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Articles tagged #Tokyo Marathon
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2021 Tokyo Marathon examining alternative plans

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

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

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

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

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

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

(09/10/2020) Views: 80 ⚡AMP
by Brett Larner
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Tokyo Marathon

Tokyo Marathon

The Tokyo Marathon is an annual marathon sporting event in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. It is an IAAF Gold Label marathon and one of the six World Marathon Majors. (2020) The Tokyo Marathon Foundation said it will cancel the running event for non-professional runners as the coronavirus outbreak pressures cities and institutions to scrap large events. Sponsored by Tokyo...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(09/06/2020) Views: 110 ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

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

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2021 Tokyo Marathon may be moved to fall due to coronavirus

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

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

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

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

(09/01/2020) Views: 327 ⚡AMP
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Tokyo Marathon

Tokyo Marathon

The Tokyo Marathon is an annual marathon sporting event in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. It is an IAAF Gold Label marathon and one of the six World Marathon Majors. (2020) The Tokyo Marathon Foundation said it will cancel the running event for non-professional runners as the coronavirus outbreak pressures cities and institutions to scrap large events. Sponsored by Tokyo...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(08/28/2020) Views: 211 ⚡AMP
by Hannah Borenstein
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Tokyo Marathon 2021 could exclude non-elite runners again due to pandemic

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

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

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

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

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

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

(08/28/2020) Views: 95 ⚡AMP
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Tokyo Marathon

Tokyo Marathon

The Tokyo Marathon is an annual marathon sporting event in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. It is an IAAF Gold Label marathon and one of the six World Marathon Majors. (2020) The Tokyo Marathon Foundation said it will cancel the running event for non-professional runners as the coronavirus outbreak pressures cities and institutions to scrap large events. Sponsored by Tokyo...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(07/21/2020) Views: 131 ⚡AMP
by Canadian Running
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(07/20/2020) Views: 141 ⚡AMP
by Brett Larner
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Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon

Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(07/18/2020) Views: 150 ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Bank of America Chicago Marathon

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

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The 2020 Chicago Marathon has been canceled

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

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

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

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

Organizers are developing plans for a virtual race experience.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(07/13/2020) Views: 180 ⚡AMP
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Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Bank of America Chicago Marathon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(06/21/2020) Views: 140 ⚡AMP
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Paula Wright from Newport Ireland is going to run ten marathons in five days.

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

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

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

Daily updates on her progress can be followed on Facebook

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(06/18/2020) Views: 283 ⚡AMP
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The Boston Marathon has been canceled for the first time in its 124-year history.

The 2020 Boston Marathon has been canceled. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(05/28/2020) Views: 267 ⚡AMP
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

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

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The 2020 Dublin Marathon is expected to be cancelled

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

(05/15/2020) Views: 218 ⚡AMP
by Sean McGoldrick
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KBC Dublin Marathon

KBC Dublin Marathon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(05/05/2020) Views: 174 ⚡AMP
by Dennis Okeyo
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Like everywhere else, lives and plans in Japan have been put on hold by the global outbreak of the Covid-19 virus

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(04/29/2020) Views: 165 ⚡AMP
by Brett Larner for world Athletics
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NN Running Team releases a short documentary followed several training groups in Africa called The long run, an inside view

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(04/27/2020) Views: 353 ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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The 2020 Boston Marathon was postponed but some experts are saying maybe it should be canceled altogether until the fall of 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(04/25/2020) Views: 536 ⚡AMP
by Nik DeCosta-Klipa (Boston.com)
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

(04/24/2020) Views: 238 ⚡AMP
by Sean Ingle
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(04/12/2020) Views: 167 ⚡AMP
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When the coronavirus outbreak forced organizers to cancel marathons in the Japanese city of Nagoya, they turned to tech to ease the disappointment, offering runners the chance to race alone

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(04/06/2020) Views: 187 ⚡AMP
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Somali-Belgian athlete Bashir Abdi sets sights on European record after sub-2:05 clocking in Tokyo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(03/19/2020) Views: 291 ⚡AMP
by Quinten Lafort
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(03/14/2020) Views: 361 ⚡AMP
by Japan Running News
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The Boston Marathon Could Be Postponed

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

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

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

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

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

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

(03/12/2020) Views: 251 ⚡AMP
by Shira Springer
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

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

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Ukrainian runner Oleksii Borysenko is missing in Japan

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

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

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

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

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

(03/11/2020) Views: 283 ⚡AMP
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Tokyo Marathon

Tokyo Marathon

The Tokyo Marathon is an annual marathon sporting event in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. It is an IAAF Gold Label marathon and one of the six World Marathon Majors. (2020) The Tokyo Marathon Foundation said it will cancel the running event for non-professional runners as the coronavirus outbreak pressures cities and institutions to scrap large events. Sponsored by Tokyo...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(03/10/2020) Views: 332 ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(03/08/2020) Views: 291 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Nagoya Women's Marathon

Nagoya Women's Marathon

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

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

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

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

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

(03/07/2020) Views: 286 ⚡AMP
by Brett Larner
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Tokyo Marathon

Tokyo Marathon

The Tokyo Marathon is an annual marathon sporting event in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. It is an IAAF Gold Label marathon and one of the six World Marathon Majors. (2020) The Tokyo Marathon Foundation said it will cancel the running event for non-professional runners as the coronavirus outbreak pressures cities and institutions to scrap large events. Sponsored by Tokyo...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(03/06/2020) Views: 318 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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LAKE BIWA MAINICHI MARATHON

LAKE BIWA MAINICHI MARATHON

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(03/06/2020) Views: 418 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Nagoya Women's Marathon

Nagoya Women's Marathon

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

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Seoul Marathon Has Been Canceled Due to Coronavirus

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(03/05/2020) Views: 419 ⚡AMP
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Seoul International Marathon

Seoul International Marathon

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

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The Virgin Money London Marathon is in danger to be cancelled

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(03/05/2020) Views: 264 ⚡AMP
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

(02/29/2020) Views: 671 ⚡AMP
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Tokyo Marathon

Tokyo Marathon

The Tokyo Marathon is an annual marathon sporting event in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. It is an IAAF Gold Label marathon and one of the six World Marathon Majors. (2020) The Tokyo Marathon Foundation said it will cancel the running event for non-professional runners as the coronavirus outbreak pressures cities and institutions to scrap large events. Sponsored by Tokyo...

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Canada’s Rachel Cliff withdraws from Tokyo Marathon

On February 17, the Tokyo Marathon announced that its mass participation race was canceled due to coronavirus. Although the elite and wheelchair races will still go ahead as planned on Sunday, several athletes—including Canada’s Rachel Cliff—have announced they won’t be racing. 

Cliff said that her main reason for withdrawing from Tokyo was not out of a fear of getting sick, although the coronavirus did indirectly affect her decision. When the race organizers cancelled the mass participation event, the men’s elite field cut-off time was adjusted to 2:21 to limit the race field to a total of just 200 competitors.

“It was looking spread out from 2:21 to 2:30,” Cliff said. She has a marathon PB of 2:26:56, which she was looking to better in Tokyo to improve her chances of being selected for the Canadian Olympic marathon team.

The 2:21 men’s cut-off meant that Cliff could have potentially been stuck running alone for much of the race. She understandably didn’t want to go all that way to run a marathon in which she might not have someone who could help pace her.

“It was a really tough decision,” she said. “Training went well. We’ll see when the results are out if it was the right decision or not.” As it stands now, Cliff said she isn’t sure how her schedule will unfold.

“It’s been tough, because I’ve been tapering for this one,” she said. “Whether I decide to jump into another marathon this spring remains to be seen.”

Cliff isn’t the only athlete to withdraw from Tokyo after the changes were announced. Manuela Schär, the 2019 women’s wheelchair champion in Tokyo, has also pulled out, citing concerns surrounding coronavirus, as reported by the Japan Times.

(02/29/2020) Views: 659 ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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Tokyo Marathon

Tokyo Marathon

The Tokyo Marathon is an annual marathon sporting event in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. It is an IAAF Gold Label marathon and one of the six World Marathon Majors. (2020) The Tokyo Marathon Foundation said it will cancel the running event for non-professional runners as the coronavirus outbreak pressures cities and institutions to scrap large events. Sponsored by Tokyo...

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An assault on both the men's and women's records is expected at the Tokyo Marathon, a World Athletics Platinum level, on Sunday

The best fields ever assembled for this race in the Japanese capital will be targeting Wilson Kipsang's 2:03:58 and Sarah Chepchirchir's 2:19:47 course records, both set in 2017.

Three entrants with lifetime bests faster than Kipsang's mark head the men's field, all three from Ethiopia. Birhanu Legese is the fastest at 2:02:48, Getaneh Molla next at 2:03:34 with Sisay Lemma just a couple ticks behind with 2:03:36. All three set their bests in 2019 - Legese and Lemma in Berlin and Molla in Dubai - so should be near top form now.

Five more runners - Asefa Mengstu, Dickson Chumba, Hayle Lemi, El Hassan El Abbassi, and Titus Ekiru – come armed with sub-2:05 bests. The favorite may be Legese, the defending Tokyo Marathon champion, who recorded his personal best behind Kenenisa Bekele's world record attack in the German capital.

Although Molla stated his time goal as 2:03:55, he may be ready to run faster given his PB was set in his debut over the distance. The most ambitious runner may be Lemma who said he's gunning for a 2:02:00 performance.

Dickson Chumba, who won this race in 2014 and 2018, is going for a record third victory. He has run in every Tokyo Marathon since 2014 and never finished further back than third.

Aga and Dibaba head deep women's field, Four runners with personal bests faster than Chepchirchir's course record time will start the women’s race: Ruti Aga, who clocked 2:18:34 in Berlin in 2018; Birhane Dibaba who ran 2:18:46 in last year's quality Valencia race; Kenyan Valary Aiyabei, who clocked 2:19:10 in Frankfurt last year; and Israel's Lonah Chemtai Salpeter, who has a 2:19:46 best set in Prague last year.

With 2:19:52 credentials, Tigist Girma rounds out the sub-2:20 field. Four others have dipped under 2:22.

Dibaba, who has run in Tokyo five times, is the only multiple winner, collecting victories in 2015 and 2018. She said she's targeting a 2:18:30 performance and a third victory. Aga, the defending Tokyo champion, is aiming for a lifetime best. Although her marathon best is only 2:24:11, Senbere Teferi, with a 1:05:32 career best one of the fastest half marathon runners in history and the Ethiopian record holder, should also be capable of running with the field's sub-2:20 runners.

"We have been preparing for the Tokyo Marathon 2020 while implementing preventive safety measures, however, now that case of COVID-19 has been confirmed within Tokyo, we cannot continue to launch the event within the scale we originally anticipated," organizers said.

(02/28/2020) Views: 294 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Tokyo Marathon

Tokyo Marathon

The Tokyo Marathon is an annual marathon sporting event in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. It is an IAAF Gold Label marathon and one of the six World Marathon Majors. (2020) The Tokyo Marathon Foundation said it will cancel the running event for non-professional runners as the coronavirus outbreak pressures cities and institutions to scrap large events. Sponsored by Tokyo...

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World marathon bronze medalist Amos Kipruto is planning to break the course record on his second appearance at Tokyo Marathon

World marathon bronze medalist Amos Kipruto is planning to lower his personal best time and perhaps break the course record on his second appearance at Tokyo Marathon on Sunday.

Kipruto, who ran his personal best of two hours, five minutes and 43 seconds when finishing fourth at the 2017 Amsterdam Marathon, believes a good show in Tokyo should set a good stage for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Former world marathon record holder Wilson Kipsang holds the course record time of 2:03:58 set in 2017.

Another fast time on the course was set last year by Ethiopian Birhanu Legese, who won the race in 2:04:48.

“I am expecting a pretty fast race with a possibility of the field breaking the 2:03 barrier,” said Kipruto, who is determined to finish in a better podium place than in 2018 when he settled third in 2:06:33, a race won by compatriot Dickson Chumba in 2:05:30.

“I have really trained well since claiming bronze at the World Championships last year and I feel ready to battle,” explained Kipruto, who has been training in Kapsabet with the 2Running team under Italian coach Claudio Berardelli.

I know the field will go at a great pace but my plan is to beat my personal best for a possible victory.

It will be his third World Marathon Majors race, having finished third at 2018 Tokyo before chalking a second place finish at 2018 Berlin Marathon where compatriot Eliud Kipchoge set a new world marathon record of 2:01:39. Kipruto returned a time of 2:06:23 with Kipsang wrapping up the podium place in 2:06:48.

(02/27/2020) Views: 325 ⚡AMP
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Tokyo Marathon

Tokyo Marathon

The Tokyo Marathon is an annual marathon sporting event in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. It is an IAAF Gold Label marathon and one of the six World Marathon Majors. (2020) The Tokyo Marathon Foundation said it will cancel the running event for non-professional runners as the coronavirus outbreak pressures cities and institutions to scrap large events. Sponsored by Tokyo...

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Judy Sheppard is disappointed that the Tokyo Marathon was cancelled since Tokyo was the last of six major marathons for her

Since turning 50, Judy Sheppard has run five of the six major marathons and was set to run Tokyo.

The Newfoundland runner has tackled London, Berlin, New York, Chicago and Boston — but she's never done Tokyo.

After years of trying to get into the race, this was her lucky year, until the Tokyo Marathon was waylaid due to the spread of novel coronavirus.

"I had packed masks, gloves, gels. Everything was ready to go," she told CBC Radio's Weekend AM. 

More than 2,000 people have died from the virus worldwide. Only six of those cases have happened outside mainland China.

Still, it was deemed too big a threat for the hordes of people who descend on Tokyo every year to take part in the marathon. More than 38,000 people were expected to run this year on March 1. 

For the 2020 event at least, it is limited to the world's most elite runners and whleechair athletes, resulting in thousands of participants not getting to be part of one of the biggest marathons in the world.

More than 300,000 people enter the lottery annually for a spot in the race.

Sheppard, 68, and her friend and fellow marathon runner Josee Hotton were accepted to run this year. Sheppard found out it was canceled when Hotton texted her the bad news.

Their bids for six-star medals — representing each of the major marathons — were dashed for another year.

"I was really looking forward to that one," Sheppard said.

The runners will be able to compete in next year's Tokyo Marathon without going back into the lottery.

(02/25/2020) Views: 393 ⚡AMP
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Tokyo Marathon

Tokyo Marathon

The Tokyo Marathon is an annual marathon sporting event in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. It is an IAAF Gold Label marathon and one of the six World Marathon Majors. (2020) The Tokyo Marathon Foundation said it will cancel the running event for non-professional runners as the coronavirus outbreak pressures cities and institutions to scrap large events. Sponsored by Tokyo...

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Honami Maeda Breaks Mizuki Noguchi's 30 km National Record and Pre-Athens Ome 30 km Course Record

2020 Olympic marathon trials winner Honami Maeda (Tenmaya) took down two massive marks at Sunday's Ome 30 km Road Race in Tokyo's mountainous western suburbs, breaking Mizuki Noguchi's 30 km national record and pre-Athens Olympic gold medal Ome course record in 1:38:35 in wet conditions. Beating her closest female competition by almost eight minutes, Maeda was strong and about as steady as possible over the tough Ome course, clocking 5 km splits of 16:18 - 16:18 - 16:48 - 16:22 - 16:37 - 16:12.

Maeda's stated goal pre-race was Noguchi's 1:39:06 course record, set in February, 2004 as a key tune-up for Noguchi's gold medal-winning run in the Athens Olympics marathon. That fell by a wide margin, but few expected Maeda to also beat Noguchi's national record of 1:38:49 set en route during her 2:19:12 marathon national record run at the 2005 Berlin Marathon. It took Maeda's fastest split of the race, a 16:12 from 25 km to the finish, for that to happen, but happen it did. And the times being what they are, it's worth mentioning that she didn't appear to have been wearing carbon plate shoes. Looking at Noguchi in 2004 and at Maeda now, Maeda is looking more and more like the real deal. Maybe it's time to start getting a tiny bit excited about what might happen this summer.

The women's race at the other big 30 km race of the day, Kumamoto's Kumanichi 30 km Road Race, was closer, if nowhere near Maeda's level, and equally wet. 20-year-old Ako Matsumoto (Denso) ran 1:46:09, 10 seconds faster than Ome runner-up Yuri Nozoe (Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo), for the win, with teammate Ayano Ikeuchi and Chika Ihara (Higo Ginko) both finishing within a minute of her for 2nd and 3rd.

The men's races in Ome and Kumanichi were almost the inverse of what happened in the women's race. In Ome, a pack of eight went out on track to break the 1:29:06 course record set by Kenyan Ezekiel Cheboitibin (Sunbelx) last year. By halfway that was down to a trio, former Hakone Ekiden uphill Fifth Stage winner Daniel Muiva Kitonyi (Track Tokyo), Masaya Taguchi (Honda), and Junsuke Kanbe (Komazawa Univ.).

Rounding the turnaround for the mostly downhill return trip Kitonyi attacked, but the last hard uphill with just over 8 km to go killed him. Taguchi rolled up and by in the last 5 km to take the win in 1:30:45. Kitonyi staggered in for 2nd in 1:31:14, holding off Ryo Kawamoto (Kurosaki Harima) who came up from the chase pack for 3rd in 1:31:51.

In Kumanichi, former half marathon and marathon national record holder Yuta Shitara, like Ome winner Taguchi a graduate of Toyo University and current Honda corporate team runner, did what he does best and soloed the race start to finish, winning in 1:29:47 by nearly a minute over Kazuto Kawabata (Konica Minolta). His time bettered the 1:29:55 run by his twin brother Keita Shitara at Kumanichi 7 years ago and served as a confidence builder ahead of next month's Tokyo Marathon where he hopes to run 2:04.

Post-race he told the media, "If I lost here there would be no next time. In the two weeks left until the Tokyo Marathon I want to bring my level up another 20~30%. I want to run the kind of race that's going to get people all across Japan excited."

54th Ome 30 km Road Race

(02/22/2020) Views: 285 ⚡AMP
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Ohme Road Race

Ohme Road Race

Ohme-Hochi 10K Road Race is organized by Ome Athletic Association in Ome, Tokyo, Japan in the month of February. The road race held just outside Tokyo, is part of a longstanding exchange program between the BAA and the Ohme Road Race, which is sponsored by the Hochi Shimbun. The events include 30K Race and a 10K Run. The number of...

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Mayor says coronavirus should not affect Boston Marathon

The coronavirus outbreak should not impact the Boston Marathon, the Mayor of the American city has said.

Marty Walsh claimed that scaling back the event on April 20 would be an "overreaction".

His words came after the Boston Athletic Association (BAA) said they were monitoring the situation with regards to the virus.

The Tokyo Marathon, another of the World Marathon Majors, has already cancelled its mass participation race due to the outbreak.

Only the elite men's, women's and wheelchair marathons will now take place in Japan on March 1.

There is one confirmed case of coronavirus in Boston, with this person being treated.

"I think that's [scaling back] an overreaction," Walsh said.

"I think we have to be very careful in overreacting to a situation that isn't there.

"In Boston, it shouldn't affect our marathon."

The BAA has organised the Boston Marathon since 1897, making it the world's oldest annual marathon.

"The Boston Athletic Association is carefully monitoring developments related to the coronavirus," the BAA said to the Boston Herald.

"We will continue to closely follow updates from organisations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Public Health and the World Health Organization, and will adhere to any policies put forth by the Federal Government.

"We have no further comment at the moment but will continue to monitor the situation carefully."

There are now more than 75,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus since it originated in Chinese city Wuhan.

More than 2,100 people have died with the vast majority of patients in China.

Thirty countries and territories are now affected, with 15 cases confirmed in the United States.

Numerous sporting events have been either cancelled or postponed due to the crisis.

Earlier this week, Walsh ate lunch in Boston's Chinatown amid fears that the virus would hurt businesses in the area.

(02/22/2020) Views: 279 ⚡AMP
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

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

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The Nagoya Women's Marathon will be limited to elite runners

The Nagoya Women's Marathon will exclude all but elite competitors at the March 8 event amid concerns over the current coronavirus outbreak, while the open Nagoya City Marathon has also been canceled, organizers announced Thursday.

The move follows the example set by the March 1 Tokyo Marathon, which Monday announced it will exclude all but elite competitors. Organizers said the measure was taken to protect athletes due to uncertainty about the way the virus is transmitted.

The elite field is limited to invited athletes and those who have run marathons in 3 hours or less.

The marathon was to be held in conjunction with the canceled Nagoya City Marathon. The city marathon and related events were expected to attract around 40,000 people.

"We concluded that it was difficult for everyone to take part confident in their security," organizers said on the event's website.

Meanwhile, the Japan Para Sports Association has postponed a boccia tournament that was to double as a test event for the Tokyo Paralympics in order to protect athletes. Instead of an international event, a test event with a smaller number of domestic athletes will be held behind closed doors.

The association informed the Tokyo Games organizing committee that the 2020 Japan Para Championships Boccia, scheduled to begin on Feb. 28, has been "temporarily placed on hold until a final decision can be made on staging the event."

The association concluded that "further time is necessary to fully analyze the potential impacts should the novel coronavirus affect an athlete."

More than 30 para-athletes from nine countries and regions were to take part in the three-day event at the Ariake Gymnastics Centre, a temporary venue on Tokyo's waterfront near the Olympic and Paralympic Village.

Tokyo Games organizers said they will carry out the boccia test event "in some form, after ensuring a safe and secure environment."

The government has cancelled Saturday's third and final pre-Olympic host town summit, an event that brings together local government officials with athletes from different countries and regions.

Among the 400 to 500 people, including Olympics minister Seiko Hashimoto, were expected to attend.

(02/21/2020) Views: 319 ⚡AMP
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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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With less than a week and a half to go Amy Cragg Withdraws from 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials

Defending champion Amy Cragg, 36, announced on Instagram that she will not compete in the championship. Cragg cited an illness as the reason for withdrawing from the race.

“The Trials are the reason I have shown up every day for the last four years, so this has been an extremely difficult decision,” she wrote on Instagram. Cragg did not immediately respond to Runner’s World’s request for comment.

In January, Cragg told Runner’s World, “February 29, top 3, that’s what I’m going for. It’s just getting on that team. For me, that’s everything.” She said that training for Trials was going well, despite a disappointing year of racing in 2019.

Last year, the 2:21 marathoner raced only twice on the roads, finishing seventh at the Prague Half Marathon in 1:13:27 in April and 14th at the Beach to Beacon 10K in 34:40 in August. She had plans to race at the 2019 Chicago Marathon but withdrew with an injury. Outside of racing, she was struggling in workouts with overall fatigue.

“You talk to any distance runner, you go through those ups and downs regularly,” she told Runner’s World. “It’s like you just can’t seem to get out of the slump. You don’t know whether to push harder or let go. I’ve been used to it over the years. But there was definitely still that fear that I might have overdone it; [I’d] hope it’s not undoable.”

After training at altitude with the Bowerman Track Club for most of January and February this year, Cragg came down to sea level to race the New Orleans Rock ’n’ Roll Half Marathon on February 9. Unfortunately, she slowed throughout the race, indicating that a successful Trials defense was in jeopardy. She finished in 1:16:53, averaging 5:51 per mile. When Cragg ran the 2018 Tokyo Marathon, which put her fifth on the U.S. all-time list, she averaged 5:24 pace for double the distance.

 

(02/21/2020) Views: 291 ⚡AMP
by Hailey Middlebrook
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Alps 2 Ocean Ultra

Alps 2 Ocean Ultra

New Zealand's First Ultra Staged Run. Starting at the base of New Zealand's highest mountain, travelling on foot 316 kms to the small harbour of Oamaru, located on the shores of the Pacific Ocean. The ultimate adventure race, Alps 2 Ocean Ultra, was a dream that quickly became a reality. And it’s now only weeks until the 126 entrants will...

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A respected Japanese virologist said that Tokyo Olympics probably couldn’t be held now, under current circumstances, but things could improve by July

A respected Japanese virologist, Hitoshi Oshitani, on Wednesday said if the Tokyo Olympics were tomorrow, the games probably couldn’t be held because of the fast-spreading virus from Wuhan, China.

“We need to find the best way to have a safe Olympics,” Dr. Hitoshi Oshitani said, speaking at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan. “Right now we don’t have an effective strategy, and I think it may be difficult to have the Olympics (now). But by the end of July we may be in a different situation.”

The local Tokyo Olympic organizing committee and the International Olympic Committee have repeatedly said over the last few weeks that they are following the advice of the World Health Organization and that the games will go on.

But with every passing day, the impact of the virus seems to spread, and so does the fallout: Olympic qualifying events are canceled or postponed, travel gets difficult, and athletes and families are left wondering. Not to mention sponsors and broadcasting networks that have invested billions of dollars in the Olympics.

The modern Olympics dating from 1896 have only been canceled during wartime, and in 1980 and 1984 they went on with boycotts.

Oshitani, a former adviser with the WHO who worked on the SARS outbreak almost 20 years ago, was hopeful but sowed some uncertainty about the July 24-Aug. 9 Olympics.

“I’m not sure of the situation in Japan at the end of July,” he said, answering in English. “But probably we will not have large outbreaks in Japan in July.”

Oshitani said he was most concerned about a “Wuhan-type” of outbreak taking place in Africa or other parts of Asia and having cases imported into Japan. He said if that happened “it may get difficult to have” the Olympics. But he also suggested Japan might be able to handle it.

“So what we have to do now is try to prevent such a thing from happening,” he added, saying the Japanese government should support countries so they don’t have “that kind of situation.”

The viral outbreak has infected more than 75,000 people globally. China has reported 2,004 deaths among 74,185 cases on the mainland, mostly in the central province of Hubei. Only one death in Japan has been attributed to the virus.

Earlier in the week, Shigeru Omi, a former regional director of the WHO and an infectious disease expert from Japan, also said he could not be sure about the Olympics.

“Whether the outbreak will last until the Olympic date or not depends upon the virus and the societal effort and joint international community,” he said at a news conference. “Nobody can predict whether we can contain the virus or put an end to this outbreak before the Olympics start. That’s anybody’s guess.”

He added it was not a “big question mark, but there is a question mark.”

In the spotlight are 19 test events that Japan is to hold beginning next month, a chance for organizers to practice in competition mode and an opportunity for potential Olympic athletes to check out Japan.

In a cancellation Wednesday, the Kyodo news agency reported that Mongolia’s archery team had pulled out of a training camp in Japan’s central Aichi prefecture.

Dozens of sports events have been called off around Asia in the wake of the outbreak, including the indoor world track and field championships next month in Nanjing, China, and the Formula One race in April in Shanghai.

Organizers announced last week that next month’s Tokyo Marathon will be limited to elite runners and wheelchair athletes. About 38,000 runners had been expected to participate in one of the world’s largest races.

(02/19/2020) Views: 277 ⚡AMP
by Stephen Wade
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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Nagoya Women's Marathon Considering Canceling Mass Participation Race

In the wake of the Tokyo Marathon's cancelation of its mass-participation race, on Feb. 17 it was learned that the Mar. 8 Nagoya Women's Marathon, which like Tokyo features a format combining an elite selection race for the 2020 Olympic team with a mass-participation race, is examining whether it will be possible to still stage the mass-participation component of its event.

Following the Tokyo Marathon's announcement earlier in the day that it was canceling its mass-participation race over concerns about the spread of the coronavirus, Nagoya's organizers were inundated with inquiries from the media and amateur runners entered in the race.

The organizers say that they hope to reach a decision and make an announcement as soon as possible.

The largest women-only marathon in the world, as of Feb. 13 Nagoya has 24,002 entrants total this year, 137 in its elite division and 23,865 in its general division.

Along with Nagoya, organizers are also examining the feasibility of staging the Mar. 29 Toyohashi Half Marathon and Apr. 26 Gifu Seiryu Half Marathon.

(02/18/2020) Views: 288 ⚡AMP
by Brett Larner
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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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Tokyo Marathon Canceled for General Runners

The Tokyo Marathon Foundation said it will cancel the running event for non-professional runners as the coronavirus outbreak pressures cities and institutions to scrap large events.

Some 38,000 runners have registered for the race scheduled on March 1, according to the Tokyo Shimbun, which reported on the cancellation earlier.

“The cancellation is disappointing,” said Akari Terrell, who was planning to compete on the day. “This time, it can’t be helped.”

Competitive races will still be held, as the Tokyo marathon is an Olympic trial race for professional runners. Last week, residents from China were asked to refrain from running in the race.

Major events have been called off or postponed in recent months due to the virus, including the Hong Kong Sevens international rugby tournament, as well as the annual Singapore Yacht Show.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in February had repeatedly said the 2020 Olympics would not be canceled or postponed despite fears about the novel coronavirus that has infected tens of thousands and cast a shadow over travel and tourism in Asia.

(02/17/2020) Views: 271 ⚡AMP
by Shiho Takezawa
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Tokyo Marathon

Tokyo Marathon

The Tokyo Marathon is an annual marathon sporting event in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. It is an IAAF Gold Label marathon and one of the six World Marathon Majors. (2020) The Tokyo Marathon Foundation said it will cancel the running event for non-professional runners as the coronavirus outbreak pressures cities and institutions to scrap large events. Sponsored by Tokyo...

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Organizers of the Tokyo Marathon on Friday asked Chinese residents who have registered for the March 1 race to voluntarily defer their entry until next year

Organizers of the Tokyo Marathon on Friday asked Chinese residents who have registered for the March 1 race to voluntarily defer their entry until next year due to concerns about the ongoing outbreak of a new coronavirus.

Registered runners from China who defer entry will have their fees for next year’s race waived, said the organizers, who earlier announced they would grant automatic qualification for the 2021 event.

The organizers had previously said a separate entry fee would apply, but decided to remove the additional cost following a request from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.

“With the change of our condition for deferring entry, we would like to sincerely request all registered runners residing (in China) to defer their entry voluntarily,” the race organizers said in a statement.

The deferred entry will be offered to 1,820 runners of various nationalities based in China, where the coronavirus outbreak has caused more than 1,300 deaths and led to restrictions on travel in and out of the country.

(02/15/2020) 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. (2020) The Tokyo Marathon Foundation said it will cancel the running event for non-professional runners as the coronavirus outbreak pressures cities and institutions to scrap large events. Sponsored by Tokyo...

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A refugee athlete has been selected as an elite runner for the Tokyo Marathon for the first time in the event’s history

Yonas Kinde, who currently lives in Luxembourg, will take part in the Marathon on March 1 2020.

Yonas participated at the Olympic Games Rio 2016 as a member of the first-ever Refugee Olympic Team created by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). He continues his training as an IOC Refugee Athlete Scholarship Holder and will compete as part of his efforts to secure selection in the IOC Refugee Olympic Team Tokyo 2020.

He comes from Ethiopia, the country of the famous “barefoot runner” Abebe Bikila. Abebe is known for winning gold medals in the marathon at two consecutive Olympic Games, including the Olympic Games Tokyo 1964. For Yonas, it has been a dream to run in Tokyo, as he deeply admires Abebe – an Ethiopian hero.

“Growing up, Abebe was an inspiration to me and I am delighted to be able to run in Tokyo, where he achieved so much”, Yonas says. “Through my participation, I hope to send the message that, if supported, refugees can unlock great potential.”

Those who participate at the elite category are runners who meet specific requirements set by the Japan Association of Athletics Federations (JAAF).

Yonas received the elite runner status following an initiative of Japan for UNHCR (J4U), the national partner of the UN Refugee Agency in the country. 

It will be Yonas’s first visit to Japan. During his stay, he will train at the Tokorozawa Campus of Waseda University.

The refugees’ participation at the Olympic Games Rio 2016 gave courage and hope to millions of people who have been forced to flee their homes due to conflict and persecution. It also testified to the enormous strength of refugee athletes, who strive to do their best despite facing adversity.

Yonas Kinde is a marathon runner and Ethiopian refugee, who arrived in Luxembourg five years before he was selected for the IOC Refugee Olympic Team Rio 2016. He threw himself into life in Luxembourg, taking French classes regularly, and working as a taxi driver to earn a living, all the while pushing himself to become a better runner. Yonas began running in Ethiopia as a teenager, and after fleeing to Luxembourg he competed and won several titles in Luxembourg, France and Germany.

(02/14/2020) Views: 310 ⚡AMP
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Tokyo Marathon

Tokyo Marathon

The Tokyo Marathon is an annual marathon sporting event in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. It is an IAAF Gold Label marathon and one of the six World Marathon Majors. (2020) The Tokyo Marathon Foundation said it will cancel the running event for non-professional runners as the coronavirus outbreak pressures cities and institutions to scrap large events. Sponsored by Tokyo...

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A look at who's got a shot at making the American Olympic marathon squad

The U.S. Olympic Trials are less than three weeks away. The fields are finalized, the tapers are starting soon and runners and fans are anticipating one of the most exciting trials yet.

Here’s a look at which runners we think are most likely to place in the top three and be named to the U.S. Olympic squad after the February 29 race in Atlanta.

Women’s field.- The favorites to make this Olympic team are Sara Hall (Asics), Des Linden (Brooks), Molly Huddle (Saucony) and Emily Sisson (New Balance). Hall has been extremely consistent over the past year, running personal bests in both the marathon and the half (a 2:22:16 in Berlin and a 1:08 in Houston just a few weeks ago). Linden is a gamer and someone who shows up no matter the conditions. She’s also an Olympic marathon veteran.

Huddle and Sisson are training partners who have helped each other improve over the marathon distance. Huddle has been a staple on the American distance scene for years (she’s a multi-time American record holder) and Sisson is the rising star who has flourished alongside Huddle. The pair own 2:23:08 (Sisson) and 2:26:33 (Huddle) marathon personal bests and know how to show up on race day. But the knock on Sisson is that she’s only run one (albeit, fantastic) marathon, and inexperience could be her downfall.

Our best bet for the top three, in order, is: Hall, Huddle, Linden.

The dark horses.-  Jordan Hasay (Nike) and Amy Cragg (Nike) are the dark horses. We just haven’t seen enough to know where these two runners are at. Hasay’s most recent result is a DNF from the Chicago Marathon. Admittedly, her training group had just folded and her former coach was charged with doping infractions, so her racing conditions weren’t ideal. But Hasay hasn’t even gotten on a start line since then.

As for Cragg, she’s the 2017 World Championship medallist and 2016 Olympian over the distance. Cragg’s results are few and far between over the past two years, but she put it all together at the Tokyo Marathon in 2018 to run a 2:21:42–one of the fastest American times in history. Both Hasay and Cragg boast the best personal bests of the bunch, but with no indication of fitness, it’s impossible to predict where they’ll end up in 20 days’ time.

Men’s field.- The favorites in the men’s race are Galen Rupp (Nike), Leonard Korir (Nike), Scott Fauble (Hoka) and Jared Ward (Saucony). Rupp was almost a dark horse, due to his poor resume from the past year, but on Saturday he clocked a 1:01:19 in a tune up half-marathon in Arizona. So he’s in good shape.

As for the other three, all hold personal bests from 2019 around the same time. Korir’s is 2:07:56 from Amsterdam and Fauble and Ward’s are both from Boston 2019 at 2:09:09 and 2:09:25. Among these three it’s really a toss-up, based on past performances, as to who makes the team.

Our best bet for the top three, in order, is: Rupp, Ward, Korir.

The dark horses.- The dark horses in this event are the masters men: Bernard Lagat (Nike) (45) and Abdi Abdirahman (Nike) (42).  Like in women’s marathoning, the men are also proving that age is just a number on the race course. Lagat and Abdirahman have both recently clocked 2:11 and 2:12 marathons and are in the conversation for the team if they have a good day in Atlanta.

(02/11/2020) Views: 499 ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

The 2020 US Olympic Trials for both men and women took place in Atlanta, Ga on Sunday Feb 29. Runners had to qualify by running certain standards beforehand. The trials are hosted by the Atlanta Track club. The course runs through the heart of Atlanta and past monuments from the 1996 Olympic Games Most countries around the world use a...

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Organizers of the Tokyo Marathon will distribute surgical masks to runners and volunteers if they request them over concerns about the coronavirus

According to a statement from the organizers, four “preventive safety measures against the coronavirus” will be taken during the event, which will be held on March 1.

The masks will be on offer upon request at the Packet Pick-up and at the venue in the finish area on the race day.

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers and antibacterial wet-wipes will also be available at the relevant venues, it said.

There will be operational revisions of the aid stations, but it is not clear what revisions will be made.

The statement said that it is a “personal choice” for the registered runners to make, whether to participate in the event.

“Please pay careful attention to your own health,” it read. “One each individual must consider carefully. We would like to request the cooperation from all participants to monitor the body temperature, and if you have fever or experiencing symptoms of respiratory illness, we advise you to refrain from participating in the event.”

Tokyo Marathon organizers last week announced that runners living in China will automatically be entered into the 2021 race if they fail to take part in this year’s competition.

Some 1,800 runners living in China registered for this year’s race.

(02/11/2020) Views: 277 ⚡AMP
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Tokyo Marathon

Tokyo Marathon

The Tokyo Marathon is an annual marathon sporting event in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. It is an IAAF Gold Label marathon and one of the six World Marathon Majors. (2020) The Tokyo Marathon Foundation said it will cancel the running event for non-professional runners as the coronavirus outbreak pressures cities and institutions to scrap large events. Sponsored by Tokyo...

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Robinson and Johannes break national records to win Marugame Half Marathon

Brett Robinson won the Marugame Half Marathon in an Australian record of 59:57, recording the fastest time in four years at the World Athletics Silver Label road race on Sunday (2).

The 28-year-old took the lead at 18km before going on to win, taking more than four minutes off his PB in the process. Meanwhile, world marathon bronze medallist Helalia Johannes smashed her own Namibian record to win the women’s race in 1:08:10.

In the men’s race, a large pack of runners went through 5km in 14:13 and 10km in 28:26. The real racing started when 2017 Marugame winner Callum Hawkins started to push the pace at 13.5km. By 16.5km the lead pack had been reduced to four runners: Hawkins, Robinson, Yusuke Ogura and Taku Fujimoto.

Robinson took the lead at 18km and Ogura drifted back. Approaching 19km, Hawkins and Fujimoto also fell behind. Then Ogura started to bridge the gap, and took over the third from Fujimoto at 20.6km and second from Hawkins as they entered the stadium.

Robinson held on to the lead, though, and crossed the line in 59:57, taking 59 seconds off the Australian record set by Collis Birmingham at the 2013 edition of this race.

“It was a very tough race,” said Robinson. “The last few kilometres were very, but I’m very happy. The Japanese, Kenyan and Scottish runners put up a very good fight to the end.”

Ogura took almost two minutes off his PB to finish second in a Japanese record of 1:00:00, taking 17 seconds off the previous mark set by Yuta Shitara, who finished sixth in 1:00:49.

“I did not expect such a time,” said Ogura. “The race was a tune-up for the upcoming Tokyo Marathon. With two kilometres to go I expected the Japanese record to fall, so I was determined to pass Fujimoto in front of me. I am going after the third spot on the Japanese Marathon team in Tokyo.” Ogura will have to break the Japanese national record, 2:05:50, to gain the third spot on the team.

Hawkins finished third with 1:00:01, one second short of the PB he set when winning here three years ago, while Fujimoto finished fourth in 60:06, also inside the former Japanese record.

In the first half of the women’s race, Mao Ichiyama led Helalia Johannes, but Johannes took over the lead for good at about 12km. Although Charlotte Purdue came as close as 10 seconds at 20km, Johannes won with a personal best of 1:08:10.

It was a two-minute improvement on Johannes’ previous best, but her recent times at 10km (30:59) and the marathon (2:22:25) had hinted at a big half marathon breakthrough. The Commonwealth champion will defend her Nagoya Women’s Marathon title next month.

Purdue finished second in 1:08:23, a PB by 20 seconds, while Choi Kyund-Sun set a Korean record of 1:08:35 in third place.

 

(02/02/2020) Views: 307 ⚡AMP
by Ken Nakamura for World Athletics
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Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon

Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon

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

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Kenyan Dickson Chumba faces stiff test in Tokyo marathon

Dickson Chumba faces an acid test at the Tokyo Marathon slated for March 1.

Chumba, a two-time winner in the Japanese city and the 2015 Chicago Marathon winner, faces a formidable field but starts among the favorites with a personal best of 2:04:32. 

With a personal best time of 2:04:46 All African Games half-marathon, Titus Ekiru remains a formidable challenger having previously grabbed victories in Seville, Mexico City, Honolulu Marathon (twice) and Milano Marathon.

World marathon bronze medalist Amos Kipruto is also in the mix for the event and has a personal best of 2:05:43 while another Kenyan, Bedan Karoki will also be seeking to win his first marathon.

Karoki has a personal best time of 2:06:48 which he ran in Chicago last year. He also finished third at the 2017 London Marathon after clocking 2:07:41

Simon Kariuki, with a personal best of 2:09:41, has also been entered for the event. 

The Kenyan contingent faces a Herculean task from Ethiopia's defending champion Legese Birhanu, who has a personal best of 2:02:48. He leads compatriots Getaneh Molla (2:03:34), Lemina Sisay (2:03:36), Mengistu Asefa (2:04:08), Lemi Hayle (2:04:33) and Bahrain's El Abbassi El Hassan (2:04:43) also frontrunners.

Tokyo Marathon race director Tadaaki Hayano said the race will serve as trials for Japanese athletes, who are fighting for the last ticket to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Marathon.

(01/31/2020) Views: 361 ⚡AMP
by William Njuguna
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Tokyo Marathon

Tokyo Marathon

The Tokyo Marathon is an annual marathon sporting event in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. It is an IAAF Gold Label marathon and one of the six World Marathon Majors. (2020) The Tokyo Marathon Foundation said it will cancel the running event for non-professional runners as the coronavirus outbreak pressures cities and institutions to scrap large events. Sponsored by Tokyo...

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Callum Hawkins of Great Britain will be targeting a second victory at the 74th Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon on Sunday

Callum Hawkins, who won the race in 2017, joins 2012 Olympic and 2013 world champion Stephen Kiprotich as a marquee name on the men’s side while Helalia Johannes, the bronze medallist in the marathon at last year’s World Championships, leads the women’s field.

Hawkins, who collapsed in the 2018 Commonwealth Games Marathon while leading, finished fourth in the World Championships marathon in both 2017 and 2019.

Briton Charlotte Purdue (1:08:45), Japan’s Mao Ichiyama (1:08:49) and Australian Sinead Diver (1:08:55) have the fastest personal bests in the field. All came in 2019: Purdue’s in the Sanyo Women’s road race in December, Ichiyama’s in Hakodate in July and Diver’s in Marugame in February. Two others - Ellie Pashley and Reia Iwade - also have sub-70 minute credentials.   

Eri Makikawa, the 2014 Marugame winner with a best of 1:10:28, is also back after skipping the race in recent years.

The men’s field is much stronger.

Both Zane Robertson and Kelvin Kiptum have sub-1 hour bests, while Hawkins’ best is exactly 60 minutes. In fact, the 20-year-old Kiptum has cracked 60:00 twice, both last year. That may qualify Kiptum as the favorite on Sunday. Robertson was second in Marugame in 2015.

The race also serves as a qualifying race for the Japanese team for the World Half Marathon Championships Gdynia 2020.

Several runners, including Japanese national half marathon record holder Yuta Shitara, are running as a tune-up for next month’s Tokyo Marathon. Yuki Sato, a four-time national 10,000m champion, and Shuho Dairokuno, 2019 national 10,000m champion, will also be contesting both Marugame and Tokyo Marathon. Although not an invited runner, Shitara’s twin brother Keita will be running also.

Other top Japanese include Yuma Hattori, the 2018 Fukuoka Marathon champion, Taku Fujimoto, second in the 2019 Fukuoka Marathon, Tetsuya Yoroizaka, the second fastest 10,000m runner in Japan and 2018 Boston Marathon champion Yuki Kawauchi.

(01/31/2020) Views: 400 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon

Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon

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

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