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Notre Dame’s Anna Rohrer and 2:12 Marathoner Jonas Hampton Join Team B.A.A.

The Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) today announced the addition of Anna Rohrer and Jonas Hampton to the B.A.A. High Performance Team. Rohrer, an eight-time All-American at Notre Dame, and Hampton, the eighth place finisher at February’s U.S. Olympic Trials – Men’s Marathon, will be coached by B.A.A. High Performance Coach Mark Carroll in Boston. The B.A.A.’s High Performance Team is sponsored by adidas.

“With Anna and Jonas joining our team, we add great experience and strong competitors to the B.A.A. High Performance Team,” said Coach Carroll. “Anna comes to us after a highly successful collegiate career where she was at the front of most NCAA races she competed in. Jonas joins us as a road racing specialist with a breakthrough performance at the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials. We welcome them to the B.A.A. family and look forward to both competing in the B.A.A. uniform for their professional careers.”

Rohrer joins the B.A.A. after graduating from the University of Notre Dame, where she was an eight-time NCAA All-American in cross country, indoor, and outdoor track. Specializing in the 5,000-meters and 10,000-meters, Rohrer has lifetime best times of 15:29.83 (5,000-meters, indoors) and 31:58.99 (10,000-meters, a school record). She most recently finished sixth at the 2019 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships 10,000m. Rohrer was a 5-time ACC conference champion, and twice won the Foot Locker Cross Country National Championship in high school.

“I am thrilled to join the B.A.A. High Performance Team to continue my career and take my running to the next level,” said Rohrer, a native of Mishawaka, Indiana. “As someone who aspires to move up to the marathon in the coming years, I can’t think of a better place to be than in the city that is home to one of the most renowned marathons in the world.”

Hampton returns to the B.A.A. following a career-best eighth place finish at the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials – Men’s Marathon in February. On the challenging Olympic Trials course in Atlanta, Hampton clocked a personal best marathon time of 2:12:10. Hampton is a two-time Olympic Trials Marathon qualifier and has run under 2:16 in the marathon four times, including a 2:14:19, 15th-place finish at the 2018 Chicago Marathon. A graduate of the University of Hartford, Hampton is the 2015 Hartford Marathon champion.

“I am happy to be back with the B.A.A. family again and working with Coach Carroll and a great group of teammates,” said Hampton. “Boston and New England has a strong history of marathoners, and I am excited to see if I can be a part of that history and put Boston back on the map for having some of the best marathoners in the country.”

The B.A.A.’s High Performance team supports American runners on their way towards making international teams, with the goal of competing at the highest level: the Olympic Games, World Athletics Championships, and Abbott World Marathon Majors. The B.A.A. is sponsored by adidas, which provides comprehensive support for the organization’s High Performance team, running club, and mass-participatory events.

Personal bests for both Rohrer and Hampton, can be found below, along with a complete list of B.A.A. High Performance Team members.

(11/15/2020) Views: 47 ⚡AMP
by Lets Run
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Are carbon-plated shoes causing wipeouts?

After several women went down at the half-marathon world championships, people are wondering if it was the course or the shoes

Two weeks ago, the World Half-Marathon Championships saw a number of wipeouts. In the women’s race, two major contenders went down. First, Joyciline Jepkosgei, one of the fastest women ever over the distance and a favourite to win, tangled shoes with her group of runners and took a fall she couldn’t recover from. She went on to finish sixth in 1:05:58. Defending champion Netsanet Gudeta also fell just before 10K and finished eighth in 1:06:46. Falls happen in running very occasionally on the track, but it’s extremely rare on the road. While some are suggesting the spills can be attributed to the winding course, others think it might be the shoes.

Of the runners who participated in the world championships, 93 per cent of the field was wearing a carbon-plated shoe. While stack heights vary in carbon shoes, across the board they stand taller than historically (except possibly for Hoka One One). Nike stands 40 mm tall, Adidas at 39 mm and New Balance (which is relatively short compared to the others) is 30 mm. 

The course was certainly curvy, with several hairpin turns along the 5K loop, but it’s undeniable that the race would have looked different if Jepkosgei and Gudeta hadn’t fallen. Many have pointed to the fact that these carbon-plated shoes are less stable, particularly on tight turns. 

Outside of price and availability, runners thus far hadn’t had a reason not to buy a pair of carbon-plated shoes. They’re well-designed race footwear that have been touted as aiding running economy and improving recovery, making them highly marketable as the perfect marathon shoe. But what if your perfect marathon shoe didn’t feel stable on a winding course – would you still wear it?

Runners have been wearing carbon-plated shoes for two years now, and we’ve never seen a race with this much stumbling, suggesting that it was, in fact, the course and not the shoes that caused the falling. However, if you’re someone who has poor ankles and you’re racing on a course with some switchbacks, either practice taking these shoes around tight corners to see how you feel, or go for something that feels more stable. 

(10/31/2020) Views: 44 ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Adidas' ownership of the Reebok brand may be coming to an end, according to a report from Manager Magazine today

According to the German publication, the Three Stripes has already assembled an internal team to potentially reach a deal to sell the company by March 2021.

Two names have emerged as potential suitors of acquiring the brand:  China's Anta Sports and the VF Corporation, the latter of which owns outdoor apparel and footwear brands including Timberland, Vans, and The North Face.

Since taking over as CEO of Adidas in 2016, Kasper Rorsted has repeatedly stated that the brand has no intention of selling Reebok off, despite demands from investors to do so in 2017.

In Adidas' Q2 2020 earnings report, the company reported that Reebok revenues were down 42 percent due to its large presence to the U.S. market in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Adidas bought Reebok in August 2005 for $3.8 billion.

When reached for inquiry, Adidas cited its company policy to not comment on market rumors. 

(10/28/2020) Views: 58 ⚡AMP
by Victor Deng
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We call them carbon-plated shoes, but the advantage might not come from the carbon after all

Carbon-plated shoes have been on the running market for years, and they have taken over road racing on the promise that they can make runners more economical.

Efficiency is tied to a runner’s economy, which refers to the amount of energy expended to maintain a particular speed. The more efficient you are, the better your running economy. Nike’s promise with the Vaporfly 4% was to make runners up to four per cent more efficient, but new research is suggesting that these energy savings might not come from the carbon plate. 

A group of researchers recently published a paper in Nature Journal that refutes some of the carbon-plated hype. They suggest that the stiffness of the shoe alone might not be significant when it comes to lessening the effort to maintain a particular pace. 

The ankle joint

This paper assessed the bending stiffness of shoes (which is what the plate changes) and how much added stiffness improved running economy. Researchers added carbon plates to Adidas shoes that were 0.8, 1.6 and 3.2 mm thick. They found no difference in the flexion of the ankle joint or muscle activation in the feet or legs by adding the plates, meaning that they didn’t find these plates improved economy at all. 

It’s not about the plate, it’s about the foam

While these researchers don’t believe that the plate alone is responsible for the improvement in running economy, they can’t deny that Nike has seen improvements through their carbon-plated shoes. Their new working hypothesis is that the magic isn’t in the plate, it’s in the foam – the plate is merely a prop to help the foam to do its thing. 

When considered alongside World Athletics’ new shoe rules this hypothesis makes a little more sense. WA’s rules, which came out in early 2020, put a regulation on the plate (there can be only one per shoe), but they almost imposed an upper limit to stack heights, putting regulations on the foam as well. This could’ve been a happy accident or maybe they’re onto the fact that the foam is very much a part of the secret sauce of Nike, and other companies’, fastest shoes. 

What does this mean?

There have been lots of hypotheses about how much faster one could’ve run if only they’d had carbon-plated shoes back in the day. Researchers in this study suggest that you probably wouldn’t have run much faster by slapping a stiff plate into the middle of your shoe’s foam. They concluded, “Changing footwear bending stiffness hardly changes athlete biomechanics and may not improve running economy. Therefore, if competitive distance runners went back in time, added carbon-fiber plates to their footwear, and re-raced, their performance would likely not change.”

But slapping some fancy new foam and a carbon plate onto your old upper – now that might have produced some faster times. 

(10/20/2020) Views: 76 ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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Canada’s Marco Arop sets sights on Tokyo

Canada tallied five medals at the World Athletics Championships Doha 2019, so it was not surprising that Marco Arop’s excellent seventh-place finish in the 800m would be somewhat buried in the team’s performance review.

Just 21 years old at the time, the tall Sudan-born runner had earned the Pan American title two months earlier, running a then personal best of 1:44.25. But few expected him to survive the harsh preliminary rounds in Doha which required tactical nuance, stamina and most importantly experience at the highest level. Clearly the young man was up to the challenge and has immense potential.

Despite the uncertainty caused by a world pandemic, Arop has continued to make progress this year, setting a new personal best of 1:44.14 while finishing third at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Monaco last month. That extraordinary result was followed by two second-place finishes in Bydgoszcz and Stockholm. In the latter he led down the home straight but couldn’t hold off world champion Donavan Brazier. Still, he ran a very good 1:44.67.

But it was the Monaco result which stoked his confidence, particularly since it was three seconds faster than his season opener in Atlanta, a four-and-a-half hour drive from his apartment in Starkville, Mississippi.

“I ended up running 1:47 high in Atlanta and I could feel there was so much more left in the tank,” he remembers. “Coming into Monaco I wanted to run fast and I was just lucky enough to be able to travel there and have that calibre of competition there. It was the perfect set up, the perfect race for me.”

Shortly after his brief European excursion, he returned to his training base in Starkville where he voluntarily quarantined for 14 days. Although he has a year and a half of academic studies in business information systems to complete, he chose to forego his eligibility at Mississippi State University to accept a contract from Adidas. Now, with a positive frame of mind, he believes an Olympic podium finish is attainable.

“Definitely! That’s just the way I have to look at it if I want to succeed,” he says. “It’s a long way from (now until) Tokyo 2021 and I am just hoping that I will be ready come the day and I am doing whatever I can to stay healthy, stay fit and become stronger.

“My goal is to win the Olympics. I know there are some really great competitors out there and I respect them all. But, at the end of the day, I want to win just as much as anybody else.”

That might be construed as youthful naïveté especially since he only became serious about athletics in his senior year at Edmonton’s St Oscar Romero Catholic High School – barely three years ago. Nevertheless, under the tutelage of Voleo Athletics Club coach Ron Thompson, Arop has become a quick study in 800-metre running, latching on to heroes from the past whose physical size equals his own 1.93m height.

“I have met (1984 Olympic 800m champion) Joaquim Cruz and I have watched him race in a couple of YouTube videos,” Arop says. “Guys like him and David Rudisha are huge role models and inspiration for me and I try to race like them. Front running is my strength.

“Coach Ron would say I can’t run the same as some of the other guys because I am not the same size. If I am in the front, it helps me stay out of trouble and control the race. That’s one thing I like to do – take the pace and decide when and where I should kick.”

“You can’t really take anything for granted,” Arop now says. “You never know who is going to come out on top.

“That’s one thing I want to take into Tokyo: not leaving anything to chance. Prelims and the semifinals and then, in the final – it’s who is having a good day.”

(09/30/2020) Views: 121 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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

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The 10th Mattoni Ústí nad Labem Half Marathon succeeded the pandemic challenge

Over two thousand runners flooded the streets of Ústí nad Labem during the jubilee 10th year of the Mattoni Half 10th year of the Mattoni Half Marathon. The event showed that even in difficult times caused by the coronavirus pandemic, it is worth fighting. The race was won by the Ukrainian runner Ivan-Bohdan Horodyskyi in men’s category, and dominated by a German in women’s. Kristina Hendel. Vít Pavlišta and Marcela Joglová confirmed this year's half-marathon dominance among the Czechs.

The 10th Mattoni Ústí nad Labem Half Marathon was organized in difficult conditions. Masks were worn everywhere except on the course itself; runners had to deal with limited refreshment stations. "It was not easy at all, but thanks to the cooperation with the region, the city, hygiene offices and everyone else, we succeeded. I am proud that Ústí could see a great race and I hope that we have inspired organizers of mass participation races in our country and in the world“, says Carlo Capalbo, President of the RunCzech Organizing Committee.

Ukrainian runner Ivan-Bohdan Horodyskyi finished in first place with a time of 1:03:54, Italian Said El Otmani (1:04:00) finished second, and Emmanuel Roudolff-Levisse (1:04:35) third. The best Czech Vít Pavlišta finished close behind him in a personal record of 1:04:48.

Thanks to Marcela Joglová and Eva Vrabcová Nývltová, the Czech flag appeared at the head of the women's race until halfway through, but in the end the European rivals were stronger. Gold is taken by Kristina Hendel from Germany (1:13:29), silver by Nuria Lugueros Diaz from Spain (1:14:17) and bronze by Italian Fatna Maraqui (1:14:34).

The fastest Czech woman Marcela Joglová finished in the overall fourth position in the time of 1:15:12. Eva Vrabcová Nývltová took second place during the big half marathon return. "Five kilometers of run, then next fifteen a struggle, and last two almost a walk. It was really hard," Eva evaluated her time 1:18:21 and added: "Some speed remained there, I have to pick up the pace again and not burn it next time. It is difficult with breastfeeding, my heartbeats jump a lot, and it’s like up and down.”

Part of the Saturday event was the traditional Spolchemie Czech Championship in Handbike and also a dm Family Run with 1113 participants. “Organizing an event seems to be a small miracle these days. Due to the special circumstances, we feel we are doing double more work in double less time. Practically, we are adding whole one more chapter of Covid 19 prevention in our organizing manuals”, says tiredly but obviously satisfied Tomaš Coufal, the director of this race.

However, even in this difficult times, RunCzech celebrated the 10th anniversary of the race with a beautiful present for all runners. A 10th anniversary jubillee high quality adidas running t-shirt.

Women

Women ranking | Name | Result | Nationality

1 | Hendel Kristina | 1:13:29 | GER

2 | Lugueros Diaz Nuria | 1:14:17 | ESP

3 | Maraoui Fatna | 1:14:34 | ITA

4 | Joglová Marcela | 1:15:12 | CZE

5 | Korneenko Ekaterina | 1:16:35 | BLR

6 | Vrabcová Nývltová Eva | 1:18:21 | CZE

7 | Hrochová Tereza | 1:19:45 | CZE

8 | Sekyrová Ivana | 1:21:42 | CZE

9 | Jíšová Barbora | 1:23:06 | CZE

10 | Davidová Lucie | 1:25:04 | CZE

Men

Men ranking | Name | Result | Nationality

1 | Horodyskyi Bohdan-Ivan | 1:03:54 | UKR

2 | El Otmani Said | 1:04:00 | ITA

3 | Roudolff-Levisse Emmanuel | 1:04:35 | FRA

4 | Pavlišta Vít | 1:04:48 | CZE

5 | Habz Azeddine | 1:04:53 | FRA

6 | Jimenez Alejandro | 1:05:06 | ESP

7 | Zemaník Jakub | 1:07:27 | CZE

8 | Vejmelka Daniel | 1:09:56 | CZE

9 | Sansom Ruben | 1:10:00 | NED

10 | Homoláč Jiří | 1:11:47 | CZE

(09/19/2020) Views: 117 ⚡AMP
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Runners sponsored by smaller companies might be in a better position than those who are signed by major brands

Earlier this week, the Swiss running shoe company On announced that it was starting an elite training group in Boulder, Colorado, called the On Athletics Club. It’s safe to say that this doesn’t seem like the most auspicious time to invest in professional running. Even though the Diamond League—the world’s premier track and field competition circuit—is scheduled to begin an abridged summer season on Friday, this year has seen an unprecedented number of race cancellations and it’s difficult to predict when the bleeding will stop.

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach has already gone on record saying that the Tokyo Games, which have been postponed to summer 2021, will not be delayed a second time. If they can’t be staged next August, the Olympics will be canceled outright, thus depriving track athletes of their quadrennial moment in the sun.

According to Steve DeKoker, On’s Global Sports Marketing Manager, the company has long been looking to develop an elite running team and the Boulder-based group represents the most significant move in that direction to date. For now, the On Athletics Club consists of eight runners, all of whom are in their 20s and were standout NCAA athletes (the University of Colorado’s Joe Klecker and the University of Wisconsin’s Alicia Monson are the headliners).

Recently retired Olympian Dathan Ritzenhein will act as coach. It has been disclosed that these athletes will be signing multi-year deals with no reduction clauses (i.e. performance quotas)—a risky move, perhaps, but one that On might currently be well-positioned to make thanks to a potential pandemic-inspired uptick in recreational running.

“Running is kind of experiencing this second boom,” DeKoker told Letsrun.com. “We’ve got all these folks at home who are struggling with different issues, but running is a viable activity for them. Whereas if you’re Nike, and you’re in 50 different verticals, running might be a positive one, but you’ve got a bunch of other sports that are hemorrhaging right now.”

There has been some evidence to bear this out. Nike has reported a 38 percent decline in total revenue through May 31. More specifically, last week, the market research company NPD published an article noting that prominent brands (Nike, Adidas, Under Armour) had an overall sales decline in athletic footwear in the first half of 2020, while several running-focused shoe companies had fared conspicuously well.

Hoka One One and On, in particular, saw year-over-year sales increases of 75 and over 50 percent, respectively. (An On representative has confirmed this, and added that the brand had recorded its highest ever sales month in June 2020.) Matt Taylor, the co-founder and CEO of the independent running apparel brand Tracksmith, told me that “there’s been a noticeable uptick in people running over the last few months,” and that Tracksmith was “seeing this trend reflected” in its business.

While the running industry will never be entirely insulated from the state of the overall economy, there is some logic to the notion that the sport is well-suited to weather a financial downturn. To use DeKoker’s term, running is a “viable activity” for many people because it is relatively cheap, accessible, and offers both physical and mental health benefits during times of uncertainty.

The most recent running boom occurred during the years immediately following the Great Recession; starting around 2008, there was a continual increase in running event participation, culminating in 2013, when a record 19 million runners took part in U.S. road races.

Of course, from a running perspective, one of the uniquely cruel aspects of the COVID-19 recession is that the pandemic has precluded the staging of most mass participation events. The New York Road Runners, the largest non-profit running events company in the United States, laid off eleven percent of its employees and furloughed an additional 28 percent in July. Hence, any discussion about how the pandemic might end up “benefiting” the running industry in shoe or apparel sales must be weighed against this freeze of running events.

For professional runners, meanwhile, the cancellation of big-ticket races signifies a loss in prospective appearance fees and prize money. Some athletes might also be contractually obligated to run a pre-set number of races, which, needless to say, has not been so easy in 2020. That’s why this has been the summer of intrasquad competitions, in which training partners take part in de facto time trials that have been spruced up just enough to qualify as official meets. While some of these events have yielded impressive performances—most notably Shelby Houlihan, of the Bowerman Track Club, breaking her own American record in the 5,000-meters—there have also been farcical scenarios where world-class athletes phoned it in, presumably so that they can reach their race quotas. (Last week, reigning Olympic 1,500-meter champion Matthew Centrowitz “raced” an 800... and ran 3:08. His personal best in the event is 1:44.)

It’s not a coincidence that the most prominent examples of these sham races have involved Nike athletes. After all, the Oregon-based company sponsors far more runners than any other brand. They have the funds to do it, but casting a wide net might also make it more difficult for Nike to offer elite runners the contractual perks of smaller, running-focused companies like Oiselle, On, and, recently, Tracksmith. For now, reduction clauses still seem to be the norm for the typical Nike track athlete. (A Nike spokesperson told me that the company does not comment on athlete contracts.)

Hawi Keflezighi, an agent whose clients include his brother Meb Keflezighi and recent U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon champion Aliphine Tuliamuk, agreed that this was likely to be the case. “I think Nike deserves credit for all the athletes and events that they sponsor, but at the same time, within that business model, if you have a lot of athletes, you can’t be as flexible as when you only have five or ten athletes on your roster,” Keflezighi, whose brother was a Nike athlete for years before signing with Skechers in 2011, told me. He added that, while it’s typical for companies to reassess which athletes they want to sponsor at the end of an Olympic cycle, the current uncertainty surrounding the fate of the Games, and looming recession, mean that conditions for athletes are even more cutthroat than usual.

“I think the bigger brands definitely have tougher decisions to make, just because they have a bigger investment overall,” Keflezighi says. “The athletes with those brands, especially if they are not medal contenders or in a great position to make the US Olympic team—under this environment, those athletes’ contracts are a little bit more vulnerable. If you have a smaller roster of athletes, you might be able to say, ‘Hey, you know what? Let me give that athlete an extra year or two.”

DeKoker echoed this sentiment. “Obviously, performance is going to be a key element, but it’s not the only element with On,” he says. “I do think that, at some of these other companies, it’s much more of a numbers game and unfortunately some athletes are going to be on the losing end of that.”

What will the “numbers game” look like in a worst case scenario where next year’s Olympics ultimately do get canceled? With any luck, we won’t get to find out.

(09/19/2020) Views: 134 ⚡AMP
by Outside Online
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16-Year-Old Rheinhardt Harrison Trying To Become The Youngest Runner In History To Break The 4-Minute Barrier At The Atlanta Track Club Classic

An attempt to become the youngest runner in history to break the four-minute mile barrier headlines Saturday night's Atlanta Track Club Classic. Start lists for the middle distance-focused meet, which will be held at an undisclosed high school facility in Atlanta, were released today.

Rheinhardt Harrison is already the fastest 16-year-old in American history. Last month, the Florida high school junior ran 4:01.34 at the Music City Distance Carnival in Nashville. On Saturday, he will attempt to become just the 12th American high school runner to break four minutes in the mile and the first junior to do so since Jim Ryun's historic run in 1964. Harrison would also become the youngest person ever to run under four- minutes at 16 years, 6 months and 28 days old. Jakob Ingebrigtsen of Norway was 16 years, 8 months and 18 days old when he broke four-minutes at the Prefontaine Classic in 2017.

Harrison will be joined on the start line by former Florida State standout Kasey Knevelbaard (3:58.08). Multiple pacemakers have been assigned to the race with a goal pace of 1:59 through 800m for Harrison.

The District Track Club's Edose Ibadin leads the men's 800m having run a season's best of 1:44.81 last month in Washington D.C. Teammate Alex Amankwah (1:44.80) and Atlanta Track Club's Abraham Alvarado (1:46.62) will challenge Ibadin for the victory.

The women's 800 includes two women on the cusp of breaking two minutes. New Balance's Hannah Segrave (2:00.18) and The District Track Club's Jazmine Fray (2:01.18) lead a field that will also include high school national record holder Sammy Watson (Adidas) and former NCAA runner-up Allie Wilson (Atlanta Track Club).

The Atlanta Track Club Classic will kick off with a series of masters races including a men's and women's 100m and a men's mile. Elite races will be streamed on Atlanta Track Club's Instagram account (@atlantatrackclub) beginning with the men's 800m at 7:45 p.m. EST.

Atlanta Track Club will follow strict COVID-19 safety protocols as required by USA Track & Field's sanctioning requirements to ensure the safety of the athletes, coaches and staff. All athletes must submit two negative COVID-19 tests within seven days of the event. Wellness checks will be administered on site. No spectators will be permitted inside the venue.

(09/12/2020) Views: 143 ⚡AMP
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Adidas, ASICS and Nike boost anti-doping programme ahead of road running return

World Athletics’ road running season will recommence this month with an improved anti-doping programme thanks to the financial support of three major shoe companies.

The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) revealed that Adidas, ASICS and Nike have agreed to inject money into the Road Running Integrity Programme, meaning more than 300 platinum and gold label athletes will be monitored and tested during the coming season.

The 2020 schedule is due to resume on Sunday (September 6) with the Vidovdanska Trka 10km and is set to feature the Virgin Money London Marathon on October 4 – the same day as the Kosice Peace Marathon in Slovakia.

Last year, the AIU reached an agreement with the Abbott World Marathon Majors which pledged to provide additional funding for intelligence-led anti-doping investigation and testing programmes.

The Road Running Integrity Programme has been expanded this year with contributions from other key stakeholders of the road running community – the organisers of all Label races, athlete representatives and the three shoe companies.

More than 350 out-of-competition tests were carried out by the AIU during the first three months of the year.

But due to the decreased number of races in 2020 following the COVID-19 outbreak, the programme has been adapted.

"When we put together this programme, we had no forewarning of how disruptive the coronavirus pandemic would be to the road racing calendar this year," Brett Clothier, head of the AIU, said.

"Despite the very many other challenges this has created for Label races, agents and shoe manufacturers, not least financially, we’re delighted that these funding contributors remain committed to this anti-doping programme.

"Race cancellations have allowed us to reduce the annual budget in these exceptional circumstances and make smaller demands on some of our contributors than they initially agreed but even the directors of cancelled races have been willing to continue making some contributions to a programme that will protect the integrity of their events in years to come.

"We are pleased that these three shoe companies also recognise that this programme is crucial to the health of the sport, both ethically and commercially, and are willing to support it.

"Their collaboration will allow us to build an even stronger integrity platform for 2021, when we hope that the sport can resume on a more normal footing."

Jon Ridgeon, chief executive at World Athletics, added: "The cooperation that we are seeing between the different commercial stakeholders, including some of the shoe companies, to support the integrity of our sport, is an important development for the future of road racing and I would like to thank them for their commitment."

One of the key features of the programme for 2020 includes an overall registered testing pool of 305 athletes with the majority of those believed to be from Kenya and Ethiopia.

The top 40 runners (20 male and 20 female) are set to be tested in accordance with an advanced intelligence-led testing programme that is appropriate to their 2020 racing calendar.

The remaining 265 athletes will be subject mainly to group testing specifically for the purpose of establishing their athlete biological passport (ABP) profile.

The AIU, in conjunction with the two National Federations and the National Anti-Doping Agencies in Ethiopia and Kenya, is also expected to support educational activities across the 305 athletes, utilising digital resources, leaflets, virtual conferences and face-to-face seminars, when and where they are safe to conduct, for the remainder of the year.

"This approach is a practical response to the unique circumstances we currently face with regards to road running," Clothier added.

"There was clear feedback from the key stakeholders, that, despite the financial difficulties, the sport does not want to raise the white flag on anti-doping and when the sport does return to a more normal level of competition in the future, it should be with a strong integrity platform still in place."

 

(09/06/2020) Views: 133 ⚡AMP
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The Prague half-marathon will be holding an elite-only event and announces world record attempt

Early this Saturday something very fast will be happening in the Czech capital of Prague.

RunCzech, organizer of the Volkswagen Prague Marathon and other top-class events, will be holding an elite-only half-marathon in Letná Park called the Prague 21.1 KM – Ready for the Restart.  The objective?  Get at least one man to break 58:30 and one woman to break the women-only world record of 1:06:11 on the special 16.5-lap course which will be closed to the public.

“The pandemic has deprived these great athletes of the chance to participate in races all across the world,” said RunCzech president Carlo Capalbo through a statement.  “It has deprived us from witnessing some of the great performances that we’re accustomed to seeing.  We wanted to find a way of doing something spectacular for everyone.”

Spectacular, indeed.  Capalbo’s team has assembled a superb field of nine women and 18 men who will have the benefit of strong pacemaking.  Five women on the entry last have broken 1:06:00 for the half-marathon, led by Kenyans Joan Chelimo, Peres Jepchirchir, and Edith Chelimo.  Ethiopians Senbere Teferi and Netsanet Gudeta have also broken 66 minutes (see full athlete list below).  On the men’s side, nine men have broke 60:00 led by Kenyans Stephen Kiprop, Kibiwott Kandie, and Benard Kimeli (see full list below).

Interestingly, the fastest times ever run on Czech soil are 58:47 by Ethiopia’s Atsedu Tsegay in Prague in 2012, and 64:52 by Kenya’s Joyciline Jepkosgei in Prague in 2017.  Jepkosgei’s time was achieved in a mixed-gender race.  The fastest times in the world this year are 58:58 by Kibiwott Kandie and 1:04:31 by Yeshaneh Ababel of Ethiopia.  Both marks were achieved at the RAK Half in the UAE on February 21.

Saturday’s event will also be a demonstration project for adidas, a long-time partner of RunCzech.  All of the athletes will be wearing the World Athletics-approved adizero adios Pro (39mm sole thickness) racing shoe.  The shoe, which sells in the United States for $200 a pair, has an ultra lightweight mesh upper, LightStrike Pro foam, a carbon fiber heel plate, and five carbon-infused “energy rods” in the forefoot which, the company says, were “inspired by the bone structure of the foot.”  The shoe weights 7.9 ounces (224 grams).

“adidas has 70 years experience of working with elite athletes on shoes designed to win races,” said adidas Running’s design vice-president Sam Handy through a statement.  “Our expertise has continually evolved as athletes and sports science has progressed.  This shoe is our pinnacle race product, representing all those decades of dedication, experience and collaboration.”

Capalbo is not only hoping for fast times, but is also trying to inject some life into road running which has been hit hard by the pandemic.  While in-stadium athletics is already back to a high level, most road races have had to switch to “virtual” status, where athletes run on their own, or have simply been cancelled.  Capalbo wants to show what is possible, even during a pandemic.  Saturday’s event will be held in compliance with current Czech regulations for fighting COVID-19.

“While this race is coming at what would normally be the end of the (RunCzech) season we hope in a way that it will be the start, a spark, that gets race organizers all over the world thinking creatively about how to keep the sport alive.”

The Prague 21.1 KM – Ready for the Restart will be broadcast live on ČT Sport, and there will be an international live stream with English language commentary.

(09/01/2020) Views: 132 ⚡AMP
by David Monti
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Prague Half Marathon

Prague Half Marathon

Start the RunCzech season with one of the biggest running events in the Central Europe! Every year the Sportisimo Prague Half Marathon excites spectators with performances of elite athletes breaking records. Enjoy a course with incomparable scenery in the heart of historic Prague that follows along the Vltava river and crisscrosses five beautiful bridges. Take in majestic views of the...

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Beers, Bomb Suits and Blue Jeans: The Weirdest Mile-Run Records Known to Man-13 baffling ways humans have covered 5,280 feet

The running and drinking communities have long shared an unlikely Venn diagram. In the 1930s, some athletes would bring beer along for lengthy workouts, believing that its hearty grains might propel them to longer distances. For decades, at the end of the Berlin Marathon, runners who’ve made the podium are given medals and enormous boots of Erdinger. And these days, running clubs like Toronto’s RUNTOBEER start and finish at breweries around the city. Hell, there’s even a craft brewery in Chico, California, called Sufferfest that’s operated by lifelong runners and makes light, low-calorie ales designed for the highly active beer drinker.

Still, there is no greater (nor less subtle) collision of these two disciplines than the infamous Beer Mile, a concept that is arguably more popular than any internationally sanctioned event in the entire sport of track and field. It’s an irresistible blend — the familiarity of elementary-school gym class with the low-class hijinks of college — and it’s at the forefront of an unofficial, utterly unasked-for movement in both the amateur and professional running circles: run four laps hard, but make it weird.

In the last five months, runners have set two new, preposterously specific mile-run records: one while handcuffed, and one while wearing a pair of blue jeans. It would be tempting to laugh these efforts off, if only they weren’t so fast. (The jeans miler rumbled in at an unholy 4:06.) And really, at the end of the day, it’s fun to embrace these races, which wed the appeal of an old, oft-forgotten sport with stunts and gimmicks that thrive on social media.

Which is exactly what we’ve done. Below, find the 13 weirdest mile-run records known to man — including the fastest miles ever run in a bomb suit, with a dog and under the influence of chocolate milk.

Fastest Beer Mile

Corey Bellemore, 4:33

Bellemore actually ran a 4:24 about a year after his 4:33 mark, but got disqualified for leaving a combined 4.5 ounces of beer in his “empties.” Those judges are serious. As is his running ability; he’s an Adidas-sponsored athlete with a personal best of 3:57 to his name. Which is a crucial theme in the world of wacky mile records: always eager for a challenge, the pros inevitably hijack the bonkers creations of layman runners. Just six years ago, for instance, the running world had celebrated its first sub-five beer mile. Check out the full catalogue of all-time bests here, including stats on the favored beers. (Budweiser is currently in the lead, though Bellemore, a Canadian, prefers the craft stuff from Ontario’s Flying Monkeys Brewery.)

Fastest Mile in Jeans

Johnny Gregorek, 4:06

This past May, Asics athlete Johnny “The Jet” Gregorek ran a blistering 4:06 in a pair of Levi 501s. It was enough to beat Dillion Maggard’s former record time of 4:11, and horrify millions across the internet who think wearing jeans on a plane should be a “criminal offense.” Gregorek, who is a middle-distance star with a silver medal from the 2019 Pan American Games, trained for his record by running 100-meter sprints in the blue jeans to break them in. On race day, he also managed to raise $31,000 for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, in an homage to his late brother. Levi’s donated $5,000.

Fastest Walking Mile

Tom Bosworth, 5:31

Of all the feats listed here, this is the only one that doesn’t actually involve running. And yet, it’s also the only one you’re likely to find at a legitimate track meet. Racewalking is very much a sport, despite the fact that it looks like several minutes of that “This one is serious” dash people make for the bathroom after eating bad shellfish. The only rule? Keep one foot in contact with the ground at all times, which distinguishes it from the leaps and bounds of running. Distances usually start at 3,000 meters, and hike all the way up to 100 kilometers (that’s 62 miles), but mile races have some popularity, too. At the 2017 Diamond League in London, British race walker Tom Bosworth clocked in at 5:31, to the delight of a very excited commentator.

Fastest Mile Downhill

Mike Boit, 3:27

We recently covered a virtual, March Madness-style running tournament called “Survival of the Fastest,” in which runners were pitted against each other each week to race a new, specific distance. Downhill racing was allowed in the competition (even encouraged) and by the time the bracket had been whittled down to a final four, every runner involved was hitting start on Strava from the top of a mountain in order to ensure the most competitive time possible. It really does make an absurd difference. Hicham El Guerrouj has holds the official world record for the mile run (3:43), but Mike Boit’s performance in 1983, when he sprinted down a hill through the center of Auckland to a 3:27 finish, is the fastest a human being has ever covered 1,600 meters on his own two feet.

Fastest Mile in Alaska

Ben Blankenship, 3:57

“An Alaskan Mile” was an official selection for the Flagstaff Mountain Film Festival in 2018, and it chronicles an effort by eight elite runners — with Oregon and Olympian pedigrees among them — to become the first to break the four-minute barrier on Alaskan soil. As Trevor Dunbar (one of the runners, the event organizer and from Kodiak, himself) points out, Alaska only has three months where such an accomplishment would be remotely possible, and even then, high winds or even frost could arrive right before the gun goes off. It’s worth the 20-minute watch if you’re interested, but just know that Alaskans were amped to see Minnesotan Ben Blankenship go well under four, setting a new state record.

Fastest Mile on a Treadmill

Anthony Famiglietti, 3:58

It’s Anthony Famigletti’s party, and he’ll run a 3:58 mile on a treadmill if he wants to. A former Olympian who competed in the 3,000-meter steeplechase in Beijing, Famiglietti recruited the fastest American miler ever, Alan Webb (3:46), to help him start breaking four-minute miles into his forties. It worked. This is Famiglietti late last year, on his 41st birthday, running at a 3:58 pace for a full mile on his treadmill. Forget anything you’ve heard about treadmills juicing performance; that’s irrelevant here. Him staying on that machine is akin to deftly canoeing through Class V rapids. And better yet, he got to do it at his own Reckless Running store in Mooresville, North Carolina, which he owns with his wife.

Fastest Mile with a Dog

Anthony Famiglietti, 3:59

More Famigletti. Another impressive sub-four — this one a year earlier, at age 40 — but all credit here goes to Bailey the dog, who casually rolled out of bed to brush against the pinnacle of human athletic achievement, and wanted more. Famigletti affixed Bailey to his waist via a hands-free “bungee” leash (which doesn’t exactly square with our dog running tips, by the way) and ran hard to earn his time. But the fact that Bailey basically dragged an adult 5,280 feet and didn’t once chase a squirrel is the real takeaway here.

Fastest Backwards Mile

Aaron Yoder, 5:54

The Guinness World Record for fastest backpedaled mile ended with the following exchange:

Fastest Chocolate Milk Mile

Mars Bishop, 4:56

On paper, it’s the PG-rated beer mile. But subbing chocolate milk for beer is no joke, and arguably more likely to end in puke penalties. At the 2nd Annual Chocolate Milk Mile in Cranston, Rhode Island, runners slugged cups of the good stuff from East Providence’s Munroe Dairy Farm. A number of runners had to run shame laps for spewing, but runner Mars Bishop torched the track to the tune of 4:56. Because the rules to the Chocolate Milk Mile are exactly the same as the Beer Mile, beermile.com has apparently decided to include the results in its database. (Under beer of choice, they put a chocolate milk logo.) With all respect to Bishop, this record — from 2017 — seems ready to be broken again.

Fastest Mile While Handcuffed

Jeremy Greenwald, 4:52

Save your “running from the cops” jokes, YouTube’s finest have already handled that. Besides, we’re legitimately interested in this from a physical standpoint. Despite the amount of long-distance runners you see without much meat on their arms, the mile is a bang-bang event, where many competitors rely on a dramatic, arm-pumping “kick” in their last lap. To break five with those arms rendered useless is a real challenge. It’s clear from the video that Greenwald, a former Division 1 runner at Georgia Tech, had to rely heavily on his core muscles while keeping his shoulders straight and back; after all, if he fell, the whole thing was over. The previous record for this “event” was 6:37.

Fastest Mile in a Bomb Suit

Daniel Glenn, 8:57

Advanced Bomb Suits weigh 80 pounds, and are reinforced with Kevlar ballistic panels that can withstand blasts traveling at supersonic speeds of over 1,600 m/s. If you’ve seen The Hurt Locker, you have an idea of how serious they are: soldiers routinely get heat exhaustion from just walking around a few paces in one, so for Lt. Daniel Glenn to complete a full mile in one is unheard of. But to do so at the clip of an average American mile time (nine to 10 minutes) is staggering. Even more impressive: he did it in Florida.

Fastest Mile While Juggling

Zach Prescott, 4:43

Yeah, you were probably going to get through your entire life without discovering that “joggling” existed, and you would’ve been just fine. Sorry. Joggling is running while juggling three objects in time, and for decades, Kirk Swenson was the undisputed king of the sport. He joggled a 4:43.8 way back in 1986. Then Boston University runners Zach Prescott came along, and threw three lacrosse balls around en route to a buzzer-beater 4:43.2 victory. Guinness World Records is still in the process of verifying the new record.

Fastest Mile in Death Valley While Wearing a Darth Vader Suit

Jonathan Rice, 6:13

This happened and and there is NOTHING any of us can do about it.

(08/22/2020) Views: 183 ⚡AMP
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First american trio Cory McGee, Dani Jones and Emma Coburn, to run sub 4:24 in the same race at Indiana Mile

Cory McGee, Dani Jones and Emma Coburn took advantage of racing at sea level for the first time outdoors this year and achieved history by becoming the first American trio to all run under 4 minutes, 24 seconds in the same race Saturday at the Team Boss Indiana Mile at Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion.

McGee, a New Balance professional, surged with 250 meters remaining and never relinquished control, clocking a lifetime-best 4:21.81 to elevate to the No. 8 all-time American outdoor performer.

Jones (4:23.33), a first-year professional, and Coburn (4:23.65), also a New Balance athlete, achieved significant personal bests to ascend to the Nos. 10 and 11 outdoor performers in U.S. history.

Tripp Hurt won the men’s mile in a world-leading 3:56.18, just off his 3:56.02 lifetime best, with Nick Harris running a personal-best 3:57.11 and Mason Ferlic achieving a sub-4 clocking for the first time in his career to place third in 3:58.87.

McGee also achieved a 1,500-meter personal best en route of 4:03.82 to run the fastest female mile time ever on Indiana soil. Jones also ran 4:05 to lower her 1,500 personal best as well.

Canadian talent Nicole Sifuentes clocked 4:30.50 in the mile on the oversized indoor track at Notre Dame in 2016, to move just ahead of Suzy Favor Hamilton’s 4:30.64 on a standard 200-meter indoor banked track from 1989 in Indianapolis.

But thanks to the aggressive pacing of South African Dom Scott Efurd, an adidas professional who brought the group through 440 yards at 1:03.2 and the midway point in 2:10.08, all of her teammates benefited to post the top three outdoor marks in the world this year.

Coburn, who ran 4:32.72 at 4,583 feet elevation June 27 to win the Team Boss Colorado Mile at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, held the advantage with one lap remaining Saturday at 3:16.30, followed closely by McGee (3:16.56) and Jones (3:16.85).

On four previous occasions, a pair of Americans had both run under 4:24 in the same mile race, but never a trio of athletes. The most recent occurrence came at the 2018 Muller Anniversary Games, the annual London Diamond League Meeting, with Jenny Simpson placing fourth in 4:17.30 and Kate Grace taking eighth in 4:20.70 behind winner and Dutch star Sifan Hassan in 4:14.71.

Grace and Shannon Rowbury were the only tandem to achieve the feat indoors at the 2017 Wanamaker Mile at the NYRR Millrose Games, finishing second and third behind World 1,500-meter gold medalist Hassan.

The other two races where two Americans have run under 4:24 outdoors occurred at the 2015 Diamond League final in Belgium – with Rowbury and Simpson taking third and fourth behind Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon and Hassan – along with the 1998 Goodwill Games in New York, where Regina Jacobs and Favor Hamilton took second and third behind Ireland’s Sonia O’Sullivan.

The last country to achieve the feat of three athletes running sub-4:24 in the same mile race was Ethiopia, which had Gudaf Tsegay (4:18.31), Axumawit Embaye (4:18.58) and Alemaz Samuel (4:23.35) at last year’s Diamond League Meeting in Monaco.

Russia at the 1993 Golden Gala in Rome and Great Britain at the 2017 Muller Anniversary Games in London are the only other countries to accomplish the sub-4:24 trifecta in the same race.

Australian talent Morgan McDonald paced the men’s race through 440 yards in 58.9 and the midway point in 1:58.87. He brought his teammates through 1,000 meters at 2:28, before moving out wide to give way to Hurt just before the bell lap at 2:57.25.

Harris surged with 300 meters remaining to take a brief lead, but Hurt responded to regain the advantage with 200 left, as the athletes achieved the top two outdoor times in the world this year, with Ferlic elevating to the No. 4 global performer.

The fastest men’s mile time on Indiana soil remains a 3:54.48 from Irish star Marcus O’Sullivan in Indianapolis in 1993.

 

(07/27/2020) Views: 298 ⚡AMP
by Mile Split
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Adidas releases adizero adios Pro, Complete with five carbon-infused rods and LightstrikePRO midsole, this shoe doesn't actually have a carbon plate per se

Adidas announced this week that its fastest marathoning shoe yet will drop on June 30. The adizero adios Pro is the company’s newest carbon-plated shoe – with a twist.

Complete with five carbon-infused rods and LightstrikePRO midsole, this shoe doesn’t actually have a carbon plate per se.

This evolution of the adios Pro got started over a decade ago when Haile Gebrselassie shattered his own marathon world record in Berlin, running his personal best of 2:03:59, in the first version of the shoe. The protoype of this new iteration of the adios Pro made its racing debut at the 2020 Houston Half-Marathon, where the shoe was on the feet of Philemon Kiplimo and Abel Kipchumba, both Adidas athletes who finished in 59:28 and 59:35 respectively, for fourth and fifth place.

Twelve years later, the adios Pro is highly evolved and ready to take on the roads. 

Like other companies, Adidas received lots of feedback from its professional runners, who include half-marathon world record-holder Joyciline Jepkosgei and 10K world record-holder Rhonex Kipruto. Their collaboration with Adidas is how the energy rods were born.

Instead of the traditional full-slab carbon plate, energy rods are finger-like carbon sticks that move like the metatarsals in the foot. The rods are supposed to allow runners to maintain their speed for longer, optimize running economy and create less impact on the body. After all, marathoning is all about efficiency. 

The LightstrikePRO midsole is the company’s lightest and most-responsive material yet. Coupled with a carbon fibre heel plate for ankle stabilization, this shoe has some extremely innovative features that runners will be super excited to check out. At only 220 grams, this shoe will certainly be on the feet of many marathoners this fall. The adizero adios Pro becomes available in limited release on Tuesday, June 30. 

(06/27/2020) Views: 156 ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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These carbon fibre shoes are coming for Nike’s running crown In the race for every advantage, footwear designers are improving on nature by adding carbon fibre flex

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(06/21/2020) Views: 174 ⚡AMP
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Two elite athletes Mary Cain and Nick Willis sign with Tracksmith as full-time employees

Tracksmith, the independent running apparel brand out of Boston, announced its newest pair of partner athletes: Mary Cain and Nick Willis. This is not a traditional partnership, though, as Cain and Willis will both be working as full-time employees for the company in addition to running for the brand.

The duo will represent Tracksmith as they both work toward the Tokyo Olympic Games, which are set for July 2021, and they will do it as amateurs, a term that Tracksmith is looking to reclaim for everyone who loves to run.

In a post entitled “For the love” on the Tracksmith website announcing the brand’s newest partnership, founder and CEO Matt Taylor talks about the word “amateur,” which comes from Latin roots meaning “to love” and “I love.”

Taylor says “amateur” only recently became a term for non-professionals (around the 19th century or so), and now the team at Tracksmith wants to take the term back to its roots and refer to anyone who loves to run as “amateurs.”

In sports, athlete sponsorships are always dictated by results, and the better an athlete performs, the stronger their brand partnerships become. On the other hand, if their results start to decline, it’s not uncommon to see these relationships deteriorate and disappear.

This won’t be the case for Cain and Willis, because, working as Tracksmith employees and representing the brand as amateurs, they will have “the freedom to participate in the sport with no expectations or pressures outside of the ones they place on themselves.”

Cain made international headlines in November when she told the New York Times about the abuse she sustained while running with the Nike Oregon Project (NOP) under now-banned coach Alberto Salazar. Cain won gold in the 3,000m at the the world junior championships in 2014 before leaving the NOP a year later. In 2020, she returned to racing for the first time since 2016, and she is now working toward making her first U.S. Olympic team.

Cain’s official role at Tracksmith is New York community manager, and she will help grow the company’s “on-the-ground and virtual efforts in one of the most vibrant running scenes in the world.”

Willis, who’s 37 years old, tweeted he was leaving Adidas on Sunday, and there was some speculation that he might be retiring. Today, he tweeted again, saying, “I’m not retiring; I’m turning amateur.” Willis is a two-time Olympic medallist for New Zealand, having won silver in the 1,500m in Beijing in 2008 and bronze in the same event eight years later in Rio.

Willis is quoted on the Tracksmith site, saying, “It may sound counterintuitive, but I always discovered that my running career thrived the most when I embraced more. My best years, my fastest times, all emerged from times in my life when my running came, well, second.”

He’ll be looking to qualify for his fourth Olympics in 2021 while working as the athlete experience manager at Tracksmith, building programs to “inspire, motivate and deepen our community’s connection to the sport.”

(05/13/2020) Views: 404 ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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Kenyan runners are not earning money, not able to train as hard as usual but are trying to be positive during this COVID-19 crisis

The coronavirus has brought most elite sports to a grinding halt. While athletes who compete in individual sports are at an advantage, marathon runners too are finding it difficult to maintain their competitive edge.

Albert Korir, Henry Kiprop and Felix Kandie are professional marathon runners. Under normal circumstances, each of them would run 180 to 300 kilometers (111 to 186 miles) every week as part of their usual training routines. However, as in most other countries, Kenya's government has implemented restrictions of movement in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19.

This means Kenyan athletes, like Korir, Kiprop and Kandie, are now forced to train alone, and the restrictions have also forced them to roll back their training regimes – by as much as 200 kilometers less than prior to the pandemic. The sudden reduction in training doesn't come without risks.

"I went from 200 to 50 kilometers a week, so I am worried," Albert Korir says. "When you start active training again you might get injuries."

Korir usually runs two marathons a year. In 2019 he finished first in Houston and second in New York – while setting a personal best in the Canadian capital, Ottawa. Even though the restrictions on movement in Kenya have only been in place for a few weeks, the 26-year-old has already noticed that his fitness is starting to suffer.

"When you're training you breathe hard. Your body is not fit like before, like when you were training hard," he said. "There's even been some changes like weight gain."

Trimming their distances isn't the only problem; elite runners usually train in camps with up to 50 other competitors, but now many are forced to train alone.

For Felix Kandie the coronavirus couldn't have come at a worse time. He had been looking forward to running in what would have been his third Boston Marathon this year. But on April 20, the day when it was originally scheduled for, Kandie was at home – as the coronavirus had forced this year's Boston Marathon to be postponed.

"Now I would have been in Boston racing a few days ago," he said.

Kandie could get another shot if the Boston Marathon goes ahead in September, as organizers are hoping. But when the coronavirus outbreak started, he had already completed 80 percent of his training program in preparation for the event. Last year the 33-year-old had an incredible campaign, placing fourth in the Boston marathon and fifth in Berlin.

He told us that he would stick to his training program as closely as possible despite the restrictions. But at the same time he noted that individual training just wasn't as effective as training in a group.

"You need people there to push you. You need them to make you more competent," he said. "When you're training alone you may feel like you're running fine, but you're actually not getting something out of running alone. In a group you're able to assist each other in all decisions, the speed walking sessions and the morale sessions."

Henry Kiprop was getting ready for this year's Milano Marathon when the pandemic put paid to those plans. He was runner-up at the 2019 Venice Marathon with a time of 2:10, and he had been aiming to knock five minutes off his previous best. Now he is concerned about what this forced break and the absence of optimal training will do to his future performances.

"A marathon is like a process. You do it this year, you do it next year, and finally you have mastered the art of marathon running," he says.  "If you're told to go and run the London Marathon without training, that is quite impossible."

Financial impact 

Quite apart from the restrictions on training, many elite runners are also facing severe financial concerns. Korir is sponsored by German sports giant Adidas, but he still depends on races as his main source of income.

"We have to run and compete. If you don't have any races, then you don't have any finances so it will be difficult for us athletes."

Although many runners find themselves in the same boat, Kiprop believes the financial impact will vary.

"It all depends on the individual. All the marathons that I have been running, I have used my money well," he said. "I've invested in some real estate. So it may take me some time before things get bad for me."

While some can cushion the financial burden better than others, it is a precarious situation for all.

Like Kiprop, Kandie also invested his earnings when he started racing. He knew he can't run forever and needed to secure his financial future. But despite having a what he believes to be a sound financial plan, he would rather not tap into his savings.

"If things continue into next season. If things stay the same there will be big challenges because you have to use the investments that you have," he said.

'No competitions = no prize money'

So is anybody listening? World Athletics and the International Athletics Foundation recently set up a fund to help track-and-field athletes during the coronavirus crisis. World Athletics President Sebastian Coe is well aware of the athletes' financial problems.

"Clearly, if there are no competitions, there's no prize money. So the first objective is to try and get competition back into their world again," he says. 

What that may look like and when it'll come about depends on how quickly the coronavirus is contained.

For professional marathon runners this means continuing to make the best out of a difficult situation. But they know bouncing back to pre-coronavirus levels could take a while. They'll simply have to rely on their endurance and resistance to get them through what is looking more and more like a marathon, not just for professional runners, but people of all walks of life all over the globe.

(05/02/2020) Views: 236 ⚡AMP
by Alima Hotakie
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A World Marathon Day could bring us miles closer to recovery from the coronavirus pandemic

Just days after the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, apparel giant Adidas, one of the marathon’s official sponsors, raised money for victims and their families by selling limited-edition T-shirts with the message: “Boston Stands As One.”

Americans rallied in support one week after the horror, participating in #BostonStrong runs nationwide.

The time is coming for people around the world to remember a great tragedy, mourn our dead, honor our heroes, raise money for the afflicted and stand as one. The staggering coronavirus pandemic is not over by any stretch, but COVID-19 likely will be under control by late summer. Our financial well-being, however, will still be seriously threatened. It is not too early to begin planning for ways we can show our resilience, strength, hope and grace.

Post-coronavirus, the world will experience a series of firsts as people again gather en masse and our grief eases into relief. Let’s make this reawakening count. The first outdoor music festivals, for example, should benefit charities assisting those hit hardest by the coronavirus. Same with the first public events of any kind. Let donations flow wherever the invisible walls separating us fall, so we finally might remember how similar we are.

Which brings us back to Boston. The Boston Marathon is one of six Abbott World Marathon Majors held every year, along with New York City, Chicago, London, Berlin and Tokyo. These urban courses attract the planet’s most elite runners and tens of thousands of participants, and even larger crowds cheering the runners on.

This year, the organizers of those six renowned marathons should work together to hold a single World Marathon Day, with each race held in its respective city in a synchronized demonstration of post-coronavirus solidarity.

Monday, Oct. 26, would be an appropriate date, virus-permitting. Numerically it is 10.26.20, which acknowledges the 26.2 miles of a marathon course. Saturday, Sept. 26, also works (09.26.20). This one-time global effort could be promoted with the hashtag #WorldStrong26.2.

Ideally, cities worldwide will reschedule their own postponed or upcoming marathons to World Marathon Day in alliance with the six majors, while other communities hold shorter races and fun runs. (Five of the major marathons are either held in, or have been postponed to, the September-November period, so the logistics of shifting the date would not be onerous. Tokyo held its 2020 marathon on March 1 for elite runners only, and would host another.)

If this proves too massive a challenge, then at the least, all fall 2020 marathon organizers should communicate a common message and fundraising focus on whatever day they hold their events.

As I envision it, all race participants would be required to race for charity, and top finishers of races with prize money would agree to donate their winnings as well. Of course, runners could participate in only one race on this day, but elite runners typically enter only two marathons a year, at most, in the spring and fall. The coronavirus has done away with marathons through May at least, so consolidating these races into one day shouldn’t be an issue for the top competitors, particularly those who have already committed to a race.

Also, corporate sponsors of these marathons should agree to match the amount raised by race entry fees dollar for dollar and donate that money to charity.

In addition to raising hundreds of millions of dollars or more for charities including hospitals, food banks, housing agencies, mental-health services and educational programs, a World Marathon Day would generate meaningful economic benefits for cities and communities recovering from the coronavirus shutdown.

Marathons are good for business. The major marathons attract runners from all over the world, who spend on hotels, restaurants, bars, stores, tourist attractions and other entertainment.

(04/03/2020) Views: 275 ⚡AMP
by Jonathan Burton
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75 year-old, Jim Pearson has run at least a mile every day for 50 years and he won´t stop doing it

The lead story in The Seattle Times on Feb. 15, 1970, was headlined, “Nixon bans war toxins.” In sports, the banner trumpeted that the Seattle Pilots were dropping the price of their field box seats for 1970 from $6 to $4.50 – though it became a moot point when the Pilots moved to Milwaukee six weeks later.

One other event that day, however, went unnoted in the news. Jim Pearson, the cross-country coach at Ferndale High School, didn’t go for a run.

The world has changed in myriad ways in the ensuing half-century, but there has been one constant. Through rainstorms and blizzards, floods and Nor’westers, surgeries and illness, and now through a worldwide pandemic, Pearson has run every day since.

That’s 50 years, 40 days and counting for the 75-year-old Pearson, now hunkered down in Marysville. Hunkered, that is, except for his daily peregrination in Adidas, a welcome diversion in our shelter-in-place existence.

Put another way, it’s 18,304 straight days of running at least a mile, which is the minimum requirement for an officially recognized running streak (but Pearson, a former national record-holder at 50 miles, almost never runs that short a distance). Put yet another way, it’s 176,926 total miles, up to and including Pearson’s 2½-mile run on Friday.

It’s the second-longest active streak in the country, 266 days behind the 18,570 of 69-year-old Jon Sutherland of West Hills, Calif. Pearson says with mock indignation, “Every day I run, and I haven’t gained a day on him.”

But everyone else in the country, and probably the world, is behind these two ironmen, as compiled by the Streak Runners International Inc. and United States Running Streak Association, Inc. Their registry is all based on the honor system, but Pearson has 50 years-plus of log books and running diaries to back him up.

“I’ve always said the first 100 days are the hardest on this streak stuff,’’ said Pearson. “People say, ‘Oh, you’re amazing.’ No, I’m not. People who can do one year, that’s amazing. How do you run every day for a year? But once you’ve done that, it’s something you just do.”

Pearson is duly grateful that running is an activity that can be maintained through the coronavirus quarantining – with proper social distancing, of course. It’s just one of numerous challenges Pearson has faced to keep his streak alive since his summer coach with the Everett Elks track team, Keith Gilbertson Sr., implored Pearson to get more consistent with his running.

Running became a way of life in the Pearson family. All three of his children, two boys and a girl, put together run streaks that stretched into multiple years. Barbie, his wife, didn’t run, but she told Jim when they were married, “I won’t interfere with your running.”

 

(03/30/2020) Views: 486 ⚡AMP
by Larry Stone
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28 of Top 30 Men at Tokyo Marathon Used Nike's Latest and Previous Platform Shoe Models

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

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

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

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

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

(03/14/2020) Views: 406 ⚡AMP
by Japan Running News
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A look at the latest from Adidas, Adizero Pro carbon-plated shoe

Adidas has announced the release date of its commercially available carbon-plated shoe. The Adizero Pro is made of a Carbitex carbon-plate, a Lightstrike midsole (padded by a bit of Boost at the heel) and a Continental rubber outsole.

The shoe will be available to select markets on April 1, 2020 and worldwide on May 15, 2020.

Prototype versions of this shoe have been seen on the feet of four-time New York Marathon Champion Mary Keitany, 10K world record-holder Rhonex Kipruto, and even in 2008, on the feet of the former marathon world record-holder Haile Gebrselassie.

This is the first time the company is using Lightstrike in a running shoes (a TPU foam that made its debut in basketball). Adidas believes Lightstrike’s combination of stability and energy return will be appreciated by runners, especially over the full marathon distance.

The Adidas prototype that debuted at the 2020 Houston Marathon isn’t the shoe that was announced today. The all-white shoe had very subtle markings, with huge stack height and a line through the midsole, that presumably sandwiches a carbon plate.

While this isn’t the prototype that is hitting the market this spring, it could be a version of the carbon-plated shoe that we’ll see in available commercially in the fall.

Adidas joins Saucony, New Balance, Hoka, Under Armour, Brooks and Nike, which all have announced the release of their latest carbon-plated shoes this spring.

(02/13/2020) Views: 734 ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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Defending champion, International Medalists and National Record-Holders to Headline Women’s NYRR Wanamaker Mile

Defending champion and world championship medalist Konstanze Klosterhalfen of Germany, former NCAA champion Elinor Purrier, Canadian record-holder Gabriela DeBues-Stafford, and Pan American Games champion Nikki Hiltz of the United States will lead the NYRR Wanamaker Mile women’s field at the 113th NYRR Millrose Games on Saturday, February 8 at The Armory’s New Balance Track and Field Center.

The signature event at the NYRR Millrose Games has taken place every year on the women’s side since 1976 and will be broadcast live nationally on NBC for the fourth consecutive year from 4:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. ET, in addition to streamed live online on NBC Sports Gold.

“This year’s women’s NYRR Wanamaker Mile will feature some of the sport’s biggest rising international stars, including Konstanze, Elinor, Gabriela, and Nikki, who will headline a world-class field,” said NYRR Millrose Games Meet Director Ray Flynn. “We are excited to fill The Armory and cheer on these tremendous athletes.”

Klosterhalfen led the NYRR Wanamaker Mile from wire-to-wire last year, winning the race in 4:19.98 and breaking a 31-year-old German national record in the process. She went on to win a bronze medal over 5000 meters at the IAAF World Championships in Doha in October. The 22-year-old, who competed at the Rio 2016 Olympics, is the indoor German national record holder over one mile, 1500 meters, 3000 meters, and 5000 meters.

“I'm happy to be back in here to race the NYRR Wanamaker Mile again,” said Klosterhalfen. “Last year was my first time in New York and the atmosphere was great. I hope it'll be a good start into my 2020 season.”

Purrier was the runner-up at the 2019 New Balance Fifth Avenue Mile and represented the U.S. at the 2019 world championships, qualifying for the final in the 5000 meters. She was an 11-time All-American at the University of New Hampshire, where she won the 2018 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships in the women’s mile.

“The first time I ever ran in the NYRR Wanamaker Mile was when I was in college and it has been a special race to me ever since,” Purrier said. “It was the first time I had the chance to compete on such a big stage and against some of the world's best runners. It was one of the best opportunities I was given as a young emerging runner and certainly was a building block that helped establish my career. Now, as I represent New Balance, and return to the start line I feel very excited for this opportunity once again. Being invited to the NYRR Wanamaker Mile is a great privilege as it is one of the most pristine, competitive, and fun indoor races.”

DeBues-Stafford is the Canadian record-holder in the 1500 meters, mile, and 5000 meters, and finished sixth last year in the 1500 meters at the World Athletics Championships, smashing her own national record in the process. She represented her country at the Rio 2016 Olympics and the last two World Athletics Indoor Championships, and has won four consecutive national 1500-meter titles.

Hiltz represented the U.S. at the world championships last year after winning gold over 1500 meters at the Pan American Games. She also secured victories at the BAA Mile, Adidas Boost Games Mile, and the USATF Road Mile Championships. In her last trip to New York, she finished fourth at the 2019 New Balance Fifth Avenue Mile.

(01/24/2020) Views: 430 ⚡AMP
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NYRR Millrose Games

NYRR Millrose Games

The NYRR Millrose Games,which began in 1908 as a small event sponsored by a local track club, has grown to become the most prestigious indoor track and field event in the United States. The NYRR Millrose Games meet is held in Manhattan’s Washington Heights at the New Balance Track & Field Center at the Armony, which boasts a state-of-the-art six-lane,...

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It may come as a surprise, but Nike's popularity is not growing as fast among Strava users as other brands

The running/cycling/social media platform Strava, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary, has just published its much-anticipated Year in Sport. One of the most striking pieces of information in it, not surprisingly, concerns shoes. The fastest-growing shoe on Strava is not the Nike Vaporfly or NEXT%, as you might expect. In fact, it’s not even close.

That distinction belongs to the HOKA Carbon X, the brand’s carbon-plated racing shoe introduced last summer and worn by two-time Western States champion Jim Walmsley when he set the 50-mile world record in California in May 2019.

The second-fastest growing model is the Adidas Solar Glide, and the third is the Fresh Foam Beacon by New Balance, one of the shoes favored by American ultrarunner and multiple age-group record-holder Gene Dykes.

What the research did show, however, is that among Strava runners who ran the World Major Marathons and logged what shoe they were wearing, Nike NEXT% wearers posted the fastest times. Three guesses as to which shoe was next fastest: that’s right. The Vaporfly.

Some other interesting facts emerging from Strava’s research over the past year: we knew that running is hugely popular in Japan, but the Japanese are not stopping at the marathon–according to Strava in 2019, the island nation has more ultramarathoners per capita than any other country in the world.

Further, almost 24 per cent of runners in Japan have completed a marathon or ultra. That’s an increase of 23 per cent over last year, and more than double the percentage of marathoners and ultrarunners in the next most marathon-mad country, France (which had 10.4 per cent). The US was third, with 7.6 per cent.

(12/11/2019) Views: 442 ⚡AMP
by Anne Francis
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Drew Hunter is out for the IAAF World Championships due to a foot injury

Making Team USATF for the upcoming IAAF World Championships in Athletics was Drew Hunter's biggest career accomplishment. The 21 year-old adidas athlete, who trains in Boulder, Colo., with the Tinman Elite group, scrapped his way to a fifth place finish in the 5000m at the Toyota USATF Outdoor Championships in July, despite enduring searing foot pain in the weeks leading to those championships which made running almost impossible. As the third man across the finish line with the World Championships standard, Hunter was going to his first big global championships.

"I just did everything I could," Hunter told Race Results Weekly in a telephone interview last night from Boulder. "It's the hardest team to make and I made it. I earned that spot."

But over the last month, Hunter's foot woes have only gotten worse. Despite countless treatments, cross training, ice, anti-inflammatories and rest, the 2019 USA indoor two-mile champion had to accept that his track season was over. He made the decision with coach Tom Schwartz after a workout he attempted last Friday with Tinman teammate Sam Parsons who is preparing for the New Balance Fifth Avenue Mile.

"I warmed up with Sam for his last workout for Fifth Avenue," Hunter recounted. "I'm going to do a hard workout with Sam and see where my foot is at. I did one stride and my foot was on fire. I knew I was done."

Hunter informed USATF of his decision to withdraw from the team. Although the national federation hasn't named a replacement yet, the next athlete in line is Ben True who finished seventh at the USATF Championships and had the World Championships standard at the time of the meet (American athletes were not permitted to chase the standard after the national championships).

Although severely disappointed, Hunter is trying to use this setback as a learning experience. Analyzing his workouts and training schedule with his coach, he has traced the injury --first an inflamed and torn plantar, then a fractured cuboid bone in his right foot-- to what seemed like the most successful period of running of his young career. On June 13, Hunter ran a personal best 7:39.85 for 3000m at the Bislett Games in Oslo. His foot was just a little sore, but his fitness was excellent and he wanted more.

"I felt my planter and it wasn't bad," Hunter explained. "I had the same symptoms before the Oslo Diamond League. Then I ran Olso, then hopped on a flight straight to Boston and did the Boost Games Mile (where he finished second in 3:58)." He continued: "My plantar was sore, but it was very minor. Right after Oslo and Boost Games I ran really well. I looked in my training log and I know where I screwed everything up."

Hunter, who was a miler in high school, had been successful as a 5000m man on a relatively low-mileage training plan. A big training week for him was 80 miles, but wanting to increase his fitness base he ran successive 90-mile weeks after Oslo. That, Hunter said, was the tipping point.

"I ran my two highest mileage weeks ever back to back," Hunter said. He added: "It just kind of slowly got worse and worse."

In his one tune-up race for the USA national meet, Hunter ran the 1500m at the Sunset Tour meeting in Azuza, Calif., on July 9. He clocked a solid 3:37.29, showing that he had enough fitness to run the 5000m at the national meet, but his foot felt awful.

"Then I ran Azuza, and after the race I could barely walk," Hunter said. "My plantar was, like, on fire. After Azuza my training went really inconsistent and really shaky into nationals. I couldn't do long runs, I couldn't do workouts."

Hunter knew the injury was bad, but decided not to get an MRI because part of him didn't want to know how bad it really was. He was committed to the national meet and didn't want to pull out. That's what professional athletes do, he said.

"I didn't get an MRI before and that was intentional because I knew something was wrong. I knew I had a plantar problem, but I didn't want to know how severe because I was all-in on running nationals." He continued: "So I just worked with my soft tissue therapist and just managed it."

Ironically, by taking so many steps to protect his plantar Hunter actually caused the cuboid fracture. The planter problem is mostly resolved, he said, but the the cuboid fracture needs more time to heal.

(09/04/2019) Views: 846 ⚡AMP
by David Monti
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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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Nikki Hiltz plans to race for the podium at Fifth Avenue Mile

Nikki Hiltz will compete against a stacked field that includes Olympic medalist Jenny Simpson at the New Balance 5th Avenue Mile on Sept. 8.

Simpson will race for her record-extending eighth title in the event, which stretches 20 blocks down Manhattan’s most famous thoroughfare and is expected to draw nearly 8,000 runners across 24 heats. NBC will broadcast the professional races live at 9 a.m. PDT.

Hiltz, who recently won gold in the 1,500-meter race at the Pan American Games, has been America’s best road miler in 2019 with wins at the BAA Mile, adidas Boost Games Mile, and the USATF Road Mile Championships.

The race is expected to be her final tune-up before she competes in the 1,500 at the IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar, alongside Simpson and Shelby Houlihan.

Allie Ostrander, a three-time NCAA champion in the steeplechase who also qualified for her first World Championships this fall, will line up for her first road race as a pro athlete. Elinor Purrier, who also qualified for her first World Championships this year, in the 5 kilometers, will look to contend as well. Canadian Olympian Jessica O’Connell and 2019 10k national champion, Genevieve Lalonde, as well as Great Britain’s Jessica Judd, will lead the international contingent.

“Fast times don’t really give me confidence, but performances do,” she said. “I just want to race people. The Fifth Avenue Mile is an awesome race—I’m going to really go for it and it’ll be a really good springboard. It’s really what I need to be confident going into worlds.”

(08/22/2019) Views: 881 ⚡AMP
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New Balance 5th Avenue Mile

New Balance 5th Avenue Mile

The New Balance 5th Avenue Mile opens a beautiful 20-block stretch of 5th Avenue to runners of all ages and abilities who want to run their best mile in New York City. Special races include a youth mile, the George Sheehan Memorial Mile for runners age 60 and over, the NYRR Road Mile Championships, and Olympic-caliber professional men's and women's...

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Jenny Simpson will race for her record-extending eighth title and Nick Willis will chase his record-breaking fifth men’s title at the New Balance 5th Avenue Mile

The New Balance 5th Ave Mile stretches 20 blocks down Manhattan’s most famous thoroughfare and is expected to draw nearly 8,000 runners across 24 heats. It includes specialty heats for youth and seniors, with the professional athlete races rounding out the day. In partnership with New York Road Runners and USA Track & Field, NBC will broadcast the professional athlete races live on NBC at 12:30 p.m. ET.

“The New Balance 5th Avenue Mile is such an iconic road race that allows people of all ages and abilities to participate in the event on one of the most famous streets in New York City,” said Michael Capiraso, president and CEO of New York Road Runners. “This year will be incredibly special, as we celebrate 20 years of NYRR’s free youth programs.”

In the professional women’s race, Jenny Simpson, who serves as an ambassador and special advisor to NYRR’s youth programs, owns the event-record time of 4:16.6 on Fifth Avenue, which she set when winning the race in 2017. She has earned three IAAF World Championships medals in the metric mile, beginning with a gold at the 2011 World Championships. She followed that with a silver in both 2013 and 2017. In 2016, she took bronze in the 1500 meters at the Rio Olympics, making her the first American woman in history to reach the podium in that event.

Simpson will be challenged in the professional women’s race by Nikki Hiltz, who just won gold over 1500 meters at the Pan American Games and has been America’s best road miler in 2019 with wins at the BAA Mile, Adidas Boost Games Mile, and the USATF Road Mile Championships. 

Allie Ostrander, a three-time NCAA champion in the steeplechase who qualified for her first World Championships this fall, will join them as she lines up for her first road race as a professional athlete. Elinor Purrier, who also qualified for her first World Championships this year, will look to contend as well. Canada’s 2019 national champion Genevieve Lalonde and Olympian Jessica O’Connell, and Great Britain’s Jessica Judd, will lead the international contingent.

Leading the professional men’s field will be nick Willis, a four-time New Balance 5th Avenue Mile champion and two-time Olympic medalist who finished second last year. Willis, who won the event in 2008, 2013, 2015, and 2017, is tied with Spain’s Isaac Viciosa for the most career victories in the men’s race.

Challenging him as he goes for a record-breaking fifth title will be Great Britain’s two-time New Balance 5th Avenue Mile runner-up Chris O’Hare and road 5K world record-holder Edward Cheserek, who is the most decorated athlete in NCAA history with 17 titles at the University of Oregon.

Also joining them at the start line will be Johnny Gregorek, who is fresh off a silver medal at the Pan American Games and the world’s fourth-fastest miler this year. 

(08/21/2019) Views: 931 ⚡AMP
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New Balance 5th Avenue Mile

New Balance 5th Avenue Mile

The New Balance 5th Avenue Mile opens a beautiful 20-block stretch of 5th Avenue to runners of all ages and abilities who want to run their best mile in New York City. Special races include a youth mile, the George Sheehan Memorial Mile for runners age 60 and over, the NYRR Road Mile Championships, and Olympic-caliber professional men's and women's...

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Mathew Kimeli and Senbere Teferi were dominant victors at the UAE Healthy Kidney 10-K

Ethiopia’s 2015 world 5000m silver medallist Senbere Teferi won in a course record of 30:59 ahead of Kenya’s Monicah Ngige (31:52) and Ethiopia’s Buze Diriba (32:20).

Mathew Kimeli, who owns the event’s second-fastest ever mark with his runner-up run at the 2018 edition of the race (27:19), this time clocked 27:45 to win.

Ethiopia’s Girma Bekele Gerba placed second with a time of 28:07 and Kenya’s Edwin Kibichiy was third with a time of 28:21.

Winning by 22 and 53 seconds in 27:45 and 30:59, respectively. Kimeli, a 21-year-old Kenyan who represents adidas, improved on last year's runner-up finish, cruised the second half of the race solo.  Teferi, a 23-yer-old Ethiopian who also runs for adidas, set a new event record, the first sub-31:00 in the 15-year history of the event which raises money for kidney disease research and treatment.

A year ago, Kimeli and training partner Rhonex Kipruto worked together in pursuit of the Central Park record and the $30,000 bonus that came with it. Kipruto took home the paycheck for his 27:08 victory, while Kimeli finished second in 27:19. He returned to New York as the pre-race favorite and acted like it, immediately moving to the front of the lead pack from the start.

Through the first mile (4:31), Kimeli was joined by fellow Kenyan James Ngandu, Gabriel Geay of Tanzania and Girma Bekele Gebre, a New York-based Ethiopian. Kimeli ratcheted up the pace with a 4:20 second mile, first dropping Ngandu before Geay also started to struggle to maintain contact. Running the tangents of the curved roadway with precision, Kimeli dropped Gebre as the course climbed the steep Harlem Hill at the north end of the park. Between 3 miles (13:14) and 5 kilometers (13:45) Kimeli accelerated sharply and broke away.

"I could see that he was going to challenge me on the hill, so I decided that was the time to push it," Kimeli told Race Results Weekly.

At the certified 8-kilometer split (22:08) Kimeli's lead had grown to 17 seconds and his only competition was coming from the clock. The demanding course took its toll, however, as he split 14:00 for the second 5-K to reach the finish in 27:45, still the sixth fastest time in race history.

"The course is good, but today I didn't have a challenger so that maybe we could push together," Kimeli said. "I was comfortable, although I didn't have anybody to support me, other than the [cameraman's] motorbike. The spectators cheered for me and that helped. Maybe next year I'll try to set a new course record."

Gebre crossed the line second in 28:07, while Edwin Kibichiy of Kenya, the 2017 NCAA champion in the steeplechase for the University of Louisville, moved up for third in 28:21. Another Kenyan, Dominic Korir (28:24), and Geay (28:43) rounded out the top five.

Teferi, a week away from her 24th birthday and in her United States racing debut, made an aggressive bid for the Central Park record, Lornah Kiplagat's 30:44 set at the 2002 NYRR New York Mini 10-K. She broke away from Kenya's Monicah Ngige early in the race, attacking the early miles. By halfway (15:31), the record seemed out of her reach, but Teferi continued to press.

Indeed, she covered the second half even faster (15:28) to break the tape in 30:59. Although she missed Kiplagat's mark, she was well under the previous event record of 31:17, set by Joyce Chepkirui of Kenya in 2014.

"I was trying to break the record, but there were a lot of hills at the beginning and by 2 kilometers I knew I was off the pace," said Teferi through a translator, who owns a pair of IAAF World Championships silver medals from 2015 in cross country and the 5000 meters. "I kept on trying after that, I didn't give up hope. I didn't succeed, but I was trying."

Ngige, who finished third in this race the past two years, held on for second in 31:52. Defending champion Buze Diriba of Ethiopia was third in 32:20, followed by Risper Gesabwa (33:26) of Mexico and New Yorker Harriott Kelly (34:19).

Kimeli and Teferi both earned $10,000 first-place prizes (part of a $60,000 purse) in the New York Road Runners-organized event, which featured 7696 official finishers.

(04/29/2019) Views: 1,026 ⚡AMP
by Rich Sands
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UAE Healthy Kidney 10K

UAE Healthy Kidney 10K

The UAE Healthy Kidney 10K is an annual race organized by the New York Road Runners, with support from the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC, to benefit the National Kidney Foundation. The race honors the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the Founder and first President of the United Arab Emirates. Sheikh Zayed was treated for kidney disease in...

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Emily Lipari is set to race in NYRR women's Wanamaker Mile at Millrose Games

Emily Lipari isn’t intimidated by the bright lights of the Millrose Games. At this point, competing at the annual local jewel of the indoor track season is somewhat of a tradition. The former Roslyn High School standout has fond memories of running in high school events back when the meet was held at Madison Square Garden. Even last year, with the games fully staged at its current home — The Armory in Manhattan — Lipari competed in the 3,000 meters and placed ninth. But, this year, Lipari will step onto the track when the lights are brightest and the stakes are highest.

The 26-year-old, who now lives in Seattle, will return home to run in the NYRR women’s Wanamaker Mile at the 112th running of the games Saturday. The draw puts Lipari right in the center of the marquee women’s event of the meet.

“I was here 10 years ago and here I am still running, but at a different level,” Lipari said. “It’s a pretty special thing, because you have this amazing facility and this really nicely run meet that’s basically in my backyard.”

The Wanamaker Mile isn’t part of the vast preshow event that consists of high school, youth, and masters races. No, the Wanamaker Mile is the show.

“I had gotten into Wanamaker my first year out of school, but I decided not to do it because I wasn’t ready for the pace it was going to be going through at,” said Lipari, who graduated from Villanova in 2014. “But now, after four years of post-collegiate running under my belt, I finally feel ready for the type of field it’s going to be. I’m really excited.”

Lipari, whose personal best mile time is 4:31.68, according to the Millrose Games website, has no intention of being window dressing. The field is a good one, with defending champion Colleen Quigley and last year’s runner-up Kate Grace returning to replay a battle that went straight to the tape. But Lipari, ever the competitor, expects to be right in the mix.

“When you get into these big races, you don’t just want to be a participant there,” she said. “Everybody there is working hard and putting their heart and soul into the sport. I’m going in there with the hope of being top three. I don’t worry about the time too much because if you race well and place well, the time will come on its own.”

Lipari, a professional runner with an adidas sponsorship, competes for the Mission Athletic Club, based in San Diego.

(02/09/2019) Views: 934 ⚡AMP
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NYRR Millrose Games

NYRR Millrose Games

The NYRR Millrose Games,which began in 1908 as a small event sponsored by a local track club, has grown to become the most prestigious indoor track and field event in the United States. The NYRR Millrose Games meet is held in Manhattan’s Washington Heights at the New Balance Track & Field Center at the Armony, which boasts a state-of-the-art six-lane,...

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The new Adidas Solar Boost Deliver a Holistic Running Experience launching May 17

Adidas Solar Boost is launching on May 17, the shoe has been in the works for almost two years. Its design concept was inspired by a book on NASA graphic’s standards found in a secondhand bookshop in NYC by one of the brand’s Germany-based designers. From that day forward, the shoe has maintained a universal viewpoint in both its design roots and target audience. The Solar Boost was created to give runners exactly what they need to maximize their performance as well as their enjoyment of the running experience. The concept is based around the idea that everyone can be an athlete and should be treated as such with the gear they train in daily. This attention to the technical aspects of the shoe, as well the experience, spring from the personal story of one of the shoe’s designers: Marius Jung.   (05/12/2018) Views: 814 ⚡AMP
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Adidas says it will create unique videos for all Runners in the Boston Marathon

Roughly 30,000 runners will compete in the Boston Marathon on Patriot’s Day, and Adidas says it will create unique videos for every runner delivered within hours after the race is over. To celebrate 30 years of partnership between Adidas and the Boston Marathon this campaign is a monumental task. Here's how it is going to works: data generated by RFID chips on race bibs, like pace and split times combined with street mats that broadcast ultra-high frequency radio signals from antennas allow Adidas, in partnership with digital agency Grow, to capture individual videos using just seven cameras and a 20-person crew around the 26.2-mile course. The highlight reel will combine scenes from race day against an inspiring soundtrack. Personal footage will be captured at the 15K mark and finish line. Trial runs at other road races, storyboarding and prototyping with prescriptive camera angles, shot lists and sound effects will eliminate excess footage and unnecessary editing to make quick delivery a possibility. “We’re capturing the excitement, support and celebration that is Boston in a way no one has ever done before,” said Paul Bowyer, head of Adidas Running US. Runners will receive an email from the BAA after the race to access their sharable videos. (04/05/2018) Views: 1,091 ⚡AMP
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How to Get Adidas’ Limited-Edition Adizero Trainers in Time for Boston

The completely redesigned Adizero Boston 7 is here — just in time for the 2018 Boston Marathon, on April 16. Adidas’ new limited-edition sneaker takes stylistic cues from the Adizero Adios, adding lightweight support along with its signature Boost technology. The redesigned Adizero Boston 7 is set to release on March 23 at Adidas.com as well as the Boston Marathon Adidas RunBase at the John Hancock Sports & Fitness Expo on April 13 for a retail price tag of $120. Additional shoe colors will be available in June. Along with the shoe, Adidas, the BAA and The Woolmark Co. have teamed up to create replicas of their Best in Class tee, made up of 75 percent Merino wool and 25 percent nylon, which can also be purchased on April 13 at the RunBase for $100. (03/17/2018) Views: 1,193 ⚡AMP
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Adidas looks to break the 2-hour marathon barrier with the Adizero Sub2

When you’re running 26.2 miles, every last ounce of weight you’re carrying counts. And now, Adidas is finding ways to reduce that load. The athletic company believes that the secret to breaking the two hour barrier when it comes to the marathon is in a shoe. Specifically, the Adizero Sub2. Designed in conjunction with some of the most talented distance runners in the world, this sneaker boasts Adidas’ new Boost Lite midsole. Most importantly, however, the Adizero Sub2 is said to be the “most advanced, fast and lightweight running shoe ever created by Adidas.” A key collaborator in Adidas’ quest to empower the sub-two-hour marathon race has been Wilson Kipsang. The Kenyan athlete won the bronze medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics, and ran the fastest race held in Japan at last year’s Tokyo Marathon with a time of 2:03:58. (02/24/2018) Views: 1,203 ⚡AMP
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adidas To Release New Versions Of the Ultra Boosts

SHOE NEWS: adidas has introduced the Ultra Boost and Ultra Boost X as a part of their Energy From The Ground Up campaign. In the Ultra Boost, the ventilation holes of the original Ultra Boost return to the upper across the foot’s key sweat zones – the cage and forefoot. Combining this with a newly developed PrimeKnit composition, designed for reduced stretch to provide runners with a prime fit and additional support, the Ultra Boost is a truly unique proposition. Ultra Boost and Ultra Boost X are available on adidas.com for $180 starting Feb. 21 and in adidas stores worldwide starting Feb. 28. (02/17/2018) Views: 839 ⚡AMP
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