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Articles tagged #Trail
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Boulder’s Ryan Smith wins 2019 Leadville 100 with consistent second-half pacing

Boulder’s Ryan Smith won the Leadville 100 trail run on Saturday night thanks to consistent second-half pacing that left his rivals unable to respond. It was the biggest win of his ultrarunning career.

The Boulder-based runner, who came to the United States from the United Kingdom and works full-time a software engineer, was greeted at the finish by his wife and almost 2-year-old daughter. He turned 40 years old this year.

“There’s just a lot of running in the race,” Smith said, referring to the long flat sections along much of the course. “It really favors a flat runner rather than a mountain runner, and I typically do a lot of mountain stuff.”

His win — in 16 hours, 33 minutes, 25 seconds — was far from expected. Smith was not among the pre-race favorites to win, and he wasn’t feeling well leading into the Twin Lakes aid station near the 40-mile mark. But at the turnaround at Winfield, he held his pace steady, averaging around 10 minutes per mile for the rest of the race.

“Always be closing!” his last pacesetter, Clare Gallagher, herself a Leadville 100 winner in 2016, yelled to him after his win. She was referring to Smith’s penchant for strong finishes, and to the casual observer, it might have seemed that Smith was surging. But consistent pacing that late in a race — he averaged 9:58, 9:53, 9:59, 9:54, 10:01, 9:55, 9:54 for all of the second half checkpoints — is remarkably difficult to achieve.

His win came after Jared Hazen, the runner-up to this year’s Western States 100, set out a blistering early pace, intent on breaking the course record of 15:42 set by Matt Carpenter in 2005. Late Saturday morning, while racing back toward Twin Lakes, he told a Denver Post reporter along the trail that he had dropped out and “needed to get to an aid station.” He had turned around before the Winfield aid station — the halfway point of the course.

The Leadville is infamous for seducing runners into racing too hard too early, with flat fields and trails before turning into a punishing climb to 12,600 feet over Hope Pass.

For the women, Magdalena Boulet of Oakland, Calif., finished in 20:18:07 in her first Leadville 100. Boulet, who won her first-ever 100-miler in 2015 at Western States and was a U.S. Olympic marathoner in 2008, said she was inspired to run at Leadville after crewing for her boss at GU Energy Labs a few years ago. She had acclimatized at altitude for only two weeks before Saturday’s run. Boulder’s Cat Bradley was the second woman to cross the finish line in 20:45:48.

(08/18/2019) ⚡AMP
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Leadville Trail 100 Run

Leadville Trail 100 Run

The legendary “Race Across The Sky” 100-mile run is where it all started back in 1983. This is it. The race where legends are created and limits are tested. One hundred miles of extreme Colorado Rockies terrain — from elevations of 9,200 to 12,600 feet. You will give the mountain respect, and earn respect from all. ...

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Armin Gooden is set to compete at the Leadville 100-Mile Trail Race this Saturday

Armin Gooden was four years old in 1983 when the once-booming mining town of Leadville, Colorado – on the verge of economic devastation after the closure of Climax Mine in 1982 – hosted the first-ever Leadville Trail 100-mile run.

Race founder Ken Chlouber had organized the trail run in what’s considered North America’s highest incorporated town, elevation-wise. He hoped it would salvage Leadville from virtual ruin after more than 3,000 workers were left unemployed in the wake of the mine’s closure the year before.

On Saturday, Aug. 17, Gooden will be four decades old when he tries his hand – well, legs – at the iconic 100-mile course which snakes 50 miles out and back through the Colorado Rockies. Terrain is comprised mostly of forest trails with a few mountain roads mixed in, its website says.

Gooden, whose 40th birthday fell on this past Sunday, is a 1997 graduate of Buckhannon-Upshur High School. His mom, Idress, and dad, Dave, still live in Upshur County.

But they’ll be in Leadville at 4:30 a.m. sharp Saturday, when the race begins. The Leadville 100’s lowest point measures about 9,200 feet and its highest peak 12,600 feet. That point is known as Hope Pass – or ‘Hopeless Pass’ by runners “because it crushes souls and destroys dreams,” Gooden says. In fact, a local CBS station out of Twin Lakes, Colorado, on Thursday reported that a 28-member team of llamas and their human guides hauled approximately 3,000 pounds of food, drinks and gear up to an aid station at Hope Pass.

Gooden good-naturedly called the race his “mid-life suffer-fest” Wednesday in a Facebook post when he thanked his friends on social media for their recent birthday wishes: “Thanks for all the birthday wishes! Stay tuned for live tracking at my mid-life suffer-fest in just a little over two days,” he wrote.

The primary question that runners who do ultra-marathons– especially hundred-mile ultra-marathons – face is: “Why?” Why subject yourself to such a “mid-life suffer-fest,” as Gooden put it? After all, only about 50 percent of runners who qualify through the lottery actually complete the Leadville 100, Gooden said. Others must drop out if they don’t make various cut-off points throughout the course, including completing the first 50 miles in 14 hours or under.

(For non-runners, ultra-marathons are races longer than the 26.2-mile marathon and can vary in distance from 32 to 50 to 100 miles.)

For Gooden, who’s now a resident of a Denver-area suburb, the thirst to complete the Leadville 100 began as a mode of mental survival.

“I had a really rough year in life the past year-and-a-half,” Gooden said. “I did this huge climbing trip in Alaska at Denali National Park, and I sort of cheated death after surviving this crazy storm. I had gone through a really bad divorce, and I was in no mental space to run, but I needed some kind of outlet.”

“A good friend of mine knew I wasn’t in the best place, so he said, ‘You’re going to start running again, and you’re going to pace me in the Leadville 100,’” Gooden recalled. “Life just kind of gave me what I needed.”

Pacing his friend in the 2018 Leadville 100 – for a 14-mile section from miles 62 to 74 – was enough to hook Gooden.

“It was pretty awe-inspiring,” Gooden said. “I muled for him. I carried all his water and food. It really allows you to experience team camaraderie. I knew right then and there – I decided, ‘I’m doing this next year.’”

Of course, it wasn’t exactly Gooden’s first rodeo when it came to running.

He was a standout cross-country and track and field runner in high school who was recently inducted into the Buckhannon-Upshur High School Athletic Hall of Fame as a member of the school’s undefeated state champion cross-country team in 1993. Gooden went on to run at Frostburg State University in Maryland. However, his college career ended when he was plagued by persistent lower back pain.

“I actually quit running in college because I had so much lower back pain,” he recalled. “I can go for a seven-hour run now and have no lower back pain.”

Combined with natural running talent, Gooden, who works as an emergency room nurse, has always had an appetite for adventure. In addition to Denali National Park in 2018, he’s also mountain-climbed in the Peruvian Andes and Island Peak in Nepal. He completed the Grand Traverse Ski Mountaineering Race from Aspen to Crested Butte, Colorado, as well as the Dirty 30 50K – about 31 miles – in June 2019, too.

(08/16/2019) ⚡AMP
by Katie Kuba
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Leadville Trail 100 Run

Leadville Trail 100 Run

The legendary “Race Across The Sky” 100-mile run is where it all started back in 1983. This is it. The race where legends are created and limits are tested. One hundred miles of extreme Colorado Rockies terrain — from elevations of 9,200 to 12,600 feet. You will give the mountain respect, and earn respect from all. ...

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Kilian Jornet of Spain and Switzerland's Maude Mathys smashed the respective course records at the Sierre-Zinal in Switzerland, the fifth race in the 2019 World Mountain Running Association on Sunday

Jornet clocked 2:25:35 over the 31km course to break the 2:29:12 record set by Jonathan Wyatt in 2003. Mathys was even more dominant, clocking 2:49:20 to clip more than five minutes from the previous mark of 2:54:26 set by Czech Anna Pichrtova in 2008. 

The iconic race, which starts in the Valais town of Sierre and climbs to the village of Zinal, has a total ascent of 2200m and 1100m of descent and features a course offering views of five of the area’s 4000-meter peaks, lending it the nickname, the "Five 4000s Race”.

Jornet broke away early, soon after leaving Sierre and had built a two minute advantage over 2016 winner Petro Mamu by the Ponchette checkpoint seven kilometres into the race. Between the Chandolin and Hotel Weisshorn checkpoints, Jornet eased the pace, allowing Mamu to reduce the gap to 1:27.

From Weisshorn, at 2337m the course's highest point, the race once again picked up steam. The key for Jornet was his powerful performance on the uphill sections, normally the weaker part of his race. While Mamu continued to chip away at the lead, Jornet held on, beating the Eritrean by 42 seconds to take his seventh victory at the event. Mamu clocked 2:26:17, also well inside the previous record.

Jim Walmsley of the US, who last May clocked a world best over 50 miles (80.46km), rounded out the podium in 2:31:52, a solid performance in his European trail and mountain running debut. Juan Carlos Carrera of Mexico and Robbie Simpson of Great Britain completed the top five, clocking 2:32:52 and 2:33:55, respectively.

Briton Andrew Douglas finished sixth to solidify his lead in the WMRA World Cup standings. With 450 points, the Briton has pieced together an unassailable lead with two races remaining in the series.

Mathys, who raced to the European title last year, dominated the women's contest, padding her lead with each passing kilometre before beating compatriot Judith Wyder by exactly five minutes. Wyder's 2:54:20 was also faster than the previous course record.

Italy's Silvia Rampazzo was third in 2:56:17 to finish off the podium. New Zealander Ruth Croft edged Anais Sabrie of France for fourth by just two seconds in 3:01:56. 

Irishwoman Sarah McCormack finished 12th to up her point tally in the World Cup standings to 305. Injury forced Kenyan Lucy Wambui, one of the pre-race favorites, out early on, solidifying McCormack's chances for her overall World Cup title bid.

The WMRA World Cup resumes on 14 September at the Drei Zinnen in Sexten, in the heart of Italy's Dolomites before its traditional conclusion at the Smarna Gora race just outside the Slovenian capital Ljubljana on 12 October.

(08/12/2019) ⚡AMP
by IAAF
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World Mountain Running World Cup

World Mountain Running World Cup

A person's need to run quickly over both short and long distances is as old as humankind. To be fast helped us to survive, to catch an animal for food, to escape from danger and natural catastrophes, to be successful in war or, as in the case of the first marathon, to take messages. And where did this hunter, warrior,...

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There are times when running indoor on a treadmill might be the best solution

Summertime might make living easier. But running? Not so much. With record-high temperatures and humidity reaching 90 percent, chasing miles on the treadmill makes for a much better, less insanely sweaty run than the open road. Of course, getting outside for sunshine and fresh air provides its mental and physical benefits, but sometimes it really is better to find your stride on a machine.

Here, some of the benefits of running on a treadmill vs. outside, and six scenarios that say, "hey, let's stay inside and cruise through some distance in the comfort of AC and the predictability of tread terrain."

1. When simply standing on a street corner makes you sweat.

Check the weather before you even leave the house, says David Siik, co-founder and creative director at Precision Run. He suggests only attempting short runs on those 80- and 90-degree days when the humidity hits 40 percent or higher. "Heat indexes of 95 degrees or higher is my recommended breaking point—just don't do it, it's not worth it," he says. "If you do head out and within 10 minutes you feel like you are working harder than usual, feel heavy, or start to feel a little cold and clammy, get back inside.”

Marni Wasserman, a coach at Mile High Run Club, recommends checking the dew point, which considers both heat and humidity. When the dew point hits 70 or 80 degrees, you probably want to turn to the tread. 

2. When you're making your comeback post-injury.

One of the major benefits of running on a treadmill is that it's a softer surface and therefore less force on your joints. While running on trails or a track offer more give than pavement, many manufacturers design treadmills to specifically absorb the shock of each step. 

Running on a treadmill also means you don't have to worry about moving laterally to dodge sticks, trees, cars, or people, says Siik. 

3. When you need more motivation to speed through intervals.

It's easy to slow down on the open road during running interval workouts, even when you're trying to get in some sprint drills and all-out efforts because you don't have someone (or something) forcing you to move faster. The treadmill, on the other hand, requires you to go hard to keep up with the belt. "The treadmill is painfully honest. It cannot lie to you," says Siik. "If you put in 10 mph, the treadmill will hold you accountable to that speed unless you change it or step off. That freedom from the ability to cheat is a wonderful accountability tool."

Another benefit of running on the treadmill is that you can make micro-adjustments to your run that gets you to push harder without making it crazy dramatic—say adding 0.1 percent incline or 0.1 mph. "This creates a type of engagement that makes the run so much more fun and dynamic," says Siik. 

4. When you don't have hills in your 'hood.

If you live in a mostly flat area, but you've signed up for a race with steep incline climbs, then you'll want to become BFFs with the treadmill. "If you have access to the course elevation profile, you can try to mimic it on the tread to make long runs more interesting. Or, if you take the inclines faster, you can get a feel for the climbs at race pace," says Wasserman.

She recommends doing rolling hills at 3 to 6 percent incline when you don't have the course to copy. "You can also play around with hill sprints to build leg strength, improve form, and boost power—they're really tough and will make you feel like you're flying once you drop the hill," she says. Not to mention, it's a lot easier than finding the perfect hill to do sprint repeats IRL.

5. When you want to protect your skin.

Crushing runs outside multiple days a week means the sun continuously beats down on you, especially if you forget sweat-proof sunscreen before you head out the door. So you might want to go inside occasionally just to keep your skin under cover, says Siik. 

”Although you should enjoy running outdoors, if you supplement the 'harsh' days (heavy exposed sun and high heat or cold, windy, slippery weather) you lift the burden and fatigue on not only your body but your skin," he says. "Imagine spending 40 percent less of your life being destroyed by the sun or chapped from the wind but keeping up the same level of fitness and cardiovascular health—win, win!"

(08/11/2019) ⚡AMP
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Aspen Olympic skier Noah Hoffman wins Backcountry Marathon

His professional skiing career behind him, Noah Hoffman has dialed back the training, only doing enough to take part in “adventures” in between going to classes at Brown University in Rhode Island.

Yet, the natural athleticism that led him to a pair of Olympic Games doesn’t disappear overnight, nor does the knowledge that comes with years of racing at the highest level.

“I had no idea what my fitness was going to be like,” Hoffman said. “Knowing how to race is a huge thing, and I have so much experience racing that absolutely that’s a huge advantage. I was a little nervous at the start, but once I got out there I was, ‘Oh, I’ve done this hundreds of times.’ I know what racing is like.”

Hoffman traded in the snow for the dirt on Saturday, returning to his home to take part in the ninth annual Aspen Backcountry Marathon for the first time. Looking every bit like a professional athlete, Hoffman won the race in 3 hours, 30 minutes, 2.18 seconds, beating Gunnison’s Joshua Eberly by about eight minutes and third-place finisher Chris Copenhaver of Fort Collins by 15 minutes.

Eberly won the Aspen Backcountry Marathon in 2018 and won the Audi Power of Four 50-kilometer trail race only a month ago in Snowmass, so Hoffman’s victory was certainly earned.

“I’ve always wanted to do this race, but it never quite fit into my training schedule when I was an athlete. So this was the summer to come back and do it, finally check it out,” Hoffman said. “I was a little nervous about the distance, for sure. I’ve never raced anywhere near this far. My longest races in skiing were two hours, plus or minus, and this is three and a half. So it’s a big jump.”

While it’s been some time, Hoffman isn’t exactly new to running. As a senior at Aspen High School, he won the Class 3A state cross country championship in 2006 before embarking on a successful cross-country skiing career that included competing in both the 2014 and 2018 Winter Olympics. Hoffman retired from skiing following the 2017-18 season and the Pyeongchang Games.

“I almost walked away that year before Pyeongchang and I’m so glad I went to one more Olympics and skied that last year,” Hoffman said. “But I really feel I’m at peace with the decision (to retire). I didn’t really miss it that much. I was excited to cheer on my teammates from afar.”

The women’s race unfolded this way. 

Kelsey Persyn’s first significant win as a trail runner came when she torched the field by more than 40 minutes in the 2018 Aspen Backcountry Marathon. Her margin of victory was a mere nine minutes on Saturday, but it’s still a repeat title for the 23-year-old Texas native.

“I felt a little pressure going into it,” Persyn said of being the defending champ. “This is like my third trail race ever and I love them, so I’m hoping to go down that path eventually and see how far I can go.”

Persyn won the women’s marathon in 4:17:52.86, holding off Aspen’s Julia Rowland (4:26) and Boulder’s Anna Widdowson (4:30) for the title.

A former track and cross country runner at Texas A&M, Persyn has spent the past couple of summers working as a park ranger at Rocky Mountain National Park. Her ties to the Aspen area go back a few years, as she also won the 2016 Aspen Valley Marathon road race.

Persyn said she was using the Aspen Backcountry Marathon as training for the upcoming Grand Traverse trail run, which goes from Crested Butte to Aspen.

“It felt really good. I didn’t have hope that I was going to be the winner until a mile ‘til,” she said. “I made sure my focus was just to focus on yourself and have fun with it. Results are going to come if you just have fun. But it was a different course this year. It was more in reverse, so it was kind of cool to see it from a different angle.”

(08/11/2019) ⚡AMP
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Aspen Backcountry Marathon & Half Marathon

Aspen Backcountry Marathon & Half Marathon

Boasting spectacular views of the Elk Mountains and the city of Aspen, Colorado below, the Aspen Backcountry Marathon is run almost exclusively on high country dirt trails. Challenging ascents, exciting descents and wide diversity in terrain will challenge even the most well trained athlete. By finishing in the heart of downtown at Rio Grande Park where participants will be greeted...

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Skyrace apologizes for men-only prizes at the Dolomyths Skyrace in Canazei Italy

There was some controversy at the Dolomyths Skyrace in Canazei, Italy last weekend. The Salomon Golden Trail Series event is a 22K race gaining 1,700 metres in elevation, and course records were broken in both the men and women’s races. Davide Magnini of Italy won in 2:00:28, while Judith Wyder of Switzerland won her first Skyrace in 2:18:51.

When the race organizers highlighted the elite men in the Vertical Kilometre presentation as well as a surprise bonus for breaking the two-hour barrier at the awards ceremony but did not offer a similar bonus for the women, trail running athletes shared their concerns.

Second-place finisher Ruth Croft of New Zealand expressed her disappointment at the unequal representation at the awards ceremony, describing it as “a reoccurring topic in our sport.” The Dolomyths Skyrace claims to treat men and women equally in their races, and apologized after the fact, explaining their decisions. That there was a presentation for the men’s Vertical Kilometre race and not the women’s was due to a limited number of registered runners and availability of athletes, they said.

The Dolomyths organizers also explained the two-hour barrier men’s prizing was a last-minute decision, and one they acknowledge and regret. In response to the controversy, race organizers have decided to have a time barrier for the women’s race in the future. In their apology, the organizers requested that those affected by the decisions investigate further before judging.

Athletes present at the Dolomyths Skyrace were not the only ones sharing concern about the discrepancy.  Trail runner Sandi Nypaver commented on the organizers’ apology, writing, “As a high-level race, they need to set the example and not make last-minute decisions that are poorly thought through.

They could have been very clear beforehand that women were not available for the presentation or delayed the presentation until more women arrived. Of course people will make assumptions when things are not publicly stated. With that said, I greatly applaud the race for admitting mistakes were made and making sure they don’t happen again.”

After initially sharing concerns, Western States 2019 winner Clare Gallagher commented her relief at the formal apology made by Dolomyths Skyrace, writing, “So glad to read this. A great example for other races that might also have made honest mistakes in not having equal prizes, representation, bonuses, or other areas where women haven’t been treated equally. We can have productive discussions and create solutions!”

(08/10/2019) ⚡AMP
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Alex Petrosky of Edmonton wins ultramarathon race after nearly 13 hours of running

While most of us spent our August long weekend relaxing, other Canadians gathered in the Rocky Mountains to push their bodies to the ultimate test.

The Canadian Death Race is a strenuous 125-kilometer course divided into five legs that starts and finishes on a 4,200-foot plateau, passes over multiple mountain summits and a major river crossing at Hell’s Gate Canyon at the junction of the Smoky and Sulphur rivers.

Alex Petrosky of Edmonton walked away as the race winner on Sunday, finishing with a time of 12 hours and 47 minutes.

“I was trying to be strategic. Picking my point when I’d separate from the field and not push too early. I’ve had an issue with that before. I take the approach that if you’re not running fast, you’re not trying.”

He laughed as he explained that this time he “relaxed for the first 50 kilometers” of this race.

Petrosky hit his stride despite battling the elements of a rain-soaked course.

“This weekend was very painful. You’ve got wet mud, clay sticking to your feet. Some pretty rough bush. You’ve got scrapes cause you’re falling all over the place,” Petrosky said. “It was wet and muddy, but from a temperature standpoint, it was nice and cool. When it’s 25 degrees or higher, it really hurts the body. You can’t push as hard as you’d like to. It adds another variable to the race. I didn’t have that issue on Saturday.”

He acknowledged the event isn’t everyone’s ideal long weekend.

“It doesn’t sound like a lot of fun. I totally understand that. I don’t expect people to always understand where the passion comes from. But, if you’re having a good day out there. It’s pretty awesome.”

He said his last mountain climb put him into a meditative state, where he found his rhythm — despite bad conditions.

“It was like a river flowing down past your feet. It was pouring rain at the time. It was gushing down. The trail was the drainage route for the mountain,” Petrosky said. “I’ve done 30 of these runs, sometimes 16, 17 or 20 hours long… the farther in you get, the closer you are to failure in your body.”

“I didn’t feel ready to be on a start line until two days before the Canadian Death Race, I’ve learned the body has a way and the mind has a way of getting you ready for anything.”

(08/10/2019) ⚡AMP
by Morgan Black
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Junko Kazukawa is the first person to finish the Leadville Race Series and the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning in a single season, she is now training for the Leadville Trail 100 MTB

Kazukawa was in the best shape of her life in 2005 when she learned she had cancer. She was 42, training for the Leadville Trail 100 MTB race, and found a lump on her left breast. First, there was denial, then anger: She was an athlete. A professional trainer. She was healthy. “Why me? I was shocked,” Kazukawa says. But she was also lucky. Doctors were able to remove the lump surgically, and Kazukawa continued training, even completing the mountain bike race that same year.

While she felt like the event was hard, she figured the Leadville Trail 100 ultramarathon would be more challenging for her. Immediately after the Leadville Trail 100 MTB, she made a commitment to compete. “I felt that life is short,” Kazukawa says. “I don’t know what will happen tomorrow, so if there’s something I want to do, I need to do it.” 

That sense of mortality served Kazukawa well as she rebounded from her first bout of cancer to become an accomplished ultrarunner, only to discover another lump four years later. This time, the cancer was more serious, requiring a mastectomy and chemotherapy. But she never gave up running. A month after finishing chemo, she completed the New York City Marathon. “I thought it was a good way to give closure to that terrible disease,” Kazukawa says. “And with the New York City Marathon, if I got tired, I could just take the subway to the finish.” 

Kazukawa continued to grow as a trail runner. In 2015, she became the first person to finish the entire Leadville Series and the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning in a single season. The Leadville Race Series involves running the Leadville Marathon in June, the Leadville 50 in July, and completing the Leadville 100 MTB, Leadville 10K, and Leadville 100 in August. To complete the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning, she had to finish Western States, the Vermont 100, and the Leadville 100 in just three months. Accomplishing either of these series is a career-worthy triumph.

Doing both in a single season is next level. Kazukawa doesn’t know of any other person who has completed the same feat, although Australian ultrarunner Dion Leonard is attempting to do so this year. 

“It sounds hard, but if you plan ahead and have a good base and pay attention to strength training, it’s not that bad,” Kazukawa says. “By the time I hit Western States, I had built up my fitness, so I just raced and recovered.”

Kazukawa, now 56, didn’t take up running until she moved from her childhood home in Japan to the United States for college. Even then, it was just short distances to stay in shape. She began teaching group fitness classes in 1989 as an undergraduate, continuing to do so while working toward a masters in exercise physiology. After that, she started running marathons, then trail marathons, then ultras. “I love the challenge of an ultra, because you’re right on that edge of what you can do and what you can’t do,” Kazukawa says. “Once you finish, you know you’re alive. It’s a confidence builder.” 

Kazukawa completed a 100-mile race in Wyoming in June and will run the Leadville 100 in August for the seventh time. In September, she is hoping to take her running to the next level and tackle a new distance, 200 miles, in the Italian Alps.

(08/06/2019) ⚡AMP
by Graham Averill
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Leadville Trail 100 Run

Leadville Trail 100 Run

The legendary “Race Across The Sky” 100-mile run is where it all started back in 1983. This is it. The race where legends are created and limits are tested. One hundred miles of extreme Colorado Rockies terrain — from elevations of 9,200 to 12,600 feet. You will give the mountain respect, and earn respect from all. ...

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Norwegian Runner Dies After Being Struck by Lightning During Italian Ultramarathon

Extreme weather this past weekend in Italy claimed the life of a 44-year-old woman from Norway who was participating in an ultramarathon after she was struck by lightning on Saturday.

According to a release on the Südtirol Ultra Skyrace's Facebook page, the incident occurred around 7:15 p.m. near a lake called Lago di San Pancrazio. The dangerous weather issues prompted race officials to suspend the race 30 minutes prior, but many runners — like the woman — were between aid stations with no way of receiving the news.

Nearby runners that witnessed the strike called emergency personnel, who transported her by helicopter to Bolzano Hospital where she succumbed to her injuries.

"We are shocked and deeply shaken by this tragic accident," said Josef Günther Mair, chair of the race's organizing committee. "We express our deepest condolences to the family of the athlete."

The victim's name has yet to be made public.

Südtirol Ultra Skyrace race dubs itself "the most extreme experience in the Alps" along a trail called "Hufeisentour" in the Sarntaler Alps. Runners travel 121 kilometers (more than 75 miles) over three days and climb almost five miles in altitude.

(08/04/2019) ⚡AMP
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Canadians Reid Coolsaet, Dylan Wykes & Rob Watson will return to the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Three very familiar faces will be among the outstanding Canadian entries for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon October 20th, all lured by the Athletics Canada National Championship which runs concurrently in this IAAF Gold Label race.

Moreover, this year’s event also serves as Canada’s Olympic trials with the ‘first past the post' earning an automatic spot on the team bound for Tokyo provided he or she has achieved the Olympic standard (2:11:30/2:29:30).

Two-time Olympian Reid Coolsaet will seek a third berth, Dylan Wykes a second and Rob Watson, a three-time World Championships performer, relishes the challenge of earning another podium finish. The ‘three amigos’ between them have won twenty-one national titles.

Coolsaet turned 40 on July 29th and acknowledges his best days are behind him - he is Canada’s third fastest marathoner of all time with a 2:10:28 personal record - but believes he has the experience to make the team for Tokyo. "Yeah, it is my goal, I am totally focused on making the Olympics," said Coolsaet, who has run under 2:11:30 six times in his career. "It’s definitely my main motivation for training as hard as I do in the marathon.

"If it wasn’t for the 2020 Olympics, knowing I am not really looking for a PB anymore, I think I would have moved to the trails last year. I am happy to train this hard knowing the reward would mean a lot to me."

With Cam Levins (2:09:25) also returning to the site of his dramatic Canadian record-breaking performance, Coolsaet realises that something would have to go seriously wrong for Levins to miss the automatic place. Still, he remains optimistic he has a chance.

"I know what it takes to run the level I need to run to potentially qualify for the Olympics," Coolsaet says believing a 2:12:30 might be good enough to earn a place through the IAAF ranking system.

"Although I don’t want to get hurt, I don’t want to sell myself short and think ‘what if?’ I am going to be smart about my training and listen to my body. "I am not going to run quite as much mileage as in the past. But I know I can’t let being 40 be an excuse to back off my training because I can't handle it or something like that. Although there will be some slight changes, they are going to be very slight."

Wykes who was Canada’s top finisher in the 2012 Olympic marathon (20th in 2:15:26) has a personal best of 2:10:47 making him the fourth fastest Canadian of all time. Many were surprised by his return. After failing to make the Rio Olympic team he effectively retired to focus on his family - he and his wife Francine have two young children - and his coaching business ‘Mile2Marathon’.

Coach Richard Lee had once declared that he doubted Wykes would ever want to put himself through the disruption which ultimately led to his place on the 2012 London Olympic team. He made three attempts to achieve the standard sacrificing much in the process. His 2:10:47 came at the 2016 Rotterdam Marathon. Reminded of this the now 36-year old laughs.

"It’s certainly taken a few years to wrap my head around things and realize I am probably not going to do it again if it’s like the buildup was to London," he admits. "I would be lying if I said Tokyo wasn’t in the back of my mind. But I think I am trying to see things less ‘big picture’ and trying to focus on staying healthy and getting to the finish line in Toronto.

"If Cam Levins is on his game he’s in a different stratosphere. But I guess guys like Tristan Woodfine, Reid, Trevor Hofbauer, these kind of guys, if I am going well, I will mix it up with them.That is kind of what I am most excited about."

Following the 2012 Olympics, Wykes’ motivation was at a peak. The London experience had left him excited with endless possibilities to set about achieving. But there were obstacles that cropped up along the way. "I was as focused or more focused after London as any time in my career and the years between London and Rio were going to be my best," he reveals. "But a lot of that was injuries and kind of biting off more than I could chew.

"Some of that had to with the buildup to London and having to run so many marathons. And I made the silly mistake of trying to chase down (Jerome Drayton’s Canadian record). After London that became my focus. And, when I didn’t make Rio, I was kind of done."

A year ago Wykes and his family moved east from Vancouver after Francine received a post-doctoral position at Carleton University. Together with Rob Watson he coaches runners of all abilities through their company ‘Mile2Marathon’. With over 200 clients and ten coaches it is a thriving business. Somewhere along the way he rediscovered his own love for disciplined training. At his peak Watson achieved a personal best of 2:13:29 at the 2013 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon.

(08/02/2019) ⚡AMP
by Paul Gains
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Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Half-Marathon & 5k Run / Walk is organized by Canada Running Series Inc., organizers of the Canada Running Series, "A selection of Canada's best runs!" Canada Running Series annually organizes eight events in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver that vary in distance from the 5k to the marathon. The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and Half-Marathon are...

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The weather was an additional challenge at the Swiss Alpine Marathon

Adverse weather conditions presented additional challenges for the participants in this year's Swiss alpine Irontrail.

Bernhard Eggenschwiler from Aargau won the supreme discipline, the T88, on Saturday at the Swissalpine in Davos, in defiance of weather conditions and defending champion Tofol Castanyer. The women's trio Luzia Bühler triumphed.

The T88 have it all: From the start in St. Moritz the 84.9-kilometer course ran on an adventurous route via St. Moritz Bad, Stazerwald, Pontresina, Muottas Muragl, Samedan, Val Bever, Fuorcla Crap Alv, Bergün, Darlux, Alp digl Chant, Keschhütte and the Sertigpass to Davos.

The total height difference was 3640 meters incline and 3877 meters descent. Thunderstorm rains and hailstorms made the Irontrail torture on Saturday.

(07/30/2019) ⚡AMP
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Swiss Alpine Irontrail

Swiss Alpine Irontrail

Picturesque landscapes, breathtaking panoramas amidst the Grisons mountains and varied, adventurous trails: the Swissalpine Irontrail impresses with its unique, high-alpine scenery. Various races and side events of different distances and different categories appeal to trail runners and mountain runners as well as pleasure runners. The ultimate challenge and supreme discipline of the Swissalpine Irontrail is the technically demanding T88. It...

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Weather forced the Ultra Mount Fuji 102-mile course to be shortened

It happened again! Weather forced the Ultra-Trail Mt. Fuji 165k (102-mile) course to be shortened. Looking back at recent years, UTMF missed an entire year, changed its course, had a year with an exceptionally short course, and changed what time of the year the race was held, but still, snow, ice, and low temperatures in the Shakushi Mountain area cut the race off this year.

Runners were held up at the last aid station reached before 3:00 p.m. that afternoon, though the top runners did finish the official distance prior to the cutoffs going into place.

Men Jing Liang (China) was there early, but as the late-race challenge–and the Tenshi Mountains–came on, pre-race favoriteXavier Thévenard (France) was simply too strong. Thévenard won in a convincing 19:36, and then Liang ran into trouble so much that he barely held off third-place Loren Newman (USA). Second- and third-place Liang and Newman finished in 20:39 and 20:40, only 36 seconds apart.

Generally when an American podiums at an Ultra-Trail World Tour race it’s a familiar name. I’ll admit though that Loren Newman’s is a new name.  Looking back before this breakthrough run, he was 17th at the 2015 Western States 100.

Deeper results included Tofol Castanyer (Spain), 12th in 23:18.

Among other Americans, Franz Van Der Groen, Coree Woltering, and Ryan Ghelfi were all stopped short of the finish. Van Der Groen reached 155k in 28:44, Woltering 140k in 28:07, and Ghelfi 127k in 17:32. With the early 17-hour time, though, perhaps Ghelfi stopped for reasons other than the weather cutoff?

The women’s race wasn’t that different from the men’s, what with a clear winner and then a much closer race between second and third. Fuzhao Xiang (China) won in 24:20, and was chased by Lou Clifton (Australia) and Kaori Asahara (Japan) in 25:50 and 25:55.

(07/27/2019) ⚡AMP
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Taking care of your feet is one of the most important things a runner can do

Here are some preventative measures you can take to prevent swelling in your feet as you rack up the miles.

Finding the correct form for your body while running is very important for keeping your run as low impact as possible. There is much debate about what type of strike on the ground is best for your foot and body when you run, but a lot of the conversation has resided on the agreement that it depends on your gait and body type what will work best for you.

If you are a beginner start out with an easy pace until your body becomes more used to the regular motion can help you to control the impact of your run on your body. Practicing different form techniques to see what feels best for your feet and body can help you learn what foot strike causes the least amount of discomfort for you during and after your run.

Wearing proper shoes is very important.  Make sure they fit your foot correctly. There are many types of running shoes out there that are suitable for varying needs. Going to a running shoe store and having a representative assess your gait and foot strike as you run can help to determine what the best shoe for you.

Finding footwear that is breathable and allows for your feet to remain cool as you run can help prevent foot swelling as well. 

Staying hydrated is without question one of the most important things you can do for all of your bodily functions. Our bodies are mostly made of water, and dehydration can occur easily when we’re spending our days sweating it out on a run. The average person needs anywhere from 2 to 2.5 liters of water daily, and if you’re an avid runner, chances are you need more.

Maintaining a balanced diet is essential to healthy living. As a runner, your food is your fuel, and keeping your energy up is important. If you are exhausted, so is your body, and so are your feet. Eating food that is low in sodium can help you to reduce swelling and bloating in your body overall. This includes your feet, which are the furthest point from your heart and need good circulation to stay happy and healthy.

Sodium rich foods are usually processed, and the salt is sneakily hidden amongst the ingredients in the nutrition facts section. Staying away from processed food will help keep your sodium intake low. Try snacking on nuts, fruits, and vegetables instead of grabbing a bag of chips and you’ll notice a difference in how your feet respond to your run.

Your feet have muscles groups like the rest of your body, and they must be properly strengthened to prevent injury and swelling. Using resistance bands or doing toe raises can strengthen weak feet, making them more resistant to the impact of your foot strike when running. Strengthening your feet will also help you improve your gait.

Rest is also important. Marathon running is something a lot of runners enjoy, some like to jog only, or participate in trail running through parks and mountainous areas. No matter where it is you like to run, making sure to take the time to rest your body can help prevent swelling and other complications from running.

Massaging your feet or foot soaks with Epsom salts are excellent ways to care for your feet. Taking the time to raise your legs after you run for 15 to 20 minutes can help improve circulation after a run, helping to prevent or reduce any swelling that might set in after a day of pounding the pavement.

(07/22/2019) ⚡AMP
by Colorado Runner
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How high-tempo training with elite Ethiopians helped Briton Tom Evans to place third at the Western States 100 this year

Tom Evans spent two months in Ethiopia training with elite marathon runners to prepare for this year’s Western States 100 mile ultra marathon. The training paid dividends as he finished third with the fastest ever time by a non-American runner of 14 hours, 59 minutes and 44 seconds.

“The slowest runner [in the Ethiopian running group], except for me, was a 2:08 marathoner,” the Briton said. “That made it very interesting. Their tempo runs were on dirt tracks with rolling hills, so were perfect for Western States.”

“They would run until they dropped and we were being followed by a car so they’d be picked up,” Evans said. “At first, because of the altitude, I was the first to drop out but I began to get used to the elevation.”

WSER100 is one of the most prestigious 100 mile races in the world. It takes place in California, starting at altitude before descending into deep, hot canyons. Jim Walmsley won this year’s race in a record 14:09:28.

The brutal tempo sessions in Ethiopia were fuelled by fierce rivalries, with runners motivated by the hope of being picked up by foreign agents and given the opportunity to race and earn money abroad.

“It’s almost becomes survival of the fittest,” Evans said.

The “sag wagon” that accompanied the runners was always a tempting respite from the sessions.

“You can drop out when ever you want,” he said. “So, it’s about how much you want it. It was really good mental strength training as they were always going fast and furious.”

Being in a new environment forced the former soldier to be more flexible in his attitude to training.

“You had no idea what was going to happen. I had kids throw rocks at me one day,” he said. “It was such a culture shock. I just had to deal with what was ahead of me day by day.”

Evans said he had learned from them the importance of strong contrasts between hard and easy sessions.

He felt not all of the training was relevant to his competition goals. The other athletes in the group were all preparing for marathons or half marathons, so their longest run was just two hours. Evans would sometimes head out for eight hours at a time.

“They thought I was absolutely mental,” he said. “They couldn’t get over how much volume I was doing. But they were fascinated. They really respected what I was doing.”

There were no coaches on hand to force runners on to the track or trail, but the total immersion experience meant they were not necessary.

“I became so attuned to my body. I was making decisions to drop out of sessions all based on feel,” he said.

Evans, who has won the CCC event at the Ultra Marathon du Mont Blanc (UTMB) week, could feel the effects of his training when he ran WSER100.

“I just felt so much more efficient,” he said. “So, at the end, I was still able to run hard.”

“For me, coming third in my first 100 miler was a best-case scenario,” Evans said. “I knew it was possible, I just didn’t know if it was probable.”

For now, Evans is going back to shorter races of about 50km to 100km, but he said the experience had “lit a fire” in him. 

“I definitely want to come back and see if I can improve my place, if not my time.”

(07/21/2019) ⚡AMP
by Mark Agnew
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Western States 100

Western States 100

The Western States ® 100-Mile Endurance Run is the world’s oldest and most prestigious 100-mile trail race. Starting in Squaw Valley, California near the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics and ending 100.2 miles later in Auburn, California, Western States, in the decades since its inception in 1974, has come to represent one of the ultimate endurance tests in the...

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An ultramarathoner won the Badwater 135 race through Death Valley, then proposed. (She said yes.)

Moments after he finished the 135-mile run from Death Valley to Mount Whitney, setting a record in the Badwater 135 race, Japanese ultra runner Yoshihiko Ishikawa dropped to one knee. The reason wasn’t fatigue or relief over the accomplishment. He was asking his girlfriend to marry him.

Ishikawa finished the race Tuesday in 21 hours 33 minutes 1 second, breaking Pete Kostelnick’s 21:56:32 mark, set in 2016.

The Badwater race, one of the most prestigious and grueling ultras, started Monday at Badwater Basin in Death Valley, the lowest elevation in North America, and ended at Whitney Portal, the trailhead to the summit of Mount Whitney, the highest point in the contiguous United States.

The race covers three mountain ranges, with 14,600 feet of cumulative vertical ascent and 6,100 of cumulative descent, according to its website. An ultra is anything longer than the traditional 26.2-mile marathon.

After Ishikawa’s memorable finish and proposal (she said yes), there were plenty of tears.

Last year, Ishikawa, a 31-year-old engineer, won the Spartathlon, tracing the 153-mile route that Pheidippides ran before the battle of Marathon, in 22:54:40.

Patrycja Bereznowska of Poland was the women’s Badwater winner (and second to Ishikawa overall) with a time of 24:13:24 that was more than 90 minutes faster than the record set by Alyson Venti three years ago. Bereznowska also won the Spartathlon, in 2017.

(07/20/2019) ⚡AMP
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Badwater 135

Badwater 135

Recognized globally as "the world’s toughest foot race," this legendary event pits up to 90 of the world’s toughest athletes runners, triathletes, adventure racers, and mountaineers against one another and the elements. Badwater 135 is the most demanding and extreme running race offered anywhere on the planet. Covering 135 miles (217km) non-stop from Death Valley to Mt. Whitney, CA, the...

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Cancellation of 2019 Hardrock 100 because the trail is not in good shape because of heavy snow during the winter doesn’t deter ultra community

There may not be a 2019 running of the Hardrock Hundred Endurance Run through the San Juan Mountains, but there will be plenty of trail running events that will provide ultra-running enthusiasts a chance to interact with some of the world’s best athletes.

A week of activities kicked off Sunday in Durango, as running stars Anna Frost, François D’haene, Dakota Jones and Hardrock 100 director Dale Garland will gather at the Durango Outdoor Exchange for a public meet and greet and run.

“I think everyone loves talking about Hardrock and running,” said Frost, a two-time Hardrock 100 champion originally from New Zealand who now also calls Durango home. “It’s a great opportunity for us to have these world-class athletes right here in Durango as well as having the race director of Hardrock here.”

D’haene was one the favorites to win this year’s Hardrock 100 but will have to wait until next year to run for his first chance to kiss the rock, as this year’s run was canceled after a winter of heavy snow that resulted in avalanche debris making many sections of the 100.5-mile loop from Silverton to Telluride, Ouray and Lake City and back to Silverton impassable. There was also big concern about high water with a late runoff from the melting snow.

France’s D’haene, a four-time Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc champion and UTMB course record holder, had planned to spend time running in the San Juan Mountains to prepare for this year’s Hardrock, and he still traveled to Southwest Colorado despite the race cancellation that was announced June 10.

“François D’haene, in my mind, is probably the best runner on the planet in terms of consistency and skill at ultra-running,” Frost said. “He has so much experience. He had a baby boy and was coming for Hardrock and decided to still come anyway. He’s pretty dedicated to his commitment to coming for Hardrock.”

Garland has yet to meet D’haene in person and is eager for him to join the Hardrock community this weekend.

“It does mean a lot when somebody of his stature and with his prestige in the ultra-running community says, you know what, it’s worth it for me to not blow this thing off and rearrange my schedule, I’m still going to enjoy the San Juan Mountains and still gonna be part of the Hardrock community,” Garland said.

Durango’s Jones also will be in attendance along with representatives from Salomon running. Frost said there will be several gear giveaways as well as a donation box to benefit the Silverton community and help mitigate the economic impact of there not being a race this year.

“I know Salomon is doing a special work day on Monday, so they are giving back and being part of the community, which I think is really cool,” Garland said.

(07/15/2019) ⚡AMP
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Hardrock 100

Hardrock 100

Due to historic snowfall, avalanches, avalanche debris, an inability to reach certain aid stations and uncertain conditions on more than 40% of the course, the 2019 Hardrock Hundred Endurance Run has been canceled. The start date for 2020 is July 17. 100-mile run with 33,050 feet of climb and 33,050 feet of descent for a total elevation change of...

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Bonani Zuke will spend her 40th birthday running the Cape Town Marathon

There must be less painful ways of acknowledging a 40th birthday than running the 62,926 steps it takes an average woman to complete a marathon.

But that’s how Bonani Zuke – one of Fedhealth’s “Dream Chasers” participating in the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon – has chosen to “celebrate” the milestone. “I could have thrown a party but you can throw a party anytime,” she says.

“A party might have made everyone happy but this is for me as an individual. There’s a sense of achievement once you cross the line, so for me it’s not a painful way to celebrate.”

Bonani’s birthday run at the Cape Town Marathon forms part of the Fedhealth Dream Chasers project. Dream Chasers is SA’s hottest new reality web series, featuring the trials and tribulations of three everyday South Africans pursuing their fitness dreams by running the 10km race, the 12km trail run or the 42.2km distance. The contestants receive expert coaching, nutritional advice and gear to bolster their efforts.

In addition, all Fedhealth members receive free entry to compete in the Cape Town Marathon.

The mother of two’s 40th falls on September 15, which is coincidentally the same day the marathon will be run.

Not exactly a novice – she first began running four years ago to lose weight after the birth of her daughter Zimkhitha – Bonani is hoping to drop her time of six hours and five minutes from her maiden marathon (the Soweto Marathon) by more than half an hour.

Like most people turning 40, she is in two minds about how she feels: “I’ve got mixed feelings about it. I’m happy that I’m still alive but I’ve also got pressure from the things I wanted to achieve that I haven’t yet, so I’m a bit anxious about how I’m going to achieve them.”

Well, 42.2km is about long enough to work most of that out.

(07/06/2019) ⚡AMP
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Cape Town Marathon

Cape Town Marathon

The Sanlam Cape Town Marathon is a City Marathon held in Cape Town, South Africa, which is sponsored by Sanlam, the City of Cape Town and Vital Health Foods. The marathon is held on a fast and flat course, starting and finishing in Green Point, near the Cape Town Stadium. Prior to existing in its current format, the Cape Town...

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The 44th Espelette Ridge Race attracts 4,000 runners to breathe the air of the peaks and take in the country festive atmosphere

In the Basque Country this Friday, July 5 and Saturday, July 6, the ridges overlooking Espelette will see some 4,000 runners, many of whom will have traveled hundreds of kilometers to come breathe both the air of the peaks and a country festive atmosphere.

The festivities of the 44th Race of the peaks open this Friday night with a race of 8 km, disputed at night, on the slopes of the Mondarrain. The peloton will climb to the summit after dark, lighting up a small headlamp (departure at 22:30).

With the unexpected return of Thierry Breuil, the former French champion trail and 26 km record holder. Also to be followed by Éric Claverie, the champion of endurance events (24 hours and 100 km) without forgetting the Bayonne champion Guillaume Levoy, winner of the 2017 edition. But the organizers of the Napurrak club no longer run after the champions of the chrono . For them, the last one has as much merit as the first. It's the spirit of the Peaks.

(07/06/2019) ⚡AMP
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What do you do if your car won’t start and you have a five hour journey to the start line of the Knysna Forest Marathon?

When the car, marathon runner Siviwe Nkombi borrowed from his friend wouldn’t start just hours ahead of a long distance race he wanted to participate in, he knew that he had to come up with a quick plan to get to the site. 

Siviwe, who’s also known as The Lion King, is no stranger to running hard and tedious distances. So when he signed up for the Knysna Forest Marathon he expected nothing short of a win.

“I was about to depart from Mfuleni, which is about five hours away from Knysna, when the car I borrowed from my friend wouldn’t start,” the 29-year-old says.  

After several failed attempts to jumpstart the car battery and desperate to arrive on time to register for the marathon, Siviwe knew that he had to hit the road running.

“I went on to Facebook and asked if anyone’s headed in the direction of Knysna and if there was, they’d find me hitchhiking on the N2,” he said.

The marathon enthusiast who was born in Idutywa in the Eastern Cape spent more than three hours trying to hitchhike a ride to Knysna. Until a man who was headed to George gave him a lift.

“My Facebook post went viral and then one of the marathon sponsors agreed to send someone to pick me up in George so I’d make it in time before the marathon registrations close,” Siviwe says.

But little did he know that his bumpy road was far from over. He had 4% battery life left and nowhere to sleep for the evening and this spurred him on to become even more determined to win the race.

“Eventually I arrived at the venue, registered for the race and a Good Samaritan payed for my overnight accommodation.”

The marathon, which took place on 29 June, was filled with national runners who wanted to showcase their cross-country skills.

“When I arrived at the stadium I was extremely overwhelmed. Not because of all the competition that was there, but because of everything I had to endure to get there. It was one of the worst experiences I’ve ever had,” Siviwe says.

He admits that there was a point where he wanted to give up during his tremulous journey but with so many people garnering for him online, he simply couldn’t.

“I ran that marathon with all I had. I didn’t care about who else was there. I just thought to myself ‘The Lion King is here. I’ll see them at the finish line.’”

Siviwe, who one day hopes to participate in the European Trail Runs, won the 42km marathon with an outstanding time of 2 hours 33 minutes.

“I want to thank everyone who backed me all the way and continues to support me.”

He added that all of his prize money will go towards his dream of one day participating in the European races.

(07/06/2019) ⚡AMP
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Knysna Forest Marathon

Knysna Forest Marathon

The Momentum Knysna Forest Marathon, known as one of South Africa’s most sought-after running events, offers exceptional highlights found in no other race anywhere in the world – particularly the scenery as most of the run takes place deep in the forest. Whether you compete in the half or the full marathon, runners can expect breath-taking views over the Knysna...

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The Run The World Global 52-week Challenge has finished. The team logged 122,123 miles or 335.5 daily. Michael Wardian was first American and Kenyan's Eliud Esinyen ran the most miles averaging 15.7 miles daily logging 5,738

Run The World Global Challenge is a world-wide celebration of running.  The program was started by Bob Anderson one year ago, July 4, 2018.  Since that time 281 runners around the world ran or walked and then logged 122,123 miles.  This equals 335.5 miles daily or 2,348 miles weekly for 52 weeks which equals 4.9 times around the world. 

"One of the key reasons we started this program," says creator Bob Anderson, My Best Runs and Runner's World magazine founder, "was to motivate people, bring together runners from all over and to run miles all over the world." 

That all happen. Runners from 20 countries participated, miles were run in 75 countries and it certainly motivated many runners to run more miles than they were running before. 

53-year-old James Kalani had not run much over the last few years and then he entered the RTW Challenge.  After getting in good shape over several months, he started pushing it for Challenge #5 which started March 31. Over the last 94 days he ran and logged 1536 miles.  That's 114 miles weekly.  It was not just covering miles, many were quality. On June 16 he ran 30.6 miles at an average pace of 6:41 per mile.

Before the RTW Challenge creator Bob Anderson was running on average 20 miles weekly.  "I got so motivated by this challenge," says Bob.  "I looked forward to running not just one time daily but often I would run two or three times.  I took a photo everyday and posted it in our Runner's Feed.  I also read every post and commented on each for the whole year.  I have been running since 1962 and have run nearly 1,000 races.  I am an addicted runner but I needed something new and this was it."

In the end Bob averaged 5 miles daily or 35 miles weekly for a total of 1830 miles for the year.  With the added miles he also improved his racing performance.  He ran 7:54 pace for 10k and placed third 70 plus at the London 10,000 in May.  A race with nearly 20,000 runners.

The RTW Challenge team did some amazing things during the year.  69-year-old Brent Weigner lives in Cheyenne Wyoming but many of his 2036 miles were run outside of the United States.  In fact Brent ran miles in 30 different countries. 

The most miles were run and logged in the United States.  The top five countries were: United States (64,899 miles), Kenya (24,066 miles), Palau (8,242 miles), India (7,423 miles) and South Africa (6,765).  The amazing story here is that the little country of Palau has less that 22,000 inhabitants and placed third.  Their team leader Aaron Salvador logged 1,584 miles himself and encouraged his team to run and log. 

The team leader for South Africa, Liz Dumon, is the key reason why her country placed fourth.  She herself ran and logged 1000 miles.  Liz encouraged people to sign up.  In fact our youngest members were twins she recruited along with mom and grandma. The 7-year-old twins Jonathan (logged 118 miles) and his sister Michelle (logged 100 miles) had loads of fun and posted regularly in the Runners Feed.  Their dogs joined in on the fun too. (Third photo of twins with Grandma)

Their 56-year-old grandma (Johanna Fourie) logged 672 miles and placed 10th for females.  Right behind her was mom (Erika Fourie) with 625 miles. 

Who said age is just a number? The top three overall females were 65 plus.  Placing first was 68-year-old Kat Powell (USA).  She logged 1271 miles.  Not far back was 69-year-old Linda Robinson (USA) with 1145 miles followed by 65-year-old Carmella DiPippa (PW) with 1040 miles.  Sixth female was 71-year-old Karen Galati (USA) who logged 835 miles.

On the men's side there were so many stars.  35-year-old Kenyan Eliud Esinyen averaged 15.7 miles daily or 110 miles weekly (second photo).  Many times he ran three times daily.  On April 21 he ran a marathon on a tough course at high altitude clocking 2:22:46 which is 5:27/mile pace.  On January 27 he ran a 10k clocking 31:05.  Eliud ran and logged the most with 5,738 miles. 

Kenya's team leader Willie Korir (27) placed second overall with 5195 miles.  He also posted images regularly in the Runners Feed along with comments.  He also wrote several stories for My Best Runs Running News Daily column including finding inside information about the king of the marathon, Eluid Kipchoge.

The first American and third overall was 45-year-old Michael Wardian with 3618 miles (frist photo). This ultra star pulled off many amazing feats during the year.  Most recently on June 29 he ran 89.9 miles around Washington DC.  On May 4th he ran 62.14 miles at 7:14/mile average pace in Sacramento.  He ran the Big Sur Marathon in 2:35:18 making the podium.  He had run the Boston Marathon earlier a little faster clocking 2:33:23.

In March he travelled to Israel and posted the fastest known time on the 631-mile Natoinal Israel Trail.  He covered this distance in 10 days, 16 hours and 36 minutes.  Earlier he not only ran seven marathons on seven continents in seven days (winning them all) he tacked on three more marathons when he got home.  That's ten marathons in ten days.  He is the complete runner with a wide range.  On Feb 10th he ran a 5k in 17:01. 

"Michael is one amazing versatile runner and we were happy when he decided to join our team," says Bob Anderson.

Second American and fifth overall was 75-year-old Frank Bozanich who logged 3523 miles. Frank has run many ultra races over the years and have won many.  Lots of these miles were not real fast compared to what he has done before.  But on July 30th last year he ran 20 miles in Reno in two hours and 43 minutes.  That is an 8:09/mile pace. 

Finishing in seventh place was 72-year-old Paul Shimon who logged 2835.  Like so many of our team, Paul had to deal with a lot of bad weather in Kansas during the winter.  But he layered up and got in the miles.

Michael T Anderson (61)  placed eighth overall logging 2,798 with lots of fast times along the way.   He has run over 130,000 miles in his lifetime so far.  On June 8th he ran 19:13 for 5k in Atlanta where he lives.  On April 28 he clocked 39:25 for 10k.

"The fastest runner on our team was Joel Maina Mwangi," says Bob Anderson.  This 34-year-old Kenyan placed 13th overall with 1,953 miles logged.  On March 10 he ran a 30:14 10k in Torino Italy.   He ran six half marathons under 1:05.  His fastest was run in Aosta, Italy where he clocked 1:02:50 on September 30. 

"There are as many amazing stories," says Bob Anderson. "I am glad our event is helping motivate runners all over the world.  I am looking forward for year two." 

What's next?  Run The World Global Challenge #6 will be a 10-week program.  There is no entry fee.  You just need to have a free My Best Runs (the sponsor of this program) account and sign up for Run The World. 

(07/03/2019) ⚡AMP
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Run The World Global Challenge

Run The World Global Challenge

Run The World Global Challenge is a world wide celebration of running. Here is he link for the official results of Run The World 52-Week Challenge. Congrats to all our participants. RTW Challenge #6 is a 10 week program starting July 3rd and ending September 11, 2019. Participants run or walk and then log in those miles (k’s) on their...

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British athlete Kristian Morgan is aiming to set a new world record for running the iconic 2,189-mile Appalachian Trail

Starting on July 1st, the inov-8 ambassador hopes to break the highly sought-after speed record of 41 days, 7 hours and 39 minutes, set last year by Belgian dentist Karel Sabbe, and held previously by ultramarathon running legends like Scott Jurek and Karl Meltzer. If successful it will be an official Guinness World Record.

To do this, the 42-year-old aims to run and fast-hike about 55 miles a day, sleep between 5 and 7 hours a night and consume approximately 8,000 calories a day.

His “secret weapon” will be revolutionary inov-8 graphene shoes, giving him the world’s toughest grip for the world’s toughest trail running challenge.

The Appalachian Trail (AT) is hugely popular with thru-hikers, most of whom take 5 to 7 months to complete the route, which climbs the equivalent of 16 times Mount Everest. Kristian hopes to do it all in less than 6 weeks.

To put it into perspective, Kristian will attempt to run back-to-back marathons, plus a little more, every day, covering a distance equal to two-and-a-half completions of Land’s End to John o’ Groats (the length of Britain).

Running northbound from Georgia to Maine on the Eastern side of the United States, Kristian will pass through 14 states and be supported throughout by his mum and cousin, who will drive ahead and set up overnight camps at scheduled stops.

“I decided long ago that I wanted to live a life rich in experiences over possessions, and I can think of no better experience than running the AT. It’s going to be the adventure of a lifetime,” said Kristian, who has run 120+ marathons and ultramarathon events.

“I supported Karel when he set the record last year, spending 15 days on the trail with him. I also spent another 5 days on the trail earlier this year. I feel all this experience, coupled with the help I’ve had in planning from AT veterans, stands me in good stead to have a go at the world record.”

Living out of a camper van in the heart of London for the last eight years and working as a self-employed ultramarathon coach, Kristian has done most of his training in and around England’s capital city, often running 100+ repetitions of a small hill near Crystal Palace.

He added: “Life on the AT will be very different to life in London, but I can’t wait to get going. I’ll start running at 4am each day in the dark and push on until reaching the overnight camp. I’m really looking forward to the peace and tranquillity, but less so the prospect of encountering bears and snakes. Meeting a bear in the dark is my biggest fear!”

The AT speed record is one of the most high-profile in the sport of ultramarathon running. Kristian has been able to gain advice from legends like Jurek and Meltzer, plus invaluable support from Warren Doyle – a man who has thru-hiked the AT 18 times.

(07/02/2019) ⚡AMP
by Richard Bolt
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Three-time Berlin Marathon champion Kenya’s Gladys Cherono has predicted that the Women-only World Record could go down at the next London Marathon

Cherono, who made her London debut last year to finish fourth, disclosed on Wednesday that Mary Keitany’s Women-Only World Record of 2 hours, 17 minutes and 01 minute set at the same course in 2017 could be broken owing to the favorable weather and strong field in the English capital.

“It has been forecast that the weather in London will be warmer on Sunday and that, coupled with a strong field featuring the top five marathon entrants each of whom has run sub-2 hours and 20 minutes in the last one year with the exception of one, Keitany’s Women-only World Record in 2017 could be lowered,” said the 35-year-old Cherono, whose three World Marathon Major victories came from Berlin.

Cherono completed her hat-trick of victories in Berlin last year in 2:18:11, the sixth fastest time in the history of the marathon.

However, it’s Keitany who boasts the fastest time in the rich field for London Marathon from her trail-blazing victory in 2017, followed by Cherono’s 2:18:11 from last year’s Berlin Marathon. Defending champion Vivian Cheruiyot also weighs in with her triumphant time of 2:18:31 from last year’s race.

Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei has the fourth fastest time in the field of 2:18:35 from her victory at Chicago Marathon last year and is followed by Ethiopian Birhane Dibaba, who has a personal best of 2:19:51 from Tokyo Marathon last year.

(06/29/2019) ⚡AMP
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BMW Berlin Marathon

BMW Berlin Marathon

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

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Wilf Leblanc 57-year-old smashes multi-Grouse Grind record on summer solstice

On June 21, Wilfrid Leblanc, 57, broke the Grouse Grind record, finishing 19 ascents in approximately 18 hours, and gaining 15,295 metres over 48K (almost double Mount Everest). The Grouse Grind trail ascends Grouse Mountain in North Vancouver. Every summer solstice, Grouse Mountain hosts the Multi-Grind Challenge, raising money for BC Children’s Hospital. Leblanc wasn’t the only vertical junkie breaking records. Brooke Spence, 37, and James Stewart, 40, each completed 18 Grinds. Spence, beat her previous record of 17 ascents, set in 2018.

The multi-grind challenge is unique as it relies on the Grouse Mountain tram system. For solstice, the tram is scheduled for every 10 minutes. Participants may begin as early as 4:00 a.m., and can begin their final Grind at 9:59:59 p.m. Leblanc met the legendary Spence a few weeks prior to the event, and determined that “19 was possible by doing 45-minute Grinds all day. 19 is not crazy.” Leblanc’s plan of attack was to “stay with Brooke. I know she’s strong. I’m just gonna stay with her, until I can’t.”

On June 21, Wilfrid Leblanc, 57, broke the Grouse Grind record, finishing 19 ascents in approximately 18 hours, and gaining 15,295 metres over 48K (almost double Mount Everest). The Grouse Grind trail ascends Grouse Mountain in North Vancouver. Every summer solstice, Grouse Mountain hosts the Multi-Grind Challenge, raising money for BC Children’s Hospital. Leblanc wasn’t the only vertical junkie breaking records. Brooke Spence, 37, and James Stewart, 40, each completed 18 Grinds. Spence, beat her previous record of 17 ascents, set in 2018.

The multi-grind challenge is unique as it relies on the Grouse Mountain tram system. For solstice, the tram is scheduled for every 10 minutes. Participants may begin as early as 4:00 a.m., and can begin their final Grind at 9:59:59 p.m. Leblanc met the legendary Spence a few weeks prior to the event, and determined that “19 was possible by doing 45-minute Grinds all day. 19 is not crazy.” Leblanc’s plan of attack was to “stay with Brooke. I know she’s strong. I’m just gonna stay with her, until I can’t.”

“More people did 15 [Grinds] this year alone than ever before,” says 2017 record-holder Ian Roberton. Robertson was planning on breaking his record of 17 ascents, until his stomach took a turn mid-day. Robertson, Leblanc, Spence, and Stewart were together for the first lap. But Stewart missed the first tram down at 4:45 a.m. due to a broken timing chip, which left him hiking solo until number 18. Leblanc and Spence hiked for 15 laps together, and had fun with friends joining the party for one to five Grinds.

The vertical master Spence says that “this year was a lot different than last year, because last year, I hiked alone. This year, there were four or five of us for a lot of it. It was tons of fun with pacers going in and out. You’re seeing all the other multi-grinders do it and everyone is so encouraging.” Leblanc said it was a highlight having his crew along with Spence’s hiking together.

(06/28/2019) ⚡AMP
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Cecilia Flori often smiles through pain, but now she’s hoping an injury doesn’t keep her from competing at the 2019 Western States 100-mile race

The gap between elites and amateurs can feel wide indeed, but one area of common ground is an injury that threatens the start line of an important race. That’s the relatable place elite ultrarunner Cecilia Flori finds herself as she struggles with a foot injury a few weeks out from the Western States Endurance Run, the 100-mile race on June 29, from Squaw Valley to Auburn, California.

Expected to be a favorite in this year’s event, Flori arrived in California more than a month before the race, hoping to train on the course. The 38-year-old Italian physicist, who currently calls New Zealand home, earned bib F5 and says she was feeling as fit as ever when her foot began to hurt.

“I’ve been working on my speed by running marathons this year,” she said. “I think the Western course suits my strengths and I was more than ready for it.”

Relatively new to the ultra scene—and running in general—Flori made a big entrance to the sport, nabbing a podium spot at the North Face Endurance 50-miler in Canada in 2015.

“I’ve always loved the outdoors and was a climber before a triathlete friend convinced me to run a half marathon with him,” she said. “I really enjoyed it and I was hooked.”

Flori says the flow of running is what drew her in. “The repetitive motion makes me feel alive,” she said. “It’s a primal feeling—I’m at one with nature when I’m on trails.”

Relocating for her research to scenic New Zealand in 2016, Flori migrated entirely from climbing to running, joining a running club for training. She took on some shorter distance trail races and then won the Taupo 100K. “I started thinking that maybe I was good at endurance,” she says. “In 2017, I entered the Tarawera 100 and took third behind [2008 U.S. Olympic marathoner] Magda Boulet and [2017 Comrades champion] Camille Herron. I was shocked but I realized I could compete on an international level.”

Herron has since become Flori’s coach, and it was that Tarawera race that made Herron take note.

“I watched her run neck-and-neck with Magda Boulet,” Herron said. “What I remember most as I looped around and saw her was the big smile on her face.”

Since then there have been few hiccups in Flori’s ascent to the upper echelons of ultras. She pulled off fifth at last year’s Western States in 19:44 and followed it up with a 10th place finish at the 101K CCC in the French Alps last September, which she admits, tested her. “It was a learning experience,” she said. “I was sick and had to stop at aid stations quite a bit. But I still managed 10th and I’m proud of myself.”

Herron says Flori has a bright future ahead of her. “I saw that same smile on Cecilia’s face at 62 miles into Western last year. For someone to look that good in fifth place tells me she has lots more to give.

(06/24/2019) ⚡AMP
by Amanda Loudin
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Western States 100

Western States 100

The Western States ® 100-Mile Endurance Run is the world’s oldest and most prestigious 100-mile trail race. Starting in Squaw Valley, California near the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics and ending 100.2 miles later in Auburn, California, Western States, in the decades since its inception in 1974, has come to represent one of the ultimate endurance tests in the...

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Kara Goucher says the Leadville Trail Marathon was the hardest thing she'd ever done

Former elite US marathoner Kara Goucher was the fifth female across the finish line and first in her 40-49 age group at Leadville Trail Marathon in the Colorado Rockies. “Without a doubt, the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life,” she tweeted–quite a statement from a two-time Olympian, world championship silver medallist, and two-time Boston Marathon third-place finisher.

Goucher has blogged about the experience of transitioning from the roads to the trails on her sponsor Oiselle’s blog, where she also dispenses advice to those considering (or executing) a similar transition.

It seems road running and trail running are, well, quite different. For one thing, terrain and weather conditions play havoc with road runners’ expectations regarding time and pace, which are mostly beyond anyone’s control. (Goucher’s time was 3:54:07.)

"I pushed beyond any limit I ever have, thanks for making me find out what I’m made of when the going gets rough!” Goucher said in another tweet. Goucher told Runners World that she was vomiting repeatedly from altitude sickness throughout the race.

Tara Richardson of Glenwood Springs, Colo., Jana Willsey of Denver and Corinne Shalvoy of Castle Rock went 1, 2 and 3 for the top three females while Joshua Lund of Boulder, Pat Cade of Leadville and Chad Trammell of Anchorage stood on the men’s podium (which also happened to be the M30-39 podium).

The course runs through old mining roads and trails, reaching a maximum elevation of 13,185 feet (4,019m). This was the race’s 19th year.

(06/24/2019) ⚡AMP
by Anne Francis
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Leadville Trail Marathon

Leadville Trail Marathon

Run through the historic mining district’s challenging old mining roads and trails, and hit a high of 13,185 feet at Mosquito Pass during the Blueprint for Athletes Leadville Trail Marathon or Heavy Half Marathon. The views will leave you breathless, if you’re not already. This exciting race is hosted in the Historic Mining District located on the east side of...

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New Racing Rules Remove Some Barriers for Transgender Runners

As president of the board of the nonprofit that oversees one of the most prestigious ultradistance races in the country, John Medinger has had to deal with many concerns: sponsors, weather, permits, volunteers.

But it wasn’t until this year that he and his colleagues at the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run were compelled to address an issue few would have envisioned when it was first held in 1974: transgender competitors.

“It’s not something we would have been thinking about back then, that’s for sure,” said Mr. Medinger, 68, who has run Western States five times and has been involved in race management since 1991. “But it’s the nature of society now.”

And it’s something that the world of competitive athletics, including the Olympics, USA Track & Field and the National Collegiate Athletic Association, has been grappling with: how transgender women, in particular, should be entered and scored in competition and whether they have an unfair biological advantage over cisgender women, whose identity reflects the sex they were assigned at birth.

Although the science is mixed on the biology, some people contend that transgender women have an advantage because of size and the presence of testosterone, even though hormone levels change during transition.

But others, most notably the researcher and transgender runner Dr. Joanna Harper, are skeptical that such an edge exists, particularly in endurance sports in which (as opposed to say, sprinting or shot-putting) transgender women appear to have similar cardiovascular measures as cisgender women and thus little or no advantage.

While Western States starts near the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics, there is no prize money, scholarships or endorsement deals are at stake. 

There are no gold medals, but there is some precious metal involved: a handmade silver belt buckle for those who manage to complete the distance in less than 24 hours.

On June 29 and 30, 369 runners (chosen through a lottery entered by 5,862 runners) will take on the Western States challenge, as they attempt to navigate a mind-and-body-boggling 100 miles of trails and altitude changes from Squaw Valley to Auburn, Calif. The swiftest will be running to finish among the top 10 men or women. Recognition is also given to the top three males and females in five age groups from 30 to over 70.

The question of transgender fairness arose for Western States in December, when Grace Fisher — a transgender runner who is an outstanding ultradistance competitor — was selected through the race’s traditional lottery system.

The event’s management team decided it was time to come up with a policy. “We felt that this was not something we should ignore,” said Diana Fitzpatrick, a board member. “If it turned out that she finished in the top 10, it would be better for her and everyone that we had a policy in place.”

Back in high school in Utah, Ms. Fisher, now 38, was a male-identified track runner. She recalls that when some teammates ran a local marathon their senior year, “I said, ‘I’ll never do that, it’s crazy.’” Eventually, Ms. Fisher began running distances far longer than the marathon. She has completed about 40 ultramarathons, including eight 100-mile races.

She continued running during the years when, she said, “I was figuring things out.” After hormone treatments, she ran her first ultramarathon as a woman in 2015. She said she slowed down since her transition as a result of muscle mass loss, which can be attributed to hormonal treatments.

But Ms. Fisher, who lives in Hancock, Md., ran a personal best time in a 100-miler in Virginia last September of 18 hours 41 minutes. She was the first female finisher and fifth overall in that race.

Ms. Fitzpatrick, 61, a lawyer who is also a runner (she, too, has competed in Western States five times), worked with a committee of four other board members to develop the policy. They looked at existing guidelines from other organizations and races, and spoke to leading figures in transgender sports.

During the process, they were also cognizant that the runner who had sparked their action did not ask for the guidelines.

The guidelines they came up with, and which were announced in March, are being viewed as a model for other participatory running events.

Ms. Fitzpatrick acknowledged that “we really tried to have a `live and let live’ view on this.”

Hence Western State’s guidelines state that “a runner’s self-declared gender at registration will be accepted at face value.” No one need produce a driver’s license or other identification as has been the case for some races.

If, however, a finisher in the top 10 or among the top three in their age group is challenged, race management may ask the runner for documentation that they have undergone medically supervised hormone treatment for gender transition for at least a year before the race.

Even in the event that a transgender runner wins an award or is challenged and the challenge is upheld by race management, the guidelines state that “the runner will be allowed to keep their finisher’s buckle.”

That allowance, Ms. Fitzpatrick says, is to underscore that the new guidelines are “not about punishment.” By contrast, competitors who violate Western States doping policy are stripped of their silver buckle — as well as whatever other award they won.

“Underneath this all are real people with real feelings who have usually had a long, hard journey to get where they are,” Ms. Fitzpatrick said. “The last thing they need are additional challenges and hurdles.”

(06/22/2019) ⚡AMP
by New York Times
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Western States 100

Western States 100

The Western States ® 100-Mile Endurance Run is the world’s oldest and most prestigious 100-mile trail race. Starting in Squaw Valley, California near the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics and ending 100.2 miles later in Auburn, California, Western States, in the decades since its inception in 1974, has come to represent one of the ultimate endurance tests in the...

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Henri Lehkonen is more prepared than ever for the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run

The Hong Kong-based Australian Henri Lehmonrn will run the Western States 100 with a power monitor attached to his shoe and will stick religiously to a predetermined wattage.

“It’s been a revelation. If I lost the thing, I’d buy another tomorrow,” he said. “It’s a miracle way to control yourself in racing.”

Lehkonen believes it is better than other similar metrics, like heart rate, because it removes variables like excitement or altitude.

“I’ve done enough races now when I’ve not followed the watch and I’ve blown up, and when I’ve followed the watch and I’m tearing past people at the end,” he said. “I follow it for the first third – that’s where the damage is done if you over exert yourself. Then you get the adrenaline from passing people.”

And it is working. In March, he ran the 100km Ultra Trail Australia (UTA). He was 69th after 1km, but finished 11th in a highly competitive field.

Power meters are common in sports like cycling, but are yet to be taken up widespread in trail running. Lehkonen was introduced to the meter by his coach Andy Dubois, who crunches the data to give him an accurate power curve for his races.

Aside from the gadgets, Lehkonen is leaving no stone unturned. It is notoriously hard to win a place at WSER100. Hopefuls enter a lottery, and improve their chances by entering the lottery multiple years in a row. This was Lehkonen’s third year submitting an application, which is relatively quick.

“It’s Western States. It’s that big and it’s hard to get into, so I’m viewing it as all in,” he said.

He flew to California for a weekend to look at the course. The race directors organised a three-day event where runners could do the last 112km of the course, with some of the checkpoints set up.

(06/21/2019) ⚡AMP
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Western States 100

Western States 100

The Western States ® 100-Mile Endurance Run is the world’s oldest and most prestigious 100-mile trail race. Starting in Squaw Valley, California near the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics and ending 100.2 miles later in Auburn, California, Western States, in the decades since its inception in 1974, has come to represent one of the ultimate endurance tests in the...

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A bear jumped out between runners, during Leadville trail marathon

Runners who were taking part in the Leadville Trail Marathon in Colorado on Saturday have shared their shock, after a black bear jumped out between runners and ran across the trial.

Giving runners extra motivation to pick up the pace, or stop and get their camera phones out, the bear ran out from the woods, across the trail busy with runners, and back into the woods on the other side.

Black bears are one of the fastest species of bears, and can easily outrun a human when sprinting. In fact, the evidence shows that bears can run at speeds of 35 miles per hour quite comfortably when they want to.

Runner Stephen Peterson wrote on Facebook, “When you run Leadville, you just might run into a bear! My good friend Quentin Genke and I were a couple of hours into our race when this huge black bear made his appearance right in front of us, imagine our shock!”

(06/18/2019) ⚡AMP
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The two-time Olympian and world championship silver-medallist Kara Goucher wins age group at Leadville Trail Marathon

Former elite US marathoner Kara Goucher was the fifth female across the finish line and first in her 40-49 age group at yesterday’s Leadville Trail Marathon in the Colorado Rockies. “Without a doubt, the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life,” she tweeted–quite a statement from a two-time Olympian, world championship silver medallist, and two-time Boston Marathon third-place finisher.}

Goucher has blogged about the experience of transitioning from the roads to the trails on her sponsor Oiselle’s blog, where she also dispenses advice to those considering (or executing) a similar transition. It seems road running and trail running are, well, quite different. For one thing, terrain and weather conditions play havoc with road runners’ expectations regarding time and pace, which are mostly beyond anyone’s control. (Goucher’s time yesterday was 3:54:07.)

Tara Richardson of Glenwood Springs, Colo., Jana Willsey of Denver and Corinne Shalvoy of Castle Rock went 1, 2 and 3 for the top three females while Joshua Lund of Boulder, Pat Cade of Leadville and Chad Trammell of Anchorage stood on the men’s podium 

(06/17/2019) ⚡AMP
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Jon Ward is embarking on an expedition to become the first person to run the entire North East 250 tourist trail in Scotland

Corporal Jon Ward, who is posted at RAF Lossiemouth, expects to cover the arduous route in just six days. 

The 33-year-old ultra-marathoner has previously tested his body to the limit on a 216-mile endurance challenge spanning the east and west of Scotland in less than 100 hours.

The serviceman, who is originally from Hereford, set himself the target of becoming the first to run the NE250 to help share his love for the north-east which has developed since he was posted to the region two years ago.

Jon Ward said: “I didn’t really sleep when I did the 216-mile run. When you stop your body goes into a recovery mode – your legs start throbbing and your body just feels less active.

“I’m not really thinking about a fast time for the NE250, I just want to do it. That might make it harder because every day I have to prepare myself for the run, which might be tough if the weather is not nice.”

Over the next six days the runner will scale peaks in the Cairngorms before following the River Spey to the sea and spanning the Aberdeenshire coast before turning towards Deeside ahead of finishing in Braemar on Wednesday.

Along the way, he hopes to stop at the numerous attractions along the route to share his new-found love of the north-east with a wider audience.

(06/15/2019) ⚡AMP
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A brand new urban ultra marathon challenge is going to take place in the heart of London

Ultra London, a brand new urban ultra-marathon event, is set to take place on Saturday October5. The multi-distance event will be held on an innovative course, that aims to showcase some of London’s finest viewpoints, whilst crossing many of its lesser known open spaces, nature reserves and Sites of Specific Scientific Interest.

The 55km ultra course starts in Woolwich and finishes in Richmond upon Thames, with participants following large parts of the Capital Ring Walk route across south London. The challenging yet accessible event also includes a 27.5km run or walk starting at Crystal Palace, also finishing in Richmond.

The course, a mix of trails, footpaths, parks, disused railway lines, woodland and more will provide a challenge for participants who will also need to ensure they navigate the correct paths through parts of Falconwood, Grove Park, Crystal Palace, Streatham, Wimbledon and onto Richmond.

Andy Graffin, Director of Product Development at The Great Run Company who are staging the event, said: “We’re excited to be trying something new in the growing area of ultra running. Many of London’s landmarks are world famous of course, yet the Capital Ring is a comparatively little-known gem and we hope this event will provide participants with a suitable challenge and perhaps some surprises along the way, they will pass numerous landmarks and enjoy some breath-taking views of the Capital.

“Being in London, the event is accessible for participants and also for friends, family and supporters who can plan a route using public transport that will allow them to see their runner at numerous points along the course.”

Whilst the inaugural event this year uses the southern half of the Capital Ring there are plans to include the northern half of the route in 2020, where the ultimate challenge for ultra-runners will be to complete the entire 125km circular route in the Ultra London 125.

(06/14/2019) ⚡AMP
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The 2019 Hardrock 100 has been cancelled due to historic snowfall effecting more than 40 percent of the course

Due to historic snowfall, avalanches, avalanche debris, an inability to reach certain aid stations and uncertain conditions on more than 40% of the course, the 2019 Hardrock Hundred Endurance Run has been canceled. This decision, while difficult, adheres to the Hardrock Hundred Endurance Run’s overall commitment to land stewardship and the safety of the Hardrock community.

The Hardrock Hundred Endurance Run committee’s decision to cancel the 2019 Hardrock Hundred Endurance Run was based on a thorough and complete evaluation of all available information and utilized a number of key resources to support its decision.

Firsthand course trail reconnaissance combined with assembled trail reports, key and valuable input from the Bureau of Land Management and the US Forestry Service and the Hardrock Hundred Endurance Run committee and Board of Directors all served to guide the decision-making process.

All runners who are entered in the 2019 Hardrock Hundred Endurance Run as of June 10th, 2019 will have the option of either rolling over their entry into the 2020 Hardrock Hundred Endurance Run or withdrawing their entry slot and receiving a full refund of their entry fee.

Entrants must notify the Run Director, Dale Garland, by email (dale@hardrock100.com) by July 12th, 2019 if they wish to withdraw; otherwise they will be considered to have elected to roll over their entry into the 2020 Hardrock Hundred Endurance Run.

“After an extensive process, it became clear that the uncertainty associated with the condition of the course and the issues that the uncertainty caused among our organizational components meant we could not organize and administer a safe and meaningful 2019 Hardrock Hundred Endurance Run that was consistent with the standards and values Hardrock has become known for,” said Run Director, Dale Garland.

“While snow and snow water equivalent levels looked to be dropping to manageable levels, other issues such as unprecedented avalanche debris, unstable snow bridges and high-water levels all contributed to us reaching the tough final decision that we did.”

The start date for the 2020 Hardrock will be July 17, 2020.

(06/10/2019) ⚡AMP
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Hardrock 100

Hardrock 100

Due to historic snowfall, avalanches, avalanche debris, an inability to reach certain aid stations and uncertain conditions on more than 40% of the course, the 2019 Hardrock Hundred Endurance Run has been canceled. The start date for 2020 is July 17. 100-mile run with 33,050 feet of climb and 33,050 feet of descent for a total elevation change of...

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Age-group superstar 62-year-old Brian Pilcher wins the Dipsea for the fourth time.

Kentfield, California's Brian Pilcher, competing in the Dipsea Race for the first time since winning his third race in 2016, crossed the finish line in Stinson Beach first on Sunday morning to claim his fourth career victory.

Colorado’s Mark Tatum (age 59) finished second with San Rafael’s Alex Varner (33) and Sausalito’s Chris Lundy (48) — the two-time defending champion  –finishing third and fourth, respectively.

With his 4th win, 62-year old Brian Pilcher ties Shirley Matson for 2nd most wins in history (after Sal Vasquez with seven wins).

Sausalito’s Chris Lundy, 48, who began with a two-minute penalty after winning the last two Dipseas, said afterwards. 

“I had a good race today,” Lundy said. “It was a little bit slower than last year, but I felt really good and ran as fast as I could. I like the heat, but it still slows you down a little bit.”

Corte Madera’s Clara Peterson, 35, who finished 10th last year, rounded out the top five. Peterson also earned the award for best woman’s time, and two of her four children walked to the stage to accept her two trophies.

Brisbane’s Cliff Lentz, 54, Novato’s Dominic Vogl, 32, Montrose, Colo., resident Heath Hibbard, 66, Larkspur’s Diana Fitzpatrick, 61, and San Rafael’s Wayne Best, 51, placed 6-10, respectively.

Offical times have not been posted yet.  

The Dipsea was first run in 1905 and is considered to be the oldest trail race in America. It is run every year on the second Sunday in June.

The scenic 7.4 mile course from Mill Valley, California to Stinson Beach is also considered to be one of the most beautiful courses in the world.

The stairs and steep trails make it a grueling and treacherous race. And its unique handicapping system has made winners of men and women of all ages. Because of its beauty and challenge, it is a very popular event, and because of safety and environmental concerns the number of runners is limited to about 1,500.

While racers enter from all over the world, the Dipsea is primarily a Northern California event and the entry process is tilted slightly to favor local contestants.

(06/09/2019) ⚡AMP
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The Dipsea Race

The Dipsea Race

First run in 1905, the Dipsea is the oldest trail race in America. It is run every year on the second Sunday in June. The scenic 7.4 mile course from Mill Valley to Stinson Beach is considered to be one of the most beautiful courses in the world. The stairs and steep trails make it a grueling and treacherous race....

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Brittany Runs a Marathon the movie, a twenty-something takes on the New York City Marathon after her doctor tells her to lose weight

Just in time for Global Running Day, Amazon Studios dropped a trailer forBrittany Runs a Marathon, a movie about a woman who sets out to run in the New York City Marathon.

The movie, which is based on a true story about a friend of the film's director Paul Downs Calaizzo, looks like it'll deliver all the feels. The trailer opens with Brittany (played by Jillian Bell) seeking a prescription for Adderall and her doctor suggesting she lose 55 pounds.

After finding that gym memberships are hella pricey (relatable), Brittany starts running outside and sets her sights on the New York City Marathon.

You can't really judge a movie by its trailer, but the film seems more nuanced than the typical woman-loses-weight-and-it-changes-everything formula. As the trailer progresses, Brittany does appear to lose weight. However, a voiceover toward the end of the preview says her journey "was never about" her weight; it was about "taking responsibility" for herself, suggesting a deeper overall takeaway.

A cast interview with The Hollywood Reporter also indicates that Brittany's transformation isn't ultimately attributed to her physical changes in the movie. "You find out that when you do get that money, that car, that body, that boyfriend, that you're not okay, because that actually wasn't the impetus for what needed to change. You needed to heal something on the inside," actress Michaela Watkins remarked during the interview.

In case you need more proof that Brittany Runs a Marathon is gonna be good, the film got a positive review from Indiewire after its debut at Sundance, and won an Audience Award at the festival.

The movie will hit theaters a few months before the actual New York City Marathon. Mark your calendar now for an August 23 release date.

(06/09/2019) ⚡AMP
by Renee Cherry
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TCS  New York City Marathon

TCS New York City Marathon

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

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A Response from a Proud “Lazy Parasite” Trail Runner

Marc Peruzzi’s recent Ouside magazine column about trail work clearly touched a nerve in the running community. Part of his argument is fair criticism, but he got some important things wrong.

I’ve been a competitive trail runner for over a decade; I’ve participated in some of the most well-known and competitive ultras around the world, including the Barkley Marathons, the Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc, and the Western States Endurance Run.

I’ve also been a human rights lawyer for about the same period of time, and I take a deep interest in how we in the trail and ultrarunning community contribute to broader society. I know I’m not alone in this—as trail runners, many of us pride ourselves on being responsible stewards of our environment and contributing members in the outdoor sports community. We pick up trash left behind on the trails by inconsiderate urbanites. We don’t cut switchbacks, and we know how deep a hole to dig to bury our own poop (minimum: six inches).

We see ourselves as the “good ones”—runners who lightly tiptoe along mountain and forest paths, leaving no trace. Our intimate connection with the outdoors makes us protective of the wilderness that we enjoy, and that is something we hold tightly as part of our culture and identity as runners.

Given all that, it’s no surprise that when Outside published an article on May 22 calling trail runners “lazy parasites” and “deadbeats,” the reaction from the trail and ultrarunning community was swift and fierce. The writer, Marc Peruzzi, claimed that we simply aren’t pulling our weight when it comes to trail work. “When compared to mountain bikers and hikers, trail runners are the least likely to volunteer to build and maintain trails,” Peruzzi wrote. Leaning heavily on anecdotal evidence to back up his views, Peruzzi tried to hit us right where he knew it would hurt—and it did.

Candice Burt, an elite ultrarunner and the race director of the Triple Crown 200 mile series, wrote in a response on her website that she was shocked when she read the article. “I have no issue with asking user groups to do more to give back,” she wrote. “However, this article was not so much a call to action as it was a full on insulting diatribe aimed at my community.” For her part, Burt wrote about how she organizes an annual volunteer work party to maintain trails that would otherwise cease to exist, and how her company donates over $20,000 to the Tahoe Rim Trail Association for building and maintaining trails. “Trail running and stewardship are my life,” she wrote, “[It] has always been an important part of the trail running culture.” Many others in the trail community echoed her reaction.

A number of prominent ultramarathon races in North America in addition to Fat Dog and Burt’s 200 mile race series, require volunteer service from entrants, typically in the form of eight hours of trail maintenance. (Peruzzi briefly acknowledged this in his story.) These races include the Western States Endurance Run, the Vermont 100 Endurance Race, Angeles Crest 100 miler, and the Wasatch Front 100 Mile Endurance Run. 

In short, we in the trail running community know that we aren’t the lazy parasites and deadbeats Peruzzi claims we are. So why does he have this impression? And are we taking his criticism so personally because there is a kernel of truth to it? Could we be doing more?

The short answer is yes, we could be doing more. Adam Chase, the President of the American Trail Running Association (ATRA), responded to Peruzzi’s article on Facebook by saying: “I must confess. We are guilty as charged…we need [to do] more. A lot more.” Indeed, as trail running continues to increase in popularity, it will become even more important that we expand our volunteer and conservation efforts.

Clare Gallagher, an elite ultrarunner and environmental activist, has not been shy in calling us out on this and urging us to do more, long before Peruzzi’s story was published. “If we are not engaging with the politics of public land protections, we are freeloading,” she wrote in September 2017.

While I’m more than willing to admit that we need to do more as a community, I refuse to accept the suggestion that we are lazy deadbeats who “are the least likely to volunteer to build and maintain trails,” as Peruzzi claims.

Does that mean that we aren’t deeply involved at a grassroots level or that we don’t care? Hell no. We may be a ragtag bunch, but we are compassionate and committed. From the moment I joined this community, I understood that the expectation was to give back, whether through trail work, guided running for visually impaired athletes, or simply picking up garbage left behind by others. Advertising these good deeds was certainly not required, and it was maybe even discouraged. 

But rather than engage in a pissing contest with our fellow athletes over who is doing more to protect our common lands, I’d prefer to join forces to make us all more effective. 

The definition of a parasite is something that exists by taking from or depending on something else. In that sense, I will happily embrace Peruzzi’s label. I am a trail running parasite: I truly rely on the trails to exist. For that reason, I see it as my duty to ensure that the trails I run on—and all the ones I haven’t yet—are protected. I will do this by working alongside my trail running companions, and learning from my mountain biking colleagues. The only way to make progress on these issues is to band together, not drive each other apart. As for the rest of Peruzzi’s article? Well, it’s going in a six-inch hole, where it belongs. See you out on the trail.

(Editor’s note:  this is a condensed version of Stephanie’s article.  Click on the link to read her entire article.). 

(06/09/2019) ⚡AMP
by Stephanie Case for Outside Online
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Refugee immigrant Hop Le and his 18-year-old son, Alex, are set to run the Dipsea this weekend

Hop Le, who serves as chief of the plastic surgery department at the Kaiser Permanente San Rafael Medical Center, is running in the 109th annual Dipsea Race with his son, Alex, on Sunday for the first time.

Competing in the Dipsea — a 7.4-mile trail footrace, from Mill Valley to Stinson Beach, handicapped by age, gender and previous performances — may not evoke a sense of freedom to most of its participants, but for Le, who has been running both by choice and involuntarily his entire life, that is exactly what it represents.

“For a refugee immigrant to run just for fun instead of away from danger or as a means of transportation is to truly be an American,” he said.

Le, 49, a Greenbrae, California resident, attended Yale University for undergrad and University of California at San Francisco for medical school. He has climbed the ladder at Kaiser during the past 13 years. He prides himself on always choosing the toughest path, a mindset he implores his children to adopt.

Le was born in Saigon in 1969, during the Vietnam War, to a family heavily involved in the war, specifically his father and uncle. He was taught from a young age to stop what he was doing and run as fast as he could when sirens blared, electricity was lost and the thunderous sound of bombs filled the air.

“Parents try to shelter their kids from the ravages of war,” Le said. “They would rush you into the basement until it passed. It became part of my life as a kid, just like going to school. You didn’t know why you had to do it, but it’s what you did.”

When the Vietnamese government collapsed, Le’s family became targets because of their military ties.

American soldiers in Vietnam were faced with a dilemma: obey the White House’s orders to evacuate only U.S. citizens or risk treason and save the lives of South Vietnamese citizens attempting to flee from the North Vietnamese Army.

The family was smuggled by Marines — against the ambassador’s orders — into the seatless belly of a U.S. military cargo plane as the runway was being bombed.

“It was just meant to carry tanks and jeeps,” said Le, who was 5 years old at the time and vividly remembers the day. “Hundreds of us were herded onto the plane. It was very traumatic.

“When they close that hatch, it’s essentially like you’re being buried alive.”

(06/07/2019) ⚡AMP
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The Dipsea Race

The Dipsea Race

First run in 1905, the Dipsea is the oldest trail race in America. It is run every year on the second Sunday in June. The scenic 7.4 mile course from Mill Valley to Stinson Beach is considered to be one of the most beautiful courses in the world. The stairs and steep trails make it a grueling and treacherous race....

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Canadians Catrin Jones and Calum Neff head to Comrades Marathon

Catrin Jones and Calum Neff, two of Canada’s strongest ultrarunners, are heading to South Africa this week to tackle the 94th running of South Africa’s most famous and historic ultramarathon, the Comrades, next Saturday, June 8.

Neff ran it for the first time last year, finishing in 31st position overall, in 6:08:06. Jones will be racing Comrades for the first time.

Jones is a veteran of the BC trail and road scenes who has eased back into racing since having her daughter, Elodie, who is now two.

“I’ve been wanting to go for years and thought about it many times,” says Jones, inspired by her friend, the much-decorated ultrarunner Ellie Greenwood, who won Comrades in 2014.

Jones won last year’s Squamish 50K and Whistler 30K, and finished third at the 2018 BMO Vancouver Marathon.

Neff holds the Guinness World Record for fastest marathon while pushing a stroller (2:21:22), set with his daughter Alessandra at the 2016 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon.

(Neff also held the half-marathon stroller record for a time, but his 1:11:27 from 2016 was eclipsed in 2017.) Neff is from Ontario but lives and trains in Houston, Texas.

(06/03/2019) ⚡AMP
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Comrades Marathon

Comrades Marathon

Arguably the greatest ultra marathon in the world where athletes come from all over the world to combine muscle and mental strength to conquer the approx 90kilometers between the cities of Pietermaritzburg and Durban, the event owes its beginnings to the vision of one man, World War I veteran Vic Clapham. A soldier, a dreamer, who had campaigned in East...

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Nicky Spinks will lead the way at Trail Skills for Ultrarunners

Scotland-based women’s guided trail running company, Girls on Hills Ltd, have just announced that they will be hosting a ‘Trail Skills for Ultrarunners’ course in Glencoe October 11-13, with the legendary ultrarunner Nicky Spinks the star tutor.

Spinks will be sharing her experiences and coaching women in the essential skills of ultrarunning, including training advice and running with poles. She will be joining an otherwise all-Scottish line-up of other providers, with experts covering areas such as yoga, nutrition, foot-care and self-massage. 

For female ultrarunners, there can be no better teacher than Spinks. The inspirational Inov-8 athlete just became the first person to complete double rounds of Britain’s three classic 24-hour mountain running challenges: the Bob Graham Round in England; the Charlie Ramsay Round in Scotland; and now the Paddy Buckley Round in Wales. 

On her two laps of the Paddy Buckley Round circuit last month, Spinks ran 94 peaks and 56,000ft of height gain (almost two times Mount Everest), in 57hrs 27mins to complete the ‘doubles’ and make fell-running history. 

Girls on Hills Ddirector Keri Wallace told runABC Scotland online: “Nicky is an incredible woman and an inspiration to so many people, runners and non-runners alike. As a 51-year old, a woman, a farmer and a cancer-survivor, she breaks so many trail-running stereotypes! Who better to join us at Girls on Hills and help coach women in the skills they need to get outside and explore their limits through ultrarunning!”

As a company, Girls on Hills Ltd, who are sponsored by Ellis Brigham Mountain Sports and are partnered with Inov-8 clothing, seeks to address the gender gap in participation that exists in trail, fell and skyrunning by increasing the accessibility of off-road running disciplines. 

“There are no actual barriers stopping women from running long distances in remote places or exploring the mountains – there are only perceived barriers. We welcome women of all ages and from all walks of life, and surprise them with how much they can achieve!”  

(06/03/2019) ⚡AMP
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Kenya’s Benard Ngeno dominated Bolder Boulder race on Monday

Hopefully Americans Reid Buchanan and Jared Ward got a good look at one of the favorites at the 41s annual Bolder Boulder in the men’s professional race, Benard Ngeno, before the starting gun sounded.

Once the runners set out, Ngeno blazed a speedy trail impossible to match and never looked back.

Ngeno, from Kenya, sprinted out of the gate and never really let his pace dip throughout the 10-kilometer race, winning the Bolder Boulder men’s pro race in 28 minutes, 29 seconds. Buchanan was the top American finisher in eighth-place (29:46) followed by ninth-place Jared Ward (29:53).

Ngeno clocked his first mile at 4 minutes, 20 seconds and soon put the rest of the field deep into the background. His winning time of 28:29 was the eighth-fastest mark in the history of the Bolder Boulder men’s professional race.

“When they go out in 4:20, I don’t know what to do,” Buchanan said. “I started to race by myself but they never came back to me. That’s pretty unbelievable to me, I’ll just leave it at that. You just have to race your own race.

I ran the majority of that myself and keep saying to myself keep pressing, keep pressing. I really didn’t do anything, I guess. I just stayed in the same spot.”

Still, for Buchanan and Ward both believed they hit their personal goals in Monday’s meet. Buchanan is a seasoned 10K runner but was running the Bolder Boulder for the first time. Ward is a marathoner by trade who finished sixth in the marathon at the 2016 Olympics.

“I quickly was reminded I’m a marathon runner,” said Ward, who also finished eighth at the 2015 Bolder Boulder. “I knew they’d go out fast because it’s kind of a downhill start, and these are 10K guys.

So for me, it was just trying to stay in control enough the first couple of miles that I could keep a rhythm across the rest of the race. Kind of run it marathon-style.

“I looked at this race and said for me, 30 minutes is good. Being a little bit under 30, I’m happy with it.”

Ngeno won $6,500 of prize money for his performance. He was followed by Ethiopia’s Terefa Delesa (28:58) and Joseph Panga of Tanzania (29:03).

(05/28/2019) ⚡AMP
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BOLDER BOULDER

BOLDER BOULDER

In 1979 we dreamt of attracting a few hundred of our friends to race though the streets of Boulder, Colorado to celebrate Memorial Day with our families. Fast forward almost 40 years and the Bolder BOULDER has grown to become one of the largest and most highly acclaimed 10K’s in the world. Almost 1.2 million runners, joggers, walkers and spectators...

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Kara Goucher Nearly Collides With Mountain Lion on Morning Training Run

The big cats are a regular part of life in Boulder, but the former Olympian wasn’t expecting to see one on a populated road.

Even Kara Goucher, 2:24:52 marathoner and mainstay of U.S. women’s distance running for over a decade, gets spooked sometimes. But when it’s a dangerous wild predator just inches away from you, that’s understandable.

Since the return of an old hamstring injury forced Goucher to drop out of January’s Houston Marathon after 16 miles—her first marathon attempt since her heartbreaking fourth-place finish at the 2016 Olympic Trials—Goucher has taken her running in a new direction: the trails.

Though she wants more time to acclimate to the new discipline, Goucher told Runner’s World, training in her home of Boulder, Colorado has been going well. That is, until she nearly collided with a mountain lion.

Goucher set out around 8:45 a.m. local time on Monday, May 6, toward the trail systems west of Boulder. As she passed alongside a parked truck outside a residential construction site on Sunshine Canyon Drive—still a Boulder road, not a trail—a mountain lion sprinted across the front of the vehicle. The two were inches away when they saw each other, Goucher told Runner’s World.

“It happened so fast,” Goucher said. “In my mind I was like, ‘That’s not a dog, that’s not a cat. Holy sh--.’”

Goucher set out around 8:45 a.m. local time on Monday, May 6, toward the trail systems west of Boulder. As she passed alongside a parked truck outside a residential construction site on Sunshine Canyon Drive—still a Boulder road, not a trail—a mountain lion sprinted across the front of the vehicle. The two were inches away when they saw each other, Goucher told Runner’s World.

“It happened so fast,” Goucher said. “In my mind I was like, ‘That’s not a dog, that’s not a cat. Holy sh--.’”

But the circumstances—along a developed, populated road in broad daylight—caught her off guard.

“The more I’ve talked to people, the more I’ve thought about it, the fact I ran into it was such a fluke incident,” she said.

Goucher hasn’t braved the trails alone since the incident. (She has run with her male training partner on the trails and alone on the road.) She’s not sure if the unease will wear off in time, but doesn’t plan to venture into the wilderness alone in the near future.

Her biggest takeaway is the need to be more actively prepared for similar encounters, Goucher said. In theory, she knew the standard advice—stay calm, stand your ground, appear intimidating—but that knowledge went out the window in the moment.

“I don’t normally worry about it, because I think I make smart choices,” she said. “But people should practice making yourself big and backing away. I want to make sure if I’m in the situation again, I make the right decisions.”

(05/25/2019) ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
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If your feet are aching after a run try Golf Ball Massage

You finish a long, grueling trail run and you’re tired and sore. After a shower you feel better, but your feet are still aching. Now is the time to get out your trusty golf ball and get down to business.

Maintaining proper flexibility and muscle tone in the feet is crucial for trail runners. The strain on the feet over long distances and uneven terrain is enormous and must be relieved for the feet to function properly through all phases of the running gait. Loss of foot flexibility and strength due to chronically shortened muscles and connective tissue can lead to general aches and pains in the feet – or worse – overuse injuries like plantar fasciitis. In addition, foot problems can translate into ankle, knee, hip and low back pain.

Stretching and self-massage of the feet feel good and help them to recover from the pounding of daily training. Here are some tips to help keep your feet happy:

Sit comfortably in a chair or on the floor. Bend your knee and grab your foot with both hands, placing your thumbs on the sole of the foot. Begin by squeezing, stretching and twisting your foot.

Use your thumbs, knuckles or fist to methodically massage the entire bottom of the foot, including the heel. You can use circular strokes, or go back and forth, or use long strokes along the length of the foot. Do whatever feels good. If you find sore spots – and you sill – spend some extra time working on them. This may “hurt good,” but should not cause pain.

If your hands get tired, you can break out your golf ball and use it as a massage tool. Use the palm of your hand to roll the ball around on the bottom of your foot, with a fair amount of pressure. The golf ball is effective because the little ridges on it help stimulate the nerve endings in the foot, break up micro-spasms in the muscles, and warm and stretch the plantar fascia. This band of connective tissue on the bottom of the foot can become inflamed and develop plantar fasciitis, a painful overuse injury that can seriously hamper your running.

Sit in a chair, place the golf ball on the floor and put your foot on it. Use your body weight to apply moderate pressure (“hurts good”), then roll your foot around, letting those little ridges dig into the tight, sore places. If you apply this technique on a regular basis, you can eventually stand up and place most of your weight on the golf ball.

Once you’ve squeezed, twisted, kneaded, and “golf balled” your feet, spend a few minutes stretching your feet and legs. You’ll be amazed at how good you feel all over. Adding this simple massage and stretching routine to your training schedule will keep your feet healthy and happy and increase your running pleasure for many seasons to come.

(05/17/2019) ⚡AMP
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A Long Run the movie tells one man's story, but it's every runner's journey. Bob Anderson's life connects us to many icons...by the end, you're left with a runner's high without the sweat says Dan Brown

Over 100,000 people have already watched A Long Run the movie with good reviews. Now you can watch the full length movie...compliments of MyBestRuns.com with speical arrangments with it's production company Around Town Productions.   

Actor Sean Astin who narrated the film wrote, "I loved A Long Run.  Thank you so much for letting me be a part of your wonderful journey Bob."  Boston Marathon director Dave McGillivray wrote," In watching A Long Run, you readily see the impact and influence Bob has had on our sport over the years.  This story is inspiring, motivational, educational and simply makes you want to go out the door and do a run..and a real 'long run' at that."

Joe Henderson writer and former Runner's World editor wrote, "I’ve always known Bob Anderson as a man of Big Ideas, one with a knack for making these dreams come true. He conceived a little magazine called Distance Running News, which grew into the biggest one, Runner’s World.

"He created a book division that published some of the sport’s best-selling titles...This all happened before Bob turned 30, but his idea-generating didn’t stop then. At more than twice that age, he dreamed up Double Racing and then to celebrate his 50th anniversary as a runner, Bob plotted a tough year-long course: 50 races, averaging better than seven minutes per mile overall, concluding the week he would turn 65."

A Long Run tells one man's story, but it's every runner's journey. Bob Anderson's amazing life connects us to icons like Bill Rodgers, Billy Mills and Paula Radcliffe but also to the low-budget thrill of a community 5k. The gorgeous cinematography captures The Avenue of the Giants, the beauty of Central Park in New York City, the San Francisco landscapes, resort cities like Cancun and Cabo, the lush island of Kauai and the vistas of Fort Bragg.

And the smoothly intertwined stories - his 50-race challenge, the magazine, the running boom - are handled with Olympic-caliber pacing. By the end, you're left with a runner's high, without all the sweat.

This is an inspirational life long journey that takes you across the United States, into Mexico and introduces you to some amazing runners.

A Long Run features Bob Anderson who started Runner's World magazine when he was 17 with $100. He grew the magazine to nearly a half million circulation with monthly readership of nearly 2.5 million before selling it to Rodale Press in 1984. How did he do it and why did he sell the magazine he loved?

50 years after he started running, he started his 50 race challenge... one year - 50 races - 350 miles.

His goal - Average under a 7 min/mile average pace at 64-years-old. That's fast for any age!

In the running formula known as age-grading, Anderson’s mile pace is the equivalent of a 30-year-old running an average pace of 5:24 for 50 races covering 350 miles.

“I wanted to do something special, something that would be very positive for running,” Anderson said. “But I also wanted to do something that would not be easy.”

Did he reach his goal? How did he cope with injuries? Weather? Hills? How did he recover each week?

Bob Anderson first run took place Feb. 16, 1962. His first race was May 7 that year, when he covered 600 yards at Broadmoor Junior High in 1 minute, 39 seconds.  By 1963 at age 15 he placed first at the Junior Olympics in Missouri clocking 2:08.5 for 880 yards.  

By 17, Anderson wanted to tackle a marathon. He wanted to run the Boston Marathon. But neither he nor his high school coach (coach McGuire) knew how to prepare. So Anderson did the 1965 equivalent of a Google search: He sent letters around the country asking for advice.  

Coaches and top athletes replied not just with training tips, but also with addresses of other people Anderson should try. Soon he had a network of running experts at his disposal.

Recognizing the value of this collected wisdom, he turned to teammate David Zimmerman while on a bus trip to a cross-country meet for their Shawnee Mission West team. “I’m going to start a magazine,” Anderson declared.

With $100 from baby-sitting and lawn-mowing jobs, the 17-year-old launched Distance Running News. The magazine debuted in January 1966 with a 28-page issue that Anderson collated, stapled and folded himself.

The publication created a stir among a previously unknown army of foot soldiers. Thirsty runners plunked down the $1 subscription price (for two issues) — and often enclosed an additional $5 just to make sure the magazine stayed afloat.

“Until then, I wasn’t even aware that there was a running community,” said SF Bay Area runner Rich Stiller, who had been running with Anderson since the early 1970s. “I always think that Runner’s World was part of the jet-propulsion that really made the running boom take off and made people realize, ‘Oh, gee, I’m not doing this alone.’ ”

The magazine grew so quickly that Anderson dropped out of Kansas State University. He recruited a SF Bay Area writer and runner named Joe Henderson to be his editor, and moved the magazine headquarters to Northern California.

Anderson’s 50-for-50 goal was in jeopardy after he stumbled out of the gate or, more specifically, down a trail in Mountain View.

While on a training run in December, Anderson awoke to find his head streaming with blood and two people standing above him looking alarmed.

“There were no marks at all on my hands, which means I must not have even realized I was going down,” he said.

The fall required over 60 stitches and plastic surgery. But determined not to cancel the first race in his 50-race quest, Anderson limped to the starting line in San Francisco on New Year’s Day with a ruddy forehead and an eggplant of a bruise on his left knee. He finished that first race and then 49 more that year.  

When Bob was publishing Runner's World he got so consumed managing a staff of 350 and was not able to train enough to run the Boston Marathon.  However he did run ten marathons between 1968 to 1984 but none with enough training.  He would not run Boston until 2013 when at age 65 he clocked 3:32:17.

A Long Run the movie covers a lot of ground.  The year long event finished over six years ago but the story is fresh and a movie all runners and even non-runners will enjoy.  You will want to watch it over and over again.

Some of the runners besides Bob Anderson featured in the film include: Bill Rodgers, Paula Radcliffe, Joe Henderson, George Hirsch, Rich Benyo, Amol Sexena, JoAnn Dahlkoetter, Rich Stiller, Hans Schmid, JT Service, Pina Family, Wall Family, Billy Mills, Gerry Lindgren, Dave Zimmerman, Dean Karnazes, Monica Jo Nicholson, Coach Lloyd McGuire, Katie McGuire, Mary Etta Blanchard, John Young, Roger Wright and more...

It was produced by Around Town Productions and directed by Michael Anderson (third photo at one of the showings in a theater in Monterey). 

To watch the movie click on the link or go to: www.alongrun.com

(05/13/2019) ⚡AMP
by Dan Brown
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For Eilish McColgan, the forthcoming IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019, represent an exciting opportunity what she calls her second home

“I'd love to break into the top five or to break 14.40,” Eilish reveals. “Either of those and I'll be really happy!” If that happens, she’ll gladly credit her mother.

“My mum’s the driving force behind everything I do and I wouldn't have achieved anything without her behind me all the way.”

Mother Liz is permanently based in the Arabian Gulf country working as a kids coach at the Al Saad Sports Club for the Doha Athletics Club, which she established following her move in 2014.

“I always knew I would get into coaching when I retired as I started to coach athletes before my own career was over,” said Liz, who at 54 still runs every day and works out in a gym twice a week.

“When I arrived in Doha, I gave some motivational talks in the international schools and it became very clear that a lot of kids wanted to run but there were no opportunities for them, so I set up a little running group that grew very quickly and then developed DAC.” Given her athletics CV, Liz is in high demand.

“Eilish is a very talented athlete and I feel she has a lot more to go in her running,” said her mom Liz, who also took silver at the 1987 World Cross Country Champioships, the 1988 Olympic 10,000m and 1989 world indoor 3000m.

“She has a lot of room for improvement in her endurance and hopefully we will see that in the next few years as she moves up in distance.”

For next year, the two have decided a move to the 10,000m for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and then the marathon in 2021. That’s a distance Liz knows well, with victories in New York, Tokyo and London among her numerous laurels.

“I love training in Doha,” Eilish says. “Of course the weather can be challenging but it's a beautiful country with fantastic sporting facilities.

“2017 was by far my best season to date - I managed to stay much more consistent with regards to injury and illness and it made such a huge difference to my performance and confidence too.”

“I went into races knowing I was in the shape of my life and ready to perform. That confidence continued to snowball and it was the first season I had broken some of my mum’s personal bests too, so that was really special and really helped to drive me on to run faster!”

In 2018 she raced to 5000m silver at the European Championships in Berlin and recorded a 4:08.07 indoor 1500m personal best, yet illness affected her performances at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, as she trailed home in sixth in both the 1500m and 5000m.

Her form however returned with a 4:25.07 track mile, a 54:53 10-mile debut on the roads and then a 31:51 10km road lifetime best in Doha in the New Year, before illness struck again, causing her to place only seventh in the European indoor 3000m final last month.

“I had a horrible start to the year with a virus so silver in Berlin meant a lot to me - being able to turn the year around and finishing on such a high.

“It's frustrating but I'm making some small changes to my travel plans, sleep routine, diet and even my training schedule to try improve my immunity.” 

(05/02/2019) ⚡AMP
by IAAF
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IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha

IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha

The seventeenth edition of the IAAF World Championships is scheduled to be held between 27 September and 6 October 2019 in Doha, Qatar at the renovated multi-purpose Khalifa International Stadium. Doha overcame bids from Eugene, USA, and Barcelona, Spain to be granted the rights to host the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Athletics. Having hosted the IAAF Diamond League, formerly...

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San Diego runner Nikki Hiltz, set a new Blue Mile record in the Women's Mile

Nikki Hiltz of San Diego set a new Blue Mile record in the women´s Mile Championships clocking 4:30, during The Grand Blue Mile in Des Moines on Tuesday.

Nikki Hiltz and Tripp Hurt raced to the USATF Road 1-Mile National Championship Tuesday evening on the streets of Des Moines as part of the 10th Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield Grand Blue Mile.

Hurt won the men’s race in 4:04, in a photo finish as the top-five finishers all finished within a second of each other. Hiltz took the lead of the women’s race off the final turn and held off three-time Grand Blue Mile champion Heather Kampf to set an event record in 4:30.

“It’s not just a road race, it’s the USA Road Mile Championship and it’s my first national championship win,” Hiltz said. “It was awesome and the field definitely gave me a run for my money. We got after it and I knew in the last straightaway we’d switch into a new gear. No one made it easy.”

Hanna Fields was also in the lead pack of the race as she and Hiltz took over the lead from Kampf midway through the race.

The men’s race featured a dramatic finish as Hurt sprinted on the outside to best the talented field to the tape to clip Brandon Lasater by just one two-tenths of a second.

“My teammate, Nick (Harris, who finished third), was next to me and I was thinking we needed to battle and hope one of us got it,” Hurt said of the sprint to the finish. My goal was to stay patient and wait as long as I could to make a move to the front. It paid off.”

Will Leer led early in the race, trailed by a tight pack before Kyle Medina briefly took the lead at the three-minute mark as the leaders made the course’s first turn. Seconds later, as the still tightly bunched pack turned on to Grand Avenue, Daniel Herrera led out front until the pace quickened in the final 200 yards with Tripp moving to the outside of the pack to reach the finish line first.

Hiltz and Hurt each earned $5,000 for the national title as part of $30,000 in total prize money awarded. The participants in the USATF Road 1-Mile Championship races were part of more than 4,000 runners who took part in the 10th Annual Grand Blue Mile. 

(04/24/2019) ⚡AMP
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Grand Blue Mile

Grand Blue Mile

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

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Aidan Puffer continues to break world records. It started at age 11 and this week the 14-year-old clocked a 14:47 5000m, another world record for his age

Aidan Puffer is a 14-year-old high school freshman at Manchester.  When he crossed the finish line at the Bob Michalski 5000m Championship at the Connecticut Distance Festival on Thursday he had a relaxed demeanor. Placing third behind Xavier junior Robbie Cozean and Hall senior Trey Cormier, Puffer remained calm and stoic after his finish.

For those watching the bushy-haired 14-year-old, it appeared to be just another finisher.   

Except it wasn’t. Puffer had just broken a world record.

With his time of 14:47.66, Puffer broke Hans Segerfelt’s mark of 15:10.2, set in 1975, to claim the world’s fastest time in the 5K by a 14-year-old.

“The 14-year-old world record is like, 15:10,” Puffer said. “The freshman national record was like 14:59. The New Balance nationals standard for the 5K championship race is like 14:50. So I was just focused on hitting all of those, mostly just to get 14:50.”

Mission accomplished for Puffer, who trailed Cozean and Cormier for the entirety of the 5,000-meter race. Cozean (14:40.40) and Cormier (14:42.90) exchanged leads for much of the race, while Puffer trailed patiently, checking his watch and adjusting his pace when needed to assure he’d meet his goal.

“At the beginning I kind of got a little nervous,” Puffer said. “At the beginning I heard 68s and stuff [for 400m] and I was like ‘Oh man, we need to slow down a little bit.’ I mean, it wasn’t as painful as I thought it would be. I felt really good throughout the whole race.”

Puffer, trains about 40 miles per week and works with his own running coach, has previously set world records in the 5K for the 12- and 13-year-old age groups. 

“I’ve never worked with an athlete with as much natural ability as Aidan Puffer,” Manchester coach Mike Bendzinski said.

It all started a few years ago when Aidan’s father, Kyle Puffer decided to do a "Couch to 5K" training program to run a 5K road race.

His son Aidan was 10. He wanted to do it, too.

"I remember calling the pediatrician and asking, 'Is this safe for him to do?'" Aidan's mother, Martha, said. 

"We knew some other parents who were runners and he beat them and they were like, 'Wow,'" Kyle said. "We said, 'Do you want to do another one?' We found other 5Ks and he ran them and he just kept getting faster. He didn't run other than just racing."

That sounds like a typical kid interested in running. But Aidan wasn't a typical kid. At age 11, he set his first world record, the 11-year-old 5,000-meter record on the track. Then he broke the 12-year-old boys 5K record on the road. When he was 13, he broke another one, the 5K road world record for 13-year-olds.

Then at the BAA 5K, two days before the Boston Marathon, he found himself being called up to the podium where Hagos Gebrhiwet, the Olympic 5,000-meter bronze medalist from Ethiopia, had just accepted the silver loving cup trophy for winning the race.

Puffer had once again broken a world record by finishing the 3.1-mile race in 15:47.  A world record for 13-year-olds and now 14:47 5000m on the track, a world record for age 14.  

(04/20/2019) ⚡AMP
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Desiree Linden put forth a strong effort but failed to defend her 2018 Boston Marathon title, fading from second place to finish the 26.2-mile course in fifth place clocking 2:27:00

“It was an honor to be back and I knew today was going to be a big test to defend but I had a blast out there,” Linden told NBC Sports Network. “Right around 18 (miles), I thought, ‘I think I’m done. Hang up the shoes, retire.' The Boston crowds are so phenomenal, they just kind of helped me regroup.”

Despite Linden joining the lead pack from the start and leading at times, it quickly became the chase pack as 28-year-old Ethiopian Worknesh Degefa separated from the group early and built about a 90 second lead before the 10 mile mark. Degefa won the race with a time of 2:23:30.

With much better racing conditions this year, 35-year-old Linden easily beat her championship time of 2 hours, 39 minutes, 54 seconds from a year ago.

Linden, who lives in Washington, Mich., put on a surge to take the lead of the chase pack with just over 10 miles to go, but the pack trailed Degefa by over two and a half minutes at that point. Linden and fellow American Jordan Hassay even moved into second and third-place, respectively, before Linden fell back from the pack. Hassay, 27, finished as the top American in third place with a time of 2:25:20.

“I think Jordan’s come here and done really well,” Linden said. “She’s in that third spot consistently and she’s going to have a breakthrough on this course. She’s going to make a name for herself. She is the future -- well, she is right now -- of American distance running. The future is bright.”

Linden went through the halfway mark at 1:13:09. Linden’s time has met the American Olympic qualifying standard. After claiming a $150,000 prize for winning last year, Linden will take home a $15,000 prize for fifth place this year.

What is next for Linden?

“Lunch right now, for sure,” Linden said. “Then, regroup ... You finish fifth and you go, ‘maybe there’s a little bit more.’”

(04/15/2019) ⚡AMP
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

The Boston Marathon is the world's oldest annual marathon and ranks as one of the world's best-known road racing events. The event attracts 500,000 spectators each year, making it New England's most widely viewed sporting event. Though starting with 18 participants in 1897, the event now attracts over 20,000 registered participants each year. You have to qualify to participate. Among...

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Kenyan Monicah Ngige took the victory honors at the B.A.A. 5K women’s clocking 15:16

The women’s title went to Kenyan Monicah Ngige, who earned her second road win in as many weeks after claiming the Cooper River Bridge Run in South Carolina last week.

Though Ngige trailed Violah Lagat by 20 meters at the two-mile mark (9:41 for Lagat), she made up that deficit and then some over the final 1.1 miles, coasting to victory in 15:16, 13 seconds ahead of runner-up Lagat.

Two-time Olympian Kim Conley finished as the top American in fourth, running 15:36.

(04/13/2019) ⚡AMP
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B.A.A. 5K

B.A.A. 5K

The B.A.A. 5K began in 2009, and became an instant hit among runners from far and wide. Viewed by many as the “calm before the storm,” the Sunday of Marathon weekend traditionally was for shopping, loading up on carbohydrates at the pasta dinner, and most importantly- resting. But now, runners of shorter distances, and even a few marathoners looking for...

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Sara Sellers placed second at the 2018 Boston Marathon and is ready to run it again on Monday

When Sarah Sellers rises at 4 a.m., it’s not to sip coffee slowly in the still of the morning or head off to an early shift at the Tucson hospital where she works as a nurse anesthetist. Instead, Sellers hits the blaring alarm and gets out her shoes to tackle another early morning run.

Sellers is preparing for her second appearance in the Boston Marathon after a long love affair with running. The 27-year-old started in middle school with her parents on the trails behind their house in Ogden, Utah, and went on to run in college for Weber State from 2009–13.

For someone who has spent most of her life running, qualifying for the Boston Marathon came easy. But competing among the elites was another task all together. In 2018, Sellers arrived on the starting line in Hopkinton as a relatively unknown runner and had only competed in one marathon, in Huntsville, Utah, in Sept. 2017. She won her debut in 2:44:27—nearly 15 minutes ahead of the next woman.

“In some ways last year it was really nice to be totally naïve and do my own thing and not have anyone besides a few family members and my coach interested in how I did,” Sellers says.

The conditions at the 2018 Boston Marathon were anything but ideal. At the start of the race temperatures hovered around 37 degrees. A torrential downpour, which amounted to over a half inch of rain, soaked runners for the entirety of the race. The worst part, according to Sellers, who compared running in the heavy rains to being in a car wash, was the strong headwinds that reached up to 35 miles per hour. More than 2,500 runners visited medical tents during the race and 1,123 participants did not finish.

When Sellers crossed the finish line in 2:44:04 as the second runner in the women’s division behind two-time Olympian Desiree Linden, who became the first American woman to win the race in 33 years, her anonymity to the general public quickly vanished. Suddenly, the media was clamoring to talk to Sellers, who was in a state of disbelief over her second-place finish. “Who is Sarah Sellers?” started popping on search engines, running message boards and social media. The reality sank in after she found her husband, Blake, and he confirmed that the result was no fluke.

“It was the mixture of excitement and almost this daunting feeling,” Seller says. “It was a little bit scary because I knew it was going to be a big deal but I also asked myself ‘What did I just do?’”

Before April 16, 2018, not many people would’ve cared that Sellers ran track and cross country in middle school and high school before joining the teams at Weber State in her hometown. She was a nine-time Big Sky conference champion during her college career and was voted the university’s 2012 Female Athlete of the Year. After she was diagnosed with a stress fracture in the navicular bone in her foot during her senior year, Sellers didn’t know if she would be able to run again, because that specific bone doesn’t get much blood supply, which makes it hard to heal. She never finished her final year of NCAA eligibility at Weber State.

She went a couple of years without being able to run or could run very little,” says Paul Pilkington, Sellers’s coach at Weber State. “She wasn’t training a lot when in grad school but I think that helped her get healthy again. It’s the whole thing of ‘Hey I may never be able to run again’ that makes her appreciate it a lot.”

Sellers eventually did start running again as a graduate student at Barry University in Florida. She decided to target the 2018 Boston Marathon after her brother, Ryan, signed up. She earned her Boston qualifier in Huntsville and then reached out to Pilkington and asked him to help her train for the marathon.

(04/10/2019) ⚡AMP
by Jenna West
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Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

The Boston Marathon is the world's oldest annual marathon and ranks as one of the world's best-known road racing events. The event attracts 500,000 spectators each year, making it New England's most widely viewed sporting event. Though starting with 18 participants in 1897, the event now attracts over 20,000 registered participants each year. You have to qualify to participate. Among...

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Natalie Rodriguez will make her professional debut at the 34th Annual Carlsbad 5000 Sunday

Natalie Rodriguez makes her professional debut at Sunday’s 34th Carlsbad 5000 and just maybe someone will shout “Chi-co, Chi-co” to boost her performance.

“She is so sweet, so kind and so nice,” said Steve Scott, the race’s co-founder and Rodriguez’s former Cal State University San Marcos coach. “Then she gets into a race and she turns into a lioness.”

Hear them roar and Rodriguez got an earful at last year’s California Collegiate Athletic Association 5K final in Turlock, California.

After winning the 1,500-meter event, Rodriguez attempted her second triumph just hours later in the 5,000. But she trailed the leader, a competitor from nearby Chico State, until she heard those magic words.

“In the last 300 meters she had to make up 50 meters,” Scott said. “Just then the “Chi-co, Chi-co” chant started down the home stretch and it really ticked Natalie off. With every stride Natalie was cutting down the distance she was behind and she just barely nips her at the finish line.

“Natalie had already won a race; she was a conference champion and could have easily coasted in. But that showed her competitive spirit and it really kicked in when they started doing that chant.”

That Rodriguez became the first NCAA Division II All-American from CSUSM was a kick in the britches for the entire school. Count Rodriguez as among the most surprised that it was her.

Rodriguez, 22, started running in high school. After verbal agreeing to attend San Diego State University, her coach suggested CSUSM and its program directed by Scott, one of  America's greatest runners ever.

(04/04/2019) ⚡AMP
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Carlsbad 5000

Carlsbad 5000

The Carlsbad 5000 features a fast and fun seaside course where 16 world records have been set. Both rookie runners and serious speedsters alike enjoy running or walking in one of seven people's races. The day before is the Junior Carlsbad which is just for kids 12 and under. There are events for every age and ability, from the diaper...

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Defending champions Kenyan Justin Kemboi Chesire and local favorite Gerda Steyn are hoping to successfully defend their titles at Two Oceans

A quality field of top local and international elite athletes will take part in this year's Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon in Cape Town on Saturday April 20.

Defending champions Kenyan Justin Kemboi Chesire (3:09:22) and local favourite Gerda Steyn (3:39:32), both from Nedbank Running Club, will be hoping to successfully defend their titles.

Steyn is training with an end goal of Comrades in mind, and with the Easter weekend being that much later this year, it might be a tough task to pull off both wins.

Chesire's training has been going according to plan but he can expect some tough competition from a quality field of ultra runners who have all been training to win.

His fellow countryman Abraham Kiprotich, who boasts the fastest marathon of the entire field (2:10 at the Istanbul Marathon late last year), will be running his first ultra marathon and it will be an interesting test to see how he fares over the last 14km with the Constantia Nek climb part of this last section.

Another popular Maxed Elite runner, Zimbabwean Prodigal Khumalo, is back running after a foot injury had him sidelined since December last year. Khumalo has chosen to run the 24km trail event.

Joining this strong field of male runners is local trail legend Ryan Sandes. He has switched from running the trail event for this year, to running his first 56km ultra event. Sandes is hoping to add the Old Mutual Two Oceans Ultra Marathon to his illustrious list of achievements.

(04/03/2019) ⚡AMP
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Two Oceans Marathon

Two Oceans Marathon

Cape Town’s most prestigious race, the 56km Old Mutual Two Oceans Ultra Marathon, takes athletes on a spectacular course around the Cape Peninsula. It is often voted the most breathtaking course in the world. The event is run under the auspices of the IAAF, Athletics South Africa (ASA) and Western Province Athletics (WPA). The Ultra Marathon celebrates its 50thanniversary in...

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