC-K secretary general Francis Mutuku tipped Kipchoge to achieve his dreams, especially with the determination and discipline he has shown in training under Patrick Sang.

“Sang told us that when he says training starts at 5 am, Kipchoge is ready at that time. He is devoted and disciplined in his training,” he noted.

Despite facing criticism, Kipchoge remains grounded, believing that humility is the ultimate key to triumph.

“The longest tree receives all the wind. The tree can lose all its leaves and endure the winter and still be firm. Being humble has been and will always be the key to success,” he added.

(04/26/2024) Views: 332 ⚡AMP
by Teddy Mulei
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The marathon in Paris at the Olympics could be a fast one but you never know with all the pressure there will be on all the athletes. 4/26 1:21 pm


Paris 2024 Olympic Games

Paris 2024 Olympic Games

For this historic event, the City of Light is thinking big! Visitors will be able to watch events at top sporting venues in Paris and the Paris region, as well as at emblematic monuments in the capital visited by several millions of tourists each year. The promise of exceptional moments to experience in an exceptional setting! A great way to...

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Kipruto confident ahead of Paris Olympic Games debut

Kenyan long-distance runner Benson Kipruto has vowed to light up the 2024 Paris Olympic Games on his way to a podium finish.

Kipruto pledged a master-class act at the Games, saying he would be out to prove the nation’s mettle as an athletics powerhouse

Kipruto, 33, comprises the talent-laden list of Kenyan male marathoners tasked with flying the country’s flag at the premier quadrennial global showpiece.

He will hold forte for the East African athletics powerhouse alongside compatriots Eliud Kipchoge, Alexander Mutiso, Vincent Kipkemoi Ngetich and Timothy Kiplagat.

He heads to the French capital booted by impressive credentials in his stellar career having previously tucked away the 2021  Boston Marathon, the 2022  Chicago Marathon as well as the Tokyo Marathon earlier in the year.

Kipruto, who will be testing his grit for the first time in the official Kenyan colours, has pledged to stamp authority in his maiden assignment for the East African nation.

“I consider it a special honour to compete for my country in the Olympics because I’ll be doing it for the first time in my career. This means a lot to me,” Kipruto remarked.

It will also be the first time he will be involved in a team effort having battled on his own in the past. Kipruto, however, said he is not quaking in the boots at the thought of navigating the unfamiliar waters.

“It will be a whole new experience because I’m used to battling for individual effort as opposed to teamwork. I’m trying as much as I can to learn the new ropes.”

Kipruto said he is not under the pump to stamp his authority in Paris.

“I don’t feel any pressure since I know what the race entails. I have participated in many other races and, therefore, appreciate the significance of remaining calm.

“I’m ready for the challenge and up to the task ahead,” Kipruto stated. Kipruto said he will adopt a mental strategy in the cut-throat competition while acknowledging he will require a lot of resilience and fortitude to get the job done and dusted.

“The secret is to maintain your composure until the very end of the marathon. Therefore, it is crucial to always forget everything when you are at the starting line. The race is 42km long and requires one to exercise a lot of patience and refrain.”

The athlete said he draws inundated inspiration from his childhood hero Eliud Kipchoge whom he will unfortunately trail his guns on this time around.

(04/18/2024) Views: 253 ⚡AMP
by Tony Mballa
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Paris 2024 Olympic Games

Paris 2024 Olympic Games

For this historic event, the City of Light is thinking big! Visitors will be able to watch events at top sporting venues in Paris and the Paris region, as well as at emblematic monuments in the capital visited by several millions of tourists each year. The promise of exceptional moments to experience in an exceptional setting! A great way to...

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Abdi Nageeye reclaims Rotterdam Marathon title and sets new Dutch national record

Runners and fans honored world marathon record holder Kelvin Kiptum by observing a moment of silence before the race.

Runners and fans at the Rotterdam Marathon observed a poignant moment of silence on Sunday morning before the race, in memory of world marathon record-holder, Kenya’s Kelvin Kiptum, who died tragically in a car accident earlier this year. Many runners also paid tribute to his legacy by wearing black ribbons in his honour.

Kiptum, 24, had been slated to compete in Rotterdam, and had been hoping to challenge the 2:00 barrier. He made history by breaking the men’s marathon world record at the 2023 Chicago Marathon, in an astonishing time of 2:00:35, becoming the first man to run under the 2:01 mark.

Abdi Nageeye strikes gold again

Olympic silver medalist Nageeye reclaimed his Rotterdam Marathon title from 2022 and set a new Dutch national record in the process, crossing the line in 2:04:45 and besting his PB by 11 seconds. Nageeye secured victory by a mere five-second margin ahead of Ethiopia’s Amedework Walelegn, the 2020 world half marathon champion, with Birhanu Legese of Ethiopia claiming the third spot in 2:05:16.

The race began in near-perfect conditions, with a group of nine runners closely trailing the pacemakers through the initial kilometers. By the time the runners hit the 30K mark only seven runners remained in contention. With tactical precision, Nageeye surged ahead in the final kilometers to clinch his second victory in the race.

In 2022, Nageeye became the first Dutch runner to win the Rotterdam Marathon, setting what was at the time a new Dutch record of 2:04:56. The Somali-born runner, 35, took third in the New York City Marathon in the same year, and captured silver at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic marathon. The course record at the Rotterdam Marathon is 2:03.36, set three years ago by Tokyo Olympics marathon bronze medalist, Belgiums’s Bashir Abdi.

Ethiopia’s Ashete Bekere dominates women’s field

In the women’s race, 2019 Berlin Marathon winner Bekere also reclaimed her title as Rotterdam Marathon champion (Bekere won the race in 2019 in 2:22:55), capturing the win in 2:19:20. Kenya’s Viola Kibiwot was second in 2:20:57, followed by Kenya’s Selly Chepyengo in 2:22:46.

Bekere led from start to finish, followed by a lead pack of Sisay Meseret Gola of Ethiopia, Chepyengo and Kibiwot—the group cruised at course-record speed through the early kilometers of the race. Bekere surged ahead and had an eight-second lead by the 30K mark, and steadily built a commanding from there to secure the win.

Bekere,35, took third at the London Marathon in 2021, and second at the 2022 Tokyo Marathon.

(04/15/2024) Views: 277 ⚡AMP
by Keeley Milne
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NN Rotterdam Marathon

NN Rotterdam Marathon

The marathon has been the biggest one-day sporting event in the Netherlands for many years in a row with over 35000 athletes professionals inclusive. The world's top athletes will at the start on the bustling coolsingel, alongside thousands of other runners who will also triumph,each in their own way.The marathon weekend is a wonderful blend of top sport and festival. ...

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Benson Kipruto reveals what representing Kenya at Paris 2024 Olympics would mean to him

Kipruto has never represented Kenya at a global championships, but the fifth fastest marathoner in history hopes to shine bright at the Paris 2024 Olympics.

Reigning Tokyo marathon champion Benson Kipruto has revealed what it would mean for him to represent Kenya at the upcoming Paris 2024 Olympic games.

Kipruto, 33, is approaching the twilight of his career, but even though he has won quite a lot in his career, has never participated in either the World Championships or Olympic games.

He also won the Boston Marathon in 2021, the Chicago Marathon in 2022 and has been named on Kenya’s provisional marathon squad for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

Athletics Kenya already handed the list of five athletes to NOC-K who will later on trim down the number to three, with Kipruto part of the quintet. 

The others are defending champion Eliud Kipchoge , 2022 Abu Dhabi Marathon champion Timothy Kiplagat,  2023 Prague Marathon champion Alexander Mutiso and Vincent Kipkemboi who finished second at the 2023 Berlin Marathon.

Speaking on a documentary released by World Athletics, Kipruto has expressed just how much it would mean for him to don the national colors at the quadrennial tournament for the first time.

“Competing at the Olympics will mean alot to me having in mind that I have never ran for my Kenyan team,” Kipruto said on World Athletics.

“If I qualify, I will do my best to represent my country. It would be something new to me. I am learning. I will be privileged to represent my country for the first time.

“It would mean so much. I love my country.”

Representing Kenya would naturally put a lot of pressure on him to do well, but Kipruto is adamant he is not feeling it as the team is expected to do well at the games anyway.

“I do not have any pressure because I understand what it means. I am the one running so I know you do not have to (go through) pressure but my followers and my teammates, I tell them I am ready.”

(04/12/2024) Views: 273 ⚡AMP
by Mark Kinyanjui
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Paris 2024 Olympic Games

Paris 2024 Olympic Games

For this historic event, the City of Light is thinking big! Visitors will be able to watch events at top sporting venues in Paris and the Paris region, as well as at emblematic monuments in the capital visited by several millions of tourists each year. The promise of exceptional moments to experience in an exceptional setting! A great way to...

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Evans Chebet still hopeful of making marathon team ahead of Paris 2024 Olympics

Two-time Boston Marathon champion Evans Chebet hopes to be selected in the final squad of the men's marathon ahead of the Paris 2024 Olympics despite not making it to the Athletics Kenya squad that was handed over to the National Olympic Committee of Kenya.

The 2022 New York City Marathon champion Evans Chebet is still hopeful of making the cut to the Olympic marathon team ahead of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games despite not being included in the previous list.

Chebet, the two-time Boston Marathon champion, however, noted that he will accept the decision from the National Olympic Committee of Kenya. Athletics Kenya already handed the list of five athletes to NOC-K who will later on trim down the number to three.

Defending champion Eliud Kipchoge leads the field and he will be joined by the reigning Tokyo Marathon Benson Kipruto, the 2022 Abu Dhabi Marathon champion Timothy Kiplagat, the 2023 Prague Marathon champion Alexander Mutiso, and Vincent Kipkemboi who finished second at the 2023 Berlin Marathon.

"I hope to make it to Kenya's Team for the Paris Olympics, but again, if the selectors choose someone else, I will respect their decision,” Chebet told Sports Brief.

In order to prove that he is capable of bagging a medal at the global bonanza, Chebet seeks to win his third successive title at the Boston Marathon, after winning two titles in 2022 and 2023.

He admitted there will be tough competition but the Kenyan is ready for the challenge and he explained that his body is feeling great. Chebet withdrew from his title defense at last year’s New York City Marathon due to an injury and has not raced since.

"The competition is tough. I am the person with a target on his back. Every other athlete will come with the idea of beating me and denying me another chance to win the title, but I feel good and I am ready," Chebet added.

(04/10/2024) Views: 252 ⚡AMP
by Abigael Wuafula
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Paris 2024 Olympic Games

Paris 2024 Olympic Games

For this historic event, the City of Light is thinking big! Visitors will be able to watch events at top sporting venues in Paris and the Paris region, as well as at emblematic monuments in the capital visited by several millions of tourists each year. The promise of exceptional moments to experience in an exceptional setting! A great way to...

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Defending champion Eliud Kipchoge will lead the unveiled marathon team to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games

Defending champion Eliud Kipchoge will lead Team Kenya's men’s marathon team to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, Athletics Kenya has announced.

Kipchoge goes to Paris with history in his mind as he intends to become the first man to win three Olympic titles over the marathon. If he manages to achieve the feat, he will also become the oldest marathoner to have successfully defended his title at the Olympics.

Kipchoge had a false start at the Tokyo Marathon where he finished a disappointing 10th but he has since gone back to training and will be sharpening his talons ahead of the global bonanza.

Joining Kipchoge will be reigning Tokyo Marathon champion Benson Kipruto who stunned heads at the Tokyo Marathon to take the top prize just as a debutant. Kipruto is a well-known marathoner and with a man of such quality in the field, Kenya is assured of a medal.

Kipruto goes to the Olympic Games hungrier than ever since he will be in the hunt for his first title under the Team Kenya jersey. With the motivation from winning the Tokyo Marathon, he will be out to impress.

Another athlete to watch will be Timothy Kiplagat, the 2022 Abu Dhabi Marathon champion. Kiplagat is laid back but when it comes to the marathons, he knows how to execute his races well and finish in the podium bracket.

Alexander Mutiso has also made the cut to the national team in his first senior assignment. Mutiso bagged silver for Team Kenya during the 2018 World Under-18 Athletics Championships.

He will be hoping to impress one more time, having a great record of previous marathon successes including a win at the 2023 Prague Marathon and a second-place finish at the 2023 Valencia Marathon.

Little-known Vincent Ngetich, the young man who traumatized Kipchoge at the 2023 Berlin Marathon will also be part of the star-studded field. Ngetich proved to be a great marathon runner, finishing second behind Kipchoge in his debut over the distance.

(04/05/2024) Views: 271 ⚡AMP
by Abigael Wuafula
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Paris 2024 Olympic Games

Paris 2024 Olympic Games

For this historic event, the City of Light is thinking big! Visitors will be able to watch events at top sporting venues in Paris and the Paris region, as well as at emblematic monuments in the capital visited by several millions of tourists each year. The promise of exceptional moments to experience in an exceptional setting! A great way to...

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Kenya announces Paris 2024 Olympics women's marathon squad

Athletics Kenya has finally unveiled the deep women's field that will don the Kenyan jersey in the women's marathon at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

Athletics Kenya has finally unveiled the women’s marathon team to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games through the National Olympic Committee of Kenya.

Defending champion Peres Jepchirchir headlines the strong field as she attempts to win her second successive marathon title at the Olympic Games. Jepchirchir will hope to bounce back from injury woes stronger and she will be joined by a strong team.

She will build up for the global showpiece at the London Marathon, hoping to improve on her third-place finish last season.

Also included in the team will be reigning New York City and Boston Marathon champion Hellen Obiri who seeks to make history with Team Kenya. Obiri aired her interest to win gold and as she joins Jepchirchir, she is also eyeing the coveted title.

Obiri will be building up for the Olympics at the Boston Marathon where she is the defending champion and she seeks to have a great run in the streets where she claimed her first victory in the marathon.

In an interview with Citius Mag, Obiri exuded confidence ahead of the event, revealing that her body is now used to training for the marathon.

Another strong athlete who adds depth to the field will be former world marathon record holder Brigid Kosgei who was runner-up at the delayed 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

Kosgei has been down with injuries but bounced back this season with a win at the Abu Dhabi Marathon and she now heads to the Olympic Games, hungry for the title. Sharon Lokedi, the 2022 New York City Marathon champion will also be among the stars to descend on the course for the Olympic Games as she has made the cut to the team.

Two-time Chicago Marathon champion Ruth Chepng’etich has also not been left behind and she hopes to also claim her first Olympic title. Chepng’etich has been in great form and she will certainly not disappoint when it comes to representing Kenya.

The 2023 Tokyo Marathon champion Rosemary Wanjiru has also been included in the team, thanks to her great form and fighting spirit.

(04/04/2024) Views: 235 ⚡AMP
by Abigael Wuafula
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Paris 2024 Olympic Games

Paris 2024 Olympic Games

For this historic event, the City of Light is thinking big! Visitors will be able to watch events at top sporting venues in Paris and the Paris region, as well as at emblematic monuments in the capital visited by several millions of tourists each year. The promise of exceptional moments to experience in an exceptional setting! A great way to...

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Pulse Sports: Kenyan media caught some people with this April Fools' prank

Eliud Kipchoge has not suffered any injury or withdrawn from the Paris 2024 Olympics with the marathon GOAT having put the disappointments of Tokyo behind him.

You might have fallen for our April Fool’s Day story about two-time Olympics champion Eliud Kipchoge withdrawing from the Paris 2024 Games.

Well, the marathon GOAT is very much on the road to Paris as he has not withdrawn or suffered any injury.

Kipchoge will be heading to Paris with the aim of becoming the first man to win three straight Olympics marathon gold medals and is back in training ahead of the Games.

ipchoge was selected among Team Kenya’s provisional squad for the Olympics alongside with 2024 Tokyo Marathon champion Benson Kipruto, Timothy Kiplagat and Vincent Ngetich, who finished second and third in Tokyo, Bernard Koech, two-time New York Marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor, Cyprian Kotut, 2022 London Marathon champion Amos Kipruto and Titus Kipruto.

With Athletics Kenya set to add another name to the roster before naming the final three, Kipchoge is hot favourite to be on the list that will head to Paris and he is fully focused on making history in the French capital.

“My aim is to inspire as many people as I can. I am aiming for three gold medals consecutively,” Kipchoge told the LOAF Podcast.

“Back-to-back-to-back. This is in my mind. I will try my best to push myself to win it three times and tell the next generation that longevity is the key and you can make a goal, pursue it and make it happen.”

Kipchoge is coming off a disappointing outing in Tokyo where he managed a 10th-place finish, having started well, something that saw some observers doubt whether he can win Olympics gold.

While he has put the disappointment behind him, he admits the defeat took its toll on him after toiling for so long to ensure he achieved success.

“I have learnt that you can train in a good way, be in a good shape but putting in it practice, something will remain unlocked and disappointments will come in but a coin has two sides but in life, it has three sides, that is thinking big,” he added.

“I did not succeed as far as Tokyo marathon is concerned. I feel disappointed to train for four, five months without getting the real results but it is not the end of life.”

With the marathon being the last event on the Olympics programme on August 11, Kipchoge has four months to prepare for what could be his final appearance at the Games and possibly right the wrongs of Tokyo in Paris.

(04/02/2024) Views: 538 ⚡AMP
by Joel Omotto by Pulse Sport
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Paris 2024 Olympic Games

Paris 2024 Olympic Games

For this historic event, the City of Light is thinking big! Visitors will be able to watch events at top sporting venues in Paris and the Paris region, as well as at emblematic monuments in the capital visited by several millions of tourists each year. The promise of exceptional moments to experience in an exceptional setting! A great way to...

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Cam Levins to return to racing at Istanbul Half Marathon

The Canadian marathon record holder Cam Levins will return to the roads on April 28 in Turkey.

On Tuesday, Levins was announced as one of the headliners for the Istanbul Half Marathon next month. This will be Levins’ first race since his DNF at the New York City Marathon last November.

Levins chose to race New York in preparation for the hilly Paris Olympic marathon, which he had already qualified for. The 34-year-old had high expectations heading into NYC but dropped out near the 20 km point. He later disclosed that he was not injured but did not feel well, and things didn’t improve.

The Istanbul Half Marathon annually attracts some of the fastest distance runners in the world, resulting in sub-one-hour men’s champions in four of the last five years. In 2021, the women’s world half marathon record of 64:02 was set at the race by Kenya’s Ruth Chepngetich. Ethiopia’s Letesenbet Gidey broke the world-record mark at the 2021 Valencia Half Marathon later that year.

Levins currently holds both the Canadian marathon record and half marathon mark of 60:18, which he ran at the Vancouver First Half in February 2023. A month later, he hit the 2024 Paris Olympic marathon standard at the Tokyo Marathon, where he clocked a personal best and North American area record of 2:05:36.

He is one of two Canadian men to have hit the Olympic standard and has already received early nomination for Team Canada at the Paris Olympics.

(03/27/2024) Views: 328 ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson
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N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon

N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon

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

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Why Eliud Kipchoge is assured of his slot in Kenya’s Olympics team

Two-time Olympics champion Eliud Kipchoge’s recent form has seen some doubt whether he will be able to defend his title in Paris but Athletics Kenya looks set to have him on the team.

Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge will definitely be at the Paris 2024 Games despite his indifferent form in his recent races.

Kipchoge has won one of his three marathons [Berlin 2023], coming after a sixth-place finish in Boston the same year, before a 10th placing in Tokyo this month.

That has seen doubts emerge from some observers who feel the GOAT might not have enough to claim a third straight Olympics gold while others have even called for the 39-year-old to give way but athletics coach Julius Kirwa feels it would be ill advised to write him off.

“Kipchoge is good and we depend on him,” Kirwa, who is among those who will select Kenya’s final marathon squad to Paris, told Pulse Sports.

“We encourage him to ignore everything that is being said about him and only concentrate on representing the country. I know he is ready and capable of representing the country as he has always done,” added Kirwa.

Kirwa insists Kipchoge has to be on the plane to Paris due to his status and the fact the he is one of the most reliable athletes for Kenya even if emerging stars are threatening to dethrone him.

“Eliud is a defending champion and is always available to represent the country,” said the veteran coach. “We cannot say because there are others who have come and run better than him we are going to leave him out.”

“We give them an opportunity to represent the country based on knowledge, capabilities, strength and discipline, which is very important.”

Kipchoge was part of a strong 10-man provisional team unveiled last December that had the late Kelvin Kiptum, with 2024 Tokyo Marathon champion Benson Kipruto, Timothy Kiplagat and Vincent Ngetich, who finished second and third in Tokyo, Bernard Koech, two-time New York Marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor, Cyprian Kotut, 2022 London Marathon champion Amos Kipruto and Titus Kipruto.

Following Kiptum’s demise, Athletics Kenya intend to add another name to the list before the final three are unveiled by May with the women’s team having defending champion Peres Jepchirchir, former world record holder Brigid Kosgei, Boston and New York Marathon champion Hellen Obiri, 2019 world champion Ruth Chepng'etich, 2024 Tokyo Marathon runners-up Rosemary Wanjiru, Joycilline Jepkosgei, Sheila Chepkirui, Judith Korir, Seley Chepyego and Sharon Lokedi.

(03/25/2024) Views: 327 ⚡AMP
by Joel Omotto
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Paris 2024 Olympic Games

Paris 2024 Olympic Games

For this historic event, the City of Light is thinking big! Visitors will be able to watch events at top sporting venues in Paris and the Paris region, as well as at emblematic monuments in the capital visited by several millions of tourists each year. The promise of exceptional moments to experience in an exceptional setting! A great way to...

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London Marathon: Rachel Hodgkinson nervous ahead of first elite start

Distance runner Rachel Hodgkinson says being able to compete in next month's London Marathon as an elite athlete has made her nervous.

The 31-year-old was the second fastest British woman in last year's London Marathon having not started as part of the elite athlete's cohort.

She has since won gold at the Tokyo Marathon and finished fifth in the IAU 50km World Championship.

"Just getting there is an achievement," she told BBC Radio Merseyside.

"I'm excited and also quite nervous.

"Last year I came second for the British women, so I already knew at that point that I probably wouldn't be able to run with the masses and with the men again. So I knew I'd be making that step up into the women's only race.

"It was a shock last year when I came in second because I didn't start with the elite women. I didn't know I was in second, I only found out when I crossed the line that some of the elite women had dropped out."

With Olympic qualification for this summer's Games out of reach and question marks over the future of the Commonwealth Games, Hodgkinson's competitive aims have been pushed to the distant future.

"I'm not going to make the Olympics this year but they come around every four years so why not go again and have a shot?" she added.

"The Commonwealth Games is in question at the minute and may or may not happen. I'd like to represent England as I haven't done that, but that's generally some shorter distance stuff and speed is not necessarily my strength. I'm an endurance runner but we'll see.

"I could easily go down the ultra running line and step up to 50km or 100-milers."

(03/15/2024) Views: 336 ⚡AMP
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TCS London Marathon

TCS 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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Why Benson Kipruto is Kenya’s best bet for marathon gold at Paris 2024 Olympics

Pulse Sports details the reasons that make 2024 Tokyo Marathon champion Benson Kiptruto Kenya’s best bet for marathon gold at the Paris Olympics.

Tokyo Marathon champion Benson Kipruto appears to be the early favorite to win Kenya gold at the Paris Olympics given his recent form.

Kipruto is still basking in the glory of his win in Tokyo last week when he clocked 2:02:16 to break the course record ahead of countrymen Timothy Kiplagat (2:02:55) and Vincent Ngetich (2:04:18).

That was Kipruto’s fourth win in his last seven marathons, having also won in Prague and Boston in 2021 and Chicago in 2022. During that period, the 32-year-old has also not finished outside the top three, third in Boston in 2022 and 2023, as well as a second place in Chicago last year.

Looking at the provisional Team Kenya marathon team to Paris Olympics selected last December, only Kelvin Kiptum had better numbers, but the world marathon record holder is now deceased, which leaves Kipruto with a head start.

Kenya’s provisional squad of 10 had Kipruto, Kiptum, two-time Olympics champion Eliud Kipchoge, Ngetich, Timothy Kiplagat, Bernard Koech, two-time New York Marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor, Cyprian Kotut, 2022 London Marathon champion Amos Kipruto and Titus Kipruto.

With Athletics Kenya (AK) making their selection based on World Athletics Road to Paris Marathon Rankings, two-time Boston Marathon champion Evans Chebet and Alexander Mutiso, third in Valencia in 2:03:29 on his debut in 2022, winner in Prague last year (2:05:09), before second place in Valencia 2023 (2:03:11) did not make the team.

Mutiso had not run Valencia when the team was unveiled while Chebet has been very consistent. After his marathon debut in 2013 in Seoul (2:11:26), Chebet has managed top four placings in all 15 marathons he has finished, including six wins and six runner-up finishes.

He won in Boston and New York in 2022 before defending his Boston title and he will be back again in April in a bid to make it three straight wins.

Athletics Kenya has yet to indicate if there will be alterations to the team in light of Kiptum’s demise, which could give Chebet or Mutiso a ticket to the Olympics, if they do well in Boston and London respectively next month.

If AK sticks to the original list, then Kipruto will be seen as the hot favourite given the recent form of defending champion Kipchoge.

Kipchoge finished a disappointing 10th in Tokyo after clocking 2:06:50, having come in as favorite following his win in Berlin last year (2:02:42) and the fact that he also won in the Japanese capital in 2021 (2:02:40).

However, his sixth place in Boston last year (2:09:23), which was blamed on the lack of pacemakers and the hilly course, and the latest in Tokyo prove that he is human after all, hence the need to look beyond him for gold in Paris.

(03/11/2024) Views: 282 ⚡AMP
by Joel Omotto
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Paris 2024 Olympic Games

Paris 2024 Olympic Games

For this historic event, the City of Light is thinking big! Visitors will be able to watch events at top sporting venues in Paris and the Paris region, as well as at emblematic monuments in the capital visited by several millions of tourists each year. The promise of exceptional moments to experience in an exceptional setting! A great way to...

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Two-time Olympian Suguru Osako plans to run in marathon at Paris Olympics

Two-time Olympian Suguru Osako said Monday that he plans to represent Japan in the men's marathon at the Paris Olympics, having been coy over his participation.

The 32-year-old had provisionally earned the third and final Japanese slot after finishing third in October's Marathon Grand Championship. No runner from the country has since met the Olympic qualification benchmark set by the Japan Association of Athletics Federations through Sunday's Tokyo Marathon, sealing Osako's spot.

Osako, who clarified his latest stance on his YouTube channel, had previously claimed, "The Olympics is an important race, but not something to be fixated on as much as people think."

He ran 5,000 and 10,000 meters at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics before coming sixth in the marathon at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. He retired after his second games but returned in 2022.

Osako also said he will run the Boston Marathon, where he made his racing debut in 2017, as scheduled on April 15.

"I'm excited I might be able to notice something new there," he said.

Naoki Koyama and Akira Akasaki punched their tickets to Paris after finishing in the top two at October's race.

(03/07/2024) Views: 280 ⚡AMP
by The Japan Times
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Paris 2024 Olympic Games

Paris 2024 Olympic Games

For this historic event, the City of Light is thinking big! Visitors will be able to watch events at top sporting venues in Paris and the Paris region, as well as at emblematic monuments in the capital visited by several millions of tourists each year. The promise of exceptional moments to experience in an exceptional setting! A great way to...

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Joan Benoit Samuelson captures World Majors six-star medal at Tokyo Marathon

On Sunday morning, running icon Joan Benoit Samuelson claimed her sixth and final Abbott World Marathon Major star, clocking 3:42:18 at the Tokyo Marathon. The American distance running legend added another remarkable chapter to a storied career that includes wins at the 1979 and 1983 Boston Marathon and the 1985 Chicago Marathon.

The Abbott World Marathon Majors include the Tokyo Marathon, Boston Marathon, London Marathon, Berlin Marathon, Chicago Marathon and the New York City Marathon. In 2022, Benoit Samuelson checked her fifth major off her list, winning her age group at the London Marathon in 3:20:20; her daughter Abby ran as well, finishing just under three hours.

From Cape Elizabeth, Maine, Benoit Samuelson first gained international acclaim when she became the inaugural women’s Olympic marathon champion at the 1984 Summer Games in Los Angeles. Her groundbreaking victory set the stage for a career defined by trailblazing achievements. Benoit Samuelson held the fastest time for an American woman at the Chicago Marathon for 32 years after her 1985 victory, and her time at the Boston Marathon was the fastest time by an American woman at that race for 28 years Her personal best of 2:21:21 is still eighth on the U.S. all-time list.

Benoit Samuelson is the only woman in the world to have run sub-three-hour marathons in five consecutive decades, her first in 1979 and her most recent in 2010. At the 2019 Berlin Marathon, she ran 3:02, nearly becoming the first woman to clock a sub-three in six consecutive decades. In 2019, she ran the Boston Marathon to celebrate her then 40-year-old victory from 1979, wearing the same outfit she had worn four decades before—a backward ball cap and a Bowdoin College singlet (she won her age category, finishing in 3:04:00, only 28:45 minutes slower than her time in 1979).

Beyond her accomplishments on the road, Samuelson has been an advocate for women’s participation in sports and has played a pivotal role in advancing opportunities for women athletes. After the 2022 London Marathon, Benoit Samuelson told the media: “I’m blessed to have longevity in this sport. It doesn’t owe me anything, but I feel I owe my sport.”

(03/05/2024) Views: 347 ⚡AMP
by Keeley Milne
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Tokyo Marathon

Tokyo Marathon

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

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Nobert Kigen provisionally suspended by AIU for doping

Nobert Kigen is the latest Kenyan athlete to join the list of shame after being provisionally suspended by the AIU for the Presence/Use of Prohibited Substance (Testosterone).

The Athletics Integrity Unit has provisionally suspended Nobert Kigen for the Presence/Use of Prohibited Substance (Testosterone).

Kigen, the 2022 Prague Marathon champion, has not been very competitive in international races since 2018 when he competed in five races.

In 2019, he intended to compete at the Tokyo Marathon but he did not finish the race. He finished third at the 2021 Prague Marathon before proceeding to win the edition of the race in 2022.

The same year, he finished seventh at the Amsterdam Marathon and then finished fourth at the Bangsaen Half Marathon in 2023. He opened his 2024 season with a 10th place finish at the Xiamen Marathon.

Meanwhile, the AIU has also Agnes Mueni Mutua for the Presence/Use of Prohibited Substances (Testosterone, Trimetazidine).

As per the AIU, a Provisional Suspension is when an Athlete or other Person is suspended temporarily from participating in any competition or activity in Athletics prior to a final decision at a hearing conducted under the World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules or the Integrity Code of Conduct. The Kenyan duo are the latest to join the list of shame as they await their verdict.

(03/04/2024) Views: 367 ⚡AMP
by Abigael Wafula
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Men and women course records set at Tokyo Marathon

The Tokyo Marathon—the first World Marathon Major of 2024—took place Sunday morning in Japan. In near-perfect conditions, with a starting temperature of about 42 degrees, more than 37,000 runners took to the streets in Japan’s capital city. Course records fell, although several notable pre-race favorites fell short.

Benson Kipruto wins men’s race in a course record

It was a Kenyan sweep in the men’s race: Boston and Chicago Marathon champion Benson Kipruto, 32, of Kenya, won in 2:02:16, a course record by 24 seconds. Timothy Kiplagat, 30, placed second in a personal-best 2:02:55, while Vincent Kipkemoi Ngetich, 25, was third in 2:04:18.

Led by a trio of pacers, a pack of seven men blazed out at world record pace, traveling the first 5K in 14:16 (4:36 pace). By 15K, the pace had slowed, but only four men (and two pacers) remained: Kipruto, Kiplagat, and Ngetich, and Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge, 39, the two-time Olympic champion and former world record holder.

Unlike the men, the women started more conservatively, then picked up the pace. The lead pack covered the first 5K in 16:16, a 5:12 pace. Shankule led much of the race as competitors dropped off; the pack thinned to seven by 15K, four by 25K, and the top three by 30K as the pace ratcheted down (Shankule, Wanjiru,and Kebede covered 25K to 30K in 15:59, 5:09 pace).

Just before the 40K mark, Shankule fell back. Then, at the fluid stop just after the 40K mark, Kebede pulled ahead of Wanjiru, battling to the clock to better the 2:16:02 Brigid Kosgei ran here in 2021. 

Sifan Hassan, 31, of the Netherlands, was fourth in 2:18:05—it was her third marathon, and her first loss. However, her time was still faster than the 2:18:33 she ran in her victorious London debut.

Saina shines after disappointment at Trials

Four weeks ago, American marathoner Betsy Saina, 35, who had been a favorite to make the U.S. Olympic team, dropped out of the Olympic Marathon Trials in Orlando, Florida, after the 21-mile mark of the race. Even though Saina had been in contention for the third spot, she suddenly pulled off the course and flopped in the grass at the side of the road, a victim of the rising temperatures.

Saina quickly regrouped and was a late addition to the field for the Tokyo Marathon on March 3. In much cooler weather, Saina finished fifth in 2:19:17. It was a PR by 2:23, the third-fastest time by an American woman (behind Emily Sisson and Keira D’Amato), and some measure of redemption after the disappointment of the Trials. She averaged 5:18.7 per mile.

Benson Kipruto and Sutume Asefa Kebede both won in course records, and American Betsy Saina ran a big PR to take fifth.

 

(03/03/2024) Views: 395 ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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Tokyo Marathon

Tokyo Marathon

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

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Kipruto eyes podium, personal best at Sunday's Tokyo Marathon

The 2021 Boston Marathon champion Benson Kipruto is targeting a podium finish at Sunday’s Tokyo Marathon.

Kipruto trains in his backyard in Kapsabet, Nandi County, ahead of the much-awaited, starstudded showdown in the Japanese capital.

Other top athletes enlisted for the race are former world marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge (2:01:09), Vincent Kipkemoi (2:03:13), Timothy Kiplagat (2:03:50), Hailemaryam Kiros (2:04:41) and Andualem Belay (2:04:44).

“My training and preparations for the Tokyo Marathon have been going on very well. I hope my hard training will yield great results,” said Kipruto, the 2016 Athens Classic Marathon silver medalist.

Kipruto was a surprise 2022 Chicago Marathon winner and silver medallist a year later­— behind the late Kelvin Kiptum, who set the world record of 2:00:35.

He said Tokyo was a a late destination after initially settling on a return to Boston.

“I was to compete at the Boston Marathon but I had to change to Tokyo since it gives me enough time to prepare for the Olympics Games,” said the 2017 Gongju Dong-A Marathon silver medalist.

He is unfazed by the calibre of competition.

“I have prepared well enough to run finish on the podium as well as lower my personal best,” said Kipruto.

Kipruto is also looking forward to representing the country at the Paris Olympic Games.

He was named in the provisional marathon team to Paris alongside Kipruto former world record holder Eliud Kipchoge, Vincent Kipkemoi, Timothy Kiplagat, Bernard Koech, Geoffrey Kamworor, Cyprian Kotut, Amos Kipruto, Titus Kipruto and the late Kelvin Kiptum.

“I have never represented my country in any competition and making the team to Paris would be a dream come true,” said Kipruto.

Meanwhile, Ugandan Victor Kiplang’at said he is well prepared for Tokyo.

Kiplangat, who has already hit the qualifying time for the Paris Olympic Games, told Xinhua that he has put in a lot of work during preparations as he seeks to improve on his time.

“I have trained well under coach Addy Ruiter and I can’t wait to go and prove a point in Japan,” said Kiplang’at.

The Tokyo Marathon is a good platform for his preparations for the Olympic Games in France in August.

Kiplang’at, who will follow Ugandan pace-setter Abel Boniface, said competing against Kipchoge will be a tough but great challenge.

(03/02/2024) Views: 369 ⚡AMP
by Emmanuel Sabuni
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Tokyo Marathon

Tokyo Marathon

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

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Sifan Hassan fires stern warning shot to Rosemary Wanjiru ahead of Sunday's Tokyo Marathon

Dutch woman Sifan Hassan is not resting on her laurels as she looks to dethrone defending champion Rosemary Wanjiru at Sunday's Tokyo Marathon.

Reigning Chicago Marathon champion Sifan Hassan has opened up on her main target ahead of the Tokyo Marathon on Sunday.

Hassan, who made her full marathon debut last year, has noted that she will be going for the Tokyo Marathon course record.

The reigning London Marathon champion noted that she is physically fit and ready to attack the record time of 2:16:02 that was set by Brigid Kosgei during the 2021 edition of the event.

“I have prepared well for this race…I mean the period between after the Chicago Marathon and now. I’m going for a course record,” the Dutch woman said during the pre-race press conference.

The double Olympic champion has only competed in two marathons in her career so far which she has won, and she will be keen to continue the winning streak in more races to come.

However, the Tokyo Marathon pits her against some of the strongest marathoners too, including defending champion Rosemary Wanjiru and the 2022 Valencia Marathon champion Amane Beriso.

During last year’s edition of the race, Wanjiru destroyed a strong field to claim the top prize, stopping the clock at 2:16:28.

Wanjiru also represented Kenya at the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary where she finished sixth in the marathon. She enjoyed her 2023 season and will be looking to have an amazing season in 2024.

On her part, Ethiopia’s Beriso, the reigning World marathon champion will not let her fans down as she takes on the tough Tokyo Marathon course.

Beriso, a very soft-spoken athlete, will once again showcase her prowess and skills on the roads with the hope of bagging her first World Marathon Major title.

(03/01/2024) Views: 343 ⚡AMP
by Abigael Wuafula
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Tokyo Marathon

Tokyo Marathon

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

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GOAT has arrived! Eliud Kipchoge lands in Tokyo ahead of Sunday’s race as he eyes more glory in Japan

Kenyan marathon legend Eliud Kipchoge has arrived in Tokyo ready for Sunday’s marathon where he is seeking a third victory in Japan.

Eliud Kipchoge has arrived in Tokyo ahead of Sunday’s race where he will be seeking to claim a second win in three years in the Japanese capital.

Kipchoge is hot favourite to win the Tokyo Marathon in what is part of his build up towards the Paris Olympics and will lined up against a stellar cast that includes compatriots Vincent Ngetich and Timothy Kiplagat.

The Kenyan marathon great holds the fastest time in Tokyo after clocking 2:02:40 to win the 2021 race and there are hopes that he can lower it on Sunday.

Tokyo also holds good memories for Kipchoge as he struck his second Olympics gold in Japan at the delayed 2020 Olympics, although the marathon was run in Sapporo, and he also claimed a 5000m silver medal on the track at the 2007 World Championships in Osaka.

“Japanese people love running, their culture is instilled in running, and they love marathons. It’s a good city, I can say it is a marathon city. I am looking to running fast again and enjoy,” Kipchoge said during his preparations.

Kipchoge has enjoyed a good preparation and is excited by the prospect of pursuing what will be the 12th Marathon Major of his extraordinary career that includes five wins in Berlin, four in London and victories in Chicago, Hamburg and Rotterdam.

A fast, flat course, the field of 37,500 marathon runners will start their quest at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building before heading gently downhill for the first 5km.

The course then flattens out for the remainder with no major hills to overcome as the runners make their way to the finish at Tokyo Station.

Kipchoge’s 2:02:40 is the men’s course record while the women’s mark of 2:16:02 is held by Kenyan Brigid Kosgei, recorded the same year.

(02/28/2024) Views: 328 ⚡AMP
by Joel Omotto
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Tokyo Marathon

Tokyo Marathon

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

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Hirabayashi claims surprise Osaka win

Kokugakuin University junior Kiyoto Hirabayashi won the Osaka Marathon in his marathon debut Sunday with the seventh-fastest time in history for a Japanese runner.

Hirabayashi crossed the finish line in 2 hours, 6 minutes, 18 seconds at Osaka Castle Park, 4 seconds ahead of Ugandan runner-up Stephen Kissa, in the second-to-last race of Japan's Olympic team selection series.

"I'm just happy," said the 21-year-old known as a collegiate ekiden road relay star. "I thought things were going better than I expected. My focus was to win, and I'm glad about the time, too."

The leading pack was reduced to about 10 runners after Paris Olympics-bound Naoki Koyama upped his pace past the 29-kilometer mark.

Hirabayashi bided his time before hitting the front with around 10 kilometers to go.

Kissa stayed close to the university runner, but Hirabayashi pulled away in the final 800 meters.

"I don't think this is my highest point. I want to train more and improve," Hirabayashi said.

Japan has three spots in this summer's Olympic men's marathon. Koyama and Akira Akasaki have already earned their berths by placing first and second, respectively, in last October's Marathon Grand Championship in Tokyo.

Koyama was third in Sunday's race in 2:06:33 as part of his Olympic preparations.

Suguru Osako, who was third in the MGC, will take the final spot for the Olympics if no runner in the March 3 Tokyo Marathon clocks 2:05:50 or faster, the time set by Japan's athletics governing body.

"Koyama ran as part of his tune-up, and he broke 2:07 as he aimed to," said Toshihiko Seko, who is in charge of athlete development at the Japan Association of Athletics Federations.

"Hirabayashi had an amazing run," the former Olympic marathoner said. "The way he ran has made me think he'll be our marathon superstar at the Los Angeles Olympics (in 2028)."

 

(02/27/2024) Views: 359 ⚡AMP
by Kyodo Knews
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Osaka Marathon

Osaka Marathon

Let’s run for fun in the shadow of Osaka Castle, the symbol of the city!This is a fun running event, which welcomes international runners from all corners of the global alongside families, friends and Japanese runners; all running together through the colored leaves of Osaka Castle Park on a crisp autumn morning. The fun and pleasure of running is universal! ...

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Kelvin Kiptum: Thousands mourn marathon world record holder at funeral in Kenya

On Friday in Chepkorio, Kenya, thousands gathered for the funeral of marathon world record holder Kelvin Kiptum, who died at the age of 24 in a car accident on Feb. 11 with his coach, Gervais Hakizimana.

Kiptum will be remembered as one of the biggest rising stars in the sport for his record-breaking two-hour and 35-second run to break the world record at the 2023 Chicago Marathon.

Kiptum’s widow, Asenath Rotich, led the mourners at the funeral for the Kenyan marathon star. According to BBC Africa, she broke down when revealing that the couple had been planning a big wedding celebration in April. He had stunned the world in his short marathon career, and figures from sports and politics came to pay tribute to a man whose life had promised so much.

Kenyan president William Ruto was in attendance, as well as World Athletics president Sebastian Coe, who believed Kiptum would have become the first person to run a competitive marathon in under two hours. “It is a frustration to all of us that we won’t witness what I truly know he was capable of,” Coe told BBC Africa. “For sure he would have broken it. It would have been (Roger) Bannister and Edmund Hillary, both of them, wrapped into one.”

Kiptum was looking to better his world record time at the 2024 Rotterdam Marathon in April.

Also in attendance were notable Kenyan athletes Faith Kipyegon, former world record holder Paul Tergat, and 2022 London Marathon champion Amos Kipruto, who was one of Kiptum’s pallbearers at the service. Eliud Kipchoge did not attend as he continues to prepare for the Tokyo Marathon on March 3.

“Since he arrived… he has rewritten history,” said Tergat. “He has a legacy that we’ve never seen in this world. We are here to celebrate what he has achieved in a very short time.”

Before Kiptum became one of the world’s biggest marathon stars, he had worked as a livestock herder and trained as an electrician in Chepkorio. The government in Elgeyo-Marakwet County plans to honor the late marathoner by building an athletics stadium in his name.

(02/23/2024) Views: 339 ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson
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Kenyan-born American runner seeking redemption at Tokyo Marathon after US Olympic trials heartbreak

Kenyan-born American runner Betsy Saina is seeking a comeback at the Tokyo Marathon after missing out on the US Olympic marathon trials.

Kenyan-born American runner Betsy Saina will seek redemption at the Tokyo Marathon after a heartbreaking run at the US Olympic Marathon trials.

Saina exuded confidence ahead of the Olympic trials in Orlando but unfortunately failed to finish the race after the hype surrounding her. She now heads to the Tokyo Marathon on Sunday, March 3 where she hopes to bounce back to winning ways.

Follow the Pulse Sports Kenya WhatsApp Channel for more news.

Two days ahead of the marathon trials, Saina had opened up on how her son motivates her to do better and she was optimistic of representing the US at the Olympic Games.

In a post on her Instagram, she said: “My little man has taught me to be resilient and brave. Everything I do he is the priority before anything else comes.

On Saturday I will be running for him, He has changed my life in many ways, I am the happiest woman in the world.”

She has now put the setback behind her and is looking forward to bouncing back at the Tokyo Marathon where she will be up against some of the greatest marathoners.

Defending champion Rosemary Wanjiru will be returning with the hope of bagging another title. During last year’s edition of the race, Wanjiru destroyed a strong field to claim the top prize, cutting the tape in 2:16:28. She enjoyed her 2023 season and will be looking to continue the hot streak to 2024.

Wanjiru also represented Kenya at the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary where she finished sixth in the marathon.

2023 London Marathon champion Sifan Hassan will also be in the mix, hoping to notch up her third marathon victory since her debut in London last year. The Dutch woman has proven what she can do both on the track and the full marathon.

Hassan made her full marathon debut at the London Marathon and won most dramatically. She clocked 2:18:33 to beat marathon experts including Peres Jepchirchir, the reigning Olympic marathon champion.

She extended her winning streak to the Chicago Marathon where she stunned defending champion Ruth Chepng’etich to second place.

Hassan will be eyeing the Olympic Games and the Toyo Marathon is a better place for her to build up for the event.

Kenyan-born Israeli Lonah Salpeter has also been invited and she will be out to challenge the double Olympic champion and Wanjiru for the top prize. The Ethiopian charge will be led by Sutume Kebede and Tigist Abayechew who will be out to reclaim the title they lost to Kenya last year.

Magdalena Shauri of Tanzania will also be hoping to continue soaring high after her dominant exploits in Berlin last year where she finished third.

(02/21/2024) Views: 344 ⚡AMP
by Abigael Wuafula
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Tokyo Marathon

Tokyo Marathon

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

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Chumba will go head to head against Gebreslase when the two clash at the Nagoya women’s marathon

Kenya-born Bahranian Eunice Chumba will go head to head against 2022 World champion Gotytom Gebreslase of Ethiopia when the two clash at the Nagoya women’s marathon slated for March 10.

Nagoya women’s marathon is held annually in Japan and it is the largest women’s race in the world certified by the Guinness World Records.

It was launched on March 12, 2012 with an initial participation of 13,114. It has since grown to be recognized by World Athletics as a Platinum label race averaging 20,000 participants.

Chumba was a silver medalist in the 10,000m at the 2018 Asia Games in Jakarta, Indonesia, where she clocked 32:11.12.

Before that, she had also placed second in the same event in the 2015 Asia Championships held in Wuhan, China in 32:22.29. The 31-year-old further won the 2023 NN Rotterdam Marathon, Netherlands, clocking 2:20:31.

She followed it up with a bronze medal during the Shanghai Marathon, China, in November clocking 2:22:20.

Chumba has also won titles in the Abu Dhabi Marathon (2:20:41) in 2022 and the Copenhagen Half Marathon (1:06:11) in 2017.

In 2021 Gebreslase made her debut in the marathon with an overwhelming victory at the Berlin Marathon, Germany, clocking 2:20:09.

She followed it up with a bronze medal in the Tokyo marathon in 2022 (2:18:18) before winning the title at the 2022 World Athletics Championship (2:18:11)  in Eugene, USA.

 The 29-year-old also has a title in the Bahrain Half Marathon (1:05:36) and a silver medal in the Ras Al Khaimah marathon (1:05:51).

The two will be joined by the 2020 Napoli half marathon champion Violah Lagat and Kenyan-born Romanian Delvine Meringor.

Meringor won a title at the 2022 Los Angeles Marathon, USA, where she clocked 2:25:04.

The local contingent will be led by Ai Hosaoda who boosts a personal best of 2:21:42. She will be joined by 2016 Japanese champion in the 10,000m Suzuki Ayuko.

(02/16/2024) Views: 327 ⚡AMP
by Teddy Mulei
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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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Koyama and Inoue among invited runners for Osaka Marathon

A total of 19 invited runners were announced Monday for the upcoming Osaka Marathon, including Paris Olympics-bound Naoki Koyama and 2018 Asian Games gold medalist Hiroto Inoue.

The Feb. 25 marathon is the first of the two remaining "final challenge" races for Japan's third and last spot in the men's marathon at this summer's Olympics.

Shogo Nakamura, who competed at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, will also run, but 2018 Boston Marathon winner Yuki Kawauchi will not take part due to an injury, according to organizers of the Osaka race.

Koyama and Akira Akasaki have already clinched their Olympic berths by finishing first and second, respectively, at last October's Marathon Grand Championship in Tokyo.

The Tokyo Marathon, scheduled for March 3, wraps up the competition schedule for Olympic selection.

(02/06/2024) Views: 369 ⚡AMP
by The Japan Times
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Osaka Marathon

Osaka Marathon

Let’s run for fun in the shadow of Osaka Castle, the symbol of the city!This is a fun running event, which welcomes international runners from all corners of the global alongside families, friends and Japanese runners; all running together through the colored leaves of Osaka Castle Park on a crisp autumn morning. The fun and pleasure of running is universal! ...

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National record holder Kengo Suzuki joins Tokyo Marathon field

Japanese national record-holder Kengo Suzuki will be part of a strong Tokyo Marathon men's field, led by two-time Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya, organizers said Tuesday.

The March 3 marathon is the last of the two remaining "final challenge" races for Japan's third and last spot in the men's marathon at the Paris Olympics.

Also invited are Ichitaka Yamashita, Kenya Sonota and Kazuya Nishiyama, who represented Japan at last summer's world athletics championships in Budapest.

The Osaka Marathon, scheduled for Feb. 25, is the second of the three races, the first having taken place in Fukuoka in December.

Naoki Koyama and Akira Akasaki have already clinched their Paris Olympic berths by finishing first and second, respectively, at October's Marathon Grand Championship in Tokyo.

The Tokyo Marathon women's race will feature Hitomi Niiya, runner of Japan's third-fastest marathon, and Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands, who won both the 5,000 and 10,000 meters at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021.

(02/01/2024) Views: 313 ⚡AMP
by The Japan Times
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Tokyo Marathon

Tokyo Marathon

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

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Vincent Kipkemboi returns to torment Eliud Kipchoge at Tokyo Marathon

Vincent Kipkemboi, the man who gave Eliud Kipchoge a run for his money at the 2023 Berlin Marathon will be out to torment him once more at the Tokyo Marathon.

The Tokyo Marathon race organizers have announced the full elite fields and former world marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge will surely not have a smooth sailing at the event.

Kipchoge’s closest challenger Vincent Kipkemboi, has been invited to compete at the event and he will surely be out to torment Kipchoge.

At the 2023 Berlin marathon, the four-time London Marathon was spotted looking back during the race and the commentators noted that it was the first time in a long time that Kipchoge was spotted looking worried.

Kipkemboi was just making his debut and with the type of race he executed for a second-place finish, he will surely be out to give Kipchoge a nightmare.

Another athlete to watch will be Timothy Kiplagat, an able marathoner who has cemented his place in the world of road running.

The 2022 Chicago Marathon champion, Benson Kipruto, will also be out to challenge Kipchoge’s charges after proving his prowess at last year’s Boston Marathon where he finished third. In that race, Kipchoge finished sixth and noted that he had a problem with his left leg.

The international challenge will come from Uganda’s Victor Kiplagat who will be keen to make a name for himself at the event. Ethiopia’s Tsehay Getachew will also be in the mix, looking to challenge Kipchoge and the Kenyan charge.

Hailemaryam Kiros has also confirmed participation in the event and he will also be looking to fly the Ethiopian flag high.

Meanwhile, Kipchoge will be building up for the Paris Olympic Games in Paris, France where he intends to be the first man to win the marathon title three times in a row.

(01/31/2024) Views: 326 ⚡AMP
by Abigael Wuafula
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Tokyo Marathon

Tokyo Marathon

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

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Defending champion Rosemary Wanjiru pitted against Sifan Hassan at Tokyo Marathon

Rosemary Wanjiru will return to the Tokyo Marathon to defend her title and she will have her work cut out since in-form Sifan Hassan has also been confirmed.

Defending champion Rosemary Wanjiru will be up against the 2023 Chicago and London Marathon champion Sifan Hassan at the Tokyo Marathon scheduled for Sunday, March 3.

During last year’s edition of the race, Wanjiru destroyed a strong field to claim the top prize, cutting the tape in 2:16:28. She enjoyed her 2023 season and will be looking to continue the hot streak to 2024.

Wanjiru also represented Kenya at the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary where she finished sixth in the marathon.

Dutch woman Hassan is, however, not to be downplayed since she has proven what she can do both on the track and the full marathon.

Hassan made her full marathon debut at the London Marathon and won in the most dramatic way. She clocked 2:18:33 to beat marathon experts including Peres Jepchirchir, the reigning Olympic marathon champion.

She extended her winning streak to the Chicago Marathon where she stunned defending champion Ruth Chepng’etich to second place.

Hassan will be eyeing the Olympic Games and the Toyo Marathon is a better place for her to build up for the event.

Kenyan-born Israeli Lonah Salpeter has also been invited and she will be out to challenge the double Olympic champion and Wanjiru for the top prize. 

Salpeter has also been making headlines recently and she finished third at the World Championships last year.

The Ethiopians will be led by Sutume Kebede and Tigist Abayechew who will be out to reclaim the title they lost to Kenya last year. 

Magdalena Shauri of Tanzania will also be hoping to continue soaring high after her dominant exploits in Berlin last year where she finished third.

(01/30/2024) Views: 370 ⚡AMP
by Abigael Wuafula
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Tokyo Marathon

Tokyo Marathon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Transcendent Transplant

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

American Original

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

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

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

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

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

(01/25/2024) Views: 348 ⚡AMP
by Emilia Benton
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2024 US Olympic Trials Marathon

2024 US Olympic Trials Marathon

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

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Suguru Osako to skip Tokyo Marathon in order to compete in Boston Marathon

Paris Olympic hopeful Suguru Osako revealed Thursday he will skip the March 3 Tokyo Marathon in favor of competing in the Boston Marathon the following month.

Osako, who was sixth at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, is currently on track to claim the third and final Japanese men's marathon slot for Paris by virtue of his third-place finish in October's Marathon Grand Championship.

Another Japanese runner must clock 2 hours, 5 minutes, 50 seconds or faster, the time set by the Japan Association of Athletics Federations, at either February's Osaka Marathon or the Tokyo Marathon to move ahead of Osako in the Olympic qualification standings.

In a video message posted to Instagram, Osako indicated he wanted to avoid the intense focus in Japan on qualifying for the games and said his heart was set on running in Boston.

"The bigger the fuss being made around me, the less enthusiasm I tend to feel," the 32-year-old Tokyo native said. "The race that I really felt like I wanted to run was the Boston Marathon."

"Of course, the Olympics are important, but I don't think it's necessary to obsess about them as much as some people do."

Two Japanese runners, Naoki Koyama and Akira Akasaki, have already earned their Olympic berths by finishing first and second, respectively, in the MGC.

(01/18/2024) Views: 331 ⚡AMP
by The Japan Times
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

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

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Canadian Olympian Andrea Seccafien to debut at Tokyo Marathon

After reaching the Tokyo Olympic 5,000m final in 2021, the next two years were a whirlwind for Canadian 10,000m record holder Andrea Seccafien. The 33-year-old suffered a root meniscus tear in early 2022, then a stress fracture in 2023, and at times, contemplated calling it a career to go back to school. She felt like she was missing something and had one final box to check as a runner: the marathon.

“The plan has always been to move up to the marathon,” says Seccafien. “I will be running the Tokyo Marathon on March 3.”

Seccafien told Canadian Running that she wants to be on the Canadian Olympic team for the marathon in Paris: “The Olympic standard [2:26:50] is the goal in Tokyo. I would not be running the marathon if my coach and I did not think it was possible.”

There were a lot of changes for Seccafien last year, who moved from Melbourne, Australia, to Portland, Ore., and back to Melbourne. She left Nike Bowerman Track Club in November 2023 after two years of training under coach Jerry Schumacher. She joined the group with fellow Canadian Lucia Stafford in November 2021 (who also subsequently left the club). 

Seccafien says she left Bowerman on good terms. “It wasn’t anything with Jerry; I just did not have a community in Portland or Eugene,” she says. “My life was in Australia, and not in the U.S.” Seccafien is the ninth woman to leave Bowerman Track Club in the past two years, leaving the team with only two women on their roster, according to their website.

When asked about the downfall of the Bowerman team and the timeline around Shelby Houlihan’s doping suspension, Seccafien said that Gabriela DeBues-Stafford was the only athlete who left for that reason specifically: “No one else thought that way about Shelby,” she says. “Everyone in the club has been open with each other’s decision, and I think everyone left for many different reasons.”

“When I joined, I thought running the marathon there would work with Bowerman. Jerry doesn’t have time to coach a marathoner; you’d essentially be training on your own,” says Seccafien. Schumacher took a role with the Oregon Ducks group in Eugene, Ore. (two hours from Portland) while still coaching the Bowerman group. “It’s now a totally different environment than when I joined.”

Since returning to Melbourne, Seccafien has begun working remotely with Canadian physiologist and coach Trent Stellingwerff, who also coaches Olympians Natasha Wodak and DeBues-Stafford. “I wanted to find someone willing to coach me remotely and to give me some stability in my life again,” she says. “Trent calls the shots on mileage, and I just follow his plan. Our training is based more on intensity rather than miles.”

Seccafien says she now does most of her training on her own, with her partner, Jamie, occasionally joining her on the bike. “Like everyone, I’ve started doing double threshold workouts, and Jamie, who’s an exercise physiologist, will test my blood lactate.”

Seccafien told Canadian Running that training has not been easy. “There were a lot of lows. I felt like I had retired at times,” says Seccafien. “I could not put any load on my knee for four months to recover from my meniscus surgery… I could only swim, but could not kick my legs.”

She says it was great when she was finally able to run again, but shortly after, she got a stress fracture –another huge low. “Now, I’m just trying to stay consistent and take things as they come,” she says. Seccafien is seven weeks out from the 2024 Tokyo Marathon, where she will be in the elite field alongside Chicago and London marathon champ Sifan Hassan, whom Seccafien last ran against in the 5,000m final at the Tokyo Olympics (where Hassan won gold).

(01/16/2024) Views: 397 ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson
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Tokyo Marathon

Tokyo Marathon

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

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Ethiopians Jemal Yimer (60:42) and Sutume Kebede (64:37) won the overall titles in Houston Half

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(01/14/2024) Views: 349 ⚡AMP
by Jonathan Gault (Let’s Run)
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Aramco Houston Half Marathon

Aramco Houston Half Marathon

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

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Four Canadian runners to chase Olympic dreams at Houston Marathon

As the 2024 Houston Marathon Weekend approaches, the spotlight is not only on the highly anticipated half-marathon debut of Canada’s Moh Ahmed, but also on the intense competition among four Canadian marathoners aiming to earn the Olympic qualifying standard for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

Wodak eyes Olympic standard

Canadian marathon record holder Natasha Wodak leads a strong Canadian contingent in Houston, all chasing the Olympic A standard of 2:26:50. Former national team athletes Leslie Sexton and Lanni Marchant will also be vying for the two available spots on the women’s marathon team.

Wodak holds the fastest Canadian women’s time in the last two years, but her Canadian record of 2:23:12 from the 2022 Berlin Marathon was outside the Olympic qualifying window. Wodak took another shot at achieving the time at the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest, but warm conditions and a tactical race prevented her from earning a spot in Paris (she finished in the top 15, in  2:30:09).

Sexton returns to the marathon after a break from the distance of a year and a half. Sexton ran 2:28 twice in a 10-month period, winning the 2021 Philadelphia Marathon and finishing as the top Canadian at the 2022 World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Ore. ((she finished 13th). With a best of 2:28:35, she would need to shake off almost two minutes to solidify her spot in Paris. But the fast Houston course (which she has raced before) could provide what she needs.

Also returning to the marathon after a long hiatus is 2016 Olympian Lanni Marchant. The London, Ont., native holds a personal best of 2:28:00 from Toronto in 2013, but there are a lot of questions around her fitness, after racing only twice in 2023. Marchant would need a career-best performance to earn her a spot on the Canadian Olympic team for 2024.

Malindi Elmore of Kelowna, B.C., is the only Canadian woman to have achieved the Olympic standard of 2:26:50 at the 2023 Berlin Marathon. Elmore was also the top North American female finisher in 2:23:30, achieving an 80-second personal best.

Ontario’s Tristan Woodfine takes another shot

After thinking he had a spot on the Canadian Olympic team for Tokyo, then having it taken from him in the final week of qualifying by Cam Levins and Athletics Canada, Tristan Woodfine is heading to Houston for another shot at his dream of being on Team Canada for the Olympics. Woodfine’s personal best came on a cold and wet day at the 2020 London Marathon, clocking 2:10:51. Since 2020, he has had his struggles with the marathon distance and beating that mark.

After tough luck with the heat and his stomach at the 2022 Ottawa Marathon, Woodfine switched coaches and spent most of the 2023 season building his speed on the roads. He recorded personal bests of 14:05 for 5K and 29:06 for 10K. Only two Canadian men have ever broken 2:10 in the marathon: Trevor Hofbauer and Levins.

Levins cemented his spot on the Canadian Olympic team for Paris at his record-setting run at the 2023 Tokyo Marathon. To this day, he is the only Canadian marathoner to have run under the men’s Olympic A standard of 2:08:10. (He also did so at the 2022 World Championships.)

How to follow

The 2024 Chevron Houston Marathon is scheduled for Jan. 14. It is one of the fastest marathon courses in North America; in 2020, Elmore set the previous Canadian marathon record of 2:24:50 there. The last Canadian marathoner to win the Houston Marathon was Mississauga’s Peter Fonseca, who ran 2:11:52 for the win in 1995.

(01/09/2024) Views: 380 ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson
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Chevron Houston Marathon

Chevron Houston Marathon

The Chevron Houston Marathon offers participants a unique running experience in America's fourth largest city. The fast, flat, scenic single-loop course has been ranked as the "fastest winter marathon" and "second fastest marathon overall" by Ultimate Guide To Marathons. Additionally, with more than 200,000 spectators annually, the Chevron Houston Marathon enjoys tremendous crowd support. Established in 1972, the Houston Marathon...

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Vicoty Chepngeno eager to make full marathon debut at Chevron Houston Marathon

After failing to make her full marathon debut at the 2023 Tokyo Marathon, Vicoty Chepngeno will finally do it at the Chevron Houston Marathon.

Philadelphia Half Marathon champion Vicoty Chepngeno will open her season with a full marathon debut at the Chevron Houston Marathon on Sunday, January 14.

Chepngeno set the course record with her 2022 Aramco Houston Half Marathon victory, winning in a time of 1:05:03, which is still the fastest half marathon time ever run in North America to date.

“I am very excited to make my marathon debut in Houston. It is a race I know well. This makes me feel at ease as I focus on what I need to do to achieve my goal of winning,” Chepngeno said as per Endurance Sports Wire.

The race will also feature the return of three-time champion Bruktayit Degefa of Ethiopia. These three wins leave Degefa tied on the most victories ever secured by one runner, all of which are among the six fastest times in race history.

Chepngeno and Degefa will compete with top contenders including Canadian national record holder Natasha Wodak and three-time Rome Marathon champion Rahma Tusa of Ethiopia.

Meanwhile, last year’s men’s race came down to a sprint finish with Kenya’s Dominic Ondoro beating Ethiopia’s Tsedat Ayana and both will make a grand return this year. Ayana will take the opportunity for revenge, while Ondoro will look for his third Houston victory.

“I love the course, the city, and the friendly cheering crowds. To come to the start line, run a good race, and get a win will be wonderful,” said Ondoro, the two-time Houston Marathon champion.

Ethiopia’s Deresa Geleta will also be in the starting line, coming into the race with a personal best of 2:05:51. He has a chance to break the tape on what will be his 28th birthday.

In 2023, he was runner-up at the Dubai Marathon in February and won the Beijing Marathon in October. Also expected to be up front, are 2022 Chevron Houston Marathon winner James Ngandu of Kenya and Morocco’s Zouhair Talbi who was fifth in the 2023 Boston Marathon.

“You can always count on exciting storylines and dramatic finishes at the Chevron Houston Marathon.

“Fans will want to make sure they are in front of their TV or lined up on Lamar Street when the runners make that final turn toward the finish line,” said Carly Caulfield, Race Director and General Manager of the Houston Marathon Committee.

The races will be aired live on ABC13 in Houston and streamed around the world on ABC13's official portal featuring commentary from two-time Olympian and Boston Marathon champion Desiree “Des” Linden.

(01/08/2024) Views: 402 ⚡AMP
by Abigael Wuafula
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Chevron Houston Marathon

Chevron Houston Marathon

The Chevron Houston Marathon offers participants a unique running experience in America's fourth largest city. The fast, flat, scenic single-loop course has been ranked as the "fastest winter marathon" and "second fastest marathon overall" by Ultimate Guide To Marathons. Additionally, with more than 200,000 spectators annually, the Chevron Houston Marathon enjoys tremendous crowd support. Established in 1972, the Houston Marathon...

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Defending champion Philimon Kipchumba faces stern test at Xiamen Marathon

Defending champion Philimon Kiptoo Kipchumba will be out to defend his Xiamen Marathon title as he is up against a strong field.

Defending champion Philimon Kiptoo Kipchumba will be hoping to defend his title as he gears up to face tough opponents at the Xiamen Marathon on Sunday, January 7.

Kipchumba will face a stern test since 12 men, including the Kenyan, have personal best times faster than the course record of 2:06:19 set by Moses Mosop in 2015.

The 25-year-old Kenyan will arrive in Xiamen with high spirits since he remained unbeaten last year, winning all three of his marathon races and he will keenly be hoping to maintain the same momentum this season.

After a 2:10:47 victory in Hong Kong last February, he clocked 2:08:04 to win in Xiamen and continued his winning streak in Shanghai in November with a winning mark of 2:05:35, beating Mosop’s course record in Xiamen to become the Chinese all-comers’ record-holder.

Former world half marathon record-holder Kibiwott Kandie will also be pursuing his first-ever marathon title in Xiamen.

Chalu Deso of Ethiopia is also a formidable competitor after finishing seventh behind Kandie in Valencia last month in 2:05:14 and his career best of 2:04:53 was also achieved in the Spanish city in 2020.

Last year, Deso claimed the Tokyo Marathon title in 2:05:22 and he also owns marathon titles in Paris and Porto to his name. After outings in Nanjing and Dalian in 2018, the Xiamen Marathon will be Deso’s third race in China.

Philemon Kiplimo of Kenya is another sub-2:05 runner in the field and unlike Kandie and Deso, Kiplimo will arrive in the Chinese coastal city on fresh legs. His last marathon race was contested more than three months ago when he clocked a PB of 2:04:56 to finish eighth in Berlin.

Also toeing the line are several sub-2:06 runners, including Moroccan record-holder Othmane El Goumri, who set a PB of 2:05:12 to finish second in Barcelona last March and went on to win the Sydney Marathon in 2:08:20 six months later.

Meanwhile, the women’s race will see Ethiopia’s Gotytom Gebreslase also take on a tough field. The Ethiopian clocked a Personal Best time of 2:18:11 when claiming the world title in Oregon in July 2022.

She also registered another sub-2:20 mark when finishing third at the 2022 Tokyo Marathon in 2:18:18 and took a 2:20:09 victory at the Berlin Marathon in 2021.

Fellow Ethiopian Megertu Alemu is the fastest woman on paper with a career-best of 2:17:09 and will be joined by Ruti Aga, also from Ethiopia.

Other women to watch in the field include Tanzanian marathon and half marathon record-holder Magdalena Shauri, whose PB of 2:18:41 was set last September when finishing third at the Berlin Marathon, as well as Fatima Ezzahra Gardadi of Morocco, a 2:25:03 performer who claimed the marathon bronze medal at last year’s World Championships in Budapest.

(01/06/2024) Views: 374 ⚡AMP
by Abigael Wuafula
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CD XIAMEN INTERNATIONAL MARATHON

CD XIAMEN INTERNATIONAL MARATHON

The C&D Xiamen International Marathon is an annual marathon race held in January in the coastal city of Xiamen in Fujian province, People’s Republic of China. Every January, the first medal of marathon race around the world is awarded here. The race has become a golden name card of Xiamen, showing its splendor to the whole world.It is one of...

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Ethiopians Gebreslase, Alemu and Aga set to race in Xiamen

The Xiamen Marathon, a World Athletics Platinum Label road race, on Sunday (7) will witness the fastest marathon pack ever assembled in China, with 2022 world champion Gotytom Gebreslase heading a stacked field in the women’s race.

The 28-year-old Gebreslase of Ethiopia clocked her personal best of 2:18:11 when claiming the world title in Oregon in July 2022. She also registered another sub-2:20 mark when finishing third at the 2022 Tokyo Marathon in 2:18:18 and took a 2:20:09 victory at the Berlin Marathon in 2021.

Last year, Gebreslase clocked 2:24:34 to grab a silver medal at the World Athletics Championships Budapest 23, which remains her last outing over the classic distance.

It will be the first time for Gebreslase to compete in Xiamen, a southeastern Chinese city, and she will be targeting not only the title, but also the course record of 2:19:52 set by her compatriot Mare Dibaba back in 2015.

Fellow Ethiopian Megertu Alemu is the fastest woman on paper with a career best of 2:17:09 achieved last October when finishing third at the Chicago Marathon.

Aside from having the fastest PB of the field, the 26-year-old has shown great consistency in the past two years, registering sub-2:19 marks in all her four races including notching a 2:18:51 victory at the 2022 Seville Marathon and finishing second and third respectively in the 2022 and 2023 London Marathon races.

Ruti Aga, also from Ethiopia, is another serious title contender. The 29-year-old clocked a PB of 2:18:09 to win the Yellow River Estuary Marathon in Dongying, China, last October, improving the Chinese all-comers’ record.

Aga also won the Tokyo Marathon in 2:20:40 in 2019 and has earned three runner-up finishes in major marathon races, including a 2:18:34 second place in the 2018 Berlin Marathon.

Other women to watch in the field include Tanzanian marathon and half marathon record-holder Magdalena Shauri, whose PB of 2:18:41 was set last September when finishing third at the Berlin Marathon, as well as Fatima Ezzahra Gardadi of Morocco, a 2:25:03 performer who claimed the marathon bronze medal at last year’s World Championships in Budapest.

Kipchumba defends title

Defending champion Philimon Kiptoo Kipchumba will face a tough contest in the men’s race, as a total of 12 runners in the field own a career best time faster than the course record of 2:06:19 set by Moses Mosop of Kenya in 2015.

The 25-year-old Kipchumba will arrive in Xiamen with high spirits. He remained unbeaten last year, winning all three of his marathon races. After a 2:10:47 victory in Hong Kong last February, he clocked 2:08:04 to win in Xiamen and continued his winning streak in Shanghai in November with a winning mark of 2:05:35, beating Mosop’s course record in Xiamen to become the Chinese all-comers’ record-holder.

Kenyan half marathon record-holder Kibiwott Kandie is also on the rise. The 27-year-old registered a PB of 2:04:48 to finish sixth in Valencia one month ago and will be pursuing his first ever marathon title in Xiamen.

Ethiopia’s Chalu Deso, 26, is also a formidable competitor. He finished seventh behind Kandie in Valencia last month in 2:05:14 and his career best of 2:04:53 was also achieved in the Spanish city in 2020.

Last year, Deso claimed the Tokyo Marathon title in 2:05:22. He also has marathon titles in Paris and Porto to his name. After outings in Nanjing and Dalian in 2018, the Xiamen Marathon will be Deso’s third race in China.

Philemon Kiplimo of Kenya is another sub-2:05 runner in the field and unlike Kandie and Deso, Kiplimo will arrive in the Chinese coastal city on fresh legs. His last marathon race was contested more than three months ago when he clocked a PB of 2:04:56 to finish eighth in Berlin.

Also toeing the line are several sub-2:06 runners, including Moroccan record-holder Othmane El Goumri, who set a PB of 2:05:12 to finish second in Barcelona last March and went on to win the Sydney Marathon in 2:08:20 six months later.

(01/05/2024) Views: 375 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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CD XIAMEN INTERNATIONAL MARATHON

CD XIAMEN INTERNATIONAL MARATHON

The C&D Xiamen International Marathon is an annual marathon race held in January in the coastal city of Xiamen in Fujian province, People’s Republic of China. Every January, the first medal of marathon race around the world is awarded here. The race has become a golden name card of Xiamen, showing its splendor to the whole world.It is one of...

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Wilson Kipsang hints at marathon return after serving doping ban

Former world marathon record holder Wilson Kipsang has expressed his interest in returning to running after serving his four-year doping ban

Former world marathon record holder Wilson Kipsang has expressed interest in making a comeback to running after his doping ban elapsed.

Speaking to Nation Sport, Kipsang explained that he is currently sharpening his talons as he gears up for a grand return into competing.

He noted that he will be looking forward to competing at either the Tokyo Marathon on March 3, the Paris Marathon on April 7, or the Hamburg Marathon on April 24.

He expressed his interest in returning to competitive running after three of his family members and himself survived a road accident on Monday.

After the survival, Kipsang narrated that he swerved the vehicle on one side of the road and was lucky to have escaped with minor injuries.

“I want to assure everyone who is worried about our wellbeing that we are fine and back in Iten. Let them worry no more,” said Kipsang. 

The 41-year-old was slapped with a four-year-ban for whereabouts failures, not being available for drug testing, and providing false evidence in his case.

Kipsang had been provisionally banned in January 2020 in the case handled by the Athletics Integrity Unit. The former Olympic bronze medalist was punished for four whereabouts failures between April 2018 and May 2019.

Three such failures within 12 months led to an automatic ban, however, the Kenyan had his sanction increased after it was ruled that he had tampered with the investigation by providing “false evidence and witness testimony”.

(01/02/2024) Views: 305 ⚡AMP
by Abigael Wuafula
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Tokyo Marathon

Tokyo Marathon

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

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Why Sifan Hassan is highly charged to triumph in Tokyo Marathon

Chicago Marathon champion Sifan Hassan has explained why she is motivated to compete at the Tokyo Marathon.

Reigning Chicago Marathon Sifan Hassan is bubbling with excitement as she gears up for the Tokyo Marathon scheduled for Sunday, March 3, next year.

Hassan is particularly excited to be one of the top runners to be announced alongside former world marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge, her mentor.

“Alhamdulillah, I’m good and my preparations have just started…maybe I celebrated too much after Chicago and I took a long break and just started training a week ago.

“But I’m physically and mentally fresh, which for me is the most important and I’m really happy to be with Eliud because he is my greatest role model in running,” Hassan said.

The reigning London Marathon champion noted that she is training in Ethiopia since African countries tend to have great altitude. She added that at the moment, the Netherlands and America usually have a lot of snow during the winter period, making it impossible for her to train.

“I’m currently training in Ethiopia because of the high altitude and the weather in Africa is good…during the winter, I can’t train in the Netherlands or America because we have snow,” Hassan said.

Meanwhile, Hassan made her full marathon debut earlier this year and has been unbeaten in all her two marathons. She started with a win at the London Marathon and later went to end her season with a win at the Chicago Marathon.

(12/28/2023) Views: 361 ⚡AMP
by Abigael Wuafula
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Tokyo Marathon

Tokyo Marathon

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

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No Kenyans have been invited to the Osaka Women's marathon elite field

The race organizers have announced the elite fields for the Osaka Women's Marathon.

The Osaka Women’s Marathon race organizers have announced the elite field for the event scheduled for Sunday January 28, 2024 and surprisingly no Kenyan has been invited.

Ethiopia’s Workenesh Edesa headlines the field with a Personal Best time of 22:18:51. The Ethiopian has enjoyed a great 2023 season that saw her finish among the top 10 in all her three marathons.

She opened her campaign with a fourth-place finish at the Tokyo Marathon before dominating at the Prague Marathon, taking top honours.

The 31-year-old then completed her season with a seventh-place finish at the Berlin Marathon in September.

She will be joined by compatriot Meseret Gola, the third-fastest athlete in the field, who will be vying for a place on the podium too. Gola returns to the familiar course after her second-place finish during this year’s edition of the race.

The 25-year-old also finished seventh at the Amsterdam Marathon back in October to end her season.

Uganda’s Stella Chesang has also been invited and she will be keen to make an impression in what will be her second marathon in her career.

The Ugandan made her marathon debut at the Haspa Marathon and finished an impressive third. She will be hoping to build on that as she heads to Japan. The time she clocked qualifies her to be the second-fastest in the field.

Home talent will be led by Mizuki Matsuda, who will be joined by compatriots Sayaka Sato, Honami Maeda, and Rie Kawauchi among other runners.

(12/26/2023) Views: 357 ⚡AMP
by Abigael Wuafula
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Osaka International Womens Marathon

Osaka International Womens Marathon

The Osaka International Ladies Marathon is an annual marathon road race for women over the classic distance of 42.195 kilometres which is held on the 4th or 5th Sunday of January in the city of Osaka, Japan, and hosted by Japan Association of Athletics Federations, Kansai Telecasting Corporation, the Sankei Shimbun, Sankei Sports, Radio Osaka and Osaka City. The first...

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Sifan Hassan will headline 2024 Tokyo Marathon

Dutch distance runner Sifan Hassan will attempt to maintain her unbeaten record in the marathon when she races in Tokyo for the first time on March 3.

Hassan won in London on her debut in April and then took the women’s victory in Chicago in October too in 2:13:44. The course record in Tokyo is 2:16:02 held by Brigid Kosgei from 2022.

"I am so excited to announce my participation in my next marathon," Hassan said in a release. "I feel Tokyo is the perfect preparation towards the Paris Olympic Games, because I have great Olympic memories in the city of Tokyo and I feel I can fuel my Olympic fire there."

Third time charm for Hassan?

Hassan, who is coming off wins in her first two career marathons (London and Chicago), will make her debut in Tokyo. The 30-year-old had a lot of success in the Japanese capital at the 2020 Olympic Games, winning two golds and a bronze across three athletics disciplines. Hassan is undecided if she will tackle the quadruple at the Paris Olympics: the 1,500m, 5,000m, 10,000m, and marathon, but she said her goal for this race is to “continue her marathon journey.”

“I do not have any time-based expectations for Tokyo,” Hassan told Athletics Weekly. “I want to continue to learn the distance and gain more experience and have fun doing it.”

Although she has no specific goal, Tokyo is considered one of the faster Abbott World Marathon Majors and has a similar course profile to the London Marathon. In London last year, Hassan ran a stunning 2:18:33 debut to win, despite stopping twice. She redeemed herself with a fast time in Chicago, setting a course record and running the second-fastest marathon time in history (2:13:44).

“In the streets of Tokyo, I will be looking to continue my marathon journey. I want to learn from every marathon, since every marathon is different and I can’t wait to come to Tokyo.”

Hassan will then have to decide which events to do in Paris, with the Olympic women’s marathon to take place on the final day of the athletics programme – August 11.

(12/21/2023) Views: 417 ⚡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. Sponsored by Tokyo Metro, the Tokyo Marathon is an annual event in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. It is an IAAF Gold Label marathon and one of the six World...

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Eliud Kipchoge announces his next race ahead of Olympic title defense

Marathon king Eliud Kipchoge has announced where he will compete before going to the Olympic Games to defend his title.

Former world marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge has been confirmed for the 2024 Tokyo Marathon scheduled for Sunday, March 3.

The two-time Olympic champion will be making his return to the streets of the Japanese capital after his dominant win in the 2020 edition of the international multi-sport event as he gears up for the Olympic Games in Paris, France.

The five-time Berlin Marathon champion has sweet memories of Tokyo since it is where he also won his second Olympic title during the delayed 2020 Olympics. 

“I have good memories in Japan. I won my Olympic gold medal there and ran the course record in the Tokyo marathon.

"Last time, I was grateful for the organization to organize the event during such a difficult time during the Covid-19 pandemic. My aim was to set the course record and it was great to achieve that. I feel good working towards my next race in Tokyo.

"For me, it is the perfect preparation towards my aim to win my third consecutive Olympic title next summer in Paris,” Kipchoge said.

Kipchoge has so far run 21 marathons over his career and he will be seeking to add another victory when he heads to the Tokyo Marathon.

He has 18 total wins under his belt and in 2019 ran 1:59:40 during the sub-2 project that was set up in Vienna. The marathon great turned 39 last month but has still been in great form recently with his fifth victory in the Berlin Marathon in September in 2:02:42. 

In a bid to win all six annual World Marathon Majors, Kipchoge chose Boston for his spring marathon this past year and placed sixth. He has yet to win the Boston Marathon and yet to race the New York City Marathon. 

Choosing Tokyo in March over the other major spring marathons (Boston and London in April) gives Kipchoge more time to prepare for his bid to become the first person to win three Olympic marathons and the oldest person to win any Olympic running event. 

Meanwhile, Dutch woman Sifan Hassan has also been confirmed for the event. Hassan, a double Olympic Champion, came to the marathon with a storm, making her debut at the London Marathon and eventually winning. 

Choosing Tokyo in March over the other major spring marathons (Boston and London in April) gives Kipchoge more time to prepare for his bid to become the first person to win three Olympic marathons and the oldest person to win any Olympic running event. 

(12/21/2023) Views: 427 ⚡AMP
by Abigael Wuafula
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Hellen Obiri reveals her main motivation towards Paris 2024 Olympics

Boston and New York Marathon champion Hellen Obiri has revealed the main reason she is determined to represent Team Kenya at next year’s Olympics in Paris

Boston and New York Marathon champion Hellen Obiri is determined to represent Kenya at the Paris 2024 Olympics as it will give her the chance to win the only gold medal still missing in her collection.

Obiri, who has successfully transitioned from track to road, has gold medals in indoor and outdoor, having won at World Indoor Championships, two at World Championships as well as Cross-Country but she had never won at the Olympics, only managing silver twice in 2016 and 2020, both in 5,000m.

She, however, has a chance to do that in Paris next year, having been named in a formidable provisional Team Kenya and she cannot wait even if the final team of three has not been unveiled.

“I’ve won gold medals in World Championships, so I’m looking for Olympic gold,” Obiri told World Athletics. “It’s the only medal missing in my career.”

Obiri made the list alongside defending champion Peres Jepchirchir, former world record holder Brigid Kosgei, winner in London in 2020, Tokyo Marathon champion Rosemary Wanjiru, former world champion Ruth Chepng’etich, former world half marathon record holder Joycilline Jepkosgei, Sheila Chepkirui, Judith Jeptum Korir, Selly Chepyego and Sharon Lokedi.

The two-time world 5,000m champion says she has now mustered the road after winning this year’s Boston and New York marathons having received a rude awakening on her marathon debut in New York last year.

“My debut here last year was terrible,” she added. “I didn’t want to come back. But sometimes you learn from your mistakes. I made a lot of mistakes last year.”

One of those mistakes, she confessed, had been running out of fuel – accustomed, as she was at the time, to doing 20-mile training runs in Kenya without any water, gels or electrolytes. “Now I take four sips every 5km,” said Obiri.

The other thing Obiri has mustered is how to execute a tactical marathon race as witnessed in New York this year when she timed her kick to perfection, sprinting away from Letesenbet Gidey and defending champion Lokedi in the final 400m.

She crossed the finish line six seconds clear of Gidey in 2:27:23, with Lokedi a further four seconds back in third place.

“I learned from my mistake in New York,” she confessed. “I used to run from the front in track races and I thought I could do the same in the marathon.”

“That cost me a lot because in the marathon, you can’t do all the work for 42km. What I learned from New York is patience – to wait for the right time to make your move.”

(12/16/2023) Views: 375 ⚡AMP
by Joel Omotto
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Paris 2024 Olympic Games

Paris 2024 Olympic Games

For this historic event, the City of Light is thinking big! Visitors will be able to watch events at top sporting venues in Paris and the Paris region, as well as at emblematic monuments in the capital visited by several millions of tourists each year. The promise of exceptional moments to experience in an exceptional setting! A great way to...

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Athletics coach explains the headache he faced selecting Kenya’s marathon team for Paris Olympics

The veteran coach has explained the challenges he had to overcome to settle on the provisional marathon squad that will represent Kenya at the Paris 2024 Olympics

Veteran athletics coach Julius Kirwa has revealed how he faced a difficult time narrowing down to 20 athletes who will represent Kenya at the Paris 2024 Olympics.

Athletics Kenya (AK) named a provisional squad of 20 (10 men and as many women) with marathon great Eliud Kipchoge, world record holder Kelvin Kiptum, Boston and New York Marathon champion Hellen Obiri as well as three-time world half marathon champion Peres Jepchirchir among the big names included.

While the selection was based heavily on world ranking and athletes’ performances in major marathons, Kirwa admits it was a herculean task given the many good runners in the country.

“We are selecting them based on their time and world ranking. We are allowed to field three athletes only and in Kenya, we have about 120 athletes who are capable of representing the country,” said Kirwa.

“Other countries have a few to pick from but here, it has not been easy. I have taken a lot of time monitoring and some are still coming up like Alexander Mutiso ran very well in Valencia [finished second in 2:03:11 on Sunday] but it was too late to put in someone.

“We followed the world ranking and in Kenya we have Kiptum leading then Eliud so there was no need of jumping. We follow that way unless someone withdraws and you go to the next best ranked runner.”

Besides Kipchoge and Kiptum, Vincent Ngetich, second at the Berlin Marathon this year, Rotterdam Marathon runners-up Timothy Kiplagat, former Chicago and Boston Marathon champion Benson Kipruto, Bernard Koech, two-time New York Marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor, Cyprian Kotut, 2022 London Marathon champion Amos Kipruto and Titus Kipruto also made the list.

The women’s team has Obiri and Jepchirchir as well as former world record holder Brigid Kosgei, Tokyo Marathon champion Rosemary Wanjiru, former world champion Marathon Ruth Chepng’etich, former world half marathon record holder Joycilline Jepkosgei, Sheila Chepkirui, Judith Jeptum Korir, Selly Chepyego and Sharon Lokedi.

However, world ranking was not the only consideration given Joshua Belet and Ronald Korir, who who are ahead of Kamworor on the rankings, missed out same as Dorcas Chepchirchir and Jackline Chelal.

AK explained that they also looked at consistency, championship mentality and the attitude of the athletes before setting on the squad.

(12/07/2023) Views: 351 ⚡AMP
by Joel Omotto
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Paris 2024 Olympic Games

Paris 2024 Olympic Games

For this historic event, the City of Light is thinking big! Visitors will be able to watch events at top sporting venues in Paris and the Paris region, as well as at emblematic monuments in the capital visited by several millions of tourists each year. The promise of exceptional moments to experience in an exceptional setting! A great way to...

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Honolulu Marathon will feature stacked fields

The last big marathon in the United States for 2023, the Honolulu Marathon, returns on Sunday with a robust elite field, race organizers said today.  Ten elite athletes from four different nations will compete for the $25,000 first prize for men and women and special one-of-a-kind solid gold medals worth nearly $15,000 each.

“Although we pride ourselves on our no-time-limit policy and welcoming people of all abilities and goals, we feel fast running at the front is also important,” explained Dr. Jim Barahal, president of the Honolulu Marathon Association.  “We expect exciting competition in both men’s and women’s as well as wheelchair races.”

Leading the men’s race will be a pair of Eritreans, Filmon Ande (2:06:38 personal best) and Tsegay Weldlibanos (2:09:07).  Both men are based in Flagstaff, Arizona, and are coached by James McKirdy of McKirdy Trained.  Both will be making their first appearances at the Honolulu Marathon.

“They’ve been training well and they’re ready,” Coach McKirdy told Race Results Weekly in a telephone interview last week.

The Eritreans will be up against two Kenyans, Reuben Kiprop Kerio (2:07:00 PB) and Paul Lonyangata (2:06:10).  Kerio has made five previous appearances at the Honolulu Marathon (three times as a pacemaker) with a best finish of second place in 2018 in 2:12:59.  Kerio has won the Kosice Peace Marathon in the Slovak Republic three times, and Lonyangata was twice the Paris Marathon champion in 2017 and 2018.

There is one Ethiopian challenger on the men’s side, Abayneh Degu, who has the fastest personal best in the field, 2:04:53, a time he ran in Paris in 2021.  He will also be a first-time competitor in Honolulu.

Kenyan veteran Dickson Chumba, twice the Tokyo Marathon champion in 2014 and 2018, will act as a pacemaker.

Four elite athletes will compete on the women’s side.  The most prominent, Cynthia Limo of Kenya, will be making her marathon debut.  The 2016 World Athletics Half-Marathon Championships silver medalist is coming off of a very good USA road racing season where she competed in 11 events from 10-K through the half-marathon and recorded four victories and eight top-5 finishes.  She went home to Kenya for altitude training before Honolulu.  Her half-marathon personal best is 1:06:04, equivalent to a 2:18:42 marathon.

A pair of 24 year-old Ethiopians, Sintayehu Tilahun Getahun and Kasu Bitew Lemeneh, will challenge the 33 year-old Limo.  Tilahun has a career best time of 2:22:19, set in Milan in 2022, and Bitew ran 2:26:18 in Madrid last year.  Both women are running the Honolulu Marathon for the first time.

Finally, there is an elite entrant from Japan.  Thirty-four year-old Yukari Abe competes for the Kyocera corporate team and has a personal best of 2:24:02 set in the Osaka Women’s Marathon in 2022.  Most recently she finished tenth in the Japanese Olympic trials marathon, called the Marathon Grand Championships, on October 14.  Like the other three elite women, she’ll be competing in Honolulu for the first time, much to the delight of the approximately 9,000 Japanese runners who will compete in the mass race behind her.

“Due to the out-and-back nature of several points along our course, the average runner gets to see the professionals go right by them and it is always an exciting thing,” observed Barahal.

Like all big marathons, the Honolulu organizers had to cancel their in-person race in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the race was only held virtually.  Barahal brought the in-person race back on a very tight budget in 2021, and even with almost no Japanese participation due to pandemic travel restrictions they still recorded 6236 finishers.  However, it was not possible to have a regular elite field.

In 2022 the number of finishers more than doubled to 14,271 and the race’s elite athlete program was restored with three-deep prize money of $25,000-10,000-5,000 and an elite wheelchair program.  Barahal’s team expects more finishers this year, with a significant uptick in Japanese participation in both the marathon and the companion Start to Park 10-K.

“We’ve done a slow build-back since COVID and both our men’s and women’s fields are deeper and faster,” Barahal observed.  “We’re also pleased to offer $25,000 for first place as well as the gold medal for the winner worth about $15,000.”

The special winners’ medals, manufactured by new race sponsor SGC of Japan, have a mass of 202.3 grams (to celebrate 2023).  At the current market price of $2038.30 per ounce, those medals are worth $14,545.  The mass race finishers will also receive medals designed and produced by SGC (minus the real gold, of course).

“Our marathon family is honored to welcome SGC,” said Barahal.  Their dedication to excellence mirrors the spirit of our event. These medals aren’t just rewards; they’re a celebration of every runner’s journey.”

(12/07/2023) Views: 400 ⚡AMP
by David Monti
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Honolulu Marathon

Honolulu Marathon

The Honolulu Marathon’s scenic course includes spectacular ocean views alongside world-famous Waikiki Beach, and Diamond Head and Koko Head volcanic craters.The terrain is level except for short uphill grades around Diamond Head. ...

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Ethiopian marathon star Tsehay Gemechu suspended for anti-doping violation

On Thursday, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) provisionally suspended top Ethiopian marathoner Tsehay Gemechu for the use of an unidentified prohibited substance, according to the athlete’s biological passport (ABP) data.

Gemechu is one of Ethiopia’s top distance runners. She was second at the 2023 Tokyo Marathon in 2:16:56—the ninth-fastest marathon time in history. Additionally, she holds personal bests of 14:29 over 5,000m and won the TCS World Bengaluru 10K in 31:38 earlier this year.

The 24-year-old was listed on the start list for the 2023 Valencia Marathon this weekend, but will be a scratch due to this provisional suspension. Under a provisional suspension, Gemechu is temporarily banned from participating in any athletic competition or activity before a final decision is reached at a hearing conducted under the World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules or the Integrity Code of Conduct.

ABP data monitors select biological parameters over time that may indirectly reveal the effects of doping. This approach enables the AIU to create individual, longitudinal profiles for each athlete and to identify any fluctuations that may indicate the use of performance-enhancing drugs.

The profile for each athlete is generated based on statistics that utilize data from previous samples to predict the individual’s performance limits or range for future samples. According to the AIU, if any data from a test sample falls outside of the athlete’s range, it could be an indication of doping.

Gemechu represented Ethiopia at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in the women’s 10,000m but was disqualified for lane infringement (TR 17.3.2.). One month later, she won the Copenhagen Half Marathon, setting a new course record and achieving a personal best of 65:08.

(11/30/2023) Views: 326 ⚡AMP
by Marley Dickinson
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